As a privately held company, Modern Evil is not required to publicly report on any of its operations or activities. This blog is a faint reflection of our interests and opinions. Thank you.

~ Dr. Archibald T. Staph, Ph.D, President


The Validity of a Blood Promise

CATEGORY: Blood Pact, Business Contract

DIVISION: Modern Evil, Legal

NOTE: Whether signed in blood, sweat, tears, ink or any other marking fluid, a contract is a contract. We encourage the plantiff in this case to contact us as soon as possible for further legal recourse.

Judge: Blood Promise Can't Be Enforced

Tue Jun 26, 4:46 PM ET

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A Nietzsche-quoting judge said a promise penned in blood by a businessman was not an enforceable contract. Superior Court Judge Corey S. Cramin ruled Monday that Stephen Son could not be forced to repay Kim Jin-soo more than $140,000 that Kim provided to Son's companies, not to Son himself.

Son punctured his finger and drafted the promise in a restaurant after his companies accepted cash from Kim but failed to turn a profit.

Son was not required to guarantee those transactions, the judge said.

"Blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth," Cramin said, paraphrasing German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Kim's attorney, Richard Radcliffe, said his client might appeal.

"We think the blood speaks for itself," he said.

The lawsuit and purported contract dealt with more than $100,000 that Kim invested in a company run by Son in April 2003, when the two lived in Korea.

Later, Kim lent $40,000 to a second Son company in California.

The blood promise was written in October 2004 after the two men had moved to California

It read, "Sir, forgive me. Because of my deeds, you have suffered financially. I will repay you to the best of my ability," according to court filings.

Kim sued in January 2006.


Dead Man Laughing

CATEGORY: Gallows Humor, Execution Comedy

DIVISION: Modern Evil, Sales

NOTE: Death Row humor is a specialty of Modern Evil. Our upcoming publication of killer jokes, entitled "Laugh, I Nearly Died!", will be out in time for the holiday season. Unfortunately though, it won't be soon enough for Mr.Knight. Please visit his MySpace site anyway.

Man Set for Execution Wants to Die Laughing

Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:46PM EDT

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas man scheduled to be executed on Tuesday wants to die laughing.

Patrick Knight, 39, has been soliciting jokes on the Internet and plans to tell one of them before receiving a lethal injection, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said on Monday.

"He says he wants to keep his execution light," she said.

Knight was sentenced to die for the August 1991 murder of his two elderly neighbors in Amarillo, Texas.

Lyons said a friend of Knight's set up a page on the social networking Web site to solicit jokes, and "hundreds" of suggestions have arrived in the mail.

"I'll be enjoying my last days on Earth," Knight wrote on the Web site. "I'm not asking for pen pals, but I'm asking you to spread the word that I am holding a contest. I want people to send me their best jokes, and to keep me and others with (execution) dates laughing."

Texas leads the nation with 396 executions. None of those put to death have ever joked about it, Lyons said.

"We've certainly had some people who have recited a poem or a Bible verse, some people who have asked forgiveness or who pray," she said. "This is, to my knowledge, the first time anybody has told a joke as their last words."

While she says Knight will be allowed to tell his joke, none of his executioners in the state death chamber at the Walls prison unit in Huntsville, Texas will be laughing, Lyons said.

"Everybody who is there takes it very seriously and will not be participating in the joke," she said. "So knock-knock jokes are out."


Outsourcing: How NOT to Hire the Qualified

CATEGORY: Fake Jobs, Fraud Hiring

DIVISION: Investments

EDITORIAL: Letter-of-the-Law compliance has created wonderful companies such as Burson-Marsteller, Microsoft, and Walmart. Now with this helpful video, everyone can learn how to put the power of outsourcing and minority hirings to work for them. Thank you LARRY M. LEBOWITZ, ESQUIRE [412-297-4979] of Cohen & Grigsby.


The McDonald's Franchise Approach to Cosmetic Surgery

CATEGORY: McSurgery, Beauty, Appearance Medicine

DIVISION: Products, R&D

NOTE: Delayed but finally government approved, our Solo Surgery line of fine products will be available this fall. Hopefully this will alleviate some of the anxiousness surrounding cosmetic surgery. Bringing you quality choices for all your medical needs is our pleasure, here at Modern Evil.

