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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 1/2)
Source | Guestbook Note: Some answers were repetitive, but were not edited out.
Have you ever gotten into legal trouble by exploring the dark places of the internet? Like, "sorry, officer, I was only surfing drug markets and child molester forums for my next journalism piece..." Do you worry about that? Do you have to take extra steps to protect yourself?
I'm very careful not to go anywhere that it is illegal to visit. You will hear loads of stories about how easy it is to "stumble upon" child porn, but the fact is that those sites usually have names like "Preteen cuties" so you know exactly what they are, and in order to access them you have to register. So you have to make a very deliberate choice to log into them. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing any child abuse material, so I don't go into those places. When I was researching The Darkest Web, I went to the discussion forums that didn't allow any images (though they did link to sites that did), and even there I turned off images.
As for the drugs, weapons etc, there is nothing illegal about surfing them and looking around.
I do get a bit nervous every time I visit the US, especially when I was invited to a "friendly" lunch with Homeland Security once (it was reasonably friendly as it turns out, it was also terrifying)
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Why did homeland security want to talk to you?
They said it was about the murder-for-hire stuff, but some of the questions leaned toward something else
Is there anything that really concerns you about the dark web? Some of the things already discussed are beyond barbaric and that is only the stuff that has been found out about and been picked up by the media and your fantastic work. Do you think the public should expect worse and more horrific revelations from the dark web or is it just "more of the same" for lack of a better term and do you think the authorities are getting better in shutting this inhumanity down and catching the people responsible?
I am definitely not against people taking back their online privacy and I actually think that buying drugs from the darknet markets is a safer and more sensible option than buying them from the dodgy dealer down the road. However the one thing that is really disturbing is that the dark web has provided a place for child predators to find each other and form communities where they support and egg each other on. Imagine a few years ago, someone who was into hurtcore could never tell anyone else and would be unlikely to ever come across another person with the same perversions. Now it is as simple as finding the relevant site on the dark web. When there are suddenly hundreds of people who all think and act in the same way, it normlalizes what they are doing.
One of the guys who got caught, Matthew Falder, was a sadist who used to crowdsource "ideas" for torturing the children and teens he was blackmailing into doing heinous things for him online. But apparently he was a "normal" intelligent popular guy
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But how does everyone participate in those illegal sites without getting caught? You said in other comments that you tried to stay away from underaged sites because they were illegal. Can't they be tracked down, even with tor and a vpn? The thing that I don't understand is that even on the dark web people say you should stay away from illegal sites, but how are pedos not getting caught?
they are getting caught, but the way they are getting caught is through painstaking detective work, looking for clues in photos, befriending them online and getting them to reveal things about themselves (what is known as social engineering). It takes a long time and many resources.
I say don't go there because (a) it is illegal and (b) you really shouldn't want to go there
Iirc you attended the trial of the person behind the horrific hurt core website that was exposed a few years back. I was wondering if there was anything in particular that happened during the trial that particularly shocked or horrified you that isn't really public knowledge or talked about? Reactions from the judge or perpetrator during the trial etc. As I remember it the guy was a fairly young loner who lived with his parents but would probably never have been expected to be behind the horrific vile things which he was found to be. Also, how did you get into investigative journalism/writing?
I wrote in one of the other replies above about the little mute girl that has stayed with me. Also, at the insistence of the prosecution, the judge had to watch "Daisy's Destruction" which was a video of torture of a toddler. He put it off for two days and when he came back he was white. He didn't have the sound on, which is considered the worst part, but he still looked shell-shocked. I don't envy him.
I'll cut'n'paste re your last question: I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
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Thanks for the reply.. that really must've been horrific for all involved from investigation to trial and for all of the victims (apart from the scum responsible of course). I guess it would be naive to assume that the end of this site did anything other than drive this depraved community even further underground. That is the part which is really scary to me but I suppose all we can do is have faith that the authorities are always close on the tail. Thank you for your work on reporting on this and raising this stuff more into the public consciousness and making people more aware of what kind of evil still lurks.
It was the most disturbing two days of my life, made all the worse because they read out hours of interactions from the site where the children still had not been identified or the predators caught.
Hurt2theCore was not the last site of its kind and there are still hurtcore sites to this day on the dark web. The one hopeful thing is that there are international task forces that seem to work together really well (unlike when it comes to drugs and every law enforcement agency wants to take the lead and they all withhold info from each other). There are a lot of resources allocated to identifying predators and their victims. Sometimes this has involved some very controversial tactics, such as taking over the sites and letting them run, so that they can use social engineering techniques to identify those who are using the sites and who are actually abusing children
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So daisy's destruction is real? Was it referred to by that name court? I always thought it was a myth
Yes, Daisy's Destruction is real, it was referred to by name in court and the judge had to watch the 12 minutes of it that were hosted on Hurt2theCore.
The "myth" part is that it shows a murder. The toddler, Daisy, lived, though she suffered such horrific injuries she will never be able to bear children. Hopefully she was young enough that she will grow up without the memory.
However, Scully did murder at least one child, whose body was found under the floorboards of his house. it is not known whether he filmed her murder as no video evidence of it has come to light.
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Thanks for answering. I actually watched a really good video on Hurt2theCore on youtube once, I think it was by a guy called Nexpo. It was really detailed and informative about the whole case - I forgot those details. Thanks again for replying, this AMA is really informative!
I think I recall that one, it was from a few years ago.
An excellent podcast that came out recently is "Hunting Warhead", highly recommend a listen. It is a tough listen, but exceptionally well-told and respectfully handled
How do you detach yourself from your work? I'm an investigator for a law firm and I've had a lot of difficult working on wrongful death cases recently. Also, how did you first end up getting published? Any tips for people interested in that field? Thanks!
I don't detach. When I was researching hurtcore, it was harrowing and affected me deeply. Writing that part of the book was a very slow process because I just couldn't be in that headspace for very long at a time. Once the book was written I didn't go back there.
I already had a reputation as a blogger and a freelance journalist when i pitched my book on Silk Road. I got an agent and it was auctioned off, with Pan MacMillan getting the rights. At the time, Silk Road was still going strong, and the book I wrote was about this new frontier of drug dealing that was changing the world. I was writing it "from the inside" as I had been an active part of the community for two years. However, right as I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher, Silk Road was busted and Ross Ulbricht arrested, so i had to quickly change the narrative to a "Rise and Fall" thing!
How many times have you approached law enforcement with information and how many times has the approach resulted in action? and... are there times where you know something nefarious is happening but history and the evidence at hand tells you it's not worth the effort?
There is no point in approaching law enforcement to say "I have come across this site". If I've found it, you can guarantee law enforcement has found it as well.
The only time I've approached law enforcement was when I had information that they did not, which was when a friendly hacker provided me with a back door into the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire site. I got to see all the messages and orders etc. Of course LE knew about the site, but they did not have the details of the people who had hits taken out on them. We tried desperately to tell police in several countries that real people had paid real money to have other real people killed, but they just weren't interested. We sounded like crazy people talking about dark web hitmen, who were scams anyway and nobody was dead, so why should they be interested? They became much more engaged when one of the people WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TOLD THEM ABOUT later turned up dead
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By law enforcement, do you mean only local or else the big agencies? I feel like I wouldn't tell my local police department because they wouldn't really know what to do. It would have to the the bigger agencies.
FBI in US. NCA in UK. AFP in Australia. Nobody was very interested, although the FBI did visit at least one of the targets to let her know she was a target. She still wound up dead
What are some of the most prevalent uses of the dark web that AREN'T all shady and nefarious?
We might be getting into semantics here, but people use Tor, which is the most possible darknet that is used to access the dark web, just for private browsing and ensuring that commercial interests aren't following them everywhere to bombard them with ads for some thing they looked up.
Some of the news organizations have a dark web presence so that whistleblowers can upload information safely. Even the CIA has a site on the dark web so that people can anonymously tip off matters of national security.
Other than that, there are just forums, where you don't have to worry that every single stupid thing you post will be saved in posterity forever, to be trotted out years later when you run for congress or something
After everything you've seen, does anything surprise you anymore or are you just numb to it at this point? Do you think there should be more education/exposure about the dark web than there is now or would that just be counter-productive as people would just find another place to hide? I'm curious to hear any favourite stories about the Psychonauts.
I am not numb and I hope I never become numb. I really don't visit the horrible dark places very often, unless I'm researching something specific, and even then I don't look at pictures or videos. Most of the crime is pretty benign - I'm not fazed by people wanting a safer way to buy drugs.
I think there needs to be ongoing discussions about online activity and its misuse in general, but most crime still happens on the clearnet. The dark web is not nearly as large or prevalent as people fear.
For a long time, a dealer provided free LSD to anyone who wanted it for personal use (ie not sale) and to any organizations who were doing psychedelic therapy.
One psychonaut got busted and spent time in prison... only he still had bitcoin in a wallet and by the time he was released he was a millionaire. He would have just spent it on drugs otherwise :)
I know law enforcement has to delve into the predator side of the dark web. With what you've seen do you think it should be mandatory or an industry standard that law enforcement officials seek professional help? I couldn't imagine investigating that daily and not thinking less of humanity at some point.
I'm pretty sure they do. I worked for Legal Aid for a while, and i know there were pretty strict rules in place for the lawyers who had to defend child abusers.
When I was at the trial for Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, I met a cop whose job it was to watch all the videos and befriend the predators in an attempt to get them to slip up and reveal something of themselves. She said she had a little filing cabinet in her brain where she put all that stuff, and that making an arrest made it all worthwhile. She had made several arrests personally. She was a sex offender's worst nightmare :)
What’s one of your personal favorite investigations and what made it unique for you?
By far the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire case. What made it unique was that, first, I was provided a back door into the Besa Mafia site by a friendly hacker, so i had information that nobody else had. But then I became "friends" for want of a better word with the owner of the site, Yura. Besa Mafia, of course, was not killing anyone, but Yura made a LOT of money scamming would-be murderers out of their money. We entered into a weird relationship over the years where i would report on his activities and he would try every trick under the sun to stop me from doing so, so that he could keep scamming people. He even offered me a job, helping him, because he had become so busy. He also provided me with names and details of people who had hits taken out on them so I could pass them on to law enforcement.
It all became horribly real when one of the people who had a hit put out of them wound up dead. It wasn't Yura of course, but the guy had paid him $13K before giving up on the site and doing it himself. The thing was WE HAD TOLD THE FBI about the hit and the $13K and they visited the victim, but then put it into the too-hard basket when she couldn't think who might have paid that much to kill her.
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Wow. That’s actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an old saying. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
It's a seriously bizarre relationship. When I was hired as a consultant by CBS for a 48 Hours expose on dark web hitmen, he actually agreed to meet me in London. But he thought that CBS was going to advertise his site as the real deal and he got excited and sent them details of two people who had hits put out on them. CBS sent them straight to the police and very shortly after two arrests were made and it was all over the news, where they called his site a scam. Yura got so pissed about it, he never turned up to our meeting. They had even hired an Academy Award-nominated master of disguise makeup artist to disguise him!
are "red rooms" actually a prevalent thing, or just a widespread misconception or rumor? I ask in part because it's very easy to see, for instance, Mexican cartels dismembering people alive, etc, just on the clearnet. Hell, a couple days ago I saw a video posted of a cartel member cutting out a dude's heart while the guy was alive, and he ATE it. He fucking ATE it. So it seems plausible...
