RIP Malachai Ritscher (1954-2006)

When a person reaches the point that they would self imolate rather than continue to live in silence with their government’s actions, it should be news. People should hear about it! When you make this final sacrifice, when you cry out in your loudest possible voice, with the ultimate personal sacrifice, your voice should not go unheard.

On November 3, 2006, Malachi (can I call you Malachi?) sat down near rush hour traffic, doused himself with gasoline and lit a match…when the fire department arrived they found a sign near his charred body, it read: “Thou shalt not kill.”

He left a suicide note, much of the indi-media asks can we believe the note? Or was it the action of a troubled mind? Is/was he a martyr or a nut? You can read his note here, then you can decide what you want to believe. For myself, I believe…

He also penned his own obituary, it is here.

I never heard of Malachai until nearly a month after his death. It was not covered on CNN, Fox, BBC, etc… While I never heard his cries, I believe he did not die in vain. Like a tree falling where no one can hear…like the sound of one hand clapping…I hear, and I believe, but did it make a sound?

Malachai was without a doubt troubled. However, in a time of national conflagration, it is the un-perturbed mind that is to be doubted (Epicurus aside). In his suicide martyr note he wrote: To the rest of the world we are cowards – demanding Iraq to disarm, and after they comply, we attack with remote-control high-tech video-game weapons. And then lie about our reasons for invading. We the people bear complete responsibility for all that will follow, and it won’t be pretty.

Two years before my birth, Thich Quang Duc–a Buddhist monk–set himself afire in Saigon in protest of US actions in Indo-China. I think his actions helped end the bloodshed there, even if it took another 10 years.

It is not a pleasant death to burn–it is not an action to be taken lightly–and we must not judge it lightly. If suicide was his intent, why not pass quietly into the abyss? Why not whiskey and valium? Who would choose a burst of flame and pain? Only someone with a message, perhaps one last message to mankind.

On another website, Malachi had previously posted the following words:

I believe that God promised us a happy ending, but I don’t remember if there is something that I’m supposed to do, other than just be a good person and turn the other cheek. Even with breathing exercises and a positive mental attitude, it’s getting hard to keep pretending that I don’t have blood on my hands. How many unnecessary deaths have my tax dollars paid for? I keep trying not to think about it. There are electronic gadgets to distract me, and yoga to repress the simmering anger, and sports, and movies, and snacks, and music, and shopping, and so much entertainment that I couldn’t watch it all with a thousand eyes!
But here is the big question, the one that really matters:

We now know Malachai’s answer to his self-imposed question…but the question remains:


Rest in peace dear Malachai, this world is a hard place for one who thinks and feels….you will be remembered…………….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s