A story published in Florida’s SaintPetersBlog political news site Tuesday detailed Republican congressional candidate Jake Rush’s history as an active member of a community dedicated to supernatural live action role playing.
SaintPetersBlog unearthed evidence Rush, who launched his primary campaign against Rep. Ted Yoho last month, has participated in “a nationwide community of Gothic-punk role-players” as “as dozens of “characters,” with names like Darling, van de Winst, Johan Gambrys, Zane Daily, The Kriesler, Archbishop Kettering and more.”
Business Insider has found indications Rush, who is a lawyer and former sheriff’s deputy, played a leadership role in a Gainesville, Fl. group dubbed the “Covenant of the Poisoned Absinthe” dedicated to staging events where players don costumes and portray werewolves, vampires, and other fantastical beings. Archived versions of the “Covenant of the Poisoned Absinthe” webpage show an email address for Rush and identify him as one of the group’s “main staff members.” A Facebook page for the group said its members play an “assortment of games … including Vampire: The Masquerade, Changeling: The Lost, and Mage: The Awakening.”
Rush did not respond to requests for comment from Business Insider made via his law office, his work email, and his gmail account Tuesday. Howver, Rush’s father, Robert Rush, also works at the law firm and called Business Insider shortly after we left a message at the office. The elder Rush said he was familiar with his son’s role playing activities and described them as recreational. He also pointed to his son’s past work in law enforcement.
“Jeez, I guess you might want to put down too that we used to just have just great big Halloween parties every year,” Robert said. “People were required to come dressed in a costume and people would come in very elaborate costumes and, you know, this was — this was nothing more than, you know, recreation that occurred occasionally. He’s always been working full time.”
Robert Rush also suggested the stories about his son’s role playing were attacks from Yoho’s allies and said his son supported “the arts” in his community through his purchases of costumes.
“If that’s the best they can do to try to mitigate their failing candidate, that’s pretty sorry,” said Robert. “The other thing that I guess they didn’t put in there is that Jake and my law firm has been involved in supporting the arts and particularly the theatre, particularly the Hippodrome theatre here in Gainesville, probably for more than 20 years including buying their old costumes.”
“Covenant of the Poisoned Absinthe” is described on Facebook as being “part of the Camarilla Fan Club, also known as the Mind’s Eye Society.” This is a national group of live action role players, or LARPers, who play gothic role playing games designed by White Wolf Gaming. In addition to the archived “Covenant of the Poisoned Absinthe” page, there are several other web pages indicating Rush was a leading member of the group.
SaintPetersblog also chronicled Rush’s participation on something called the Camarilla Wiki Project, a site that functions as a Wikipedia-style handbook for members of the Camarilla Fan Club around the world. Though much of the content posted on the Camarilla Wiki account linked to Rush has been deleted, some pictures remain including images that appear to show Rush in costume (pictured above).
In addition to Rush’s presence on the “Covenant of the Poisoned Absinthe” website and the Camarilla Wiki, SaintPetersblog noted he participated in a “Vampire: The Masquerade” group on Yahoo called the “Fallen cult.” Rush’s messages posted to that group a rather explicit posting from February 2010 addressed to a female member identified as “Pandora Blackbird.”
“At first I thought you were just stupid and I wanted to stick my dick in your mouth to shut you up while I snorted a line off my new machete,” Rush said, adding, “Rae tells me that you are a Maiden and it’s your job to be kind of stupid and that I’m not supposed to have intercourse with Maidens. You shouldn’t believe everything that people tell you or you’re going to end up naked and sore, tied to the floor of a van marked ‘Free Candy.'”
Rush’s campaign told Business Insider they would issue a statement about the story some time Tuesday morning.
For his part, Robert Rush said Yoho should focus on “the issues” and quipped that his son had other hobbies his opponents could try to attack.
“My joke is, I’ve been Jake’s father his entire life, and so I certainly can tell you everything about him,” Robert said. “The kid grew up in the country on a farm doing all types of fun things. Jeez, one of the other things that he knows how to do really well is throw knives, so I’m sure theres something sinister in that.”
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