I really don’t know how to start this post. I’m really not sure of much anymore. I can’t give you my real name, but you can call me Joseph. Forgive me, I know I am being rather obtuse but, I really don’t have much of a choice.

         Allow me to explain. I’m a computer engineer and I’ve worked with computers for many years. For both work and play. I know my way around the internet pretty well, both the surface and deep web. I tend to focus a lot of my free time on the deep web. As most of you are probably already aware, you can find some rather shady stuff there. Criminals, lunatics and hackers abound there, so you have to watch your step. Cyber step that is. It kind’ve goes without saying at this point I guess.

       You can find some pretty messed up stuff on there, no doubt about it. A strong stomach is a must for it, because it is all but inevitable that you will stumble into a place you were not prepared for. It’s happened to me on several occasions, but after a while you kind’ve learn how to navigate a bit better. Little hints and details within where links are found can be used to at least guess what’s on the other side. Kind’ve hard to explain, but that’s not really why I’m here.

  In a strange kind’ve way, I find it all fascinating. The deep web allows you to get a completely uncensored view of humanities darkest secrets. It allows you to get a small glimpse into the mind of the psychotic and the depraved. Now I am not a person who is easily unnerved, at least not usually. As stated before, I’ve stumbled upon many sick things on the deep web. I’ve seen torture, mutilation, animal cruelty and even a snuff video or two. No amount of human depravity really surprises me anymore. A couple days ago however, I stumbled upon something that really made me question my previous statement.

          I’m not exactly sure how I got there. I was high at the time, and tend to just randomly click on links and see what comes up. Stupid I know, but whatever. I usually go onto the hidden wiki and other catalogue sites and just kind’ve randomly start clicking about. I ended up on some random forum called Nightmare Asylum, or some edgy cliché name like that. With nothing better to do, I began to browse the forum. Most of it was hot garbage, just the usual trolls, anti-Semites and lunatics. Although there was one thread that caught my attention. It was titled simply “You Need to see this”.

        I took the bait, and clicked on the thread. There was only one thing within the thread. It was a web address. My first thought was that this was a trap. I assumed that the link would take me to some messed up picture or video. People on deep web forums do that kind’ve shit all the time after all. I decided to scroll down to see if any other users had fallen for it. What I found in the comments, somewhat surprised me. The other users didn’t seem revolted or angry, but instead confused.

     “What the hell is this?”

    “Is this real?”

   “How did you find this?”

     Those were but a few of the responses from the other users. The guy who posted it was an Anon, so really no way to learn anything more about him. Their responses got me curious though. After much contemplation, I decided that I had to see whatever this was for myself. I clicked the link.

             The browser loaded for an unusually long period of time. Tor always takes forever, but usually not that long. Must’ve loaded for at least five minutes before there was any response. I was about to give up entirely when a black screen finally shifted in the background. When it finally rendered, I was met with a simple and unflattering web page. It was a black background accompanied only by white text. Pretty boring at first glance. The heading of the page had only a single word: “Shepherd”.

         Below the heading, multiple lines of text which filled the entirety of the page were listed. Closer inspection revealed them to be names, all in alphabetical order by surname. I scrolled down and immediately realized just how massive this archive truly was. As I scrolled, the little cursor on the sidebar barely even registered that anything was happening. I scrolled for at least a good three minutes, and the cursor barely budged. Thinking it must be inoperable for some reason, I clicked on it and dragged downwards. To my surprise the page scrolled downwards as normal. Thousands if not millions of names zoomed by my eyes within an instant, too quick to even discern a single one. Suddenly the excessive loading time made a bit more sense.

          I scrolled back up to the top and clicked the very first name on the list. Aaberdough, Caitlyn. A new page loaded revealing a picture of an upper aged white woman with greyish brown hair and hazel eyes. Mid 50’s if I had to guess. She had a kind, welcoming smile, slight wrinkles below her eyes and an overall glowing demeanor about her. She very much looked the type to bake her neighbor’s cookies and spoil her grandkids with goodies on Christmas. The picture itself looked as though it was from a driver’s license or passport photo. Below the photo it listed various details about the woman.

