It is a sign that you are taking actions which challenge the existing power relationships in your community, and that those with power want you to back off.
Consider what prejudices you bring to the table as much as what this person might bring.You’re quiet and don’t speak up to avoid being attacked. This person might even be a subordinate – somebody who works for you (believe me, this happens more than you might think.) You probably sense a lack of ‘parity’– that you don’t have the right to engage with this person at the same level. Or this person could be a colleague – someone who uses clever words and exerts personal power or expert power that you believe you can’t compete with.Though ignoring them might seem like the easiest way out, we often have to speak to the people who we most want to avoid.Whatever your situation, you can learn to speak with confidence by boosting your self esteem, being assertive, and overcoming your feelings of intimidation.The purpose of this "persecution" tactic is to weaken your group’s ability or desire to act. REFUSE TO DEAL WITH LEADERSTreating leaders of your group as nuts, or trivializing them as a bunch of “ufo crazies” or “extremists.” This is designed to reveal weakness in your leaders and to isolate them from the other members of your group. ISOLATE THE GROUPGetting public officials, community leaders, or opinion makers (newspaper editors, for example) to criticize the group’s actions, make false accusations or paint its leaders as crazy radicals.