Because a setting on my phone had suddenly changed.
It has been switched off again.
(But this time it has not been deleted.)
Hmm. What’s with that?
My phone – on which I now do a factory reset every 1 to 7 days and which I mainly only still use for internet access on my computer – keeps switching wifi on (and hotspot off, but that may be a different story).
(That seems to refer to urban slang. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wifi%20wifey) (Often, when I can’t figure out what on earth something that I am bombarded with means, it later turns out to be related to urban slang.)
And that connects to the weird “married/marriage” windows that opened up on my screen some time ago, I suppose.
My new computer – different architecture, different OS – essentially behaves the same way as my old computer did since it was directly accessed on 19 July 2020 when I was out to collect something via Freecycle (old newspapers) which took a 3-hour walk.
The computer freezes all the time, various websites and services are not accessible and some of those are reporting strange error messages and so on. As with the old computer, I now keep having to flip the power switch on the wall. Because it freezes and throwing power off it is the only way to get out of the freeze. But the BIOS has stopped producing its beeps when I log in so that the reboots are less noticeable in adjacent flats. Could that be due to a software update? Sure..
On my old computer, he briefly threatened to delete another directory yesterday. Taunting. It concerns something that I am working on right now. The other directory is still missing. The one that he deleted in, when was it, September, is still missing, that is, two new directories, both empty, took its place back then. The point of that? No idea.
I also appear to have received at least one spoofed e-mail today.t
I just came home from the Lidl, seriously soaked in a heavy downpour with very strong winds. I am feeling so c-c-cold.
Did some thinking along the way.
What a day.Continue reading
How does something like sadistic stalking come about?
Why does someone decide to target a stranger and wreck that person’s life? A lot of it seems to be a loud scream to be heard. To get noticed.
But how do you deflect that kind of behaviour into something neutral or constructive?
Sadistic stalking is horribly destructive. That destruction seems to be its sole purpose. Where does that urge to destroy a stranger’s life come from?
One of the things I want to do is help starting and existing business owners avoid becoming stalked.
(It makes sense, really. As negative as it sounds, anything else I undertake only causes me to be a risk to anyone I work with. A liability. My hacking and stalking experience becomes an asset, however, if I use it to help others within this context..)
As a business owner in this day and age – or anyone whose career takes place online for that matter – you have to be online.
It means that anyone can find you and anything you do or say may set someone off. It could be as simple as someone not liking your business name that draws his attention and make him decide to take a closer look.
Very few occupations may still allow you to operate without having any online presence at all and without using e-mail, text and chat.
How did I become targeted? I still don’t really know, but I have recently begun to realize that there is a possibility that the people stalking me already started to take an interest in me when I joined an online forum related to a hobby. I was anonymous but I joked a heck of a lot on that forum and it may have been in a manner that my stalkers did not like. They were on that forum. Then I asked for a reference on that forum when I was looking for someone who could do some repair and maintenance work. That set it all in motion.
Nobody ever sees it coming. Serious, highly destructive talking.
I certainly never expected to find myself stalked this way.
Stalking is on the increase. As a business owner, there are things you can do to protect yourself and limit your exposure to stalkers. I can help you with that.
(Think police will help you if you ever were to get stalked? Think again. In England and Wales, even the police forces themselve are now admitting that they fail stalking victims as a rule, not merely incidentally.)
By the way, stalking is usually directed at women, but does not have to be.
Sigh. And the only thing that gets victims help is if they are attacked and seriously injured or killed.
And that is just not good enough. Not good enough at all.
This evening, I realized that there is absolutely nothing else I still want to do and can do other than fight stalkers. Help other women fight stalkers and help other women stop becoming victims of stalkers.
This evening, the piece of shit deleted another directory on one of my computers, just to taunt me. Message? To me?
“You are nothing. You are entirely in our power. Nobody is listening to you. Nobody is going to step up for you. Nobody is going to help you get your life back. Nobody is going to stop us. We will destroy you. Because we can.”
I’ve only heard the beginning so far, but it sounds good and so do
some of the comments. Will catch up with the rest later.
I don’t know when exactly I last used this number but I do know it was certainly before 2018, so I wonder who entered that false information there… and why.
For the record, the above video is an old one. The stalking numbers are much higher now. Digital technologies – another area most police officers only have a basic knowledge of that is decades behind – have changed the landscape considerably.
This site is currently very messy. I am aware of it. Continue reading
Once you have one, it is incredibly difficult to stop him. This means that you may have no choice but to incorporate him into your life somehow. Acknowledging that the person exists could be a major first step in dealing with a stalker.
Let’s face it, stalking behaviours essentially are a loud cry from people who want to be heard and whose needs are not addressed in society.
