Criminology: Labeling theory

Looking into theories of academic criminology what caught my attention is that it overlaps so much with sociology and even psychiatry as they all deal with deviants, deviancy and deviant behavior – aka something that is rejected by society as abnormal. Another issue is that they try to look at the object of their research as if one would look at the ant colony trying to explain one ant’s behavior. Even though those theories are interesting and powerful, but they are somewhat incomplete as they treat human only as social animal with emphasis on communitarian principles.

Labeling theory”  or Social Reaction theory deals with formal and informal labeling and it’s influence on criminal, delinquent or deviant behavior. It is described as “one of the most important approaches to the understanding of criminality”. Labeling theory has been used by sociology and also applied in mental health sciences. What is labeling theory?

This theory states that the label of ‘deviant’, and the stigma that comes with such a label, is more a product of society than it is of the individual committing the deviant act. What is considered deviant in one society, or at one point in history, may not be considered deviant in another; ‘deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather the consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an “offender”’. Labeling theory also suggests that once a person is labeled a deviant, he will be denied essential life opportunities because of this stigma, and thus will have a greater propensity to repeat his deviant behaviors. Finally, labeling theory holds that those fettered with an obdurate, stigmatizing label often find it easier to act in accordance with that label than to shed the deviant label. The effects of being labeled, then, are external, with constraints being imposed on the deviant by society.

It’s true – if there is no society there is no deviancy. Imagine the world where you are left all alone. No matter what would you do, there would be no-one left to judge you or your actions. It’s striking how similar are accounts of formally labeled criminals about their perception of formalized label stigma and informally targeted individual accounts. We practice labeling theory all the time from the moment we are born – this is bad and this is good. It’s not so much about linguistics it’s about emotional meaning of labels.

Modified labeling theory applied to mental patients, which deals with labeling from different perspective – how it affects the perception of being labeled and subsequent interaction with the society aka self-stigmatization:

Modified labeling theory indicating that expectations of labeling can have a large negative effect, that these expectations often cause patients to withdraw from society, and that those labeled as having a mental disorder are constantly being rejected from society in seemingly minor ways but that, when taken as a whole, all of these small slights can drastically alter their self concepts. They come to both anticipate and perceive negative societal reactions to them, and this potentially damages their quality of life.

Labeling theory is largely about formal labeling, dealing with real criminals and mental patients, but the stigmatizing invisible social processes that affect these people seem to apply to targeted individuals as well. The only difference is absence of formal label. At least criminal or mental patient is aware of his formal label (they’ve been arrested, sentenced or served time, institutionalized, etc) and can attribute negativity towards them as natural and spontaneous reaction for that label. Targeted individuals have no such luxury and have to deal with multi-layered social punishment directed at them, absent apparent cause or formal label. So self adoption of “targeted individual” label is interesting as to what purpose it serves. I guess such label helps to make sense of what is going on, but doesn’t really explain anything. It’s less stigmatizing than potential label of serious mental illness, terrorist, child molester, snitch, criminal, etc.. It also fulfills prediction where shunned person adopts alternative point of view and joins deviant subculture that shares these views as a lot of targeted individuals seek others that are in the same boat – organized stalking forums, blogs and communities of targeted individuals, so on.

Labeling is closely related to concepts of shaming, stigmatization (disintegrative or reintegrative) and discrimination and recently has been used as debasement penalties by judiciary. Debasement penalties are designed to lower the status of the offender in the community through humiliation. This can include the performing of menial and degrading tasks.

Labeling theory posits that a person’s sense of self and behavior that stems from self-concept are directly related to the labels and perceptions imposed on the individual in societal and institutional interactions. Such interpretation is closely related to symbolic interactionism theory and looking glass self concept.

Symbolic interaction theory analyzes society by addressing the subjective meanings that people impose on objects, events, and behaviors. Subjective meanings are given primacy because it is believed that people behave based on what they believe and not just on what is objectively true. Thus, society is thought to be socially constructed through human interpretation. People interpret one another’s behavior and it is these interpretations that form the social bond. These interpretations are called the “definition of the situation.” Another premise of Symbolic Interaction theory is the pygmalion effect. In Symbolic Interaction theory, Mead establishes the notion of the “looking-glass” self. This idea is that an individual will behave and act according to the view that society and others have for them. The pygmalion effect also leads into the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Ethnomethodology, an offshoot of symbolic interactionism, questions how people’s interactions can create the illusion of a shared social order despite not understanding each other fully and having differing perspectives.

Another theory that some criminologists use to explain deviancy is affect control theory or ACT. Affect control theory (hereafter ACT) offers a dynamic model of social action that focuses on how people’s attitudes toward identities, behaviors, social settings, and emotions (i.e., the key aspects of social interaction) inform the actions that individuals take toward one another. As an interactionist theory, ACT views social situations and the cultural context within which they occur as important determinants of behavior, including its conventional and deviant forms. Specifically, ACT’s mathematical model of attitudes gives formal rigor to the basic interactionist principles that people act toward things on the basis of the meanings that these things have for them. ACT can predict how people will react in various situations. It is very thorough (archive.org): they talk about events like “grandfather rapes granddaughter” as an example of a social situation or “I attend a party and think that the Host is ignoring me” is a social situation too.

Targeted individual is at interesting position where he has insider perspective on a stereotyped or stigmatized experiences and beliefs and is active interpretor/creator of such reality while being an involuntary target of negative attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that shape this reality. They have to make sense of what a hell is going on while breaking up old and adopting new concepts of society, community, humanity and possibly even self-identity.

Some insight into power of labeling and encouraged punishment provides infamous Stanford Prison experiment, which had to be cut prematurely. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond expectations, as the guards enforced authoritarian measures and ultimately subjected some of the prisoners to psychological torture. Many of the prisoners passively accepted psychological abuse and, at the request of the guards, readily harassed other prisoners who attempted to prevent it.

Consider the use of the label slut as described by Tannenbaum (1999). Tannenbaum writes that nearly every high school has a “designated slut.” This label, according to Tannenbaum, gets applied to some poor girl, based on a widely circulated, frequently false story of sexual activity. These make up the “facts” that qualify her for the label, stating that she has met the rules of application. She is ever after known school-wide by that appellation. Tannenbaum learned that, many times, the slut label and its accompanying story had been deliberately and maliciously circulated by another girl. The acceptance of the label by the community meant that the labeled girl4 had to endure being treated as a slut (a bad, weak, active person5); people felt free to harass, scorn, and abuse her publicly. This is clearly the process of stigmatization (Goffman 1963). It is remarkable, however, that it is regularly done through hearsay and innuendo alone (by a person who might be termed a labeling entrepreneur) but is universally and unquestioningly accepted by the community.

Another thing to consider is that just like few decades ago deinstitutionalization was initiated and largely transformed to community mental health programs, there is growing debate of various scholars about alternatives to incarceration including various community punishment alternatives, shaming, stigmatization and so on .  There are a lot more theories that criminology, sociology and social psychology uses to explain and make sense of the same topic of “deviancy” and “deviant behavior”.

Thomas Szasz is Professor of Psychiatry. His classic The Myth of Mental Illness (1961) made him a figure of international fame and controversy. He believes that there is no such thing as “mental illness”. The following is a quote from Thomas Szasz’s Mental Illness: Sickness or Status?

        “Being the member of a community, a religion, a nation, a civilization entails joining the cast of a particular national-religious-cultural drama and accepting certain parts of the play as facts, not just props necessary to     support the narrative. Thus, we in the West today accept as facts that the earth is spherical, that lead is heavier than water, that malaria, melanoma, and mental illness are diseases. As against this perspective, I maintain that while there are mental patients, there are no mental illnesses. There is no mental illness or madness either — in the bodies of the denominated subjects or in nature. Instead, there is a mental illness role into which a person is cast by his family and society, which he then assumes and plays, or against which he rebels and from which he tries to escape. Occasionally, individuals teach themselves how to be mental patients and assume the role without parental or societal pressure to do so, in order to escape certain unbearably painful situations or the burdens of ordinary life ( Szasz, 2006).”

