BBD – Street Theater {Updated}

{19 March 2016 update in bold below, a sixth reason to use the street theater technique}.

Before I delve into the main point, a little reminder and some notes.

When the intelligence community wants to deal with someone who actually works for them, they generally have the non-disclosure agreement as a weapon. As Barry Eisler * has been good enough to point out recently…

Barry Eisler, “On whistleblowers and secrecy: What author Barry Eisler said to a room of ex-intelligence officers,” BoingBoing, 1 March 2016:

https://boingboing.net/2016/03/01/on-whistleblowers-and-secrecy.html

…the oath taken is actually to protect the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. The “secrecy oath” is a misnomer and it is the conflict between these two things, an oath and an NDA, that tends to get whistleblowers into trouble.

Of course the liberal use of the Espionage Act, used by the Obama administration against whistleblowers more than twice as many times as all other administrations in US history combined, also comes into play. But that’s just another abuse of power on top of the ones typically being exposed.

But the point here is that when dealing with, for example, Thomas Drake, the IC will attempt to mostly use the legal system. Of course there are forms of harassment that come along with that. But for the most part, crippling you financially involves curbing your ability to work due to being investigated and spreading the word so that you’re persona non grata via the poison pen.

What, then, do they do when the target is not actually an employee, but an unwitting asset, in essence a witness to illegal activities? They don’t have that particular sort of direct legal route {with its horrendous side-benefits of guilty-because-being-investigated} to rely on. And they in fact don’t want any attention to the root reason to be noted.

This is to describe just one aspect of harassment that never seems to get any attention. The reason, I think, that it doesn’t get much attention is that it tends to make the person talking about it look mentally ill. Of course, this is the idea.

My intent here is twofold: To discuss one method of harassment and expose it and in case anyone happens to find themselves suddenly experiencing something similar to recognize it for what it is.

* By the way, you should really get a copy of The God’s Eye View and read it. Eisler not only illustrates many of the dangers that mass surveillance of everyone can deliver but the mindset that that kind of power can engender in perhaps once well-meaning people. Plus he has some great notes at the end for further reading.

Onward…

WHAT IS STREET THEATER?

It’s a little play put on by covert operatives as a PSYOP for a target. Sort of something to go along with CIA’s #1 wishlist item for the MKULTRA program perhaps, from the 1955 draft memo:

1. Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.

Though the name implies that Street Theater always happens out in public spaces, this is not always the case.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF STREET THEATER?

Precisely what the desired effects are in every case, I’m not quite certain. Here a few ideas:

1} Simply to confuse the target;

2} Make the target spend a lot of time wondering why anyone would go to to trouble and what it was supposed to mean, perhaps even causing lack of sleep;

3} Make the target doubt their own sanity and spend time and money checking themselves out while discrediting themselves {see also item #5 of the same memo quoted above};

4} Further alienate the target from their friends, family and co-workers {usually the goal in these kinds of ops};

5} Actually part of the overall effort to cause a psychotic break, to literally drive the target insane {in conjunction with surreptitious drugging and other forms of harassment};

6} Make the target afraid to leave her home and to go outside. This is related to the legal definition of torture, which has three requirements, one of which is that the victim must be detained {“in custody”}. Think of it as surreptitious “house arrest.” This makes harassing the target out of public view easier.

WHAT WERE SOME EXAMPLES OF STREET THEATER?

“The Spitter”

The very first one I recall was being alone at what was my and my partner’s condo in Brooklyn. This was probably mid to late December 2009.

I looked out the front window and saw a man emerge from one of those is-it-a-truck-or-a-van type vehicles. I think it was some shade of red or orange, but that sort of darker, metallic shade.

He got out and was carrying a file folder. He looked in the direction of an old church and spit on the ground three times. Then he proceeded in the opposite direction.

Really, I could never quite figure this one out. The spitting at the church thing was perhaps reference to, given the timing, Peter Watts’ status as an atheist. I don’t know.

I’ve also wondered if the man was supposed to be perhaps Mendoza from We Were the Freedom Federation, but he looked very little like the depiction of him in the comic book {I had not yet written the novel}. He had grey hair, whereas Mendoza had jet black hair. This notion was especially humorous once I found out that Alan Moore claims to have seen Constantine twice, which I reckon was MI5 or MI6 having a bit of fun with an author who likes to write about power and its many abuses.

“Guys Like Us”

This is I think the second one. Probably January or February of 2010.

I was waiting outside the Times Square Midtown Comics one morning and decided to grab some cough drops while I was waiting for it to open.

When I went to this Duane Reade…

20160304_StreetTheater01

…two blocks away. Standing outside were three Asian men. The way that they were standing, all facing the same direction, pretty much motionless, reminded me of the bizarre scene in Spies Like Us with Michael Apted, B.B. King, and Larry Cohen as the “Ace tomato agents.”

I chuckled to myself and went inside. Standing in the very aisle to which I was headed was a fourth Asian gentleman who seemed to be absent-mindedly staring at what was in front of him. I made some noise, stomped my foot and rattled the bag of cough drops and he didn’t react.

At that point I knew I was being messed with, but didn’t know by whom. I was guessing it was not in fact the Chinese.

Then, when I returned to the corner of 7th and 40th Street, I saw yet a fifth Asian man come walking quickly around the corner, holding one of those common paper napkins to his face and sort of muttering as if in pain. Then, from around the corner, came a man generally of Peter Watts’ height, build, and general description. He was walking with arms exaggeratedly bowed, like Popeye, but was wearing something akin to what one typically saw Jacques Cousteau wearing.

Who do you tell about this? What do you tell them?

I think those were the only two pure Street Theater events I witnessed. There were some variants, but those are more akin to harassment or other forms of PSYOP like doppelgangers, which I’ve covered before, or people being rude in order to provoke an outburst.

Then, of course, there was The Case of the Fidgety Korean where the goals were a bit clearer.

CONCLUSION

While this may seem harmless and overall kind of amusing {I certainly laughed at it at the time}, it is done in tandem with many other methods, such as the target being drugged and while the target’s life is being dismantled. My sometimes used description of covert operatives as evil clowns did not happen in a vacuum. I would also note that one of the drugs, or the drug, used tends to make colors bolder, light brighter, sound louder, and movements seem more dramatic. This may be a sixth, or related to the fifth purpose detailed above; at some point it may become impossible for the target to be able to tell the difference between a covert operative engaging in street theater and a random person moving their hands, arms, etc.

Also, this was a precursor to a living hell and the goal was my eventual ruin, attempting to drive me to violence either against myself or others. I’ve covered the whys and what-elses of all that before so I won’t reiterate that for this post.

However, I will say again that this is how the US government, and likely other private organizations, conduct their affairs. This is what it spends time and effort doing. I just kinda gotta question that even if it makes me sound like a small-government libertarian. Doesn’t the fact that this happened make Obama seem like a small-government libertarian? Why do it at all unless you want people to hate government?

No doubt things would be just as bad or worse under a Corporatocracy, at least for those who haven’t been directly screwed yet. I have trouble seeing much difference.

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