This table lists various symptoms that are reported on the Internet about targeted individuals. It also contains some symptoms that are related to my personnal case. I also indicate if the symptom manifests itself on my person in order to compare my situation with what is being conveyed on the Internet.
Measures of decomposition
A form of what is called "gang stalking" on the Internet is also known as "measures of decomposition". In his book, Political Epistemics: The Secret Police, the Opposition, and the End of East German Socialism (2011), Andreas Glaeser has addressed this issue. He explains how the East Germany communist Stasi was using these methods of terror.
Here are some interesting excerpts from his book :
Measures of decomposition were "wielded against a select few. Moreover, it did not work with physical threats to life and limb, but operated with social and psychological means of influence." (p. 495)
Proven methods of decomposition
"Proven methods of decomposition to be used are:
- systematic destruction of public reputation, standing, and prestige on the basis of the connection between true, verifiable, and discrediting as well as untrue, credible nondisprovable, and thus equally discrediting information;
- systematic organization of professional and social failures to undermine the self condidence of individual persons;
- generation of distrust and mutual suspiciousness within group, groupings, and organizations;
- generation resptectively utilization and amplification of rivalries within groups, groupings, and organizations, with the help of the goal-directed use of personal weaknesses of individual members;
- busying groups, groupings, and organizations with their own internal problems with the goal to limit their inimical-negative actions;
- local and temporal disruption respectiely limitation of mutual relationships between the members of groups, groupings, and organizations on the basis of valid legal norms, for exemple, through the utilization at their workplaces or the assignment of work at distant places." (p. 496)
Three fundamental approaches to decomposition
Mr. Glaeser has identified three fundamental approaches to decomposition (p. 496) :
- "The first, the more prominently featured approach in the above quotation, encourages officers to interfere systematically with the space of validation of individuals or of groups as a whole. It proposes the manipulation of the quality and quantity of validations available to certain discursive, emotive, or kinesthetic understandings. It also offers as a means of manipulation the introduction of new understandings, which, if actualized, stand a chance to undermine the life of the group. Finally, it advocates the manipulation of processes of thinking through, working through, and practicing."
- "The second aims at manipulating people's reputation and the level of trust characterizing their relationship."
- "The deprivation of resources as a third method to limit or destroy agency comes more prominently to the fore in the last item on the list. The ressources that matter here most are the time somebody has at his or her disposition to meet and to engage in action, the space that groups need to meet and/or to perform their action, and finally the means to communicate, that is, to projectively articulate actions across time and space."
"Interestingly, money or income played a more limited role in the power calculus of decomposition, because the state had to offer employment while essentials such as rent and basic foodstuffs were comparatively cheap. If one could live with little and had no children to feed and clothe, income ceased to be an existentially menacing point of intervention."
"It should also be kept in mind that measures of decomposition were often not applied singly, one after another, but in combination and over a longer period of time. [...] Finally, it is important to keep in mind that not all members of particular groups were treated uniformly." (p. 497)
The use of informants
Here are some characteristic examples. Informants were, irony of ironies, under standing orders to raise security concerns among the activists, thus feeding other members' existing anxieties; they were asked to raise doubts about the group's ability to carry through a particular action, thus amplifying other activists' self-doubt, and all of that under the guise of care and thoughtfulness. (p. 497)
The technique of selective recognition :
"The technique of selective recognition was also used at larger open events taking place in lecture halls, churches, or performance venues to steer the atmosphere in a desired direction, for example, by cheering the contribution of more party-friendly speakers while meeting those of critics with icy reserve." (p. 497)
"Well-targeted recognition [could] also be employed to amplify opposing opinions between fractions. In the group splitting I discussed in the last chapter, selective recognition was employed. In particularly disturbing cases, children were mobilized through pressures in school to influence their parents in a more conformist direction." (p. 498)
"Another tried and tested means of planting understanding used especially against Protestant ministers, was spreading lies about persons' sexual life (e.g., suggesting infidelities, dissipation, or perversion), about inappropriate levels of alcohol consumption. These were often backed by planted corroborating circumstantial evidence, such as retouched photographs, sexual toys, or strategically placed liquor bottles. The effect the Stasi aimed at with these measure was the destruction of the targeted person's self-confidence by creating shame-saturated events and/or the erosion of this person's authority in the eyes of other network members, thus ultimately destroying the operability of the network by depriving it of nodal figures." (p. 498)
Manipulating corroboration and organizing failures
"Manipulating corroboration was also employed as a tool of decomposition. Most notably, the secret police managed to prevent people from obtaining a desired job or place at an educational institution. It arranged for people to be fired or dismissed. Stasi also influenced performance reviews, grading, and decisions to send somebody to continuing education or to an international conference. Decisions to have a manuscript for publication accepted or rejected or to award a particular research project to a particular person, could all be influenced by the Stasi in the interest of molding the targeted person's understandings. Where such measures caught their targets unaware of their entanglement in the Stasi's web of machination, they were meant to confirm doubt about their own abilities. Where people knew who was responsible for their misfortune, the "organization of failure" was meant to shape people's assessment of risk involved in party-critical activities." (p. 498)
Police presence in front of residences
