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What Is Gang Stalking?

Margaret Lipman
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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Gang stalking, a term that describes the orchestrated harassment and intimidation by a collective against an individual or smaller group, is a disturbing phenomenon with real-world implications. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, stalking affects 6-7.5 million people in the U.S. each year, with a subset potentially experiencing the group-based tactics characteristic of gang stalking. While comprehensive statistics on gang stalking specifically are elusive, its impact can be profound, leading to severe psychological distress. Laws vary by jurisdiction, with some states classifying gang stalking as a felony, reflecting its seriousness. Understanding what gang stalking is crucial for recognizing its signs and providing support to those affected.

The number of people involved in the gang varies. Individuals might receive gang intimidation from a handful of people in a work environment, or they may be targeted by an entire community. Victims relaying claims of gang stalking perceive the attackers as well-organized groups of people, who not only communicate with one another in a certain location but also pursue the target in other areas by means of extensive contacts. Leaders generally enlist the aid of other individuals in the gang by various methods, which typically include providing false information about the victim, manipulating potential members, or employing those with similar criminal backgrounds.

Victims may be from any gender or socioeconomic background. These persons may outperform other co-workers, or have a set of standards that separates them from other people in an environment. Gang stalking frequently uses practices meant to destroy the victim’s qualities. These acts might include blaming the target for a gang member’s mistakes or taking credit for what the victim accomplished. In an effort to discredit a person or to add to the weaponry for the attack gang stalkers may perpetuate the notion that the target is mentally impaired or dangerous in some manner, forcing the person to undergo evaluation.

The list of physical tactics used against victims generally includes stalking behavior and unwanted attention. The majority of persons under attack report that stalkers frequently mirror the victim’s behavior. Gang stalking might include mirroring physical gestures or verbal comments. Many victims relay that gang members often enter or leave properties and other locations at the same time as the target. Victims also frequently report that stalkers often repeat private conversations occurring in a home environment or over the phone.

Gang stalking targets might also experience hang-up calls or calls from wrong phone numbers throughout the day. Attackers may enter homes illegally or employ the assistance of the target’s friends or family. In an attempt to confuse the victim or to cause them to doubt their own logic and reasoning, stalkers might rearrange or steal personal items in the work place or home. The criminal offenses of stalkers may become more aggressive or violent against the target, family members or pets.

Is Gang Stalking Real?

"Gang stalking" does not necessarily mean you are being stalked by a street gang (they usually have bigger fish to fry, unless you have crossed them in some way). The term simply refers to a form of bullying by groups against an individual or smaller groups. Sadly, this behavior is common among school children and teens, especially when the victims are different or stand out in some way. However, it can also happen with adults in the workplace, on college campuses and other places.

There are all kinds of motivations for gang stalking. Intolerance, prejudice, homophobia and racism are certainly among them, but often, the reasons are more personal. Envy or jealousy, fear of "the other," intimidation and exclusion or ostracization are also common motivators. So are vindictiveness and revenge. Sometimes, there is no apparent reason. This kind of behavior, known to behaviorists and biologists and as "mobbing," appears to happen among most mammal species.

Gang stalking can take multiple forms. It may be perpetrated by a loose association of people who just happen to have it in for the victim(s), or it can be a highly orchestrated campaign by a larger group, or even an entire community. Gang stalking usually happens in the brick-and-mortar world, but thanks to social media and the Internet, it can happen online as well. It needn't be threats of physical violence; under the cloak of Web-based anonymity, stalkers can continue to harass and post libelous stories about their victims. Victims may also receive relentless, harassing telephone calls.

Gang stalking is considered a crime, though it may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the jurisdiction and what form the stalking/bullying takes. If factors such as racism or antisemitism come into the equation, it may be considered a hate crime, which is a Federal offense.

Although gang stalking appears to be on the rise, it only seems that way. The good news is that more victims are speaking out and reporting such behavior when it affects them.

How To Stop Gang Stalking

One tactic that gang stalkers use is referred to as "gaslighting." The phrase comes from an old movie in which a murderer marries his victim's niece, then uses a series of lies, half-truths and other kinds of manipulation in order to convince her that she is going insane. The victim may find themselves the target of blame, or the gang might attempt to publicly discredit them or insinuate that they suffer from some mental disorder or delusion. Understand that it is not your imagination, that what you are being put through is very real. Have confidence (which can be challenging under the circumstances) and learn to trust yourself.

After that, the most important thing you can do is to document everything. Fortunately, modern technology has given us a plethora of tools for recording all kinds of events. It has often been said that sunlight is the best disinfectant; shine as much light on the situation as possible. If you can, enlist the aid of trusted friends and family to help in keeping records of what is going on.

