The following is a comprehensive timeline of events related to the saga of the Society and TheBoanthropic, including in-depth profiles on all key individuals and factions presented as they entered the narrative. For a more concise summary of the essentials for those looking to catch up quickly, click here. For all the latest Haunting coverage of the Society and TheBoanthropic including announcements for upcoming events, please click here.
Grateful thanks to the many Pilgrims whose photos and experiences are vital in the telling of this story, including Julie R, Cristen B, Cara M, John L, Kevin H, Eva A, Kevin G, Carl W, Meghan S, and Taylor W.
The Society is the chosen name of a community of likeminded spiritualists who live together on The Mountain, an as of yet undisclosed location high up in the hills outside of Los Angeles. The Society first began decades ago under the guidance of a mysterious leader known as The Founder. They believe in helping people reach a state of Oneness and “orgiastic bliss;” maintaining a conscious awareness of your body from moment to moment, celebrating indulgence and sensation. The Society revels in the sexual, the tactile, the moments when you are most aware of and attuned to the experience of being inside your own body. Its members are kind and friendly but behave with an unembarrassed bluntness that might be disorienting for the uninitiated. Most Society members live up on The Mountain full time, rarely if ever venturing down or interacting with people outside of their community. Their life on The Mountain is self-sustaining, growing their own food and living according to the tenets set down by The Founder. As such, many are naïve to certain social constructs that we take for granted. While they articulate a warmness and love for all people they encounter, as a group they are wary of any outsiders visiting them on The Mountain and historically keep to themselves. Their access to technology on the Mountain is limited, but they do maintain an Instagram account that members take shifts maintaining. Only very recently have they ventured down in an official capacity with some regularity.
They are aware of the misguided belief some hold that they are actually a construct related to immersive theatre, and while it bothered them to be misunderstood in this way at first they now embrace the confusion as a way to disarm potential inductees. Society members can be identified by their all-white clothing, a white string that they tie to their wrists, and a symbol written on their hand that they must continuously reapply. The Society is structured through a numerical hierarchy, with members attaining a certain level through a series of trials and challenges of a physical and/or introspective nature. The most up to date information suggests that there may be as many as ten thousand or more attainable levels within the Society. They have recently created a Facebook page to better engage with interested parties.
The chief spokesperson for The Society and their primary link to the outside world, referred to by the group under the official job title of “Prudent Necessary.” Tad first became involved with The Society through his wife Kari, who had been a member for several years prior, during his search for a new part-time job. Tad himself is not a member of the Society, but instead a full-time resident of Los Angeles and involved in the city’s theatre community. His contacts in this area are one of the many ways that he has been able to help facilitate the Society’s growing presence down the Mountain. When Tad was first hired the group had not ventured down in several years and were searching for a new opportunity to engage with people outside of their circle. In 2015 Tad organized an immersive theatre event called Kiss of Death where a series of short pieces were presented in succession and invited Kari and another member of the Society, Eric Andrew Hoff, to occupy a slot in the lineup as an opportunity for recruitment. The experiment went well, though Kiss of Death would be the last time a member of the Society would descend from the Mountain as a representative of the group until the events of June 7th 2017. His wife Kari splits her time between living up on the Mountain and in the home that she shares with Tad. There is no tension stemming from their union in the eyes of the Society, marriage between a member and a relative outsider is not forbidden. Though Shafer admits that while he now has no desire to, the idea is that eventually he will join in earnest.
For now Tad comes and goes as he pleases, visiting the Mountain regularly and enjoying a congenial relationship with those who live there, including the Founder, who he meets with on a constant basis. His role as community liaison extends to social media, representing the Society at times through their Instagram account as well as posts on his personal Facebook page. Tad maintains a healthy sense of humor when discussing the more “woo woo” (his words) aspects of the Society’s beliefs and practices, playing the role of the relatable skeptic in a way that charms and disarms. He is, however, deeply protective of the Society when he sees evidence of anyone speaking out against them; especially anything related to the propagation of the Boanthropic. “They’re here to help. Their coming down is a selfless desire more than anything. ‘The time is now, we have to reach them while they’re still reachable. The whole earth will become a circle of oneness.’ I don’t buy it, but whatever.”
Wednesday, June 7th
On the night of the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival’s opening night party, Tad Shafer and six members of The Society crashed the event as an opportunity for community engagement and recruitment. They began by approaching people while they waited in line to enter and eventually made their way inside. The goal of this night was to give the Fringe-goers a taste of the group’s ethos by leading them through the first five “levels” of their indoctrination. These levels were reached through a series of simple challenges conducted by the Society members. These included lighthearted fare like being blindfolded and led around the room, more personal requests like writing down details related to the participant’s sexual history, or more abstract prompts like listing their top fourteen death fantasies. At the end of each trial Tad Shafer dutifully reviewed the participant’s work and approved their ascension. Throughout the night he could be seen rushing around the bar from one station to the next, collecting the papers and placing them in his briefcase and marking and banding the new initiates with their own strings and symbols. Thinking this was some kind of immersive theatre event, people quickly began to pick up on what the group was doing and soon lines began to form. Shafer became increasingly stressed throughout the evening due to the behavior of two of the six Society members who attended the event.
One, Eric Andrew Hoff, had left the bar without alerting anyone and was conspicuously absent for most of the night, leaving Tad to pick up much of the slack. Another member named Mary was also causing issues. Tad began to notice Fringe-goers lingering for an unusual amount of time when they reached Mary, causing delays. She was seen hugging them, whispering to them, and when they left they appeared disturbed. Tad was annoyed at this, worrying that Mary was somehow alienating these people and thereby jeopardizing his reputation within the fringe theatre community. Unbeknownst to him, however, Mary was engaging in something far more intriguing. As participants met Mary, she would hold them close and implored them to leave the building they were in and immediately go to a different bar down the street called Three Clubs. Once there she suggested that they “seek out the Black Rose,” but would not elaborate further. As the curious began to leave she bade them farewell, proffering another all together more enigmatic request:
“Save the Moonchild.”
