Daily Archives: July 28, 2011

The Norway murderer’s Freemason obsession

Anders Behring Breivik leaves an Oslo court Monday in a police car after a judge jailed him under strict conditions for eight weeks.
Photograph by: Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen, AFP-Getty Images, Postmedia News

calgaryherald.com | Jul 28, 2011

By A. Millar

Many media outlets are describing Anders Behring Breivik, the alleged perpetrator of the Oslo terrorist attacks on Friday, as a Christian fundamentalist. His 1,500-page manifesto — 2083 A European Declaration of Independence — and an accompanying video reveal a more complex picture.

Aside from his interest in Christianity, Breivik appears to have studied aspects of esotericism and neopaganism, and may have been involved with such circles at one time. In regards to followers of the neopagan religion of Odinism, he says, “Even Odinists can fight with us or by our side as brothers” in the Knights Templar organization that Breivik claims to be a founding member of.

He also says his primary weapon is Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer), but criticizes neopagans, saying that Thor’s hammer cannot unify the people of Europe, but that the cross will. For Breivik, Christianity is a political and cultural banner, not necessarily a religious one. “Christian atheists” are able to join the organization.

The modern Knights Templar will, according to the manifesto, fight “against the “cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regimes of Western Europe before . . . we are completely demographically overwhelmed by Muslims.” In its romantic view of indiscriminate violence and adoption of militant religious imagery, the organization — whether real or imagined — is in many respects a mirror image of al-Qaeda. The manifesto says that the founders of the organization decided on carrying out a “large successful attack every five to 12 years . . . depending on available forces.”

In the manifesto and video are three photographs. In the first, Breivik is shown wearing Masonic regalia. This seems a peculiar decision, but it is extremely significant. Popular legend suggests that the Masonic fraternity was created by the medieval order of the Knights Templar, but Breivik was probably also aware that Islamist extremists have viewed Freemasonry as an enemy for several decades. It was made illegal in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1978-79, and the Hamas Charter of 1988 claims that Freemasons “work in the interest of Zionism.”

This idea was introduced to the Middle East by the Nazi Party of Germany, which flooded the area with anti-Semitic propaganda during the Second World War.

The notorious, proven anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, used by the Nazis for propaganda, and which alleges that Zionists employ the Freemasons, is still regularly cited as an authentic document in the Arab media. With satellite television, the message has reached back into the West, and is propagated by numerous extremist Islamist websites.

The results have been dramatic. In 2004, Islamist suicide bombers attacked a Masonic building in Turkey, attempting to set off explosives in a dining hall, and opening fire, killing a waiter and wounding six others. In 2009, two men from the U.S. state of Georgia were sentenced for their support of terrorism after they made “casting videos” of possible targets and sent them to an alleged al-Qaeda operative in the U.K.

Breivik would almost certainly have known that a Masonic building in Oslo was attacked in January 2009. The assault took place during an anti-Israel demonstration by pro-Palestinian Muslims and left-wing activists, at which anti-Semitic chants and threats against Jewish people were reportedly made. At one point, several Arab-looking youths broke away from the demonstration and led a reporter and cameraman to the Masonic building. They then smashed a window and took turns throwing high-power firecrackers inside.

It is possible that this assault was a factor in Breivik’s decision to target youth members of the Labour Party, since a children’s party was being held inside the Masonic building at the time of the attack, and children could be heard screaming in terror after each firework exploded.

In another photograph in the manifesto and video, Breivik is wearing a ceremonial military uniform. However, on the arm is the emblem of a skull pierced by a dagger. Breivik calls this “the badge of the Justiciar Knight,” and says it is “marked with the symbols of communism, Islam and Nazism on the forehead, impaled on the cross of the martyrs.”

On the uniform are three Masonic medals, given to those who have obtained the Knights Templar degree of Freemasonry in Britain. Breivik had not received this Masonic degree, but it is possible for members of the public to purchase regalia.

In the manifesto, Breivik acknowledges being a member of the Masonic fraternity, and of taking the first three degrees, but he also criticizes Freemasonry because it is “not in any way political.” Freemasons, says Breivik, “claim to be Knights of Christ, yet they are not willing to sacrifice their life for the preservation of European Christendom. They do not even acknowledge that European Christendom is in the process of being deconstructed.”

Breivik does commend Freemasonry as “keepers of cultural heritage.” This appears to be emotionally important for Breivik, who insists that those joining his Knights Templar organization must perform an initiation ceremony that is “somewhat similar to the ancient and original ritual of the Knights Templar.”

“This ritual,” he says, “has been partly adopted and kept alive by the Freemasons and similar ‘chivalric orders.’ ”

The manifesto states that he was present at the founding of the revived Knights Templar in London in April 2009. This, he says, is a “revolutionary conservative movement because we had lost hope that the democratic framework can solve Europe’s current problems.”

