Monday, April 30, 2012

Prisons often withhold death reports | | The Bulletin

Prisons often withhold death reports | | The Bulletin

Prisons often withhold death reports

By The Associated Press
Published: February 14. 2012 4:00AM PST
The Oregon State Penitentiary is seen in Salem in November 2011. Seventy-nine inmates died in Oregon prisons in the past two years, and the Department of Corrections said nothing to the public about all but one of them. The Statesman Journal compiled the information from internal prison reports obtained through public records law, court filings and other documents. - Danielle Peterson / Salem Statesman Journal
Danielle Peterson / Salem Statesman Journal
The Oregon State Penitentiary is seen in Salem in November 2011. Seventy-nine inmates died in Oregon prisons in the past two years, and the Department of Corrections said nothing to the public about all but one of them. The Statesman Journal compiled the information from internal prison reports obtained through public records law, court filings and other documents.
SALEM — Seventy-nine inmates in Oregon prisons died over a two-year span, but the state Department of Corrections made only one of those deaths public.
The prisons agency has no plan to change its policy of making public only those deaths of “certain high-profile or notorious inmates,” the Salem Statesman Journal reported Monday.
The newspaper was able to compile information about the other deaths from internal prison reports obtained through public records law, court filings and other documents.
Most inmates were dead of natural causes, but among the unreported deaths in 2010-11 was a prisoner who died of a suspected drug overdose and a convict who cut his wrist.
The DOC also did not report deaths due to natural causes in the system that holds 14,000 inmates.
Another death involved Richard Gifford, 22, who was developmentally disabled and died in a segregation cell at the state penitentiary in May 2010. An autopsy determined that he died of an “intravenous injection of undetermined drug or toxin.”
Gifford’s mother has filed a federal civil rights suit against the state, alleging that prison mental health workers failed to properly treat him and ignored his warnings that he was suicidal. It also alleges that staff members in the Disciplinary Segregation Unit frequently failed to make required checks on the inmate.
The department withheld reports on his death, citing the litigation.
The department did issue a news release when Shelly Resnick died in her cell in May at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, where she was serving time from Multnomah County for stealing checks from her work as a courier company employee.
She hanged herself, the medical examiner’s office reported.
“We posted the passing of Shelly Resnick because her crime and conviction was covered by the media, and we thought it would be of particular interest,” said Jennifer Black, spokeswoman for the Corrections Department.
She said the department gives state legislative leaders quarterly reports on inmate deaths and submits inmate-death data periodically to the U.S. Department of Justice’s statistics bureau.
The prison system has 14,000 inmates in 14 prisons throughout the state.
The Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem had the largest number of inmate deaths during 2010-11, with 31, followed by 23 at the Snake River Correctional Institution near Ontario, 11 at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla, five at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, four at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem and two at Coffee Creek.
Three prisons each had a single death during the same time period: Columbia River Correctional Institution in Portland, South Fork Forest Camp in the Coast Range and Deer Ridge Correctional Institution near Madras.

Pioneer of global peace studies hints at link between Norway massacre and Mossad - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Pioneer of global peace studies hints at link between Norway massacre and Mossad - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

  • Published 20:18 30.04.12
  • Latest update 20:18 30.04.12

Pioneer of global peace studies hints at link between Norway massacre and Mossad

In several anti-Semitic remarks, Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung also defends 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' and says Jewish influence was one of the factors leading to Auschwitz.

