Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Thursday, October 19. 2017

Today's schedule is D-C-B-A

D Block Criminology 12 - We'll continue with our last topic in the violent crime unit...terrorism. Some stuff to help with your questions:
What Motivates Terrorists?
Public Safety Canada Counter Terrorism
Terrorism threatens Canada
It’s time to talk about terror in Canada

Today you'll have time to wrap up questions from the violence unit and then we'll watch a Criminal Minds episode from season 4 "Amplification" where the BAU responds quickly after a someone releases a new strain of a deadly anthrax virus in Annapolis that threatens the public and puts a member of the team at risk.

C Block Human Geography 11 - Today we'll try to answer the key question, "Why Do Folk and Popular Culture Face Sustainability Challenges?" The international diffusion of popular culture has led to two issues, both of which can be understood from geographic perspectives.
  • First, the diffusion of popular culture may threaten the survival of traditional folk culture in many countries. 
  • Second, popular culture may be less responsive to the diversity of local environments and consequently may generate adverse environmental impacts.
So we'll examine these two things today. We'll start with the potential loss of folk culture through assimilation which is a process of giving up cultural traditions and adopting social customs of the dominant culture of a place, acculturation which is a process of adjustment to the dominant culture of a place all while retaining features of a folk culture, and syncretism which is the creation of a new cultural feature through combining elements of two groups. To help think of:


Or the story of Chanie Wenjack set to the music of Gord Downie (the Tragically Hip singer who died of brain cancer yesterday)

After we'll look at the creation of uniform landscapes, landscape pollution and resource depletion. We end with a big thinking question:

Placelessness and uniform landscapes …… With the spread of pop culture throughout Canada (specifically restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops, national chains), are cities throughout our country losing their local diversity?  Are we becoming a nation that looks the same no matter what city you are in?  Explain.

B Block Physical Geography 12 - Today is your Tectonics Unit Final Test. I hope you come prepared and if you did study (you did have all week) then I'm sure you'll do fine. You'll need the entire block for the test. Your first order of business is to relax; I'm certain you'll do fine. Dazzle me with what you know. Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wednesday, October 18. 2017

Today's schedule is B-A-D-C

B Block Physical Geography 12 - I'll show you some footage of the Kilauea eruption (both pahoehoe and aa flows) and the Soufriere Hills volcanic eruption on Montserrat. we'll watch Mega Disasters: American Volcano which this is a sweet "what if" disaster video and it explains the dangers of the slumbering giant...Mount Rainier. This helps with your project...whic is due today.

D Block Criminology 12 - The 2016 GTI (Global Terrorism Index) report reinforces the fact terrorism is a highly concentrated form of violence, mostly committed in a small number of countries and by a small number of groups. The five countries suffering the highest impact from terrorism as measured by the GTI; Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria, accounted for 72 per cent of all deaths from terrorism in 2015. Similarly, only four groups were responsible for 74 per cent of all these deaths; ISIL, Boko Haram, the Taliban and al-Qa’ida. While terrorism as a form of violence has a major psychological impact on the societies it touches, there are other forms of violence which are more devastating. Major armed conflicts resulted in more deaths in 2015 as well as the wholesale destruction of economies. The global homicide rate is 15 times the death rate from terrorism.

Fact-Check: Terrorism from Wolfram Friele on Vimeo.


Global Terrorism Index 2014 from Vision of Humanity on Vimeo.



Statistical analysis of the drivers of terrorist activity show there are two distinct sets of factors associated with terrorism, depending on whether the country is developed or developing.

The first set of factors which are closely linked to terrorist activity are political violence committed by the state and the presence of a conflict. The research finds that 93 per cent of all terrorist attacks between 1989 and 2014 occurred in countries with high levels of state sponsored terror, involving extrajudicial killing, torture, and imprisonment without trial. Similarly, over 90 per cent of all terrorist deaths occurred in countries already engaged in some form of conflict whether internal or international. This means only 0.5 per cent of terrorist attacks occurred in countries that did not suffer from conflict or political terror. This underlines the close link between existing conflicts, grievances and political violence with terrorist activity.

