|For other 3D Universe renditions, see Epsilon Program (GTA VC) and Epsilon Program (GTA VCS).|
|For the HD Universe renditions, see Epsilon Program (GTA IV) and Epsilon Program (GTA V).|
The Epsilon Program, also known as the Epsilon Cult, Epsilon Group, or Epsilonism, is a major organization found in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Table of contents
- Confirmed members
- Rumored members
- Rumored locations
- Discredited fan rumors
The Epsilon Program is a prominent cult found within Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
At one level, the Program exists to parody real-world cults, taking particular influence from the Church of Scientology. Epsilonism also references other religions such as Mormonism, Raëlism, and Discordianism. The Epsilon Program first appeared around early 2004 when a teaser site was launched at epsilonprogram.com. Later, on August 28th, 2004, a Blogspot account named JBlend posted the first few tenets of the Epsilon Tract along with the names of the cult's deities and the logo of the Program. This would be the final reference to the Program made by Rockstar Games until 8 years later, when the site was updated to reflect the cult's appearance in Grand Theft Auto V.
On another level, the Epsilon Program is considered the largest myth in the Grand Theft Auto series, being presented both in-game and in fan rumors as an ominous secret society. The Epsilon Program myth is so large that entire niche subcultures have risen in the GTA community, attempting to connect individual characters and pedestrians to the cult, as well as interlinking the cult with other in-game myths.
The Epsilon Program was founded by Cris Formage, although an exact time and date is never specified. The cult has been around since as early as 1984, because of its appearance within Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. By 1992, the cult had grown in popularity, especially within San Andreas. At the same time, this caused the creation of conspiracy theories that claimed that the cult runs both the government and the entertainment industry. Later that year, Cris Formage appeared on the Entertaining America program for an interview, hosted by the skeptical Lazlow, perhaps humorously as the previous host of Entertaining America, Billy Dexter, was known to be an Epsilonist. In the interview, he spouted the beliefs of the Epsilon Program and then descended into a debate with Darius Fontaine, founder of Inversion Therapy. During the interview, Lazlow reveals that Cris was an alcoholic before he formed the cult, and that he has thousands of followers in San Andreas.
After 1992, some minor events happened to the cult. Famous rapper Maccer joined the program, as mentioned on his website. The fate of the program is otherwise unknown, as there is very little reference to their activities in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, set in 1998.
The primary beliefs of the Epsilon Program are found on the cult's website, and in-game radio and pedestrian voice lines. The primary source for information on the program comes from their website's "Kifflom" page, listing the cult's "12 Tenets of Kifflom." Also, there are sources of Epsilon that are mentioned only: brochures, Cris Formage's book It Happened to Us All, and the unwritten Epsilon Tract. A fan rumor known as the "Epsilon Fax" also led to info on the cult, but this was later shown to be a hoax.
Epsilonism is a polytheistic religion. The primary god is Kifflom, who is worshiped by cult members and also used as a greeting. One of two other primary gods is Kraff, given the title "Emperor of the 4th Paradigm." Supposedly, Kraff has human descendants, who are indicated by a large birth mark on their face. The other is Krant, a mysterious deity who is only referred to once on the Epsilon Program website, and is only mentioned on Area 53, maccer.net, and by pedestrian dialogue. Additionally, as the organization operates as a cult, Cris Formage himself is divined by its members, as he claims to have various supernatural abilities.
Epsilonism has a unique perception of time, stating that the world is 157 years old and that its age does not change. Along with this, the program claims that its members have eternal life. Instead, the program believes in a series of time cycles known as the Paradigms, although it is unknown whether the paradigms are events that go from one to the other, or whether the universe "resets" with each passing paradigm. It is never mentioned which paradigm 1992 takes place in, as only the 4th Paradigm is mentioned.