Doctors Warn of 'McSurgery' in Quick Fix Operations Boom

By Andrew Johnson

A huge increase in the number of cosmetic surgery treatments carried out by unqualified or insufficiently qualified people is leading to the "McDonaldisation" of the industry, doctors warned yesterday.

Surgeons spoke out in response to news that a New Zealand cosmetic surgery company is offering doctors a franchise after just two days' training at a hotel in Manchester.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said that high-pressure sales techniques and cowboy operators were fueling a booming market in Botox, face peels and laser treatment, some of which can result in poor treatments, injuries or, in extreme cases, death.

Paul Stapleton, of the Mapperley Park Clinic in Nottingham, said: "It's a McDonald's franchise approach to cosmetic surgery. It's a continuation of alarming developments in the field, which hasn't been helped by the Government's U-turn on plans to regulate cosmetic surgery."

The franchise deal was offered to ordinary GPs who had paid £2,000 a head to a New Zealand company called Appearance Medicine for the training weekend at the Marriott Hotel in Manchester. After practising Botox injections on volunteer hotel staff the GPs were offered equipment to start a practice in exchange for £35,000 and 10 per cent of future profits.

Dr Maurice Mann, a GP in Chesterfield, attended the course "out of curiosity" because he was inundated with patients wanting non-invasive procedures or help after procedures abroad had gone wrong.

"There were 19 doctors and one dentist on the course," he said. "It was a wide-ranging course. Some of it was very good. But what I found a little surprising was that they said for £35,000 they would give us basic kit and a franchise. It's an unregulated market.

"They're not doing anything wrong and have been doing it for 20-odd years. What is worrying is people going on these courses and just getting started.

"This is something there is terrific demand for. If people can't get it from a reputable source they will go to a disreputable one."

Appearance Medicine did not respond to requests for comment.

A quarter of all complaints to the Healthcare Commission are about "low-level" cosmetic surgery procedures such as Botox and face peels.

'I was filming a scene when my whole face froze from Botox'

Sarah Manners, the star of the BBC series 'Casualty', had Botox treatment four years ago. She had feared that her looks were not perfect enough - but the result nearly ruined her career. Her face froze while she was filming an airline drama in which she played a glamorous air hostess and an entire scene was lost. "It taught me a lesson. You can't afford to have Botox when you're an actor. It could lose you work."


Human Bone Smuggling Racket Uncovered

CATEGORY: Bone Trade

DIVISION: Products & Services

EDITORIAL: "Racket" is such a soiled term for a trade that has been in existence since the first human died. Bones are common - we all have them. How, where and why you trade them is entirely your right. Our lawyers in India will be looking into this.

Human Bone Smuggling Racket Uncovered

Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:06AM EDT

By Bappa Majumdar

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Indian police have discovered a stash of hundreds of human skulls and thigh bones and arrested a gang for allegedly smuggling them to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan for use in Buddhist monasteries.

"During interrogation they confessed that the hollow human thigh bones were in great demand in monasteries and were used as blow-horns, and the skulls as vessels to drink from at religious ceremonies," investigating officer Ravinder Nalwa said Tuesday.

It was the second cache of bones found in eastern India since April and police now believe the region could be the center of a much broader trade in human bones. They suspect some bones may even have ended up as far away as Thailand and Japan.

Officers found the latest collection in Jaigaon, a town in eastern India on the border with Bhutan, and arrested four people who said they were smuggling them across the border, Nalwa told Reuters by telephone from the northeastern town of Siliguri.

In April, police discovered what they called a "human bones factory" in the state, and arrested six people for illegally trading in skeletons. The bones were apparently being sold to medical students and for use in traditional medicine.

Both caches of bones appear to have originated in Varanasi, a Hindu holy city in northern India where millions of people are cremated every year on the banks of the Ganges.

"The skeletons seized in Jaigaon had all come from Varanasi's cremation centers and all these years we thought they were just going secretly to medical students," Nalwa said.

Eastern India was once a thriving center for the export of human skeletons, which were sent as far as western Europe, former traders in Kolkata said.

