Below is a Recollection, or Walkthrough, of the first free event for the on-going immersive, trans-media experience known as The Society or The Boanthropic. In this experience, we are invited onto the mountain to meet The Boanthropic and learn of an important mission involving The Moon Child. As this event will never happen again and is crucial to understanding the story, we suggest you read on to learn more about The Boanthropic, The Society, Mary, and The Moon Child.
A letter was delivered to a devout pilgrim. We will lead you all to the mountain Thursday night. This message was cryptic—hidden in a sea of words, all saying #theboanthropic.
The Society is a collection of humans aiming towards ecstatic unification, who believe in the power of genderless, orgasmic nirvana and live in a harmonic state of bliss. They arrived at the opening party of the Fringe Festival—and as we learned more, we uncovered the mysterious force known as The Boanthropic. They appeared on Instagram, with no voice apart from a singular figure: an oracle figure named Mary. Some who met Mary at the Fringe party were warned to save her “Moon Child.” The effort to help Mary has sent followers all over the country in search of cryptic notes, strange symbols scribbled on walls, and stacks of old floppy disks; all offering clues—but no answers.
On Thursday June 15th, we were invited up the mountain. Come, Devoted. Hear the voice of The Boanthropic. I was unsure what exactly was awaiting me at the top, but I was eager.
I arrive at the meeting point and meet the other pilgrims ready for our journey. At 7:37 PM, the precise time designated by The Boanthropic, we climb into the car to begin our ascent into the Los Angeles National Forest. Per instructions, an audio file is played, providing an ominous soundtrack to our journey. Jim Jones’s voice cuts through the static, preaching words of faith, loyalty, and the Jonestown cult. The tape descends into darkness as the recording of the suicide is played. The air becomes viscous, and we are silent for the remainder of the trip.
The road twists and turns as we drive up the mountain side. Large conifers, pines, and Douglas firs line the road, providing a picturesque backdrop to the travesties played on the audio. We take a small dirt road off the main path. The sun is setting, and the trees block out the remaining light. We turn once more, and a piece of paper catches our eye: it’s the symbol of The Boanthropic. We were instructed to continue the rest of the way on foot once we discovered the symbol, so we park, and our band of twelve pilgrims march forward.
Dusk encroaches onto the dirt road as we walk into the trees. I listen for the croaking of frogs, the chirping of crickets, the hooting of owls—but I am greeted only with silence. We are alone. The sun has almost set by now, revealing a faint glow at the end of the path. We approach the light with trepidation, and arrive at a small camp site. A single candle burns, but its light is eclipsed by a roaring fire behind. A picnic table to the right is lined with white butcher paper, small round tangerines, and unlabeled water bottles—and something else: a strange language written across the paper.
This is a language we had been working to decipher all week through a series of coordinates, clues, and community cooperation. We think we understand most of it, so we turn on flashlights and begin to decipher the words:
When the time comes, order yourselves by when your eyes first opened.
When they come, do not be alarmed.
Rest. Refresh. Wait.
Are we being lulled into a false sense of security or is this truly a place where we can rest and wait for our gift of knowledge? The campfire fills me with nostalgia and a desire for marshmallows, but eating a tangerine curbs my craving. We order ourselves from oldest to youngest at the picnic table, per the instructions, and watch as the remaining sunlight is purged from the landscape.
Not long after, a second light appears on the mountainside, moving towards us. This one is smaller—a candle held by a figure dressed in all black. When he arrives, he says nothing, and hands us a rope. We distribute it among our party and then our hooded guide leads us up the mountain.
There is no clear path. We travel up, down, left, and right; through bushes, branches, and brambles; across crevices, over rocks, and under overhangs. In black robes, our guide disappears into the darkness, and I follow a candle that seems to float across a sea of black. I am not afraid though—the scene is hauntingly beautiful.
We reach the top of the mountain and a shallow valley stretches below, connecting to a second ridge across the ravine. Our guide, without a word, points across and a mirrored flame bursts forth at the peak of that mound. The oldest of our group takes the lead and descends into the ravine. We hike down and then back up the opposite side, coming closer and closer to the light at the top with every step.
At the top, massive boulders are nestled together to form a throne for the titans. A tree has fallen against these rocks, forming a small gateway to the other side. Despite the magnitude and impressive scale of this view, it does not have our attention. What does is the cloaked figure in front of us, wearing a horned mask, snarling and grunting like a wild beast. He opens one arm, welcoming us to his domain. We follow him through across the rocks, and through the trees. We climb one of the boulders and squeeze through a small crevice before we notice a path lined with candles. We follow the path to the edge of a cliff, overlooking the entire valley below. The sight must be gorgeous during the day, but the blanket of darkness contains a different kind of beauty.
“Oh my. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I was just trying to take a piss. What are you guys doing here? Are you here for the ceremony? We haven’t done a mountain ceremony in so long.”
A man appears from behind the rock, zipping up his pants. He looks friendly—more startled than anything—and greets us with a smile. He is in his 30’s, has a nice beard, and is not wearing white. I look around, but the hooded horned creature is nowhere to be seen. We settle into a circular formation and bring the candles closer. The man introduces himself as Eric—and we ask him about the horned beast, but he seems confused. We also show him the rope—but he doesn’t see it.
“Let’s start with the beginning ritual as always. Left hand on heart, right hand to the sky; three deep breaths in.”
I breathe in deeply, filling my lungs will the clean mountain air—and exhale. My body is calm, relaxed. I breathe in again, hold it and exhale. My right hands come down to cover my heart, and I breathe in and out one last time. The darkness has enveloped our group, protected by only three faint candles. Our little stronghold amongst a vast nothingness.
