March 2, 2018 at 12:04 am #29144Kevin HsuParticipant
@remrelganaps, @wanda102, @meghanmayhem, @addisonborn, and I meet with Morgan at the NoHo Diner. He brings out a tarot deck and tells us a story about a friend of his that was an excellent martial artist; they were walking down the street and his friend stops at a window and starts practicing his stances in the reflection. After a moment his friend apologizes and explains that he always stops at his reflection because, “if you can see your reflection, you can improve.”
Morgan then takes out the tarot cards and tells us about the top cards, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, etc; but the most powerful card is the zero card, The Fool. The Fool is powerful because he is stupid enough to jump off the cliff trusting that he has the potential to do anything, Morgan considers himself The Fool.
He is now ready to show us some truth, he calls someone on his phone and shows us the screen, it says “BOS 28”. He asks for our respect for whoever he’s invited. Several tense minutes later, Lia comes in along with Chris at her side. She starts her story from the beginning.
Before Lust began, she found a posting on Backstage for an immersive show and thinking that it might be Tension she went ahead and applied. She got emails from Darren, from his email address as well as the Tension email address arranging to meet. She meets Darren at some bar, and Noah is with him. Darren makes her sign a NDA before beginning their conversation.
Lust starts up, and when Noah goes missing Lia finally gets a task, she was to tell us the story of Noah at the park. She misemphasized the robots line and later gets an angry call from Clint telling her, “it’s not just acting, we have to make sure the pieces fall into place, it’s about safety.” She has to be a participant, but isn’t allowed to improvise.
She doesn’t get anything for a long time, until just before the MSE; Darren calls her one morning while he’s at home cooking breakfast with his family. He has an idea, “wouldn’t it be funny if you saw Anoch?”
So on her second run through MSE she gets pulled by Darren and Cecelia up the stairs, it’s just a storage closet. Then Clint, Noah, and Horace enter; Clint goes to his laptop, Noah flirts with her a bit, and Horace asks “what is she doing here?”. Clint assures him, “she’s here to be witness”, and Horace sits on a couch. Darren leaves, Clint is typing on his laptop, then says to Noah, “NOW.” Noah pulls out a dagger and slashes Horaces throat, there’s blood and gurgling. Darren comes back and complains, “you started without me?” Clint reponds, “you were late.” Darren asks, “Did she witness?” Clint looks to Lia, “DID YOU SEE?” Lia nods. Clint tells Lia, “you can go now.” She storms down the stairs in shock and disbelief, Darren follows her and takes her back up the stairs into the room again; there he looks her in the eyes, smiles, and says “you know the funny thing, Lia? Nobody is going to believe you no matter what you say.” and then lets her leave.
So she tells the snake story they prepared for her originally because she thought maybe it was better than the truth.
March 2, 2018 at 12:43 am #29145Michael RizzoParticipant
Man that’s a lot to unpack.
So Horace knew what he was walking into when he went upstairs? You’d think he would know there was supposed to be a witness for this moment?
Clint and Darren are the big bads, being the one ones in control of noah (who is now supposedly king of this castle, effectively making dlb and Clint kings of the castle). I can’t imagine the top of the ladder is just the director and writer? So whose above them? Are the investors still a thing?
Going off all the info we’ve learned from @a on slack, this organization has been around for years and are just using the newest medium (immersive theater) to create belief of their work and make it powerful (ie sigils). Have Clint and DLB begun to enjoy the work they do with this organization? I suppose when you get a taste of true magick you don’t want to stop tasting it.
Has there always been a position in the organization for a “writer/scribe”? Just as how tension had the scribe, it was truth’s hidden in a bunch of lies? The role was just waiting for Clint to step into?
(This is a lot of word vomit don’t hate me)
March 2, 2018 at 9:47 am #29150KevinParticipant
A stopped by Slack this morning:
a [8:13 AM]
How long can one dance with evil before it begins to take hold?
a [8:14 AM]
They are corrupted, that much I believe. But I do not believe they have been creating this.
a [8:17 AM]
I think the only thing they have been corrupted but I do not believe they sit on top of anything. This is much bigger than either of them.
a [8:19 AM]
“by dividing ourselves, we stopped asking questions, looking for truths, and we entrenched ourselves in our fondly held beliefs”
wanda102 [8:20 AM]
I _want_ to believe Lia, but I honestly believe nothing right now, question everything.
a [8:21 AM]
Good @wanda102, there are points where the only truth that is real is our own.
wanda102 [8:24 AM]
So what do you suggest we do? @a
a [8:25 AM]
Listen to everything. But trust with caution. That said, I believe that what @lilmsfancpants is her truth.
LaurenJ [8:25 AM]
Is it way out of line to think Levi and Noah are both in play, here?
a [8:29 AM]
Levi is just a name. A mask in a costume shop.
a [8:36 AM]
Go back to the retreat, listen to the audio. It’s all there.
kevin [8:41 AM]
Did Lia say that Clint actually had writing powers or was that just an assumption?
a [8:42 AM]
I came from this. I do not believe Clint’s writing is causing any of this.
addisonborn [9:02 AM]
@a I have a question that I hope you can answer when you have a moment. You say you came from this, and you taught their texts, so I’m sure you know how this all “works” – you’re not sure that Clint writing is causing this.. i won’t ask what is causing this, cos I’m sure you can’t answer that here or now, but could you elaborate on what Clint is doing and writing, exactly? And any reasons why it’s specifically not causing any of this, in your mind?
Sorry if this is just asking you to rehash info you’ve already shared, but with the context of last night in front of us, I feel like this is a good topic to discuss.
a [9:17 AM]
This goes back much farther than The Creators. Ask yourself if they are pawns, co-creators or desperate co-conspirators. Have they truly ever created anything?
March 2, 2018 at 3:44 pm #29153Robert FullerParticipant
@lazysmartperson left out some details that I think can help add a little perspective for some people. Morgan started out by stating that he didn’t have Clint to write his scripts for him, that he had to improvise, which he seemed excited about. This statement, I believe, is an exception that proves the rule, the rule here being that Clint writes scripts for other people. People like … Lia? Before she and Chris arrived, Morgan told us to listen and to not interrupt or ask questions. So she wouldn’t have to go off script?
