Talk:Waco siege

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Posse Comitatus Act[edit]

The Posse Comitatus Act rquires the president to sign a waiver allowing Federal troops and their equipment to be used in any law enforcement operation. Since the tanks and troops showed up on the first day of the raid, President Clinton must have signed the waiver sometime beforehand. It's reasonable to believe that he was briefed by federal agents on the reason that they were requesting the military personnel and eqpt and the dangers that would be associated with the raid. At this point, some background is needed to give context. In 1973, the American Indian Movement took over the town of Wounded Knee South Dakota, setting the stage for the longest siege in US history. Like Waco, the FBI showed up in force to break the occupation. It resulted in a shoot out. The number of dead and wounded was not nearly so great as Waco. Afterwards, Federal law enforcement came up with a doctrine for handling hold out situations involving persons who are not criminals in the usual sense but motivated by religious and or political beliefs. The doctrine is called "decapitation." By taking out the leader of the group first, the followers are left confused and uncertain what to do next. They are then easier to deal with. Someone involved with planning the raid on the Branch Davidian compound had to give the order to ignore established safety protocols by not arresting Koresh when he was alone and then moving in on the followers. To date, not one person associated with the planning stage has ever been identified, let alone come forward to make a public statement. Not one person has ever been publicly punished for ignoring safety protocols that were there for the benefit of the officers and the Branch Davidians. Retired Senator John C Danforth was appointed Special Counsel to investigate the incident. The so-called "Danforth Report" did not address the planning stages of the operation. Given the context of the situation, it appears that 1) Clinton knew what was going on and 2) approved it, knowing that it was putting the lives of all those children at risk. This is the one part of the incident that had to have happened and is not discussed by anyone. JPZingher (talk) 03:55, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Weren't the troops and equipment from the Texas National Guard? And I believe they were still acting under state control and were never Federalized for the raid. It is not a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act for a state governor to use his National Guard forces to maintain order during emergencies within the state. The Posse Comitatus Act only applies to the use of the active Army (and Air Force) in the enforcement of the law.Dworjan (talk) 09:43, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Task Force 88, Special Forces Assault[edit]

During the cource of the siege members of the US and UK special forces were sent to Mount Carmel to 'observe and advise' the FBI and to help bring about an end to the situation. The 12 special forces men, 2 British SAS and 10 US Delta (Combat Applications Group, 1stSFOD-D) were part of Task Force 88, a top secret counter-terror unit. On the last day of the siege senior government officals approved the use of TF88 in storming the compound instead of using the FBI HRT unit with was 'fatigued and under strength' —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.255.196.165 (talk) 18:53, 6 January 2011 (UTC)


FBI Sniper Plan[edit]

I replaced this in prelude to the raid (28 Feb 93):

At least a week before the assault, the FBI had considered employing snipers to "eliminate" David Koresh, and other "key" Davidians(ref)((cite book|last=Churchill|first=Ward|coauthors=Jim Vander Wall|title=The COINTELPRO papers: documents from the FBI's secret wars against dissent in the United States|publisher=South End Press|date=2002|isbn=9780896086487|page=lxxix))(/ref).

with this in the siege section before the final assault:

One week prior to the 19 Apr 1993 assault, FBI planners considered using snipers to eliminate David Koresh and possibly other key Davidians.(ref)Lee Hancock, "No Easy Answers: Law Authorities Puzzle over Methods to End Branch Davidians Siege", Dallas Morning News, 15 Apr 1993.(/ref)

for reasons that should be obvious. Naaman Brown (talk)

This never happened "in" Waco[edit]

As always someone has to correct the media. This event never happened in the city of Waco Texas. Instead, as listed, it was Mount Carmel. Do not confuse the two. I have lived here all my life and in no way did this nor anything like this ever happened here. The article should be changed to say The Mount Carmel Siege 15 miles from Waco. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Leeme 1958 (talkcontribs) 19:03, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

According to WP:COMMONNAME, articles use the most common name that appear in reliable English language sources. You could also read Talk:Waco_Siege/Archive_3#.22war_in_waco.22, an older discussion of names. --Enric Naval (talk) 12:13, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move to Waco siege per consensus and guidelines, no consensus to change title beyond capitalization. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 01:51, 12 February 2011 (UTC)


Waco SiegeWaco siege — Page title is not a proper noun and should be changed per WP:CAPS. Also interested in discussing whether this is the best title per WP:COMMONNAME. Woodshed (talk) 06:21, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

This page should be moved to Waco siege per WP:CAPS, as "Waco Siege" is not a proper name.

But I'd also like to bring this before editors to discuss if there's a better name for the page. There was a non-robust move discussion in 2006 — see Talk:Waco Siege/Archive 1.

I'm wondering if there's really one "common name" phrase in the public consciousness that describes this event.

Terms like Ruby Ridge, Heaven's Gate and Jonestown all became synonymous with the government/private conflicts that made national headlines. I don't think, in this case, Mount Carmel (the compound location — not in Waco) really did. Nor Branch Davidians, though I'd guess more people could recall the latter if asked. Most probably refer to it colloquially as "Waco" (or maybe Waco incident).

The problems with the article title, to me, are:

  • It wasn't in Waco, it was located in an unincorporated area well outside the city — Mount Carmel. (Full disclosure: I live in Waco.)
  • It may not have been a siege (some have suggested that's NPOV), "a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault." Is standoff or something else a better word here?

Googling combinations of Waco / Mount Carmel / Branch Davidians, and words like "siege," "standoff" and "raid" (probably the three top contenders), I'm not overwhelmed — or even whelmed — by any clear trend.

I have no strong opinions, I hope it's clear. Article titles to consider might be Montana Freemen, YFZ Ranch, as well as the aforementioned Ruby Ridge, Heaven's Gate and Jonestown. If I had my druthers, I would vote for Branch Davidian standoff or Mount Carmel standoff for consistency (using either the name of the group or the location of the incident in the title).

Ultimately, it may be, as WP:TITLE says, "If an article title has been stable for a long time, and there is no good reason to change it, it should not be changed." Woodshed (talk) 05:35, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

  • I would say keep it as it is. Here, in England, the most common name for it is Waco Seige.
A quick search for news items has these, BBC, Time magazine and The Independant being a mix from UK and US independant media news sources The Waco Siege Feb. 28: Sent into a Deathtrap?, World: Americas Koresh and the Waco siege, The Waco Siege: Cult suicide could damage Clinton: As the Branch Davidian stand-off ends in tragedy the authorities face questions about their handling of the cult and 1993: Waco cult siege ends with inferno for example give this title in the headlines.
As for the capitalisation of the header "Seige" - if the common name for it is in fact Waco Seige, in caps, then I suppose that would be as it is now. The problem is that the most commonly used name, in an internet search result, is in headlines which tend to all be capitalised. Maybe that is what people remember rather than the body of the text lowercase seige.
I look forwards to the discussion  :¬) Chaosdruid (talk) 12:23, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't care to use headlines as a metric, what with "Waco" being conveniently only four letters. I think I lean toward "Branch Davidian standoff" or something similar, but if concrete evidence can be found that "Waco siege" is overwhelmingly more common, I'm not inherently opposed. Powers T 13:09, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: I see little evidence of this being a commonly used proper noun for the event. I think probably a few media sources used the term "Waco Siege" simply because it grabs your attention more than the sentence-cased version. –CWenger (talk) 02:43, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep Doing a search in Google books finds 7 to 1; 1,580 for "waco siege" and 227 for "branch davidian siege". It is normal, I believe, that the published sources be used for that sort of count, but here are general internet searches :-
searches in Google:
"branch davidian seige" 113,000 [2]
"waco siege" 109,000 [3]
"branch davidian conflict" 80,200 [4]
"davidian massacre" 52,700 [5]
"waco massacre" 39,200 [6]
"waco tragedy" 20,600 [7]
"mount carmel siege" 473 [8]
"waco conflict" 212
"mount carmel massacre" 100
Searches in bing:
"Waco Siege" 12,400,000
I stopped as this number seems to be wildly inaccurate compared to Google
From this I can only assume that it should be Waco (followed by something). The issue for me is that the book sources are far more heavily weighted towards Waco at 7:1.
As for the problem of using the word "siege" v. "conflict" v. "stand-off" I see it as two-fold.
First, conflict implies just that and there was no real conflict per se.
Second, stand-off implies two sides just waiting (as per Collins English dictionary "2. a deadlock or stalemate 3. any situation or disposition of forces that counterbalances or neutralizes) - there was no counterbalance as the authorities had armoured vehicles so 3. is out, but a deadlock is so vague that to say "Branch Davidian stand-off" (stalemate/deadlock) could mean anything, even their arguments with the Davidians.
I think that siege is still the best term of use as per the overwhelming reputable sources giving several answers with a more than adequate use of "surround and wait for surrender" or "prolonged attempt to gain something" :-
Definitions of siege:
MSNEncarta [9]
1. military operation: a military or police operation in which troops or the police surround a place and cut off all outside access to force surrender ( often used before a noun )
2. prolonged effort: a prolonged effort to gain or overcome something
3. tiresome period: a prolonged and tedious period
lay siege to something
1. to besiege a place
2. to make a persistent attempt to gain something
Macmillan [10]
2 a situation in which a group of people surround a building in order to protest about something or to force the people inside to come out
Police surrounded the house for a 12 hour siege.
state of siege:
The town was in a state of siege (=people could not leave or enter it).
Hundreds of students laid siege to the American embassy.
Collins English dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
1.a. the offensive operations carried out to capture a fortified place by surrounding it, severing its communications and supply lines, and deploying weapons against it
b. ( as modifier ): siege warfare
2. a persistent attempt to gain something
3. a long tedious period, as of illness, etc

aside: Waco Siege or Waco siege[edit]

Waco TX is not alone in unwanted notoriety. The Lillelid murders usually link to Greeneville TN simply because Greeneville was the nearest large city and was the location of the trial (even though the murders occurred in a rural area off Highway 81 when a Goth cult from Pikesville KY carjacked a family from Knoxville TN in transit). The Lillelid murders have become commonly associated with Greeneville. The raid on Mt. Carmel Center has become commonly associated with Waco.

