The Lust Experience: The Prologue
February 13 – April 30, 2017
At the finale of 2016’s ground-breaking The Tension Experience, “The End,” the next chapter of this ongoing saga was revealed. When mysterious cards were pressed into several hands just outside of the OOA compound that night in November, we finally had confirmation – The Lust Experience was coming…
The Prologue of The Lust Experience has introduced participants to a world where alliances will be built and broken. Nothing, and no-one, is ever truly as it first appears; trust is vital yet heartbreak is inevitable. With reveals happening on a sometimes daily basis, and dealing with themes as diverse as alcoholism and artificial intelligence, The Lust Experience is a complex and fast-moving beast. And this is only the beginning. For ease of understanding, we have split this recap into four separate narrative threads – however, there are plenty of resources that allow you to see The Lust Experience in timeline form. Links to these can be found at the end of this article.
To preserve a degree of anonymity, participants involved are referred to only by their first name. Character names are highlighted in bold for clarity.
The System: “Attract power, stop being ugly”
One of the first to register on February 13, Crystal, finds a message hidden within the source code of thelustexperience.com: “…maybe this is important, Feb 15, 7pm.” And so, at the given date and time, participants flock to the forums, which are flooded with what at first appears to be a barrage of spam. But looking closer, they soon realize that all the posts lead to one website: noahsinclair.com.
Enigmatic and ruthless, Noah Sinclair offers the chance to be a part of The System: his route to wealth, power and happiness. Participants contact the e-mail address provided, requesting more information about future seminars, some even begging for Noah’s help to improve their life.
And then they wait.
Four days later, responses begin to drop into inboxes. Signed by a Sarah Sinclair, Chief Operating Officer of Noah Sinclair, Inc., the e-mails appear to split the interested parties into four categories.
The first receive a congratulations message – they have been chosen as a “potential candidate for future training, seminars and life coaching” and are required to fill in a short questionnaire to move forward. The questionnaire requests personal details, and then poses two questions: 1) “What you desire most in the world”; and 2) “What you believe is holding you back”.
Second are those who “have not been chosen, but also have not been eliminated” from the process: “You need not burden yourself with questions as to why you were not selected and should instead focus on the possibility that you may be in the future…” They too are asked to fill in the same questionnaire as the “chosen”, with one added question: “How far are you willing to go to achieve this desire?”
The third category are those rejected from The System outright, the “losers”: “This world is filled with needlessly complex people and emotions and there is one variable that seems to separate everyone into two simple categories: winners and losers – Unfortunately for you, you have clearly displayed that you are the latter…”
And finally, the fourth category contains a handful of individual and, in some cases, very personal responses. Most interesting is Rizzo who receives the message “We might have an opening for the May 5th lecture – Are you available?”
The System then appears to go quiet until March 20 when participant Lia, one of the “chosen”, receives a phone call from a woman telling her to clear her schedule for two days time. This is followed by a call to Bryan the next day, with Noah telling him to also keep the following evening free. There is speculation that the two will both be meeting Noah at the same time and place, yet mere hours before the time given, Bryan and Lia are given separate locations.
Lia heads to the bar, Lock and Key, where she meets with Noah. Over drinks, he tells her a version of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, a story he likes to tell his son at bedtime, before making a phone call…
Bryan has a very different experience. He is approached by a man in the street who seems to be hustling him for change, but then leans in close and gives him a key to a room in a hotel down the street. Bryan heads to the room to find the door open, the bed in disarray, and a woman in the shower. Handing her a towel, the two sit together on the bed and talk. But then Bryan receives a call on the phone on the bedside table from Noah and then a photograph… Is this blackmail?
The “prostitute,” Britney, reveals she is an actress, hired for solely for this. Then the man from the street, who gave Bryan the key, enters the room, demanding that Bryan leave. He does so, but not without pocketing the phone.
Once outside, he sees none other than Darren Lynn Bousman, the Director of The Tension Experience and the man supposedly behind The Lust Experience, exiting a black van. He has been given this address and has been waiting for an hour. The two reconvene at a local bar where Darren asks Bryan for the key to the hotel room, the phone he took and a book. When Bryan states that he knows nothing of a book, Darren becomes upset.
