The Breivik Myths, Part 1

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The Breivik Myths, Part 1
by Fjordman

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 people in Norway. First with a car bomb that killed eight people in central Oslo, and then with a shooting massacre that killed 69 people on the island of Utøya outside Oslo. Years later ABB can still make headlines in international media. In July 2015, it was confirmed that he will be allowed to study political science at the University of Oslo from his prison cell. This was mentioned in mass media throughout the Western world, from the BBC [1] to Fox News.[2] However, the mass media are very selective regarding what they say about Breivik.

In early 2014, Breivik sent a letter in English from prison to various Western media. He there stated in plain words that he is not an anti-Islamic activist. On the contrary, he wanted to use the mass media to damage peaceful Islam-critical writers.[3] Hardly any established Western media [4] mentioned this revelation with [5] a single word in 2014. Presumably, it did not suit their agenda. Some alternative media did mention this, however.[6]

Breivik has become something of a modern myth. He is being presented as a rational and sane mass murderer, a white heterosexual right-wing extremist, a “Christian terrorist” and an alleged “Islamophobic” activist. The only facts that are indisputable is that he is a white man and a mass murderer. The remaining claims are either highly questionable or just plain wrong.

ABB was declared insane by the first psychiatrists who studied him in 2011. The forensic psychiatrists Torgeir Husby and Synne Sørheim found that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and was delusional. They did not doubt this conclusion. Breivik’s main defense lawyer Geir Lippestad stated that he was not surprised by the psychiatrists’ findings.[7] Lippestad told reporters in late July 2011 that “this whole case has indicated that he is insane.”[8] Geir Lippestad further states in his book about this case from 2013 that some members of his defense team also believed that Breivik is insane.[9]

However, this conclusion triggered outrage among the mass media. The media and some political forces started a prolonged and vicious campaign of character assassination against the two psychiatrists, who were simply doing their job. Some colleagues warned against a veritable “witch-hunt” on Husby and Sørheim.[10] The establishment clearly wanted Breivik to be an anti-Islamic “right-wing extremist,” not a madman.

Following intense media pressure, the Oslo District Court and judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen in January 2012 appointed new psychiatrists to conduct another study of Breivik.[11] This decision was virtually unprecedented in Norwegian legal history until that point.[12] The second pair of forensic psychiatrists, Terje Tørrissen and Agnar Aspaas, delivered their report in April 2012, a few days before the trial was about to begin. They concluded that Breivik is legally sane.[13] After a trial lasting months, even though the perpetrator had confessed and everybody agreed that he was guilty, Arntzen and her co-judges found Breivik sane on August 24, 2012. They based their ruling entirely on the report made by the second pair of forensic psychiatrists, which judge Arntzen herself had appointed a few months earlier. Lawyer Morten Furuholmen commented that the court had failed their task. In his view, the verdict was the result of a “massive, relentless pressure” from external sources.[14]

The Oslo court declared that Anders Behring Breivik is sane and inspired by a right-wing extremist Islamophobic ideology. This happens to be exactly what the entire political establishment, from the major mass media to Labour Party Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, wanted the judges to say. PM Stoltenberg publicly stated on national TV before the trial began that the best outcome of the upcoming legal process would be for Breivik to be declared sane.[15] Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen was appointed to the Supreme Court of Norway two years later, in 2014.[16] Some powerful individuals and groups were apparently happy with the job she had done. However, many people still suspect that the first psychiatric report may have been correct.

Norway’s Board of Forensic Medicine approved the initial psychiatric evaluation. “There are no significant comments on the evaluation,” the board, led by psychiatrist Karl Heinrik Melle, said.[17] In contrast, the Board of Forensic Medicine had objections to the second evaluation that found ABB to be sane.[18]

The initial report made by Torgeir Husby and Synne Sørheim was based on multiple meetings with Breivik in the months immediately following his attacks in 2011. All of these conversations took place during a period when Breivik lived in relative isolation from the rest of the world. He had no direct contact with the mass media, only with the police interrogators, his defense attorneys and the two forensic psychiatrists. There is good reason to assume that he was being honest about his thoughts then. This was not the case with the second report.

