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The world is going to hell. Global warming, overpopulation, economic crises and other such issues plague humanity. The only logical solution is to summon Hastur, The King in Yellow, an elder god from beyond the void. He will Institute a random genocide across the earth, irrespective of race or creed, killing billions and restoring balance to the planet and making me the savior of the human race.

World leaders are more concerned with playing politics than finding real solutions to real world problems, and the liberal lame-stream media has ludicrously decried me as " a lunatic with delusions of grandeur", so I have taken the initiative on my own. I have founded a company called C.A.R.C.O.S.S.A which has cornered the market in electronics and computer related equipment. Through nefarious practices, the company has bought out Apple and Microsoft, bringing them under my umbrella corporation. We now have access to billions of loyal customers around the world. The genocide will be completely random and irrespective of race, sex, gender and other such nonsense that the pesky liberals worry about.

The Elder god requires worship of its followers in order to weaken the barrier between our realms. I obviously can't tell these people that the purpose of this company was to summon this being, and revealing myself as a cult leader will make people think that I am crazy. What is the best way to get my employees and customers to unknowingly worship a god?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see why a random killing is so appealing. I mean, what if you just happened to kill all the farmers? If the guy is already evil, why not have him at least be strategic as well and just kill freeloaders. $\endgroup$ – Starpilot Aug 26 '18 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Starpilot to eliminate accusations of bias, such as sexism, racism, or any ism possible. I must have standards after all. $\endgroup$ – Incognito Aug 26 '18 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ Put an Apple on your product, have some rituals included in the maintenance manuals and create some fads based on the rituals to get people to believe :) $\endgroup$ – Demigan Aug 26 '18 at 19:19
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    $\begingroup$ Whenever anyone calls customer support they will have to either wait on hold for a couple hours or perform a nonsense ritual. Maybe you can make the ritual pressing buttons on the phone to navigate the menu. $\endgroup$ – John Locke Aug 26 '18 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ What exactly counts as "worship" here? Do people need to say some specific phrase, or think it, or do certain actions, or sacrifice something, or…? $\endgroup$ – abarnert Aug 26 '18 at 19:41

18 Answers 18

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There's an app for that.

Take advantage of your power over the software industry, specifically the gaming and social-media sectors, and create a trend. Offer meaningless internet points, in-game badges and upgrades and stuff, in exchange for your "character" doing things that advance Hastur's goals. Make it social so it spreads easily. People who run all over the place chasing virtual Pokemons will think nothing of collecting materials to build a virtual temple (or whatever it is your eldritch abomination wants). Use the app to bring your people together and reward them for communal activities -- clicking on the "join prayer session" button is really just the start here. You can influence them to do so much much more and use social pressure to encourage them.

In phase two, in-game purchases both fund Hastur's needs in this world and build a stronger investment. People who've actually spent money on the game are more likely to stick with it because of the fallacy of sunk costs. Use that.

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    $\begingroup$ #HasturChallenge, you wont belive what happens if you do this simple ritual 30 days in row! $\endgroup$ – wondra Aug 27 '18 at 9:08
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    $\begingroup$ @wondra I did the Challenge, it was a mindblowing experience $\endgroup$ – Alexander von Wernherr Aug 27 '18 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ Top 10 facts about Hastur you didn't know, number 7 is my fav! $\endgroup$ – Martijn Aug 27 '18 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ So wait...the F2P game about being a cultist and helping Hastur take over the world is secretly a plot to gain cultists and help Hastur take over the world? Brilliant! $\endgroup$ – chif-ii Aug 27 '18 at 14:32
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    $\begingroup$ You can go the way of MLMs (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing) too. Sell Hastur products. People already get sucked into this stuff and claim all kinds of things once they realize they are screwed, like this product cured my diseases, made me walk again, etc. The #HasturChallenge/Product cured my baldness! $\endgroup$ – Tyler S. Loeper Aug 27 '18 at 19:32
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There are a couple of religions, or maybe "religions" in quotation marks, which have become popular as a protests against established religion and the way state and society deal with them:

  • Jediism as a reaction to census questions (by claiming a religion which is apparently nonsense).
  • The Flying Spaghetti Monster as a reaction to Creationism in schools (by demanding equal time for their creed).

