Search This Blog

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Decemystery (2022.3) 31: That Time Professor Oak Kidnapped A Child


 

Content warning: this write-up contains mentions of child sexual abuse.


This month has been filled with an absolutely massive amount of weirdness. From space penguins to vampiric caterpillars and tongue monsters to dancing bulls, this December takes the cake as the strangest of them all. Though, as is the case with Decemystery, I’ve saved the oddest story for last. For the capstone of Decemystery 2022.3, I have whatever you can call this story.


Despite being a rather harmless series on the surface, Pokémon has had a bizarrely large amount of controversy surrounding it throughout the years. While nowadays, it’s primarily criticized for the lackluster graphics and, in the case of the two most recent releases, polish, its early days had some other criticisms. From one side, you had PETA lambasted it for animal cruelty. On the other side, you had some religious groups accuse it of being Satanic for teaching evolution.


Today’s story will take us back in time to that time period, a time when video games had controversies that didn’t involve loot boxes and microtransactions. No, it was a simpler time. So to round off this Decemystery, let’s discuss That Time Professor Oak Kidnapped A Child. This one’s going to be a doozy.

The First Article


I initially found this story on sustained_disgust’s Obscure Unsolved Mysteries iceberg chart. This iceberg provided so much content for this month I have to wonder if I’m liable to be sued for using it. We’ll definitely be returning to this iceberg next year—a lot. I want to cover a ton of other stories from it.


How this story was even found is a mystery to me, but hey: I’m not gonna question it. It originates from a website called rumormillnews.com, which appears to be an incredibly old website. Their “Old Archive” dates back to 1999, and today’s story was first posted in 2001. It’s still younger than me, which makes me feel ancient. I may as well be a fossil by now. Anyways, the site is dedicated to alternative news and whatnot; a lot of talk about the New World Order (NWO) and what have you. I have to wonder if this was one of the first platforms for discussing those theories. If it is, I’m surprised I’d never heard of it until I found this story.


As for the story itself, we’re going to need to do a bit of foundation laying. In order to understand it in its entirety, we need to read through the thread this originates from. That’s a lot easier said than done because this isn’t a video, so I can’t read it to you. I considered copying and pasting it here, but I’m worried about being removed from Google’s indexing. Even though I don’t make a cent for my writing, I’d rather not screw myself over on the off chance I ever do get paid for this.


Nevertheless, for this section, I’m going to go through the first post of the thread and what it’s trying to get at. At least, I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. If you want to skip this section and instead read it for yourself, click here. You’ll need to scroll all the way down to find the other articles. Otherwise, let’s see how badly I do this (spoiler alert: I do a truly horrendous job).


The first post (or “article”) made was on April 9, 2001, by “RogueButterfly.” The article, entitled “POKEMON IS MIND CONTROL,” is a part of “The Reptile Report #0003-051499.” I’m guessing the numbering has to do with other articles RogueButterfly wrote, but I can’t verify that on account of a hacker who supposedly deleted 300,000+ posts on September 25, 2014. So unless a user of Rumor Mill News can explain it, that’s just my theory. As an addendum, based on a sign-off message at the end of this post, I believe RogueButterfly to be a woman, so I will be referring to her as such.


In this article, RogueButterfly admonishes Pokémon, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association, with the latter two being labeled as “complete and absolute frauds.” Rogue came to this conclusion—which she says took “less than two hours” of their life—after listening to an 8-year-old tell them about Pokémon for half an hour, then watching the show for an hour. Since Pokémon episodes are 30 minutes each, Rogue viewed a whole two of them. Hope they weren’t two of the filler episodes!


After that, RogueButterfly explains how she was introduced to Pokémon. Two nights prior to the article’s posting, she “GUARDED” two children when their mom went to an AA meeting. Yes, guarded was in all capital letters. Any use of all caps in any quoted part isn’t of my own doing; it’s how this stuff was written. Rogue’s relationship with the mother isn’t given, but I’m guessing they know each other; suburban life in the early 2000s was a different time.


Rogue continues by saying that one of the kids, a young boy, showed his Pokémon cards; she says she had never heard of Pokémon prior to this, which I find rather surprising. At this point, the franchise was 5 years old, and it was huge. Though I guess nothing gets big enough to where nobody is aware of it.


Anyways, Rogue goes on to state she asked the kid to explain what Pokémon was. This went about as well as you could imagine; Rogue decries that what the youngling said was “so complicated, so foreign, so bizarre, that I made an appointment with him to watch the show the following day.” Pro-tip to anyone out there: never ask a child to explain their favorite thing to you. It’ll never be done in a manner that doesn’t make it sound as complex as quantum physics.


