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Could the tragedy have been prevented? Was it necesary for the BATF agents to do what they did? What could have been done differently? Armageddon in Waco offers the most detailed, wide-ranging analysis of events surrounding Waco. Leading scholars in sociology, history, law, and religion explore all facets of the confrontation in an attempt to understand one of the most confusing government actions in American history.
The book begins with the history of the Branch Davidians and the story of its leader, David Koresh. Chapters show how the Davidians came to trouble authorities, why the group was labeled a "cult," and how authorities used unsubstantiated allegations of child abuse to strengthen their case against the sect.
The media's role is examined next in essays that considering the effect on coverage of lack of time and resources, the orchestration of public relations by government officials, the restricted access to the site or to countervailing evidence, and the ideologies of the journalists themselves. Several contributors then explore the relation of violence to religion, comparing Waco to Jonestown.
Finally, the role played by "experts" and "consultants" in defining such conflicts is explored by two contributors who had active roles as scholarly experts during and after the siege The legal and consitutional implications of the government's actions are also analyzed in balanced, clearly written detail.
|Introduction: Another View of the Mt. Carmel Standoff|
|1||An Age of Wisdom, An Age of Foolishness: The Davidians, Some Forerunners, and Our Age||3|
|2||Davidians and Branch Davidians: 1929-1987||20|
|3||The Davidian Tradition: From Patronal Clan to Prophetic Movement||43|
|4||Construction and Escalation of a Cult Threat: Dissecting Moral Panic and Official Reaction to the Branch Davidians||75|
|5||Self-Fulfilling Stereotypes, the Anticult Movement, and the Waco Confrontation||95|
|6||"Babies Were Being Beaten": Exploring Child Abuse Allegations at Ranch Apocalypse||111|
|7||Manufacturing Consent about Koresh: A Structural Analysis of the Role of Media in the Waco Tragedy||153|
|8||Cops, News Copy, and Public Opinion: Legitimacy and the Social Construction of Evil in Waco||177|
|9||Public Narratives and the Apocalyptic Sect: From Jonestown to Mt. Carmel||205|
|10||Sects and Violence: Factors Enhancing the Volatility of Marginal Religious Movements||236|
|11||Religious Discourse and Failed Negotiations: The Dynamics of Biblical Apocalypticism in Waco||263|
|12||Waco, Federal Law Enforcement, and Scholars of Religion||282|
|13||Breaching the "Wall of Separation": The Balance between Religious Freedom and Social Order||299|
|14||The Waco Tragedy: Constitutional Concerns and Policy Perspectives||323|
|15||The Implosion of Mt. Carmel and Its Aftermath: Is It All Over Yet?||359|
|Appendix: Branch Davidians Who Died at Mt. Carmel||379|
|List of Contributors||383|