Although gang stalkers are not always violent, it's a good idea to protect yourself. Were a helmet if you are out cycling, and carry pepper spray if it is legal in your jurisdiction, or some kind of an alarm. When out and about, whether in public, campus or the office, stay in heavily-trafficked areas where everyone can see what is happening.

What to Do About Gang Stalking

If you find that you are being harassed because of your race, ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexuality, you should know that you have allies and support. For example, if you are African-American, you can turn to the NAACP, or even the ACLU for help and resources. Similar organizations for frequently-targeted groups include:

  • Council on American-Islamic Relations
  • Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Anti-Defamation League

Those who find themselves stalked, harassed and bullied for other reasons also have options. Most companies and academic institutions have personnel whose job it is to address such problems. Otherwise, the adage, "If you see something, say something" still applies. Even if you are not the victim, if you know of someone who is a victim of gang stalking, report it to law enforcement. If you are being harassed over the phone, contact your carrier, as they may be able to take some action (although these days of caller ID, phone harassment is much easier to avoid).

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
Discussion Comments
By anon1007220 — On Jun 19, 2022

All that is in darkness will come to light.

By anon1007168 — On Jun 11, 2022

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reporting on this.

By anon1006403 — On Mar 05, 2022

People, report the actions happening so there can be more awareness everywhere! I'm sure if we work together and raise awareness, we can win! And stop this madness. They are making innocent people take their lives. Lets put an end to this by reporting it to law enforcement and any organization. Instead of living with this crap, let's fight against the oppression thrown our way. We are strong. If we can handle the crap happening to us, we can handle raising more awareness so we can save lives!

By anon1005952 — On Dec 28, 2021

In 2018 I was gangstalked by a group of Proud Boys in the workplace. These guys were organized and had their "story" together to refute my accusations when I reported it to management. I had to hire outside consultation (aka private attorney) to take care of this for me and to call these boys out on their crap. What this article portrays is accurate, from what I experienced. Thank you.

By anon1005907 — On Dec 15, 2021

This is interesting.

By anon1005837 — On Dec 01, 2021

This is also happening to me, but there is not one thing anyone can do. It's way too big. All we can do is ignore it and live our lives happy and content and show them they cannot break us; we are survivors.

By anon1005403 — On Aug 20, 2021

It's happening to me. My 16 year old daughter has gone to live with a friend over it. They (no idea who) are in every aspect of my life. They've taken over my Google account Samsung, Yahoo etc. I thought I was going to go crazy, but now I've decided to fight back. They"ll never know when I'm recording, videoing etc. I'm going to get my life back!

By anon1004636 — On Mar 19, 2021

Gang Stalking is alive and not well.

By anon1003730 — On Aug 27, 2020

This is happening to me, my daughter who is only 14, and my service animal as well. It’s highly illegal, it’s a federal crime. I’m tired of it! We’ve been pushing back now and I will keep pushing back, until they are all exposed. Ignorance is no excuse! Those who participate are as guilty as those who orchestrate! They all need to be held responsible for their actions.

They killed my best friend with their non stop crap -- he took his own life. I wish I could rewind time, and believe what he was telling me. I thought he was just being paranoid. He wasn’t, and I know that now. I will not let go of this until justice is served. It’s wrong, sick, bullying, downright messed up! Awareness will help. And law enforcement, does participate. Not all. But yes, protect and serve? Think about that, law enforcement officers. It’s wrong, it’s a hate crime, and it’s illegal.

By anon1003642 — On Aug 06, 2020

This is sick and justice shall prevail!

By anon345916 — On Aug 23, 2013

The presence of this in our current cultural climate has increased exponentially. With the lack of integrity and honesty in our culture growing, I don't see this being a downward trend.

Employers are doing it in collusion friends and business associates. Families are doing it to family members. Friends are doing it to 'friends'.

As much as people want to stop what is happening to them, they realize they just have to deal with it day in and day out, because the perpetrators have covered their tracks effectively.

By anon343398 — On Jul 30, 2013

It has been happening to me for about five years. I am being listened to. They have looked up my whole family and all my past relationships, even though I have been faithfully married for 43 years.

It has been intimated it's legal, they had a need to know, they are watching me--etc. They did it to my daughter too. She went into mental health custody because of it. It is exhausting as it goes on 24/7.

There have been cross burnings, stolen trucks, missing things in the home. Just ongoing harassment and creepy stuff, four dead pets plus another burned cat that did not belong to me.

It has been community wide, and I probably will contact the FBI, as local authorities are stretched to the limit. This is five years of my life that I've lived in fear.

By anon248904 — On Feb 19, 2012

Gangstalking is a myth. But it's still happening. You have to ask yourself, how? How does it work? Are you being stalked, harassed, chemtrailed or mind controlled? Can't figure out what is going on? This is what they are doing, and this is how they do it. Open your eyes.

Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
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