Destroying Waco


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November 28, 1999 I was one of only nine survivors of the Waco blaze -- 74 men, women and children died -- and I've devoted the last six years to understanding what happened there. Back in 1990 I had been drumming in a stagnant Los Angeles rock band when I met and befriended David Koresh. I needed some new drumsticks, and on the way to a gig stopped in at the Guitars R Us on Sunset Boulevard. Seeing the sticks in my hand, two strangers introduced themselves and asked if I was playing in a band. The two were David Koresh and Steve Shumacher, the closest thing Koresh had to a deputy. Schumacher gave me his card and I promptly handed it back. The backside was ...

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weeks I hung out with Koresh and some other musicians in his band. I got to know Koresh and was tremendously impressed. Having never paid much attention to the Bible, I was astonished to find that it actually did have some relevance to my life. And while Koresh had never gotten much in the way of formal education, it was clear that his knowledge of and insight into the scriptures was remarkable. That fall I went out to Waco to play music and meet the larger community. The people at Mount Carmel were extremely involved in knowing and learning the Bible. In the process of demonizing Koresh and the Branch Davidians, a name we never used when describing ourselves, people have made it seem as if Mount Carmel came out of nowhere. In fact, Koresh was the third leader of a religious community that spun off from the Seventh Day Adventists in 1934. They had been living outside of Waco for almost 60 years before the ATF raid in 1993. I was fascinated with their spiritual search, and I began to ...

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Carmel. The initial ATF raid, in which four ATF agents and six Davidians were killed, was based on allegations that we were running a drug lab. But later even ATF employees would admit the charges were "a complete fabrication." One member had allowed speed dealers to operate from the building in the mid-1980s, but everyone knew Koresh hated drugs, and he'd asked the Waco sheriff to remove the methamphetamine lab when he took over as leader in 1987. Charges that we were assembling an arsenal of weapons to be used against the government were equally off-base. We ran a business, buying and selling weapons at gun shows, to bring in revenue for the community. Only a few of us at Mount Carmel ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/24/2003 09:03:26 PM
Category: Political Science
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1461
Pages: 6

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