Down The Rabbit Hole is a series of profiles with conspiracy theorists. Kill Pretty writer at large travels the U.S. to meet and chat with people who believe in everything from lizard people, to chemtrails, and the construction of the Denver Airport.
Bernard Kulp bursts into his kitchen carrying a stack of manila envelopes. Over the next five hours he’ll repeatedly pull from these files and point to lengthy paragraphs that have been scanned and copied so many times that they look as if the ink has fallen out of the words. The first thing he says to me is, “Is this really you or is it your consciousness?” I don’t know how to respond so I pick up my water glass and I say, “Me?” I’ve never felt more insane. “I’m pretty sure myself and my consciousness are here together.” Kulp scowls at me and says, “We’ll see.” He fingers his folders for a moment before drumming his fingers on the table. “It’s not that I think everyone who projects their consciousness from another dimension is an evil pedophile or something, it’s just what my research shows.” Kulp raises his fist quickly until it’s parallel to my face, I flinch and he seems satisfied with this response. “That’s good,” he whispers to himself, “very good.”
Kulp lives in a normal house in a town about which I’ve been sworn to secrecy, not because it’s anything special, or the last stronghold of a human resistance fighting against the intergalactic satanic lizard person scourge (in this instance the lizard people are also pedophiles), but Kulp would rather you didn’t track him down and bother him about his theory because if you can track him down, then the intergalactic lizard satanists can track him down and no one wants that. Kulp is from a long line of satanic-lizard truthers but what separates him from the kooks on the internet is the seemingly inexhaustible amount of toner and ink that he uses to print and re-print his research. That and he won’t stop trying to catch me phasing in and out of my physical form, none of the other truthers that I’ve met have done that (that I know of).
After throwing a glass of orange juice (extra pulp) in my face to make sure I’m not a projection, Kulp leads me into his “research zone,” which is really just an extra bedroom in his home that’s sealed with a padlock. “I’ve thought about posting the room on Air BnB for some extra cash,” Kulp states as he struggles with the padlock, “but I feel like that’s exactly the kind of in They’re waiting for.” Later Kulp will insist I use a capital T when writing about the satanic extra-diemsional lizard people as a “they.” He insists it’s more menacing. My editor doesn’t care for the idea but after I throw a glass of orange juice in his face (low pulp) he acquiesces. I’ve learned something from Kulp after all.
Kulp’s extra bedroom/research hut is cleaner than you’d think. The walls are lined with flat files except for some space reserved for a poster of Einstein and another of Jim Henson. I ask if this is because Kermit is one of the earliest known instances of a lizard person, Kulp doesn’t appreciate this. Over the next seven hours Kulp reads to me from his files, shows me maps of the stars and a series of screenshots taken from presidential debates and interviews that show political figures, athletes, celebrities, and someone named Ronald Johnson transforming into lizard people. When I ask why a lizard person would need to transform if its projecting a hologram of human entity across space he claps in my face in an amateurish attempt to disrupt my hologram. It doesn’t work for obvious reasons (the most obvious of reasons being that I’m not a hologram).
“Hilary Clinton? Definitely a lizard. Donald Trump is clearly a lizard person, and it’s clear that Kobe Bryant, Doug Stanhope, and Taylor Swift are also lizard people trying to destroy humanity. They want to make us miserable with religion, sad songs, and war so they can feed off the pain as it wafts through the inter-dimensional straw that they use to suck it up.” Kulp explains this to me as if he’s explaining how to make a paper airplane while I say things like “Uh huh,” and “Oh sure.” When I ask where Satan comes into the equation, Kulp scowls at me and asks if I’ve even been listening.
The next morning I wake up in my own bed to the sound of a package being dropped at my door. It’s from Kulp, he’s mailed me a stack of information about Them as thick as a phone book with a note attached that reads, “Don’t let Them see you reading this.” My neighbor waves hello and I throw orange juice (double pulp) in his face. As far as I can tell he’s not a holographic projection.