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Branch Davidians

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The Branch Davidians, was a cult founded in 1929 by Victor Houteff. He believed the Seventh-day Adventist Church needed to be reformed, however the church did not accept his ideas for reformation and he was excommunicated along with others who believed in his message. In 1935 he had his headquarters built outside of a town called Waco, Texas and called it the "General Association of Davidian Seventh Day Adventists". They believed that they needed to restore the Davidic Kingdom mentioned in the Bible before the Second Coming of Christ.

After Victor Houteff's death in 1955, controversy arose in the group over who should be the leader. The group would split yet again, and one break-away association under the leadership of Ben Roden became the Branch Davidians. They took the name Branch because that is what Roden believed would be the name Christ would have when he returned. After Ben Roden's death there was a struggle between Lois Roden, his widow, and George Roden, his son, over which of them should be the leader.

Both however would lose out in the struggle for control to Vernon Howell] Howell joined the group and quickly convinced many members that he was meant to be the leader, especially after he began dating Lois Roden. George had a shoot out with Vernon that got them both arrested. Vernon got off however, and George would go to a mental institution for an unrelated murder charge. Howell would change his name to David Koresh and claim to be Christ. He would take many wives, claiming it was for the purpose of rebuilding the royal line of the Davidic Kingdom. He also claimed that he had to live in sin in order to better judge humanity for it's sins. He also had members begin to stockpile weapons.

Eventually word would get out about the weapons to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and they would raid the cults compound. The cult had a shoot out with the Bureau's agents that lasted forty-five minutes. Afterwards the FBI got involved and began negotiating with Vernon Howell (who was then going by the name of David Koresh). The negotiations and siege would last for fifty-one days before the FBI launched tear gas into the compound. The compound suddenly exploded, apparently the fire was set by the Davidians, and killed all the people inside. A total of eighty-four people died from what would be known as the Waco Siege.

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