It may be a coincidence, but “revolutionary conservative” was a term used by the anti-Masonic occultist and fascist Julius Evola. Notably, Breivik criticizes the extreme right for being inspired by Rene Guenon, a convert to Islam and the founder of the pro-Islamic esoteric school of traditionalism that Evola knew and imitated. Breivik seems to place himself broadly within the school, while rejecting its favourable view of Islam.

Breivik says, “In the U.S., Christian fundamentalists and Islamic organizations are increasingly creating common platforms to speak out against trends of moral decay (abortion, pornography, etc.). Some of these phenomena of traditionalist alliance-building are quite respectable, but they are nevertheless conducive to Islam negationism.”

There were “nine original founding members.” Breivik says he met only four of these, but he claims that it later grew to 25 or 30, and that there “might be tens, even hundreds of Justiciar Knights now spread all across Western Europe as far as I know.”

Breivik clearly sees himself as initiating this revival with his acts of violence that left nearly 100 people dead on Friday in Norway’s worst atrocity since the Second World War.

A. Millar is a regular contributor to The Westminster Journal in New York and is working on a book on unorthodox religious beliefs and political extremism.

Facial Recognition Techonology Stirs Privacy Controversy

FoxNews.com | Jul 27, 2011

By Jamie Colby

Controversy is brewing over a new crime-fighting tool that will allow law enforcement agencies across the country to recognize people based on their eyes, face or fingerprints.

It’s known as MORIS, short for Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System. A police officer attaches a handheld biometric device to a smartphone, so it’s small enough and light enough to take from the station house into the field.

At any time, the officer can snap an image of someone’s face from up to 5 feet away or scan a person’s eye from up to 6 inches away, or take fingerprints. At that point, the device does an immediate check for any match in a criminal record database. That database has grown over the last four years and it’s available in 47 states. Each handheld device costs $3,000.

“You don’t need to know the name, the date of birth, the social security number. You don’t need to know anything,” says Sean Mullin, president of the developer, BI2 Technologies. “You simply need to ask them, ‘Look in the camera,’ and in a matter of seconds, their true identity and all their criminal record comes back.”

Sheriff Joseph McDonald of Plymouth County, Mass., calls the tool a game-changer.

“It’s going to allow us to know with a great level of certainty, No. 1, who it is we are taking in when we book them in, and who it is on the other end of that sentence that we are releasing?” McDonald says.

But privacy advocates, including Jay Stanley of the ACLU, say, not so fast.

“We think there should be some rules and regulations in place that govern how the police use these things so that it can be used when it’s appropriate — when the police has probable cause that you have committed a crime — but that they don’t start using them all over the place as a generalized surveillance tool,” Stanley said.

One feature of the handheld device may calm some of the privacy concerns — once the recognition data is either matched or cleared, no record of the images or identifying information is stored.

Freemason Breivik’s supporters included members of LaVey’s Church of Satan

Norway’s Anders Breivik is not a Christian fundamentalist

The murderer who took more than 70 lives in Norway, Anders Brevik, has been variously identified as a Freemason, Islamophobe, and a fundamentalist Christian. What is he?

It is not surprising that Breivik had friends in LaVey’s Church of Satan.

energypublisher.com | Jul 27, 2011

by Massimo Introvigne

At first, the media called Anders Behring Breivik a Christian fundamentalist, some of them even a Roman Catholic. This shows the cavalier use of the word “fundamentalist” prevailing today in several quarters. In fact, Breivik is something different, as evidenced by his videos, his postings on document.no and his 1,500-page book 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence which, interestingly enough, was first made publicly available on the Internet by Kevin Slaughter, an ordained minister in Anton LaVey (1930-1997)’s Church of Satan which, by the way, has a sizeable following in Norway.

Looking at his Facebook profile, one immediately notices Breivik’s strong interest in Freemasonry and his photograph in full Masonic regalia. The apron identifies him as a member of a St. John’s Lodge of the Norwegian Order of Freemasons, the “regular” Masonic obedience in Norway. The circumstance that he was indeed a member of the Søilene St. John’s Lodge in Oslo has been confirmed by the Order, which proceeded to expel Breivik only after his imprisonment. St. John’s Lodges administer the first three Craft degrees and operate under the Swedish rite. Of course, no Fundamentalist would enthusiastically endorse Freemasonry as Breivik did. In addition, Breivik was a fan of online and offline role-playing games such as World of Warfcraft, Fallout and Bioshock and of the TV vampire serial Blood Ties, all anathema to the average Fundamentalist.

