Where do you stand?

This topic has 38 replies, 30 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 7 months ago by Chelsea.

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    • #25035

      With @addisonborn’s Periscope last night, I thought that people may appreciate a prompt that would allow them to explain where they are and why they are there. Allegiances shift as motives and means do, and sometimes people lose or gain faith in what one group is doing. When these shifts happen silently in the shadows, it sometimes robs the faction that they now support of the support that allegiance provides.

      Me? I spent a chunk of Tension waffling. I followed the Gatekeepers. 4 rose me up and she had my love and allegiance. When she was killed I was without a place to be so had a brief dalliance with BoS, hoping to find a new home there. But neither OOA nor BoS gave me what I’ve been searching for this entire time – to feel something.

      I saw @russell’s desperate attempts to save Sabrina. I saw @111error’s glorious rage at the system that threatened him and his friends. I saw loyalty and shame and anger and frustration… and I felt none of it. Not because these actions aren’t worthy of such emotions, but because I don’t have that emotional capacity. But I want it. I am desperate for it.

      I didn’t feel anything when I saw Sabrina on that video. I didn’t feel anything when I saw Joyce beaten half to death. I didn’t feel anything when I saw The Compound go up in flames… The only time that I felt anything was in The Red Room, with all of the eyes of the OOA on me. Emotion is an addictive thing, and I’ll chase that next hit even if it kills me. The first was provided by something that the OSDM created, an organization that explicitly seeks to create and farm emotional responses. Even if they’re artificial, even if they’re negative, even if they lead to places in which I place myself in danger, I need that next hit that I don’t believe that either BoS’s fury or Briarberg’s justice can provide.

      Sabrina and the OSDM made me feel something once. That buys my loyalty and devotion more than any conflict that I’ve seen yet can. That’s a loyalty that will wear as many hoods, shepherd as many sheep to the slaughterhouse and swing as many Louisville sluggers (no splinters) that I am asked. What about you?

    • #25036


    • #25037

      The short answer is I stand with The One. You guys. I’ll respect factions that you opt to side with, I’ll respect when opinions change. Yes that is corny but it’s where heart, gut, and brain lead me.

    • #25038
       Brad Ruwe

      I think it’s no surprise where I stand. I knew my _path was with the BOS the moment TMC was revealed to be BOS. The “Honest Liar” who was trying to expose deceptions and educate people so they’d be less inclined to fall for those deceptions again? That’s something I’ve tried to do in my life on the regular. Fighting for justice and working to stop those who take advantage of others? Another check. A badass brit with a similar taste in all things mysterious? Hell fucking yeah.

      Loyalty was a subject that came up for me WAY back with my initial emails with Sarah and The System. I firmly believe that loyalty should NOT be unquestioning. That if those who you are loyal to go down a path that you do not agree with, you have every right to change loyalties. Morgan has fully welcomed us to question him, to talk with him, to learn what it is he’s after. Could he be lying to us? Absolutely. But I believe in what he’s fighting for and I trust the honest liar over the dishonest one any day.

    • #25039
       Mustafa Said


      I don’t know where I stand. Or at the very least, I’m not interested in the options I have before me.

      Noah and Horace’s “System” is at best inspiring and makes me feel like I should be a better person than I already am…and at worst makes me feel like I should focus on me, myself and I and fuck anyone else who even thinks of crossing my path. That everything in this world is a resource, a tool to be used to accomplish a goal and that collateral damage is more than allowed in getting there. So…nope to the System.

      The giant, Illuminati-level influence of the OSDM permeates everything we do…and that’s boring to me. I mean, once you have EVERYTHING, what do you do? The ability to snap your fingers and watch everything around you change and transform the way you want it to in order to fit whatever objective you have….like, I feel so empty when I think about that.

      I got nothing against the BoS but the reason I haven’t sided with them is because I can’t help but think that, after what we learned at the end of Tension, there is OSDM influence still at work, still guiding the organization with everyone thinking it’s independent. I’d feel like a pawn no matter what I do.

      What’s left beyond that? iConfidant is gone and Stacey is Anoch knows where. Sabrina is still kicking around but I can’t tell what she wants or how she plans on getting it.

      For me, my biggest fear if anything during this experience was one where I’d be forced to make a choice between two or more of these ‘sides.’ To either stand with a side that I don’t want to be tied to.

    • #25040

      @thegilded Thank you for this. I’m going to be very careful here. The short answer is: BOS but oh my god I’m so confused and thoughts are swirling and… I don’t know right now.

      I know that by the end of reading this at least 5 of you (and yes, I’ve made that list and have a bet going with myself) are going to be losing your minds. So here: I’m not walking. I’m not leaving. I’m providing an honest account of where my thoughts are.

      I am and was originally attracted to the BOS because it was the “anti ___”. I’ve always been one to cheer on the “anti ___”, in any and all forms. I’ve been struggling with this lately, because it is now a team. I know you have all seen it. I know that I can’t hide and pretend like it isn’t there. So let’s go with honesty instead. I’m not a team player. I don’t follow directions and I don’t follow leaders. I have never been that person, and I probably never will be. I’m OK with this. I’ve embraced it and have learned to thrive in it.

      This has lead to a huge struggle, both internal and external, lately about whether or not to continue to align myself with a team. Internal because I remember when BOS was the “anti ___”. External because of the pressures and conversations to watch public statements because of the importance of “optics” for the BOS. It should come as no surprise that those pressures have only stirred the muck at the bottom more, and have grown the desire to rebel. My rebellious nature and how it applies to this situation is something I think about all day, every day. I have dreams about it. I try to talk to the people closest to me about it endlessly. It isn’t going away, but I’m trying to analyze it and piece through it before it is able to influence decisions without my full participation in those decisions.

      So for a moment, I will be answering for me and only me. Not as a part of the BOS, but as an individual. I think that’s the best way to answer this. I believe the OSDM is bad and needs to be stopped. I believe that violence is an acceptable and often effective way to achieving goals. I believe that asking questions and that challenging everyone and everything, including leaders, is vital. I believe in truth and complete transparency. And I believe that people, in general, suck.

