Child care expert and author Dr. T. Berry Brazelton says he’s seen some 25,000 patients in his 40 years as a pediatrician.

And he’s done plenty of research into the field of child development, authoring some 24 books on the subject.

But even Brazelton shakes his head when asked what effects the Feb. 28 raid and standoff at Mount Carmel might have on the children of Branch Davidian cult members.

“We’ve had so much exposure to cults,” said Brazelton, a Waco native who was here Saturday to speak at a pediatrics conference at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. “But I don’t think we can truly understand it all.”

He said he has no expert answers about how to handle children affected by cults.

“It’s going to be hard and take a long time to rid these kids from any trauma they’ve felt,” he said.

“Being with their parents and adults who love them may help.”

Brazelton said the violence the children have experienced worries him most.

“The violence is likely to perpetuate itself from one generation to another,” he said.

Brazelton said he has been working with children traumatized by violence in Yugoslavia, “but my colleagues have said you can’t really set up programs to address grieving until the threat is over and the danger has passed.”

He said he doubts Branch Davidian youngsters will be able to process what has happened “as long as he’s in there” and the standoff continues.

“I’m sure they’re all grieving about what’s going on inside,” he said. “It’s pretty scary stuff. I don’t think we can understand it.”

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.