Category Archives: For the sceptical general public

How it works


by Philip Kerr

Purpose of this document

1. This document is just a summary of the “big picture”.

2. MI5 have been harassing me unlawfully, in various ways, for more than eleven years now.

3. I believe that MI5’s motive for harassing me was, in the past, to coerce me into behaving as they wanted me to behave at the time. They wanted me not to disclose what I had come to know about MI5’s activities, to certain associates of mine in those days. Instead they wanted me to become an informer of MI5’s who was working against the interests of my then associates.

4. I believe that the present day harassment of me is mostly no longer for any such straightforward purpose, which might even have been a borderline lawful purpose at the relevant time.

5. Nowadays, I believe, my continued harassment, more-or-less right up to the present day, is mostly conducted merely in order to punish me, for not having co-operated knowingly with MI5 in the past when they wanted me to, thus wrecking an expensive operation of theirs that I had come to realise had already involved me unwittingly for several years. I am nowadays still being punished for having refused to be “turned” when MI5 attempted unsuccessfully to turn me, eleven or so years ago.

6. Subsequently MI5 communicated to me that I would “pay for this for the rest of [my] life”, straight after I had declined an invitation even to meet with MI5.

7. This report’s purpose is to assist the reader to understand the form which MI5’s present-day harassment of me takes.


8. In a nutshell, in recent years MI5 has harassed me by

(a) still keeping me under surveillance that invades my privacy, long after this would have ceased to serve any useful and (more to the point) lawful purpose which it might once have served, from MI5’s point of view


(b) organising countless incidents in my everyday life, more-or-less right up to the present day, which incidents continually remind me that my privacy is still being invaded, and which sometimes taunt me in other ways.


Overt, privacy-invasive surveillance

9. I am continually subjected to privacy-invasive surveillance at home, in my car, in hotel rooms, and elsewhere. This isn’t covert surveillance, that is used discreetly. It is overt surveillance. I am intended to realise that this surveillance is still happening!

10. I obviously cannot usually tell directly that this overt surveillance is actually happening. For that, I would have to discover and reverse-engineer any advanced technology that was compromising the privacy of my domestic conversations, and my email, phone, text messaging and other communications. However, I can sensibly infer that my privacy is compromised – as can my witnesses – simply from the fact that other harassment of me more-or-less proves that MI5 must have intimate and up-to-date knowledge of my private life. Such knowledge could only be acquired by subjecting me to privacy-invasive surveillance.

11. Others beside myself have witnessed some of this other harassment, and have also been able to interpret it exactly as I do, without my necessarily even having to suggest those interpretations to them.

Other harassment that proves that overt, privacy-invasive surveillance is happening

12. I and those working with me have taken to using the term “theatre” to describe the harassment that I and they have witnessed directly. The purpose of such “theatre” incidents is to ensure that I, the victim, become and remain aware that I am still under overt, privacy-invasive surveillance, even though the “theatre” incidents don’t typically do me any other harm.

13. “Theatre” may be defined as any manifestation of human behaviour or the display of objects (“props”) to the victim that is comparatively harmless in itself, but which is maliciously intended to engage the victim’s attention, suggesting to the victim that the harasser’s purpose is to make the victim aware that the manifestation or display is intentional, conducted on the part of the perpetrator, and (most importantly!) informed by up-to-date information about the victim’s private life which the harasser could only have obtained by means of privacy-invasive surveillance of the victim.

14. Incidents that fall within the above definition of “theatre” have been witnessed independently by others, not just by me myself when I have been alone.

15. The other harassment of me (the so-called “theatre”) that reminds me frequently that I am still under almost constant overt and privacy-invasive surveillance, typically shares four characteristics in common:

  • Deniability: There could sometimes be an innocent (though unlikely) explanation for what is witnessed.
  • Incongruity: The incident is unusual, and/or out of place.
  • Relevance: Relevance, that is, of the content of incidents to the contexts of the incidents (for example, private conversations I have recently had that must have been eavesdropped, in order for the content of the incidents to be so relevant to their private-life contexts).
  • Timing: The incidents each happen at a particular time. For example, the early incidents of dead rats being left where I would see them, specifically on those dates when I was making arrangements to visit a certain associate of mine, in order to warn him about certain facts that I had learnt, about the activities and intentions of MI5.

16. The impression intentionally created by the combination of deniability, incongruity, relevance and timing of even the most recent incidents of harassment, is that I am still under privacy-invasive surveillance more-or-less all the time, in my homes, in my car, in hotel rooms, etc; together with the impression intentionally created that MI5 remains determined that I should never be allowed forget that this total loss of privacy is still being inflicted upon me.

