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In10, people watched the lynching of year-old farmhand Jesse Washington.
The Branch Davidians fall into this camp.
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Of course, this narrative also attracts readers, viewers, clicks — and, therefore, revenue. Drawing on reports of former members and anti-cultists, the series described Koresh as a cult leader who had sex with underage girls, severely spanked children, accumulated weapons and exercised mind control over followers. But the telephone line to negotiators remained broken, and the assault proceeded. ificantly, the FBI log also reveals that on April 14, Koresh sent out a ed contract to retain his defense attorney.
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In addition, many characteristics that people say cults possess can actually be found in mainstream religions. News reporters are players in these situations, too. James Yamauchi, S. Catherine Wessinger does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. When researching Koresh, I found that while people were certainly drawn to him, it had nothing to do with alleged mind control.
Of course, suspected illegal activities by members of a religious group must be investigated, and normal not excessive policing procedures implemented to make arrests. Immediately after the fire, most Americans took the side of the FBI. The story that emerges is much more complex — and makes one wonder if the tragedy could have been avoided altogether.
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But people in large religious groups as well as secular organizations also engage in bad behavior. ATF agents, meanwhile, were focused on the of weapons being purchased — especially whether Branch Davidians were making grenades and converting semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons without obtaining permits. Reno approved the plan for the assault on April Branch Davidians continued asking for word-processing supplies, which were delivered on the evening of April A surveillance device audiotape reveals that, after the assault started at 6 a.
Koresh had predicted that the group would be assaulted and killed during Passover week, which, intook place between April 6 and April After Passover came and went, Koresh sent out a letter on April 14 outlining his plan to come out after he wrote a short commentary on the Seven Seals of the book of Revelation.
Nine Branch Davidians escaped the fire. Separate studies conducted by sociologist Nancy T. Ammerman and myself reveal that during the siege FBI officials ignored advice from their own profilers, negotiators and psychiatrist consultants to de-escalate the situation.
The ATF had obtained a search warrant and an arrest warrant for Koresh, whom they suspected was in possession of illegal weapons. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom.
Nonetheless, during and after the Mount Carmel siege, news reporters embraced the cult stereotype of the Branch Davidians. A close study of the Branch Davidian case shows how all parties ended up playing roles in the tragic outcome.
On April 19, the siege ended in a second tragedy when FBI agents carried out a tank and tear gas assault, which culminated in a massive fire. Plymouth Contemporary — Plymouth, Devon.
The Branch Davidian case illustrates how stigmatizing a religious group with that four-letter word can abet a tragic outcome. At a. Ina social worker with Child Protective Services had looked into the Branch Davidians for child abuse; finding none, the case was closed.
Richardson draws on the work of Edward S. Little effort was made in national media to depict the rest of the Branch Davidians and their children as individuals. Seventy-six Branch Davidians, including 20 children and two miscarried babies, died. On March 1,FBI agents took control of the property, and ended up presiding over what became a day siege.
Many groups that are labeled cults are simply small religious groups outside of the mainstream. Editors at the Waco Tribune-Herald were primarily concerned about the welfare of the children.
As I recount in a chapter on the Branch Davidians and religion reporting, after the conclusion of the Mount Carmel Siege, a of reporters in the print media reevaluated their depiction of the Branch Davidians as cultists. Author Catherine Wessinger Rev. Those who lost faith in Koresh left the group on their own accord. By disseminating the easily digestible cult narrative, they immediately dehumanize members of religious groups.
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The raid prompted a shootout that resulted in the deaths of four ATF agents and six Branch Davidians. During the siege, the general public had no way of learning about the Branch Davidians as people, because FBI officials decided to withhold footage filmed inside the residence.
In his letter, he had promised to come out after the the manuscript was in the safekeeping of two Bible scholars, J. Phillip Arnold and James D. Tabor, who had communicated with him via radio. For this reason, it has the potential to be misused as a way to stigmatize members of any minority religion. From Feb. Yet whenever adults cooperated and came out, the remaining Branch Davidians were punished: FBI agents cut off their electricity, ran over their parked vehicles with CEVs, and during the night shined bright spotlights and blasted high-decibel sounds to cause sleep deprivation.