Posted by jeremy on October 4, 2010 5:10 pm.
|An extra serving of irony
The very first passage in my copy of Lawson’s book starts out with a quote:
“When people fervently and absolutely believe in a cause they will many times go to great lengths to promote it…”
How many man-years have targets thrown away in trying to prove or advocate Lawson’s assertions?
I’ve felt there was something wrong with David Lawson’s claims (in his “Cause Stalking” manual) from the moment I became aware of them nine months ago, but I admit I didn’t bother to dig deeper, because I figured old hands had a better grasp of the situation than I did. Maybe there really was something like what I’d gone through, but without the advanced surveillance and NLW technologies, I reasoned.
In recent months, I’ve come to understand how these campaigns can be arranged with much less manpower than is generally assumed by newly aware targets1. But now my developing thesis is running into a hurdle: the minds of the targets themselves, who have bought into manpower-intensive theories of targeting and refuse to accept other explanations. So I have to tackle the issue of these uneconomical explanations, once and for all.2
What Lawson is saying is at the root of a disinformation campaign crafted for three purposes:
- to direct targets at the wrong enemy, by persuading them that the government isn’t involved in targeting;
- to enhance the traumatizing effects of targeting by telling targets that everything is exactly as it seems (that is, as threatening as possible);
- closely related to the previous point, to get targets to discredit themselves by acting on the belief that if it seems like large numbers of people are in on it, then in fact they are in on it. The claims deceived targets make are nonsensical to many accused individuals, and defy the laws of economics in the eyes of the general public - there isn’t enough money in the world to employ (or silence) all these people.
I’m going to show you that there’s nothing in his book that withstands scrutiny - that it all comes down to Lawson’s say-so; that is, the credibility of “Cause Stalking” depends on the credentials of the author and the publisher. And then I’m going to demonstrate that the publisher doesn’t exist, and that Lawson is not who you think he is.
What Lawson is claiming, and the kernel of truth supporting it
Lawson’s original book (“Terrorist stalking in America”), published in 2001, claimed that large numbers of vigilantes were making themselves available for hire to stalk and harass individuals, not to mention breaking into their homes. He says these vigilante gangs are not associated with the government in any way, and in fact are anti-government extremists.
Terrorist stalking was a term invented to describe terroristic threats directed at abortion providers by large groups of anti-abortionists3, with a few high-profile cases in the 1980’s. In these cases, the names of abortion providers would be announced to anti-abortion crusaders and mailing lists, whose members would spontaneously threaten the targeted providers. There was nothing subtle about these threats; they weren’t deniable the way what targets experience are4, and not nearly as well-coordinated.
That same year, Robert L. Snow made a brief mention of these kinds of tactics in his book5, slapping a new label on vengeance/terrorist stalking: cause stalking. Lawson released a new manual with that title in 2007, making the same sorts of claims he’d made in his earlier work.
Finally and most importantly, Lawson does list tactics that many targets are reporting.
Who’s bought his story?
Of several books I recently reviewed, “Coherent Madness” takes Lawson’s claims seriously, and “My Life Changed Forever” mentions his claims in the final chapter, even reprinting parts of his first book. Meanwhile, the author behind “The Hidden Evil” dismisses Lawson’s claims as a form of disinformation.
How I’m evaluating Lawson’s work
Books are generally considered more credible than web sites. It’s why I’ve been in the habit of deferring to printed explanations of this phenomenon.
It’s difficult to expose criminal activities which haven’t been heard in court yet. The guilty parties are obviously not going to admit to what they’re doing unless forced to; they may change their tactics in response to what is put in print about them; and they may attack the author or publisher if they feel threatened. Under these circumstances, the publisher is going to require due diligence on the part of the author, or is going to keep the author at arm’s length - a vanity press, for example, is generally understood not to be responsible for an author’s words.
