As also mentioned in a thread i started about joining cults, I’m reading about the Waco Seige and I’m just confused at who or what exactly the Branch Davidians were and if they even exist anymore. Are they Seventh Day Adventists? Are they Davidians? Are they all of those at the same time?
And what the heck is Seventh Day Adventism? And does the Catholic Christian view allow them to be called Christians? Or are they like Mormonism in which it is not a Christian view but uses identical Christian terms to view their religion?
Wow, where to start. Branch Davidians are a schism from a schism from a schism.
From the Protestant Schism arose the Seventh Day Adventists and Ellen Gould White. From that schism arose the Davidians a breakaway from the main SDA church back in the 1930’s sometime. From that schism came the Branch Davidians. There are those in both the main SDA and in the Davidians and Branch Davidians that will say that Koresh was not a true Branch Davidian. The Branch Davidians (for the sake of my fingers I will use the following abbreviations: SDA = main Seventh Day church, DSDA, Davidians, BDSDA = Branch Davidians) were formed outside Waco Texas by a Bulgarian fellow whose name is lost to me. My grandparents were from Waco and my dad born there so I remember that part of the BDSDA. At some point Vernon Howell (Koresh) left a church in Tyler, TX and formed a group in Palestine, Texas (The town where the Methodist church holds mid-winter retreats!)
At some point Vernon Howell changed his name to David Koresh and called his bunch the Davidian Branch Davidians of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. There were allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a BDSDA prophetess named Mrs. Roden. She was near 80.
After she died, Koresh that Polygamy was okay for him. Actually it was Polygyny as there were never multiple husbands. There are accounts stating that he “married” and slept with a 14 year old and a 12 year old. Though some accounts have the sleeping with before the “marrying”.
He was also arrested for trying to kill the dead Prophetesses husband but that lead to a mistrial.
Later reports of child abuse, child sexual abuse, and rape lead to a further investigation which lead to reports of unlicensed firearms and thus the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms got involved and instead of arresting Koresh when he went into Waco on regular shopping trips, they laid siege to the place and later it blew up.
I was working in Austin and the time and it was THE news for quite some time.