BNC Text HE3

Panorama: the Branch Davidian sect: documentary. Sample containing about 5897 words speech recorded in leisure context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C352

PS2R8 X m (david koresh, age unknown, religious leader, This is almost certainly David Koresh speaking, but) unspecified
PS2R9 X m (John, age unknown, tv presenter) unspecified
PS2RA X f (Janet, age unknown, Davidian) unspecified
PS2RB X f (No name, age unknown, Davidian) unspecified
PS2RC X m (Livingstone, age unknown, Davidian) unspecified
PS2RD X f (Bonnie, age unknown) unspecified
PS2RE X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS2RF X m (No name, age unknown, May well be an actor portraying a Davidian) unspecified
PS2RG X m (No name, age unknown, May well be an actor portraying a Davidian) unspecified
HE3PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HE3PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 102301 recorded on 1993-10-18. LocationLondon: Bbc1 ( Television broadcast ) Activity: Documentary Narrative and interviews

Undivided text

david koresh (PS2R8) [1] [sound of burning and dramatic music] [reading] Revelation.
[2] And I looked to behold a pale horse and his name that sat on him was Death. []
John (PS2R9) [3] David Koresh, like Jesus Christ, died aged thirty three.
[4] British followers of Koresh are facing trial for murder.
[5] Tonight Panorama has new evidence about the Waco tragedy .
david koresh (PS2R8) [6] [...] For the great day of his wrath is come. [theme music leading to triumphant climax] [rock music]
John (PS2R9) [7] David Koresh was an uneducated product of Rural Texas.
[8] He liked rock music, cars, guns and teenage girls.
[9] But to the Branch Davidian Sect he was the Lamb of God.
[10] Today there is dispute about how far he caused his and his followers deaths, or they were victims of a needless tragedy.
[11] The American government has just brought out two new reports providing fresh evidence about the life and death of the man who called himself the sinful Messiah.
[12] [rock music] Koresh lives on in the hearts of such Branch Davidians as survived.
[13] Two of them revisit the site of the Mount Carmel centre, their former home outside Waco, that Koresh renamed Ranch Apocalypse.
[14] They've come to look for their belongings.
[15] ... Janet had been a Branch Davidian for years before Koresh came along.
Janet (PS2RA) [16] There's not much left is [laughing] there [] .
[17] Just a heap of rubbish, hard to believe that there were over a hundred people living in there, is there? [...]
John (PS2R9) [18] Her husband is in jail in Waco with the other men, soon to go on trial.
[19] Sheila lost her husband and four of here seven children in the fire.
[20] The site was bulldozed immediately afterwards.
[21] Last week the Justice Department's report reaffirmed that the fire was deliberately started inside.
[22] Most survivors dispute that.
[23] If the cause of the tragedy is contentious, the scale of it is not.
[24] Eighty four people died here on April the nineteenth, of whom at least twenty were young children.
[25] Twelve of the youngest were found still wrapped in the charred bones of their mothers' arms.
[26] Of all the dead about twenty four were British.
[27] And of the Adults who left during the siege, or who managed to survive the fire, three Britons will soon go on trial for conspiracy to murder the federal agents who were killed or wounded in the initial shoot out.
[28] Many of the Branch Davidians seem to be educated and articulate people.
[29] The question remains.
[30] How did people like that come to finish up in the holocaust that happened here?
[31] ... The Davidians split off from the Sabbath Day Adventist church in the nineteen thirties.
[32] They take the book of Revelation more literally and believe the second coming of Christ is imminent.
[33] Among the wreckage here are the belongings of families who came from Britain and from all over the world.
Janet (PS2RA) [34] I like to have the memories of them
(PS2RB) [35] Yeah I don't.
Janet (PS2RA) [36] but you hate to think at the same time what happened how they were burning you hate to think of
(PS2RB) [37] Yeah I I [...]
Janet (PS2RA) [38] those things.
John (PS2R9) [39] The government calls them a cult because of their devotion to David Koresh.
(PS2RB) [40] Their spirits are with us and that we got to keep on going.
John (PS2R9) [41] and their loyalty remains.
John (PS2R9) [42] Having lost your husband and four of your children, you don't think that David Koresh might have been er a unwise leader?
