Real estate mobbing is a crime of bias (part 1) took a brief look at how real estate mobbing is a bias crime. This predatory crime constructively evicts legal residents by victimizing them with a daisy-chain of felonies that are enabled by and include monitoring and stalking. The victims of mobbing are carefully selected based on vulnerabilities the mobbers believe they can exploit. The success of this racketeering crime depends upon the mobbers’ ability to cultivate and enlist the bias of police as well as of other social and judicial institutions. Mobbing, a bullying crime that singles out a “Village Idiot” for punishment, enlists social institutions in ousting victims from the workplace (“workplace mobbing”) or from the community (“real estate mobbing”). Mobbing, a provincial crime of parochial mentality, takes a Village.
This blog entry takes a closer look at how bias may be involved in the mobbers’ selection of victims as well as how the bias of police in particular is crucial to the success of the mob. The police, in my own case, the Seattle Police Department (SPD), is the most visible agent of civil law on the street, its authority greater than and exterior to the petty politics of the neighborhood watch. The police are also responsible to a larger institution, ostensibly one whose function should not be corrupted by the attentions of an unethical watch. But when bias intercedes, police neutrality—the front line of defense for a mobbing victim—is usurped. Once the mobbers cultivate and enlist the bias of police, the police may wind up doing the bidding of the mob, even entirely taking over the punishment of the victim for the mobbers and the racketeers they represent. And once police intervene on behalf of the mobbers, the felony crimes they commit as they seek to criminalize the tenancy of the victim resident remain undetected and unchecked. Moreover, once police come to regard the victim of the mobbing as the problem, the victim may find it impossible to reframe the bullying situation as what it truly is. This is another point where the victim is entirely at risk, and may lose everything, because of police bias. In my case, SPD’s advancement of the interests of criminal real estate speculators is also due to the ease with which the nasty neighborhood watch as well as its speculator cronies cultivate and enlist the bias of the police in their drive to constructively evict select residents from their legal homes. Real estate mobbing is a crime of bias that forwards the aims of racketeers and the destruction of their victims’ lives.
Bias is a factor in the selection of mobbing victims
There is an intrinsic relationship between hate and exclusion from community or expulsion from home. The choice to mob me, a middle-aged female tenant who lived alone at the time the mobbing began, may expressly mark my mobbing as a hate crime.
Other renters in my area had experienced harassment but not the mobbing that I have experienced as a woman who lives across the street from a neighborhood watch co-captain who probably, together with the builder whose offer on my home was rejected, influenced the terms of the sale of the properties on either side of me. If this occurred as I suspect, it likely involved the use of the same real estate agents by the builder and at least one of the owners of the homes flanking mine. Email also reveals the participation of these same real estate agents in the bullying campaign as they relayed threats of gag orders and lawsuits for valuation to my landlords.
The bias of those who mob is revealed in their choice of victims. Women, the elderly, and those of minority groups who may be isolated within a community or seen as vulnerable or weak, are more vulnerable to this predatory crime. The course of events in my own mobbing shows lack of access to an attorney—in other words, socioeconomic status or lack of economic power—as another strong factor in who is victimized by mobbing. Real estate mobbers prefer victims who can’t fight back. This is another reason why these racketeers use the tactic of laying siege against renters instead of filing an adverse possession lawsuit: Home owners’ insurance often covers the cost of an attorney for home owners who are sued for adverse possession. Renters’ insurance, on the other hand, does not fund a fight against a constructive eviction that undermines the tenancy agreement that a “leaseholder” can be said to “own.”
Mobbing does include the collection of acts characteristic of hate crime, such as physical assault, property damage, and verbal abuse. Wikipedia cites cross-burnings intended to “drive black families from predominantly white neighborhoods” in hate crimes. The drive to suppress and intimidate by hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is characteristic of racketeering.
Started during Reconstruction at the end of the Civil War, the Klan quickly mobilized as a vigilante group to intimidate Southern blacks—and any whites who would help them— and to prevent them from enjoying basic civil rights. Outlandish titles (like imperial wizard and exalted cyclops), hooded costumes, violent “night rides,” and the notion that the group comprised an “invisible empire” conferred a mystique that only added to the Klan’s popularity.
—”Ku Klux Klan”, Southern Poverty Law Center
Bullies seek to victimize those they perceive as weaker than themselves. When house flippers set out to harass someone out of their home, it is because the flippers lack the bargaining power to make an honest deal or because they seek to force an unwanted “deal” to which they have no legal claim. In an organized crime or racket, bullies overcome individual weakness with a strategy of might makes right, the many denying the rights of the few, and ideally just the isolated and vulnerable one who becomes the patsy.
