Why is this cyber-education nonprofit selling a $13,000 occult artifact on eBay?
And where did they get it in the first place?
This is a photo of my friend Sam’s desktop (physical):
The pin, Sam tells me, is “a promotional tie pin from the 1960s X-24 hypersonic plane program”; the shell “is just a shell I found.” What we are interested in for the purposes of this newsletter, however, is the attractive vintage mousepad.
Sam found the mousepad, a piece of forgotten promotional merchandise created some 30 or 40 years ago to promote the power-plant software and hardware products of the German electronics giant Siemens, on eBay, where it was listed by an organization called “Not 4 Profit Inc.”, which claims to provide “programs to communities that are designed to reduce the digital divide in rural communities by repurposing computers from agencies.” In an apparent ongoing fundraising effort, the nonprofit has offered for sale on eBay hundreds of vintage electronics and computer accessories: SCSI cables, old laptops, a Laser Tag gun, and, of course, a number of vintage mousepads, such as this appealing ‘90s clip-art number and this Nokia promo with an oddly unsettling illustration.
Also available, as Sam discovered and pointed out to me, is a glass object listed under the title “The Vessel of the Ritual of Damnation-A Sorcerors Lens.” The “Buy It Now” price is $13,333.33, knocked down from the purported going rate of $66,666.66.
“As a nonprofit organization,” the item description reads, “we have received many unusual donations and this item is unique among them all, as the donor presented a story as to it's origin and purpose.” From there follows a kind of “Vessel of Damnation FAQ”:
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The Vessel of the Ritual of Damnation
This extremely rare item was created for use in the Ritual of Damnation, and it was used to place 3 irremovable marks on the lateral and medial muscle of the right eye.
The Origin of the Ritual of Damnation
The significance of the Ritual of Damnation was a visible and permanent representation of their confirmation to serve the masters commands-forever.
The Antiquity of the Ritual of Damnation
The reference and removal of the Mark of the Eye is recorded over 2000-years in the past:
If thy right eye offend thee …………
The solution and reasoning is clear and this Vessel was created for the purpose and intent to fulfill this recognized reference from antiquity.
The Vessel is hand-formed from materials that are cursed and its design allows the subject to view their master (see images) as they state the Vow of Damnation.
The Mark of the Eye
The final process of its precise construction and the procedure of the Mark of the Eye is omitted from this description, and is included with the item to the purchaser.
“like what da fuck,” Sam messaged our group chat when he found the listing. “who wrote this text. is it a ‘prank.’” So far the item has 42 watchers, but has not yet sold, unlike Sam’s mousepad. “I cannot stress enough how not weird the rest of the listings are,” Sam said. “it's just like. German mouse pad. Good condition.”
“why do u need a mousepad,” someone in the chat asked. Sam declined to answer.
Sam was not the first person to have taken an interest in the eBay listing. Last year, a YouTuber named Erik Markham visited the Vessel at its secure storage facility and made a short video about it, which you can watch above. But while the video might answer some questions about the Vessel of Damnation, such as “how many protective bibles line the ammo box where the Vessel of Damnation is stored?” it does not answer the central question, which Sam posed so eloquently: Like, what the fuck? How did a computer-education and e-waste non-profit get its hands on a purported occult artifact, and why was it trying to sell the thing?
Finding more information about Not 4 Profit, Inc. is not particularly easy. As recently as May, www.not4profitusa.com was touting something called “The White Hat Cyber Security Project” (“designed to address the increase in network attacks with a dual network testing system produced from re-purposed computers as a cost-effective tool that will serve professionals and students"), but the website is no longer available. Some basic Googling will lead you to a no-longer-active Indiegogo campaign called “Excellence in Education Program - Crossing the Digital Divide.” The campaign description outlines a familiar idea: “Everyday, millions of rebuildable computers are discarded or scrapped, and there are many people who are unable to afford these devices that will connect them to their families, communities, and services that they can use to improve their families lives.”
And then, about halfway through, it takes a slight turn1:
Excellence in Education offers the opportunity for students to learn digital video in the production of an educational research project that has been licensed to produce subjects of research that will enhance the knowledge of all mankind, and demonstrate how everyone can photograph what is hiding in plain sight!
The information and evidence produced can be evaluated to perfect the knowledge that one may already possess with The Secret of the Ages
The “Excellence in Education” campaign was administered by an account under the name David Moriyama, whose Indiegogo profile describes him as “a statistical scientist, IT practitioner, researcher with more than 30 years of education and professional experience.”2 Moriyama is somewhat difficult to find traces of online3, but a Patreon account called "Mysteries & Secrets of Heaven & Earth" features both Moriyama's avatar and his twin passions (i.e. socially beneficial e-waste recycling and the development of "a personal evaluation methodology that will demonstrate and reveal the presence of marks of the flesh that are beyond our vision"). The Patreon sports an evocative header image that includes both Not4Profit’s charming black-and-white logo and inspirational messages like “There is a face in the Lake of Fire”:
Your documentation of one internet guy’s strange online presence is, I suppose, sort of interesting, some subscribers may at this point say, but it has not at any point delivered an answer to the key question originally posed in the post. These subscribers fundamentally misunderstand the premise of Read Max, which is not “to solve mysteries” but “to tediously/smugly narrate my own failures.”4 Nevertheless, in an attempt to actually answer the question at hand, I reached out by email to Not 4 Profit Inc., and was the pleased recipient of a phone call from Moriyama himself this past weekend. Luckily for the unimpeachable integrity of Read Max and its reputation for non-success, the call clarified almost nothing about the situation.