But how do you protect your boundaries? How do you keep your life liveable? How do you stay well and healthy?
Stalkers do not understand or deliberately cross other people’s boundaries. Each stalking case is different. Stalkers are unique people and want to have that uniqueness acknowledged and honoured.
Stalking. Maybe not as romantic and flattering as you thought.
This is too often the reality for stalking victims. Someone breaks into their home, rips the couch apart with a knife, takes a photo album and attacks all the photos that have the victim in it and the police do nothing, take no finger prints.
I’ve had stuff like this – lockpicking and crap carried out in my flat – happen for the past eight years or so. There is nothing you can do to stop it other than, as she puts it, “take yourself out of the equation”.
And people laugh about it…
Do you know?
I am aware of two cases in England in which employees were set on fire at work and Landrover / Jaguar has just experienced a landmark case of constructive dismissal to do with workplace bullying.
In the UK, the incidence of workplace bullying is around 30% (2015, Trades Union Congress), with 71% of disabled women reporting some form of abuse and 91% of workers stating that bullying in the workplace wasn’t being dealt with appropriately.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (HR professionals) found a percentage of 15 for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 yet added that more than half did not report bullying.
- Most bullying at work in the UK appears to take place in London and the southeast.
- Most bullying is carried out by someone higher in the hierarchy.
In a study by Kew Law (employment law), 71% of the employees at 131 companies in the UK stated that they had either been bullied or witnessed bullying.
Workplace bullying is very costly. Are you sticking your head in the sand over it, conveniently closing your eyes? Well then, with most staff still working from home, NOW may be the perfect time to wake up and address it. Workplace bullying. Don’t pretend it isn’t happening.
Landrover / Jaguar:
Constructive dismissal. Thank you, Judge Hughes.
All people who suffer from workplace bullying, certainly if it concerns the extreme kind of workplace bullying that George Cheese and Harry Hayward suffered from, should document what is happening, then leave and sue their employers.
Mr Hayward was set on fire at his place of work. Although it was an accident, it was an accident waiting to happen.
Mr Cheese was locked into a trunk (boot), punched, verbally abused and deliberately set on fire. The abuse of Mr Cheese continued after his death. His colleagues / manager(s) continued to scapegoat him when they said that what had been done to Mr Cheese was not bullying but horseplay and the coroner who ruled in George Cheese’s case was a coward.
I wrote about both cases in my latest book.
Horseplay is like sex. It requires consenting partners.
Without consent, it is rape or bullying. Period.
Setting someone on fire is not horseplay. It’s sadism. Cruelty.
https://www.nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk/ (=employment law specialists and tips)
Information for employers:
I had signed up for an online network event by DowSocial, via LinkedIn, organised from London.
It does look genuine – and I had to register for it via Eventbrite – but my hacker appears to have kept the joining information from me just like he stops lots of my own e-mails from reaching people and lots of other e-mails from reaching me (partly thanks to a break-in on 19 July 2020, he now also has full control over my new computer).
Just in case I am wrong about this, I have also reported it to LinkedIn as a fake event, but it fits the pattern of a lot of what has been going on the entire year. I also got invitations to a women’s network, other networking events and so on. The ones that sound meaningful are spoofs or prevented and the ones that are useless for me are genuine or accessible.
The day before yesterday, I had both 3 views and 36 views on a video that I had posted. That changed to 38. Then it dropped to 10 (now 12 or so) after I wrote about this in the video’s description. (I think that this has to do with whether I am actually accessing the internet when I look at the screen or not getting beyond my hacker’s computer network.)
My book titled “Is cruelty cool?” will become available on 31 August.
This book is for people who believe that cruelty gives you edge. But it is not only for them.
This book is also for all the otherized people in England. The 3million and all the other non-UK citizens, the disabled, the women, the feebleminded, uppity females like me who don’t know their place, the poor, the elderly, many of the educated and of course everyone whose skin is not lily-white (including Priti Patel even though she keeps repeating that she wants to reduce the number of people like me, the low-skilled cheap labour that supposedly forces the UK government to keep wages low and the English poor).
It’s for black people and native-American people in the US and it is for people who are workplace bullies or who used to be workplace bullies and for people who are the target of workplace bullying and community bullying or who have a friend or colleague who is being bullied in the community or at work as well as for some employers. It might be good if a few more English politicians other than Priti Patel would read this too but most of them are likely too busy feeding voters crap. The kind of crap that encourages cruelty…
It is like being a witness to a bank robbery and people around you concluding that you must be either a bank robber or a dishonest clerk.
This morning, Laura Richard’s newsletter dropped into my e-mail box. Laura founded Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service.
The current approach, namely that stalking is a regular police matter, does not work. In my opinion, assessing and investigating stalking should become the domain of specialized task forces containing specialized psychologists, psychiatrists and IT specialists. They’d be much more efficient and effective.
