Also, slander, dirty tricks, smearing and framing.
The slanders directed at Targeted Individuals have a core standard menu of criminal/prostitute/homosexual/terrorist/paedophile, with anything else thrown in convenient to the situation (like in Ireland, spreading to the Republican community that someone is a British spy).
The beauty of lies as a weapon is that they cost nothing, and are infinitely versatile. You only have to identify the prejudices of the recipient and tailor your lie accordingly. And you can have even more fun spreading different, contradictory lies to different sets of people. Telling the Republicans in Ireland that someone is a British spy, while simultaneously telling the Loyalists that that same someone is IRA. As these groups don’t talk to each other, and the Target is an unimportant person anyway, the lies will not be uncovered. and of course it is the subject of the lies, not the perpetrator, who end up with all the resulting trouble.
The problem with lies, for the victim, is everybody else knows, but he/she doesn’t. They are the only one that is not spoken to. People who have been lied to about you, don’t come up to you and say – hey (insert name here) told me you are a spy/terrorist/prostitute/paedophile – let’s have it from the horses mouth -is that true/ what do you say? I guarantee it. No-one has ever come to me directly to question any story that had been told about me. What does happen, is people erring on the side of caution, in case the lies are true, quietly refuse acceptance for further educational studies and pitch your job application into the waste paper basket. You do not know what has happened so it does not occur to you to question the decision – not that you would get an answer if you did. Cheap and easy social sabotage. Your work, your study, your good name, wiped out in a few words.
Not everyone are complete idiots. The more worldly and intelligent, perhaps distrusting the source of the story will try to uncover by oblique methods the truth of the situation. I have had guvnors, most notably my employers at the Royal Mail where I worked for twenty years, do their own research. Shortly after I was first employed by them, initially in Bradford, Yorkshire, I was aware I had been discreetly “checked out” by their security division. And that was it. There was no evidence supporting the lies, so I was treated as a normal employee from then on.
When I moved to London, the same thing occurred. The guvnors checked the records, followed their own protocols, occasionally and unobtrusively kept an eye on me (Royal Mail offices are always completely covered with hidden security cameras) – end of subject. I deduce that the guvnors in London also figured out that I was a target of harassment. But I had neither help nor hindrance – just a normal work environment.
What eventually gives the game away is when people make inappropriate remarks, or engage you in strange conversations. Sometimes they are indirectly fishing for the truth. Sometimes playing James Bond and think they can trigger some giveaway reaction indicating guilt. All that ever happened was that I became baffled and wondered, what the hell is bothering them? A few examples. My first boss when I came to England for work, out of the blue, in a totally unrelated conversation, came out with the remark “black frilly knickers”. I stared at him in amazement. What brought that on? Thirty years later I found out about gang stalking methods and worked it out. I suppose he had been told I was a prostitute. He was a good boss. In the time worked I for him his behaviour plainly indicated that he didn’t believe it. I suppose the remark was a “tester” to see my reaction. In the same office another employee with whom I had got on quite well, a Latin American and a good Catholic, suddenly, out of the blue, told me he didn’t like lesbians. Well, OK. Thanks for your opinion. But why are you telling me? But after that he became aloof.
Back to the Royal Mail. The system in the London offices was a permanent guvnor with the second in command circulated in from other offices for a period of time, usually a few months. In this way the managers get to know how the Royal Mail works across its business. My work in London was an unusual designation (in Bradford I was a Postal Higher Grade, code desk), namely postman/cook. Our office was too small to economically support a Quadrant canteen, so the old fashioned method of splitting a postman’s duty in half, to allow time for one postman to do the shopping, and make the morning teas, and breakfast, then complete half a “walk” was the solution. So I would meet most postmen, and the temporary guvnors on a daily basis. I usually got on well with the temporary guvnors, for a time, then the strange conversations would start, and then the guvnors would avoid me.
One guvnor, who had a ten year old son with autism, I had many interesting conversations with on the subject of autism and the resultant problems. He also lent me several books on the subject. One day he came into the canteen and was very rattled. Angry in fact. He said he had been out walking with his son, holding hands. The child being autistic is nervous in public settings with other people present. And commented, as is often the case, autistic children are very beautiful. The guvnor said a passerby had given him a dirty look, the implication being he was a paedophile. Naturally he was enraged. This was a situational double bind. Of course he had to hold the child’s hand, otherwise he couldn’t have taken him out. For a father to be subject to such a clever, dirty but easy to deny it happened, slur is monstrous behaviour.