By Ofer AderetTags: anti-SemitismEurope anti-SemitismHolocaust
Johan Galtung - April 30, 2012
Johan Galtung
Johan Galtung, Norwegian sociologist nicknamed the “father of peace studies,” made anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli remarks while lecturing at the University of Oslo, in an article published afterward in the Norwegian press and in an interview with Haaretz that followed.
Among other statements, Galtung claimed that a possible connection exists between the terrorist responsible for the massacre of children in Norway last summer, and the Mossad. “The Jews control U.S. media, and divert for the sake of Israel,” wrote Galtung in an article published in Norway.
He pointed out that one of the factors behind the anti-Semitic sentiment that led to Auschwitz was the fact that Jews held influential positions in German society.
Galtung also recommended reading “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” – one of the most popular anti-Semitic texts in the world.
Professor Galtung, 82-years-old, is one of the founders of the discipline called “Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution,” as well as a founder of the international Peace Research Institute in Oslo. He is considered well-respected sociological researcher, has been awarded many prizes, and is the author of over a thousand articles and over a hundred books. Some of his work has also been translated into Hebrew.
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Galtung’s repeated anti-Semitic remarks were exposed by the website of the Norwegian periodical, “Humanist.” ( Some of the comments were made during a lecture at the University of Oslo last summer, and others were written by Galtung in response to an article critical of him that was published in the periodical.
Among other claims, Galtung stated that there is a possible link between Anders Behring Breivik, responsible for massacring dozens of children in Norway last summer, and Jewish and Israeli factions. The connection is supposedly based on the fact that the murderer has ties to the “Freemasons” organization, “which has Jewish origins,” according to Galtung. The supposed connection to Israel is through the Mossad – which Galtung believes might have given Breivik his orders.
In the same breath, Galtung mentioned a conspiracy theory, linking last summer’s massacre in Norway with the attack on the King David Hotel, carried out by the Etzel in 1946 – both attacks took place on July 22. He finished with this astonishing claim: “It will be interesting to read the [Norwegian] police report on Israel, during the trial."
In an email exchange with Haaretz on Sunday, Galtung requested to clear up his claims. “When we know nothing about who is behind Breivik, including whether there is anybody at all, any hypothesis is legitimate; that is in the nature of research,” wrote Galtung.
“I consider the Mossad highly unlikely, but it is illegitimate to eliminate it as a hypothesis with no evidence,” continued Galtung.
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When asked what he meant concerning the police report on Israel, Galtung replied: “Exactly what I said. I’m assuming that they are open to any possibility, and not only investigating acts carried out by Breivik, but rather other conjectures as well.”
In the correspondence with Haaretz, Galtung mentioned what he calls the “ambiguity of everything human.” To explain, he raised examples from the Middle Ages and the modern period. According to Galtung, “The terrible programs,” carried out upon the Jews, had another “problematic” side as well. “The Jews played a role in demanding payment from indebted peasants,” wrote Galtung.
According to Galtung, “terrible Auschwitz,” had two sides as well. “[It was] not unproblematic that Jews had key niches in a society humiliated by defeat at Versailles,” wrote Galtung, referencing Germany following World War I. Galtung continued, “In no way, absolutely no way, does this justify the atrocities. But it created anti-Semitism that could have been predicted.”
Another claim, made by Galtung in a Norwegian periodical, is that Jews control the American media. “Six Jewish companies control 96% of the media,” wrote Galtung. He included the names of journalists, publishers, TV networks, and movie studios, that he claims are controlled by Jews. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was also included on the list. “He’s not Jewish, but many of the people under him are,” wrote Galtung, in reference to Murdoch. “Many of them are fanatically pro-Israel,” he pointed out. Immediately following these claims, Galtung wrote that “seventy percent of the professors at the 20 most important American universities are Jewish.”
Galtung bases his doctrine on an article written by William Luther Pierce, founder of the “National Alliance,” a white supremacist organization. The same article inspired Timothy McVeigh to carry out the Oklahoma City bombings that killed 168 people in 1995.
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When asked by Haaretz to describe the effects of the “Jewish control” of the media, he answered that it could be a good thing, in terms of intellectual quality, but that it could also “limit the discourse about anything where Israel is involved."
As an example, he raised American media coverage of Iran. According to Galtung, “U.S. mainstream media only discusses Iran in terms of nuclear arms,” and does not discuss American involvement in internal Iranian affairs. Galtung wrote of “The trauma of 1953 – the CIA-MI6 strike against a legally elected prime minister.” Another example, according to Galtung, is “The Arab Spring, discussed only in terms of dictatorship-democracy, not also in terms of the role of U.S.-Israel behind those dictatorships."
Galtung also held an open forum discussion concerning the contents of the book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” one of the most quoted anti-Semitic works around the world. “I wonder how many people with such strong opinions on the book have even read it,” he wrote. “It is impossible to do so today without thinking of Goldman Sachs,” he added. Goldman Sachs is an international investment Bank founded and run by Jews, attacked in the media from time to time as a “capitalist pig."
“The Protocols,” are a forgery, created by the Russian secret police during the days of the Czar, which supposedly illustrates the Jewish plot created at a secret conference called the “Elders of Zion” to take over the world. Galtung, however, has another opinion. “It is hard to believe that the Russian secret police was able to be so specific,” wrote Galtung. While corresponding with Haaretz, he was less decisive, writing “I don’t know exactly who wrote the protocols."
Gad Yair, a sociology professor at Hebrew University, was the first to expose Galtung’s anti-Semitic remarks in Israel. Yair wrote about Galtung in his blog. (
“Professor Galtung was a valued and deserving member of any public or academic discussion, until now. If a trustworthy peace-broker was ever needed anywhere in the world, that was Norwegian professor Johan Galtung. This background gives meaning to the astonishment of Norwegian academia in the face of his comments. It is the same as the astonishment created by the murderer Breivikin." Norwegian academia is wondering, added Yair, how "this merchant of peace was basing his ideas on neo-Nazi publications, and including them in interviews, lectures and articles? Does he also, like Breivik, cry peace with a Nazi salute?"


'Father of peace studies' makes public anti-Semitic remarks
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Galtung claimed that there is a possible connection between Anders Behring Breivik, the anti-Muslim Norwegian terrorist who massacred 77 people, mostly children, last summer and Israel's Mossad; he said he believes the Mossad might have given Breivik ...
Pioneer of global peace studies hints at link between Norway massacre and MossadHaaretz

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Anders Breivik – What is the Diagnosis? – rajpersaud

Anders Breivik – What is the Diagnosis? – rajpersaud

Anders Breivik – What is the Diagnosis?

