1. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Bringing down "God"

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by DeathandGrim, May 28, 2013.

    I'm having trouble ending a story which in itself is controversial.

    A man named John Walsh who, the antagonist/megavillain for the story, has the ability to influence people who look into his eyes which allows him to fabricate memories in their minds with his words. He starts off as a frustrated, middle class school teacher who accidentally discovers his powers when lecturing the class clown on a science formula he was never good at, when he realizes that he can influence the mind through words he abuses this to gain enormous power throughout the world. Abusing his powers to the right people and through the right means of media John lies his way up to superintendent, to school board, to senate, to mayor, to president, and finally he becomes "God" and that's when he really starts reaching globally as people all around the world come to view "God" and fall under his spells

    The Protagonist, Nick, doesn't watch TV or believe in popular opinion allowing him to be among few people who know how the world really is. And when he can't keep his mouth shut about John's abuse of power during his ascension to "God", Nick soon finds himself a marked man on the run from a completely brainwashed society

    It's up to Nick and the minority like him to take down "God" by any means... And there's where I have my problem, John's ability doesn't break after he dies because it's not simple mind control, the people who he influenced will always have the memories that he created in their minds. Somehow someway John has to be brought down and I want it to be done by human means nothing annoyingly supernatural like "God intervened", I feel that would just be lazy

    Help ._.
     
  2. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Sounds like he has Geass. At any rate, you're the write, this is something you have to figure out yourself. Rely on your imagination and just think about it.
     
  3. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Sounds like you've got a solid concept and know where you want to go with this. I would suggest doing research on cults and brainwashing to help give you some ideas of how to overcome this character and what he does.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as said above, it's your story, you're the writer... you need to work this out on your own... that's what writers do...

    do the research, use your imagination... something will come to you and then it'll be your story, not one written by committee...
     
  5. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Welll.... ditto the Geass comment, but if someone is brain-washed and they aren't after that person's death, maybe find a way to force John to release everyone before he dies? Otherwise my only suggestion is that Nick has an anti-ability to John's, but then that would be supernatural.
     
  6. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    If you want to write about mind control, first do some research on MK Ulltra and Monarch. This will give you a good idea of how to approach your story. Mind control is a very solemn topic.
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like you have a really interesting story - what if Nick used his wit and managed to convince people around him that the memories aren't rule? The key here is enabling the masses to start thinking for themselves again - how do you do that? And to make them start questioning even their own memories - it's not impossible. We all have some fake memories, things we think happened or have forgotten.

    Have you seen Death Note? It's kinda similar with the "God" concept - Kira, the name the media gave the killer who can kill without being present by writing the victim's name in his notebook - and obviously he has to be taken down. The point is, the guy, Light, who is Kira, wants to be God who bestows justice. He starts by killing criminals and then when the police starts to investigate, he begins to kill anyone and everyone who stands in his way. Loads of morality issues here. It's a massive thriller/detective story that works a little like a chess game, with themes on justice and death/life and a focus on the downward moral spiral that Light/Kira takes. Your concept is different, so Death Note's solution won't help you, but it could inspire you and guide you in the right direction to take your own story? In Death Note, Kira is taken down by human means, sheer intelligence and a stroke of good luck, actually.
     
  8. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Well, have Nick get into a dialogue with John and have Nick secretly videotape him saying something that would fix everyone's memory. Then kill him and somehow play the video on every screen in the world. ;)

    Also, you may want to do some research on capitalization of 'god'. Usually, if someone is 'a god' or 'god' is used generically, especially in reference to a non-Biblical god, it is not capitalized. Only if John has named himself God does it get capitalized, but if he is just 'a god' then it is lowercase, just like teacher, or superintendant.

    Also, I don't see anything controversial here.

    Good luck!

    ~ J. J.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Nothing wrong with a pep talk, "you can do it", but I'm not sure why DeathandGrim can't ask for ideas without being told he needs to figure it out himself. I like the story concept, with the permanent belief changes.

    But I'm confused, "John's ability doesn't break after he dies" suggests he died.

    You have two separate issues, how to kill him, and what to do after he's killed given the followers. One possibility, kill the guy some normal way, just involves getting to him, you know, bit of drama and some last minute twists, the usual.

    And then you can leave it up in the air as the masses continue to worship some idol or follow the religion like people follow Jesus.

    Just a thought. :)
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    People are touchy about the God topic. I can see controversy (a good thing) challenging people's god beliefs with parallels. They'd need to be recognizable parallels.
     
  11. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Well, I could see if there was some reference to 'God' and parallels are made, but he didn't elude to that in his synopsis. But if someone recieves power and set themselves up as 'a god' in their own mind, then there's nothing controversial. Like I said, there's a big difference between 'God' and 'god'.

    ;)

    ~ J. J.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I know the difference, and I used caps/no caps intentionally, referring to the god beliefs in general and Christians in particular when I said the God topic.

    I'm reluctant to take this too far, you being Christian/other and me being atheist (not spelled agnostic ;) ). Not all believers, but some will see the parallels if there are any. Look at the reaction to Happy Potter and Rowling didn't even mention God in the first few books.
     
  13. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I understand what you're saying. I wasn't taking any view from a religious perspective, just from a writing/plot perspective. So far, from this authors own synopsis, there isn't anything that would be seen as controversial, from religious people or otherwise.

