The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them a

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[Fredric Rice, The Skeptic Tank: The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them and will contain his or her own bias. What I find typical is that individuals and organizations which report on cults are usually themselves a competition cult yet like to think of themselves as "a religion, not a cult." In actual fact, _ALL_ religions are cults by the primary, secondary, and terciary usage definition of the term. Some of the information you find here is inaccurate and contains urban legend -- take what you find with a grain of salt. If you wish to acquire a copy of the Law Enforcement Guide on Occult Crime, contact myself at frice@stbbs.com or at The Skeptic Tank (818) 335-9601 and I'll forward the address and information you need.] Branch Davidians [Fredric Rice: The text claims that the Davidians don't exist any more. This is wrong. The Branch Davidian Church still has many members across the United States and the membership _INCREASED_ after the BATf slaughter. Many files on The Skeptic Tank cover the Davidian's slaughter, including the official BATF report and a great many lunatic conspiracy theories by various groups.] No longer in existence since Waco, the Branch Davidians were an offshoot of the far larger and better established Seventh Day Adventists. Like the SDA, Branch Davidians believed in an imminent Second Coming but were badly weakened as an organisation when this failed to happen as predicted in 1959. They were sued by many of their own number who had bought land close to the supposed site of the Visitation. (SDA had by that time overcome the embarrassment of their own wrongly predicted apocalypse in 1843.) David Koresh, né Vernon Howell, took over the leadership of the Davidians in 1986 after ingeniously ousting leader George Roden. (Koresh challenged Roden as to who had the greater divine power and persuaded him to exhume the body of a Davidian to see whether he could bring it back to life. He then had Roden arrested for 'corpse abuse'.) It has been suggested that Koresh suffered from the delusional 'Jerusalem Syndrome' following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1985, a year before he declared himself the 'sinful Messiah'. Others believe his psychosis began earlier than that - he was the illegitimate son of a 15-year-old mother and was later abused by a stepfather. He was thrown out of the SDA in 1979 at the age of 19 for being a troublemaker. Once in charge of the Davidians, he began targeting Britain for recruitment with considerable success: 33 of the 82 followers who died at Waco were British. Koresh had also made recruitment trips to Australia and Israel prior to the tragic 50-day siege in 1993. To comment about this Website, our paper and all associated articles, you can mail us at the Observer: bill@dial.pipex.com

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