Sexuality is one of the main priorities of the cult. The seventh tenet reads that "men are supposed to lie with nine new partners a week. Women are supposed to lie with six, except from in July, when they must lie with five men a day." Additionally, Epsilonists are expected to swap their partners, a process known as swinging. During the interview, Cris Formage says "Every single thing we do is voluntary, including the swinging, and making things up." Additionally, a commercial for the Program asks the question "Why do I have to be monogamous?" The Backpacker pedestrian has lines stating "I lie with nine of my sister-aunts every week," "Partner sharing is an integral part of Cris's vision," and "I love the sexual side of Epsilonism." A caller named Henry on Gardening With Maurice says "I've really come into my own in the past few months since I joined a cult and tithing money in exchange for spiritual happiness and letting everyone take turns on my wife." The show Lonely Hearts showcases various deviant behaviors from Epsilonists. In the first segment, a deranged cultist admits to stalking. In a later segment, a disloyal caller admits to having 18 children, claiming he is raising little soldiers, but quickly yells "Kifflom!" at the end. Another belief of the Epsilon Program is that sperm does not exist. The Backpacker goes so far as to claim that "Biology is a lie." Cris Formage instead claims that "I got laid this morning. By twins. They each laid an egg and I formed out of them." In the same interview, Cris says "If there are no women, make them. From sand, from garbage, out of thin air." This ideology of making women from inanimate objects spread to other places in San Andreas, where Marvin Trill discusses making a woman out of sand during an episode of Area 53.
Tithing is a vital part of Epsilonism, being the cult's main source of income. The cult only tithes 8.75 percent of income, compared to the 10 that most major religions follow. The Epsilon Program describes itself as expensive, demanding a large sum of donations from its followers. On the Epsilon Program website, there are two "Give Money" buttons on the top header, as well as a green button reading "CAN YOU PUT A PRICE ON PEACE OF MIND? $ CLICK HERE $" on the left column of every page. On this page, there are instructions to send the cult money:
|“||ALL YOU NEED DO IS SEND A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO:
–Epsilon Program: Money
In this instance, "Grand Canaria" is a nonexistent island located in the real life nation of the Cayman Islands, a country that is infamous for serving as a tax haven. Cris Formage claims that members tithe voluntarily, and that their donations are used for "salvation and merit badges."
Epsilon preaches that various supernatural entities exist on Earth, including Aliens and UFOs. Ironically, the cult is skeptical of real life animals, claiming that dinosaurs aren't real. Epsilon teaches that trees are sentient and can speak.
Canes are said to be sacred items in Epsilonism. During the Entertaining America interview, Cris Formage admits to using a cane and even commands Lazlow to "touch his cane." Otherwise, canes are not mentioned in any other Epsilon related sources, but still remain a vital part of fan rumors, with canes appearing at supposed Epsilonist locations.
The final belief of the cult is that all human beings are related. This is mentioned in the tenets, "We all come from the same tree" and "Everyone is related to everyone else, except people with red hair."
Joining the cult
It is rather secretive on how the cult accepts new members. On the Epsilon Program website, the "Join Now!" tab only features a single paragraph. It states that a prospecting member must "travel through the dawn" to the pass in their brochure, put on a blindfold, raise their left hand, and repeat the phrase "Take me to to my father-father, brother-uncle. Kifflom." to the red truck with a dented fender. From there, the cult members will do the rest, but it is not specifically known what this means.
|“||Travel through the dawn to the pass pictured in our brochures. Look for a red truck with a dent on the right fender. Raise your left hand and recite the words: "Take me to my father-father, brother-uncle. Kifflom." We'll do the rest. Because we all know, there is Kifflom and there is Krant, and both be praised. Blindfold required.||”|
–Epsilon Program: Join Now
- The world is 157 years old - FACT!
- Dinosaurs are a lie that people believe because they are weak - FACT!
- You are happy, you just don't know it - FACT!
- We all come from the same tree - FACT!
- Everyone is related to everyone else, except people with red hair - FACT!
- Sperm does not exist - it is a lie spread by biology teachers - along with everything else you have ever been told - FACT!
- Men are supposed to lie with nine new partners a week. Women are supposed to lie with six, except from in July, when they must lie with five men a day - FACT!
- Aliens exist and are present on earth. If you have a birthmark, you may be descended from Kraff, the famous Emperor of the 4th Paradigm - FACT!
- Trees talk, but only some people hear them - FACT!
- People who believe in something live longer than atheists, and they have eternal life thrown in for good measure - FACT!
- If you believe this and turn your hands and wallets over to EPSILONISM, you'll live a happy life. Otherwise you are doomed - FACT!
- KIFFLOM - HAPPINESS IS YOURS! KIFFLOM!
Members of the Epsilon Program can usually be identified when they greet or close sentences with "Kifflom!" Otherwise, cult members are secretive of their affiliation with the Program.
- Main article: Cris Formage
Cris Formage is the founder of the Epsilon Program. Not much is known about him, since his only appearance in the game is during the Entertaining America interview. Cris was a hardcore alcoholic before founding the cult. He is known for sexually deviant behavior and is transparent about the fact that he runs the cult for profit. Formage has a bank account in the Cayman Islands, a well known tax haven.
