EDL leader agrees with Anders Breivik, but psychiatrists declare Breivik insane


by Jai
30th November, 2011 at 8:00 am    

The mass-murdering Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik has been declared insane. In a 243-page psychiatric report following 13 meetings between Breivik and a team of psychiatrists, Breivik has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a severe psychotic mental disorder.

It has been recommended that Breivik should be indefinitely confined to a secure unit at a psychiatric hospital, potentially for the rest of his life, with reviews every three years to determine if he is still a danger to society. The public prosecutor in the ongoing terrorism investigation told a press conference that the psychiatrists evaluating Breivik’s mental state had “described a person who lives in his own delusional universe”. The report will be formally presented at Breivik’s next court appearance, on 16 April 2012.

As discussed on Pickled Politics here, the English Defence League recently issued a public statement on their official Facebook page finally admitting that their agenda is racially-motivated (it turns out that part of the EDL’s statement was practically identical to the statement made by Anders Breivik during his court appearance just two days previously), and the EDL have also announced a formal alliance with the Far-Right “British Freedom Party”.

It is worth noting that EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) is on record as explicitly stating that he does not think Breivik is insane and that he actually shares some of Breivik’s opinions:

We share some of his opinions, and his fear, but not what he did in Norway 22 July. I do not think he is insane. I think that his approach was insane. Breivik dared to come forward with his opinions, and was tough, in some regards. People need to understand that Breivik is not alone in these feelings.”

Readers can therefore draw their own conclusions about the implications of the EDL leadership claiming that they share the “opinions”, “fear” and “feelings” of an individual whom psychiatrists have now certified as psychotically insane.

Update:

· Two EDL members have now been sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to blow up a British mosque. Full details via EDL News and BBC News.

· It turns out that British Freedom Party leader (and EDL ally) Paul Weston has regularly written articles for the virulently anti-Muslim website “Gates of Vienna”. The website was repeatedly cited in Anders Breivik’s manifesto. In fact, the rhetoric and terminology used by Weston in his articles is very similar indeed to Breivik’s statements in his manifesto. Weston himself appears to take no responsibility for the poisonous influence of such propaganda on people like Breivik; instead, in an article cross-published on the EDL’s main website, Weston has bizarrely blamed Jeremy Paxman, the BBC and “the entire political/liberal left” for Breivik’s mass-murdering actions and any similar future atrocities. More details here.


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Filed in: EDL,Race politics,Terrorism






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  1. Mikhaela McCullough

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  1. PeteJ — on 30th November, 2011 at 8:22 am  

    No sure what your point is here. Are you suggesting that the EDL, the BNP and a fair chunk of UKIP are all paranoid schizophrenics?

  2. FrabkBloke — on 30th November, 2011 at 4:19 pm  

    PeteJ: If they’re not paranoid schizophrenics then they could be suffering from a range of other psychiatric disorders, such as: delusion, sociopathy, plain old paranoia or even just a tendency to believe everything the right-wing tabloids tell them to believe. I’d call them all irrational fools, although that is being too kind.

  3. KismetHardy — on 30th November, 2011 at 8:28 pm  

    I have a schizophrenic brother. From my experience, they tend to be self-obsessed and drawn to following the call from a higher power. The EDL have very little sense of self and believe everything unfair is the fault of others, which makes them more in tune with spoilt little children

  4. PeteJ — on 30th November, 2011 at 9:20 pm  

    I’ll accept many of them are delusional, but I think it’s not only wrong, but doing a disservice to people genuinely struggling with these sorts of conditions to suggest that the far-right’s political positions are down to something like this. I already think the way the mainstream views the racist right – as a moral rather than a political problem (they’re “bad”, we’re “good”) – is troublesome, but suggesting that they’re all mentally ill is taking it to another level. The above article isn’t merely a cheap shot, it’s bordering on offensive

  5. Jai — on 1st December, 2011 at 12:35 pm  

    Are you suggesting that the EDL, the BNP and a fair chunk of UKIP are all paranoid schizophrenics?

    At no point does the article refer to the BNP or UKIP, let alone “all” of the EDL.

    suggesting that they’re [the “racist right” are] all mentally ill is taking it to another level

    At no point does the article refer to “all” of the “racist right”.

