Life inside the doomsday cult's besieged compound included rock 'n' roll jam sessions powered by emergency generators, guns lying around within reach of children and free love for the leader, David Koresh.
Jesse Amen, who spent more than a week inside the Branch Davidians' compound after racing past federal agents to join Koresh, said the cult leader welcomed a violent showdown as the standoff wore on."David repeatedly said, `Bring it on,' " Amen said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. "He said, `We are ready, if they want to fire.' " He said however he saw no evidence of plans for a mass suicide and doesn't believe the cult did commit mass suicide as the FBI says.
Guns from a reported $200,000 cache of weapons were kept handy in case agents tried to storm the place, Amen said.
Amen, described by the FBI as a religious fanatic, joined Koresh on March 26. He left the compound April 4 and has been jailed on a charge of interfering with a law officer.
During the 51-day standoff, Koresh often responded to the raucous noises blared over FBI loudspeakers by staging mini rock concerts on a moment's notice, Amen said.
Koresh, 33, has long been known around Waco as a would-be rock star and even wrote a song called "Mad Man in Waco" in the mid-1980s.
"They would play their terrible sounds, and David would just go in and crank up the generator and David would play the guitar," Amen said. "The other brothers would be playing the drums and David would be singing to the stars."
The performances would drain the electric generators the cult was forced to rely on after authorities cut power March 12, Amen said.
Amen also said Koresh was the only "person allowed to be with the women," whom the cult leader claimed as his "wives." Koresh was believed to have up to 15 wives and fathered more than a dozen children.
"David's lifestyle was a reflection of society. But David did it in a righteous manner," Amen said. "He was taking on the sins of the others."