VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XV

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 1235-1290), Breivik turns to the question of how to consolidate and organise European conservative groups. This is mostly to be achieved through the promulgation of what Breivik calls the “Vienna School” of ideology, so named because it was in Vienna where the last great expression of a European will to not be ruled by Islam took place.

For Anglo readers, some of Breivik’s philosophy will appear very curious. Some of this originality is a consequence of being European, such as his desire to resist “excessive US cultural influence”. He also believes in the idea of partitioning South Africa in two countries, with one for the Europeans. These sentiments he shares with many other European thinkers, not all of whom are right-wing.

Fundamentally, as is repeatedly emphasised, Breivik is looking for space away from what he considers hate ideologies. These hate ideologies are all as bad as each other in Breivik’s mind, and he claims to oppose any such ideology based on hate: “A multiculturalist is just as bad as a Nazi, which again is just as bad as a true Muslim, a communist or a fascist.”

The four most prevalent hate ideologies in the modern world, against which all nationalists and patriots much stand, are according to Breivik:

1. National Socialism (anti-Jewish hate ideology, racist in nature).
2. Islam (anti-Kafr hate ideology, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists etc).
3. Communism (anti-individualism, anti-freedom).
4. Multiculturalism (anti-European hate ideology, anti-white racism).

Sometimes Breivik’s argumentation is so reasonable that one is forced to consider whether or not he may have become demented after composing this document. For instance, he correctly points out that it isn’t a good or honourable idea to fight the hate of multiculturalism with the hate of Nazism, and one ought to strive to find an ideology without hate. He also points out that young people should not be considered “lost causes” just because the media labels them racists, a level of tolerance severely at odds with his infamous actions.

Much of this section is taken up with talk about the “seven fronts” of peaceful activism, which involve ways of promoting a cultural conservative message and resisting the hate ideologies of Communism and Multiculturalism while acting within the law at all times, and how people in these fronts must officially deny support for the “eighth front” of armed resistance.

Breivik gives a sense of having left no stone unturned when he writes at length about the reality of time in prison for anyone really interested in being a member of the eighth front. How to conduct oneself in prison in order to undermine Islam is discussed at length.

The most interesting thing to take away from this section is the question Breivik raises when he talks about the need for reasonable cultural conservative movements. He makes the claim that multiculturalists have sown the seeds for their own downfall by making moderate cultural conservatism impossible, because this has driven a large number of impressionable young people into the embrace of hate ideologies like Nazism.

This might be the aspect of Breivik’s philosophy that people will have the most difficulty understanding. He has the historical understanding to foresee a counter-reaction to leftism, and he knows that the greater the excesses of one age, the greater the excesses of the counter-reaction. So he is a voice of moderation in a very real way, somehow managing to be a centrist on the paranoid and aggressive axis.

Interestingly, however, Breivik puts the responsibility of creating this reasonable cultural conservative movement on his readers. He argues that any unwillingness to do so will inevitably result in impressionable youth having their social needs met by more insidious movements.

Why Kiwis Hate the Police II

Many forget that the warrant of a New Zealand Police officer is not to enforce the law but to keep the peace

Consider this thought experiment. You’re driving down a state highway at 100km/h, with some cannabis in your car. Going around a bend, you see a Police car upside-down in a river with no person in sight. Obviously the driver failed to take the corner, and is almost certainly in dire need of immediate medical help. The question is: do you stop and help, or do you just drive on past?

Most Kiwis would argue that the correct answer is clearly to stop and help. After all, it’s a medical emergency, and the Police couldn’t possibly be so unreasonable as to charge a person with a cannabis offence if someone’s life was on the line. Surely discretion would be used in such an instance.

These Kiwis would have more faith in the Police than Caleb Smith, of Greymouth. His story, which hit the news yesterday, has appalled New Zealanders. Smith made a suicide attempt, and part of the Police response was to search his house, discover some cannabis plants, and charge him with a criminal offense. He now has three criminal convictions.

