The Dallas Morning News
BYLINE:Bruce Tomaso

Cult members refuse medical help, FBI says some may die from wounds without care, agent contends

WACO -- Some members of an embattled religious cult are refusing treatment for life-threatening injuries, a rebuff that the FBI said Saturday has fueled its frustration at the slow exodus of followers.

Without immediate hospital care, some of the wounded could die from their injuries. But they either won't or can't leave the fortified compound, FBI Special Agent Bob Ricks said.

In what a doctor described to the FBI as "barbaric,' one of the wives of cult leader David Koresh has proposed cutting off her infected finger rather than accepting outside medical treatment.

"We're dealing with people who are very committed to what they are doing, that are -- even though their own lives are perhaps in jeopardy -- refusing to come out,' Agent Ricks said.

As the Branch Davidian's armed standoff with federal agents enters its third week, Agent Ricks said negotiators were prepared to stay indefinitely but added, "This needs to be ended, and ended promptly.'

"A slow dribble of individuals out, one or two per day, when we still have 105 individuals in there, will not lead to a speedy resolution. We have people injured. We have doctors telling us that lives may be jeopardized. Gangrene may be setting in. We need to get those people out, all of them,' he said.

At least four members of the cult, including Mr. Koresh, were wounded in the Feb. 28 shootout with agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Four agents and at least two cult members were killed.

Since then, Mr. Koresh has released 21 children and four adults. He says that 46 women, 42 men and 17 children remain within the fortified compound east of Waco.

Federal authorities said that three more adults -- Kevin Whitecliff, 32; Brad Branch, 34; and Rita Riddle, 35 -- have told them they want to leave. By late Saturday, none had appeared.

Kathryn Schroeder, 30, and Oliver Gyarfas, 19, of Australia left the compound Friday and are being held as material witnesses.

Mrs. Schroeder met Saturday for five hours with Scott Peterson, a Waco attorney appointed by U.S. Magistrate Dennis Green to represent her.

Mrs. Schroeder's husband, Michael, was killed in the second of two shootouts on the day of the raid. Her four children were released after that.

The FBI said Mrs. Schroeder came out at least in part to spend time with her 3-year-old son. Her three older children, from a previous marriage, are with her ex-husband, an Air Force sergeant.

She was granted a long visit with her young son and then was allowed to call back to the Davidian compound to report on her treatment.

Mr. Peterson told reporters that Mrs. Schroeder speaks fondly of Mr. Koresh and wants the standoff to end without further bloodshed.

She was not charged with any crime but could be later, he said. Mr. Gyarfas' lawyer did not return a phone call.

Advice from doctors

Wounded cult members still inside the compound were allowed for the first time Friday to speak by telephone with physicians, Agent Ricks said.

When Judy Schneider Koresh was told that she needed to be hospitalized to make sure that infection from a wounded finger did not enter her bloodstream, "her suggestion to the doctor was perhaps she should just cut off her finger,' the agent said.

He said that the doctor advised her that such a course would be "barbaric.' She also was wounded in the right shoulder.

Agent Ricks said some cult members may fear the wrath of God more than their own deaths. The Branch Davidian sect believes that the end of the world is near and that eternal salvation will come through the prophecies of Mr. Koresh, a 33-year-old rock musician who says that God talks to him.

"Some believe that if they leave at this time, they are in fact giving up their beliefs and that they will be damned forever,' Agent Ricks said. "A life on this planet may not be as important to them as eternal life.'

Doctors who spoke with Mr. Koresh told the FBI that the cult leader "continues to experience considerable discomfort from his gunshot wounds,' Agent Ricks said. However, he said, doctors do not believe his injuries, including gunshot wounds in the wrist and left side, are life-threatening.

The FBI agent said Mr. Koresh now says that he cannot get around without assistance. He has not requested antibiotics.

"He uses certain home remedies and in fact refuses to take any medication,' Agent Ricks said.

Cliques forming

With Mr. Koresh reportedly unable to leave his quarters without assistance, there were signs that his followers are beginning to separate into cliques based in part on nationality and background.

"They have two daily hours of prayer and Bible study, but those are now being done in little individual groups,' Agent Ricks said.

Steve Schneider, a deputy of Mr. Koresh's who gave his wife, Judy, to the cult leader, appears to be taking "more and more of a leadership role' in negotiations, the FBI spokesman said.

