Sinners in The Hands of A Fake Sun

I sat down for dinner with Saul Smalls at Li Li’s restaurant downtown. I was recording the whole conversation for this article, and Saul knew this. After we ordered, Saul suggested we sit by the window, with his back facing out to the street. Although he never mentioned it, this would provide him with a view of everybody in the restaurant, with no one able to get behind him. As we waited for the food, Saul told me that he was in a state of “middle degeneracy.” He had full command of his actions and faculties, but they were tinged by irrational impulses and thoughts he couldn’t control. “What if I told you,” he said, “that I am certain the woman behind you has a deadly tabun needle in her purse, and if I were to sit with my back to her, she would exterminate me with it.” Smalls kept his gaze locked with mine as he said this, and only broke it after I nervously looked away. We sat in silence. A minute later, an employee brought out our food. Between us we had biang biang noodles, vegetable dumplings and a pork sandwich. Saul stuck a fork into the noodles, then looked up to me and said “I can usually keep the Fake Sun stuff separate. Usually.”

This was the sentiment I heard from most Fakers. They could keep a Fake Sun in their mind and function as respectable citizens. Whatever their particular doctrine, whether they thought the Real Sun was in a parallel universe or whether they thought it was buried in the core of the Earth, they could function. They could work jobs, pay rent, raise kids. They were, for almost all purposes, totally normal people. Except they harbored a secret belief that the sun we see everyday was an imposter.

These people number perhaps 2,000 across the country.

Saul Smalls was almost normal. Most of the time, he could function. But occasionally he dipped into delirium or half-delirium, like when we met. But some go further than Saul. They succumb. These people are the true Fakers, and one month ago, I made it my goal to find out who they are and why they believe.

James Tilly Matthews was born in the year 1770 in London. Mr. Matthews suffered from the first ever documented case of paranoid schizophrenia. The 1810 book Illustrations of Madness layed out Matthew’s delusions. Tilly believed he was being directly affected by a machine called the “Air Loom”, operated by a team of tormentors. He knew that his magnetic field was being manipulated and his skull was being injected with foreign fluids. He knew his tormentors used pneumatic chemistry to make his life a living hell.

I spoke, under condition of anonymity, to a man who called himself “Risperadull”. Risperadull is a student at a local Amherst college. While not a current Faker, Risperadull was active in the Faker community for three years, from age seventeen to twenty. Rather than attend meetings, or as the Fakers call them, Revivals (a term ripped straight from evangelical Christianity), Risperadull maintained a number of Faker wikis and message boards, where he discussed at length Faker doctrines. He has come into contact with, according to him, all or nearly all Faker movements. Risperadull says he can draw a straight line from James Tilly Mathews to the modern Faker movement.

“What Matthews did,” Risperadull tells me at his college’s dining hall, “Is kickstart the idea that far away objects can control. Mind control. The book on him sealed the deal. Once that was published, the idea was out, and any psychotic yahoo could trace their problems back to a controlling object. That’s the Faker word for something like that - controlling object.”

I asked Risperadull why he referred to his former community as psychotic yahoos.

“Because I was one. The whole community was filled with them. It makes perfect sense to the psychotic mind. But now, now I (this section redacted by request of Risperadull). It took a while for Tilly’s idea to be applied to the sun. The Faker movement really began in the 50’s, but for them, the sun wasn’t fake. It was a controlling object. So the first true Faker movement wasn’t really Faker at all; original “Fakers”were into mind control.”

I asked Risperadull if there were any Mind Control Sun adherents left. He told me that they were still around, but they were aging out quickly.

Risperadull gave me a name, Mac Moulder, and his phone number.

Mr. Moulder agreed to meet with me on the condition that he be named personally in the story and that I print, in whole, a written statement he would provide. He said, “[he wants] everyone to know who said it.” His statement follows.