    • #25041

      There are people I like everywhere in this world. I love a bunch of you crazy BoS peeps. I dig Mason’s puns and musical tastes. I like Otis’ fondness for sweets. I love Sabrina for making me believe. I’m a huge fan of Noah for what he’s done for me. Etc, etc.

      Just because I like these people doesn’t mean I have to like who they’re attached to. Right now, none of these are appealing to “stand” with. That could change in the future, but right now, I’m looking at all of you under a magnifying glass, which is why Team FE is still in my heart. I like to hate everyone equally <3

    • #25043
       Robert Fuller

      I’m on nobody’s side. I trust no one. Trust has to be earned, and nobody has earned my trust yet. In team situations, I generally think of myself as Simon from Lord of the Flies, transcending all camps and just doing my own thing. Of course, that usually means I end up getting stabbed to death by spears, so to speak, but so be it. Things didn’t work out too well for Ralph’s team, either, and the hell if I’m going to join Jack. So I gotta do my own thing here and see where it takes me. I can’t even be sure that this is a team situation, and that we’re not all being deceived into believing it is.

      To quote one of my favorite musicals:

      Everybody’s playing the game
      But nobody’s rules are the same
      Nobody’s on nobody’s side.


    • #25044
       Kyle Bown

      I’ve been struggling with this question for awhile. It was always a superficial question to me. Do I stand with group A, Group B, is there really a difference?

      I’m past all that now, or at least, my goal right now isn’t to follow or join one group or the other. I want to know more. I want to understand more. I’m looking for the truth in all of this. What is actually going on. What is the OSDM doing? Is the BOS really BS? What is Briarburg, really?

      When Molly showed up at the Black Market, I stopped knowing what to think. I’m no longer worried about sides and factions. I want the truth. Whoever wants to give it to me will gain my trust and loyalty. I just want to understand, to not feel so lost and confused in the middle of all of this. I want answers, and I don’t really care where they come from.

    • #25045

      I am so willing to easily put my faith in others.
      And, yeah, I got burned last year.

      , this lyric may be more appropriate for me, personally…
      but sometimes I do not learn lessons quickly.

      “Never be the first to believe,
      Never be the last to deceive.”

    • #25046
       Lauren Bello

      Honesty time!

      Last year, I had a few reasons for being Old BOS, some of which weren’t great, and 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, but that’s another story and not relevant to players this year.)

      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 hope anyone who’s feeling that way this year – like their opinion or their faction doesn’t matter – will take the opportunity to chime in on this thread, because it all matters.

      That was last year. And in the spirit of honesty, I’ll admit it – Old BOS turned out to simply be a different kind of cult, not only because they were OSDM but because I became afraid to question, to speak up against the leader, to argue.

      This year, things are different. In particular, it’s not about steering clear of darkness anymore. And it’s not about thinking that I can choose some sort of different genre on my path (although yes, I am a sucker for puzzles, and I will continue to refresh TMC Slack every day, suck it Briarberg).

      This is what it boils down to:

      1) I would rather accidentally help a villain than accidentally punish an innocent. Hurting someone innocent is the worst move I could ever make. And so that rules out Briarberg Foundation, that rules out Noah Sinclair, that rules out Joyce, and that rules out the OSDM. BOS may not have much of a mission statement or code in place, but that’s the one thing they’ve always been clear on: they believe victims, and they work surgically without innocents as collateral damage.

      2) I trust Morgan more than I trust any other character out there.

      3) I can and will argue with BOS’s leader without being afraid of being shunned, cut out of experiences, or talked down to. Morgan may argue with me but I feel safe arguing back, and that’s what’s important. We can question, we can debate, we don’t have to toe a company line, because this year, New BOS is not a cult.

      I don’t know much about New BOS. I completely understand objections that they don’t seem to be doing much; that what they ARE doing seems to be unilateral and behind the scenes; and that their goals and their methods have been mostly left for us to guess. I share in that frustration. But right now, the three points above are enough for me.

    • #25052

      Firstly, I want to thank @addisonborn for his honesty and for opening up this discussion again – I think it is of utmost importance to constantly evaluate your position, never allow complacency to set in. Secondly, I want to thank everyone who has shared so far. Standing up for what you believe in will always leave you vulnerable and open to attack, but can often only serve to reinforce your stance.

      I have started this post several times, but it is @daela who has finally given me the push and the clarity I needed to finish it.

      When I “defected” to BOS last year it was for some reasons that, as Daela said, “no longer apply”. But I knew, deep down inside, that the OOA/OSDM were the Big Bad and here was a group of people who believed the same. Over time, it became clear that it was not as simple as that. Daela said “I became afraid to question, to speak up against the leader, to argue.” I don’t think I ever stopped arguing (little good it did but hey ho). I don’t think I ever will. I will never stop speaking my mind, although I appreciate I do not always express myself in the most tactful of ways… But I know where she is coming from when she says that. And while Old BOS gave me connections with some people that I hold dearer to me than many of my own family, I still hold a lot of guilt about things were done in my name as part of that group. What if I had yelled a little louder? What if I had spoken out publically? What if, what if, what if???

      I held onto BOS even when it felt like I was going to end up alone, screaming into the wind. Even during Ascension, Overseer wouldn’t ask me to join her because she knew what I would say. I feel like I almost became a bit of a joke because of that, that people thought I was clinging onto something which had been proven to be false, something that no longer even existed. But for me, as long as the OSDM exists, BOS will exist in some shape or form, whatever it is called, whoever sits at the head of the table. The desire to bring them down is what unites those under this black umbrella.

      And yes, I freaked the fuck out over the TMC reveal. I questioned EVERYTHING (which, as I have already said, is A GOOD THING). The Old BOS wasn’t perfect, but I always felt I was at its heart despite the distance. After the reveal, I didn’t even feel like I was in the same body – how could the thing I held onto so fiercely exclude me so easily? This was wrong and it took me some time to see that. Although at times I still feel a little on the outside of New BOS, like I’m hanging around the elbow or the knee, @111error knows I am at hand (pun intended) to help whenever and however I can to further the cause. Because it’s not about ME.

