Tension Lore – Q&A

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This topic contains 46 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  Lauren Bello 3 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #15316
     Cara 
    Participant

    Hello, all!

    I figured as a new-ish member with a lot of questions about Tension lore, it might be a good idea to start a thread where we can ask these questions and have more experienced community members answer them for us.

    So, let’s get the ball rolling with a couple Tension-related subjects that have come up recently. Experienced members, please feel free to fill in the blanks! New members, please feel free to add a question below!

    1. The Book of Anoch – New vs. Old testament? It seems this is a revelation from LUST. There is an older, less “watered-down” version of this book?

    2. The Gate-keepers / The Clockmakers. Can someone please clarify these? It seems that with “Addison” returning to Sabrina-form at the end of Tension, there were no Gatekeepers left? Are there newly-appointed Gatekeepers? Is that who we saw in @confuseddude Periscope?





    I’ll try my best to include shortcuts to answers on this post for quick reference -TheGilded

    1. What are Oracles?
    2. About Gatekeepers
    3. The History of the Helmet

  • #15325
     Candace 
    Participant

    @thegilded @addisonborn I have a question regarding something u guys brought up today. The Oracle and idea of searching for an Oracle. I never saw the Oracle in Ascension and I never got the story of who/what the Oracle is or does. Can u guys please clarify this aspect of Tension please?

  • #15336
     Kevin 
    Participant

    @thegilded @addisonborn Adding on to @pandace88‘s question. Is there a difference between finding an Oracle and creating a brand new Oracle?

  • #15342
     Lauren Bello 
    Moderator

    Hey Candace,

    Here’s what we know about Oracles!

    Background – Suffering In Order To Ascend

    Throughout Tension, there was a history of sacrificing physical senses in order to grow closer to the divine. Rosemary Luther melted her own eyes in a religious ceremony. We were told at the Ringing of the Bell ceremony in May that then-Attendant Addison was intended to be purified, and that this was ostensibly good…but that the ceremony by which this would be done would be painful, essentially “torture for hours”. Addison/Gatekeeper 2 read from the Book of Anoch in a Periscope about a hunter who was killed by a bear, who took his senses one by one. Only once his senses were removed was he able to see the folly of his ways. (Right before dying, of course.) The theme was – lose physical sight, gain spiritual sight; lose physical hearing, gain spiritual hearing, etc. Purifying pain.

    Stage 1 – The Oracles Were Alive And Speaking

    Very early on in the Tension Experience ARG, a letter from the OOA tried to move us to religious fervor. This was, I believe, the first mention of the Oracles.

    “Surrender to those, the Oracles, the true Guiders Of The Path, and trust in their sacrifice.”

    The next mention of the Oracles came in the very first newsletter, March 2016. “Soon you will have the opportunity to reveal, study and witness the Glory of the Oracles’ Message with your fellow initiates who are also, for now, in the dark…Praise to the Oracles, for they wish to include ALL!” “We give exaltations to Dorothy Jordan as she gains new sight this Friday! Dorothy has been a proud applicant for 18 months, and is excited to take another step toward the Oracles.”

    Later in March, an image on Facebook proclaimed, “Glory be to the Oracles and all their wisdom which shall shine the path towards the one true Ascension. Thine eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and tongue sense nothing but the truth of thine own soul.”

    Still later, participants received an email from Addison, then “Attendant One”. She said, “Like many of You, Michael Fontaine was observed long before the current iteration of OOA that You know and understand Us to be. His choices within the Experience were noted amongst the Council and subsequent consultations with the Oracles determined that he would be Tasked. The First Scribe in the Archive of Knowledge has answered with a predestined conviction that has ruptured amongst the Oracles. They now writhe in Glory.”

    When Gatekeeper 5 resigned to make way for Gatekeeper 4, he wrote in the forums, “Renew your strength, find your center, and praise Anoch for the Oracles have heard you and are pleased.”

    So for the first phase of the ARG, it seemed that the Oracles were active, listening, and passing on Anoch’s judgments. At least, that’s what we were told.

    Stage 2 – The Oracles Fell Silent

    Gatekeeper 4 left an unfinished first draft newsletter for participants to find in a dead drop. In it, she revealed, “The Oracles do not writhe, they do not ache. They lie silent. Detached, barely ravenous. THIS IS MY FAULT. You have done nothing wrong. I am broken. It is I who have failed you…” Someone had written next to this paragraph, “This might be dangerous. Please revise.”

    It was never explained, to my knowledge, why the Oracles had fallen silent, or what Gatekeeper 4 had to do with that.

    Stage 3 – Time To Make A New Oracle

    In Ascension, you should have been taken to a room with banners representing all five senses, flowers hanging from the ceiling. There, Andy Somers read to you from the Book of Anoch. The gist of the story was, Anoch’s voice had fallen silent. The Oracles were no longer speaking. In desperation, the people decided to create their own Oracle. They chose one man as a sacrifice, and took his senses away from him. They put out his eyes, cut off his ears and tongue, and broke his neck.

    After that, your own senses were taken away. You were blindfolded, hooded, given a foul drink, headphones over your ears, etc. You may have sat in sensory deprivation for quite some time.

