## Kenneth G. C. Newport

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245741

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.001.0001

# ‘And Death Shall Follow in His Wake’ (cf. Revelation 6.8): Vernon Howell, David Koresh, and the Branch Davidians, 1986–1993

Chapter:
(p. 191 ) 10 ‘And Death Shall Follow in His Wake’ (cf. Revelation 6.8): Vernon Howell, David Koresh, and the Branch Davidians, 1986–1993
Source:
The Branch Davidians of Waco
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245741.003.0010

# Abstract and Keywords

David Koresh was wise enough to recognize how important it was not to underestimate George Roden. Instead of pursuing a formal leadership question on this issue, Koresh spent two years in intensive evangelistic activity inside and outside the country. Koresh was able to acquire several new recruits and with this, his power, influence, and sense of divine favour were also on the increase. Marc Breault, one of his earliest converts, also proved to be one of the most significant. Breault first encountered the Branch Davidians when he studied at an SDA institution, Loma Linda University, in California. He played a significant part in the history on the Branch Davidians when he joined as he served as an evangelist, supporter, and confidant to Koresh. This chapter looks at some of the trials that Koresh had to face, especially those against George Roden, and it looks at how David Koresh was infamously recognized as having various issues in church particularly in terms of his sex life.

Keywords:   David Koresh, George Roden, Marc Breault, trial, case, sex life

George Roden was not a man to be underestimated, and Koresh was wise not to make that mistake. Rather than forcing the formal leadership question at this juncture Koresh1 was to spend the next two years in fairly intensive evangelistic activity, both inside and outside the USA. In this he was assisted at first by his father-in-law, Perry Jones, and later by others of his early converts. The recruitments went well, and with every new recruit Koresh's influence, power, and sense of divine favour must surely have increased.

One of the earliest converts was also one of the most important: Marc Breault. Breault, a native of Hawaii, was a Seventh-day Adventist who had studied for an undergraduate degree in theology at the SDA Pacific Union College in Angwin, California. Upon completing his studies, he was deeply disappointed not to be offered the chance by the SDA Church to become a pastor, a decision which he rightly or wrongly put down to the fact that he was all but blind. In January 1986, after what he considered to be a divine instruction to that effect, he began studying for a postgraduate degree at Loma Linda University in California (also an SDA institution). It was at this time that he came into contact with the Branch Davidians.2 According to his own testimony, he was in a supermarket when he was approached by Perry Jones. They got talking about the book of Revelation and Jones told Breault that he thought Koresh, his son-in-law, was a prophet. ‘I figured God would send some prophets eventually,’ stated Breault, ‘so I was open to listening.’3 Within a few days Jones had introduced Breault to Koresh himself. With regard to this early encounter Breault wrote:

I was impressed by Vernon. He was straightforward, sure of what he believed, and had a wealth of biblical knowledge within the conservative SDA context. In those days, the BDs were extremely conservative. I did not join the group at once. I took my time making up my mind and Vernon was happy to give me whatever time I needed.4

(p. 192 ) But Breault did make up his mind and about three months later joined the Branch Davidians, though apparently staying at Loma Linda to complete his studies before moving to Waco.5 He was to play a central role in Branch Davidian history from this point, first as an able evangelist and firm supporter of, and confidant to, Koresh, and later a vociferous ex-member who did all he could to bring Koresh to the attention of both the SDA Church and the USA government authorities.

In January 1986, then, Koresh was in California, where he met Breault, but his efforts to spread the word that God's mystery was now being revealed were not confined to the USA. In February 1986 he arrived in Australia.6 With him was Clive Doyle, a native Australian who had been at Mt. Carmel since 1966 and was well placed to advise Koresh on tactics.7 Not only was Doyle on the Australian SDA network, but he also had a good knowledge of the Seventh-day Adventists in Australia who were interested in specifically Branch publications. For years he had played a key role in Lois Roden's Branch Davidianism, had served as editor of Shekinah, and had other significant responsibilities with regard to the publishing work.

Prior to his visit to Australia, Koresh had evidently sought to prepare the ground to some extent by sending ahead audio tapes of his message. These were mailed to those in Australia already known to have an interest in or commitment to Branch Davidianism. However, according to Breault those studies had received only limited attention.8 One person who was interested was Elizabeth Baranyai, later to become Breault s wife.9 She convinced other Australian Branch Davidians that they should at least give Koresh a hearing, a process which led to the visit. Baranyai met Koresh at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne and facilitated his meetings with other interested Branch Davidians and Seventh-day Adventists. He met with some of these, and following this and later meetings a number of Australian Branch Davidians accepted his message. It was at this time, for example, that the Gent family became involved with Koresh. The conversions were not instantaneous, nor did they all occur during this first visit. In the end, however, all four of the Gents (twins Peter and Nicole and parents Bruce and Lisa) became followers.10 Jean Smith was also recruited at this time.11

This was not the only trip Koresh was to make to Australia. He was evidently there again in 1988 and in February 1990.12 ‘Pastor Whelan’ (then pastor of one of the Melbourne SDA churches) spoke of this last trip when he recorded that he had attended a Branch Davidian recruitment meeting with another SDA pastor, Pawel Cieslar.13 The total number in attendance is not given by Whelan, but he noted that about twenty of his own church members were there.14 Other Australians who accepted the Branch Davidian message and were at Waco at the time of the siege include Oliver15 and Aisha Gyarfas16 and Graeme Craddock.17

(p. 193 ) It is not clear how long Koresh's 1986 visit to Australia lasted. However, by the summer of that year he was in Hawaii. Again the trip was well planned. During the first months of 1986 the newly converted Breault, himself a native of Hawaii, had sent a number of letters to his friends back home telling them of his new-found faith in the message of Koresh.18 It was Breault who first contacted Steve Schneider,19 an individual who was to play an absolutely key role in later Branch Davidian recruitment trips, especially in England. (It was Schneider too who took the lead role in the negotiations during the standoff;20 he also, in all probability, was responsible for the single shot to the head that brought Koresh's life to an end on 19 April).21 Schneider was no fool. He had studied for the SDA ministry at Newbold College, but in February 1973 had been asked to leave following a bout of drunkenness.22 He also had an MA degree in Comparative Religion from the University of Hawaii and according to some sources taught a module there in the subject.23 In 1986 he was a deacon and a Sabbath School leader in the SDA Church.24 It was Breault, too, who recruited the wealthy businessman Paul Fatta, who was later to be centrally involved in Branch Davidian business concerns, including the trading of survival equipment.25