- Main article: Epsilon Program Members
The vast majority of the cult's named members are found online, in the "Testimonials" tab. They are:
- Jonas Ackerman, from Blueberry: "Kifflom changed my life. I used to have a well paid job, a family and good prospects. Now, I've given that up to find real meaning in wearing light blue and proclaiming my real religion. Kifflom!"
- Jeremy Smith, from San Fierro: "Much better than Inversion Therapy. My mother sleeps much easier now that I've joined the fellowship. Kifflom!"
- Brian van Ginsberg, from Carcer City: "Religion never worked for me, until now!"
- Jane Pole, from Ohio: "I was lost. Luckily, I now go to regular meeetings of a cult group and give them lots of money, so everything is okay."
- Mary Fortune, from Liberty City: "At first, I was nervous about giving up my identity and sleeping with all of those men, but I really enjoy it now."
- Morgan August, from Los Santos: "Cris Formage is a genius. It's a religion without homework!"
- Main article: Jezz Torrent
Jezz Torrent is the frontman of the famous rock band Love Fist. He claims that the Epsilon Program helped him "give up smack."
- Main article: Marvin Trill
Marvin Trill is the host of the conspiracy radio show Area 53. He makes various references to the deities of Krant and Kifflom during the show. In the episode one opener, Marvin asks "Are women made of sand?" referencing a quotation from Cris Formage's radio interview of the same nature. Additionally, Marvin references the paradigms indirectly with his question "Has the future already happened somewhere else?"
- Main article: Maccer
Maccer is a British musician who moved to San Andreas. He does not mention Epsilon in-game at all, but rather on his website at maccer.net. Maccer converted to Epsilonism after the events of the game to help curb his drug and masturbation addictions.
|“||You know what, I was a bloody fool. The facts are, I ran around like a little monkey for a lot of years. And what was I running from? Who bloody knows? But while it was a good laugh and that, right, its over. Them days is for wankers. These days, I'm all about Krant, right, as I've discovered a new and bettter way to look after meself. It's no longer a vicious and nasty trail of pregnant women, used up drugs and destroyed hotel rooms in my wake. Now, I am a man of the tract. oh, I know, I know, how could the chemical doctor sort his selkf out, kidda? Well, I couldn't. On me own, I was lost, proper lost, but thanks to Cris Formage and the fine folks at The Epsilon Programme, I've found a btter way to live. No more cocaine, no more heroin, no more ceaselss, boundless self pleasure. henceforth, ladies and mentle pateints, I am following the words of the tract! The world is 157 years old. Sperm is a lie! Proper truth, man, when you think about it, like. And, what's more, The Epsilon Tract only tithes at 8.75% so I've found salvation for a low, low price. You know what? Give it a try. You might like it. My music is better than ever, and finally, my lyrics are infused with spirituality.||”|
–maccer.net "A Personal Message" section
- Main article: Backpacker
The Backpacker pedestrian is an unnamed character who walks around Verdant Bluffs, Greenglass College, and the San Fierro beach. He acts as a missionary for the Epsilon Program, disseminating information, handing out brochures, and attempting to convert passersby.
- Main article: Barbers
All barbers in the state of San Andreas, excluding Old Reece, are members of the cult. They wear a baby blue shirt and will greet CJ with "Epsilon smiles on you, uncle-brother!" or "Kifflom!" when he gets a haircut. The San Fierro barber is unique, as he is openly homosexual. The 7th Tenet reads that "Men are supposed to lie with nine new partners a week" but "Women are supposed to lie with five men a day," showing that the sex of the partners of male Epsilonists is not considered.
These are minor members of the cult who do not play a large part in the mystery:
- Billy Dexter, former host of Entertaining America, says "Kifflom!" during some shows.
- Julie from Liberty City and Rick from Blueberry, callers who mention Epsilon on Area 53.
- Henry, a member who calls into Gardening With Maurice.
- Two unnamed cultists call into Lonely Hearts on various occasions.
- An unnamed cultist is interviewed as part of WCTR News.
The cult also has various critics that lead to some extra information on the cult through their preaching.
- Main article: Katie Zhan
Katie is one of the girls who CJ can form a relationship with. During dates, she frequently derides the Epsilon Program, calling its followers "nutjobs" who freak her out. Inside some safehouses, there is a photograph of Katie posing near the Greenglass College building, one of the few spawn points for the Backpacker pedestrian. It's suggested that Katie's run-ins with Epsilonists at the college is what caused her disdain for the cult.
