Thursday, October 14, 2021

How To Cope With Organized Stalking

My good friend Medawar has recently posted an important piece on organized stalking to his blog that I am reprinting here in its entirety with his permission. It's a really good introductory overview.

I would only add to his discussion of lies with regard to organized stalking that I consider it a critical life skill to check out the accuracy of things you are told before you believe them and especially before you repeat them to anyone else. As Medawar points out, lies are a basic part of organized stalking because they can be so incredibly damaging. Sociopaths and psychopaths are very aware that most people are too lazy or clueless to actually verify information being given to them. 

Here then is Medawar's post:


How to Cope with Organised Stalking: an open letter to Chris Packham

 It is apparent from the latest of several news items over the past few years, that the wildlife campaigner and broadcaster Chris Packham has fallen victim to what can only honestly be described as organised stalkers. This makes him an involuntary member of a club with very wide membership ranging from campaigners with views similar to his own, to those who are diametrically opposed and a rather larger number of people who have no idea at all why they are being persecuted. This post, while not comprehensive (or it would be far too long for anyone to read) sets out to offer some useful observations and tips for Mr Packham or anyone else, whatever their views on any matter, who finds themself in a similar position.

Don't be too concerned with discovering or speculating about your stalker's motives:

There are a few reasons for this advice. First and foremost, stalking and all other forms of targetted persecution are wrong, always wrong, and there is no cause, however urgent, however noble, which cannot disgrace and destroy itself by resorting to this kind of tactic. Recognising that stalking is always wrong and can never be justified is an important part of the solution, because it allows you to make common cause with those whom you might otherwise reject and bitterly oppose and it puts your persecutors on a collision course with the rest of the human race and, if you care to believe it, greater forces than that.

Secondly, Medawar once asked a psychiatrist why people were prepared to take part in stalking campaigns and the immediate and unequivocal response was "because they enjoy it." Everything Medawar has learned about stalking in the twenty years since that interview has supported that simple statement from the psychiatrist. Stalking doesn't just destroy the victim: it destroys those causes in whose name stalking is employed. Former members of the campaign group "Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty" believe they were defeated by a conspiracy between the government and "Big Pharma" but the harsh truth is that their methods, and the stalking of individuals and families in particular, turned pretty well the whole country against them and anyone who even sounded like them. There is no gain for the cause in the resort to stalking. Organised stalking, just like lone stalking, is done purely for the enjoyment of those organising it and those carrying it out. Your beliefs and your causes only really matter to them because they matter to you, allowing them to gain sadistic pleasure from frustrating your campaigns and destroying your hopes. Stalking is always about destroying hope in the end, because that's what gives a sadist the biggest thrill.

Consider, for a moment, that many victims of organised stalking have no history of activism at all; sometimes the trigger is amazingly trivial, almost always it involves the victim doing something he or she had a perfect right to do. Your beliefs, and the apparent beliefs of your persecutors, are usually not the real reason it is happening. There is nothing to be gained from compromising your beliefs, "toning them down" or doing anything other than regularly checking that you are happy in your own heart and mind with what you are doing. Artists are stalked, not usually to suppress any political message in their work, but because destroying their creativity gives the stalkers the thrill of cutting off a butterfly's wings, magnified a thousand times. The only satisfactory solution to stalking is to expose the stalkers and stop the stalking. Scuttling for cover is not only cowardly, but utterly futile.

And this brings us to an important observation based on more than two decades experience of these matters:

Lies Are A Stalker's Most Powerful Weapon (and thereby the most addictive)

Sometimes, lies are all a stalking campaign consists of, but more often they are used to complement and enable all the threats, vandalism, cruelty to pets and recreational arson which constitute the more obvious threat. Stalkers will spread lies about the victim, often before they notice anything amiss, to distance and then slowly isolate them from friends, neighbours and even family members. Those lies will also lie there waiting for a police investigation to start, which will always involve discreet inquiries amongst the victim's friends, neighbours and relatives -and the planted lies will be designed to cancel or fatally misdirect the police investigation in pretty short order. This is the major reason why victims frequently end up believing that the police are complicit in their stalking: the stalkers have carefully laid "evidence" for the police to unearth, perhaps long before the stalking appeared to start and the first complaint to the police is filed.

But because lies are so powerful and effective, stalkers come to depend on them and that can create a contradiction which suddenly collapses the house of cards. 

Note to policemen reading this: if everyone around the victim believes something that he doesn't think is true, try tracing that belief back to its source. Lots of people believing the same (bizarre and/or defamatory?) thing is actually unnatural: threat this phenomena with due suspicion.

The stalkers will lie to the victim, in that almost every bit of physical evidence they leave behind for them to find will be misleading in some way. Look for a pattern behind the pattern: "What are they trying to make me think? Is it something designed to drive a wedge between me and the police, or somebody else that I depend on?"

The stalkers will lie to campaigners and activists who might oppose the victim, in order to get them to help with the stalking. Perhaps without them ever realising how much has been happening and just how harmful it is.

Stalking is unrequited murder

Anything that speaks of a high, noble or political agenda behind the stalking is also a lie: noble aims do not need to be pursued by methods such as this. They are doing it because slowly destroying someone by stalking gives them a thrill akin to murder without the legal risks. There is a great danger for the whole of society in the police treating stalking and harassment as a trivial issue, not worthy of their precious resources, because the perception of risk is the only thing which separates the stalker from the murderer and current, dismissive, police attitudes are steadily eroding that risk.

Try and count your persecutors (at least approximately) before you spend undue effort identifying them

You should keep a log of everything that happens throughout the staking and harassment in any case: the police advise this, even if they are disposed to ignore the results if it suits them. But enhance the data by always suffixing an estimate of the minimum number of persons required to do it. Also always suffix how far away you were from home when it happened.

Over time, those two metrics can be a very useful tool for identifying your persecutors and may one day give you peace of mind, if the right number of stalkers are brought to justice or at least exposed. 

A small number of stalkers operating mostly in your local area may imply that it's a couple of mates (or brothers) and that all their communication with each other is face to face or by direct phone call, so they don't need social media for any purpose except adding to the pressure on you. 

A large number, operating almost everywhere you go, implies a group or network with some form of shared communication which the authorities might be able to penetrate.

And so on. Those two metrics will make your harassment log or diary more useful to the authorities, always assuming that they see the need to take genuine action. Which is constantly being demanded by successive Home Secretaries and ignored by successive Chief Police Officers.