I’m sure many of you have wondered how things work here at Times and Seasons. The crack legal minds here have managed to thwart all attempts by independent journalists to obtain documents via the Freedom of Information Act, but for some reason they’ve allowed a relative unknown in their midst without performing a thorough and complete background check. So to repay them for their kindness, I’m turning Paul O’Neill on them and giving the inside story they’re so desperate to keep from you.
I opened my email inbox one day to find this cryptic message from Adam Greenwood:
We’ve been talking. We wonder if you’d like to do a stint as a guestblogger? Let me know, then we can work out the details.
Well, all of those “we”s were a bit confusing, so I asked for some clarification:
Are the voices in the head starting again? Or are you royalty of some small European monarchy?
To which Adam promptly responded:
We are not amused by your feeble witticisms. Off with your head.
Which I took as a light-hearted joke. Until he repeated the same threat publicly on Times and Seasons. The message was clear: don’t ask too many questions if you know what’s good for you. It was my first clue that something sinister might be going on.
I had a few weeks to wait before I got my chance to peek behind the curtains. It seemed like forever, but just as I was about ready to give up on the whole thing, I got the call. First, though I had to pass another test. Adam had sent me the wrong URL to the login page. This was not going to be easy, I could see. He must have suspected I was on to their game, so he made a simple “mistake” that would prevent me from discovering the truth.
Fortunately, I’m a level 5 hacker, so I was able to finally get into the blog without tipping my hand (the administrator’s login and password appear to have been “adam-god” and “zelph” although these have since been changed).
Having gained access, I looked around the place. The green room here is really nice. The decor is mostly toile, with one of those really cool wreaths with seasonal ornaments (ghosts and witches for Halloween) . The food service is terrific, with all kinds of cheeses (apparently some of the regulars get a bit crotchety if the Camembert is too runny), plus the requisite hot tea service (decaf) and six-pack of O’Doul’s (standard ever since Donny Osmond did his guest blogging stint here). The coffee table had a dogeared copy of Being and Time, a few back issues of Sunstone, and what appeared to be a first edition of Fascinating Womanhood rather obviously concealed inside a scripture carrying case.
As nice as the facilities here are, I couldn’t escape the sense of forboding that had been hanging over me for the past few weeks. I kept expecting to open a door to find the skeleton of some past guestblogger who had perhaps discovered a bit too much of the truth of this place. (Looking over the past guestbloggers posts, I find that at least one left rather hastily.)
Well, I didn’t find any dead bodies. In fact, things seemed to be quite normal. I was having a great time posting and responding, just like I would at any other blog. And then…
The real shocker came when I asked Kaimi to give me adminstrative access to the blog in order to fix a bug in the comment posting script. Included in his email to me was the following information:
8. I’ve just bumped you up to admin level on WP, so you should be able to work with the templates from the WP interface, if you want to do that. (You have to Chmod 666 them first, but most of the ones that commonly get changed have already been chmod-666′ed.) (emphasis mine)
I reeled. Is Times and Seasons a front for an apocalyptic Mormon splinter group? My investigations so far have been inconclusive. However, there are some clues. Recalling the bizzare Heaven’s Gate cult, with their belief that they were to evolve into higher beings after being met by aliens arriving on the comet Hale-Bopp, I looked back on some of the posts over the past few weeks for clues. Seemingly innocent topics like spaceflight, rare astronomical phenomena (a post which includes the startling revelation that Nate Oman is actually an alien!), and music appropriate for a long period of isolation lead me to hypothesize that the Times and Seasons permabloggers are planning to meet other aliens of Nate Oman’s kind and travel with them in spaceships to another planet. Is it a coincidence that Julie’s “delivery date” was moved to coincide with the appearance of the last lunar eclipse before 2007? I fear that the recently planned gatherings of T&S commenters may be an attempt at alien abduction. Only those with musical tastes compatible with the core group are in immediate danger. I’m trying to produce conclusive proof before it’s too late.
Also, there strong evidence that indicates at least one frequent T&S commenter is really a bot. You will be shocked and surprised to learn that….Hold on a sec, there’s someone at the door.