Streams

On Being Stalked

Monday, February 11, 2013

Author James Lasdun chronicles his harrowing ordeal of being stalked by former student, who began trying, in her words, to “ruin him” with hate mail, online postings, and public accusations of plagiarism and sexual misconduct. He gives an account of his ordeal in Give Me Everything You Have.

Guests:

James Lasdun
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Comments [6]

KI from Wichita, Kansas

The woman Mr. Lasdun refers to is known to a few people--either indirectly or directly. When I first was aware of her it was through my girlfriend at the time who was her target of hateful and anti-Semitic text-messages and e-mails. The e-mails and texts were filled with rage and hate. I asked her a number of times--unsuccessfully--to stop. I sent e-mails to her phone provider and to her e-mail provider. The emails stopped, the texts did not. My girlfriend was scared of her, I thought she was just nuts.

I decided to dig up more information on her and viewed her Facebook page. Where I learned she's not just anti-Semitic, but she really, really, hates Jews. I personally thought she was inciting violence at times, however it seemed quite impotent in nature. At the end of the day I wound up reporting her to Facebook (anonymously) with great success.

What's fascinating is the command and sway she has over people. She can be quite charismatic and I can't disagree with some things she says, yeah, there's oppression in the world, yes, some of it is due to the actions of some governments, but to the extent she lashes out to the people based on ethnicity is fanning the flames of hatred.

My hope is for all people who suffer from mental illness to voluntarily find the help they need. However, if that fails, she really needs to be committed because her accusatory nature is damaging to people's lives.

Feb. 11 2013 02:16 PM
CK from NYC

Thank you everyone for your comments. I also knew and was quite close to for many years the accused / subject of Mr. Lasdun's book. I am no longer in contact with her in any way, and haven't been for several years. I will read Mr. Lasdun's account partly because I didn't realize anyone else was dealing with such a complicated, and unfortunate situation. Due to the nature and length of my friendship with this person, I am able to ascertain that all of this is connected in part to an onset of an unfortunate decline in mental health and various undiagnosed/under treated mental health issues. I was "stalked" in some ways myself, like the other commentator I ignored/blocked/and/or contacted social networks/phone companies in order to have some peace. However, it still scares me, because I do not know the exact nature of her illness/intent. I feel for Mr. Lasdun's five year harassment, and how it affected him personally as well as professionally. I lost a dear friend to illness, and I wish in some way, I could've done more - both for her, as well as for these victims of her obsessions. I had to distance myself in order to become safe/sane. If Mr. Lasdun has any interest in contacting me, I allow WNYC to release to him my email address, should he inquire for any reason. WNYC may also contact me for any reason, should they need verification of my actual identity before passing on my info to Mr. Lasdun. Thank you.

Feb. 11 2013 01:50 PM
Maureen from NYC from NYC

This is familiar to anyone who has been the object of an obsessive individual. As the two commenters above so aptly illustrate, the stalker can seem so credible. Once spoken or written, the stalker's charges hang there in the air for a very long time. Unless the stalker has physically invaded your home or caused bodily harm, the authorities do nothing. "He said, she said," as commenter 'John A' writes above, is a shameful comment written without empathy.

Without using the word, Mr. Lasdun is experiencing trauma symptoms. He mentioned anxiety, sleep disorder, etc., because if he says "trauma" he would be ridiculed. Yet, as I can testify as a longtime object of such a person, when you are the target of someone who is very good at this, you fall into trauma symptoms -- hard as you try not to give the stalker that satisfaction. And as the authorities he sought out have indicated, you are on your own in dealing with this until a visible crime with injury occurs.

Feb. 11 2013 01:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Seems to me this guy is just on for the publicity for his writing. This is obviously a very common tempest in a teapot not worthy of airtime even on a slow news day.

Feb. 11 2013 12:57 PM
Robert Plautz from New York City

Could you ask Mr. Lasdun if he ever considered automatically blocking receiving e-mails from the sender? If not, why not?

Robert Plautz
New York City

Feb. 11 2013 12:54 PM
John A

Is there a website comparing the claims of this hater with facts which disprove those claims? Else all we get is 'he said' 'she said'.

Feb. 11 2013 12:52 PM

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