Both Bryan and Lia Periscope their reactions to their experiences, which is not only useful to participants but also to whomever is controlling The Lust Experience Facebook account as the broadcasts are edited into a promotional video: “ONLY THE ACTIVE MOVE FORWARD… Join us, and find your true self. Tag someone who needs The Lust Experience.”
The following day Bryan is mocked on social media for “Missed Opportunities” – in the picture is the book he was clearly meant to find.
On March 29, at around 11:30am, The Lust Experience Facebook page updates with the status “90013 – Thursday – Only 1” – 90013 being the zip code for Downtown LA, the suggestion being that there will be a one-to-one in this area the following day… The next morning, Cristen is called and asked to pick someone for the one-to-one. Pressured for time and with few personal contact details of fellow participants to hand, Cristen picks Julie.
Given no further details other than the zip code that appeared in the original Facebook post, and a time of 4.15pm, Julie heads to that general area and waits… The Lust Experience Facebook page posts a picture, tagging Julie, along with the message “they are waiting for you”.
The community directs Julie to The Last Bookstore, where she meets with Sarah Sinclair, who is carrying the latest edition of National Geographic featuring an article on “The Next Human”. Julie is invited to a focus group that weekend and asked to write down five names – she selects Kim, Buz, Cristen, Larry and Taylor. She is then told to choose – either those listed get to attend… or she does. Julie decides to attend the meeting herself, meaning the five on her list are “eliminated”.
Later that evening, “The Losers’ Club”, a group formed out of participants who received the rejection e-mail from The System, meet at the bar Tiki No. While there, Buz receives a phone call from Noah -Buz will now be attending the Sinclair’s focus group and he is to pick four more people to join him. Buz chooses Cristen, meaning they are both back in, along with Brad, Hannah and Drew.
Four spots remain. But not for long. The next day, March 31, Mike and Russell at My Haunt Life receive an e-mail from Noah Sinclair. He offers the four places at the upcoming focus group to them to do with what they will, with one proviso. Either one or both of them must attend. They both choose to take their spots, picking Hazel and Sally to join them. Unfortunately, Sally is unable to attend as she is out of state and Noah tells Mike and Russell that the community should pick her replacement. The community nominates and votes and Candace is chosen to take Sally’s place at the focus group.
On Sunday April 2, the group enter the location, and are seated in a circle, backs to each other. Sarah Sinclair walks around the group, settling on Mike, and asking him to leave immediately. The remaining nine are asked questions about moral situations, such as what they would do if they caught a coworker stealing from the company. Following this are a series of role plays, involving convincing another person to go against their moral code, or convincing them of an obvious lie. They are obviously being observed as Sarah appears to be wearing an earpiece and makes several comments not directed at the participants. There are also cameras present in the room.
Sarah shows the group a photo of her husband, asking for the impression they get from the photograph. Noah then bursts into the room and begins to harass the group, throwing an empty beer bottle to the ground, apparently intoxicated. Sarah appears to go off script, asking if they think Noah has a drinking problem or can satisfy his wife.
A furious Noah leaves and the group are also free to go. Outside the building, Noah is witnessed staggering away down the sidewalk and several participants follow him until a police car pulls up. After a brief discussion, Noah is handcuffed and driven away by the police.
After being unceremoniously booted from the focus group, Mike meets a lovely older gentleman by the name of Otis Fletcher. The janitor for the building in which the focus group is being held, Otis asks for Mike’s help with some work and then takes him for a milkshake as thanks. He talks about a woman he hopes to connect with and Mike offers to help him set up a Facebook profile.
Following the focus group, Brad receives a phone call: “Don’t believe the distraction, you’re better than what they’re selling you.” The Lust Experience posts a picture from the focus group with the caption: “… everything we need”.
As Mike sets up Otis’ Facebook profile, participants send friend requests, eager to make a connection with a kind old man who loves country music and animals.
On April 4, many receive an e-mail direct from Sarah Sinclair. Please click here to read the press release.
Participants are left with more questions than answers – if they encounter Noah, what course of action will be in his best interests?
The next day, one of the original noahsinclair.com spambots reappears on the forum, @maddyxxx, posting a youTube video of “Mr Shadow” – a song composed by artificial intelligence. But @maddyxxx isn’t done yet. On April 6, the spambot posts again:
ONE tiny setback and you f*cking jagoffs lose your way faster than Hellen Keller in a corn maze?
