Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why Is Familicide or Murder-Suicide on The Rise?


Familicide is a murder suicide where one person kills a family member and themselves. What has been happening is that many men have been killing their wives, kids and then themselves. Murder suicides do not just happen out of the blue. In June 2015 alone, this will be the 4th Murder suicide (quadruples in Montana and Utah, double in Pearlan, TX and quagruple in Florida). Altogether, there have been 27 murder suicide cases that found themselves in the news. The recent suicide cases in Utah for my case study will be the base of our abduction. The examination of suicide cases in the Bible with those that happen in Utah in other places should help us establish a logical inference. Jessica Miller of  The Salt Lake Tribune wrote this, “ It's an alarming spike — only two ‘familicides’ took place in the previous three years — which raises the questions: Why are people killing their whole families before killing themselves? And what can the community do about it?”[1] There are about five factors contributing to this degradation.





















It is important to list chronologically the suicide cases (with the exception of Abimelech’s armorbearer which was euthanasia- Judges 9:54).  The first case of suicide was Samson who killed himself and others (Judges 16:25-30) as an act of revenge for personal pain. He prayed to God, “Lord GOD, remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God, so that with this one act of revenge I may pay back the Philistines for my two eyes” (Judges 16:28). Michael Augustine Bournes shot and killed his wife and their three children on Sunday, June 7, 2015, in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge  because he thougth that the society initiated his pain when he was “charged and acquitted of false imprisonment and aggravated assault,” and the wife, Arie Arlynn Lee compounded it by “mocking and riding him all day.” Consequently, he cut off all communications with close relatives and friends and began to live as a recluse. This is the time that the relative and society should show concern to see what wearies him. Someone needs to talk to him about forgiveness and letting bygones be bygones.
The second biblical case of suicide was King Saul who killed himself with the sword to avoid being captured by his enemies whom he considered unclean (1 Sam. 31:4).  When the philistines had wounded him and he knew that he would be captured, he decided to kill himself, rather than be captured. The problem of many who commit familicide is agliophobia- the fear of pain. Joshua Boren, a Lindon police officer killed his wife, three children, and mother in law and himself.[2] When Joshua Boren received a text message form his wife that read, “"I hate my life because (of) you," she texted. “You killed a part of me," with the word rape texted over and over again, He could foresee the pain he would face if his wife left that building alive. The fear of facing those they have hurt and the fear of bearing the punishment pushes people to these atrocities. Families need family meetings to resolve their family problems and not wait for one spouse to explode because the consequences are usually sinister. A state like Utah is ravage by pornography, so their sex life tries to mimic what they see in those movies, and those fantasies show total disregard for their spouses or girlfriends. 
The third case was Saul’s armor bearer- Doeg (1 Sam. 31:5) who killed himself because he saw that his master, the king was dead (1 Sam. 31:5). The king was the source of his bread and butter, so he could not fathom living without him.  Other times when the suicide person sees hopelessness, they decide to kill all their family because they fear the family will not survive without them. A classic example is that of John List who killed his family because he could not more provide for them, but he did not kill himself. He went to start a new life and was caught 18 years later.[3] I always tell my female students that being a stay home mom is a great job, but you should at least have a degree or a career in preparation for rainy days like unemployment or divorce. People should not think that without them, the lives of others cannot continue. It is the loss of employment that made Russel Smith, 29 to kill his wife and two children.[4] It is the same reason for which Joshua Boren will kill his wife, two children and mother in law.[5] When Josh received the text from his wife, he could foresee the pain he would face if his wife left that building alive.
The fourth case is that of Zimri (Wild sheep or wild goat) who burnt himself alive for making bad judgments (1 Kings 16:18). Sometimes, people do not intend to kill but after killing someone, they realized they made a serious error, so they kill themselves.  Those people may suffer from what I call the sardanapalus syndrome because they have been bewitched by sloth and luxury that just the mere imagination of leaving it is worse than death. That could explain the murder suicide of Benjamin and Kristi Strack who killed their three children and themselves for fear of a pending apocalypse.[6] People should realize that they came to this world with nothing and will go back with nothing. There is no need to be so attached to the things of this world that any thought of leaving it is worst that death. However, the society seems to promote this spirit of materialism.
The fifth case was Ahithophel who hung himself because his advice was not followed (2 Sam. 17:21-23). He hanged himself because he foresaw the devastation that will follow now that his counsel had failed. It was kakorrhaphiophobia, the abnormal fear of failure. Ahitophel considered himself wiser than any other person, so to have given counsel that did not work, was unacceptable to his standards. There are many people who think that they are better off than others, so they cannot and do not want to accept the misfortune that has befallen them. What people need to realize is that they are not more important than anyone. You should find time to read my article, “All Humans Walk With Shit.” I always tell people that I have nothing to defend, and I have nothing to prove.  
The sixth and last case found in the New Testament is Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus (Matt. 27:3-5). Judas killed himself because he could not stand the act of betrayal. His conscience could not take it that he betrayed an innocent man. The knitted community he enjoyed with Jesus was no more. At once he is gripped by monophobia and the end result was killing himself. Johnathon Reeves was doing fine until his fiancĂ©e wanted to break up from him. Then he snapped and killed her and their 2 year old son.[7]
