Turn to God

Man’s “theology” is to make complex the simple, and evolve truth into error from the beginning.

Vernon Howell’s “theology” was that man (himself) and man’s institutions (Mount Carmel) held the answers, or solutions, for those seeking them.

Others now put forth that same “theology” as Howell’s, albeit under other names, for answers, or solutions. . . . (Your “Coping” section, May 2.)

Analogy: To learn how our car is made and how it functions — would we seek another dealer — or its manufacturer?

Should man be able to solve man’s problems, (then) why is our world in such chaos?

Simply profound: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

(See Psalm 40:4)

Ann Lehman


He was wrong

Let’s set the record straight. Vernon Howell was wrong.

He was not Jesus Christ, a prophet, a hero, righteous, holy or a saint.

He was a sick, warped, perverted megalomaniac who only thought he was these things. He was also a child molester and a coward who used his evil and corrupted influence over his followers for his own selfish ends rather than for their empowerment.

He is not to be idolized in any way, shape or form especially as one whose supposed rights of religious freedom and bearing arms were violated.

He has the right to practice religion and to have weapons. But he was being investigated (among other things) for converting those legal weapons into illegal automatic firearms. Whatever the means by which ATF arrives, it was clearly and properly identified. If it had been found the ATF was wrong or illegal in its actions, Howell had legal recourse. But he chose to fight. Look at the results.

Kevin R. Goodrum


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.