    When you went into the sacrifice room at the very end of Ascension, two Potential Oracles had been tied to two chairs. They were going to be sacrificed, in the hopes that in their death they would serve as a vessel to become an Oracle. (“Vessel” is my word, it’s also possible that this was more of a witch-drowning situation – if they die, they weren’t the Oracle, if they live, they were.)

    From accounts on the Tension forums, it appears that once, maybe a few times, this ceremony appeared to work. Mostly, it did not.

    There was ONE Oracle who was on-site at Ascension, although most people going through did not get to see it. Its eyes were sewn or fused shut, its nose was missing, and its mouth was marked as if also sewn or fused or damaged in some way. Its skin was sort of melty. If you went through Ascension twice, you might have seen it in the Red Room on your second visit.

    Soooo, that’s all we know about Oracles. Supernatural beings who have none of the five physical senses but somehow relay Anoch’s wishes, who fell silent, and who needed to be either made or discovered by mutilating humans. If you believe any of it, that is. Michelle made a compelling case not to.

  • #15343
     Jackie 
    Participant

    @daela
    Wow. That was a fantastic synopsis. I came in the middle of tension and had very little understanding of the oracles. This was a great read.

  • #15345
     Cara 
    Participant

    @daela This is incredible. Thank you!!

  • #15346
     Addison 
    Participant

    @daela is queen

  • #15348
     Sage 
    Participant

    @daela, thank you for the recap! This makes things a lot more clear about Tension, especially the theme of senses and the ceremony of eliminating senses. Now in Lust, we are definitely starting to see the sexual element/theme some of us were anticipating. A more sexualized ceremony and a possible division of the sexes…

  • #15360
     111error 
    Participant

    @daela ftmfw.

  • #15369
     Megan 
    Participant

    If it’s at all helpful, I just now finished fixing the detailed timeline I created last year with all the media (that I was able to get before it disappeared). I hadn’t realized that the periscope videos had to be converted to a different format and then I broke the original by trying to organize my folders neatly and the website said NO so I had to go through and tell it once again where everything was so, here it is, all fixed:

    Megan’s Tension Timeline

    Regarding the periscopes in which Addison is reading from the Book of Anoch, I believe there is a thread at The Tension Experience’s website in which we transcribed those readings.

    @sassyyael – I realize none of these have transcripts so please ask if you would like any of them transcribed.

  • #15372
     Anonymous

    This is all immensely helpful.

  • #15378
     Chloe 
    Participant

    @coryphella *grabs popcorn* welp, I know what I’ll be doing tonight.

    Seriously though, thanks so much for this! It’s really great to look at all that happened during Tension since I didn’t participate last year and the only thing I really had to go on was My Haunt Life for it, I love how hard the community works to make stuff awesome stuff like this.

  • #15384
     Cara 
    Participant

    @coryphella Yes! Thank you for this! I had heard tale of this magical timeline. Glad to see it’s up and running! Much appreciated.

  • #15386
     Megan 
    Participant

    I am also in process of creating one for Lust…

    @sassyyael – It will probably take awhile for me to go through each of them and transcribe so let me know if there are particular ones, and be patient please because my travel schedule this summer is nuts.

    • #15388
       Yael 
      Participant

      @coryphella sure that is fine we will figure it out as we go 🙂

  • #15393
     Brian E 
    Participant

    @daela Thank you this is incredibly helpful!

    @chrysalis359 Excellent idea for a topic discussion.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by  Brian E.
  • #15408
     Cara 
    Participant

    Thanks, @mistere! I hope it proves useful!

  • #15418
     Candace 
    Participant

    @daela thank you so much for the explanation!! This helps understand things so much better now! You are a gem!??

  • #15439
     Kevin Hsu 
    Participant

    @coryphella this timeline is amazing!

  • #15908
     Cara 
    Participant

    OK, after tonight’s unsettling events, I have more Tension questions…

    Helmets – I recall that helmets were used to brainwash Sabrina to become “Addison.” Did she even mention her hands being numb as a side effect? I know there was “lost time” and “headaches.”

    OSDM – Are they the ones who created the helmet? Is it a science-based item or more supernatural?

    (I’m sure I’ll have more questions but let’s start here for now)

  • #15986
     Anonymous

    @chrysalis359

    Helmets – I recall that helmets were used to brainwash Sabrina to become “Addison.” Did she even mention her hands being numb as a side effect? I know there was “lost time” and “headaches.”

    I’m not entirely sure if that was something Addison ever mentioned. Someone more familiar with her diary like @111error and @russell would be better suited for that question.

    OSDM – Are they the ones who created the helmet? Is it a science-based item or more supernatural?

    We never got a 100% confirmation on that as it was always presented as the OOA using the helmet. But the OOA was created by the OSDM so by using the transitive property…

    Also it was more of a Science-based thing.

  • #15990
     Cara 
    Participant

    Thanks, @thebuz! That’s helpful!

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by  Cara.
  • #16829
     Julie R Goldstein 
    Participant

    Myself and @amieexists were present on the night the Ascension ceremony succeeded.

    I pray to Anoch that our Oracle Trin somehow survived the destruction of the OOA. We could learn so much from her…

    Glory Be!

  • #17119
     Cara 
    Participant

    Ok, with this potential anagram solution “THE RED ROOM GIRL” I now have to ask for any and all info about the red room. Please share here!!