Anders Breivik has been relating a harrowing account of the events surrounding the massacre of 77 innocent victims in Norway, but the testimony to date has, perhaps surprisingly given its raw detail, not really yet resolved any of the questions as to his motivation or mental state. This is according to the journalists sitting in the court room and reporting the case to the world. As bewilderment mounts, public opinion appears to be congregating around two main conclusions – that he is insane or evil – or both. The problem is the legal and psychiatric processes often fail to recognise either conclusion. So after weeks of tormenting testimony, the Norwegian public could be left upset or enraged that they have been cheated of justice.
It may come as a surprise that two of the most obvious phenomena we see around us – madness and wickedness, are not recognised by experts. But this is because specialists claim they dig deeper -and therefore end up with a different conclusion. Legal and medical professionals are supposed to engage in argument and decisions over these kinds of cases, in an un-emotional manner. Yet it feels impossible to respond to Breivik in any way other than a heightened emotional one. Indeed it seems almost sick to not do so.
But flick through psychiatric textbooks and diagnostic manuals, and you won’t find ‘Evil’ formally listed anywhere. Yet you will encounter a term which appears to be the closest scientific equivalence to evil – this expression is – psychopath. The modern clinical term for evil might be psychopath, or sociopath, or anti-social personality disorder (ASPD) or dissocial personality disorder. The ever multiplying number of different expressions reflects an attempt by academics to find a dispassionate, scientific, or non-emotionally laden way of talking about, and researching the phenomenon. This is a personality disorder, which (see our previous article on this here) has been one of the most common clusters of diagnoses metered out to so-called ‘lone wolf’ killers, which is the kind of murderer Breivik appears to resemble the most.
A personality disorder refers to an enduring set of attitudes and behaviours which go on all your life – so crucially it’s not like an illness which arrives and changes you – instead you were always that way. The puzzle is the court has so far not been hearing evidence of long-standing deep personality flaws which would anticipate such gross violence. Most suffering from such deep psychopathy would have been in serious trouble with the police before, or had a history of conflict, fights, or anger management, and so on. Perhaps we will be hearing evidence along these lines later. If not, Breivik appears able to control himself for extended periods, much more than others with these diagnoses can usually. Personality disorders reveal pasts littered with social isolation or short term unsatisfactory relationships, with difficulty holding down jobs or staying within any kind of organisation such as a political one. Breivik doesn’t appear to have been able to cooperate for any extended period with even the small groups of ultra-right wing extremists that he seems to have made contact with. Those he might find himself most aligned to, have also since dissociated themselves with him.
In 2006, he moved in with his mother ‘to save money’ and then devoted 16 hours a day to playing on line computer games. At face level this is classic of a certain kind of inadequate personality type. We already covered how data from his playing of such games might be analysed to assist in the diagnosis in a previous article here. Of course neither compulsive gaming, nor living with your mother, are either in themselves signs of a disturbed mind. They are part of a pattern which emerges in a case where clues are difficult to discern. The data provided by the way he played computer games may provide additional information as to his personality, particularly when he himself is an unreliable witness to himself. The context is that Breivik appears to display a degree of social ineffectiveness and social isolation; he spent a lot of time by himself and seems to have struggled to establish and maintain intimate human relationships. But Breivik now apparently claims this was all part of a strategy which would culminate in the devastating attack five years later. Meticulous long term, relentless, single-minded planning is not usually consistent with the impulsivity linked to anti-social personality disorder, or the chaotic mind set associated with psychosis,. In court, Breivik claimed to have been ordained into a militant-nationalist group called the Knights Templar in London in 2002, but then he has to date refused to answer, apparently according to some reports, over 100 questions on the topic. This is very interesting from a psychiatric standpoint. He could just be lying, or covering up for collaborators. Someone who has a delusion, arising out of a psychotic illness, is not aware that what they are saying is not true. They firmly believe something which is palpably nonsensical to anyone else. Yet a psychopath, is more likely to know they are lying, and so endeavours to dissemble. Some clinicians would say this response ticks a box for a personality disorder such as anti-social.
Similar confusion surrounded previous lone wolf killers such as Franz Fuchs and Theodore Kaczynski. Austrian Franz Fuchs, killed and injured using improvised explosive devices and mail bombs in the early 1990′s, claimed to be acting for a fictitious group, the Bavarian Liberation Army. Theodore Kaczynski, AKA the ‘Unabomber’ waged a letter bomb campaign in the US over almost two decades, stated that he was the leader of the Freedom Club (FC), fuelling the perception that a larger movement existed that thought as they did. The difficulty of deciding between personality disorder and psychosis with these other lone wolf killers, who appear very similar to Breivik, has been discussed in our previous articles. So far, Breivik hasn’t been reported thus far in court to suffer overt classic psychotic symptoms such as delusions or auditory hallucinations (hearing voices). A psychotic illness strikes you down and deviates you from your previous life path, and so is distinctly different from a personality disorder which dates back to childhood. Someone suffering from a psychosis, like schizophrenia, has therefore often experienced a dramatic personality transformation, and most with this diagnosis are not at all violent.
In this context it’s intriguing that it has been reported that about ten years ago Breivik started to change profoundly, around the age indeed that, statistically, paranoid psychotic disorders are most likely to start. As a schoolboy, it’s reported he was fond of hip-hop music and had a Muslim best friend. But then he began to view immigrants as enemies, and those accommodating them as traitors who must be killed. Did this reported shift arise out of some psychotic mental illness which started then? But not all extremists, or even the majority, are frankly psychotic. Some espouse extremist causes because politics can provide an external focal point for everything going wrong in your life. Blaming enemies can be a convenient explanation for your own lack of success. Yet demanding to be released and treated as a hero, as he apparently has done in the past, appears delusional. As does his statement to the court last week that they only have two options – to release him, or execute him, when neither is a likely outcome.
In one of the most pivotal moments in the last few days of testimony, before shooting his first victims, Breivik claimed he heard “100 voices” in his head telling him not to do it. Does this mean he was literally hearing voices? It’s quite a strange expression. If he wasn’t formally experiencing auditory hallucinations, is this a hint that he may have in the past? What is key about this evidence is that it sounds like Breivik has come the closest he has ever done in describing a strange kind of conscience. If he had doubts and was torn, then this provides a clue that he’s not falling into the category of psychopath quite so neatly. This is why investigating exactly what was going through his mind at that precise moment is so important. These so-called ’100 voices’ telling him not go ahead appears contradictory to his other plans to detonate more bombs, decapitate the Prime Minister, and kill more than he managed to. It is also at variance with apparently the only display of emotion by him in the court last week, being when he was shown one of his own propaganda films. This is in marked contrast to the apparent lack of remorse demonstrated day after day of monotone testimony. The crucial bit of the evidence is missing – how come he just moved on and started shooting people? How did he rebut these voices in his head – if they really were there? Did he say to himself that these people deserve it? The ends justify the means? Did he remind himself of his grand mission to save Norway? Did he know, delusionally, already what the outcome would be?
Unfortunately we don’t know the answer to these questions, and that could be because Breivik so far doesn’t appear to have been yet subject to the right kind of cross-examination which would clarify the darkening mystery surrounding him. We can only hope these questions are yet to come. But as it’s reported his personal evidence is going to finish on Monday, we might be running out of time. It might seem almost offensive to try and understand the motivation and psychology of mass killers, but given there is some tentative evidence this kind of tragic event might be increasing in recent times, it becomes imperative to spot patterns so that preventive action can be taken. But another reason we might be against the clock, is it’s not unknown for this kind of mind set to be contemplating suicide. This might be the only way now left of eluding the ultimate indignity, and impotence, of incarceration. Suicide also assists in avoiding confronting many truths a murderer may have psychologically side-stepped so far, which living a long time might be the only treatment for. While suicide prevention strategies may well be in place, one truth that has emerged this week, is this is a person who appears capable of delivering death, against all odds.
Dr Raj Persaud is a Consultant Psychiatrist based in London, and Emeritus Visiting Gresham Professor for Public Understanding of Psychiatry. Dr Ramón Spaaij is a specialist in the area of lone wolf terrorism and author of Understanding Lone Wolf Terrorism: Global Patterns, Motivations and Prevention published by Springer. He is based at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

