Several months before Ascension’s launch participants were led down an immersive rabbit hole that slowly revealed the Institute’s mysterious origins.
Below is a broad outline of the The Tension Experience: Indoctrination so far… Click within each post and educate yourself on our history.
Only by understanding the past can one uncover the future.
thetensionexperience.com appears and informs users that registration will be open in the near future.
Code within the site leads to a phone number, those who call are asked to schedule a consultation with the “OOA Institute”.
Those with scheduled appointments are sent directions to an open warehouse where they receive an unusual and intense interrogation from a member of the Institute who refers to them as initiates. He appears to be probing their belief systems and implies that the Institutemay have much more to offer if they are open to a new way of understanding the world around them.
Bob Jones, an investigator, contacted several fans of the tension experience’s facebook page for an in person meeting. At these one-on-one meetings mr jones informed the fans that he believed the tension experience and OOA Institute was the newest iteration of the “Church of Anoch”. He has been attempting to track them down after investigating a series of arson deaths and fraudulent life insurance claims from years earlier. According to the fans he spoke with, Mr Jones required them to record a video where they denounced all ties to Anoch and the Institute. Mr Jones later contacted the fans and claimed to have been mugged. The videos appeared on the tension experience website where the fans allege that their statements were re-edited to appear to be endorsements for Anoch and the Institute.
Initiates receive a welcome letter from the OOA Institute. It warns that only those who look within shall find enlightenment and promises that “sacrifice of the oracles” shall bring forth illumination.
Several more consultations take place for those who have contacted the Institute. They occur at a local library where an older gentleman asks the participants to fill out an extremely personal and invasive questionnaire.
Registration begins and includes an extensive questionnaire.
Informational OOA Institute recruitment flyers show up on various social media platforms. They are printed and distributed by forum members.
Forums begin on thetensionexperience.com and a passionate community forms around sharing experiences, information and theories with one another.
Several active members report receiving mysterious and encrypted messages that include personal details from their questionnaire and digital footprint. Reports of these messages in the form of e-mails, phone calls and social media chats continue to this day and often give further details of the OOA Institute and its mysteries.
Gatekeeper 5, a uniquely distinct and authoritative figure comes forward and brings guidance to the initiates. He urges everyone to “find their center” and prepare for the new dawn.
Gatekeeper 5 sends out a letter to congratulate everyone on becoming apostles of the new beginning while simultaneously warning of betrayers of truth that may try and lead them from their path. This was quickly followed by an OOA Institute newsletter where Gatekeeper 5 strongly encouraged community and helping others on their path toward the light.
A video is uncovered from the Institute that dates back to 1988. In it, Rosemary Luther recites what sounds like vows as she is guided by another man just out of frame. In the end she appears to inflict her own blindness yet seems euphoric and claims to be able to, “finally see.”
The Omega Council is introduced and allows members to report detractors who they feel are acting against the Institute and are betrayers of truth. As players call out one another as liars (some, seemingly, by the Institute’s command) they become distrustful of each their own community causing the forums fall into chaos with anger and confusion.
In Gatekeeper 5’s final address he explains that this chapter is over and encourages everyone to realize how simple it was to disrupt their community with fear and distrust for their fellow members. He suggests that perhaps our political parties, our hot topic cultural talking points and even the brands we buy are all designed to create the illusion of choice. He states that he is off to receive his final reward, that the real enemy is fast approaching and finally, that Gatekeeper 4 is now awoken.
Due to his habitual promotion of the OOA and helpful hand within the community, Michael Fontaine is promoted within the Institute and as a Scribe in the Archive Of Knowledge.
The forums and the facebook page are temporarily hacked by a collective that goes by both the names the Brotherhood Of Seraph and Sentinel.
The first of several promotional videos appears. They all include hidden messages, odd photos of initiates, references to forum discussions and personalized messages to the most active members.
The most active members are selected and taken to a warehouse where they were hooded, asked to hand over their cellphones, warned about the dangers of giving up your digital privacy to strangers and then forced to face themselves in the mirror while answering intense, personal questions about who they were and why they were participating so blindly.
Gatekeeper four arrives on facebook: “LOOK! Look, at this IMPORTANT THING… seriously, please like and share it, because it signifies WHO and WHAT I am! Enjoy the temporary and fleeting superiority of other people absentmindedly agreeing with you! Go on, SHARE, seriously, this is how we can measure our ENTIRE worth: your thumbs up and a nothing action from semi-strangers! Good for me us and you – living our lives and feeling VALIDATED because some Neanderthal paid enough attention to me to momentarily make ME feel special! ~four”
Gatekeeper Four continues to disrupt convention as her newsletter features stream of consciousness prose, unusual insights and ominous messages regarding the OOA’s enemies, most notably the investigator Robert Jones.
