CLOSING THE GAP
CLOSING THE GAP
Targeted Individuals have spent several years trying to understand the mechanisms that would allow the type of targeting that is happening to them to exist. Many have tried to understand how a system could exist that could monitor and track them 24/7. That could follow them from community to community. A structure that could label them, even from country to country.
Most targets see themselves as innocent individuals. People that have done no wrong, yet many started to experience psychological torture, electronic harassment, and systemic wide targeting almost as if overnight in some cases, and in other cases it slowly built up over years.
Targets looked at structures such as Cointelpro, The Stasi, Stalking Groups, Vigilantes, the types of structures that had occurred in the past that had lead to a similar types of harassment. Many were close and very similar to what targets experienced, in their scope, and potential for systemic life disruptions and destruction, but none were ever quite perfect.
Then last year the case of a woman in England named Jane Clift was brought to light as she made headlines in the U.K., and beyond. Ms.
Clift tried to perform what was her citizens duty in reporting a man that had become angry and violent with her. In reporting this man, she herself was embroiled in a verbal altercation with the community worker that she tried to report his anti-social behaviours to. Ms. Clift followed up their heated discussion with a letter, and for this simple act, Ms. Clift was placed on a list with sex perverts, and other criminals.
She was placed on what the U.K. calls the violent persons registry. It's a listing for individuals who have displayed violent or other inappropriate behaviour. Ms. Clift found that being under the spotlight of this flagging system was too much and she was forced to move from the area that she had lived in for over 10 years.
Ms. Clift unlike many targets had been given notification that she was to be placed on such a list. The nature of her perceived offence, and the length of time she would be on such a list. She described her experience, which in some pivotal ways matched some of what Targeted Individuals had mentioned in their harassment.
She sensed that, everywhere she went, there was “whispering, collaboration, people scurrying about”. “Everywhere I went – hospitals, GPs, libraries – anywhere at all, even if I phoned the fire service, as soon as my name went on to that system, it flagged up ‘violent person marker, only to be seen in twos, medium risk’.” 2
Ms Clift's targeting if not identical was at least fraternal to what targets had described. People collaborating. Whispers, scurrying, life disruption that had caused her to move. In Ms. Clift’s case the warning markers, and flags had been sent out to quite a few agencies, and thus everywhere she want this warning marker followed her. Even when she went to the contraceptive clinic, a warning marker listing her as medium risk for violence only to be seen in pairs would pop up.
The question then became was such a system, or similar system available in other countries? Which laws were being used and who was responsible for keeping or organizing such information?
Further research showed that under occupational health and safety laws, there was such a structure in place, that would allow an individual to receive a warning marker, or flag on their files for various perceived offences. The structure matched and covered all the various markers that targets had complained about. The structure also allowed for
those around the accused to be fully aware of what was ongoing, while it allowed the accused to be unaware, unable to defend themselves. This structure upon further and deeper examination fit extremely well with what was ongoing.
Under the Occupational health and safety, or community health and safety laws, which have been established in many countries, individuals can be flagged and a notification about them can be sent out to the community at large, all without the targets awareness. These laws give workers the right to be made aware if they are about to encounter potentially violent situations or individuals. These laws however do not give the target any foreknowledge of the violence, and harassment they will soon receive from the community, once placed on such a notification system.
Workers have the ’ right to know ‘ all risks and safe work procedures associated with the job. This may involve identifying individuals with a history of unpredictable or violent behaviour.
Training workers to recognize escalating behaviour that has the potential to result in violence is a common way to minimize risk. Five warning signs of escalating behaviour and possible responses are listed in Appendix C.
In the service sector this may require identifying to employees persons who have a history of aggressive or inappropriate behaviour in the store, bar, mall or taxi.
