Esther Lewis


My situation has been somewhat different from the experiences described by most of the people on this site. I believe my mother and I have been harassed by some agency within the government, starting ten years ago, when I was ten years old. However, to my knowledge, no “non- lethal weaponry” was used (though we were subjected to covert druggings, “street theater,” etc.), and to be perfectly honest, I was somewhat skeptical when I first started reading about this non-lethal weaponry on your site. Also, I don’t mean to make anyone angry, but some of the accounts on this site don’t read very well—if someone thought these people were crazy, a few of these accounts wouldn’t do a very good job of changing that someone’s mind. (Some of the accounts even say it’s aliens behind it, for pete’s sake.) However, a good number of the accounts sound exceedingly sane, and there are so many people describing similar things—plus, very little would surprise me these days when it comes to what the government is capable of. So I decided to reserve judgment on the issue, at least—after all, I know what it’s like to have people decide you’re crazy just because, in their mental world, what you’re describing “just doesn’t happen.” I also know that the frustration of your predicament can cause you to sound a little unbalanced sometimes—my mother often failed to try to see our story from the perspective of someone who’d never heard of such things before, and this failure on her part probably contributed sometimes to our inability to get any help with the situation.

I debated submitting my account to your site for a long time. My mother disappeared three years ago, and since then I’ve largely been left alone by those who’d harassed us. So I’ve been somewhat reluctant to draw their attention to myself again (admittedly that’s rather cowardly of me.) Also, I’ve thought that perhaps the group that’s been using the non-lethal weaponry is a different group from the one that was harassing my mother and me, and if so, I sure didn’t want to draw their attention too. Esther Lewis is not my real name, but I know any government agency could easily track me through my e-mail. But I’ve decided to post my account. I’d really appreciate it if anyone who’s had an experience similar to mine would e-mail me—or, in fact, anyone who has any thoughts on my story at all. It would really be great to communicate with other people who know these kinds of things go on, because with my mother gone, I have nobody to talk to that believes my story. In fact, I don’t talk to anyone about it now, because I know people would only think I’m crazy, but what happened to my mother and me is a big part of who I am now, and I can never forget it.

It was just my mother and me when I was growing up, my father having left her before I was born. When I was seven we became born-again Christians. A couple of years later, in 1993, we were living in Upstate New York and began attending a certain evangelical church. We attended an anti-abortion march sponsored by the church. Later that year, my mother was speaking with the preacher in the chapel, with quite a number of people present, and he lied about something to her (it’s a long story that I won’t go into), and she knew he was lying. She caused a bit of a scene (not being one to hold back much when it came to expressing her emotions), and stormed out. We never went back to the church. But in July of 1994 came the Paul Hill shooting of an abortion doctor in Pensacola, FL. A board member of the church we’d left was quoted in the newspaper as saying something in support of Hill’s actions. It was around this time that my mother began to suspect that our phone was tapped. Co-workers and acquaintances would continually bring up subjects that she had recently discussed on the phone, and a close friend of hers who was a telecommunications technician said that he heard a secondary click after she hung up, and that that was probably an indication of a tap on the phone.

We were later to conclude that, due to when the whole situation began, it was probable that the church member’s comments in the paper had drawn the attention of an investigative agency to the church. We never really knew why they chose to target my mother and me, although it’s possible that the scene she caused the year before somehow made her stand out. (There’s also the fact that my uncle went AWOL during Vietnam and fled to Scotland, and the FBI came and questioned the family, but that was so long ago that I highly doubt it had anything to do with it.) Also, my mother was poor and not well-educated, had little family, and had spent a short time in a mental institution when she was spazzed out on drugs during the hippie era, and I think this government harassment often seems to target the uneducated and those with pasts that would reduce their credibility. At times it’s seemed as though they were conducting an experiment on us, and it makes sense that they’d choose those who can’t fight back. Anyway, information from our private phone conversations continued to be known throughout the community, as well as among some of my teachers at school—whether because these people were cooperators, or because they’d heard it through gossip, we weren’t sure, but it was probably some of both. We also noticed that we were sometimes followed when walking. My mother made some calls about the situation to law enforcement officials (including the FBI) and was merely put off.

In October 1994 my mother began to feel drugged. She felt lethargic, her vision was blurred and her speech was slurred. She also had difficulty breathing at times, and a black spot developed on one side of her tongue. Since I was not experiencing these things, she tried buying new tea, as that was something she alone consumed. Her symptoms immediately went away. They came back again in the next few weeks, however, as more and more of our food items came to be drugged, including things that I ate and drank. I began to experience the symptoms as well, although generally to a lesser extent—it was obvious my mother was the main target. She had a physical exam at one point and was told there was blood in her urine. Ken, my mother’s telecommunications technician friend, visited us one day. The two of them talked about how it might be the FBI that was doing it. My mother joked at one point that she’d once been told she looked like Patty Hearst, so maybe they thought she was her. She also mentioned her plans to make turkey soup. The next day we ran into Phil, an acquaintance of hers who often exhibited the smirky attitude we’d come to associate with agents and cooperators. He often tried to discourage her religious beliefs, and had made some suspicious comments. This day, as they were talking, my mother asked him why he thought the FBI might be investigating her. He asked if she’d ever been part of a radical group. She said no. He said, “Think.” She mentioned the church we’d gone to, and he smiled. He said, “Maybe you look like Patty Hearst. Are you going to make turkey soup?” Just like that, one sentence right after the other.

