Waco, the Branch Davidians, and Government Mind Manipulation


FOTCM Member
Here's an article that lays the whole sorry affair out:

Is Your Church BATF Approved? A Review of the Government Assault on the Waco Branch Davidians � 2005 by: Peter Kershaw


The Waco debacle in 1993, involving David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, the Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is one of the most disturbing chapters in the whole of American history. There are valuable lessons to be learned � lessons which must be learned � should we wish to avoid future Waco incidents. Tragically, the most important lessons have largely gone ignored, while the peripheral and often irrelevant issues are what most people have focused their attentions on.

David Koresh received the brunt of the blame for the incident, while BATF and FBI culpability has largely been ignored, if not deliberately avoided. Controversial "cult" figures are attractive targets for public ridicule, and dead cult leaders make for especially convenient subjects of scorn. No one is eager to defend an heretic...

The Waco incident is a case study in false witness testimony. Few events in the history of U.S. federal law enforcement can match Waco for cover-ups, falsification, deception, fabrication, manipulation, subterfuge and obfuscation. The government, having so much to lose in terms of reputation, was chiefly responsible for instigating the blame game. It's a game they play well, and a game they usually win; but it's not one they could routinely win without having so many complicit participants.

Chief among their shills are the mainstream secular media. No surprise there, especially in their treatment of David Koresh � the secular press will never pass up an opportunity to demonize a "religious fanatic." Also eager to vilify any alleged "cult" leader are the secular "anti-cult deprogramers," as well as the Christian "heresy hunters" and Christian "counter-cultists."

However, what is surprising is the fact that the majority of Christian media outlets also joined in the game, often repeating verbatim whatever the government told them about David Koresh. Add to the list of players a number of Christian radio and television personalities. ...

Until the full truth is known, and the facts widely exposed about Waco, we can never hope to learn anything useful from it; and unless we can learn something useful, there's every likelyhood that it can and will happen again. With a desire to be a "true witness," I present herein some exculpatory evidence on David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, as well as some disturbing evidence about the BATF and the FBI.
Waco: There's a Lot More To the Story Than You've Been Told

The deadly government assault on the Branch Davidians at Mount Carmel Center near Waco, Texas is one of the greatest atrocities ever committed by federal agents in U.S. history. While there are many good and honorable men and women employed by the federal government, the Waco incident clearly demonstrates that not all of them are always so good and honorable.

The first lesson to be learned from Waco is that the American People must demand, and achieve, a much higher degree of accountability from their public servants. Unchecked power always results in tyranny, and tyranny inevitably results in needless death.

The BATF and FBI, and even members of the U.S. military, not only assaulted American citizens, but at least half the Branch Davidians killed were foreign nationals, including British, Israeli, Filipino, Canadian, New Zealand, and Australian citizens. Most Americans are oblivious to the fact that Waco proved an international public relations disaster for the feds. Among the 82 killed were 22 minor children and 2 pre-born babies. Of the 58 adults, 32 were women.

Although I am frequently asked about government onslaughts on the First Amendment rights of specific churches and religious groups, only rarely have I been asked about the government's assault against the Branch Davidians. This appears to be because few Christians think of the Branch Davidians as a religious group that lived in a religious community. Rather, the Branch Davidians are usually characterized as a "dangerous cult," and Mount Carmel Center was a "compound."

Marginalizing the Branch Davidians as a "lunatic cult" dehumanizes them in such a way that serves to vindicate the government's assault against them. Not surprisingly, the government itself played a major role in popularizing the notion that the Branch Davidians were a "dangerous cult group," and some went so far as to allege that they weren't a religious group of any kind:

"This was not a religious group. This was a group of criminals engaged in serious violations of Federal criminal laws. . . though they might call it religion, there is no protection for any group that attempts or in fact does manufacture machineguns and grenades in this country."

Ron Noble, Undersecretary of Treasury for Law Enforcement

Ron Noble's comments before Congress are indicative of the prevailing attitude of federal law enforcement. Though every federal agent must take an oath "to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States" � a covenant between the People and their federal government which guarantees numerous legal protections from the tyrannies of despotic government � that same government frequently exempts itself from affording the accused due process of the law. Such deprivations they excuse under "special cirsumstances," asserting that for certain people and certain groups "there is no protection." The BATF and FBI acted as judge, jury and executioner of the Branch Davidians.

Indeed, the Waco assault demonstrates just how far the federal government is willing to go to strip a group of people of their legal rights. When Treasury Undersecretary Ron Noble uses the phrase, "no protection" he means that literally � NO protections, whatsoever. With such malice of forethought it's little wonder the BATF raid on Mount Carmel Center, and the subsequent FBI assault, proved so disastrous.

If the Branch Davidians were legitimate suspects of any federal crimes, they were still entitled to due process under the law, regardless of what the government thought of their unconventional religious beliefs and practices. Contrary to Treasury Undersecretary Ron Noble's despotic assertions about how our legal system works, there is no act or belief system of any kind where an alleged perpetrator can be stripped of his legal protections. Even serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who committed acts of necrophilia and cannibalism, got his day in court. The BATF and FBI treat cannibalistic serial killers with greater regard than they did the Branch Davidians.

Not only did hundreds of federal agents violate the religious liberties and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the Branch Davidians, they also committed some of the most heinous crimes ever perpetrated by federal agents in U.S. history. They sought to justify their crimes on the basis that the Branch Davidians held to some "crazy religious beliefs" and, amazingly enough, many Christians are of the opinion that such justifications are sufficient....

Such federal atrocities, though disturbing, aren't necessarily surprising, if we believe the biblical doctrine of the total depravity of man:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

However, in practice, most American Christians deny the doctrine of total depravity, and this is most clearly evidenced by the trust and confidence they place in their federal government. Most Christians today believe the humanist doctrine that man is inherently good. Therefore, their federal government is also inherently good. Placing their faith in the federal government necessitates exonerating the despotic actions of that government and, thus, the Branch Davidians must have deserved what they got � death.

If you ask the typical American Christian, "Who were the Branch Davidians and who was David Koresh?", the standard response is, "The Branch Davidians were a crazed cult group and David Koresh was a mad cult leader who brainwashed his followers. David Koresh was like Jim Jones and the Branch Davidians were under his complete control. They lived in seclusion in a compound, armed to the teeth with hundreds of illegal weapons. They were abusive toward their children, and the government went in to save the children. Rather than giving themselves up, they set fire to the compound and committed ritualistic mass suicide."

How did Christians reach such conclusions, and where did they get their information? From the press. And where did the press get its information? From Janet Reno. And where did Janet Reno get her information? From the FBI. Does it seem logical that Christians would place their trust in such institutions and believe them? No, yet that's exactly what opinion polls show that most did, and continue to do.

The second lesson to be learned from the Waco disaster is that believing humanist doctrines, such as the inherent goodness of man, will inevitably produce tragic results. Once those results materialize a continued belief in the inherent goodness of man will only enable the criminal perpetrators to get away with their crimes. Unpunished criminals will go on to perpetrate further crimes. A classic example of this is Lon Horiuchi, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team sniper who murdered Vicki Weaver at Rubi Ridge, Idaho as she clutched her infant baby to her breast. Horiuchi received a commendation and, only a few months later, was assinged to head another sniper team at Waco, Texas.

Christian televangelists, such as Pat Robertson, repeated pretty much the same story as the mainstream press. The same Christian leaders who had so often claimed that they cherished religious freedom betrayed religious freedom by siding with the very government that had pulverized religious freedom under its tank treads, and then incinerated it in a fiery inferno. It calls into question what those Christian leaders actually mean when they speak of "religious freedom." Numerous Christian leaders rushed to judgement, both ridiculing the Branch Davidians as "mad cultists" and praising the federal government for keeping the rest of us safe from alleged terrorists.

"Countercult experts," such as Hank Hanegraaff of the Christian Research Institute, along with other CRI staff members, proved themselves loyal courtiers of the feds by placing all blame for the Mount Carmel Center slaughter on David Koresh, thus exonerating the actions of the BATF and the FBI. They wrote scathing articles and books attacking David Koresh as a sexual deviant with a Messiah complex who cruelly beat children. Whatever the feds said, Hanegraaff and his CRI staff were sure to parrot. However, as "The Bible Answer Man" should know, "people who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones." 1

Countercultists, like Hank Hanegraaff, are often referred to as "heresy hunters," and for good reason. By the way in which Hanegraaff and his CRI staff excoriate David Koresh, many readers were likely to think, "Koresh was so evil I'm glad the government went after him the way they did. The world is a safer place without him." Yet, rather than rushing to judgement based upon an hysterical emotional appeal, we need to carefully examine the evidence to see if it has any merit.

In his article, Hanegraaff asks the loaded question:

"Why would anyone want to follow such a mad Messiah?"

If indeed David Koresh was "mad," the obvious conclusion must be that his followers were also either mad or brainwashed. And what are some of the indicia of madness or being brainwashed? Hanegraaff provides a doctrinal short-list of items, the very first of which is:

K = King James Version Only. Koresh mistakenly believed that the King James Version (KJV) was the only acceptable translation of Scripture.

There are many KJV-only Christians in America, certainly thousands, and probably even hundreds of thousands. Under Hank Hanegraaff's litmus test, any KJV-only preacher could be a madman cult leader, and any KJV-only church could be a mad or brainwashed cult group.

Prophets of the Apocalypse, David Koresh & Other American Messiahs, written by Christian Research Institute staff members Kenneth Samples, Erwin de Castro, Richard Abanes, and Robert Lyle, is even yet more problematic. Prophets of the Apocalypse is a case study in how a group of men can masquerade as "researchers" while doing nothing more than constructing an artificial argument to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. These CRI hatchet-men consistently rush to judgement against David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, while carefully avoiding any criticism of the federal government. Could such contemptuous men, who have so little appreciation for keeping the Ninth Commandment, be capable of producing credible research?

If CRI staff hadn't taken credit for the book, bona fide researchers could easily assume that it was written by National Enquirer staff. Large portions of the book are comprised of nothing but speculation, inference, inuendo, and the hearsay testimony of often less than credible witnesses, such as disaffected former Davidians who had left Mount Carmel Center long before the government's assault. Aside from an interview with David Thibodeau (an interview so brief that it could hardly qualify as an "interview"), the book is devoid of interviews with Mount Carmel Center survivors. The bibliography is especially telling as to the thoroughness of CRI's "research" � over three-quarters of the entries are nothing but newspaper and magazine articles of the secular mainstream press. The book calls into question CRI's definition of "research."

One of the authors' principal sources is Marc Breault, a former resident of Mount Carmel Center who had departed several years prior to the government's assault. The book attempts to portray Marc Breault as a credible source of information, when in point of fact Breault is anything but that. For example, Breault claimed to have been a sentry and to stand armed guard at Mount Carmel Center. Yet, Breault is legally blind! Marc Breault's blindness also calls into question how he could have been an "eye witness" to so many breathtaking allegations that he made against David Koresh, including allegations of things that supposedly occurred long after Breault had left Mount Carmel Center. Marc Breault publicly acknowledged that his departure was acrimonious, that he had a "vendetta" against Koresh, and that he intended to become a "cult-buster." Yet, CRI "researchers" conveniently omit this, as they did Marc Breault's blindness.

There are nine survivors of the Mount Carmel Center holocaust, including David Thibodeau and Clive Doyle, yet evidently these real witnesses, who were actually there before, during, and after the seige, weren't deemed worthy of legitimate interviews by CRI "researchers." However, the testimony of a blind and disgruntled former Branch Davidian is featured prominently, including accounts of alleged child beatings. Samples, de Castro, Abanes and Lyle state, "Vernon long held that children eight months and older ought to be disciplined by having their bottoms beaten with some type of paddle," and "The beatings lasted thirty to forty-five minutes" (pg. 58). They allege such beatings left the children black and blue with their bottoms bleeding.

If such beatings had occurred, it would have been impossible to conceal the evidence left on those little bottoms from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Child Protective Services. Both agencies went to Mount Carmel Center, on more than one occassion, to investigate Marc Breault's hearsay allegations, and both agencies cleared Koresh of any wrongdoing. This is a matter of public record, yet CRI "researchers" fail to make mention of it.

In writing Prophets of the Apocalypse it's apparent that these men approached the subject with an agenda to vindicate the government. As such, all of their "research" was skewed to examine only those facts which placed the government in the best possible light, while ignoring the mountain of facts which showed the government to have been ruthless and diabolical. All of their "research" efforts, regardless of how lacking or speculative the evidence, are devoted toward portraying David Koresh in the worst possible light. Their strategy involves fomenting hysteria to elicit the reader's hostility against this "mad Messiah," while carefully avoiding a critical and logical examination of the cold, hard facts. Such conduct is far more consistent with the modus operandi of tabloid hacks, rather than legitimate researchers.

In Chapter 5, The Final Option, they dismiss, with no explanation, the possibility that the feds may have deliberately set the buildings alight. They also dismiss, again with no explanation, the possibility that the Army tanks, which bashed holes in the walls of Mount Carmel Center, might have run over or knocked down some of the approximately 30 gas laterns the Branch Davidians used, thus accidentally starting the blaze.

As far as CRI "researchers" are concerned, the Branch Davidians committed suicide by setting their home and chapel on fire. And what do they produce for evidence to support their predetermined conclusion? "The keys to the puzzle are notes contained in ex-member Robyn Bunds' Bible, which we obtained approximately three weeks before the siege's end." Samples et al attempt to decipher the margin notes of Robyn's Bible; but just as they are very selective in all other cases about what evidence they will "research," they very selectively examine only those notes dealing with God's judgement by fire. How convenient.

These tabloid inquisitors ask, "What did Robyn mean by her cryptic notes? Although somewhat puzzling, these clues provide important insights into Koresh's thinking that led to the fiery tragedy of April 19." Yet each and every one of their so-called "important insights" are hedged by such terms as, "strongly suggest", "is hinted", "it appears that", "indicating", and "aparently." Though having nothing but speculation to go on, these tabloid sleuths arrive at the conclusion that, even though David Koresh taught that suicide resulted in eternal damnation, the Branch Davidians must have committed suicide.

Since their book asks the question, "What did Robyn mean by her cryptic notes?", one would suppose that, being the "Christian" and honest "researchers" they hold themselves out to be, that the first person they would seek to interview would be the author of those margin notes, herself. Oddly enough, however, they never bothered to interview Robyn Bunds (or at least if they did they fail to make mention of it). Again, such practices are commonplace among gossip-sheet columnists and tabloid writers, but are hardly the makings of any credible researcher.

Robyn Bunds joined with other Branch Davidian survivors in bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the government. Robyn Bunds believed at the time, and believes to this day, that the government was responsible for the fires. She also believes that the Branch Davidians, because of their religious beliefs, were incapable of committing suicide. On October 1, 1993 she publicly accused the BATF and FBI of killing the Branch Davidians:

"I know there were things going on there that weren't right. But they're dead now. What's the point?. . . It's okay to save them, try to do something, but what you did was kill them."