When analyzing the correlates of terrorism there are different factors that are statistically significant depending on the level of development. In the OECD countries, socio-economic factors such as youth unemployment, militarization, levels of criminality, access to weapons and distrust in the electoral process are the most statistically significant factors correlating with terrorism. This reinforces some of the well-known drivers of radicalization and extremism. In developing countries, the history of conflict, levels of corruption, acceptance of the rights of others and group based inequalities are more significantly related to terrorist activity.

I'll have you work on the following questions:
  1. Despite cultural awareness and various initiatives in schools and in the media, hate crimes continue to happen in significant numbers in Canada. Discuss the types of hate crimes most prevalent in Canada and the current responses to them. 
  2. Governments have tried numerous responses to terrorism. Discuss some of these responses. 
  3. It is unlikely that the threat of punishment can deter robbery; most robbers refuse to think about apprehension and punishment. Wright and Decker suggest that eliminating cash and relying on debit and credit cards may be the most productive method to reduce the incidence of robbery. Although this seems far-fetched, society is becoming progressively more cashless; it is now possible to buy both gas and groceries with credit cards. Would a cashless society end the threat of robbery, or would innovative robbers find new targets?
  4. Based on what you know about how robbers target victims, how can you better protect yourself from robbery? 
C Block Human Geography 11 - Today we examine the Internet and Social Media's influence on popular culture.


The Internet has made pop culture transmission a two-way street. The power to influence popular culture no longer lies with the relative few with control over traditional forms of mass media; it is now available to the great mass of people with access to the Internet. As a result, the cross-fertilization of pop culture from around the world has become a commonplace occurrence.

Valerie Berset-Price wrote a lovely piece called From Pop Culture to Global Culture: How Millennials and Technology Are Influencing Our World. In it she states

For Millennials (that would be you - my inset), two things are happening simultaneously: culture is impacting technology, and technology is impacting culture. On one hand, culture serves as a standard of judgment. It places an importance on what is acceptably good, valuable, and ethical. It conditions how and what we communicate, and it is the lens by which we perceive the world and, in some ways, the way the world perceives us. On the other hand, technology has served as a force for sweeping cultural change, joining the ranks of war, colonization, religious influence and military expansion as cultural modifiers. The expansion of the internet has allowed global communication and information to permeate everything from apartment walls to international borders...Such global exposure has provided the basis for peaceful international homogenization as well as deep conflicts of perspective, and technological advances have increased the speed and frequency of both.
In addition to individuals contributing to culture, Multinational, nongovernmental corporations can now drive global culture. This is neither entirely good nor entirely bad. On one hand, foreign cultural institutions can adopt successful American business models, and corporations are largely willing to do whatever makes them the most money in a particular market. However, cultural imperialism has potential negative effects as well. From a spread of Western ideals of beauty to the possible decline of local cultures around the world, cultural imperialism can have a quick and devastating effect. (from Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication).

Today you'll need to answer:

  1. Why do developing nations view television as a new source of cultural imperialism?
  2. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) is changing the way that popular and folk cultures are diffused. Give and support an argument for how the Internet might aid the preservation, or even expansion, of some folk cultural elements.
  3. Why do many governments consider it important to limit the freedom to use social media?
  4. A recent study of University of Maryland students found that not using any electronics for 24 hours produced anxiety, craving, and other symptoms akin to withdrawal from alcohol or drugs (FOMO). How do you think you would react to a 24-hour ban on all electronics?



Tuesday, October 17. 2017

Today's schedule is C-D-A-B

C Block Human Geography 11 - Today we'll look at the key question, "Why Is Access to Folk and Popular Culture Unequal?" We will really focus on the diffusion of popular culture and look at the mass media of television. The world’s most popular and important electronic media format is television (TV). While the Internet has grown in popularity and importance in recent years, TV remains the foremost electronic media format. Television is a mirror of our world, offering an often-distorted vision of national identity, as well as shaping our perceptions of various groups of people.

In March 2011, then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the argument that U.S. television was giving people around the world a distorted view of Americans. "I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling," (a side note, at its peak, Baywatch was broadcast in 142 countries and around the world more than 1 billion people have watched the show).

So you'll have some questions about television to work on today (tomorrow it's the Internet and Social Media) including "Why do developing nations view television as a new source of cultural imperialism?"

How to stop foreign TV eroding local culture
What is reality TV's influence on culture? 
How have 24-hour sports stations changed society?