Name: Aaberdough, Caitlyn, Jane

Date of birth: October 6th, 1968

Place of Birth: Hammond, Louisiana

Race: Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon)

Social Security: (INTEL EXPUNGED)

       Now obviously I’m not trying to dox the woman, so no I’m not giving out her SS but yes it was on there. Up to this point things were looking pretty standard, at least by deep web standards. Dox sites are unfortunately all over the place, and information likes this is surprisingly easy to come by. One reason why it pays massive dividends to make sure you have some sort of data protection plan in effect. Anyways, it got significantly more interesting beyond that point.

Location: Jessup, Georgia, US

Occupation: Postal Office Worker

Marital status: Married (see Mark Aaberdough)

Known Associates:

Mark Aaberdough (Husband)

Andrew Aaberdough (Son)

Nathan Aaberdough (Son)

Elizabeth Welch (Friend/coworker)

Nancy Hannagan (Friend)

Hobbies: Reading, Yoga, Bible study group

 

     Okay, that was a bit stranger. By the way, I’m paraphrasing a lot of this, I don’t know for sure that Caitlyn enjoyed Yoga specifically. She may have very well been about that Pilates life instead. But anyways, it’s easy to see why online degenerates would be interested in your social security and credit card details and whatnot, but why the hell would anyone bother with personal associates? Putting on my criminal thinking cap for a moment, I just don’t really see a benefit to gathering that information. Furthermore, how would someone even get that? At the very least you’d have to spend some time sifting through their Facebook and twitter, if not just spy on them in the streets for a while. Further furthermore, her credit card info wasn’t even listed on there, that I am sure of.

       While I scanned through the profile, an extremely dark thought suddenly crept its way into my stream of consciousness. Could this be a site for planning/exchanging hits? You hear about deep web hitmen all the time, but honestly, they’re pretty difficult to find. At least the legit ones, and not some donut scarfing cop just playing one. Plus, who the hell would be a big enough of an asshole to assassinate a sweet old lady like Caitlyn Aaberdough?

        Scrolling further down revealed there to be a lot more personal information on there as well, but honestly its not really worth the time to list all of it out. But don’t take that to mean it isn’t important, on the contrary, it made it all the more bizarre. Among the other things listed were her body type, blood type, fertility status, more associates who I didn’t bother to list, known pets, addresses current and former, wealth status, SHOE SIZE?!, registered vehicles, expressed political views and religious association.

      I swear to God it actually listed the woman’s shoe size. I was left scratching my head by this point. The whole theory I had clung to of it being a doxbin was starting to dwindle away. I mean it obviously was still a dox, but it was so much more than that. Who would even be able to find the breed of her childhood dog? Or essays she had written in college? And not to mention: freakin Shoe size! It had to be the work of an obsessive compulsive. Someone with autistic levels of organization and surveillance, who quite literally was obsessed with cataloguing every irrelevant detail about a person. I mean, who else would even care?

    Unfortunately though, I quickly realized that theory didn’t hold much water either. The document listed information that was almost too private for even a hacker to be able to dig up. Even if you stalked someone day and night without their knowledge for months, you still might not be able to ascertain their shoe size. I mean maybe make an educated guess, but whatever I won’t mention the whole shoe thing again, I promise. Even people with OCD had their limits after all.

      Finally, I reached the bottom couple lines of her entry, and by far the most peculiar aspect thus far.

Cooperative Ability: A

Intuitive Ability: T

Cognitive Ability: T

Metaphysical Ability: A

       I just didn’t even know what to think by this point. Perhaps the ganja which regularly circulated my frontal lobe had finally fried it beyond repair. Now, I have no idea what those letters are supposed to indicate, but the chart thing seems to be an evaluation of her individual capabilities, at least to a minor degree. I’m guessing “A” means good, but what is “T” supposed to stand for? You tried? I didn’t get a whole lot of A’s in school, but I’m damn certain I never got a T. It could all just be rubbish I suppose, but if that’s the case, then it only raises about a gazillion other questions.

      However, there is an obvious outlier to that comparison chart. Metaphysical. I’m sorry are we assembling the ghost busters now? As far as I’m aware, metaphysical is like the supernatural right? Like demons and angels and shit? If anyone has a better definition please let me know. So, I may be showing my ignorance here, but that stuff doesn’t exist. Does it? I mean there’s stories about it all over the place, but I always thought that they were just that, stories. Don’t get me wrong I love reading and listening to them, but I’ve just never bought in or experienced the whole supernatural phenomenon firsthand.

