Welcome to this week’s edition of the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored this week by UrbanSurvivalPlayingCards.com and Target Focus Training.
Last Friday, a mentally deranged individual in Norway named Anders Behring Breivik detonated an explosive at a government building in Oslo, killing 8 and then killed 68 people at a youth camp on a local island. It was a horrible event, and to add insult to injury, it’s been horribly misreported by the media.
I want to discuss how this relates to preparedness, but first I want to clear up a few things regarding this attack…
To begin with, media outlets have called Breivik a “Right Wing Christian Fundamentalist.” A good chunk of my audience would consider themselves to fall, partially or completely, under one or both of those descriptors, and probably took offense to these labels as much as I did. But IS he a right wing Christian fundamentalist? Does it matter? Does the question deserve any space in a preparedness newsletter?
I can confidently say that the answers are “sort of”, yes, and yes.
Was Breivik a right wing Christian fundamentalist? The answer depends a clear definition of terms. Those terms mean different things to different people in the US, as well as having different meanings in the US and Europe.
The media thinks that “right wing” is a descriptor that encompasses knuckle-dragging neanderthal, racist, sexist, and any other “ist” that happens to be particularly derogatory at the time. Reality and history tell a different story.
For the last 220+ years, “right wing” has historically defined people who supported self reliance, limited government, voluntary individual charity, individual rights. “Left wing” on the other hand, has historically been a descriptor for people who support government control, redistribution of wealth, and centralized decision making.
Whether or not he was right wing or left wing is immaterial to me. I know people who are both right leaning and left leaning and neither group would go out and murder people based on that attribute. What matters is that the terms are not defined in the conversation and are left up to the reader to figure out based primarily on past input. In this case, the media calls anyone that they want to demonize “right wing” and gladly groups a mass murderer into this group without doing any fact checking.
Then what about the “Christian Fundamentalist” part? Breivik stated in his manifesto that he called himself a Christian because that would hopefully allow his “movement” to get support from the greatest number of people. Not because Jesus is his savior. Not because he goes to church. Not even because his parents went to church. He took a page out of Hitler’s playbook and defined himself based on what he thought would be most politically expedient.
He calls Christians “weak”, says he’s not religious, calls religion a crutch, plans on praying to God for strength to go kill innocent people, uses the term, “Christian-atheist” as a type of Christian, includes pagan god worshipers under the umbrella of “Christian” and says that Christians shouldn’t be allowed to influence public policy.
As a point of clarification, writers and anchors have referred to Breivik’s Facebook page that said he was a Conservative and a Christian. Facebook deleted his Norwegian Facebook page shortly after the attacks. The Facebook page that US media has been using was actually an American Facebook hoax page that was created AFTER the attacks by a prankster.
So, if you believe that “Christian Fundamentalist” defines someone who doesn’t read, follow, or even particularly like the Bible, and is a fan of mass murder then maybe he is a Christian fundamentalist. I think it’s safe to say that he isn’t and wasn’t and that the media is simply trying to create a reality in the minds of their consumers that is as unflattering as possible for Christians.
Does it matter what he’s called?
To an extent, it does…especially when inaccurate labels are placed on someone who takes sociopathic actions like this for the express purpose of demonizing people with different political and religious positions. Jared Loughner (Arizona shootings) and Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bombing) were also portrayed as “Christians” in an attempt to make Christians look bad, but they were also just sociopaths…both of whom denounced Christianity.
If you’re not a Christian, or even if you are anti-Christian, you might not see the trouble with this, but I still believe it is important to have the facts clear in your head. Why? Because we are in an odd time in history where the media tries to maintain the myth that they are objective and non-biased.
A non-biased media is like plain flour ash cakes. They take up room, but there’s no life, flavor, or excitement about consuming any more than you have to. Up until a few decades ago, the media was openly biased and didn’t try to hide it. They had names like “The Republican” and “Arkansas Democrat” and in many cases, the same town would have two competing newspapers. It sparked thought and debate, and readers weren’t under the illusion that they could turn their brain off when they started reading.
If you pick up a paper that you think is non-biased and see that a “right wing fundamentalist Christian” killed a bunch of people, the information gets stored in your head completely different than if you realize that that same paper has an anti-personal liberty and anti-Christian bias. In the first case, you store the information in your mind as if it’s true (which it isn’t). In the second case, you correctly dismiss it as propaganda.
