Anders Behring Breivik: Soldier in the Christian Right Culture Wars
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 08:28:07 AM EST
I am documenting my research on Lind, Weyrich, and the Free Congress Foundation in this article currently being updated and expanded:
Updated: Breivik's Core Thesis is White Christian Nationalism v. Multiculturalism] ============

Anders Behring Breivik, charged in the terror attacks in Oslo, Norway, compiled a 1,500-page Manifesto under the name "Andrew Berwick" that cites to the U.S. Free Congress Foundation and LaRouchite publications. The manifesto states that "Political Correctness" should be called "Cultural Marxism" and is the reason for political leaders allowing mass Muslim migration into Europe. Breivik's core thesis is borrowed from William S. Lind's antisemitic conspiracy theory about "Cultural Marxism."

Breivik described himself in online posts as a cultural conservative and a Christian conservative who felt that Protestantism had lost its way and that Christianity should recombine under the banner of a reconstituted and traditionalist Catholic Church. These views are almost identical to the views of the late Paul Weyrich, founder of the Christian Right epicenter in the United States, the Free Congress Foundation. Weyrich and his colleague William S. Lind developed an aggressive theory of Cultural Conservatism as a way to save Western Culture. Lind addressed the right-wing group Accuracy in Academia in February 2000. See also: What is Cultural Marxism? by William S. Lind.


See also:
+Norway's Nightmare & The Christian Fundamentalist - Bill Berkowitz
+When is Terrorism 'Christian'? - Frederick Clarkson
+Breivik 2011 Manifesto Echoes Weyrich 1999 Manifesto - Chip Berlet
+Author Cited by Anders Behring Breivik Regrets Original Essay
+
Breivik cited William S. Lind, Free Congress Foundation, & the LaRouchites
+Anders Behring Breivik: Soldier in the Christian Right Culture Wars

The concepts within cultural conservatism are a confluence of traditionalist claims from Europe and the United States. Major US groups send representatives to Europe, and there is a general meet up at the conferences of The World Congress of Families. See background here: "Exporting 'Traditional Values': The World Congress of Families." This vein of culural conservatism warns of a "Demographic Winter" a term which is a coded racist warning that Muslims are outbreeding "white people" in Europe and the United States.

Another source of the conspiracy theory about "Cultural Marxism" is the international network of Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. The LaRouchite Schiller Institute has an early (1992) article outlining the claim of a vast conspiracy of "Cultural Marxism"

Posts decying "Cultural Marxism"(kulturmarxisme in Breivik's posts) can be found all over the Internet. For example, the website http://culturalmarxism.org promotes a DVD featuring Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, G. Edward Griffin, Ted Baehr, and Edwin Vieira.

Breivik thought Cultural Marxists=multiculturalists=Islamization of Europe. This racist right-wing conspiracy theory is tied to the Islamophobic "Demographic Winter" thesis. In his online posts, Breivik considered himself a cultural conservative and condemned "Cultural Marxism."The idea of "Cultural Marxism" on the political right is an antisemitic conspiracy theory cliaming that a small group of Marxist Jews formed the Frankfurt School and set out to destroy Western Culture through a conspiracy to promote multiculturalism and collectivist economic theories.

In 1987, Paul Weyrich of the DC-based Free Congress Foundation commissioned a study, Cultural Conservatism: Toward A New National Agendawhich argued that cultural issues provided antiliberalism with a more unifying concept than economic conservatism. Cultural Conservatism: Theory and Practice followed in 1991. William “Bill” Lind spent years building the Center for Cultural Conservatism at Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation.

Speakers at the WCF warned of a Demographic Winter at the World Congress of Families meeting in Poland in 2007. See for example, John D. Mueller, "A Family-Friendly Fiscal Policy to Weather "Demographic Winter.'" Left unstated but clearly understood, is that it is White people who face a "Demographic Winter" as the population of Muslims, Arabs, and other "non-White" people increases in nations.

According to Breivik:

There must be more focus on multicultural doctrines (multiculturalism = kulturmarxisme) as it is this ideology that allows the political mechanisms that result in continued Islamization (Islamic demographic warfare). People must learn what multiculturalism...doctrines do with Europe:

Systematic breakdown:

European Christianity
European tradition
European Cultures
European (a national) identity
Sovereign States

Of course, it is known that kulturmarxistene [Cultural Marxists] and humanities in Europe think they are going to reform Islam but they will fail like all before them have done. We, for our part, the cultural conservatives and anti-Marxist liberal, must focus on the basic problem - multiculturalism (kulturmarxisme) and how to combat this...

