I bet he fucking did................
Did David Koresh copy his doomsday prophesies from Florida cult? Thirty years after deadly Waco Siege new evidence links Branch Davidian leader to 1890s alchemist who promoted 'Hollow Earth' conspiracy theory
- New book links David Koresh's beliefs to leader of Florida cult from the 1890s
- Cyrus Teed issued similar prophesies and also changed his name to 'Koresh'
- It comes ahead of the 30-year anniversary of deadly AFT siege in Waco, Texas
Nearly three decades after the deadly federal siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, new evidence has emerged suggesting leader David Koresh's doomsday prophesies were cribbed from an obscure 19th century Florida cult.
Koresh, born Vernon Wayne Howell, made religious claims strikingly similar to those of Cyrus Teed, an 'eclectic physician' and alchemist who founded a commune in Estero, Florida in 1894, author Jeff Guinn wrote in his new book Waco, a definitive account of the 1993 siege.
Like Howell, Teed also changed his name to Koresh, the Hebrew name for the Old Testament's King Cyrus, and proclaimed himself the Lamb of God and the breaker of the Seven Seals described in the Book of Revelation.
Teed dubbed his religious and scientific theories 'Koreshanity' and promoted a version of the 'Hollow Earth' cosmology, falsely claiming that humans live on the inside surface of a concave sphere.
Though Howell was never known to promote the Hollow Earth theory, Guinn writes that the other parallels 'defy coincidence,' adding: 'Howell adopted Teed's prophesies as his own. How did this happen?'
In his book, published in late January, Guinn reveals a new link between Teed and Howell, showing that in the early 1990s the Waco public library had a rare book published by Teed's followers, outlining his unusual beliefs.
Who was 'Koreshanity' founder Cyrus Teed?
Teed was born in Trout Creek, New York in 1839 and grew up in Utica, where as a child he worked as a 'hoggee' guiding pack animals that pulled boats down the Erie Canal.
After apprenticing with his surgeon uncle, Teed studied 'eclectic medicine,' an alternative form of medicine popular in the 19th century that relied heavily on botanical and homeopathic cures.
Teed also began dabbling in alchemy in a lab he built next to his home, where he pursued the timeless fantasy of transmuting lead into gold.
In his writings, Teed claimed that in 1869, he actually succeeded in creating gold, and soon after saw a vision of a female angel, who told him he would 'redeem the race' through his death.
For years, Teed traveled upstate New York lecturing on his strange theories, including that celibacy and strict diet would lead to immortality, and that humans live on the inside surface of a hollow, or 'cellular' Earth, with the sun at its center.
Over time, his proclamations grew more religious, as he declared he was the reincarnation of King Cyrus, the historical Babylonian leader dubbed a 'messiah' in the Old Testament for ending the captivity of the Jewish people.
Teed also declared that he was the Lamb described in Revelation. According to Revelation, the Lamb will break seven seals on a scroll that, when opened, will initiate the end times and Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Taking the Hebrew name of King Cyrus, Teed dubbed himself Koresh and named his belief system Koreshanity, attracting followers who believed he was 'the new Messiah now in the World.'
Teed's group, which he called the Koreshan Unity, eventually founded a utopian commune in Estero, a Florida village on the outskirts of Fort Myers.
Visitors to the commune were greeted with a sign bearing the hollow Earth slogan: 'We live inside! Drop in and see us!'
Though Teed preached celibacy for his followers, he faced accusations of philandering from critics in Fort Meyers, according to Lyn Millner, who authored the Teed biography The Allure of Immortality.
As well, the Koreshan Unity faced persistent rumors about members who were unhappy, but unable to leave.
The Estero community peaked in the early 1900s, when it had some 250 residents, but never came close to Teed's bold vision of a megapolis teeming with 10 million true believers.
In his newsletter, the Flaming Sword, Teed also began to issue proclamations that he personally would inaugurate the End Time, through his death and resurrection following a titanic clash with the governments of the world.
His followers seized on this prophesy when, in 1906, Teed quarreled with a town marshal in Fort Myers and was struck by the officer, breaking his glasses as he fell.
Though Teed didn't die for another two years, in 1908, his followers dubiously claimed it was as a result of his injuries in the fight. They gathered around his body to watch his transformation into a higher form, as he'd prophesied.
But after five days with no sign of resurrection, local health officials forced the group to inter Teed's moldering corpse. Dejected, his followers scattered and splintered, and the last Koreshan ceded the group's property to create a state park in 1961.
The name Koresh was all but forgotten in the popular imagination, until another man who claimed the name led his followers in a deadly firefight with federal agents and subsequent siege that ended in flames.
Koresh and the Davidians: How gangly young Vernon Howell gained control of the Waco sect
Vernon Howell, who legally changed his name to David Koresh in 1990, first joined the Branch Davidians in 1981, though the group long predated him.
The Branch Davidians were a splinter sect of a group called the Shepherd's Rod, itself an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, founded in 1929 by Victor Houteff and based on another property near Waco.
Houteff's follower Benjamin Roden established the Branch Davidian splinter group following Houteff's death in 1955. When Roden died in 1978, his wife Lois Roden took over leadership of the sect, after proclaiming she had been visited by a female angel.
The Branch Davidians drew nearly all their followers from the Adventist church, which Koresh grew up as part of after his birth in Houston in 1959 to an unwed 14-year-old mother.
