Well, I guess that's everyone. Let's get started.
As you hopefully know at this point, the 'P' in our motto stands for 'protect'. There are two kinds of protection that entails - protecting the world at large from the effects of anomalies, and protecting the world at large from knowledge of those anomalies. Security handles the first. We deal with the second kind.
Let me give you a little background.
Right now, at Site-44, a bunch of folks in an identical auditorium are currently listening to a similar orientation for the Security division, the other half of 'protect'. Security deals with the physical protection of society and the Foundation. Reality bender running around a major metro area? Security. Keter-level containment breach? Security. Hostile GoI attempting to eliminate vital personnel or acquire a valuable skip? Security. Any wars the Foundation fights, they man the front lines. The threats they face are the stuff of nightmares. They have high mortality rates, and the only obituaries frequently covered in black ink.
But talk to any of them, and they'll swear up and down that they prefer their own job to yours every day of the week.
Back to my - now your - job.
The Disinformation Bureau covers the second half of 'protect' - we protect the public from knowledge of the anomalous. The threats we face are our friends, neighbors, relatives, and every last person on this planet that's living their life as normally as possible. Everyone you know remains what they are - please, keep your normal friends, take care of your parents. Better for the mental health. But, from this point forward, in addition to being your best friend - they are now also a possible leak. That goes for everyone you know, and everyone you will ever meet.
Developing paranoia is a job requirement.
There will be times where you will have to do horrible, inexcusable things to others. In the course of your job, you may - almost certainly will - be required to lie to, embarrass, cheat, steal from, coerce, blackmail, discredit, threaten, fight, torture, cripple, and possibly kill your fellow man in defense of the secrecy of the anomalous.
Whatever must be done, you will do. I would use the old cliche 'failure is not an option', but that would be an incorrect statement. That other option is mass panic and the end of the world, if not reality itself, because someone couldn't be arsed to break a few eggs to prevent that from occurring.
Security may have to give their lives for the cause, but you will lose at least part of your humanity.
Many, if not all of you, come from somewhere else within the Foundation. You probably feel used to seeing and dealing with horrible things. Show of hands. Anyone from Ethics Committee? Nobody? That's not really unusual. But, they're the best equipped to deal with this sort of thing. If you get the chance, go to their orientation. Really thought-provoking stuff.
The Foundation as a whole does bad things because it has to - some might think of it as our hand being forced, others as sacrifices for the greater good. But at the end of the day, the Foundation is composed of a collection of actions done by individual people. One of those people is you.
Up until now, you have been a bystander. There's been a layer of separation between you and the horrible things. You observed in the course of study. Defended others from the anomalous. Maybe sometimes even requested something that you knew would end poorly, but had to be tested to be sure. That's enough to give any normal person nightmares, maybe some mental trauma.
Disinformation Bureau takes you a level further. You will get your hands dirty, and it will get to you.
If you're on the field detail, you're burning down a house with a family inside of it because Mr. Simmons has put two and two together about what really happened to his brother. He's accumulated three years worth of knowledge and contacts. A straight up hit would be suspicious - amnestics even more so. As part of the Disinformation Bureau under External Affairs - it's your job to deal with it quickly and quietly. It won't always be a house fire. It might be a landslide, a car accident, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
You're not watching the house, or telling someone else to do it. You're carrying the kerosene and lighting the match. Locking the doors and barring the windows. Smelling the smoke and hearing the screams of agony. Digging through the rubble and checking the bodies. Finishing what the fire didn't if required.
If you're dealing with information control, it's less gritty and a lot more psychological. This gets divided again into two halves.
First half is all about coverup narratives. That's what I do, actually. Take a situation caused by an anomaly, craft a plausible story about what actually happened, disseminate. You'll get really good at lying. In today's world, you can usually cover things up with lone-wolf terrorism, cults, that sort of deal. "That doesn't sound so bad, Jane." Maybe it isn't. All I do is lie for a living. But it sure as hell gets to me.
Second half is reinforcing that narrative and erasing others. That means cleaning up the scene and making it forensically match, and then dealing with witnesses. Making up lies is easy, but making them the truth is hard. Cleaning up the scene is pretty-self explanatory, but nontrivial and extremely time sensitive. The faster it gets cleaned up, the less media exposure of genuine anomalies we have to deal with.
