First, Emily shares the story of “The Girl in the Box” – Colleen Stan, who survived 7 years of torture and capture. Then, Rachel tells us about the ultimate dick-swinging contest between Henry VIII of England François I of France.
Story 1 – Colleen Stan: The Girl in the Box
Now let me ask you a question: How do you feel about small spaces? Are you claustrophobic at all? Do you think you could stay in a single room for 23 hours a day? How about in a coffin for 23 hours a day? I personally get very achy if I sit in the same position for a long time – so I’m not sure how our victim today survived her ordeal, but yes, this is a survival story.
This is the story of Colleen Stan, the “Girl in the Box” who was held captive for 7 years by Cameron and Janice Hooker in the 70s and 80s.
The story starts when Cameron and Janice met in 1973. At this point, Janice was just 16, and about two years after getting together, they got married. Unfortunately, wedded bliss was short-lived for these two because Cameron had a thing for hurting women. He took Janice into the woods on multiple occasions and hung her from a tree with leather wrist straps. He needed to hurt her to get off. She didn’t care for the pain, but as a married woman, she endured it for a while. Eventually, though, the whipping got violent and she decided to stop enduring the abuse. Of course, her husband still had “cravings” – and this is a moment to note, that BDSM is perfectly fine if it’s something two consenting adults are into. The problem was that Cameron needed it to get off and Janice hated it so they were at an impasse.
So what is a couple to do when they’re married and their sexual proclivities do not match up? Divorce, you say? Nope. Not these two. They decided to get creative with their approach.
During a shopping trip on Jan. 31, 1976, the Hookers were strolling around and they saw a young woman walking along Mangrove Avenue around 4 p.m. Now, this was not Colleen Stan. This was Marie Elizabeth Spannhake.
Yep, a fact that I didn’t know was that – according to Janice at least – is that before there was Colleen Stan, there was Marie. So let’s talk about her first.
Now all of this is according to Janice, and her memories from were foggy at best when she finally told her story to Red Bluff police in late 1984. Transcripts from that interview show a frazzled Janice, often misunderstanding questions and sometimes remembering events and then remembering them differently a few moments later. The picture she painted, however, went like this…
They offered to give her a ride, and she hopped into their two-door Dodge Colt. They stopped at her destination, at the corner of Rio Lindo Avenue and Parmac Road, and Janice opened the door to let the girl out. But then Cameron changed his mind, she said, and grabbed the girl by the wrist and pulled her back into the car.
Driving north on Highway 99, Cameron pulled over and took out a wooden box that he’d built. He put it over Spannhake’s head and continued driving until they reached Red Bluff, where the couple lived. Before driving home, however, they stopped to get a bite to eat at the Jolly Cone on Antelope Boulevard.
Once at their Oak Street home, Cameron went inside, leaving the two women in the car. According to Janice, Marie was understandably hysterical. Janice tried to calm her down, telling her everything would be OK. But it wouldn’t.
As Janice told the cops, “She was like his toy, you know?” Plus, this was an out for Janice who was tired of being whipped by her husband… this was an outlet. And Cameron took advantage of this ‘gift’ from his wife. He carried Marie into the basement and hung her from hooks in the rafters. Janice stayed upstairs, on the couch, in shock.
Here’s where the story gets muddled.
At some point in the evening, Janice said, Cameron took Marie to the bathroom upstairs and tried to cut her vocal cords so she couldn’t scream and could just be a silent sex prisoner. But he didn’t do it correctly, and he called to Janice to hold a towel up to Marie’s neck.
Then Cameron took Marie back down to the basement, where she was once again hung from the rafters. She was naked and bleeding and eventually, Cameron came up to ask for a piece of paper and a pencil. The girl wanted to say something but couldn’t speak, he said. He came back up with the note, which Janice read. It said something along the lines of “I’ll give you anything you want if you let me go.”
The next thing Janice remembered, Cameron came upstairs distraught. Marie had died. Both from the cut on her throat and because he had shot her at least twice in the stomach with a pellet gun—not meaning to kill her but just to torture her more. Then Cameron strangled her to finish the job. (Sounding more and more like the “what have I done” was all an act…)
Cameron and Janice got a blanket so they could wrap up the body and bury it. They drove up to Redding and east on Highway 44 and Cameron pulled off onto a dirt road where the ground was muddy. Cameron got out and dug a hole about three feet deep, and Janice helped him carry the body to the grave and bury it.