And to be sure, Lia’s monologue was clearly scripted. Clearly Acted. I had to stifle a laugh when she got to the murder and tried to summon tears that wouldn’t come (acting tip for Lia: don’t start a scene already in tears, because then you have nowhere to take it). Her “robots in the park” story was far more convincing. And, like I said on Slack, she seemed unsure about what to call Horace, which I find strange, considering he’s one of the few people in this whole thing who has never been called anything else.
But let me back up. I happened to be just a block away from the diner when Morgan called (and I was only at that location because I had picked up a dead drop from another ARG there two nights previously, so it was already near the top of my Google Maps list … I don’t care what Morgan says, North Hollywood is clearly some sort of nexus for all immersive/ARGs, and this phenomenon needs to be investigated at some point … but I digress) so I was able to get there within seconds (though Kevin still got there before me). And since Addison took an inexplicably long time to get there, we had a lot of time to kill by shooting the breeze. Morgan told us to order whatever we wanted, that it was on the BOS (Does the BOS have expense accounts?). I wished he’d told us there was going to be free food, I wouldn’t have eaten a burrito right before I left if he had. But I ordered a slice of cherry pie, so I at least got a dessert out of it. Morgan mentioned that he and Cristen ate at this diner all the time together (Cristen seems to be friends with everyone. I don’t know how she has the time or energy for all of these friendships. I have like five friends and it’s fucking exhausting) and he therefore knew all the waitresses. He then spent a good chunk of our waiting period interrogating me about my feelings and allegiances. He started by saying, “Robert, my biggest fan” (ironically, obviously). He seemed a little annoyed that I was there. Or, more accurately, he seemed annoyed by his own decision to democratize this meeting and make it accessible to everyone, not just the BOS. He asked me how long I had been in the BOS. I played along and told him I wasn’t in the BOS. He asked which side I was on, what my feelings were, whether I trusted the OSDM. He also asked what it is that he has failed to give me. “Information,” was my response. He observed that he had given me more information than anyone. I pointed out that A had given me more information, and he countered that by saying A had merely given out the information he had allowed her to give out. It just went back and forth like that.
He thought I hated him, seemed quite certain of it. When I denied it, he said I used to hate him, that I must be mellowing with age, or something. Let me make this clear: I do not, nor have I ever, hated Morgan. Sure, he’s pissed me off a few times. Sure, he’s hurt my feelings a few times. Sure, he once helped put me in a deep depression that lasted for days and made me want to quit Lust altogether. But that’s just me: I’m sensitive and prone to depression. It’s my problem, not his, and he had no way of knowing this. So I do not hate him. In fact, I quite like the guy. He’s arrogant and self-righteous and he has that thing in his eyebrow that freaks me out, but he’s nonetheless a charismatic fellow who makes for charming company.
What I hate are his methods and, by extension, his organization. Aggressive and deceitful recruitment tactics? Check. Inability to accept refusal? Check. Zealous, sanctimonious devotees? Check. The BOS is a cult. Plain and simple. And now we have their latest tactic: dramatically propping an actress in front of just five participants, along with the solicitous husband (nice touch!), to deliver a weepy, ridiculous, obviously fake monologue about how she witnessed Darren Lynn Bousman, auteur de film, being complicit in a ritual homicide. Sure. Okay.
Welcome to Lust 2.0. Second verse, same as the first.
A said this is Lia’s truth. I don’t believe it is. It certainly is not my truth. If this means that I’m doing Lust wrong, because I’m rejecting this narrative that I’m being handed, well, then, fuck it. I have other ARGs to do, ones that are pure fantasy and don’t make any pretenses of being “real” (I actually feel more myself in the one where I’m a professor than I do here, where ostensibly I am myself. Make of that what you will. I think there are several meanings there).
But I don’t think I am doing it wrong. I think I’m doing it exactly right. We’ve been told to think for ourselves. We’ve been told that we have agency, that we have the power to turn fantasy into reality. Unfortunately, most of my Lust fantasies involve having no agency, having freedom from choice and being forced into something. But in a way, that’s precisely what has happened here.
Larry’s analyst would probably say I need an enemy. He’d probably be right. Can I make Morgan and the BOS my enemy? Why, yes. Yes I can. Will I make them my enemy? Yes, yes I will. Can I still be friends with individual BOS members? Absolutely, I can. Hate the sin, love the sinner, and all that. I think, on some level at least, Morgan wants me as his enemy. He, consciously or not, needs me as his enemy. Maybe not me specifically, but people like me, like Larry, like Bryan or Chelsea, people who will antagonize him and drive his narrative.
And, in this case, my enemy’s enemy is my friend. I guess this is all a roundabout way of saying that I’m following @unseenpresence‘s example. He and I tend to see eye to eye. When he says that he’s pro-OSDM, it sounds dirty. It sounds obscene. It sounds … wrong. And maybe I want to be a little wrong. I consider myself a good person, but, like all good people, I have a dark side that I never let out. I think it’s time to let it out. OSDM, or the Order, might be another cult, but at least they know they’re a cult. You know where you stand with them. If there’s going to be a war, I stand with the man who promised us self-actualization (Is that promise still good? I don’t see why it can’t be), with the folks who made that immersive theater piece in 2016 that I didn’t get to see but which everyone said was really amazing, and with the guy who made the only good Saw movies. And hey, even if they did kill Horace, so what, Horace kinda sucked. For now, at least, this is the side I’m on.
But there isn’t going to be a war, because everything is the Order. Morgan is most likely just the Count Dooku to Noah’s Palpatine. But he is still my enemy. This is not my choice. I’m just following the script, the one in my head. I did not write this script. Clint wrote the treatment, Morgan wrote the rough draft, and my own unconscious polished it up for the shooting script. We all have our truths, and this is my truth.