- Police now waste a lot of time and resources on “stupid shit” that is not actually stalking. It leads to police fatigue, the assumption that any new reported incidence of stalking is bound to be more time-wasting “stupid shit”. (Many police officers prefer to investigate issues like money-laundering.)
- Police do not have the required psychology and psychiatry knowledge. It is fair to say that the stalking knowledge of the average police officer is similar to that of the average homeless meth addict. Police officers are not able to distinguish between cases that are merely “stupid shit” and cases that contain a serious threat to someone’s safety.
- Currently, going to the police is often the worst thing to do when you are being stalked in a worrisome manner. It enrages the stalker but also confirms that he is in control and untouchable.
- Police do not have the required IT knowledge. It is a persistent myth that stalkers always only use their own public name in digital stalking and never use advanced IT knowledge. And, unfortunately, police take any kind of printed digital matter at face value. (I could easily fake printed evidence that anyone – even, say, Barack Obama or Donald Trump – sent me an e-mail stating that he is going to kill me. If I use the name of any random local individual and print that faked e-mail to me, police are likely to accept it as evidence. Police prefer printed matters as they can be scanned into the computer system whereas any kind of other evidence “would likely get lost”.)
Police clearly failed Shana Grice who was fined for wasting police time when she reported stalking, then was killed by her stalker.
Police may actually have precipitated the murder of Molly McLaren but, in any case, could and should have foreseen the attack on her, hence should have acted to prevent it, in theory. The murder of Bijan Ebrahimi could have been prevented too.
This is not the fault of the police. It is the result of police being unequipped to deal with stalking cases.
Shana Grice’s, Bijan Ebrahimi’s and Molly McLaren’s are examples of sad cases that make it into the limelight. Most don’t, yet happen anyway.
On the other hand, cases of stalking can also involve people with, for example, certain intellectual deficiencies whose behaviour puzzles other people so much that they don’t know how to deal with it and feel stalked. Police do not know how to deal with that either. Criminalizing such people (with learning difficulties or intellectual disabilities) serves no purpose whatsoever, and only does harm. It is a matter of educating the public. (I once spotted a poster about this at my local police station, from a foundation or charity.)
In my book “We need to talk about this“, I mention a phenomenon called “sadistic stalking”. (This comes from the stalking classification by forensics psychologist Lorraine Sheridan. You can find the description below.)
Imagine you’re a middle-aged woman and you’ve been stalked anonymously for years. One day, you open your front door to go to the supermarket and you find the remains of your dead husband on your doorstep. He passed away years ago, but your stalker has dug him up. Say it all out loud, as if you were talking to a friend or colleague, telling them about what is going on in your life. Then picture yourself explaining what is happening to a police officer. Now imagine that you are also feeling very upset while you are trying to convey this information.
How can other people tell whether you are mentally well or not? You will certainly sound as if you’ve lost your mind. You will very likely be assessed as the one with the mental health problem and if not, you may be told that you’ve mistaken the remains of the prey of a fox.
This example comes from a real case that happened in Britain. The woman in question had a heart attack when she found her deceased husband’s remains. She was later sectioned (declared a danger to herself or others) and spent months on a psychiatric ward as a result of the tremendous damage her sadistic stalker’s relentless targeting had done to her life. Consider this. Sadistic stalkers pick their targets because they perceive them as happy, content… and stable. Undoubtedly, many people in her surroundings did not believe the poor woman while all of that was going on and thought she was merely seeing ghosts, compounding her hardship. Living in a situation like that for years is immensely taxing.
Incidentally, that particular stalker was trying to convey the message “What’s he got that I don’t have?” when he left the remains of the deceased in front of the woman’s house.
- When you look at the victims (I prefer “targets”) of this phenomenon, you see how little we know about mental health and how hard it is to determine who is “crazy” and who isn’t.
- (Also, we need a very different approach to how society deals with stalking.)
Sadistic stalking can even be much more devious and much more “crazy-making”. If you describe someone else’s “crazy” and “crazy-making” behaviour, how can you avoid sounding “crazy” and being considered “crazy”?
People often assess other people’s mental health on the basis of what they think sounds crazy just like they assess other people’s beauty on the basis of what they they think is beautiful. Professional assessments are still subjective too, even though attempts continue to be made to standardize diagnoses.
The uproar over allegations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually abused and harassed dozens of the women he worked with is inspiring countless women (and some men) to share their own personal sexual harassment and assault stories.
With these issues trending on social media with the hashtag #MeToo, it’s getting harder to ignore how common they are on the job and in other settings.
