If you’ve been property mobbed in a manner similar to that described in On being mobbed, or if you’ve been the target of a “neighbor mobbing” using similar methods that you believe was related to a drive to acquire your property, please write with a general summary of where you are, what happened, and provide contact information. Also please write if you have information about instances of property mobbing or the methods that are used to mob a property and its occupants. The writer of this blog is now in jeopardy for refusing to leave her home and instead writing to expose real estate mobbing in the United States.
The execution of a crime like real estate mobbing in the United States of America, particularly in the liberal City of Seattle in the comparatively liberal State of Washington, requires equal measures of confidence and daring. As I have written in numerous of the entries on the On being mobbed blog, the confidence is based on the clandestine methods of the real estate mobbers (“mobbers”).
Mobbers are tenant “relocators” who are, or work for, real estate developers and speculators. In my own case in northeast Seattle, the real estate mobbers appear to be house flippers welcomed into the neighborhood by the neighborhood watch, to turn over houses for speculation. Under ordinary circumstances, they can probably promise their clientele a few weeks of amusement until the residents of the property they’re brought in to “clear” head for the hills. In a case like mine where there is a victim who refuses to accept the forced eviction, mobbing becomes a contest of wills in which the bullies become all the more brutal and the nasty neighborhood watch members who once so reveled in the mobbing that their voices were featured in the harassment seldom drive by.
Naturally, a neighborhood watch that has undertaken a drive to make a neighborhood a “million dollar row” would have a preference as to the dwellings that are turned over for speculation. In any neighborhood where a community organization seeks to increase property values overall, the homes slated to be turned over, rebuilt, or razed and rebuilt, are likely to be those older or smaller houses that have lower values than those residences that are (1) greater in square footage, and (2) that were built and brought to sale later and at greater cost. Favoring homes with greater square footage, the “size matters” approach to real estate valuation, leads to cases where home owners, even neighborhood watch captains, whose own homes are large but ill-maintained, see fit to squeeze the owners of smaller and better maintained homes out of the neighborhood in the drive to be surrounded by homes of values equal to or greater than their own.
You could argue that any neighborhood watch that undertakes a drive to manipulate property values is probably not one that holds renters in high regard. At any rate, that’s certainly the case in my own neighborhood, in which the activities and even the speech of those in the neighborhood watch are overtly hostile to those who rent. Most home owners aren’t interested in razing their homes and rebuilding them to sell to others at a profit, although the first right to do so should be theirs. Therefore, the second class of homes seen as ripe for turnover, are those homes which are not owner-occupied.
In my neighborhood, renting out a home is treated as though it is not a legitimate investment; developing and flipping, however, is. In lakeside neighborhoods of prime real estate and steep terrain where the number of buildable lots is finite, speculators who flip cannot maintain a profit-making venture when the original home owners hold. Flipping, of course, is the quickest way to increase property values. Not only that, but when the original owners maintain their homes in their original state and do not substantially remodel or rebuild, no matter whether the home is owner-occupied or rented, its value does not lift the values of the homes around it.
As I write this, I’m remembering how within weeks of my moving into this home, the nasty neighborhood watch lady, already attempting to erode my relationship with my landlords, denounced them as “cheap.” It’s funny how someone who seems to get by on spousal income and renting rooms in her own home, would stand in judgment of others. Perhaps she resented my landlords’ contentment with what they had in this modest home built in the days when families would “summer” in the lake houses along this street, the sufficiency of a home well built and with ample gardens, that gave warmth and shelter.
Real estate mobbers are modern day racketeers. They are criminals who stage an assault against a victim property until its inhabitants capitulate and leave. I used to think it made no sense for them to stalk me outside of this home as well as in it. Recently I realized however, that to fool the victim into believing they’re being stalked by gang-stalkers, for example, or to convince them that they’ve lost their minds, they must provide an end-to-end and compelling experience of harassment to their victims. Not to mention the fact that a victim who is harassed only at home, is more likely to suspect his neighbors.
Surely, for those who are not psychopaths, there must be easier paths to joy, and to riches. In other blogs, I talked about technologies of mobbing and the artillery of property war: Technologies like beam-focused sound and ventilation transport of sound, and novel devices like directional (parametric and parabolic) speakers and microphones. Mobbing is harassment with weaponry, stupid and brutal as the industrialized warfare of World War I, except instead of armed children cowering in the trenches, they hide behind walls.
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 Context
Mobbing is a retreat from community, from the codes of civil law that inform our conduct as we cross the threshold of majority. Mobbers give no more respect to civil law than they do the rights of others. Civil law is nothing more than words and codes to be contorted and controverted, to be twisted, bent and misshapen, until this pack of crows makes loopholes of law and wrests what does not belong to them from the hands of their victim. Mobbing is a crime of fragile minds compensating for childish narcissistic wounds, it is the clamoring of adult bullies who have failed to exceed the id.
