Written by: Erin Boyle
The prevalence of gang stalking is a phenomenon that continues to cause distress, disruption, and fear in the lives of the targeted victims. According to a prevalence study by the US Department of Justice, at least 6.8 percent of the victims reported being stalked by at least three people. However, 12.5 percent of the victims could not identify any one offender who was singularly responsible.
A Few Instances Of Gang-Stalking
Gang-stalking aims to influence the victims and condition them, which sometimes results in irreversible psychological trauma (Kamphuis, Emmelkamp, Bartak, 2003). Stalkers may conduct themselves individually or even as part of a secret society – though for the most part, they operate discretely, and anyone can be a victim.
In the simplest form of gang stalking, stalkers keep watch on the victim 24/7, following them everywhere they go. These informers may communicate using sign language and code to try and remain anonymous and avoid raising attention. Unfortunately, in the end, targets often find themselves completely alone, and no longer in control of their lives. Identification of the stalker may not be of much help either, as the sense of someone watching affects every aspect of the victim’s life.
When it comes to spying and stalking, gangs choose targets for various reasons. Victims may have made the wrong enemy, signed a petition, or were deemed suspicious by a civilian spy. Meanwhile, targeted individuals are often unaware of citizen informants acting on behalf of a controlled system.
Who Gets Targeted?
Anyone could find themselves targeted, although many have been outspoken in the community. Individuals that whistle blow, have become troublesome to wealthy corporations, and anti-war activists, are past examples. One of the common practices is to follow the target when it moves to a new place or changes jobs, and to spread the information to the new community where the systemic monitoring and harassment continue.
Why Do People Participate in Gang Stalking?
Recruitment is multi-faceted since every race, sector, and class has participated, though there are more reports of gang stalking where multiple individuals engage in a shared cause. Some of the reasons include the following.
- The individual obtains a sense of power.
- Socializing, fun; an easy way to make and keep friends. In some cases, it breaks down the barriers of race, gender, and age.
- The state or police have blackmailed informants.
- The person believes they are heroic for spying on emotionally disturbed individuals.
Although gang stalking is unethical, governments, organizations, and average persons continue to employ this form of harassment and systemic control to achieve desired outcomes. So far, conservative estimates reveal an 8 percent rate of women and that 2 percent of men will experience stalking during their lives. Meanwhile, methodology, population/sub-population, and definition are factors affecting the measurement of prevalence (Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2020) – and more research is needed.