      This brings me to the issue of leadership. As Daela said, “Morgan may argue with me but I feel safe arguing back, and that’s what’s important. We can question, we can debate, we don’t have to toe a company line, because this year, New BOS is not a cult.” Morgan isn’t some kind of BOS God and has never claimed to be. He is a man, not to idolised, but with faults like all of us. He also, and forgive me if this comes across wrong, isn’t all BOS is or has. And I think I already covered where I stand on arguing…

      I’m BOS, not for the personalities or the team or the campfire singalongs, but for the destruction of the Big Bad which I would have no hope of doing on my own. My commitment to bringing down the OSDM is as permanent as the ink on my finger.

    • #25053

      Since this all started I have been desperately trying to connect to someone or something but I really don’t seem to care when it really comes down to it. I see alot of you with your passionate responses and emotions fueling your decisions and I just don’t feel it. I want to. I’ve tried to act like I really care about one cause or the other but when it comes down to it I just don’t feel like I belong anywhere. That’s always been me though..I never really feel like I belong. A misfit through and through because I don’t think the same and I believe in a lot of grey rather than black and white. I can’t check a box and stand by it because my opinions are constantly changing. I like and dislike everyone for a multitude of reasons. I want to understand everything yet I know nothing and therefore I can’t make a logical decision like I would like to. And my heart doesn’t ache for anyone enough to make emotional decisions at this point. So bottom line is idk where I stand. With myself as usual I guess. Does it even really matter? …there’s just too much swirling around in my head.

    • #25056

      I finally had a little time today to sorta-kinda put thoughts in writing, mostly gathering and transcribing my random “this is important” notes and some bits and pieces from my periscope into an actual post. It’s all stuff I talked about last night..

      I’ve been thinking a lot about this essay by Durga Chew-Bose – Heart Museum. It’s in her collection of essays that came out earlier this year called “Too Much and Not In The Mood.” The bits and bobs in here that resonated the most with me were about music and writing and art and becoming art and embracing risks, the concept of potential energy that’s can be felt before something of importance happens, usually within art and music. And also the concept of “temporization” – where a decision or commitment is avoided in oder to gain time.

      There should be a word for the first listen of a new album that is perhaps not great, but good. It’s catchy, carries pathos, is mood modifying. It’s destined to hasten you out the door or score your next cab ride as you cross the bridge. It prompts texts after last call. It resuscitates teenage residue and threatens emotional relapse. An album that, upon first listen, discovers a new, hallucinatory wilderness: a pink desert, pewter trees, emerald skies, clouds that sprint by. Or conversely, an album that singes your periphery. What’s left is what’s in front. Your frame of reference is shot and you are temporarily the most suggestible person alive. An operative.

      Even when I’m caught off guard by a lathery shade of peach on the bottom corner of a painting at the Met, as if being reminded that I haven’t seen all the colors, and how there’s more to see, and how one color’s newness can invalidate all of my sureness.

      In my head, when I think, my thoughts are almost always accompanied by music – there’s always bits and pieces of songs or lyrics or just like random beats hitting and hitting, I hear music in my head as though I’m wearing headphones. Bits and pieces of lyrics get caught in my head, and I use them to reflect on my situations, explore if there’s a deeper meaning there, almost like tarot cards I guess. I honestly don’t know if I’m alone in this, I’ve really never talked to anyone about it.

      -Carly Rae Jepsen-
      There was a discussion in the Song of the Day channel on Slack that sparked this. Talking about Boy Problems (the greatest pop song in the past decade, don’t @ me), which lead to talking about then Cut To The Feeling, which had been released while my Confidant and I were emailing.. which lead to me thinking about a discussion I had with my Confidant about music. Talking about how I’ve always felt like you can’t actually know someone without knowing what kind of music they listen to, who their top 5 favorite bands or artists are, why their answers are their answers.

      I mentioned loving Limbeck, she loved them too.

      She brought up an album by The New Amsterdams, “At The Foot of My Rival.”

      I’ve always been more partial to The Get Up Kids when it comes to Matt Pryor projects, but I went back and listened to ATFOMR, and ended up getting hooked on The New Amsterdams.

      Now that we know that the Confidants were Sabrina, I was interested why the album recommended now was “At The Foot of My Rival.” If we’re leaping from Limbeck to New Amsterdams, an easier connection would be Worse for the Wear or Story Like a Scar. ATFOMR is similar but gives a much different feeling in my opinion. And then I realized their followup EP was “The Companion of My Rival.”

      This may be coincidence, this is probably coincidence. But I feel like maybe there’s a very obvious message that I needed to follow.

      -Personal experiences-

      I grew up in a small town in Minnesota
      I went to a lutheran school through 8th grade because our public school wasn’t good.
      I was bullied endlessly. And I spent time in the principal’s office almost every day because “these are good Christian kids, they wouldn’t bully you unless you were the issue.”
      The majority of my adolescence through early adulthood was grounded in revenge. I wanted to make sure I had a better life than they did. Unknown to them, I got it, and looking back, it was completely bullshit because it does. not. matter.

      Thank you to The System for giving me the courage to get that off my chest, I guess.

      -Revenge within The Lust Experience-

      I realized that everyone is driven by revenge. Also Revenge is the name of the first track from The New Amsterdam’s “At The Foot of My Rival”.

      Stacey – wants revenge on OSDM because of iConfidant and MyChild
      Mason – wants revenge on the OSDM, Joyce, for breaking up his family.
      Michelle – revenge themes due to being shunted by OSDM for her “experiment” with the OOA/Tension and apparently going rouge due to this
      Noah – hates his father, publicly disowned him and made a fool out of him at an event he co-sponsored.
      Ex-actors – portraying their motivations as revenge
      Joyce – betrayed her organization with her dying breath
      Morgan – revenge based on the fact that the initial resistance wasn’t true. And then extrapolated into the desire to take down unethical and unsafe theatrical practices.

