March 19th 2019 - In his pamphlet entitled "The Great Replacement", Christchurch attacker Brenton Tarrant says that:
"No group ordered my attack, I make (sic) the decision myself. Though I did contact the reborn Knights Templar for a blessing in support of the attack, which was given."
This struck me as interesting. Not because it's a reference to Anders Breivik's Pamphlet "2083 - A European Declaration of Independence". Tarrant makes no secret of the fact that the Norwegian terrorist influenced him.
But because of how precisely it ties in with what Breivik claims about the "Knights Templar".
Let's take a look at what Breivik claimed in 2011.
(...) "the Knights Templar was re-founded in London in 2002 by representatives from eight European countries (...) as a nationalist military order (...). The Order is to serve as as an armed Indigenous Rights Organization and as a Crusader movement (anti-Jihad movement)".
In 2012, I tried to follow up on the leads that Breivik left in his pamphlet regarding this alleged meeting in London. For example, he mentioned a British "crusader" with the nom de guerre "Richard Lionheart", his "assigned mentor" at the meeting. Breivik also wrote that he wondered whether one of the founders of the English Defence League might have been among the conspirators who re-founded the Knights Templar. To cut a long story short, I never managed to find proof that the secret meeting in London actually took place (even though Breivik was in London in 2002 at least once).
So it seems sensible to assume that Breivik simply made the meeting up. It serves the convenient purpose of suggesting that there exists, in total secrecy, a powerful organization that like-minded people can join up with fairly simply, after all.
Now back to Terrant. He revers Breivik. He is inspired by him. He also likes to think of himself as a crusader. And what does he do in his pamphlet? He in turn claims to have sought - and received - the blessing of the very fantasy organization that Breivik invented!
Why is that interesting?
In short: because Breivik and Tarrant, in a way, managed to make an illusion become real.
Let me put it this way: If two terrorists who between them murder over 120 innocent victims agree they both acted in the name of or as representatives of the very same organization, the re-founded Knights Templar - does it really matter if it is a "real" organization in the "real" world?
Or wouldn't we actually have to concede that it in a very disturbing way it just became real?
All of this reminds me of something.
I remember very well when "Islamic State" (IS) started asking sympathizers the world over to start acting in their name. IS would then accept the perpetrators as their own by adopting them after the fact into the organization that these men in some cases never had a "real" connection to before. When IS first launched this new strategy, it was quite new. We are now used to it, but back in the day it led to heated arguments about what constitutes a "real" IS attack.
So here is my point for today: In order to better understand the possible dynamics within the extreme right/neo-crusader movement, I believe we should allow for the notion that for these people the Knights Templar may be more than a fantasy.
- Good night!