The article has been entitled "Waco Siege" since it became an article 12 Feb 2006 and the events (ATF raid 28 Feb 1993, FBI standoff 1 Mar--18 Apr, FBI gas-and-tank assault 19 Apr) have been referred to as as a "siege" and as the "Waco Siege" in other media.

PBS - "chronology of the siege" ABC News - "the Waco Siege" TIME "The Waco Siege"

Changing a WP name long established, esp. if the name is commonly used in reference to the event elsewhere (Waco Siege, Colfax Massacre, Hindenburg Disaster, Reichstag Fire), ought not be done lightly.

A valid conflict could be the fact WP style is Capital Location lowercase event regardless of usage in other media. The events in the WP article "Colfax massacre" created 28 Mar 2004 are referred to as "Colfax Massacre" in other media (such as discussion at a lawyer blog of a recent book Charles Lane "The Day Freedom Died" 2008). Same with the WP article on "Reichstag fire" usually referred to in other media as the "Reichstag Fire". Similar WP "Hindenburg disaster" or Hindenburg disaster is commonly referred to as the "Hindenburg Disaster" elsewhere. Naaman Brown (talk) 14:53, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I think we should use normal sentence casing as per Wikipedia convention unless there is near universal usage of another style in reliable sources. I don't think "Waco Siege" meets this threshold. Also, we should keep in mind that some of these sources might always use mostly-caps style in their headlines, so if they did refer to it by the same name in the text they might just use "Waco siege", but it's impossible to tell. –CWenger (talk) 16:07, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Well no it is more than possible, I have included those links above for just that purpose :¬)
I do not want to start giving numbers though - it will be clear to all who go and look that the WS and Ws are used in headline and in body of articles respectively. Chaosdruid (talk) 18:50, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't see in any of those articles where the term "Waco siege" is used in a sentence, not a headline. They do refer to the "siege" (not preceded by Waco) with a lowercase s, but I'm not sure how informative that is. –CWenger (talk) 19:45, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm thinking maybe you were clicking on the second set of links rather than the first set ("A quick search for news items has these" and "Unfortunately for you Waco residents"). Mostly they use "siege at Waco" in the body, although the BBC one [11] also uses "Waco siege" in the headline.
Yep, you're right. –CWenger (talk) 20:24, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

recent edits on Waco siege[edit]

Editor IP 76.186.27.145 added the last two paragraphs 23:53 6 Feb 2011. Ckatz excised the addition 07:50 7 Feb 2011 with comment (Uncited). The paragraph left standing was also uncited.

The applied standard appears to be that incriminatory accusations against the Davidians can stand uncited, but exculpatory evidence requires citations and all the rules on verifiable sources considered reliable.

===Child abuse allegations===
Reports from Joyce Sparks, an investigator from the Texas agency responsible for child protective services, stated she had found significant evidence that the allegations of child abuse were true in her visits to the Mount Carmel site over a period of months. However she said the investigation was difficult as she was not permitted to speak with the children alone, nor was she permitted to inspect all areas of the site.
California and Texas CPS had both conducted investigations into abuse charges and in both cases returned the children citiing a lack or no evidence of abuse. In both investigations Texas and California removed the children for interviews and examinations with cooperation of the Branch Davidians. It should be noted that the citation above is extracted from a largely discredited DOJ report on the aftermath of Waco and failed to note that Joyce Sparks statement was her's only and not offered on behalf of or in concurrance with the Texas CPS report. The Texas and California CPS investigation report findings were not included or cited in the DOJ report. ATF Special Agent David Aguilera used Sparks statement in obtaining the warrant granted by a federal judge that lead to the Waco incident but omitted the CPS reports and conclusion in his request for a warrant.
The warrant application repeated allegations of child sexual by Koresh. The State of Texas' child abuse investigation was featured prominently; but BATF failed to inform the federal magistrate that the child abuse investigation had been closed for lack of evidence April 30, 1992, nearly ten months before the assault on Mount Carmel Center.

The Waco siege article should be kept factual to avoid becoming either a whitewash or a conspiracy theory. If you add to the article, please cite a verifiable, reliable source; if you believe an addition to the article requires citation, use the [citation needed] flag and allow reasonable time for the addition to be properly cited. Adding without citation and deleting without noting citation needed are equally discourteous. Naaman Brown (talk) 12:16, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

COD Dayland Gent[edit]

I am restoring cause of death of Dayland Gent to stabbing, the official government COD, from the edit of 23:53 25 Feb 2011 by Moparchris with comment (Autopsies: changed stabbed to shot in relation to shootings.)

"Autopsy records indicate that at least 20 Davidians were shot, including five children under the age of 14, and three-year-old Dayland Gent was stabbed in the chest." Kristina King, "The Waco Incident", investigative documentary.

"Dayland Gent, Mt. Carmel Does 33 and 47 B: The Autopsy Report for Mt. Carmel Doe 33, identified as three year old Dayland Gent, tells us nothing about the conditions under which the remains were recovered. "The body is presented to the county morgue secured in a blue body bag . . ." Dayland is said to have died of a stab wound to the left chest. .... According to official recovery map (Remains Recovered from the Concrete Room), the first set of Dayland's remains was picked up on April 22, and given the number Mt. Carmel Doe 33. Then, according to the same map, more of Dayland Gent's remains were picked up with Mt. Carmel Doe 47: the Identification Matrix lists Mt. Carmel Doe 47 B as Dayland Gent (though there is no autopsy for 47 B)." Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum: Dismemberment and Agglutination

Since 1993-1994, COD of Dayland Gent has been listed as stabbing from sources citing the original autopsy report; there is no evidence to change it to shooting now. If there is evidence that Dayland Gent was shot rather than stabbed, one should present citable reliable sources. Naaman Brown (talk) 12:35, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

David Koresh is mentioned in the inroducion only as Koresh, but it makes no menton of him prior to this[edit]

David Koresh is mentioned in the inroducion only as Koresh, but it makes no menton of him prior to this —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.206.186.215 (talk) 04:24, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

apparently the first mention of David Koresh was deleted, leaving only a partial followup mention of "..Koresh himself". Added full name and linked to WP article. Naaman Brown (talk) 18:21, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Number of Deaths[edit]

The introductory paragraph states that 76 people died in the fire. The section "The Final Assault" states that 75 died. Could someone find which is correct and rectify this? Peng1pete (talk) 01:34, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

There were 74 dead identified by name. Some accounts count the two pregnant women as four deaths. Some accounts count the unnamed foetus miscarried in the fire as a death, but not the unborn foetus. 74, 75, 76. Depends on definition of human life. Naaman Brown (talk) 17:19, 9 January 2012 (UTC)


Davidian Strength (Info Box)[edit]

An edit to the info box Strength of the belligerents added to the Branch Davidian side (revision 9 Jan 2012, comment (Since when has 6+4+74+9=75?!))

Those are total numbers from Casualties and Losses 6 dead in the raid 28 Feb 93 4 surrendered 28 Feb 93 74 dead final assault 19 Apr 93 9 surrendered 19 Apr 93

On the four surrendered 28 Feb 93 my notes show: 1993 Feb 28 "A tape was sent out of MCC with two old ladies, Catherine Matteson and Magaret Lawson, and two young boys." The 4 surrendered include 2 children.

The 74 dead includes the children who died that day. Eighteen were age 12 or younger. Four were 1 year old. Four were 2 year old.

Since we are adding children and infants to the strength of belligerents in the info box, there were nineteen additional children surrendered during the siege in Mar 1993, which would make the belligerents present at the 28 Feb 93 raid 6+4+19+74+9 on the Davidian side. --Naaman Brown (talk) 17:19, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

"ATF False claim"[edit]

According to the article, "ATF made a false claim that David Koresh was operating a methamphetamine lab, in order a drug nexus and obtain military assets under the 'War on Drugs'."

First, the period should go inside the quotation marks. This point, however, is moot--why is this phrase set inside quotation marks?

More importantly, the citation given is a report that discusses the required circumstances to use military force inside of the US. The report says that "Under more recent legislation, the Army can provide equipment, training, and expert military advice to civilian law enforcement agencies as part of the total effort in the war on drugs....The principle example of the contentious nature of such support can be found in ... the support provided to the ATF by the Army under the operational control of JTF 6, during the siege and assault of David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound."

