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|“||We must rise to face them! There is no innocence among the outsiders in our midst! Give them the knife, the club, the fist if it's all you got! God rejoices in the spilling of wicked blood!||„|
|~ "Papa" Sullivan Knoth.|
|“||God in Heaven. That's... that's the child isn't it? My lord... I've taken care of my children. But yours... I am powerless against. The child's too strong already. You've murdered paradise. God has gone silent. Since the storm. The birth. Who will He have? If He destroys us all? Who will He have left to punish? I killed my children. All of them. Every last one. There's no more perfect faith than that. And still, God is silent. Kill that child if you can. If you love anything at all, crush its skull under your heel. I know God doesn't hear dead men. But I expect He answers them...||„|
|~ Knoth's delusional monologue.|
Sullivan Knoth is one of the two main antagonists (along with Val) in the 2017 videogame Outlast 2.
Knoth is the founder and leader of the Testament of the New Ezekiel, a fanatic group of cultists who have made their home in Temple Gate, a remote town in the wilderness of Arizona. When journalist Blake Langermann arrives with his wife Lynn to investigate a murder, they arrive at Temple Gate where they eventually cross paths with Knoth and his fanatical followers.
He was voiced by Vlasta Vrána.
Knoth was born in 1933 and eventually became a shoe salesman in Albuquerque. However, he assembled a lot of debts and was about to lose his home. Seeing no way out of his problems, Knoth at some point started listening to an evangelical radio station but did not find it comforting or consoling at all. Nevertheless, he kept listening to the station and eventually started hearing a different voice coming from the radio, claiming to be the voice of God.
From this voice, Knoth learned that "God" was not content with the religious/spiritual situation on Earth, claiming that a new prophet was needed in order to satisfy God and to bring balance. Believing himself to be said prophet, Knoth then experienced an apocalyptic vision with a terrible creature in it. Witnessing this vision, Knoth believed that the end of the world was near and was informed by the voice that the apocalypse would indeed arrive during Knoth's lifetime. He was informed that it was up to him to lead a group of a chosen few towards paradise instead of eternal damnation. Fueled by his new calling, Knoth started preaching to the people of Albuquerque, having abandoned all his possessions with belonged to the bank anyhow. Some started listening and within a year, Sullivan had amassed a group of followers which were fanatically dedeicated to him. They also donated all their worldly possessions to Knoth's newly-founded "Testament of the New Ezekiel". Knoth kept receiving messages from "God" which he recorded in the "Gospel of Knoth".
One of his followers was the wealthy woman Lydia Degan who owned a luxurious ranch. Knoth made that ranch to the comunal headquarter of the Testament of the New Ezekiel. Living on the ranch with his followers, Knoth encouraged sexual intercourse between his followers, even "donating" his own semen to the course. He personally delivered each baby, knowing that one of them would carry a secret pivotal to the salvation of humanity.
However, the police, who were after Knoth for some time, used the home births as a reason to finally take down the Testament. They swept down onto the ranch and arrested several cult members but Knoth and a handful of his most loyal followers evaded capture. Despite their escape, the assets of the Testament were frozen which almost destroyed Knoth's church for good. In the most dire hour, Knoth went onto a mountain to receive guidance of God in a similar fashion of Moses and Abraham. Indeed, after wating in the wilderness naked for some time, Knoth heard the voice of God which demanded an eyeball in exchange for true vision. Knoth cut out his left eye immediately.
Immediately after his eye was pierced, Knoth received a hallucination of a town hidden in the wilderness which would be the "gateway to the true temple of the Testament of the New Ezekiel". Thus, Knoth prepared his remaining followers and decided to built the town he saw, deep in the wilderness of Arizona - far away from prying eyes. In the winter of 1969, Sullivan and over hundred of his followers left civilization for good and headed into the wilderness, to the town that Knoth would name Temple Gate.
During the events of Outlast 2, Knoth and the Testament have already lived at Temple Gate for years. Meanwhile, Knoth and the communion have killed all children, even the unborn ones, as Knoth had prophecied that one of them would be the antichrist born into the world.
When investigative journalist Lynn Langermann and her husband Blake investigate a murder of a pregnant woman, they fly with a helicopter. The helicopter crashes, stranding Lynn and Blake in the wilderness of Arizona, close to Temple Gate. Lynn is eventually captured by the Testament and delivered to Knoth. When Knoth realizes that Lynn is pregnant, he examines her and finds her unborn child to be the prophecied anti-christ. Meanwhile, Blake, who survived the accident as well, sneaks into Temple Gate to save Lynn from the cult. Eventually, Lynn either escapes or is thrown out of the chapel by the Testament. She is found by Blake and the two attempt to flee the town. However, Lynn is still weak from Knoth's examination and is deeply traumatized. While the Langermann's flee, Knoth contacts Temple Gate via the town's loudspeaker system and warns all inhabitants that Lynn and Blake are on the loose, carrying the antichrist. Knoth tells his followers to find and kill all three of them in order to prevent the antichrist to be born.