[43] A misguided figure?
Unknown speaker (HE3PSUNK) [44] No, [...] no, no.
[45] He's he's always been very kind, very considerate always very mindful of our sins.
[46] I don't think so, no.
John (PS2R9) [47] Don't you ever feel that he dragged your family in to this terrible holocaust unnecessarily ?
(PS2RB) [48] No sir.
[49] No sir I think that we were all there we all stayed because God would take care of us.
Janet (PS2RA) [50] We still believe that there's going to be a kingdom over in Israel and that David Koresh is going to come back and be the head of that kingdom and that it's going to be a peaceful place as prophecized in the Bible.
[51] It talks about the heathen being astounded and being envious and jealous because they are going to see peace and harmony and happiness and this is what we are looking forward to this is why we're not mourning, why we're not you know all upset because we know this is going to come. [dramatic music]
John (PS2R9) [52] Three British Branch Davidian men are in Waco jail and will be tried for murder soon.
[53] I spoke on the telephone to one of them Livingstone who comes from Nottingham.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [54] This is no different to the Christians that lived back two thousand years ago.
[55] It was either the system or God that's what er the position of the F B I put us in.
[56] We did not fear death at all.
[57] The thing about it is that it is not death of the body that is important to us, it's the soul.
John (PS2R9) [58] David Koresh grew up in the Bible belt.
[59] He was born Vernon , the illegitimate son of a fourteen year old girl.
[60] Brought up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church he would later be expelled and join the Branch Davidians.
[61] His mother, now Mrs Bonnie , knew young Vernon's vocation was to be a religious leader.
[62] He was a failure at school, but as a teenager he became obsessed with Christianity.
[63] He would pray for hours and memorize large sections of the Bible.
[64] His mother remembers his growing talent as a preacher.
Bonnie (PS2RD) [65] I knew it had to be a gift from God.
[66] And all a prophet means is a mouthpiece of God, it's nothing he's
John (PS2R9) [...]
Bonnie (PS2RD) [67] just a man you know but I felt that God was leaving him I really did.
[68] He amazed
John (PS2R9) [...]
Bonnie (PS2RD) [69] me, it was awesome.
John (PS2R9) [70] He described himself as the sinful Messiah.
Bonnie (PS2RD) [71] Mhm.
John (PS2R9) [72] What does that mean?
Bonnie (PS2RD) [73] Well [laugh] he he he was a sinful person, as we all are erm, I think he did not as the way I understand it, you know Jesus came perfect in everything but he had a he had a a message to give and he could give it better, I think because he had experienced so many things.
[74] The sins of the world and all this kind of stuff.
John (PS2R9) [75] Waco sheriffs officers close in on Mount Carmel, not this year but six years ago.
[76] Vernon was arrested for leading an armed attack on the then Branch Davidian leader one George who'd thrown him off the property.
[77] Shots were exchanged and firearms seized.
[78] In a bizarre leadership contest had dug up a dead Davidian and challenged his rival Vernon to bring the body back to life.
[79] In court the jury concluded that was insane.
[80] Vernon David Koresh to be, escaped conviction because the jury couldn't agree on his guilt.
[81] The vital evidence was removed from the Waco courthouse and guns were returned to him.
[82] George had been toppled as Davidian leader.
[83] Vernon returned to Mount Carmel with his young wife and a handful of followers, the undisputed leader of the sect.
[84] To consolidate his power he needed new members and his recruiters fanned out across the world.
[85] Koresh's closest aid, right up to the end was Steve .
[86] He flew to London in nineteen eighty eight.
[87] He headed for the Seventh Day Adventist College, New Bold in Berkshire.
[88] had been a student here back in the seventies before he was expelled for getting drunk.
(PS2RE) [89] came as in the Christian community would say a wolf in sheep clothing.
[90] No one knew of him coming, hardly anyone knew who he was.
[91] The first thing he did he made friends amongst the young men in the college.
John (PS2R9) [92] He was a latter-day John the Baptist preparing the way for David Koresh.
[93] A former Adventist himself, he was well equipped to give the students he met Koresh's new slant on the book of Revelation.
Unknown speaker (HE3PSUNK) [...]
(PS2RF) [94] I've pondered over a couple of the things.
