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Podcast No. 2 
Interview with Kevin MacDonald

43 minutes/6,038 words

Audio Version: To listen in a player, click here. To download the mp3, right-click here and choose “save link as.”

Greg Johnson: Our guest today is Professor Kevin MacDonald of California State University at Long Beach. Dr. MacDonald is widely known for his work on group evolutionary strategies and the psychology of ethnocentrism.

But what I want you to draw upon today, Kevin, is your expertise as a professor of psychology. In a recent piece at the Occidental Observer you talked about Emma West and Anders Behring Breivik, and the fact that both of these people are being labeled “insane” for their ethnocentric political views and statements.

I just wanted to explore some of that with you, because although the Establishment wants people to believe that we’re all crazy in this cause, there really are a number of people in our movement who are kind of strange – and I don’t want to mention any names or anything like that – but I do think it’s very important to be somewhat sensitized to the different kinds of abnormal and aberrant mental types that you come across.

You mentioned in your piece on Breivik, specifically, that you didn’t think he was a schizophrenic, which is what they labeled him. But you did talk about some other traits that you thought might be characteristic of his behavior. Could you talk a bit about that?

Kevin MacDonald: Yeah, actually psychopathology has become one of my interests. I’m actually writing an academic paper right now, an evolutionary perspective on various psychiatric diagnoses, particularly aggression and what they call conduct disorder in children.

Breivik was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic by a panel in Norway, and I think that’s just completely out of line. At least one of the doctors that had interviewed him earlier said that if you were planning something as intensively as he did, you have to be very rational, you have to be very much under control. It just doesn’t fit with a paranoid schizophrenic, where the person is completely out of touch with reality. If you look at his writings, he’s very rational; quite a bit of his writings I’d be happy to have posted on Occidental Observer. He’s a very intelligent, well-read guy, and he had a lot of good ideas.

So this diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia is politically motivated, I think. It’s intended to make him seem completely insane, because paranoid schizophrenia is psychotic; that is the kind of guy you have to lock up and throw away the key basically.

And I’m not saying he’s not unusual. He is abnormal, I think. So what I suggested in my article was that he had a tendency towards a grandiose sense of self, and that’s associated with what I called the behavior approach system, in other words he’s very self-confident, he pursues his goals very aggressively, he’s very focused on his goals, and that sort of thing. But he’s very much grounded in reality.

There are states especially hypomania, or even mania, but when you get more extreme on the behavioral approach system, there are cognitive distortions. This is a system that we all have. We all feel good about ourselves and confident and pursue our goals, but some people are way out there and they suffer cognitive distortions. However, these cognitive distortions are not the same as psychosis.

I think that Breivik overestimated how effective this would be as a weapon in the struggle against the invasion of his country. I think he was overconfident that people would rally to his cause and that sort of thing. I’m afraid that in fact his actions in the end may be counterproductive. So people like that tend to be just a bit out of touch with reality in terms of what the effects of their actions are going to be. But they’re not completely insane by any means.

Greg: There was a book I recently reviewed at Counter-Currents a couple months back by Nassir Ghaemi, who’s an American psychologist of Iranian descent who teaches at Tufts University. He wrote a book called A First-Rate Madness, and in there he tried to argue that a lot of political figures, most of whom are on the Left and all of whom are regarded highly by multiculturalists, suffered from some fairly severe mental abnormalities. And rather than say there must be something wrong with their politics, he says we need to re-evaluate mental illness. Maybe we need to get rid of this stigma. And he talks about people like Churchill, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and so forth.

And one of the things in the book that struck me as interesting is that he seems to define mental illness simply in a statistical kind of way. For instance he talks about mental abnormalities, and he talks about people who are basically kind of low-key individuals, people who are very high energy individuals, people who are highly strung and go back and forth, but it seems to me that those can be abnormal in the statistical sense that most people aren’t that way, but it doesn’t strike me that there’s anything pathological about being, say, kind of a low-key laid back guy or a high energy, high confidence person.

KMac: That’s pretty much the approach I’m taking. My view is that we all have these systems. We all have systems that bring us into the world and make us want things. It’s strongly attracted to reward, it wants social status, and so on. When you get to the extreme level you might call that pathology, but as you say quite a few normal people who are very high achievers are very high on these traits. Quite a few artists perhaps could be diagnosed as manic-depressive. There’s a lot of traits that are very useful, even when they’re extreme but not too far over the edge.

There’s sort of a fine line, and I think the reason these genes stay in the population is because some of these people are very, very successful. And some of them are complete basket cases. They’re too extreme to the point that they burn out, or they do dangerous things, or they’re completely out of touch with reality. But there’s a fine line there.

And I think with someone like Breivik, we have to look at his strengths as well as his cognitive distortions, and the fact that he was very rational about a lot of things is certainly something that is important from our point of view. And certainly the fact that they’re trying their best to make him into a complete psychotic is just purely political in my opinion.

Greg: So do you think that mental illness, then, can simply be understood as an intensification of abnormality? Because it strikes me as completely possible that somebody could be, say, very high energy, very self-confident, and yet not be out of touch with reality. And it strikes me that to be mentally ill, the mind can’t be functioning properly anymore. It’s not just a statistical definition, of “that’s abnormal, therefore he’s ill”; but that the brain doesn’t work well, and it seems to me that there are at least two things that we would say that the mind has to do. One is to perceive reality: be in touch with the world. And the other thing I think is necessary for a healthy psyche is to be able to relate to other people, which again is a kind of perception like empathy or something like that.

KMac: Exactly. In my system I have four specific evolved systems I think are the most important for personality. One of them relates to empathy, that is, close affection and relations and pair-bonds. People on the opposite end are what we call psychopaths or sociopaths. They have no concern about other people. And when you look at Breivik, he’s simply not that way. He has a very strong sense of his people. The fact that he killed those children is horrifying, but the fact is I believe that his sense of himself and his goals and his plans and his sense of impending disaster for his people made him suppress these normal associations and feelings that he had for other people. It’s something that I personally don’t think I could do, but he did it, and you have to think in terms of what would have made someone like that do that.

Again, I’m emphasizing his sense of grandiosity, his sense of having these goals of saving his people and that sort of thing. But again I think it did lead to cognitive distortions, and quite probably something that’s counter-productive. But psychosis is simply not indicated.

Mike Polignano: I thought that what you said in your article about oxytocin – you actually linked to another article, a recent study which showed that oxytocin, which is the “cuddle” chemical that is supposed to increase empathy, only does so for members of one’s ingroup, and in fact the same chemical can increase hostility towards people whom one views as being part of the “other,” or the outgroup.

KMac: Exactly, that’s exactly how I’m conceptualizing Breivik, because the fact is that you have this system which makes you nurturant and affectionate, and you want to help your people and all that, but it’s really directed at the family. If you accept an evolutionary account of human behavior, you can’t have a system that could evolve if it just made you indiscriminately nurturing and altruistic. So this system with oxytocin is really directed at family members and close relationships and people that you have affection for.

