August 12, 2016

Pseudocide.

Faking your own death. How to do it — 3 steps. There's a book about it: "Playing Dead: A Journey Through The World of Death Fraud."
Greenwood started thinking, hypothetically, about pseudocide when she was staring down a six-figure student loan debt....
She concludes it's not worth it.
For me, it was really when I met family members who had been involved in a parent's or loved one's pseudocide where that message of the darkness of this plan really hit home to me. ...
But she got a book out of that. She's not going to write a book about it if she's actively pseudo-dead. As for the real fake dead people — naturally they're not talking. Not everyone has family and friends to protect, and some people want to hurt others... and are super-averse to confrontation.

Have you ever heard of a death and suffered a lot and later come around to wondering how you really know that person died? I have!

15 comments:

JAORE said...

Six figure student loan, assume she did go through with pseudocide, .... would get rid of the debt but also the diploma.

Paul Snively said...

I've had someone I cared about deeply and was working on a professional engagement with pull a no-show on a scheduled preparatory meeting for potentially life-threatening health reasons and not get back in touch for almost a full week, by which time I was putting odds whether they were still alive or not at 50:50, and act like it was no big deal, just one of those things that happens. It was one of the most horrifying things I've ever experienced.

Unknown said...

I think the Clintons are up to maybe 50?

Oh, you mean uncertainty WHETHER they died, not HOW? No, I'm sure they're all dead.

Unknown said...

Like Paul McCartney?

Yancey Ward said...

I knew someone, not well but knew him, who faked his death. He was found out pretty quickly, within a few months. When I asked him about it a few years later, he told me that he had been ducking a tax liability from the IRS. However, he had told close family members, and one of them had accidentally given his new address to an IRS agent- he hadn't told them why he was pretending to be dead. He was embarrassed, but I guess no criminal penalties had befallen him.

He had dumped his car into a small river, and had his brother report him missing. The brother, after a couple of months tried to have him declared dead. I thought the whole thing was hilarious. At least he got a good story out of it.

Dr Weevil said...

Etymologically, 'pseudocide' should mean killing the kind of pretentious twit who turn up in Pseuds' Corner at Private Eye. Pseudocide is only suicide if the pseud kills himself, which they rarely have the decency to do. Hmmm. Idea for a TV series: a psycho vigilante killer who goes around killing horrible pseuds.

James said...

This guy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Friedland

They found him the Maldives

Sebastian said...

"Greenwood started thinking, hypothetically, about pseudocide when she was staring down a six-figure student loan debt...." So it's really just a shakedown move: taxpayers, pay up, or else.

Karen of Texas said...

You could *try* erasing yourself.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ok, I listened to the interview yesterday on NPR. Here's my question--and I'll preface it by admitting I'm not a writer and I don't know the details of her book deal--the author talked about how in debt she was and how much that massive debt weighed on her, right? She then says that in the course of doing research for the book she was excited to travel to the Philippines to get a death certificate, right? So...this hugely-in-debt young person--so in debt she considered faking her own death to get away from the debt--has enough cash to fly over to the Philippines for some research? That...that doesn't really add up, to me.

eddie willers said...

I keep waiting for Andy Kaufman to pop up.

tim maguire said...

Maybe she can use the proceeds of the book to pay off the loan.

Paul Snively said...

HoodlumDoodlum,

See this. ~$500 from NYC to Manila, round-trip. Suppose she bought a one-way ticket to make it even cheaper, and stayed in some flophouse for $20 a night. I plugged earnings of $25,000/year, single, 1 family member, and a $100,000 balance into this student loan repayment calculator, and there are two repayment plans whose first month is $60 and whose last month is $296. Save up for a few months, eat a lot of ramen noodles for dinner, and this is entirely doable.

Paul Snively said...

tim maquire: Maybe she can use the proceeds of the book to pay off the loan.

She can almost certainly use the advance on the proceeds of the book to pay off the loan.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Paul - I hear you; it's not so much that the absolute numbers are out of whack, it's that she felt she was so in debt that faking her own death was something she'd consider. Taking on any unnecessary expense (especially for a luxury like travel) when one feels that way strikes me as odd.