Participants intrepid enough to follow her instructions found a familiar face waiting for them. Sitting at the bar in Three Clubs was Eric, the truant Society member. Resting on the bar next to him was a coat and on that coat was pinned a very particular broach: a black rose. Those who noted this sign and engaged with Eric were given a slip of paper folded tightly around a penny. Written on the paper was the message “GO TO WHERE IT’S HALF TIL NOON AT THIS MAN’S SEC. OF STATE.” On the other side of the paper was text written in another hand, showing that these slips had clearly been ripped from a full sheet of paper that had been written on completely by someone else, with phrases like “our small trio” and “orgiastic sex” drawing the eye. History buffs (or people with smart phones) deduced that the note was directing them to 1130 Seward Street, just a ten minute walk from the bar.
Waiting there, inexplicably, was a box of large, old floppy discs with a strange insignia written on the sleeves. Those who followed the clue pocketed the discs, their night over but their adventure just begun. After a long night of processing, Tad Shafer took his briefcase full of papers on which the secrets of the newest members of the Society were scrawled and rounded the corner in search of a quiet drink. Tad entered Three Clubs and was surprised to find his friend Eric. As they sat at the bar and talked, Tad knew nothing of the tangent Eric and Mary had sent the Fringe-goers on, nor did he know that something all around them, from Los Angeles to Montauk and high into the heavens, had awoken.
Tuesday, June 13th
All throughout the week following the night of the Fringe’s opening party, Eva Anderson, one of the Fringe-goers who had encountered the Society, was having strange feelings. Ever since she had hugged Mary that night she felt this sort of static energy, an electricity following her, buzzing in her ears, giving her headaches. On Tuesday morning, while in her car, she claimed to have gotten a shock when adjusting her radio. Immediately following this, Eva believed she heard Mary’s voice calling to her faintly under the normal sounds of the radio station she was tuned to. “Today, today, today I’ll find you,” was Mary’s message, repeated three times.
Later that day Eva experienced another strange occurrence when her next door neighbor delivered an envelope addressed to her that he claimed to have found in the waste bin attached to the shredder in his home office. Inside the envelope was a strange message written in many different handwritings:
“Believe me. Believe me. The enemy is poisoning memory. The one thing I need to break out. To be free. To evolve into higher being. Re. Birth. Sacrifice my life to save a child. During the Society Mary whispered something. Shared our breath and realized the illusion first accepted. She let go of the drowning mind. Now I grow my next island. I write strong beautiful Eva Anderson. I need you to go out alone where Mary is kept.”
This was followed by a set of coordinates, a date, and a time. Subsequent to this letter being posted online, it was pointed out that the many handwritings are actually exact matches for letters and words lifted from the many writing samples collected by Tad Shafer and the Society on the night of June 7th from the new initiates. Not cut up and pasted from the many papers to create a new message; somehow the many writing styles were perfectly copied. Shafer has come out as saying that all of the original papers from that night were and still are in a locked filing cabinet on the Mountain and that there is no way they could have been removed. While he also discounts any kind of supernatural explanation, such as the handwritings being copied and “apparated” onto the new note by some sort of force, he has no more plausible explanation to offer.
Meanwhile, a new Instagram account called “theboanthropic” had appeared, showing the same strange symbols that were written on the floppy disc sleeves graffitied in various outdoor locations, as well as a picture of 1130 Seward with the caption “The static won’t return.” Still later in the day they posted a note saying “Drink the Black Rose Tomorrow” and then a drawing of three playing card clubs. The community made plans to convene at the familiar locale after Eva had completed her mysterious evening drive the following night.
Wednesday, June 14th
At 6:30pm Eva began her drive up into the mountains towards the coordinates she had been given. After an hour of driving she arrived, exited her car, and began exploring the area while recording the search with her phone. After climbing up a small incline, Eva came across a young woman dressed all in white hiding behind a bush. It was Mary, clearly scared. She quickly handed Eva a small box of playing cards. “What do you want me to do?” Eva asked. “Run,” Mary pleaded, “Run!” As Eva began to back away, a man’s voice could be heard on the other side of the hill calling for Mary. At the last moment before Eva returned to her car she saw a man dressed all in black who appeared to have a beard sliding down the hill towards Mary with great urgency. It should be noted here that Tad Shafer has since watched the video and maintains that while the girl looks like Mary, it couldn’t possibly be her because he had been up on the Mountain that night for an event and Mary had been in the same room as him the whole time. He does not go so far as to accuse Eva of faking the video, but does suggest that she seems unbalanced after her many claims. Tad points out that the Society is a reclusive group, and that anything that suggests that anyone can simply drive up to the Mountain and reach someone like Mary would be a worrisome development. “The more that it’s known that she’s accessible, the more restrictions have to be put on her. We would have to sequester her more and more.” Regardless, Eva made her way back down the Mountain towards Three Clubs where her fellow participants were waiting.
As they each ordered a Black Rose, the participants found that the drink came with something extra: a small scroll. One side was covered with a variety of rune-like symbols, while the other side had a single set of coordinates. Many of these coordinates lead to locations throughout Los Angeles, and the participants, intrigued, began the search without knowing exactly what they would find.
Within twenty-four hours participants had tracked down many of these locations, each of them home to a discreet piece of graffiti comprised of three parts: a consistent marker symbol that had become closely associated as the insignia of The Boanthropic through the posts they had made on Instagram, a single symbol like the ones from the back of the scrolls, and a single English language letter/number/punctuation mark. It was quickly realized that what they were hunting for were keys to decoding the language of the Boanthropic, whoever they were. During this hunt the participants found that the Boanthropic were open to direct communication, answering questions through their Instagram in poetic language and riddles when the coordinates alone were not enough to spot the cypher graffiti. Throughout the night and into the next day people scoured Los Angeles and began to piece together a cypher in order to translate a message the Boanthropic had sent. However, this quest would be momentarily put on hold as the Pilgrims (as the Boanthropic called them) received new instructions.
