1. A Brief Explanation of Gang Stalking
2. Introduction to the Full Explanation of Gang Stalking
3. Crimes by U.S. Law Enforcement & Intelligence Agencies
4. Oversight of Law Enforcement & Intelligence Agencies
5. Published News Reports on Gang Stalking
6. Historical Predecessors: Cointelpro, MK Ultra, Red Squads, & Stasi
7. The National & International Scope of Gang Stalking
8. Investigation, Surveillance, & Harassment Tactics
9. Mobbing & Workplace Violence
10. Selection of Targeted Individuals
11. The Organizational Structure of Gang Stalking
12. Social Conformity & Obedience to Authority
13. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) & Gang Stalking
15. The Wall of Silence Which Surrounds Gang Stalking
16. Shining a Light on the Cockroaches
Gang stalking – also known as “organized stalking” – is a slang term for a set of tactics used in counterintelligence operations involving the covert surveillance and harassment of a targeted individual. The goal of such operations – in the parlance of counterintelligence personnel – is to “subvert” or “neutralize” an individual deemed by a government agency (or its informants) to be an enemy.
Strategy and Tactics
Organized stalking methods were used extensively by communist East Germany’s Stasi (state police) as a means of maintaining political control over its citizens. The Stasi referred to the tactics as “zersetzung” (German for “decomposition” or “corrosion” – a reference to the intended psychological, social, and financial effects upon the victim).
The use of tactics such as electronic surveillance, slander, blacklisting, and psychological operations (“psyops”) for counterintelligence purposes – for example, to punish or suppress dissenters and whistle-blowers – has a well-documented history in the U.S. and other nations. In addition to their use by the Stasi, some of the same tactics were used against American citizens during the infamous Cointelpro operations by the FBI, and the Project MK Ultra experiments by the CIA.
In gang stalking, the victim is systematically isolated and harassed in a manner intended to cause sustained psychological torture while creating the least-possible amount of evidence of stalking that would be visible to others. Accomplices – such as neighbors, co-workers, and even friends or relatives of the victim in some cases – are recruited to participate (often unwittingly) by counterintelligence personnel using various means, such as by telling them that the target is a potential threat or that the target is the subject of an “investigation.”
A whole set of psychological operations tactics is used against targeted individuals. These methods, described in detail in the overview below, include such things as threats, verbal harassment, slander, vandalism, abusive phone calls, computer hacking, tormenting the victim with noise, and “mobbing” (orchestrated verbal harassment by strangers, neighbors, or co-workers).
Harassment tactics used in organized stalking (“Cointelpro Version 2.0″) are specifically chosen for their lack of easily-captured objective evidence. Perpetrators use common annoyances such as constant noise by neighbors or rude comments and behavior by strangers, but on a frequent ongoing long-term basis. The cumulative effects of relentless exposure to such tactics can amount to psychological torture for the victim.
Accounts by numerous victims share common specific details – suggesting that the perpetrators of gang stalking are following a well-tested and standardized playbook. Using inconspicuous and difficult-to-prove tactics – sometimes referred to as “no-touch torture” helps keep organized stalking off the radar of potential witnesses and the mainstream news media.
Another factor contributing to the low profile of organized stalking in the media is a disinformation campaign – a common tactic in counterintelligence operations. In the case of organized stalking, the disinformation is mainly intended to mitigate exposure of the program.
Toward that end the Internet has been flooded with websites and forum comments about gang stalking that falsely purport to be from self-proclaimed victims of organized stalking, making irrational claims – references to demons and such. The intended effect is to convey the impression that everyone who claims to be targeted by gang stalking is simply delusional.
An additional disinformation strategy has been the establishment of front groups – most notably, FFCHS (Freedom From Covert Harassment and Surveillance) – ostensibly a gang stalking victims support group, but actually an organization run by counterintelligence operatives.
News Reports About Gang Stalking
Although Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA generated a great deal of public discussion, U.S. domestic counterintelligence activities receive very little attention. This is so despite a series of news reports on the issue from sources across the political spectrum.
Articles have been appearing with increasing frequency over the past decade about allegations that something comparable to the FBI’s infamous Cointelpro operations is being performed again – and that it apparently includes the organized stalking of targeted individuals using methods virtually identical to those that were used by communist East Germany’s Stasi.
In 2004 the PBS news program NOW and Newsweek magazine both reported that the Pentagon had quietly resumed its practice of domestic spying, and suggested that “something like Cointelpro may again be at hand.” Spying on civilians by the U.S. Army was one of the scandals which led to the famous Church Committee investigations by Congress in the mid-1970s.
In October 2004 the U.K newspaper The Sunday Times published an article about the use of Stasi-type psychological operations to punish whistle-blowers by MI5 – an intelligence agency with close ties to the U.S. intelligence community.
In December 2005 National Book Award winner Gloria Naylor, wrote a semi-autobiographical book in which she described her experiences as a target of organized stalking. The book’s title, 1996, was the year it became apparent to Naylor that she was being stalked. Apparently, her harassment began after she had a minor dispute with a neighbor whose brother worked for the National Security Agency (NSA).
The Globe and Mail, a national newspaper in Canada, reported in May 2006 that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) used organized stalking techniques (referred to as “Diffuse and Disrupt” tactics) against terrorism suspects for whom they lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute.
The first of three academic peer-reviewed articles on organized stalking – also called “gang stalking” – by Belgian criminologist Nicolas Desurmont – was published later that year in the July–September 2006 edition of Revue Internationale de Criminologie et de Police technique et scientifique.
A cover article in The Washington Post Magazine in January 2007 by a journalist familiar with military policies and weapon systems portrayed self-proclaimed victims of gang stalking as intelligent and credible, and suggested that claims about exotic non-lethal weapons being used by the U.S. government to harass targeted individuals were plausible.
Former CIA division chief Melvin Goodman was quoted in a June 2008 article by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation (America’s oldest continuously-published weekly magazine) on the vast private contractor element of the intelligence-security community:
“My major concern is the lack of accountability, the lack of responsibility. The entire industry is essentially out of control. It’s outrageous.”
A newspaper article in the Verona-Cedar Grove Times in March 2009 titled “Stalker Claims Unsettle Police” described how a self-proclaimed target of gang stalking had been distributing flyers in his former neighborhood in Verona, New Jersey, warning about organized stalking of targeted individuals. The flyers stated: “Their intention is to murder their target without getting their hands dirty. It’s the perfect hate crime.”
A post on the political blog Daily Kos in October 2010 alleged that intelligence agencies in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada use gang stalking (zersetzung as East Germany’s Stasi called it) against targeted individuals.
A local TV news broadcast in California in January 2011 (on KION – Channel 46 and KCBA – Channel 35) featured a report about gang stalking – referred to as such by the reporters and by Lieutenant Larry Richard of the Santa Cruz Police Department.
In his February 2011 article for the Guardian, “The Dirty History of Corporate Spying,” investigative reporter James Ridgeway described how corporations target people with what is, in effect, a secret private law enforcement system:
“The private detective firms working for corporations can develop information against their own targets and find eager recipients among federal and local law enforcement agencies, some of whose employees end up retiring into private-sector detective work. The corporate spy business thus amounts to a shadow para-law enforcement system that basically can get around any of the safeguards set out in the American legal system; it ought to be subject first to transparency, and then to banning.”
A newspaper article in The Record and a TV report on KCRA Channel 3 in August 2011 reported that the city manager of Stockton, California was stalked by local police after a break-down in contract negotiations. The brazen tactics used by the police included purchasing the house next to the the city manager’s home and using it as a base for psychological operations.
Florida’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Sentinel reported in December 2012 on the organized stalking of a police officer by other police officers and sheriff’s deputies from multiple jurisdictions. The victim of the stalking had cited an off-duty police officer for reckless driving. The stalking – which included illegally snooping on the victim’s private data and efforts to harass and intimidate her – was apparently done in retaliation.
An article in CounterPunch magazine in January 2013 asserted that the FBI’s infamous Cointelpro operations have re-emerged in full force: “Cointelpro is alive and well.”
A June 2013 article in the Nation said this about activities by private security firms, the FBI, and the Department of Justice: “One might think that what we are looking at is Cointelpro 2.0 – an outsourced surveillance state – but in fact it’s worse.”
Articles in the Washington Times and Wired magazine about the September 2013 mass shooting at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard included reports of speculation that the incident resulted from the shooter having been systematically tormented by gang stalking, including tactics such as constant noise harassment.
The cover article of Fortean Times magazine in October 2013 (U.S. edition) was about “state-sponsored gangstalking.” The author, a professor from California State University Long Beach, described in detail how a former military service member who stole some equipment from the U.S. military has been relentlessly stalked by undercover operatives and psychologically tortured.
A TV news broadcast in West Virginia on 14 November 2013 (on CBS affiliate WDTV) included a report about “organized stalking” which featured two individuals from Pennsylvania who appeared to be credible and sincere, discussing their constant harassment by perpetrators using gang stalking tactics.
In November 2013, a TV and radio broadcast of Democracy Now! featured an interview with the director of the Center for Corporate Policy in which he discussed the shadowy industry of spies employed by major U.S. corporations to conduct secret – and often illegal – counterintelligence operations against critics of those corporations.
Articles published by CBS, the Daily Mail, RT, Tech Dirt, and Courthouse News Service in December 2013 reported that a U.S. government contractor filed a lawsuit against multiple federal agencies for gang stalking him (the complaint refers to gang stalking as such). The plaintiff claims he was subjected to constant surveillance – including inside his residence and his vehicle – and constant psychological harassment from co-workers and strangers.
Scope of Operations
U.S. Department of Justice crime statistics from a 2006 survey indicated that an estimated 445,220 stalking victims reported being stalked by three or more perpetrators.
Such statistics suggest the existence of activities whose scope cannot be explained simply as stalking by criminals – especially given that the otherwise-comprehensive index of crime categories in the DOJ’s website conspicuously makes no mention of this type of stalking.
Another indication of how common organized stalking in the U.S. has become can be seen if you perform a search-engine query of the term “gang stalking.” You will get millions of results. The total silence of the DOJ and FBI on this crime is an obvious clue that it is sanctioned by those agencies.
Organizational Structure of Counterintelligence Operations
The FBI ran a secret illegal counterintelligence program (“Cointelpro”) in the U.S. from 1956 until it was exposed by civilian activists in 1971. The program mainly targeted political dissidents. Apparently, a more sophisticated and larger scale counterintelligence program is now in effect.
Assuming that Cointelpro operations were in fact suspended after the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee investigations into the scandal in the 1970s, evidence suggests that they resumed a short time later. Ted L. Gunderson, a former high-level FBI official who became a whistle-blower, asserted that a much more sophisticated version of Cointelpro began to re-emerge in the 1980s. A link to Gunderson’s affidavit on the subject is provided in the overview below.
Based on news reports, accounts of self-proclaimed victims, and the DOJ statistics cited above, the apparent sophistication and scope of current organized stalking operations would require the acquiescence of multiple federal and local government agencies (including the FBI and the Department of Justice, among others). Federal law enforcement agencies, America’s 16 intelligence agencies, and local police departments now share crime and national security information via a nationwide network of “data fusion centers” – part of the extensive post-9/11 homeland security infrastructure.
Numerous job listings by intelligence/security contractor corporations for “surveillance role players” with active security clearances and training in counterintelligence (links and details in the overview below) strongly suggest that federal law enforcement agencies have largely outsourced these operations – which would be consistent with other security programs. A June 10, 2013 article in USA Today noted that about 1.4 million Americans have top-secret security clearances.
Federal and local law enforcement agencies – as well as intelligence agencies – also make extensive use of criminal informants (who are in large supply in America, with its extraordinary per capita incarceration rate). It would be natural for such informants to be used in a counterintelligence program. Indeed, the original Cointelpro was found by the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee investigations to have delegated some activities to organized crime groups. First-hand accounts of self-proclaimed victims of gang stalking support this assumption: by their appearance and behavior, many street-level perpetrators seem to be ex-convicts.
A national counterintelligence program would require acquiescence by the DOJ – just like the first Cointelpro did. U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy approved some of the Cointelpro operations.
Gang stalking apparently targets American citizens deemed to be dissidents or whistle-blowers (and perhaps potential dissidents and whistle-blowers), although others might be targeted for other reasons – such as for experimental or training purposes. For perspective, it should be remembered that for two decades the CIA performed secret illegal experiments on U.S. and Canadian citizens (the infamous MK Ultra program). Those experiments included physical and psychological torture.
It is entirely possible that some people targeted by America’s counterintelligence program are chosen simply because they crossed someone (or a corporation) connected with the program who is exploiting the counterintelligence system as a personal or corporate weapon. The intelligence industry no doubt has its share of the sort of opportunists who would abuse the enormous secret powers available to them.
An example of this occurred in April 2012, when USA Today reported that one of their reporters and an editor were slandered by a secret disinformation campaign waged by an intelligence contractor firm to discredit them because the newspaper had investigated and reported on that contractor (a company which conducted propaganda campaigns for the U.S. military). Similarly, in August 2013 it was reported that at least a dozen National Security Agency (NSA) employees had used their surveillance system access to spy on their current and former spouses and partners.
In addition to being morally reprehensible, gang stalking – just like the original version of the FBI’s Cointelpro operations – is illegal. It violates criminal laws in all fifty states against stalking, as well as grossly violating the U.S. Constitution’s prohibitions against unreasonable searches and punishment without a trial.
While the vast majority of Americans are never personally targeted by gang stalking, they should still be concerned about the existence of such programs. Even if secret extra-judicial punishment were constitutionally legitimate (clearly it is not), it would still have an enormous potential for abuse as a personal or political weapon by its practitioners.
Ending this abhorrent practice by law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, and their parasitic corporate contractors will require exposing what is happening to the public. For anyone reading this, if you can assist with that exposure – even by simply sharing this information with relatives and friends – please do so.
2. Introduction to the Full Explanation of Gang Stalking
I urge readers to consider the evidence presented here in its totality; the nature of organized stalking – by design – is such that it is difficult to comprehend and evaluate without considering it in its full context.
With the goal of providing some of that context, the first page of this website (“Gang Stalking News”) includes not only the relatively infrequent mainstream press articles specifically about gang stalking, but also news which is only indirectly related. Published news and analysis of subjects such as government secrecy, police corruption, privacy, surveillance, private investigators, and various government scandals are relevant to organized stalking in ways which I try to make clear.
I hope readers are not put-off by my sometimes harsh views on related political topics. I express my opinions here candidly, and the intensity of my rhetoric is partly a function of having been on the sharp end of gang stalking for years.
As for my analysis of organized stalking, I try to be as measured and cautious as possible while still confronting the reality that the subject requires a certain amount of speculation because of the secrecy and deception which surrounds it.
Given the current state of technologies and government policies concerning surveillance, the average American faces many potential and actual invasions of privacy. For individuals targeted for gang stalking, the situation is infinitely worse. Given all of that, this website is only nominally “anonymous.”
Anyone associated with the professional news media who is interested in additional information about my personal experiences with gang stalking can reach me at the email address I have provided.
Thank you for taking an interest in this material.
For victims of gang stalking, I hope that the information I post here will be helpful.
Counterintelligence is the assessment and countering of threats posed by enemy subversion, espionage, and sabotage. Counterintelligence efforts include tactics such as covert surveillance (spying on the enemy), sabotage (disruption of the enemy’s activities), and disinformation (efforts to deceive the enemy and – when it serves the objectives of the counterintelligence program – the public).
Wikipedia’s entry on counterintelligence describes the organizational nature this way:
“In most countries the counterintelligence mission is spread over multiple organizations, though one usually predominates. There is usually a domestic counterintelligence service, usually part of a larger organization such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.”
Cointelpro (short for “Counterintelligence Program”) was the name of a secret illegal counterintelligence program run by the FBI from 1956 until it was exposed by civilian activists in 1971 and subsequently investigated by Congress.
The U.S. Senate’s Church Committee investigations in the mid-1970s found that under Cointelpro U.S. law enforcement personnel and their various government and private citizen and criminal accomplices systematically spied on, slandered, terrorized, and committed acts of violence (including murder) against American citizens deemed to be dissidents.
Gang stalking (also known as “organized stalking”) is the covert organized surveillance and harassment of a targeted individual by multiple perpetrators. The goal is to systematically isolate and harass the victim using tactics whose cumulative effects amount to psychological torture.
As far as I know, the term “gang stalking” has not yet found its way into any major print publication dictionaries – which is not surprising for a subject residing in the grey area of counterintelligence. The term is however, much less obscure than it was, say a decade ago. For example, you can find it here in the (non-censored) popular online dictionary of slang terms: the Urban Dictionary.
Organized stalking of a targeted individual employs methods used in counterintelligence operations – such as electronic and human surveillance, slander, disinformation, and a variety of intensive long-term psychological operations (“psyops”) methods.
The Stasi (the infamous state police agency that monitored and terrorized citizens in communist East Germany by infiltrating the society with spies) referred to these tactics – aimed at breaking-down targeted individuals as “zersetzung” which translates roughly as “decomposition” or “corrosion.”
Although less common than “gang stalking,” the term “organized stalking” is probably a better description since it more accurately conveys the systematic nature of what is being done; also it does not create the erroneous impression that the activity is related to street gangs.
Other terms used to describe stalking by multiple perpetrators include “group stalking,” “vigilante stalking,” and “cause stalking.” The latter term refers to the fact that the activity is sometimes associated with political causes.
For example, in his book Stopping a Stalker, Robert L. Snow, a retired police captain from the Indianapolis Police Department, devoted a chapter to organized stalking by multiple perpetrators associated with causes – such as stalking of abortion clinic staff members by extreme anti-abortion activists, and stalking of workers who crossed picket lines by union members.
The Number of Stalking Incidents in the U.S.
U.S. Department of Justice crime statistics from a 2006 survey indicated that an estimated 445,220 stalking victims reported being stalked by three or more perpetrators. (Page 12 of the report has the relevant numbers: 13.1 percent of 3,398,630 victims reported such group stalking.)
An attorney, Keith Labella, contacted the National Center for Victims of Crime (which is funded by the DOJ) in October 2008 to inquire about the frequency of reports the center receives about organized stalking crimes. He was informed that they receive “thousands of calls per month.”
Notwithstanding the frequency of calls to their helpline, the center offered no guidance or referral to other agencies or organizations. Here is Mr. Labella’s affidavit about his inquiry.
Cointelpro Version 2.0
In a society as heavily-policed as America now is – a society whose National Security Agency is tracking everyone’s phone calls and Internet activity for example – it is inconceivable that tens of thousands or more cases of criminal stalking (as documented in the DOJ crime statistics) fail to appear on the radar of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Yet there is no mention of such crimes by the federal government anywhere except in those statistics (which had to be obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request).
The implication is inescapable: federal agencies are acquiescing in what is happening. Assuming the statistics are even roughly accurate, there is no other explanation; organized stalking (the monitoring and “disruption” of the activities of targeted individuals) is being perpetrated as part of a counterintelligence program.
And it is being done illegally – as it violates state laws (in every state) against stalking as well as the U.S. Constitution’s prohibitions against unreasonable searches and punishment without a trial. Stalking is also a violation of federal law (U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2261A).
Under the Radar
How is it that the general public would not be aware of the re-emergence of Cointelpro operations?
I address this question in more detail in the section titled “The Wall of Silence Which Surrounds Gang Stalking,” but here are the main factors:
(1) Covert Methods
The most fundamental explanation for the low-profile of gang stalking is that counterintelligence operations – by definition – are performed covertly. The FBI’s original version of Cointelpro remained undetected by the public until stolen secret documents were leaked to the press.
(2) Security Clearances
Law enforcement and intelligence agency personnel involved in counterintelligence activities are bound by secrecy oaths. This is also true of the vast industry of private contractors employed by those agencies. For example, job ads posted by security-intelligence contractors for “surveillance role players” (domestic spies) all require an active security clearance in addition to counterintelligence training.
Similarly, judges who sit on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court which reviews legal issues about secret federal policies are also bound by secrecy oaths. That is also true of members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.
(3) Whistleblower Protection Act Exemptions
Agencies such as the FBI are exempt from the Whistleblower Protection Act. Consequently, an agent who tries to reveal unethical behavior by the agency faces potentially serious legal consequences.
(4) Legal Restrictions on Witnesses
Almost certainly, when an individual is targeted for subversion (“gang stalking”), the operation is portrayed to witnesses (neighbors, co-workers, etc.) as an “investigation.” In an investigation, law enforcement personnel can order witnesses to keep silent. For example, when the FBI issues an administrative subpoena called a “National Security Letter” the document has a gag order attached which prohibits the recipient from discussing it.
(5) Tactics Which Create Minimal Evidence
Subversion tactics used by the FBI include many tactics from the original version of Cointelpro, and some which were futher refined by East Germany’s Stasi. For the most part, the tactics are all chosen because they are known to be effective forms of “no-touch torture.” The idea is to destroy the victim psychologically and socially and financially by forms of criminal harassment which create minimal objective evidence from the perspective of witnesses and courts.
Victims’ accounts tend to be dismissed since their experiences sound like commonplace occurrences – because that is indeed what they are: strangers who are rude, neighbors who are noisy, businesses which deliver bad service, drivers who cut-off the victim in traffic, pedestrians who bump them as they walk by, etc. These are things which happen to everyone. But for gang stalking victims, these things happen constantly – which becomes a form of real psychological torture, the intensity of which must be experienced to comprehend.
Americans are largely unaware of the history of well-documented relevant programs, such as the FBI’s Cointelpro operations and the CIA’s MK Ultra program – even though both were thoroughly investigated and exposed by Congress in the 1970s. Similarly, although many people have heard of the Stasi (East Germany’s secret police agency), they are not specifically familiar with the Stasi’s use of zersetzung – which was a set of methods virtually identical to current gang stalking in America.
This is not surprising; nearly three-quarters of Americans do not know what the Cold War was about, and 29 percent cannot even name the vice president. Counterintelligence operations can thrive in an environment of such widespread ignorance.
Of course, even well-educated individuals are unlikely to recognize the connections between a local situation in which they are told that a neighbor or co-worker or business patron is under investigation and historical phenomena like Cointelpro and East Germany’s Stasi.
Still, it can only make things easier for an agency such as the FBI to recruit vigilante citizen volunteers and to conduct illegal operations without detection when they are dealing with a society in which a fourth of the people do not even know that the earth revolves around the sun.
(7) Cowardice, Laziness, & Incompetence in the Mainstream News Media
Organized stalking goes mostly undiscussed in the mainstream news media. There are some notable exceptions – most frequently in the local and alternative press. I review those in detail throughout this website, but as a rule, major corporate news agencies avoid discussing matters which the intelligence and law enforcement community do not wish to have discussed.
Laziness in the news media should not be underestimated either. Often when the federal government is engaged in serious deception and crimes, the news media play no role in the disclosure until a whistle-blower drops a set of incriminating official documents about it in their laps – as happened with the Pentagon Papers, Cointelpro, and the NSA surveillance.
Search results on the Internet’s largest search engine, Google, fluctuate wildly for particular words and phrases over time. Only people within Google know the exact policies and algorithms which determine those results, but the search results do provide a rough indication of the online presence of certain topics.
Typically, the list of websites generated by a search is the tip of an iceberg. Ten pages of website links will show the top 100 results, but the screen also displays a much larger number that indicates the number of references to the search term that were detected.
A Google query of the term “gang stalking” in October 2013 yielded over six million results.
As you begin to wade through the search results, you will mostly encounter websites filled with incoherent rubbish. Anyone even superficially familiar with counterintelligence will recognize this tactic; it is called disinformation.
This is another reason organized stalking has been able to remain mostly below the public’s radar. Disinformation is used to muddy the waters surrounding the topic wherever it is discussed online. The intent is to mitigate exposure of the operations.
Because of its central importance to counterintelligence generally – and organized stalking in particular – I explore the subject of disinformation at length in its own section of this overview and elsewhere in this website.
(9) Failure to Connect the Dots
If you view all of the mainstream press reports about domestic spying, counterintelligence activities, and gang stalking from the past decade, it is clear that something is going on. On the other hand, very few people see most of those reports – let alone all of them together and combined with the context provided by the analysis you are now reading.
If you browse through the “Published News Reports on Gang Stalking” section of this overview, you will see that the evidence grows every year that a government-sanctioned program of informants and domestic spying and organized stalking is an element of the current homeland security infrastructure. Unfortunately, very few civilians ever see that evidence all grouped together, and therefore they are very unlikely to realize what is happening.
Allegations of Organized Stalking by Private Organizations
Gang stalking tactics are sometimes alleged to be used by certain fraternal orders such as Freemasons, and by various religious groups such as Scientologists and Jehovah’s Witnesses – for example, to control or punish current or former members. See for example, the March 15, 2013 article about that in the “Gang Stalking News” section of this website.
I have no first-hand knowledge of the use of organized stalking by religious groups, but it does seem plausible – especially if you agree with America’s second president, John Adams:
“There is a germ of religion in human nature so strong that whenever an order of men can persuade the people by flattery or terror that they have salvation at their disposal, there can be no end to fraud, violence, or usurpation.”
In the case of Scientologists, there is reportedly a policy called “Fair Game” under which the church allegedly uses aggressive tactics toward individuals and groups it perceives as its enemies. The practices – as described in this 1990 Los Angeles Times article, apparently include some tactics associated with organized stalking: “psychological warfare,” “dirty tricks,” and “harassment.” Reportedly, the Fair Game policy also sometimes involves employing detectives, former police officers, and criminals:
“Teams of private detectives have been dispatched to the far corners of the world to spy on critics and rummage through their personal lives–and trash cans–for information to discredit them.
During one investigation, headed by a former Los Angeles police sergeant, the church paid tens of thousands of dollars to reputed organized crime figures and con men for information linking a leading church opponent to a crime that it turned out he did not commit.”
Instances of “cause stalking” and stalking by religious cults presumably account for only a very small portion of the numerous incidents in the aforementioned crime survey statistics. It is true however, that members of religious cults (and cult-like fraternal organizations) are – by definition – easily manipulated, so they could serve in some cases as “useful idiot” vigilantes for others whose motivations they don’t even comprehend.
That is perhaps true for most of the general public since most people are completely unaware of the existence of any domestic counterintelligence operations and would be unlikely to suspect that what they are being told might be disinformation and manipulation as part of a modern American version of the Stasi.
