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Don't get mad ... get even!
© 1998 S.L. Goldman
Latent in every man is a venom of amazing bitterness, a black resentment; something that curses and loathes life, a feeling of being trapped, of having trusted and been fooled, of being the helpless prey of impotent rage, blind surrender, the victim of a savage ruthless power that gives and takes away, enlists a man, drops him, promises and betrays and -- crowning injury -- inflicts on him the humiliation of feeling sorry for himself. [~] Paul Valery
This week I want to talk about a subject that is near and dear to me, and I think -- if you're honest -- you'll admit is near and dear to most all of us. That subject is revenge.
I happen to be a firm believer in revenge (depending, of course, upon the circumstances). I first encountered this aspect of my psyche at a very early age. The third grade, to be precise. It went something like this:
As I was walking down the hall after class, a kid (I never knew his name) stuck out his foot and tripped me. I went sprawling, my books and papers flying everywhere. Unfortunately, the incident took place right in front of a group of kids which happened to include a girl who I had a terrible crush on. I was so humiliated by finding myself on the ground (in front of her!) that when I got up, I gathered my stuff, turned and fled the scene without so much as a single thought of confronting my adversary. All I wanted to do was get out of there.
Lying awake in my bed that night, I replayed the incident over and over again in my mind. And then, something odd took place. Something emerged -- a strange new feeling which literally burned in my breast. At the time I didn't have a name for it, though today it's quite clear what it was. The feeling that overcame me that night was one of man's most ancient, deep-seated emotions; the desire for vengeance.
Apparently the fates were with me. The following Saturday I was at an afternoon matinee with some of my buddies. As the lights came on for intermission, I looked in front of me and -- lo and behold -- there he was! The kid.
What I did was quite simple. Without so much as a word of warning, I got him in a choke hold and began strangling him. When I heard the proper gurgling sounds beginning to emerge from his throat, I leapt over the seat and got him on the floor, where I began bonking his head onto the cement floor. Bonk! Bonk! Bonk! Oh, I'm telling you people, never had anything sounded so sweet!
Now in point of fact, this incident doesn't truly qualify as "revenge" per se. Because for an act of vengeance to be pure, one must allow a sufficient amount of time to lapse between the wrong done you and the moment of retribution. Or, as the old adage goes; "revenge is a dish best served cold." However, my act of retribution was pure in the most elemental sense in that it was absolutely ferocious, single-minded, and without remorse. This is the state of mind you must maintain once you decide to seek revenge. If you don't, you're bound to fail in your mission.
A short time out. Those of you who are saying "How could you?" or "How inhuman!" are advised to leave now. I have neither the time nor the patience to deal with "turn the other cheek" proponents. Sorry. My point-of-view is simply this: Every day that you exist on this earth, you are a (potential) victim for a plethora of stupid, ignorant, cruel and heartless people. People who not only couldn't care less whether you live or die, but people who won't think twice about stepping on you in order to get what they want. You can talk about peace and love all you want, but sooner or later -- whether it's a greedy landlord, a dishonest car mechanic, the bully who calls himself your "boss" or a lover who's two-timed you -- someone's going to screw you over to the point that you burn with the desire to get even. And when the laws of justice, karma, etc., are too slow for you, there's only one recourse left.
There are innumerable ways of getting even. Let us first deal with the legal method, which can, in fact, be tremendously satisfying. I sue people quite frequently -- in particular if the case falls within the purview of the small claims court (the one arm of our legal system which operates fairly smoothly).
I remember the first time I ever sued someone, a well-known recording artist who failed to pay for me for several recording sessions and TV shows I'd done with him. (I was a professional musician before I got into this racket.) Everyone told me that countless others had tried to sue this particular individual and nobody, as yet, had ever succeeded. I paid them no mind. I spent months documenting my case, collecting evidence, digging up dirt on the guy. Looking back, I can say these were absolutely some of the most enjoyable months of my life! I was completely obsessed by my work. The notion that I might fail never entered my mind.
