Social Influence and the Branch Davidians

Topics: Branch Davidian, Waco Siege, Waco, Texas Pages: 3 (1051 words) Published: May 22, 2010
Social Influence And The Branch Davidians

Abstract
I examined compliance gaining strategies used by David Koresh to influence his followers. His claim to be Jesus Christ himself, and his promise to grant his followers eternal life, was highly effective in obtaining his followers compliance. I examined the Branch Davidian’s response to David Koresh’s influence. I observed their willingness to surrender their basic human needs, personal safety, and that of their children. Compliance-gaining strategies used by the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents during the 1993 siege at the Branch Davidian compound were also examined.

Social Influence and The Branch Davidians
David Koresh used various compliance gaining strategies to gain the allegiance of his followers who according to Time.com (1993) were also known as the Branch Davidians. His followers responded with compliance, ultimately arming themselves in a standoff at their compound in Waco Texas, against the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. The ATF then used compliance gaining strategies in a failed attempt to end the standoff peacefully. David Koresh used methods such as moral appeal, promises, and threats as compliance gaining strategies. It could be considered immoral for a religious person to choose to oppose God, therefore a moral appeal was a highly effective compliance gaining strategy for Koresh to use. Time.com (1993) wrote that Koresh taught his followers saying, “if the Bible is true, then I’m Christ.” He was appealing to their desire to be moral people who obey the requests of their Lord and Savior. Relentlessly delivering scriptures to his followers was another form of moral appeal. Koresh implored their compliance by appealing to their moral commitment to obey the scriptures of the Bible. Koresh realized that his followers would accept the logic that moral people do not disobey the Bible. Time.com (1993) wrote that David Koresh quoted the Bible (Revelation 2, English...

References: Alberts, J. PhD, Ayers, J. PhD, Busha, R. PhD, & Holtz, M. M.A. (2009). Interpersonal Effectiveness. Rancho Cucamonga: Channel Custom
Gibbs, N. (May, 1993) Oh My God, They’re Killing Themselves! Time.com, 2, 5. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/daily/newsfiles/waco/050393.html
Lacayo, R. (March, 1993). Cult of Death: Holed up in a Texas fortress, David Koresh and his followers fervently believe he is Christ – till death do them part. Time.com, 1, 3, 4. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/daily/newsfiles/waco/031593.html
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