    I'm not saying there won't be parallels in the full text, but he said, "the story itself is controversial." Just having a power-hungry madman think himself a god does not mean the story will be controversial.

    No point in reading into it if the author hasn't told us what about he thinks is controversial. I was just helping him from a grammatical angle regarding the capitalization of god.

    ~ J. J.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I see.
     
  15. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    where the mind is without fear...
    not again! sorry for the double posts.
     
  16. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    where the mind is without fear...
    Believe it or not persons who are treated as demigods still exist in India. The devotees/followers/whatever are not just rural uneducated people, but also people who belong to the educated intellectual class among others. I personally know some person who had no believe in such things, then they visit the ashram or place where the demigods live may be out of curiosity or for some reason, and they come back as believers. They tell tales of how just meeting the demigods help them find inner peace, how one touch of his divine hands healed their souls, how they cried listening to the demigods etc. I suspect some kind or form of hypnotism is involve here and yes, their mind is certainly being implanted with thoughts which wasn't there before their visits.

    May be you can go for a scientific solution, how about inducing partial/selective amnesia?
     
  17. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There will certainly be some very conservative Christians or fundamentalists who could get angry about the God topic - but I'm also a Christian and seriously, I don't see anything controversial in the OP's story either. (I wasn't even aware it was supposed to be controversial til just now by reading the thread) I'm with JJ here. Anyway, if people are gonna take offence, nothing would stop them. There're actual controversies, and then there's being over-sensitive. In the OP's case, I think the offended parties would be simply flipping out over nothing.

    As for Potter - at least in my church, it wasn't any God topics that made it "controversial" (and even in my church, the opinion was split anyway - my best friend, also a Christian, was a huge fan of the Potter series and her parents, the dad was an elder at the church, had no problems with that). With Potter, it was the whole idea of magic :rolleyes: But that's for another thread I think.
     
  18. ProsonicLive
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    ProsonicLive Senior Member

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    I agree with webster, but I will add a comment. brainwashing is almost always reversible. So your answer lies in psychology.
    besides, with a being that could hypnotize without any assistance (very few of us are truly able to be hypnotized) you are looking at a magical hypnotism. It does not have to be god, but it would sound plausible it pissed some supernatural being off pretty bad.
     
  19. Lucas
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    Lucas Member

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    As suggested before you could research brain-washing cults and learn how psychology is used to reverse the effects.

    However, I would go an entirely different route. You mention that people are brain-washed and follow popular opinion. I think it would add meaning to your story if a cultural aspect or cultural tradition (by this I mean I a cultural aspect or cultural tradition that has meaning and history behind it, NOT pop culture) could reverse the effects of brain-washing. Maybe if people read a myth/story they were told as little kids (such as King Arthur or Goldilocks and the Three Bears) the effects could be reversed? Maybe if they ate a food that is traditional in their country the effects could be reversed? Maybe if they participated in a traditional festival or dance that's part of their heritage the effects could be reversed?

    Just a thought. GL
     
  20. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Yes, one of my friend's sister belongs to one of those ashrams. After 10 years she is now allowed supervised visits with her family. I think cult brain washing works because people are looking for something, something is missing in their lives: they want to believe in something. I think this is different because John is able to influence everyone.

    Back to the OP's question: What if Nick (in a final confrontation with John) get's "influenced" by John: he is given the power to change peoples views (because John gives him the "memory" that he can do it). Then what does Nick do? Does he put things right? Or does he too come under the influence of the power, and use if for his own means? There doesn't have to be a "happily ever after" ending...
     
  21. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ooooh I LOVE that! OP - do this one!

    Scary thing what you said about your friend's sister :( One of my friends got into a cult once too, but thankfully she walked out from it in the end. However, this wasn't before she'd already told her family about the cult, and her family was still in the cult when she left it. I think everyone's fine now, and her sister was the last to leave. The sister divorced her husband thanks to the cult's influence I heard. In my friend's case, she woke up from the cult mainly thanks to God - she was already a believing Christian when she entered the cult, and as she started reading the Bible again, she realised how much she's changed for the worse.
     
  22. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    First off, I don't know why you mentioned "Christian" when you seem to have meant "monotheist". It comes off as argumentative (trying to pick a fight with Christians) Secondly, John isn't perfect. What happens when he contradicts himself?
     
  23. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    I like this.
     
  24. Rimuel
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    Rimuel Member

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    Brainwashing should be reversible, unless you are talking about consciousness control, where the individuals lose their consciousness and gets manipulated like a puppet by its puppeteer.

    Some random thoughts:

    To believe that something is, is to be believe that something else is not. To take a side, is to move away from another. To believe, is to disbelieve. Of course, this is different from understanding; for one can understand, and yet not the feel the same.

    "People, no matter who they are, want something to hold on to. In the midst of all the change they see around them, they hope to find something eternal, something changeless. I, fulfill their hope."
     
  25. Erasmus B. Dragon
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    Erasmus B. Dragon Member

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    Well, here's one idea:
    What happens to a beloved public figure when the public discovers he's a crack-smoking pedophile? Even implanted memories are only memories, and people can turn against someone they loved if his crimes are big enough.
     

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