The recruitment in Hawaii was a considerable success. A core group of interested persons was formed under the guidance of Breault and Schneider. According to Breault, that group included Margaret Lawson,26 Gertude and Henry Chun, Dana Okimoto,27 the Wendell family,28 the Vaega family,29 Peter Hipsman,30 and Paul Fatta. The group grew with the later additions of Greg Summers,31 Sherri Jewell,32 and Karl Henning.33 Koresh arrived in August 1986 and soon a number of other Hawaiian Seventh-day Adventists had also become convinced of his message. Some of the core group seem in the end to have rejected the message, or at least not taken up the challenge of moving to Waco, while others who were not part of the original group came in. In the end there were eighteen solid converts from Hawaii. These were Breault himself, Paul Fatta, Peter Hipsman, Sherri Jewell, Andre Kale,34 Margaret Lawson, Jeff Little,35 Dana Okimoto, Judy Schneider,36 Steve Schneider, Fioracita Sonobe,37 Scott Sonobe,38 Greg Summers, Margarida Vaega, Neil Vaega, Jaydean Wendell, Mark Wendell, and Kevin Whitecliff.39 As one might expect the interaction between Breault, Koresh, and the Hawaiian SDA Church was far from smooth, and in the end fourteen members were disfellowshipped.40

It was not long before other possible targets for evangelism were marked out. Steve and Judy Schneider were originally from Wisconsin and hence it was probably at their suggestion that Breault went to Wisconsin to spread the news there too. Schneider himself remained in Hawaii to take care of the work there. This was in July 1986, still a month or so before Koresh himself arrived. (p. 194 ) In December 1986 both Schneider and Koresh joined Breault in Wisconsin prior to the move back to Palestine, Texas. About a year later Schneider returned to Wisconsin in a second attempt to further the work there.41 The work in Wisconsin did not go well. There was some initial interest and even some visits to Texas, but in the end there were no firm conversions. Schneider's sister, it seems, was instrumental in persuading others in Wisconsin that her brother, Breault, and Koresh were wrong.42

During 1987 Koresh was also active in other parts of the United States. Don Adair remembered that Koresh once stopped at Salem. The year appears to be 1987, but the precise date is not given. Adair stated:

He [Koresh] was going around to all the Davidians, trying to get converts. And he came here, and stood at this blackboard and drew some things up there. And I had the students with me, and we all listened for a while, about an hour or so. And he was so mixed up that I finally told him that we didn't want to hear any more, and he left, and we never heard from him again.43

A visit of Koresh to a Los Angeles SDA Church was videotaped; the date is given as 28 February 1987.44 On the video we see a heavily bearded Koresh who lacks, at least at the start of the tape, some of the powerful self-confidence that later sources clearly indicate he had.

This meeting in California was not the only time that Koresh was in that state. In fact during this period he moved between Texas and California very frequently. In substantial part this was through contact with and the support of long-time Branch Davidians, the Bunds family. It has been noted above that Donald and Jeannine were firm supporters of Ben Roden and contributed financially to the movement; Roden wrote to them frequently. They supported Koresh too. They paid for two houses, one in Pomona45 and the other in La Verne,46 and these, together with a rented house in Los Angeles,47 formed a physical HQ for the Branch Davidians in California. Koresh was there frequently. (On one of the negotiation tapes, Schneider says of the house in Pomona, ‘we, of course, spent a lot of time there, a lot of people, from about the time of 87’.)48 The Bunds’ two children, David and Robyn, were also Branch Davidians. The whole family later defected and became vociferous in their opposition to Koresh.49

The influx of new converts from these evangelistic campaigns must have given Koresh and the rest of the Branch members back in Texas considerable cause for celebration. But a strange situation had developed. Koresh had the people, George Roden, on the other hand, still had the property and, officially, the leadership of the group. This situation was eventually changed through a chain of events that must surely be among the strangest even in the oftentimes odd world of religious movements.

(p. 195 ) It was George Roden who threw down the gauntlet. Sometime in October 1987 he decided to settle matters once and for all by challenging Koresh to a contest which would, surely, put the issue to rest. George sent word to Koresh that he had dug up a body and placed it in the chapel. Whoever could raise the person from the dead would be acknowledged as the rightful leader of the movement. The body was that of Anna Hughes, who had died some twenty years earlier.50

Koresh was not going to be drawn into such a contest, but saw another way to sort the issue out. He visited the sheriff's office and made a charge of corpse abuse against George. The authorities said they would need evidence before the matter could be taken further. In an effort to supply such evidence, Koresh and a few of his followers went to Mt. Carmel with the intention of taking photographs, and were successful. When questioned, Doyle remembered the photographs of the coffin, noting that it was still covered in mud and somewhat rusty in places. An Israeli flag was draped over it.51 This evidence was not enough, however, and the authorities asked for a clear indication that the coffin actually contained a body. Undeterred, on the night of 2 November Koresh and seven of his followers went back to attempt to secure a more precise photographic record of what was going on in the chapel. The seven were Paul Fatta, Peter Hipsman, Floyd Houtman,52 David Jones, James Riddle,53 Gregory Summers, and Stan Sylvia.54 It was night and Koresh, very wisely given that he was dealing with George, was armed. The coffin had gone.

