A Comparative Analysis of the FLDS and Branch Davidian Raids
This chapter compares the 2008 Texas state raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (FLDS) at the Yearning for Zion Ranch with the federal raid on the Branch Davidians outside Waco in 1993 in terms of process and structure. It first provides a background on the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives's raid on the Branch Davidians, a move prompted by an investigation of firearms violations against the sect and its leader, David Koresh. It then considers the role played by anticult movement activists in the two government raids as well as the involvement of apostates, media, and state agents. It also examines claims of child abuse, brainwashing of members, and preparations for mass suicide and collective violence in both cases. It argues that the similarities of the two raids reveal disturbing patterns of state and countermovement actions against minority religions.
Keywords: government raids, Texas, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Yearning for Zion Ranch, Branch Davidians, Waco, David Koresh, anticult movement, mass suicide, minority religions
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