Inside the Mind of Anders Breivik – The Norwegian on Trial for Mass Murder – rajpersaud

Inside the Mind of Anders Breivik – The Norwegian on Trial for Mass Murder – rajpersaud

Inside the Mind of Anders Breivik – The Norwegian on Trial for Mass Murder

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Inside the Mind of the Lone Wolf Killer – have the psychiatrists made the correct diagnosis of Breivik?

The new psychiatric report on the mental state of suspected terrorist Anders Behring Breivik released two days ago ensures his sanity will be the key issue in the forthcoming Norway massacre trial. The report concludes that Breivik was not psychotic or mentally impaired when he killed 77 people in a double attack in Oslo and on the island of Utøya, on 22 July 2011. Breivik was (and is) sane, the two court-appointed psychiatrists behind the new report argue, though he may be suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a description of a personality rather than a mental illness. The arrogance, lack of empathy for others, relentless need for admiration, a preoccupation with fantasising about unlikely personal outcomes, like fame, and a demanding requirement for special treatment, means that if this diagnosis is correct, so far the trial proceedings are in fact playing right into Breivik’s fantasies.
Controversy over his sanity, given it follows very similar disagreements amongst court-appointed psychiatrists who have interviewed similar lone wolf killers in the past, all over the world, signals there is a dilemma at the heart of the profession. One core problem is how to reconcile some of the most disturbed and irrational ideas ever recorded, with such a cold, clinical execution of the final fatal acts, which themselves betray no sign of chaotic reasoning.
Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told reporters his client would not only defend his actions during his 10-week trial, but added, “he will also regret that he didn’t go further.” Is this an indication of a continuing delusion – given it’s hardly rational to make this statement if trying to obtain as lenient treatment as possible from a court? Does it betray the kind of failure to grasp how others view your actions, which is a cardinal sign of serious mental illness? Or is it a sign of an ultimate chilling internal consistency of ideas?
This kind of conundrum has lead some psychiatrists to suggest mass or spree killers such as Breivik suffer from a rare disorder so far unclassified and unknown in the textbooks, because it’s so difficult to gather enough of a sample to study effectively. Most mass killers die as a consequence of the spree killing because of armed police intervention, or they kill themselves, leading some to speculate that this is an act of self-destruction. Embitterment and self-hatred become entwined when some recent humiliation provokes a final realisation that the central narcissistic actor is not going to ever achieve what they had their hopes pinned on all their lives. This leads them to take revenge on an unfair world which has relegated them to a bit player in history. So they decide to take the ultimate and final step to prove how wrong everyone else was to write them off.
Spree killers differ from simple homicides because the rage is directed not at an individual but at a community or the world. Also they are not at all like serial killers, who generally perpetrate killings over an extended period, not against random individuals but instead a particular type of person, such as prostitutes, for their own warped reasons.
This new psychiatric report was commissioned by the Oslo District Court as a result of the controversy and intense criticism surrounding the conclusions of the first psychiatric evaluation, which had been leaked to the press. That evaluation concluded that Breivik was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and was therefore criminally insane, which meant he would probably avoid a prison term and be committed to a psychiatric institution instead. Both reports are going to be considered by the court meaning this and other similarities suggest Breivik so far most resembles David Copeland, the notorious London Nail Bomber, a former member of far right political groups and at whose trial psychiatric opinion also divided over a diagnosis of schizophrenia or personality disorder. Copeland perpetrated a series of London nail bombings in 1999, which killed three people and injured 129.
Breivik declared his actions were “atrocious but necessary”, guided by a strong political ideology in the face of an “imminent threat of the dark force that is trying to undermine all things civil we believe in”, he writes in his manifesto 2083: A European Declaration of Independence. He is sane, responsible, even rational, he argues, and reportedly called the insanity declaration “a fate worse than death.”
Diagnosis of Breivik’s mental state at the time of the attacks is most important because few lone wolf terrorists are either caught alive or willing to cooperate with their psychiatric evaluators while in captivity. This means Breivik presents a rare opportunity to understand the mind of the perpetrator of such crimes which could assist in preventing them in the future. It’s possible that a significant proportion do present themselves to medical and psychiatric services before their mental state turns so deadly.
After his arrest in 1999, Copeland claimed that he had been having sadistic dreams from the age of 12. In 1998, he was prescribed mild anti-depressants to help him cope with anxiety attacks and told his General Practitioner he was ‘losing his mind,’ citing difficulties concentrating and sleeping. Copeland stated that the idea of conducting a bomb attack would not leave his mind and that he had to do it. He claimed that he did not want to kill anyone, but that if anyone died it would not bother him either. He later described his actions by saying it was his destiny to commit the offense. Psychiatric opinion was influenced by the visions Copeland spoke of as a teenager which were felt to be consistent with the first stages of a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, where hallucinations and delusions are a prominent feature.
The psychiatrist authors of the new report, Agnar Aspaas and Terje Tørrisen, described Breivik’s cooperation with their inquiry as ‘very good’, even though he had initially refused to partake in the evaluation. In conjunction with the ideological documents Breivik has himself produced, such as his manifesto, letters and blogs, the two reports provide an important insight into the mind of a lone wolf. This level of cooperation with the assessment may have significantly influenced the psychiatrists towards their conclusion of sanity.
In an insight into what may be most likely Breivik’s future, given both psychiatric reports are going to be considered in his trial, the jury in Copeland’s case went against the ‘diminished responsibility’ argument and he was sentenced to six life sentences for murder.
Theodore Kaczynski (a.k.a the Unabomber) also attracted a diagnosis of paranoia by court appointed psychiatric opinion, and was responsible for a US mail bombing campaign spanning nearly two decades, killing three people and injuring 23 others. But he himself rejected an insanity plea which his own lawyers tried to enter on his behalf. This again echoes Breivik’s own rejection of the first report and psychiatric diagnosis.
One important reason why it may be significant for the wider community whether doctors declare a lone wolf criminally insane is that it can reduce copycat behaviours where lone wolves become ‘role models’ for other alienated individuals. For example, David Copeland stated that he was inspired by the American lone wolf terrorist Eric Rudolph, who was responsible for four bombings between 1996 and 1998 that claimed three lives and injured more than 120 others. In his manifesto, Breivik writes that with his actions he hopes to inspire like-minded individuals to carry out similar attacks elsewhere.
The role that the media may play in this modeling process has been documented in academic research.
Christopher Cantor and Paul Mullen of the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Monash University, who, along with other colleagues, published a study in the journal Archives of Suicide Research which investigated a series of seven mass homicides occurring in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom between 1987 and 1996. They found that a kind of modeling process may have occurred whereby perpetrators were being influenced by previous mass killing incidents. In particular the reporting via the media was thought by Cantor and Mullen to be influential and could have lead to so-called ripple effects extending over a period as long as ten years.
While the media can’t be stopped reporting on these incidents, Paul Mullen, a famous Forensic Psychiatrist based in Australia, argues in another paper published in the journal Current Opinion in Psychiatry that one clue as to the correct policy approach to preventing such dreadful occurrences comes from the history of Malaysia where the term Amok first arose.
In colonial times, in that particular region of the world, there was a well known syndrome of young men running ‘amok’ and killing others in a spree. The British colonial masters of the area actively pursued a policy of avoiding killing these perpetrators in apprehending or sentencing them. Instead they were consigned to asylums for the insane. This was such an ultimate humiliation, for that culture, at that time, that this denied these young men status and death, so depriving the mass killer, argues Mullen, of their raison d’être.
Mullen’s argument is that if perpetrators of massacres are predominantly awkward, obsessive individuals overwhelmed by resentment at their own powerlessness, actively attempting to portray them as they are, is a much more helpful prevention strategy, at least when compared to the inadvertent global media attention which reinforces an idea that in death they achieve the power, which always eluded them in life.
Mullen asks: “who would want to join the ranks of obsessive ‘wimps’ who can only feel potent facing unarmed civilians with a gun in their hand?”
Breivik’s dismissal of the initial psychiatric report that declared him criminally insane and recommended that he be committed to a psychiatric institution as ‘the ultimate humiliation’, provides a clue as to the important wider implications of these crucial psychiatric decisions.
Dr Ramón Spaaij is a specialist in the area of lone wolf killers and author of Understanding Lone Wolf Terrorism: Global Patterns, Motivations and Prevention published by Springer. He is based at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Dr Raj Persaud is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Emeritus Visiting Gresham Professor for Public Understanding of Psychiatry.