Addison Barrow a long time point of contact for the OOA is brought up in a derogatory forum post by a person describing themselves as mark. It is assumed he has ties to the B.O.S. & Sentinel. he is apparently trying to rescue Addison who is a former lover. Gatekeeper four seemingly changes his words, insinuates that he was a former member named Benny and states that Addison is a willing and happy participant. Several members are subsequently seen passing forum messages back and forth between the Addison and Benny, they appear to display regret from both sides. Soon after, forum member Electric Hippo chooses to join them and begins her own unique path.
Melissa K and Sean R are promoted to the new role of Sentry because of their continued support of the community and their spreading of the OOA message.
Both reporters and players fall victim to Gatekeeper four’s rage and her “ban hammer”.
Gatekeeper four delivers a video message. In her own unique way she asks once again why you are here, questions what our digital lives mean and ponders who is really in control of you.
Members on their way to an OOA event report being intercepted and taken to a hotel. There they meet Addison Barrow’s parents who explain that Addisonbecame involved in the OOA through her boyfriend benny and eventually lost all contact with her family after the first time she described using a strange helmet that made it hard for her to concentrate. They want Addison back and ask that the members help in any way that they can.
The Institute throws a party… The most active forum members gather to an invite only OOA mixer where they are able to meet Addison Barrow in person for the first time. She and the OOA attendants give each participant several one-on-one encounters and some find themselves whisked away upstairs where they are placed in a hood, a helmet is put over their heads and are interrogated by Gatekeeper four in person. She was reported to be looking for specific information about the OOA’s enemies or for details on something very important that was about to happen. Downstairs the attendant’s change into ceremonial robes, mike fontaine, the Scribe, gives a speech and the Sentrys are honored. The attendants’ leader then describes that they will be disrobing someone, when that person turns out to be Addison a man claiming to be her father, that was seen at the hotel, bursts in, threatens to expose the OOA and tries to retrieve Addison. He is knocked into a wall by security and escorted out. the event is comprised and everyone is asked to leave.
A facebook message from the OOA indicates that they are not done with Addison or her family. Addison is then seen on a live periscope video where she sits alone in a warehouse, pictures of her family are thrown onto the floor, she gathers them and places them in an envelope. The OOA sigil is then drawn in blood on top of the envelope.
There is nervous chatter amongst the OOA to members in private channels that suggest Gatekeeper III is not what they were expecting, members report that the Institute sounds terrified. When Gatekeeper III finally introduces himself on the forums in a soft spoken and awkward manner the Overseer, a long time official OOA guide, tries to interpret his message. Gatekeeper III replies that he “did not like that” and that Overseer is “gone now”. The Overseer has not been heard from again.
A live treasure hunt ensues when a new periscope shows an envelope being placed in a park. Inside is a farewell letter from Gatekeeper four stating that she has “her”. She also makes mention of the helmet confusing her. She promises to one day return. The letter is also marked with handwritten notes and alludes to a higher level of power than previously known. One of the notes mentions if three is ready…
Addison is shown on another live periscope burning the envelope, looking off frame and then saying, “four, i am ready”.
The forum is told that they are allowed to ask three questions and that Gatekeeper III will answer two of them. The answers are presented in a live video treasure hunt once more and revealed to be documents that explain the structure of the OOA Institute, information regarding the first Gatekeeper – 242 and Gatekeeper 8, who reinvigorated the Institute in California amongst actors, filmmakers and other influential pop culture taste makers.
Aleister Gordon, the long time Institute liaison asks several members to attend a clandestine meeting at a seedy bar. While there an actor is reported to have made the participants call one of their contacts from the forum and read a prepared dialogue, the actor then explains that he was once hired by the Institute to make various commercials but soon found himself off-put by the demands that he make increasingly disturbing personal phone calls, just like the one they participated in, to real people. He appears to be fearful of still being watched by the Institute and cuts many of the meetings short.
After piecing together separate events and stories many forum members begin to suspect that Aleister Gordon may have ties to the OOA’s enemies, Sentinel and brotherhood of seraph. Their suspicions appear to be confirmed when Aleister makes a few last minute terrified messages to members and is subsequently threatened by Gatekeeper III with a forum update that states “a.g. i know what you are. Run. It will be more fun.” Aleister Gordon has not been heard from since.
