Author:By SARA RIME with SAM HOWE VERHOVEK
HOUSTON, May 3— For sins as small as spilling milk, the children said, they were struck with a wooden paddle known as “the helper.” To train for the final battle, they were instructed to fight each other, and if they did not fight hard enough, they were paddled for that, too.
David Koresh told them to call their parents “dogs”; only he was to be referred to as their father. Girls as young as 11 were given a plastic Star of David, signifying that they had “the light” and were ready to have sex with the cult leader. A team of therapists said these were some of the things that 19 of the 21 surviving children of the Branch Davidian cult had told them about their lives inside the compound.
The team, headed by Dr. Bruce D. Perry, the chief of psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital and vice chairman for research of the department of psychiatry at the Baylor College of Medicine here, spent two months working with the children, ages 4 to 11, who left the cult’s compound near Waco in the first five days after the Feb. 28 shootout that killed four Federal agents and at least six cult members. Two children, ages 7 months and 3 years, were too young to be interviewed. Earlier Charges Bolstered
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