I wanted to write a funny top ten post today but that will have to wait because yesterday an American flew into a building in Texas that housed the local IRS office. I began reading about the details of the event and found it to be a confusing mess. Admittedly the investigation seems to be pretty tidy, but there will be conspiracies surrounding this for ages to come. The man involves appears to have done this on his own and as a protest against a corrupt government. He supposedly posted his manifesto/suicide note to a website for his business. The site was taken down by the host per a request by the FBI but it had already been copied to many other sites to avoid the censure that some believed might be coming. Of course there are already people that are saying that the site was never altered before it was taken down and that this whole thing is a hoax or government cover-up. Like I said, this is a mess.
Assuming that the facts as stated are all right I want to talk about what this man did and what he wrote. There are many places you can read the full version that was posted to the website. If you visit now it will tell you that the site was taken down at the request of the FBI but that the letter may be viewed here. Of course it is possible that things might change multiple times in the next few days alone, considering how many times they changed on Thursday, but as of now this information should be accurate.
There are several pages worth of text in which Joe Stack laments several financial woes among other life altering problems that he blames on the government and more specifically the IRS. It appears that he believes that he shouldn’t have had to pay taxes just like the Catholic church so he would be just as prosperous. This backfired on him along with some changes to the tax code that he felt targeted him specifically. Later he didn’t file his taxes one year claiming that his business didn’t show a profit and so he didn’t think it was necessary. These two incidents cost him two businesses, tens of thousands of dollars, and a marriage according to his letter.
He left California for Texas believing that he would be better off but felt that unfair business practices and government breaks to 3 major corporations undercut him. When he remarried he encountered other tax problem based on over $10k of unreported income which he blamed a CPA for. This seemed to be the final straw. He began writing this list of offenses in an effort at self therapy according to his opening statements, but found no solace.
Yesterday morning he apparently set his house on fire and fled to a nearby airfield where he left in his private single engine plane and flew into the building ending his life and possibly another in the building.
There are raging debates going on about if this man was a hero or a villain. I certainly agree that there is significant corruption in the government, but it seems the primary complaint is that he wasn’t allowed to take advantage of it himself.
I’m not interested in this debate though. When I started reading through his rants I was initially angered at the complaints. This man was much wealthier than I am. I could live well off what he had and proudly pay my taxes. This offended me and then to see him go to such lengths pushed me over, but then I realized something. This man had friends and family that didn’t see this coming. They said he never talked about these issues.
I noticed a theme where a hurting and broken man, a desperate man was pushed aside. He “closest” friends didn’t know who he was, they didn’t know his heart. This is true for so many other people. I have plenty of friends that don’t know me and I don’t know them. This is a common state of relationships in America. There were likely thousands in this man’s life that failed him.
I realized that the largest frustration I had when reading his diatribe was an anger at myself for the people I have failed. People like him whom I have not taken the time to know and help.
I encourage you to read his words with this thought in your mind, “how could I have helped?”
For him it is too late. He has made his choice, but there is a whole world of hurting and broken people out there that need out help. Please find a way to help them.