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6 hours ago, phantom said:

[snip]And what happened to the lawyer guy, the one with the disabled child?

If they wanted us to wonder if Thibideaux escaped alive the producers should have minimized the font every episode that shouted his book as source material. I am curious if his quasi-romance with Michelle was something he acknowledges or was just to add dramatic tension.

Wayne Martin (the lawyer) died in the fire, along with his older children. He was in the chapel with Dave Thibodeau and Clive Doyle. They jumped out through a hole in the wall. Wayne either stayed behind or didn’t make it out in time before the fire overcame him.

Thibodeau’s relationship with Michele was completely Hollywood-ized. Many of the single young guys were paired up with one of David’s wives to fool immigration or social services (or both.)

That moment when Thibodeau and David lock eyes before Thibodeau jumped out the window never happened. Thibodeau was in the chapel. David and Steve were in another part of the building. In November 1993, the FBI released a statement that they believed it was possible that David told Steve that God wanted David to survive and continue the message on the outside. They believed that Steve may have shot him then. I guess we’ll never know.

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The feds knew from their interviews with Kiri Jewell that some of the kids had been taught how to shoot themselves. Even if the FBI totally disregarded the lives of the adults, the fact that the kids had access to weapons and knew how to use them should have made them hesitate before trying another armed assault.

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On 3/1/2018 at 9:27 PM, whinewithwine said:

I don't know of any such footage.  The cameras were several hundred yards away during the attack.  There seems to be one "explosion" that the feds blamed on a stockpile of ammo, but it could have been a propane tank.  With over 400 canisters of CS gas being thrown into the compound with kerosene lanterns in use, it's much more likely the ATF started the fires.  

By the way, Janet Reno testified that she was unaware of the international ban on CS gas when she approved it's use in Waco.  Federal agencies deliberately withheld information.

Autopsies also found that many of those who died were crushed by falling debris, not fire.  

That sums it up, and the government NEVER admitted it.

I guess I should have said it was obvious to me from the video that the Davidians started the fire. People are going to believe whatever they want to believe. Anyway here is the link to the video.

 

https://youtu.be/jxCQSUdbtlk

 

A couple of notes:

 The bright white images are heat sensors. You can see the engines on the back of the tanks and later the fires.

CS gas is only flammable in a concentrated form. The large gaping holes and the fact that the fires start on the second floor, where no gas was inserted make that IMO improbable.

At about 1:54 the first fire starts. At about 1:55 4 fires start almost simultaneously in 4 separate locations on the second floor. It would seem to be an unlikely coincidence.

 

Also you might want to google “audio Branch Davidian fire” there are several sites with it.( Remember they had bugged the building). People can be heard saying things like “Start the fire.” And “should we start the fire?”

Edited by Cara
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On 2/23/2018 at 2:12 PM, TattleTeeny said:

I've actually never come across anyone who viewed Koresh as some kind of innocent martyr; I think most people, even while acknowledging the excessive actions of the ATF and FBI, probably think the compound deserved what it got. 

 deserved being gassed and burnt alive? those people were victims of a crazed man. in a cult. i found it horrible what was done to them. and a lot were innocent babies and children . 

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11 hours ago, Peppermint Patty said:

It amazes me that people like Steve Schneider believed in David. If anyone should have been able to debunk him, it would have been a religious scholar. 

Maybe he was a biblical and religions scholar because he was searching - and in David he thought he found what he was searching for. Kind of like psych majors often have problems they're trying to work out. I don't understand Koresch's followers (being non-religious myself), but from what I can tell, most cults are made up of people searching for belonging and a higher purpose, and aren't people who think for themselves.

I did some reading on the Branch Davidians and was surprised to find out they were established well before Koresch, and some of his people had been in the cult for their entire lifetimes, which puts a slightly different spin on it for me. Worth reading about.

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Quote

 

 deserved being gassed and burnt alive? those people were victims of a crazed man. in a cult. i found it horrible what was done to them. and a lot were innocent babies and children . 

