Declassified documents, napkin-jotted secrets and preliminary findings.
Received: from email@example.com by trapdoor.orl.org with smtp
(Smail22.214.171.124 #100) id m0deORL-0000MIB; Sun, 01 Jan 1980 00:00 GMT
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Date: Sun, 01 Jan 1980 00:00:00 GMT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (BT Elder)
Subject: Re: your click
You are one of those lucky few whose random wandering (if you subscribe to the chaotic world-model) or ultimate destiny
(if you subscribe to the deterministic world-model) has brought or led you to contact Obscure Research Labs. We say "lucky"
because of the filters and screens that surround our organization like a wobbly magnetic field; the sheer determination of
most Seekers After Forbidden Knowledge tends to set up a canceling polarity that bats them away from us like a giant cat's
paw, so that only the nonchalantly curious make it through. And we say "few" because, if you look around, you'll notice there
aren't very many of those.
In any case, and for whatever reasons, what you want is More Information. Most people do, not realizing that they already
have too much information. But it's not our place to dictate how much is, or should be, enough. That is for you to
judge. We hope this electronic pamphlet will either satisfy or whet your thirst, as the case may be, for whatever it is we
do here at Obscure Research Labs. If the former, thank you for your interest. If the latter, you may find Still More Information
by checking back every now and again.
Please note -- if you're a long-time reader, much of this material will seem eerily familiar to you. It should -- it's
a blend of much of what we had at the original ORL website, suitably edited and updated. Give it a scan anyway, to make sure
you're not missing anything.
Again, thank you for your interest -- and remember: "You never can tell..."
BT Elder Director, Obscure Research Labs
- Greetings to You, The Public
- Areas of Special Study
- What Is The Matrix?
- Mission Overview
The Truth Behind Flying Saucers
- F2: CTTS and You
- In Conclusion...
Greetings to You, The Public
from Obscure Research Labs Director BT Elder
In this modern information age, we scarcely know which way to turn to escape the flood of fact and fancy that seems
determined to crush what little remains of our peace of mind. If it isn't the endless flood of news propaganda from "official
sources", it's the tabloid shriek of Things Not Of This Earth. What can we do? Where can we go?
Not much and nowhere. To deny the manic flow of information sweeping us into the 21st Century is to declare ourselves
willingly ignorant of the changing times around us. This can be a bad move both socially (who will talk to us at parties if
we're not up on all the Latest Buzz?) andf economically (who will hire us if we don't know how to use all the Latest Things?).
Fortunately for you, our need-beacons have brought you to this pamphlet just in time. You have been contacted by Obscure
Research Labs, and our mission is to help you stay afloat in the turbulent seas of Too Much Knowledge.
Since 1962, we at Obscure Research Labs have been devoted to uncovering and piecing together all the world's knowledge
and belief. What we do, essentially, is find out all we can about everything and store the found-out bits in our Main Facility
for later analysis. Only by so doing will we ever find out what's Really Going On. It's too big of a world for anyone to comprehend
all at once; but with our patented MemeFilters and CogniChips(tm),we're working on making reality more assimilable for everyone.
But we can't do it alone. In order to obtain the clearest picture of what's "really" going on, WE NEED YOUR HELP. All
we ask is that you send us any piece of the epistemological puzzle that you can -- recipes, UFO sightings, cash -- and in
return, Obscure Research Labs will stay on the job, fighting the alien menace where you least expect it.
AREAS OF SPECIAL STUDY
Although our Research takes us into every conceivable realm of experience, there are a few subjects we return to for
the sharp relief into which they throw everything else; to wit:
-- UFOs: Some people say that UFOs (or, more accurately, "alien spacecraft") don't exist. While that may or may not
be so, it cannot be denied that the *belief* in UFOs does exist and on a large scale. We leave it to others to record and
investigate the odd sighting or abduction, preferring to concentrate on the phenomenon's social effects; for it is within
the study of such things that we find a perfect model of the human brain's adaptation to the inexplicable.