All these things mentioned are labels. We accept them as a society because it’s what we are taught when we are growing up but who’s to say that we are right. By labeling these people mentally ill, gives them a negative on themselves and others have a negative view as well. By doing so, it causes people to be isolated and act as they are labeled.

Punishment Vs Rehabilitation: Disintegrative and Reintegrative Shaming Rituals (local copy)

Delinquency and Violence as Affect-Control:Reviving the Subcultural Approach in Criminology

Symbolic interactionism (local copy)

Affect Control Theory (archive.org)

Wikipedia article about Stanford prison experiment

Intro into Labeling theory (archive.org)

Wikipedia article about Labeling theory

Through the wall sensors for law enforcement: market survey

This is a new report – released on October 2012. It is related to devices available and marketed in United States although some foreign devices are mentioned even though they are not used by US law enforcement or military. Situation is probably different in other countries. Report right from the beginning splits thru-wall radars into two categories: FCC certified and non FCC certified. Military through wall imaging technology doesn’t have to be FCC certified.

The FCC governs TTWS use and generally requires devices to be certified prior to use by law enforcement and first responder agencies.

The FCC also distributes licenses for the use of frequency bands to individuals and to organizations, if required.  TTWS fall under the categories of intentional radiators and radiolocators; some TTWS are also governed by UWB requirements. Key regulations from Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for TTWS include:

1. [Parts 15, 90] Intentional radiators are required to have FCC certification. FCC-certified devices will have an FCC Identification (FCCID) number associated with them and shall be labeled as such.

2. [Part 15] UWB TTWS Operation is limited to law enforcement, emergency rescue or firefighting organizations.

3. UWB TTWS Operators (or the organization by which the operator is employed by or volunteers for) must have a license in the Public Safety Radio Pool under Title 47 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 90.

All three restrictions can be waived by the FCC under an Experimental License, which must be obtained by the operating organization. Companies conducting research and development (R&D) of TTWS and performing third-party testing and evaluation often require an FCC Experimental License.

Very few restrictions and rules governing use of such technology, especially knowing that detection of such radar is almost impossible. So chances of being caught for using it for unlawful purposes is pretty much close to zero.

Report also mentions of one through wall sensing product that is consumer oriented – Rex Plus Electronic Watchdog (STI) (archive.org):  “device designed to be placed inside a residence and detect motion outside. The device demonstrates what can be achieved with basic components. It costs around less than $100 and is comparatively low tech. When placed on one side of a wall, the device uses radio waves to detect motion on the other side. The device puts out a continuous signal at 2.4 GHz and will alarm once reflected energy is received. The alarm frequency and volume increase as the target gets closer.” Here is a consumer reports (archive.org) article about it. From first glance device doesn’t appear threat to privacy, but in theory with a few strategically placed devices partial through wall monitoring, tracking and localization could be accomplished from apartment above or below. It wouldn’t be that practical for harassment, but who knows? I’m only looking at it since it was taken in this report seriously. Newer version of Rex Plus (II) is also available on the website.

We also learn about pricing of these devices:

Range-R L3 – $6,000 (with wireless monitoring $9000)
Xaver 100- $9,000
Xaver 400 – $47,500
InSight $10,000 -$15,000
TiaLinx product pricing was withheld at the request of the manufacturer
SuperVision 1600 – $100,000

ACU-CPR4 -$9,250

Range-R 2D – $15,000

So it’s not cheap and not affordable for just anyone. What about devices that are issued in the war theater? Are they tracked in any way. How many are missing?

We also learn that some products that are sold in the United States like ACU-CPR4 and CPR3 do not appear to be FCC-certified for domestic law enforcement use. So who buys them? Military?

Anyways you can download full report here: https://www.justnet.org/pdf/00-WallSensorReport-508.pdf (local copy)

Interesting idea on how to defeat through wall technology posted on this blog post (archive.org). But I wouldn’t bank on it – its most likely just someone who is thinking aloud about something that has not yet even been substantiated. Even if you implement something like that and it will appear for you as solution – it will serve only as some sort of next level torture aid.

Through wall sensing radar database

Google Is Building a Big, Mysterious Radio Transmitter in the Desert

Upstairs noise harassment links

My intention was to try to investigate if I can find more victims of deliberate noise harassment. I was surprised how widespread are noise harassment complains among neighbors. Most of them involve common noise: little children, exercising equipment, inconsiderate activity like partying and so on. Sometimes it’s a simple misunderstanding, but it’s always a huge concern for the victim. It also shows that it’s very tough to deal with noisy neighbors, not to mention intentionally inflicted terror campaign as it appears out of ordinary and kooky. I’m posting only links to experiences of noise harassment that is similar to mine – intentional, systematic, methodical and apparently employing some sort of through wall localization. None of the victims speculate about localization aspect and if they do – they think it’s something to do with some sort of listening device.

I have trouble imagining using some sort of stethoscope listening device as localization tool –  you can’t really listen and observe the movement of the person below while you banging on the floor. By accident you could rupture your eardrums.

These threads have no victims complaining of further harassment outside their apartments, such as labeling themselves as targeted individuals or victims of organized stalking or gangstalking. They are about people that notice or perceive patterns of noise and being followed from upstairs. Most of them can’t state any reason, motive or cause for such abuse.

Most common advise is to move. Of course such advice is not really an advice as dumb as it sounds those people would already be packing their stuff and not looking for some solutions online. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize that moving is very expensive procedure, not to mention that it’s always traumatic and very stressful. I read somewhere that noise is the primary reason for moving – ahead of crime, schools, infrastructure, etc.

This Russian lady living in Brooklyn, NY videotaped her abuse and put it on youtube. From the sounds she has documented it looks like a very similar abuse to mine. This is the video where she confronts her abuser. If you understand russian it’s interesting exchange. She doesn’t try to find common ground, to solve the problem or find any answers. I guess it’s way past that. It appears as some sort of feud between neighbors.

New York the city with portion of stabilized rent control real estate – such tactics could be used by landlords to get rid of dormant cheap rent paying tenants. Her Russian upstairs neighbor is like a twin brother of one of my neighbors.

Examples of how complaining about such harassment can be used and designed for victim to be made appear as mentally unstable

I don’t know how truthful are these posts. I learned already that It always can go both ways.

Above links point to pretty much the same situation, but complains are from upstairs neighbors being wrongfully accused for harassment by delusional people living downstairs. So it all boils down to credibility, evidence, witnesses. The same story can be presented in many different ways.

