While it doesn't provide a great deal of information about the source/s for the statements made here, I believe it's important for me to share this article with my readers because, as a long-term stalking victim with a great deal of personal experience on the subject, this piece is the best summary I've seen yet of how stalkers think and operate.
Although this article is about single stalkers, it discusses how single stalkers manipulate others into participating in stalking in various ways. When this happens, single stalking becomes organized stalking (a.k.a. gang stalking or stalking by proxy), which moves it into the realm of organized criminal activity.
As you read this, please pay particular attention to the discussion of the connection between stalking and murder, because it is a close one. (I would like to do a separate post on this at some point.) The connections between stalking and pathological lying are also extremely important.
The most important sentence in the article with regard to organized stalking may be, "Instead of friends, they [stalkers] have victims and sometimes accomplices who ALWAYS end up as victims in the end." [Capital letters mine.]
Coincidentally, my ex-husband has known ties to the Snohomish County area in Washington State.
THE MIND OF THE STALKER
January 12, 2013
(GOLD BAR, WA) -- The Sky Valley Chronicle was asked recently by a Snohomish County resident who plans to file criminal charges against a cyber-stalker(s), how the state law on “regular stalking” comes into play in making sure a stalker or stalkers is charged with as many criminal counts as possible.
In the context of the question and being that January is Stalking Awareness Monthaccording to the U.S. Department of Justice, we present the following information for your review and consideration.
The good news for victims of stalker crimes is that the Washington law on regular stalking (RCW 9a.46.110) can b e used in many cases to file additional criminal charges (charges in addition, for example to cyber-stalking charges) against the perpetrators of such crimes.
This is a powerful tool a victim can deploy in the fight against such criminals in that many sociopaths who engage in both “regular” stalking and cyber-stalking are often unaware of – or simply ignore – the sheer number of laws they are breaking (or how often) or that laws overlap allowing for the filing of multiple charges under different statutes.
Even if they do realize such a thing, stalkers – many of whom are textbook sociopaths who cannot control their behavior because of the high they get from it – simply can’t stop from doing what has always been a pleasurable behavior they were certain had no downside risk to their lives.
Indeed it is the very nature of sociopaths – a nature they cannot change - that is almost always their undoing and this is valuable for a stalker victim to know from both a strategic and tactical standpoint.
The very nature of the sociopathic stalker provides a key to bringing a stalker to justice.
TRAITS OF A STALKER/SOCIOPATH
There are some well-known traits - culled from numerous medical papers, medical and psychological research, mass market and trade books and other sources - that apply to many, if not most sociopaths/stalkers.
These common-thread traits eventually bring about their downfall into the hard reality and harsh light of the criminal justice system.
These traits include:
~ Poor to no behavioral control/strong impulsive nature. Rage and abuse is a typical trait of the sociopath. Sociopathic stalkers believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing and entitled to every wish. Such people have no sense of personal boundaries and no concern for their impact on others. To a sociopath he or she is always “the smartest guy in the room,” and can outwit all others.
Thus hubris almost always leads to a stalker’s downfall if a stalker victim understands how to exploit this weakness and to utilize the assistance of law enforcement to amplify the exploitation of this “sweet spot.”
~ Manipulative and Cunning. Stalkers/sociopaths never recognize the rights of others. They see their self-serving behaviors as always permissible. Sometimes they may be charming yet they are almost always hostile, angry and domineering when their true nature is exposed.
They see their victims as merely an instrument to be used. They enjoy the sense of domination they feel from humiliating, taunting and hurting others.
~ Grandiose Sense of Self. A sociopath feels entitled to certain things as "their right." A sociopath feels it is their right to abuse those they wish to abuse simply because they enjoy doing it and can do it.
In this sense the mind of the sociopath is little different than the mind of a serial killer or serial child abuser: they do what they do because they like it, it gives them pleasure, they can get away with it (for a while) and they feel entitled to do it.
~ Pathological Lying. Many stalkers/sociopaths are chronic liars and have been that way since childhood. In fact they lie casually and very calmly. It is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. They often believe their lies as “the truth.”
They often create, and get caught up in, a complex belief system about their own powers and abilities. A sociopath can be extremely convincing at times (for short periods at any rate) and is even able to pass lie detector tests in some instances.
(One good reason, by the way for innocent people never to take a polygraph test when asked to do so since sociopaths can pass these tests and innocent people can fail them).
NO REMORSE, DEEP RAGE, SHALLOW EMOTIONS
~ Complete lack of remorse, shame or guilt. A sociopath does not have these emotions – they are just not there - thus they cannot feel things like shame or guilt or remorse. To a sociopath these things simply do not exist in their mental framework as a check on behavior as they do in “normal “humans.
A deeply sociopathic mob contract killer called “The Iceman,” now deceased, once asked a well known psychiatrist during a documentary about his life, “Why is it I don’t feel nuthin’ inside?”
What The Iceman did not know, and could never figure out is that he simply was not capable of feeling anything inside. The Iceman was wired differently in the head.
~ A deep-seated rage that lies at their core. A stalker/sociopath does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities.
Instead of friends, they have victims and sometimes accomplices who always end up as victims in the end. To a stalker the end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way of obtaining their goals (which is why it is important to put them behind bars where they belong).
~ Very shallow emotions. At times some sociopaths can express what appears outwardly to others to be warmth, joy, love and compassion. However this is nothing more than a modeled behavior – something they learn how to do and do well in some cases – and it always serves an ulterior motive.
The typical stalker/sociopath is outraged by insignificant matters – such as a newspaper article or book or TV broadcast they feel insulted them or slighted them in some way – yet interestingly the sociopath remains unmoved at all by what would upset a "normal" person.