The following day, at 3:30 (presumably in the afternoon because otherwise, this just got super weird), Rogue arrived to watch their first episode of Pokémon. This is where everything goes downhill—fast. The kid “provided a running interpretation of what was going on.” Despite that undoubtedly helpful assistance, Rogue was barely able to keep track of the characters. Fair enough, this is a cartoon; I doubt Rogue and the young lad decided to watch the first episode, but I digress.


Compounding Rogue’s inability to keep up with the show, the young boy said there were “over 1,000” characters. I’m gonna call shenanigans since, unless the boy is counting every background character who doesn’t speak, there weren’t that many characters in Pokémon. Also, this is why you don’t trust the word of an 8-year-old child when they try to describe their favorite thing to you. It’s never accurate, but hey: at least they tried.


Now for the point where everything goes downhill even faster. These characters included some that “EVOLVE through as many as three stages.” You can probably tell where this is going, but if you can’t: Pokémon is Satanic. As are many, many other things.


Anyways, Rogue states that the show’s pace is “SUPERSONIC,” which must be seriously upsetting if a Zubat was behind that. On top of this were these two sentences; I refuse to reiterate them because they made me laugh—a lot:


The dialogue at times sounds exactly like Japanese. When the young boy talked about it at times I thought he was SPEAKING JAPANESE!


Cue The Vapors.



From here, things get incredibly hard to follow. I watched Pokémon as a child, specifically the Kanto and Hoenn sagas, but I haven’t since then. The last time I ever bothered to watch it was when I looked up a few episodes of the Unova saga. I never cared to watch the Johto storyline, and I’m not sure if that’s what Rogue was being shown. Not that it matters because the way it’s described is rather incoherent.

First, Rogue says she asked a question “about what was going on,” to which the boy replied, “They miss their owners.” Rogue proceeded to prod for information and was eventually told that the “owners” were, in fact, “trainers.” This revelation proceeded to rock Rogue’s world. Take a look!


Trainers! TRAINERS??? What are they being “trained” to do?


Prior to this, Rogue had said, and I quote, “I did not see or hear anything that indicated that,” I have to wonder if she was paying even the slightest bit of attention to the show. The Pokémon anime never lets an opportunity go by to let you know that Ash Ketchum’s whole life revolves around becoming the greatest Pokémon trainer to ever live. So methinks Rogue wasn’t as alert as she would like to think. ‘Tis but a hunch, though.


After this comes this paragraph. Truth be told, I don’t understand any of it. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch cartoons anymore, or maybe it’s because my memory is that bad. Either way, I want it to speak for itself:


Between the two episodes a real person, the announcer, was talking and between him and the camera a “fan” kept the image of him FLASHING! This is a hypnotic trance inducing technique!


I think Rogue’s talking about that person who announced what show’s coming up next, but I have no idea what else they’re talking about. At the time, the Pokémon anime was airing on Kids’ WB!, and I don’t recall there being a live-action announcer. My only guess is that it was a local station thing. Whatever the case, the way it’s written is baffling to me.


After this, Rogue brings up that the next episode was about how “the greatest achievement is to become a POKEMON BREEDER!” That’s it. That’s all there is. I guess there weren’t any questions asked here. Though strangely, I think I remember an episode like this. Or maybe it’s some MK Ultra memory trickery.


The rest of the post has nothing to do with Pokémon; I mean, almost none of it. This is where the conspiracy element comes into play. I know that the write-up is about Professor Oak kidnapping a child, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t note what Rogue had to say about the New World Order and other stuff.


For starters, you have Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander. Also, you have Rogue, who claims that at some point before who-knows-when, the young lad she was watching Pokémon with had gotten his “PASSWORD” and subsequently went to the store and purchased his “ball” that had some stuff in it. She goes on to say that “HE IS NOT SUPPOSED TO TELL HIS PASSWORD.” 


To digress for a moment, I initially thought this may have been a promotional bit for Pokémon Gold and Silver; the games were released in Europe on April 6, 2001, which was the day prior to all of this initially started (April 7). Although Rogue mentioned the American Psychiatric and American Psychology Associations, a lot of conspiracy theories can somehow, in some way, be traced back to the United States, and I wondered if that was the case here. Especially since, in the second post (which is about the Professor Oak stuff), Rogue spells “favored” as “favoured.”


However, like any big-brained moment I have, my hopes were dashed and thrown into a sewer drain. Rogue is from Canada, as stated in the second post on this thread. So unless a certain part of Maple Syrup Land got the game at the same time as Europe (which would be bizarre in my eyes), I once again perceived myself to be sharper—and smarter—than I really am.


Anyways, Rogue posits that this behavior—of not telling someone a “password”—is being done to encourage children to not tell secrets. It’s taking a lot of self-restraint to not make some snarky remark about how any child, no matter how much you discipline them, will inevitably keep some sort of secret. Kids do that. They’re kids. They’ll keep secrets if it means they’ll get candy or toys. God knows I would have done that when I was younger.