As crazy as it sounds there is a good chance there are very advanced modern day weaponry in play where both apartments are attacked simultaneously and pitted against each other – it’s a huge mistake to assume anything. As impossible as it is not to assume something and if you somehow manage to not assume anything it would probably mean something to them as well. Think of next level of some sort of evil game of Stephen King’s “needful things” or that catchy tune about “something strange in the neighborhood” of movie “ghost busters” from the 1980s (keep in mind that it coincided with “going postal” era) which has recently been remade by using another (artificial) flavor of CIA fight club pervertariat. Hard to tell what is that slime supposed to symbolize, but most likely it’s byproduct of all that rainbowing (racketeering) activity behind those stonewalls. So the idea of the movie is they are such immeasurable treasure that they are heroes for wiping their own snot. It all boils towards “need to know basis” stonewall fight club knowledge that is probably distributed to chosen ones (most likely by rainbows) by using the first stonewalling rule of “fight club”. I have this weird feeling that vow of silence rule is one part of 3 wise monkeys multidimensional security algorithm (don’t make mistake that it’s three part algorithm)…  You have to keep in mind that it’s probably cemented as double edged kompromat by using something unspeakable: pedophilia, homosexual acts, cannibalism, torture, rape (porn), murder, snuff, “don’t be evil” digitized Hippocratic oath for the brave new world CIA pervertariat snake oil peddlers aka Kevorkian keyboard warriors (“alphaBet inc” is probably some sort of NSA encrypted reference to evolutionary or as it rather be called eugenic miracles of alpha homos betting, gambling and casinos where activities are very ethical on paper, but in most evil fashion imaginable in real life (probably with extensive usage of deep mind endless loop algorithms) – they did the little dance here in Lithuania as well – created the gambling company Tonybet and the rainbow CIA homo with fake name used it as stepping stone to gain seat into EU parliament), etc (thats what probably bible has in mind  about eye of the needle and camels).. It’s safe to assume that all those secret societies, fraternities and clubs were just cover for homos to gather and feel at home (think of the lands where men dance with men as precursor to lemon parties, sauna dates, kamasutra olympics, but have harems of women for breeding purposes to produce tabula rasa bio material for various experimentations with humans one of them being circumcision). At the same time it’s a gang weapon that can be used with Machiavellian tricks to select and eliminate any inside or outside threats. Nowadays we already have this slime woven into “war is peace” society, thanks to CIA/UN initiatives like “open society” which probably means letting that genie out of the “skull & bones” type secret societies bottles that must be overflowing with rainbow slime. Another thing to assume is that worldwide prison system is another human terrain layer that is probably tapped by these degenerates – any NGO that is in business of “integrating” people into society should be target of some sort of inquiry – it’s a serious signal that civilization has ceased being civilized if even one charity has to exist in the world (eg have quite a few of them here in lithuania that pretends integrating gypsies, “lithuanians” from foreign lands and prisoners into society, but reality is something entirely different). Just think of possibility where Putin placing Khodorkovsky in prison was not a punishment, but safety precaution organized by Khodorkovsky himself or one of his handlers like Putin – keep in mind that real billionaire would never participate in such b.s. – everyone without exception public billionaire is just WWE style CIA homo: something along the lines of Paris Hilton chihuahua guarding pile of dirty CIA money stolen from public and waiting for orders to be followed to launder it under pretense of charitable/educational/public interest/etc activities – eg Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Omidyar, Trump, Clintons, Soros, Forbes, Murdock, Ikea guy, Virgin Group slimy douchebag, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Nestle, Tesla/Alibaba degenerates, etc. Think of US law enforcement – it’s been under homo rule since at least 1920s (talking about J. Edgar Hoover). In that case all those intelligence and military humint, miso, psyop, cimic, etc activities is something entirely different than implied. It’s hard to tell if rainbowlution of degenerate psychopaths was part of organized stalking or gangstalking is part of never ending rainbowlution of degenerate psychopaths as undetectable implementation of pogrom for 21st century.

Suicide statistics

If we look at organized stalking as a social phenomena that is similar to bullying or mobbing only in different settings we will see a lot of parallels. If we can’t really observe organized stalking, we can only try to look at some hard data that organized stalking might have generated. I know it’s completely unscientific at this point, just some thoughts. Suicide is tragic outcome where individual decides to take his own life intentionally due to being unable to manage despair and frustration .

Organized stalking / gangstalking (OS/GS) victims are attacked on many fronts so if they take their life it could be attributed to most believable issue. I’m not saying that all suicides are product of OS/GS, but some of them probably are. Loss of social status and mental health issues identified as one of the main causes of suicide. Same issues are also closely related with organized stalking.

How would you classify Aaron Swartz suicide? Who’s to blame? Mental issues? Life crisis? Loss of social reputation? Government oppression? Cumulative troubles?

Along with suicide there are suicide attempts and suspicious deaths that also should be considered. The reason I thought suicide statistics are relevant is because I’m from Lithuania – the suicide capital of the world.

I understand that there are many factors to consider about trying to extrapolate such data out of statistics. Another thing that would make this exercise futile is the possibility of manipulation and shaping statistics, incompatible standards, inaccurate reporting. Numbers can lie too.

Take a look at this chart from “suicides in Latvia – situation, perspectives and solutions 2009 (local copy):

sucide statistics baltic countriesRight away we see abnormalities in the chart. Sharp drop in suicides in the period of 1985-1992. After early nineties suicides jumped through the roof. This whole period was very turbulent if looking from geopolitical perspective. Gorbachev came to power in 1985,  perestroika, soviet republics fight for independence, etc. One could attribute such drop in suicides to  some sort hope for better life in population at large. Economic factors can be pretty much discounted. Perestroika period wasn’t easier for population – rationing, coupons, empty shelves in the stores, uncertain future, layoffs, hold-up wages. Glasnost and all – it was still hard core communism at that time. Another argument could be made that some repressive mechanisms of the communist regime got loosened. Political oppression decreased as attention shifted to new threats, opportunities for power grab, privatization, setting your life for upcoming new dawn, emerging organized crime structures, etc. If looking from high policing perspective – weakened regime means weaker high policing. During that time use of psychiatry for political purposes also dropped dramatically.

After new independent states formed, new governing system came to place. Hard to tell about high policing mechanisms that regime uses to cement it’s existence. So if thinking from “hope” standpoint, the suicides should have had continued to decrease as new era of independence brought all these exciting freedoms and opportunities provided by the democracy. On the contrary – suicides rose dramatically. I remember that period. Life didn’t change overnight. Some only saw change in labeling. Some longed for old times, even though most were highly patriotic. Could it be related to formation of new secret police and surveillance apparatus? I can only speculate, but they probably were quite weak at the beginning, but that was compensated with morally justified motivation against communism ideology and hatred towards previous regime.

Another strange thing: “historically, suicides among Rome Catholics occur less often than among representatives of other religions and faiths. However, currently this assumption is refuted by a traditional Catholic country Lithuania, where the suicide rate is the highest in the world.”

I might be shooting blanks into the space, but I think suicide statistics should be lower in any country’s transitional period between regimes then state security apparatus is weakened as idealogical threat definition becomes less clear.

Lets take East Germany and it’s transition to unification. We know about feared Stasi secret police and infamous Zersetzung (lots of organized stalking victims see similarities in tactics). Problem is that GDR was very protective of such statistics as they could tarnish it’s international reputation. Even now I had trouble finding such statistics.

ddr gdr frg suicide statistics

Looking at this chart drop isn’t as sharp as expected, but it continued on the downward trend in coming years (only local copy as file has been censored elsewhere).

East vs West germany suicide statistics chart

Stasi regime influence on suicides is inconclusive, but unlike in Baltic states suicides continued to decrease. Transition to unification was different and perestroika didn’t affect Stasi as it affected KGB.

My case is weak. Perestroika was interesting period in Soviet Union and If you have a better theory why suicides dropped sharply during that period I’d like to hear about it.

Telling your story: Narrative Networks Influence

Darpa’s new research into narrative influence on violence. It is closely related to behavior modeling and simulation and non-obvious warfare, but ultimately the concept is more detailed:

Identify and explore the function narratives serve in the process of political radicalization and how they can influence a person or group’s choice of means (such as indiscriminant violence) to achieve political ends. Identify and explore how narratives influence bystanders-to-conflict in terms of shaping their attitudes and perceptions. Identify and explore how narratives shape the process of negotiation, especially between key stakeholders. Identify and explore the relationship between narratives and the mechanisms that generate and reinforce psychiatric or clinical conditions. Develop methodologies that enable assessment of the impact of narratives on attitudes and perceptions.

Program has no set budget limit. Reading program presentation files there is little that would indicate anything related to violence, radicalization, extremism, etc. One paper called “A Computational Model of Narrative Processing in Schizophrenia” tries to afflict symptoms of schizophrenia in computer and succeeds. Such claim doesn’t really make sense, unless they have some sort of quantum type computer. Another option they treat modern man as binary computational biological object who’s perception is reduced to the process of labeling and cognition which is good vs bad judging based on set of behavioral survival and security algorithms that would define someones range of freedom/comfort to navigate the society. So it’s not that far fetched to assume that such program is about calculating what you know and who you know and trying to distill unspeakable that they probably already know so button pushing would appear legit for button pushers. Computers is something that was supposed to help humanity with such Orwellian “problems”. Mad scientists behind this schizo project. One has to wonder if all this computer scumware, adware, trojans, viruses are somehow related to this bs. Considering how computing evolved to the point where search results, ads, news are  targeted and catered individually it’s no wonder that a person could be targeted by “intelligent” design that is part of a sentence.  Others papers and program itself mention human experimentation. Concept is not new as this dutch paper from 2000 explores narratives networks that create a nazi (archive.org)

narrative networks

If you think about organized stalking in terms of narratology it’s all about the target trying to explain and find a meaning in the process. Connecting dots between narratives, struggling to answer question – “what a hell is going on?”. This paper provides (local copy) insight why it’s impossible for targeted individual to tell a story about systematic harassment that would be interesting to others. We as humans are hardwired to be receptive only to certain stories:

  1. Most “stories” have no effect on receivers.
  2. No one responds to “story.” They respond to specific elements and their pattern.
  3. Your brain is hardwired to think & to make sense through a specific story structure.
  4. Effective stories rely on Eight Essential Elements.