William Lind promotes a form of “cultural conservatism” that has shifted into antisemitic conspiracism. Lind is an analyst and author at the Free Congress Foundation FCF founded by the late Christian Right strategist Paul Weyrich. FCF is a significant player in Inside-the-Beltway politics [Cite: Berlet, “Into the Mainstream.”]

As Joe Conason reports, "Lind …concocts theories about the Marxist Jews who have infected American culture”

Lind wrote an essay in 1999 suggesting that slavery did not damage race relations in the south as much as the federal government intervention during Reconstruction that followed the Civil War. Furthermore, according to Lind, if the Confederacy had won, "at least part of North America would still stand for Western culture, Christianity and an appreciation of the differences between ladies and gentlemen." Lind claims that the federal government now imposes an "official American state ideology" featuring the "cultural Marxism of Political Correctness" [Cite: Lind, “What If The South Had Won The Civil War?”].

Lind later explained to a Holocaust denial group that cultural Marxism was a conspiracy concocted by a handful of Jews in Germany at the Frankfurt School, according to Bill Berkowitz's article "Reframing the Enemy." on Cultural Marxism] for Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Weyrich provided office space for the late Laszlo Pasztor who served as an advisor on Eastern Europe to Weyrich. The aging Pasztor was a member of the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross Party in the 1940s at a time when it was collaborating with the Nazis to liquidate Jews at the direction of Gestapo administrator, and SS Lieutenant-Colonel Adolf Eichmann [Cite: Russ Bellant, Holly Sklar, Chip Berlet]. As Holly Sklar and I wrote in 1990:

The U.S. government is working with former Arrow Cross official Laszlo Pasztor, a convicted Nazi collaborator. Having lost the battle to impose fascism on Europe, Pasztor immigrated to the U.S. He was following in the footsteps of thousands of Nazis and Nazi collaborators protected and recruited by the C.I.A. to resume the war on communism.

In the 1950's, Pasztor eventually joining the Republican Party's campaign ethnic outreach division. He recruited racists, neofascists and anti-Semites. Pasztor's political career flourished, and by 1987 he, was boasting of his frequent visits to the White House, State Department and Helsinki Commission. [Cite: Holly Sklar and Chip Berlet, “Harbinger of Democracy?: The N.E.D.’s Ex-Nazi Advisor,” The Nation, April 2, 1990.]

The ideological connection here is the idea that Marxism & communism threaten the very survival of Western Culture. Pasztor was a dedicated anti-communist after WWII, and was able to pass himself off as a patriot defending Hungary--and later the United States--from the pernicious plague of Marxism.

The trope of Cultural Marxism combines this view of political economy with a narrow view of Christian superiority and an ethnocentric White Nationalism. In both sectors--Christian superiority and ethnocentric White Nationalism--there is a great fear of Muslim immigration.

"Cultural Marxism," the Hoax Conspiracy Theory

The Frankfort School developed theories of "cultural criticism," and "The Culture Industry," but the term "Cultural Marxism" is a derogatory term developed by antisemitic conspiracy theorists.

There are a handful of Cultural Marxist sociologists around the world who use aspects of the Frankfurt School theories, Flowing out of several strains of sociology are sections that use Race/Gender/Class analysis and include a few Cultural Marxists. So the real Cultural Marxism is an analytical lens used primarily in academia, not a global conspiracy to destroy Western Culture.

So Breivik opposed "Cultural Marxism," the hoax conspiracy theory, but probably knew little of the actual "critical theories" of the Frankfort School, which are still used within sectors of modern sociology. See, for example, the work of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Apocalyptic Christian Belief and Islamophobia

Among right-wing Christians who fear Muslims there are some that see Islam as the false religion of the Antichrist in the End Times in their idiosyncratic reading of Biblical prophecy.

This apocalyptic view is widespread in some areas. For example a poll found that 15% of Republicans in New Jersey though President Barack Obama might be the "Antichrist" who is Satan's chief henchman in the End Times. Another 14% were convinced Obama was the Antichrist.

As Robert C. Fuller observed in his classic Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession, the candidates for the starring roles vary over time in fundamentalist eschatological analysis. Some see Islam as the religion of the False Prophet, the theological sidekick to the Antichrist. After the terror attacks on 9/11/2001 there was an increase in the demonization of Muslims in some Christian evangelical circles, especially those in which apocalyptic conspiracy theories flourish.

