Posts Tagged ‘OASIS’

The Art of Brainwashing

With the fall of civilization and the rewilding of society, strategic alliances with other apocalypse survivors will be paramount to long-term security. But who to trust with such alliances? Those friendlies whose loyalty may have remained unchallenged since pre-EOTWAWKI (end of the world as we know it) may not possess the gumption to realign their moral compass with the magnetic savagery of the new normal. As for strangers, who could you possibly trust?

These were the concerns voiced to me by Cyrus Lee Hancock as he sipped cognac from where he lounged dangerously close to the bonfire planted somewhere in the vast territory of what was his backyard. It was the summer of 2012 and I was on the payroll as a propagandist for Cyrus Lee’s homebred militia, OASIS (Oviedo Army of Security, Intelligence and Survival). With the building hysteria of the Maya Apocalypse (which was all the rage in 2012), the OASIS coffers had swelled with membership dues paid by doomsday-preparers RSVP’ing their place on the Hancock Survivalist Compound. I didn’t know it at the time, but Cyrus Lee Hancock’s ‘Armageddon Insurance Package’ was overbooked. If the END had come, two-thirds of those who prepaid to enter the Compound would have to be turned away. By the time the Maya Apocalypse had come & gone (without so much as a whimper), the IRS came snooping to find the OASIS vault empty and its proprietor on the other side of the world.  But there I go, getting ahead of the story again… Back to the summer of 2012, Cyrus Lee Hancock commissioned me to find a way to ‘vet’ the friendlies and the strangers of the Post-Apocalypse to ensure they were worthy of inclusion in his survival club.

Cat & Mouse - attempting to leave the Hancock Estate unscathed

Cat & Mouse – attempting to leave the Hancock Estate unscathed

How to know who to trust within or without the community?

The solution, ultimately, was not to test the mettle and loyalty of the survivors, but to rebuild them in our image. For those willing to be a part of OASIS, there would be an orientation. For those unwilling to join but coveted by OASIS for their skills or aesthetic (for repopulating the Earth, etc.), there would be a persuasive orientation. The orientation would focus on re-programming the initiate’s mindset, or what is commonly referred to as “brainwashing”.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 33 of Cyrus Lee Hancock’s Absolute Authority of a Hurricane Survival Guide written by yours truly, Victor Ulysses Neverman:

How to Brainwash People into joining your Post-Apocalyptic Cult

Daryl Dixon was just a douchebag redneck before the apocalypse

Daryl Dixon was just a douchebag redneck before the apocalypse

In the Post-Apocalypse, there will be four types of survivors to plan your defensive strategy around: the dogs, the sheep, the goats and the wolves. The first category is the dogs. These are your loyal hounds willing and able to further the cause of your community in its goal of long-term survival. Of course, every dog has a little wolf in it, so there is a chance of betrayal. Never doubt this. The second category is the sheep. These are those already willing to be a part of your community, but who are unable to be effective because of poor education and/or breeding. Third, we have the goats, these are rogue outsiders who do not wish to be a part of your community but who, ultimately, you need (goats can be milked, after all). Fourth are the wolves. These fuckers can never be trusted, but they often parade around in sheep or goat skins in order to infiltrate your ranks. Wolves are agents of chaos and best shot on sight. The problem is these ravenous bastards are hard to spot.

DISCLOSURE: Brainwashing is subject best left to those with questionable morals. Do not induce brainwashing techniques if you are prone to fits of conscience. To brainwash is to alter another’s thinking. More than the subliminal messages hidden in fast food commercials, brainwashing requires a subject be entirely destroyed prior to being rebuilt. Remember: the Ends Justify the Means, but it is your Ends we are talking about and some fairly diabolical Means.

It is the sheep and the goats who must be brainwashed. A sheep with its docile mindset is a liability. A sheep requires brainwashing or outright abandonment. Goats are needed within the community, yet are unwilling to participate. In order to encourage participation, goats need persuasion. Engage brainwashing…

Stage 1: Isolation

For the sheep, it is like a coming of age ritual. Release the juvenile into the wild. For the goat, it is imprisonment. Freemasons were tossed into a well. Patty Hearst was locked into a trunk.

