Fight the Future : The Album : The Truth Revealed
When in the summer of 1998 was released an album with various songs to accompany the release of Fight the Future, Chris Carter added an unexpected bonus. After a long silence after the end of the last song, starting at exactly 10:13 of that last track 15, Chris Carter’s voice, similar to a rogue radio presenter uncovering conspiracies à la Art Bell (or the Lone Gunmen), bathing in menacing sound effects, coldly exposes the Syndicate’s dark deeds. A full explanation of the mythology is given, including Fight the Future, season 6 and some details for which there is no other source! These few well crafted and meticulously prepared paragraphs, told from an in-universe perspective, came to be known in the fandom as “The Truth Revealed”. They remain cryptic and add to the paranoid aura of the X-Files — a canon version of this site’s Primer.
This piece of X-Files history is all the more important as it is the only occasion where Chris Carter straight out explains the mythology, ever. In interviews or commentaries he may talk about the more personal aspects of the characters’ storylines or the on-screen result of a script, but he never goes into this kind of rationalization. His text is here analysed in light of all we know from the series.
|The Method as they called it, though it was more so a germline procedure of singular metascientific complexity, had been given to them by the alien Colonists as a quid pro quo.
||Technobabble! The “Method“, a term never used elsewhere, is an advanced procedure to manipulate genetic material, create a mixed (hybrid) DNA from different sources, insert it in a cell and create a living organism out of it. This alien technology, much more advanced compared to human state of the art, was what allowed the Syndicate to create more successful hybrids after 1973 compared to their failures the 25 years prior to that (2X25: Anasazi, 3X01: The Blessing Way). The “quid pro quo” will be explained in detail in 6X11: Two Fathers / 6X12: One Son.|
|The Syndicate would help them to create a population of alien hybrids who would hide in plain sight, cloned from human ova and alien biomaterial, so there would be a clone race immune to the effects of the Black Oil when the return to the planet began.||The term “Syndicate“, though widely used in articles, interviews and plot synopses, is never actually mentioned in the series’ dialogue. The goal of creating alien/human hybrids is established, first seen in 1X23: The Erlenmeyer Flask. We know human ova is used for these experiments from 4X15: Memento Mori. As surmised by 2X16: Colony and 3X24: Talitha Cumi, despite their human appearance this really is a different race of beings. It is made clear that immunity to the Black Oil ‘virus’ is the real purpose behind all this. Those hybrids would be used as slaves following the impending colonization. The distinction between the clone hybrids and the gene therapy hybrids (such as Cassandra Spender) is not made here.
|For this the Syndicate would be sequestered, granted a sort of immunity or asylum, given a place in the grander scheme. They were the Vichy government to the German Final Solution, collaborationists whose motivation was simple self-directed survival.||Because of episodes like 1X01: Deep Throat, 1X09: Fallen Angel, 1X16: E.B.E. or 4X17: Tempus Fugit / 4X18: Max, which depict humans (the military) acting against the aliens, the nature of the government conspiracy in XF was subject of debate. Here, the collaborationist nature of the Syndicate, as opposed to the official (though secret) stance of the world’s governments, is made clear. The inspiration for the Syndicate, the Vichy government that collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation of France in the Second World War (1940-1944), is made explicit. The “Final Solution“, the Nazi plan to exterminate all Jews, reflects the aliens’ obsession with racial purity (2X16: Colony, 4X01: Herrenvolk). The words “sequestered” and “asylum” suggest that after the colonization would take place, the members of the Syndicate would be taken to a haven where they would be kept safe of the colonization procedure and the fighting that would ensue (as anticipated in 7X04: Amor Fati).
|These cloning operations were spread across the country, the cataloguing and record-keeping done through a complex, intra-instititutional system that connected to every branch of government, from the Social Security Administration to the Department of Defense.||Throughout the first five years of the series, Mulder & Scully’s investigations uncover facets of the ever-expanding Syndicate’s experiments, without ever tying it all into a whole: operations done in train cars spread across the country (3X09: Nisei / 3X10: 731); federal clinics (4X15: Memento Mori); cataloguing facilities (3X02: Paper Clip); the Social Security Administration (3X24: Talitha Cumi); the Department of Defense (5X02: Redux). As oftentimes in the series, “cloning” is used in tandem with ‘hybridization’, as the hybrids obtained would often be cloned (2X17: End Game, 4X01: Herrenvolk).
|The operation, under the working title “Purity Control”, had been launched in 1948, its original conception the brainchild of German scientists given immunity themselves for war crimes and allowed to continue the eugenic experiments that were Hitler’s dark legacy.||“Purity Control“, the hybridization program, is only referenced textually in 1X23: The Erlenmeyer Flask and 6X12: One Son but in fact permeates all the mythology. Operation Paperclip, under which the US government enlisted the help of Nazi scientists, was presented in the Anasazi trilogy; Victor Klemper was one of those scientists. The program was launched shortly after the Roswell crash in 1947 (6X12: One Son).
|The Syndicate had begun as a subset of a shadow intelligence agency whose original orders were to create plausible denial and an effective cover-up of Purity Control. But through 50 years, numerous US and UN administrations, the principals began to rest control, accumulating power and influence across international borders. Such that by 1990 the operation ceased to have a member accountable to any one government and whose only orders would be taken from a man named Strughold, a German industrialist who had fled his homeland to Northern Africa.||The origins of the Syndicate as a secret group of the State Department in the late 1940s-early 1950s are glimpsed at in 3X16: Apocrypha, 5X15: Travelers and 6X12: One Son. Over time, the Syndicate became international (2X25: Anasazi). This is the only source for these details on Strughold: his German roots, his occupation as an industrialist (we know from 3X02: Paper Clip that he has a hand in the mining business) and his assumption of the leadership of the Syndicate in 1990. In Fight the Future we see him in Tunisia, Northern Africa.