(PS2RG) [95] Good.
[96] You know as an Adventist do you know what it says in the book of Revelation?
(PS2RF) [97] Yeah
(PS2RG) [98] Revelation fourteen and lo a lion was standing on the Mount Zion and with him a Hundred and Forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the Earth.
[99] Any man that worships the beast and the image the very same shall taste of the wine of the wrath of God.
Unknown speaker (HE3PSUNK) [100] He took things out of context and everything focused on Armageddon, the end of the world, apocalypse.
[101] Koresh zeroed in on this and tried to bring it closer to where we are to make it more real so it was uppermost in the minds of all his followers.
John (PS2R9) [102] When Koresh himself came to Britain banned from New Bold he had to hold meetings in peoples homes.
david koresh (PS2R8) [103] God in the flesh, do you know who I am?
[104] God in the flesh. [...]
John (PS2R9) [105] New Bold college couldn't prevent its students from going along and some young Seventh Day Adventists were predisposed to be receptive.
[106] After all Koresh's apocalyptic vision, his talk of the seven seals that only the lamb of God can unlock, sounded like refinements of what they already believed.
[107] Dissatisfied with mainstream Christianity they were impressed by his apparent certainty, but he persuaded his potential British followers with more than just his Biblical knowledge.
david koresh (PS2R8) [108] What better sinner knows a sinner than a godly sinner, ha?
david koresh (PS2R8) [109] Gradually the meetings got longer and longer until eventually they began, not in the evening, but they began in the morning and they lasted from perhaps ten in the morning until the early hours of the next day.
[110] Course people were very tired.
[111] The the evening I was there there were about twenty five people in the room and people were falling asleep.
John (PS2R9) [112] But what's the point of holding a meeting that goes on for more than twelve hours?
david koresh (PS2R8) [113] Well I I only see one point and that is to try to confuse somebody, to brainwash them.
John (PS2R9) [114] But those who accepted Koresh's teaching deny they were being brainwashed.
david koresh (PS2R8) [115] Every sin Isaiah says, I'm guilty of, I agree.
[116] I'm perfect to give you this message.
John (PS2R9) [117] As a recruiting exercise the meetings were a success one who joined then, now a nurse, was Janet .
John (PS2R9) [118] We were not spell bound by David.
[119] You know we were intelligent people who asked intelligent questions.
[120] Now remember we all of us came from the background that, you know this world was going to come to an end very soon.
[121] That God was going to do something catastrophic, Okay?
[122] Erm exactly what, we didn't know, we were al we all knew a little bit about the seals, however we had studied about the seals in a different way and it didn't make sense and we were young people who who were searching.
John (PS2R9) [123] As well as Janet, four students at the meeting became Branch Davidian recruiters in Britain.
[124] One was her brother, theology student John who recruited in Manchester.
[125] He was to die in the fire.
[126] Livingstone from Nottingham was a former Seventh Day Adventist pastor.
[127] As we've seen he's now in prison.
[128] Cliff from Derby was another New Bold student, a gifted artist he too would die in the fire.
[129] And Diana , John former girlfriend, and a psychology graduate.
[130] She had two brothers and two sisters at home in Manchester. [music and singing]
John (PS2R9) [131] Manchester South Seventh Day Adventist Church.
[132] The family used to come here.
[133] The father Sam , a builder still worships here on a Saturday, the Adventist sabbath.
[134] All five children were musical and destined for academic success and professional careers.
[135] John was able to convince most of the family to follow the sinful Messiah. [telephone being dialled, overlaps next part of speech]
John (PS2R9) [136] Diana returned after her first visit to Waco to go about recruiting Manchester Adventists using her father's church membership lists .
Janet (PS2RA) [137] Hello it's me.
[138] How are you?
John (PS2R9) [139] Her father was the only member of the family to reject Koresh's teaching and the only one still alive.
[140] The fire in Waco killed Diana, both her brothers, both her sisters and her mother Zilla .
Janet (PS2RA) [...]
(PS2RB) [141] When she decided, with the rest of the children, to go to Waco [...] Monday and they told me the Sunday.
[142] Just a few hours, I would say before, less than twenty four hours before they went.
[143] That they were going and that nearly killed me, that nearly killed me because I knew then this was serious.
