Curiouser and curiouser!
—Alice in Louis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Last we stepped through the looking glass, we were looking at how real estate mobbers, at least those in northeast Seattle, keep themselves and the shady investors and racketeering neighborhood watches safe from detection by the Seattle Police Department and the FBI.
Mobbing succeeds because it is an unbelievable crime. So says the Mock Turtie anyway: “Well, I never heard it before, but it sounds uncommon nonsense.” Alice herself puts it another way: “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.” But then, chaos and “illogic” are part of the terror. Why would your neighbors stare into your windows and use microphones to listen to you in your bathroom? And what cop would believe your report that they did?
Living on the other side of the looking glass is kind of like what happens when you put on a pair of new spectacles. At first, the world on the other side is all a blur. Slowly your eyes adjust, and as they do, the world is unveiled to you; you begin to see the world as it is; as Husserl would have it, you see the things themselves. And if you’re being mobbed, and you stay in the mob, you too, will come to see the things not as the mobbers want you to see them, but as they are. You will see the things themselves.
Real estate speculators, with their tricks and scams to sell, their upsells and downturns, have perpetrated a fraud—a hoax—and not just on me. Real estate mobbing as practiced by the nasty neighborhood watch of Seattle’s northeast and the criminal speculators they invited to surround me, is a scam inside a con inside a hoax, made good by the criminal use of technology.
Mobbers select and apply technology based on its unfamiliarity to their victims, and to local police. The lack of preparedness of the police force to deal with cybercrime and crimes reliant on novel technologies like directional (parametric) speakers allows crooks to run free. This is true even here in Seattle where the Borg looms large, even in this, the locale of Microsoft Corporation (en-MS). Because of the lack of preparedness of the police to deal with the crimes of the virtual world, we become patsies in the material world.
Practically speaking, so long as criminals effect their exploits in the virtual world, they can get away with crimes for which they’d be held accountable in the material one. The police, and in my experience Seattle Police Department, even though they are charged with escalating crimes to the FBI, are unlikely to refer matters to them when the patrol officer cannot see and does not understand the “crime.” As the Seattle police officer who responded to a complaint I naively made at the opening of my mobbing flatly stated after I called to report hearing people in the driveway of the the south mobbing house asking whether the owner and his franchise family girlfriend could “get” someone “on [my] router,” there was no probable cause. Moreover, in using novel technologies in an unusual manner, real estate mobbers subject their victims to an experience that, in its very phenomenology, indemnifies the mobbers and their crook cronies in development and nasty neighborhood watches.
The experience of being mobbed is unfamiliar and, at least so far, believable only by the victim who experiences it. Mobbing presents us with a phenomenology inconsistent with “reality.” This is the reality governed by the laws of science, reality as we experience it through the senses of sight and of sound. These laws describe principles of our existence in the physical world. These embodied experiences are what the “unreality” of unmotivated sound as used in horror films stand in counterpoint to. The victim of mobbing asks: Why do I hear the voices of my neighbors as though they are beside me in bed? Why do I hear the voices of those I cannot see? And why does no one else hear them? The mobbers make good their crime by sleight of hand, by the tricks up their sleeves, by turning your world on its head.
Alice stepped through the looking glass and emerged into another world. When Alice fell, it was into a netherworld that existed without her, one that existed within the imagination of a child. When the victim of mobbing falls into the underworld of the Queen Bee and her mob, it’s a world that has been constructed for you, one of criminal origin, one that exists independent of whether the mobbers’ bogus recollections of your life resonate, and regardless of your apprehension of its malevolence. To survive your encasement in this constructed and criminal reality, you must be faithful to your capacity as a sentient being, you must be able to recognize the difference between the real, and crime.
Motivation and the mobbers’ gambit
In Unmotivated sound and the narrative of mobbing (part 2), I described the essential gambit of mobbing. This is the ability to freely and quietly harass a legal resident out of their home in a civil society where forced eviction is expressly against law and philosophy. The ability to harass with impunity is appealing to nasty neighborhood watches who do not respect the civil rights of the residents in their neighborhoods as well as to the scumbucket developers and speculators who are more than willing to share their bed and even to introduce them to the clever real estate mobbers who can get rid of those undesirables tout de suite, give the nasty neighborhood watch ladies of the world ample opportunities to get their licks in while the eviction is underway, and do so not only with impunity, but with glee.
