A killer who attacked two churches on the weekend killing 4 has caused a flurry of media attention. Matthew Murray had evangelical home school upbringing but turned violently against the church after his plans to become a missionary failed. It appears that his killing spree began through an argument with staff at a Christian shelter
Murray had turned from the church to another interest heavy metal - Marilyn Manson and Cradle of Filth being an especial favourites. He also dabbled in the occult.
Murray attended events held by the Denver-based occult group Ad Astra Oasis during the last two years, but was turned down when he sought to become a member of the group. His involvement with them apparently ended in October.Bizarrely the media missed a trick here as this connection means they could (with appropiate manipulation and spin) blame it on Aliester Crowley. I guess that will be the next step.
ABC News: Colo. Church Gunman Left Twisted Trail
He posted an online rant that ended:
"I'm going out to make a stand for the weak and the defenseless this is for all those young people still caught in the Nightmare of Christianity for all those people who've been abused and mistreated and taken advantage of by this evil sick religion Christian America this is YOUR Columbine."Murray simply cut and pasted the words of the Columbine killers with some alterations.
Web posting replicates Columbine shooter's manifesto
Denver Post, CO -
Debate renewed on Columbine writings
Denver Post, CO -
He assembled a massive arsenal so he may have been planning or thinking about this for some time
Gunman legally amassed weaponry in year's time
Denver Post, CO -
Inevitably metal music is being blamed as one thing behind the attacks.
Christian Leaders Say Popular Culture Behind Teen Violence
Colorado gunman Murray had shown possible signs of media influence years before the shootings. He posted lyrics by industrial rock band KMFDM on a website designed for people who left evangelical religious groups. At a YWAM Christmas festival in 2002, he played what his former roommate, Richard Werner, described as “bizarre” music. The two songs he played were Marilyn Manson's "Sweet Dreams (are Made of This)" and Linkin Park's "One Step Closer" which included the lyrics "Cause I'm one step closer to the edge and I'm about to break." Meanwhile, songs played during the festival had been about Christmas, God and friendship, reported CNN.Don't blame the music, metal frontman implores
Heavy-metal musicians are accustomed to being scapegoats after tragedies like the shootings in Arvada and Colorado Springs.
But while musicians may be used to the blame, they don't own it.
"Don't blame metal," said Devil Driver frontman Dez Fafara, standing in his tour bus in the back parking lot of the Fillmore Auditorium on Wednesday night. "We're all out here trying to give the kids some hope."
Talking before his death-metal band's show, opening for like-minded rock outfits Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage, Fafara — a father of three boys back home in Santa Barbara, Calif. — was clearly concerned about the shootings that left five people, including gunman Matthew Murray, dead. He sent his condolences to all ofthe families involved, including Murray's.
"But before laying the blame anywhere outside the home, you have to look inside the home," Fafara said. "Something touched that kid that was not right. And it had to come from the household."
Fafara said he monitors his kids' music and gaming intake, forbidding bands and video games that are overly violent or degrading to women.
Murray was a death-metal fan, according to posts he purportedly wrote on various websites. He attended a mid-October Cradle of Filth show, and afterward he posted, "Some people say this is 'just entertainment,' but for me, and some of my friends, the songs bands like this sing are VERY REAL, it's kind of something we can 'see' and can feel and in a spiritual sense and we're able to 'connect' 'into' the music." The post included a link to the video for the 1999 Cradle of Filth track "From the Cradle to Enslave."
Murray also claims online that he went through Bill Gothard home schooling, a fundamental Christian organization that has about 2,000 students enrolled nationally. Gothard's program bases a curriculum on the 54 verses from the Sermon on the Mount, and its strict teachings prohibit rock 'n' roll and television.
Gothard, in an interview Wednesday, said he "didn't recall" ever meeting the Murray family, but he was sure one of the parents was probably trained in his program.
Ultimately, Gothard blames rock music for Murray's murderous rampage.
"That is the most contributing factor," said Gothard, who is based in a small town south of Chicago. "It'd be important to see the connection between his passion to rock music and how it ultimately brought this on."