The clerk at all Ammu-Nation stores is shown to be a deeply conservative man. When CJ purchases a weapon, one of his voice lines will say "There are cultists everywhere, friend." The clerk has a combat line stating "You just picked on God's best friend!" showing his belief in monotheism and not Kifflom, Krant, and Kraff. Additionally, WCTR is funded by Ammu-Nation, and its hosts frequently describe Epsilon as either a secret society or a crazy cult, further showing Ammu-Nation's hatred of the program.
- Main article: Big Smoke
Big Smoke is a leading member of the Grove Street Families. He is the most peaceful of the Grove Street OGs, showing very little interest in gang activity unless he stands to gain from it personally. During his missions, Big Smoke acts like a wise man or a preacher. The GTA SA teaser site describes Smoke as a preacher with delusions of grandeur. Smoke has lines like "As the book says: there is one time to have a good laugh, and one time to blubber." and "The big round of the bastards. As it is said in the book: The world runs like that." The book Smoke refers to could possibly be the Epsilon Tract. Additionally, Smoke says that "Everybody is my cousin," possibly referring to the 4th and 5th Tenet.
- Main article: Ken Rosenberg
In the previous GTA title, Ken Rosenberg was theorized to be an Epsilonist due to his drug addiction and blue books found in his office at Hotel Harrison. By 1992, he had broken off from Vice City and arrived at Las Venturas, where he was placed into the Fort Carson Medical Center for rehab. Due to his connections with the mob at Caligula's Casino, he eventually befriended Maccer and Kent Paul. After the events of the game, it's theorized that Maccer and Rosenberg together became devoted members of the Program to assist with their addictions. Rosenberg also shares a friendship with fellow suspected Epsilonist Madd Dogg, but not to the same extent.
- Main article: Madd Dogg
Madd Dogg is a well known rapper, who lives at his mansion in the Vinewood hills. Inside his mansion are various paintings, showcasing esoteric topics. One painting shows a medieval castle ruin consumed by nature in the woods, while another shows a group of women with arms interlocked, in a circle around an unknown light source. These photos have caused players to theorize that Madd Dogg participates in bizarre rituals himself, possibly related to Epsilonism. Additionally, Madd Dogg has a relationship with Maccer and Ken Rosenberg, who may have converted him especially due to Madd Dogg's suicidal behavior seen in his eponymous mission.
The Pilot is a rare pedestrian who can be found walking around the airport in Las Venturas. He doesn't give any clear signs of being an Epsilonist. However, many of his voice lines discuss partner sharing and recalling his experiences at swing clubs. Given the polygamist nature of Epsilonism, this could imply that he is a member.
The Priest is a rare pedestrian model who is only found in a few missions, namely Los Sepulcros, Jizzy, Interdiction, and Madd Dogg. In three out of his four appearances, the Priest displays behavior not normally associated with Christian preachers. In Jizzy and Interdiction, the Priest is shown to be sexually promiscuous and takes the services of local prostitutes. In Madd Dogg, the Priest taunts Madd Dogg while he is considering suicide. The Priest has been connected to the Epsilon Program because of his strange behavior as well as sexual deviancy.
The unknown Pass is the most important location according to Epsilon hunters. The pass is the location mentioned in the Program's "Join Now" page, where prospecting cultists must "travel through the dawn" to the pass "pictured in our brochures" to become a member of the cult. The Pass remains the most searched for location among Epsilon hunters, who claim that following these instructions would allow CJ to encounter cult members.
There are multiple factors which impede singling out just one location for the pass. It could either be a literal geographic pass, lowlands between two hills, or it could be a figurative pass, such as a bridge linking two locations together. Additionally, it is not determined whether the player must drive the Red Truck to the location itself, or if they must find an area that has a truck spawn point. These variables have made Epsilon hunters put forth various locations that could act as the pass.
Another problem arises due to Carl's difficulty in following the instructions. When Epsilon demands that when the prospecting member arrives at the pass, they raise their left hand and recite a phrase while blindfolded. Carl can raise his hands in a few situations:
- Drowning (left hand up)
- Getting a haircut (left hand up)
- Eating hot dogs or drinking Sprunk (left hand up)
- Throwing money at the Strip Club (left hand up)
- Eating food at restaurants (right hand up)
- Aiming backwards with a dual wielded weapon (right hand up)
There is no method for Carl to speak on command unless it's in response to another pedestrian's voice line. Plus, there is no actual blindfold that CJ can wear. Some have theorized that CJ must wear a special type of glasses or bandana to simulate the effect.
