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And the government had no interest in the group. It is doubtful that Koresh would be able to stockpile illegal weapons today as easily as he did in The FBI has learned to identify and deal with fanatics more effectively. The Freeman standoff in Montana, which ended peacefully, proved this. But the Freemen were not the Davidians, with a leader comparable to Koresh. It is doubtful that the Waco standoff could have ended any way, other than the one chosen by the cult leader.

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Destructive cult leaders are often psychopaths capable of horrific acts. Cult followers frequently abdicate any meaningful autonomy in favor of total dependence upon their leaders. And they then rely upon the judgement of someone else that may be mad. This is based upon an idiosyncratic Witness understanding of scripture. However, increasingly the courts are interceding to save the lives of children threatened by extreme and dangerous religious beliefs.

In some of these churches parents were charged criminally due to medical neglect and some were convicted and sentenced for manslaughter. This is one Witness story about a near death medical emergency with a happy ending. But many others have ended in tragedy. It is a scandal how many children needlessly die due to medical neglect as a direct result of the teachings of certain extreme religious groups.

Is infanticide legal in Indiana? Others in the Vici community accept the church members as decent, hard-working people, though they might disagree with their religious view Said the Rev. Gary Jones, pastor of the Christian Church in Vici, "I think people respect their religious beliefs, but they are shocked that they don't doctor. Jones said the most everyone on the Vici area would agree that the church members are good neighbors.

For example, Jones said, he would not hesitate to ask the church members for assistance if he needed help with a community project of some kind. The foundation on which the church bases its rejection of standard medical practices is contained in many scriptures, the church members contend. The following verse from Chapter 16 of Mark in the New Testament illustrates that belief, "They shall take up serpents; and is they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on they sick and they shall recover.

Besides their rejection of modern medicine, the members believe: That they should not participate in war. If drafted into military service, a church member would request a non-combatant postion.


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Hopefully, this would be granted, they say. If not, their religious belief would supercede that of the law. That women should stay at home and raise the children. The church members, of course, reject the idea of a women's liberation movement.


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  6. That members of the church should greet one another with a "Holy Kiss. Men kiss men, women kiss women and this leads to criticism from outsiders, they say. That church members wash one another's bare feet. This is done in the Vici church, for example, at social gatherings among church members. Again, they cite specific scripture to back up this believe.

    That no one individual lead the congregation. Services are conducted by whomever "feels the calling.

    Usually, there are two or more elders and a small group of ministry-type people who preach. Moss said he know little about the church's history. He does know, though, that the church in Vici was established in the early s. And he did know of a document about his church that came from the rare books library at the University of Texas in Austin. That document is a piece of writing taken from the "Post Boy" newspaper which was published in London in the early 18th century.

    The author of the "story" was Charles Guildon, who was described by a librarian at the university as a "hack writer. The document reads: "The Church of the First Born are the heirs of Salvation and they are above ordinances and walk as if they were above. Thet meet as any house of their members, where after silent contemplation, they break forth in Ejaculations of Joy and the transport of the other life.

    They may have trampled some of their crops into the ground as evidence of their faith. At the conclusion of the list the publisher notes: "All the names that we found in the record book are in this list. We feel assured that there were many persons baptized whose names were not recorded. A copy of the Roll of Membership housed in the Archives of the Community of Christ includes notations in pencil identifying those in positions of authority next to the following individuals: John Banks, Prescy.

    By spring , food was scarce and some members were becoming discontented. Morris repeatedly designated certain days for the Second Coming, only to have those days pass uneventfully. With the steady outflux of members, the question of property entitlement became contentious. Those who stayed behind felt those who left were taking better stock and other items than they had initially contributed to the community pool.

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    Geertsen — vowed revenge after what they perceived as an unfair reckoning, they seized a load of wheat en route from Kingston to Kaysville for milling. The Morrisites sent a group of men after them, and the group soon captured the three and the wheat. The church held the men prisoner in a small cabin, to be "tried by the Lord when he came.

    Eventually, the Utah territorial militia was ordered to arrest Morris and the other leaders of the church. On June 15, , Morris was killed in a skirmish and other Morrisite leaders were taken prisoner.

    Church of the Firstborn (Morrisite)

    Although seven Morrisites were convicted of murder and 66 others were convicted of resisting arrest, territorial governor Stephen S. Harding pardoned them all three days after being convicted, and the Morrisites scattered across the western United States. Ultimately, many of the members of the church began to regather in Deer Lodge County , Montana under the leadership of George Williams, who declared himself to be the "Prophet Cainan" and Morris's rightful successor.