When I filed suit several months later (the damages in this case were beyond the limit of the small claims court), in addition to having a virtual mountain of evidence, I had enough dirt on the guy to write a book!
The case never made it to court. When my opponent's counsel got the monstrous stack of replies to their interrogatories, he must've advised his client he had no hope of winning, because a settlement offer was quickly forthcoming. Actually, I was kind of disappointed. But my attorney told me to take the money, and (somewhat begrudgingly) I followed his advice. But you know what? It wasn't getting the money that was so satisfying. It was the fact that I'd relentlessly pursued my quarry and nailed him.
Unfortunately, more often than not, the legal system is either too slow, too inept, or too crooked to be of value. If you believe that our court system is about "justice," in my humble POV, you're a fool. Sorry ... ain't no such animal. In any event, if you're planning to sue someone in civil court, think very hard before you do so, because you're about to embark upon a full-time job. Even if your case is totally righteous, you probably stand less than a fifty percent chance of winning (especially if your opponent has more money than you do). I'm not saying don't do it. I'm just saying ... you're engaging in a gamble, at best.
If you decide the court system is not for you, it's time to resort to other tactics. Fortunately, because of the work I do, I've come to befriend a goodly number of people who operate on the fringes of the law -- bounty hunters, PI's, snitches, bodyguards, bail bondsmen (not to mention an amazing array of sleazeball attorneys). I got one of my most valuable pieces of advice from one of these men, the well-known bounty hunter, "Pappa" Ralph Thorson (RIP). Over a warm coke (Pappa's favorite drink), one summer's afternoon, "the Hunter" let me in on one of his trade secrets. "The telephone is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal," he told me. I can readily attest to the truth of this statement. (This conversation took place in the pre-computer era, so everything I am about to say goes for the computer as well.)
Consider the fact that with a simple phone call, you can enter into a person's home, and -- if you have even a modicum of acting ability -- convince them that you are anybody you choose to be. In the course of my work, both as a journalist and as a private investigator, I have posed as a "concerned" citizen, a cop, the representative of a credit card company, an insurance salesman, a phone company repairman, a psychiatrist, a talent agent, a film producer, a priest, and a potential cult devotee -- to name only a few.
In using this methodology (commonly known as the "pretext call") you are tapping into one of man's deepest pieces of conditioning: the belief that you are who you say you are. The telephone is the ideal instrument for getting people to reveal things about themselves (or others) that they wouldn't normally discuss. This tactic is called "digging up dirt" on your mark, and make no mistake: it is one of the most important parts of your job. Information is power. Bottom line: whoever does his homework the most religiously comes out on top.
However, there is another -- more direct -- use of the telephone (and/or modem), and that is harassment. If this is your choice, you'll find that, with a little imagination, a wealth of possibilities suddenly open up. Consider; with a simple phone call you can send taxis, salesmen, pizzas, strip-o-grams, cops, religious fanatics and prostitutes to your mark's house. (If the latter is your choice, make sure she arrives when his wife is home.) You can charge Western Union messages, candy-grams, etc to his home phone number, have his utilities shut off, his car towed away ... even have his house moved while he's on vacation. (I actually know someone who did this). If you have three-way calling, you can connect two parties who have no desire to talk to each other. This is lots of fun. (Be sure to have your tape-recorder rolling), then sit back and enjoy the show. As I'm sure you're beginning to see, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Another way to get to your victim is via the mail. Having porn magazines (particularly ones involving S&M, water sports, and kiddie porn) sent to someone's house will not exactly endear him to his wife and family. Or do it in reverse. Mail the porn out to innocent people, using envelopes that bear your mark's home address. Then, posing as the "victim," call the Postal Inspector and report him.
Having tons of junk mail delivered (just rip out the coupons from magazines and fill them out in his name) will not only cause your mark's mailbox to be cluttered with crap, but he'll be hounded by bill collectors when he fails to pay. Of course, with the simple filing of change of a change of address form, (available at your local post office), you can have someone's mail diverted to an address in Gnome, Alaska. Imagine the inconvenience of having all your personal mail, bills, checks, etc. lost somewhere in the bowels of the system.
