Narcissus has turned to a flower… a flower?

What more is there to be said on the subject of Rachel North and her erstwhile internet stalker, Felicity Jane Lowde.

Well, for one thing, Rachel is not Lowde’s only victim.

Take Daniel Hart, for example. Daniel is a graphic designer who made – in retrospect – the mistake of doing a bit of graphic work for her blog and has been accused repeatedly – and falsely – of being a ‘vindictive stalker’ with a history of violence against women.

It’s worth noting that Lowde’s blog, which up until a year or so ago used the standard pink blogger template, currently ascribes copyright on the design, layout and ‘look’ of the blog to Lowde herself, although whether any of Daniel’s work is still included on it is anyone’s guess.

Then there are a number of members of Casebook, a forum for Jack the Ripper enthusiasts who’ve been subjected to much the same kind of treatment as you’ll see from the extracts below:

In January 2005 I was contacted, via Casebook, by a woman called Felicity Jane Lowde, now 41, unemployed, of North Oxford.

She claimed she was a teacher at a private school and wished to buy one of my rare books for £250. I declined but said I would loan her the book on receipt of a surity. This never came but I began to receive strange e-mails from her which started to get personal and I asked her to stop contacting me.

Shortly after this I discovered she was defrauding many sellers of JTR material on eBay and I alerted eBay to this abuse. In early March, 2005, I received a phone call from Thames Valley Police informing me she had contacted them with a claim of harrassment against me, though I had nothing to do with the woman.

On sending them her e-mails, I was informed there was no case to answer and they spoke to her to insist she stopped making false claims.

Shortly after this I started receiving e-mails, silent and non-silent phone calls and a vast amount of libel on various blog sites. She followed me around the internet, claimed I had been arrested and was in psychiatric care, contacted my employers in attempts to get me fired and posted links to her libel blogs to individuals on other websites I contribute to. Some of you may remember her mass SPAMMING of Casebook and other Ripper sites in the summer of 2005 with false claims against me and demands that anyone contacted by me was to phone the police or her solicitors.

I was placed on Victim Support as a result.

Two years on and, periodically, the stalking continued. The police were involved at an earlier stage but no action was initially taken as it was a Civil rather than Criminal case…

…Felicity Jane Lowde has been arrested several times and was remanded in custody before appearing in court last year on several occassions . She claims she is a Jack The Ripper researcher with contacts in Special Branch and unlimited access to The National Archives. None of this is true. She also claims that Prince Eddy had a child with MJK and Sickert witnessed the Ripper killings (this is her ‘thesis’).

It appears that Felicity Jane Lowde is a woman who lives on benefits and has few friends or contacts outside of her libellous blog site.

In the summer of 2006 Lowde set up a vast array of libel sites about many of the leading people on this site – those of you who were victims of her harrassment, feel free to add your voice; I am not going to name any of you without your permission. Some of these sites still exist.

Early this year Thames Valley Police raided Lowde’s council flat and seized a huge array of apparatus she had used to stalk and harrass complete strangers. She has been held on remand in both Holloway Prison and Stoke Newington Police Station. At her last remand hearing, numerous bail conditions were set, which she instantly broke.

After the hearing, Felicity Lowde went ‘on the run’. She has not returned to her Oxford accomodation since and, as far as I can gather from her writing, has been living rough in London, surviving on benefits and begging on the streets. She is still, however, posting on her libel blog.

As most of you should be aware, Lowde is still on the run, having been convicted of harassment in her absence, but she continues to post harassing and libelous comments about Rachel on her blog, all of which has prompted a blog campaign to raise awareness of this case in the hope that it might lead to her arrest – check the post for the list of blogs/bloggers lending their support. Oh, and extra special props to DK for creating the blog buttons.

That’s the story so far, the ‘what’ if you like, but being a curious sort, ‘what’ is never quite enough for me – I have to try and understand why as well.

Lowde is not the first online obsessive I’ve been able to observe in action, although her particular brand of stalking ranks amongst the worst I’ve ever seen, and there is much is her modus operandi that is, unfortunately, all too familiar from prior incidents I’ve seen, first hand. All of which suggests what I think is an all too plausible explanation for her behaviour; plausible in the sense that on three previous occasions that I’ve encountered individuals who display the same kind of behaviour, the cause in each case has been the same – an untreated personality disorder, or to be more specific a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

NPD and the internet don’t mix. Or rather they shouldn’t be allowed to mix for the good of the individual with the disorder, for reasons which necessitate an explanation what a narcissistic personality disorder is and how it affects those who have one.

NPD has been, rather aptly in my opinion, described as a state of ‘denial of the true self’. The root of this particular disorder, so far its understood, lies in the individual harbouring a subconscious belief that they are personally flawed in such a fundamental manner as to ensure that they will be be rejected and ostracised by others should they become aware of whatever the flaw is. Think in terms of someone having brutally low self esteem and a near pathological fear of rejection and isolation and you’ve got a far idea of what’s actually running under the hood in such individuals, although these anxieties operate at a below conscious level.

To understand how NPD manifests itself its perhaps to consider the diagnostic criteria for the disorder, as set out in DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth Edition) – the annotations are my own, by the way:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder – A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

These are the classic indicators of NPD.

Individuals with the condition exhibit a massively overinflated sense of their own self importance, which they typically sustain by means of creating a false persona that serves to elevate their personal status within the social circles in which they move. More often than not this entails the creation and active promotion of a false life history which presents them to others as being markedly more successful or able than they really are, e.g. the junior clerk who claims to be a senior executive at their place of employment. One of the more common types of false personae adopted by NPDs is that which establishes their (undeserved) status by means of laying claim to be some kind of authority figure or expert in a particular field and a basis of establishing their superior status over others.

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

These two, similarly, go together. An NPD expects, if not demands, to be recognised as a superior individual on the strength of their false personae alone, without providing any evidence to validate their claim to such status. NPDs not only go to great lengths to elevate their social status by means of creating and outward promoting a false persona but the also make strenuous efforts to control how they are perceived by others. Anyone who challenges or questions their claim to superiority will, at best, be treated in an entirely dismissive manner. At worst a failure to buy in to their fictional character will be treated as a mortal insult and the NPD will respond abusively and aggressively in an attempt to browbeat their antagonist back into line.

Remember, NPDs are driven by a subconscious belief that they are fundamentally flawed in character in a manner that others would not accept were the truth to be revealed – anyone or anything that challenges the veracity of their false persona is perceived to be a serious threat to this subconscious act of concealment, hence the extreme reaction that questioning or challenging their self-generated status provokes.

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

As might be obvious, NPDs are highly manipulative and exhibit little concern for the feelings, abilities or personal reputation of other. All that matters is the validation of their own, claimed, high status and they tend to have few scruples when it comes to climbing on the backs of others to sustain their artificially elevated social position.

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

It follows, logically, that there is nothing an NPD finds quite so threatening as an encounter with an individual, or individuals whose status matches or exceed that of their assumed persona. Not only do NPDs tend to be deeply envious of such individuals, whose position has been gained on the basis of merit and genuine achievement, but such individuals also present the NPD with an omnipresent threat of exposure as a fraud.

The false belief that other are envious of them provides the NPD with both a means of shoring up their contrived personal status when threatened – i.e. the belief that others envy them and their status provides additional validation for the belief in their own superiority – and with a means of rationalising any challenge to, or questioning of, their false status by such individuals – i.e. anyone making such a challenge is obviously motivated by envy, therefore such a challenge can be dismissed on that basis alone.

Envy, in both forms described above, is a common response amongst NPDs to situation in which they feel threatened or at risk of exposure, which is why it appears in the diagnostic criteria. It it not, however, the only potential response. In more extreme cases, the fear of exposure may resolve itself into full blown paranoia, in which any questioning of, or challenge to, the NPD’s status is likely to be interpreted as deliberate persecution.

Such challenges may also prompt an NPD to elaborate and exaggerate the false persona even further in order to re-establish their ascendancy over their challenger, often by meaning of weaving into their false life history some sort of special, unique or otherwise inaccessible privileges of a kind not open to the individual who is perceived to be a threat; for example the NPD may claim to be the inventor or originator of something of value to their claimed status (but to have had their invention or idea stolen). Being the first to a discovery provides a means of elevating their status above others who cannot (obviously) share in such a distinction. Claiming membership of a closed, and preferably, secret social structure or to have privileged access to secret knowledge of some kind is another device commonly used by NPDs to reclaim the ascendancy when threatened.

This may also be accompanied by concerted efforts to reduce and/or minimise the status of the individual who is perceived to present a threat by means of false claims of wrongdoing – especially against the NPD – and wide-ranging ad hominem attacks on the individual’s personal character and integrity.

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Given everything cited previously, this last diagnostic criterion seems rather to be stating the bleeding obvious.

Before getting down to specifics in terms of Felicity Jane Lowde there are a couple of other things worth noting about NPDs.

First, NPDs rarely voluntarily seek treatment for their condition, because such treatment threatens both the integrity of their false persona and is likely to expose the unacceptable character flaw(s) that drive their condition.

Second (and if you’ve understood even part of what I’ve written thus far this should be obvious) the internet, and specifically blogs and online discussion forums are a near perfect environment for NPDs to operate, because it affords the NPD near complete control over the persona they present to others. In the online world you can claim to be pretty much anything you want to be with only a very limited chance of being exposed as a fake or a fraud, so long as you’re careful to conceal your real identity, steer clear of situations and environments where there may be people who know you in the real world and who might be able to connect you to your online persona, and are reasonable consistent in the character to put on display to others.

The internet is an almost uniquely attractive environment for NPD because it affords them a degree of control over both how they present themselves and how others perceive them that is almost impossible to achieve in the real world. Form my own experience I think it would be fair to say that most of the worst and most difficult trolls I’ve encountered online have shown clear signs of mental illness or an untreated personality disorder and, of those, by far the most difficult to deal with have those who have been verified as having or shown clear signs of a narcissistic personality disorder.

That’s the social science bit over and done with, now what of Rachel’s stalker?

Well, as I’ve said, a number of aspects of Lowde’s behaviour and modus operandi seem rather too familiar for comfort and are broadly consistant with other problem characters I’ve dealt with in the past who have, at some point, been verified as having a narcissistic personality disorder.

