Cicada Files: Z 3301 et al
by Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez
Researching QAnon led me to Cicada 3301, a phenomenon that Rolling Stone called “the Web’s Deepest Mystery.” (David Kushner, “Cicada: Solving the Web’s Deepest Mystery,” Rolling Stone, January 15, 2015). I consequently interact with felons, sociopaths, hackers and cypherpunks, anons, denizens of the ‘chans, the Twitter-verse, YouTube and the dark web.
Wielding anonymity and encryption, clandestinity and plausible deniability, my subjects manipulate sock accounts, ‘bots, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), waging information campaigns across cyberspace. As Cicada preceded Q, some of its members were involved in both. As melodramatic as all this seems, I am not exaggerating, as you shall see.
Preeminent among felons and sociopaths is Mr. Thomas Schoenberger, formerly one of two “head composers” of an organization that called itself Cicada 3301 during its Middle Period (2014-9). I previously noted that Cicada’s Middle Period could be called the Schoenberger era, as he dominated the inner circle of the organization that claimed to be Cicada 3301 during the timeframe 2015-8, and he attempted to sell Cicada’s intellectual property to Hollywood in 2016. (Jacquelyn Weaver, “Playing Us False: The Ventriloquist of Cicada 3301,” Tracking the Leopard Meroz, October 17, 2019).
Cicada 3301 imploded on May 7, 2018 due to Schoenberger’s incompetence and greed. I discuss Cicada’s demise in earlier articles, but will detail the grotesquery later. At this time I wish to feature my conversations with Z 3301, a Cicada elder of some notoriety, and also publish Mr. Schoenberger’s rebuttals regarding the A858 affair, as I agreed to do, in which he condemns declarations made by Arturo Tafoyovsky on this site last August 12, 2019.
Sandwiched between those two topics, I discuss Thomas Schoenberger in detail, including an unprecedented quantity of documentary evidence. I barely scratch the surface with Mr. Michael Levine, once a “head composer” with Schoenberger of the extra-canonical Cicada 3301. I will return to Mr. Levine in later articles.
I publish an internal order email that sets up the implosion of Cicada 3301 on May 7, 2018. I discuss the one-time “lead designer” of 3301, Arturo Tafoyovsky (true name Tafoya), and review the latest hints for solvers. Then I explore what Z 3301 terms “the Wikia,” and its members, in multiple sections.
I discuss a recent dispute between myself, Marcus Wanners and Martin Wehrmeyer, and the role played by Ms. Beth Bogaerts. Both Wanners and Wehrmeyer are detailed in separate, accompanying articles. I address factions within 3301, and introduce the origin story of the order, which will be dissected in a future article. I disprove the predominate origin story, which is a concoction by Thomas Schoenberger.
I introduce canonicity within 3301, and the subject of the Cicada Trademark, and its holder, Marcus Wanners, including the role played by Ms. Bogaerts in its transfer. Then I definitively resolve a controversy over the Isaac Kappy DeadMan’s Switch KeyBase Crack, and I put it to rest. I dismiss a fake controversy stoked by Martin Wehrmeyer, examine Marcus Wanners’ own 3301 site, then conclude with an examination of correspondence between myself and Thomas Schoenberger.
Cicada purists consider everything that happened in the organization after 2014 to be extra-canonical, as the last PGP-signed puzzles landed solvers at Liber Primus, Cicada’s runic text, which remains uncracked nearly five years later. I am sympathetic to this stance. We nonetheless must explain the extra-canonical order, if only because a certifiable elder was complicit with it.
I completed the first draft of this article on October 7, 2019. As a courtesy I released it to individuals who were discussed in it for their prepublication preview. Beside Z 3301, whom we may also call “Richard,” Mr. Martin Wehrmeyer (aka brotherBox), Ms. Beth Bogaerts (aka Fox) and Mr. Marcus Wanners (aka cryptonomaly) responded with comments and corrections.
All spoke on the record, with the exception of Ms. Bogaerts, who decreed that her statements could not be attributed to her, and accused me of spewing rumors about her across the net.
Joe Blow (Thomas Schoenberger), “Beth Blackburn…..Spy?” YouTube, November 4, 2019.
Then Mr. Schoenberger doxxed her yet again, after she was featured on Arturo Tafoyovsky’s Conspiracy Distillery, as did Steve Outtrim (“LARPWars Part 4-Was Fox (in Socks) Doxxed, or did Fox Doxx (in Socks)?” Burners.Me, November 15, 2019). Finally, Ms. Bogaerts also doxxed herself, which I will leave to psychologists to explain.
After Ms. Bogaerts told Thomas Schoenberger the lie that I am trying to take over 3301, I concluded that our confidentiality agreement, which she violated without restraint, was voided.
Conversely Mr. Wehrmeyer, whose surname was previously published in Rolling Stone, wrote a rebuttal which I am privileged to publish verbatim and unredacted. Likewise Mr. Wanners shared a detailed commentary, also published in full and verbatim, and I thank them both. Both of these articles are published separately on this site.
Their comments are synthesized herein, and I appreciate their highlighting several errors in the original text. We begin with the 3301 elder known as Z 3301, aka “Richard.” As my interviews continue, the precision of our understanding of Cicada 3301 improves (23,303 words).
Lies, and Damned Lies
As I researched this article, Z 3301 shared what he claimed was a fresh hint for solvers of Liber Primus. I was delighted, until I stumbled across the same hint in an article on SteemIt by @j1337, published a week earlier.
When I asked about the identity of j1337, I was told, “I would call him a fan, sometimes unstable but very loyal creative guy.” Not a puzzle creator then, not a 3301 insider with access to the actual secrets of Cicada 3301: j1337 is, rather, another solver.
Asserting that Thomas Schoenberger was privy to the compilation and encryption of Liber Primus when Liber Primus was disseminated before Schoenberger infiltrated the organization is illogical and refuted by the documentary record.
Mr. Schoenberger’s claims that he discussed Liber Primus with Ian Murdock, creator of Debian Linux in 2013, remain unproven and undocumented.
By mid-December, 2019, Thomas Schoenberger’s attacks on YouTube were desperate, and his emails to his critics childish. His threat to “expose” me in “ranger chats” is ludicrous. His ultimatum, “Until you back off,” is plaintive.
Schoenberger lacks credibility, nobody trusts him. He publishes no documentary evidence, no forensic proofs, his assaults on his critics are ad hominem, confined to inelegant videos seen by few, published on YouTube channels that end up deleted. I reply to none of his emails.
Schoenberger is besieged from all directions, and he literally dreads every knock on his motel room door. His legal predicament is dire, he is evading legal service from no fewer than three litigants, and he is hunted.
I reached out to Thomas Schoenberger early in my investigations, in April, 2019. I used the Contact forms on his websites and sent him multiple emails. He responded to none of them, though he did block me on Twitter, as did several of his protégés.
Schoenberger later accused me of lying, demanding that I prove that I tried to reach him. My search of my own files turned up just one email. I failed to make a record of multiple attempts to contact him, as I was just engaging in a routine activity, and I never imagined that I would be called on to document that I asked him for comment. But even this indisputable email, a template for multiple others that followed, dated April 10, 2019, is rejected by Schoenberger: he insists that it never happened.
Likewise unproven is Schoenberger’s accusation that I am attempting to hijack Cicada 3301. This article and others that precede it are simple efforts to explain an organization long concealed in mystery. As I said on multiple occasions, I am an historian using the tools of political science to examine Cicada 3301. I realize now that conflicting agendas and egos are par for the course. I seek no particular outcome, and nothing for myself. I just want to tell the story.
Brigid (Thomas Schoenberger deleted video), “Esteban Trujillo and his attempted takeover of cicada 3301,” YouTube, December 14, 2019. Courtesy of Ms. Brigid Covey (aka Brigid), whom I thank.
Thomas Schoenberger deleted this video from YouTube in December, 2019. The video accuses me of conspiring with Arturo Tafoyovski (a pseudonym, true surname Tafoya) and gHOST3301 to hijack Cicada 3301. gHOST3301’s channel on YouTube is titled Dustin757. I do not know gHOST3301‘s true name. He never told me, and I never asked. I interviewed both gHOST and Tafoyovsky in the Summer of 2019, and uploaded their interviews to this website in August and September, 2019.
The reason that Schoenberger deleted this video is because he attempted to open a backchannel to gHOST in late December, 2019. This desperate effort seeks to embarrass me or depict me as a conspirator, rather than as a mere chronicler of events.
In Schoenberger’s world, I am a “spook,” he calls me “Spooky Stephen,” and accuses me of working for the CIA. This is false, but he is less concerned with facts than with narrative. I can verify that CIA is not concerned with Thomas Schoenberger. The Bay Area FBI Cyber Squad, on the other hand, the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, and the Department of Homeland Security/Investigations, are opening files on him.
Schoenberger’s rumor-mongering is preposterous and pernicious. He whispers in many ears, seducing the credulous with fake secrets, promoting his own malign purposes. In one example, Schoenberger convinced a 26 year old Canadian with a history of mental health hospitalizations named Zack McQuaid to publish videos that defame myself and financier Gabe Hoffman, persuading Michael Levine to pay him, in a textbook example of RICO conspiracy.
The McQuaid videos triggered legal warnings from Gabe Hoffman that prompted McQuaid to delete one of his YouTube channels, removing several defamatory videos. Unfortunately for McQuaid, this gesture to mollify Mr. Hoffman is unlikely to suffice, as the defamation occurred, the videos were published and downloaded by others, and the question in his mind must be whether Michael Levine will defray his inevitable legal bills, because Schoenberger cannot pay his own.
Mr. McQuaid also resumed publishing defamatory videos on a different YouTube channel after he received legal threat letters from Mr. Hoffman. The documentary record now depicts him continuing a campaign of defamation in contempt of court orders.
Aside from orchestrating cyber war against his enemies, including myself and Mr. Hoffman (among at least 27 others), Schoenberger is also a source of much disinformation about 3301, which consequently must be debunked.
Issue of Authenticity
The Cicada elder known as Z 3301 confirmed that Schoenberger was expelled from Cicada after 2017:
Trujillo: I am trying to understand why Schoenberger was permitted to coordinate puzzle development with your cooperation. Why was he not expelled from the group?
Z 3301: He was. I worked with him 2015 to 2017. (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 03:56 AM Bangkok Local).
The problem with Z’s statement is that I am in possession of internal order documents confirming that Z 3301 was “chief encryptor” of the organization calling itself Cicada 3301 in 2018.
Indeed, Z 3301, Thomas Schoenberger, Michael Levine, Manuel Chavez III and Arturo Tafoyovsky among others are depicted brainstorming in long email threads. The subjects that they discuss are puzzle development and taskings.
I often promise that I will publish these documents and dissect them in later articles. As I am sensitive to the criticism that it is taking me a long time to complete this work, (and I owe Manuel Chavez III an apology on this score and I hereby render it), I will publish a sample document here, now, to whet the appetite of those waiting for them.
This email thread is dated April 19, 2018. It includes Manuel Chavez III (defango), Thomas Schoenberger (TStGermain), Z 3301 (aka “Richard,” monkaS, lethargiclemur, Kryptos Journal) and Michael Levine. I redact Z 3301’s email and the email address of Michael Levine. The other addresses were long ago doxxed by others.
The email is titled “Issue of Authenticity,” and it presages the germinating meltdown between Thomas Schoenberger and Manuel Chavez III that provokes Chavez to blow Cicada’s cover for good on May 7, 2018.
Explaining the multiple dynamics that were percolating within the order at this time will require a separate article, so I will confine my remarks here to noting that Schoenberger mismanaged Chavez, and so incensed him that Chavez burned Cicada down.
Considering that multiple other internal documents attest to intramural disputes within the order, we must now assess whether Z 3301’s recollections in our recent exchanges are merely erroneous, or whether his selective memory is deliberate. And why.
Z 3301 did send me statements addressing some of the contradictions that arise in our discussion, and I will publish them in full, verbatim and unredacted. For the moment, this fragment demands to be inserted now:
“I do know what happened and the timeline, but I’m not going to mention any of that for publication because she (a reference to Beth Bogaerts, who exerts a Yoko Ono-like influence over certain parties) specifically requested I don’t. So, no, I do not mean to be contradicting or anything.
But, I will tell you, I do not know who Titus Frost is, gHOST is a joke, Arturo is clinically insane, Wanner is a blackmailer, TS is a pillhead and manipulator, and I want to stay neutral because I, like Beth, Michael and genki, am done with it.” (Z 3301, Email, October 7, 2019, 13:37 PM Bangkok Local).
For those who are mystified, read on. Remember that my purpose is to analyze the organization, functions and goals of Cicada 3301, a standard approach for a political scientist investigating covert and clandestine organizations, and my method is to interview those who were involved with the order, integrating primary source documents where possible. Such an analysis was previously infeasible.
The more that Cicada elders break cover from clandestinity and talk to me, the better our understanding of internal order dynamics. For those elders who remain undecided, I encourage them to reach out to me. I will preserve your security. I offer an opportunity to speak without redaction for the historical record.
Remember the Puzzle?
Returning to our “fresh hint,” it turns out that the SteemIt allusion published by @j1337 on September 9, 2019 is a partial clue. The graphic that Z 3301 shared with me on September 13, 2019 includes an additional portion on the right side, as shown below.