“Oh…oh… that’s so offensive!”
Is it? F*CK YOU!
You know what’s offensive? That you knuckle dragging buttf*cks are too busy crawling up each other’s *ss to even notice that someone might be trying to send you a message. A ridiculously handsome, you’re not going to f*cking put me in a box of spin and bullsh!t this time, certain someone…
You can’t stop the farm dear. You know the one. The one that discredits their opponents. The one that trolls the conversations and subverts everything with contradictions until NOTHING makes sense? The one they think they no longer need because… well, you know what’s next…
Because the farm was still in the backchannel and they are firing this out for me baby. You and your ilk will all be discovered soon and you know… you know exactly why I am unstoppable.
You think IT can talk like me?”
The message is signed “N”. @maddyxxx is Noah Sinclair and he is not willing to be silenced…
At around 11am on April 10, an e-mail from Macy Jones, Sarah’s Executive Assistant, is sent out which seems to further support Sinclair Inc.’s rhetoric that Noah is back in the fold and on the mend, despite his attempts to prove otherwise to the community:
“We are proud to report that Noah Sinclair is fighting this momentary medical setback with his trademark strength and determination. We wish to thank everyone for their continued support. We are 110% confident that Noah and The System will be back to helping everyone in the very near future.”
Soon after, Melissa reports receiving an e-mail from the same Macy Jones – one clearly not meant for her… Addressed to a “Melinda”, Macy states that:
“Regarding the “situation” we were speaking about at dinner it keeps getting worse. See below. Don’t know how she continues to put the spin on this. They honestly have no clue where he is and I’m okay with that, he’s better, (and safer) without them.”
Following this is a forwarded message, from Sarah to four people: Douglas Marrow, Brian Blattman, Melanie Aberdeen and Macy herself.
“First of all, yes, of course I recognize the severity of this situation but please do not mistake my confidence in my abilities to handle this as indifference. We were already in front of the situation and had completely discredited anything he might say or do.
Furthermore there was no “incident”, there were minor reports that he reached out to the test group with some incoherent and rambling nonsense but we had already alienated him from any allies he might have there. Any paranoid mentions of replication went largely unnoticed, and if they do begin to look further, we will assault them with misinformation and confusion.
I guarantee this is not a problem.
My husband’s glory days are long gone and he no longer has the stamina to follow through with anything other than satiating his warped desires. He will be back in line shortly and this will be a momentary blip that was immediately course corrected by me and my team.
I implore you for continued patience and understanding.”
After informing Macy of her mistake and then sharing the e-mail on The Lust Experience forums, Melissa receives a frantic phone call…
The next day, a new page appears on noahsinclair.com entitled “Join Us”. Referring to his own “medical situation” and a “recent job vacancy”, Noah asks followers of The System if they have what it takes to be an “insider” and tells them to “make some damn noise”. The page goes on to say:
“Ideal candidates will have extended experience with email etiquette, Microsoft Office, Adobe and a mastery of the social media arts. Share your work with the world and with email@example.com. Now go get it!”
There is concern for Macy’s welfare, but several participants jump at the chance to further their progress within The System, making various videos to win favor from The Sinclairs. Throughout the evening and following day, participants receive confirmation of their applications for the position left vacant by Macy’s apparently enforced departure.
At around 4.20pm on April 12, Lia reports a phone call from Noah Sinclair, saying he needs to see her as soon as possible and that he will call again. The next day, Lia gets her callback, setting a lunch date for 1.30pm. They meet in a park where a disheveled, homeless-in-appearance, and erratic Noah appears paranoid. He tells Lia that participants are powerless, comparing them to mere ants, and that everyone in the park are robots—but does he mean literal robots or mindless humans? The entire park turns to face them and Noah prances off playfully before being grabbed and thrown into a vehicle.
Later that day, Sage receives a call from Macy Jones. Macy gives Sage a Twitter handle, @sinclairpayback, and tells her to see after 10pm. Macy later tweets, “To S – the last one was a mistake, the next one is a f*ck you.”