"With the same intention, the Stasi often flaunted its presence in front of residences, on the way to and outside of events, to enhance movement members' fear that surveillance was inescapable. They tried to smother actions at people's doorsteps to confirm activist's anxieties that the Stasi knew everything and that they were to take action and certainly would not let them do what they wanted to do." (p. 498-499)
Breaking into appartments
"Finally, the Stasi even broke into apartments, not just for searches, but to show that they could, with impunity, do as they pleased in this regard. All activists I spoke with found this measure particularly insidious because it confounded basic kinesthetic background understandings about the boundaries between inside and outside, control and contingency, safety and risk." (p. 499)
Organizing workplace pressures on dissidents
"Even though the Stasi had no formal authority to issue directives directly to other branches of the administration or the economy, it produced a formidable track record of organizing workplace pressures on dissidents. These were often facilitated by employees who were co-opted as secret informants and on whom the Stasi could rely as their own influence agents. The Stasi's success is also owed to the willingness of employees in their role as party members to cooperate with their comrades from the fabled secret police. After all, the Stasi could take for granted a basic agreement among comrades about the dangers of political diversion that were prominently discussed in general propaganda. A further reason for workplaces to comply with the Stasi's requests was that they did not want risky troublemakers among their ranks who could potentially endanger the productivity of their work collectives or attract unwanted party attention by creating a stir around some ideological issue. In either case this would have entailed blame of leaders for lax discipline or unsuccessful ideological work." (p. 499)
Improve productivity and destroy self-confidence of a particular person
"Secret informants - in official Stasi jargon, "inofficial employees" (inofizielle Mitarbeiter or IM) - were also the Stasi's main device for directly intervening in particular processes of institution formation : they were mobilized for efforts to improve the productivity of a factory as much as for destroying the self-confidence of a particular person." (p. 509)
Deprive activists of the time to engage in oppositional activities
"A necessary resource for action is time, and so the Stasi tried to deprive activists of the time to engage in oppositional activities. Prison terms mark the extreme end of such measures. Keeping dissidents employed was at times also chosen as a means to keep them busy. The Stasi learned in the course of time that activists' underemployment in nondemanding jobs was detrimental to their intentions. It gave activists time to think and to prepare actions; and Perhaps even worse: it left the activists with dissidence as their main career. By contrast, meaningful employment offered at least some leverage for intervention. Time was also restricted on a smaller scale. The Stasi tried to keep activists from getting vacation time granted for days of planned actions for the attendance of meetings in other cities. Another way to limit time availability was to let groups slide into excessive self-politics. Security concern or tactics could potentially be discussed ad nauseam. Secret informants could delay the completion of tasks they were assigned. Activists were at times busied by yet other means. Stasi would place ads in periodicals in the name of a dissident with the offer to buy or sell particular kinds of goods with the effect that the targeted activist had to busy him or herself fending off buyers or sellers on the phone or worse even, at the door. A variant of this measure consisted in ordering repairs the dissident never thought of undertaking." (p. 499-500)
"As far as the technological means of communication are concerned, the Stasi had to balance two opposing rationales. On the one hand, severely curtailing dissidents' means of communication would have limited their ability to coordinate even such simple things as meetings. On the other hand, their use of telephones offered enhanced means of surveillance, more simple to carry out than, for example, bugging apartments. Apparently, the Stasi gave preference to the surveillance aspect and sometimes provided telephones to dissidents more quickly than to ordinary citizens. Stasi also monitored the personal correspondence addressed to activists. Knowing or at least suspecting comprehensive surveillance, they had to use personal couriers for important messages they did not want the Stasi to know anything about, or they had to begin encrypting what they transmitted via monitored channels." (p. 500)
Looking for anything that could lead to distrust or even open animosities among group members
"As set out in directive 1/76, the Stasi's secret informants were asked to watch the groups they spied on for any possible rifts. Simple character incompatibilities, conflicting ambitions, sexual jealousies, divergent interactional styles, ideological frictions, anything that could lead to distrust or even open animosities among group members was of great interest to the Stasi. The informants were for that reason asked to provide ongoing character assessments as well as atmospheric reports about the state of the group." (p. 503)
Source : Glaeser, Andreas, Political Epistemics: The Secret Police, the Opposition, and the End of East German Socialism, "Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning", Chicago : University Of Chicago Press, 2011, 640 p.
All these measures were used by the Stasi in former East-Germany in order to control the political underground. As a political target, I know for a fact that these tacticts are also being used today in our Western societies. According to testimonies, these measures are being used in many countries worldwide.
A lot of the tactics described above have been used on me since I had called on a talk show on the radio at the end of 2005. I also eventually sent letters to journalists in 2006. I was not a far left nor a peace or environmental activist. I was conservative and I took a membership to a right wing political party. I was in contact with another member (who seemed to know certain things about me) and we were supposed to have a meeting that has never occured. As soon as I had talked on the radio, I was put under 24/7 surveillance and I eventually realized that measures of decomposition, or gang stalking, were being used on me.
Zersetzung and Wehrkraftzersetzung
Measures of decomposition are also called in German Zersetzung, which refers to the techniques used by the Stasi. Zersetzung
These type of measures can also be designated in German as Wehrkraftzersetzung, in this case refering to the measures used by Hitler's Third Reich. The difference with Nazi Germany is that criticism or activities opposed to the regime were punished not only by heavy prison sentences, but also by death penalty. The Stasi, when using the Zersetzung technique, was only harrassing targets by using social and psychological means of influence. Wehrkraftzersetzung
This page has been updated for the last time on August 4, 2017