So, I just want to thank Morgan for giving me this push, for all of the pressure he exerted on me to choose a side. He pushed me to the other side; deliberately, I believe, at least on some level. He gave me a path, and a purpose, and a narrative of my own. So thank you, Morgan. Thank you for the seed that I am now planting. I love you. I need you. I must destroy you.
March 2, 2018 at 4:00 pm #29154
March 2, 2018 at 4:18 pm #29156SamParticipant
a.) this was a goddamn delight to read
b.) stop making me question my words from last night 😉
c.) thanks, Robert <3
March 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm #29157Unseen PresenceParticipant
I want to quote so much of your post, Robert, and just say “YES!” to everything I quoted.
But there are some specific things I wanted to touch on and expand with my own commentary. SUCH a great post.
If this means that I’m doing Lust wrong, because I’m rejecting this narrative that I’m being handed, well, then, fuck it.
But I don’t think I am doing it wrong. I think I’m doing it exactly right.
I cannot, emphatically agree with this more. I wasn’t there to see/hear Lia’s story, so I can only work with what’s been reported of it. And for me, what comes from it doesn’t alter anything for me in any functional way.
I see @a becoming more directly manipulative every time she shows up. I see @b showing up and acting in a way that bothers me tremendously. I see @111error doing what -feels- like his very best, but after the interaction with @b yesterday, I am not longer even remotely certain that he’s in control of himself, no matter WHAT he says at the beginning of a meeting to try to suggest exactly the opposite. His story might actually be a resistance to everything–including the ones directly above him, still pulling his strings.
It would make the push/pull, back and forth yanking of information flow/denial make a lot more sense to me.
Can I make Morgan and the BOS my enemy? Why, yes. Yes I can. Will I make them my enemy? Yes, yes I will. Can I still be friends with individual BOS members? Absolutely, I can.
This is my stance, wholeheartedly. I LIKE Morgan–on a personal level, on how he approaches things and responds to people (even when he bitches at me), I actually LIKE him. In fact, I don’t DISLIKE anyone I’ve met in this experience–at all. It’s the pro-BOS stance that I simply cannot stand with right now. Because given MY Experiences’ experience (ha) so far, the BOS seems almost certainly to be part of the Order.
Nothing else–not the manipulation, the sudden disappearance of anything OSDM, the trolling Slack behavior, the weird phone calls–nothing else makes any sense to me unless this narrative is still happening EXACTLY as they want it to happen. Even if the BOS is legitimate as a group (and I fully respect and believe that many of its members have a legitimate stance they are taking and goals they are trying to fulfill), I don’t for a second believe that it would exist WITHOUT the Order’s approval. @a says they can take things back if they want and the BOS couldn’t stop them.
I think that’s about WAY more than the Slack or the social media.
And I think you are 100% right about Morgan needing enemies. It’s far easier to keep pushing the members in given directions (@a has a horrible past story, their friend Lia was an unwitting accomplice, everything is EVIL, see?) than to let them settle for any length of time and start looking at things without any such morality division.
At least if we’re enemies, we know where we stand. That’s actually a step forward.
March 2, 2018 at 4:12 pm #29155SamParticipant
I’m gonna drive home and type up stuff with photos in a bit, but here’s a periscope link for now, diving into tarot theories from Morgan’s chosen cards last night:
EDIT to add the write up:
Sorry about the length here. I started with basic interpretations of cards and then move into the way I did my spread and some basic thoughts.
The Magician — traditionally about summoning all your resources, all the elements, to manifest desires/goals into reality, creation, infinite possibilities
— could this be Mason? or the Order? Morgan but he doesn’t know it? who has all the resources?
The High Priestess — Connected to mystery, psychic wisdom, using silence and non-action to summon power, reminds us to listen to the voice within us, to look for what’s being kept from us and hidden past the obvious, acknowledge the shadows.
— I think this is Cecilia. She’s been telling us to look closer, to look for what The Creators in particular have been withholding from us, she’s been silent and inactive until recently but now that she’s emerged she appears to have a great amount of power, and at least in my opinion has mainly been using it to push us to look deeper at ourselves
The Empress — “The Empress is the mother or the goddess of the tarot.” Connected to energies that are warm, creative, sensual, fertile. Compassion and loving without being binding,maternal relationships, wanting to love (feel?) more.
— Sabrina? Sabrina is potentially pregnant, but either way, Sabrina and particularly Addison was a pull on our compassion, we felt these feelings toward her, but also she’s never bound us to anything or to her necessarily, she is so many of these characteristics even when we don’t want to admit it.
— Do Sabrina and Cecilia together help to give us the resources to become The Magician, to manifest things into reality? For Morgan to become The Magician? Who are they all to us — is Sabrina our Empress? Changing roles, transformation of the self through The Magician? Sabrina and Cecilia harnessing the resources and powers around them to manifest their reality and transform?
The Fool — Morgan self-identified as this. The bird ready to step off the branch, whether it’s to fly or fall we don’t know. A card of naivety, innocence, inexperienced. But also a card of those who are doubted by others and called the fool, but who are ready to fall, to fly, to pursue their own journey, their own _path.
— we see Morgan as knowing everything, bearing the heavy mantle, stepping up, but does Morgan see himself as falling not flying? As struggling under this weight? But he takes action because he isn’t innocent, in some ways, because he’s seen what could happen. He is so much the latter part of the card, though, he pushes forward despite what others say, what others doubt. He knows his path, and he moves forward. “His wings ache for flight.”
The Wheel — Destiny, change of course, fate that we don’t notice until it feels fixed upon us, repetition, rotation, following our _path? This applies across the spread, but in particular to Morgan and Noah.
The Tower — Brace yourself for change. The well-rooted tree is crashing down around you. Everything may feel as if it’s falling apart but this leads to a change in course that you will be grateful for in the end. A personal breakthrough amidst the attempt to barricade ourselves. This applies to all of us, to Morgan, to Noah, to everyone here who has felt this upheaval and needs to know when it will settle.
The Hanged Man — Change is coming, it’s here. The Hanged Man learns to accept how things are going, to let go, to sacrifice and endure a painful situation because the change in perspective is needed, is important.
