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Monday, October 16, 2017

Author J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison: How to tell if Someone You Know is a Member of a Sinister Secret Society

The Seven RED FLAGS: How to tell if Someone You Know is a Member of a Sinister Secret Society

We’ve all been there. You’re just going about your normal, everyday life, minding your normal, everyday business, when you find yourself hopelessly enmeshed in the evil machinations of a sinister secret society bent on controlling, reshaping or destroying the world. It’s always such an unpleasant shock—not just because you now have to battle against dark forces to save yourself and the fate of humanity, but also because one of the key players in the secret society always turns out to be someone you knew and should have suspected. Am I right?

Well, I’m here to help. I had to do a lot of research on sinister secret societies for my latest book, and as it turns out, there are seven red flags you can look out for to help you spot SSS members lickety-split.

Before we dive in, however, I want to share one important note. Don’t assume that anyone (and I mean anyone) is not in a sinister secret society. Just because you trust someone, just because you’ve known them since you were both babies, just because you are literally with them almost non-stop, does not mean that they aren’t the vile tool of an evil organization working toward your destruction. In fact, the more completely you trust them and believe they are good, the more likely they are to turn out to be totally evil. The latest statistics show that when people are killed by members of sinister secret societies, nine times out of ten, the perpetrator was someone known to them. So, the golden rule of not getting enmeshed in the evil machinations of a sinister secret society is simple: Always be on guard.

Now, the seven red flags:

1. Does the person just look pretty sinister? Do they have dark circles around eyes the color of bruises? Do they have a cruel scar that runs from the corner of an eye to the corner of their mouth? Or is there just something off about them that you can’t quite put your finger on, but it bugs you—for example, a bad haircut? Looking sinister is a dead giveaway. Keep a close eye on sinister looking people. But, and I can’t stress this enough, you also need to be careful of people who look completely harmless. No one is completely harmless, so if they look that way, that’s also a red flag.

2. Does the person lurk? Do you notice them out of the corner of your eye all the time, do they stand in shadows more than normal, do the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you turn around and find them right behind you a lot? These are classic signs that someone is in a sinister secret society. And the more someone lurks, the more likely it is they are a member. However, don’t trust people who don’t lurk. A crafty evildoer will frequently stand around in bright sunshine, sit right next to you at lunch, or even make a show of appearing out of nowhere to drive off a lurker who has been frightening you. Don’t be fooled! This is a technique to build your trust. The apparent hero is probably in cahoots with the lurker.

3. Does the person mumble under their breath? If so, they could either be communicating with their evil organization via concealed microphone, whispering sinister comments to themselves like, "when my dark brotherhood/sisterhood seizes control, you will be the first to feel my deadly wrath," or worst of all, casting evil incantations to befuddle and confuse you into not noticing their evilness. Always keep a close eye on mumblers! On the other hand, truly terrible sinister secret society members often have such strong self-control that you should be exceptionally wary around anyone who does not mumble under their breath at all.

4. Do animals behave oddly around your suspect? Dogs will usually growl, get their hackles up, or whimper in fear in the presence of members of sinister secret societies. Cats will yowl, hiss, spit or jump down on you unexpectedly as if they have been thrown by an off-camera production assistant. Squirrels will commit suicide by jumping in front of vehicles. This odd behavior is the result of all the dark forces and arcane powers evildoers come into contact with. Like static electricity, the stuff can give humans a mystical charge that animals can detect. Hamsters are the most reliable indicators of mystical currents. Hamsters will quietly stare at people with a dark charge, sometimes nervously munching bits of hamster food as they do. This is why members of sinister secret societies hate hamsters. If animals act strangely around your suspect, the person is probably guilty. But beware! Sometimes, these people can charm animals with incantations or enchantments, so be suspicious of people that animals and pets seem to like a little too much, or people who go out of their way to express their love of hamsters.

5. Does the suspect have any objects made of obsidian lying about their home, office or other personal space? Objects made of obsidian (particularly sacrificial daggers, skulls, idols or altars) are an obvious red flag. And don’t be fooled if you don’t see any obsidian objects. Many sinister secret society members know obsidian is a giveaway, so they hide their obsidian objects extremely well, and some secret societies specifically prohibit their members from owning obsidian items to prevent them from being detected. So, if your suspect does not have any obsidian items, this is a red flag as well.