The identity of the person and the nature of the risk must be given to staff likely to come into contact with that person. While workers have the right to know the risks, it is
important to remember that this information cannot be indiscriminately distributed. 1
Workers do have a right to know if they are going to encounter violent situations or individuals. On the surface this sounds like a good thing, and if used properly should be a good thing, yet the innocent were and are being targeted by this system. How were innocent individuals, whistle-blowers, and others ending up on such lists without any kind of warning or notification? Even convicted prisoners get warnings if they are going to be placed on a notification system, thus legally it would be presumed that other individuals would have the same rights and protections if their lives were going to be disrupted in a similar manner. This does not seem to be the case.
Under several laws designed to protect the worker and community, including some occupational health and safety laws, incidents must be reported by the worker. They can range anywhere from threatening looks, yelling, to actual physical aggression and everything in between. They can also include other inappropriate behaviours. Eg. Acts of sexual aggression, harassment, intimidation, inappropriate lewdness, etc.
Once a worker files a report, if the workplace has an Employee Assistance Program then this matter might be discussed with that department. If the behaviour is deemed to be a real concern, then it might be forwarded to a Threat Assessment Team. This team is where designation, warning markers, and notifications can be determined and applied to an individuals file, depending on the structure of the organisation. Not every workplace will have a threat assessment team, or an employee assistance program. Sometimes this will be handled by Human Resources or the local council and they will put together a file to be evaluated. At the community level the reports are filtered and filed by workers, or those in authority.
Employee Assistance Program and Threat Assessment Team
This is a pre-emptive team with a mission of early identification of intervention. The composition of the TAT shall be the following individuals or their designated representatives: 17
Early interventions can be misconstrued and lead to damaging consequences. There are many assumptions that go into pre-crime policing, that can have damaging consequences for the target involved.
Oregon State Police Sgt. Jeff Proulx explained to South Oregon's Mail Tribune why the operation was such a success: "Instead of being reactive, we took a proactive approach."
There's just one problem: David Pyles hadn't committed any crime, nor was he suspected of having committed one. The police never obtained a warrant for either search or arrest.
They never consulted with a judge or mental health professional before sending out the military-style tactical teams to take Pyle in.
"They woke me up with a phone call at about 5:50 in the morning," Pyles told me in a phone interview Friday. "I looked out the window and saw the SWAT team pointing their guns at my house. The officer on the phone told me to turn myself in. I told them I would, on three conditions: I would not be handcuffed. I would not be taken off my property. And I would not be forced to get a mental health evaluation. He agreed. The second I stepped outside, they jumped me. Then they handcuffed me, took me off my property, and took me to get a mental health evaluation." 18
This team consists of members from Human Resources and other organizations. In the case of one Florida University the organization consists of many different individuals from various areas that work together to make the determination of whether they think an individual could be a cause for violence.
A Workplace Violence Management Team (WVMT) shall periodically review the workplace violence policy and recommend changes as needed. The WVMT shall consist of the following persons or their designated representative:
1. Chief, University Police Department 2. Director, EAP 3. Director, Personnel Services 4. General Counsel F. Crisis Management Unit - The University maintains a Crisis Management Unit (CMU) through a collaborative effort between the Psychology Department and the Campus Police Department. In the event of a situation which may require immediate police or psychological intervention, the Police department should be notified. The Chief of Police (or designated representative) will determine if the situation requires the attention of the police, the CMU or the TAT. 17
In addition to exhibiting violent or other inappropriate behaviours, there are other factors that could ensure that an individual has a warning marker, or flag placed on their file. Again this will differ with each organization, but the concept is the same. This structure or one similar is used in some cases to determine if individuals will end up on this system wide notification.
V. "Fitness for Duty" Issues
In addition to the definitions of violent, potentially violent, and abusive behaviors as discussed in Section IV, these Guidelines shall also be concerned with behaviors, physical and verbal, that may not appear to be violent, potentially violent, or abusive prima facie. Such behaviors that do not fall within the purview of the definitions in Appendix A, yet may be viewed as precursors to violent behavior and/or have the tendency to interfere with a harmonious work environment or with an individuals work performance, shall be deemed as "fitness for duty" issues. Examples of "fitness for duty" behaviors may include, but are not limited to:
A. Expression of bizarre and inappropriate thoughts. B. Excessive absenteeism without prior approval or rationale. C. Degenerating physical appearance. D. Acts of insubordination. E. Poor work performance. F. Poor workplace relationships with others. G. Indications of alcohol/substance abuse. H. Excessive complaining.