I don't know how to insert a "citation needed" tag. The referenced Army report does not mention anything about ATF making a false claim. Can someone please insert the tag?--Lacarids (talk) 17:55, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Never mind! I found the template...but the issue still exists--need a reliable source that says that the ATF made a false claim in order to obtain US Army support. The cited document does not say that ATF made a false claim. The wiki editor that wrote this paragraph is taking the Army author's argument two or three steps further than he intended it to be taken. Is this because the editor is drawing from other (unreferenced) sources? Or is the "false claim" claim false itself? --Lacarids (talk) 18:10, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Good catch. Calling it a "false claim" without quoting somebody else saying those words is probably not a good idea. The "Civilian Law Enforcement" section of the cited source seems to indicate two things:
  1. The BATF requested military support in an operation against a meth lab
  2. The claim that Koresh was operating a drug lab appears to be ridiculous and unfounded
I think these two statements are backed up by the source. It would probably be safer to state those two things separately, instead of labeling something a "false claim" without letting the reader make the connection themselves. ~ Josh "Duff Man" (talk) 19:26, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I fixed it a bit with House of representatives report: alleged drug nexus. I haven't separated the claims, sorry. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:57, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Amendment for historical accuracy[edit]

Can amendments be made to the article changing statements about accidental fires being started, changing them to the fires started by the flame throwers on the Bradly assault vehicles? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.194.165.98 (talk) 03:24, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

This already is debunked in text since original video clearly shows it was insulation being dragged away from the building. CarolMooreDC 09:08, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Bradley assault vehicles can't be fitted with flamethrowers. This volatile charge has long been refuted. 70.113.67.75 (talk) 03:53, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Nomenclature[edit]

My decades of life experience and extensive non-fiction reading causes me to prefer the term "Waco Massacre" vice other labels.Obbop (talk) 16:23, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, but I'm not sure it would be appropriate to refer to it as such in the article without a good number of sources to cite as using the term. ~ JoshDuffMan (talk) 20:54, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
What has the number of sources to do with it. Either the term is merited or not. --41.151.5.2 (talk) 12:59, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Number of sources is a valid criteria to consider. If we find a single source that calls is the "Waco Birthday Party", would you accept that as a basis to change how we're referring to it in the article? Regardless, in this case, number probably isn't the best criteria, NPOV is. Siege is more neutral than massacre. Niteshift36 (talk) 13:33, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia or rather its editors do not have any problem calling the events in Sharpeville a massacre, although in that case the police clearly acted in self-defense. --197.229.93.6 (talk) 11:36, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
  • That article is subject to discussion on that talk page. If you have issues with it, discuss it there. Niteshift36 (talk) 15:01, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
And the nomenclature as in "Waco massacre" shouldn't we discuss this here?--41.146.46.232 (talk) 23:29, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

The article lacks infor about the "battle against the Babylon" prophecy of Koresh, among other things[edit]

Like the presence of Delta Force personnel (not just vague "Special Forces"). --Niemti (talk) 22:16, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

sources for fire from helicopters[edit]

In reference to this edit. It removes these sources:

  • Rangers report, (reaches the same conclusion, according to the House of Representatives report)
  • final version of Danforth report, pages 24–25 (footnote 26), 33, 42–43, 132, 134.

And introduces these sources:

I think this edit goes against WP:FRINGE. It removes the mainstream position and it introduces a fringe position from fringe sources and from sources of unknown reliability. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:42, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

As of public-action.com - the "list of sponsors" (most long defunct) at Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum includes "Conspiracy Nation" ("Through the power of Melchizedek we shall defeat Cthulhu") and "Ukrainian Archive" (a former website dedicated to protection of Ukrainians accused of being Nazi collaborators and which is now under a VERY new management, see yourself). --Niemti (talk) 17:49, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Please put back properly ref'd material and remove the fringerino stuff. CarolMooreDC 22:34, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Why are we including "(author Carol Moore points out some evidence to the contrary)" as a caveat to the statement that National Guard helicopters did not return fire? I can see nothing that makes Carl Moore a reliable source that should be presented on such equal footing with the House of Representatives report on the raid. I can find no major reviews of the book, Davidian Massacre. It is very nearly self published, available on the author's personal website as well as a paperback from the Gun Owners Foundation and Legacy Communications. Having perused the book, the 'evidence' presented boils down to: helicopters flew over and there was gunfire, so the gunfire must have come from the helicopters. Fringe theories from unknown and essentially self published sources probably don't need to go into the article, and definitely not with anywhere near the same weight as the Congressional report. If some reliable or noteworthy source disputes the 'official' position, I fully support including it in the article, but this isn't it. Dworjan (talk) 10:33, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hmmm, I don’t see the need for all the personal attacks based on one editor’s poorly sourced comment. Even as of 1995, reliable sources reported on allegations of shooting from helicopters. Doubtless more have since then, including referring to various primary sources below. Listed below, in order of occurrence in chapter 5 of the book, are excerpted quotes and some summaries about evidence of firing from helicopters. As copyright holder I approve my use of quotes from the book on this talk page.

  • Davidians allege that agents in one or more helicopters started unprovoked firing at them as they arrived at the north side of the building and continued to pass back and forth over the building, firing at will, for several minutes. They claim there were over 100 bullet holes from the agents in helicopters shooting into the walls and roofs. The three largest Davidian lawsuits, filed by the Cause Foundation, Ramsey Clark and Caddell & Conwell, all charge there was firing from helicopters.7/ Cause Foundation lawsuit (February 24, 19c94), p. 26; Clark lawsuit (February 25, 1995), p. 28; Caddell & Conwell lawsuit (July 26, 1994), p. 19.
  • In late March, 1993 Rita Riddle told reporters there was "no question" agents fired from helicopters. "They say these helicopters were not armed? Bull puck. I heard them spraying the building when they went over."12/ J. Michael Kennedy and Louis Sahagun, "Sect member says helicopters shot at compound in gun battle," Los Angeles Times, March 30, 1993, A17.
  • In the March 28, 1993 taped interview with attorney Dick DeGuerin, David Koresh denied that Davidians fired on helicopters before the cattle trailers arrived and challenged BATF's claim that BATF agents did not fire on Davidians from helicopters.13/ "Koresh defends actions in tape of interview," Dallas Morning News, May 28, 1993, 36A.
  • The negotiation audio tapes reveal that both Steve Schneider and David Koresh informed negotiators of the firing.14/ Dr. Philip Arnold who described the tapes in 1995. The tapes are out there somewhere still; someone else may have verified.
  • Psychologist Bruce D. Perry, who interviewed Davidian children who left Mount Carmel after the raid, described a child drawing a picture of a house beneath a rainbow. "When Perry asked, `Is there anything else?' the child calmly added bullet holes in the roof."15/ Sue Anne Pressley, "Waco Cult's Children Describe Beatings, Lectures, War Games: Experts Fail to Confirm Abuse of Cult's Children," Washington Post, May 5, 1993, A17.
  • At trial Kathryn Schroeder said she saw a bullet holes in the ceiling and walls of the four story tower.16/ 1994 trial transcript, p. 4616, 4618.
  • Fifteen minutes into the raid, in their second phone call to 9-1-1, Davidians complain frantically to Lieutenant Lynch about helicopters firing on them as nearly continuous gunfire can be heard in the background. (Several relevant quotes.) 1994 trial or other reliable source transcript.
  • At trial both Judge Smith and the prosecutors tried to dismiss these statements as "self-serving," implying that panicky civilians would make up such a story for some nefarious purpose.20/ 1994 trial transcript, pgs. 6481-82, 6504.
  • The frequently shown KWTX-TV video of an agent being shot at through the wall of the second story room displays clear evidence that at least four bullets were fired from above, even as the sounds of helicopters flying overhead can be heard. REF: Find one describing said video. While BATF agents alleged in court that Davidians were firing at them from the four story tower,21/ 1994 trial transcript, pgs. 2545, 2727.
  • Davidian attorneys Dick DeGuerin and Jack Zimmermann, who visited Mount Carmel during the siege, insist that there was extensive evidence that BATF agents shot indiscriminately through Mount Carmel's front doors, walls and roof. They were very concerned with preserving this evidence of an out-of-control assault. In early April, 1993 the New York Times reported, "both lawyers clearly believed that helicopters flying over the compound during the raid had fired into upper floors of the main building from above." BATF Spokesperson Jerry Singer denied this. "The helicopters did not overfly the compound on Feb. 28 and I have no information that anyone fired from the helicopters." However, Jack Zimmermann stated, and Dick DeGuerin concurred, "an expert will be able to tell from the angle of the trajectory plus the pattern whether there are entry or exit holes. If it's in the ceiling and it's clearly an exit hole, it had to come from above. How else could it have come in?"23/ New York Times, April 5, 1993, A10. "Sect's Lawyers Dispute Gunfight Details," New York Times, April 5, 1993, A10;
  • At trial Zimmermann, who is an army colonel and Vietnam veteran, described eight or nine bullet holes coming into the ceiling of David Koresh's bedroom in the top floor of the four story tower. "You could see the sky through the roof. They appeared to be exit holes, and the wood was splintered downward. My conclusion was that they came from the sky."24/ "Defense Rests Without Calling Cultists," New York Times, February 18, 1994.
  • KWTX-TV video clearly shows the helicopters low on the horizon west of Mount Carmel several minutes into the raid, after agents are in place behind parked vehicles. In later KWTX-TV footage the cameraman or reporter clearly can be heard to say, "Two of them right over our heads," evidently a reference to aircraft which can be heard noisily flying above them.34/ FIND Video source and WP:Commetary on this
  • Defense attorneys concentrated their questions on Jerry Seagraves who's the pilot of the Blackhawk helicopter which carried eight BATF agents, including the belligerent Royster and Aguilera. Seagraves recited the rules--"you cannot have any chambered rounds in the weapon while in the aircraft and no weapon will be discharged from the aircraft." However, he disclosed that the agents on board were armed.38/ 1994 trial transcript pgs. 3161, 3185.
  • Seagraves asserted the cargo doors were closed during the whole flight but revealed that the "door gunners window" was opened because a BATF agent was shooting video out of it. (He said the purpose of that window was to carry an M-60 machinegun but there was no such machinegun.) Pilot Dickens testified that he saw one agent's head and shoulders hanging out of the window as he shot his video camera.39/ 1994 trial transcript pgs. 3164-65, 3295.
  • The Treasury report alleges Winston Blake died of "craniocerebral trauma," and was shot from a distance of "two to three feet" by a "cult member" using a ".223" bullet. The Tarrant County Medical Examiners' official autopsy report on Winston Blake describes powder burns around the wound, as if Blake had been shot from a few feet away. However, an English pathologist conducted a second autopsy on Blake and concluded that Blake had died from a long-range, high-velocity gunshot wound and that the bullet had penetrated a wall before hitting him. This disturbing finding led to a full fledged, if inconclusive, investigation by Manchester, England, police in 1994 and 1995.48/ Treasury Department report, p. 104; "British Police Slam Davidian Siege," The Balance, newsletter of the Cause Foundation, March-April, 1995, p. 2.
  • At trial attorney Jack Zimmermann, who visited Mount Carmel during the siege, said he saw bullet holes by the "upper bunk wall" going in the direction of a pool of blood on the bed. This suggests Wendell was shot from above as she lie in bed.55/ 1994 trial transcript, p. 6603.