Lowering Requirements for Investigations
In 2008 the U.S. Department of Justice guidelines which govern FBI investigations were changed to create a new category of investigation called “assessments.” These investigations can be initiated with no evidence that any criminal activity has occurred, and the investigations can involve such intrusive measures as physical surveillance, recruitment of criminal informants, interviewing associates of the person being investigated and deploying undercover FBI agents.
Exploiting a Government Program as a Private Weapon
The potential for abuse of power by members of private intelligence corporations and government agencies in all of this is enormous.
Here is an example of such abuse which was reported in the news media – partly because it was directed at members of the news media. One of the counterintelligence tactics which the federal government hires intelligence contractors to perform is spreading disinformation. Most Americans would probably be surprised to learn that systematically spreading lies is even a government contractor job which their taxes are funding, but they underestimate – despite President Eisenhower’s famous warning – the extent to which the U.S. government’s defense budget has become a pig trough for shady contractors.
If you criticize a comedian, you will likely become the target of a joke. Similarly, when a reporter and editor at USA Today investigated and reported on the U.S. propaganda industry in 2012, they were anonymously slandered by those same contractors.
This was the opening paragraph of their first report that apparently did not go over well with the businesses they were exposing:
“ As the Pentagon has sought to sell wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to often-hostile populations there, it has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on poorly tracked marketing and propaganda campaigns that military leaders like to call “information operations,” the modern equivalent of psychological warfare.”
As a result of their reporting, this is what happened:
“Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names….”
“…Internet domain registries show the website TomVandenBrook.com was created Jan. 7 — just days after Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook first contacted Pentagon contractors involved in the program. Two weeks after his editor Ray Locker’s byline appeared on a story, someone created a similar site, RayLocker.com, through the same company.”
The article notes that a proxy service was used to hide the identity of the owner of the websites, and a third website was registered to a non-existent address.
Slander is just one of the tactics used in organized stalking by counterintelligence operations. Any or all of the tactics – which are described in detail in a section of this overview – could be used as a weapon by people in the business.
In theory, an organized stalking operation against an individual could be initiated by anyone familiar with the tactics who has associates willing to participate. Perpetrators with financial resources could easily employ private investigators, for example, and others with relevant technical skills to wage a sophisticated operation against someone for revenge or intimidation.
Someone with connections to current or former law enforcement or intelligence agency personnel – or military personnel with a background in intelligence – could mount a very serious campaign against a victim without even (officially) involving government agencies in the initial stages of the investigation and harassment.
In a tactic called “baiting” a surveillance operation can selectively capture evidence of a targeted person responding to harassment. That evidence could then be used to justify the initiation of more formal scrutiny by a government agency.
At whatever point at which it becomes useful or necessary, the perpetrators can – officially or unofficially – turn over to the government counterintelligence personnel whatever they have gathered to have the individual targeted more formally. For example, they could contact a “Terrorism Liaison Officer” (TLO) – a government or civilian operative entrusted with hunting for “suspicious activity.” More on TLOs in section 10 below (“The Organizational Structure of Gang Stalking”).
In essence, organized stalking tactics (and a national counterintelligence program which uses such tacics) could easily be exploited – and probably are – as a weapon against individuals who are disliked for any reason by someone who is either a member of the community of intelligence/security firms, law enforcement agencies, and intelligence agencies. Similarly, being a member of the FBI-corporate alliance called InfraGard (discussed in detail below) could create a perfect opportunity to have someone blacklisted.
Being associated with the national counterintelligence program of organized stalking (“Cointelpro 2.0″) is like having a cousin who is in the Mafia.
The Spy Industry and the Threat to American Democracy
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower
In addition to the extreme violations of the Constitutional and state rights of the particular individuals targeted for organized stalking, the current counterintelligence program poses a threat to democracy itself, since it can be used against anyone who dares to question the legitimacy of the government’s authority.
The FBI’s original Cointelpro operations were illegal and disturbing abuses of power; the modern version is similarly corrupt, and it is supported by the now-vast network of powerful secretive agencies and contractors armed with much more powerful technology.
The huge (and largely secret) federal budget for intelligence activities and homeland security supports a large industry of private contractors who provide technology and services for surveillance, investigations, security, and varous intelligence functions. About 70 percent of America’s budget for intelligence activities goes to private contractors, and nearly one-quarter of the 4.9 million people who hold security clearances work for private firms, according to a 2012 report from the Director of National Intelligence.
The collusion between corporations and the federal government in the area of domestic surveillance is inherently dangerous. This July 2013 article in the Atlantic posed the issue this way:
Government and corporations are both capable of terrible things. To have them colluding with one another in secret, inexorably arranging things so that there’s disincentive for disagreement among them, is terrifying. The people can fight Big Government. The people can fight Big Finance. The people can fight Big Tech. Could the people fight them if they’re all working together with secret law on their side? Booz Allen Hamilton is paid handsomely to spy on us for the government, then pours campaign contributions back into that same government, protecting their powerful financial incentive to have the surveillance state expand, something that is already a bipartisan cause.
Political support for a Stasi Big Brother police state in the U.S. is partly rooted in hawkish views about law enforcement and anti-terrorism strategy, but it’s largely rooted in greed.
Spying on Americans is a lucrative business for intelligence-security contractors.
When Congress voted in July 2013 on whether to rein-in the NSA’s domestic surveillance program which tracks Americans’ phone calls and emails, House members who voted to continue the surveillance received twice as much campaign finance money from the military and intelligence industry as those who voted to dismantle the program.
Americans are not normally permitted to know how much of their money the federal government spends on spying. NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden changed that.
Among the secret documents he revealed was the 178-page “black budget” for the 2013 fiscal year. That year’s slush-fund contained $52.6 billion. You can buy a lot of traitorous Stasi rodents with that kind of money.
Also be aware that a lot more money is sloshing around in the federal pig trough which might be getting funneled into spying activities. Many U.S. intelligence operations are conducted under the authority of the Pentagon – for example, those of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Pentagon spending is notoriously difficult to keep track of. Even the U.S. Government Accounting Office says that U.S. Department of Defense spending is “unauditable.”
Defenders of Constitutional liberties are up against a powerful and well-financed industry of parasites. This May 2013 article in The New Yorker describes a “bureaucratic empire” of entities built around the homeland security industry:
“When the Washington Post surveyed that empire, in 2010, it counted more than three thousand government organizations and associated private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence, in ten thousand locations across the United States.”
Frontline produced a fascinating documentary in April 2013 about the secretive agencies and corporations which make up the modern military and law enforcement industrial complex. The program is called “Top Secret America – 9/11 to the Boston Bombings.”
The whole thing is interesting, but if nothing else, watch the set-up (minutes 3 to 6) and the five minutes or so in the middle (minutes 27 to 32) about journalists uncovering the massive shadowy industry of private intelligence firms.
The Washington Post articles upon which the documentary was based were the product of one of the most thorough investigations of the American police state. More than a dozen journalists spent two years investigating the vast network of agencies and corporations performing secret homeland security operations. This was their conclusion:
“The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”
Tom Engelhardt, who teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, described the expansion of the national security complex this way:
“It has essentially merged with a set of crony outfits that now do a significant part of its work. It has hired private contractors by the tens of thousands, creating corporate spies, corporate analysts, corporate mercenaries, corporate builders, and corporate providers for a structure that is increasingly becoming the profit-center of a state within a state.”
Barrett Brown on the role of Private Intelligence/Security Contractors
As I am updating this (in March 2014), journalist Barrett Brown is in jail facing charges related to his role in exposing information leaked by hackers who obtained internal emails from private intelligence firms, such as Stratfor and HBGary.
Activities revealed in those leaked emails included things such as plotting to discredit journalist Glenn Greenwald and critics of the Chamber of Commerce by spreading lies about them.
In other words, at least some of these numerous secret firms engage in the kind of actions which the CIA might perform against foreign enemies – but they do so on behalf of corporate interests.
Here is an excellent article by Barrett Brown on this topic published in the Guardian in July 2013.
Job Ads for Gang Stalkers?
On August 21, 2013 Drudge Report linked to a brief article posted the day before on InfoWars about a job announcement posted in San Diego. The job – advertised on Craigslist – was for a part-time position with an intelligence/security contractor firm as a “surveillance role player.”
As I explain in detail here (along with a link to the article and copies of similar job ads from other contractors), these job listings are numerous, but they are mostly found on on the websites of intelligence/security firms. You can locate them by performing an online search for “surveillance role player job.”
Clearly these jobs are for some type of domestic spying (there are no foreign language requirements, for example). All of the job listings specify that applicants must have active secret clearances and counterintelligence training.
I have so far been unable to locate any mainstream news reports that might shed light on this issue, but multiple indications suggest that these could be jobs for gang stalkers. I re-visit this critical issue in section 11 of this overview (“The Organizational Structure of Gang Stalking”).
Here is an example of one such job listing:
Click on image to enlarge.
Law Enforcement & Intelligence Agencies’ Support of a Corporate Agenda
Collusion between corporations and the federal law enforcement/intelligence community is not limited to companies in the spying industry. This subject was explored in depth in a May 2013 report from the Center for Media and Democracy, called Dissent or Terror: How the Nation’s Counter-Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.
That report describes two main entities which facilitate that partnership:
“There are two primary domestic public-private intelligence sharing partnerships at work at the federal level: InfraGard and the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC).
InfraGard is a public-private intelligence sharing partnership managed by the FBI Cyber Division Public/Private Alliance Unit (PPAU). As described by the FBI, Infragard is an “association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States.” There are 86 Infragard chapters nationwide. These Infragard chapters serve as representatives of private sector “stakeholders” in many of the nation’s fusion centers.
DSAC is a public-private intelligence sharing partnership between the FBI, U.S. DHS I&A and several of the nation’s leading corporate/financial interests. Some of these corporate/financial interests comprise the DSAC Leadership Board. The DSAC Leadership Board consists of 29 corporations and banks, including several entities that have been the subject of OWS protests/criticism. Corporate/financial interests active in the DSAC Leadership Board include: Bank of America, MasterCard, Citigroup, American Express, Barclays, RBS Citizens, 3M, Archer Daniels Midland, ConocoPhillips, Time Warner and Wal-Mart. Along with DSAC chairmen from the FBI and U.S. DHS I&A, DSAC is co-chaired by a representative of these private sector interests– currently Grant Ashley, vice president of global security for pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co.”
For a fascinating look at InfraGard, watch this episode about that subject from a TV series hosted by Jesse Ventura. The host immediately recognizes the potential for abuse of power by members of this secretive powerful group, and confronts several leaders about it on camera.
The March 2008 issue of The Progressive featured an article about this creepy corporate spy club. It seems that InfraGard’s communications with the FBI and Homeland Security are not a matter for the public to know about, as they are covered by the “trade secrets” exemption of the Freedom of Information Act.
Apparently mindful that the public will be naturally suspicious of the organization’s legitimacy, InfraGard’s website explains that members must carefully manage the image presented to the public:
“The interests of InfraGard must be protected whenever presented to non-InfraGard members,” the website states. “During interviews with members of the press, controlling the image of InfraGard being presented can be difficult. Proper preparation for the interview will minimize the risk of embarrassment. . . . The InfraGard leadership and the local FBI representative should review the submitted questions, agree on the predilection of the answers, and identify the appropriate interviewee. . . . Tailor answers to the expected audience. . . . Questions concerning sensitive information should be avoided.”
For those wishing to join this elite secretive alliance between the FBI and the corporate sector – to learn their secret handshake and to gain the power of being able to name an employee as a suspicious person to be targeted by federal goons, you “must be sponsored by an existing InfraGard member, chapter, or partner organization.”
The existence of programs like InfraGard, along with the FBI’s infiltration of groups like Occupy Wall Street, and the plotting by intelligence firms to wage a disinformation-slander campaign against critics of the Chamber of Commerce (also discussed in this overview), all suggest that activist and hacker Jeremy Hammond is correct in his assessment of the current U.S. law enforcement industry personnel – namely, that they are “the boot boys of the 1 percent, paid to protect the rich and powerful.”
Artist’s rendering of a typical InfraGard member
A Gang Stalking Organization Chart
Victims of organized stalking can only speculate about the exact nature of the shadowy network of perpetrators arrayed against them.
That speculation is made more difficult by the fact that the people who are overtly and covertly watching them and perpetrating various acts of harassment are of different classes of perpetrators with different motivations and have different connections (and often no connection) to the victim.
For example, the street-level perpetrator (“perp” as cops say) is typically someone who appears to be a rough-looking homeless or near-homeless ex-con type.
Their interactions with the target require no technical skills; the perp is just following some simple instruction – for example, to bump into the victim, or to make some specific creepy comment, or to harass the victim at his or her residence by making various noises.
Such participants in the stalking of course would not be told anything about who they are ultimately working for; in some cases perhaps they are simply paid a small sum of cash by a person who approached them on the street to perform a single act of harassment. In other cases, they might be ex-con’s who have been recruited/coerced/paid to function – technically – as “criminal informants.”
At a slightly higher level in the stalker food-chain (among those who interact with the victims) are people who appear more clean-cut and are often carrying a cell phone – presumably to communicate with their handlers.
Some of the intermediate-level participants are apparently recruited because of their relevant technical skills or because their jobs afford them access to facilities and information relevant to the operation – such as phone technicians, security guards, and landlords.
At the level above them are the people who actually orchestrate the operation. Based on my own observations, analysis, speculation, and various material I’ve read (which is included or linked in this website), these people are presumably employed by various intelligence contractors who are ultimately overseen by federal law enforcement and/or intelligence agency personnel.
The active support – or at least approval – of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies would be necessary for such activities to occur without attracting interference from the massive homeland security infrastructure now in place.
Precedence for Organized Stalking of Dissidents
Such conspiratorial criminality might seem far-fetched if not for the fact that the U.S. government has been caught doing such things before. Context provided by an awareness of documented crimes – past and present – by government agencies is critical for evaluating the plausibility of claims about organized stalking in the U.S.
3. Crimes by U.S. Law Enforcement & Intelligence Agencies
“When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”
– Richard Nixon in a 1977 interview with David Frost
Attitudes of Government Officials About the Law
Although scandals such as Watergate and Iran-Contra occasionally break into the public’s consciousness, most Americans are unaware of the criminality which routinely occurs at the upper levels of government.
The same government officials who oversee America’s domestic surveillance and law enforcement programs often have a very casual attitude about their own obligation to obey the law.
In a Senate hearing in March 2013 the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was asked “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper said they did not.
NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s subsequent revelations proved that Clapper was lying to Congress – which Clapper himself was forced to acknowledge. A typical American citizen would be prosecuted for perjury if he or she lied to Congress; Clapper obviously has no such concerns.
As a practical matter, intelligence agencies and federal law enforcement agencies exist in a mostly secret and politically-protected realm outside of the laws that bind the rest of us. They know they won’t be punished for their crimes.
The political establishment is similarly unconcerned. Since the intelligence and law enforcement community enjoys virtually unconditional support from both major parties, neither party has to worry about negative political consequences for its role in creating domestic surveillance programs which violate the Fourth Amendment.
In April 2013 WikiLeaks published a searchable database of more than 1.7 million U.S. diplomatic and intelligence documents from the mid-1970s which had been declassified. The documents included a revealing transcript of a discussion involving then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
When a Turkish official suggested that the U.S. arrange to supply military hardware to Turkey – in violation of a U.S. Congressional arms embargo – Kissinger joked about the illegality:
Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, “The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” [laughter] But since the Freedom of Information Act, I’m afraid to say things like that.
We’ll make a major effort.
For the average American, violating federal laws would be a serious matter; for government officials like Kissinger it is literally a joke.
In an August 2013 National Review article, conservative columnist John Fund quoted an intelligence official who alluded to the pervasiveness of such arrogance and deception:
A veteran intelligence official with decades of experience at various agencies identified to me what he sees as the real problem with the current NSA: “It’s increasingly become a culture of arrogance. They tell Congress what they want to tell them. Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein at the Intelligence Committees don’t know what they don’t know about the programs.” He himself was asked to skew the data an intelligence agency submitted to Congress, in an effort to get a bigger piece of the intelligence budget. He refused and was promptly replaced in his job, presumably by someone who would do as told.
Such behavior at the federal level sets the tone for law enforcement agencies lower down the food chain. I address this issue also in the section of this overview about the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
A disturbing example of the “we’re above the law” attitude of some members of local law enforcement agencies is an event which occurred in Stockton, California in August 2011. Since the case is a clear example of organized stalking by law enforcement personnel – and was reported in a newspaper and TV news report – I include it in the published articles section of this overview and elsewhere. Please forgive the redundancy.
I highlight that incident because the circumstances strongly suggested that the officers involved were familiar with organized stalking tactics and that they were used to getting away with such illegal harassment and intimidation.
The Public’s Trust in Authority Figures
A Gallup poll in May 2013 found that nearly half of the country believes that the federal government poses an “immediate threat” to their rights and freedoms.
Note that this poll was conducted during the month before the revelation by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden that the intelligence community was secretly spying on the phone call records of all Americans.
Trust in U.S. government officials has eroded for two reasons: (1) the expansion of power and secrecy of the federal government predictably has led to abuses of authority, and (2) access to information via the Internet has made it harder to keep such abuses secret.
That’s the good news for targets of organized stalking. The bad news is that – as a practical matter – many people still naïvely assume that anyone who seems to be associated with law enforcement should be absolutely trusted – as seen in this ABC TV show segment.
Organized stalkers (and other criminals) can easily exploit that fact to recruit accomplices by persuading them that they are assisting an investigation or a neighborhood watch surveillance program.
Experiments have proven this strong inclination of people to trust authority figures – and to try to gain their approval. Since this tendency is relevant to counterintelligence issues, I address the subject at more length in its own section of this overview.
Evidence of this sheep-like deference to authority is not limited to the realm of science, by the way. In January 2014 a jury in the southern California city of Fullerton decided that it was OK with them that their local police department beat to death an unarmed mentally-ill homeless man who posed no risk to anyone. They were not persuaded by the mere fact that the murder had been captured on surveillance camera video.
Rise of the Police State
Although the amount of money the U.S. government spends on intelligence activities is a secret, it is clear that the monitoring of American citizens is taken seriously by their government. This is especially clear after revelations in 2013 about the scope of domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Equally clear is that the U.S. justice system aggressively polices and prosecutes its citizens: the U.S. has one of the very highest per capita incarceration rates in the world.
A common – and accurate – critique of the modern U.S. government is that it has become unbalanced by the massive expansion of power and secrecy in the executive branch.
A related problem is that the now-vast network of federal agencies (whose officials of course are unelected) operate with minimal accountability. In many cases they effectively create their own laws.
This is true to some extent in all agencies since they issue and enforce regulations, but the potential to be corrupted by power is infinitely greater in law enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA – which operate mostly in secrecy.
The Frequency of Crimes Perpetrated by Government Agencies
You don’t have to visit an obscure blog these days to find complaints that America is becoming something of a police state. But America’s government doesn’t just engage in secret invasive surveillance and aggressive policing – it also engages in crimes.
That’s not my opinion – that’s what the federal government itself says. For example, the CIA constantly commits crimes according to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, IC 21 (April 9, 1996) – as explained in chapter 6 of Into the Buzzsaw.
The Congressional report cited therein by John Kelly (whose book Tainting Evidence: Inside the Scandals at the FBI Crime Lab was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize) states that “several hundred times every day” officers of the Clandestine Service (CS) of the CIA “engage in highly illegal activities.”
In an August 2013 article, Reuters revealed that – as a matter of official policy – a secretive unit within the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) instructs law enforcement officers in various agencies to lie about the origins of their investigations.
Some cops don’t need to be told to lie. The subject of crimes by police officers is generally under-reported in the mainstream corporate news media – especially on national TV news, but to evaluate the plausibility of widespread acquiescence in gang stalking by local police officers it is helpful to consider criminality by police generally.
This review of crimes by Chicago police officers published by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Political Science is illuminating. Browse through the list of convictions of police officers on pages 24 to 47 of this report. The list is in alphabetical order by the officers’ names, and covers the past half-century. Keep in mind: these were just the crimes that were discovered and prosecuted.
The crimes range from bribery and extortion to torture and murder. Gang stalking would be like jay-walking for the cops on this list.
Crimes Perpetrated Under Authority of the FBI
Law enforcement agencies in America make extensive use of criminal informants in their investigations, and in many cases authorize criminals to commit crimes when an agency believes it furthers its goals, as reported for example in this August 2013 article in USA Today.
“The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly-disclosed documents that show just how often the nation’s top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime.”
The FBI report from 2011 which USA Today obtained via the Freedom of Information Act does not reveal the nature of the crimes:
“The report does not spell out what types of crimes its agents authorized, or how serious they were. It also did not include any information about crimes the bureau’s sources were known to have committed without the government’s permission.”
A document released in December 2013 showed that informant crimes authorized by the FBI increased another 5 percent in 2012 to 5,939 crimes.
Sometimes the FBI uses cops to perpetrate crimes too. During the original Cointelpro era, for example, they arranged for police to assassinate two young members of the Black Power movement. On December 4, 1969 in Chicago 14 police officers raided an apartment and killed two members of the Black Panther Party – Fred Hampton and Mark Clark – while they were sleeping.
Noam Chomsky in an interview on Democracy Now! in February 2011 noted that the assassination barely showed up on the radar of the American public:
“…one of the events was a straight Gestapo-style assassination of two black organizers, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, literally. I mean, the FBI set up the assassination. The Chicago police actually carried it out, broke into the apartment at 4:00 in the morning and murdered them. Fake information that came from the FBI about arms stores and so on. There was almost nothing about it. In fact, the information about this, remarkably, was released at about the same time as Watergate. I mean, as compared with this, Watergate was a tea party. There was nothing, you know?”
Most Americans are unaware that the FBI is exempt from the Whistleblower Protection Act. If anything, the agency deserves extra scrutiny because of its history of domestic spying done for political reasons.
An October 2013 article in Reason described the FBI as a “dangerous” domestic spy agency. The author, J.D. Tucille, explains not only how the FBI is able to mostly keep its agents from revealing the agency’s crimes, but also why the abuses tend not to be investigated very aggressively by the press:
“Never hesitant about flexing its muscles to target dissenters and whistleblowers, the FBI….is more dangerous than ever.”
“Exempted from the Whistleblower Protection Act, the FBI freely retaliates against employees who attempt to call out wrongdoing. As a result, it’s rare for FBI employees to speak out. That culture lends itself to a willingness to target whistleblowers in other agencies—and journalists.”
Tucille quoted from the September 2013 report by the ACLU – Unleashed and Unaccountable: the FBI’s Unchecked Abuse of Authority. That report noted examples of the FBI spying on journalists, such as this:
“In 2010 the Inspector General reported the FBI used an illegal ‘exigent letter’ to obtain the telephone records of 7 New York Times and Washington Post reporters.”
A more high-profile case of spying on journalists was reported in May 2013, when it was revealed that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors of the Associated Press.
Famous Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein said on May 14, 2013 on MSNBC that he believed that the intention of the AP records seizure was “to intimidate people who talk to reporters.”
Mike German was a decorated FBI agent who specialized in counter-terrorism. He left the agency after 16 years, when he became a whistle-blower. He had discovered that fellow officers were violating wiretapping regulations. When he reported that to his supervisors, his accusations were ignored, and his career was effectively frozen. Mr. German is now associated with the ACLU, as a senior policy counsel. Apparently, his experience was not unique in an agency which values secrecy more than ethics.
Mike German is one of the guests on this Democracy Now! interview together with an individual who was targeted by the FBI for being a political dissident. The individual was subjected to intense investigation for years – despite having no criminal record, apart from trespassing incidents related to political protests.
At 2:06 in the video of this interview journalist Amy Goodman asks Mike German to explain the FBI’s legal authority to perform the “assessments” which, as I mentioned in the introduction above, are essentially investigations that can now be launched against an individual without any evidence that the individual has committed a crime.
As previously mentioned, USA Today found that the FBI frequently authorizes criminals to commit crimes when its officials believe it furthers their objectives.
According to the late Ted Gunderson, a former high-level FBI official who became a whistle-blower, the crimes which are partly delegated to criminals include aspects of organized stalking.
Gunderson claimed that the FBI’s infamous Cointelpro operations (which lasted from 1956 to 1971) re-emerged in a more sophisticated form a decade or so later.
Because of its enormous prison population – largely associated with the “drug war” – America has a vast number of ex-convicts who can be easily coerced or paid to participate in organized stalking. My personal observations suggest that this is exactly what is being done in many of the instances of street-level harassment of targeted individuals.
The section of this overview which describes the original version of the FBI’s Cointelpro operations has a complete discussion of Ted Gunderson.
How Far Will U.S. Officials Go in their Criminality?
An instructive example of the extremes to which federal agencies sometimes go is the CIA’s secret MK Ultra program. I describe MK Ultra in some detail in section 6 below, so I will just note here that it involved performing experiments (including psychological and physical torture) on American citizens. No one was punished for their participation in that program – which lasted two decades, and the head of the CIA destroyed most of the records about it when it was discovered.
In September 1970 the leftists in Chile won a plurality of that country’s democratic election, as a result of which, their representative would have soon been confirmed as the next president. Right-wing political leaders in Chile, some major U.S. corporations which did business in the country (including Pepsi Cola and Chase Manhattan Bank), and the CIA were not pleased with this development and communicated that to then-president Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, and they plotted to arrange for a military coup instead.
An obstacle they faced was that the chief of the Chilean General Staff, General René Schnieder did not believe in interfering with the democratic process. So Nixon and Kissinger had him murdered.
The incident – and other very serious transgressions – did not prevent Kissinger from generally being treated with great respect and adulation by the American news media over the rest of his career. That kind of sycophancy and complacency by mainstream journalists obviously makes it difficult to expose and punish the bad behavior done in secret by the U.S. government.
U.S. officials are also quite willing to engage in very serious crimes against their own citizens when they believe it could further their agendas. A good example of this was “Operation Northwoods.”
A proposal was drafted in 1962 by the highest-level officials in the U.S. military establishment to stage “false flag” incidents – covert operations designed to deceive the public into thinking that acts of terrorism against Americans were being perpetrated by another country – in that case, Cuba.
