Stalking Notice and Disclaimer
by Susan Basko, esq.For the past month or so, a mentally ill young woman in California has been posting extremely defamatory, menacing, and harassing posts to or about me on her 5 or 6 twitter accounts. She has posted dozens upon dozens of weird and disturbing posts, accusing me of all manner of made-up crimes and such, as well as accusing a psychiatrist, apparently known to her, of murder and other serious crimes.
The young woman has issued death threats to me via Twitter, accused me of strange crimes and wrongdoings, and posted lots of misplaced anger. I am not and never have been involved in her life, other than exchanging 5 or 6 cordial emails with her many years ago.
For sake of clarity, I need to state that I have never met this young woman, have never spoken with her, and there is no interaction or connection between us. She approached me on Twitter about 8 years ago and we exchanged a few emails. She explained that she had bipolar illness and a history of very serious stalking and riling up confusion by impersonating people and writing letters in their names to other people to get the other people angry. She told me she had been arrested for stalking, had been hospitalized as a result, and that she was on some sort of parole or probation because of it. After a few emails, I dropped the potential friendship explicitly.
She has stalked me on and off ever since and this has caused considerable harm to me. She has engaged in horrifying, ongoing massive attacks of lying and delusional accusations of crimes and wrongdoings against me and people that I know. She and her friends and associates in a group called the Rustle League have littered the internet with huge amounts of shocking defamation and ridicule of me, using skilled search engine optimization to weaponize Google and maximize the extreme defamation against me. I have also been the target of hacking, swatting, false and malicious police reports and bar complaints, false and malicious lawsuit filings, bomb threats made using my name, and on and on and on.
It should go without saying that I have no relationship, connection, or interaction with this young woman or any of her friends or associates. I have never met her or had any interaction with her and have never done anything to her; nor has anyone that I know. She has menaced and stalked me and attacked me on and off for years on end, as have her friends and associates in the Rustle League and her other online associates.
This young woman has bipolar illness and appears to be in a delusional mania. This young woman is a very junior lawyer, so a lot of her harassing tweets have a legal theme. None of it makes any sense and none of it conforms to reality. She often posts tweets claiming I am doing something wrong legally, or that she is filing a Bar complaint, or that she is filing an FBI complaint. There is no wrongdoing or crime at all on my part and never has been any. These accusations are all in her imagination and relate to her desire to menace and harass and possibly partly caused by her mental illness.
I have her blocked on my Twitter accounts and none of my tweets are to or about her, making her menacing input not only unwelcome, but frightening to me. I should be able to participate in a public forum without being set upon by this person menacing and defaming me and threatening to kill me.
Tragically, the young woman is a member of a group called the Rustle League, which is a group of people who met online. Most or all of these people have major mental illness and/or substance abuse problems. They are known for hacking, doxing, stalking, swatting "social engineering," which is a form of trickery to get information to be able to hack or dox a person, invasions of privacy, obtaining personal materials and posting those online, not respecting personal boundaries, projection of their own wrongdoing onto others, particularly onto their victims, and other bad acts.
I have been a target of this whole group for over 8 years. During that time span, most of the Rustle League members have landed in prison or in mental institutions, some have died, and a few have gotten mental health care or drug rehab and gotten their lives a bit more together. Sadly, during this young woman's delusional mania, other members of the group have been egging her on and even participating in her delusional rhetoric and highly defamatory claims.
If one is in a bipolar mania, turning to others with the same sort of mental problems for help is not useful. There is something to be said for choosing one's friends wisely. This young woman has chosen, even while relatively well, to befriend people who are actively involved in stalking, menacing, hacking, and harassing others.
For the first several years that I was stalked by the Rustle League members, most of them used swastikas on their Twitter accounts, as well as pictures of Hitler, many derogatory references to Jews and "Jew gold." They also posted on their twitter accounts obscene photos of a distended anus, which they call "goatse," which signified their participation in the highly defamatory and harmful website, Encyclopedia Dramatica. When one has a mental illness, the worst possible thing is to choose friends who will lead one into and approve of activities and behaviors that are, on their face, sick and depraved. The pervasive use of Nazi and obscene symbolism by members of the Rustle League, as well as the members' association with well-known Nazi and ISIS leaders, would be enough to warn anyone that the group was not a normal or healthy social club. The group members only stopped posting swastikas and goatses on Twitter when Twitter finally banned their use. It took Twitter years to install that ban.
While I have sympathy for anyone experiencing extreme mental illness, it is also unfair that I have been made the target of the delusions, menacing, accusations, stalking, and the extreme levels of online character assassination and defamation. Mental illness does not have to involve harming strangers. Nor should mental illness involve the person being allowed to be online making a public spectacle of how sick they are and how confused their thinking is. Once the mania has worn off, that is too much damage to try to recuperate from, and too much damage has been done to innocent strangers, such as myself. In this instance, she is also online chronicling the unraveling of her very new legal career.
What I find the saddest is that this young woman's family has not had her hospitalized and taken her off the internet, where she is making a spectacle of her illness and her delusions. This same young woman engaged in the exact same kind of online manic assault against me and people I know just a few short years ago. That time, she also made criminal accusations against that same psychiatrist as well as against others. After that horrific situation, I thought surely her family would put in place a system to quickly have her hospitalized and taken off the internet when her mental illness flared up. Apparently not.
Overall, I cannot see how or why this stranger's mental illness should be an issue I am forced to deal with for years on end, simply because her family refuses to provide proper care and guardianship for her. They leave her running around physically and on the internet, harming others, always including me in her list of victims. This is not socially right. The family has the wherewithal to hospitalize her and keep her and society safe.
I debated heavily about whether or not to write and post this sort of disclaimer. However, after weeks of having this woman post dozens upon dozens of menacing accusations on 5 or more twitter accounts, to an audience of over a thousand people, and then watching her equally disturbed friends joining in, I feel I had no choice but to state clearly and simply that I have no connection to this person or her friends, and yet have been horrifically stalked and attacked by them for years. I have kept screen shots and URL listings off all of the tweets from this attack as well as the onslaught from a few years ago as evidence or proof, if any is needed.
The internet is littered with the horrific defamation and smears against me created by this malicious group. That is their stock in trade and their raison d'etre. I don't claim to understand this new form of group mental illness; I have simply been the victim and observer of it.
While I have the greatest sympathy with those experiencing mental illness, I do not wish to continue being victimized by the mental illness and bad behaviors of this young woman or that of her friends in the nefarious group, Rustle League. All I have ever asked is that these unpleasant and damaging people Leave Me Alone. Leave me alone. For many years now, this has been an impossible task for them. If anyone has any questions about this terrible situation, please email me.