VirusHead

Contagious Thoughts, Mutating as Needed

Explosive JW Suicide at Kingdom Hall

| 26 Comments

Jehovah’s Witness blows himself up at a Kingdom Hall near Kansas City… I wonder what the backstory is for this one. Why do you think someone might choose to blow himself up at the Kingdom Hall? Hmmm…

Bates City Church Explosion Kills One
Saturday, 26 Jul 2008

Investigators searched the scene of an explosion at a Jehovah’s Witness’ Kingdom Hall in Bates City, Mo. on July 26, 2008.

A bizarre explosion at a church east of Kansas City killed one man on Saturday afternoon.

ATF agents said the explosion at the Jehovah’s Witness’ Kingdom Hall on Foggy Bottom Drive was intentionally set, and that the person who died appears to have committed suicide.

Witnesses described large amounts of smoke pouring out of the building, which they said was just recently completed.

The source of the explosion remains a mystery, but investigators found evidence of accelerants in the debris.

The victim was the only person inside the building

Author: VirusHead

Interdisciplinary questioner, contextual ethicist, discourse analyst, compassionate warrior, spiritual eclectic, knowledge leader, former academic, ex-Jehovah's Witness, writer, poet, artist, singer, mom, wife, lover, sister, daughter, niece, cousin, dear friend, supporter, champion, worthy adversary, and very talented loafer. And that doesn't say anything much at all, does it?

26 Comments

  1. I assume he was troubled and thought this way the best way out. Clouded his mind was, but for a brief second he must have thought this was best.

  2. The question isn’t so much why someone would kill himself as why he would kill himself at the Kingdom Hall. I find that very significant.

  3. OMG, when I first heard of this on another blog, I was literally sick to my stomach. I’ll be interested to see what kind of spin this news gets as time passes.

    tracis last blog post..what would you say…

  4. The major media in the KC area has sat on this news story. The police are still refusing to release the name of the man who died. Are the JW’s paying someone off to keep this quiet?

  5. They actually do not know if the person killed was a member of the congregation. They may know by now meaning that it has been at least a week. At that time, they did not know though. Not to be rude, but please don’t assume it before you know.

  6. Ladywolf, why would they pay someone to keep it quiet. It’s already in the news. Now, they may have asked to not announce publicly the name of the person if he was a witness. I think that this story would be treated the same if it happened at a church, a temple, or any other place of worship. For the family’s sake, I think that is why they have not announced the name.

  7. He was a witness

  8. They have realeased his name, last namd Phillips.

  9. It was not confirmed that the bomber was a dedicated baptised JW.
    Just because one person has mental problem , dont’ cut and slash a whole organization.
    Babtist commits crime,,,,,, so what.
    Catholic commits crime,,, so what.
    JW commits crime,,,,,,FRONT PAGE NEWS!
    Ever wounder why that is?
    Ever wonder what motivates the hatred?

  10. Actually, it seems to be news in the local paper and to people who follow JWs in the news. I think if a Catholic shot himself in the head and created an explosion in a church, the religion might be mentioned there too…

    http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/story/727229.html

    “Authorities said Ralph E. Phillips, 53, of Buckner died of what they believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officials have concluded that accelerant had been poured throughout the hall and then ignited.”

    From local sources: “He was still an activ serving elder and given a public talk within the last 6 months.”

    “He took his own life with the aim of taking out the Kingdom Hall.”

    “8 main trusses were taken out or heavily damaged and the wall was structural. The trusses have been replaced. The accelerant etc shows the brother meant to commit suicide and take the hall with him or at least do as much damage as possible. This was a deliberate calculated act designed to inflict as much damage as possible.”

    There are some speculations that he had emotional problems lately, but no-one seems to know what drove him to suicide or to wanting to destroy or damage the Kingdom Hall at the same time.

    There is some question about whether the dedication of the repaired building will precede his memorial…

  11. How weird is it that this news blurb triggered some fairly intense stuff for me?

    Suicide (no matter what religion you practice) is a long term solution to a short term issue and those left behind are the ones who suffer. I feel for this “brother’s” family just as I would for any family left behind when a loved one takes his/her life. It is heartbreaking.

    tracis last blog post..what would you say…

  12. Thats sad. Mental illness and suicide is a huge epidemic lately. As always it’s the Jehovah’s Witness part that gets the rumour mill going. I know of 2 or 3 Jehovahs Witnesses that have commited suicide due to Manic Depression. In one case I think it was medication that caused the problem.
    I know of probably 6 non Jehovah’s Witnesses that have killed themselves. I know more JW’s then non JW’s. Obviously you can’t judge them based on something like this. I also live in a city thats known for mental illness and depression. Suicide gets swept under the rug here but lately the truth has been coming out in the news.