According to Doyle, the group then spent the entire night hiding in a ditch waiting for sunrise and the opportunity to search the Mt. Carmel site for the missing coffin; this was a rash move given George's propensity for violence, but in the end it paid off. They began their search by going door-to-door and asking for information. Unsurprisingly, it was not long before George was alerted and he reacted in a way that could have been predicted. A gun battle ensued between George, who was apparently in possession of an Uzi machine gun, and the group, armed with semi-automatics.55 Eventually George was pinned by Koresh behind a tree, being shot at if he tried to escape from either one side or the other. Even in a relatively isolated place such as Mt. Carmel, such activity could not go unnoticed for long and soon law enforcement officers arrived and both the Koresh group and George were arrested. Charges of attempted murder were brought against Koresh and the other members of the group. The trial was reported extensively in the local papers and also in the Dallas Morning News.56 Within three days Koresh had posted the $50,000 bail. The other seven accused remained in prison,57 but all eventually met the bail terms. George had opposed the release of Koresh and his followers on the grounds that they would come back to the property and finish the job they had started. (p. 196 ) Not known for his diplomacy, George then began a campaign of lodging motions with the court written in his usual style. A page of one of those motions is found in the archives. Part of it reads (Georges spelling corrected): ‘If you think you're God then God would have taken the poor into account. But you sons of bitches have your goddam clique to take care of don't you? You cant afford to allow the poor to get any benefit or you might lose your ass in the process. You fucking son[s] of bitches…’58 The paper then predicts (in even more intemperate language) that the judges will probably get herpes and aids as part of the seven last plagues. Not surprisingly the court asked George to cease this onslaught. He did not—a big mistake which lost him ‘Rodenville’ as a result. On 22 March 1988 Judge Walter S. Smith (who was to play an important role in later developments in the tragedy) found Roden in contempt of court and jailed him for six months. The next day about forty people returned from Palestine and walked onto the Mt. Carmel property. According to a newspaper report the group was led by Perry Jones, which suggests that Koresh himself was not present. Amo Roden, George's wife, protested, but was ignored.59 Koresh's group was back at Mt. Carmel and would remain there until the fire. The trial of Koresh and his followers took place in April 1988. The proceedings lasted ten days and in the end, on 25 April, a verdict of not guilty was returned on all defendants other than Koresh. The jury was unable to come to a decision on him, and the judge declared a mistrial. After a few weeks the charges against Koresh were dropped and no retrial ever took place.60 By April 1988, then, Koresh and his followers were in a good position: George was in jail for contempt of court, and Mt. Carmel was vacant. The next move Koresh made was a very smart one: he raised some$62,000 of back taxes that were owing on the property, and paid the bill off. By the end of April the entire group had moved from Palestine back to Waco.61 Anna Hughes was still resting in her coffin in a shed. She was eventually reburied in the Mt. Carmel graveyard on 4 May. Koresh spoke a few words at her graveside on the afternoon of her reburial; David Jones, who as a boy of thirteen had helped lower Hughes into the ground the first time she had been buried, fulfilled the same duty again.62 George was finally released on 22 December 1988; at the conclusion of his six-month term for contempt of court he was sentenced to a further thirty days for previously violating the restraining order that his mother had taken out against him in 1979.63 He continued his campaign against Koresh until on 18 October 1989 he was charged by the Odessa police with killing Dale Adair, the brother of Don Adair.64 George was judged to be insane and sent to a mental institution, where he died in 1998. (p. 197 )

Plate 8 Early photograph of David Koresh

(p. 198 ) Koresh was now firmly in charge and was able once again to turn his mind to recruitment. Later in 1988 the very able Steve Schneider arrived in England to make the first concerted attempt to bring the message to the SDA churches there.65 He headed for Newbold College, the SDA training institution about thirty miles from London (not, as is widely stated in some secondary literature, near Nottingham). Schneider already knew the college since he had been a student there fifteen or so years before; a request was made that the college provide space for meetings to take place, but the request was denied. Schneider then conducted meetings in the house of one of the colleges staff members. Precisely how many meetings took place is not clear, but notes from one of them at least have been preserved. These are dated 20 September 1988.66

Three key converts were made at Newbold—Livingstone Fagan, John McBean,67 and Cliff Sellors.68 The latter two died in the fire. Fagan left Mt. Carmel during the siege and was given a forty-year prison sentence, later reduced to fifteen years, for his part in the 28 February shoot-out. He was to play a major role in post-1993 Branch Davidianism and his contribution is assessed in greater detail in Chapter Sixteen.

From Newbold the evangelistic work spread to several other parts of the UK. Fagan was active in Nottingham, where he was a ministerial intern. McBean worked in Manchester and further work was undertaken in London. A number of further recruits were won. These included, from London, Leslie Lewis,69 Bernadette Monbelly,70 and Teresa Norbrega.71 Renos Avraam72 also came into the movement around this time. Following a visit in late 1988 or possibly early 1989 by Koresh himself73 and another visit by Schneider in 1990 a further substantial number of converts were made.74 Twenty-three of those who died on 19 April were British and a further six Britons left Mt. Carmel during the siege.75 Britain, then, was a major recruitment ground.

But the work continued back in the USA as well. Waco itself was hardly the best of recruitment grounds, but the foothold the Branch Davidians had in California was more promising; it is clear that Koresh and other members of the group spent a good deal of time in California even after gaining legal ownership of Mt. Carmel. Koresh came into contact at this time with David Thibodeau. Thibodeau, originally from Maine, had gone to Los Angeles in February 1989 to attend the Musicians’ Institute there. In early 1990 he was in a music shop on Sunset Boulevard purchasing some drumsticks when he noticed two other men, who turned out to be Steve Schneider and David Koresh. Schneider told Thibodeau that they were looking for a drummer for their band and handed him the ‘Messiah Productions’ business card. A few days later Thibodeau called Schneider and was taken out to the Pomona house (a 45 minute drive). Shortly after this he was visited by Schneider and (p. 199 ) some of the other Branch Davidians (but not Koresh) in his apartment for a pre-arranged Bible study. A number of Thibodeau's fellow lodgers were there. Schneider led the Bible study, on Isaiah. Over the next few weeks this pattern of music sessions and Bible studies continued. In September Thibodeau was invited to visit Waco for the Day of Atonement celebrations, an offer he accepted.76 After about two weeks Koresh told Thibodeau to go home to Maine to think things over before making a decision on whether or not he wanted to join the Mt. Carmel community. If he did decide to join, however, Koresh said, his commitment must be total.77 Thibodeau duly went back to Maine, made his decision, and returned to Los Angeles to meet again with Koresh.

It is plain, then, that the house in Pomona, and the rented property in Los Angeles, were used for recruitment and as a base for the Branch Davidians in California. The house in La Verne, however, seems to have been used for another purpose. From fairly early in his prophetic career Koresh came to the view that it was his right, indeed his duty, to have numerous children. He was probably aiming for twenty-four, the number of the elders seated around the throne in Revelation 4.4, 10 et passim. Clearly if he was to do this he would need more than one partner. Once he was in control of the group he quickly set about taking what he considered his right, namely sexual access to the women of the community. This came in two stages: first, to unmarried Branch Davidian women, and then, in 1989, to all the women of the community, including those already married. This latter phase was introduced as the so-called ‘new light’ doctrine. The house in La Verne seems to have been the place where Koresh often engaged in this activity, especially before 1989. It was where his harem sometimes lived.78

Tales of Koresh's sexual exploits abound in the literature and there can be no doubt that he did engage in significant sexual activity, some with very young girls.79 Probably the youngest of these was Michele Jones, the younger sister of Koresh's legal wife Rachel. She later became Thibodeau's wife; when he met her she was fifteen.80

Thibodeau's link with Michele Jones led him to make some enquiries regarding her association with Koresh. Thibodeau, one must remember, was and is sympathetic to Koresh's vision of things. With regard to Koresh's sexual conduct Thibodeau is clear: Koresh did have sex with Michele Jones.81 The first time was in early 1987 and Jones was twelve at the time. Two years later Jones had a child by Koresh, Serenity. It must not be forgotten that by the time Thibodeau wrote, Jones was his now-dead wife. This being so, what he has to say about Koresh's sexual exploits can be taken as being pretty near the truth of the matter. (If you are sympathetic to a person and want to invent something to say about him, saying he had sex with your now deceased wife (p. 200 ) when she was hardly pubescent is not the kind of story you would be most likely to come up with).

