Interview with artist/motivational speaker Shane Watson About Silverladder

Recently, long time friend and art compatriot Shane Watson reached out with me to share this video from Brazil. A YouTuber with a half million subscribers had created a nearly half hour video about the history of the Silverladder, including the early badscaryplace days where I first began correspondence with Shane. After years of writing back and forth and publishing an interview with Shane online I was once asked out of the blue if I’d be willing to take part in a sort of dada/surrealist interactive art project borrowing from Alternate Reality Game (ARG) culture. The catch? I’d be interacting with Shane’s alter ego as Shane would be dead “in the game.”

Codebreaking, steganography, interacting with “characters” from the bit of chaotic fiction we were taking part in were all big parts of the Silverladder experience but most important honestly were the connections we made, the genuine community that sprung up. After years of voice chat, emails and chat rooms it didn’t even seem that bizarre when several of us would meet in Phoenix to hang out with Shane for the weekend of November 11. (11/11 was one of several overarching “themes” that Silverladder played with).

As for exactly what Silverladder is, that’s a hard one to answer. This YouTuber actually does a pretty decent job, especially doing so from after the fact. Deconstructing the “internet mystery” as it were. I even show up briefly in some footage of the SL get together around a decade ago. If you want to check out the video below, you can click on closed captions, go to options and switch from Portugese to auto-translate and the auto-generated translation is pretty easy to understand from there. I’m also sharing here my interview with Shane below.

The following interview was conducted by freelance journalist and long-time Bad Scary Place fan Philip Fairbanks in 2004.

Philip Fairbanks: What was your inspiration for creating this? Don’t just tell me you liked Burroughs/Gysin cutups either. I’m talking about the elusive “theme,” which is quite well developed.

Shane Watson: The inspirations for the BSP are extremely varied. It began a few years back when my cousin Trey showed me a particularly surreal site on the internet. Trey has introduced me to lots of good things over the years, such as the bands Ween and Built To Spill, but I digress. He sat me down at a computer at my aunt’s house and said, “Here, check this out.” I started clicking. It was unlike anything I had seen on the internet, because up to that point, the sites I had dealt with were very straightforward and quite linear in nature. It made perfect sense to me, though.

In real life I can be a somewhat quirky, eclectic person. Although up to that point, my website hadn’t reflected that about me at all. While having *some* artistic flourishes and bizarre moments here and there, my site was pretty, well… normal. Whatever this odd site was, it got me thinking about what I hadn’t done with my site yet, and what parts of my ability to create hadn’t been unleashed on my site.

This soon mixed in with several other factors:

1. As a kid, I was a huge fan of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” book series, which you may or may not be familiar with. They give you options, and rather than being a linear (there we go with that word again) story, you come to certain pages where you get to make a choice. Based on which choice you select, you are instructed to turn to a particular page. Your choices then affect the outcome of the story.

2. While in high school, I picked up a CD called “Telecommunication Breakdown” by a losely-formed “band” (more of an art project, really) called EBN (“Emergency Broadcast Network”). The CD used a heavy amount of television samples within the music, including political speeches cut up and re-arranged in such a manner as to make it sound like people such as George Bush (Sr.) were saying things like “We will rock you.” The CD also came with some Quicktime movies that were quick-cut collages of all kinds of various TV broadcasts, movie clips, war footage, home shopping channels, self-help videos, etc. It was like a 200-channel assault of the emptiness of TV over an industrial music background. The album and the accompanying videos had a very big impact on me at the time. This group actually went on to produce the video walls for U2’s “Zoo TV” tour.

3. Other factors and influences may include game shows, the movie “Fight Club”, the movie “12 Monkeys”, Japanese pop culture, William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, Las Vegas, televangelists, lucid dreaming, the constant bombardment of media from all directions, the evolution of people into consumers, psychedelia, advertising, cryptic shortwave radio broadcasts (“numbers stations”), police scanner transmissions, technology, disco balls, strobe lights, smoke machines, red wine, good beer, The “Mind’s Eye” animation series, conspiracy theories, abnormal psychology (that would be a big one), DADA, surrealism, M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, and the music of Ween, Radiohead, David Sylvian, Holger Czukay, Robert Fripp, Trance Induction, Flaming Lips, Alice In Chains, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Air, Bjork, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and COUNTLESS jazz and ambient music artists.

