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Close-up of Stella Morabito

About Stella Morabito

My book, The Weaponization of Loneliness, represents a lifetime observing the uses of social isolation as a weapon to control people.  Even in childhood I puzzled over the social force of shunning and how the threat of it deeply affects human bonding and behavior. I noticed how people often conformed mindlessly--and even imitated rude behaviors-- to avoid ridicule or to gain status. This fascination stayed with me as I observed the effects of political correctness in college. 

During my postgraduate work in Russian and Soviet history—particularly the study of Stalin’s Reign of Terror--I realized that these dynamics can play out on a far larger scale. And I concluded that social isolation was the common tool of all tyrannies to control entire populations. Bullies always seek to sever bonds of love and loyalty because those relationships stand in the way of their control over people. 

As Hannah Arendt noted in her classic book The Origins of Totalitarianism, tyrannical governments always seek to isolate people in order to control them. That’s why they are always at war with the family and traditional religion. They seek to turn children against their parents, women and men against each other, blacks against “whites,” and so on. Obviously, this weakens our social bonds and trust. If left unchallenged, our personal relationships end up either under their control or abolished altogether.

I connected the dots further when I served as an intelligence analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency.  As I tracked and analyzed the effects of communist media and propaganda, I noted that the common denominator was social isolation, demonizing others and referring to them as “non-persons.”  ​​ I continued to observe the connection between loneliness and totalitarianism after resigning from the CIA to stay at home with my children.  I noticed it in the increasing use of propaganda in media. I tracked the social dynamics of people in politics, in public school cliques, in my neighborhood, and just about everywhere in daily life.  I later began writing about issues of psychological warfare, the cult mindset, and propaganda for a variety of publications, especially at The Federalist where I have been a senior contributor since 2014. ​ My husband and I have raised our three children to adulthood. I homeschooled for a substantial length of time while the children were young. I also served for a while as a public school substitute teacher, an experience that offered me new perspectives of the destructive social dynamics in school settings. I am an Orthodox Christian, baptized in the Armenian Apostolic Church, and currently attending a Western Rite Antiochian Orthodox church. ​ I started Stella’s Book Club to help spread awareness about the weaponization of loneliness because such awareness is key to overcoming the forces that seek to divide and conquer us. If more people can detect those patterns and talk about them, I believe they gain inner strength to resist them.  Whatever else happens, I believe we must spread such awareness if we ever hope to renew civil society and preserve freedom.

Discussion of The Weaponization of Loneliness
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