         Finally, I came to the end of the document, and read the final line.

Conclusion: Utetur

      I thought the spelling was a typo at first, but a quick google search revealed it to be a word of the long dead Latin language. The word most closely translates to “wear” or “utilize”. Utilize? Utilize for what? Was all of this an attempt to find someone for a job or something? If that was the case, then it was by far the most unnecessarily extensive job application I’ve ever seen. Why wouldn’t they just call her? It didn’t make sense, none of it did. I spent some time trying to mentally assemble the pieces, while simultaneously rolling myself another joint. Any theory or educated guess I could possibly surmise was quickly debunked due primarily to a single reason. The massive size of the archive.

      I’ll be honest, by the time I read the last line of the profile, I was a bit unsettled. Perhaps it was just the reefer induced paranoia, or perhaps it was the mystery of the whole thing. Either way, I had to know more. I decided to continue digging around and see what else I could find. God what a mistake that was.

             I returned to the main page and sifted through more of the names listed. After several minutes, I ended up clicking one at random and a new bio popped up.

Name: Chen, Fuhui Leng

Date of Birth: March 19th, 1982

Place of Birth: London, Ontario, CA

Race: Oriental (Chinese)

Location: Scarborough, Ontario, CA

Social Security: (FUCK YOU ITS REDACTED)

Occupation: Computer Software Engineer

Marital status: Involved

Known Associates:

Fai Chen (Brother)

Kurt Merriman (Boss)

Alex Martinez (Coworker)

Darren Boyd (Friend, roommate)

Midori Aikiko (Friend, love interest)

Hobbies: Online Gaming, Web development

 

      Much like the last bio, this one also revealed in depth details of Mr. Chen’s life. It revealed that he played the online game League of Legends and Rocket League quite often, as well as the fact that he would regularly binge watch a lot of YouTube. This information alone is not too difficult to retrieve, but when it began to list his known childhood associates, I began to get more puzzled, and slightly worried. Again, the amount of detail in his profile was absolutely staggering. I didn’t mention this before, but the entry also listed really really private stuff. Criminal convictions, health statements and sexual fetishes were also on there. Now Mr. Chen’s sexual tastes were admittedly pretty vanilla, as was his criminal history and bill of health. I mean everyone likes a good spanking every now and then, but that’s not really the point.

          I began to wonder if perhaps it wasn’t the people themselves who had written this information. I mean who else could possibly know them so well? Why they would choose to do that was beyond me. Blackmail, coercion and sheer stupidity could explain some of it I suppose, but it still didn’t really add up. And yet again, my theory was incinerated within moments of conjuring it up, after I had read the last few lines.

Cooperative Ability: A

Intuitive Ability: T

Cognitive Ability: S

Metaphysical Ability: B

Conclusion: Elucido

    Awe, and yet another Latin word I thought. My assumption was proven correct moments later after a google search substantiated the thought. Elucido translates roughly to “light” or “to enlighten something”. 

      So, someone wrote this information about themselves and then concluded they needed to be enlightened. I mean, I guess it could work. Like, I guess maybe they could be trying to attain more knowledge or something and this was their application. It didn’t feel right though, and the term enlighten always brings up a certain foreboding aura of cultish fanaticism. Maybe that’s what it all was, initiation into some sort of abstract cult. Then again maybe the term enlighten was not the best translation. Perhaps education, or further education, or reeducation is more accurate. I can’t be sure, but the term “reeducated” always gives me the heebie jeebies. Too many Orwellian vibes from a word like that.

       Either way though I had two new letters to now work with. S and B. Now judging by Mr. Chen’s profile, I now suspected that “S” is a pretty high ranking. The dude is a computer engineer after all, so he has to be pretty smart. I assume that in turn would give him a high cognitive ability ranking. I think A is relatively high as well, but not as high as S. Both he and Mrs. Aaberdough scored an A on cooperation. When you think about it, a computer engineer and a sweet old woman would likely be relatively cooperative and agreeable people, at least I would assume that is the case.

