Thomas Evans aka the White Beast was born and brought up in High Wycombe. He died in Kenya on a failed raid on a Kenyan Army camp. The documentary is the story of his mother and brother trying to come to terms which his change of lifestyle and death.
What is fascinating is his mother’s visit to to a de-radicalisation charity. They chart Thomas’ life focusing on trauma. The first trauma was his Father leaving and cutting off all contact to join his new family in Europe. This created a traumatic vulnerability. The second a failed romantic relationship where Thomas was deeply in love. The third event was losing his job because of his appearance and attitude. Then he found another job very quickly through somebody at the local mosque.
The brutal loss of a Father who does not want anything more to do with his children is traumatic. The sense of rejection and hopelessness. The loss of a family group or gang makes men particularly vulnerable to new ideas and lifestyles that can recompense this loss. White Beast.
There is something innately human about a group of people bonding together over a task. I suspect many of us remember these experiences. They give meaning to life.
It is this absence of opportunities in cold industrial cultures that forces young men to look elsewhere. The warmth and instant grouping in other cultures is an immensely powerful force. Being in a culture that focuses on bringing people together is attractive to lost westerners without meaning or a place in their own culture. White Beast.
Add to this mixture a simplistic, black and white belief with the risk of life and death. The group experience is heightened like an addictive drug which cannot be given up.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2015
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This article is designed to provoke argument and critique