Anders Behring Breivik: A Lethal Mind in an Unlikely Place
“I explained to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamist alliance and the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years, he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail.”
– Anders Behring Breivik
Another mass murderer is casting himself in the light of a savior. Norway and the world are reeling under the weight of something inexpressible- the wanton slaughter of youth and innocence for publicity. An evil man cloaked in self deluded righteousness wanted to make a statement and call attention to his cause. He succeeded by claiming nearly one hundred lives and releasing his manifesto as a tool for recruiting. Breivik will not be the last to do so.
Extremists are emerging at an alarming rate. They are rejecting their countries, belief systems and leaders while replacing them with a world of conspiracy, paranoia and radicalism. This paranoia and distrust is manifesting into unthinkable evil and horror. I call them lethal minds. They are not only questioning their place in the world, but giving up on it and choosing homicidal mayhem as an appropriate expression of communication to right it. Lethal minds claim divine or political supremacy and in their self-induced frenzy, they are shaking nations.
Years ago I crafted Innate Revolt Theory as an attempt to capture some of the trends in our current global system. Two particular tenets, 4 and 5, are worth reviewing:
4. The forces of globalization are connecting people on different levels like never before. Globalization is challenging the sovereignty of states and the unique cultures and ideas nations and their populations have come to cherish. Over time, instantaneous access to new information produces an influx factor that allows people to have access to a plethora of ideas, cultures and leaders that they were once unfamiliar with. Some of these ideas will be innately resisted and revolt leaders, domestic or external, will play upon the discontent of their followers and list grievances against the current system and the political and thought leaders that uphold it. They will issue and justify a call for violence as a means of purging the system. This is one of the dark sides of connectivity we are currently challenged with.
5. The nation-state will increasing have to deal with fierce challenges for its legitimacy by etherealists, anarchists, hyper patriots/militias, terrorists and numerous others who will utilize violence and propaganda to expand their influence and population bases. Diverse networks will join this movement against the state. Revolt leaders will have to choose how to exercise their influence. Will they seek to overthrow those who are in power and replace it with their new order and vision or remain in the role of challengers, recruiters and detractors? Their thinking is often long-term and strategic.
It is clear that this pattern will continue and spread. Many erroneously jumped to the conclusion when the news broke that it must be the work of radical Islamists, but the reality is this, we are now fighting another front on the war against extremism. It is xenophobia induced terrorism where extremists believe they have to defend their home from the other. Whether the Muslim, Jew, immigrant or political ideas that are inclusive. We will see a castle like approach spreading here in the west and venomous, political, xenophobic, tirades toward the other fueling it. It seems there are pockets where the tolerance level has reached a brink and the new wine is bursting some people’s wine skin/brain. Extremism is not just a sign of the times; unfortunately, it’s a harbinger of the future. Now more than ever, we need a comprehensive approach that includes raising public awareness to confront this.