|These men, whose knowledge and access provided control of a foreseeable future, had in spite of this everything to lose. Their secret work, the cloning preparations and the cataloguing constituted their greatest vulnerability — exposure. Their detection would ensure not just their own demise, but a far-reaching dissolution of social and religious order around the globe.||This echoes the Well-Manicured Man’s “we predict the future, and the best way to predict the future is to invent it” (3X01: The Blessing Way). Many of Mulder & Scully’s investigations have revealed the Syndicate’s fear of being exposed to the public (2X06: Ascension, 2X25: Anasazi, 3X16: Apocrypha), something the Cigarette-Smoking Man justified as a measure to prevent mass panic (2X22: F. Emasculata).
|To protect against this, the Syndicate employed methods of disinformation using covert government programs that had been regrettably discovered as a kind of smokescreen, a dodge or blind where the transgressions of Congress-accountable agencies served to hide their own more odious undertaking. They had even at times used the UFO phenomenon to create an hysteria that science and the intelligentsia denounced so completely as to make belief and believers seem ridiculous and completely discreditable.
||Through the accumulated power and leverage held by their official positions as members of the world’s governments, the members of the Syndicate were able to use governmental infrastructures and manpower to their own ends. Many episodes refer to real-world secret agencies and experiments as inspirations: Area 51 and radiation burns (1X01: Deep Throat, 4X18: Max); radiation tests on civilians (3X10: 731); mind control and MK-Ultra (2X03: Blood, 5X01: Unusual Suspects); School of the Americas (2X25: Anasazi, 3X16: Apocrypha); the CIA (3X02: Paper Clip)… The disinformation procedures using the UFO phenomenon against believers such as Mulder are exposed by Kritschgau in 5X02: Redux.
|They had also, in a crisis, used a tool of the Colonists themselves: Alien Bounty Hunters who policed the cloning operations and enforced rule on the countdown to colonization. A double-edged sword whose cold-blooded tactics had helped to stem a leak or threat, but who also kept watch on the Syndicate.||It is made clear that the Alien Bounty Hunters, unlike what their name would suggest, are Colonists — something that can only be explained by them being shapeshifter clones infected by the Black Oil (5X14: The Red and the Black). They are the Colonists’ police over the Syndicate’s projects (2X16: Colony) but the Syndicate, as their inferiors, would rather not come to need their aid (3X24: Talitha Cumi / 4X01: Herrenvolk).
|A threat in itself, as the Syndicate had something to hide that not even the Colonists knew of: a vaccine against the Black Oil, an inoculant against the substance in which the alien life force was held — in fact the very medium of the life force itself. To guard this secret was perhaps even more critical than the truth of the existence of alien life and of colonization.
||Here we see another attempt to explain what the Black Oil really is: a medium, a sentient organism, a virus, a life force, the Colonist itself. The vaccine storyline was introduced in 4X09: Tunguska, with research done by the Russians; it was perfected after the events of 5X13: Patient X / 5X14: The Red and the Black. The Well-Manicured Man in 4X10: Terma stressed how important the secrecy of the vaccine research was, even within the Syndicate.|
|If the Syndicate’s own secret vaccine were discovered, a vaccine that would make themselves immune from the effects of the Black Oil, they would certainly be destroyed and the timetable for colonization stepped up. They would protect this secret with their lives — they would kill to protect it, as it symbolized the only hope they had of avoiding enslavement when the planet was overtaken.||There is a clearly defined timetable for the colonization (5X13: Patient X, Fight the Future), one that is in fact immutable (9X19/20: The Truth), so the effect of any of the Syndicate’s actions would have on it is unclear — particularly since the vaccine is used in an alien environment in Fight the Future and the Syndicate is destroyed shortly after (6X12: One Son). In this context, stepping up must mean the eradication of the Syndicate and the takeover of the Syndicate’s projects by alien envoyés — in fact, exactly what would happen with the Supersoldiers later on (8X20: Essence / 8X21: Existence). What the Syndicate fears is “enslavement“, ie simple infection by the Black Oil; the events of Fight the Future will make them realize colonization would in fact entail complete extermination of the humans.|
|That they had been able to, over decades, conduct their work on the vaccine undetected was the result of a code among the Syndicate members that put honor and the future above personal politics. But now this code was beginning to break down, an incipient scramble for power beginning to develop, a threat from within that doubled the threat from without — from agents Mulder and Scully and the X-Files.||As we came to learn the Cigarette-Smoking Man better, we saw that he put his personal reputation (the digital tape affair, 3X01: The Blessing Way) and his personal politics, particularly concerning Tena and Fox Mulder (4X01: Herrenvolk, 5X03: Redux II), over the Syndicate’s goals. Also, over the years, many Syndicate members started having second thoughts over the legitimacy of their work, further complicating their appointed task — William Mulder, Deep Throat and the Well-Manicured Man all distanced themselves from the initial
agreement of 1973. The X-Files came at this critical point of the Syndicate’s history, in the 1990s, when all would wind up in flames.