￼￼￼Debussy once said that music is the silence between the notes. But for me the sweetest music has always been the silence between my ears, the silence I seldom get to hear above my clamouring fears.
What if the Illuminati really had developed a miniature electromagnetic implant that could, with a single pulse, resurrect all the memories you hoped would remain buried for the rest of your days? Would you feel a little paranoid? Would you question your sanity? Would you find yourself once again parading down the street in your wife’s lacy lingerie?
I had a briefcase full of confidential documents, and suspicions as deep as an ocean trench. And I was on my way to see a man rumoured to know all there was to know about Coercive Persuasion.
￼￼￼Documents cross my desk. Some are more confidential than others. Some don’t even exist. But from the Eyes Only I’d read on Ryan Smith I had to concede his cover was impressive.
He’d lived in Texas all his life, was happily married, with a 20 month-old son and another child due in December. He spent his typical weekday responding to email, on the phone for one-on-one consulting appointments, planning/learning new topics for RapidWeaver Classroom tutorials, which he recorded late at night when the world is quiet and spooks come out to play.
He had a dedicated office at home, and used a 27″ iMac with a 27″ cinema display as a second monitor, and a Yeti USB mic to record. He loved working from home, despite it being a daily challenge not to leave his office and go hang out with his wife and son.
All very normal. Nothing sinister there. So why was he on the defensive?
“This is Dallas,” he said. “We do things different here.”
“Glad to hear it,” I told him. “Because ever since the Knights Templar absconded with my collection of Sacred Stacks, I’ve been unable to build a single RapidWeaver page.”
“You need a strategy.”
“I need my head examined. I think they’ve inserted an implant behind my ear and are tracking my every move.”
“The Illuminati. Opus Dei. Them.”
“You’ve come to the wrong guy. I’m just a simple—”
“I read your dossier, Smith. You were part of the PSYOPS team stationed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. You headed up the Frontpage Project where you sought to exploit the human vulnerabilities in website development. Your progression through the development platforms reads like a descent through the seven ditches of hell. Geocities to Frontpage to Dreamweaver to Blogger to Joomla to WordPress to iWeb. Then what happened?”
“I found RapidWeaver. That was 2005. Seven years later and I still love it.”
“It makes a nice cover story,” I said.
“It’s a self-evident truth. My own declaration of independence came in 2007 when I began offering one-on-one RapidWeaver training. I really enjoyed teaching Weavers users how to use the software, and wanted to expand upon the idea to reach more people at once. I spent the next 5-6 months figuring out all the logistics and building the RapidWeaver Classroom site, and then launched in May 2008.”
“You call them video tutorials, I call it digital morphing. You call it ‘teaching weavers’ I call it Weaver Thought Reform.”
Smith laughed. “Am I the one who thinks he’s being manipulated by the Illuminati? I don’t think so.”
“Yet you talk openly about F Patterns, Calls to Action, the K.I.S.S. Principle, A/B testing of content, and integration of social networks. That sounds like the Strategy of Mind Control to me. MK-ULTRA for RapidWeavers.”
“You’re right. RapidWeaver Classroom’s latest addition is an entirely new section of topics called Strategies. It’s included as part of the regular curriculum and focuses on web design principles, tools and resources that can be used to create more effective websites. When we have a better understanding of how people view our websites — how they interact with our pages and content — we can make improvements that produce better results.”
“Like I said, electroshock, drugs, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, and who knows what other fiendish types of invasive trauma.”
Smith regarded me strangely, as though a startling realisation had just occurred to him. I could see it take shape in his pitying eyes, the contemptuous curl of his lip.
“Let me put it this way,” he said. “RapidWeaver Classroom has been providing training to RapidWeaver users for 4 years now, and while most of the training has revolved around how to use all of the available tools, this new Strategies section focuses on how to use the tools strategically, to create more effective websites.”
“Sure. First you’ll brainwash them, then you’ll send them out as highly trained assassins to kill your selected targets. Admit it, Smith, RapidWeaver Classroom’s nothing but a front for the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence.”
Smith was smooth, I’ll give him that. He said, “I admit I’m excited to see what the training in Strategies will do to help RapidWeaver users improve their websites. I think this is an important new focus for RapidWeaver Classroom, and I’ll be developing this section with new topics, planned for release in the next several weeks.”
“I don’t get it,” I said. “Where does the Illuminati fit in? Where is RapidWeaver’s place in their New World Strategy?”
Maybe Smith didn’t hear me. Or he was in a trance, his mind in the control of his handlers, working out of some shady CIA safehouse overlooking North Beach in the Bay Area.
He said, “Strategies includes a section of tutorials on Google Analytics, with topics about creating goals and campaigns, tracking different kinds of referrals, and measuring the success of social media. Another section titled Effective Design Principles discusses a variety of topics, including the F Pattern, Calls to Action, the K.I.S.S. Principle, A/B testing of content, and integration of social networks.”
See? Spook terminology. What more proof did I need? MKDELTA, Artichoke, F Patterns, Bluebird, KISS Principles. What difference did it make? They didn’t even try to hide it now, that’s how confident they were.
“I’m especially excited about future additions to Effective Design Principles, as there are still many more topics I’ll be adding in the weeks and months to come. Although a dedicated SEO section is already included in Strategies, I’ll be adding even more to that section as well.”
If strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a vision, then RapidWeaver Classroom’s Strategies section made perfect sense. Knowing how to use all the available tools was important, but knowing how to implement them and understanding and analysing their effectiveness was perhaps even more important.
But it still begged the question: if RapidWeaver Classroom really was a front, how much deeper had the Illuminati integrated themselves in the RapidWeaver community? Was RapidWeaver Central — and by extension its newsletter — also little more than a covert vehicle for the dissemination of a lunatic’s mad ramblings and insane ideas?
Well, that may be a little far-fetched.
But I couldn’t deny there were black holes in my memory where recall feared to tread.
And I was losing days like some people lose fingers down the waste-disposal. Where did I go, what did I do, and on whose behest? Perhaps all would be revealed in the next mind-boggling episode.
“Look into my eyes…”
Ryan was standing over me, his deep, rich voice burrowing stealthily down through my auditory canal, deep into my cerebral cortex where I could sense it laying its eggs there as though a zillion nano-timebombs now ticking my life away.
“Your eyelids are very heavy…”
“That’s just the way I look,” I said. But he was right. Fatigue loomed like an inbound tsunami.
“You are feeling very sleepy…”
“No, seriously, I found our talk very interesting…”
“When I snap my fingers, you’ll awake refreshed and as stupid as ever…”
And it was true. I did.