The Salt Lake tribune wrote, “Kendra Wyckoff, interim director of the Utah Domestic Violence Council said, ‘What's really important, I think, for folks to understand is that these really tragic incidents rarely happen in isolation. Often times there may be some other things that are happening. People may be feeling extremely desperate, depressed, they may have made threats to hurt themselves or other people in their family.’" Murder suicide is a very serious epidemic. “According to Utah Department of Health numbers there are three domestic violence related suicides each month. State numbers also show roughly 80 children every year witness their mother’s murder or attempted murder.”[8]  Science daily wrote that, “A new study has revealed that suicide figures may not be as accurate as they are reported, with key Western countries having a higher suicide rate than that reported in official figures, especially the UK.”[9] If these numbers are increasing, it means that there is something we are not doing right. We cannot keep doing the same insane things and hope for different results. Therefore, let me summarize what I am saying.
In school and daily lives, people should be taught that revenge belongs to God. It is due to revenge that many have killed their spouses and children. I still remember a colleague preacher who hated me just for what he heard. When he was wedding, the church had banned the members from attending his wedding ceremony because his fiancee was already pregnant. I was the only colleague he saw there. He called me out of the crowd and apologized. He told the guests, this is a godly man, and I know now my true friends. It is true my wife and I have sinned, but he found it godly to forgive us and attend our most precious day.” After that, he offered me a great gift and apologized for all he did and said about me.
Time has a way of redeeming us and avenging our hurts. Eastern religion calls that Karma. Many fear being tortured by their wives when the court decision is going against them. That is psychological torture. Do not be afraid of mere mortals who can kill only the body and not the soul. When you kill yourself, you eliminate every opportunity for a miracle. Do not kill yourself and do not kill others! Take your mind away from material things and your life will be simple and happier. What do you have to prove to anyone?
The society is too artificial that people seem to prefer bearing their own burdens because of the way people behave. People are too two face these days. I remember when I was volunteering as a chaplain in a hospital. I kept dreaming how some coworkers were trying to kill me. In one of the dreams, a lady hid behind a tray and when I was passing, she stabbed me on the back twice, but the wounds were not deep.  The next day, I dreamt how one of them bit me on my back several times. I kept asking her why she was doing that to me. After about a week, the supervisor told me that some nurses have complained that I wore jeans to work, and another one said that she heard me tell the patients that they will get well. Although he defended me, I still felt like it was not a good place to volunteer when you laugh with people and once you left, they gave a bad report about you. That is very common nowadays.
I hear many young people tell me how they don’t trust anyone. I still remember the letter I read from a young woman who told me that "I don’t even trust my parents, even though they go to church because they are two face." It is not just that people like to bear their burdens alone, but they fear what will happen after you hear their problems or after you help them. If we want to curtail or even stop murder-suicide, we must make ourselves and the society hospitable for people to know that they are part of us, and we truly care. Otherwise, we will keep asking why and never finding any solution.
When a friend told me one time that he was going to kill his wife and then himself, I had to create a false hope by telling him how we could replace the wife if we visited some seraglio like the Red District. When someone is hopeless, you must create hope, albeit even false. In the pursuit of their hope, they will attain the fullness of life thereof and safe the impending calamity. No one commits suicide because he or she is hopeful; Suicide and murder-suicide are very hopeless acts. It is when the individual has come to the end of themselves, and they believe that neither the society nor their own relatives can bail them out. If we were close to people, we will know what they are going through to bail them out. Let me say that your brother loses his job and he has a family. He did not need to come and sign up in church or in food bank to get food while you have enough. By sharing with him the little you have, it gives him satisfaction that he is not just a number in the society begging for food. Many people cannot take it.
When you betray someone you like and you realize your mistake, you should strive to ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself. In addition, we must strive to be faithful and loyal. Something I find nowadays very rampant is unfaithfulness and loyalty. You are friends with someone who is looking for means to betray you and make more money. These dishonest behaviors increase our mental illness because of the struggle that goes on in our minds.  Polycarp accepted to be burnt on the stake than to deny Jesus.
When someone is divorcing, you make friends with time because many kill for fear of monophobia. I always invited a friend of mine who divorced so that we could hang out. I am not a hanging out person, but I started to do that because I wanted to spend more time with him outside, so he does not find himself lonely because if an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, a lonely person is the society’s boiling cauldron. Finally,  I changed his mind, and behold, it worked and recovered.
Sometimes, instead of locking yourself up and fearing to date again, you should find a short term date that will pull you out. There is no reason to kill people and yourself. How can your brother have problems with his wife and you did not even know about it? It shows that you are not close. How many times have you invited your brother to your house or for activities? How many times have you given him anything without him asking you? It is so sad to see how dysfunctional we have become as a society. If you see a coworker who is sad and you try to help them, they think that you want something. They prefer to stay in their corner and get indulged in drugs and alcohol. How man christian brethren do you visit in a week or month? How many relatives do you call in a week?
I have written several times, and I keep saying it over and over again. If you are divorcing or breaking up with a man, you should do that kindly and with less acrimony for your own good and that of your children. The longer the divorce battle, the more acrimony it gathers. Fighting for full custody and for every property or 50/50 is usually a recipe for murder suicide, especially if you contributed very little. Sharing custody will not kill you. I cannot count how many men have killed their ex-wives or girlfriends this month due to custody battles. If you treated your kids well, they will never forget you, so do not fear sharing them with your ex. Life is beautiful so live it.

Until then, the Lord is our Shepherd.

St Arrey of Ntenako



“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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