  • #17141
     Lauren Bello 
    Moderator

    I’m on my way to work so can’t make the most thorough post at the moment, but the Red Room was first introduced through a series of mysterious pictures on social media, long before Ascension.

    The first appearance

    Eventually, references to the Red Room became more ominous, implying that you don’t want to go to the red room. Jenna also outright warned Kasch that he should stay away and not go in, back in March 2016. (Article here.)

    Around the time @buz killed Gatekeeper III, Tension posted a picture of Buz in the Red Room. “In time, we all end up inside The Red Room.”

    Eventually, during Ascension, we were (almost) all able to see it for ourselves. In Ascension, the Red Room was a sort of psychological escape room, where keys could only be obtained by confessing one’s secrets to everyone. The Red Woman determined whether or not your secrets were enough to earn the next key.

    This photo shows the Red Room. “No one can hide behind their mask inside The Red Room.”

  • #17424
     Lauren Bello 
    Moderator

    A Brief History of Gatekeepers

    Gatekeeper 5

    Our first exposure to Gatekeepers in Tension was Gatekeeper 5.  Gatekeeper 5 put together newsletters and letters on social media, made announcements, and was generally there to steer and guide us.  His tone was occasionally stern/menacing, but for the most part he was professionally ominous.

    He signed all his newsletters.

    Gatekeeper 5 urged us to spread the word of the OOA.

    Eventually, in April 2016, Gatekeeper 5 announced that he was going to be moving on, and that Gatekeeper Four would be replacing him.  Here’s how he described it:

    “I can take you no further so I now must receive my ultimate Reward. The ending of my Journey is merely another stepping stone upon y3ours. She shall guide you now for Gatekeeper 4 has awoken, freshly renewed from the beating of your raw and curious hearts.  Glory Be.”

    (The full resignation post can be found here:  http://thetensionexperience.com/forums/topic/elevation/)

    There was much curiosity as to whether “awaking” was a metaphor or a reality…if GK4 had literally awoken from a long slumber, etc.

    I believe that it was shortly after this that Overseer’s profile picture changed to a 5.  It was never explicitly stated, but many understood this to mean that Gatekeeper 5 was now the Overseer.

    Gatekeeper Four

    Gatekeeper Four arrived with a bang.  She had a love of capital letters and exclamation points, and she frequently yelled at us.  She was…volatile.  

    Under her reign, newsletters looked a bit different:

    Overseer was active at the same time as Gatekeeper Four.  During this time, someone asked Overseer what his function was; he replied, “I am here to make sure She doesn’t burn down the house.”  Sometimes, when GK4 would seem to go off the rails, Overseer would be the calm one. 

    At one point, Four posed as MrOhio/Tom Donavan, a folksy Southern man who seemed frequently bewildered, and used that to infiltrate private chats.  When her ruse was revealed, many loved her all the more for fooling us so well.

    While Four was something of a nut, she became a fan favorite because she supported the community, urging us to stick together.

    Nevertheless, plenty of people didn’t like what Four was putting Addison through.  Addison was getting headaches from being “helmeted,” presumably under Four’s orders.  She seemed to be coming apart at the seams. It was during this time that Benny/Mark, Addison’s ex, showed up on the forums freaking out and asking for help in rescuing her.  Four shot back, “SHE IS CHOSEN and she is TRUE.” For those of us who wanted to help Addison escape, Four’s intense belief in Addison’s OOA role was a red flag.

    One day, Four Periscoped a dead drop of her final newsletter, which also served as her resignation letter of sorts.

    “I am done… but, I am not complete… We will meet again.

    III now enters the stage… watch this one – even I think he is strange.

    I take my bow for now…”

    And with that, Gatekeeper 4 and Addison went on the run.

    (Note: In retrospect it’s fascinating reading the full newsletter, which seems to include OSDM annotations.  Such as, “…there is no room at the table for those who cannot close.”)

    Gatekeeper III

    Gatekeeper III at first appeared to be a genial, gentle baby.  He spoke in short sentences.

    “thank you”

    “you guys seem nice”

    We were all pretty welcoming.

    But then Overseer chimed in to help:

    And Gatekeeper 3…sort of…murdered him:

    And, completely blase, announced he needed a nap with the words “tired now goodnight”.

    (The thread can be found here and is worth a read: http://www.thetensionexperience.com/forums/topic/iii/)

    It soon became clear that III took human life very, very lightly.  He killed several more characters, such as Sam Bickerson and Aleister Gordon, all while slowly developing a bit more, speaking in longer sentences, almost evolving.

    Meanwhile it was apparent that Four and Addison were getting ready to stage a coup.  For one thing, Four left a dead drop letter for III announcing her intention to end him and his fuckups.  

    They also left a dead drop in Sacramento for Morgan, with the hidden message “4-3=2”.  And we saw a Periscope of Four and Addison preparing a special poison pill.  

    We took that to mean that Four was going to assassinate III to make way for Addison to become Gatekeeper 2.  Some of us were down with that.  Some of us were not.  The forums were divided.

    There was also concern that Four was mistreating Addison.  Four snapped and spoke sharply to her in Periscopes, while she cringed.  Russell and Morgan were getting anguished phone calls from Addison, suggesting that she felt utterly tortured.  III and Four were, in short, both villains.