How do they do it? By the use of technologies and tricks intended to fool your perceptions, and to fool the cops too. To use a programming term, mobbers do it with indirection. With any luck, later this week I’ll post a blog with more information about how mobbers use and abuse the cops. In this blog, my focus is on the hardware, the technologies of unmotivated sound, but first, let’s review the mechanics of the platform of bullying that mobbing is, by taking a look at two of its dependencies: Indirection, and omniscience.
Indirection and omniscience
Real estate mobbing, the criminal bullying of a legal resident from their home, is constructed as a whodunnit that cannot be solved and will not be proved. In mobbing, criminal real estate speculators may bully as proxies for the corrupt members of a neighborhood watch who arrange a real estate deal in return. But bullying, however satisfying for the miscreants who mob, is not an end in and of itself. For criminal real estate speculators or tenant relocators who are paid with profits from real estate, the bullying is administered without regard for the identity of the victim; rather, it is pursued as a strategy to acquire property. Nevertheless, a strategy of bullying requires a near declaration of war on the victim tenant to be ousted. As the mobbers in my own mobbing declared in the earlier days of the bullying when confidence was the rule of the day, This is property war!
Bullying as mobbers or the tenant relocators who call themselves “mobbers” would have it, does have some distinct features in common with war, at least, war as it has been fought since we more or less repudiated the Geneva Conventions. The most important of these similarities, and the antecedent of many atrocities of war over land as well as property, is the vilification of the victim. In the wars of the modern era, troops cultivate unity within their ranks (One for all and all for one!), usually by insisting on at least lip service to conformity (Don’t ask, don’t tell). Simultaneously, they prepare themselves to kill by dehumanizing their enemies as “towelheads,” “gooks,” and “japs,” or by writing up plans for the genocide, like The Final Solution. Propaganda plays a pivotal role in unitying and rallying the troops. The fabricated text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903) is regarded as an early example of “conspiracy theory literature,” appearing in print first within the Russian Empire, and circulated in one antisemitic climate after another and wherever needed to justify the hatred and scapegoating of Jews.
As an aside, Trump is more or less walking propaganda, spouting hate speech everywhere he goes. A linguist could probably analyze his speech for the statistical balance between braggadocio and hate speech. Trump is a real estate investor, and it sounds like he’s done some mobbing of his own in New York City.
Mobbing isn’t that different from war; it’s what the Pol Pot of neighborhood watches do when the city won’t grant their funding neighborhood council the budget for infantry or not even one teeny-weeny anti-personnel bomb. Like war, mobbing requires the willingness to commit crimes that may have less to do with the identity of the victim than with profit. Those who conspire to bully—and real estate mobbing is very much an organized crime—enlist co-conspirators in their cause by justifying the crimes they will commit. In my case, soon after the owner of what I came to call the north mobbing house moved in next door, the voice of the nasty neighborhood watch lady could be heard at a dinner event there that presaged what was to come: “And she won’t even park in her driveway!”
If the pillory required a crime, the mobbers found in the nasty neighborhood watch lady of the northeast a veritable tribunal. If you’re being mobbed, they probably already tried all the civil harassment they could muster to scare you into abandoning ship, complete with insinuations, malicious gossip and even false complaints to the police that there was a coke dealer, a professional pornographer or a child molester in their midst. And just as Trump was recently said to be skilled at “sensationalizing” personal background, malicious gossip is likely to be spread that your accomplishments are lies and your personal tragedies will be revealed as shameful events—anything to “deflect” guilt onto the victim in the victim blaming that is mobbing. This is the ultimate indirection.
An important facet of the strategy of bullying, is how it distributes the victim’s perception of hostility as well as the responsibility for the hostility across a group, at once making it harder to point the finger while justifying the bad acts with a “mob rule” approach of “might makes right.” A crucial point is isolating the victim, or at least convincing the victim that he is completely isolated and without allies. This defeat is what is required to quiet the victim from reporting, to force him to accept his victimization and to accede to the crime. As those mobbing me assured me time and again when they seemed to expect me to concede defeat upon hearing their declarations of victory (Psych-out!), “We’ve triangulated you,” and “You’re surrounded.” As the snarky attorney of the south mobbing house owner said for me to hear from his friend’s verdana one night a few summers back, “There’s nothing she can do.”