According to CRI, the Branch Davidians committed suicide by not only deliberately setting their buildings on fire, they also committed suicide by shooting themselves, and one another, in the head. Indeed, autopsies showed the cause of death of at least twenty Branch Davidians, including David Koresh, to have been by gunshot to the head. Furthermore, the coroner determined they were dead sometime before the fire broke out � no smoke residue was found in their lungs.

Notwithstanding CRI's self-serving (or rather government-serving) "research," Branch Davidian beliefs about suicide make it unlikely that any of the Branch Davidians would have committed suicide. The question then is who was responsible for the assassin-style shootings of twenty Branch Davidians, and how was it accomplished with no apparent resistance? This is just another of the many vital questions that Christian Research Institute "researchers" very conveniently avoid asking.


FOTCM Member
Continuing with major excerpts of the above article:
Early the morning of April 19, 1993 the FBI began rendering the Branch Davidians defenseless by deploying huge quantities of a dangerous chemical warfare agent known as CS gas. The United States first signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1969, which banned a number of chemical agents, including CS gas. The use of CS in war is considered a war crime. Yet the United States government continues to deploy this chemical warfare agent against its own citizenry. Janet Reno gave the FBI a green light to use an internationally banned chemical warfare agent on small children and nursing infants. Such an action, allegedly perpetrated for the purpose of "saving the children," can only be described as barbaric.

Those familiar with the devastating effects of CS gas know that the FBI's public statement that, "We deployed CS into the compound to force the Branch Davidians to come out," is either a bold-faced lie or demonstrative of an astonishing degree of incompetence. CS gas often does not compel people to come out of buildings, quite the opposite, and particularly so when used in large quantities. CS causes panic, disorientation and vertigo, often rendering its victims "immobile." In other words, once exposed the victim may be unable to get out of the building for the fresh air they so desperately need.

Every law enforcement agency in the world is well aware that CS gas, if they use it at all (and most do not), can only be "safely" used outdoors, as a "riot control" agent. If it had been the FBI's intention to force the Branch Davidians out of the building they never would have used CS, and they certainly wouldn't have used such massive amounts of it. The FBI deployed considerably more CS into Mount Carmel Center than any law enforcement agency had ever used in U.S. history. According to Col. Rex Applegate (U.S. Army, ret.), one of the world's leading authorities on "riot control," and a developer of the "ferret round" often used to deliver CS:

"It is reasonable to assume that individuals in the Waco building were subjected to such CS gas concentrations, that they were incapacitated to the point where they were physically unable to exit the gassed areas."

Had the FBI used something other than CS the Branch Davidians would have been able to find their way to the exits. However, given that the tanks rammed through the walls precisely where the stairwells were located, thus collapsing them, anyone on the second floor (where the women and children lived) would have still been trapped. This too casts serious doubt on the FBI's real intentions � did they, by their actions, encourage the Davidians to come out, or did they actually prevent them from coming out? As one Army field manual states:

"Generally, persons reacting to CS are incapable of executing organized and concerted actions and excessive exposure to CS may make them incapable of vacating the area."

I can say from personal experience to repeated exposure that CS gas, even in relatively small doses, is excruciating and devastating in its effects. Each year in the Marines we had to pass through "the gas chamber" to test our competence with donning and clearing a gas mask. Once inside we had to remove our gas masks and yell out our name, rank and serial number, then put the mask back on and properly "clear" it. No one ever seemed to succeed without having to take a breath of that horrific gas. Even if you didn't take a breath it was impossible to open your eyes, and even with your eyes closed the tears poured down your face. Huge gobs of snot poured out your nose, and it burned your skin. Many Marines puked.

Even after we Marines redonned and cleared our gas masks, it took quite some time before we could actually see again. As such, it was often impossible to find our way out of the building, so we had to be led out. Our CS exposure as Marines was only a matter of seconds, and the effects were devastating. It's difficult to imagine what the Branch Davidians must have gone through.

Over a two-hour period the FBI shot almost 400 CS ferret rounds into Mount Carmel Center. Firing ferret rounds into a building is an exceedingly dangerous tactic, in and of itself � if a ferret round hits someone the impact could easily kill them. Two M-60 Army tanks also bashed holes into the building and then sprayed huge quantities of CS through their nozzles. All the while the FBI announced over the loudspeakers, "This is not an assault." One has to wonder what the FBI's definition of "assault" is?

Many of the adult Branch Davidians had gas masks. However, gas masks aren't manufactured that can fit small children, and the FBI well knew this. They also knew that, if mothers were unable to get their children out, those children would die a slow and agonizing death. During congressional hearings, several congressmen described the children's CS exposure as "death by torture." As for the adults who had gas masks, most of their masks would only be effective for up to an hour. After that the filters saturate and fail, and the gas mask is useless. CS is a white powder that coats everything it comes in contact with. CS is touted by its manufacturer for the swiftness with which it will clog gas mask filters. The FBI's gas assault lasted for at least two hours, and some sources claim as long as six hours.

Mount Carmel Center fireAside from the dangers of deploying massive amounts of CS into a building, the FBI magnified the dangers to the Branch Davidians by what they chose as a CS propellant, as it was pumped from the nozzles of the M-60 tanks. Those who have seen videos of the Mount Carmel Center inferno can readily recognize that the buildings burned far more rapidly, and with a tremendous intensity, than could have occurred had there not been huge quantities of a fire accelerant present. At least one accelerant present in bulk, and used by the FBI as a CS propellant, was ethanol. Ethanol is also commonly used in conjunction with acetone as a CS propellant. Autopsies of a number of Branch Davidians revealed ethanol in their blood and urine (the coroner did not test for acetone).

The FBI could have used an inert propellant and aerosol agent, such as carbon dioxide, but chose instead a highly flammable and dangerous chemical. When ignited, the combination of CS powder and ethanol will burn at over 4200 degrees. The FBI set the stage to create an impressive conflagration.

Conveniently enough for the feds, the intense fire also destroyed a great deal of evidence. The BATF, in particular, had a vested interest in the building being eliminated as evidence. The trajectory of the many bullet holes through the building roof would have proven unequivocally that BATF agents fired indiscriminately from their helicopters, the morning of February 28. They recklessly machine gunned through the roof with wanton disregard for the women and children who lived immediately below that roof.

Should anyone have believed the FBI when, for some six years, they claimed that they had no responsibility for the three fires which appeared, almost simultaneously, at opposite ends of the building? For six years the FBI vehemently denied that they had used any incendiary or pyrotechnical devices on April 19, 1993, devices which could have started the fires. However, in 1999 the FBI did a sudden about face, acknowledging that they had, indeed, used pyrotechnic devices on that fateful day. The fact of the matter is that the FBI has frequently lied about what they did or did not do at Waco, and they continue lying to this day. In spite of this pattern of lies and cover-ups, many Christians still elect to believe whatever the FBI says about the Waco holocaust.


FOTCM Member
Continuation. Notice particularly all the stuff here about Rick Ross. At the original site linked above, there are links to stuff about Ross who seems to have been the primary eminence grise behind this tragedy. As some of you may know, Ross is hooked up with Vinnie Bridges, Jay Weidner and gang, and has even got a page about cassiopaea last time I checked.

It's clear that the FBI planned for a significant fire. On day 19 of the 51 day siege, an FBI negotiator asked Branch Davidian Steve Schneider, "How many fire extinguishers do you have?" Steve responded that they only had one. FBI's James Cavanaugh was heard to say, "Someone ought to buy some fire insurance." Then on day 51, only a few hours before the FBI commenced the gas attack, the FBI contacted the local hospital to inquire how many beds they had in their burn unit.

Star Koresh corpse contorted by cyanideCS, when burned, is also extremely toxic, producing hydrogen cyanide gas. Autopsies showed that forty-four Branch Davidians had hydrogen cyanide present in their blood. The picture shown is of six-year old Star Koresh, her body grotesquely contorted and twisted over backwards. The effects of cyanide cause such violent muscle contractions that it normally breaks the back of the victim. Death by cyanide is excruciating, typically requiring 9 minutes, and is accompanied by violent muscle spasms and seizures. Hydrogen cyanide is used in execution gas chambers. Execution victims are securely strapped into a chair with multiple leather straps, not so much to prevent their escape (gas chambers are escape-proof), but to prevent the body from contorting backwards, a sight considered too horrific for witnesses to have to bear.

Like so many other Christian organizations, Christian Research Institute claimed to have "researched" the Branch Davidians and the government siege at Mount Carmel Center. Yet, their published materials make it obvious that they are extremely selective about what evidence they choose to "research." It's difficult to understand why an otherwise reputable publisher, Baker Book House, would have agreed to publish such schlock masquerading as "research." The Christian Research Institute's opinions were thoroughly supportive of Janet Reno's "Justice" department, and they proved themselves to be little more than a government shill organization.

Christian countercult organizations not only parroted Janet Reno and the FBI, they also parroted the claims of "secular anticult deprogrammers," such as the now thoroughly discredited Rick Ross of the Cult Awareness Network. Rick Ross is a convicted jewel thief and kidnapper (kidnapping is a routine practice among cult deprogrammers). On his own, Marc Breault had little success in convincing any government agency with his hysterical hearsay. However, once Rick Ross got involved things changed dramatically.

In consulting for the BATF and FBI on the Branch Davidians, Rick Ross took Marc Breault's outrageous stories, which then became the primary souce of the numerous exaggerated, if not completely bogus, accusations that were leveled against David Koresh. Cult deprogrammers specialize in manufacturing fear, and then using it for their own financial gain. Rick Ross proved effective at fomenting a palpable sense of hysteria against David Koresh and the Branch Davidians.

Even prior to working for the government, Rick Ross served to incite trepidation over the Branch Davidians in the local community of Waco Texas. The Waco Tribune-Herald was first in line among the muckraking media to serve as a willing gossip � controversy sells. Rick Ross succeeded in then turning an insignificant local controversy into a big national controversy, attracting the national press, and even some international press. The press proved themselves only too gullible in buying Rick Ross' malicious stories. The press, and in particular the Waco Tribune-Herald, bear considerable responsibility for the eagerness with which they served as government bootlicks.

Immediately after the BATF's initial disastrous raid, huge numbers of press converged on Waco, Texas. The large number of media outlets served to create a feeding frenzy of competition. Adding to the frenzy was the fact that the press was sequestered three miles away from Mount Carmel Center at "Satellite City," making it impossible for them to clearly see and hear what was happening. The only thing the press found out is what the government told them, which wasn't very much, nor was it truthful (not that the mainstream press is necessarily interested in truth, anyway). Given those competitive circumstances, the veracity of any reported story is often compromised for the sake of scooping other news outlets; and the agenda of a man like Rick Ross, who was only too eager to bask in the press' limelight, will typically go unquestioned.

Some have charged that Rick Ross is contemptuous of religion and religious faith of all kinds, with the one exception of his own religion (Ross is a professing Jew). Rick Ross is especially ambivalent toward Christianity. However, for marketing purposes, Rick Ross attempts to conceal his religious bigotry. Anyone who makes any religious expression of devotion to any religious faith, according to Rick Ross, must be under some form of "mind control" by a "mad cult leader." Any such "cult member" is in need of "deprogramming." Conveniently enough, Rick Ross is a "professional cult deprogrammer," or as he prefers to be called, an "exit counselor." Rick Ross has often charged from $8,000 to $25,000 for his cult deprogramming services, which he is of the opinion that a great many people are in need of.

In David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, Rick Ross found an easy target to publicly vilify and dehumanize as a group of religious nut cases. The Branch Davidian brand of apocalyptic eschatology did, for the many who were unfamiliar with Armageddon scenarios, make them sound fanatical. Christian "countercult experts" like Hank Hanegraaff were swift to label the Branch Davidians a dangerous cult for, among other things, their eschatology.

Hal Lindsay, Late Great Planet EarthAs an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Branch Davidians were pre-millennial futurists. Davidian eschatology was strikingly similar to the futurist pre-mil eschatology held by millions of other Christians, as evidenced by the runaway success of Hal Lindsay's Late Great Planet Earth (published 1971, 28 million copies sold). Koresh himself had early been influenced in his eschatology by Late Great Planet Earth, when Koresh was still a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The popularity of pre-millennial futurism and doomsday Armageddon prognosticating has hardly abated, as evidenced by the remarkable success of Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series (published 1995, 75 million copies sold, $650 million in sales):

"I believe that the Spirit of God gave me a special insight, not only into how John described what he actually experienced, but also into how this whole phenomenon encoded the prophecies so that they could be fully understood only when their fulfillment drew near."

The above quote could be attributed to David Koresh, except for the fact that he wasn't the one who said it. Though Koresh made remarkably similar pronouncements, and claimed that God directly gave him "special insight" into biblical prophecy, the above quote actually comes from Hal Lindsay (The Apocalypse Code, page 37). However, in the world of prophetic interpretations and prognostications, Hal Lindsay is a Johnnie-come-lately. In point of fact, the above quote could be attributed to any number of earlier "prophets," including John Nelson Darby, William Miller, C.I. Schofield, or Ellen G. White. They, and many others, have made the same claim of God-given "special insight" into biblical prophecy.

Millions of American Christians sincerely believe in apocalyptic Armageddon eschatology and, regardless of what anyone else thinks, it is still their right to believe as they so choose. However, unbeknownst to them, there are "heresy hunters" who brand such beliefs as "dangerous." Under Hank Hanegraaff's litmus test, any pre-mil futurist preacher could be a dangerous cult leader, and any pre-mil futurist church could be a dangerous cult group. And how should "dangerous cults" be treated?

"But society is not always so accepting when individuality translates into extreme devotion to religious beliefs and practices that 'go against the grain' of societal norm. Such intolerance is often well justified."

Prophets Of The Apocalypse, pg. 135

Indeed, it is clear from CRI's tendentious "research" that they are intolerant of those who "go against the grain of societal norm."

It would be a fair characterization to say that most "countercult" organizations are religious bigots. While countercultists are quick to malign non-orthodox groups as "dangerous cults" because of their failure to conform to the "norms of society," countercultists are oblivious to their own bigotry, and how their bigotry and intolerance is the real danger to society.

As James D. Tabor and Eugene V. Gallagher have noted in their book, Why Waco?, the criteria used by heresy hunters and countercultists is so broadsweeping that, if they were to have lived in the first century, they would have most certainly branded Jesus Christ and his disciples as a "dangerous cult group."


FOTCM Member
Final installment:

Heresy hunters like Hank Hanegraaff, and Christian radio and television personalities like Pat Robertson, were quick to lend their support to the Davidian antagonists (this is ironic, given that Robertson is also a pre-mil futurist, and has often spoken of apocalyptic Armageddon scenarios). Yet they rarely, if ever, condemned the actions of the Reno Justice department. The message they sent, thereby, was clear and unambiguous: It's dangerous to be in a cult group. The Branch Davidians got what was coming to them. The government's "intolerance is well justified." Let that be a lesson to us all.

David Koresh was hardly a saint (and he certainly wasn't the "Seventh Angel" of Revelation), nor do I endorse his theology, or his polygamous marital practices. However, unlike Hank Hanegraaff, I do more than pay mere lip service to religious liberty. The Branch Davidians were entitled to believe anything they wanted to, and practice anything they wanted to, provided they committed no crimes.