When property war is disguised as vendetta or vigilantism, or waged as punishment by an out-of-control neighborhood watch, adverse possession becomes a crucial element in the mobbing. For some, there is no pleasure in getting without the take. And on more than one occasion, the mobbers have said they would get this house I do not own from me. “We’ll get it from you,” they’ve assured me, once and again, no doubt meaning that they would get this house at my expense. When mobbers move in to take a home that is not owner-occupied, they take it from the unfortunate inhabitant, likely someone who rents her home, by capitalizing on the vulnerabilities of the landlord-tenant agreement as mediated under the law.
Instead of focusing on filing civil codes against the property and its owner, the renter becomes the target of the mobbers’ civil code violations, the sleazy insinuations and accusations of crimes or criminality accrue to him. If the renter cannot be scared off so that the mobbers can make a compelling argument to the owner that she will not be allowed to keep a tenant, through bullying and lies the tenancy is slowly criminalized and the tenant constructively evicted.
This is the penultimate moment of “clearing by smearing,” when in a Kafkaesque twist, the legal tenant who is de facto and de juro victim of a human rights crime that remains hidden in the scam inside the hoax inside the con that mobbing is, winds up being prosecuted on behalf of racketeers who continue to assault him. And the racketeers, they strut and crow, they spit like cocks full of bull. Having outwitted the law in the waging of “property war,” the mobbers, these roosters and jackasses, they crow of their cleverness and set their sights on the next dupe, the next legal tenant or owner who assumes the rule of law in the Village, the next “Village Idiot” upon whose life they make good their predatory crime.
There’s an additional enabling element to this crime, a remarkable one I’m still turning over in my mind. Property mobbers who make mobbing part of their investment strategy mob based on the belief that the victim is completely divested of access to power, in other words, that she is disenfranchised to the point that, as Trump said in that infamous video, “you can do anything.” Implicit in that statement, and in the supposed disenfranchisement of the mobbing victim, are phrases like “and get away with it.” Trumpism aside, I’ve been thinking about the mobbers’ perception of the victim’s disenfranchisement and trying to reason out what parts of it are hubris, what parts of it are the delusions of the self-entitled who would thrill at committing a heinous crime in public view, and what parts of it are the result of social conditions that the property mobbers are confident deprive their victim of the recourse she is promised by law, under the Constitution, and in accord with the social contract under which I, at least, have assumed I live as an adult in a “civil” society.
In civil society, a state of disenfranchisement, perceived or actual, that is so complete criminals believe they can commit predatory and brutal crimes of individual terrorism with impunity, is alarming. It is a basic indicator of our failure to provide “liberty and justice for all.” No one should be disenfranchised from justice and denied the interest of police and civil authorities. Disenfranchisement that emboldens property mobbers means that the scales of justice must be recalibrated.
Recalibrating the scales of justice will require new protocols for investigation into reports of cyber-crime and other crimes of technology. The mundane and bureaucratically constrained nature of taking and processing victim reports weighs against the possibility that the responding officers will give unusual reports or complicated stories the consideration that is required to bring perpetrators to justice. From time to time, the police must be willing to believe, or at least to make an inquiry into, the unbelievable. Another strategy critical to ensuring that the scales of justice are better balanced is the retraining of police and other investigative authorities, not only to make them aware of byzantine crimes like real estate mobbing but to lessen their vulnerability to being played by those who front the mob and profit from their gains.
Mobbers are acutely aware of bias. They cultivate it. They use it. And where it doesn’t put the weight of “justice” on their side, they lie and misrepresent who they are, and who the victim is, to tilt the scales in their favor.
Tricks and technology alone do not guarantee the perfect “white glove” crime. Even the isolation and defamation of the victim (the dehumanization of the enemy, as it were) cannot be counted upon to hide this highly predatory crime in civil society. The mobbers must also cultivate and use bias; this blog entry examines some of the ways in which bias enables real estate mobbing, at least mobbing as accomplished by those attempting to property mob me out of my legal rental here in northeast Seattle.
The crime of real estate mobbing is enabled by bias. It may or may not be a bias crime, that is, a crime that is motivated by bias. But without bias, it would be difficult for real estate speculators and neighborhood watches gone rogue to get away with real estate mobbing, a form of forced eviction that Amnesty International deems a human rights crime.
Mobbing for property (“property mobbing”) is generally an organized crime of protracted duration. Mobbing is a brutal style of harassment that, at least in my case here in northeast Seattle has continued for more than two-and-one-half years and has included a wide variety of criminal aggression including but not limited to stalking, cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment, as well as intimidation and death threats. Property mobbing is intended to be so punishing that the victim quickly capitulates and vacates the property. Forced eviction is pivotal in “turning over” the property for speculation that may include razing and rebuilding.
