“I did this once.”
Pseudocide, also known as faking your own death, is when a person convinces other people that they are dead by leaving proof and taking on a new identity. There are many possible motives and methods for pseudocide, some of them listed below.
Pseudocide is a common practice in several countries (despite being illegal and criticized by authority figures) and participants are generally put into two categories: the people who see it as merely a recreational activity and those who interpret it as an art which one must be skillfull at to ultimately master not going to jail, among other things. Several books on pseudocide have also been released.
Faking your death is no doubt a timeless tradition. Recently discovered cave paintings in Canada have revealed that even primitive cavemen took part in the act of pseudocide. However, pseudocide wasn't very popular back then and the situation certainly didn't get any better throughout the next few thousand years, but things began to look up with the arrival of playwright William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare himsellf was no stranger to pseudocide; he had already faked his death twice before he began writing plays (ever heard of Christopher Marlowe?) As a result, Shakespeare began to have characters in his plays fake their own deaths, most notably Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, who takes a temporary coma-inducing drug to avoid marrying a man named Paris. The Elizabethian public were thrilled with and inspired by this new idea, and began to try it out for themselves. "Pseudo fever" made its way to Spain with the help of Francis Drake and the English Armanda. In his spare time, Drake demonstrated the activity to his enemies (it's that addictive!). Meanwhile, American tribes were starting to practice pseudocides themselves. Details of this are sketchy but nevertheless point to one conclusion: faking your own death is a skill that man was born with and a skill that man will develop.
Here are some of the most common ways to fake your own death:
- Throw a mannequin in a lake
- Smear baby blood on the walls of your home
- Go to the New York Zoo and don't come back
- Pretend to become a Jersey Shore addict
- Hang your twin brother
- Blame it on a wizard
There are a number of pseudocide books on the market, most notably Pseudocide for Dummies (pictured), which sold 19 million copies the weekend it hit the shelves, and How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found by Doug Richmond. The latter was also adapted into a play which won many awards.
Pseudocide books make up a significant portion of the How To book market. Around $43 million is made from these books every 5 years, more than the entire range of Justin Bieber-hating books havs made in 20 years (some argue that this is because Justin Bieber only recently became the subject of extreme hate, others shrug and admit to writing one themselves).
Pseudocide is fun. Give it a go!