This is America. The government has no authority to question, examine, investigate, disparage, denounce, impugn, license, control, or even approve anyone's religious faith regardless of how "kooky," bizarre, or unorthodox it may seem to be. This includes the apocalyptic, "doomsday" beliefs of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians. If these people are not free to believe what they want, then none of us are free to believe what we want to believe.

Waco, Texas: Where A Part Of America'S Heart And Soul Died, Pastor Robert McCurry

A huge federal cover-up followed in the wake of the Waco debacle, and it began even before the fires died out. Two of the four BATF video cameras mysteriously "malfunctioned" the morning of the raid, and the video tapes of the other two cameras mysteriously "disappeared." Tons of vital evidence that survived the fire was deliberately destroyed, or was said to be "missing."

The FBI declared Mount Carmel Center a "crime scene." Yet they violated every law in the book regarding protecting the evidence of a crime. The tanks rumbled all over what little remained of the structures, and even over the corpses of the Branch Davidians. "Combat engineering vehicles" pushed potentially vital evidence into the fires. Then they swiftly brought in bulldozers and completely graded every square inch of the property. The FBI "sanitized" the crime scene.

The Clinton Administration's strategy of retaining Sen. John Danforth as an "independent investigator" of the Waco incident was viewed by some as nothing more than a ruse. Indeed, Danforth's "investigative report" proved to be little more than a whitewash. However, the most blatant of all whitewashing is the way that Christian countercultists gave succor to the federales, vindicating them entirely, and placing 100% of the blame on David Koresh and his followers:

"The responsibility for the tragedy that played itself out in Waco must ultimately rest upon Koresh and his misguided followers."

Prophets Of The Apocalypse, pg. 97

Even if government shills like Hank Hanegraaff were 100% correct in their theological assertions of David Koresh, that factor does nothing to lend justification to the government's militaristic assault against the Branch Davidians. However, in the minds of so many statist Christians, and statist Christian organizations like the Christian Research Institute, the label of "dangerous cult group" was sufficient justification for the government's assault on the Branch Davidians, and the resultant deaths of the Branch Davidians were, likewise, the fault of the Branch Davidians. When it comes to "dangerous cult groups" the government can do no wrong.

Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that all of Marc Breault and Rick Ross' allegations were true. Did the BATF have jurisdiction to intervene? Much of the BATF's Affidavit For Search Warrant were allegations of Koresh's sexual practices. As the name of the agency asserts, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has jurisdiction over alcohol, tobacco and firearms. The BATF has no jurisdiction to police alleged sex crimes, ever, under any circumstances, even if the alleged sex crimes are of the most grievous sort. Yet a federal judge rubber stamped the search warrant without ever questioning it. That sort of judicial abuse is commonplace, and federal judges typically give federal goon squads anything they want without ever questioning the agency's jurisdiction, or demanding credible evidence of the alleged crimes.

When it subsequently becomes apparent to the judge that the testimony in the affidavit was falsified, or that evidence was fabricated, or that exculpatory evidence was deliberately withheld, does the judge ever hold the affiant in contempt of court for perjury and throw them in jail? That's what judges do to anyone else. However, they never hold "one of our own" accountable. The system of checks and balances that made American government the envy of the world is in grave peril.

For the sake of argument, let's just assume that the BATF did have jurisdiction, and they had compelling evidence that the Branch Davidians possessed illegal firearms. Were the BATF's actions proper? Were the BATF's actions in any way justifiable? Amazingly enough, many Christians have said yes, their actions were justified. Apparently, it has become acceptable for the government to deal with "mad cult groups" by assaulting them with Army tanks and helicopter gunships, in direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Policing the Branch Davidians of Mount Carmel Center was a local, not a federal matter, and it most certainly was not a military matter. In point of fact, the policing of the Branch Davidians had already been dealt with, specifically by the McLennan County Sheriff Jack Harwell. The Sheriff knew David Koresh,and a number of the Branch Davidians personally. Sheriff Harwell had been to Mount Carmel Center on a number of occasions to investigate the myriad of rumors and allegations that inevitably swirl around an alleged "mad cult group."

As to the allegations that the Branch Davidians had "huge caches of illegal weapons," Sheriff Harwell personally inspected the Branch Davidians' arms and verified that they were all completely legal. Sheriff Harwell has also publicly stated that, "The Branch Davidians possessed fewer weapons than the average Texan." Indeed, Texas has a population of 17-million who own over 68-million registered guns. Comparatively speaking the Branch Davidians were lightly armed. Sheriff Jack Harwell never found anything worthy of charging David Koresh and the Branch Davidians for, nor did any of the other Texas government agencies that had also investigated.

Not only had David Koresh invited the Sheriff to Mount Carmel Center, Koresh even invited the BATF. Sheriff Harwell took Koresh up on his offer, more than once. However, the BATF wasn't interested in a bona fide investigation, so they refused Koresh's invitation to prove to them that the Branch Davidians didn't have any "illegal weapons." Koresh offered BATF a full inventory, as well as copies of all his gun purchase receipts. But a calm, cool and peaceful investigation wasn't on their agenda.

Treasury Undersecretary Ron Noble's allegation that the Branch Davidians were manufacturing hand grenades and machine guns was just one among many fabrications that government agents concocted in order to cover for their crimes. But to give BATF a very brief benefit of the doubt, let's just assume that the Davidians really were manufacturing machine guns. Would that have been a crime? No, it would not. Possessing machine guns, and their manufacture, is perfectly legal, provided you have a license to do so. Branch Davidian Paul Fatta was a licensed gun dealer and possessed an FFL (federal firearms license). Fatta was legally entitled to manufacture and possess machine guns, as well as to form business alliances with others for that purpose, including with David Koresh or anyone else.

Furthermore, Paul Fatta's FFL entitled BATF to search the Davidian facilities anytime they wanted to, without prior notice, and without a search warrant. Clearly, however, a peaceful, if not mundane, firearms investigation wouldn't provide the kind of adrenaline rush that BATF thrill-seekers would get from a militaristic armed raid, or as the government prefers to call them, a "dynamic entry."

At no time did Koresh hide from the authorities. He made a point of meeting with anyone who wanted to, anywhere they wanted to. Contrary to mischaracterizations of the press, the Branch Davidians never secluded themselves in a "compound." In point of fact, many of the men had day-jobs and worked in town. Koresh himself was in town frequently, and they knew it. The BATF could have easily apprehended David Koresh peacefully almost any day of the week, and if a peaceful solution is what they were after they would have apprehended Koresh away from Mount Carmel Center. Instead, they chose to apprehend Koresh at Mount Carmel Center, and they deliberately chose a day when they knew that every man, woman and child would be there � Sunday � thereby unnecessarily endangering many innocent people.

First to arrive were U.S. Army National Guard helicopters. They circled the back of the building, creating a diversion, while BATF vehicles converged out front. Their "diversion" included firing on the Branch Davidians. Upon arrival of the BATF "ground" agents, they immediately announced their hostile intentions by shooting the Davidians' dogs. The dogs posed no threat, yet they even shot the puppies. David Koresh promptly came out the front door, arms raised high in the air, shouting "Hold on a minute! There are women and children here! Let's talk!" David Koresh was unarmed and offered no resistance, Yet, they immediately opened fire on Koresh, wounding him in the hand and abdomen.

If there had been any doubt before as to the government's intentions, all doubt was now removed. The Branch Davidians knew without question that the BATF wasn't there to investigate illegal weapons, or apprehend anyone, or "save the children," but only to kill. It was then that the Branch Davidians did what any person has a right to do � defend their own lives. That's what real men do � they defend their women and children, and they defend their pastor. They returned fire on the BATF assassins.

Specifically what had these 120 "religious nuts" (most of them women and children) done to warrant being violently assaulted by the BATF? Did anyone ever allege that this "dangerous cult group" was a threat to their neighbors? No, in point of fact, though some of their neighbors thought them a bit odd, no one thought them dangerous.

Only after the initial disastrous BATF raid was the allegation raised that the Branch Davidians were a threat to themselves. When Janet Reno subsequently took charge of the situation, she justified sending in hundreds of FBI agents, and even the U.S. Army, in order to "save the children." Yet, the helicopter gunships and the hundreds of federal assassins who fired indiscriminately into the buildings, indeed, firing at anything that moved behind the windows, knowing full well that there were women and children in those buildings, easily disproves the theory that the government was there to "save children."

The BATF's disastrous raid cost the lives of six Branch Davidians and four BATF agents. Numerous BATF agents fired recklessly and indiscriminately as fellow agents assaulted the building, leading many researchers to conclude that there is high probability that at least some of the killed and wounded agents were victims of "friendly fire." However, even if the Branch Davidians had been responsible for the deaths of all four BATF agents, they later successfully argued in court that they were acting in self-defense. Indeed, the law fully supported their actions, per the Texas Penal Code:

(C) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified:
(1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer's (or other person's) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.

The BATF was promptly relieved and the FBI assumed command. As we all know, the FBI is a kinder and gentler cadre of spies and assassins. Since the FBI was dealing with a bunch of "irrational crazies," they of course acted prudently. Day and night the FBI blasted the Branch Davidians with loud music, sounds of animals being slaughtered and dentist drills. The FBI frequently barraged the Davidians with Nancy Sinatra's, These Boots Are Made For Walking. In the subsequent Joint Congressional Hearings, Rep. John Dingell (Dem.) referred to BATF and FBI agents as "jackbooted American fascists."

"These boots are made for walkin', and that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you."

The FBI's message to the Branch Davidians couldn't have been more obvious. Perhaps even far more ominous and foreboding of the FBI's intentions was the line in Nancy Sinatra's song:

"You keep thinking that you'll never get burned. Well, I just got me a brand new box of matches, and what I got you ain't got time to learn."

The Branch Davidians got the message loud and clear. In phone conversations with FBI "Hostage Rescue Team" negotiators, David Koresh and Steve Schneider frequently asked if the FBI was planning on burning them alive. As prophecy pundits, the Branch Davidians believed strongly in the power of the spoken word. They followed closely current events in the world, always attempting to determine how any event might be a fulfillment of prophecy. The FBI well knew this. Is it really just mere coincidence that the Branch Davidians were burned up in a raging inferno after the FBI barraged them day after day after day with, "You keep thinking that you'll never get burned; well, I just got me a brand new box of matches?"

All the Christian countercultists have asked, "Why didn't David Koresh and the Branch Davidians just give themselves up and come out?" For men like Hank Hanegraaff to ask such a stupid question, and then fail so miserably to answer it, only demonstrates what a hoax their "research" really is. Anyone who has legitimately studied Branch Davidian doctrine can easily answer that question.

Even years before David Koresh became their fourth "prophet," the Branch Davidians taught and believed that the "world system" was "Babylon," and Babylon was the archenemy of the bride of Jesus Christ. Various of their prophetic interpretations showed that "Babylon" would violently attack them and murder them, but that they would return with Christ to judge Babylon. Right before their eyes those prophecies started being fulfilled. Though they feared for their lives they also believed that, whatever the outcome, it was God's will.

For some Branch Davidians their fear was greater than their faith. Many of the original 120 came out, surrendered, and threw themselves on the mercy of the Babylonians (this easily disproves the allegation that David Koresh "controlled his followers" � the fact of the matter is they had freedom to come and go as they pleased). However, most of the Branch Davidians were resolved to remain in Mount Carmel Center with their "prophet" and, if it was God's will, to even be killed by the Babylonians. For them, surrendering to Babylon would have been a grave sin.

Those who remained did so not only out of their faith in their prophecies, and their devotion to their "prophet," but also out of their lack of faith in the tender mercies of their enemies. Indeed, there was little cause to assume that surrendering to Babylon would produce any better results than resisting Babylon. They had already experienced the mercies of the BATF. Did the FBI give the Branch Davidians any cause to believe that they were any less hostile than the BATF? If anything the FBI only showed itself the more creative in the hostility of their tactics.

The FBI cut the Davidians' water and electricity. Searchlights circled the buildings all night, as did the chop-chop-chop of Army helicopters. Was the FBI seeking to restore these "loonies" to sanity by depriving them of sleep, and by barraging them with threats these "these boots are gonna walk all over you"? Why would the FBI engage in blatant psychological warfare, using tactics proven to drive even sane people to the brink of insanity? Did the FBI demonstrate regard for the health of Davidian children by depriving them of heat as the night temperatures dipped to 20-degrees? Could such malicious conduct convince the Davidians that the FBI meant them no harm, and thereby encourage them to come out?

Several theologians who had studied Branch Davidian doctrine (e.g. James Tabor, Phillip Arnold, and others) offered to intervene as negotiators; but their offers were rebuffed. Tabor and Arnold repeatedly warned the FBI that they were playing the role of Babylon. These theologians asserted that FBI actions were only confirming, in the minds of the Davidians, that the FBI was fulfilling the apocalypse of the "fifth seal" of Revelation 6:9-11. The FBI claims that it sought to discredit and alienate Koresh from his followers, and thus encourage mass defections. However, the FBI's hostile "Babylonian" actions only confirmed to the Branch Davidians that David Koresh was a true prophet, thus intensifying their allegiance toward him. Everything Koresh had predicted would happen was being fulfilled, right before their eyes.

To support their kinder and gentler image, the FBI repeatedly told the press, "We've never fired a single shot on the Branch Davidians." Yet, the FBI's own FLIR video tapes implicates FBI agents as having fired hundreds of rounds into the building, even after the buildings were on fire, thus preventing the escape of all but a few Davidians. The FBI also prevented the fire trucks from putting out the fires and rescuing anyone.

Why do most people, Christians included, justify the federal government's actions at Waco, Texas, on the mere pretense that the Branch Davidians were an alleged "dangerous cult group?" Why do they show such callous disregard of even the innocent children that were shot up by federal agents and then incinerated? People often choose to believe what they will based upon their own comfort level. The thought of the federal government targeting a religious community for extermination by an overwhelming military force, which included helicopter gunships, M1A1 and M-60 tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and even the Army's elite Delta Force, is too uncomfortable, and certainly too scary. The easy way out is to deny that the Branch Davidians were a religious community, but rather vilify them as "a dangerous cult group."

Dehumanizing the Branch Davidians as a "dangerous cult group" brings comfort to those Christians who believe that they aren't members of "dangerous cult groups." But what is the definition of a "dangerous cult group" and who gets to define a "dangerous cult group?" It is the same government who defined the Branch Davidians as a dangerous cult group, and government toadies like Hank Hanegraaff and the Christian Research Institute.

Many who have investigated the teachings of David Koresh and the practices of the Branch Davidians (as have I) have come to the conclusion that if the Branch Davidians were a "dangerous cult group," then there are many "dangerous cult groups" in America, likely in the hundreds, with millions of members.

"Within this sector of the population, there are hundreds of religious groups not unlike the Branch Davidiains: Independent, proud, defiant, religiously devout believers who think the larger, secular world is morally bankrupt.

