A growing number of people throughout the United States believe they have fallen victim to a vast conspiracy which sees them targeted by nefarious forces trying to drive them insane.
A lengthy piece from the New York Times provides perhaps the most mainstream coverage yet of this peripheral realm of conspiracy research centered around 'targeted individuals' or TIs.
Those claiming to be TIs say that they are constantly harassed by clandestine government agencies using advanced technology to mess with their minds and employing gangs of people assigned to stalk them.
Their tales are terrifying and troubling as many report having their lives torn asunder by the harassment and living in constant fear.
With experts estimating that more than 10,000 people believe themselves to be victims of this conspiracy, some medical professionals have begun to take notice of the phenomenon.
However their analysis of alleged TIs argues that these individuals are less the target of a government conspiracy and more the product of paranoia.
This paranoia, they say, is amplified via the communal power of the internet and the relatively recent emergence of the phenomenon.
Forensic psychologist Dr. Lorraine Sheridan, who has studied the 'gang stalking' community extensively, observed that the sparse amount of academic research into TIs has served to fuel its growth.
"What's scary for me is that there are no counter sites that try and convince targeted individuals that they are delusional,” she told the Times.
Nonetheless, a study of 128 TIs by Sheridan and a colleague concluded that the subjects were, in fact, probably delusional and not the target of a conspiracy.
As one might expect, the community of individuals purportedly plagued by electronic harassment and gang stalking reject this analysis and insist that their persecution is very real.
While one might simply dismiss the phenomenon as extreme paranoia, experts worry that, as alleged TIs fall further into despair over their perceived victimization, they may turn to violence or suicide.
Whether the newfound mainstream media and academic interest in the phenomenon serves to help those in the TI community or only strengthens their suspicions that there is a conspiracy afoot remains to be seen.
Coast Insiders looking to learn more about the electronic harassment and gang stalking phenomenon can check out multiple appearances on the program by author and alleged targeted individual Dr. John Hall.
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Source: New York Times