I lived in Australia after I left school but after three years I still had not acclimatised to the heat – Australian winters were as warm as Irish summers, but their summers were intolerable. I had been away from my family and wished to be near them. There were two choices of University in Northern Ireland. Queens in Belfast and Ulster University on the bleak and windy North coast. I dislike Belfast, a grim Northern town at the best of times, but while the troubles were going on, well worth avoiding, so I opted for (I thought) the tranquility of the countryside. I did not get a grant as I had been out of the country but I had some savings from Australia although not enough to take me through my course so it was a hand to mouth existence, living on the smallest possible amount and having to borrow to get by. So, a social life was out, which I did not mind. I was there to study after all.
The first odd event just after I started University was when my flat mate – not a student but my closest friend of ten years – popped out to the shop to buy some milk. She came back somewhat agitated saying a policeman had stopped her when she came out of the shop saying she had parked her motorbike illegally. It was just outside the shop.
I had not been at Uni very long when while passing a lecture hall near the main entrance I overheard part of an ongoing lecture. A male voice was saying something about people who should not be at University. That seemed odd. Ulster University had the highest intake of working class students in the United Kingdom. I thought to myself, what is going on here? That sounds a bit fascist.
In order to keep living costs down I was house sharing. I had my friend to share but we needed another. We advertised for a mature student, preferably someone in their final year. I was inexperienced at sharing so stupidly accepted the first person to come along. Final year yes, mature no . A childish person who never stopped chattering. In order to get away from the mind-numbing mental fog her brainless chatter caused we would go to the pub just to get away from her. But I could not afford this. Our sharer was costing us more money than we were saving in rent. We decided for Year 2 we would find a smaller, cheaper place and that was how we ended up in the cottage on the edge of town.
My friend, the complete opposite of me, was a very social person. At the end of the first year she threw a party for her friends. As happens, some people came who were not invited. A pair of these “had it off” in an upstairs bedroom. My friend was disgusted and resolved never to have a party again. In a rural town things like that do nothing for your reputation.
In order to earn some money we went down to London in the holidays. It turned out the pay was low and combined with the high cost of living there I was hardly better off. I returned early to find accommodation. My friend stayed in London a bit longer but while out on her motorbike a car pulled out directly in front of her causing a crash. Fortunately she wasn’t hurt but the bike was badly damaged . She managed to get the damage fixed and the garage advised her that the bike was an effective write off and no-one should ride it. But the insurer disagreed and refused to pay for replacement. She was in a terrible dilemma. Public transport was virtually non-existent in this rural area, you needed some kind of transport. (I used a bicycle). She did not have the money to buy another bike. With conscience pricking her and not telling them about the accident, she traded the bike in at a garage.
I am not a social person, and anyway I could not afford a social life, but my friend had a wide circle of friends. She got to know some people at the University and through her I met them. Only in retrospect, finding out I had been gang stalked at University, did I notice that the lecturers I had been introduced to were all communists – the idealistic, intellectual sort . I thought they were nice enough people but disagreed with their politics. My friend once said – under communism, those were the first people the communists would shoot. I agreed. So, at Uni, I met virtually no people due to poverty, but the people I did meet were communists. Also they were all English. Some coincidence.
At our new country location the policeman kept turning up again ( another Englishman). Outside of University you do not meet many English in Northern Ireland. Especially while the troubles were going on. He recycled a bundle of porn magazines to us , confiscated from students, which we did not want. We looked at them, thought – boring – and put in the back of a cupboard. When we suspected our landlord was sneaking in to read them when we were out my friend gave them to a friend in Belfast.
Settled into Uni now, I did well, gaining nearly a full rack of 2:1’s. It looked as if post- graduate was a possibility. When the holidays came I decided against going down to London for work. I had not made enough money the previous year to make it worthwhile . I was able to sign on for the two months. A friend , a Jamaican girl, asked what I was doing for the holidays. I said, signing on . She said, oh I wouldn ‘t sign on. I am going to get a job. She said she was going after a job in town. I saw her a few weeks later and asked, how did the job go? She said she didn’t take it. I said, why not. She said , because the pay was 40 pence an hour.
It was in the final year that the odd things started happening. I came back to the cottage one day and there was a strange man I had never seen before standing, staring in the window . Before he saw me. I retreated . We lived at the edge of town. There were no normal passers-by. I noticed that when I went walking on the cliffs, I was followed. My neighbour, an elderly man who had lived in the cottage all his life, clearly upset , told me to be careful. There were strange men hanging about the place.
