Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities by Stuart A. WrightStorming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities by Stuart A. Wright

Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities

byStuart A. Wright, Susan J. Palmer

Paperback | December 18, 2015

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While scholars, media, and the public may be aware of a few extraordinary government raids on religious communities, such as the U.S. federal raid on the Branch Davidians in 1993, very few people are aware of the scope of these raids or the frequency with which they occur. Inspired by theTexas State raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints in 2008, authors Stuart A. Wright and Susan J. Palmer decided to collect data on all the raids of this kind that have taken place in Western-style democracies over the last six decades. They thus established the first archive ofraided groups and then used it see if any patterns could be identified. Their findings were shocking; there were far more raids than expected, and the vast majority of them had occurred since 1990, reflecting a nearly exponential increase. What could account for this sudden and dramatic increase instate control of minority religions? In Storming Zion, Wright and Palmer argue that the increased use of these high-risk and extreme types of enforcement corresponds to expanded organization and initiatives by opponents of unconventional religions. Anti-cult organizations provide strategic "frames" that define potential conflicts orproblems in a given community as inherently dangerous, and construct narratives that draw on stereotypes of child and sexual abuse, brainwashing, and even mass suicide. The targeted group is made to appear more dangerous than it is, resulting in an overreaction by authorities. Wright and Palmerexplore the implications of heightened state repression and control of minority religions in an increasingly multicultural, globalized world. At a time of rapidly shifting demographics within Western societies this book cautions against state control of marginalized groups and offers insight intothe reasons why the responses to these groups are often so reactionary.
Stuart A. Wright is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice at Lamar University. Dr. Wright is known internationally for his research on religious and political movements, conflict and violence. He has previously published five books, including Armageddon in Waco (1995), Patriot...
Title:Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious CommunitiesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.09 × 6.1 × 0.98 inPublished:December 18, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195398904

ISBN - 13:9780195398908

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Government Raids on Religious Communities2. Countermovement Mobilization and Government Raids3. The Twelve Tribes4. The Family International/Children of God\5. Branch Davidians6. The United Nuwaubian Nation7. The Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints8. The Church of Scientology9. Raids in France10. Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Raids on NRM CommunitiesNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"In a fresh look at confrontations between new and established religions, Storming Zion turns conventional analysis on its head. Rather than joining the chorus of voices attributing confrontations to group extremism, the authors examine how extremism and danger are constructed by opponents soas to legitimate the large and growing number of government raids on new religious communities." --David G. Bromley, Professor of Religious Studies, Director of the World Religions and Spirituality Project, Virginia Commonwealth University