I stumbled across a book at our local library that caught my attention. I recall being a freshman at HSU when I saw the video of Mt. Carmel burning to the ground in Waco, Texas. Since then, I had seen two documentaries that seemed to only lead to speculation about the intentions of both David Koresh and the Feds.
This book, The Ashes of Waco, by Dick J Reavis (Journalist) was an exceptional book because he does not take on the Davidians, or the United States Government. The little criticism he does dole out goes both ways. Reavis’s intent was to cover the event (after the fact) in the manner in which his fellow journalists had failed to do in the first place. Of course, he admits in his credits that information was not available to him from the FBI, or the ATF.
Instead of trying to lay blame one way or the other, Reavis decides to give us a background on the evolution of the Branch Davidians; from their beginnings to the events that led to the February 28th shootout with the ATF, and subsequent 51 day standoff with the FBI. Reavis gives us a mini-biography of Vernon Howell, who would later become known all over the world as David Koresh. In providing all of this background, Reavis tried to show where things went fatally wrong on both sides of this situation.
However, of all the information in this book, the one thing, ONE THING, that stands out for me is a passage in 8th chapter. In this chapter, Reavis discusses the rise to power of Vernon Howell (AKA Davis Koresh), and his struggle for power against George Roden. Roden was the son the sickly leader who was soon to die. Frustrated with Howell’s continued success, Roden issued tracts (both were preachers) in which he was predicting Howell’s Demise (from page 76):
“There are three men who represent Lucifer today” he had written in a bulletin to the Branch. “That is because Lucifer has three sets of vocal cords. First voice- public relations, Second voice- printed word, Third voice- music. Perry Jones, Clive Doyle, and Vernon Howell in that order…But they cannot win for they are defeated foes, Jesus and the Antitypical Immanuel George Roden have conquered and their doom is certain,” he prophesied. Roden also assailed Howell for practicing cunnilingus, which, according to Roden, was a diabolical act.
Roden also assailed Howell for practicing cunnilingus, which, according to Roden, was a diabolical act.
A Diabolical Act!!! Slow down there preacher man!
If you read just a bit further in the book, Roden is eventually made to look like a crazy old Coot in open Court, thus paving the way for Vernon Howell to take charge at Mt. Carmel, and change his name. The author refers to Roden as the “Cunnilingus Foe” later in the same chapter.
I must admit, the “cunnilingus foe” remark made me snort. I know of one foe, and he carries a purse and likes cute boys. We call him our Beloved Beacon.