First there was this:
And then there was this:
What a difference four years makes in his choice of power salutes!
In the spring of 2012, Anders Behring Breivik gave — incoherently — a black power salute at the opening of his trial. For readers who were old enough to remember, his gesture evoked the salutes given by two black American athletes at the Olympics awards ceremony in Mexico City in 1968:
But maybe Mr. Breivik intended a more generalized socialist revolutionary motif à la Che Guevara, which is what I riffed on when I made this digital composite at the time of the trial:
In his “manifesto”, the Butcher of Utøya expressed admiration for Che, so perhaps that was his rationale for the salute. If in fact a man as nuts as he is had any rationale.
Since then, of course, Mr. Breivik has moved on from International Socialism to National Socialism. Once he had been incarcerated for a while, he seemed to feel it was safe to “come out” as a Nazi, when it would no longer put his Aryan brothers in any immediate danger. In a letter to the media he confessed that his affection for the Counterjihad had been a hoax all along, and his real affections lay with the white separatists and neo-Nazis. His little fib about admiring Fjordman had been designed to fool the media. And fool the media he did; his scam was very effective — not only did the gentlemen of the press make life a pure living hell for me, Fjordman, and many other Counterjihad writers, but even now, more than two years after they received a copy of Mr. Breivik’s confessional letter, they have neither published that part of the message nor acknowledged their error.
Now the stone killer is back in court, suing the government for violating his human rights, and making a Nazi salute to greet the foolish members of the fourth estate who were waiting to record his madness on video and in photos.
Yesterday Fjordman made the following post on Facebook:
The mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik now makes a Nazi salute in court. In letters sent from prison, ABB states in very plain words that he is a Nazi and has never been an anti-Islamist. He only claimed to be an anti-Islamic activist in order to create a “witch-hunt” and media smear campaign against peaceful anti-Islamic activists. Western mass media refuse to mention this.
In March 2016, I have now finally read Breivik’s prison letters. I have made digital photos of all of the ones I know of. He claims to be a Nazi, but frankly, I still suspect that he is just plain insane. Breivik is too incoherent even to be a neo-Nazi. He will probably claim to be a smurf next week, if he thinks he can get more media attention that way.
I discuss some of this in my book Vitne til vanvidd, or Witness to Madness, in Norwegian.
In my discussion of the letter, I said this:
No one in his right mind believes that the mass-murder of dozens of unarmed teenagers will force newspaper editors to engage in “dialogue”. A person who seriously entertains the idea is deeply, deeply deranged.
Regardless of whatever ideology Mr. Breivik might adhere to, his belief in mass killing as an effective means to achieve dialogue with media moguls is totally disconnected from it. Whether his cause is “racial hygiene”, environmentalism, socialism, or the need for fluoridating the water supply, the means he employed to promote it have nothing to do with it.
It’s easy to see why the MSM wanted to bury this half of the letter. It shows them up as gullible fools who took a shrewd psychopathic killer at his word, and parroted the exact line expected of them. Their case against the Counterjihad as “Breivik’s mentors” has been totally destroyed. As a result, they’re no longer interested in discussing the topic.
And now Anders Behring Breivik is an unabashed Nazi.
For the moment, anyway. As Fjordman pointed out, he may move on to something else if it garners him more attention. Maybe he’ll be a Scientologist next month. Or a Raelian. Or a Flat Earther. Who knows?
Or maybe he’ll stick with Nazism. That may be what he’s most comfortable with, his real self — insofar as he has one.
In gathering various links for this post I had to dig into the archives from the summer of 2011, which made me relive the trauma of those horrible days, albeit to a lesser extent.
Most of our current readers weren’t following our blog back then. For those who are interested in what happened, begin with the live blog of the events of July 22, 2011. Our coverage began not long after the bombing in downtown Oslo, which Fjordman heard from his apartment a couple of miles away.
Move forward from there to subsequent posts to see the way events unfolded for various members of the Counterjihad.
Our site was at blogspot in those days, and when we migrated to the new site several years ago, the video embeds did not come through. If you run across a post that used to have a video, visit the old site and look for the same post there.
The sequelae of those events were dramatic, and continue today. Fjordman was exposed and driven into exile. A number of Scandinavian bloggers shut down their sites. At least three of my colleagues lost their jobs because of their affiliation with the Counterjihad movement. Several other people I know retired from this line of work to avoid ruining their lives.
It was my good fortune to be unemployed and unemployable, so all I had to do was ride out the storm. I was advised to put the blog on hiatus until the furor died down, but I said @!%$?& that %?$#@!! What kind of keyboard warrior would I be if I soiled my breeches and fled the field at the first whiff of grapeshot? So we soldiered on.
We did, however, shut down the comments section. The unwonted attention drove dozens of new commenters to our blog, and many of those were troublemakers and government agents, provocateurs who left nasty comments of a sort that could be used to discredit us later. So we cut off comments for a few weeks, and when we opened them up again, they were subject to moderation. The free-wheeling days of yore were gone for good.
Major media outlets linked to us, laughably including The New York Times. Our traffic surged to five or six times its normal level, a peak it did not revisit until January 2016, after the Great Refugee Crisis arrived.
Normally that level of traffic would be a thrill, but in this case it felt horrible. 99% of the increase was from hostile venues — Norwegian and Swedish newspapers and TV sites, the NYT, The Washington Post, etc. Who wants to see that kind of traffic?
And the emails — some of them were ghastly. The nastiest, most foul-mouthed one was from a Swede, if I recall correctly. There were a few supportive ones, but most were hostile, and most of the rest were from the media. Fjordman had gone to ground and refused to give interviews, so they came after me instead. I also refused to give any interviews — I’d seen what they did to other Counterjihad people, and I had no interest in being smeared and misrepresented in such a fashion.
A couple of UK outlets even managed to find our phone number. That was a real jolt of adrenaline — to get a sudden phone call from a major British newspaper, wanting to ask me questions about Fjordman and Breivik.
It took a few months for the storm to abate. It returned again the following spring during the trial, but to a lesser extent. After that it gradually faded out, to the point that the current cohort of journalists don’t seem to remember the original fracas or why they went after us. How can they acknowledge their mistake if they can’t even recall it?
So there will be no satisfaction for us. No admission of error on their part, no retraction, no apology.
That was then, and this is now.
Over the long term, the Breivik controversy has hardened me. Months and months of exposure under the media klieg lights made me immune to the effects of lesser forms of scrutiny and criticism. My new motto is: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Because, really, what else can be done to us at this point? Short of sending agents of the state to arrest us, that is.
Negative reactions from readers or the media no longer faze me. “Racist”, “fascist”, “Nazi”, “xenophobe”, “hater” — go ahead; do your worst! I’ve heard ’em all before.
Anyone who insists on telling unpalatable truths and becomes prominent doing so can expect similar treatment. Just look at what has happened to Diana West. Or Geert Wilders.
And if you become really, really annoying to the establishment, you may get the Pym Fortuyn treatment.
So those are the consequences. You can either shrug and accept them, or you can choose to live the quiet life and retire.
Dymphna and I chose to soldier on. I consider it a gift from God to be granted the opportunity to do something truly meaningful in these my sunset years.
Bring it on!