[Dan Miller (930420.1200)]
(Eileen Prince 930420)

I think that the Waco/Branch Davidian disaster was avoidable, but
the initial confrontation was a complete mistake that validated much
of what the BDs anticipated. They were developing collective values,
beliefs, ideas, operating principles (upper levels of the hierarchy)
in isolation from and in opposition to the outside world. They had
insulated themselves from the "evil" world to develop a community of
"god." The frontal assault by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and
Firearms validated this referent. Any group that spends time in
relative isolation begins to develop values, principles, and rational-
izations that are in sharp distinction with the larger community. This
process is common to all "cults." In addition, David Koresh (sp?) was
using loyalty tests on his followers, directing them to engage in
highly untoward acts - sexual, humiliating, etc. - and then forgiving
them and faith)
had very few common referents to work with. If the BDs identified this
confrontation as the "final conflict" between good and evil, then the
outcome fits the definition of classic tragedy. Also, it fits Isaac
Bashevis Singer's definition of tragedy in that innocent children died.
So it goes.

Dan Miller