— I believe this is Noah, and Horace, and Sabrina, and yes Morgan too. But in particular I think Noah during the finale — exhausted and tired and done — is such evidence of the weight of The Hanged Man but also how he is a part of accepting destiny.
The Chariot — Moving forward, strong will, focusing to achieve what needs to be done, to embrace fate, “With a fixed gaze and sure footing you’ll be headed toward all you dream of.”
— Noah. Morgan. We must move forward and believe, because what else can be done? Otherwise we’re stagnant.
The Hierophant — A mentor who gives knowledge, a seeker of knowledge, the blending and evolution of these roles, a hunger for knowledge and a push to not be hesitant but to deepen the practice, don’t be afraid of new experiences, “A new ceremony or ritual may prove to be both comforting and rewarding.”
— Noah & Horace. I don’t think I need to really elaborate on the why. (Also key imagery!)
Death — The ultimate change. Transformation. Closure. Something in your life needs to end, it will happen voluntarily or involuntarily, but it will create a positive transformation after the suffering has passed.
Judgement — “The word “judgement” conjures up fear & guilt in many people. This card, however, concerns itself with another aspect of this word… it’s about seeking truth. No more blaming yourself or others, no more excuses. Now is the time for forgiveness & personal freedom. This card asks you to rise up, let pettiness & fear fall below you. Expand your wings & be reborn. What a relief it will be.”
I just want us all to sit with this. I want us all to think on it long and hard. And I want to know if this is actually what Morgan means, because part of me thinks it is. But if it’s what someone else wants… well, hmm.
The tarot in many ways is a form of storytelling, and this whole experience has always in many ways been about telling stories, our stories and others. So how is this story told?
Noah seeks the ultimate transformation and closure by killing Horace. Through this he gains knowledge, he tries to be strong willed and ride toward his desires, his destiny. But who will he become? Can he let go of the other memories and feelings he had before? What makes him step up now? The Wheel reminds us that this is all fate, a wound clock, a cycle that must continue, a changing course. Will Judgement come, in this other sense? If sides fall away, if the suffering from Death passes, will we see that we are all in this together, and what a relief that will be? This is partially Morgan’s push, in many ways, and he stands watching the Tower fall, stepping forward, falling or flying but either way GOING. DOING. He has chosen his path and is following it. Will we do the same? Meanwhile, Cecilia pushes us to look closer, Sabrina pulls at our hearts and mothers us in a way that we still don’t know what to do with. Where are the silent ones? And The Magician, off to the side? Watching and waiting? Or is this the power we all need to harness within ourselves? Will you walk your path? How will you find it? What tools will you use to reflect on your own path?
March 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm #29161Lauren BelloModerator
Cristen seems to be friends with everyone. I don’t know how she has the time or energy for all of these friendships. I have like five friends and it’s fucking exhausting
I am laughing so hard
March 2, 2018 at 5:36 pm #29165
March 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm #29162
March 2, 2018 at 6:21 pm #29168
@remrelganaps It was your voice I heard as I grappled with The Balrog. A voice calling to tell me my task was not yet complete. ‘Nuff said.
To which I add that your take is cogent and reasoned. One Noah would be proud of. And @addisonborn, how delightful would it be if the murder of a Gatekeeper was replayed in brutal fashion on @111error, in front of one of his idolatrous fans. I would volunteer, but I imagine @chelsea would kill me first just to get to the front of the line.
Alas, what dreams may come…
I agree with you and @unseenpresence that this is all orchestrated, and clearly Clint is not writing anything, for the rollout is clumsy and inept, almost as if a cult member who previously had manned the checkout counter at Ralph’s had been put in charge. When I read that this was being improvised, I wept, for I feared Clint had transformed into a no-talent hack.
I also confess that, when you were asked what you hadn’t been given, I would have immediately answered “humility”. And that question — FFS — are the words of a sociopath after he’s beaten his lover to a pulp.
Christ, it is as transparent as saran wrap on an icicle that BoS is OSDM, that BoS is indeed a Cult, that Morgan lusted for power and now he has it. Nobody in BoS have bothered (STILL) to answer any of the myriad critical questions put to them or Morgan. Only in cults do members follow without being asked questions.
The reason is simple: they lust after being controlled. They WANT to be followers. They want to be included. To be part of the herd. To stand on [a total and complete lack of any coherent] principle.
But I champion this! It is their _path. I also encourage their sacrifice for my freedom, for it clears the playing field without me having to do any work, and TAKE WHAT IS MINE.
One thing did strike me about Lia’s alleged encounter, assuming that @lazysmartperson also relied it correctly.
If Clint was typing and then said “NOW!”, the inference is that as Clint writes, fantasy becomes reality. Or perhaps fantasy becomes Fantasy which becomes reality.
I am reminded of the recent return to TWIN PEAKS and the mention of tulpas.
The Shadow People we’ve encountered, the sudden mirrored behavior of people we know, seems consistent with this idea. Thus, perhaps Clint has been imbued with the ability to manifest events (he obviously does in a meta sense). That when he and DLB first lusted after doing a project, they found themselves entangled with an entity/group which they were both subjugated to, but which also which gave them certain powers.
Thus, they get what they lust after in simultaneously being able to create “immersive theater” while also effectively sacrificing their players to that which they serve.
Or perhaps Clint just manifested his thoughtform into existence, which then turned around and offered him a Faustian bargain.
DLB and Clint ARE tulpas themselves.
It would certainly explain why they don’t appear to give a shit about us, inasmuch as they didn’t make any money on the show, but got to rule over their fiefdom and see the results of their own thoughtforms manifesting. (In fact — damn — I recall my first phone chat with him in which he so badly wanted to be following people in ASCENSION but never found a way to really do it. I think I may have suggested a mask that encased his entire fucking head. But, dude, a BISON?)
Fuck…it’s like that line:
“We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream…but who is the dreamer?”
And you should watch this, particularly for the very end:
HAS ALL OF THIS JUST BEEN MANIFESTED BY…SOMEONE ELSE? Or did Clint and Darren do it and it got away from them?