-- TIME TRAVEL: When you set out to learn all that is learnable, it can be frustrating to be limited by your own time.
We at Obscure Research Labs have managed to overcome this limitation and as a result we are able to obtain Inside Scoops that
conventional scientists would trade Ramapithecus' eye teeth for. Interested parties are warmly invited to discuss this aspect
of our research at 10.05.02N/170.0.0W// -10k.4.1.0900 local. BYOB.
-- PARAPHYSICS: Similar to paramedics, but much, much smaller. Enables us to "patch" quantum events and make possible...
-- MATRIX TECHNOLOGY: These are the tools we use to access the more exciting parts of Reality. They include the Channeltron
(a sort of ethereal radio set) and the Subdimensional TransAnachreator (a somewhat limited time-machine/eigenstate-hopper
which utilizes Prof. H------' discovery [and Dr Elder's subsequent exploitation] of The Matrix (which see).
-- DISINFORMATION TRACKING (or, to use the modern term, "memetics"): The study of hoaxes, beliefs and the like; especially
the followings they engender (cults, religions, social movements, etc.) as a result of widespread propagation. Although Obscure
Research Labs' guiding principles are relatively dogma-free, it is our ironclad conclusion that facts do not determine
the fate of individuals and nations as effectively as beliefs.
WHAT IS THE MATRIX???
In between the world you know and the void you don't lies a shadowy in- between land of half-truth, assumption and
memory that we at Obscure Research Labs call The Matrix.
____ . = you
/ . \ inside = what you know
\___/ outside = what you don't
\ ____ = The Matrix
Easier to understand than to explain (especially with ASCII graphics), the Matrix is the borderzone between what you
know and what you don't (see Fig. 1). It can also be thought of as everything that you are not immediately experiencing, but
whose existence you take as more-or-less "given"; i.e. death, tomorrow's breakfast or most of what you see in the newspapers
or on TV.
____ . = it
/ . \ inside = apparent
\___/ outside = conjectural
\ ____ = The Matrix
In this case, (see Fig. 2) The Matrix is all the "given" parts surrounding whatever's right in front of you. For example,
although this text is right in front of you, the author and his computer are something you take for granted; something your
mind fills in to account for this text's existence. Since a similar filling-in forms the major part of of what we call "reality",
it could be argued that we don't really know what's going on at all. THEREFORE: "You never can tell..."
And it is just this uncertainty that enables Obscure Research Labs to have the sort of "fun with the data" that has
made us famous and infamous in weirdological circles and among the gullible.
(transcribed from Obscure-o-Vision_)
My name is BT Elder. I'm the director of Obscure Research Labs, and I'd like to take a couple of minutes of your time
to explain just what it is we do here at the Labs and how grateful you should be for the services we provide.
Doubtless, our name and organization is unknown to you. You're probably one of the people who benefits from our unceasing
vigilance, but you'd never know it if we didn't tell you. Perhaps you've seen our anonymous white trucks cruising the streets
of your town, or heard some of our public service messages on the static between your favorite radio stations. Probably not
though; we keep a pretty low profile, and when I tell you what we do you'll understand why.
As you're probably aware, our dear planet is in the grip of titanic, sizeless forces beyond most people's comprehension.
Aliens, monsters and other non-human riffraff constantly subject ordinary citizens like yourself to the most horrible and
unbelievable experiences. We're living in a kind of complex, secret interdimensional war zone; these things happen all the
time, and on a global scale, but most people try to pretend they're not. This may be a wise course of action, if you think
about it; I mean, after all, it's not like YOU'RE going to see one of these nameless shambling things, right? You have more
important things to worry about-- your job, politics, sports, your family. We at Obscure Research Labs understand this reaction;
we realize that while there's no hard evidence to support any of these alleged Damned Things, people keep seeing and interacting
with 'em anyway. Which brings me to my first point: SOMEBODY has to mind the store, to keep watch on the border of the unknown,
that others may sleep safely and comfortably. Obscure Research Labs is that borderwatch.