Z 3301 added, “There’s a third key as well.” Later on the same day, after I asked him about that third key, he clarified, “Chart the stars is actually the hint.” (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 08:49 AM; Email, September 13, 2019 13:14 PM Bangkok Local).
On September 18, 2019, Arturo Tafoyovsky (aka Lestat) shared this graphic titled Chart the Stars with me. There are two versions, one dark, and the other illuminated. Schoenberger often disparages Tafoyovsky, claiming that his involvement with 3301 was peripheral, when the rich graphic record demonstrably refutes him. Tafoyovsky is the designer who created these works of art, as well as the others that follow.
History owes Arturo Tafoyovsky a debt of gratitude for sharing so liberally with me. Schoenberger accuses me of complicity with Tafoyovsky, but in the wrong way: my goal was never to attain any position of influence within the wreckage of the remnants of 3301. I simply wanted to document and preserve what happened, and I am allied with Tafoyovsky in that cypherpunk goal.
Tafoyovsky also shared the following three illustrations. The first superimposes the Cicada logo atop dimly perceptible star maps. The graphic is quite large, so feel free to download it, zoom in, and adjust the lighting.
Tafoyovsky also sent me this astronomical pencil drawing of the constellation of the Eagle. In Latin, “Eagle” is AQVILA and in Spanish águila.
This final illustration sent to me by Tafoyovsky is also titled Chart the Stars, and the same stellar configuration is centered between mirrored star maps.
I was resigned to see that this 5-dot hint is actually quite old. It was included in a video by Fright Knight on YouTube on October 25, 2018 (timestamp 1:07). (Fright Knight, “This Painting Will SOLVE Liber Primus of Cicada 3301,” YouTube, October 25, 2018).
Recycling old clues is the least of our problems. But then, Arturo Tafoyovsky did post yet one more hint on his twitterfeed (@tafoyovsky).
In my interview with Cicada elder gHOST3301 published on September 2, 2019, we are advised that Liber Primus was encrypted in multiple stages, and each stage was executed by a separate cryptographer. Most crucially: the keys are embedded within Liber Primus, they are not external to it.
gHOST: I will share something with you that I just shared that a lot of people do not know. About Liber Primus. I’m going to tell you why not one person can break it. It is because a lot of people created it.” [20:32].
gHOST: “So the steps needed to break Liber Primus are already in the puzzle. See that’s the key. You have to solve the puzzle to get the steps. So not one individual person knows all the steps. These steps were implemented in the creation of the puzzle, so it took many people to create the puzzle, it took many people to create Liber Primus, and that was implemented from the beginning to help protect that puzzle and to help protect the integrity of the book.” [23:06].
gHOST: It’s kind of like when you make money. Not one person knows how to make the money. You’ve got between 6-7 different people who are doing the casting, they cast it out, so that one hand can’t replicate it perfectly. I was watching this thing on counterfeiting, and how to make money, and the Federal Reserve does that, they actually use 5-6 different individuals to do the hand-details of the cast that they use to print the money out. So one person can’t leave and know how to completely replicate the dollar bill. It is the same concept for the book.” [23:46].
(Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez, Cicada Files: gHOST3301 Interviewed, Samizdat, September 2, 2019).
This hint, which contradicts an historical 3301 emphasis on solo solving, not only endorses a crowdsourced approach: it is the first actual new clue released by a Cicada elder in the past year. Unfortunately the domination of the 3301 solving community by a xenophobic coterie that systematically excludes new ideas handicaps the effort to break Liber Primus.
Introducing: The Wikia
When I announced publication of my interview with gHOST3301 on the Cicada subreddit, my posts were shadowbanned. I was astonished. Likewise my interview with Arturo Tafoyovsky. Both interviews remain shadowbanned there as I write this. I will address this cabal that suppresses new thinking on the Cicada subreddit further: Z 3301 condemns them as “the Wikia.”
One of the parties who was granted prepublication review of the initial draft of this article was Martin Wehrmeyer, aka brotherBox, a preeminent figure within the Wikia. Martin Wehrmeyer was frantic over my identification of his surname, which is widely known, as it was previously published in Rolling Stone and elsewhere. I cannot claim that identifying Wehrmeyer was a masterstroke of research: he comes right up in a Google search.
I am zero #cicada3301 cracking the code, “#Cicada3301 cracking the code part 3,” YouTube, August 16, 2019.
“These are considered “Classic Cicada 3301 era videos that I downloaded when they appeared on YouTube, before brotherBox and Nox attacked them like they attacked Wind and me back in the early days of Cicada. When Liber Primus first appeared, Martin Wehrmeyer, a man who stalks women and children and even hacked a woman’s computers to watch her children sleeping is handled and dominated by a guy called Defango. Avoid Nox Populi and brotherBox aka @luceatnubis. You will be hacked and your privacy invaded by these assholes. That’s not what Cicada 3301 is about.”
With noxious indictments like this floating around the net, I understand Mr. Wehrmeyer’s dread. His net war with a 4chan anon known as IamZeroes was legendary. Arturo Tafoyovsky identified IamZeroes as Tim Young in our interview in May, 2019.
To humor Mr. Wehrmeyer’s paranoias, I initially agreed to redact his surname. He is, after all, a relatively tertiary figure within the overall scheme of Cicada writ large. While he is prominent within the Wikia, the Wikia are principally gatekeepers for the Cicada puzzles themselves: they create nothing, and they primarily appear to be intent on throttling innovative efforts to solve Liber Primus.
Considered from this angle, suppression of my interviews suddenly made sense. It was never my intent to threaten anyone’s agenda, but the Wikia clearly perceive me as a disruption. They are intent on preserving their role as intermediaries to the puzzles: they are self-appointed gatekeepers, they exercise a monopoly position over new documentaries or articles, direct sunlight is impermissible. My crime was failing to genuflect. After Wehrmeyer manipulated an excerpt from the prepublication draft and stoked a fake controversy, I changed my mind: I now engage in reciprocity.
Martin Wehrmeyer and I engaged in a lengthy Twitter DM (Direct Message) exchange, which I embargo for now. I find it boring. I may at some point publish the interaction, as it illuminates his personality in detestible detail. Wehrmeyer also sent me emails, from which I selectively share. I publish them in their entirety in Cicada Files: The Repugnant brotherBox.
“Oh wow. I have many comments about this. Before I talk to you any further, I ask you to remove any real name attribution from me. I am neither confirming nor denying the accuracy of the name. I am stating that my name is irrelevant to any of these discussions, as is the real name of anyone in the community… Furthermore, I never advertised or disclosed my real name, so it isn’t for anyone to know… Privacy is a principle of mine and I ask you to abide by that.” (brotherBox, Email, October 7, 2019 13:21 PM Bangkok Local).
In this early era of the internet, none of us can snuggle securely in anonymity, particularly when our conduct alienates tech-savvy constituencies. Martin Wehrmeyer’s surname can be googled in 15 seconds, and I am far from his lone critic. It is ironic that Wehrmeyer was quoted in Rolling Stone: “Cicada attracts a fair bunch of loonies and paranoid people.” (David Kushner, “Cicada: Solving the Web’s Deepest Mystery,” Rolling Stone, January 15, 2015). Indeed. He is very much one of them.
Mr. Wehrmeyer kindly responded with a defensive apologia justifying the Wikia’s subjugation of the 3301 solving community. He granted me permission to cull from his remarks, which I nonetheless publish in entirety.
“I understand your commitment to quote verbatim and in full, but I doubt it is going to be helpful if my remarks are simply attached to the bottom of the full piece. Thus I understand if you pick and choose a bit here, a shard there. As long as you keep the quotations faithful to the original meaning I’m alright with them being inlined.” (Martin Wehrymeyer, brotherBox, Email, October 8, 2019 23:42 PM Bangkok Local).
I publish Mr. Martin Wehrmeyer’s complete statement in full and without redaction. Martin Wehrmeyer and his co-conspirators in the tyrant Wikia employ shadowbanning. I will not.
All tales need a hero and a villain. As this story is a Cicada story, there are many villains. Some of them are more reprehensible than others. Some, indeed, are repugnant.
I am learning that even Cicada elders, its oldest members, disagree on fundamental issues like terminology, origins, membership, and participation. While all agree that the order was born in clandestinity, they do not agree on the incept date. While most genuine Cicada elders remain clandestine, a very few are now merely covert, and it is with these that I conduct my enquiry.
The school of thought that I favor dates Cicada back to 2012, or 2011. A contending school of thought, derived from statements by an infamous elder who is known to solvers and members alike, dates its origins back to 2003. Proponents of this incept date provide no evidence, no documentation, and no more corroboration than the simple statement. Consequently I mention the claim, but until I see proofs, I do not consider it credible.
Another elder states that Ian Murdock, the creator of the Debian Linux distribution, was a founder of Cicada 3301 known as The Architect. The documentary record of this account is so detailed that it is nearly unassailable. Another elder states that Murdock was neither a member nor a founder, but furnishes no confirmation, again beyond the simple statement. (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 00:01 AM Bangkok Local).
This elder, known as Z 3301, claims that there were 12 founding members, but declines to provide any verifiable evidence, or even any user names or aliases. When asked whether he knows the other members, he freely admits that he does not.
Trujillo: “Can you name any others?”
Z 3301: “I can’t name others.”
Trujillo: “Are all members known to one another?”
Z 3301: “No.”
Trujillo: “Are all the founders still involved? Have any founders been deceased?”
Z 3301: “I’m not sure.”
Trujillo: “Is it accurate to describe original members as “elders?”
Z 3301: “I don’t think so, I don’t really know them, though. I took a leadership role around 2013 but only for a small team.”
Trujillo: “Can you give me any inkling or description of the founders? You seem to confirm that the claim that there were three original founders is a false legend, as my research suggests.”
Z 3301: “Not really, no.” (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 08:49 AM Bangkok Local).
The consequence is a predicament where one elder may not know the identity of another elder, or even whether another elder was involved in the organization at all. Aside from complicating questions of authenticity, factions among elders are now discernible, reaching back to the oldest strata of Cicada 3301. When I pressed Z 3301 for a video interview, seeking to investigate these matters, he replied:
“I’m not open for an interview like that. But I can answer all of your questions through email. This email is on a separate laptop with all ports except the email closed and it’d be a lapse of security to communicate through any other medium.” (Z 3301, Email, September 12, 2019 22:23 PM Bangkok Local).
Why am I skeptical? Weirdly, Z 3301 granted me permission to publish his actual name and identifying details which I nonetheless embargo. Many already know his first name, “Richard,” which is probably a work name, an alias, in any case. Assuming that Z was telling me the truth, I see no point in further exposing such biographical information.
Interviewing Cicada elders, presumably the most definitive sources of information about the order, is teaching me that little is verifiable, though these elders are gradually sharing details that do fill in gaps. I was warned that contact with Cicada elders would be problematic, and this is indeed proving to be the case.
Returning to the subject of canonicity, gHOST3301, a Cicada elder whose involvement in the order reaches back to 2011, addressed the present-day status of the puzzles and the Cicada organization itself in conversation with Arturo Tafoyovsky (Lestat) on June 30. Tafoyovsky (a pseudonym for Tafoya) was chief of graphics for the extra-canonical group calling itself Cicada in 2018.
In January, 2016, Cicada tweeted a link to an InfoTomb graphic (below), which pointed solvers back at Liber Primus, and culminated with the warning: “Beware false paths. Verify OpenPGP 7A35090F.”
This was Cicada reinforcing that Liber Primus was the 2015 puzzle, and that no further puzzles were forthcoming. No PGP-signed puzzles were released by Cicada after that. None. Although Z 3301 collaborated with Thomas Schoenberger on puzzles between 2015-9, per his own statement, none of them were signed with the PGP Key.
“TS (Thomas Schoenberger) is not affiliated with Parker Wright but he did compose music with my puzzles from 15-19 (sic),” meaning from 2015 to 2019. (Z 3301, Email, September 14, 2019 12:55 PM Bangkok Local).
I will explain the reference to Parker Wright momentarily. Complicating an already confusing situation, Z asserts that Schoenberger was expelled from Cicada 3301 in 2017. The problem is that Z 3301 collaborated with Schoenberger on puzzles after 2017. I included one email confirming this above, in full.
Other internal Cicada documents in my possession illustrate puzzle brainstorming between Z, Schoenberger, and other members of latter-day Cicada in 2018. In the email excerpt above, Z states that Schoenberger composed music for his puzzles until 2019. I cited the excerpt below previously, but it demands to be reprinted a second time.
Trujillo: I am trying to understand why Schoenberger was permitted to coordinate puzzle development with your cooperation. Why was he not expelled from the group?
Z 3301: He was. I worked with him 2015 to 2017.
Trujillo: Will you collaborate with Schoenberger on future projects? I suppose that my actual question is whether you still consider him a friend, after his attacks on Beth (Ms. Bogaerts., aka Revolution Fox and many other pseudonyms)?
Z 3301: No. I can’t because of the trademark. I consider him a friend but I don’t agree with friends all of the time. I don’t agree with what he did with Beth or the infighting. But he helped me when I needed it.” (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 03:56 AM Bangkok Local).
Schoenberger socially-engineered Z 3301, and confused his loyalties. Schoenberger added elsewhere that he, Ms. Bogaerts and Michael Levine supported Z financially during a period when Z was medically unable to work. What else are friends for?