Decisions on who can leave are still made by Mr. Koresh. "In every instance.when these individuals have indicated a desire to come out, they have to go and visit with David Koresh,' Agent Ricks said.

Although cold weather has gripped Waco the past few days, the agent said he doubted that conditions in the compound are affected much by the prolonged siege.

"From the very beginning, the conditions within the compound have been very Spartan,' he said. "The people inside there are used to inclement weather and very harsh conditions. This is not necessarily unusual for them.'

The compound has no modern toilets, and electricity use is limited. Well water reaches the kitchen by a gravity system and is carried elsewhere in buckets.

Except for Mr. Koresh's apartment, heating apparently is provided by a few space heaters.

While most of the Branch Davidian compound is kept minimally warm by a few space heaters, seems redundant to me, kpAgent Ricks said Mr. Koresh's apartment is fully heated. "I understand he probably is the only one in the compound that is allowed that privilege,' the agent said.

Appeal to Koresh

The FBI agent said negotiations to end the standoff are not progressing toward a swift conclusion.

As authorities often have during news briefings, Agent Ricks seemed Saturday morning to be directing his words as much to Mr. Koresh, who is closely monitoring the daily broadcasts, as he was to the news media representatives from around the world.

"Mr. Koresh, we're here,' the FBI agent said. "We're knocking on your door. We're offering you a peaceful solution.

"This has been going on for two weeks. We have not used any firepower against you, we have not aggravated the situation, we have not elevated it. We have tried to maintain the status quo.

"We are offering you a peaceful solution. Please respond.'

Agents said Mr. Gyarfas and Mrs. Schroeder do not seem to have been defectors, and they are not sure why Mr. Gyarfas wanted to leave. His sister remains inside.

"These are not people who are considered to be weak links inside but are very active participants in the ongoings of that compound,' Agent Ricks said.

At the midmorning briefing by federal agents at the Waco Convention Center, about 30 protesters from the Libertarian Party and other groups marched peaceably outside.

A former Ku Klux Klan leader attended the briefing and drew the ire of federal agents. Louis Ray Beam Jr. said he was there as a journalist for a Christian news organization. He said he is no longer associated with the Klan.

Mr. Beam asked whether the ATF's actions during the raid indicated "the emergence of a police state within the United States.' Dan Conroy, the assistant deputy ATF director, replied tersely, "I won't even address answering that question.'

Waco police later told Mr. Beam that he would not be allowed to return.

Meanwhile, at a news media gathering spot near the cult compound, an enterprising television producer found a captive -- and ready -- market for special T-shirts.

Clint Houston of KPRC-TV in Houston, with the help of his wife, Cathy, and her T-shirt printing company, did a brisk business.

In front, the message is: "World Association of Cult Observers.' The back has an irreverent drawing of "Camp David, Texas.'

Staff writer Maggie Rivas contributed to this report.

The Dallas Morning News
BYLINE:Daniel Cattau

Davidians in Missouri disavow Waco-area cult
Texas standoff disrupts group's pastoral life

EXETER, Mo. -- The unfolding tragedy of the Branch Davidian cult near Waco is disrupting the life and besmirching the reputation of a small group of believers who nestle in the secluded hollows of the Ozarks.

Far from the news media and the rest of the world, the remaining faithful till vegetable gardens, maintain fruit trees, conduct a small Bible school and publish numerous pamphlets and tracts.

They proudly bear the name Davidian, despite what they consider the satanic undertakings of cult leader David Koresh.

"I take a great deal of courage in reading about the life of David,' said Jeriel E. Bingham, 32, vice president of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association. The legendary king of Israel endured his own political, family and public relations problems -- his affair with Bathsheba, for instance.

"Through it all, he didn't lose sight of God, and he had courage and faith,' said Mr. Bingham, who acts as spokesman for the group. His mother, Jemmy Bingham, is president but declined to be interviewed.

"But now the Davidian name is known to the outside world under the worst of circumstances,' Mr. Bingham said. Later, he added: "The reason why cultists are so successful is that they prey on the fears of people. If you know Jesus Christ, you have no fear of the future.'

Mr. Bingham met Mr. Koresh (then Vernon Howell) at a conference in the early 1980s -- and said he was no messiah. Although he was clean-cut and seemed personable, he seemed to lust for women and power, Mr. Bingham said.