The following is excerpted from a Wikipedia entry on the subject:
Operation Northwoods was a series of false flag proposals that originated within the United States government in 1962, but were rejected by the Kennedy administration. The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or other operatives, to commit perceived acts of terrorism in U.S. cities and elsewhere. These acts of terrorism were to be blamed on Cuba in order to create public support for a war against that nation, which had recently become communist under Fidel Castro. One part of Operation Northwoods was to “develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington”.
Operation Northwoods proposals included hijackings and bombings followed by the introduction of phony evidence that would implicate the Cuban government. It stated:
“The desired result from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western Hemisphere.”
Several other proposals were included within Operation Northwoods, including real or simulated actions against various U.S. military and civilian targets. The plan was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer and sent to the Secretary of Defense. Although part of the U.S. government’s Cuban Project anti-communist initiative, Operation Northwoods was never officially accepted; it was authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy.
2 – Ruppe, David (May 1, 2001). ”U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba”. ABC News. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
3 – Zaitchik, Alexander (3 March 2011) Meet Alex Jones, Rolling Stone
Lying About Killing
A thorough review of disturbing crimes and conspiracies by the U.S. government is beyond the scope of this website. My goal here is simply to cite a few examples to make the general case that acts and programs involving serious deception and criminality are not aberrations. Here is a final example from a few years ago.
When a U.S. cruise missile struck a village in Yemen in December 2009 killing 41 people – including 14 women and 21 children – the U.S. government and the Yemeni government conspired to lie about the incident, saying that the Yemeni government had launched the attack rather than the U.S., and that the victims were members of an al-Qaeda training camp.
The truth about who launched the attack and the identity of the victims was later revealed by two sources: cables released by Wikileaks and evidence gathered and reported by a young Yemini journalist named Abdulelah Haider Shaye.
After exposing what really happened in the missle strike, Shaye was arrested on apparently trumped-up charges and given a sham trial that was criticized by major human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and sentenced to five years in prison.
In 2011 the president of Yemen announced that he was going to pardon Shaye, but apparently decided against it “because of a phone call from Obama.”
According to Amnesty International, the unexploded cluster bomblet in the photo below was found at the location of the missile strike in Yemen. It would have been one of the 166 bomblets carried by the Tomahawk cruise missile.
Each bomblet explodes “into over 200 sharp steel fragments that can cause injuries up to 150m away. An incendiary material inside the bomblet also spreads fragments of burning zirconium designed to set fire to nearby flammable objects.”
To review: In an incident which barely registered on the radar of the news media and the American public, the U.S. government killed a bunch of women and children. Then they lied about it to cover it up. Then, when they got caught lying about it, they arranged to have the journalist who exposed all the killing and lying kept in prison for reporting it.
If you think that a government which routinely does that kind of stuff (without any negative career consequences or political consequences or legal consequences for those involved) – and which was previously caught waging an illegal counterintelligence program against its own citizens – could not possibly be acquiescing in an illegal program of organized surveillance and harassment of targeted citizens, then you’re not skeptical – you’re just naïve.
4. Oversight of Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
(Who will guard the guards?)
Lawlessness in the U.S. intelligence community
U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies currently operate with essentially the same lack of accountability that existed during the days of Cointelpro and MK Ultra.
Following the Church Committee investigations in the 1970s efforts were made to implement policies to protect Americans from crimes by the federal government. Unfortunately, those protections have been thoroughly undone – especially by policies such as the Patriot Act enacted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The FBI – and even the IRS – now assert the right to have warrantless access to the email communication of all Americans, to cite just one example.
Arguably, even the Church Committee reforms aimed at outlawing assassinations of foreign leaders have been undermined. The government now orders drone assassinations in places like Yemen and launches wars without the approval of Congress – such as the “military intervention” against Libya launched in March 2011.
It’s difficult to even assess the extent to which America’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies have returned to being rogue entities, given that they now routinely invoke “national security” as a justification for keeping American citizens from knowing their business. Political cowardice by members of Congress – as well as laziness, group-think, and careerism among many journalists at major news outlets has resulted in a lack of oversight of America’s most secretive government agencies.
Fortunately, there are some exceptions; some journalists do report that the intelligence and law enforcement communities have slipped the leash. A Forbes magazine writer – to cite just one example – has suggested that we probably need another Church Committee investigation. The Forbes article quotes a former senior NSA official, William H. Binney, who said we seem to be headed “toward an Orwellian state.”
A November 2013 article in the New York Times on spying by the NSA quoted Binney on the danger of the intelligence community’s powers being used as a weapon against Americans:
Mr. Binney said that without new leadership, new laws and top-to-bottom reform, the agency will represent a threat of “turnkey totalitarianism” — the capability to turn its awesome power, now directed mainly against other countries, on the American public. “I think it’s already starting to happen,” he said. “That’s what we have to stop.”
Lawlessness in the private spying industry
Concerns that the spy industry in the U.S. has slipped the leash have been voiced by many people who know the profession from first-hand experience. Former CIA division chief Melvin Goodman said this of the vast private contractor element of the intelligence community:
“My major concern is the lack of accountability, the lack of responsibility. The entire industry is essentially out of control. It’s outrageous.”
Concerns about the lack of oversight of U.S. intelligence community contractors have also been expressed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). A report released by the GAO in February 2014 indicated that over a third of the personnel records for intelligence contractors lacked the documentation needed to validate the number of personnel employed or the reasons core intelligence functions were being assigned to them.
The lack of oversight for private spooks does not just apply to those working for government agencies as contractors; it also applies to a large shadowy industry of corporate spies who work for intelligence-security firms.
A November 2013 report on corporate spying by Gary Ruskin, director of the Center for Corporate Policy, used the word “lawlessness” to describe the nature of the industry. His report – “Spooky Business” – concluded that the private intelligence and law enforcement industry functions with virtually no oversight.
“[The industry] appears to enjoy near impunity, is a threat to democracy and the rule of law. In essence, corporations are now able to hire a private law enforcement capacity – which is barely constrained by legal and ethical norms…”
In his February 2011 article for the Guardian, “The Dirty History of Corporate Spying,” investigative reporter James Ridgeway described how corporations target people with what is, in effect, a secret private law enforcement system:
“The private detective firms working for corporations can develop information against their own targets and find eager recipients among federal and local law enforcement agencies, some of whose employees end up retiring into private-sector detective work. The corporate spy business thus amounts to a shadow para-law enforcement system that basically can get around any of the safeguards set out in the American legal system; it ought to be subject first to transparency, and then to banning.”
5. Published Articles & TV Reports on Organized Stalking & Current Counterintelligence Operations
Depending on how you arrived at this website, you might be partly familiar with claims about organized stalking, but skeptical that it is widespread (or even that it exists at all). I respect your skepticism.
If you want to review some of the published articles on the subject before delving into the historical and theoretical discussion presented in this overview, you can go directly to such articles posted on this website (with commentary and links) before proceeding.
Here are some examples:
An article in Newsweek/Daily Beast in August 2000 about systematic intense harassment in the workplace – an element of organized stalking known as “mobbing.” The article does not link the trend of reports of organized harassment to a larger phenomenon, but this was among the first mainstream U.S. news reports of coordinated psychological abuse of individuals by multiple perpetrators.
An episode of the PBS News show NOW broadcast in March 2004, which addressed the issue of the possible re-emergence of the FBI’s Cointelpro operations. NOW is an Emmy-winning weekly TV newsmagazine on PBS. Tom Brokaw described NOW as “fearless about challenging conventional wisdom.” The Austin American-Statesman called NOW ”one of the last bastions of serious journalism on TV.”
While the video of the program is not posted on the PBS website, there is a synopsis of the show under the title “Cointelpro Again?”
Here is the relevant passage:
“Some fear that something like COINTELPRO may again be at hand. There are undercover agents infiltrating peaceful protests in America. Pretending to be political activists, local law enforcement officials are monitoring the activities of advocacy and protest groups based on what one judge calls those organizations’ “political philosophies and conduct protected under the First Amendment.” The tactic has come about as a result of the relaxation of guidelines first put into place after the COINTELPRO scandal investigation.”
An article in Newsweek in June 2004 about the Pentagon quietly re-entering the business of domestic spying. One of the scandals (along with Watergate, Cointelpro, and other crimes) which led to the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee investigations during the 1970s was the spying on Americans by U.S. Army intelligence agents. In the years following the 9/11 attacks, as this article noted, the military sneaked back into that role:
“Without any public hearing or debate, NEWSWEEK has learned, Defense officials recently slipped a provision into a bill before Congress that could vastly expand the Pentagon’s ability to gather intelligence inside the United States, including recruiting citizens as informants.”
An article in The Sunday Times, a major newspaper in the U.K., reported in October 2004 that the intelligence agency MI5 uses gang stalking tactics to punish whistle-blowers. In the article the tactics are referred to as “zersetzung” – as the process was called by the Stasi (the state police of communist East Germany).
Gloria Naylor, winner of the National Book Award for her novel The Women of Brewster Place, wrote a semi-autobiographical book which was published in December 2005 in which she described her experiences as a target of organized stalking. The book’s title, 1996, was the year it became apparent to Naylor that she was being stalked. Apparently, her harassment began after she had a minor dispute with a neighbor whose brother worked for the National Security Agency (NSA).
An article in The Globe and Mail, a Canadian national newspaper, which reported in May 2006 that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) used gang stalking techniques (referred to as “Diffuse and Disrupt” tactics) against terrorism suspects for whom they lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute.
An academic peer-reviewed criminology study of gang stalking in Belgium was published in the July–September 2006 edition of Revue Internationale de Criminologie et de Police technique et scientifique (volume 49), pages 350-373. Criminologist Nicolas Desurmont described how a secret policy of criminal stalking sanctioned by law enforcement authorities is used as an extrajudicial counterintelligence weapon to psychologically terrorize targeted individuals. Desurmont has published additional papers on the subject since then, and presented his findings at international conferences on criminology. As of December 2013, no (official) English translations of his papers were available (I confirmed this with Mr. Desurmont), although the English language pdf file linked below appears to be a competent translation – especially for someone translating an academic text into a non-native language.
Vers une problématique du harcèlement criminel en réseau (2006)
The original document:
An English translation:
La geocriminologie en contexte de gang-stalking (2009)
Essai de caractérisation des phénomènes de stalking dans un contexte juridique et politique : radiogoniométrie et filature (2010)
A cover article in The Washington Post Magazine in January 2007 by a journalist familiar with military policies and weapon systems portrayed self-proclaimed victims of gang stalking as intelligent and credible, and suggested that claims about exotic non-lethal weapons being used by the U.S. government to harass targeted individuals were quite plausible.
An article in the Nation in June 2008 by Jeremy Scahill in which former CIA division chief Melvin Goodman was quoted on his views of the vast private contractor element of the intelligence-security community:
“My major concern is the lack of accountability, the lack of responsibility. The entire industry is essentially out of control. It’s outrageous.”
A newspaper article in the Verona-Cedar Grove Times in March 2009 titled “Stalker Claims Unsettle Police” described how a self-proclaimed target of gang stalking had been distributing flyers in his former neighborhood in Verona, New Jersey, warning about organized stalking of targeted individuals. The flyers stated: “Their intention is to murder their target without getting their hands dirty. It’s the perfect hate crime.”
A post on the political blog Daily Kos in October 2010 alleged that intelligence agencies in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada use gang stalking (zersetzung as East Germany’s Stasi called it) against targeted individuals. Although the article did not provide sourced details, it might have helped raise awareness of this form of state-sponsored criminal harassment since Daily Kos receives several hundred thousand visits per day.
A local TV news broadcast in California in January 2011 (on KION – Channel 46 and KCBA – Channel 35) featured a report about gang stalking – referred to as such by the reporters and by Lieutenant Larry Richard of the Santa Cruz Police Department.
An article for the Guardian in February 2011, “The Dirty History of Corporate Spying,” in which investigative reporter James Ridgeway described how corporations target people with what is, in effect, a secret private law enforcement system:
“The private detective firms working for corporations can develop information against their own targets and find eager recipients among federal and local law enforcement agencies, some of whose employees end up retiring into private-sector detective work. The corporate spy business thus amounts to a shadow para-law enforcement system that basically can get around any of the safeguards set out in the American legal system; it ought to be subject first to transparency, and then to banning.”
A newspaper article in The Record and a TV report on KCRA Channel 3 about an organized stalking case in August 2011 involving the city manager of Stockton, California being stalked by local police after a break-down in contract negotiations. The brazen tactics used by the police included purchasing the house next to the the city manager’s home and using it as a base for psychological operations.
An article in the Sun Sentinel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in Florida, in December 2012 about the organized stalking of a police officer by other police officers and sheriff’s deputies from multiple jurisdictions. The victim of the stalking had cited an off-duty police officer for reckless driving (he was later fired). The stalking – which included illegaly snooping on the victim’s private data and efforts to harass and intimidate her – was apparently done in retaliation. The Sun Sentinal later won a Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism for its series of articles on deaths and injuries caused by reckless driving by Florida police officers.
An article in CounterPunch magazine in January 2013 which asserted that the FBI’s infamous Cointelpro operations have re-emerged in full force: “Cointelpro is alive and well.”
An article in the Nation in June 2013, “The Strange Case of Barrett Brown,” by Northwestern University professor Peter Ludlow, in which he stated – in reference to actions by private security firms, the FBI, and the Department of Justice: “One might think that what we are looking at is Cointelpro 2.0 – an outsourced surveillance state – but in fact it’s worse.”
An article in the Washington Times and an article in Wired magazine both discussed the widespread speculation that the September 2013 mass shooting at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard resulted from the shooter having been systematically tormented by gang stalkers using electronic weapons and noise harassment.
The cover article of Fortean Times in October 2013 (U.S. edition) is about “state-sponsored gangstalking.” The magazine is a U.K.-based publication about odd news. The author, a professor from California State University Long Beach, describes in detail how a former military service member who stole some equipment from the U.S. military has been relentlessly stalked by undercover operatives and tortured using psychological operations tactics and electronic weapons.
A local TV news broadcast in West Virginia on 14 November 2013 (on WDTV – local CBS News affiliate Channel 5) presented a report about “organized stalking.” The broadcast featured testimony by two individuals from Pennsylvania who appear to be credible and sincere, discussing their constant harassment by perpetrators using gang stalking tactics.
A TV and radio broadcast of Democracy Now! on 25 November 2013 featured an interview with Gary Ruskin, director of the Center for Corporate Policy in which he discussed the shadowy industry of spies employed by major U.S. corporations to conduct secret – and often illegal – counterintelligence operations against critics of those corporations.
Articles published by CBS, the Daily Mail, RT, Tech Dirt, and Courthouse News Service in December 2013 reported that a U.S. government contractor filed a lawsuit against multiple federal agencies for gang stalking him (the complaint refers to gang stalking as such). The plaintiff claimed that his stalking began after he made a Google search for information about how to build a radio-controlled airplane. While typing his query, Google’s auto-complete function finished his “How to build a radio-controlled…” query with the word “bomb.” The individual was then subjected to constant surveillance – including inside his residence and his vehicle – and constant psychological harassment from co-workers and strangers.
6. Historical Predecessors of Gang Stalking: Cointelpro, MK Ultra, Red Squads, & Stasi
J. Edgar Hoover
If I were creating an education plan for American high school students, I would require that everyone take a class during his or her senior year that reviewed the major conspiracies and scandals of American government: the Teapot Dome scandal, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc. No one can participate intelligently in a democracy without such an historical background.
Gang stalking is the U.S. government’s current incarnation of the tactics and strategies employed by previous secret illegal federal programs, such as the FBI’s Cointelpro (“Counter-intelligence Program”) and the CIA’s Project MK Ultra.
Anyone who doubts that the U.S. government would be currently sanctioning a widespread conspiracy involving illegal surveillance and harassment of targeted American citizens should read the basic facts about those two programs. Don’t even bother with obscure sources of information; simply read the established mainstream accounts of the undisputed facts. The details are deeply disturbing.
Cointelpro was a secret illegal program in which U.S. law enforcement personnel and their various government and private citizen accomplices systematically spied on, slandered, terrorized, and committed acts of violence (including murder) against American citizens. The program ended after being exposed in 1971 by civilian activists who obtained information about it and leaked it to the news media.
It would be difficult to overstate the relevance of the Cointelpro operations to modern gang stalking in the U.S. By all available evidence, current organized stalking crimes in the U.S. are not similar to Cointelpro; they are a continuation of Cointelpro.
Significantly, Cointelpro was not exposed by insider whistle-blowers; the FBI agents and their civilian minions dutifully perpetrated their assigned crimes until the operations were derailed by civilian outsiders.
Exposure of the program required those civilians to break into an FBI office and steal documents about the program and give them to the news media.
Also bear in mind: J. Edgar Hoover’s name is still on the FBI headquarters building.
As noted in the introduction above, a January 21, 2013 article in CounterPunch magazine asserted that Cointelpro is now secretly being used again on a wide scale. In that article, “The Return of Cointelpro?” Tom McNamara describes the original program – and its re-emergence – as follows:
For 15 years (1956-1971) the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ran a broad and highly coordinated domestic intelligence / counterintelligence program known as COINTELPRO (COunter INTELligence PROgrams). What was originally deemed as a justifiable effort to protect the US during the Cold War from Soviet and Communist threats and infiltration, soon devolved into a program for suppressing domestic dissent and spying on American citizens. Approximately 20,000 people were investigated by the FBI based only on their political views and beliefs. Most were never suspected of having committed any crime.
The reasoning behind the program, as detailed in a 1976 Senate report, was that the FBI had “the duty to do whatever is necessary to combat perceived threats to the existing social and political order.” The fact that the “perceived threats” were usually American citizens engaging in constitutionally protected behaviour was apparently overlooked. The stated goal of COINTELPRO was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” any individual or group deemed to be subversive or a threat to the established power structure.
The FBI’s techniques were often extreme, with the agency being complicit in the murder and assassination of political dissidents, or having people sent away to prison for life. Some of the more “moderate” actions that were used were blackmail, spreading false rumors, intimidation and harassment. It has been argued that the US is unique in that it is the only Western industrialized democracy to have engaged in such a wide spread and well organized domestic surveillance program. It finally came to an end in 1971 when it was threatened with public exposure.
Or did it?
In a stunning revelation from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), it appears that COINTELPRO is alive and well. Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, PCJF was able to obtain documents showing how the FBI was treating the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, from its inception, as a potential criminal and domestic terrorist threat.
The article doesn’t mention the phrase “gang stalking,” but if you don’t see the connection, you’re in over your head. If you’re a journalist or a politician, this is probably as close as you will get to a memo telling you to wake up and grasp what is happening.
The author, Tom McNamara, provides an excellent review of the original program, and an analysis of its current incarnation. You can judge for yourself whether he feels free to discuss such things because he’s on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Retired FBI Official from Cointelpro Era Tried to Expose Modern Gang Stalking
Among the most compelling testimony about the current widespread existence of gang stalking is that of a man who was familiar with Cointelpro operations because he participated in them as an FBI official.
The late Ted L. Gunderson served as the head of the FBI field offices in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Memphis. After retiring from the FBI in 1979, he became a private investigator. His investigations included working for the defense in the famous murder case involving former U.S. Army physician, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald.
In a series of public appearances (and in an affidavit linked below) Gunderson revealed that “rogue” military intelligence and law enforcement units of the federal government oversee a nationwide network of community-based gang stalkers who monitor, harass, and intimidate thousands of American citizens who have been extrajudicially targeted as dissidents or undesirables.
Gunderson claimed that his efforts to expose gang stalking resulted in him becoming a victim himself, as efforts were made to silence him.
Here is an audio clip from a presentation Gunderson gave in which he described how organized stalking tactics – such as electronic surveillance and “gas lighting” – were used against him.
According to Gunderson, gang stalking has been operational since the early 1980s (i.e., it began only a few years after the U.S. Senate thought they had pulled the plug on Cointelpro following the Church Committee investigations). Gunderson said that the scope, intensity, and sophistication of gang stalking have increased since its inception, as it exploits new surveillance and communication technologies.
Analysis of Ted Gunderson’s claims about gang stalking is complicated for several reasons. On one hand, he was a former high-level FBI official who worked in the agency during the era of Cointelpro, so he had professional expertise and first-hand experience with that agency’s counterintelligence operations. On the other hand, his public statements about gang stalking – for example in his affidavit which you can view below, as well as his public discussions of the matter (which can be found on YouTube) include references to various fringe topics, such as satanism and child sex rings, and such.
Such references – along with the fact that he is no longer around to clarify or defend his claims – raise several questions that might never be answered. History contains many examples of well-documented serious crimes, bizarre human experiments, and odd beliefs by sociopaths at high levels of government (in the U.S. and other nations), but Gunderson never proved his theories.
At the same time, anyone skeptical of Gunderson’s claim about the U.S. government’s complicity in gang stalking must admit that he cannot be easily dismissed. If he was crazy – or an incompetent investigator – how come no one noticed that when he was in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office?
Incidentally, no one should make the mistake of suspecting that Ted Gunderson was some kind of disgruntled employee who left the FBI on bad terms. A Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request yielded thousands of pages of detailed FBI documents associated with his career, and they include many glowing assessments of his professional competence and service.
FBI’s Gang Stalking Campaign Against Actress Jean Seberg
For a sense of the evil nature of gang stalking, take a look at one of the most high-profile well-documented cases of it perpetrated by the FBI in the days of the original Cointelpro operations.
My November 23, 2013 post on the “Gang Stalking News” page of this website is on a documentary about the well-known film actress, Jean Seberg, who was systematically terrorized by the FBI for her support of the civil rights movement.
This was a case with explicitly incriminating “smoking gun” FBI memos and mainstream news reports documenting what the feds did to their victim. (Those documents are included in my post.)
FBI agents blacklisted Seberg, slandered her by planting false stories about her in the news media, monitored her with covert surveillance (wiretaps), and terrorized her with overt surveillance (stalking) and black bag jobs (break-ins).
Emotional distress from the FBI’s operations against Ms. Seberg – while she was pregnant – apparently caused her to give birth prematurely (her baby died), and ultimately led her to commit suicide. Ms. Seberg was just one of many victims targeted by the FBI’s secret police program.
A fascinating but under-reported aspect of Cointelpro is the break-in which led to the program’s exposure.
In his March 8, 2006 Los Angeles Times article on the subject, Allan M. Jalon described the event:
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS ago today, a group of anonymous activists broke into the small, two-man office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Media, Pa., and stole more than 1,000 FBI documents that revealed years of systematic wiretapping, infiltration and media manipulation designed to suppress dissent.
The Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, as the group called itself, forced its way in at night with a crowbar while much of the country was watching the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight. When agents arrived for work the next morning, they found the file cabinets virtually emptied.
Within a few weeks, the documents began to show up — mailed anonymously in manila envelopes with no return address — in the newsrooms of major American newspapers. When the Washington Post received copies, Atty. Gen. John N. Mitchell asked Executive Editor Ben Bradlee not to publish them because disclosure, he said, could “endanger the lives” of people involved in investigations on behalf of the United States.
Nevertheless, the Post broke the first story on March 24, 1971, after receiving an envelope with 14 FBI documents detailing how the bureau had enlisted a local police chief, letter carriers and a switchboard operator at Swarthmore College to spy on campus and black activist groups in the Philadelphia area.
More documents went to other reporters — Tom Wicker received copies at his New York Times office; so did reporters at the Los Angeles Times — and to politicians including Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota and Rep. Parren J. Mitchell of Maryland.
To this day, no individual has claimed responsibility for the break-in. The FBI, after building up a six-year, 33,000-page file on the case, couldn’t solve it. But it remains one of the most lastingly consequential (although underemphasized) watersheds of political awareness in recent American history…
An article in the January 7, 2014 New York Times revealed the identities of the activists who exposed Cointelpro by breaking into that FBI office to obtain the secret documents.
The Official Reports
Since the FBI committed so many crimes against Americans during this era, there are thousands of pages of documents in the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee reports.
Most Congressional reports are boring – but not these. Among the most interesting documents (and the most relevant to gang stalking) are the three which you can view or download below.
Just browsing through the contents pages gives a sense of the scope of the FBI’s crimes. Here are some of the topic headings:
Use of illegal or improper means, mail opening, political abuse, ignoring the law, efforts to discredit, media manipulation, distorting data to influence government policy and public perception,Congress declines to confront the issue “infiltration” investigations, wiretaps, bugging, FBI political intelligence for the White House, exaggeration of communist influence, “Black Bag”jobs, misuse of the IRS by the FBI and CIA, targeting of ideological groups, NSA monitoring, warrantless electronic surveillance, domestic intelligence network, violent and illegal activities of informants, targeting law-abiding citizens, targeting critics and political figures, attorneys general failure to limit and control FBI intelligence activities, efforts to promote enmity and factionalism within groups or between groups, encouraging violence between groups, efforts to prevent speaking/teaching/writing and publishing, propaganda, fictitious organizations, disseminating derogatory information to family, friends, and associates, contacts with employers, interference with the judicial process, blurred distinction between counterintelligence and investigation.
These reports are filled with interesting stuff. For example, Volume 6 of the hearings contains, among other items, a letter about “black bag jobs” (referred to as such). Book 2 of the final reports refers to an apparent attempt to blackmail Martin Luther King, Jr. and encourage him to commit suicide (pages 220-221).
This U.S. Senate webpage has all the Church Committee reports:
A few of the high-profile individuals deemed “subversives” by the FBI and targeted under the original Cointelpro operations: Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon, and Jean Seberg.
As with Cointelpro, MK Ultra is relevant to current organized stalking crimes in the U.S. because it illustrates the type of crimes secretly perpetrated by the intelligence community against American citizens.
Project MK Ultra was a secret program run by the CIA in which mind control and interrogation experiments were performed on U.S. and Canadian citizens from the early 1950s until the early 1970s.
Many of the experiments were performed without the consent of the subjects – and in some cases without the subjects even being aware that they were being used for experimentation.
The mind control and interrogation methods that were tested included sensory deprivation, isolation, hypnosis, verbal and sexual abuse, electrical shocks, and the administration of drugs and substances which caused confusion, brain damage, blistering, and paralysis.
That might explain why there are no MK Ultra tribute floats in America’s parades.
Experiments were performed at dozens of colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. and Canada. Front organizations were used by the CIA to operate the program through those institutions, although in some cases the top officials at the institutions knew about the CIA’s involvement.