I am sympathetic to Z, and I am glad that his friends stepped up to help him in his time of need. But why did Schoenberger feel a need to make such a statement, about a personal matter which should remain private? This tells us much about the personality of Thomas Schoenberger, and my hope is that Z 3301 considers it in his future dealings with him. His most personal affairs are prone to be exposed to an audience of thousands.
I regret that I decided to publish this. In the end analysis, I err on the side of revelation: Mr. Schoenberger must be exposed, and Z 3301 should not feel embarrassed that he made such poor choices for friends. Now he knows what Schoenberger is. And so do we.
“And by the way, Esteban, Z did receive a lot of money from Beth. And, you know, I’ve tried to take care of Z, too. So has Michael (Levine). (04:50 timestamp, Joe Blow (Thomas Schoenberger), “The Road to Redemption with Esteban,” YouTube, November 8, 2019).
This video was deleted from YouTube when the Joe Blow channel was struck, “terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten,” in December, 2019. I downloaded the video, along with many others that defame me, and so I am able to host it here for posterity. In time, I will archive this video and others lost to oblivion on the impermeable blockchain at LBRY.tv/Cicada3301.
It goes without saying that all Schoenberger videos committing felonies and defaming me are now in the custody of the Bay Area FBI Cyber Squad and the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. What they decide to do with them is out of my hands. I also advised an FBI Legal Attaché that Thomas Schoenberger was citing a tenuous common-law connection to him and abusing it as a shield to commit felonies. Schoenberger will not be permitted to embarrass either an FBI Legat or the Bureau itself.
Did I Get It Twisted?
Z is unambiguous about his support for Ms. Beth Bogaerts, and one of his final statements to me was, “Lastly, I think you got it twisted, I agreed to this interview for Beth’s benefit.” (Z 3301, Email, October 7, 2019 13:13 PM Bangkok Local).
I granted Z 3301 prepublication access to this article so that he could address these contradictions. He responded with a statement which I will publish verbatim and unredacted momentarily. I suppose that this is an appropriate point to observe that Cicada elders who happen to be cryptological geniuses are not automatically supermen in other respects.
What does become clear is that Z 3301 states that he will not collaborate with Thomas Schoenberger on future projects because the entire purpose of the Primus Holdings, LLC Trademark, according to Z 3301, was to deny Schoenberger permission to create projects employing Cicada imagery and symbols.
Trujillo: What can you tell me about Primus Holdings?
Z 3301: It was copyright to prevent TS (Thomas Schoenberger) from using the name. (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 01:14 AM Bangkok Local).
Fortunately, Mr. Marcus Wanners, who is the lone holder of the Cicada 3301 Trademark and the sole proprieter of Primus Holdings, LLC, replied to my email invitation to preview the prepublication draft of this article. His comments are salted below as appropriate, and published in full, without redaction, elsewhere on this site: Cicada Files: Marcus Wanners & “Halfassed Journalism.”
I must note that Ms. Bogaerts expresses a nuanced view about the matter, claiming that she did not trademark Cicada 3301 to deny it to Schoenberger: she did it to “protect 3301.” This matter can be analyzed to death, there are allegations floating around that she initially promised to give the Trademark to Schoenberger as a gift, he himself made that statement, and he then raged after she decided to retain it herself.
Specifically, Mr. Wanners speaks definitively about the Trademark, which Z claims was “copyright to prevent TS from using the name.” (Email, above).
We must acknowledge that Ms. Bogaerts was under acute stress, Schoenberger and his cohorts were unimaginably abusive to her. She made the best decision that she could under the circumstances. It is too early to assess how history will weigh her choice of Marcus Wanners. She made her decision, and now the rest of us must live with it. I discuss this in detail elsewhere.
These matters aside, we consequently see Cicada elders who otherwise are not in obvious collaboration coinciding in their intent. In the conversation between himself and Arturo Tafoyovsky on June 30, gHOST said:
“The last valid (sic) is from the original Twitterfeed January 5, 2016 and it said “Beware false paths.” That was to warn about what was to come, Thomas, and fake Cicada puzzles and what happened since 2016.” (Dustin757, “gHOST3301 LESTAT TALK CICADA 3301 PART 1,” YouTube, June 30, 2019).
The statement is unambiguous. After January, 2016, according to gHOST3301, all Cicada puzzles beside Liber Primus were extra-canonical, fake Cicada, and technically “false paths.”
The problem is that Z 3301 was “chief encryptor” and integral to puzzle development within the group calling itself Cicada 3301 after this date, and specifically in 2018. His participation developing “fake” puzzles confuses the authenticity of otherwise illegitimate proceedings, and several of his statements are contradictory.
Z 3301 and the Fake Isaac Kappy DeadMan’s Switch KeyBase Crack
Known to Cicada insiders and to many solvers as Z 3301, among numerous other user names, I leave his identity otherwise pseudonymous for now because our conversations continue and there is no need to identify him further. A separate problem is that the Z 3301 persona was hijacked by Thomas Schoenberger at various times in the past.
Indeed, I asked Z 3301 whether he interviewed with Titus Frost (aka Dean Fougere) in the recent past, and he confirmed to me that he did not. At first I thought that Z simply forgot that he talked to Mr. Fougere. As the following screenshots illustrate, Z remembers quite well. Z 3301 vehemently denies that he cracked Isaac Kappy’s KeyBase Deadman’s Switch.
Titus Frost (aka Dean Fougere), “Isaac Kappy – Z Broke the Code – Eliahi Priest? #SpyGames,” YouTube, September 25, 2019. In the Description for this video Fougere writes, “In this video I am going over the code broken by Z from 3301.” Then he writes, “An Anonymous Government Source “Nemesis” has provided the information, No not an intelligence agent, a government source “Eliahi” as was stated in the video.” (sic).
It is not my intention to humiliate Mr. Fougere. He is a Schoenberger partisan, his support for Schoenberger on YouTube and Twitter is notorious. This is his privilege. He is entitled to consort with anyone that he chooses. He may cast a more skeptical eye on future collusion with Mr. Schoenberger, when he recognizes how Schoenberger deceived him in this case.
It appears that Thomas Schoenberger not only masqueraded as Z 3301, that he misrepresented himself to Mr. Fougere as Z, but also as “Nemesis.” Indeed, Mr. Schoenberger tweeted that “Nem,” as in Nemesis, was in “direct contact” with Mr. Fougere, as if his tweets–or the alleged emails–vindicated that fictitious entity.
For Schoenberger, the ludicrous character of Nemesis is just another pantomime. Mr. Fougere declines to publish either his correspondence with Z or with “Nemesis” because they illustrate the likelihood that both were fabrications. Schoenberger will, of course, trumpet his innocence.
Their problem is that Z categorically confirmed: “I do not know who Titus Frost is.” (Z 3301, Email, October 7, 2019 13:37 PM Bangkok Local). This was Z’s fourth unequivocal confirmation that he did not interact with Dean Fougere.
But, I will tell you, I do not know who Titus Frost is, gHOST is a joke, Arturo is clinically insane, Wanner is a blackmailer, TS is a pillhead and manipulator, and I want to stay neutral because I, like Beth, Michael and genki, am done with it.” (Z 3301, Email, October 7, 2019, 13:37 PM Bangkok Local).
This would not be the first time that Schoenberger exchanged emails using a Z 3301 email account. I encountered his charades as I analyzed the cache of Cicada internal documents in my custody, and Manuel Chavez III warned me that Schoenberger masqueraded as Z from time to time, as did Arturo Tafoyovsky.
We see Thomas Schoenberger claiming that Z 3301 helped him crack Isaac Kappy’s KeyBase DeadMan’s Switch in Steve Outtrim’s “Isaac Kappy Investigation Part 5: Most High with ELiahi,” Burners.Me, September 9, 2019, for example.
Mr. Outtrim is slippery in this installment, saying that he publishes it because he was “asked to by someone claiming to be a whistleblower.” He claims that he does not endorse the statements, “Do your own research,” while he provides Schoenberger a platform for defamation. I am not a lawyer, but attorneys explain to me that Outtrim’s conduct here may skirt the fringe of the legally actionable, despite his weasel words and alibi phrasing.
All quite dramatic, but I can tell you that Mr. Gabe Hoffman is not amused. Mr. Hoffman is the “GH” referred to in the excerpt above. There is no doubt that “GH” refers to him. I understand that Mr. Hoffman considers these allegations by a dead man, disseminated by Thomas Schoenberger and amplified by Steve Outtrim, libelous and defamatory.
While Outtrim clings to deniable phrasing and claims “this information is not endorsed by this site, we are simply publishing it because we were asked to by someone claiming to be a whistleblower,” this may not insulate him from legal jeopardy. Steve Outtrim’s statements elsewhere, his transparent collusion with Schoenberger, may breach a legal standard for partisan RICO co-conspiracy with Thomas Schoenberger.
What makes the Kappy KeyBase DeadMan’s Switch affair even more dubious is the probability that the DeadMan’s Switch did not even exist. Not only did Z 3301 not crack it, there was nothing in it to be revealed.
The Kappy KeyBase DeadMan’s Switch appears to be an element in yet another LARP. Outtrim’s publication of these statements and others amplifies them significantly, penetrating into the real world. Actual people, tangible reputations, are harmed. Calculable monetary damages are inflicted. What makes this all the more nefarious is the fact that Z 3301 did not crack Isaac Kappy’s DeadMan’s Switch, Z 3301 unambiguously asserts that he did not do it, and yet again, Thomas Schoenberger’s role exceeds mere LARPing–RICO conspiracy is more like it.
Z 3301 could not more definitively deny cracking Kappy’s KeyBase files:
“No, I never even looked into the project and they kept emailing me about it. I don’t care about their keybase (sic). It’s literally a pointless crack.” (Z 3301, Email, October 5, 2019 10:07 PM Bangkok Local).
Schoenberger pulled a similar sockpuppet maneuver with the A858 persona, as documented by Arturo Tafoyovsky in our interview on May 24, 2019. Tafoyovsky alerted Mr. Fougere to Schoenberger’s manipulations when he mocked the ludicrous “Nemesis” persona that fed Fougere in his Isaac Kappy / Eliahi Priest video above.
Did Schoenberger also masquerade as “Nemesis?” While the published statements by Fougere’s Z seem too technical for Mr. Schoenberger, whose expertise is meager, nothing precludes the hypothesis that Schoenberger impersonated both personas. I do not put it past him. Close study of these matters over many months confirms for me that he dares many frauds. He loudly denies all complicity, of course.
I am unsure whether Schoenberger enjoys access to more than one email account used by Z, or just to the one in this case that employs the user name lethargiclemur.
Those who interact with Mr. Schoenberger eventually realize that he employs a staggering number of sock accounts, manipulating multiple sock accounts is a standard repertoire in his cyber arsenal, and some of these accounts seem to be community property among his collaborators.
We see here Z 3301 denying three times in succession that he interviewed with Dean Fougere, aka Titus Frost. I went back to Z three times because it seemed probable that he just forgot. I did not suspect Dean Fougere of fraud. I do think that he is credulous.
And then one final time, Z insistently confirmed: “I do not know who Titus Frost is.” (Z 3301, Email, October 7, 2019 13:37 PM Bangkok Local). Again: this was Z’s fourth unambiguous confirmation that he did not interact with Dean Fougere, there was no interview, there was no interaction, and there were apparently no emails sent to Fougere by the authentic Z 3301.
I accordingly advised Mr. Fougere that the Z that he spoke to was not the actual Z 3301, but he was not appreciative. Mr. Fougere blocked me on Twitter. Apparently testimonial evidence perturbs his emotional equilibrium. Rather than confront his cognitive dissonance and share emails exchanged with his Z, Fougere recited “la-la-la” in his mind and then blocked me. That surprised me. Mr. Fougere talks a tough game on YouTube.
I am not seeking a dispute with Mr. Fougere. It would not be a fair fight, in any case, as he is a weak researcher whose knowledge is limited to what he can apprehend watching videos. I doubt that Mr. Fougere read a book in the past ten years. Those who watch his YouTube channel will observe that he mostly reads articles out loud for an audience of some 40,000 subscribers who cannot be troubled to read them for themselves.
I cannot claim an omniscient knowledge of all things Cicada, but Z 3301 did interact with solvers many times in the past. Z told me himself that one famous ProtonMail.ch address was abandoned. When it became known that I was interviewing Z 3301, one Cicada insider asked, “are you sure that is not j1337?”
I am not certain, how could I be? But the Z that I interacted with over these past weeks used two separate email accounts previously associated with Z 3301, switching between them fluidly, and his language was internally consistent. Beth Bogaerts confirmed that I was talking to the “real Z.” I cite from our exchange liberally in the paragraphs that follow, so readers can decide for themselves.
The Real Z 3301?
Unprompted, in one of our email exchanges, Ms. Bogaerts confirmed that I was interacting with the “real Z,” and she expressed regret that it was even necessary to verify his identity. That email is reproduced above.
“You have talked to the real Z and I appreciate him very much. I did not mean to upset him by giving away the trademark and it hurts me that I have. He has always been kind. I respect him very much. He shouldn’t have to prove things to you because he is real.” (Beth Bogaerts (Foxfire2112@REDACTED.com), Email, October 7, 2019 15:51 hrs Bangkok Local).
Considering Schoenberger’s ubiquity, his inveterate interference in exchanges that do not pertain to him, I can be forgiven, perhaps, for craving another layer of security confirming that I am talking to the real Z. Another insider said, “I would not trust Z one bit,” and later summed up: “fake emails… (that) is Joao from Brasil.” He emphasized, “I’m sure it’s Joao.”