Since 1962, we at Obscure Research Labs have been fighting for Earth's right to remain placid in the face of cosmic
horror. Mind you, I don't mean that in a grandiose way. But just as not all brands of coffee taste the same, not all so-called
"paranormal investigators" are the same, either. Some of them are only out to make a buck off of a fearful and gullible public.
Many charge into a situation with some half-cocked notion of proper procedure, frightening the witnesses with vague talk of
planetary confederations and missing time. We at Obscure Research Labs deplore this sort of thing, because when your back
is to the weirdological wall you need a clear head and an open mind. The problem is, most investigators try to find some sort
of "objective proof" for the things they're investigating. In our opinion, that's kind of a waste of time. Nothing against
our well-intentioned colleagues, but in the first place, there is no such thing as "objective proof"; and in the second place,
the last thing a witness needs after a brush with the slimy tentacles of the Unknown is somebody pawing all over their yard,
taking soil and blood samples, hypnotizing them with little flashlights and putting them on talk shows. What they really need
is a nice cup of tea and an assurance that they're not alone.
Because, ultimately, what we are dealing with is not so much a thing as a belief in a thing, or several things. This
is, at any rate, the best way to proceed. Let the aliens view us as lab animals -- *we* certainly don't have to. Despite the
success of such programs as Unsolved Mysteries and The X-Files, most people couldn't be bothered with a real alien abduction
or Bigfoot sighting. They'd rather have the mystery, not the drudgery of finding the answer. Fortunately, we at Obscure Research
Labs have found many procedural innovations that let us keep both. Some of these, like the mysterious Matrix, are detailed
elsewhere in the program. We'll highlight others in future programs, unless, of course, the Men In Black get to us first.
But I'll touch on just a few for right now, then I have to get back to the Staff Lounge for my noontime snack.
The first is disinformation tracking. In order to detect the public's perceptual drift and anticipate areas of future
concern, we need accurate, up-to-the-minute information on what everybody's thinking. To this end, we've developed a sort
of meta-tap, that takes advantage of existing technology. As some of you may know, certain government agencies have placed
monitors on the cable decoder boxes in everybody's home, turning the TV into a surveillance system that keeps an eye on potential
troublemakers. But we at Obscure Research Labs have found a way to boost and convert the signal so it detects the emotional
state of the TV audience and their reaction to whatever they're watching. It also jams the surveillance feed and improves
your cable reception by 60%. If you're amazed at the picture quality of your cheap TV, chances are you're one of our target
Another of our more visible projects is the old-fashioned human-in-the-street interview, directly asking people their
opinions on a variety of seemingly inocuous subjects. This has the advantage of being a more ethically sound research method,
and lets people know that Obscure Research Labs is "on their side". We'll see the results of some of these ineterviews later
on in the program.
Lastly, there's the "Three A.M. Watch." If you're still tuned in at this point, you probably know that 3 am is the
statistically peak time for suicides, bad acid trips and UFO sightings. What you may not know, however, is that the three
phenomena are related, but for reasons of planetary security we can't tell you why. What we can tell you is that the same
technology we use for monitoring public perception has been put to the task of maintaining public health. If you have been
sleeping unusually well, and dreaming pleasantly, for about the last, say, year or so, chances are you're in one of the Three
AM Safe Areas.
In closing, let me just say that we do what we do with you in mind. We keep a low profile, but that's because we have
to in order that our work can go on unimpeded. So if you see an unmarked white truck driving slowly about the streets of your
town, or a hazmat team in tasteful pastels, or if you wake up in the middle of the night with a peculiar sensation that all's
right with the world, just think a silent "thank you" to Obscure Research Labs. We'll know.
Factsheet One -- The Truth Behind Flying Saucers
TOP SECRET--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO ALL MEDIA In an effort to stem the rising tide of debunkery
and belief surrounding the subject, we at Obscure Research Labs hereby present The Truth Behind Flying Saucers.