Keep that in mind when you evaluate the plausibility that a widespread program of organized stalking could exist without being compromised by various officials at private and public institutions and organizations.
In the mid-1970s the program was exposed by the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee investigations. Those investigations (which also examined Cointelpro) were a response to a series of revelations about crimes by the U.S. government, including the attempted assassinations of foreign leaders, the U.S. Army’s spying on civilians, Cointelpro, and the Watergate scandal.
Americans will never know the full scope of the crimes committed by the CIA during MK Ultra because CIA Director Richard Helms destroyed most of the program’s records in 1973. This passage from Andrew Goliszek’s book In the Name of Science (2003) gives a sense of what was involved. This is a description of some of the of the experiments performed by Dr. Ewen Cameron a psychiatrist paid by the CIA to study brainwashing:
“In 1957, a young girl was led to a small room at Montreal’s Allan Memorial Institiute, her arms and legs strapped to a bed and electrodes from a Page-Russell electroconvulsive therapy machine attached to her head. When the signal was given, a switch was thrown, causing her frail body to stiffen then convulse uncontrollably from electroshock forty times more intense than was considered safe. Over the next few weeks, she was awakened three times a day and subjected to these multiple shocking sessions known as “depatterning.”
Another patient, this one an older man, was kept in a drug-induced state for several months while being forced to listen to an audiotaped message twelve to sixteeen hours per day. The purpose of this experiment, as well as the electroshock treatment, was to see how long it would take before repeated messages, physical shock, drugs, or a combination of all three would destroy a person’s personality…”
One of the best books on MK Ultra is The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate” by John D. Marks, a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department. Seymour Hersh – the famous investigative journalist who exposed the My Lai Massacre and Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam war – said this of Marks’ book:
“A wonderful piece of investigative reporting. The best account we’ll ever get of one of the seamiest episodes of American intelligence.”
Here are some examples of the book’s accounts of the CIA’s experiments:
“The frequent screams of patients that echoed through the hospital did not deter Cameron or most of his associates in their attempts to ‘depattern’ their subjects completely.”
“Sometimes, as in the case of Lauren G., patients would try to escape when the sedatives wore thin, and the staff would have to chase after them.”
Another widely-praised book on MK Ultra is Operation Mind Control by Walter Bowart (1978). An updated and expanded “researcher’s edition” published in 1994 can be viewed and downloaded for free as a pdf document here.
Here is the Congressional report on Project MK Ultra.
Red Squads are another historical predecessor of gang stalking in the U.S. They were counterintelligence units within police departments in large cities, and pre-dated the creation of the FBI.
A Wikipedia description:
“Red Squads were police intelligence units that specialized in infiltrating, conducting counter-measures and gathering intelligence on political and social groups during the 20th century. Dating as far back as the Haymarket Riot in 1886, Red Squads became common in larger cities such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles during the First Red Scare of the 1920s. They were set up as specialized units of city police departments, as a weapon against labor unions, communists, anarchists, and other dissidents.”
For a well-researched account of Red Squads, see the book Protectors of Privilege (published in 1990) by Frank Donner, a civil rights lawyer.
As the title of Donner’s book suggests, Red Squads and private investigators played the same role in their day as today’s FBI and private intelligence-security contractors. The current federal law enforcement community was described by Anonymous hacker-activist Jeremy Hammond (now serving a 10-year prison sentence) as “the boot boys of the 1 percent, paid to protect the rich and powerful.”
Here is Frank Donner’s description (page 12) of the role of law enforcement personnel and private intelligence contractors in Chicago during the 1880s:
“The reliance by the Chicago business community on repressive police tactics to deal with labor unrest was unconcealed. Indeed, the Chicago police were as much the minions of the business community as hired Pinkertons.”
Insignia of East Germany’s “Ministry for State Security”
Communist East Germany’s Stasi – its secret police agency – is another historical predecessor of gang stalking.
The psychological terrorism strategies used by the Stasi were referred to as “zersetzung” – which translates as “decomposition” or “corrosion.” As used to refer to the Stasi’s tactics, the term meant “to undermine or subvert.” Zersetzung is the noun; zersetzen is the verb.
Methods used by the Stasi – which included overt and covert surveillance, slander, and psychological operations (“psyops”) tactics – were essentially identical to those currently used in organized stalking in counterintelligence operations in America and elsewhere.
Gang stalking harassment tactics described later in this overview borrow heavily from the psychological torture methods refined by the Stasi.
Arguably, the activities of the Stasi are even more closely relevant to modern gang stalking in the U.S. than Cointelpro. The Stasi was famous for controlling citizens by seeding East German society with spies. A January 18, 2008 article in Wired magazine described it this way:
“As the enforcement arm of the German Democratic Republic’s Communist Party, the Stasi at its height in 1989 employed 91,000 people to watch a country of 16.4 million. A sprawling bureaucracy almost three times the size of Hitler’s Gestapo was spying on a population a quarter that of Nazi Germany.
Unlike the prison camps of the Gestapo or the summary executions of the Soviet Union’s KGB, the Stasi strove for subtlety. “They offered incentives, made it clear people should cooperate, recruited informal helpers to infiltrate the entire society,” says Konrad Jarausch, a historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “They beat people up less often, sure, but they psychologically trampled people. Which is worse depends on what you prefer.”
That finesse helped the Stasi quell dissent, but it also fostered a pervasive and justified paranoia.”
Here is the interrogation center where the psychological torture methods of zersetzung were refined. These are the isolation cells in the Hohenschoenhausen Prison in Berlin – which is now a museum.
Click on image to enlarge.
The following excerpt from a Wikipedia entry on the Stasi provides a good description of their strategy and tactics:
By the 1970s, the Stasi had decided that methods of overt persecution which had been employed up to that time, such as arrest and torture, were too crude and obvious. It was realised that psychological harassment was far less likely to be recognised for what it was, so its victims, and their supporters, were less likely to be provoked into active resistance, given that they would often not be aware of the source of their problems, or even its exact nature. Zersetzung was designed to side-track and “switch off” perceived enemies so that they would lose the will to continue any “inappropriate” activities.
Tactics employed under Zersetzung generally involved the disruption of the victim’s private or family life. This often included psychological attacks such as breaking into homes and messing with the contents – moving furniture, altering the timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls or replacing one variety of tea with another. Other practices included property damage, sabotage of cars, purposely incorrect medical treatment, smear campaigns including sending falsified compromising photos or documents to the victim’s family, denunciation, provocation, psychological warfare, psychological subversion, wiretapping, bugging, mysterious phone calls or unnecessary deliveries, even including sending a vibrator to a target’s wife. Usually victims had no idea the Stasi were responsible. Many thought they were losing their minds, and mental breakdowns and suicide could result.
One great advantage of the harassment perpetrated under Zersetzung was that its subtle nature meant that it was able to be denied. That was important given that the GDR was trying to improve its international standing during the 1970s and 80s.
Zersetzung techniques have since been adopted by other security agencies, particularly the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
For more information on the psychological torture methods used by the Stasi – and still used today by the FBI, the CIA, and their minions – you can visit this website.
A book about the Stasi’s methods of psychological torture, Zersetzung der Selle (“Decomposition of the Soul”), was published in 1995. The authors, Klaus Behnke and Jürgen Fuchs, studied psychology in East Germany before being expelled in 1977. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the book has not been translated into English.
Here is a New York Times review of the movie.
7. The National and International Scope of Gang Stalking
Well-documented historical and contemporary reporting makes it abundantly clear that organized stalking tactics have been – and continue to be – used by various foreign intelligence services and law enforcement agencies. In the section below, for example, is a news report about a first-hand account of organized stalking tactics being used by Russian intelligence agents. No one disputes that such tactics were widely used by East Germany’s Stasi.
Two mainstream news articles I posted in the “Gang Stalking News” section of this website (October 10, 2004 and May 31, 2006) are about gang stalking tactics used by intelligence and law enforcement agencies in Northern Ireland and Canada.
Incidentally, the U.S. Senate Church Committee investigations found that the government of Canada was also complicit in the infamous CIA program, MK Ultra.
Peer-reviewed academic research articles published by criminologist Nicolas Desurmont (see the “Published Articles” section of this overview above) show that gang stalking has been used extensively by law enforcement agencies in Belgium.
From my perspective, another indication of the international scope of gang stalking is the Internet traffic and emails to this website from countries all over the world.
Based on personal experience and numerous accounts by self-proclaimed victims, organized stalking occurs across the nation here in the U.S. Apparently, moving from one area to another is not likely to help a victim avoid being stalked. Similarly, international cooperation among law enforcement and intelligence agencies means that moving from the U.S. to Canada is probably not going to be helpful.
8. Investigation, Surveillance, and Harassment Tactics
Apparently, gang stalking begins with a deep investigation of the targeted individual.
An investigation serves multiple purposes in counterintelligence:
(1) Information gathered about the target can later be used to tailor the surveillance and harassment (subversion) strategies. In some cases, an investigation could also reveal that the target is unsuitable for gang stalking because he or she has connections and resources which would enable the target to fight back.
(2) In the unlikely event that acts of harassment get exposed, formal documentation that an “investigation” was being performed could possibly be cited to explain some of the suspicious activity (for example, overt stalking could be easily explained as “covert surveillance” that happened to be noticed by the target).
(3) Law enforcement and intelligence personnel – public and private – at various levels are sometimes under pressure to show that they are being productive, so there could well be a de facto quota for conducting investigations of “suspicious” persons.
(4) Acts of subversion can be seamlessly incorporated into what is ostensibly an investigation. As noted above, overt stalking is a prime example. Stalking was one of the tactics used by the FBI in their subversion campaign against the actress Jean Seberg during their Cointelpro operations, for example. (After years of such harassment she committed suicide.) Another tactic – also used during Cointelpro against various targeted individuals – was slander. An investigation provides a legally bullet-proof opportunity to slander the victim. If an investigator quietly begins questioning persons associated with a targeted individual (co-workers, friends, etc.), and tells them that he is conducting an investigation, it could easily destroy the target’s reputation and relationships.
Obtaining information from the targeted individual and from persons who know the targeted individual is a process undercover investigators and spies call “elicitation.” This pdf document from the FBI explains the strategies and tactics of elicitation: FBI Elicitation Tactics
As with investigations, the surveillance element of organized stalking involves the same tactics used around the world by many private investigators, intelligence agents, and law enforcement personnel: black bag jobs, electronic surveillance (phone wiretaps, hacking of personal computers, listening devices, spy cameras, GPS-monitoring of vehicle location, etc.), combined with direct visual surveillance (“human intelligence”) by various accomplices.
Most personnel involved in managing and performing organized stalking are paid for their services – whether they work directly for an agency such as the FBI, or for private intelligence-security contractor firms, or as criminal “informants.” Others though, are recruited to assist as volunteers. For example, when the FBI’s illegal Cointelpro operations were exposed, internal documents showed that the agency had enlisted a local police chief, letter carriers, and a switchboard operator at Swarthmore College to spy on campus and black activist groups in the Philadelphia area.
Harassment Tactics (“Subversion”)
In counterintelligence, to “subvert” or “neutralize” an enemy is to make it impossible for that enemy to go about his business. Gang stalkers seek to keep their victim in a constant state of agitation and hyper-vigilance so that he or she will find it almost impossible to function.
This serves multiple purposes. For one thing, it makes it hard for the individual to pose a threat to the client of the gang stalkers – whether that is a corporation or a government.
Note that – as discussed in detail elsewhere in this website – the distinction between corporations and the government is often meaningless in America, given the vast industry of private intelligence contractors with secret clearances, the use of the FBI and other agencies to serve corporate interests, and the lucrative revolving-door nature of employment between the public and private spheres in law enforcement and intelligence. This is another obvious purpose of gang stalking: income for the perpetrators.
Another function of gang stalking is to exact revenge against the victim. Stalking is a form of extra-judical punishment for anyone who crosses someone with connections to the vast homeland security infrastructure.
Constant surveillance of targeted individuals (described above) is also an element of subversion. Anyone who knows that he or she is under constant surveillance will not only be inhibited from acting against the interests of the client of the gang stalkers, he or she will also find it difficult to fight back against the harassment or evade the surveillance itself because many efforts at counter-measures will be observed by the stalkers. In addition, anyone who is aware that he or she is constantly being watched by illegal spying will suffer the emotional trauma caused by having virtually no privacy.
“Harassment” is an appropriate description of many of the individual acts perpetrated against gang stalking victims since they are intended to annoy, anger, and frustrate the targeted individual – rather than, say, physically injure him or her. On the other hand, “harassment” does not begin to convey the severity of the cumulative psychological effects of organized stalking.
Slander, verbal abuse, noise, threats by strangers, constant surveillance, and other tactics, performed daily over a period of years will cause psychological torture, social isolation, and financial destruction.
According to some anonymous sources, the overall process is sometimes called “slow kill.” Regardless of whether that term is actually used by perperators of gang stalking, it is an appropriate description. East Germany’s Stasi (state police) referred to it as “zersetzen” – to corrode or decompose.
Some of the psychological operations tactics described below have ancient roots; the frequent and sustained use of noise to torment enemies, for example dates back to ancient siege warfare, and is still used in military operations – such as the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989.
For the most part, tactics are chosen for their lack of directly observable and legally persuasive evidence. The idea is to completely destroy someone without leaving fingerprints.
Intelligence-gathering and policing are often done in ways that make it inherently difficult to prove misconduct. Gang stalking employs a refined set of practices specifically chosen for the lack of legally incriminating evidence, and for the likelihood that victims’ accounts will be perceived as simply paranoid impressions of routine events when described to others.
Victims’ accounts tend to be dismissed since their experiences sound like commonplace occurrences – because that is indeed what they are: strangers who are rude, noisy neighbors, bad service, being cut-off in traffic, etc. These are things which happen to everyone. But for gang stalking victims, these things happen constantly – which becomes a form of real psychological torture, which must be experienced to comprehend.
Below are the primary tactics associated with counterintelligence subversion. Keep in mind that, by all accounts, a gang stalking campaign starts employing these tactics long before the victim has any clue that he or she is being systematically targeted. Many of the early instances of harassment are only understood by the victim later when the whole process becomes clear. By that point, often the harassment and slandering might have been going on for years.
As mentioned above, an investigation – or even the pretense of an investigation – is a perfect opportunity to slander a target. If someone who even appears to be an investigator or undercover cop begins quietly asking neighbors, employers, relatives, and co-workers about a targeted individual, it will almost certainly begin to corrode that person’s reputation, even if no explicit allegations are made.
Sometimes slander in a counterintelligence operation can be much more aggressive. A textbook example is the FBI’s successful campaign to destroy the career and life of film actress Jean Seberg during their Cointelpro operations. That case is noteworthy both because it involved a high-profile target – Seberg was a successful actress in the prime of her career – and also because internal FBI memos and news reports explicitly revealed that they were deliberately spreading lies about her.
Tactics used in the spying-and-lying industry are unfamiliar to the general public. Many people will assume that anyone posing as an “investigator” is legitimate. If you doubt that, watch the video clip of the ABC program in the “Gang Stalking Videos” page of this website regarding how easily civilians can be recruited to assist in crimes against strangers – such as in gang stalking operations.
A tactic closely related to slander is blacklisting. For centuries blacklists have been used to identify and discriminate against individuals (and organizations) deemed to be undesirable. In U.S. history the most famous example was the blacklisting of leftists in the entertainment industry during the 1940s and 1950s.
The tactic is perfectly suited to counterintelligence subversion because it undermines the targeted individual in a way that will likely force the victim to be preoccupied with economic survival rather than political activism or whistle-blowing.
Newsweek magazine published an article in August 2000 titled “They Call it Mobbing.” The article (which you can see in the “Gang Stalking News” section of this website) describes a process of intense systematic harassment of a targeted employee by multiple co-workers and managers at his or her workplace. The abuse involves slandering and isolating an employee and verbal abuse. Apparently, this is a common element of gang stalking campaigns against targeted individuals. Since the tactic is apparently widespread – and since it is apparently connected in some cases to workplace violence – I have devoted the entire next section to it in this overview.
Black Bag Jobs
Breaking into the residence or office of a target is another tactic common to both gang stalking victims and targets of previous government conspiracies such as Cointelpro and Watergate. Among the obvious motives are to gather information, and to plant audio and video surveillance devices.
As noted in the section above about the FBI’s Cointelpro operations, the Senate’s Church Committee reports contain an FBI letter about black bag jobs – referred to as such – which makes clear that the agency had no illusions about the fact that the tactic was completely illegal (just as it is today).
Another example of a classic psyops tactic often reported by gang stalking victims is “gas-lighting” – in which perpetrators enter the victim’s residence and re-locate certain objects to make victims doubt their own memory and create confusion – or to send a message that the victim’s life has been invaded and is now under intense surveillance. Such activities usually stop short of theft – which could lead to police reports. If items are stolen, they are typically limited to items that would be inexpensive and therefore unlikely objects of theft – so reports of the incident will seem implausible and evidence of mental instability.
In this short video clip, Luke Harding, a journalist with the Guardian, describes his personal experience with gas-lighting tactics being used against him by Russian intelligence agents while he was living in Moscow. I first saw this video on the “Gang Stalking is Murder” website.
Harding naturally found the experience unsettling, but keep in mind that he had the total support of his wife and his employer. Most victims of gang stalking are more isolated and if they attempt to describe the experience to others, are met with skepticism. The most likely reaction is to assume that the victim simply forgot where he placed something, or whether he left the window open, etc.
Abusive Phone Calls
As with adolescent pranks, phone calls to the victim’s residence are an easy way to harass the victim. Messages can range from insults to threats, although they are subtle, not explicit, in case the calls are being recorded.
Of course, this is not unique to gang stalking victims: targets of computer hacking range from random individuals to corporations and governments. The practice can be done for surveillance or harassment or both. See the first section in the “Tactics for Fighting Back” page of this website for an example of how this was used against me.
As with most of these gang stalking tactics, you can just use your imagination regarding how this could work. Planting evidence can be done either to further a slander campaign, or to actually set up the victim for arrest and prosecution. Additionally, planting evidence can be intentionally done in ways that the victim himself will easily find the evidence – just to send the threatening message that target is vulnerable to this type of attack.
Other such threats are apparently common in gang stalking cases. They can take any form imaginable, but will inevitably be anonymous and difficult to prove. At one point, the gang stalking crew in my neighborhood began dropping life insurance pamphlets on the walkway inside my courtyard.
Since gang stalking victims are normally under virtually constant surveillance, and since they are rarely in a position to afford counter-surveillance measures to capture evidence of the harassment being done, it’s easy to commit minor acts of vandalism against their premises and belongings. This can be dumping trash on the lawn, scratching the paint of their car, or whatever. Victims should not assume that perpetrators are above doing physical harm to their pets either; I know this both from personal experience and from accounts by a few individuals I have reasons to regard as very credible.
Baiting is any effort to evoke a response by the victim which can be used to discredit or legally ensnare him. In a sense, all gang stalking tactics are forms of baiting because their cumulative effect will eventually drive the victim to respond in ways that will create additional trouble.
Victims of gang stalking sometimes report that perpetrators mimic
their words and actions as a form of zersetzung (psychological degradation). This was reported for example in the Washington Post Magazine’s 2007 cover article on gang stalking. Novelist Gloria Naylor – a self-proclaimed victim of organized stalking – related that she had been harassed that way:
“On an airplane, fellow passengers mimicked her every movement — like mimes on a street.”
A general category of harassment, “street theater” can include some of the tactics described above and below, and simply refers to any sort of staged encounter with one or more perpetrators in public. Typically, both the comments and actions of the perpetrators are carefully scripted to resonate with the victim, but appear benign if captured on video or seen by witnesses.
Blocking/Cutting-Off/Invasion of Personal Space
One example of gang stalking “street theater” is to cut-off the victim – when he or she is walking, driving, or riding a bicycle. A related tactic is to crowd the victim by rudely invading his or her space or brushing against the person. Since this occasionally happens to everyone in the normal course of events, accounts by the victim will likely sound paranoid when described to others. Also, anyone nearby will be unlikely to notice – let alone understand that the action was deliberate.
This tactic was described – among other places – in some information posted in the late 1990s by a small group based in Canada called Spy & Counterspy – whose website indicated that they wanted to reveal tactics used by corrupt and repressive law enforcement agencies. This was part of the group’s self-description:
“We are located just across the border in Canada (nine miles outside the reach of the FBI, BATF, DEA, and other goon squads).”
The group – which claimed to have sources in the intelligence and law enforcement industry – reported that the FBI uses a tactic called “managed aggression” when they are trying to apply pressure to the subject of a surveillance operation.
This is their description of this psychological operations tactic:
Here is an example of how an FBI surveillance team will deliberately provoke you.
When you’re walking through a mall or a downtown shopping district, the surveillance team will intentionally interfere with your route. A pavement artist will “absent-mindedly” cross your path, forcing you to change course to avoid walking into him. A group of agents will “inadvertently” obstruct your path – they’ll be standing together chatting, forcing you to walk around them. Other pavement artists will “accidentally” create near-misses as you walk along. Some of these “pedestrians” will create situations with a potential for a head-on collision, forcing you to dodge them.
As the psychological pressure continues to build, agents may “innocently” bump into you, jostle you, or step on your heel from behind. A group of pavement artists will cue up ahead of you, creating a line-up that delays you as you try to make a purchase, order fast food, buy tickets, and so on.
Activity like this can quickly create frustration, even anger, in you. But because the incidents occur in public locations, it’s difficult to prove who’s behind them. You never see any agent more than once. You don’t know where the next provocation is going to come from. You’re beginning to get upset, irritated, unstable. You’re more likely to make mistakes in judgment. And that’s exactly what the surveillance team wants.
As the authors also mentioned, the tactic’s effectiveness is much greater when it is unexpected:
This is a wicked mind-game. It can be very effective if you’re not anticipating it.
Targets of gang stalking should expect this tactic and have a clear idea in mind of how they will respond. Here is a good response to this tactic – or for that matter, any type of street harassment by a “pavement artist.”
Put your cell phone to your ear as if you are on a phone call (if you don’t have a cell phone immediately accessible, just put your hand to your ear as if you were holding a cell phone – it doesn’t need to be convincing), look directly at the perp’s face and smile and say – very loudly:
“They sent a brown-noser! Can you hear me? Sorry, I have a bad cell phone connection – I’ll try to talk loudly. I said: They sent a brown-noser! Yeah, just some retard who will do anything he’s told. He doesn’t even know who he’s working for. Just some brown-noser! I said: he’s just some brown-noser!”
Keep smiling and looking at the perp and wink at him. Message delivered.
As described in some of the sections below, perpetrators of organized stalking sometimes make use of various cutting-edge technologies, but psychological torture does not require electronic hardware. Nor does it even require unconventional psychology.
A basic concept in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is that a particular stimulus – such as a sound or gesture – can become associated or “anchored” in the thoughts and reactions of an individual through repetition. Gang stalkers exploit this phenomenon by repeatedly performing a particular action – such as generating a particular sound as part of a noise harassment campaign.
Since the victim is made aware that the sound is an element of the harassment, his or her mind will naturally begin responding to that sound as a “trigger” for a negative emotional reaction. It’s a way to keep the victim constantly agitated because he or she will have the negative response whenever stalkers generate the sound – or even when the sound occurs in the normal course of events.
Similar to sensitization, “synchronizing” is when gang stalking perp’s always perform a particular action at the same moment as a particular action by the victim. For example, whenever the victim leaves his residence, a stalker in the area will cough or honk a horn or slam a door. It is a way of reminding the targeted individual that he or she is under constant surveillance.
One of the major weapons in the arsenal of gang stalkers is noise.
The tactic is ancient; it has been used in siege warfare for centuries. If you want to see a good dramatic portrayal of it, watch the final episode of Season 2 of Game of Thrones, in which a horn was sounded constantly to break-down a character (Theon) in the castle Winterfell, which was under siege.
It was widely reported that loud music was used by the U.S. military in its invasion of Panama in 1989 to harass General Manuel Noriega and flush him from the Vatican Embassy where he was holed-up. Accounts differ about exactly how and why the tactic was used in that instance, but no one questions the potential effectiveness of noise to create distress.
As with many of the tactics described here, the cumulative effects are difficult to fully appreciate if you haven’t personally been on the sharp end of them. Among other things, the tactic can be used to cause sleep deprivation, which in turn can create additional problems, both physical and psychological.
If gang stalkers have access to a residence adjacent to that of the victim (especially, for example, in an apartment building or condominium complex), they can easily generate noises that will be heard only by the target.
As is typical of psychological operations tactics used by FBI minions, harassment by noise is virtually impossible to prove. You could record the noise, but you could not prove where and when you made the recording – let alone where the sound came from or who was generating it. Moreover, even if you could prove all of that, it would be difficult or impossible to legally establish that the perpetrator was conspiring with anyone else to deliberately harass you.
High-Technology Noise Harassment: Hypersonic Sound
Hypersonic Sound Device
In an organized stalking operation, harassment by noise can be much more sophisticated than simply banging on the wall or playing loud music. Sound projection technology developed in 1990s can generate noise which can only be heard by the person being targeted.
This technology – called “hypersonic sound” – involves using a processor to convert a sound into a complex ultrasonic signal (that is, beyond the range of human hearing). Unlike sound from a conventional audio speaker, the sound travels in a column rather than spreading out, so its direction can be precisely controlled. You will only hear it if your ears are inline with the sound column – or if the signals is bounced off a hard surface.
If a victim of organized stalking tells others about sounds that he or she hears – but which no one else hears – it is a safe bet that the individual will be viewed as crazy. That makes this a perfect weapon for torturing someone psychologically because it can destroy the victim’s credibility along with his or her sanity.
In addition, the skeptical responses to the victim’s attempts to describe such harassment will almost certainly cause the victim to become intensely angry – which will further errode the victim’s mental health.
If you are a victim of this type of harassment, you might want to direct your friends and relatives to these two sources:
This document from a corporation that markets the technology has a clear explanation of how it works: Hypersonic Sound
This TV program features an interview with an engineer describing and demonstrating how such devices work. The relevant segment begins at minute 20.
As explained in the “Tactics For Fighting Back” page of this website, noise-reducing headphones can provide some relief from noise harassment; however, the best response to such harassment (and to gang stalking generally) is a low-tech offensive strategy: blanket your neighborhood with flyers (either by mail or hand-delivery or both) and send emails to all local officials, news outlets, churches, schools, Congress members, etc. calling attention to this form of domestic terrorism (gang stalking).
