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Storming ZionGovernment Raids on Religious Communities$
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Stuart A. Wright and Susan J. Palmer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780195398892

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398892.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 December 2021

The Branch Davidians

The Branch Davidians

(p.99) 5 The Branch Davidians
Storming Zion

Stuart A. Wright

Susan J. Palmer

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a case study of the Branch Davidians, a small Seventh Day Adventist sect. It begins with an overview of the raid conducted by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in 1993 at the sect’s communal property in Waco, Texas, followed by the history and background of the Branch Davidians. It then describes the formation of alliances by different opposition groups in order to lay grievance claims focused on child abuse against the Branch Davidians, highlighting the roles of apostates, anticult movement (ACM) organizations and actors, state agents, and the media. It is argued that a singular, anticult narrative adopted by state officials contributed to the disastrous siege and deadly outcome at Waco. It also surveys the major claims made by opponents against the group.

Keywords:   Branch Davidians, Seventh Day Adventist sect, Waco, disastrous siege, anticult narrative, apostates, grievance claims, child abuse

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