Tom Hanks on radicalisation


I watched Angels and Demons on a plane the other day, the follow up to the Da Vinci Code. Having been at workshops on radicalisation and de-radicalisation all last week, I was surprised to hear the word 'radicalized' spoken by Tom Hanks' character, Langdon. He was explaining to a Catholic official, Richter, how a Catholic purge centuries ago radicalised pro-science enlightenment types called the Illuminati, who have now come back to blow up the Vatican using anti-matter they stole from the Cern large hadron collidor (the ultimate dirty bomb):

Richter: You said they'd be killed publicly.
Robert Langdon: Yes, revenge. For La Purga.
Richter: La Purga?
Robert Langdon: Oh geez, you guys dont even read your own history do
you? 1668, the church kidnapped four Illuminati scientists and
branded each one of them on the chest with the symbol of the cross.
To purge them of their sins and they executed them, threw their
bodies in the street as a warning to others to stop questioning
church ruling on scientific matters. They radicalized them. The
Purga created a darker, more violent Illuminati, one bent on... on

Is 'radicalized' now a taken-for-granted word? That would be something, given that social scientists and security agencies still have little idea how any such radicalisation process might work, in 1668 or today.

By Ben O'Loughlin.