The truth about Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is bound to disappoint anyone on either end of the political spectrum who might have hoped to exploit his actions for propaganda purposes: he really was just a lone nut.
First, debunking his claim to be at the center of a vast anti-Islamic terrorist network, the police concluded that he acted alone. And now, as reported here on November 29th, the court-appointed psychiatrists have found that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
Believing oneself to be endowed with a grandiose mission is typical of such patients. Sometimes they imagine that their incomprehensible scribbles conceal an earth-shaking formula to rival the discoveries of Einstein. Sometimes they think they have been chosen to save the world from Martian invaders or a next-door neighbor possessed by Satan.
But sometimes their belief system is cobbled together from less obviously fantastical elements. Breivik drew on polemical writings from the political fringes that many people might deem “crazy,” but not in a clinical sense. What was truly delusional about Breivik was the exalted world-historical role he assigned himself.
By telling the police he was a Knight Templar and the “Commander” of a...More >>