Gothard said whenever he gets calls from parents having trouble with their kids, he asks about what they listen to. "In every case, (the kid) is listening to rock music," he said.
Institute defends teachings in wake of posts by Murray
Rocky Mountain News, CO -
Summit Daily News, 13th dec
After the conference, the user said his mother and a pastor
searched his room for "anything evil," including video games and a DVD collection.
"After that incident my mother searched my room for the next 3 months EVERY SINGLE DAY. After that I decided it was over, that I had had it with christianity."
In the 1,200-word post, Christnghtmr tells of growing up in a Christian homeschooling family and being removed from the Youth With a Mission program, as Murray had been. As in other postings linked to Murray, the writer expresses anger toward his family and makes allegations of homosexuality in church organizations.
He said being removed from the Arvada mission caused him to lose his faith.
"When I got back home it was back to the good old restriction and that is when I started having serious doubts about christianity," Chrstnghtmr wrote. But according to the post, problems at the mission were only part of a troubled past.
"In addition to all of (Christian homeschool curriculum guru) Bill Gothard's insanity, my mother was into all the charismatic/"fanatical evangelical" insanity.," Christnghtmr wrote. "Her and her church believed that Satan and demons were everywhere in everything. The rules were VERY strict all the time. We couldn't have ANY christian or non-christian music at all except for a few charismatic worship CDs."
Denver Post, CO -
Carl Raschke, a professor of religious studies at the University of Denver, said he believes Murray was "under huge psychological turmoil."
"It seemed like he was involved in his own spiritual battle against the empire of Christianity," adding that one of the screen names, nghtmrchld26, is taken from a video game in which characters battle evil demons.
"I would call him a defector from the spiritual warfare that he was brought up in," Raschke said.
Steve Mariner, the president of Denver's occult group Ad Astra Oasis, says Murray attended group meetings for about a year before being asked to leave in September. Ad Astra Oasis is an officially chartered body of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a ceremonial magic order based on the teachings of English poet and mystic Aleister Crowley.
"He was a mostly quiet, geeky young man," Mariner said of Murray. "He was a skinny little kid. He was your typical I-like-college-over-cars type. He was a voracious reader, as far as I could tell. I never heard him raise his voice."
Mariner said the group of about 15 people realized over time that Murray was not fitting in."It seemed like he needed some time to back off and evaluate himself," he said. "We could summarize it as saying the personalities were not a good mix."Mariner said he was shocked when he learned Murray was the shooter.
"You are sitting there having a conversation with someone ," Mariner said. "We all have our little personality quirks, but you don't appraise them of being someone who would go off and do something this atrocious."
But Murray's behaviour demonstrates classic signs of schizophrenia and other mental problems. Blaming the music he listened to is as inadequate explanation as Murray's decision to blame his Christian upbringing for his social problems and to go on a rampage.
Curiously one of Murray's victim's was a reformed metaler:
Missionary went from rebellion to redemption
Philip Crouse is remembered for his turnaround from "the dark lord" to Christianity.
Denver Post, CO -
By Kirk Mitchell As a skinhead and Goth in Washington, Pa., Philip
Crouse was the one others feared. "He would come to youth group in a black trench coat," childhood friend Shiloh Ryan-Anikienko said Wednesday morning. "He really embraced being the Goth scary guy." But Wednesday morning at his memorial service, those who knew him honored him as a selfless missionary who wanted to find homes for orphans and teach the Gospel to people in foreign countries...While another victim was a metal musician:
"He went from the dark lord from the abyss to this angel of light," Ryan-Anikienko said.
Dan Griebenow is known as a snowboarding missionary, his sister said.
Griebenow, 24, who was wounded in the neck in the Arvada shooting, was in critical but stable condition at Denver Health Medical Center.
He snowboards and sang with a Christian heavy metal band in South Dakota before enrolling two years ago in the missionary training program in Arvada, his sister, Becky Griebenow, told the Rocky Mountain News