For nearly two years, I have been the victim of an organized crime—a racket—in my northeast Seattle neighborhood. The crime is real estate mobbing, a crime that Amnesty International considers a violation of human rights and that the United Nations acknowledges as a method of forced eviction. Real estate mobbing usually occurs in gentrifying neighborhoods with runaway development.
In my own neighborhood, I would estimate that more than 70% of the lots have been built or the homes on them flipped, some more than once, in the past five years. Real estate mobbing as I have known it is a crime of constant and brutal stalking and harassment effected by a corrupt neighborhood watch in collusion with real estate speculators.
In my case, the harassment that is now effected over communications systems including cell phone, radio and computer, as well constantly projected into my home so that I must use sound board to have a chance of sleeping at home, was preceded by a more mundane bullying situation that began with constant complaining letters from a captain of the neighborhood watch, a rather vicious woman apparently far more manipulative than I could have imagined. By the time I arrived in this neighborhood, she had an established reputation as passive-aggressive and vindictive, to the point where, some told me later on, they avoided her. This woman co-captains the neighborhood watch association, a small group composed mainly of retirees allied with developers and real estate speculators in an apparent attempt to line their pockets by making the neighborhood some million dollar row. Naturally, an egalitarian community that includes those who rent is not part of their investment strategy.
It’s troubling to be a victim of a crime, even more so a crime of collusion that involves a neighborhood watch organization whose role is to protect all the members of the community. But then, there are a lot of disturbing things about the crime of real estate mobbing—its viciousness, the way it dehumanizes its victims and seeks to criminalize the residencies of those who occupy the properties that developers want. It’s nasty enough to be a legal tenant mindful of her duties, even one who goes beyond her legal obligations to care for her contract and her home, and to find oneself the victim of a neighborhood bullying effort that comes out of dysfunction and greed. It’s worse when it escalates to a criminal situation in which disregard for my very being is not just legend but is, I’m to believe, part of the fun. That is, “fun” for those so curiously sick that they would want to do what is being done to me at all. “Fun” for those so troubled that they would make harassing people from their homes not only their vocation but an elaborate ritual of science and psychology. As the victim, I remain incredulous that people would go so far out of their way in an attempt to strip a human being of her rights, her dignity, her livelihood and health, and her home.
When I began traveling last year to work to out of state, to stay employed, I was surprised that the harassment followed me, right into secured areas of Seattle-Tacoma and other airports, and right onto the plane, usually the Boeing 737. I wrote about this in a blog post called Flying the friendly skies a few months back. One of the aspects of the airport and plane harassment that has troubled me further, is the fact that former “boyfriend” and current husband of the malicious neighborhood watch captain is a long-time Boeing employee. It’s hypocrisy like this that stuns me as much as the avid interest of my neighborhood watch in hurting members of their community.
As the months drag on and the round-the-clock stalking and harassment continue, I find myself considering the politics of being a man who works for a manufacturer of aircraft whose communication systems are presumed to be secured against wireless and radio-based hacks and stalking of those on board, of me. I worked briefly at Boeing back in the 1990s, as a contractor, and we were made to sign a loyalty oath. For me, a student of history who participated in seminars on McCarthyism, a compulsory loyalty oath was a troubling thing. And I know that because Boeing is a military supplier, there are likely various security clearances that must be maintained by employees. How could someone who works in aviation, an industry in which security is crucial, allow himself to be involved in a racket that includes cyber-harassment on airplanes? How could someone who should love him involve him in crime or expose her family members to it, much less help to arrange to bring the criminals into the neighborhood who would do it?
And yet, this woman was clearly an instigator of this crime that they have tried to convince me cannot be detected or prosecuted. And it’s been clear that she wants me to know it. She openly participated in some of the hoaxes that took place at the opening of the mobbing. She stood on the driveway of what I would come to call “the south mobbing house” and went on and on with the owner of the house and his girlfriend about how they had purchased the house in which I live and how great it would be without me here. She went on and on about the “green space,” a familiar theme since she’d called my landlady up at least a year before and told her that my driveway should be “returned to green space.” This after her suggestion that the construction crew of a new house across the way should be allowed to park in my driveway. Her voice has also been in the mobbing harassment that has followed me, and she’s openly encouraged the residents of the mobbing houses on either side of me. For example, the day now probably more than a year ago when she made a display of complaining to the owner of the north mobbing house about my continued presence. His telling response was, “We’re getting her out.” Or the time a potential buyer for the new house across the way was curious about a vehicle of mine and, in a panicked voice, she blurted out within my hearing, “She won’t be here.” Or the time just before the mobbing when she bragged to a passerby that she and her cronies had “very sensitive microphones” deployed to track the movements of my vehicles.
I used to think that maybe her husband didn’t really get what was going on or that he’d been dragged into it somehow. Sometimes, I’ve mused as to whether she married him so that he can’t testify against her in court. Whatever the reality of the situation, it’s become clear that, perhaps because they’re all becoming fearful of the prospect that I will get an investigation and what they’ve done will be exposed, he is actively supporting the harassment.
Perhaps harassers following their victims onto Boeing planes is commonplace. Maybe, practically speaking, using radio systems to gain access to aircraft in-flight entertainment systems to harass victims is unlikely to interfere with navigation systems. Maybe the FBI and Boeing don’t see real estate mobbing as a form of domestic terrorism, despite the heinous nature of a crime that is effected by installing harassers in the houses that neighbor the victim and the victim property to ensure that the victim cannot escape the harassment by turning off the radio, or the TV, or the computer. But does Boeing want to have employees who are involved in, aware of, and supportive of organized crimes that include cyber-stalking and harassment on Boeing planes?