Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Serious Thoughts

So, something has been weighing on me. An experience that I will never forget, a feeling that I will not be able to shake ever again whenever certain events are mentioned. It's taken me a while to write about my experience going to Waco, Texas, mostly because I think that for others to understand my strong feelings concerning this place, they would have had to either had ties to the people involved or they would have had to visit it themselves. Either way, there is something that keeps nagging me to talk about this experience. So, I hope that with this "Blob", I will be able to be clear and also able to convey what I witnessed.

The first picture was taken at the opening of the Mt. Carmel Center. You can see, I was still smiling and joking at this point. Well, sort of. I try to smile for all of my pictures you see... but by this time I was already aware of what kind of travesty had occurred in this place. Oh sure, I had watched the news over 10 years ago. I was in shock an horror at what was happening in Waco. But, on TV I would have to say, it wasn't portrayed at all like what I was witnessing. The drive just to get to the turn for the "Compound" (It's now a church building) was such a distance that I (On the drive) sat in awe of. It was a tiny road, two cars would fit (at most), and it was quite a distance from one outlet to the other. So, why couldn't they have served David Koresh the darn ATF Warrent when he was jogging? I don't know. I know that the question was raised over and over... but, when they say on TV that he could have been served while jogging - well, that's an understatement. Miles and Miles of empty roads with only two outlets. MILES. That alone makes me cringe at what events I already knew were to follow.

The next pictures are of headstones and the names of the people who died in the tragic events of Waco, Tx. What is interesting about this is that the main headstone (With all of the names) has David Koresh listed. There are 82 names listed on this plaque, and there are 82 individual stones for each of the deceased. However, David Koresh is not listed on an individual stone. His birth name was Vernon Wayne Howell, however, that is not listed on a stone either. BUT, there are 82 individual stones for the Branch Davidians who lost their lives, and there are 82 names listed on the headstone, however, not one of them is David Koresh or Vernon Wayne Howell. I wonder what it was changed to.

Below is another thing that just blew me away - "Aborted Baby Summers". But, that's not the only one. There was also "Aborted Fetus Gent", and "Little One Jones". Just the headstones alone, with what happened, makes me feel grief for the events that occured at this place. Little ones, pregnancies. Do you really think that mothers who are expecting or who have just had a baby would have sacrificed those little ones for this man? This is a question that I cannot answer, as I do not know what they were taught. However, I do know that there were many people who tried to leave, many who tried to "Surrender" who were shot on sight. What is said about these babies is that they were instantaneously birthed in the fire that was to follow and they died during that part of the event.

So, now I would like to go back to one of those disturbing thoughts that I had before. I mean, why was it that on such a long road to even GET to the compound in the first place, well, why didn't they take David Koresh then? Standing from the front of the area, looking in at where the new church has been built over the old one, perhaps you can get a glimpse of the distance between the road and where the building was located. Another stretch of space. Quite a ways, wouldn't you agree? And yet they still couldn't figure out how to safely take the one person that they were trying to take? 82 people died, including the person that they were originally trying to get... but 82? What for? Doesn't that seem a little senseless?This is a picture of the new building up close. They built it right on top of the site of the old building. There are multiple headstones in the front of the building, that the Branch Davidians put forth to recognize the ATF lives that were lost during this event. Can you imagine how hard that must have been, turning the other cheek like that? I know that If it were me who had been attacked by the ATF or any of those other things, I know that I wouldn't be putting a headstone for those others who lost their lives. "Too bad for them" I would say! Yet, the Branch Davidians have a headstone for those who were lost on the other side.
Surely, you all remember the standing water thingy. Right?!? I mean, this was in 1993 - but at the same time, the news reels kept flashing to this particular cement fixture. I know that I remember it. I just got a picture of it because I remembered what it was that they kept showing on the News.
So, below is where it starts to really hit home for me. My dad took me around the building to show me what they didn't show on the news. Things that most people "Knew" about, but didn't really "know" about. They had talked about parts of the compound being "underground" with tunnels and rooms and passages. I never saw it on the news. However, as you walk around to the back of the new church building, past the swimming pool, there is this area where they tore up the ground just to get to the rooms beneath. If you look closely you can see the "hallways" going to other areas and parts of the underground facility. The military took the "roofs" off of the top just to get inside. They dumped everything at the shallow end of the pool and just left it there. Though I have pictures of all of this, I didn't want to overwhelm the blob with everything. After all, if you are looking at a picture of wood and cement blocks and cables with stuff, you might just say, "ooooh, a pile of rubble!" - but it was actually the roofing from this area below. Standing here, witnessing this particular spot, was just enough to make the shivers cross over my skin. I felt eerie and saddened and disgusted all at once. Sad for those that lost their lives in a senseless situation, disgusted at those that took those lives when I see how many ways these people had to survive.Here is the swimming pool beside the now erected church building. It was large, and deep, and now it has fish in it. For me, I could picture a group of people and children out for a time of recreation, enjoying themselves and the sunlight. The victims involved were not deprived of fun activities. From the area, they don't seem to be hostages or captives. Pools speak out to me, mostly because I swim, and for me this part of the area just screamed sadness.
The next two pictures are "incomplete" as I am not putting the entire set up here. But, where I am standing by the pool (Where the above shot was taken) I happened to look down. In paint (Apparently done with someone's finger) I saw something written along the side of the pool. Below are two of the pictures that are the clearest so you can see that someone took the time to write it down. The first one says "Door riddled" at the bottom. The second one says "Incoming Rounds" at the bottom. I couldn't make out the entire top line but what I did get was "Evidence by Govt; (Interior Bunker) Tunnel from small ?? rooms to ?? Buried ?? Explosion?? Water Tower.

The bottom line was a lot easier to make out after the pictures were done and I had time to examine it. I read: 9000 cubic feet of dirt and contents; metal front door riddled with incoming rounds. (ATF fired on Koresh as he met them at the front door) So, speaking of that Metal Front Door Riddled with Incoming Rounds - where is it? We will get back to that in a minute...
Below is the scortched ground where the fire was. This was back by the basketball court area - however, you can see evidence of the fire all over the place. They built the new church on top of the previous foundation, and all along that foundation you can see evidence of fire. Another part of the story that just made me cringe. I would never want to be burned alive - never. It's a slight fear of mine, and I am grateful that I did not live in a time where burning at the stake was a common thing. I do know that the fire was not set by the Branch Davidians, but was caused by the canisters of gas that were shot into the compound. Another "Something" that I am certain the government would care to forget about.

So, whatever happened to the door that was riddled with bullets? Well, that door was mysteriously "Lost". Though, something tells me that it would have proven that the ATF fired at the door. And what about all the guns that were claimed to have been on the grounds? No guns were located in the safe that they recovered. But, let us examine something here. I know that my dad has multiple guns. And he is just one person. I have two, my sister has a few, her husband has a few. If every adult in that "compound" had two PERSONAL guns - that would have been over 150 guns, just from personal stock. The military claims that they were never involved, but there are pictures of Blackhawk helicopters on the grounds. And David Koresh was not found in the compound, but he was shot outside underneath a bus that had a secret passage into the underground rooms.

The whole incident is just sad and while you are standing there, in the site of the event, you can just feel the eeriness of what has happened there.

Finally, there was a flyer that was at the door of the church. I took one. I don't have the ability to get it copied here, so I am just going to type it up for you. I put it in Green so you would know that it's not what I said, but what was said by the remaining church in Waco.