A strategy of bullying would not be complete without convincing the victim that not only are some crooks and unethical people against him, but those he cares for have abandoned him as well. To create a world of opposition to you the victim, a world that is against you and a world in which your greatest emotion is fear, the mobbers must invade your privacy. They must learn about your relationships with others, and then they must make you believe that those you hold near and dear have turned against you. Criminals who would harass someone out of their homes are probably not going to call up your parents and invite them to get back at you for that dent you put in the family car by joining the lynch mob that the nasty neighborhood watch lady is sponsoring for you. But that’s okay, the mobbers will still try to make you think that your own mother has sold you out. The easiest way to convince you that everyone you’ve ever known has turned against you, is to include the voices of your intimates in the mobbing.
The mobbers of northeast Seattle wasted no time early in my mobbing in using the voices of those in my life, including my landlords, my friends, and even my mother, in an attempt to make me believe that those I trusted were “working with” them. How did they get them? By monitoring, eavesdropping, and surveillance. While simultaneously claiming during mobbing harassment that there was no evidence, that nothing was recorded, they played back to me bits and pieces of conversations I’d had with others on the phone and in person. It became clear soon enough that they were using the voices of those in my life to fabricate statements intended to manipulate me emotionally. Based on a bit of a background in sound and in technology, it wasn’t much of a stretch for me to check around on the web find software that allows people to change their voices, even to sound like someone else whose voice they’ve sampled.
To do this, the played back conversations that they had recorded before I knew I was being “mobbed,” conversations I had had on the phone with friends and relatives as well as at least one discussion I had at the home of my landlords with my landlady about the increasingly bizarre situation that was developing in the neighborhood. It’s possible that their recording and playing back such conversations to me was to let me know I was being watched or to remind me of uncomfortable feelings as they attempted to induce feelings of paranoia, but soon enough in the bedtime mobbing that was projected into my home by surface harassment onto my window panes, they also began to impersonate people I had known in the past and it appeared that they were sound recording and editing technologies to alter the content of what people said. When I told those in my life that I was hearing their voices in harassment that was pretty clearly directed from the houses of the “neighbors,” the use of their voices in the mobbing abruptly halted. When I burst out laughing at the declaration of one of the mobbers that she was someone I’d scarcely thought of since an unpleasant experience with her some 25 years before, those declarations were soon enough dropped from the mobbing as well.
In the same time frame, the mobbers attempted to frighten me by telling me that they had “all the email [I’d] ever written” and that they’d “talked to all of [my] lovers.” Based on the south mobbing house sharing the line that brought Comcast Internet to the house from the pole, it seemed like it would have been easy for them to steal my email, though I doubted that some information could have come out of the email. Indeed, I wasn’t even sure that systematic eavesdropping would have given them some of the information. But it was clear that I was to believe that they knew all there was to know about me, and it didn’t take long before they attempted to floor me with a This is your life “segment,” as it were, that I quickly gathered was supposed to somehow shame me and send me packing.
But these efforts to “be or represent” people from my life, were clearly designed to create uncertainty and doubt that could be used to manipulate me out of my legal home. By attributing the mobbing to someone I’d had an unpleasant encounter with 25 years back, for example, they were using indirection. And by attempting to “be or represent” people in my life past and present, they hoped to convince me that I was essentially guilty or bad and to thereby shame me into quietly leaving my home. In short, the mobbers do not only use victim blaming by attempting to convince possible witnesses and the police that you have done or will soon do something heinous, they try to manipulate you into believing that the world is against you, and that it’s your fault. The pairing of knowledge from invasion of privacy with harassment that uses sources of indirection is a potent combination.
This isn’t like the looking glass of Alice. No, this is the funhouse mirror of mobbing. And when the carnival is run by some psychopath profiteers, it’s you who is being taken, and taken for a ride. The mobbers want you to believe that you can’t trust anyone, that everyone you know, or that you ever did know, is “working with” them. In real estate mobbing, at least as performed by the mobbers of northeast Seattle, bullying is not only mob rule but a feat of indirection in which the victim is duped into believing that the entirety of the world has turned against him.
When you don’t know whodunnit, they’re all around you.