    Eventually, Gatekeeper III arranged a meeting with Kim, a member of the Brotherhood of Seraph, who wanted to take down the OOA.  Many hoped she would use this meeting to assassinate III, allowing GK4 and GK2 to take over.  

    Kim instead left the pill unused, and chose to form an alliance with III to take the OOA down from the inside.

    Frustrated, Four and Addison arranged a meeting with Kim and III.  It was supposed to be a meeting to discuss a compromise, I believe.  But III never showed.  And Addison, who seemed small, shrinking, cringing in front of Four…finally snapped.  She slit Four’s throat, shouting, “I AM IN CONTROL!”

    Over a month later, Buz got a chance to meet III.  In that now-infamous meeting, Buz strangled III to death.

    Gatekeeper 2

    Addison/Gatekeeper 2 was a controversial leader.  Some – especially Four-adherents – considered her to be a murderer.  Some wanted to rescue her, believing she was brainwashed.  Some thought she was empowered by killing Four and embraced her leadership.

    The release of her diary only deepened the divide.

    (Interestingly, Buz posted a rather haunting post about being freaked out and frightened after the killing of III, feeling that there was blood on his hands.  This was the only post Gatekeeper 2 favorited.)

    Gatekeeper One and beyond

    At the event now referred to as “The One Event,” Gatekeeper 2 gathered us together and announced the arrival of Gatekeeper One.  We, the community, were One.  

    She seemed strong and sure of herself at that event, until Russell showed her a childhood toy that he believed would break the brainwashing and remind her who she was.  Instead, she seemed to freak out and collapse, and men in suits eagerly pounced and rushed her away.  A few days later, a dead drop photograph tauntingly thanked us for returning her to the OSDM.

    A subsequent Periscope (shortly before Ascension opened) showed Addison being carried into another room, a bloody handprint on her dress.  She did NOT appear to be in control.

    For the rest of the run of Ascension, people tried various trigger words and efforts to break the brainwashing Addison seemed to be under, to various effects.  But nothing seemed to stick until Michelle officially released her at THE END, allowing her to remember her TRUE self…Sabrina.

    (Note: After her role as Overseer was established in Ascension, the Overseer/masterlock account on the Tension forums changed from the “5” icon to an icon indicating Addison/Sabrina.)

  • #17425
     Cara 
    Participant

    @daela This is amazing. THANK YOU!!!

  • #17426
     Cara 
    Participant

    @thebuz @thegilded Can these posts please be linked for new members or added to the first post in this thread?

  • #17427
     Brad Ruwe 
    Participant

    Thank you so much for the comprehensive review @daela!!!

  • #17428
     Sean 
    Moderator

    Added link to gatekeepers explanation

  • #17429
     Maranda 
    Participant

    @daela This is wonderful! Thank you! I was only occasionally lurking during Tension’s Indoctrination phase so this is very helpful.

  • #17430
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    This is incredible, @daela. Thank you so much for compiling this in one place. This information will definitely be useful moving forward.

  • #17451
     superstar 
    Participant

    @daela Thanks very much for this!

  • #20810
     Lauren Bello 
    Moderator

    What’s IG and what’s OOG?

    With the influx of new users, I thought I’d make a post about this. It’s fun to be mysterious and say “Where’s the line? Nobody knowwwwwws!” but I don’t want that to be a barrier to entry for anyone who genuinely is struggling to understand. I also think getting on the same page could be useful for some of our pro-/anti-OSDM discussions, because without an agreement on the different levels of the game, we’re all just talking in circles.

    So.

    Newbies, IG means in-game, OOG means out of game. Imagine the layers of The Experiences as a target. In the very center is where it all began – In Game-In Game.

    • LEVEL 1 – IG-IG
    • In the beginning, during the Tension Experience, we followed the story of Addison Barrow. A naive young actress who moved to LA with big dreams, then ended up being sheltered and taken in by a cult: the OOA Institute. Her father, Tom Barrow, was desperate to rescue her. We followed along as she showed signs of brainwashing, gave up on escaping, had apparent memories triggered, and eventually rose up to become the Overseer, an intimidating woman leading the OOA Institute in acts of human sacrifice.

    • LEVEL 2 – IG
    • But as we all learned at the finale of Tension, “The End,” the OOA Institute was never real. It was a theater production, put on by the OSDM. Addison’s name wasn’t Addison at all – it was Sabrina Kern, an actress, who had been brainwashed and tortured into believing that she had an entirely different backstory. Tom Barrow wasn’t her father, but an OSDM employee. The OSDM had used the story of the OOA Institute to collect our data. We had willingly shared secrets, fears, beliefs. And now that the OSDM had collected enough data, it was time for the experiment to end. Michelle ordered the slaughter of everyone in the OOA compound except Sabrina, who she released back into the world, lost and alone.

    • LEVEL 3 – Behind The Curtain-IG
    • The thing is, we knew logically that nobody had actually died. The handlers who had killed themselves still kept posting Instagrams. Sabrina was still being seen about town. At the premiere of ABATTOIR we encountered a number of very clearly alive cast. And at this point, we’d also read a bunch of articles about the making of Tension. Interviews with Darren Lynn Bousman, Clint Sears, and Gordon Bjelonic. We’d met them and shaken their hands. This, we thought, was out of game.