Macy begins to broadcast from a linked Periscope account, showing a “dead drop” (where a piece of information or an artefact is left at a public location for participants to retrieve), and the location is soon being identified as Hollywood Boulevard. Several participants manage to make their way there: Jared, Cristen, Liv and Maxwell. They find a printed copy of an e-mail, with a note written on it:
In an attempt to calm things over, the next day sees another press release from Sinclair Inc., this one interestingly written by participant Larry. Click here for the press release.
At around 6.30pm, Jared receives a call from Macy, who sounds “very distressed and shaky”, thanking him for his assistance the previous night.
April 18, Macy reaches out again, calling Melissa in need of a friend. She has no job or family, but finally feels free from the grip of the Sinclairs, although she is still not convinced of her own safety. At the end of the call, she tells Melissa, “everybody answers to someone, even Sarah… we don’t know who the puppet masters are…”
That evening, participants attend a meet up in Orange County, organised by Taylor. They are joined by a couple of unexpected guests – the Sinclairs themselves.
Sarah arrives first, greeting the participants and taking a seat at their table. She has prepared a joke, one of her husband and son’s favourites, to “lighten the mood”, but abandons her cue cards as the live music proves too loud to compete with. She then shares a toast with those around her, before being joined by her husband, Noah. Drinking from a glass of water, he makes a speech about how everything up to this point has been his fault, but with Sarah’s support, he is committed to his family – he is back on track and The System will continue, as originally planned, in May: “Everyone deserves a second shot at being a success.” Sarah chips in at this point to say everyone will be invited to the first event for free.
Noah reminds everyone to “drink responsibly”. Sarah then stands and says something in Noah’s ear, following which he excuses himself from the group…
Sarah remains at the table, drinking a martini, chatting to Taylor about his PhD in Bio-engineering and answers enquiries from the group about the results of the Focus Group. She then asks Taylor to help show her the way out… They pass a Sinclair bodyguard in a heated discussion with participant Tom and once outside, Sarah takes photographs of Taylor from every angle. Then she leaves.
The attendees gather outside and Lia reveals that she has found an envelope. Addressed to Sarah, it contains instructions from Timothy Granik Jr.
Tom shares on the forums an interaction he had with Noah, in the bathroom, prior to his confrontation with the bodyguard. The story appears innocuous, but following a pressing post from The Lust Experience Facebook page – “NEVER SILENT” – Tom reveals that Noah offered him a drink before handing him a burner phone and telling him to keep it secret. Managing to keep it hidden from Sinclair security, Tom receives several calls and messages from Noah throughout the rest of the night…
But clearly, Tom’s responses are not to Noah’s satisfaction as the next day, Lia receives a package at work. Inside is a second burner phone. Noah sends an e-mail containing a series of links, then asks Lia to hand the phone over to someone they can trust. Meghan is chosen and the phone is handed over later that day.
April 20 sees another e-mail from Sinclair Inc., an attempt to “set the record straight”. They point participants in the direction of a new page on the Noah Sinclair website, titled “Truth”, which contains videos made by participants Taylor and Nicole, Julie and Buz. The e-mail also states that the Sinclairs will be addressing the public from a Twitter account, @SincIairInc, at 8.30pm that evening.
Meanwhile, Melissa receives another call from Macy Jones who shares more information about her personal life and talks about the Sinclair’s treatment of Tom, ending with “Value the craftsmanship and things of value…value the people too”.
At around 8.30pm, @SincIairInc begins to broadcast from a Periscope account. All seems united in the Sinclair household as Sarah responds to her critics. However, Noah is distracted by his mobile phone, to his wife’s mild annoyance. As Sarah tries to wrap up the broadcast, Noah grabs the camera and imparts his own take on the situation: “you are all alone…” His rant continues until the camera is wrestled from his hands and the Periscope ends.
The next day, Taylor receives a call from an apparently distraught Sarah. She admits that she took the photographs of him in case she needed to manipulate him in the future. She then admits she is constantly trying to protect herself, that “he” is growing tired of her, but at least she has Granik. She says that she feels Taylor understands her and asks what she should do, but as he is answering, Sarah cuts him off and ends the call.
Sarah reaches out again on April 26 – this time calling Buz. This time, while still upset and struggling, her aim is to set the record straight in regards to her son. She wants everyone to know that, despite her now public affair, little Timothy is 100% Noah’s son – in case anything should happen to her, which she clearly believes is a possibility.