 

Yes, I know all of this and obviously it was horrible. Nowhere have I said that I find otherwise!

Again, it's not what I think--I am not sure how to express this more clearly. The general public is not always open-minded when it comes to unfamiliar countercultures, and on top of that, if today's social media posts are any indication, a surprising number of otherwise intelligent people automatically will accept law enforcement's side of a big story without knowing further details; not everyone digs into stories and some people simply believe what's told to them or subscribe to the oversimplified idea that if the cops say so, you better do it.

Edited by TattleTeeny
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2 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

I [...] was surprised to find out they were established well before Koresch...

The Branch Davidians resulted from a schism with the Davidians, who resulted from a schism with the Seventh-day Adventists who grew out of the Millerite movement, which was formed by a a minister of the Baptists, who arose out of the English Separatists who 'separated' from the Church of England which separated from the Roman Catholic Church, which was founded on the teachings of JC, who was the son of God.

Pick one to blame.  Any one will do.

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Well, maybe just sticking to modern times, we see that the Seventh Day Adventists already separated themselves from mainstream Christianity, with strict and specific beliefs, which The Branch wanted to take even further, and then the Davidians took to more narrow extremes (I might have that reversed), which sort of begged for a Koresh type to lead them.  Which ended up being 75 people, which is pretty small for a cult. 

Off the top of my head, I want to say the Millerites were following some guy who set the date of the End Time, another thing the Bible plainly states no one will ever know, and then when he was wrong, that fell apart and ended up as SDA.  So maybe this end time thing is what draws this sort of person and gives them certainty and purpose.  

Koresh was really kind of a genius because he managed to weave in his own predictable demise as proof of his claims so that when everything went wrong they didn't lose their faith in him.  

I also questioned how Steve got taken in by him, but after I found out he was a professor in SDA theology, he was already working from a flawed concept (IN MY OPINION).  I'm sure plenty of ppl think that about all of Christianity, so don't @ me, bro.  Lol.

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18 hours ago, Peppermint Patty said:

The feds knew from their interviews with Kiri Jewell that some of the kids had been taught how to shoot themselves.

That is heartbreaking.

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Is anyone going to watch The Lawnmower Man for research?  What was up with that?  

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At the end of the day, events like Waco and Guyana remind us all to keep a level head when it comes to Religion.  I consider myself "spiritual" as opposed to "religious," and the Jones, Bakers, and Koreshs of the world have a lot to do with that.  Gary Roesner said it best when speaking with Koresh "I always find it interesting that whenever God chooses a Messiah, the first thing he tells that man to do is to sleep with a lot of young women."  I'm not saying that all Religious leaders are corrupt, but history shows that far too many of them are ready to exploit people who are desperate for answers and willing to be lead by a charismatic figure.

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I think the series was too easy in its portrayal of Koresh. Was it because exec producer Kitsch didn't want to be affiliated with prolonged TV images of a nasty creep?

Pondering all of the federal law enforcement who willingly participated in this sadistic violent event: are we handing guns, armor and badges to people who like to harass and hurt others, or does the job make them that way?

The last episode was well-acted, but I hate that they took so much liberty with reality. Also, with all the giant holes being bashed in the building, why didn't more people run out? I guess they refused to abandon Koresh, or the passages out were blocked. (I haven't read any of the books.)

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8 hours ago, pasdetrois said:

The last episode was well-acted, but I hate that they took so much liberty with reality. Also, with all the giant holes being bashed in the building, why didn't more people run out? I guess they refused to abandon Koresh, or the passages out were blocked. (I haven't read any of the books.)

This mini-series was pretty well-acted on the whole!  Hopefully it will do well come Emmy time.  I haven't read any other the books either; my guess is some people wanted to escape but were probably trapped in the vault or blocked by the flames.

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Just chiming in with my $.02. I was 29 when this happened and I remember watching in horror as the compound went up in flames. I couldn't understand why there was so much military equipment, but no fire trucks on the scene. I'll never understand that. 