[144] Very serious.
John (PS2R9) [145] This came as a shock to you?
(PS2RB) [146] It was more than a shock I put my head in my in my hand and I remember kneeling right at this spot and just crying my heart out.
John (PS2R9) [147] You are a bereaved husband and a bereaved father.
(PS2RB) [148] Definitely I am.
John (PS2R9) [149] In in in this situation, have you apportioned blame for the deaths of your family?
[150] Whom do you blame?
(PS2RB) [151] I The main There are two persons whom the Devil used as instruments in the destruction of my family, equally.
[152] And one is They call him David Koresh, and the next is a woman in London call Vicky .
[153] I think that's her name.
John (PS2R9) [154] Why do you blame her?
(PS2RB) [155] Because her home was a headquarters for Vernon in Britain.
John (PS2R9) [156] Victorine is vacating her flat in North London.
[157] It was never a headquarters as such, but David Koresh, the self-styled lamb of God, stayed here when he visited London.
[158] And here he held Bible meetings that convinced Vicky , and over thirty others, to come and join him in Waco.
[159] She was allowed to leave the Mount Carmel centre halfway through the siege.
[160] ... Speaking for the first time Vicky is now disillusioned with the man she once thought was a prophet and is writing a book about it.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [161] I still believe that that someone is to come by the name of David and setting up of God's kingdom but but
John (PS2R9) [162] But it's not David Koresh?
Livingstone (PS2RC) [163] No it's not David Koresh.
John (PS2R9) [164] Vicky was filmed at the Mount Carmel centre, last year, by an Australian cameraman.
[165] She lived here on and off for three years.
[166] Conditions were primitive.
[167] There was no sanitation.
[168] Life consisted of laborious work, punctuated by lengthy sessions of Bible study addressed by the prophet himself .
david koresh (PS2R8) [169] I will [...] the Lord has said unto me thou art my son.
[170] This day have I begotten thee.
[171] Ha.
[172] Someone's the son of God, someone [...]
John (PS2R9) [173] It would become clear to Vicky that Koresh's contempt for the outside world, that he called Babylon, included contempt for some of its laws and for normal standards of behaviour.
david koresh (PS2R8) [174] Someone is going to rule whether the big world likes it or not.
[175] Thou shalt break them with the rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
[176] The guy's tough.
[177] He's got more than guns.
[178] He's got God.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [179] Sometimes his Bible meetings are very interesting and another time it can be very boring.
[180] He would tell us about his love affairs and things what he did.
[181] You know just raw, you know.
[182] What he did, how how he'd do it and things like that.
[183] And you know children, men and children would be there and he just don't care.
John (PS2R9) [184] Sorry Wh what How would you mean, what he did?
Livingstone (PS2RC) [185] You know, how You know how he make love, he would tell us.
John (PS2R9) [186] The Mount Carmel compound in the Texas countryside outside Waco, had a despotic leader.
[187] Once his followers, many educated people, were convinced that Koresh was a prophet, a mouth piece of God they would do anything he asked of them.
[188] Koresh had married Rachel who was the fourteen year old daughter of another Branch Davidian.
[189] Together they had three children, all of them would die in the fire.
[190] But Koresh believed himself entitled to all the Davidian women.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [191] David established that erm in Isaiah, two twenty two, it says Seize Eve from man, and this is one of the prophecies that that David showed us that er shows the man, or the women, that they have to leave their wife or If it's the woman, she has to leave her husband and her and her boyfriend and become his wife.
John (PS2R9) [192] So he used a verse of Isaiah
Livingstone (PS2RC) [193] Yes.
John (PS2R9) [194] to justify sleeping with all the other mens wives?
Livingstone (PS2RC) [195] Yes and all the men give give their wife to David.
John (PS2R9) [196] So how many of them got pregnant?
Livingstone (PS2RC) [197] Many many of them.
John (PS2R9) [198] So how many children do you think David Koresh had?
Livingstone (PS2RC) [199] David had many children.
John (PS2R9) [200] So so that if any of the women were pregnant at Mount Carmel, David Koresh was the father.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [201] Yes because all all Every every man give their wife up.
John (PS2R9) [202] Even Koresh's closest aide, Steve , had to give up his young wife Judy to the sinful Messiah.
