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Organized Stalking - A Taboo Subject

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average 21st Century citizen prefers not to think about this crime syndrome, stalking groups have been using "civilian psychological warfare" on their targets now for at least two decades.

And talking about this taboo topic brings a very heavy "don't spoil my day" response. People not affected simply refuse to listen to information on stalking by more than one stalker. Kind of like the way folks don't like hearing about cancer.

In the early 1990s, legal jursidictions in both the United States and Canada finally enacted legislation making stalking a crime. But to society's detriment, justice systems everywhere seamlessly ignore every case where a group of stalkers engage in the same behaviour as single stalkers. The reason isn't clear, but it may have to do with the rather substantial amount of investigative labour required when a group takes turns doing "little nasties" against a target. Who is the perpetrator?

That the stalkers are generally not career criminals makes going after stalking group members a substantial project for the justice system. Some of the stalkers have considerable respect in their communities.

Today's stalking groups use very carefully planned harassment methods. Every single act of harassment is carefully designed so that it is in the "life's normal breaks" category. What the target sees are "normal breaks" which usually occur maybe once or twice a month on average, to maybe once a year. But for organized stalking targets, such "normal breaks" happen at least once, and often several times a DAY.

This "life's normal breaks" format of the crime also adds to the difficulty of investigating and prosecuting organized stalking. In turn, the apparent normalcy makes it very easy for police and other officials to brush off complaints of organized stalking as the target being "mistaken", "overreacting," or often, "in need of seeing a good psychiatrist."

"Life's normal breaks" span a huge range of seriousness.

At the low end you have endless noise from co-opted neighbours who observe the target and schedule "normal activity" like running a leaf blower for each time a target may wish to enjoy peaceful activity. Or scattering the target's mail on their porch while the target is away at work. Or frequent, make believe, obviously sarcastic "wrong number" calls.

But at the opposite end of the range, you have surreptitious entry to the target's home, car and workplace, with sabotage of belongings, and torture and even the death of pets. One target came home to find antifreeze in the dog's dish, and the dog permanently blind. Some pets or wild animals are butchered and left on the target's doorstep.

It is common, where a target is married, for the stalkers to carefully harass the target only at times and places when the target is separated from the partner. This eventually drives the target to complain, and the usual reaction is "Don't talk about that any more" or "Go see a psychiatrist right away". The marriage is then often headed for destruction.

Vicious lies are circulated in the community, and these lies do not stop. Such lies as the target is a prostitute, a drug user, a drug dealer, has a long criminal record, or the highly destructive favourite (applied to both men and women,) the target is a pedophile.

Sabotage, lies, and harassment happen at the workplace as well, and it's not unusual for the target to be driven from a job. Once that happens, when the target looks for another job, the target is shadowed, and lies are fed to prospective employers. Some targets have been driven to homelessness, and a few have been driven to suicide.

So just because activity is confined to "life's normal breaks", these "breaks" can be devastating and even become life-and-death issues.

Along with the lies, endless sabotage of individually small, but cumulatively important belongings accompanies the surreptitious entries, which are done using locksmithing techniques, and often, illegally obtained keys. The target effectively owns nothing, because anything he or she owns is subject to being ruined.

Sabotage is carefully spaced out and held to relatively low individual value per incident, as are the thefts that also occur. A great deal of effort is put into planning the sabotage and thefts, and scheduling them so police will not take the complaints seriously.

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Eleanor White is a retired engineer living in Canada.


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