The five-hour Dallas Morning News interview with Mr. Bingham is the first he has given in-depth about the Davidians. It took place in the Missouri group's modern, year-old publishing house on 542 acres of oak forest called Bashan Hill. (Bashan was part of the Davidic kingdom around 1000 B.C. and was known for its oak trees.)

The Davidians in Missouri denounce the cult leader's penchant for firearms, rock music and polygamy, but they have historic ties to the Mount Carmel compound in Texas: M.J. Bingham, Jeriel's father who died five years ago, was part of the group that settled in Waco in the mid-1930s. He established the property near this town of 600 people in the late 1960s to give a fresh start to the Davidian movement.

Although known as a quiet, peace-loving group, they published literature that abounds with violent, apocalyptic biblical imagery -- the same sort of imagery that Mr. Koresh invokes.

As such, the Davidians' story also sheds some light on the continuing saga near Waco. And it offers a glimpse into the theological feudings of the Seventh-day Adventists.

The Missouri sect is still at doctrinal odds with the mother church. The Koresh cult, by contrast, is at odds not only with the church but also much of the rest of the world.

"We're honest and upright, and we're trying to clean up the church,' Mr. Bingham said, referring to the 700,000-member Seventh-day Adventist Church, which has its international headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

Nonviolent people

Mr. Bingham said there are about 5,000 supporters on his mailing list, but the association has no membership. Thirty-five staff members live at the Bashan Hill property in single-family homes or apartments.

There are about a half-dozen Davidian groups, including those in Mountaindale, N.Y.; Spokane, Wash.; Yuciapa, Calif. -- and a small Jamaican group in Waco.

"I see these people as nonviolent,' said George W. Reid, director of the Adventist Biblical Research Institute. But "they are parasitic . . . what they're really doing is preying on the Adventist church' for members and donations.

As a rule, Davidians don't seek publicity. Mr. Bingham, who asked not to be photographed for the story, said: "We're not trying to evangelize the outside world because we're not known to them.'

All that changed when four agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were killed Feb. 28 in an attack on Mr. Koresh's heavily armed Mount Carmel compound.

The ensuing standoff continues to spotlight an arcane bit of Adventist history, theology and prophetic teachings. It involves splinter groups and branches of these groups -- including the Branch Davidians.

Davidians generally share mainstream Adventist beliefs in a healthy diet -- no alcohol or tobacco and most Davidians are vegetarian -- and in Christ's imminent, though unspecified, return to Earth.

What distinguishes Davidians from Adventists, in essence, is their belief that they are among God's chosen 144,000 mentioned several times in the book of Revelation.

The movement began when Adventist layman Victor H. Houteff, a native of Bulgaria, was "disfellowshipped' by a Los Angeles Adventist congregation in 1930 for his unorthodox teachings.

But some followed him, taking the name Shepherd's Rod. One source cited for the name comes from the King James version of Micah 6:9: "The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the Rod, and Who hath appointed it.'

In the first edition of The Shepherd's Rod, Mr. Houteff wrote that his "dominant doctrinal concern is the truth of the 144,000 and a correct understanding of it as a life-or-death matter to all.'

They also take God's judgment of Israel in Ezekiel and apply it to Revelation. In Ezekiel 9:6, the Lord instructs an angel to "cut down old men, young men and young women, little children and women, but touch no one who has the mark.'

The Davidians in Missouri consider themselves to be true to the teachings of Mr. Houteff -- who in 1935 brought a small band of followers from Southern California to the Waco area.

The elder Mr. Bingham, who joined the Adventists after being partially paralyzed, joined Mr. Houteff in the early 1930s and served as associate editor for Mr. Houteff.

The elder Mr. Bingham lived at the old Mount Carmel site near Lake Waco until the late 1940s. At one point, 125 people lived a placid existence there, selling and buying dairy cattle, and operating a school and a home for the elderly.

Mr. Bingham remembered his father's description of Mr. Houteff as "a little fellow, undistinguished and unassuming. . . . People generally had this idea he was a hayseed who popped up out of nowhere with an apocalyptic vision of the end of the world.'

Yet Mr. Houteff, who had a third-grade education, was a fast learner. His accent lessened as his powers of biblical exposition increased. He read widely and even knew Greek, said Mr. Bingham.

Biblical teachings

Some published stories about Mr. Houteff have said that he claimed he would never die. Mr. Bingham denied the story.