Very High-Technology Noise Harassment: the “Voice of God Weapon”
The hypersonic technology described above should not be confused with an even more exotic psychological operations weapon that is sometimes called “Voice of God” or “Message from God.” Both technologies can cause a targeted individual to hear things which will be inaudible to others, but the Voice of God uses microwaves – which at certain frequencies can produce an auditory effect that sounds as if it is coming from within the person’s head.
An excerpt from a Washington Post article published on January 14, 2007:
An academic paper written for the Air Force in the mid-1990s mentions the idea of a weapon that would use sound waves to send words into a person’s head. “The signal can be a ‘message from God’ that can warn the enemy of impending doom, or encourage the enemy to surrender,” the author concluded.
In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: using microwaves to send words into someone’s head. That work is frequently cited on mind-control Web sites. Rich Garcia, a spokesman for the research laboratory’s directed energy directorate, declined to discuss that patent or current or related research in the field, citing the lab’s policy not to comment on its microwave work.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed for this article, the Air Force released unclassified documents surrounding that 2002 patent — records that note that the patent was based on human experimentation in October 1994 at the Air Force lab, where scientists were able to transmit phrases into the heads of human subjects, albeit with marginal intelligibility. Research appeared to continue at least through 2002. Where this work has gone since is unclear — the research laboratory, citing classification, refused to discuss it or release other materials.
Other High-Tech Gadgetry: Invisibility (Seriously)
Other exotic technologies are also used by the sociopaths in America’s rogue alphabet agencies (and their parasitic intelligence-security contractor firms). An interesting example was described in the well-researched cover article by Robert Guffey about “state-sponsored gang stalking” published in the October 2013 issue of Fortean Times.
In 1987 an American electronics engineer, Richard Schowengerdt, began experimenting with “electro-optical-camouflage.” In 1994 he patented this “cloaking” technology – also called “invisibility technology.” The Fortean Times article describes how that technology was apparently used in a gang stalking operation by the U.S. government to psychologically torture a criminal suspect by enabling stalkers to lurk in the victim’s residence unseen.
The facts of that case suggest that the perpetrators were federal agents testing the technology – and presumably indulging their sociopathic tendencies.
Here is RobertGuffey’s interview with Schowengerdt – in which the inventor mentions the potential use of his technology for psychological warfare.
Of course, there is no reason to think that such technology is being widely used. I include the information here mainly because (a) it was apparently used in gang stalking by the U.S. government as documented in a well-researched published article, and (b) it gives you an idea of the level of technology available for surveillance and psychological warfare in state-sponsored gang stalking.
For anyone specifically interested in invisibility technology, here is another article – published in December 2013 – about a similar technology being developed in China.
Other High-Tech Gadgetry: Seeing Through Walls
A photo from February 10, 2010 Stars and Stripes
Caption for the above photo: “A soldier shows how a new scanner can see motion of an individual behind a wall. The device is set to be fielded in Afghanistan this year.”
Internal documents from the Cointelpro era proved that the FBI secretly used illegal “black bag jobs” (breaking into the residences of targeted individuals) to perform surveillance and to perpetrate psychological warfare – such as the tactic of “gas-lighting” described earlier.
Although the tactic is just as illegal now as it was then (invasive spying without a search warrant), it is apparently used routinely in gang stalking, based on virtually all victim accounts.
Consequently, it would be very easy to deploy miniature spy cameras (which are now very advanced and small and inexpensive) in the victim’s residence. So the use of technology which can see through walls is probably unnecessary in most cases, but the technology does exist.
A June 2005 article in Popular Mechanics by Frank Vizard stated that “through-the-wall” technology “has been aggressively researched by military and university labs since the mid-1990s.” The article is on page 30.
Click here to view a pdf file of the magazine:
This August 2012 article in Popular Science describes a form of this technology which uses Wi-Fi radio signals – which are now available in most U.S. homes. Reportedly, Wi-Fi radar can “determine a person’s location, speed, and direction – even through a one-foot-thick brick wall.”
Such technology could be perfect for gang stalking because, as the article notes, the device cannot be detected, since it does not emit any radio waves.
Other High-Tech Gadgetry: Directed-Energy Weapons (DEWs)
DARPA Laser Gun – from Business Insider, September 14, 2012
“For years, the U.S. military has explored a new kind of firepower that is instantaneous, precise and virtually inexhaustible: beams of electromagnetic energy. “Directed-energy” pulses can be throttled up or down depending on the situation, much like the phasers on “Star Trek” could be set to kill or merely stun….
The hallmark of all directed-energy weapons is that the target — whether a human or a mechanical object — has no chance to avoid the shot because it moves at the speed of light. At some frequencies, it can penetrate walls.”
A Directed-Energy Weapon (DEW) emits energy at a target without using a projectile, and can produce a variety of lethal or non-lethal effects. Such weapons have existed for decades, and are used by militaries and law enforcement agencies around the world. DEWs use various forms of energy, such as laser beams, electromagnetic radiation, and particle beams, as well as sound.
Weapons of this type are often referred to as “non-lethal weapons” to distinguish them from weapons such as knives, batons, firearms, artillery, and such; however, the intensity of some energy weapons can produce lethal effects.
Naturally, much of the information about these weapons is classified. One example of the publicly-available documents on the subject is the previously-mentioned declassified Pentagon report about electronic weapons (dated 1998) called “Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons” – which was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Here is the Defense Department’s website about non-lethal weapons.
Occasional references to the subject do appear in the news. An example is this May 17, 2013 article in the Marine Corps Times about the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate at Quantico, Virginia. The article explains that the directorate performs “research into everything from electroshock weapons to the Active Denial System, a directed energy weapon that causes painful sensations to targeted individuals without burning the skin.”
This September 2012 article in Business Insider – “America’s Scariest Weapons” – gives an idea of some of the electronics weapons being developed by the U.S. government, such as a “heat ray.”
If you are interested in an example of how someone could construct a homemade short-range electromagnetic weapon (for research purposes or for self-defense or whatever), this might be a good place to start.
That is some of the non-disputed information about DEWs. The role of such weapons in U.S. domestic counterintelligence operations is in the realm of speculation and anecdotal evidence.
Many descriptions exist on the Internet which purport to be accounts by gang stalking victims claiming to have been attacked with such weapons. Accounts include descriptions of burning sensations, headaches, nausea, sudden fatigue, a fluttering sensation in the chest, etc.
My observations about DEWs and organized stalking:
(1) The extensive use of disinformation by gang stalkers raises problems when assessing the plausibility of claims about the use of DEWs against targeted individuals. To the extent that the use of DEWs is perceived by non-victims of gang stalking as being implausible, discussion of their use (whether accurate or not) could undermine efforts to expose gang stalking generally. Secondly, even if DEWs are rarely used, it could further the counterintelligence objectives to discuss them on the Internet, if only to raise the anxiety of victims, who might begin wondering whether their headaches, high-blood pressure, and other problems are being induced by DEWs.
(2) It is inherently difficult to distinguish between some of the effects of DEWs and the effects of psychological harassment (“psyops”) tactics. Stress induced by psychological torment can manifest in some of the same ways – accelerated heart rates and headaches, for example.
(3) The use of DEWs against gang stalking victims is technologically plausible. No one disputes the existence of such devices, and they’re consistent with the tactics of gang stalking. For example, harassment by noises generated from adjacent residences is a common gang stalking tactic, so it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine the use of energy weapons in the same situation, as the energy would easily pass through most walls.
(4) Such a tactic would be a logical choice for use in organized stalking, since it would be difficult or impossible to prove that such attacks were happening.
(5) Reportedly, the intensity and lethality of such weapons varies greatly, but even the most extreme applications would be consistent with the malevolent campaigns against gang stalking victims. Anyone willing to terrorize someone relentlessly with psychological torment – even knowing that it could lead to suicide or heart attack (or lethal violence by the victim against others in response), would presumably not have moral reservations about using DEWs.
(6) My own personal contacts with self-proclaimed targeted individuals include three cases in which persons whom I believe (for multiple reasons) to be highly credible reported having apparently been attacked by some form of non-lethal weapons.
Since the role of DEWs in organized stalking is surrounded by at least as much disinformation as any other area of the subject, it is difficult to know how widespread the use of such weapons could be – let alone how to defend against them. The technical issues involved in possible counter-measures are beyond my ken, but for what it is worth, a credible source – Wired – states in this May 2012 article that a Faraday cage blocks all electromagnetic radiation.
Other High-Tech Gadgetry: Brain Implants
This final “tactic” is in a separate category from all of those above because its use as a weapon of organized stalking is apparently fictional. I include it here because the subject appears in numerous online references to gang stalking – although most or all such websites are clearly pieces of deliberate disinformation.
Creating numerous websites which are purportedly authored by people who believe themselves to be controlled by chips implanted in their brains is an easy way to discredit reports of the more mundane – but still evil and illegal – tactics of America’s counterintelligence goon squads. Such disinformation strategies are extremely effective when most of the public is ignorant of basic counterintelligence methods.
The technology of implanted electronic devices to manipulate brain functions is very real. The neuroscience research was pioneered by Jose M.R. Delgado, a professor of physiology at Yale University.
As disinformation, the subject has traction both because brain implant technology has existed for decades and because the U.S. intelligence community has a well-documented history of secret unethical mind-control experiments on humans (MK Ultra).
Anyone wishing to learn about electronic brain implants should probably begin with this October 2005 article from Scientific American: “The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips.”
Even Higher-Tech Gadgetry: Smart Dust
I mention this only to give a sense of the kind of threats on the horizon – for everyone, not just for those unlucky enough to already be victims of America’s Stasi.
All the mental giants who advocate that U.S. intelligence agencies and their contractors – and the Pentagon and its contractors – should be granted unlimited power and secrecy and money should pause to consider the types of technologies that those people will be playing with in the future.
Here is a technology that is potentially a more sophistated version of brain chip implants, and which at a minimum will enable Big Brother (and his network of friends) to perform all sorts of monitoring.
“Smart Dust” is a system of tiny wireless electromechanical sytems which can function as sensors and perform certain tasks using radio-frequency identification.
A July 2013 article in MIT Technology Review: “How Smart Dust Could Spy on Your Brain”
A final note on the efficacy of gang stalking tactics
At the end of his aforementioned book Stopping a Stalker, retired police captain Robert L. Snow describes the psychological aftermath
Keep in mind: Snow is describing the impact of being stalked by a single individual with limited resources – not the long-term effects of being stalked by numerous perpetrators with seemingly unlimited resources, conspiring with each other across a criminal network which has the support of the government and uses refined psychological operations (“psyops”) tactics combined with high-tech surveillance.
“During my 30 years as a police officer I have dealt with thousands of crime victims, and have felt a deep compassion for the majority of these people, who have been robbed, raped, shot, swindled, beaten, and burglarized. Yet, by the time I saw these victims, the crime was over and the healing process had already begun.
With stalking victims, however, the crime wasn’t over with, but continued on and on. Victims of stalking say the experience is like a prolonged rape, a never-ending and terrifying loss of control over one’s life. Stalking is one of the most psychologically crippling things that can happen to a person. Being stalked takes away a person’s freedom, a person’s security, and often a person’s will to live.”
9. Mobbing and Workplace Violence
Mobbing is the workplace harassment component of gang stalking. It is nothing like the activity people commonly associate with terms like “workplace harassment.” Common examples of harassment by employers include things like sexual harassment or verbal abuse by a manager. Mobbing is a systematic campaign of intense harassment by multiple co-workers and managers, often (or perhaps always) done as part of the overall surveillance and harassment process known as gang stalking.
The objective of mobbing is to emotionally torture a targeted employee. It’s done either to force him or her to quit or to keep the person silent (in the case of potential whistle-blowers) or for vengeance when the victim has enraged someone in the organization’s management structure who has the necessary assets and connections to arrange for the stalking (as in my own case).
The Connection between Mobbing and Workplace Violence
Honest law enforcement personnel – as well as criminologists and groups such as the ACLU – should be interested in the apparent connection between mobbing and workplace violence.
Mass shootings at places of employment and schools are sometimes referred to as incidents of employees “going postal” – a reference to the fact that a number of such reported cases involved U.S. Post Office employees.
Peer-reviewed studies by Dr. Kenneth Westhues, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Waterloo, Canada, have found a link between mobbing (group bullying) and mass shootings in recent years in North America in workplaces and educational institutions.
As noted in an article on NowPublic.com, the link between mobbing and workplace violence “eluded authorities, university officials, and, obviously, the mainstream media.”
“In nearly every mass shooting, Westhues found that a programmatic system of workplace or academic bullying had systematically isolated, scapegoated and humiliated the victim and virtually groomed the shooter for the role of monster. The role of psychiatry, police, and administrative bureaucracy as “threat assessment teams” and “safety prevention” was not only an utter failure, but, moreover, prompted the very acts of mass violence they sought to prevent.”
This is a link to the NowPublic.com posting:
Below is a link to Professor Westhues’s report Mobbing and the Virginia Tech Massacre (November 2007)
“On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a fourth-year student in the English Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, murdered 32 professors and students and injured a further 25, then took his own life….
Cho appears to have been the target of an uncommon but distinct and devastating social process called workplace mobbing. It is the impassioned ganging up of managers and/or peers against a targeted worker, the object being the target’s absolute humiliation and elimination from respectable company.”
This next link is to a website featuring correspondence between Professor Westhues and attorney Keith Labella, discussing the apparent causal relationship between mobbing and workplace violence “rampage killings.” Westhues estimates that at least a third of all such incidents can be attributed to mobbing (systematic harassment).
Media Narratives about Workplace Violence and Mass Shootings
Reporting and commentary on workplace violence incidents and mass shootings tends to assume that these incidents are either unique unrelated events, or that they are attributable to either the violence in our culture, such as movies and video games, or the prevalence of firearms, or a general moral decline in society, or a combination of these things.
The more you learn about gang stalking and mobbing (especially if you have experienced it first-hand), the more you start to wonder about the extent to which it accounts for the workplace shootings reported in the media.
As with gang stalking generally, articles occasionally appear in the mainstream press about the workplace harassment component of gang stalking (mobbing). This article from Newsweek/Daily Beast is a good example.
An example of a case which deserves a closer look
To cite one example (of many), a shooting in Long Beach, California invites suspicion about the possible involvement of mobbing. Even if there are other explanations, this particular case is interesting for several reasons. Incidentally, at the time of this shooting, I lived close to downtown Long Beach, and I witnessed some of the police and ambulance activity associated with the event, and the (minimal) local news coverage. Since I was aware of the incident, I became curious about the relative silence about it in the media.
On February 16, 2012, on the seventh floor of the Glenn M. Anderson Federal Building in downtown Long Beach, Ezequiel Garcia, an agent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), shot his boss, Kevin Kozak, six times. Reportedly (see the article linked below for details), Mr. Garcia’s attack on his boss was in response to the fact that Mr. Kozak (who was the second-in-command of ICE’s Los Angeles region) had turned-down Garcia’s request for a transfer within the department.
Apparently, Garcia shot Kozak “following a discussion about Garcia’s job performance.” Another agent, Perry Woo, then rushed into the room and fatally shot Garcia. Kozak survived.
Even if this was not a case of mobbing, it is a workplace violence incident which – despite involving two government officers being shot (one fatally) in a federal building in the downtown area of a major city – barely registered as a blip on the media’s radar. Furthermore, both ICE and the FBI – which investigated the case – declined to provide any of the details about what happened.
After spending a year investigating the incident, the FBI determined that the fatal shooting of Garcia was justified. As the CBS article below notes, The FBI’s spokeswoman, Laura Eimiller, would only say that the details about what led to the incident “would be kept confidential because no criminal charges are planned.”
Apart from several paragraphs in the middle of the article linked below, most of the media did not seem to be curious about the incident – or about the silence of the government agencies involved. Apparently the matter did pique the interest of a few people other than myself though; the article cites concerns about the secrecy surrounding the event expressed by representatives of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the Open Government Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).
A skeptic of gang stalking, applying Occam’s razor to the publicly known facts of this incident could understandably conclude that it was simply a case of work-related stress that erupted in violence – perhaps because the persons involved were carrying firearms. However, if you accept the theory – supported by all the information presented elsewhere in this website – that America currently has a modern version of Cointelpro (“gang stalking”) which involves mobbing, and which operates with the acquiescence of law enforcement agencies (such as the FBI, ICE, etc.), that at least raises the question of whether this was a case of mobbing.
Maybe the ICE agent, Mr. Garcia, was just having a bad day. Perhaps someone cut him off in traffic on his way to work that morning and he was a bit wound-up about it, so he shot his boss six times during his job performance review.
On the other hand, maybe he snapped after a period of systematic harassment, and the fed’s did not want that made public. At a minimum, the case illustrates the secrecy which often surrounds the activities of America’s law enforcement agencies.
This is an article about the incident from CBS Los Angeles Local News.
The mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in September 2013
A website about gang stalking would not be complete without mentioning this incident. News coverage of the shooting – and the public commentary about it – included many references to speculation about the possibility that the shooter had been the target of a gang stalking / MK Ultra-type operation.
Here is what has been reported:
A shooting rampage at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard on September 16, 2013 left a dozen people killed (13 including the shooter), and 8 others wounded. Naturally, the shooting received extensive national news coverage.
The shooter, Aaron Alexis, had claimed to have been stalked by multiple perpetrators and had reported that he was the victim of electronic harassment and noise harassment tactics of the sort commonly described by other self-proclaimed targeted individuals.
Alexis even carved “My ELF Weapon” into the receiver of his shotgun, as seen in this photo. ELF is a common abbreviation for “extremely low frequency.”
The incident involved other red flags for many observers. For example, while some people suggested the voices Alexis reported hearing were symptomatic of schizophrenia, others noted that schizophrenia typically begins in early adulthood, roughly between the ages of 15 and 25. Alexis, who was an information technology employee with a security clearance at a defense-related computer company, was 34 years old. Also, persons afflicted with schizophrenia are not typically violent; if anything, they are more likely to be a danger to themselves.
It should also be noted that Alexis never reported that he believed that the voices he heard were coming from some supernatural source – which would have been more suggestive of mental illness. His accounts were much more consistent with the kind of sonic projection device demonstrated here by an engineer who designs them. See the section which begins at 20:08 of this video.
No manifesto was left by the shooter citing any political or religious agenda that might have motivated him to shoot twenty people at his workplace. His words and actions are more plausibly explained by his claim that he was in fact being systematically harassed, and he eventually snapped.
Other facts about the incident also drew suspicion. For example, the FBI bypassed the ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and performed their own trace of the shotgun used – even though the ATF is the federal agency in charge of tracing guns used in crimes. An Associated Press article included this quote:
“I have never seen an instance where ATF had not been relied upon to trace the gun,” said Mike Bouchard, a former ATF assistant director for field operations. “I have never heard of a situation like that.”
Since the investigation of the shooting is being handled by the FBI – which is notoriously secretive and has a history of perpetrating organized stalking crimes against Americans (Cointelpro) – it is difficult to guess how much critical information about the case is being kept secret from the public.
It has not been reported, for example, whether some of the shooting victims had been intensely harassing (“mobbing”) the shooter – as was done to the plaintiff in the federal gang stalking case filed in December 2013.
Multiple news sources – such as the New York Times – made note of the curious timeline of events surrounding the shooting. The shooter’s employer and the Newport Rhode Island Police Department and the navy were all aware that Alexis had reported being harassed by “voices” and noises, yet no one suspended his security clearance or otherwise intervened.
Similarly – and this has never been explained as far as I know – a tactical response team of the Capitol Police was reportedly in the area at the time, but was ordered to stand down (not participate in the police response).
Here are some excerpts from a BBC News report on September 18 which described the non-response:
Multiple sources in the Capitol Police department have told the BBC that its highly trained and heavily armed four-man Containment and Emergency Response Team (Cert) was near the Navy Yard when the initial report of an active shooter came in about 8:20 local time.
According to a Capitol Police source, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Washington DC’s main municipal force, told the Capitol Cert officers they were the only police on the site equipped with long guns and requested their help stopping the gunman.
When the Capitol Police team radioed their superiors, they were told by a watch commander to leave the scene, the BBC was told.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, was reported killed after 9:00.
A few days later, a Congressman confirmed that the local SWAT unit had been inexplicably ordered not to respond. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he personally spoke with a SWAT team member who confirmed that they were told to stand down (not respond) to the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.
A week after the shooting, The Washington Times (in their Communities section) published an article exploring the gang stalking (electronic harassment) speculation surrounding the shooting.
A few days later, Wired magazine posted an article which also examined the gang stalking aspects of the navy yard shooting. Here are some excerpts:
Some conspiracists suggest that Alexis was a “targeted individual,” or “TI,” the term-of-art used by anguished people who believe they’re being “gang stalked” by shadowy enemies, often in the government. The elements of Alexis’ police report — covert microwave weapons, conspiracies and sleep disturbances — are common elements in gang stalking accounts. (Of course, they’re also common elements in schizophrenia.)….
The microwave weaponry theory would be just as absurd as some of the other conspiracies if the Pentagon hadn’t been researching the possibility of using similar voice-projection technology in the past as a nonlethal weapon.
According to one report on the project, such a weapon would create a condition similar to schizophrenia. “Application of the microwave hearing technology could facilitate a private message transmission. It may be useful to provide a disruptive condition to a person not aware of the technology. Not only might it be disruptive to the sense of hearing, it could be psychologically devastating if one suddenly heard ‘voices within one’s head.’”
The year before, Wired featured an article specifically about the so-called “Voice of God” device.
Nine days after the shooting, CNN reported that the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, Valerie Parlave, was asked whether Aaron Alexis had “talked to or e-mailed anyone ahead of the attack” and she responded “No.”
A month later however, The New York Post reported that the shooter had sent three emails to the group called Freedom From Covert Harassment & Surveillance (FFCHS) – which is ostensibly a gang stalking victims support group (although as explained in the web page about the organization in this website, FFCHS is actually a disinformation front group).
So the fed’s – who apparently monitor everyone’s phone calls, emails, and Internet activity – failed to intervene in any way despite the shooter’s emails (and despite other obvious warning flags mentioned above) in a case involving an employee with a security clearance who was working at military facilities and reporting that he was being harassed and hearing voices.
As The Post noted, this added to the list of questions about the official account of the whole incident:
“[The emails] also suggest that the bloody rampage was plotted as a revenge attack against the US Navy — contrary to FBI statements that the former sailor did not appear to have had a specific target.”
On November 20, 2013, The Washington Times reported that U.S. Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee is seeking information from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) about the security clearance possessed by Aaron Alexis:
“But Mr. Issa says OPM is refusing to turn over those documents and allowing them to be viewed only behind closed doors.”
In January 2014, Politico reported that a local NBC news journalist in Washington D.C., Scott MacFarlane, received an email which the U.S. Navy sent to him by accident.
The internal email – from the Navy’s FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) office – outlined the strategy which they planned to use to limit the amount of information released to MacFarlane, who had filed a FOIA request for internal Navy memos sent on the day of the shooting.
MacFarlane tweeted about the incident with this message:
“EPIC FAILURE- U.S. Navy accidentally sends reporter its strategy memo for dodging his FOIA request”
He included this screenshot of the email.
Click on image to enlarge
The most charitable analysis would be that this was simply routine “cover your ass” protocol for a government entity seeking to avoid embarrassing revelations about its incompetent management of security at a naval facility.
On 31 January 2014, the Associated Press reported that Aaron Alexis’s medical records revealed that the Veterans Affairs doctors who examined him weeks before the shooting determined that he did not appear to have any mental health issues.
“Speech and thoughts clear and focused…” was the description of the attending doctor.
The AP obtained Alexis’s medical records via a Freedom of Information Act request. Normally, the government does not disclose medical records, but the Veterans Affairs Department made an exception because of the public interest in the mass shooting.
As the New York Times reported (in the article cited previously), about six weeks before the shooting, Alexis was staying at a hotel and complained about being harassed by noise – a common psychological operations tactic. The harassment apparently was leaving him sleep-deprived, and he reported his insomnia to his VA doctors, as his records showed.
“An attending doctor provided additional details, saying Alexis suffered from fatigue after sleeping only two or three hours every night over the past three weeks.”
Alexis’s medical record – like the other facts of the case – are consistent with his account of having been intensely harassed.
What does not make sense is the official explanation – namely, that out of the blue, someone who appeared to be normal – and even was given a security clearance – suddenly went on a murderous rampage for no reason whatsoever.
Theodore Kaczynski (“The Unabomber”)
A series of bombings was perpetrated from 1978 to 1995 which killed three people and injured 23 others. The bomber, a mathematician named Theodore Kaczynski, was referred to as “the Unabomber” by the FBI before they discovered his identity.
Kaczynski wrote a manifesto which explained that his motive for the bombings was to expose the threat to freedom posed by modern technology.
The court rejected Kaczynski’s request to represent himself at his trial, and made a plea agreement to avoid having Kaczynski possibly use his trial as a public platform to express his views. In return for a promise to not seek the death penalty, Kaczynski pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to life in prison.
Those facts are commonly known; what is less widely-known is that Kaczynski was one of the subjects of the CIA’s secret mind-control experiments program called MK Ultra while he was a student at Harvard University.
An article by Alston Chase in the June 2000 issue of the Atlantic explored the question of whether Kaczynski’s violence was the result of his psychological torture. Kacyzinski was recruited to participate in a series of psychology experiments, and he was deceived about their true nature, which was to examine the effects of extreme emotional stress – possibly to help the CIA develop interrogation techniques.
The article implies that the experiment could possibly have been a factor in Kaczynski’s later acts of violence. Some excerpts from the article:
“There is no evidence of immediate mental degradation in the project’s aftermath. Emotional turmoil is another matter. As Sally Johnson, the forensic psychiatrist, reported, Kaczynski clearly began to experience emotional distress then, and began to develop his anti-technology views.”
“It is clear, also, that Murray’s experiment deeply affected at least some of its subjects. From interviews conducted after the project ended, it is apparent that certain students had found the experience searing.”
“When, soon after, Kaczynski began to worry about the possibility of mind control, he was not giving vent to paranoid delusions. In view of Murray’s experiment, he was not only rational but right. The university and the psychiatric establishment had been willing accomplices in an experiment that had treated human beings as unwitting guinea pigs, and had treated them brutally.”
