Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger Eivind Berge released from jail. Court rules that threats on the internet do not count as incitement

Eivind Berge

Eivind Berge, the Norwegian Men’s Rights blogger who was arrested after making repeated death threats against police on his blog, has been released from jail. The country’s Supreme Court has ruled that his comments – in which, among other things, he talked about how killing police was on his “bucket list” – are not illegal. His property will be returned to him and he is evidently entitled to compensation for his time in jail.

As far as I can figure it from the Google-translated articles I’ve read, the Supreme Court has ruled that statements on the internet are not “public” and therefore his threats don’t count as “incitement” under the law. Here’s what one article says:

Supreme Court’s Appeals Committee believes statements Berge has made ​​on his blog are not covered by the Freedom of the definition in the Penal Code. incitement to violence and murder of police officers are therefore not presented publicly in the legal sense and therefore is not criminal, says the Supreme Court.

Apparently the issue was a fairly narrow legal one. According to the same article, the law under which he was prosecuted (written long before the birth of the Internet) “operates with a public safety and publishing concept that … do not take account of electronic publishing on the Internet.” The majority on the Supreme Court, the article goes on to say, felt that “the indictment includes actions that are clearly worthy of punishment,” but that existing law does not allow punishment for statements made on the Internet.

If anyone here knows Norwegian, let me know if this is correct. Here and here are several more articles in Norwegian, translated by Google. Here’s an article in English, written before the Supreme Court rendered its judgment, that spells out the issues a little more clearly.

On his blog, Berge celebrates his victory in the courts:

My blog is legal after all. The police had no lawful basis for pursuing criminal charges against me. This means the case has collapsed for the prosecution and I will be entitled to compensation for the three weeks I spent in prison. I was arrested and jailed for speech which the Supreme Court has ruled is legal, so obviously the entire prosecution was utterly baseless.

He considers his release a giant victory for Men’s Rights:

Being a political prisoner provided a welcome boost to my activism. … The entire process has been tremendously empowering for the Men’s Rights Movement. This spectacular prosecution of an MRA sparked debate and demonstrated to the horror of the feminist establishment that there are more antifeminists out there than they knew. I am not some kind of extremist easily dismissed, even though some of my writings may appear somewhat ungenteel. While my kind of violent rhetoric is legal, it is no longer needed. We are strong enough to fight feminism in more elegant and subtle ways now.

I will highlight some of Berge’s “ungenteel” opinions in future posts.

See here and here for previous posts of mine on Berge, which include many examples of his “violent rhetoric.”


About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on August 2, 2012, in antifeminism, eivind berge, MRA, threats. Bookmark the permalink. 575 Comments.

  1. This guy reminds me of the dude who tried to pick me up by telling me he wants to drink me and that he wants to try a trans girl and “when you’re dying of thirst in the desert you don’t care what brand of water you drink”

    That sounds like a direct lift of Alan Bennett’s famous reply to questions about his sexual orientation:

    That’s a bit like asking a man crawling across the Sahara whether he would prefer Perrier or Malvern water.

  2. …This is definitely one of the more disturbing comment conversations i’ve seen since i’ve been here (and I missed most of it again so I have a limited idea of what the hell’s going on, stupid sleep).

    Why have all our trolls become either disturbing or generically awful? Where did the hilarious ones go? Despair..

  3. i came back after a sleep and a day at work and was about to say “holy shit, is he STILL here?”…then got to the end of the thread and feel quite disturbed by it all

  4. But I think the regulars rose magnificently to the occasion.

    Regardless of Steele’s inane bletherings, there was nothing “vile” about the responses – understandably, people were angry at “Robert”‘s boneheaded obtuseness and insistence on blaming anyone other than himself, but there was one hell of a lot of useful, eminently practical advice enmeshed with a surprising amount of empathy.

    And this is despite the tone of his posts and the apparent attitude behind them being creepier than pretty much anything else I’ve encountered round these parts. And that’s “creepier” in the strict dictionary-definition sense, not as part of some bizarre anti-MRA shaming tactic.

  5. Whoever Robert/victim is, what they did was deeply fucked up, and they need help regardless.

  6. The whole thing reminds me a *lot* of letter 296 from Captain Awkward.

    Also, when I read David Burns’s book Feeling Good, there’s a line in there where he says “Love is not an adult human need.” I still am not sure I can agree with that, but I can definitely go so far as to say “romantic love is not an adult human need”. Sex with another partner? Also not an adult human need.

    Also, whoever wrote that stuff (victim/R/whoever), there were some moments in there that I felt sympathy for, so they are probably good writers or something.

  7. I think love (in the general sense of the word, companionship) is an adult human need and sex also, but I define sex as including masturbation so my conclusions are not the same as incel whiners. Sex you can take care of by yourself. Companionship, that’s what friends (actual *close* friends, not acquaintances, which unsurprisingly it seems incels never have when you hear of how they describe friendship as being inadequate for their needs) are for. So you don’t need a lover to fulfill all these needs. The thing is that the so-called ‘incels’ have absorbed some of society’s sick message that somehow their companionship and sex isn’t real unless it’s given to them by the same (unique) person, who is also a special soulmate that is their perfect match.

  8. Zombie: This is not about currently not being in a relationship but being without one permanently. I’d choose having PTSD and a supportive girlfriend/wife over being “healthy” but permanently alone any day and so would most people. Whoever says differently doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    Fuck off. You have no clue what you are talking about.

    Berge has a girlfriend, he’s getting laid. He’s also spouting Sodini style violent rhetoric online.

    I’ve got some PTSD (it’s fairly mild, thank you for asking: I’m coping ok). It’s hell on relationships. I had a supportive girlfriend, even so, she couldn’t take it.

    I got various sorts of help.

    You, have something akin to PTSD. I don’t know what it is (I’m not a shrink, and I’ve not met you to make any sort of educated layman’s serious guess) but it seems to be; from here some sort of depression.

    It’s treatable. But you don’t want treatment. You are hiding from the truth, with this nonsense about how being “incel”, as if it were a disease, a physical thing, rather than a tortured descriptor for not getting any sex, as your shield, so you don’t have to admit you have a problem.

    Been there, done that (see, like I said, I have some minor PTSD… resisted admitting that for some time. See above, about the supportive girlfriend who couldn’t take it any more. She’s fine, BTW. She doesn’t deserve to die. She deserves every happiness, actually, thanks for asking).

    It’s not the lack of sex, that’s a symptom of the underlying problem.

  9. Zombie: Man shoots wife

    Murder Suicides, US 2010

    See what I’m saying?

    You’re dying from thirst, I have water and refuse to give it to you- didn’t I willingly end your life?

    Nope. Just as not throwing a rope to a person who is drowning isn’t willingly ending their life. It’s shitty, and has some ethical questions, but it’s not active.

    And people aren’t ropes, or water. YOU WILL NOT DIE IF YOU DON’T HAVE SEX.

    Really. There are lots of people (men and women) who have gone years without sex. I have a friend who has had one lover in his life. He doesn’t thikn sex outside of marriage is the thing to do.

    He’s in his sixties. He was in his thirties when he had sex for the first time, and not quite forty when he had it for the last time.

    He’s an atheist.

    See what I’m saying?

  10. I did the google check, someone is pushing an agenda. I think I feel for the real dude, and I don’t trust out dude for a second; absent any more evidence it looks like a smear campaign.

  11. It’s weird though, the info I find after googling doesn’t mention this incel stuff as far as I can see. I don’t get what the point of coming here and posting as this person would be and making up this incel nonsense, esp because the username isn’t his first and last name.

    Whoever the person is, everything they said was a problem. I didn’t feel sympathy because, character or not, the person didn’t seem to care about anyone else, so the person really didn’t deserve it. Don’t forget this person (if not trolling) thought his parents should die for not setting him up on dates. Nope. No sympathy here.

  12. It’s a very odd smear campaign, though, there’s a lot of work put into it. However is doing it is really obsessing over the person who is the object of the campaign and he has no problem saying incredibly awful things even when they are hurtful to other people.

    One thing is certain, the person who posted here as Robert is a complete asshole.

  13. Wow. Is the dude in the Captain Awkward thread the same person, or do all of the guys who’ve gotten involved with the whole Love Shy movement just come to sound the same over time because they’re reinforcing each other’s unrealistic ideas about relationships?

  14. I don’t know but whoever he is, he’s obsessinve. I got a private email from him. Straight to the bit-bucket. I’d keep a weather eye out for socks, but I can’t see him managing to keep it on the QT for long, and when he does pop-up, it’s going to be obvious.

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