Anyway, these (and other) influences all eventually converged in my mind and led me to start what was the precursor to the BSP. While I DID have Silver Ladder Studios up on the internet at the time, I decided to make this a side project site, not affiliated with SLS. Therefore, I went and opened a cheesy little Geocities site, with pop-ups and all. The original version of the BSP wasn’t even called the Bad Scary Place, in fact it didn’t have a title. It didn’t get very big, maybe 20-25 pages deep, before I started slacking on it and quit making progress. However, not long after, the e-mail address I had listed on the Geocities site (accessed by site visitors via a picture of a bomb and the text “send me threats”) started getting hit with e-mails from people who somehow had run across the site. It was strange because I hadn’t advertised the site or submitted it to search engines or anything. But these people were e-mailing and saying how much they liked the site. Making a long story longer, I soon scrapped the Geocities site and put a re-direct link up on the Geocities page to send people to the new site within Silver Ladder Studios. I trashed all of the original pages (which I now sometimes wish I had held on to) and started from scratch.

The name Bad Scary Place comes from the type of terminology that a child might use. The use of the words “bad” and “scary” (both being quite simple and somewhat similar) right after each other gives it this kind of wide-eyed innocent naive kind of sound. It’s really more of a reference to a closet with a monster in it or something frightening outside the window than it is an actual reference to the site being scary or something. It never really was intended to be flat-out scary or anything. Some people still fail to understand that. Even if it WAS scary, anything that is SUPPOSED to be frightening that refers to itself as such is just plain cheesy. Not my style. Little known fact: I have often entertained the idea of ditching the name Bad Scary Place and renaming the site “The Umbrella Graveyard.” However, now that the site has caught on so much and refers to itself in SO many places as the BSP, it’s a little too late now. Who knows though, the Umbrella Graveyard may very well become a subdimension of the BSP, just like Menthol Tunnels (ever been there?).

As far as the “theme,” well, you’re correct about there being an underlying “story” beneath the bizarre surface of the BSP. The story is first-person. YOU (whoever is clicking through the site) are the main character, though I never formally explain that because doing so would be tacky and clunky and corny. However, while you are the star, Morris the mailman is the catalyst. Morris the mailman was *originally* Morris the milkman, who came from an old 4-track song I did in high school. The song, “Charlie Jones” was on a little underground cassette release that I distributed within my school, and Charlie’s wife runs off with Morris the milkman in the song. Interestingly enough, the tape (“Underground Noise Museum” – referring to being PHYSICALLY underground, not referring to being “too cool” for the mainstream or some nonsense) had a liner-note booklet (on standard 8.5×11″ paper) that came with it… much of the artwork from those liner notes is now in the BSP (i.e. the black and white picture on this page, the picture of someone shooting up on this pagethis image, which is the background for a BSP page, etc.). I can’t go too in-depth about the plot of the whole deal, but (as you may have discovered on a later page) it involves Morris slipping some kind of substance into your drink at a company party (held in a courtyard) and you waking up elsewhere. What else has happened in the mean time? What WILL happen coming up? That remains to be seen or may already be defined somewhere, somehow within the BSP. Some “chapters” of the story are much more literal than others. Some segments may be completely in metaphor and based in images rather than text.

Read the rest at Silverladder.

Vignette I: and so socrates said, “well make that a double”

Vignette I: and so socrates said, “well make that a double”

from the tentatively entitled: “house of the yellow lichen” (to be a lovecraftian horror by way of burroughs/thompson in the vein of philip k. dick)

Vignette I: and so socrates said, “well make that a double”


Consider it screwed:

you know though, it’s probably best not to take most of what i say without a dose of salt (and maybe a tablespoon of activated charcoal if you have any about). i don’t know what it is i’ve got but i’m pretty certain by now it’s contagious and it may very well spread as easily through thought as any other vector. orgonian overdose? mk-ultra? electromagnetic pollution? satellite array transmitted assassination networks (SATAN, for short), i dunno what it is these days but lately it’s like a constant headache, fog or else a mania. Feel my brain all tingly…I wonder if listening to black metal while generating new neurons will have any repercussions?


