I used to have a housemate who we'll call Ryan, for that was his name. Ryan was tall, had unkempt hair, glasses, and allegedly a job in computer science. He did programming and stuff for security software. He was fantastically intelligent - 2.1 from Oxford - and at times could be extremely witty, as well as being devilishly skilled at pool. Unfortunately, there was just one small problem in his life.
He was paranoid schizophrenic. And had been since university. When he was off his medication, he would believe the following:
- That an unknowable cabal of elites in high places was out to get him.
- That he was being attacked and spied on by these elites and their infinite ranks of informants.
- These informants were everywhere. Anyone who wanders past your house more than once, who parks in the same place every day, who has a camera in a public place, was spying on him, Ryan, personally.
- In the past they had kidnapped him, assaulted him, and inserted vast amounts of "technology" into his body because evil. Said technology included microchips to increase the pain and was used to torture him over a distance.
- Anyone who said to him, "Ryan, maybe you should get back on your medication" was clearly one of THEM because the medication was a further evil plot to keep him quiet.
So far, so paranoid schizophrenic. But it was oddly specific. He would mention specific incidents in which these things had happened to him, names, dates, places, times, etc. He'd also fall into singing things like "they won't stop at murder, they'll murder and murder and murder again" and then segue into another verse about how this all took place at an address in Durham. And he'd mention how he thought the bloke behind the counter at the sandwich shop was one of THEM as well.
I wrote all this off as the product of him not being well. But then, much later, I found some very strange things on the internets which began to make it all make sense.
Gang stalking is a conspiracy theory. According to its proponents, who claim to have in the past upset or run afoul of a shadowy global elite, it is a method used by THEM to drive dissenters and people THEY don't like to madness by rounding up an infinite number of perpetrators, or "gang stalkers," who could be anyone, and organise them into ruining the targeted individual's life by gaslighting them to death. You can tell who the gang stalkers are because they do things like get out their phones when you, the targeted individual, are about, so they can surreptitiously photograph you, wearing coloured clothing that you might be triggered by (i.e. if you were once assaulted by a man wearing an orange shirt, they will start wearing orange shirts in your presence), parking their car in a parking place at work that you tend to prefer, looking at you in a funny way, badmouthing you on social media, and similar. Sometimes the perpetrators use hand signals to communicate with each other to co-ordinate their attacks, for instance, that gentleman on the pavement café scratching his nose every few seconds is actually telling the member of THEM who supervises him that you're about and describing what you're up to. There's often also allegations of THEM using nefarious technology such as electronic agony beams, surreptitiously inserting nanomachines into you, or adulterating any medication you might take with things that produce unpleasant or dangerous effects. As such, proponents of the gang stalking conspiracy theory are encouraged not to take prescription medication because, natch, THEY own, or are involved in, the pharmaceutical industry and have the ability to do this.
It was upon reading this that a light flicked on in my mind. Why had Ryan gone downhill so suddenly? Literally one week he was just fine, then the next he'd dropped all his medication. My money is on the theory that he was on the internets when his meds were wearing off one day and he saw a page about gang stalking and he developed the idea that he must be a targeted individual. After all, he'd been involved with some high powered figures, allegedly, when at Oxford, so THEY must have learnt of him that way. Why else did he constantly feel like he was being watched and controlled by an infinite number of unknown conspirators? Why else was he on medication? Because THEY wanted to brand him as "mad" somehow. As such, he started posting, and got sucked into this community of paranoiacs, and his paranoia fed off the paranoia of everyone else.
And this is how I am sure the gang stalking / targeted individuals community operates. They encourage each other not to take their medication because the medication obscures them to the presence of THEM. As such, their paranoia runs rampant and their swapping of stories and strange YouTube videos purporting to show proof of people gang stalking them only feeds each other. Meanwhile, anyone who leaves the community or gets better or goes in for treatment can be safely ignored because clearly THEY have got to them.
I wish this tale had a happy ending, but it doesn't. Ryan was sectioned after pulling all the radiators off the walls because they had evil technology in them, or something like that. I don't know where he is now, but if my theory is correct, then these so-called "targeted individuals" deserve a seeing to for encouraging his delusions like that.