The most popular myth of all is Red Rooms, where people – usually women – are tortured to death live on camera while those who have paid to watch type in torture commands in a chat box. Think the movie Hostel, with webcams. In this sense these have never been proven to exist. I get where you are coming from with the cartels, and the recent news item where they found those shipping containers set up with torture rooms freaked me out and made me wonder!
There is some truth to this rumour, but the execution is not like you see in the movies. Most notably, because it involves children, not adults abused on demand for paying pedophiles, but not to the point of death
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The news about those shipping containers really made me speculate, since for every one person who gets caught doing something evil, there must be at least several more people who are very honed in their 'profession' doing the same evil deeds and worse, yet who evade being captured for decades. Anyway, based on morbid things I've seen, karma comes around eventually...
I know, right? It really freaked me out, and then when I read that they already had intended victims for them but the police got to them first and put them in protected custody.. IMAGINE SEEING THOSE PICTURES AND KNOWING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THEM!! I would retire to a deserted island somewhere
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Your line of work could easily result in something like C-PTSD down the road a little ways. I have a morbid curiosity, and have seen worse than those shipping containers had to offer. I'm sure you have as well. So one more question from you, if you don't mind: what are some proactive approaches to mental health you take to safeguard your sanity?
A lot of wine. Cuddle my dog
Hi, there! This has been fascinating to read; thank you so much for sharing! I'm curious: why do you think so many people who don't want to engage with disgusting and illegal content like hurtcore find it so interesting to read about? Do you have any insight into your readership and the ethics associated with reading about these kind of topics?
I think morbid fascination with the dark is exceedingly common - just look at how many people can't get enough about serial killers! In some ways it is probably a self-defense mechanism - the vast majority of true-crime readers are women. People like to be armed with knowledge. We also like to be spooked and scared.
As for my books, I don't really go into much gory detail, but the horror still shines through
Out of all 9-5 jobs out there, why this? What’s your motive?
I got disenchanted by being a lawyer and I had wanted to be an author since childhood. The lawyering put me in a strong enough financial position that I could quit to do a uni course for a couple of years. My plan was to become a best-selling novelist, but my first chick-lit novel was nothing special. However, during the course, I found I did really well at journalism and was soon making a living as a freelance journo before I finished the course. My first major feature was on the Silk Road drugs market, which I had discovered thanks to a friend who was using it. Once I got in there I became fascinated by everything about it and started contacting the owner, users, vendors etc asking for stories (I was upfront about who I was). I began the first serious dark web blog - allthingsvice.com - and also became the go-to freelancer for Australian dark web stories. Then I pitched my first book and got a healthy advance for it.
I like working for myself, working from home and delving into things. Right now I have my dream job (though it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more. I'm certainly not making anywhere near what I used to make lawyering, but I make enough to get by and I live pretty simply)
Did you ever do any writing on Brian Farrell and his role in Silk Road 2.0? I was Brian's cellmate for all of 2017 at Sheridan Federal Prison and heard all of his crazy stories. Was just curious as to the validity of them all.
DoctorClu! I did write briefly about him in Silk Road, but it wasn't all positive. I remember being frustrated by the shitshow that was Silk Road 2.0 in the beginning, right after SR1 shut and when DPR2 took off and Defcon got all dramatic. It settled down after a bit and lasted a year, when it was revealed THEY HAD A FUCKING UNDERCOVER HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICER ON STAFF THE WHOLE TIME. But yeah, anyhow, they are probably true. I'd love to hear them :)
Was there ever something on the dark web that made you surprised ( in a good way) and smile ?
So many things. Back in the day of the original Silk Road, I became obsessed with the forums, the people behind it, the intelligent discourse about the War on Drugs and philosophy. I found it amusing that drug dealers ran sales and giveaways. There were book clubs and movie clubs.
One of the most important people from that era was Dr Fernando Cauevilla, who became a member of Silk Road as "DoctorX". He was a real doctor who provided genuine, free, non-judgmental advice about drug use to the members of the site. It was quite an amazing time.
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Did Ulbricht get taken down the way we were told in the news? What happened to all the Bitcoins?
His arrest went down the way we were told in the news. How they located the server has never been disclosed (other than a fanciful explanation that NOBODY could believe). This explanation may be tested if Variety Jones runs a Fourth Amendment argument at his trial
The bitcoin in the wallet on Ross' computer was auctioned off by the Feds. He may have other bitcoin wallets stashed somewhere but nobody knows
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Book/movie clubs on the silk road?
Yeah, they would set reading and then everyone would come back and discuss the book, or they would have a time when everyone watched the same movie at the same time and chatted about it in real time
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Haha that's amazing! I don't suppose you remember any of the books in question?
They used to be a lot of philosophy books, especially on agorism. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men was one of the books. I remember V for Vendetta on a movie night
You don't seem to be pushing your most recent project and you're actually answering all the questions people ask, so I've got ask...are you some sort of government plant meant to destabilize reddit? This isn't how AMAs are supposed to work. You come in, you half ass a few questions, hawk whatever you're here to hawk, and then leave after 20 minutes. That's how it's done.
lol I'm a genuine redditor from way back, and I love talking about the stuff I do. I did find that after I answered a question in an AskReddit thread a while back that blew up, the sales followed. But that was organic and I don't think you can force it to happen - Reddit can spot that a mile awy
What are some of the best things about the dark web? And can anyone get on it? Things you can buy that you can’t buy normally online?
I really enjoy some of the forums, especially the psychonaut forums where people who like to trip on psychedelics get together and talk drugs and philosophy. There's a real "be kind to one another" vibe.
Getting on the dark web is easy, but not getting scammed when buying things takes a lot of homework. Yes, you can buy most things, but the most popular things are drugs and digital goods, i.e. things that depend on repeat custom and are easily transferable from seller to buyer
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You're doing the Good Work my man. I'd give you one of those awards if i knew how
What would you define the word "Safe" when it come to the internet (both www and dark web) world and are there any tips that I should follow to keep myself safe?
It really depends on what YOU mean by safe. Tor, which is the darknet that provides access to the dark web will keep you safe from prying eyes and surveillance.
If you mean keep your information safe, the old-fashioned advice is to never reuse your password and to enable 2-Factor authentication wherever you can. Your information is quite likely somewhere on the dark web thanks to high-profile hacks of major organizations, but provided you don't re-use usernames and passwords, you really don't have to worry too much about it.
If you mean keeping yourself and/or any kid safe from predators, the only thing is to ensure you are educated about the approaches and methods they use.
Has Covid affected the Dark Web in any real way? Also I just read through all of the post comments, what incredible story’s. I would totally buy a book about the Silk Road or Yaru!
re covid on the dark web, here's some notes I made for an interview I did recently:
* when Trump first hyped hydroxychloroquine as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19, drug dealers on the dark web seized on the claim.
* Listings quickly popped up on the most popular darknet markets
* A vendor on Whitehouse Market sells 100 Pills for $90, calling it a “Miracle Drug For Coronavirus” and suggesting buyers purchase in bulk to sell at a mark-up locally.
* Another makes the dubious claim “This drug will help people to beat Corona Virus” There are 11 listings on Empire Market currently, although more than half are from the one seller, who is a well-known and trusted vendor on the site.
* There were also people claiming to be selling infected blood or plasma of recovered COVID victims
* The infected blood stuff is just bullshit IMO Just because something is listed doesn’t mean it is genuinely for sale
* There's been some claims to be selling vaccines
* At the beginning there were also loads of listings for PPE
* some just used it as a marketing tactic - “fight off the virus with edible cannabis” or “relax with Xanax” and others as an excuse to raise their prices
* However, sales are low compared to sales of other drugs on the site, so it is difficult to say whether it’s something that will really catch on
* It didn’t take long for complaints to come in and market owners to clamp down on anything claiming to be a miracle cure or vaccine
* users were discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic and requested markets provide health and safety information
* All the major markets forbid anything being sold as a cure for COVID. They flagged keywords and vendors would be told to take any listings down. They also put out PSAs telling people not to buy
* Monopoly: threatened to ban and.. “You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet - under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-19 as a marketing tool to peddle already questionable goods”
* It was a business decision. They don’t want anything that will attract attention or that might cause desperate people who wouldn’t normally use the DNMs to find their way there
* The idea behind DNMs generally is educated and responsible drug use. They really don’t want people dying - bad publicity and no repeat custom
* However the dark web is rife with scammers and people willing to prey on the desperate so there are still scams out there
* The only way I could ever see it becoming a thing is if there is a well-known potential cure/vaccine that is not being made widely available and could plausibly find its way onto the black market
Hi Eileen :) My question is about how you construct your Casefile episodes - I assume there is an extensive amount of outlining but do you write the final draft like a script specifically thinking about his voice? And about how long are they as far as - for example - does one hour equal 50-60 pages? Thank you.
I initially write them as if I'm writing an article or book, but then go back and edit them to be read out and yes, when I do that, I do have his voice in my head lol. One episode is usually around 12,000 words. It then goes to another editor who edits the episode to be even more "casefileaa' before it finally goes to Casey
Have you been exposed to things in your investigations that have made you second-guess what you do? If so, what has made you keep going back?
i've definitely had days where I question everything, but to be honest, I don't really hang around the horrible really dark places much. I did delve into the child predator forums when I was writing The Darkest Web, but I don't make it a habit to go there. The psychonauts are much more friendly
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To continue with that- have you clicked images, links that make you a suspect in certain scenarios?
Oh absolutely. Sometimes I go to a "Fresh Onion" site, which is a site that crawls all the .onion addresses (dark web URLs end in .onion rather than .com, org etc) and alerts you to any new ones. Sometimes they don't have any description, so you take a big risk clicking on any of those. The most dangerous button on the dark web is the "Random Onion" button, so I avoid that.
I'm pretty careful about what I click, but the moment something looks questionable I nope the fuck right out of there
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Have you ever felt that you may be a suspect whether it be ok a drug site, a pedo site, etc. Have you ever been contacted by someone regarding your surfing habits?
Well my actual surfing habits are protected by Tor, which means they are hidden from prying eyes, so no I haven't been contacted about them. I am very open on the dark web about who I am and what I'm doing there - I use the name OzFreelancer on all of the markets and forums. I don't go to the sites that host child abuse images - you can't un-see that shit and I don't need it in my head.
As noted in another reply, I was contacted by Homeland Security on one of my visits to the US and taken for a "friendly" lunch.
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Psychonauts are more friendly than most people. Something about regular mind altering experiences makes you want to be less of a cunt.
Yeah, I call The Majestic Garden a little corner of sunshine and rainbows on the dark web :)
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More about The Majestic Garden please? What is grown there?
It's a place where people talk about and source psychedelics - most notably LSD, the 2C family, DMT and MDMA. Talk about and sourcing harder drugs is forbidden. In fact the admins snuck in an autocorrect so that any time someone wrote the word "cocaine" it would post as "a raging hardon" :D
Do you fear that seeing all this stuff might turn you emotionally blunt? I'm not watching any of this stuff on purpose (even the clearnet stuff), because I fear that the more you see of it, the more normal it gets, and ultimately, the more it will fuck you up. To quote the movie 8mm... "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you."
