Stalking. In January 2008 the US Department of Justice released a survey, “Stalking Victimization in the United States.” Stalking was up exponentially from the previous study done in 1996. 3.4 million Americans were victims of stalking, while another 2.4 million were victims of harassment. 6.8% of the 5.8 million total suffered electronic monitoring such as spyware, bugging or video surveillance. 1 in 10 did not know who was targeting them. The others knew their stalkers. Hall says: “The study defines stalking as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.” About 130,000 victims reported that they were fired or asked to leaved their jobs because of the stalking.****************** A study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2006 found that 7 million women and 2 million men have been stalked. It also found that people who were never married, separated, widowed, or divorced experienced significantly higher rates of stalking than people who lived with a partner. The study found no gender differences in the mental health effects of stalking. Both male and female victims experience equal rates of impaired health, depression and injury, and were more likely to engage in substance abuse than their non-stalked peers. A common theme among the studies was the inability of the victims to get appropriate help from law enforcement officials.***** Three types of stalking are organized stalking, gang stalking and cause stalking. Organized stalking is the harassment of a person by unknown individuals for the sole purpose of inducing psychological trauma. The other two are the same, but they are misnomers: the gangs aren’t street hoods and the cause is to torment. The author says that “the problem has become so pervasive that a multitude of websites have arisen to educate and console the growing number of victims.” Two websites are www.raven1.net and Gangstalkingworld.com. Some of the “antics” of organized stalking are: 1. following the targeted individual 24/7. 2. loitering around their homes or places of business. 3. breaking into the target’s home, usually to vandalize it or take clothing. 4. harassing the victim with vulgar language or gestures in a public place. 5. character assassination of the victim by spreading rumors about them to neighbors and employers. 6. damage to victim’s vehicle or other property. 7. bombard the victim with loud noises around the home or work. This type of stalking is not new; the phenomenon gets its roots from an FBI operation called COINTELPRO. From 1956 to 1971 the FBI directed a number of covert operations known as COINTELPRO, an acronym for “counter intelligence program.” Their goal was to infiltrate and subvert certain social and political groups that were deemed a threat to national security. The directives governing COINTELPRO were issued by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and were designed to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit and neutralize” the activities of targeted groups and their leaders. These groups included communist organizations, women’s rights groups, black nationalists, civil rights organizations, the NAACP, the American Indian Movement and the KKK. The methods used by the FBI are identical to those being used today by organized stalking groups. They include public character assassination, harassment through legal and financial institutions, conspicuous surveillance, illegal breaking and entering, psychological operations, vandalism and assault. Harassment is often through the manipulation of employers, parents, neighbors or landlords to assist in the victimization of the intended target.