So while I am categorically NOT making a diagnosis – that kind of thing must right be left to a practicing clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, and my personal specialism, in any case, was organisational psychology, human factors and information systems, what I am prepared to state in terms of fair comment is that there are a number of elements in Lowde’s behaviour that are broadly consistent with the diagnostic criteria for NPD and that these would be sufficient for a clinical practitioner to consider it a possibility worth considering should Lowde be professionally assessed (and my personal opinion is that she should have such an assessment).

That’s not a statement that I’m prepared to make without some evidence to back it up, and in Lowde’s case one of the most compelling pieces of evidence lies in her claim to be a graduate researcher who has/had privileged access to secret files held by Special Branch and the National Archive, a claim which features heavily in both her interactions with members of the Casebook community and with Rachel and other members of the Kings Cross United group.

Notwithstanding obvious questions as to the veracity of such a claim – Lowde claims to have been given this access at least in part to facilitate her (claimed) research into the Jack the Ripper case – this is precisely the kind of claim to expert status based on otherwise unattainable privilege that often features in severe cases of NPD.

The Jack the Ripper case is one that still provokes considerable public interest from time to time and has its own dedicated and highly knowledgeable following – a search on Amazon UK for ‘Jack the Ripper’ returns more than 250 books currently in print on the subject, and even if we take out works of pure fiction, there must be at least 150 books currently available that deal with the factual elements of the case and advance various theories as to the identity of ‘Jack’ and his possible motives. And that’s just the currently available stock, never mind the many and varied past works on the subject that are no longer in print.

In short, an online community based on a shared interest in ‘Jack the Ripper’ is a very difficult environment for anyone to enter and rise to the top of the pile. It’s a subject on which there’s is not much to be said that’s likely to be entirely original and hasn’t been said or alluded to before and a wide range of active theories each of which have their own dedicated following, which make for plenty of lively discussion and considerable scope for intellectual dispute.

To establish one’s personal status as a genuine ‘expert’ in such an environment one much either bring to the table a verifiable track record of genuine expertise or have (or claim to have) access to information that’s otherwise unavailable to the rest of the community, of which there is very little in existence that hasn’t already been extensively picked over by past researchers…

…unless, of course, on claims to have access to privileged information held by Special Branch and the National Archives, information that requires a form of security clearance not permitted to others, which is precisely what Lowde did claim.

This claim, which members of the community in question assert is completely untrue, fits very nicely with several elements of the diagnostic criteria for NPD. It’s certainly grandiose and based (seemingly) on a complete fantasy and, of course, if it were true it would mark Lowde out as being ‘special’ and uniquely privileged and elevate her status – based on a claim to expertise – in such a community to a level unattainable by others in a manner that would be expected to provide Lowde with a significant degree of recognition and admiration were she able to substantiate such a claim with hard evidence – which, of course, she cannot provide because her claim to expertise is predicated on an association with a closed social environment (the security services) which conveniently precludes her from being in a position to reveal her source material to others; this being the only effective means of validating her claims.

This whole strand of outwardly project persona and claimed life history fits the diagnostic pattern for NPD very nicely, even without consideration of her behaviour towards members of the community when this claim to expertise failed to deliver the attention and unquestioning recognition she would have expected.

These claims about privileged access to information held by the security services feature in a number of Lowde’s earliest posts about Rachel and the Kings Cross United group, starting at around the point at which she began to turn on the group over its calls for a public inquiry into the London Bombings.

In a post on May 4, 2006, entitled ‘My stance on the 7/7 Kings Cross United project‘, Lowde pitches her claimed ‘privileged’ relationship with the security services three times in this one post, which appears to be the first in which started to turn against Rachel and KCU group:

I wanted to be clear about the way I feel over the 7/7 survivors current KCU issues, partly for the benefit of those in security whom I work with, but also for KCU themselves, for the other 7/7 survivors who detract from the public enquiry campaign approach, and for our readers.

In 2005 I was working at security buildings based in London, looking at documents with special permission. ( Special Branch, New Scotland Yard.) I’m a researcher, based in Oxford and London, I look at secret history. It’s not a thing I go into much on my blog. I was taking the London transport myself when the bombs went off, travelling between Whitechapel and ( -security building) and like many London people I was profoundly affected by the news.

I have advised Rachel that liaising with the press and chiming in with their agenda so that they regularly print your stories and making genuine advances with the security services doesn’t mix. It’s I thing I’d never do. I’ve told Rachel this several times. I have told her that her only real way forward should she be genuine in her desire to get to the truth is to make an application to be granted special permission to view documents relating to her matter. I told her that the security matter is live, and that even if there were signs of her being organised about a public enquiry it would almost certainly not be granted because documents relating to live security matters can’t be thrown about in the public domain.

As an experienced researcher I feel strongly enough about the crafty way the press have been handling ( maneuvering) ‘Rachel From North London’ to write a whole book, but anyone could guess the content. Mainstream press have been pushing Rachel to accommodate their political standpoint and she has been a willing puppet. I can’t go along with throwing mud at the security services when one doesn’t get one’s own way, which is the media approach.

Pretty much the entire purpose of this post is to establish Lowde’s ascendancy over Rachel based on her claim to a privileged relationship with the security services – which she doesn’t appear to actually have – which she then reinforces by claiming that Rachel sole available route to substantive information about the events of 7/7 is to obtain the same privileged status that Lowde claims to possess. At this stage Lowde is at least publicly on cordial terms with Rachel and the rest of the group, but only because at this point she is still actively seeking to establish her superiority over them by advising them that they should aspire to be like her – she’s clearly seeking to obtain recognition and validation by way of trying elicit imitation from members of the group.

About a month later, Lowde is back on the subject of the 7/7 bombing and fulsome to the point of obsequiousness in her praise for the contents of the London Assembly report on the bombing, which she again uses to try and assert her claim to a privileged status:

One of the reasons the research report is so important is that it highlights the prevalent problem as per communication between the public and the modern Security Services which results in the public being badly let down in moments of crisis in the wake of terrorist attacks.

Inside the Security Services there is a strong reluctance to disclose relevant protection information on the premise that the public cannot be trusted with security matters at all. This way of thinking is partly ‘culture’. In its origin, it’s motivated by a genuine desire not to compromise security operations. It’s not an attitude that’s impossible to understand , either, when the many foolish, dangerous and aggressive attitudes directed towards the Security Services are so very apparent.

There seems to be a vicious cycle of closed communication between the Security Services and the public which it seems imperative to carefully break. This surely cant be done in an atmosphere of hostility, such as the press continually create. There is a need for stepped up awareness and good communications between the Security Services, the Emergency Services and the public.

Although seemingly critical of the nature of the ‘vicious cycle of closed communication between the Security Services and the public’, Lowde makes her remarks only after going to some lengths to present herself as an ‘insider’ – again she’s laying claim to expertise based on the fiction of a privileged relationship with the security services. However she saves her most interesting remarks in this post for its final paragraph:

N.B. This doesn’t mean I have changed my mind about the ill advised public enquiry. I have advised the survivors that that particular campaign will only lead to misery and exhasution [sic]. I am not going to change my mind about that, however angry and aggressive a small few people feel/are towards me for having given that information.

This appears to be the first clear indicator that things are about to turn nasty and, as importantly, why. Ignore the reference to ‘angry and aggressive’, that’s just a means of dismissing dissenting opinion without addressing its substance, what matters here is that she claims to have ‘advised the survivors that that particular campaign will only lead to misery and exhasution [sic]’, having stated a month earlier that she had ‘advised Rachel that liaising with the press and chiming in with their agenda so that they regularly print your stories and making genuine advances with the security services doesn’t mix’ and that she’d ‘told Rachel this several times’.

If Lowde does, indeed, have a narcissistic personality disorder, then Rachel’s failure to accept Lowde’s ‘advice’ (and, therefore, her ‘superior’ status) is like a red rag to a bull. Rachel’s not buying into Lowde’s claim to privileged status, which to most people is simply a difference of opinion, but to an NPD its both a denial of the status they believe they should be afford and a potential threat to their public facade. It’s also unlikely to be a coincidence that this turn in Lowde’s attitude to Rachel begins to emerge within a couple of weeks of Rachel and the KCU group having met with the Home Secretary (by this point, John Reid) – remember status is a major issue in this case and Lowde’s claim to possess a higher status than Rachel is based on her claim to privileged access to the security services, a claim that’s rather extensively trumped by the KCU group in obtaining direct access to the Home Secretary.

The full extent to which Lowde had, by this time, turned on Rachel only became apparent a couple of days later when she commented for the first time on the abusive e-mails she’d been receiving from Lowde:

I’ve been getting abusive emails from one of the blog readers, who I have repeatedly asked to leave me alone. She is convinced that she is helping me; but she is sending dozens of emails, lecturing and ranting, and saying as many hurtful things as she can think of. The conspiracy theorists who tell me I am a liar and deserve to die I can deal with, but this person is troubling. Has anyone any ideas of the best course of action? I think I might need to go to the police.

It’s worth reading this post both for the choice selection of Lowde’s ‘work’ both at this initial stage of the harassment and from an update added the following November and because nowhere in this post does Rachel actually name Lowde as the person responsible for this harassment, its actually Lowde who ‘outs’ herself as being responsible for the abusive e-mails sent to Rachel with this ‘response’ on her own blog the following day.

A cursory comparison between the two posts makes for interesting reading.

Lowde, for example, states on her own blog:

Rachel North was on the train carriage where everyone died, blown apart, waiting for rescue, while their lives ebbed away. Many survivors fled the scene. Rachel fled the scene and she was unscathed. I have had a nagging question about this and I asked her ” Why didn’t you stay and help the dying?”

Rachel, however, shows that Lowde framed this question in altogether more aggressive terms:

‘Why didn’t you stay and help the dying?
So you could have a go at journalism?

Nice, eh?

Having noted the possibility that Lowde may have a narcissistic personality disorder, I started to look into this to try an understand how and why Rachel became the focus for this harassment, which necessitating going back to the beginning and trying to identify how and why it all started.

From what’s available in the public domain, it appears that Lowde latched on the KCU group and then, following the diktats of her condition, attempted to assert her superiority over the group by using he claim to have privileged access to the security services to take control of the groups’ campaign and direct it into an approach that would afford her the high status she is seeking to claim. What she wanted the group to do was drop their efforts to secure a public inquiry into the bombing and buy wholesale into the idea that they would only get further information by cosying up to the security services and obtaining the kind of privileged access to information that Lowde claims (seemingly falsely) to have had – access that they would certainly have been refused.

