Today’s blog is a guest post by jesusofrave. Jesusofrave is one of the most enduring brand names of the darknet markets since the early days of the original Silk Road when they sold direct to users.
Fast forward 4 years, and jesusofrave is a wholesale supplier of MDMA and LSD, operating across all major darknet markets, as well as supplying direct through their own dark web site, The Church. They have some major plans for the near future, including providing significant assistance and donations to organizations using psychedelics in therapy.
Here they tell how they got to where they are.
A Short History of Nearly Everything (jesusofrave)
Anyone with more than a passing interest in the darknet is bound to be familiar with the name “jesusofrave.” Even if we’ve never dealt with them personally, we may associate the name with longevity, or professionalism, or simply nostalgia for the early days of darknet markets.
Over their careers, darknet vendors tend to befall at least one of a number of shortcomings, whether it be inadequate stealth or operational security; underestimating the necessary time and resource commitments; poor, unpleasant, dishonest, or infrequent communication; disdain for the community; lack of respect for anonymity; inconsistent or misrepresented offerings; or even outright theft and fraud. jesusofrave sticks out among this landscape for their distinct lack of complaints from their clientele. Very few vendors indeed can claim such a reputation and those who have sustained a similar level of satisfaction and community approval over such a length of time in this uncertain territory are even fewer.
The Early Church and the Silk Road
In her book Silk Road, Eileen Ormsby presents details from an interview with an alleged representative of jesusofrave going by the name “Joseph.” Joseph recounts how in the pre-Silk Road days he and a small group of associates sold what Ormsby refers to as “party drugs,” mainly LSD and MDMA, to acquaintances, and developed a reputation for quality, professionalism, and honesty but found that dealing face to face tended to complicate social relationships. Joseph is said to have heard of the Silk Road initially through the infamous Gawker piece. Intrigued by further media mentions over the ensuing year, Joseph gathered together some trusted friends who set to the task of doing the necessary research and building the infrastructure required to set up shop on the Silk Road, which they did in late September 2012.
At this point we can leave Joseph and Eileen Ormsby as much of the story is a matter of public record. jesusofrave introduced themselves as a UK-based vendor offering a wealth of free samples of LSD and varying sized orders of LSD blotter and ecstasy pills. The free samples returned glowing reviews from the receivers, and more varieties of LSD and MDMA followed, along with cannabis and, soon, ketamine.
From the beginning, jesusofrave was active on the Silk Road forums, engaging with customers in their vendor thread, developing a rapport with the community, and generally functioning as a benevolent and sensible presence. The early weeks also marked the appearance of the offering that came to be most closely associated with jesusofrave: the “Christ” crystal, later referred to as “The Original Christ” (TOC; “Tears of Christ” in liquid form), described as white fluff from Switzerland of 95 percent purity or better. jesusofrave soon earned the approval of the original LSD Avengers who were notable for promoting systematic testing with independent labs to verify LSD content of Silk Road vendors’ offerings, provoking a marked increase in the standard of quality and accuracy of dosage information among Silk Road LSD vendors. By this time jesusofrave’s good name was being brought up alongside the most highly regarded Silk Road vendors throughout the forums.
Business continued as usual over the following months, with the eventual addition of DMT, 2C-B, and dextroamphetamine. In early 2013 jesusofrave took a step that put them in a class of their own by listing various vending consultation packages, offering to share the methods and mindset that had already made them one of the all time most highly regarded Silk Road vendors in under three months.
By early summer 2013 the demands of vending on the small jesusofrave team began to exceed their capabilities, and rather than overextend themselves beyond the point of being able to offer their same high standard of service, they elected to step back, reevaluate, and reconfigure, removing listings for the time being with the intent to return periodically for limited sales of LSD rather than the previous full-time operation listing a wide variety of materials. They did reappear briefly near the end of September but the triumph of the messiah’s return was to be undermined with the October 2 Federal Bureau of Investigation seizure of Silk Road and arrest of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged operator of the hidden marketplace. jesusofrave moved quickly to establish alternate platforms of communication and contact buyers affected by the seizure. The immediate result was the unrecoverable loss of all buyer and vendor funds remaining in Silk Road wallets. The auspicious first chapter in the story of darknet markets and jesusofrave had come to an abrupt close; if the story were to continue the protagonists would have to seek a new paradigm.
