This week’s focus is on the scientific and synergic containment of violence. We posted three articles by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman of the Killology Research Group: 1) Aggression and Violence 2) Evolution of Weaponry and this morning 3) Psychological Effects of Combat. Here we repost the fourth in our SafeEARTH series. See: 1) Beyond Crime and Punishment 2) Synergic Containment: Protecting Children and 3) Synergic Containment: Science & Rationale.
Branch Davidian Compound, Waco, TX
Timothy Wilken, MD
Most Americans recall this incident from 1993. The following are the facts as reported by PBS:FRONTLINE:
Sunday, February 28, 1993: At about 9:30 a.m. agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempt to execute arrest and search warrants against David KORESH and the Branch Davidian compound as part of an investigation into illegal possession of firearms and explosives there. Gunfire erupts. Four ATF agents are killed and 16 are wounded. An undetermined number of Davidians are killed and injured. Within a few hours, the FBI becomes the lead agency for resolving the standoff.
The FBI would institute a siege of the compound that would last 51 days.
After 51 days of standoff, Attorney General Janet Reno authorized a tear gas attack. Reno has cited a number of factors to explain why she endorsed the tear-gas plan. She has said that she had concluded that negotiations with the Branch Davidians were indefinitely stalemated, that the FBI’s hostage rescue team on duty at Waco was becoming fatigued, that the security perimeter established by the FBI around the compound was endangered and that the children inside the compound were at risk because of deteriorating sanitary conditions and the potential for sexual and physical abuse.
Monday, April 19, 1993: At 6:02 a.m., two FBI combat engineering vehicles, or CEVs, begin inserting gas into the compound through spray nozzles attached to a boom. At 6:04 a.m., the Davidians start shooting, and the FBI begin deploying Bradley vehicles to insert ferret rounds through the windows. At 6:31, the HRT reports that the entire building is being gassed. At about 7 a.m., RENO and senior advisors go to the FBI situation room. At 7:30, a CEV breaches the front side of the building on the first floor as it injects gas, and at 7:58 a.m., gas is inserted in the second floor of the back-right corner of the building. The FBI calls for more gas from outside Waco, and at 9:20 a.m., 48 more ferret rounds arrive from Houston.
At 11:40 a.m., the last ferret rounds are delivered. At 11:45 a.m., a wall on the right-rear side of the building collapses. At 12:07 p.m., There is the start of “simultaneous fires at three or more different locations within the compound.” Fire quickly consumes the compound.
According to medical examiners who performed the autopsies, CS gas did not directly kill any of the more than 80 Branch Davidians, including 22 children, who died in the fire on April 19. … Other experts have told FRONTLINE that CS gas may have totally incapacitated the children and others so that when the fire occurred, it would have rendered them incapable of escape. (4)
Synergic Containment of the Branch Davidian Church
This is not a criticism of the federal officers who were involved in the Adversary Containment at the Branch Davidian Church (BDC). Clearly the members of that church were heavily armed and dangerous. Four Federal ATF officers lost their lives and 16 were wounded in the first encounter on February 28. I would suggest that the mechanism of adversary containment is more dangerous for both the containment officers and for those being contained.
As a thought experiment, how would synergic containment work differently than adversary containment?
Synergic Containment Officers are responsible for containment of adversary events.
Their first task will be to contain the adversary event, and prevent the event from spreading further into community and involving new victims.
Containment is about protecting both the victim and the aggressor. Synergic society does not view the perpetrators as bad or criminal. However, they certainly recognize that they are dangerous. Recall from our initial discussion of using synergic containment to protect children, we are seeking to contain and protect all the individuals caught up in an adversary event—both victims and perpetrators.
Once the adversary event has been contained, the second task of the Synergic Containment Officers becomes to safely rescue all of the individuals caught up in the event. This rescue is prioritized. First to be rescued are victims at greatest risk for further harm, then victims at lower risk. Once the victims are safe, the synergic containment officers will begin their rescue of the perpetrators.
If those perpetrating the adversary event have weapons, they must be disarmed. Today, the danger of adversary events is greatly magnified by access to weapons. We humans are Time-binders. That means as a species we can create knowledge without limit. When we incorporate knowledge into matter-energy it is called a tool. Because knowledge can grow without limit, tools can also grow without limit. When tools are used to hurt others, they are called weapons. In our modern world, we have created ever more powerful weapons. These weapons are not safe in the hands of ignorance.