- Main article: Abandoned Dock
The Abandoned Dock is a small homestead located north of the Verdant Meadows airfield. It's long been associated with the hunt for Epsilon, and was one of the first locations linked to the cult. The Abandoned Dock is located in a small valley between large hills from The Cordillera, making it fit the geographic description of a pass. Additionally, the red beater Sadler spawns at the location, making it the closest match to the description given on the Epsilon Program website.
- Main article: Sherman Dam
The Sherman Dam is a large dam in Bone County, that also serves as a bridge connecting the county to nearby Tierra Robada. The Sherman Dam is also one of the primary locations associated with the Epsilon hunt. In real life, the Hoover Dam marks the boundary between the Mountain and Pacific time zones. Because of this, the Sherman Dam has been connected to the instructions of "travel through the dawn," given the implication that the time zone changes. The Dam's central location linking Tierra Robada and Bone County has been considered a "pass." Finally, in some copies of the game's instruction manual, a screenshot shows a red Sadler driving across the Dam.
- Main article: Regular Tom
Regular Tom is a small geyser located in central Bone County. The location is visited by Epsilon hunters due to its appearance on the minimap, appearing similar to the birthmark of Kraff's descendants featured on the Epsilon Program website. The area that lines up with the birthmark is two tall mesas with a valley in between, possibly acting as the pass. However, no other references to Epsilon are found at the area.
The whole area of eastern Shady Creeks has been theorized to act as a pass. Each bridge linking the area to Back o' Beyond are both geographical and figurative passes. A beater Sadler spawns in the area as well, signifying the connection to Epsilon. Inside CJ's house is a photo of the Oram Bridge taken from the same position that the truck spawns in, possibly indicating that it is the pass.
The Panopticon is a logging mill located west of the town of Blueberry. At night, the entire town of Blueberry is bathed in a blue light, making it the epicenter for Epsilon related myth hunting. In particular, one area of the Panopticon has been heavily visited by hunters. In the western cliff face, there is a small area that indents into the rock. This area features an extremely bright blue glow. Geographically, it could be the pass.
- Main article: Gant Bridge
The Gant Bridge is a massive bridge connecting Bayside to north San Fierro. Being a bridge, it was already considered by myth hunters to be a possible pass. Further proof was found in the district of Hashbury, where a mural on a hippie store shows a dove flying past the Gant Bridge with the sunrise visible. This mural has been linked to the instruction to travel through the dawn. However, the Gant Bridge doesn't otherwise contain any references to Epsilon.
Fort Carson Cave
- Main article: Fort Carson Cave
The Fort Carson Cave is a small underground cave found in central Bone County. Not much evidence has been presented linking the cave to the cult, but it is still sometimes investigated by Epsilon hunters.
- Main article: The Farm
The Farm is the second most important location in regards to the Epsilon Program. The Farm is a location in central Flint County that consists of a large farmhouse with a few minor structures around the property. At night, the windows will glow a bright cyan color. Baby blue is the color associated with the Epsilon Program, so hunters were quick to link the location. In the game's manual, the Farm is referred to as a "Cult Location," giving more evidence of the connection. During the mission Body Harvest, the Farm is occupied by a group of survivalists, who The Truth describes as "survivalist maniacs, right wingers, and fascists." After CJ eliminates the survivalists, Epsilon hunters claim that the Epsilon Program moved in to take over the Farm as their own. Others have claimed that Epsilonism is actually a survivalist sect, evidenced by behavior seen from Marvin Trill. Myth hunters also theorize that if the player follows the right directions, it could trigger a meeting of Epsilonists at the Farm.
- Main article: Hell Barn
The Hell Barn is a small building located just south of The Farm. It's been heavily investigated because it shows that the Epsilon Program has a desire to lighting things on fire, which is then seen in various other locations linked to the cult.
- Main article: The Blueberry Mystery
Blueberry is a town in the exact center of the State of San Andreas. Blueberry serves as an epicenter with regards to the Epsilon Program, as a large amount of references are found in the cult's own teachings. On the Testimonals page, a cultist named Jonas Ackerman lives in the town. During Area 53, a caller named Rick also claims to be from Blueberry. The town of Blueberry is infamous for a phenomena known as the Blueberry Mystery, where various places are bathed in a blue glow at night. Random buildings and pieces of the landscape are colored blue without any discernible light source causing the effect. Some buildings even have blue textures, such as their doors or window curtains. Even the town's name of Blueberry is cited as an example. At the Fleischberg Brewery on the outskirts of town, there are truck trailers with a red line at the top; these have been considered candidates for the Red Truck myth. There are a few places in Blueberry that are linked to the Epsilon Program beyond the color scheme, namely the Red County Truck Terminal, and Blueberry Safehouse, the road leading into town, and the large bridge.
