Illinois moms arrested for refusing 'smart meters'

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Jennifer Stahl (left) and Malia “Kim” Bendis (right) arrested in upscale Chicago suburb for protesting and preventing installation of smart meter. Mug shot via Naperville Police.

Two Naperville, Ill. moms were arrested on Wednesday after protesting the installation of smart meters, the electric company’s new meter technology which allows the utility company to monitor electric usage though wireless technology.

Jennifer Stahl was one of the moms arrested after she reportedly interfered with a police officer after she stood in front of her old meter to prevent the utility company from installing the new one. Stahl reportedly kept her back yard locked down with warning signs throughout her property in effort to stop the installation of a smart meter.

Another neighborhood mom, Malia “Kim” Bendis was also arrested for eavesdropping and resisting a police officer. Bendis also video-taped the incident.

It is not clear why the women are so adamantly opposed to the meters, but several groups have organized throughout the U.S., opposing the meters for several reasons. Opponents believe the new devices are a violation of privacy, allowing the electric company to spy and micromanage their electric usage at any given time. Other complaints have to do with health concerns. Opponents also believe the devices carry a high level of radiation from the RF (Radio Frequency) technology, which they claim to be a carcinogenic. These claims have been disputed by several studies which determined the radio frequency exposure to be below FCC guidelines.


An organization called the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the forced installation of these new meters. Ms. Stahl is a part of the lawsuit and believes the utility company should wait until the court hears their case before proceeding with the rest of the meter installations.

Jen Stahl claims that she has a right to refuse the new meters, as the device is on her property. Naperville police say that Ms. Stahl needs to take her objections to court or file a complaint with the city, but she cannot prevent utility workers from doing their jobs, as she has been doing for the last two years in the upscale community outside of Chicago. The utility company says that they have jurisdiction over their equipment in any given community and that residents agree to allow for equipment upgrades, maintenance and access when they buy their homes.

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  • Natalie

    Thankful to these moms for resisting! They should be the ones to say what is in their homes and what is not-it isn’t up to a power company or the government to tell them what goes in their house.

    • What goes in the house, yes. What kind of meter the power company puts on the end of the power company’s wires, not so much. see my post on the issue.

      • Natalie

        If that is the power companies position and they were violating whatever contract you are asserting they had then the power should have been shut-off, they should not have been arrested by the police! That is ridiculous. It will be interesting to see what the courts say.

      • Wolfgang Eddy

        Really??? Health hazards do not matter because the big boys have control of the energy sources? Too bad men like Edison got to make the choices for all of us. Had Tesla had his way we wouldn’t be slaves to these rich power hungry elitists! Check your history: Edison made sure Tesla would be seen as a kook because god forbid we have FREE ENERGY eh?? In fact, Edison had thugs who went around destroying the reputation and work of other scientists to ensure his status. He even killed cats and dogs via electrocution during public demonstrations at that time in history (everything was so new and people didn’t know better) to turn people against Tesla’s work.

  • I think there is a dividing line here which is not being considered.
    Your contract with the electricity company (which may also be the city in some cases) states that they own everything up to and including the meter, and that you must permit them access to it. It’s also reasonable that they should have access to the wires and meters as needed for maintenance and readings.
    Concomittant with those rights, should be the ability of the power company to change the meter when better technology becomes available: Cheaper, more accurate, drive-by readings….
    Where it gets tricky is in the ability of the meter to provide real time intelligence on your electricity usage, and the power company’s ability to selectively shut off power to avoid a system overload and wider disruptions.
    Where it gets Orwellian is in the ability to monitor and control appliances – adjust thermostats, delay washing machines and dryers, etc.
    Done properly, this can be a win-win: You get a discount, they get some degree of control. EG My heat pumps get cut price electricity, but the company can shut the circuit off for up to two hours during peak periods – it’s a pretty rare event. (The rest of my home is on a slightly higher price, and no interruptions.)
    Done badly, you get this kind of mess, where homeowners get no benefit, and the town calls in the jackboots. Way to go, Stalin!

    • Wolfgang Eddy

      This IS the brave new world my friend. Prepare yourself because its going to get even crazier and sooner than we all had hoped.

  • Roy Martin

    They have a right to upgrade equipment, but if the equipment has a potential health hazard, and invasion of privacy, their rights become null and void.

    • Wolfgang Eddy

      I concur!!!!

  • Wolfgang Eddy

    why are these mothers being featured on this site as ‘imperfect parents’??? I hail them as great parents for standing up against this crap!!!! It IS clear why the mothers refused this article simply isn’t informing readers! As much as Alex Jones of infowars dot com annoys me, he is giving the full story which I am sure was available had the author of this article bothered to include that info! One of the mothers has a chronically ill daughter and is concerned the meter (which have been implicated in a variety of health concerns and privacy concerns) would cause her child further health issues. WAKE UP YOU DRONES!! The powers that be think you are IDIOTS. Maybe YOU ARE after all???

  • Curtis Bennett

    This is a horrible situation but these 2 women should be applauded for their courage and should be on a website the perfect parent.

    This website referring to several studies being below FCC Guidelines isn’t including the FCC guidelines only considered the smart meter as the end use device. They left out the rest of the wireless circuit communicating with the meter. Did you know the routers, relays, collectors, antennas and other wireless radiation devices weren’t included but they are blanketing the whole city with frequencies. Texas Oncor states their smart meter routers cover an average of 5 sq. miles and one collector 125 sq. miles.

    These frequencies go through buildings and people which makes them a frequency weapon as applied. The FCC Guidelines considered humans as tissue heating and didn’t include the bio electricity of the body. Safety Guidelines state that stimulation of tissue is to be avoided, it can lead to nerve and muscle depolarization. That is an EMF trigger which affects the nervous, hormonal and immune systems. The dangers of these frequencies is lectured in medical education now for education credits required for ongoing medical licensing and applicable in 50 states.

    These frequencies are illegal as applied and topping that off, did you know they have laborers with a few hours training swapping out those meters? They sneak on the property and don’t inform the home owner, swap out the meter under electrical load and start fires plus cause electrical problems. Shame on Naperville Council, their utility and the police because they should arrest the installers. The FCC does not have the jurisdiction or mandate to radiate entire cities to communicate with a “smart meter”. Lawyers need to know the law has changed, here is a letter for a municipality and applicable to all municipalities. For the doubters, consider this. The FCC uses the Specific Absorption Rate for safety, have you seen this ridiculous test? It is a plastic model of a head with a temperature probe in the top, they left out the radiation infrastructure hitting you, your family, building, investment, agriculture, etc. Protect your homes, the municipality is going to have liabilities as will the utility. Police, remember this, your own families are being radiated with a frequency weapon as applied. It is illegal now. Electrical professionals DO NOT blast frequencies around that go through everything.