Findings: The People.
This is the first of what I hope to be a long and fruitful series of musings on the subject of the Slender Man. Today I’m going to be taking a bit of a detour from the established method of examining this creature, and instead examine those he has affected. I want to begin with his victims, and then examine the so called “minions”, if any distinction can truly be drawn between the two.
Before I begin, I’d like to give some small acknowledgements, both to Frank for allowing me to do this, and to Faron Gay, a correspondent who’s emails and opinions have been most useful.
Firstly, let us look at those affected, the victims. The sheer scope of this topic forces me center on a few examples, and if you believe there are personalities that contradict the theories represented here, feel free to e-mail me the link where they may be studied, and I will revise accordingly.
One common theme among these victims is obsession. There are no passive observers of Slender Man. One could even hypothesize that by steeping myself so far into this study, I am putting my very life in danger for your amusement. Oh, how the artist suffers for his art.
Looking directly at a few examples, those being the Hybrids, Jay, Zeke, and Damien. Note that Logan Renault and Noah Maxwell are not on this list. We’ll be covering that in a bit.
Let’s start with common threads between all of them. Despite the apparent differences, every one of these people has an inherent curiosity to them. When every survival instinct in them is telling them to stay away, they are exploring deeper and deeper into something that has quite possibly cost someone, perhaps even someone close to them, their life and/or sanity. Some people take this as a sign that they are under some sort of sway or control. This notion is ridiculous, the very capability to ignore survival instincts is what separates a human from an animal. Acting upon this separation does not make them irrational. Humans have survived somewhere between thousands to billions of years(depending on which theologists you ask and what day of the month you ask them) by ignoring survival instincts and being curious, to the point of which our only rule for surviving, is don’t think too hard about surviving. This is in some cases a boon, and in some a bane. I leave it to your discretion which it is in this case. It must also be noted that most of these people suffer from some sort of mental disorder. The only victims I’ve run across that don’t have an obvious disorder of some sort would be the crew of Marble Hornets. I may be missing something there though, and I’m not a psychological expert. I’ll have to talk to Matt further to understand that aspect of it, he’s our resident shrank.
Now, let us examine the minions, as they have been named in the past. Principle examples of this are The Masked Man(No, I will not call him Masky. Presuming this is a real person and not a character construct, as I must for the purposes of argument, I hesitate at the idea of angering a known psychopath anymore than I must when my name and city of residence are readily available.) and Mr. Conaghan, of Seeking the Truth fame. They share common traits of being loosely associated with the victims of Slender Man’s attention, and general opinion seems to point towards them being under his sway or command.
However, this is unfounded, in my humble opinion. There is no evidence suggesting that, say, the Masked Man is working with Slender Man in Marble hornets. There is one video, if TotheArk and The Masked Man are the same person, in which Slender Man appears in any capacity, and that could have been film he absconded with from the tapes in his little midnight meeting with J. This is, of course, assuming that TotheArk and The Masked Man are the same person. They are at the very least working together, but the video evidence suggests to me that they are different people entirely, and I believe most will agree with me on this point.
The elephant in the room is Conaghan. He openly claims affiliation with Slender Man, and puts forth a certain disciple-esque serenity. Obviously he must be operating with our titular monster in some capacity, correct?
But perhaps not. Ponder, if you will, the act of pleading insanity in our current judicial system. This is often used, with some effectiveness, when the victim is not actually insane, but they are just off-kilter enough to convince the court they are. It is indicated that Conaghan has been caught up in several scandals before the ones that Mr. Strahm brought him in for. The entire interview may have been a prelude for an insanity plea. The evidence was mounting against him, and there are only so many times one can be accused of molesting and murdering teenage boys before it catches up with you(I must admit here that I could be wrong on this point. My experience in this area is quite lacking, having never been in such a position myself.)
But, let us go back to that statement, “Disciple-esque serenity.” There is a separate theory to explore under this heading, and that is that the Masked Man, Conaghan, and perhaps even the leading characters from the popular “Just Another Fool” and Tribe Twelve are all part of the same cult. The idea of a cult devoted to Slender Man is briefly explored in “Dreams In Darkness”, but I would like to steer down a different line of reasoning: What if this cult is not necessarily an “ordained” practice? By that I mean, what if their existence and over all course of action is just the attempt to curry the favor of this vast, powerful being they call Slender Man?
Why do I mention Logan Renault and Noah Maxwell? Because they do not fit. They aren’t as surprised as they should be. Noah is not disturbed in the slightest by these occurrences. He runs around his house like a lunatic with a knife to try and stab whatever Eldritch horror is haunting his house and might have killed his cousin. Meanwhile, Logan gave all the signs that the Masked Man/Tim did, right down to the cryptic videos and pictures.
This is the common tie between all of these victims, for truly they are all victims in one way or another, is that they are obsessed. Obsessed with the Slender Man, or perhaps the idea of him. I spoke to Matt on the power of suggestion, and we’ve discovered something interesting. There is a theory that belief in Slender Man triggers his appearance. And you know what? I think they are right. But not because some creature mystically knows exactly when you are thinking about him, like some sort of demonic Santa Claus. The power of suggestion is incredibly persuasive, and perhaps when someone mentally unstable enough becomes obsessed enough with Slender Man, he or she may begin hallucinating. It has been shown that someone perfectly sane can see things that aren’t there, or miss things that are, such as the famous “Invisible Gorilla” experiment. It is also a well known fact that sleep deprivation, another common trait between our victims, causes hallucination and paranoia. I will not say conclusively that Slender Man doesn’t exist. But I will say that there was a dead man found in Zeke’s house. I will say that Damien committed suicide rather than be taken to an asylum where he could get help. As for the video entries, I have watched Marble Hornets time and time again, and I can’t see anything in them. Just a lot of static at certain points, and odd, compulsive behavior. Jason swears there’s a man in the videos, but I just can’t see it. I saw some instances in Everymanhybrid, but apparently the ones I notice are supposed to be the Hybrid crew messing with everyone? I also see one instance of his appearance in the videos of TotheArk, but it’s interesting to note in that appearance, his face has a localized blur around it, like he’s a suspect on Cops. I believe this is The Masked Man or TotheArk using Slender Man’s image to intimidate or frighten J/Alex.(Return, if anyone’s wondering which video) What am I missing? Is this all just some massive joke that I’ve stumbled into? Because I’m willing to have a good laugh it is, but I’d like someone to tell me before I waste one more second of valuable research time.
On a final note, Zeke Strahm, if you read this, get some help. Seriously. I do not scare easily, but your later posts terrify me, not because of any connection to this creature, but because I fear what you might do while you are in this mental state. The FBI already thinks you killed one man, and whether you did or not, don’t leave them any reason to think there are more bodies in your wake. Do not do anything you will regret “chasing this thing”.