This incident is very enlightening when considered in the context of broader relations between the public and the Police. The reaction of most New Zealand citizens when reading about the conduct of the officers in the Caleb Smith story is horror, disgust and outrage, but that isn’t the worst thing.

The worst thing is the effect stories like this have on public perceptions of New Zealand Police officers.

Stories like Caleb Smith’s tell the reader that the sort of person who becomes a New Zealand Police officer is the sort of person who is willing to go up to another Kiwi at their lowest point – in the midst of a suicide attempt – and kick him in the guts, making his life far more difficult for no benefit to the public good, and without the consent of the New Zealand people. It’s a person willing to be cruel simply for the sake of it, using their uniform as a shield to evade responsibility.

Like a dog, they just do what they’re told without consideration. At least, this is how the Police naturally start to appear in the eyes of the population they are supposed to be keeping safe when that population read about such incidents.

Cries of “They’re just doing their jobs!” don’t change the sentiments that stories like Smith’s make Kiwis start to have towards Police officers. In fact, mindlessly following orders is as contemptible as anything else – and people know this.

At the end of the day, every Police officer has the free will to refuse to enforce laws that are unjust, and if they choose not to exercise that free will they cannot complain of the consequences.

It is the duty of every sentient being to consider whether their actions cause suffering to leave the world, or whether their actions bring suffering into the world. That Police officers enforce a law on the Kiwi people that causes great suffering, and that they do so without the consent of those people – who do not approve of that law – is worthy of contempt.

If Police officers choose to enforce a law, even when doing so requires them to willfully add more suffering to the life of one of their fellows who is already suffering severely, then it’s only natural that the people come to hate them.

Not Kiwi Enough? If You Don’t Have Roots Here You’re Not a Kiwi At All

Very few New Zealanders would have the arrogance to move to another country and then lecture those people about who they are, and we shouldn’t accept it when it’s done to us

Three years as an immigrant in Europe taught me a lot about the concept of roots. This is a familiar concept to Maori people, who for a couple of centuries have had to tell the difference between Pakeha who were loyal to New Zealand and Pakeha who weren’t. The short of it is that one’s degree of belonging to a nation is a function of the roots that you have there.

In Sweden, like almost everywhere in the Old World, there is little question about who counts as a Swede. If you are Swedish then you have Swedish ancestors going back to the dawn of time, like all other Swedes. This is the common bond that gives rise to the Swedish nation.

If you do not have these roots you are not Swedish. This is a very simple and near-universally accepted belief. You can get a Swedish passport and become a ‘paper Swede’, and if you also speak Swedish this will entitle you to be treated with full dignity and as if your presence has as much value as anyone else – but you still won’t be Swedish.

Maoris in New Zealand have a similar concept. The depth of your roots tell you whether or not you can be trusted to stick around, or if you’re the sort of person who just wants to make a quick buck and then disappear (for obvious historical reasons, Maoris tend to be exceptionally wary of the latter sort of person).

The only real way to determine if a person is a Kiwi or not is whether or not they would stick by other Kiwis should a calamity befall the nation. This is a measure of the amount of solidarity that person has with other Kiwis. Would they stay to defend the country if it was attacked by foreign military forces? Or would they run away and leave Kiwis to their fate?

Fundamentally this is a question of solidarity. People with roots in New Zealand have cousins here, they have family friends in other cities, they have stories of how their great-great-grandparents or earlier descendants tamed the land, and this naturally leads to solidarity with other people who have similar roots and similar stories.

Golriz Ghahraman, who made the headlines today for lecturing Kiwis about our “internalised self-hate”, has no roots in New Zealand in any case, which is part of the explanation for the lack of solidarity she feels that she has received. Everything suggests that if the Kiwi people were ever truly in danger, she would rather move to another country than to stay and help out. If things got tough here, she would rather abandon us than face personal disadvantage by remaining here.

After all, she and her family have already done this once, so they have a track record of it.

