Where do these things come from?

All those terrible chain e-mails and, in more modern times, those god-awful spam comments.

"If you don't repost this to ten other pages, Linda will be in your room with a knife at 3 AM!" What, did they ram a tracking device in her ass so they know where she is at what time? They always have those terrible editing errors, too, like the w's will be two v's instead. It's like the same messages trying to warn you of dead children were typed by those same dead children, rigor mortis and all!

Well, maybe I should explain a bit of my exasperation. My name is Daniel Eris. I run a heavily-trafficked website, The Science of Blind Fear. "Ran" is more correct, but more on that later. It was a blogging website where people could talk about their own theories behind certain social phenomena, such as the titular "blind fear", people's fear of things they are blind to/don't understand.

Many people came to this site to talk about their theories, oddly enough; not much tomfoolery went on. There would be an occasional comment on someone's blog written in incoherent slang, such as "man youre blog sux this shti dosnet even make sense" or "man you sound like your on the ganj 420 blaz it up". In fact, these were pulled directly off of one of my own blogs, Foresight in Dreams.

Many of the people on this site were so brilliant, just so fucking clever that you'd want to believe that they were simply stating known facts. One of the best parts of running this site was just getting to read these thoughts on so many topics, these intelligent thoughts on so many different theories about our world, hell, even our universe sometimes! This one chick, going by the username KatytheFirePrincess, wrote this blog about how religion is a manifestation of our need to think we are smaller than something else, like how dogs and other pets are obedient to us. My little explanation doesn't do it justice, it has to be read in its full magnificence to be appreciated.

Understanding that this place was amazing and that it was a haven for interpretive thought, you'd probably guess that I spent most of my time there. Reading, learning, thinking, writing, and talking. Every day, sharing ideas across the world and having them shared with you in turn. It was glorious.

But with every great thing comes things equally terrible.

A small majority of the blogs on the site were utter rubbish. When I stated earlier that there wasn't much tomfoolery, I left in an important part: There was tomfoolery. Blogs about how sex could be the key to solving world hunger (three guesses which act they emphasized), how Mitt Romney caused global warming with his talking, or how the show Mythbusters actually proved that Hitler never existed. Random comments on professional blogs like the aforementioned incoherent garble. People simply spamming the site with empty pages.

And the chain comments. Oh dear lord, the chain comments.

Just this past May, I was designing a new layout for the site, a nice, sky-blue theme indicative of intellect and professionalism. I'd been contacted by several small sites asking for ad space, and I was reorganizing things to accommodate these new sources of revenue. While doing so, I clicked on a link to the Blog of the Week by accident, opening up XabyLucca's blog about the true edge of the universe (she basically destroyed scientists who say 'always expanding' and 'infinite' in the same definition). This was a fairly great theory of the universe, but the comments on this blog... There were 3082 comments. I was stunned. I'd never seen so many on such a new post. I looked to see what they said; surely this was due to a feud between commentators about different viewpoints!

Comment 1:

Yaddayadda says:

"hello my name is stevie. three years ago my mother... ...killed mt for not bringing her beer fast enough she shot me in the neck. if you read this an dont repost in 5 hours i will Be in your room with the gun my mommy used"

Comment 2:

HillaryCliton says:

"hello my naem is dave i died 5 yers ago a guy killed my family and my dog and me if you dont post this on 3 oher pages ill find you and kill you"

Comment 3:

Flammie16 says:

"Umm, wtf is up with the comments?"

Comment 4:

ScarlettHuebris says:

"listen dont stop reading okay good now you cant stop if you do I'll get MOMMY to kill you"

Comment 5:

Sizzler says:

"[Daniel; username redacted], there's something going on! Fix your damn site!"

Comment 6:

DaafyDuk says:

"hello my naem is dave i died 5 yers ago a guy killed my family and my dog and me if you dont post this on 3 oher pages ill find you and kill you"

Comment 7:

OctavianCaesarSalad says:

"Lol, this is weird. So many dead kids, where do they put this many bodies? XD"

...and it went on like that for 3000 comments. I'd call foul play and ban the offenders, but some of these people had contributed quality stuff. One of these users (one of those shown here, even), HillaryCliton, e-mailed me and explained that he hadn't written these comments. He must've been hacked. Another, someone using their IRL e-mail, and therefore a real name which won't be listed, told me that several of these are repeated all over the site. Several users admitted to contributing joke ones to the fray but stopped after they noticed how bad it was.