But the federal government banned the exports in the late 1980s after human rights groups raised questions about how the bones were being collected, forcing the trade underground.

Mukti Biswas, an arrested villager in another district of West Bengal state, told police that he had plucked bodies from the river, as well as collecting those left behind at Hindu cremation centers by poor people who lacked the wood to perform a proper cremation.

Biswas said he had supplied the bones to medical students.

Bhutanese authorities said they were awaiting more details from Indian police before investigating further but said they doubted if all the bones were destined for their country.

"We have never come across such large-scale cases before, maybe one or two," Ninda Wangdi, a senior Bhutanese police officer, told Reuters by telephone.

Buddhist monks in India said human thigh bones and skulls were used by followers of a Tibetan school of Buddhism.

"But one or two bones would last a lifetime, so a racket this huge might have links to other countries," said Bhikkhu Bodhipala, chief priest of the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya.

BeautyKit - The Prototype


DIVISION: Products, R&D

NOTE: Response to test marketing is how we at Modern Evil deliver the best products in the quickest fashion to you, our valued customer.

While not quite ready yet for sale, the overwhelming demand for "BeautyKit" has forced our Research & Development Division to work overtime in order to bring you this fine product exclusively for the coming fall season.


Murderous Japanese Cult Produces Cheery Anime About Their Leader

CATEGORY: Hero-Making, Mythology

DIVISION: Public Relations

COMMENTARY: Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese cult founded by Shoko Asahara, is the group responsible for the deadly Sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subways, which killed 12 commuters and left over 1000 people injured.

Although he's currently awaiting execution, Aum Shinriyko's latest incarnation as Aleph have taken it upon themselves to finance this remarkably cheery anime film about their leader.

Evil Marketing Works

CATEGORY: Responsible Marketing, Modern Evil

DIVISION: Public Relations, Sales

EDITORIAL: Marketing Maven Seth Godin finally takes the stand that we at Modern Evil have been championing for years - Responsibility. Responsibility for the marketing we do. Responsibility for the customers we serve. Responsibility for the world that we create through our efforts.
The policy at Modern Evil has always been clear - Evil is our business, our focus, our pride. When you deal with Modern Evil, you're dealing with the best. And if you can find a better evil, we'll pay double.


by Seth Godin

Marketing works.

Advertising and promotion and lobbying cost money. And organizations pay for it because, by and large, it works. Not all the time, and rarely as big as people hope, but sure, you can influence the public by spending money.

Which leads to the key question: are you responsible for what you market?

Some people will tell you that the market decides. They’ll remind you that most consumers are adults, spending their own resources and doing it freely. That people have a right to buy what they want, even if what they want isn’t good for them (right now, or in the long run). That’s what living in a free country is all about, apparently. Buy what you want.

But wait.

I thought we agreed that marketing works.

If marketing works, it means that free choice isn’t quite so free. It means that marketers get to influence and amplify desires. The number of SUVs sold in the United States is a bazillion times bigger than it was in 1962. Is that because people suddenly want them, or is it because car marketers built them and marketed them?

Cigarette consumption is way down. Is that because people suddenly don’t want them any more, or is it because advertising opportunities are limited?

Others will tell you that if it’s legal, it’s fair game. If it’s legal for Edelman to post a blog called Working Families for Wal-Mart (when it’s really working Edelman employees for Wal-Mart), then they have every right to do so. In fact, they have an obligation to their shareholders to do so. Or so they say.

I believe that every criminal, no matter how heinous the crime, deserves an attorney. I don't believe that every product and every organization and every politician deserves world-class marketing or PR.

A neighbor was complaining that the baseball field in my town needs upkeep, and wonders why we don’t go ahead and take $100,000 from Pepsi for sponsorship of the field and a long-term contract to put vending machines on site. It doesn’t matter to him that obesity and heart disease are the number one preventable cause of death. He says that it’s a personal choice, and if we can get the money, we should.

Who’s responsible?

