CONVINCED he was being watched by government agencies, Liam Warner* would turn up to his Sydney TAFE with cameras strapped to his body.
A skilled tradesman who was studying construction, the 23-year-old’s life was anything but the strange ‘Truman Show’ existence he says he now lives out.
For Mr Warner, everything from receiving bad marks to students bullying him were clandestine tactics the government used to derail him. His neighbours, classmates and colleagues were all part of a covert government operation to ‘torture’ and stalk him.
“My house was bugged, my car was bugged, my phone calls and all socials were bugged. Everybody knew what I was doing and I started hearing a lot of sudden rumours about myself. It wasn’t that hard to figure out,” Mr Warner said.
Not too dissimilar from 1998 movie, The Truman Show, he said his life and social media feeds were broadcasted to entertain a higher power. It was this line of thinking that got Mr Warner fired from a construction worksite, after arguing his fellow tradies and boss were ‘perpetrators’ and posting their photos online to ‘expose’ them.
Since then he has sought refuge in Dubai, where he now lives with his girlfriend, but Mr Warner’s experience is far from isolated. Social media is flooded with thousands of groups from all over the world, describing similar stories of ‘gang stalking’. They call themselves ‘targeted individuals’ and believe they are victims of mind control and hypnosis, are being tortured by electronic weapons, stalked by the government and even have microchips under their skin.
Elias Aboujaoude, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and the author of Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the e-Personality, said the paranoia often associated with gang stalking was a common delusion in schizophrenia.
“The internet has strengthened this delusional system because it has extended the reach of governments and individuals in powerful and highly intrusive ways. You will always find ‘friends’ on social networks who agree with you. It has become much harder to convince people in general about the inaccuracy of their beliefs,” says Professor Aboujaoude.
“Of course, news of actual internet-mediated mass surveillance by governments, such as the Snowden revelations in the US, do little to help assuage the fears of paranoid individuals.”
Targeted individuals are estimated to be in the thousands and many are from the most vulnerable tiers of society. One of these self-described victims is Robyn Schumer*, a 57-year-old from Oregon in the United States, who says she’s been a targeted individual for seven years.
Ms Schumer has spent much of her life homeless, scampering in and out of shelters. She claims she was first targeted by the US Army who performed technological drills on her, disintegrating her teeth with their electronic weapons.
“The weapons hurt. They have technology where you can hear them talking through your nasal cavities. They throw your sleeping rhythms off, they’ll poison your food. They will hit a spot in the back of your neck to increase your alcohol content when you’ve been drinking,” she said.
Growing up in foster care, Ms Schumer was forced to leave home at an early age, due to her mother also being a ‘targeted individual’. To her mother, who was diagnosed with five personalities, Ms Schumer’s house was a ‘hot box’, where they baked her daughter with microwave radio waves as a form of systematic torture. Her mother’s last, poignant words to Ms Schumer were: “They’ve got you”. It was only shortly after, that the voices in Ms Schumer head appeared, which she took as a confirmation that her mother was right.
At the time Ms Schumer was unemployed due to an injury and financially drained. But she also admits that she felt isolated after her mother’s death, having little contact with her adult children.
“Anyone who’s not surrounded by friends and family and has isolated themselves is very susceptible to being targeted by mind control and hypnotism. They need to talk things out and have a real friend with them, and that’s the problem: you don’t know who to trust,” she said.
Now Ms Schumer considers herself a mentor, supporting other targeted individuals through Facebook groups. She said she knows too many people who’ve taken their lives after being gang stalked or targeted.
“I try to find people going through this and let them know that they’re not crazy. To anybody that’s being gang stalked, keep your head. Don’t let it stop you from living your life,” she said.
“We’re dealing with something nefarious and it’s in Italy, it’s in Holland, it’s in Brazil. There are targeted individual sites all over the world. The big question is who’s behind it?”
* Names have been changed
Image Credit: Thousands of people around the world feel like they’re living in their own Truman Show.Source:News Corp Australia