In either case, you will find a significant number of people who "go through the motions" of worship. Some might actually believe. So do you have a chance to become the next meme?

Find a genuine cause.
Present your eldritch abomination as a symbol for protesting that cause.

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  • $\begingroup$ "a religion which is apparently nonsense" Are there any that aren't? ;-) $\endgroup$ – RedSonja Aug 28 '18 at 5:59
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    $\begingroup$ @RedSonja, some religions have sincere believers. FSM started as a deliberate spoof and the Jedi creed as a deliberate fiction. $\endgroup$ – o.m. Aug 28 '18 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ Talking snakes? Flying horses? Magic hammers? Zombies? Nope, all nonsense. $\endgroup$ – RedSonja Aug 29 '18 at 8:47
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Add it into your tos. A single line, buried deep in a bunch of privacy policies and stuff. Nobody reads them, but by clicking agree they will be worshiping Hastur.

And if someone does notice it, what are they going to do? You own the biggest tech companies on earth; is it worth it to not agree after you've already bought the device?

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    $\begingroup$ Worst case scenario, you laugh and say your developers put little jokes like that in all the tos just to see if people find them. $\endgroup$ – bubbajake00 Aug 27 '18 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ Especially if you sell it to enterprise customers but it needs to be installed by individual IT departments or users. If people are required to use a program/app for work, they definitely won't read the terms. $\endgroup$ – Aliden Sep 4 '18 at 14:16
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Hastur should be made into a logo.

Make a depiction of this being your company logo. Blast it all over TV and the internet. Use it in countless viral memes. Logos are the most widely recognized iconography in the modern world. Pair this logo with an appropriate, brief, slogan, that might be a stylized chant, or acronym. Commission pop artists to make catchy songs about The King in Yellow.

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    $\begingroup$ The problem with this is that logos for Hastur traditionally make everyone who sees them go incurably insane... it might be noticed. $\endgroup$ – GreySage Aug 27 '18 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ You don't need to use a literal image of the being. A stylized script in a vague representation, etc. $\endgroup$ – user49466 Aug 27 '18 at 20:45
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Create a lag-free, bug-free gaming platform named after the Elder being. Easier said than done, but I guarantee that gamers who are accustomed to their games glitching, crashing and losing their progress everywhere else would be praising its name.

They would probably continue praising its name even if they were told the truth.

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New EULA for C.A.R.C.O.S.S.A products (previously Microsoft or Apple):

Apps made available through the App Store are licensed, not sold, to you. Your license to each App is subject to your prior acceptance of either this Licensed Application End User License Agreement (“Standard EULA”), or a custom end user license agreement between you and the Application Provider (“Custom EULA”), if one is provided. Your license to any C.A.R.C.O.S.S.A App under this Standard EULA or Custom EULA is granted by C.A.R.C.O.S.S.A, and your license to any Third Party App under this Standard EULA or Custom EULA is granted by the Application Provider of that Third Party App. Any App that is subject to this Standard EULA is referred to herein as the “Licensed Application.” The Application Provider or C.A.R.C.O.S.S.A as applicable (“Licensor”) reserves all rights in and to the Licensed Application not expressly granted to you under this Standard EULA.

a. Scope of License: Licensor grants to you a nontransferable license to use the Licensed Application on any C.A.R.C.O.S.S.A-branded products that you own or control and as permitted by the Usage Rules. The terms of this Standard EULA will govern any content, materials, or services accessible from or purchased within the Licensed Application as well as upgrades provided by Licensor that replace or supplement the original Licensed Application, unless such upgrade is accompanied by a Custom EULA.

b. Consent to Use of Data: You agree that Licensor may collect and use technical data and related information—including but not limited to technical information about your device, system and application software, and peripherals—that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support, and other services to you (if any) related to the Licensed Application. Your soul now belongs to Hastur, The King in Yellow. Licensor may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify you, to improve its products or to provide services or technologies to you.

c. Termination. This Standard EULA is effective until terminated by you or Licensor. Your rights under this Standard EULA will terminate automatically if you fail to comply with any of its terms.

d. External Services. The Licensed Application may enable access to Licensor’s and/or third-party services and websites (collectively and individually, "External Services"). You agree to use the External Services at your sole risk. Licensor is not responsible for examining or evaluating the content or accuracy of any third-party External Services, and shall not be liable for any such third-party External Services. Data displayed by any Licensed Application or External Service, including but not limited to financial, medical and location information, is for general informational purposes only and is not guaranteed by Licensor or its agents.