Rogue, however, didn’t see it this way—and something tells me she still doesn’t. In her mind, Pokémon is all about “MIND CONTROL” and that “our children are UNDER ATTACK!” She likens it to tobacco companies, which utilize tactics to influence children to smoke when they grow older. While I don’t agree with Rogue in regards to Pokémon being mind control, I do agree with tobacco companies sure as heck do their best to make smoking look appealing. Don’t smoke; it’s bad for you. Do play Pokémon, though. Especially the third, fourth, and fifth-generation games. They’re all amazing!


The next two paragraphs are truly something else—mainly thanks to some of the metaphors used. I won’t quote them because I try my best to not include vulgar or inappropriate language when it isn’t necessary, and to be honest, using it here would be in incredibly poor taste. If you wanna see what the metaphors are in all their glory, read the actual post; it’s hyperlinked near the start.


Starting things off, Rogue alleges that the American Psychiatric and Psychological Associations are in on this; she says she knows thanks to “logic” and that “it’s so SIMPLE!” I can’t help but think she already implied they were in on this earlier, but for me to suggest that someone’s repeating themselves is laughable, given how often I repeat myself.


After that accusation, Rogue says she would be a “HUMAN HURRICANE” and would demand “THAT THIS BE STOPPED IMMEDIATELY.” I can’t help but think the lack of an exclamation point there really takes away from the intensity of it all. I also can’t say I’ve ever heard the term “human hurricane.” That is certainly a new one for me.


Rogue continues by touting that the mind control mentioned earlier, coupled with the diabolical actions of the two aforementioned associations, is “destroying our children” and “violating their minds and turning them into remote-controlled units.” Guess it didn’t work on me; go figure that I’d be left out of the fun. I was always the black sheep when I was younger.


I’m going to let the remainder of this paragraph speak for itself since it’s yet another one that made zero sense to me—a recurring theme with the mad ramblings of a Canadian woman who thinks Pokémon is a product of Satan (AKA: Whitney’s Miltank).


Since neither of the APA’s, as powerful as they are, have lifted one finger to put a stop to this, they are obviously in cahoots with this cold-blooded pyramid scheme. I would say they have helped to make this happen and are getting rich from the suffering of these children and their families.


I’m not sure how any of this is a pyramid scheme. In fact, I’m not even sure how we got here; this started out talking about watching two episodes of Pokémon, and now we’re discussing television being used to dumb down children and a type of financial fraud. My only guess is that both APAs are profiting off of the mental conditions caused by television, which would be an interesting theory to look into if not for one fact: television has been around for longer than the early 2000s. Though even in the 1960s (when I’m guessing Rogue was a fair bit older than the kids she was “guarding”), “9 in 10 people” owned a television set by the end of the 1960s. So Rogue surely knew more than a few people who owned one unless she lived in some secluded community.


Whatever, I digress for the six-billionth time this month. The next paragraph I cannot, in good faith, let speak for itself—nor can I reiterate it since it contains a metaphor that made my stomach churn. The gist of it is that “your television set is your own private satanic altar” and that it’s violating the minds of children “WITH YOUR BLESSING.” While I know there are plenty of people across the world who view television in a negative way, the manner in which Rogue went about expressing her anger towards it disgusted me greatly, and I wish she’d done it in any other way than the one she went with. The last thing I needed to read was how television is harming a child in a manner similar to John Wayne Gacy.


Once that’s done, Rogue says… this:


The NWO plan is to steal a child’s mind and turn them into mind-controlled slaves, tuned in their their OWNERS!


WAKE UP, WAKE UP, WAKE UP! You’re living on The Mean Planet and you best not forget it.


According to Dictionary.com, a “mean planet” is:


a hypothetical planet that coincides with a real planet when the real planet is at perihelion and that moves in an orbit at a constant velocity equal to the mean velocity of the real planet.


So… I guess that means we don’t live on the real Earth? I’m really trying to not sound like a complete and total dipstick; I genuinely don’t know what most of this means. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, so it’s entirely possible I’m merely unfamiliar with this, but wow. To say that I feel lost is an understatement. At least I understand what Rogue means when it comes to the New World Order. So I’m not completely lost!


After that, Rogue quotes Talking Heads’ song Life During Wartime. I’ve never listened to it (I’ve only ever listened to their banger of a song Psycho Killer), but I’d like to take this opportunity to say one thing. Under no condition should Rogue ever be allowed to listen, let alone read, Hypno’s Lullaby.


Rogue ultimately signs off as “Jana Janus” with “Omnipresent On The Mean Planet” underneath it. From what I could tell, Jana is a female name of Persian origin, hence why I speculated her to be a female at the start. 


That, dear reader, is the thread that started all of this. You would be forgiven for having completely forgotten that this write-up was about Professor Oak having allegedly kidnapped a child.