~ Incapacity for love. A sociopath is incapable of feeling love, in the traditional sense, for anyone or anything. You will never find a sociopath helping out at a local food kitchen for the needy or doing something positive in a community as a volunteer unless it serves an ulterior motive for the sociopath.
COWARDICE A HALLMARK OF STALKERS
~ Cowardice. This is one of the major traits of a stalker/sociopath, on the street or online, for people who are not cowards have no need or desire to engage in aberrant, stalker behavior.
Stalking is the perfect domain of the coward for above all the coward seeks to avoid personal responsibility for his or her behavior.
Not only do “normal” people have no need to engage in stalking behavior but the intelligent, centered self-confident person – one who can feel love, empathy, joy and compassion – wouldn't even consider stalking another person.
The very thought of it would be abhorrent to them. For a sociopath however, stalking is like second nature to them; a skin they feel very comfortable in.
The ultimate coward of a stalker is the man or woman who stalks a former lover or spouse with the “If I can’t have them no one can” mindset, murders the former lover/spouse and then takes his or her own life to avoid all responsibility; to avoid being held legally responsible for their actions.
When you think stalker, also think coward. They are one and the same. This also means that cowards, in the right circumstances and possessing the right frame of (twisted) mind can be extremely dangerous, even those who have never before committed a serious crime of violence.
~ Need for Stimulation. Many sociopaths/stalkers live on the edge in one way or another for that is the only way they can “feel normal.” Some need to be in constant drama, constant confrontations or battles with other people. These other people can even be elected officials. Sometimes even institutions such as government are targets. Stalkers often seek to engage in back and forth email rants and hurl threats at others in emails and online forums ,including threats to sue over trivial matters.
Verbal outbursts, rage and sometimes physical punishments are normal in the sociopath’s world and promiscuity and gambling are common.
~ Callousness/Lack of Empathy. They are unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress. They enjoy taking advantage of others and enjoy the sense of control over others as well as inflicting various types pain and anguish during the control phase.
~ Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency. Often times in the sociopath/stalker’s history one will find a history of behavioral and sometimes academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others.
In some cases though the sociopath is intelligent and may go on to pursue a profession, even a “ticketed” profession such as doctor, nurse or lawyer.
Those who go into such professions are extremely fearful of being convicted of a crime and losing their professional license as it often is their only source of real identity and respect by others in a community.
~ Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle. Some sociopaths tend to move around a lot or make promises about the future they can never make happen. They often have a poor work ethic (they can even get fired from a menial state or federal government job for incompetence and arrogance, which is awfully hard for a “normal” person to do) but can exploit others effectively and calmly.
~ Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility. The stalker/sociopath has the ability to change their image as needed in order to try and avoid prosecution (but in the end they almost always are prosecuted) and can change their life story readily to suit their purposes.
~ The sociopath has problems in making and keeping friends and often times displays aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, lying, etc.
~ Irresponsibility/Unreliability. A sociopath is not the least concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. The true sociopath is oblivious or just indifferent to the devastation they cause to others and they never blame themselves. They always blame others even for acts they obviously committed.
Even if confronted with proof that cannot be disputed, the sociopath will deny everything and indeed if the sociopath has helpers will blame any criminal behavior on the helpers.
To a sociopath, self-preservation is always "Job One."
~ Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity. Sometimes a sociopath will engage in promiscuity, becoming involved with a married man and ruining a marriage or sexual acting out, etc.
Some other qualities of stalkers/sociopaths are:
Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
Paranoid (believes they are the victim of conspiracies, people out to “get them,” claiming their phones are tapped, they are being followed, claiming they are in danger from unseen, unnamed forces, making claims of threats against their lives with no proof, etc.)
Only rarely in trouble with the law because they seek out situations where they believe their tyrannical behavior and abuse of others will be tolerated, condoned, or admired. Sometimes they claim the abuse they engage in is covered by “free speech.”
Knows what they are doing is wrong and depending upon the crime the stalker is engaged in, will go to great lengths to cover their tracks to avoid prosecution.
Goal of enslavement and/or control over their victim(s) so they may inflict pain and anguish at will.
Seeks to exercise despotic control over all or some aspects of the victim's life
Has an internal need to justify their crimes.
Incapable of real human attachment to another.
Extreme narcissism and grandiose thoughts about themselves
May state readily that their goal is to rule the world
The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.
In the 1830's a sociopathic disorder was called "moral insanity." By 1900 it was changed to "psychopathic personality." More recently it has been called "antisocial personality disorder" in some reference materials and in some media reports.
Above all however a sociopath (someone who exhibits antisocial personality disorder) is characterized by a lack of regard for the moral or legal standards in the local culture.
They have an almost complete inability to get along with others or abide by societal rules.
Individuals with this disorder are alternately referred to as psychopaths or sociopaths and in some reference materials and news reports the two terms seem to overlap substantially.
THE GOOD NEWS FOR VICTIMS OF A SOCIOPATH/STALKER
The good news is once victims recognize these traits and recognize they are dealing with a stereotypical sociopath/stalker, they can identify a number of ways to develop a strategy to gather evidence in order to have the stalker convicted of a crime.
Knowing these traits of a sociopath allows the victim insights into creating “traps” for the stalker to fall into (since almost all stalkers feel all-powerful and are certain they can do anything with impunity) thereby leaving a trail of evidence a blind man could follow which can then be used against the stalker in a criminal court of law.
The key for a victim of a stalker to remember is this: what the sociopath/stalker believes about his or her omnipotence, intelligence and untouchability is, ironically, the stalker’s greatest Achilles Heel and a major tool a victim can use to bring such a sociopath to justice.
Victims of stalkers would do well to understand these principles and to use these insights to move forward with evidence gathering for prosecution of the stalker(s) on criminal charges.
From me: See also http://www.theagencyinc.net/true_stories/gangstalking.pdf