      But The Lust Experience ended up encompassing more than we thought. At Lust Registration, we met the Investors, who had put money into the event called The Tension Experience. We also saw Stephanie Hyden, one of the handlers who had “died” – she had posted on her personal Facebook that she was annoyed about having to come in to work that day. A realtor or location scout was talking about how difficult it was to find a location for the big Lust Experience event. And Darren and Gordon were spotted, acting odd.

      So actual Lust events were acknowledging that these actors were actors, that Tension had all been an expensive immersive theater project, and that there were people who had created it.

      Basically, A LOT that has been happening in The Lust Experience has been happening in this tier. But not everything. Bear with me.

      Out in the real world, we had learned that Darren Lynn Bousman and Clint Sears were the creators of Tension, and that Gordon Bjelonic was an investor and producer. But we began hearing rumors – not on any official channels, but IRL – that Darren and Clint were no longer involved, that they had been pushed off the project. An audio file was leaked in which Darren received a threatening call at 3am, presumably from an Investor, indicating that Darren was on call at all times and that his job – even after being fired – was to make Lust look good. There was a sideways threat against Darren’s wife Laura in the call.

      Later, emails from another Investor (Remy) to Gordon were leaked. In those emails, they talked about how difficult it was to find a location for the Lust event, how important it was to keep Sabrina happy by supporting her non-Lust-related endeavors, membership issues, social media numbers, etc. These emails, and a rant on the forums from The Red Room Girl, portrayed Sabrina as a bit of a demanding brat or diva, who might spill the beans on secret Tension/Lust info if she wasn’t kept happy.

      These emails also didn’t look too good for the Investors. Gordon seemed to genuinely be afraid of Marcus, an Investor. He was haunted by things that the Investors had made him say and do. And Remy threatened, at one point, to “gut” Gordon.

      Basically in Behind-The-Curtain-IG, it’s not pretty. Everyone is under some secret external pressure, everyone is on edge. TENSION.

    • OVERLAPPING VENN BUBBLE – OOG-but-really-IG
    • Participants who turn out to be actors. Actors you thought were off the clock who turn out to be on the clock. Experiences like The Midnight Commission that you thought were completely unrelated to Lust, but turned out to be part of Lust’s storyline all along. Everything said on Slack. Some participant meetups. Actual police appearing to pull over and arrest a character. This is the most controversial level, partially because it’s not really its own level…it’s a sort of Venn diagram bubble that exists half-in, half-out of the other levels.

    • LEVEL 4 – True OOG
    • You know what? The moment I tell you what’s truly out of game, the game will fold those elements into the game. There’s no point in elaborating on this. If you want to know what I believe is truly OOG, PM me. Then prove you’re not Darren or Clint or another plant. Then I’ll tell you. Maybe. (You can see why this game makes us paranoid.) But in the meantime, if you need an example, let’s just point out that nobody believes Sabrina Kern is ACTUALLY a demanding brat who’s threatening to release Tension intel. She’s lovely. And obviously nobody is calling real-life police to stop Darren from being blackmailed. Please don’t do that.

    • LEVEL ?
    • You can bet that as these Experiences continue, there will be even more levels. The camera will always be pulling back, allowing us to see a bigger picture.

    ASSIGNING CATEGORIES

    The two main layers we’re dealing with in Lust are IG and Behind-The-Curtain-IG.

    I thought about making a chart for this, but there are just too many unanswerable questions at this point. A Q&A format makes more sense.

    • Where do the Sinclairs fall?
    • They seem to mostly fall in Behind The Curtain-IG. Sarah Sinclair was the one who leaked the recording of the Investor threatening Darren. Noah Sinclair was the one who leaked information about iConfidant and about the Investors firing the creators. Noah’s father Horace appears to be above even the Investors – at least, “all known entities seem to report to him”. And The System – at least the rebooted version – is confirmed to be invoicing the Investors, and therefore a part of OSDM. (As a part of the Experience paid for by the Investors, does this make The System IG or Behind The Curtain-IG? Still unclear.)

    • Where does Sabrina fall?
    • She seems to live in at least TWO spaces, IG and Behind The Curtain-IG. At the iConfidant Meet and Greet, it was revealed that Sabrina ultimately returned to the OOA/OSDM, missing the attention and power. She then took over the iConfidant emails and toyed with us to collect emotional data for OSDM. Ultimately, she wanted to bring back Anoch. All of that behavior seems to belong to the IG space – the space that contained Michelle, the death of the handlers, Anoch. BUT that version of Sabrina is being played by the actress Sabrina, who, according to Behind The Curtain-IG emails, is busily doing other projects, like music videos. She doesn’t actually think she’s bringing Anoch back in the flesh. She just wants some money to keep making art.

    • Where does Jenna fall?
    • Freaking everywhere. IG-IG, she begged Kasch to help her escape the OOA Institute. IG or Behind The Curtain IG – still unclear which – she came back this year to help form the Resistance. Then, Jenna was tracked down by Joyce, a liaison between the Investors, OSDM, and the Participants who most definitely exists Behind The Curtain-IG.