No, I can't even watch "3 Guys 1 Hammer" in its entirety, let alone look at the really dark materials on the dark web. When I was researching The Darkest Web, going into the predator forums did the opposite of making me blunt. It was the shortest section of the book but took the longest to write because it was so emotionally draining
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I have to ask, what is "3 Guys 1 Hammer"?
It's a video of two teenagers murdering an innocent man with a hammer that went viral on the gore sites of the regular internet. It's truly horrible.
The teens killed over 20 people. I wrote about them in my book Psycho.com (excuse the plug)
I heard somewhere that you foster dogs. Is that something you do to counter all the terrible humans you encounter in your research - everyone knows how dogs are better than people. How many dogs have you fostered and which one was your favourite?
After my dog died I knew I didn't want to have another dog as I wanted to travel more. So I thought fostering dogs would be the answer as you give them love for a few weeks and then they go to their forever home. My first foster, Roy, was a big fat failure and now he lives here and sleeps in our bed and is the most spoiled dog alive
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Did you then just decide to quit travelling? I don't know anything about Roy, but I already think I love him.
Nah, he has family he can stay with when I go away, but any major travelling has been thwarted by COVID for now anyway. I'm in a hard lockdown city.
And I'm sure Roy would love you too, u/suckmyhugedong
Given how much you know about the dark web, what kind of crazy awful nightmares have you had? This could be a really good one. Thank you
Probably the worst thing was delving into the forums where child predators gathered. I never looked at any videos or photos, but just seeing their discussions sickened me. The one thing that keeps coming back to me came out of the sentencing hearing that I attended of Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, considered the most heinous website in history. In court they read out a conversation between him and an abuser who made videos of torture of the mute disabled child in his care. They were joking "at least she won't be able to tell anyone" . the abuser wasn't caught, at least by that stage
As an indie author, how have you sourced freelancers? Did you seek out those that have specific expertise or did you work with editors from your time as a traditionally published author?
I learned to do everything myself before I started outsourcing.
I work with a professional editor who happens to be a friend of mine from back when we did a writing course together. I've been doing my own covers, but now that I have some royalties coming in, I've engaged a professional cover artist from Reedsy to develop a brand and more professional-looking covers for me. It is the hardest thing to find people you really want to work with and who are in budget.
I still haven't got the hang of email lists, newsletters or a website - they are all in a total mess at the moment and I'd love to find someone who can do them, but again it is that problem of finding the right person who is within budget
is it true that most of the internet is in the "dark web"? if so about how much percent is it?
By far the biggest myth is that it 10x larger than the Internet. I mean, this should be common sense anyway, but it gets propagated by tabloid media all the time. It stems a lot from people using the terms "deep web" and "dark web" interchangably when they are different things.
The statement that 90% (or thereabouts) of the internet is hidden is true, and it is called the deep web (not the dark web). The 90% that is hidden is all those pages you won’t get to using google or any other search engines. There’s nothing scary about that – in fact it works in your favour.
The easiest example is your bank. The bank’s major page is available to anyone who searches the web (part of the 10%, also known as the “clearweb”). But once you log in, all those pages you can access that contain your personal details? Not searchable on google. Each one of those pages is part of the 90% of the deep web. Business and government intranets also make up part of the deep web. Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about.
The dark web – the hidden services available through Tor and other anonymising programs – makes up a tiny fraction of the deep web. A really, really tiny fraction. It is infinitely smaller than the clearweb.
Do you think human trafficking happens on the dark web? Last year (I think) there was a really bizarre story here in the UK about a model who was supposedly kidnapped to order, drugged and transported overseas by a group called "Black Death". The official story is that BD doesn't exist, and the kidnapper was a fantasist. Is it likely that humans are bought and sold into slavery over the dark web?
There are no slick websites with auctions for slaves on the dark web, but I have no doubt that human traffickers use dark web encryption to communicate.
(here comes the second plug for the thread) - I wrote about the kidnap of Chloe Ayling and the Black Death Group in Murder on the Dark Web
What ever happened to the plural of mongoose storyline? it seems like after he was arrested in the united states, his case just fizzled away. did you ever find out any more information about yuri after he cancelled the interview with a news program? what happened with peter scully's case? i read that there was a fire where a lot of evidence against him was held and it all went up in smoke. are there any character and/or personality storylines that you feel haven't been told or are still a complete mystery? eg. tony76
1. He is still in the MCC in NY and awaiting trial. It has taken a long time because he had terrabytes of information to go through and things would have slowed down due to covid. I understand he is running the Fouth Amendment argument that Ulbricht probably should have run in the first place
2. I last heard from Yura just a few weeks ago. He is still scamming. There are some more programs in the works about him
3. Yes there was a very convenient fire, but he still got sentenced to life and i hope he rots in hell
4. I am madly curious to know what is happening with the extradition of James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse”, aka "redandwhite", MAYBE aka Tony76. I would LOVE to know that full story!
the below is a reply to the above
Wow, this shit is a blast from the past. I used to love following the darknetmarket drama. Did you write about PoM and tony76 in one of your books? Ever since reddit shut down /darknetmarket I've been out of the loop.
I was in touch with PoM/Mongoose when he went on a posting rampage on MyPlanetGanja, then visited him in Bangkok prison several times. Wrote all about it :)
This may have been answered by a previous post pertaining to native language barriers to specific sites on the dark web, but in your investigations, did you come across content/pages/forums from warzones? Middle East, Burma, Afghanistan, etc? If yes, what was the most memorable bit?
There are loads of sites in foreign languages, but it is too difficult for me (a one-language numpty) to attempt to translate through AI, and it is not worth hiring a translator when they could just turn out to be Cat Facts
Safing team - What are your thoughts on so-called quantum-proof encryption?
Is it possible?
Are you planning on making it at some point?
This would put you on the map.
Google has let slip recently that they have a quantum computer. Many people believe it's "not there yet", and won't be for a long time. Here's a different perspective. Most people don't understand what quantum computers are. They probably just think it's next-gen or something harmless like that, because they simply don't have a category for it. However, for those who do understand what it is - in my case, I think I kind of understand it - find its implications completely terrifying and overwhelming. Emotions are a funny thing. If I were to take the average Joe on the street and explain to them about how data tracking works, they'd be absolutely horrified. For example, I could sit someone down and explain to them about how Google is invisibly present on nearly every website they visit. I could demonstrate this using uMatrix in real time. "Look! Here they are. (Click to the next website.) Here they are. (Click to the next website.) Here they are again. (Click.) Again." And when they first realize this, they are horrified. I've seen it over and over again, because I tell anyone who will listen. They are so horrified, in fact, that their defense mechanisms kick in. The most common defense mechanism is to simply shut it off and forget it. They'll say, "Oh well, what can I do about it? Who cares what I buy on Amazon? I have nothing to hide. I'm boring. I don't do drugs, I'm not having an affair, I don't break the law." But some have a different defense mechanism. They seek to understand it, in order to protect themselves. Here's a threat, so I have to "know thy enemy". These are the privacy geeks, who dive into this head first. You can see them on the privacy subs. They're trying to wrap their heads around it. But eventually, something happens to them too. Eventually, they realize that the problem is far worse than even their fears imagined. They become paranoid and take extreme measures. Some go very far down this road. Eventually, the paranoia leaves them exhausted and they reach their limit. They're spending half their waking moments studying it, following it, trying to understand it, trying to set their devices up with the latest and greatest thing that they think will protect them. The more stable among them eventually realize that their paranoia is toxic, and they realize that they have to strike a balance. They know they have to begin to pick their battles and make some compromises. They realize their "enemy" is too powerful for them. There is one thing, however, that people have come to trust. Encryption. If their traffic is encrypted, they "know" it's "safe". VPNs. The Tor browser and its layers of encryption. But quantum computers could change that. I understand quantum computers like this... Imagine a child at a sit-down restaurant with a kids' menu. On the back of that kids' menu is a maze. They try out one path, it reaches a dead end. So they go back and try a different path, but that too is a dead end. They keep trying paths until they finally get to the end of the maze. Computers perform calculations that work similarly to the maze. They try one solution, then another, then another, then another, until finally, they get the solution. The attempts are linear: one solution attempt after another. Think of movies where they depict a computer trying to break a password. They show all the characters in the password, and they're flashing through all possible characters. Then suddenly, one of the characters stops flashing. That character is a T. The next one suddenly stops, and that's a 4. On and on it goes, until all the characters are locked in place. This is how Bitcoin mining works, for example. It takes a LOT of processing power to complete a calculation that produces one Bitcoin. This helps control the supply of Bitcoins. (I wonder who's collecting these solutions?) But a quantum computer doesn't work like that. It's not linear. A quantum computer can attempt every possible solution at once. In the maze, it can attempt every possible path at once. It can crack even a very long, very complex password instantly. It can mine a Bitcoin in a moment. Snap your fingers. Bitcoin. Snap your fingers again. Another Bitcoin. One computer. Nearly instantaneously. A quantum computer could be powerful enough to break encryption in real time, no matter how complex. This capability is so powerful it blows the mind. And then there's DNA-based processors, which can multiply, which also allows them to try every solution at once. It just multiplies as many times as necessary. If quantum computers are finite, DNA computers could theoretically be infinite. I think. (But I won't pretend to totally grasp what we're talking about here.) A quantum-based or DNA-based laptop could theoretically be more powerful than all the processors in the entire world on every computer, including super computers and all the servers, combined. I have brought this up in privacy forums. The standard, defense-mechanism-based answer is, "But that's YEARS away! The capability just isn't there yet! Look at what the publicly-available information says about it!" But we're talking about Google. They have secrets, don't they? They're invisibly present on almost every website we visit. Their power stems from the fact that most people have no idea that that's true. How it all works is proprietary. There's a lot of guessing going on. No one knows for sure. But if Google has ANY secrets at all, wouldn't they keep the capabilities of their quantum computer secret? Isn't it kind of surprising that the public knows (and has already forgotten) that Google has a functioning quantum computer? So does IBM. What capabilities do these possess, which the public knows nothing about? I assume the capability is greater than the public knows. Right now, Google is "cooperating" with China on AI. It is publicly known that China has made tremendous advances in quantum computing. Connect the dots. A quantum computer, fully functioning, could break encryption in real time. With the resources Google has, especially when combined with the resources of the Chinese government, imagine what they could do. Google already has all the data. They could decrypt it ALL. And they could share it with the Chinese government, who I'm sure would be willing to pay any price for it. If Google is willing to cooperate on AI with China, where's their red-line as a company? What line will they say, "Oh no, we wouldn't do that. It would be unethical." China has actual concentration camps. Just like the Nazis once did. They put Muslims there. They force people to have abortions, repress religions, and even force some people to donate their organs. At least, there seems to be solid evidence that these things are occurring. This is a country ruled by sociopaths who seek to take over the world. Why would anyone ever trust Google to "don't be evil", when clearly they have no ethical scruples whatsoever? Google, as a company, is a sociopath. Completely heartless. They are willing to exploit people in secret and cooperate with the Chinese communist party and their military. Why? To make money. If that's true, what else would they be willing to do? I don't know if there is or even could be any such thing as quantum-proof encryption. I'm extremely skeptical, personally. But if it does exist, or could exist, then we need it. And we need it like 10 years ago. So - does it exist? Could it exist? Could SPN employ it?
