Cults of doom

The Star (South Africa), June 27, 2003 (By the Editor)
By the Editor

In April 1993, the world watched in shock as dozens of religious fanatics were consumed by flames in Waco, Texas, after a 51-day standoff with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians, thought he was an angel and an agent of God, but authorities said he was a gun-hoarding criminal who physically and sexually abused the several children he fathered with his followers.

Earlier, in 1978, more than 900 members of the People’s Temple cult, led by the Reverend Jim Jones, committed mass suicide after drinking poisoned cool drink in Jonestown, Guyana. The leader had convinced them that by dying, they would go straight to heaven.

Closer to home, the bodies of more than 800 cult members were found at the headquarters of the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God sect in Kanungu, Uganda. They had been convinced by their leaders that the world would end on December 31 1999. The followers were either slaughtered or died in a fire when this did not happen.

Now police have dug up the bodies of eight members of the Awaiting Christ cult in Umtata. They, too, had been brainwashed and taught that the day of reckoning was close.

The Scriptures are quite clear that we must watch out for false prophets.

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