“Kaczynski felt that justice demanded that he take revenge on society.”
10. Selection of Targeted Individuals
“To a hammer everything looks like a nail. To an intelligence agent, informant, or law enforcement officer, everything unconventional or unorthodox looks like at least a pre-embryonic terrorist danger.”
– Bruce Fein, U.S. Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan administration
In 2009 Bruce Fein advised Congress that the national intelligence-gathering system of regional data fusion centers should be abandoned. He compared the system to those operated by the Soviet Union’s KGB and East Germany’s Stasi.
Threat assessments by bureaucrats
Incompetence in the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence community creates threats to Americans in two ways. Real threats – such as the 9/11 terrorist attack and the Boston Marathon bombing – often go unrecognized. Meanwhile, people who pose no threat whatsoever are often destroyed – such as the actress Jean Seberg, whose “crime” was supporting the civil rights movement, for which she was stalked and terrorized by the FBI, ultimately leading to her suicide.
One obvious problem currently is that in America we now have a vast industry of government and corporate entities in the domestic spying business, but relatively few actual threats. Predictably, people feeding at the giant homeland security pig trough are eager to create the impression that their jobs and budgets are justified, which makes witch-hunts almost inevitable.
Adding to the problem created by such careerist motivations is the fact that people who pursue careers in the intelligence and law enforcement industry often have, as Bruce Fein observed, a distorted perception of the danger posed by people who are less conformist and less subservient to authority figures than they are.
Writing in Mother Jones in February 2014, Jon Schwarz made this point about the kind of people who make up much of the security infrastructure:
“Throughout history, the security state in every country has attracted employees who were already a bit squirrelly, and then encouraged their squirreliness to blossom in the dark….
….What these kinds of people share in common is that the pattern-recognition software in their head is badly calibrated and oversensitive. If they weren’t spies or intelligence “experts,” they’d spend their days proving Paul Is Dead or discovering the face of Jesus in tortillas.”
U.S. government’s terrorist watch list
The U.S. government’s Terrorist Screening Database is shrouded in secrecy. A New York Times article in December 2013 reported that at least 700,000 people were on the federal government’s terrorist watch list, and that little is publicly known about how the list is managed. Some excerpts from the article:
“…the government refuses to confirm or deny whether someone is on the list, officially called the Terrorist Screening Database, or divulge the criteria used to make the decisions…”
“The Terrorist Screening Center, which administers the main terrorist watch list, declined to discuss its procedures, or to release current data about the number of people on various watch lists, and how many of them are American citizens.”
Quotas for reporting suspicious persons
A piece at the gang stalking website HomelandStalk.com called attention to a report by an ABC local news affiliate in Denver in July 2006 which revealed that some federal air marshals said they have quotas for identifying a certain number of passengers as suspicious.
Air marshals interviewed for the article said that if they wish to receive positive performance evaluations, raises, bonuses, and special assignments, they must regularly file Surveillance Detection Reports (SDRs) – at least one per month according to some sources – about passengers who supposedly behaved in a suspicious manner. Individuals identified in such reports can end up in an international database watch list.
While it is unlikely that officials in charge of various homeland security programs would publicly acknowledge the pressure on employees to name persons as being suspicious, it is easy to imagine how that same phenomenon could be manifested in various agencies, resulting in a sort of “witch hunt” to rationalize the budgets and powers of the homeland security bureaucracy.
Black-listing by brown-nosers
In a September 2004 article in the Sociological Forum, David Cunningham and Barb Browning at Brandeis University analyzed the selection of individuals targeted by the FBI’s original Cointelpro operations. The article begins with this quote from Frank Donner’s The Age of Surveillance:
“The selection of a target embodies a judgment of deviance from the dominant political culture.”
In essence, the authors found that FBI agents responded to organizational pressure from the upper echelon of the FBI by rationalizing the targeting of individuals for surveillance and subversion – even when those individuals were not engaged in subversive political activities. They did so by pointing to characteristics of the targets which the agents knew their senior officials regarded as culturally objectionable:
“…field agents drew upon particular culturally resonant signals of deviance to demonize and subsequently act against SDS members even in the absence of threatening political activity.”
Agents were trying to curry favor with a small group at the top of the agency – the directorate – who “made the final decisions about all counterintelligence actions.”
Targeting terrorist suspects and government whistle-blowers
According to some published mainstream news reports, individuals are sometimes targeted for gang stalking because they are suspected of involvement – or potential future involvement – in terrorism or crime, but are not implicated by any legal evidence. For example, see the May 31, 2006 article in the Canadian national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, regarding such tactics being illegally used in Canada.
Other mainstream news reports indicate that gang stalking is also used by intelligence agencies to punish or intimidate whistle-blowers – for example, as reported in the October 10, 2004 article in the Sunday Times, a major newspaper in the U.K., about the use of gang stalking by the intelligence agency MI5.
Targeting individuals for experimental or training purposes
Some unlucky individuals might be targeted essentially for counterintelligence psyops research or training purposes (even if they are ostensibly chosen for some more “legitimate” security reasons).
If you doubt that is plausible, read about the CIA’s MK Ultra experiments, in which many American (and Canadian) citizens were used as human guinea pigs.
Targeting individuals for extra-judicial punishment & experimentation
A well-researched article in the October 2013 issue of Fortean Times documented a case of state-sponsored gang stalking – described as such – in which a former U.S. military member was apparently targeted both for the purposes of extra-judicial punishment and to test psychological operations technology.
Exploiting watch lists for personal vendettas and corporate agendas
As you read accounts – whether published or informal – of organized stalking cases from the Cointelpro era in the U.S., from the Stasi era in East Germany, and of current gang stalking in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., one of the most common factors seems to be the exploitation of such tactics for personal vengeance.
In recent years, there have been media reports of something called “swatting” – in which an anonymous person – either for revenge or for amusement – calls 911 and makes a false report of an emergency happening at the address of a neighbor or enemy (or in some cases a celebrity) so police will respond to the residence.
It is not difficult to imagine how a more sophisticated and sinister version of that tactic could be used by someone with connections to America’s now-massive and secretive homeland security infrastructure, by reporting someone as “suspicious.”
As it is now structured, the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence industry provides a perfect environment for abuse of power. The claim that America faces a constant indefinite threat of terrorism has created political cover for seemingly unlimited money and secrecy and power for the agencies and private firms involved.
Increasingly sophisticated surveillance and “non-lethal” weapons technology makes the potential for abuse even greater still.
In theory, organized stalking (counterintelligence subversion) could be used against someone by an individual or a corporation in one of several ways.
One possibility is that a person who has either a personal or professional connection to the law enforcement or intelligence industry could have someone named as a “suspicious person” – for example, by submitting his or her name to a Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO). This might be easily done by a member of InfraGard (the corporate-FBI alliance) or someone with a friend or relative in an agency such as the FBI.
As explained elsewhere in this website, we know from hacked emails of intelligence-security firms and other sources that corporations hire current and former spooks and law enforcement agents to do their bidding, and that such work includes counterintelligence operations (disinformation, infiltration, etc.). It is certainly possible that such work also includes subversion (gang stalking).
One prominent case of gang stalking that apparently involved exploiting U.S. counterintelligence subversion for a personal vendetta is that of Gloria Naylor. A National Book Award-winning novelist, Ms. Naylor also wrote a semi-autobiographical book, 1996, about her experiences as a targeted individual of gang stalking.
An excerpt from Booklist’s review of 1996:
“In 1996 novelist Naylor moved to secluded St. Helena Island. A minor fracas with a crotchety neighbor, whose brother worked for the National Security Agency, set into motion a series of events that made Naylor the object of close scrutiny by the government.”
Another example – there are many, including my own experience – of organized stalking being used by corrupt members of local and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies (and their friends) can be found at a blog called “Systematic Police Harassment – Pinellas County Florida.”
That website is an account by a divorce attorney in Florida of his gang stalking – which was apparently initiated in retaliation for angering a senior official of a local county sheriff’s office.
Similar cases – which were well-documented in published mainstream news media articles – include an incident in Stockton, California in 2011 in which the city manager was stalked by local police after a break-down in contract negotiations, and an incident in Florida in 2012 in which a police officer was stalked by other police officers after citing an off-duty cop for reckless driving.
Threat Assessment Teams & Personal Vendettas
Individuals become targets of surveillance states in a variety of ways. In the U.S., one of the mechanisms which could potentially lead to someone being targeted is a Threat Assessment Team – a concept promoted by the FBI.
A Threat Assessment Team (TAT) is a small group of designated staff members in an organization (public or private) which attempts to assess whether certain individuals in the organization pose a threat.
A description of TATs on the FBI website describes these groups as follows:
Like-minded, concerned professionals gathered together in person or via a teleconference can use the power of synergy to find dynamic solutions in a short time. Using TATs changes the dynamics in employee- or student-related threat situations from What do I do? to What do we do? These meetings allow the participants to share ideas, experiences, fears, and concerns in a problem-solving environment. TATs serve five primary functions.
- Information gathering: What does the team know about the threatener and the targets?
- Interviewing: What can TAT personnel learn from anyone personally or professionally connected to the perpetrator and victims?
- Evaluation: What does all of this information mean in terms of threats of violence to people and the organization?
- Decision making: What should the team do now and in the immediate future? Who will take the lead role in managing the subject’s behaviors or actions (e.g., human resources, law enforcement, security, campus police, EAP, mental health clinicians)?
- Follow-up: If the emotional temperature has cooled around this situation, how will the TAT continue to monitor the people and behaviors involved so that it does not reescalate?
Note that the FBI prefers that the group judging an individual’s potential for future crimes be “like-minded.” Naturally, you should avoid any diversity of viewpoints on the panel which is going to decide whether to label someone as suspicious. You don’t want to mess-up a good witch-hunt.
Tellingly, the FBI’s webpage makes no mention of the issue of workplace harassment and bullying. As noted previously in the section on “mobbing,” Dr. Kenneth Westhues, a sociologist, found that violent incidents in the workplace and in schools in North America are often a response to the individual being intensely harassed.
Workplace mobbing is a commonly-reported element of organized stalking (for example, in the claim filed against the U.S. government by Jeffrey Kantor in December 2013). Organized stalking – by all accounts – involves the tactics associated with counterintelligence subversion. The FBI is the primary agency in the U.S. responsible for domestic counterintelligence. Draw your own conclusions about the FBI’s silence on the issue.
Clearly, there is a potential for abuse of power by these Threat Assessment Teams. Although that is also an issue on which the FBI’s chooses to remain silent, a federal judge has found that the practice has already been abused.
A 2011 article about Threat Assessment Teams in USA Today included the following passages regarding the abuse of power by such groups at universities:
Critics say administrators may try to use threat assessment teams for their own purposes. In a case involving a student dismissed from Valdosta State University, a federal judge ruled that the former president improperly called for an investigation into the student’s mental health, employment and grades mostly because the student opposed plans to build a campus parking garage.
Students’ rights groups say administrators are infringing on students’ free-speech rights. ‘Putting innocent outbursts into a campus database is a chilling way to police discourse on campus,’ says Adam Kissel, vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. “In the name of security, behavioral intervention teams are encouraged to go far beyond what they need to do.”
Why would the feds allow non-governmental counterintelligence subversion?
Belgian criminologist Nicolas Desurmont has published several academic articles on state-sanctioned gang stalking (links are in the “Published Articles” section of this overview).
In his 2006 article, Vers une problématique du harcèlement criminel en réseau, Desurmont suggests that in at least some cases, gang stalking is a dual system involving law enforcement agencies and criminal perpetrators, which serves the interests of both groups.
For most people, the notion that law enforcement and intelligence agencies would be working with criminals – rather than pursuing them – seems deeply counter-intuitive. Remember though, U.S. intelligence agencies such as the CIA, routinely engage in criminal activity according to the government itself – as explained in an earlier section of this overview (“Crimes by U.S. Law Enforcement & Intelligence Agencies”). Also, law enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the FBI often authorize crimes by criminal informants. Moreover, the Senate Church Committee found that during the original Cointelpro operations, the FBI delegated acts of violence to organized crime groups.
Desurmont makes specific reference to the fact that the gang stalking acquiesced in by the Belgian police includes acts of extra-judicial retribution. Why would governments knowingly permit – and even assist – such criminal stalking, as Desurmont describes?
One reason is that outsourcing can create plausible deniability. If a government agency contracts with a private firm – and then that firm employs criminal informants to perform some of the dirty work – the actual crimes can be several steps removed from officials.
Another reason would be to exploit a counterintelligence concept called “a wilderness of mirrors.” The description – attributed to James J. Angleton, the CIA’s Chief of the Counterintelligence from 1954 until 1974 – comes from T.S. Eliot’s poem “Gerontion.” In essence, the idea is that counterintelligence involves creating an environment in which it is difficult to distinguish reality from illusion.
Having a complex and opaque system of counterintelligence (CI) operations serves the interests of the perpetrators – as does further obfuscating the nature of the system by spreading disinformation.
Some CI operations are handled directly by the FBI and other intelligence agencies. Other CI activities are performed for the government by private intelligence-security firms under government contract. CI work is also done by such firms on behalf of large corporations. In some cases – for example, the infiltration and subversion of the Occupy Wall Street Movement – CI activities were performed by the FBI and by private firms.
Using criminal “informants” and civilian Stasi volunteers to perpetrate gang stalking acts makes the whole process even more difficult to assess from the perspective of victims and potential witnesses. Widespread use of disinformation (discussed in detail in its own section of this overview below) seeks to muddy the waters further with references to possible involvement of mysterious cults and such.
One advantage of having a variety of criminals involved (criminal informants, sleazy private investigators, greedy unregulated intelligence-security contractors, rogue intelligence agencies, useful idiot vigilantes, cops who look the other way, etc.) is that it presumably makes it easier for persons connected to the agencies and corporations involved to use CI subversion as a personal weapon by someone connected with one of those groups.
Official rationale for counterintelligence subversion
Merely invoking the magic phrase “national security” seems to provide sufficient legal and political justification these days for almost any secret policy of the intelligence community. Even in the rare cases when the U.S. government’s “Star Chamber” – the secret FISA Court – rules that a policy is out of bounds, Americans are not permitted to know what the feds were trying to get away with.
As practiced, organized stalking is essentially an extra-judicial punishment, and it grossly violates multiple state and federal laws. However, the policy is presumably justified – at least unofficially – within the FBI and DOJ as being a legitimate counterintelligence policy needed to subvert individuals who would otherwise pose a threat.
As explained later in this overview (in the section on the U.S. Department of Justice), probably the closest thing to an official public statement of the philosophy behind targeting certain individuals was expressed in the policy statement of the now-defunct “Weed and Seed” program. That program’s description suggested a law enforcement strategy of identifying and removing undesirable citizens from neighborhoods through a “community-based” law enforcement approach.
Who gets to declare someone a suspicious person?
Consider just one part of the massive “homeland security” infrastructure – electronic surveillance by the NSA. In September 2013 it emerged that at least a dozen NSA employees had been illegally spying on their spouses and partners. This was a small glimpse of the potential abuses of power in the modern U.S. spy industry.
Note: The revelation of those incidents might be what propagandists and intelligence agencies sometimes refer to as a “limited hangout.” In other words, the abuses of power were real, but their revelation might well have been intended to distract from much more serious widespread transgressions – as explained here.
“The story overshadowed the more alarming story that 3,000 privacy violations had occurred over a one-year period.”
NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden explained that access to the U.S. police state’s weapons is not limited to high-level officials:
“Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…”
The desire for a feeling of power: snitches in East Germany’s Stasi
Understanding the social dynamics of America’s current “homeland security” domestic spying programs does not require re-inventing the wheel. A great deal can be learned from the well-documented historical predecessor which most closely resembled it: East Germany’s Stasi.
In addition to thousands of professional spies, the Stasi (state police) had a large network of citizen informants (over 100,000). An informant for the Stasi was referred to as an IM (Inoffizielle Mitarbeiter – unofficial collaborator). All sectors of East German society had IMs who supplied information about their fellow citizens to the communist government.
One of the striking things that researchers found when examining the records of the Stasi in recent years is that although some of these informants were coerced into spying, most did not need to be pressured into it.
A November 2009 article in Der Spiegel examined the nature of this rodent-like element of society – which no doubt exists today in America.
“Friends informed voluntarily on friends and spouses even tattled on each other.”
Here is the description by the head of the department which now manages the Stasi files:
“More often than not, the Stasi did not need to apply pressure at all,” he says. “In fact, many often felt snubbed if their information was deemed to be of no interest.” The real motivation behind these acts of betrayal was much more humdrum than one might think. “People informed for personal gain, out of loyalty to the East German regime, or simply because they wanted to feel like they had some power.”
As the article notes, often the origin of the targeting of individuals was simply a trivial incident or a misunderstanding. In one case a man was turned-in for having a West German brand of pudding in his kitchen. The Stasi had him fired, and his family became destitute.
Additional thoughts on how individuals are targeted
For more of my analysis of how individuals are chosen as targets for gang stalking, see my May 28, 2013 entry in the “Gang Stalking News” section of this website, in which I explain my inferences from the fact that certain types of people are not chosen as gang stalking targets.
11. The Organizational Structure of Gang Stalking
“The system of espionage thus established, the country will swarm with informers, spies, delators [accusers], and all that odious reptiles tribe that bred in the sunshine of despotic power; that suck the blood of the unfortunate and creep into the bosom of sleeping innocence.”
– Congressman John Allen, during the debates
about the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.
In the shadowy world of gang stalking, it is difficult for the targeted individual to know the exact nature of the organizational structure of his or her enemies. From the victim’s perspective – especially when the person first realizes that he or she is being systematically harassed, it is virtually impossible to know exactly who the enemies are and how they are conspiring with each other.
For many victims, their situation remains opaque because of the vast disinformation campaign they encounter when they attempt to ascertain what is happening via Internet research.
As I described in the introduction to this overview however, the basic nature of the crime – namely, that it is a government counter-intelligence program – is an unavoidable conclusion since the apparent scope of the activity would make it impossible for it to be undetected by America’s now-massive homeland security surveillance and information-sharing infrastructure.
Gang stalking’s organizational structure apparently involves a mixture of personnel. At the top are government officials and agents in federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, who would need to at least passively acquiesce in the program, if not orchestrate it. Several levels of delegates below them would be needed to manage and perform various operations.
The FBI’s original version of Cointelpro also made use of local government and civilian minions. A Los Angeles Times account of one of the Cointelpro operations explained that “the bureau had enlisted a local police chief, letter carriers and a switchboard operator at Swathmore College to spy on campus and black activist groups in the Philidelphia area.”
Presumably, one major difference between the structure of the original Cointelpro operations and modern gang stalking is the huge number of private intelligence/security firm contractors with secret clearances now employed by “homeland security” programs and corporations.
Intelligence/Security Contractors (“Surveillance Role Players”)
Among the explicit goals of post-9/11 national security reforms was to establish better cooperation between different government agencies, as well as between federal and local jurisdictions. This was done partly to reduce the problem of hoarding (“stove-piping”) information within different agencies.
To enable the sharing of information – for example by a national network of “data fusion centers” – and to support a larger security infrastructure generally – the role of security/intelligence/military contractor firms was greatly expanded.
In addition, law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the U.S. have blurred the boundaries between public agencies and private contractors. Not only do they work closely together, but there is also a lucrative revolving-door career path for employees between the public and private spheres.
Incidentally, the collusion of corporations and federal agencies in the area of domestic intelligence activities is not new. The U.S. government has been colluding with big corporations to spy on Americans since the dawn of the Cold War, as this article in Wired notes, although the practice has greatly expanded.
“The government is increasingly using corporations to do its surveillance work, allowing it to get around restrictions that protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, according to a report released….by the American Civil Liberties Union…”
Cointelpro Version 2.0 (gang stalking) apparently makes use of the large supply of Americans who possess security clearances – currently nearly 4.9 million people – almost a quarter of whom work for private firms. A June 2013 article in USA Today noted that about 1.4 million Americans have security clearances of the top-secret class.
As with other intelligence functions these days, one would expect that there might be a large role for private contractors with security clearances in managing organized stalking operations, and that does seem to be the case. Here is an example of intelligence contractors employed as domestic spies.
Numerous online job listings for “surveillance role players” seek applicants with active security clearances and training in counterintelligence. Some of these ads advise applicants that they will “coordinate with local law enforcement.”
These appear to be evidence that federal law enforcement agencies have largely outsourced these operations. I am unaware of any other plausible explanation for such job ads. Nor am I aware of any plausible alternative explanations of who would have the tactical skills, technological assets, funding, law enforcement connections, and secrecy incentives needed to perpetrate nationwide stalking operations involving counterintelligence methods.
If any readers of this website have any insights about the nature of these jobs (which seem never to be discussed in the mainstream news media), I welcome them. Obviously, it’s pure speculation from my perspective that they are possibly connected with organized stalking, but such a connection would neatly answer these three questions:
“What do surveillance role players do?”
“Who perpetrates organized stalking?”
“How do the stalkers maintain the secrecy of their operations?”
Gang stalking crosses multiple boundaries: geographical, jurisdictional, legal, and moral. My guess is that the participants are primarily motivated by the financial benefits, but also by the notion that they are part of a secret group which is essentially above the law, and which imposes what they see as a moral punishment on dissidents. They are America’s more cowardly and more secretive version of the Taliban.
U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies make extensive use of criminal informants – who are never in short supply in a nation with one of the highest per capita incarceration rates in the world. For the purposes of counterintelligence stalking, “criminal informants” are ex-convicts whose “informant” duties are spying on and harassing targeted individuals.
Based on my own observations and accounts of other targeted individuals, most street-level perpetrators are rotated by the persons coordinating the harassment, so the victim is not confronting the same individuals repeatedly. Even though a victim might be harassed daily, most of the stalkers only have a single instance of direct contact with the victim.
Some websites about gang stalking contain speculation (and deliberate disinformation) that suggests organized stalking is perpetrated by criminal syndicates or secret fraternal orders. Supporting evidence for this sometimes includes anonymous “confessions” by people who claimed to have participated in such organizations.
It is true that the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee found that the original FBI Cointelpro operation sometimes employed members of the Mafia to commit certain crimes, but it does not seem plausible that a large-scale contemporary counterintelligence program could be controlled and kept off the public radar if it were not being tightly managed by government personnel with security clearances.
Terrorism Liaison Officers (TLOs)
Mainstream news reports show that since 2008, America’s “national security” personnel include “Terrorism Liasion Officers.” TLOs are firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and utility workers trained to hunt for “suspicious activity” and report it to a secret national government database.
As this Denver Post article noted, the “suspicious activity” could be simply taking photos or expressing “extremist beliefs.” One of the concerns about this policy was expressed by the director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, John Verdi:
”The problem is, you’re drafting individuals whose job isn’t law enforcement to spy on ordinary Americans and report their activities to the government.”
Although I have no first-hand knowledge of whether it is true, anectdotal evidence suggests that some firefighters participate in organized stalking.
In the case of police officers, I can say with empirical certainty that some participate in organized stalking. Moreover, you don’t need to take my word for it since I have included several published news reports on this website which make the same point. In the case of firefighters it is less clear, but several facts make it a plausible claim.
If you have a traditional (non-police state) view of America, you might have difficulty wrapping your mind around the notion that firefighters, paramedics, and utility workers are spying upon – let alone stalking and harassing their fellow Americans. For an example of the thinking behind the concept – and an overview of the main elements of the national intelligence-gathering infrastructure – you can read the following document.
Below is a Naval Postgraduate School master’s thesis written in 2012 by Joshua M. Dennis, a Chicago Fire Department chief. In his thesis, Mr. Dennis seeks to clarify the role of the U.S. Fire Service in the domestic intelligence community.
Apparently, a pilot program for gathering and sharing information by firefighters was launched by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2006, but the national framework for spying (“suspicious activity reporting”) by first-responders has not been fully worked out.
Click here to view or download a pdf document of the thesis:
Hat-tip to the blog Cryptoscatology for highlighting that document.
Another indication of the law enforcement and surveillance role of fire departments in the new Big Brother version of America is that some fire departments apparently have subpoena powers. We know this because, for example, the Fire Department of New York used its subpoena powers to spy on the cell phone records of a whistle-blower in what appears to have been an effort at retaliation.
InfraGard & DSAC Members
As mentioned in the introduction of this overview, two corporate associations – InfraGard and DSAC – have partnerships with the FBI and Homeland Security to share intelligence. Apparently, certain trusted individuals in the participating corporations are granted special membership status by the FBI – complete with ID cards – and have privileged access to information and direct communication with the FBI.
As a practical matter, this very likely means that if one of these elite members of the business community decides to have someone targeted for an “investigation” they could simply tell the FBI that they have concerns that the individual represents what counterintelligence agents call “an insider threat” – meaning that an employee is suspected of being likely to steal proprietary information or that he or she is a “disgruntled employee” or has “extremist beliefs” and poses a safety or national security risk.
For a detailed explanation of this unholy alliance, I recommend reading this May 2013 report from the Center for Media and Democracy (which reported that certain corporations were/are exploiting this arrangement to use the FBI as a weapon against their political adversary, the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
I also strongly recommend watching this episode of a TV series by Jesse Ventura, in which he confronts a member of InfraGard regarding some of the obvious potential for abuse of power inherent in this arrangement. The relevant section begins 25 minutes into the video.
Threat Assessment Teams
As mentioned in the section above on selection of targeted individuals, a Threat Assessment Team (TAT) is a small group of designated staff members in an organization (public or private) which attempts to assess whether certain individuals in the organization pose a threat.
As the page about TATs in the FBI’s website makes clear, these groups are expected to work with law enforcement agencies to share their suspicions that an individual is likely to commit a crime in the future.
If the members of the TAT are also members of InfraGard or DSAC – or if they have an informal connection to a law enforcement or security agency, it would presumably not be unlikely that the suspicious individual would find his or her way onto a watch list of some sort.
Of course, it’s purely speculative how such a process might play out regarding organized stalking, but the U.S. law enforcement business is now so secretive that speculation is often the only option to try to understand it.
