Man Torched Himself Outside Israeli Embassy: Cult Upbringing

by | Feb 28, 2024 | Latest News, Top Story

The U.S. airman who set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington was reportedly raised in a religious compound that has weathered accusations of abuse and creating an environment of control, allegations that the group has publicly denied.Twenty-five-year-old Aaron Bushnell was an active-duty Air Force member when he doused himself in liquid and lit his body on fire, shouting “Free Palestine” as he burned on Sunday.

Bushnell posted a video of his self-immolation to Twitch, which has since been removed.

As The Washington Post reported this week, Bushnell was raised in a religious group called the Community of Jesus, according to Susan Wilkins, a former member from 1970 to 2005. Wilkins said she knew Bushnell and his family when they lived on the Orleans, Massachusetts-based compound, a claim the outlet reported others have corroborated. She said that she had heard from others since her departure that Bushnell had also left the compound.