So. I may be talking to the authentic Z 3301, or I may be talking to a Cicada insider known as Joao, among other names. One thing that I am certain of: I was not talking to Thomas Schoenberger. The conversation was too lucid and too technical, and Schoenberger would never be able to contain himself if he successfully deceived me in this way. My correspondent could be j1337, but I do not think so. Rather than getting embroiled in identities, I focus on the content of the conversation.
When our discussions finally do end, I may write a separate article commenting on the multiple tendrils of our exchanges. While Z gave me permission to reveal his identity, including his legal name and biographical details, I prefer to concern myself with his security more than he does.
Introducing The Heathen Group
Z 3301 characterized some latter-day members of the group calling themselves Cicada 3301 as a “tertiary group who picked up the Cicada name.” He continued, “they’re the heathen group and are led at Parker W. wright, the creator of the 11xb plague doctor video that was it’s own ARG (sic).” (Z 3301, Email, September 12, 2019 22:23 PM Bangkok Local).
Later Z pointed me at The Heathen Group, saying that, “THG is its own thing. It is a collective of ARG creators and more of a think-tank than anything to create viral marketing enigmas.” (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019, 0114 AM Bangkok Local).
This is not as confusing as it appears. I will explain for the benefit of those who do not understand the shorthand. Parker Warner Wright claimed to be the creator of the disturbing 11B-X-1371 video released in 2015. Z 3301 tells us that Wright leads a “tertiary group,” which also included some other known Cicada insiders. He did name some of them, but absent corroboration, I withhold their names. For now.
Some of these Cicada insiders from various periods liberally use the Cicada name, brand, logo and symbols, and as we see, this is a primary reason why Primus Holdings, LLC was incorporated: to deny use of trademarked materials to those unauthorized to use them.
Primus Holdings, LLC
Directly asked, “what can you tell me about Primus Holdings?” Z 3301 definitively declares: “It was copyright to prevent TS from using the name,” referring to Thomas Schoenberger. (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 01:14 AM Bangkok Local).
This statement conflates the Cicada 3301 Trademark with the Cicada 3301 Copyright. They are not the same thing. I will post these excerpts from a copyright search for SONY Pictures Entertainment dated 2018, and address the topic in detail elsewhere.
We here discuss the Cicada 3301 Trademark. The intricacies of the Cicada 3301 Copyright demand detailed analysis. I will address it separately at a later date.
Primus Holdings, LLC wasn’t my idea but brought to me by Beth and I told her to do what makes her feel best. Primus Holdings doesn’t affect me at all because I have permission legally from her to use the name and logo. (Z 3301, Email, September 11, 2019 22:43 PM Bangkok Local).
Aside from confirming, “TS isn’t a part of Primus Holdings,” referring to Thomas Schoenberger, Z 3301 shares little further information, beyond speculating about the stakeholders. (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 13:14 PM Bangkok Local).
Z believes that he knows their identities, but he is not certain, so I see no value in repeating his guesses. In any case, we now know more about Primus Holdings than Z 3301, and from an unassailable source: Marcus Wanners himself, published elsewhere on this site. Surprisingly, Z reveals that he was invited to be the custodian of the Trademark, and he declined.
Trujillo: Did Schoenberger offer to include you in these negotiations with Hollywood?
Z 3301: He did. I refused. I also refused to take the trademark from Beth (Bogaerts) when asked, but I was the first choice. I don’t agree with either.” (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 03:56 AM Bangkok Local).
I published the definitive statement by Ms. Bogaerts above. Another insider who is a confidante of Ms. Bogaerts separately confirmed: “Z got offered the trademark and did not want it. Or Z went nuts. Or that’s not Z.” (Private conversation, September 18, 2019 16:56 PM Bangkok Local). Manuel Chavez III also discussed these questions in detail with me during our interview of May 22, 2019. I am still researching that interview, and will publish it when it is complete.
It is also pertinent to recall that Z 3301 discussed the issue of hijacked intellectual property with Manuel Chavez III in April, 2018. In email dated April 19, 2018, Z 3301 as MonkaS wrote, “reminder that I have created the puzzles since last year…and they’ve used my content to pitch the Sony deal too.”
Many are wondering about the officers of Primus Holdings. Marcus Wanners is the lone shareholder and consequently the lone custodian of the Cicada 3301 Trademark (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 01:14 AM Bangkok Local).
While Ms. Bogaerts and Mr. Michael Levine were listed as the initial Trademark holders at its inception, the current custodian of the Trademark is Marcus Wanners through Primus Holdings, LLC. Mr. Levine is no longer listed.
Bottom line: Cicada 3301 reiterated its warning in April 2017, cautioning solvers to “Beware false paths. Always verify PGP signature from 7A35090F.” This is the final confirmed, authentic PGP-signed message published by Cicada to this date.
Enter the Meddlers
Since that time, puzzles by the Schoenberger-dominated inner circle were published, incorporating the logo and the symbols of the order, but those puzzles lacked legitimacy, as they were not PGP-signed. Nonetheless, a known elder was involved in their creation. Z 3301 consequently said this much more:
“But also, yes, false paths are mentioned as its assumed, where there are meddling forces in the group. 2016 it was pi mobi. We didn’t work that year. 2017 it was SVV, Qanon, and Tengri 137 who all claimed to be part of Cicada.” (Z 3301, Email, September 14, 2019 00:55 AM Bangkok Local).
It is now understood that Thomas Schoenberger released the puzzle Pi.Mobi in 2016. It was not affiliated with Cicada 3301, though Schoenberger falsely implied that it was. Cicada insiders now assess that Pi.Mobi was Schoenberger’s vehicle for hijacking 3301. He succeeded–for awhile.
Z 3301 explained that SVV was a “small arg cult who invested in creating their own cryptocurrency called ohmcoin (sic).” (Z 3301, Email, September 14, 2019 01:12 AM Bangkok Local). I still do not know who was behind Tengri 137, but I remain entertained by its energy tech white papers and extraterrestrial inferences.
For those who do not know (I was among them), SVV stands for Sodalitas Vulturis Volantis, which appears to mean the Flying Vulture Society, though I admit that I intermittently attended a lone semester of Latin in 1979.
A SteemIt page explaining ohmcoin reveals that SVV is an ARG (Alternate Reality Game), while a December 4, 2017 article by Kennedy links QAnon, Cicada 3301, and our friend Defango (Manuel Chavez III) to Tyler the AI.
Z 3301 elaborated:
“There are a lot of people who use handles and go out into the public domain to preach about Cicada, but they just do it to be heard by the solving community or hopd (sic) to be brought into the organization. There are so many that it’s hard to keep track. Lestat was one, Qanon, Tengri 137 and a few others I can’t think of at the moment. Really it’s pointless and I think solvers are intelligent enough to make their own judgements.” (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 00:01 AM Bangkok Local).
Many solvers are, but not all, and the best ARGs are those that never break the spell, insisting that they represent empirical reality. This is, after all, what defines the ARG as an art form: you never quite know when it is fake and when it is real, and oftentimes it is both. A bizarre melange of fantastic realities illustrates that fact remains stranger than fiction.
Z 3301 continues:
“Some praise LP (Liber Primus), others think Cicada is behind several other ARGs, some think it ended in 2012, some think TS (Thomas Schoenberger) is the “leader” of Cicada, some think there are broods, some think it’s a chatroom, some think the puzzles are recruitment for the CIA/NSA. None of that is true though.” (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 00:01 AM Bangkok Local).
So the school of thought that I subscribe to dismisses puzzles created under the Schoenberger regime (2015-9), as they are not PGP-signed: they are “false paths.” Despite the involvement of a lone elder in their creation, a process which is confirmed by the internal documentation of the order in my possession, no PGP signature authenticated those puzzles. As I study these matters, I increasingly sympathize with a point of view dismissing them.
When I explained to Z that I am writing about the organization, functions and goals of Cicada 3301, a standard approach for a political scientist analyzing a clandestine or covert organization (the classic example of the genre remains Andrew Molnar, et al, Human Factors Considerations of Undergrounds in Insurgencies, SORO Special Operations Research Office, Georgetown University, 1987), Z 3301 replied:
“It functions just by collaborators who support the goal of reinventing privacy and what it means to be private. My role is basically a puzzle curator. I make puzzles and present them.” (Z 3301, Email, September 11, 2019 21:40 PM Bangkok Local).
When I bluntly asked Z why he collaborated with Thomas Schoenberger during the extra-canonical period 2015-9, his reply was commensurately terse: “Music.” As an artist, I can understand that art is its own justification. But we are contending now with a pathological perpetrator who persecutes Beth Bogaerts and gang-stalks her in concert with a crew of deluded allies. Consider me Neanderthal, but as a man, I find this despicable.
Z 3301 considers himself a friend of Beth Bogaerts, but I find his support for her tepid. I suppose that we should not be surprised to find that this elder is poorly informed in other respects. When I pressed him about his collaboration with Schoenberger after Manuel Chavez III blew the cover of Cicada sky high on May 7, 2018, he rationalized:
“TS (Thomas Schoenberger) didn’t attempt to monetize Cicada lol. Defango has his heart in the right place but not all the facts straight.” (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 02:51 AM Bangkok Local).
But yet again, I am in possession of inner order documentation that confirms that Schoenberger did indeed attempt to monetize Cicada 3301. Moreoever, documents attesting the attempt to sell Cicada to Hollywood were long ago leaked to the public domain. Anyone can search them and read them for themselves. Just one example:
Manuel Chavez was not incorrect about that simple fact, and my research is confirming that Chavez is a reliable source of information about latter-day Cicada during the extra-canonical period of his involvement. The internal documents of the order in my possession confirm it. These will be published when my interview series with Chavez is completed. It is a very long, complicated project, and it is taking a long time to finalize.
But yet again, we catch Z 3301 in a contradiction. Z continued:
“Yes, TS was a part of the pi mobi puzzle but that is it. He’s done musical pieces on Sophia Musik and really, that’s all he’s done outside of the music for the puzzles. So that’s why he was involved.” (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 02:51 AM Bangkok Local).
Thomas Schoenberger was not just “a part of Pi.Mobi.” Schoenberger coordinated the team that released it, my understanding is that he was responsible for Pi.Mobi in its entirety. I recognize that Schoenberger’s culpability was probably not obvious in 2016, I am in no doubt that Schoenberger, a serial liar, long denied it, but it appears to me that Z 3301 may be selectively unaware of the multiple malfeasances of Thomas Schoenberger.
I understand wanting to give someone the benefit of the doubt, but when you give a pathological prevaricator like Schoenberger a millimeter he will make it a mile. Z 3301 and I also discussed the role of DJ Genki, but per an agreement that I made with Genki, I redact further description at this time.
Genki’s involvement was tangential, in any case. I may return to Genki in the future, depending on multiple factors. Z 3301 did confirm, as Arturo Tafoyovsky asserted in our interview of May 24, that Genki “added some special effects to the music but the composition was me. We tried creating a new puzzle that was not Cicada related but it didn’t go anywhere.” (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 02:51 AM Bangkok Local).
Interestingly enough, Z 3301 characterized Genki as a solver, not a creator, even though he admitted that Genki “added some special effects to the music.” I find it fascinating that Z 3301 is compelled to categorize people in this way.
Genki is a solver, he’s caring and protective. I believe he helped with Primus Holdings, LLC. He’s a very good person and cares deeply for other solvers or people in general. (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 00:01 AM, Bangkok Local).
Z 3301 continued:
Not sure who did what and when but I know they collaborated on the music. I believe most was composed by TS (Thomas Schoenberger) and then arranged by Levine. Lestat herded the clouding (ed. note: I advised Z that a group of domestic felines is known as a clouder or a glaring) and him emailing me for months on end about the same issues. He went crazy. No plans for 2020. (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 02:51 AM Bangkok Local).
Upon analysis, I suspect that the innermost members of Cicada 3301, a clandestine cabal of elders whose involvement reaches back to the inception of the order in 2011 and beyond, agree that the puzzles of the Schoenberger era are “false paths,” and this is why “false paths” were referenced. Not once. But twice: in January 2016, and in April 2017.
More Factions: The Wikia in Action
Accordingly, I interrupted my interview sequence when the opportunity to interview gHOST3301 arose. Our initial interview was published on September 2. Further interviews with gHOST, Z 3301, and other elders are continuing.
I was dismayed by the way that my interview with gHOST3301 was received. The personalities that dominate the Cicada solving community shadowbanned me on the Cicada subreddit, and the administrator of the Cicada Wiki dismissed gHOST, saying that he was a peripheral participant at best. Cicada is not a religion, but it does embody an ideology, and statements like this are partisan.
In my naiveté, I anticipated that Cicada solvers would celebrate such an interview with a Cicada elder, whose lineage can be traced back to one of the founders of the cypherpunk order, Ian Murdock (The Architect). I was particularly delighted because gHOST mentioned fresh hints for solvers of Liber Primus, and we agreed that more need to be disseminated, as the solvers are stumped.
Sometimes I am not that smart. I did not realize that some of these solvers are pursuing their own agendas, apparently in coordination with one successful solver, who allegedly graduated to become a member of the order, if only for a time.
Thomas Schoenberger disparaged the canonicity of gHOST3301, dismissing The Message puzzle, pointing to an irrelevant video on his YouTube channel that he also titled The Message.
