On a trip in Jerusalem, Rodriguez-Lopez purchased an archaic ouija-type talking board at a curio shop as a gift for Bixler-Zavala. They would return to their tour bus after shows to play with it during their 2006 tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as it quickly became the band's post-show ritual. Dubbed "The Soothsayer", the board revealed stories, gave names and made demands, as the band was contacted by three different people who appeared in the form of one, who was then referred to as "Goliath". The more the band interacted with "The Soothsayer", otherworldly coincidences began plaguing the band's experience writing and recording The Bedlam in Goliath: Blake Fleming, their drummer at the time, quit mid-tour and left the band with financial troubles; Bixler-Zavala wound up needing surgery performed on his foot due to the shoes he had been wearing, forcing him to relearn how to walk post-surgery; audio tracks sporadically disappeared from the studio's harddrives; Rodriguez-Lopez's home studio flooded and was subject to multiple power outages; and the album's original engineer went through a nervous breakdown, leaving behind all previous work with no notes as to where anything was. The engineer who quit stated to Rodriguez-Lopez: "I'm not going to help you make this record. You're trying to do something very bad with this record, you're trying to make me crazy and you're trying to make people crazy."
Rodriguez-Lopez was on the brink of starting the recording from scratch, but eventually kept on after recruiting Robert Carranza as a replacement engineer, along with assistance from Lars Stalfors and Isaiah Abolin. Midway through the recording sessions, Rodriguez-Lopez broke "The Soothsayer" in half and buried it in an undisclosed location as an attempt to undo the curse and halt the unforeseen tragedies. Rodriguez-Lopez swore never to give away the location of the burial, and also asked the band not to speak of it again during the remainder of the album's production.