A word of warning. When revenge crosses the line into illegal turf -- and forgery of someone's name, as well as abuse of the mails is definitely illegal (bigtime felony) -- you'd better think twice. Let's be clear: I am not advocating the use of any of these methods. I am simply pointing out that they exist.
The best type of revenge is where you don't physically encounter your victim. If a sufficient amount of time has lapsed between the misdeed done to you, he probably won't even know it's you that's hounding him. However, if a physical confrontation with your mark (or his property) is necessary, it's still possible to get other people to do the work for you.
Example: Recently, a couple of Mexicans insisted on parking a dilapidated old junker in front of my house. Basically, they were living out of the thing, as far as I could tell. Once it became clear they were intending on sticking around, I politely asked them to park somewhere else, but all I got was "no comprende." Week after week, this abomination remained parked in the same spot. During the day, the owners would work on it, leaving the surrounding area littered with beer cans and McDonald's wrappers. When it came time to relieve themselves, they availed themselves of my lawn.
One evening, in a fury, I dumped a full load of garbage into the vehicle (it didn't have a roof!). But these pigs didn't even seem to notice! Finally, I called the police and asked to have it towed away. I was informed that it would take 4 to 6 weeks before any action could be taken.
That evening, when no one was around, I released the vehicle's emergency brake, whereupon I rolled it into the middle of the street. Unfortunately it continued rolling, and eventually wound up halfway on the sidewalk across the street. I then called the police and said, "I'd like to report a car parked on the sidewalk." Forty-five minutes later, I watched as a tow-truck hauled the hideous atrocity off to the impound garage. So much for Cisco and Pancho.
The last resort in any revenge scenario is confronting your victim personally. If you want to inflict physical damage on someone and don't want to do it yourself, you can always hire someone to do it for you. Hiring muscle is fairly easy. Hired muscle can be used as a scare tactic, or to inflict physical damage to the mark. You can even -- for anywhere between $500 and $3000 -- have someone killed. A look through the classified ads in the back of magazines like Soldier Of Fortune will reveal ads for mercenaries and hit men (though the language is generally couched) for hire. Just be careful that you don't hire yourself an undercover cop or an FBI agent!
If you feel that you'll only attain satisfaction by doing the deed yourself, you'd better make sure you're ready. Learn how to fight -- and to fight dirty. Forget 99 percent of the stuff they teach you in most martial arts schools. You go out into the street and try to make use of that junk and you're gonna get your butt whipped. There are only a couple of moves one needs: a nice short left hook (best delivered before your opponent expects it) to the chin or bridge of the nose, or a straight front kick -- preferably delivered below the waist.
As for weapons, mace and/or pepper spray is largely useless (it only works in 60 percent of all cases) and most of the other stuff -- nunchucks, saps, retractable batons, even your good ol' Buford Pusser-style baseball bat -- are felonies. (In fact, you're better off carrying a gun; that's only a misdemeanor!) However, a roll of pennies (quarters are preferable) rolled up in your fist can do amazing things to someone's cheekbone. Even a rolled up magazine can inflict massive amounts of damage, if you know how to use it properly.
As I said before, physical violence is a last resort. There are so many other ways of getting even. Because of my work, I have a certain built in advantage, which is called "the power of the press." Most people are terrified of having things they don't want known about themselves printed in a newspaper or magazine. Many times when people learn what I do, they immediately ask: "You're not going to print something negative about me, are you?" Generally I advise them that as far as I'm concerned, nothing is ever "off the record." My only faith is to the story. Other times -- as in infiltrating certain cults -- I convince my mark that I'm going to write a "positive piece." A closed mouth and a blissful smile goes a long way ... especially when you're dealing with Pod People.
Once they get rolling, most people are blabbermouths. Everybody wants to tell you their story. You've simply got to learn which buttons to push. Once you've got that down, shut up (injecting the proper grunts and nods of the head at appropriate moments) and they'll tell you everything you want to know ... and more.