[203] She had Koresh's baby and called herself Judy Koresh.
[204] The whole harem was known as The House of David. [dramatic music]
John (PS2R9) [205] But Koresh didn't just take Davidians wives.
[206] He demanded their young daughters too, and most parents consented.
[207] Koresh was discreet about his sex with underage children and they left his room in the early dawn.
[208] But one Branch Davidian, who later went to the police, was a witness to what went on.
Bonnie (PS2RD) [209] He came to me He had a problem, [...] he and I were good friends and he said that erm ... that this one girl s erm Michelle , was his favourite wife and that he had been with her since erm she was twelve.
[210] The problem that he was having was that she was his legal wife's sister and there was some rivalry or jealousy developing between his legal wife and er this other girl and he wasn't sure what he what to do about it.
John (PS2R9) [211] What did you think about David Koresh sleeping with twelve year old children?
(PS2RE) [212] Well I think it was terrible but the parents agree with it.
[213] Both mother and father, they agree that erm that David should do that because, you see, David established that he is the only he is the only man on this Earth who who who have er holy seed in him.
John (PS2R9) [214] Holy seed.
(PS2RE) [215] Yes and
John (PS2R9) [216] That's what he called it?
(PS2RE) [217] Yeah he call it the holy seed and that he could have righteous children.
John (PS2R9) [218] If Koresh broke the law, it was the County sheriff who should have intervened.
[219] The Waco sheriff habitually turned a blind eye to Koresh's activities.
[220] But when Mark defected and made allegations of child abuse sheriff Jack eventually sent social workers to visit the Branch Davidians.
(PS2RF) [221] There was really no evidence of er of child abuse.
[222] There was only allegations and and again I say today that we have not ever found any any proof of any child abuse out there.
[223] That's not to say there wasn't child abuse now, I I have my own thoughts and in my own feelings feel that there could have been some child abuse especially ch sexual abuse.
[224] Erm, but we could never prove that.
John (PS2R9) [225] Wayne was David Koresh's legal advisor, but took his turn in helping construct the flimsy wooden building.
[226] Thinking himself safe from the law Koresh committed more excesses.
[227] was one of the so called mighty men.
[228] King David of the Old Testament had mighty men to enforce discipline, so did David Koresh.
[229] There was a paddle with which Koresh beat his followers and he intimidated them by openly boasting, in crude detail, about even worse brutality.
[230] Upon Julie who feared for her young daughter and wanted to leave.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [231] What I am saying here now is not hearsay, this is what David telled us in his Bible meetings.
[232] What he did.
[233] He took Julie upstairs in his room and he he push her he push her on his bed and ... he he raped her.
[234] ... He said to us that ... you know that is dick was so hard and he told us everything of what he did to her, he push his dick inside of her and he said he was very very rough with her and she was crying and crying and crying.
John (PS2R9) [235] For entertainment Koresh forced the Branch Davidians to watch violent and horrific videos, usually of films about the Vietnam war, to instil a militant and defensive mentality.
[236] [sounds of violence and gunfire] Koresh had guns from the beginning and he made his mighty men in to trained marksman.
(PS2RG) [237] His weapons were part of his his message.
[238] You see if There is going to be a war, and God's people had also to be warriors and so there was that element of religion as well that that we had to be trained as warriors for the Lord.
(PS2RF) [239] On several occasions they had er displayed guns where people would back into their driveway or er show some indication that they were going on to their property, then guns were revealed, people coming out of the the buildings out there with guns and what have you.
[240] There was some reference to it as being their country.
[241] I I would not go out there on to their property without letting them have knowledge that I was coming to their property.
John (PS2R9) [242] But of all Koresh's dubious activities it was gun dealing that would bring him in to conflict with authority.
[243] One of his members had a dealers license and drove to cities like Houston to buy and sell at gun fairs.
[244] ... Koresh financed his sect by trading in weapons.
[245] A common place enough business in Texas.
[246] ... This was Koresh's business premises.
[247] A building near Mount Carmel called the Magbag.
[248] Here Koresh took receipt of mail order fire arms from all over America including machine guns, like the A K Forty Seven, the simple kits that convert semi-automatic weapons into automatics and even hand grenades.