They didn’t keep any of Marie’s belongings except for the watch she’d been wearing. The rest they brought out to a camp area and burned in a barbecue pit. Cameron kept the watch and used it for a number of years until one day at work at his job at Diamond International Lumber Mill it got crushed in one of the conveyors… so the last piece of evidence was gone, and they literally never found Marie’s body.
But she was missing and never found, so… I believe it.
And now we get to May 1977, when 20-year-old Colleen Stan was hitchhiking from her hometown of Eugene, Oregon to northern California. She considered herself an expert hitchhiker – as many people in that time believed they were – in fact, on that day, she had already turned down two rides because they looked sketchy.
But, she needed a ride to her friend’s birthday party and when a blue van pulled over Colleen Stan saw that it was being driven by a man who had his wife in the passenger seat and a baby in the backseat. Seemed like a safe little family. And Colleen Stan jumped on in the backseat.
Unfortunately, the couple was 23-year-old Cameron Hooker and his wife 19-year-old Janice Hooker.
Colleen Stan got in and they rode together for a while, but eventually, they stopped at a gas station to use the restroom and at this moment Colleen Stan felt compelled to leave the couple. She said that “A voice told her to run and jump out the window and never look back.”
However, she turned away from the voice and walked back to the car. After about 30 minutes, the car turned onto a secluded dirt road. Colleen Stan probably asked, “what are we doing…?” But the couple was silent – and then Cameron got out and held a knife out. He told Colleen Stan to shut up and cooperate… and then he tied her up, gagged her, and put a wooden “head box” over her head.
This is a box that weighed 20 pounds and it confined her head, blocked out sound and light around her, and prevented the flow of fresh air.
And with that, they got back in the car and drove to Cameron and Janice’s home, where Colleen Stan was led downstairs to a cellar.
Cameron stripped Colleen Stan and hung her by her arms from the basement rafters. It was very painful; when Colleen Stan cried and tried to find something on which to rest her feet, Cameron whipped her. Through her blindfold, Colleen Stan could see a magazine open to a picture of a woman who was hung much like she was. After she had hung for 10 or 15 minutes, Hooker let her rest her toes on a box. From under her blindfold, she could see Hooker and Janice having sex. When they were finished, Hooker removed the box and hung Colleen Stan for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Then Cameron forced her to sleep in a wooden box that he constructed to keep the young girl from escaping. The box was built like a crate, and Colleen Stan wasn’t even able to lie down in there. He chained her wrists, put the headbox on her head, and tied her feet to the box.
She slept sitting up.
Initially, the couple had an agreement that Cameron wasn’t allowed to engage in sexual activity with Stan. Instead, she was forced to watch the couple have sex after they abused her.
For the next five months, he kept her—naked, bound, blindfolded, and gagged—in the basement. For the first 7 to 10 days, Colleen Stan was kept naked, chained to the rack, and wearing the headbox. For the remainder of the first five-month period, Colleen—still naked, bound, and wearing the headbox—was kept in a coffin-like box in the basement, leaving it only once a day to eat, drink, urinate, and defecate, always in Hooker’s presence.
During this time, Cameron regularly practiced bondage on Colleen Stan, suspending her from the rafters, constricting her breathing, whipping her, keeping her head encased in the headbox, tying her to the rack, shocking her with electrical cords, burning her pubic area with a heat lamp, and immersing her in the bathtub until she was unable to breathe. Colleen Stan once estimated that Hooker hung her and whipped her 90 to 100 times in the first six months.
The abuse was horrible. Cameron even came up with torture devices to wear Colleen Stan down. He put her on a stretching device to pull her joints out of place. It inflicted excruciating pain on Colleen Stan and left her with permanent damage to her back and shoulder.
She wasn’t given much food, and she lost 22 pounds after the first month. She was also electrocuted, she was whipped, and burned… she endured absolutely horrible treatment. In August, Stan was allowed to have her first bath since her capture THREE MONTHS later. In November, she started doing small chores around the house, working nude.
And then it somehow got worse because the family moved to a mobile home. And they no longer had a cellar, so now they kept Colleen in a coffin-like wooden box underneath the Hookers’ water bed for up to 23 hours a day. In the box, she had a bedpan, toilet paper, and a radio. But this still meant she spent a LOT of time laying down. Janice even gave birth to her second child on the bed while their hostage squirmed underneath.
