Best Friend Simulator- Episode 16: Those Mummy Flippin’ Flintknappers/ Ong’s Hat

Topics include: Crimbus gifts, planning our funerals, Scary German Lady, Philly Legends: The Bubble Fairy, Josh is home alone, Alien Alloys, BFS Road Trip, Corrections and Josh’s Chaos Dimension: Ong’s Hat, the Pine Barrens, and Joseph Matheny

Characters: Sammy Squarespace (the CEO of Square Space)

ARG Pioneer Joseph Matheny on the Counterculture’s Hijacking from Corporatization to QAnon

On this edition of Parallax Views, a special, previously unpublished conversation with Joseph Matheny, a pivotal fixture of the bohemian tech counterculture during the early days of the internet, who may offer a key to understanding the wild social media phenomenon of QAnon and the general hijacking of the counterculture by right-wing and corporate forces. This should be of particular interest in light of the recent FBI memo pointing towards QAnon conspiracy theories presenting a potential domestic terror threat.

Joseph Matheny is perhaps best known as a transmedia artist who pioneered the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) with the inter-based collaborative fiction Ong’s Hat. An ARG is a type of game that uses the real world as a platform and has been used in a marketing campaign for Halo 2, the Lost TV series, and Nine Inch Nails’ Year Zero album. The genre has flourished because of the internet and is particularly interesting in that it does not require the player to realize that they are playing.

The parallels between ARGs and the QAnon phenomenon are striking. In fact, due to the focus of conspiracy theories and arcane secret histories found in Ong’s Hat, some have whispered that Matheny is having a bit of a laugh as the possible mastermind behind QAnon. Matheny adamantly denies this and I believe him when he says he’s not involved in QAnon. However, both of us agree that QAnon, whether knowingly or otherwise, uses the mechanics of an ARG in a way that is quite eerie.

In addition to discussing alternate reality games and things like Pizzagate and QAnon as “Dark ARGs” in the age of MAGA, Joseph Matheny and I more generally delve into how counterculture appears to have been hijacked, perhaps even weaponized, by corporate and right-wing elements.

It’s a fascinating episode that you’re not going to want to miss!

LINKhttps://parallaxviews.podbean.com/e/ep92/

DECODER RING: THE INCUNABULA PAPERS

What lies at the heart of Ong’s Hat?

 

LINK TO DECODER RING PAGE

Decoder Ring is a podcast about cracking cultural mysteries. Every month, host Willa Paskin, Slate’s TV critic, takes on a cultural question, object, idea, or habit and speaks with experts, historians and obsessives to try and figure out where it comes from, what it means and why it matters.

On the early internet, a conspiracy theory known as Ong’s Hat flourished. It combined real physics, speculative science, mysticism, and radical politics, to tell a tale about a secret cult of interdimensional travelers. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, clues would emerge about the travel cult: brochures, book catalogs, mysterious interviews, buried artifacts, and more. For years, users worked together to solve the mystery of Ong’s Hat and the man who masterminded it all.

Decoder Ring talks to those seekers and the man behind the curtain, to find out the truth: What is Ong’s Hat?

Download the art for this episode.

Links and further reading on some of the things we discussed on the show:

• Michael Kinsella’s book about Ong’s Hat: Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat

• “Interdimensional Portal” on YouTube

• Audiobook version of The Incunabula Papers

• Scans of the original Ong’s Hat mail-art

• Joseph Matheny’s website

• Joseph Matheny’s interview on Coast to Coast AM

Email: decoderring@slate.com
Twitter: @willapaskin

This episode was co-written and edited by Willa Paskin and Benjamin Frisch. Benjamin Frisch produced the episode.

*SPOILER ALERT* In case anyone missed it, here is the game that was embedded in that episode: https://www.reddit.com/r/trustaleph/ 

THE GRIMERICA SHOW #335 – Joseph Matheny – Denny Unger

Here’s a show with Grimerica that I recently did with my old friend Denny Unger along with the hosts of Grimerica, D-Ron, and Grahambo.

