Book Review: 1996 by Gloria Naylor

review by Eleanor White
eleanor at
January 25, 2005

ISBN: 0-88378-263-4
Hard cover, 176 pages
Published by:
Third World Press Inc.
P.O. Box 19730
Chicago IL 60619
Purchase from:
... or

Hear Gloria Naylor here read an excerpt from 1996 during a conference call with fellow targets.

Eleanor White's bottom line assessment: "1996 is a priceless gift to the cause of truth, freedom and justice." Let me start by giving the author's accomplishments as listed on the book's dust jacket:

1996 was written by Gloria Naylor, who is a writer for theater, film and television and the author of novels which include The Women of Brewster Place (1983 National Book Award Winner), Mama Day and Bailey's Cafe. She also edited the anthology, Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers 1967 to the Present. Her novels now mark their twelfth language translation.

She has been distinguished with numerous honors including Senior Fellow, The Society for the Humanities, Cornell University; The President's Medal, Brooklyn College; and visiting professor, University of Kent, Canterbury, England.

Ms. Naylor has won Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships for her novels; for her screen writing, and she has been awarded the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. In April of 1994, Bailey's Cafe enjoyed a successful run during its world premier at the Hartford Stage Company.

Tragically, like other victims of what I call "organized stalking and electronic harassment", Gloria's successful career encountered severe destructive, criminal interference, starting in 1996. Gloria uses the name "mind control" for this interference, often used by many targets.

One powerful goal of "VS/EH", as I abbreviate it, is indeed the control of the target's mind. Mind control is certainly not the full story, but if a reader does a search on the phrase "mind control", they will locate a great deal of information by and about the targets of organized stalking and electronic harassment.

The first thing some people considering reading 1996 may wonder is "What the heck IS organized stalking and electronic harassment? Or mind control? I've never heard of those things."

For more detailed information, rather than try to provide that here, I recommend some web sites which have been specifically set up to tell the story to people who are totally unaware. The wording of these sites has been pruned back so an unaware visitor is going to find matter of fact, plain language information, without being blasted by full technical details. These "OS/EH lite" sites have already been successful in persuading two groups which are the very hardest to persuade - targets' family members, and professionals - that they really do need to take our claims seriously:

[Site information as of January 17, 2006. Those sites link to others.]

For this review, let me summarize organized stalking and electronic harassment as a now tightly networked covert entity, organized and protected by high level public officials, which uses many 'operatives' to destroy a selected target's privacy, peace, quality of life, and ability to use their talents to earn a living. Stalking by many different operatives, intrusions into the target's home, car and workplace (while the target is away), and use of electronic technology to silently attack the target's mind and body through walls combine to turn a target's life into an inescapable nightmare.

Furthermore, the harassment is very carefully designed to make the target appear to be mentally ill if they complain to public officials or the medical establishment. This is done by using events which are a normal part of living, in rotation so no one event happens often enough that a casual observer will notice. The harassment events are repeated endlessly and exaggerated, just enough so that the target will notice.

You see, the target sees ALL of these "skits", while casual observers will only see the harassment occasionally. And of course, the casual observer does not experience, say, electronic sleep deprivation every single night for months, years, or decades.

The casual observer is also not a target of lies told to neighbours, co-workers, friends, and even family by these very well organized criminals. The lies often paint the target as some sort of criminal, hence, you may hear the term vigilante talking about organized stalking.

This, reader, is why, if you have not been a target, you probably don't know about this current day nightmare known as organized stalking and electronic harassment. By the way, it is common for this VS/EH to continue for LIFE. It does not cease if you move, and that includes moving to other nations.

The book 1996, is Gloria Naylor's RESPONSE to a decade of targeting by multiple stalkers and through wall electronic technology. The book is a skilled writer's contribution to the fight to expose and stop these crimes. Gloria tells the story of 1996 - the year in which her nightmare started. Some of her material took place later, but a one year snapshot of a target's experience is sufficient to show what we endure. Following years just grind on with more of the same type of harassment, even though the exact harassment modes are rotated from some sort of "master menu", apparently to make it difficult for the target to convince others the harassment is real.