She has no moral right to turn up in New Zealand as a migrant and then start lecturing us about what a Kiwi is or isn’t. The thought of a Kiwi moving to Iran and then presuming to tell the Iranians what’s what about who they are is ludicrous – so why do we accept the same in reverse? For someone with no roots in the country to act as if their verdict about our true nature has any weight represents an incredible arrogance and sense of entitlement.

Moreover, her implication that a refusal to allow New Zealand to become a dumping ground for the world’s human refuse is “race supremacy” is disgusting in light of the strong bonds of solidarity that exist between the descendants of British colonists and Maoris. These two groups get along as well as they do because they have shared roots in the country – it has nothing to do with race.

Obviously Ghahraman has spoken to very few Maoris in her lifetime, for if she had she would be aware that the strongest nationalist and anti-refugee sentiments in the country are harboured by them.

None of this is to argue that the National Front are correct or that they represent an appealing face of New Zealand. A New Zealand identity must not be based on a hatred of the other.

But for a Kiwi identity to exist, a certain degree of exclusivity is necessary. There is no other way of achieving this but to declare that people without roots in New Zealand are not Kiwis.

To make the argument that Kiwis with hundreds of years of roots in New Zealand are in the same category as people who just stepped off a plane and got a passport is preposterous. For one thing, it presumes to decide for those long-established New Zealanders who they are permitted to feel solidarity with. For another, it ignores the fact that almost every other culture in the world does the opposite.

Kiwis who are either Maoris or descended from colonists have a couple of centuries of family lore that relates to New Zealand that newcomers simply cannot have. They can tell you stories about how their great-grandmother cut her thumb off with an axe here, or how their grandmother broke her arm falling off a bicycle here, or how their grandfather used to go pig hunting here. Newcomers do not and cannot represent this culture.

At the end of the day, if people with deep roots in New Zealand want to exclude those who don’t, that’s their prerogative, and Iranian social justice warriors admonishing us to hate ourselves for it won’t make a mouseshit of difference.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XIV

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 1153-1234), Breivik gives his thoughts on the Knights Templar and ethnocentricism. The ultimate goal appears to be the institution of a cultural conservative society akin to that of Japan or South Korea, or what Breivik believes Europe to have been like in the 1950s.

Again, an element of paranoia comes through in Breivik’s writings, evidenced through extremely cynical conclusions to otherwise intelligent paths of reasoning. He correctly notes that the Nazi loss in World War II made any nationalist or racial conservative sentiments start to look a bit dangerous, and that this gave the initiative in the culture wars to the Marxists, but it’s not necessarily true that what happened to the West was due to some nefarious master plan.

It’s more likely to be simple superstition – such a thing happens to the ideology of the losers of every war.

Despite the paranoia, Breivik’s cold Nordic honesty shines through as some points, such as when he concedes that the Marxists have up until now been better propagandists than the cultural conservatives.

Although Breivik decries Nazism as a hate ideology at many points in this document, this section, if read in isolation, could easily give the reader the impression he was a racial supremacist. He decries what he believes to be an attempt by the cultural Marxists to cause the extinction of the Nordic genotype on the grounds that this genotype is evil, and he justifies an ethnostate on the basis that one would preserve the indigenous rights of the European people in the face of high Muslim breeding rates.

At some points, Breivik’s argument shows a distinct lack of deeper coherence. At one point he correctly points out that women like Pamela Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Taylor Swift attained fame due to their distinctively Nordic appearance, but the fact that this is true is evidence against a global media conspiracy to exterminate the Nordic genotype. Why would a media conspiracy put forward the Nordic genotype as a beauty standard when they could put forward an Asian or an African genotype and convince white men to ignore their women?

If the media puts the Nordic look forward as a beauty ideal this will simply shift the pressure of sexual selection to favour Nordic people, which means that the Nordic genotype would reproduce at a higher rate than it otherwise would have done.

The Nordic genotype is not really faced with extinction. People of Nordic genotypes control 30 million square kilometres of territory across Europe, North America and Australia and number close to 400 million (USA 180 million, Germany 75 million, Britain 55 million, Canada 20 million, Low Countries 25 million, Scandinavia 20 million, Australia and New Zealand 20 million). Their combined economic output is three times the closest competitor (either the Japanese or the Han Chinese).