"Historians and sociologists know that dissident millenarian and apocalyptic ideas will become more widespread in the next few years, and this raises an alarming question: Could there be another Waco on the horizon?"

Testimony of Stuart Wright, House Committee on the Judiciary, April 28, 1993

Of course, none of those branded as "dangerous cult groups" would ever admit to being such. They would all claim to be churches and religious organzations with certain "distinctives." The Branch Davidians certainly considered themselves to be a church, and a Bible-believing church at that, and David Koresh was their Pastor.

If we leave it to people like Janet Reno and Bill Clinton, or George Bush and John Ashcroft, or any government official to define "dangerous cult group," or to government apple-polishers like Hank Hanegraaff, then there are already millions of Americans who meet the criteria, and Bible-believing Americans, at that. For all you know, you may already be on the government's "dangerous cult group" list. However, courtesy of John Ashcroft, now you would just be known as a "terrorist leader," or a "member of a terrorist organization."

Is it the U.S. federal government's official position that "dangerous cult groups" should be "terminated with extreme prejudice"? Perhaps so. By the government's "rules of engagement," and by the government's subsequent whitewashing of its own crimes through sham "investigations," the answer is self-evident. By the church's lack of outcry against the lawless assault on the Branch Davidians, it's not at all unlikely that there will be more Waco's.

How can we determine official government policy when that government keeps so many secrets (i.e. lying, deceiving, cover-up, etc.) from the very people it's supposed to be accountable to? Hitler's "final solution for the Jews" was never a written policy. Tyrants aren't stupid enough to put their despotic plans plainly into writing. Just like the U.S. government, the Nazis kept many secrets from their people. However, we can look to the Nazi government's actions toward the Jews and other "disfavored persons" and draw some obvious conclusions about Nazi government policy.

By the same token, the U.S. government's actions against the Branch Davidians, and its exoneration of its criminal agents, is an obvious indication of the U.S. federal government "final solution" for any deemed worthy of the label "dangerous cult group." However, in the U.S. it's not known as "the final solution," it's known as "anti-terrorism policy."

The U.S. federal government, and virtually all of it's agencies, have a long history of corruption and despotism, a breathtaking measure of arrogance, and an astonishing capacity for incompetence, coverups and deceptions. There is simply no logical basis upon which the U.S. federal government should be trusted or believed. It's especially incongruous how anyone could trust a "spy" agency (i.e. FBI). Nevertheless, most Christians are all-too eager to trust and believe their federal government.

Most American Christians are naive and gullible, and they seem to enjoy being naive and gullible � "ignorance is bliss." Most American Christians are also statists. American Christians are statists because their teachers and preachers are themselves statists, and overtly teach statism from their government-licensed 501c3 pulpits and their government-licensed 501c3 radio and television programs. These statist Christian teachers and preachers are obedient partisans of the State, rendered mute by their much-coveted 501c3 tax exempt status, a legal status they never needed. They have taken the government hushmoney.

What a hue and outcry rose up from the church over Bill Clinton's marital infidelities with Monica Lewinsky! Yet the church's lack of response to the militaristic assault on the Branch Davidians, indeed even multiple public endorsements of the Reno Justice department by prominent Christian leaders, sent an unambiguous message to the government: "Be faithful to your wife, but if you ever wish to assault Americans with helicopter gunships and tanks and hundreds of federal agents and Army soldiers, just be sure that you only target members of dangerous cult groups. Such intolerance is well justified."

The church's testimony to the world regarding the Waco Branch Davidians is shameful. It's a travesty that God's prophetic voice to the world � the church � can stand mute in the face of such monstrous tyrannies, leaving non-Christians to take over the church's role of being "salt and light."

Indeed, most of the genuine investigatory work on the Waco massacre has been performed by non-Christian civil libertarians. Moreover, relatively few Christians have ever bothered to seriously review the massive amount of accumulated evidence, nor do they have any interest in doing so. This is proof positive that 21st century American Christians are no different from 1930's and 40's German Christians � they are both statists. Statism under the guise of "democracy" is no less perilous than statism under "national socialism."


FOTCM Member
As I said, one of the interesting things about the Waco Holocaust (and it WAS a holocaust!) is the participation of Rick Ross. Here is some info on Ross from a site that promotes him called culteducation.com.

Curriculum Vitae of Rick Ross


Rick Ross is the founder and Executive Director of the Ross Institute (RI). RI is a nonprofit corporation and tax-exempt educational institution devoted to the study of destructive cults, controversial groups and movements. Researchers and the media around the world have often cited the RI Internet archive as a meaningful resource. Rick Ross is also an expert consultant, lecturer and intervention specialist regarding destructive cults, controversial groups and movements. He has worked with hundreds of families, mental health professionals, attorneys, clergy, law enforcement and each year responds to thousands of inquiries. Ross has been qualified and accepted as an expert witness across the United States in numerous court cases. His testimony has typically focused upon the behavior of destructive groups, their persuasion techniques and undue influence.


2003-Present Executive Director, The Ross Institute

1986-Present Private Consultant, Lecturer and Intervention Specialist

1984-1986 Instructor for the Bureau of Jewish Education, Phoenix, Arizona regarding destructive cults, radical, controversial and potentially unsafe groups for high school and adult education.

1983-1986 Jewish Family & Children's Service Phoenix, Arizona as Coordinator for the Jewish Prisoner Program and agency resource person regarding destructive cults, potentially unsafe and controversial groups.


1970 Graduated from Phoenix Union High School, Phoenix Arizona

1969 Attended Camden Military Academy, Camden, South Carolina


Community Service Citation from B'NAI B'RITH International, Washington D.C.


1983-86 Instructor for the Bureau of Jewish Education
Adult and Hebrew High classes course titled "Cults and Crusades-- Conversion through Coercion"


1993 Advised both Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding the Waco-Davidians

1986 Chairman, Religious Advisory Committee for the Arizona Department of Corrections

1986 Chairman, International Commission for Jewish Prisoner Programs

1984 National Committee on Interreligious Affairs for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations

1983 Religious Advisory Committee for the Arizona Department of Corrections

1983 National Committee on Cults and Missionaries for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations

1982 The Community Relations sub-Committee on Cults and Missionaries


"In the Name of Love: Abusive Controlling Relationships," 2004

"Cults: An Educational Volume," 2001


The Missionary Threat, published by the Institute for First Amendment Studies 1995

Guidelines for a Community and Congregational Response, Cults and Missionaries, published by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations 1984

What in God's Name is going on in Arizona? published by the Jewish Federation of Phoenix 1982


An analysis of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda 2001

The Emergence of New Hybrid/Composite Groups and Counseling Approaches: A Study of Friends Landing 1999

Has Madonna Joined a Cult? 1997

Bigotry Lurks in born-again Christian Doctrine, published by The Arizona Republic Newspaper 1982


Prominently quoted within Hollywood Interrupted by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner, John Wiley & Sons 2004

Interview within The Power of Cult Branding, by Matthew Ragas and Bolivar Bueno, Prima Publishing 2002

Cited case intervention work within The Walking Wounded: A Look at Faith Theology, by Jeremy Reynalds, Huntington House Publishers 1996

Cited within Snapping: America's Sudden Personality Change, by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, Second Edition by Stillpoint Press 1995

Forward to See No Evil: Blind Devotion and Bloodshed in David Koresh's Holy War, by Tim Madigan, published by Summit Group 1993

See No Evil, Chapter Rick Ross Takes One Back, by Tim Madigan 1993

Cited within Cults and Consequences: The Definitive Handbook, published by the Community Relations Committee: Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles 1988

Letters to Editor

What Happened at Waco, published by The Washington Post 1995

Waco: A Response to an Article by Dean Kelley, published by First Things Magazine

Numerous letters published regarding destructive cults, controversial groups and movements in publications such as the following:

The Nation, The Humanist Magazine, Penthouse Magazine, The Arizona Republic Newspaper, The Phoenix New Times, The Phoenix Gazette, The Scottsdale Progress and The Boston Phoenix


Survivors of Harmful Treatment Programs 2003 Conference

Criminal Cults and their Violent Acts at the 38th Annual Dickinson College Public Affairs Symposium Crimes and Punishment, Dickinson College, PA, February 18-21, 2001

Cults: Conversion through Coercion, Maricopa County Medical Center, Phoenix 1994

Cults and Missionaries, the Biennial Conference of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations 1985

Conversion through Coercion, panel presentation sponsored by the Department of Communication at Arizona State University 1984

Mind Control: The Fundamentalist Syndrome, An Ecumenical and Professional Community Conference sponsored by the Phoenix Jewish Federation and Jewish Family and Children's Service 1983


Rick Ross has been qualified and accepted as an expert witness in numerous cases within--

* Alabama
* Arizona
* Georgia
* Kansas
* Kentucky
* North Dakota
* Pennsylvania
* Wisconsin

Rick Ross has been deposed, testified and/or submitted testimony by affidavit as an expert within--

* Arkansas
* California
* Connecticut
* South Carolina
* Texas


Arizona State University
Auburn University
Baylor University
Carnegie Mellon University
Central Oregon Community College/Cascadia College, Oregon State University
Clark University, Worcester, MA
Concord College
Dickenson College
Duquesne University
Elizabethtown College
Georgia State University, Atlanta
Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix
Jewish Federation of Boston
Knox College
Laredo Community College, Laredo, Texas
Lynchburg College
Maricopa County Medical Center
Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio
McCallie School of Chattanooga

Mississippi State Legislative Committee
Nicolet College, Rhinelander, WI
The Oklahoma City Men's Dinner Club
Pennsylvania State University, Dunmore PA
Philadelphia College of Textiles of Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix Bureau of Jewish Education
Phoenix College
Rutgers University
Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Utah University
State University of New York at Cortland
Temple Beth Shalom, Las Vegas
University of Chicago
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
University of Portland
University of Southern Mississippi
University of Washington at Pullman
WV West Virginia State College
Women's Club of Wheeling, West Virginia


CBS News 1999
FOX News 1999
CBC Canada 1995
Nippon Japan 1995


VH1 News Special Hollywood Religion 2005
A Current Affair 2005
Fox News: "The O'Reilly Factor" 2005
Good Morning America 1993, 1997, 2005
Showtime: Penn & Teller 2004, 2005
"Smoking Gun," Court TV, 2004
"Unscrewed," Tech TV, 2004
Court TV Catherine Crier 2003, 2005
Court TV News 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
ABC Nightline 1993, 1996, 1997
ABC Prime Time 1995
ABC Evening News 1993, 1997
The Today Show 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2003
CBS 48 Hours 1989, 1992, 1993, 1999
Day and Date 1995
CBS News This Morning 1993
MTV News 1995
Oprah Winfrey 1989, 1994
Extra 1997, 1999
Fox Television 1993, 2003
Geraldo CNBC 1996, 2000, 2001
American Journal
Phil Donahue 1989, 1992, 1993

The Fox Files 1999
Hard Copy 1999
Personal Stories CNBC 1991
Jerry Springer 1993, 1994
Good Morning America 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004
Dateline NBC 1997
NBC Evening News 1993
CNN 1993, 1999
Court TV-Cochran & Company 1997
MSNBC News 1997, 2003
CBS Street Stories 1993
Day One 1993
Sally Jesse Raphael 1989, 1991
Inside Edition 1991, 2002, 2003, 2004
Attitudes on Lifetime 1992
Geraldo Rivera 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996,1997
MSNBC Special Report 2000
MSNBC Scarborough Country 2005


PRO 7 Television, Germany
BBC Great Britain, 2004
BBC2 Great Britain, 2005
Daily Planet, The Discovery Channel, Canada
TV 2 National News of Denmark, 2001
CNN 1993, 1999
Nippon TV Japan 1995
Canadian Broadcast Corp. 1993, 1995
Asahi TV Japan 1995
CNN Special Report 2000


ABC affiliate Fargo
ABC affiliate Grand Forks
ABC affiliate Philadelphia
Comcast CN8 Regional News
Fox "Good Day LA," Los Angeles
KATU TV Portland, Oregon
KDFW Dallas
KFSN Fresno
KLAL Los Angeles
KNXV Phoenix
KOAT Albuquerque, NM
KOMO Seattle
KOOL Phoenix
KPHO Phoenix
KPNX Phoenix

KSTP-TV Minneapolis
KTSP Phoenix
KTUV News, San Francisco
KVOA Tucson
KVTV Laredo
KYTV Springfield, MO
News 10 Sacramento, CA
PBS Phoenix
PBS Tucson
WCBS New York City
WNBC Detroit
WRTV 6 Indianapolis
WTRF Wheeling,WV
WSLS-TV Roanoke, VA
KCRG Cedar Rapids, Iowa

"Holy Smoke" a film directed by Jane Campion 1999, Miramax/Disney, technical consultant to actor Harvey Keitel


In The Name Of God, Post Newsweek 1983
Cults in America, NHK Japan 1995
Waco: The Rules Of Engagement, 1997
Crimes In The Name Of God, BNN/Court TV 1999


Vanity Fair Magazine
W Magazine
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Blender Music Magazine
FHM Magazine, US edition
Forbes Magazine
USA Today
Details Magazine
Time Magazine
Newsweek Magazine
Associated Press
Cosmopolitan Magazine
GQ Magazine
George Magazine
Glamour Magazine
The American Lawyer
The Gauntlet
The Star
Scripps Howard News Service
Soap Opera Digest
People Magazine
Pentecostal Evangel Magazine

DS Magazine, France
Courrier International, France
HAARETZ Magazine, Israel
GQ Magazine, Germany
le Parisien, Paris
W Magazine
PRZEKROJ Weekly, Warsaw Poland
The London Times
FHM, Australia
FHM, Great Britain
Scotsman, Great Britain
The Observer, London
Globe and Mail
The Daily Telegraph, London
The Hamilton Spectator, Canada
DAVAR Israel
Globes, Israel
Processo Magazine, Mexico
Jewish Press International
The Guardian, London
Toronto Sun
Telegraf Weekly Belgrade, Yugoslavia
South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
Sunday Times, Johannesburg South Africa
Facts Magazine, Switzerland
Courier Mail, Australia
FHM Magazine, British edition
Hurontaria - Canadian Czech-out Monthly
Revu Magazine, the Netherlands
Bizarre Magazine, UK
Pravda, Russia

Local Press

The Journal News, Westchester, New York
The Shawano Leader, Wisconsin
Cincinnati Enquirer
Louisville Courier-Journal
Cleveland Jewish News
San Antonio Express
The Journal News, Westchester, New York
Connecticut Post
Westchester Journal
Kansas City Star
Miami Herald
The San Francisco Examiner
The San Francisco Chronicle
Creative Loafing, Atlanta
Columbus Dispatch
Salt Lake City Tribune
The Palm Beach Post
The Star-Ledger, Jersey City
The New York Daily News
The Village Voice
Pioneer Press St. Paul, MN
The Las Vegas Sun
New York Magazine
The Pioneer Press, Aetna California
The Star Journal, Ventura, California
CityLink Magazine, Palm Beach
New York Times
New York Post
Newsday New York
Boston Globe
Washington Post
Eastside Weekly, Seattle
Chicago Tribune
LA Weekly
Houston Chronicle
Dallas Daily News
Seattle Times
Austin American Statesman
Milwaukee Sentinel
The Phoenix New Times
Scottsdale Progress
Anchorage Daily News
The Chattanooga Times

The Mesa Tribune
Texas Monthly
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Tempe Daily News
The Missoulian
The Arizona Republic
Phoenix Jewish News
Arizona Daily Sun
The Daily World, Aberdeen
Grand Forks Herald
Richmond Times Dispatch
Scottsdale Progress Tribune
The San Diego Union Tribune
Los Angeles Times
Washington Times
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Boston Herald
Waco Tribune-Herald
Boston Phoenix
Milwaukee Magazine
The Journal Times
Phoenix Gazette
Portland MA News
Ravilli Republic Montana
The Daily Pennsylvanian
Tampa Tribune
The Stranger Seattle
The Republican- PA
The Chicago Maroon
Echo Magazine, Phoenix
The Oregonian
Chicago Sun Times
Willamette Week Portland
Herald American Post
The Arizona Daily Star
Orlando Sentinel
Danbury News Times
Legal Times, Washington DC
New Jersey Law Journal
Portland Press Herald
Foster's Sunday Citizen, NH
Worcester Telegram


Slate Magazine
Time Magazine on line
Rediff on the Net
Hurontaria--Czech Canadian monthly


Air America, "Majority Report" -- The Janeane Garofolo Show
ABC Radio Satellite Sisters
Voice of America
ABC Mitch Albom Show
The Michael Reagan Show, Premiere Radio Network
American Freedom Network
CBS National Radio, N.Y.
KABC National Network, L.A
National Public Radio
Pacifica National News
Sirius Satellite Radio
WMAL Washington D.C.


