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“From the massacre in Waco, to one step from being incinerated to death in a pine forest in Bariloche”

See: Bariloche 2000: De la masacre de waco a un paso de morir calcinados

Rio Negro newspaper, Argentina

Contributed by: editorial staff

In April of 1993 Gary Spaulding and his family experienced at close range the massacre of Waco, Texas, where 86 people died, among them 17 children. There is where their pilgrimage around the world began, asking for asylum because of feeling pursued by the FBI. Today their path led to a clearing in a pine forest, where yesterday they were almost burned alive by an intentional forest fire. An incredible story.

Wednesday, February 23
Gary Spaulding, his wife Vickie Lynn and their children L’abri, Jireh, Beni, Talitha and Ciela, who are from 6 months to 13 years old, were almost burned alive early yesterday morning when an intentional forest fire encircled the pine forest in which they were camping.

Anguish. The heat woke the family, who managed to escape from the place.

The incident only seems a macabre continuation of the nightmare griefs of the family, that started when, in April of 1993, they tried to give humanitarian help to the members of the Branch Davidians who were entrenched in Waco, Texas. In which case everything ended with a terrible toll of 86 deaths caused by an explosion and a terrible fire. The story told [by the government] is that the tragedy was the consequence of a suicide ordered by David Koresh, the leader of the cult. Spalding, who was arrested by the FBI, says that it was an action of the federal agents of the United States government [that caused the deaths].


They left the United States, feeling pursued by their government. They went to Spain, Switzerland, France. They tried to enter the UK. They went to Paraguay. They traveled to Buenos Aires. They ended up in Bariloche. In each country they asked to be declared as refugees. To every petition they were given the same answer: “No.”

Gary Spaulding says he is a member of the “Humanitarian Christian missionaries” [not a member of an organization, but simply a Christian humanitarian missionary] and, under this condition, tried with a friend, to enter the grounds of the before mentioned cult in Waco, with the objective of taking them food. He was arrested, interrogated and, according to him, systematically pursued.

In 1997 he was interrogated again by the FBI about an attack committed with a car-bomb in the south of the state of Indiana.

He showed that from that moment he started to be pursued by a cult investigator and that, in 1997, when an attack happened with a car-bomb in the south of the state of Indiana.

But, in addition to these singular circumstances, he has the peculiarity of always living in precarious places and of having the ideology of educating his children in the family atmosphere and far from any traditional school system.

In 2003, feeling besieged by the State, that according to their declarations intended to take their children away, theydecided to leave the United States on board a cruiser, that set out from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and arrived in Barcelona. From there they passed through Andorra, after that they crossed into France, Holland and Switzerland, where their last daughter was born. They also made an effort to enter the United Kingdom. At each place they were systematically rejected as refugees.

A contact with a Paraguayan official urged them to travel to the Guarani country and, later, trying to get work with his profession of professor of languages, toward Buenos Aires.

Also in Argentina they were denied political asylum, but a contact encouraged them to go to Bariloche, where they arrived a month and a half ago.

They first camped in Colonia Suiza and later, already with out a cent, ended up at the Salvation Army. A few days ago, by their own decision, they preferred to free up the site that they were occupying and camp in a clearing of the forest known as “Ribelli’s pine forest” near Pilar II.

There, early yesterday morning, some furtive loggers that roam that site to hoard logs, intended to “dislodge” the strange visitors by provoking a forest fire.

The heat woke the family, that managed to escape from the place. The work of the fire fighters avoided, later, that the Spauldings lose their scarce possessions.

At the moment, thanks to the worry of some neighbors from Bariloche, some fellow citizens tried to find them some lodging solution.



Translation from Spanish by: L’abri

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