Reading an Alleged Killer's Manifesto

Friday, July 29, 2011


Ninety minutes before accused mass murderer Anders Breivik began his killing spree in Norway, he emailed his intentions to more than 1000 people, with a 1500-page manifesto attached. Dartmouth professor Jeff Sharlet read the entire manifesto.  He tells Brooke the media have mischaracterized the alleged killer's writings.



Comments [8]

Fiona Mackenzie

These two books are on my bedside shelf; I have read each of them more than once. I have not observed any political bias or, for that matter, any religious bias. These are scholarly works, reporting on the more than 75-year phenomenon of a quite private group enlisting, first, wealthy corporate leaders and then powerful members of government to combine their efforts with the Family to assert more and more influence over the secular government of the United States.

What they have already accomplished is not negligible: Some have interfered in international affairs in their guise as members of Congress, diverting federal money to their own purposes without our government's consent, throwing the outcome of ethnic and local wars to the side answerable to them (e.g., delivering $50 million to Sri Lanka to ensure its conquering the Tamil Tigers) and otherwise manipulating events in other countries. Some have interfered with foreign aid, as by persuading Uganda to destroy condoms received as part of Bush43's AIDS program for Africa.

Remember, it was the Family that instigated and encouraged the "Kill the Gays bill" in the Ugandan legislature, illegally using U.S. money. Interference from the U.S. administration postponed its passage, but in this week's news we are seeing it resurrected under the new Ugandan president, to be made into law.

It seems to me (speaking only for myself) that the Family is pursuing Dominionist goals. If most of the members of Congress attracted to this kind of activity happen to be Republicans, it is hardly the fault of the reporter; actually, denying or obfuscating that fact would be disingenuous and inconsistent with the clear, factual presentation of information in these books.

Nov. 26 2012 11:43 PM
Quinton Bynum from Raleigh

The report was a interesting one. The fact that Anders Breivik sent a 1500 page manifesto tells a whole lot. He told people his intentions to kill about 1000 people. Unfortunately the police was unable to capture Breivik before his killing spree began. It's a tragic set of events that took place in Norway.

Aug. 03 2011 08:56 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Wow! No one wants to confront the issue of Breivik and what he has done, at all?

I was more than appalled. I became fearful that his main mission, in my view the creation of a large contingent of fresh faced northern European martyrs for his cause of white supremacy, might be fulfilled but when I saw coverage of Bano Rashid’s and Mona Abdinur’s (a transplanted Iraqi Kurd and a Somali-Norwegian) funerals, I understood that Norway had found a way to utilize Muslim funeral convention (quick burial) for the larger purpose of singling these “foreign” youngsters out and eulogizing them to the point of idealization. Breivik’s purpose thwarted!

I wish American politicians so adept at thinking on their feet, which this effectively was but as the police rescue mission was not.

Aug. 03 2011 01:38 AM
Brian Berns from DC

Re: "Nonviolent knives". Can you provide a link to more information about the Belgian politician who was interviewed by the BBC about distributing knives to his supporters? I can't find the story on Google News. Thanks.

Aug. 02 2011 09:09 AM
Jeff Sharlet

Charles -- "The Family" was most certainly not an attack on Republicans. It was not an attack, and it was about both Democrats and Republicans -- there's a chapter about Hillary Clinton, for instance -- who feel that transparency is not a part of the process by which they bring their religious ideas to bear on policy making. Are my sympathies to the left? That's fair to say, and I make that plain in my work -- I'm from the school of journalism that holds it's better to reveal one's perspective plainly than to pretend neutrality. Then again, it's never that simple -- the heroes of my last book, "C Street," were all devout Christians, right down to the end with a self-described fundamentalist street preacher who put liberty of conscience as the highest of his religious values.

Aug. 01 2011 11:05 AM
Mort Moore from The Great Blogosphere

While "The Family" is primarily composed of Republicans, there are also Democratic members. So it's hard to take seriously your characterization of the work as "an expose/attack on Congressional Republicans."

Aug. 01 2011 08:51 AM

I find it curious that Jeff Sharlet was introduced as simply a "Dartmouth professor who frequently writes about religion."

Sharlet has an extensive history as an advocacy journalist, apart from acadmia. He is the author of "The Family," an expose/attack on Congressional Republicans. A list of his articles is a travelogue through American liberal press. All of which would make him qualified, and comfortable, in a left-wing haven like OTM.

Jul. 30 2011 02:16 PM
Connie Graham from Orlando, FL

Just a couple of observations on comments made by your guest who used to work for WSJ. His concern over a journalist and/or publication being labeled as being biased: mainstream media has been accused of "liberal" bias continually by nearly everyone on Fox that the general public accepts it as fact. He also confirmed my fear that reporters simply don't want to do their job, which is research their stories, because, as he said, "there isn't enough time." That's no excuse. If someone says that all feminists are lesbians or all Democrats are liberal or when Jon Kyl said that abortion services accounted for 90% of Planned Parenthood's expenses, the public relies upon whoever is reporting the story to both question the source of the person's information and to do their own research. Frankly, Jon Stewart and his staff seem to be the only folks doing this kind of work most, if not all, of the time.

Jul. 30 2011 01:45 PM

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