The Techniques and Ethics of Revenge
by The Last Viking
"If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you
poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"
- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice.
"Oh people, know that you have committed great sins. If you ask me what
proof I have for these words, I say it is because I am the punishment of
God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a
punishment like me upon you!"
- Genghis Khan, Bukhara 1220
Have you ever been cheated? Been a victim of a scam? Been unfairly treated?
Or simply just been harassed by someone? When you can't get remedy from your
offender, and the justice system fails, the thought of revenge increases and
becomes an obsession. You start to plan your retaliation. Questions such as,
"What to do? And how to do it?" start to pop up in your head, and you may
not be able to find answers in the normal world. Your next stop should then
be The Avenger's Front Page, which is dedicated solely to this issue.
About five years ago, I wrote a little text on revenge strategies. The
unnamed file was about 4K back then, but today it is over 130K and it is
The Avenger's Handbook.
A few weeks after the newsgroup
had been created, in late '93, I saw the need to consolidate all the good
ideas and schemes being posted there. I dedicated each scheme to it's
perpetrator, and from that moment the handbook expanded into a big,
collaborative book, written by hundreds of authors.
It eventually became apparent that I couldn't post the handbook to the
newsgroup every week. I had to find a way to make it publicly available
without wasting too much bandwidth. After messing around with FTP sites for
a while, our University finally managed to put up a Web server, and then I
distributed TAFP through the Web.
In addition to
The Avenger's Handbook
, TAFP features
a long range of revenge texts. Most of these texts were written and uploaded
to underground BBSs during the mid and late '80s, later to be spread by the
underground elements of the Internet. Naturally, there are also references
to related sites, such as bookstores, suppliers, private investigators and
useful tools for vengeance on the Internet.
As the page gained popularity, I noticed that people were classifying it in
the "underground" category. I found this peculiar, since I was only trying
to help people on their mission of vengeance. After some reflection, I
realized that revenge also had a dark side, and that it could be abused in a
highly destructive manner. This, and a period where users in the newsgroup
were talking about methods to kill animals, triggered the writing of the
"Ethics of Revenge,"
which can be found on my site.
In "Ethics of Revenge"
I clearly state that responsibility is put upon the
shoulders of an avenger. An avenger is acting as the jury, judge and the
executor and must realize that that demands accountability. One of the key
elements to remember is that the magnitude of the revenge should fit the
crime. I also emphasize that one should wait a while before doing anything,
as the old adage that "revenge is a dish best served cold" is very wise. It
is also important to think through the consequences of ones actions; be
prepared to do the time for the crime.
There are many ways to get your revenge. The simplest ways are where you cut
up a few car tires or throw eggs at the offender's house. There are more
complex, creative and customized ones, such as sending a fax mimicking
internal diagnostic messages like "System Error 1207: Internal controller
failure. Turn the machine off and contact your dealer" to the business who
screwed you. Armed with a Social Security number, you can help your target
to fill out his tax forms. Don't forget to put a little extra on his income
section, and while you're at it, throw some anti-tax or anti-government
profanities in there as well.
People come to alt.revenge for several reasons.
You have the regulars who
are there to explore the humor and creativity often found in a good revenge
scheme. These people help another demographic, those who seek advice on how
to get even with their offenders. There are also destructive people whose
only goal is to hurt and play pranks on innocent people; we usually ignore
them, or direct them away from alt.revenge.
The newsgroup also has the
typical problems of the constant stream of spammers, flamers and
cross-posters. The answer to that? Well, we ARE alt.revenge.
We know how to
Revenge is about liberating yourself from a degrading treatment or an
unacceptable situation. It is not evil, and I feel it is justified, because
one can't lay down and accept all the abuse caused by violators all around.
The Avenger's Front Page can be found at