Truth be told, I had to contemplate if I wanted to keep any of this in. I don’t like to be a judgemental jerk when it comes to one’s beliefs, but a lot of what Jana said began to unsettle me. There was something about the sheer level of resentment she held towards not just Pokémon but television as a whole that deeply disturbed me. I think it’s because I hadn’t seen anything like this outside of TV shows and movies where an old person rants about how TV is dumb. 


Ultimately, though, I decided to keep it for two reasons. The first was a very selfish reason: I didn’t want to scrap all of the work I had done. While I know I bemoaned in some write-ups this month about the pacing of the article, I genuinely couldn’t get myself to throw out everything I had done here. Feel free to yell at me in the comments; that may genuinely help me to realize that not all of my work needs to stick around.


The second was that this was the post that started this all. While I could have summarized it better, the whole thing was unlike anything I had ever read. I’ve seen some unique outlooks on life and technology, but seeing Pokémon of all properties being the progenitor for this type of resentment was awe-inspiring. I just had to share this; it ultimately became the entire post as opposed to a “greatest hits” kind of thing.


Now, before we move on to the main story, I do want to say that if you do agree with Jana, that’s perfectly fine. I don’t mean any disrespect, nor will I judge you for believing such things; far be it from me to criticize you for your beliefs. That said, if you’re going to post what you think online, I firmly believe you should look over what you’ve written and make sure it’s coherent. Because when you don’t, you get this, and this was a nightmare to trudge through.


Anyways, without further ado, let’s get into the reason you’re all here: Professor Samuel Oak somehow breaking free of his virtual prison to kidnap a child. This is gonna get… interesting.


Minds Unraveling at the Seams


First thing first: this post went up a mere minute after the first; the first went up at 11:53 p.m., while the second went up at 11:54. I’m guessing Rogue had everything written down and then pasted it, or the website allows for scheduled posts. Either way, I just wanted to make a note of that.


This post is considerably longer than the first and contains a lot of stuff I don’t care to get into. Just know that this is “The Reptile Report #111499” and starts off with details on how much Pokémon: The First Movie grossed at the box office. I remember watching that movie on VHS. I didn’t like it because Mewtwo scared me as a child. I loved that short about Pikachu’s vacation, though. That was super cute.


Jana’s post starts by giving more details about the 8-year-old she talked about previously; she details how he lacks a father and how his mother is on welfare and is an alcoholic and chain-smoker. Honestly, that’s really depressing to read, and I hope that the mother defeated her addictions and that the kid, along with his half-sister, are doing well themselves.


In this particular case, the boy’s half-sister went to visit her own father for five weeks, so the lad was feeling left out. Understanding how he felt, Jana decided to take him on an impromptu vacation. She also mentions that the boy’s uncle is Jana’s son and is an alcoholic; this uncle is also the “extent of his ‘relatives’ in British Columbia.” I wish this had been mentioned in the first post because learning about it here initially threw me for a massive loop. I figured Jana was a friend of the boy’s mother or a neighbor, but no. she’s a relative. Oh well, this is a post on the Internet, not a book.


Jana’s vacation was simple: go on a camping trip with the lad. Or, as Jana herself put it, a “super vacation.” The way this is all written is strangely adorable and is such a stark contrast to the previous post, which felt like an older woman going scorched Earth on Pokémon, that a part of me couldn’t help but wonder if the same person wrote it. Fear not because it is, but to showcase what I mean, here’s the third paragraph in its entirety. Seriously, this comes across as incredibly wholesome compared to everything we went over above.


When I saw my “grandson” the day after his sister left, I firmly decided to see to it that he had a super vacation, one that would place him on equal footing with his sister and his friends. It was a super vacation, not only for him but for me also. We hiked, boated, went to the beach, watched the whales, had campfires, roasted marshmellows, rode our bicycles, dined on delicious vegetarian foods and had a wholesome, healthy time together with plenty of fresh air and outdoor fun. For intellectual stimulation we checked out books from the library on edible plants and went on nature walks locating and identifying them. Every night he read stories to me before bed. I had found some old books, Christian based, filled with character building stories such as the The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Ugly Duckling and The Little Red Hen. There was no television available so Pokemon was not much of a topic except for the following story he told me after he had been with me for a few days.


It can’t just be me, right? I swear, if it is, I’m checking myself into a psych ward and telling them that Internet posts are giving me literary psychosis.


Oh well, let’s not linger. Jana says that, just prior to the vacation, her kinda-sorta-maybe grandson (I won’t lie, I have no idea how closely related she is because I suck at family lineage) called “the 800 number for Pokémon’s headquarters in Ontario.” At least, she thinks it’s in Ontario. I honestly don’t know if The Pokémon Company has headquarters up in Ontario, but I do know Nintendo had offices in Toronto, which is Ontario! The keyword is “had” because they shut down in February 2022. So maybe this is what the lad and his friend called? No idea; someone, please tell me if I’m missing something here.


