faux kidnapping
(FOH kid.nap.ing) n. A fake kidnapping staged to look like a real kidnapping.

Example Citation:
Adam Thick assures me this is not a hoax. "No, no," he says. "We'll come out and kidnap you. Trust me." He sounds sincere. Trust would seem to be essential between the founder of Extreme Kidnapping and his clients, who are also his victims.

I am neither, so I will maintain a protective layer of skepticism. I will also, however, tell you this: According to Thick, more than 10 people in the last few months have paid him $500, in return for which he has abducted them, subjected them to sensory deprivation, pretended to smack them around and spoken to them in harsh tones.

It's all part of the thrill and revelry of faux kidnapping, which Thick, 28, expects to be the next big thing.
—Neal Rubin, "Extreme kidnapping new thrill," The Detroit News, October 23, 2002

Earliest Citation:
Freaked parents can breathe easier: MTV's Jackass is no longer in production. Said a rep for creator Johnny Knoxville, 30: "As of right now, he is not planning on doing any further episodes." The show premiered last October, featuring outlandish pranks and dangerous stunts. It made headlines last January when a 13-year-old Connecticut boy, in an attempt to reenact a human-barbeque skit, lit himself on fire and suffered second- and third-degree burns. After being contacted by the boy's family, Sen. Joseph Lieberman wrote a letter to MTV. "He wanted them to take the show off the air," says Lieberman's press rep Dan Gerstein. "Or at a minimum tone down some of the more dangerous stunts. He was worried there were other kids at risk." In the show's final episode, there appears to be a big kid at risk: Brad Pitt. Staging a violent faux kidnapping of the star, the Jackass crew scared clueless onlookers into phoning the police.
—"Pitt Stop For Jackass," People, August 27, 2001

Also:

"Jawbreaker," the debut comedy from writer-director Darren Stein, takes the road less traveled by invoking the unsung, twisted brilliance of Michael Lehmann, creator of "Heathers."...

"The Flawless Four," as the film's ultra-trendy and impeccably-groomed Heathers are called, generally rule Reagan High, neglecting class and judging the lower ranks, while choosing not to eat in the cafeteria, as they might be judged on something as superficial as the food they eat.

The girls' extracurricular activities include pulling elaborate pranks for birthdays, but their fun goes awry when the target of their faux-kidnapping scheme gets asphyxiated by an enormous version of the titular candy.
—Bryan Lark, "'Jawbreaker' borrows from old teen films," University Wire, February 22, 1999

Notes:
The Adam Thick mentioned in the example citation is the proprietor of extremekidnapping.com, a "service" that will kidnap you and subject you to being "sensory deprived and mock tortured" for (in the "Econo-kidnapping" version, which costs US$500) 4 to 6 hours. This has also been called mock kidnapping, consensual kidnapping and voluntary kidnapping. Thanks to writer Dan Pink and his Just One Thing blog (http://justonething.blogspot.com/) for discovering this latest form of "extreme" entertainment.

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