Mt. Carmel burning
by James Tabor & Eugene Gallagher

Even before the fire that engulfed David Koresh and his followers at the Mt. Carmel complex in Waco, Texas, a handful of people were working diligently to break through the media sensationalism, and religious criticism, to try and find out who David Koresh really was and what he believed. The tragedy of April 19, 1993 did not deter them from their quest, but rather caused them to dig even deeper. Why Waco? written by James Tabor and Eugene Gallagher is the result of over two years of research. It is a concise analysis of the theology of David Koresh that provides the answers to many questions that have lingered in the minds of free thinking people. Why Waco? will not only inform you, but will also challenge you about the way you view religious groups, especially those who subscribe to belief systems considered outside the norm of mainstream religion. Why Waco? is a must read.

Dr. James TaborJames D. Tabor is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is author of A Noble Death: Suicide and Martyrdom in Antiquity.

Dr. Eugene GallagherEugene V. Gallagher is Professor of Religious Studies at Connecticut College. He is author of Expectation and Experience: Explaining Religious Conversion.

Comments in italics added by "WACO CULT" webmaster.

Original Sources And Research Documents

  • The David Koresh Manuscript: Exposition of the Seven Seals: Available elsewhere and in plain-text here
  • Commentary on the Koresh Manuscript by Dr. James Tabor and Dr. Phillip Arnold
  • Events at Waco: An Interpretive Log
  • David Koresh's Worldwide Radio Address March 2,1993: Available elsewhere
  • Total List of Texas Branch Davidians
  • Breakdown of Branch Davidians
  • Prof. James Tabor's Involvement, Perspective and Critical Analysis

  • The Role of Biblical Scholarship at Waco: One Attempt to Avert Disaster
  • NOTE: Those interested in Arnold and Tabor's outreach to David Koresh might also want to look at my Transcript of the Arnold/Tabor Broadcast.
  • In addition, I have the text of David Koresh's letter to his lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, mentioning Arnold and Tabor by name.
  • David Koresh and the FBI's Religious Intolerance
  • Statement to the House Investigation Committee on Waco
  • From The Dead Sea Scrolls To Waco (outside link)
  • Looking through some old files, I found a Tabor speech that had been put on Gopher (.txt suffix added by me): Rethinking Waco: The Perspective of the Academic Study of Religion
  • What Might Have Been: Why Waco Should Have Ended Peacefully

  • The Last Five Days
  • David Koresh and Janet Reno - The Surrender Plan
  • Did David Koresh Lie To The FBI?
  • The Last Recorded Words of David Koresh
  • Other Tabor-Related Materials on WACOCULT

    My website already includes some materials connected to Dr. Tabor besides the Why Waco section. The KGBS Broadcast and the DeGuerin Letter were mentioned above. Also:

  • I have transcribed an October 1993 interview Dr. Tabor gave to KRLD about the unfinished Koresh manuscript.
  • I also transcribed some speeches by Arnold and Tabor, available at my Waco Anniversaries site. They are still early drafts, and in the case of the last speech, I stopped very early in Dr. Arnold's remarks.

    Remarks of Dr. James Tabor, April 17, 1994
    Remarks of Dr. Phillip Arnold, April 17, 1994
    Remarks of Dr. Phillip Arnold, April 19, 1995 (unfinished)

  • For more information, a sample first chapter, and online purchase of the book: University of California Press

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    The "Why Waco" site was once part of the University of California Press site, then moved to the defunct "Waco Never Again/Research Center" site. For further explanation, see my "Research Center" Salvage page.