D Block Criminology 12 - Okay, so we know where violence comes from. We know what homicide is, the divisions of murder and why people do it. We understand what sexual assault is, the typology of assault and the motives for doing it. Today I'll finish up the violence section with you by looking at abuse, domestic assault and terrorism. For terrorism consider the following:

By design, terrorist attacks are intended to have a psychological impact far outweighing the physical damage the attack causes. As their name suggests, they are meant to cause terror that amplifies the actual attack. A target population responding to a terrorist attack with panic and hysteria allows the perpetrators to obtain a maximum return on their physical effort. One way to mitigate the psychological impact of terrorism is to remove the mystique and hype associated with it. The first step in this demystification is recognizing that terrorism is a tactic used by a variety of actors and that it will not go away. Terrorism and, more broadly, violence are and will remain part of the human condition. The Chinese, for example, did not build the Great Wall to attract tourists, but to keep out marauding hordes. Fortunately, today's terrorists are far less dangerous to society than the Mongols were to Ming China.



For more on this read Keeping Terrorism in Perspective at Stratfor
For information on terrorism check out:
Terrorism Watch and Warning
DHS Preventing Terrorism
Global Terrorism Database
FBI Terrorism
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada Terrorism
National Counterterrorism Center

I'll have you work on the following questions:
  1. Despite cultural awareness and various initiatives in schools and in the media, hate crimes continue to happen in significant numbers in Canada. Discuss the types of hate crimes most prevalent in Canada and the current responses to them. 
  2. Governments have tried numerous responses to terrorism. Discuss some of these responses. 
  3. It is unlikely that the threat of punishment can deter robbery; most robbers refuse to think about apprehension and punishment. Wright and Decker suggest that eliminating cash and relying on debit and credit cards may be the most productive method to reduce the incidence of robbery. Although this seems far-fetched, society is becoming progressively more cashless; it is now possible to buy both gas and groceries with credit cards. Would a cashless society end the threat of robbery, or would innovative robbers find new targets?
  4. Based on what you know about how robbers target victims, how can you better protect yourself from robbery? 

B Block Physical Geography 12 - Today we finish Dante's Peak and don't forget that you have a series of questions to answer about the volcanology of the movie (you got the hand out with the questions yesterday). Today we'll get to the main portion of the volcanic eruption and the effects that Dante's Peak takes on the small town that sits in a valley near its base. Dante's Peak produces a Plinian eruption (lots of material ejected and very active). The order of eruption at Dante's Peak is:

  1. Tectonic Earthquakes 
  2. Harmonic Tremors 
  3. Vertical Eruptive Cloud 
  4. Spreading of the Eruptive Cloud and Ash Fall
  5. Lava Flow 
  6. Relative Calm 
  7. Lahars 
  8. Pyroclastic Cloud 
  9. End of Eruptive activity - relative calm
  10. USGS Vulcanologist Harry Dalton hooks up with Mayor Rachel Wando and presumably live happily ever after
So it's bad...not as bad as the scientific premise behind Volcano (with Tommy Lee Jones) but bad. From Erik Klemetti at WIRED

Now, here is what I think: I hate Dante’s Peak. It isn’t really the lack of much scientific basics – sure, they mostly understand how volcanic monitoring works but they miss the boat on how volcanoes actually work. It isn’t the acting – Linda and Pierce are good and believable. It isn’t the coffee-loving USGS geolackeys (that is accurate). However, it is the combination of everything – the over-the-top response from Harry about the volcanic rumblings, the resistance from his boss, the recalcitrant grandmother, the deus ex machina mine shelter. The damn dog jumping in the truck as they drive over an ACTIVE LAVA FLOW. The film is, at the same time, trying to be realistic while being wildly unrealistic, and in most cases, there was no need to be unrealistic when it comes to an eruption in the Cascades threatening a town. But no, we can’t take the time to actually portray real events (“Dante’s Peak” lacked a scientific adviser). Sure, it can be exciting but, for me, it was so frustrating that I couldn’t get over it.
My friend I agree, wholeheartedly.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Monday, October 16. 2017

Today's schedule is A-B-C-D

B Block Physical Geography 12 - Today we start with time to finish our topographic map of Hawai'i Kai then we are watching one of the best/worst disaster movies of all time...Dante's Peak (oh Bond...James Bond I mean Dalton...Harry Dalton of the USGS Cascade Volcano Observatory you dedicated vulcanologist yet tortured soul).


