It started with the death of well-known Redditor ReligionOfPeace (ROP), resident old guy and moderator of a subreddit for “jailbait.” He died at 79 years old behind his desk, browsing Reddit – truly a way to go. Looking at his posting history, it seemed ROP had some sort of military experience and he boasted about having killed people.
ROP created his own image-hosting website (That Old Guy’s Image Host), which featured a strange domain name: www.lakecityquietpills.com. Looking through Wayback Machine shows what is basically a porn site, but it seems the website has been down since 2014. Strange, because the guy has been dead since 2009.
Through some basic Googling, people found a user on www.fark.com, posting in 2001, with the username ‘lakecityquietpills.’ A lot of Redditors started theorising that quiet pills could be a euphemism for bullets, since the user seems to point us that way: their slogan is “Dispensing Lake City Quiet Pills to lousy bastards in need of permanent rest since 1968.” Who would keep a hoax going since 1968?
Here’s where it gets technical. Some investigative Redditors thought the same and did some digging on the website. They actually found something, and it was weird. Codes had been embedded in the root of the website – mentioning the need for foreign language speakers, gentleman’s agreements and giving out hotel room numbers and locations.
The person in charge of the website quickly started using encrypted messages, entire strings of numbers without meaning to people outside of the intended audience. Now, the person who posted ROP’s eulogy on Reddit seems to also go by the name of Kim. Kim goes around making odd statements, mentioning “the address is the job description.” Now – if quiet pills are bullets and the job description is an address – is this all a front for a group of assassins? Obvious government conspiracy theory, or just a really good Internet hoax?
Theories are abundant. One of them is that the website is an online numbers station – sending out and receiving messages in code.
Another theory is that Lake City Quiet Pills is a reference to an American ammunition producer Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Obviously, the quiet pills are then bullets, silencing these lousy bastards. But who are these poor souls being targeted in this?
It seems that one of those lousy bastards was Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, senior Hamas commander. Al-Mabhouh was assassinated in his hotel room in Dubai, back in 2010. He was paralysed with a muscle relaxant and quietly suffocated with a pillow. His assassin entered the country 24 hours before his death and left again right after. The suspects had used credit cards issued from a bank in Storm Lake, Iowa. And here’s where it gets weird – Storm Lake is a county away from Lake City, Iowa.
Are we looking at an international assassin network operating through an old image host? Nothing has been solved, in any case. Most of the sources used are multiple years old, and poor ROP has been dead since 2009. It seems that Redditors are even sceptical if he actually died, or that it’s all part of the set-up. Kim, his trusted friend and the bringer of news of his death, told people that ROP’s ashes were scattered next to an old mall – the place where his old farm once stood, according to her. Kim, username 2-6, also seems to be a Fark poster (username AngelTwo-Six), posting about torturing interrogation techniques. It seems a mystery how many people are involved in this.
We’re several years down the lane, and nobody has come forward with the punch line to this joke. Are we dealing with a case of steganography? Or will someone still come forward, 6 years after the start of all this, and tell us it’s all a Alternate Reality Game? Are these users really a network of assassins or just a group of army buddies playing a good prank on us? And why did the website suddenly shut down? Did the group reach its goal?
How many more of these secret networks can we find, hiding in obvious places? The only way this can be resolved is somebody stepping forward and revealing the truth about this. Whether a hoax or a real life assassination network, the story sure is good. ReligionOfPeace, Rest In Peace.