After London Mayor Boris Johnson remarked today about those that join extremist groups, I reminded myself of a quote by Sam Harris.
According to news reports Boris summed up the words in many a mouth and described those that join such groups as ‘wankers’.
If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally wankers.
Going on to say…
“They are not making it with girls and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort – which of course is no comfort.
They are just young men in desperate need of self-esteem who do not have a particular mission in life, who feel that they are losers and this thing makes them feel strong – like winners.”
This was his conclusion after looking into MI5 profiling of dangerous individuals.
Although many may indeed find terror a form of therapy, it is in no way true for all. Bin Laden is one great example. Sam Harris once said that the only reason he (Bin Laden) was not living in Paris dating models was because of his fundamentalist beliefs. Osama was from a VERY wealthy family and had a great education. He probably could have done whatever he wanted with whoever he wanted. His religion held him back and deprived him of morals, although he would have disagreed.
There is more to it than being lonely or having low self-esteem, if someone has the intelligence and power to take control of planes mid air and launch attacks on the other side of the planet, then these attackers probably have the opportunity to play a large- and positive- role in their own societies.
They choose a more destructive/religious path, sometimes
sacrificing wealth, love and comfort.
Sam Harris way back in 2005:
‘I don’t know how many more engineers and architects have to hit the wall at 400 miles per hour for us to realise this is more than just a matter of education’
In this case, a matter of alienation.