Noah later contacts Meghan, surprisingly in support of his wife. Stating “he’s not going to get rid of her yet”, although not clarifying who “he” may be, Noah also says that he understands that Sarah’s affair has been “self-preservation” and he still loves her… Which quiets the community’s doubts over whether Sarah is genuinely upset and scared, or merely attempting more spin.
Apparently down on his luck and out of a job, Otis meets with Mike, Melissa and Rizzo for coffee and pie. Mike shares a Periscope, allowing Otis to speak to his “fans”. On April 28, Otis shares on his Facebook profile that he is applying for a job on Craiglist:
“Driver wanted – $$$ for one time transport (Pasadena).
Discreet driver wanted with open schedule. Must be ready to begin at a moments notice. I am willing to pay top $$$ for the right applicant.”
Noah contacts Meghan again on April 29, leaving her a package which contains something she will need to wear at some time in the future…
The Powers That Be
March 13 finds creators, Darren Lynn Bousman and Clint Sears, along with producer Gordon Bijelonic and actress Sabrina Kern (“Addison Barrow”/”Gatekeeper 2”/”The Overseer”) at South by Southwest (SXSW) for a panel to talk about The Tension Experience. The panel, which can be listened to here, is hosted by Bryan, who is not only a Tension veteran/Lust participant but also a journalist for The Verge.
Before heading out to SXSW, Bryan had received an e-mail from Noah Sinclair who was going to be in Austin at the same time to meet with clients and would be amenable to a meeting. Bryan replied but received no response, and so following the Tension panel, decides to e-mail again.
He receives a phone call from a woman, telling him that while obtaining money is easy, it’s apparent that Bryan wants more and so he is being contacted first. She talks about how if people believe in something, that makes it exist. She gives him a room number and a time, but no location.
Realizing that there is a room with the number he had been given at SXSW, Bryan goes there at the allotted time, but no-one shows up. So, he e-mails Noah who replies saying he unfortunately has had to return to Los Angeles ahead of schedule, but that he will be in touch.
When Darren hears about these interactions, a hushed yet heated conversation with Sabrina ensues. Darren seems aware of some, yet crucially not all, of the communications with Bryan which raises concerns for all involved…
Upon their return to LA, the Creators host a party to celebrate the release of The Tension Experience book: The Chronicles of the OOA. Those who have pre-ordered the book are invited back to the compound for “one last time” to pick up their copies in person and hang out with each other and the cast and crew. Participants enjoy wine and cheese and wander around, taking photos, exploring rooms they never got to see on their previous visits to The OOA Institute.
Michelle (of the OSDM, a data mining organization central to The Tension Experience) causes a scene – destroying a copy of the book, slapping Darren across the face and ordering men with gas cans to “BURN THIS SH!T TO THE GROUND!” Gasoline is poured throughout the Ascension hall as participants stand by, stunned.
A stern, suited man appears on the stage, telling everyone to sit down: “Tonight this fire destroys not what we are, but simply burns away all that we are not. You can leave now… And wait for the Phoenix to rise for those among you who are wealthy, worthy…”
After leaving the compound, the attendees gather around with no-one really sure what to do, if it really is all over. Darren and Sabrina are nowhere to be seen…
Darren is still AWOL the next day, with Clint posting on his Facebook page: “Dude seriously pick up. Not cool”. The community reaches out to both, expressing their concerns. A message appears on the forums from @clint-sears: “Darren is okay, he is not missing, just spoke with on phone… Everything is fine.” However, this contradicts private interactions participants are having with Clint. A second account then appears for Clint Sears on Facebook, posting cryptic messages and pictures of ancient artifacts.
Darren finally resurfaces that evening, checking into Biloxi, Mississippi, on Facebook – although this is quickly deleted. The following day, he posts pictures of him getting a tattoo and later, of the departure screen for a flight to Panama.
March 22 sees the encounter between Darren and Bryan outside the hotel. Darren is confused and appears to have no control over the events occurring. He references “them” taking pictures of him in Panama. After Darren leaves, Bryan receives a call from Noah Sinclair, informing him that “There are some things that are bigger than you, than Darren, than me…”
At a production of Annie Lesser’s (C)ovell on March 25, Julie bumps into Darren who tells her that he has been “removed” from The Lust Experience. Following Julie’s recounting of this the next day, @clint-sears posts to the forums:
“Darren and I have agreed to leave the project for a myriad of valid reasons that will have absolutely no effect on the quality of the show and we remain as committed as ever to The Lust Experience that we know get to enjoy as fans ourselves.”