After sending the town to hunt Blake, Knoth has captured heretics brought to his church, intending to deal with his enemies.
After Blake has evaded the townsfolk, he arrives at a big cathedral where he finds a man strapped on a wheel. The man claims that Blake needs to kill him, as Knoth will soon come back with a relative of the man. Knoth plans to harm the girl in order to make the man talk. Thus, the man begs Blake for mercy. However, before Blake can do anything, Knoth returns with the woman. Blake is forced to hide but can observe the situation. Knoth rants about the situation, claiming that Val took Lynn, the "woman that harbors the antichrist", and that they do not have much time to find her again. After the man breaks under the torture of his relative and reveals where Val and the Heretics are hiding, Knoth has both him and the woman executed by his henchmen. After both are dead, Knoth leaves the church with his followers.
After having learned that Val and the Heretics have brought Lynn to their secret headquarter in the mines, Knoth and his force immediately set out to retrieve her. Blake, having heard the location as well, tries to get to the mines before Knoth can but when Blake arrives, Knoth's followers have already attacked one of the outposts. When Blake finally arrives at Lynn's location, Knoth's followers suddenly burst in and attack, forcing Blake to flee together with Lynn.
Together with Lynn, Blake takes shelter in Sullivan's chapel when an apocalyptic storm comes up. During the storm, Lynn gives birth to their child but dies immediately afterwards. Blake faints from grief and when he regains consciousness, Knoth is sitting on a bench next to him with a dagger in his hand. He claims that the child is too strong already and that Blake has murdered paradise. He claims that since the storm and the birth, God has gone silent. Wondering who God will punish if he kills all of mankind, Sullivan then laments that he even killed all his children - meaning his followers whom he poisoned outside the chapel - for God and that there could be no more perfect faith than his. Knoth tells Blake to kill the child if he loves anything at all and then slits his own throat - leaving him to suffocate on his own blood.
The Murkoff Accounts
After the storm has settled, a Murkoff cleanup crew arrives at Temple Gate where they start clean up the mess. They find Knoth's corpse inside the chapel; several men are required to heave the colossal carcass out of the building. Ultimately, it is revealed that Knoth and Temple Gate were manipulated by Murkoff because - like the video footage at Mount Massive - religion was found to be an excellent transmission for the Morphogenic engine process.
Due to his exposure to the Murkoff radio towers, Knoth's faith in God has become horribly warped until he has turned into a delusional fanatic. He claims to be God's only prophet and his visions of what God has said to him are documented in most of his gospel scattered across Temple Gate, though they are raving, vulgar and outwardly disturbing slandering of his enemies, other religions and a testament to his own insanity. Knoth strongly believe the end of days is upon the world and Temple Gate is at the brink of Hell, thusly he has led mass infanticide to kill the supposed anti-Christ; many of which were his own children.
Knoth is implied to be a misogynist. His letter to Laird claims that self-pity is a "womanly sin" that he must raise his followers above. Also, he engages in heavy sex with most of the women of his cult (however, even their husbands encourage their wives to have sex with Knoth as they are so devoted and worship him that they consider this an honour). Ethan claims that Knoth "pressed himself" on his fifteen-year old daughter, implying Knoth's perversions were so bad that he was willing to commit statutory rape (though this was a side effect of the radio towers that increased his and his followers lasciviousness).
Despite his lack of action, Knoth's powers are in his oration. He can manipulate his followers by making them believe his enemies deserve the horrible fate coming to them. At one point he claims that the outsiders (Lynn and Blake) have no innocence within them though they were in fact bystanders caught in the middle of the Testament's cult war. In a letter to Marta, Knoth claims that doing nothing in the face of danger would make you as much as a murderer whether you have taken a life or not to trick her into becoming his executioner. Though Knoth claims to care about his followers as if they were his children, he has in fact launched a propaganda campaign across all of Temple Gate to keep his followers in constant fear of the anti-Christ. A letter from a child shows that she was aware of the fate in store for her but this was written illiterately, implying Knoth did not make sure that the children were well-read and educated but only groomed for their deaths if they were or were not in fact the anti-Christ.
When it suited him, Knoth has been willing to bend his own rules. Despite suffering from syphilis and presumably infecting other members of Temple Gate, he did not go to live with the Scalled but discreetly asked for penicillin from one of his followers from the outside world. Ultimately, Knoth was still bound by his own religion and didn't waver to commit suicide along with the rest of his followers when "God had gone silent".