But he added that, after the leader's death in 1955, Mount Carmel should have died as well. Its history has been troubled ever since. The misinterpretation of biblical teachings -- and even those of Mr. Houteff -- has led to the tragedy now being played out near Waco, said Mr. Bingham.

Mr. Houteff was succeeded by his wife, Florence, who made the disastrous prediction that the world would end April 22, 1959. Earlier, she had sold the Lake Waco site for development and moved Mount Carmel to its current site near Elk.

About 1,000 gathered in the rain and mud of the countryside. What they witnessed was not the end of the world, but a "knockout blow' for the movement, Jeriel Bingham said.

By this time, the elder Mr. Bingham, who had opposed the prediction, had moved back to Southern California. He later formed the current Davidian association, which he moved back to Missouri in the late 1960s.

After Mrs. Houteff sold most of the 900-plus acres at Mount Carmel, she moved away. The next leader was Benjamin Roden, who moved from Odessa to claim the prophet's mantle.

"Get off a dead rod and onto a living branch,' said Mr. Roden after his ascension. He also changed the name to the Branch. The number of people living at Mount Carmel dwindled, and lawsuits over the sale of the property mounted into the late 1970s.

After Mr. Roden died in 1978, his wife, Lois, took control of the property and gained a certain notoriety by teaching that the Holy Spirit is female. One Adventist who met her says that she looked like something "straight out of the 19th century -- her hair was tied so tightly back that she could hardly close her eyes.'

She also prayed "Our Mother who art in Heaven,' and named her publication Shekinah -- the Hebrew word for the light that shone the brightest in the Temple's most holy place. She also wrote a pamphlet on a tank dubbed Merkabah -- Hebrew for war chariot -- used by Israel; she linked it with the prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel.

As prophetess of the group now called the Living Waters Branch, she initiated a disciple in his early 20s named Vernon Howell by having sex with him.

Mr. Bingham remembers the two visiting the Ozarks in the early 1980s, and said Mr. Howell was neat and personable with an eye for women.

"I think it started out as a lark,' said Mr. Bingham. "But the more he got into it, he could see the possibilities and benefits.'

After a shootout with George Roden in 1987 -- Lois had died that year and Mr. Howell and her son were struggling for control of Mount Carmel -- Mr. Bingham knew that the cult leader was armed and dangerous. Mr. Howell also took the Branch Davidian name and changed his name to David Koresh.

"Anybody who allows himself to come to this point is under a satanic delusion,' Mr. Bingham said of the current standoff.

Through these trials -- and daily phone calls from the media -- Mr. Bingham still holds hope for his small group and for others by using the example of David.

"As long as a person sees the lessons in David's life,' he said, "they can be a Davidian.'

The Dallas Morning News
BYLINE:Victoria Loe

FBI's `A-Team' plying varied skills in sect talks but experts say obstacles numerous

CORRECTIONS, CLARIFICATIONS: On Page 1A March 14, an article incorreclty stated that Randy Weaver killed a federal marshal. A friend of Mr. Weaver's, Kevin Harris, is charged with murder in the slaying of the marshal during an Idaho shootout in August. Mr. Weaver is charged with aiding and abetting the killing. (Ran: Tuesday, March 23, 1993)

More than 1,500 disgruntled Cuban detainees riot simultaneously in Georgia and Louisiana, taking 154 hostages. A fugitive white supremacist in Idaho kills a federal marshal, then holes up in a remote cabin with three children. Followers of a Texas cult leader shoot it out with federal agents and hold a small army at bay.

These are jobs for the A-Team.

That's the trade name for the FBI's cadre of top hostage negotiators, the ones who persuaded the Cuban inmates and fugitive Randy Weaver to surrender peacefully. As the Branch Davidian siege stretches into its third week, the A-Team is leading the effort to talk David Koresh and his followers out of their fortress.

No one involved in the negotiations will discuss the strategies. And even other veteran negotiators hesitate to comment directly on the talks, for fear of appearing to second-guess their peers.

But interviews with experienced negotiators and an article by members of the A-Team reveal much about the canons and tactics of the trade -- and shed considerable light on the course of negotiations in Waco.

The negotiators' Holy Grail, the end to which their every effort is directed, is simple, says criminal justice professor Wayman Mullins: "Nobody gets hurt.'