I was surprised at how angry I got in an email exchange with John, a reader near Detroit. I wrote, “I'm sorry if I seem like a curmudgeon, but the arrogance and blindness of Detroit's management really and truly annoys me. Tens of thousands of innocent workers lost their jobs while clueless overpaid company men drove the industry into the ground for decades. These were the guys who had plenty of time to fix their problems (20 years) but instead lobbied hard to maintain SUV subsidies and gas subsidies and on and on. They're sort of like cigarette companies, but with far more side affects. They've let down our country, in my opinion, and just because they are lip synching a bit now, I'm in no hurry to tell you that the problems are gone.”

And now Detroit is marketing hard in DC to fight against mileage standards again, claiming that they make the cars that people want to buy.

There are two problems with blaming the market:

The first is that the market is short sighted. Which means that in a year or two or five, when the market changes its mind and wakes up, you’re left holding the bag. By not taking responsibility for growing and nurturing the market in the right way, you get punished later.

The second is that if you poison your market, it all goes away. Not just your job, but your community too.

Let me be really clear, just in case. If you think that the world would be a better place if everyone owned a handgun, then yes, market handguns as hard as you can. If you honestly believe that kids are well served by drinking a dozen spoonfuls of sugar every morning before school, then I may believe you're wrong, but you should go ahead and market your artificially-sweetened juice product. My point is that you have no right to market things you know are harmful or that lead to bad outcomes, regardless of how much you need that job.

Along the way, “just doing my job,” has become a mantra for blind marketers who are making short-term mistakes in order to avoid a conflict with the client or the boss. As marketing becomes every more powerful, this is just untenable. It’s unacceptable.

If you get asked to market something, you’re responsible. You’re responsible for the impacts, the costs, the side effects and the damage. You killed that kid. You poisoned that river. You led to that fight. If you can’t put your name on it, I hope you’ll walk away. If only 10% of us did that, imagine the changes. Imagine how proud you’d be of your work.

The amazing thing is that over and over again, we're discovering that marketers who actually take responsibility for their marketing are actually more successful. Go figure.


More Boy-Bands Please

CATEGORY: Boy-Band Mogul, Ponzi Scheme, Law

DIVISION: Entertainment

EDITORIAL: As the genius behind the BackStreet Boys and other lucrative boy-bands, Lou Pearlman has been a vital purveyor of American Culture. To see him arrested and frog-walked like an Enron Executive is sad for everyone. Who will dare to take his place? And where will the next 'must-hear' boy-band come from? Today, the music industry is a little less fun.

Boy-Band Mogul Lou Pearlman to Appear before Federal Judge

by Pedro Ruz Gutierrez, Scott Powers and Sara K. Clarke

Sentinel Staff Writers

June 14, 2007

Lou Pearlman, the Orlando boy-band mogul, was taken into custody by the FBI early this morning in Indonesia.

Authorities expelled Pearlman and then turned him over to U.S. authorities.

"We are aware that he is in the custody of the FBI," said Steve Cole, a spokesman for the US Attorney's Office in Tampa. "I can't comment beyond that." Pearlman is the subject of several federal and state criminal investigations in Florida involving alleged securities and bank fraud. He was being flown to Guam, the nearest U.S. territory, where he will have an initial appearance before a federal judge.

Indonesian authorities located Pearlman living in a resort hotel in the tourist district of Nusa Dua in Bali. Immigration officials in that country told him he was no longer welcome in their country and then expelled him. In the process, they turned him over to U.S. officials.
On Feb. 15, FBI and IRS agents, using search warrants, raided Pearlman's former corporate headquarters on Church Street and his Isleworth home near Windermere and seized truckloads of documents.

While the federal charges remain publicly unknown, Pearlman has been charged in both state and federal court with civil complaints alleging widespread fraud in an "employee investment savings account " program he ran for more than two decades through his Trans Continental Airlines company.

The civil suits, including one from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, have alleged he received more than $317 million from more than 1,800 investors who were told their money was going into safe, secured, high-interest accounts. They money instead fueled a huge, long-running Ponzi scheme, in which later investments were used to keep earlier investors happy, the suits allege. In addition, a dozen banks have sued him after foreclosing on more than $130 million in loans.

Attorneys and investigators trying to find the money for the civil cases have found very little; only a few hundred thousand dollars so far.

Reaction among investors and attorneys in Florida was swift and hopeful.

