- ―A term frequently used by the 'Epsilonists'
The Epsilon Program is a fictional religious cult across a number of Grand Theft Auto games, led by Cris Formage. The cult first emerged as a teaser site for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and later referenced numerous times on radio stations and by pedestrians in the game itself. The cult is an obvious scam, intended to gain money by brainwashing its followers into paying large sums of money, parodying the real life Church of Scientology. In Formage's own words, it is "a fellowship of like-minded adults who tithe money in exchange for salvation and merit badges".
The Epsilon Program apparently existed as early as 1984 when Tina Jane, a DJ for VCFL in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories references the program on her radio show, indicating that a friend was trying to get her to join.
The main ideals of the Epsilon Program are established on their website. The religions main deity is Kifflom, and members follow his twelve tenets:
- The world is 157 years old.
- Dinosaurs are a lie that people believe because they are weak.
- You are happy, you just don’t know it.
- We all come from the same tree.
- Everyone is related to everyone else, except for people with red hair.
- Sperm does not exist - it is a lie spread by biology teachers - along with everything else you have ever been told.
- Men are supposed to lie with nine new partners a week. Women are supposed to lie with six, except for in July, when they must lie with five men a day.
- Aliens exist and are present on earth. If you have a birth mark, you may be descended from Kraff, the famous Emperor of the 4th Paradigm.
- Trees talk, but only some people hear them.
- People who believe in something live much longer than atheists, and they have eternal life thrown in for good measure.
- If you believe this and turn you hands and wallet over to EPSILONISM, you’ll live a happy life. Otherwise you are doomed.
- KIFFLOM - HAPPINESS IS YOURS! KIFFLOM!
Their site contains a page about the Tract, which is expected to hold the truth about Epsilon. However, the site states that the tract has not yet been written. There is an address in Grand Canaria to send a cheque to, from which you would supposedly be sent a copy of the Tract. Grand Canaria is located in the Cayman Islands, which is well known as a tax haven and offshore location for many dubious companies. Unlike most places outside the USA that are mentioned in the GTA universe, Grand Canaria is a fictional place based on Grand Cayman. Alternatively, it could be possible that Rockstar got Grand Canaria confused up with the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.
- "Cris Formage tells us in his wonderful book, It Happened To Us All, that the TRACT will be written when we are all ready. However, Cris is also very clear on another point - although the TRACT has not yet been written, it can still be read by those that are willing to read it."
MembersThe cult's founder and leader is Cris Formage. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, he can be heard on the radio arguing with Lazlow Jones and fellow con-artist Darius Fontaine.
The cult attracts many celebrities, including musicians Jezz Torrent and Maccer, who both claim the cult helped them with their drug addictions. WCTR host Billy Dexter is also believed to be a member of the cult, as he occasionally says "Kifflom" during his show.
Other followers are listed on the cult website under "testimonials":
- Brian Van Ginsberg
- Dwayne Thorn
- Jane Pole
- Jeremy Smith
- Jonas Ackerman
- Marvin Trill
- Mary Fortune
- Morgan August
The cult is mentioned in small talk by pedestrians in San Andreas; in particular, barbers (excluding Old Reece), and a certain kind of pedestrian commonly found around Verdant Bluffs (identifiable by his rucksack), who claim to be followers. Katie Zhan, one of Carl's girlfriends in GTA San Andreas, is not impressed with the cult and will occasionally refer to them as "nutjobs" during a date.
Possible background to the cult
The Epsilon Program is named after the Greek letter E. The name could possibly be in reference to the Epsilon Team, a Greek secret society. In the Dragnet, two cops are involved in investigating a crime. The crime gang is ran by a reverend, who has a voice similar to Cris Formage's. All members of the gang are in a cult, and perform a number of weird rituals throughout the movie. In certain scenes a quiet background music can be heard, identical to the one on the Epsilon Program website. The movie is shot in Los Angeles and some scenes are shot near the observatory - which is sometimes linked with Epsilon in the game. The short scene from the movie featuring both reverend's voice and the music can be seen here.
The game takes place in the year 1992; as Cris Formage says that the Earth is 157 years old, that would put its creation at 1835, a time when Mormonism, a religion with many "cultish" factors, was starting to attract a following.
- Epsilon Program in HD Universe - Epsilon the the HD Universe of the series.