That may be harder to achieve in this case than in some other standoffs, says Peter DiVasto, the Energy Department's chief negotiator, who lives in Albuquerque, N.M.

"Almost every obstacle that could be in your way is in your way,' Mr. DiVasto says.

People have died on both sides, making it harder to establish trust between the Branch Davidians and federal authorities. The compound is self-contained and heavily fortified.

Then there are the children, 17 of whom are believed to remain inside the compound. Although Mr. Koresh insists that he is holding no hostages, some experts say the children's presence creates a de facto hostage situation.

Negotiators' first objective, says Mr. Mullins, a professor at Southwest Texas State University, must be "to get the children out.'

But the ultimate and most vexing obstacle is Mr. Koresh's belief that he is ordained by God to bring the end of the world -- a belief that could prove stronger than his natural desire to live.

"Most people don't want to die,' says Mr. Mullins. "But here you've got a special case, someone with a messiah complex.'

Still, negotiators say they are accustomed to dealing with delusional people -- that is merely one of the skills that allows them to bring an orderly resolution to situations born in violence and chaos.

Following are the skills being plied by the A-Team members and other negotiators in Waco, as revealed through articles and interviews.


"Negotiations hinge almost completely on rapport-building, empathy, reasonableness, trustworthiness,' says Mr. DiVasto.

The article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin recounts how inmates, mistakenly believing that an attack was imminent, were dissuaded from slaughtering hostages "only (by) the persuasiveness of a primary negotiator . . . (who) convinced the Cubans that the negotiators had been truthful in all instances.'

In Waco, authorities have followed through on several promises to Mr. Koresh.

They let him broadcast a one-hour message on the third day of the siege; they supplied milk to the compound; they sent in a videotape of the children who had been released; they allowed Branch Davidians to bury a sect member who died in the initial firefight.


"Negotiators continually reassured inmates that no assault would be mounted as long as the hostages were not harmed,' the A-Team authors wrote of the Oakdale and Atlanta riots.

In the Weaver standoff in Idaho last year, the FBI gave Mr. Weaver a written promise that he would not be harmed.

"The bottom line is always: "We don't want anybody else to get hurt,' ' says Bob Wiatt, a former FBI agent who helped with negotiations in Texas' longest prison standoff. He is now director of university police at Texas A&M University.

Negotiators in Waco repeatedly have stressed that they have no intention of attacking the compound or of harming the Branch Davidians if they should emerge.


Experts say a typical negotiating team includes not only the people who take turns talking to the suspect but also forensic psychologists who monitor his state of mind.

"You constantly measure his stress levels,' says Mr. Wiatt.

In the 1974 prison siege of drug kingpin Fred Carrasco, authorities inserted a microphone into the prison library where Mr. Carrasco was holding several hostages. What they heard -- Mr. Carrasco and his two accomplices growing more and more volatile -- shaped their negotiating strategy.

"If the hostage-taker's anxiety level is too high, that's bad,' says Robert J. Louden, who served for 13 years on the New York City police hostage negotiating squad. "But if it's too low, that could be a sign of serious depression.' In that case, he said, it's important to assure the suspect that the situation is not hopeless, that he still has options.


If a suspect is delusional, "you have to negotiate from his delusional perspective, adopt his framework,' says Mr. Mullins.

Mr. Louden, who is now a professor at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, recalls a suspect who believed Darth Vader was sending him messages over the radio. Mr. Louden didn't pretend to hear the messages, but he didn't argue that they weren't real.

"You don't buy into fanaticism or delusion,' he says, "but you recognize it as his (the suspect's) reality.'

Negotiators in Waco have recruited religious scholars to educate them on the points of biblical prophecy that are central to Mr. Koresh's world view.

LET HIM VENT -- "Their high personal frustration level, coupled with their mistrust of authorities . . . caused the (Cuban) inmates to reject an early resolution,' wrote the A-Teamers in the FBI Bulletin.

"Apparently, the situation had to "mature' to allow inmates to vent their emotions.'

"Frequently the actor just wants someone to listen,' says Mr. Mullins -- although he says he doubts that will satisfy Mr. Koresh's messianic imperatives.

Nevertheless, negotiators report that they have spent hours listening not only to Mr. Koresh's Bible lectures but also to his accounts of his troubled childhood.


"It's almost scripted,' says Mr. Louden, discussing hostage-takers' tendency to threaten and goad negotiators. At some point in the course of almost every negotiation, he says, the suspect will say, "You'll have to come in and get me.'