I have studied sexual harassment and ways to prevent it as a diversity and inclusion researcher. My research on how people often fail to speak out when they witness these incidents might help explain why Weinstein could reportedly keep his despicable behavior an open secret for decades.
Witnessing sexual harassment
Of course, Weinstein’s alleged wrongdoings went well beyond sexual harassment, which University of British Columbia gender scholar Jennifer Berdahl defines as “behavior that derogates, demeans or humiliates an individual based on that indiviudual’s sex.”
But sexual harassment is such a chronic workplace problem that it accounts for a third of the 90,000 charges filed with the federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2015. Since only one in four victims report it, however, the EEOC and other experts say the actual number of incidents is far higher than the official number of complaints would suggest.
The usual silence leaves most perpetrators of this toxic behavior free to prey on their co-workers and subordinates. If sexual harassment is pervasive on the job, and most women don’t report it, what can be done?
Some business scholars suggest that the best way to prevent sexual harassment, bullying and other toxic workplace behavior is to train co-workers to stand up for their abused colleagues when they witness incidents. One reason why encouraging intervention makes good sense is that some 70 percent of women have observed harassment in the workplace, according to research by psychologist Robert Hitlan.
The trouble is that most people who witness or become aware of sexual harassment don’t speak out. Screenwriter, producer and actor Scott Rosenberg has both admitted to and denounced how this dynamic enabled Weinstein to become an alleged serial abuser. “Let’s be perfectly clear about one thing,” he wrote in a private Facebook post published in the media. “Everybody-f—ing-knew.” He also said:
“in the end, I was complicit.
I didn’t say s—.
I didn’t do s—.
Harvey was nothing but wonderful to me.
So I reaped the rewards and I kept my mouth shut.
And for that, once again, I am sorry.”
Researching how people respond
To understand why witnesses often don’t speak up, a colleague and I did a study in 2010 that asked participants to review hypothetical sexual harassment scenarios and indicate if they would respond.
The results seemed promising: Participants generally said they would take steps to stop harassing behavior if they saw it happen. People indicated they’d be more likely to respond if two conditions were met: It was a quid pro quo – that is, if the harasser promised benefits in exchange for sexual favors – and the workplace valued diversity and inclusion. In such cultures, there are open lines of communication, and leaders embrace diversity and inclusion.
There’s a potential problem with experiments using the kind of hypothetical scenario that we and others employed. People don’t always do what they think they will in real-life situations. For example, psychologists find that people tend to believe they’ll feel more distraught during an emotionally devastating event than they actually do when it occurs.
Other researchers find similar patterns with reactions to racists. People think they will recoil and experience distress when hearing racist comments. But when they actually hear those remarks, they don’t.
The same dynamics are at play when examining sexual harassment during job interviews, as illustrated in a study conducted by psychologists Julie Woodzicka and Marianne LaFrance.
Participants, all of whom were women, expected to feel angry, confront the harasser and refuse to answer the hypothetical interviewer’s inappropriate questions. Some of the questions, for example, included asking the job applicant if she had a boyfriend or if women should wear bras at work.
However, when they witnessed this simulated behavior during the experiment’s mock interviews, people responded differently. In fact, 68 percent of participants who only read about the incidents said they would refuse to answer questions. Yet all 50 of the participants who witnessed the staged hostile behavior answered them.
Drawing from these studies, my team conducted an experiment in 2012 to determine how harassment bystanders would react to hearing inappropriate comments about women.
Some of the female participants read about a hypothetical scenario in which harassment took place, while another group observed harassment occurring in a staged setting. We determined that the participants, who were college students, overestimated how they would respond to seeing someone else get harassed.
The reason this matters is that people who don’t feel distress are unlikely to take action.
What stops people from reacting the way they think they will?
Psychologists blame this disparity on “impact bias.” People overestimate the impact that all future events – be they weddings, funerals or even the Super Bowl – will have on them emotionally. Real life is messier than our imagined futures, with social pressures and context making a difference.
This suggests a possible solution. Since context matters, organizations can take steps to encourage bystanders to take action.
For example, they can train their staff to speak up with the Green Dot Violence Prevention Program or other approaches. The Green Dot program was originally designed to reduce problems like sexual assault and stalking by encouraging bystanders to do something. The EEOC says this “bystander intervention training might be effective in the workplace.”
Especially with workplace harassment, establishing direct and anonymous lines for reporting sexist incidents is essential. They also say employees should not fear negative reprisal or gossip when they do report harassment.
Finally, bystanders are more likely to intervene in organizations that make their refusal to tolerate harassment clear. For that to happen, leaders must assert and demonstrate their commitment to harassment-free workplaces, enforce appropriate policies and train new employees accordingly.
Until more people take a stand when they witness sexual harassment, it will continue to haunt American workplaces.