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The FBI’s “Cult War” against the Branch Davidians

Catherine Wessinger

in FBI and Religion: Faith and National Security before and after 9/11

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
September 2017
ISBN:
9780520287273
eISBN:
9780520962422
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520287273.003.0013
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

This chapter examines the FBI’s engagement of the Branch Davidians and the eventual bombing of the group at their Waco compound. The author explains how the cult essentialist perspective, which ... More


‘The Ultimate Act of Faith?’ The Cause of the Waco Fire

Kenneth G. C. Newport

in The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0014
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

The negotiations at Waco had failings from both sides. The FBI are now able to understand the nature of the Branch Davidian community but the agency was at the time not able to account for how the ... More


‘Hear Ye the Rod’ (cf. Micah 6.9): Victor T. Houteff, the Shepherd's Rod, and the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists

Kenneth G. C. Newport

in The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0003
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

This chapter looks at the origin and the early developmental experiences of the Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) Church. The Seventh-day Adventists initialized the ‘Shepherd's Rod’ movement or the ‘the ... More


The Branch Davidians and Waco: The Culmination of Religious Intolerance

John Corrigan and Lynn S. Neal

in Religious Intolerance in America: A Documentary History

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
July 2014
ISBN:
9780807833896
eISBN:
9781469604091
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/9780807895955_corrigan.12
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

This chapter focuses on one of the challenges faced when one attempts to study Waco. Despite its recent occurrence, evidence is missing, the interpretation of existing evidence is disputed, and ... More


‘For Behold the Lord Will Come with Fire’ (cf. Isaiah 66.15): Theology and the Waco Inferno

Kenneth G. C. Newport

in The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0015
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

Although information regarding who initiated the Mt. Carmel fire can only be stated with uncertainty, it appears reasonable to believe that the fire was indeed initiated by the Branch Davidians ... More


The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Kenneth G. C. Newport

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.001.0001
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

What were the beliefs of the Branch Davidians? This book provides an account of their history. The book argues that, far from being an act of unfathomable religious insanity, the calamitous fire at ... More


The Branch Davidians

Eugene V. Gallagher

in Controversial New Religions

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
March 2015
ISBN:
9780199315314
eISBN:
9780190258245
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199315314.003.0005
Subject:
Religion, World Religions

The Branch Davidians became known to the general public when agents of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms staged a massive raid on their home and church outside of Waco, Texas, on ... More


Explaining Militarization at Waco: The Construction and Convergence of the Warfare Narrative

Stuart A. Wright

in Controversial New Religions

Published in print:
2004
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780195156829
eISBN:
9780199784806
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/019515682X.003.0004
Subject:
Religion, World Religions

This essay examines how the Branch Davidians — a small religious group following a peaceful lifestyle in rural Texas — came to be perceived as a dangerous community that required an aggressive and ... More


‘Behold the Man whose Name is “The Branch”’ (cf. Zech. 6.12): Ben Roden and the Emergence of Branch Davidianism

Kenneth G. C. Newport

in The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0006
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

By March 1962, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists appeared to be facing their downfall and as such, what happened serves as an example of the resilience that can be experienced by religious ... More


Concluding Observations

Kenneth G. C. Newport

in The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0017
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

It is important to note that the combined membership of the various factions of the movement never amounted to more than 1,000 in total. Also, the Davidian and the Branch Davidian traditions existed ... More


‘A Sure Word of Prophecy’ (cf. 2 Peter 1.19): the Bible, Prophecy Belief, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Kenneth G. C. Newport

in The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0002
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

The images of the Branch Davidians and their leader — David Koresh — as discussed in popular sources proved to be wrong. In spite of how they had certain beliefs and had been involved in some actions ... More


‘A Pale Rider’ (cf. Revelation 6.8): Vernon Howell and the Branch Davidians, 1959–1985

Kenneth G. C. Newport

in The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0009
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

Like other religious groups before it, the Branch Davidians depended on an imaginative reading of various prophetic parts of biblical texts, and this gave them a purpose and an urgency, and even an ... More


Collective Martyrdom and Religious Suicide: The Branch Davidians and Heaven’s Gate

Catherine Wessinger

in Martyrdom, Self-Sacrifice, and Self-Immolation: Religious Perspectives on Suicide

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
May 2018
ISBN:
9780190656485
eISBN:
9780190656522
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190656485.003.0004
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

The Branch Davidians and Heaven’s Gate, two religious groups marked by apocalyptic worldviews, are compared to elucidate two types of trajectories of apocalyptic groups involved in violence. The ... More


Revisiting the Branch Davidian Mass Suicide Debate

Stuart A. Wright

in Violence and New Religious Movements

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
May 2011
ISBN:
9780199735631
eISBN:
9780199894512
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735631.003.0005
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

This chapter revisits the controversy, recently revived by Kenneth C. G. Newport, that the Branch Davidians had a theological rationale for mass suicide and likely set fire to their own home. Newport ... More


The Branch Davidians and Waco

John Corrigan and Lynn S. Neal

in Religious Intolerance in America, Second Edition: A Documentary History

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
May 2021
ISBN:
9781469655628
eISBN:
9781469655642
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655628.003.0009
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

The chapter examines the how and why of the events that led to a fifty-one day siege and ended with the deaths of over seventy Branch Davidians in April 1993. The primary sources demonstrate how the ... More


‘The Seventh Angel’: David Koresh and the Mystery of God

Kenneth G. C. Newport

in The Branch Davidians of Waco: The History and Beliefs of an Apocalyptic Sect

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780199245741
eISBN:
9780191697494
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0011
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies

When David Koresh was thirty-three years old, he managed to assume the position of the leader of the Branch Davidians. This prophetic status was embraced by many. He also acquired control of the Mt. ... More


The Branch Davidians

Stuart A. Wright and Susan J. Palmer

in Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
December 2015
ISBN:
9780195398892
eISBN:
9780190269982
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398892.003.0005
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

This chapter presents a case study of the Branch Davidians, a small Seventh Day Adventist sect. It begins with an overview of the raid conducted by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) ... More


Texas Redux: A Comparative Analysis of the FLDS and Branch Davidian Raids

Stuart A. Wright and Jennifer Lara Fagen

in Saints Under Siege: The Texas State Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
March 2016
ISBN:
9780814795286
eISBN:
9780814795309
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:
10.18574/nyu/9780814795286.003.0007
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

This chapter compares the 2008 Texas state raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (FLDS) at the Yearning for Zion Ranch with the federal raid on the Branch Davidians ... More


Allies against Armageddon?: The FBI and the Academic Study of Religion

Steven Weitzman

in FBI and Religion: Faith and National Security before and after 9/11

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
September 2017
ISBN:
9780520287273
eISBN:
9780520962422
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520287273.003.0016
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

The FBI standoff with the Branch Davidians proved an important turning point, a great tragedy in FBI history that called into question key premises and tactics that it had relied on in dealing with ... More


Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities

Stuart A. Wright and Susan J. Palmer

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
December 2015
ISBN:
9780195398892
eISBN:
9780190269982
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398892.001.0001
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

The raid conducted by German police in 2013 against an American-based sect, the Twelve Tribes, is part of a troubling pattern. There have been a growing number of government raids on new or ... More


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