The man claiming to be Addison’s father, Tom Barrow, contacts Morgan by phone and states that he has received news Mark has been involved in “an accident that appeared to be self inflicted”. Together, russel and morgan decide to release the information and state that they hope this will not have a negative affect on Addison.
Gatekeeper III seems delighted by some of the more vitriolic responses to Mark’s post and after benny appeared to give up he congratulates the group and immediately uploads the latest OOA brochure featuring the community’s most active member’s smiling faces with the headline, “Does This Look Like a Cult To You?”
Addison’s former lover Mark (aka Benny) posts a desperate message on the forums promising to burn the OOA to the ground while explaining that Addison is no longer contacting him and pleading for help in getting a message to her. He is met with a mixture of support and hostility..
Gatekeeper III became frustrated after being called out by the Scribe in the archive of knowledge, Michael Fontaine, for his lack of leadership and III appointed himself the new Scribe. There was a great backlash amongst the community as many rallied behind Michael Fontaine and turned against III. III ignored their pleas.
Gatekeeper four immediately reached out to the community with a new audio message: “you asked for my worst? while i am sorry to disappoint you, i am going to bring my absolute fucking best. And. She. Will. End. YOU.”
People begin receiving calls
that appear to belong to other players and friends
on the tension experience, but are in fact duplicated numbers
and coming from within the Institute
. III changes his avatar, takes credit
and announces he has just begun
“III no longer destroys for pleasure I have now seen this world… III destroys for mercy”
A periscope showing a picture of a statue in front of downtown Kansas City begins and its title suggest that forum member, Mustafa, “blow this whistle”. As the periscope continues the picture drops and reveals that it is actually being broadcast from the location and leads to a hidden letter.
Unfortunately the intended recipient is unable to retrieve the letter that evening so the Tension community rallies together, offers Uber cars, reaches out to friends in KC and places ads on different local Kansas City social media sites.
Later the next day Mustafa is delivered the object of the periscope by a local good samaritan. It is a photocopy of an email that reveals insider trading and coldly mentions the reallocations of a presumably dead character’s assets. Forum members recall that life insurance fraud by the Church of Anoch in the midwest is what set investigator Bob Jones on his path months ago. The email also states that they are enacting, “Plan B” but still hold out hope for “her”. The email is to Clockmaker 9 (previously shown as one of the highest ranks on the OOA organizational chart) and signed by a “Sam Bickerson” of The Oracles Security and Data Management.
A new periscope
with a title alluding to “arithmetic” shows four yellow roses and a letter being dropped near a park in Sacramento
. Regular forum member and audio engineer Morgan
realizes this is close to his home and sets out for the package
. Once found it is revealed to be a jump drive with a picture of Addison and, presumably, Gatekeeper four as well as an audio file
. Upon further inspection the picture reveals hidden information about Gatekeeper four
and the audio file has a hidden sonogram picture that displays the new math, “4-3=2”
Tension 2.0 is announced on the front page of the website. It claims that the previous creators of the Tension Experience have let the Experience become out of control. They ask that the fans let go of any previous narrative and prepare for a more mainstream and friendly experience. It denounces any allusions to digital profiling and brainwashing. The email is signed by Samuel Bickerson of Plan B Publicity.
Samuel Bickerson offers a Q&A session and insists that everyone remember that the characters were not real and that everyone forget the previous narrative. At particularly frustrating moments he appears to slip out warnings and curses in Latin.
Gatekeeper III marks his return with a blood stained letter and a post describing how HE leaked the email to call out those above him. He describes how he was held captive and turned the men against each other. III states that he would like to meet with someone in person and explain himself. A phone number is posted where participants can call in and state why they feel they are worthy for a meeting.
A new periscope video shows Gatekeeper four with Addison. Addison appears to be writing something in a daze until four snaps her fingers and suddenly Addison begins taking great caution as she places strange substances inside of a pill. She packages the pill in a bottle along with another letter and hands the package to four who writes, “four my very best” recalling her promise to Gatekeeper III.
Addison arrives at the door of a social gathering for members of the community and gives the party two minutes to send out a person they feel is best suited to handle a message from Gatekeeper Four. The chosen person is then given a car ride where Addison hands over several candid photographs of various people. As she does she tells solemn stories and personal anecdotes about their lives. Addison finally states these are all victims of Gatekeeper III. She hands over the envelope that Four had created with a pill and says, “The end of his life will save countless more in the future. Put this in the right hands.”
III announces in an unusually sunny E-vite to B.O.S. member Electric Hippo that she has been chosen to meet with him and it is time to find out, “where her allegiances lie”.