Directionality, motivation, and the things themselves
Bullying is the strategy of mobbing, but when you strip the scumbuckets of their tricks, the wizard is a crook behind a curtain and the emporor—read that, the Queen Bee—has no clothes. In the abstraction layer of mobbing, it’s indirection after indirection, and if you refuse to give in to the crime of forced eviction by speculators and hold your ground and lease, it’s as though you’ve dereferenced a pointer that was pointed to by another pointer and found that it is absolutely, positively, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, null.
As Alice would put it, You’re nothing but a pack of cards! This is where the mobbers drop their hand.
The indirection of directional sound
The mobbers’ use of unmotivated sound is enabled by speaker technologies whose sound provides a different experience to the listener, rather, from the standpoint of the mobbers, the “target.” Parabolic loudspeakers deliver sound that is shaped and focused as a planar wave; parametric speakers focus and transmit sound as a beam.
These types of sound I have described in the blog entry Beam-focused sound: The artillery of property war. I have not yet discussed laser-focused sound technologies, which could be a strong possibility for the kind of monkey-wrenching that real estate mobbers inflict on their victims from close range when they have line-of-sight access.
The way the sound is shaped influences its transmission. Focused sound dissipates more slowly and can travel longer distances than unfocused waves of sound. The planar waves of large parabolic speakers can travel great distances and have been used for crowd control or to warn off a hostile ship from a distance. A Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) is an application of parabolic sound technology that is considered a “sonic weapon.” The parametric or “directional” speaker, on the other hand, whose use is becoming increasingly common in marketing and other forms of messaging, can be “aimed” to “isolate” and be audible by only one person in a crowd. This effect means that even in a public place, the experience of sound transmitted by a directional speaker is private.
In real estate mobbing and tenant relocation, directional sound is used both for its novelty, and because it allows the mobbers to isolate the victim for harassment without creating witnesses. It is because of its unrecognized and unfamiliar phenomenology that it is useful to the mobbers in hoaxes that are designed to damage the victim and break her resistance to the a clandestine and criminal forced eviction. So far as I know, directional sound and its application to crime is also novel to the Seattle Police, at least the patrol cops who are likely to show up if you complain that your neighbors threaten to kill you every time you come outside but no one but you ever seems to hear them. But I suspect that directional sound could be put to use by terrorists and that, for that reason, we need to make the police more savvy about new technologies that could be used to introduce chaos in a crowd and in public places.
Where is the indirection in a directional speaker? In its novelty. We do not trust our perceptions of things that are somehow “unreal” or out of context. Research into horror films and film demonstrated that the response of the spectator to scenes intended to terrify was often not true fear but, rather, heightened tension because of the unreality of the scene. The out-of-context and unexpected content cannot be contained within the structure of the narrative and is therefore experienced as an uncomfortable excess. If you’ve ever traveled in another country as a recognizable foreigner, you may have had the experience of speaking in the mother tongue and not being understood because your appearance as an outsider set the expectation that you could not speak the language.
It is the the expectation of another phenomenology of sound, the assumption that sound is shared, that makes good the mobbers’ victimization of their target. We believe that we hear the truth of the matter, that we perceive sound the same way as the guy standing next to us. Moreover, the guy standing next to us believes the same thing. And because of this expectation that listening is a shared phenomenon, we don’t trust a world in which one person’s experience of sound is wholly different than the next guy’s. If the guy next to you tells you that, just now, as you stood next to him, the neighbors told him to “Move on!” you might begin to see him as someone who is “paranoid.” And when there is no motivation behind the utterance that isolates him—no presence and no lip-sync—he may even doubt himself. When the real estate mobbers batter him simultaneously with parametric speakers and he’s upset enough to risk a report to the police, the patrol officer who handles the call may be quick to suggest, once it is clear that the utterance was not motivated, that the victim is hearing “voices.”
How can you find the source of directional sound? This is difficult. If you stand in the focused beam of a parametric speaker, you can hear it and may be able to discern its direction. But if you’re being watched, any attempts you make to pinpoint its source or record it are easily thwarted. Not to mention the fact that the mobbers’ pipeline of continuous harassment daisy-chains different types of sound together. Sound that is originated from, say, a low-power radio broadcast or from software-defined radio transmitted as VoIP or by satellite phone, may be differently experienced and more difficult to track. In another post, I suggested that the acoustic camera might hold the possibility of visualizing real estate mobbing, at least mobbing through surface harassment onto the windows of the victim home; acoustic cameras include arrays of microphones that detect multiple ranges of sound as well as the capability to visually identify their direction and source.
