Chapter

Explaining Militarization at Waco

Stuart A. Wright

in Controversial New Religions

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156829
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784806 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019515682X.003.0004
 Explaining Militarization at Waco

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This essay examines how the Branch Davidians — a small religious group following a peaceful lifestyle in rural Texas — came to be perceived as a dangerous community that required an aggressive and sustained military-like response from authorities to subdue them. The Davidians were brought to the attention of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms through the sustained efforts of apostates and other interest groups. This led to a siege in which most of the members died. The analysis focuses on the “logic” by which the situation was so dramatically militarized.

Keywords: Branch Davidians; David Koresh; Waco; siege; law enforcement

Chapter.  9147 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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