Psychology Journals Review - 4.30.12 - Mike Nova's starred items

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Psychology Journals Review - 4.30.12

via Behavior and Law by Mike Nova on 4/30/12
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via Medicine JournalFeeds » Psychiatry by admin on 4/30/12
Alcohol Use Disorder in Elderly Suicide Attempters: A Comparison Study.
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 16;
Authors: Morin J, Wiktorsson S, Marlow T, Olesen PJ, Skoog I, Waern M

OBJECTIVES:: To compare lifetime prevalence of alcohol use disorder (AUD) in older adults who were hospitalized in connection with a suicide attempt and in a population comparison group, as well as to compare previous suicidal behavior in attempters with and without AUD. DESIGN:: Case-comparison. SETTING:: Five hospitals in Western Sweden. PARTICIPANTS:: Persons 70 years or older, who were treated in a hospital because of a suicide attempt during 2003-2006 were recruited. Of 133 eligible participants, 103 participants were enrolled (47 men, 56 women, mean age 80 years, response rate 77%). Four comparison subjects per case were randomly selected among participants in our late-life population studies. MEASUREMENTS:: Lifetime history of AUD in accordance with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, was discerned on the basis of interview data, case record review, and the hospital discharge register. Depression symptoms were rated using the Montgomery-Åsberg Rating Scale. RESULTS:: AUD was observed in 26% of the cases and in 4% of the comparison group (odds ratio [OR]: 10.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.9-22.5). Associations were noted in men (OR: 9.5; 95% CI: 4.0-22.8) and women (OR: 12.0; 95% CI: 2.4-59.5). More than half of the cases with AUD and a third of those without AUD had made at least one prior suicide attempt. In these, AUD was associated with a longer interval between the first attempt and the index attempt. CONCLUSIONS:: A strong association between AUD and hospital-treated suicide attempts was noted in both sexes in this northern European setting. Given the high rates of suicide worldwide in this fast-growing and vulnerable group, comparison studies in other settings are needed.
PMID: 22510728 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

via Behavior and Law by Mike Nova on 4/30/12
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via Medicine JournalFeeds » Psychiatry by admin on 4/30/12
Convergent Validity of the Cognitive Performance Scale of the interRAI Acute Care and the Mini-Mental State Examination.
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 17;
Authors: Wellens NI, Flamaing J, Tournoy J, Hanon T, Moons P, Verbeke G, Boonen S, Milisen K

