by Christopher HodappA Vancouver man has been sentenced to three years in prison in British Columbia, Canada after pleading guilty to setting three arson fires in Masonic halls on March 30th this year.
According to a story today on the Alaska Highway News website, 43-year-old Benjamin Orion Carlson Kohlman claimed to hear voices in his head last spring telling him to burn down the Masonic halls because the Masons and the Illuminati were engaging in mind control of other people. Kohlman, who suffers from drug addiction and emotional issues, believed the buildings were used by “dark souls and evil.”
The fires were all set within a 45-minute period on the morning of March 30th, and combined damages to the three buildings were in excess of $2.5 million. Fortunately, no one was injured. The targeted lodges were: Lynn Valley Lodge 122; Lonsdale Masonic Temple, home of Duke of Connaught Lodge 64; and Park Masonic Hall, home of Heritage Lodge 23. The 110-year-old Lonsdale building was a total loss and had to be demolished after fire crews extinguished the flames.
While the first two halls were still burning, Kohlman was spotted that morning carrying a gasoline can and leaving the scene of the Park temple just as a fire began burning near its entrance. An off-duty police officer attempted to take him into custody, but Kohlman knocked the officer down and drove away. The officer broadcast Kohlman's license plate and vehicle description, and he was arrested shortly afterwards.
After the last fire was set, a Facebook post appeared from a 'Ben Kohlman' of Vancouver boasting that he had "just cleaned three Satanic club houses, and nobody could stop me." His home page was loaded with conspiracy theories, mind control paranoia, and anti-Masonic sentiments.
Kohlman claimed to police that he had set the fires to call attention to the Masons and Illuminati in order to "stop their mind control." He also claimed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had implanted a tracking device in his head.
Kohlman expressed his regrets for the crimes and apologized to the community, admitting that on the day of the crime, he was under the influence of ecstasy and marijuana. His defense attorney told the court that he had deliberately started the fires in the early hours of the day because it was less likely anyone would be inside.
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