This next part is one that I need to let speak for itself because there are so many points where I want to interject that I’d be here for a dozen paragraphs constantly butting in and asking questions. So, here it is, in all its uninterrupted glory:


Just before he came on vacation with me his school friend had called the 800 number for Pokemon’s headquarters in Ontario (I think) and indicated that he wanted to be “tested”. The appointment was made for six o’clock in the evening, on the steps of the local elementary school (in Surrey, BC) that was closed for the summer (aka AN ABANDONED BUILDING). The friend contacted my “grandson” and another boy and they all showed up at the school at the agreed upon time. They “knew” not to tell their parents.


First things first, this is the point where I realized that they were Canadian. Yeah, I know Jana mentioned British Columbia earlier, but when I first found this story, I went straight to the part about Professor Oak. Call me dumb, but I wanted the good stuff before reading the larger story. I’m impatient at times, alright? Don’t judge me for this when you can judge me for a plethora of other things, like rambling about unnecessary details or going on pointless tangents!


Second: what in tarnation is this “test” jibber jabber? There’s no way—there’s no possible way—that an 8-year-old told a representative of a company they wanted to be tested. The only way that could make sense is if it was focus group testing, which is done to get an opinion (among many other things) on a product. Given this was 2001, it’s possible it could have been for Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, which was released in Japan in 2002, but I imagine that focus testing would be done in Japan and not Canada. The games weren’t released internationally until 2003!


Last but certainly not least, even if this was focus testing, that’s usually done via survey or in a group. There’s no way in Maple Tree Hell it would be done at 6:00 in the evening, outside an “abandoned building,” and as we’ll soon see: inside a van with two grown men. It’s so surreal typing these sentences; I feel like I’m on a fanfiction website reviewing some troll’s piece of literary genius. God, if I drank, I would be six bottles of malt liquor deep right now. The things I’ve read have done irreparable damage to my brain; why not drag my liver down with it?


Getting back on track: Jana’s quasi-grandson went to the meet-up spot and waited. Lo and behold, a Pokémon van arrived. Its windows were purportedly covered by Pokémon posters, preventing anyone from seeing what was inside. This sounds like a great setup for some bizarre Saw parody where a child is kidnapped by Jigsaw and must complete a Nuzlocke playthrough of Pokémon Silver using Chikorita as their starter. God, I hate Chikorita; I can’t stand Cyndaquil either. Totodile is the only acceptable Johto starter, and you can’t change my mind.


From the van’s side door emerged two men; one was 27 years old, while the other was 36. How Jana knew this detail, I don’t know. Maybe her “grandson” took a guess, maybe the men told him, or maybe Jana assigned two ages. I don’t know, and at this point, my allotment of caring has run dry, like a Californian lake during a heatwave.


Anyways, these two men told Jana’s nameless grandchild that they were the ones who’d be conducting the tests. As a result, he entered the van; I have no idea where this kid’s friend is, so I’m guessing Giratina yanked him into the Distortion World before he arrived at the meet-up location. Once inside the van, the two men told him that he was the winner of something, so they gave him Pokémon paraphernalia and a poster. This is what Jana said anyway, and I’m not about to question this more than I already have.


After being given the gifts, the “testing” began. I’ll let Jana do the talking.


He stated that during the “testing” one man was whispering constantly into something he thought was a walkie talkie. He found out after that he was talking to Professor Oaks who was inside the van and only came out when the “test” was over. Professor Oaks is a cartoon character in the Pokemon cartoon series. Professor Oaks congratulated my “grandson” on his abilities and he was the one who presented him with the prizes.


I don’t know if “Professor Oaks” was intentional or not. If it was, then the two men who greeted her “grandson” were, somehow, both Professor Oak. This is quite fascinating, given canonically, he’s 50 (at least that’s the age given in the fourth Pokémon film. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that Jana made a typo and meant that Professor Oak was somewhere inside the van, probably in the shadows or something, and stepped out after the testing was over. Whatever the case is, holy smokes: real cartoons! Here I thought the conspiracy that Bugs Bunny is a Native American spirit was the wildest thing related to a cartoon I’d ever read.


After that, I have to admit that I deeply considered scrapping this entire story. The next part has a really unsettling feel to it. As has been the case throughout this write-up, I’ll let Jana do the talking.


My “grandson” did not tell his mother anything about this. When I asked him why, he said he just “knew” he shouldn’t. On further questioning about this, he admitted that the men said that parents shouldn’t be told because they might interfer.


Oh.


Yeah, when I first read that, I felt my stomach drop. Like, that’s all I felt. I got this really uncomfortable feeling, and a part of me really wanted to scrap this whole story. However, after putting so much work into it, I didn’t want to can it.