17. Occasionally, the incidents engineered go further than this. They also communicate to me that MI5 is still attempting to modify my behaviour to suit their desires, for example by my deciding after all not to meet with this or that associate of mine whom I had decided to meet.


18. I receive my fair share of what superficially resemble “junk” or “spam” emails. Disproportionately many of these have conveyed context-related content, from which I and other witnesses present when the emails arrived have also been able to make unprompted, rational inferences that MI5 controls the timing of the arrival of some or all of the suspicious emails, and probably also some of the content of the emails, and that MI5 undertakes this manipulation for the purposes of communicating with me deniably, in a harassing manner.

19. Some of the apparent senders of spam emails, when asked to remove me from their mailing lists, have replied saying that I was not on their mailing lists in the first place. This suggests that spam emails that appeared to come from these senders, were actually synthetic, not authentic.

Tampered-with output of televisions and radios

20. I (and others with me at the relevant times) have witnessed countless communications through my several radios and television sets, in my homes, in hotel rooms, and in my car. I cannot reasonably be expected to explain how MI5 is able to deliver such messages to me (and to my fellow witnesses of such incidents) through my radios and TV sets. But it is obvious to me and these others that this is happening. It is certainly possible that the output from my radios and televisions could be caused sometimes to be different from that received by members of the general public who are tuned in to the same radio or TV stations as me, at the same time. I am receiving content tailored for my personal consumption.

Apparently scripted conversations conducted in my presence

21. With the obvious intention of being overheard, and of the messages intended for me being received and understood, those whom I (and sometimes other witnesses who were with me during the incidents) have sensibly inferred to be agents working for MI5, have often conducted incongruous conversations within my earshot or directly with me. This has happened in public places, such as restaurants and bars. For example, the day on which the first to be killed of many of the trees in my gardens that have been poisoned since that date, a couple of strangers struck up a conversation with me in a restaurant and bar in Bali, with the incongruous words, “It’s a pity they’re killing all the trees now, isn’t it?” (or closely similar words to that effect.)

“Theatre” using “props” (objects)

22. My homes, hotel rooms and vehicles are often entered, without visible damage, during my absence. The intruders move or remove possessions of mine, or leave behind objects that are not mine when they leave. The objects chosen to be moved, removed or left behind, typically have significance, in the context of events in my private life at the time that those directing the intruders could not possibly ascertain without surveillance that invaded my privacy.

23. In other carefully timed incidents, objects that are relevant to (say) events, plans or conversations in my private life (of which MI5 could only have learnt by conducting privacy-invasive surveillance) have been left where I will discover them, or have been displayed to me.

24. Thus and otherwise, engineered incidents have reminded me repeatedly that I remain under privacy-invasive surveillance. This is still going on, a decade or so after this would have ceased to serve any useful purpose, from MI5’s point of view, other than the lifelong extra-judicial punishment of myself. Such punishment was threatened. Punishment is clearly an unlawful purpose.

25. I (and often others) are able to infer privacy-invasive surveillance from the relatedness of the content of incidents, to information about my recent private life in the immediate temporal contexts of incidents. MI5 could only have acquired such information by conducting privacy-invasive surveillance of me throughout the hours or minutes before each incident.

Noise and sleep deprivation

26. More-or-less every night of my life, my sleep is disturbed by sound effects that can be heard in my bedroom, clicking sounds, tapping, knocking noises, even the ubiquitous sound of an owl hooting, not just at home, but when staying in hotels.


27. The cumulative effect of all the harassment, is such that it is no exaggeration to claim that this amounts to a type of torture. Many days of my life, the harassment is full-on 24/7.

Rooks -v- crooks

(Note added 24 July 2017: Since this post was published, in 2016 the crow reappeared at a different address, where we were putting together the evidence for the IPT.  Its antics were captured on video, several times, and the videos supplied to the IPT along with the other evidence.)


Who says MI5 couldn’t use a trained rook or crow to harass a target?

There’s a great deal more to Philip Kerr’s harassment claim against MI5 than just the trained rook or crow of the tabloid headlines that ceased making its appearances abruptly in 2006.  This and every single other harassing course of conduct alleged, up to the present day, has included incidents that others besides Mr Kerr himself have witnessed.  These include more familiar methods of harassment, such as sleep deprivation and “theatre”.  The timing of incidents (including the historic crow or rook incidents from 2003 to 2006) has typically coincided with Phil having recently had conversations about sensitive matters.

MI5 attempted to get Mr Kerr’s case struck out without a public hearing in open court.  They have failed.  There will be a public hearing. on 2nd February 2014.
See also