Had Rachel, and others in the group, been gullible enough to buy into this then their failure to obtain such access would have meant either giving up on their efforts or going cap in hand to Lowde to ask her to use her (non-existent) privileges to secure further information. The latter scenario, which is what it seems likely that Lowde was trying to bring about, would have put her firmly in control of the group by giving her control over their access to information – even though she was no more able to get access to privileged information than any other member of the group. Had that happened, Lowde would have got her payoff by becoming, at least for as long as she could sustain the fiction that she had privileged access to information, the most important and valuable ‘member’ of the group.

The initial trigger for the harassment was, therefore, the group’s refusal to buy unthinking into this scenario, denying Lowde her ‘payoff’. Rachel then became the focus of Lowde’s anger and abuse simply because her public profile makes her, by default, the ‘Alpha’ member of the KCU group so far as its perceived by Lowde – whether or not that’s a role that Rachel occupies in reality is immaterial; Lowde has never met the group as has no idea of its internal dynamics. In Lowde’s ‘world’ she can only assert her superiority over the group by ‘topping’ Rachel, and having failed to do so by means of her false persona; the researcher with privileged access to the security services, her only means of doing this is to try and destroy Rachel’s public profile and personal reputation.

To make matters even worse, from Lowde’s perspective, Rachel and the group then obtained a measure of privileged access of their own – the meeting with John Reid – which made them (and Rachel in particular) a direct threat to Lowde’s false persona – what if they’d have asked Reid about Lowde’s claims and got the reply ‘who?’. Suddenly we’re being merely denying Lowde the status she believes she deserves and into the possibility that Rachel and others in the KCU group may obtain information that would expose Lowde’s false persona. The irony, of course, is that it was actually Lowde’s reaction – the harassment – that prompted Rachel to contact the police and led her to obtain exactly the kind of background information on Lowde that she didn’t want to become public knowledge.

And so on and so forth…

That’s the kicker with NPD – the more that the false persona falls apart the more the individual with the condition tries to cling on to it, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence that the whole thing is a facade and a tissue of lies, falsehood and gross exaggerations.

One of the previous NPDs I encountered claim to be the inventor of the ion drive (and to have their designs stolen by NASA), a fiction they tried to maintain even after they were not only shown documentary evidence of NASA working on ion drives more than ten years before the were born but actually ran into (in the online sense) an actual NASA engineer, who promptly (and very publicly) handed them their arse on a platter.

So, it comes as no great surprise to find that in September 2006, with Lowde’s campaign of harassment get fully into it stride, she was still making posts in which she advances the fiction that she have privileged access to the security services in an effort to advance her own status over that of Rachel and the KCU group:

I am being portrayed as fascinating and bizarre and intriguing.

By North’s hangers on, tetchy and pointless ‘Blair dissenters’, I am being portrayed as illiterate and incapable of expressing a political view.

I am none of these. I am a researcher with a happy life, answers, and privileged access, who disagrees with you all, and thinks you are alot of timewasters . Get over it.

I also thought that taking statements I made about my experiences inside the canteen when researching with Special Branch, which are of no great security significance, incidentally, and promoting them as an alleged example of my purported ‘delicious indiscretion’ was opportunistic and untrustworthy.
Shockah: the agents confiding interesting subjects in me over coffee in the canteens didn’t reveal anything they wouldn’t be happy to see discussed elsewhere. Another shockah: I have never breached the O S act and I have never betrayed my research. Numeral’s insipid innuendos are utterly silly. They are also damaging to people I worked with, who are good people.

I’m getting tough at present about people who simply can’t behave on the Internet. Numeral’s, Kier’s, Bridget’s, Rachel’s, Quarsan’s, the Antagoniser’s and others’ behaviour is a prize example of how to get yourselves in someone’s bad books. Sneaking, selfish and underhand. Get a life.

And, indeed, this fiction persists right to this day, all be it in a rather different form:

Nonetheless, a false prosecution against me is convenient to Nicolas Pierce (and associates), Special Branch P R, who is facilitating it via the police she’s been courting at the Met, on account of the work that is on my hard drives that relates to Special Branch files that ought to have been released to the public. But she began this current matter, along with the obvious sleezo greebo local Oxford stalker Daniel Hart; I am quite sure that Special Branch didn’t. I spoke with Nicolas Pierce and told him that my hard drives had been taken on account of her and his false allegations (on the telephone) for one, as I have stated, and I know genuine surprise when I hear it ( he instantly began asking opportunistic and artful questions) ; and two, she is obviously (from their point of view) a twit and a loose canon who would never get close to S B. Since she began her vendetta, he has helped facilitate it, (hence my email to him when I was very distressed in the beginning, title ‘you bastard’- not in the public domain obviously, and not produced in Court by anyone) because her vendetta involves the (false) retention of my hard drives and property by local and Metropolitan police.

That’s from yesterday

To be clear, none of this changes the fact that Felicity Jane Lowde has been tried and convicted of harassment and will, when the police finally catch up with her, be sentenced by a court of law – that is only right and proper.

To that, I would also strongly suggest that she undergoes a full psychiatric assessment – as I’ve said I’m not trying to make a diagnosis here (and there are other disorders that can give rise to markedly similar behaviours) but what I am confident of is that a narcissistic personality disorder – and quite a serious one at that – is a distinct possibility. What needs to be determined is both whether such a disorder is at work here (and I would venture that Lowde has some sort of personality disorder, the only question that needs to be answered is precisely what kind) and whether its actually treatable (some personality disorders aren’t, unfortunately).

I would also hope that not only will Rachel be granted a full injunction to prevent any further communications but that the court considers taking steps to keep Lowde off the internet altogether until she’s been assessed (and treated, if that’s possible) – if she does have an NPD then, unfortunately, the only thing that that allowing her to use the internet does is facilitate and sustain her condition, if not make it worse.

Finally, I would also suggest strongly that if anyone knows of her whereabouts and especially if you happen to be putting up at the moment, then you’d best best advised to contact the police and disclose her location to them. If anyone is harbouring her at the moment or giving her a place to stay then you should be aware that you’re really not doing her any favours at all – she may well wind up in prison but at least there she has a chance of receiving the treatment she certainly appears to need, which she isn’t going to get while she still on the run.

  • Wow. That is a very, very good and thoughtful post.

    I will link it, as I think it will help people understand more about her – adding it to the existing posts about FJL as an update.

    IT also makes me understand why she will never let up, ever – I am too much of a threat, and will always be, because she has selected me as her enemy.

    The ‘projection’ she does with me is fascinating – she writes regularly how I am to face disgrace, I am to go to prison, I am psychopathic, I am to go to psychiatric hospital, I am deplored, mocked, reviled, ignored, the only people reading my blog do so out of a sense of rubbernecking at a crash site, I have no support, I am conducting a hate campaign, a vendetta, I have no access to Special Branch (!), I am an obsessive malicious stalker, a bully, a liar – etc. All of which is manifestly untrue of me, but is in fact probably true of her to a varying degree, or true of what she secretly knows about herself

    So she has moved beyond initial envy of me to raging hatred, and conveniently for her she now ascribes all her own low esteem and issues to me. The whole lot, whilst she grows ever more grandiose. Whenever she writes about me, she is really writing about herself.

    Me being happily newly married etc is an outrage to her, – because of her apparent sense of entitlement that SHE should have my life. That’s why, if I post about her, she hates me, if I don’t post about her, she hates me more because it shows I am happy and getting on with a life that does not have her in it. That is why she will never stop, my life and who I am is too bound up with her sense of self to walk away from it now.

    If I go silent online for almost a month, which I tried, she still attacks me, because she must. If I post about politics or personal feelings, or even something trivial, she latches onto it and sees hidden messages in whatever I write and goes after me, publicly and privately. I am more able to cope with this now than I was because I have developed better coping mechanisms now. Unfortunately, whilst I presented as ”unbreakable” during the first year of harassment, because I had already been through 2 very serious life threatening attacks and their aftermath, I wasn’t as strong as I made out.

    She was quite clever to pick me as a target because I was, like many of her targets, vulnerable – I was dealing with PTSD and survivor guilt, more so than I let on, to the blog readers or anyone else, including myself and my loved ones. She was somehow able to sense my weak points, presumably through very close reading of my blog and her high sensitivities to clues such as me writing about regular nightmares – and exploit them – hence the ”why did you not stay and help the dying?” and ”nobody thinks you are sincere in your rape claim”.

    My existential sense of self and after the rape and bomb depended on taking something positive and hopeful out of the experiences – firstly speaking out and shaming the rapist, who told me to ”don’t speak, don’t ever say a word, bitch, or I will kill you” , repeatedly as he raped me, getting him sent down for 15 years so he was no longer a threat to other women, and after the bombing, a few years later, dealing with the fact that 26 people died feet away from me, and I couldn’t help them, by trying to help other survivors with PTSD via KCU, and to help families and survivors campaign for an inquiry,via the 77 Inquiry Group, which was a small thing I could do to help in the aftermath to help using my skills gained at work, and new skills, like writing.

    Lowde attacked my sense of self, because, for her own reasons that were nothing to do with me, and never were, and which I could never have guessed at the time, she had to destroy me to prop up her own sense of self.

    And this is why I sensed, and still sense, how dangerous she is, to me, though probably not to others. Cornered now, she has almost nothing left to sustain her. The internet world she carefully created is fractured and falling apart. The public acclaim she sought by publishing some of her thesis on her blog has instead earned her derision from peers or was met with indifference by the public. The bloggers who commented in a friendly way on her blog in the early days have all deserted her, save a few cranks, and she is reduced to making up her own unregistered comments. And the police whom she thought were her friends, are now looking for her to arrest her, having dismissed her claims to them that she was being stalked by sexual predators alert to her unique charms and ‘Ripperologists’ jealous of her achievements. The whole edifice is crumbling.

    Which might be amusing to watch for schadenfreude fans, but it does make things dangerous now for Lowde – and for her elected enemy/selected shadow persona – which is me. She has other victims, but it is Rachel North who got her into court ( only after she went to the police in the first instance last summer with malicious complaints about me, but never mind about that)

    There is no way that this will end happily: she will have to go back to court, because the court warrant for her arrest is outstanding. Once arrested and brought before Court she can appeal if she wants, ( I am sure she will) and the Judge will likely order psychiatric reports, and that is, I think, the only way she will ever get treatment.

