The logo used by the TSUKI Project.
|Type||New religious movement|
|Origin||January 2017 |
|Members||4,969 (July 2017)|
5,689 (July 2018)
The TSUKI Project (tsuki pronounced [tsɯki]) is a cybersectarian doomsday cult that believes reality to be an artificial simulation, called Life. Followers believe Life has been condemned to be shut down to conserve resources called Aurora within a simulated multiverse called Systemspace, and that by registering to join the movement, their souls and memories will be transported after death to LFE, another simulated reality within Systemspace, described as a "cyberpunk paradise". The founder of the movement, using the alias Tsuki, explained that members who die on or after July 1, 2017 will be transported after their death to LFE, and that Life will be permanently shut down on July 1, 2167.[better source needed] A suicide that occurred in July 2017 has been linked to the TSUKI Project, and some members believe multiple others have committed suicide in order to reach LFE, possibly constituting a mass suicide.
The TSUKI Project was first discussed on the imageboard 4chan, and Tsuki manually processed early registrations there. A website, "systemspace.link", was opened in February 2017 to expedite registrations. Since then, it grew significantly as YouTubers uploaded documentary-type videos regarding the Project. Its growth was further instigated by media attention.
On July 1, 2017, Tsuki announced that from then on, the souls of members who die would be transported to the cyberpunk utopia LFE. On July 13, Jake Fehr, aged 17, went missing in West Kelowna, British Columbia after wiping his hard drive. His body was found in a wooded area on August 12. It was found to be a suicide and linked to the TSUKI Project by notes Fehr had left in his home.
From July 1, 2017 to February 18, 2018, the TSUKI Project website was taken offline. The members stayed together until a revamped version of the website could be launched. On November 11, 2018, Tsuki announced that Life had been "unlinked", and newborn humans would no longer have souls. The website has since been replaced with an overview of the status of Life and Systemspace.
The TSUKI Project operates entirely over the Internet, utilizing a website for recruitment and communication. It also temporarily had a presence on the dark web. Its founder remains anonymous. Referring to the TSUKI Project, Rick Alan Ross noted that "thousands of people [were] becoming involved with little, if any, meaningful historical facts [or] objective information about the site creator."
Followers of the TSUKI Project have compiled a religious text called the Systemspace Compendium, which has been described as a "scripture". The authors of the Systemspace Compendium host its text on GitHub, a platform intended to be used for source code management. This scripture was later moved to a MediaWiki instance.[better source needed]
Initiates must draw and upload a photograph of a sketch to the website when registering, which the TSUKI Project purports is used to locate and uniquely identify the soul of the person who created the sketch. There are no restrictions on the subject of the sketch, but a specific 24-digit hexadecimal code (A6 2C D9 2B 21 04 AC BD 92 8C CB 29) must be written on the page.
In addition to the registrant's soul being transferred to LFE upon death, the TSUKI Project offers favors to its registrants in exchange for money and/or active participation, including the paid storage of the registrant's computer files so that they may be available to them again in LFE.
Starting on the /r9k/ board on 4chan, the TSUKI Project primarily targets outcasts, promising a better afterlife in an utopian society in which they are no longer outcasts. It also emphasizes individuality, stating that in LFE, "everyone is important". Members use an apparently constructed language called Synapsian, which is purported to be spoken along with English in LFE.
While the website allows followers to leave without penalty, this act is frowned upon by followers. The Project operates under Pascal's Wager, as there is no further action required after registering. It also upholds a medium-sized internet community, which, according to members, is one of the reasons why they believe and stay with the Project.
The TSUKI Project incorporates imagery and concepts from the 1998 science fiction anime series Serial Experiments Lain.
- Nugent, Addison (November 27, 2017). "The Obscure 4chan Religion That Promises a Cyberpunk Afterlife". Vice.com Motherboard.
- Perry, D. C. (November 29, 2017). "Systemspace: The 4chan Cult that Believes Earth Is a Simulation that's About to Be Wiped Out". GEEKS Media.
- Toshinou, Kyouko (August 1, 2018). "海外の『serial experiments lain』コミュニティについて" [About the overseas Serial Experiments Lain community]. Niconico News (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-02-02.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
- "Systemspace Compendium". 12 November 2018 – via GitHub.
- Walker, Chris (July 17, 2018). "Lost in the Dark". Daybreak South. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. CBC Radio One.
- "History of the TSUKI Project". TSUKI Project Wiki.
- Abel, Terah (July 17, 2017). "MISSING PERSON - JAKE FEHR - WEST KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA - 17 YEARS OLD". British Columbia MISSING Report.
- "Missing teen found dead in West Kelowna". Global News. August 15, 2017.
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