Any idea that Breivik is a neo-Nazi can be decisively put to bed when he writes that “If there is one historical figure and past Germanic leader I hate it is Adolf Hitler.” However, he concedes that there is a 60% overlap between his ideal policy and that of the Nazis.

In a passage about sexual morality, Breivik writes “Approximately 50% of my female friends end up under the definition/category; promiscuous (female sluts) as they have engaged in sexual activity with more than 20 partners…” This sort of lifestyle was not for him, however, despite that “I could easily have chosen the same path if I wanted to, due to my looks, status, resourcefulness and charm.” This invites one to wonder how Breivik would have turned out if someone had given him some MDMA at age 18 or so.

Curiously, there is a passage where Breivik writes about the need to use “reprogenetics” to create a race of humans free from hereditary diseases in which he sounds very similar to the megalomaniacal Sigurd Mastersen in The Verity Key. Breivik wants to use women in third-world countries as surrogate mothers for embryos engineered to create a child of the Nordic genotype.

Further underlying Breivik’s inability to comprehend irony, he writes in one passage about the dangers of hip hop and how the lyrics can easily lead to a destructive and anti-authoritarian attitude. Well, it’s apparent that Breivik himself fulfills the criteria of having a destructive and anti-authoritarian attitude.

Notably, Breivik writes that “I never tried drugs myself as I never wanted to break that threshold.” Perhaps if he had been willing to try some drugs he would have broken out of the paranoid, obsessive, repetitive thought-loops of vengeance and justice that led him to kill over 70 people.

How to Not Sound Crazy When Talking About Your Psychedelic Experiences

It’s hard to talk about the world beyond to people who aren’t familiar with that range of frequencies

Even though the Internet has led to a sharing of shamanic knowledge completely unprecedented (and impossible) for any other point in the world’s history, it hasn’t filtered down to the mass consciousness yet. Probably it never will – the men of silver and iron and clay cannot be expected to concern themselves with what lies beyond this veil. This essay gives some tips for talking to them about the world beyond without sounding insane.

The most important thing is to have a feel for what the person you are talking to is likely to be able to handle. This means that you have to look for clues from what you already know about them to give hints about what they already believe.

The easiest way to sound crazy is to express a belief that does not accord with consensual reality of the mass consciousness of the people around you. This is true whether you are in meatspace or cyberspace. The lower the intelligence of the person you are speaking to, the less likely it is that they will have challenged any belief widely-held by the people around them.

It is in this will to challenge consensual reality that most people judge sane from insane. All you have to do is to assert that things are not as they are commonly believed to be, and some people will start to consider you crazy. Essentially you only have to contradict the television, or in other cases the radio or FaceBook.

You might start a conversation with a suspected normie by questioning the narrative that you are fed by the network news, or by the broadsheet papers. Even that is enough to sound pretty crazy to most people, who are on the level of “they couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.” If a person is on this level they are in no way ready to handle the idea that the government has lied to them about psychedelics for the sake of making them easier to control.

A useful tactic here is to point out how the governments and mainstream media of Anglosphere countries colluded to sell the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in order to manufacture consent for the Iraq War. It’s possible now, though, that a person remembers those times differently and will choose to remember it in a way that denies this collusion.

It pays to be wary of the fact that most people are materialists, which implies that they believe that the brain generates consciousness, and that upon the death of the physical body this consciousness somehow “disappears”. These people consider all kinds of religious ideas like karma and God to be superstitions, and the bitterest contempt is reserved for those religious who believe that the consciousness survives the death of the physical body.

Unfortunately, this belief is also one of the major insights of psychedelics – perhaps it is this psychedelic insight that forms the foundation of most religious beliefs.

Psychedelics are hard, and integrating their lessons extremely hard

Mathematics is the way to get at people who are the hardest to reach. Expressing a sense of awe and wonder at how, for example, the Fibonacci sequence reoccurs in the state of Nature is a good way of getting a person to ask themselves whether there’s something other than sheer chance going on. Other ways are to express similar sentiments about the non-reoccurring nature of pi or the import of Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem.