    Perhaps somewhere inside she knows this. Perhaps this whole drama was engineered with this as the end game. What little remains of her true self actually wants to destroy the false self, and to seek healing, and the only way to do it is to go down this road that she chose for herself ,which can only end badly for the persona of ‘FJL, ace blogger, Secret History researcher, Jack the Ripper-mystery-solver’ but which might yet save Felicity Jane Lowde, who existed before all this.

    Well, even now, I do not wish her ill. I do, however, want her permanently out of my life and *restrained from contacting me directly or indirectly, even better, **banned from using the internet to harass others, as I have seen her effect on me and others over the last 400 days of stalking, and it is devastating. By strange coincidence, these were her *first set, and subsequent additional **second set of bail conditions. She broke them, within hours of release. Which is why I think the Judge will now detain her for treatment, since she cannot help herself.

    And I hope all this will then end, and we can take our ‘Find FJL!’ buttons down. The support has been amazing, and hugely healing for me, because I have kept silent so long whilst worrying that people believed her oft-published lies about me, and I have wept over it and been afraid, unable to understand why a third hate-filled stranger had targeted me for no reason, and whether I had somehow deserved the rape, the bomb, the stalker. In a way, it was worse than the rape and the bomb, because those were extremely violent attacks by strangers – and the bombers of course, attacked hundreds and killed dozens. I just happened to be there. They never knew my name.

    But this sustained abuse was directed at systemmatically attacking ME – Rachel – and telling me for over a year that I deserved it. And that was very hard, when I was trying to put myself back together again, and others too, by helping each other deal with PTSD – which is a mental health issue and which is often misunderstood and which makes normal life difficult to deal with, let alone life thrust into the media spotlight and life with a stalker waging relentless psychological war on you, and your friends. So thank you very much indeed for that wise post Unity – I will place this response on your blog as well, with your permission

  • And I hope that all her other victims will get some peace and quiet soon. So far, 7 of them have written to me, and told their stories, and the stories of others.

  • Finally, I wonder if *all* blogging – all public/private self-expression, period, is narcissistic? I suppose there are degrees though…

  • Carl Eve

    1) too many of those attributes I was thinking “oh Jesus, I do/think that on occasion”
    2) as usual, bloody incredible post. *applause*

  • Amazing post indeed Unity! Your analysis of how and why FJL first picked on Rachel and then turned on Rachel and the 7/7 Survivors group when her ‘takeover’ bid failed made so many puzzle pieces fall into place!

    As did the theory of the narcissistic personality disorder (though obviously you make it clear that you are not in a position to do more than theorise). However it seems eminently possible that this is what ails her.

    Uncomfortable to concede though it is, there would seem to be a twisted logic to all her persecution.

    Though what on earth could make the real FJL more socially unacceptable than being a ‘stalker’, I’d hate to think! And the Ripper interest always bothered me too – where did *that* come from?

    Fingers crossed she will get the treatment she so desperately needs, and her victims, the peace and healing.

  • Anon

    Good post Unity. I was stalked a few years back over the internet (but by someone I knew) and I can honestly say that you came to the same conclusion about Rachel’s stalker as I did mine.

    Just be careful though – that nutjob Lowde will libel you three ways from Sunday when she reads this (and I’m guessing she will).

  • Fascinating as always.

  • robin

    Very good post. Thorough, illuminating, perceptive and well grounded in the actual details, ideas and technicalities of the subject in question.

    How different, how very different form the works of our own Lady of Bonkers.

    I have had my run ins with Lowde, though they have been very minor in comparison.

    Narcissistic she certainly is, and to a degree possibly requiring professional attention. But there is an extra level to her make up, which is what has interested me in her story, and is not really touched on by this post, excellent though it is in the area it covers.

    What fascinates me are her delusions, which by my reading of what you have said and by the medical definitions adduced, do not fall into the area of NPD. She is not just manipulative, vainglorious and angry, but also wildly misled about actualities.

    Is it possible – I simply don’t know – that there is a level of paranoid schizophrenia lying alongside or on top of the morbid narcissism? Could she really dare to publish her ‘research; if she actually suspected how daffy it is? She doesn’t just make up stories to enhance her status, she makes up truly unbelievable stories – like being descended from Horatio Hornblower. No ‘ion drive’ counterclaim is required to bin that one.

    Seeing dead people all over Sickert’s work, or discerning resemblances to Stuart faces in Sickert sketches. Recognising people from behind in paintings, thinking that a chair is a mirror etc. Not lies exactly. Not status enhancing, except very indirectly. And misreading and misinterpreting every single document she quotes/reproduces. This is someone from whom the understanding of ‘meaning’ has taken a very long holiday.

    I’m no psychiatrist and make no claims to be so. But I suspect that her neuroses/psychoses are ankle deep.

    And yes, I know she will read this.

  • Wouldn’t surprise me in the least Robin. Almost anything’s possible with FJL (except that she should turn out to be a world class researcher with Special Branch links who really has uncovered the final solution to the JtR case of course!)

    And however mad she is, she is also BAD. Whatever empathy faculty she does or doesn’t possess, she KNOWS damn well how much distress she causes her victims and deliberately and maliciously hounds them to the edge of their own sanity. Trying to push them to where she is possibly….? Why after all should anyone else be sane and have a normal life if she can’t? And then there’s the the old ‘green eye’ about whatever ‘other people’ may be achieving in their lives that she can only dream of.

    So while one can occasionally feel some degree of sympathy for her plight, it is only ever momentary until she commits the next outrage against one of her victims really.

  • Robin:

    I didn’t delve too much into the delusional aspects of NPD, largely because I focussed on the observable aspects of Lowde’s actions in respect of Rachel, but such things are often a feature in the more extreme forms of NPD, which are often referred to as ‘malignant narcissism’.

    NPD is a cluster B disorder in the DSM categorisation – which goes by similarities in symptoms – and is therefore notionally related to the anti-social, borderline (emotionally unstable) and histrionic disorders, although it can also be legitimately considered to the be the flip-side of the coin to the cluster C avoidant personality disorder, which is to a considerable extent the classic ‘Walter Mitty’ disorder.

    Avoidants tend to be shy and socially inadequate, which leads them to retreat into fantasy to shore up their ego and sense of self worth. If you consider that to be the introverted response to brutally low self esteem, then NPD is the extroverted response in which their fantasies and delusions are not a means of retreating from the world but are used as a way of trying impose themselves on the world.

    That’s not to say that a secondary delusional disorder is not a distinct possibility as well – the mind is a complicated thing an in extreme (and usually intractable cases) it can be almost impossible to pin things down to specific condition.

    It’s worth noting that there are generally held to be two basic classes of NPD, a ‘hypervigilant’ form in which the individual tends to be grossly oversensitive, easily hurt and driven constantly to seek attention as a means of reassurance, and an ‘oblivious’ in which the individual is grandiose, arrogant and thick-skinned to the point that they will make patently outlandish claims about themselves – the Horatio Hornblower one is, admittedly, a bit of a corker – without showing any recognition of how obviously stupid such claims are.

    As far as the Sickert/Stuart claims are concerned, Lowde, if she is an NPD (which does seem likely), is driven by a need to be perceived as being somehow special and unique. In the context of claiming expert status in relation to her hypotheses abour Jack the Ripper, its not enough just be an ‘expert’ in a hypothesis shared by others, her ‘thesis’ has to go further than that might have emerged previously. It has to be more complete, more detailed, more elaborate and ‘better’ than anything advanced by anyone else.

    To that end, she would make the most obviously outlandish claims to evidence to support her thesis, but its uniqueness supports her own belief in her own uniqueness and superiority.

    In her mind, if others cannot see or accept the validity of her claims then that doesn’t mean she’s wrong, even if it is something as as absurd as being descended from a fictional character. It just ‘proves’ that her opponents are inferior and, in turn, supports her own sense of superiority.

    That’s the Catch 22 for NPDs, the more they exaggerate and embellish to try and sustain their credibility, the more likely it is that they’ll do or say something that destroys that credibility entirely. They crave power but they don’t understand it, and especially not the way in which the more tightly you try to hold onto it, the more it slips through your fingers.

    The delusional elements also tend to evolve and expand over time.

    For example, the ‘inventor of the ion drive’ I mentioned started out as someone who simply took on an alias while playing an online game – he was in to a WWI flight/combat simulation called ‘Red Baron’ and took the name ‘Baron Von [surname]’ as his in-game identity.

    Some time after that, he began to exhibit the first signs of his disorder when he started to claim that he really was descended from German aristocracy and entitled to use the title ‘Baron’ for real – none of which was true, of course, but he did run the whole fake genealogy thing for a while.

    Then he elaborated even further by adding a claim that he was a real, genuine, vampire (as opposed to the sexual fetish variety, which do exist) – the connection, of course, is a literary one rooted in Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, amongst other stories, in which the vampire is a member of the European aristocracy – he even tacked the ‘von’ bit into his name by deed poll.

    Delusions are often like stories in that they grow with each retelling, and although I’ve not looked that much at Lowde’s JTR material, I’ve seen enough to suspect strongly that the likely ‘endpoint’ of her ‘research’ would be very likely to be the revelation that’s she’s somehow related to the Kelly family and a scion on the Stuarts herself – false claims to royal connections tend to be one of the apex positions in self-aggrandising delusions, which is why you get so many people who go for the whole past-life regression thing claiming that they used to be Cleopatra or a character from Arthurian legend.

  • Another victim

    This is a superb post. I am possibly the longest serving victim of Lowde known to the stalked community. This individual attempted to ruin my life for years. I have played my part in the prosecution case and am one of the seven in touch with Rachel, who has been fantastic to deal with.

    Your assessment may well be right, or it may be just one disorder amongst many. I have been presented with several different mental conditions that fit her behaviour and all seem plausible.

    I too hold with the possibility she suffers from some kind of paranoid schizophrenia. Some of her posts are completely incomprehensible. Her adoption of multiple personalities making a list if IDs as long as your arm, seeing things that aren’t there in paintings, knowing things that haven’t been implied in writings, identifying with individuals with whom she has no connection…

    I too strongly agree it is possible to be mad AND bad. Too many people have given her sympathy besides concern, ignoring the fact that this woman is a nasty piece of work besides barking bonkers.

    Thank you for this detailed post. I hope, like we all do, that in prison some steps will be taken from preventing her from ever accessing the internet again, to be medicated and psychiatrically assessed. She is a danger to anyone she throws herself into the path of.

  • robin

    Unity:

    thank you for that. Admirably clear and it has now filled in a great many of the pieces of the jigsaw of my understanding of FJL. This is without doubt the most sensible on-line discussion of her I have seen and I hope a great many people read it.