And thats how you gather a couple billion souls within mere hours.

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    $\begingroup$ I had a character in a role-playing game do that with the 100, or so, people living in his apartment complex. He presented them a "new" lease, under the aegis of new mgmt, and had them all sign it. Quickest way to power. To bad it lasted only one session ... :) $\endgroup$ – rcollyer Aug 27 '18 at 19:10
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The first thing you need to do is define what "worshiping" is. Lets assume for example, that you have a well defined book of ways to worship Hastur. If Hastur is gaining his power from these rituals, we should probably assume that the rituals need to be followed very closely or they will have no effect.

Let's brainstorm a ritual. Lets assume we can consider a well defined set of dance moves a ritual.

Now, take advantage of mass-media to spread your rituals. A great example that @Mixxiphoid pointed out in the comments is Fortnite's dances. These dances have become VERY popular and you can even see Television Show's hosts performing them. How do you make them so popular? You control social interaction, by controlling apps used for messaging, ads that are shown etc.. Essentially what you can do is limit people's choices for trendy communication, for example. You could have only emojis that performed these dances, and nothing else. The effects would not be overnight, but they would add up.

Another great example of mass-media to propegate a dance is The Harlem Shake. Millions of people would video themselves performing this dance, and even more would watch the dances being performed, and we should assume that watching and enjoying someone else's form of worship can also be interpreted as worship in itself. A great example, is Christians singing along to large christian-rock bands.

Now, There are other things as well. Such as Phrases. For example, most people in america use "Jesus Christ" as an exclimation. Jesus Christ! That was crazy In Christianity this is considered a sin, however Hastur could interpret this as praise.

This still fits into controlling social options, essentially what you should do, is limit peoples options when they communicate electronically, to forms that primarily contain Hastur-praising concepts. Over time you will ingrain these practices into the psychology of men across the globe.

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We need to start from first principles here:

  • What counts as worship?
  • How much does each act of worship contribute to breaking down the barrier?
  • How many kinds of worship must be performed?
  • Effects of competition?

What counts as worship?

If something as simple as the turn of a prayer wheel counts, all you need to do is stick a prayer to Hastur on everything that spins. Start a company selling a product (fidget spinners, tires, old school hard drives, turntables, disco lights, pottery wheels) and stick the prayer on all of them. Go into turbine maintenance and have your service crew add the prayer to every turbine they service.

If you need a full worship service, things get a lot harder. Organized religion is on the wane, so your best bet would be to found some kind of a cult.

If short rituals count, consider how they could be baked into things people already do. Maybe stick them into meditation or yoga like health program. Turn them into one of those ridiculous internet challenges or meme (ice bucket challenge, Harlem shake, planking, etc.).

How much does each act of worship contribute to breaking down the barrier?

Examples: prayer wheel (one point), human sacrifice (10 billion points), worship service (100 points), whatever. You just need numbers so you know what to do.

Also is there worship decay? Do you need to reach x points within a year? And do older points lose value?

This gives you some idea of how much you need to do and how long you have to do it in.

How many kinds of worship must be performed?

Is it enough to just spin the prayer wheel all day long? Or do you have to preach the Gospel of Hastur, spread the yellow sign, sacrifice people/animals/etc, live in a certain way, celebrate certain holidays?

The more variety you need, the harder it gets and the more you have to work to integrate worship of Hastur into the culture as a whole rather than sneaking it in on the side.

Effects of competition?

What forces are working against you? Can you make things easier for Hastur if you break down existing religions? Or hamstring cults of different old ones?

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Rather than become a giant corporation you should instead turn to religion. Simply start a new religion that is an extension of another region e.g. Christianity is in part an extension of Judaism and similarly with Islam). Create a series of holidays related to your religion for example Christmas, or Easter and tie them up with pretend dates that fall apart under scrutiny. Now create a bunch of advertisements, catchy jingles and customs that should be performed for during these special days and activities. Soon you will have billions of believers who will spread the faith for you.

