Anne Morelli

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Anne Morelli, in 2007

Anne Morelli (born in 1948, also known as Anne Mettewie-Morelli) is a Belgian historian of Italian origins, specialized in the history of religions and minorities. She is currently assistant director of the Interdisciplinary center for study of religion and secularism ("Centre interdisciplinaire d'étude des religions et de la laïcité") of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), where she is a teacher.


She directed in 1995 a book about The Great myths of the history of Belgium, Flanders and Wallonia ("Les grands mythes de l'histoire de Belgique, de Flandre et de Wallonie"), a global attempt by new historians of Belgium to deconstruct nationalist myths e.g. created by the official historiography for nation-building purpose.[1]


Morelli claims she is atheist and considers herself as belonging to the far left.[2]

Anne Morelli is particularly known for her opinions on cults or new religious movements. Like other sociologists and historians, she believes that churches are different from cults only through their relationship to power, and that they are "totalitarian institutions" as well as prisons, hospitals, barracks, boarding houses and some companies.[3]

In 2005, during the 36th annual conference of the International Association of Labour History Institutions in Ghent, she said at the international conference of anti-globalism that no movement has ever achieved a change without using violence.[4] Morelli was part of a group which welcomed Pierre Carette, the main leader of a terrorist group active in 1984-1985, Communist Combatant Cells, when he was released from prison after 17 years, an unusual long imprisonment in Belgium.[5]

Anne Morelli has summarized and systematized the contents of Arthur Ponsonby's classic in "ten commandments of propaganda":[6]

  1. We do not want war.
  2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
  3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
  4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
  5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
  6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
  7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
  8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
  9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God Bless America' is playing once more."
  10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.[7]


  • (in French) La Presse italienne en Belgique (1919-1945), 1981
  • (in French) La participation des émigrés italiens à la Résistance belge, 1983
  • (in Italian) Fascismo e antifascismo nell'emigrazione italiana in Belgio, 1922-1940, 1987
  • (in French) Les grands mythes de l'histoire de Belgique, de Flandre et de Wallonie (dir.), 1995
  • (in French) Rital-littérature. Anthologie de la littérature des Italiens de Belgique,1996
  • (in French) Lettre ouverte à la secte des adversaires des sectes, 1997
  • (in French) Les émigrants belges : réfugiés de guerre, émigrés économiques, réfugiés religieux et émigrés politiques ayant quitté nos régions du XVIe à nos jours (dir.),1998
  • (in French) Les religions et la violence avec Lemaire Jacques et Suzanne Charles, 1998
  • (in French) Le racisme, élément du conflit flamands-francophones ?, 1998
  • (in French) Principes élémentaires de propagande de guerre (utilisables en cas de guerre froide, chaude ou tiède...), 2001
  • (in French) "« Sectes » et « hérésies » de l'antiquité à nos jours" (PDF). (1.89 MB) - with Alain Dierkens, 2002
  • (in French) Les solidarités internationales. Histoire & perspectives with Gotovitch José, 2003
  • (in French) Histoire des étrangers et de l'immigration en Belgique: de la préhistoire à nos jours (dir.), 2004
  • (in French) Rubino, l'anarchiste qui tenta d’assassiner Léopold II, 2007


  1. ^ (in French) Jean-Pierre Stroobants, Anne Morelli. Sur les mythes de l'histoire de Belgique, Le Soir, 17 June 1995
  2. ^ (in French) "J'estime être d'extrême gauche, mais je pense que l'immobilisme que nous vivons aujourd'hui est dû en grande partie aux divisions de l'extrême gauche", Éric Guillaume, Les 175 ans de la Belgique vus par Anne Morelli (ULB), Solidaire, 18 May 2005
  3. ^ (in French) "La secte, comme la communauté charismatique, le couvent, la prison, l'hôpital, la caserne, le pensionnat (et peut-être aussi certains partis ou entreprises lorsqu'il s'agit de Disney ou MacDo) est l'une des institutions totalitaires qui prend, marque, change de nom ou immatricule, imprime dans un moule et déguise pour donner l'impression d'uniformité des corps et des esprits." Anne Morelli, Lettre ouverte à la secte des adversaires des sectes, 1997
  4. ^ "At an international conference in Ghent in 2005 on the anti-globalisation movement, Anne Morelli told the astounded audience that not one single movement in history had ever enforced change without use of violence." Francine Mestrum, The World Social Forum of Porto Alegre: what future?, 2006 Archived January 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  5. ^ (in French) RTBF, "Manifestation de soutien à Pierre Carette", le 25 February 2003 Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  6. ^ Morelli, Anne (2001). Principes élémentaires de propagande de guerre. Brussels: éditions Labor. p. 93. ISBN 2-8040-1565-3.
  7. ^ book|last1=Ponsonby|first1=Arthur|title=Falsehood in War-time: Propaganda Lies of the First World War|date=1928}} Project Gutenberg Australia