A FOURTEEN-YEAR OLD girl has helped to demolish the myth that
the dead Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh was a martyr
destroyed by a ruthless FBI operation at Waco, Texas, in April
In evidence to Congress, which is investigating the episode, Kiri
Jewel described how the self-proclaimed messiah used the sect
as a cover for rape.
Koresh has become a legend in some quarters of America among people
who are anxious to portray his death as a government conspiracy.
His burnt-out compound, where he apparently shot himself, is
a mecca for militias and other groups.
The Oklahoma bombing was timed for the second anniversary of the
fire - and the man allegedly responsible, Timothy McVeigh, has
said he visited Waco, where a militia group has erected a memorial
Kiri, with her father holding her hand, sat before a roomful of
congressmen on Capitol Hill, and gave a dramatic account of the
activities of the "prophet" and his "new kingdom".
The teenager said she was five when her mother, who also died
in the fire, took her to join Koresh's sect. He was obsessed
with the biblical Apocalypse and sex. "David was planning
to lead the group to Israel to re-take Jerusalem. He taught that
there would be a big battle between the forces of the world and
However, this was a cover for abuse. Koresh used a wooden stick
to hit the children. "It was called Kelper."
Kiri said that she slept with Koresh and her mother in one bed.
She recalled a childhood friend who, at the age of 14, "has
a baby for David".
There was an uneasy silence in the congressional chamber as Kiri
began to talk of her first sexual encounter with the cult leader
at a motel in Waco when she was 10.
He asked her to sit beside him on a bed. "He kissed me.
I just sat there, but he then laid me down," she said.
After committing a sex act, he instructed her to take a shower
and then read from the Bible. Close to tears, Kiri said: "He
sat on the bed and read the Song of Solomon."
Recounting more of her sexual initiation, she said that he used
Biblical quotations to explain himself. He told her that, "King
David from the Bible would sleep with young virgins to keep him
She said: "I had known this would happen sometime, so I
just laid there and stared at the ceiling. I was 10 when this