    NPD may not be the precise ultimate diagnosis of her condition (if any such thing exists) but surely it is a very good match, with your further explanations. I hope for her sake that it is treatable, and for all our sakes that she never uses the internet again.

    She is very complex, a truth which will, alas, only ever give her the thinnest gruel of comfort in her yearning for uniqueness. She has certainly acquired attention and a form of status through her activities, although I think we can all agree not quite of the type she would have wanted. Mission not accomplished. To have persisted with what amounts to voluntary trolling up to the point of prison seems breathtakingly ill advised and, as she would say, beyond foolish. She could have moved on, as she has done before, but somewhere in all of this she had to stay and fight her corner. Perhaps that is an effect of the severity her condition has reached.

    Or because in the end the internet is not a little corner for bullies to exploit, it is big enough to let the light in and recruit enough debunkers and resistors to expose and strand someone cursed with such deep and needy maliciousness. She represents this unity as a lynch mob behaviour but she is wrong. Her notoriety may well have a good effect in the long run and the game may never be worth the candle again.

    Eventually enough determined, intelligent and humorous people have rallied to isolate her. Let us hope that this lesson is not lost on us, or on future would-be super trolls.

  • Anon

    From the knife-licker’s blog (http://www.fjlathome.blogspot.com/) today:

    “The ripperologists, some of them convicted criminals of serious offences, have contributed to another hate blog full of libel about me, weirdly called ‘Ministry of Truth’ parading masks etc. and she is advertising it. They are notorious for their sabotage, libel, author abuse, criminal behaviours and internet abuse. The behaviours of some of them are well outlined on this blog.”

    She’ll be making up lies about you next, Unity – beware!

  • I have her blog a look over. The amount of identities she creates to compliment herself is astounding. I knew a girl with a quite severe NPD once, and I thought I’d be used to it. But she never had access to the internet, really. It’s a scary tool..

  • Gerard

    There is no such condition as NPD- it is about as legitimate as oppositional disorder- a new pathology made up to sell drugs by pharmaceutical companies. Anyone who has any idea of radical psychology would find the above analysis to be laughable.

    If you think Felicity is hateful, then why be hateful back? Really, it’s becoming ridiculous. She is ONE person- and how many haters does she have? Rachel is totally obsessed by Felicity, and needs to let it go. The former “won” in the courts- so why does this vitriole keep occurring?

    I think this and other blogs are sick- obsessive and sick. It’s time to end all of this- and blog about other things.

    Gerard

  • robin

    Hello Gerard.

    And a big ‘hello’ to all my fellow ripperologists and notorious criminals in here.

    We all know psychology is more art than science. We know about pharma.

    Bullying is one form of fire that you can fight with another form of fire.

    Leaving her alone doesn’t help. Discussing her sanely is not vitriol. Exposing her to ridicule is one way, in our own hands, of ensuring that she hurts no more people. And you must, I think, agree that she has deliberately tried to hurt people very badly to the limit of her powers – obsessively and knowingly. She is not in an accidental situation here, and we are not talking about divergences of opinion between her and her victims. She is playing hardball. This is not some silly internet rough and tumble.

    Doing what we have been doing is a form of prophylaxis.

  • Gerard:

    If you bother to consult the literature you’ll find that there’s no verified drug treatments for NPD.

    Look, I’m perfectly well aware that the classification of psychological abnormalities into defined conditions or disorders is a matter of descriptive rather than empirical practice.

    NPD is a label that describes a collections of symptoms that commonly operate together to ‘define’ a particular mode of aberrant behaviour.

    In that context, your reference to radical psychology is largely meaningless, because what you’re talking about is just one of many different schools of thought or perspectives on psychology; one that just happens to eschew this kind of labelling. You say NPD doesn’t exist, a Freudian would look at Lowde and start looking for evidence of early separation anxiety and a Skinnerian would start thinking about possible behavioural modifications. Just because you have a particular critique of psychology in general doesn’t make Lowde’s aberrant behaviour any less real or any less harmful to herself or to those she stalks and abuses.

    You seem to be trying to suggest that if we simply ignore Lowde then she’ll go away – she’s not the first online troll/stalker I’ve see display this kind of behaviour and can state from experience that, no, they don’t go away. In fact the nature of the medium actually serves to facilitate their behaviour.

    Even if she did leave Rachel and her other previous victims alone, there would only be a fresh crop somewhere further down the line.

    As for ending this, Lowde can end it any time she likes. All she need do is walk into a police station and turn herself in for sentencing – remember she’s already been convicted of harassment and what she laughably refers to as her ‘defence’, the claim that she’s really the victim, even if it were true (which it isn’t) would be, at best, grounds for some small measure of mitigation or for a counter-suit and not a basis for an appeal and exoneration.

  • Briony

    I think you’ll find that Gerard is Lowde, Unity.

    Excellent post – it has helped my understanding of the situation immensely.

  • Gerard

    To state that every person who thinks vigilantism is not ok must be Felicity, is the same as saying that anyone opposed to Felicity’s activities must be Rachel. Think what you may, but there are some people who disagree with your views- it doesn’t bother me how you try to discredit. Not all people climb on the bandwagon.

    It’s an obsession both ways- quite a sad one. I will restate that I disagree with a diagnosis of NPD (are you a psychiatrist, Unity?) I also disagree with diagnoses of ADD and ADHD and the use of ritalin (speed) for children. I would suggest that those applying NPD as a diagnosis, would be suggesting anti-depressants as some kind of antidote, Unity.

    In the main, I see personality disorders as wrongful diagnoses. I believe it is a matter of “bad behaviour” rather than some pathology.

    Gerard

  • Very interesting article as per, Unity, so thanks.

    In response to Gerard,

    A friend of mine went to Liverpool College with Brian Blackwell, who’s symptons were similarly identified as NPD.

    Details of the case are here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4633339.stm

    As Unity states above, in this instance the paranoia and desperation to maintain his fantasy life led tragically to him brutally murdering his parents. Although this was of course a particularly extreme example it demonstrates this ‘condition’ (or set of psychological characteristics or what have you) is not to be taken lightly, and those who might show signs of it are best not ignored but placed in the responsibility of someone who can help them with their sad and difficult situation.

  • Gerard:

    First, please appreciate that Lowde has an extensive track record of using ‘sock puppets’ (multiple false IDs) to alternate harass others and ‘defend’ herself. That, of itself, makes some wary of the veracity of those who seem to speak up in her favour.

    I’m not a psychiatrist, but I do have a degree in psychology. I’m not sure if the same distinctions apply where you are, but here a psychiatrist is also a medical doctor (and can prescribe drug treatments) and a psychologist is not and has to work only with their own mental faculties.

    My own comments should be taken as indicative and not diagnostic – any diagnosis of Lowde’s condition would have to be made by a clinical specialist under the proper conditions. What I’ve tried to do is provide Rachel and others with a possible (and I think likely) answer to the questions, ‘Why is Lowde doing this?’ and ‘Why have I become a target?’.

    Personally I wouldn’t advocate drug therapy for any condition unless I was shown solid evidence that the condition had a defined biochemical component that caused or contributed to the disorder. That goes as much for NPD and other similar conditions as it does for ADD/ADHD. In fact I recently ghost-wrote a letter for a friend of my partner’s, who’s son has been diagnosed with ADHD, invoking UK anti-discrimination law to prevent them trying to expel him from school, precisely because his mother disputes the diagnosis and has refused to have him put on ritalin – all the school have been concerned with is getting him doped up to control his behaviour or, if not that, getting him off their books.

    In terms of what I’ve tried to do here, the DSM criteria and structure provides the best available vehicle to explain Lowde’s behaviour in terms that are accessible to a layman, which I think I’ve done fairly successfully.

    What I’ve consciously avoided is any discussion of treatment regimes – antidepressants, since you ask, might assist in managing some of the symptoms, but won’t address the underlying cause(s) and I’ve considerable regard for and sympathy with the view that too much of psychiatry is, today, concerned only with managing people with psychological dysfunctions rather than actually helping them.

    Sadly, I expect that Lowde will not voluntarily seek help and will, therefore, get stuck with whatever the system decides to give her in terms of ‘treatment’ – which may well involve drug therapy – rather than take control of her need for help and cast around for the right treatment regime to suit her needs.

  • farouche

    Robin, I don’t think Gerard is one of the many nom-de-plume (erm, nom-de-keyboard?) of fjl. his posts sounds quite sensible (however somewhat opinionated) and they lack of fjl’s “pet words”–such as “malice”, “vicious”, “harassment”, “abusive”, “vendetta”, “criminal”, “notorious”–which seem to be the basis and the essence of her vocabulary.

    on the other hand, Gerard, you wrote: “[Rachel] needs to let it go”. may I please remind you that Rachel tried to “let it go” for almost a year, thinking or rather hoping that fjl would eventually give up her stalking behaviour, until she finally decided to put the matter in the hands of the police? and when the police intervention failed to achieve an appreciable result, the stalking just became worse, and she started to fear for her personal safety? how long would you resist in her shoes?

    finally, wether it’s personality disorder or bad behaviour, fjl must be stopped. for her own good as well as for others’.

  • Andrew:

    The Blackwell case is a tragic one but, thankfully, reasonably atypical.

    While violence is not unknown in NPD cases, it tends to occur only in relation to domestic relationships and not the kind of stalking from a distance exhibited by Lowde.

    I’m certainly aware of a number of studies that have looked at NPD in the context of domestic violence and have found that it can be a factor, but this is contingent on proximity and I’m not aware of instances where NPD has been linked to predatory behaviour other than as a secondary condition to a primary psychopathic or sociopathic disorder.

  • Alex

    Fascinating post Unity- Gerard the point is that if you have followed this whole controversy you would find that this is the first series of posts from Rachel’s side of any note and has been occuring because Lowde didn’t turn up to court or to face the police. If she did then I don’t think that anyone, Unity or any of the other bloggers who have posted notices saying that she ought to be spotted and handed to the police would have done what they have done. The courts ultimately ought to decide on what happens to her now- and she ought to give the courts that opportunity by turning up- if she did all of this would stop.

    Unity just to ask a different question and it interests me from all that you’ve said, how do you attempt to treat someone with the condition? What works- if there isn’t a drug that helps at all, is there some kind of talking cure? Do you have to get the person concerned to admit their own delusion? Is it possible to cure people with the condition at all or will they always be delusional? This is a fascinating post.