    • Where does iConfidant fall?
    • Like Sabrina, they seem to live in IG-IG, IG, and Behind The Curtain-IG. IG-IG, they were a friendly company offering a service, with one particularly beautiful employee (Kristen) who got coffee with Morgan and warned him and other participants of sinister happenings. IG, Kristen was actually just putting on a show to draw interest and emotional data, and was a firm believer in Anoch. And the iConfidant structure was taken over and used to gather intel for the OSDM, similar to Tension’s IG level. But people like Stacey (the former head of iConfidant) also seem to know plenty about happenings in the Behind The Curtain-IG level; and Stacey has used her code to fuck with the Investors.

    • Where does the Resistance fall?
    • This might be one of the most controversial questions of all. During Tension, BOS (Brotherhood of Seraph) was IG-IG. A made-up entity by the OSDM, designed to supposedly oppose the OOA Institute. It was part of the theater: Sentinel, for example, who led BOS, was seen appearing to be killed over and over during various theatrical performances of Ascension. But since then, Michelle has admitted IG that the participants have turned the BOS into a real resistance. Now, the Resistance is being headed by characters who exist in Behind The Curtain-IG space. They’ve released info about Horace, they seem to have some knowledge of Sarah Sinclair’s plans, and they’re the ones responsible for the leak of emails referencing the Investors, actors, and creators. So is the Resistance part of the IG Experience that’s being paid for and designed by the Investors/OSDM? Or are they part of the same layer as the Investors, but something entirely their own? Right now, there are arguments for both. In the emails leaked by the Resistance Behind The Scenes-IG, Gordon seems embarrassed at being hacked by the Resistance: “it’s embarrassing at this point. We are building a brand.” And there’s no reason the Resistance would leak those embarrassing emails, if they’re real, if they were actually being funded by the Investors. But…what is real? Are any of these leaked emails real? When Morgan, the leader of the Resistance, threatens to burn the OSDM to the ground, is he talking about IG OSDM (Michelle, the IG Sabrina who wants to bring Anoch back, etc.) or BTCIG OSDM (the Investors, Joyce)? How can we know that the Resistance isn’t just part of the Experience that the OSDM is putting on?

    • Where do the forums fall?
    • Conversation in the forums is generally Behind The Curtain-IG. But, as you can tell, we often don’t realize that something’s IG-IG or IG or BTCIG or OOG until later. Some of the most heated discussions we’ve had ultimately boil down to arguing about what level a game entity belongs in.

    Dive in. Have fun. Don’t let what happens IG destroy True OOG friendships. Check out the Sushi Dan emails! What do you think, IG or Behind The Curtain-IG?

    (Tension and Lust vets, feel free to argue with my definitions.)

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  Lauren Bello. Reason: formatting
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  Lauren Bello. Reason: image correction
  • #20814
     Anonymous

    Incredible work @daela. If it’s alright with you I’d like to link or quote this in the New Users Thread.

  • #20815
     Lauren Bello 
    Moderator

    @thebuz Go for it!

  • #20816
     Cara 
    Participant

    @daela Yes! This! So great!! Thank you for taking time to break this all down. Such a useful resource. ?

  • #20818
     Cassandra 
    Participant

    @daela this is very helpful, thank you!

  • #20821
     Bryan Bishop 
    Participant

    Just joining the choir here, but: this is AWESOME @daela. Thank you for putting the work into creating this resource!

  • #20823
     Addison 
    Participant

    @daela IS MVP!! This is so good!!!

  • #20832
     Lawrence Meyers 
    Participant

    @daela Fantastic! Thank you for this.

  • #20833
     Chris 
    Participant

    I feel like my head is about to explode, but God, that was enlightening. @daela, your explanation is a beacon of light in all this. Thank you!

  • #20848
     Nicole Mae 
    Participant

    This is fantastic @daela!! Thank you so much for putting together such a digestible version of the experiences so far.

  • #29477
     Lauren Bello 
    Moderator

    The History of the Helmet

     
    Tension

    Most of us were first introduced to the Helmet at the donut mixer in May 2016. Sean, Russell, Rizzo, Mike Fontaine, and Andrew Kasch were all taken to a private room and helmeted by Gatekeeper 4. Gatekeeper 4 told Andrew that he was now experiencing the machine that turned her into what she is today.

    At that event, Tom Barrow burst in and tried to rescue “Addison/Attendant One” from imminent torture. But Addison later told Russell that she was unsure if Tom really was her father. We began to wonder if someone had been messing with her memory. Tom told Russell outright that he worried the helmet was making her forget.

    In early June, Addison made the decision to fully commit to the Order and to GK4. She burned a pile of photographs, then went on the run with Gatekeeper Four, saying that it was her choice. Some of us believed her; some of us didn’t. She said she was getting headaches, things were getting scrambled. The work of the helmet?


    Tension posted on FB: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

    A few days later, they posted a video with some subliminal flashes.

    “Make her forget all that she knows…”

    Meanwhile, some glimpses of the real GK4 seemed to come through in her final departing newsletter.

    “IS this getting through??? I’m sorry, my head hurts… I’m rambling. I’m just so tired. …I’m just an actress, first and foremost. A tool, and I’ve lost my edge. The machine helps me tap into the modern. VIBRATIONS, the reflections, the energy….the chaos of this time. Beware, he who does not die but, I’m so old and so, so tired. …I am tired, and my head hurts so, so much…”

    GK4, it seems, was having her own issues with the helmet.