Greg: That’s really interesting. Plato in the Republic lays out a kind of psychology where he talks about the parts of the soul. One part of the soul, the “middle” part—which is middle because it’s associated with the chest—he calls thumos, which is sometimes translated as “spirit.” And thumos is a really complicated idea, but part of that notion seems to be love of one’s own. There’s a sense of attachment to what’s one’s own and what’s closest to oneself. And the flip side of thumos is enmity for people who are outside of that ingroup or opposed to that ingroup. So it’s interesting to see that modern studies of actual neurochemistry are coming up with an underlying basis for that kind of duality: the love of one’s own, the hatred or fear of outsiders.

KMac: That’s right. And I do think if you read Breivik, you see a very strong sense of affectionate love for his people. You can’t see him as a psychopath or a sociopath; it’s simply not there. And the fact that he’s really grounded in reality again simply does not suggest any kind of psychosis. So we’ll see what happens with this, but that’s my opinion.

Greg: Well, people like Breivik are dangerous to be associated with, definitely. If one is building a political movement or just a political network, I personally would want to be able to spot and avoid people like him who might go off fully loaded and kill a bunch of people. What are the signs that one might have that somebody is a potential Breivik? What would you be on the lookout for?

KMac: If I were talking to him I suppose what I would expect to find is that he would have unrealistic attitudes about his own capabilities, about the effectiveness of his own actions. He’d be just a little bit out of touch with that. He’d be overly confident, would not really listen to other people very well, and just essentially be on his own pathway, his own agenda.

Yeah, I’m very worried about people like that too. We always have to worry about that. Because I think that the people on our side have got to be in a sense a little bit extreme. We have to be a little bit alienated from the culture around us, and that automatically makes us extreme because the vast majority of people just want to fit in, and that’s very normal. Well, you have to worry that you’re going to have really, really crazy people associating with us. So we have to watch out for that, absolutely.

Greg: One really important thing that your article stressed and that we’ve already talked about is this issue of being sociopathic or psychopathic. Of course a lot of the quick and dirty dismissal of ethnonationalists is that “Oh, these are a bunch of cold-hearted sociopathic people,” and that’s obviously not the case. If you really are primarily motivated by a love of your own, that is definitely not sociopathic.

Is there a named mental disorder, though, where one doesn’t love one’s own but one loves things that are foreign? Guilliaume Faye talks about xenophilia, love of the foreign, which is the flip side of xenophobia. The corollary of xenophilia is ethnic self-hatred or “ethnomasochism” as he puts it. That really strikes me as a bizarre and aberrant mentality, and that’s the mentality that’s fostered by the whole diversity cult in America.

KMac: That’s true. Actually one of my pet theories is that when people get too high on the affection system, when they get too nurturing, they lose this ingroup/outgroup thing and it becomes [pathological]. In those experiments with oxytocin, they find that people who have high oxytocin still have a sense of ingroup and outgroup, but when you get really extreme on that scale, I don’t see that. I see people indiscriminately affectionate and without any sense of boundaries. And I think that is a real psychiatric disorder.

And actually there’s a name for it, dependency disorder, for people who are overly inclined to depend on people, and they’re indiscriminately affectionate, and they get exploited by other people, and that kind of thing. Most of them tend not to be very happy, which is why they go to a psychiatrist. But that is the kind of thing: there is a tendency for a certain kind of person to be indiscriminately and inappropriately altruistic and good.

Greg: It’s odd, though, that the very same people who are like that will turn really vehemently and viciously upon the people who are closest to them if they don’t go along with their kind of indiscriminate love for the other. I have friends in our larger cause who have been basically disowned by their families because they don’t subscribe to this bizarre xenophilia, as Faye puts it. And people who subscribe to that attitude are willing to attack and sever their connections with their own children. There’s something really strange about that. Can you explain that?

KMac: There is. Frankly I don’t really understand that one. But I do agree that [people like that] exist. I’ve seen them myself. In some ways looking at The Authoritarian Personality, that’s the kind of person that they idealize: the sincere liberal who would reject his own family in pursuit of these ideals. There are such people. I can’t say that I have a good analysis of that phenomenon, though.

Greg: One thing that strikes me as interesting that I read in your work is this discussion of “altruistic punishment.” The use of the term “altruistic” there is a little odd to me because it seems to really mean this: that one punishes people in one’s ingroup in a way that reduces the competitiveness and the survivability of that larger group. And that seems to be somewhat related to people who would attack their own children or their own kin in favor of foreigners.

KMac: It’s interesting; that’s an interesting point. I hadn’t thought of that. But the idea is that you have these groups, especially groups made up of individualists who don’t want to have strong kinship relationships and have a strong sense of a moral, ideological ingroup; these people have a tendency to punish those who violate group norms. Even at cost to themselves. That’s what we call altruistic punishment, because they’re doing it at cost to themselves. They don’t really get a benefit from it, but they reinforce group norms, and that does seem to be a really strong part of our culture. It really appears in the Puritan culture, a strain of our culture which I think has been a dominant part of our culture in the last 300 years or so. That is an important aspect of things.

Mike: I think it’s an interesting phenomenon: white self-hatred and exactly what brings that out of people. Is it a product of our culture, of the moral universalism, or is it something that certain people have a predisposition toward but that wouldn’t normally be expressed under a healthier culture?

KMac: I think that’s a very good question, a difficult question. I’m trying to develop a theory about individualism—actually I’m writing a book about it—and the idea is basically that individualists, like everybody else, have to form groups, but they’re not based on kinship. In kinship groups everybody knows their place in the kinship hierarchy.

Most peoples around the world tend to be non-individualists, what we would call collectivists. For example, the Jewish groups are very collectivist. If you look at traditional Jewish society, everything is based on kinship.

Well, individualistic societies are based on reputation. And that is, you have to have a sense of integrity and moral uprighteousness within the community, and your moral reputation is critical. And so what seems to happen in these individualistic groups is that people are more prone toward altruistic punishment. They’re more willing to punish other people who make transgressions, even at cost to themselves. And the idea is that there’s a strong sense of having a good reputation.

And so what’s happening in this culture of political correctness that’s been erected by these Jewish intellectual movements that I discussed in The Culture of Critique, is that any infraction against multicultural morality and righteousness is met with guilt and punishment, that is, people will altruistically punish people who deviate from it.

If you look at Emma West and that little incident on the subway, it’s another white woman who yells at her and gets extremely in her face. She’s one of these altruistic punishers. She’s out there punishing somebody who has deviated from the moral status quo that’s been erected by this culture of the Left, this very anti-White culture where White people are the only people that can’t have a sense of ingroup pride or sense of interests or anything else.

So that’s what I’m concerned about: this culture of moral uprighteousness and people wanting to maintain their reputations and feeling good about themselves is not only turning us against ourselves—people are terrified and feel morally guilty for any kind of infraction against political correctness, whether it’s not wanting immigration, having attitudes that blacks  are prone to crime, and all of these things that are proscribed by these elites.

