In real estate mobbing, a “safe” word or phrase is not by its meaning obvious as harassment, at least not to those who know nothing of mobbing. “Safe” is my term to describe another way in which mobbers use language to hide their handicraft. Caution is not a trait those who’ve been attempting to quietly harass me out of my legal home in northeast Seattle would want me to ascribe to them, but as criminals they must take measures to hide their tracks.
For the victim of real estate mobbing, there are no “safe words.” For the victim, all speech uttered by the mobbers—mobbing speech—is harassment. Mobbing speech is not situated within the context of a consensual relationship between two subjects; it is not spoken in the inter-subjective or Martin Buber’s in-between. There is no Levinasian face-to-face. On the contrary, mobbing speech is a brutality forced upon the mobbing victim. It is transmitted in rogue waveforms that overwhelm broadcast signals and shot at “targets” by projection over property lines into houses of glass. Mobbing speech is always heard against one’s will. Mobbing speech is uttered to interrupt, to distract, undermine, or to harm. Mobbers speak to humiliate, to belittle and to taunt; they speak to harangue and torment. Mobbing speech—the harassment used in property mobbing to constructively evict—is spoken to bend, to coerce, and to control.
Real estate mobbers have plenty of safe words to prevent the detection of their public harassment. Their goal is to make you believe that everyone hears the humiliating things they say in public when, in reality, they take great care to avoid creating witnesses who can corroborate victim accounts. The mobbers’ use of safe words and phrases, especially in public places where they might be harassing me using the cell phones of those sitting near me or the speakers of access points that lack the directionality to isolate me, these safe utterances can come in especially handy. If such speech is noticed by others, it is likely perceived as fragments of speech that are out of context or curious, speech that makes no sense within the world of the listener and is therefore ignored, speech that is meaningless to all except the mobber’s victim who knows from the sound of the voice that the words are meant for him. For the victim of the mobber, all mobbing speech has meaning.
In my own mobbing, the phrase “Give us the bot!” and its shortening to “Bot!” are examples of this. Both of them refer to one of the hoaxes that opened the mobbing; the hoax that the neighbors had put malware on my computer. Nearly a year after the “bot hoax,” I learned online that there was a history of hoaxes involving Internet “bots,” a type of malware also known as a “root kit,” and that some had left their homes because of them. This was key in realizing that the mobbers were unlikely to carry out or to have carried out the threats they made, like putting all my email online or otherwise “killing” me by uploading pictures from the “shower-cam” or “potty-cam” they insisted they had installed in my home but I could never find.
As of late, with my increased reporting and blogging, the mobbers have redeemed another “safe” phrase referring to a hoax that came somewhat later in the mobbing, that of an illegal background check. I made requests for information to a background check company called “Kroll,” as well as to other financial entities because of some some inquiries I saw on my credit report. Those requests were written at the library for the most part, while I was being monitored. Ever since then, the mobbers crow the name “Kroll” to remind me of another wrong direction I took in trying to get evidence of violations of privacy. It has become another shorthand demanding me to “Get out!” The use of “Kroll” is also an example of language that the mobbers incorporated into the mob, in this case telling me during harassment that it was a good word and they intended to use it, to commemorate an earlier event in which I had likely been hoaxed once more.
Investigators of mobbing crimes should not only listen closely for language that makes no sense within the context of the victim’s environment. They should also be sure to note the appearance of terms that do not immediately make sense as harassment. A way of doing this without consulting the victim would be to monitor the harassment for a period of time of sufficient duration to record the pattern of language in the mob.