Goal:

“What the main character needs or
wants to do or get in this story.”
NOT what they DO;
NOT what they ACCOMPLISH;
But what they are AFTER!

Conflicts & Problems

Anything that blocks a character (even temporarily) from reaching a goal is a PROBLEM. If the problem places a character in opposition to some other entity in the story it is a CONFLICT.

Risk & Danger

The magic ingredients: Risk is the probability of failure. Danger is the consequences of failure.

Struggles

To struggle: “to contend, to engage, to exert a great effort, to fight, to stand against, to oppose”

Details

• Create all images and PICTURES
• Create reality
• Allow listeners/readers to “see” a story
• Serve as spot lights for a story

• Explain why a goal is important
• Create suspense
• Give characters a reason to face conflicts, risks, and dangers

Character and Character Traits (that make characters interesting)

To summarize: THE EIGHT ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS Of Every Story/Narrative

  1. Who is the MAIN CHARACTER?
  2. What CHARACTER TRAITS make them interesting?
  3. What do the character need to do or get (GOAL)?
  4. Why is that goal important (MOTIVE)?
  5. What CONFLICTS/PROBLEMS block the character?
  6. How do they create RISK & DANGER?
  7. What does the character do (STRUGGLES) to reach goal?
  8. What sensory DETAILS will make the story seem Real?

Targeted individual can’t explain what is happening by following these essential characteristics. According to this theory If they could they would be able to generate some sort of attention.

Scientists have known for some time that narratives – an account of a sequence of events that are usually in chronological order – hold powerful sway over the human mind, shaping a person’s notion of groups and identities and even motivating them to commit violence.

When it comes to security, little consideration is given to ethics. Now, while I’m somewhat partial to this approach on account of its bloodlessness, I have to admit that the potential for abuse is astonishing. Once these narrative networks reach full maturity they could be used to indoctrinate not just enemy populations, but more familiar ones as well. The very ways in which domestic affairs are perceived could be colored by a security department hoping to create a docile and abiding population.

hplusmagazine.com/2011/11/16/propaganda-2-0… (archive.org)

www.naturalnews.com/035872_Pentagon… (archive.org)

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity… (archive.org)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21397213 (archive.org)

https://team.sainc.com/n2/baafiles.aspx (archive.org)

Case study: Suicide or Homicide?

There was one strange case that was briefly mentioned in Lithuanian media, that echoes targeted individual phenomena (archive.org):

Information is scarce, so it’s easy to translate, but at the same time makes it difficult to asses it: 56 year old small town resident (from Krakes, Kedainiai) went to regional police headquarters (Kedainiai) and asked to see the chief of police. He wrote a complain where he claimed he is being followed or under surveillance (hard to translate without context could be either one or both), he hears strange voices and he has a micro-chip implanted. Man was calm/collected, but police called the medics anyways since they weren’t convinced of his sanity. In hospital it was decided to commit him to psychiatric hospital. While preparation of documents was taking place police and man were waiting in the hospital hallway. Knife was already taken from him, but nobody even thought that he might have a gun too. He asked to go to the bathroom. After he entered the bathroom there was a gunshot. After police entered the bathroom they saw man laying on the floor with a gun shot wound to his temple. They found unlicensed revolver next to him. Man was known as one who wrote many unsubstantiated complains and frequent visitor to police headquarters.

It’s hard to tell if he was frisked and police missed the gun. Did he surrender knife voluntarily and police didn’t think about frisking him? Maybe something else?

What about “strange voices”? Is he complaining about people harassing him in subtle manner or is he really hearing voices.

To examine the case properly we need more information about it: what kind of complains man was writing before? Was it about harassment?

There was no further interest in the case by the media. Nobody asked questions or made any inquiries.

Lets assume he was targeted individual who tried to get help. It’s hard to tell where he looked for relevant information trying to understand the problems he was facing as it shaped subsequent definition of the issue and decision of going to police to file a report. On what grounds police decided to force him into hands of mental health professionals? Was he threatening to harm himself or others?

Another interesting factoid (archive.org) is that little Krakes town was elected as the safest community in 2011. It also mentions police preventive program about creating safe environment and community adherence to the rule of law. So irony of the story is that even it’s the safest community, his opinion would probably be the opposite.

This tragedy just incremented sad suicide statistics – Lithuania is suicide capital of the world. What is strange that virtually identical countries like Latvia or Estonia have dramatically lower suicide rates. They also have much lower surveillance rates if judging by cellphone wiretap requests.

Case study: Jurijus Radovicius

This time I’m looking at another case of self described political dissident and targeted individual from Lithuania who got sent to psychiatric ward for more than 2 years after he sprayed tear gas onto one of his alleged perpetrators. What is interesting is how media describes event, how court of law dealt with it and targeted individual’s side of the story.

He always comments on news and blog articles using his real name -Jurijus Radovicius. It makes it easy to follow timeline of events. In comment from 2007 (by the year 2015 comments have been wiped out by orwellians) from this article he describes typical gangstalking case that points to paranoia, hypervigilance and hyper-alertness. Hard to tell how much of that surveillance, harassment and threats are real and how much is taken from various internet gangstalking definitions and applied to his life, but lets assume that Jurijus was under punitive surveillance as his interpretation of it is flawed, but not necessarily 100% false.

This article from 2009 m. Oct. 8 d (archive.org) describes event where former President of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Kuris (Kūris)(at the time of attack was working in Law Faculty in Vilnius University and from 2013 serving as Lithuanian justice to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg) got attacked with tear gas by his neighbor Jurijus Radovicius. Jurijus Radovicius described as infamous because of his weird statements on the internet. You have to keep in mind that it must be nice area, safe neighborhood and decent apartment building since former constitution court judge lives there. So Jurijus Radovicius can’t be some sort of low life bum. Actually it is very exclusive building on Vasingtono aikste (washington square), Vilnius. You have to keep in mind that Jurijus Radovicius is also one of the signers of re-establishment of lithuanian independence after break up of Soviet Union, so you can’t assume that he is not someone who doesn’t know anything about games of three letter operatives and isn’t part of the game to introduce and adapt the game into lithuanian human terrain. Neither his name or surname is lithuanian origin.

According to judge he was going out to walk the dog and met his neighbor in the staircase. Radovicius asked “would you like some tear gas?” and right away started spraying him onto the face. Everything was witnessed by another neighbor, who helped judge back to his apartment. Radovicius said “don’t try to sic your kid on me”. Kid was 11-12 years old at the time.

Radovicius is described as someone who constantly post statements of persecution by various secret services and officials. That he is being followed by half of Lithuania. Sprayed judge commented “I hope now police and psychiatry will do the job”. It’s a literal translation. I guess better translation would be “will take care of it”. To police Radovicius said that judge installed micro cameras everywhere and following him.

Radovicius himself participates in discussion where readers comment on the article. He describes the event where kid “terrorized” him. The situation where he notices two kids on opposite sides of the street. Both of them stood in “agent position” and he had to enter their field of vision. He started screaming so people would pay attention to this situation. He kept screaming while walking. Girl didn’t budge. Boy started following him. Strange seemingly non threatening situation, where he was so threatened that reacted by screaming and consequent retaliation by spraying boys father with tear gas.

