Part 1 – The weaponisation of extremism
09/02/2021. This is a story. A true story, of a recent (2021) two-day visit to the north-east of England. After 30 years in Belgium, I was planning to move to the Newcastle area in search of a new start. Viewing homes is considered necessary travel under Covid-19 rules (because who will buy a home on the basis of video evidence alone?).
I stayed in a well-known American chain hotel, at a bargain price because of the restricted service available. After a six hour drive and viewing a couple of properties, I was glad to get to my room, order a room-service meal and retire for the night.
But rest did not arrive. The air-conditioning didn’t respond to user commands, however that can be expected in many cheaper hotels these days. The window only opened a crack – that should have been enough considering it was about – 5 C outside.
Unfortunately it was not. During the night, the room seemed to fill up with fumes that would not disperse, even with the bathroom extractor fan running for hours. Opening the door to the corridor solved the problem, but I could not sleep with the hotel-room door wide open.
I tried sleeping anyway. You may find this reaction strange, but this was not the first time this had happened to me. However as well as fumes, there seemed to be some kind of radiation being directed at my body, both from the ceiling above and the floor beneath. I felt rather as if I was the jam sandwich in a microwave. The effects were a kind of warming at first, but this changed to aching joints, then pain, forcing me to change position frequently.
Thus did the night pass, with alternate dozing, wakefulness, and rising to open the door. The effects continued until about 6 am, when everything seemed to clear and I gained a precious period of exhausted sleep. I was finally awoken at about eight am by what seemed to be bursts of radiation to the genitals.
I’m sorry if you find this story shocking. It describes a kind of brutality that is not meant for gentle ears. But what happened on this night is just one example of the kind of effects I suffer daily, at home and when travelling. It is something that has become an everyday reality.
These phenomena first made themselves felt, as near as I can remember, in Autumn 2006 at my then home just outside Brussels. I don’t know what was significant about this date, but the effects have carried on since then.
They continued unabated even after I moved back to my father’s house in England at the end of 2020; they remain to this day, and to this night. If anything they have become worse, perhaps because to date I have not reacted in any expected way, like for example running away in panic.
But I have come to believe that this the reality of 21st century Britain. I do not know what I have done to deserve such treatment. And after 15 years I no longer care. I believe that there are some very powerful groups in the world, people without morals or scruple, who appear to have access to a vicious new range of control weapons, and feel free to use them against any individual they wish to target.
I can only assume that I have upset certain individuals who have little respect for the law or individual freedoms, and whose only interest is crushing anyone who (for whatever reason) gets in their way. I have to assume that we are talking about right-wing fascism, because I cannot imagine who else would resort to such lawless and desperate measures.
The only reason that I am still here and able to write about such things is because I have had help, precious assistance from certain people at key moments in the recent past. These individuals must remain nameless, but I owe an enormous debt of gratitude for their assistance at times when it was needed.
Lawless behaviour not a problem for Britain alone
Lawless behaviour is of course not a problem just for this country. I first noted it in any real sense in rural Belgium, where the Flanders region has some remarkably strong right-wing political parties with direct links back to the Nazis.
I lived in the same house in rural Flanders just outside Brussels for 30 years, and became accustomed to the small parcels of soil posted through the letterbox, complete with neat labels claiming Flemish land for Flemish people. Most of my neighbours were lovely people, but there were always a few who refused to speak to me. But the recidivists will always be with us, I reason, and perhaps they had reason to resent the foreigner.
In 2020 I returned to England, and surprise surprise, the resentment was still there. Again borne of suspicion of the outsider, but this time of someone who has lived abroad for many years and, even worse, has worked with the EU. The fact that I can trace my ancestry back to 1744 in rural Oxon seemed not to count.
I even witnessed one of these ignorant curmudgeons mouthing off in the street about me to a neighbour I have known for some 40 years. He walked off hurriedly when he saw me approach, but she is now reluctant to speak to me, understandably.
And this is how it works, in 21st century Britain. The stupid and the ignorant harrassing decent people, because of idiotic ideas implanted in their brains by right-wing politicians following their own narrow power agenda.