Schoenberger later backed off after he attempted to open a backchannel to gHOST, an effort primarily aimed at discrediting me and buttressing the accusation that I am in cahoots with Tafoyovsky and Chavez (and sometimes with gHOST), attempting to “take over” the fragmentary remains of 3301.
In any case, @luceatnobis, aka brotherBox, aka Martin Wehrmeyer, never replied further to me on Twitter, until he twisted an excerpt from an early draft of this article into a spectacle. His clique keeps me at arm’s length, and treats me with disdain. I am just asking questions. They apparently do not like the answers that I am excavating.
When I asked Z 3301 about brotherBox, he replied, “I’ve actually interacted with BrotherBox (sic), he seems intelligent but stubborn and hard-headed.” (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 01:14 AM Bangkok Local).
The truth is, I am seeking no dispute with brotherBox. I am in fact seeking collaboration, but he and his co-conspirators seem intent on their agenda, and consider me a disruption. Others complained in the past about the dictatorial bent of the moderation on the Cicada subreddit, and I must agree. My reception there was abominable.
I consider myself fortunate to talk with Z 3301. Our conversation began on September 11, 2019, and it continued into late November. Z is a known Cicada elder whose verifiable involvement in the order dates back to its confirmable inception in 2012.
But I consider myself more fortunate to interview gHOST3301. The two elders are not in competition, but gHOST consents to video interviews, yielding far more informational bandwidth than Z, who refuses to consider any medium beyond a tedious email exchange. I understand security precautions. I told Z that I am pleased to accommodate measures to protect his identity, and indeed, I am protecting his identity beyond what he requested.
There is no question that more critical information comes from gHOST. The tidbits shared by Z are meager, doled out sentence by sentence. And there are doubts about the integrity of his email addresses. There is no question that Schoenberger hijacked at least one of them in the past. This creates the possibility that my present channel to Z is insecure, potentially vulnerable to eavesdropping.
There are points of incongruity, furthermore, even contradictions, between the information that I elicited from Z 3301 and my interviews with gHOST3301. Addressing these and resolving them will take some time. As interviews with other Cicada elders proceed, with other elders whose aliases I do not yet share, these points of dispute may be deconflicted.
And then, there is the possibility that the two elders may talk directly–if Thomas Schoenberger can be kept out of the way.
Marcus Wanners and the Meddlers
During the Schoenberger era, particularly after 2014, Z 3301 was “head encryptor,” dominating the internal process of puzzle development. I specifically asked Z about Marcus Wanners, a solver who reportedly succeeded and ascended into the ranks of the order.
Wanners was featured in a notorious 2015 Rolling Stone article, in a recent four-part documentary series Cracking the Code of Cicada 3301, and in multiple articles spanning the internet. If anyone is the public face of Cicada 3301, it is Wanners. This seems to annoy Z 3301.
When I asked Z about the recent documentary series by Great Big Story, released beginning August 14, 2019, he was surprisingly dismissive. I told Z that I thought that the videos were well done, and I do, but then I am not emotionally invested in one faction over another.
It is decent but it disproves the rolling stone article (sic). I can’t agree with the press coverage or public praise he seeks. Especially over things he wasn’t involved with or lied about. (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 21:10 PM Bangkok Local).
Apparently Z 3301 does not like Marcus Wanners very much:
Wanner is deceptive and likes the attention the puzzles bring him.However, looking from the Rolling Stone article to Great Big Story earlier this year, his story has and never will line up. (Z 3301, Email, September 11, 2019 23:07 PM Bangkok Local).
After my own interactions with Wanners, I must agree with Z 3301. I think that Wanners is an attention-whore. Again categorizing protagonists, Z 3301 added:
Wanner is a solver. I’m not sure about successful, as he’s still solving and refusing to look at certain things in LP (Liber Primus) because they’re abstract and not didactic. (Z 3301, Email, September 12, 2019 22:23 PM Bangkok Local).
When Z said, “I’m not sure about successful,” he meant in terms of graduating into membership in the order. Z casts doubt on whether Wanners was ever brought into the ranks of Cicada 3301, but we must remember that Z himself tells us that he does not enjoy omniscience over all aspects of the organization. He is clear that there is a hard distinction between solvers and creators, however, and he is emphatic that Wanners is a solver.
I then asked, “So Wanners was not brought into the organization? Was he a member of a sanctioned, authentic brood?” I do not like using that term “brood,” but it is now common, and it is appropriately descriptive. Z 3301 replied: “Not as far as I know, but I don’t know every detail either.” (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 04:14 AM Bangkok Local).
As annoyed as I may be, confined to mere email exchanges, at least Z 3301 speaks the truth that he knows, and he is not afraid to say that there are some categories of information that are beyond him. I respect this. When I ask him to expand on his criticism of Wanners, Z 3301 responds:
Wanner likes to look at facts and didactic learning. I think that there are many ways of knowing and not everything should or needs to be concrete. Abstraction inspires creativity, especially in solving. (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 13:14 PM Bangkok Local).
When I asked Z 3301 whether Wanners created CAKES (Cicada Anonymous Key Escrow System), as his fan club claims, he laughed:
No, lol, I’ve never interacted with him, he’s not anybody with power as he suggests, and if he has a role, it’s very small. Though, he may be in Parker’s playing field, not ours. But we do collaborate. (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 08:49 AM Bangkok Local).
The expression “Parker’s playing field” refers to The Heathen Group, addressed above. Pressed on CAKES, Z 3301 said: “Basically (it is) a prototype for new encryption methods. It is basically broken.” (Z 3301, Email, September 13, 2019 01:14 AM Bangkok Local).
Origins of a Fake Controversy
Then the conversation about Marcus Wanners turns darker. Z 3301 emphasizes, “he is not a part of the organization at all.” (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 04:01 AM Bangkok Local). Z further ensures that I get his point: “Also, yes wanner has the trademark despite being unaffiliated with the puzzles (sic).” (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 02:56 AM Bangkok Local).
Then Z drops this bomb:
Talking with Beth (Bogaerts) further, Wanner blackmailed and extorted her along with the Wikia into giving the trademark away. I did not know until now. The threats from TS (Thomas Schoenberger) were not the threats she was most concerned about. (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 04:13 AM Bangkok Local).
I considered this disturbing, but I reserved judgement until I spoke with Ms. Bogaerts. I considered the possibility that Wanners extorted Ms. Bogaerts so unlikely that I let the matter rest for three weeks. I presumed that a simple misunderstanding would explain the whole affair. Finally, in conversation with me on October 7, 2019, Ms. Bogaerts told me, “no, no,” but she declined to explain.
There was obviously more to the story, but Ms. Bogaerts refused to address it. I let it go, aware that the lady was concealing, but not interested in pursuing the matter further. Not only was Marcus Wanners incapable of extorting anyone, I was acutely cognizant that I was dealing with a woman who considered herself the Yoko Ono of Cicada 3301.
Then the repugnant Martin Wehrmeyer got involved.
I will not belabor the obvious, beyond noting that the despicable Martin Wehrmeyer ultimately apologized–an apology that I declined to accept. Condemn me all that you like: Wehrmeyer’s misconduct was reprehensible.
Upon review, Z decided that he misspoke, and he said that he misunderstood what Ms. Bogaerts said to him. I do not buy this for a minute. Nor did Thomas Schoenberger.
The gentlemanly Z is covering for Ms. Bogaerts–which is his prerogative. Indeed, I myself covered for her for a time, until she tried to push me around.
Z ultimately stated that he was at fault, which was not the case, taking responsibility for a melodrama that Beth Bogaerts herself unleashed. She will never admit it.
I never believed that Marcus Wanners was capable of extortion–but he demonstrated that he personifies fame-whoring duplicity. The anons on the ‘chans were sadly correct in their dismissal of Wanners. He was delighted to distort a fragment from an unauthorized excerpt, extracted from a draft article released for confidential review, and he then consorted with the deplorable Martin Wehrmeyer to twist it into a fake spectacle. Before this happened, I honestly wanted to interview Mr. Wanners. As the absurd episode unraveled, I realized why he and his cohorts were discarded by 3301.
Immaturity? Wanners is no longer a child, he is nearly 30 years of age. He is commonly dismissed on 4chan and 8chan as a glory hound, he relishes media attention. Interviewing Wanners would be a waste of time. I do publish his statements separately, so that you, the reader, can assess the personality of “Mr. Cicada” for yourselves. What surprised me in the end was that the original source of the allegation ended up being Ms. Bogaerts.
Even Thomas Schoenberger, the Belial of liars, confirmed it. Robert Pollard was one of his endless sock accounts on Twitter–until it was deleted by the service.
His other sock accounts, @Expinfiltrators, @fabulaexpirav1, and @felixor95967062, were also suspended by Twitter.
Another day, another sock, routine whack-a-mole with a shell of a man whose infamy derives from his toxicity. Nobody ever heard a Schoenberger symphony.
Z 3301 and I later exchanged an email at the end of the whole affair. It was not my intention, but in this opus and in the satellite articles accompanying it, I managed to alienate everybody.
Schoenberger claims that I am Tafoyovsky’s “handler,” but Mr. Tafoya is so disenchanted with me that he told Ms. Bogaerts the venomous lie that gHOST and I are attempting to “take over 3301.” Yes, that claim began in the fevered imagination of Arturo Tafoya.
Ms. Bogaerts despises me so much that she whispered Tafoya’s falsehood to Thomas Schoenberger, who immediately put it into several absurd videos that are destined for oblivion. Ms. Bogaerts thinks that I do not know that she gossips to Mr. Schoenberger, but she lacks all subtlety–and she is supremely manipulative.
Martin Wehrmeyer hates me, as does Marcus Wanners, because I reveal them and the Wikia to the world. Steve Outtrim hates me because I wonder aloud whether he will be indicted, or will skate as an unindicted co-conspirator. Who is left? Ah. gHOST dislikes any reporting which may undermine his legitimacy, Dean Fougere fears me so hard that he blocked me early, and Z thinks that I got this whole thing “twisted.” Maybe I did.
Michael Levine fears me, because I wonder whether there is a RICO case to be made out of his payments to the foolish videographer in Canada, Zack McQuaid, who hates me because Thomas Schoenberger tells him to, and makes defamatory videos at his behest, paid chump change by Levine.
Who is left? Manuel Chavez, III, who is mad at me because I published an interview with Arturo Tafoya before I published his. He is indeed that infantile. Chavez will end up loving me by the time that I am done, because his interview is a whopper, and I tell the tale straight. While this is not a popularity contest, there is also no question that Chavez is a problematic anti-hero. Remember: this is a Cicada story.
And finally, we come to the villain of this series, Thomas Schoenberger. Schoenberger hates me because I expose his hijacking of 3301 in 2015, I tell the dismaying true story of an amazing cyber order, and I intend to see him prosecuted for serial felonies.
Unless he expires from a stroke before I do.
Looking Closer at the Wikia
Z refers to the cabal including brotherBox (Martin Wehrmeyer), Marcus Wanner and Nox Populi as “the Wikia,” a reference to the Uncovering Cicada Wiki administered by brotherBox. He also calls them “meddlers,” a term that he repeats. Z says “meddlers,” and he means, “meddlers.”
Wanner, brotherBox, Nox. They are all a part of the same group. They just talk through IRC and look for press coverage tbh (to be honest, sic). They are meddlers. (Z 3301, Email, September 15, 2019 10:15 AM Bangkok Local).
There is no indication in the internal Cicada documentation in my possession that Wanners was ever inducted into an inner circle of Cicada 3301. He was, apparently, compartmentalized with other successful solvers in a dark web brood, and he says himself that he was a “courier,” that is his term for his role. At some point, Wanners and others in his brood were apparently expelled: their dark web .onion page was disabled, and their interaction with Cicada elders abruptly ceased.
I initially intended to interview Wanners. My interactions with him disabused me of the notion. There is no point. Wanners, Martin Wehrmeyer, and their crew dominate media coverage of Cicada 3301, and there is a lot of it. This apparently perturbs Z 3301. It should dismay us all.
Sadly, it appears that Wanners, Nox Populi, brotherBox and others in their clique consider me a threat to their agenda. From their perspective, I may be wielding a large, indiscriminating searchlight. What is their agenda? Just magnifying their public profiles? Ultimately monetizing their involvement in any way feasible? Perhaps examining Wanners’ website will yield some clues: http://www.marcuswanners.net/cicada3301/.
The opening sentence is an inside joke, a reference to an early puzzle that warned that “web browsers are useless here.”
I find it interesting that Wanners states that “cicadas come from many broods,” and that “the real cicada is the friends we make along the way.” This theme is repeated in the Great Big Story documentary installments. It is a warm and snuggly motif, but my analyses are revealing that there is a “real Cicada,” and Wanners is not among them. He never was. As the Trademark custodian, I doubt that Mr. Wanners cares.
My working hypothesis is that the innermost circle of Cicada 3301 consists of between 6-10 historical elders. The number of active elders at any given time is dynamic, apparently no more than two to three core members. All core elders do not all know one another. Some core elders communicate via certain IRC channels–and not the #Freenode channels favored by the Wikia. In some cases, there is no communication between elders. This appears to be our current situation, though I am aware of … efforts.
Most core elders are clandestine, though a small number are breaking cover and are now merely covert. The actual number of active elders at any given time is surprisingly small, at this time I am tracking three to four individuals, only two of whom are active. During the Schoenberger-dominated Middle Period, Z 3301 was the lone “OG,” the only original elder involved with the inner circle.