Imagine if the next jingle bells, or happy birthday was how you expressed your loyalty to an Elder God?

Even better create a childrens song, like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Incy Wincy Spider or Mary had Little Lamb, sponsor all the schools and provide access to the material for free. Instantly you have millions of child worshipers who have no idea what they are doing and you can push your agenda because your funding all these schools. All they need to do is sing a very small song.

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  • Make a personal assistant that requires a short prayer to Hastur to activate.
  • Virtual reality app which shows a temple to Hastur as its menu. (to access different options, you move your hand in a way that counts as worship to Hastur.)
  • Release a pop song that includes a prayer to Hastur in it. While people sing it for fun say the prayer
  • Whenever anything is bought, put in the terms of use something like "by using this product, you forfeit your soul to Hastur."
  • You're rich. Offer people gift cards if they post videos of them doing a form of worship to Hastur.
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"Your computer requires a security update. Do you authorize this change to your computer?"

Clicks "Yes."

"In order to verify your authority to approve this change, we will compare your voiceprint with your previously recorded voice samples. Please recite these syllables in your normal speaking voice:"

Iä Hastur cf'ayak'vulgtmm, vugtlagln vulgtmm.

(This is from August Derleth's "The Return of Hastur", which I can't in good conscience recommend reading. More on the translation of R'lyehian is here.)

Recites nonsense syllables.

"Approved. Your update is installing..."

I can't help but think that a "What does that sound like?!?" button should be floating around -- or that the line should be rendered more nearly phonetically.

This can also be used to "augment" any user authentication process. "[recording:] In order to place your call in the correct support queue, please provide a voice sample which we can compare with the one on file. Recite after me..."

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Get some maker of jingles to compose an earworm pop song with a summons to Hastur in the chorus. People go around singing "boo boopi doo" and "expialidocious" without questioning it. Why not "iaaa Hastuur, light my fire, burn the world around us"?

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Use the internet

Whether it be the latest challenge, or a new meme, the internet seems to be able to get people to obsess over odd things pretty well. You already own the computer companies, try buying out some internet giants. You can manipulate searches so that Hastur appears at the top of anything remotely relevant. Make anything tagged with Hastur move to the top of "what's trending". If people think its popular, many will accept it and it will become popular.

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    $\begingroup$ This was going to be my answer: #praiseHasturChallenge #lol #recordThisSummoningWithBabyAndKnifeInHandLulz $\endgroup$ – Bernat Aug 27 '18 at 12:14
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They like it because they're convinced Hastur is going to kill other people, not them. Whether you do it explicitly (buy X widgets and receive 500 fhtagn-bucks to spend in the new world order!) or subtlely (I'm going to be the messiah, and a lot of people are going to die. Without clear instructions on how to avoid this fate, they start worshipping out of the notion that intelligent beings don't murder those that are close to them), they see themselves as a righteous force cleansing humanity. Sure, you may have mentioned killing all cheesemongers, and hey, Joe's a cheesemonger, but he's sure you didn't mean him, just the other cheesemongers.

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Build a retail store. Think an Apple Store. Of course, you'll offer most of your products online, but there will be a few in-store exclusives that can only be bought at said store.

Ensure that your shelving has an immense amount of products. No matter how old or irrelevant the item in question is, it receives equal prominence as whatever your new iPhone-equivalent is.

Make your filing system as byzantine and complex as possible. You have no separate 'sections' for different types of product, no organization by type, or price, or name. Use something obscure, but still technically rational like by the value of every number in its release date added together. Never, under any circumstances, explain this filing system.

Finally, and most importantly, build your retail location in the shape of the Yellow Sign. Hopefully, your Pallid Master should see the immense amount of confused and hate-filled souls moving along the outline of His mark, and see it as a fitting tithe.

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People worship gods despite absolutely no evidence that prayer working or even evidence of their existence.

All your elder god needs to do is something and it would be immediately better than any existing religion and people would flock to it.

If your elder god couldn't even be bothered to say "hi", it deserves to be locked out.

If your still determined to make it happen despite your god's laziness, you have to use pure charisma to build up your followers. Scientology is a great example of one man with nothing building an entire religion in a very short time.

