Playing Us False: The Ventriloquist of Cicada 3301

“Cicada, Cicada, Cic-Cic-Cic-Cicada, we hear the sound, and eager creep to spot whence comes, when lo, ’tis gone!–but yet again, Cicada, Cicada.  We look in vain, for Nature’s own ventriloquist has played us false.”  Hardwicke’s Science-Gossip 1827

Thomas Schoenberger is shown in this photo displaying his keyboard skills.   Lestat says he never saw Thomas play, but Defango claims he did and that Thomas Schoenberger is an accomplished pianist. Schoenberger claims both men are liars and are not to be trusted.  Contradictions are the black and white keys which Schoenberger has in fact mastered.

I have never had any interest in the Cicada 3301 puzzles, not even when Thomas Schoenberger  started frantically emailing me that he was being set up, and his life was in danger.

But all that changed when I read Esteban Trujillo de Gutierrez’s  interviews of three of the Cicada 3301 insiders on his website, Those interviews are part of an ongoing, methodical approach to information gathering which the political scientist historian Trujillo is slowly building to form an insightful history of the Cicada 3301 puzzle makers.

The ventriloquist that played us false

Thomas Schoenberger was an insider of Cicada 3301, who some now accuse of being an infiltrator that betrayed the original intent of this puzzle, when he attempted to  commercialize it.  Schoenberger first contacted me around the end of August, 2018, and over the months I gained a firsthand partial knowledge of his side of events.

Others are acquainted with Thomas Schoenberger’s words through his use of a  multitude of internet anonymous handles.  And if you ever attract his attention, you will soon understand his ability for flooding an email box, as he attempts to persuade the recipient of his position on an issue.

More recently Schoenberger’s short YouTube video presentations have been viewed by both his allies and opponents, as he defends his version of events. Like a cicada, first his voice was heard over there with his Parody Lives YouTube channel, then over here with his Exposing Gangstalkers channel, and now he is yet again throwing his voice from a concealed location through his Doc Holliday channel.

One question to ask is whether Thomas Schoenberger IS the Ventriloquist himself, or just the Dummy who moves his mouth by an unseen hand.

Thomas Schoenberger vs Manual Chavez III (Defango)

A few months back, Thomas Schoenberger and his friend Dan Cromer aka Leppo of the Teenage FBI YouTube channel were instrumental in creating division among various persons, when unsubstantiated  allegations were made against Defango.  In conjunction with these accusations, both Dave (Acton) Sweigert and Steve Outtrim of and Cryptobeast also expressed their ongoing issues with Manual Chavez III (Defango). 

Interestingly, Esteban Trujillo, the historian of Cicada 3301 who interviewed Defango, but as yet has not published the transcription of that audio, found himself caught up in the net of these interpersonal vendettas.

Trujillo describes it this way:  “This is one of the problems that I have.  I interviewed Defango (Manuel Chavez III) for like three hours, he told me that he recovered deleted files from a lady named Linda, she was the girlfriend, the cohabitation- co-habiting girlfriend of Thomas, and he used her MacIntosh to work on Liber Primus and Defango says that he recovered the second half in clear text, and I haven’t been able to get it out of him yet.  And he’s kind of touchy, he’s mad at me because I published Lestat’s interview first, you know and honestly I didn’t intend to piss him off, I didn’t do it, it didn’t ever occur to me that he would, you know, flip out the way he did, but he got mad, because like, there’s a real rivalry between these guys and the thing about Defango is the guy’s got to win, you know.  He’s absolutely got to win, and if he’s not winning, he’s mad.  So he called me a ‘fool,’ and a ‘douchebag,’ and I don’t take kindly to that…”.

As Trujillo explained to his guest gHOST, Defango had “flipped out.  Look, and I didn’t do it because I’m choosing sides.  I did it because Lestat’s came out to 10,000 words and Defango’s is 40,000 words, man.  And unless…unless you have an understanding of the amount of work and labor and attention to detail and focus and concentration that goes into producing a document of 40,000 words alone, you don’t know what you’re talking about.  You know?  And Defango, he’s learning disabled, he can’t really read, and he can’t write, ok, this is why he does these videos, ok, and I feel sorry for the guy, alright?  I really do.”