    Addison appeared to continue to follow Four’s instructions, but privately called Morgan and Russell in distress more than once. It appeared that Four was using the helmet on her regularly to keep her compliant; sometimes she called in secret, afraid that Four would overhear her and realize her grip was slipping.

    During this time, Gatekeeper III was in control. It was suggested that something in the creation of Gatekeeper III had gone awry. In particular, that something had gone wrong with the helmet.

    This led to III being remarkably open. For example, he wrote to us,

    “You came in as sheep, herded by their words. Now, lambs must rise to lions.
    III is the last counted. Why? Because I refuse to perpetuate the cycle of lies being told to you by the Institute.
    Do not worship a thing no one has heard from in years.
    I have destroyed, so that YOU may rebuild.
    Be your OWN God. Do not worship their fairytale.
    There is no TWO, never will be a TWO. Just a delusional girl brainwashed by another delusional girl.”

    III, it seemed, had gone rogue. But he had killed a number of beloved figures, so many of us weren’t inclined to listen to his brainwashing warnings.

    After Addison killed GK4 and took control, she no longer seemed to be suffering. She also seemed to be going a bit rogue. In August 2016, she too disavowed the OOA.

    “The Sentinal, and the BOS believe in nothing… but the OOA is worse.
    The OOA is corrupt.
    Do I have your attention?
    Everyone’s attention? I will say it again – –
    THE OOA IS CORRUPT!
    I now truly believe that the OOA is one the most powerful cabals in all of our society. I have only barely scratched the surface of how far their manipulations run, there are even rumors that Sentinel was originally created as a way to keep track of their detractors. Presidents, kings and emperors have all sworn allegiance to a corrupt form of Anoch’s words. Honestly, it doesn’t matter because The One is amongst us.
    They are trying to kill me because I believe this. The One is not who they were expecting. The One is not yet powerful, influential or one of their puppets. I know this and they want to silence and destroy me because of it.
    They are corrupt because they made me a vessel of His truth and then they do not listen to His words. They are corrupt because the last Oracles confirm every detail, Anoch confirms every detail. They are corrupt because I usher in The One no longer speaking of control, or with manipulations or secrets, I bring you The One with the Truth, the prophecy, with the Book of Anoch.
    The OOA is corrupt but the Light can never be turned off. I will make sure of that.
    I request that we ALL meet soon so that we may finally let Glory Be.”

    She leaked us emails, showing Clockmakers panicking over her decision to tell us the truth.

    “If we can’t end her than [sic] capture and reprogram. Is this still a possibility? Will it stick or will we be stuck with another vegetable.”
    “We all saw what happened to III. Be careful with that thing.”
    “We…believe that she is not only still susceptible but she maintained much more of her core personality than the all [sic] of the most recent GKs combined. We have been working on the algorithms and we ABSOLUTELY believe we can bring her back to our side.”
    “As long as she is recovered by the 7th we should be fine.”

    At the event where The One was revealed, Addison was indeed captured and reprogrammed. She emerged as Overseer, the cold woman we saw in Ascension.

    But she still seemed to have flashes of…something. Glitches.

    She called Russell, for example, and told him that her head was hurting “like it used to”.

    Her leaked journal contained her POV on the helmet’s effects: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1teFzihtKbVmg-Qw8jd22CnTdNY0ZxgnVMkN7xAybpdg/edit

    In Ascension, on opening night, she seemed to momentarily forget who she was, believe herself to be Addison, working with Benny/Mark. Later in the show’s run, she was seen being helmeted by Samson and suffering, screaming. Toward the end of Ascension, she actually seemed to fully remember who she was: she introduced herself to Julie Rei as Sabrina Kern. Overuse of the helmet appeared to be breaking her down; by the end, she was regularly glitching, introducing herself over and over, forgetting what her name was.

    At The End, Michelle showed video of Sabrina being brainwashed into believing she was Addison. This may be the origin of participants’ “helmet doubt” as Sabrina wasn’t wearing a helmet; she was being slapped around by Timothy Granik. But one method of conditioning doesn’t necessarily mean that the other wasn’t being used too. Michelle used Latin code phrases to release “Overseer” and allow her to remember who she was.

    The problem was, Michelle also appeared to order a number of people present to kill themselves. Including people we would see alive and well in a few months, at the book release party. So was everything that night an act? Was the helmet an act?
     
    Lust

    In Lust, the helmet wasn’t mentioned by name for a while. But at the book release party, Sabrina mentioned having headaches. And Otis mentioned having headaches on Facebook.

    Noah also seemed to be quite alarmed, even attempting to get away from the OSDM, leading to a press release intended to discredit him: “Please be aware that the brain is one of the first parts of the body to be affected by this severe drop in blood sugar and some mental changes that could occur are: confusion, memory loss, irritability, conspiratorial thinking, aggressive behavior and difficulty engaging in conversation.” All descriptions that match people being helmeted. When Noah re-emerged with a shiny new System, people were suspicious. Had he simply been reprogrammed?

    The Helmet was next mentioned by Granik at the iConfidant meet and greet.