The additional criteria that can get a person flagged, are interestingly enough many of the same symptoms that harassment, bullying and mobbing targets experience, or have expressed experiencing at the height of their targeting. Remember that harassment can happen in the workplace, in the community, or on campus. Many victims of sexual harassment have expressed inappropriate thoughts of what they would like to see happen to those harassing them. Many targets of sexual harassment and other harassments do not always keep up their physical appearance, while being harassed. They might disobey supervisors if asked to work with their assailant. Targets of mobbing, bullying, and harassment do often start to exhibit poor performance, workplace reviews and assessments. Some do turn to alcohol and substance abuse to deal with the harassment. Almost all targets of these harassment do make complaints to human resources on a regular basis in order to have the harassment stopped. Yet these are coincidentally the criteria listed for determining if someone is fit for duty.
VI. Reporting Procedures
All University employees and registered students, regardless of position, are responsible for the immediate reporting of any acts of violence, potential acts of violence, or threats they have received or witnessed, or have been told that another employee has witnessed or received. Employees and students should also report unusual, harassing, or threatening behaviors, as defined in Appendix A, even though such behaviors may not be in the form of an imminent threat, particularly if these behaviors make one fearful for his or her continued safety. Employees must make such reports regardless of the relationship of the employee to the person who initiated the threat or behavior or committed the act of violence. 17.
Today's workplace does not leave very much room for discretion. It is now routine for individuals to report acts of aggression, or other inappropriate behaviours. These can often have devastating affects on innocent individuals.
A medical technician killed himself after being suspended from work after someone complained that he made a politically-incorrect joke about a black friend.
Roy Amor, 61, who was devastated at the prospect of losing his job making prosthetics, shot himself in the head outside his house.He was facing a disciplinary investigation after suggesting to the black colleague that he ‘better hide’ when they noticed immigration officers outside their clinic.
It is understood that the man was a close friend of Mr Amor and was not offended. However, it was overheard by someone else who lodged a formal complaint. 19
The above case shows how a seemingly innocent joke between two friends, can be overheard, taken as offensive by a third party, and lead to dire consequences. He made the remark to an individual who was a long term friend, but this remark lead to a disciplinary investigation. An investigation which might even have seen him fired from his job. Unable to face the consequences he committed suicide.
Due to the secrecy used in this program a target of harassment might well display anger, or other legitimate outbursts. Once this happens all the aggressors who are familiar with this system have to do is report the incidents. Explain how the target makes them feel threatened, uncomfortable, or express concerns about workplace violence. When in fact the target is the one being constantly provoked. Get a few friends involved and before you know it, the target is the problem. The target is the person who is aggressive, and the target is the one being disciplined or having a warning marker placed on their file. Targets are often being baited by complete strangers once they find themselves on these notification lists.
In future many more innocent people might just find themselves with such warning markers added to their files, as the DSM make the definition for mental illness that much wider and broader in scope.
Proposed updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) are prompting many to question whether or not the psychiatric profession itself has gone crazy. The latest additions to the alleged “mentally ill” could include hoarders, people who get angry every now and again, lazy people, and even those who get outraged over things like sex and violence on television.
“For this latest revision they’ve set up a special task force to decide if behaviors like bitterness, extreme shopping or overuse of the internet should be included,” explained Professor Christopher Lane. 20
Many Internet users who spend time on games such as World of Warcraft might meet this definition. People who spend too much time on chat forums. Lazy individuals, people who get angry, or who get upset about too much violence on television, people who like to shop too much, or hoard things, might all make the list in future. The criteria for these definitions are not only unscientific, they could easily incorporate most any individual in today's modern society. If these definitions are successfully updated, there could be many more targets making the list in future.
