In 1837, a young Abraham L. Knoetz purchased what had previously been a failing compulsory employment aggricultural business and expanded it into one of the most profitable trading concerns in the Southern United States of America. The Knoetz family mansion, which he built in 1838 over a period of six months with his own two hands and a daily average of fifty slaves, was to prove a charming foundation for the family to build its intermittently lucrative future upon.
Long years passed, and it was 1964 when a fresh-faced F. Cliff Knoetz inherited an ailing family business. Having long been forced to pay ever higher wages to an ungrateful workforce, and with synthetic alternatives to cotton and tobacco on the increase, the business had been struggling for many years and it seemed that F. Cliff would only suffer more of the same. However, a chance encounter in 1968 with a migrating cadre of flower children sparked an idea that was to turn these fortunes around.
In an early example of successful re-branding, the Knoetz Plantation became The Shining Camp, a free love and employment compound, dedicated to improving the spiritual life of the aestheticly pleasing and harvesting cash crops at low low prices. With numerous “soul cabins” ready for repair and re-occupation, eager young people flocked to join in the enrichment, but the troubles of 1969 and the eventual collapse of the hippy ideal threatened this recovery before it really began.
Fortunately, it was just as the first cowardly turncoats began to depart for empty lives in the crass commercialism that was the 1970s when F. Cliff was struck by his great revelation, the seed that was later to grow into the glorious tree of Say:”Ontology!”. Dispelling the disillusionment that was plaguing The Shining Camp, many were instantly converted to believers, and the rest soon followed.
With the soul cabins soon filled once more to bursting point, F. Cliff realised that there was something much more profitable waiting to be sold than mere plant byproducts: the Truth. With this goal in mind, he initiated a radical education and training regime, preparing some of the faithful to go out into the world and spread the word, and leading the rest himself in the redevelopment of The Shining Camp into the very first of Say:”Ontology!” Centre, ready to welcome the next generations of Say:”Ontology!”sts, or Systs, to come.