So people who want to research all this further and enter the info should feel free to. I don't have time or energy myself. User:Carolmooredc 01:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

I made no personal attacks whatsoever. I merely stated that what was being used in the article was not a reliable source and explained why it wasn't a reliable source so that no one thought I was removing it from the article because I simply didn't like what the source was saying. If we want to say something like "Branch Davidians have made claims that the compound was fired on by helicopters" and cite a news article, I'm fine with that. As you pointed out, allegations have been made since 1995 about firing from helicopters. However, allegations of something occurring is not the same thing as evidence that it occurred. So we can certainly include allegations by cult members, but those allegations do not equal evidence that the helicopters fired on the building. Dworjan (talk) 02:22, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
  • We should not be entertaining (or listing) every allegation made, regardless of what media source repeats that it was made. Notable ones can be mentioned, a source (or two) to show it and move on. Those sources should be very reputable ones, not user websites and advocacy groups. Niteshift36 (talk) 03:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely. I agree with you on that. It just sounds to me (and I could be wrong here), that these allegations are widespread amongst former Davidians, and that the allegations have played a part in some of the civil suits? In that case, a brief mention would be acceptable. But material from fringe websites should remain on those fringe websites. Dworjan (talk) 03:23, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't see anyone promoting fringe websites in this discussion. If someone decides to do thorough research I think they'll find various WP:RS recounting the theory by Davidians, their attorneys who were physical witnesses, and others that because there was evidence of BATF shooting illegally that killed as many as four Davidians, if the building survived BATF agents might be prosecuted. But someone has to do that work and I'm pretty burned out on Wikipedia myself right now so only doing minimal maintenance/anti-vandalism on a few articles of interest. User:Carolmooredc 14:09, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
The attorneys were witnesses? Niteshift36 (talk) 14:58, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
If you want to point us in the direction of those reliable sources, I'd take a look. I read through your website though, and considering it takes a different viewpoint on every significant event of the Siege from the mainstream, I think it meets wikipedia's definition of fringe. That's not really important though. What really matters is that there is very little evidence of this shooting from helicopters (and what does exist is ambiguous at best). What does exist are accusations by involved parties. If those accusations have received significant coverage in reliable sources, then they should be included.
It sounds like where we are at now is there are two editors that don't think the "helicopters fired on the compound" theory should be included, and one editor who doesn't care enough about it to find sources. So I think we're good with letting the article stand as it is now? Dworjan (talk) 21:02, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

This article mentions shootings and killings from helicopters http://www.thefarm.org/lifestyle/albertbates/akbwaco.html it's already used as a source in the article altough for another issue. 195.49.42.250 (talk) 12:13, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

City of God?[edit]

What's the point of having that on there?

--Madocgwynedd (talk) 07:13, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Apparently because it was a dramatization of the siege itself. ~ JoshDuffMan (talk) 00:59, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but it needs to come out. It was probably written by one of Koresh's nutjob followers as a way to portray Koresh as christ. No need for this crap on wikipedia. Madocgwynedd (talk) 23:30, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

A 20th anniversary is coming[edit]

Could someone try to make a comprehensive summary of the entire article for the lead section? --Niemti (talk) 15:13, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Also, the article lacks an explaination of the group's beliefs of the imminent end of the world and Koresh prophecy of an apocalyptic final battle: http://www.religioustolerance.org/dc_branc2.htm#evbd which is quite essential. --Niemti (talk) 20:46, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

"Waco massacre" as alternate title[edit]

I've removed an edit which added "Waco massacre" to the lede as an alternate name. The relevant guidelines here are, I believe, that the alternative name should be "significant", per Wikipedia:Article titles#Treatment of alternative names (and, in a title context, the principle for this sort of thing is that a term should have "prevalence" before being considered, per WP:POVNAME).

It feels a little POV-pushy to me, especially since the editor added five references for the term:[1]

  1. ^ Clifford L. Linedecker, Massacre at Waco: The Shocking True Story of Cult Leader David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, St. Martin's Press, 1993.
    • Brad Bailey and Bob Darden, Mad Man in Waco: The Complete Story of the Davidian Cult, David Koresh and the Waco Massacre, WRS Publishing, 1993.
    • James R. Lewis, From the Ashes: Making Sense of Waco, Rowman & Littlefield, 1994, p.3.
    • Dick J. Reavis, The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, Syracuse University Press, 1998, p. 14.
    • James McEnteer, Deep in the Heart: The Texas Tendency in American Politics, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004, p. 165.

Of the three references available online — which are all books about the incident — two of them only use the phrase "Waco massacre" once. The other uses it six times. An Amazon book search shows that the first ref, titled "Massacre at Waco", does not use the phrase at all.[15] The second reference uses it in the title, at least.

In an earlier move discussion, another user presented these figures:

"branch davidian seige" 113,000 [16]
"waco siege" 109,000 [17]
"branch davidian conflict" 80,200 [18]
"davidian massacre" 52,700 [19]
"waco massacre" 39,200 [20]
"waco tragedy" 20,600 [21]
"mount carmel siege" 473 [22]
"waco conflict" 212
"mount carmel massacre" 100

which don't suggest to me that "Waco massacre" is a clear alternate title, at least not to the exclusion of several others. I would welcome any discussion on these points. Woodshed (talk) 06:45, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Since general internet returns overwhelmingly are not very WP:reliable sources, it's better to use news.google archive and books.google searches for a better idea of which phrase is used most by reliable sources. I don't know myself. User:Carolmooredc 12:27, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I thought the previous user said those were Google Books results. I misread.
Term Google Books Google Scholar
Waco siege 3,420 401
Waco massacre 732 114
Waco standoff 934 168
Waco tragedy 1,860 335
Waco incident 2,380 283
Waco murders 89 11
Based on this, to assert "Waco massacre" as essentially the second-most used title is problematic. Woodshed (talk) 22:14, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree, "massacre" isn't a good choice. Even if it somehow "won" the numbers, it's so POV that it will be problematic. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:02, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I assume you searched with terms in quotes, "Waco siege" etc., since I got a similar search results for Waco Siege when did. Unfortunately, news google archive search doesn't give such definitive numbers (and I've found one can get different results if one narrows the years specified). On a twenty result per page basis I found:
  • "Waco Seige": i stopped counting after 50x20 pages
  • "Waco massacre": only 5x20 pages
  • "Waco standoff": at least 10x20 pages, maybe more
  • "Waco incident": at least 10X20 pages
&"Waco murders": only 2x20 pages, a lot about a triple homocide in Waco
Of course, the terms themselves could have POVs, though most of which can be interpreted as mean either "the govt was at fault" or "the Davidians were at fault." Though "Incident" is really neutral and practically meaningless so not worth mentioning. Standoff/murders might have a bit more law enforcement POV, and tragedy/massacre more a gun rights/civil liberties POV, but it would take a lot of research of sources to figure that out. It would be nice if some WP:RS had written something specifying the POVs of those using the terms, an perhaps one or two have. So more research is always an option. User:Carolmooredc 20:41, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Biased article[edit]

A NPOV article would state the rationale for the seige, the consequences of the seige, and the cause of those consequences (a fire, which the evidence indicates was started by the Davidians). Instead, we have an article ruled by fringe/ideological sources intended to portray the USG negatively, which makes blatantly biased statements like the idea that "child abuse" (read: mass (statutory) rape) charges against the Davidians were "unsubstantiated." Steeletrap (talk) 22:44, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

You might want to actually study the official reports and testimonies surrounding the Waco events. Critical and negative portrayals of government action on Waco is anything but fringe. 72.95.102.200 (talk) 23:01, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
No, they are fringe for sure. Mainly they have been spread by some videos like Waco The Rules Of Engagement from the 1990s which were popular among the anti-Clinton militia crowd, and which have been debunked. 76.244.68.92 (talk) 14:02, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
The FBI, who have a vested interest in smearing Koresh's reputation, may well have said that "Steve Schneider—Koresh's top aide, who "probably realized he was dealing with a fraud"—shot and killed Koresh and then committed suicide with the same gun". But this should not stated as if it is a fact. The two may well have been killed with the same gun, but both could have committed suicide or Koresh could have been the gunman. To kill your boss in such a situation is not a sign that you believe he is a fraud, so much as an act of mercy, loyalty or piety.101.98.175.68 (talk) 09:06, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

No mention of the Cult Awareness Network et al.?[edit]

There is a link between the siege, CAN-affiliated deprogrammers and the media. For instance, CAN president Patricia Ryan told reporters that "officials should use whatever means necessary to arrest Koresh, including lethal force", 11 days before the siege. Rick Ross, a CAN-affiliated deprogrammer and "cult expert" told reporters that he believes Koresh is Prone to violence, and that "you could say it's a very violent group".