Clearly the government also makes extensive use of citizen informants. An obvious example of this was the Department of Homeland Security’s policy introduced in 2010 encouraging citizens to report anything suspicious (“If you see something, say something”). State and local governments have followed the feds’ lead (and money) and made efforts to encourage a “snitch culture” – such as this Florida program encouraging residents to spy on their neighbors.
Based on my own observations and on speculation about what would be a logical (and in some cases necessary) use of resources for a counterintelligence operation, it seems that some of the people who participate – at least in small ways – in the stalking are civilians who are presumably told they are assisting in an investigation or a “neighborhood watch” type program.
No doubt such neighbors of the targeted individual would not think of themselves as “vigilantes” even though they are in fact participating in an illegal conspiracy designed to inflict severe emotional and financial extra-judicial punishment.
The motivations of a particular stalker are probably often unrelated to the reason the targeted individual was blacklisted in the first place. While the victim may have been targeted simply because he or she crossed someone with connections and money, the perpetrators – including the victim’s neighbors, associates, relatives, etc. – can simply be told various lies about the victim. Those lies can be tailored to fit the particular person or groups of persons being recruited to participate in the harassment.
As for involvement by local law enforcement officers (and I can personally attest to this), it sometimes involves direct participation (such as being closely followed by patrol cars), and other times it simply involves police “looking the other way” as others do the stalking.
As I note in the section of this website about tactics for fighting back, victims can exploit the fact that police do not want to get (officially) involved – for example, by saturating their neighborhood with flyers about gang stalking. My own massive use of that tactic never led to local police responding (at least not in any direct public way), no matter how indiscrete I was about it.
Even if such tactics do not completely stop the harassment, they could diminish it as the perpetrators become aware that their efforts will result in very public exposure. Also, such tactics will help expose the larger conspiracy to the general public – which will eventually undermine the whole Stasi operation.
The full list of people who either passively acquiesce or actively participate in gang stalking probably looks something like this:
1) Federal law enforcement & intelligence agencies (DOJ, FBI, etc.)
2) Intelligence-security contractors with secret clearances (“surveillance role players”)
3) Criminal informants
4) InfraGard & DSAC members & Threat Assessment Team members
5) Terrorism Liaison Officers
6) Police officers (& possibly firefighters)
7) Private investigators
8) Neighbors, landlords, merchants, co-workers, & even relatives of the victim. In some cases, these civilians are recruited under the pretense that they are participating in an “investigation” or a neighborhood watch program.
9) Others informally recruited to assist – such as friends, relatives, and business associates of persons in one of the other categories
Most of the persons in categories 8 and 9 are what East Germany’s Stasi agents referred to as Inoffizielle Mitarbeiter – unofficial collaborators.
Gang stalking perpetrators are an assortment of morally-corrupt cops, snitches, brown-nosers, bullies, liars, parasitic security contractors, sociopaths, traitors, and useful idiots. This is exactly what you would expect in a program developed by a communist secret police agency.
12. Social Conformity and Obedience to Authority
“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
– Albert Einstein
People like to believe that the evil and stupid obedience displayed by people such as Hitler’s followers is far-removed from their own nature and culture. History and science suggest that is not the case.
Anyone wishing to understand gang stalking – or even to assess the plausibility of such a conspiracy – should briefly review the interesting (but disturbing) historical and scientific evidence on conformity and obedience.
History is filled with shocking manifestations of group-think – such as the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials. Examples of blind deference to authority include attrocities such as the “Rape of Nanking” in the 1930s, in which Japanese soldiers, sanctioned by their leaders, raped, tortured, and murdered thousand of Chinese civilians. Many infants were killed in front of their mothers in that massacre; sometimes the soldiers gouged-out the children’s eyes before killing them.
Literature is similarly filled with helpful examples of the evil and idiocy associated with group-think and obedience. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is one iconic example.
Two famous sets of experiments are of particular relevance.
Conformity experiments by social psychologist Solomon Asch
In Asch’s experiments, students were asked to participate – along with others – in what was ostensibly a “vision test.” Actually, the other participants were accomplices of the experimenter, and the study sought to find how the unsuspecting students would be influenced by the behavior of the others.
When asked to assess the relative lengths of lines displayed on cards, unsuspecting students were frequently influenced by the responses of the accomplices around them. In other words, people often changed their beliefs about what they had seen when the group expressed an opinion at variance with their own. In a control group, with no pressure to conform, few of the subjects gave incorrect answers. A majority (75 percent) of the subjects gave an incorrect answer to at least one question when surrounded by others expressing the wrong answer.
Obedience to authority figures experiments by psychologist Stanley Milgram
In Milgram’s experiments, participants were led to believe that they were administering small electrical shocks to a person being tested, and that the voltage was being incrementally increased with each delivery of the shock. The experiment (and other similar subsequent experiments by others) found that most people (61 to 66 percent) will administer a fatal electrical shock to an innocent person purely out of deference to authority.
“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility
is the most far-reaching consequence of submission
to authority.” – Stanley Milgram
Anyone skeptical – despite such findings – about how easy it is to manipulate average citizens to do very bad things to people they don’t know should watch the video clip of an ABC TV program on the subject, which I included in the “Gang Stalking Videos” section of this website. That video features a private investigator-type person (not unlike the people who manage gang stalking operations presumably) portraying himself as a law enforcement officer, and easily persuading people to participate in serious crimes against strangers.
The fascist element of the U.S. intelligence community, law enforcement community, and military-industrial complex
As a former member of the U.S. military who also worked as a security contractor, I can say with some authority that many of the people in those professions have both integrity and intelligence.
Unfortunately though, such career fields – and I’m sure this applies to intelligence and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and CIA as well – have more than their share of the type of folks described here by journalist Chris Hedges. Having spent a couple of decades as a war correspondent, he understands the mentality and character of authoritarian careerists.
Hedges’ observations apply not only to military officers, but also to the related professions of law enforcement and domestic spying as well.
“Most institutions have a propensity to promote mediocrities, those whose primary strengths are knowing where power lies, being subservient and obsequious to the centers of power and never letting morality get in the way of one’s career. The military is the worst in this respect. In the military, whether at the Paris Island boot camp or West Point, you are trained not to think but to obey. What amazes me about the military is how stupid and bovine its senior officers are. Those with brains and the willingness to use them seem to be pushed out long before they can rise to the senior-officer ranks. The many Army generals I met over the years not only lacked the most rudimentary creativity and independence of thought but nearly always saw the press, as well as an informed public, as impinging on their love of order, regimentation, unwavering obedience to authority and single-minded use of force to solve complex problems.”
Here is the full article at truthdig.
Authoritarian Personality Type
Participants in the original Cointelpro and its current form – gang stalking – have what psychologists sometimes refer to as an “authoritarian personality.”
Robert Altemeyer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Manitoba, has studied this subject extensively. An October 2004 article in Reason describes his findings about the authoritarian type personality:
“….authoritarians are cognitively rigid, aggressive, and intolerant. They are characterized by steadfast conformity to group norms, submission to higher status individuals, and aggression toward out-groups and unconventional group members.”
The article notes that Altemeyer’s views were confirmed by research at the University of California at Berkeley, where they found that such people – who are typically very conservative politically – have common psychological factors described by the article’s author as follows:
“fear and aggression, dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity, uncertainty avoidance, need for cognitive closure, and terror management that causes conservatives to shun and even punish outsiders and those who threaten the status of their cherished world views.”
Dr. Altemeyer wrote a book on this subject called The Authoritarians (2006). In his book, he makes clear that his references to “right-wing” authoritarian followers is a psychological – not ideological – category. Citizens in communist East Germany who served as informants for the Stasi (state police) were “authoritarians” just like far-right kooks in America today who participate in organized stalking. Because they are subservient to authority figures, such people are easily manipulated by those in power.
Professor Altemeyer generously made his book available to the public as a free pdf document: The Authoritarians
13. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Gang Stalking
The moral character of the DOJ
“A fish rots from the head down” – whether it’s the Vatican covering up decades of child sex abuse by priests or the current head of the DOJ (as I update this in November 2013) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder – apparently doing whatever pleases the President and the law enforcement and intelligence communities.
The DOJ oversees federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the DEA, and apparently acquiesces in a contemporary version of Cointelpro (organized stalking) – just as they did in the original version of that program.
U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy – who was then-head of the DOJ – authorized some of the original Cointelpro operations, such as wiretaps on the home of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Corruption at the U.S. Department of Justice is a bipartisan phenomenon. In 1971, when civilian activists leaked secret FBI documents to the Washington Post which revealed crimes committed against Americans by the FBI, U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell (who later served prison time for his role in the Watergate scandal) asked the Post’s executive editor Ben Bradlee not to disclose the documents. To his credit, Bradlee chose patriotism and truth over the imperatives of the corrupt police state thugs.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is a good example of the kind of people who often infest the highest echelons of societies’ power structures, and whose participation in counterintelligence operations would not be out of character.
When Holder was President Clinton’s deputy attorney general he approved the pardon of Marc Rich – a wealthy investor who was indicted on 63 counts of tax evasion and other charges and fled to Switzerland to avoid prosecution. By all serious accounts, the only reason Clinton granted the pardon was that Rich’s wife was a big donor to the Democratic Party.
Even the opinion writers for the Washington Post – which is typically sympathetic to the Democrats – said the pardon should have precluded Holder from becoming President Obama’s Attorney General. Richard Cohen wrote of the pardon:
“It suggests that Holder, whatever his other qualifications, could not say no to power. The Rich pardon request had power written all over it — the patronage of important Democratic fundraisers, for instance.”
More recently, Holder’s morally-questionable actions have included aggressive efforts to intimidate whistle-blowers and journalists trying to expose government malfeasance.
James Goodale, a First Amendment lawyer who played a key role in the publication of the Pentagon Papers by the New York Times, makes the case that Holder is essentially treating reporters as criminals.
Federal Judges Report Frequent Lying by DOJ Prosecutors
Most Americans give little thought to their nation’s Department of Justice, except perhaps for high-profile cases with partisan political implications. Evidence of the DOJ’s lack of integrity does not usually show up on the public’s radar.
Federal judges however, often see examples of the moral rot at the DOJ, and have warned for decades that frequent misconduct by prosecutors undermines Constitutional protections of individuals’ rights. A September 2010 article in USA Today reported on the effectiveness of a law enacted by Congress in 1997 intended to curb illegal conduct by prosecutors, such as lying and deliberately concealing evidence:
“…USA TODAY documented 201 criminal cases in the years that followed in which judges determined that Justice Department prosecutors — the nation’s most elite and powerful law enforcement officials — themselves violated laws or ethics rules.
In case after case during that time, judges blasted prosecutors for “flagrant” or “outrageous” misconduct. They caught some prosecutors hiding evidence, found others lying to judges and juries, and said others had broken plea bargains.”
Why would federal prosecutors engage in misconduct? Part of the explanation is that when they get caught, they are unlikely to be fired – as noted in another article by USA Today, which also found that “the Justice Department consistently conceals its own investigations of misconduct from the public.”
Lying by the FBI
Since the DOJ oversees the FBI, it is not surprising that the latter also takes a very elastic view of its obligation to abide by the U.S. Constitution. One way they do this is to assert, when caught lying, that the deception is being done in the name of “national security.”
When various American Islamic organizations and individuals filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request in 2006 to determine if the FBI had engaged in illegal surveillance of them, the FBI concealed the existence of much of the material requested. In a lawsuit which followed, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the FBI lied to the plaintiffs and to the court about the existence of the documents sought.
When confronted with their deception, the FBI argued, in effect, that the agency should not be required to tell the truth in court if they feel that doing so could compromise national security interests. The court rejected that claim.
Anyone wondering about the plausibility of claims that federal law enforcement agencies acquiesce in gang stalking should consider the fact that such agencies sometimes explicitly assert that they are above the law.
DOJ’s Complicity in Spying and Lying by Private Intelligence Firms
Members of the Anonymous movement hacked into the emails of the cybersecurity firm HB Gary Federal In February 2011 after an executive at that firm boasted in the Financial Times that his company had infiltrated Anonymous and started to expose them.
One of the reports contained in the emails was a plan for HB Gary to work with several other security firms to destroy the whistle-blower organization WikiLeaks. News reports had indicated that Wikileaks was planning to publish documents showing possible corruption and fraud at Bank of America, so the bank funded a “counterespionage” campaign against Wikileaks, which included hiring the large intelligence contractor firm Booz Allen, whose staff includes many former top officials from the intelligence community and the defense department.
One of the proposals was to create and plant fake documents to discredit Wikileaks. The plans also included hacking into Wikileaks’ computer systems. Another proposal was to “attack” and “disrupt” the career of journalist Glenn Greenwald to pressure him into abandoning his public support of Wikileaks.
Bank of America had hired the law firm Hunton & Williams – among the most well-connected law firms in the nation’s capital – to coordinate the bank’s war against Wikileaks at the recommendation of the DOJ.
Glenn Greenwald explained the serious implications of this network of government and corporate players in the private espionage business in a February 2011 article for Salon.com:
“What is set forth in these proposals for Bank of America quite possibly constitutes serious crimes. Manufacturing and submitting fake documents with the intent they be published likely constitutes forgery and fraud. Threatening the careers of journalists and activists in order to force them to be silent is possibly extortion and, depending on the specific means to be used, constitutes other crimes as well. Attacking WikiLeaks’ computer infrastructure in an attempt to compromise their sources undoubtedly violates numerous cyber laws.
Yet these firms had no compunction about proposing such measures to Bank of America and Hunton & Williams, and even writing them down. What accounts for that brazen disregard of risk? In this world, law does not exist as a constraint. It’s impossible to imagine the DOJ ever, ever prosecuting a huge entity like Bank of America for doing something like waging war against WikiLeaks and its supporters. These massive corporations and the firms that serve them have no fear of law or government because they control each.”
As Greenwald notes, a clear example of the extent to which the DOJ serves corporate interests rather than the interests of justice and the American public is the department’s very different reactions to the cyber attacks on corporations versus an attack on Wikileaks:
“After Anonymous imposed some very minimal cyber disruptions on Paypal, Master Card and Amazon, the DOJ flamboyantly vowed to arrest the culprits, and several individuals were just arrested as part of those attacks. But weeks earlier, a far more damaging and serious cyber-attack was launched at WikiLeaks, knocking them offline. Those attacks were sophisticated and dangerous. Whoever did that was quite likely part of either a government agency or a large private entity acting at its behest. Yet the DOJ has never announced any investigation into those attacks or vowed to apprehend the culprits, and it’s impossible to imagine that ever happening.
Why? Because crimes carried out that serve the Government’s agenda and target its opponents are permitted and even encouraged; cyber-attacks are “crimes” only when undertaken by those whom the Government dislikes, but are perfectly permissible when the Government itself or those with a sympathetic agenda unleash them.”
A November 2013 news report from Democracy Now! also asserted that private intelligence-security contractor firms are pretty much free to perpetrate crimes on behalf of their corporate clients without fear of legal punishment. A report by Gary Ruskin, director of the Center for Corporate Policy, a project of Essential Information, was the main subject of the segment.
“…these corporations employ former CIA, National Security Agency and FBI agents to engage in private surveillance work, which is often illegal in nature but rarely — if ever — prosecuted.” – Journalist Amy Goodman
The report explained that major U.S. corporations use spies to conduct surveillance (sometimes illegally) of non-profit organizations engaged in advocacy for causes such as anti-war policy, consumer rights, environmentalism, animal rights, and arms control.
Corporations engaging in this kind of espionage reportedly include Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, McDonald’s, Shell, BP, and others – as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
America’s Post-Constitutional Law Enforcement Paradigm
A confluence of developments over the past couple of decades has led to a more militarized and secretive form of law enforcement in America. A counterintelligence subversion strategy of organized stalking is among the most extreme manifestations of the new paradigm.
The government’s natural tendency to expand its size and power has been accelerated by the politics, profits, and career opportunities associated with the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terrorism.” At the same time, advances in technology have made possible highly invasive surveillance tools which create a constant temptation for abuse by people in the intelligence, law enforcement, and security industries.
Another development has been an erosion of traditional jurisdictional boundaries in law enforcement. By design, numerous federal and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies now work more closely with each other, and with the private contractors who provide much of the infrastructure, such as defense industry firms and private security firms.
U.S. law enforcement agencies rely heavily upon criminal informants – despite the obvious conflicts of interest that involves. Budgets and audits cited in the New York Times for example, showed that the FBI was using more than 15,000 secret informants in 2008, and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Adminstration) had about 4,000 criminal informants on its payroll in 2005.
By my own observations, and by anecdotal reports of others, gang stalking apparently makes extensive use of criminal informants. But those snitches are not being used by the FBI just to spy and inform; they are perpetrating acts of criminal harassment for the purposes of counterintelligence subversion.
Rather than working to ensure the protection of Americans’ rights in this new Big Brother surveillance environment, the U.S. Department of Justice has done everything possible to enable the executive branch to increase its secrecy and power at the expense of Americans’ civil liberties.
A variety of Orwellian legal weapons have emerged – always based on claims of national security. “Suspicious Activity Reports” are now filed by “Terrorism Liaison Officers” and sent to a network of regional “Data Fusion Centers” and reviewed by agents at the “Homeland Security Department.”
Old-fashioned concepts in the Bill of Rights – like obtaining search warrants from judges – have been tossed aside. Now the FBI can just issue a “National Security Letter.” Instead of launching an investigation based on probable cause, the FBI can now just target an individual for surveillance and investigation by calling it an “assessment.”
Concerning other elements of the now-massive U.S. spy network, the public can only speculate. For example, no one has yet said publicly what is being done by the numerous “surveillance role players” (discussed elsewhere in this website) with secret clearances and counterintelligence training who are employed by intelligence-security contractors.
If anyone challenges the Constitutional legitimacy of any of these suspicious policies (or if members of the government question other secret policies whose existence is unknown to the public), the matter is referred to the U.S. government’s “Star Chamber” – the secret FISA Court, which in nearly all cases simply rubber-stamps the policy to maintain the façade of legitimacy.
The DOJ’s Index of Crimes
As mentioned in the introduction to this overview, claims about the widespread existence of gang stalking are supported by the DOJ’s own crime survey statistics (obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request) which showed that in 2006 there were an estimated 446,790 stalking incidents involving three or more perpetrators stalking a single individual.
Claims about gang stalking are also supported by the fact that the National Center for Victims of Crime – which is funded by the DOJ – apparently receives “thousands of calls per month” about such crimes. Yet organized stalking is conspicuously absent from the DOJ’s Index of Crimes.
As previously mentioned, Robert L. Snow, a retired police captain from the Indianapolis P.D., wrote a book called Stopping a Stalker, in which he devoted a chapter to the subject of organized stalking by multiple perpetrators associated with causes (“cause stalking”) – such as stalking by extreme anti-abortion activists.
However, the entire subject of organized stalking (or “group stalking,” “vigilante stalking,” etc.) does not appear in the DOJ’s website – even though the site includes a comprehensive index of types of crimes and legal issues, including some that are relatively obscure.
The DOJ’s “Weed and Seed” Program
The most interesting section of the DOJ website’s crime index – in relation to the government’s apparent acquiescence in gang stalking – is a reference to a program called “Weed and Seed.” The program name was still in the index the last time I checked, but the information for that section – which was part of something called the “Community Capacity Development Office” (CCDO) no longer existed. Elsewhere in the website was a statement explaining that the CCDO was closed due to lack of funding:
“As of June 5, 2011, the Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO) closed due to a lack of federal funding for the office. For Fiscal Year 2012 Weed and Seed grants, the Bureau of Justice Assistance will manage these grants until the end of the grant award period.”
I copied the Weed and Seed program’s description while it was still on the website (in February 2012). It describes a community policing strategy. If you read this without the context of any first-hand experience or historical background (e.g., Cointelpro, MK Ultra, and Stasi), it might seem innocuous. However, if you’re familiar with gang stalking and its historical predecessors, it takes on a much darker character.
Operation Weed and Seed
A strategy within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs that incorporates community-based initiatives. It is an innovative and comprehensive multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization.
The Weed and Seed Strategy
Operation Weed and Seed is foremost a strategy–rather than a grant program– which aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods across the country. Weed and Seed sites range in size from several neighborhood blocks to 15 square miles.
The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding out” criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area; and “seeding” brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization.
A community-orientated policing component bridges weeding and seeding strategies. Officers obtain helpful information from area residents for weeding efforts while they aid residents in obtaining information about community revitalization and seeding resources.
Note that this law enforcement model can be exploited not just by government agencies, but also by private groups and individuals for their own agendas. I would suggest that is exactly what is happening. Private organizations and individuals who have the relevant skill sets, connections to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and assets to hire private investigators, can either create illicit “neighborhood watch” programs to monitor and harass their targets, or they can exploit existing programs by feeding information (whether true or false) about their targets to law enforcement personnel to have the victims become subjects of investigation and surveillance.
The “Weed and Seed” program is the most explicit official statement of the institutional philosophy behind gang stalking – namely, that the victims are deserving of persecution because they are potential criminals, socially marginal dissidents, drug-users, whistle-blowers, trouble-makers, etc. Essentially, the targeted individuals are the “weeds” that need to be removed (or at least isolated and suppressed).
The Role of Disinformation in Organized Stalking
According to the U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, disinformation is defined as follows:
Carefully contrived misinformation prepared by an intelligence or CI service for the purpose of misleading, deluding, disrupting, or undermining confidence in individuals, organizations, or governments.
In a national program of counterintelligence subversion such as America’s version of the communist Stasi network, some public exposure is inevitable. Disinformation is used to mitigate the effects of that exposure.
Often the effectiveness of disinformation derives from the fact that most people – unlike say, con artists, intelligence agents, and detectives – don’t usually even consider that the information they’re encountering might be a batch of deliberate lies.
Sadly, most Americans are unaware of the history of disinformation campaigns by the U.S. government. One of the most well-documented programs in which the U.S. intelligence community systematically lied to the American public ocurred in the 1950s. Here is a portion of a Wikipedia entry about it. The facts of the program are not in dispute.
Operation Mockingbird was a secret Central Intelligence Agency campaign to influence media beginning in the 1950s. Organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles in the 1950s, it was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became head of CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA’s views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA.
By the early 1950s, Wisner ‘owned’ respected members of The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles.
The usual methodology was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to witting or unwitting reporters. Those reports would then be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services. These networks were run by people with well-known liberal but pro-American big business and anti-Soviet views such as William Paley (CBS), Henry Luce (Time and Life Magazine), Arthur Hays Sulzberger (New York Times), Alfred Friendly (managing editor of the Washington Post), Jerry O’Leary(Washington Star), Hal Hendrix (Miami News), Barry Bingham, Sr. (Louisville Courier-Journal), James Copley (Copley News Services) and Joseph Harrison (Christian Science Monitor).
The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was funded by siphoning of funds intended for the Marshall Plan. Some of this money was used to bribe journalists and publishers.
According to Alex Constantine (Mockingbird: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA), in the 1950s, “some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts”. Wisner was able to constrain newspapers from reporting about certain events, including the CIA plots to overthrow the governments of Iran.
For additional information about Operation Mockingbird, here is an article on the subject by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Carl Bernstein.
Current U.S. Government Policy on Lying
The values associated with Operation Mockingbird are alive and well in America’s federal government today – with its penchant for secrecy and for spying on Americans – and its casual attitude about the Constitution and honesty.
An article by journalist Glenn Greenwald in January 2010 in Salon.com called attention to the shockingly Orwellian view of news and propaganda in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. In particular, Greenwald focused on a member of the Obama administration.
Cass Sunstein – a close confidant of President Obama – who served as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from September 2009 to 2012 – has an interesting view on lying by the federal government: he favors it.
“In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists.
….Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.”
Glenn Greenwald’s article:
Cass Sunstein’s Harvard Law School paper:
Slandering Critics of Corporations
For a fascinating look at the specific ways that disinformation is used by U.S. government agencies and their corporate contractors, you should read the article in the Nation which I mentioned previously in this overview (“The Strange Case of Barrett Brown” by Peter Ludlow, June 18, 2013).
That article describes, for example, how a group of private intelligence and security contractors with close government ties developed an operation whose objective was to discredit a group which was critical of the Chamber of Commerce, and to discredit others, such as Glenn Greenwald – the journalist who later famously revealed the NSA surveillance program information provided by whistle-blower Edward Snowden in 2013:
Its main objective was to discredit critics of the Chamber of Commerce, like Chamber Watch, using such tactics as creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” giving it to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then subsequently exposing the document as a fake to “prove that US Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth.” In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to infiltrate Chamber Watch. They would “create two fake insider personas, using one as leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second.” The leaked e-mails showed that similar disinformation campaigns were being planned against WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald.
If operations such as that one were not proven by the documents obtained by hackers, many people would dismiss the allegations of such activities as tin-foil hat conspiracy theories.
Another example (among many) happened in 2012. When a reporter and editor at USA Today investigated one of the Pentagon contractors being paid to spread propaganda, that contractor began a secret smear campaign against them.
“Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts were created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names…”
A proxy service was used to hide the identity of the owner of the websites, and another website was registered to a non-existent address. Here is an article about it.
The four major disinformation tactics used by America’s Stasi
Four main tactics are used by the U.S. intelligence-law enforcement industry to conceal its counterintelligence operations against U.S. citizens. Each tactic is a variation on the same general strategy – namely, to discredit organized stalking targets by casting doubts on their sanity and intelligence.
1) Government Front Groups
One tactic is to create faux support groups for gang stalking victims. Freedom From Covert Harassment and Surveillance (FFCHS) and Organized Stalking Informers (OSI), to which I dedicate a page of this website, are the main examples.
These groups serve two purposes. First, they exist so that victims will turn to them – rather than forming their own legitimate advocacy groups to lobby Congress and the media to investigate gang stalking.
Secondly, everything about the groups is designed to convey the impression that people claiming to be gang stalking victims should not be taken seriously. For example, the written materials associated with those two groups – such as their websites and petitions – appear very badly written and poorly edited. The websites and documents contain almost no specific information about the perpetrators of organized stalking, and very rarely refer to the published mainstream news reports about gang stalking and counterintelligence activities.
2) Disinformation Websites
A second tactic is the creation of numerous gang stalking websites filled with stupid assertions and extraneous information. Again, the objective is to discredit all self-proclaimed organized stalking victims by making it appear that they are paranoid idiots.
