A superb job

It was not even 24 hours since the Branch Davidian compound at Mount Carmel burned and already the media were blaming the FBI for another botched attack.

The FBI, ATF and all law enforcement agencies involved have done a superb job in trying to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution.

I have heard many people say the cult was out in the middle of nowhere and it was not bothering anyone, so why not just leave it alone? Well, I did not know it was there, but I was amazed at the information that the law enforcement agencies had on the number of illegal weapons in their possession.

It’s only about 15 miles from my home to the compound. As far as I am concerned that is way too close to me and my family for a bunch of lunatics to have an arsenal of weapons to use as they please.

I think some people have forgotten about the fruitcake who drove into Luby’s and went berserk. With these kind of weapons and the state of mind that apparently was widespread, who’s to say a few cult members might never have had a bad day and decided to lock and load and pay a visit to a restaurant, mall or your neighborhood? The blame would go to law enforcement agencies for not acting sooner.

Gary Robertson

Hewitt

Waco’s spirit

To the citizens of Waco: Hang not your head in shame. You need not share even the slightest guilt.

Continue to proclaim your pride and the love of your city.

You and your forebears created Waco, a landmark known throughout the world for more than a century, used of late as a reference point of geography.

A tiny flicker of nearby incidents will be of little note, nor long remembered compared to the history of your city on the banks of the Brazos de Dios.

Since the days of a quiet Indian village, a Ranger fort, center of education to a dynamic industrial hub, Waco has persevered in the face of floods, droughts, tornadoes and man. Of these, man is the more cruel.

Trials and tribulations come and go as sure as vultures prey upon carnage.

Lift your head high. Let not a single intruder cast even the faintest shadow on the heritage and integrity that is, and will always be, the Waco spirit.

Neil Ross

Fort Worth

Shown at school

Reading the article “Gathering to watch the apocalypse” by Christopher Hall regarding the senseless tragedy that occurred at Mount Carmel April 19, my thoughts were for the loss of life of innocent children.

I listened intently to the live radio broadcasts. All eyes and ears were on Mount Carmel, including, to my dismay, my child’s fifth grade class at Lake Waco Elementary School

At home, parents have control over what their children can watch on television. During the course of the standoff at Mount Carmel, my daughter and I had numerous discussions as the events were occurring.

During the viewing of this tragedy during class time there were no discussions. No child had the choice of whether to watch or not watch, or whether or not it was in their best interest either way.

We, the parents, should have been the only ones to present the outcome of the events at Mount Carmel to our children.

Would someone please explain to me why students at some area high schools were protected from this exhibit, while just a short distance away students at an elementary school were herded into a classroom to watch this latest televised form of violence on a school television set?

After contacting the principal at Lake Waco I was told he was unaware that the students were viewing the events. At this writing, I am awaiting a response from the Waco Independent School District’s Administrative Office.

Ruth Anne Hix

Waco

[Deputy Superintendent Roseanne Stripling said students’ viewing of the Mount Carmel tragedy via live television coverage was not supported by the Waco ISD Administration. Although current events are an integral component of a comprehensive curriculum, careful preparation, timely integration into daily lesson plans, and meaningful following up must occur for beneficial learning to occur. —Ed.]

Diverse cults

Waco is no different from dozens and dozens of cities across this land that have been the home, reluctantly, of diverse cults.

We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and may it ever be thus. There is no way to control these cults without also losing our own freedom to worship as we see fit for ourselves and our families.

We here in the northwest suffered through a horrendous experience with the Rajneesh cult. This was a huge group of well-educated, well-financed persons.

In our own family our son was involved with a cult for one year. How fortunate we are that he left of his own volition. In South Dakota my niece and nephew were held in the spell of a small cult. The leader chose all the marriage partners and conducted the weddings.

Mrs. Irma Slocum

Vancouver, Wash.

Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part Two 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.

Read the accounts of 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."

The 1987 Rodenville shootout and trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more coming soon.