The use of “Character Assassination” to isolate the target
Targets usually experience character assassination which is done to destroy their personal and professional life. Half-truths and lies are often strategically spread into their lives, and may be the basis for a bogus investigation. The rumors circulated about people are apparently not petty, but shocking and repulsive. They are CIA or Stasi-type life-damaging lies. Some of the people spreading these lies may be acquaintances and/or family members that have been recruited (lied to, intimidated and blackmailed) into becoming informants. More on the recruitment of family and friends will be covered in the Informants and Motivational Factors chapters.
U.S. Federal law enforcement has used these tactics to destroy people they either wanted to recruit as informants or those they knew they couldn’t recruit and just wanted to destroy. According to former CIA psychologist James Keehner, “It was planned destructiveness. First, you’d check to see if you could destroy a man’s marriage. If you could, then that would be enough to put a lot of stress on that individual, to break him down. Then you might start a rumor campaign against him. Harass him constantly.” Constant harassment, planned destructiveness, character assassination, destroying relationships, all done in concert with the goal of breaking someone down are a standard part of this program.
Reportedly, the usual rumors spread about a person are that they are a pedophile, prostitute, terrorist, racist, anti-government, mentally ill, drug addict, drug dealer, or a threat to “national security.” They are often spread to neighbors, friends, family, employers, etc. A major effort is spent to separate a person from their friends and families.
Apparently these rumor campaigns aid in recruitment. Dr. Rauni Kilde wrote, “Deception is the name of the game, so recruits are told untrue sinister stories of their victims to keep them motivated.” According to CNN, the Stasi used the exact same tactics. They stated, “The agency was authorized to conduct secret smear campaigns against anyone it judged to be a threat…” The Russian KGB too, with its massive network of informants, would slander their internal targets.
These rumors may be propagated by multiple people (informants) behind a target’s back. Apparently, not letting a targeted person become aware of these rumors is essential to their effectiveness. Victor Santoro noted in his book, Gaslighting: How to Drive Your Enemies Crazy, that “The essence of defaming your target with rumors is it that it not get back to him.”
Some targeted people believe that rumors are being spread that they are pedophiles. The organizers realize that labeling someone a pedophile will be highly damaging and produce optimum leverage for gaining community support. It is probably one of the worst rumors you could launch against someone. The Stasi would destroy the character of their targets by labeling them as pedophiles as well. There have been multiple magazine and newspaper reports of pedophiles being harassed by neighbors, and vigilante groups to the point where they are driven out of communities and forced out of work. Some have been driven out of multiple states.