  • Alex
    I have watched programmes on Brian Blackwell’s case and Channel four have shown a documentary on NPD a few weeks ago in which they spoke to an expert on NPD, who had all of the symptons but unusually was self aware (of his condition). There is no cure for NPD and it is not treatable.

    Those with NPD are bad not mad as I believe that a mental health problem must be treatable for it to be considered as a mitigating factor in a crime. Although in the Blackwell case NPD was taken into consideration when prosecuting and sentencing him.

    FJL will not be cured and it is extremely unlikely that she will be able to manage the condition with or without medication.

  • IainC

    Congratulations, Unity, on a well-researched, illuminating and insightful piece. Rachel has been completely vindicated in her response to ms Lowde’s behaviour, and her strength of will not giving in is remarkable, even without her “two other” attackers.

    In contradiction to Gerard (another fjl alias ? or does the extent of her mendacious self-delusion mean that *every* comment a tenth-way supportive of her has to be so attributed ?), UPD does indeed exist as a set of psychopathological traits (which is not so say that it doesn’t have its proper rational-skeptical critics) unlike “oppositional disorder” and “radical psychology”, whatever they are supposed to be. (And unlike fjl, probably, I am qualified in research techniques in psychology and do know how to verify such claims.) For example

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/DS00652

    describes its symptoms and treatment outlooks.

    I do hope Rachel is right that the result of the inevitable sentencing will be a treatment order. As has become obvious, Lowde will not respond to penal orders or bail conditions, and if not treated – shown in the harshest possible terms the results of her actions on her victims and then helped to find ways of circumventing her compulsion to repeat them – she will only get worse, even, than at present. Nothing else is going to work.

    I’ve been a little disturbed at the lack of understanding shown by some of Rachel’s other blog commenters (I’m an infrequent regular) with fjl’s mental illness, which like other psychopharmacological conditions, is no respecter of persons or past behaviour and could, in principle, impinge on any of us. This is NOT to excuse, lessen or justify what Lowde has done, but it is the only way in which a positive outcome will be achieved. It’s what we would all want no matter how much we might instinctively want to call fjl ‘evil’ or even just ‘bonkers’. (Such labels are a way, I believe, of torching our own fears that we might, somehow, be capable of the things we currently abhor.) And in spite of what has happened to Rachel in the past, I believe she is intelligent – and liberal – enough to recognise that even rapists must be capable of this kind of redemption.

    More strength to Rachel, and the regenerative power of terrible incident, which those only as whole as she can find in themselves. And nothing for fjl, at the moment, except the strongest, harshest mirror to herself.

    IainC

  • robin

    Just a small point of information.

    It wasn’t me who thought Gerard was Felicity. It did occur to me but it seemed unlikely, unless Felicity had developed new concerns/obsessions and had learned how to spell. She surely could never have put the words “Rachel’ and ‘won’ in the same comment.

    I wrote in direct response to Gerard.

    Gerard: we would need to go through some pretty extensive work on definitions before we could make much progress in coherent discussions here. Like of ‘vigilantism’ and ‘bad behaviour’ for a start. I have no quarrel with freely expressed opinion. That has never been the point at issue in anything to do with FJL. You seem to have much wider interests than her case.

    I certainly have no wish to fall out with anyone over that poor afflicted woman. We have been amply supplied with unhappiness on her account already.

  • farouche

    ooops, sorry Robin. in fact, it was Briony.

  • fjl

    Ian, if you are a psychologist you will know that it is an imecile thing to comment on Court cases you haven’t viewed, and Court files you know nothing about. Shut up, you blethering half wit, I have had enough of this ridiculous libel campaign, and I’m not in the mood for crank quacks. I have a psychology degree with Honours, and I have never been diagnosed with a mental illness in my life. You are on very rocky ground with libel laws here, in fact you have slipped over the precipice. Your commenters are known harassers, and that is a fact. Your champion has a libel record with famous London lawyers; also a fact.

    This blog efort has been printed out and you are put on notice for malicious libel.

  • robin

    Hello Felicity.

    You are admirably clear there about your intentions.

    So: get yourself some ace lawyers who don’t mind acting in a civil case for a wanted criminal : assemble a war chest of at least thirty thousand pounds: then fire off a dozen libel writs to some internet aliases and blogger ids. Paper onto their doorsteps, that is, not comments at their blog addresses.

    Oh, and find some way of walking into a Court without having a warrant for your arrest served upon you immediately.

    Good luck.

    Reality always trumps fantasy, especially in law courts.

  • Anon

    http://fjlathome.blogspot.com/2007/06/basic-libel-for-idiots.html#links

    You seem to have touched a nerve, Unity. Be careful.

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  • Dear God…my cyberstalker (a former boyfriend) is exactly like what you have described here, to a tee. The saddest part for me is that he really KNEW he had this tendency when I used to be friends with him–but what happened? I guess it got progressively worse. I have no doubt this woman will be caught,as well as the man stalking me–these people believe they live above the law and are too clever to be caught, but we all know this is untrue. It helps to make friends with local detectives and law enforcement–trust me on this one. They can do a lot of legwork for you.

  • Fliss:

    You’re talking rubbish.

    You keep rambling one about having evidence to support your false contention that you are the victim here and yet you put forward nothing more than an rambling stream of unsubstantiated allegations that are certainly libelous.

    You claim not to have been diagnosed with mental illness – so what, that merely suggests that you’ve not sought an assessment of your mental state, behaviour that, yet again, is entirely consistent with the pattern for narcissistic personality disorder. You’re not offering evidence, again, simply making more unsubstantiated and entirely meaningless assertions.

    Oh, and do stop wittering on about the court case as if to suggest its something that cannot be discussed. The rule of sub judice expires on conviction not sentencing, and as you’ve been convicted there can be no contempt of court unless specific reporting restrictions have been put in place by the trial judge.

    You’re 41 years old, unemployed and hiding from a bench warrant, and there’s no legal aid in libel actions, so you might as well shut about it now as there’s about as much chance of you suing anyone as there is that you’re really descended from Horatio Hornblower.

    BTW, I’m curious about that last one – is that on your mother’s or your father’s side?

  • Alex:

    To answer your question, NPD as a primary disorder is consider ‘stable’ (the opposite, in psychology is ‘episodic’) so its pretty much a constant once it sets in.

    There is little by way of a consistent treatment regime, other than Masterson – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1932462090 – which is pretty well regarded, but otherwise NPD could reasonably be regarded as ‘incurable’, although some with the disorder do respond well to psychotherapy and learn to manage their condition pretty well. It all depends on the severity of the condition as the point of intervention and how well they respond to therapy.

    As I mentioned there is no set drug treatment for NPD, although some positive theraputic effects have been observed using the atypical anti-depressant Bupropion, although from what I’ve read that’s more a case of the drug taking the ‘edge’ off things sufficiently to allow a therapist to make some inroads by means of psychotherapy than a means of controlling the symptoms. Like all anti-depressants, its probably fine as a short-term intervention but of very limited value in the long run.

  • Sanna

    Oh dear…I do hope that FJL never learns that her pet theory, erm thesis, is not unique.

    “Other authors have made further modifications to this theory…Jean Overton-Fuller promoted Sickert from a knowing accomplice to being Jack the Ripper himself (a theme later followed by crime novelist Patricia Cornwell in her book Portrait of a Killer but without the royal connection). Authors Andy and Sue Parlour have used the basic royal conspiracy theory but with Prince Albert(aka Prince Eddy) getting Ripper victim Mary Jane Kelly pregnant instead of Annie Crook.”

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_the_Ripper_royal_conspiracy_theories

    Seriously my sympathies lie with the victims of FJL’s irrational ire. I really do hope that she is soon captured and given the help she needs, and then her victims can rest easy in the knowledge that they are safe from her.

  • Alex

    Thanks Unity

  • Alex

    Thanks Unity- for a very informative answer.

  • Morning, and thanks for some very interesting comments. To clarify:

    I’ve been in two court cases – both times when called as a witness for the prosecution: the cases concerned the offences of rape and harassment.

    I don’t have a ‘libel record with famous London lawyers’,
    ( please do feel free to check with Carter Ruck – I did – and also the record of court orders, judgements and fines).

    I am also not ‘mentally ill’, a ‘blackmailer’, a ‘liar’, an ‘abuser’, or a criminal. Nor am I a ‘harasser’, ‘evil’, ‘mentally ill’, ‘psychotic’; nor do I have ‘a personality disorder’, nor am I ‘seeing a psychiatrist’.

    I am not ‘facing jail’, nor am I ‘desperate’, a ‘justice perverter’, ‘working with corrupt police’, or a ‘malicious saboteur’. I am not ‘working with Special Branch’, (nor have I ever wanted to work for them, I have quite enough going on at the moment and a career in policing or espionage or being a ‘qualified secret history researcher’, whatever that is, has never appealed. Actually, Special Branch no longer exist, having been rolled into the new anti-terrorism police.Perhasp they neglected to inform Lowde of this.)

    These claims about me from Lowde can all be proved, and in fact, have been proved, to be false, proved in public court. It is a shame Lowde failed to turn up to the court case on April 2, as she could have seen it all being proved for herself. Lowde also claims that when ‘rhemes’ [sic] of’ evidence’ of my emails to her are presented in court, I will ‘face disgrace’ and ‘jail’ ( or psychiatric hospital) – and she will be vindicated.

    Again, if she had turned up to court she would have seen that all my emails to her – every single one, had always been handed over to the CPS (and presumably therefore, the defence), and were duly presented to the Judge – and found to be the reasonable, and verifiable, requests of a harassment victim asking the abuse to stop, and pointing out that it is harassment, before giving up and going to the police. Every single email and communication from Lowde to me was also presented, the whole lot – and there was an awful lot – and on this basis she was found guilty of harassment. In the District Judge’s words ‘Well, clearly this case is proved’.

    The Judge was not a ‘Freemason’, nor ‘incompetent’ or ‘subservient to police’, and I also think it wildly unlikely that she had been ‘got at’ by ‘Special Branch’ or the ‘National Archives’, though possibly Lowde may be of a different opinion, and could have run this as her defence if she so chose.

    I do however wish with all my heart that Ms. Lowde would get herself into a court, as repeatedly threatened – either a civil or criminal one, whichever she prefers , with or without her printed out blog of 80,000 words and 800 pages that she claims ‘is her defence’, and her ‘rhemes’ [sic: ‘reams’] of evidence that she is a victim of whatever she is claiming to be a victim of – and her lawyers, (if she has any, which as all lawyers are officers of the court and bound to advise Lowde to turn herself in, seems unlikley).