The Satanist Accusations Began Where? When?  How? Who? Why? 

But although Esteban Trujillo wanted to avoid taking sides, the fact is that this entire group of related individuals demand that others pick a side.  I have had to explain to more than one person that I judge others by principles, rather than personal politics.

So in addition to all of this ongoing drama with regard to Defango, Thomas Schoenberger’s Leppo connection caused further discord when Leppo interviewed Satanist Michael Aquino. All of these events resulted in a split between Dave Sweigert aka Dave Acton and two of his faithful friends, Bridgit and Sugar Shine. I do not know either of these women, but I respect their opinions, and was dismayed at what had transpired.

And because Steve Outtrim was openly supporting Thomas Schoenberger at the very same time I was refusing to get involved in his personal vendettas,  I asked Dave Acton to remove my blog’s name from his channel, in order to maintain my own separate identity and integrity. At the center of all of this confusion was Thomas Schoenberger.  It is apparent from hearing the testimonies of many persons, that his presence routinely results in fractious contention.

Lately Schoenberger has attempted to disparage the character and honor of Esteban Trujillo, the historian  involved in the long term project of documenting the history of the Cicada 3301.  I am an admirer of Trujillo’s writings, and consider him to be an honorable man.  Born in Denver, Colorado in 1960, Esteban Trujillo served in the United States Army from 1979 through 1994, and received a Silver Star as recognition for his courage. His awards include the Combat Medical Badge, Master Parachutist badges, Special Forces and Ranger tabs, and Armed Forces Expeditionary medal with arrowhead.  Trujillo wrote a book on his experiences during the Invasion of Panama.  His published works can be located on

Esteban Trujillo as author and historian

I am going to provide a few general quotes of Esteban Trujillo from his Cicada 3301 articles on [All bolding is mine for emphasis].

Trujillo comments, “Some may complain about the length of this interview:  indeed, it is longer than I intended.  But these things take as long as they take.  Others may cringe from the wall of text that confronts them here, but one of my pet peeves is the laziness of those who prefer to passively absorb information through videos rather than doing the hard work of reading.”

One should reflect on that last sentence and compare the motives and the content of the long term writing project of Trujillo with that of the off the cuff short videos which Thomas Schoenberger has been producing, which end up being struck from YouTube for harassing behavior.

After Thomas Schoenberger approached me with his story of being falsely accused and his fears that someone was targeting him to be swatted, I advised him to take the time to carefully document his own story with evidence AND a timeline IN WRITING, rather than attempting to manipulate others by using their platforms for his own personal agenda.

Esteban Trujillo continues his above quoted comment, saying, “This is why I provide only the audio of these interviews.  I may at some future point post the video with additional analysis, but for now, I consider the video an impediment.  I include the audio file as a SoundCloud download in the interest of authenticity.  Anyone can review the audio and compare it to my transcript.  Best of all:  text is searchable, and unlike video, it is indexed on the net.”

Trujillo adds, “You will find no filler here.  This is raw, usable information, for students of Cicada 3301, for social scientists researching this phenomenon of the internet age, for historians to come.  I comment on these interviews and I place supporting information adjacent to where it is needed.  Anyone can dispute my commentary or the information that I provide, but the data itself stands on its own merits.”

Thomas Schoenberger has disputed Esteban Trujillo’s work in progress, by calling him a liar, among many things, in an effort to slander the character and career of Trujillo. Apparently, this ongoing research into the history of Cicada 3301 by Trujillo represents a strong counter narrative to what Thomas Schoenberger has been asserting, and he wants this written work silenced.

Thomas Schoenberger’s involvement in Cicada 3301 raises many questions

In this comment in the gHOST3301 interview, Esteban Trujillo says, “…I address Thomas Schoenberger’s culpability in the collapse of Cicada 3301 on May 7, 2018, and his infiltration of the order between 2015-6.  We recount the efforts of Schoenberger and his colleagues, Michael Levine and Richard Lech, to monetize the order, excluding the actual puzzle creators from their schemes.  More detail, more information, much of it in the form of Cicada’s internal documentation, is forthcoming.”

