I've been seeing a lot of fliers around San Francisco advertising something called the "Aquatic Thought Foundation," which promises to give you dolphin therapy by hooking your brain up to a dolphin. Really, the fliers weren't all that much kookier than the usual Marin County yoga levitation psionics stuff you see. But finally I decided to check out the dolphin therapy website because, well, it was just SO weird. And it turned out to be one of the coolest and most mysterious ARGs I've come across in quite some time.
So far, nobody on the various ARG game boards I checked seems to know exactly what this ARG is for, but the Aquatic Thought Foundation is one part of the cheekily-named Jejune Institute, a group which supposedly dates back to a group of professors in the early 1960s (shades of Dharma Institute). They do "socio-reengineering," and invite you to come be "inducted" at a local downtown office building in San Francisco. Here's a video from their founder.
What stands out about this ARG is that it's incredibly sly and well-observed. These game designers know exactly what these new agey para-cult organizations sound like, and have mixed in a lot of hilarious 1970s iconography. All the "products" of Jejune are just a little too nutty to be real, but are almost believable and therefore hilarious. I utterly love the long explanation they have for why their "thought recording" equipment has to use VHS tape. Check out the gallery of fliers below to see some of their other great stuff, like a device that uses some kind of thought energy to protect your crotch.
According to people who have been playing the ARG over the past couple of months, the Jejune Institute has rented out an office in downtown San Francisco and paid a staff person to sit in the reception area and take anyone who shows up asking for induction to a room where they watch a really strange video for an hour or so. People have recorded this process and posted it on YouTube. If you want to experiment with the induction yourself, the address is on the flyers and the Jejune website.
Another wrinkle in the Jejune ARG, which apparently is taking place partly via flyers posted in San Francisco and Berkeley, is that now a counter-Jejune group has surfaced. They're posting flyers accusing the Jejune people of breaking into houses and fetishistically massaging people's feet while they sleep. Holy crap I love this freakin ARG.
Plus they have a Yelp entry.
If any of you have this ARG figured out, please tell us!
The Jejune Institute [ARG main page]