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The Branch Davidians, a religious sect in the United States based on Christianity, were led by a charismatic prophet known by his assumed name, David Koresh. In the wake of the 1978 mass murder – suicide in Jonestown, the general public of the United States and beyond remained skeptical of the structure and tactics of new religious movements. Such skepticism was given warrant just over a decade later, in 1993, when most of the Branch Davidian sect of Waco, Texas, were killed in a raging inferno after a standoff with U.S. law enforcement agencies. The 1990s were, in fact, marked by a number of violent confrontations and dramatic dénouements, including the 1995 Aum Shinrikyô sarin-gas attack on the Tokyo subway, the 1997 Heaven's Gate mass ...

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