The Weaponization of Loneliness

The full title of my new book, just released, is The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer. Please click on the link to order your copy!

You may have asked this old question: Why does a majority of good people so often allow a small minority to push evil agendas? It all amounts to what I call a “machinery of loneliness,” fueled by conformity which is sparked by our fear. Maybe we instinctively know that our conformity usually boils down to the fear of being ostracized for speaking out. But we don’t consciously understand how that happens. Or why it happens. And how easily it is weaponized. We need to study these patterns and change our habits if we are to preserve freedom.

So often our primal fear of loneliness is exploited to extract the conformity and compliance necessary to push destructive policies forward. We comply in order to avoid the awful feeling of social rejection. But the great irony with this reaction is that our compliance only cements our isolation in the end. Worse, when we are isolated — atomized — we are even more easily controlled and terrorized.

The book is a deep dive that includes the history of totalitarian movements – all of which waged direct war against free speech and private life. It happened in the French Revolution, in Bolshevik Russia, in Nazi Germany, in Mao’s China and those patterns continue today. But today’s cyber-technologies and globalism exponentially worsen the threat.  I also delve into the research on social conformity, starting with the 1950s experiments of Solomon Asch who showed that people will often deny the evidence of their own eyes if they fear being socially isolated otherwise.

The book shows us the many ways that identity politics, political correctness, and mob agitation is tearing us all apart — causing a painful vivisection of America.  This has led to corruption that has subverted all of our institutions, including education, our intelligence services, the corporate world, the courts, legislatures, and the military. Last on the hit list of the institutions are the primordial ones in the private sphere of life: family, faith, and community. We must defend that sphere with all our strength. It’s the only escape hatch. Otherwise, we end up completely atomized, at the mercy of the mass state.

You Can’t Fight Disinformation without Fighting Censorship

Our Orwellian elitists have developed an ass-backwards argument as a propaganda ploy. They claim that disinformation is a threat to democracy, and therefore they should have total control over the public square to protect it. As we’ve seen time and again with the record of faceless “fact-checkers” in the media and Big Tech, the obvious goal is to censor any idea that doesn’t line up with their narrative. They even hosted an event at the University of Chicago, promoted by President Obama, to make the case.

This is nuts. No society can function in the grip of the such political censorship. In fact, it destroys democracy.

In my Federalist piece today, I explore the effects of suppressing free speech. It’s mentally isolating. It can even lead to mass delusion. There’s no shortage of historical examples. Take a look at this clip from North Korea to get an idea of what happens to a population that’s stuck in one narrative and totally cut off from any other ideas:

Indeed, the only solution to disinformation is free speech. Lots of it. And let’s not forget that political censorship causes disinformation.

You can read the whole essay here: The Only way to Fight Disinformation is to Fight Political Censorship

We can’t have fair elections until we get rid of the chaos now embedded in the electoral process

This is a must read if you want to live in a free society.

A lot of eyes are on Virginia’s off-year gubernatorial election coming up on Tuesday because many see it as a bellwether for next year’s midterms. I ask “bellwether” for what? That’s because it’s harder than ever to determine “winners” and “losers” because the entire process has become so riddled with irregularities and weirdness. In a word, fraud. And by design.

If by chance there are tallies that show Dem Candidate Terry McAuliffe behind or having lost, you can bet his campaign would not ever accept the results. They would keep “counting” votes at least until Friday or until they can concoct a win. That’s just the way it is these days.

For a general look at how corrupt our electoral process has become, read Joy Pullmann’s excellent wrap-up: https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/29/7-insane-things-i-just-learned-about-how-u-s-elections-are-rigged/

Pullmann shares some of the shocking back stories in Mollie Hemingway’s bestseller Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.

I published two pieces in the Federalist last week that relate directly as well as indirectly to this coming Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia. I hesitate to use the word “election” since there are now so many ways to hide fraud. Worse, there are many ways to render elections unverifiable and unauditable.


Ironically, those who push for chaos-by-design—such as the mass mailing of official ballots and no photo ID requirement–claim that such things make elections “free and fair.” Here’s a link to the first piece In which I address that folly:
https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/28/democrats-claim-free-and-fair-election-in-virginia-while-rigging-it-again/

If we ever get out of this mess, it will because we finally realized that the only way to secure free and fair elections is to guarantee that all voters have the right to vote in person, at their local precinct (not a clearinghouse early voting center,) and in secret. And no state or local (and certainly not federal) government has the right to take that away from people by forcing universal mail-in balloting. There is really no other way to protect freedom of conscience in elections. I’ve therefore concluded that voting securely–in person, in a local precinct, and in secret–should be a constitutional right. Here’s the second piece that sums up what a truly free and fair election should look like:

https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/29/4-indispensable-conditions-for-a-truly-free-and-fair-election/

This great article in American Greatness can help average Americans start taking their freedom back

Until Lambs Become Lions” is a fantastic article in the online magazine American Greatness. It is one of many excellent reads out there, but for most people such reads are not so easy to find. Because of growing media and tech censorship — and extreme bias — we face more roadblocks to finding real information. We are inundated with propaganda that’s growing more vicious by the minute.

Nevertheless, if you look carefully, you can find many insightful essays online that expose readers to the truth and cut through the confusion of identity politics and cancel culture during these insane times. This is just one of them.

I am sharing this particular essay by a retired marine officer, Max Morton, because he gives everyone the big picture. With clarity. His essay is a 30,000-foot view of where we are as a nation as well as where we need to be headed if America is ever going to win back its hard-won freedoms. It provides average Americans a good start for understanding what’s at stake and what we can do about it. And it goes beyond both hope and despair. Morton describes our current landscape in about 2000 words and five salient subtitles: What we are facing; How did we get here? Developing an Agenda; What lies ahead; and Building the Barricades. The piece is sobering and hopeful at the same time.

How do we recover from so many toxic trends in all of our institutions? Especially when those who are poisoning us have isolated us and are circling the wagons? How can we hope for Americans to regain the ability to relate to one another as human beings, rather than as enemies? It’s going to take a lot of courage by a lot of people to overcome the descending darkness. It’s going to take a lot of one-on-one building of strong relationships of trust and building of strong communities against forces that are committed to breaking up such relationships. The work towards renewal has to happen fast. It’s too late for anything else. We have the means. But do we have the will? Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:

In order to defeat this rebellion, we need to understand the terrain we are operating on and the strategy and tactics of our enemy. Even more important, we need a strategy of our own to guide our struggle and return to a functional representative government, bounded by the Constitution with the power fully vested in the people. Only a few decades ago, American politics was driven by shared interests of prosperity and well-being aligned with a free constitutional republic. We need to drive from the American consciousness the current docile acceptance of the fact that America has a ruling class—or a ruling elite—and we must banish these terms to the trash heap of racial epithets and aristocratic garbage.

And here’s the conclusion:

At this moment we are the weaker side in this asymmetric struggle. Right now, we are 80 million couch potatoes and keyboard warriors with rifles in our bedroom closets. This is not a force to be reckoned with. And the ruling elite know it because they control the information flow and own the power institutions. Traditional Americans will have to organize and band together to help each other and fight in this struggle. When we become 80 million strong, organized citizens with a tangible agenda, when we know where we want to go and what we want this country to look like, and when we can see the path to achieve this, only then will we become the lions we need to be to achieve victory. 

Please read Morton’s entire article in American Greatness by clicking here: Until Lambs Become Lions.

2020 Blind Sight and “The Gate of the Year”

Americans who pay attention to the lessons of history know that the American Republic is at a crossroads. This presidential election has been wracked with processes so flawed and so susceptible to fraud that we will end up with a permanent one-party state if it’s left unchecked. Such a state would be led by socialists who (for now) call themselves Democrats. These globalists have made no secret of their intentions to undermine the U.S. Constitution and individual liberties.

At the end of it all — after all of the thousands of unsolicited ballots have been harvested and “counted” and after the courts either accept or reject this coup attempt — we’ll know whether or not the American Republic has a fighting chance to be preserved. Or we will find out if it is on a trajectory to ending.

That latter prospect fills me with dread. It means losing our liberties, and essentially becoming slaves of tyrants. So, if we love liberty, we must fight the corruption in any way we can: by calling our members of Congress, expressing our thoughts to others, and resisting the agitprop media.

But we must first fight the dread if we hope to be able to fight effectively. We must resist becoming defeatist and demoralized. To that end, I’d like to share some inspiration I found in the 1908 poem by Minnie Louise Haskins. She originally titled it “God Knows.” King George VI referred to her poem in his famous Christmas speech of 1939. England was at war with Germany’s Third Reich. It was a time of great uncertainty as to what the future held. The fear and dread among the people of Britain weighed heavily on them. (In part because they did nothing to prepare for it when all the warning signs were there. Sound familiar?)

2020 Blind Sight

Haskins’ poem has since been called “The Gate of the Year.” It’s an apt title as we near the end of 2020. It didn’t take me long to dub this year “2020 Blind Sight.” (No doubt, I can’t be the only one.) That’s because every time we think we know where we’re going, we hit a blind curve. It’s also because human beings tend to be blind to truth while still believing they have the 20/20 vision to know it all. This year should force us to confront such limitations within us.

We all want to predict the future. We think somehow a vision of it would give us peace. Some of us endlessly scroll our devices looking for hints that things will go our way. But only God knows where the confluence of events really leads us. So at a certain point, we have no choice but to put our trust in Him, and allow Him to lead us around the pitfalls rather than trying to go it alone. Going it alone without Faith is hopeless.

Haskins’ message is both counter-intuitive and comforting if you allow yourself to really hear it. Do we really want to know what the future holds before we get there?   Wouldn’t it be better to just do our best while being shepherded through the dark and treacherous terrain by a trusted guide? In fact it’s safer to proceed that way. With both Faith and determination.

King George VI ended his speech with the words: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” You can listen to his speech here:

And here’s the text of Haskins’ poem:

THE GATE OF THE YEAR

‘God Knows’

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

                                Minnie Louise Haskins, 1908 —  from collection The Desert

By all means, we must fight the good fight. But we must never forget that we can only see through a glass darkly in this world. Whatever happens, the critical element of the good fight is always the armor of Faith. It’s essential to doing our best in fighting and overcoming evil.

On Relationships and Voting

I recently posted a piece at American Thinker that examines the growing phenomenon of voter intimidation in personal relationships.  It’s an especially prevalent tactic by leftists. I felt compelled to write the piece when I saw a young woman gush on TikTok about how she and her sisters hectored their dying father so that he would vote for Biden/Harris instead of Trump/Pence: 

All people of good will should be aghast at such abuse of a father’s love. This also serves as a reminder that our tradition of secret ballot needs to be revived, if only to cut back on behavior like that.  It’s possible the father voted in secret even though he felt he needed to tell his daughters he voted for their preferred candidate.  Nevertheless, we ought to consider the potential for more of this if we go to universal mail-in voting — whereby official ballots will always arrive in shared mailboxes of households where dominant personalities can hold sway over others. You can read my whole piece at this link: “How Mail-In Voting Makes Social Pressure so Much Easier.”

Whether we cast our ballots in person or by mail, on election day or early, we ought to think deeply about the sacred nature of the secret ballot. Let’s ponder how changes in our electoral processes are destroying the ability to vote one’s conscience in the privacy of a voting booth. Sadly, in states like Oregon, citizens no longer even have the option to cast an official ballot in a voting booth at a local precinct. They must receive and cast their ballot in the mail.

The trend towards universal mail-in ballots will definitely allow for more voter intimidation in addition to more potential for voter fraud. Will the voting booth eventually disappear if more states go postal with voting? It seems likely, and that would be a very bad thing.

Let’s also remember: Unless you wish to willingly express whom you’re voting for, nobody has a right to know how you vote. Nobody.

Morale Booster: A Riot of a Dance Party!

I recently posted a depressing little follow-up on my Federalist article about the connection between social isolation and totalitarianism. As promised, today I offer a morale booster as a happy chaser to that bitter shot. You may have already seen the Ricky Rebel YouTube video “BLM Riot Turns into MAGA YMCA Dance Party” in Beverly Hills. It’s up to two million views now. If you haven’t seen it, take a look here! (assuming YouTube hasn’t yet censored it):

First off, I never heard of Ricky Rebel until this, even though he’s a relatively famous performer. I imagine he’ll be invited to some Trump rallies after this. Second, and more importantly, this little number should cheer up any American no matter how they feel about Trump. Most of us have had enough of the dismal division. People are starving for friendship and fun and happiness. This song is all about coming together as Americans, about being happy instead of miserable, about American optimism and our common humanity. The “YMCA” tune is, as always, catchy. There was some grumbling by activists that “YMCA” is supposed to be the “anthem of the gay movement” and is therefore “sacred,” and shouldn’t have the letters MAGA replacing it in parody. Really? Oh, please. Please.

Just watching this thing is uplifting — and gives a brilliantly hilarious retort to all of the violence and intimidation thrown our way by self-supremacists who pretend to be for “social justice.” The backdrop is the “Trump Unity Bridge” driving through Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. That’s a large festooned SUV towing a trailer that carries a multitude of Trump-mania — colorful signs and flags and slogans and a replica Statue of Liberty — and more. Ricky Rebel is absolutely effusive prancing and dancing around the intersection at Beverly Dr. as police officers make sure he doesn’t step over the boundaries. The mood is ecstatic. You’ll want to watch this more than once. It’s a shot in the arm. A blast out of these dreary times!

Wokeness, Wuhan, and the Weaponry of Social Isolation

Tyranny and isolation always go together.  Let’s always remember that. Political philosopher Hannah Arendt made the connection in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism. She wrote:  “Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other. . . . Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about.”

Recent Cover of Hannah Arendt’s classic The Origins of Totalitarianism, first published 1951 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pubishing Company)

Below is an excerpt from from my (relatively) recent Federalist piece about the connection between tyranny and isolation and today’s dystopian atmosphere:

“How much of the hype about this flu is really about public safety? How much is it about cultivating the social isolation that breeds distrust, division, and malaise, all to be exploited for political purposes? Should we really believe that blue city mayors and blue state governors, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, et al., are pushing the cataclysmic view of this flu only for our own safety?

“Blatant double standards clarify that their hype is meant to continue our isolation, and is not for our own good. As far-left mayors and governors enforce social distancing for law-abiding citizens, they have pretty much smiled upon Antifa rioters as “peaceful protesters,” especially those who gather en masse for more than 60 [now 100] nights in a row to provoke and attack federal officials protecting a federal court house in Portland.”

You can read the whole essay here: https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/11/how-forced-isolation-makes-huge-power-grabs-possible/

Once you think about it, you’ll see evidence everywhere that every tyrant’s first order of business is to isolate those they’re trying to control.  This is as true for the school yard bully as it is for the world class dictator.  Let’s go down a little list of them. Consider the queen bee diva. Recall how in the 2004 movie Mean Girls, the school’s cool clique made a point of controlling the relationships of all of their peers? Recall their Pelosi-esque line “The rules aren’t real.” What about the gas lighting partner?  Maybe his realm is just to control one person, but he makes sure she is isolated from all other influences. She can’t have any friends or be around anyone he doesn’t control.

And cult leaders? They control recruits primarily by some form of isolation. People’s Temple leader Jim Jones even moved his thousand or so followers into literal isolation – to a jungle in Guyana – to make sure all were isolated and under his strict control. And of course all fascist/communist/totalitarian dictators are invested in human isolation.  Mao Zedong had his Red Guard zealots (very similar in behavior to today’s BLM and Antifa agitators) force struggle sessions on people wherein they mobbed, isolated, and publicly humiliated anyone suspected of wrong think. (BTW, the toll was in the tens of millions killed during China’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s.)

And what does political correctness do to us? Induce self-censorship that results in self-isolation. What about identity politics? It divides us so that we are more isolated from one another.

So what should we make of the enforced isolation of today? And what about the Covid shutdowns that did not end on April 1 – and then May 1 — like they were supposed to?   Do they serve a political purpose. Of course they do. The point is to stretch out the misery, stretch out the economic devastation, stretch out the isolation in order to demoralize the population into doing the bidding of our would-be controllers. We have to call this out for what it is. And, hopefully I can offer a morale-booster next time!

The Trap of the Mob Mindset

My essay today in the Federalist expands upon my last few posts. You can read the whole thing by clicking on this link: https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/15/how-socialists-like-black-lives-matter-weaponize-our-fears-of-loneliness/

File:Groupthink.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Slogans of George Orwell’s 1984. When we overdose on group think, that’s where we end up. Wikimedia Commons.

Below is an excerpt:

“The mob mindset is a trap, a form of mental solitary confinement, an ironic form of mind rape. Why? Because mobs of wokeness do not allow for anyone to express an original thought to another human being without the risk of being smeared and isolated.

“As people invest in groupthink to remain in the herd, they end up spiraling even deeper into the mental isolation, cutting off normal conversation. They soon become “triggered” by other points of view. BLM activists have not only taken full advantage of the fear of loneliness already inherent in our culture. They also seem intent in perpetuating the fear by stoking more divisions within private relationships.

“Political correctness and identity politics have long been used as tools of agitation designed to instill groupthink and stir up that threat of loneliness. Political correctness works by inducing self-censorship, cutting off conversation and the exchange of ideas, which might lead to friendship.”People with politically incorrect ideas often confide they feel completely alone. 

Identity politics works by forcing people to focus only on a collective identity and collective guilt while erasing each of us as unique individuals. Both are alienating. Both empower bad actors.

“Most of us have never had a chance to learn the history of how blind conformity breeds terror, and vice versa. Abject conformity led to the hellscapes of Stalin’s reign of terror, of Hitler’s Germany. Those who submit to false confessions of “white guilt” can just as easily submit to such regimes because the psychological mechanism is the same: seeking the social approval they crave and avoiding the social rejection they fear.

Weaponization of Loneliness is a Specialty of Cults. Does BLM employ it?

Struggle session - Wikipedia
The photo above reflects what people are afraid of, and why they submit to false narratives. This photo is of a “struggle session” in Maoist China during the Cultural Revolution. The victim is accused of ideological impurity. In today’s BLM parlance, the shaming and social isolation would be for perceived racism. It is not based on reality, but only on identity politics. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

In this post I will continue to refer to the item I posted the other day on the suburban mass confession of “white guilt” that took place in Bethesda, Maryland. It was a creepy incident of initiation in which you can see four truths revealed about cults and cult activity. We owe it to ourselves to ask first if the participants are behaving like cult recruits. And then we have to ask if the organization to which they are pledging is behaving like a cult. Below I note four hard similarities.

  1. Cult operations always cover up an appetite for raw power with a cover story that sounds very uncontroversial.  Deception is always cover for a power grab. Is that the case with the organization that calls itself “Black Live Matter?” Well, just go to its website and you’ll soon figure out that hardcore socialism, or Marxism, is its actual, avowed agenda. Ultimately, socialism is about one thing: too much power in the hands of too few people. Marxists in America have made no secret of their determination to undermine the individual rights inherent in the Constitution. So when you see huge agendas on the BLM website that are traditionally communist — like “sustainable transformation” and defunding the police and even its goal of replacing the family with collectivist forms of childrearing — well, its veil gets a lot thinner.
  2. Cult  mechanics always involve psychological manipulation. Coercive thought reform is at work in the Bethesda video. It uses a hypnotic chant, as well as guilt and shaming and the weaponization of loneliness to conjure up the illusion of majority support. The recruits have set themselves up for ostracism by the movement if they dare to re-think anything. There is no respect for the principle of free thought or any exchange of ideas.  The movement is highly manipulative and emotionally coercive.
  3. The recruit is ordered to become a deployable agent for the cult by promising to bring others in to it. When the Bethesdans took their pledge, part of it was “to do everything in my power to educate my community.” That’s a pledge to proselytize. This assignment is essential to cults. It grows the mass/mob and empowers the cult’s totalitarian leaders. It always happens under the guise of something that sounds reasonable. Their behavior also brings to mind one of Saul Alinsky’s callous “Rules for Radicals:” to use people’s goodwill against them.
  4. We see the cultic practice of predatory alienation: forcing people to disavow loved ones. The New York Times recently published an op-ed telling white “allies” of BLM that they must prove their loyalty by texting “relatives and loved ones telling them you will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until they take significant action in supporting black lives either through protest or financial contributions.”  This is emotional blackmail, meant to isolate people and meddle in personal relationships. That’s a common pattern in socialism as well.