    I really, really wish she would go to Court as soon as possible, and urge her to do so at her earliest convenience.

    Because she could then be arrested and remanded as per the o/s court warrant following her conviction, breach of bail and absconding. An appointment in front of the District Judge who has I understand, reserved the case would then swiftly follow, she could be sentenced, or undergo psychiatric evaluation as per pre-sentencing reports,if these were requested by the Court, and she could, like any other convict, begin her immediate appeal of conviction/sentence if she chooses. She can also try asking for a retrial – and see if parting company with your your defence and then failing to turn up is in fact grounds for a retrial,( unlikely but possible ).

    I am sure this would make her feel better, and it would certainly make me and all her other victims feel better too.

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  • c8h10n4o2

    Fascinating post. I’ve been poking around at this over the weekend, and was pondering some of the questions that you’ve addressed here.

    As someone with a BPD (borderline) mother, I can attest to the fact that these disorders can include definite delusional aspects. The source is up for debate, but delusion is not specific to schizophrenia (which was, admittedly, my first thought when I read some of FJL’s posts and replies to others.) NPD seems a reasonable, if more dire, alternative.

    I’ve had it easier than FJL’s targets, admittedly, because A) I have an established relationship with my mother, and can sense when she’s gonna blow, and B) with the help of my own therapist, I’ve been able to perform my own form of behavioral modification therapy on her, at least as far as her behavior in my presence goes. The anonymity of the internet would wipe out those options, though. It really is a sticky problem. Best thoughts to all of you.

  • Cecilieaux

    Dunno about Felicity or Rachel. You Brits were a lot more fun when you kept your upper lips stiff. Since Diana kicked the bucket your isle’s become a bucket of smarm. Or as it used to be said on Rocky & Bullwinkle: Watsamatta U?

    C

  • Gerard

    Hello- Gerard here again. I am wondering if this is a place for discussion, without it turning into some name-calling space. I hope so.

    Someone provided a link to an NPD link to show the validity of the diagnosis. As I’ve said, I don’t believe in NPD, nor do I believe in Borderline Personality Disorder, nor do I believe in, for example, DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder- formerly MPD). I don’t believe in “recovered memory”- I do believe that people can have trouble with past trauma in their lives which can cause them problemsin their present. Why am I writing this? Because if someone gives a link to an NPD site to say that is exists, it is the same as people putting a link to a “multiple chemical sensitivities” site to “prove” that it exists, or a “toxic office” site for the same purpose. It exists for you- not for me. I could make up a disease to explain away some behaviour- say “trolling disorder” and it might gain popularity as a notion, but there will still be those who think it is a load of rubbish. There is a webiste called “but i don’t look sick” or something- people might check that out for how many disorders people can develop in one sitting. If multiple personality disorder does not exist, multiple disorder personality might 🙂

    Rachel, I am aware that you have felt put upon because you have been called names, or been given descriptors that you dislike. I think we would all be are that so has Felicity. From being described as fat, having some physical differences, living homeless, eating out of dumpsters, having no friends, being an obviously poor parent, delusional, psychotic, or having some other “personality disorder”… there are loads of unpleasant descriptors going around. And what does it add up to? Nothing more than hate. Why would people do that?

    I am not writing to be oppositional. I am writing because I think vengeance is wrong. I have read a lot of what has been said. I find what has been said to be repulsive- from both sides. But if one looks at what is being said NOW- it is clearly unacceptable to Felicity- not only to her, but to any person who might be reading this and any of the other countless blogs which have been aimed towards one individual.

    If we blog, we can expect criticism. I don’t think that extends to criticism of our physical appearance, our financial status, our literacy. In fact, I believe Felicity writes pretty decently- but who cares? Suggesting she is barely literate is absurd, but this is the extent to which people will go to destroy credibility- it doesn’t work for me, but it might make other people happy.

    I have always found sycophants- people who read without critical analysis- to be more worrisome than anything. We can allsay “wow, what an amazing analysis”, but to write this kind of “diagnosis” (or explanation of behaviour, if you find that more pallatable) seems odd to me. I know that people who might have a different perspective than the dominant one (that being, perhaps, that Felicity is an evil psychopath) will annoy those who can simply say “great work, Unity!” However, if people can see what is happening NOW- which is a large number of people verbally trashing another person- and I am talking about NOW- not before, when others felt annoyed by Felicity- then I would ask people to think about what their own agenda is. Why would you want a woman jailed, for example? We know what jails can be like- do you want someone in that system? Is that the extent of your hatred? Because she wrote a blog?

    By the way, if you feel a need to crtique my sentence structure, spelling, grammar, etc- I don’t care. It is not my literacy that I am trying to get across here- it is an idea that perhaps 100 people versus 1 individual is wrong. Think about the way you were raised. Think about childhood bullying. Or even just think.

    Gerard

  • Gerard, you may not believe the psychological side of the debate, but how do you comment against the fact that Felicity is what amounts to a wanted criminal?

  • Mark

    I don’t think Rachel feels put upon because she has been called a few names. Nor, I’m sure, does Dan Hart. Indeed that’s not the reason that so many bloggers have united to show support for them.

    What Lowde has done is attempted to take these people’s lives apart. She shows no respect for others thoughts, wishes or rights.

    I also don’t feel that a lot of people ‘hate’ Felicity Lowde. In fact a lot of people were, at one time, on her side. The last time I checked the UK was a place where people are presumed innocent until found guilty. We also extend legal aid to people who cannot fund their own defence. As a UK tax payer I believe in those systems and support them. I guess that means for a while I supported Lowde or at least her chance to have justice. Lowde had legal representation and what seems to have been a fair trial. As a member of this society she has agreed to be bound by UK law and when tried against that she was found guility. So, for a moment we all gave her her time in the sun to show how she was wronged. When the time came her case, her defence was found wanting.

    If she feels that the trial was unfair or evidence wasn’t presented then she can appeal. The problem is that to do that she will need to go before the court and face up to the fact that she is, at this moment, a convict on the run. Not only that she has broken the restrictions placed on her by the court to prevent her harassing people such as Rachel and Dan.

    We’re told she has loads of supporters. Odd that they all post in her support anonymously. I say odd because that’s all it is. Perhaps this one person attracts such a wealth of supporters who don’t want to publicise who they are. Odd also that so many bloggers (indeed many from the UK who are well known and widely read) have been attacked and feel happy to be seen associated with Rachel and Dan.

    If you feel that 100 people versus 1 is wrong then that is how her victims felt before Rachel brought this matter to the attention of her readers, allowing others to break cover. I’m not being a sycophant, I did enjoy this piece as something that added value and explained how Lowde may think and act. Understanding other people has to be key to tolerance both online and offline. I don’t see Lowde tolerant of people who challenge her. What I see is a bully and her actions support my view. When called to account, they run away. Felicity and others need to be called to account for the pain that they cause. A lot of people have thought about that.

  • Okay Gerard, let’s get into this.

    You say that you don’t ‘believe’ in NPD other disorders.

    Nor do I, because for me its not a question of belief at all.

    I don’t know what your educational background is but mine happens to be primarily in the natural sciences as, as such, my thinking is very much influenced by my understanding of scientific method.

    NPD is a theory (in the scientific sense of the term) as are the other classifications of particular disorders and, indeed, the various perspectives (Freudian, Jungian, Skinnerian, Humanist/Existentialist, etc.) on personality that exist within psychology.

    As such I look at the theory of NPD on the basis of whether it has explanatory power (does it explain or describe the behaviour adequately), whether its supported by evidence from observation or experiment, whether it makes predictions about behaviour that can be verified by observation/experiment.

    In the case of NPD and other classification systems for what we nominally consider disorders, the theory does explain, does make predictions (within reason – one cannot predict the minutiae of how individuals with the disorder will behaviour but one can make general predictions about how the disorder will manifest itself in terms of behaviour) and thus far it does stand up in the face of the available evidence.

    So I accept it as a valid theory, until such time as evidence emerges which contradicts the theory or a better theory comes along.

    That is science – I’m open minded as to whether a better explanation for the behaviour of individuals like Lowde could be identified, but until that more complete and exacting theory comes along, I work with what I have.

    ‘Radical’ psychology is not a scientific approach to the discipline, its a political/ideological perspective on current practice in the field and, in political terms, its both a healthy sign that such critiques exist and I have some measure of sympathy with some of its objectives, but if you want to say that NPD doesn’t exist then give me either a better theory or back up your contention with evidence – belief doesn’t come into it because we’re talking about psychology not theology.

    This isn’t about vengeance, in fact I’m not at all clear where the idea of vengeance or hatred comes into play in this at all.

    Lowde has convicted of a criminal offence in absentia after she failed to appear in court. Her defence lawyer has refused to continue with her case because he finds her impossible and she continues to post libellous, abusive and harassing material about a number of her victims, including Rachel, on her various blogs in breach of bail conditions, which she broke within hours of their imposed on her.

    If public sympathy for Lowde is in very short supply at the moment, then that would be why.

    You talk in terms of ‘critical analysis’ in writing off some of the commenters here as ‘sycophants’ but what actual analysis have you offered?

    You say that NPD is a fiction created by Big Pharma – that’s a political view not a critical one, and actually an inaccurate one as well. The DSM criteria were developed in the 1970’s in response to the critiques of the anti-psychiatry movement (if you’ve not already done so, you should read RD Laing). Big Pharma’s involvement came much later when they caught on to the idea that the definitions provided by DSM provided a basis for pharmaceutical research.

    Beyond that you offer only an appeal to authority – “Anyone who has any idea of radical psychology would find the above analysis to be laughable” – well I do have a very good idea of radical psychology and it provides some interesting perspectives and criticisms of mainstream psychology, particularly in a sociological context.

    But that doesn’t make your comments a critical analysis, Gerard. Sorry.

    As to your point that ‘100 people against 1 is wrong’, well how about we look at that from another perspective.

    If one person has a problem with you and dislikes the way you behave then that could easily just be their problem. If a hundred people have a problem with your behaviour, then maybe its you that has the problem and not them.