First, one must understand the terminology. We prefer the term "flying saucer" to the more technical "UFO" because
the later denotes an unidentified flying object; it could be a weather balloon, airplane, misidentified star or planet, or
something equally boring. (Of course, it might also be an alien spacecraft, but we'll get to that in a minute.) The usual
fate of a UFO is to become an IFO (or identified flying object) or remained unexplained, since the whole point is that nobody
knows what it is.
A flying saucer, on the other hand, is something whose identity is believed to be known, e.g. alien invaders, ascended
masters, angels, demons, et al. This is why flying saucers are intrinsically more interesting than UFOs; because more emotional
energy is tied up in their study, flying saucer buffs tend to be more eccentric than UFO researchers and hence a lot more
What we are basically dealing with here is a lot of people coming into contact with something strange to them. So far,
there is no way to tell what that something is; there may never be. In the meantime all one can honestly do is look at the
data and say, "Boy! That's a poser, alright."
Factsheet 2: The Us vs. Them Fallacy
TOP SECRET--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO ALL MEDIA Humans seem to gain a great strength from
banding together with what they perceive to be "their own kind"; this century has seen the rise of thousands of small organizations,
clubs, cults, societies, associations, fraternities, teams, cliques, crowds, sects and the like. Anyone who has ever been
a part of such a unit knows how heady and warm can be the feeling of belonging, how the big cold chaotic world makes sense
in the light of shared perception. After all, we are social creatures, no matter how we may think of ourselves as independent.
But there is a side to all this social mitosis that always seems to be overlooked; a behavior that we at Obscure Research
Labs call the Cooler-Than-Thou Syndrome. CTTS arises from the inevitable posturing that occurs when one band of humans begins
to believe in (and then find evidence to support) its own superiority vis-a-vis all the other bands...
Most people, at this point, are probably thinking of obvious examples such as the Nazis, the Inquisition, white supremacists,
black supremacists, or any nation-state from ancient Akkad to the modern superpowers. While these are valid examples, such
behavior can also be seen among such seemingly inocuous groupings as sports fans, users of one or another modern product such
as soft-drinks or computers, listeners to a certain type of music, or even wearers of a particular style of clothing. In short,
any set of shared behavior patterns has the potential, if adhered to strongly enough, of engendering the belief that the adherent
is better ("cooler") than anyone else.
The question, of course, is: Why does this happen?
As far as we can tell, CTTS is found in individuals whose identity comes more from their affinity group than from themselves.
Such individuals are usually deeply insecure; when this trait is recognized, the CTTS manifests as "team spirit" or "camaraderie";
there is no clear distinction between Us and Them, and no exclusion of those "not in the club." But when the insecurity is
not recognized, or when it is perceived as a natural consequence of being excluded by some other group responsible for one's
failures, CTTS achieves its most powerful manifestation. The Obscure Research Labs' Archives contains letters and other documents
from CTTS sufferers as diverse as the poor, the hate-psychotic, the mystical, the rich, the "left", the "right", drug users,
punks, the tattooed, the sober, religious fundamentalists, atheists, artists, writers, conspiracists, seers of visions and
upholders of public morality. While many people who "belong" to one or another of the many "divisions" of humanity do not
suffer from CTTS, the majority of set-groupies do. Won't you help us find a cure for these needy and pathetic victims? Please
send a cash donation of any size to:
Obscure Research Labs POB 2071, Petaluma CA 94953 USA Thank you.
This concludes this transmission of the Obscure Research Labs Introductory Meme. We hope you've enjoyed this this brief look inside
our operation, and invite you to stay in touch using the appropriate methods below. Keep in mind that we reserve the right
to publish all mail as part of our ongoing "Ask Dr Elder" series, so show a little class if you want to make a Good Impression.
Thank you, and remember -- you *never can tell*...
BT Elder Director, Obscure Research Labs.
N.H. Sparx ORL EMNet Group Leader
Copyright © 1998 Obscure Research Labs. May not be reproduced without either permission
or credit of ORL. This is a tagged meme, so don't try anything.
Copyright 2001, Obscure Research Labs, All Rights Reserved
Don't let this happen to you.