In Stage 1, the Subject is to be isolated from their family and friends. The environment should either be an entire lack of stimuli or stimulus overload. Even better: both. The time spent in isolation varies on the circumstance. 45 minutes buried alive could be more effective than two weeks marooned on an island.

Stage 2: Nourishment

Remember to pack enough doggie chow for the poxiclypse

Remember to pack enough doggie chow for the poxiclypse

Something keeps the Subject alive. Bread tossed down the well. Bottled water waiting every morning at the tree stump. The nourishment is courtesy of a parental figure, a provider of life yet an authority on the opposite. The Subject creates, willingly or not, a bond towards the provider, who is both guardian and captor.

In Stage 2, the isolation continues in less threatening circumstances than the claustrophobic preceding trauma such as being buried alive or trapped in a car trunk. In Stage 2, there is normality in the sustenance and the hand feeding the Subject is the same hand to scold the subject.

Stage 3: Attack

The hand that feeds begins to scold. The Subject’s entire belief system is under attack. YOU ARE WRONG, WE ARE RIGHT. The Subject is ridiculed without boundary. The Subject is made vulnerable, easily accomplished by stripping down and parading before unseen critics howling their laughter. The Subject may remain firm in their belief system, regardless of the bullying, and at this stage it is okay. Scold, reduce, repeat.

Stage 4: Bottom of the Food Chain

Freedoms are given to the Subject, but only to demonstrate the Subject’s position on the bottom of the food chain. Good behavior is rewarded with food or fresh air with time spent out of their subterranean cell. Bad behavior, even if exaggerated by the captor, is stern and overzealous

Stage 5: Threat of Death

The creepy fuck-rabbit, Charlie Manson, once said “Fear is the great teacher.” He was right. There is an archaic Masonic rite of making the initiate believe they had been poisoned and locked in a coffin. The actual threat is not as grave as the suggestion.

In Stage 5, have the Subject dig a hole 6’ deep, 6’ long and 3’ wide after using a yard stick to measure the Subject’s dimensions. Or, have the Subject climb the gallows to have a noose tightened around their neck only to stand there above the trap-door or un-sturdy chair as long as necessary to thwart their hope for continued life.

Their salvation should come at the sudden appearance and casual insistence of the authority the Subject recognizes as their protector/guardian. The parental authority who nourishes and staves off execution will become deified by the Subject, intentionally or not.

Stage 6: Submission

Samurai swords were just an ornamental luxury until APOCALYPSE

Samurai swords were just an ornamental luxury until APOCALYPSE

The Subject will begin acquiescing to the commands of the authority in order to escape further punishment and/or humiliation. This submission may be unauthentic as the Subject internally could be rigid in their sovereignty. Even so, in play-acting, three occurrences of submissive pretending are all it takes for the psyche to begin accepting theater for truth. The same exists for politicians or actors who thrice pretend to be enraged on a subject… they will eventually find themselves truly angered.

In Stage 6, the prisoner may become dutiful to appease the guard and it is in this practice of appeasement the prisoner’s nature is adjusted to be subservient. In the corporate environment, the roguish maverick may at first shun the organizational culture, yet relent when the boss is present and after so many years of feigning adherence to company standards the maverick is absolutely transformed into a “company man” to the point of defending the corporate culture. In the military environment, the cadet who despises the dictatorship of the drill sergeant will within time work to win the approval of the very authority he earlier rejected.

Pretending submission is still submission.

Stage 7: Identity and Initiation

The Subject is rewarded with a position offered within the Community. The ego of the Subject becomes satisfied with a role defined to suit their ability. A culture is revealed to the Subject which is strange and alienating. This is necessary – outsiders should quake in fear as insiders are emboldened by the peculiar nature of the Community.

It is important, then, the Community has a culture of fear and dominance characterized through symbolism. For example, in the post-apocalyptic realm of OASIS, there should be inhumane and amoral practices of initiation such as wearing the skins of animals and drinking the blood of a vanquished human enemy. These practices are revulsive and this is the point. Early initiative rites should be alienating to outsiders, which will invigorate the obedience of the initiate.

Once indoctrinated, any common assistant bank manager can become badass.

Once indoctrinated, any common assistant bank manager can become badass.