The idea is that this becomes the moral establishment, and then people do not want to violate that because it ruins their reputation. They will altruistically punish others who do do that, and as we’ve seen over and over in history.

Again, one of the main groups I’m focusing on are the Puritans. The Puritan strand of Western culture is a very important strand in American culture and English culture, so that’s where I’m headed in my book. It’s hard to discuss all this on a radio interview, but that’s where I’m headed.

Greg: That sounds really interesting.

Mike: I’m curious as to whether that phenomenon is racially specific for Whites, whether it has some kind of evolutionary basis, if there’s a link between that and the high investment parenting and reproductive strategies of Whites.

KMac: Yes, that is definitely part of the argument. The idea is that Whites essentially evolved in the North, and required a very high investment style of parenting but did not have strong selection for competition between groups, and so we’re more individualistic. When groups did form they were not based on strong kinship relationships because we just didn’t have those types of tendencies, unlike Jewish groups and other Middle Eastern groups that are very strongly kinship-focused. A paradigm is the organization of the Indo-European military groups that were so successful. They were built entirely on reputation, not on the basis of kinship relations.

So Western groups tend to be individualistic; they tend to be built more on a moral or ideological sense of the ingroup. And yes this is, I believe, an ethnic phenomenon. We are the only major culture area in the entire world that is prone to individualism. You can go to India, China, the Middle East, Africa, they’re all based on kinship. They’re all what we call collectivist. So Western culture is unique because of this individualism.

We have to understand this completely, at a psychological level and in terms of our having a theory of the evolution of individualism. It’s critical to understanding our weaknesses and our strengths. Our strengths are incredible; we went out and conquered the world. We created the modern world. But we have these weaknesses, where we are now self-flagellating, this ethnomasochism as you say. We are destroying ourselves before our very eyes. We have to understand these psychological proclivities that we have.

Greg: One question I have that was brought up by your remarks about the Puritans: when they came to the colonies, the Puritans were very, very trusting with the Indians. They came with their hands out, and they were then attacked by the Indians. And yet they kept trying to show their goodwill, demonstrate that they were good people, and there was this drive amongst the Puritans that made them very prone to being exploited and attacked by the Indians. And, it’s easy for racialists to mock them as these “goofy liberal types” who just always were trying to demonstrate their goodwill to people who were radically different.

But I wonder if there’s a flip side to that, which is this: Western civilizations, White civilizations, tend to be high trust societies, whereas non-Western civilizations tend to be low trust societies. They tend to be divided on a kinship basis, and there’s a lot of ethnocentrism and enmity.

It strikes me that one of the foundations for the amazing progress that Whites have achieved in Europe is that we had very high trust societies, and therefore we were able to create very large, complex social orders. But then when we encountered other races that were not prone to that same kind of behavior, that made us easy to exploit.

But the implication for the White Nationalist movement is this: the White Nationalist movement tends to consist of highly ethnocentric and low trust White people. And I’m wondering if one of the reasons we have such trouble getting anything organized, is because we are so high in distrust of other people. So maybe the Puritans, maybe the liberals, maybe the high-minded people have an advantage in building organizations, at least among people of their own kind, that the nationalistic groups don’t have.

KMac: That’s really interesting. I hadn’t thought of that. But it is really true that Western societies are high trust societies, and that really fits in to what I was saying about reputation. In Western societies the most important thing you have in the world is your reputation. It’s a public commodity, which is based on past experience with the person. Whereas in these kinship-based societies, basically if you get power and money, you’re expected to help your kin. So these societies tend to be totally corrupt; you cannot trust anybody except very, very close relatives.

It could be that a lot of people that are White nationalists or are prone to White nationalism are a little bit less trusting. We’re more ethnocentric, and we’re more skeptical about all this. Myself, I tend to be a high trust kind of person, but intellectually and rationally I’m saying that this is crazy.

You look at the Puritans: one of the things they say about these people is they tend to think other people were just like them. And so the Indians and Blacks are the same as us, but with dark skin, that kind of thing. These were very common thoughts among the Puritan intellectuals and Puritan-descended intellectuals in the 19th century. “They’re just like us,” and so you bring all these people over and it won’t make any difference. And you still see that, right now. You have the idea that you can bring half of Africa over here and it wouldn’t make any difference in the institutional structure of our country.

So that’s really an issue, but I think that we have to be less trusting and we have to be more realistic, we have to maybe go against the grain — and in my case it is going against the grain – to be more cynical, to be more realistic about what these people are capable of and how much they hate us for various real and imagined slights against them.

Greg: That’s really interesting. But it does present this challenge: within the White nationalist world, I notice a greater lack of civility and a willingness to entertain really negative thoughts about other people, a lack of charity and charitable assumptions in interacting with people. I think a lot of that has to do with the internet too, because the anonymity that comes with the internet allows people, as Harold Covington said, to get in touch with your inner psychotic.

KMac: [Laughs] Exactly.

Greg: It’s definitely a problem when people get together in the real world, and you’re meeting new people, and you get these rooms where people are eying one another uncomfortably with these uncomfortable silences.

KMac: Well I think it’s important in the long run at least to get a bunch of high trust people who are on our side. People who have a lot of integrity, a lot of honesty, who trust other people, but they also have a sense that if we don’t do something then our people and our civilization are going to be completely destroyed. So at some point the high trust people have got to take over. We have to have really good people running the show. People you can trust, people you have faith in.

Greg: Do you know of ways that groups could work to build that kind of culture of trust and transparency?

KMac: Well, I’m not sure. I just had a recent experience with this, where this woman sent me these emails and she was just excoriating me and making all these horrible assumptions about how I was treating her. And I just responded really nicely. I didn’t take it too seriously, and [conveyed] I wasn’t trying to do anything bad to her. Her whole attitude changed. I think that when you show that you don’t reciprocate this hostility and suspicion people really loosen up. I think they appreciate that, and I think that’s the kind of person who’s going to eventually be at the center of our movement – I hope.

We can’t have people who are just really suspicious and mean. We have to have people who are prone to good relationships: good parents, people who have good close friends, people you can trust and have some integrity. Those are the kind of people we want in our movement. If we see people who really aren’t like that, who really are sociopathic or psychopathic, we really have to get them out of the movement, drum ’em right out, because they’re not going to be helpful.

Greg: Right. One of the things that always amuses me about White Nationalists is we tend to be rhetorically and ideologically very elitist, but any stray dog of humanity that shows up in our midst, we put our arms around them and coddle them and will make all kinds of amazing allowances for them, even when they start behaving in really antisocial and destructive ways. My little line about this is “elitism needs to begin at home.” We need to start practicing what we preach in that area. We should be as nice as we can, of course, but back slowly out of the room sometimes.

KMac: I agree completely.

Mike: I take inspiration from the open source software movement. We need to apply that principle of transparency and openness and being forthright about these ideas, and also portraying them in a way that intelligent people can understand and get people to have a dialog about openly. Because I think that we do have truth on our side and the more light we shine our ideas, the more people we get talking in a mutually respectful way, where the ideas are debated and it doesn’t descend into an ad hominem flame war the way it so often does on these internet message boards. I think the real turning point for White Nationalists will be when we have more people who become immune to social ostracism when talking about these ideas, because they know that they have the truth on their side.