Once the perpetrators of an adversary event are contained, their victims rescued, then they will be disarmed, this must be effected before they can be rescued.
How would this work in the real world? Let us examine a real situation.
Remember, the goal of synergic containment is the protection of both humanity as community, and humanity as individuals. This goal could best be achieved by isolation of the BDC members and then disarming them. Once they were disarmed they would be taken into protective custody. All custody by Synergic Containment Officers is protective. Their mission is protection.
It was strongly suspected and later confirmed that the Branch Davidian members were heavily armed and dangerous. A Synergic Containment Force would act cautiously. They would encircle and establish a strong perimeter completely surrounding the compound. This perimeter would well back from the compound outside of rifle range.
Remember the three tasks of the Synergic Containment Officers–contain, rescue, disarm.
Once the perimeter is contained the next step is the creation of one or more rescue corridors. These are protected passages to points as close to the center of the adversary event as possible to facilitate the rescue of individuals caught up in the event.
In addition to observation from the perimeter and rescue corridor, the compound under be put under continuous observation from closer, but well protected observation sites, and communication established with the Church members. The church members would be unable to militarily engage the Containment Force without leaving the protection of their compound.
Those within the compound would then be ordered to put down their weapons and move out to the perimeter to voluntarily enter into protective custody. Those being contained would have a short time to voluntarily surrender. If there was no response, or a hostile response, the Synergic Containment Force would begin Containment Isolation of the compound.
Once Containment Isolation is implemented, nothing goes in. Access to electricity, television, telephone, water, food and all outside supplies are a privilege to members of community in good standing. That privilege is suspended. Nothing goes in. Every thing would stop! Then the Containment Force would sit back and wait for them to come out.
Any unarmed member of the church could leave anytime by simply presenting to the rescue corridor for safe escort to the perimeter where they could voluntarily enter protective custody. Once out, no one goes back in unless and until Synergic Containment is lifted.
The compound would not be stormed or attacked in anyway. No barrage of noise, loud music, or teargas. They would be left to themselves without phones, television, newspapers, mail, electricity, water, etc.etc.. They are not being punished. The benefits of community are being suspended until they cease all adversity. I expect that most of the members would have come out and surrendered. Perhaps not all.
Once each day, the containment force would explicitly communicate with the contained adversaries, reminding them that safety, food, water, shelter and medical care wait for them at the perimeter. It would be made clear that to exit the containment zone, they need only put down their weapons and present to the rescue corridor, or perimeter. Any individual—adult or child—that did so would be given protection including water, food, medical care and shelter.
Why would they give up?
In today’s world, criminals that have been adversarily contained by the police feel they have nothing to lose. They may be surrounded by heavily armed swat teams looking to take them out with a long range shot. If they survive capture, they face trial, imprisonment, and sentences range from a few years to life in prison and can even be put to death by the state for a capital crime. This leads to an environment where trapped criminals may feel they have nothing to lose by shooting it out with the police.
Within Synergic Society, the Life Trust Guardians Division of Public Safety works differently. Once those caught up in an adversary event are contained and are in protective custody, the rest of the public safety process unfolds:
Scientific Investigation and Analysis of the Adversary Event
The Life Trust Guardians will assign public safety scientists to investigate and scientifically analyze the adversary event. These Science Officers are responsible for determining the true facts of the adversary event.
Remember mistakes are caused by ignorance, even those mistakes that injure people and seem deliberate. Science Officers will seek to determine what were the causes of the mistakes that led to the adversary event, and what specifically needs to be learned by the responsible parties to prevent further adversary events.
It is also their mission to determine who were the individuals responsible for the event. Those individuals who freely admit their responsibility for an adversary event will enter directly into the Education and Restitution phase. Those individuals accused of adversary action claiming innocence are entitled to a responsibility hearing.
Conducted by Hearing Officers, this is an evidentiary process which includes the scientific interrogation of both the alleged adversaries and the victims of the adversary event. The responsibility hearing differs from a criminal trial in significant ways. First, the end result of the responsibility hearing does not lead to punishment, it leads to education, rehabilitation, and restitution. Secondly, it is not an adversarial procedure. There is no prosecutor and no defense. No one is trying to hurt anyone in this process. The Responsibility Hearing is to determine the truth.