[249] Fully assembled they are all illegal.
[250] Only when a package burst open did the sheriff receive a tip off from the postal service U P S.
(PS2RF) [251] Er U P S er called us one time on some hand grenades hulls er the kind that you would use sat on your desk for a paperweight.
[252] A box of them had had er they were delivering had erm They had damaged the box and some of them had fallen out.
[253] And they called us to go out and look at them.
[254] They were not the illegal so we couldn't stop them from delivering them.
[255] Then we received information, black powder and and er other er types of er conversion kits for semi automatic rifles to convert them to automatic rifles, and that kind of thing.
[256] All of this information we were giving to the federal people, A T F, who are responsible for investigating and control these kind of activities.
John (PS2R9) [257] As a result this house opposite Koresh's compound was occupied in January by agents of the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms bureau, the A T F. An agent called infiltrated Bible classes and a log was kept of Koresh's movements.
[258] Warrants were issued to arrest Koresh and to search Mount Carmel for illegal weapons.
[259] [dramatic music] Koresh used to regularly drive into Waco in his black sports car, he had no fear of arrest.
[260] Last week a government report said that if the A T F had arrested Koresh in town, all the mayhem that followed need never of happened and those who died might still have been alive.
[261] Instead the A T F decided to mount its biggest ever raid.
[262] Over a hundred armed agents set out for Mount Carmel.
[263] The raid was meant to have speed, simplicity and surprise.
[264] Speed, the A T F were transported in cattle trucks that were visible from miles away.
[265] Simplicity, the raid was preceded by three military helicopters that were fired upon before the cattle trucks even got here.
[266] Surprise, the raid had been talked about in Waco for days.
[267] The news media were alerted and were following the police convoy.
[268] One television news cameraman got lost near here and asked a postman for directions adding, there's going to be a big gunfight with those religious nuts over there.
[269] The postman thanked him for the warning and drove back to Mount Carmel.
[270] He was David , David Koresh's brother-in-law and one of the mighty men.
[271] [sounds of intense automatic weapons fire] Withering fire from the Davidians automatic weapons greeted the A T F men when they tried to enter the building.
[272] Last weeks report shows that not only was Koresh forewarned of the raid but the A T F's undercover agent had told that to the raid's commanders.
[273] The report says they should have called off the operation once the element of surprise was lost.
[274] [sounds of sporadic fire] With both sides suffering dead and wounded, Davidian lawyer Wayne , put in a desperate call to the deputy sheriff, Larry who he knew.
[275] Against a background of gunfire the call was recorded.
david koresh (PS2R8) [276] Yeah this is Lieutenant may I help you?
John (PS2R9) [277] Yeah, they're shooting at us in Mount Carmel.
david koresh (PS2R8) [278] Mount Carmel?
John (PS2R9) [279] Yeah, tell them there are children and women in here and to call it off.
david koresh (PS2R8) [280] Oh man, I can hear the bullets.
[281] God almighty I knew this.
[282] [...] Wayne?
John (PS2R9) [283] Tell them to call it off!
david koresh (PS2R8) [284] Who is this, Wayne?
John (PS2R9) [285] Tell them to pull back!
david koresh (PS2R8) [286] What?
John (PS2R9) [287] [...] fight to the last man [...] They started firing first.
[288] [...] cease fire [...] .
[289] Oh shit.
david koresh (PS2R8) [290] What's the matter?
John (PS2R9) [291] They're What do you think they're doing all this firing on us right now.
david koresh (PS2R8) [292] [...] Alright, I'm trying to make contact with the forces now, standby. [intense gunfire]
John (PS2R9) [293] Why do you think such extreme violence was used against law enforcement officers when they arrived to carry out their duties?
david koresh (PS2R8) [294] Well, er because it was provoked.
[295] Because the A T F provoked it.
[296] Violence begets v violence and when the A T F assaulted er those people, they defended themselves.
Janet (PS2RA) [297] When you think about a hundred plus people inside of a compound with all of those weapons, you need a a mass a large scale operation.
[298] The important thing was that it go forward only with the element of surprise.
[299] Unfortunately the element of surprise was lost and the operation still went forward.
John (PS2R9) [300] Ronald report concedes that with four A T F men killed and sixteen wounded the raid was a fiasco.