Fast forward to 2010-05-20 and anonymized criminal court judgment (archive.org). Only initials are provided “J.R”, victim “E.K” and event that matches newspaper article. We also learn that Radovicius is unemployed, university educated, without criminal record. Judge and neighbor’s testimonies that are entered into the case pretty much identical to the newspaper’s. In addition judge claimed that he resides in current apartment for 4 years and hadn’t had anything to do with attacker before. He also said that on a few occasions Radovicius approached him claiming (It’s not apt word since in lithuanian it sounds more like accusation) that someone is following him. From judge statement given to police on the scene: “I think Radovicius could be mental case, since his behavior is not comprehensible”. Judge also claimed that Radovicius on numerous occasions accused him of being a criminal and constantly conflicts with other neighbors.

Police protocol also states that Radovicius didn’t open the door so statement was taken through closed door and audio recorded by a cell phone. He introduced himself as J.R and sprayed gas in self defense since nobody likes to be terrorized. To police question if there was a real threat to his life and health, J.R. replied that terrorism is not necessarily about threat to life and health.

On 2009-11-02 investigator went to the apartment building and talked to a few neighbors about Radovicius. They all confirmed that Radovicius is accusing them of being agents, etc..

Protocol mentions video of Radovicius that is entered into the case by M.S. What kind of video is unclear. When was it taken? Before or after accident? Is it some sort of surveillance video?

Court decided on involuntary psychiatric treatment as expert decided that Radovicius is suffering from delusions. Radovicius wasn’t present in the court as he is unable to understand his actions (according to experts).

Fast forward to 2012-10-29 (not all pages of comments have been archived), after 2,5 years Radovicius is out of mental hospital. Now he reflects on events that transpired 3 years ago. It appears he resorted to spraying provocateurs on the streets as some sort of strategy. He used tear gas, bug spray or even water. Nobody complained until he sprayed his neighbor. He also mentions that he was treated with Haloperidol anti-psychotic drug that was also used in Soviet Union psychiatry as punitive or will breaking measure. He also describes various street theater, gangstalking, mimicking and other organized harassment tactics that allegedly are used to overtly harass him. Psychiatric treatment doesn’t appear to have changed anything if looking at it from “delusional thinking” standpoint. He says he would spray perpetrators again, but judge in Rokiskis (I assume there are some sort of arrangements for a judge in the mental asylum) told him if it happens again he would be institutionalized for 5 years. He doesn’t mention if harassment continues after his release from the ward.

Hard to tell how Radovicius felt about it – apparently he decided to go through some sort of “eye for an eye” route hoping to deter attackers, where he dishes out his own “justice” to perps. One has to understand that surveillance overt or covert will cause a lot of stress and anxiety so hypervigilance and augmented alertness will ensue. This could take any direction as provocation and disruption of cognitive process was successful where even non-threatening bystanders come under TI’s scrutiny. That is important part where whole environment transforms into possible threat.

Now we can only speculate how it all transpired (he says it started in 2005 – coincides with judge moving into apartment building), but one has to look at sort of trauma associated with early surveillance and follow-up search for answers to questions. Answers that helped him model his situation into some sort of frame of reference. In this case gangstalking sites could be harmful as victim might try to perceive his situation according to huge list of symptoms of gangstalking. Nobody can claim that he dealt with situation in rational matter.

Can word “cat” scratch you? Yes it can. That is the danger of gangstalking sites where they play devils advocate to increase paranoia helping to model uncertain, ambiguous and nonthreatening situations into aversive stimuli. Nobody is mentioning or examining 3 years of alleged abuse. The end result matters for abusers. Ultimately every case is unique.

update [2015/april/02] Jurijus wrote a book : pdf is comment section from lithuanian online daily newspaper (comments about the book are bottom two). He mentions that he printed 50 copies, book sellers refused to sell it and that on book presentation he will give away 15 copies. He uses promotional tone language and no longer mentions any kind of ongoing stalking or surveillance.

Jurijus Radovičius “Sekimas: Asmeninis Liudijimas” (PDF of the book in lithunian)

Under-Explored Threats to Privacy: See-Through-Wall Technologies

Through-wall surveillance (TWS): Even more intriguing is the invention of equipment to see through walls, such as infra-red cameras, thermal imaging, and through-the-wall surveillance technologies that can detect activities behind walls and in darkness (my note – infrared and thermal imaging can’t see through walls), thereby providing information on the location and movement of people inside buildings and homes (Bush 2006; Hunt, Tillery and Wild 2001; Miles 2007). Through-the-wall radar devices, which are lightweight, portable and able to focus up to twenty or thirty meters ahead, are increasingly available to municipalities and law enforcement agencies (Jones 2005).

RadarVision, built by Time Domain Corp. of Huntsville, Alabama, and Prism 100 made by Cambridge Consultants Ltd. in Cambridge, England can detect the presence of inanimate objects through the wall, but only moving objects (in the form of a moving blob of color on their built-in color screens) are shown to the user. The product – for use by emergency and security services – weighs about six pounds including a lithium-ion battery pack. Since both these devices can be used from outside a residence or an office, such as from a neighboring home or building, they pose a challenge for targeted persons to know and prove that they are being monitored (Jones 2005). Researchers at Atlanta’s Georgia Technical Research Institute have made a flashlight that can see through doors and walls, thereby detecting a stationary person’s presence through solid wood or an eight-inch block wall from four feet away (Sanders 2001). The flashlight uses simple microwave technology. It emits an invisible beam of electromagnetic radiation similar to automatic door sensors that sense movement. A commercial version is no larger than a police flashlight and costs less than $500 (Scott 1997). Little is known about the government’s hushed Celldar project that originated in Britain in 2002. The Celldar uses radar technology to allow surveillance of anyone, at any time, and any place where there is a phone signal. It uses mobile phone masts to allow authorities to watch vehicles and individuals almost anywhere. A report published in Britain’s newspaper The Guardian mentions that this equipment has ‘X- ray vision’ potential – the capability to see through walls and look into people’s homes (Burke and Warren 2002). Although through-the-wall-surveillance (TWS) technologies are touted as life-saving measures (see Miles 2007), the secrecy of these gadgets and their introduction without widespread public consultation or judicial oversight increases the likelihood of their misuse. While these technologies are mainly available only to military and law enforcement agencies, to date there is no legislation regulating their use or ensuring transparency or accountability on the part of those entrusted to use these devices for emergency, crime prevention and disaster relief purposes.

Read full article: “Under-Explored Threats to Privacy: See-Through-Wall Technologies and Electro- Magnetic Radiations” (local copy)

Threat to life is way bigger than threat to privacy if such technology is in wrong hands – and it’s impossible for such hands not to exists. Author is right – when these products emerged media wrote about them, since it was interesting technology, but later on nobody is ever mentioning them as to how and if they ever were used. Where are the stories of through wall radars saving lives? Technology got advanced to the point that it’s capable displaying 3d picture of the situation behind the wall.

Database of through wall radars

BOLO lists (Be On Look Out list)

Lots of times TI’s speculate that they are on some sort of list aka no fly list and that what makes them a target. Targeted individuals might be placed on some lists, but i doubt they are targeted because of being on the lists.

While reading Eileen’s blog (only available through archive.org) she mentioned BOLO (Be On the Look Out) list:

When I was last in Afghanistan at the COIN Academy, military intelligence issued daily BOLO lists of suspicious activity to look out for. (BOLO stands for “Be on the lookout for”.) Men in white corollas always made the list. This was of course problematic and indicative of the vague and often inactionable intelligence the Americans collected, since half the population drove white Corollas, but that’s for another post

This funny tidbit prompted me to check if anything of this sort exists in western world. It’s been around for a long time as demonstrated in this Miami newspaper article from 1971 (as of june 2016 it appears google orwelled it – here is local screenshot). Something like “wanted list”.  NJ has one (local copy), but it’s related to automatic license plate readers (ALPR):

D. BOLO list – (also known as a hot list) is a compilation of one or more license plates, or partial license plates, of a vehicle or vehicles for which a BOLO situation exists that is programmed into an ALPR so that the device will alert if it captures the image of a license plate that matches a license plate included on the BOLO list. The term also includes a compilation of one or more license plates, or partial license plates that is compared against stored license plate data that had previously been scanned and collected by an ALPR, including scanned license plate data that is stored in a separate data storage device or system.