I don't think CAN's involvement in the siege is negligeable, and they should feature in the Article...

Zambelo (talk) 22:37, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

  • How does their commenting to the media become significant "involvement"? Niteshift36 (talk) 23:34, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Involvement from the standpoint that they were a major influence in the definition of what constituted a cult at the time. Also in the 1996 joint hearing before the United States Congress on the Waco Siege entitled: Activities of Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Toward the Branch Davidians a report was presented titled "is the Cult Awareness Network and What Role Did it Play in Waco?". It's relevant because of the importance that was accorded to the group at the time, by both the media and the government in relation to cults generally and the Branch Davidians in particular. Zambelo (talk) 23:53, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

The FBI also received input from two self-described cult experts, Rick Ross (who moved to a hotel in Dallas, and later to Waco, during the standoff and appeared on local television programs, as well as the CNN broadcast of March 10 that upset Dr. Dietz) and Kelli Waxman.
"Dietz next contacted the FBI commanders on Wednesday, March 10, 1993, to advise that he had seen a television interview with self-described "cult expert" Rick Ross. Ross stated during the interview that he hoped Koresh would prove to be a coward who would prefer to write a book and sell the movie rights from prison rather than end up as a corpse. Dietz thought Ross' televised equation of surrender with cowardice could set back negotiations substantially if Koresh had seen the broadcast." [23]

These are events leading up to the siege. Zambelo (talk) 02:33, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

The link you provided doesn't work. I'm sure they solicited input from many sources. I'm still not seeing why it belongs here. From looking at your contribution history, I'd say it looks like you have a point to make and are trying to make it over several articles. If you do have a point, or agenda, I'd caution you against it. Niteshift36 (talk) 03:49, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I've fixed the link. You would also notice that all my edits are using referenced material, and are nondestructive. I don't have an agenda beyond fixing up cult-related articles ensuring that they are factual, and complete. I am not trying to make a point. Zambelo (talk) 04:01, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

  • It still doesn't work, but I looked at the site and I highly doubt Spiritually Smart will pass RS. That out dated website appears to have an agenda as well. You may or may not. It does appear to be the case, but I could be wrong. In any case, I see no reason for this info to be added. I'll wait to hear what others have to say. Niteshift36 (talk) 04:29, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

http://www.spirituallysmart.com/CAN.html is the link - It's just a mirror for the report which was submitted to the hearing. The second source is the US department of justice. Zambelo (talk) 05:40, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

  • The report was not from a govt. org. It looks like a law office, which means nothing. Niteshift36 (talk) 14:47, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Removal of content[edit]

Perhaps User:Niemti can explain here why they are removing referenced material. Zambelo; talk 10:24, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Unrevelantly random (a whole lot of stupid crap about what some guy allegedly did or said during the siege but placed into the section discussing the events that led to the ADF raid), undue weight, distracting, unedited copypasta (totally evident, most of all by this circular link to "Waco siege"). But I'll admit you've got some nerve to push it like that and then try to deny the obvious. --Niemti (talk) 12:48, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Some guy who was in the media, a notable anti-cult guy who was part of the largest anti-cult group of the time, and who gave advice to the FBI and the ATF, while giving multiple interviews in the news, and all of this notable enough to appear in reputable academic sources about the siege as well as in a US department of Justice report to to the Deputy Attorney General? You keep on talking about copypasta - This is a draft page where I put together the material, some of it (a paragraph) was later copied from the Rick Ross article. Undoubtedly there are still some linking errors in it. You seem a little aggravated, maybe you should have a glass of water. Meanwhile, if other editors who are able to critique the material beyond "a whole lot of stupid crap", then we can continue onto more productive things. Zambelo; talk 13:28, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

  • You didn't get support for that material before. Now you're trying to force it in by edit warring. Enough. Niteshift36 (talk) 20:21, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
  • It gives lots and lots of attention to Rick Ross. It unbalances the article. It also places a lot of blame exclusively on Rick Ross, what about the other advisors and experts? --Enric Naval (talk) 22:57, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Enric Naval, what I'm trying to do is introduce valid and important events related to the WACO siege. If it makes the article unbalanced, then ok - it can be whittled down. Nonetheless the material belongs in the article, as it is consequential to the events. Rick Ross and the Cult Awareness Network are mentioned in government reports and in academic works relating to the siege. Both had appeared on numerous high profile News programs as "experts" leading up to the siege. Zambelo; talk 00:09, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Looking at the material. Maybe write a one-long-paragraph version and put it in Rick_Ross#Controversy? --Enric Naval (talk) 13:11, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

The material is relevant to the siege though. Zambelo; talk 01:04, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

  • You haven't demonstrated the relevance. Niteshift36 (talk) 03:38, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

How is it not relevant? It is clearly within the scope of the article. Also, I have cut it down a lot, responding to the issue of undue weight. Zambelo; talk 04:18, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

  • If Justin Bieber buys a new hat or sleeps with a Brazilian hooker, it's "within the scope of the article" because it involves Bieber. that doesn't mean it merits inclusion. Just because something can be sourced doesn't mean it belong in an article. Further, I'd seen nothing from a reliable source that shows his input was given any more weight than that of some nameless mid-level staffer. The material has been challenged by more than one editor. You must show the relevance and just saying "how is it not relevant" doesn't accomplish that. Niteshift36 (talk)

"Several writers have documented the pivotal role the Cult Awareness Network had upon the government's decision making concerning Waco". Sources include an official report to the depatment of Justice, academic sources, and numerous books specifically about the Waco siege. I think relevance is shown here. We aren' talking about a new hat here - this is how the CAN actively portrayed the Branch Davidians and Koresh to the government and to the media - this is documented not only through the primary media sources, and through a government report but also by "Several writers(who) have documented the pivotal role the Cult Awareness Network had upon the government's decision making concerning Waco". Relevance is clearly demonstrated. Zambelo; talk 21:46, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

What's your beef with that dude? Must be something personal. I don't think I as much as even ever heard of him despite reading quite a lot on the subject. Also, PROTIP: there was no 'siege' before the raid, and no significant (if any) FBI involvement at the time. --Niemti (talk) 02:18, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

There is no beef. Have you read the new content? It focuses on CAN, of which Rick Ross is a part, and which played an important and demonstrated part in the events leading up to the siege. Please refrain from removing referenced and relevant content. If you haven't heard of CAN, you must not know as much as you think about the subject - you should have a read through the numerous sources I provided, you may learn something new. Zambelo; talk 02:22, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Your repeated removal of the content without discussion is unproductive, and rude. Please stop and discuss changes or I will need to involve mediation. Zambelo; talk 02:34, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Are you now playing games with us or what? Do you think we'red stupid or something?Did you even read this crap you're pasting in here?

"In the weeks preceding the raid, self-described cult expert Rick Ross, a Cult Awareness Network affiliated deprogrammer appeared on major network programs such as the NBC[1] and the CBS which had hired Ross as an on-scene analyst for their coverage of the Waco siege.[2] Ross described his role in advertising authorities about the Davidians and Koresh, and what actions should be take to end the siege[3]. He was quoted as saying that he was consulted by the BATF[4] and he contacted the FBI on the March 4, 1993, requesting "that he be interviewed

And so forth, for several paragraphs of unrelared crap. Involve any mediation you want. --Niemti (talk) 02:41, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

I have indeed involved mediation. You appear to be assuming a lot of bad faith, and have yet to demonstrate that any of it is "crap". Also, see Wikipedia:Tendentious_editingZambelo; talk 02:49, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

  • I will refuse mediation. Why? Because you haven't acted in good faith at all. You're not citing policy or making a case for inclusion, you're simply making a demand and suffering from a raging case of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Niteshift36 (talk) 02:57, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Haha, oh wow. I don't have patience for you, but hey, go and try and convince the other people here about how so important and totally relevant all this is to what led to the ATF raid. --Niemti (talk) 03:00, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Neither of you commented on any of the material I posted, beyond calling it "unrelated crap" and "copypasta" (in the case of Niemti). Neither of you have explained why the material doesn't belong in the article beyond a rather cryptic Justin Bieber reference. It is clear that you have no interest in any new material being added to the article beyond the edits you yourselves have added. I have outlined 1) Why the material is in the scope of the article 2) Which authors write about the importance CAN had in the events leading up to the raid 3) Provided referenced material (that Niemti has called "crap copypasta"). Neither of you have had the courtesy to discuss the content, or even comment on the changes I later made reflecting the discussion here. So clearly, if anyone isn't listening, it isn't me.