6. Is the person’s lawn very well maintained? The more carefully a lawn is maintained, the more likely it is that someone in the house doesn’t want outsiders looking past that lawn. Never trust the perfectly manicured lawn. This extends to golf courses. If the lawn (or golf course) is well maintained, watch your step! Never trust anyone who manicures their lawn (or golf course) with fingernail scissors or whose grass always looks unwholesomely green and well fertilized. The grass is always greener over secret graves. However, it has been brought to my attention that some sinister secret society members are so busy with their nefarious activities that they don’t have time to attend to mundane things like cutting the grass, so, if a lawn (or golf course) seems unkempt, disheveled, or rumpled, that can also be a sign that your suspicions are correct.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s only six red flags. Well, if you’ve managed to read through this list without recognizing any red flags, if you are pretty convinced that you don’t know anyone who is involved with a sinister secret society, there may be a bigger problem.

Ask yourself these questions:
Do you ever have unexplained headaches?

Do you ever wake up tired after a full night of sleep?

Do you ever forget things—even simple stuff, like where you put your car keys or who wrote the song Take On Me?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then you are most likely the person you know who is in a sinister secret society.

Surprised? Don’t be. It’s totally common for sinister secret societies to be so secret that even their own members don’t know they are in them. The best dark organizations, you see, all brain wash or hypnotize their most evil representatives. So, if you are convinced that you, yourself are absolutely not in a sinister secret society, that is the biggest red flag of all.

Demon Freaks
by J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison
October 3, 2017
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
Genre: YA Horror/Comedy
It’s the night before the SAT test. The forces of darkness are stirring.

Twin brothers, Bing and Ron Slaughter, know they’ve got to cram like their lives depend on it because their college plans sure do. If they don’t ace the test, they’ll be doomed to spend the rest of their days flipping burgers at the McDonald’s their parents run. That’s why they hatch a plan to meet up with the members of their punk band, the Ephits, spend the night studying at a secluded cabin in the woods, and maybe squeeze in a little jamming. What could go wrong with a brilliant plan like that?

Ancient evil. That’s what.

As a cataclysmic lightning storm rolls in, Bing, Ron and the rest of the Ephits find themselves tangled in a sinister plot to summon a demon. Yes, demons are real. To survive the night, the band must find a malevolent artifact, battle bloodthirsty monsters and stand against the most dangerous and powerful foe humanity has ever faced…the Golfer’s Association.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Ron interrupted. “The Golfers Association? Don’t you mean insane cultists or Satan worshipers or evil wizards or something?”

“Insane cultists, Satan worshipers and evil wizards are like elderly nuns compared to the Golfers’ Association,” their prisoner responded. “You’d be much better off if it were something that simple. These guys are demon freaks.”

“Demon freaks,” Bing repeated in a whisper. “That sounds…bad.”
“Oh, it’s bad alright,” the prisoner shuddered. “You have no idea.”

About the Author:
Fish Wielder is J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison's first novel (He wrote a graphic novel, The Helm, for Dark Horse Comics). Jim has worked as a writer, screenwriter, animator and film director. He started his professional career by producing a low-budget direct-to-video feature film, The Creature From Lake Michigan. Making a bad movie can be a crash course in the essential elements of good character and story, and The Creature From Lake Michigan was a tremendously bad movie. Shifting his focus entirely to animation, Jim joined Will Vinton Studios where he directed animated commercials for M&M’s and on the stop-motion TV series Gary and Mike. While working at Vinton, he also co-wrote the television special Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy with actor Paul Reiser.
Jim has appeared on NBC's The Apprentice as an expert advisor on brand characters, developed characters and wrote the pilot episode for the PBS children's television series SeeMore's Playhouse and authored the previously mentioned graphic novel, The Helm, named one of 2010's top ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens by YALSA, a branch of the American Library Association. These days, Jim is the creative director and co-owner of Character LLC, a company that does story-analysis for brands and entertainment properties. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his lovely wife, two amazing kids, one smart dog and one stupid dog.

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