The needs and the safety of humanity as community takes precedent over the needs and safety of humanity as individuals. Truth has a higher value then fairness. Since no one is going to be punished, all parties are required to tell the truth. No human has the right to hurt another human. Public safety is paramount, and the truth will be the determining factor.
All parties may be interrogated by the Life Trust Guardians’ Hearing Officers utilizing any scientific techniques that are safe and effective. This could include hypnosis, lie detector technology, drug augmented interrogation, and new technologies and techniques not yet invented. In a synergic culture, you can be required to testify against yourself, or your spouse. There are no privileged conversations between lawyers and clients because there are no lawyers and clients. The truth will out. The purpose of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the American Constitution were to protect Free and Independent Citizens from an Adversary State. It was thought that if you could be made to testify against yourself, you could be tortured to confess to crimes you did not commit. This of course was true in an Adversary world with an Adversary State.
In a synergic culture, all Synergic Trust Guardians are held to the highest standards — they cannot hurt others, and in fact must help others. This standard applies as well to the Life Trust Guardians’ Containment, Science, and Hearing Officers.
If the officers of the Life Trust Guardians injure others in the course of their duties, they are subject to the same rules of public safety and are 100% responsible for their actions. They cannot torture anyone. They are also required to tell the truth and are also subject to scientific interrogation if accused of hurting others.
This commitment to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth eliminates all of today’s legal loop holes that allows dangerous committed criminals to be released back to the public streets and have access to new victims. Once the Responsibility Hearing has been concluded and it has been determined who was responsible, the next phase of the process can begin.
Rehabilitation and Education of those Responsible
Within a synergic society, Rehabilitation Officers are responsible for this phase. These Officers include Physicians, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Teachers. Adversary behavior in a synergic culture is viewed as a psychiatric disease or adversary mental illness. Those responsible for dangerous and/or severe adversary events would be required to undergo extensive psychiatric and psychological evaluation to determine the extent of their adversary mental illness. They would then enter into a comprehensive treatment program.
If they were deemed a continuing public safety risk, they would surrender their freedom during treatment. No human has the right to hurt another human. They would remain incarcerated until they were cured. If they were never cured, they would never be released. As our knowledge of adversary mental disorders improved and as new techniques and therapies were created, we would gain in our ability to successfully treat and cure these disorders.
Once their adversary illnesses, were deemed cured, they would move forward to the educational program. Here they would join other individuals found free of adversary mental illness. In this educational phase, all individuals deemed responsible for an adversary event would undergo a program specifically designed for them to correct the errors and mistakes that led to their specific adversary event. Once they completed their educational phase they would be tested.
Rehabilitation Testing of those Responsible
These tests are to verify that those responsible have learned how to avoid future Adversary Events. Once the Rehabilitation Officers find an individual has fully recovered and is no longer a threat to the public safety. Once they have completed the program and demonstrated the understanding and knowledge necessary to avoid such events in the future, they would move on to the restitution phase.
Restitution Agreements by those Responsible
In a synergic culture where not hurting others is required, and helping others is highly encouraged, restitution will be an important and common phenomena. Most of the time injuries to others will be accidental. All humans will make mistakes and often those mistakes will hurt others. Restitution is the mechanism of repair. We can’t always fix things, but we can always sincerely apologize and offer restitution.
The Life Trust Guardianship only gets involved when the injuries are deliberately caused by adversary actions. Following successful rehabilitation and education, documented with successful testing, then monitored restitution is mandatory.
Prevention of Future Adversary Events
Public safety is paramount. No human has the right to injure another human with an adversary action. Once such an event has occurred and you are found responsible you may be monitored and your freedom restricted until such time as the Life Trust Guardians have determined that you are safe without monitoring or restriction.
If the Life Trust Guardians release you from monitoring or restrictions and you hurt someone else in the future with another adversary action, then the Life Trust Guardians and the specific Officers involved in your release share responsibility with you for the adversary event. They are held accountable for failure to protect the public. This is a much higher standard then offered by today’s criminal justice system.