I have made my case for inclusion pretty clear, and the material speaks for itself. I shouldn't need to cite policy, because all I've done is add relevant content that is in the scope of the article. Zambelo; talk 03:16, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

  • You've made no case for inclusion. Yes, you do have to cite policy. And there was no Bieber reference. It's an illustration and there was nothing cryptic about it. Starting to wonder if you even know what the word means. Niteshift36 (talk) 04:23, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

So are you both refusing mediation? Zambelo; talk 04:18, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

  • I'll address the request when it's made. Niteshift36 (talk) 04:23, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

feel free to add your name. Zambelo; talk 04:29, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Recent content dispute[edit]

The role of the Cult Awareness Network and others (plus related topics) in framing law enforcement, media, and public attitudes both before, during and after the incident are certainly germane to this article and merit inclusion. For a quick overview: [24] "key interest groups...had a marked influence on the recognition, selection, and definition of the problem eventually adopted by federal authorities." (Armageddon in Waco: Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict, University of Chicago Press, 1995, pp. 88-90) User:Zambelo has provided several academic journal citations like this, such as Nova Religio, James Tabor, George Michael, George Chryssides, Nancy Ammerman, Catherine Wessinger and others, which examine this and related issues. There is definitely a critical school of thought in academia on these points.

Commenters here appear to have looked at his editing history and concluded that he's POV-pushing or trying to introduce something of undue weight. Understanding that, I would encourage them to evaluate the new material on its merits, not based on the editor. Reversion with edit summaries such as "no", claiming (without basis) "consensus", all-caps foot stamping, etc. aren't helpful; neither are talk page comments about "stupid crap". Note that the editor in question has shown a willingness to cut down the material, in response to the suggestion of undue weight or content forking. Woodshed (talk) 14:29, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

  • My advice is to not waltz in here and tell the "commenters" what they based their position on. Yes, you threw the obligatory "appear" in to give yourself some deniability, but it doesn't really change how it reads to me. Niteshift36 (talk) 14:46, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Can we focus on content, not meta-commentary on talk page conduct and/or how comments "read"? On the point, both the previous comments on this page and edit summaries have asked "what's your beef with that dude" and asserted that an edit was "stupid unrelated random crap to attack some dude". Another suggested that "it looks like you have a point to make and are trying to make it over several articles.", while another said "It unbalances the article." So, no, I don't think I mischaracterized the response and yes, it does seem like the user's edit history and concerns about undue weight had something to do with the reaction he received. Woodshed (talk) 22:59, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Funny how you take comments from 3 different people, smash them together and create a motive for all of us. And why on earth would you litter a response with wikilinks to things that don't even make sense to link? Niteshift36 (talk) 00:15, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think I've mischaracterized your position (and those of others) by simply reading their edit summaries and seeing the common thread of objection to this editor and his edits. Woodshed (talk) 19:49, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks for repeating that you don't think you mischaracterized it, 2 months later. Very helpful. Niteshift36 (talk) 23:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I told the user to write 1 sentece somewhere in the relevant part of this generally highly condensed article, the user refused and returned to random flooding with several paragraphs (so "cut down") of mostly completely unrelated (to the context of the section) text just to attack this Ross person. --Niemti (talk) 15:07, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Request for comment: Inclusion of relevant anti-cult movement material[edit]

Attempts have been made to add content to the article relating to the role of anti-cultists in the media leading up to the siege. Prominent Scholars and writers on the subject have agreed that the Cult Awareness network as well as affiliated notable anti-cultists such as Rick Ross and others played a crucial and deciding role in authorities' decision to raid the compound.

The material is referenced, attributed and is within the scope of the article.

my original content was criticised as being too long and focused on an individual - Rick Ross, so I changed the content to include information about other anti-cultists and prominent CAN spokespeople (CAN was the largest anti-cult group at the time) - Rick Ross and others from the organization were featured prominently in the media preceding and after the raid.

My content was removed by User:Niemti "hugevcontent fork". and again. "no." and once more. "if you want to randomly copy-paste over 5 kb of unedited (even link to this article remains) content from someone's biography article, making him much more discussed here than everyone else including Koresh, don't."

At this stage I decided to take it to the discussion page, where User:Niemti explained why they had removed the content: "Unrevelantly random (a whole lot of stupid crap about what some guy allegedly did or said during the siege but placed into the section discussing the events that led to the ADF raid), undue weight, distracting, unedited copypasta"

Another user User:Enric Naval was more helpful, noting: "It gives lots and lots of attention to Rick Ross. It unbalances the article. It also places a lot of blame exclusively on Rick Ross, what about the other advisors and experts?"
User:Niteshift36 wrote "You haven't demonstrated the relevance".

I took these two helpful evaluations, and added new material, removed the undue weight placed on Rick Ross, and added attributed references to demonstrate relevance, including references and quotes by authors writing about how anti-cultists and CAN played an important "crucial" role in the events that unfolded. This is using references by cardinal writers on the topics of cults and religion as well as on the siege itself, and includes a report to the department of Justice. Still, the material was removed.

   1. The material is factual (everything is referenced using reliable high quality sources)
   2. It is within the scope of the article and the section - relevant, describes events leading up to the raid
   3. It is written in a neutral fashion.

No effort was made by other editors to make changes to the material; it was simply removed from the page without any real reason given. When another editor Woodshed commented above, he was aggressively and personally attacked.

I had requested a request for mediation -but the editors in question refused to participate. Since there appears to be no way forward I am requesting outside input so consensus can be formed. Zambelo; talk 00:57, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

  • "Aggressively and personally attacked"? Are you familiar with the word "exaggeration"?

Hahaha, yeah.


In the weeks preceding the raid (NOT THIS RAID), self-described cult expert Rick Ross, a Cult Awareness Network affiliated deprogrammer appeared on major network programs such as the NBC[1] and the CBS which had hired Ross as an on-scene analyst for their coverage of the Waco siege.[2] Ross described his role in advertising authorities about the Davidians and Koresh, and what actions should be take to end the siege[3]. He was quoted as saying that he was consulted by the BATF[4] and he contacted the FBI on the March 4, 1993, requesting "that he be interviewed regarding his knowledge of cults in general and the Branch Davidians in particular". The FBI reports that it did not rely on Ross for advice whatsoever during the standoff, but that it did interview and received input from him. Ross also telephoned the FBI on March 27 and March 28, offering advice about negotiation strategies, suggesting that the FBI "attempt to embarrass Koresh by informing other members of the compound about Koresh's faults and failures in life, in order to convince them that Koresh was not the prophet they had been led to believe".[3] The ATF also contacted Ross in January 1993 for information about Koresh[3].

Patricia Ryan, president of the Cult Awareness Network, was quoted by the Houston Chronicle as saying, "Officials should use whatever means necessary to arrest Koresh, including lethal force."L. Keeton and J. Pinkerton (April 8, 1993). "Infiltrating Cult Will End Standoff, Expert Suggests". The Houston Chronicle.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Several writers have documented the pivotal role the Cult Awareness Network had upon the government's decision making concerning Waco[1]

Mark MacWilliams notes that several studies have shown how "self-styled cult experts like Rick Ross, anticult organizations like the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), and disaffected Branch Davidian defectors like Mark Breault played important roles in popularizing a harshly negative image of Koresh as a dangerous cult leader. Portrayed as “self-obsessed, egomaniacal, sociopathic and heartless,” Koresh was frequently characterized as either a religious lunatic who doomed his followers to mass suicide or a con man who manipulated religion for his own bizarre personal advantage". [5]

According to religious scholars Phillip Arnold and James Tabor who made an effort to help resolve the conflict, “the crisis need not have ended tragically if only the FBI had been more open to Religious Studies and better able to distinguish between the dubious ideas of Ross and the scholarly expertise” [6]


How can I see how these 5 paragraphs in the section that previously had only 3 (1 briefly discussing cult abuse allegations and 2 discusing in more detail the suspected firearms violations that actually led to the raid) are so "relevant, describes events leading up to the raid" of February 28 that had no FBI involvement, and no CBS and NBC coverage for that matter? I don't know, but I know it was my lost comment on this sillyness. --Niemti (talk) 04:13, 24 February 2014 (UTC)


The siege was initiated by the FBI on the 28th of February and retained control until April 20. Ross approached the BATF FBI before the raid. NBC and CBS (and others) covered the standoff as well as the raid itself. Comments by Patricia Ryan occurred after the raid. I'm still not sure what your issue is. Zambelo; talk 04:29, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry to tell you, but your science fiction concept of "BATF FBI" doesn't even exist in our space-time continuum, and never did other than in the year 1933 (it was called BP then), because it's a completely separate federal agency and they have nothing to do with each other. In our reality, there was no prior "standoff" and the raid was also covered only by a local TV and by Tribune-Herald, because it was supposed to be a surprise raid (and wasn't a surprise anyway, also because of Waco TV reporter, which is all briefly mentioned in the article if you ever bothered to read it). Please go and take these completely random and incredibly distracting pieces of misinformed trivia elsewhere (and by elsewhere I mean not on Wikipedia). And now I'm really done discussing with you. There are many (more than 200) other people with this page on their watchlists, nobody supports you. --Niemti (talk) 09:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Have you even read any of the references? "In 1992, his reputation was sealed when the FBI sought his advice on David Koresh and the Waco (or Branch) Davidians. A year later, as the Waco siege raged, CBS hired him as on-scene analyst" - The Observer, Sunday 12 December 2004

The ATF gave control to the FBI when they failed to raid the compound. The standoff before that lasted 51 days (read the article?). During this time Koresh was actively giving interviews. Rick Ross moved onto the scene before the raid, and approached both the ATF and the FBI and described himself as a "cult expert" (Wright) he advised the agencies on "what actions should be taken to end the siege" (Wright).

