OK. This is where I have to disagree, because all of you have fallen into the same trap and need to check your privilege (I love saying that in this context). Lots of the info here comes from the Psi Corps Trilogy by J.G Keyes. They are, I should add, absolutely canon.U.P. Cinnabar wrote: ↑2018-01-13 11:27pm
Bester was right.
Lets start with the general situation for telepaths. First of all, when telepaths were first discovered in 2115, there was a genocide. As in, mundanes freaked the fuck out so hard that tens of thousands of telepaths found themselves thrown into mass graves. Shortly afterward, Senator Crawford used this to create his own little fiefdom within the freshly formed Earth Alliance. He got himself placed as head of the committee that would end up passing the laws regarding telepaths. He came up with a thing called the Crawford-Tokash act. It's premise is that telepaths are listening devices and not people. Here are its regulations:
Privacy Protection: Telepaths can't scan anyone without permission or a court order. OK for deep scans. Except that perceiving the surface thoughts of those around them is just... like us seeing. So they have to pointedly ignore and suppress one of their own senses. It's literally like restricting the eyesight of the sighted because the ruling blind elites object to the people with functional eyes seeing what they do. It is to the point that telepaths are not even supposed to use their abilities to defend themselves from attack by Mundanes (but of course, there ARE exceptions to prevent terrorist bombings targeting mundanes).
Telepathic Evidence: Telepathic evidence is not admissible in court. Again, this makes sense. Except the law considers telepaths listening devices rather than people and there are concerns about manipulation of the jury/judges/lawyers. So this means that telepaths can't testify at all, even to identify someone who hurts them. This means that anyone who, say, rapes a telepath is bound to get off scott free because the victim cannot identify their rapist in court.
Universal registration and identification, and free discrimination: Anyone between a P1 and P12, irrespective of whether or not they are on sleepers (more on those in a minute). is registered with the state and that registration is public is like the sex offender registry. They must also wear visible identification of their telepath status (A greek letter Psi) if they are active telepaths. Even those on sleepers can be discriminated against in housing and employment. And with this comes restrictions on allowable professions.
As part of the Crawford-Tokash act, the MRA was set up. The Metasensory Regulatory Authority. It is the precursor to the Psi Corps. Under its regulatory aegis, the breeding programs were set up in accordance with EA law, as were the prison camps for rogue telepaths who refused to join MRA. The laws here were written by mundanes, as were the enforcement mechanisms. Keep this in mind. No telepath ever had a say in any of this, but if they don't comply...well... there had already been a genocide. In fact, at this time it was still ongoing, just slowed down a little. At this point, they are held at gun point to enforce these laws against their own kind.
Now, after First Contact with the Centauri, and the discovery that the aliens had their own telepaths, there was a second spike in genocidal killing and an assassination attempt on the EA president that was foiled by the self-sacrifice of a P5 named William Karges. It is at this point that the Psi Corps was created. Along with it, came even more restrictions on telepaths:
Political Neutrality: Telepaths must be politically neutral in every way. They cannot engage in journalism of any sort (even private blogging), political activism of any kind, run for or hold office, or even for that matter vote.
Professional Telepathy: Everyone above a P2 who is not on sleepers has to be IN the Psi Corps, not just registered with the state, and must be employed in their capacity as telepaths, and not in other professions that are not immediately required by the Corps. Telepaths also cannot own their own property BTW.
The Psi Corps charter provided that the director of the Psi Corps be a mundane who is appointed for life, who literally has the power of life and death over every telepath. As in, no due process, can order summary execution.
THIS is what headed off the completion of the genocide against telepaths. The fucking Nuremberg Laws. The EA government might as well start singing the Horstwessellied. Failure to comply and be seen complying with these laws could trigger a resumption of Pogroms. Psi Corps having to capture or kill rogues? Of course they do, because if they don't it would be perceived by mundanes as failure. That would be Very Bad. Which brings us to the Psi Corps itself.
Everything the Psi Corps does that is objectionable is ordered by mundanes and executed under duress of genocide. Sleepers? Who mandated those, knowing their side-effects? Mundanes. Breeding programs? Mandated by mundane laws and enforced by telepaths against their own at the point of a gun. The Sleeper Agent program that killed Talia? Same thing. In fact, the conspiracy Ironheart talks about was, in fact, the machinations of the Clark-Loyalist director of the Psi Corps.
The Psi Corps does not go along with all of this without complaint. There are three main factions:
Telepath loyalists like Bester who are preparing for the War of Liberation (some of whom, like Bester, also want to take over, but most of them just want sovereignty). They DID do some of their own interesting medical experiments in furtherance of these goals, but on volunteers rather than without consent. Telepathy makes compartmentalizing your conspiracy... non-impossible.
Quislings, who are loyal to Earth Gov, most of whom are not so much loyal as they are under duress by the time they realize what they are being made to do. Think of if like this. You're not raised in the Corps, your sociopolitical identity is still what it was before your abilities manifested and you've been asked to work with Director's office to clean our corruption in the Corps, or to Help Earth(tm). By the time you realize what's really going on, it's too late. Quislings also include any sociopaths they can find.
Everyone Else: People just trying to survive and make a life for themselves.
Now, to Bester.
His first experience with a mundane ever was knowing said mundane hated and feared him. He was six, and that mundane was the man who was to be appointed as Psi Corps director. The second time was a hate crime (he was beaten by a mundane while hiking in the alps with some friends). His next encounter with a mundane was going on a ride-along with his mentor and seeing one of his classmates (who ran away) trafficked into sexual slavery and raped to death.
The (mundane) director of the Psi Corps assassinated/forced the suicide of his mentor, and tried to kill him repeatedly because the prior director liked him. Said director (and his successor) was the one responsible for all the Horrible Things you see from the Psi Corps through the series. What happened to Talia? Oh yeah. His thing. Bester assassinated him (like you do), and the replacement was a Clark loyalist who expanded on those programs and sold telepaths to the shadows.
Is Bester a bit of an asshole? Absolutely. But what has he actually done that's bad? Try to arrest Ironheart, who was most definitely a danger to himself and others? Scanning Talia? Something he was legally allowed to do and that his mission absolutely required of him? Oh, sure there was that thing with Garibaldi but... Lets talk about that for a minute.
In order to prevent the genocide or enslavement of his people, he needed a high-profile individual he could get inserted into Edgars Industries. Garibaldi fits. Garibaldi is also a fucking douchebag, so if given the choice between a known quantity who he hates, and some rando... he's gonna go with the known quantity he hates. He was gonna have to telepathically condition someone. Might as well be the openly bigoted asshole he knows.
Throwing that one dude out the airlock in Season 5? Remember what I said about the distinct Lack of Justice telepaths get? All that piece of shit would have do is say "I was under telepathic control" and he would have walked, because no telepath could ever get on the stand and testify that this was not the case. So you shove him out the airlock.
Come at me Bros. I know this material better than you do.