One thing you must understand is the conspiratorial nature of the late 1980s; the pre-internet underground seethed with UFO reports, Illuminati sightings, New Age enlightenment, Majestic 12 documents, Sub-Genius devivals, and Masonic imagery. Our impetus to generate a hoax was fueled by repeated readings of Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy, tales of the Situationist riots in 1968 Paris, the fake "Bob" Dobbs “SubGenius” religion, the PRANKS book, you name it; creating our own fake reality seemed to be what everybody else was doing. Why not get in the game? Yeah, I know I'm overintellectualizing it, whatever.
So we doped out a flyer. It was deliberately over the top, yet carefully crafted to contain only actual facts – yes, there actually WAS underage drinking at SF cons. I know, it’s a shock. The text itself was couched in slightly hysterical language, never crossing the line into falsehood or hyperbole (I'm sure we could all agree that the devils in your typical Dungeons & Dragons game could be characterized as "satanic" in one sense of the word). The form number "MF-23-5" was the icing on the cake, implying a vast array of different "forms," each perhaps destroying science fiction at various locales across the land. Any Illuminati conspiratorist will of course grin at the "23-5." I had previously rented a PO box used to gather free religious propaganda and kook mail ala “High Weirdness By Mail.” We included this PO Box address on the flyer for feedback (this was obviously before email and websites). We made up a name, "Dr. P. R. LeNado," with the "Dr." adding just the right touch of possibly bogus authority. It had verisimilitude and a professional gloss thanks to the professional graphic design. We printed up a few hundred and headed to the first available SF con: Chattacon, January 1990 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Basically we dumped a bunch of flyers on the free flyer table near the dealers room, and then settled back to watch the fun. People would pick them up, give them a quick read, and then hail friends or passersby. 'Hey, come take a look at this, can you believe this crap?' Some flyers were torn up or thrown in the garbage. Luckily, we had plenty more. Satisfied we’d messed with a few minds, we headed home.