July 19, 2017 | Jerry Bergman

Unapologetic Mass Murderer Motivated by Darwin Lives in Comfort in Prison, While Victim Trauma Continues

Darwinist Anders Breivik Attacks in Norway led to Trauma Disorders

by Dr Jerry Bergman

Anders Behring Breivik (who anglicized his name to Andrew Berwick in his manifesto discussed below) was a young Norwegian who was enamored with Darwinism and his modern-day disciples, such as Princeton University Evolutionary Biologist Dr. Lee Silver. On Friday, July 22, 2011, Behring Breivik set off a powerful homemade bomb in Oslo, Norway. He then went on a killing rampage, murdering 77 young persons indiscriminately at a Youth League meeting on the nearby Norwegian island of Utøya. It was the worst terrorist attack in modern Norwegian history, and one of the worst in modern European history.[i] To explain his terrorist actions, he produced a 1518 page, 77,724 word document titled 2083 European Declaration of Independence.

Breivik detailed in his document why he was an unapologetic champion of the Darwinian worldview. Breivik’s vision of “a perfect Europe” involved the strict application of Social Darwinism, opining that the application of “national Darwinism” should be at the core of our society. He does not believe that science should be left in private hands, but instead should be lavishly supported by the government. Breivik also stressed that science trumps religion: “As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over Biblical teachings.”  Breivik listed Darwin’s Origin of Species as one of the most “important” books that he has ever read. In my book How Darwinism Corrodes Morality, I go into more detail about Breivik, quoting extensively from his manifesto.

The Effect of Breivik’s Darwinism Go Beyond His Attack

Now, six years after the attack, Breivik is in the news again. A research project conducted by Bertel Hansen and Professor Peter Dinesen, of the University of Copenhagen Department of Political Science, in collaboration with Professor Søren Dinesen Østergaard from Aarhus University, found in the 18 months following Anders Breivik’s attack, Danes diagnosed with trauma- and stressor-related disorders increased by 16 percent.[ii] This percent equals 2,736 cases above the number expected. The researchers used data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register covering all psychiatric hospitals. The researchers previously documented that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States had a similar effect on mental health, but in this case an increase of only four per cent in the period following the attacks.

Ironically, the Breivik attacks in Norway produced trauma- and stressor-related disorders four times higher than that of 9/11 American attack (16 percent verses 4 percent). Danes developed mental problems due to terrorist attacks in Norway because Danes are both geographically and culturally very close to Norwegians. Danes rightly felt that this attack could have occurred to them. Furthermore, slightly over a year after the attacks, the court case against Breivik was intensely covered in the media, reminding the population of this frightful event. A new, but smaller, increase trauma- and stressor-related disorders was observed during this time. This is just another of many examples of the continuing negative effects of Darwinism on society.

Now 37, Breivik is serving a 21-year sentence in a prison in southern Norway, according to a CBS News report in January, 2017. [iii] His cell is a modern, well-furnished large three-room complex where he can play video games, watch TV, and exercise. He also spends much time studying. Breivik has complained about his lack of contacts with people. Although allowed to receive visits from family and friends, aside from some writers, only his mother, a nurse now deceased, visited him before she died of breast cancer. Yet despite his comfort, and the harm he has caused to thousands of people, he complains that he is the one who has been damaged.

Dressed in a black suit and tie, the stone-faced Breivik spoke coherently without emotion, saying he agreed with government attorneys who had warned that the self-proclaimed neo-Nazi had become more radicalized in prison.

I have been damaged by the isolation … (and) radicalization has been a consequence of it,” Breivik said before a three-judge panel which is reviewing a government appeal against a ruling that his isolation in prison violates human rights. “I have not been a little hurt, I have been very damaged.”

How could he become “more radicalized” than he already was when he killed 77 people? What radical ideas make him so unrepentant and apparently ready to cause more harm if he could?

The media continually refers to Breivik as a ‘right-wing’ extremist, rarely noting his eloquently articulated support for Darwinism as documented in his writings. The CBS article says he describes himself as a “traditional neo-Nazi”. In chapters 12-15 of my book, I document the Darwinian connection to Nazi ideas of the “master race” that led to unspeakable horrors in Germany and Japan before 1945. Breivik’s story shows that Darwinism continues to corrode morality today.

Although judges could extend Breivik’s sentence indefinitely, he could be released as early as 2033 since there is no death penalty in Norway.[iv]

[i] Documented in detail in Chapter 8 of my book How Darwinism Corrodes Morality: Darwinism, Immorality, Abortion, and the Sexual Revolution. 2017. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Joshua Press.

[ii] Increased incidence rate of trauma- and stressor-related disorders in Denmark following the Breivik attacks in Norway. Hansen, Bertel T.; Dinesen, Peter T.; Østergaard, Søren D. Epidemiology. Post Acceptance: July 13, 2017.

[iii] “Mass murderer says he’s been “very damaged” by prison isolation”. CBS News, January 12, 2017.

[iv] “21-year-sentence does not mean Breivik will walk free in 2033.” The Journal.IE, Aug 24, 2012.


Dr Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. See his Author Profile for his previous articles.

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