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March 30, 2014

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Steven Siciliano

This is the first I'm hearing of the book by the ex-follower of Koresh, so obviously I haven't read it and therefore cannot critique whatever points he may make. But if his intention as quoted in this article is to lend even a modicum of credibility and legitimacy to Koresh's views, I would hasten to relate my experience on the topic.

One afternoon in the late 1980's one of my friends invited me to attend a bible study with a "special" visiting speaker in someone's home in an East Bay suburb of San Francisco. The speaker was purported to be a great scholar of prophecy whose name at the time was Vernon Howell who, as you know, would later change his name to David Koresh and make infamous headlines.

I estimate that about a dozen people attended that study session, and stayed for anywhere from one and a half to three hours or more, depending on each individual's ability to endure incoherent rambling and occasional verbal abuse from Howell. I too was young and inexperienced at the time to recognize the potential danger of a guy like that and so, during my two hours, there I refrained from contributing much but just listened to what he was saying. Or more accurately I should say, I tried to figure out what he was saying because, even after two hours I had not yet been able to identify one clear or comprehensible point he was making. That's how discombobulated and disconnected his presentation was. So I finally ran out of patience and courtesy too and went home, never imagining what would transpire with his group some months later. At the time I just thought he was completely off his rocker.

The point I am making here is this. From the quote cited in this article it seems as if Doyle's intention in writing the book is to defend -- at least to an extent -- the plausibility of Koresh's teaching, and his followers' justification for following him. And I suppose he will cite all kinds of explanations and details in his attempt to do that, none of which I have known or read as of this time. But since my brief, one-time experience clearly demonstrated to me that Koresh was conclusively disordered in his thinking I felt it was important to make my observation public here.

Now, in regard to the main point of this article, the relationship of the SDA church to both the Branch Davidians and the affair in Waco, I want to make it clear that I am not addressing that concern, though it is valid.

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