Once a target is flagged, or a warning marker is placed on their files, depending on what the threat assessment team or persons making the determinations decide, a community notification is sent out to the individuals around the target. Anyone that might come in contact with the target is contacted. Others who are part of these notification programs are also contacted when the target is nearby.
If a target makes a call, or their name is pulled up on a system, the targets warning marker will follow them. The community then naturally goes into hypervigilance mode, and they do anything they can to remove that individual from within the community. Most individuals treat these notifications the same way they would treat notifications about any other threat, be it pedophiles, rapists, the same hysteria is often present.
Since the innocent target has no idea of what is happening behind their back, this system is being used in inappropriate ways. Based on the research that has been conducted,it seems this notification systems is being used to silence whistle-blowers, women seem to be targeted above average, and minorities. As Jane Clift points out, this system goes beyond race, gender. There are lot's of men and non minority individuals who have also found themselves targeted by this system. This program is not only systemic, but these notifications are being used indiscriminately, with very little oversight, and they are being used beyond borders.
Since most civil workers are aware of this notification system, it means that targets reporting incidents of being followed around by various strangers should not have been unfamiliar to the police, and other agencies that targets reported their harassment to. In most cities this notification is well known, and used by many workers and employers. Yet Targeted Individuals have had to have mental health evaluations for making complaints about this structure, and the harassment thatcomes with it.
Not only will this program used the civil servant already mentioned, but it will expand who is used in the program. They will have secret sources of communication available to them. The members of these programs will connect with the fusion centres. None disclosure agreement or a confidential disclosure agreements will be signed by many in these programs to ensure that the information is protected. 21
Once the notification goes out, the target literally feels as if they have become enemy of the state, because the community is getting a notification with information that may or may not be fully accurate. Remember a lot of the reporting that happens, happens by individuals who could have ulterior motives, such as revenge. For someone familiar with this structure, it's the perfect way to systemically destroy someone's life and keep them out of the loop for years, if not forever.
The portion of the harassment that targets refer to as Gang Stalking is a deliberate psychological operation that happens within this structure. Involving community harassment, community mobbing, gaslighting, street theatre, electronic harassment and dozens of other techniques that all work together to help systemically destroy the target over time. It also paints those complaining as mentally ill. This structure is capable of destroying the targets reputation, and credibility. As the target seeks to get help for the community harassment that will inevitably occur under such a notification, their cries and pleas for assistance are ignored. Their stories of harassment, stalking, mobbing, electronic harassment, are all conveniently written of as signs of mental illness,while the Targeted Individuals life continues to be systemically interfered with, and continues to fall apart.
Most participants of this notification structure seem to be under some kind of confidentiality or none disclosure agreement. There is also a structure in place that seems capable of punishing anyone who is part of this structure that steps out of line, thus most people do not discuss this program, even as those close to them are being destroyed.
These laws designed to protect the community, such as the occupational safety and health laws are in most communities, workplaces, and educational facilities. They are in most democratic countries, such as Canada, U.S., U.K. and the most of Europe. At this stage many other countries seem to be adapting this structure, and from the feedback targets have provided it seems that this structure is already in many countries.
What this means is that wittingly or unwittingly. There is a systemic, surveillance structure that is fully capable of monitoring and targeting an individual who has been flagged in this manner. This structure is not limited to states, or provinces, and can go beyond borders. The targets information might also be indiscriminately distributed to a wide range of individuals. Individuals that the target might never come in contact with face to face, yet who the target might have an acquaintance, or business relationship with. It's basically a net that is capable of touching everyone connected to the target, and poisoning them with the information contained in the targets file, wither accurate or not.
Because most targets have no idea what is happening, or how such a structure could exist, they are floored as they try consistently to get help within the normal structures, while being written off as having a mental illness.