Michael Shannon was phenomenal as usual, but Taylor Kitsch (Riggins!!) and Rory Culkin were revelations. FNL is one of my top five favorite shows of all time, so I knew Taylor could do "brooding loser with a heart of gold" really well. But with each passing episode, he became more and more Koresh and in episodes 5 & 6, he really began to show the dark, menacing side of Koresh (which the first four episodes glossed over). 

I've already started reading David Thibodeau's book and I'm reading Noesner's next. This miniseries brought up a lot more questions than answers for me so now I'm obsessed with reading/watching everything I can. 

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On 3/5/2018 at 3:35 PM, Cajungirl64 said:

Just chiming in with my $.02. I was 29 when this happened and I remember watching in horror as the compound went up in flames. I couldn't understand why there was so much military equipment, but no fire trucks on the scene. I'll never understand that. 

Michael Shannon was phenomenal as usual, but Taylor Kitsch (Riggins!!) and Rory Culkin were revelations. FNL is one of my top five favorite shows of all time, so I knew Taylor could do "brooding loser with a heart of gold" really well. But with each passing episode, he became more and more Koresh and in episodes 5 & 6, he really began to show the dark, menacing side of Koresh (which the first four episodes glossed over). 

I've already started reading David Thibodeau's book and I'm reading Noesner's next. This miniseries brought up a lot more questions than answers for me so now I'm obsessed with reading/watching everything I can. 

When I heard Rory Culkin was in this, I was a little skeptical, but he was really, really good. I think Taylor could have been creepier and more menacing, but that may have also been a problem with the script.

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On 3/4/2018 at 9:34 AM, pasdetrois said:

I think the series was too easy in its portrayal of Koresh. Was it because exec producer Kitsch didn't want to be affiliated with prolonged TV images of a nasty creep?

Pondering all of the federal law enforcement who willingly participated in this sadistic violent event: are we handing guns, armor and badges to people who like to harass and hurt others, or does the job make them that way?

The last episode was well-acted, but I hate that they took so much liberty with reality. Also, with all the giant holes being bashed in the building, why didn't more people run out? I guess they refused to abandon Koresh, or the passages out were blocked. (I haven't read any of the books.)

I agree that it was way too easy on Koresh. The source material (David Thibodeau's book) goes pretty easy on Koresh, so when I saw that was the basis for the miniseries, I was skeptical that it would portray the darker stuff - like the physical abuse of the children. They hinted at the sexual abuse by mentioning that Michele was 12, but it's almost treated like she was the only one who was an underage wife. There were many more. 

As far as the giant holes in the building, many of them became blocked by falling debris or portions of the building collapsing as the tanks rolled in. Thibodeau also mentions in his book that many people were afraid to leave because they expected to be shot. To this day, the Davidians assert that there were people like Jimmy Riddle who ran out the back of the building (away from the media) and were shot or run over by tanks.

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It may just be because of the source material, but I felt like they were trying to portray him as someone that would NOT seem menacing or scary until you were very far down the path with him, and already brainwashed.  People wouldn't join the cult if it was obvious.  This happens one on one with charismatic abusers all the time.  But it was probably too subtle in the back half of the episodes. 

I found it very creepy that he always seemed to know if or when anyone had doubts or started to bond with another person...boom.  There he was in the doorway, suggesting you go do something else.  Firmly.  He always knew when he had to get Steve back in line.  But he tended to keep that friendly veneer that it was all in your best interest, or say things like "you know that" to keep them engaged in their own submission.  Then the target feels either confused or guilty about feeling like something is wrong. 

Every little thing he did was an act of dominance.  And even the taking of all the wives and getting them pregnant, was about dominance more than the obvious gratification of sex.  The men who agree are now completely dominated, the women are dominated, and the women are tied to him permanently by having his kids.  The people who won't accept that level of control leave.  So he's left with only the most controllable, most broken people.

