From the Ashes



James R. Lewis (editor). From the Ashes: Making Sense of Waco. Rowman and Littlefield, 1994.

A collection of impassioned pieces from a wide range of experts on new religious movements, virtually all condemning the actions of the Deportment of Alcohol, Tobacco aod Fireams team at Waco [what an archetypal set of American preoccupations to be summed up in the title of a government deportment, for a nation where people can legally own armour-piercing anti-tank weapons, yet are forbidden to smoke in public parks!]. This is important and controversial material, with much that is significant for the consideration of millenarianism. Unfortunately some contributors give the impression that they are rather too willing to take would-be prophets and gurus on their own evaluation, and not face the probability that in many cases religious and political ideologies are essentially facades for control.

That said, there can be little ivstification for the publicity-seeking AFT raid and the subsequent events. The fact that several leading academics are quite willing to suggest that the bombing of the Waco compound was a deliberate. preplanned act, whether true or false, says as much as we need to know cboot the depths of anti-government hostility in America. -- Peter Rogerson. From Magonia 57, September 1996.

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