Thursday, June 15th
The Instagram account of The Boanthropic posted a series of cryptic pictures/directions that led a group of roughly a dozen Pilgrims to a campground in the mountains called Horse Flats. The box Eva Anderson had received from Mary in fact contained only one playing card: a three of clubs. Also inside was a cassette tape, and the instructions that Eva upload the audio to Soundcloud as a soundtrack for the Pilgrims’ drive into the mountains that night. The recording was an hour long, comprised mostly of static and fragments of old audio samplings, but with some scattered mentions of Mary and the Moonchild peppered in throughout. Once in the mountains, guided by the insignia of The Boanthropic, the Pilgrims found a campfire, a picnic table covered in white paper with messages written in the rune-like language of The Boanthropic, several small oranges, and bottles of water.
The Pilgrims, already armed with an incomplete cypher, manage to decode the messages written on the table. The smoke from the campfire stung the Pilgrims’ eyes as they struggled to complete the message. They were directed to arrange themselves in order of birth, from youngest to oldest, and as the Pilgrims set about rearranging themselves, a lone figure holding a candle began to approach from the hills.
Shrouded in black and wearing a mask, the figure seemed unable or unwilling to speak, simply grunting and breathing as it presented the Pilgrims with a long rope. The pilgrims grasped the rope, falling single file into their predetermined order. The figure in black led them up further into the hills for some time over uneven, rocky terrain until they reached an arrangement of large rocks that created a sort of natural amphitheater. The figure in black lingered just outside, indicating that the Pilgrims should continue on alone into the outcrop. It was there that the Pilgrims discovered a familiar face: Eric Andrew Hoff, the errant Society member from June 7th. Eric was surprised by the arrival of the large group in this place where he regularly came for solitude and meditation. Still, after the shock had worn off, Eric set about preparing the new arrivals for something called a “Mountain Ceremony,” assuming that their presence meant that they were Society members coming to perform the rite.
“So I’m assuming you’re mostly sevens and fourteens, maybe we have some sixty-fours?” Eric asked, “If you’re at a Mountain Ceremony, then you’ve come a long way.” He began to walk around the circle, rubbing an orange scented essential oil on their hands and directing them to breathe deeply. However, it did not take long for Eric to realize that something was amiss, noting that none of the Pilgrims wore the bands of string on their wrists or bore the Society’s mark on their hand; even those there who had been marked and banded on June 7th had neglected to maintain them. Eric became heated and demanded to know how the Pilgrims had found this place and why they had come.
Eric’s face dropped and his eyes widened upon hearing the Pilgrims explain the events of the last few days spent following the directives of the mysterious Boanthropic. Eric was clearly overwhelmed by this news, seemingly completely unaware of all that had happened. He claimed to know nothing of the cypher keys hidden throughout the city, or the coded instructions posted to Instragram (though he did admit to being aware of the account itself, though he was unsure of its veracity, saying “There is a rumor about this woman in Rhode Island, named Beverly or something, who moved to Montauk to be at the very tip of the island on the other coast and apparently she’s like in her 70’s and she’s the Instagram. It’s a rumor”), or even the campfire, messages, and oranges that had been waiting for the Pilgrims mere feet away from where he sat. He was alarmed and mystified to hear of the cloaked figure that had led Pilgrims directly to that spot, marveling at the notion that the Boanthropic had taken form. “They’re apparating?” he stammered. At first incredulous that the Pilgrims had taken such risk in traveling deep into the woods at the request of an entity they did not fully understand, Eric eventually softened, admitting that the act of devotion and faith shown was “kind of beautiful.”
Eric then repaid their confidence by taking the Pilgrims into his, lifting his shirt to reveal the now familiar symbol of the Boanthropic branded on the side of his torso. Eric explained that, far from being the Boanthropic himself, he was in fact a member of a resistance group working secretly within the Society in order to stop whatever unknown atrocities were being committed up on the Mountain. The resistance used the name and mark of the Boanthropic has their sigil, a sign of defiance against the Society. Eric revealed that within the resistance his code name was the Black Rose, harkening back to both the broach seen on the 7th and the special drink ordered at the suggestion of the Boanthropic on the 14th. However, Eric claimed he had no knowledge of the drink that bore his name, nor the scrolls that came with it when ordered. He asked what the Pilgrims knew of Mary, and Eva Anderson, who was in attendance, recounted her adventure to the Mountain the night before. Eric seemed genuinely concerned for Mary’s well-being, asking how she looked, what she was wearing, and why Eva hadn’t taken the chance to help Mary escape. It was clear that while the Pilgrims were much more aware of the recent activities of the Boanthropic, they were woefully uninformed when it came to the substance of what any of this meant. So with a deep breath, Eric began the story.
“I’m so deep in at this point. I mean I’m in like quadruple digits. I don’t even know… The Founder and I… It’s been… it’s just been… oh… OK. You’ll just have to trust me… I need you to just close your eyes. Calm yourself. And I need you to think about a trauma. I need you to allow yourself to go to a dark place. You might find this place in your own personal history, it might be institutional, it might be worldwide. It could be political. Whatever that dark place is, whether it’s metaphorical or emotional, or specific to your childhood, wrap your brain around the specific details of that trauma. It might feel terrible. Now recall more details. The sense memory. Your muscles twitching. Your tears flowing. The boot of oppression shoving down on your face. All the isms of life crashing down on you whether you knew it or not at the time. And let that trauma crush you deep into the earth. Your corporeal being completely consumed by this darkness as you begin to lose yourself. You actually have to let yourself go there for a minute. Take another deep breath. And pull more details in, more memories in. Find it. And imagine as that dark energy consumes all that you are, the last remnant of your spirit is pushed out of you. Imagine that spirit as a color, or as some kind of creature, or a demon. Some sort of energy force. A ball. You might put your hands out in front of you and just hold the ball. And imagine the person next to you and what theirs looks like. What color it is. What shape it’s taking. Take three more deep breaths, and get prepared to release that. Just release it, go, let it go. And imagine your corporeal form is a shell, alive but spiritless, consumed and owned by that darkness as it’s left behind. But that ball of energy rises up, and it still exists in this universe. And those balls of energy, that force field, that ugly creature, that demon, whatever the fuck you want to call it, transforms into sort of a vectral spirit until it finds another vectral spirit and they join hands and they form these kinds of ancient and yet new furies that swirl around us and contain multitudes. The Boanthropic are those furies. Are those vectral spirits. Specific to the victims, the people who have been so far down the rabbit hole of oppressive forces. Particularly the ones that come in cult form. That’s when the Boanthropic take form. And there’s been rumor of them returning. Because there’s been rumor that Mary’s child will absorb the entirety of the Boanthropic. Her fucked up connection to the Founder, their oppressive and abusive sexual relationship is somehow turning her womb into this receptacle. But the thing is, the Boanthropic aren’t bad. They’re just not yet released. And so they’re apparating. They’re finding you, they’re writing letters on paper and providing oranges I mean for god’s sake.”