The BOLO list itself is one thing, but the data gathered from the field is another issue as it can be used to build activity profile of the person over the time.

Surveillance of license plates by MPD
Surveillance of license plates by MPD

So who has access to your location data (archive.org)? Anyone who asks for it, according to Bob Sykora, chief information officer for the Minnesota Board of Public Defense. Sykora warned in a memo this June that location data retained by police is currently public. That means it could be obtained via record requests by data miners or other members of the public, he wrote, enabling burglars to learn someone’s daily routine or ex-spouses to track former partners.

The article talks only about Minnesota as policies are not set and differ from state to state and city to city. It is clearly big problem and has high abuse potential (archive.org):

“Now that we see someone’s patterns in a graphic on a map in a newspaper, you realize that person really does have a right to be secure from people who might be trying to stalk them or follow them or interfere with them,” said Bob Sykora, chief information officer for the Minnesota Board of Public Defense, who recommended the reclassification.

Ohio has BOLO list (local copy), but apparently it’s a bit different than NJ:

On May 27, 2007, Sergeant Aaron Zimmaro of the Springboro Police Department was on patrol when he heard on his radio a discussion among fellow police officers regarding a nearby suspicious vehicle. This vehicle, driven by Dixon, was of particular concern to officers because it was on a “be on the lookout” (BOLO) list due to Dixon’s possible drug activities.

California (local copy) and Ontario (local copy) BOLOS appears related to vehicle plates:

Performs program promotion duties by preparing and hand delivering to deadline weekly “Warrant of the Week” and monthly “Crime of the Week” media releases to media outlets through the Region of Waterloo. Prepares monthly Stolen Vehicle List advertisement to deadline for inclusion in various medium and publications by collecting theft and vehicle information from the Be On The Lookout (BOLO) list and CPIC.

Military Be-on-the-Lookout Alerts (archive.org)

6-8.       Be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) alerts are routinely sent out by Army and civilian LE agencies. BOLO alerts are used to provide information to, and request assistance from, military and civilian LE organizations, military units, and, at times, the general public about specific individuals, vehicles, events, or equipment. These alerts are typically used when the subject matter is time-sensitive and a heightened awareness by all available personnel is requested to facilitate the appropriate action. BOLO alerts may be distributed in a printed format, over appropriate information networks, or transmitted over radio nets, depending on the breadth of distribution, time sensitivity, or other mission and environmental factors.

6-9.       BOLO alerts may be general or very specific, but they should contain, when possible, enough information to prevent numerous “false positive” reports and should provide reporting and disposition instructions. These instructions should include any known dangers associated with the subject of the BOLO alert. For example, a BOLO alert for a grey BMW automobile to all military police units operating in Germany or an orange and white taxi in Iraq would be ineffective and would likely result in an extremely high number of “sightings.” This type of general information might also be ignored by military police personnel for the same reason. Additional information about the driver, body damage to the vehicle, or other specific details would reduce the false positives and increase the value of what is reported. In some instances, the amount of known information is limited to one or more identifying data points. This is common in expeditionary environments where a list of names may be the only data available or immediately following a crime or incident when only rough descriptions of suspects or few witnesses are available.

Selected Quotes from “The Place of Covert Surveillance in Democratic Societies: A Comparative Study of the United States and Germany”

Organized crime can be anything. Once I investigated a gang of students who regularly used public transportation without paying the fare. This, too, was organized crime, because they had developed a system for insuring their members against fines; everyone paid some amount into a common pot, and if they got caught, the organization would pay the fine.

Covert agents do not merely react to criminal organizations; they shape them, or at least shape how the organizations are described. In this way, agents can define the threat that needed to be solved with infiltration. They can make the crime fit the investigation. This not only makes it difficult for judges and politicians to assess the effectiveness and accomplishments of undercover policing. It also diminishes the extent to which deep cover operations can be confined to the investigation of organized crime.

Although criminal association is our only organized crime offense, it’s almost never used. Mostly, we charge it only for terrorism offenses. When we do use that section of the code, it’s mostly to get approval for telephone tapping and other covert tactics; but that’s pretty controversial, because everyone knows we won’t actually charge the offense.

This control over the concept of “organized crime” also allows investigators to circumvent constraints imposed by the 1992 statute. The statute tried to legitimate undercover operations by limiting them to a list of enumerated crimes and to a residual category, the “serious crime.” The police can justify a covert investigation by styling the target as an “organized” entity, which suggest that its crimes are sufficiently “serious” to qualify under the statute. A prosecutor explained that “cigarette smuggling is not actually a predicate offense of deep cover operations. But you can still get approval if you can show that the smuggling operation is an organized endeavor, with some of the characteristics listed in the regulation.

Police not only interpret the definition of organized crime to justify their covert investigations but occasionally also manipulate the targets so that their activities look more like those of “organized” criminals. One indicator of organized crime is its ability to forge links to lawful realms of society. Undercover agents sometimes supply those links. “The solid citizens, they help you make yourself [the agent] useful to people in the scene. The criminals come to see you as their connection to that normal, outside world. Now you can make yourself useful to them, offer them services.” Deep cover agents could make themselves interesting to targets by pretending to have friends inside the Customs Service who could help people avoid border controls. Others offered referrals to banks, lawyers, tax consultants, foreign contacts, and special airport access.

The link between gangs and lawful society that suggests “organized” criminal capacity can sometimes be an artifact of the investigation.

From the perspective of the police, forging connections between gangs or between gangs and lawful society helped undercover operatives avoid direct participation in the crimes they investigated. But these links help create the organizational complexity that the investigation was designed to prove and that justified the operation.

The police shape organized crime not only to justify covert operations under the 1992 statute, but to match their investigative strengths. Because organized crime potentially includes so many phenomena, the police can target those that they are best able to detect.

Given that police, at their discretion, can broadly interpret the definition of organized crime and can manipulate targets to better resemble “organized” criminals—what follows? If the government can shape the phenomena, and the description of the phenomena, to justify their investigations, what implications does this have for the way in which the police operate? To begin with, it means that undercover operations do not confine themselves to criminal milieus. They bring within their ambit both lawful society and criminal networks. Deep cover agents (and informants) are permanent fixtures in cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, and other ordinary establishments, particularly those frequented by immigrants, where they rub shoulders with law-abiding citizens along with the assorted mopes, hangers-on, occasional offenders, and committed criminals whom they collectively designate as “targets.” The inclusion of many low-grade offenses in the category of “organized crime” necessitates the creation of an infrastructure of surveillance networks much more comprehensive and integrated into lawful civil society than one would infer from rhetoric about targeting “tightly knit” criminal organizations “closed off” from mainstream communities.

The pressure for “stats” and quick results encouraged police to charge discrete, easily provable offenses. But undercover investigations often yield far more information about criminal organizations then the government needs to prove these mundane, relatively unsophisticated offenses at trial. If covert agents and informants identify the structure of a criminal organization that fails to qualify as a “criminal association,” they need not, and may not, be able to present a complete picture of these findings in a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, criminal prosecutions were often a byproduct of covert operations whose main accomplishment was the gathering of intelligence. The very simplicity of these prosecutions keeps out of court much of the intelligence laboriously collected by deep cover agents.

A very different sense in which undercover policing may be described as a “necessary evil” emerges from the tendency of such investigations to blur the distinction between the “preventive” and the “repressive” functions of police work, and, beyond that, between the pursuit of intelligence and the collection of intelligence.

The greatest vulnerability of the post-1992 German regulatory system emerges from an internal tension. On one hand, the reforms tried to tame deep-cover investigations as evidence-gathering tactics; and on the other hand, the system, as implemented, pushes undercover agents back into more shadowy pursuit of information not geared towards presentation in court.

However, courts are unlikely to learn about undercover activity that preceded the prosecutor’s application for judicial approval to conduct repressive operations. As one judge reported (and others confirmed), “preventive undercover operations are never mentioned when the police seek approval for some evidence-gathering sting. These preventive operations should really be in the application, to provide factual support for the request; but in fact, they never are.”92 Accordingly, cover-building operations may generate intelligence without judicial or even prosecutorial scrutiny.