The second pair of forensic psychiatrists talked to Breivik later and under less optimal conditions. He now had personal access to the media. After reading what the newspapers wrote about him, Breivik suddenly and substantially changed his statements to the police and the psychiatrists in order to be considered sane. Both the police interrogators[19] and ABB’s attorney Lippestad admitted that Breivik changed his statements in 2012.[20]

Several professors of psychiatry in Norway, among them Tor K. Larsen and Alv A. Dahl, have criticized the court’s verdict from August 2012 for displaying a flawed understanding of what constitutes insanity.[21]

Peter Kramp, for years a leading member of the Clinic of Forensic Psychiatry in Denmark, agreed with the initial diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. He argued in an essay in the newspaper Politiken why it was correct.[22] Also in Denmark, the psychiatrists Aksel Bertelsen, Merete Nordentoft and Ole Mors published an essay in the paper Berlingske Tidende arguing that Breivik probably suffers from undiagnosed and untreated paranoid schizophrenia.[23] If true, his apparent pattern of a gradually deteriorating mental state in early adulthood is fairly common, although his actions are fortunately not common.

Sten Levander, a respected professor emeritus in the fields of general and forensic psychiatry in Sweden, listened to Breivik’s public statements at the beginning of the trial in Oslo. According to him, Breivik is immersed in a world totally of his own making. “To me it’s obvious that the guy is crazy,” Levander stated.[24] Yet he also added that how mad you can be while still being held criminally accountable for your actions is a legal as well as a medical matter. Levander has criticized the unusual step taken by the Oslo District Court in demanding a second psychiatric evaluation as giving in to political and mass media pressure. Neither the prosecutors nor Breivik’s defense lawyers wanted a second evaluation. Levander noted that it is wrong to assume that medical insanity cannot coexist with elements of long-term planning and seemingly rational behavior.[25] He stressed that recognizing insanity obviously does not mean that evil does not exist. In certain cases, a mentally ill person might also be described as evil.

The news program Deadline at Denmark’s state broadcaster DR on July 22, 2013, two years after the attacks, held a debate about the case.[26] Even the long-time Communist activist Poul Villaume, now a Professor at University of Copenhagen, agreed that Breivik’s attacks were a highly unusual and probably unique event. He argued that Breivik’s extreme violence against unarmed teenagers was so horrifying that it was likely to disgust most people regardless of political color. In other words, it was counterproductive.

This is, coincidentally, the same argument that critics of Islamization have made from the very beginning. Even terrorist groups normally have some kind of cynical logic behind their attacks, to increase support for their cause or achieve specific objectives. Yet no sane person could seriously believe that butchering dozens of people at Utøya, including children down to the age of 14, could increase his number of supporters among the general public. This implies that Breivik is either not sane or did not have the objective he claims to have had. Perhaps he is insane, or perhaps he simply wanted to become famous, and chose an unusually ruthless path to do so.

In September 2013, Denmark’s state broadcaster DR staged a rational radio discussion with medical professionals and experts in the field of psychiatry on whether Breivik is sane or insane. The participants were the medical doctors Kristina Milting, Igor Petrov, René Sjælland and Lars Siersbæk Nilsson. The host was the brain scientist Peter Lund Madsen, who is respected for popularizing research into the human brain.[27]

We do not possess descriptions from former teachers or classmates indicating that ABB came off as obviously insane during his school days. In hindsight, 2006 appears to have been a turning point. This is when he moved back home to live with his mother in Oslo. He became even worse after 2010. He was then described as irritable and increasingly unstable by his own mother, who feared that he was going insane. He also became abnormally obsessed with disease and cleanliness. Breivik indicated in conversations that he can predict other people’s thoughts and read their minds. He also has a very unusual way of speaking.

Dr. René Sjælland indicated that the way Breivik behaved from 2006 until 2011 is actually fairly typical for people who develop paranoid schizophrenia. He displayed a gradual, but marked change of social behavior and became more reclusive, displaying non-rational fear of germs, disease, noises and insects. The change happened gradually over several years. He became even worse in 2010-2011. At that point, his own mother feared that Anders was going insane. The police investigation shows that it was during this period he bought much of the guns, ammunition, body armor and other equipment that he used for his 2011 attacks.

