TLDR: I am being targeted by an institution where I previously studied/worked and would like to leave academia entirely without giving anyone the knowledge of where I'm going next.
I finished my master's at a lab where I was one of targets of bullying. I mean, my advisor threatened to lock me up in a room with this other person until an analysis was done his way; I was called all sort of labels by supervisor ; constant rummaging through my personal notebooks and one time journal; gossipping; intentional mischaracterization/relay of information. I asked the supervisor several times for feedback and all I get are positive remarks, which kind of put me in the twilight zone. I was also not allowed to do anything in the lab without the approval of the lab manager, a PhD student, and him. Any suggestions I made were shot down, and some were implemented later without acknowledgement that I had contributed to them. At one point, I asked him why he accepted me because it doesn't look like he needs or wants me here. He said that I'm here to do experiment X and leave. It sounded to me that my role is to be a technician's assistant and not a master's candidate. It also sounded like neither he nor anyone wanted to be my mentor.
The straw that broke the camel's back was when previous supervisor made a racist remark about a group of which I am a member. That emboldened even one of his undergrads to use a racial slur around me. I decided to leave and in retrospect if it weren't for the support of my family and the lab manager, I wouldn't have had the ability to show up to my defense.
The problem is that me leaving triggered a whole other set of events. From my observations, my previous supervisor likes to not allow his students to be independent scientists. That way he can keep them under his control and influence.
He has already sabotaged my application to PhD program at a different school. So I went back to undergrad to change fields. I still missed lab work and needed the money so I applied to work as a technician at a lab there. The head of that lab ended up calling my previous supervisor probably because I left the latter out of the list of references. Since then I have dealt with assumptions from people, cryptic references, dismissive testimonials, outright rudeness from people. In one of my classes, we had to analyze the behaviour of people in a scenario that is verbatim one of my encounters with my previous supervisor. If it were more generic I could have dismissed as coincidence, but really the scenario itself was so nonsensical that I have no confidence asserting that it is common.
I left the second lab after 2 years because I could not trust the people there anymore. Now, I am at a third lab to finish a thesis project for my degree. I thought that this lab would not be connected but recently they had been forging new relationships with close collaborators of previous supervisor. Things were going well at first in the sense there weren't any referential or odd remarks. Recently, however, I'm not so sure I can trust them either.
So here I am. I am jaded and distrustful of anyone who asks me anything personal. I plan to leave academia for good now. But I don't want to leave to live yet the same patterns in industry, and to do that I have to make sure no one can relay where I'm going next. The problem is I don't have a fraction of the manipulation and influence prowess of these professors so I can't convince someone to not disclose or share that information to protect me. Moreover, since it looks like more and more people are being recruited into helping said supervisor, I feel like I'm trapped without references unless I submit to his will.
Has anyone successfully dealt with people like previous supervisor and gotten away from them? Any advice is greatly appreciated.