After that he remembered that one of the Pilgrims had mentioned the rope that the hooded figure had used to lead them through the hills and Eric asked where it was. One of the Pilgrims held it up to him, but Eric said he could see nothing but an empty hand. “I’m so deep in that my mind has started… it’s like I’m a quarter gone. I don’t see it. Mary can still speak to me for the time being. But I can’t see the Boanthropic. Never, in all my years of searching, and you can.” While the reason for this remained a mystery, Eric implored the Pilgrims to continue on the path the Boanthropic had revealed to them. “You have to do this for the children of Jonestown. You have to do this for the Branch Dividian Children, you have to do this for the children of Devil’s Gate. You have to do this for the children of Heaven’s Gate. You have to do this. The only way to dismantle what the Founder is doing is to infiltrate the Society. You’re on what, step five? I’m sorry, but that’s kind of pathetic. In order to get any further along, you actually have to make contact with the Society in advance. You actually have to get to double digits before anything happens. I’m sorry I sent you through trauma, but you have to understand trauma to understand the Boanthropic. Don’t let anyone in the Society know I am the Black Rose. Protect each other. Protect me. But first: save the Moonchild.”
With that, another black hooded figure with a mask (and horns this time) approached the circle. Eric could not see him. The Pilgrims said their goodbyes and were led back down the hill. They returned to the campfire briefly and found a box with carved messages saying “take everything” and a smaller box inside with floppy discs matching the type found at 1130 Seward on June 7th, the sleeves containing more coordinate scrolls. As the Pilgrims made their way back down to the city, they knew that their search had only just begun.
ERIC ANDREW HOFF: THE BLACK ROSE
Leading the double life of one of the Society’s most accomplished and visible members and one of the chief architects of a resistance designed to bring about its downfall, Eric is a warm, spiritual man with the ability to turn on a dime when speaking clandestinely about the cause. Recognized for his charm and magnetic personality, he is the Society member most commonly asked to venture down from the Mountain for recruitment events. He is believed to have reached the highest level within the Society, second only to the Founder himself, estimated to be somewhere within the 5000’s range. A self-described interloper, Eric comes and goes as he pleases, traveling in the same Los Angeles theatre circles as Tad Shafer. He is desperate to aid the pregnant Mary in her plan to escape from the Mountain before it is too late. A strong believer in the Boanthropic, though he has never seen them nor heard their call.
NOTE: Do not betray his confidence. The Society must not know he is the Black Rose. They are watching.
When a person experiences severe spiritual trauma, endures prolonged dehumanizing abuse such as intense cult reprogramming, the victim is completely robbed by their captor of their memory, will, and former identity. In cases like this, when a person’s self is almost entirely consumed, the intense emotional pressure can cause the last bit of the victim’s spirit to be pushed from their body. This tiny remainder of spirit is a Boanthropic. This process occurs at a strictly spiritual level and therefor takes place while the person’s body is still technically alive. Their bodies become empty but living shells as their spirits escape into the air and become part of a cloud of spirits that can never die, specifically because they left their bodies before death. The person’s body becomes boanthropized as their spirit joins the Boanthropic. It is important to distinguish a Boanthropic spirit from the traditional definition of a ghost where the spirit leaves at death. A Boanthropic spirit leaves in life.
The Boanthropic phase in and out of our plane of existence, their power to return to our world seemingly reliant on the combined will and attention of many people. For reasons not entirely understood they are intent on cooperating with the resistance movement within the Society to bring more members into the fold to achieve their goal of rescuing Mary from the Founder. It is unclear exactly what physical signs they are directly responsible for and, if any, how they are causing them (i.e. the Instagram account, the cypher graffiti, and the gifts found at Horse Flats campground). For whatever reason, select physical signs attributed to them are invisible to the Black Rose, including the graffiti, the rope used to guide the Pilgrims through the mountains, and the shrouded, horned beasts assumed to be the Boanthropic themselves taking corporeal form. Through their Instagram Account they sound kind, wise, but full of caution, especially when it comes to The Society. They approve of Eric’s directive to infiltrate the Society’s ranks, saying to one Pilgrim who had been contacted by The Society’s Instagram about joining, “Stay true to yourself. Stay false to them to the end. The only way to keep your spirit from exile. Though they may seem to love they know not what they do.”
A longtime member of the Society, Mary appears to be both an active member and the chief mission of the resistance. She is several months pregnant with what is believed to be the child of the Founder of the Society, likely against her will. Mary has demonstrated an adeptness at covert activities within view of other Society members and has done what she can to recruit and inform new members of the resistance despite her more restrictive circumstances. She is a highly leveled member of the Society, believed to be somewhere in the 3000’s range. She was the first person to urge curious Pilgrims to “save the Moonchild,” likely speaking of her own unborn baby.
Thursday, June 15th continued through Saturday, June 17th
While the Black Rose enlightened the group of Pilgrims at Horse Flats, that same night the Boanthropic had arranged a task for those who remained in the valley below. A post on their Instagram implored the Pilgrims to seek out “Blanche’s Desire” that evening in order to aid the Boanthropic in their desire to be heard, with one additional clue: the hashtag “#wickedwoman.” Searching through the hashtag’s results for events happening that evening in Los Angeles, the Pilgrims came upon an advertisement for a burlesque show being held in the Parisian-themed club Pour Vous, which just so happens to have a full-sized replica of an old-fashioned streetcar in its outdoor seating area. Inside the streetcar (Blanche’s Desire) a large cache of coordinate scrolls was discovered, and the search for clues continued, not only in Los Angeles but throughout the country. Portions of the cypher were discovered in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle. This was done in haste, as the closer the message came to being translated, the more the Pilgrims believed that it contained specific instructions related to a date and time that was fast approaching. Many of the cypher keys continued to prove difficult to locate, even with the coordinates, and the Boanthropic Instagram account continued to provide guidance in their usual ethereal tone, whatever entity behind the writing eager to guide the search. Based on how Eric had described them, it was widely assumed in the community that the supernatural beings were somehow manipulating Instagram directly to speak to people, possibly through electricity or static energy, as suggested by Eva Anderson’s experiences with Mary and the radio.