So yeah, that is a gruesome reminder: The couple had two young daughters during this time!!! And they didn’t realize Colleen was being kept against her will and didn’t even know that she was living in the house. For an hour or two a day, “the girl in the box” would clean and babysit the children.
So as we discussed in the episode about Stockholm Syndrome’s origination, a lot of times people who are being held in captivity often develop positive feelings toward their captors or abusers over time as a coping mechanism.
And this started happening to Colleen. She became more and more compliant, which earned Cameron’s trust, and she was allowed more freedom over time. Cameron knew that Colleen was so terrified and conditioned into obedience that she would not try to escape, or tell anyone the horrifying truth.
As she said, “Anytime I was taken out of the box, I never knew what to expect. Fear of the unknown was always with me as I was kept in the dark both physically and mentally.”
But more than anything… Colleen was afraid of something called The Company. She was afraid of The Company more than she was afraid of the regular beatings and rape.
So what the hell is The Company? Well, Cameron claimed it was an organization that had members in all echelons of government, industry, law enforcement, and courts; they enslaved women for fun and profit, and they used high-tech surveillance to track them at all times to ensure that they didn’t escape and inform the public. If they tried to, “The Company” would retaliate immediately against them and their relatives. He claimed they would “nail her to a cross” or shoot her if she tried to escape.
As part of this contract, Colleen would be referred to as ‘K’ and she was to address Cameron and Janice as ‘Master’ and ‘Ma’am’. He also required Colleen to kneel, bow her head, and ask permission before doing anything. Hooker placed a collar around Colleen’s neck as a symbol of her slavery. Eventually, this collar and a subsequent one wore out; Hooker replaced them with an earring that he pierced through her right labia.
So “the girl in the box” remained in captivity, and even signed a contract stating that she was willingly enslaved to Cameron and Janice.
In 1979 or 1980, some of Colleen’s evenings were spent helping Hooker dig a large hole on their property while Janice, at her husband’s instruction, stood guard. The hole was lined with concrete blocks. The project took two years to complete. And guess what… the hole was meant to hold Colleen. After a week, it began to rain and the hole began to fill with water. Janice took Colleen out of the hole and put her in the box under the bed. Three weeks later, Hooker put Colleen back in the hole. She was there about a week before the Hookers began to suspect that a child had seen Colleen in the hole. Colleen was placed back in the box under the bed.
For years, Colleen endured starvation, flogging, and burns. Her “slave contract” required her to perform any task Hooker deemed necessary, including housework and caring for his children, as well as having sex with him. Worse, he would tie her by the wrists to the ceiling or leave her for days with a 20-pound wooden box wrapped around her head, blocking her view of the outside world.
By complying with Cameron and his wishes, Stan continuously earned more and more freedom. She was allowed to work in the garden and go for jogs. Cameron trusted Colleen so much that he even allowed her to call her family two and a half years after she had been reported missing.
He even let her visit them four years into the ordeal, in 1981. Before the trip, Hooker told Colleen that he had to get permission from the Company and put up a $30,000 security deposit to cover the Company’s cost of watching Colleen and her family. A week before the trip, at Hooker’s instruction, Colleen told the children and the neighbors that she was leaving. Hooker drove off as if he were taking her to the bus station, but smuggled her back to the mobile home and put her into the box under the waterbed. As a test of her obedience, Hooker had Colleen place a gun in her mouth and pull the trigger.
The gun was empty.
On the way, they stopped in Sacramento at “Company headquarters.” Hooker had told her that before they went to Riverside, the Company would test her and would make her take a lie detector test. Colleen was nervous about being able to pass a lie detector test. In Sacramento, Hooker left Colleen in the car, returning a while later with the news that the Company had waived the test requirement. This is the level of manipulation that this man went to.
So they arrive – and Cameron went with her, posing for a photograph as her loving boyfriend. Now obviously they could tell something was way off with her, she was quiet and didn’t seem to have anything that was HERS. She was thin and docile. But, they didn’t want to pressure her as they were scared it would cause her to disappear for good. So her family did not pry in case she lost contact with them again. They spent two and a half years, prior to her phone call, missing her and wondering what had happened, now at least they knew she was alive.
