Rock conspiracy uncovered by fans


Nine Inch Nails has produced a conspiracy frenzy of cryptic messages, from restrooms in Europe to NIN tour T-shirts. It’s all a part of a very clever marketing scheme to promote their latest album, Year Zero.

The conspiratorial spiral begun on April 19 with the release of their latest album. When you first open the CD case, you’ll discover a nice plain black cover on the CD, nothing flashy. But after playing the CD and then ejecting it, you’ll be surprised to discover the CD cover actually changed, revealing a binary code (00100100). And if you’re able to take the time to translate it, you get the Web address, The Web site is pretty retro, with a bonus track on there somewhere.

This is just scratching the surface of all the cryptic messages hidden in NIN’s latest album. It all started with a NIN European tour T-shirt that had bold letters on the back next to tour dates. Put it together and you get “I am trying to believe” and a quick Google search reveals a Web site address,, which introduces followers to a conspiracy theory about the government allegedly placing a drug called “Parepin” into our drinking water that somehow alters our minds.

More tidbits of this conspiracy theory were found in European restrooms. Evidently, members of this so-called marketing group raided bathrooms at NIN concerts in Europe and placed USB drives in random venue restrooms. The drives contained new songs by NIN, cryptic MP3s and pictures supporting the “Parepin” conspiracy theory.

The convoluted campaign centers on a NIN alternate reality game, which uses the real world as its platform. In the game, players try to solve plot-based challenges and puzzles. The game has been underway since February 12 and is expected to continue for about 18 months.

Year Zero features 16 tracks, all of which have NIN’s unique style and genius. The album proves that NIN is still among the best rock bands around. A personal favorite is “Capital G,” which pokes fun at President George W. Bush.

Trent Reznor, the lead singer and writer of all the songs, proves that he has what it takes to produce mind-numbing, hard-hitting lyrics and guitar aggression unlike anyone else.

The current single “Survivalism” delves into governmental intrusion and an inevitable military take over of our lives. The song also criticizes popular mass consumption with the lyrics, “I got my propaganda, I got revisionism, and I got my violence in high def ultra-realism.”

From start to finish, the CD takes the listener through conspiracy theories and sounds a collective anger most of the fans have towards American political leadership, or lack thereof.