Waco is remembered most for the Branch Davidian scandal.
The Branch Davidians, if you don’t remember were a bunch of religious crazies. (Religious crazies… the term is repetitive. .)
As for the Davidians, David Koresh was their leader. He had changed his name to David so as to be a Daivid—ian and not just A Davidian, THE Davidian, their greatest and final prophet. He was right…. At least about the final part.
David’s mom was 14-year-old, Bonnie Sue Clark. Bonnie Sue Clark…Her name reminds me of a country singer…Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Emmy Lou Harris. They all had great voices, married drunken, abusive men and had a ton of misery in their lives. Bonnie Sue Clark was no different…except for the voice part… she was tone deaf.
She did pretty well in the drunken cheating man selection though. Before Dave was born, Dave’s 20-year-old dad, abandon Bonnie Sue for a more tuneful teenager. His mom, true to her name, moved in with a violent alcoholic.
David was gang raped by a bunch of older boys when he was 8. All in all, not a great childhood.
At 22, he was born-again, though you’d think that in his case, once would have been enough. He became a Southern Baptist, immediately falling in love with the pastor’s daughter.
While praying for guidance, Dave’s Bible fell open at Isaiah 34; “none should want for a mate.” He showed the pastor explaining that obviously God wanted Dave to have the pastor’s daughter. How much proof do you need? The pastor apparently needed more. He excommunicated Dave … so much for the milk of human kindness. I guess in some cases it’s better to burn than to marry.
Dave moved to Waco, naturally… it’s where all good and not so good crazies go. He joined the Branch Davidians, and claimed the gift of prophecy. Some say that Dave had a sexual relationship with Lois Roden, prophetess of the sect and a youthful 76 years old. Yuck. I’m sure she was a great woman, but still… yuck. Dave claimed that God had chosen him to father a child with Lois, who would be the Chosen One, though he never said chosen for what.
Dave quarreled with Lois’ son George, Head of the Davidians. They both wanted to be God’s tool. But God has a very tiny belt with room for only a single tool. Dave lost. He and around 25 followers set up camp about 90 miles from Waco, at Palestine, Texas. Who names these places?
After being exiled to Palestine, Dave and his followers eked out a primitive existence. By now (late 1987), George’s support was withering. To regain it, he challenged Dave to a raising the dead contest. Dave went to the authorities, tattling on George for illegally exhuming a corpse. The cops told him to prove it.
Dave went to the Mount with seven armed followers to get a photo of the body. When the sheriff arrived, George had gunshot wounds and was pinned behind a tree. Dave and his followers were charged with attempted murder. But God intervened and a mistrial was declared.
A couple of years later a Davidian named Adair Dale stated his belief that he (Adair) was the true Messiah. George proved that Adair was not the Messiah by splitting his head in two with an axe. You really can’t ask for better proof. But poor George was none-the less hauled away, convicted of murder and imprisoned in a mental hospital in Vernon, TX.
When Dave and his followers returned to the Mt., they found a meth lab. No wonder these people were always seeing God.
David was a prolific Messiah. He annulled all marriages within the Davidians. He had exclusive and regular relations with all the women, from age 14 up. He fathered at least fifteen children. I think he replaced the Meth lab with a Viagra Lab.
Actually, randyness really had nothing to do with it.
The House of David doctrine stated that the Messiah must father 24 children by chosen women in the community. Dave had finally, obviously become the tool.
Hearing that the Mt. might contain weapons the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) raided Mount Carmel. They felt that they should be the only ones to have weapons. The FBI agreed and came along to help.
Dave was seriously injured but he negotiated delays, so he could write religious documents. Ignoring a video sent out by the Davidians explaining that they chose, of their own free will, to remain Federal negotiators treated the situation as a hostage crisis. In the FBI’s defense it was a lousy video. If it had included some sex and Messiah head splitting scenes it might have been more popular.
In attempting to force suspects out of a building, the police fired a gas canister into building. The “gas canister landed on a sofa and burned down the entire structure.” Opps. There are tape-recording from inside Mt. Carmel because concealed in milk cartons, that Dave had demanded be sent in for the children, the FBI had inserted tiny listening devices.
Years before David had preached that he would be martyred in the United States. So in a way he got his wish. God and the FBI work together in mysterious ways.