Anders Behring Breivik is a 33 year old Norwegian who has a most unusual mental state.
On 22 July 2011, Breivik bombed government buildings in Oslo and proceeded to carry out a mass shooting at a camp of the Workers’ Youth League (AUF) of the Labour Party on the island of Utøya where he killed 69 people, mostly teenagers. Breivik acknowledged the acts to a courtroom packed with many of those who managed to dodge his bullets and bombs, as well as the families of some who didn’t. “But I do not plead guilty”, he proclaimed. His justification is that he committed the killings in “self-defence”. He had already announced that he did not recognise the Norwegian court – because, he said, it received its mandate “from political parties who support multiculturalism”.
Breivik undoubtedly has a calculating mind. He programmed the satnav in his hire car before leaving his mother’s flat to take him from Oslo’s government district – where he planted his lethal fertiliser bomb – to Utvika, the village opposite the island of Utøya. Arriving at Utvika, he called up the island administration and told them they needed to send a boat to pick him up: he was a police officer, he assured them, and had been dispatched to reassure the campers following bombings in Oslo. Details indicate that he plotted the attacks from a single bedroom at his mother’s flat, using a computer on which the prosecution claimed he once spent a whole year playing the World of Warcraft game “full time”.
In court, Breivik showed no remorse. The only time he appeared to show any emotion was when prosecutors played a 12-minute propaganda video he had posted on YouTube shortly before carrying out the attacks. He wiped away tears (not shed for his victims but for his ’cause’) as he watched the film which purported to show the threat of “the rise of cultural Marxism in western Europe” and “the Islamic colonisation” of Norway and beyond. This amateur film spliced together still images, including a cover of the Spectator magazine, a cartoon of a headscarfed woman with a bomb in place of a pregnant belly, and at least half a dozen scenes showing knights wearing the St George’s flag.
Is Breivik insane? Psychotic?
Breivik was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia by the court-appointed psychiatrists. According to their report, Breivik acted compulsively based on a delusional thought universe. Among other things, he alluded to himself as a future regent of Norway pending a takeover by a Templar-type organization. Imagining himself as regent, his ideas included organizing Norwegians in reservations and using them in breeding projects. Other psychiatrists disagree that he is psychotic or schizophrenic, and on 13 January 2012, after much public pressure, the Oslo district court ordered a second expert panel to evaluate Breivik’s mental state. On 10 April 2012 the second psychiatric evaluation was published with the conclusion that Breivik was not psychotic during the attacks and he was not psychotic during their evaluation.
It will be interesting to see how the Norwegian court will deal with Breivik – it appears difficult to contend that he is not insane. However, as the second psychiatrist’s report suggests – what if he is just a really bad person? Breivik is arguably the most extreme manifestation of the fight against multiculturalism which has taken many forms in different Western European nations, tragically so.
Suffice it to say that it would be unfortunate if a person who has confessed to killing 77 people for no reason – except to defend himself from people who have caused him no harm but to be different from him – would be acquitted on the basis of a technical defence when his ideology could be destructive and may fuel destructive far-right tendencies in Europe. Such intolerance has no place in a 21st Century world where ethnic and racial hatred offends humanity and is contrary to basic principles of human rights.