“For the corporate lawyers reviewing this interview, consider the tenuous ownership position of the profiteering triumvirate.  They may hold a trademark, but they can demonstrate no ownership of the intellectual property of the order.  The internal documentation of Cicada 3301 itself demonstrates that Richard Lech played no discernible role in puzzlemaking.  Michael Levine’s involvement appears titular and marginal and Schoenberger’s participation was collaborative.”

Thomas Schoenberger’s hero Steve Outtrim endorses his claim that he worked for the  Pentagon on the Stargate Project?

According to Steve Outtrim’s June 22, 2019, Burner’ article titled Latest Weapon in the InfoWar:  Data Maps, he claims that, “It has now come out that Cicada 3301 was founded by Bruce C Clarke, Jr, the former head of the CIA’s research division; and co-founder Thomas Schoenberger previously worked for the Pentagon, possibly on remote viewing projects such as STARGATE or GRILL FLAME.”

Is there evidence to support this latter statement on Thomas Schoenberger? 

Timelines…and their interpretation

The Star Gate is an ever expanding project to accommodate Thomas Schoenberger’s ever expanding girth, so that he can finally cross over to the other side where he belongs.

Cicada 3301 had three puzzles published sequentially on January 4th of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Founder ***(update at end of article) Bruce C. Clarke, the former CIA manager, died on October 5, 2014, in Vienna, Austria.  The second founder of this puzzle was Ian Murdock, originator of the Debian Project and Progeny Linux Systems, who died under suspicious circumstances on December 28, 2015, although it was officially deemed to be a suicide.

19 days before Ian Murdock’s death an agreement was written between Thomas Schoenberger, Michael Levine and Richard Lech to commercialize Cicada 3301. That  Agreement dated December 9, 2015 represents day one of that enterprise and therefore it is curious that on day 666, or October 4, 2017,  the First Amendment to Amended and Restated Attachment Agreement  was created.  Defango had remarked that Thomas Schoenberger seemed to like the number 666, as it was part of  his Shadowbox Strategies phone number.

This portion of a draft agreement is published on and elsewhere.

The Leopard Meroz is a Master of Numbers and Timelines

I am curious about Thomas Schoenberger’s mathematical skills, and whether they extend beyond his ability to multiply numbers in his head.  Once upon a time I was a solid mathematician and participated in math contests on the high school level.  And although I never went beyond Calculus, almost 19 years ago I was able to discern (decrypt) the Meroz code.  Once in awhile I overlay it upon a timeline, such as we see here for Cicada 3301, to see if someone such as Thomas Schoenberger is on a collision course with the leopard Meroz.  It is possible with all of Schoenberger’s pretensions that he has offended someone far more dangerous than Defango.  And I am not talking about me;  I only track Meroz based on the footprints he leaves behind.

Hiding under a Twitter Block

Getting back to The Real Samizdat blog,  Trujillo explained an experience he had 6 months ago, saying, “Somebody is talking to somebody, as immediately after I asked Thomas Schoenberger for an interview on April 16, 2019, DJ Genki, qntmpkts and a number of Schoenberger sock accounts blocked me on Twitter.  I recently sent Genki and other Cicada insiders interview requests.  If they read this, they should consider that my intent is to ensure that Cicada 3301 is accurately chronicled and archived.  I am not a journalist, I do not engage in gotcha journalism.  I am an old cyberpunk, a political scientist, and an historian.  In my youth, I was a soldier.”

Schoenberger should ask himself whether he wishes his involvement in Cicada 3301 to be characterized by his critics or by himself.  So far, only his critics are talking to me.  None of his allies.  I strive to be dispassionate, but my analysis will inevitably be shaped by my sources.”

In conclusion, it appears that Schoenberger most likely fears Esteban Trujillo’s statement that, “And I’m trying to produce an artifact that will endure, that can endure and resist attacks and analysis and that will ultimately be used going down years, decades.”