Here’s a checklist for evaluating the credibility of printed exposés.
|Evidence of book’s credibility||Explanation|
|Commitment||The publisher or author has committed substantial resources to the publication. This suggests due diligence has been performed.|
|Picked up by a reputable publisher||The publisher is risking its own credibility by lending weight to the author’s claims.|
|Picked up by any publisher||The book is traceable back to a specific legal entity who can confirm the book was published by them.|
|Non-deniability||This is a quality we usually take for granted in published material, and is closely linked to being picked up by a publisher, but isn’t quite the same. The book is traceable back to a specific source, the source is not able to claim he didn’t commit certain passages to paper, and so on.|
|Liability||The publisher or author is being exposed to potential liability if the claims in the book should prove to be maliciously wrong.|
|Falsifiability||Providing details, or references to source material (not just a bibliography) will enable third parties to verify the claims, or disprove them (thereby falsifying them).|
|The author’s credibility||Does the author have credentials or expertise supporting the claims of the printed work?|
Is there evidence of commitment or due diligence? Is there liability? Are the claims falsifiable?
To all three questions, the answer is no.
The very first page of this manual shifts all responsibility for any decisions made based on the book’s advice away from the researcher or editor and onto the reader. The manual advises the reader that it’s “for educational and entertainment purposes” and “neither the author nor Scrambling News shall have any liability… [for] any loss or damage… from using the information contained in this manual.”
So there’s no liability, no commitment, and hence, no risk taken on by the alleged publisher of this manual. How about the author; did he commit significant time or resources to this work?
The manual runs for roughly 120 pages, at roughly 150 words per page - 18,000 words. There are no references, and proofreading is minimal; the index at the back of my copy of the book has fewer than 50 entries, and they all point to incorrect pages.
The manual has no narrative and little structure; it’s a monologue of general statements about the police, alleged vigilante stalkers, victims, and so on. The original manual could have been dictated to a secretary and typed up in a few hours. There is no evidence of commitment or due diligence by the author.
Getting to the references and other sources, the author says himself on the last page before the appendices:
This book lacks the references, quotes from named sources, and other formalities which would be included in a scholarly work… no Police officers would agree to be named… victims… did not want to be named either…
In fact, not a single organization - private or governmental - allegedly involved in these operations is named. Without any details, his claims aren’t verifiable - or falsifiable.
Is it carried by a reputable publisher?
Did any publisher pick up this book?
Can you find any book published by a Scrambling News in Florida other than Lawson’s manuals? Can you find any evidence the publisher is even a registered business or has a DBA in the state of Florida6, where it has a mail drop?
The only evidence I found that a “Scrambling News” ever existed was a fictitious name registered to a David A. Lawson in New York in 1998, which expired in 2003.7 Scrambling News is David Lawson.
The answer is no.
Is this work deniable?
Imagine that you wanted to bring the author into court because of problems the manual’s advice or information caused you. If the author claimed you had simply gone to Kinko’s and printed up your own copy with the errors you were complaining about, would you be able to show otherwise?
The printing of the manual doesn’t represent a meaningful investment. Anybody could have printed it. The alleged publisher doesn’t exist. Prior to the addition of this manual to the Google Books archive8 , the words were deniable, a quality we usually associate with propaganda.
As of mid-2010, the words in the book are no longer deniable.
The author’s credentials
The “Cause Stalking” manual is a packet of unverifiable claims that as recently as mid-2010 could be modified at a moment’s notice, to thwart criticism. The alleged publisher of the manual doesn’t exist, even on paper.
At this point in my investigation, the credibility of this manual hinges entirely on Lawson’s background.
David Lawson, the psy-op
Remember, I’ve previously demonstrated that the author and the publisher of the manual are the very same entity. Let’s look at what the back cover says about Lawson:
The author is a Private Investigator who has worked cause stalking cases.
Note that cause stalking (terrorist/vengeance stalking), first mentioned in Snow’s book, could involve only one stalker. This statement of his background could be referring to that kind of stalking, although you’re being allowed to believe he has worked cause stalking cases of the sort his book alludes to, involving up to hundreds of stalkers per target.
The wording refers to Lawson in the third person, making it seem as though a third party has verified Lawson’s credentials. In reality, there is no third party, but you’re being allowed to think there is.
The back cover also mentions a web site with the domain name of I-Will-Do-It.com. Based on what you’ve been led to believe about Lawson’s credentials, you might think - with a domain name like that - that Lawson is soliciting business from people with problems (stalking problems) that need to be solved.
The book was originally published in 2007, but has been updated as recently as 2009, suggesting Lawson is receiving new information about the book’s subject.
The only information you get about Lawson is from the book itself. Stripping away everything you’re being allowed to believe and focusing only on unambiguous statements, all he’s saying about his or his publisher’s credentials in print is this:
- He’s a Private Investigator.