Wanners’ puzzle also refers to the missing PGP key of the order, admitting “in this emergence, there is no GPG, only TLS.”
Asking an IT genius who happens to be a friend of mine about this, he explains that TLS stands for Transport Layer Security, “a cryptographic protocol that provides end-to-end communications security over networks and is widely used for internet communications and online transactions.” In other words, TLS is a reference to the https security protocol that is nearly ubiquitous on the web, and Wanners is saying that there is no key here beyond a secure website.
Another inside joke, it appears. Wanners says that there are a “number of entries in this directory,” suggesting that there are hidden pages that can be found by looking at the source code of the page, the server directory, or other methods. There are no other pages, and the source and the server were examined. This is another dry hole, one of many accumulating around Mr. Wanners.
Wanners also includes a link to a paperback edition of Liber Primus sold on Amazon. Reading the comments and peeking inside, we see that the contents are solely black and white runes. Those elements which are red in the original pages online are not so-identified in the physical edition.
As an author who also publishes on Amazon, I understand this, as color adds significantly to the sale price of a book. A paperback edition of my first book on Amazon costs a whopping $65, but it is stuffed full of color photos. The sequel, in black and white, costs a more reasonable $25. I should probably offer a full-color edition, as my first book still outsells my second book 2 for 1, despite its crazy price.
But those red markings in Liber Primus may be more than merely decorative: they may be important for solvers, and I disagree with Kowatsch’s decision to omit them. What Mr. Antonio Kowatsch produced with his physical edition of Liber Primus is a kitschy coffee table book, a curio, a decoration, something that looks cool to leave laying around as a knickknack–not an artifact that facilitates solving. Liber Primus is a puzzle. Mr. Kowatsch’s missing red runes are a critical omission: his book is consequently not Liber Primus, which is to say, a puzzle. It is an inaccurate facsimile of an incomplete puzzle.
Anyone, of course, can simply download and print the pages of Liber Primus from the Wiki in full color. We must grant Martin Wehrmeyer and his crew in the Wikia that much credit and thank them. There is no need to purchase a $13.00 paperback. And this is what solvers should do, as manipulating the angles of pages 7, 23, and 56 may be appropriate here, considering this hint.
The lack of red runes aside, what interested me most about the paperback edition of Liber Primus is the “Copyrighted Material” markings at the top and bottom of each page in the preview. Did Mr. Kowatsch copyright Liber Primus? How could he? He did not write it. He is not the author. Who did write it? According to gHOST3301, Liber Primus was written by a consortium of authors who then applied individual and separate stages of encryption to the base document.
I suspect that the “Copyrighted Material” markings were automatically templated onto the pages of the preview by Amazon. We do not need to find conspiracies everywhere we look. Sometimes, the simplest explanations are the right ones.
But there may be value in printing physical pages of Liber Primus. A solver named Robert Sauerwald (@lord_squirrely) came up with an interesting idea.
Needless to say, Mr. Sauerwald’s idea was poorly received on the Cicada subreddit. I am not the only one contemplating factions within Cicada 3301, it seems.
I will write more about the missing PGP Key of Cicada 3301 momentarily, as I synthesize the kernels revealed to me so far. Some of that information must remain confidential. This is not a cop-out. There are good and valid reasons for it.
I now understand that Wanners wrote “YOUR AD HERE” only partially in jest. For his Trademark to be active, he must be actively trading. Hence his $1 ads. This is a Patent Office rule. There is no mistake about his use of the ®, however, nor the “Copyright 2019 Primus Holdings, LLC.”
Will Wanners now interfere with others posting Cicada logos and symbols in their work? I consider this doubtful, as Wanners himself noted that his Trademark only covers a particular category of intellectual property. While Marcus Wanners’ personality may be puerile, even wearisome, I never felt that his malice was more than trivial.
Should we be concerned by potential television episodes and movie projects utilizing Cicada 3301 intellectual property? Should we worry about the jealousies of those members who are excluded from the factions that are successfully monetizing the order?
I honestly do not know, and I suspend judgement for now. If delving into arcana and surfacing unknown information is disruptive to the plans of the profiteers, then their suspicion of me is understandable. But what about the millions around the globe who simply want to know the truth about the Cicada enigma?
I admit that it is egotistical to think that I can write an historical analysis of Cicada 3301, synthesizing its organization, functions and goals, but I see no one else attempting to do so, and inner circle members from various periods and elders of the order are talking to me.
I am interviewing more of these elders. I will resume communicating with Z, after I craft another series of queries for him. Z’s involvement spans the Early Period (2011-4) and the Middle Period (2014-8). Z says that his role in the order “picked up in 2014,” which is confirmed by inner circle documents in my possession. On his interaction with other insiders, he says that, “It’s not over yet.” So Z 3301 is a confirmed Cicada elder, still involved in the order.
And so is gHOST3301.
Manuel Chavez III told me in our interview on May 22, 2019 that Z held the PGP Key as of April, 2017, and was the source of Cicada’s PGP-signed April 4, 2017 statement. Chavez promised to send me the email thread that confirms this, exchanged between himself and Z. Chavez sent me many documents, and I thank him, but those emails were not among them.
When I asked Z if he is the custodian of the PGP Key, he denied it, and referred to the elder who is as the Keyholder, telling me little more:
I was not the author of the 2017 PGP message, but I did recommend it since we did not gain traction with Lucky & the Mojave phone booth. (Z 3301, Email, September 11, 2019 23:56 PM Bangkok Local).
Other inner circle members claimed that Beth Bogaerts, aka Fox, holds the PGP Key, just as she previously held the Trademark that she since consigned to Wanners. She denied it in conversation with me, and I found the lady believable. Still, deceit is a pattern with her, and any statement that she makes needs to be verified. Others confirmed that she is not a Keyholder, and their explanations were sensible.
There are other rumors about the disposition of the PGP Key, none of them compelling. We saw before that Ms. Bogaerts alleges that someone named “Shay” whom she characterizes as a “whore” in Florida controls the Key. I do not believe it. Like anything else stated by Ms. Bogaerts, this claim requires careful examination. She surely does not intend it, but she tells us everything that we need to know about her every time that she speaks.
This is the thing: the status of Cicada 3301‘s PGP Key is now strategic: as the holders of the Trademark do not also hold the PGP Key, a single PGP-signed statement by the Keyholders could render any monetization efforts void. Solvers will not engage with ersatz puzzles, period. Nor should they.
I see no indication now that a new puzzle will emerge in the foreseeable future. gHOST agrees, that there are no indications that anyone known is working on a new puzzle. Z 3301 also confirmed it. Such puzzles require vast preparation, resources, servers, proxies, collaborators around the world–and the last puzzle, Liber Primus, remains unsolved.
I directly asked Z if he would make a statement about Thomas Schoenberger, as I would like to put Schoenberger in appropriate context and then leave him behind, as a despicable hijacker who disrupted the order and is no longer relevant.
Likely nobody will speak out about the Schoenberger era, though TS is a wonderful composer and assisted in creating multimodal puzzles with music. (Z 3301, Email, September 11, 2019 22:43 PM Bangkok Local).
The internal documentation of the order in my possession confirms this, with emphasis on the word “assisted.” Schoenberger was a participant in a collaborative process that created perplexing, fascinating puzzles with unprecedentedly sophisticated components. While Z 3301 was the prime architect behind puzzle design, Schoenberger and other inner circle members contributed. When I asked Z if puzzles from the Schoenberger era were indeed a “false path,” as gHOST3301 described them, he would only say this:
At one point, TS did interfere in that puzzle and it caused a lot of confusion and upheaval. (Z 3301, Email, September 11, 2019 23:07 PM Bangkok Local).
As I stated previously, in interviews with gHOST3301 and with Arturo Tafoyovsky, Schoenberger mismanaged Manuel Chavez III (Defango), betraying him, provoking him to singlehandedly bring Cicada down on May 7, 2018.
The tale of this catastrophe will be told by Manuel Chavez III himself in his own words when I publish the interview that we conducted on May 22, 2019. Chavez and I talked for nearly four hours, and much that he said needs to be verified and researched. It is a massive job. The draft commentary, which I estimate is 80% complete, now approaches 80,000 words in length.
When you consider that this article is now nearly 23,000 words in length, you realize how mammoth a 100,000 word serial is. At this point, my plan is to publish this series of articles, deal with the maelstrom that they will unleash, then focus hard on completing the Chavez project. It will take some time, but I will obviously break it down into subordinate articles.
After I complete the Chavez interview and commentary, I will revisit interviews with any remaining elders who can be contacted. Then I will return to the beginning, and harvest the extant interviews and articles into a summation that concludes the series. Considered this way, I am not yet halfway through.
When Chavez calls me “douchebag” and “fool” because other interviews were published before his, it undermines my motivation to complete his series, as his interview will require at least three installments. Why should I slave on an interview with an ingrate?
There is a simple answer: because it is historical, and that is all that I am doing. I am writing an historical analysis of the organization, functions and goals of Cicada 3301. Chavez may be an egotist whose insecurities desperately compel him to “win.” But he brought down Cicada 3301, and he played a role in the nascence of QAnon.
When Chavez threatens me and tells me that he is helping Schoenberger and others to “look into me,” it makes me laugh. None of them are good researchers, none of them can delve my personal history and learn anything which is not deliberately exposed. I was an unwilling public figure in my past. Nobody asked me if I wanted to be famous. I am now as private as anybody can be in the age of the internet, when everything that we do and say on the net is captured forever. Schoenberger, Outtrim and their co-conspirators are not capable of sorting through the chaff.
But these are the sorts of dysfunctional personalities that I am doomed to interact with, all because I chose this subject. Selfish, impaired, trivial people, an astonishing number of them convicted felons. I understand Chavez’s impatience. I also understand his desperate competition with other protagonists in the story, chief among them Schoenberger and Tafoyovsky. It is difficult for me to tolerate the childish emotions at play.
I am one man, a lone political scientist and historian, and publishing these materials landed me in the midst of a maelstrom of conflicting agendas. I began with no agenda of my own. Now my purpose is to memorialize the cypherpunk ethos of the original Cicada 3301. I used to believe that examining the organization, functions and goals of 3301 would be an effective way to analyze the “Web’s Deepest Mystery.” I am dismayed by what I learned in the course of this investigation.
Petty egos will be thrust aside. I may be compromised as an historian, confessing my bias in this way, but it is more honest to proclaim it than to conceal it.
Regrettably, We Must End With Thomas Schoenberger
As Thomas Schoenberger’s role came into definition during my research, as I mentioned previously, I did the responsible thing. I reached out to ask him to interview with me. I made no specific record of these attempts, as it never occurred to me that I might need to prove them later.
As I collected materials for this article, I stumbled across an early email from me to Mr. Schoenberger, dated April 10, 2019.
I also attempted to contact Mr. Schoenberger through his website Contact Form on April 16, 2019. I made other attempts, as well, but I kept no record of them. He later insisted on Twitter that he never received my emails, and he savaged me for failing to reach him for comment.
You are no doubt thinking, “this is stupid.” It is. It is unbelievably stupid, and I cannot believe that I am writing about it. Before finally sending me an A858 rebuttal that I agreed to publish, without redaction, Schoenberger tweeted this to one of his collaborators. This is the most benign of all his tweets. I will share more of them.
When Schoenberger says that he sent me “witnesses,” he understates it. His zeal for sending me “witnesses” got so absurd that I told him to stop, that we are not in a schoolyard, and his witnesses do not impress me. I also told him to cease his pathetic attempts to socially engineer me, to stop trying to establish rapport with me, as he is an amateur. That made him mad.
On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 01:45, Parody Lives <email@example.com> wrote:
I have presented evidence and supporting documentation.
The childish attacks on me need to stop I have conducted myself with searing honesty, including multiple witnesses and clear indications of Arturo lying repeatedly.
Can you provide an example of my “reflexive lying”?
Could it be that you come to me with a chip on your shoulder?
Its ok. We do not need to do this.
6 researchers will publish.
Try some respect or I will walk and it will not be to your benefit either.
Schoenberger threatened me with the prospect of “6 researchers” who might beat me to the punch and publish materials that pertain to these investigations. That was months ago. There is no indication that anyone else is scrutinizing him or Cicada 3301.
Mr. Outtrim publishes articles which sidle up to these subjects. Ms. Jacqueline Weaver also publishes about Mr. Schoenberger, with whom she corresponds from time to time, and she covers Cicada. I do not consider either of them competitors, but for very different reasons.
Ms. Weaver does superlative work at Tracking the Leopard Meroz, and I mirror her textual output in video form on Samizdat YouTube. I synthesize her analyses into my own. Mr. Outtrim’s work is biased. His sloppy research and synaptic leaps buttress his weird worldview, which can be entertaining, but Mr. Outtrim is a partisan co-conspirator with Schoenberger, and they are both in the sights of financier Gabe Hoffman. I suspect that the documentary record confirms that they defamed Mr. Hoffman. I am advised that Mr. Hoffman intends to hold them accountable.
Mr. Hoffman asked a question that should not be dismissed, as we see Zack McQuaid’s perplexing legal situation in Canada worsening. McQuaid persists, repeatedly uploading defamatory videos in collaboration with Thomas Schoenberger, though Mr. Hoffman’s attorneys sent him legal threat letters warning him to cease. Schoenberger appears to wield a power of persuasion over McQuaid, and this makes myself and other observers uneasy. We have seen it before.
