THE LAST FIVE DAYS: APRIL 14-18, 1993

WHAT THE NEGOTIATION TRANSCRIPTS ACTUALLY REVEAL


Former FBI agent Jeff Jamar testified on July 27 that he would have cancelled the CS Gas operation had there been any evidence that Koresh was working on his Seven Seals treatise following his April 14th pledge to come out. He challenged the congressional committee to listen to the negotiation tapes of the last few days. In fact, the negotiation transcripts show that Koresh was working on the manuscript and that Jamar's testimony, as well as that of agent Byron Sage, was completely in error on this important point. Note the following incontrovertible facts:

Steve Schneider states clearly on Friday afternoon, April 16, that Koresh has finished the first Seal, was working on the second, and that he had SEEN the handwritten papers, around 28-30 pages, as David was working on them (Tape 236, p.29). Jamar quoted Steve as saying "I haven't even seen the first one" but he took the quote totally out of context. That quote occurs on the same tape (#236, p.2), and it is obvious that Steve means he had not been given it yet to edit, not that David had done nothing. He further says the editing work will "take no time at all" (Tape 234, p. 40).

Judy Schneider, who had begun typing the Biblical texts on Friday, April 16th, on a Sharp Word Processor, never seriously proposed that it would take a year to complete the manuscript. Judy was complaining to the negotiators about not sending in ribbons and fresh batteries for her Sharp Word Processor. They were trying to get her to use an old manual typewriter and she was upset with them, telling them it would take her a year with such outdated equipment. Her statement was obviously made sarcastically, and with a sense of frustration, as part of her complaint (Tape 238, pp. 26-30). She plainly says she had begun typing and had several pages of Scriptures Koresh would use already on the disk. They had batteries to run the Sharp Word Processor, contrary to Byron Sage, and were asking for extras to complete the task (Tape 236, pp. 36-45).

Koresh himself gives negotiator Dwayne a progress report on Saturday, April 17, at around 3pm. He says he has finished the first Seal, is well into the second. David then agrees to send out the first, as an act of good faith, as soon as it is typed (Tape 237, pp. 47-53). Koresh wanted to send out the whole at once, but works out a specific arrangement with negotiator Dwayne for sending out the first: they agree it will go to his lawyer Dick DeGuerin first, then Arnold and Tabor, with a copy sent back in to David. All the details are worked out late Saturday afternoon. Agent Dwayne goes over the plan with Steve and with David, concluding: "Well, that sounds good. I'm glad we have a common understanding now" (Tape 238, p. 16)

Koresh worked Sunday evening, through most of the night, with typist Ruth Riddle, getting the first Seal edited and typed in order to send it out Monday, April 19, the very day of the CS Gas attack. This is the testimony of Ruth Riddle who survived the fire and carried out her disk with the first Seal nearly completed (letters and conversations with Phillip Arnold), and it is picked up on the surveillance tapes as CS Gas is being pumped into Mt. Carmel. Steve Schneider is talking about trying to get the phone line hooked up so they can arrange to send out the first Seal. He says, "here's the manuscript; the first one is about completed; it was worked on all last night" (SA 73-4).

The disk Ruth Riddle brought out is unquestionably the one she typed with David late into Sunday night. She testifies to it, and the manuscript itself ends with a pledge to "come out and be revealed to the world." Ruth Riddle took over typing from Judy Schneider because Koresh was rushing to get the first Seal typed so it could go out Monday, the day of the CS Gas attack. Judy's finger had been injured in the February 28th raid and her typing was somewhat slower than normal. Byron Sage's suggestion that the manuscript might be something written at some previous time shows his total ignorance of David Koresh's theology. Until April 14th, when Koresh received his word to write the Seven Seals, he believed he was absolutely forbidden by Scripture to write his message (Rev 10:4).

Conclusion: These negotiation tapes clearly reveal that Koresh was hard at work on his manuscript, that the negotiators accepted this and were working with him on getting proper supplies (batteries, ribbons, etc.), and that an agreement had even been reached to send out the first Seal ahead of the rest, as an act of good faith. Koresh and Ruth Riddle worked late through Sunday night to complete their agreement, nearly finishing the first Seal.

Prepared by Dr. James Tabor, Dr. Phillip Arnold, and Dick Reavis.

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