       I suspect that B is lower than A, but admittedly that’s only because of their respective places in the alphabet, plus doesn’t go too well with the whole ST dichotomy. Still no real idea on what T is supposed to mean. Aaberdough had T’s in both intuitive and cognitive, while Chen had a T in just intuitive. I really don’t know one way or another what that is supposed to indicate. My brain was beginning to throb by that point, so I decided to get myself a drink and take a quick smoke break before returning.

         When I got back I sifted through dozens of other profiles, this time with a freshly stoned mind and can of red bull in hand. Through my exploration I was able to uncover several more details which I think are pertinent to this mystery.

  1. All profiles I viewed seemed to retain the same or similar amounts of detail to the two I have previously mentioned.
  2. The profiles did not seem to discriminate based upon country of origin as I found profiles from people all over the world.
  3. I found three additional types of rankings with “U”, “P” and “E” in the order in which I discovered them. U was relatively common, and seemed dispersed widely to many different profiles. There were few common denominators, but those given the rank seemed to be on average of working class. At least that’s the only real detail I could positively identify. P seemed clustered in people who were unemployed, had multiple criminal offences or severe health complications. I’m guessing P is not a good rank. E on the other hand, was extremely rare, in fact I found only one instance of it. The man who it belonged to was a janitor at a college, and had the ranking in of course; the metaphysical. As if things were not complicated enough already. The man had an interest in fishing, backpacking and reading. He seemed relatively healthy, although he did have diabetes, but all in all seemed fairly average. This made guessing upon the significance of E rather difficult, especially due to the ranking coming in the opaque category of metaphysical. I want to say E is a “good” ranking, but honestly it could go either way. What is clear is that due to its rarity, it is likely that it indicates either really good, or really bad.
  4. Several profiles I witnessed had a large X imprinted across the details. Further analysis quickly indicated that these people who possessed the exed out profiles had all since deceased. This may seem insignificant, but hackers are very much capable of utilizing the info of dead people for their benefit, at least for a while. You’d be surprised how long it takes credit card companies to realize the person with the account has died. For a hacker who’s trying to sell people’s private information, there really is no reason to disclose the fact that they have died.
  5. There seemed to be no age requirement or limit for details listed on the site. I found people well into their 90’s, as well as kids less than 5 years old.
  6. This is probably the most troubling detail of the lot, and as you may have guessed, it involves the conclusions. As stated before there were two possibilities as seen with our friends Aaberdough and Chen. Utetur and Elucido. But I found two more. Messis and Abiciendi. Both were also Latin words. Messis translates to harvest, and abiciendi translates to throw away or dispose of. Now I don’t pretend to know what harvest is supposed to mean, and honestly, I’m not even going to guess. I think we’ve proven thus far that my theories aren’t exactly Nobel prize worthy. But I’ll admit that is makes my heart quiver in my chest when I think of possible implications. However, I think dispose is pretty self-explanatory. The thing that truly disturbed me about it though, was the frequency in which it was used. It seemed that 3 out of every 4 profiles I checked ended in that dreaded conclusion. Abiciendi.

    By the time I took a break from sifting through the logs, it was almost 3am. My eyes watered from hours of staring at the faux screen, and head pounded from overuse of logic and speculation. I think I knew what it was by that point though. A hoax, a charade, a work of fiction pulled off by countless authors for unknown purposes. It had to be, no one was capable of pulling off the vast amount of research and observation required for even a single profile, let alone the millions on there. More than likely, it was just the work of an edgy shitlord trying to convince the world of illuminati new world order plans or some bullshit like that. I just… It’s all I could fathom to be a viable explanation.

                      I tried looking around the site more in depth, but found a severe lack of any explanation. No FAQs, no forums, no mission statements, no sources, no vague project hints, no taglines it was just a massive collection of personal details from millions of people all over the world. The whole experience gave me a subtle feeling of dread, as if I had stumbled upon something I really wasn’t supposed to be seeing. It was like a lost massive repository of deadly secrets, though why and how it was kept the way it was still eluded me.