Red County Truck Terminal
- Main article: Red County Truck Terminal
The Red County Truck Terminal is a facility in Blueberry. The Red County Truck Terminal lies abandoned and blocked off by fences, which already made it a target for myth hunters. As time progressed, the Truck Terminal was eventually connected to the Epsilon Program. There is a single functional light in the Terminal, which will create a bright blue light at night. Because of this, there are limited reports from players who have claimed to have witnessed Epsilonist meetings inside the Truck Terminal. The sign outside is styled to be read as "Red Truck County Terminal" instead of the regular name, cluing in on the Red Truck myth. On the game's website, a red Sadler is seen driving towards the Terminal.
- Main article: Blueberry Safehouse
The Blueberry Safehouse is found in the northwest part of town. It's a large apartment complex with a central courtyard. At night, certain windows will have a blue tint to them. More nefariously, one apartment is cordoned off with police tape and others are boarded off entirely, giving the impression that Epsilonism is dangerous.
The Blueberry Bridge is found due south of the town, crossing an unnamed valley. The bridge is pivotal in both the Blueberry Mystery and in finding the Pass. At night, the bridge has the brightest blue glow of any place in Blueberry, being visible from even great distances. Being located in a valley has made the area also be considered a Pass. A strange glitch has been known to occur where a disembodied pedestrian can be seen floating below the bridge for a few frames.
Even the road leading to Blueberry has been connected with the cult. If viewed from above, the road from Blueberry to Dillimore highly resembles the logo used by the Epsilon Program. The road leads from Big Mike's Trucks to the Red County Truck Terminal, two locations also associated with the program.
- Main article: Desert Building
The Desert Building is another pivotal location in the Epsilon Hunt. It is a massive underground structure built into the cliff face of a hill in Bone County, near the town of Las Payasadas. The Desert Building was initially not believed to be related to Epsilon, until some time in the late 2000's when a webcomic titled the "Four in the Morning" series was published. The comic shows a series of images of CJ standing around at the Desert Building until a red beater Glendale pulls into a parking spot. A suited figure, hard to discern due to the photo's low quality, steps out of the vehicle. The final image of the comic shows CJ and the pedestrian speaking, with a heavy blue filter attached. In the time since, the webcomic has been long considered a hoax, owing to the likelihood of the GTA San Andreas' two player mode, and the fact that a beater Glendale spawns nearby. Despite this, the Desert Building has remained an omnipresent location among Epsilon hunters, and there are still occasional reports of meetings of cultists at the building during the night.
The K Building is a large, black, triangular building in San Fierro's Financial district. At night, all three sides change their texture to include some windows, with a bluish-white glow, making the formation of a giant K. Epsilon hunters have tied the bluish color and the three K's to represent Kifflom, Kraff, and Krant.
Red Truck Store
Big Mike's is a truck store in the center of Dillimore. It was the first location to be tied to the Red Truck mystery, as the businesses name reads "Big Mike's" in red, with "truck" immediately next to it in blue. Upon further investigation, no other references to Epsilon can be found.
- Main article: Los Santos Observatory
The Los Santos Observatory is located on the peak of the eponymous ridge at Verdant Bluffs. It's one of three locations where the Backpacker pedestrian can be found, and was the first one discovered. Ever since the discovery, fans have posted theories which state that the Observatory is, in reality, a hidden center of worship for Epsilonists. They cite the prevalence of Epsilon adherents visiting the area, as well as the pathway at the Observatory to look like a cross when viewed from above.
- Main article: Greenglass College
Greenglass College is a small university campus on the outskirts of Las Venturas. It is another location where the Backpacker pedestrian can be found, and is frequently visited by Epsilon hunters. During some dialogue with Katie Zhan, she reveals both that she formerly attended Greenglass College, and that she loathes Epsilonists. It is thus implied that Katie's encounters with the proselytizing cultists on campus is what caused this hatred. Some other unconfirmed facts are linked with Greenglass. Like the Los Santos Observatory, the college forms a cross shape when viewed from above. At the campus are many green waste bins that contain a biohazard symbol on them. Finally, across the street from the campus is a large billboard for Eris, a company implicated in the Epsilon hunt.