During the initial talks with forensic psychiatrists, Breivik showed almost no facial mimic of any kind. He was emotionally detached, stared into the air and seemed to live in a different reality from the rest of us. René Sjælland indicated that the first pair of forensic psychiatrists were probably correct. Breivik’s symptoms are indeed compatible with the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. The drugs and anabolic steroids he took may have affected his level of aggression, but not nearly enough to explain why he decided to carry out attacks.

Dr. Lars Siersbæk Nilsson was critical of the second forensic report, which declared Breivik sane. It came about in an atmosphere of extreme political and media pressure. In Nilsson’s view, the second pair of psychiatrists downplayed, ignored or tried to explain away credible information indicating that Breivik could be insane. The early interview with his mother where she stated that she feared her son had been going insane was hardly mentioned in the second report. The major point for them was that Breivik’s attacks required extensive planning, and that you cannot do this you are insane. As Nilsson indicated, this is an incorrect view of insanity. Plenty of people who suffer from schizophrenia or other types of serious mental illness can nevertheless show calculated behavior and extensive planning. Some schizophrenics can have careers or even win Nobel Prizes. That was the case with the American mathematician John Forbes Nash.

Anders Behring Breivik has claimed to be a “Commander” of the alleged international terrorist network Knights Templar. Years later, a very extensive investigation has not found a single trace of this organization. Not even one person, apart from ABB. This entirely imaginary organization seems to exist only in Breivik’s rather twisted mind. Yet Breivik carried out his attacks on behalf of this imaginary entity. He even made Knights Templar medals and uniforms. Many people still suspect that these ideas represent psychiatric delusions.


1. Anders Breivik accepted at Norway’s University of Oslo 17 July 2015.
2. Oslo university admits mass killer Breivik to study program July 17, 2015.
4. The Blaze: Media obligated to report on Breivik’s claim he wanted to destroy counter-jihad movement February 21, 2014 By Robert Spencer
5. Media Refuses to Report on Norway Mass Murderer Bombshell Motive By Pamela Geller on February 21, 2014.
6. Nordic Terrorist Makes Bombshell Claim — and the Media Missed It Feb. 21, 2014 by Benjamin Weingarten.  
7. Norway massacre: Breivik declared insane 29 November 2011.
8. Breivik’s lawyer: ‘This case has indicated he is insane’ 26 July 2011.
9.   “Det vi kan stå for” Book by Geir Lippestad, published in Norwegian by Aschehoug in 2013. Pages 98 and 118.
10. — Det er en heksejakt mot Sørheim og Husby June 13, 2012.
11. — Ingen kritikk av Breivik-rapporten January 13, 2012.
12. — Dette har aldri skjedd før January 13, 2012.
13. Dueling diagnoses roil trial of Norway killer Breivik June 14, 2012.
14. Furuholmen: Retten har ikke klart oppgaven sin August 24, 2012.
15. — Statsministeren bør ikke uttale seg om rettssakens utfall April 14, 2012.
16. Supreme Court Justice Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen, from 2014.
17. Norway Forensic Board Approves Breivik Insanity Evaluation December 22, 2011.
18. Norway Forensic Board Objects to Second Breivik Evaluation April 23, 2012.
19. Breivik endret personlighet under avhørene May 31, 2012.
20. — Breivik tilpasser forklaringen etter mediene March 24, 2012.
21. Mener Breivik ble vurdert på feil grunnlag Published June 28 2013.
22. Retspsykiatrien gav Breivik den rigtige diagnose Published February 13 2012.
23. Har Breivik virkelig paranoid skizofreni? February 22, 2012.
24. “Det är uppenbart att han är tokig” April 17, 2012.
25.–bade-teoretiskt-och-kliniskt “Cullberg har fel om Breivik — både teoretiskt och kliniskt” 2011-12-09.
26.   The news program “Deadline” at Denmark’s state broadcaster DR on July 22, 2013.
27. Var Anders Behring Breivik sindssyg? Hjernekassen DR P1 September 9, 2013.


For a complete archive of Fjordman’s writings, see the multi-index listing in the Fjordman Files.

27 thoughts on “The Breivik Myths, Part 1

  1. How is the surname Breivik pronounced? I have always thought it was “BRAY-vick”, but I recently heard someone on the radio pronounce it as “BRY-vick” (rhymes with “HIGH stick”). Which is correct?