    • If it was some other religion it would have been on the news for a week and everyone would have forgoten it by now but because it’s news about JW everyone has too over do it. And yes the truth is coming out in the news.

  13. This man committed suicide. He did it in a Kingdom Hall. He also, apparently, poured some kind of fuel all over and set the place ablaze.

    I think we can reasonably infer that he was sending a message… to whom, we do not know. We do not know the message he might have been conveying. The message was loud even if it was not clear to us. Someone probably knows more about his issues but has not said. The rest of us are left to wonder… and speculate. Nevertheless, his religion was somehow involved and therefore, people are commenting on his religion.

    I don’t think that takes away from the tragedy.

  14. From my own experience, the narratives I’ve read and heard from others, and my tracking of news items regarding JWs, I would have to speculate (if not claim) that the tragedy here is specifically tied – most likely in a cause/effect relation – to his involvement with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    His message was to them. And from the looks of things, it was not received.

  15. HAVE MERCY, HAVE MERCY, HAVE MERCY, HAVE MERCY.

  16. http://mojoey.blogspot.com/2011/04/pastor-nicholas-minerva-commits-suicide.html
    Baptist pastor commits suicide inside his church.
    http://www.aboms.com/archives/005647.html
    Baptist pastor kills himself.
    http://focusfmknust.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/1-53/
    Baptist pastor kills himself.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2009/02/19/2009-02-19_man_commits_suicide_in_california_church.html
    Man kills himself in a cathedral.
    http://www.reporternews.com/news/2010/apr/30/man-commits-suicide-in-church/
    Man kills himself inside of a Methodist Church.

    Yes, you made your implications very clear, and they are not well met. People from all over the world and of every religion have mental and emotional problems, and commit sins. In the first two links I posted, the Baptist pastors were child molesters. Sadly, it is true that if one Witness does something crazy or wrong, they are bashed by many, many people about what a cult they are and it is “implied” in blogs that even their believers hate their religion and want to blow it up. But Baptists, Methodists, and everybody else all over the world do it too, without a single blemish to their name or reputation. I know you won’t retract your ridiculous point, and you will argue with me until Hell froze over that you’re right. But you are, in fact, in the wrong, and you’re gossiping and trying to suggest a scandal where none exists, simply because you disagree with JW beliefs, which you probably know nothing about anyway.

    • You have your ideas, and you can have them. I have no reason to argue about relative pathologies. All I would say is that the JWs, like other very controlling groups, create pathologies. They are not alone, of course, but it’s not spiritually advanced and it reflects badly on their oft-repeated claims of being different. JWs ask people to search their communities for the fruits of the spirit. I left because they weren’t there, so I took their suggestion seriously. When I track JWs in the news, it’s for the purpose of connecting the dots on the harm they do to families by their policies. No-one says you have to agree, but I’ll bet you there are several examples all around you and if you were loving and kind, you’d see them. Check out the testimonials on silentlambs.org, for example. Or any Google search will show you what harm they’ve done.

      • What makes you think I’m not loving and kind? I see the Witnesses from an unbiased standpoint – I’m not even a Witness, however, I have done a lot of research, and I can’t say that I have yet found anything wrong with their beliefs, other than being stricter and more extreme than other religions, but is that wrong? They do claim to be different, and clearly they are, otherwise, what’s all the fuss about? I have a problem with people who treat religion like a safety net – it’s not, it is SUPPOSED to consume your life, God tells you to live your entire life for him. This is why it bothers me a great deal when people act as though attending church on Sunday mornings is going to make up for the fornication, cussing, hate, gossiping, and various other sins they’ve committed all week long. In this regard, JW’s seem VERY different to me.

  17. Maybe if you had a study virushead you would understand the religion better. Researching the religion doesn’t do just. Researching doesn’t mean you actually know anything about the religion if you studied it your self then judge it but if you really don’t know anything about JWs or the religion (which it seems you don’t) then don’t judge it please. Its sad because its like judging something before you try it.

  18. The problem with him was he may have had the same thinking I had that took me out of the wtb&ts , I realized I was not able to live up to the wtb&ts standards and it made me angery that Jehovah would expect us to live a life we are unable to live.

  19. What’s upsetting is when they make claims of being the only true religion and the happiest people on earth.

    I work with a JW in my UPS job. This JW co-worker Phil A. R***** has had debt problems. A wage garnishment order was filed against him. he filed for bankruptcy in 2007-2008 to have the garnishment removed. I believe he’s an elder in the Congregation and he knows how to use the system to avoid paying his debts.

    The point is the JW’s are no different than the rest of religions.

  20. You left out narcissist in your resume. :)

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