When a child is born, it identifies a maternal provider – the authoritative guardian/captor in this scenario – and then works to find its role within limited world view. Once comfortable with its environment, the child begins mimicking those around it. This is the socialization of a person, when it begins to imitate the culture, whether by playing “dress-up” in mum’s clothes or seeking to match pa’s temper. Socialization is the initial brainwashing of a person. Orientation should be considered a new birth into the Community of the post-apocalyptic damned.

Stage 7 & ½: (Optional) Deepen Allegiance through Sexual Taboos

Whenever the Creator, (S)He of celestial origins or accidental mathes, made creatures, (S)He made sure to include a deep inherent desire to procreate. Or… if not procreate, to practice the methods of procreation. Male bonobo monkeys spend most of their day masturbating and homo erectus isn’t too far in the lag. Sexual appetite and aversion, inversely related yet eternally connected, exist somewhere in the darkest abyss of the psyche and are the easiest apple-cart of the neurosis to overturn. Sexuality is perhaps the least known quadrant of the human mind – what governs temerity & timidity? what governs heterosexuality versus homosexuality, polysexuality or asexuality? – yet sexuality is the easiest quadrant of the mind to manipulate.

Even more than religion, sexual persuasion can alienate a singular person more than any other orbiting force. Society and societal norms continually curb the tendencies individuals allow of themselves, creating closeted sexual proclivities hidden until they burst. Sexual taboo can alienate as easily as it can unite and it is this carnal arena that can be utilized to eternally trap the initiate Subject by allowing, or more often insisting, indulgence in an amoral behavior.

With the Knights Templar, those wayward Franks of the Outremer, there were plenty of blasphemies engaged through initiation and reoccurring through traditional Wednesday night potlucks in the Levant, such as sodomy, bestiality, etc., etc., et al. Charlie Manson, the great psycho-recruiter, pushed his “compulsory free love” upon his initiate murderesses. When the initiate participates in the amoral acts, they become complicit in the tradition, furthering their assimilation into the culture.

Stage 7 and a half is optional because sexual persuasion is not always a necessary component in the indoctrination of followers, such as soldiers in the military. Or is it? The celibacy of soldiers enforced within the barracks is a form of sexual oppression only to be released when the soldiers are on furlough, in which, the nearby brothels become the scene of traditional brotherhood bonding via mass erogenous engagement. Historically, the soldier’s celibacy is also released when encountering the vanquished non-combatants of the enemy.

Stage 8: Superiority Affirmed

During the early stages of captivity, the Subject is indoctrinated on why their previous worldview is invalid and how the Community’s atmosphere is superior to all else. Once the Subject emerges from captivity to have a role within the Community, the lesson of superiority should be affirmed, whether it is by parading around invalids unworthy of the cause or granting the Subject some sort of authority as a result of their personal transformation. Once the Subject participates with the punishment of sheep and goats, they have become complicit.

Stage 8 and into the indefinite future, the heat and cold of the punishment/reward dynamic should be further enacted. To govern and influence over subjects, the rewards should be often and minimal while the punishments should be less frequent and extreme. Certainly “re-orientation” should remain a constant threat for those straying from the company standard.

Normally, I would not advertise a future endeavor when the idea is still in ‘frozen burrito’ mode, choosing instead to hide the cold brick of beef, bean & genius away in a lockbox under a Christmas sweater in the back of the closet. This case is different, however. This idea, this, this aspiration is so downright… goddamn necessary I do not fear early disclosure to you, the public. Call my off-the-cuff brazen refusal to conceal my intentions as arrogant, but the truth, as you will see in the next few decades (as it may take as long in order for the microwaved burrito of this concept to fully be digested through the intestinal tract of your psyche), is this endeavor is too important to let lie dormant in a freezer-burnt nihilist purgatory (I mean, if the nihilists believed in freezer-burn, that is).

For those of you dear readers who did not notice the title to my blog post, you might be asking, ‘what is this momentous meme meandering somewhere betwixt Vic’s earholes?’ For those of you readers who did note my blog title, you may have already gathered my endeavor is to write the most thorough, authoritative, controversial and sexiest Hurricane Preparation Guide. Ever.