I think the worst thing they actually showed him doing was trying to shame the mother who just wanted to go to her little boy that was in state care. Threatening her with damnation, basically, and anyone who thought about going with her.   And of course, in the end, he preferred everyone die with him instead of "letting" them go free.  If he had told them to leave, they would have left.  He could have been a martyr by himself. 
 

On 3/4/2018 at 8:34 AM, pasdetrois said:

Was it because exec producer Kitsch didn't want to be affiliated with prolonged TV images of a nasty creep?


There was some of that, too, I think.  I saw an interview with him where he talked about how much it started getting to him while he was preparing for the role, living in a small apartment in Texas and learning to play the guitar and reading and watching all of Koresh's material.  He said he even asked once, at a low point, what it would take to get out of doing it.

 

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1 hour ago, peach said:

It may just be because of the source material, but I felt like they were trying to portray him as someone that would NOT seem menacing or scary until you were very far down the path with him, and already brainwashed.

I thought the same.  Viewers are initially shown a Koresh who was very personable and reasonable and who was quite likeable in a way.  But as time goes on, gradually, we start to see the darker side of Koresh.  And gradually, the monster takes shape before our eyes.  So we get to see how people can get sucked in!

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On 3/1/2018 at 10:16 AM, roughing it said:

what a clusterfuck

I've been saying that since it happened.

On 3/1/2018 at 2:37 PM, roughing it said:

Another thing that could not be verified:  Steve pulling the trigger on David, then turning the gun back on himself.

As I recall, they did find the bodies with gunshots to the head, but who shot who (or whether they shot themselves) obviously can't be verified.

On 3/1/2018 at 7:27 PM, whinewithwine said:

By the way, Janet Reno testified that she was unaware of the international ban on CS gas when she approved it's use in Waco.  Federal agencies deliberately withheld information.

Autopsies also found that many of those who died were crushed by falling debris, not fire.  

That sums it up, and the government NEVER admitted it.

Not only that, but their behavior during the hearings pretty much pointed to the fact they were lying - which just fueled the anti-government segment of the population, and significantly diminished the trust of those who weren't anti-government, but paid attention to the hearings and outcome. At least, for this person.

On 3/1/2018 at 8:29 PM, KLJ said:

Did anyone see David Thibodeau sitting next to Rory Culkin when Gary was going to testify?  And then the real Gary coming to get Gary/Michael Shannon. 

Were all the women and children really trapped and unable to get out? I was reading that some of the children were shot and one was stabbed. So who did that?  And did Tibs really see David in the smoke before he jumped out of the building?  

Even though I knew the ending, I kept hoping more people would come out.   ?

I noticed Thibodeau, but not the real Gary. Thibodeau is a little easier to recognize. To my understanding, yes, the women and children were trapped and died mostly from being crushed by the collapsed building, and smoke inhalation. But there were those who they think were killed to shorten their suffering.

On 3/2/2018 at 8:56 PM, Cara said:

 The bright white images are heat sensors. You can see the engines on the back of the tanks and later the fires.

CS gas is only flammable in a concentrated form. The large gaping holes and the fact that the fires start on the second floor, where no gas was inserted make that IMO improbable.

At about 1:54 the first fire starts. At about 1:55 4 fires start almost simultaneously in 4 separate locations on the second floor. It would seem to be an unlikely coincidence.

 

Also you might want to google “audio Branch Davidian fire” there are several sites with it.( Remember they had bugged the building). People can be heard saying things like “Start the fire.” And “should we start the fire?”

 

I heard the audio clips before (in the documentary on Hulu), and they definitely sound like the people started the fire - on the other hand, I don't know when, exactly, that audio was recorded, and comments taken out of context don't always represent what actually happened.

As you say, the simultaneous explosions also speak to a coordinated effort - but it was such a clusterfuck that both sides could have started fires in different areas, resulting in the tragic outcome.

The tear gas insertion was way more chilling than I would have believed. I had a neighbor who had a stand off with police and they shot a canister into the house (which permeated our house as well, even though ours was closed up tight). But the tanks with the cannisters gave me the shivers.

