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Pro Se Litigant

Classic Precedents:  Stalking by Proxy

Third-Party Stalking the New Modus Operandi

Stalking by Proxy:  Categories of Harassment
Category Purpose
Category and Purpose

Report back information on the target.

Ostensible: The instigator claims the target is doing something wrong and therefore should be monitored.

Hidden Agenda: To find out what the target values, to destroy those things or turn them into sources of abuse.

‘Street Theatre’

To upset the target, to draw the target into repeated conflicts, or make it appear the target is in constant conflict, and therefore should have his or her rights curtailed.

Slander campaign

To disrupt socio-familial ties, to undermine credibility, and to make it difficult for the victim to get support to stop the stalking. This tactic is especially used to silence whistle-blowers.

Sexual abuse
or molestation

To humiliate the victim, and drive the victim into social isolation.

Often the perpetrator uses geography to his advantage, accosting the victim in a bottleneck area such as a doorway. Lying in wait adds to the severity of this crime, in the eyes of the law.

In a truly surreal move this is a reward offered to entice the more sociopathic of the foot-soldiers who are capable of the boundary breaches that would appall and block normal people.

Stalkers are not told the real reason for their mission, but in this category they likely guess it based on their own background.

Asset = Weakness

The greatest asset of a stalker group is also its greatest weakness. The group profiles its victim to discover what deeds will create maximum trauma. The victim sees a finite repeating pattern from an array of supposed strangers. After a period of bafflement, the target will recognize that he or she is being stalked by proxy.

Foot-solider is used as a metaphor for blind obedience: a follower, not a leader. We do not suggest the military is involved.

State v. Becklin (2008) Washington Supreme Court

Enlisting Others To Do Your Dirty Work

Andre Paul Becklin was accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend, Mary Alison McGee. At his trial, held in Washington State Court, the Prosecutor presented evidence that Becklin spent time directing several of his friends to follow Mary McGee and report back to him regarding her activities. The State argued:

Assistance. Aiding and abetting. That's what it is, that's what this case is about, is enlisting others to do your own dirty work, and that's what Mr. Becklin did.

The jury asked for clarity: Can you stalk a party through a third person? The Judge said "Yes" after hearing arguments from both sides. The jury convicted Becklin of stalking; he was sentenced to 12 months.

Becklin appealed, saying the Trial Judge improperly answered the jury's question. The Washington Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the conviction.

The State then petitioned the Washington Supreme Court for review. Final ruling: The original instruction to the jury was accurate: stalking includes directing others to harass a victim. The Supreme Court restored the conviction. Becklin went to jail.

Legal arguments unique to the Becklin case

In this case, the Washington Supreme Court first considered accomplice liability:

A person is an accomplice of another person in commission of a crime if:

(a) With knowledge that it will promote or facilitate the commission of the crime, he (i) solicits, commands, encourages, or requests such other person to commit it; or (ii) aids or agrees to aid such other person in planning or committing it; or

(b) His conduct is expressly declared by law to establish his complicity.

But accomplice liability need not be proven if the crime of stalking encompasses the act of directing a third party to follow or harass a victim. The Washington Supreme Court chose this path, saying: The plain-language interpretation of some criminal statutes clearly contemplates the involvement of third parties.

The stalking statute includes any form of communication, contact, or conduct that seriously alarms, annoys, harasses, or is detrimental to the victim. Directing others to follow or otherwise harass a victim can be a form of communication, contact, or conduct that amounts to harassment contemplated under the stalking statute.

While the criminal stalking statutory scheme does not explicitly refer to harassment through third parties, the definition of course of conduct contemplates a broad range of harassing activities including manipulation or direction of third parties to achieve the intended emotional distress of a victim.

In sum, the plain language of the stalking statute is broad enough to encompass the act of directing third parties to follow and intimidate a victim.

Georgena S. Sil
Saskatoon, Canada
Physicist & Technical Writer
Alumnus: University of British Columbia
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Rockwell: The Gossips

The Gossips / Norman Rockwell

The widespread interest in gossip is inspired, not by a love of knowledge but by malice:

No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues, but only about their secret vices.

Accordingly most gossip is untrue, but care is taken not to verify it.

Our neighbor’s sins, like the consolations of religion, are so agreeable that we do not stop to scrutinize the evidence closely.

Bertrand Russell

On Education (1926)

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