      After everything that happened last year, Sabrina had every fucking reason to plot revenge. She should’ve been running full speed at the OSDM, not with a book of matches, but with a flamethrower. Maybe she’s actively doing it in secret. But from everything we know, she walked back to the OSDM.

      At the iConfidant meet, she mentioned no longer feeling anything. And so she went back. I realized that I had zero emotional attachment to anything here. I had no reason to be here. I felt lost, I didn’t really give a shit about anyone. And I thought about last year.

      The realest interactions were with Addison, or Overseer, or Sabrina. I know this was a ploy. But just like the personas that made up the Confidants, there was truth there. And for some reason there’s trust there that I haven’t found elsewhere.

      I love Morgan, he’s one of my best friends and I hope he always will be, but when emotions are running as hot as they are, I cannot fully let go and trust him. idk. For some reason, and maybe it’s an idea fully implanted by them, I trust Sabrina. I don’t know why. But the fact that she went back to the lions den after everything that happened tells me that there MUST be something there, some reason.

      In this story, the flip side to Revenge, in my mind, is Faith. As was hammered into us, Faith is the one single thing that has to be come to organically. It can’t be implanted.

      Everything we’ve seen, everything I’ve experienced over the past however long has been a war between action and faith. And sometimes action taken because of faith, and the reaction caused by that action. Faith has always been difficult for me, and uncovering avenues for me to take action has been difficult as well.

      So I sit, thinking about faith and action and inaction and regret and regretting the way I am. I was having trouble putting my faith in BOS. Not because I think they are an ineffective organization, but because no matter how much faith I put in, I could not see an avenue where any action based on the faith could have any effect.

      I know this is a toxic thought. But I’m not sure Horace was wrong about predestination. But to me, predestination wasn’t a concept I could easily brush off. It was an intrusive thought stuck in the middle of my brain, and because of it, I started considering my own _path.

      I realized last night that I had options. We know nothing, we’re all lost in the woods until we find our individual path. I was sitting at the BOS campfire, talking about things we might someday do when the opportunity presents itself, mincing words as to not talk about the things we couldn’t talk about. And I saw this path open up for me in the dark. Either I sit at the nice warm fire and count my matches, or I use the light from the matches to find my way down this new path.

      I am a hands on person. I can read shit and forget about it, but when I experience something, truly experience it in the moment, that’s what I get the most out of. I need action and motivation and then I can realize what I need and what I’ve done and why. And right now, I need to learn what running into the lions den is like. They could be the fucking awesome lion king crew – still wild animals, but maybe i can find a nice little place for myself in pride rock and chill with Zazu and folks, maybe use their influence to do some good. Or they could be actual, literal, real life bloodthirsty lions and I just shook hands with their best predator.

      I won’t know until I’m in the den.

      I know that this is playing with fire. That they are going to destroy my life if I cross them, but I need to see what it’s like on the other side.

      If the only way out is through, I’m going straight through the middle.

      • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Addison.
      • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Addison.
    • #25061

      No sides here for me either, but I do like the idea of choices. I also didn’t do Tension, but I was obsessed with reading about it, and have been here since the day the name “Kipsie” popped up in the source code and have been on the forums every day since then. I don’t know anyone personally, though I do like and enjoy all your different online personalities, which in a way makes me feel like I do know you in a way..but not enough to fully trust or pledge my allegiance to anybody or any faction. I still don’t know much about BOS or it’s members and I too was thrown off by TMC reveal, so not much connecting for me there. Out of everything, what I have personally connected to the most were The System periscopes we were asked to do for Noah. That was the one thing that made me feel emotional, confront my fears, etc… So I guess if I had to choose a path it would still be with Noah… But I’m still always open to all, until a choice absolutely must be made. But that time has not come for me yet.

    • #25062
       Lauren Bello

      I’m curious to hear from some more moderates! @superstar @theladyj @wintermute @lilmsfancpants @shankfx22 @erisbonn @izryn … you all come to mind. Where are you leaning right now? (You don’t have to say! Just curious.)

    • #25063

      Standing with Noah and only Noah. Not OSDM, not Horace, not Sarah and definitely not Andy.

      Can’t say I have good reasons, I just want to start fires and I’d rather do it behind Noah and have fun. Literally, I can be a sacrificed sheep to him and I’d be happy. At least he’s funny and knows himself.
      BOS is boring to me, Sabrina to me seems like a abuse victim who went back to her abusers, and Mason is entertaining as fuck but doesn’t have his shit together also freezoner. Also Fuck Horace cause he’s fucked up, kills dogs, and bad at executing jokes that could have been good if he spent more than half a second thinking about it instead of sitting on his wrinkly old ass.

    • #25064

      @daela <3

      What I do know is I’m so, so far, like galaxies away, from Mason. Anti-Mason to the Max. But it seems hypocritical to be all OSDM/OOA/??? because you know, the cult sacrifices, pulling tongues out and deafening people and the like.

      But in my mind I separate them by goal, Why did mason kill Joyce? Personal vendetta that would have happened if they were average, separated single parents with normal day jobs, that climaxed in a cruel, vicious death, masquerading as righteousness. And BOS (to me, and the first real experience I have ever had with them) was tethered to that, without a strong enough, soon enough, reaction. If they settle for their own version of monstrosity, what is the point? If Morgan, while waging his war path, was exorcise Mason and his coterie-company, instead of walking away like a bothered stranger at a party after the conversation turned weird; perhaps I’d be more forgiving? Curious? Is that the right word? Otherwise it’s all just repackaged.

      What WAS Ascension? People were killed and mutilated in pursuit of motivating some dogma but it’s business, people were conned, but buyer beware. Did anyone think something -good- was going to happen in an industrial neighborhood off Olympic? It felt so much less personal, if not more crazy, because people were a willing commodity. Just no one was the right commodity, this time. I only didn’t die because the girl before me hella died in her plastic covered chair. Maybe I did die. Who knows. But I was down then and still am down.

      OSDM has shown me a good time. I think that’s where I’m sitting, with the original.

      Super honestly, I keep looking for more Sarah. I am fascinated. But everyone as players and as _path(finders), is and are great. I do not regret being more active this time around, because we are half the adventure.