In the “Recommended Websites” page I posted links to legitimate sites about gang stalking as well as many of the main sites which are clearly designed to spread disinformation.
3) Cyber Personas (also called “Sock Puppets”)
A third form of disinformation is the use of cyber personas to monitor and discredit legitimate websites and social media entities which discuss gang stalking.
The U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive defines a cyber persona as follows:
An identity used in cyberspace to obtain information or influence others, while dissociating the actor’s true identity or affiliation.
Anyone who reads the comments posted online whenever the subject of gang stalking is raised, will note that reports of gang stalking almost invariably attract sarcastic – but ultimately unconvincing – statements by forum trolls, registering their skepticism.
One expects that sort of verbal warfare on Internet forums about politics, but you have to wonder why the relatively obscure topic of gang stalking attracts such a dedicated army of detractors. As Hamlet’s mother observed, sometimes people “protest too much.”
As this article posted on LiveLeak notes, a former CIA clandestine service trainee and DIA analyst revealed that the FBI and CIA use trolls to monitor social media and interact with users to discredit information disseminated on the web.
Lynnae Williams reports that she became a gang stalking target when she left the CIA. According to her blogs and Twitter messages, Ms. Williams has been stalked and intensely harassed by the FBI – to the point that she eventually felt compelled to leave the U.S.
This is her original blog: http://ciacorrupt.blogspot.com/
Most mainstream news media corporations dutifully avoid investigating and discussing the U.S. government’s use of cyber personas to spread disinformation.
Fortunately, some news sources are not on the federal government’s leash.
The Guardian newspaper – which published the famous revelations about NSA surveillance leaked by Edward Snowden – reported in July 2013 on the sneaky (and possibly illegal) proposals by a consortium of private intelligence contracting firms, such as Stratfor, to spread lies on the Internet on behalf of their corporate clients, using personas:
“[The intelligence firms were] involved in another scheme to deploy sophisticated software-based fake people across social networks in order to infiltrate and mislead.”
As I write this, hacker-activist Jeremy Hammond is serving a ten year prison sentence for his role in exposing how this shadowy industry of professional liars and spies operates on behalf of large U.S. corporations.
Journalist Barrett Brown is in jail in Texas facing charges which could potentially lead to a life sentence for his role in exposing the information yielded by the hacked emails.
Brown founded a group called Project PM to sort through the numerous emails that had been revealed. Here is a fascinating web page by that group which summarizes the disinformation schemes organized by the intelligence-security contractors.
The proof: secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden
Articles by Glenn Greenwald published by NBC News and The Intercept in February 2014 revealed leaked documents from NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden which show some of the online disinformation tactics being used by the intelligence agency GCHQ (the U.K.’s equivalent of the NSA).
One of the main tactics described in the secret documents is spreading false information online to destroy the reputations of targeted individuals and groups. Another main tactic was to use social science principles to manipulate online discussions and activism.
No one familiar with organized stalking in the U.S. is unware that western intelligence agencies systematically spread lies on the Internet – in discussion forums, for example. Now there is proof.
Among the tactics revealed by the documents is the use of false flag operations (referred to as such in the documents) in which the spy agency posts material online and makes it appear that it was posted by a targeted individual or group. GCHQ also creates fake blog posts which purport to be those of victims of the people and groups being targeted.
Other tactics include leaking confidential information and emailing colleagues, neighbors and friends of the target.
Greenwald poses this question for citizens and policy-makers on this issue:
“Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?”
Another fundamental point made by Greenwald – and this applies equally to organized stalking – is that these tactics are not about national security. These are weapons being used in many cases to destroy people who are suspected of crimes but have never been charged or convicted, and people who are engaged in political activism of which the government disapproves.
4) Faux Articles Planted in the News Media
Finally, the fourth disinformation tactic is to plant articles in the news media which create the impression that gang stalking exists only in the minds of delusional individuals.
The prime example of this – arguably a textbook case of the art of disinformation – is a lengthy New York Times article on gang stalking called “Sharing Their Demons on the Web” (November 13, 2008).
Because of its relevance to material in the “Gang Stalking Documents” section of this website, the following information also appears there. Please forgive the redundancy.
FBI whistle-blower Ted Gunderson (former head of the Los Angeles FBI office) was a key figure in exposing gang stalking, yet he goes unmentioned in the Times piece. That should be a giant red warning flag to any reader armed with that information who isn’t retarded.
Even if the “reporter” had determined that Gunderson’s claims arose from the fact that he simply became delusional for some reason after a long high-profile law enforcement career, you would think that finding would be worth mentioning. Not a word.
That lengthy article also failed to include any interviews with the licensed private investigators who have written on the subject of gang stalking, such as David Lawson and John B. Lopes.
Instead, the only “experts” interviewed for the article were four mental health professionals (psychiatrists and psychologists) who discussed mental illness and delusions. The one other person interviewed was someone who supposedly claimed to be a victim of gang stalking, Derrick Robinson, who is identified as a janitor in Cincinnati, and president of FFCHS – the aforementioned support group for gang stalking victims.
Most readers of the Times article would not be familiar with FFCHS, and would have no way of knowing – or even suspecting – that it’s a disinformation front group – as I detail in the FFCHS section of this website.
Note that the mental health experts quoted were not asked about their knowledge of crimes (such as stalking) – let alone their views on the plausibility of the existence of a modern version of the FBI’s Cointelpro. In fact, remarkably, the article makes no mention of Cointelpro whatsoever.
Also note that the one supposedly self-proclaimed gang stalking victim, Mr. Robinson, is a janitor – and he is the head of the victims support group. The intended takeaway is that the most capable member of the community of self-proclaimed victims of organized stalking – the one with the wherewithal to become head of their national organization – is a janitor.
The reader is left to infer that the rest of the self-proclaimed gang stalking victim community must really be losers if he’s their brightest bulb. It simply would not have served the objective of the “reporter” to discuss gang stalking victims who were professionals, such as the aforementioned FBI special agent, Mr. Gunderson, or the attorney, Mr. Labella.
Just to be sure readers got the message though, a psychiatrist quoted in the article mentioned that “These people lead quietly desperate lives.” (Read “losers.”)
A final point about the article: none of the websites cited are legitimate, credible websites, such as those I have listed in the “Recommended Websites” section of this blog. If the Times readers had been directed to any of the sites which I recommend, they would have encountered discussions of gang stalking very much at odds with what they were reading in the Times. The websites mentioned in the article – such as Gang Stalking World (as distinguished from Gangstalkingworld.wordpress.com) are badly-edited and filled with extraneous garbage. Most likely, they are also examples of deliberate disinformation.
You can read the Times article at the link below if you want to see a textbook case of disinformation planted by the government in the mainstream news media – the sort of thing people like Noam Chomsky get marginalized for warning people about. (Incidentally, for more on the way government apologists in the media tend to dismiss people like Chomsky who deviate from political orthodoxies, see my March 23, 2013 entry in the “Police State Amerika News” section of this website.)
If, despite the historical background of Cointelpro, and despite all the other information provided in this website, you conclude that this article is simply an example of journalistic incompetence at the nation’s “Paper of Record,” then I have a bridge to sell you.
Incidentally, by a remarkable coincidence, an article that was virtually identical to the Times piece was published by ABC News one month later (although it makes no reference to the Times piece that preceded it). By remarkable coincidence, the “reporter” at ABC interviewed the same psychiatrist who was interviewed by the Times, Ken Duckworth. Also by remarkable coincidence, the “reporters” in both cases were third-tier shills no one has heard of – rather than, say, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists.
Also by coincidence, the ABC article – like the Times article – failed to include any reference to the important high-profile credible whistle-blower key witness who supports the claims of gang stalking victims, Ted Gunderson. The ABC News article which involved such an extraordinary number of coincidences also failed to even mention Cointelpro or MK Ultra – or any other actual relevant non-disputed government conspiracies, and focused exclusively on discussions of delusional thinking. If you want to read this ground-breaking, hard-hitting piece of brave investigative journalism by the intrepid Lauren Cox, here is the link.
There is a down-side for gang stalkers to all these efforts at disinformation: they constitute evidence of a conspiracy when viewed in the context of other information – such as I have provided in this website.
A final observation about the two articles cited above:
It’s interesting that those two rare examples of mainstream news media articles about organized stalking both appeared (about the same time) years ago, and then the subject has been off the radar since then.
Since that time, the number of online accounts of gang stalking – such as this website – have only increased, and the number of published articles in the alternative media alleging a re-emergence of Cointelpro (such as those cited in section 4 of this overview) have increased. Yet the New York Times and ABC have not re-visited the issue.
That makes perfect sense as a disinformation strategy. Anyone searching for mainstream news reports on gang stalking will see that – apparently – a couple of major news outlets looked into the phenomenon years ago and found it was all rubbish. Case closed. Further articles – even if they were similarly dismissive – might call attention to the topic in an unhelpful way.
15. The Wall of Silence Which Surrounds Gang Stalking
“The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club.”
– from the 1999 film Fight Club
Sometimes people violate the rule and do mention fight club.
A local TV news broadcast in California in January 2011 featured a report about gang stalking in which the reporters used the term and so did Lieutenant Larry Richard of the Santa Cruz Police Department.
Even in that instance, Lt. Richard (a) did not say that the stalking was perpetrated by the government, and (b) he seemed to walk-back his comment in a subsequent letter about the TV broadcast obtained by a Freedom of Information request.
Even such qualified reports are the exception to the rule. Despite its seriousness, gang stalking is rarely discussed publicly by the mainstream news media – let alone by law enforcement officials. (I have listed the most notable exceptions that I am aware of above in the “Published News Reports” section of this web page.)
The Silence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ)
What mainly accounts for the FBI’s success in keeping its modern counterintelligence operations off of the American public’s radar is the secrecy with which the program is administered and the use of tactics chosen specifically for their lack of incriminating evidence.
Official records from the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee cited previously on this webpage show that many of the same tactics were unquestionably used by the FBI during the first version of Cointelpro. Those operations also remained unknown to the general public until some civilan activists broke into an FBI office and stole the secret documents which proved it.
Based upon reports by gang stalking victims, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have greatly raised the technological sophistication for domestic counterintelligence – just as was alleged by the late Ted Gunderson, the former FBI official, when he discussed gang stalking. In addition, revelations in 2013 by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden proved that the scope of Big Brother’s surveillance is now vast.
“Gang stalking” is also more sophisticated than Cointelpro in the realm of law: a legal architecture has been developed which enables counterintelligence operations to be conducted under a paper charade of legal legitimacy within the Department of Justice, despite violating the U.S. Constitution.
By labeling extra-judicial punishment as “surveillance” and “investigation,” and by referring to stalkers as “informants,” and by citing a “national security” need to keep their operations shrouded in secrecy, the FBI and DOJ can pretty much do whatever they want.
In fact, the Orwellian nature of the legal fictions is even deeper. As explained previously, “investigations” have been replaced in many cases with “assessments” which have lower standards of suspicion. “National Security Letters” based upon “Suspicious Activity Reports” have replaced court-sanctioned subpoenas. As a practical matter, organized stalking can be initiated with no concerns about the Fourth Amendment or the state and federal laws against stalking.
One of the ways silence is maintained – as mentioned previously – is by the FBI’s exemption from the Whistleblower Protection Act. Anyone wishing to expose misconduct at the FBI could face severe legal repercussions.
Nothing comparable to Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s domestic spying has yet occurred with the FBI. Ted Gunderson did not speak out about gang stalking until after he was retired, and he did not reveal any smoking-gun documents to prove his allegations. Also, Gunderson claimed that his discussion of organized stalking resulted in him being targeted himself – which would tend to discourage other potential whistle-blowers.
People familiar with corruption in the U.S. government have deep suspicions about the kinds of crimes being perpetrated by agencies such as the FBI and the CIA. Writing on that subject in January 2014, former State Department Foreign Service Officer Peter Van Buren put it this way:
“…count on one thing: we undoubtedly don’t yet know the worst or most illegal aspects of this era of “intelligence.” After all, while Snowden “liberated” up to 1.7 million National Security Agency documents (many of them not yet looked at, analyzed, or written about), there have been no similar twenty-first-century break-ins at the FBI, the CIA, or other parts of the American intelligence community (or for that matter at the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security). Massive and shocking as the NSA revelations have been, the curtain has only been pulled back on a corner of the new Washington world that we, the people, continue to fund, even if we aren’t considered important enough to know anything about it.” [emphasis added]
The Silence of Intelligence-Security Contractors
Just as law enforcement and intelligence agency personnel involved in counterintelligence activities are bound by secrecy oaths, so is the vast industry of private contractors employed by those agencies. For example, job ads posted by security-intelligence contractors for “surveillance role players” (domestic spies) all require an active security clearance in addition to counterintelligence training.
In most cases, the potential legal risk is not a factor anyway; the type of people who seek work as domestic spies like the idea of being informants for Big Brother and they presumably like the income it generates for them.
The Silence of Witnesses
FBI agents can legally order witnesses to keep their mouths shut regarding anything the feds choose to portray as an investigation.
For example, a National Security Letter (NSL) is an administrative subpoena used by the FBI, and it has a gag order attached which prohibits the recipient from ever saying anything about having been served with the letter. The U.S. government has issued hundreds of thousands of such letters, and they have been upheld in court.
Anyone wondering why landlords, neighbors, co-workers, and others recruited to participate in organized stalking never say anything should consider the possibility that they do not want to end up in prison.
The Silence of U.S. Political Leaders
In your high school civics classes, you probably learned about the three equal branches of the federal government. Presumably, they still teach that. In reality, the U.S. is now dominated by a massively powerful executive branch.
Officially, the White House is at the top of that branch, but the nation’s chief executive must share power as a practical matter with the shadowy U.S. intelligence community and its cronies.
On the one hand, the president can appoint – and fire – the heads of the intelligence agencies; on the other hand, the intelligence agencies can tap the president’s phones and create files on the president’s sex life and shady business dealings which can be used as leverage.
In theory, the U.S. Congress has oversight authority over the intelligence community. Again though, you need to distinguish between what it says in your high school textbook and what takes place in the real world.
During the 1970s Americans learned about the illegal counterintelligence operations (Cointelpro) being perpetrated by the FBI – and the secret experiments, torture, and assassinations being perpetrated by the CIA (MK Ultra and other programs).
As mentioned previously, the official source of information about those scandalous programs was the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee – named after its chairman, Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho). One of the important facts about that chapter in U.S. history is this: by their own admission, the members of Congress had no clue what had been going on before Cointelpro was exposed by civilian activists.
Another important fact for perspective about Congressional oversight is this: the head of the Church Committee himself, Frank Church, was being spied upon by the NSA and never knew about it. Declassified documents released in September 2013 showed that the NSA was monitoring his overseas phone calls and cables.
Although they were familiar with espionage, America’s founders certainly could never have envisioned the vast network of rogue U.S. intelligence agencies and corporate intelligence-security contractors who now spy on Americans using advanced technology.
If the founders could have forseen the development of such a monstrous threat to democracy and privacy, they certainly would never have prescribed the current system of oversight.
The House of Representatives and the Senate each has a Select Committee on Intelligence. Between the two committees, there are essentially just three dozen people who are supposed to provide oversight of the U.S. intelligence community.
Even worse, those three dozen or so people are bound by secrecy oaths which legally prevent them from revealing their knowledge of any unconstitutional and immoral behavior that is being perpetrated by the nation’s intelligence agencies. Committee members can be prosecuted even for revealing information to other members of Congress.
The Silence of the Judicial Branch
Just like the members of the Congressional intelligence committees, judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court are bound by secrecy oaths which prevent them from revealing anything about the scandalous crimes by members of the spying industry.
A good example of how that plays out in America’s Star Chamber occurred in April 2013. In a rare instance of the secret FISA court not simply rubber-stamping whatever the feds wanted to do, the court ruled that the domestic spying activities at issue involved an unacceptable abuse of the Constitution.
However, the Obama administration decided that Americans should not be allowed to know what the Feds were trying to get away with – because publicly disclosing the nature of the unconstitutional B.S. they were engaged in would allegedly jeopardize Americans’ national security.
The last I heard, the fed’s were still trying to keep the whole thing under wraps (whatever it was).
The silence of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)
Picture yourself as an ACLU attorney. You have a job and a family and a safe comfortable life. Do you really want to go to war with some shadowy rogue intelligence agency Stasi bastards who could target you for extra-judicial punishment? Probably not.
It is one thing to be a legal advocate for a position which annoys people in middle America; it is another thing altogether to kick a hornet’s nest by exposing the modern version of Cointelpro.
As an organization, the ACLU is also inclined to err on the side of caution to avoid risking its reputation. They do not wish to be associated with anything that has not already been conclusively proven by smoking-gun official documents published in the mainstream news media.
That is especially true for something like gang stalking, since the tactics render the subject inherently susceptible to being dismissed as a tin-foil hat conspiracy theory.
Keith Forsyth, one of the activists who broke into the FBI office in 1971 and stole the secret documents that exposed the first verion of Cointelpro, said this regarding the need for the break-in:
“When you talked to people outside the movement about what the FBI was doing, nobody wanted to believe it.”
Remember: the ACLU did not expose the first version of Cointelpro, and they have shown no interest in exposing its current version. By all indications, the ACLU’s national office plans to wait until it is safe before they wade in.
Notably, the ACLU has never made any public statements that are dismissive of the numerous claims of organized stalking. Apparently it is simpler for them to just avoid the topic completely. If you write to staff members at the ACLU to inquire about their views on reports of gang stalking, you will find that they do not respond with skepticism; they just don’t respond at all.
As I mention in the “Tactics” page of this website, anyone wishing to gain the attention of the ACLU on the subject of organized stalking should probably meet face-to-face with members of a local ACLU chapter rather than trying to contact the organization’s national office.
The Silence of the American News Media
Organized stalking goes mostly undiscussed in the mainstream news media. I review the notable exceptions in detail elsewhere in this website, but as a rule, major corporate news agencies avoid discussing matters which the intelligence and law enforcement community do not wish to have discussed.
Primarily, the media’s silence on gang stalking can be attributed to cowardice, laziness, and incompetence.
As a general rule, major news agencies ignore conspiracies in the absence of incriminating smoking-gun type official documents. Also, they prefer to have such documents conveniently dropped in their laps by whistle-blowers – as happened with the Pentagon Papers, Cointelpro, and the NSA’s domestic spying.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh – who revealed the My Lai Massacre in the Vietnam War and the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib during the Iraq War – discussed the issue of documents when he was interviewed by the Guardian in September 2013. He said this of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA:
“Editors love documents. Chicken-shit editors who wouldn’t touch stories like that, they love documents, so he changed the whole ball game.”
Intimidation of the press by the federal government adds to the problem.
To discourage reporting on issues it would rather not see publicly discussed, the U.S. government has aimed two weapons of intimidation at the American news media in recent years: surveillance of communication and prosecution of whistle-blowers.
In May 2013 it was revealed that two months of phone records of the Associated Press were secretly obtained by the Department of Justice, seeking the identities of confidential informants. Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein said he believed the seizure of records was intended “to intimidate people who talk to reporters.”
Such efforts by the feds seem to have had their intended effect.
Following the AP phone records incident, journalists reported that trusted sources were becoming noticably more reluctant to provide information. AP President Gary Pruitt said that sources now “fear that they will be monitored by the government.”
A survey published in November 2013 by PEN American Center – an association of American writers dedicated to protecting free expression – found that many published writers in the U.S. reported that they self-censor on subjects such as military affairs, mass incarceration, drug policies, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and criticism of the U.S. government.
The survey found that 40 percent of the writers polled had either curtailed their social media activities or seriously considered doing so. In addition, 33 percent reported deliberately avoiding certain topics – or at least seriously considered avoiding certain topics – in phone or email conversations.
The survey also revealed that 28 percent had refrained – or seriously considered refraining – “from conducting Internet searches or visiting websites on topics that may be considered controversial or suspicious.”
Doing its best to chill criticism of the federal government, the Obama administration prosecuted more whistle-blowers than all former presidents combined. The Committee to Protect Journalists published an article on this disturbing trend in October 2013 by a former editor of the Washington Post. Some excerpts:
“Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press — compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations. Still more criminal investigations into leaks are under way.”
“Exposing “waste, fraud and abuse” is considered to be whistle-blowing. But exposing questionable government policies and actions, even if they could be illegal or unconstitutional, is often considered to be leaking that must be stopped and punished. This greatly reduces the potential for the press to help hold the government accountable to citizens.”
In February 2014, Reporters Without Borders ranked America as the 46th best country for journalist freedoms – in between Romania and Haiti.
The “Someone would have talked” Fallacy
Investigative journalist Russ Baker disputes the common response to allegations of criminal conspiracies by covert operatives in the U.S. government – namely, that such claims are not plausible because “someone would have talked.”
“…whistleblowers are quickly discredited, suppressed, or worse. From time to time people even come out of the national security establishment to testify to such wrongdoing, but they almost always pay a heavy price –which of course discourages others from bearing witness.”
Among the examples cited by Baker is the case of John Kiriakou, a former CIA official and whistle-blower who revealed that the CIA tortured prisoners as part of its official policy. Kiriakou lost his job and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
“Almost nobody talks. And for good reason. Just ask John Kiriakou.”
Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle-blower who famously revealed the Pentagon Papers, makes exactly the same point:
“Since wrong-doing virtually always requires both secrecy and lies, and further secrets and lies to protect the secrets and lies, the wrongful operation-especially in a regime that approaches democracy–is commonly highly vulnerable to a breach of secrecy by any one of the many who share the secret. Yet typically in the national security field (and to a striking degree even in corporate and private associations without a formal apparatus of secrecy) even the “weakest links” do not break. No one tells.”
Failure to Connect the Dots
Another factor which helps explain the relatively low-profile of organized stalking in the news media is a failure to recognize a common thread between various related news reports. The most important of these articles and broadcasts are listed in the “Published News Reports” section of this webpage.
In 2004 the PBS News show NOW featured an episode about signs of a possible re-emergence of Cointelpro “as a result of the relaxation of guidelines first put into place after the Cointelpro scandal investigation.”
Later that year, Newsweek reported that the Pentagon was quietly re-entering the business of domestic spying – “including recruiting citizens as informants.”
In 2007 the Washington Post Magazine featured a cover article about gang stalking which portrayed several of the self-proclaimed victims of the crimes as credible, and claims about the types of electronic weapons allegedly being used as plausible.
Several local news reports have documented police officers engaging in organized stalking for personal vendettas. In 2011 police in Stockton, California stalked the city manager after a break-down in contract negotiations. In 2012 a police officer was stalked by numerous fellow officers – from multiple jurisdictions – after issuing a citation to an off-duty police officer for reckless driving.
Both cases suggested that the police were familiar with gang stalking tactics and were unconcerned about any legal consequences.
To their credit, during 2013 at least two magazines – the Nation and CounterPunch – reported on counterintelligence operations (including psychological operations tactics) by the FBI and by private intelligence-security contractors against critics of corporations and asserted that Cointelpro has re-emerged.
Sources such as Democracy Now! have reported the emergence of a shadowy industry of spies employed by major U.S. corporations to conduct secret – and often illegal – counterintelligence operations. Such reports make clear that there is almost no oversight or legal accountability for these private spooks – most of whom are former or present agents of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Over the past decade numerous individuals have reported being harassed and spied upon by perpetrators whose tactics were largely identical to those used by the FBI and other intelligence agencies such as East Germany’s Stasi. Local newspaper and TV news reports about gang stalking claims have also emerged from across the country in recent years.
Viewed as separate isolated incidents and news reports, such developments are mostly not recognized as examples of a common phenomenon.
The more you delve into the subject of organized stalking, the more you realize that the scope of the crime and its extreme impact upon the victims warrants a very close look by America’s journalists.
16. Shining a Light on the Cockroaches
Gang stalking is conducted in secret because, like its predecessors Cointelpro and MK Ultra, it is illegal and unconstitutional. Stalking – described as such, or as “criminal harassment” or “criminal menace” – is now a crime under the laws of every state in America.
The first state to criminalize stalking was California, in 1990. Within three years, all states had done so. Stalking is illegal because the vast majority of Americans deem it morally reprehensible and an assault on the basic rights and freedoms of the victims.
Gang stalkers know that most people – if they fully understood what gang stalkers were engaged in – would regard them as the human equivalent of cockroaches, so they skulk around and ply their trade in the shadows.
They don’t have to worry about being caught and prosecuted however, because (a) their tactics are inherently difficult to prove legally as discussed above, and (b) their crimes are supported directly and indirectly by people with power and money and government connections.
Even if you assume that some/most/all individuals targeted for gang stalking are in some way “undesirable” and deserving of persecution, you should note that gang stalking is very different from “shaming.” The historical practice of a communities shaming individuals had the imprimatur of the society. If gang stalkers had such a sanction, they wouldn’t have to conduct their activities in secret.
Instead, gang stalking is largely a game played by people who are wealthy and/or well-connected to the police state infrastructure. For their personal vendettas and agendas, they exclusively wield gang stalking as a weapon that is unavailable to most people.
Exposing what is happening is the challenge for victims of gang stalking – or anyone who believes that America should be a constitutional free nation instead of a quasi-police state run by plutocrats and neo-fascist law enforcement and intelligence agents with the help of their various minions, opportunistic parasites, and useful idiots.
The balance of power is completely tipped in favor of the bad guys in the battle between gang stalkers and targeted individuals. Also, cowardice and careerism by politicians and members of the mainstream press make it unlikely that much help will spontaneously emerge from those quarters.
On the other hand, civilian activists successfully exposed the Cointelpro conspiracy, which helped lead to the Senate Church Committee investigations, so there is precedent for eventual victory by the good guys. Mind you, those activists had to break into an FBI office to get the documents which led to that exposure, so a certain amount of courage is required.
A final point: the Internet is a game-changer; it has the potential to expose gang stalking, which will ultimately lead to the program’s demise. As I noted in my essay “Gang Stalking and America’s Police State Government” elsewhere in this website, the digital public square is already filled with information and rhetoric which the government would prefer to censor but cannot, posted by Americans fed-up with the secrecy and abuses of power in the upper echelons of government and corporations.
Please help expose the rot.
If you can expose the criminal participation in gang stalking by private intelligence/security firms, lawless federal agencies, and local “community policing” vigilante groups, please do so. America needs more patriots like Edward Snowden, Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, Daniel Ellsberg, and Frank Serpico.