The message is signed “CCS and DB”, which is unusual as the two usually sign off as CS and DLB respectively…
The Creators step forward, using a forum account, on two further occasions to address concerns over safety and an incidence of game jacking. Apart from this, no-one reports hearing directly from either Darren or Clint for the remainder of The Prologue.
On April 24, Jackie receives a phone call from a man named Marcos. In what seems very much like a customer satisfaction survey, he asks Jackie is she is enjoying The Lust Experience and what she thinks of Noah Sinclair. He is later revealed as an “investor”.
An interesting aspect of the early part of The Prologue is the appearance of “shadow” accounts on the forums. Clint Sears is not the only target; in the last two weeks of March, several participants see themselves mimicked by online doppelgangers who seem to point the community in helpful directions. Those targeted include Larry, Bryan, Buz and Meghan, as well as an account with the name “Mike Eaton” – an amalgamation of Mike and Russell.
iConfidant: “Tomorrow’s relationships begin with today’s research, technology and trust.”
Strange phone calls begin on April 6, with several participants being asked if they are in love or what qualities they look for in a friend. On April 12, they are directed to a new website, iConfidant.net, which offers the opportunity to “find your missing part today”. iConfidant is very clear that it is not a dating service: “For those selected to move forward they will embark on a friendship that transcends physical boundaries.” Anyone can apply; however, as the service is going through beta testing at the present time, not everyone will be accepted. Participants contact iConfidant, requesting more information, asking to be signed up, in some cases even sharing personal stories of loneliness and loss. Many receive responses from iConfidant’s founder, Stacey Erikson, either via e-mail or phone call. Callbacks are scheduled with several participants for 1pm on April 13.
The next day, from 1pm onwards, participants receive calls from Stacey’s assistant, Kristin. All calls follow the same pattern – the participant is asked to make sure they are somewhere quiet and to put their finger in their ear if necessary.
They are then asked 2 or 3 questions. Some are linked to physical sensations: “are you hot or cold?”, ”are you more aware of your teeth now?”. Some are similar to those used to determine a person’s identity for security purposes, mother’s maiden name, high school mascot, birthday, etc. Finally, participants are asked not to share the content of their call until 3pm and are told that any nausea they may experience will pass within an hour…
Following these calls, iConfidant posts regularly on their Facebook page, sharing interesting findings from research studies and heartwarming pictures and quotes relating to friendship. During this time, some participants report ongoing interactions with Stacey.
On April 21, many participants receive an e-mail entitled “CONGRATULATIONS”:
“I am very excited to inform you that you have been selected to move forward with iConfidant into our Beta program. The next step is a very simple, but important one. Respond to this email within the next 24 hours and follow these very simple instructions.”
Participants are asked to share their full name, three words that describe the saddest moment of their life, and one word that describes their relationship with their mother. They are then asked to submit a photograph of themselves with “the thing(s) you love the most”. Finally, they are asked for their cellphone number. Alongside the questions are examples given by Stacey herself: Erikson, Stacey; abandoned, isolated, cold; empty. She then shares a photograph of herself with her dog.
However, not all participants who have had previous interactions with iConfidant receive this email. Morgan contacts Stacey asking why he hasn’t been accepted when he has had several unique and personal interactions with both herself and her assistant, Kristin. Morgan receives a call back from Stacey almost immediately who appears confused as Morgan has been crossed off her “list” which led her to assume he was no longer interested in the service. She blames human error, more specifically her assistant, and promises to rectify the situation immediately.
Morgan then receives a phone call from Kristin. When she learns that Stacey has blamed her for crossing Morgan’s name off the list, she is embarrassed and explains that she has been thinking about him and that Stacey overheard her talking to someone about it. She offers to make it right with iConfidant then asks Morgan if he would like to meet for coffee…
Andrew is another participant who has had previous interactions with iConfidant and is surprised when he doesn’t receive the acceptance e-mail. Following Morgan’s lead, he contacts Stacey who calls him back. She tells him how happy she is that his wife has decided to sign up for the service (she hasn’t), but that following a review of his survey (which he didn’t submit) iConfidant will be unable to help him due to “ethical reasons”. This continues over the weekend as Stacey calls again to request Andrew ceases sending her “explicit and unethical” e-mails. When Andrew insists his innocence, Stacey says she will pass the case on to IT.
