Richard Brittain is a champion on Countdown (a British gameshow) as well as a self-published author. He's also, apparently, very good at being a complete and utter creepy stalker.
A friend of mine on Twitter linked to one of his blog posts and I have to admit, it is one of the most chilling, creepy depictions of stalking I've ever read. In it Brittain blithely torments and stalks a woman who he invited to be on his BBC University Challenge team in college.
The post, entitled "The Benevolent Stalker" (*full body shudder*) reads like something out of Stephen King and it's horrifying that it isn't fiction. Brittain details inappropriate advances he made toward this woman, how he relentlessly sent her letters and gifts and traveled all the way to Scotland to see her, all in the name of love. You see, he thought he was being romantic.
Determined to impress her and get our team onto TV, I intensively revised my general knowledge. I also frequented the student bar where she worked. I figured out what hours she did each day and went at those times.
A couple of weeks before our University Challenge audition, she unfriended me on Facebook. I was a little shocked and asked her why.
"You're kinda freaking me out," she explained. "You're a good guy but you're being far too forward."
Our Casanova is not deterred! She just don't understand how much he cares about her!
I wrote love letters to her. I still had her address from the forms that she filled out for University Challenge. I felt a bit guilty using that information, but I wasn't turning up at her door or anything. I sent a few love letters through the post, rose-themed cards containing poetry and drawings. I also left messages on her phone.
That might seem a bit much, but it felt like I would be denying my love if I did nothing. Eventually, she contacted the police. I was called by a policewoman and told that I had to stop contacting her.
Jesus. Fucking. Christ. On. A. Stick. But wait, it gets even worse!
After that, I thought long and hard about what I was doing. I think that is when I first accepted that I had become a stalker. Before, I had been an admirer. But what does stalking really mean? It seems to mean that you truly love someone who does not love you back.
Every great romance is about two partners who are utterly obsessed with each other. Romeo, Juliet, Tristan and Isolde are people who are so passionately and powerfully in love that nothing else matters to them. But what if that feeling was felt on only one side? What if Juliet had rejected Romeo? Would he become a stalker?
It seems that modern society drools over depictions of this intense, obsessional love, but only when it is mutual. When it comes from just one side, it is suddenly deemed a terrible thing.
YES, YES IT IS, BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING STALKING YOU CREEPY MOTHERFUCKER. He goes on to use Sting's "I'll Be Watching You" as an example of something that MIGHT be stalking but is clearly just obsessive love "which is both natural and beautiful". This is absolutely terrifying.
Benevolent stalking is different to malevolent stalking. The latter is intended to cause harm or induce fear, but the former is purely an expression of affection.
He goes on to describe how she tried to PHYSICALLY ESCAPE HIM at their graduation ceremony and how she became his "muse", becoming the main character in his self-published work of fantasy fiction.
This poor woman! She is clearly terrified of him and he keeps going, completely sure that she must love him somehow. It gets EVEN WORSE because he travels to Scotland to ask her IF SHE WANTS TO BE KIDNAPPED.
Seven months later, when it was complete, I decided to try to make my book known by getting into the national news. I found out that she worked in Glasgow, so I travelled there with a plan. I was going to tell her that if she came with me, and we faked a kidnapping, we would both become famous. We would go into the hills and camp out for a few days while the nation searched. I had brought the necessary supplies.
I would like to reiterate that I was not plotting to kidnap her. I was planning on asking her if she would be interested in pretending to be kidnapped, so that we would make the news and people would learn about our story.
Yesterday, I saw her on the street and approached her, and called her name, but she freaked out.
"How?" she said. "How are you here?" She turned and snapped me on her phone before hurrying away.
I didn't even get to tell her about my plan. I didn't want to make a scene because people were staring. I also realised that I didn't have the heart to ask her if she would like to be kidnapped.
I left Glasgow, and I think our relationship is finished now. I gave it my best shot. I really thought that we would both become famous. We would have disappeared for a few days, people would have read my book, and she could have played the lead role when The World Rose is made into a movie. But alas; I'll have to find another way.
YOU THINK YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS FINISHED NOW?! You never had a relationship in the first place you crazy, deranged WEIRDO!
I would love to believe this is fiction (oh god, I so very much want this to be a really bad writing assignment or something) but he even tags the post as "Real Life". I can't. Brittain has absolutely no idea what he's done to this poor woman and casts himself as a downtrodden romantic hero instead of a deeply disturbing stalker. It's a frightening look at the mental hoops a stalker jumps through to rationalize their behavior.
Brittain sounds like a real winner, as his other "Real Life" blog posts detail him getting fired from various jobs (including as a hospital employee who randomly gave out patient x-rays), living in a tent on a golf course and how he doesn't believe in living indoors.
Forget Slenderman creepypasta, this stalker's manifesto is the most terrifying thing I've read in years.