OBJECTIVE:: The Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS) is generated from five items of the interRAI/Minimum Data Set instruments, a comprehensive geriatric assessment method. CPS was initially designed to assess cognition in residential care, where it has shown good psychometric performance. We evaluated the performance of the interRAI Acute Care in identifying cognitive impairment among patients hospitalized on acute geriatric wards. METHODS:: An observational study was conducted on two geriatric wards. Trained raters independently completed the interRAI Acute Care and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in 97 inpatients (85 ± 5 years; 67% female). The level of agreement between CPS and MMSE was explored using comparisons of means, agreement coefficients, and diagnostic accuracy. RESULTS:: Cognitive impairment was present in 61% of the participants. Average MMSE scores were significantly different between groups with low CPS scores compared with those with high CPS scores (p <0.05). CPS explained only 48.8% of the variability in MMSE. Agreement in defining cognitively impaired subjects was moderate (percentage observed agreement, 68%; κ = 0.41). With MMSE score less than 24 as a gold standard, diagnostic accuracy of CPS was moderate (area under curve = 0.73), with low sensitivity, but excellent specificity. When lowering the MMSE cutoff to less than 18 and focusing on patients with severe cognitive impairment, CPS agreement coefficients and sensitivity increased but specificity decreased. Using education-adjusted MMSE cutoffs did not substantially affect the results. CONCLUSION:: CPS can be used for coarse triage between intact and severe cognitive impairment. Although promising results have been obtained in residential and community settings, our results suggest that CPS fails to differentiate across different levels of cognitive impairment in hospitalized geriatric patients.
PMID: 22513834 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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via Medicine JournalFeeds » Psychiatry by admin on 4/30/12
A Concern About the Proposed DSM-V Criteria Reclassifying Cognitive Disorders.
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 10;
Authors: Snelgrove TA, Hasnain M
PMID: 22495505 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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via Journal of Personality and Social Psychology - Vol 102, Iss 5 by Twenge, Jean M.; Campbell, W. Keith; Freeman, Elise C. on 3/5/12
Three studies examined generational differences in life goals, concern for others, and civic orientation among American high school seniors (Monitoring the Future; N = 463,753, 1976–2008) and entering college students (The American Freshman; N = 8.7 million, 1966–2009). Compared to Baby Boomers (born 1946–1961) at the same age, GenX'ers (born 1962–1981) and Millennials (born after 1982) considered goals related to extrinsic values (money, image, fame) more important and those related to intrinsic values (self-acceptance, affiliation, community) less important. Concern for others (e.g., empathy for outgroups, charity donations, the importance of having a job worthwhile to society) declined slightly. Community service rose but was also increasingly required for high school graduation over the same time period. Civic orientation (e.g., interest in social problems, political participation, trust in government, taking action to help the environment and save energy) declined an average of d = −.34, with about half the decline occurring between GenX and the Millennials. Some of the largest declines appeared in taking action to help the environment. In most cases, Millennials slowed, though did not reverse, trends toward reduced community feeling begun by GenX. The results generally support the “Generation Me” view of generational differences rather than the “Generation We” or no change views. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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via Journal of Personality and Social Psychology - Vol 102, Iss 5 by Perkins, Adam M.; Inchley-Mort, Sophie L.; Pickering, Alan D.; Corr, Philip J.; Burgess, Adrian P. on 1/9/12
Anxiety and fear are often confounded in discussions of human emotions. However, studies of rodent defensive reactions under naturalistic conditions suggest anxiety is functionally distinct from fear. Unambiguous threats, such as predators, elicit flight from rodents (if an escape-route is available), whereas ambiguous threats (e.g., the odor of a predator) elicit risk assessment behavior, which is associated with anxiety as it is preferentially modulated by anti-anxiety drugs. However, without human evidence, it would be premature to assume that rodent-based psychological models are valid for humans. We tested the human validity of the risk assessment explanation for anxiety by presenting 8 volunteers with emotive scenarios and asking them to pose facial expressions. Photographs and videos of these expressions were shown to 40 participants who matched them to the scenarios and labeled each expression. Scenarios describing ambiguous threats were preferentially matched to the facial expression posed in response to the same scenario type. This expression consisted of two plausible environmental-scanning behaviors (eye darts and head swivels) and was labeled as anxiety, not fear. The facial expression elicited by unambiguous threat scenarios was labeled as fear. The emotion labels generated were then presented to another 18 participants who matched them back to photographs of the facial expressions. This back-matching of labels to faces also linked anxiety to the environmental-scanning face rather than fear face. Results therefore suggest that anxiety produces a distinct facial expression and that it has adaptive value in situations that are ambiguously threatening, supporting a functional, risk-assessing explanation for human anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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via Online First Publication: Law and Human Behavior by Jacques, Karen; Taylor, Paul J. on 4/30/12
The authors examined the backgrounds and social experiences of female terrorists to test conflicting accounts of the etiology of this offending group. Data on 222 female terrorists and 269 male terrorists were examined across 8 variables: age at first involvement, educational achievement, employment status, immigration status, marital status, religious conversion, criminal activity, and activist connections. The majority of female terrorists were found to be single, young (<35 years old), native, employed, educated to at least secondary level, and rarely involved in criminality. Compared with their male counterparts, female terrorists were equivalent in age, immigration profile, and role played in terrorism, but they were more likely to have a higher education attainment, less likely to be employed, and less likely to have prior activist connections. The results clarify the myths and realities of female-perpetrated terrorism and suggest that the risk factors associated with female involvement are distinct from those associated with male involvement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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via Psychology, Public Policy, and Law - Vol 18, Iss 2 by Monahan, John on 10/10/11
I attempt to identify the central conceptual and methodological challenges that must be overcome if the risk assessment of terrorism is to make the same progress that in recent years has distinguished the risk assessment of other forms of violence. Four principal conclusions are offered. First, clarity from the outset on what is being assessed—the risk of terrorism in the aggregate, or of specific types of terrorism, or of specific phases in the process of becoming a terrorist, or of specific roles in terrorist activity—is a prerequisite to progress in research. Second, one current approach to the risk assessment of more common violence (e.g., assault)—the approach known as structured professional judgment—usefully may be applied to the risk assessment of terrorism. However, given that many known risk factors for common violence are in fact not risk factors for violent terrorism, the substantive content of any instrument to assess the risk of terrorism will be very different from the substantive content of current instruments that address common violence. Third, since there is little existing evidence supporting the nontrivial validity of any individual risk factors for terrorism, the highest priority for research should be the identification of robust individual risk factors. Promising candidates include ideologies, affiliations, grievances, and “moral” emotions. Finally, it is highly unlikely that an instrument to assess the risk of terrorism can be validated prospectively. An infrastructure for facilitating access to known groups of terrorists and nonterrorists from the same populations may be crucial for conducting a program of scientifically rigorous and operationally relevant research on the individual risk assessment of terrorism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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via Psychology, Public Policy, and Law - Vol 18, Iss 2 by Wiener, Richard L.; Bennett, Sidney; Cheloha, Carrie; Nicholson, Nolt on 11/7/11
This research treated the self-referencing theory, which explains judgments that perceivers make about sexual harassment complaints as a specific case of the general person–environment fit model. The research examined the effects of workplace gender distribution (situation variable) and gender of the judge (person variable) on the manner in which people determine whether male-to-male misconduct constitutes harassment. We presented the fact pattern from a litigated case to 53 female and 53 male people working in a Midwest community and varied whether the workforce was male dominated (90% men) or nearly balanced (55% men). Results showed that men exposed to a male worker who complained about another man's behavior in a male-dominated workplace used themselves as reference points and found less evidence of harassment than did those exposed to the same conduct in a balanced workplace. While women workers also showed evidence of self-referencing, the gender balance in the workplace did not influence their judgments. The results of the study show how self-referencing models can expand person–fit approaches to include explanations of harassment judgments and the need to examine systematically the role of perspective taking in the perception of sexual harassment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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via Journal of Personality and Social Psychology - Vol 102, Iss 5 by Blader, Steven L.; Chen, Ya-Ru on 1/9/12
Few empirical efforts have been devoted to differentiating status and power, and thus significant questions remain about differences in how status and power impact social encounters. We conducted 5 studies to address this gap. In particular, these studies tested the prediction that status and power would have opposing effects on justice enacted toward others. In the first 3 studies, we directly compared the effects of status and power on people's enactment of distributive (Study 1) and procedural (Studies 2 and 3) justice. In the last 2 studies, we orthogonally manipulated status and power and examined their main and interactive effects on people's enactment of distributive (Study 4) and procedural (Study 5) justice. As predicted, all 5 studies showed consistent evidence that status is positively associated with justice toward others, while power is negatively associated with justice toward others. The effects of power are moderated, however, by an individual's other orientation (Studies 2, 3, 4, and 5), and the effects of status are moderated by an individual's dispositional concern about status (Study 5). Furthermore, Studies 4 and 5 also demonstrated that status and power interact, such that the positive effect of status on justice emerges when power is low and not when power is high, providing further evidence for differential effects between power and status. Theoretical implications for the literatures on status, power, and distributive/procedural justice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Behavior and Law: Read it in your language