I had only been off for about 15 hours, and then this happened. My site, destroyed by trolls. I wasn't going to let them retreat to their bridge, though...

I looked at the editing history of the site. Good fucking god, this was horrible. Tens of thousands of edits, all within the last 3 hours, all chain comments. I sifted through, scrolled through page after page after mind-numbing page, until I noticed that the comments started making sense. Am I going crazy? I thought. I'd just scrolled past the point where the spam began, into the serious comments. I looked at the first comment that was made, the first in this line of web-cancer.

On "Foresight in Dreams":

OedipusNostradamus says:

"only thos that see future know what it look like. how do blind see future?"

I was confused. This was the comment directly before the torrent of shitty spam. It sounded almost like a legitimate thought, but it was so butchered, it looked like an eight-year old whose fourth language was English. I disregarded the comment, instead focusing on blocking the recently-created accounts that had only created more spam.

That was when I started to notice the links.

Every once in a while, one of these spam comments has a random word hyperlinked to something. Because I browse with Google Chrome, I can see a preview of the link before I click it, enabling me to see potentially virus-ridden sites before I click them. The downside is, if people use things like that damn link, it won't show you the final destination.

I didn't click these links. They reeked of something fishy. Not the Paris Hilton uncrossing legs fishy, either. Something was going on. And I couldn't figure out what.

Over the course of the next three days, every comment became about vengeful dead children and how they'd kill you for not reposting. Even blogs became riddled with these.

But then they started changing.

Several users e-mailed me about not being able to access the site anymore. They had been kicked from their accounts, and their passwords were all nulled. They couldn't even view the site as guests anymore.

At the same time, the chain comments all started to become the same. Granted, they were all pretty cut-n-paste before, but they started to become the same comment.

OedipusNostradamus says:

"do blind people dream? i dreamed once, butt my eyes were taken. that was my reard for looking."

OedipusNostradamus says:

"you said the futur can get see in drems. why you think so?"

I was quite rattled. This spammer, one of the few left, was still talking about my blog. This blog talked about people who claim to have seen the future in their dreams. I believe firmly that it is because certain events are predestined to happen based on the past. Certain things cause other things, put simply. I also believe it's because of a correlation to familiar surroundings; if this dream takes place in a familiar spot, then you're more likely to experience the déjà vu that comes with this familiar experience.

I then got an e-mail, from a certain "OedipusNostradamus":

"its hard fro me to tell things from her. i cant see you. but your rong. you dont see things inthe fuure. you see things the way they were ment to happin. you like your thereys? heres one for you."

(This was written in the same horrible scrawl, but it's very important for you to be able to read this correctly.)

"What you see in your foresight is what is meant to be. Your past doesn't lead up to the event; you seeing the event leads up to the event. There are some things people are not meant to see, things not meant to be known. You are on the brink of learning these things, and I can't let you go all the way. You are given this foresight to keep you from these things, to tell you of the right, to warn against the wrong. You knowing this fact makes you look for the wrong, and you will influence others to do the same."

I replied: "Aren't you telling me things I shouldn't know right now?"

The spammer replied. "No. I am showing you."

The next thing he sent me was a picture of a dot. A simple dot on a blank white background. But looking at this dot, I suddenly understood the meaning of... everything. It was invigorating.


For about 3 seconds.

I can now understand why I was warned against this prying. I saw things. I saw meaning of life, I saw the reason why the universe exists, I saw the infinite beginnings, ends, and restarts of everything that did, does, and will exist, in every possible way. All within the single dot. All of the terrors and horrors within the things I didn't know, that I shouldn't know, that no mortal should know. Instantly forgotten the instant I looked away.

The knowledge left, the infinite possibilities reaching extremes we could never dream of on a theory site. But the fear, the great terror of the things I didn't know, still lingered.

The site vanished. The spammer's e-mails vanished. The knowledge vanished. The only thing that remained was the overwhelming fear.

My name is Daniel Eris. About a year ago I was ruined by my own pursuit of knowledge. Spread the word: If you strive to find the answer to everything, you might find out the truth. And sometimes the truth is deadly.

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