Friday, 24 August 2012

Anders Behring Breivik is judged 'sane.'

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik (C) gestures as he arrives in the court room at Oslo Courthouse August 24, 2012. The Norwegian court delivers its verdict in the ten-week trial of gunman Breivik on Friday, deciding whether to send the anti-Muslim militant to jail or a mental hospital for the massacre of 77 people last summer. REUTERS/Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix/Pool

There was never any dispute that Anders Breivik is a coward and an unrepentant mass-murderer, who will always remain a threat to the public. Today, he has been judged technically 'sane' by a Norwegian court and sentenced to 21 years in prison (which effectively means for the rest of his life). Predictably, Breivik grinned as his fate was announced and, when given the opportunity to speak, he began to apologise to his fellow European extremists for not having killed more of their (imagined) multi-cultural enemies, but he was quickly interrupted by Judge Artzen.

At the beginning of Breivik's trial, I wrote: 

'Due to a mountain of evidence and a confession, there is no doubt that Breivik committed the heinous crimes with which he is charged, but following due process of law, a Norwegian court (comprising 5 Judges headed by Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen) is actually going to decide whether Breivik should be confined to a prison cell for the rest of his life as a criminal who was fully-responsible for his acts, or confined to a secure psychiatric hospital as an irresponsible, criminally-insane man. Whilst an initial medical report (not generally welcomed by the families of his victims) concluded that Breivik could not stand trial, because he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, another one (apparently welcomed by Breivik) said that he should stand trial, because he suffers from severe and inflexible Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and is, therefore, not technically 'psychotic' (i.e. suffering from a severe mental derangement especially when resulting in delusions and loss of contact with external reality). Other, medically-qualified commentators have even put forward the somewhat weird suggestion that Breivik, who insists that he is perfectly sane, might be faking psychosis... Undoubtedly, the Norwegian court will examine the evidence, apply common-sense and conclude that Breivik is an evil, and deluded, liar with the mind of a disturbed adolescent who is living in a non-rational dream world (in which he judges what is right and what is wrong), and which (given the slightest opportunity) he will again seek to transform into a nightmare reality.'

'Indeed, the grinning Breivik has already tried to convert those present in the courtroom to his own inverted-model of morality/reality, and it is not difficult to imagine the catastrophic influence he could wield over vulnerable persons.'

One week into Breivik's trial, I wrote:

'At the heart of Breivik's trial is the question of whether he is, or was, able to judge the difference between right and wrong. Two, apparently conflicting, psychological reports (compiled by forensic psychiatrists) say that he is either suffering from paranoid schizophrenia (and, therefore, according to medical textbooks, psychotic), or suffering from severe and inflexible Narcissistic Personality Disorder (and, therefore, according to medical textbooks, not psychotic). The authors of the first report noted that, at various times, Breivik spoke of his intention to die in defence of Christendom, whilst at other times he spoke of his intentions to be named as the 'Regent of Norway' and to set up racially-pure, human breeding colonies. Self-evidently, no matter what puerile drivel he spouts, Breivik's behaviour has proved that he is, and was, living in a paranoid delusion of his own absolute moral and intellectual authority fundamental to the maintenance of his self-esteem/identity and related psychological function. He has rejected traditional morality and placed himself above the rule of law. Thus, Breivik now steadfastly pretends to be absolutely righteous even though all the quantifiable evidence proves him to be downright evil. Breivik remains certain that he alone represents the truth, and he acts accordingly.'

'Although Anders Breivik has only imagined, rather than actually instigated, a cult, he is not unique, and I would recommend anyone wanting to delve into the twisted minds of such evil persons, to read  'Destroying the World to Save It,' Professor Robert Jay Lifton, New York Metropolitan Books, 1999.'

David Brear (copyright 2012)

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