I think we may be caught in a time loop. Anti-government militias are occupying government buildings to demand a return to an almost entirely fictional utopian past where you could burn down anything you please without the government interfering, the X-Files are going to be on TV next week, and the FEMA concentration camp/New World Order/Black Helicopter crowd has been reenergized by decades of relative safety from truly foreign threats, large domestic military exercises with sinister-sounding names (see: Jade Helm), and the slow erosion of foreign adventures in the Middle East as a unifying patriotic cause. In short, there’s a real chance that 1996 has secretly returned, carefully disguised as 2016. I blame the Time Cube.
While I can’t say I’m pleased to see weird anti-government quasi-cults return to the (mainstream) news, they do at least offer a host of inspiration for your conspiratorial game. Since the 1990s coming back to bite us, maybe it’s not too soon for us to go back and steal a little of the weirdest bits of the decade for our own creative benefit.
Speaking of Anti-Government Cults…
While working on another project a few months ago (currently shrouded in secrecy, but I promise you, dear reader, that it may yet see the light of day), I discovered the joyous lunacy that is Tama Re. Founded by a sometimes-Muslim sometimes-alien worshiping cult leader known variably as Malachi Z., Issa al Haadi al Mahdi, and (as his parents named him) Dwight York, Tama Re was a faux-Egyptian temple complex (and trailer park) constructed by York’s followers — the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors — in rural Georgia between 1993 and 2002, complete with a large central black pyramid (evidently at one point containing a foam rubber alien “corpse” as a key focal point for Nuwaubian worship). The more I read about the place, the more I am equally delighted and horrified that it was actually real.
The complex was destroyed in 2005 by local authorities after it was seized and sold following a series of raids led by both the Putnam county Sheriff’s department and the FBI. Ostensibly, the raids came as the result of charges that the Nuwaubians were engaged in the usual crimes — tax evasion, racketeering — while York himself was charged and later convicted of the same, along with several counts of child molestation. Not a sympathetic figure.
The Web of Weird
While York himself is basically garbage, the complex and ever-evolving identity of the cult he led probably warrants some deep exploration all on its own. Depending on who (and when) you ask, they are descendants of genetically superior extraterrestrials, the last of a race of Islamic Moors who walked across Pangaea to settle Georgia eons before Native Americans settled the area (a chronology suitable only for TimeWatch), the last line of defense against the Dero, or criminals milking another nearby cult leader (the so-called “Empress of the Washitaw“) for legitimacy to cover a paramilitary training camp meant to support a Black Nationalist secessionist movement. Oh and also there’s something about Wesley Snipes and the Freemasons and the Illuminati in there. Seriously.
That said, if you want to spin Tama Re as the center of some “real” paranormal significance, your fictionalized York could just as easily be the victim of a carefully calculated smear campaign from the mysterious authorities hoping to hide The Truth. The Nuwaubian’s black pyramid (complete with extraterrestrial connections!) certainly calls to mind another Black Pyramid that They (you know, THEM) don’t want you to know about. Might your pseudo-your have found a way to tap into it’s power by building a resonant mirror image thousands of miles away? Double points if you can place Tama Re and the Alaska Black Pyramid on a ley-line that contains other weird sites in North America. (For what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure the Georgia Guidestones, at least, are on the same line.)
The Most Dangerous Game(s)
The weird alien connections and the very fact that they’re not all that concerned about the consistent measure of linear time means they’re well-suited to a TimeWatch game, especially if you want to lend at least some of the group’s wacky claims a grain of credibility (do so at your own risk). The weird construction of the place basically demands that you consider it a site of power for Feng Shui 2, while the paramilitary vibe could just as easily be spun toward Night’s Black Agents, especially if you want to lean a little on Snipes’ vampire connections and/or the extraterrestrials to supply the antagonists at the top of your conspyramid.
You can also give them a little more of a fictional spin and tie them right into the Cthulhu Mythos, maybe with a little Ruby Ridge thrown in for flavor. They’re hard to beat for Delta Green, but they’d probably work just as well for Trail of Cthulhu (or the classic Call of the Cthulhu) if you want to wind the clock back on the founding of your fictional Tama Re. Maybe you can try this on for size?
The Last Sons of the Black Pharoah
In 1993, a black nationalist group calling themselves the United Moor Nation of Nephren-Ka began building a fortified settlement in Putnam county, Georgia called Karako-sa that they planned to use to welcome their “faceless god” to Earth, at which point he would destroy all peoples save those that worshipped him. The group’s leader, an unregistered minister born Henry Leeds but by then calling himself Malachi Abunnabi Atum-Re, had amassed followers primarily from New York, Boston, and Washington, declaring them the true heirs of both the Pharaohs of prehistoric Khem and the Native American nations who had followed the mound-building Gigantopithecus lemuriensis sorcerers of the Mississippi Valley.
By 1995, the complex included two pyramids, several obelisks, and disturbing statues of unrecognizable presumably historical Egyptian figures. Atum-Re’s sermons took on an increasingly strident tone, calling for violence against the group’s neighbors in order to draw their gods attentions with the “sweet smell of blood.” A combination of the group’s dangerous stockpile of military-grade weapons and ammunition, refusal to pay federal taxes, and at least one confidential informant’s report suggesting that the site had been built to benefit from telluric resonance with several other mythos locations prompted a joint FBI-ATF raid in May 1999. The standoff ended in a gunfight with Leeds and almost 100 of the group’s members, ultimately leaving the Nephren-Ka leaderless.