    • #25065

      Honestly, I’m tired of all this talk of factions. What’s the quote again? “A house divided cannot stand.” (Someone may have already brought it up, but it’s worth saying again.) OSDM supporters, Team Joyce, Team BOS. It’s all just winding the clock, isn’t it? It’s so easy to get caught up in our group drama and forget that at the end of the day, we’re all here for the Experience, whatever form that takes. Me personally? I seek the truth. I want to know what goes on in the dark little corners of the OSDM, what their agenda is, everything they’re hiding, if for no other reason than curiosity. Disagreements about what our goals are divide us, so instead of picking a side I want bridge those gaps and get all us participants to be stronger together.

    • #25066
       Meghan Mayhem

      My answers to the question “where do you stand” will surprise no one, I’m sure.

      I have hated the OSDM for ages. I met Michelle in the walls of the OOA and she and I stared each other down. A bitch-off if you will. I hate the OSDM for what they did to my friends, the innocents of the OOA, and how they used my friends, the community.
      The phone call I received from Horace was my final straw that made me decide “fuck this”.
      I cried for a resistance even before I knew there was one.
      When I was chosen to meet the leader and I saw who I was asked to stand beside, I knew what needed to be done.

      Much to the chagrin of Morgan, I have a fondness for Noah that I refuse to abandon. I see a lot of myself in his traits, both good and bad. I see the darkness he struggles with and I want to help him understand that he is not his darkness. His darkness merely resides within him, a parasite. I see the anger. I see the struggle with human emotions. I’ve seen the kindness he has when there’s no audience. I see the confidence that both charms and horrifies people. I am a polarizing person for these reasons as well.
      I do not want to “save” him. And I certainly do not want to “join his team” and follow him. But I want him to understand the ally he has in me if he’s willing.

      spoke of vengeance. Of not wanting to live a life lead by revenge. I most certainly can understand that, but I also see us in the midst of a war in which revenge is the banner above every house. It is unmistakable and unavoidable.

      There’s also been talk of “following your gut” and embracing who you are. Well, I struggle often with human emotions. Appropriate human emotions. I don’t love as others do, nor empathize, nor feel joy, nor mourn as others do. My strongest human emotion is anger and hate. It is toxic, but it is the emotion that moves my blood and makes me feel alive more than anything else. It has consumed me often and has poisoned many things in my life. I want violence. I want destruction. I want to tear people apart with my bare hands.
      This is who I am.
      But this is not who I want to be.
      I could very easily join forces with Mason and Michelle. I could take that bat in my hands. I could embrace who I am and tear it the fuck down, quite literally.
      But I want to be better than that.
      So I choose BOS.
      I choose a path that encourages me to think before I attack. Oh, I can destroy those who deserve it and I will, but not with an animalistic punch to the face. More thoughtful. More precise. Less casualties.
      This community, and immersive theater in general, have taught me how to strengthen those other human emotions I struggle with. I am kinder. Happier. More at peace with myself.
      And I believe in the fight to protect those who I care about and destroy those that try to take that from me, and those I care about.

      And that being said, there’s been so much talk of Jack/Mason. Of conning @111error. Of infiltrating.
      Well, I can’t speak for how it happened and what happens next. Morgan is human. We all can, and will be fooled at some point.
      But I propose an offer.
      I have proved my loyalties and trustworthiness many times over. I took a vow to the BOS and I have no intention of abandoning you in a time of war.
      So Morgan…Jack stood at your right and he betrayed you.
      If there is a position to be filled, let me take his place.
      I will happily march into this war and assist you with anything you need to lead us.

      And that’s where I stand.

    • #25067

      I can already see at least two posts here from people with Opinions that tell me I’m going to regret this. But here goes.

      Why I Stand Where I Stand, by Megan Reilly

      The great big caveat I will put in front of all of this is that I consented every time I picked up the phone. I knew exactly what was going on, and I loved every second of it even though it fucking terrified me. I’m an oversharer, and the fact that I haven’t talked much about this should actually scare you. I realize that most of you weren’t around last year and maybe aren’t aware of this but I do talk a lot about my interactions – I also write. A lot. Blog posts and articles and shit that gets published and you won’t find anything about this written anytime soon. I’m not even sure I should write this. I shut up about this for a reason, before Mason arrived at my house, because I was scared, and because I didn’t want to hear people’s judgements on it. I have quotes too, just like Addison.

      One is, of course, that scene from Westworld that Larry has brought up – “The world out there…was one of plenty. A fat, soft teat people cling to their entire life. Every need taken care of, except one. Purpose, meaning. So they come here. They can be a little scared, a little thrilled, enjoy some sweetly affirmative bullshit, and then they take a fucking picture and they go back home. But, I think there’s a deeper meaning hiding under all that. Something the person who created it wanted to express. Something true.”

      I’m not here to pick sides and take part in whatever war may or may not be coming. I’m here for the maze. I’m here for an experience. My experience. Not whatever Larry says the maze is but what I say it is, which is the experience that shakes me to my core. The one I don’t believe is possible. Give me that, and anything is possible, and I’m yours. I don’t play this game to win, I play it to lose – to lose myself and just BE even if it’s only temporary. Make me stop thinking.

      And then there’s this, from a letter the Marquis de Sade wrote to his wife from prison – I’ve had this quote with me for…however long there’s been internet. However long I’ve been coryphella.

      “You say that one cannot approve my mode of thought. What does that signify? Anyone who imagines he can prescribe a mode of thought to another must be quite out of his senses. My mode of thought is the result of my own reflections. It is a part of my life, of my own nature. It is not in my power to alter it, and if it were in my power I should not do it. This mode of thought which you condemn is the only comfort of my life; it relieves all my sufferings in prison, it provides all my pleasure in this world; it means more to me than my own life. It is not my mode of thought that has caused my misfortunes, but the mode of thought of others.”

      Some of you are not going to approve and…I just don’t care.