For example, Hal Lindsey joined in the Islam-bashing in 2002 with The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad. Speculation in conspiracy circles that Obama is secretly a Muslim, perhaps born in Kenya, add fuel to this bigoted fire.

Paul S. Boyer, author of When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture, suggests that religious views about Biblical prophecy in the United States have “always had an enormous, if indirect and underrecognized, role [in] shaping public policy.” If the message of apocalyptic demonization is not clear, try reading one of the novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins in their Left Behind series of Christian apocalyptic novels which have sold more than 70 million copies.

Gershom Gorenberg blasts the authors because they:

"promote conspiracy theories; they demonize proponents of arms control, ecumenicalism, abortion rights and everyone else disliked by the Christian right; and they justify assassination as a political tool. Their anti-Jewishness is exceeded by their anti-Catholicism. Most basically, they reject the very idea of open, democratic debate. In the world of Left Behind, there exists a single truth, based on a purportedly literal reading of Scripture; anyone who disagrees with that truth is deceived or evil.”
The main villain of the Left Behind series of books, Gorenberg notes, is “Nicolae Carpathia, the man who turned the United Nations into a one-world government with himself as dictator,” on behalf of Satan. In fact, Carpathia is the dreaded Antichrist. According to Gorenberg:
Perhaps the most striking scene in the Left Behind series is the climax of book six, The Assassins [when] Carpathia is speaking at a mass rally in Jerusalem. Out in the crowd is [underground Christian resistance leader] Rayford Steele, armed with a high-tech handgun. He prays for God’s guidance, and finds himself firing what appears to be a fatal shot at Carpathia. Intentionally or not, this is an eerie rewrite of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination at a Tel Aviv peace rally in 1995—but the authors are on the side of the fanatic killer.”
All of these conspiracy theories and more swirl through the Tea Party movement and beyond. LaHaye, before his novels, wrote a series of books popular in the Christian Right in which he laid out the master plan of the conspiracy of liberal secular humanists. Big government and collectivism was part of the sinister plan.

Whether it is based on religious or secular themes, the idea of a vast longstanding conspiracy of Cultural Marxists to destroy Western Culture creates apocalyptic aggression, in which believers in the conspiracy theory decide to act first against the named enemies.

Important Links, Articles, Updates

Norway Terror Suspect Described as Far-Right Nationalist Islamophobe | Accuracy.Org. Has great links to several articles

@ChipBerlet: Media lost in Norway suspect's posts. Cultural Marxism (Jewish plot)+White Nationalism+Islamophobia+US Christian Right conspiracy theories (Chip's Tweet)

In Europe, Where's the Hate? | The Nation Really compelling article by Gary Younge in 2007. Predictive & sad.

Via IREHR: Norway terror suspect "Breivik appears to be a fan of the Tea Party's favorite Islamophobe, Pamela Geller"

This link will take you to a Google Translation page of Norway suspect Anders Behring Breivik's comments on Document.no

@MaxBlumenthal: Max Blumenthal: Screed blaming Muslims for attack by @jrubinblogger is still up, uncorrected by Washington Post

@MaxBlumenthal: Max Blumenthal Pam Geller, who initially blamed the gov of Norway (and Muslims) for oslo attacks, is now insisting that Breivik is not her Fjordman

Bill Berkowitz: : Nightmare in Norway and the Threat of Fundamentalist Christian, Blonde, Blue-eyed Terrorists in Our Midst

David Neiwert: Norway terrorist Breivik was an ardent subscriber to theories of 'Cultural Marxism' | Crooks and Liars

===============
Thanks to several colleagues for sending me tips and links, especially Julie Ingersoll, Devin Burghart, and Bill Berkowitz. ===============

[Note: Some sources questioned whether all the political posts circulated in Norway were by Breivik alone. I need to be cautious here, so I investigated and have not included material that is in dispute.]




Display:
I've read suggests that the person responsible was just mentally ill.

I wonder (1) if the major news services are ever going to make this connection and even mention it, (2) if there will be any follow-up, and (3) if, like Loughner, they're going to bury all of the dominionist/sovereign citizen/etc. connections and portray everything as a "lone nutcase going crazy" rather than someone heavily influenced by the extreme right (and even egged on by them).

They've done the same so often in other situations.  Can't have domestic terrorists connected to American conservatives, don'tcha know?  Especially if they're connected to the Pentecostal/Dominionist/Fundamentalist churches...