This applies to politics, religion, and almost anything broadcast immediately before a predicted disaster (hurricane) and after any disaster. Most broadcasts will be done under the illusion of objectivity, but will really be designed to get the audience to take a particular set of actions.
How does this event relate to preparedness?
There are several lessons here…enjoy every moment you’ve got, don’t believe a media outlet that says they’re “neutral”, and more, but the biggest one in my opinion has to do with what happened on the island. As someone who is taking the necessary steps to be prepared for post disaster situations and possible breakdowns in civil order, it’s important to develop the mindset to be able to deal with sociopathic behavior.
Breivik was an obvious sociopath. He did not care about his victims as fellow humans. According to his writings, he WANTED to be taken alive so that he would have the opportunity to influence more people during his trial and imprisonment.
While you might not ever deal with this sort of extreme sociopathic behavior, I think it’s important to have a plan for dealing with it on a personal level…especially lethal force encounters.
Some people are wired to have sociopathic tendencies. Some get them when they’re drugged, drunk, or deranged. For people “on the bubble,” I can see parents giving up “normal” morality to be able to provide for their families.
In any case, there’s a good chance that the first indication that you’ll have that you are being threatened by a sociopath won’t come until they’re actually taking violent action. There’s no need for a sociopath to posture…you’re just standing in the way of something they want and the quickest way for them to get what they want is action…not talk.
Keep in mind that this is a worst case scenario, but if the cost, in terms of time and money, is the same to prepare for a “normal” lethal force encounter as it is to prepare for a lethal force encounter with a sociopath, it makes sense to prepare for the worst case.
I love guns, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a gun to be prepared and the adults on the island wouldn’t have necessarily needed guns to take out Breivik. It certainly would have made it easier, but the absence of a gun should NEVER take you out of the fight if you’ve trained your mind correctly.
Could you eliminate a lethal threat to yourself or a loved one? That’s an important question to ask, because there’s no need to buy firearms until you can answer it with a “Yes!”
I don’t know whether any of the adults tried to stop Breivik or not. The real question is what you would do in that situation. Specifically, what if you were in the same situation they were in and you didn’t have a firearm?
Would you know to attack targets like the groin, throat, and eyes, or would you try to grab and wrestle him to the ground?
Would you know how to use your body weight so that you didn’t have to rely on superior size or strength?
Would you be able to instantly flip the switch in your mind to go from a kind, caring, sane, social person to someone who could eliminate a sociopath’s ability to continue to injure or kill and then effectively transition back to sane, social behavior?
These are issues that warriors, “sheepdogs”, and protectors have dealt with throughout history.
I’ve talked about this before, including two emails this week, but with increasing instability, the events in Norway, an increasing number of riots, and the early signs that flash mobs are beginning to get more violent, being able to protect yourself from violence is an urgent concern.
I won’t say much more than I already have this week, but I’ve fought MMA competitively and trained in various respected self-defense disciplines and the one that has been my foundation for the last 16 years is Target Focus Training. I’ve traveled to the live training multiple times, own EVERY VHS and DVD they’ve ever released, train locally with others several times a month and on my own daily.
It’s the “system” that gives me confidence in my 110 pound wife being able to take care of herself, my parents’ ability to take care of themselves with old joints, and my ability as a protector to take out lethal force threats when a firearm isn’t an option as effectively and efficiently as possible.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I want to encourage you to do so by going to Target Focus Training to see the special offer they’ve put together for my readers.
Is it cheap? NO…this is top of the line training. Think of it as buying a solid, American built tool that will last a lifetime vs. a cheap foreign knockoff that’s poorly made and will break in a few months. The cheap version will feel better as you’re leaving the store looking at your receipt, but the quality one will feel better for the rest of your life.
Will it work for anyone? That’s a tough one that I can’t answer categorically. Here’s what I can say…since Target Focus Training is based on training your mind, using body weight instead of strength, and taking advantage of fundamental weaknesses in the human body, I would recommend that people try it before trying anything else…no matter what your physical condition is.
Why do you keep telling us about Target Focus Training? Because it is fundamental preparedness training that you will benefit from immediately and because it is a “product” that I use and train with on a daily basis. I have 100% confidence in it because of 16 years of experience using it
Back to Norway…what are your thoughts on what happened and how it’s been reported? If you read all or part of the manifesto, what were your impressions? Have you been taking any additional or new preparations in light of what’s going on with the debt ceiling? Do you have any experience with Target Focus Training? Let me know your thoughts on these and other issues by commenting below.
God Bless & stay safe,