Cult Recruitment Drive Teases Grand Theft Auto V

Cult Recruitment Drive Teases Grand Theft Auto V

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A mysterious San Andreas religious sect has reappeared ahead of Rockstar's upcoming sequel.

A Twitter feed and website have spawned for a supposed religious movement called 'Kifflom'. The new pages are promoting what the group calls the "Epsilon Program," seemingly another name for its recruitment drive. Not everything is as it seems, though, as Kifflom is in fact a spoof religion from the Grand Theft Auto series.

The mysterious group has appeared throughout the GTA series through radio advertisements and followers on the street, and appears to be a parody of Scientology. All signs point to this being the beginning of a marketing campaign for the upcoming GTA V, especially as the Epsilon Program first emerged in the form of a teaser site for San Andreas.

The Epsilon Program's Twitter page, @EpsilonismToday, contains only three tweets, with the latest update claiming that Kifflom is the "fastest growing religion in America." The feed's bio also linked to a website for the Epsilon Program. Visitors are greeted with constantly-looping background music almost guaranteed to drive them certifiably insane, and snippets of information about the movement such as the "12 Tenets of Kifflom". The tenets include such "facts" as "Trees talk, but only some people hear them" and "If you have a birth mark, you may be descended from Kraff, the famous Emperor of the 4th Paradigm." The only thing the Epsilon site is missing is any actual information about Grand Theft Auto, but all its pages are hosted on the Rockstar Games website.

If this does indeed mark the beginning of a viral campaign for GTA V, it has impeccable timing, as the Epsilon Program has resurfaced at almost exactly the same time as Take Two investors' questions over a marketing push for the game. This kind of viral marketing is usually pretty vague in nature, so it may be some time before we see any concrete details about GTA V's release, but it seems likely that we'll be hearing more from the Epsilon Program before too long.

Source: Epsilon Program via Joystiq

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If you listen carefully to the talk radio stations in San Andreas and in a couple of commercials they talk about Epsilon and some of the radio personalities greet their guests by saying Kifflom to them. I know this for sure and I'm pretty sure that there are a couple of references to it in Vice City but I'd have to go back and listen to the talk stations again.

I always got the impression that they were talking a jab at Scientology with the whole Epsilon thing.

Insert of "I already knew that" information: Epsilon is the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet.

I wonder if this arose from the investor's push, or was pre-planned, though? Either way, am looking forward to hearing more.

There's been much speculation the last few days over at gtaforums.net. The website itself is part of the old San Andreas marketing, refer to the Rockstar advertising council to see for yourself.
So far, it's been discovered by the community, that the twitter and a youtube channel of the same name, were created on July 9th. The website was apparently only updated to include the twitter about the 26th, around the time of the first tweet. The youtube channel is empty.

IndomitableSam:
Insert of "I already knew that" information: Epsilon is the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet.

I wonder if this arose from the investor's push, or was pre-planned, though? Either way, am looking forward to hearing more.

Scientoloy is due more than a good bit of ribbing with the shit they pull. I look forward to the legal battle when their massive and agressive legal department finds out :P Maybe that's part of the plan, GTA has always courted controversy for free publicity and has done so in a way that makes its critics looks foolish or sometimes downright insane.

Stryc9:
If you listen carefully to the talk radio stations in San Andreas and in a couple of commercials they talk about Epsilon and some of the radio personalities greet their guests by saying Kifflom to them. I know this for sure and I'm pretty sure that there are a couple of references to it in Vice City but I'd have to go back and listen to the talk stations again.

San Andreas is one of the games I spent most time playing. Probably over 2000 hours invested. So I know everything about Kifflom. I don't remember it being a part of Vice City though. I'm pretty sure they made it up for San Andreas. Maybe they talked about it in VCS, but I didn't play that game as much as other GTAs.

Kifflom uncle-brother!

The GTA insanity begins :D

I love the subtle parody humour in GTA. Makes the talk stations the best stations. Remember Chatterbox in GTA3? Gooooooood times...........

That farm with the blue windows always gave me the creeps...

Adam Jensen:

San Andreas is one of the games I spent most time playing. Probably over 2000 hours invested. So I know everything about Kifflom. I don't remember it being a part of Vice City though. I'm pretty sure they made it up for San Andreas. Maybe they talked about it in VCS, but I didn't play that game as much as other GTAs.

Kifflom uncle-brother!

I think there was this creepy cult leader guy on a Vice City radio station talking about raising funds for a giant statue of himself with laser guns for eyes that was supposed to be an apocalyptic shelter for mankind.

I don't remember any reference on GTA4...

Hellllll. It's about damn time we got some info about GTA V.

CAPTCHA: pearly gates - I was thinking that was where GTA V ended up.

Why does this seem like a lead in to get in a reference to the very first GTA?

Can I get a GOURANGA!!!

I hope we get some new news on GTA5 soon, interest is starting to wane for people (including me) just give some damn game-play footage already!

It's been 8 months since the trailer and people are beginning to lose interest with the lack of updates.

I like this, because if Rockstar's first marketing push is focused on WEIRD RELIGION WOOOO, then it's likely the game won't be a downer about how you can't escape your past and some people are forced by their own personality to forever make the same mistakes while driving really shitty cars. WOOOOO

Kifflom brother-uncle!

Cris Formage tells us in his wonderful book, It Happened To Us All, that the TRACT will be written when we are all ready. However, Cris is also very clear on another point - although the TRACT has not yet been written, it can still be read by those that are willing to read it.

The world is only 157 years old - FACT. And it's age does. Not. Change.

Have you ever seen a sperm? We've all tried.

It's better than Inversion Therapy. My mother sleeps much easier now that I've joined the fellowship. Kifflom!

I'm going to take a guess. The Twitter will say something like: THE END IS NEAR! The apocalypse starts on [Releasedate of GTA V]!

The Random One:
I like this, because if Rockstar's first marketing push is focused on WEIRD RELIGION WOOOO, then it's likely the game won't be a downer about how you can't escape your past and some people are forced by their own personality to forever make the same mistakes while driving really shitty cars. WOOOOO

I need to be more fun then Saints Row 3

ib4 this becomes a certified religion in the U.S.

ivc392:
I think there was this creepy cult leader guy on a Vice City radio station talking about raising funds for a giant statue of himself with laser guns for eyes that was supposed to be an apocalyptic shelter for mankind.

That was pastor Richards. And his actual plan was to take that money and build himself a mansion.

 

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