Man Who Set Self on Fire in DC Was Mentally Ill, Not Political Protester

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PIcture: Raw Story (C)

The family of John Constantino, the man who set himself on fire at the National Mall, says that he was mentally ill, not a government protester. Meanwhile, rumors persist that there was another man on the scene with a tripod and camera who fled during the event. Some say that the man may have known about the event in advance.

Via Raw Story:

Police have identified a man who apparently set himself on fire last week in the National Mall, and his family members said his fatal actions were not politically motivated.

Washington, D.C., authorities identified the man as 64-year-old John Constantino, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

Constantino died Friday night, hours after witnesses said he doused himself with gasoline, saluted the Capitol and used a lighter to set himself on fire.

An attorney for his family released a statement Monday night that described Constantino as a “loving father and husband” who had not acted out of political motives but after “a long battle with mental illness.”

Read more.

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  • Cyprus Mulch

    In the absence of a constructive national dialogue about mental illness, and the needs of those of us who experience it, the tragedies continue.

    In my opinion, people who experience mental illness are the “canaries in the coal mine” — the coal mine being a society in which alienation has become the norm, and subscribing to “consensus reality” seems as delusional as the most paranoid fantasy.

    It’s well worth remembering that in many tribal societies, someone who would be considered “schizophrenic” in the “civilized” West, is instead considered a candidate for the role of shaman. This society would do well to learn from that model, and stop pushing the mentally ill into the margins, where so often the sense of being alone multiplies the pain, and can serve as fertile ground for paranoid delusions.

    By setting himself ablaze, perhaps Constantino sought to demand attention to the plight of the “invisible” mentally ill. I sincerely hope that this tragedy will help wake people up.

    • Simon Valentine

      well said, and got me thinking some more. one, that the ‘cattle ranches’ aren’t solely medicalized. the wild sector … the “fertile ground for paranoid delusions”. it’s hardly a drop in the bucket of possibility, and that’s something humanity has to get used to if it is to continue to advance technologically.

      while deduction may be used in lieu of more sophisticated methods, retracing from emergent phenomenon to ‘source problem’ is … something we can all do. even there – diagnosis – “emergent” or “definition”? dynamic, static, yatta yatta!

  • Haystack

    Even if that’s true, you might as well make up something to say you were protesting. Why let a good self-immolation go to waste?

    • Simon Valentine

      reminds me of a certain album cover

  • Simon Valentine

    Prisons that are civilizations
    Civilizations that are prisons
    And all without being a repeat of history
    Without saying that it’s a repeat of history is true, anyway
    So it is different
    It’s the next spiral section of the phi-line
    And a phine line it is
    Rancher’s ranching ranched rancheders ranchered ranchwhich
    You plow we’ll plant
    We’ll all harvest each other in irrational amounts
    And speak amongst each other that it’s rational
    And those who do not are not us and not who
    Alien animals
    Binary biomechanical
    Canary cannibals
    Dilated denizens
    Enraged entropy
    Fanatic fakers
    Ghoul Ranch, Welcome To

  • InfvoCuernos

    So, this being primarily a conspiracy website, I feel we would be remiss in our duties if someone didn’t at least point out that it is useful to the government to paint all political dissidents as mentally ill, and its not all that far-fetched to assume that someone that would set himself on fire to make a political point would have some documentation of symptoms of mental illness. Let’s face it; if you saw someone setting themselves on fire, wouldn’t you think they were crazy? Either way, we won’t remember him in a week. Him or the mother they shot in front of the White House .

    • howiebledsoe

      I thought so as well, but then the family were quoted as saying he wasnt a political activist. I think if he was, we would be hearing a shit storm of dissenting voices from his family and friends on the matter. Also, if there was a camera man there, and he knew about it, then he would have taken more advantage of that platform before killing himself.

  • Cocomaan

    Everything he allegedly said was political. Saluting the Capitol? Screaming about voting rights?

    Disinfo has investigated the idea that political ideas outside the mainstream are being labeled as psychological pathologies. This is a case in point.

  • emperorreagan

    Citizens don’t have the proper authority to protest the actions of their superiors. They should take their grievances to the judiciary, or to whomever their local representative designates for interfacing with the peasants.

    Clearly, this man should be in prison because he did not follow the right and natural order to have a judge sneer at his grievances. Probably half a dozen life terms or so should teach him his lesson.

    I propose building a prison to house the ashes of criminals who try to circumvent the appropriate punishment by dying before it can be administered.

  • mighty jah

    Found typo in the title. Should have been:

    Man Who Set Self on Fire in DC in Political Protest Painted As Mentally Ill By Psycho Government

  • Andrew

    Politics is about mental illness!

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