    I already think the way the mainstream views the racist right – as a moral rather than a political problem (they’re “bad”, we’re “good”) – is troublesome, but suggesting that they’re all mentally ill is taking it to another level. The above article isn’t merely a cheap shot, it’s bordering on offensive

    The ongoing terrorism trial in Norway has found that Breivik has absolutely no moral remorse for his actions and that he still insists he’s done nothing wrong. Furthermore, the psychiatrists responsible for evaluating Breivik’s mental state have also confirmed that Breivik has absolutely no concept of the fact that he’s literally psychotic.

    The 243-page-long findings of the professional psychiatric assessment may well offend Breivik and his sympathisers, but it still doesn’t change the reality of the situation.

    It also doesn’t change the fact that EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is on record as stating that the EDL leadership share the killer’s opinions, a killer who has now been diagnosed as severely mentally ill.

  6. Joe — on 1st December, 2011 at 4:50 pm  

    It also doesn’t change the fact that EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is on record as stating that the EDL leadership share the killer’s opinions, a killer who has now been diagnosed as severely mentally ill.

    Jai, this is a clumsy and fallacious argument. EDL is a disgusting and racist organization, this is a rather obvious observation that doesn’t need 1000 PP posts on the subject. But your post is rather disingenuous. The EDL leader is clear (though you purposely didn’t highlight that part when quoting him) that his feelings against multiculturalism are not insane – but his methods were in fact insane. Furthermore, Breivik was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia based on his actions, not because of his stand against multiculturalism. Because like it or not, many people have those feelings.

    I think PP deserves better content than this.

  7. Kismet Hardy — on 1st December, 2011 at 5:46 pm  

    “Because like it or not, many people have those feelings.”

    It comes back to the racist tram lady. It’s easy to call her mentally unstable, when it would be more productive to see her as frustrated/fucked off, consider the issues that is causing this frustration/fucked offness and then see how we could go about challenging those opinions, or at least answering some of the fucked up allegations.

    The “many people” Joe speaks of are not EDLites but just ‘normal’ people who don’t realise the ‘blame the foreigners’ is an age-old trick used by any right-wing government to cover their own arses.

    And really, I think Pickled Politics is in serious danger of being renamed the EDL For Lefties

    They’re just a small bunch of troublemakers who really don’t deserve so many blog inches

  8. Jai — on 1st December, 2011 at 8:54 pm  

    The EDL leader is clear (though you purposely didn’t highlight that part when quoting him) that his feelings against multiculturalism are not insane – but his methods were in fact insane.

    I didn’t highlight that part because I was specifically highlighting Yaxley-Lennon’s claim that Breivik is not insane. Yaxley-Lennon’s claim has now been discredited.

    Furthermore, Yaxley-Lennon did not state that he was referring specifically to Breivik’s feelings against “multiculturalism”; the latter is not automatically synonymous with “extremist Islam”, which is what the EDL leadership was publicly claiming to be solely opposed to at the time. The reality of the EDL leadership’s attitudes is, of course, somewhat different.

    Incidentally, as detailed in Breivik’s 1500-page manifesto, Breivik’s feelings extend considerably beyond “multiculturalism”; he is also opposed to feminism, for example, and believes that it has been very destructive for Europe.

    Furthermore, Breivik was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia based on his actions, not because of his stand against multiculturalism.

    The psychiatrists and the Norwegian court have publicly released very little information on the rationale for the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, and the limited information that has been released says nothing of the sort.

    The specific reasons have been detailed in the 243-page psychiatric report which is not yet publicly available, although the psychiatrists involved have stated that Breivik was clearly psychotic during their discussions with him over the course of 13 meetings and that he continues to exhibit such behaviour.

    Breivik’s opinions drive his actions; comprehensive details of the full range of specific delusional opinions which resulted in the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia will not be publicly known until the full psychiatric report becomes available. At the moment, a limited amount of the report’s contents has been released by the court, such as the observation that Breivik acts compulsively based on a “universe of bizarre and grandiose delusions”.

    Because like it or not, many people have those feelings.

    Not to the extreme extent of Breivik’s opinions (apart from the Far-Right minority), considering what Breivik’s detailed feelings on the subject actually are. However, what most certainly is the case is that the EDL leadership have publicly stated that they share the feelings of a psychotically insane mass-murdering terrorist who killed 77 people (mostly children) and exhaustively documented his feelings in a 1500-page manifesto beforehand.

  9. douglas clark — on 2nd December, 2011 at 3:32 am  

    I have seen serial killers post justifying themselves all over the place. Indeed, the videos of suicide bombers move it into the pre-justification justification if you see what I mean.

