Men of the Machine are a group in the television series Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

The Men of the Machine are a cult built around a machine. Using ths Soul Exchanger, the members swap the souls of themselves and others into different bodies.


Early historyEdit

Originally, they were a group of hippie squatters living in the abandoned Webb Mansion, led by Jake Rainey. In the late 1960s, a machine appeared in the laboratory in the basement. The squatters believed it to be a cosmic gift that came to them across the universe and formed a cult around it (later naming themselves the "Men of the Machine"). Rainey became leader of the cult, referred to as the Supreme Soul.[1]

In 1968, Zackariah Webb arrived at the Mansion and demanded back the machine he'd built, but the cult refused and drove him away.[1]

At some point the cult figured out how to use the machine to swap souls and bodies, now calling the machine the Soul Exchanger. At first they used it to swap into animal bodies as a spiritual experience, but soon realized they could use it for material gains too. They began to swap into wealthy people to aquire funds, often retirees that wouldn't be missed after the cult discarded them. Then they became more bold, swapping into powerful and famous people long-term to acquire their identities and resources, infiltrating society and prolonging their own lives.[2][1]

War for the machinesEdit

In the 1980s they set their eyes on Edgar Spring's Unlimited Energy Device, but Edgar refused, which started a period of open struggle, with Edgar defending himself against the cult's attempts to get his machine.[1]. The cult named themselves the Men of the Machine.[1]

Sometime between the 1980s and the mid-1990s, the cult moved out of the Webb Mansion.

In the 1990s, Edgar was succeeded by his son Patrick Spring. The cult murdered Patrick's wife Catherine on the 17.07.2001.[3][1]

Approximately around the year 2001 the cult chose an unused building at the Seattle Zoo as new headquarters. To gain access to the site Rainey ordered their member Pollux, who had previously inhabited rock star Lux Dujour, into the body of Gordon Rimmer, who worked at the Zoo.[4] The cult moved the Soul Exchanger to the Animal Transfer Unit, making it their new temple.

Season 1 (A Completely Lost Dog)Edit

After Patrick Spring fails to deliver a second machine made by Edgar Spring, the men begin a mission to recover the machine themselves, kidnapping Lydia Spring in order to do so.

When that fails, they hire Ken, a electrician-for-hire, to build the machine for them. Before Ken can finish, he is kidnapped by holistic assassin, Bart Curlish.





On the 10.08.2016, the cult managed to seize the Unlimited Energy Device from Dirk and Farah, and bring them and Tood to the ATU.[3] Farah freed herself and shot dead Fred, the distraction enabling Dirk and Todd to get away momentarily, who barricaded themselves in the altar room before Ed and Zed burst in and downed them. At them same time, Estevez attacked the ATU, beating up Rimmer and shooting up the place, forcing the cultists to flee and destroying the UED and altar.[1]

Rimmer, with Ed and Zed, went to Police Chief Edmund Doyle at the police station, requesting help to seize back the Soul Exchanger taken by Dirk's team. Doyle gave them a SWAT team, with which they attacked the Spring Mansion that same night. In the assault, Rimmer was killed by Farah, Ed, and Zed were killed by Bart Curlish, and the SWAT team were beaten by the Rowdy 3.[7]

In the time following after, the remaining cultists were hunted down and killed by Project Blackwing as part of the clean-up on the Spring case.[7]


The Men of the Machine cult is built on and around the Soul Exchanger. The machine is used to swap souls between bodies, allowing members immortality as well as to acquire wealth and power through the involved identity theft.

The cult considers the soul, or "energy", of a person their central being and essence. Bodies are negligible and exchangeable, mere "shells" housing the soul. Dying is referred to as being "released" from your body out into the universe.

The place housing the machine and its socket they call their temple (possibly also the reliquary). The socket they call the altar. The socket's plug shape design they hold as a symbol of significance, worn on an amulet by their leader and painted on their temple. Overall, the machine, their temple, and members' bodies are painted with a variety of symbols that apparently hold spiritual significance to the cult.

The original members of the cult are termed original souls, and their leader is the Supreme Soul. Low-level henchmen are called drones.

Members of rank are given "better" bodies: of healthy, wealthy, powerful and influential people. Those members usually go on to live the lives of the aquired identities.
The lower and lowest members of the cult are the so-called drones, who act as obedient henchmen for the cult. They inhabit large men, bald, and tattooed with symbols. They appear to have varying amounts of lessened mental capacities, brought on by their souls spending long times in animal bodies.

The named drones of Rimmer's faction all have short names ending in -ed; they state these are not their "real names"[5].


Behind the scenesEdit

  • In the show bible, the original hippie cult before taking on the "Men of the Machine" name was called the "Autexious Sisterbrotherboys".




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Weaponized Soul
  2. 2.0 2.1 Watkin
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fix Everything
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rogue Wall Enthusiasts
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lost & Found
  6. Very Erectus
  7. 7.0 7.1 Two Sane Guys Doing Normal Things