Though you know what the best part is? The thing that ties this all together so truly awfully? That’s where the story effectively ends. Yeah, if you were anticipating a really uncomfortable turn for this story, you needn’t worry.


Oh, don’t get me wrong, there’s still more. But if you were hoping for something in the way of answers, additional sightings, or Jana providing anything else, then you’re better off trying to breathe in outer space. The next paragraph contains the penultimate reference to her grandson:


Needless to say I was alarmed. Men meeting with little boys at 6:00 p.m. at an abandoned school? Strange men testing children without their parents knowledge or permission? Talking secretly with someone inside a van that has its windows covered hiding someone inside while the “testing” is going on? TESTING FOR WHAT??? And finally a CHARACTER from the cartoon series appearing in “reality” from inside the van? WHAT IS GOING ON? This is all wrong. What were these men doing to these children? WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO MY “GRANDSON”? It’s obvious that something criminal is taking place or the children would not be “impressed” with the need to keep it a secret from their parents.


After that, Jana mentions a child who swallowed a Pokéball and quotes a news article about it. She also says there are grown men out there looking for “pets” (children) to train them for “some weird kind of competition.”


From there, Jana quotes a news article about the infamous Porygon episode that caused seizures in Japan and an article about Manga. I skimmed it, but it has nothing to do with this story as a whole.


There are more posts on the thread—including two from Jana—but neither mentions her grandson. One is about an inappropriate commercial where two men are in a bathroom, and one is trying to coax out his poop. The other is less bizarre and is a response to a reply someone else made; the person talked about an introduction video to Pokémon that they saw. This individual believed it to be related to child sexual abuse.


As much as I’d hate to say it, that’s effectively where this all ends. Seriously, that’s all there is. It ends on an incredibly bleak and uncomfortable note; I rode a laughter-induced high from how goofy it sounded that Professor Oak appeared in a van to feeling deeply unsettled to being here. Now I’m damn near exhausted. I tried to find more information on this, but all I got were Sasquatch sightings. Those are certainly interesting in their own respect, but definitely not in the same ballpark as this story.


My next course of action was to look up Jana’s name. This yielded no results, but that wasn’t too much of a surprise. I imagine it’s likely an alias judging by the results I got for both “Jana” and “Janus.” The results for the post history of RogueButterfly on Rumor Mill News also showed the account last posted on August 25, 2001. The last post was about Jews conspiring against her. In fact, a fair number of her posts had to do with Jews. Well, there goes my Google indexing; make sure to try Bing if you wanna find me!


Joking aside, after that, I gave up. Seeking out additional information wasn’t worth the struggle—not in my eyes, at least. So without further ado, let’s leap into the theories.


Theories


1. It was the ravings of a mentally ill person


Admittedly, there aren’t any concrete theories. In fact, I don’t think there are any theories, period. As such, I can only speculate what the truth was here. So to kick things off, I want to get one of the most obvious theories out of the way: that this was all the product of a mentally ill person who was seeing things where there was nothing.


Well, in this case, “seeing” ought to be replaced with “convincing herself things occurred when nothing actually had happened.” But I digress. I want to stress something right now: I, obviously, don’t mean any ill will toward Jana. Assuming everything that was posted wasn’t some elaborate troll (which I sincerely doubt), I’m not here to point and laugh at her and whatever emotions she felt at the time.


That said, when it comes to mental illness, people say and do an array of odd things when it gets the better of them. It’s within the realm of reason that she may have interpreted what her grandson said in a really, really horrific way when in reality, he may have gone to some promotional event. While there, he saw someone dressed up as Professor Oak, who gave him some gifts for getting a question right.


It is also worth noting that children are terrible at describing things. It’s possible this kid tried to explain something and ended up conveying it in a manner akin to being kidnapped. Is that likely? Ehh, maybe not in this case, given the specifics. Is it possible? In my humble opinion, yeah. God knows I was the worst at describing things when I was 8 years old. I still suck at giving descriptions; that’s why I refuse to write creative fiction anymore! Anyway, onto the next theory; I don’t want to linger here anymore as I have a fair bit more to stay about it when we get to my personal take.


2. Child predators


This theory… is definitely one that I did not want to have to include. In fact, its mere inclusion was one that made me reconsider covering this story. Anything that involves a child being hurt—especially in a sexual manner—breaks my heart. I’ve known people who’ve been violated by others, and to say it makes me angry is an understatement. I also feel avoiding this theory would be disingenuous. It doesn’t take a mathematician to tell that, at the very least, Jana speculated that the supposed “Professor Oaks” were child predators.


Suffice it to say, I do all I can to avoid stories about these monsters. I do everything I can nowadays to not cover unsolved cases of child rapists or cover conspiracies about the elite being child diddlers. I never feel comfortable covering them because I always feel like a colossal dick if I make even the slightest joke. Heck, I feel like kind of a dick having made jokes prior to getting to the part where Jana’s grandson refused to elaborate on what happened in the van. In some ways, I feel like a dick for even speculating that these folks may have been child predators since there isn’t much to go off of. No matter what way I cut it, I feel like a dick, and that makes me not want to complete this write-up.