KMac: That’s right. That’s very important. Being ostracized is very difficult psychologically. Everybody wants to be liked. But when you have become cognitively aware of what’s going on, I think it really makes you a whole lot stronger. When you find other people who are good, honest people who are not psychotic or psychopathic or sociopathic, when you see them in our movement, that is really going to attract more and more people.

You talked about message boards. I get attacked horribly on the Occidental Observer, and my first inclination is to respond really negatively, but I don’t. I respond, but in a really laid back kind of way, without a lot of accusations, and I think it changes the tone of everything. People then don’t do that again; they tend not to do those vicious kind of attacks after that.

Mike: Right. I do think as well that there are a lot of people who are considering our ideas or thinking about them in their own heads but are totally unwilling to go public with them, and I think that’s really the audience we need to have in mind when we talk about these things.

KMac: And the audience we have in mind has to be normal people, who are good people. That’s the kind of people who will be attracted when they see that kind of person in our movement. So that’s who we have to aim for.

Greg: Kevin, are there any last thoughts that you have?

KMac: Well, I think we’ve covered an awful lot. I can’t stress enough our kinds of groups are built on trust and integrity, and I don’t think there can be any significant movement of White people unless at the top you have people that are seen as trustworthy and as having a sense of decorum and integrity. So that’s what we really have to try to put forward in ourselves.

Greg: I agree with that. One thing that I think needs to be pondered and explained is why the conservative movement has been losing so consistently–gracefully, but consistently–for decades. And just hanging around conservative groups and conservative-ish sorts of people, one thing that I noticed is very prominent is there tends to be a lot of fraud in social interactions.

And especially in discussions having to do with religion. I’ve been in rooms where the majority of people were nonbelievers, but they’re all bowing their heads and saying grace. It just strikes me that if people can’t be real with one another within a political context, that’s a sign of low trust for one thing, an inability to really fuse together and work together.

And one thing that I try to do with Counter-Currents is to create an atmosphere where people can be real even about very controversial issues. So that if we’re going to work together, we’re working together with people that we know where they stand on certain things, and they feel that they can be themselves, even if it’s saying “I’m a heathen” or “I’m an atheist” or “I’m an agnostic” or “I’m a Christian.” But that level of honesty, I think, is one way that I’m hoping we can address some of these character problems that have certainly beset the conservative movement.

KMac: That’s a good point. Just having people be tolerant of some differences within our movement [would be progress]. You see some people just freaking out if anybody’s got a [different] religious belief or something like that. We have to be tolerant: some people are going to be religious and some people aren’t.

I do think that looking at conservatives, I have the same feeling you do where there’s an awful lot of insincerity and duplicity. You listen to someone like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity whenever they talk about Israel or something like that, and you just know that they’re lying through their teeth. It’s just a sense that these people really don’t have integrity. I think that sooner or later people – an awful lot of people are going to see that.

Greg: I’m sure there are a lot of other factors as to why conservatives are such losers, but I think that for me that’s one of the things that resonates most deeply, because I tend to think the Greeks were right about vice. And one of the teachings of the ancients is that ultimately [a lot of] vice is rooted in cowardice. Including lying. People lie because they’re afraid to face the truth. They’re afraid to speak the truth and take the consequences. And if you have a political movement where lying is just the bedrock norm of getting along, then that builds cowardice right into the foundations of it. And I wonder if that has something to do with the fact that these people are always in retreat.

KMac: I think that’s right. The whole establishment is just so corrupt. And we’re the guys with the truth on our side; we’re the ones with integrity and honesty; and out of all sides from liberal to conservative in the media all we see is lies and corruption. At some point it’ll be like the Soviet Union where nobody believes it anymore and then I think maybe they’ll come to our side, I don’t know.

Greg: They’ve tried everything, except sincerity. Maybe we should try sincerity. People have worked every possible angle except just being sincere, so maybe we could trot that out and see if it actually has some political power in the end.

KMac: There you go.

Mike: You do see among our enemies – in Israel especially with the settlement movement, but also with their supporters, you mentioned some of them, Hannity, but especially Glen Beck as well—this real religious dogma and conviction. I wonder if that level of conviction is only attainable through a religious belief, or if we can get ourselves to have that without religion. Not be blinded by it, like they are. Not let it get in the way of being able to debate and have dialog and discussion about ideas. But that inner conviction that – to go back to what we were talking about in the beginning, I think Breivik had that in him, even though I disagree with what he did, I wonder if that is something we can consider a strength or if it is a weakness.

KMac: Well, I do think it is really important that we have these really strong beliefs now. We have a lot of integrity and a lot of honesty. The data are on our side. Some of the models of opinion change that I’ve seen lately show that if even small numbers of people are really convinced and continue to hold their views they eventually have a big effect. And I think that’s some hope for the future.

Greg: Well, thank you very much, Kevin. This has been a really enlightening conversation.

Mike: Yes, thank you Kevin.

KMac: I enjoyed it.



  1. Posted January 24, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes! The man of the hour! Listening to it now- thanks so much!!!

  2. Agamemnon
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    ” If you look at his writings, he’s very rational; quite a bit of his writings I’d be happy to have posted on Occidental Observer. He’s a very intelligent, well-read guy, and he had a lot of good ideas.”

    Actually, most of “his” writings are not his own, but are “borrowed” from several other authors, especially Fjordman, aka Peder Jensen. Breivik himself calls the 1500-page manifesto a “compendium” of this reason. Of the 1500 pages, only the autobiographical and “terrorist diaries” parts of the compendium are genuinely Breivik’s own writings. These facts about Breivik’s «manifesto» has been known here in Norway since a few days after the attacks. He may indeed be intelligent and well-read, but you should not automatically assume that he actually has written the entire manifesto himself:,_A_European_Declaration_of_Independence#Manifesto

    Apart from that, I totally agree with Dr. MacDonalds analysis of the use of pathologization as a tool for political oppression. I have read all your major works on Judaism, and I’m looking forward to your next book. Keep up the good work!

    Greetings from Norwegian reader of TOO and TOQ.

  3. Sandy
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    That was one terrific interview and KMac’s comment says it all: If you look at Emma West and that little incident on the subway, it’s another white woman who yells at her and gets extremely in her face. She’s one of these altruistic punishers. She’s out there punishing somebody who has deviated from the moral status quo that’s been erected by this culture of the Left, this very anti-White culture where White people are the only people that can’t have a sense of ingroup pride or sense of interests or anything else.