"Number one, he deserves to be arrested and number two, they may find out where the money is," said Clearwater attorney Robert Persante, who sued Pearlman on behalf of investors who claimed to have lost money in Pearlman's savings program.

Joe Madigan of Ocala is among investors wondering what will come of the arrest. He and his wife Jean lost $300,000 in the program, which he said was their life savings. Madigan does not have much hope of getting much, if any, money back. But he does want to see justice.

"I hope that he (Pearlman) does time. He stole money from innocent people who trusted him and put all their life savings into an investment we thought was secure," Madigan said. "Also, I don't think the guys who assisted him in selling these investments should get away scot-free either."

There are dozens of lawsuits pending, including involuntary bankruptcy cases against Pearlman personally and many of his companies. Attorney Denise D. Dell-Powell, who represents court-appointed trustee Soneet Kapila in those bankruptcy cases, said the biggest hope might hinge on whether Pearlman reveals what happened to the money as part of some sort of plea bargain.
"Part of it depends on whether Pearlman will plea out and will provide information that will help us provide restitution for the creditors," Dell-Powell said.

There also is the question of whether any of Pearlman's top executives might also be indicted. If not, with Pearlman's arrest, they might be freer to talk as well, she said.

"You have various people who may be concerned about their own criminal liability, and when the indictments are unsealed and they are not targeted, they may feel they can speak to us more freely, which is helpful," she said. "It could mean nothing to us. I would imagine at this point, he pleads the 5th" Amendment, exercising his right to not speak.

Pearlman was last publicly seen in Orlando in late January. By early February he was in Germany, where he still has a boy band, US5, touring. But within days of his Feb. 1 appearance on German television, he dropped out of sight again. Subsequent sightings have been reported in Russia, Belarus, Germany, Israel, Spain, Panama, Brazil and Indonesia. The first such Indonesia report came in early February when an Orlando attorney received a letter from Pearlman with a Bali, Indonesia, postmark. Since then, the Orlando Sentinel has received at least two more unconnected reports of Pearlman sightings in Bali.


Age is a Defense

CATEGORY: Law, Personal Assault, Addiction

DIVISION: Modern Evil Company

COMMENTARY: Yes, Age IS a defense. In fact, it's a very good defense. Unfortunately, only the very young and the very old can take advantage of it. That said, with all the attention given lately to children soldiers, those in their golden years should re-think their retirement plans and revisit the many options of rowdyism, bullying, and other anti-social behaviors. This could be very therapeutic and bring new purpose to their lives.

Man, 76, on trial in Lend-a-Hand attack

Tue Jun 12, 10:57 PM ET

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Testimony began Tuesday against a 76-year-old man accused of beating his 81-year-old neighbor with a hammer after she refused to give him gambling money.

Richard Edison Johnson is charged with attempted murder and willful injury. He is accused of striking Elizabeth Alwine on March 5, hospitalizing her with serious head injuries.

Both were residents of Lend-a-Hand, a home for elderly and handicapped people in Davenport.

John Fuller, the home's maintenance supervisor, testified that he entered Alwine's apartment after hearing noises and found the two in a bloody struggle over a hammer. He said Johnson then calmed down, while the woman — whose face, arms, and hands were covered in blood — remained hysterical.

Fuller said that as they waited for help, Johnson told him: "I'm old. What are they going to do, lock me up?"

Fuller said Johnson repeatedly admitted to the attack.

Assistant Scott County Attorney Mike Walton told the jury that Johnson hit Alwine several times with a hammer after she refused to loan him money. She was treated and released from a Davenport hospital after getting 19 stitches.

Walton said Johnson had borrowed money from Alwine and her sister about a week earlier. Fuller testified that Johnson had a reputation for borrowing money from residents.


The Guidebook for Taking a Life

CATEGORY: Instructionals, How-To

DIVISION: Education

NOTE: The actual steps for Taking a Life will vary by region, religion, and resources at hand. Taking a Life can usually be done in 6 steps or less. Remember to always wear eye-protection and clean up after yourself.

The Guidebook for Taking a Life


June 10, 2007

We were in a small house in Zarqa, Jordan, trying to interview two heavily bearded Islamic militants about their distribution of recruitment videos when one of us asked one too many questions.