Gloria Naylor was faced with the problem of how to present her story, given that the cover up by public officials, and their almost seamless denial, make it impossible for targets to know very much about the operations. Gloria settled on a unique way to tell her story, and the end result is a very readable book. Here is how she describes 1996 in her own words:

"1996 is not a novel, nor is it non-fiction. It is a conflation [blend] of the two genres."
In other words, Gloria's own story is fact, and she uses her powers of observation and intellect to create very believable fictional characters, in the service of the U.S. National Security Agency, to show how these operations might well be organized and carried out.

As a target since 1980 myself, I found all of Gloria's suppositions about the covert operations quite plausible.

At this point, reader, you may be shaking your head and denying that public officials of the United States Government would ever be so corrupt as to carry out such extensive and expensive harassment programs. Without going in to detail here, I urge you to learn something about two examples of exactly such extensive and expensive government crime which took place from the 1950s to the 1970s: The CIA's MKULTRA programs, and the FBI's COINTELPRO operations. If you take a close look, you will find the false media spin on MKULTRA, that it involved a few unwitting adults getting LSD in their drinks, doesn't even scratch the surface. (The real MKULTRA rivalled the Nazi medical experiments in terms of atrocity.)

MKULTRA-era programs included the development of electronic anti-mind and anti-body weapons of just the sort which Gloria Naylor describes. I'm now a retired engineer and have been a ham radio operator for half a century, and I assure you, reader, that most of what Gloria Naylor describes can be done using technologies which are now available, are not secret, and can be had by anyone with an upper middle class income. And the technology which isn't yet in the public domain has been publicly hinted at by U.S. Government agencies which oversee scientific research.

Gloria's book itself should provide targets of organized stalking and electronic harassment with a not too long (126 pages of story, the rest being appendices) and easy reading story which can be used to explain to reluctant family members, friends, (and hopefully even medical and public officials) what we targets are going through. The fact that Gloria is an accomplished author certainly won't hurt!

In 1996, Gloria had reached the stage in her profession where she could just afford "a summer place" on one of the Sea Islands along the coast of South Carolina. This is a great stage in anyone's life. I wondered, as I read the book, what Gloria may have done to "deserve" her submission to the covert harassment establishment, which is the typical covert harassment establishment characteristic of dictatorships. I can't help thinking that her gifts as a writer, being black and being a woman might have been enough to trigger jealousy. Many of the targets who keep in touch simply don't know why our names were submitted to the torturers.

She relates a "problem neighbour" who had cats who wandered into Gloria's yard and made messes in her garden. Could this have started it all? As a 26-year veteran target, I can't be sure - this problem neighbour could have been a designated perpetrator, recruited before Gloria moved there to enjoy the warm season of 1996. VS/EH perpetrators do that - frequently, they have already been recruited and are ready to start their particular harassment assignment the day we move to a new location.

On the fiction side of 1996, you will see how her problem neighbour has ties to the U.S. National Security Agency. Quite plausible. Although the CIA and FBI were the historical agencies using VS/EH tactics, there is no principle of physics or politics that says the NSA couldn't be the source of her torment.

Also on the fiction side, Gloria postulates that, as her harassment unfolds, people involved in her harassment are given several different versions of the "awful truth" about her. This is borne out by small bits and pieces of information our on line membership of several hundred targets are able to glean once in a great while. We are accused of things like we are criminals, drug users, drug dealers, prostitutes, or child sex abusers. This readily allows the supervisors to recruit ordinary citizens to make life Hell for the target.

One book which provides a rare look behind the scenes at the community level harassment "corps" is private investigator David Lawson's 2001 book titled "Terrorist Stalking in America". Local "do good" organizations make excellent harasser recruiting agencies, and Gloria speculates that one such group was a factor in her first year as a target.

When an author acquires a summer place, and intends to continue writing, the peace and quiet of a rural spot are highly valued. Can you guess, reader, what one of the first (and most consistent) forms of harassment a target might likely notice at the beginning?

Gloria describes her local street perps very well. Here is a sample paragraph:

"They are young and old, Jew and gentile, black and white, and brown and yellow. ... Some are in it for a cause, others for the money. They walk when they're told to walk, sit where they're told to sit, and follow when they're told to follow. Above all, they drive when they're told to drive. ... Most don't notice the lone black woman walking down [the street], and for the few who do, it doesn't register. Most don't question what all this means, and for the few who have the courage to ask, they're told, in so many words, to mind their business and just do what they've signed up to do. They're part of a puzzle that's overseen by greater minds than theirs. And there is always someone to replace them if they're unhappy. Of those few who have the courage to ask, most stay."
As a veteran target, I can tell you that we do indeed see quite a few "just following orders" perpetrators. However, as with other characters on the fictional side of 1996, we do also see quite a few very sick harassers who clearly enjoy their "work."