My career isn’t always dangerous, but clients can be unpredictable
My name is Amy, and I’m what’s called a Computer Dominatrix. My clients are all long distance, we never interact face-to-face, and I have control over all of them. Some give me absolute control, some give me specific portions with boundaries. Some are married or dating, others are single. They all make use of my talents to give up control of at least part of their lives. When a new client contacts me, we exchange a few messages so I have some background about them, and I lay out what my services usually entail. I tell a few stories of what other clients have asked me to do for them, to help the new client select scenarios they would like to set up. Most of my clients have never had a Digital Dom before. So, giving them a few examples and options helps bolster their confidence. The usual set-up goes like this: my client installs some spyware on their computer that I control. It gives me the power to do things like lock their computer, see their screen, disable the keyboard, take over control of their computer, and get reports of what they’re doing on their computer. With this tool, I can perform my services. Some clients want me to watch their bank statements and shame them if they spend too much money or buy surprise things with their money as if I own the account. Other clients want me to monitor their porn usage and shame them for what they look up. Or, if I log in and catch them using porn, I should direct them to different porn of my choosing and force them to watch that instead. One even wanted me to try and break into his computer and install the spyware secretly. That was a fun client to work with. When it comes down to it, they just want to relinquish a little control over their lives. I understand where their desires come from, and knowing it helps me be a better Dom. Contrasting the fun times of my career, I’ve had a few mishaps and horrible things happen. I had one client sign up for my services. We messaged a few times to get to know one another before I agreed to accept him as a client. He was in his mid thirties, single, and wanted me to watch him look at porn and make random comments on the things he was watching. Really, not that abnormal for my choice of career. I had him sign an agreement that helps me avoid legal trouble if they try to report me for hacking (had this happen before), and we got started. I gave him the url where he could install my personal spyware, and he followed through. He only asked that I give him a little advance notice before I start watching, which I agreed to. Boundaries are important. I would check up on him twice a week, and send him a message before I did saying “I’m coming to check on you in ten minutes, you better be watching something good.” I would log in ten minutes later to the second and start either shaming him for his choice of videos or praise him for making the “right” choice. All of this was predetermined. Things were going fine with this client, and I balanced him with about 10 others. Being a Digital Dom makes it easy to spread your attention across many clients. Bonus if you can get clients from different time zones so they would log in at different times so you don’t have to multitask. I was about to check in with another client, when I mis-clicked in my software. See, my spyware (which I paid to be custom written after wishing for more features in commercial tools) lists my clients by most recently connected in one screen. When I add a new client, it can mess with the order of the page I am so used to mindlessly clicking through. I’ve since paid for that to get fixed and sort clients alphabetically, but this time I made a mistake. I clicked on this new client and connected to his computer. A gasp escaped my lips as I saw what he was looking at. I’ll leave that up to your imagination. It was some of the most fucked up porn I’ve ever seen. Involving victims of questionable age. And blood. If I could have slipped out of there, I would have. But this client requested a popup to appear whenever I connected so he would know I was there. That popup revealed my unexpected presence. Instead of panicking and trying to close the window, he calmly moved his mouse to the task bar and opened a text document. I was frozen while watching him type. I should have logged straight out, but I instead started to open a voice channel to tell him I was dropping him as a client. It was too much for me, and I decided to set that boundary early on in my career.
“Like what you see?”
He had typed into the word document, and the cursor blinked impatiently at me. I thought my voice would crack, so I took over the keyboard and typed back.
“I’m sorry, but I’m going to refund your money and no longer service you. Please uninstall this software and watch for your refund.”
He paused for a while, and I waited for him to respond once before I disconnected. He took too long, so I closed the window and took a deep breath while sitting back. I was feeling really disconcerted from what I’d watched. It wasn’t the first time a client had tried to show me illegal things during a session, but it always makes me sick when they do. I gave the reins over to another Digital Dom I have partnered with. We take over for each other if we feel ill or something. Just temporarily. I went to take a shower to wash out those images.
My computer started acting up more than a month later. So much had gone on since dropping that client that I didn’t connect the two at first. The computer would slow down for a few minutes, then resume its normal speed. I assumed it was because I hadn’t restarted in a while, so I restarted it. That seemed to fix the problem. When I had rebooted, the wifi slowed down considerably, enough for my roommate, Jess, to ask if I was downloading anything big. I had logged into the router to see if that also needed to be restarted when I noticed a device I didn’t recognize was connected to the wifi. I swallowed hard. RASPI was the name of the connected device. It had connected to the network three days ago. Some strangers' device was on our network. And they had to be nearby, at least within range of wifi. I immediately suspected that a neighbor had brute forced our wifi password and was now stealing internet. Before kicking the device off, I looked at the router’s traffic report. The device had a significant size of traffic in the last few days, but my computer used the most out of all of our devices. The device came in 5th place for most data used. It made sense that my computer was using so much bandwidth, but 75+ gigabytes in 3 days was excessive. My throat seized, and I immediately reached around to the back of my computer and unplugged the ethernet cable. Deep, primal panic set in. This was a very specific attack. It’s not the kind of hacking you can do en masse to install some ransomware or adware. Someone was targeting me or both of us. Someone who was willing to spend time brute forcing a wifi password and going after one specific machine on the network.
I called Lucas, the guy I hired to write my spyware for me, and filled him in on everything I knew. He knows perfectly well what his software is used for and isn’t weird about it. He agreed to take a look at my computer for a fee. So, trusting him as I have all my career, I installed a commercial remote desktop tool and let him connect. The moment I reconnected the computer to the internet, the router showed a spike in traffic again. I had him on a call while he worked, and I watched what he did carefully, trying my best to learn what he was doing so I could troubleshoot myself if this ever happened again. “Oh shit,” Lucas muttered. He had a traffic analyzer and computer process analyzer open on-screen. “Amy, I think you got hacked. Like, they’re downloading your hard drive!” “They’re what?!” I began to really panic. I had a lot of my clients information on this machine. Keys that let me log into their machines. Bitcoin Cash addresses and keys where I stored my fees. Now someone had them. They could easily start stealing and spending my thousands in accumulated fees and harass my clients. I’d lose a big chunk of my savings and my livelihood. Immediately, I took over the computer and shut Lucas out while I created new crypto addresses and started transferring money. The fees from transferring would make me lose a little money, but it was better than losing it all. I also started backing up the hard drive to several USB drives I had lying around. Just the important stuff like my files, personal photos, and client info. When I let Lucas back in, he got to work finding the process that was exfiltrating my data and shutting it down. He tracked down the executable that was running the show and downloaded it to his own computer before deleting it from mine. He promised to dissect it as best he could to figure out what it was doing. Before he did that, however, he started monitoring my system to make sure the virus had been truly cleared out. While watching my system, he gave me a task. “Walk around your apartment. Search everywhere and look for that rogue device. It’s been continuously connected for days, which means whoever is doing this is probably not camped out on the road. From the name, I’d guess it’s a Raspberry Pi -- a small computer about the size of a phone but two inches tall.” He sent me a picture of the type of device we were looking for. “They probably left it hidden somewhere, either connected to an outlet or with a large battery pack. Go and look for it,” he insisted. I got Jess to help me search the place top to bottom. Nothing. Not even outside in the bushes or on the back porch. We split up and went to our neighbors, asking if they’d seen anyone suspicious hanging around the building in the last week. No one on our floor had. I went upstairs and asked the same questions. Our upstairs neighbor said the only person he’d seen was a guy coming to update their satellite dish on the balcony. My throat seized up as I realized that could be them. I asked hesitantly if I could look at their dish. I didn’t know them, but briefly explained that someone had left a device lying around that was breaking into our wifi and that our next step was to call the police. They panicked at that, and let me check their balcony if I promised to keep them out of it if I called the cops. I agreed, knowing full well that they did drugs and would hate for the police to come around the apartment complex. There, on the balcony, was exactly what Lucas had told me to look for. A black box sat along the wall between the satellite and the wall the cable ran into. A power cord exited the box and connected to an outlet on the balcony. I cracked open the box with my fingers and found a circuit board inside, connected via usb to the outlet. The satellite cable passed straight through the box without connecting to anything. The box was a fake, made to look like it was doing something to the cable as it passed through. The circuit board looked exactly like the picture Lucas had shown me. There was our rogue device. I unplugged the device, fully aware that unplugging it would alert whoever was controlling it. They could assume it was disconnected accidentally, or they would think I had found it. Either way, I couldn’t just leave it. I thanked the neighbors and left with the whole box. Jess met me on the stairs, saying that Lucas had asked her to disconnect the internet on the computer and have me call him back. Jess stared in wide-eyed shock as I showed her what I’d found. The upstairs neighbors were well within range of our wifi for the device to connect. The job was only barely sloppy enough to detect. We were lucky I had found it at all.
On the phone Lucas sounded panicked. “They didn’t just copy your hard drive, they added files to it,” he squeaked. “Bad files. Bad pictures.” My jaw tightened, and I felt sick. I made the connection to the client I’d dropped. “Delete all your shit now,” Lucas was demanding. “You already backed up what you want, you need to destroy that hard drive. Smash it, burn it, bury it. Go get a new hard drive. Start as fresh as you can. I can help you get set back up if you want.” “I think I know what’ll happen,” I muttered. “He’ll call the police on me and tip them off that I have those… pictures. They’ll find it and arrest me for possession. Game over.” “He? You know who it is?” Lucas pressed. I told him about the client I’d dropped. “That’s why you need to torch your hard drives. Now. Both of you. Same with your phones. Who knows where else he’s been,” was Lucas’ advice. I won’t confirm or deny what I did with the hard drive or the device. If I destroyed it, it would technically be destruction of evidence. I ordered a new hard drive and reinstalled everything. I explained to my clients that I had lost internet connection for a couple of days, and didn’t end up losing any clients. I haven’t told the police everything. The last time I got involved with them, there was so much harassment from them about my career that I’d rather not have more negative interactions with them. It just isn’t worth it in this case. I kept my report short and simple: a guy I met online and dumped might try something and come to my house. I gave them the information the client gave me, but I suspect more and more that it was fake. Making a report will help if anything new happens. I’ve written about this before on other anonymous forums, specifically for other Doms. Because of those posts, a few journalists have reached out and are writing features based on me, my career, and these events. They should be published in the next few days. I’m just interested in sharing stories like this as publicly as possible, for awareness. Lucas explained that the Raspberry Pi was a tiny computer that had a cellular connection so the client could connect to it from anywhere in the world and try to break into my wifi. Once he had succeeded, the client had gone to work breaking into my computer and getting their malware installed. We still don’t know 100% how he did it. Lucas worked tirelessly to revise his software and remove vulnerabilities that could be used to trace me. We don’t know which vulnerabilities the client used, if any. We do know that there is one left, however. I know this because every once in a while, a client will show up in my software who I didn’t sign up. A new name and data every time. I don’t dare click it. I just know what will be waiting for me upon connection.
“Like what you see?”
Lucas hasn’t been able to track down how he’s injecting fake clients into the software. Until Lucas can fix it, all I can do is click carefully and not connect again by accident. I’m sure the client is using a modified version of my spyware, ready to do all kinds of damage the moment I connect. The guy is clearly an expert. Who knows how many other people he’s done something like this to. One thing is certain: he was prepared to conduct this attack. My career isn’t always dangerous, but the clients can be unpredictable.
