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Ah, prisoners with job. An endless supply of employees who have to do what you say, and you don’t have to reward them in any way for their service! What a lovely system. Now, with the miracles of modern technology we can control these prisoners with more precision than ever before! Our patented mixture of cybernetic implants and artificial neurotransmitters, combined with extensive surgery and “behavior modification techniques” allow you to have your very own, completely obedient super powered sla... I mean prisoner with a job! Amaze your friends, protect yourself, ruthlessly obliterate your enemies and bathe in their blood, do fun party tricks! The sky is the limit with this miracle of modern technology!

So flashy sales pitch aside, my question is basically this. How can you use cybernetic technology (slightly more advanced than we currently have) artificial hormones/neurotransmitters, and behavior modification (i.e. torture) to bring a super human completely under your control? You can assume that the super humans’ biology is nearly identical to that of a normal human, so you don’t have to speculate about any strange biochemistry. Ideally, I’m looking for a way to make them obedient to the point that they can be used as soldiers, guards, and other jobs that still require rational thinking and split second decisions. So mindless, zombified super humans with no reason or cognitive abilities won’t quite cut it.

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    $\begingroup$ How did this get past the Ethics Committee? $\endgroup$ – Michael Kutz Feb 19 '18 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ What exactly do you mean by "super human"? Are these people simply stronger than regular humans or do they have any special abilities? $\endgroup$ – ScienceKeanu Feb 19 '18 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ If you want to leave their ability to think, they will know they are slaves, and won't like it. No real way around it now, we can leave them decisions and motivations, or remove them (lobotomy), but can't have that cookie and eat it, too. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Feb 19 '18 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ If they're criminals, and you have questionable ethics...Why not just have a crime syndicate of paid enforcers like a regular mob? $\endgroup$ – Muuski Feb 19 '18 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ 'rational' to a slave-zombie might seem different than 'rational' to you and me, so I wouldn't hand them live ammo just yet. Stripping out all personality and emotion seems rather a herculean task - human brains are built in the opposite way: It's much easier to strip logic and reason, leaving emotion. It might be easier (and safer) to simply pay well a corps of un-altered human guards. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Feb 19 '18 at 20:09
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Well I am not sure how successfully this can be made into a piece of tech or how close the psychology is but it appears that a wasp has beat us to it.

This little beauty right here https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Reclinervellus_nielseni.jpg makes the parasites from alien seem inexperienced at best. So basically the wasp Reclinervellus nielseni kamikazes a spider and lays an egg it in. The egg hatches and becomes a larva and mind controls the spider to uses it web making skills to form a cocoon for it. I doubt the wasp has any idea on how to make a cocoon from spider silk so it is obviously having the spider keep some intelligence like you wanted for your super human slave. Of coarse like alway their are some kinks that need to be worked out from this but you could used this along with some scientific jargon and keep the readers believing every word.

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    $\begingroup$ Ah, Nature. Creating yet another needlessly horrifying parasitic wasp. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Feb 19 '18 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs - not to mention the zombie ant fungus. People think George Romero movies are scary; try reading Nature sometime. $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Feb 19 '18 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ Also, more generally, this is similar to the approach used in Star Trek II, Wrath of Khan. Ultimately, the key problem I always had with that scene was that the mind was left extremely impressionable, but the behaviour afterwards looks more like fanatic loyalty to a single individual, which is inconsistent. You don't want your 'impressionable' prisoners with jobs doing someone else's bidding blindly; you're going to have to build in safeguards. But, like you say, just a kink to work out. $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Feb 19 '18 at 23:05
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Use one or more Supper humans to make them.

In my humble opinion and as described in the comments by others, I don't think there is a logical way of removing free will, but leaving a still useful logical mind behind.

The closes you could get is with some hand waving. Let there be one (or more) supper humans friendly to your cause that don't mind playing 'warden'. Give them some kind of mind control, or alliance reassignment ability.

Every day they can remind the prisoners that the Warden is there friend, and they not only like but want to help the warden out.

If your organization does not like the idea of having super humans in charge. There is the option of more hand waving, and using psychic recordings of the original warden. Maybe at one time they had a super human, with a alliance reassignment ability. Before that particulate super human escaped/died/terminated/retired they build up a whole library of basic "Obey me" commands that they play over the load speakers.

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Im a Detention officer currently. I can tell you right now that positive reenforcement (aka paying or rewarding good behavior) is infiniteley more effective than brutality. 90% of our control over inmates and maintaining of order within our facility comes down to 4 simple factors.

1: Equitable consistent treatment. Nobody is treated worse or better than anyone else unless they earn it. If a prisoner is in isolation and has lost comissary privledges he knows its due directly to his poor actions. If a prisoner is being afforded extra privledges it is directly linked to his demonstration of sustained good behavior. Nobody is punished or rewarded simply because theyre liked or manipulated extra favors. At all times inmates know exactly what thier status is and how thier actions have directly earned them that place.

2: The Inmates know they can rely on your word. You do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. Inmates know that when a guard says no its final, and when he says he will allow something or will do something on behalf of an inmate it is going to be done momentarily. If an inmate knows that there is zero variation in the reliability of the guard's word he will be much less likley to challenge the authority of the guards. The moment a guard fails to keep his word order begin breaking down because now the boundaries are no longer clearly defined and more assertive inmates will begin trying to re-define said boundaries in a way that is advantageous to themself.

3: Food. Seriously, humans do an incredible amount of thinking with thier stomachs. Providing meals that are nutritionally and proportionally adequate on time is probably our biggest security method. Virtually any fights or disturbances we have not related to mental illness in our facility are going to occur when theres some disruption to our food service. If a favorite and expected menu item cannot be delivered that day, or some breakdown in the system means food is late, lower than usual quality, or less than adequate portions we can pretty much begin counting down to the minute when the next violent outburst will occur.

4: Granting inmates who demonstrate obiediance, compliance, and dependability work privledges. Prison is boring, a chance to not only get out of your cell but also possibly earn some extra treats like more rec time, snacks, and bigger meals is an opportunity most strive for. Also, posessing access to areas most inmates do not such as the kitchen or janitorial areas is a status symbol. Inmates like to feel unique and trusted and tend to be seen as higher status simply because we allow them to wash dishes or clean toilets in a guard break area. They are trusted and allowed to go places other inmates arent and after a few years of "youre the same as everybody else" its seen by the institutionalized as a very big way to individualize themselves from the rest.

The idea that paranoia, brutality, coercion, and atrocity can be used as control methods are false. You will always be only one riot away from having your system collapse. Humans naturally resist such efforts to control them, in order to control humans (and quite frankly, I practice state sanctioned brain washing and mass-pacification on a daily basis) your charges need to feel like thier actions matter and that atleast the possibility of advancement exists. Seriously, by the time im done with most of these guys just the chance that they might not be allowed to spend an extra 3 hours a day out of the cell washing underwear or scrubbing toilets if they act out is enough to keep most of them in line. Zero violence, intimidation, or menacing behavior required. If you practice proper regimentation and de-individuation consistently and long-term enough you can literally lord scrubbing toilets over somebody as a treasured privledge to be earned or taken away and you dont even gotta beat anybody up.

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A religion implant. Indoctrinates a mind-wiped prisoner to follow your one true word. Even go to war and die in your name ;)

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Get them addicted to some drug whos source you control. It could even be voluntary from then on.

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This is literally the plot that lead to DeadPool and his powers.

Ajax: You know the funniest part of this? You still think we're making you a superhero. You. A dishonorable discharge. Hip-deep in hookers. You're nothing. Little secret, Wade. This workshop doesn't make superheroes, we make super-slaves. We're gonna fit you with a control collar and auction you off to the highest bidder. Who know what they'll have you doing? Terrorizing citizens, putting down freedom fighters. Maybe just mow the occasional lawn.

Wade Wilson: What the **** is wrong with you?

Apparently "control collar" is the way to go. Whether that's pain induced (shock?) or something more along the lines of Suicide Squad (there is a grenade in your neck with a trigger set to my heartbeat or phone) is optional. You have to depend on these superhero's in one way or another valuing their existence and putting it at risk if they disobey.

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