“He’s American?” one of the militants growled. “Let’s kidnap and kill him.”

The room fell silent. But before anyone could act on this impulse, the rules of jihadi etiquette kicked in. You can’t just slaughter a visitor, militants are taught by sympathetic Islamic scholars. You need permission from whoever arranges the meeting. And in this case, the arranger who helped us to meet this pair declined to sign off.

“He’s my guest,” Marwan Shehadeh, a Jordanian researcher, told the bearded men.

With Islamist violence brewing in various parts of the world, the set of rules that seek to guide and justify the killing that militants do is growing more complex.

This jihad etiquette is not written down, and for good reason. It varies as much in interpretation and practice as extremist groups vary in their goals. But the rules have some general themes that underlie actions ranging from the recent rash of suicide bombings in Algeria and Somalia, to the surge in beheadings and bombings by separatist Muslims in Thailand.

Some of these rules have deep roots in the Middle East, where, for example, the Egyptian Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi has argued it is fine to kill Israeli citizens because their compulsory military service means they are not truly civilians.

The war in Iraq is reshaping the etiquette, too. Suicide bombers from radical Sunni and Shiite Muslim groups have long been called martyrs, a locution that avoids the Koran’s ban on killing oneself in favor of the honor it accords death in battle against infidels. Now some Sunni militants are urging the killing of Shiites, alleging that they are not true Muslims. If there seems to be no published playbook, there are informal rules, and these were gathered by interviewing militants and their leaders, Islamic clerics and scholars in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and England, along with government intelligence officials in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

Islamic militants who embrace violence may account for a minuscule fraction of Muslims in the world, but they lay claim to the breadth of Islamic teachings in their efforts to justify their actions. “No jihadi will do any action until he is certain this action is morally acceptable,” says Dr. Mohammad al-Massari, a Saudi dissident who runs a leading jihad Internet forum,, in London, where he now lives.

Here are six of the more striking jihadi tenets, as militant Islamists describe them:

Rule No. 1: You can kill bystanders without feeling a lot of guilt.

The Koran, as translated by the University of Southern California Muslim Student Association’s Compendium of Muslim Texts, generally prohibits the slaying of innocents, as in Verse 33 in Chapter 17 (Isra’, The Night Journey, Children of Israel): “Nor take life, which Allah has made sacred, except for just cause.”

But the Koran also orders Muslims to resist oppression, as verses 190 and 191 of Chapter 2 (The Cow) instruct: “Fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight with you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out, for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. ...”

In the typical car bombing, some Islamists say, God will identify those who deserve to die — for example, anyone helping the enemy — and send them to hell. The other victims will go to paradise. “The innocent who is hurt, he won’t suffer,” Dr. Massari says. “He becomes a martyr himself.”

There is one gray area. If you are a Muslim who has sinned, getting killed by a suicide bomber will clean some of your slate for Judgment Day, but precisely where God draws the line between those who go to heaven or hell is not spelled out.

Rule No. 2: You can kill children, too, without needing to feel distress.

True, Islamic texts say it is unlawful to kill children, women, the old and the infirm. In the Sahih Bukhari, a respected collection of sermons and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, verse 4:52:257 refers to Ghazawat, a battle in which Muhammad took part. “Narrated Abdullah: During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah’s Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.”

But militant Islamists including extremists in Jordan who embrace Al Qaeda’s ideology teach recruits that children receive special consideration in death. They are not held accountable for any sins until puberty, and if they are killed in a jihad operation they will go straight to heaven. There, they will instantly age to their late 20s, and enjoy the same access to virgins and other benefits as martyrs receive.

Islamic militants are hardly alone in seeking to rationalize innocent deaths, says John O. Voll, a professor of Islamic history at Georgetown University. “Whether you are talking about leftist radicals here in the 1960s, or the apologies for civilian collateral damage in Iraq that you get from the Pentagon, the argument is that if the action is just, the collateral damage is justifiable,” he says.

Rule No. 3: Sometimes, you can single out civilians for killing; bankers are an example.

In principle, nonfighters cannot be targeted in a militant operation, Islamist scholars say. But the list of exceptions is long and growing.

