Posted on | January 8, 2014 | 61 Comments
Professor Donald Douglas has spent years fighting one particularly obsessed troll, Walter James Casper III, who might actually out-rank Bill Schmalfeldt in the Stalker Hall of Shame, because Casper has been cyberstalking Douglas for more than five years.
Among the significant characteristics of cyberstalkers is the disproportionality of their obsessions. Professor Douglas is not an academic celebrity or influential media personality. He’s a professor of political science at Long Beach City College in California. It is not as if he’s at Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, Yale or some other big-money “prestige” school, and yet the fact that Professor Douglas is (a) conservative and (b) a blogger is sufficient to justify in Casper’s sick mind the most insane forms of stalking behavior.
Another characteristic of cyberstalkers is their resort to psychological projection: They are not obsessed with you — no! — you are obsessed with them, and don’t you dare accuse them of harassing you — of course not! — you are instead harassing them.
This kind of “accuse the accusers” tactic serves two purposes for the troll: First, it is a psychological rationalization by which he justifies his behavior and, second, it serves to obfuscate the situation in the eyes of law enforcement or other authorities.
Something else: The conflict between Casper and Professor Douglas is not about politics, nor is it about Professor Douglas.
That is to say, Casper’s espousal of left-wing political ideas is not the reason for his behavior, but simply a pretext, and if he weren’t harassing Professor Douglas, he’d be harassing some other target, selected more or less at random. There is, of course, a specific history to the conflict between them, but it is ultimately irrelevant. There are plenty of people every bit as left-wing as Casper who are not obsessive stalkers, and there are other conservative bloggers who might just as easily become targets for stalking, if ever they attracted the attention of such a grotesquely deformed personality as Casper.
Walter James Casper III has spent years smearing and harassing Professor Douglas, trying to get him fired from his job. This could (and in fact, often does) happen to any blogger who has a day job.
To get an idea of the pathetic nature of Casper’s obsession, he has devoted an entire blog, called “American Nihilist,” to his anti-Douglas jihad. In the past six months, that stalker site has attracted an average of about 15 visitors a day. By contrast, Professor Douglas’s blog has averaged nearly 2,000 visitors daily.
In other words, the readership for Casper’s anti-Douglas rantings is less than 1% of the readership of Professor Douglas’s blog and yet, despite such clear evidence that no one else shares his obsession, Casper continues doing what he does, apparently with no other purpose except to annoy the target of his weird fixation.
Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. Stalkers gotta stalk.