      • ‘EI’ is always pronounced as in hay or way in Norwegian and Swedish. ALWAYS. EI as ‘eye’ is German.

        So sorry Lady D, but you must have misunderstood; his name is pron. BRAY veek, and the ‘R’ in Norwegian is trilled once, so that to some English ears it almost sounds like a soft ‘D’

        • That was actually me, using D’s computer.

          I asked a Dane, and then a Norwegian. They both told me “BRY-vik”. If they’re wrong, well, maybe there are different Norwegian dialects or something. I’d be happy to hear from other Scandinavians on this.

        • I asked Fjordman, and it seems I must have misunderstood previously (and the Dane, not being Norwegian, got it wrong): it’s “BRAY-vik”. I stand corrected.

          He says it’s not quite the same vowel as we use in English, but it’s the closest match.

          • Me again Baron, I did say Norwegian or Swedish, because it doesn’t apply to Danish, which sounds like Norwegian spoken through a mouthful of porridge.

            Neighbours of ours here have the surname Vik, which everyone mispronounces Vick, but in Norwegian ‘veek’.
            Breivik, BTW, = wide bay.
            Viking= person from a bay or inlet.

          • Greig (pronounced “greeg”) is a common Scottish surname. The great-grandfather of composer Edvard Grieg, who emigrated to Norway, altered the spelling so that the locals would pronounce it correctly.

            Superfluous after the above, I know, but maybe interesting?

  2. Well, here on the eve of the anniversary of this horror, I’m still waiting for the announcement that this paranoid schizophrenic was really the author of the whole of his manifesto. I’m waiting for the linguistic forensic report on his writing…if anyone were to perform due diligence on that work, they could demarcate the sections written by a native English speaker.

    Only no one is going to do that. Any more than they are going to explain how someone in his physical and mental condition collected those thousands of email addresses to which he sent his manifesto.

    I’m still searching in the rubble for the cui bono – cui bono the MOST – in this tragedy. Until someone comes up with real explanations, I will continue to believe he was groomed by some of those three-letter American “consular personnel” who fled after the Wiki leaks fiasco…and left that boy on his own…

    To this day, I don’t think Norway’s intellligence bureau took the information seriously. “Another American pipe dream” – refusing to see the US Dept of State as being in the business of setting up “lonerightwingextremistwhiteguys”…you can find the Hillary pronouncements on this great danger.

    One thing the groomers did was convince ABB that he was to be the leader of a group. That’s why the pictures and the regalia. He thought his peeps would rescue him.

    And the groomers left a way for the Norwegians to catch him before he could set the bombs off…but no one listened. The plan to roll him up and jail him before any damage was done went sadly awry.

  3. Breivick was a murderer: BUT

    1. Europe is being colonized so are the other Continents.

    2. Westerners are half asleep. Scandinavians are full asleep. They need “John” to waken them with a “cling”.

    3. Europe is being flooded by muslims and Governments and muslims are building Eurabia.

    4. EU and western Enmity to wards peaceful oppressed Israel is phenomenal. Love towards Iran and other beheaders is phenomenal.

    5. Disaster is waiting Europeans streets. Multicultu is horrible . . . simply because you cannot control what others/ muslims will do to you, behave, establish. . .

    6. This is a world of wolves: if you make a stupid sheep of yourself you can always find a wolf to devour you.

    7. Stupidity with horns: EU is forcing its member states to take billions of muslims and expect their economy not to collapse. Donkeys …. what kind of logic is that?

    8. Insane traitors like these will produce someone like Br.

    9. Westerners have lost their reason and logic. Trump shows some logic and just see the hostile reaction.

    10. Ignore US debt. Ignore US cities being flooded by muslims, and ignore Iran’s supremacy and haughtiness, and any other major problems. Don’t change course, get elected, and let the nation go to dogs.

    What a marvelous Democracy to die for. !!!!

    • OK it’s just my opinion, but you’ve got a lot right.

      It’s always irritated me that so many people jump on Breivik while people like Stoltenberg and Reinfeldt from Swedistan next door are regarded as ‘great men and upright citizens’ while in fact they have knowingly ‘killed their entire countries’, given them over to murderous Islamic trash.