One of these tactics, which one might term “strategic insulation,” is to separate the deep cover agent from the target whenever the police gather information that they expect to use as evidence in court. The police avoid using deep cover officers in ways that will make them direct witnesses to the crimes the government hopes to prove. “We use the undercover agent’s information in such a way that its source remains hidden; we won’t even use the hearsay testimony of his handler.” Thus the police often assign deep cover agents supporting roles in criminal investigations in order to keep their activities out of court.

Though the east German public might regard undercover policing as an illegitimate form of social control, the police themselves view comparisons with the Stasi primarily as a public relations challenge requiring them to communicate the differences between their own methods and those of the Stasi.

In almost every interview, the police described ways in which they designed undercover operations to differ from those of Germany’s domestic intelligence agencies (the APCs). While the police aimed not to act like intelligence agencies, they merely sought not to be misperceived as resembling the Stasi.

Among other tactics, the FBI “falsely and anonymously label[ed] as Government informants members of groups known to be violent, thereby exposing the falsely labeled member to expulsion or physical attack” and “provoked target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths.”

But the close involvement of prosecutors in covert police operations does not always ensure compliance with the substantive norms. Prosecutors’ expertise in legal interpretation—in casuistry—can justify covert investigations that strain against the spirit of the substantive norms without violating the letter of the norms. Prosecutors and police officials who specialize in covert operations increasingly see themselves as responsible for providing a legal framework that allows undercover agents to obtain evidence. In part, this means permitting borderline practices while imposing constraints that would conform them, more or less, to legal requirements. In part this means reinterpreting the law to lift legal constraints (or finding that they did not apply in the first place). When neither of these strategies is promising, prosecutors and police officials sometimes quietly subordinate the substantive norms to other institutional goals, such as preventing crime and protecting undercover operatives. Prosecutors have become adept at suggesting ways for covert agents to pursue favored tactics without running any realistic risk of criminal liability. Since undercover investigations often produce not evidence but intelligence (which does not get into court), judges have little opportunity to curtail the “creative” interpretations of prosecutors. As one judge put it, “undercover agents don’t testify; if they break the law, we have no way of knowing it.”

What makes the success of undercover investigations so difficult to assess is that infiltrators influence the organizations they infiltrate, and possess power to define what constitutes organized crime and thus to fit what they find to what they were looking for. Under the model of legitimacy-as-fit, the legitimacy of a regulated practice depends on the extent to which it serves the ends—such as fighting organized crime—in whose name the practice was authorized.

At the same time, the secrecy surrounding deep-cover operations, and the likelihood that covert agents will never have to testify, decrease the likelihood that abuses will be exposed and corrected. In the United States, covert policing periodically produces scandals like that which erupted only recently, when a single Texan undercover agent sent 46 residents of a single town to jail on fabricated claims that they had sold him narcotics.

That undercover policing was promoted as a tool against organized crime also made sense in a political climate where the implicit and often explicit accusation against surveillance tactics was that they were being turned against society as a whole. Organized crime—which was characterized as hermetic, and thus safely sealed off from society—formed a safe target for such highly contested tactics.

The Place of Covert Surveillance in Democratic Societies: A Comparative Study of the United States and Germany  by JACQUELINE E. ROSS (local copy)

High Policing

I want to direct you to a term High Policing – new way to look at modern policing methods and emerging organizational changes in law enforcement. High policing of all sorts is still viewed by scholars, judges, and politicians as “corruption,” “deviance,” and or “scandal” and dealt with by illusion and impression management. If we look at harassment endured by targeted individuals as enhanced mobbing overseen by authority of the law (local, state, federal) it points to pre-existing conflict at some level (most likely personal derived from monetary or influence issues) where public resources are used to eliminate one party for the benefit of the other. No template exists as to how and why harassment was initiated or by whom as there is no viable ways to counter or expose the abuse. If it were thoroughly exposed it would certainly generate as scandal. Common man thinks about law enforcement as street policing – helping citizens, responding and solving crimes. There is another hidden side of policing. It examines the phenomena in various contexts without fear eliciting or sensational language like tyranny, police state, new world order, dictatorship, etc – it’s not something new – it’s been around for ages. It’s another way to define organized stalking – as one of the examples of high policing.

The term “high policing” was introduced into English language police studies by Canadian criminologist Jean-Paul Brodeur in a 1983. The term “high policing” refers to the fact that such policing benefits the “higher” interests of the government rather than individual citizens or the mass population. It also refers to the fact that high-policing organizations are endowed with authority and legal powers superior to that of other types of police organizations. There is no conventional designation for this category of policing in liberal democracies, however, and it should not be conflated with secret police, although secret police organizations do use high policing methods. Calling it “secret” or “political” policing is too vague since all police work is somewhat secret. High policing has an extremely high potential for abuse. There is a tendency, even in democratic countries, for high policing organizations to abuse their powers or even to operate outside the law because many organizations involved in high policing are granted extensive legal powers, including immunity from prosecution for acts that are criminal under normal circumstances.

Jean-Paul set a high standard for shaping a theory of policing and articulated important questions in this regard. The 1983 paper contained the core of Jean-Paul’s theory of policing, including the discordant themes and contrasts between the visible, legal, public face of policing and the secret, powerful, unacknowledged, hidden, quasi-legal face. Jean-Paul’s theory of policing aims to be inclusive, comparative/historical and to include antinomies or self-contradictory arguments. This includes the role of high policing in which the state as protector defines itself as a victim, or in effect works against its own claims to protect and preserve the rights of its citizens. Further, the state can be the citizen’s most powerful enemy.

We now know something about the architecture of secret policing, how it is built, but little about its actual functioning: how it is done, by whom, and why. The fact of agency secrecy, legally and by tradition or convention well protected, is well known. Nevertheless, the futile study of “accountability,” “corruption” and “police deviance” remains alive and well. There can be no accountability when the organization is shielded for its high policing functions and where the most important support, financially and politically lies with the central government of the day. The true and durable nature of high policing is unstudied.

Brodeur (1983) saw high policing as consisting of political surveillance and low policing as law enforcement (holding apart the overlaps between security services and police and the gathering of intelligence and taking action).

In 1983 he identified four features of high policing:

The preservation of the existing political regime was its primary goal (it is true for any regime or political force)

Conflation of separate powers

We traditionally distinguish between legislative, judicial and executive power. In democracies, these powers are exercised independently one of the other. In Westminster-style democracies where all Cabinet ministers also sit in Parliament, there is less of a distinction between the executive and the legislative branches of government than in the US ‘checks and balance’ model. Notwithstanding these differences of emphasis, all democracies condemn government interference in judicial proceedings. Things are noticeably different for high policing. Under the continental monarchies of Europe, the police magistrate enjoyed all three fundamental powers: he could establish penal statutes that even carried the death penalty; he would also preside at trials; finally, he exercised, by definition, all forms of executive powers. The concept of the political ‘coup’ had an original meaning from the 17th to the 19th century that directly contradicted its present sense: a political coup was a decisive action of the State against its enemies and not an action perpetrated against the State by its opponents in order to change the regime, as the concept is presently understood. The high police magistrate had the prime responsibility for such governance through executive coups. I will argue in a further section of this paper that we may be experiencing a resurgence of this mode of governance in the post-9/11 era.

Protection of national security

This is the raison d’être of high policing. The mandate of many security intelligence agencies explicitly mentions that their prime objective is to protect the security of the nation. There are two quite different variants of this feature. In its democratic variant, high policing agencies are tasked to protect the nation’s political institutions and constitutional framework. In its nondemocratic variant, high policing is devoted to the preservation of a particular political regime that may consist in the hegemony of a political party or the rule of a dictator. Distinguishing these variants of national security is necessary to avoid falling into the leftist fallacy that intelligence services are by nature unpalatable to a democracy. It must, however, be understood that the immediate object of high policing is the protection of the state apparatus (e.g. protecting the head of the state against assassination), although protecting the state may also result in protecting its citizens (e.g. against terrorism).

