Most of us are aware of how to manage our personal security and the inherent dangers of having an online profile because of the possibility of attracting the nefarious attention of unsavory characters.
Many of us have also heard the horrors of online stalking activities and try our best to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, these agents of chaos are out there and Jameson Farn, the author of the new book Stalker Craig and author of last year’s Bathhouse Babylon, has had that experience and details his harrowing encounters in his new release, in the hope of offering support and solidarity for those who might be going through something similar.
Written from his experiences living here in the French Riviera, I caught up with the author, Jameson Farn for a behind-the-scenes look at the book, Stalker Craig, and how he has managed such a situation.
How did all this begin with you?
I had caught a former longtime friend back in Canada in a lie, to save him any public embarrassment from a story he made up about himself on Facebook. I privately talked to him about it, gently advising him that people will know the story isn’t true, that he is a better person than that and should remove it.
He laughed it off but agreed he should probably delete his post. Within a couple of hours though had turned into what felt like a different person, who then started to question every aspect of my life to do with Europe, a place he’s never been, by both text and messages and it built up and expanded from there daily for years.
You mention at the beginning of the book the procedures you have to do daily to keep yourself updated on his online antics
At the moment he seems to have slowed down his posting online. But that can change on a whim with him from my past experiences with this situation and I have been told the book when he finds out about it, might make it worse. I already feel I have been through the worse with his antics and there are plans in place if it does happen.
Thankfully when it all first began, my instincts told me to screenshot and save everything, which I did. And although we were thousands of miles apart and never seeing each other, I was still surprised it was happening and was almost protective of him at first as a friend and didn’t want what was happening to get out publicly so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed until the threats got stronger.
When he wasn’t getting the results he wanted, he started making up outrageous stories and going after aspects of my businesses and those around me I love through his myriad of fake Facebook and other social media profiles. This is when the lawyers and police got more involved.
This book documents a fairly traumatic experience, why did you decide to share the experience in this way?
There was no plan to write a book about it, especially when I felt defeated by him through the various escalating ways he was going after myself and those around me but when I found out he was going after my father who is in his mid-seventies, that was it.
So under the guidance of lawyers and since he ignores court orders and anything to do with the police who have tried over the years to reach out to him, I wrote the book in the hopes it will stop as it is written as a detailed diary of what has taken place. I want the book to help others going through a form of cyberstalking. And how the laws need to strengthen in around the world for such cases
Was writing the book a therapeutic process in any way?
The book has been very therapeutic as I have been able to consider everything from all angles as I went through the timeline of it all. From my perspective, I can see how I have grown through these past years, what I will and will not put up and how it’s important to have boundaries, simply because someone wants something or is maybe jealous. Most of all, I am more aware of when a pattern of abuse may be starting.
How has the experience of online stalking and harassment changed you?
My privacy settings are set on high and I’m a much stronger person because of what has already taken place. It’s only been in the past year that I have felt more comfortable posting any personal photos online again or even revealing more about myself. I know of a lot of people, but have a tight circle of friends.
Since the stalker has also gone after those closest to me, they have also become more aware of how important privacy can be.
For my work, I still have to put everything out there for business to continue to grow, but it also gets monitored consistently in case anything unusual comes to light.
Unexpectedly, I have taken a greater interest in privacy and social media, and have been able to obtain, help and protect my clients in business matters, so that has been one big benefit.
I truly believe privacy is the last luxury now.
What advice would you give to someone who feels that they are being subjected to online stalking or harassment?
If you have a feeling you are starting to be harassed online, never respond to the person as that is what they want, to know they are affecting you. Screenshot, date and save everything.
Then, report it – not only to the administrators of the platform it is on, but also tell friends and family, along with the police so that a file can be set up.
Forget feeling bad for the person though like I did, especially if the individual has zero care for your well-being and starts sending death threats. Again, tell everyone – it’s the only way for it all to at least slow down a little, if not stop. And seek legal help, make use of the court system as there are some good outlets available.
What do you hope that people feel when reading this book?
I hope people feel inspired in some way from the book, to know that it’s important to stand up for yourself.
That what the person is doing to you isn’t an indication of what you are like as a person, but rather speaks volumes of their character. And that although they may state they have the power over you, don’t let them. Stand your ground and keep a level above their antics.
Deal with it properly through the authorities as eventually, their day will come and it will hopefully stop.
Many thanks to Callum Troyset and Jameson Farn for this interview
All images courtesy Jameson Farn