In fact Koresh's interest in Michele seems to have begun even earlier. On his return from Israel in 1985 Koresh announced that he had received a command from God that he should have a child with Michele. She would have been only ten or eleven at the time. There is no suggestion that he actually then engaged in sex with Michele, but he was clearly thinking about it. This instruction to have a child with Michele was evidently discussed with the community in general and with Rachel Jones in particular, who was ‘devastated’ by the news. Discussions continued for some considerable time—a couple of years, in fact. However, in the end Rachel cleared the way by reporting that she had had a dream in which she was shown that Koresh might be destroyed by God if he failed to carry out God's orders. It was at this point that he began to have sex with the under-age Michele.

Once this line had been crossed, things developed quickly. In the same year, 1987, Koresh began sexual relations with a number of other women in the community. These included Robyn Bunds,82 the daughter of Donald and Jeannine Bunds; Dana Okimoto; and in the following year he ‘married’ nineteen-year-old Nicole Gent.

Several of the younger women with whom Koresh was engaging in sexual activity were married off to other members of the community (Robyn Bunds to Cliff Sellors, Michele Jones to David Thibodeau). It may be that Koresh encouraged some of these marriages to head off possible investigation by immigration authorities (though some of those married were already US citizens). If so, they had the further (perhaps unintended) benefit of heading off possible suspicion that statutory rape was taking place. The legal age of consent in Texas is seventeen, but marriage is permitted at the age of fourteen (with parental consent) and sex may occur within that marriage. Hence while the pregnancy of girls between the ages of fourteen and seventeen might have raised questions on the part of the authorities, if the girls were married the assumption would have been that the child's father was the husband and hence that the sexual activity was legal. However, if an unmarried fourteen-to seventeen-year-old were seen to be pregnant, then statutory rape must necessarily have been involved. None of this counts in the case of Michele Jones, who was under fourteen when she fell pregnant. Indeed, since she was under fourteen the crime was a first-degree felony (the rape of a girl over fourteen would be a second-degree felony). In having sex with Michele, Koresh was risking ninety-nine years in prison.

Koresh, then, had an extremely active sex life at this time. However, more was to follow. In 1989 he began to teach the ‘new light’ doctrine, which brought to the community new stresses but also an even greater sense of (p. 201 ) single purpose. According to this doctrine, Koresh was the only male at Mt. Carmel permitted to have sex, and he was permitted, in fact commanded by God, to have sex with the wives of the other Branch Davidian men, not just those who were in marriages of convenience, but those who had married even before coming to Mt. Carmel. Consequently in the same year he began sleeping with a number of married women. These included Jeannine Bunds, Judy Schneider, Lorraine Sylvia,83 and Jaydean Wendell.84 This was a bold move on Koresh's part and he was taking a big risk. So dramatic and direct an attempt to divide husband from wife and reorder the sexual patterns of the group could easily have gone badly wrong. It is surely a measure of the loyalty those at Mt. Carmel felt towards Koresh that in fact this ‘new light’ was accepted. There may have been some dissent and it must have been very difficult. However, in general it seems that the group accepted that Koresh as leader ought to have exclusive sexual access to the women. This was agreed by both the women and the men concerned. Such radical adjustments of social structures within the context of a high-commitment group is not unique, but it is only at the extreme end of the scale that one is likely to meet it. Such doctrines can bring an even greater sense of cohesion to any group that espouses them, for it is only the very committed who can make the necessary mental and spiritual adjustments to accommodate them. Some of the weaker members of the group may be lost, but those who remain will be strong and will be aware that their investment in the group has gone far beyond mere money. They are now investing even their most treasured personal relationships in pursuit of the common (in this case millennial) goal.

From 1985 on, then, Koresh pursued an aggressively sexual agenda and was highly successful not only in persuading women to sleep with him, but also in convincing the husbands, mothers, and fathers of those women that it was all part of God's plan. The end result is difficult to ascertain, since for obvious reasons the paternity of the children born at Mt. Carmel was not always made clear in the registration documentation. However, Thibodeau's summary seems about right (if anything, perhaps, a little conservative): ‘By April 1993, David had had sexual relations with a total of fifteen women, including Rachel Jones and Linda Campion…and had fathered seventeen children with eleven of them’.85

It was not all plain sailing, however. In July 1989 Koresh lost one of his most loyal converts: Marc Breault. Breault had evidently been having some serious doubts about Koresh for some time, but in July 1989 matters came to a head. As Breault told the story he was working on a computer one evening when he saw Aisha Gyarfas go up to Koresh's room. Breault stayed at the computer all night and awaited Aisha's return, which occurred at about 5.00 a.m. and Breault took both the fact and the length of the young girl's stay in Koresh's (p. 202 ) room (Aisha Gyarfas would have been about thirteen at the time) as an indication of sexual activity. Breault later said that it was at this point that he decided to leave the Branch Davidians. His way out was to persuade Koresh that they needed to go to California to buy some musical equipment. While there, Breault telephoned his wife in Australia and asked her to send him money for his airfare, which she did. On 29 September 1989 he left the house in Pomona and caught a flight to Melbourne. It was a major defection and would have serious consequences.86 Soon after Koresh would give a message that surely ranks as one of the most forceful to survive. In that message he warned of the dire consequences of rejecting his revelation, for if one rejected that (as Breault had now done) one rejected also the one who sent the message and the one through whom the message came.87

Koresh had stepped over the line in the case of Michele Jones and had committed statutory rape, though in the end the crime was not taken up by the authorities. But another alleged offence was, that Koresh had attempted some sort of sexual relationship with Kiri Jewell. It was Breault who sought to bring that relationship to the attention of those outside the community: in the first instance the attention of the girl's father, and then the law-enforcement authorities. Kiri Jewell was the daughter of Sherri Jewell (one of the Hawaiian converts) and David Jewell, who was never a member of the Branch Davidian movement. David Jewell and his wife Sherri had divorced in 1982, at which time Sherri moved back to her native Hawaii, where she came into contact with the Branch Davidians.88 In October 1991 Marc Breault telephoned David Jewell, then living in Michigan, and informed him that his daughter Kiri was destined for ‘the house of David’, that is, that she would soon be one of Koresh's wives.89 This story was later backed up by a number of others, all of whom said that they had heard Koresh speak about the time when Kiri would be in his ‘house’. No actual case of abuse was alleged, but the possibility that such a crime might occur in the near future was clearly raised. Startled by this thought, David Jewell immediately sought custody of his child and the case went to a Michigan court. Marc Breault, Elizabeth Baranyai, and Jean Smith flew from Australia to testify in the case and provided the court with graphic details of Koresh's sex life.90 Sherri Jewell did not testify. In the end David Jewell was awarded sole custody, though Sherri was awarded visitation rights.