You will have a series of questions to answer about the volcanology in the movie (you'll get them tomorrow). Believe it or not there are actually some good things about the movie. I'm a big fan of the lahars and the pyroclastic flow is a fairly decent recreation. What I really want is a truck that can drive over top and through a lava flow like the US Forest Service truck in the movie...That would be sweet! Seriously though there are too many errors in science to count but you'll need to try to identify a few. We'll finish the movie Tuesday...and you have a test Thursday.
Please note that you have a unit final on tectonics next Thursday... please prepare yourself and in order to do so you should:

study
eat
sleep

A note about your test. At the beginning of the term I handed you a review for the final exam (in your course outline) so look over the weeks one through five note/assignment packages and the review on the course outline to see what you should prepare for. You should expect questions on:
  1. Understand a simple cross-section of the Earth to show the parts of the lithosphere, and describe the nature of those layers within the Earth; Inner and Outer Core; Mantle (Mesosphere, Asthenosphere, and Mohorovicic discontinuity); and Lithosphere (Oceanic and Continental Crust). What is Convection Theory, in regards to the movement of the crust?
  2. Differentiate the rock types, igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. Give examples of each type of rock, as well as environments where they may commonly be found. Describe and understand a sketch the rock cycle.
  3. Understand and label a cross-section of the plate boundaries with the following features: Subduction, Volcano, Plutonic features, Igneous rock (Granite & Diorite, Rhyolite & Andesite, Gabbro & Basalt), Metamorphic rock, Sedimentary deposits, Oceanic Trench, Mid-Ocean Ridge/Rift, Continental Crust, SIAL, Oceanic Crust, SIMA, Lithosphere, Asthenosphere, Convection cell
  4. Describe the impact (and give example locations) of a Convergent plate boundary in a continent-oceanic crust impact, continent-continent crust impact, oceanic-oceanic crust impact. Describe the effects (and give example locations) of a Divergent plate boundary in a oceanic-oceanic crust separation, continent-continent crust separation. Describe the effects (and give example locations) of a Transform plate boundary in a oceanic-oceanic crust event and a continent-continent crust event
  5. Describe the effects of Diastrophic movements on human activity.
  6. Describe several ways in which earthquakes may be generated. Understand sketch block diagrams to help define the following Fault types: Normal fault; Reverse fault; Strike/Slip fault. Define and give an example of a Transform fault. Understand a sketch of and define an Earthquake's Epicentre and Focus.
  7. Understand the following scales in terms of Intensity and Magnitude: Richter scale and Mercalli scale
  8. What is a Megathrust earthquake? What is the definition of a shallow, intermediate, and deep earthquake? Which is the most dangerous, generally speaking? What is the cause of a Tsunami? Why is the term Tidal wave not synonymous with Tsunami? What dangers does it pose?
  9. Describe mountain growth in terms of: Folding and Faulting (Horst and Graben). Define and understand a diagram of Anticlines and Synclines
  10. Distinguish between the different types of volcanoes (in terms of size, shape, location, examples of, etc.): Shield Volcano, Cinder Cone, and Composite Volcano (A.K.A. Stratovolcano) Compare the following eruption zones, and give examples of each: Rift (oceanic & continental), Hot Spot, Subduction Boundary (Island Arc & Mountain Chain)Describe by example the effects of a volcanic eruption, i.e., human impact, impact on climate, force of eruption etc. List and describe, a minimum of three dangers of volcanoes, including, Nuée ardente, and Lahar. List and describe three benefits of volcanoes.

C Block Human Geography 11 - Since we didn't get to it on Friday, today we'll look at folk housing vs popular housing. We'll watch the video on Toraja village in Indonesia and then we'll talk about feng shui and popular housing locally...The Comox Box.

During the 1970s, affordability became a major factor in the home buying process. To help make housing more affordable, builders reduced lot sizes and increased the density of developments.To appeal to first-time buyers and stimulate the housing market, CMHC (then Central, now Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) introduced the Assisted Home Ownership Program (AHOP) in 1971, to help low-income people attain home ownership. This meant that the average lot size in "newer" (1970's) Comox and Courtenay developments was reduced to 0.19 acre and the house size was increased to about 1800 square feet.