Prevention Agreements for Future Monitoring and Restrictions
Here, Rehabilitation Officers in co-laboration with the Prevention Officers will work together to determine what specific level of monitoring, surveillance, and personal freedom restrictions are necessary for the public safety. Because these officers share responsibility for future events with the perpetrators it is in their best interest to get it right. All terms and conditions will be negotiated in this phase. The responsible adversaries will take an active role in this negotiation. They will voluntarily enter into the Prevention Agreements as a condition for restoration of community privileges. Periodically, reviews would occur and terms and conditions modified as appropriate.
The final phase of the Rule of Public Safety is the responsibility of the Prevention Officers. In a synergic culture, humans found responsible for adversary actions even terrible adversary actions are not criminals. They are not felons. They are not punished. But they are contained. Life Trust Guardians will utilize the most advanced containment technology available — this could include implanted transponders and continuous monitoring systems.Whenever possible the responsible adversaries will be allowed to return to their lives and families. Even when incarcerated to the extent possible their lives will be normalized. This is discussed further in Protecting Humanity.
But, what about those members of the Branch Davidian Church who refuse to surrender? What if they don’t give up? Will Synergic Containment Officers ever storm such a compound?The situation that faced the Federal Officers of the ATF and FBI in Waco Texas in 1993, was very dangerous. In the first encounter the ATF lost 4 officers dead and 16 wounded.Many of the male members of BDC were military trained and all were heavily armed. Most were barricaded inside a steel reinforced concrete bunker with high powered weapons and lots of ammunition. Dr. Rodney Crow, Chief of Identification Service who surveyed the killing field after the fire in 1993 said:
There were weapons everywhere. I don’t remember moving a body that didn’t have a gun melted to it, intertwined with it, between the legs, under the arm or in close proximity. … The women were probably more immersed in the weapons than anyone else, because there was so much weaponry inside the bunker. It was like sea shells on a beach, but they were spent casings and spent bullets. If you had rubber gloves and tried to smooth it away, you’d tear your gloves away from the bullet points that are unexploded, or unspent ammunition. Then as you went through layer after layer, you came upon weapons that were totally burned. Until we got down to the floor, and it was mint condition ammunition there. Ammunition boxes not even singed. … They stored the weapons in the safest place. Then on top of the bunker is where the 50-caliber was found.(5)
As those who have participated in WAR know, storming a well fortified bunker is very dangerous. Would Synergic Containment Officers ever storm such a bunker. I don’t know, but I hope not.
The Texas Rangers who collected the weapons after the fire reported that in addition to the 50-caliber machine gun, they found 60 M-16 machine guns, 60 AK-47 assault rifles, about 30 AR-15 assault rifles, several .50-caliber sniper rifles and dozens of pistols.
Perhaps a better question is, Why were the members of this church allowed to buy hundreds of military weapons and such enormous quantities of military grade ammunition?
As you sow, so shall you reap.
Now certainly, the 22 children who died at Waco were innocent, and their deaths were tragic. I can’t imagine how they could have been protected by assaulting the compound with more high powered weapons. Even today, there remains much controversy as to whether the FBI’s actions of pushing the assault may have contributed to the children’s deaths. We may never know, but I don’t think that would be the case with Synergic Containment. A synergic force would have simply waited them out. As they got more and more hungry, thirsty and weaker, I expect most of them would have come out.
Would Synergic Containment prevent the leaders of the Branch Davidian Church from killing all the members and then committing suicide as happened in Jonestown?
No! Not as I have described synergic containment here.
The purpose of Synergic Containment is the protection of Humanity as Community and Humanity as Individuals. When those two goals conflict, then the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.
Sometimes Containment Officers will risk their lives to rescue victims or hostages, but they will always do it cautiously and with great care. They will do it when they believe success if possible.
As for the children in Waco, unfortunately, their mothers and fathers failed to protect them. And, the ATF and FBI failed to protect them. That is indeed sad. I would hope that we could learn something from the mistakes that were made.
Synergic Containment of Iraq
You can’t cure adversity with adversity. As we watch the night and day ‘mares’ that serves as daily life for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, we must see that “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” does not work.
I agree with President Bush that Saddam Hussein is a dangerous man. I agree that he must be contained and rendered impotent—incapable of hurting others. But, I differ with Bush on the method.
How would one Synergically Contain a rogue nation? For now, I leave that as a mental exercise for the reader.