Various people around town began mentioning the FBI, as well as the CIA, when my mother walked by them. Complete strangers would either stare at her or act hostilely. Teachers at my school—as well as a few of the students— also acted this way.

One day when my mother was typing on the computer, a phrase appeared that she had not typed: “$128 K, Schedule, Greensboro.” She didn’t really know what to make of it. A few days later it happened again, but this time it was “$220 K.” She didn’t know if this was some kind of joke on our harassers’ part, or if they were really offering her some kind of government position. She made no sign of acceptance, and no further monetary offers were made, although there were mentions (through what we called skits or “street theater”) of sending me to private school and my mother to nursing school.

Our mail was sometimes interfered with, and we received a number of strange phone calls. In one of them the caller said “We know where you’re at.” The druggings continued, with one of the most common symptoms now being a whitish tongue. The skits and strange comments increased. Around this time my mother’s friend Ken got in trouble with the IRS for income tax evasion, and he had to pay the government back a lot of money. He dropped a few hints that suggested he thought she’d informed on him. She didn’t know what would make him think that. (She was later to come to think that he was perhaps blackmailed through his IRS trouble to cooperate with our harassers—or maybe manipulated into it, if they told him she’d turned him in—because he continued to make increasingly odd comments and also began to seem to know too much about us.) My mother continued to try to get help from law enforcement, the ACLU, the Rutherford Institute, and others. She even tried calling Ross Perot’s office, because it sounded like something had been done to him during one of the elections. But she was constantly told, “The FBI doesn’t do things like this to people.” The secretary at Perot’s office told her that he got hundreds of calls like this, and that if he couldn’t help himself, he sure couldn’t help others who were being harassed.

In the summer of 1995 we moved to Arizona in an attempt to escape the harassment. It continued, however, and they also made it impossible for my mother to find work. Various local people made odd comments; some even seemed to be attempting to instigate my mother to commit some violent action against the government in retaliation (which, of course, would have been yet another, greater strike against her credibility, had she followed these people’s advice.) We often experienced headaches and nausea from the druggings. We took to carrying our food with us in the car wherever we went, and our harassers then began drugging the foods right in the grocery store— the ones we were likely to buy. It seemed incredible that they could or would actually do that, but they were doing it. Sometimes acquaintances also complained of headaches. Various people in the community continued to know too much about us.

Several times my mother sent our food to a lab to be tested for foreign substances, but it always came back negative. We realized that this group could apparently exert control over every possible avenue of action we might take.

We moved to New Mexico near the end of 1996, but the harassment continued and even got worse. It got to where we had to shop in unexpected places and buy unexpected things, and fill up water jugs at gas stations and other places, as our tap water was heavily drugged. My mother could only get low-paying temp jobs. The odd comments and skits increased, both at work and my school. As the druggings increased (we were not always successful at avoiding it), a new symptom began: irregular heart beat. My mother experienced a very serious episode of this a few days after she’d managed to get a police officer to at least listen to her story. She could hardly breathe, and felt cold and weak. Some weeks later, this happened again. We called the paramedics, but when they gave her oxygen it became even more difficult to breathe, so she made them stop. It appeared that our harassers could infiltrate every sector of society. My mother was lucky to make it through that episode alive; her breathing and heart rate had been dangerously affected. Probably what saved her was guzzling water to dilute the drugs in her system.

The summer of 1999 we stayed in Canada for a short while (where the harassment continued) and then we moved back to Upstate New York. I was fifteen. My mother was unable to get a job and we began camping out in the woods, as we couldn’t pay rent. The police (some of whom appeared to be cooperators) found us there and arrested my mother for possession of a pistol without a license and endangerment of a child (apparently they thought I was being endangered by camping in the woods.) I was taken to live with my grandmother on Long Island. The charges against my mother were dropped, and she moved around the state, sometimes working but mostly not, while I stayed at my grandmother’s. I was no longer harassed, for the most part (although there were still a few skits), but my mother was still harassed.

In the spring of 2001, when I was seventeen, the letters and calls from my mother stopped. The last I’d heard from her she’d been going to camp in the woods for a while; now she just disappeared. I still don’t know if our harassers did something to her, or if some accident befell her while she was out in the woods (although it seems like her body would have been found if that were the case.) I’ll probably never know.

This has been a relatively short account of our experiences; my mother kept a detailed journal (which I now have) of the individual episodes of harassment. However, I think this has been enough to show what we went through.

I am now in college in Upstate New York, and am attending a Catholic church. As I said, I have not been harassed much, although there are occasional instances of street theater or odd comments. But even that has been getting more and more rare. Actually, one of the most recent of these events came just after I first looked at your site. I don’t know what I hope to accomplish by posting this—I guess I just want some contact with others who know it’s going on. Also, I’d like to hear about any current attempts to get help with it, or any forums or mailing lists it might be useful to join. Anyone who’s had an experience like mine, or who has questions or comments, please e-mail me at

Received 02-10-2004