Witnesses. Normally, amnestics can be applied. If we catch it soon enough. Couple hours is best case, they'll work passably within a few days. After that, amnestics create more problems rather than solve them. They've probably written about it, or told someone else. Radical changes in behavior or removal of those memories would draw attention to the Foundation rather than away.
People like that either need to be disposed of - which we try to avoid, it's pretty suspicious looking - or discredited. There's several different methods of doing so. In the modern era, it usually involves frame-ups. First path is public detraction/embarassment. Lots of different methods there. Whole lecture, actually. Second path is government intervention - plant something linking them with terrorism, or espionage, and whatever government is out there will quietly scoop them up and send them to prison for a very long time.
For actual, physical evidence, we have to explain that away as digital manipulation. The problem comes in when evidence that's difficult to tamper with comes up. Sometimes genuine Foundation documents are leaked, sometimes it's analog recordings or images. Worst cases, someone uploads a cognitohazard. Those are nigh impossible to deal with directly.
The Bureau also has a branch actively generating and disseminating bogus information around the clock, but occasionally the public will latch onto the one real anomaly in the hundreds of fakes.
Some of you may go on to work with totalitarian governments. They'll be glad to have you - a lot of their weapons research comes from us. The Foundation does a lot of testing in backwater countries. Less prying eyes, suppressed media, easily manipulated corruption, less concern for human rights. Your job is information control in that particular country. Some countries like to put you in the cabinet, some like to keep you in the shadows. Either way, you will be helping to enforce the will of a crackpot dictator. Foundation personnel also have a nasty habit of being placed on CIA and other intelligence agency hit lists. Don't worry, there's training for that.
Some of you will liaison with the Internal Security Bureau or the Ethics Committee. You'll have another orientation with them, but you'll be doing basically the same thing you would be otherwise, except internally rather than externally. That's one of the few places where even I don't have all of the pieces, so I can't really say too much there.
And there's hundreds of other positions, all with vastly different job descriptions. The only thing that they have in common is that all of them, more or less directly, fuck with people's lives and how they live them.
It's a lot to deal with. You were all selected for these positions due to your aptitude for the tasks, mental resilience, and a previous willingness to do whatever is necessary. The training courses deal as much with coping with your job and what it entails almost more than actual skills. This presentation is a sort of high level overview of what you'll learn in the next couple of months, and what you'll be doing after that. You'll start learning specifics later on.
I will now take questions.
You, with the purple tie. Who am I and why am I here? My name is Jane Mossbury, I'm the department head for mass disappearance coverups. I'm here because I drew the short straw.
Navy pantsuit. Is it as bad as I make it out to be? That's really for you to determine for yourself. The hours are fortunately pretty merciful, and the benefits are pretty nice, but the stress will mount over time. I'm not sure I would call it 'job satisfaction', but there is some small tingly feeling from being an integral part of a conspiracy that the theorists could hardly imagine. That's also discounting how well you put up with the tasks required of you. And the paperwork.
Black polo. Psychiatric counseling? It's available. Strongly recommended. Support groups meet on Tuesdays, information's on the bulletin board. Next question.
Black trenchcoat. Sorry, my apologies, other black trenchcoat. Travel? Varies, depending on your position. Off the top of my head, field cleaners - agents that go in and clean up anomalous incidents before anyone can get to them - travel frequently. Contingency planners require less. A lot of the digital folks never travel at all.
Original black trenchcoat. My personal actions? Unfortunately, I can't really discuss those. We have an extensive archive of past actions and responses, but a lot of it is classified, some expunged. I can't recall which is which right now, but if you really want to know, you can look me up in the archive.
Is that all? Well, if you have any others, feel free to find me in my office or at the canteen.
Nearly forgot. In one of the few upsides of being in the Disinformation Bureau, our canteen is a full-fledged bar, [REDRAFTED]. In the tradition of orientation sessions finishing with some kind of refreshment, I've arranged for an open bar. Whether you nurse a drink or down it, is your decision.