      Mason called every night between 10pm-12am. Aside from that window there wasn’t a ton of consistency so it was hard for me to predict WHEN it would happen. The first night I was up late because I was working late but after that, I started staying up late to wait for the call to happen. Around 9pm, my anxiety would start ramping up, and it wouldn’t go away until he called. And I wouldn’t be able to sleep until then. I stopped going to bed.

      He never answered any questions in these calls. He would say “you can ask,” but that always meant not to expect answers. The first question he ever answered was when I asked where he was, and he said “Saint Paul,” that night I thought he was here. And, that reality held up – I tried to poke holes in it and couldn’t. I spent 48 hours really unsure if I was being watched or not. He showed back up in LA, and I relaxed. But he had flight times and shit, just in case I needed “proof” that he HAD been here. Just like he’s had the bartender’s name from the Groveland Tap that night, the one who had given him directions. Just in case I called the bar. Which I did. Because someone knows me pretty damn frighteningly well.

      One night when he told me that he had to go, I responded very surprisingly by saying “Mason, don’t go” – a genuine emotional response. Spontaneous. It scared the shit out of me. He said, “you don’t want me to go?” and I knew I was fucked. That was the night I sent the message to Addison “I’m fucked, they’ve got me.”

      And the next night he called Chelsea. The dropped calls thing happened with him yelling in my voice mail. The night after that he called and was pissed at me and I found myself apologizing for missing his calls – which I didn’t do. I knew why. I didn’t care. I still don’t. The night after that he didn’t call, and I didn’t sleep at all.

      The next phone call everything was back to normal. He had missed me. He had missed my voice. My mind. Which was weird, and also, not. He asked if I’d missed him. I did. He asked me to wait up the next night for his call. And I did.

      Do you want the content of these calls? He said things to me that no one ever says to me.
      I told you all of the non-me things.

      First person to come on here and tell me what he did as if I didn’t know buys me a drink next time I’m in LA.

      Noah set me up back in July when he called with that whip-or-no-whip metaphor. The way that I took it – and I received PMs from several other participants so I know that I’m not the only one, others who know me well took it to mean this as well – from an IG point of view, I was being told to drop the whip, because I was constantly getting in the way of my own experience. Tension didn’t have a big emotional effect on me. And I repeatedly said that things had to be “real” in order for them to get to me. So, along comes Noah, sweet talking to me about control a month before Mason calls and the idea is in my head, and yeah there could definitely be a “take control” message and I think that relates to other areas of my life but here, IG, and in most areas of my life it’s well known that what I want is to release control. More than anything. I can’t relax otherwise and I never do relax. But, jesus fucking christ, I relaxed talking to Mason, however stupid that sounds. That was a real experience. There was nothing in me that was performing anything there. I really got attached, I really had those responses. I was really hooked. And I still am.

      This is not a game.

      This is not how I expected this to happen. This took me COMPLETELY by surprise and I’m still mentally recovering from all of it. Not that he showed up here – that’s surprising as fuck. But that they went after a very personal, very particular weakness of mine, one I don’t talk about much, and they did it quickly. It was amazing.

      I said earlier in the spring that I didn’t think there was anything I lusted after that I could imagine throwing my friends under the bus to get.
      I was wrong.

      I’ve talked a lot about the weird reasons why I’m here before. I don’t care about who is “right” and who is “wrong” in all of this. I care about whether I can be made to feel, whether I’m questioning my reality – and holy fuck, did I do that. And I’ve said from the start that I will be loyal to whoever invests in me. That means I’m Mason’s, until he is done with me. And, again, I’m waiting.

    • #25068
       Lawrence Meyers

      “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

      We are inundated with information, much of it designed to deceive. Somehow we have to muster the courage to climb aboard the boat as it sails into the turbulent waters. Here’s what I see from the, uh, poop deck:

      I like and care about Noah and Sarah. I said at one point early on that they are deserving of compassion. They still are. I identify with the rebel and the bull in a china shop…I always have. I’m concerned that they are vulnerable.

      I like the concept of Mason — the Disruptor — but am less…sanguine…about his activities. Still, my heart tells me that Mason has some part to play yet, for good or ill…

      I like non-BoS Morgan. BoS Morgan regrettably has all the hallmarks of a misguided CEO handed the reins of a multi-billion Hungarian Forint corporation and he still thinks he’s part of the USSR. And that Cheetos are made with real cheese.

      I like people who follow their hearts at great risk.

      I’ve learned the hard way that we have to sort through all the noise, and if we listen closely, we can hear a voice. I think I’ve mentioned that this voice is ourselves, reaching back in time from the future, pulling us towards our future selves. It’s also called our conscience.

      That’s the voice to listen to.

      Mine says:

      “There are two things I know to be true.
      One, there is no such thing as good flan.
      Two, believe in Stephanie.
      Wait, there are two more things.
      Three, you are in a cult and you need to get out.
      Four, remember the Email you sent during Ascension. It felt right then and still does. Trust in that.”

    • #25070

      – Whenever Noah surfaces I will stand with him he was always dynamic, erratic, and engaging. I like him even more he revealed his true feelings about The System and his father.
      – I would have stood with Joyce since she, like Noah, was dynamic, erratic, and engaging but she ded.
      – I’m interested to see what Sabrina is up to.
      – I would be more into the BoS if it started off more welcoming but I get why they did what they did.
      – I am genuinely scared of Mason.
      – Otis seemed like a nice man until his intense card metaphor video and now I’m not sure what to think.
      – I am still waiting to beta test Stacey’s real code.
      – I wonder where Sarah stands now that Noah publicly turned.
      – Does Andy still fuck now that Noah turned?

    • #25071
       Bryan Bishop

      I’m really enjoying seeing how everyone is thinking through their current situation. In a way, it’s helping me get to know some of you more than I ever have before.

      But at the end of the day, it’s all fucking meaningless.

      There are no “sides.” There are no “teams.” All of these distinctions are illusions that will eventually fail each and every one of us. People that you give your allegiance to with the best of intentions will let you down. Organizations that you support because you believe in their mission will cast you aside, because they will ultimately do what is right for them – and the individual is always expendable.