Civilians can be killed in retribution for an enemy attack on Muslim civilians, argue some scholars like the Saudi cleric Abdullah bin Nasser al-Rashid, whose writings and those of other prominent Islamic scholars have been analyzed by the Combating Terrorism Center, a research group at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Shakir al-Abssi, whose Qaeda-minded group, Fatah Al Islam, has been fighting Lebanese soldiers since May 20, says some government officials are fair game. He was sentenced to death in Jordan for helping to organize the slaying of the American diplomat Laurence Foley in 2002, and said in an interview with The New York Times that while he did not specifically choose Mr. Foley to be killed, “Any person that comes to our region with a military, security or political aim, then he is a legitimate target.”

Others like Atilla Ahmet, a 42-year-old Briton of Cypriot descent who is awaiting trial in England on terrorism charges, take a broader view. “It would be legitimate to attack banks because they charge interest, and this is in violation of Islamic law,” Mr. Ahmet said last year.

Rule No. 4: You cannot kill in the country where you reside unless you were born there.

Militants living in a country that respects the rights of Muslims have something like a peace contract with the country, says Omar Bakri, a radical sheik who moved from London to Lebanon two years ago under pressure from British authorities.

Militants who go to Iraq get a pass as expeditionary warriors. And the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks did not violate this rule since the hijackers came from outside the United States, Mr. Bakri said.

“When I heard about the London bombings, I prayed that no bombers from Britain were involved,” he said, fearing immigrants were responsible. As it turned out, the July 7, 2005, attack largely complied with this rule. Three of the four men who set off the bombs had been born in Britain; the fourth moved there from Jamaica as an infant.

Mr. Bakri says he does not condone violence against innocent people anywhere. But some of the several hundred young men who studied Islam with him say they have no such qualms.

“We have a voting system here in Britain, so anyone who is voting for Tony Blair is not a civilian and therefore would be a legitimate target,” says Khalid Kelly, an Irish-born Islamic convert who says he studied with Mr. Bakri in London.

Rule No. 5: You can lie or hide your religion if you do this for jihad.

Muslims are instructed by the Koran to be true to their religion. “Therefore stand firm (in the straight Path) as thou art commanded, thou and those who with thee turn (unto Allah), and transgress not (from the Path), for He seeth well all that you do,” says verse 112 of Chapter 11 (Hud). Lying is allowed only when it is deemed a necessity, for example when being tortured, or when an innocuous deception serves a good purpose, scholars say.

But some militants appear to shirk this rule to blend in with non-Muslim surroundings or deflect suspicion, says Maj. Gen. Achraf Rifi, the general director of Lebanon’s internal security force who oversaw a surveillance last year of a Lebanese man suspected of plotting to blow up the PATH train under the Hudson River.

“We thought the story couldn’t be true, especially when we followed this young man,” General Rifi said. “He was going out, drinking, chasing girls, drove a red MG.” But he says the man, who is now awaiting trial in Lebanon, confessed, and Mr. Rifi recalled that the Sept. 11 hijacker who came from Lebanon frequented discos in Beirut.

Mr. Voll takes a different view of the playboy-turned-militant phenomenon. He says the Sept. 11 hijackers might simply have been “guys who enjoyed a good drink” and that militant leaders may be seeking to do a “post facto scrubbing up of their image” by portraying sins as a ruse.

Rule No. 6. You may need to ask your parents for their consent.

Militant Islamists interpret the Koran and the separate teachings of Muhammad that are known as the Sunna as laying out five criteria to be met by people wanting to be jihadis. They must be Muslim, at least 15 and mature, of sound mind, debt free and have parental permission.

The parental rule is currently waived inside Iraq, where Islamists say it is every Muslim’s duty to fight the Americans, Dr. Massari says. It is optional for residents of nearby countries, like Jordan.

In Zarqa, Jordan, the 24-year-old Abu Ibrahim says he is waiting for another chance to be a jihadi after Syrian officials caught him in the fall heading to Iraq. He is taking the parental rule one step further, he said. His family is arranging for him to marry, and he feels obligated to disclose his jihad plans to any potential bride.

“I will inform my future wife of course about my plans, and I hope that, God willing, she might join me,” he said.