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Die happy with Daniel Traips

By R&H reader Mr Swellmons

Posted March 12, 2014
die happy
Die Happy: Daniel's retreat in the Catskills. (Check bottom for credit)

In a world exclusive, the R&H travels to the Catskills to meet Daniel Traips, the world's first death coach.

At some point in their lives everybody needs a helping hand, whether it's support to get them through a relationship crisis, encouragement to make important changes in their habits or just simple spiritual salvation.

At times like these most of us turn to those purveyors of rare and costly wisdom we call 'life coaches'.

But now one man, himself a former guru and counsellor from California, has set out his stall offering total peace, once and for all.

Daniel Traips, formally head of High Fives for a Dollar and a founding member of the Smilers Club, explains: "Since the recession we were getting more and more people coming to us who simply could not be helped – poor souls for whom the terrible speed and relentless competition of the world were just too much."

"Many of them were spending their life savings taking class after class of remedial subjects, such as Should I Get Out Of Bed Today?, Don't Blame Mom and Do Pecs Really Matter?, and not progressing at all in their ability to handle the deep-rooted anxiety and depression of modern life."

"I heard so many people telling me they just wanted to die that one day I suddenly thought, 'Hey, and why not?'"

"I mean, if that's what they want."

And Daniel's training in the field of cod-psychology provided him with a unique solution to the problem of how to kill someone without breaking the law.

"You see, there is a very strict legislature regarding euthanasia, which defines it as a criminal act, and the problem with suicide is that it very often invalidates people's life insurance."

"But it occurred to me that if people could be encouraged to die naturally then both of these problems could be circumvented."

Welcome then to Die Happy, Daniel's idyllic retreat in the Catskills, where pessimists can come and, for a small fee, receive coaching in how to hasten an early death.

When we arrive Daniel is giving a post-breakfast pep talk to five very wan looking folk dressed in loose pyjamas.

He sits casually at the end of a long low table.

"This week's mantra is Forget Your Dreams," he tells the assembled.

"I want you all to meditate on this for two hours daily."

"Start with the deep breathing exercises and then progress to basic mindfulness techniques except this time, whenever you sense a thought popping up, I want you to beat it down with these words – forget your dreams, forget your dreams, forget your dreams."

The terminally-in-decline nod sadly.

"And after dinner we'll meet in the yurt and spend an hour appraising the results of last week's Nobody Loves Me programme."

They shuffle out and we join Daniel.

"It's all about promoting negativity," he explains.

"Encouraging them to shun exercise, social interaction, familial relationships, the pursuit of the good life and focusing their attention on how awful everything is."

"We here at Die Happy simply take the truism 'healthy body, healthy mind' and completely invert it."

"After a prolonged period of habitual mental antipathy, hatred and repugnance towards the self, the body's immune system begins to collapse, leaving the person open to a wide range of illness and disease."

"Simultaneously, we help them to keep attentive to all the wrong they have done in their lives, what terrible people they are and how they would be better off dead."

"On average, our customers contract cancer or terminal heart disease within about six months."

"Although there's no guarantee, I hasten to add."

"But we have a very high success rate nonetheless."

As we leave we call in on one punter – Paul – who is sat in his room weeping over pictures of his ex-wife and children which are spread on the floor before him.

Various hostile phrases are printed large across his walls – YOU ARE WORTHLESS, THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE WITHOUT YOU and WHY WERE YOU EVEN BORN, SHITHEAD?

We ask him how he finds the programme.

"It's very encouraging," he sobs.

"They help you structure your self-loathing into a manageable daily practice."

"Once it's established I can go back out into the real world and concentrate seriously on my decline."

We ask him about the photos.

"I have to stare at these for one hour twice a day and really beat myself up inside."

He smiles at us.

"I know really I shouldn't be smiling, its discouraged strongly, but part of me is happy because hopefully, before too long, I'll be dead."

We wish him luck and leave him to his agony.

Shortly after this article was written, Paul beat himself to death with a claw hammer. Courses start at $12,000 (£7,220) plus tax. All major credit cards accepted.

See also Leslie Ash lips crisis worsens, posted 3/3/14.

Picture credit

Top and thumb: Something completely different by Cogiati.

For licensing information click the above link.

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