It is also true that, while endorsing in his book a traditional, patriarchal, male-dominated family, Breivik also mentions that in preparation of the attack “I have reserved 2000 Euro from my operations budget which I intend to spend on a high quality model escort girl 1 week prior to execution of the mission”, and explains that “screwing around outside of marriage is after all a relatively small sin”. No fundamentalist would subscribe to this theory, and all fundamentalists condemn abortion without exceptions. Breivik, on the other hand, is favorable to abortion “if the baby has mental or physical disabilities” and in some other cases, although he regards abortion in general as a negative phenomenon. On the document.no website he boasts about his friendship with the developer of the website “Deiligst.no, Norway’s probably the most profitable online communities despite the frayed moral concept”. Deiligst is a Web site devoted to promote casual sexual encounters.

But, if not a Christian fundamentalist, what exactly Breivik is? One can simply argue that valuable time should not be lost trying to reconstruct the ideas of a madman. But the book 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence shows that there is a method in his madness, together with megalomania and self-contradicting statements. His main point, reminiscent of the assassinated Dutch populist gay politician Pim Fortuyn (1948-2002), is that Europe is in danger of being submerged by an Islamic wave through immigration, and that Islam is the most evil ideology in the world. One third of his book is an anthology of various anti-Islamic authors, some of them quite mainline while others are located at the paranoid fringe of Islamophobia.

In order to stop Islam, Breivik argues, you need to put together a broad coalition. Can the Christian churches become part of it? Breivik explains that he was not taken to baptism by his quite agnostic and upscale parents, but at age 15 elected to be baptized and confirmed in the Norwegian Lutheran Church. He later became persuaded, however, that Protestant churches have sold out to a leftist and pro-immigration agenda, and that they should merge into the Catholic Church, which has at least maintained a modicum of European tradition. However, by continuing the dialogue with Islam, “Pope Benedict has abandoned Christianity and all Christian Europeans and is to be considered a cowardly, incompetent, corrupt and illegitimate Pope”.

It will be, accordingly, necessary to get rid both of the Protestant and Catholic leaderships and to call a “Great Christian Congress” in order to establish a new European Church. This Church will be granted a religious monopoly in the new Europe but in turn, Breivik writes, “the Church and church leaders will not be allowed to influence non-cultural political matters in any way. This includes science, research and development and all non-cultural areas which will benefit Europe in the future. This will also include all areas relating to procreation/birth/fertility policies and related issues of scientific importance”. In short, Breivik’s is a cultural Christianity, an instrumentum regni for a new political elite which would confine the Church to purely spiritual and cultural matters.

If Islam is Breivik’a archenemy, Judaism – or, rather, a quite imaginary Judaism, represented as a force mainly devoted to fight Islam – is depicted as a main friend and resource. Breivik is fanatically pro-Israeli and anti-Arab. He believes that the Jews are the most noble and brave Westerners. As a consequence, he hates Hitler. “Whenever someone asks if I am a national socialist, he writes, I am deeply offended. If there is one historical figure and past Germanic leader I hate it is Adolf Hitler. If I could travel in a time-machine to Berlin in 1933, I would be the first person to go – with the purpose of killing him”. Not that the neo-nazis do not have some ideas Breivik regards as valid, and he did subscribe to at least one of their online forums. But Hitler committed the “horrible crime” of not realizing the ethnic, cultural and even racial high status of the Jews, the only allies the Northern Europeans could have enlisted against the real enemies, Islam and communism. For Breivik, Islam, nazism and communism are based on the same ultimate principles. On document.no he posted: “For me it is very hypocritical to treat Muslims, Nazis and Marxists differ [sic]. […] ALL hate ideologies should be treated equally”.

References to the “Nordic tribes” echo the oldest version of British Israelism, i.e. the doctrine that Northern Europeans, particularly British and Scandinavians, are descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel (Danish, for example, take their name from the tribe of Dan), while the Jews descend from the tribe of Jude. The more well-known variety of British Israelism, which influenced the Christian Identity movement, argues that those normally called Jews are not ethnically Jews, but Khazars converted to Judaism in the 8th century, and is, as a consequence, anti-Semitic. But there is an older, pro-Jewish variety which recognized the Jews as members of the tribe of Jude and as brothers of the Nordic Tribes. This variety of British Israelism is very similar to some of Breivik’s ideas, although there are no explicit references in his writings.