Better than my old buddy “big red’s” idea though surely: Huff raid, he said, it only kills the weak braincells


oh well, at least i’ve been recording/documenting all i’ve seen and thought i saw. all the connections i mined or imagined. I’m a goof, sure but sometimes I’m pretty sure that maybe deep down I could be great undifferentiated connective tissue, too…

i will never forget the first story i was told when i finally made it to the yellow house:
It was up here in Northern Cali, maybe Ukiah but I think probably more like Garberville, I knew a guy who would crystalize Raid by spraying it on an electrified screen. He would scrape it off and bag it up and sell it as speed. Apparently, the pyrethrins short circuit your nerves and create an amphetamine like sensation…as they DIE.


Well that’s a nifty recipe for a hot shot. I exhaled, remembering the ridiculous trek following Nathan (not the Nathan I had come to McKinleyville, home of the largest totem pole in North America to see, but it seemed portentous at the time, so I followed) that ended with me in the middle of nowhere, dressed in leather fringe and tight, paint stained purple denim, twisted ankle throbbing in Burbank cast off mock-moccasins). That needs to go into a story though, I thought to myself.

True story. He said. I watched him do it.
Whoof… I barked, just under my breath
Yeh…it was brutal. His old lady had a smack habit. Dope don’t buy itself. Caveat emptor..
Yikes, cuz what fun is fucking a girl to death when you could see her die so much more slowly by letting her boyfriend fuck HIM to death and let her live with THAT debt

Hey, you roll the dice, you takes your chances…

i need to get on with it though, at least draw together the important parts, let you make of it what you will. something about a psychedelic sentient lichen and that place they called the house near hootenannie where
the floor rotting in was nothing to the mist of must that gently constricted and tickled the inner soft fleshy palate of throat flesh
then there was
the society of seekers scene, only known as the society of seekers to hangers-on, “prospects” and the scant group of researchers who seem themselves nearly as cultish and obsessed. society members (most of whom manage to evade any public note apart from basic census data)

on your role, complete in every detail, the rollercoasterdips and dives
i’m getting off track again though, aren’t i. this always happened. the weird, wired way my brain worked, the way i thought in a sort of web, wrought with recursive loops. sometimes i drop the golden thread entirely, at that point i’m done for.


like, have you ever woke up, either from anesthesia, being knocked in the head hard enough to cause a concussion or the wrong combination of compounds? that first second, the sort of ether huffing, laughing gas “wah wah” that you get from good model glue, the warmth in the pit of your cheeks and then the brightness and a sense of overhwelming “okayness” followed by a swift and sharp panic, of “where am i, what just happened, hasn’t this happened before, who am i?”

TO BE CONTINUED (perhaps)

GoFundMe For Cervical Spinal Surgery

I was urged by friends for months to start a GoFundMe to help raise the money I will need for surgery. I’m going to need at least $8000-13,000. As is, if you weren’t aware, I’m stuck here on my side or back wearing a foam neck brace and cervical collar day and night apart from in the shower. And, not to be gross, but I generally just scrub up outside the shower while sitting on the toilet unless I’m sweaty and starting to stink because my balance is a bit off and I can’t afford a fall. Doctors and surgeons I have seen have told me a hard fall could lead to at best incontinence, at worse quadriplegia or death by asphyxiation. As a “long haired country boy” I don’t like to ask anybody for anything I can’t get on my own, but I honestly won’t be able to get this done without help. In fact, I even had to cut the long hair because it kept getting stuck in the neck brace and cervical collar velcro.

With the pandemic and lockdowns going on, it’s economically unstable times for a lot of people, so please, if you are considering giving, don’t unless you can absolutely afford it without having to skip out on frills and niceties you enjoy and definitely not if it means putting you in a financial bind. That said, if you are able and want to help it is absolutely greatly appreciated. I’ve already been overwhelmed by the support, not only financial but just as important, emotional support from so many people.

Haven’t done an update in a while and after typing up several paragraphs browser crashed so here I go again lol. The last couple weeks have been pretty rough. Pain and insomnia were at their height last week but from early Friday evening till Monday morning I basically hibernated just waking up intermittently for a few hours, putting on some documentaries and passing back out. My mood was getting pretty low last week from a mixture of anxiety, pain and lack of sleep but getting some good rest improved the pain which also improved my mood. Need to file taxes in the next few days so can’t afford to get depressed and demotivated.