Despite the sheer number of sources linking CAN to the raid, you still maintain that it's "completely random and incredibly distracting pieces of misinformed trivia"?

  • A whole section of a book is dedicated to the role of CAN during the raid, "The Cult Awareness Network: Its Role in the Waco Tragedy." In From the Ashes: Making Sense of Waco, edited by James R. Lewis, pp. 137-42. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Moore, R. I. 1987

Here is an incomplete list of references mentioning CAN in association with the siege.

   * Johnstone, Nick (December 12, 2004). "Beyond Belief". The Observer (London). Retrieved October 24, 2008.
   * Wright, S.A. 1995. Armageddon in Waco: Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict: University of Chicago Press.
   * Report to the Deputy Attorney General on the Events at Waco, Texas February 28 to April 19, 1993 (Report). United States Department of Justice. October 8, 1993. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
   * MacWilliams, Mark (2005). "Symbolic Resistance to the Waco Tragedy on the Internet". Nova Religio (University of California Press) 8 (3): 59–82.
   * Report to the Justice and Treasury Departments, Nancy Ammerman, September 3, 1993, with an Addendum dated September 10, 1993
   * Waco, Federal Law Enforcement, and Scholars of Religion, Nancy Ammerman, 1993
   * Tabor, James D.; Gallagher, Eugene V. (1997). Why Waco?. University of California Press. pp. 93–96, 138–139, 233. ISBN 0-520-20899-4.
   * Newport, Kenneth G. C.; Gribben, Crawford (eds.) (2006). Expecting the End. Baylor University Press. pp. 154–171. ISBN 1-932792-38-4.
   * Wessinger, Catherine Lowman (2000). How the Millennium Comes Violently. New York, NY/London, UK: Seven Bridges Press. pp. 1, 60, 69, 98. ISBN 1-889119-24-5.
   * Michael, George (2003). Confronting Right-wing Extremism and Terrorism. New York, NY/London, UK: Routledge. p. 148. ISBN 0-415-31500-X.
   * Wright, S.A. 1995. Armageddon in Waco: Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict: University of Chicago Press.
   * Ortega, Tony (November 30, 1995). "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlatans. Clients of deprogrammer Rick Ross call him a savior. Perhaps that's why people he's branded cult leaders want to crucify him.". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved April 27, 2006.
   * US Department of Justice, Report to the Deputy Attorney General on the Events at Waco, Texas: Part IV, The Role of Experts During the Standoff, 28 February to 19 April 1993. Available online
   * Baum, Michele Dula, "Dangerous cults focus on leader, Deprogrammer Says", The Chattanooga Times, April 30, 1994
   * Wright, Stuart A. (ed.) (1995). Armageddon in Waco. University of Chicago Press. pp. 98–100, pp. 286–290. ISBN 0-226-90845-3.
   * Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 55–56. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5.
   * "Letters to the Editor - What Happened at Waco". The Washington Post. July 23, 1995. Retrieved November 4, 2008.

...And yet you are still obstinately removing the content without even discussing it, or offering any sort of alternative. You have also refused mediation. The ball is in your court. Either find some references that refute all of this, or stop offering your original research and opinions and deleting valid referenced material. And perhaps the other 200 people don't want to become entangled in your overtly hostile editing style: the last editor who tried to offer his input above was instantly jumped upon by you and Niteshift36. It seems that you are trying to lay claim on the content of this article and are refusing to allow any new material. I have attempted time and again to discuss the material, but instead of discussing it you have dismissed my edits as "crap" "copypasta"," completely random" and "incredibly distracting pieces of misinformed trivia" without ever offering an alternative or any real reason for removing the content. Zambelo; talk 11:02, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

  • You seem confused. Just because something "mentions" (your word BTW) CAN doesn't mean it demonstrates the notability of it. Second, you hurt yourself when you try to dump mass amounts of material into a response. This is especially true when you don't really use care and just throw in everything you can find, rather than 3-4 solid, on point references that actually demonstrate the notability. Third, your ultimatum probably won't accomplish much either. Fourth, you act like you're a victim and have been nothing but sweetness and light. Fact is, you've been pretty tendentious about your editing and adversarial in your own right. Try being organized and succinct. Perhaps discussing one thing at a time, rather than trying to do everything at once. Niteshift36 (talk) 13:28, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

The references are those found in the material, and posted in reply because Niemti still can't fathom the possibility that the Cult Awareness Network played a role in the siege. The references as used with the material are on-point and adequately demonstrate notability. You have yet to explain why this isn't so : the onus is now on you to explain why the material isn't valid, which is something both you and Niemti are skirting around, preferring to unconstructively disparage the content and steadfastly refuse to examine the material on its merits. If you have issues with the content, then discuss it, don't call it names and delete it. You should have a look at Wikipedia:Ownership_of_articles, Wikipedia:Civility, and also Wikipedia:Don't_revert_due_to_"no_consensus" Zambelo; talk 14:07, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

  • I haven't called you names, but if you want to start making allegations like that, I can accommodate you sunshine. I didn't ask where the references were found. So thanks for wasting my time with some more useless information. Nor did I ask what Niemti could or couldn't fathom. Again, more wasting of my time. Don't link a bunch of essays and guidelines, especially when you're on the wrong side of them. I gave you a reasonable answer. You ignored it and chose instead to waste my time with useless crap (there, I said crap too, so you can bitch about me using the word too) and telling me my responsibility. Guess what sport? You're wrong. You are responsible for demonstrating why it belongs. Just vomiting a bunch of sources onto a page and claiming that demonstrate it doesn't cut it. Trying to mold a bunch of mentions into notability doesn't really fly either. You ignored the suggestions I gave you and just went for the fight. Fine by me. Niteshift36 (talk) 16:55, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

How about a little civility? Ross does matter mention. However this is not a Rick Ross bio page. Take that into account. Narrow his inclsuion in this article. He worked with them. He's CAN and a deprogrammer. Whom ever criticized the FEDs due to involvement. He's living arrangement isn't important. He's CBS job isn't important. You got enough information for a nice little paragraph. http://web.archive.org/web/20090324033754/http:/www.rickross.com/reference/waco/waco9.html that doesn't seem to be a reliable source. It's unclear who Mark England and Darlene McCormick are. Are they the reporters? Or are they the ones that edited the original article and posted it on rickross.com? Also rickross.com, there's a question of reliability here.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 09:24, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

The references to Ross appeareances in the CBS don't belong in the "Prelude" section, and they occupy a lot of space. They should be summarized a lot. --Enric Naval (talk) 21:59, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment This is not the appropriate format for an RfC. Don't use the RfC system to draw additional people into your disputes. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 04:41, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

What would you suggest? Zambelo; talk 10:28, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

I suggest you close the RfC, which is not formatted as an RfC and thus will not come to any conclusion, then decide on a proper dispute resolution mechanism. If you decide that you need an RfC, make a new section with a short, neutral notice at the top, a "survey" and/or "discussion" section, then post some neutral notices about the RfC in the appropriate places, such as the talk pages of the relevant WikiProjects. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 18:05, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree. This RfC is a bit of a trainwreck. It would be best to withdraw it and start over again while following the guidelines in WP:DISPUTE. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 02:49, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

I see that the strongest source in "From The Ashes: Making Sense Of Waco", by James R. Lewis. Unfortunately, this author seems to publish material that is overly sympathetic towards the position of cults. McWilliams explains how cults complain in the internet about the mainstream opinion, but it's used for a different purpose in this text.

Please don't count me among the supporters of this addition. I made some fixes, but please don't take that as a reason to revert the text back [25]. --Enric Naval (talk) 14:10, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Government investigation conclusion of 2000[edit]

At present the last paragraph of the lead includes "a government investigation falsely concluded in 2000 that sect members themselves had started the fire".

Which government investigation? I saw that both a Texas Rangers and the Danforth Report were in 2000 but neither of them have a conclusion on the origins of the fire.

Who claims the investigation's conclusion is false and what evidence do they have of this?