***Update January 26, 2020

Esteban Trujillo has raised an interesting question as to whether Clarke was a founder of Cicada 3301, as reported on the internet.  His comment is as follows:

I have a small bone to pick. You mention Bruce Cooper Clarke, Jr. as a “founder” of 3301. There is zero forensic evidence that BCCJr played any role in 3301, or was even aware of it. At his death, he was an 88 year old man, he had been in failing health for many years. There are no indications that he was involved in any internet activities, indeed there is no proof that he even knew how to use a computer. Clarke was an analyst, as he ascended the ranks at CIA he migrated into arms control. He was in the end a bureaucrat, an administrator.
There are no indicators that he was a cypherpunk. I am tracking a report that TS met the old man in Vienna, and I am aware of his claim that Clarke was godfather to his son. There is no proof of it.
There is a 3301 origin story that is pushed by Outtrim that claims that 3301 was founded by a triumvirate of Murdock, TS and Clarke. Until I interviewed gHOST, I was aware of no evidence that Murdock had anything to do with the order. Now I cautiously accept that Murdock was involved, even played a principal role. The details shared by gHOST were persuasive. I published these details on my site.
By comparison, the only evidence that Clarke was involved comes from TS, and I trust nothing that man says. I looked hard into Clarke. There is no proof that he was involved in 3301. There is meager evidence that he met TS in Vienna, probably through an interest in Mozart, though there is also a tale that TS was attempting to sell Mozart memorabilia as historical artifacts to museums and collectors. I am gathering the tendrils of this story.
Thanks for listening!






12 thoughts on “Playing Us False: The Ventriloquist of Cicada 3301

  1. Let me be very clear.
    Esteban has repeatedly lied, and I’ll go through his interview with Lestat and a future YouTube
    There’s a lot that is incorrect in this article Jacqueline and I can address that as well
    For starters, you neglected to mention that Esteban in phatically stated that I was a858
    Esteban is certainly not the historian of cicada 3301 LOL that’s pretty funny actually

  2. Madame: thank you for your very kind treatment. One correction that will matter only to us old soldiers: my first combat was during Operation Urgent Fury, revolutionary Grenada, October 25, 1983.

    I missed Operation Blue Spoon, aka Operation Just Cause, as I was again a student in 1989 at the University of Colorado at Boulder, studying political science and sub national violence before I was commissioned a 2LT in the Infantry.

    As I watched the 2d Ranger Battalion jumping into Rio Hato airfield on television, I wept.

  3. I tried collaborating with Esteban as a researcher and treating him with respect. His response was to falsely accuse me of being an anti-Semite then send all our private communications to Gabe Hoffman, who has publicly stated his intention to sue me. Both these men have lied about me repeatedly for no apparent purpose other than reputation destruction, and I have nothing to do with Cicada 3301. So why would this “researcher” involve me in research about it? How does lying about me advance his research? Unless he’s not really a researcher working on Cicada 3301 and that is just a cover story for a more sinister agenda.

    Defango and Lestat both worked for Thomas helping create Cicada puzzles, nobody denies that. In my opinion this is clear proof of TS being involved in Cicada 3301 at a high level. Nobody has claimed he has a boss or handler, so presumably he was at the top level. Whether he is “the” founder or joined the team later is arcana that is of little relevance to me.

    Esteban served at the Presidio SF in 1986 during the Satanic Ritual Abuse scandal, though of course he denies involvement – but he does acknowledge knowing of Michael Aquino including which cubicle was his.

    The alt-media is a murky swamp of psyop people and disinformationists masquerading as researchers. That’s why I’ve supported Dave Acton’s case, because it gives us a chance to get the documents and make certain truthers substantiate their claims. I was calling Defango out for his many lies long before he doxxed TS and the world was first exposed to The Narrative.

    – Steve Outtrim

  4. “Collaborating?” Mr. Outtrim wasted my time sending me Satanic diatribes, implying that Mr. Hoffman is a Satanist, one of the oldest antisemitic tropes in history. I will be publishing our DM thread tomorrow (I need to get some sleep). Folks can decide for themselves what Mr. Outtrim intended. I normally would not divulge a private thread. In this case Mr. Outtrim leaves me no alternative, and in any case, I feel no guilt exposing an antisemite. He has my permission to publish it himself, should he wish.