Speaking of mood, one of the things keeping me afloat has been the immense, even overwhelming amount of love and support I’ve received via emails, calls and DMs. With the pandemic and lockdown going on, I know not everyone can donate, but the emotional support is appreciated. Apologies for my lag in responding, I’m still not able to sit up for extended periods and really don’t like being relegated to touchscreen for communication and having spent close to a half a year mostly on my side or back with a foam neck brace and uncomfortable hard cervical collar. As a result, sometimes the days seem to run into each other.

It’s been a very difficult year but I have to say, it’s also been paradoxically a very heartening year. As I’ve mentioned to some people, it’s kind of like It’s a Wonderful Life only instead of trying to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge it was being nearly crippled by a massage that led to the realization that apparently I make some kind of impact on the world, even if it’s just a small one to a small group of people. For everyone who has offered any emotional or financial support during this whole situation, I can’t explain how much it means to me. I only hope that when all this is finally resolved I can find a way to pay back or pay forward for everyone who has helped keep me afloat.

For the record, the first draft of this was slightly better, but hopefully the sentiment still shines through. In short, thank you so much everyone.

through the plastic screen Podcast debuts!

Will be doing a podcast, got some great guests lined up. Will probably post the first 30-45 minutes free on the various podcast sites (stitcher, spreaker, pandora, fm player, buzzsprout and others) and share the full episodes here at Patreon. First episode is a snippet from PI Ed Opperman’s interview with me about my recent book, it was a Patreon exclusive but he gave me permission to share a portion of the interview, for just $3/mo. You can get access to documents, interviews and more from Ed, highly recommend if you’re interested in true crime, corruption and parapolitics.

PI Ed Opperman is one of the first folks who was tracking down Epstein years before MSM caught on, years before he was a household name. He was also involved in uncovering the secret service underage sex scandal in Colombia using his skills as a forensic investigator. He’s appeared on multiple major news outlets and interviewed best selling authors, experts of all stripes and high caliber parapolitical researchers and authors so I’m always honored when I get a chance to do the show.
My latest appearance on the Opperman Report was in February, it ran on about a half dozen FM stations and a few more on the AM band, but the full episode is a Patreon exclusive online. Luckily, Ed gave me permission to share a snippet of that interview here where I talk about my book Pedogate Primer: the politics of pedophilia. Conversation runs from whether I know who Q really is to the DOD child porn scandal and Project Flicker to CIA’s mind control experiment MK-Ultra and the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and more. If you enjoy the show, you can find my other two episodes of the Opperman Report on YouTube, at Stitcher and Spreaker or by going to philfairbanks.com and clicking on the interviews tab at the top. If you like what you hear, I recommend checking out his patreon for exclusive documents, court filings, exclusive Patreon only interviews and more and don’t forget you can find my book Pedogate Primer at Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited or in paperback as well as through Barnes and Noble and a couple of other sites.

Check out episode 1 below and expect new episodes to drop each Thursday.

https://player.fm/series/through-the-plastic-screen/opperman-report-exclusive-sneak-peek-snippet-of-interview-with-philip-fairbanks

One Step forward two steps back: on the mend update

I have now spent most of 2021 either unable or hardly able to walk and confined to bed or wheelchair. Will be trying to get another doctors appointment to see if I’m ready for physical therapy next week. The hardest part is passed not having trouble operating doorknobs or opening bottles of water anymore still a ways to go before I’m back where I was. Going to spend time resting as much as possible and hopefully be back to normal (or as normal as I ever was LOL) soon. Great thanks to all who kept me in their prayers offered support and help during this difficult time. Much love and respect.

false memory syndrome foundation

False Memory Syndrome Foundation Book In the Works

An entire chapter is dedicated to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in my book Pedogate Primer: the politics of pedophilia. That said, I’ve noticed there doesn’t seem to be a single volume devoted specifically to who they were, what they did and perhaps most importantly… the impact they effected on the world for 3 decades.


Despite closing down at the end of last December, many victims still are affected by the FMSF’s “expert witnesses” (which included pedophile advocates, alleged child abusers and child pornographers rounded out by a handful of doctors and scientists, some with suspicious MK-Ultra ties.

