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The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations is a book which includes information on VFD and its various codes and tools, including the spyglass with the VFD insignia.[1]

TV Series Canon

This book was found in Justice Strauss',[2] Monty Montgomery's,[3] and Aunt Josephine's libraries.[4]

When the Baudelaires arrived at Prufrock Preparatory School, Jacquelyn Scieszka intended for Larry Your-Waiter to deliver an annotated copy to the Baudelaires. However, an accident resulted in librarian Olivia Caliban taking it.[5] Duncan and Isadora Quagmire read parts of this copy, although they were abducted by the Hook-Handed Man, who failed to obtain the book. Olivia eventually found the book and read it, leading her to investigate the situation of the Quagmires and the Baudelaires. This copy was later taken to Caligari Carnival by Olivia Caliban (disguised as Madame Lulu) and then burnt in the fire that destroyed the carnival.[6]

Transcripted Text

Spyglass Page

as seen in "The Wide Window: Part Two", "The Austere Academy: Part Two" and "The Slippery Slope: Part Two."

Italics denotes handwritten notes.

Spyglass TIHOSO
…small handheld tele-…case used for spying…spyglass is a verified…al telescope that can…dimensional images.
With multiple rotating hieroglyphic rings each has a specific design to decode any given image or object. At first the spyglass looks like a simple cylinder with different types of images on it.
When leaving hidden messages remember most others can also read it. Non members will just think this is a hand held telescope. Many members are still learning the various dials on the spyglass. Through reverse technology can decode messages by
There are many ways to (decode? de click?) and many combos to get confused
Hidden Button —– Not A Button —–
Compound lens that consists of several simpal ? lenses [sic]
Dial #5 has been hidden due to its dangerous nature
The first extension will show a dilator with numbers, these are focus numbers and depending on the image you will have to adjust this different times in order to start seeing the secret message.
Images are read thru the front of the spyglass
Some members while …. towards a message accidentally start a fire. Rule #1 know your spyglass. It can be used as a torch + …..
That is a very hypothetical situation that would probably never happen simply because the device is far more complicated than that and when…. spyglass is made the …. of the spyglass is given very specific…. on the use of the spyglass
organization member can master the Spyglass. I can’t even begin to explain this bloody thing to you as I am not a secret organisation member just a simple waiter trying to figure out this damn thing myself. It is really confusing I’ve been trying to decode messages and…. I’ve decoded nothing. Back to the Spyglass …….
two sides lets just say good an evil. If the good side were to leave secret messages and codes for the good side, the evil side would be able to decipher these codes and messages simply because even though each spyglass (is unique?) it serves the same purpose so they all do and that is to decode or decipher hidden messages and codes. This situation is probably unlikely due to the fact that most secret organisations stay intact. Hope this was useful but again….. be able to dangerous studies…. based on what…
glass. However they wouldn’t possibly know that it is used to decipher hidden codes and messages. Unless they begin pointing it at certain object and images or people or clothing or anything really that may or may not contain a hidden message or code all the while adjusting the dials when they may or may not find these secret codes and messages. That is a very hypothetical situation that would probably never happen simply because the device is far more complicated than
what the Spyglass is. Now back to the Spyglass on the outside of the cylinder there are…. and small images. Once you have figured out the three extensions you must now begin to set the outer rings.

Remainder of the text is filler. (Aunt Josephine news article)[7]

Sugar Bowl Page

as seen in"The Austere Academy: Part Two."

