Transformative Thought Initiative
The Transformative Thought Initiative is the working title for a postmodernist/left-wing extremist/SJW BBEG faction that is being fluffed out on 8chan. It is currently in the beginnings of development.
Overview and IdeologyEdit
"Everyone is equal, but inequal, and some are more equal than others, so we have to strive for equality."
- – The TTI's operational motto.
The Transformative Thought Initiative (TTI) is a shadowy pseudo-spiritual organization which seeks to infiltrate the institutions of a country and steer society towards its vision of equality and justice. The Initiative seeks to carry this out in a variety of ways.
First, TTI will attepmt to remove the influence of any conflicting ideologies in whatever institution it is trying to subvert. The TTI begins this subversion at the lowest ranks, usually as the "consumers" of whatever it is the institution is providing--if it's a university they start with the students, if it's a company they start with the regular customers, if it's a message board they start with the posters, and so on. Once the Initiative has established small but vocal foothold of followers, large enough to be heard is all the size , these followers will begin to realize that the institution's leadership doesn't agree with them on everything, and is therefore committing a great inequality. Eventually, something will happen. It can be a plant by the TTI, or an inductee could notice something on all his lonesome. Either way, this act will send the new recruits into an uproar. If they were a mob, this would be the first stone thrown. The TTI neophytes scream for reparation against this slight, and the demands inevitably move towards retribution (prodded here and there by the TTI proper), namely the removal of one of the institution's leaders and changing of policy to suit the needs of the TTI. Social media is usually employed to great effect in these cases, both allowing the outrage to be known by as many people within the institution as possible, and bringing the supposed transgressors to the attention of outside TTI elements, which increases pressure placed upon them. As the institution receives more and more negativity, from within and without, it is forced to cave in, if only to put an end to the public relations nightmare that the outrage has caused. Policies are changed, members of the leadership are removed, and an underling less at odds with the TTI steps up. After this, the TTI have for all intents and purposes emerged victorious. As the new policies come into play, the uninitiated patrons either leave for greener pastures or convert themselves. TTI adherents become the principal users, and the institution becomes a TTI enclave.
The Transformative Thought Initiative is best suited for campaigns set in the present day, the near future, or an alternative history setting based in and around the late 20th/early 21st century. The basic ideas can, of course, be modified to suit any campaign in any setting - but they were originally designed for the stated setting and period. The core ideas and identity remain the same - outlined below are specific suggestions for Modern and Cyberpunk variations of the TTI.
In a modern campaign the TTI is likely to be still establishing its power base, allowing the PCs a wider range of options when deciding how to combat them. The propaganda is likely to be more focussed on traditional media, with the internet being home to a particularly vicious battle between the TTIs agents (social media platforms are largely home to the TTIs sympathisers, with many forms of the older geekier parts staging a strong opposition).
Best suited to campaigns focussed on exposing corruption, media lies and general political shenanigans.
The TTI has had decades (at least) to cement its power base, they don't just influence the government, they flat out control it - in some areas they literally are the government. Social media has expanded massively, it is almost impossible for anything that happens in public areas not to be recorded by at least 12 different cameras and streamed to the dominant social media sites. The TTIs opponents have either been eliminated or gone heavily under ground. They operate in independent cells, they're desperate, radicalised, and have little if anything to lose. Casualties are a regular occurrence, replaced by men rescued from prisons and courts as they're charged or convicted of the ever-expanding hate crime laws--most of these carry the death penalty, and burden of proof is a distant memory.
Best suited to high risk, high turnover, terrorist campaigns - blow up big sister for freedom.
Personnel and AssetsEdit
The TTI has direct control over very few actual assets and only a relative handful of personnel. Those that it does control are largely media gurus, spin doctors, and communications experts. Their power comes from their ability to slowly and covertly worm their way into both the public consciousness and the various institutions (public and private) within a community and a nation. Once they establish a foothold within these groups then their resources will serve the TTI. The real strength of the TTI though is their managing the media and popular culture to push "the narrative"--a pre-ordained ideological truth that is considered the only possible truth by its adherents. Deviations from The Narrative are removed with extreme prejudice. Due to the TTI's focus on social media and academia, most recruits are inducted into the Truth as young adults.
The people on the ground, working for or supporting the subverted institutions, have almost certainly not heard of the TTI - indeed they are likely to dismiss the very notion of it as a farcical conspiracy theory if the idea is suggested to them. This allows the TTI to work quietly in the background, and survive even when one or more of its fronts is attacked or exposed.
The TTI will rarely subvert a government directly. Instead, it uses the spheres of influence it creates--the network of journalists and bloggers, and the civilians who follow them--to place pressure on the government for them, using social media to inflate their numbers and volume. This pressure is then used to enact policies to the TTI's liking in order to appease the digital mob created. On some occasions, the TTI will choose to keep this pressure constant if it believes the climate is favorable. In these scenarios, the apparent pushback has become great enough that elected officials begin basing their platforms on the Initiative's ideals. These officials are rarely members of the TTI itself, merely those who are entranced by one of its public arms, though they may become (or made) aware of it after being elected into office.
The TTI is an authoritarian organization that has a very hierarchical structure. At the very top of this structure is an organization known only as The Matriarchs. Exact information about the Matriarchs is hard to come by, but it is generally believed to consist of approximately a dozen individuals who set the agenda for the entire organization. Their leader is known only by the title Opressus Primus. No more than last among equals in the council, but Primus' position as the most underprivileged calls for primus' opinions and feelings to be known prior to all others. None save primuself can look upon the Primus, for it is said the sheer disparity of privilege between the Primus and any other is too much to bear.
A step above the masses of the Henchperson, Lieutenants usually are former henchmen themselves that have been allowed knowledge of the TTI. The most common way for this to occur is when a Henchperson has managed to reach some position of influence outside of the TTI, and this position is one that allows them to further the TTI's goals.
These are the footsoldiers of the TTI. Few if any know about the organization's greater goals, and only follow for the justice it seems to espouse.
Long Term GoalsEdit
The ultimate goal of the TTI is to create their version of a "truly equal world". This seems like a noble cause, but because of their separation of humanity into "Oppressor" and "Oppressed" classes, this actually means that they seek to subjugate individuals they consider oppressors, and raise up those they consider oppressed, with their leaders considered most oppressed, and thus deserving of absolute power and social control.
Every year, the TTI holds the Oppression Olympics, in which the most prominent members of the Initiative and its allies take part in various activities, so that they may find out which of them are the most unequal. At the event's end, all of the points earned are added up and divided equally among all participants. As no clear "winner" has been found as of yet, the process continues annually.
Possible Sources to Draw UponEdit
- Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron
- George Orwell's 1984
- Roger Zelazny's We
- Aldous Huxley's Brave New World
- Lewis Caroll's (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
- L. P. Hartley's Facial Justice
- John Tynes', Greg Stolze's Unknown Armies
- Genius: The Transgression at https://sites.google.com/site/moochava/genius is a fan expansion of World of Darkness that has some neat ideas