The Society: Divulgence – Immerse Yourself in a Hedonistic Cult
The Society is a hedonistic cult with a dark side. Its Founder impregnated a woman without her consent and plans to use the child in a ritual to invoke the antichrist. A resistance cell has infiltrated The Society in hopes of saving the woman and her child from dark magic. That’s where we come in. We are part of the resistance and must be accepted covertly into the ranks of The Society in order to aid in the resistance’s effort before the child is born.
There is so much mythology behind The Society, I did not have time to absorb it all before my journey into Divulgence (Levels 8-16 of The Society’s 25-Level initiation program), and I missed Genesis (Levels 1-7). I was going into the experience with fresh eyes and an open mind.
Once my time was scheduled, Tad, The Society’s mouthpiece, sent me a playlist to download and listen to only when I got to my assigned destination. Parking my car in the darkness in downtown L.A., I put my headphones in as instructed and listened to Tad’s guided meditation. With peaceful music in the background, Tad’s voice walked me through some visualizations before instructing me to get out of the car and walk to the designated building. When I entered, all the Brother-Sisters (as The Society’s members are called) were dressed in white and quite welcoming and affectionate.
In the “waiting” area, with a heptogram drawn on the floor, Brother-Sisters sat at tables playing various types of board or card games, all relating to the body in some way. We were allowed to sit next to them and engage with them, but not participate or venture within the heptogram. We sat for a little while in this lobby until a Brother-Sister brought us individually to the other side of a curtain to begin our initiation process.
We were given thought-provoking assignments, participated in rituals such as washing of the hands, and were reborn. As The Society is hedonistic in nature, most of the assignments were meant to be sexually charged. What is the name of your sexual spirit animal? Describe it on paper. What are your seven sexual tenets? Individually, record your darkest sexual fantasy. Above all, know that we love you already and your body is beautiful.
The exercises were meant to elicit a sense of introspection, reflection and possibly unease at the sharing such intimate details. One task frustrated me because I didn’t understand what they wanted me to do and I kept getting corrected, urged to let go of the unnecessary. The funny thing is that there probably WASN’T a right answer and I was getting in my own way. Thinking instead of feeling, which is the whole point. Immersive entertainment is meant to bring out feelings and reactions. I had to let go of what I thought they wanted in order to move on to the next level.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience, and somewhat cathartic and calming. However, the theme of infiltrating The Society on behalf of the resistance got lost. I never noticed anything potentially sinister within The Society, other than perhaps the hedonism, which wasn’t overt in the first place. The atmosphere was welcoming, the Brother-Sisters stayed in character (even when not interacting with the inductees), and the exercises felt in context. I find this impossible to rate numerically because each individual will have a different experience based on comfort levels when talking about their own sexual identities, which Brother-Sisters they interact with, and prior knowledge of The Society and the resistance. It’s refreshing to find immersive theater that is not degrading or supposed to be scary, and I’m definitely curious to see where this story leads.
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