      At the end of the day, we are all alone, unto ourselves. Everything else is a fairy tale. A comfort designed to provide a false sense security and safety, when all it’s really doing is ensuring our ships never leave that safe harbor. Ensuring that we never, truly make ourselves vulnerable, or feel anything that’s real. Preventing us from being present.

      The only thing that we can trust in this world are our own wants, desires, and emotions. The pain we feel when somebody we care about is hurt; the terror when a dear friend goes dark and we wonder if we’ll ever hear from them again. The quickening of the heartbeat when you receive a phone call you really shouldn’t want… but you do.

      These precious emotions are the only true currency. And everything else is, in the words of Andy Jenkins, jerking off.

      Have I “sided” with the OSDM? I have, and I do. But it has nothing to do with their larger cause, or the nobility of raising a god (false or not). It is simply because they, and their Experiences, make me feel. That has always been the only thing that matters, and I will celebrate that and spread its word as long as it fills that need.

      Those emotions are all we’ve got. Fear, revenge, exhilaration; tension, lust, adrenaline. They are the only truth. Notions of teams, or factions, or allegiances… in the end, they’re nothing but a carnival barker’s lie, and we’re all going to die alone.

    • #25072
       Lawrence Meyers

      This message brought to you by Forest Lawn Cemetery. Where you go to die alone.

    • #25074

      Y’all got me all up in my feels with this shit.

      I have thoughts. Lots of ’em. Not to be a cocktease, but there will be a post forthcoming 😉

    • #25075

      Where do I stand?? To make it simple, after typing up a whole page and a half, I deleted all that.

      I stand with the true word of Anoch and what Horace has to teach others. During Ascension last year, Addison/Sabrina asked me if I was there to save her. I told her, “No, you’re exactly where you need to be and continue to deliver the message of Anoch.” Anoch calls to one, if you’re willing to listen, as many of you haven’t… but yet we see our blond apostle come back into the fold. She knows better and has seen the truth.

      BOS, OSDM, BRIARBERG, FE, all of you are my enemies. No one will dissuade me from becoming a true disciple of Anoch. As much as you all are fed static, the truth of Anoch is out there.

    • #25140

      @daela I know I’ve been quiet lately. That tag means a hell of a lot. Also, I missed the whole MyChild kerfuffle while typing this up, so I feel rather silly posting now. Anyway, for those who care, read on.

      What ended up happening to me in the first month or so of this experience was pretty life changing. I still live with my ringer on. Just in case, you know? I was basically a stranger to everyone here, but suddenly I became a part of Buz’s recaps, a topic of conversation, and a literal fucking poster child for the LUST Facebook page. It was so much, and it was so exciting.

      Noah Sinclair was a jerk, a misogynist, and an all-around hot mess of a guy when I met him. He blew into my life, called me on my shit, and converted me to a person who likes orange tic tacs. I felt a connection with him, and lost myself in those calls and meetings. He was a complicated, frustrating and very real person. I did my best to stand by him through some pretty rough accusations when things were rocky with Sarah. I watched him go through his epic break with reality and listened to his songs and ramblings. I tolerated burner phones and strangers showing up at my office, as well as some light teasing from @larry about being a doe-eyed fool. I watched from the sidelines as people dissected their iConfidant messages. I kept buying those tic tacs. Still do, in fact.

      After Noah cut off contact with me, I was able to breathe and go back to normal life, whatever that means. I did some shows, I traveled, I drifted away from the boards. I don’t want to speak for Chris necessarily, but we both felt removed from the recent chapters for various reasons, and maybe it’s for the best. Things are getting very personal and messy and sometimes I think that Noah didn’t so much “dump” me as he did “save” me.

      At The System event, I walked in to the lobby and saw the ol’ goofball sitting on the couch. He looked directly through me and asked, “Do I have to talk to these losers?” The check-in girl said no and told us to go inside the theater and sit down. Ouch, dude.

      So all of this is to say that I’m still an idiot, and Larry was… right. If Noah called, or emailed, or sent a singing telegram to my apartment right now, I would put on a dress and get to goddamned work. Would I make the same choice is Mason called? I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t dress up for him. I don’t think I have very much to offer to Morgan, and the last time I saw Sabrina, she welcomed me to the OOA, so who even knows who I was even talking to at that moment.

      On a small scale, I’ve already gotten out by going though. I don’t think I’m strong enough to actually walk away as some others have. As I write this, Chris realized he just missed a No Caller ID call (probably not related). That feeling, that rush, that electricity will never go away. I am still here, and I am still on your side @maddyxxx.

    • #25150

      @daela As you know, I’ve been away from the Experience for a bit. By choice, as much as due to demands of actual life. And, I also sincerely appreciate the tag. I have many thoughts about where I stand at the moment, but I need a good night’s rest to put those thoughts into words. More to follow tomorrow. <3

    • #25158

      I don’t honestly feel anything. Which I think is to be expected, since I’m still really new. It is really hard to care about anything when you hop on months into something. I don’t think this sort of thing is particularly welcoming or forgiving to newcomers, by nature of its design, though I’m sure it has intentions to be welcoming. I understand Megan’s attachment to Mason, because he invested time in her and made her feel something, and that was the “thing” she was waiting for. I would like to feel something, too, like I’m sure we all do, but don’t. Not complaining. Not blaming. I don’t care. It’s exactly that. Just being honest for sake of “participating”. I was really eager when I first started this a few weeks ago but I’ve definitely been slipping away. It’s a lot to read through when you don’t really feel attached. But hey, still making the effort (a little).

    • #25160
       Kevin Hsu

      I want to fight for what is right, whatever that may be. Right now the BOS is the team that can help me do that, and as long as our mission statements are aligned then I am in.

      I don’t really know Morgan, but I am willing to trust him enough to uphold the values that the members of BOS share. And I do value the members that I have gotten to know.

      The waters ahead are dark and dangerous, charting the course will take a great deal of time, mistakes have and will be made, but I think that if we stick together we have a better chance at staying afloat.