One morning there was a huge hammering at the door. I didn ‘t open it . While living in Australia the burglars had adopted the practice of knocking on the doors of houses where they knew the housewife was alone , and raping her as well as burgling. From that day I never answered the door unless I was expecting someone. Our neighbour, clearly mystified told us the person at the door had been a worker at the children’s home up the lane. We were equally mystified . We had never been up the lane and did not know that there was a home there.
I knew a student at the University, whom I now realise had some idea about the meaning of the behaviour of the stalkers. He was very, very anti-fascist. However, I stopped talking to him when someone told me he was a thief.
Our neighbour told us that one evening he had nearly shot a man attempting to climb over the high gate to the backyard. (Personal ownership of guns is not usual in the UK but some country people have shot guns). What had happened was a friend of my flat mate was in an abusive relationship. Every now and then she would take off. On this occasion the boyfriend had reported her missing and told the police we were her friends. So a copper had come round to check.
Our neighbour on the other side, sold up and returned to England.
My father, when we was forced to retire, re-took his radio exams and went back to sea. He was on the North Atlantic run between Britain and Canada. He was doing this quite happily for 5 years, when the Union forced him to retire. My Dad pointed out, he wasn’t preventing a young man getting a job. Ships were sitting in port, losing thousands of pounds a day, because there was no radio officer available. He found a job in a local mill, where he was harassed. Then he was laid off again, when the mill closed down. He told me he was out driving one day and was pulled up by the police. He said the policeman put his head in the car and sniffed, as if he was looking for drugs. My parents moved house when they saw an armed man hanging about in the fields at the back of their house.
I was doing a baby sitting job and kept getting silent phone calls. On one occasion I got a call and someone spoke and as I had no idea who the person was I handed the phone to one of the boys. He took the call, then put the phone down. He said, I know who that was. They are an IRA family. Shortly after that the family moved to Canada.
In the winter of my final year, my friend was at a concert at the University. There was a girl group playing. My friend was a good folk musician. She offered to join the group but they turned her down. I suspect because my friend, was too good. She would have had a better chance joining a male group.
I applied to do post-graduate, and was turned down before I was due to take my final exams. So, that was the end of my University career.
I returned to the town where my parents lived and got a job in a shop. Shortly after I had been there, two policewomen came into the shop and spoke to the manageress. After that she started to ask me odd questions. That sometimes I seemed abstracted as if I could not focus. True. (I am dyspraxic, which means my short term memory is inefficient and I can’t multi-task. If too many things happen at once, it is like my brain jams, and it can take me several moments to unjam, and begin to sort out priorities).
I struggled on for about a year, but I could not get work that would allow me to live independently, so in the end I realised I had little choice but to move to England to find work.
Thirty five years later, I discovered the term gang stalking and realised that all these odd events were connected. – unwarranted police intrusion; immorality at the party to trash reputation – people acting in an immoral way in your vicinity to implicate you in their immorality; lies to the person at the childrens home?; lies told to people to encourage perverts to my door, who must also have been provided with the address; also being lied to to separate me from a person who might have had an idea of what was going on; inexplicable rejection for post graduate work, when my academic record was very good; police talking to employer; police tracking relatives; police recycling porn – what for?; being introduced to communists at University; meeting people who drain (the chattering flat-mate) or bring trouble to your door (the friend in abusive relationship); causing accidents (motorbike); causing financial loss (the insurer refusing to pay replacement cost of bike even though garage warned bike was a write off); total indifference to damage done to innocent bystanders (neighbours – one who sold up and the old man bought a guard dog, not to speak of nearly shooting a policeman). The police apparently had nothing better to do with their time and resources, what with the troubles being in full swing.
In a rural area, anywhere in the world, young women can expect to get unwanted attention. So you don’t make the situation worse by acting in a way which will destroy your reputation, otherwise you become a trouble magnet. But someone else can destroy your reputation for you.
In Northern Ireland there is a saying. More people are buried by the mouth than the bullet. At the house where I was babysitting someone from an IRA family phoned. Why? If someone had spread the rumour that I was a Brit (intelligence) then I would become a target for the IRA. If the community was told I was IRA, I would be shunned, and set up for retaliation for attack by protestant para-militaries. I have no idea whether I was shunned, or not, as I was studying and could not afford to socialise anyway. Lies of this kind can get your killed.
One set of lies to one set of people, a second set of lies to a second set of people, and a third set of lies to a third set of people.
Having discovered I have been gang stalked throughout most of my adult life, I no longer trust our authorities. When they claim they need more resources to deal with terrorism, I think perhaps if they used the resources they are currently using to track innocuous people, they would have enough resources. Are they using any of their resources to tackle terrorists/serious criminals – or are they just standing back and allowing events to happen to justify their claims for more resources, and further violations of ordinary citizens rights.