So they watched her walk away with her weirdo boyfriend and sadly for the next three years, the abuse and confinement continued. In 1983, Colleen was allowed more freedom, including a part-time job as a cleaner in a nearby motel where she had to use the alias Kay Powers. Sometimes she even went to church with Janice. AND AND Janice began to tell the church pastor how they had been living for the past seven years. He advised Janice to send Colleen home, leave Hooker, or turn him into the authorities. I don’t about you but to me, this is the kind of thing a priest or pastor should be able to tell authorities.
Now like most narcissistic, sociopathic men, Cameron no longer JUST wanted Colleen as a sex slave… he also wanted her as a second wife. AND Cameron also told his wife that he intended to acquire new slaves and keep them captive with Colleen. And this didn’t sit well with Janice.
Janice had been ok with Cameron torturing and brainwashing her since they first started dating each other. She had developed denial techniques and compartmentalized that aspect of her life. But once Cameron decided that he wanted Colleen to be a second wife, that was the final straw.
This was the turning point, Janice revealed to Colleen that Cameron was not part of The Company and helped her to escape.
On August 10, after Cameron went to work, Janice and Colleen took the children and went to Janice’s parents’ house. Colleen called her own parents and arranged for them to wire her bus fare. The next day, Colleen left for home, after calling Hooker from the bus station. She told him that she was leaving—that there was nothing he could do to keep her there anymore. The next morning, Colleen’s family met her in Riverside.
Now because Janice helped her escape, Colleen was open to the request she made. She asked that Colleen didn’t say anything to the authorities because Janice was just convinced that her husband could be rehabilitated. With Jesus.
Now to me, I would have said “Nah bro, I’m turning him in.” But, as Colleen said, “My first feeling was when I was free and reunited with my family was just, I was so filled with joy. It was just like my cup was overflowing with joy.”
Of course, her family was very inquisitive about what actually happened, and while she told them some of it she didn’t share much – or turn Cameron in.
Meanwhile, Janice had moved back into the mobile home with Hooker after a week apart. Hooker attended church with her for a while and Janice urged him to obtain counseling.
At Janice’s request, Cameron destroyed some of his bondage paraphernalia in late August or early September. Janice also hid some other items that were not destroyed. She was afraid that he would use them on her because she had let Colleen go. Unable to eat and sleep in the mobile home, Janice returned to her parent’s home on September 28. Her anxiety attacks stopped as soon as she moved out.
If you want to see how strong Stockholm syndrome is… In the next few months after she was freed, Colleen continued to communicate, by letter and telephone, with Janice and Cameron.
On November 1, Janice went to the mobile home to see if Hooker had destroyed the rest of his bondage paraphernalia. He had not this seemed like the last straw. On November 7, a friend in whom she had confided suggested that Hooker might hurt Janice or the children. Later that day, she talked again with her pastor, who (FINALLY) contacted law enforcement officials.
Cameron Hooker was charged with sexual assault and kidnapping using a knife. At the trial, Janice testified against him for full immunity. Colleen Stan’s experience was described as “unparalleled in FBI history.”
Cameron Hooker tried to convince the jury that Colleen had fallen in love with him and stayed of her own volition. He claimed that the sex was consensual but the jury did not believe him. He was found guilty of seven out of eight counts for the kidnapping and rape of Colleen Stan. The judge stated that Cameron was ‘the worst psychopath I have ever dealt with’ and sentenced him to 104 years in prison. Colleen Stan’s ordeal resulted in an unprecedented trial. There had never been anything like it in the history of the state and the judge thanked the jury for their service in the case.
Cameron Hooker was found guilty and given consecutive terms, totaling a 104-year sentence. In 2015, he was denied parole. It will be a minimum of 15 more years before he’s eligible for parole again.
Colleen Stan suffered chronic back and shoulder pain as a result of her confinement. When she returned home, she received extensive therapy, eventually marrying and having a daughter of her own. She joined an organization committed to helping abused women and earned a degree in accounting.
Colleen Stan and Janice Hooker both changed their names and continued to reside in California. However, they do not communicate with one another.
In regards to her resilience during those excruciating years in captivity, Stan told reporters, “I learned I could go anywhere in my mind. You just remove yourself from the real situation going on and you go somewhere else.”