Radio 2UE Sydney, Australia
Spin Radio Dublin
Deutche Welle Germany
CJOB Winnipeg Canada
NATC Network Sydney, Australia
BBC National Radio, Great Britain, 2004
BBC2 National Radio, Great Britain, 2005
Deutsche Welle, Germany
CHQR Course Network, Canada
Radio Capital, Italy
National Radio RAI--Rome, Italy
Calgary, Canada QR77 WICK Network
567 Cape Town Talk, South Africa
CFRB Toronto
Australian Broadcast Corp.
CKO National Network Canada
CKW, Vancouver, Canada
Radio 650 NTR Saskatchewan, Canada
Radio Onda Cero--Spain
SAFM/National English Broadcaster, South Africa
BBC/Online, England


WABC New Jersey
KTRH Houston
WCTC New Jersey
WTKF North Carolina
WJNC North Carolina
WPLY Philadelphia, PA
WXPR Rhinelander, WI
WERL Eagle River, WI
KTSA, San Antonio
WELJ FM, Mobile, Alabama
WMET Washington DC
WBZ Boston
WOWO AM Fort Wayne, Indiana
KCMO AM, Kansas City
WLNK Charlotte, North Carolina
CBS Radio, San Diego
WGHT, New Jersey
WMET, Washington, DC
KOGO, San Diego
710 Talk Radio, Kansas City
KRLA, Los Angeles
KXOY, Spokane
WFMP, Minneapolis
WTMJ, Milwaukee
KCNN, Grand Forks, North Dakota
WDAY, Fargo, North Dakota
KFI, Los Angeles
WOWO Fort Wayne, Indiana
WCCO, Minneapolis
KSFO San Francisco
KTRS St. Louis
KSTP Minneapolis

KHOW, Denver
CBS Radio, St. Louis
KHVH Honolulu, Hawaii
KFYI Phoenix
KHEP Phoenix
KLBJ Austin
KLIF Dallas
KNIX Los Angeles
KNST Tucson
KOA Denver
KOY Phoenix
KPRL San Luis Obispo County, CA
KPSN Phoenix
KRLD Texas
KTAR Phoenix
KTOK Grand Forks
KTOK Oklahoma City
KVEN Ventura
WAMJ South Bend
WCGL AM Jacksonville, Florida
WDWS Champaign
WFAD Middleburry
WHIO Dayton
WICC Bridgeport
WMC Memphis
WOAI San Antonio
WOND Radio Atlantic City
WSB Atlanta
WTKN Tampa
WUSA Dallas
WXYT Detroit
WFLA Orlando
WVRV St. Louis, Missouri

Sounds pretty impressive, right?

Well, here's what seems to be closer to the truth:

Rick Ross has his own website where he calls himself a "cult. expert". He doesn't have any degrees as a cult expert, he never went to any school to become one, no one but himself has ever labeled him that (and tabloid TV shows he has appeared on.) Rick has led a life of petty crime, was a kidnapper and for one case in which he was caught was fined $2,500,000 by a jury in Seattle, Washington (in 1995) for his part in holding an adult male for five days in a remote location to change the man.s interpretation of the Bible.

Rick has called Christians .Bible thumpers., has had extensive psychiatric history. He does not talk about this on his website and does not give refunds for the families who he has left in tatters after his violations of human rights (people have the right to believe as they wish in America . maybe Rick thinks he lives in Nazi Germany?) He is the last person anyone who is concerned about a family member or loved one.s choices should turn to for advice or .help..

Yes, Rick appeared on TV and media in the 1970/80.s. But this office has called media and told them about Rick.s criminal past and the tabloid media have directly told us (this was 20/20 TV show) .Criminal history is not something that would stop us from putting someone on our show..) Good information for any of you who think tabloid journalism has any sense of ethics.

The point is, do you want to make things better or worse? Do you want to actually make sure the person you are concerned on is on a life path that will satisfy them and be healthy?

If so, Rick Ross is not your man for consultation. He knows and repeats the bad, the outrageous. Imagine him describing a professional football game to someone who has never seen one . .Men smash and hit each other, they bleed, they have to wear protective clothing to prevent permanent injury. It is barbaric. It is outrageous. It is an athletic cult and I will get your son out of it. He.s been brainwashed..

There is much public information about Rick.s arrogance, his refusal to correct lies, and his false assertions that vicious things he has said to people are copyrighted.

We are posting those here and will continue to do so.

Do not pay Rick Ross any money. Call our 800-556-3055 hotline. We.ll get you real help from a professor or a pastor who will charge you NOTHING. Let.s force Rick to go out and get a real job. Like dog catching.

And here's what Wikipedia sez:

Rick Ross was born to a Jewish family in November of 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio. His family later moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1956, where he grew up and attended school. Ross' formal education extended through high school, which he completed in 1971.

He was arrested for two non-violent crimes committed in 1974 and 1975. On April 2, 1976, Ross was found guilty of conspiracy, 2nd degree, to commit grand theft, a felony, and was sentenced to four years probation and a fine of $1,100. Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court vacated judgment and restored Ross' civil rights in 1983.

Ross became concerned about controversial religious groups in 1982, when a group that targets Jews for conversion infiltrated the Jewish nursing home in Arizona where his grandmother was a resident. Working with the director of the facility and the local Jewish community, Ross managed to stop their involvement. This led to work with the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, and an appointment to two national committees by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), one which focused on cults and another concerned with interreligious affairs.

During the 1980s Ross also represented the Jewish community on the Religious Advisory Committee to the Arizona Department of Corrections and was later elected its chairman. He also served as the chairman of the International Coalition of Jewish Prisoners Programs sponsored by B'nai Brith in Washington D.C. Ross' work within the prison system included inmate religious rights and educational efforts regarding hate groups. Ross was also a member of the professional staff of Jewish Family and Children's Service (JFCS) and the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1982 Ross contributed to a brochure titled What in God's Name is going on in Arizona published by the Jewish Federation and endorsed by many Christian leaders, addressing the concerns about proselytizing efforts that target Jews.

In 1986 Ross left JFCS and the BJE to become a full-time private consultant and lecturer. In the following years he was involved in involuntary deprogramming cases, at the request of the families of cult members.

Ross no longer advocates coercive deprogramming or involuntary interventions for adults (he claims to have conducted dozens of such interventions), preferring instead voluntary "exit counseling" without the use of force or restraint. He states that the reasons for abandoning such practices are related to the exhorbitant legal fees needed in defending his practice against legal challenges by controversial groups that oppose him. He claims these challenges exist because they have recognized the effectiveness of deprogramming in extricating people from cults. He states that although the process has been refined over the years, exit counseling and deprogramming are based on the same principles. (Ross, Deprogramming, 1)

Ross later wrote an 11-page paper in 1995 titled The Missionary Threat addressing Jewish concerns about fundamentalist Christian groups that target Jews specifically in missionary efforts:

Jews around the world are now faced by the greatest missionary threat in history. "Born-again" crusades for converts are now stronger, with more money and power, than ever before. The targets are you, your children, and your parents. Colleges, high schools, nursing homes, centers for the disabled, hospitals, and even prisons are being infiltrated. Missionaries are exploiting the vulnerabilities of the young in transition, the old and lonely, the sick who are helpless, and people in crisis.

As of 2005, the FAQ of his website states that the average intervention costs are about $5,000.00 at the basis of a fee of $75.00 per hour excluding travel expenses. These costs are comparable to the typical costs for exit counseling given by David Clark in Recovery from Cults ($500.00 to $1000.00 per day). According to Ortega, he never has earned more than $31,000 from deprogramming in a single year, and he rarely makes more than $20,000 (Ortega, 1995)

Ross' resume lists lectures at Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania, Dickinson College, Baylor University, the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University and Arizona State University. He has been a paid consultant for the television networks CBS, CBC and Nippon of Japan and retained as a technical consultant by Miramax/Disney for the Jane Campion film Holy Smoke. He has been qualified and accepted as an expert witness in eight states and has been deposed and/or submitted affidavits as an expert in an additional five states.

In 1996, Ross started a website which is widely cited as a resource for information about controversial groups and movements. The website's FAQ takes care to discern between cults and destructive cults (Ross, Defining a cult, 6). A disclaimer linked from all articles on the site states that being mentioned on the site does not define a group as a cult or an individual as destructive or harmful, and that "all the information archived must be evaluated critically, through a process of independent and individual judgment." (Ross, Disclaimer, 3)

Ross moved to New Jersey in 2001 and two years later founded the Rick A. Ross Institute for the Study of Destructive Cults and Controversial Groups and Movements a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) public charity located in New Jersey, USA. Its stated mission is "public education and research," largely accomplished through its website. In IRS EZ-990 form of 2002, its income is given as below $25,000, which means it is not required to file an annual return with the IRS. (IRS EZ-990)

Ross' role in the Jason Scott case

In 1990, Ross and associates kidnapped Jason Scott, then an 18-year-old member of the Life Tabernacle Church, affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church International. Scott's mother, Katherine Tonkin, had been a member of the church, but had left due to concerns about the means the church used to keep members in line, their focus on material donations to the church, and a relationship between an elder church member and one of her two minor sons, Jason's younger brothers. After leaving the church herself, and on the suggestion of Shirley Landa, a part-time volunteer for the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), whom she had called, Tonkin asked Ross to assist her in the deprogramming of her two minor sons. After speaking with Ross, the two minors chose to leave the church.

In 1991, Tonkin asked Ross to provide a similar intervention for her son, Jason which was unsuccessful. Criminal charges were brought against Ross and two others for unlawful imprisonment during the deprogramming. The charges filed were dropped, but re-filed again two years later. The trial ended in acquittal for Ross in 1994.

In 1995, a civil suit was filed by Kendrick Moxon, long-time member and counsel for the Church of Scientology representing Jason Scott. The jury in the second trial held Ross liable for conspiracy to deprive Scott of his civil rights of freedom of religion. The suit ended with Ross and the Cult Awareness Network being ordered to pay judgments: The jury awarded Jason Scott $875,000 in compensatory damages and punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000 against CAN, $2,500,000 against deprogrammer Rick Ross, and $250,000 each against Ross' two accomplices. Scott v. Ross (Ninth Circuit Panel Opinion En Banc Opinions)

The judgement drove CAN, which had already been weakened by the cost of defending over 50 previous lawsuits, (most of them similar and filed by Moxon) into bankruptcy. CAN's name, logo, phone number and files were considered assets and were purchased by Scientologist attorney Steven Hayes at an auction.

Ross went into bankruptcy as well, but emerged in December 1996, when Scott reconciled with his mother and settled with Ross for $5,000, and for 200 hours of Ross's services "as an expert consultant and intervention specialist." Moxon was fired the next day and Scott then retained long-time Church of Scientology opponent Graham Berry as his lawyer instead. Moxon, who had argued in the case that Ross and associates had hindered a competent adult's freedom to make his own religious decisions, immediately filed court papers seeking to rescind the settlement and appoint a guardian for Scott, whom he called "incapacitated." That effort failed. (Ortega, 1996)

Ross' role in the Branch Davidian standoffs

The role of Ross before and during the Branch Davidian standoff at Waco, Texas caused some controversy.

Ross deprogrammed Branch Davidian David Block in 1992, prior to the raid. That Davidian was later interviewed by the BATF, which also interviewed Ross. Ross says he deprogrammed another Davidian during the standoff, but this was not reported. He was also one source quoted in the Waco Tribune-Herald's series titled "Sinful Messiah" for which they interviewed over 100 people.

According to the FBI Ross approached them during the standoff and requested that he be interviewed, which he was. The Report to the Deputy Attorney General on the Events at Waco, Texas (February 28 to April 19, 1993) states that:

The FBI interviewed Ross only at Ross' request, and politely declined his unsolicited offers of assistance throughout the standoff. The FBI treated the information Ross supplied as it would any other unsolicited information received from the public: it evaluated the credibility of the information and treated it accordingly.

Ross states that this information is not correct and details that he was contacted by FBI agent Bobby L. Siller on March 4, 1993 and in the later course by several others which he also names.

Nancy Ammerman insisted they relied too much on Ross, a view which is not shared by the other three experts reporting to the Justice department. In her official report to the Justice Department Ammerman wrote:

In late March, Ross recommended that agents attempt to humiliate Koresh, hoping to drive a wedge between him and his followers. While Ross's suggestions may not have been followed to the letter, FBI agents apparently believed that their attempts to embarrass Koresh (talking about his inconsistencies, lack of education, failures as a prophet, and the like) would produce the kind of internal dissension Ross predicted. Because Ross had been successful in using such tactics on isolated and beleaguered members during deprogramming, he must have assumed that they would work en masse. Any student of group psychology could have dispelled that misapprehension. But the FBI was evidently listening more closely to these deprogramming-related strategies than to the counsel of scholars who might have explained the dynamics of a group under siege. [1]

In his account to the Department of Justice, Ross gives very different examples of advice he gave to the FBI agents.

Ammerman claims that the FBI interview transcripts on the Waco tragedy include the note that "[Ross] has a personal hatred for all religious cults" and would aid law enforcement in an attempt to "destroy a cult". Ross denies this emphatically.

