Conspiracy Corner

Gang-stalking: Psychosis or surveillance?

More stories from Alyssa Anderson

Getting Weird
December 13, 2018


Thousands of people describe government surveillance, being subject to mind control and even claim to have microchips implanted underneath their skin. Are these people merely crazy, or is the government up to something?

Do you ever get the creeping suspicion that the government is watching your every move? Yeah, me either (haha). Call me crazy — I assume most of you already do — but all these net neutrality shenanigans that’ve been all over the news are starting to really give me the creeps.

Is the NSA reading my texts? Can they see my Google search history? Are they even watching me write this as we speak? At this point, I’m beginning to believe anything is possible.

If you think I sound like I’ve lost my marbles, you’re going to want to get a load of this week’s conspiracy.

A few months back, I was in the midst of an intense binge of Vice documentaries. I have yet to be disappointed by Vice, but one documentary still haunts me. I remember it like it was yesterday: The day I watched the documentary about Targeted Individuals was the day I began to question everything.

“Gang-stalking victims describe complex systems financed by the US government, employing civilian volunteers, government agents, contractors, and often dangerous ex-convict felons to harass people,” Vice explained in an article published on Motherboard. “Gang-stalking functions as a nexus for further conspiracy.”

The alleged victims of gang-stalking describe “psychotronic torture,” where they believe they have been implanted with brain transmitters that eavesdrop on their thoughts or how their family members are imposters sent to spy on them and other outlandish forms of surveillance.

While it is easy to dismiss these people as psychotic, it seems there is much more to the story. Are these people truly being targeted by the government? It’s not likely. So why do thousands of people believe they are under surveillance?

Vice spoke to Dr. David Crepaz-Keay of the United Kingdom’s Mental Health Foundation, who said fears of gang-stalking act as a trap. Victims of gang-stalking describe being forced to go on the run, becoming homeless and losing family members and friends.

Crepaz-Keay said the internet plays an important role in perpetuating these fears. The internet creates a place where supposed victims can join together to reinforce each other’s suspicions, allowing these fears to grow into an intense paranoia.

“This behavior reinforces the anxiety and sparks paranoia, which increases the physical and verbal reaction which in turn increase the intensity of public response,” Crepaz-Keay said. “So although there is not a concerted stalking activity, it is very easy to interpret real-world behavior as if it is coordinated.”

Essentially, Crepaz-Keay said these people are experiencing mental health issues, but the internet is providing them with fuel to their paranoia. By typing ‘gang-stalking’ into Google, you can easily find a wide variety of websites and chat rooms dedicated to gang-stalking. These places exist in order to allow victims to validate each other’s suspicions and share their experiences.

According to The New York Times, the majority of gang-stalking victims have been diagnosed with some sort of mental illness, usually schizophrenia or some sort of delusion. The internet can be a dangerous place for the mentally ill — ABC News reported there has been a disturbing trend of mentally ill people joining together online to encourage harmful habits like anorexia or bulimia.

It seems likely that the websites dedicated to gang-stalking are simply places where mentally ill people can congregate around their delusions. A popular trend on these websites is a mistrust of mental health professionals, with many urgings for victims to avoid psychiatric treatment.

Although it seems much more plausible gang-stalking is nothing more than a delusion, it is still worth researching. Thousands of people — people with regular jobs and families — all share these strange experiences. What if they’re right after all? Could the government be covering up their surveillance by deeming their victims insane? We may never know the truth.

The internet can be a dangerous breeding ground for psychosis and paranoia, a place where even the most outlandish theories can become reality. Spending too much time online can drive anyone insane — or maybe that’s what they want you to think.