But talk is just talk, so unless the threats are accompanied by a hostile act, negotiators generally don't take it seriously.

"The only thing that counts is his actions,' Mr. Wiatt says.

Chances are, Mr. Louden says, provocative statements by a group leader are designed primarily to bolster resolve within the group.

Mr. Koresh's challenges to negotiators reportedly have included statements such as, "We are ready for war,' and "Let's get it on.' However, officials have consistently reiterated their desire for a peaceful end to the standoff.


When talks are stalled, negotiators commonly bring in a fresh face, preferably someone respected by the suspect.

"If you're entering gridlock, you bring in someone new, someone with credibility,' says Mr. Wiatt.

In the Carrasco siege, which he negotiated, that someone was Mr. Carrasco's San Antonio attorney. In the case of the Cuban inmates at Oakdale, negotiators brought in a Cuban-born Catholic bishop.

In the Weaver standoff, the surrender deal was sealed by a former Green Beret colonel who was known to Mr. Weaver. The colonel enlisted the aid of some local skinheads, who agreed to sign a letter urging Mr. Weaver to surrender.

Tuesday, after three days of stalemate, negotiators in Waco announced that they had allowed McLennan County Sheriff Jack Harwell to join the talks.

"The sheriff is respected by Mr. Koresh,' a federal official told reporters, "and it was our hope that by getting someone in there that he trusted, we could get the negotiations going back in a more positive vein.'

NO GIVE WITHOUT TAKE -- Negotiators never give something for nothing.

"It's just like a labor negotiation or buying a car,' says Mr. Mullins. "It's a give-and-take situation. He (the suspect) has got to show good faith, too.'

Mr. Louden says, "The message you're giving him is, "I'm here to help you as long as you'll start helping yourself.' '

Mr. Koresh's one-hour religious discourse was broadcast on the promise that he and his followers would surrender immediately thereafter. Ever since he failed to fulfill that promise, he has been denied one of the things he craves most: direct access to the news media.


Although they talk love, not war, negotiators must demostrate both the ability and willingness to use force if people start getting hurt.

"Inmates were advised that tactical resources were available should any action be taken against the hostage population,' says the analysis of the Atlanta and Oakdale sieges.

"It's a show of force with a kid glove attached to it,' says Mr. Wiatt.

Almost since the outset, the Branch Davidian compound has been ringed by heavily armed police and military equipment. When Mr. Koresh said he could destroy Bradley armored personnel carriers, they were replaced by more formidable M-1A1 Abrams tanks.


The goal and parameters of every negotiation may be the same, but in real life every standoff is unique.

"There is no blueprint, because every situation is different,' says Mr. Wiatt.

"I wish there were a formula, but there's not,' says Mr. DaVisto. Often, Mr. Mullins says, negotiations will break down with little warning or apparent sense.

"A million things can put you back to square one,' he says.

And even the negotiators themselves may not be sure how well or badly things are going.

"I've been in negotiations where we all were about to give up, when suddenly the guy walked out,' Mr. Mullins says. "I've been in others where we all thought great progress was being made, and it suddenly went to . . . '

In the end, Mr. Louden says, there's only one cardinal rule: "Do what you gotta do when you gotta do it.'


"Time is the wisest counselor.' Mr. Louden says he had to laugh recently when that gem of wisdom popped out of his fortune cookie.

Because the one thing negotiators always have on their side is time.

With time, Mr. Louden says, they can build rapport and improve communications with the other side. They can gather new intelligence about their adversary and better assess his state of mind.

They can bring in additional resources, everything from more tanks to individuals who might be able to sway the suspect. They can refine their decision-making process.

They can prepare for an armed confrontation in the event that one is thrust upon them.


"The Oakdale negotiators noted the need for inmates . . . to orchestrate the formal "surrender,' which would include signing a document in the presence of witnesses and the media,' the FBI Bulletin reported.

This ritual, the authors wrote, allowed the Cubans "to surrender with dignity.'

In Atlanta, too, "It was extremely important to the inmates to have their complaints aired to the American public and to have been seen as good people who had been maligned . . . '

It is not known what -- if any -- surrender ritual has been offered to Mr. Koresh and his followers. At this uncertain stage, perhaps, negotiators can only hope that they eventually will need one.