In the wake of World War 1, the deranged lunacy of man was unveiled. How could so many die for so little? It is impossible for man to stoop to such depths. A High Power must have instrumented the war. A universal power. The Mind Control Sun, which we all struggle against daily. Resist.

I met Mr. Moulder, 67, in his Kenmore, Boston apartment. We sat down to talk in his kitchenette, recorder rolling, open window letting the Boston ambience in. Mr. Moulder had the air of a missed life about him. No partner, no children nor a compelling career. He had worked as a door to door salesman selling life insurance until his 50s, then switched to telemarketing when door to door dried up. A heavy set man with a walrus mustache and short, coarse grey hair, he tells me he put the weight on when he took the telemarketing job. In his retirement, Mr. Moulder told me that he spent most of his time working on his memoirs, “My Life Under A Cruel Sun.” I suggested to him that he consider writing about his life for the Surreal Times. He laughed at this idea but thanked me. He seemed embarrassed that he didn’t have a house at 67. To start with, I asked him how he first heard of the Mind Control Sun.

“It was ‘69, and I was 18. I was considering joining the army, but I had been on and off thorazine for the last several years. I was self-admitted to inpatient at 16, then again at 17. So by 18, I was sick of the inside of hospitals. I was floating around, no real direction. I started hanging out with this guy I met in the ward, he was pretty wacked out. We would smoke pot together and talk. One day he started telling me about the Mind Control Sun. And that was when it all clicked.

“Of course it was the sun. The sun was omnipresent affected everyone. It never stopped shining on the world. The mistake everyone else makes is thinking that the sun is an inanimate object. Incorrect. The sun communicates via solar flares and sun spots. It has an intricate language, and truthfully I never got the hang of it.”

At this point, Mr. Mouler told an extended anecdote about the sun signaling him to invest in the stock of a now defunct airline. He paused to get up and close the window, silencing the city. I took the pause to him back on topic.

“It all started to make sense,” Mr. Moulder said, “All the war, all the suffering. That’s the big question, isn’t it? Humans don’t innately want to do harm. No one does. We’re made that way. But something changes. World War One happens. People get mowed down, for no reason. That doesn’t happen naturally. Something had to happen. Something had to do that.”

“And you think it was the Mind Control Sun?”

“Yes. And it’s been this way the whole time. The Mind Control Sun commands us via the strategic withdrawal of narrow rays. Narrow rays are life nourishing rays that can be manipulated to control humans.”

“So we don’t receive narrow rays anymore?”

“No, do we do. But in discrete, precise patterns, provoking hatred and fear. Eventually atrophying the frontal command lobe of the brain, where most decisions are made.”

“I’ve never heard of the command lobe.”

“Of course you haven’t. The Mind Control Sun hides itself from the the casual observer.”

After this, the coherence of Mr. Moulder’s speech deteriorated. I got the sense that talking about this to a newspaper, on the record, was stressful for him, despite his earlier demand to not be anonymized. I told him he could always contact the Times if he had more to say. He thanked me for giving him a platform. I left him in his apartment and started the drive back to Amherst. My next move would be to check in with Risperadull. But as I was driving, Risperadull called me.

“Stay in Boston tonight”, Risperadull said. He told me about a Revival that was being held in Boston Common tomorrow. A rising star in the Faker community, Reverend Hamine, of the New Orthodox Astral Church, a new Faker spiritualist movement, would be speaking in Boston Common.

I crashed at a friends house in Hudson, close enough to Boston. Over a dinner of corn on the cob and egg-noodles, I got a text from Risperadull. He warned me that the Boston Fakers were getting increasingly agitated. The death of a prominent theorist had shaken the community. Garland O’Neal was the main proponent of the “Far Below,” theory. According O’Neal, the Real Sun had not vanished but instead been relocated to the core of the planet. O’Neal had died at 37 in his sleep. The Faker community suspected foul play. I made a note to ask about it later. I never got the chance.