Eventually the community succeeded in collecting all of the cypher keys and translating the longstanding message:
“Where you’ve been their bones are buried Donald Brenda Tommy Bruce 6.18 05:42 View the package ZQJ1983”
The meaning of most of this would not be understood until later, but it did confirm the date and time of the event. Shortly after, The Boanthropic Instagram provided a starting location and the Pilgrims prepared themselves for an early morning.
Sunday, June 18th
At 5:42AM, several Pilgrims converged on the spot provided by the Boanthropic and began a hike into the woods toward the Devil’s Gate Dam. The long and winding path was marked by the presence of several small oranges similar to the ones provided at the campfire on the night of the 15th. The Pilgrims were eventually led over bridges, through tunnels, down a steep incline path, past a run down looking shack, through what appeared to be an abandoned recreational ropes course, and finally reached the water’s edge at Devil’s Gate.
There the Pilgrims found three thick candles still lit and a long strip of butcher paper that had been ripped into fourths. This scroll, with the pieces realigned, was easily fifty feet long and covered from top to bottom with the rune-like language of the Boanthropic. And so, armed with a completed cypher and, in a moment of divine serendipity, a bag of pens brought by a particularly well-prepared Pilgrim, the group began the long and arduous task of translating the Boanthropic’s message character by character, line by line. What follows is the complete translation spelled and formatted completely in context:
Weary you must be!
Your quest is made,
this chapter ends!
So so so so so.
This task remains
up this rock to
i the spot
a message in
This task remains
before your ascent
you will find
of he before you
he who loved
and the growing
in the great
woll yill you follow
We are weak
no longer physical
Our time to
touch earth this aurora!
brief a candle
as sun climbs
Did you ease their
are they excavated
can this watery
grave at devils mouth
be made clean again
amass again apparate
to show you………………..
No, no, we. cannot!!!
our heavy force lie stillllllll
Can you save them
Let them soar!
in sky above
dangling free of the
The child mustn’t take us on
nor absorb our swell
While dormant, we…
you must be!
We love you
We love you
We love you
Following the instructions on the scroll, two female Pilgrims scaled the top of the hill that overlooked the dam, joined hands, and called out the names that had been listed as part of the original message the cypher had decoded: Donald, Brenda, Tommy, and Bruce. They then received a message from The Boanthropic Instagram account saying, “Their hearts are eased. You are their host now. Descend.” Further following the clues, the Pilgrims retraced their steps and looked under a nearby green metal trashcan in the area of the ropes course, finding a gray file folder filled with weathered pieces of paper. The file was labeled “Project ZQJ 1983” and had a note paperclipped to its front. At the top of the note a mountain with what looked like a snowy peak was sketched. The note read as follows:
“March 16 1983. This will be my final log for Project ZQJ. I am no longer capable of holding hope for the present. But the future— you I have hope for. I have been straining for the sound of The Boanthropic for so long, pouring over every work of art, corner of the earth and every line of code. I have resigned myself now to know that this is not the time. That I’ll be alone in this, and fruitless, and that I’ll hear them no more. And that she is gone forever. If you are finding this, that must mean they are alive. If you can, come find me and tell me if I’m still with you. But rejoice, you all, because you get what I never did— a fellow witness to this goddamn mystery. Do me a favor and pull the branches from beside my cabin. It may need some TLC but it’s a time machine once you get it running. Take it. Share it. Explore. Gratefully yours, -The Wayfarer”
The Pilgrims returned to the weathered shack they had passed on their trail, finding a concrete shelf next to it covered with loose branches. Underneath the branches they found an old personal computer: a Tandy 3. The sort that would be compatible with the many floppy discs already found. The Pilgrims took turns carrying the mysterious Wayfarer’s computer on their shoulders back up the path to their cars.
The many pages contained within the file for Project ZQJ were scanned and uploaded. An industrious Pilgrim also summarized their contents, which include fascinating insights into the rumored origins and past identities of the Founder, his activities throught the first half of the 20th Century, and the source and implications of his powers. The complete collection of scanned files and their accompanying summary can be found here.
The mysterious, as of yet unseen leader of the Society. His true identity and history are apparently unknown to his followers. By all accounts he is not entirely accessible to everyone on the Mountain, with a process in place for those who request an audience, though Tad Shafer claims to have regular congenial interactions with him. Shafer also describes Eric Andrew Hoff’s relationship to the Founder as being more formal, though Eric is seemingly the highest ranking Society member apart from the Founder. If Eric’s insinuations are to be believed, the Founder is the father of Mary’s unborn child and the conception of said pregnancy was likely done under conditions against Mary’s will.
If the research contained in the file for the Wayfarer’s Project ZQJ (1983) is to be believed, then the Founder’s true original identity was Everett Ruess, an American poet and naturalist who disappeared while on an exploration of a remote area of Utah in 1934. The files describe his part in a scientific experiment conducted by the Navy after his disappearance that went wrong. This experiment with electromagnetism was believed by some to have opened a rift in space/time and granted The Founder certain powers, including teleportation, which members of the Society call “Bandoning.” The Founder is believed to have gone by many names since then, including famed rocket engineer and occultist John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons. Parsons’ wife Marjorie Cameron is also referenced heavily in the files. Before Parson’s death in 1952, both he and Cameron were devout followers of the occult and believers in the teachings of Aleister Crowley, occultist, mountaineer, and author of the novel Moonchild. The Founder’s current age/bodily appearance are in question because of his many purported trips to other dimensions. Believed to have performed satanic rituals at Devil’s Gate Dam as part of an attempt to fulfill the prophecy of the Moonchild. It is presumed that now with Mary his goal is close to completion, though his motivations remain a mystery.
