The Tanis Podcast – Mystery and OTO in the Internet Age

Tau Roncellin recently brought Tanis to our attention. This is a a serialized bi-weekly podcast that includes mentions of Aleister Crowley and Ordo Templi Orientis in its story line.

The Guardian explains further:

“Pacific Northwest Stories was a well-regarded radio program that, much like This American Life, painted grand pictures of the universal experience through the minute details of the individual lives of people living in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to the success of that show, producers of Pacific Northwest Stories have gone on – under the auspices of the Pacific Northwest Stories podcasting network – to create two new shows, the Black Tapes Podcast (which you can read about here) and its spin-off, Tanis. They are both highly regarded and critically acclaimed shows that explore the unknowable and as their stories unfurl, they have both become mandatory listening for podcast fans. Here’s the thing, though: Pacific Northwest Stories never existed. Not that anyone who works at the Black Tapes Podcast or Tanis will admit that. It’s all part of the deep fiction that makes both the Black Tapes and Tanis so compelling and wildly addictive.

“’Now you can Google anything,’ said Miles. ‘You Google it and know absolutely everything there is to know – whether it’s where Paul Auster is from or the name of the fourth Jaws movie. There is nothing that feels unknowable any more. So the Tanis myth became a way to explore the question of something that is unknowable.”’

“According to Miles, Nic initially discovered the world of Tanis, which is a real, if occasionally lost place, in an old issue of Strange Worlds magazine and the name caught his eye again while reading an article on the lost world of Atlantis. Nic’s interest in the subject matter coincided with Miles’s interest in mystery and they decided to follow the tale of Tanis in a new podcast. Neither of them had any idea how disruptive the podcast would be to their lives, though. If you listen to the show, you may think the disruption comes from the vast conspiracy working to keep Tanis and its potential powers a secret, but this disruption is much more mundane: ‘There’s a lot of work that goes into each episode of Tanis,’ said Miles. Each episode requires Miles (and Nic) script, record, and mix the podcast. Miles also records the music and theme songs for both Tanis and Black Tapes. The other aspect that takes a lot of Miles’s time is the heavy historical research necessary for each episode. ‘Any sort of connection to the Pacific Northwest is up for deep exploration,’ explained Miles. ‘We spend a lot of hours in actual physical libraries doing research, as well as on the internet.’

“Thanks to that in-depth research, the show is littered with references to people such as English occultist Aleister Crowley, rocket engineer Jack Parsons, and the Haida tribe, which all require digging through the past to be as historically accurate as possible to add a level of truth to Nic’s (and his trusty internet maven Meerkatnip) investigation. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off, keeping the mystery of Tanis alive – and the show’s Reddit community on their toes, which Miles loves.”

Read the rest of The Guardian’s coverage:

and check out the actual show:

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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