March 3, 2018 at 11:14 am #29178KevinParticipant
In one of our last conversations I told Mason that this (us) wasn’t “real.” He asked “does it matter?”
No. No it doesn’t.
This came up on Slack yesterday (specifically regarding Lia) and it’s a general concept that I’ve been grappling with throughout all of *gestures wildly* this.
I went through Ascension twice last year. The first time offered certain feelings, particularly in the White Room and with the senses. The second time struck me more on an intellectual level as the fourth wall was ripped apart. I lurked on the forums, watched everything through to The End and decided I wanted to take part in Lust.
As it started, I mostly dealt with everything on that same intellectual level. Analyzing and trying to piece it together, but not really feeling it on an emotional level. I admit, that’s a level I don’t get to very frequently. I think I’ve got a fairly narrow emotional band and it takes a hard punch to spike it outside of that.
I found the registration event interesting, but again, mostly from an analytical perspective in the way it maybe/maybe didn’t break the fourth wall. There was a moment though, in that reddish room with the man with the stick, he talked about needing both head and heart to get through this and then had me look into a mirror. Coupled with some stuff I’d been going through at the time, it hit in a specific way. The head and heart thing stuck in my head.
Fast forward almost two months. I meet Joyce, she offers connection and engagement, some real feelings. Later, I talk to Mason, Joyce puts on TGIJ, and then Mason shows up. He thanks me for setting it up and my stomach drops. It only gets worse when she was shown on camera again, bloody and beaten. It was a rush of shame and pain and fear; and those feelings came back when she was killed. Or “killed”. When she was shown to be alive later, I was happy and excited. Weirdly, and it was honestly not what I expected, that didn’t invalidate what I’d felt earlier. It hadn’t been “real” but it felt real at the time and those feelings didn’t go away when I found out what really happened.
Somewhere in there, I joined BOS and we did the videos for Noah. Each elicited their own kind of feelings, but maybe not as strong as what happened with Joyce (alright, the Noah video probably did). I know I can get stuck in my head, but the Noah thing helped me realize just how much that could be. I talked about it a few weeks ago, but BOS never felt like home even though it’s what made sense. It made sense on an intellectual level, I guess, save the people, bring down the big bad, but it felt…safe? It’s what I would have always done and what I felt like I should do.
Jump to the MSE and Anna talks to me about some head and heart stuff and I could do more if I got out of my head and used my heart more. Ending up as one of the people to be anointed really pushed outside of that and let me feel. This situation was different than what happened with Joyce, but the anointments didn’t really matter, so in some sense it was artificial. The feelings were still real though.
I thought my _path had lead me to BOS, but it’s really been this head and the heart thing the whole time. Use your head a little bit less, use your heart a little bit more. My head was with BOS, but my heart was never in it for more than a few reasons (I’m sure that comes as a huge shocker and I’m sure I’ll be sorely missed). Is that a stupid reason to leave? Maybe, probably, who knows, but it feels right on every level.
With all of this back and forth about “the truth”/”her truth”/”emotional truth”, I don’t really know where the truth lies. But I know what my emotional truths have been and what I feel. Those emotional truths I’ve encountered have lead to forms of deconstruction, and, reconstruction, and change, and catharsis, as @coryphella mentioned. Normally I would be content to sit back and do what my dumb brain was telling me to, but I don’t think that’s where I’m supposed to be. Not any more.
March 3, 2018 at 1:13 pm #29184Bryan BishopParticipant
I woke up yesterday morning with a real sadness in my heart. What we learned Thursday night had taken its toll overnight while I (kinda/sorta) slept, and the thing that I couldn’t shake was the guilt.
I had done this. You had done this. We had all done this together.
There was this show called Tension, and we went and we went and we went again. Some of us wrote about it; some of us made videos about it; some of us just loved it so hard that it fucking hurt.
And with that, we brought something to life. Something old, dark, and corrupted. Something that turned two people that we’d all begun to feel kinship towards into their darkest, worst possible selves.
The Creators hadn’t turned into murderers because they were fated to. They turned into murderers because we fed the cruel beast that caused their transformation. It was us.
And so I figured the only morally responsible thing to do was to quit. I floated the idea in Slack on Friday, just to see what it felt like to type the words. That broke the dam, and then for the rest of the day I quietly composed a goodbye post.
If the Creators are corrupted, and us feeding The Experience with attention and promotion is what keeps it alive, then the only authentic thing to do is walk away. Feeding something with one hand while trying to strangle it with the other can’t work. It’s folly; discordant and futile.
To really right this wrong would require sacrifice. The sacrifice of leaving all of this behind.
As I was grappling with all of these feelings, the constant interjections from @a only made it more certain that leaving was the right decision. Outside of the call @wanda102 received encouraging us to think for ourselves, almost everything we’ve been told lately is to shut up and stop asking questions. To take what we’ve been told and move on.
It got a little nasty in Slack the other night. And when I suggested to @a that the whole point was that we should be able to draw our own conclusions — right or wrong — @a folded up shop and left Slack.
That seemed to clinch it. The morally right choice was to leave — and I wouldn’t even have to worry about missing some undiscovered outcome, because the push was to strip independence and agency from us anyway.
But then I started really considering these recent posts from @kevin, @coryphella, and @remrelganaps. Posts where they opened up about what they wanted from The Experience, and what they were willing to sacrifice to get it.
You guys made me think about what I really wanted out of this — perhaps for the first time in months.
Yes, there’s a thrill to being the good guy and saving the day — but what I loved about the Tension finale was the revelation that those instincts had just been used to manipulate us. I loved the gut punch, the betrayal, and the absolute and total loss of control.
Slaying the dragon has never been why I’m here. And not to sound all @larry or anything, but I do believe there’s a deeper meaning to all of this. For me, I think it’s the ability to discover what I’m truly capable of. Noah and Mason and Joyce and others have pushed me in this direction, but I’m not there yet. It’s going to require me to dig deep. To truly reject all norms of good and bad. And if that means finding my worst possible self, well then that’s a hat I’ll need to wear.