  4. Denys Picard
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting if you would pursue these themes and especially develop on the concepts of Altruism, Empathy and Compassion. They often are confounded, mixed together, misunderstood; the biological and psychological understanding of Empathy and Cruelty. The new understanding of psychopathic potential and dispositions among humans, over the conventional taboo (I read some time ago that it is believed that psychopath traits are a lot more frequent than previously believed among humans, Prof MacDonald did cover this subject in some of his writings); the role of adolescence in balancing these two behaviors, cruelty and empathy. Also, addressing the differing level of appreciation by the State of psychopathic behaviors in different contexts; mild psychopathic behaviors as competitive advantages in domains like the military and finance, while the censorship of “psychopathic” behaviors when calibrating debates over themes such as racialism, feminism, homosexuality, etc…The role of the authoritarian state when, as Amagedon suggested in previous comment, uses the concepts of mental illness as a political tool for censure and oppression.
    I know that in Quebec it is now a wide accepted behavior of media to immediately destroy, through characters assassination and accusations of being psychopath, anyone who opposes gay marriages, for example.
    In fact, most gay activists consider this as “payback”, because they were led to believe that persecution of homosexuals in western culture widely had recourses to these same tools. It is a bit like that Hollywood movie that was called “Glorious bastards” I believe, where Jewish cruelty at a high degree of psychopathic behavior is prevalent and lauded. ..“Jews are never vengeful; they are only on a quest for justice”…
    All these signs point to the end not only of American culture as foundations, but of Western civilization.

  5. Fibbles
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Professor MacDonald is integrity incarnate.

    I thought I would offer this up regarding the individualism/collectivism contrast between western civilization and eastern civilizations, which I thought came out of my own head, but I may actually have read it in one of his books. Western European civilization is relatively young compared to Middle Eastern societies. Most of Northern Europe was in a state of barbarism as late as 1000 AD. In hunter-gather, premodern type societies, the evolutionary struggle is mainly directed against the environment–capturing animals, conquering other tribes and what not. In established civilizations like those which have existed in the Middle East since Sumerian times, energy extraction from the environment has been maximized for millenia, allowing for occasional technological advances. When the population and food/energy supply come into equilibrium in such societies, the evolutionary struggle shifts from man vs. his environment to competing groups of humans within the society for dividing up the already maximized pie of resources drawn from the environment. Basic sociology says there is strength in numbers, so eastern peoples have evolved highly ethnocentric tendencies over the millenia.

    Perhaps the whole world has entered a similar phase of equilibrium, the ecumenopolis, world city, and those groups that will prosper in the future will be increasingly ethnocentric. Again, I’m not sure this is original thought, but I felt it was worth repeating.

    • Armor
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      About individualism, I think it isn’t clear what the word means.
      It can be a hereditary trait, or it can describe a type of society.
      I think it can mean contradictory things :

      – you believe in self-reliance and personal independence
      – you don’t care about your race
      – you don’t care about the common interest
      – you don’t care about anyone except your own family
      – you care as much about everyone
      – you favor your immediate family over your extended family
      – you treat everybody the same outside your immediate family
      – you don’t trust anyone outside your family
      – you trust everyone and you think everyone is interchangeable
      – you think race doesn’t matter, only personal attributes matter
      – you don’t like to live in a crowded city / you like your privacy
      – you are not so conformist as the Chinese (clothes, language, etc)

      I found this definition somewhere :

      “Individualism applies to societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after themselves and their immediate family.

      Collectivism applies to societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive groups, which throughout people’s lifetime continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.

      High Individualism: Identity is based on the individual – Task prevails over relationship
      High Collectivism: Identity is based on one’s social grouping – Relationships prevail over task”

  6. Eric Hale
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.

    I don’t care if you’re an atheist, a pagan, a protestant, a catholic, an orthodox believer, a new-age hippie, or anything else: are you pro-white? Then you are my ally.

    Great interview with a great man.

    • Fibbles
      Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Very well put, but the problem is that for extremely religious people, the religion is the paramount essential. They would read your statement to mean something totally different from your intent. Hence the power of religious belief in shaping the destiny of human civilizations.

      Now, imagine how powerful an evolutionary strategy would be that equated the religion with the genetic code.

      • Eric Hale
        Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Indeed…this is consistent with the orthodox belief that we may learn as much about the nature of God by studying the natural world as we can in study of the scripture.

        Always a good “gotcha” point to make to the Tower of Babel II builders in the church today.

  7. JustCaptain
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I personally hate itunes but it’s great having Counter in audio format. It was just about time. Thanks

  8. anon
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Very good interview. Always good to hear KMac speak.

    1) Good point i think about the difference between average WN and average White as by definition average WN are those who were the most resistant to propaganda designed for average White. Also by definition it means they’ll be people who are more ethno-centric than average (for White people) about Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Orthodox, Slav, Germanic, Anglo, Celtic, Med, English, French, American, Italian etc group divisions.

    2) I think the point about altruistic punishment is its adaptive if the Logos is adaptive. For example if in the past the Logos was everyone must help raise each other’s barns then altruistic punishment of the slackers would be adaptive. We had a genocidal Logos implanted by stealth so now altruistic punishment is reinforcing something that couldn’t be more maladaptive.

  9. Spectator
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    As background reading for his study, I would suggest Dr MacDonald read (or re-read) Cuddihy’s “No Offense”.

    Great interview.

  10. ipsofacto
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Any word on when the professor’s study of the Puritans will be published?

  11. rhondda
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this insightful interview. I look forward to reading Dr. MacDonald’s book on puritans and altruistic punishment. I am intimately familiar with that particular form of self righteousness via political correctness. I often wonder if it has anything to do with jealousy and the inability to think for oneself. It may have been a very adaptive trait to have as a commentator says above, but now it is more a fear of having it done to you.
    That is why I am no longer a Christian. However, having said that I have a dear friend who was brought up in Germany during the War. She wrote a book about it which no one would publish. There was so much she did not say in it and I hesitate to ask her what she left out because she has found comfort in a Christian Church. She has hinted at the starvation and cruelty by the allies, but it is politically incorrect to be angry about that.
    This has always made me skeptical, as I had a history teacher in high school who claimed to have won the war from a prisoner of war camp. I wondered how he did that?
    I also had a German teacher who had a PHD and was teaching high school. Say what? He was the kindest man. Yet TV, remember Hogan’s Heroes which made Germans look like idiots was also a hit(ah my age is revealed) When I think about the propaganda I have swallowed, I feel a little ill.
    Keep up the good work.

  12. jack
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    “Breivik was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic by a panel in Norway, and I think that’s just completely out of line. At least one of the doctors that had interviewed him earlier said that if you were planning something as intensively as he did, you have to be very rational, you have to be very much under control. It just doesn’t fit with a paranoid schizophrenic, where the person is completely out of touch with reality.”

    I’m I the only one who thinks this whole Brevik affair stinks from top to bottom with closed hearings and now that he is being declared insane there will be no trial. No doubt pumped with psychiatric drugs for the rest of his life.

    Obviously he was competent enough to pull off a fairly sophisticated terrorist operation using a front company in Poland to acquire the fertiliser, knowledge of how to make the bomb and avoid detection from Norwegian intelligence and acquire a police uniform and an assault rifle with special bullets, extensive travel, large sum of money involve, planning and execution of the attack all by himself according to what we have been told.

  13. Junghans
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Kevin, a great interview. I appreciate your comments and insight about the malignant influence of Puritan ideology on our corrupted culture, and the psychology of the altruistically afflicted Anglo-White mindset. May I suggest a title for your forthcoming work on the foibles of our people? How about “THE RIDDLE OF THE ANGLO PSYCHE”?

  14. MrMaelstrom
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    That “everyone eying each other” thing that occurs at WN gatherings, I believe, comes from the history our movement has with infiltrators and the imprisonments, or killings, that follow. We really are heretics according to the religious zealots (egalitarians, Cultural-Marxists) of this Modern age. Some paranoia is to be expected I’m afraid.

    I think Mike, in one of his final comments, was starting to make an interesting point about religious conviction. Religion was used to unite our ancestors against Moorish invaders, Saracens, Ottomans, etc. A new religion was concocted in this Modern era, by our enemies, to dismantle us – and even causing us to suicide ourselves. I see no reason why Religion 3.0 couldn’t be launched to help us reverse course.

  15. Petronius
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I am really disappointed of KMD’s superficial judgement of Breivik and how easy he falls for the his pretensions.

    “And I do think if you read Breivik, you see a very strong sense of affectionate love for his people.”

    I read it all through, and the only thing I got was that he had primarily a strong sense of affectionate love for himself. And that is a clearly compensating one. Breiviks writings are mostly and obsessively about himself and his delusions of grandeur. He clearly has a severe narcissistic personality disorder. Overall “the people” is an abstract concept, which one loves in a different way as one loves actual people. Only because a person talks about “affection for his people” a lot, doesn’t mean anything, doesnt say about his capablity to love and feel empathy. For a psychologically troubled, deluded man it can merely be a way of expressing how sorry he feels for himself, just as feminist nutcases as Andrea Dworkin would always talk how much they care for oppressed women or women in general. (It is not surprising that a man like him would get obsessed by the Left’s djihad on Western identities. Those certainly have deserved him like a self-fulfilling prophecy, he is a product of a society they created.)

    So, if one is to decide whether Breivik is a sociopath one has to look at his personal relationships rather than his writings about “his people” and his professed literary “affections”. I would say that a man that is capable of murdering dozens of defenseless people (most of them from his own “beloved people”, many of them children and youngsters) in cold blood and not regretting it afterwards is definitely suffering from a lack of empathy, characteristic of the sociopath.

    And there you see that he was an isolated loner who used to get lost for months in virtual computer game worlds. In that respect he wasn’t in touch with reality at all. That applies especially to the image he had of himself and of his position in the world. These was enhanced by his taking of drugs and anabolica. He was pumped up by drugs on Utoya. By now, as the leaked psychiatric interviews indicate he seems to be completely lost in his megalomania. I’d say as well No to him suffering from schizophrenia – his writings and reasoning are definitely not psychotic.

    • Mike
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      I’m not at all trying to justify what Breivik did Petronius, but you seem to be confusing one’s collective “people” with one’s political opponents. You have to remember who Breivik was actually killing. He was killing the children of the same Liberal politicians and activists who were ruining his country. Again I’m not supporting this kind of action, but killing those sorts of people and their children is not the same thing as killing your “own people” because those Liberal politicians and activists are the ones who are destroying your “own people.”

      Do you see Breivik’s logic here, Petronius? This is the same thing everyone throughout history has done with their political opponents. The Communists did it, the National Socialists did it, Fascists did it, Monarchists did it, Crusaders did it, Muslims did it, etc. And they all did it in cold blood with no regrets afterwards. Yet you are acting like this is something new in history when it comes to Breivik. I am sure that the Communists, the National Socialists, Fascists, Monarchists, Crusaders, Muslims, etc who attacked their opponents really did not see their actions as an attack on their “own people.” Political opponents who are destroying your country and what you care about do not equate to “your people.” I would never consider Liberals and multiculturalists to be “my people” or even part of “my people.” They are a totally separate entity from “my people.” They are the enemies of “my people.”

      Again, I am not supporting Breivik or what he did, but I see White Nationalists being really hypocritical when it comes to this issue. Nationalists everywhere are denouncing Breivik without trying to understand him simply because he gives them a bad reputation. This is ridiculous and it is hypocracy.

      • Wally D.
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        You make several strong points about Breivik, Mike, thanks for your analysis.

      • Petronius
        Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        I was questioning the notion of Breiviks proposed “love and empathy” for “his people”, as a means to judge his personality and his mental state.

        I certainly see Breivik’s “logic” here, and I am not acting at all as if this was something new in history. At least the reasoning isn’t – “You destroy my people’s children – I destroy yours.” The difference is that one man was acting all this out alone, without the context of an actual (not cold, metaphorical etc) war, without partisan groups, military, “the people” etc behind him, but all alone, deluded by megalomania and narcissim that was fed by countless months in internet virtuality. A soldier to General Ego only. I agree with Greg Johnson that this is a case of stupid political violence. If he wanted to hurt liberals, and the Norwegian Labour party officials, or the parents of those killed, he succeeded. But, now what? It is absolutely futile. Whole of Norway hates him now, and his cause is discredited for most even more.

        Of course the kids from Utoya were his “people”. If that is only defined by political opposition, probably all of Norway B.’s “political opponent”. And those that would agree politically are equally appalled, while their cause is severely damaged. Also, I find it hard to regard youngsters in a political organisation as serious political opponents only. That would reduce them to mere abstract figures on a chessboard. But they arent, they are human beings. They are certainly not the responsible ones, and how many of them would still be able to change their minds? Some of the best rightwingers I know where lefties in their teenage years (like almost everbody).

        And so the crucial point remains: a man who can carry out an act like this, is a plain madman monster in character. A mass murderer. His own heroic self-image makes this even more disgusting. It is so screamingly obvious.

  16. Remnant
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    When analyzing someone like Breivik, it is useful to think about it from an historical perspective: How would we discuss and think about the incident if it were something that happened, say, 200 years ago? Most likely it would be put into historical context with an explanation of the various social dynamics and social conflicts that were at play at the time. Such an exercise certainly wouldn’t excuse or justify mass killing, but it would make it much more clear that historians would not facilely say “oh, a madman, nothing to see here, let’s move on”. No, more likely, with the passage of time and decompressing of passions, there would be some actual attempt to match political motivations with actions. Labling him a madman enables the mainstream to pretend there were no real political issues at stake. Analysing the politics behind it is not to justify it, but it certainly enables one to see the real political issues that are at stake.

    Its also worth keeping in mind that one reads every day about suicide bombings that kill dozens or even hundreds of people, usually involving Islam. I don’t recall the media EVER labeling those killers crazy. On the contrary, they generally see those actions as justified. Were the London subway bombers labeled mademen? The Madrid bombers? The Bombay assassins? Again, I am not trying to justify any of these killings, but merely to point out that political violence exists: that a White perpetrater doing so against left-wing multicult types is extremely rare does not make its occurance “insanity”, it simply makes its perpetrator unusual.

    See Moldbug’s excellent posts on this, which are all the more impressive for their clearheadedness just days after the incident took place.

  17. Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Vital article. I got good guidance from it. Kevin is a tremendous teacher and leader for us.

  18. Lew
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    That was an interesting discussion. Psychiatrists make a distinction between clinical disorders and personality disorders. The clinical disorders are the organic brain disorders where there is something wrong with the person’s brain neuro-biology or chemistry. Personality disorders are different. Another way of describing the concept of personality is as recurrent patterns of behavior. While it’s possible in the standard medical model for a person to have both a clinical and a personality disorder, it’s also possible to have one but not the other. Paranoia, narcissism, grandiosity and anti-social behavior are all traits that can be associated with various personality disorders. Breivik probably fits here if he has disorder at all. He is definitely not a schizophrenic, as that is an incapacitating brain rather than a personality disorder.

    I’m surprised they choose such an easily discreditable diagnosis. You have to hear voices and hallucinate every day for six months to be diagnosed as a schizophrenic in the US, and have other symptoms too. Maybe it’s different in Norway, but I doubt it. I just think they wanted to make him seem as insane as possible, so they picked the worst illness.

  19. Wally D.
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad to see Dr Macdonald continue to build upon his previous work rather than resting upon his laurels. While his previous work was truly groundbreaking and qualifies as his magnum opus, there is much more work to do beyond merely contructing theoretical framework. We need workable, concrete plans.

  20. Armor
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Not only is Breivik not crazy, but he took a stand against a crazy and deadly ideology. The question is whether his action was counterproductive or not, and if not, whether it was worth the price. One of the subjects in the discussion was that Breivik was willing to pay a high price in human lives because he probably had too much self-confidence. Maybe. But what happens with normal people is that they are ready to kill one another in useless wars when the government tells them to. And they are also afraid to speak up against the policy of race-replacement.

  21. Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    “Actually psychopathology has become one of my interests. I’m actually writing an academic paper right now, an evolutionary perspective on various psychiatric diagnoses, particularly aggression and what they call conduct disorder in children.” –KMD

    I hope you all are well aware of the fact that I spent five years of my life researching the subject of what psychiatrists call “conduct disorder in children” (see e.g., here).

  22. tombarnes
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    “Being ostracized is very difficult psychologically”
    In 1820 when 80% of Americans were yeoman subsistence farmers they were beholden to no one and thought for themselves and spoke their minds.
    Now 90% of us work for someone else with an HR Dept. and we get our ideas from TV.
    We are well schooled in Crimethink. We fear ostracism while employed.
    But once you retire you are able to contract the disease Sailer calls Elderly LaTourette Syndrome, which means you can say what you think.
    I recently retired and contracted the disease. In a recent letter to the editor in our local paper I commented on Muslims, our granddaughters, and two pieties…Multiculturalism and Feminism.
    I thought my comment was reasonable but in return I was said to be engaging in “stupid bigotry.”
    Aside from wondering if the paper would have published my letter if I had resorted to that sort of name-calling, I felt a sort of pride in being labeled a ‘stupid bigot’ and now I guess I am freed to strive for the label ‘racist’ and after that the crown of the Elderly LaTourette syndrome crowd…’Anti-Semite.’
    I think you should aim for the retirees because they have not been brainwashed and are free to speak their minds.

  23. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    The Puritans originaly were bad asses – big time Indian killers. Remember, these people thought of themselves as Israelites creating the New Jerusalem. The softening came later in the 19th century when they became Unitarians and Universalists. Another proof: look what the Puritans did in Ireland to the Catholics: genocide. Read Hawthorne is you think they were soft. He was descended from them and he knew otherwise about the roundhead men of iron.

    • Armor
      Posted January 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      “The Puritans originally were bad asses – big time Indian killers.”

      You should read this on AmRen :

      White Men Meet Indians: Jamestown and the clash of civilizations.

      David A. Price (2003)
      Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of a New Nation

      reviewed by Thomas Jackson

      I don’t know if the first Englishmen settling in Jamestown were religious puritans, but it seems from reading Jackson’s review of Price’s book that they behaved with the Indians like stupid liberals.

      • Jaego Scorzne
        Posted January 29, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        That was a secular colony to begin with I believe. Adventurers, etc. Massachusetts was a different animal. They did make some efforts at times to convert the Indians. But they didn’t let down their guard which is my point.

  24. MOB
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    KM: There are states especially hypomania, or even mania, but when you get more extreme on the behavioral approach system, there are cognitive distortions. This is a system that we all have. . . , but some people are way out there and they suffer cognitive distortions. However, these cognitive distortions are not the same as psychosis.. . . When you get to the extreme level you might call that pathology, but as you say quite a few normal people who are very high achievers are very high on these traits. Quite a few artists perhaps could be diagnosed as manic-depressive. There’s a lot of traits that are very useful, even when they’re extreme but not too far over the edge. There’s sort of a fine line, and I think the reason these genes stay in the population is because some of these people are very successful. And some of them are too extreme to the point that they burn out, or do dangerous things, or they’re completely out of touch with reality. But there’s a fine line there.

    Greg: One of the things in [A First-Rate Madness] that struck me as interesting is that [Ghaemi] seems to define mental illness simply in a statistical kind of way. For instance he talks about mental abnormalities, and he talks about people who are basically kind of low-key individuals, people who are very high energy individuals, people who are highly strung and go back and forth, but it seems to me that those can be abnormal in the statistical sense that most people aren’t that way, but it doesn’t strike me that there’s anything pathological about being, say, kind of a low-key laid back guy or a high energy, high confidence person. . . do you think that mental illness, then, can simply be understood as an intensification of abnormality? Because it strikes me as completely possible that somebody could be, say, very high energy, very self-confident, and yet not be out of touch with reality. . . .

    For five years in the mid-90’s, retired, I lived in Chapel Hill, NC, and did part-time and temporary work assignments in a variety of settings on and off campus. My longest assignment turned into two years at the UNC Baptist Campus Ministry.

    One day, having just returned from a not-so-perfect holiday with my family (800 miles due North), chatting with the minister I worked with, I likened the behavior of humans to that of gyroscopes moving along their given lengths of string, now in the middle, now toward one end, now toward the other, as a function of stress, not randomly but quite predictably, throughout life. He said there was a name for the system I was describing: it was the “enneagram.”

    The next day he brought in some books he had on the subject, and soon I purchased two by Don Richard Riso and a compilation of essays, Experiencing the Enneagram, written by 8 practitioners–2 female and 6 male, all but two in Germany.

    The Enneagram is closely associated with George Gurdjieff, who readers may recall was dismissed as a charlatan by Revilo Oliver in Mr. Gurdjieff. Distantly related, an article posted by Greg Johnson entitled “An Appreciation,” about Sir Reginald Goodall, mentions that Goodall was influenced by “the visionary teacher, Dr G. J. Bennett,” and this almost certainly refers to John Godolphin Bennett, who was deeply involved with Gurdjieff and his teachings, of which the enneagram is only a small part. A Bennett quote appears here::

    The ideas about the (planetary Enneagram) have much in common with new age thinking, but they have a special message for those groups who are seeking to prepare themselves for the coming times of trouble. However differently these groups may view the situation and however conflicting their detailed allegiances may appear to be, (they need to know one another), share as far as possible their experience and understanding. There is no exclusive way to the truth, not even one best way, though each of us may think so. The Work, like nature, provides vast multitude of seeds and scatters them abroad to insure that however many may fall by the wayside, the harvest, at the time of reaping, will come. We must nurture our own seeds but not for that, neglect those of others. – John G. Bennett, 1974

    What follows is excerpted from the many pages of notes and articles on the Enneagram that I have on my computer:

    The structure of the Enneagram (Ennea = 3D Greek for nine) is this:

    There are nine equidistant points on the circumference of the circle, each designated by a number from one to nine, with nine at the top.

    Points nine, three and six form an equilateral triangle, with the remaining six points connecting thus:
    One with Four, Four with Two, Two with Eight, Eight with Five, Five with Seven, and Seven with One, forming an irregular hexagram.
    Types One through Nine respectively are The Reformer, The Helper, The Status Seeker, The Artist, The Thinker, The Loyalist, The Generalist, The Leader, and The Peacemaker.

    The nine personality types are organized into Feeling, Doing, and Relating Triads.
    For example, those types whose particular strengths and liabilities involve feelings (overdeveloped in Two, underdeveloped in Four, most out of touch in Three) are in the Feeling Triad.

    The Enneagram doesn’t assign a number to a human being. Types are made up of combinations of qualities; a person lies along a continuum of traits; movement within and between each of the types is fluid. No one is a pure personality type. Everyone is a mixture of two types — the basic type plus an adjacent wing — thus, there is a One with a Nine-Wing, and a One with a Two-Wing.

    Here’s a TYPE ONE (Reformer) example.

    Type One is in the Relating Triad (underdeveloped) and correlates with Jung’s extroverted thinking type.

    HEALTHY: Becomes wise, discerning, tolerant, realistic, balanced, moderate, rational highly principled, ethical; truth and justice important, integrity, moral teacher.

    AVERAGE: High-minded idealist, reformer, advocate, crusader, but impersonal, emotionally controlled. Gets critical, judgmental, opinionated. Moralizing, scolding, indignantly angry, abrasive toward others.

    UNHEALTHY: Can be self-righteous, intolerant, dogmatic, inflexible. Severe in judgments and cannot stand being proved wrong. Obsessive-compulsive, hypocritical. Cruel and condemnatory, punitive, nervous breakdown, sudden severe depression likely.

    DIRECTION OF DISINTEGRATION: One goes to Four, where he condemns himself as harshly as he had condemned others.
    DIRECTION OF INTEGRATION: One goes to Seven where he can relax and enjoy life.

    KEY MOTIVATIONS: Wants to be right, to strive higher and improve others, to justify his own position, to be beyond criticism so as not to be condemned by anyone. At some point in early life, ONEs became convinced that only perfection is worthy of love.

    ONEs are constantly disappointed by reality, and disappointment thickens into rage. At first blush it strikes us as idealism or zeal–as a virtue. ONEs are always quite surprised to discover their sin is anger. ONEs must stop passing judgment, above all moral judgments. They have to stop thinking their judgments are really aimed at the truth. Instead of “all or nothing,” they have to allow for “both/and.” This brings redemption for ONEs.

    Karl Menninger wrote, “Classifications must never be taken too seriously – they ruin much thinking — but the fear to use them has prevented much more thinking.” Here’s what it’s about: Evil and darkness have only one way to influence our life and take control of it. They have to disguise themselves. And the best possible disguise is, of course, virtuousness. Thomas Aquinas says that we all choose something that seems to be good. With our internal logic we justify everything by saying there are good reasons for it.

    The Enneagram shatters our self-centered logic. You aren’t free until you’re free from yourself. And the first task of spirituality consists in breaking our dependency upon ourselves. Traditional spirituality would call this the “way of purification” or the via negativa. We first have to discover and take back the lie, before we can build on the truth. The German mystic Meister Eckhart says that the spiritual life is more about subtraction (becoming less) than addition (becoming more). The Enneagram is a way of subtraction.

    The Enneagram unmasks our game. Every one of us plays a game. From the cradle onward it offered us a chance to survive. Every atom of our body is so stamped by it that we ourselves can’t see it–but everyone else can. This is why from the beginning our prayer has to aim at longing for and loving the truth, whatever it may cost. A spiritual person is anyone who has the freedom to let reality get through to him. An unspiritual person defends his own private reality and blocks out the big picture.

    Most of the great world religions have discovered the same three exercises of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer as ways of getting rid of our false self.
    Fasting means letting go of what my body thinks it absolutely needs;
    Almsgiving means letting go of what my thirst for security thinks it needs; and
    Prayer means letting go of what my understanding and emotions think they need.

    One’s own patterns become clear when, with the help of the Enneagram categories, the following questions can be answered:

    In which of the three fundamental areas — feelings, action, relationships — do I have most difficulties?
    What avoidance strategies and defense mechanisms do I use to cling to my “false” ideal of self?
    What root sin lies at the bottom of my attempts at self-redemption?

    The concept of sin is interpreted as a failure to reach relational goals, thereby cutting one off from God, neighbor, and self.
    More on Gurdjieff here:

    The enneagram has been variously analyzed and correlated, with Jung, Heidegger, Sufi, physics, Myers-Briggs, and Christianity, to name a few.

  25. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink


    MOB cite of John G. Bennett in blockquote:

    There is no exclusive way to the truth, not even one best way, though each of us may think so.

    The breathtaking scope of the ignorance of the New Age people simply continues to astound me.

    “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes unto the Father save by me.”

    Note the exclusionary element.

    I support the Restatement of Christianity, stripping the Bible to its Christian essence – the Gospels, and the Book of Revelation, with a strong emphasis on what the Gnostics/”Pagans” have to offer us, in a framework based on Hierarchy and Patriarchy.

    At the end of the day, all of the mystics cited can not answer the question, “What Is Man, And Why Are You Mindful of Him?”

    This Eastern focus on renunciation of the Ego misses the larger point, as the Ego – the Persona, was formed by the Mind, as the Mind was formed by the Soul, and the Soul was formed by the Spirit, which was formed by the Monad.

    That is a LOT of Work, and it is singularly purposeful. Only the West conceived of the rights of the Individual, as part of the Christ-inspired process of Individuation (the Outworking of separation) needed for Man to experience true spiritual Freedom. Remember, at the level of Consciousness of most people, “freedom” is confused with “liberty,” and “liberty” is confused with the right to be libertines, absent to Responsibility that true Freedom demands – at least, from the Adult.

    The Cross Event did more, and is continuing to do more, for the Redemption/Transformation of Mankind than all of the enneagrams ever did, or ever will do.

    We now return you to your regular programming, already in progress.

    What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

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