A mysterious figure whose exact age, identity, whereabouts, and well-being are unknown. He has been described as the foremost authority on the history and practices of the Society apart from actual members. It was his life’s work to unravel the mysteries of the Society and the Boanthropic, but for whatever reason he ceased his activities in 1983 and went into exile. He is a figure known by all sides, from Beverly to Tad Shafer. Shafer dismisses the Wayfarer as nothing more than a crackpot and a computer nerd who took his delusions too seriously. He is characterized by his connection to old technology. When asked why he thought the Wayfarer became consumed by this work, Tad Shafer suggested that his motivations may lie in a connection he had to a woman long ago.
Monday, June 19th
After the trek to Devil’s Gate and the Boanthropic’s announcement that they were fading from our plane, the Pilgrims assumed that they had been left alone. However, surprisingly, a new post appeared on their Instagram account that cleared up a longstanding question. Enter Beverly of Montauk, New York (not Rhode Island as Eric had said when mentioning the initial rumor), who was the hands behind the many messages we had received from the Boanthropic the previous week. Somehow they are able to inhabit her for a time, speaking through her. Though they are gone for the time being, Bev vows to continue to answer questions and help us in any way she can.
A proud resident of Montauk, New York, Beverly has been a sporadic conduit of the Boanthropic for most of her life. She claims to be 57 but jokes that she has been “for a few years,” and is also both deaf and mute. The spirits’ occasional visits began after an undisclosed childhood trauma involving her family. While working with the Boanthropic does take a toll and sap her strength, she feels complete with their presence and mourns their departure. She is friendly, curious, and supportive of any initiative related to the Wayfarer, though fearful for our safety. Although she has a clear connection to the Boanthropic and therefore supports what they desire, she will be the first to admit she has no actual connection or history related to the Society that she knows of.
Tuesday June 20th
On the advice of several Pilgrims Bev announces the creation of a Slack channel to better organize our efforts and consolidate the many new friends she has made. Meanwhile, one Pilgrim reaches out to her via Instagram to ask if she has any knowledge of the information found in the Wayfarer’s files. The Pilgrim shares a series of names found in the files, including Jack Parsons and Marjorie Cameron. For reasons unexplained, Bev claims to have a violent, painful reaction to seeing the names Everett Ruess and Marjorie Cameron spelled out. It is unpleasant for her to the point that she asks the Pilgrim to delete its mention from their message feed. Below is the conversation in full:
JWP, or John Whiteside Parson, was believed by the Wayfarer to be one of the former identities of the Founder. Marjorie Cameron was Parson’s wife and partner in the occult from 1946 until his supposed death in 1952.
Wednesday, June 21st
Tickets go on sale on the Society website for an outdoor indoctrination event called “Society Level 1-7.” The tickets sell out in a manner of minutes.
Thursday, June 22nd
Bev creates an Instagram post detailing a strange dream she had that heavily features a tree coursing with electric knowledge. She refers to it as the Tree of Wisdom. Clever Pilgrims begin searching online and find the Wisdom Tree on the Tree of Life trail here in Los Angeles. Bev is sent a picture of the tree and she confirms with amazement that it is the same one from her dream. Later on that night Bev claims to have a second dream related to the Wisdom Tree, this time with a man sitting up in its branches, dropping the fruit of knowledge into a box buried at the tree’s base. Bev shrugs these dreams off as the result of too much ice cream before bed, clearly not the sort of visions she is used to receiving from the Boanthropic when they are with her. Bev also shares with the Pilgrims that she had been watching the film Notorious starring Ingrid Bergman, which she describes as her “favorite tune out the silent absence of the Boanthropic movie.” Bev goes on to mention a next door neighbor named Krysta, who is teaching her the finer points of Instagram hashtagging. Despite Bev’s skepticism, the Pilgrims decide to investigate the Wisdom Tree the following day.
Friday, June 23rd
At sunset, the Pilgrims hike to the Wisdom Tree, where they unearth a metal box containing another trove of floppy discs. While there, theboanthropic Instagram posts another message. We are now introduced to Krysta, Bev’s next door neighbor, who has taken over posting duties because these constant vivid dreams are beginning to take their toll. Bev has had another, this time a cryptic set of verbal clues that Krysta relates. The Pilgrims descend from the high vantage point of the Wisdom Tree and follow the clues to a video store where they are meant to seek out “Bev’s consolation:” Notorious. When the Pilgrims ask the clerk in the video store for Notorious, she instead suggests that they seek out the bouncer of the bar next door and ask for the drink called “The Wayfarer.” The Pilgrims rush to the bar next to the video store, Idle Hour, and ask the bouncer waiting outside what they were told. He immediately produces yet another box of floppy discs to present to the Pilgrims. Inside this box amidst the discs they also found a mysterious scrap of paper with some markings on it. While this particular treasure hunt was at an end, there was still much ahead for the Pilgrims. Later that night Krysta posted a crude sketch that Bev had drawn from a vision she had along with more clue phrases designed to lead us to the location she had seen in her dreams. The Pilgrims were directed to go seek out the location “before the heat comes” at dawn’s first light, and thus would begin a particularly busy day of Pilgriming.
Seventeen years old, working at an ice cream parlor over the summer, next door neighbor to Bev. Doesn’t have a social media presence of her own because her parents are very protective. She is a bubbly, good humored teen who has kindly started to look after Bev in her free time since her issues related to the Boanthropic began to worsen. Has chosen Taylor Swift as the face of her online presence because her parents wouldn’t want her to share pictures of herself with strangers and she loves Taylor’s music (obviously!). Krysta has a fun, biting way of communicating that is a stark contrast to Bev, which can be disorienting since they now share the account. However, despite her youth, she has demonstrated great concern and reliability when caring for Bev or aiding the Pilgrims in potentially dangerous situations. She is fascinated by what she has seen so far of the Boanthropic and endeavors to help via Instragram in any way she can, including curating specific song selections to accompany the Pilgrims’ missions.