On July 17, at 1:30 P.M, the Boston Common Revival began. There were two speakers that day: Reverend Hamine and Saul Smalls. I was surprised to see Saul so vigorously returning to his Fake Sun days. I had hoped he would be over it.

Reverend Hamine is a powerfully built man ∫ 41 years old. An African-American, Hamine has found in the Fake Sun community acceptance that he never had in his hometown of Newburyport. He leads the New Orthodox Solar Church, a splinter group of the comparatively mainstream Orthodox Solar Church, which in turn is a splinter group of the now defunct Solar Church. Despite being the leader of a small group of Fakers, comprising perhaps only fifty members, Reverend Hamine has a large sway over members of other Faker doctrines. Many consider him to be the public face of the Fake Sun movement. He has good optics : a slightly greying, neat goatee, a powerful chin and wise eyes with just the right amount of wrinkles. A face you could trust instantly. A face you could elect.

The Revival was held in Boston Common, opposite the Burger King across the street. About 20 people showed up. Occasionally passerby would filter in and stay for a few minutes. Three or four seemed to join haphazardly but stayed for the entirety. The Fakers came into two varieties. The first were normal, albeit nervous and fidgety, people. The second were the true believers, or the degenerates, as Saul might have put it, if he was in a state of lucidity. They fidgeted even more.

Reverend Hamine delivered his sermon through a megaphone. I found out later that he had entitled it “Sinners In The Hands Of A Fake Sun.” Hamine wanted to tie his new movement to something old to build legitimacy. The fire and brimstone of “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God,” preached in 1741 by Jonathan Edwards, parallels the stakes of the Fake Sun. An eternity of deprivation, frustration and violence awaits the sinners deprived of narrow rays, at least according to Hamine.

“Behold, sinners: the Fake, artificial Sun, depriving us of holy narrow rays, depriving us of our chance at True Salvation, and depriving us of our only means to escape inevitable and horrific Heat Death.”

Heat Death was a novel concept introduced by Hamine. A real scientific idea, it reigns in the more extravagant doctrines and keeps thing more grounded. Heat death is the eventual state of the universe, of maximum entropy. A vast, completely uniform distribution of heat. Nothing could live in this universe of vast, gray expanses. To Hamine, narrow rays are the only way to avoid heat death. Narrow rays restore agency and destroy the hold of determinism. Since heat death is the ultimate product of entropy and determinism, narrow rays give us free will and the agency to stop the flow of entropy, and thus avoid heat death.

I asked a Faker at the Revival about the seeming contradiction of an eternal sun and heat death. I would think that the existence of a real sun would imbalance the heat distribution. The Faker told me that the sun would only dissolve and become uniform longer after humans had been exterminated. However, in Hamine’s Fake Sun gospel, the sun was only a temporary tyrant. The Fakers are not a uniform bunch.

“Heat death is coming, friends, the inevitable conclusion of the universe, hastened by our moral lapses and failures. Yet there is still hope. If we are to survive the coming cold, we must restore our sun. A Fake Sun will never shepherd us through the cold of inevitable entropy, guide us to the new beginning and let us feel heat on our face once again. When the world is gray and uniform we will stride upon that endless plane and long for the True Sun. How foolish we will feel to have neglected the call to restore it. We ignored it, to tend instead to worldly things. Video games. Movies. Boyfriends. Girlfriends. Families. I say to you, truly, that it is not too late. Turn your attention to the restoration.”

For Hamine, the True Sun alone has the power to reverse entropy, and thus push back or even cancel heat death.

But where is the True Sun?

“Friends, I say to you, the True Sun orbits in Salvation, waiting for us to be righteous enough to warrant it’s return. We are poor, deprived creatures who live in sin, deprived of narrow rays, deprived of free will, bound by determinism. The True Sun will never shine upon such an accursed people. Make yourselves right and the Sun will return.”