Nevertheless, deleting what is by now several thousand words of progress would be a gargantuan waste of my time (see: around 24 hours of it), and I’m not about to demoralize myself because of one bump in the road. So, about the theory, there isn’t a whole lot to discuss in the way of what ensues. It simply posits that the two Oaks were, in fact, a group of really evil humans.


There’s plenty of precedent for this; there’s a reason why parents tell their kids—or really tell anyone— to never get into cars with strangers. You never know who that person may be on the inside. These men were in a van with the windows covered by posters of a wildly popular children’s game, lured one into it, and then told him not to tell his mom, lest she “interfere.” By accounts, it sounds like something a group of extremely unsavory individuals would do in order to cause adverse harm to a minor. And yes, I am doing everything I can to not outright type a sentence that would make my stomach churn so hard, it’d implode and become a black hole. Sue me.


However, there are a few issues with this theory. The first is one I mentioned during the story itself: we have no idea where Jana’s grandson’s friend was. Even though Jana said that he and his friend (or friends, given there were supposedly three boys there) went to the meet-up spot, we only know what happened with Jana’s grandson. It’s possible that details were simply omitted, but I find it rather odd.


The second is that I couldn’t find any reports of any unsolved crimes of this nature from around this time. Admittedly, I didn’t look to see if there were any unsolved crimes of this nature from that period, so I may have outright missed it. Nevertheless, I feel a case involving people abducting children while dressed as Professor Oak would have become quite infamous.


Last but certainly not least is the story of calling the 800 number. This has a possible explanation in that the kids used it as a cover story to hide the fact they were kidnapped. Or the kidnappers told the kids to tell any adults about it. A lot of predators often have these cover stories ready to hand out if needed—at least, that’s what it seems like from the true crime stories I’ve read. There are a plethora of cases I haven’t read because they make me want to cry. Heck, I haven’t bothered to learn about John Wayne Gacy because it makes me depressed.


That said, I do have to wonder why this supposed Pokémon office—which was in Ontario—scheduled a meet-up in British Columbia. Driving from one to the other would take 38–42 hours. Flying, meanwhile, is roughly 4 hours. Call me crazy, but I feel there’s a major impracticality here unless there are Pokémon-related offices across Canada.


Nevertheless, this is arguably the most plausible theory (besides the first). The next two are less plausible, but I still firmly believe they warrant inclusion. The first hinges on me being incredibly stupid (which is certainly plausible), while the second hinges on a big dose of dickishness that only a child and produce. So, without further ado, let’s get into ‘em.


3. Focus group testing


Okay, I will rescind what I said above. I may consider myself to be stupid, but I doubt I’m stupid enough to have overlooked something here.


I’m including this theory solely to add a bit of levity after the previous one. Frankly, I don’t want to linger on the horrific possibility of child sexual abuse for the remainder of the theories section. Let’s try to have a bit of fun with the possibility that this was focus testing.


Admittedly, I have no idea how much focus testing has gone on in the Pokémon series. It certainly can’t be much, given every game after Black 2 & White 2 (outside of Legends: Arceus) has been lazy as hell. So Game Freak certainly hasn’t been looking to public opinion on their upcoming design choices a whole lot!


Though, hey, let’s assume they did do some focus testing. I have never heard of doing it inside of a van—let alone a van that you apparently get “tested” in. If this was a focus testing session, then I have no words. It’s the first one I’ve heard of being done outside of a controlled environment—like an office building or studio. Unless Game Freak had to go to Canada for some reason and used a van as their backup office. That would help explain why Scarlet & Violet feel like they were coded in about half an hour.


Beyond that, though, this theory seriously hinges upon me being an idiot and not knowing how focus testing goes. If I am right, then it hinges on Game Freak doing focus group testing in the most preposterously creepy way imaginable in a country where they don’t have a studio. Personally, I doubt that.


4. A prank


Children can be demons. They can pull the cruelest pranks imaginable while thinking it’s the funniest thing since discovering the word “fart.” For this theory, we have a scenario like that: Jana’s grandson and his pals decided to pull a prank. Why? I don’t know, but since these are theories of my own creation, I’ll say that it was because her grandson was displeased at her dislike of Pokémon. I remember when I was young, and an adult didn’t like something I liked, I would get really pissy about it. Why? I dunno, I was young, and I was stupid. Children can be the biggest jerks on the planet and will lash out whenever they feel wronged.


Assuming Jana expressed disapproval towards Pokémon in front of her grandson, it’s possible that he told his friends about it, and they told him to pull a prank to mess with her. Alternatively, he did it of his own volition because he wanted to screw with her.