There is a web of invisible slime that reaches out from the artificial traditions of psychological think tanks, like The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, whose roots trace back to the Vienna Psychology Club; a web that stretches across the entire world and inserts itself into your lives in intrusive, unethical and corrupt ways. Groups are deceiving you for a dollar, for a vote, for your personal information, for your labor; for your body and soul. This deception is carried out using every screen you look at, every song offered to you, every sign on a billboard, every popular book, magazine and newspaper. If you want honest information; if you want to see past the slime, you are going to have to look hard for it. If you are just starting down your journey of being cognizant of the deception, the scope is difficult to believe but well borne out by the evidence. We all know the news is dishonest, but the common myth is that it is for the ratings and for the views. The ways in which the news is dishonest is what is really difficult for people to swallow and the “why” still very much in debate until you understand the framework by which they operate. Systemic corruption is no exception to the march of modernization; more sophisticated than ever and more capable of staying hidden to the average person. Modern day slavers control the narrative and the reason it is a spiritual conflict between good and evil is because there are a very small group of people who believe that stealing your agency/free will/consciousness lends itself to their ability to become gods, in their own right. Understanding that the elite have deep occult traditions is important, though often scoffed at. However, to advertise their power and influence, occult messages are constantly and publicly advertised back and forth between these groups. It is no theory that think tanks have studied and implemented cult behavior even going so far as to create artificial cults in which to entrap people. Faceless, emotionless, unempathetic organizations that are merely constructed of words on paper are able to impose these cult tactics on you with impunity and in secrecy. This is the heart of the problem; when it comes to an organization, company, agency, church, etc., these abstract constructs are very much not human, at all. Their existence is alien and unknown to human instincts, who assign human attributes naturally and without conscious thought. These constructs take advantage of normal, honest, empathetic individuals by mimicking empathy, not by actually being empathetic. There are more slaves, now, than ever in human history and the methods of enslaving are far more insidious than ever. Modern slavery networks and the corrupt political ecosystems that allow them to endure are the heart of mankind’s problems. If we, as a society, were able to address the corruption that keeps these networks alive, then we, as society, would solve a lot of problems surrounding organized crime, in general, not just the problem human trafficking. How do we do that? It is very simple; “Zero Trust” policies in organizations and 100% government transparency. That’s it. A great deal of time, effort and money are spent making sure these issues never hit the ballot box and are never part of the platform of a candidate you are given the option to vote for. The movies you watch are constantly reminding you of dangers that allow a select group of idiots to maintain secrecy that is undeserved and clearly wielded for uses other than helping society. Common sense solutions are not prioritized by the media and politicians. Don’t be a part of the destruction of common sense and common courtesy. Stop taking the bait. Stop taking the path of least resistance. We are all guilty, but pushing yourself to be better and do better has a ripple effect in the world around you. Being a terrible person also has a ripple effect. There are enough bad ripples. The concept of an “epiphany” is an important one; where a person’s mind changes on a physical, neurochemical level to the extent that their world view changes. The moment a person is “red pilled” is an epiphany and it is very much the concern of media and Internet shills and their manipulative overlords because they do not want people to have the realization that the system is corrupt from top to bottom and that both sides of most narratives. But, if you do have that realization, there is a plan for you; to do nothing and sit idly by as corrupt forces continue their work. When you have an epiphany, the neurochemical storm actually is a moment where you are most suggestible and most ready to be manipulated. If you manage to raise your level of awareness across multiple narratives, the system almost doesn’t need to care about you, anymore, as they have likely already moved you to inaction and made you unwilling to tell others the truth. While there is a great deal of science that goes behind manipulating people, the tradition is as old as human history, itself; it’s origins, magical from the perspective of the ancients. Whether you call mass manipulation “hypnosis,” “psychology,” “magic” or “science,” the fact of the matter is that it is there in a more constant form than ever, impossible to avoid, and invisible to those who aren’t paying attention or willing to research and think for themselves. Like the idea of dark matter, you cannot see it directly (at least, when done well), but should be able to test and compare data data in different circumstances to detect it. There are many confirmed real world examples of mass manipulation that people should be aware of, because it is very easy for people to believe that it is not happening to them. Many say that is too big of a conspiracy to keep secret; though we already see how it works with a variety of leaks, court cases and plenty of proven real world examples. If you encounter this argument, you have probably encountered someone who is hypnotized into misunderstanding the word “conspiracy”, where a group of people work together to commit crimes. One easy way to create a consensus across media organizations is to enter into “non disparagement agreements.” For example, HBO entered into a non-disparagement agreement with Michael Jackson’s attorneys. A recent court case established that the agreement remains in effect even after his death. This means, with the right law firm, someone can enter into many unknown non disparagement agreements with many companies. It sounds weird, but this is like black magic. Occult literally means hidden. Secret words have been spelled out that the public is not aware of, but creates the illusion that there is a consensus about any given personality; like say a politician, a singer or an actor. A web of mutual non-disparagement agreements works as a form of forensic interruption, preventing people being held accountable for crimes. Between non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement agreements, there is a web of protected relationships where people, products and even governments are not allowed to be discussed in a negative light. This has created an extortion racket by the media. If you don’t buy in, then you are fair game. Not only are you fair game, they will harass you until you buy in because they literally need something to do due to their lack of ability to speak negatively about their cohorts. When you consider the nexus between government and media, the problem is compounded when you introduce the concept of keeping things secret for national security. Policy has created the circumstance that corporate and secret government interests are intertwined and they become aligned in keeping each other out of jail. While a lot of this is managed at upper echelons, the system is merely taking advantage of human nature, which is why the government and media should be operating from a “zero trust” standpoint and not the other way around, like it currently is. There is and never has been any reason to trust the media or the government, and doubly so when their interests are aligned. There are many proven real world examples. The first ingredient to modern mass hypnosis is saturation and repetition. Your first clue that the message is artificial is when many corporate, government and astroturfing battlegrounds all agree on the same thing. Not only is a contrived message oft-repeated, it is generally very polarized; where, due to cognitive bias, it is designed for consumption by both sides with the ideal result of making one side feel schadenfreude and the other side feel outrage and injustice. Just being aware of this polarization tactic and allowing yourself to have more nuanced opinions that the black or white ones offered up to you, is incredibly effective at not taking the bait. “Systems Psychodynamics” is the name of the psychological framework that is used to monitor and control people, primarily based on attacking and reforming “basic assumptions.” By controlling everyone’s basic assumptions using the repetitious push and pulling narratives, the levers of political and monetary behavior are controlled through “influencers.” This framework reads like it was written for social media, though, in reality, it is much older; social media merely enhances the effects. One easy way to detect the agenda and the widespreadness of the corruption, without even knowing the finer points of mass persuasion techniques, is to see what is censored. Generally, the astroturfing campaigns seek to drown out good information that is contrary to their cause. However, when you find some information that is very damaging to their narrative, especially before they’ve scripted a response, it gets removed. Eventually, they will write up a standard response, but this takes time. For this reason, I incubate a number of censorship experiments across multiple sites. While people easily get away with discussions about aliens and flat earth, conversations about modern slavery are shut down everywhere; particularly if you call people to action in reporting crimes. Sites that purport to be “free speech” will not allow you to openly hunt human traffickers and the “system” seems to hate vigilantes more than anything. Most recently, the censorship around Covid “truth” is heaviest. Censorship of doctors has been swift and totalitarian. However, because I see generally what gets censored, first, I knew this was all a scam from Day One. The first SARS COV 2 tests, up until March, were merely SARS COV tests. Very literally. The SARS COV 2 tests hadn’t been invented, yet. Explaining that the body produces the CR3022 protein (what the antibody tests look for) for all human affecting coronaviruses was heavily censored. Even now, explaining this basic fact that exposes why a great deal of testing is fraudulent, is struck from both Right and Left astroturfing machines. If you really want a rabbit hole to dig through, search the coronavirus pandemic bonds that matured March 23, 2020. Prior to that, the name “Eric Ciaramella” was one of the most censored things on the Internet. Censored, in that the information was deleted immediately. The motivations behind these multi-site censorship campaigns should have everyone concerned because it is consistently in support of Democrat and RINO narratives, politically, and always in favor of human traffickers. However, even the Q Anon group will censor you with a variety of tactics if you speak of certain things in the wrong way or mention the possibility that they, themselves, are part of an astroturfing outfit. Fox News still won’t give a fair shake to the Uranium One/Skolkovo/Troika Laundromat evidence and it betrays them as controlled opposition/ a limited hangout, since it would destroy the Democrats. Any “side” of politics you can be on, whether it’s fringe or mainstream or Right or Left, every group has limits to what truthful statements they will tolerate and the nexus where all the groups meet in alignment is when it comes to discussing modern day slavery and who is profiting from it. Simply removing content is very overt and complaining about it to those who do it will usually earn you a mute or a ban. Running a “brand” across multiple platforms requires conformity to social media company ideologies, or you will be subjected to any and all means of censorship. Covert means of censorship are also rampant. Upvotes.Club offers a service that not only promotes the content you want, but downvotes topics that run contrary to your marketing strategy. This is one of many astroturfing services. Shadow banning is another tactic that can be difficult to detect. “Deboosting” is common in social platforms, as well, where the number or type of viewers who see your content is limited. This breeds “echo chambers” across multiple Internet communities. Out of frustration and curiosity, I began experimenting with different ways to engage with the shill communities. Very often, their own tactics work quite well against them. Years into this push and pull with these groups, my best strategy has evolved to monitor them as they often telegraph economic opportunity and subvert them from behind a layer of complexity a shill script can’t understand and is unable to deal with. When I noticed Bitcoin was being heavily shilled, I saw a signal to buy early. This was the catalyst for rethinking everything I was doing. When I noticed that there was blatant fraud in the media about SARS COV 2, I noticed the exact same behavior I had seen before when I struck it rich with Bitcoin. I even went to my audience and said on a podcast, “the market will be back to normal levels in a month… six tops.” I bought the dip, knowing the numbers were fully overblown. My $TSLA experience has been quite enriching. Every day, in the stock trading communities, shills are looking to pump and dump stocks and groups are spending money to illegally manipulate the stock market. However, you can use different ways to monitor social media to detect potential pumps and dumps. If you start seeing the same thing show up on different platforms, among different known shill groups, you know someone has paid for a pump and dump. So long as you have a set, small percentage to gain, you can avoid the pitfalls and get out early. Right now, that is my “edge”, in trading. I don’t feel nearly as obligated to spread the truth to others, since I’ve realigned my priorities. These technological tools for being the first to news items, to new evidence, finding new ways of searching existing information; not only does it help you navigate past censorship, you can use it to make more “realistic” decisions about the world around you. Politics and the stock market are inextricably linked. To be informed on one, is to be informed on the other. When you begin to pull in more intersecting information, like “systems psychodynamics” and overall agendas of differing groups, you are expanding your knowledge and your consciousness so that your intellect has more of a real world impact. When you delve deep into ancient traditions, you will, eventually, learn of alchemy; usually the pursuit of endless wealth or the search for immortality. Day trading well is, essentially, modern day alchemy in that you are making money from thin air. Musicians transform what is in their mind into a product that can be sold. There are many forms of alchemy. Bitcoin is another great example of modern day alchemy. In my humble opinion, augmenting your own well-disciplined intellect with