In the documentary on Hulu, they have interviews with some of the children (and grownups) who were released early on. They spoke about the abuse of children - physical punishment as early as 8 months old, and drills (if I recall correctly) on how to shoot yourself. I was disappointed that the claims of abuse were handwaved as a way the gung-ho FBI agent could persuade the powers that be that attack was necessary.

Edited by Clanstarling
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On 3/2/2018 at 12:29 AM, KLJ said:

Did anyone see David Thibodeau sitting next to Rory Culkin when Gary was going to testify?  And then the real Gary coming to get Gary/Michael Shannon. 

I'm glad someone mentioned this.  It never occurred to me that those were anything but random extras in the show.  I re-watched those scenes after I became aware.  It was subtly done. Especially Thibodeau.  Thanks!

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I wish this miniseries had gotten more attention -- I've been talking it up to anyone who will listen. I happened to have taken a day off from work on the final day of the standoff so watched the whole thing/couldn't tear myself away. At the time I know I was thinking, "Well, the government must know what they're doing, with the tanks and the tear gas; it's the government." (Having lived through Watergate, I should have known better.) But the last two eps I have just been watching in horror. Clusterf*** indeed. And heartbreaking. I felt that basing the miniseries on two books from different perspectives was really smart, and the acting was phenomenal. I won't forget this for a long time. Hope it gets some Emmy love too.

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On March 9, 2018 at 9:42 PM, FoundTime said:

I wish this miniseries had gotten more attention -- I've been talking it up to anyone who will listen. I happened to have taken a day off from work on the final day of the standoff so watched the whole thing/couldn't tear myself away. At the time I know I was thinking, "Well, the government must know what they're doing, with the tanks and the tear gas; it's the government." (Having lived through Watergate, I should have known better.) But the last two eps I have just been watching in horror. Clusterf*** indeed. And heartbreaking. I felt that basing the miniseries on two books from different perspectives was really smart, and the acting was phenomenal. I won't forget this for a long time. Hope it gets some Emmy love too.

Totally agree there were Emmy worthy performances. Taylor Kitsch, Rory Culkin and Michael Shannon all deserve nominations (IMO). I've finally finished both books the miniseries was based on. I read Thibodeau's first and began to have serious doubts about everything I'd been led to believe by the government. Then I read Gary Noesner's. In the end, I've come to the conclusion there's enough blame to go around for all involved (except Janet Reno who really was lied to - allegations of pedophilia and child abuse would have caused me to give the order to infiltrate, too. And she was assured the tear gas was not incendiary). I also believe the miniseries whitewashed a lot of Koresh's crimes and that he, more than anyone else, is to blame for most of the deaths in the compound; particularly those of "his" children. I highly recommend both books to anyone still 'jonesing' for more insight into one of this country's saddest, most epic clusterf**ks. 

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Well, super late on this one - I watched the first couple of episodes when they aired, and then kind of forgot about it and it was way it was way down at the bottom of my DVR list. I burned through the final four episodes today, and wow. I didn’t know or had forgotten a lot of information. The siege started on my 24th birthday (and the series ended on my 49th, my how time flies) and I always felt like I’d paid close attention because of that weird link, but there was a lot that was new to me. 

At the time, I was a newly employed journalist (in a very small town very far away, I didn’t cover it or anything) and I guess I bought into the official government story without question, because I honestly wasn’t expecting this series to humanize the Branch Davidians to that extent, where I wasn’t always sure who I was sympathizing with. Just an awful outcome and the government agencies definitely don’t come out looking good. It’s scary to think that now, a quarter of a century later, this could probably still happen due to beaureaucratic egos and temperaments and hothead agents who prefer force over reason. (Not to mention religious zealots willing to die for their “cause.”)

I am disappointed that the show don’t receive more Emmy noms - if only because this die-hard FNL fan would have loved to see both Taylor Kitsch and Jesse Plemons nominated (and in the same category, I think?).

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