Gatekeeper III is revealed in person as Electric Hippo broadcasts their scheduled meeting. He wears a masquerade mask and displays constant, unusual behavior as he tries to explain his true nature. III feels he is someone who gets things done, a person who doesn’t ask for permission to act out his desires and he thinks that is why he rubs people the wrong way. His then says that the real reason why everyone is after him is that after finding clarity he tried to find anyone in the OOA who had spoken to or heard from Anoch. He claims he did not and that is when he decided that he would refuse to bow down to a God that didn’t exist. He then called the viewers at home all sheep before leaving to use the restroom. While he was gone Electric Hippo dropped a pill into his drink and when III returned he died in an elaborate over the top fashion before coming back and asking, “if they bought it”. He then announced that Kim being there was a signifier of the alliance between him and the B.O.S. He says that he now has an army of his own to take down the OOA and asks Kim to show the audience at home the real pill from Gatekeeper four. She does with a devious smile and the broadcast ends. Shortly after the III’s meeting several calls go out from both the BOS and OOA asking members to pick their respective sides and publicly state where their allegiance lies.
After a few threats back and forth between Gatekeepers III and four, participant Electric Hippo is further ingrained into the story when III requests that she witness their upcoming meeting.
Electric Hippo sends word that the meeting is about to take place but then disappears from the forums until the shocking events that transpired are later revealed in a rather unusual way…
Participant Cody receives an invitation to meet with Addison. Later he broadcasts a live Periscope video of meeting her in a park. She has blood on her hands and requests that he watch video.
The audience can not see the screen but Cody appears in shock as he watches the video play out. Cody is given a copy of the video that later reveals that Addison has killed Gatekeeper four.
Addison introduces herself as Gatekeeper Two and appoints Russel as the new Scribe.
Participant Buzz repeatedly tries to gain Gatekeeper III’s attention on the message boards. III finally relents and sets a meeting.
Sentry Sean is given a passcode to unlock a web camera where he broadcasts a live feed of Buzz and Three’s meeting. They appear to have a chat and Buzz leaves,
in a surprising turn of events Buzz is suddenly seen running back into the room and finishing off Gatekeeper III.
GatekeeperTwo begins broadcasting parables from the Book of Anoch which seem to relate to the current events occurring around The Tension Experience and Russell Scribe confirms this. In one of her videos she cryptically tells Regent 7 in German that she wishes to, “let her die a hero”. Regent 7 had been pleading with her to let him release her diary.
A Tension Experience panel occurs at ScareLA where “creator” Ellis Gordon comes out in public for the first time. He is a nervous man and soon becomes surrounded by Tension Experience “actors” who actually appear to be adamant believers
in the Church of Anoch. The panel is disrupted by OOA critics, including Addison’s father Tom Barrow, who throws the entire room into chaos when he casts judgment on the participants and the panel for what has happened to his daughter.
The ScareLa host in a moment of panic requests that they play the final video but it is revealed to have been hacked by the BOS.
The hijacked video contains a warning to the “creators” for not coming out behind the curtain of the Tension Experience and exposes them while also condemning the participants.
The last frame exposes Ellis Gordon as a real life actor and includes his IMDB page.
Participant Reid V is asked to meet Regent 7 in the downtown Los Angeles library. There he receives Addison’s diary to do with what he wishes.
Reid V decides to release the pages to everyone on the forum and encourages them to share the entries in creative and clever ways.
The diary reveals many things, not the least of which is that four had been torturing Addison while attempting to turn her into a Gatekeeper Two
and that four, feeling that everything had become corrupted, was planning to kill everyone below her.
Participant kingking33 receives an apparently stolen email from the ODSM to Clockmakers stating that they are fearful that Gatekeeper Two is a true believer, that she has the “Book”,
that they are afraid she is going to try and bring forth Gatekeeper One and that they plan to eradicate her.
Addison was seen being forced to leave in an earlier Periscope in the middle of a lesson and later appears on the boards mentioning that she is on the run. She pops up once more with a surprising post stating,
“THE OOA IS CORRUPT! I now truly believe that the OOA is one the most powerful cabals in all of our society. I have only barely scratched the surface of how far their manipulations run,
there are even rumors that Sentinel was originally created as a way to keep track of their detractors. Presidents, kings and emperors have all sworn allegiance to a corrupt form of Anoch’s words.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter because The One is amongst us. They are trying to kill me because I believe this. The One is not who they were expecting.
The One is not yet powerful, influential or one of their puppets. I know this and they want to silence and destroy me because of it.”
She then states, and later reconfirms on a video where she appears to once again be on the run, that she wishes to meet with ALL participants.