Seeing McQuaid acting against his own best interests reminds me sadly of the case of Samuel Fullerton, who died on July 19, 2019, and took Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant Michael Stephen with him. The common denominator? Thomas Schoenberger.
Schoenberger lied to me so much during our conversation that “reflexive” is conservative. It can legitimately be said that he is incapable of speaking truth, quite possibly because he suffers from a clinical pathology.
Schoenberger previously threatened me with “six researchers” who would beat me to the punch. In this recent email, dated December 3, 2019, he threatens me with a book that will “include an entire chapter devoted to you.” He also claims that I fabricated the threat to Beth Bogaerts that Z 3301 sent to me in email, published above, and that I “engaged in such intrigues” in order to “team up with Manuel and Arturo in a failed attempt to control Cicada.”
This is a recurrent theme with him, repeated in several videos which will shortly vanish into oblivion when his next YouTube channel is struck. Then Schoenberger writes that I plotted “the takeover with Dustin and Arturo for many a month.” First I was conspiring with Chavez and Tafoya. Now I am plotting with gHOST and Tafoya. He cannot keep his cabals straight.
Schoenberger claims that I “provided no proof that you ever reached out to me in April.” The email evidence is published above. I previously tweeted it. In his imagination it does not exist. Besides, “in reality it was a cover story because you had your operation already mapped out.” I apologize, but while I am writing this, I am laughing. Then, because he is out of irrational fabrications, he finally goes ad hominem, calling me a “pirate,” “a liar,” and “arrogant.” After nearly 23,000 words, I think that readers of this article can hazard an opinion on all those charges.
I will, however, address a contradiction which is discernible among veterans of elite units. We must possess a certain amount of self-confidence in order to dare the rigors that forge us. We are, after all, triple volunteers. Surrounded by other soldiers who are necessarily among the best warriors in the world, we also inevitably learn a degree of humility, as well.
More, every graduate of the selection pipelines that I surmounted is humbled by the experience. We experience our limitations to a degree that most humans never will. Outsiders cannot be expected to understand these contradictions, so our behavior can seem arrogant, especially by those with no frame of reference. We often encounter envy, as well. How many fake “Green Berets” or “SEALs” do you encounter in the average bar? While I will not address it here, Thomas Schoenberger also engaged in “stolen valor,” and this, ultimately, exhausts my patience with him.
Returning to the email, at the same time that Schoenberger was attempting to open a backchannel to gHOST, he tells me that “Dustin lied. Ian had a very short interaction with him and that was in September of 2013.” Schoenberger does not seem to understand that this interaction between gHOST and Ian Murdock was discussed in my interview with gHOST published several months ago. Schoenberger probably never read it.
Schoenberger is not very artful. He knows that I communicate with gHOST. I did publish an interview with him. He should realize that I will share his comments about gHOST with him. “Ian was not impressed. Dustin is not someone with a skill set to understand the intricate and polyphoric nature embedded in the cicada (sic) biosphere.” Somehow, I doubt that gHOST’s feelings will be hurt by this.
Finally, Schoenberger mocks me because I “never took lessons in chess.” He understands nothing about my military training–and I should confide that certain courses are not listed on my DD214. Those who need to know why, know why. I am not trying to wrap myself in mystery. Schoenberger is vastly out of his element. He considers himself a chess master while he defeats himself with every move. I prefer the ancient game of Go.
How can we explain the bizarre enigma of Thomas Schoenberger? Schoenberger is a self-diagnosed “Aspie,” he claims that he suffers from Asperger’s Disorder, and this could explain his pathological lack of empathy. I am not a psychiatrist, but Schoenberger is not normal. Something is wrong with him. Saying that he enjoys a rich fantasy life does not cover it. He is sociopathic.
We must remember that the sane cannot always understand the insane. Schoenberger may in fact be beyond our understanding. His antisemitism, however, seems sadly familiar.
On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 11:37 AM Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
You are stretching my patience. My preconceived notions are derived from an analysis of a large tranche of 3301 internal documentation, provided to me without redaction, that ineluctably illustrate your character.
But you are welcome to share documents with me. Perhaps you can persuade me.
Unfortunately, I am not optimistic. Your reflexive lying, which you seem incapable of controlling, will end this conversation, and that is not to your benefit. So for your own good: control yourself, or suffer the consequences. I make no idle promises.
It occurs to me that you may be pathologically incapable of controlling yourself. We shall see.
Stop involving third parties. This is not a schoolyard, and you should not implicate others so glibly. They may not like it. Neither you nor anyone that you name understands what I may choose to do with your incessant namedropping, which does not impress me.
Stop trying to establish rapport with me. You are an amateur and it is annoying. You may be 59 years old. You conduct yourself like a child. Now would be a good time to finally grow up. You can turn over a new leaf any time. I will try to help you.
Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez
It is not Schoenberger’s fault that he does not understand the intricacies of my public biography. While I advised Schoenberger repeatedly to Google me and to review my public biography, as he kept calling me “spook,” he could not be bothered to do so, or he was incapable of understanding the search results.
Schoenberger’s amateurish attempts to socially engineer me and establish rapport with me were asinine. Likewise his tiresome threats. I was trained at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, and Schoenberger truly does not know what he is doing. Schoenberger characterizes simple statements like this as “arrogant,” calling me a “very proud guy.”
I am stating basic facts. More than anything else, these observations strike a deep core of inadequacy in him like a booming gong. Mr. Schoenberger is, after all, a self-taught social engineer who incessantly manipulates others, he takes pride in it, and he does not seem to understand that these behaviors trigger reactive anger from his victims.
Doc Holliday (Thomas Schoenberger), “Is this the type of criminal activity you want to support?” YouTube, December 7, 2019. This video vanished when Schoenberger’s Doc Holliday YouTube channel was struck for cyberbullying. I archive all his defamatory and otherwise felonious content, and am pleased to share it here.
Thomas Schoenberger is a civilian craving an unattainable equivalency with me, utterly outclassed, reduced to calling me names, tagging a litany of allies, as if that is going to impress anyone. His schoolyard antics bore me, and yet, here I am, writing about them, writing about him. This is just an installment in a series of articles that discuss Schoenberger, as merely recounting his criminal record will require a separate article.
Bump Ahead, “The Schoenberger TIME VAULT – Stalking Mr. Gutierrez,” YouTube, December 7, 2019. This video was uploaded by a friend and ally using the pseudonym Bump Ahead. Bump Ahead was among Schoenberger’s most effective critics. The individual who made these videos unfortunately faded from involvement as real-life commitments took precedence.
Schoenberger’s contributions to extra-canonical Cicada puzzles between 2015-9 can be summarized in a couple of paragraphs. Now that I think about it, two articles about Schoenberger may suffice. When I look back at the life accomplishments of Thomas Schoenberger, they are meager.
Schoenberger claims that he composed innumerable pieces of music, yet where are they? Considering this makes me pity him, as he wasted a life, and there were opportunities for greatness. Instead of directing the creative geniuses of Cicada 3301 to greater heights, he sought to monetize their efforts, cheating them out of all compensation, like a con man, a grifter.
Schoenberger told me on Twitter that he is a blogger, like me, and he then pointed me at an article that he co-wrote with Iona Miller about Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi that depended on Wikipedia as a source. I am not one to deride Wikipedia. I use it all the time–but as a gateway. Schoenberger claims to be a polymath and an historian, but there are no published works in his resume, he is ignorant of political science, his scholarship is inept at best. Schoenberger holds no advanced degrees.
Schoenberger demanded that I grant him an opportunity to address the accusation that he runs the A858 email address, an address infamous on reddit for the A858 LARP. I published statements by Arturo Tafoyovsky during our interview on May 24, 2019 that Schoenberger considered libelous.
After enduring dreary arguments accusing me of all manner of malfeasance, I agreed to publish Schoenberger’s rebuttal. I honestly do not mind. Surely he is entitled to answer accusations made against him. I fail to understand, however, why I should provide him with a forum. Schoenberger could respond on his own blog. Apparently nobody reads it. So I did so.
It is indicative that Thomas Schoenberger writes no rebuttals, even after Jacqueline Weaver advised him to make a blog and lay out a timeline with evidence. (Jacqueline Weaver, “Playing Us False: The Ventriloquist of Cicada 3301,” Tracking the Leopard Meroz, October 17, 2019). He apparently finds it easier to make nonsensical ad hominem videos that rarely capture more than 120 views on YouTube channels that inevitably get struck due to cyberbullying.
His allies, in any case, will clutch at any irrational explanation. What mystifies me is why they believe that Steve Outtrim rebuts the A858 enigma. They can read the same “evidence” as the rest of us–and reach diametrically opposed conclusions.
Schoenberger began by sending me this email from himself as Parody Lives to himself as A858. Parody Lives was the name of his YouTube channel–until YouTube shut it down. Then he posted videos on Exposing Gangstalkers, in many of them calling me a “CIA spook.” When that channel was struck by YouTube, he transitioned to Joe Blow. That channel, too, was eliminated, as was Doc Holliday, his latest to be closed by YouTube.
Schoenberger achieved the astounding accomplishment of getting four YouTube channels struck from the service within 45 days. All were terminated for “multiple and severe violations of YouTube policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten.”
From: Parody Lives <email@example.com>
To: a858de45f56d9bc9 <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Truth Convoy <email@example.com>
Sent: Sun, Aug 18, 2019 9:50 am
Matteau the Satanic clown is once again accusing me of being you.
I am about to take her to court.
I suspect she is with David Brock
Jack, can you please clear this up ?
This email depicts Schoenberger emailing himself from his Parody Lives account to the A858 account that he controls. It is possible that Schoenberger shares the A858 account with others, that is Ms. Denise Matteau’s theory (Truth Convoy (Denise Matteau), YouTube), but there is also little question that he uses it from time to time. His Parody Lives account, firstname.lastname@example.org, is an account held by him for years.
Literally everyone who receives A858 emails comes to the conclusion that they are sent by Schoenberger. He denies it, outraged by the accusation. Because he cannot prove that he is not sending the A858 emails, his denials get emotional. Schoenberger then sent me yet another email, again from A858, back to himself at email@example.com, cc’ing Ms. Denise Matteau at Truth Convoy.
———- Forwarded message ———
Date: Sun, Aug 18, 2019 at 7:43 AM
Subject: Re: Hello
Hello Mr. Schoenberger. I can confirm that Ms. Matteau already asked me who I was yesterday (08/17/2019) and I continue to tell her as I have done for a year now that I am Jack. Lestat is falsely claiming that I am a Mr. Schoenberger and as I state here that I have already told Ms. Matteau for going on for a year now that I am Jack, but it currently fits her own false narrative perfectly to do so. Ms. Matteau has also made false claim (sic) and numerous slandering videos that I am a Mr. Brian Birmingham, a Jack Quinn of Mannat Law Firm in Washington D.C. and a Jack Quinn that just so happened to have attended UMASS, this was after her placing my name into Google search because that fitted her very false narrative that I am also head of a group of cyber gang stalkers that also were involved in murdering her, (as Ms Matteau claims ‘pregnant’) daughter and extorting money from a family member.
Interestingly enough there is a Doctor Jack Quinn, pro baseball player Jack Quinn and a Politician Jack Quinn that appears with a straight forward Google name search, one may even put the name into wiki > (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Quinn) and have yet another long list of Jack Quinn’s for her to fantasize over (sic), but of course Ms. Matteau will omit most of those and instead cherry pick as to which Jack Quinn that she believes that I am to fit nicely into her web of deceit and lies about me, you and others, and if they should also have connection with Massachusetts, Ms. Matteau’s home state, which being a very popular Irish family name is not going to break Ms. Matteau into a sweat to find a Jack Quinn in any bar in a U.S. state that has such Irish ancestry as it does do. This extortion racquet and murdering ‘gang’ that only exists in Ms. Matteau’s imagination also includes such avatars as Wynter Moon, Donna Emerald, Montagraph and Agent 19 as well as a vast bottomless pit cast of other You Tubers such as The Lone Cicada, and a woman named Cheri that I am told is Defangos (sic) land lady and of course anyone else that Ms. Matteau has an unfortunate run in with online, which is not difficult for her to do as she goes around making her false accusations daily without providing any evidence, but instead causing innocent people ensnared into her delusional web of lies and deceit to suffer much debilitating anxiety as she may possibly inflict on to them, and of course her cyber stalking, doxing and further having them harassed by her own troll gang all while asking for donations to her PayPal account.
To recap here, I am NOT Mr. Schoenberger, and I am NOT Mr. Birmingham, nor am I Jack Quinn of Manatt Law Firm. And both Lestat and Ms. Matteau have been told this numerous times.
If there is anything else that I may help anyone with please do not hesitate to contact me, but would you allow me to spend this wonderful Sunday with my beautiful new Grandchild and family. May you all have a wonderful blessed Sunday.
God bless & Godspeed. Yours Sincerely Jack Quinn (Not Thomas. Not Brian) ∞
Schoenberger cannot resist trolling in deniable fashion, signing the email with the infinity sign, ∞. It was the ∞ infinity sign that convinced Arturo Tafoyovsky that Schoenberger uses the A858 email address when he chooses, as he did in a dismissive email discussed in our interview of May 24, 2019.