“Let me explain to you one thing: Who I am,” Moriyama told me during our 40-minute phone call. “My family is very ancient, very ancient. We are the first surname on the planet. There are no surnames before us. You understand that?5 Okay. And we are well known amongst history and legend. And this is why I went to pursue this -- because of my own upbringing and training, and the responsibility and duty that I have to this family. And it extends out beyond my family because my purpose here is to assist others. And that's what I'm doing."
Not 4 Profit Inc., Moriyama told me, “was created by a group of academics in 2008, on the campus of a recognized higher education institution,” which he declined to identify. Its purpose was “to provide those students who were attempting to achieve a computer science degree to have a methodology to improve their career, and their choices in that career.” Moriyama himself became involved because he “had a research project that would allow anybody to be able to understand ancient history of the past, based upon recognized references, and to understand its meaning and applicant's applicability to them in the future.”
I asked Moriyama what this had to do with the digital divide and connecting more people to the internet, which is what I had understood to be Not 4 Profit’s mission. “Well, we do that in a in a different approach than others,” he responded. “Understand, we do not raise money to connect people, what we do is that we take donations of computers. Our volunteer students review them, assess them, and then make them functional, again with a standard software, which is not like Windows or Mac6, but which will allow students who are in computer science or server management, to be able to protect the systems that they may be employed by.”
I wasn’t able to get much more clarity on Not 4 Profit from Moriyama beyond that. It seems like the organization, which Moriyama says has 14 members, gets old laptops, installs Linux on them, gives them to students, and then teaches them some combination of IT and occult skills. Graduated students can be both highly effective Linux sysadmins and can photograph the spirit world, identify demons, etc. Moriyama is not currently affiliated with an accredited institution of higher education, but he estimated they’d given away “over 5,000 laptops” to students. “The students who are within the research project have a good understanding and grasp of what we're telling them,” he said. “Most youth today are not interested in Armageddon. They're only interested in the next TikTok or the next date that they have.”
And so, there you have it (?). We began this investigation attempting to satisfy an apparent contradiction -- to wit, why would a nonprofit focused on something so anodyne as computer recycling also own a mysterious occult object? Somewhat unsatisfyingly, the answer is that there is no contradiction at all. It is simply the case that the anodyne computer-recycling nonprofit is also, at the same time, an occult-mysteries nonprofit, and so it is perfectly natural for it to sell both the Vessel of Damnation and an old Siemens laptop.
Still, questions linger. How exactly did this combination Cybersecurity-education-slash-e-waste-slash-mystical-sight-seminar obtain the Vessel of Damnation? “I have friends within the Hollywood industry,” Moriyama told me, “very famous friends, and many of them are bodyguards.” It was through those bodyguards that he obtained the artifact. “It was used upon elderly Hollywood celebrities whose careers were diminished,” Moriyama said. “And you saw many of them on, you know, Tic Tac Dough, What's My Line. These stars no longer had star drawing capability. And yet, they were drawn into participating in these entertainment venues that were broadcast during non primetime hours. To draw in an audience, to continue receiving a check, they had to submit. And that submission was to the Vessel of Damnation. And this is biblical, because it says, ‘If your right eye offends you. pluck it out.’ And what I knew and what we learned, and what was confirmed by two of the biggest science-fiction property owners — the biggest science fiction film of the last 50 years. And both of them saw that at Industrial Light Magic up in Northern California. And they were aware of the piece. And they were definitely afraid of it.”
If you have more questions, Moriyama tells me that Not 4 Profit will be releasing an Android app soon. And if you’re in the market for vintage mousepads, well, now you know where to find some.
Astute readers may have already notice the rewards offered to donors: A $10 contribution, for example, is rewarded with “a digital delivery of the Secret of Levi that includes the instructions, method of preparation, process of review, and evaluation, on cleansing the flesh of the stain of evil and how the evidence can be seen of success”; a $100 contribution earns the donor “a private email box (i.e., your name@legionofholyhands), for a 6-month period to receive personal instructional videos, and email support during the 6 months of the project release.” At the risk of overstating my case, I would say it is highly unusual to be offered “Instructions on how to photograph the Ophanim (The Bees) that are hiding in plain sight” as a reward for donating to a computer-education nonprofit.
Moriyama has administered at least seven Indiegogo campaigns, including “Recycling Obsolescence” (“Recycling ‘Obsolete’ technology to provide tools for students, and entertainment for young and old”); “The Shepherds Staff - Dog Training & Defense” (“The Shepherds Staff is a professional animal training tool that can be used as a defensive aid, if confronted by an aggressive animal”); and “The Secret of Levi - Defeat Evil with a Halo” (“The Secret of Levi will instruct everyone on how to use the sun to clean the flesh, and will result in a halo that marks their ascension to a higher plane”).
Moriyama appears to have a YouTube channel under the name August Day, in which he lectures in an imitable monotone on topics such as “How to Remove the Sting of Death,” and, of course, “The Marks of Mankind.”
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I said “yeah” in response to this question, even though, if I’m being honest, I did not understand. Later on in the interview Moriyama told me that the extinct Denisovan species of hominid was his ancestor. In one of the August Day videos, Moriyama explains more about his ancestry:
I thought maybe he was talking about some wild demon-hunting OS I’d never heard of, but he later confirmed he was talking about Linux.