good computing practices can make you a modern day wizard; an alchemist. Many people were saturated with pro-Nihilism marketing and ate it up with their Cheerio's while listening to Nirvana CDs. A couple of generations of nihilists later, combined with portable dopamine trap screens from waking moment 'til slumber, and people are literally having a hard time finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Being a successful trader heals a lot of the damage from that consumerist propaganda and forces people to interact with the natural causes of their decision making. The Market is not racist. The only color you have to worry about is green. The market does not celebrate your success or mock your failures. The opinions of critics do not count. The Market does not care about your feelings or anyone else's. All people enter the Market equal and there are no participation awards. There is no busywork. Your test scores do not matter. All that matters are results and that type of black and white simplicity makes the Market the most sane aspect of society, right now. Though most of the obvious stocks have since reached preCovid normality, it has been easy to make money by sorting every ticker by Feb 20 high, then subtract the current price, calculate potential gain when they return to their old price and pick ones that had a high probability of doubling or tripling your money the fastest. I understand it seems tangential, the stock market angle, but when you are routinely called a “conspiracy theorist”, it helps to be as realistic as possible and there is no better way to prove your theories than by putting your money where your mouth is. The stock market is a vessel from which normal people (”retail investors”) are scammed constantly, for the benefit of institutional investors. The Epsteins, the Soros’, all the political elite; they are playing in this realm and they graduated to using AI and machine learning to augment their schemes years ago. In order to understand the elite, you have to understand their playground. In order to compete in the information age, you need to augment your intellect using technology. If nothing else, use it to be meticulously organized. If you get organized in only one aspect of your life, make it your finances. The Democratic party uses the ADA AI, named from Ada Lovelace and a competitor, in 2016, Cambridge Analytica, was used by the Republicans. These AI’s are augmented with databases and metadatabases of everything that can be served up by a social media APIs. They know everything about you and they don’t spy on your microphones, cameras and screenshots to catch you at crimes; they are spying on you in order to better teach you how to vote and spend money. Combined with an army of astroturfing accounts, these AIs are quite good at manipulating what shows up on your screen. This type of censorship is bad for stock traders, researchers and people who just want a few honest answers. In order to compete a bit better, I have taken to making by own custom feeds and scrapers, so that I can database text of many sites and subjects, which then is far easier to search, but is also able to sort information so that I can find what I am looking for in a few minutes, as opposed to trawling the same channels or search engines everyday and learning relatively little. I am really on the hunt for stuff that is voted up or noticed organically and is in that stage before it catches on by a shill group. I incorporate a lot of OSINT tools and I like to collect leaked databases to be able to compare information. It is very helpful to use machine learning to detect what I need as quickly as possible and serve it up to me, first. Applying my own knowledge of how the astroturfing system works, I have developed strategies to target influencers with new and original information and I can quickly and easily get it to them without influencers even knowing I am the source of the information. I just have to identify the correct group to get my message out, then make sure their leaders see the information, who will naturally post it on their own and their followers will naturally vote information up for free. I don’t do this with stocks (questionable legality), but I do feed good news to the right people and I exert a lot less effort to get ideas across all platforms than I used to. No astroturfing groups are into anti-consumerist ideas. “Hydro Homies” and “No Fap” are two great examples that recommend people be anti-consumerist and avoid specific products. As a result, these movements, despite being healthy and productive, have a lot of trouble gaining traction. There is no mainstream push for a truly healthy agenda. All contrived movements must pay to astroturf and shill because, otherwise, embracing their products and ideas is contrary to your well being. No shill group is working to save you money or trying to convince you to make the right decision, for yourself. There are certain messages almost no one will add social media velocity to; detailed instructions on how to report crimes or catch pedophiles, leaked information that hurts both sides of the political spectrum, anything a little too technical or complex. There are already efforts to make hijack the anti-human trafficking crowd. They will be tricked into meaningless pursuits that have no real world consequence. Money will be raised and wasted. News article after news article will be pumped out detailing how everyone is supporting victims and raising awareness. Meanwhile; nobody of consequence is arrested. The mining industry will continue to use forced labor and the networks they use will also feed the sex slavery and domestic servitude and the systemic policies and corrupt politicians will continue on unimpeded. Let’s hope that changes, but it will require a lot more people getting off their asses and getting involved. It will require a lot more people speaking up outside of their echo chambers. Ready. Set. Go.
I know you’re frowning. The title is weird, I know. But, if you could just give me a moment I'll explain. I'll have to be fast though, I don't know how close they are. Essentially, I ordered myself on the dark web. I'm a drug user, I'll admit it. Weed is my usual go to, but I buy that off my friend. If, however, I want to get something a little heavier, like acid, or coke, I'd just order it off the dark web. It's surprisingly simple. A few clicks, some bitcoin transfers and then boom, I have acid in my PO box. But I'm also a curious guy. The dark web has always... intrigued me. Up until a few days ago, I had only been on there to buy drugs off sites some of my friends gave to me. But, late one night I was sober and at home, which was a rare thing for me. So, since I was bored I decided to boot up my tor browser and try and see what sort of fucked up shit I could find on the dark web. If you've ever been on the dark web, you'll know that you can't just search up "red rooms," or "hitman for hire," and get results. No, you have to find links to these websites first. So I hopped back onto google again to try and find some links to a messed up website. I know it's weird that I was actively searching for the worst, but as soon as I got on the dark web that night I had a sense of morbid curiosity overcame me. Anyway, I spent a little while trying to find some links. Anything that I found though was either too tame for me, or the links didn't work. At this point, I was about ready to give up, and I wish I had. But, in one final attempt, I clicked on Reddit. Hoping onto deepweb, I didn't think I would find anything. So, I just scrolled through hot for about half an hour before sorting by new. Then, I found it. One, simple text post titled: "SLAYERS ASSASSINATION AND LIFE RUINING SERVICES." In the text box in the post was what seemed to be just a random assortment of numbers and letters (zy3dkytcaubkq2y3, for those of you curious ). It took my tired brain a second to figure out what it was, but I realized pretty quickly. It was a link, presumably to a hitman website. So, I decided to paste the link into my dark web browser and what do you know, it worked. But, before I decided to go any further I figured I should go back to OP's profile to see if they have posted any other dark web links. However, when I went back to the post in question OP's profile was deleted. Weird. Anyway, I re-opened my dark web tab and hopped onto the site. Up along the top of the website was it's name, SLAYERS ASSASSINATION AND LIFE RUINING SERVICES and next to it what looked to be a skull inside of a crosshair. I chuckled when I saw that, the site must be fake. Upon scrolling down however, I was not disappointed. There was a paragraph of white text on a black background, and a small box to the right of the text that just said 'place an order.' The text was the main part though, as it took up most of the page. It read: "Slayers assassinations and life ruining services offers everything from acid attack, crippling, blinding, castration, torture, rape, beatings and good old death. We have the lowest prices out of any other company running similar services, and we are world wide! We have a dedicated and experienced group of staff based all over the world, so if you need someone to be assassinated, or maybe you just want them scarred for life, don't hesitate to contact us!" Again I laughed. This had to be satire, right? Hell, I was even tempted to order it on someone just to see what would happen. Ironically, I actually have a half-decent job so I can afford to. Better not to risk it though, I thought to myself. I was about to close my computer and call it for a night when I heard a knock at the door. I live alone, so it was unusual to get visitors, especially so late at night. But, when I opened my door it was just my good buddy Mark, who also happened to be my weed plug. As I opened the door, he didn't hesitate to let himself in and shove a big baggie full of pot in my face. "This, dude, if the best shit I've had in a minute, we gotta try some." I couldn't say no. Cut to a couple hours later, it's early morning and Mark and I are chilling on my couch, both blazed as fuck. He suddenly decides to get up, and I assume he's going to get some leftover pizza, but he walks over to my desk and computer. "Slayers assassinations, are you gonna kill someone or something?" he mutters. "What?" I reply "Your computer dude, it's got some hacker shit on it." "It's the dark web man, don't fuck with it." At this point I'm still on my couch, half asleep and not paying full attention, however I sat up pretty fast when he said the words: "Hey man, lets order a hitman on you." I hoped up and walked over to my PC. Part of my brain was screaming no, what the fuck are you doing, but the majority of my brain (which was also they high part) was thinking about how funny it would be to order a hitman on myself. So I agree. I do made him get out my chair though, because I didn't want him seeing what my credit card numbers were as I transferred some bitcoin. At the end, after I wrote down all my personal details, like my address, age, and even a photo, I had to select what I wanted to happen to me. I just selected plain old assassination, as it was actually cheaper than some of the other things. I could have paid an extra couple of grand to be beaten before my death, but even my high brain didn't want to splash the cash too much on my own death. God, this is ridiculous. Anyway, I placed the order and then replied to a confirmation email, and boom. It was done. A couple of clicks and I had ordered myself on the dark web. Mark and I laughed about it for a while, but then he left about an hour later and I fell asleep not too long after. I woke up around 9 a.m., which meant I got at least six hours of sleep, even if it felt like I got three. I got up and out of bed, threw on some track pants and a cotton shirt (yes, I sleep naked), and brewed myself a coffee before sitting down to play some games and just. enjoy my Sunday. You can imagine how shocked I was when I saw that I had ordered my death the previous night. Even though I thought the site was bullshit I still felt a pit open up in my stomach. Even when I'm high I usually can make sensible decisions. I chuckled, not like I could remember it anyway, but I guess Mark's new shit really was good. I would assume a normal human being would do something else, but I was still kind of out of it from the night before so I just carried on with my day. I was a little more paranoid, sure, but as I said I just assumed it was bullshit. I even laughed at the email I got from the website, saying that their hitman has been dispatched and was on its way. It was like ordering a package of Amazon, I was tempted to email back and ask for some day delivery. But I didn't need to ask, because that's exactly what I got. I didn't see it arrive, but around the time I started to cook myself a shitty dinner I noticed a blacked out sedan parked on the other side of the road from my house. I didn't live in a rural area, but there is a lot of trees and bushes between each of the houses on my street, so I would be surprised if any other house saw the car except for mine. At this point, I was freaking out. What if the site was real? Even though I'm a big guy, I was freaking out. I don't own any weapons, aside from a slightly larger-than-average kitchen knife. Fuck it, I'm confronting it, I decided. I put on a hoodie and slid the knife into the front pocket before waltzing on out of my house and walking right up to the driver side window of the vehicle. Even I was astonished at my own courage. Knocking on the window, nothing happened. It was... rather anti-climatic, I was fully prepared to have to fight for my life, all because I did something really dumb while I was baked. But, like I said, nothing happened. I even put my head right up to the window, as if there was a reflection, to try and get a better look to see whats inside. I could barely see what was inside of the car, but all I could make out were two empty seats. No one was even inside. I had got all hyped up for nothing. I decided to wait out by the car for a bit, but after half an hour or so I was hungry and I had to go back inside to take my dinner out of the oven. I swear, it was only a minute between me going inside to take my dinner out of the oven and looking back out of the window, and the car being gone. I didn't even hear it go. "Guess I'm eating my dinner with all my curtains closed and doors locked," I muttered to myself. I had just started to calm down when the power shut off. It was sunny outside, and coupled with the car I now knew that this was the real deal. I had signed my own death warrant. I ran into my upstairs bedroom and locked the door, and then hid under the bed. I couldn't all the cops, what would I say? "Oh yes hello sir, turns out while super high I paid 5k for some anonymous hitman to kill me and now he's arrived, send an officer asap please and thank you." So, I just stayed hiding under my bed, and I still am now. I've been here for an hour now writing this. Think of this as my epitaph. I know I'm screwed. Just a minute ago I heard my back door slowly creak open. This piece of writing may seem humorous to you, the reader, but in reality as you read this I'm under my bed praying to a god that lost all faith in me years ago to spare me, to let me go. But I know that won't happen. My bedroom door just opened and I can see a big pair of black boots.