This theory is, in my eyes, quite possible, but given the way that Jana appears to have raised the kid herself, I doubt he would’ve been prone to doing something malicious like this. Though, as I said more than enough above, children can be royal jerks. Never put it past one to get petty revenge against you if you insult something they like. This includes but is most certainly not limited to Pokémon. God help you if you laugh at their attempt at getting revenge, or they may try to kick you in the knee.


5. 


I hate it when MissingNo. eats the theory.


My Take


As I have said several times now, I considered outright scrapping this story. I went into it with the mindset that this would be a light-hearted, silly conspiracy or some incredibly bizarre happening. Granted, in hindsight, I should have known that wouldn’t be the case thanks to the word “kidnap” I used (on the iceberg, it’s listed as Professor Oak sightings), but you must realize something: I am a dumb person. Contrary to what you may think based on my ability to write thousands of words about the stupidest things you may ever grace your eyes upon, I am not intelligent. I am, at best, of below-average intelligence and have the foresight of someone dive-bombing into a vat of boiling oil.


The only reason I didn’t delete all of this and substitute it with another story was that a good friend of mine implored me to wait a day before making such a rash decision. Prior to that, the more I looked over everything I had written, the more and more uncomfortable I got. As I mentioned earlier, stories involving children being sexually abused deeply disturb me; I do everything I can to avoid them. While I’ve covered a few in the past (like when I inexplicably brought up Daisy’s Destruction in a write-up on friggin’ snuff films—what the hell was I thinking?), I was still in the mindset of trying to be super serious about my craft (rather than being much more carefree like I am nowadays).


That discomfort eventually became fear.I had this mindset that somehow, in some way, this story would be seen as “exploitative” or “inappropriate” because I’d been so light-hearted before I got to that part where I speculated that this was about child predators. Though, I have a feeling I am overthinking things. Whether I am or not, I have to say that I never in a million, billion, trillion, or quadrillion years would I have imagined this going down a path of child predation.


Even now, I can’t help but look at that bit and wonder if maybe I’m wrong to leave it in. Heck, I can’t help but wonder if I’m wrong to even post this. There’s just something about this that gives me an inexplicably bad feeling. No other story, be it one I’ve written about or have skipped over, has left me with this feeling. I’m sure that, at some point, I’ll get a comment telling me I’m a terrible person for this write-up, and if I do, I definitely deserve it. But until then, it’s hard to scrap all this work or to change what I said since I think experiencing the gut punch I felt at that moment really hits hard.


And yet, I have that content warning at the very start; my logic is impeccable, and my intelligence is equal to a thousand galaxy brains!


Well, onto my take. I can’t see this being a case of the stupidest focus testing or the ravings of a mad woman. The former is too stupid to be real, while the latter feels off. While I think Jana is wrong about TV (I’ll get into that a bit more in a few), I can’t imagine her being so hateful towards Pokémon that she fabricated this all—or was that deluded.


The prank theory seems plausible, but I don’t know if a child would really conjure up a story this creepy. But hey, kids are strange, and there are more than a handful of reasons I’m not keen on having any. My inability to handle the wrath of a child scorned for not getting a toy is but one of them.


That leaves me with one theory, and it’s the one that makes me depressed. Judging by everything that was said by Jana, my mind immediately gravitates towards that of a group of child predators; I already said why earlier, and I don’t think it bears repeating. Having grown up in a suburban environment, I know the stereotype of the creep in a van, and it sounds uncannily similar to those warnings I got as a young lad.


Given the allure of free stuff related to a child’s favorite thing, and given how insanely popular Pokémon was at the time, I cannot imagine this being anyone else. Unless Professor Oak himself outright materialized in the real world, this is the only theory that makes any sense to me. And quite frankly, if it is the case, I hope the sick bastards who did this are burning in Hell.


Now onto one last thing: Jana’s opinion on TV. This is just something I want to toss out there, but I certainly don’t agree with her on this. At least, not entirely. I do think letting television raise a child is a terrible idea. The same goes for a tablet and other electronics. If you’re going to have a child, raise it like an actual human. Don’t stick it in front of something and let unsupervised media raise it for you. You never know who—or what—will end up influencing its still-young mind.


Conclusion


This story was a rollercoaster of emotions; I’m not sure when I last felt myself go through the motions like I did here. Quite frankly, I hope to never do it again. As interesting as it was to cover this all, I’d rather focus on stories where I can be upbeat and energetic, not uncomfortable and lethargic. I also know that I’ll look into stories a lot more carefully after this, so I don’t end up feeling like complete trash after I finish one.


Thankfully, we have one more story left, and it’s one where there are no dour, uncomfortable topics. Best of all, it’s not a morbid story. So assuming you’re reading this before that story goes up, make sure to check it out or go read it now; either works fine. Also, as always, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment