The Waco Syndrome and its Relation to Adventism

Speaker: Categories: Sep 11, 1993


[58min, 28sec / 42min, 1sec]


Just over six months ago, February 28, 1993, worldwide attention was drawn to a curious episode in Waco, Texas. There the media provided live coverage of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms engaged in a fifty-one day confrontation with residents of Ranch Apocalypse which ended in a fiery inferno on April 19!

Seventh-day Adventist attention was particularly and embarrassingly drawn to this armed confrontation for those within the compound identified themselves as "Branch Davidians of Seventh-day Adventists." Immediate efforts were taken to seek ways to distance the Seventh-day Adventist church from Waco where the inmates proclaimed themselves to be the only true Seventh-day Adventists!

During the standoff and following, it became obvious that most of those persons within the compound ten miles from Waco had been Seventh-day Adventists! They were often well educated professionals, not the kind of persons usually thought of as "kooks."

Where did they come from? What attracted them to a way of life which bordered on the absurd? How could one individual, David Koresh, hold such sway over his followers that the men would choose to become celibate and the women and girls become his wives?


It might be appropriate to consider Dr. Raymond Cottrell as San Diego Adventist Forum speaker-in-residence! His visit on September 11 will make his tenth San Diego Chapter presentation in thirteen years! And, as attenders will attest, he always has something to say!

Dr. Cottrell's most recent professional accomplishment identifies him as the founding editor of Adventist Today, the new journal which was advertised in last month's newsletter announcement. He has served as Associate Editor of the Adventist Review and has edited and written extensively in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary. He has been a college professor of religion, a pastor, and a missionary to China. He continues to be much in demand as a writer and as a speaker at various Adventist gatherings.

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