Carol Moore, author of "The Massacre Of The Branch Davidians A Study Of Government Violations Of Rights, Excessive Force And Cover Up" 1994 published by Gun Owners of America[2], writes:

Ross told the Houston Chronicle that Koresh is "your stock cult leader. They're all the same. Meet one and you've met them all. They're deeply disturbed, have a borderline personality and lack any type of conscience. No one willingly enters into a relationship like this. So you're talking about deception and manipulation (by the leader), people being coached in ever so slight increments, pulled in deeper and deeper without knowing where it's going or seeing the total picture.

Kimberly Post, a sociology student working on a class assignment for Professor Jeffrey K. Hadden, wrote in 1997:

Relying heavily on reports from a few former members of the Branch Davidians, Marc Breault (a former member and angry apostate) and Rick Ross (a deprogrammer and anti-cultist), Aguilera's affidavit delved into topics not under the jurisdiction of the BATF or part of the initial investigation into firearms violations, such as allegations of child abuse. His affidavit and the assumptions put forth by Breault and Ross decisively influenced the investigation and opinion of Koresh and his followers by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Attorney General Janet Reno, and President Clinton. [3]

Ross recounted his role regarding the Waco Davidian standoff in a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno [4] and responded to critics such as Ammerman in a statement published by the Washington Post. [5]

Catherine Wessinger, Professor of the history of religions and women's studies at the Loyola University in New Orleans, characterizes Ross as a "spurious self-styled expert" in her paper The Branch Davidians and the Waco Media, 1993-2003 [6], in which she criticized that Ross was often cited by the local media. Rick Ross describes her paper on his site as follows:

This rather long-winded "scholarly" review regarding media coverage of the Waco Davidian Standoff was written by cult apologist Catherine Wessinger. [...]. Ms. Wessinger snipes about "spurious self-styled experts" [...] getting too much media attention. The professor then stuffs her footnotes with what looks like a Scientologist's historical guide concerning my past. Could it be that she is angry that the press doesn't quote her more? [7]


Ross is criticized for his lack of academic credentials, for the two felony crimes in his twenties previously mentioned, and for his former deprogramming activities, the tort of unlawful imprisonment. A great part of the criticism originates from those associated with new religious movements, controversial groups or organizations which are listed in his website, such as the Church of Scientology and the Kabbalah Centre.

Other critics note that he has had conflicts with other anti-cult figures such as Steven Hassan and Anton Hein [8]. He is a frequent poster on Internet newsgroups as well.


The Church of Scientology, known for no-holds-barred actions against its critics, maintains a 17-page critique about him supplemented by a 196-page document at "Religious Freedom Watch" consisting of court transcripts, jury verdict forms, news articles, psychiatric records, the bankruptcy filing petition and more [9].

Jeffrey K. Hadden

Professor Jeffrey K. Hadden at the University of Virginia wrote that "Rick Ross is a highly visible entrepreneur who has carved out quite a niche for himself as a self-proclaimed expert and counselor to families desperate to retrieve family members from new religions. His past has been called into question by the Church of Scientology which has uncovered evidence of alleged mental instability and an attempted robbery conviction".[10] Hadden himself sought funding from groups called "cults" as revealed by a confidential memo he sent to fellow academics sympathetic to "new religions" dated December 20, 1989 [11]

Shupe and Darnell

Anson D. Shupe played a controversial role in the Jason Scott lawsuit. Shupe was an expert witness for the plaintiff in the Jason Scott case. He testified against Ross and the Cult Awareness Network. Later working closely with Scientology lawyer Kendrick Moxon he co-authored a paper with Susan Darnell, [12] who "manages a credit union in Gary, Indiana and is a civil rights advocate journalist." [13]

In a paper written with Darnell he is critical about deprogrammers, defining them "[...] as vigilantes and mercenaries rather than as bonafide counselors or therapists". Specifically about Ross, he asserts that "even coercive deprogrammer Rick Ross was terming himself only an Expert Consultant and Intervention Specialist (an unique euphemism for exit counselor) on his late 1990s Internet Website." and that "[...] expert Rick Ross [was] still physically abducting unwilling adults belonging to unconventional religions and criminally restraining the latter according to the old deprogramming/mind control mythos."[14] The comment of Ross on the article is:

Long-time "cult apologist" Anson Shupe [...] broods about "deprogramming" and seems somewhat miffed that despite his professional effort subsidized by Scientology, my cult intervention work continues. He refers to the Jason Scott case, but of course ignores its final outcome. Shupe then supports his opinions largely with footnotes citing other "cult apologists," [...]. Both of these men have picked up substantial checks working for purported "cult" groups. [15]

Shupe and Darnell also assert that Ross engages in anti-Christian writings, referring to a letter to Priscilla Coates, a CAN activist, dated July 30, 1987, in which Ross complained about not getting deprogramming referrals from CAN and that "some parents are so cheap they prefer to let their kids 'bang the bible' than pay."[16] In another letter from Ross to Coates, dated April 28, 1988, Ross describes his strategy to get the media to promote his business as a deprogrammer. He told Coates about his idea to get on television as someone that �had deprogrammed fundamentalist Christians� in order to �stimulate some deprogramming cases in California.�


FOTCM Member
The Massacre of the branch Davidians A Study of Government Violations of Rights, Excessive Force and Cover up
by Carol Moore, January 28, 1994

If the anti-cult movement (ACM) involvement in the Jonestown tragedy is not as widely documented, their involvement in the Waco blunder is more evident. The questionable role of the FBI and BATF, acting under the influence and along the line of the anti-cult rhetoric, is also the subject of a film, the The Rules of Engagement. The film is being shown around the States and has received quantities of positive reviews, as well as met with a well deserved success.

The following excerpts show the ACM involvement in the Waco tragedy. I let the references number in the text but they currently do not link to the reference. You will need to consult the full report for that. I cut what was not directly relevant to the point and marked the deletions with ellipses (...). Chapter 3.4 is left intact because everything it contains is relevant.

Some of the things that are shown here are:

* the ACM fear inducing propaganda and rhetoric
* how the ACM pushed for forcible intervention by authorities
* the use of "deprogrammed" ex-members as "evidence" for the need of such an intervention
* how ACM proponents tried to push authorities to allow them to "deprogram" the survivors so that they could be "productive witness" and desist to maintain that no mass suicide was under way

1.5 Government Reliance on "Private Spies" and "Cult Busters"


Once an investigation is underway, most government agencies, including BATF and the FBI, seem willing to receive information from such groups as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) and the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). These groups, and others like them, clearly have their own agendas. They keep copious files of biased and prejudicial information on private individuals and organizations and share these with law enforcement.


The Cult Awareness Network (CAN) actively urges the press, Congress and law enforcement to act against any non- mainstream religious, psychological or even political movement which it describes as a "cult." After interviewing CAN's executive director Cynthia Kisser, a reporter wrote: "no one knows how many destructive cults and sects exist in the United States. Kisser's binder holds 1,500 names gleaned from newspaper clippings, court documents and thousands of calls to the network's hotline. Some of the groups have legitimate purposes, Kisser says. But her group's efforts show that most, despite wildly diverse beliefs, share stunningly similar patterns of mind control, group domination, exploitation and physical and mental abuse." [23] CAN critics point out that so-called "mind control" techniques are not much different than the techniques used in education and socialization efforts used by all schools, churches, ideologies and philosophies.

According to CAN critic Dr. Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of Religion in Santa Barbara, California, CAN has used a number of means to try to destroy small religious groups: they unsuccessfully tried to expand "conservatorship" to allow families to remove members from "cults"; they unsuccessfully tried to have laws passed against "cults"; they unsuccessfully sued the American Psychological Association for rejecting their views on "brainwashing." However, they have found one successful method of disrupting groups: false anonymous charges of child abuse. Anonymous reports are legal under current law. [24]

Priscilla Coates, former executive director of CAN, told reporters, "I know how these types of groups work and the children are always abused." [25] CAN has been on a crusade against the Christian religious group The Children of God, known in the United States as "The Family." CAN alleges the group practices indiscriminate sex, including with children. [26] Many Family members accuse CAN of making false child abuse complaints which have resulted in dozens of arrests in at least 10 countries. Most of the charges are quickly dropped and there have been no convictions. The Family has demanded a Congressional investigation of CAN. [27]

The Cult Awareness Network's other successful approach is referring relatives of group members to "deprogrammers" who charge thousands of dollars for their services and, according to a former national director of CAN's predecessor, the Citizens Freedom Foundation, "kick back" some of the money to CAN. [28] Deprogramming often includes kidnapping individuals, subjecting them to sleep and food deprivation, ridicule and humiliation, and even physical abuse and restraint until they promise to leave the alleged cult. Because deprogrammers usually involve family members in these kidnappings and deprogrammings, victims rarely press charges. However, in the last few years 5 deprogrammers have been prosecuted for kidnapping or "unlawful imprisonment." One such deprogrammer is Rick Ross, a convicted jewel thief, who has boasted of more than 200 "deprogrammings." CAN executive director Cynthia Kisser has praised him as being "among the half dozen best deprogrammers in the country." In the summer of 1993 Rick Ross was indicted in Washington state for unlawful imprisonment.

Nancy Ammerman, a Visiting Scholar at Princeton University's Center for the Study of American Religion, was one of the outside experts assigned by the Justice Department to evaluate BATF and FBI's handling of the Branch Davidians. She was particularly critical of Rick Ross and the Cult Awareness Network. "Although these people often call themselves `cult experts,' they are certainly not recognized as such by the academic community. The activities of the CAN are seen by the National Council of Churches (among others) as a danger to religious liberty, and deprogramming tactics have been increasingly found to be outside the law. . .Mr. Rick Ross, who often works in conjunction with the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), has been quoted as saying he was `consulted' by the BATF. . .The Network and Mr. Ross have a direct ideological (and financial) interest in arousing suspicion and antagonism against what they call `cults'. . .It seem clear that people within the `anti-cult' community had targeted the Branch Davidians for attention." (JDR:Ammerman:1)

Nancy Ammerman compared Waco and Jonestown: "There, too, an exceptionally volatile religious group was pushed over the edge, inadvertently, by the actions of government agencies pushed forward by `concerned families.'" (JDR:Ammerman:8) What she may not have realized is that CAN's President is Patricia Ryan, daughter of Congressman Leo J. Ryan. It was he who threatened and hounded Jim Jones and his Peoples' Temple members until they murdered him and committed mass suicide in Guyana in 1978. Carrying on what seems to have become a family tradition, on April 8, 1993, Patricia Ryan told the Houston Chronicle, "Officials should use whatever means necessary to arrest Koresh, including lethal force." [30]

Ross definitely deprogrammed one (and possibly more) of the Branch Davidians who fed questionable but damaging evidence to BATF. He also provided negative information to the Waco Herald-Tribune for its February, 1993, series on the Branch Davidians. The paper quotes Ross declaring, "The group is without a doubt, without any doubt whatsoever, a highly destructive, manipulative cult. . .I would liken the group to Jim Jones." The authors write, "Ross said he believes Howell (Koresh) is prone to violence. . .Speaking out and exposing Howell might bring in the authorities or in some way help those `being held in that compound through a kind of psychological, emotional slavery and servitude.'" Ross told the Houston Chronicle that Koresh is "your stock cult leader. They're all the same. Meet one and you've met them all. They're deeply disturbed, have a borderline personality and lack any type of conscience. . .No one willingly enters into a relationship like this. So you're talking about deception and manipulation (by the leader), people being coached in ever so slight increments, pulled in deeper and deeper without knowing where it's going or seeing the total picture." [31]

CAN representatives made numerous television and radio appearances during the siege. Ross bragged on the "Up to the Minute" public television program that he "consulted with ATF agents on the Waco sect and told them about the guns in the compound." On April 19th he told the "Today Show," "I was a consultant offering ideas, input that was filtered by their team and used when they felt it was appropriate." The Justice Department report mentions a Rick Ross television appearance during the siege where he declared he hoped Koresh would be a coward and surrender rather than end up as a corpse. (JDR:167) After the April 19th fire, CAN associate Louis West said on a MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour broadcast that the FBI "knew they were dealing with a psychopath. Nobody is more dangerous or unpredictable than a psychopath in a trap."

After the fire, CAN "counselor" Brett Bates tried to arrange contacts with survivors by meeting with their families. He told the N.Y. Daily News, "Before they can become productive witnesses in the prosecution, they have to realize they were victims of mind control." Columnist Alexander Cockburn wrote, "the deprogrammers are demanding that they be allowed to exercise their dark arts on the burned Davidian survivors so that they testify correctly and desist from maintaining--as they have--that no mass suicide was under way. The FBI says `this is worth considering,' but the decision is up to the U.S. attorney." [32] The only Branch Davidian to turn state's evidence is Katherine Schroeder who was confined in a mental institution after leaving Mount Carmel in March, 1993 (private communication.) It is unknown if she was "deprogrammed."

After the April 19th fire Methodist Minister Joseph Bettis wrote Attorney General Reno, "from the beginning, members of the Cult Awareness Network have been involved in this tragedy. This organization is widely known for its use of fear to foster religious bigotry. The reliance of federal agents on information supplied by these people, as well as the whole record of federal activity deserves your careful investigation and public disclosure. . .Cult bashing must end, and you must take the lead."

Larry Shinn, a vice president of Bucknell University wrote to the chair of the House Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, "media, legal institutions, and law-makers too often rely on the word of self-styled cult experts like C.A.N. whose overly negative agenda often slides into purely anti- religious attack."

And in early May, a coalition of 16 religious and civil liberties organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Conference on Religious Movements, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Episcopal Church, the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Council of Churches of Christ and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations issued a statement which read in part, "We are shocked and saddened by the recent events in Waco. . .Under the religious liberty provision of the First Amendment, the government has no business declaring what is orthodox or heretical, or what is a true or false religion. It should steer clear of inflammatory and misleading labels. History teaches that today's `cults' may be tomorrow's mainstream religions."

2.3 "Probable Cause" Based on Biased Information about Intent

The credibility and reliability of witnesses in an affidavit is very important. Yet all Aguilera's witnesses as to Koresh's "intent" had some credibility problems (...) All other evidence on intent came from disaffected former Branch Davidians, all of whom were influenced by "cult busters" Marc Breault and Rick Ross.


Aguilera began contacting former members in November, 1992. He obtained their names from the 1990 affidavits Breault and other former members left with the local Sheriff's Department and from Rick Ross. Nancy Ammerman, who had access to all BATF and FBI files, wrote "The ATF interviewed the persons (Ross) directed to them and evidently used information from those interviews in planning their February 28th raid." (JDR:Ammerman: Addendum)

Rick Ross "deprogrammed" David Block, who lived at Mount Carmel only three months, in the summer of 1992 in the home of CAN national spokesperson Priscilla Coates in Coates' home in California. [78] He or California CAN representatives were probably in close contact with Jeannine, Robyn and Debbie Sue Bunds, all of whom gave BATF information. (Linedecker writes that in 1991 California police said Robyn was being deprogrammed. [79] )

Evidence that Rick Ross had a financial motivation for inciting BATF against the Branch Davidians is contained in Marc Breault's January 16, 1993, diary entry, where he describes a conversation with Branch Davidian Steve Schneider's sister. "Rick (Ross) told Sue that something was about to happen real soon. He urged her to hire him to deprogram Steve. Rick has Sue all scared now. The Schneider family doesn't know what to do. Rick didn't tell them what was about to happen, but he said they should get Steve out as soon as possible. I know that Rick has talked to the ATF." [80] It is unknown how many other families Ross contacted offering his expensive services "before it's too late."