The way to talk about it so that it makes sense is by talking about previous beliefs that you once held that you either questioned or abandoned after taking a psychedelic. Usually this makes it possible to apply logic to dismantle one erroneous idea after the other, and it’s seldom necessary to mention that this destruction of illusion was achieved by means of psychedelics (any insight that psychedelics have brought you can be plausibly credited to either meditation or a near death experience as well).

For example, a psychedelicised person might be able to conduct a conversation with a normie about the boundaries of the human body, and how it’s not clear where inside ends and where outside begins. The very idea of selfishness starts to unravel if the idea of what it is that one might be selfish about is challenged, and by such means light can shine through.

This column believes that the ultimate goal of consciousness expansion is apotheosis, where an individual consciousness reunites themselves with the universal consciousness and becomes privy to certain mysteries, such as that there is no such thing as time and that the death of the physical body does not impact the true self.

Contemplation of this alone is liable to induce a psychiatric breakdown in a lot of people. Most people are so utterly terrified of the concept of their future death that they have pushed the very idea of it into a deep, dark part of the mind, only to be ventured into in an emergency. Even fewer people have looked deeply enough into their own minds to have made a surgically precise distinction between consciousness and the content of consciousness.

Starting with such subjects is probably too much. Most people will declare you crazy for talking about them rather than risk psychosis by dwelling on them.

Questioning the materialist dogma that the brain generates consciousness is the quickest way to be seen as crazy. This dogma is taken by many to be the absolute, inviolable and axiomatic truth of reality and conversation along these lines is likely to make materialists fear or despise you.

The best thing is probably to declare skepticism of the claims of a mutual enemy. The Government, the Church or Big Business can all serve as excellent mutual enemies. Skepticism of the claims of these mutual enemies might then be generalised into skepticism about other claims and dogmas.

The World That Sober People Built

Sober minds built the atomic bomb that fell on Hiroshima; sober minds gave the orders to drop that bomb; sober minds followed those orders

“That person must have been on drugs” is a common response to observing all kinds of wacked-out behaviour, as if taking a psychoactive drug inevitably brings about false kinds of thinking – a cognitive bias this column has previously described as Sobriety Bias Syndrome. But if we look around the world that sober people built, and the moral values agreed upon by sober people, things really didn’t turn out that great.

It was pious and sober people who decided, a few thousand years ago, that mutilating the genitals of baby boys was a legitimate expression of God’s will. It was sober people who decided to adopt this tradition from the foreigners who practiced it, and people are sober when they argue for the “health benefits” of the mutilation.

George W. Bush, completely sober, decided that sending the firepower of the US military after Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a great idea, even though it led directly to the deaths of over a million people. The US Congress, elected to represent the American people, also soberly decided that this was a great idea.

In the 1930s we created and watched “documentaries” such as Reefer Madness, which exhorted us to tell our children that smoking cannabis will turn them into murderers; a dozen years later, with god-fearing sobriety, we built nuclear weapons and dropped them on Japanese civilians, killing hundreds of thousands in one hit.

These are the actions of sober minds. So clearly a person doesn’t have to be intoxicated in order to do terrible things to someone else.

Far from it. In many ways, sobriety can be seen as a kind of virus. Its presence in a person’s mind tends to work to drive out periods of non-sobriety, usually because of egoistic religious delusions about achieving purity of thought. The sober mind tends to have thoughts repeating in it over and over again, and this repetition can lead to a powerful commitment to some ideas.

This is a fact long understood by television programmers, who appreciate how repeated exposure to a short, powerful stimulus is more likely to induce purchasing behaviour in a potential consumer than a single exposure to e.g. a lecture about the qualities of a product.

Because novel psychoactive experiences tend to destroy this conditioning by allowing the conditioned person to see things from new perspectives, if you want to get everyone marching in lockstep then these psychoactive experiences need to be either discouraged or made illegal.

Consequently, entirely sober people have decided, presumably using sober logic, that putting another human being in a cage is a fair punishment for being caught growing a medicinal plant without permission.

Maybe there’s an argument that too much sobriety makes an individual mean from a lack of levity, and a society dumb from a lack of questioning?

After all, the mass shooters making the front pages recently are definitely not smoking weed, taking ecstasy or tripping on mushrooms or LSD, and neither are the genital mutilators, military warhawks and brainwashers that are responsible for most of the world’s evil.

The truth is that the world needs a diversity of ideas if humans are to survive the challenges of coming years. Never mind a diversity of skin colour – such superficial qualities do not constitute real diversity. Real diversity is diversity of ideas, even outlandish ones, even crazy ones, because that is the kind of diversity that saves us from groupthink and prevents us from making the kind of error that arises from self-righteous conviction about one’s correctness.

To that end, sobriety is our enemy and getting wasted is our friend.

The Big Lie of Our Age

Many pseudoscientific writings speak of the parts of the brain that give rise to consciousness, as if the question of whether the brain does generate consciousness had already been answered in the affirmative

The Big Lie of our age is that the brain generates consciousness. It’s a lie characteristic of our exceptionally materialistic age, because in most other times in human history people have retained their intuitive awareness of the primacy of consciousness. In the modern West, however, it’s simply taken for granted that the brain generates consciousness, and the deleterious consequences of this belief are denied or explained away.

This Big Lie has come about as a result of a reasoning error that became fashionable in the wake of the Enlightenment. The idea was that religion had held humanity back during the Dark Ages by making scientific research impractical, and therefore religious dogma had to be discarded from the scientific reasoning process, and therefore all talk of a world beyond the material had to be abandoned, and therefore consciousness simply had to be a material property.

From this Big Lie a number of falsehoods arise. Many of these falsehoods are encouraged by the ruling classes because they make the plebs easier to rule.

For instance, the belief that the brain generates consciousness leads immediately to the belief that the death of the brain (alongside the inevitable death of the physical body) must inevitably mean the “end” of consciousness. Because if the body dies, and the brain dies with it, then the brain must logically lose its capacity for ‘generating’ or ‘maintaining’ consciousness and thus that consciousness must disappear.

This belief, while predicated entirely on a falsehood, leads to a number of other beliefs.

The most powerful of these is the belief that this life is all that there is. If the death of this physical body means the death of consciousness, then I cannot be held responsible for anything I do while in this place (i.e. Earth, more or less). Therefore, if I take money now in exchange for attacking another person, or if I murder, rob or rape, then I only have to get away with it for as long as this physical life endures.

Another odd idea that follows naturally from the Big Lie is that only creatures with brain structures similar to that which knows itself to be conscious can also be conscious. If the brain generates consciousness by means of some property inherent to it (such as a critical mass of complexity) then other creatures can only be considered conscious to the degree that they share these brain structures with the person thinking up the consciousness theory (after all, that person knows themselves 100% to be conscious).

One delusion is that mortal terror is an appropriately dignified response to mortal threats for a civilised human. It is if you believe that the brain generates consciousness, but if you don’t believe this it becomes possible to be genuinely courageous. After all, why subject yourself to mortal terror if you know that the contents of consciousness are ephemeral and transient?

Of course, the ruling classes are generally happy to have people believe that this life is all there is, for a variety of reasons. Not least of these reasons are because it discourages anarcho-homicidalist action by making people afraid of execution, and because it makes people greedy, aggressive and acquisitive as they try to cram an eternity’s worth of pleasures into one mortal incarnation.

It is ultimately because of this Big Lie that cannabis and the psychedelics are illegal. These drugs modify behaviour by making the user aware, however fleetingly, of a world beyond the material. In this world beyond are immutable moral principles, and it’s harder to pull the strings of people who are aware of these principles and believe in them. Such people tend to make their own decisions.

A common experience on psychedelics is to feel the material world slipping out of consciousness and to become aware of an entirely different world as seen through an entirely different set of eyes, but which is ultimately comprehended by the same consciousness. This often results in the tripper learning the lesson of the primacy of consciousness and how conceptions of time and space are illusions brought about by temporary separation from God.

It is because of the Big Lie that people who become privy to such revelations about the true nature of reality – whether by taking psychedelic drugs or through other means – are seen as having gone insane, and their revelations seen as chaotic nonsense of no value. After all, if a psychonaut comes to realise that the Big Lie is a big lie, then that psychonaut must be dismissed as a space cadet or schizophrenic lest this realisation catch on.

Writing the Schizophrenic

The literary medium offers vast scope for portraying the perceptual and cognitive oddities characteristic of schizophrenia

There are a tremendous number of misconceptions about schizophrenia – a combination of a cultural reluctance to confront the reality of mental illness and prior inaccurate portrayals in popular media. Avoiding these misconceptions and cliches is crucial to creating a believable and engaging schizophrenic character.

Perhaps the most glaring misconception is the belief that having schizophrenia means having multiple personality disorder. Many people still seem to believe that having schizophrenia is like Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in which a powerfully suppressed evil nature sometimes breaks through to the surface and takes over the mind of the patient.

It’s certainly possible that a schizophrenic might have powerful struggles with inner demons, but they are not werewolves. A psychopathic alter ego is more characteristic of the psychopath. Powerful mood swings might make the schizophrenic seem like different people, and might make them difficult to deal with, but the characteristic of multiple personality disorder is that the personalities are not aware of each other, and schizophrenics are not afflicted by this.

It’s also not true that a schizophrenic will just babble nonsense all the time. Although psychological disorganisation is characteristic of schizophrenia, and although this disorganisation makes it more difficult to speak and converse coherently, speaking in word salad is more characteristic of an acute state of psychosis. This is a common state for a schizophrenic to fall into, but is different to schizophrenia itself.

Schizophrenics usually spend much more time in non-psychotic states than psychotic ones because it’s extremely difficult to maintain the state of acute agitation necessary to become psychotic. This state requires so much emotion and energy that in practical cases the sufferer either wears themselves out or ends up becoming convinced (or forced) to take medication.

So it’s relatively rare for a schizophrenic to act truly crazy all of the time.

What is characteristic of schizophrenia are what is called positive and negative symptoms. These don’t mean ‘good’ and ‘bad’ symptoms but whether the loss of touch with reality is the result of something being added to the “normal” experience of reality or something being taken away from it.

Dramatic visions, delusions and hallucinations, such as those portrayed in the film A Beautiful Mind, fall under the rubric of positive symptoms. The most common form of positive symptom is that of hearing voices. This is very difficult to imagine for anyone who has not experienced it, but a character who suffers this symptom might think that someone is talking to them when no-one is really there.

Sometimes when a schizophrenic appears to be rambling, they are having a coherent conversation with someone who doesn’t appear to be there. This naturally sounds like rambling to an outside observer although the schizophrenic themselves might believe that they are having a perfectly reasonable conversation with someone right next to them.

Likewise, when a schizophrenic appears to be staring into space, it may be because they believe themselves to be in a part of the Great Fractal that is different to where the outside observer is. Much like in a dream, the material world might not be making much of an impact on the consciousness of the schizophrenic.

This means that writing a story from the perspective of the schizophrenic is likely to be a cross between surreal and terrifying. Because what other people take for granted as firm laws of reality do not seem to apply to the conscious experience of the schizophrenic, it’s very difficult for any other character to understand what the experience of a schizophrenic is like.

It’s also terrifying because having original ideas about the nature of reality brings out some powerful emotional responses in other people. It isn’t easy to have other people profoundly disagree with you about things that you take for granted. Experiences like this might go some way to explaining why a schizophrenic character would also suffer from negative symptoms.

Disengagement with society, flattened emotions and an inability to maintain routines are the characteristic negative symptoms of schizophrenia, and if you can present realistic positive symptoms to your reader then some of these negative symptoms should be easy to believe.

For example, the reader might understand why a schizophrenic character feels the need to disengage with society if they read about how frustrating and frightening is to constantly be told, by everyone that character meets, that reality is actually very different to how that character perceives it.

Likewise, they might understand why schizophrenics have flattened emotions when they read about how a schizophrenic character has to compensate for the apparent fact that many of the things they perceive to exist aren’t really there. There are good reasons to not react strongly to things, even when those things are extremely bizarre or unusual, if one ordinarily sees a series of bizarre things that aren’t really happening.

The experience of being unable to maintain routines is a natural consequence of having an unusual amount of chaos in the mind, and it could be the routines in a character’s life falling to pieces that gives the first sign to those around them that a mental illness is developing.

Generally speaking, schizophrenia is an extremely difficult condition to portray accurately because of its complexity and because the experience of a schizophrenic is often fundamentally different to the experience of other people. Often the schizophrenic character will react reasonably and logically to the impressions that come into their mind and it is how those impressions get there which is the truly strange thing.

*

This article is an excerpt from Writing With The DSM (Writing With Psychology Book 5), edited by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

VJMP Reads: Anders Breivik’s Manifesto XII

This reading carries on from here.

In this section (pages 949-1067), Breivik continues to evaluate strategies and tactics for terrorist acts. Chillingly, here he writes specifically about the benefits of targeting a party conference of social democrats, for the reason that security will probably be poor, as well as expounding on why this would be so excellent a propaganda move for the cultural conservatives.

This section continues the high detail discussion about how to best carry about a terror attack. Given the comprehensive nature of the rest of the document when it comes to listing Islamic crimes, one is left with the impression that an extreme amount of thought went into the planning for the massacre that Breivik did carry out.

The idea that the ends justify the means comes through very clearly in this section. On the subject of attacking a left-wing party gathering with a flamethrower, he writes that “A severely burned category A or B traitor will in reality become a living symbol of what awaits individuals guilty of trying to sell their own people into Islamic slavery.”

There is something grimly medieval about mutilating living people to let them serve as a reminder of what befalls traitors, and this section is much darker and more demented than the sections about history. One is reminded of the admonition not to lose one’s own humanity in the course of warfare.

Again the paranoid nature of the rest of the document shines through when Breivik writes, of the largest annual conference of Norwegian investigative journalists, “98% of them are considered quality category B traitor targets”. With a worldview like this, Breivik could justify killing almost anyone.

Unsettlingly for us at VJM Publishing, this explicitly includes us – “90%+ of [writers] support multiculturalism and usually portray their world view through their works.” So we would also be marked for death if Breivik had his way, as those who work in the arts and recreational services tend to have broadly leftist sympathies.

The descriptions of how to break out from being pinned down by Police forces during an operation read like Breivik is writing about a video game. One passage describes how a car can be stolen and driven through any cordon that the first wave of Police officers might set up. This gives the impression that Breivik must have spent countless hours in dark plotting and fantasising.

Reassuringly, Breivik is able to demonstrate a sense of moderation. On the subject of using nuclear weapons in terrorism he writes that this “would normally inflict too many civilian casualties and it is therefore hard to imagine how nuclear weapons could benefit our cause.”

Breivik emphasises in this section the need to keep “civilian” casualties at a minimum. By this, of course, he means people who are not leftists. One is further reminded of the paranoid and oppositional nature of the document. It is also grandiose, which comes through in passages such as the description of how to blow up a nuclear reactor for the sake of financial damage to the “mutilculturalist regime”.

An unappreciated irony, at least on Breivik’s part, is that the document repeatedly emphasises how important it is that any prospective “operative” avoid getting flagged by the domestic security and intelligence services, yet it is possession of this document itself, with its voluminous advice for how to carry out terror attacks, which is most likely to get a person flagged by said spooks.

In fact, given that Breivik actually did go on to carry out a mass shooting, possession of this document is possibly the biggest red flag one could raise to the security services. Instead of being titled “A European Declaration of Independence” it could just as well be titled “A European Declaration of War.”