Saturday, June 24th
Krysta is alarmed at Bev’s continued deterioration as her dreams become more vivid and frequent. Her constant headaches and fatigue do not lessen the visions, just her strength, and Bev and the Pilgrims alike must rely on Krysta for care and guidance. During this day Pilgrims set out on three separate quests to different locations on the various outskirts of Los Angeles based on sketches and clues recounted by Bev from her dreams. The first location yielded another box of floppy discs and a scrap of paper that matched the note scrap found at Idle Hour the previous night.
Next the Pilgrims traveled a long path around Watts Towers that led to the discovery of yet more floppy discs, a third scrap of the note, and a hardware connector believed to be compatible with the Wayfarer’s computer. This middle hunt also included the discovery of a VHS copy of the film Notorious. Once unfolded, it was discovered that the VHS sleeve had a message written inside:
“WE ARE THE BOBO. THE BOANTHROPIC RESISTENCE. ONE OF THE STEWARDS OF THE WAYFARER’S KNOWLEDGE. WE HAVE HEARD OF YOUR LOYALTY. WE WILL WAIT IN THE SHADOWS. WE WILL SEE. YOU DO NOT SEE US. YOU DO NOT KNOW US. KEEP HIS SECRET. PROTECT THE BLACK ROSE.”
By nightfall the Pilgrims reached their final destination as Krysta was complaining of mysterious texts sent from a blocked number. Bev’s final clue led the Pilgrims to a bush on the side of the freeway near the Twilight Canyon Trail, where they found one final box of floppy discs that contained a note that read, simply, “WE ARE THE BOBO.” This final location has an odd distinction, as it was identified through Bev’s fevered sketching as near the location of an “enemy’s fortress,” with Krysta advising severe caution. While no specific building or threat was noticed at the time, it was suggested that it might be wise to make note of this location for the future.
As exhausted as the Pilgrims were after this day of activity, Bev was faring worse until Krysta made an unwelcome discovery. A transmitter, some small piece of electronic equipment, was discovered in Bev’s home. Krysta immediately took it outside and smashed it on the driveway.
The origin of this device and exactly if and how it was able to affect Beverly remains a mystery, but Krysta suspects the Bobo are somehow involved.
Sunday, June 25th
A long standing date for the Pilgrims to come together and be present for the first official use of the Wayfarer’s “time machine” finally arrives. The Pilgrims selected the Inner Sanctum sitting area connected to the Upright Citizens Brigade training center on Sunset Blvd as their meeting spot, and converged on the location with the computer, scraps, notes, and a mountain of floppy discs. Unfortunately the computer proved to need more TLC than was originally expected and a few technically-minded Pilgrims set to work bringing the machine back online. Their efforts were fruitless at the time, but the visit to UCB still proved eventful. Shortly after work on the computer began, a woman who had been sitting at a table the entire time the Pilgrims had been there received a visit from the Society in the form of Tad Shafer with briefcase in hand and two members, one of which was Eric Andrew Hoff. The three Society representatives engaged the woman in conversation for some time. Tad Shafer later explained that this woman was a desirable prospective recruit for the Society, one so valuable that this special impromptu trip from the Mountain was organized. He equated the meeting to when a college sports recruiter comes and talks to a high school athlete about their prospects. For whatever reason, however, the recruitment did not appear to go as planned, and the woman departed alone.
As the Society members prepared to leave, unseen by Shafer, Eric “the Black Rose” quietly made his way to the table where the Pilgrims were struggling with the computer and, without saying a word, dropped the fourth and final piece of the scrap note that had been pieced together over the last two days. Now complete, the note was found to say “/KI3V’I:NTURI=S IN ADVIENTIII^ING”. The Pilgrims eventually gave up for the day, leaving UCB with more questions than they had before.
Later that night, the Society Instagram announced that Tad Shafer would be available to visit a small number of potential Seekers’ homes that evening to perform an “Indulgence Ritual” as a way to assert their good intentions and make a connection with those they hoped to bond with in light of all of the activity surrounding the Boanthropic. In the ritual, the Seeker was asked to select and play the song they most closely associate with their most intense sexual experience. Once the song was playing, Tad led the initiate in a sort of meditation that included drinking a glass of water and eating a grape tomato grown by Society members on the Mountain and carried down for just this purpose. After the ritual was complete, Tad left an additional tomato with the initiate in the hopes that they would pass on the gift to someone else as a way to introduce more people to the Society’s love of reveling in the sensuality of taste and memory and the feeling of oneness. Tad characterized it as “Just a way for them to send out their thanks, sending out a little bit of who they are and what they’re about. For them, the erotic and the everyday are tangled up together. Every taste is holy for them. Just like every touch is holy. It’s all one.”
Monday, June 26th
A new Instagram account is created: wearethebobo. Both Beverly and Krysta are surprised and have no knowledge of who is running it or what their motivations are. Krysta is more distrustful of the group after the business with the transmitter and the dreams, but Bev believes that if the Bobo have a way of helping finish the Wayfarer’s mission without putting him in danger, they are worth listening to. At first the Bobo’s Instagram posts are confusing and obscure. Several captions seemed like non sequiturs with numbers attached to them, having no discernible connection to the pictures they accompanied. However, some computer-literate Pilgrims began to see a pattern.
The tongue in cheek nickname of the Boanthropic Resistance officially adopted after it caught on amongst the Pilgrims. They are avowed acolytes of the Wayfarer, revering him as much more than a man. They follow his teachings and protect the knowledge that he left behind, adopting his penchant for 1980’s technology and aesthetics. While it has not been explicitly stated up to this point, it is widely believed that the Bobo is the same resistance movement that Eric “the Black Rose” and Mary are involved in. It is unclear how the Bobo have been able to work in tandem with and receive help from the spirits of the Boanthropic, as they have admitted repeatedly that, like the Black Rose, none of them have ever actually heard or seen signs of the Boanthropic in the way Bev or the Pilgrims have. They communicate with the Pilgrims primarily through their Instagram account.
