The mother of one cult member said Sunday that for now, she is abandoning her efforts to get in contact with her son inside Mount Carmel.
Belenda Ganem, the mother of cult member David Thibodeau, came to Waco from Maine this week to try to convince FBI negotiators to let her contact her 24-year-old son by phone, but her efforts were rebuffed.
She said in Thursday’s Tribune-Herald that she was trying to enlist the support of other relatives of cult members in pressuring officials into letting them talk to loved ones within the compound.
Ganem, who expressed bitterness Wednesday at officials, said she has decided to “step back” for now, but hopes family members will continue to get in touch with her.
“I have actually met with some families, and I have had some good luck in actually talking with people,” she said.
“I did want to get in and talk with my family member … but I realize now that won’t be likely,” she said, adding that’s because cult leader Vernon Howell, also known as David Koresh, has control of the phone lines.
But Ganem said the plan to speak with family members by phone is not necessarily scrapped.
“As far as I’m concerned, that plan has not come to fruition, it does not mean the plan is off,” she said.
“If at a later date, if it’s possible, we will be here,” Ganem said, adding she hopes to stay until the standoff is over.
“Our love for our families inside is complete,” she added.
She said she feels “very connected” with her son because she is now in Waco “sharing a sense of the same space.”
“I feel that he’s OK,” she said.
She and her son were last in touch about 10 days before the Feb. 28 assault that left cult members and four Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents dead.
Before the raid, her son sounded “strong, healthy and happy,” she said.
Ganem added that she spoke with him often and saw him about once a year.