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 08:39:33 AM EST

Mr. Breivik evidently was a regular commenter on Pamela Geller's blog, but I think she and every other like-minded soul will run about as far as they can get from Mr. Breivik. As for William Lind, it sounds like he's carrying the torch for the same vile anti-Semitism as Elizabeth Dilling.

by khughes1963 on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:04:54 PM EST
Parent
Sounds real familiar doesn't it?
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:11:32 PM EST
Parent

Do you have links to the Pamela Geller posts?


by GoodwithWood on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 01:18:43 AM EST
Parent
There is still controversy about whether or not  Breivik posted on the Geller website under a pseudonymous screen name.
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 07:57:20 AM EST
Parent
has some damning links.

It looks like the man had NAR connections.

http://godsownparty.com/blog/2011/07/norwegian-dominionist-slaugh ters-innocents/

by ArchaeoBob on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 09:57:57 AM EST
Parent

Not everyone who embraces dominion theology is a part of the New Apostolic Reformation.  The NAR has an identifiable ideology and organizational structure.  They do not have a monopoly on Dominion Theology  and certainly do not have a monopoly on Christian nationalism.  

I'm not seeing a link between Breivik and the NAR. I would be happy to look at information on this, but I've not seen anything to indicate that Breivik was associated with this distinctly Charismatic dominionist movement.  

We are beginning to see some openness by the press to look at the apostles of the NAR and their political activities.  It will not help our case to claim NAR ties to Breivik if they don't exist.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 05:03:56 PM EST
Parent

I should have said dominionist.

I know the difference, but sometimes fingers start moving before the brain is fully engaged (I was in a bit of a hurry this morning - always a mistake).

Personally, while their beliefs may be different, to me they're just different aspect of the same thing.  I think about their coercion of people outside of their group, and the damage they do to people and consider that to be the most important characteristic about them.

NARasites are just a bit more virulent than most IMO.

by ArchaeoBob on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 09:35:58 PM EST
Parent



Around this time it almost seemed like everyone was forgetting that this walking devil that took the lives of many innocent people was infamous, but from the looks of things it seemed like the other way around. Speculation of his motives is irrelevant, people should judge the man by his actions and stop pushing his theories into question.

David
Writer from
deltoid exercises

by DavidHost67 on Thu Aug 25, 2011 at 09:31:05 AM EST
Parent



Devin Burghart had mentioned the postings on Atlas Shrugs in an email article he sent out after the Norwegian police arrested Breivik. If this is incorrect, I stand corrected. If he did post, he might have used "Andrew Berwick" instead of Anders Breivik.

by khughes1963 on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 02:36:56 PM EST
Parent
But I am still cautious.
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 02:47:10 PM EST
Parent






If you follow the link to the article by the "LaRouchite Schiller Institute," you will find no mention of "Cultural Marxism." This is typical shoddy propaganda by the Chipster, who assumes the reader will probably be too lazy to actually examine the purported source, and will simply accept the slander.

by Macwhirr on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:13:11 PM EST
...I am alwyas proud to be spammed by a credulous LaRouche fan.  As it happens, the actual theory of the Frankfurt School became know in sociology as "cultural Marxism." It is only because the neo-fascist LaRouche still thought of himself as a leading Marxist intellectual that the term was not used in the Minnicino anti-Frankfurt School essay.
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:45:07 AM EST
Parent
Or is there an upswing in troll behavior on the internet?  I've noted several troll attacks on the more liberal sites I've visited lately (especially when the terrorist attack in Norway is mentioned).

I wonder if the exposure is getting them scared.  (Reminds me of how cockroaches scramble when the light goes on.)

As a side note - there seems to be an increase in letters to the editor about how the conservatives are harming people in order to help the rich lately.  Since letters to the editor (with caveats) can be a good proxy for public attitudes and beliefs, this might be a positive sign.  However, few are connecting the dots to the dominionists and their influence.  

I'm waiting to see if letters appear about Breivik's terrorism and how it's played out.  This horrific situation might, just might turn out to be the wake-up call Americans need.

by ArchaeoBob on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 10:53:06 AM EST
Parent

I've noticed a real up-tick in troll comments on Mother Jones articles. It's hardly worth the bother of scrolling through comments on that website any more. I've even seen several on Truth-Out in recent days.

by MLouise on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 11:32:35 AM EST
Parent




When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!madeira plastica | plastic lumber | Ssangyong | hyundai hb20saEZ8r

by dennishobson on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 10:18:23 AM EST


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