I believe that this notification system will continue, because it works for many. Many like feeling as if they are part of a secret club. Unless it happens to them, most will never truly understand how devastating such a structure can be to an innocent person. I can only suggest that those with the know how, financial ability, and dedication, work towards implementing laws to get this structure corrected.
This structure should be required to give written notification to targets. If an investigation is ongoing, then the time frame for the investigation should be limited. Targets complain of years, upon years of targeting. If the targets guilt has been established in some capacity, then invite
them to a hearing. If not then it should be mandatory to remove these notification after a specific time frame. Most lawyers, mental health workers, police, are all fully in the know about this notification system, thus targets and their complaints of harassment should be taken seriously. Instead this notification system is being used to destroy innocent lives, or harass them for years on end with dire consequences to themselves, and the communities at large.
This notification system in scope and breadth is no less damaging then the Stasi's system of harassment, or the American Cointelpro program. The difference now is that the state has masked these offences under the guise of doing what is right for the community. Leaving innocent targets at the mercy of the mob, and individuals who use this system to openly target, harass, oppress and control those who have been targeted.
The Dark Side
Many times on the news you hear a report about a shooting, killing or violent incident and the person at the heart of the incident is passed off as mentally ill, and the society reacts by creating additional laws to protect themselves from the mentally ill.
What many in society still do not understand or realize is that there is a dark side to many of those shootings and violent incidents, there is a dark side that society would rather not have you know about. A dark side that happens masked just below the public’s eye and awareness, but that is often very real and traumatizing for the Targeted Individual.
In many of these cases if you look deeper into these incidents you will often discover that there was more to the story. Before the target had a history of “mental illness”, the target often had complaints of mobbing, bullying, or harassment of some kind. Often times the Target might not even have a term to go with the form of harassment that is happening to them. They often describe individuals around them, or even complete strangers as being mean, taunting, doing little incidents to provoke them. Many of these targets have complained for years about the targeting, but with each successive complaint their actions are often passed off as mental illness. Their very real concerns that some type of organized or systemic harassment, is happening around them often goes unheeded, unheard, and the target might even be forcefully committed by concerned family. The reality is that the target has often been exposed continually overtime to a psychological operation of harassment and provocations, that would be capable of breaking down most sane individuals.
Recently society has become more familiar with terms such as mobbing and bullying.
This form of harassment has often been referred to the cousin of Gang Stalking. On a psychological and emotional level, the targeting experienced by the Targeted Individual is very similar if not almost identical to what the mobbing target experiences.
Mobbing in the context of human beings either means bullying of an individual by a group in any context, or specifically any workplace bullying.
Though the English word mob denotes a crowd, often in a destructive or hostile mood, German, Polish, Italian and several other European languages have adopted mobbing as a loanword to describe all forms of bullying including that by single persons. The resultant German verb mobben can also be used for physical attacks, calumny against teachers on the internet and intimidation by superiors, with an emphasis on the victims’ continuous fear rather than the perpetrators’ will to exclude them. The word may thus be a false friend in translation back into English, where mobbing in its primary sense denotes a disorderly gathering by a crowd and in workplace psychology narrowly refers to “ganging up” by others to harass and intimidate an individual.
Research into the phenomenon was pioneered in the 1980s by German-born Swedish scientist Heinz Leymann, who borrowed the term from animal behaviour due to it describing perfectly how a group can attack an individual based only on the negative covert communications from the group”.
Mobbing is also found in school systems and this too was discovered by Dr. Heinz Leymann. Although he preferred the term bullying in the context of school children, some have come to regard mobbing as a form of group bullying. As professor and practising psychologist, Dr. Leymann also noted one of the side-effects of Mobbing is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is frequently misdiagnosed. After making this discovery he successfully treated thousands of mobbing victims at his clinic in Sweden.
In the book MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, the authors say that mobbing is typically found in work environments that have poorly organized production and/or working methods and incapable or inattentive management and that mobbing victims are usually “exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication”.