Remember -- everyone is a potential victim. No man is an island. Nobody is off-limits, I don't care how big or powerful they are (just look at ol' Bill!). People are attached to all kinds of things -- bank accounts, credit bureaus, court records, telephone bills, families, former relationships, The list is endless. The paper trail is always there. (Sometimes it's just a little harder to find than others.) Most of the technological devices people rely upon to exist (the phone, their computers, credit cards, the mail) can -- with a simple twist -- become the instruments of their undoing.
A final word of admonition: I am not suggesting using any of the aforementioned methods. There are laws operating in the universe (laws other than "man's laws"), and if you embark upon a campaign of harassment or revenge without just cause, chances are you'll suffer for it in the future. Revenge should come into play only when an unforgivable wrong (that's right, I believe in forgiveness. Go figure!) -- an evil -- is done to you. I suggest that you seriously consider the "big picture" before embarking upon the path of vengeance. However, if (after you've had time to cool down and think things out) you conclude that you are truly justified, I repeat: you must be completely merciless in your actions. You must adopt a total kamikaze mentality. Literally, nothing short of death should forestall your mission. To those of you who find yourself in this posture, I say ... happy hunting!
Following are a few books I recommend to help you along your way: "Techniques Of Harassment" Volumes 1 and 2, Desert Publications, Corneville, AZ; "The Muckraker's Manual," Loompanics Unlimited, Port Townsend, WA; "Street Fighting -- America's Martial Art," George Carpenter, Desert Publications; "Might Makes Right," Ragnar Redbeard, Loompanics, Unlimited; "Poison Pen Letters," Keith Wade, Loompanics Unlimited; "Your Check Is In The Mail," Goldman, Franklin, Pepper, Workman Publishing, NY.
Finally, I'd like to recommend what is undoubtedly the deadliest book of all, a manual entitled "Secrets Of The Super Snoopers." This deadly little tome, written by a legendary private investigator who was known to those of us in the business as "the king of the information brokers," has, until now, never been available to general public. It was sold "underground" (at an unbelievably high price) and only to those in "the trade." Currently, my website is THE ONLY place that this book can be purchased. (If you need more info, drop me an e-mail).
JUST CALL THE HITMAN: The one big mistake which most people who embark upon a campaign of revenge make (and this has been proven time and again), is in doing the deed themselves. Most people simply are not capable of thinking out their plan well enough to cover their all their tracks. In this instance, you may achieve some temporary satisfaction, only to find yourself confronted at your own doorstep by your mark, or perhaps even the cops!
There's a fine line between pranksterism and revenge. I don't know exactly where it lies, but I know it's there. There are a number of sites you can find on the 'Net that'll help you out if you want to "prank" somebody. They'll send him a bouquet of dead flowers ... that kind of stuff. However, if you find yourself thirsting for payback that goes beyond the bounds of pranksterism, you are welcome to contact my company, Hitman Productions. Simply send an email to the address below and put "hitman" in the header. Outline your situation (briefly, please), and one of our representatives will be in contact with you. And, just in case any of you Feds or other government buttboys are reading these words, let me state for the record: neither myself, nor any of my associates. nor anyone at my company will engage in any illegal activities in bringing this service to the public. So, bug off!
As for the rest of you good folks ... please click on the banner below to have a look at (some of) my books, tapes, videos, etc. I think you'll find some cool stuff there. And for those of you who've been asking, yes, "The Tongue" is coming! Patience, guys. Also, I want to remind you that "The Tongue" is currently seeking a webmaster, proof-readers and editors (experienced only). We are also actively soliciting writers to submit original story ideas, as well as potential columnists. Moreover, unlike our pal Matt Drudge, "The Tongue" pays for tips and story leads (if these leads turn out to be verifiable and a story is published). So, with that last bit of hype, friends, I bid you a fond adieu until next time.
And remember -- in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!
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