It must be tough to be a member of a Kingdom Hall in Rome in the first place. Angelo Cicero had been “expelled from the sect” of JWs and, after making several attempts to be let back in, resorted to this. He jumped up on the stage during a meeting…armed with a pistol and with wires handing out from his jacket…and threatened to blow himself up. A robber already known to police, he didn’t actually have any explosives on him, and the gun wasn’t loaded.
There has been a considerable amount of violence from people who have been cut off from the JWs and were so twisted by the double-whammy of the basic psychology and then the shunning on top of it that…. whee- we all fall down. In this case, it seems that he only needed recognition of his existence, perhaps a call for help? Next time, will he actually bring down a whole congregation with him? The normal pattern seems to suggest that no, the usual targets are the immediate family rather than the group members.
As with the issue of the protection of pedophiles while simultaneously cutting off any resources for victims, the effects of the practice of shunning from such an all-controlling authoritarian group call for intervention from outside authority. Unfortunately, I’m starting to feel that the outside authorities – especially the governmental ones – have instead turned to the psychology of the JWs, the Nazis, books like 1984, etc as a guide on how to control the population for the purposes of greed.
His simulated suicide/terror attack may actually focus attention on the problem. I must admit, however, that a wee shadow side of me carried an inward smile as I pictured the scene. I can at least understand the impulse. My yearly temptation when I was still a witness was to actually “partake” of that communion wine that was denied us. Although I never for a second thought that I was one of the 144,000 thousand – I always hesitated for a second or two before I passed that wine down the aisle. What if I did? What would they do? I wonder if anyone has done it – just to see.