 

Every artist has his muse, every fool his ruse, every conspirator his fuse.

– Vic Neverman, in this blog, 2012

My muse was one of survival. I was surviving, even if barely, in the outmost outpost of centralist Floridian suburb. When the book idea occurred to me, I was on the expansive, yet claustrophobically bamboo-forested estate of Cyrus Lee Hancock who was busy eradicating a squirrel infestation as I sipped upon a self-mixed concoction of rum and the gingerest of ale. I’ve always said a paranoid is led by his gut and the NeverMum has always said ginger is good for the gut, so perhaps it is no surprise that as I lay there upon leisure furniture (sipping a drink ironically called a “Dark ‘n’ Stormy”) I begat this idea. The idea sprang forth in response to what was seemingly a rhetorical question, “how can I use the survivalist determination of Cyrus Lee Hancock and his Doomsday Preparation Boys Club to better humanity?” The responding idea, quixotic notion it may be, was to write the ultimate hurricane preparation manual.

Hurricane Tracks: why limiting your scope can be a good thing when graphing (or “is this what the Maya forecasted?”)

Cyrus Lee Hancock, for the uninitiated, is an expert marksman, strategist, survivalist and founding father of OASIS (Oviedo Army of Surveillance, Intelligence and Survival… although, one of those S’es might be for Secrecy or Security or Shit-Storm now that I think about it), which is at the forefront of doomsday preparation groups in Florida. If you fear the world is to derail soon, you better hope to have a neighbor like Cyrus Lee and you better equip him with occasional apple pies until that ‘end of the world as we know it’ moment. Most importantly, at least for the sake of this blog, Cyrus Lee has agreed to help me construct this, the greatest authority on hurricane preparedness. Ever.

You were four years old and we were hiking in the Smokey Mountains when you turned around and told me there was a storm approaching. There was nothing but blue sky at the time… Oh no, no I didn’t think it creepy. I was just so, so excited you actually knew how to speak.

– NeverMum talking about Vic’s first words

There’s nary a bastard more qualified for writing a complete guide to hurricane preparation than I, Vic Neverman. I’ve been hunkered down against the storm since time amoral immortal. Yet, we needed something more. We needed my uncle.

Summer 2004 Re-Imagined: a doctored imaged showing the hurricaniest season ever for Florida

Earlier this year, I was seeing a therapist. She would frequently ask me, “With whom am I speaking to? Is it Vic Neverman? Or am I talking to Chachee? Or is this Bucky Swoon, who are you right now?” I would try to explain to her I had different identities, but ultimately, they were all the same personality. The name didn’t matter as much as the context. She would nod and sip the wine I had just filled her glass with (I wasn’t seeing her ‘professionally’, though I certainly paid for it). She would continue her inquisition, “Tell me about this estranged uncle. Why do you refer to him as ‘estranged’?”

My uncle, Captain Dick Neverman, keeps a sign above his bar “Only Captain Dick Knows And He Ain’t Talkin’.” Captain Dick, like your narrator Vic Neverman, grew up on the same paranoid mosquito key on the Gulf Coast of Florida before wandering forth into the dark mist of what lied beyond the mangroves. Captain Dick, a cunning bi-linguist whose lived throughout Latin America, was just as paranoid your narrator, perhaps more so. Our disagreement came when he insisted I devote my conspiracy theorist energies into the FEMA concentration camp conspiracy I did not have any traction on. I refused and he accused, insisting I was one of Them. Them! Can you imagine? So we found our paths parting…

Hurricanicopia: Vic was here in 2004 for the 3 landfalls across Central Florida

Until this most recent of weekends when I returned to the mangrove jungles of the fatherland and un-estranged my estranged uncle. We broke bread (metaphorically, we actually did more ashing of cigars) and I won him over to my cause to create the goddamnedest, gobsmackest, guts-and-gloriest Hurricane manual ever devised. With Captain Dick Neverman on board, I was certain this project could not fail.