Missionary Hill, in southern San Fierro, is the final location where the backpacker pedestrian is found. Not much information relating the cult to the location is known. The nearby Whetstone Bridge has been theorized to act as a pass, but otherwise Epsilon hunters haven't made any links to the location.
- Main article: Blue Chapel
The Blue Chapel is a chapel in Las Venturas, parodying the real life number of wedding chapels in Las Vegas. The Blue Chapel is unique in that, at night, it is bathed in a bright blue light. This has made players theorize that the chapel could be owned by the Epsilon Program, and that they operate as either a place of worship or a wedding chapel serving the polygamist cultists.
- Main article: Blackfield Chapel
The Blackfield Chapel is a large church in the southernmost district of Las Venturas. It is built with a large A-frame shape, with blue triangles forming the walls of the church. Because of the texture, it has been linked to the Epsilon Program. Some fake photographs have surfaced online, showing a meeting of Epsilonists outside the building. Another factor is that before 1995, the real life Guardian Angel Cathedral, of which the Blackfield Chapel is based, was simply a small time parish church before being given the cathedral status. It is claimed that Rockstar wanted to parody the local nature of the church in some way for the game's setting in 1992.
- Main article: Hell House
The Hell House is a burned apartment building centrally located in Montgomery. Due to the existence of the Hell Barn, it's long been speculated that the Epsilon Program has pyromaniacal tendencies. The buildings adjacent to the Hell House shine with blue windows at night, and the alleyway behind the building glows bright blue from an unknown light source. Because of these factors, it is speculated that Epsilonists participated in the arson of the building.
- Main article: Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is the name of a farmstead in Flint County. Beacon Hill is in close proximity to the cult's rumored headquarters at The Farm, and is home to many references to Epsilonist beliefs. A Sadler, which can occasionally appear as a beater, spawns at Beacon Hill, supposedly representing the Red Truck. A Cane also spawns, with the cane acting as an object important to Epsilonists. Both of these factors contribute to fan theories that the player can find cult members at this location under the right circumstances.
- Main article: Eris
Eris is a clothing brand that specializes in footwear. It has long been linked to the Epsilon Program, either as two organizations cooperating, or theories that Eris serves as a subsidiary of the Program.
The name of the company is a reference to Eris, also known as Discordia, the goddess of chaos in the parody religion known as Discordianism. The logo for Eris satirizes the "Hand of Eris" symbol and the company's slogan "Bring chaos to your feet" mocks the religion's beliefs.
- Main article: Planet X
Eris was initially linked to the Epsilon Program because both organizations serve to parody real world religions. Further links can be spotted as Eris logos can be found next to supposed Epsilon locations, such as an Eris billboard located next to Greenglass College. A further fan theory looked at the "star track" seen in the header of the Epsilon Program website and linked the constellation depicted to line up with the real planet Eris. During Area 53, Marvin Trill discusses a new planet discovered in space. Many fans claimed that Eris was this brand new planet and that it held significance to the Epsilon Program. In the real world, the dwarf planet Eris was first observed in October of 2003, and officially made a planet in January 2005. The planet wasn't officially named Eris until 2006, putting doubts on many theories about it.
TransFender is a vehicle tuning service introduced in GTA San Andreas. Around the state, the player can find a Rumpo with the TransFender logos on its sides. This has been linked to the statement about the red truck: "Look for a red truck with a dent on the right fender." It is claimed that the company's name on the right side represents the fender of the van, and that the italicization of the Fender in the logo represents the dent. However, no other information is known that links TransFender to the Epsilon Program.
Discredited fan rumors
Much like other GTA fan rumors, the Epsilon Program has occasionally been the subject of misunderstandings or outright fabrications. While many of these hoaxes eventually get debunked and forgotten about by the community, some discredited fan rumors still persist within the hunt for Epsilon.
Puerta Amarilla Valley
The Puerta Amarilla Valley, also known as the Puerto Amarilla or Puertas Amarillas valley, is the claimed headquarters of the Epsilon Program. The topic originated when an anonymous user left a comment on the JBlend blog post shortly after the game was released:
|“||If you see the number one, then you're on your way. Only true believers of Kifflom (praise!!!) can enter the portals. So Keep listening to the trees and I am sure that you'll find your path. If you learn the true meaning of Kifflom (praise him!!!) then you can enter the golden portals of Puertas Amarillas Valley||”|
This comment caused a large uproar on gaming forums, with players trying to determine what the Puerta Amarilla valley even was, and how to trigger cultists at the location.