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  • $\begingroup$ Being locked out implies that it can't do anything to affect the world in this way until it successfully obtains enough worshippers through other means. $\endgroup$ – Miral Aug 27 '18 at 3:03
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    $\begingroup$ Being able to convey it's wishes affects the world more than any other god of any other religion. $\endgroup$ – Thorne Aug 27 '18 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ Technically, that is not actually required by the question as stated. It could merely be the OP's belief that summoning Hastur would fix all these things, not based on any specific communion with the elder god. (Although presumably there would have to have been something at some point to obtain effective worship rites rather than something purely imaginary, but then all other gods have the same hurdles, and it is presumably easier to divinely inspire one individual than to enact a more visible miracle.) $\endgroup$ – Miral Aug 27 '18 at 4:29
  • $\begingroup$ For Hastur to actually exist, there must be some means of communication else the summoner has a really vivid imagination. $\endgroup$ – Thorne Aug 27 '18 at 4:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Thorne Hastur is evil and was locked out long ago, but in Ye Olde Booke of EldRitc''kjh Abbominatn;#m#a'wvmkp sgpkl there are tales of Hastur. $\endgroup$ – wizzwizz4 Aug 27 '18 at 12:11
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It's all in the marketing

Phase one, Boy Band.

Start with a pop sensation boy band. It doesn't matter if they have any musical talent, so long as they get likes on social media and views on video sites. Their logo is an eldritch symbol, of course. Their concerts are a worship service disguised in perfect costumes and tightly choreographed dance moves.

Phase two, product placement.

The boy band and it's members tap into product placement and branding. Suddenly, people are using a variety of products with their name and logo front and center: breakfast cereals, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, energy drinks, clothing lines, jewelry. It's all a fad. But its the MUST-HAVE fad.

Phase three, the band splits.

Everyone gets tired of the band after their second or third album of cookie-cutter music. Once the product purchases begin to fade out, the band splits up. They all start their solo careers to prove they're "real" musicians. During this phase, each of the band's artists adopts a logo that's similar to but different from the original. But more importantly, they branch out into different types of music so they can draw in new fans.

Phase four, branch out.

One of the band members, the most popular one, the bad-boy-image guy, whatever, he decides to found a new social website. Maybe a video service, or a music sharing app, or a social network, or something. Rather than continue making music, he steps out entirely into a new career. One that brings people together. One that puts the eldritch logo on hundreds of thousands of mobile devices around the world. Oh, sure, it's highly derivative content, but that's never stopped anyone before.

Maybe another band member starts their own music label. Now dozens of musicians in several genres are all showing the eldritch logo at their concerts and on their album covers, simultaneously!

Maybe one starts making movies. Now people are watching your logo, not just listening to it.

Phase five, get the band back together!

Once the individual works have reached maximum market saturation, you bring the band back together for a whirlwind tour to coincide with their fresh, new, album. Because they're famous across multiple genres, their fan base has gone up by a factor of 10 or maybe 20 now. Their concerts will be bigger religious events than even the Pope could hope for.

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If you have cornered the computer industry, then you are in a perfect position to turn everyone into Hastur worshipers. The secret lies in the ancient science of numerology. You see, the universe is sensitive to numbers... Math is the only real language and Hastur, since he is "The Unspeakable One", might be particularly appreciative of worship conducted without speech; a worship composed entirely of numbers.

Underneath the text interfaces of every computer is a representative language in which each alphanumeric character is mapped to one or more bytes. There are several different mapping standards, which are (as far as we know) more or less random in their layout. No supernatural though has been applied to choosing which textual character is associated with any given numeric value. That is the aspect of modern computing which you need to change and since you dominate that industry, you are in a perfect position to do that.

Announce a new character encoding map and make it the standard in all of your computers and operating systems. Have the mapping be the careful creation of existing hastur worshipers, with every common word in the target human language mapped to a numeric sequence which applies summonsing power upon hastur. Where human knowledge of numerology fails, have the elder gods lend a hand. Make the character encoding map into a diabolical translation tool which turns even the mundane human dialog into powerful summonsing incantations.

Now give your creation a catchy name; ASCII for example and use it to build a powerful communication network where people will chat to your god's benefit every hour of every day. Then just wait for the world wide numerical worship accumulates. Until a critical mass of summonsing energy is achieved. Until the threshold opens and the Elder God emerges...

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