To survive in a mobbing, you must trust your perceptions and be able to accept a high degree of ambiguity. If the mobbers are not apprehended, I will never know exactly how they ply their trade; some things are easier to figure out than others. And their kitchen sink approach has the effect of further confusing the victim, who might not recognize that it is not one method but numerous methods that change depending on his location and activities. For example, in AirBnB’s that I have stayed at as I continue to survive by working out of state, the use of heating and ventilation systems increases because it is common to run the systems through attic crawl spaces that are accessible by drone. When I go to Whole Foods, the mobbers have several choices including the cells phones of others, since I do not bring mine with me, public address systems which are often easily accessible by the unchanged default phone number provided by the manufacturer, speaker-enabled access points or wireless speakers made easily accessible by the convergence between the Internet and entertainment systems.
It takes months and months to sort these methods from one another and to listen carefully and confirm that that last barb did come from an overhead wireless access point, and that other insult bit at the moment when I crossed the path of someone texting on his phone and walking into things. The difficulty in making sense here comes not because you’re on the other side of a veritable looking glass,but because of unexpected utterances coupled with indirection of the sources. And even if, at the behest of your own nasty neighborhood watch lady, the mobbers get deals on houses to flip on either side of you and are then able to quietly pummel and pound the surfaces of your home with harassment transmitted in every manner even as a constant stream of people walk by, it is not an easy thing to come to understand both the source and the manner in which the harassment is applied to your home. Based on harassment that is heard better when my ear is to the pillow, as I wrote in the blog entry Mobbing to the bone: Bone conduction, I suspect they are able to transmit sound through a common slab or perhaps simply by pointing a directional speaker at the right location in the structure of a home. But I can’t be certain, at least not until someone who knows them and their methods talks to the police and, hopefully, turns them in.
The mobbing had been going on for probably a year before a private investigator told me to try sound board. I measured windows and had sheets of the stuff cut for a tight fit in the window frames. It was not until I was able to consciously modulate the sound in this manner as well as by opening or “breaking” surfaces to quiet them, that I understood the application of the harassment as sound projected onto my windows. And this is just one modality of sound transmittal. When the windows are blocked or cracked open, they use another means. They have to. Harassment is their platform, and now the mobbers have a victim of more than two-and-a-half years who is not only not moving out of her home so that they can apply pressure to her landlords to sell, they have a victim who is reporting them and exposing what they do as well as the nasty neighborhood watch and neighborhood council miscreants who appear to be involved.
But it is the apparent sourcelessness of the sound that gives it the indirection that confounds the victim and makes good the hoax. Human beings so need to close the narrative on any story; we want that resolution. Without a ready explanation, the mobbers’ sleight of hand could convince a victim that the walls and windows of his home are talking, that like a haunted house, his home is whispering.
When they have a victim who does not understand the trickery behind the isolated messaging, the mobbers have a chance to con him into believing that he has had a psychotic break and needs to get himself out of a bad situation. In other words, that to regain his sanity, he must give the criminals what they want. It’s also possible that in an attempt to make the victim behave in a “paranoid” manner, the mobbers will pummel him with so many threats and hoaxes that, in the end, the victim recognizes that he’s being duped. And even if the victim knows himself to be sane and experiments enough to realize that he can at least sometimes evade or mitigate the harassment; in other words, the “voices” aren’t “in [his] head” but exist in the real world and can be modulated, the mobbers remain able to use their access to him to harass him brutally and indefinitely, at least until he gives them what they want. Lastly, by giving the victim an experience that makes the him sound crazy, the mobbers are also able to stop him from making effective reports of the crime. We define sound as an experience that is exterior to the mind and shared. To be believable, sound must be a shared experience, it must be witnessed by the person who stands next to you.
To be continued…
This week is the 25-year anniversary of the Seattle local rag, The Stranger, and I’d like to get this blog entry out into the world in time for its emergence, especially since RenterHarassment.com is running a quarter-page ad in The Stranger this week offering a $5,000 reward for information given to the police that is instrumental in the arrest and prosecution of the tenant relocators who are mobbing me in northeast Seattle.
So take note that in the next day or two, this entry will be altered to add two new sections: The unreality of cyber-stalking, and something like Gods of technology, or I think I can fly, about real estate and drone stalking.
Check back for more on mobbing, omniscience and indirection.