          Again, I circled back to the hoax idea. This had to be a joke, some kind of troll super allegiance had to have made this right? There was no way that anyone could possibly know that much about so many people. And in addition to that, there was no way that whoever was behind this was really planning to annihilate all these seemingly innocent people. Hell, they probably weren’t even real people, I thought to myself. Just characters fabricated in order to baffle and entertain. But then, who would go to all the trouble of listing literal millions of different fake names and people? Who would even have the resources and time to do all that? The more I thought on all of it, the less sense it made. Again, I found myself asking why? It had to be some kind of fiction, it was just the only thing that made sense. Was. I wish I could’ve believed that, I wish I still believed that. I wish I would’ve never found that site, and that I could’ve continued on blissfully unaware of it’s existence forever. But everything I know now, contradicts the hoax theory and makes denial impossible.

     I scrolled down the vast gallery using the slider bar for several minutes. When I stopped, I was somewhere in the “S” section. I clicked on a name randomly and brought up the profile of another man. I’ll refer to him as Stevens. From there, I opened a separate browser on the surface web and brought up Facebook. I typed Stevens’ full name into the Facebook search bar and hit enter. Now as you may have guessed, Stevens is a relatively common last name. It brought up a lot of results. I spent several minutes glossing through them, until I found what I desperately didn’t want to see. It was the profile of the same man from the website. He had the same job title, location, wife and children listed on Facebook that had been listed in the Shepherd archive. It was without a doubt the same man.

        So, either someone had painstakingly created a false Facebook profile for this false man listed on an extremely obscure deep web site simply to correlate their fictional project on the off chance that someone may at some point stumble upon it and decide to devout hours to actually researching it, or it was real. The simplest of explanations is more often than not the right answer, and with each new discovery my plausible deniability was jammed further into the paper shredder. A google search of Stevens also turned up a Twitter account, LinkedIn profile and even an amateur cooking blog under his name. I searched several other names from Shepherd, and found most of them with correlating Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.

        I should’ve just logged off by that point. I should’ve just left well enough alone, forgotten that place and tried to go about my life in peace. But of course, I didn’t. Curiosity is never satiated unless taken to the absolute extreme. A simple taste of truth is never enough, when the whole platter is available for the taking.

      I scrolled back up to the top of the main page, and discovered something I had somehow previously overlooked. There was a small blinking bar on the top right corner of the page. I panned over to it and clicked and a small text bar appeared with a simple blinking icon. A search bar, it had to be. I thought about searching a well-known figure head or celebrity, but that would’ve been too easy for them. Gathering information on those people would be much easier than your average Joe or Joanne. I needed someone I knew personally, so that I could see how accurate these biographies truly were. I searched a friend of mine I had known for many years. I won’t give his name, as to protect his identity as well as my own. And low and behold, I was once again blown away Everything on his bio, at least as far as I could tell, was correct. It listed his birth date accurately, as well as his kids, family, occupation, hobbies, among other things. I was also listed as a known associate. Then I read the dreaded words underneath his conclusion, and my stomach twisted into a blackhole. Abiciendi.

      I really should’ve stopped by that point, but I didn’t. I couldn’t, because there was one more thing I had to try. One more thing to prove to myself and everyone that it was just a hoax. Despite all my trepidation and growing concern for what was rapidly becoming apparent before my very eyes, I had to be sure. At that point it was more duty than anything else. The NSA, CIA sure they do a lot of spying, but nothing like this, at least that we know of. Whatever or whoever had metastasized this enormous amount of data could not possibly have good intentions. Especially when considering the most common conclusion it came to. The only thing I had left to try, was the most dangerous avenue of all. I had to search for myself.

         I typed my name into the blinking bar and hit enter. The website loaded for its usual extended time, and after a minute or so, the page changed. I was met with a familiar sight, that being of my own mugshot staring back at me. All the usual substance was there and it was all accurate. My job, my address, my hobbies, my friends, my family, all of it. They knew things that no one could’ve possibly attained by just hacking. They knew about when I was 13, and got caught smoking weed by the police. I was a juvenile at that time, and that event was expunged from my record. No one, not even the courts have the ability to look that information up now. The level of extraneous detail again took center stage. My profile contained old medical prescriptions from over a decade ago, the likes of which I had not used in years. It even made not of a scar on my right knee. A scar I had not gotten from a medical procedure, but from playing on the park when I was 10 years old. There was no way they could’ve possibly known that, and yet there it was in black and white. The bio’s last several lines listed the following.

