Hours before car bombing government buildings in Oslo and shooting dead 85 youngsters at a summer camp on tiny Utoya island, Anders Behring Breivik posted his personal manifesto on YouTube.
In a video and lengthy document Breivik called on fellow rightwingers to “embrace martyrdom” in the conservative cause.
In the video, posted just hours before he embarked on his killing spree, Breivik proclaims himself not a racist but a crusader against Marxism and islam. He poses in a wetsuit, brandishing an automatic weapon.
The accompanying document outlines his political and religious views and explains that he’ll launch a violent attack “dressed up as a police officer”. That, he said, would be “awesome as people will be astonished”.
Breivik titled his video ” Knights Templar 2083″. The document, titled “A European Declaration of Independence”, lambasted communist ideas, multiculturalism and Muslim immigration to Europe and Scandinavia. He addressed his words to “my 7,000 patriotic Facebook friends”.
“There are situations” he told those friends “in which cruelty is necessary, and refusing to apply necessary cruelty is a betrayal of the people whom you wish to protect. The preferred method is to attack in a violent and deceptive form (shock attack).”
Writing as ‘Andrew Berwick’, Breivik added that his manifesto had taken nine years to write and had cost him 300,000 euros.
He explained that he saw his killing spree as:
“The first drop of rain [marking] the coming of a great and unstoppable cultural conservative tidal wave. The tidal wave will cleanse Western Europe of cultural Marxism and will result in the banishment of Islam for the third time. The European tree of liberty will be refreshed by the blood of our patriots and of the Marxist tyrants. This civil war will last several decades but we will succeed. Never forget that we fight so that you and your children can remain free. For a future Europe safe from the tyranny of cultural-Marxism and of Islam. A Europe worth dying for.”
Breivik added that in his view, Japan and South Korea are models for Europe. Both countries, he said, approach “cultural conservatism and nationalism at its best”.
Breivik’s head was also full of religious ideas. His document talks of wanting to see Protestantism merge into Catholicism.
The sorry tale of Breivik’s mental health and massive crime shows how some people are prone to obsess about extreme religious and political ideas and come up with violent results.
Though he’ll be seen as a lone nutcase, he’s far from it. The contemporary world is sadly packed with people whose heads and hearts are full of dangerous and delusional ideas centring on one political ideology or another, and irrational faiths and dogmas.
Breivik hit the headlines with a terrible and relatively isolated crime. He took his extreme opinions to what he saw as a logical conclusion. Undoubtedly, poor mental health played a part in his act. But political and religious extremism were central to the muddle in his head and his heart.