Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Were Omar Mateen and the Boston Bombers mentally ill?

Were the Boston Bombers contagiously insane?

On 12-Jun-2016, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, a devout Muslim who had been offended by the sight of men kissing, carried out the most vicious Islamic attack since 9/11, when he got into The Pulse gay club in Orlando and massacred 50 customers.

As Omar Mateen spent his formative years in the West, it again raises the question originally asked after the Boston attacks, whether exposure to the metameme during their education could have prevented him and other believers going into jihad mode.

Original article:

Preventing terrorism
Were the London and Edmonton Beheaders and Boston Bombers mentally ill?  And could the metameme have prevented their collective delusion from becoming homicidal?

'Mind viruses' (otherwise known as malignant memes and memeplexes) are contagious delusions, which harness the three poisons of the mind to spread like infectious diseases.  Jihadism is such a meme, which is 'as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog', to quote Winston Churchill. 

The study of memes, memeplexes and their mechanisms of infection is known as memetics.

The metameme
One interesting question is whether the meme theory is itself a meme ('The Metameme') and whether its spread could block and give immunity to more pernicious memes, much like the harmless cowpox virus can block out the lethal smallpox virus.  Once you know how memes work, you may be less susceptible to becoming infected. 

In other words, the diagnosis is also the treatment!

Fox news describes how these lethal memes spread:
"Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism reviewed videos posted on the YouTube channels of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev...

...Based on the content of the videos, which feature Bin Laden, calls to kill Americans, Jews, Christians and exhortations to establish a world-wide caliphate, it is clear that these message are not directed just at Chechens. "They are directed primarily against all non-Muslims and are very similar to the Al Qaeda videos we've seen in years past." 

The two brothers clearly want "to express a message that they totally sympathize with the jihadist cause. These were jihadists, they were not just Chechen separatists."

"...strike off their heads..." Quran 8:12

The Quran is the meme that provides the justification for these beheadings and bomb attacks
Quran (8:12)
- "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"  

Okay, bombs may not be such a precise means of mutilation as a meat cleaver; they tend to remove limbs and other body parts rather randomly, especially when packed with nails.  But the general idea is there, and the Boston bombers followed the spirit, if not the precise letter of the Quran, like the London beheaders.

The Quran demonstrates the self-reference and circularity typical of many memes. The Quran says it's the word of God, and believers know what it says is true because it's God's word!   Therefore its incitement to rape, murder, extort and pillage the kuffars must be obeyed without question.

Of course any logical analysis shows the Quran's truth claims to be a hoax, but logical analysis, and indeed any forms of rationalism, are strongly discouraged by Jihadists. In addition, divinely sanctioned rape, murder, extortion and pillage provide a very useful excuse for the criminal activities so evident among Jihadists in kuffar countries. No wonder Jihadism is spreading so rapidly in jails: it's a criminals' charter.  Just as typhus was the Victorian 'jail fever', jihadism is the modern prison epidemic.

Nicholas Salvador made mentally ill by Islam

Robert Spencer has further details on meme propagation outside jails:

"I referred during this interview to four separate studies that all found that 80% of U.S. mosques were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians. There are no countervailing studies that challenge these results... 

... And in the summer of 2011 came another study showing that only 19% of mosques in U.S. don’t teach jihad violence and/or Islamic supremacism."

Could knowledge of memetics prevent terrorism?

Richard Dawkins - meme theorist

''We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth and, if necessary, the selfish memes of our indoctrination. We can even discuss ways of deliberately cultivating and nurturing pure, disinterested altruism - something that has no place in nature, something that has never existed before in the whole history of the world. We are built as gene machines and cultured as meme machines, but we have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators."  - Richard Dawkins

Going viral with the antivirus
Could the metameme 'go viral'? If young men from vulnerable cultural and family backgrounds were better informed about memes and memeplexes, perhaps they could resist this jihadist indoctrination and  recognize these malignant memes for the pernicious parasitic processes that they are, before they took over their minds and turned them into robotic killers.  

We'll never be able stop 'violent radicalization' until Mohammedans agree to remove the numerous incitements to violence from the Quran.   But they can't do that because the entire Quran is the literal Word of God, valid for all time.  Mohammedans know that it's the word of God because it says so, and what God says must be true.

The only way out of this pernicious circular logic is to realise that the Quran is a self-perpetuating scam. An understanding of the psychological dynamics of memes could hopefully produce an 'Emperor's new clothes moment' among the afflicted.  This requires a type of mindfulness meditation on the arising and interconnectness of the delusions that comprise the jihadist memeplex, in order to break their
self-reinforcing vicious circle.

As dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog.
From the Buddhist point of view, jihadists such as the beheaders and bombers deserve compassion just as much as their victims, for their lives are also being ruined by this contagious mental illness of self-reinforcing delusions. A rabid dog suffers from the hydrophobia virus just as much as the people he bites.

Jihadists deserve compassion like their victims

And perhaps Buddhism might offer some hope of treatment for jihadists. It may be possible to use Buddhist meditation techniques to cut through delusions and weed out malignant memes even after they have become established...  More here

Update 27-May-2013  Boris describes Islamism as a virus that must be immunised against.



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