In a recent video I did I refer to Professor Ross E. Cheit, the author of The Witch-Hunt Narrative: politics, psychology and the sexual abuse of children. I am currently making notes from that and dozens of academic papers and several books on the false memory syndrome vs. recovered memory therapy controversy, dissociative disorders from traumatic abuse and related topics.

I find it odd that here we are nearing the first anniversary of the final end of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and despite existing since 1992 no one has yet written a book specifically focused on that organization and it’s long ranging effects, both short and long term.

Speaking of the long term effects, even though the organization is gone, their massive decades long PR push is still remarkably potent. I will try to keep you posted on this as well as attempting to keep occasional new work posted here along with clips from previously published work, videos and interviews.

false memory syndrome foundation

Meantime, if you did read my book, would mean a great deal if you reviewed it at Amazon. You can also follow me at GoodReads, BookBub, my Amazon Author Profile, Twitter and YouTube.

mcmartin preschool satanic panic

Examining McMartin Preschool Satanic Panic vs Witch Hunt Narrative

Easily the most controversial section in my book Pedogate Primer: the politics of pedophilia will be the chapter on the “Satanic Panic.” Regardless of whether or not “satanic ritual abuse” was an element in many of the cases later ruled to be the result of “moral panic” and hysteria or not, I believe the child victims were not making up all their stories at the behest of overzealous therapists and a coalition of feminists and fundamentalist Christians as many assert.

Time to “dig” into the stories of the tunnels and other details that are often left out by popular debunkers of the Satanic Panic era child abuse scandals. The McMartin Preschool case helped kick off the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s. Many claimed based on this case there was a massive witchhunt and moral panic responsible for claims of a “child abuse epidemic.”

Thanks to some CIA connected scientists, parents accused by their children of abuse and at least one proud pedophile activist, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was able to hand wave away McMartin with the claim of “false memories” implanted in the children. This pattern continued and hundreds of cases were affected by the “expert testimony” of these MK-Ultra doctors, alleged child molesters and pedophiles like Dr. Ralph Underwager. In this video I do my best to debunk the debunkers, especially Debbie Nathan and the New York Times’ Retro Report mini-documentary on the subject. I point out many of the inconsistencies constantly brought up by those debunking the “witchhunt” and we do a little digging into the strange story of the McMartin tunnels.

Stay tuned, I will be doing some more work related to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation based on the notes I’m putting together for a future book on the subject.
buscalan apo whang od mambabatok

Trekking to Remote Buscalan

In March of 2018 I made the trek out to the remote mountain village of Buscalan in the Kalinga province in the Cordeillero region in northern Luzon, Philippines. We came to try and get tattoos from Apo Whang Od, oldest living Kalinga Tattoo Artist (or “mambabatok”). We weren’t able to get ink from Apo Whang but did get tattooed in the traditional fashion (pomelo thorn, bamboo and charcoal ink).


The trip alone was long, arduous and at times somewhat precarious. After hours spent on an overnight bus ride, we made it to Bontoc, as far as the bus line ran towards our destination. From Bontoc we took a jeepney ride up the Halsema highway, one of the most dangerous highways in all of Asia. I remember wondering why there were so many large stones and boulders in the road… that’s when I noticed that it was because they were regularly just rolling off the side of the mountain.

Holding on to the rails of the top of the jeepney for dear life we rode up the highway up until the point that nothing with wheels could pass. From here we found a guide who accompanied us as we made the steep hike up the narrow path. At one point I ended up losing a sandal which got sucked down into a rice paddy, never to be seen again! Ah, but it was worth it for the once in a lifetime experience we gained.

In this video I go into a little bit of detail about some of the history behind the Kalinga and their tattoo tradition. Thanks to the Goldwater staff, especially my Goldwater co-host Diana Printz who was responsible for video-recording and editing the audio and video together and K2, our a/v guy who mixed the audio of my recording and of course Diana, Maria and Tita Fely for accompanying me on the adventure.


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Echo Of Truth: What North Korea Can Teach Us About Western Propaganda

North Korea, the Hermit Kingdom, is attempting to drastically update its propaganda machine in the past few years. Considering how little information gets out of the mysterious nation its easy to foist propaganda about the outside world to its people and to us about it.

Welcome to Part I in a series on propaganda. Don’t forget to check out my new book Pedogate Primer: the politics of pedophilia now available on Kindle and Kindle: https://amzn.to/36t2WNL