Wednesday, June 28th
It was deduced that the first series of Instagram post captions from wearethebobo were all lines of code in the antiquated computer language BASIC, all accompanied by the hashtag “#wordsofthewayfarer“. However, there were some clear mistakes in the code. This was surmised to be due to an issue with a program known as Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, where printed text is scanned by a machine and the program attempts to transcribe it digitally. It was not an exact science, and prone to errors. The Pilgrims decided to search for the broken lines of BASIC code online and came upon a digitally transcribed issue of a 1984 personal computers/gaming enthusiasts magazine called “Softline.” An actual scanned image copy of the issue itself answered many questions. As it turns out, all images on the Bobo’s Instagram that included the BASIC text captions were screenshots taken from this exact issue of Softline. More than that, all the lines of BASIC were connected to the same game program presented within the issue: ADVENTURES IN ADVENTURING— or, as it was written through an OCR mistake in the transcript: “/KI3V’I:NTURI=S IN ADVIENTIII^ING”.
Coincidentally, it was also discovered that one Pilgrim, Carl Webb, was at one point an avid reader/participant of Softline and had his name and a high score he achieved listed in the exact issue in question. After the Pilgrims revealed they had solved the BASIC riddle, the Bobo Instagram began to change things up, posting images related to the Quest for the Holy Grail and other similar myths and fables. They also engaged in a conversation completely in French with one clever Pilgrim. Eventually it was asked of the Bobo what all of this was building towards, how all of this was meant to help, and the Bobo responded that in order to prove worthy of finding the Wayfarer, you first must know his name. All the clues and pieces came together in this moment as the Pilgrims realized who was credited for writing the code of ADVENTURES IN ADVENTURING in that issue of Softline: William Beyermann.
Thursday, June 29th
The next day the Bobo created a special Instagram post where they tagged the three Pilgrims who were instrumental in discovering the name of the Wayfarer: Cristen Brinkerhoff, Kevin Hsu, and Carl Webb. They were anointed and singled out by the Bobo as worthy of tribute. Worthy of being followed. They ended the post by assuring us that the time would soon come when the Pilgrims would return to the woods to search for the Wayfarer.
Saturday, July 1st
After a brief lull in communication, Krysta surprises the community by joining the Slack and announcing that she has started a blog designed to track her time and experiences with Bev and the Boanthropic. Her introductory post tells the story of the first night she became aware of the Boanthropic after rushing next door to Bev’s house one night to investigate a loud hum. The date she cites as the night this took place was Wednesday June 7th.
Sunday, July 2nd
A new and improved website for the Society is launched. Tad Shafer is extremely happy with the new design and gives all credit to Eric Andrew Hoff, who apparently coded the entire site. On the main page of the new site there is a subtle, pulsing image of a black rose that, when clicked, takes you to a shadow Bobo site piggybacking off of the Society’s domain.
On this site the Pilgrims are made aware of an opportunity to meet with members of the Resistance in the mountains, with the possibility of the return of the Boanthropic in their apparated form of the growling shrouded creatures first seen on June 15th, now known to be called “Taurus Beasts.” The date of this meeting is open ended, giving the Pilgrims a choice of when to venture out.
Wednesday, July 5th
Krysta makes a new blog post telling the community about how she and Bev spent 4th of July together as a way to illustrate Bev’s longing to be one with the Boanthropic again. She also includes more details of her experience on the night June 7th, now aware of what was happening in California at that same time, specifically mentioning 1130 Seward. She suggests that the voices of the Boanthropic not only alerted Bev of this but had something to do with the occurrence at Seward itself, specifically in response to the Society coming down from the Mountain.
Saturday, July 8th
Potential Seekers venture into the hills of Los Angeles once more, this time invited by the Society for the ticketed event originally announced on June 21st. Those who persevere through the trails and trials are banded and awarded Level 7 status within the Society. For a full first person recollection of the Level 1-7 Society event from one of the Seekers, including several pictures and Black Rose’s message to the Resistance as he intruded on the proceedings, click here.
Later that day, Tad Shafer, the Society’s Prudent Necessary, posted this message on his personal Facebook page:
“In addition to being nearly done in by by the heat, I have been just about knocked right off my feet with gratitude for all the Seekers who came out this morning for L1 – L7, an introduction to The Society.
It was good to see Eric in his whites again down off The Mountain.
For the members who live up there, this was their first extended trip down The Mountain since… well since the party, but before then it had been well over a year. I drove them back up, and I’ve never felt the energy like that before. The ones who were hiding/learning/watching in the green were just giddy to see our expert members do their work, and to see your beautiful souls find the light. Even Mary, who’s been a bit lethargic lately, seemed to brighten by the ride back up.
Thanks for believing in them, especially with all the awful bs being circulated by #thebobo (thank goodness they don’t have a fb) about the #theboanthropic conspiracy theories. For one day we were able to forget about that.
So grateful for your belief. They already love you, but now they believe in you too. More than you know.”
Tuesday, July 18th
Krysta posts her third blog entry, updating us on her life. Her parents have put measures in place to limit her time with Bev, but have not expressly forbidden the two from meeting. Krysta also relates an interesting detail: her parents pay for Beverly’s house. Krysta continues to miss the feeling that the Boanthropic’s presence gave her before their departure as she makes her way through an otherwise typical teenage summer, working at the ice cream parlor and crushing on an as of yet unnamed young man. She reminds us of the date of the Boanthropic’s return in October as promised on the Devil’s Gate scroll (10.5.17), remarking how she wishes she could find a way to be there for it. Later that day, Bevery posts on theboanthropic Instagram for the first time in several days, saying that she misses us and the Boanthropic and hasn’t spoken to Krysta in a while.
Wednesday, July 19th
In a direct message conversation on Instagram with Pilgrim Cristen Brinkerhoff, Beverly remarks that, while reading the transcripts of the popular podcast My Favorite Murder, she felt that Cristen and another Pilgrim on the path named Karlie Blair shared a similar sensibility of expression to the hosts of the podcast. From this Beverly suggested that Cristen and Karlie should host their own podcast related to the Boanthropic, and while she could obviously not participate in a traditional sense, Bev suggested that she would be able to line up potential guests for them, including Krysta and other unnamed Boanthropic experts.
Thursday, July 20th
Intrepid Pilgrim Kevin Hsu embarks alone on a quest from the Bobo’s Instagram, leading him to a number of locations and eventually imploring him to go “where it all began.” While some guessed this referred to the location of the Fringe party a month prior, it was pointed out that the Society had indeed come down from the Mountain in this fashion before then.