The most dangerous 1,500 pages: inside the mind of Anders Breivik

Norwegians respond with love, not war, to Anders Breivik’s murderous actions. marcinlachowicz.com

The Conversation asked Professor James Jupp to read through the infamous 1,500 page manifesto of Anders Breivik.

This is his analysis of the document, giving an insight into the mind of the mass murderer who now stands trial in Norway.

It will take time to extract exactly what happened on that Friday in July when Anders Breivik detonated a bomb in the prime minister’s office in Oslo and then went into a political youth camp and murdered 70 Norwegian teenagers.

Often it takes years for the details of these kinds of terrible incidents to reveal themselves. But in this case, the accused published his plan and his justifications in great detail. He did so in English, online and on the very day that he struck down his victims.

A sick mind?

His manifesto runs into more than 1,500 pages and was to a large extent, influenced by material already on the internet over several years.

He wrote that he was not a “suicide bomber” but rather wanted to become a hero against what he saw as the Marxist multicultural conspiracy to Islamise Europe and destroy the distinct cultures of its varied people.

What immediately strikes the reader is that he is completely without the human characteristics of mercy, sympathy and respect for others. At the core of his manifesto is a chilling description of the need to eliminate the “traitors” who are destroying Europe, by assassination, bombing, the use of anthrax and even of nuclear weapons.

In the four generation civil war which he plans for Europe, Breivik estimates that 140,000 traitors will need to be executed. He started with the young activists of Norwegian Labour at their annual summer camp. He advocates the use of flame throwers, so that some “traitors” will be marked for life but still survive.

Not a Christian fundamentalist

This dangerously intelligent and obsessed human being is not a Christian fundamentalist, a fascist, a Nazi, or any of the other labels stuck on him by journalists.

He calls himself a Christian only because “all Norwegians” are Christians and there is a state Lutheran church in which he was baptised. But he hates Muslims for all the struggles, crimes and wars of the years since the Crusades, nearly a thousand years ago.

He takes upon himself the title of a Knight Templar, leading a (non-existent) network of other knights defending Europe against Islam, right up to the Serbian battle against the Bosnians and Kosovars only a few years ago.

A large part of his manifesto goes into great detail about all these struggles. He relies heavily on the voluminous work of Bat Ye’or, an Egyptian of Jewish background, and takes up her concept of Eurabia, the plot to draw Europe under the eventual control of Muslim Arabs.

Breivik is not anti-semitic and sees the Jews and Israel as allies. Another widely quoted source is Robert Spencer, American author of The Truth about Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion. Spencer and Bat Ye’or agree with each other and are famous in Europe and North America for their hatred of Islam.

Paranoid politics

If you can stomach reading on, there is much more to come in this document. The manifesto begins by linking Marxism, multiculturalism and the Islamisation of Europe. The logic of this is not apparent until you realise that he sees links with the Marxist Frankfurt school, which inspired a generation of European and American radicals in the rebellious 1960s.

Chief among its theorists were Herbert MarcuseTheodor Adorno and Jürgen Habermas. Their deconstruction of social beliefs, literature and ideas in general aimed to undermine the historic traditions which cemented traditional society.

Breivik is a very old-fashioned conservative and very conventional. Most of his hostility to Marxism, postmodernism and the Frankfurt School echoes a broader conservative consensus in Australia and elsewhere. But of course, he takes these arguments to incredible extremes.

He argues that Marxists should have been executed “after the war” and that deconstruction is the major weapon used by Islamists to sap the resistance of Christian Europe through political correctness and multiculturalism.

Put together like this, by heavy use of Google and Wikipedia, it all seems reasonable. But of course, it is fantasy. Fundamental Islamists are as far from the Frankfurt School as is humanly possible. But it allows the author to link up the politicians, the academics, the intellectuals, the socialists and the liberals, as “traitors” deserving to be executed.

Those he left off the list

He lists political parties of Europe who are responsible for this ideological treachery. Not a single parliamentary party is left free of the accusation. The only ones who are exonerated are the English Defence League, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and other marginal Rightwing nationalists. All have now repudiated him except for the elderly Jean-Marie Le Pen.

But in his mind, these figures are not the hardcore of the European resistance. This will be the Knight Templars with Breivik as their leader. As yet, there is no evidence that such people exist.

This construction of the enemy and their enemies then lapses into an extensive account of Muslim crimes throughout history. But according to Breivik, Muslims are not the traitors and will simply be deported back to where they came from after victories in the four generation European civil war, due to end in 2083.

The danger of influence

The really disturbing part of the manifesto is towards the end, which appears to have been written very shortly before his attack on the young Labor camp. This details, day by day, the processes for setting up the bombing and assassination exercise, which he then executed so efficiently. This was placed on the internet the day before he struck and is still there for anyone else who wants to emulate him.

The manifesto suggests that he is fully aware of the potential and power of the Internet, having obviously spent years of his life isolated in its fantasy worlds. He sees Facebook as a revolutionary weapon – rather like Lenin who saw the same potential in the newly invented telephone.

This final message to the world is where the whole thing becomes potentially dangerous. It tells anyone with similar obsessions just how to get hold of fertilisers and other chemicals, how to construct a bomb, how to set up a rural base on a small farm, what weapons to buy and what targets to attack.

The whole manifesto is in English, can be reached throughout the world and could be the basis for terrorist mobilisation for any cause by any group or individual. Even Islamist terrorists could use parts of this 1,500 page attack for their own purposes, if they threw away the attacks on themselves. But they probably know the practical stuff already and do not need the theory, which is pure fantasy.