NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Valentine’s Day is typically associated with the sale of roses, chocolate and lingerie.
But as CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Tuesday night, it is the business of revenge that is experiencing a big boost lately.
“Try and find one person who hasn’t gotten really satisfying revenge and not felt better,” said the chief executive officer of a company called Nefarious Jobs.
The CEO cannot show his face because of the dozens of lives he says he has ruined — at the request of his clients.
“The ex-wife who’s upset about, you know, her husband leaving, or you’re going to get the business partner who has been, you know, really screwed over and forced out of his company,” he said.
The company’s specialty is revenge for hire — and it’s not the only one.
“It is our public duty to expose these people,” said Dan Crawford of “Get Revenge on Your Ex.”
It is a burgeoning new industry — hiring someone to right your wrongs — whether you feel you’ve been unfairly dumped, canned, or disrespected.
The companies do it in a variety of ways — from bombarding your offender with unrelenting, menacing texts or phone calls, to putting an ad in the paper about his alleged indiscretions, or much, much worse.
“Nefarious Jobs” offers nine packages – aimed, the company advertises, at “making the lives of your enemies hell.”
The “reputation shredder.” for example, offers promises to “turn the most invincible seaming adversary into the company jester” for $2,200.
For $3,000 “the eviscerator” focuses on ruining one facet of the person’s life, like her marriage.
And then there is “total annihilation,” which, for $10,000, does exactly as the name suggests.
“When people feel like they’re getting harmed or even socially rejected, the natural instinct is to want to right a wrong,” said psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg.
Greenberg said the act of revenge actually activates the pleasure center of the brain.
“It’s like taking drugs — you get that high,” she said.
Dr. Nathan DeWall of the University of Kentucky went so far as to study 1,500 people on the subject – giving them a voodoo doll. He found that revenge is indeed sweet for many people – but that’s not the whole story.
“People are going to be disappointed if they think this is the best way to solve their problems,” DeWall said. “Do something more productive, because no much you get your anger out, it really doesn’t solve your problems emotionally.”
While none of the companies offer physical harm, experts said the legality of some of their tactics may come into question.