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Branch Davidians

The Branch Davidians are a religious group originating from the Seventh-day Adventist church. In the 1930s, Victor Houteff claimed that he was God's new prophet for the church. His claims were not accepted and he left to form the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. In 1959, a split of this movement formed the Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, headed initially by Ben Roden.

In 1990, Vernon Howell took control of the group and changed his name to David Koresh[?]. On February 28, 1993, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) raided the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, a raid resulting in the deaths of 4 agents and 5 Davidians. The 51-day siege ended on April 19 when the compound caught fire during an ATF assault, killing between 72 and 86 people, including Koresh.

This highly controversial incident fueled the anti-government attitudes of Timothy McVeigh, and helped lead him to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing. The remaining Branch Davidians have since deprecated McVeigh's actions.



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