    • #25164
       Twan Intarathuch

      At the very beginning I announced that I was on any side that wanted to burn this motherfucking system down. There was an insidiousness that I couldn’t accept and I found it hard to feel any enthusiasm for it. So I joined the losers club and I met some of the people on this forum that I now call my friends. @buz, @wanda102 and @mistere really helped me feel engaged. As an outsider I was keenly aware that I didn’t seemlessly fit in with the community, but I wanted to make friends. Unfortunately, fear and anxiety kept me at a distance most of the time. Then I sort of faded from the forums as life began to get in the way of everything. I had a health scare and then as I was recovering my Dad passed away.

      Then something unexpected happened, @buz messaged me out of the blue and offered to get me a drink, because “I just got a call from Noah Sinclair asking me to go get a bottle of scotch for someone that needs it. I… thought of you.” At first I refused. I didn’t want a person I barely knew to be witness to the overwhelming despair and sorrow I was feeling. But then I looked around and took in what I was doing to myself. I was sitting alone and crying in my father’s apartment while I was packing away his things. I needed the company and I really needed that drink. So I agreed and Buz came over and we had a real friendship building moment. He was no longer some guy that I knew on the forums and from the loser club; he was a friend that supported me when I needed it most. I will always be grateful to him for being there.

      I’m not as engaged with the “Game” as some of you. I worry that in my current state this might not be the best thing for me. Last week I was really thinking about leaving as @buz said his goodbyes, but I’ve had time to think about it and I’m staying. Not for any faction, but for a chance to make new friends and get to know the lot of you better. So as @mkarrett said : “I stand with The One. You guys. I’ll respect factions that you opt to side with, I’ll respect when opinions change. Yes that is corny but it’s where heart, gut, and brain lead me.”

    • #25168

      I only heard about Tension just before Ascension, and was so fucking intrigued and so fucking pissed I was (am) on the other side of the country. I jumped into Lust back round the end of July, just for shits and giggle, not expecting to get that much out of it cos, ya know, distance & all that shit. Yet here I am, and I am IN.

      So where do I stand in all this?? Unlike most of you, I have no real history with these people. SO I’m in a unique place to come at this with no attachments. That also means I’ve had to play a lot of catchup. Which was intimidating as hell at first, but I think I’ve got a handle on most of it at this point. And I fucking love this thread, honestly. THIS is what I came for. Real emotions, real reactions. Not sides. I want The Experience, MY Experience, whatever that ends up being. Damn the consequences, I wanna see what happens. I want to be fucking challenged, I want to be terrified, I want to be made vulnerable. I want a genuine emotional response that isn’t just my own fucked up headnoise.

      A whole metric fuckton of what @coryphella said resonated with me HARD. And I think she & I share a lot of the same motivations. Emotions are a tricky thing for me. I’m borderline as fuck. Which, reductively, means a whole fucking excess of emotion, with very little regulation. And dissociation comes hard and heavy. On the flip side, vulnerability has always been a hard thing for me…I’m not good at it. I don’t like to be seen as weak. That’s exactly why I did Noah’s “the thing you hate the most about yourself” challenge. I almost didn’t, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I FELT something because of that. And THAT’S what I’m after. Like Megan said, I need things to be real for them to get to me. I crave that feeling of beng so in the moment that literally NOTHING else matters. Letting go of control and everyfuckingthing else and just being entirely present in that moment. I have felt…disconnected from my life for quite a while now for a few reasons I won’t get into here. So maybe this is my therapy. And maybe I’ll regret it all, but I don’t care.

    • #25230

      I struggle to feel honestly connected to any of this. I’ve tried in whatever way I know to engage with the various characters, and to relate to various storylines. But, for a while now I’ve felt like I just don’t have whatever it is that TPTB want. Without a sincere connection to someone or something, all I can do is pretend. I feel like I’m hovering around the periphery of the experience, trying to contribute something meaningful, and wondering if it really makes any difference.

      At this point, I stand with Team Me.

    • #25281

      I didn’t think that a big public post was necessary, but with a handful of people being confused, here you go.

      I ask questions. I shine flashlights at holes and wonder what’s inside of them and poke at them with sticks. I’m more likely to do this to things I love and am attached to, than I am to things I dislike or am indifferent towards. I show affection by taking the time to find inconsistencies. I do not blindly follow, and I do not blindly love.

      I’m drawn to chaos and darkness. I, without fail, always cheer on the villain. Because of this, I was always going to be a part of the resistance. That’s who I am, and it’s what I do. And it should come as no surprise that I would eventually resist the resistance, but this is not the way I saw it going.

      I felt pushed out, because I wanted to gather people around the hole in the ship to look inside. “But why would you do that to your own ship?“, I was asked. “Because no one else is, because they are afraid.”

      Every faction is picked apart. They are under constant scrutiny and challenged consistently. Except BOS. Maybe this is what happens when we have one of our own taking leadership. Daela said that she didn’t feel she, as BOS, had to toe the company line, but I personally felt that I did. I hope you know, Morgan, that I only ask questions of those I feel worthy of scrutiny. I’m sorry that I hurt you, and I’m sorry I left you feeling betrayed.

      I cannot be a part of a group that doesn’t encourage the tough questions. So here you go. Here’s your public post. I will no longer be aligning myself with BOS. I’m not sure what I’m aligning with or towards yet. I will keep you all posted as I sort through that. I do know that it will be with whatever inspires truth and encourages all of the questions. It will also, more likely than not, be with the dark and chaotic that so many are afraid to look at because they just might see a little bit of themselves in the shadows. “I’ll see you on the other side of the war.”

    • #25283

      @chelsea it sounds like you’ve given this a lot of thought and I respect this kind of honesty, always. I was wondering, if you’re usually inclined to support the villain, why weren’t you supporting OSDM from the outset, this year?

      • #25287

        Thanks dude! That is an excellent question. So far, I’ve viewed them as… kind of un-amusing, if I’m going to continue to be honest. They strike me as the kind of villain that hides behind a “Mr.” in front of their name. This question could be what has me look more closely at, and potentially side with, the OSDM somewhere down the line. We will see.

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