Given that the location's name translates from Spanish as yellow door valley, the first suspected location was the Fort Carson Skydoor. Located far above the game world and inaccessible by conventional means, the Skydoors lead to various unused robbery interiors. None of the houses display any reference to the Epsilon Program, however.
The next rumored location was the town of Valle Ocultado, in northern Bone County. The town's name itself translates to Occult Valley. Valle Ocultado is the smallest operating municipality in the game, and as thus doesn't contain any clear references to the cult either. North of the town, in the Cordillera, are various small areas that are considered passes. Some myth hunters also claimed that the name is a reference, as ocultado features the word "cult."
There is a Chinese food restaurant named Secret Valley in the game, and various props featuring their likeness can be found inside burglary homes. Takeout boxes with the company's name on them are located in some of Carl's safehouses. Another particular prop is an issue of Top Nosh magazine showcasing the restaurant, including an interior that doesn't exist in the final release of the game.
Another claim is that, upon completing certain steps, the player will be able to access a yellow ENEX marker at the Farm, which will allow him to enter the Puerta Amarilla valley. This has never been shown to be true.
Despite it all, the Puerta Amarilla valley is most likely a hoax. There are no mentions of such a location in any canon sources, so all fan theories are based off a single comment on a blog post. The original poster's anonymity also adds more doubt to its validity.
Joining the cult instructions
A common theory on the internet details how the player can get CJ to join the Epsilon Program. The individual steps vary from user to user, but the most popular version goes as follows:
- Wear a blue jacket from Didier Sachs.
- Wear blue pants from Didier Sachs.
- Wear an eyepatch from Binco.
- Pick up a cane.
- Get red hair.
- Buy a Desert Eagle.
- Have a grave tattoo.
- Wear all cross tattoos.
- Complete the game 100 percent without using cheats.
- Have a minimum muscle bar.
- Have a minimum fat bar.
- Spend 100,000 dollars in casinos.
- Cover the rest of your body in tattoos.
- Lie with 9 prostitutes in 7 days.
- Go to the secret gym.
- Wear a religious ornament.
- Being at certain places at certain times...
Supposedly, following all of these commands will trigger an occurrence at the Farm. These also vary from user to user, but the most well known theories state that it will cause a meeting of Epsilonists outside the building, or a yellow marker will appear allowing the player to enter a secret Epsilon meeting.
For a long time, it was unknown how these steps even came into being, but further research shows that the original 10 steps were included in the first edition of the famous "Cracking the Epsilon Code" thread on NeoSeeker in 2006. The conditions for joining would shift as time went on, becoming the version known today somewhere between 2006 and Cracking the Epsilon Code's final iteration in 2011. Due to the thread's immense popularity in myth hunting circles, many players would believe that these were official instructions.
Due to being created initially by a single user with some guess work, and being mutated as time went on, the steps themselves contain some logical errors. Steps 15 and 17 are cryptic and don't name one single location for the player to go to. In particular, 15 mentions a "secret gym," which could represent the unmarked gyms in Verona Beach and Madd Dogg's crib, but could also be the Ganton Gym because of the Hidden Interiors Universe access glitch. This causes more problems as the player must use the Jetpack cheat to enter the interiors universe, contradicting the "do not cheat" portion of step 9.
- WCTR News Segment 7
- Entertaining America Segment 1
- Entertaining America Segment 3
- The Epsilon Fax at programmeepsilonproject
- Area 53 Segment 1
- Tenet #10
- Tenet #7
- Do You Want Answers?
- Backpacker Quotes
- Gardening With Maurice Segment 2
- Lonely Hearts Segment 1
- Lonely Hearts Segment 3
- Tenet #6
- Tenet #8
- Tenet #2
- Tenet #9
- Tenet #4
- Tenet #5
- Epsilon Program: Join Now
- Big Ear Tunnel at programmeepsilonprject
- Body Harvest dialogue
- The Cult Farm at programmeepsilonproject
- Area 53 Segment 2
- 5 Strangest Findings | Myths & Legends | Part 4 by DarkMythHunter
- 4 am serie at programmeepsilonproject
- Missionary Hill at programmeepsilonproject
- Comment on kifflom-izated
- Cracking the Epsilon Code on Neoseeker
- Cracking the Epsilon Code XII on Neoseeker