- He has worked on non-traditional (coercive or vendetta-driven) stalking cases.
- There’s a domain name, I-Will-Do-It.com, associated with the book.
- There’s a mail drop in Florida, associated with the alleged publisher.
- “Neither the author nor Scrambling News shall be held liable…”, suggesting the author and Scrambling News are two separate entities.
- There’s a web site, CauseStalking.net, associated with the book.9
Lawson, the reality
David Lawson does have a P.I. license in Florida. It expires in 2012.10 It’s a class “CC” license, which corresponds to that of an intern at an investigative agency, which anyone can get after completing 24 hours of a 40 hour course, provided he’s sponsored by a class “C” licensee or a P.I. agency’s manager.11 I called the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and verified that Lawson’s license was sponsored by an Investigative Agency in 2005 (Beneficial Investigations, license #A20230033612).
A class “C” P.I. license in Florida only requires ‘two years of lawfully gained, verifiable, full-time experience’11 (emphasis added). Surely Lawson, with his extensive background investigating cause stalking cases, would have that kind of experience? Why would Lawson be working as a lowly intern in Florida when he could prove he has the experience to work as a P.I.?
“Cause Stalking” lists many tactics which targets have reported or experienced. The author allows readers to believe the book has been published and his claims evaluated by someone other than himself. The author also makes truthful statements about his credentials in print, and allows the readers to believe they are far more extensive than he states. Having earned a targeted audience’s trust, the manual leads readers on a wild goose chase.
“Cause Stalking” is roughly as verifiable as a typical targeted individual’s testimony or explanations. However, because of the way the book has been marketed, many targets believe the author is sharing inside information.
The author is a P.I. intern in Florida, which belies the widespread beliefs of his extensive investigative experience. His sponsor/employer may not even be aware of what he’s up to.
There is no way to know whether the author knowingly perpetrated this hoax, or was misled by others putting on a show. Lawson’s preparations since 2004, when he applied for a P.I. license in Florida, suggest that he is aware he may be in hot water soon.13
“Cause Stalking” is historical evidence of disinformation directed at targeted individuals, and is useful for nothing else.
- ^ “The Big Show” argues that at any given time, a very small number of people are in your harassment perimeter. Those people can be influenced as needed, using mind control technology, to deliver PSYOPS payloads.
- ^ Nobody - especially me - is denying the experiences targets are reporting. The point of this article is that targets have been deceived.
- ^ National Victim Assistance Academy Textbook, chapter 22, 2002.
- ^ Abortionist targets of this kind of harassment could expect to receive hundreds of overt death threats. In the 90’s, once the web was invented and became popular, these tactics moved online. For example, one activist maintained a web page listing abortion providers with identifying information, and providers who had been hounded out of business, or had died, would be “crossed out” without any further commentary. Notice how, unlike what targeted individuals are going through, this coordinating tactic isn’t invisible or deniable.
- ^ "Stopping a Stalker: A Cop's Guide to Making the System Work for You" by Robert L. Snow, published in 2001 (Google Books).
- ^ https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp; searched for historical evidence of any business with the word “scrambling” in its name, 10-4-2010.
- ^ Sunbiz.org search for Scrambling News; performed 10-4-2010. Here’s David Lawson’s registration for the fictitious name, with his signature (local copy).
- ^ The 2009 revision of Cause Stalking has been added to Google Books fairly recently. "Cause Stalking", Google Books; checked 10-4-2010.
- ^ The contents of causestalking.net can be changed at a moment’s notice, and are therefore deniable. As of October 4, 2010, the web site talks about Lawson in the third person (allowing the audience to believe the web site belongs to a third party), saying he has 20 years of experience investigating cause stalking cases. Interestingly, that one potentially falsifiable claim was added less than three years ago: see the Internet Archive copy of causestalking.net, circa 2008
- ^ David Lawson's license, detail screen; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, licensing division, search performed 10/4/2010.
- ^ a b "C" and "CC" class license requirements; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, private investigations division, checked 10/4/2010.
- ^ Beneficial Investigations' license, detail screen; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, licensing division, checked 10/4/2010.
- ^ Americans expecting to get sued can readily find safe haven by establishing a residence in Florida, because of its favorable laws protecting trusts from civil suits.