Ebola Plus Anime Equals… Genocide Cult?

Dane Dorius

Not pictured: The blood shrines made to her.
Photo from Vocativ

Disclaimer: The Ames High WEB disagrees with literally everything these people do.

In late 2014-to-mid-2015, one of the major panics was the ebola epidemic in Africa. Most people here in America heard the soundbyte on the TV or a quick sentence on Reddit or Twitter, realized that it wouldn’t affect them, and moved on with their lives. 

However, this is the modern age. Everyone and anyone can talk to anyone and everyone. So when news of ebola reached the world, clusters of cultists and insane anime fans met, and there was an unexpected creation: the cult of Ebola-Chan, pictured above (or maybe to the side).

Ebola-Chan is a personification of ebola, but she quickly became an emblem of racism, pestilence, life, death, sex, and pretty much anything one can attribute to people on the fringe of society.

Now, there were certainly people only in it for the memes and the humor inherent in worshipping the anime version of ebola. But there were (and still are) people who took her seriously. This plague became the hope of mass genocide to these crazy folks. The reasons for the desire varied (and were often rooted in ignorance and stereotypes), but people wanted the entirety of Africa dead.

Now, dear reader, you’re probably scratching your head as to how people attempted to use anime about ebola to commit genocide. Enter the concept of “loosh.” Aside from that being perhaps the funniest-sounding word in the English language, loosh is a term on occult-oriented websites for, essentially, emotional energy. People thought that they were literally drained of emotions after getting angry at something online, and that people could harness the emotions they sparked through the internet. Just to reiterate: people gain magic powers from getting other people angry over the internet. People actually think this in 2016.

People used this knowledge to intentionally give away their ‘loosh’ to art/glyphs/shrines representative of Ebola-Chan, in hopes that it’d strengthen her as she plagued Africa. This didn’t really work, but the ideology that birthed Ebola-Chan didn’t die there.

This half-joke, half-serious cult (coupled with a cult about Batman, with frequent overlap in fanbase) led to the idea of “Meme Magic.” People began believing that if they could get enough people memeing, then they could influence reality.

Before they could be dissuaded from or forget about this idea, various memes at the time started having similar events appear in reality- people who quoted a scene in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises had a plane crash with an absurd amount of references to the scene. A young girl’s eyes turned yellow upon contracting ebola, causing people to herald her as the personification of Ebola-chan. A trailer for the Angry Birds film adaptation is seen as anti-Muslim propaganda encouraging the rise of a second Hitler, and they view themselves as responsible for “memeing it into existence.”

In the end, it’s all probably a bunch of ridiculously-improbable coincidences, but that’s boring. The terrifying-and-hilarious mental image of a bunch of hunched-over nerds controlling world affairs is interesting- it gives a face to random chance. The people that’d praise Ebola-Chan are the type that have trouble accepting the world as it is. They’d rather think that their in-jokes have a higher meaning.

I don’t necessarily agree with this specific cult, mostly because of the genocidal intentions, but their thinking is relatable- they just want the world to make sense. I might not agree with them, but I’ll stand with them in sympathy (and to get more crazy tales).