Growing up in Dallas, Koresh had some form of learning disability and struggled in school, but gravitated toward church and had an astounding ability to memorize long Bible passages.
When Koresh joined the Branch Davidians at age 21, he quickly became a favorite of the group's leader Lois, driving her to appointments and studying biblical prophesies under her tutelage.
Despite their 40-year age gap, there were persistent rumors in the group that Koresh also engaged in a sexual relationship with Lois, something he later confirmed.
Lois, who styled herself as a prophet after her vision of the female angel, apparently encouraged Koresh to do the same, and took him on a trip to Israel in 1983.
Soon after, Koresh began leading Bible studies for the Davidian group, and even grew confident enough to correct what he saw as errors in his mentor Lois' theology.
By all accounts, Koresh was a mesmerizing speaker with an intricate, astounding knowledge of the entire Bible.
'He knew every passage by heart, and, further, could talk endlessly about any of them, not only dissecting individual meanings, but linking everything back to something else in the Bible,' wrote Guinn in his new book.
But as Koresh solidified his grip on the Davidians, his leadership took a sickening turn as he created a harem of dozens of 'wives', including underage girls, and allegedly had sex with girls as young as 12.
Koresh insisted that his male followers remain celibate, while he dissolved their marriages and slept with their wives in a quest to have 24 children, which he believed would rule as the 24 elders described in the Book of Revelation.
At the heart of Koresh's religious ideas was the Revelation prophesy of the Seven Seals, which when broken are said to release the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse and inaugurate the Second Coming of Christ.
The scripture says the only one worthy to open the seals is 'the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne' who is depicted in a vision as 'a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered' (Revelation 5:5-6).
Most Christians interpret the Lamb as representing Jesus Christ, but Koresh taught his followers that he himself was the Lamb.
In essence, Koresh believed that only his death, in a fiery confrontation with the secular governments of the world, would inaugurate Christ's return and elevate him and his martyred followers to heaven.
How David Koresh's prophesies matched Teed's
Following Lois' death in 1986, Koresh eventually gained uncontested control of the Davidians, and began promoting doomsday prophesies with striking parallels to Cyrus Teed's.
As he later explained to FBI hostage negotiators, Koresh in 1985 had visited Israel again, where he says he had a vision of seven angels, who bore him to heaven and offered three revelations.
First, he said that he was told he was the modern day incarnation of the biblical King Cyrus, and should take the name Koresh.
As well, Koresh claimed the angels also instructed him that he was the Lamb described in the Book of Revelation, destined to break the Seven Seals.
He also said it was revealed that he and his followers must perish in a battle with modern-day 'Babylon' -- namely, the government -- to open the Seven Seals and inaugurate Christ's return.
These three elements of Koresh's vision closely match the teachings of Teed, and are found together nowhere else in the varied history of Christianity, religious scholars told the author Guinn.
The similarities between Teed and Koresh attracted notice soon after the 1993 Waco Siege, including in a Washington Post article speculating links between the two cult leaders.
However, Guinn's book is the first to present hard evidence, showing that a rare 1971 reissue of a book of Teed's teachings, titled Koreshanity: The New Age Religion, had been in the Waco public library since 1972.
Very few libraries in the country ever acquired a copy of the book, and Guinn found that there was no way to determine why the library had the book, or who checked it out prior to modern electronic record keeping.
But the author noted that the most likely scenario was that a patron asked the library to buy a copy of the book soon after its 1971 release. Could it have been Lois Roden?
Guinn makes a convincing argument that Koresh himself did not copy Teed's prophesies, but rather that his mentor Lois fed them to him as she groomed him to take her place as leader of the Davidians.
First, he noted that Koresh read almost nothing aside from the Bible, and was unlikely to have heard of Teed on his own.
He also noted that Lois' own 1977 vision of a visitation by a female angel was 'taken virtually word for word' from Teed's own description of his 1869 vision, which followed his purported transmutation of lead into gold.
'Lois Roden was a dedicated religious scholar,' wrote Guinn. 'She traveled extensively, participating in discussions with representatives of many religious groups, and read a great deal about other sects and their beliefs.'
'However it happened, Vernon Wayne Howell took Cyrus Teed's prophesies and made them his own. He probably did not realize that he did,' the author added.
Tragically, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms appears to have known little and cared less about the beliefs of Koresh and his die-hard followers when they attempted to raid the group's compound on February 23, 1993.
Acting on tips from disgruntled former members that the Davidians were illegally converting rifles to fire fully automatic, the ATF had a warrant to search the compound outside Waco.
ATF raid planners apparently believed the Davidians were meek, sheep-like cult followers who would easily surrender in the face of a shock-and-awe 'dynamic entry' by nearly 100 armed agents.
Instead, the ATF met fierce, heavily armed resistance from the Davidians, who had been listening for years to Koresh's doomsday prophesies about a titanic battle between true believers and the secular government.
The initial firefight, which raged for several hours, left four ATF agents dead, as well as six Branch Davidians.
Following a 51-day siege, another 76 Davidians, including Koresh, died as the compound burst into flames when the FBI attempted to force the group out with tear gas.
The fire was likely deliberately set by Davidians, who saw their own deaths as necessary to complete the prophesy of the Seven Seals and inaugurate the Kingdom of God on Earth.
'You don't deliver an apocalypse to an apocalyptic group,' James Tabor, a prominent religious scholar, told the author Guinn. 'The [ATF] raid in a sad way confirmed David's prophesies to his followers more than ever before.'