WACO - one of those things that (it seems) EVERY one remembers seeing on television. It sticks in our minds - even if we were only a child when it happened back in 1993. (Has it been that long ago?) So what was it really all about? What happened? And (More importantly): WHY did it have to happen? What happened on those fateful days?
February 28, 1993 - The Bureau of Alcolhol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) stormed the Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventist property with a heavily armed force of 80 men and women (in addition to snopers and three attach helicopters), ostensibly merely to serve a warrant on David Koresh. Instead, a gun battle ensued, leaving four ATF agents dead, 16 ATF agents wounded, six Branch Davidians dead, and four Branch Davidians wounded (Including David Koresh). Many question: if they only wanted to serve a warrant on David Koresh, why didn't they do it simply, like when he went out for his routine jog, or went shopping in town?
April 19, 1993 - After a 51-day torture and siege (During which 35 Mt. Carmel residents exited, and during which the FBI and the Hostage Rescue Team took over from the ATF, and in the midst of negotiations for the remaining Mt. Carmel residents to exit peacefully), the FBI attacked, demolishing the buildings, and inserting deadly CS gas. A fire ensued, and the entire complex and most of its residents were burned up, including 76 Branch Davidians (19 men, 34 women, and 23 children - of which two were babies who were still in their mothers' wombs, sopontaneously birthed into the fire). According to FLIR (Forward looking infrared) photography, apparently some of the dead were machine-gunned as they tried to exit the rear of the burning complex. The conflagration seared that fateful day into the minds of perhaps billions the world over.
Why did Waco happen? Why did "Waco" happen? Why did these people have to die, and this place burn to the ground? Many want to blame the government for killing these people, and others want to blame Koresh for hiding behind his congregation and teh children, but the truth of the matter is that they were both at fault. Very simply, both sides played God. Not only did David Koresh claim to sit on the seat of God, but in the way the government acted they too acted as if they were God as well.
Yes, Koresh cleaimed to be the Lamb of God of Revelation 5:6, the only one who could open the book; the lamb, which has 7 horns, and 7 eyes, and the 7 spirits (Complete Spirit) of God sent forth into the earth.
In Ezekiel 28, the Lord says to this man: "Because thou hast said 'I have the mind of God, I sit in the seat of God and I am God," I the Lord will send strangers, the terrible of the nations to bring you down with the sword ... we will see how much of a God you are in the hands of those that slay you; you are not a God, you are just a man."
The Lord brought terrible judgment on Koresh and his followers through the ATF, FBI, and the Delta Force, the most elite commandos in the world today. Koresh and his followers did not stand a chance in the hands of these trained and licensed assassins. In Ezekiel 28, the Lord says He will kindle a fire in the midst and destroy this apostate headquarters before the nations and all will see the folly of this man who wanted to sit in the seat of God. All must agree, Koresh received the judgment of God (1 Peter 4:17)
In Ezekiel 9, it says that those who are not sighing and crying for the abominations done by the leadership in the chirch will be utterly slaughtered, men, women, maids, and little children by those that have the slaughtering weapons in their hands. (The Delta Force). The Waco War was a fulfillment of this prophecy to the BDSDA Church.
From this tragedy, we understand two things: 1) We have a government that has gone awry - a breakdown of liberty and democracy in America with evidence of crimes and cover-up. 2) That God is here in judgment - to judge the denominations and nations.

For More Information see:
Waco - the rules of Engagement (Video)
Waco, A New Revelation (Video)
Inside Waco (Video; filmed at New Mt. Carmel during the siege; includes interview of David Koresh)
A Place Called Waco, A Survivor's Story (Book by David Thibodeau, a survivor of the fire on April 19th, 1993)
The Ashes of Waco; an Investigation (Book by Dick J. Reavis, a renowned Journalist)
The Great Controversy (Book by Ellen G. White, available at Seventh Day Adventist Book Centers)

So - I know that this is a long blog - but it was just something that I felt that I needed to share. Like 9-11, there are some things that I don't feel should ever be forgotten. Waco's events were one of those things. For me, it was an experience and a feeling that I hope I never forget.


Aislinn said...

I think that it is awesome that you were able to visit this place. It is a shame what happened and how it was handled but as the pamphlet said - God will judge and reign - and it is apparent that that's what happened. I feel for those innocent lives that were lost - it's a tragedy. As you stated, the best that we can do is to remember these events and try to not allow history to repeat itself. I don't have the best memory but I do remember this and I do remember the water tank and how the ATF hid behind it with their guns poking out. One day the truth will prevail and all will be set right and that's what gives me hope and comfort. Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts!

elkaholic said...

You need to remember who was in charge of the federal law enforcement agencies at the time. Bill Clinton was president, and Janet Reno was the Attorney General. These are the people who should have ultimately answered for the Waco fiasco, but he didn't earn the nickname "Slick Willy" for nothing. The sad thing is that even a lot of people in Waco were saying that all they had to do was wait until he came into town for this or that, because there were certain things he did as a routine. They were saying this during news interviews while it was going on. Some people just got on a power trip.

Also, we can't forget about Ruby Ridge - this was another example of the feds overreacting to things during the Clinton/Reno years. In my opinion, Ruby Ridge was worse because of the direct role the gooberment - er, I mean government - agents played in creatin gthe whole problem.

Carter Clan said...

Wow, I was so young when this happened. Your blog was very insightful and gave me a lot of persepective.