ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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Dogma (1999), (R)
Analysis of a Full Viewing
CAP Score: 6
CAP Influence Density: 5.94

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

DOGMA (R). Previously we did an analysis of a partial viewing. This is the analysis of a full viewing -- to make a point.

  • [between Bethany and Rufus] "You went to Heaven?" ... "Yer --- right I went to Heaven. That's the least He could do. Y'know, in the three years I followed His --- around Jerusalem, did I ever get [sex]? N-o-o-o!" "; "You knew Christ?" ... "Knew Him!? --- --- owes me $12.00!""
  • [Bethany] "I hate Him."
  • [Bethany] "To Hell with Him."
  • [Rufus] "Folks who build faith on that message (the Gospel) are color-blind" with emphasis on "that", as if there is more than one Truth in the Gospel's message of Salvation.

    These things and many more like things were said about He who spent three days in Hell for you and I so we won't have to spend one moment there. And that is supposed to be "entertainment?"

    Above are but a few of the things I missed by previously doing an analysis only of the first 38 minutes of the 120-minute Dogma. This full viewing analysis of Dogma is to honor the often less than polite requests (spelled d-e-m-a-n-d-s) of the many, many antagonistic emailers arguing that analysis of a partial viewing is inaccurate and unfair who, of course, know everything there is to know about the CAP analysis model without ever having used it. This full viewing analysis is also addressed to all you who expected or hoped for me to "cross over" if I watched the whole show; to those who demanded I "give it [Dogma] a chance" using argumentative rationale such as

  • "...brought me closer to God..."
  • "...caused me to rethink my faith..."
  • "...gave the message that God never intended us to have beliefs."
  • "You caused me to lose my faith. Dogma made me find it again."

    and many other matters of being victimized by the seductive powers of all the smooth talk in it. Now that analysis of the full viewing is complete, the sinful human in me keeps whispering "I told you so ... but you wouldn't listen!"

    I will inform the antagonists only once more about the accuracy of the CAP analysis model for partial viewings. ONCE more. The CAP analysis model is as accurate and fair for any portion viewed for that portion as it is for the entire show! We could watch one minute of a flick and the analysis of *that one minute* could not be any more accurate or fair for that one-minute segment if we watched two minutes, or twenty, or the whole show. The unseen portion of a show cannot affect the findings made from the viewed portion or the scoring earned by it. And if the viewed portion is vile and unfit, who cares about the rest of the show?

    After a few hundred diatribes and tirades, it started to become obvious that many if not most of the antagonistic emailers were not actually after assurance of accuracy and fairness but rather that I might become proselytized to accept the strange teachings in Dogma if I watched the whole show. It does not matter whether I "accept" a movie or not. The CAP analysis model (the Findings/Scoring section below) could not possibly care less about my personal opinions or about any trumped-up "messages" to excuse aberrant behavior or imagery, for manufacturing of justification for them, or for camouflaging of them with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme or plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. Using the teachings and expectations of Jesus as investigation standards, the CAP analysis model tells parents and grandparents the truth about the content so THEY may make an informed decision whether a movie is or is not fit for their kids or themselves. And we are NOT a movie review service. We do NOT analyze or quantify any "entertainment value" or "artistic value" of a movie. Assessment of "entertainment" or "artistic" values of a movie is up to the viewers.

    Now back to the analysis of the full viewing of Dogma. Fasten your seatbelts.

    The whole of Dogma was chucked FULL of smooth-sounding arguments and slick talk implying, e.g., God may not be right about everything; that He may not know everything after all. The movie presented slick talk that the Bible may not be true after all; that it may be just enough the product of mortal perspective to permit us to question everything about it and become even more confused, bewildered and lost. Cast-out angels were presented as not only condemned to eternity on earth (Wisconsin) instead of Hell but also able to become mortal, become forgiven through plenary indulgence, then get back into Heaven. Dogma even presented that mere mortals may see God even though He said that no mortal shall see Him. And that a cast-out angel could murder with impunity because "God wanted it."

    Much verbal energy was spent to falsely claim how we, as a people, have matured beyond the abusive limitations of subservience to His expectations of us: to mislead us into believing that His expectations of us are unfairly stifling and suffocating to the free will: to lead us astry into believing His Word is incredibly inhibitive to free expression -- that free expresison should allow sin. Full sequences of dialogue were intellectually presented which encourage thoughts of humans being able to manipulate the will of God and to present false justification for ignoring His expectations of us. Sinful behavior was encouraged as an emotional release, as a catharsis. Sin was suggested as being relative, e.g., behavior that was sinful for our fathers and their father's fathers is not necessarily sinful for us since we have matured so much as a people since the days of the Bible. Another encouragement to ignore the Bible came in "folks who build faith on that message (the Gospel) are color-blind" with emphasis on that as if there is another message to the Gospel.

    It seems the entire movie was programming to endanger the viewer regarding Is. 5:20. And the attempts of one who claimed to be the 13th apostle (Rufus - Chris Rock) to get the "last remaining true descendent" of Jesus (Bethany - Linda Fiorentino) to rewrite the Bible to include him in the New Testament was in direct violation of Rev. 22:18-19.

    Many Scripture verses warn us of the seduction, trickery and treachery of such strange teachings as in Dogma that can cause people to question themselves right out of faith and obedience, cause others to stray from faith and yet others to fail to understand the assurance He promised to the faithful. Examples of these verses include:

  • Rom. 16:18
  • Hebr. 13:9
  • Mark 13:22
  • 1 John 2:26
  • 2 Pet. 2:14
  • Jude 4
  • Ps. 12:8
  • 2 Pet. 2:18
  • Col. 2:4
  • Zech. 10:2

    All the little pieces and parts to the seduction by Dogma combine to build a very intricate and conniving rape of the Scriptures in the name of comedy and an assault on faith and even the Word of God, feeding the very thing of man that is best able to draw him away from God -- that of placing man in an independent, "free-thinking", "open minded", "enlightened" and superior position to which all other things, including God, must measure up. One example of this was found in "The church [man] said it's so. God must adhere."

    A few emailers said Dogma "...brought me closer to God." Well, duh! Of course it did. Dogma brought man closer to God not as much by magnifying man but by bringing God down. It belittled God and brought His personage down to human status -- to a level of no more than "one of the guys" or "good ole boy" -- a small and frail entity who needed to be protected that man's machines, angels' maneuvers and church rules could control. It fed man's desire to not be subordinate to any authority using God's authority as the target of countrefeiting. Dogma encouraged thinking of Him as fallible; that He can be tricked. Dogma presents a very long list of Scriptural corruptions and counterfeitings. Apparently s o-o-o-o many have taken the bait. Hook, line and sinker.

    The movie started out with feeding the self and attempts to excuse what was to come. In the opening text screens we were fed "To insist that any of what follows is incendiary or inflammatory is to miss our intention and pass undue judgment and passing judgment is reserved for God and God alone." Wrong!

    Check your seatbelt.

    Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

    This is the verse so many use to try to shame others for discerning poor behavior, ethics, morals, and values. Using ONLY Matt 7:1 is entirely incomplete. This verse is NOT speaking to not judging -- it is speaking to not judging harshly, unfair, or any other cheap and selfish way. Read the REST OF THE STORY ...

    Matt 7:2-5 "For in the same way you judge others [there is the authority to judge], you will be judged [if you judge poorly, you will be judged poorly; if you judge well, you will be judged well], and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you [if you use extremes to manipulate the outcome, extremes will be used on you; but if you judge fair, you will be judged fairly]. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye [observe his sins - "minor" in Jesus' example here] and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye [your own sins, even and especially those you will not see, magnified by your selective blindness]? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' [tell him of his "minor" sins] when all the time there is a plank in your own eye [that there are greater or the same sins in your own life which you do nothing about]? You hypocrite [speaking/accusing others of sins thinking you are above sin, even the same sin], first take the plank out of your own eye [sincerely ask the Lord for forgiveness and learn AND live the Truth and Light by His Word], and then you will see clearly [be in a righteous position] to remove the speck from your brother's eye [to judge and to help him out of his bondage to sin]." At Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan, Jesus was talking to the multitudes gathered there after hearing of His message and of His healings to beseech them to not become like the pharisees and hypocrites who think they are above sin.

    As a FEW examples of His desire for us to judge:

  • Job 34:4 Let us discern [judge] for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.
  • Prov. 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
  • John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
  • Jer. 22:3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness...
  • Phil. 1:10 so that you may be able to discern [judge] what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ...
  • Phil. 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you [judge you]...
  • Heb. 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern [judge] both good and evil.

    Matt 7:1 seems to support the allusion that we are not to judge at all IF we use small-vision tactics by narrow-mindedly selecting only that SMALL piece of the total of what Jesus was saying. Matt 7:1 DOES NOT tell us not to judge at all -- it tells us to not judge with unfairness or superficiality: to not use our own understanding to judge (Prov. 3:5). Look at John 7:24. There, Jesus TELLS you to judge, but to do so righteously. Righteously means to use the Truth of the Word. Judge we must else we could never tell good from bad, proper from improper, righteousness from evil ........

    And to continue, Matt 7:6 says. "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." How are we going to know who are the "dogs" and the "pigs" if we do not judge.

    Yes, we as humans do have the right and the authority to judge the behavior of others as long as we do it in accordance with the Word. That God is the only one who can judge is speaking to judging whether someone is or is not saved. Neither you nor I nor anyone else who breathes has the authority to say whether another has or has not been saved. Only God can make that judgment since only He can give Salvation. The Bible provides quite enough knowledge and understanding to make you a righteous judge if you r-e-a-d it and not just look at the words AND use the TOTAL of what He says, not just the pieces that seem to fit an agenda.

    I have been told Mr. Kevin Smith, the one responsible for Dogma, is a Christian. He may very well be and probably is -- I do not have the authority to say he is or is not. But I do know that it takes more than saying one is a Christian to be a Christian. Though Jesus certainly wants us to be humble and compassionate, being Christian has absolutely nothing to do with being all nice-nice. Being nice-nice is being like Christ but does not mean "Christian." Our behavior, good or bad (our "works"), will not get us Salvation nor will it keep Salvation from us. Being Christian means believing on faith that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Resurrected Savior. Period. One of His desires of us as Christians is to love His Word as we love Him [John 14:15]. Dogma is in direct violation of it. Dogma may be a fantasy, but a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly.

    Whether intentional, Smith's map and path of mixing worldly strange teachings with the Truth which confuse and counterfeit it was genius. The entire show is built on portraying that angels can trick God: that they can manipulate Him and prove Him fallible. That a "loophole" in the church's doctrines (or dogma) can put God Himself in a compromising position. Two cast out angels, Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon) -- the quintessential counterfeiters of the Scriptures -- decide they deserve better and sought to reenter Heaven through a ceremonial plenary indulgence.

    Dogma also claims that God has a sense of humor and at times presents Him as a joker of sorts, thus again lowering Him to human level. While I am certain God has a "sense of humor" since He gave it to us, I find it most difficult to believe He finds humor in sin since He will cast the unforgiven sinner into the lake of fire for eternity. Not very funny at all.

    One of the more common email comments was, e.g., "...the movie in many ways strengthened my faith, by forcing me to reevaluate it and look at it from different angles." But that is just it! The movie DID cause some, by their own admission, to reevaluate their faith, as if faith in God and the Gospel wasn't good enough from the start. What about those who reevaluate their faith and end up in the wrong place because of that movie? What about the impressionable who have not yet developed a faith let alone an understanding of God's ways? An "R" rating does not keep the impressionable out. All that you came away with from that movie was a wild hodgepodge of the whims and fancies of the filmmakers and writers targeting their work very acutely at human weaknesses, self importance, and self sufficiency. When God's Word was mentioned, it was typically counterfeited, situationally redefined, or conditionally applied. Or at best, when accurate, His Word was intermixed with speculation and new age selfishness and anything else that might reduce His credibility and magnify man.

    Since the release of Dogma in 1999 it has apparently served well the appetites of the unbelievers and of the situational and conditional Christians -- those who are Christian only when and where it suits them. By deeper inspection of the letters of the many who claim to be Christian have told me they found "deeper insight" and "spiritual fulfillment" in Dogma, they each have only been apparently duped into questioning and doubting not only God's Word but God Himself: into thinking it is good to question everything. What a dilemma! While it is good to question most worldly things to avoid being deceived, one must assume deception is the goal. God has no plan or goal to deceive us in any way. Thus, the promotion of free-thinking by Dogma targeted at the Gospel and His Word cheapens for the gullible and uninformed their perception of God AND His Word.

    I have presented only a fraction of the ignominies in Dogma and have taken seven typewritten pages to do it. I will not belabor any further a point that has been made and made well for those who are strong enough and open minded enough to see through such entertainment and to believe in the Gospel and in His love for us. I will leave the remainder of the issues of Spiritual dangers in Dogma to the Findings/Scoring section (nearly three of the seven typewritten pages).

    I pray many of us can soon open our minds enough to see precisely what many movies, whether intentional, are truly doing to us. Many movies hturT us in ways we may not understand. And, yes, "hturT" is correct. It is reversed Truth, twisted and counterfeited beyond recognition and shows the hidden and sometimes invisible hurt in doing so.


  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Is. 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
  • Rev. 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
  • Rom. 16:18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive [impressionable] people.
  • Hebr. 13:9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods [e.g., entrainment ignominy], which are of no value to those who eat them [consume and defend them].
  • Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets [which includes people in leadership or famous roles, or even those with captive audiences] shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders [who seem to have all the answers], to seduce,... [which can include mind- and belief-changing logic]
  • 1 John 2:26 These things [issues of faith in the Gospel] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you [convince to believe otherwise].
  • 2 Pet. 2:14 With eyes full of adultery [and other illicit desires], they [men who blaspheme in matters they do not understand] never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable [the impressionable]; ...
  • Jude 4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality...
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create more and more progressively extreme entertainment with impunity] when what is vile is honored among men [when people embrace its strange teachings].
  • 2 Pet. 2:18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
  • Col. 2:4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
  • Zech. 10:2 The idols speak deceit, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Dogma - Analysis of teh Full Viewing (1999) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • 3 roller blade punks beating an old man with hockey sticks
  • the same attacking/harassing a woman on the street
  • fighting to control
  • purchase of firearm to kill
  • planning mass murder
  • sexual threat
  • order to kill
  • firearm threat to head
  • gunfire
  • demon of human feces
  • hit to face to silence
  • threat to neck of woman with a broken bottle
  • feeling righteous, justified and excited about attempted murder
  • willingness to commit suicide to end troubles
  • graphic mass death
  • exploding head
  • decapitated body
  • falling body
  • toying with dead bodies
  • hit of a woman
  • threat to kill a woman with knife to throat
  • mayhem
  • automatic gunfire to kill
  • graphic injury

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 103 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • 92 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • Catholicism promotion of plenary indulgence
  • lie about purpose and other matters
  • angels going out for a drink
  • pro-choice promotion
  • facial piercing
  • thinking murder is justifiable
  • stories of immorality
  • flatulence
  • series of "pity me because I'm black"
  • "I say we get drunk"

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • adultery
  • promotion of being gay
  • homosexual suggestions
  • many sexual and vulgar comments
  • sexual suggestions
  • requests for sexual performance
  • sexual conversations, talk, innuendo
  • adults in underwear
  • vulgar exposure to show absence of genitalia; male and female exhibitionism
  • many requests for sex as payment for "good deed"
  • sexual offer
  • gaping mouth and licking kissing
  • repeated full rear male nudity, some from an inferior angle (upward from the feet)
  • staring at nudity
  • strip dancer
  • trying to buy sex
  • repeated partial nudity
  • repeated views of a vulgar statue
  • self touchings
  • man getting off commode
  • suggestive eye movement

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking
  • smoking
  • drunken revelry
  • smoking dope repeatedly
  • strip bar
  • "We need a LOT of drinks."
  • drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • humankind was blamed for the "failure" of the Scriptures, implying the Scriptures are imperfect
  • much, much smooth talk to confuse into not believing in God, to cause to question, and to counterfeit His Word
  • "...passing judgment is reserved for God and God alone."
  • calling Crucifix wholly depressing
  • Buddy Christ icon; mockery of Jesus and the crucifix
  • cast out "angels" trying to get back into heaven
  • "The church said it is so. God must adhere."
  • justifying homicide with "God wants it."
  • "I think God is dead."
  • demons and muse, repeatedly
  • demon worship, Satanic manifestation (forehead horns sprouting on a man)
  • "We went through five Adams before we figured that one out."
  • ethereal transporting
  • "Noah was a drunk and look what he accomplished."
  • "Back in the old days God was vengeful and hot tempered."
  • claims that Loki, the angel of death, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, not God
  • "Wisconsin is worse than Hell."
  • portrayal that cast out angels can manipulate God
  • "To Hell with Him."
  • claims that God has a sense of humor, thus lowering Him to human level
  • "When --- happened, where was God?"
  • implication that we, as a people, have matured and what was sin may not now be sin
  • "You knew Christ?" ... "Knew Him! --- --- owes me $12.00!"
  • claim of a secret to resurrection, implying that anyone can do it
  • portrayal of a 13th apostle
  • "You are the one who's gonna help me get some changes made in that book (the Bible) you put so much stock in (to get the 13th apostle added)."
  • To the 13th apostle: "You went to Heaven?" The 13th apostle: "Yer --- right I went to Heaven. That's the least He could do. Y'know, in the three years I followed His --- around Jerusalem, did I ever get laid? N-o-o-o!"
  • "If I were in Heaven, I wouldn't care what the Bible said."
  • "Folks who build faith on that message (the Gospel) are color-blind."
  • many statements and inferences "God's a woman."
  • claim that men wrote the Bible, that it is not God-breathed/inspired, who added their own "perspective" (and to fortify the claim told the viewers that since all the Apostles were men, they changed the "she" into "He."
  • "It (the Bible) stinks."
  • "It doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith."
  • "No denomination has nailed it yet."
  • portrayal of an angel chumming with a demon: "You're a true friend."
  • "I'm so angry with her (God)."
  • "One day, God just stopped listening."
  • "For the first time, my eyes are open." to justify evil behavior
  • "I ----- hate you. I HATE you." to God.
  • man walking on water
  • "It's too big." ... "That's what Jesus said." by the 13th apostle
  • portrayal that angel is necessary as an intermediary to talk with God
  • "God's a skeeball fanatic and disappears from time to time."
  • "He (God) has abandoned you."
  • portrayal that a demon can dispatch God
  • "It's better to have a good idea than a belief."
  • portrayal of God walking among man
  • portrayal of God healing as a human (NOT as Jesus)
  • virgin pregnancy

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • graphic murder with a hockey stick
  • gunfire murder (not seen but heard)
  • episode of multiple gunfire murders
  • murder by automatic gunfire
  • neck break murder
  • four murders, one by impalement, three by drowning
  • graphic knife murder

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." [Emphasis is mine] And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I aplaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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