I felt guilt about The Creators because what happened to them was quote-unquote “bad.” But do they feel that way? Do they have nightmares when they go to sleep at night? Or did they just see opportunity and self-realization glinting in the depths of the pit, and decided that it was worth taking the plunge? Were my feelings of guilt mourning for them, or mourning the fact that they have simply chosen to not play by the rules that the rest of us chain ourselves to?
What rewards do they now enjoy, and what freedoms has their own personal liberation offered?
There’s only one way to know for sure. The abyss awaits. I’m willing to jump — and that means staying, refusing to yield to the forces that would dictate my _path, and forging my own way.
It seems like there’s many others around here that are eager to do the same. And if that destroys us, at least it will be a result of our own choices.
March 3, 2018 at 1:17 pm #29185
March 3, 2018 at 6:36 pm #29193Unseen PresenceParticipant
What fascinates me most about these posts is how the actions on the part of @a and @111error have generated (or at least had infuence) on these changes in stance/position–in the specific absence of anything that can clearly be called OSDM/Order influence.
Is THIS why they’ve disappeared for all intents and purposes? Did they know that by pulling out of the fight, by only leaving one side to argue, they could affect this kind of change?
Is that Noah’s influence on the organization–pushing it to remove itself, so that people would stop getting so caught up in the “us vs. them” mentality and start to see things from a broader perspective? Could he truly be that savvy about how people would react?
Or is this merely the inevitable change that happens as people begin to -really- focus on thinking for themselves? I’m not, in any way, dismissing the choices that anyone in this thread–or anywhere else– have made or will make. I applaud ANYONE who chooses with purpose, no matter which direction they go.
I am, personally, thrilled to see that what may happen in the near future is a group of individuals striving for the truth REGARDLESS of where it takes them. That’s the journey I’ve been pushing for all along, for myself–and I’d hoped that others would surface who are doing the same (they have) and others, still, would also undertake the same decisions.
I care far less where someone ultimately ends up than I do that they went there on their own course, for examined reasons and with clear mind.
March 3, 2018 at 8:33 pm #29199
I’ve been reading through these posts over and over again like a song on repeat. Y’all posted some good shit today. I’m inspired, energized and encouraged. Thank you.
Leaving BOS was brought on by the same actions and behaviors that we saw this past week. It was not the easy decision. The easy decision would have been following the path that prevented the outrage, hurt, and so many unkind words. But that’s not really how I do things. I also had encouragement. At the time, Noah was helping us do the hard things. Talk to the people we didn’t want to talk to, perform acts of kindness for people we would normally ignore. We were being encouraged to think outside of our bubble. He wasn’t performing the actions himself. Or talking about them. Or talking about performing them himself without any evidence to support the claim. We were. You all inspired me that week, just as you have inspired me today. And yesterday. And the day before. So another thank you is owed to Noah. I’d like to think that I would have made the decision without the encouragement to be the best version of myself, and that I’d see that staying just wouldn’t have been honest, but I’m not sure that’s true. That action created something real.
If @superstar is right and WE have been the ones creating this, what do we do next? If we have been the ones driving what has been happening, how can we, the free thinkers, the ones who don’t follow and serve but join and collaborate, change this course?
Noah asked me once if I was a doer or a talker. I said that I was a doer. Thinking about that now, I have to ask myself what exactly I have been doing. Maybe the lack of doing has been out of fear. Maybe it has been out of not knowing what exactly could be done, and saying that it’s because of fear. That’s easier for me to accept than not knowing what the next move is. But, here we are, oh dearest gang of dark siders, and I think we can find it.
So here’s the question. What now? What’s our next move? It’s clear that we aren’t in this alone.
March 3, 2018 at 9:29 pm #29203M.Participant
Throughout my experience, I’ve not chosen a side. Next month will mark 2 years that I first fell into this rabbit hole. Two years with no side chosen. I’ve leaned more OSDM than anything else. But, I’ve also pretty much remained in Switzerland where it’s safe.
After this past week’s events, I agree with those who felt as though there was a narrative being pushed upon us. “There are no sides now. Well, not like there used to be.” That’s what we were told. It felt like we were being herded towards one cause, in one direction. I went to bed that night leaving a few thoughts with Bryan and Megan. Something about the turn of events wasn’t sitting right with me.
This isn’t about being anti-BOS, anti-Morgan, or anti-anyone else for that matter. Those of you who have found a home and a cause within the BOS, I think it’s great you’ve found your place within this labyrinth. I’ve not felt drawn to the resistance. I’ve not felt as though I belong there. And, that’s ok. It would be rather boring if we held the same beliefs and desires. Many of you who are in BOS are so passionate about it. I seek that kind of passion too. I know my passion, my _path, won’t be found there.
I can sit here and share the details of my personal life: how going through a divorce recently has been one of the most harrowing experiences I’ve encountered. 25 years with someone and it’s like it’s been erased. But, it’s also been extremely liberating. I’ve been on a journey rediscovering myself. That journey began with Tension; and, it continued when I signed a harmless piece of paper promising to fully submit myself to The Lust Experience. “Harmless” she says.
One of my biggest fears has always been not being good enough which, in turn, has impacted me in being afraid to speak up. Speaking up cost me my marriage. But, during the MSE, I had two small experiences that left a lasting impression on me. The first being when we were asked the three questions leading to what we desire most in our lives. That was an uncomfortable moment for me because our hostess pressed me about why I had not gone after what I really wanted. For every answer, she had another question. It was painful to answer her because it was a brutally honest moment. The other came during a short exchange I had at the bar during the final show when @coryphella and another woman were chatting. She ended up giving me advice on a relationship that I’ve been in for quite some time that I couldn’t refute. Advice that came from an absolute stranger yet gutted me to my core. I had to walk away out of fear of breaking down.
I walked away from the MSE realizing it wasn’t only a fear. Two of my biggest flaws are not asking for what I want or speaking up when I need to. I was tired of feeling like I lived in Stepford throughout my marriage. Having a new lease on life, being docile isn’t something I want to be now. Life is too short to not take risks for what you want. I may go down in flames trying but at least I did what I wanted.