The True Sun waits in the wings, biding its time until the people are ready. As I heard Reverend Hamine speak, I realized how improbable the entire thing is, and how much faith these people have in disparate links that no one else connect. For Hamine, Moulder, Saul Smalls and, for a time, Risperadull, believing in the Fake Sun was a matter of faith. What pushed them to make this leap?

Risperadull had an interesting theory about this. “We all rejected reality. We rejected what was in front of us, because it didn’t add up. Something about this world, about this misery around us, it defied explanation. And so when the plausible fails, you turn to the implausible. The Fake Sun isn’t hard to believe in if you’ve tried everything else.”

After Reverend Hamine finished his sermon, Saul Smalls took the stage. He had only a handful of supporters in the crowd. Most were there for Hamine. Mr. Smalls has a history with the Fake Sun movement. As our longtime readers may remember, the Surreal TImes first covered the Fake Sun with a letter from Mr. Smalls:

Letter To The Fake Sun

by S. Smalls

Letter To Fake Sun - How Could You? Lowback Gallows Men Thugs Perpetuating Fake Sun Disorder Not Real Extravaganza. Real Sun Hidden Below Far Below. Fake Sun Hang High In Sky - Real Sky, Fake Sun. Government Anarchist Thugs - CIA Spooks Mostly - Put Tagging Microchip In My Back - Your Back Too - Microchip Really In All Our Backs. All Hail Fake Sun - We Have Made Fake Sun The Real God. Real Sun Hidden Center Of Planet - We Are Occluded From Real Sun Healing Rays And Left Deluded And Blind - It Is Likely You Have Never Seen Real Sun With Real Eyes And Real Brain. CIA Gangster Spooks Hide Truth And Bury Falseness In Back Microchip - How Can We See Real Truth With Fake Sun In Real Sky? I miss you.

S. Smalls

Back then, as I would later find out, Mr. Smalls delusions included far more than a Fake Sun. Ranting about assassins and microchips, the letter is a terse view into an uncaring world, one I don’t believe that Saul has has fully exited. One foot in, one foot out, he drifts between the microchip world and ours, at home in neither. Today, though, Mr. Smalls was mostly in our world.

“Let’s talk about the way forward,” he began, “Let’s talk about what we can really do as an organization, as a movement. Let’s start with the obvious. Very few people take us seriously. We are kooks, delusionals, psychotics, bad influences. We are the world’s punching bag. But it doesn’t have to be that way.”

The crowd had now become much more attentive. Rarely did Fakers admit that others thought they were ridiculous. Risperadull had told me that Saul had a reputation for candor.

“We must go back to the roots of Fake Sun,” Saul continued, “We must tap into that underlying emotion everyone feels but only we can name. The Fake Sun must be exposed, and only we can expose it.”

At this Saul began to tremble. He scanned his eyes across the crowd quickly, put the megaphone on the ground, muttered a quick “Thank you,” and walked away from the crowd. I was taken aback, but the Fakers were nonplussed. “Saul’s always been a bit flaky,” said one to me. Another said “Maybe he saw the tabun needle,” which got a few cynical chuckles, and one dirty look. The dirty looker began to say something, then drifted away. It was then that I felt a tap on my shoulder.

I turned around to see a familiar face. Wearing his classic turd mumu, Senior Hoff Dazzle-Razzle Magoogoo of the Tree Folk stood behind me, grinning.

“Always nice to see the media covering free-thinkers,” he said, “Even if they are deluded. Free thought of all kinds is necessary for a civic society.”

I found it hard not to laugh at the dreidels in his beard bouncing slightly as he spoke.

“I’ve heard you’ve been digging into the Fake Sun movement,” he said, “Let me buy you a coffee. The catch: I get to tell the Times about the Tree Folk stance on the Fake Sun.”

I agreed. We crossed the street and walked to the Pret A Manger. As we went, Magoogoo told me how proud he was of the Fakers for holding a public protest (he didn’t use the term “Revival,”). He said that all movements should follow suit, especially those with such small numbers as the Fakers. We arrived at Pret. He let me order anything I wanted. I got a large coffee, black. He ordered half a baguette.