The use of informants

In police parlance, an informant is called a human source. When the high policing paradigm was developed, human sources were the main instrument of covert surveillance . We now have created a massive arsenal of technological tools for the purposes of surveillance . All of our natural senses—eyesight, hearing, smell, touch (lie detectors) and even tasting (poison detecting devices)—now have multiple technological surrogates. Despite the fact that we use a comprehensive array of stealthy technical sources, I still single out human sources and undercover operatives as the hallmark of high policing. As shown by the public release of the East German Stasi archives, the extensive infiltration of human sources is the culmination of high policing. Not only is it the most intrusive instrument of surveillance, but it is also the most destructive of the social fabric as it thrives on betrayal and fosters mutual suspicion and demoralization.

In 2011 he noted five additional characteristics implicit in the above:

  1. The state as intended victim
  2. The utilization of criminals
  3. Secrecy
  4. Deceit
  5. Extralegality

High police reminds us that the police are above all political actors. Two meanings of this can be noted. The low police on the street were concerned with protecting individual victims and with order maintenance. High police, in contrast, were concerned with protecting a corporate entity—the political regime. A major question is whether in protecting the sovereign, police are also protecting the broader (civil) society. In a democratic setting when police protect the leader they ideally are also protecting the society’s democratic constitution and institutions. In an authoritarian or totalitarian setting high police act as a private police insuring the power of the rulers, (whether a king or political party) apart from the broader society. That does not preclude disingenuous legitimating claims about acting on behalf of the people. While knowledge can be a form of power, self-serving power may oppose knowledge, at least that which can be empirically validated. While it is a truism central to social control that knowledge is power, it does not follow that power is necessarily knowledge in any scientific and empirical sense. Indeed the contortions and denial of knowledge that can be associated with asymmetries in power is among the ugliest consequences of inequality.

Thus, many of the elements of high policing are seen in current policies such as intelligence led (data-base based) and community policing and specialized police unites such as those involving intelligence, undercover, internal affairs and planning. Detectives, and even uniformed police, make use of traditional (informers) advanced tools of surveillance (thermal imaging).

Under the US umbrella of a delusional state of war proclaimed by the George W. Bush administration, high policing combines all powers: it makes covert executive orders that supersede the law, keeps suspects in unlimited preventive custody, wants them tried by Star Chamber commissions and applies the sentence under the most punitive of conditions. Second, there is a wishful quality to the withering-of-the-State resurgent neo-Marxian utopianism, where nodal governance takes the former place of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In fact, the State has never been as arrogantly unilateral as it is now behaving in the United States, the United Kingdom and in Canada.

The police are the most conspicuous symbol of the law (indeed, they are referred to in familiar language as ‘the law’). This is particularly true in respect to its lower policing arm, the patrol persons in uniform, who use their visibility to produce a great deal of their deterrent/reassuring effects. High policing agencies symbolize the power of the state, at times in its most arbitrary aspects. In contrast with the police, the intelligence services base their symbolic power on their low visibility, thriving on rumors, innuendo and fear.

High Policing, (archive.org) Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, By Gary T. Marx, Professor Emeritus, MIT

Jean-Paul Brodeur on High and Low Policing (archive.org)

High and Low Policing in Post-9/11 Times (local copy)

SURVEILLANCE-FICTION OR HIGHER POLICING? (local copy)

Wikipedia on High Policing

Disrupted Butterfly

On December 17, 2010, a Tunisian street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest repeated harassment and humiliation by the police and confiscation of the produce he was selling. The unrest that followed his act, facilitated by Facebook, quickly led to the resignation of the Tunisian president. More uprisings followed in near- by countries, including Egypt, where long-time president Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office. These revolutionary events took much of the Western world by surprise, and effects of the several uprisings and regime changes continue to ripple across the region.

Above excerpt is the very beginning of the article titled “Sociocultural Behavior Research and Engineering in the Department of Defense Context” (local copy) (big file – 40MB). It’s reads like a description of presumably spontaneous events, real life example of theoretical butterfly effect where hurricane’s formation depends on whether or not a butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before. Is it tacit indication or admittance of some sort involvement in this process?

Premise of this post is not to accuse anyone of conspiracy to engineer such event it’s about pointing obvious interest in engineering or exploiting such cascading events. Variations of trolley problem can be used to justify and takes care of ethical side of employing such tactics.  You sacrifice one average Joe and change lives of millions. Hard to say what exactly Tunisian police did to that poor man. Was it some sort of deliberate disruption tactics or just normal operating procedure of Tunisian law enforcement? Was it driven by some personal issues? He was so disturbed by law enforcement to the point that he took his own life. Why did police zeroed on him? Lets say corruption is rampant in Tunisia and such social order is part of everyday life, but it appears as if he felt that he was singled out for special treatment.

How does one start approaching this behavior modeling animal in terms of organized stalking, gangstalking and targeted individuals? While engineering cascading butterfly effect, butterfly itself is important, but not crucial. Looking from strategic point of view disrupting a butterfly is not the main target, the important part is timing of breaking point in relation to social network, circumstances, consequences, effects and the message. The goal of harassment itself is almost always speculative from targeted individual’s perspective. Every disruption in the society can be used as catalyst to initiate, shape or support a social transformation. Strange and expensive cultural research million EUR grants like The Principle of Disruption. A Figure Reflecting Complex Societies (archive.org / local copy) somewhat starts to fit into this picture. Cultural workshops in fear (archive.org) and fear gaming (archive.org) (german language).

I have to be clear – I have trouble understanding social cultural behavioral modeling. The concept is so new that it’s almost like trying to understand 4th dimension in terms of 3 dimensional world, like trying to relate to quantum physics when all you did before is working at the shoe shine stand or sweeping streets. Even though you polished Einstein’s, Jesus, Buddha’s or Gandhi’s shoes daily, the enlightenment will not rub to you from that process. I’m pretty sure the concept would be hard to understand even for highly educated as it requires a lot more than a narrow expertise in some particular field. Report sort of agrees with me:

In the simplest circumstances, human behavior defies easy understanding or reliable forecasting. In the context of contemporary mission demands, that behavior—driven by a variety of social and cultural variables—engenders complexity in situation awareness and the military decision space that an unaided human cannot process.

The important key is “unaided human”. Most organized stalking victims agree with a fact that community harassment manifests in forms that can’t be invented by common man ingenuity. Subtle and indirect ways of stress, threat and fear induction in organizational manner directly points towards limitations placed on that behavior which is not self determined. At the same time it doesn’t mean that you’re being harassed by the military or secret intelligence agency as research field is largely outsourced to academic and private field. Plausible deniability is the key, and infinitive monkey theorem suddenly might come to reality as there is a hidden hand guiding the monkeys.

DoD researchers often coordinate or partner with other Federal Departments and Agencies that conduct research in sociocultural behavior. These organizations include the Intelligence Community, the National Laboratories, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). A leading sponsor of relevant R&E is the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which supports cutting-edge research that has the potential to provide the United States with an intelligence advantage over adversaries. Much of IARPA’s sociocultural behavior work comes out of the Incisive Analysis Office, which focuses on maximizing insights gained from data. This work includes developing tools and methods that incorporate sociocultural and linguistic factors into analyses. One significant program sponsored by the Incisive Analysis Office is Socio-cultural Content in Language (SCIL). SCIL explores and develops novel designs, algorithms, methods, techniques, and technologies to extend the discovery of the social goals of group members by correlating these goals with the terminology they use.

Report states that most of the sociocultural models available today come from a non-military frame of reference. Language and jargon is used to describe processes in general manner that could be applied to individuals, groups, communities, societies, cultures interchangeably. At this point we can only speculate, especially considering that such research could be used for common good as well – eg ergonomics, efficiency, etc

First step would be to get to investigate neutral and neutered language, jargon and keywords used for behavioral modeling and simulation and find how/if they relate to harassment techniques of targeted individuals. Problem is this research is huge – encompassing cultures, cyberworld, politics, societies and the whole humanity.