Koresh's opponents had, then, won something of a victory not only in this particular case, but in general, in that they had brought Koresh squarely to the attention of the authorities. Encouraged by this, on 26 February 1992, Jewell and Breault contacted the Texas Department of Human Services and made further charges of actual or potential child abuse at Mt. Carmel. The next day Joyce Sparks from the Child Protective Services Department visited (p. 203 ) Mt. Carmel to investigate the report. This visit is referred to in the affidavit filed in support of the request for the search-and-arrest warrants. According to that source Sparks, two other people from the Department of Human Services and two McLennan County sheriff's deputies visited Mt. Carmel, but Koresh was not there. However, Koresh went to see Sparks in her office in early March to discuss the charges and she returned to Mt. Carmel on 6 April and again on 30 April.91 No evidence of child abuse was found during these visits, and the case was closed.

This was not the end of the story, however. According to the 1993 Report, Sparks interviewed ‘a young girl…a former compound resident’ on 22 February 1993 (the Report includes an extract from an interview conducted with Sparks). Sparks said that the young girl explained how Koresh had abused her in a hotel room.92 No charges were brought against Koresh on this count, but it does seem to have been a factor in the issue of the search and arrest warrants. (This ought not to have been the case, since the jurisdiction of the ATF did not extent to such matters.)

It is certain, then, that Koresh did have sex with a significant number of the female members of the community. While this was in general consensual sex with adults, it seems certain too that he was guilty of the statutory rape of Michele Jones. Whether he also abused the unnamed girl interviewed by Sparks is not clear.

Why did he do it? Perhaps the most obvious possibility is that he did it for sheer selfish sexual gratification, and the sense of power that he got over the whole group by virtue of having exclusive sexual access to the women of the community. According to this theory his excessive sexual activity was the result of his selfish manipulation of the community and the abuse of the power the Branch Davidians had afforded him. This is possible. However, the model that such an interpretation reflects, namely that such communities are composed of a company of duped followers who are either too stupid or too brainwashed to see through the manipulative tactics of their egocentric leader, seems less than satisfactory in the case of the Branch Davidians. Under Koresh they were committed, serious, spiritual individuals, some of whom had razor-sharp minds. In putting their trust in Koresh the other members of the community may have been mistaken, as Koresh may have been mistaken in thinking of himself in the way that he did. But being mistaken is not the same as being fooled. Indeed, some might want to argue that the whole community, including Koresh, saw the procreation of the ‘twenty-four children of David’ as central to their communal goals. The women saw it as an honour to bear Koresh's children; the men saw it as a sacrifice that had to be made, tough as it was. Koresh may have got the better deal. He may have experienced significant physical pleasure and probably did get a huge ego (p. 204 ) boost from the whole experience. But this does not mean, necessarily, that he, unlike the rest of the group, did not actually believe in the goal towards which the Branch Davidians were corporately working. In fact, as we shall see, it is at this point that the FBI negotiators may later have made a fundamental mistake in seeking to deal with the Branch Davidians during the siege: the social unit that made up ‘the Mt. Carmel Branch Davidians’ was cohesive. It was not a flock of dazed sheep led to the slaughter by a predatory wolf. In communities of all kinds individual self-interest must be balanced with collective goals and at Mt. Carmel the balance come down heavily in favour of the latter.

There is one other possibility too. It will become apparent later that Koresh did have something of a death wish and was, despite vociferous claims to the contrary made by his supporters, looking for a fight with the authorities. How conscious he himself would have been of this is not known; perhaps, however, like the early Christian saint Justin Martyr, he openly courted death at the hands of the authorities in an effort to win favour with God. This is guesswork of course, though there is some evidence to support it. In a relatively early tape, ‘The Bird’ (August 1987), Koresh made it unambignously clear that because of his wives ‘the Bird’ (himself) would be put to death by the authorities. Perhaps he was being overly negative here, thinking through the results of the actions he had already begun and seeing what their consequences might be. But it is strange that he said that he would be ‘killed’ as a result of what he was doing. Having sex with lots of women, providing they are of the age of consent, may be morally suspect but it is not a capital offence. Perhaps, then, this was a determined plan on the part of Koresh to bring on the showdown. He knew that having sex with someone under fourteen would result in his arrest for a first-degree felony. Was this, as Thibodeau himself hints, all part of Koresh's plan to bring on the end times?93 Was Michele the means—the red rag—that Koresh needed to attract the attention of the American bull?

Since the days of Houteff, the Davidians and Branch Davidians had been very much a community gathered around a prophetic leader. There can be no doubt, however, that under Koresh the importance and status of that leader increased significantly. Indeed by 1993 Koresh himself had a near divine status in the eyes of many in the community. The theological underpinning of such views is taken up further in the next chapter, but here we note in passing at least one particular visible sign of the increasingly exalted status Koresh came to hold: his change of name. On 15 May 1990 Vernon Howell filed a petition in the California State Superior Court in Pomona requesting that his name be changed to David Koresh. The petition was granted by judge Robert Martinez on 28 August.94 The reasons put forward in support of the change of name were centred upon Koresh's musical career, but the real reasons were theological. They will be discussed in some depth in the next chapter.

(p. 205 ) From 1990 to his death in 1993 Koresh stayed mainly at Mt. Carmel, with some trips to other parts of the United States. The community he had gathered was a loyal one and together its members lived at the centre, seeking to know God's plans for the future and making ready for the coming of the kingdom. Some insight into the nature of that community may be seen in the account by Derek Lovelock of the time he spent there (see Appendix A). Life was not easy, and the Branch Davidians worked physically very hard to revamp their property and construct the set of buildings that became so familiar to TV viewers around the world in March-April 1993. In 1992 Koresh put out a call for all the Branch Davidians to gather at Mt. Carmel for Passover; Doyle remembered that the numbers at the centre were, as a result, swelled to about 150.95 About 130 of these were still there on the morning of the ATF raid some ten months later. Eighty of them were to die.

