While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer, nothing is more difficult than to understand him.
-– Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Many people, both inside and outside of Norway, are now struggling to make sense of the horrific terrorist attack that recently took place on what was once peaceful Norwegian soil and how anyone could so cold-bloodedly slaughter so many people, especially young teenagers.
And while arguments are raging and fingers are pointing regarding the causes and influences concerning the devastating attack, at its base the horrible massacre may not be a political act at all. Like with Communist, Nazi and Islamic terrorists, the psychological motivations behind Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik’s heinous murderous spree are to be found in thanatophilia, or worship of death, rather than in any political or religious dogma.
Some of the personal facts presented so far concerning Breivik are striking in their similarity to those of terrorists involved in the three other great death movements mentioned above despite the eras being decades apart and very different in culture and traditions. Like many of the Communist, Nazi and Islamist terrorists, Breivik was young, intelligent, educated and did not live in poverty. Breivik, according to his own account, also lacked religious feeling and was a nominal Christian, if that.
“I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person as that would be a lie,” Breivik is reported to have written in his manifesto. “I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment.”
Concerning Breivik’s religious adherence, Asia Times columnist Spengler (a literary pseudonym) rightly states: “It cheapens our grief to identify Breivik …as a Christian. And it denigrates Norway’s terrible loss to instrumentalize the event.”
Another trait Breivik shares with the three death movements is his willingness to die for his stated cause. Breivik expressed his death wish in his manifesto, indicating he fully expected to die during his murderous rampage. He wrote that in the days leading up to the massacre he was going to have a “last martyrdom celebration” with a couple of call girls and some expensive bottles of wine. He also was going to attend a “final martyr’s mass.” The two preparatory events were intended to ease his mind which he imagined would get “tense and very nervous.
“It is easier to face death if you know you are biologically, mentally and spiritually at ease,” Breivik wrote, showing his shooting spree was to be a suicide-terrorist act.
Boston College historian Anna Geifman has analysed this death wish found among terrorists in her book Death Orders: The Vanguard of Modern Terrorism in Revolutionary Russia. Geifman claims modern terrorism has its roots in the radical socialist terrorist movement of pre-revolutionary Russia, starting about 1905, and traces its development to the present day.
Many Russian revolutionaries, Geifman claims, knew little about socialist theory, while Islamic terrorists are often ignorant of the Koran’s teachings. These terrorists, like Breivik, use a political cause simply as a means and a camouflage to sacrifice themselves and others to their god of death, sacrifices their pagan deity demands. Geifman compares these death worshippers, or thantophiles, to India’s Thugs who murdered thousands of innocent travellers as human sacrifices to their death goddess, Kali. And Kali’s followers, like Breivik, could even be found in the middle and upper reaches of society.
While there may be a practical reason in his demented worldview why Breivik targeted so many young people, as they do represent the future leaders of Norway’s multicultural-supporting Labour Party he so detested, thanatophilia is also involved. Geifman maintains the 2004 attack on the school in Beslan, in which 186 Russian children died, was a natural development in modern terrorism’s century-long history. It was an act of death worship, in which “the death-worshippers took their sacrificial destruction to a whole new level” by targeting children. Islamic terrorists have also taken over a school and deliberately targeted young people in Israel.
Death worshippers, Geifman believes, have to target children and young people, since they are the essence of life, the center and future of every family and community. The murder of this life-giving force by Breivik and those of his ilk therefore make them a more worthy offering to their Kali. And this targeting of the young also serves as a plausible warning where death-worshipping terrorists will strike next.
It is noteworthy that Breivik did not go to Labour Party headquarters and carry out his massacre there among the people directly responsible for the multiculturalism he so hated. Instead, the vast majority of his victims were blameless regarding the political policy that sparked his mass homicide.
Unfortunately for the civilized world, this is the savage trend of modern terrorism. Geifman states that its hallmark in the last hundred years is a degeneration from “punishment of individual adversaries” to “indiscriminate cruelty and carried out en masse.
“In fact those who die are not the primary targets,” Geifman states.
Terrorists also do not hide the fact they are death worshippers. Islamic terrorists have often said they love death like Westerners love life. The Soviet newspaper Pravda was just as explicit about the end game of the Communist death cult when it stated in 1920: “Those who replace us will have to build on the silence of the graveyard.”
And that is exactly what Breivik has done in Oslo. Like Beslan and New York after 9⁄11, the Norwegian terrorist has created “a dead zone” where a cemetery-like atmosphere will predominate for weeks to come. And it is these dead zones that death-worshipping terrorists want to spread worldwide. Governments ignore the lessons of Beslan and Oslo at their peril.