@kevin said it perfectly:
With all of this back and forth about “the truth”/”her truth”/”emotional truth”, I don’t really know where the truth lies. But I know what my emotional truths have been and what I feel
I received a phone call Thursday night before the 5 met with Morgan that warned me, “She is lying.” I have no idea who he was referring to. I also don’t know where the truth lies in all that has transpired over the last few weeks. I suppose it’s somewhere in the middle and some truths we will never learn. But, like Kevin, I do know what my emotional truths have been. I want to face my fears and part of that is taking the road less travelled. I came out of Tension a changed person. I want to continue to evolve. Fear keeps me paralyzed. I’m tired of being stagnant. I haven’t a clue what my _path is.
If finding myself leads me into the darkness without a return ticket, that is my _path. I spent a good chunk of my life pretending to be a descendent of June Cleaver living in Stepford, no joke. Have you experienced my S’more cupcakes? Not going to lie, they’re pretty damn good. If being selfish and seeking what I want sends me into a downward spiral of depravity that I can’t come back from, so be it. I’m ready.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by M..
March 7, 2018 at 9:52 am #29209Lauren BelloModerator
I’ve been meaning to update my old “Where I Stand” post for a while, since we’ve now seen more of the Resistance. Now feels like as good a time as any.
(Note: I’m speaking as a participant, not a mod, here.)
Back during Tension, I defected from the OOA to join BOS. I had a few reasons, many of which no longer apply.
1) I believed that Old BOS would allow me to be more “myself”. I just couldn’t do the OOA thing. I tried. I think I typed “Glory be!” once, and getting through those seven letters unironically was torture. I didn’t want my eyes to bleed, I didn’t want Attendants to get promoted, and I couldn’t pretend that I did. Old BOS, at first, required less acting; it seemed like a place where I could be authentic. (That changed.)
2) I wanted to be afraid, but the right kind of afraid: surrendering knowingly to a cult that tortured and mutilated people was, at the time, the wrong kind of afraid for me. I wanted the thrilling adventure of trying to rescue someone, not the vulnerability of surrendering to darkness. In choosing Old BOS, I was in some ways trying to choose a different genre. This is also something that no longer applies to me.
3) I was in the right place at the right time. Thanks to some very kind participants at a party, I was voted into an experience receiving and passing along the poison pill. After that, Sentinel called me and officially invited me to Old BOS. If I hadn’t been voted into that position, I don’t know where I would have ended up. At the time, I had lower self-esteem than I do now, and if I hadn’t been specifically invited I may never have publicly chosen a side. I’m really grateful that I was encouraged and given that chance. And I’m in awe of everyone who recently has taken a stand. I know how petrifying that can be.
4) All that said, the decision wasn’t coming entirely from fear or nervousness. The truth is, the OOA really did rub me the wrong way. It felt reasonable and natural to question them. They turned us against each other, encouraged us to report one another. They fed paranoia. They were actively menacing. Not to mention, they were defensive as hell: every time I expressed any kind of doubt, a Gatekeeper came barreling in to correct me and put me down. A hidden command on the website summed it up: “Conform”. I didn’t want to conform. I wanted to dismantle the system.
For all the reasons above, I chose BOS. That was in 2016.
And, in the spirit of honesty…being BOS that year sucked.
I had hoped to find a space to rebel. What I found was a group frequently banished from the forums altogether, led by shady characters, and with no clear role aside from yucking everyone’s yum. We had passion and friendship, and I’m grateful for the friendships I made, but I harbor no delusions: that passion and friendship was pretty much all we had going for us.
A) I couldn’t buy into Sentinel or Benny, the two “characters” ostensibly giving us direction. Sentinel was a cryptic, wild-eyed madman who disappeared for months on end; Benny was an obnoxious twerp. (Yes, I am a monster.) They were both inflammatory and directionless, full of dire warning and lacking in details. I was openly critical.
B) BOS had no role. In retrospect, this makes sense. It was the OSDM’s way of getting rid of the dissenters. Why would they let us make any headway? For a large portion of Indoctrination, we were banned from the forums altogether. By the time we were allowed to return, I found it hard to speak up. Rightly or wrongly, it seemed like the game had moved on without us.
C) Worst of all, a participant who had become our link to Sentinel essentially hijacked BOS, exploiting us to enact personal grudges. It was hard to say what was the game and what was her. And like a true cult member, I became afraid to question, to speak up against the leader, to argue.
I could have spoken up. I could have left. I didn’t. That’s something that continues to weigh on me, and it’s why I keep revisiting this, re-assessing, re-measuring. I don’t want to feel pressured to affirm something I don’t believe. I don’t want to feel trapped in that way ever again.
When the New BOS emerged, I wanted things to be different.
- I didn’t want BOS to be the ones ineffectually warning people not to go to Lust events. It would be planting a flag in an issue we were bound to lose. And it would be trampling on other people’s enthusiasm to no real end.
- I didn’t want BOS to constantly drop hints about “bad things afoot” without actually providing any concrete evidence.
- I didn’t want to be asked to defend ideas and stances that I actually knew nothing about. To make up a position out of, essentially, nothing.
- I didn’t want to be afraid to argue with our leader. I wanted to feel heard.
- I didn’t want only the main handful of participants to receive all the focus. I wanted BOS to interact with everyone, skeptics and fence-straddlers and quiet non-vocal supporters alike. Not just the usuals.
- And most of all, I wanted to believe in the people I followed. I wanted to feel like I could truly buy in to my leader.
Recently, I’ve been assessing that checklist.
- When Morgan warned of the dangers of MSE, it definitely sounded like we were telling people not to go to the MSE. We were That Guy. Sorry. To be fair, once the System Five video came out, we took a new tack. But I get that it looked and felt like we were just there to be ineffectual wet blankets.
- Honestly, we’ve provided a lot of evidence. BOS has spent hours answering questions and giving us access to documents. Doubt the authenticity of the evidence all you want, but you can’t deny that this is more detail and responsiveness than we’ve ever gotten before. Yes, BOS has made a fair number of vague or unsubstantiated statements. (Calling the Google doc “a distraction” for unknown reasons, for instance.) Are we more vague than the Order? Hell no. But I get that if we’re selling ourselves as a better alternative, we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. This one is a mixed bag, but one I’m hopeful about. We’ve improved over last year, 100%.
