Category Archives: Incunabula

Did An Alternate Reality Game Gone Wrong Predict The Rise of QAnon?

 

In this fragment of SCHISM we interview the creator of ‘Ong’s Hat’, the first Alternate Reality Game, and ask what his experiences can teach us about the rise of QAnon. Is it possible that the ability to co-create and distribute our own narratives about reality could be altering its basic fabric? And has Noam Chomsky’s concept of ‘manufactured consent’ produced by centralized authority and corporate media now been outmoded by a new era of ‘manufactured dissent’, powered by networks, meme culture and supercharged shitposting?

LINK: https://youtu.be/brijcd-8oWE

Episode sponsored by Joystream, the video platform DAO: https://joystream.org
 
Support us on Patreon https://patreon.com/schismfilm
 
Credits, references & more http://schism.film/illusorytruths
 
Help share this episode, earn goodies: http://mop.to/schism3
 
 

More Gunderson, Finders, QAnon, et. al

Back by popular demand, this episode features more dirt on Ted Gunderson. It starts out pretty straightforward, with digital forensic investigator Ed Opperman talking about his experience with the disgraced former FBI agent. Then public satanist Lucien Greaves talks a bit about his investigations into the Satanic Panic, including his experiences with ol’ Ted. Finally, Joseph Matheny comes on for a wide-ranging chat about QAnon, the Finders as metaprogramming, the gameplay-theater-ceremonial magick nexus, and more! Things start out pretty down-to-earth, but by the end of the episode, there is plenty of esoterica for you to chew on. Get ready to have your mind blown, then press play…

link to show: https://anchor.fm/failedstateupdate/episodes/25–More-Gunderson–Finders–QAnon–et–al-elcm3k/a-a3k0etn

But for chrissake, if you haven’t listened to the previous episode (24), please be sure to, so you don’t get too lost…

Grey Faction (Lucien Greaves) website: https://greyfaction.org/

Lucien Greaves on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucienGreaves

Joseph Matheny website: https://josephmatheny.com/

Joseph Matheny on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ongshat1

Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net

Joseph L. Flatley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley

Failed State Update Newsletter: https://lennyflatley.substack.com

Red Pages Podcast: Episode 154: Chatting with Joseph Matheny

Justin sits down to talk with ARG pioneer Joseph Matheny about politics, conspiracy theories, games and the future of America.

Haps Discussed: Independent art production, marginal voices in marginal spaces, propaganda, misinformation, QAnon, social media, owning your data, Rockefeller Republicans

Books Discussed: Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski

Games Discussed: Ong’s Hat, Majestic, Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Myst


Links
Paralax Views Podcast episode Adrian Hon: What ARGs Can Teach Us About QAnon Conspirituality Podcast

 

This is not a game

By Tom Dove

Link to the entire article: https://medium.com/@illexical/this-is-not-a-game-44142be5ff2c

Ong’s Hat.

A funny little name. A name on a map of a town that can’t be found.

Emerging on the nascent public internet at some indeterminate point in the late nineties, Ong’s Hat was the prototype for what would become a genre of participatory literature called the alternate reality game, or ARG. An ARG is part adventure story, part puzzle, part esoteric mystery, part scavenger hunt, part online community, all quite weird. They are mostly played on public forums, to capture the widest audience, but their content often spans multiple platforms, and typically multiple media. There have been many thousands of ARGs now, tiny and massive, but one of them was first, and it was wilder than the rest.

Ong’s Hat was by turns surreal, goofy, cosmic, and sinister, drawing heavily on classic counterculture and conspiracy theory lore. In the very early days of the worldwide web, it was doing something in a dispersed form that Mark Z. Danielewski would shortly be hailed as a postmodern genius for doing in the novel House of Leaves: playing adeptly with our ideas about how and why we find things to be true. What makes us believe a thing is real? The course of the game, its story, exists only in inaccurate second-hand reports and archived materials stripped of context now. By accident or by design, all the original online content has long since subsided into the digital sands, but the ghost of Ong’s Hat haunts us still.