This is terror. Based on my experiences here in northeast Seattle, I believe that those who practice real estate mobbing do intend to literally terrorize you out of your home. It is this conclusion that makes me take notice when I hear news about new buyers being frightened out of their homes by threatening notes from “stalkers.” It is this conclusion that makes me curious about what befell those homes and properties after the owners fled.
In the United States, the study of mobbing in the workplace—workplace mobbing—has led to our beginning to acknowledge the phenomena in schools and government. However, property mobbing, as a systematic and organized crime, has not received attention in the United States. With websites like propertymob.com in Florida, a coaching site for speculators who want to be “badass” and “gansta,” where there is chatter about how “reluctant sellers” can be forced to sell by filing violations against their properties; and with some of the bizarre stories about crazy neighbors in addition to occasional stories about landlords named Trump paying people to urinate in the hallways of their own rented buildings, there may be a pattern of mobbing in the United States that we have not yet acknowledged.
What has happened to me has been called “mobbing” and “property mobbing” by the harassers (“mobbers”) who work from the properties on either side of me, properties acquired by two single men of traditionally respected professions as the Great Recession abated. This is how I came to know what to call finding that I was surrounded and under siege in my neighborhood and even within the confines of my legally rented home, a configuration that supported the mobbers’ wireless network as well as their organized crime network, a configuration that the mobbers meaningfully boasted was “triangulation” with the third point of the triangle being the malicious co-captain of the Pol Pot of neighborhood watches. In the harassment that is directed into my house, and wherever I go, by radio-based or speaker and ventilation harassment or cyber-harassment, the mobbers have said a lot about themselves, perhaps more than they should have done. I write this blog to document not only my day-to-day life as a victim of a continuous crime, but to document the things these self-dubbed “mobbers” say about themselves and their criminal enterprise.
Bias crimes and hate speech
A bias crime is legally defined as a hate crime. A hate crime is motivated by prejudice and is the targeting of a victim because of his or her membership, or the perpetrator’s perception of that membership, in a specific socially defined group. Victims of hate crimes may be targeted based on sex, ethnicity, language, disability, physical appearance, nationality, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime). In Seattle bias crimes include those targeting “race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, mental, physical, or sensory handicap, homelessness, marital status, age, parental status, gender or political ideology (Malicious Harassment/Bias Crimes, http://www.seattle.gov/police/safety/harassment/).
I have repeatedly characterized the crime that has victimized me as heinous. Interestingly, in Brazil, hate crimes like murder by death squads and genocide as legally classified as “hideous crimes.” In Portuguese, they are crimes hediondos (“Hate Crime,” in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime#Brazil).
Hate speech and mobbing
Hate speech is a constant in the harassment that is part of mobbing, at least that in my own mobbing at the behest of the nasty neighborhood watch lady of Seattle’s northeast and her developer crony friends. Either out of a lack of imagination or a deliberate attempt to insult a woman in accord with what they believe should most hurt a woman, the mobbers of northeast Seattle use a lot of hate speech. I’m “old and too bold,” or accused of “killing two (and sometimes three) kids” by harassers who say “We’re all pro-lifers here.”
The mobbers’ use of hate speech may be strategic. Nevertheless, we should take these criminals at their word. If they want to call people old and ugly, if they want to use words of hate, let them face the penalty for hate speech. For the victim, especially victims who are young and vulnerable, like those facing “mobbing” on cell phones, cyber-bullying is a direct contributor to suicide and may have a negative impact on the health and well-being of especially those who are targeted and vulnerable. Let’s take them at their word—these are Haters. Mobbing appears to be an organized crime that, here in northeast Seattle, operates as a ring. Those who would join such a ring probably have a lot in common with those who would join the KKK or the Nazi Party, or the Stasi. Mobbing whose perpetrators claim it to be a “real estate hit” paint mobbing as punishment by real estate vigilantes. Perhaps from that view, the 2009 comment of Attorney General Eric Holder calling for tougher laws against hate crimes is relevant. Holder’s goal was to stop “violence masquerading as political activism.” (“Hate Crime,” in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime). In my neighborhood, renters should be made a protected class. Make no mistake, real estate mobbing is hating; it is hatred in action.
Even if real estate mobbing is purely for profit, it is a human rights violation which should always be regarded as criminal. Moreover, real estate mobbing as I have been mobbed unremittingly for the last years, should automatically be prosecuted as domestic terrorism.
Regardless of whether one argues that it is or is not ipso facto a hate crime, real estate mobbing is enabled by bias. And this makes it of interest, especially in cities like Seattle where the police operate under a consent decree (Seattle Police Monitor, http://www.seattlemonitor.com/). In part 2, we’ll take a closer look at how mobbing is a bias crime and how mobbers enlist police bias in forced eviction of legal residents.