Ideally, the WP:LEAD summarizes what's in the body of the article in such a way that readers can find extra material or support for statements made in the lead. The use of "falsely" in the lead also appears to violate WP:NPOV as mentioned in WP:LEAD. --Marc Kupper|talk 04:54, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Branch Davidians were stockpiling paramilitary weapons and supplies; shouldn't this be in the lead?[edit]

Having watched the events unfold on TV, I was curious to see how little emphasis this article places on the arms stockpiling by this group. You have to get nearly to the end of the article before discovering that these folks were geared up to kill just about anything short of armored cavalry. On inspection, there appear to be many sourcing and POV issues here. Centrify (f / k / a FCAYS) (talk) (contribs) 19:01, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

They were a cult scared of a final battle versus evil. Of course they were well armed. Also they did not have "para military" weapons they had AR15's and a few .50's most of which were legal. --Youngdrake (talk) 20:46, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

AR15s and .50 weapons of any variety are paramilitary weapons, even when sold legally in the civilian sector. It's not a comment on their legality; it's on their origin. Both derive directly from military arms, not civilian arms (Ar15 being the civilian version of the M16, etc.).12.11.127.253 (talk) 10:31, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

By that logic most gun owners have "paramilitary weapons" A brownbess musket would be a "paramilitary weapon" by that account. Paramilitary implys it has the same capabilities as the military weapon which the AR-15 does not have. Such as fully automatic or burst firing. The brown bess would fit your description better. --Youngdrake (talk) 14:35, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

"civil conflict" infobox[edit]

This article uses an infobox that is clearly intended for events like civil wars, revolutions and popular uprisings. This was none of the above. It was a federal criminal raid and should be presented as such. The ill-suitedness of that template to this article is not hard to see:

Causes Belief that federal firearms laws had been violated.[1]

Goals ATF attempted to serve search and arrest warrants; FBI attempted to end ensuing siege.

This is just plain silly. Centrify (f / k / a FCAYS) (talk) (contribs) 16:53, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion for a Title Change[edit]

I think that this article would be better served by a change in title> I am suggesting: "Waco Branch Davidian seige". The reason I suggest this is that there has more recently been a Waco motorcycle gang stand off that could cause confusion to readers. Any thoughts? Elmmapleoakpine (talk) 21:23, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Zulaika, J. and W.A. Douglass. 1996. Terror and Taboo: The Follies, Fables, and Faces of Terrorism: Routledge.
  2. ^ a b Johnstone, Nick (December 12, 2004). "Beyond Belief". The Observer. London. Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d Wright, S.A. 1995. Armageddon in Waco: Critical Perspectives on the Branch Davidian Conflict: University of Chicago Press.
  4. ^ a b Report to the Deputy Attorney General on the Events at Waco, Texas February 28 to April 19, 1993 (Report). United States Department of Justice. October 8, 1993. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  5. ^ MacWilliams, Mark (2005). "Symbolic Resistance to the Waco Tragedy on the Internet". Nova Religio. University of California Press. 8 (3): 59–82. 
  6. ^ Weitzman, Steven P. 2013. "Religious Studies and the FBI: Adventures in Academic Interventionism." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 81 (4): 959-995.

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Prelude section implies that "Sinful Messiah" came out one day and the feds moved in the next[edit]

Starting the Prelude by focusing on the February 27th publication of Sinful Messiah suggests that this event (the publication) led to the action by the feds - which started the next day. The intro to the prelude section should be about the events that led to the siege, many of which are described in the article. However it wasn't that article that alerted the feds to the activity of David Koresh and company. Ileanadu (talk) 12:54, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

3 video taps from ATF[edit]

There were 3 video taps from ATF from the 28. February. Later, they could not be found. --82.192.229.198 (talk) 16:56, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

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My recent edits[edit]

Both authors of this Zulaika source that had been cited in the article are professors of Basque studies and not reliable for analysis on Waco, especially involving a BLP, so I removed it as a source and updated the wording to reflect the other reliable sources on the topic. I also removed much of the content cited to the Wright source as it's a primary source opinion written by authors with a COI and the material covers a BLP. PermStrump(talk) 08:51, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

I also just rm this paragraph:
Extended content

Mark MacWilliams notes that several studies have shown how "self-styled cult experts like Ross, anticult organizations like the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), and disaffected Branch Davidian defectors like Breault played important roles in popularizing a harshly negative image of Koresh as a dangerous cult leader. Portrayed as 'self-obsessed, egomaniacal, sociopathic and heartless', Koresh was frequently characterized as either a religious lunatic who doomed his followers to mass suicide or a con man who manipulated religion for his own bizarre personal advantage".[1] According to religious scholars Phillip Arnold and James Tabor who made an effort to help resolve the conflict, “the crisis need not have ended tragically if only the FBI had been more open to Religious Studies and better able to distinguish between the dubious ideas of Ross and the scholarly expertise.”[2] In a New Yorker article in March, 2014, writer Malcolm Gladwell wrote that Arnold and Tabor told the FBI that Koresh needed to be persuaded of an alternative interpretation of the Book of Revealation, one that does not necessarily involve a violent end. They made an audiotape which was played for Koresh, and seemed to convince him. However, the FBI waited only three days before beginning the assault, instead of an estimated two weeks for Koresh to complete a manuscript sparked by this alternate interpretation, and then come out peacefully.[3]}}

References

  1. ^ MacWilliams, Mark (2005). "Symbolic Resistance to the Waco Tragedy on the Internet". Nova Religio. University of California Press. 8 (3): 59–82. doi:10.1525/nr.2005.8.3.59. 
  2. ^ Weitzman, Steven P. (2013), "Religious Studies and the FBI: Adventures in Academic Interventionism", Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 81 (4): 959-995 
  3. ^ Gladwell, Malcolm (March 31, 2014). "Sacred and Profane". The New Yorker. New York. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
The MacWilliams quote implies that the view of Koresh "popularized" by Ross and Breault was responsible for the violent outcome, which is speculation. The rest of the paragraph (a) doesn't have to do with anti-cult activists and (b) is also speculative and (c) makes this whole section feel like a soapbox. PermStrump(talk) 09:14, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
Outright discrediting and completely eliminating sources in this manner seems highly inappropriate.
I'm afraid that NOTNEWS most definitely applies here. I'd hope even better sources are available than the ones you want to remove completely, but news sources really don't cut it so long after the event, unless we can find some in-depth investigative journalism, which given the time might be available as well.
As for the specifics, what source justifies placing it under "Controversies"? --Ronz (talk) 17:15, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Last paragraph of "prelude" section; firearms conversion allegations in search warrant[edit]

As-is, this section is heavily slanted to imply that the ATF's belief that the Dravidians were illegally converting firearms into full-automatic was purely speculative; that it was based only on the Dravidians' purchase of legal firearms and firearms parts:

None of the weapons and firearms were illegally obtained nor illegally owned by the Mag Bag; however, Aguilera affirmed to the judge that in his training and experience, in the past other purchasers of such legal gun parts had modified them to make illegal firearms. The search warrant was justified not on the basis of there being proof that the Davidians had purchased anything illegal, but on the basis that they could be modifying legal arms to illegal arms

...

The paperwork on the AR-15 components cited in the affidavit showed that they were in fact legal semi-automatics, however, Aguilera told the judge, "[sometimes people convert legal semi-automatics to fullauto]."

This is incredibly misleading because the affidavit in fact cites extensive, detailed evidence regarding conversions, but the section's author has ignored all of this, and merely juxtaposed the weakest, most circumstantial supporting parts of the affidavit, to heavily imply that there was nothing more. Here's some of the more specific evidence that was cited:

In June 1992, while she was cleaning one of the bedrooms of the residence she found a plactic bag containing gun parts. She showed them to her brother, David Bunds, who has some knowledge of firearms. He told her that it was a machinegun conversion kit

...

Mrs. Bunds described the weapon to me and was able identify an AK-47 from among a number of photographs of firearms shown to her by me. I believe that she is well able to identify an AK-47. In July of 1991, she saw Howell shooting a machinegun on the back portion of the commune property. She knew it was a machinegun because it functioned with a very rapid fire

...

she observed Howell shooting a machinegun behind the main structure of the compound. She is sure the firearm was a machinegun because of the rapid rate of fire and the rate of fire was much different from that which was usually conducted during practice exercises on the compound. After describing the firing of this weapon to me, I believe that Ms. Bunds was describing the firing of an automatic weapon.

...

On one occasion, Howell told him that he wanted to obtain and/or manufacture machineguns, grenades and explosive devices. Howell stated he thought that the gun control laws were ludicrious, because an individual could easily acquire a firearm and the necessary parts to convert it to a machinegun

...

On one occasion at the Mount Carmel Center, he observed Bunds designing, what Bunds described as a "grease gun/sten gun" on an Auto Cad Computer located at the residence building at the compound. The computer has the capability of displaying a three dimensional rendering of objects on a computer monitor screen. The object appeared to be a cylindrical tube with a slot out into the side of it for a bolt cocking lever. Bunds told him that Howell wanted Bunds to design a "grease gun" which they could manufacture. Mr. Block told me that on another occasion at the Mount Carmel Center he saw Donald Bund designing a template which Bunds explained was to fit around the "grease gun" tubes indicating where the bolt lever slots were to be milled out. This was another step in manufacturing "grease guns" which had been requested by Howell. I know that a "grease gun" is a machinegun following after the design of a World War II era military weapon.

...

During his time at the Mount Carmel Center Mr. Block was present several occasions when Howell would sk if anyone had any knowledge about making hand grenades or converting semi-automatic rifles to machineguns. At one point he also heard discussion about a shipment of inert hand grenades and Howell's intent to reactiviate them.

The section needs to be fixed, and the faux-detailed information "explaining" the ATF's affidavit presumably copied from some conspiracy cite needs to be superseded. TiC (talk) 04:00, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

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