One more mass killer, one more drug-addled mind
30th July 2011
It's the drugs, stupid. In hundreds of square miles of supposed analysis of the Norway mass murder, almost nobody has noticed that the smirking Anders Breivik was taking large quantities of mind-altering chemicals.
In this case, the substances are an anabolic steroid called stanozolol, combined with an amphetamine-like drug called ephedrine, plus caffeine to make the mixture really fizz.
I found these facts in Breivik’s vast, drivelling manifesto simply because I was looking for them.
The authorities and most of the media are more interested in his non-existent belief in fundamentalist Christianity.
I doubt if the drugs would ever have been known about if Breivik hadn’t himself revealed this.
I suspect that mind-bending drugs of some kind feature in almost all of the epidemic rampage killings that Western society is now suffering.
Anabolic steroids were also used heavily by David Bieber, who killed one policeman and tried to kill two more in Leeds in 2003, and by Raoul Moat, who last summer shot three people in Northumberland, killing one and blinding another.
Steroids are strongly associated with mood changes, uncontrollable anger and many other problems. In my view, this link remains formally unproven only because no great effort has yet been made to prove it.
A serious worldwide inquiry should be launched into the correlation between steroid use and violent incidents.
Likewise with so-called ‘antidepressants’, whose medical value has recently been seriously questioned in two devastating articles in The New York Review Of Books by the distinguished American doctor Marcia Angell. Her words ought to be reproduced and circulated to all doctors.
I pointed out some time ago how many shooting incidents involved people who had been taking these suspect pills. Patrick Purdy, culprit of the 1989 Cleveland school shooting, and Jeff Weise, culprit of the 2005 Red Lake High School shootings, had been taking ‘antidepressants’.
So had Michael McDermott, culprit of the 2000 Wakefield massacre in Massachusetts. So had Kip Kinkel, responsible for a 1998 murder spree in Oregon. So had John Hinckley, who tried to murder President Ronald Reagan in 1981. They were also found in the cabin of the ‘Unabomber’ Ted Kaczynski, of whom more later.
Then there are the dangerous illegal drugs that are increasingly common since the State stopped bothering to prosecute users. Jared Loughner, who smiled so beatifically (like the equally unhinged Breivik) after murdering six people in Arizona, had been a heavy smoker of cannabis for much of his youth. The use of this allegedly ‘soft’ drug is increasingly correlated with mental disturbance, often severe.
All these poisons have their defenders, who will, I know, respond to the facts above with a typhoon of rage and spittle. This is because they all have their selfish or commercial reasons for preventing a proper inquiry into their effects – which is all I am calling for here. Shame on them. They are disgusting.
The rest of us must consider more wisely. The human brain is a delicate and mysterious organ, of which we know amazingly little.
But we do know this. Several drugs, especially the testosterone that is in steroids, the SSRIs such as Fluoxetine that are in ‘antidepressants’ and the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the main ingredient of cannabis, have potent effects on brain chemistry.
Anyone can have unusual or unconventional ideas. Unkind conservative Americans used to play a game of guessing whether various alarmist statements about the environment had been written by the Unabomber – who lived in a forest hut and murdered people by sending them letter bombs – or by Vice President Al Gore, who lived in the Washington National Observatory with a Secret Service guard. It usually turned out that the wilder ones had been penned by Mr Gore.
And I have no doubt that the eloquence of writers can move people to action. William Butler Yeats feared that his patriotic poems might have set some Irishmen on the path to Easter Rising violence in 1916. But it is rational action.
Nobody but a madman – and steroids have in my view made Anders Breivik mad – could believe that mercilessly slaughtering the flower of Norway would advance any cause.
Treating addicts as criminals might just have saved Amy
It's the drugs, stupid (part two). The death of the singer Amy Winehouse is a great grief to those who loved her. May they be comforted, and may she rest in peace.
And I hesitate to quarrel over her grave, except that one or two silly or ill-informed people have chosen to use her death as a pretext to push that favourite establishment cause, the decriminalisation of drugs.
One, Sam Leith, asked crossly, ‘Who sold her those drugs? I hope we find out,’ then added, ‘You can favour legalising drugs and still think it is irresponsible to pass them to someone in such depths of addiction.’
No, Sam, actually, you cannot, unless you are quite thick. How can it be evil and wrong to sell drugs if it is not also evil and wrong to buy them and use them?
And as long as drug possession isn’t prosecuted, dealers will find it easy to sell.
A real fear of prison might save many vulnerable young people from the miseries of drugs.
It is just possible that, had the CPS decided to prosecute Miss Winehouse for an undoubted drug offence in 2008, she might still be with us.
Then there’s that genius of political wisdom, Mr Russell Brand.
He says: ‘We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our Government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense.’
What criminalisation? Where has he been? Illegal drug users in this country are not criminalised. They are let off, and in many cases then provided with free drugs by the taxpayer, drugs from which they often die.
Mr Brand should also study the fate of singer Pete Doherty, a man who has actually been found in possession of heroin in a criminal court and still let off by a simpering, indulgent Judge. Criminalised, indeed.
Mr Brand already has the policy he wants, and it has resulted in ever-widening drug abuse, with its accompanying misery for the families of those involved.
Mail online 30th July 2011