But a few weeks later he embarked on a conversation that when he was out with his son they had witnessed what were apparently a gay couple holding hands. This was followed by a rather over-the-top rant about gay people should not hold hands in public – and what did I think about it? Well, the main thing I thought was confusion. I had no opinion on the matter and don’t care, which was what I told him. I told him I had been waiting for a bus when a young heterosexual couple appeared to be engaging in mimic intercourse – and that I did find offensive – whoever does it. Holding hands does not bother me, especially coming from Ireland, where a man holding hands with his wife/girlfriend is viewed as a “poof”.
In retrospect I realise the poor guy, a good Catholic, was being played. They certainly knew how to press his buttons.
But conversations with another guvnor were even weirder. As before I got on with him quite well and had many conversations about everything. This guvnor was from Southern Ireland but had spent most of his adult working life in England. Then the strange conversations started. It is difficult to say in clear terms what he said, because he was intentionally oblique. But the gist of it was talking about bomb making and getting chemicals on your hands, and how he had a favourable reputation in this area. What!!!! Look, I just make the tea and scramble the eggs, what is that all about? This is England, you are Irish, you are talking about bomb making in a Royal Mail canteen which is equipped for surveillance/sound – what the hell! Even now I cannot deduce what that particular game was. I can deduce two alternatives . That he was an Irish republican sympathiser and the spies were telling him I was a British spy and he was trying to flush me out. Well, he was Irish, and loyal to his people, and a good socialist, but I didn’t read him as a Republican sympathiser. Or, he had been told I was a Republican sympathiser, and he was cooperating with the British authorities to get me to reveal my hand.
Clearly, neither of these guvnors had spoken to the permanent guvnor for he would have told them they were getting a load of horlicks.
As I have mentioned in a previous blog, it was clear that lies had been spread about me when I first got the job in London, and the men had rejected them. In fact, whatever they were told it was clear they viewed it as a big joke. I hated London, but enjoyed my work. But when the rent on our bedsit-converted-to-one-bed-flat by putting a wall down the middle, reached over £9,000 pa, the running costs of a house outside London, near enough wiping out either my husbands entire income, or mine, it was time to leave.
We moved back to Yorkshire and sadly my husband’s cancer returned and he died last year. I moved into a bedsit and the lies about me continue to be spread. This is a rural area, where the demographic is disproportionally elderly. I fit in here. I was raised in the countryside, and my normal dress fits with elderly, rural people. That is quiet, practical clothes, avoiding ostentation or sexiness. So it is difficult to make the lie stick that I am a prostitute. Telling people I am a lesbian – well, who would care these days. Besides lesbians aren’t trouble makers nor venues for trouble. There appear to be two lies that they have spread. That I am a terrorist and that I am a gypsy! For a start I am North Irish, Australian mother, anglicised in values and outlook due to her southern English ancestors, and born on the Loyalist side of the fence. And I don’t give a damn about any Irish politics. All Irish politics are on the extreme right wing of the political spectrum (including communists who might as well be fascists). Unlike the middle of the road English, where I fit. Most gypsies are southern Irish and supposedly Catholic. But I accept these are clever lies tailored to the community. English people can’t tell one Irish accent from another. Everyone is paranoid about terrorists thanks to the way our government have handled the situation. And gypsies are also a cause of fear, rightly or wrongly being suspected of engaging in crimes against settled country people (illegal gypsy encampments trashing house price values, Tony Martin, and so on). The population of Irish gypsies in England increased hugely when the Irish government passed a law making camping on land criminal trespass, which could include penalties such as confiscating caravans, and thousands of pounds worth of fines. (I have put up an e-petition asking the British government to challenge the legality of the Irish land trespass law before the EU. I don’t see how it can be legal for any signatory of the EU to pass legislation effectively evicting thousands of their citizens).
So to counter the lies that I am an Irish terrorist/gypsy – a combination I didn’t know exists, I am now crew cut and wear Ulster flag/Union Jack t-shirts. Not, I think, the fashion rules for those two categories.
I just noticed on my Wordpage stats page, under research terms, the following question. “Why would gypsies wear Union Jacks.”
Well, enquirer, I am sure you are a genuine member of the public who makes a point of touring gypsy encampments to pick up fashion tips, here is your answer.
My Union Jack t-shirts.
Me working on the code desk in Bradford, about 25 years ago.