Behavior and Law

Read it in your language



Comportamiento y de la Ley

Una colección completa interdisciplinario de enlaces a noticias y artículos de revista sobre el General, Legal y Psiquiatría y Psicología de la prisión y los problemas de comportamiento y de la Ley

Lunes, 30 de abril 2012

SÍNDROME DE BREIVIC | ". Verdad es el conocimiento y la verdad sanadora es la verdad, a pesar de sus diversos significados e interpretaciones de diferentes pensadores tiene universal y trascendente, transpirando a través de los tiempos y culturas, auto-sostenible de valor"

Breivik Síndrome de Down: Grandiosa - tipo de trastorno delirante persecutorio de los asesinatos en masa con el resultado de una búsqueda mesiánica para promover la ideología militarista de extrema derecha que sirve como una reacción defensiva la formación de la fobia "contra los inmigrantes" castración intensa y delirante, y antifeministic.

¿Cuántos se ven afectados por ella, que estaba al acecho en la oscuridad, detrás de sus banderas y "manifiestos"?

La verdad es que el conocimiento y la verdad sanadora está. La verdad, a pesar de sus diferentes significados e interpretaciones de diferentes pensadores tiene universal y trascendente , transpirando a través de los tiempos y las culturas, las auto-sostenible de valor.
No consideraciones ajenas de conveniencia política o ideológica, debe entrar en el razonamiento relativo a Breivik la "cordura" o "locura" y legal responsabilidad.
En opinión de este observador (Mike Nova), el Sr. Breivik sufre de trastorno delirante (y no de "esquizofrenia de tipo paranoide"). Sus delirios son nonbizzare en contenido y presentación (aunque terrible en sus consecuencias de la vida real), así sistematizada (y publicitado) y tienen una calidad de la "visión del mundo". Estas cualidades psicopatológicos diferentes que sean (delirios Breivic y el comportamiento) una parte de un trastorno delirante.
En todos los estándares de tres (practica en los EE.UU.) legales de "locura" como un término legal y el concepto, la presencia de la enfermedad mental identificable y diagnosticable (" defecto de la razón o la enfermedad de la mente "o" enfermedad o deficiencia mental ") y su relación causal con la conducta criminal jugar a la parte central, axial.
Si la presencia de un trastorno delirante, sobre la base de los signos antes mencionados (características observadas con objetividad de la conducta perturbada ) se puede demostrar que el tribunal de manera convincente en un testimonio psiquiátrica forense, las posibilidades de "locura" El fallo que se podría mejorar. Enlaces Breivik Síndrome de * 19 de abril (12)


Mike Nova: Some open questions in Breivik Trial

Mike Nova: Some open questions in Breivik Trial

What is the role of the mysterious Belorussian woman whom Breivik met in Belarus and who visited him in Norway? Was it "purely romantic" or did it involve some other "areas of interests"?
Was her testimony obtained?
Was Breivik ever trained in any of Belorussian "camps", and if he was; when, where, how and with whom? Does he have any connections with Belorussian or Russian or any other "white aryans" ultra nationalistic groups?
Were any testimonies on this subject obtained?