Show notes

Interview Starts at 36:05
Denny Unger and Joseph Matheny join us for the last chat about Ong’s Hat, Alternative Reality games, Magick and the last couple decades of Conspiracy Culture.
Denny is the CEO and Creative Directive of Cloudhead Games and used to run the website darkplanet in the early 90’s which was a big part of the Ong’s Hat mystery.
Joseph is an internet litterbug from the ironic school of conspiracy, reality hacker, storyteller, synchronicity inducter, and a hypermedium magician among many others.
We chat about how synchronicities and how they multiply when people get interesting in AR, and the flip flop aspect of the Mandela affect.  We chat about the various aspects of the Ong’s Hat mystery, weaponization of contemporary conspiracies, Joseph’s past interviews, Alternative Reality Gaming, legend tripping, grift, pizzagate, ritual magick, zen, larping, and Q just to name a few….

The Stars Fell On Podcast: Minisode – Holes In Reality

Today’s short minisode is 3 of Madison’s favorite places of alleged Portals to other dimensions! Learn the basics about the Children of Woolpit, Marcahuasi, and Ong’s Hat, NJ. If you do or don’t like what you hear, let us know and if you want a full episode on this topic or anything discussed today, send us an email at sfo.podcast@gmail.com! Join us next week for another regular episode about New Jersey’s most infamous monster.

We used some cool AI generated music from jukedeck. Make yours today!

The Digital Underground and FAKE LORE, DARK MEMES’ with Joseph Matheny

Both parts of a 2 part interview with Joseph Matheny on Steal This Show with host Jamie King

Part 1- THE DIGITAL UNDERGROUND: WITH THE GREY LODGE’S JOSEPH MATHENY

The Grey Lodge was an underground private torrent tracker used by millions of people per month in their quest to uncover the esoteric, strange and the downright weird. In this episode we hear from Joe Matheny, one of the founders of the site, about how it kicked off in the very early days of BitTorrent, online culture in the early days of the Internet, proto-copyright trolls, how even weirdos eventually get pursued by the MPAA, and how the demise of indie trackers from Grey Lodge to What.CD mean a net loss for our culture.

Coming soon: the second part of this interview, in which Joe discusses his work as an early creator of “this is not a game” ARG experiences and his well-known work Ong’s Hat, The Incunabula Papers. We’ll be making that available for supporters on the Patreon (and maybe more widely) in due course. In the meantime, if you’re curious to take a look at some of Joe’s work, he’s been kind enough to give us a free pack including Ong’s Hat and some samples from his ARG! Enjoy.

Part 2-  SPECIAL EPISODE: ‘FAKE LORE, DARK MEMES’, WITH JOSEPH MATHENY

This episode is part two of our interview with Joe Matheny. Part one, The Digital Underground, covered Joe’s experiences running The Grey Lodge, an early, underground private torrent tracker used by millions of people per month. Part two covers Joe’s groundbreaking ARG & literary work, Ong’s Hat, and its place in early internet culture, before we veer off into a discussion about how the ‘fakelore’ methods Joe used in the development of that work connect to the meme wars of today and the increasing political importance of memes (e.g. Kek, the ‘alt-right’ appropriation of Pepe The Frog.) We also discuss the very improbable connection (it really is) between Joe and Jamie, and how Joe became a patron of the show himself; PLUS, the potential for Kodi addons as a distribution point for indie creators.

Original URLs–  https://stealthisshow.com/s02e07/ and https://torrentfreak.com/steal-show-s02e07-early-days-private-trackers/  https://stealthisshow.com/fake-lore-dark-memes-with-joe-matheny/

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Ong’s Hat Ashram Survivors?

Joseph Matheny speaks to “Rupert” and “Abel” about their alleged upbringing in the Ong’s Hat Ashram and their witnessing of the alleged delta force raid.

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An interview with Joseph Matheny, recorded 08-07-03 fromRadio Alchymy- KPFK – Los Angeles. Radio Alchymy

An interview with Joseph Matheny, recorded 08-07-03 from Radio Alchymy- KPFK – Los Angeles. Radio Alchymy

Incunabula: Ong’s Hat- Joseph Matheny on Art Bell

Joseph Matheny discusses the Incunabula: Ong’s Hat phenomena on Art Bell, November 2000

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Playlist

Dark Show : Joseph Matheny- Incunabula Ong’s Hat

Dark Show : Joseph Matheny- Incunabula Ong’s Hat

“Darkshow” with Denny Unger

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