The bizarre double life of conservative congressional hopeful Jake Rush

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Running for the U.S. Congress can be the role of a lifetime for a budding politician, which would seem on the surface to fit right in with “conservative” Republican candidate Jacob A. Rush.

Rush, a 35-year-old attorney who just launched a campaign in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, knows a thing or two about role-playing.

The former Alachua County sheriff’s deputy announced March 20 that he would join the GOP primary race against incumbent U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, the first-term Tea Party favorite from Gainesville.

Conservative Straight Shooter

“Voters in North Central Florida are tired of being disappointed and embarrassed by their congressman,” according to a prepared statement announcing Rush’s candidacy.

On Rush’s campaign website is a well-produced, professional video, portraying the candidate as the ultimate “conservative straight shooter,” ready to fight for “we the people.”

The video certainly hits all the right marks by featuring a series of heartwarming and inspiring images: Rush placing his hand on a Bible, as a father of a newborn, even initiating a group of enthusiastic schoolchildren on the values of the U.S. Constitution.

Jake Rush, Under the Surface

What the slick video does not mention is that Rush – as “Chazz Darling,” “Staas van der Winst” and a host of other roles – was a longtime member of the Mind’s Eye Society, otherwise known as “Camarilla.”

Mind’s Eye, or MES, is a nationwide community of gothic-punk role-players who come together to take on personas of vampires and other supernatural beings (known as Kindred), dealing with night-to-night struggles “against their own bestial natures, hunters and each other.”

MES has a number of different sects, with names such as Vampire: The Requiem; Vampire: The Masquerade; Changeling: The Lost; Geist the Sin Eaters; New World of Darkness and Werewolf the Forsaken, among others.

Using various “domains” — through both table games and “live action”— Rush participated as dozens of “characters,” with names like Darling, van de Winst, Johan Gambrys, Zane Daily, The Kriesler, Archbishop Kettering and more.

Not a Trivial Enterprise

MES, extremely trademarked and organized, is by no means a trivial enterprise. It is a highly regimented association of like-minded people, complete with its own rituals and performances.

The governing body not only has elected officers, a Board of Directors and someone called a “national storyteller,” but they conduct monthly meetings, hold trade shows and present an annual international convention, which in 2014 is April 9-13 in San Antonio, Texas.

Rush, as a member of the “Kindred of Gainesville,” is not some teenager playing Dungeons and Dragons in his mom’s basement. This is a game for adults, with adult themes.

The CD 3 hopeful remained for years as a mid-level participant, active as late as last year. Rush reached the level of “Regional Storyteller,” and was listed as a founding member of the Gainesville “Cam chapter,” according to the advanced and intricate wiki site devoted to followers of the Camarilla world.

The Camarilla Wiki Project is a user-edited (think Wikipedia) community website that allows the global players to communicate, exchange information, write fiction and upload photos.

Sworn Officer … Fo’ Real

Listed under “other interests” on his bio page, Rush describes himself as a “sworn officer … fo’ real,” suggestive of his double life in the “occult” world and the “real” one, as a lawyer and Alachua County sheriff’s deputy.

By June 2013, the future GOP candidate — beginning to aspire to elected office — began to try to cleanse his past, starting with a frenzy of image deletions from the wiki, with some of the most outrageous ones deleted March 7, 2014.

However, not everything was scrubbed.

Put On My Rape Face

Images that remained under the attorney’s name range between the utterly childish and truly unsettling — especially for someone wanting to be a serious “law and order” GOP congressional candidate who leans to the right of the Tea Party.

For example, images not erased — unlike one deleted photo uploaded in 2009 titled “Put on my Rape Face” — illustrate a disturbing spectrum, ranging from the silly and mild to unsettling portrayals of bizarre, ritualistic scenes of the occult, book burnings — even a succubus.

Among the photos still available on the wiki are:

  • Burning books
  • Aiming shotguns at dogs
  • Dressed as a vampire
  • Dressed as a demon
  • Satanic symbolism
  • Being chained and gagged
  • Bloody angel wings

Note: For the uninitiated, a succubus is a female demon who appears in dreams, usually in human form, to seduce men through sexual activity.

Chazz Darling

Chazz Darling appears to be one of Rush’s favorite personas. As Darling, Rush published regularly in both the Camarilla Wiki Project, a wide range of message boards and sites connected with White Wolf Publishing, the company which created the first Vampire: The Masquerade role-playing game in 1991.

Rush is certainly living a double life, one that would rival Jekyll and Hyde – except it is all too real.

As a Gainesville native with a degree from the University of Florida and a 2007 graduate of Stetson Law School, Rush — at the same period as his life in Camarilla — served in the Florida Bar as the Young Lawyer’s Division Board of Governors representative for the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

On his Rush & Glassman law firm bio, it says Rush also served on the Board of Directors of the local Bar and as a member of the City of Gainesville’s “Black on Black Crime Task Force.”

Then again, the same person, as Chazz, wrote in one Yahoo message board, titled “The Fallen,” dated Feb. 12, 2010:

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 that was blessed by Rui (sic) but then I remembered that you were typing so my dick would really have to be in your hands to keep you from typing but since you are walking in Omaha that’s not really realistic right now.

I’m sorry, I tried.

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.”

And stop letting people torpor (sic) you.

Chazz Darling
Power of Discord
Important member of the LS

GOP Backing?

Rush, as a recently announced congressional candidate, accuses Yoho, his GOP contender, of being a politician who “says one thing and does the opposite.”

He also insists publicly that “the Chamber and other prominent Republicans will back his bid for Congress.”

But who will the GOP be supporting? Will it be the “straight shooting” Republican Jacob A. Rush, Archbishop Kettering or Chazz Darling?

Or perhaps all three …

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.