Consensual kidnapping service, inspired by The Game

Adam Thick, an ex-con who did time for counterfeiting, runs a company called Extreme Kidnapping, which stages consensual kidnappings for fees ranging from $500 to $1000 (he was inspired by the movie The Game).

GQ magazine gave him $1500 to kidnap a writer called Drew Magary and hold him overnight, torturing and terrorizing him to the best of their ability and within the confines of their prior agreement. Magary documented his experiences for the magazine, describing a few moments of real terror, some inadvertent bathos, and a reflective moment at the end where he compared his experience to that of a friend who was kidnapped and held by terrorists. It's a good read:

I heard the hiss of the blowtorch. Someone else in the room—Cody—grabbed my cuffed hands and began prying loose one of my fingers. I could feel the heat from the torch and became momentarily alarmed. Even though this all still felt fake, I tend to recoil from blowtorches.

"Gimme your finger."


He let go and I yanked my hands back. They ripped the tape off my bare skin and led me to a filthy, half-inflated air mattress. They gave me a sip of water, duct-taped my mouth shut, and chained my right leg to a weight bench. Then they left.

More hours passed, and I found myself missing my kidnappers. At least when they were around, things happened. The story advanced. I desperately wished I had brought a friend along, someone I could turn to and say "This sucks" every few minutes.

Kidnapped (Just Kidding!) (via Kottke)

(Image: Kidnapped by Venom - Part 1, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from metrojp's photostream)


  1. I run a company that stages consensual white collar crime. Just send me your credit card details and I’ll take care of everything for you.

  2. The snippet of Jeff Schilling’s email at the end is orders of magnitude more interesting than the rest of the article. If the editor had any sense, fake kidnappings would have been a footnote to an interview with Schilling instead of the other way around.

  3. This is just depraved. With people around the world being kidnapped for real on a daily basis by narcos, terrorists and thugs, and some of them not living to tell the tale, I don’t find the “game” of kidnapping to be entertaining, nor do I want to read an article about it. Wired long ago lost its credibility, but this is a new low.

    1. I know what you mean but the word “depraved” just seems a little too… I don’t know, authentic maybe. I was thinking more along the lines of “inane.”

      I see it more as a comedy premise. Or, I might have already seen it as a comedy. Starring Jamie Kennedy, probably.

        1.  Well, it’s a kind of Rule 34 corollary isn’t it? People just like some really, really weird shit. This is way, way outside my Rule 34 parameters, but it appears there’s a customer base, never mind just DIY enthusiasts…

      1. my roomate’s mom makes $76 every hour on the computer. She has been without a job for six months but last month her paycheck was $13581 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on  Fab99.c­om

    2. Next up, consensual shoplifting.

      “Yup, he just cut the tags off of those jeans…this is so cool.”

    1.  Well, you probably need to work on the marketing and PR a bit there, polish it up and so forth, but that sounds like a perfectly viable enterprise.

    2. Watch out for the competition.  For a low, low $5000, I will send just the empty mason jar and instructions, so the savvy client can self-humiliate in the privacy of their own home.

      1. “The savvy client”?  Naw, know your audience, man.  “That level of service is all you deserve, you lowly slug, you.  You need to earn my pee and until then, all you get is your own.”

    3. For real (I swear): I saw an ad in a Dutch site advertising the services of a “Financial dominatrix”. Apparently, over Skype, she would humiliate the client and tell him how worthless he was, etc, and he would eventually render control of his finances to her.
      For the life of me, I cannot figure out who would even consider her offer…

      1. I’ve seen that there’s a large number of hypnodommes who basically wrap men around their fingers.  They often have big ecommerce sections on their sites where their subs can buy gifts for their mistress.
        I just find it baffling that anybody would willingly hand over that much control to another person, even allowing them to reshape their thinking, memories and personality.
        It’s generally true that hypnosis can’t directly make one do something they wouldn’t normally do, but it can be used to alter the subject’s perceptions of the situations they’re in.  By changing what situation someone thinks they’re in, it can be relatively easy to convince them into doing and believing things they normally wouldn’t.
        But I also have longstanding trust issues, so there’s definitely a large bias in my feelings towards S&M and related kinks.

        1. I know some one who did this from the other side, buying things for a woman he even openly said was an annoying drug addict who literally he just bought things for so she could abuse him. Not, like, in a frustrated-with-his-girlfriend way, but actually that was her role.

          I always wonder how the hell to break into that racket. 

          I’m kind of stuck on the other side of things somehow–. except not intentionally (to the point where if some one shows interest in me in any way anymore I start to immediately fear them because… luck has *not* been my lady).

          1. Wrt hypno, it’s all just conditioning I think.  It seems these guys are looking for mindblowing experiences, and don’t realize that they’re completely handing over the keys to their heads to someone else.  They think it’ll be like a vivid dream or a movie, when really it’s giving someone else root access.  Once they’re in, they’re conditioned to come back, and eventually, these dommes have them totally under control using post hypnotic suggestions.  And of course they insist it’s their own free will, but that’s not really relevant anymore, since their will now is so influenced by the domme, and the domme convinces them that they’re happy to play along.

  4. I’m confident that the vast majority of their clientele derives sexual gratification from the experience. 

    1.  The author of the article was on the Howard Stern show a couple of days ago and he pretty much confirmed that.

  5. Seriously, that’s just messed up. How about consensual muggings? Consensual car-jackings? Consensual drive-by-shootings? (fear not, only flesh wounds will be administered by our crack team of expert marksmen!)

  6. People do all sorts of weird/random/extreme things for fun. It’s really not worth getting outraged about.

  7. I’m just going to point out the truly alarming thing in the article:

    some clients forgo a safe word

  8. “and a reflective moment at the end where he compared his experience to
    that of a friend who was kidnapped and held by terrorists.”   Unless there was an actual possibility of his being killed, I’d say there was no comparison whatsoever.

    1. This was the key problem for me, too.  I have no problem with people doing whatever they want behind closed doors, but play-acting something like this and claiming it has any comparison to reality is an excellent example of First World Privilege.

  9. terrorizing him to the best of their ability and within the confines of their prior agreement.

    The only agreement should be that you aren’t going to be killed or loose a body part.  Everything else should be fair game.  It’s a kidnapping, not a spa vacation.

  10. I don’t know, this is a bit like a consensual “Yelling fire in a public place” service. Someone is bound to get hurt.

  11. I had a nice friend who had some crazy friends. One day she mentioned in passing that she thought it would be fun to be kidnapped. Year later she still has nightmares of the time they bagged her head, bound her, and kept her in a closet for two days. 

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