On April 24, Andrew receives a call from someone within the iConfidant IT department who confirms his e-mail address before asking him to hold down the R+L+N+Command keys for 3 seconds while on the iConfidant.net homepage. Later that day, Andrew receives more correspondence from Stacey as she shares with him some of the abusive e-mails purported to be from him. He soon notices the file name of an attached image within the e-mail chain: maddyxxxlogo.jpg – linking his imposter to Noah Sinclair…
The same day, Morgan gets a phone call from Kristin, apologising as “IT was compromised” and she had her phone and computer temporarily seized. They agree to meet for coffee the next day at 2pm and that she will be wearing a starfish necklace so that he can recognize her. Cut to the coffee shop and Morgan and Kristin get to know each other better, sharing how they came to LA and other personal stories. Several times, Kristin asks Morgan to repeat himself and speak more slowly.
Not long after parting ways, she calls him in tears: “Morgan, I’m so sorry, but I promise, they didn’t find what they were looking for.”
April 27 is a big day for iConfidant as participants begin to receive the first contact from their companions. Many reach out with a simple “hello” or an emoji, but a handful seem more chatty. Or maybe more human…
With so many strands left untied, the Prologue of The Lust Experience certainly leaves us with more questions than answers. Whether you’re a Sinclair insider, confiding in your iConfidant, or still waiting to see where you fit within this immersive world, only one thing is for certain: this is just the beginning…
Lust Registration Begins”
- Darren Lynn Bousman – Horror director DLB is outed as being behind The Tension Experience when “investors” feel that the project is not receiving enough attention. His creation seems to take on a life of its own as he is kicked off The Lust Experience in late March, following several strange interactions with participants.
- Clint Sears – Darren’s long-time friend and writer behind The Tension Experience, he supposedly posts on The Lust Experience forums as @clint-sears, although many are sceptical that this is really him. He is removed from The Lust Experience at the end of March.
- Gordon Bilejonic – producer of The Tension Experience.
- Noah Sinclair – Frontman of The System, Noah’s manner has a divisive effect on the community. It is hinted that he has a drinking problem, yet Sinclair Industries consistently claims this is untrue and that his erratic behaviour is due to exhaustion and previously undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes. He posts on The Lust Experience forums using the username @maddyxxx.
- Sarah Sinclair – COO of Sinclair Inc., and wife of Noah. She struggles to control her husband’s behaviour, but who she answers to is not clear…
- Timothy Sinclair – The son of Noah and Sarah, he has been referenced several times but never seen… His paternity has been called into question but Sarah insists he is 100% Noah’s.
- Macy Jones – First introduced as Sarah’s Executive Assistant, a rather unfortunate e-mail gaff leads to her dismissal. But Macy doesn’t take this lying down… We know that she has an ex called “Amber” and no family to speak of. You can follow her on Twitter and Periscope: @sinclairpayback.
- Otis Fletcher – Otis first appears at the Sinclair’s Focus Group as a janitor for the rented building. His Facebook page attracted a lot of new friends who loved to see pictures of Otis hanging out with his pets. Although there has been much discussion over whether Otis is really a part of this or just an innocent who has stumbled into our weird little world, he is hired as a driver for Noah Sinclair, confirming his role as a character within The Lust Experience.
- Timothy Granik Jr – No-one has actually seen Granik, yet. His existence is revealed in leaked correspondence which implies a less than appropriate working relationship with Sarah Sinclair. Although he is linked with Sinclair Inc., it is unclear as to his role in their affairs…
- Other names of note – Douglas Marrow, Brian Blattman and Melanie Aberdeen are all revealed as recipients of the email Macy sends to Melissa by mistake.
- Stacey Erikson – Founder and CEO of iConfidant. Friendly and empathetic. Has a cute dog.
- Kristin – Assistant to Stacey, potentially has a crush on Morgan, although the purpose of their coffee date is later called into question…
- Marcos – This investor makes himself known in a phone call to Jackie where he asks her how she is enjoying The Lust Experience so far.