It’s the middle of the night and between delays due to a glut of air traffic at Seattle-Tacoma Airport and the inevitable poor transitions between modes of public transport beginning with Seattle’s Light Rail system and ending with the herky-jerky bumper car experience that is Car2Go, I’ve only recently gotten home. As usual, I can hear the mobbers when I unload my baggage, leveling insults and demands as I greet and the feed the cat, unpack laptops and turn on the heat. Still now, they persist, sotto voce and perhaps at longer intervals than usual, but they never stop for long. In my case, being real estate mobbed now for more than two years in this northeast neighborhood of Seattle afflicted by a neighborhood watch association whose alliance with developers and speculators has turned them into criminals, the mobbing has become a contest of wills.
Can the real estate mobbers, those hosting them and their real estate developer cronies survive mobbing someone—me—who is going to great lengths to endure a full complement of felony crimes while reporting and blogging to expose them? Can they continue their “surround sound system” of ceaseless harassment and continue to travel under the radar of the Seattle Police Department? Can they “get [me] out” before I finally get that police investigation? Or can I survive a crime that is constructed to discredit its victims and clamp down on their reporting, a crime that has already caused me loss of employment, thwarted an attempt to complete an academic program that would have given me a second livelihood, and damaged my life in countless other ways.
For someone who put herself through school and had little time to join protests during her years as a student in U.C. Berkeley, these days I’m making up for lost time. Real estate mobbing has literally brought activism home to me.
“Get the fuck out!” the mobbers say.
So it’s late at night, I have to work tomorrow, and I owe the readers of this blog more of the posts I’ve been promising. I’ll try to add a few in the next days, about beam-formed sound at least, maybe more. But for now, just an anecdote.
Today in San Jose Airport, the mobbers were being pretty quiet. In fact, during much of this past trip, they’ve been quiet. That is, however, a relative term.
Some of the AirBnB’s I’ve been staying in are pretty crowded, some don’t have heating vents on the ceiling or have obstructed windows and some lack televisions and stereos. Television usually allows for wireless intrusions these days; heating and ventilation systems, as well as windows, would be vulnerable to sound projected by drone. Yes, I said drone. And it makes sense. Give a bunch of assholes a new toy and they think they control the skies and can lay waste to anything on the ground. At least, this is how it was before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) settled on the drone registry. Unfortunately, without public access to registry information and better oversight of the use of drones, probably including transponders, things don’t seem to be much better now for me. The mobbers think they can get away with anything because crimes like these are not common, it takes months for the victim of real estate mobbers to even begin to figure out the mobbers’ shell game, and getting the ear of the police is difficult to the point where the victim of mobbing is put in the position of having to “prove” the crime that victimizes her. Ultimately, the mobbers commit crimes while they “mask” themselves by using tricks and technology to abstract their harassment and felony crimes away from their social identities. “What? Who? Me?” becomes “I’m not stalking you. My drone is.”
Let’s see how that line flies in court. Add a little obstruction of justice and you get comments made to intimidate and to defame, statements like that made in court by the girlfriend of the owner of the south mobbing house: “If we have to live next door to her, we won’t be able to have children.” Something tells me that in this case, that might be for the best.
This past week, I’ve even gotten a few nights of pretty good sleep. And my seat on the Boeing 737 that ferried me back to Seattle was not conducive to heavy mobbing. I sat in the back row at a window where the sound of the wind functioned as white noise. The guy next to me was reading for his CPA exam and the guy next to him was reading a Kindle. There was mobbing, but it was subdued.
I just went to my bedroom and layered both windows with sound board in preparation for bed. The mobbers kept murmuring through the board, determined to get around the board even as I attempted a helter skelter composition to confuse their rogue waves of sound.
Now, where was I? Ah yes, San Jose Airport. At the airport itself, it seems that the harassment is delivered through public address systems and speakers available through open WiFi networks, as well as through the cell phones of anyone around me—cellular service on mine is usually off and WiFi is nearly always off. These days, in hopes that investigators might track the mobbers tracking me, I often leave location services on.
So I’m trudging through the airport looking for a shop where I can get a cold bottle of water. There’s this guy, probably a twenty to early thirtysomething techie sitting on the floor, staring at his cell phone in his two hands. As I walk past, I hear “Move on!”. I’m sure it came from his cell phone. And it wasn’t faint.
People must occasionally “hear” the mobbers’ words but not recognize that they have meaning or aren’t just some background noise. Like me, it probably takes months to realize that what you hear is coming from your cell phone when your ear isn’t right next to it. Perhaps this is because people don’t expect uninvited voices to pop up on their cell phones or perhaps there’s something about the way the speakers work, or the way a faint voice coming from them might be perceived that protects the mobbers from detection when they cyberharass, which is a significant part of the time. Remember, at the start of all this, I didn’t have a cell phone. So they phreaked me, phone phreaked, that is, like early hackers did to the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) back in the days of Ma Bell, by learning the codes necessary to manipulate the back office system, but the codes they used allowed them to work my phone equipment, to use the intercom system to listen, to forward marketing calls to me and deliver the openings lines in what is now two years of interfering with communications and harassment. When I finally decided, despite the mobbing, to get a cell phone, one of the mobbers declared, “If you get an iPhone, I’ll fuck you up so bad.” By then, I didn’t let threats of being “fucked up” enter into my decisions. With criminals who had early on allowed me to hear statements like, “Now, what else can we do to fuck [her] up?” it was clear that threats were part of their style, that the threats were made to threaten.
The techie sits there holding his phone in his hands and staring at it hard. I look back at him, waiting to see if he’s going to be the one who looks up and says, “Wow, that was weird. Some voice just said ‘Move on!’ Did you hear it?” But he doesn’t. And I continue walking.
But the mobbers take care. When I walk by him on my way back, all is quiet.