When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
—1 Corinthians 13:11
Just now, as I was standing at the sink washing cilantro and being harassed by those in the south mobbing house, I was thinking about what bothered me in my own discussion of adult bullying. I commented in a recent post that while there is increasing legislation that explores the criminality of bullying of children, bullying of adults seems to be considered civil. But the bullying that attends organized crime, that attends racketeering, that accompanies and enables crimes like coercion, is not and should not be considered civil.
Note that the south mobbing house seems to be having a gathering tonight, one that I often refer to as a “harassment party,” in which the owner and his girlfriend seem to invite others who are involved in property mobbing to the house to stack their driveway—which ends with the fence that I put there because of this type of behavior, a fence whose removal they have unsuccessfully sought—with cars until they spill out onto the street, sometimes blocking my vehicles or driveway though they don’t dare do this much any longer because they know I’ll call the police. They then seem to spend their evening competing with each other to see who can affect me with the harassment they are projecting into my house over the TV using an unlicensed band or by projection with directional speakers. Then they finally leave in a noisy manner, sometimes even almost hitting each others’ cars as they recklessly maneuver them on their driveway, and a few times hitting the vehicles in the parking strip of the neighborhood watch captain across the street, the woman they assured they were “getting [me] out.”
The people who are doing this to me seem to think they’re cool. They change their voices to sound like cartoon characters and apparently think they can get people to leave their legal homes with these funny voices. In reality, however, changing their voices and harassing others while hiding themselves in neighboring structures might legally be considered a form of “masking” oneself to commit a crime, an act that invites additional penalties in states with laws on the use of masks in crime. Based on the use of directional speakers, an obvious strategy of avoiding witnesses to their harassment and a technique they also use to discredit the victim as a madman, the mobbers go much further than masking. They create hoaxes that may not only exert irreparable damage to the victim’s life but are obstructive of justice in their very intention. These are a bunch of snarky criminals who think they are above the law. It’s time to show them otherwise.
My statements seemed to indicate that I thought “bullying” should be criminalized. I do not think that adults should require the same protection that children do. But I also do not think that bullying should be disregarded when it is linked to crime or when it is used as a means of accomplishing bad acts without culpability.
Most importantly, perhaps the reason why bullying is not seen as a crime that affects adults, is because we trust that children leave bad behavior like bullying behind in middle school and certainly by the time of high school as they move into society as adults. We trust that those over the age of majority have not only learned how to handle their liquor but to use their power as individuals kindly and compassionately. We trust that our children are gifted with the confidence and compassion that it takes to experience power in themselves instead of power over others, without their power requiring the weakness of others. And in the same manner, we trust that those who seek positions of power—for example, those who take up positions in neighborhood watch organizations—will protect all those in their neighborhoods instead of creating a stratified community where the rights of some residents are respected and others disparaged. We trust that adults have developed empathy for others and have learned how to balance their own needs and wants against the rights of others. We trust that adults have learned how to live among others, to live in relationship with the millions of others who inhabit this world.
Bullying is a childish thing, boorish and bad behavior. A pattern of bullying that continues into adulthood is usually a sign of emotional disturbance or criminal behavior. When adults bully for profit, we call it racketeering; we call them racketeers. Real estate mobbers should be prosecuted as such.