The rest of the block will be an opportunity for you to work on the week 6 work pack.

D Block Criminology 12 - Today we're back in the library for you to continue your blog work. For this new entry I'd like you to find out as much information as you can about two notorious Canadian murderers... you may choose from either Clifford Robert Olson Jr.  or Robert William Pickton (for Serial) and Marc Lépine (Mass). For this assignment I'd like you to tell me what they did and why they did it....use Levin & Fox's typology of serial and mass murder to explain motives. Do not use Wikipedia as your source for this assignment use the links on the names above. Aside from answering what they did and why they did it, also try to state which serial killer category Olson or Pickton is: mission-oriented, hedonistic, visionary, power/control, thrill killer, expedience killer; (and define whichever category you select). Also, answer what can we learn from their horrific actions and is it ever possible to stop people like this in Canada? Why or Why not?

When looking for the typology of Serial Killers (for your assignment) consider the following excerpt from the book Serial Murder and the Psychology of Violent Crimes:

Serial Murder by Holmes, R. M., & DeBurger, J. E. (1988) identifies the following

1.Visionary Type—these murderers kill as a result of command hallucinations, delusions, or visions whose sources customarily include the forces of good or evil. These offenders are typically psychotic, leaving the crime scene in utter disarray. The homicides occur quickly with no extensive acts of torture. Frequently, the assailant relies on weapons of opportunity to commit his crimes and discards or locates the death instrument(s) in the victim’s body.

2. Mission-Oriented Type—the goal for these slayers is to kill certain types of people or to rid society of particular types of individuals. These serial murderers target victims based on their ethnicity, occupation (e.g., prostitutes), and/or age. Additionally, they determine whom to assail based on whether the person is deemed unworthy, undesirable, or somehow less than human. To illustrate, Jack the Ripper targeted prostitutes and viewed them as disposable. He dehumanized their bodies through mutilation in the process of killing them. In a letter written to the press by Jack the Ripper, he stated, “I am down on whores and shan’t quit ripping them.” Typically, the murders occur quickly and they are often planned. The mission-oriented offender does not engage in postmortem activities such as necrophilia or dismemberment and the weapon employed is not disposed of at the crime scene.

3. Hedonistic Type—these offenders murder as a result of sensation seeking or otherwise derive some sort of pleasure from their killings. Holmes and Holmes divided this type of assailant into two subcategories: the lust killer and the thrill killer. Both are summarily described below.

The lust killer murders principally for sexual gratification even if this does not entail traditional intercourse. However, sex or multiple sadistically erotic acts with a live victim are common. Sexually arousing behavior is the driving force for this offender, even after the person has killed the victim. Moreover, this attacker may also be sexually excited and/or satisfied from the murder itself. Ritualistic displays of sexual mutilation, facial disfigurement, cannibalism, body dismemberment, vampirism, and necrophilia are routinely featured in this type of homicidal act. The body is often concealed and the murder weapon taken. Close contact murder; specifically, beating or manual strangulation, are noted as most common.

The thrill killer murders for the visceral excitement the assailant experiences. However, once the victim is dead, the offender loses complete interest. As a result, the process of killing is prolonged as long as possible through extended acts of torture. The use of restraints and the presence of bite marks and burns on the victim’s body are characteristic behaviors for this type of slayer. Sadistic acts whose frequency is prolonged as long as possible prior to death, a concealed corpse, manual or ligature strangulation, and an animated victim during multiple sexual acts all characterize the patterns and motives of this type of assailant. manual or ligature strangulation, and an animated victim during multiple sexual acts all characterize the patterns and motives of this type of assailant.


4. Power/Control Oriented Type – these offenders harbor deep-seated feelings of inadequacy or attempt to compensate for a perceived lack of social or personal mastery over themselves by thoroughly dominating their victims. Holmes and DeBurger maintained that the primary motive for these offenders is not sexual in nature. Instead, these assailants desire complete and unfettered control over and subjugation of their powerless victims, including during the postmortem period. Consequently, torture, the use of restraints, strangulation, severed body parts, and decapitation are all routinely featured in these homicidal acts. A profound sense omnipotence – having the ultimate power of life or death over one’s victims as they cower and plead for their lives – fuels this type of serial killer. The act of murder is extended in order to increase the felt sense of gratification. The offender’s modus operandi is planned and organized, the body is concealed, and the weapon is absent.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday, October 13. 2017

Today's schedule is A-B-C-D

B Block Physical Geography 12 - Aloha family, today we'll take the class to work on the Koko Head (Hawai'i Kai) topographic map assignment in your Canadian Landscape topographic map textbook.