UK Anti-bully pioneers Andrea Adams and Tim Field used the expression workplace bullying instead of what Leymann called “mobbing” although workplace bullying nearly always involves mobbing in its other meaning of group bullying. 22
In the following article some stories of workplace mobbing are shared.
In the article workplace violence, it looks at some of the reasons behind the mobbing phenomenon and why the violence continues.
Why it happens. Why it will continue.
“The tiny percentage of mobbing victims – like Pierre Lebrun
– who lash back in violent attack would probably have lived out their lives peaceably and productively had they been spared the excruciating pain of relentless humiliation.”
~ Prof. Kenneth Westhues,
At the Mercy of the Mob: A summary of research on workplace mobbing
We’ve all seen the news reports. A lone gunman returns to his workplace or former workplace to exact revenge for harassment that has gone on sometimes for years. We learn that the gunman has lashed back in the past at those he considered to be abusing him, albeit in non-lethal ways. We are told the gunman has been disciplined in the past for his behavior (reacting to the abuse) and has been ordered to go to counselling or anger management courses. Even though the precipitating abuse may have gone on for years any response in kind gives the bullies and management the opportunity to turn the tables and claim that the victim of abuse is the real problem after all.
Of couse what we don’t hear is that the bullies provoking this reaction are almost never disciplined or required to attend counselling themselves. At this point targets of mobbing are often further humiliated by being forced to sign so-called ‘last chance agreements’ which threaten the target with termination if they dare to challenge the bullies again. So once the target of harassment returns to work after “counselling” they are greeted by cynical bullies who simply renew their attack with added vigor now that they know management will do nothing to stop them and will even join in the persecution. This tacit approval and participation by management guarantees the situation will only get worse.
News reporters interview the gunman’s co-workers, union respresentatives and managers. Those not directly implicated in the harassement of the gunman usually describe him in positive terms. For example in the OC Transpo shooting in Ottawa a co-worker of Pierre Lebrun, Ozzie Morin, commented that Pierre was “a pretty peaceful lad”, “I didn’t think he was ill. I can’t really say anything today that would say he was whacko, you know.” Another co-worker, Grant Harrison remembered Lebrun as “very clever, very nice”.
While those closer to the abuse, union reps for example, intent on distancing themselves from blame, respond “We’re going to look for causes but really, I don’t think we’re really going to find a cause,” said union head Paul Macdonnell. “This individual was just sick.” 23 The sad reality is that when these shootings happen in society, the reaction of society is often still to pass the target off as just a sick crazed individual. Not much has changed.
The societies reaction is too often to pass the individual off as problematic, sick, disturbed, mentally ill, a violent individual. The real causes behind their violent and extreme outbursts often remain hidden. It’s easier to think that we have a few individuals in society that are sick and disturbed vs the fact that we have a society that is doing sick and disturbing things to these individuals and their lives, which in turn leads to these violent outbursts and incidents.
Once educated it is easy to tell what is really happening, who the real victim is. Once it is named and brought out into the light for all to see bullies can no longer operate in the grey area. Only once everyone sees mobbing for what it is, brutal systematic psychological torture, will it become unacceptable. Only when co-workers, supervisors, department heads, HR managers, EAP providers, corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, judges and politicians understand what is being done and comprehend the staggering toll it takes on individuals, companies and society as a whole will laws proscribing mobbing become effective.
In the meantime, the body count will continue to rise.
~ Anton Hout 23
The body count has indeed continued to rise, but where workplace mobbing and school bullying have become more widely recognized, the issue of community mobbing and Gang Stalking are often less well known, and when violent incidents happen, society does not often readily link these incidents of violence to something more dark and insidious that might be just be happening in the community.
The mobbing community over the years has done a fantastic job of documenting the link between workplace mobbing and violent shootings. They were able to establish that in the case of many workplace shootings if you looked a little deeper there was workplace mobbing ongoing. Workplace mobbing that had gone on for years. The Target of the mobbing had often been singled out as the problem and their cries for help often lead to measures which left them unable to complain any further, take any extra internal actions, and left them at the mercy of the mob.