Those citizens

An extremely dangerous situation exists at Mount Carmel. A powerful federal police force attacked a small group of citizens. The citizens resisted the attack. The government has besieged the group.

The government has severed the group’s communication with the outside world. Those citizens are not allowed to speak to other citizens, and other citizens are not allowed to speak to them.

The government filters all information and tells the media only what the government wants to know. Those are the only known facts at this time.

The government must stop.

We need to sort this out.

Who is attacking whom? Why has the government severed communications between citizens?

Why has the government forced the media to stay far away from the scene? Are they afraid to let citizens see what they are doing?

Who presents a threat to society, the small group inside the compound, or the awesomely powerful federal police? How much risk is a citizen taking when he speaks out? Will the government target that citizen next?

Should the Davidians' theology be an issue? Is their difference an excuse for the rest of us to pass judgment on them?

Roy E. Neuman


Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.