There are more references to the British English Defence League and to other secular anti-Islamic organizations. And the most quoted author is the popular anti-Muslim Norwegian blogger Fjordman (who issued a statement after the attack denying he ever met Breivik). Fjordman, by the way, does not particularly like Christianity. He only saves the Second Vatican Council for its opening to other Christians and to Jews. In a text reproduced by Breivik, he writes that “the Second Vatican Council from the 1960s was good for reaching out to Christians of other denominations, Protestant and Orthodox, and for reaching out to Jews. The problematic aspect is in relations to Islam”. He also saves Medieval Christianity, whose military values were both useful against Islam and derived from paganism. Fjordman, quoted by Breivik, explains that “yes, medieval Christianity had no qualms about resisting invaders, but medieval Christians (as Protestants love to point out) had adulterated their faith with pagan beliefs. Over the past few centuries, Christianity has stripped itself of its pagan accretions. In the process, it has become as much a threat to ourselves and our loved ones as Marxism used to be, if not more so. That sounds like a harsh judgment. It is”.

Breivik calls for an alliance with literally everybody who is against Islam. On document.no he reminds homosexuals that Islam “supports the killing of gays” and calls on the organized Secular Humanist movement (which is more important in Norway than in other countries) to change its current leadership and join the fight against Islam, rather than concentrating on a useless critique of Christianity. In a way, it is not surprising that Breivik had friends even in LaVey’s Church of Satan. The latter became popular in Scandinavia by flirting with right-wing extremists with an anti-immigration agenda and, rather than occultism, emphasized a “rationalist” approach to a celebration of freedom and capitalism largely based on the writings of the Russian-born American novelist Ayn Rand (1905-1982). Rand is listed by both LaVey and Breivik among their favorite authors (of course, this is not to suggest that the Church of Satan had anything to do with the Oslo tragedy).

Among Breivik’s unlikely prospective allies, we can also mention Roma and Sinti. Unlike mainline scholarship, Breivik believes the theory that they were originally enslaved and reduced to their present predicament by the Muslims. He calls them to join the anti-Islamic campaign, and promises a reward in the shape of a free independent Roma state in the new Europe.

Breivik reports that in 2002 he allegedly established in London with eight friends a new neo-Templar order called PCCTS (Pauperes Commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici, in English Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon). There is a disclaimer that all he writes about PCCTS may be fictional, and perhaps it is, although the police is no doubt double-checking. Although he also reproduces material from the Middle Ages, Breivik’s immediate reference in its elaborate rituals and regalia is to the Templar Degrees as they exist in contemporary Freemasonry, an organization he describes (in its Norwegian variety, which is rather conservative) as a custodian of certain important traditions and still playing an “essential role” in modern society, although utterly incapable of any meaningful political or military activity in defense of the very principles it claims to embody.

Christians, “Christian agnostics and Christian atheists” may join the PCCTS – evidencing, once again, a reference to a cultural rather than strictly religious form of Christianity – and become “Justiciar [sic] Knights”. They should then act in three phases. During the first (1999-2030) a sleeping Europe should be re-awakened to the grim reality of the incoming civil war with Moslem immigrants through “lethal shock attacks” by small, and even one-person “clandestine cells”, targeting in particular “traitors” in political parties favorable to immigration, and infrastructures. For instance, for attacking Italy, a list of 16 oil refineries is offered as possible strategic targets, together with four main political parties, both conservative and liberal, and an estimate of 60,000 “traitors” in the country. Breivik realizes that very few people will sympathize with the “very cruel” shock attacks, and the perpetrators will be called assassins and terrorists, but this “psychological martyrdom” will complete the actual martyrdom of those Justiciar Knights who will die.

In the second phase (2030-2070) shock attacks will escalate into guerrilla warfare and coups overthrowing certain European governments. In the third fase (2070-2083), the real European civil war between genuine Europeans and Moslem immigrants will be fought. It will end in the killing or deportation of all Moslem from European soil. In this sense, Breivik claims to be a followers of the “Vienna School of Thought”, whose leading exponent is acknowledged in Fjordman and whose name is taken from the victorious battle against Islam fought in Vienna in 1683. The anti-Islamic blog The Brussels Journal is also identified as part of the Vienna School.

According to Breivik’s Templar narrative (fictional or otherwise), alleged Serbian “war criminals”, in fact true European anti-Islamic heroes, did support him and his friends, and he traveled to Liberia in order to meet an associate of Radovan Karadzic, “an honorable Crusader and a European war hero”. Whether there is a kernel of truth in this story is unclear. What is suspicious is the extensive knowledge Breivik, who never ever served in the army, displays in a large section of his book about weapons, explosives and bulletproof suits – including bulletproof socks, which he claims some too often overlook to their peril. It is also true that Internet today makes wonders, and that Breivik appears to be an adept of “open source warfare”, in itself a quite advanced notion of guerrilla strategy where most information is obtained by wannabe terrorists from the Web. But a question mark on Breivik’s possible external supporters remains.