# Notes

## Notes:

(1.) The change of name did not legally take place until 1990, but it was clearly linked to the 1985 experience in Jerusalem. The new name is used from now on.

(2.) On this Breault stated: ‘I met Koresh in January of 1986 in somewhat bizarre circumstances. Those circumstances were that in 1985, prior to having met or heard of either the Shepherd's Rod or the Branch Davidians, I had a dream out of the blue in which an angel bade me go to Loma Linda where I would meet seven people involved in a musical group. These seven people would help me see because I was blind spiritually. The angel said my physical eyesight, which is poor, mirrored my spiritual one. I did not have the money to follow these instructions so I was about to settle down to passing this off as just some weird experience, when out of the blue, the center for the blind in Hawaii where I lived offered to pay my full tuition for my master's program, pay for all of my books, and give me two thousand dollars toward the purchase of a new computer. Stunned, I decided to go to Loma Linda. Perry Jones and his daughter Rachel (Vernon's wife) were two of the seven people in my dream. When I saw Perry and Rachel, I recognized them instantly.’ (E-mail to Kenneth Newport, 25 May 2003.)

(3.) E-mail to Kenneth Newport, 25 May 2003.

(4.) Ibid.

(5.) Dalton Baldwin, ‘Experiences at Loma Linda’, Adventism Today, 1 (May-June 1993). Baldwin was apparently one of Breault's teachers and remembered Breault asking permission to miss class for a week while he travelled to Waco to celebrate Passover.

(6.) Breault and King, Preacher of Death, 52.

(p. 206 ) (7.) Clive Doyle was born in 1941 in Melbourne, Australia. His first religious attachment was to the Baptist Church, but some time before 1966 he came into contact with the Branch Davidian message and accepted it. He moved to the USA in 1966. (Information from Civil Trial Transcripts, 1081–1083.)

(8.) E-mail to Kenneth Newport, 25 May 2003.

(9.) Elizabeth Baranyai was born of a German mother and a Hungarian father. She has a brother John, who had no interest in Koreshs message. Although she spent time at Mt. Carmel she had defected from the movement several years before the siege.

(10.) Both Bruce and Lisa defected prior to the siege. Peter and Nicole Gent, the children of Bruce Gent and step children of Lisa, accepted the message and both died in Waco—Peter on 28 February and Nicole on 19 April. Nicole was heavily pregnant when she died, and it is generally assumed that the child was fathered by Koresh. There were two other children in the Gent family, Michelle and Ian Manning, Lisa Gent's children of a previous marriage. Michelle Manning became Michelle Tom and she and her husband James spent time at Mt. Carmel. Ian Manning became a Branch Davidian together with his wife, Allison, and spent time at Mt. Carmel. Ian Manning later defected and became a vociferous opponent of Koresh. For example, both he and Allison were involved in the Kiri Jewell custody case, which will be discussed later (extracts of the relevant affidavits are found in the Treasury Report, 224–5). Further, in a letter Ian Manning wrote to Dr Gilbert Valentine, then pastor of the Newbold College Church, he stated, ‘I first met Howell in 1987 and listened to his teachings until about May of 1990. At this time I was shown by others who had left Howell's following where his teachings were wrong. During three years I listened to Howell's interpretations of the Bible [and] I made a total of three visits to the United States; I might add that these trips were made at considerable expense in terms of finance and time.’ Ian Manning to Gilbert Valentine, 20 May 1991. The letter then goes on to warn Valentine about Koresh and asks for Valentine's help in locating Britons known to be under Koresh's influence. A copy of the letter is in my possession.

(11.) In March 1986 (very shortly after his first visit) Koresh sent a tape-recorded letter to Jean Smith expressing his pleasure at having met her and the other ‘branches’ in Australia. Koresh then went over some fairly standard material (from his point of view) on the coming of an end-time messenger who would ‘seal’ the people of God. Smith did travel to the USA, though it is not clear how often, if at all, she went to Waco. What is certain is that she did stay at the Branch Davidian house in La Verne, California. She too evidently defected from the group some time before 1992, since it was in that year that she, with Marc Breault and Elizabeth Baranyai, flew from Australia to California to testify against Koresh in the Jewell custody hearing. Smith was seventy-two at the time (Waco Tribune-Herald, ‘The Sinful Messiah’, part 7).

(12.) This date is given in The [Australian] Record, 98, no. 11.

(13.) The report (published in 1993) actually says ‘about three years ago’.

(14.) The [Australian] Record, 98, no. 17.

(p. 207 ) (15.) Oliver Gyarfas was nineteen at the time of the fire. He was at Mt. Carmel on the day of the ATF raid, but exited on the evening of 14 March (Thibodeau, Place Called Waco, 172–3, says he was with Gyarfas during the first stages of the events of 28 February and gave an outline of their actions). Gyarfas was held without bond as a material witness, but was not charged with any offence.

(16.) Aisha Gyarfas was seventeen at the time of the fire and was the legal wife of Greg Summers. She died on 19 April from a gunshot wound. She was nearly nine months pregnant; it is generally assumed that Koresh was the father of the child.

(17.) Graeme Craddock was born on 29 Nov. 1961, and escaped the Waco fire. He is described as an engineer and at his trial said that it was his responsibility to keep the physical lines of communication between the Davidians and the FBI open. In 1994 he was jailed for forty years, a term later reduced to fifteen years.

(18.) There are two main sources of information on the progress of Koresh's evangelistic endeavours in Hawaii. These are an interview with the then pastor of the Diamond Head Seventh-day Adventist church, Charlie Liu (published in Adventism Today, 1 (May–June 1993)) and tape recordings of the disfellowship meeting that took place in Hawaii on 27 June 1987 (a copy of those tape recordings is in my possession).

(19.) Born 16 Oct. 1949, died 19 Apr. 1993. Schneider will appear frequently from this point on so no attempt is made to summarize his association with the Branch Davidians.

(20.) According to Tabor and Arnold (Why Waco?, 216, n. 14, quoting from the Department of Justice Report), 96 hours were spent by the FBI negotiators talking to Schneider and 60 hours talking to Koresh.

(21.) This is discussed in Chapter Fifteen.

(22.) Waite, ‘The British Connection’, 113. In the article Waite, who was a lecturer at Newbold College at the time, gave some further details regarding Schneider that appear to be based on Schneider's college files.

(23.) King and Breault, Preacher of Death, 67.