  • IainC

    Gerard,

    If you re-read my comment thoughtfully you’ll see that I was cautioning against the easily over-critical responses to fjl’s actions, and hoping that she receives treatment rather than mere incarceration. It is sadly clear from her blog, in particular the comments (and associated e-mails, of which Rachel has received 400) that she is deluded. The nature of that delusion is such that NPD, as described in that medline link (which includes proper sources of alternative and oppositional symptom-sets) fits well with what all of us except fjl herself can see, and in that sense, NPD (like any other behavioural pathology) exists as a set of observable traits. Its origins may not be discernable or tractable but, like other obsessive disorders, it is capable of sympathetic-critical intervention, and that is what I hope Felicity receives.

    If you read the sample in Rachel’s blog and multiply by 400, you get an idea of what Rachel and, now we know, others have suffered. (The single response by fjl to my comment is mild in contrast.) You will also see that Rachel attempted to be reasonable in asking her to desist but received more of the same. The source of this (high quality) discussion was Rachel’s final attempt at closure after fjl’s failure to support her case in court, after a year of victimisation. It is typical of fjl’s own self-delusion that she would portray herself as the victim, and harsh self-examination in a treatment regime is the best that we can wish for her. I don’t hate her or believe her to be evil or even ‘mad’ (those comments are best left with those who make them), but I do hate what she has done. If I were a Christian (I have no religion) I might depict it as hating not the sinner but the sins.

    How sad that someone as intelligent and well-educated as Felicity could come to this. I suppose we could blame the internet, call blogging a waste of time better spent in ‘real’ persuits, appeal to the breakdown of the family and its replacement with anyonymous or false-alias communication structures. I have some sympathy with those views, but in this case I believe that the amount of support Rachel has received is indicative of a belief that the downside of the net can be ameliorated by concerted action using those same structures. Which is a long-winded way of saying I support the campaign to find Ms Lowde.

    [Unity has responded more eloquently and to the point since I began writing this – please take note before firing off another piece]

    IainC

  • Interesting post and discussion.

    Gerard, I do have sympathy for some of your points of view (of which more in a second). I’ve certainly been very uncomfortable with a few of the more – er – gloatier comments I’ve seen elsewhere, where they’ve come from third parties. As a third party myself I’ve been caught between so many conflicting issues: not wanting to make things practically worse for the injured parties; not wanting to indulge in a Victorian freakshow and poke the mad lady; wanting to show support for the victims which will practically help them feel that they are not being left alone to be bullied; not wanting to blunder, blogger-like around what could be seen as an interesting and exciting story from ‘outside’; wanting to do anything I possibly can to help put a nasty convicted criminal out of circulation so they cannot continue to hurt and manipulate people who I know.

    My problem with those who say ‘why doesn’t Rachel just let it lie’/’what’s her problem with some name calling – they’re as bad as each other’ is this. It’s not just about Rachel. It’s about other people who Felicity has launched campaigns to destroy. One of whom is a friend of mine.

    But what can I do to convince doubters of the seriousness? They’ve told me in confidence; I can’t break that. I can’t point people towards the websites that she’s set up to, for instance, ‘expose’ blameless individuals as corrupt – it’s not my place to highlight this material to the world. So I’m left, alongside so many people, in a ‘you’ll have to take my word for it’ situation.

    Which is desperately unsatisfactory, as you don’t know me from Adam, so there’s no real reason that you would. To say that this is frustrating would be an understatement.

    What I do know, is that Felicity Lowde needs to be caught, and she needs to be stopped from using the Internet. However you would explain her behavoural pattern, the trail of distress that she’s left behind her makes this rather important for the wider community.

  • Tom

    There’s also the point that it’s not 100 people versus 1 – it’s 1 v 1 – Regina v. Lowde. Trite, I suppose, but helping the Crown execute a lawful warrant isn’t vigilante vengeance, it’s good citizenship.

  • AndrewM

    JohnnyB,

    Just write your blog, you poof.

    AndrewM

  • Laura

    While not a psychologist myself, I can only agree that it is not vigilantism to help catch a convicted criminal, but the need for justice to be done. In addition, let it be remembered that it was not Rachel herself who instigated the blogger button campaign, she simply reached a point of desperation where she asked for her readers’ help with the problem, and a reader kindly devised the button campaign.

    It would be interesting to know how those who dismiss FJL’s sustained hate campaigns against virtual strangers would react and feel were they themselves subjected to one of her vendettas over an extended period of time.

    As Rachel has previously said, this is not some one off random nutter who can just be ignored and will eventually go away. FJL means business once she gets her hooks into someone and is BAD as well as whatever definition of mad you wish to choose.

  • Naaaah – given myself a couple of days off. Touch of NPD.

  • anonymous (not usually but want to be today)

    blimey…

    1) Unity – thanks for the post. I have only just started to read about the whole situation and it scares me. To learn more about the possible, potential or even likely “reasons” for it help lessen that fear.

    2) Gerard – if someone broke into your house and stole your possessions, got reported to the police, got caught, got told to go to court, didn’t go but got convicted of theft in their absence, had many previous convictions for the same crime, went on the run and continued to thieve, would you call the thief a victim if a community, still being stolen from, was to put up posters wherever possible to catch the now convicted thief and muttered loudly about the affect the thief at large was still having on people ? This is not a witch hunt and there is a very big difference between ‘poking the mad woman’ as JonnyB says and raising awareness/trying to get the person rightly ‘caught’ not least of all to get her help but predominantly to prevent any further crime to anyone else…

    .. in my opinion.

    Apologies for my anonymity; I am no-one exciting or related to this closely, nor a victim, I just don’t want to run the risk of being stalked myself.

  • Braxton hicks

    I won’t go over previous comments, My background is in psychotherapy and severe mental illness in particular.
    Therapeutic cCommunities have a very good track record of working with ‘ personality disorder’. Currently it’s the ‘Henderson’ model that has been evidenced by the research and has been rolled out over the past couple of years.

    One key characteristic of group process that TC’s work with is that individuals HAVE to be accountable to the group for their actions, And if they are found to have transgressed the communities rules then they are expelled.This is undeniably intense and bruising but is an essential part of why the TC works.

    Out here in the internet world , the processes are similar but nowhere near as contained, most of us are aware of ‘Flaming’and ‘Trolling’ and at some level understand that that The internet is a medium that can exagerrate/minimise our everyday psychology etc

    I dont see anything wrong with Unity trying to understand lownde’s motivation, it seems to me to be both a health warning and a way of taking some of the heat out of the urge to scaegoat.
    Yes , many people object to diagnosis and see ‘personality disorder’ as a pejoritive term, but overall I think this thread does more good than harm.

  • R.H.

    Wooh! Well I hope Miss Felicity takes no notice of all this, if she ain’t crackers already she soon could be.

    What cackle! I’ve never seen so much posturing in all my life. The post itself is enormously arrogant. And pompous, presumptive; tea-break analysis.

    Face the truth; Felicity is a very good writer indeed: sharp, vivacious, enormously interesting. (Is that why you’re all so lacerated?)

    And Gerard, palatable has one L, that’s all.

    You are illiterate.

    -Robert.
    (I’m illegitimate, but it don’t matter)

  • R.H.

    Hang on, it’s got two L’s. Yes, but you put three!

    (You probably live in a council flat as well)

  • Ah, but there’s definitely two L’s in troll – now fuck off!

  • R.H.

    oooooooh!- how’s that!

    Witty!

  • AndrewM

    Play nicely children.

    Anon (nubwtbt): There’s a lot of difference between writing nasty stuff about someone (which at the end of the day is all we are talking about) and breaking into your house and stealing your possessions. Yes, they can both be considered crimes, but let’s keep thing in perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I’m strong on law and order. (For the latter crime, I’m with the Sharia model – amputation).

    Yes old FJL needs to be brough to rights but personally I am very uncomfortable with all this baying mob stuff. She’s hardly going to feature in Britain’s most wanted. Of course I understand how upset some of her victims are, but I’m not sure that the degree of victims’ upset should be the yardstick by which we measure the severity of a crime. There’s a part of me that wants to see the crafty fox elude the baying hounds and self-righteous huntsmen charging round the countryside, even though he’s slaughtered all the chickens in the hen-house. (Obviously I’m pro-hunting).

    On a positive note, and without taking any sides, this is all very exciting isn’t it? It’s much better than Big Brother and I eagerly await the outcome.

  • anon

    AndrewM,

    This is NOT designed for your entertainment. We are talking about a seriously sick person, who has made multiple threats, some of which are very sinister and physically threatening. It is not a game, so if you are just trolling for your own amusement, please stay out of this matter.

  • N F

    Quite! Let’s hope you are never on the receiving end AndrewM. The world of difference between FJL and a one-off troll-er has been made enough times in this thread not to need reiterating.

    And if you ask me it’s only trolls who’ve ever sent FJL nasty comments. The rest of us have merely pleaded with her to give herself up or get treatment, and offered Rachel and Dan our support during their bombardment.

  • Genette
  • AndrewM

    So it’s all over. Or is it? Can we prevent someone from accessing the internet, provided that they aren’t harrassing someone (as defined in law)? I don’t know.

    For Rachel’s sake, I certainly hope it is.

    Back to Big Brother then…

  • Sophie

    Thanks for the concise explanation Unity. I feel sorry for all of FJL’s victims but above all for her son. Does she actually have a son or is that made up too?

  • So far as I’m aware, yes she does have a son, although I get the impression that he’s not in contact with her.

  • Another victim

    She definitely does have a grown up son called Jake. He does not appear to have inherited any of his mother’s traits and keeps his distance. I too feel very sorry for him. I have no idea how he feels about people like me, who have been victimised by his relation but want her removed from public liberty.

  • Unity, I’m sure you know FJL is out at back to blogging again. This post from the day she got out made me think of yours. You’ll see how in classic NPD form, FJL has to present herself as in control of everything. She can’t bear to admit that she was tracked down and arrested, so she claims that she selflessly gave hidden clues on her blog to the police to make it easier for them to find her

    “I felt that I couldn’t let the insane ‘Wanted Campaign’, which was no more and no less than clear and blatant criminal harassment of myself, continue on the Internet and in the national press, another day. I had family, colleagues and children’s welfare to consider. Hence my action. I told the police ( general) where I was.”

    This is such classic NPD behavior that I thought you’d be interested.

  • Everyone’s a psychiatrist. Amazing how easy it is for people to get through medical school nowadays.

  • another day

    Felicity is trouncing you all with her style. She writes extremely well. Makes you look an ass, Unity. She doesn’t give you too much time either I see. Perhaps that will be your first blow, outdone by a genuine psychologist- you charletan.

  • Jean_Jeanie