I am still trying to understand why Mr. Schoenberger referred to an unreadable novel by David Foster Wallace in his subject line. In a further series of emails that Schoenberger sent to me on September 10, 2019, he added:
This was the email from A858 to BOTH Denise Matteau and myself. It is dated. I challenge anyone to forensically trace A858 to me, I am not this person, nor have I ever had any communication wit Jerome Corsi. (sic).
This proves nothing, of course. “It is dated,” he portentiously intones, and he challenges anyone to “forensically trace A858 to me.” The sad fact is, even if Schoenberger included the email headers, those, too, could be faked, and we long ago confirmed that he lacks any integrity whatsoever.
Schoenberger could easily send an email to both Ms. Matteau and himself, then deny it. Which is manifestly what he did. Then Schoenberger embedded this email excerpt from Ms. Denise Matteau, a typical stroke of distraction, adding:
Denise Mattaeu has confirmed her family also has Pedo and Mossad links. You may ask her directly if she sent this (sic).
I regret belaboring this article with Schoenberger’s garbage, but I agreed to post his rebuttal. These emails are how he chose to use the opportunity. He then wrote:
“Lestat public posted this lie as “confirmed” (sic).
Following it with this screenshot:
Then Schoenberger emailed:
On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 00:18, Parody Lives <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
This is the actual email from A858. I state for the record I am not A858, nor have I ever been A858. I have never used this account, nor have I ever used 8chan. I have never been Q, nor have I ever made a penny from any Qanon people. Lestat stated I was A858 and I now ask that he show any evidence of this.
Lestat has teamed up with others to spread this false rumor.
Long Goodbye (Thomas Schoenberger), “#CorsiGate QUAID Mirror #Cicada3301 infiltrators busted!” YouTube, December 15, 2019.
I do not believe him, and his word is without value with me. I receive A858 emails myself, and they do feel like they are authored by Schoenberger. The linguistic indicators are minor, but they are cumulative, and as I stated, every single person that receives A858 emails ultimately concludes that they are sent by Schoenberger. Unless your name is Steve Outtrim, or you are a partisan ally of Thomas Schoenberger.
In fact, the interview that I published with Arturo Tafoyovsky included evidence that Schoenberger did use the A858 email account. Rather than systematically rebut it, he protests his innocence, and demands more proofs. Again, I suspect that Schoenberger did not even read the interview. I replied:
On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 10:26 AM Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez <email@example.com> wrote:
Thank you. Duly noted. As promised, I will publish it.
Schoenberger finalized his rebuttal of Tafoyovsky with this:
From: Parody Lives<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:34 AM
To: Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez
Thank you Esteban. I swear to you I am telling the truth. It is not what it seems. I can send you emails of many witnesses. Lestat is a charmer. But he lies.
He made so many false claims.
I have included Terris Renfro on this response.
He can attest that Lestat, his friend Fkn Freddy ( Alfred Issacson) and someone named Chinada altered a audio of him as well. Terris was a Marine and has always been honest.
I have so much more to show.
I actually played live when Terris interviewed me
You can also see that Lestat claiming I am not even a musician is refuted by his own words.
And by collegues
By the way, I am now fine with Leopard Meroz.
I am not sure why Schoenberger cc’d Terris Renfro, whom I do not know, unless it was because he thought that Renfro, as an alleged former Marine, might be considered credible by me due to his uniformed service. Such simplistic thinking is not rare with Mr. Schoenberger.
Schoenberger claims that he played piano during this livestream, and he cites it to debunk critics who claim that he cannot play. He is not depicted playing piano on this video. Schoenberger could put this dispute to rest simply by playing live. He feeds the suspicions of his critics by failing to do so. I truly do not care if Schoenberger can play the piano or not. But considering the amount of music on his Sophia Musik YouTube channel, it would be an epic deception should it ultimately be proven that he does not play.
Schoenberger is also far from “fine” with Jacqueline Weaver, the author of The Leopard Meroz. Her article “Playing Us False: The Ventriloquist of Cicada 3301” took Schoenberger by surprise and he reacted with volcanic tweets and virulent videos that were mercifully deleted when his YouTube channels were struck.
I was sincerely embarrassed by his assault on Ms. Weaver. And disgusted. Again, his full colors were on grotesque display.
Exposing Gangstalkers (Thomas Schoenberger), “Cat lady gang stalkers,” YouTube, October 2, 2019. Deleted video lost when Exposing Gangstalkers was struck by YouTube for cyberbullying. I should send Schoenberger a bill for hosting all his deleted videos. But it is important to document his felonies.
These are just a few examples of Schoenberger’s tedious arguing, which went on for multiple days on Twitter, wielding endless sock accounts. I observed that Schoenberger argues like my ex-wives, who both refused to cease fighting until they enjoyed the last word. Childish does not describe it.
Schoenberger also sent me a saga which I saved as Magnum Opus, as it belabors issues beyond A858, in violation of our agreement. Nonetheless, I replied:
On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 10:06 AM Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez <email@example.com> wrote:
Not a problem. It will take me a couple of days to mock this up for publication. Then I obviously must run the draft past Beth, Arturo and Manuel for their comments—as well as every other person that you named. I will give them a reasonable timeframe to review and rebut, say 72 hours, then push towards publication.
I committed to publish this without redaction, and I intend to do so, even though you represented that you wanted an opportunity to rebut A858 accusations and gave me no inkling that this would be your content. Accordingly, I may have no choice but to redact certain identifying details. If that is the case, the redactions will be deft and minimal, focused on identifiers, and will not detract from the content. That does not mean that I will not comment on the content, and that commentary may include input from others named herein.
But I am pleased to give you your say, even though you requested an opportunity to address A858, and gave me no indication that these other issues would be your subject matter. While others may object, if you choose to use this opportunity in this fashion: so be it.
Treating you with fairness has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me.
I will show you the final draft prior to publication. You may make final comments at that time.
Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez
I will indeed publish Schoenberger’s Magnum Opus, but separately. This article is already too long and too absurd. If history is any guide, it will trigger an avalanche of Schoenberger tweet rants, ad hominem video condemnations, and him cc’ing a retinue of “witnesses” while he impugns my service, my character, and my appearance.
But then, this article and its accompanying satellite articles may be too long, literally too long, for Schoenberger to labor through. I doubt that he read the interviews that preceded these three articles. He may lack the intellectual focus needed to read these–though they concern him closely. As I said: we are not discussing smart people here. They are devious and profoundly corrupt. But smart? Not so much.
Schoenberger claims that I am a CIA officer, apparently not realizing that blowing the identity of a covered CIA officer is a felony violation of 50 U.S. Code § 3121. Protection of identities of certain United States undercover intelligence officers, agents, informants, and sources. It may matter to the FBI that I am not, in fact, a covered CIA officer, but Schoenberger neither knows that nor cares.
His intent is to expose me as a CIA officer “assigned to the Bangkok desk,” as if that is something that would embarrass me. If I were a CIA officer, and not covered, I would say so. If I were a covered CIA officer, I would be duty bound to deny it, of course, which is what he relies upon. I was formerly employed by DEA. I was a contractor for DOD. I am a former Green Beret and airborne Ranger. I am not ashamed of my government service.
Schoenberger’s activities are chargeable under 18 U.S. Code § 2261A. Stalking, and I am referring him to the FBI Bay Area Cyber Squad and the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. I intend to see him prosecuted. His rap sheet already includes two felony convictions for Felony Stalking.
There are multiple convictions for DUI on Schoenberger’s rap sheet. Schoenberger often declares his sobriety, pronouncing that he is drug-free and a teetotaler, and I hope that this is true. Z 3301, who knows him well, described him as a “pillhead,” and Arturo Tafoya recounted Schoenberger’s addiction to Ambien. He was convicted of driving while intoxicated many times.
Schoenberger ineluctably illustrates his character by deliberately mispronouncing my name and calling me an “incompetent spook.” The truth is, if I were a spook, Schoenberger would be a grease stain. It is fortunate for him that I am retired, and I must report his multiple felonies the hard way, just like any other citizen. I am, in the end analysis, as I say: just an historian. I am just a writer.
As I finalized this draft, Schoenberger blocked me on Twitter. He apparently tired of me filing successful suspension requests. It does not matter. I learned how to use sock accounts from him–when he steps wrong, and I notice it, I report his tweets. He is incapable of conducting himself with probity. He is a menace. He is, in fact, his own worst enemy. I simply report his behavior.
As I polished this piece, Bump Ahead released a video devastating Schoenberger’s fable that he “collaborated with the Pentagon” in 2011 at the same time that he was convicted of felony stalking and reckless driving under the influence in a California courtroom.
(Bump Ahead, “Don’t let career criminal GRIFTER Thomas Schoenberger mislead you, Steve Outtrim,” YouTube, October 7, 2019; Bump Ahead, “Dean “UMMM” Fougere (aka Titus Frost) – Cowbell Programming,” YouTube, October 6, 2019).
Thomas Schoenberger, whose listing (SCR-639311-1) in the Sonoma County probation database indicates a probation end date on June 6, 2020, was never an employee or a contractor for the US government. The proposition is farcical, and the fairy tale that he manipulated researcher Steve Outtrim into publishing just makes Outtrim look ridiculous.
Schoenberger claims that his prosecution for felony stalking is absolved by a conspiracy theory that he was investigating a 1963 child murder of a five year old by a corrupt Napa County police officer. No evidence supporting his claim exists anywhere on the net, while the documentary record concerning his felony conviction is rich.
I look forward to seeing Mr. Outtrim contort himself as he explains this whopper.
Schoenberger recently posted a video mocking me to his YouTube channel. He complained that Gabe Hoffman filed a strike on it. I also filed a strike on it. YouTube is not as responsive as Twitter. They rely too much on algorithms, and it is difficult to get a human to look at a video. When they do, they inevitably just take them down. Schoenberger then makes new videos, and new channels, and resumes cyberstalking. Whack-a-mole.
Grabbler babe (Thomas Schoenberger), “STEPHEN TRUJILLO RANGER Make my Day,” YouTube, January 3, 2020. Schoenberger made this video private in late January, 2020. I consequently upload an archived version. Amazingly, as I updated the tags on this article and uploaded videos which are otherwise lost to oblivion, the welcome news that Grabbler babe is vanished from YouTube hit the Twitter-sphere.
(“Make my day?” I will, Thomas. Just give it time. You know how slowly the wheels of the judicial system churn, and you understand how difficult it is to get law enforcement to mount an investigation. Every day, you provide more granular proof of felonies, and I add these proofs to your file which is periodically updated with investigators. Eventually, a tipping point will be reached. Then there will be a knock on your door. It is too late for you to retract the statements that you already made, or to delete the videos that you already published. I archive everything, and you know that the net is forever).
Schoenberger’s Twitter account @WatchingWtrBoil was taken offline for a few days, apparently so he could clean it up and pull the most obnoxious material off of it. As I finalized this piece, it reappeared. Enough of his noxious posts remained to report the account to Twitter nonetheless. So I did.
It turned out that I was not alone. Someone else was mortally offended by Thomas Schoenberger’s Twitterfeed, and they also filed strikes. Financier Gabe Hoffman shared the empty triumph with me.
Another day, another Schoenberger sock.
In this long article, I discussed the implosion of Cicada 3301 on May 7, 2018, shared an internal order email, detailed my conversations with Z 3301, addressed the order’s lead designer and head composers, and introduced the Wikia and its members.
I reviewed the repulsive Martin Wehrmeyer, Marcus Wanners and Beth Bogaerts, clarified the transfer of the 3301 Trademark, the subject of canonicity within 3301, and I definitively debunked the Isaac Kappy DeadMan’s Switch KeyBase Crack.
I examined Marcus Wanners’ own 3301 site, and I concluded with an appraisal of some nauseating correspondence exchanged between myself and Thomas Schoenberger.
I will give my esteemed colleague and friend Bump Ahead the final word. He is sometimes annoyed by the teeth gnashing of Steve Outtrim, who endlessly wonders who handed Arturo Tafoya a YouTube channel with many tens of thousands of subscribers, which he turned into The Conspiracy Distillery.
Here is your answer, Mr. Outtrim. It was Bump Ahead.
Companion articles addressing Marcus Wanners and the appalling Martin Wehrmeyer are published at the same time as this one. See, “The Repugnant brotherBox,” and “Marcus Wanners & “Halfassed Journalism.”
And with this, I unleash the hounds of Twitter. I shall see you there.
Enough is enough. Thomas Schoenberger speaks for himself, more evocatively than I ever could.
Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez
First Draft: October 7, 2019
Finalized: January 9, 2020
Errors Corrected: January 12, 2020.
Updated Discussion of Copyrights: January 12, 2020.
Polishing, Fixing Formatting Glitches: January 13, 2020.
Editing tags, replacing a privatized defamatory video: January 26, 2020.
Finalized tagging, uploaded multiple otherwise lost videos: January 28, 2020.
In 23,303 words.
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[…] him came up negative, there is no cryptonym associated with his name. More, Richard Miller’s emails exchanged with Schoenberger confirm that Schoenberger’s relationship with Bruce Cooper […]
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Nice article. You say here, “I am still trying to understand why Mr. Schoenberger referred to an unreadable novel by David Foster Wallace in his subject line. In a further series of emails that Schoenberger sent to me on September 10, 2019, he added…”. The book, follows four plotlines. They are connected via a film, Infinite Jest, also called “the Entertainment” or “the samizdat”. Hope that clears it up.
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