(24.) See Joel Sandefur and Charles Liu, ‘Apocalypse in Diamond Head’, Spectrum, 23/1 (May 1993), 30. Liu was pastor of the church in 1986.

(25.) That Breault was the one who converted Paul Fatta is clearly stated on the tape of the Diamond Head SDA church meeting held on 27 June 1987. Paul Fatta was born 28 Feb. 1958. He and his son Kalani were outside Mt. Carmel on 28 February attending a gun show; nevertheless he was jailed for fifteen years.

(26.) Margaret Lawson is reported as being either seventy-five or seventy-six at the time of the siege. She left Mt. Carmel on 2 March.

(27.) Dana Okimoto, a Hawaiian of Japanese extraction, was later to bear two sons for Koresh (Sky and Scooter). She left the community a few months before the siege began (see further Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 111).

(28.) The family consisted of Mark and Jaydean Wendell and four children, Tamara, Landon, Juanessa, and Patron. Jaydean was a police officer in Hawaii before her recruitment. She was killed during the initial raid on Mt. Carmel on 28 February, and her husband died in the fire. All four children left Mt. Carmel on 1 March.

(p. 208 ) (29.) Neil and his wife Margarida, along with their daughter Joann, moved to Mt. Carmel from Hawaii, where they had owned and operated a bakery. Joann was released to the FBI in early March and now lives with her sister Ursula. Both her parents died in the fire (information from www.members.aol.com/karenwmp/waco/neil.htm).

(30.) Peter Hipsman was a native of upstate New York (Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 76). He was either twenty-seven or twenty-eight at the time of his death. He was shot during the initial ATF raid on 28 February, and died from two further shots to the head, fired at close range in what was clearly a mercy killing. (Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 177–8.)

(31.) Sometimes spelt ‘Sommers’ in the literature. He was twenty-eight when he died in the fire. He was married to Aisha Gyarfas, but lived a celibate life (Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 84).

(32.) Sherri Jewell, her husband David, and their daughter Kiri were to play an important part in the development of the authorities’ views on Koresh, as will be discussed later. Sherri died of smoke inhalation during the fire.

(33.) Karl Henning appears originally to have been from British Columbia and worked as a teacher. His association with the Branch Davidians was relatively short-lived. In the ‘Sinful Messiah’ series (part one) Henning (spelt ‘Hennig’ in the article) is said to have studied with the group ‘for two months in 1987’, which suggests that he never actually joined the Branch Davidians or visited Mt. Carmel.

(34.) Andre Kale attended the Diamond Head SDA church and joined the Branch Davidians after listening to some lectures by Breault in June 1986. He met Koresh in Hawaii in August that year and moved to Palestine, Texas, in December. According to Breault, Kale had aids by the time he joined the movement and on account of this was treated with some caution by others. Kale eventually left the group because of doctrinal disagreement (though there was some tension between Kale and Perry Jones, who was in charge when Koresh was away). Kale died about six months later.

(35.) Jeff Little attended the University of Hawaii and while in Waco worked as a computer programmer outside Mt. Carmel. He was married to Nicole Gent and died in the fire at the age of thirty-two.

(36.) Judy Schneider (neé Judy Peterson) was from Wisconsin and married Steve Schneider in 1981 (Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 19). She was forty-one when she died in the fire. She had one child with Koresh, a daughter, Mayanah.

(37.) Floracita Sonobe died in the fire aged thirty-four.

(38.) Scott Kijoro Sonobe, of Japanese extraction, was born in Berkeley, California (NT 228). He was seriously injured in the initial shootout on 28 February and died in the fire at the age of thirty-five.

(39.) Kevin Whitecliff was born on 23 June 1961. He worked as a prison guard in Hawaii (Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco,, 186). Whitecliff left Mt. Carmel on 19 March (Thibodeau says Whitecliff and Brad Branch were ‘banished’ for sneaking shots of whisky—A Place Called Waco, 221) and was sentenced to forty years (later reduced to fifteen) in prison.

(p. 209 ) (40.) Some of the story can be reconstructed from Diamond Head recordings. There was a period of ‘discussion and dispute’ in Aug./Sept. 1986, and then on 3 Jan. 1987 an open church meeting was held where members were invited to share their concerns. On 27 Jan. 1987 the church board sent a letter to those in the ‘study group’ asking them for their position on the ‘new movement’. On 18 Feb. 1987 the church board met to discuss the response. Ten days later a decision was taken to place the members of the study group under a thirty-day censure period. The crunch came on 31 March when the board met and unanimously recommended that fourteen members of the Diamond Head SDA church be disfellowshipped. After some difficulty in arrangements a meeting of the church session took place on 27 June to discuss the recommendation of the board. On 3 Sept. 1987 a meeting took place under the chairmanship of Pastor Liu; a number of Branch Davidians spoke at this meeting, including Breault, Schneider, and Koresh. The meeting lasted for three hours and was followed by a secret ballot of church members, and the fourteen were disfellowshipped.

(41.) Schneider evidently took with him a tape that Koresh had made, in which he said it had been about a year since ‘we’ were with you. The tape goes over some familiar ground with regard to the importance of the ‘seventh angel’ and other matters relating to Koresh's role as a messenger for these last days. A copy is in my possession.

(42.) Marc Breault, E-mail to Kenneth Newport, 29 May 2003.

(44.) A copy is held in TXC, Mark Swett Collection, video box 1.

(45.) On one of the negotiation tapes Schneider gives the address as ‘178 East Arrow Highway in Pomona, California’ (NT 105). It was known by the Branch Davidians as ‘The Rock House’ since it was built of stone.

(46.) The house in La Verne was on ‘White Avenue’ (NT 114).

(47.) The house was on Melrose Avenue; Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 67.

(48.) NT 105. Thibodeau said that when he was first taken to the house in Pomona he met Jaime Castillo, Greg Summers, Mike Schroeder, Scott Sonobe, and Paul Fatta (A Place Called Waco, 20).

(49.) The dispute between the Bundses and Koresh appears to have come to a head in June 1990, when David Bunds and his wife were expelled from Mt. Carmel for breaking dietary rules (Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 109). Robyn Bunds defected a few weeks later, and Donald and Jeannine Bunds left in September 1991 (King and Breault, Preacher of Death, 371–2). The departure of Robyn and her son Shaun led to a custody battle with Koresh, which Robyn won. She was later to testify to an ATF agent as he began to gather the evidence in support of the ATF request for the Feb. 1993 search and arrest warrants. It is clear, however (Civil Trial, 1810 ff.), that Donald Bunds returned to Mt Carmel even after this date and sometimes stayed a few months at a time. He was there on the morning of 28 February, when he was arrested outside the complex.

