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Koresh and Compliance-Gaining

As a human being, David Koresh was quite obviously a miserable figure. However, as a psychological case study, he remains absolutely fascinating. The term “textbook figure” is one that is often overused, but Koresh is truly the textbook figure for a cult leader; he may as well have been the archetypal figure from which all future cult leaders will derive. One of the things that made his methods so fascinating was the skill with which he gained the compliance of his victims, which contrasts with the failed attempts at gaining the compliance of both Koresh and the victims on the part of the ATF forces assembled to stop him. As it turns out, Koresh had a fairly simple formula: his…