EDITORIAL: Norway's mass murder: time to learn the lessons
by Peter Westmore
News Weekly, August 6, 2011
Shock from the bombing of Oslo and subsequent murder of some 90 young people attending a youth camp in Norway has been followed by claims that the killer, Anders Breivik, was a “Christian fundamentalist” who posted a 1,500-page manifesto on the internet.
His manifesto is, indeed, a bizarre document, detailing how and why he set about killing as many of his fellow-countrymen as he could. But it is utterly false to claim that he was a Christian fundamentalist.
Titled 2083 — A European Declaration of Independence, the manifesto purports to be a manual for a counter-revolution against Marxism and Islam. In fact, it is a lengthy exposé of the state of mind of a person who has only a tangential link with Christianity, but who has a hatred of Islam and multiculturalism which he sees as cultural Marxism.
Significantly, he was deeply influenced by his exposure to video and gaming violence, and obtained his bomb-making instructions from the Internet.
Breivik is the Western European equivalent of the Islamic jihadists who have perpetrated mass murder in the Middle East, and beyond, over the past 20 years.
His Christianity is based not on religion or belief in God, but on the culture of Europe which he claimed is being overturned by secular liberalism and Islamisation.
He explained, “You don’t need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough if you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian-atheist [sic] ...”.
He added, “Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe.”
In another place, he wrote, “As for the church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings” — hardly the line of a Christian fundamentalist.
His manifesto suggests that he was one of eight people who, in 2002, met in London to re-found the Knights Templars, a religious order which was suppressed 700 years ago.
An interesting aspect of Breivik’s background is his involvement with Norwegian Freemasonry, an organisation with which he was involved for a number of years, and which gave him access to information about the Knights Templars.
The Knights Templar is also the name of an international philanthropic chivalric order affiliated with Freemasonry. Unlike the initial induction into a Masonic Lodge, which only requires a belief in a Supreme Being regardless of religious affiliation, the Knights Templar is one of several additional Masonic Orders in which membership is open only to Freemasons who profess a belief in Christianity.
Breivik made clear that his Knights Templar have nothing to do with the Freemasons’ order.
Anders Breivik also had a very unstable home life. He described it in these terms: “My father, Jens Breivik, had three children from a former marriage, Erik, Jan and Nina, while my mother, Wenche Behring, had a daughter from a past relationship, Elisabeth. My parents divorced when I was one year’s old. … [My father] was living in London at the time as he worked as a diplomat for the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London (and later Paris).”
“Jens stayed in London and later married Tove Øvermo who also worked in the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Wenche, Elisabeth and myself moved back to Oslo and settled on Skøyen, Oslo West. My mother, Wenche, met my stepfather, Tore, who was a captain in the Norwegian Army.
“My stepmother, Tove, later became a Vice Consul and my father was a Commercial Councillor for the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs abroad, first in London and then in Paris.” His father and stepmother tried to adopt him, at the age of 15, but the Norwegian courts refused.
Lacking a stable family life, Anders Breivik did not finish high school, although he was obviously quite intelligent. Arguably he never grew up and never settled down.
He was associated with left-wing graffiti gangs in the early 1990s, but eventually rejected their politics as a result of being threatened or assaulted by Muslim gangs in Oslo on a number of occasions. He switched to the conservative opposition party, but eventually turned against them as well.
He joined what he called the “European Resistance Movement” about 10 years ago, a shadowy right-wing group without a formal structure or program.
In his manifesto, he also made clear that he was influenced by violent movies and video games, including World of Warcraft, and Modern Warfare I and II.
The picture which emerges from this is a person who lacked any objective moral point of reference, and in his hatred of his own society was prepared to bomb and murder defenceless people, as did Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber who killed 168 people with a truck bomb in 1995, and Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber who engaged in a 20-year mail-bombing spree in the U.S.
Until the social and cultural foundations of society are rebuilt, we should anticipate that horrors such as those which convulsed Oslo will be repeated.
Peter Westmore is national president of the National Civic Council.