I’ve been reading about bitcoin for a few months and I agree with its potential to invert government power structures. If governments wanted to stop bitcoin, instead of switching off the internet (as some have suggested to be the only solution), couldn’t btc mining rigs be blown up? If bitcoin ever becomes a real threat to the power of government by giving power back to the people, it would be in the governments interest to stop it all costs. I understand decentralisation but a large proportion of the mining operations do seem to be centralised in a dozen geographical locations. Could the world governments stop these mining warehouses by shutting off power to these locations or even more dramatically - destroy the facility completely? If this were to happen, wouldn’t this mean that transactions would be significantly slower because there are a much lower quantity of powerful computers mining?
Part 1 “Huh, they’re really going at it, aren’t they?” Saale said, looking towards the bedroom. Karl and Maarja were rustling around in there, too drunk to contain the volume of their passion. The two of us sat around and tried to do anything but listen. Saale and me started off as strangers that night, but we ended up being the last people standing. It was the biggest party of the summer and we were the only lucid survivors. We were holding hands. “Heh, yeah,” I replied. She squeezed my hand. I squeezed back. We started off the night rambling about everything and anything under the sun, but now conversation had run out. All we had was nervous eye contact and hand squeezing; both of us were too scared to take the next step. “I am very drunk,” I said, giving myself plausible deniability. “Me too,” she said. Her hazel eyes held on to mine; C’mon, you’re the guy, make the first move. “Want to dance?” I suddenly blurted out. Saale cocked her head to the side, “Do you have music?” She squeezed my hand again, hard, a look of mischief spread across her face. Maarja howled in the other room. “Yeah, definitely,” I fished out my Sony Erickson and searched through the fourteen-song library for something that wasn’t ska music. I found that one Rolling Stones song. We got off the couch and wrapped our arms around each other. The music came out of the flip phone with the orchestral quality of a potato and the sounds from the bedroom were considerably louder, but we didn’t care. We just wanted an excuse to hold each other. It wasn’t really dancing. We were just hugging each other while stepping from side to side. The anticipation was electric. She whispered something in my ear. I pretended not to hear and moved closer to her. Our lips brushed against each other. We kissed. It wasn’t the booze, it wasn’t the dope, it wasn’t the hormones. There was something else in my blood in that moment. A surge of electricity so powerful that to taste it for just a single second made life worth living. The universe focused all of its attention, all of its beauty and washed it over our moment. We laid down on the couch. Scratching. Suddenly the soft sounds of her breath were overpowered by scratching. I pulled back. Saale looked at me with those heart-melting eyes, “What’s wrong?” The scratching grew louder, more furious. Claws, I could hear claws. She said something else, but I couldn’t hear her by then, the scratching had grown deafening. Saale looked up in horror. Fabric ripped. I woke up. Fritz was right by my head, his long tail resting inches from my face. I watched him in a daze. He was furiously digging at the upholstery. There was a sizable hole there; the rat must have worked at it for the whole night. His little body dug with desperate energy, trying to make the opening as big as possible, yet after a couple of seconds he stopped. Fritz shoved his head into the hole and his whole body went limp. His furry frame rose and fell with effort as Fritz breathed in as much of the couch as he could. I grabbed him by the nape and took him out of the couch. The creature was nothing like the animal I held the night before. Fritz’s head had lost most of its fur; all that was left was tufts of gray fur that splashed over his irritated skin. He snapped at me, or at least tried to. His jaw was heavy, his eyes barely stayed open. I placed him on the floor. As soon as he was on his own feet he fell over. After a couple lethargic seconds he stumbled to his paws and crawled beneath the wardrobe. Karl walked out of the bedroom. He stopped when he noticed I was awake. “James, which tie seems more formal?” Karl looked like a madman; he was wearing superman underwear and a fancy white dress shirt that barely fit around his paunch. In each hand he held a black tie. I was too disoriented to tell the difference. “I don’t know Karl, they both look pretty similar to me.” I said. Karl looked down on the ties. He raised each one of them to his face for a closer examination. Finally, after some thought he nodded, “I think you are right James. These ties do look identical.” He retreated back to the bedroom and emerged with only one tie that he started putting on. “Oh, also, good morning friend,” Karl added as an afterthought. “Good morning Karl,” I replied. “James! Don’t enable him! He’s just being nervous about meeting my parents,” Maarja yelled from the kitchen. “Nothing to be scared of Karl. You know my parents are cool.” “Your parents are most definitely not cool. Your father is a very scary man and your mother is a very angry woman.” Karl protested. He looked over at me, “Right James?” Maarja peeked out of the kitchen. I had only seen Maarja’s father once. It was during Maarja’s high-school graduation. She had managed to sneak me in so I could attend the after party. I remembered seeing him across the hall, watching his daughter get her diploma with that emotionless scowl that fathers raised behind the iron curtain have perfected. Her dad bore a striking resemblance to Karl, he was a big dude, but where Karl carried a lumberjack beard Maarja’s father had a simple moustache. Maarja’s father also had scars. Even at a distance you could see them, a face covered in splotches of red as if he had experienced some great horror at a young age. “Your mother is a pretty angry woman Maarja,” I said. Maarja scoffed. “If you piss her off she is. Point is: Karl shouldn’t be scared. My parents like him.” “No they don’t,” Karl protested. Maarja rolled her eyes. “You want coffee James?” she yelled from the kitchen. “Sure,” I said. I tried sitting up, hoping to lose a bit of my drowsiness but something was wrong. I fished my left hand from under the couch. Somehow, as I slept, I clawed my index finger into the stuffing of the couch. It took effort to take it out; it was as if the upholstery had wrapped itself around the finger. Maarja brought me my coffee and said something about how they were going to a nearby restaurant for the lunch but her words fell on deaf ears. I was completely focused on my pointer. The skin around it was an unhealthy red. It was cold to the touch. All the feeling in the finger was gone. I could move it, but the movements were sluggish, it was as if the finger was in a deep sleep. As Maarja and Karl got ready I tried to assess how damaged the finger was. I didn’t snap out of the mystery until I heard the front door slam shut. I wasn’t alone though. ‘Quit worrying about your finger Tiger, you just slept funny. Think about more pleasant things.’ The voice in my head slithered back, ‘Remember how soft Saale’s skin was? How sweet her perfume smelled as you two made love?’ I laid back down and ran my hand across the couch. For something so old it was so remarkably smooth. Fritz was suddenly back by my head. He ran towards the hole that he had worked on prior and started clawing at it again. He tore at the threading frantically. He wanted to be back inside of the couch, he needed to be back inside of the couch. I reached out to pick him up but reconsidered. ‘Leave him be Tiger, he’s just enjoying himself.’ My hand fell back to the firm cushioning of the couch. ‘That’s a good boy,’ the voice said, ‘Now where were we? Ah yes, Saale, what a girl, huh? Remember how good it felt to wake up next to her?’ I did. I remembered. It was, after all, on that very same couch that I woke up next to Saale for the first time. It was the day after the party, when I woke up I nearly jumped out of my skin. It took me a second to realize where I was, that there was a beautiful woman on my arm, that I had made love to a alluring the stranger the night before, yet when the thought set in a wave of bliss washed over me. A gentle morning light was coming in through the blinds, the birds outside chirped peacefully and Saale snored. ‘Her half open mouth, those tiny sounds, so vulnerable, so romantic.’ Then the door opened. ‘Oh Tiger, you don’t have to think about that part.’ Then the door opened and Maarja’s mother came in. The woman did not like me to begin with, the couple of times that we had met she regarded me with absolute disdain. Maarja even admitted it; her mother didn’t want her daughter hanging around with strange foreigners. As soon as Maarja’s mom saw us she started screaming. ‘Oh come on Tiger, you don’t have to think about arguments right now, think about the good times-‘ Her yelling woke everyone up. As me and Saale were frantically putting on our clothes the bedroom door flew open and Maarja started yelling at her mom. I didn’t understand a word to it, but Maarja’s mom seemed to have it really out for me. She kept on pointing. She kept on screaming and pointing at me… or was she pointing at the couch? ‘Oh come on Tiger, there’s other memories to go back to, remember the first time that you and Saale-‘ We ran out as soon as we had enough clothes to be decent. Salle and me left the argument behind. Maarja’s mom didn’t chase us, but we ran for a couple of blocks anyway. We moved through the morning streets, giggling. After Saale nearly got hit by a tram we finally stopped. For a second we stood there, slightly hung-over and out of breath. We kissed. “She seemed really angry, what was she saying?” I asked. “This is not a whorehouse, my daughter will be no madam!” Saale yelled, mimicking Maarja’s mother’s voice. We laughed, but then Saale frowned. She was beautiful even when she was confused. “To be honest though, she seemed a bit more angry about that couch being in the room. She kept on pointing at it asking where they had gotten it, saying that it was meant to be burnt years ago-“ ‘STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS TIGER’ the voice thundered through my skull, ‘IF YOU EVER WANT TO BE HAPPY AGAIN, STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!’ The voice was no longer flirty. Darkness loomed within it. My mind cleared in fear. I looked to the side; Fritz had made progress with the hole. He was hallway inside and still digging. His tail and hind legs stuck out of the hole, his enflamed testacles pressed against the side of the couch. With a couple more frantic movements he squeezed himself inside. The rat was gone. ‘Wondering what he’s doing Tiger?’ The couch asked gingerly, ‘He’s floating in ecstasy, oh yes, he’s experiencing pleasure you couldn’t even begin to comprehend, unless…’ Fabric groaned as the hole that Fritz had dug expanded. I could see the stuffing, it heaved up and down as if the couch was breathing. The hole was big enough to fit my hand. ‘C’mon Tiger, you know you want to try.’ I extended my hand; there was something from the couch that called to me, something stronger than me. Beads of perspiration streamed down my forehead. My clothes were soaked with sweat. As my fingers approached the gaping hole I could feel a glint of electricity in the air. The universe turned its eyes on me and beckoned me towards the maw. VRRRR! VRRRR! I snapped out of it. My phone was ringing. It was Maarja. “James, goddamn it, why don’t you pick up your phone? I’ve been calling you for like five minutes,” she talked in an angry whisper, “Look, my parents decided that they wanted to come over to the apartment. My mom would flip if she knew you were staying with us. I need you out of the house right now.” I jumped to my feet. The last person I wanted to see right now was Maarja’s mom. “Okay, I’ll be out in five.” “Not good enough! James! We’re almost there. Just get out! Please James, the lunch went really well, please don’t let her turn today into an argument,” Maarja pleaded. I quickly put on my shoes and dashed towards the door. I didn’t realize I forgot my coat until I was outside. The cold wind blew through my sweaty t-shirt. “Are you outside?” Maarja whispered. “Yeah, right at the front door.” “Okay, get out. Right now. We’re almost there. I’ll call you when the coast is clear. Sorry. Love ya!” click. As I reached the end of the block I could see the four of them walking towards the apartment. Karl and Maarja’s dad were engaged in a passionate conversation. Maarja and her mom followed them, quietly smoking. I sped out of sight. I was freezing, a wet t-shirt in the Estonian winter felt like a death sentence. In my attempt to find a semblance of warmth I went over to the bus station and got onto the first bus that stopped. I nestled up next to the heaters and immediately felt better. The plan was to warm up, maybe dry off and then go find a mall to kill time in. That plan fell apart very quickly. The bus drove for a bit before I realized where it was going. For a second I considered getting off, but it was too cold for me to be roaming the streets, or at least that’s what I told myself. I took out my iPod and scrolled over to the Rolling Stones. The bus rode out to Saale’s neighborhood. I returned back to Maarja’s apartment way after sundown. The day was a blur. I remembered running out of Maarja’s apartment. I remembered getting on the bus and riding over to Saale’s place. I remembered what happened at Saale’s but everything else was covered in a thick mental fog. The vodka helped with that. I had spent my last remaining cash on a bottle of good old 79% memory wipe. It helped me cope. It also made the Estonian winter more bearable. “James! Honey! Where were you?” Maarja was outside having a cigarette when I stumbled to the house, “I’ve been trying to call you all day. Are you okay?” there was a hint of a drunken slur to her voice. “Phone’s out of battery,” I mumbled as I walked up. “Are you okay?” she repeated her question. I shrugged. “I think I need a hug.” “Ah darling, come here,” Maarja said as she wrapped her arms around me. She was wearing one of Karl’s huge jackets. It wasn’t until I was embraced in its warmth that I realized how cold I was. “Want to talk about it?” “No.” I didn’t. All I wanted was to just be blindly told everything was going to be okay. I wanted assurances that I wouldn’t feel like this forever. I needed to know that I would get over Saale. Yet Maarja just sighed. “I know it’s hard James. When you’re ready to talk about it I’m here for you.” she sighed again, I could smell the booze on her breath, “Thank you for leaving the house when you did. Things… didn’t go very well.” She let go. I was back in the cold. “What’s wrong?” I asked. Maarja took a long drag of her cigarette. Her voice grew heavy, “My dad was really interested in Karl’s Bitcoin stuff and he wanted to see his computer. Me and my mom were finishing off our cigarette outside and…” Maarja’s eyes drifted towards the night sky and fluttered. She was trying not to cry. “Maarja? What’s wrong?” I asked. She cleared her throat and composed herself. “My mom found out about the couch and she got really pissed. She thought I burnt it after that one house party. I just didn’t want to throw away a perfectly good couch but... Yeah. We have to burn it.” “Burn the couch!? Why?” I gasped. “There’s some ugly history behind it,” her voice grew faint, “I don’t really want to talk about it.” It felt like the final bit of stability in my life had crumbled away. I had to drunkenly hold myself up against a lawn chair, “When?” Maarja shrugged. “Now is a good time as any I guess, we can just drag it out into the backyard, grab some lighter fluid and torch it. Don’t think anyone is going to mind.” She was wrong. I would mind. My fists tightened. An inarticulate rage boiled in my blood. I wanted to hit her so bad, but instead I begged. “One more night,” I said, “Just one more night with the couch. We can burn it tomorrow; it’s New Years right? What a way to end off the year. We could have a little bonfire in the evening.” “James,” Maarja sighed, “Honey, you can stay here, at least for a couple of days. We’ll move some pillows around and you can sleep on the floor. We’ll hang out tomorrow and it’s going to be great but my mom was really insistent on the couch. I promised her I would-“ “Please, please, don’t get rid of the couch,” I begged, “Just one more night. Just one more night on the couch where I can think back to my memories of Saale. I’m desperate Maarja. While your parents were visiting I went over to Saale’s place. I got into her apartment block. I knocked on the door. I knew she was there Maarja, I could hear her walking up after I knocked. When she looked through the peephole she completely ignored me. She just stood there like I didn’t exist. I called her Maarja, I called her phone and I could hear it ringing in the other room, I called until my goddamn battery ran out, but she never picked up. I traveled half way across the continent on my last dime and she wants nothing to do with me Maarja. The love of my goddamn life won’t even answer her phone. All I have left is that couch. All I have left are those memories of that first night. Please, Maarja, one more night on the couch.” The words came out with chest-tightening force. Each sentence made me grow weaker until I was barely able to talk. My face was streaked in tears, my nose was running all over my face; I looked like a complete mess. Maarja wrapped her arms around me just as tight as she had in the airport. “Okay James, one more night,” Maarja said, “I am sorry you’re going through this. I wish we could help.” We stayed in the hug for what felt like an eternity. I wanted to let go, to pull back and be cool about everything. But I couldn’t. The warmth under that jacket, Maarja’s arms around me, it all just felt safer than the world outside. “We both need some sleep,” Maarja finally whispered. Karl barely noticed us when we walked into the apartment. He was sitting on the couch stuck in deep thought. When I saw him an unexplainable pang of jealousy ran through my body. Me and that couch had something special going on. I cleared my throat. Karl jumped up in surprise. “James! You’re back. Where were you? We were worried about you!” Karl said. “I went to Saale’s.” “Oh,” He dropped his eyes away from me, not knowing what to say. He looked over at Maarja, “You have told James about what happened with your dad?” “Something happened with your dad?” I asked. The question seemed stupid and irrelevant. Maarja stared daggers back at Karl. She spoke slowly, with a hidden force beneath her words, “I have told James that my mother was very angry about the couch. We have decided that he will sleep on the couch for one more night and then we will burn it tomorrow. Does that sound okay?” Karl furrowed his brow. “Yes,” he finally said. He stood in the doorway of their bedroom, leaning forward, as if he was about to say something else but then Maarja cut him off. “We should all get some sleep.” “Yeah,” I said, sprawling out onto the couch. ‘Welcome back Tiger,’ it whispered to me ‘Did someone have a rough day?’ The voice soothed the pain in my chest, the world started to become more manageable. Karl and Maarja went off to bed without saying much. There was something up, something that they were in disagreement about but it was none of my business. The couch kept me company. ‘It’s all going to be okay, you’ll see’ The couch whispered to me in its silky voice, ‘You’ll get over her, you’ll find someone better than Saale and in a couple of months you won’t even remember her. You’ll forget all about the relationship all together. But you know who’ll remember? She’ll remember Tiger, oh yes, Saale will be thinking about what an idiot she was to let you go-‘ The light in the bedroom was off, but I could hear Maarja walking around calling out for Fritz. She peeked her head into the living room and asked me if I saw him. I told her I didn’t. She gave up and went to sleep. ‘Don’t think about the rat.’ The hole that Fritz made into the upholstery was gone; there wasn’t even any sign of scratches. The whole couch, in fact, looked to be in better shape. The stains had completely disappeared from the couch, loose threads were nowhere to be seen, the floral print had taken on a colorful shine. ‘STOP IT.’ The voice hit my mind like a blunt object. A fog covered my thoughts, everything felt so impossibly distant. But beneath that fog was a gentle tone of sweetness, ‘Come on Tiger, let’s just enjoy this night together, huh? Lay here with me and let’s just bathe in each other’s company.’ The couch gently shuddered like a tantric massage chair. I heard the groaning of fabric. The place where Fritz had been digging spread apart to reveal a hole; beyond the upholstery was stuffing, it pulsed with fleshy energy. The couch trembled with anticipation. ‘Touch me Tiger, you know you want to.’ I reached out as electricity flowed through my body. The universe turned all of its spotlights on me. The mind fog thickened into a blanket of ecstasy and wrapped me up. All other thoughts disappeared. My soul danced to the chaotic tune of life. I was trapped in a wave of orgasmic rapture. ‘Doesn’t that feel so good Tiger? Isn’t this just exhilarating? Well don’t you worry. We can do this every night. Don’t listen to anyone else. Nothing will get between us, it’s you and me Tiger, it’s you and me and no one is going to stop us. We’ll make sure of that.’ For a split second it felt as if my finger brushed against something rough. I pinched at the object. It felt like a tail. Yet then, as if the gentle stuffing of the couch were a throat, the tail got swallowed deeper into its innards. ‘I love you,’ the couch whispered. The room smelt like floral perfume. I could hear a dog barking outside. I was covered in sweat. “I love you too,” I whispered back. I drifted off to a deep sleep. -MJL (Next part)
HODL HEATING? Making $5,000-$20,000 While Heating my House for the winter - Can it be done?
We can start with a disclaimer by saying that: this might be a crazy or weird concept, but I believe it is possible; and I will be doing it to ensure that it is possible for anyone. Thought: “I am going to heat my house and make $5000 this winter” Possibility: Who knows? I contacted a local mining operation who has always been great to me (Info about them below) and store last month and they let me know that they have been selling off some of the miners as they had one of their warehouses shut down by the town (they said they were selling them at a price point where payoff was taken into consideration) and that they had over 5000 computers to sell. So I purchased 8 Miners to see what happened, I had them shipped as they were coming from a Georgia mining operation they had. The miners showed up today and Im getting the power ready at my own house, the mining company joked with me about the idea of heating my house for the winter, cold upstate New York. The miners, as this community knows, put off an incredible amount of heat when hashing. I plan to setup the miners in place of my central air system in my house and heat my entire house with them. I believe that I can make money while heating my house, which would normally cost me around $500 a month for around 5 months, so $2500 in savings. And my calculator says that I should make around $470 a month, and i plan to buy more miners anyways from BCM, as they were very cheap and great condition for used miners. The savings and profit should make me around $5000 in the winter alone. I will keep everyone updated and post a list of all my transactions and endeavors within the crypto and bitcoin market/space for anyone interested below. Last year, I came across BCM (BigCatMining) as they have a location in my area upstate New York. I had been into bitcoin and crypto for a little while and I toyed with the idea of mining and realized that I missed the boat, so cloud mining sounded like the option for me. I contacted BCM at their website Link about a year ago asking about a cloud contract, and they were very helpful with setting me up, (huge shoutout). I think I spent around $500 on a contract and by the time the contract was up I had generated around $720 or so. With the confidence boost from that return I decided to buy a $5000 Contract expecting to get $2000 in profit and after a few months of waiting generated $12000 which was $7000 in Profit. I proceeded to invest with them a few times where I either gained or lost money but it was an overall positive and they kept me updated throughout the entire process. I believe I profited around $15,000 overall through my cloud mining experience. But again a huge shoutout to bigcatmining.com for giving me all the opportunities they have, and just overall friendly and fair services (Rare to come by, especially in this market). List 2017-Now MISC BITCOIN purchases/investments: -Bought 5 Bitcoin at around $8500 before 19k upsurge sold around $13,000 on the downward cycle (Profit: $22000 or so) -Bought a total of $12,000 in mining contracts from bigcatmining.com Made around $27000 (Profit: $15000) HODL HEATING Setup: -Bought 8 Miners $2800 (Might buy 12 more?) (Profit/savings: TBD) -Rerouted the Central air from a small room with an outward air handler Cost $600 Materials.
7 DAY$-24/HR$ - BITCOIN MINING EXPERIMENT - See How Much ...
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