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The True Believer syndrome, mental illness, murder

An 18-year-old man in Florida, Devon Patrick,  went from being a Neo-Nazi to strict Muslim, murdered his neo-Nazi roommates just because, then took hostages at a smoke shop. He probably had never been to a mosque and was barely acquainted with Islam because he made references to “Allah Mohammed” not realizing one was God, the other his messenger. This is akin to referring to “Jesus Jacob”, I suppose, and shows a seriously muddled brain.

True believers are scary because they are convinced of their inerrancy. Their mania can be political as well as religious. They have the inner truth, all others are wrong, and in extreme cases like this one, must die because of their apostasy or refusal to accept the Obvious Truth. In this particular case, the conversion from Neo-Nazi to supposed Muslim apparently happened very quickly. True Believers rarely stay in the middle. They careen from edge to edge, looking for something to stop the voices in their head.

Yes, much of this is almost certainly mental illness. Political and religious cults actively recruit people like this because they are obedient drones, who never ask why. If we want to stop terrorist recruitment, we need to better understand the true believer process and how extremists exploit it and manipulate people to join.

Chillingly, the one roommate who Patrick did not murder (because he was on National Guard duties) was arrested on explosives charges.

From the article:

An 18-year-old man in Tampa who held neo-Nazi beliefs before converting to Islam told police he shot and killed his roommates for being neo-Nazis and disrespecting his Muslim faith. Feel free to take a moment. We realize that’s a lot to unpack there.

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