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Revenge Addiction And What You Can Do To Stop It

Dr. Kimmel joins Dr. Phil on his podcast, Phil in the Blanks, for an important follow-up discussion. He shares the best ways to intervene when someone is addicted to violence and revenge, which he says could perhaps be the most critical health issue in American society today. Plus, learn how to spot a revenge addict, how to approach someone addicted to violence, and how to "defuse the grenade" to keep yourself and loved ones safe from harm.


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VISIT and DOWNLOAD AND USE the free Miracle Court App. The Miracle Court App lets you sue and experience getting justice against anyone, anywhere without harming them or yourself. It's fast, easy to use, and is based on a method shown in university research to help people safely release and overcome the desire for revenge.

GET JUSTICE. And more.

When you've been hurt or victimized, you want justice. You want the person who hurt you to be held accountable. You want to feel better again. You want to move on. ​ The Miracle Court App™ offers all this and more. It's a virtual courthouse that allows you to put anyone on trial for anything they've ever done to you or someone you love. It allows you to experience getting justice and can help you move on from the pain and trauma of the past.

We now have a way to stop people from being revenge addicted and that's called motive control. Motive control instead of gun control offers an opportunity where we can get out of this dead-locked discussion about weapons and start talking about something new and science-based. -Dr. James Kimmel

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Twitter: @jameskimmeljr




More About James Kimmel, Jr., J.D.

James Kimmel, Jr., J.D., is a psychiatry lecturer, violence researcher, lawyer, social theorist, and novelist who focuses on the intersections of law, neuroscience, psychology, spirituality, violence, and addiction. He received his doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.S. degree summa cum laude from the Schreyer Honors College of the Pennsylvania State University. He is the founder and a Co-Director of the Yale Collaborative for Motive Control Studies; developer of the Behavioral Addiction Model of Grievance, Revenge, and Violence; developer of the nonjustice construct of grievance resolution and violence prevention; and developer of the Nonjustice System ("Miracle Court") virtual courthouse and mock trial role play intervention for healing from victimization and controlling revenge cravings. He is a leader in expanding local, state, and national gun violence threat risk and reduction initiatives to include public behavioral health motive control strategies -- new prevention and treatment approaches for reducing the desire to abuse guns by controlling the revenge cravings that arise out of grievances and perceived victimization. He created the Revenge Attack Warning Signs and First Aid, Violence Risk Identification and Disruption (V-RID), and Violence Interruption Court (VIC) models for violence threat identification and disruption using motive control strategies, and the Teen Court motive control model for bullying prevention in schools. He created, the first-of-it’s-kind website suicide prevention style website aimed at preventing murders and mass shootings. He co-founded and directed an evidence-based forensic peer support program in Pennsylvania utilizing, in part, the Nonjustice System for criminal justice-involved individuals with serious mental illnesses in Pennsylvania jails and prisons. He is the author of Suing for Peace: A Guide for Resolving Life's Conflicts (Hampton Roads, 2005), which first identified violence as a form of behavioral addiction, and The Trial of Fallen Angels, a novel, about a lawyer of souls in the afterlife (New York: Penguin Random House/Putnam 2012). He was featured with Bob Costas and Franco Harris in the motion picture documentary 365 Days: A Year in the Life of Happy Valley(2014) about the Penn State University Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. He was also featured in the book Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another’s Misfortune by Tiffany Watt Smith (Little, Brown, 2018).

SAVINGCAIN.ORG Research scientists have discovered that when we have been hurt or wronged, the desire to harm others activates the same pleasure centers of the brain activated by narcotics.

This suggests that the desire to kill is a biological craving created inside the brain. If you are thinking about killing, you are not "evil."


FBI and US Secret Service studies have identified the following pre-attack behaviors of people who have perpetrated retaliatory violence:

  • Preoccupation or obsession with a grievance or injustice (real or imagined)

  • Expressions of anger or rage over a grievance or injustice that get worse or do not go away

  • Talking or writing about getting revenge or payback

  • Threats to hurt or kill others, especially the perceived source of the grievance or injustice

  • Acquiring or seeking access to weapons

  • Identifying targets to hurt or kill, especially the source of the grievance or injustice (targets may include individuals, groups or types of people, such as by race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, families/friends, and gangs)

  • Preparations to hurt or kill (training/practicing with weapons; acquiring or stockpiling ammunition, body armor, tactical gear; conducting surveillance of targets or locations)

  • Planning to hurt or kill, especially the perceived source of the grievance or injustice, including date, time, location, transportation, and site access


  • Act quickly; do not hesitate. Treat the warning signs of a revenge attack as a life-threatening emergency

  • Remove weapons and guns if it is safe to do so

  • If you may be the target of a revenge attack, go to a safe location immediately; if others may be at risk, warn them to seek safe shelter

  • Call for help – dial 911, the National Crisis Hotline (1-800-273-8255), or the FBI tip line (1-800-255-5324); or go to the nearest hospital emergency room or police station

  • If violence is not imminent, seek support or resources to help control revenge desires by accessing the resources on this website or consulting a trusted friend, counselor, or mental health professional


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