“So I’m assuming you’re mostly sevens and fourteens, maybe we have some sixty-fours?” Eric inquires about our Society ranks. We look around, a bit bewildered—unsure whether to play along or tell the truth. “I will need palms up.” He pulls a small vial from his satchel, uncorks it, and rubs oil in a single line down both palms. “Quiet your souls, quiet your hearts.” I close my eyes and the scent of citrus, oranges, tangerines fills the air. I am at peace.
“Sisters, brothers. Can I now see your marks?”
He asks to see the symbols of our affiliation with The Society. We turn our hands to reveal nothing and Eric seems shocked. One member of our group explains that he washed the symbol off after the Fringe Party, and Eric is surprised that he didn’t repeat it daily. He turns his hand to show us one: a circular design with adornments; and he rolls up with sleeve to show us a second—he obviously is a high level Society member. “Uh… so… what step are you on then?” A few stutter out fives… sixes. Eric’s demeanor changes instantly: “I’m sorry, but how did you find this location?”
We tell him that The Boanthropic led us here; they provided us with information, with directions. He then lifts his shirt, revealing a third mark—the mark of The Boanthropic. Not because he is one of them, but rather, because he is in fact a member of the Resistance that is working within The Society to foil the plans of the Founder and save Mary and the Moon Child. The Resistance has adopted the symbol of The Boanthropic as their sigil. Despite this, he has no awareness of the scrolls, the graffiti, or even the campfire and message at the foot of his hill. “They’re apparating? They’re taking physical form?” His surprise is genuine—this is not the doing of The Resistance. “What form could they even be taking?” he asks rhetorically. Someone blurts out “Instagram.” And we laugh.
“There is a rumor about a woman in Rhode Island, named Beverly, who moved to Montauk to be at the very tip of the island on the opposite coast. She’s in her 60’s but it’s rumored that she’s the Instagram.”
He is incredulous that we had followed these clues blindly of our own free will without actually understanding what was happening. “You don’t really know what they are, do you? But you’re willingly pursuing what they’re trying to tell you?”
“Is that a mistake?” Someone asks timidly. “No; It’s kind of beautiful,” Eric responds.
He asks us to calm ourselves, to close our eyes. Eric begins: “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. Wrap your brain around the specific details of that trauma. It might feel terrible, but you need to recall more details: the sense memory; your muscles twitching; your tears flowing; the boot of oppression shoving down on your face. Let all of that crush this trauma deep into the earth.” He instructs us to take another deep breath, to pull more memories, more details into the mass of trauma we are holding. I hold these thoughts just as I hold my breath.
“Imagine that dark energy as a color, a force, a ball. You might put your hands out in front of you and hold this ball.” I put my hands out and imagine a black mass with swirling purple flames licking at its surface. I imagine each of us as a shadow with our trauma, our pain, amalgamating into balls resting in our hands. “Take three more deep breaths, and prepare to release the ball. Release it. Let it go.”
As a collective, we breathe in and out, our breaths synchronized. On the last exhale, the metaphysical ball leaves my hand and floats into the sky, leaving this plane. My corporeal form withers and dies, but the ball of energy lives on. “That ball of energy, that force field, that ugly creature, that demon, whatever the f*ck you want to call it, is released as some sort of a vectral spirit. It finds another vectral spirit and they join hands. This is now an ancient, yet new fury. The Boanthropic are those furies; are those vectral spirits.”
Eric pauses to let that thought permeate the group. The Boanthropic is the amassing of trauma from various people swirling together to take form. After a moments respite, he continues. “This is especially prevalent with those so far down the rabbit hole of oppression—namely, with cults. When their body becomes part of the earth, their spirit can remain trapped—that’s when the Boanthropic take form. There’s been rumor of them returning. There’s been rumor that Mary’s child, the Moon Child, will absorb the entirety of The Boanthropic. Her f*cked up connection to the Founder, their oppressive and abusive sexual relationship is somehow turning her womb and the Moon Child 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. Have they told you what to do?”
“Save Mary and the Moon Child.”
He tells us Mary sent him to the bar, the night of the party. She instructed him to give us the ciphers, the clues, the keys to unlocking the secrets of The Boanthropic. He is the Black Rose. But never in all his years of searching has he been able to see The Boanthropic. Yet, we, in a week’s time, have seen more than he has ever seen. For whatever reason, they have chosen us, and we must continue on this path for them—for the Resistance.
“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 for the Moon Child. You have to do this. The only way to dismantle what the Founder is doing is to infiltrate the Society.” He scoffs at those of us that are only level fives. We need to reach higher. In order to make any progress, we need to make contact with The Society in advance. “You actually have to get to double digits before anything happens.” If we want to save the Moon Child, our first step will be to join the Society and begin to move up in their ranks.
“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 Moon Child.”
We hear a growl behind us. The manifestation of The Boanthropic has returned, with his black cloak and bull-like horns. Eric says his goodbyes, we must part ways, but don’t forget our mission. The Boanthropic lead us down back into the ravine and up the other mountain. We climb down the ridge-side and back to our camp-fire, which has now dwindled to nothing but glowing embers—but our candle still burns in vigilance. The orange, white scrolls, and water are gone—replaced by a curious little box. We open it, revealing a box of floppy disks, tied together with string. Strange carvings adorn the box: Resist Together. Be Stealth. Follow The Boanthropic. A final cipher reveals the words: Take all.
We leave the campsite with a box of floppy disks in hand, a renewed purpose in mind, and with a little less trauma weighing us down. We must now join The Society and save the Moon Child. But what will keep us from becoming Boanthropic ourselves?
If you’d like to help The Boanthropic save the Moon Child, please join their Slack Board and follow The Society and The Boanthropic on Instagram. Also read our interview with a liaison of The Society to learn more about the cult that supposedly has the Moon Child.