While such allegations might be credible in most witnesses, they must be regarded skeptically when coming from individuals involved with professional or amateur cult busters. The Treasury report itself notes, "the planners failed to consider how Block's prior relations with Koresh, and his decision to break away from the Branch Davidians at the Compound, might have affected the reliability of his statements. Although the planners knew Block had met with a self-described `deprogrammer,' Rick Ross, they never had any substantive discussions with him concerning Block's objectivity about and perspective of Koresh and his followers." (TDR:143-144) All those who gave BATF the all important "evidence of intent" had similar credibility problems!


It is interesting to note that none of the most inflammatory allegation's about Koresh's violent criminal intent made by former members--that he had made up a "hit list" against former members, that he had once "tested" them by saying they would have to turn their guns on the public, that Branch Davidians were considering "mass suicide," or that they had renamed Mount Carmel Center "Ranch Apocalypse" [81] -- were included in the Aguilera's February 25th affidavit. Yet the Treasury report claims these allegations--some of which may not have been made until after the raid--were a prime excuse for the raid because Koresh "might soon have been inspired to turn his arsenal against the community of nonbelievers." (TDR:127)

It is particularly disturbing to see that these cult buster stories even convinced top Treasury Department officials to support the plan. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement Ronald K. Noble told the April 9, 1993, House Appropriations subcommittee hearing that from what BATF officials had told him, the Branch Davidians were "people who were feared to be gathering machineguns and automatic weapons and explosives for either a mass suicide or for some kind of assault near Waco, Texas; that they had bad intentions, evil intentions." [82]

3.4. FBI Relied on Experts and Cult Busters Urging Tactical Pressure

[Full chapter]

The Justice report states, "The FBI has questioned whether its negotiations with Koresh could even be characterized as `negotiations' at all, but rather as Koresh's attempt to convert the agents before it was too late and God destroyed them." (JDR:17) Yet despite Koresh's obsession with the Seven Seals, they never allowed anyone who was an expert on the subject to have direct contact with him.

Nancy Ammerman believes FBI agents had such a negative view of Koresh's religious views for three reasons: some individuals didn't understand religion, others were antagonistic towards religion in general, and others were antagonistic towards Koresh's specific views, which differed from their own. [224] She noted FBI officials' and agents' "tendency to discount the influence of religious beliefs and to evaluate situations largely in terms of a leader's individual criminal/psychological motives" and that their "consensus" was that "when they encountered people with religious beliefs, those beliefs were usually a convenient cover for criminal activity." (JDR:Ammerman:5)

For example, siege Commander SAC Jamar expressed his contempt for Koresh when he declared at the April 28, 1993, House Judiciary Committee hearing that Koresh had merely "corrupted people" and "corrupted religion to his own ends" and that there was "no way to convince Koresh that he was not the Messiah."

It is evident from the Justice report's description of its consultations with seven theologians (JDR:186-189) that the only one they took seriously was Dr. Glenn Hilburn of Baylor University. Not surprisingly, the report mentions that "Baylor University has one of the largest `cult' reference and research facilities in the country." However, even Dr. Hilburn had little substantive impact on FBI thinking or actions. (JDR:186-189)

Several times the Justice report mentions theologian Philip Arnold--an expert on the Seven Seals and apocalyptic groups--but never acknowledges his crucial impact on Koresh's decision to come out. We will review that in detail in a later section. A study of the Justice report makes it clear that psychologists, psychiatrists (JDR:158-185) and "cult busters" (JDR:190-193) who reinforced the FBI's own prejudices had the greatest impact on the FBI's decisions.

a. Psychologists and Psychiatrists

The FBI was particularly attentive to the advice of psychologists and psychiatrists who asserted that Koresh was mentally unbalanced and would not surrender voluntarily. Dr. Park Dietz held that, "continuing to negotiate in good faith would not resolve the situation, because Koresh would not come out." (JDR:168) Dr. Anthony J. Pinizotto said, "Koresh displayed psychopathic behavior, that he was a `con artist' type, and he had narcissistic tendencies." Dr. Mike Webster opined, "Koresh appeared to be manifesting anti- social traits." (JDR:170) Dr. Perry and social worker Joyce Sparks, who interviewed children released from Mount Carmel, agreed that "Koresh was stalling for time, to prepare for his `final battle' with authorities." (JDR:171-174)

Dr. Joseph L. Krofcheck (with FBI psychological profiler Clinton R. Van Zandt) held that Koresh appeared to be a "functional, paranoid-type psychotic," that he was unlikely to "give up the power and omnipotence he enjoyed inside the compound," that there was the possibility of a "mass-breakout. . .with women carrying a baby in one arm while firing a weapon from the other," and that "the only way the FBI could influence Koresh's exit from the compound would be some form of tactical intervention." (JDR:176-179)

b. Cult Busters

There is evidence that in response to Nancy Ammerman's sharp criticisms, to Rick Ross's being indicted for "unlawful imprisonment" in the summer of 1993, and to the New Alliance Party suit against the FBI for its abuse of the word "cult," the FBI and Justice Department have tried to cover up its association with professional or amateur "cult busters." The Justice report asserts the FBI "did not solicit advice from any `cult experts' or `cult deprogrammers.'" (JDR:190)

In mid-April the FBI asked Dr. Murray S. Miron, a Professor of Psycholinquistics at Syracuse University, to analyze five letters that Koresh sent out of Mount Carmel. After reading the first and third letters, he concluded that they bore "all the hallmarks of rampant, morbidly virulent paranoia. . .In my judgement, we are facing a determined, hardened adversary who has no intention of delivering himself or his followers into the hands of his adversaries. It is my belief that he is waiting for an assault." (JDR:174-176)

What the FBI either did not know--or did not admit--is that Dr. Miron is an outspoken cult critic. Reportedly, during the 1970s he had been involved with the Citizens Freedom Foundation, the anti-cult group which evolved into the Cult Awareness Network. During the week of April 14-21--even while he was consulting with the FBI-- Miron published an article called "The Mark of the Cult" in the Syracuse New Times. The article contains stereotypical anti-cult propaganda: "The totalitarianism of the cult banishes dissent and fosters dependence upon fallible, power-mad leaders. It is the system of every dictator, whether benign or benevolent." [225]

In typically media-savvy cult buster fashion, Miron managed to make himself one of the few FBI consultants quoted in major media right after the fire--thus using his FBI connections to promote his anti-cult propaganda. He told the Los Angeles Times, "I advised the FBI that all of his promises as to giving up were only subterfuges, deceptions and delaying tactics." [226] He told the Washington Post, "There was every indication in my mind that he was not prepared to commit suicide." [227] His comments occupied eight paragraphs of a New York Times article: "Dr. Miron said that Mr. Koresh had become so delusional" that he and his followers may have believed that after they set the fire "either that they were invulnerable and that the fires would consume the authorities while leaving them untouched, or that they were about to ascend to glory no matter what happened to their bodies." [228]

Rick Ross' contention that he was in close contact with BATF and the FBI is backed up by Nancy Ammerman's September 10, 1993 one page addendum to her report. (Which the Justice Department did not bother to include in its report.) In it she wrote, "The interview transcripts document that Mr. Rick Ross was, in fact, closely involved with both the ATF and the FBI. . .He clearly had the most extensive access to both agencies of any person on the `cult expert' list, and he was apparently listened to more attentively." However, after reviewing Ross's contacts with the FBI, the Justice report states: "The FBI did not `rely' on Ross for advice whatsoever during the standoff." (JDR:192)

The Justice report claims that the FBI determined Breault was talking to the media and therefore only accepted his affidavits and electronic mail from him, but decided "not to contact him." (JDR:192) However, Breault asserts: "as soon as the siege began. . .the FBI tried for hours to contact us. . .they almost sent the police to drag us to police headquarters. Just before they took that drastic action, the negotiators broke through." Breault gave them detailed information about the Seven Seals, Koresh and his followers. Breault also writes: "The FBI contacted us throughout the siege. They showed us Koresh's letters." [229] Clearly, either Breault is lying or the FBI and Justice Department are trying to cover up their reliance on him.

During the April 28, 1993, House Judiciary Committee hearing FBI Director William Sessions admitted that the FBI had consulted "cult experts," though he got confused about the advice they had given the FBI. And SAC Jamar admitted, "we had a white paper on cults that was very, very useful to us." The white paper outlined the traits of cults with one "dynamic, manipulative, egomaniacal, psychopathic leader" and Jamar asserted that the traits fit Koresh "to a T." Jamar did not tell the committee what individual--or organization--gave him the white paper. However, considering that it contained typical anti-cult stereotypes, one might guess either Dr. Murray Miron or Rick Ross gave Jamar the white paper. Despite the Justice report denials, it is evident that there was a definite cult buster influence on--and justification for-- decisions to replace negotiations with pressure tactics against the Branch Davidians.


Regarding Rick Ross, permit me to post this Ponerology quote from the "Dimitris" thread, because it seems to fit very well.

Laura said:
Lobaczewski said:
As already pointed out in the chapter introducing some indispensable concepts, an understanding of human instinct is a key to understanding man; however, a knowledge of said instinct's anomalies also represents a key to understanding pathocracy.

Although used ever more rarely in psychological practice, dream analysis shall always remain the best school of psychological thought; that makes it dangerous by nature. Consequently, even research on the psychology of mate selection is frowned upon, at best.

The essence of psychopathy may not, of course, be researched or elucidated. Darkness is cast upon this matter by means of an intentionally devised definition of psychopathy which includes various kinds of character disorders, together with those caused by completely different and known causes. This definition must be memorized not only by every lecturer in psychopathology, psychiatrist, and psychologist, but also by some political functionaries with no education in that area.

This definition must be used in all public appearances whenever it is for some reason impossible to avoid the subject. However, it is preferable for a lecturer in such areas to be someone who always believes whatever is most convenient in his situation, and whose intelligence does not predestine him to delve into subtle differentiations of a psychological nature.

It is also worth pointing out here that the chief doctrine of said system reads "Existence defines consciousness". As such, it belongs to psychology rather than to any political doctrine.

This doctrine actually contradicts a good deal of empirical data indicating the role of hereditary factors in the development of man's personality and fate. Lecturers may refer to research on identical twins, but only in a brief, cautious, and formal fashion. Considerations on this subject may, however, not be published in print. [...]

We return once more to this system's peculiar psychological "genius" and its self-knowledge. One might admire how the above mentioned definitions of psychopathy effectively blocks the ability to comprehend phenomena covered therein. We may investigate the relationships between these prohibitions and the essence of the macrosocial phenomenon they in fact mirror.

We may also observe the limits of these skills and the errors committed by those who execute this strategy. These shortcomings are skillfully taken advantage of for purposes of smuggling through some proper knowledge on the part of the more talented specialists, or by elderly people no longer fearful for their careers or even their lives. [...]

We need to understand the nature of the macrosocial phenomenon as well as that basic relationship and controversy between the pathological system and those areas of science which describe psychological and psychopathological phenomena. Otherwise, we cannot become fully conscious of the reasons for such a government's long published behavior.

A normal person's actions and reactions, his ideas and moral criteria, all too often strike abnormal individuals as abnormal. For if a person with some psychological deviations considers himself normal, which is of course significantly easier if he possesses authority, then he would consider a normal person different and therefore abnormal, whether in reality or as a result of conversive thinking. That explains why such people's government shall always have the tendency to treat any dissidents as "mentally abnormal".

Operations such as driving a normal person into psychological illness and the use of psychiatric institutions for this purpose take place in many countries in which such institutions exist. Contemporary legislation binding upon normal man's countries is not based upon an adequate understanding of the psychology of such behavior, and thus does not constitute a sufficient preventive measure against it.

Within the categories of a normal psychological world view, the motivations for such behavior were variously understood and described: personal and family accounts, property matters, intent to discredit a witness' testimony, and even political motivations. Such defamatory suggestions are used particularly often by individuals who are themselves not entirely normal, whose behavior has driven someone to a nervous breakdown or to violent protest. Among hysterics, such behavior tends to be a projection onto other people of one's own self-critical associations. A normal person strikes a psychopath as a naive, smart-alecky believer in barely comprehensible theories; calling him "crazy" is not all that far away. [...]

The abuse of psychiatry for purposes we already know thus derives from the very nature of pathocracy as a macrosocial psychopathological phenomenon. After all, that very area of knowledge and treatment must first be degraded to prevent it from jeopardizing the system itself by pronouncing a dramatic diagnosis, and must then be used as an expedient tool in the hands of the authorities. In every country, however, one meets with people who notice this and act astutely against it. [...]

The pathocracy feels increasingly threatened by this area whenever the medical and psychological sciences make progress. After all, not only can these sciences knock the weapon of psychological conquest right out of its hands; they can even strike at its very nature, and from inside the empire, at that.

A specific perception of these matters therefore bids the pathocracy to be "ideationally alert" in this area. This also explains why anyone who is both too knowledgeable in this area and too far outside the immediate reach of such authorities should be accused of anything that can be trumped up, including psychological abnormality. [...]

Psychopaths are conscious of being different from normal people. That is why the "political system" inspired by their nature is able to conceal this awareness of being different. They wear a personal mask of sanity and know how to create a macrosocial mask of the same dissimulating nature. When we observe the role of ideology in this macrosocial phenomenon, quite conscious of the existence of this specific awareness of the psychopath, we can then understand why ideology is relegated to a tool-like role: something useful in dealing with those other naive people and nations. [...]

Pathocrats know that their real ideology is derived from their deviant natures, and treat the "other" - the masking ideology - with barely concealed contempt. [...]

The main ideology succumbs to symptomatic deformation, in keeping with the characteristic style of this very disease and with what has already been stated about the matter.

The names and official contents are kept, but another, completely different content is insinuated underneath, thus giving rise to the well known double talk phenomenon within which the same names have two meanings: one for initiates, one for everyone else. The latter is derived from the original ideology; the former has a specifically pathocratic meaning, something which is known not only to the pathocrats themselves, but also is learned by those people living under long-term subjection to their rule.

Doubletalk is only one of many symptoms. Others are the specific facility for producing new names which have suggestive effects and are accepted virtually uncritically, in particular outside the immediate scope of such a system's rule. We must thus point out the paramoralistic character and paranoidal qualities frequently contained within these names. The action of paralogisms and paramoralisms in this deformed ideology becomes comprehensible to us based on the information presented in Chapter IV. Anything which threatens pathocratic rule becomes deeply immoral. [...]

This privileged class of deviants feels permanently threatened by the "others", i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man. ...

If the laws of normal man were to be reinstated, they and theirs could be subjected to judgment, including a moralizing interpretation of their psychological deviations; they would be threatened by a loss of freedom and life, not merely a loss of position and privilege. Since they are incapable of this kind of sacrifice, the survival of a system which is the best for them becomes a moral imperative. Such a threat must be battled by means of any and all psychological and political cunning implemented with a lack of scruples with regard to those other "inferior-quality" people that can be shocking in its depravity. ...

