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Norway, a Closed Society

Logo of the University of Oslo’s Center for Research on Extremism, or C-REX.

1,180 words

Part 1 of 2

It was 10:30 in the morning on Saturday, November 2, the day that we held the Scandza Forum on human biodiversity in Oslo, Norway. I was lining up chairs at the venue so that everything would be ready when the guests arrived at around noon. A friend of mine who had been waiting outside to receive any early guests suddenly came rushing toward me. “They have come to get Greg,” he told me, with obvious concern in his eyes.

When we got outside, we found some heavy vehicles parked in front of the venue and a team of policemen wearing uniforms which showed that they were not part of the regular Oslo police force. Right from the start, it was obvious to all of us what was going on, because there had been clear signs. Two days earlier, on Thursday, a Left-wing watchdog website had published a blog post attacking our event, falsely accusing Greg Johnson, who was to be one of the speakers, of being a fan of the notorious terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, thus implying that he supports terrorism and would be a threat to Norwegian society. Later that day, they posted yet another article with a statement from an alleged “expert on terrorism” who suggested that the Norwegian state should prevent Greg from entering the country, in the interests of national security.

***

To get a clear view of what took place in Oslo that day, which ended up becoming a worldwide news story, we have to go back more than a year; otherwise, one can’t understand what motivated the security service that day and the wording they used to justify their actions. It did not materialize out of thin air. In October 2018, the Norwegian Police University College released a report entitled Høyreekstremisme i Norge: Utviklingstrekk, konspirasjonsteorier og forebyggingsstrategier (Right-Wing Extremism in Norway: Developmental Patterns, Conspiracy Theories, and Proactive Strategies), edited by one Professor Tore Bjørgo. The report was produced by the University of Oslo’s Center for Research on Extremism: The Extreme Right, Hate Crime and Political Violence (C-REX). Note that this department isn’t devoted to research on political extremism in general – even the title of the department reveals that it has a clear political agenda, given that it explicitly singles out the “extreme Right” for scrutiny.

Before I even looked at the contents of the report, I knew two things about it. First, that given the nature of the department which issued it, it was reasonable to suspect that the report would be politically biased. Second, that since this was an official report from the Police University College, it was obvious that it would end up guiding future police work.

In the first paragraph of the report’s Foreword, we read:

In 2015, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security announced a research assignment on developmental patterns and proactive preventive strategies (forebyggingsstrategier) in relation to Right-wing extremism and conspiracy theories in Norway. Its purpose was to increase knowledge about the scope and development of Right-wing extremism and conspiracy theories, and how these phenomena could be proactively countered (forebygges). The Police University College (PHS), together with the Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies (HL Center), won the bid for the assignment, and this report is its final product. [My translation.]

For anyone familiar with the sectarian nature of the Scandinavian social mentality, this reads like the introduction to a modern-day Norwegian version of the Malleus Maleficarum. Not only does it reveal that the Norwegian state explicitly perceives itself as having a mission to actively stamp out political opposition using its police forces, but it has also chosen the most piously orthodox anti-Right-wing organization possible to lead the task. With the “Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies” at the helm of the inquisition to smoke out Right-wing heretics, the Norwegian state has become a parody of itself.

How is political ideology a police matter? Why is the Police University College involved in producing a report on certain political currents, if not to guide police work in accordance with the report’s findings? And in what way is it the state’s business to actively “prevent” a particular political perspective from existing? The Norwegian word forebygge has no precise equivalent in English which carries the same connotations, but it means that you proactively work to prevent something from coming about or appearing – as in when someone takes medicine to try to avoid an illness. It is often used in the context of preventing some sort of malady.

This must be seen in contrast to what Karl Popper called the open society, which is a society open to criticism; a society that invites criticism against its rulers and ideological assumptions, and where ideological disagreement is respected. All Western liberal democracies are supposed to be open societies, and they are certainly quick to attack anyone else who doesn’t embrace liberal democracy; but when the establishment starts to treat political disagreement as a crime, and when they make it a police matter to prevent the discussion of political ideas with which they disagree, they have clearly crossed the line into totalitarian territory.

My attention was brought to the report because a friend told me I was mentioned in it, as the founder of the Scandza Forum. Two things about the document were especially disquieting. First, on its cover was a photo of the government building that was blown up in Breivik’s attack on July 22, 2011, thus indirectly associating everyone mentioned in the report with the most detested person in modern Norwegian history. Second, the report explicitly claims to deal with Right-wing “extremism,” which as we shall see is defined in the report itself as the willingness to use violence for political ends.

Like most people in Scandinavia, I spent the entire day and night of July 22, 2011 in front of the television and reading news sites, following the horror that was unfolding, outraged that something like this could happen so close to home. I was also furious at the person who committed the crimes. Now, the Norwegian state was defaming me by indirectly associating me with those very same crimes.

As for “extremism,” the report has a very clear definition of the term: “The Police Security Service’s definition of extremism refers to a willingness to use violence for achieving political, religious, or ideological ends” (p. 15).

The Scandza Forum, as opposed to what is suggested by that definition, is a private forum for free speech and open debate. The speeches given at our conferences are posted online for the world to see, and we are as far removed as one could be from political violence. We do the opposite: namely, discuss ideas. In fact, the only violence that has ever occurred in connection with our events is when Left-wing extremists have physically attacked some of our guests as they have attempted to enter the venue, and when the Oslo antifa called for us to be murdered. To be fair, these things happened after the report was written.

But none of this mattered to the report’s authors, and as we will see in the next part of this article, this would have some real-world consequences.

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9 Comments

  1. Posted December 13, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I was there. I saw Greg being pushed into the police van by a thuggish policeman. What scares me the most that my thoughts while I was witnessing this were “well, that’s what happens to us”. We live in an age where there are political prisoners in the West and we aren’t even surprised by it.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted December 13, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      As I recall, I said to the cops, “Okay, let’s go,” and then went to the van. They didn’t push me in. I led them there.

  2. Blå
    Posted December 13, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    You are wrong. Extremism is not, by the definition of Norwegian authorities, limited to those who are willing to use violence, but does also include those that accept violence. Acceptance is passive. There are more than one report on this topic.

    • MyDogEatsSteak
      Posted December 18, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Presumably that category includes people who accept the state’s use of violence to silence its critics, right?

  3. Alexandra O
    Posted December 13, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    For the record, in order to speak to any ‘authority’ perusing this site looking for ‘right-wing extremists’, I do not and am not able to — due to age and disability — have a ‘willingness to use violence for achieving political, religious or ideological ends’. I firmly believe, however, that the tired old cliché, “The pen is mightier than the sword”, is in full force in my life, and I would venture to guess, probably in force as well for 99% of the other contributors to and readers of these pages.

    Begone, bed bugs and other related vermin.

  4. ValHallaX
    Posted December 15, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    This is everyday life in all Scandinavian countries including Finland.

    The authorities stop dissidents all the time at the border. The reason is simply that they are dissidents. There is no talk about any crimes, it is enough, if the person has been involved in “saying or writing something unacceptable”. It is “a threat”.

    At the same time these very same authorities are arranging charter flights with full service including immediate housing and full social security for the so-called “ISIS-wifes”.

    There is no more right or wrong. There is only tyranny. Tyranny of “good people”. In 1970’s the stalinists here in Finland sang: “If you are not with us, you are our enemy”.

    This is so-called “West” A.D. 2019.

    • ValHallaX
      Posted December 15, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      I correct:

      The stalinist verse went like this:

      ” If You are not on our side, You are against us…”. A small “technical” difference. It is noteworthy that here in Finland all the older greens have a stalinist history. If you peel the green fruit, you will get a real red tomato… Many young greens are the stalinists children. These people are very, very dangerous, they are against white people, because they are politically motivated. They do not need jobs, money, bribes, they will send people to Gulag with pleasure, with no incentive needed.

      On the other hand, the conservative (or center parties, christian parties, etc.) traitors need money, easy EU jobs, good pensions, and then they find inside themselves a globalist. But they need the incentive. It goes without saying that they sure get what they want.

      • John Wilkinson
        Posted December 16, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

        “If you aren’t with us, you’re with the terrorists”

        …George W Bush, circa 20001 State of the Union speech

        • John Wilkinson
          Posted December 16, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          Lol. Jeez

          Of course…2001
          My fat thumbs strike again

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