[301] But there could be no let up now.
[302] Koresh was confronting not just the local sheriff but the government of the United States.
[303] Federal officers were dead.
[304] A tragic process began to unfold and faced with a entrancement they could not understand, officials made a series of misjudgments that would end in an even greater loss of life.
[305] David Koresh and his followers were where they wanted to be, inside the fortress of Mount Carmel.
[306] They settled down for a long siege and so did the outside world.
[307] President Clinton replaced the A T F with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the F B I.
[308] Meanwhile the army provided armoured vehicles and helicopters.
[309] The aim was to get the Davidians to give themselves up.
[310] But over the succeeding weeks only a handful came out the rest chose to stay.
(PS2RB) [311] Everybody else for a look through the field glasses, it doesn't cost you [...]
John (PS2R9) [312] Last week's report for the Justice Department acknowledges that the F B I's tactics didn't work.
[313] Instead of a swift resolution the siege dragged on into its second month.
[314] Initially the F B I's fear was that there would be a mass suicide.
[315] When Vicky came out after three weeks she confirmed that fear.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [316] Evette , she brought er a green thing A round thing and she gave it to one of the ladies, I cannot remember which one.
[317] Saying that erm you know th you know that it's a grenade and it's going to be quick death.
John (PS2R9) [318] Even in that early part of the siege a decision had been made that you were all going to die.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [319] [...] we are all going to die then they all they they that th that they're going to blow the place up.
[320] So a mass suicide had erm you know the people were planning a mass suicide in the first few days of the siege.
John (PS2R9) [321] Is this because David Koresh had persuaded everybody that their lives would have to end in this siege?
Livingstone (PS2RC) [322] Well David said that we were at the end, everyone believed that they were that the time has come that we was at the end of the world.
John (PS2R9) [323] If that was the mood in the early days of the siege later on the F B I knew that Koresh's attitude may have changed.
[324] Koresh's lawyer,, were one of the few the F B I allowed to speak to him.
[325] gave Panorama evidence that Koresh intended to survive the siege.
[326] The tape of a phone conversation, late in the siege, that has not been heard publicly before.
david koresh (PS2R8) [327] This is what my focus is, once I go out of here I want to go out walking.
[328] I told them, you know, I had no intention of committing suicide, I'm not that way.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [329] Let me tell you the word there spreading is that you have vowed to kill all everybody.
[330] Er [...]
david koresh (PS2R8) [331] That is baloney.
Livingstone (PS2RC) [332] that there would be a mass suici , I know it it's i
david koresh (PS2R8) [333] [...] that's not that's not even sane.
John (PS2R9) [334] Koresh told that he'd give himself up once he'd written his prophetic interpretation of the seven seals.
[335] We know Koresh started work because the computer disk containing his first chapter survived the fire.
[336] Although the F B I thought this another delaying tactic, it helped persuade them that mass suicide was unlikely, and that it was therefore safe to force a conclusion.
[337] At dawn on April the nineteenth, fifty one days into the siege, their patience ran out.
[338] President Clinton authorized the F B I's tanks to bash holes in the walls, spray C S gas and fire in gas canisters.
[339] Over loud speakers the F B I told the Davidians it was not an assault, just an attempt to force them out.
[340] But the Davidians stayed put.
[341] Last week's report would call the entire gassing operation a failure.
Bonnie (PS2RD) [342] What you had was, F B I agents who were trained to be proactive, to be to do things, to force a conclusion.
[343] They didn't have to do something.
[344] It's this macho attitude, we've got to bring this to a conclusion, that I'm arguing about.
[345] I think the best conclusion would have happened if they'd just let it happen, rather than trying to force the issue on April the nineteenth.
[346] Er it was the it was the wrong decision.
John (PS2R9) [347] Six hours after the gassing operation began, around midday, the Mount Carmel centre burst into flames in three different places.
[348] About a hundred were inside, just nine escaped.
[349] One told be his experience, on the phone from Waco prison, British survivor, Renos .
(PS2RE) [350] Er I myself went for the nearest exit which was out a window, I assume everyone else erm [...] panicked and I could hear quite a few people running running down the corridor from the first floor.
