It was a sunny day on February 28, 1993 when The Waco Siege at Mount Carmel in Waco, Texas began. The Federal Government had been watching the compound of Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, for some time and decided it was time to act. What followed was a tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 77 innocent people. This could have been avoided if the government had only wanted to arrest Koresh, but instead they wanted to make a statement to all religious organizations that did not conform to the accepted norm. The siege ended after 51 days on April 19, 1993, when the compound was set ablaze. The government claimed it was Koresh and his followers who started the fire, but many believe that it was actually the government who started it in an attempt to cover up their own negligence.
The events leading up to the siege are important to understand in order to fully grasp the tragedy that unfolded. Koresh was born Vernon Wayne Howell in Houston, Texas on August 17, 1959. His mother was a 15-year-old girl named Bonnie Sue Clark who became pregnant with Koresh when she was just 14 years old. Koresh had a difficult childhood and was eventually kicked out of his home by his grandparents. He then moved to Waco and joined the Branch Davidians, a religious sect that was based on the teachings of Seventh-day Adventists. Koresh quickly rose to power within the group and began preaching his own version of the Bible.
The government first became interested in Koresh and the Branch Davidians in 1992 when they received a tip that Koresh was “stockpiling weapons”. The Branch Davidians had been attending gun shows and purchasing firearms, which is perfectly legal, but the government was concerned that Koresh was planning to use these weapons to start a revolution (or so they say). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) launched an investigation and set up surveillance of the compound from across the street and began building their case against Koresh.
NOTE: Lon Horiuchi is a former FBI sniper who was involved in the Ruby Ridge and The Waco Siege. At Ruby Ridge, he shot and killed Vicki Weaver as she was standing in her doorway holding her baby. At Waco, he was part of the team that “allegedly” fired pyrotechnic tear gas canisters into the compound. These canisters “allegedly” started the fire that killed many of the people inside.
To show they had nothing to hide, Koresh invited the agents to the compound on several occasions. He even allowed them to search the premises, but they found nothing illegal. The agent that interacted with Koresh the most was Gary Noesner. He attended several of Koresh’s Bible study sessions and parties with Branch Davidians. Noesner even went so far as to say that Koresh was “charming” and ” intelligent”.
The government decided to raid the compound on February 28, 1993. They sent in a tank to ram the front gate and then agents stormed the compound. The raid quickly turned into a gunfight and several people were killed, including four ATF agents. The ATF then retreated and called in the FBI. The FBI set up a perimeter around the compound and began negotiating with Koresh.
The FBI began a 51-day siege of the compound, during which time they used psychological warfare tactics in an attempt to get Koresh and the others to surrender. These tactics included sleep deprivation, bright lights, and loud noises. The government also cut off all power and water to the compound. On April 19, 1993, the FBI decided to launch a final assault on the compound. They used tanks to break through the walls and pump tear gas into the building. A fire then started and quickly spread throughout the compound. Koresh and 76 others were killed, including many children.
Janet Reno, the Attorney General at the time, gave the order to launch the final assault and pump tear gas into the building where innocent women and children were hiding. Reno later said that she “made the best decision [she] could at the time with the information [she] had”. She claimed that Koresh and his followers started the fire, but many believe that it was started by the FBI in an attempt to cover up their own negligence.
What did David Koresh and the Branch Davidians believe that led them to their standoff with the government? Koresh believed that he was a prophet of God and that he had been chosen to lead the people to the “promised land”. He also believed that he was the reincarnation of King David and that he would father a “Messianic line” of children who would lead the world after Armageddon. Koresh’s views were not in line with mainstream Christianity, which led many to believe that he was a cult leader.
David Koresh taught about the Seven Seals, which are found in the Book of Revelation. He believed that when the Seventh Seal was broken, it would signify the end of the world. Koresh believed that he was living in the “end times” and that the government was the “beast” mentioned in Revelation. He also believed that the government was coming to get him and his followers because they were a threat to their power.
While David Koresh, Rachel Koresh/Jones (David’s wife), and 75 other followers perished that day, nine people managed to escape the fire. Following the The Waco Siege and death of their religious leader, the Branch Davidians dropped out of the spotlight and are still an active religious group with several hundred members. They continue to believe in Koresh’s teachings and maintain that the government was responsible for the tragedy at Waco.
What are the seven seals?
The seven seals are found in the Book of Revelation and signify the end of the world.
- The first seal represents the false prophet. This will be a person who will deceive many people and lead them astray. He will have the power to perform miracles and he will fool many into following him.
- The second seal represents war. This will be a time of great turmoil and bloodshed. Many will die in this time of war.
- The third seal represents famine. This will be a time when food will be scarce and many will go hungry.
- The fourth seal represents death. This will be a time when death will be widespread. Many will die during this time.
- The fifth seal represents martyrdom. This will be a time when many people will be killed for their beliefs.
- The sixth seal represents the great day of wrath. This is the day when God will judge the world and pour out his wrath upon it.
- The seventh seal represents silence. This is a time of calm before the storm, before the final judgment comes. There is nothing that can be done to stop it, so all that is left is to wait and see what will happen.
These are the seven seals that signify the end of the world. What they represent is a time of great tribulation and suffering. Many will die during this time, but don’t be afraid, be prepared. The time is coming, and we must all be ready.
The Tragedy at Waco: New Evidence Examined:
House Report 106-0137 is the congressional report on the Waco Siege. The report concluded that the BATF’s investigation of the Branch Davidians was incompetent and the subsequent BATF’s military-style raid was deeply flawed, in concept, in planning, and in execution. They further concluded that the decision to end the standoff on April 19, 1993, was “premature, wrong, and highly irresponsible. Finally, the report stated the affidavit filed in support of the ATF’s arrest and search warrants included knowingly false statements. In that, the BATF fraudulently claimed that the Branch Davidians were producing methamphetamine, in order to obtain non-reimbursable and prompt military support. However, the actions of the military, including the National Guard, did not violate the Posse Comitatus Act.
If you want to learn more about the Waco Siege, I recommend reading the “official account” House Report 106-0137. It’s a detailed account of what happened and it’s clear that the government was at fault. This tragedy is a prime example of government tyranny and it’s important that we learn from it so that it never happens again.
I hope this blog post has given you some insight into The Waco Siege. It’s a tragic event that could have been avoided if the government had just handled things differently. They went in with guns blazing and as a result, many innocent people died. We must learn from this tragedy so that it never happens again. Thank you for reading.
Be sure to check out our other blog posts subject such as – Martial Law: What is it, Who Can Declare It, and How Does it Affect You?