Mobbing is exploitative in its essence; a predatory crime effected through bullying the victim into submission by continuous harassment achieved by monitoring and stalking. If the victim fails to yield to the already venomous campaign of malicious gossip, the many-against-the-few approach is useful when it comes to making truth of lies. It also pairs nicely with the victim-blaming that is characteristic of mobbing. Enlisting bias to protect themselves from victim reports to police, the mobbers claim victimhood for themselves and point their fingers at the victim. This “Village” in which the victim comes to awareness of the mobbing by overhearing the curious references of the nasty neighborhood watch lady to the “Village Idiot,” is like no village most of us have ever known or could imagine, though it draws a reasonable comparison to William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies (1954).
The crime of real estate mobbing uses any and all perceived vulnerabilities of the victim. Despite having had female real estate agents attempt to flag me down on the street while issuing threats of “valuation” to my landlords that are supposedly related to my tenancy, real estate mobbing is, by leadership and methodology, the domain of men. This is clear from it being fronted by the male owners of the flanking houses and their respected professions, it is clear by the show-no-mercy approach to evicting a middle-aged woman who is a legal tenant, and it is clear in the use of technologies and techniques used in typically male surveillance professions, in building, in the military and in wartime, including techniques of interrogation and torture. There is no lack of misogyny in these professions. In male-dominant culture, victimization is feminine; the representation of the victim is female. As I write this I’m thinking about how, as though I were incapable of guarding my defenses, a portion of the back fence—at once my perimeter and property line—was pushed over from the side of the north mobbing house owner earlier this year. And about another night early in the mobbing before I began taking roommates—a time when the neighbors did their best to terrorize me—when from the north mobbing house a powerful light was swiftly focused on my bathroom window the moment I sat on the toilet.
As an unlawful shaming of a legal resident out of her home in which the perpetrators sometime pose as detectives, attorneys or traffic cops, the authoritarian underpinnings of the crime are revealed. Theodore Adorno believed there was a relationship between prejudice and the authoritarian personality, a type enforcing “strict adherence to social rules and hierarchies.” In my neighborhood, authoritarian rule is embodied by the neighborhood watch and its strict enforcement of a hierarchy in which renters are expected to defer to the wants and needs of those home owners holding their own homes, even if the owners intend to hold them for just long enough to profit from their resale.
In Forced eviction by shame and guilt, I talked about how Adorno’s F-Scale was perhaps a better measure of the predilections of those who take up a racket like real estate mobbing than the comparatively simplistic descriptors usually attributed to queen bees: Borderline, narcissist, and sociopath. Social dominance theory envisions intergroup relationships that are mediated by myths that attenuate or enhance hierarchy. For example,in my neighborhood the inequality of social relations between those who rent and those who own could be attenuated by the behaviors of renters who put “sweat equity” into their rental homes. Conversely, the hierarchical relationship between home owners and home renters would be enhanced by neighborhood watch gossip about the violent potential of one renter or the insolvency of another. In either case, social dominance theory positions prejudice as emerging from hierarchical relationships. But when it comes to an egalitarian society, the hierarchical structure of a neighborhood should be flat. All residents should share in the largess of community.
In the mobbers’ methods of attempting to frighten a woman into hysteria by making her believe they are listening to her in her bathroom or perhaps even watching her in her bed, we meet with the violating male gaze as theorized in some feminist and Freudian film texts of the 1980s. In this sense, the real estate mobbing performed by the tenant relocators of northeast Seattle, becomes a crime of peeping and shaming. As a stalking crime, we peer through the mobbers’ lens at the construction of feminine fear by the male psychopathy made subject in decades of thrillers and horror films. And the stereotypically male lack of regard for female intelligence is obvious in the insults that fall from the mobbers’ lips, not to mention in their dumb surprise as she not only lasts but outwits them by publicly documenting the crime as well as how their bad deeds appear to be effected.
Given the apparent age range of the younger women who frequent the south mobbing house, I would suspect that some of them are “turned out” into playing the role of the catty female bullies in much the same way that young women in need of approval are sometimes turned out into prostitution by the men they have the misfortune to meet. Women who require the approval of men all too often end up as bit players in male narratives, criminal or otherwise. To emulate the voices of the community, every mobbing would, I imagine, require the voices of man and woman, child and adult, old and young, and so on. Every queen bee requires a tittering gaggle of girls. I remember the decidedly guilty look on the face of one of the younger women who was a green-wigged regular at the south mobbing house during the earliest hoaxes in the mobbing and in the earliest days of apparent monitoring from the south house into my kitchen. One of my first entries in the On being mobbed blog details my realization as I prepared buckwheat crepes, that this young woman and the franchise family girlfriend of the south mobbing house owner seemed to be looking into my windows and babbling and tittering over my activities in my kitchen. At the time my response was to make light of the deliberate invasion of privacy, and so I made a cooking lesson of it, displaying the preparation of the crepes under the window with a flourish at each step. The pair didn’t seem to know how to respond and the babbling came to what appeared to be a confused pause.
In part 3 of this series on mobbing as a crime of bias, we’ll look at the types of police bias that enable mobbing and how mobbers cultivate and enlist police bias, in my case, the bias of those officers of SPD’s North Precinct.