I could call it Trumpism, but that would dignify ideas that are simply excuses for ignorance. Because they go back to long before Trump, to right-wing political parties across Europe desperate to gain influence and power, as they have been for over 20 years. In some European countries they have succeeded, perhaps because moderate parties have wasted so much effort on dogma and political infighting that they lost sight of why people voted for them.
In the Pas de Calais region of France for example, one journalist explained to me why in 2016 the Socialist representative stood back from regional elections in order to let the candidate from the new Les Republicains (conservative) party triumph. Otherwise, he explained, working people in this part of France were so unhappy with the state of the economy that they would vote solidly National Front.
So have right-wing views spread. But political organisation is one thing, targeting individuals for abuse and harassment is quite another. And when that harassment reaches the level of subtle but continuous physical violence it is beyond outrageous, it becomes the behaviour, I believe, of animals.
I have a fairly thick skin and can give as good as I get, given the opportunity. But creeping and insidious attacks on my health, for that is what I believe is happening, are beyond the pale.
The weaponisation of extremism
Just as disturbing is this availability of weapons which appear to be military-grade methods of physical assault. And the willingness of extremist groups to use them to target individuals they dislike. This is the weaponisation of extremism – placing insidious and dangerous techniques of physical control into the hands of gangsters and thugs.
Such weapons are hard to control because they are difficult to detect. And because they are used by the kind of people who are devious and cunning by nature, conventional law-enforcement techniques suffer a great handicap.
Normally the only people aware of their existence are the unbalanced individuals using them, the devious organisations that can source and supply such weapons, and the poor unfortunates on the receiving end.
I am writing this now because for the first time I start to feel afraid. I have developed my own defences against such weaponry, with varying success. But the outlaw extremists, for that is how I think of them, appear to be gaining power, and as I write this my heart aches for what we are losing in our society. I begin to miss in my life the better kinds of human behaviour, such as decency, humanity and generosity of spirit.
Because make no mistake, the genie is out of the bottle. If what I suspect is fact, then weapons originally developed for the military have spread into the wider world, and no-one is safe. I remember a conversation on this topic around a camp fire at an English music festival some years ago (where in pre-Covid days such late-night discussions were wont to take place). As one festivalgoer asked in the midst of the discussion, “but how do you protect the state?”
How indeed. No-one had an answer. If journalists can be subjected to such treatment then so can politicians, so can businessmen and government officials. The more junior they are, the more vulnerable, because criminals know better than to go after more senior members of the establishment.
Who can know all the reasons why certain individuals give up promising careers in politics and the professions? They may not even know themselves, except that they feel physically better when they stay away from politics/journalism/law/etc.
I do not have the answer to these questions. I can only relate my personal experience, as someone who at first refused to believe what was happening (for some five years), and then, after being forced to admit the reality, only discovering by trial and error what was actually taking place and some of the counter-moves possible.
Social Terrorism – the rise of criminal assault and control
I have my own term for the phenomenon – I call it Social Terrorism – what happens when ruthless and unscrupulous groups begin using new kinds of weapons to attack and control innocent civilians, people who may not even understand what is happening to them.
I hope ways can be found to detect, arrest and charge the people involved, since I regard such practices as inhuman, abhorrent, and akin more to the instincts of animals than any kind of human behaviour.
I can think of no worse crime than to try and poison someone slowly to death, or to weaken their health or immune systems to the point that they fall prey to some disease, such as Covid-19 for example. All while the attackers walk around in open view and pretend to be respectable, law-abiding people.
I see such crimes as so heinous, so deviant, and so dangerous both to the individual and to human society that I would not only bring back the death penalty for them, but make it automatic. Perhaps then the rage that I have suppressed for so many years could be set free, and I could regain some kind of belief in my fellow members of the human race.
© Philip Hunt, 2021.
Part 2 – Programmes of Harrassment
In Part 2, I will go into more detail on the form that personal harrassment and destabilisation can take, and the kind of programmes that are believed to lie behind them. I will also relate the kind of tactics that have been deployed against individual journalists and campaigners in the past, and the consequences.
Part 3 – The Truth will Out
In Part 3, I will attempt to guess the future for some of the western political freedoms we take for granted, in the light of ever-expanding methods of social control. And yet, I also hope to show how attacks on disliked political actors nearly always rebound on those inflicting them, and so why these attacks ultimately damage the very foundations of the political structures they are intended to maintain.