Stephan Balliet Sentenced To Life

Statue of Justice at the Castellania in Valletta, Malta. Photo by Continentaleurope

On October 9, 2019, Stephan Balliet attempted to livestream an attack on a Jewish synagogue in Halle, Germany. When he discovered the front door was barred, he attempted to enter via the side. That door was also securely locked. Stymied in his effort to commit mass murder and having already committed to his course of action, he left – but not before killing a woman walking by and shooting at someone who approached to help her. As he drove past a Turkish restaurant, he decided to stop and murder people there; he managed to kill one patron before being confronted and shot by police who had been converging on the general location. He fled but was caught shortly thereafter. Today he was sentenced to life imprisonment by a German court.

Balliet has been accurately described as a “far right” terrorist, using the European definition of right-wing ideology which is mirrored by the U.S. as alt-right. They are nationalists, owing allegiance via a misguided interpretation of patriotism to a group that they define as their true countrymen. Many are what have been termed incels, a portmanteau of involuntarily celibate. Many are also firm believers in conspiracy theory. Balliet fell into all of these categories.

Balliet, now 28, had spent time in the German military with no reported disciplinary incidents. He had no history of racist issues as a youth. Following his short military stint, he enrolled at a university to pursue chemistry and chemical engineering degrees.

Between the ages of 22 and 27, he became a devotee of 4chan related gaming, anime and commentary sites. It was in conversations there that he learned of various conspiracy theories about the Jews… a convenient target of blame for his own failings. Specifically, about the supposed Jewish effort to spread radical feminism throughout the world.

Anti-Semitic hatred has a long history, and it’s historically been tied to a few factors. Fear of outsiders has been primary among them, with a secondary motivation associated with the wealth of individual Jewish people (historically tied to their restriction in some Christian nations to occupations like banking, which were deemed by governments to be too corrupt the for Christian majority.) The latest attack – that they are somehow responsible for the spread of radical feminism – is targeted toward young males who want to blame others for their lack of social interaction.

Balliet has been sentenced. He is far from alone in his radicalization, however, as has been shown by similarly inspired shooters in Pittsburgh, New Zealand, San Diego and El Paso. In all of these incidents – and others – the impetus for violence has been tied to racist conspiracy theories, many tied to efforts to stop reproduction among “pure” whites so as to further a great replacement of whites with people of other ethnicities. Investigations have suggested that Balliet’s arc from what would be considered a normal, if somewhat lonely, person to an eager participant in mass slaughter took only five years and constant exposure to a bubble of hatemongering conspiracy theory. The obvious lesson is to keep the avenues of communication open for people who may have fallen into that pit and attempt to either drag them free if opportunity arises or report them if it seems they’re crossing a line into present public danger.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.