    That is what was going on in their heads. It seems specious to think that that matters. Because all that whole bunch of arseholes really thought was ‘because I can’.

    It is beyond understanding the rage they must feel about us other human beings. Be quite clear about this, they hate us for just existing.

    They are a strange, and incompatible set of killers, the anger of one, Mohammad Sidique Khan, being matched by Anders Breivik, or vice versa if you think the one justifies the other. Because they are all liars to themselves, believers that their atrocity, their sacrifice – as they see it – will make a difference.

    It does not.

    London, Mumbai and the whole of Norway just go on as they were, thank you very much. Only America requires therapy.

    It is the insanity of drone attacks and suicide bombing and Action Man.

    After a while you just adjust to it. “Well, what’s the chance it’ll happen to me?”

    The whole human race is shit at judging risk, but on this one they are probably right……

    I recognise that the Thomas Hamiltons of this world could ‘get’ me or mine, but, frankly they are all deluded bastards. they will make no difference and Norway is absolutely right to find the man mad.

    How else do you describe a serial killer?

  10. Trofim — on 2nd December, 2011 at 9:45 am  

    I spent the most part of my professional life in the company of psychotic people, and had many opinions in common. It means nothing. Incidentally, the peculiar term “psychotically insane” is otiose as well being stylistically peculiar. “Psychotic” means “out of touch with reality”. In psychiatry one just says that someone is “psychotic”.
    The preoccupation with the EDL here, does seem a little out of the ordinary – looked at from a clinical point of view.

  11. Jai — on 2nd December, 2011 at 1:38 pm  

    FrabkBloke,

    If they’re not paranoid schizophrenics then they could be suffering from a range of other psychiatric disorders, such as: delusion, sociopathy, plain old paranoia

    Exactly.

    Let’s summarise the facts:

    1. When asked about Anders Breivik, EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon mentioned a brief disclaimer about thinking Breivik’s “approach was insane”, but decided that an appropriate response was to publicly state that the EDL leadership share the terrorist’s opinions and feelings.

    2. Yaxley-Lennon stated that he did not think Breivik himself was insane. Yaxley-Lennon has now been contradicted by psychiatrists, who have certified Breivik as insane and have explicitly described him as psychotic.

    3. Yaxley-Lennon stated that the EDL leadership share Breivik’s opinions. Psychiatrists have now explicitly described Breivik’s opinions as a “universe of bizarre and grandiose delusions”.

    4. Psychiatrists have also explicitly stated that Breivik’s delusional opinions motivate his actions.

  12. Jai — on 2nd December, 2011 at 1:50 pm  

    It says something about the severity of the danger the EDL poses to the ordinary British population that the matter has actually resulted in an ongoing formal Parliamentary inquiry by the Home Affairs Select Committee at the House of Commons. The danger has already been highlighted in major academic reports (eg. here and here). And as discussed on PP here, Alan Lake – described by Channel 4 News as “the EDL’s chief financier” – is currently the subject of an ongoing formal investigation by the Norwegian police in order to verify his ideological influence on Anders Breivik.

    I’ll finish with a reminder of EDL leader Yaxley-Lennon’s speech at the EDL demonstration in London on 3 September 2011, in which he publicly accused “every single Muslim” of collective guilt and publicly made a direct threat against the entire British Muslim population:

    “EVERY SINGLE MUSLIM watching this on Youtube, on 7/7 you got away with killing and maiming British citizens, you got away with it. You had better understand that we have built a network from one end of this country to the other end, and we will not tolerate it, and the Islamic community will feel the full force of the English Defence League if we see any of our citizens killed, maimed or hurt on British soil ever again.”

    Yaxley-Lennon made that threat on behalf of the EDL just over a month after Breivik committed the massacre in Norway. Ironically, Yaxley-Lennon himself is actually the son of Irish immigrants, and his own bizarre, twisted, disgusting logic could therefore be applied to him literally 10,000-fold, a basic fact that he appears to lack any awareness of.

    Furthermore, the British citizens killed by terrorists on 7/7 included a number of British Muslims, another basic fact that Yaxley-Lennon is either strangely unaware of or appears to be deliberately ignoring; so he responds to the deaths of British citizens by making sinister threats against millions of ordinary British citizens, including the surviving family members of those murdered on 7/7.

    Once again, readers can draw their own conclusions.

    To those of you who commented on this thread, thank you for your participation.

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