Considering the fact that I have blogged quite a bit on the Templars in the past, I thought I might be obliged to take time out from my book to write something about the reptile, Anders Behring Breivik, who claims some kind of affiliation with the Templars. That turns out to be more Templar baloney.
I am not going to waste much time on this, as his manifesto is revealed to be what one would expect, mostly a cut and paste of any kind of conservatism he could find to justify his racism and his plans for violent revolution. Not that conservative thought leads to the recent events in Norway any more than liberal thought necessarily leads to the dirty deeds of Bill Ayers.
When I first read that Brievik was supposedly a “Christian Fundamentalist,” I thought to myself that he is more than likely some kind of esoteric “Christian.” In fact, he is a Freemason, but that does not explain things either, because Norwegian Freemasonry is a “rectified rite” that has jettisoned the myth about the Templar origins of the Masons.
Brievik has founded his own “church.” It is of a cut and paste construction, just like his manifesto: part Christian, part neopagan Odinist, part Freemason and whatever. I would also add that his church is Nazi as well, but he says that Nazism has been so demonized that “it is pointless to try to resurrect it in any way or form.” His interest in Christianity is about cultural unity for Europe through the common patrimony that Christianity offers. He says he is not interested in a relationship with Jesus. He is interested in his Norse and European cultural and racial heritage. And kill anyone who gets in the way.
In spite of his claim that he is a member of a larger cell, I will be surprised if that turns out to be true. I think he is a lone nutbag, at least in terms of his terrorist agenda.
I once speculated that Europe’s choice to ignore its Christian patrimony in the formation of the European Union would result in the rise of nationalist fascism with a pseudo-Christian face. There you have it. Brievik has probably done what others have thought about doing but who were not crazy enough to actually do. Europe has abandoned Christianity and that is a huge void to fill—rather it is a void that cannot be filled. So Europe swirls with the liberal culture of death, Islamism and fascism. Did I mention neopaganism?
The spirit of Benedict, Patron of Europe, resides in the heart of our Holy Father who, commenting on this tragedy said:
I want to again repeat my grief-stricken appeal to all to abandon forever the way of hatred and to run away from the logic of evil.
Shortly after his election to the pontificate the Holy Father explained the importance of the Patron of Europe and his relation to the name of the new pope:
he constitutes a fundamental point of reference for the unity of Europe and a powerful call to the irrefutable Christian roots of European culture and civilization.”
His point was for the people of Europe “to hold firm Christ’s central position” in their lives.
Brievik mentions among other things the Battle of Vienna and the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary. Unfortunately, he entirely misses the point. Whose side is Our Lady on? And a better question would be: Who is on Her side? This battle is not of flesh and blood but of principalities and powers. Catholics need their fortitude back, but we can do without the romantic pieties of externalist chivalry.
Brievik is a chivalric fool, spouting crusading platitudes and quoting St. Bernard’s In Praise of the New Knighthood, and then writing the following.
While being chivalrous is a good thing in ordinary day-to-day life, it will undoubtfully be fatal in any armed confrontation.
This Templar is a pure romantic. What does he think chivalry was for, if not armed confrontation? What he means by explaining away the purpose of chivalry is that one should not lack the pragmatism and cynicism to kill women. Apparently, he forgot to mention the necessity of killing children in that section. He gets all dressed up in his Templar tux: a knight in shining armor, phonier than Lancelot.
Brievik is a self-proclaimed pragmatist, and a conspiracy nut, who in one breath ridicules conspiracy theory and then posits his own without blinking.
Brievik’s case is an example of conservative cultural engineering in the hands of a madman. We have seen it before. What Brievik has lacked is a charismatic personality. He seems to have been pretty much a reclusive pseudo-intellectual who could not invest his time and energy in anything so philistine as deep personal relationships. I guess it is easier to kill that way.
I think cultural engineering is a bad idea in anyone’s hands. The long and the short of it is that culture is the result of organic change that takes place with the transformation of hearts and minds, usually over a long period of time with the cost of the blood, sweat and tears of a people’s ancestors. Someone has to be willing to build a cathedral knowing that he will never see it finished.
What we need is Our Lady of Victory. We had better be careful about what crusades we call and the drums we beat and the pseudo-elites we try to create. Marian chivalry is a thing altogether different.
May God have mercy on the souls of Brievik’s victims and may God bring consolation to those who this killer has left bereaved. And May God have mercy on his soul, as hard as that is to pray for.
May God have mercy on us all.
As with many people, I’ve been thinking about this tragedy and wondering what spurs a person to do such a horrendous deed. One could argue that it’s insanity … but I don’t think so! I think, in the end, it’s a form of pure selfishness that our society has been ‘feeding into’ over the last few decades. Only that selfish person and his ideology matters and he feels it justifies all of his behaviors. Although Breivik claims to be Christian, he is really the center of his own universe (not Christ)… and he is therefore much more important in his mind than all of those innocent children.
Yes … God have mercy on us all….even the very confused, totally selfish ones.
Thanks for this post Father – I doubt he is alone in his misguided sense of being a crusader knight – I’m happy you point out his delusional concept of all of that. I don’t know if you have ever done so, but I also wouldn’t mind seeing your thoughts on another misconception – that Our Lady, Our Lady of Victory in fact, ‘wears combat boots’. I’ve always found that concept repulsive as well.
There is great confusion regarding the spiritual combat these days – of course you know that. Thank you for your good work.
I hope to link to this post if you don’t mind.
Thank you Fr. Geiger, I am glad you asked us to pray for his soul ( and all who suffered at his hands) at the end of your post, even though it is difficult we know who wins in the end and God wants us all.
Having said that I am now quite satisfied with the strategy of steering clear of the media on this story and contending myself to pray for souls until such time as any sort of clear analysis presented itself on what and who was behind the madness and tragedy in Norway. You have more than provided the necessary information I was hoping to find.
I have noticed that it is very hard to find reliable info on the Templars that are not tainted with Da Vinci Code type conspiracies or other historical perversions. If anyone wants to read a reliable book on the Templars check out…
The Templars The Secret History Revealed by Barbara Frale.
The author is a scholar at the Vatican Archives and it was she who discovered the parchment that showed the Templars innocent and absolved by the Pope of the time.
This is an excellent book and cuts through all the garbage out there on the Templars and their history.
Thank you for a sober editorial on those bleak events Father. When the details first emerged and I heard the words “Christian” and “Knights” my heart sank. All of us can empathize, to lesser and greater degrees, with the sense or a feeling that our way of life and our cultural moorings are being undermined by forces at work in the modern world. Hopefully, few, in any, of us are capable of empathizing with much else of what this megalomaniac had to say.
Something else to pray for, in addition to this particular individual’s conversion.
First-time reader… Sorry for all the negative “name calling” – eg. reptile, nutbag… I thought this was a Christian site.
Tho you may speak with the tongues of angels, yet have not charity….
What if you and I had a dear friend that was being held in bondage with no hope of being released. But alas, we are presented with an opportunity to release our beloved friend. What we must do is take part in the brutal torture and murder of an innocent man in the streets of Jerusalem. Would you agree to take part in order to free our friend?