[351] Erm I myself came out a first floor window erm a lot of a lot of entrances had already been blocked by the tanks [...] [sounds of burning]
John (PS2R9) [352] How did the fire start?
[353] At the time the government didn't expect a mass suicide.
[354] But F B I agents are now hinting they knew the fire might happen.
[355] They had listening devices in the building, and early on the nineteenth allegedly heard Koresh ordering paraffin to splashed around.
[356] The Justice Department won't release those tapes but its investigator has no doubts.
(PS2RF) [357] There is substantial evidence that er demonstrates that the fire was caused by those inside the compound.
[358] Not just caused by them but that it was intentionally set.
[359] Er we do have interviews with the number of members who had exited the compound indicating that there was er inf er erm m petroleum type products that were being spread around the compound.
[360] Er that the fires were set at about the time that the erm er that the armoured began breaching the walls of the compound.
[361] I think the evidence will be overwhelming that that fire was set intentionally by Koresh and h some of his core followers.
John (PS2R9) [362] But the British eye witness, Renos , says that the fire was started by accident.
(PS2RE) [363] I was in there with the flame and er there was no erm [...] for any erm [...] or anything like that.
[364] I'm not sure if David [...] keep us from erm [...] the building, we know then that there was no [...]
John (PS2R9) [365] But as the fire here at mount Carmel started in three separate places, the F B I is probably right that it was deliberate.
[366] But there is no proof of mass suicide.
[367] The question remains therefore whether the F B I was wise to force the issue with the gas attack or whether it aggravated the situation.
[368] The Justice Department report exonerates the F B I.
[369] But many in America have received that report sceptically.
[370] To avoid an agonizing death by fire, many Davidians shot one another, or themselves.
[371] David Koresh had already been wounded.
[372] F B I agents now believe that is was his trusted lieutenant who had given Koresh everything including his own wife, who shot the sinful Messiah in the head with a rifle, before turning the gun on himself.
[373] No weapon was found near the body of David Koresh.
[374] A high velocity rifle lay beside the remains of Steve .
[375] The flag of Texas symbolized the reassertion of state authority over Koresh's kingdom.
[376] What little remained of victims of the fire was carried away for identification and autopsy.
[377] The survivors and the government cannot agree about responsibility for their deaths, among them young Cliff,, John , the family, Wayne and four of his children.
(PS2RG) [378] Why did all So many people have to die like this?
[379] Why did they You know, when you think that they were in er One place there was thirty two.
[380] In that square place that was over there, it was a pantry, some of them were so fused together they were holding each other .
[381] There was like five or six bodies at one point.
[382] They realized later that these are messed together.
[383] Such a heat, and such a a closeness, they were afraid.
[384] They would not have done this.
[385] They wouldn't have allowed them, you know, [...] didn't want to kill themselves like that.
[386] They didn't want to die.
[387] We all wanted to live, I know my children too.
Unknown speaker (HE3PSUNK) [388] In order to make his own sort of erm prophetic vision come true.
[389] Erm he decided to stage a fire in which it would make it appear as though er this was a result of some sort of erm armed confrontation between law enforcement and his group.
[390] But who Actually he wasn't given what he wanted, which I believe was an armed conflict between law enforcement and his group in which he expected to die, in which he expected his membership to die.
John (PS2R9) [391] The shattered mementoes of the sect, decay on the devastated site of Mount Carmel.
[392] Koresh has been demonized by the government, and his followers ridiculed as cultists.
[393] They became the object of public outrage and loathing.
[394] And very few stopped to think about what had happened.
david koresh (PS2R8) [395] The true test of a free society is not in how it treats its best citizens, but in how it treats its worst, its most despised.
[396] And if we can do that to someone because, well they're religious nuts, [...] they're they're a little bit different.
[397] Or they're a lot different.
[398] Then we can do it to you or me or anyone else, and that troubles me. [sombre music]
John (PS2R9) [399] What remained of David Koresh was secretly buried here, in this unmarked grave in the small Texas town where he grew up.
[400] The Branch Davidian Sect still exists.
[401] Its members believe Koresh will return soon and today they are still actively trying to make converts, in Britain and wherever people are susceptible to the appeal of a Sinful Messiah. [theme music, reprise, to end of job]