Pathocracy survives thanks to the feeling of being threatened by the society of normal people, as well as by other countries wherein various forms of the system of normal man persist. For the rulers, staying on the top is therefore the classic problem of "to be or not to be". ....

Thus, the biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of the majority of normal people becomes, for the pathocrats, a "biological" necessity.

Many means serve this end, starting with concentration camps and including warfare with an obstinate, well-armed foe who will devastate and debilitate the human power thrown at him, namely the very power jeopardizing pathocrats rule: the sons of normal man sent out to fight for an illusionary "noble cause." Once safely dead, the soldiers will then be decreed heroes to be revered in paeans, useful for raising a new generation faithful to the pathocracy and ever willing to go to their deaths to protect it. ...

Pathocracy has other internal reasons for pursuing expansionism through the use of all means possible. As long as that "other" world governed by the systems of normal man exists, it inducts into the non-pathological majority a certain sense of direction.

The non-pathological majority of the country's population will never stop dreaming of the reinstatement of the normal man's system in any possible form. This majority will never stop watching other countries, waiting for the opportune moment; its attention and power must therefore be distracted from this purpose, and the masses must be "educated" and channeled in the direction of imperialist strivings. This goal must be pursued doggedly so that everyone knows what is being fought for and in whose name harsh discipline and poverty must be endured.

The latter factor - creating conditions of poverty and hardship - effectively limits the possibility of "subversive" activities on the part of the society of normal people.

The ideology must, of course, furnish a corresponding justification for this alleged right to conquer the world and must therefore be properly elaborated. Expansionism is derived from the very nature of pathocracy, not from ideology, but this fact must be masked by ideology.1 Whenever this phenomenon has been witnessed in history, imperialism was always its most demonstrative quality.
Rick Ross seemed to be well-connected in the Zionist community, and had a military orientation as well. He saw ANY way as a threat to his own way, and whenever he could destroy an alternative religious system he did so, thus affirming his existence by it, both psychologically and financially.

For his voice to penetrate so deep into the workings of the PTB, he must have had some influential connections indeed. Rick Ross seems to be a paranoid fanatic along the lines of Torquemada, but the ones making the decisions regarding Waco were those whose ears where available to him.

My question is, did the PTB REALLY consider the Branch Davidians as a threat to their status quo? Or did they see it as an opportunity to run an experiment in ruthless violent supression? If the second is true, was this "opportunity" a chance thing, or were they using people like Ross as watch-dogs of the Pathocracy because they were seeking to carry it out for a while?

Actually, I don't believe the PTB was threatened by the Davidians per se, just as they don't seem to be reacting to a number of other independent communities and communes of a non-ideological nature. To me, the high profile nature of this event indicates they wanted to set an example (and a theatrically brutal one at that) for the future, to keep people afraid and avoid the inconvenience of having to deal with the possibility of many groups of people seeking to go "off the grid", not because they want to live closer to nature per se, but because of defiance to PTB "traditions".

It is as if they were saying: "See, we can destroy you and your children and society will cheer us on". As if they were branding the collective consciousness with a sign: "Rememer Waco, it could happen to you".

It brings to mind Mathiew Kristin Kiel's editorial "Word Control Part 2", and the way the definition of the word cult changed over the course of thirty years. I suspect Waco was an associative event to make the change stick.

M 2K said:
The Random House College Dictionary said:
cult: n. 1. A particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies. 2. An instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers; a cult of Napoleon. 3. The object of such devotion. 4. A group or sect bound together by devotion to or veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. 5. Sociology. A group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. 6. A religion that is considered to be false or unorthodox, or its members.
The New International Webster's Concise Dictionary of the English Language said:
cult: n. 1. a system of religious observances. 2. extravagant devotion to a person, cause or thing. 3. the object of such devotion. 4. a group of persons having an excessive interest in something.
Does this mean that when Pathocrats point to any group "having an excessive interest in something", the brutal images of Waco will come to mind? And this in a populous conditioned to thirst for images of violence by an accomodating media, on the one hand, while the same images will make a sheep think twice about having an "excessive" (whatever THAT means) interest in ANYTHING.

IMO, the Pathocracy has gone to great lengths to generate this hypnotic suggestion regarding "cults". This is a pointer that, to them, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that no matter what they present dealing with many group communities in the same way they dealt with Waco is not as easy as they want us to think it is.


The Living Force
Wow, i was like 10 when waco happened so i'm glad Laura started this thread. Didn't remember much, but can't believe how screwed up it was. Nor can i understand how such violence began and was escalated. A lot of the same patterns here we see with 9-11, mostly evidence and motives which went ignored by investigating parties. This phenomena occurs to the point where it's as if the investigators knew something shady was up, and chose to ignore it.


I was 14 when it happened. I remember seeing the public officials refer to Koresh as Jesus and laughing. At the time I was wondering how Jesus would be treated if He were to come back. Would the state crush him like this false prophet?

About a year ago I watched Rules Of Engagement and it made me furious. Reno needed to promote the need of the ATF, a private federal army to protect the nation from gun collecting fanatics. They stage a raid but they screw up royally. Apparently they were warned immediately before that Koresh was tipped off but the forces could not be reached by radio.

Make these controllers and their agents angry and they will come back in force. I heard that the tanks they brought in were on loan from Ft Hood under the command of General Wesley Clark. People who bring up issues like Posse Comitatus are portrayed as fringe nutjobs.

Approaching Infinity

FOTCM Member
I'm reading Mike Piper's The Judas Goats and there an interesting piece of information about the Waco massacre. Remember, Rick Ross and the Cult Awareness Network provided the FBI and BATF with information regarding the Branch Davidian "cult". Piper fills in the details. The CAN emerged from Citizens Engaged in Reuniting Families. It turns out, CERF was founded by one Rabbi Maurice Davis. Not only was Davis an agent of the ADL, he was a key figure at the CIA's Lexington, Kentucky MK-ULTRA operations as an 'on-base chaplain'.

Put this together with the following:

Q: (L) Did the United States government deliberately murder the Branch Davidians at Waco?
A: Close. Led them to destroy themselves.
Q: (L) How?
A: Psychological warfare tactics.
Q: (L) Did the US government set their compound on fire?
A: No.
Q: (L) Who set the compound on fire?
A: Branch Davidians. ELF and subliminals as well as other means drove them crazy.
And we see that the ADL has been keeping close tabs on any group that can be labeled as a cult. It then uses their belief system to destroy them. The psy-op is to manufacture a scenario that matches the belief system. Like a small scale "stargate conspiracy". These groups are destroyed from within.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Latest Rick Ross story. Worth keeping an eye on him.

Lessons From Waco: What Happens to Kids?
Cult Expert Says Waco and FLDS Kids Share Some of Same Problems


Lessons From Waco: What Happens to Kids?
Cult Expert Says Waco and FLDS Kids Share Some of Same Problems
April 18, 2008

Fifteen years ago this week, the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, went up in flames, ending a tense 51-day standoff between the religious cult and the FBI.
David Koresh's son and wife talk about life after the tragedy.
David Koresh, the group's charismatic leader, and 70 others, including 20 children, died in the inferno.
There are some obvious parallels between the polygamist Branch Davidians and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints members whose Texas compound was recently raided by government officials.
Both sought refuge in remote parts of Texas, about 200 miles apart. Both involved polygamy and accusations of child brides. And both sects have children who will have to contend with the trauma of having the only way of life they've ever known invaded and upended.

Rick Ross, an expert on cults who has worked with former Branch Davidians and Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members, said that children who come out of closed-off societies or cultlike groups face many of the same problems. But he says the current case in Texas and the fate of the FLDS children poses unprecedented and complex problems.
"I've worked with a number of children removed by the courts from cults, and I've never seen a case like this," Ross told "Good Morning America."
"These children have no support system on the outside. Everyone they know, they love, everything is tied up in that and that group. The Texas authorities have a tough road ahead," he said.

Growing Up With Koresh
Sky Okimoto was nearly 4 when his mother, Koresh's sixth wife, left the Waco compound. Today he is a 19-year-old college student and still struggling with the confusion and sadness, and the fading memories of Waco.
"Being the son of David Koresh, yes it was pretty hard," Sky told "GMA." "I felt like something was wrong with me because so many people hated my father."
He continued, "I was angry when I was young because I had just lost my father. It was only until the eighth grade really when I decided to be a happy person again."
The Waco Branch Davidians, a splinter group of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, believed they were living in apocalyptic times. Their lifestyle was extremely austere, based on strict discipline, physical labor and intense Bible study.
Koresh, the group's self-proclaimed messiah, took multiple wives with whom he had at least 14 children. Koresh was also accused of abusing underage girls -- one of his wives was 14 years old and another was 12.
After beginning to question Koresh's doctrine, Okimoto's mom, Dana, left the group just months before the standoff with the government.
Still, she said watching her former home go up in flames was horrifying.
"That was probably the worst day of my life, because those were my friends, those were my family," she said in an ABC News "Primetime" interview in 2003. "What made it even harder for me was knowing I would have been in there."
Dana Okimoto told "GMA" that she has avoided watching TV coverage of the FLDS case because of the similarities she sees between the two groups and the emotions it brings back.
Sky Okimoto, who is also a budding actor, says that grappling with mixed feelings about his father has been difficult.

"I'm pretty much at peace with the fact that he existed," he said. "Sometimes I look up to him because of his charisma. Other times I think he was crazy."
Tough Road Ahead for FLDS Kids Ross says that the Okimotos were lucky in many ways.
"Sky came out at a very young age and was very fortunate his mother had the critical thinking to leave the compound and he had something to go out to. They had extended family. They could build a life."
But the FLDS children and mothers are "like visitors from another planet" who know no other way of life, Ross said

"It's a group that's almost 100 years old. It's a group that represents generations of abuse, and the mothers that we're seeing on television were literally born into the group as were their mothers and grandmothers," he said.
"The children that we're seeing in CPS [Child Protective Services] custody, they have no one to go out to and their mothers completely endorse the group and continued abuse."
Ross said, though, that the state did the right thing in taking the children from their mothers; if the state had not, it would be tantamount to letting sexual abuse continue indefinitely.
The key to integrating the children into mainstream society, Ross said, is "communication and the fact that they've removed them from the controlled environment and cut off their information from the group itself."
"If they can gain their trust and move forward, and they have good people in Texas, I think they can make headway," he said.
Dana Okimoto says Sky is an example of kids' ability to bounce back.
"There are times he has been very, very angry." she said of Sky. "And other times where I learned about the resliency of children."

sorry about the formating, not sure if its right.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
by Michael Weiss, February 22, 2007
Brainwashing's Nemesis
How Rick Ross became a cult buster extraordinaire

"You stopped performing interventions a while ago due to the legal nightmares these entailed. Tell me what an intervention looks and feels like. What’s the procedure for confronting someone who’s been brainwashed, and what’s the most harrowing experience you’ve had doing this?"
I have not stopped performing interventions on a voluntary basis. Families often retain me to do an intervention with an adult on a voluntary basis. I have done about 500 interventions since beginning my work in 1982, perhaps two-dozen were involuntary and those took place in the early 1990s. About half of these involuntary interventions were with minor children under direct parental supervision.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Waco cult leader's mother killed, aunt charged

Jan 24th, 2009 | HOUSTON -- The mother of infamous Branch Davidian sect leader David Koresh has been stabbed to death, and Koresh's aunt was in custody on a murder charge Saturday.

Bonnie Clark Halderman, 60, was found Friday afternoon at the home of her sister, Beverly Clark, in a rural area near Chandler, Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said. Chandler is about 175 miles north of Houston.

"It's still under investigation, and we really don't know what the motive was or what caused this to happen," Nutt said Saturday.

He said deputies were called to the home Friday and the two women were the only people in the house when deputies arrived. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was found.

Clark, 54, was being held without bail pending a court appearance. Jail officials said she did not yet have an attorney to speak for her.

Halderman wrote a 2007 autobiography, "Memories of the Branch Davidians: The Autobiography of David Koresh's Mother," that described how her son, Vernon Howell, became David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidian cult.

In 1993, agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tried to arrest Koresh for allegedly stockpiling weapons and explosives at the Branch Davidians' ranch compound outside Waco.

The confrontation led to a 51-day standoff that ended when the complex caught fire and burned to the ground on April 19, 1993, killing Koresh and nearly 80 of his followers.

About two dozen children were among the victims.

The government claimed the Davidians committed suicide by setting the fire and shooting themselves. Survivors said the blaze was started by tear gas rounds fired into the compound. A 10-month independent investigation concluded in 2000 that Koresh was solely to blame.



The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The Massacre of the branch Davidians A Study of Government Violations of Rights, Excessive Force and Cover up
by Carol Moore, January 28, 1994

If the anti-cult movement (ACM) involvement in the Jonestown tragedy is not as widely documented, their involvement in the Waco blunder is more evident. The questionable role of the FBI and BATF, acting under the influence and along the line of the anti-cult rhetoric, is also the subject of a film, the The Rules of Engagement. The film is being shown around the States and has received quantities of positive reviews, as well as met with a well deserved success.

I saw this movie waco- the rules of engagement, this week. I liked the movie like the JFK movie or the "evidence of revision". Well made. It amazed me how FBI/ATF/Govt. structure lied so much to murder them.

the one thing that moved me the most is the statement from david koresh. “It is more hurting to call me as cult leader than killing me.”

this movie shows How desperate the PTB becomes when they don't get what they want.

The pictures of the children burned in flames and with cyanide are horrendous. The video ends with some depiction of agents setting fire by first spraying the gas and then shooting at the building, but C’s have a different view of it.

Q: (L) Did the United States government deliberately murder the Branch Davidians at Waco?
A: Close. Led them to destroy themselves.
Q: (L) How?
A: Psychological warfare tactics.
Q: (L) Did the US government set their compound on fire?
A: No.
Q: (L) Who set the compound on fire?
A: Branch Davidians. Drove them crazy.

It is probable that , inmates might have triggered the fatal fire. It is a very sad story. Their value system in children’s welfare at all cost and horrendous death of their children in front of their eyes, constant destruction of the house structure from tanks and spraying the tear gas , surely would have made them crazy. This fact makes them much more heroic, as they didn’t burned down the building until last second.

This tells how badly PTB and their overlords fear of independent thinking groups ( correct or false ) and wants to crush to the roots with Cult Fear and silence the truth with the Conspiracy.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I am reading the excellent article by Joe Quinn and Niall Bradley http://www.sott.net/articles/show/235799-Big-Agri-Business-and-Big-Pharma-The-Truth-Behind-France-s-Cult-Hunting-Policies-Exposed

And I know that today, some years ago, in 1993, there was the Waco Massacre. So I look if something was written here and I found this thread. Very interesting!

I was stupid, when Waco happened and very ignorant of everything. Hopefully we can change and have the possibility of evolution. I will read this thread and learn a bit more about this Orwellian world that we live in. I think I will be angry all day...
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