ILI94: The Order of the Caldera

Location: In and near Yellowstone National Park; small groups also tend to live together in safehouses throughout various towns in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

Status: Active.

Description and Behavior: The Order of the Caldera, sometimes informally referred to as the Yellowstone Cult, is a moderate-sized anomalous cult dedicated to the Yellowstone Caldera. The membership size of this cult is estimated to range from fifty to two-hundred individual members. Individual members tend to have relatively mild anomalous abilities such as high heat resistance, heightened hearing to the point of being able to hear the volcanic activity otherwise imperceptible to human ears, and the apparent ability to breathe water. Their skin is always red and swelled, and often peeling and oozing puss. This is covered by cult members wearing multiple layers of modified Yellowstone National Park merchandise as a full body covering.

The primary activities of the Order of the Caldera are recruitment, pilgrimages, and sacrifices. Recruitment is achieved by members of the cult approaching individuals, usually tourists and typically the first half of the month, in order to convince them of the ‘Spirit of the Caldera’ by emphasizing the “strength and mercy” it has by being able to destroy North American society but not doing so. Pilgrimages are achieved by all members and potential recruits meeting together at a prearranged location in the middle of the month to go on a multiple day hike to one of the secluded geysers. Once the geyser is reached, all members and recruits will be required to skinny-dip in the geyser, a typically fatal proposition, one at a time to commune with the ‘Spirit of the Caldera’. Recruits who participate in this ritual find themselves transformed to resemble the members of the cult, and now have the same mild anomalous abilities. Sacrifices are achieved when recruits refuse or hesitate to take part in the ritual. They are seized, get their throats sliced open, and are thrown into the geyser to appease the ‘Spirit of the Caldera’. Our failed attempts to study this group has shown us that the sacrifice victims can suffer in the geyser for days, despite the fact such an occurrence should be impossible.

Recommended Actions: If encountering members of the Order of the Caldera, respond firmly and without friendliness to dissuade further attempts to recruit you. They are no stronger than a normal human and have a nonconfrontational attitude when not in a larger group, so they do tend to respond to threats of violence by vacating the area. If someone you know was convinced to join a pilgrimage, contact local law enforcement to intercept the group. Knowing their meeting place is helpful in this regard. If you are on a pilgrimage with this cult, attempt to escape through thick foliage as their often-bulky clothing makes it difficult to pursue you. If one or a small group follows you, they can be driven off by throwing rocks at them. Unfortunately, attempts to apprehend the cult as a whole by local law enforcement tend to fail as the cult members simply run to the nearest geyser and leap into it. There they can stay for months, sometimes even coming out of a completely different geyser, likely via anomalous means.