April 17th 2012
Anders Breivik’s moment has come. Norway’s “Trial of the Century” is about to start and the Star of the show, Anders Breivik, is preparing his message to the world.
Norway has one Breivik free zone though. When Breivik’s trial starts, the Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet will put a button on its Internet edition, dagbladet.no. Press the button and you get a Breivik and terrorism free edition. The regular version will have saturation coverage of the trial.
Dagbladet’s online edition header with the Breivik free black button
The Dagbladet’s editor, John Arne Markussen, is interested to see how many will choose the “terrorism free edition” over the regular one.
The judges, Wenche Arntzen and Arne Lyng will have a difficult time if they want to prevent Breivik from using the trial to publicise his anti-Islamic message.
The man of the moment is prepared to step in front of the spotlights. He even had plastic surgery on his nose before he went on his bombing and shooting spree, so he would have the “correct profile” as he puts it. Some cartilage and bone in the nose were removed to get the required straight profile.
Much of his trial will probably revolve around the diagnosis or misdiagnosis as a schizoid paranoid personality. Breivik was initially, in November 2011, found to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. This was followed by a second report in January 2012, stating that, although he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, he is sane. He probably suffers a mild Attachment Disorder like problem as well.
In a normal trial the prosecutor argues for a jail sentence presuming sanity, while the defence pleads insanity to get the accused an easier sentence, and even an earlier release when he becomes sane again. The insanity plea means the accused committed the crime but cannot be held responsible for his or her actions.
This trial is not like any regular trial. We can expect a circus show.
Anders Breivik is in solitary confinement at a former Nazi concentration camp, the Ila Prison, seven miles outside of Oslo.
there he has a three roomed suite comprised of three adjoining 86 sq ft (8 sq meter) cells.
In the morning he is woken up for his early breakfast, which is delivered to his suite. He then goes for his regular morning run on his treadmill.
After that he reads the daily newspapers to keep up-to-date with what is written about him, and how it may affect his trial. Then he relaxes with some non-violent video game (there are some restrictions in jail).
When he gets bored with that he watches a television or a DVD. He has a 15 channel family television package (restrictions again), but does also have access to pornography (there are limits to restrictions that can be imposed).
Since he is after all a prisoner and is restricted to his suite, if he needs anything else (chocolates, cigarettes, etc) he rings his room-service bell and a butler, otherwise called prison warder, will bring whatever it is he desires.
After lunch (room service again) he gets a chance to exercise outdoors in an enclosed yard.
After this lunchtime exercise he writes and goes through the letters he receives. He has daily visits by his lawyers (he has four), police investigators and psychiatrists.
He is allowed private visitors as well, but so far he has had none. His mother, who is still undergoing psychological therapy for shock, never wants to see her son again. His father has similar feelings.
Breivik practises Japanese “Bushido” (The Way of the Warrior-Knight) meditation daily to stop himself feeling anything, which he has been doing for many years.
A personality disorder is considered a mental health disorder, but a person with a personality disorder is not considered mentally ill. Personality disorders are in a mental health grey zone. There is no treatment to cure a personality disorder. A personality disorder cannot be used as an excuse for diminished responsibility in a court of law, unlike Schizophrenia or Multiple Personality Disorder.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is diagnosed based on nine criteria. If a person has five of the nine, then that person has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Anders Breivik has seven of the nine criteria.
The last psychiatric assessment of Breivik states that he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and is also highly likely to commit similar violent acts again if he is given the opportunity.
He relishes his time in the limelight. He glows in his infamy. He has a narcissistic need to be admired. He does not see himself as a criminal murderer. In fact, Breivik feels pride in some of his character traits that others find loathsome.
Breivik admits he has some narcissistic traits, but considers them as positive traits and that he is within the “normal” range.
The trial is set to last ten weeks. Breivik will be found guilty. The question is if he will go to Jail, as he wants, or a psychiatric hospital, as the prosecution want. One thing we can count on is that Breivik will milk this trial as much as he can, and when it is over, he will appeal to a higher court to keep himself in the limelight and to continue to publicise his views.