Phenomenon 1

It's hard to say whether or not this is an “unnatural” effect of the Backrooms. It may just be self-preservation taking a strange form. Responses to trauma are as varied as the sources, and human minds are just as unknown as they are predictable. However, this has started to become a noticeable, trackable phenomenon, and correlation can hint at causation. Despite that, I know that confirmation bias is one hell of a drug. That's why I'm asking you to look over this for me. Doubt is just as powerful of a tool as belief. I need someone to find faults in my work to see what I overlooked, and tell me that I'm an idiot. The only way for this to become as close to perfection as possible is for people to point out all of its flaws.

I look forward to hearing from you as to why I'm completely wrong and this whole proposal is a disaster. I've left some footnotes to help outline my intentions and thoughts in places where it might be a bit confusing and/or bad.


Directed Control refers to a phenomenon in which people believe themselves and their surroundings to be fake. Those who are affected by Directed Control are possibly predisposed to it in some way, and belief in Directed Control is not directly associated with exposure to the concept. Some affected individuals have attempted to convince others of the reality of Directed Control, but these attempts do not appear to have successfully "converted" anyone. Directed Control is characterized by specific traits, and is unrelated to emotions or medical conditions such as paranoia or obsessive thoughts.1 So far, no connections have been established linking pre-existing traits to a belief in Directed Control.


Three distinct versions of Directed Control exist, but the general traits involve strong beliefs that the Backrooms, self, and others are not real and are under the control of a greater existence. The beliefs expressed across the various types are not thought to be inherently connected to the emotions expressed by each type. Rather, the emotions expressed are likely a natural response to the beliefs held, i.e. beliefs of complete control lead the individual toward despairing thoughts, while beliefs of partial control or a partnership lead the individual toward a less negative response. Due to this, only the beliefs are considered part of the phenomenon, and the emotions expressed are not considered abnormal.2

Despair Type

The Despair type is characterized by anguish regarding Directed Control. Many individuals affected by the Despair type of Directed Control display typical emotions one would expect of an individual whose free will has been taken from them. Some individuals are angry and aggressive toward the perceived "greater existence" controlling them, while others may become nihilistic and refuse to make any decisions of their own volition, claiming that none of their actions are of their own free will. Do not attempt to console these individuals by claiming to understand how they feel, as this tends to upset them further much of the time.3 In the most severe cases, some individuals refuse to act in any form as a means of rebellion or rejection. This can lead to situations such as dehydration, starvation, lack of self-preservation, and other hazards to health.

Ambivalent Type

Those of the Ambivalent type express beliefs that they and their environment are fake, but do not show any particularly strong feelings about this. They often refer to having accepted their situation, being at peace with the control they believe is being exerted upon them. Some have expressed that they are not being controlled necessarily, and that the situations around them are molded but they are free to respond to said "fated" situations of their own volition. Others consider their situation akin to following mundane orders, and not requiring much thought on their behalf.

Eager Type

Eager type individuals hold the same beliefs as the Despair and Ambivalent type individuals, but express joy and appreciation rather than dismay or mere acceptance. Some individuals state that they are not completely free, but are still able to make some decisions of their own. Others are more extreme, claiming that nothing is permanent, and that anything can happen, allowing for a sort of "freedom" through the lack of permanence. They speak positively of the greater existence controlling them, often referring to it as something akin to a partnership or friendship rather than control or domination. Eager type individuals often lament "upsetting" the controlling force when they are injured, sick, or otherwise unwell.


Directed Control is not known to create any innate predispositions between affected individuals. They do not seek one another out or hold an automatic affinity for one another. However, the small number of the affected combined with the sheer size of the Backrooms may be the primary reason for this. The extent of the "fakeness" of their environment which they believe in varies from person to person, and it is not known if affected individuals are able to convince one another that their belief in Directed Control is "more correct" that others'. It may be that affected individuals avoid speaking of the topic with one another unless they are in agreement on how they interpret Directed Control.4

Controlling Force

The controlling force referred to by affected individuals is too ambiguous to be described, but does not appear to be identical between person to person. No name is given of this force, but it is often characterized as a figure or being. The power of this force varies in description; some liken this force to a deity, while others refer to it as an authority figure or simply someone giving them commands. Most affected individuals appear to believe that this force has a name, but are either unwilling to divulge it or are unaware of what this "true" name is. Due to the nature of the beliefs of Directed Control, affected individuals often hold the controlling force responsible for events.

The following is an excerpt of a discussion held with a Despair type affected individual, regarding the nature of the controlling force. Although much of the discussion yielded little information, this excerpt is considered a possible insight into how individuals are affected by Directed Control.

“Did you ever learn how to drive? When you were a kid, you had an idea of what that meant; you could understand stoplights, signs, what a steering wheel and pedals were. Maybe you heard your parents complain about bad drivers from time to time, but you never really had a concept of what that meant. And then you learned how to drive. You noticed people who don’t use their turn signals, people who roll through stop signs, people who drive a little too far to one side of the lane. Getting cut off, hitting the brakes to avoid a collision someone else almost caused, all of a sudden you see all of the bad and dangerous driving on the road that you never noticed before, as a kid sitting in the back. You can’t un-see it. Once you notice, you’ll always notice.

And now, you can see through the cracks and holes of the moist, moldy, disintegrating, yellow walls. The damp of the Backrooms has weakened its walls, broken it down in some places. You saw something through those holes. And you always will, now that you know that there is indeed something on the other side.”

The creator of this proposal (user:SICKLE) has requested feedback:

Okay, just to be clear, I was joking about the “tell me it sucks” thing. Be, like, normal about feedback, yeah? Don’t be fucking rude, and all.

> Open suggested edit submission form.

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