Captain Dick’s experience would be useful in a variety of scattershat ways. For one, he has spent a few years of his life in Colombia where he participated in the illegal export of crispy, crunchy, heavenly white seashells to Florida. Ha! Yeah, bet you weren’t expecting that. Yes, all of the blue-haired tourists in Florida gobble up so many seashells that capitalist shell mongers must import reinforcements from the southern shores of the Caribbean. That is where Captain Dick made his fortune. My uncle also smuggled a bunch of real estate developers in-and-out of Cuba long before I was able to visit using my scientific visa with the University of Havana. Needless to say, Captain Dick would be needed for this Ultimate Hurricane Encyclopedia.

Of course, to appease Captain Dick, I did agree to have a chapter devoted to the potential FEMA Camps and another to the age-old question: if man fornicates with mermaid, what would result? Whenever faced with such a disturbing physiological quandary, I take it to Doc Kelly.

“Wait, so what’s your question?” Doc Kelly, my off-the-grid physician inquired. I sat across from him at my new favorite dive bar, an impressive draft emporium we shall just call the Red-lit Bunker, and I rehashed my idea for a literary project of disaster miscellany devised to assist hurricane survival. I wasn’t ready to broach the mermaid fornication topic, so I started small. “If there’s a woman about to give birth and the hurricane has knocked out the power and there is no more running water, what should you do?” After brief pause, Doc Kelly nodded confidently and responded, “Get a mid-wife.”

Ahha, a mid-wife.

Yes, my Hurricane survival manual is coming together quite nicely. A conspiracy theorist, a doomsday survivalist, a seashell smuggler and a self-prescribed doctor walk into bar… what’s the worst that could happen?

This is a mournful discovery.
1)Those who agree with you are insane
2)Those who do not agree with you are in power.

― Philip K. Dick, VALIS

Have I gone too far?

Vic Neverman

Having spent a day being chased by paintballs in an effort to win the confidence of a doomsday survivalist, I am left with many a welt. There are wounds in addition to the welts: tens of dozens of miniature gashes brought on by the insectual hordes feasting upon me in the Florida scrub over the last month. I am beaten, dehydrated, cramped and I itch like a sailor leaving port.

You might think paranoids have it easy. After all, when you’re prone to expect exaggerated worst case scenarios, you are also frequently relieved with the more likely and less severe outcome of events. Optimism is for fools, pessimism is the true key to happiness. To expect catastrophe and receive the mediocrity of the status quo – it is rather the delightful surprise. It is all in the math. Yet, life as a paranoid is not all that it is cut out to be. It certainly is not for everyone. The weak of bowels, for example, should not follow this path.

Oft times, the paranoid, especially those who have their toes testing the temperature of open dissent against established authority, need to bug-out and get off the Grid. The Grid is the common machinations of society – mass transit, automated teller machines, liquor stores, internet pornography, air conditioning, fast food, social networking sites and/or the constant surveillance of the Police State – all the trappings of first world comfort. In Florida, the Grid is everywhere. Nearly. To be off the Grid down here, you must succumb to the wilderness.

When I relocated back to Florida, I was leaving Oregon where the autumn, winter and spring seasons were varying shades of temperate gray with the heat of summer coming and going like a five-day hybrid-car sales-event at the local farmer’s market. There was no long cruel summer. Oregon just happens to be a paranoid utopia. You could be in Portland city limits and still exist completely off the Grid. There is a barter economy and no one thinks twice if you arrive in a bar wearing a Sasquatch mask. Privacy is guaranteed.

In the Portlandian Utopia: dress like an ape-man and everyone loves you

And in Portland, there are no bugs. Not like here in the Florida scrub, where I nurse all sort of bite. I’ve had tick, chigger, brown recluse… I once killed eleven mosquitos with a single slap of the palm against my blood-let shoulder. There is DEET as a repellent option, which is a sort of preventative chemotherapy for mosquito affliction: No fucking thank you. My wind-weathered, sun-leathered, salt-lathered skin is beginning to callus thick enough to keep the mozzies from penetrating my hide with their prickish proboscis. Even vampires aren’t asshole enough to regurgitate toxins back into your body when they are through with supper. Mosquitos are.

Welcome to Florida

brought to you by the Chamber of Commerce.

