But one of the more bizarre opportunities for deranged fun in Grand Theft Auto V comes in the form of missions pertaining to a religious cult, one that shares far too many similarities with one of the most influential organizations in the world.
Ladies and gents, meet...
The Epsilon Program, Grand Theft Auto's Crazed Religious Cult
In order to give you some insight into The Epsilon Program, which was actually referenced a few times in Grand Theft Auto IV, here are their beliefs, or as they call them, the 12 Tenets of Kilffdom:
- 1. The world is 157 years old - FACT!
- 2. Dinosaurs are a lie that people believe because they are weak - FACT!
- 3. You are happy, you just don’t know it - FACT!
- 4. We all come from the same tree - FACT!
- 5. Everyone is related to everyone else, except for people with red hair - FACT!
- 6. Sperm does not exist - it is a lie spread by biology teachers - along with everything else you have ever been told - FACT!
- 7. Men are supposed to lie with nine new partners a week. Women are supposed to lie with six, except for in July, when they must lie with five men a day - FACT!
- 8. Aliens exist and are present on earth. If you have a birth mark, you may be descended from Kraff, the famous Emperor of the 4th Paradigm - FACT!
- 9. Trees talk, but only some people hear them - FACT!
- 10. People who believe in something live much longer than atheists, and they have eternal life thrown in for good measure - FACT!
- 11. If you believe this and turn your hands and wallet over to EPSILONISM, you’ll live a happy life. Otherwise you are doomed - FACT!
- 12. KIFFLOM - HAPPINESS IS YOURS! KIFFLOM!
All of this makes complete sense. The group members are obviously rather unhinged—aren't they all in GTA V?!—but the missions related to the Scientologi... I mean Epsilonigists are actually a ton of fun! This organization offers much more than an entertaining flyer, website or billboard advert. You can actually interact with the cult in a variety of ways! Then you too can meet your father-father, brother-uncle. Wanna try join?
Here's How You Can Embark On The Path To Enlightenment In GTA V
Near the beginning of GTA V, the player can tune into a Weazel News broadcast which charts the latest event in the cult's history. After applying for the status of a religion, The Epsilon Program members march to Los Santos' court house to hear the United States government's decision on the matter. The cult's request was denied. If only such justice could be served in our world, huh?
The broadcast also states that Cris Formage, the cult's leader, was seen crying on the steps of the court house following the deliberation. This is the state you find the church in upon starting GTA V. Now, on to the missions!
Step 1: Become Michael
This doesn't have any deep connotations or anything, you literally just have to play as Michael in order to start the missions.
Find a computer and head on to the program's in-game website and fill out their survey. It asks some peculiar questions, like whether you have red hair or not, but after the survey has been completed you need to make your way out into the desert and find a red pickup truck. Then you'll be tasked with completing the following:
Step 2: All About The Truth
Uncovering 'the Truth' is a really complicated process—you can tell that Epsilon themselves are rather confused by the order of things. But Michael is going to have to seek, accept, assume, chase, bear, deliver, exercise and finally un-know the Truth in order to climb higher up the church's ladder of acceptance.
Once all of these missions have been completed, you'll be contacted by a member of the group who informs you that you need to find 10 Epsilon Tracts in order to write The Epsilon Tract of the 9th Paradigm. It's already been written though... which apparently makes sense.
Step 3: Write The Written Epsilon Tract
The 10 Epsilon Tracts must be collected in a specific order and cannot be found without the help of your contact. You'll keep getting messages from the cult member which always end with small riddles. These riddles give you information regarding the next location on your itinerary.
As a reward for finding all of the tracts you will be able to read The Epsilon Tract of the 9th Paradigm, Year 157, by visiting the Epsilon website. Remember, guys, that's the age of the Earth!
Step 4: Chat With Cris and Don The Robes
Once all is completed, the leader of the Epsilon Program will call you up and ask you to "cast off the cane," and give them loads of money. Standard. You'll eventually get your robes then and become one of the posse.
Fun fact: Wearing the robes around Los Santos will trigger interactions with random NPCs. There's even a market you can go into where one dude shouts, "KIFFLOM" when he sees you in the getup. Recognition, baby!!
What About Trevor & Franklin?
If you attempt to access the Epsilon website as either Franklin or Trevor, you won't be able to engage with the cult. Why? Cause they're too smart! Trevor actually says, "If I wanted to be in a cult, I would have created one." Wise words, Trev.
Are you a member of the Epsilon Program?
Check out this blast from the past!