Despirate Self Threat
After Woody had entered the church and read his statement introducing himself and explaining his reasons for being there; after he had explained that government authorities sought to torture and kill him; after he made his plea for political asylum and explained his need for witnesses; after the children had been removed, and about half of the adults had departed; after all of these events and others had transpired, Woody threatened himself for the first time. He removed a pocket knife from his pocket, opened it, pointed it toward his face, and said he would kill himself if people continued to leave the sanctuary. He pocketed the knife when people stopped leaving, and apologized for scaring people. When the police entered and advanced toward Woody, he threatened himself for the second time. He took the knife out again, pointed it at his eye, closer than the first time, and threatened to kill himself if the police came any closer.
It is inaccurate to describe Woody as suicidal when in all cases his threats of suicide were predicated on the actions of others. He promised to kill himself only if his witnesses abandoned him or if the police advanced on him. Since Woody feared that either of those actions he was trying to stop would result in his death, his suicide threats were clearly part of a desperate strategy of self-preservation.