 

Small Town Secrets: Celebration, FL/ Ong’s Hat, NJ

Ong’s Hat WAS a place set deep in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.  The 17th-century town was more of an outpost with just a few buildings.  It was known as a rowdy place.  The town got its name from a man named Jacob Ong who after a fight with a woman threw his beloved hat up in the air.  It become stuck in a tree and he never retrieved it.  But Ong’s Hat may have served a different purpose in more modern times, it may have been a place where fringe scientists and cultist gathered to travel into other dimensions.

Link to Show Pagehttps://shows.acast.com/small-town-secrets/episodes/celebration-fl-ongs-hat-nj

 

Cults, Cryptids, and Conspiracies Episode 169: An Egg In These Trying Times

Episode Info

New Jersey is quite a strange place in America. Especially in the Pine Flats area where a nuclear spill nearby a place known as Ong’s Hat. This is probably the most egg heavy episode you will ever get. Prepare for intense science theory and a surprise ending with this episode.

 

LINK TO SHOW PAGE: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/cults-cryptids-and-conspiracies/e/76951755?autoplay=true

Prequel to Q Anon | #16 – RAP Drugs Pod

This weekend we reflect on Q Anon & the corporate state; Ong’s Hat: The Early Internet Conspiracy Game That Got Too Real. “On a sunny morning in early 2000, Joseph Matheny woke up to find conspiracy theorists camped out on his lawn again. He was making coffee when he noticed a face peering in a ground-floor window of the small, three-story building he rented in Santa Cruz. Past the peeper, there were three other men in their early 20s loitering awkwardly. Matheny sighed and stepped outside. He already knew what they wanted. They wanted to know the truth about Ong’s Hat. They wanted the secret to interdimensional travel.” https://gizmodo.com/ongs-hat-the-earl…

Chrissy Teigen is well-known for her Twitter presence and witty tweets but now the model has blocked over a million Twitter users, made her account private and deleted over 60,000 of her own tweets after conspiracy theories connected her to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein https://globalnews.ca/news/7188815/ch…

Online Conspiracy Groups Are a Lot Like Cults. Inside these closed online communities, outside voices are discredited and dissent is often met with hostility, doxing, and harassment. Sound familiar? https://www.wired.com/story/online-co…

What are the similarities between an Italian novel from the ’90s and the QAnon conspiracy theory that’s resulting in armed standoffs with police in the US? “Dispatches signed ‘Q’ allegedly coming from some dark meanders of top state power, exactly like in our book.” They also pointed to the fact that the Q from the QAnon community is described almost exactly like Luther Blissett used to be described, “an entity of about 10 people that have high security clearance.” https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/…

Is the QAnon Conspiracy the Work of Artist-Activist Pranksters? The Evidence for (And Against) a Dangerous Hypothesis. The history of “Luther Blissett,” the Italian media jamming movement, is suddenly relevant to the US political discussion. https://news.artnet.com/opinion/q-ano…

Some Q followers break away when they recognize the content of the theories is not self-consistent, or they see that some of the content is directly aimed at getting donations from a specific audience, such as evangelical or conservative Christians. This then “breaks the spell” the conspiracies had over them. Others start watching Q-debunking videos. Disillusionment can also come from the failure of the theories’ predictions. Q had predicted Republican success in the 2018 US midterm elections & claimed that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was involved in secret work for Trump, with apparent tensions between them a cover. When Democrats made significant gains & Trump fired Sessions, there was disillusionment among many in the Q community. Further disillusionment came when the predicted Dec 5 mass arrest & imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay detention camp of enemies of Trump did not occur, nor did the dismissal of charges against former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. For some, these failures began the process of separation from the QAnon cult, while others urged direct action in the form of an insurrection against the government. Such a response to a failed prophecy is not unusual: apocalyptic cults such as Heaven’s Gate, the People’s Temple, the Manson Family, and Aum Shinrikyo resorted to mass suicide/murder when their expectations for revelations or the fulfillment of their prophecies did not come about. Psychologist Robert Lifton calls it “forcing the end”. This phenomenon is being seen among some QAnon believers. Travis View echoes the concern that disillusioned QAnon believers might take matters into their own hands as Pizzagate believer Edgar Maddison Welch did in 2016, Matthew Phillip Wright did at Hoover Dam in 2018 & Anthony Comello did in 2019 when he murdered Mafia boss Frank Cali. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon#A…