Post-SR, the Majestic Garden, and the Move to Direct Dealing
In the wake of the Silk Road seizure and arrests a number of successor markets arose to fill the void, and jesusofrave established a presence on the most prominent among them, including Silk Road 2 (the most initially visible), Agora, and Evolution. Near the end of 2013 a group considering themselves the successors to the original Silk Road LSD Avengers established the Majestic Garden, an informational platform for discussion of darknet vendors’ offerings and contact information, with discussion limited to cannabis and psychedelics having a strong history of relative safety. The atmosphere of community engagement and positivity was the exact sort of place for the jesusofrave team to thrive, and so they did.
During their Silk Road career jesusofrave generally offered listings in personal use amounts, 100-dose units at most. In the interest of limiting their workload to maintain satisfactory levels of security and customer service, the team moved increasingly to bulk offerings and narrowed the variety of their listings in the post-Silk Road days. Near the end of the Silk Road days LSD vendors increasingly began to offer raw LSD crystal, and jesusofrave soon followed, offering quantities up to a gram. By 2015 jesusofrave had moved to offering raw crystal exclusively. This time period also found jesusofrave abandoning branding their offerings with any biased descriptors, which they found to color resulting experiences unduly, initially simply describing the material’s appearance and eventually opting for simple alphanumeric identifiers and approximate purity levels. Once vendors like HouseofSpirit showed the potential of having multiple varieties of LSD crystal on offer at once, jesusofrave moved to meet buyer demand by simultaneously listing the four best of the sixteen varieties of LSD crystal to which they have access, which were branded JoR #1 through #4 and eventually joined by #5, a further purification of #1.
Silk Road 2 was taken down and its operator arrested on its first anniversary as the centerpiece of Operation Onymous, a coordinated takedown of several hidden services by law enforcement agencies cooperating internationally. Months later, Evolution administrators shut down the site and stole all bitcoins in escrow. Vendors increasingly expressed dissatisfaction with the centralized escrow marketplace paradigm, citing the potential for both buyer and vendor to lose money in exit scams and long waits for funds to be released as absentminded buyers neglect to release funds. After the fall of SR2 and especially Evolution, jesusofrave moved to deemphasize marketplace-based purchases and, while maintaining Agora and DHL accounts, kept the Majestic Garden as their main base of communications. In April 2015 jesusofrave announced their price match initiative, whereby they pledged to match any reputable vendor’s LSD price, and consistently made good on the offer, repeatedly lowering prices to match competing offers. Between 2014 and 2016 the price of a gram was cut nearly in half. In August 2015 Agora shut down voluntarily citing security concerns, and the Majestic Garden experienced an influx of new contributors disillusioned by the remaining choices of markets and the concept of centralized escrow markets in general.
About a month into their Silk Road vending career jesusofrave had told the flock gathering in their Silk Road vendor thread of a dream to name twelve “disciples” who would receive special rates with jesusofrave and a monthly gift. It would be more than three years until this dream was finally realized in the form of the Cosmic Clergy. In February 2016, jesusofrave followed a number of ambitious vendors in setting up their own personal hidden service storefront, the Church, and announcing their intention to withdraw their direct presence from the Majestic Garden and operate solely through the Church. They also recruited a dozen respected Gardeners to help facilitate the transition and carry out necessary tasks going forward. The Clergy were to continue the legacy of attentive and good-humored customer relations on the Garden and elsewhere and develop new initiatives of interest to the wider community.
In some ways the story of jesusofrave reflects the wider trajectory of darknet markets and vendors over the past few years, showing how our concerns, preoccupations, and expectations have changed as a community. Before the advent of jesusofrave and the LSD Avengers “Does anyone know where I can get legit LSD?” was a common refrain on the Silk Road forums, and a few short years later one finds such a wealth of legitimate options that nearly every level of buyer and every variety of taste can find satisfaction in the range of choices, at prices low enough to rival the days of Pickard’s major production. As times change and jesusofrave withdraws their public presence to focus on their independent venture, the Cosmic Clergy works to provide continuity and help the organization remain the stable constant in the choppy waters of the darknet that they have long been. jesusofrave continues to approach their mission with open hearts and minds, a spirit of abundance, and a recognition of the need for constant innovation. The story is far from over, and since we can never predict where it will lead us, only one option remains: rave on!
This post originally appeared in The Church Newsletter. Reproduced with the permission of the authors.
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