Sugar Bowl in The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations
“TEA SHOULD BE BITTER AS WORMWOOD, AND AS SHARP AS A TWO-EDGED SWORD” - OLD V.F.D. PROVERB
It is a truth universally acknowledged that volunteers prefer their tea as bitter as wormword and sharp as a two-edged sword, but few think to consider the true meaning behind that phrase. The uninitiated might assume that bitter tea means tea without sugar. But that assumes all sugar is sweet, and all tea is bitter. In fact, there are many kinds of tea that are not bitter at all, but sweet and fruity, usually identifiable by a whimsically (punning?) name and a box with a picture of an adorable animal wearing pajamas. So it stands to reason that, if not all tea is bitter, then not all sugar is sweet. The question we might ask is: why would sugar be bitter? How would bitter sugar be created? And what greater purpose might bitter sugar serve? (see ‘Lousy Lane’, pg 673)
Fig. 1 - The Lid (See next page) Secret Interlocking Mechanism
Fig. 2 - The Bowl (See page after) Mortmain Mountain Clay
THE SCHISM
LONG AGO IT WAS SIMPLE AND…
…other organizational hierarchies, there have been schisms to rip those hierarchies apart, and therefore instead of fixing one date for the schism, we may as well put a bracket around all of human history, and say There! Are you happy? However, there is one thing that all sources seem to agree on: there is a vital connection between the V.F.D. schism and the most important part of a tea set. No, not the tea pot. (see “Sugar Bowl”, above)
Some people claim that the schism divided V.F.D. cleanly in two, with one side devoted to starting fires, and the other devoted to putting them out. But of course, it is rare for anything to divide so neatly, with the exception of a particular sort of semi-soft cheese (see “Gorgonzola”, pg 401). No, it is far more likely…
…ment operating in the city, but two. Since so much about V.F.D. remain shrouded in mystery, including the circumstances of its creation, we can only speculate at the connection between the city’s official organization and its similarly-named counterpart. Some sources claim that the chief of the Official Fire Department was a close blood relation of a prominent member of V.F.D., though this fire chief has stubbornly refused to answer to any of our questions, on account of being deceased.
Finally, there is much debate regarding the exact cause of the schism. While most experts agree that it stemmed from what one might politely call “philosophical differences”, the truth is that these differences had been churning under the surface of V.F.D. for some time, even going back to the organization’s very name. After all, while one might assume that the phrase “fire department” would obviously refer to an organization that puts out fires, thus protecting highly flammable literary materials, the phrase could just as easily refer to an organization that prefers to start fires and burn books (see “Bradbury, Ray”, pg 451). Still, let’s take a moment to theorize about those philosophical differences. Volunteers claim to be acting for the greater good, but philosophers who speak to the concept of moral relativity would be quick to point out the words such “good”, “evil”, “delicious” and “sandwich” can be ascribed different meanings, depending on the value system and dietary preferences of the

The rest of the text is unknown.[8]

Starting Fires: Using the Sun and a Spyglass

as seen in "The Austere Academy: Part Two."

Bold Text denotes highlighted segments, and Underlined denotes underlined.

All grammatical errors are [sic].

Tihoso settingfires
by Josephine Anwhistle
Fire can be used to be mans greatest invention, but also there greatest weapon.It can destroy earths most beautiful forests or mans most glorious achievements. It is a destruction and can leave a gaping hole in ones life. Fire if created can cleanse or destroy
a persons freedom. It is a device that should be used diligently and as a last resort. Unfortunately not everyone shares this point of view and uses fire for the sole purpose of disintegrating what ever is in its path of carnage. The fire-fighting side of V.F.D. know a little to well the destruction that fire can create and the loss in its wake. The fire-starting side know just how exactly a fire can be used and the evil it can be used for, and a series of unfortunate events it can ignite. Ignite is the topic for this particular conversation, our wonderful spyglass unfortunately can ignite fires through the use of light. One particular member who's interest was fire learned that the spyglass container was capable of positioning the spyglass and using the dials to contract or expand the width of the fire.
A spyglass starts a fire through the use of heat from the sun or bright light. This is done by positioning the spyglass so that the sun's or lights rays pass through the lens, forming a small point of light on a pile of dry kindling or large house, secret headquarters, anything of value that could catch on fire. If the sun's or lights light is hot enough, and the kindling is dry enough, and the local strength of the lens is adequate, a fire will eventually spark. The science behind lighting a fire with the spyglass can be found in the form of photons. Photons are the particles that carry visible light from the sun to the earth. They also contain energy in the form of heat. Through the use of a spyglass, the path of these photons are narrowed to a highly localized area the spyglass chamber which is the dot of light that passes through the lens. This results in a concentration of heat that can reach incredibly high temperatures. If a high enough temperature is reached somewhere around 150 degrees the kindling will smolder and begin to burn.
The use of the dials determines the width and spread of the fire. If you trying to start a small object on fire using dials 1 and 5 will curate a more [???] opening allowing you to target an object or person more directly. Whereas if you are trying to start a large space on fire or large group of people you are going to want to use 2 and 3 to curate a wider opening allowing more light and heat through. This is going to spread the light across the room starting a larger fire, which will be more efficient than using dials 1 and 5 to start a small more controlled fire.Dial 5 should never[?] be used. It will cause the most devastating fire. Rotating dial 5 angle[?] left to right [symbol] and then right to left [symbol] will release [???] on the lens. one drop of water placed on the lid can intensify the moonlight's beam, causing the fire to ignite and [???]. Dial 5 should be a used as a last resort, and it has[...]
[currently untranscribed - beginning of second full column to the beginning of next section]
V.F.D. eye shape. This special lens can focus light to form an image, which a prism which refracts light without focusing. The spyglass as a device will focus or disperse waves of radiation to create fire.
The most interesting part of this feature on the spyglass is that fires can be started from any distance. Its most interesting and most upsetting because any V.F.D. member with a spyglass has the potential to burn whatever they want down to the ground. This can be examined through certain events throughout V.F.D. history after the schism (AS). AS there was a great divide between V.F.D. members There is the fire-fighting side and the fire-starting side. Obviously the spyglass being able to create fires from its lens has been problematic for the fire-fighting side, and for the authorities. Fires started from the spyglass leave no trace on how the fire started which is hard for good members to detect which members started the fire, and the authorities believe that the fire started by accident because[...] and[...] the fire originated[...] great help or of[...] the outcome.
A[...] in this case... Verified Feac-[...] dimensions[...] distress by[...] in a[...] for decoding[...]the[...] secret[...]
[currently untranscribed - first paragraph of the third full column]
[currently untranscribed - second paragraph of the third full column]
The first [???] will allow a [currently untranscribed - third paragraph of the third full column]

Handwritten notes:

FIRE CAN BE STARTED EVEN IF THERE ARE CLOUDS. USING A CERTAIN SYMBOL CAN ALLOW SUN TO PASS THEM.
USE THE DIFFERENT DIALS ON THE SPYGLASS TO DETERMINE THE LENGTH & SPREAD OF THE FIRE. YOU ARE LOOKING TO START.
EACH SYMBOL ON THE SPYGLASS CAN BE USED IN VARIOUS WAYS. BE CAREFUL ON WHAT YOU HAVE ROTATED.
FIRES CAN BE STARTED FROM A FAR AWAY LOCATION BY CHANGING TO A DIFFERENT LENSE.
STUDY EACH DIAL. EVERY DIAL & EVERY SYMBOL HAVE A PURPOSE.
[currently untranscribed - beneath other notes on the left column]
[currently untranscribed- above third full column]
MEMBERS ARE FIRST TAUGHT HOW TO START A SMALL FIRE TO BOIL WATER USING THE SPYGLASS.

Ike Anwhistle Page

as seen in "The Austere Academy: Part Two."

Bold Text denotes highlighted segments, and Underlined denotes underlined.