The scale of the map is 1:24000 which means 1 cm = 240m (.24km)
The contour interval is 40' (12.12m)

1. Study topographic map 1 and describe the relief from west to east across the upper half of the map

a) what is the length and width (in kilometers) of the map? What is the total area (in kilometers squared)
b) Determine the road distance (in kilometers) from BM16 in Hawaii Kai to the park in the northeast. What do you think is the significance of the white area crossed by Lunalilo Home Road?
c) Determine the road distance (in kilometers) from Holy Trinity School near Kuliouou to Halona Point. Suggest some factors that posed difficulties for the construction of State Highway 72

2. On map 1 and Photo 3 locate and name three other craters in Koko Head Park. How are they indicated on the map? How do they compare in size relative to Koko crater? Does Hanauma Bay qualify as a caldera and if so, why?

3. Identify the features labelled A to E on stereo photo 3.

a) What indicates that Koko crater has been inactive for some time?
b) What is the area (in kilometers squared) of Hanauma Bay? What do you think makes it an interesting site for an underwater park?

5. a) Along line XY, measure the distance (in km) from the shoreline to the outer edge of the coral reef. What is the average width of the reefs in Maunalua Bay on map 1?
b) What is the greatest depth at which coral has formed a reef in Maunalua Bay on Map 1?
c) Find the wide break in the coral reef southwest of Kuapa Pond and suggest reasons for this gap
d) Refer to map 1 to identify the features labelled F to H on photo 5.

6. Is map 1 or photo 3 more recent? How can you tell?
a/b) Locate an area of land reclamation on the map and photo, explain why reclamation projects are needed in this area.

7. From a study of both the map and the photos, suggest how the settlement pattern has been influenced by topography
a) How has this pattern influenced population density in localized areas?
b) How has the topography created problems for highway planning? Why might traffic congestion be a problem along the shoreline highway?



C Block Human Geography 11 - Today our Key Question to address is "Where are Folk and Popular Material Culture Distributed?" I'm hoping that you are seeing some consistent themes in Human Geography this year. Remember that folk culture is traditionally practiced primarily by small, homogeneous groups living in isolated rural areas while popular culture is found in large, heterogeneous societies. Folk culture is influenced heavily by the environment that it develops in while popular culture depends less on the environment because it diffuses on a larger scale (globalization). With the larger globalized scale of popular culture (becoming more dominant), the survival of unique folk cultures is threatened. This is one of the themes I hope you are starting to see.

So...Customs in folk culture (such as provision of food, clothing, and shelter) are clearly influenced by the prevailing climate, soil, and vegetation (utilizing localized resources). Today we'll look at clothing, food and housing and you'll have some questions to work on for me





D Block Criminology 12 - Don't forget, I'd like you to:

Explain the types of serial and mass murderer along with the reasons why they commit these crime  

To better understand the people that commit heinous acts of murder, we'll take some more time to understand what a "psychopath" is...specifically a Charismatic Psychopath: charming, attractive liars; gifted at some talent, using it to their advantage in manipulating others; verbally facile fast-talkers who easily persuade others out of everything they own, even their lives.

Leaders of religious sects or cults may be psychopaths (charismatic) if they lead their followers to their deaths. This sub type often comes to believe in the fictions they create (which are often apocalyptic in nature) and are often irresistible (Jim Jones and David Koresh).

Today we'll watch an episode of Criminal Minds from Season 4..."Minimal Loss". In the episode two members of the BAU, Reid and Prentiss, are sent in undercover to investigate an alleged child abuse at an isolated property which is the home of a religious cult led by the charismatic Benjamin Cyrus. The real aim is to not only ascertain whether or not this is true, but also to look into the cult as a whole. The rest of the BAU, along with a plethora of other law enforcement agencies, are planning a raid on the compound, but when Cyrus gets wind of this, he imposes a lock down and unleashes a cache of weapons which make it pretty clear that he has no intention of being taken alive ... and the same goes for his 'loyal' followers as well.

There are echoes to Waco Texas and David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians.