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Lone Wolves and Lone Dictators

Psychological similarities linking two apparently different individuals

I happened to be in South London when the recent terrorist attack took place in Woolwich. In broad daylight, a British soldier walking outside his barracks in South London was first struck down by a car, then attacked with knives and a hatchet. The soldier's decimated body was then dragged into the middle of a road, where schoolchildren could see it. The two attackers then stood around, waving their bloody hands in the air and shouting their 'message' to anyone within earshot. They were brought down by special armed police (British police are not normally armed), who were called for and arrived about 20 minutes later.

The attackers involved in the Woolwich incident have been recognized as 'lone wolves', individuals who become 'inspired' to launch a terrorist attack by themselves, independent of any links with known terrorist networks. In this era, lone wolves often get inspiration and information from Jihadi websites.

At the same time that these lone wolves were launching their attack, the lone dictator Assad was also attacking with bloody consequences. He was also waving his bloody hands in the air.

On the surface, lone wolves and lone dictators are very different. After all, Assad and dictators like him have the resources to hire top PR services. They can try to clean up their images. How else can we explain the article that appeared in Vogue Magazine - an international fashion trendsetter - in March 2011, referring to Assad's English wife as a "rose in the desert" and to Syria as "the safest country in the Middle East" (you will not find this article easily, as it has been 'washed away' from the Vogue wesite because of an angry backlash - but I do discuss it in my book on THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DICTATORSHIP, see link below).

Lone wolves and lone dictators both construct worlds in isolation, and come to believe that they are saving society, that they are justified in killing because what they do is for the benefit of the people. Of course, Assad is not the only lone dictator, there are many of them around the world - just look at the situation in countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea.

Lone wolves and lone dictators see themselves as having a special mission, one that ordinary people do not really appreciate at present - but that is because ordinary people have not awakened.

Lone wolves and lone dictators both see themselves on a moral mission, to enlighten ordinary people and show the 'right path'. Timothy McVeigh (Oklohoma City Bombing) and Adolf Hitler both had moral missions.

Lone wolves and lone dictators both believe that the ends justify the means. Killing and maiming is a necessary path to achieve the moral mission.

Lone wolves and lone dictators are almost all male. Lets hope we men find a way to change for the better!

Click below to get to information on THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DICTATORSHIP