Tihoso ike
(end of the Spyglass article) …the Spyglass fully you will now have to work with the three extensions to begin decoding. The wonderful thing about these Spyglasses is they are tailored to the individual using them. So if a non secret organization member were to find said Spyglass it would almost instantaneously render useless for them. They would simply pick up an interesting looking cylinder. However if they were clever enough they may be able to figure out some of the featured of the Spyglass. However they wouldn’t possibly know that it is used to decipher hidden codes and messages. Unless they began pointing it at certain object and images or people or clothing or anything really that may or may not contain a hidden message or code all the while adjusting the and has graciously accepted the children into his home. [this last italics segment is presumably copy-pasted filler]
IKE ANWHISTLE: V.F.D’S MOST NOMINATED VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH RECORD HOLDER
Ike has done it again for being the most nominated member yet! This day marks his 99th nomination which is a huge accomplishment within the V.F.D. secret society. He has officially surpassed Jaques Snicket who held the record at 98 nominations. Both are extremely dedicated volunteers and V.F.D. owes a great deal of gratitude too these two members and to all the V.F.D. members who set out with the intent to put out fires! So what does this all mean for Ike Anwhistle? Ike will receive a commemorative plaque as the new record holder, a decorative badge, a very fun duffel filled with fire extinguishers, lids, baking soda, salt, and anything that can be used to put out a fire. Ike will also receive a verified functional draft stating he has in fact broken the record for most nominations. There will also be a grand ball scheduled in Ike’s honour to celebrate this incredible achievement. The ball will located in a location that only V.F.D.
Volunteers will know. It is somewhere in The City and… place that holds a great deal of people, a place separated by the dewey decimal system, a place with a large clock, a very famous bell ding. Of course only V.F.D. members will be able to understand (these directions?). The grand ball will have a great deal of … for all members to enjoy! Ike will be awarded a veritable …. because of his achievement. …
…With his first nomination under his belt Bark released Ike from under his wing and the two became partners battling raging fires all around the world.
There was one fire in Lake Lachrymose that almost engulfed the whole town and almost killed Ike. While he was healing from his wounds he found himself reading a great deal at the V.F.D. library where he met Josephine. The two became infatuated with each other and married two years later. The schism. Two words that are hard to hear, rarely spoken, and have cause a great deal of pain within the V.F.D. organization. A event that has rocked V.F.D. to its core and has corrupted the organization which has sought out to extinguish all fires near and far and to save the lives of those who could not extinguish the flames themselves.
Now the lines are blurred within the organization evil is using the good they’ve learned to start fires. Lines have been drawn there are fire starters and the fire fighters. A reason why Ike has so many nominations to his name is his effort to stop the fire starting side. Ike has shown abundant initiation in taking down the culprits that have left many without homes, many without families, and many without anything. Ike started a organization within the organization to prevent the fire starting side of knowing what the fire fighting side was doing. He increased security and with the help of his wife and other members with the amount of codes and hidden safe places. It is still hard to know who knows what. V.F.D. used to be a big family, all against evil, fighting for good. Then this damn schism tore that family apart.
Loved ones fighting against loved ones. However those who have remained true to V.F.D. know they are doing good even when you sometimes have to cross a line, sometimes it must be crossed. Ike has known the risks of valiantly going up against the fire starting side, he knows what may end up happening, he knows his life may be lost, and that things may blow up in flames. These are some of the many reasons why V.F.D. is honoured to award Ike Anwhistle with his 99th Volunteer of the Month Nomination he is in the ranks of the great Meryl Streep!
With all the negative news surrounding V.F.D. and whether it has become an organization of good or an organization of evil there will always be news whether it be good or bad. And there is some good news and that is the news of Ike Anwhistle and all that he has done for the organization! We shall commemorate this with the Grand Ball in his honour, where he will be awarded for the most Volunteer of the Month nominations. Surprising many great individuals who have previously held this record. There is not enough gratitude on this earth that could possibly be given to Ike for all that he has done for this organization. We know what a great (asset?) Ike continues to be and what…

Some handwritten notes on this page:

ALL IT’S HAVE A MEANING
POSSIBLE ANAGRAM -> VERY FLAVORABLE DEW
VERIFIED FUNCTIONAL DRAFT
V.F.D. EYE ON LEFT ANKLE
WHY WOULD AN ENTIRE ARTICLE BE WRITTEN ON ONE MAN
READ BE-TWEEN THE LINES

There appears to be a code somewhere in the passage.[9]

Trivia

Appearances


Gallery

From the Netflix tie-in Version

Sources

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