Story 2 – The Field of Cloth & Gold
Instead, we’re going to France to talk about something we love – an over-the-top celebration, as well as something we love to hate – a good old-fashioned dick-swinging contest. This one is called The Field of Cloth and Gold.
Before we get into the excessive abundance, we have to talk about a little history. I’m going to summarize a lot in a short period of time, so just roll with it.
This story revolves around our old friend Henry VIII, and a new character on this podcast, Francis I. In the early 1500s, much of Europe was still referred to as the Holy Roman Empire, and it was under the rule of the Holy Roman Emperor – Maximilian I in this story. But England and France were ruled by kings, and there had been a historical precedence set in which English kings would invade France and claim their throne.
In 1513, Henry VIII did just that. He pleaded his case to Maximilian, who supported him and invaded France. But, in 1515, Francis came into power. He was a little younger than Henry and a much better warrior. And everyone was like, “damn, we like that dude.” So, instead of Henry tucking his tail between his legs and just nope-ing out of France, his advisor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, came up with the treaty of Universal Peace. And Emperor Maximilian was like,” yes, that’s a fantastic idea.” In 1518, the treaty was
signed, which, among other things, called for the king of England and the king of France to be allies, so they could come together and battle outside threats. But Henry low-key still thought he was the rightful ruler of France. In addition, Henry VIII and Francis I was supposed to meet, and I’m guessing shake hands like adults or something.
This was supposed to happen right away, but Emporer Maximilian died and both Henry and Francis wanted the job, but it went to Charles V, the king of Spain (and Henry’s nephew through marriage). Charles was 19 – way younger than Henry and Francis who were in their late and mid-20s, respectively, so there was some jealousy there too because he had a much bigger territory than they did.
Regardless, Henry and Catherine of Aragon stopped at Canterbury on their way to Ca-Lay to meet with Charles V, which worried Francis when he got news of their stay with the most powerful man in what is now Europe. It’s important to note that France and England had been at some sort of war for almost 200 years, so even though there was this peace treaty, everyone was still treading lightly.
Even so, Hundreds of tents were constructed. They built a special area for tournaments, and they even built temporary palaces to house the kings.
Finally, on June 7, 1520, Henry and Francis met at a neutral location, Ca-Lay, France, to shake hands like gentlemen in a crazy over-the-top festival, designed to squelch the rivalry between their two nations. This peaceful meeting was almost over as it began, as Henry rode up adorned in cloth and gold, and the French mistook his bougie outfit for armor. After this was cleared up, the kings hugged, I’m guessing kind of like Will Ferrell and Adam Scott hug in Stepbrothers.
It was so awkward because, leading up to the event, Henry was acting like a child. Both kings had apparently decided not to shave their beards until they met, which is a strange act of solidarity, but anywho, Henry apparently decided to say “fuck this beard!” and shaved it anyway. Francis’s mom got wind of this and was pretty upset. But Anne Boleyn’s dad, Thomas came to the rescue, saying that Henry’s wife, Catherine of Aragon, preferred him clean-shaven. He’s all, “it wasn’t a slight, Henry is just whipped.” In case anyone has forgotten, Catherine was wife number 1. I double-checked, because I would have been surprised to hear that Thomas Boleyn would be eager to help Henry after he beheaded his daughter.
Anywho, Francis’s mom was like, it’s all good because the kings’ love for each other – and this is a quote – “is not in their beards,
but in their hearts.” And thus, an 18-day celebration commenced. It’s the 1500s, so we’re talking feasting. Jousting. Masquerades, and of course religion to repent for all of the debaucheries. Henry and Francis had reputations for being athletic, but no one was trying to have them joust each other because remember, this is supposed to be a celebration of peace. Instead, the two kings fought on the same side against volunteers. Francis still ended up with a bloody nose, but I suppose his injuries could have been a lot worse. Henry challenged many other French volunteers, trying to show off his military prowess, to the point that – trigger warning – one of his horses died from exhaustion.
Unfortunately for Henry and Francis, meteorology was fairly unpredictable in the 1500s, and the weather in June was rainy, forcing the kings to delay many of their scheduled events. But you can’t rain delay two white men with large egos, so when French wrestlers started challenging English men to wrestling matches, a drunken Henry decided to challenge Francis to a match. He grabbed Francis by his collar, which was a complete abandonment of any sort of royal protocol. It was also a bad call because
apparently, Francis hailed from a French region famous for wrestling. He knocked Henry down realllll quickly. Henry was all, “fine, then I will best you at archery,” which he did.