I lead with such notes about my continued hunkered-down existence in my palmetto bunker in order to fully disclose that my words arrive on this page already dripped in antagonism fueled by the Brazilian fire ant bites between my toes. When the insects speak Portugese, you know you are in trouble and right now my toes can’t help but forbidden dance against each other in a strange ecstatic agony both emotionally satisfying and physiologically detrimental.

I wonder, do the wounds of insect parasitism fuel the paranoia or does the paranoia feed the itch? What isn’t psychotic about clawing yourself into non-existence, one finger nail of flesh at a time?

Spring to Summer, What Happened to Winter?

Tropically Depressed at the crawfish festival

It was a brutal start to the summer. The last weeks of spring brought a tropical depression to Florida, drenching the dehydrated phallus of a state with violent storms twice, sometimes thrice, daily. I returned back to the Grid to find that the world had revolved beyond where I had last left it. My NeverKin had left for the higher ground of Colorado. My old ally Raz Kelly had gone on walkabout, uncertain if she was ever to return back this way again. Raz’ brother, Doc Kelly, gave me the once over and prescribed fish oil to cure my mental ills (I now take two spoonfuls before bed and burp up cod in my sleep). I found a girl I once knew, but she didn’t know me anymore. I saw her again at a crawfish festival, a bad idea, a terrible event, on a day the heavens opened-up and drenched the crustacean enthusiasts with the tropical depression. The girl I once knew smiled teasingly, “you’re soaked.” I replied, eagerly, that she was not much better (but she was; the rain suited her well). She explained how she would be interested in my invitation, accompanying me to the beer tent, however, “I didn’t hear from you, and…” Yes, yes, I had left the Grid and she, she did not hear from me and promptly found a replacement. A replacement for me. How does one, being a full-fledged paranoid, explain to the uninitiated “the Grid” and the necessity of occasionally leaving it behind? I, Vic Neverman, need not bother you, dear reader, with the further details. Alright, maybe a little bother… My replacement was a full head over my six foot stature and was run-of-the-mill Florida Jetski-Douche with an armband tattoo of rollicking waves symbolizing his spiritual passion for hot-tub fellatio. Judging by his clownish shoe size, he was replacing more than I could have filled. Beyond him, this replacement of mine, at this crawfish festival, were thousands more typical run-of-the-mill Jetski-Douche, falling off the conveyor belt faster than Lucille Ball could stuff them down her blouse. If it was not to be him, it could have been any of them. Jetski Douche is Legion and I… I had missed the boat.

The tropical depression passed. A couple days later, the sun came out and burnt everything back to a crisp.

The Quickening

Glynis McCants, the Numerologist, said 2012 was to be a fast year and I’ll be damned if it isn’t almost half over. This was to be the year leading up to the great END OF WORLD: Mexico Edition event, yet the months have passed so quickly the Mayan Calendar will be flipped to the next era before we ever realize it.

Should the END be more noticeable, I will likely be more prepared. I am, as it happens, affiliated with a local small-town political movement of doomsday prepper survivalists. I am sure I will have more on this story as the group practices and prepares for the hurricane season. The group is OASIS (Oviedo Army of Security, Intelligence and Survival) and while it might have its origins in Florida militia secessionism (I found them while posing as my alter-ego, Tea Partier Bucky Swoon), it is really a community organization that meets to play paintball and drink Dark ‘n’ Stormys (actually, I introduced OASIS to the Gosling’s sponsored rum drink, which was, in turn, introduced to me by my government contracted spook of a brother-in-law – a conspiracy unto itself) while discussing various SHTF (shit hit the fan) scenarios. As the resident conspiracy theorist, I was named the official archivist of the organization, mostly because my apocalyptic library is the entirety of the group’s archives.

Have I gone too far? Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious by the sun of York goes the Shakespearean line from Henry III. I consider this season as the summer of my discontent, soon to be behind me as we are hurtled ever faster into tomorrow. Forget the impending Maya Apocalypse (just another excuse for rum drinks); my spirit is plagued by the current ineffectiveness of democracy in this country. My last blog was a rant on the subject. This current blog details what wear and tear a paranoid suffers as he hides in the shadows of his own fear.

Good Luck and Godspeed America.

Vic Neverman and Cyrus Lee as the alpha-dog Apex Apocalyptics of OASIS (Oviedo Army of Security, Intelligence and Survival)