- Yes, BOS members still try to defend positions based on small slivers of evidence. I get that it rings false. You know when we’re doing it. But here’s the thing…we know when you’re doing it too. It’s the nature of the Experiences: we are given a few small grains of information, and from them we extrapolate story, stances, opinions, we make choices, we decide what we believe. At a certain point, complaining that BOS does this is complaining about the nature of the Experiences as a whole. So I guess I’ve changed my mind on this one. There just isn’t enough to count as a black mark on BOS here. This is just the nature of Lust.
- Privately I have no fear of arguing with Morgan. Publicly, I’m cautious. I suspect I’m not the only BOS member who feels this way. But here’s the thing – that’s not Morgan’s fault. The reason we feel we have to tread lightly is because he’s been on the receiving end of some truly evil vitriol. Some of it anonymous, some of it boldly and blatantly on the forums. Sometimes it feels like even mentioning his name is an act of controversy. So yes, I am extra cautious when I question, because I don’t want to accidentally spearhead another wild attack. But I’m not going to apologize for that, and that issue really doesn’t fall on the BOS’s shoulders. That blame must be taken elsewhere.
- The BOS mission of inclusivity has gone splendidly. It’s Morgan’s forte. The man spent hours on the phone with us. He’s been listening, and it shows.
- I’m just gonna insert this here because it wasn’t a question I knew to ask after Indoctrination. Puzzles. PUZZLES. BOS has puzzles. You can pry TMC from my cold dead hands.
- This…this might get a bit OOG. But if others can bring in OOG hostility, by gum I can bring in OOG friendship.
When I went through Ascension on opening night, I was with Morgan nearly the entire time. When we reached the first stage of sensory deprivation, and I smelled what seemed to be malt vinegar, I couldn’t go forward. For health reasons, I can’t have malt. My sensory deprivers were displeased. They were pressuring me, threatening me with ejection, when Morgan shouted “She has CELIAC disease!” As I sat there paralyzed, they forced him to drink the shot for me. Once he’d choked it down, they let me proceed unhindered.
In the moment I froze, he was immediately ready to defend me. And he’s been this way as long as I’ve known him.
Here’s another story. After one of the Ascension shows, I remember that someone laughed about how their group had a woman who hadn’t read the instructions and showed up without a bra. While others snickered and made jokes, Morgan’s immediate response was to be concerned and to ask if she had been ok. He wasn’t there to play along. He wasn’t there to make flippant jokes about nudity and laugh at those who hadn’t been prepared for it. In a sea of people aggressively pushing their own cliquish culture, he had his own calibration, his own baseline of humanity that he never lost.
This is who he is. He is the guy who instinctively leaps to defend the defenseless, in situations where others want to stay cool. He’s unafraid of how it looks. He just wants to do the right thing. I believe this in my core.
And that’s why, even if I’m skeptical, even if I hate siding with the voice of doom, even if BOS’s positions fill with unexplained holes, I will stand with Morgan. Because if anyone will run full tilt into the burning building that is the Order and save those inside, it’s him.
March 7, 2018 at 10:27 am #29211
@daela I appreciate this. And it goes without saying, but I’ll say it: I feel the exact same way you do about Morgan, the person. He’s a kind, brave soul.
I want to think we’re past vitriolic responses to questioning Morgan, the BOS leader, however, though I may be misguided and optimistic in thinking so. I question that dude all the time, and he’s got a fair share of vitriol to dole out himself, the catty monster. And to be fair, we’ve got every right to respond to Leader Morgan with the same bite he gives us sometimes, within reason; I don’t think he’d want it another way. You stir a pot, the contents swirl.
Morgan the person would find his own way. Morgan the participant would strap a crowbar on his back and drag me down a new rabbit hole with him. But he’s not that person, not right now. He’s got a _path for BOS, and that’s where he’s headed, join him or not. I’m not on board with it, and he knows that, but I’ll be watching out, because otherwise what will I have to pick at him about?
Again, I appreciate you laying this out, Lauren. Every version of him deserves that level of respect.
March 7, 2018 at 11:02 am #29215
@daela I’m so thankful that you are having a good experience as a member of BOS. I really am. I’m glad that you feel comfortable questioning and challenging your leader. I’m glad that you believe there is a mission of inclusion. This was not my experience, and the idea that things are changing is good. I can’t help but feel upset reading this because of how differently I was treated. I know that when I questioned publicly, I was yelled at privately for making BOS look bad, told to keep the questions in private communication and regularly told to be careful of the optics as a member of BOS. I’m glad to hear that it appears I was an exception to the normal behavior.
It appears that Morgan has exercised his agency in deciding how participants interact with his character. We have him telling participants to fuck off and creating an environment where some will not respond kindly. The hostility is IG. The people following him are responding with loyalty. Those who do not identify with BOS are responding in a challenging way. We saw this with people who were anti Mason, anti Noah, etc. Challenging is good. Questioning is good, even in private. We must keep pushing or it all becomes stagnant.
March 7, 2018 at 11:07 am #29217
To which I might add, in regards to “inclusivity”:
“HI, Larry. This is Morgan. I’m going to attempt to gaslight you now. Then I’m going to threaten you when you challenge me.”
March 7, 2018 at 10:53 am #29214
Because if anyone will run full tilt into the burning building that is the Order and save those inside, it’s him.
Tell that to all the innocents left inside the MSE.
March 7, 2018 at 3:01 pm #29240SageParticipant
@daela, I love your post. I think you are easily the smartest person here and I appreciate that you are able to admit weakness and not blindly follow. I think you illustrated why it’s hard for many of us to get on board BOS and why many of us just don’t have that loyalty to Morgan. I think it’s because we’re not friends with him and don’t have the backstory that many of you have with him. I’m sure he could do anything IG and many of his close friends would follow, that’s what friends do for each other. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but we just don’t have that connection that you do.
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