(50.) Hughes had died in 1968, having apparently come from California that year to live at Mt. Carmel. Waco Tribune-Herald, 5 May 1988.

(p. 210 ) (51.) Interview with Clive Doyle, Waco, November 2002.

(52.) Floyd Houtmann died at the age of sixty-one on 19 Apr. 1993.

(53.) James Riddle died of a gunshot wound on 19 Apr. 1993 at the age of thirty-two.

(54.) Stan Sylvia was the husband of Lorraine and the father of Joshua, who left Mt. Carmel on 1 Mar. 1993 when he was seven years old, and Rachel. On 19 April Sylvia was in California and watched on television as Mt. Carmel burnt, with his wife and daughter (aged twelve) inside. He was apparently interviewed by Reavis who stated that in 1995 Sylvia was maintaining a Branch Davidian faith (Reavis, Ashes of Waco, 112).

(55.) The Waco Tribune-Herald, 6 Nov. 1987 reports that tests done by the McLennan County sheriff's department and the ATF show that the rifles confiscated from the men were ‘semi-automatic’. This was Koresh's first brush with the ATF; the next one would be fatal.

(56.) TXC 2D212/24.

(57.) Waco Tribune-Herald, 6 Nov. 1987.

(58.) TXC 2D212/24.

(59.) Waco Tribune-Herald, 24 Mar. 1988.

(60.) Bailey and Darden, Mad Man in Waco, 94.

(61.) Reavis, Ashes of Waco, 81.

(62.) Waco Tribune-Herald, 15 May 1988.

(63.) Ibid., 9 Dec. 1988.

(64.) The events leading up to the death of Dale Adair are not entirely clear. Breault (Inside the Cult, 107) said that Dale, who had been converted by Ben Roden some thirty years earlier (Adair, Davidian Testimony, 192), had turned up at Mt. Carmel some time during the summer of 1988. Dale had drifted away from the faith, but now wished to return. During a private Bible study at which only Koresh, Breault, and Dale Adair were present, Dale suddenly looked up to heaven and said, ‘My God, my God. After all these years I understand. I'm the Messiah. I'm the David.’ He then left Mt. Carmel. Where he went is not clear, but by 16 Oct. 1989 he was staying at the Roden's house in Odessa and told George Roden he (Dale) was the Messiah. At this point George became enraged and killed him. The forensic evidence suggests that George killed Dale with an axe, shot the mutilated body afterwards in order to claim that he had shot Dale in self-defence, and then chopped the body up in a fit of rage. See further Adair, Davidian Testimony, 305–6. Some further detail is found in Adair, ‘Interviews’, 96–8, which confirms the evidence from Breault regarding the place where Dale Adair was killed.

(65.) On the British converts see especially Albert Waite and Laura Osei, ‘The British Connection’, Spectrum, 23/1 (May 1993), 34–8.

(66.) Apparently written by Peter Van Bemmelen, then a lecturer at the college. A copy is in my possession.

(67.) John McBean died on 19 April at the age of twenty-seven.

(68.) Prior to his move to Waco, Sellors was a ministerial student at Newbold College. He was a highly talented artist whose ability was put to work by Koresh; among (p. 211 ) other things he decorated a number of Koresh's guitars. He died from smoke inhalation on 19 Apr. at the age of thirty-three.

(69.) Leslie Lewis died on 19 April. Her body was one of those not specifically identified at post mortem.

(70.) Bernadette Monbelly died on 19 April at the age of thirty-one.

(71.) Teresa Norbrega died on 19 April at the age of forty-eight.

(72.) Renos Avraam was a Greek businessman from London. He survived the fire but was later jailed for forty years (reduced to fifteen). Some time fairly soon after the fire, Avraam came to the conclusion that he was the ‘chosen vessel’ whose job it was to complete the message of the seven seals. See further Chapter Sixteen below.

(73.) Breault is very clear that Koresh did visit the UK in either 1988 or 1989. He wrote, ‘Vernon definitely went to England before 1990. I don't remember exactly when it was, but it was before I left the group, and it was before Passover of 1989. I believe it was later in the year, around November, of 1988, although it could have been early in 1989.’ (E-mail to Kenneth Newport, 4 June 2003).

(74.) Part of that evangelistic campaign has survived on a series of nine audio tapes, copies of which are in my possession. They were recorded in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, in Jan. 1990. McBean can clearly be heard on the tapes and frequent reference is made by Schneider to other persons by name.

(75.) See Appendix D for details.

(76.) The outline given above is based upon Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 9–24.

(77.) Ibid. 61.

(78.) Jean Smith was later to testify that the La Verne house was ordinarily out of bounds to Branch Davidian men and that ‘The women in any of those rooms could be called by Vernon at that stage’ (Waco Tribune-Herald, ‘The Sinful Messiah’, part 7).

(79.) Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 107–23, contains what appears to be fairly solid information on this issue written by an insider. The chapter of the book to which these pages belong begins, ‘My [Thibodeau's] link with Michele provoked me to discover more about her relationship with David and also about his sexual connection with underage girls in general’ (107).

(80.) Ibid. 31–2.

(81.) Ibid. 107–9.

(82.) Robyn and Jeannine Bunds later appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, when Robyn said that she and Koresh began having sex when she was fifteen and that he took her as a wife when she was seventeen. A transcript of that show is in my possession

(83.) Lorraine Sylvia was the wife of Stan Sylvia and the mother of three children, including Hollywood, generally assumed to be by Koresh. She died in the fire.

(84.) See further Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco 107–11. Jeannine and Robyn Bunds’ later appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show is also illuminating in this regard. A transcript of that show is in my possession.

(85.) Ibid. 110–11. Thibodeau has probably omitted Lois Roden from the count.

(p. 212 ) (86.) Details of Breault's departure from the group are taken from Preacher of Death, 195–204.

(87.) Koresh, ‘Foundation’ (audio tape); this is in my possession.

(88.) Donahue Show, 10 Mar. 1993.

(89.) John R. Hall, ‘Public Narratives and the Apocalyptic Sect’ in Wright, Armageddon at Waco, 216.

(90.) Breault and King, Preacher of Death, 271–9, contains Breault s own account.

(91.) Hall in Lewis, ed., Armageddon in Waco, 217.

(92.) Report, 219–20.

(93.) Thibodeau, A Place Called Waco, 114–16.

(94.) Tabor and Gallagher, Why Waco?, 58; Bailey and Darden, Madman in Waco, 95.

(95.) Clive Doyle, interview with Kenneth G. C. Newport, Waco, Texas, Nov. 2002.