  • Is this a trial or a pulpit? | The Chronicle Heral...

  • Norway trial: Muslims question focus on Breivik's ...

  • Religion & Brain: Belief Decreases With Analytical Thinking, Study Shows

    Religion & Brain: Belief Decreases With Analytical Thinking, Study Shows

    Religion & Brain: Belief Decreases With Analytical Thinking, Study Shows
    | By Posted: 04/27/2012 7:52 am Updated: 04/27/2012 8:11 am
    Many people with religious convictions feel that their faith is rock solid. But a new study finds that prompting people to engage in analytical thinking can cause their religious beliefs to waver, if only a little. Researchers say the findings have potentially significant implications for understanding the cognitive underpinnings of religion.
    Psychologists often carve thinking into two broad categories: intuitive thinking, which is fast and effortless (instantly knowing whether someone is angry or sad from the look on her face, for example); and analytic thinking, which is slower and more deliberate (and used for solving math problems and other tricky tasks). Both kinds of thinking have their strengths and weaknesses, and they often seem to interfere with one another. "Recently there's been an emerging consensus among [researchers] … that a lot of religious beliefs are grounded in intuitive processes," says Will Gervais, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in Canada and a co-author of the new study, published today in Science.
    One example comes from a study by neuroscientist and philosopher Joshua Greene and colleagues at Harvard University, published last September in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. They asked hundreds of volunteers recruited online to answer three questions with appealingly intuitive answers that turn out to be wrong. For example, "A bat and ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?" Although $0.10 comes easily to mind (it's the intuitive answer), it takes some analytical thought to come up with the correct answer of $0.05. People who chose more intuitive answers on these questions were more likely to report stronger religious beliefs, even when the researchers controlled for IQ, education, political leanings, and other factors.
    In the same study, another group of volunteers wrote a paragraph about a time in their lives when either following their intuition or careful reasoning led to a good outcome. Those who wrote about intuition reported stronger religious beliefs on a questionnaire taken immediately afterward. If intuitive thinking encourages religious belief, as Greene's study suggested, analytical thinking might encourage disbelief—or so Gervais and his adviser, social psychologist Ara Norenzayan, hypothesized.
    To test this idea, the duo devised several ways to subconsciously put people in what they considered a more analytical mindset. In one experiment with 57 undergraduate students, some volunteers viewed artwork depicting a reflective thinking pose (such as Rodin's The Thinker) while others viewed art depicting less intellectual pursuits (such as throwing a discus) before answering questionnaires about their faith. In another experiment with 93 undergraduates and a larger sample of 148 American adults recruited online, some subjects solved word puzzles that incorporated words such as "analyze," "reason," and "ponder," while others completed similar puzzles with only words unrelated to thinking, such as "high" and "plane." In all of these experiments, people who got the thinking-related cues reported weaker religious beliefs on the questionnaires taken afterward than did the control group.
    In a final experiment, Gervais and Norenzayan asked 182 volunteers to answer a religious questionnaire as usual, while others answered the same questionnaire printed in a hard-to-read font, which previous studies have found promotes analytic thinking. And indeed, those who had to work harder to comprehend the questionnaire rated their religious beliefs lower.
    Because people were randomly assigned to the analytical-thinking and control groups, and because the results were consistent across all their experiments, Gervais says it's very unlikely the findings could result from one group being more religious to begin with. Moreover, in two of these experiments, the researchers administered religious belief questionnaires to the participants a few weeks beforehand and found no difference between the groups.
    The effects of the analytical-thinking manipulations were modest. "We're not turning people into atheists," says Gervais. Rather, when the questionnaire responses of all subjects in an experiment are taken together, they indicate a small shift away from religious belief.
    "It's very difficult to distinguish between what a person believes and what they say they believe," says Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist and Nobel laureate at Princeton University who has done pioneering work on the contributions of intuitive and analytical thinking to human decision making. "All they have shown, and all that can be shown, is that when you're thinking more critically you reject statements that otherwise you would endorse," Kahneman says. "It tells you that there are some religious beliefs people hold that if they were thinking more critically, they themselves would not endorse."
    To Gervais and Norenzayan, the findings suggest that intuitive thinking, likely along with other cognitive and cultural factors, is a key ingredient in religious belief. Greene agrees: "Through some combination of culture and biology, our minds are intuitively receptive to religion." He says, "If you're going to be unreligious, it's likely going to be due to reflecting on it and finding some things that are hard to believe."
    "In some ways this confirms what many people, both religious and nonreligious, have said about religious belief for a long time, that it's more of a feeling than a thought," says Nicholas Epley, a psychologist at the University of Chicago. But he predicts the findings won't change anyone's mind about whether God exists or whether religious belief is rational. "If you think that reasoning analytically is the way to go about understanding the world accurately, you might see this as evidence that being religious doesn't make much sense," he says. "If you're a religious person, I think you take this evidence as showing that God has given you a system for belief that just reveals itself to you as common sense."
    ScienceNOW, the daily online news service of the journal Science
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