Corporate Organized Harassment
In 2016, the Arts & Entertainment television channel introduced a new series, Scientology and the Aftermath, featuring actress Leah Remini along with a team of former high-ranking Scientology insiders.
Viewers are shocked to discover the extent to which the church goes to implement a total life destruction scenario upon those it considers to be it’s enemies. “Fair Game” is what the church of Scientology calls this practice. Enemies include former members — like Remini herself — who attempt to expose the church’s harmful practices, as well as journalists and others who dare speak out against the church.
What we see unfolding is a classic example of organized harassment practices. Slander campaigns (in one case, 25 libelous websites were put up in order to discredit one individual), workplace harassment — causing victims to have trouble finding and keeping employment — stalking in vehicles and on foot by many persons, rummaging through trash for intel, and installation of cameras throughout the neighborhood to monitor the person’s coming and going. One camera was found in what appeared to be a free-standing bird cage in a front yard across the street from the target’s home.
In one case, church members actually moved in next door to the victim in an attempt to intimidate and harass. And in most cases church officials attempted to separate victims from family members.
This is a classic example of organized harassment protocols being used by an organization to intimidate, isolate and silence perceived enemies.
In the past few years, more cases have emerged.
Susan Fowler, whistleblower and author of Whistleblower: My Journey to Silicon Valley and Fight for Justice at Uber reported sexual harassment and subsequently found a system of corruption within Uber’s HR department. In 2017 she wrote a blog post about her experience and became the target of an organized retaliation campaign of harassment and intimidation.
Later, over Twitter, Uber’s new CEO told Fowler that he “killed all that crap”, confirming for Fowler that Uber had hired multiple persons to follow her.
Tool of the Wealthy
In October of 2017, The New Yorker Magazine ran an exposé on Hollywood film executive Harvey Weinstein, who sexually assaulted 87 women over a period of 30 years and managed to keep all of them from speaking out against him.
Taking advantage of client-attorney privilege (a client’s right to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications between a client and their attorney), Weinstein prompted attorneys to hire private investigative firms Black Cube and Kroll to stalk and harass his victims into silence so they would not go public with their claims or take him to trial. Weinstein also instigated smear campaigns, effectively blackballing some of his victims in the film industry.
The PI firms’ activities left no physical evidence. But through constant and varying forms of intimidation, one by one, Weinstein’s female victims were “neutralized”, and none came forward until Ronan Farrow and his fellow journalists performed their investigation into Weinstein.
Journalist Ronan Farrow
But the harassment wan’t contained to Weinstein’s sexual assault victims. In February of 2019, Ronan Farrow stated the following on The Daily Show:
“There was intimidation, there was a system designed to shut down these stories; and that affected not just me but a whole range of brave journalists going up against this thing… the moment you find yourself deciding, do I go home tonight — because I’m getting staked out and if I do go home, I go in with my keys and I’m looking under the bed and pulling back the shower curtain and am I crazy or is the story stranger than fiction? And as it turns out, what we were able to break, is that he (Weinstein) was hiring former Moussad agents — combat-ready operatives — that were in fact following people around using false identities.”
~ Ronan Farrow
The exposé was a rare unveiling of a system that has been cultivated over decades, used by the powerful to silence and harm those they oppose.
- “It was terrifying. I realized very quickly that I was being followed. I would hear rumors that were being spread through the press that were trying to discredit me.”Susan Fowler, Author of Whistleblower: My Journey to Silicon Valley and Fight for Justice at Uber
Community Based Harassment
Below are two excellent examples of how an entire community gets
roped into participating in organized harassment campaigns.
Defining Organized Harassment
Organized harassment can be defined as a set of protocols whereby a victim is surveilled, stalked and harassed in covert ways. The hallmark is criminal activity that is difficult to detect for those not undergoing it and hard to prove. Below are some standard practices. This list is by no means all-inclusive:
- Slander campaigns
- Illegal Surveillance
- Synchronized stalking by multiple persons (on foot and in vehicles)
- Synchronized harassment by multiple person
- Hacking, typically of all devices
- Noise campaigns
- Directed energy devices
- Home and vehicle break-ins
The result of these practices is deep violation of a victim’s privacy and erosion of their mental, physical and emotional well-being (by inducing anxiety, fear, and paranoia). The psychological attacks are often not apparent to others and leave no marks by design. Consequently, victims often suffer in silence, with little or no emotional support.
Though the tactics used in organized harassment campaigns are illegal, they are hard to prove and even harder to prosecute. When victims provide law enforcement with evidence, their concerns are all too often ignored.
The Weinstein scandal and Scientology and the Aftermath have made the concept of organized harassment known to millions of Americans. However organized harassment is a growing epidemic in the United States that most had not heard of before these revelations. Public awareness continues to be an issue for victims.
Former FBI Chief Inspector and Head of Los Angeles Office, Ted Gunderson filed an affidavit in Los Angeles County in 2011. In it, he reported the following:
“Based on my investigative work, which includes intelligence from sources such as active and former members of Intelligence Services (including the FBI, the CIA, the NSA and military intelligence) thousands of victims have been targeted by… criminal [groups], subjected to illegal and unconstitutional phone taps… illegal audio “bugging”, surreptitious entry into the home, office and vehicle, visual surveillance in the home conducted by illegal placement of miniature remote, wireless cameras… illegal internet spyware, illegal GPS tracking… regular fixed and mobile surveillance… mail theft and tampering, financial and employment sabotage, slander campaigns and community ostracizing… poisoning… illegal set-ups on drug charges and other felony charges. The aforementioned surveillance and harassment activities [are carried out] in conjunction with organized crime, even misguided civic organizations and neighborhood groups”
Department of Justice Statistics
A 2009 report by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, titled Stalking Victimization in the United States, reveals that of the more than 3 million stalking victims in the United States:
- 448,557 were stalked by 3+ people
- 205,446 were being stalked electronically (including hacking of devices and use of smartphones)
Getting relief is not easy, and for most victims seems an impossible task. In almost half the cases (45%), the police did not even file a report when told of the crime. For 71% of those who reported the harassment to the police, the stalking remained the same or got worse.
Remember, this was in 2009, over 10 years ago now. These numbers have more than likely at least doubled. And most stalking victims in general do not report the crimes to law enforcement. More so for victims of organized harassment, who are often dismissed or misdiagnosed by mental health professionals.