Green Room

Anders Breivik, post-modern Crusader

posted at 3:48 pm on July 25, 2011 by

Sometimes the life of a blogger is fraught with tedium and annoyance.  It can also be touched simultaneously by profound sadness.  I’ve been steeping in a brew concocted from these ingredients, perusing the 1518-page “2083” manifesto of the Norwegian mass murderer so you don’t have to.

As My Pet Jawa reports, parts of “2083” were copied from the Unabomber’s manifesto.  But that gives a very incomplete impression of what makes this guy tick.  The overarching theme of “2083” is that he, and his confreres in the “PCCTS Knights Templar,” are modern-day Crusaders.  They are not what most other Christians would call Christian; Anders is very explicit that having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not his thing.  He’s a “cultural” Christian, and the PCCTS Knights Templar (expansion of PCCTS below) are happy to accept members who are, in Breivik’s words, “Christian agnostics” and “Christian atheists.”  He uses “Christian” as a modifier signifying primarily Western/European cultural identity; he does speak of brotherhood with African and Asian Christians, but the context of the references is clearly cultural.

Tellingly, there is not one reference in “2083” to the power of spiritual Christianity deriving from the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  For spiritual Christians, that’s the bottom line.  It’s what you say, what you talk about, your confession of faith.  Breivik doesn’t allude to it at all.  Again, it’s not his thing.  He doesn’t think of Christianity as transforming hearts and lives for the better.  He thinks of it as a positive, unifying symbol-set, one that evokes the energy, reason, and strength of the traditional culture of Europe.

Here are his words:

3.139 Distinguishing between cultural Christendom and religious Christendom – reforming our suicidal Church

A majority of so called agnostics and atheists in Europe are cultural conservative Christians without even knowing it. So what is the difference between cultural Christians and religious Christians?

If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian. (p. 1307)

And this:

I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person as that would be a lie. I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment. In the past, I remember I used to think;

“Religion is a crutch for weak people. What is the point in believing in a higher power if you have confidence in yourself!? Pathetic.”

Perhaps this is true for many cases. Religion is a crutch for many weak people and many embrace religion for self serving reasons as a source for drawing mental strength (to feed their weak emotional state f example during illness, death, poverty etc.). Since I am not a hypocrite, I’ll say directly that this is my agenda as well. However, I have not yet felt the need to ask God for strength, yet… (p. 1344)

And this:

If you want to fight for the cross and die under the “cross of the martyrs” it’s required that you are a practising Christian, a Christian agnostic or a Christian atheist (cultural Christian). The cultural factors are more important than your personal relationship with God, Jesus or the holy spirit.

Choosing to fight under the banner of the cross, does not constitute that you have to reject your Odinistic heritage in any way or form.

As a cultural Christian, I believe Christendom is essential for cultural reasons.

As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus. Being a Christian can mean many things;

- That you believe in and want to protect Europe’s Christian cultural heritage.

The European cultural heritage, our norms (moral codes and social structures included), our traditions and our modern political systems are based on Christianity – Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the legacy of the European enlightenment (reason is the primary source and legitimacy for authority).

It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. In many ways, our modern societies and European secularism is a result of European Christendom and the enlightenment. It is therefore essential to understand the difference between a “Christian fundamentalist theocracy” (everything we do not want) and a secular European society based on our Christian cultural heritage (what we do want).

So no, you don’t need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)).

The PCCTS, Knights Templar is therefore not a religious organisation but rather a Christian “culturalist” military order.

(C)reating a religious order would be counter-productive as a majority of Europe’s armed resistance fighters are agnostics, atheists or relatively secular Christians. The organisation is therefore considered a moderate Christian identity organisation and not a religious order. (p. 1360-on)

Predictably, Breivik invokes the Nietzschean complaint that Christianity is too weak and self-effacing for its own good:

The Judeo-Christian religions played an important and influential role in building the once mighty West but we also discovered that these religions contained a serious flaw that has sewed the seeds of the suicidal demise of the indigenous peoples of Western Europe and our cultures. This flaw was identified by the brilliant German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who described it as “an inversion of morality” whereby the weak, the poor, the meek, the oppressed and the wretched are virtuous and blessed by God whereas the strong, the wealthy, the noble and the powerful are the immoral and damned by the vengeful almighty Yahweh for eternity.

Nietzsche, with great insight and perception, stated that Christianity would be abandoned en masse in the twentieth century but that Westerners would still cling to this inversion of morality. I then described how Marxists and Liberals exploit this inversion of morality by creating large numbers of “victim groups“, groups who form minorities in Western society but whose “victim status” is used to dictate morality to the majority. In Western – European – societies, the weak now lead the strong, indeed, the game being played in these societies is not to make the weak strong it is to make the strong weak. (p. 391)

But he despises National Socialists (referred to by the initials NS throughout the text) and has only negative things to say about Hitler.  In fact, Breivik devotes pages to arguing against the Nazi perspective on cultural unity and power.  Breivik’s unifying idea and symbology are the Crusades and the Knights Templar.  What he wants Christian Europe (and indeed, all Christendom) to get back to is his concept of the church militant in the Crusades era:  a church that forms the cultural core of society and motivates the people to – if you will – defend Christianity forward.  His plan for a revitalized cultural-Christian Europe involves reclaiming Lebanon for Christianity (yes, this figures very large in the manifesto), supporting Christians in Africa and Asia in driving Muslims and cultural relativists out of their lands, and helping Israeli Jews build the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

All his concepts are political and militant.  He advocates holding a “Great Christian Congress” (p. 1136) at which the new Knights Templar-based authorities of Europe reorganize the church for its own good.  Protestantism has been an unmitigated disaster, and needs to be winnowed out.  (Breivik was baptized a Protestant but admires the political history, ritual, organization, and aesthetics of the Catholic Church.)  The church will be assigned in his restored cultural order to a number of tasks, and given some important powers, but one thing it will not have is the autonomy to evolve away from his militant ideal for it.

The PCCTS Knights Templar are named after the original Knights Templar: the “Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici,” or Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon.  An anonymous group of Europeans met in London in 2002 to re-found the order, and Breivik was present at the creation.  Its program for reclaiming Europe and the world is oriented on the year 2083, presumably because that year will mark the 400th anniversary of the Battle of Vienna.

And it is a warlike program, to say the least.  Cultural Marxists (e.g., the people he killed in the government offices), along with Muslims, will be given an ultimatum to embrace cultural Christianity by 1 January 2020, or be killed or driven out.  In the aftermath of the ultimatum, WMD will be used on them.  Breivik devotes pages of text to various methods of acquiring chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons:  from the existing governments of Europe, from crime syndicates, directly from Islamist states and terrorist groups (because why not?).

He justifies this bloodthirsty program on the basis of the indulgences granted to “all future Crusaders” by Pope Urban II in 1095; on the “duty to crusade” which he reads into the church’s canon law; and on the calls of subsequent popes to mount new crusades. (p. 1324)

Have I mentioned that Breivik is an avid player of World of Warcraft?  He reports taking an entire year off from paid employment to play it full time.  In this and other ways he is very much a product of modern Western culture – and that is where the profound sadness comes in.  He has reached the age of 32 with an obvious sense of rootlessness, a set of grievances against society (some of them justified), and no spiritual or emotional defenses against resorting to a kinetic Manichaeism in his approach to politics and life.  Here is part of his account of his teenage years in Oslo:

We used to hang out with GSV crew, or B-Gjengen as they are popularly called today, a Muslim Pakistani gang, quite violent even back then. “Gang alliances” was a part of our everyday life at that point and assured that you avoided threats and harassment. Alliances with the right people guaranteed safe passage everywhere without the risk of being subdued and robbed (Jizya), beaten or harassed. We had close ties with B-Gjengen (B-Gang) and A-Gjengen (A-Gang), both Muslim Pakistani gangs through my best friend Arsalan who was also a Pakistani. Even at that time, the Muslim gangs were very dominating in Oslo East and in inner city Oslo. They even arranged “raids” in Oslo West occasionally, subduing the native youths (kuffars) and collecting Jizya from them (in the form of cell phones, cash, sunglasses etc.). I remember they systematically harassed, robbed and beat ethnic Norwegian youngsters who were unfortunate enough to not have the right affiliations. Muslim youths called the ethnic Norwegians “poteter” (potatoes, a derogatory term used by Muslims to describe ethnic Norwegians). These people occasionally raped the so called “potato whores”. In Oslo, as an ethnic Norwegian youth aged 14-18 you were restricted if you didn’t have affiliations to the Muslim gangs. Your travel was restricted to your own neighbourhoods in Oslo West and certain central points in the city. Unless you had Muslim contacts you could easily be subject to harassment, beatings and robbery. Our alliances with the Muslim gangs were strictly seen as a necessity for us, at least for me. We, however, due to our alliances had the freedom of movement. As a result of our alliances we were allowed to have a relaxing and secure position on the West side of Oslo among our age group. Think of it as being local “warlords” for certain “kuffar areas”, which were regulated by the only dominant force, Muslim gangs collaberating with anarcho-Marxist networks.

Many of these groups claim to be tolerant and anti-fascist, but yet, I have never met anyone as hypocritical, racist and fascist as the people whom I used to call friends and allies. The media glorifies them while they wreck havoc across the city, rob and plunder. Yet, any attempts their victims do to consolidate are harshly condemned by all aspects of the cultural establishment as racism and Nazism. I have witnessed the double standards and hypocrisy with my own eyes, it is hard to ignore. I was one of the protected “potatoes”, having friends and allies in the Jihadi-racist gangs such as the A and B gang and many other Muslim gangs.

I gradually became appalled by the mentality, actions and hypocrisy of what he calls the “Marxist-Jihadi youth” movement of Oslo disguised under more socially acceptable brands such as: “SOS Rasisme”, “Youth against Racism”, Blitz who literally hijacked segments of the hiphop movement and used it as a front for recruitment.

I have personally heard of and witnessed hundreds of Jihadi-racist attacks, more than 90% of them aimed at helpless Norwegian youth (who themselves are brought up to be “suicidally” tolerant and therefore are completely unprepared mentally for attacks such as these). This happens while the Marxist networks in the hiphop movement and the cultural establishment silently and indirectly condone it. There is absolutely no political will to ensure that justice is served on behalf of these victims. I remember at one point thinking; “This system makes me sick”.  (p. 1389)

Breivik’s complaint is that what he was supposed to believe in – who he was supposed to be, as a member of a culture – offered him no protection, safety, or dignity.  He goes on to recount, one by one, the occasions on which he was directly attacked or threatened in the years after he broke with his “gang alliances” (starting on p. 1393).  He also observes, matter-of-factly, that a natural-selection process kicked in after the mid-teenage years, when students are channeled into academic or technical/trades education.  The Muslim teens almost all went into vocational training (or left school entirely), which meant they and the ethnic Norwegians were no longer in the same schools, and no longer had to meet in the same neighborhoods.

The void where the reasons for cultural unity should be is a real source of sorrow here, at least for me.  Breivik blames it, in effect, on “cultural Marxism” (his cultural commentary is all derivative):  the process of tearing down the traditional shibboleths of a culture in order to leave populations mentally defenseless against collectivism.  And this isn’t invalid, as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.  The problem for Europe isn’t so much what it no longer is, as that there is no compelling vision for what it ought to be.

That is most clearly apparent in the video Breivik posted to explain the “2083” concept.  One of the first things that struck me in watching the video was that it seemed curiously American in tone.  Breivik’s imagery for depicting the downfall of Europe includes thematic “traffic signs,” which of course are a universal phenomenon, but also shows the boy “Billy” from the Family Circus cartoon representing Europe – clearly as a fresh-faced, defenseless youth – and depicts the suicide of the West via a caricature of Uncle Sam with a pistol in his mouth.  In the text, at the inflection point of the video when it transitions from lament to a plan for the future, Breivik quotes Thomas Jefferson on the tree of liberty being refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Yet the “2083” manifesto is very Euro-centric.  It is not about the US, or the distinctly American political idea, and it deals with the Americas as a whole very little.  Breivik clearly sees Europe as having a meaningful identity of its own, but he can’t come up with an identifiably European image to convey that as a modern reality.  As the video crescendos, he harks back to the Middle Ages, lining up one image after another of armored knights in battle (or in heroic stances).  His hall of European fame is a series of military commanders who fought against Muslim armies in centuries past (the most recent being Czar Nicholas I in the 19th century).

These images are not compelling to conservatives in the US, and I don’t see any evidence that they are the organizing idea for classical-liberal thinkers or political parties in Europe.  There is literally no mainstream interest in refighting the Crusades or wrestling the church down and making her culturally militant on the model of the Middle Ages.  There is a varying level of political engagement among Christians:  some are very left-leaning, others are conservative (or liberal in the classical European sense), many of both kinds have little interest in politics, and others find politics important and rewarding.  Anders Breivik’s model of a post-modern Knight Templar resonates not at all with the actual beliefs and stances of conservatives, Christians, or conservative Christians.

That is partly because Breivik seeks a form of tribal symbology and validation that modern society has grown comparatively comfortable without.  Mainstream classical-liberalism in Europe doesn’t offer the mystical power of either Norse gods or a Latin-speaking church with its own army of knights.  These symbols of cultural connection to the transcendent haven’t been Christianity’s reality for centuries; and in politics, there has been a very long trend toward prosaic bureaucratic consultation, which no one envisions operating outside of.  There’s no way to torture modern Christianity or modern social or political conservatism into the Crusader mold – which is why Breivik had to find his calling elsewhere.

We can hope – I certainly do – that the flurry of mistargeted denunciations from the political left will die down quickly.  All you have to do to see that conservatives and Christians are not responsible for Anders Breivik is read 1500 pages of his musings.  Neither Democrats nor Republicans, nor any particular religious denomination, political party, or school of thought in Europe, is “responsible” for Breivik; he did his own research and made his own choices, and he had alternatives.  He is undoubtedly not the only young European who wishes for a more compelling, inspiring, successful, and victorious cultural idea of Europe to give his life meaning.   But he is the only one who decided to blow up a building and go on a shooting rampage.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

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Comments

You took one for the team here, J. Lots of critical argument-stopping data in your essay. Thank you for this précis. As conservatives, we will be compared to this loon by the Left.

NaCly dog on July 25, 2011 at 4:14 PM

I dunno, J.E. The NYT said he got his inspiration from Muslim-hating American bloggers. And they spent far less space saying so.

Howard Portnoy on July 25, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Hey, HP, can I help it if this nutball is verbose? (You don’t even want to know how much chocolate was involved in wading through his manifesto.)

J.E. Dyer on July 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

…His hall of European fame is a series of military commanders who fought against Muslim armies in centuries past (the most recent being Czar Nicholas I in the 19th century).

These images are not compelling to conservatives in the US, and I don’t see any evidence that they are the organizing idea for classical-liberal thinkers or political parties in Europe….

That’s what makes me groan when I see some Tea Party guys dressed up like George Washington with the jacket, wig, and buckle shoes. Yes, the founders’ ideas matter a great deal but what beneficial impact does that dorky theater have on, for example, a high school kid who’s been getting indoctrinated? An old fart in silly clothes is not going to get the message across. Labored gimmicks from another time lessen the impact of simply telling the truth.

Django on July 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Hey, HP, can I help it if this nutball is verbose? (You don’t even want to know how much chocolate was involved in wading through his manifesto.)

J.E. Dyer on July 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Did you read it all?
Great job btw.

the_nile on July 25, 2011 at 5:14 PM

That is partly because Breivik seeks a form of tribal symbology and validation that modern society has grown comparatively comfortable without. Mainstream classical-liberalism in Europe doesn’t offer the mystical power of either Norse gods or a Latin-speaking church with its own army of knights.

And that’s part of Europe’s enervation and decline. Europeans have gone from having world wars every other generation to being too passive and self-hating to care if their civilization lives or dies. Breivik is a solitary revival of the nutso, mass murdering European mentality of the early 20th century. It would be nice if Europeans could find a sane mid-point between the two unhealthy states.

Django on July 25, 2011 at 5:20 PM

And that’s part of Europe’s enervation and decline. Europeans have gone from having world wars every other generation to being too passive and self-hating to care if their civilization lives or dies. Breivik is a solitary revival of the nutso, mass murdering European mentality of the early 20th century. It would be nice if Europeans could find a sane mid-point between the two unhealthy states.

Django on July 25, 2011 at 5:20 PM

…and I trust that sweeping generalisation didn’t interfere too much with your big mac and fries…

callingallcomets on July 25, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Thanks, JED….first piece of cool analysis I have seen anywhere on this oddball. As such, of course, it will be ignored at the NYT, Guardian and BBC…

callingallcomets on July 25, 2011 at 6:34 PM

…and I trust that sweeping generalisation didn’t interfere too much with your big mac and fries…

callingallcomets on July 25, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Perhaps you should do some research on European history. The continent has been the site of near-constant wars ever since the Dark Ages – England, France, and the Germanic nations being the worst offenders.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 25, 2011 at 8:18 PM

“Gang alliances” was a part of our everyday life at that point and assured that you avoided threats and harassment. Alliances with the right people guaranteed safe passage everywhere without the risk of being subdued and robbed (Jizya), beaten or harassed…

Even at that time, the Muslim gangs were very dominating in Oslo East and in inner city Oslo. They even arranged “raids” in Oslo West occasionally, subduing the native youths (kuffars) and collecting Jizya from them (in the form of cell phones, cash, sunglasses etc.). I remember they systematically harassed, robbed and beat ethnic Norwegian youngsters who were unfortunate enough to not have the right affiliations…

Many of these groups claim to be tolerant and anti-fascist, but yet, I have never met anyone as hypocritical, racist and fascist as the people whom I used to call friends and allies. The media glorifies them while they wreck havoc across the city, rob and plunder. Yet, any attempts their victims do to consolidate are harshly condemned by all aspects of the cultural establishment as racism and Nazism. I have witnessed the double standards and hypocrisy with my own eyes, it is hard to ignore.

I have personally heard of and witnessed hundreds of Jihadi-racist attacks, more than 90% of them aimed at helpless Norwegian youth (who themselves are brought up to be “suicidally” tolerant and therefore are completely unprepared mentally for attacks such as these). This happens while the Marxist networks in the hiphop movement and the cultural establishment silently and indirectly condone it. There is absolutely no political will to ensure that justice is served on behalf of these victims…

This is a profound indictment of leftists, leftist policies, and behavior. In this case, Muslim depravity is a direct consequence of Norwegian leftism. It is a mistake to give short-shrift to experience based on the crimes fanciful solutions of the author. Some monsters are born and others are made. This one was made by the left and turned on its creators with ferocious cruelty. He murdered the children, which is still a shocking thing in the West — though not so much as to exact the proper penalty of death.

This crime was a more straight-forward, comprehensible evil, with no excuse for confusion leading to failure to punish. Leftists, on the other hand, are something else. They learned not to murder the bodies in the open, but to destroy the souls. How much more clever it is to destroy people rather than murder them. Leftists mastered the art in so many different ways, and they get away with it.

Excepting abortion, they don’t kill the kids directly, but they destroy them with paroled pedophiles, teachers acting as the trench-coated pervs of yesteryear, brutalizing them with immigrant thugs, and using drugs and popular culture to murder the innocence of childhood. Where is justice?

It’s tempting to dismiss Breivik as a singular lunatic. In some ways that is true, but it’s not the whole story. There must be awareness and democratic redress for the depravity of leftism, and soon, or God help us.

Feedie on July 26, 2011 at 6:08 AM

crimes and fanciful solutions of the author.

I’ve been having trouble with the Preview button lately. It only works part of the time.

Feedie on July 26, 2011 at 6:16 AM

Jeez. George R.R. Martin’s latest is just over a 1000 pages.

Slacker.

winoceros on July 26, 2011 at 3:33 PM

People in America have not read the countless stories…the blogs, the anecdotes snuck out of country because the press is in bed with Islam…this is the way of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Britannia, Finland, France, Belgium…

He is 32. He is discussing his teen years, and no one here understands the roving gangs of Muslims who have taken over their dhimmi populations, exacted jizya and raped thousands of European girls.

Look down the street…right, left, past the flower pots. When you call about the grafitti, dismayed, to have it removed, it gets done. No one here can imagine what has been occurring for the last 20 years in Europe. They think it’s just little isolated enclaves, if they think about it at all, which is unlikely. Like little Hassidic compounds whom you never see or crazy Fundamentalist Mormon types who are still ruining lives with polygamy and incest and slavery.

Wake up, people. As bad as those fundy weirdos of the West are, they are not trying to take over the country. These people are! And if you talk to non-Muslim teens in Detroit I will bet you a million dollars you will hear the same stories, and I’ll bet another million that the Muslim police chief of Dearborn doesn’t let you know all the non-Muslim rapes committed by Muslim sexual terrorists.

This freak and murderer was unable to wait for the politics and just war to catch up to his valid complaints. He is a criminal, and those same lefty losers, brainwashed, will scratch their heads when they figure out he’s going to get out of jail when he’s still blond, not gray.

What are they going to do about that lost generation of Norwegians? I don’t mean the ones gunned down.

I mean the ones who endured the dhimmitude of Anders and his peers, and the ones who were subjugated because they didn’t take the “protection” offered the dhimma.

Where are those men and women, now?

winoceros on July 26, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Excellent work, J.E.

Probably the best analysis of Breivik I have read anywhere, and that includes Norwegian media.

Norwegian on July 27, 2011 at 3:49 PM