    I am not interested in destroying Mr. Outtrim’s reputation. He is doing that to himself with his sloppy research, leaping to ludicrous conclusions, and his frothing about “sinister agendas.” I was stationed at the Presidio of SF in 1986. Everyone attending particular courses at the Defense Language Institute was assigned there. LTC Aquino had nothing to do with the Institute, I never met him, and he himself attested that he was a reserve officer who worked on the base, and it was a base. I never visited his cubicle, and I could not tell you where it was.

    Mere proximity in space and time suffices for Mr. Outtrim to claim that I knew LTC Aquino, and he makes much of the reports of Satanic Ritual Abuse from the era, casting shade on me, implying that this makes me very dubious indeed. Such idiocy. As I say: I do not need to try to destroy Outtrim’s reputation. He is collapsing it all on his own.

    I will soon publish documentation concerning Schoenberger’s infiltration of the latter day 3301 organization, explaining his role in detail. He was not a founder. Outtrim and other inept researchers parrot a Schoenberger origin tale that is readily disproven. That, too, will soon be exposed.

    I know nothing about lawsuits. But glib accusations, “Satanism,” “pedophilia,” “drug addiction,” these and worse inferences are flying about. If I had the financial means, I would sue those who uttered them. I hope that those who do enjoy sufficient resources sue the holy hell out of those who defame them.

    As for Defango? Definitely a man who knows how to troll. But his interview with me, on May 24, 2019, more than 3.5 hours long, and now more than 80,000 words in length, will confirm that he told me few lies and much truth. Certain folks do have things to dread from what he said—but more than that, they should worry about the documents that he shared with me. Manuel Chavez III played an historic role in both latter day Cicada 3301 and the nascence of QAnon. Defango will be remembered by history.

    Finally, we come to Lestat. I interviewed Arturo Tafoyovsky for the record on May 22, 2019 and off-the-record on many other occasions. Our conversations, in fact, continue. Another man who knows how to troll, but also a man who knows truth and speaks honestly when it is called for. Many deride him. I suggest a close read of his interview. We will do a follow up, in time.

    Mr. Outtrim refers to a Narrative. He himself consorts with Schoenberger to flog one, but history will determine which analysis endures: mine or his. We are already seeing the early indications, and I have only published two 3301 interviews so far.

    My next article is in its final stages of preparation. If you think that certain protagonists are upset now, just wait. I am not hunting Mr. Outtrim’s scalp. I have bigger fish to fry. Dark smokes will foul the far horizon. Nor am I seeking conflict with anyone. But merely telling these stories reveals secrets that some wish could remain hidden forever.

    When you wonder whom to believe, ask yourself: who backs up their accounts with unassailable documentation? I do not mean the faked emails and memes concocted by Schoenberger, Outtrim and Fougere. I mean multiple, validating documentation. Ask yourself whose bias is on display? Finally, ask yourself: what is it, truly, that they have to hide?

    Truth, facts, verified evidence, they are coming.

    • Publish your unassailable validating documentation that I am an Anti-Semite and that I said Gabe Hoffman was a Satanist. If you can’t do that then how can you make such allegations?

      The DM exchange is here, anyone can see that I neither criticized the jewish faith or people and nor did I call Hoffman anything at all:

      • As usual, you cannot do anything straight, you have to make everything partisan. That is not the complete DM thread and you know it. I will post the entire DM thread. Still making wild leaps of logic!

        Our conversation had nothing to do with Lestat nor adrenochrome and I marvel at the parallel that you draw. You accuse me of doing what you did yourself, in that very post!

  5. Steve, it appears that Jackie is unaware that Stephen also attacked Dean after he refused Esteban’s charm offensive. I enjoyed this humorous article because it exposed so much…Not about me, but about the weeping man and Jackie’s research skills. She wears her heart on her sleeve..which is why she is a blogger, not a true researcher like you are.
    To try and fat shame someone also puts into question her Christian integrity, To call Aquino a Satanist shows us once again Jackie writes opinion pieces and may in fact be working for Biss,RDS,CIA, who knows…
    #YellowJournalist ?

    • Jaqueline is QUITE confused on much of this… It is completely irrelevant whether you like or dislike Thomas’s personality, tactics, or entertainment business endeavors. This is without a doubt either an obvious disinfo attempt or just completely biased hogswallop.

  6. Pingback: Cicada Files: Z 3301 et al | Samizdat

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