      I notice Fjordman has no time for Breivik, and seeks to distance himself as much as possible from the fact he was mentioned in the infamous manifesto, along with others also mentioned. Going to be difficult for Churchill and others!

  4. I dont hink he is insane. He had to act strangely when he was doing all this work prior to the attack. He knew that he could be labeled insane – that is in the manifesto. He changed some of his language i 2012 to avoid any undermining of his message. No insane or depressed person would have been able to accomplish this elaborate bombmaking process.

    • I think you missed the extensively-made point by Fjordman that a clinically insane person can be capable of carrying out an extended and well-planned campaign to achieve a goal.

  5. Breivik was a set-up…..

  6. The circumstances indicate a Nato/Gladio type of operation. While not every individual seeming anomaly surrounding the events of 22/7 may turn out to be the smoking gun of such a false flag, there is just too much of it. The drill setting is not the first case – same thing in London 7/7 and there too there is abundant proof of a conspiracy targeting innocent ‘patsies’. What is the probability that the drill was organized by chance to coincide with the ‘lone nut’-conspiracy of ABB?
    I dont think he is crazy – he may well be playing his part together with the other Us/Uk intel conspirators. Several observers point to Israeli involvement as well as strong motives on their part. Norway was the most ‘disobedient’ to the PC agenda regarding Palestine. Moreover in october after the massacre Britain got Norway to break their bonds with Russia in their joint petroleum project and instead Norway signed a 100 billion dollar contract with Britain. And there was more ‘disobedience’ concerning Libya.

    • Your post makes no sense.

      You say that Israel was involved in the Breivik shootings because ” Norway was the most ‘disobedient’ to the PC agenda regarding Palestine.”

      The PC agenda is to isolate and weaken Israel. So, Israel participates in a murder rampage in Norway because Norway is the country most supportive of Israel? Israel must be crazy.

      I have no idea of the logic of the rest of your post.

      • That makes two of us.
        People are making up all sorts of theories over why Breivik went on his murderous spree, when it should be obvious the man snapped over seeing his beautiful country ruined by leftist madmen who opened the gates and dragged in third world mainly muslim rabble who lie, steal, rape and murder; who have taken over busses and knifed Norwegians, who pee and defecate whenever and wherever they feel like it, one pushed past the stewardess on a plane and took an axe to the pilot in mid flight, (the muslim was overpowered and the pilot managed to land the plane before being rushed to hospital) who throw acid into the faces of Norwegian girls when they are not admitted to a private party, who make NO contribution to Norway. (or any other country)

        Faced with that kind of behaviour by the so called immigrants, and a traitorous PM Stoltenberg who ‘sticks it’ to his own countrymen by appointing a Pakistani muslim woman as CULTURE minister would (and did) infuriate Norwegians, so it shouldn’t be so hard to understand why he hoped to bomb the government first.

        Utøya? One would have thought a full mosque on Friday, but then the appeasers and enablers are worse than the muslims, and he probably reasoned the teenagers were the leftists of tomorrow.

  7. Is Fjordman unemployed? Asking, because I am working in the same sector.

  8. And the judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen responsible for sentencing a “sane” Breivik to jail was later appointed a Norwegian supreme court justice.

  9. After reading Fjordman’s article again, particularly with regard to the several names mentioned who said (reasonably) that no sane person could just murder 69 teenagers in cold blood, ergo, Breivik must be insane.

    By that reasoning, however, surely the entire islamic state (isis) is composed of madmen; and further, that anyone stupid enough to follow the koran literally–which muslims are exhorted to do–must at the very least be mentally suspect. Well?

    • I think you don’t make enough of a distinction between insanity, which is a distortion of reality and thinking processes on the one hand, and a character behavior disorder like sociopathy or narcissism on the other.

      They are not mutually exclusive, but it is quite possible for a person to have no conscience or empathy towards other people, while maintaining a correct picture of reality and logical thought processes. Look at Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs” for an example. He happened to enjoy torturing, murdering and eating people, but his logical processes were intact.

  10. FJordman would do well to think upon the judicial use of the term “insane. In norwegian legalese, it means “not responsibe at the time of the action”, that is “not aware of consequences”. This does not apply to druginduced states of being. Since Breivik had eaten drugs for quite a while before comitting the deed, he had exclused himself by choice from that definition.

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