During the year 1996, Gloria was forced to cut her potentially long (due to her summer place being in South Carolina and with direct exposure to the Gulf Stream) summer short, due to the harassment. In my 26 years as a target, I have noticed that many things, such as sleep (when allowed at all), or a good meal, or a satisfying walk in the woods or piece of creative work are often "cut short" by some sort of pronounced upsurge in harassment. A pattern that happens over and over, endlessly, as one harassment crew is rotated in to our location, and another goes on to another target. One of our members, Patricia Mougey of Toledo Ohio, lives in a close-spaced neighbourhood of detached housing, and being retired, she sees and hears a great deal of what the perpetrators do, and even some of their interaction with each other. In her 40+ years of this harassment, she has seen clearly that harassment crews definitely rotate. And each crew has trainees.

Back in her brownstone home in New York City, Gloria encountered a new, very common horror, something the United States Army calls "voice to skull". The Army's acronym, from their on line thesaurus, is "V2K" for this technology. Voice to skull has been unclassifed and available to anyone who could hire a microwave engineer to assemble a voice to skull transmitter since 1974. It is simply an enhancement to the phenomenon discovered in World War II in which radar technicians who stood in line with moderately powerful radar dishes heard the train of microwave pulses as a buzz in their heads. No implants are required for "V2K" to work.

Gloria then encountered a further technology which IS secret at the moment, the ability to read minds through walls, electronically. When we think things silently to ourselves, as words, even though our vocal muscles don't form audible words, there are enough tiny electric currents sent to the vocal cords that these can be picked up by electronic equipment. One practical use for this "mind reading" technology was announced in 2004 as being a research project by NASA for use in detecting "terrorists" at airports.

The proposed equipment was an array of pickups which each air passenger would momentarily stand under, providing the equipment with a short sampling of the magnetic fields given off by the brain's electric currents. Computers would then convert those magnetic signals into signs of criminal intent. Further conversion into words has been discussed seriously, but at this moment, we don't have a documented unclassified piece of equipment we can point to as being able to do that.

But after all, conversion of a collection of waveforms into words is exactly what "you talk - it types" software does every day.

Following the mainstream news stories about this equipment, the media suddenly fell silent and have remained silent. Some of us who are targets have had thought reading demonstrated on us. The way this is done is by setting up a harassment event which could only have been anticipated if the perpetrators had actually read our thoughts.

One quick example of a demonstration I experienced was when I ordered 16 topographic maps of various locations in New England. As I pondered which ones to order, I thought about some of the quadrangles, but rejected them. My written order was absolutely perfect - the 16 I had chosen were numbered and named correctly.

When the order arrived, three of the 16 maps were not the ones I had ordered. But ALL of the three were chosen from the few I had thought about then rejected. ALL three. These maps were not adjacent to each other in the indexes, so this was not a simple order picking error. Interpret that as you choose; that plus other demonstrations, plus the NASA mind reading announcements in the media, have me convinced.

Gloria shared a very interesting twist of the non-fiction side of her story during this telephone conference with our membership. Logically, some targets of electronic harassment, given that transmitting voice through walls into the skull of a target does mimic mental illness, will opt to see a psychiatrist. Gloria did this, and predictably, was placed on anti-psychotic medication. After waiting for the medication to work, which it did not (as in all targets' medication trials), the psychiatrist actually revealed to Gloria that he knew about this harassment crime syndrome, yet did not tell her.

His excuse was that he needed to see if the medication would stop the voice to skull, so he would have a dependable way to see if Gloria was either truly mentally ill, or a target. I tend to suspect that there are other doctors who also know quite well about this modern day "extra-judicial corrections system" but don't let on about it, causing our members untold grief, not to mention expense! I won't speculate here about their motives.

In this review, I haven't said much about the actual text written by Gloria Naylor. I guess that's because to me, the significance of this book is not it's excellent literary value, but that it is published at all! Since 2001 we have only had David Lawson's Terrorist Stalking in America as "artillery support" for our fight, now we have what I consider a second "big gun" on the firing line!