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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.

Vendetta.

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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