“No caffeine for me,” he said.

We sat down by the window. He began speaking without any prompting. I let him know I was recording with my phone, to which he said that I ought to be.

“Not many people know this, but I was a Faker myself. For the record, I’m 59 right now, and I hit my peak Faker phase when I was 32. It was at the low point my life. By the time I came out of it I had been involved in the movement for five years.”

His mood had become somber.

“Five years I gave to the Fake Sun. But I don’t regret it. When the Tree Folk started recruiting, I was ready for something new.”

I asked him to go back a bit and describe how he first became aware of the idea of a Fake Sun.

“Well, what you’ll find is that all, or almost all Fakers, didn’t come up with the idea on their own. I was no exception. I should also say that many, not all, but many, Fakers have experienced psychosis at some point. I did not, but many did. My first encounter with the Fake Sun was in New York City. It was in the Village. I was 29, waiting in line for dollar pizza late in the night. A man came up with stacks of rough-printed pamphlets. He tried to give them to everyone in line, but I was the only one who would take one. He thanked me, then moved down the line, following it into the store. The store owner knew him, and he yelled “Get the fuck out of my store!”. The man left. I stuck the pamphlet in my pocket. I forgot all about it until I was doing my laundry later that week. It just barely escaped sudsy destruction.”

At this the Senior Hoff paused.

“I sometimes really wish I didn’t check that pocket, and let that pamphlet get ruined in the washer. But I didn’t. I took it, read it, then read it again. It clicked. The message was simple: the sun we see is fake, we are deprived of life giving rays, and the reason people are cruel, mean, miserable, you name it, it's because we don’t have the True Sun. It was so simple, and it blamed no one. At the time, I found it very compelling. I was dealing with… Well, I told you I’d give you the Tree Folk stance on this issue. I should probably get to that.”

At this the Hoff changed his voice. He spoke deeper and sat up in his chair. Where before on his face was just friendliess, he now had friendliness and power.

“The Tree Folk fully support the practice of free-thought. Free-thought is engaging in ideas that no one else will touch. This practice is essential to society. What the Tree Folk cannot support is violence, intimidation or other forms of aggression. And here the Fakers come out on top. They reject violence. They reject aggression. They even reject the notion of there being bad people. They only believe in people who cannot handle True Sun deprivation. While the Tree Folk disagree strongly about the logistics of the beliefs of the Fakers, the Tree Folk recognize that the Fakers express themselves in a civic, reasonable way, and that they ought to be respected.”

The Hoff took a breath.

“And that is the position of the Tree-Folk.”

We chatted a bit about the current schism within the Tree Folk, which could cost Magoogoo his head position. He asked me to keep his remarks off the record.

I decided to stay in Boston another day before returning to Amherst. I crashed at a friends house in West Roxbury, on Walnut Street, overlooking a small park full of mothers and their happy children. They were deprived of the healing, vital narrow rays. At least, supposedly. Yet it didn’t seem to bother them at all. The sun that shines down now still provides Vitamin-D, very few Fakers deny that. It gives people tans and sunburns, it can cure meat, it can overheat dogs in cars. It can shine down on a child’s face as they go down a plastic slide. All of these things, the Fakers say, are provided by the Fake Sun. But things would be so much better if we had the Real Sun. Narrow rays, Anti-Determinism, Salvation, the benefits of the True Sun. I kept the window of my friend’s apartment open. The sounds of the playground drifted in from across the street, faintly. Some of these children, when they grow up, will have horrible things done to them. Some of them will do horrible things to others. Most people accept this as inevitable, a part of human nature. Listening to those children play, I understood why they believed in the Fake Sun.

For more articles by Moe “Tiny” Schlemiel, click here. To get in touch with this writer, email


See Also

Want to read more news? Click here for a random article.