Approximately 12,000 people showed up to this over-the-top celebration. The kings sourced in bread ovens and huge kitchen tents – it kind of sounds like an OG food truck. And it was a lot of food – 98,000 eggs, 29,000 fish, 2,000 sheep, 13 swans, and 3 porpoises, which is awful. Also, 200,000 liters of wine and 66,000 liters of beer. Everyone was shit-tanked. Some of the wine even flowed through the fountain that was built at Henry’s temporary castle. Because obviously, what is a temporary castle without a wine fountain?
Of course, the fanciest of feasts were reserved for the royalty and the high nobility. They enjoyed three-course meals eaten off of gold plates – silver plates for the queens, because they’re women, obviously.
Plus, they ate exotic birds, and swans, as I mentioned above, but also peacocks bred by wealthy people, which were plated in gold. They had venison pie, candied fruits, and small sculptures created from sugar. Of course, there were elaborate centerpieces, which were mostly religious-themed. After large meals, guests attended masquerades. This was Henry’s favorite because apparently he
really liked dramatically revealing his identity to unsuspecting party-goers. Unfortunately for Henry, he had a very recognizable way of moving, as well as a unique body type, so people knew it was him, even when he was wearing a mask. I’d imagine that people would still be like “oh my god, Henry, I’m so surprised,” because no one is trying to get guillotined at this festival.
I’m not going to lie; this whole festival does make me feel quite a bit less guilty about anything extra I want to do this holiday season with my family. Yes, we all wear matching jammies and want to do a lot of Christmas things, but at least I didn’t commission a new holiday house with a wine fountain.
Of course, no Renaissance celebration was complete without a little splash of religion. So, on Saturday, June 23, mass was held in the temporary chapel built in the yard. The Royal English Choir and the Royal French Choir took turns singing hymns, and Cardinal Wolsey proceeded over the event. He borrowed robes from Westminster Abbey and their cloth was made out of gold. There was a giant crucifix covered in gold and religious artworks covered in silver. And if that wasn’t extra enough, after the Catholic guilt, church-goers were treated to a dragon in the sky.
Okay, not a real dragon, but a kite. It was constructed by the English and was essentially just canvas stretched around wooden hoops which were pulled by a string, and tied to a carriage. Attendees claimed that the dragon’s eyes were aflame and smoke came from his mouth, so probably this dragon was filled with fireworks. It was adorned with Francis’ salamander emblem, and I guess Henry’s emblem was a dragon, so obviously, this was necessary.
The Field of Cloth and Gold concluded on June 24, during which there was another giant feast, and Henry and Francis gave each other presents and called this festival a success. France and England were allies, and everyone assumed that there would be no more friction between European countries. The end.
This peace lasted all of 2 weeks when Cardinal Wolsey arranged for Henry and Emperor Charles to meet again. He wanted to secure a brand-new alliance between England and the Holy Roman Empire because of fuck France. And a year later, in 1521, Charles attacked French Territory, meaning Francis had to put France to War with the rest of the Holy Roman Empire. Ultimately, in 1522, England got sucked into this conflict as well, fighting alongside Charles and the Empire. No more European peace. Later that year,
England sacked a French countryside and in 1525 Francis was taken prisoner by Italy.
So it’s possible that the Field of Cloth and Gold was not so much about peace, and more about 2 vain kings getting drunk off of wine fountains and wrestling each other. And fun fact, things didn’t work out so well for Cardinal Wolsey either. If you’ll recall from my story on Henry VIII a hot minute ago, his inability to secure Henry’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon, who still had not given birth to a son, and facilitate his marriage to Anne Boleyn sealed his fate. One of the reasons used to justify his execution was because of how much money Wolsey wasted on this over-the-top festival.
Henry would spend the rest of his life trying to regain his former glory, much like someone who graduates high school but thinks about it being the best time of their life. Henry and Francis had another meeting in Calais in 1532, but it wasn’t nearly as fun, and this festival didn’t secure peace between the 2 kings either.
Many historians now see the Field of Cloth and Gold as a pretense for each young king to shield their true intentions for war, and not a peaceful event at all. And that is the story of arguably one of the most pointless festivals in all of history. Happy Holidays