    Granik:
    “We became quite used to our old hippies publicly displaying their watered down version of the New Dawn, the Next Testament, searching for Oracles – that the greedy among us decided to publicly outsource, to get more power. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have more power, right? The problem with that, though – you start giving people the ability to talk to Anoch, and listen to Him, and they start hearing what they want to hear. They start doing what they want to do. Now I’m a scientist, and I thought I could fix that. And I did. What’s a headache every now and then when you can create and control the voice of salvation? We call that an acceptable adverse affect. And it worked, sorta. Controlling people against their will, that’s hard. But influencing them…influencing them is much, much easier. That’s what I do. And just like you and your sick curiosity…if you want to influence, you don’t start from scratch, you find a motivation and you exploit it. And how do you do that? Do you know what it feels like to be the voice of salvation? It feels fucking good. It feels great. But you know what doesn’t feel great? Losing every fucking ounce of that. One minute, you’re the center of it…..the next minute, POOF, you’re nothing. Irrelevant. …Would you miss saving all those souls, miss them listening to you, watching you, coveting…one minute you’re the center of everything, the next nobody gives a fuck. Now what if you had the opportunity to be that conduit one more time? What would you do? If you had that, how far would you go?”

    In other words, he seemed to be telling us that Sabrina wasn’t being helmeted any longer. Or, if she was, she was choosing it. She wanted to be here.

    Otis went on to post some pretty alarming FB posts, then delete his account.

    He also intermittently referred to himself as “John,” and once called Mike Fontaine in a panic, saying that he didn’t know where he was or how he’d gotten there.

    In August 2017, a woman contacted Sarah and leaked audio of a retreat. She then appeared on Slack, to say the following:

    “I only have a few moments, Sarah. I’m sure you can verify my identity. We don’t have a lot of time. No, I don’t have a lot of time. Most of you will write this off as some hoax leading up to something. Others will make a joke out of it. My friend went missing because of it. I love immersive theater, I thought I was joining something amazing. Don’t let any of them fool you. What transpires behind the scenes, the training, the ‘theatrics,’ I know you have no reason to believe me. I wouldn’t. Next time you cross paths with an actor, ask them, look in their eyes. Look in there [sic] face and ask about the retreats, what they are shown. Don’t believe something just because it pretends to be entertainment.
    “Sorry, I was kicked out [of Slack]. Even for us [the actors??] they make it a show. A game. Theater. This is much darker than the system, or a dating site. These are their lures, how they try to catch you.
    I have to run. Listen to the audio. On the surface, a mock event for us, bonding, building, giving us a taste. It wasn’t. I was hired two months back for some event, some bar. Some of who were there I couldn’t talk [to]. I tried to. (Hannah: “Elizabeth?) I have so many names. Elizabeth, Janice, Nancy. They change them, and us. They hire a lot of people out of town and bring them in. They want people with low social profiles, people harder to trace back. Sometimes they can’t. They use a ‘Sabrina.’ No everyone are actors. They put us in so people think it’s ‘theater.’ I fucked up. I fucked up. I fucked up. I am sorry to all of you, for anything I have ever done to harm any of you. It’s not ever going to be okay, and I was partially responsible for this. [People in chat are telling her to go, to take off] I am going, but I’ve done things. How do you wake up tomorrow and pretend none of this happened?”

    In the audio that she leaked, a ceremony appeared to be taking place to reprogram people. A man’s voice said, “She has a name. But a name can change. She had a career. And a career can change. She is whoever we say she is….Who you all once were will die tonight. People will look at your bodies and remember you by another name. Smile at them. And nod. Act the part of who they remember you being, but know you are not that person. That person died here, tonight. Tonight, you are somebody new…Go in his light. Became the name you have been given.”

    The pattern was being reinforced. We were seeing real people being hurt, forgetting their pasts.

    Noah posted a cryptic video. “I will destroy the person who made me this way.” Made him that way…as in…helmeted him?

    Mason told Kasch that he’d grown up in the order, that he’d tried on the helmet, out of curiosity, hoping it would make him the next Gatekeeper. But instead, it opened up something “different.” We never knew how much of this conversation was true. What we do know is that we’ve seen many different Masons since then. Killers, nerds, doms, awkward geniuses. Who knows if the transitions between these personas at will.

    The next person to show signs of being helmeted was Stephanie. She showed symptoms similar to Addison’s – glitching, saying the same thing over and over, appearing confused and exhausted. Sometimes she didn’t appear to recognize some of us. At the MSE, some saw her getting particularly glitchy. The symptoms started after she was overheard expressing a wish to leave Lust.

    And now, Morgan. The signs began last year, when he began to realize the truth. To fight it, to rally some sort of support. I suspect that by MSE, he’d been re-helmeted.

    Noah’s last words on the matter:

    N: You alright buddy?

    M: Yeah. I’m in fucking control.

    N: Yeah? Sure you are. You’ve been in control since Sabrina took your fucking name tag, eh? ’S that how long you’ve been with us, huh? How long has it been going on?

    M: I’ve been here a long time now.

    N: Yes you have. (aside) Fuck me. Somebody keep him from drooling again. Get him in the fucking hot tub or bathtub.

    D: Get the helmet on him. Now.

  • #29503
     Andrew Kasch 
    Participant

    Christ, @daela

    I’ve never seen the helmet picture before! That was the room they took me up to waaaaaaaay back at the donut mixer. Where did that come from????

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