Cooperative Ability: B

Intuitive Ability: A

Cognitive Ability: A

Metaphysical Ability: U

     Anyone care to guess what the ultimate conclusion under my bio was?

                         I left the site after that point, and shut down the browser, feeling wholeheartedly defeated and exhausted. I put my hand on my temple and rubbed my throbbing head. The realization of all this was a lot to take in so suddenly. I don’t know who or what is in possession of all that data, or what they plan to do with it. I’m not sure I even want to know at this point. Things like this, that just seem so impossible, it almost bears not even thinking about anymore. Makes you want to just kind’ve curl up into a ball and shut out the world forever. At some point you just end up succumbing to your complete insignificance in the grand scheme of things. What is someone like me supposed to do against something like this?

            Upon closing the Tor browser and returning to the home screen I noticed something strange. There was a new icon on my desktop in the shape of something that I had never seen before. Further investigation revealed the icon to be that of a hooked shepherd’s staff. My heart began to thump immediately, knowing full well that it was likely a malicious program which had been leeched onto my hard drive without my knowledge. Now technically, since I myself didn’t willingly download anything or allow any unknown publisher access that shouldn’t have been possible. Plus, the number of firewalls on my computer and proxy service used by Tor should’ve been enough to hide me from any foreign attempt at malware, so long as I didn’t make any stupid mistakes. But I did, and I knew that I did. I had entered my own name. No doubt whoever was on the other end had searched me out, tracked down any IP’s connected to me, and downloaded that program. I had been on the site for hours after all, and that would’ve given them ample time to find me.

       I ran a virus scan on my computer, and after several minutes, it surprisingly came back clean. I stared at the simple icon and found my hand moving the cursor towards it. I clicked it, and it quickly opened to a simple WordPad document.

     “Thank you for visiting Shepherd.” That’s it, that’s all it said. No warnings or threats, no mysterious phone numbers or cryptic details of my address and current location. Not even a cliché of ‘I can see you’. I had my webcam taped up anyways but it wouldn’t have mattered. They had all that information already anyways, and they knew that I would know that. There were no threats that they needed to make to me. They were all-powerful in their domain, and they knew that. They knew everything about me, everything about all of us. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it for myself. Their simple message was only an added condescending remark. A final parting word, to remind me to stay in my lane. Message received loud and clear.

       For those of you who have read this far, I suppose you’re naturally skeptical of this account. That’s good, you should be. You should be skeptical of everything in this world. For nothing is ever as simple as it may appear. Trust no one, especially those you meet on the internet. Skepticism is a must to survive in our world, but just know that by embracing your skepticism, you may mark yourself as one who will not fit their diabolic new agenda, whatever it may be.

       That is what I believe that site is. I’ve never been one who necessarily believes in conspiracies or any of the superstitions regarding elites of the world. But this site has made me question a lot of things. They know so much more about us than anything I would’ve ever believed possible. Who they are is still a mystery to me, but it’s clear what they want. Control, and they are well on their way to achieving that goal.

       For those who demand proof, well I’m afraid I can’t give any. The screenshot feature on my laptop has seemed to inexplicably have stopped working. Wonder why that is. I’ve tried accessing that site again, but it only displays an error message every time I do. Deep web sites often change domains, so its not entirely unheard of. Nightmare Asylum or whatever it was has also vanished, and any attempt I’ve made to locate it has since been fruitless.

    I don’t know what it all means, but I don’t sleep much anymore. I’ve become paranoid, locking myself indoors even more so than I am used to. I hope it’s all a hoax, even though every sense within me says otherwise. I’ll leave you with the links for both sites, although I doubt it will do any good. If anyone has any information about this, please, enlighten us. I feel as though troubled times are ahead, and so I think now is the time to prepare yourselves in whatever way you are able.

Sometimes I wonder whether or not it was all just a vivid hallucination of some sort. Like some nightmare scenario my mind concocted while under the influence of too much cannabis. However, every time I look at my computer, I am reminded that it is not the case. That single last message is still there.

      “Thank you for visiting Shepherd.”

 

 

 

Nightmare Asylum or whatever it’s called: http://2kspf30spnoiz92t.onion

Shepherd: http://bkj204alero2zq43.onion