Hundreds of years ago during the black plague, an individual named Howard Phillips Lovecraft started what would lead to the doom of humanity. Although a mediocre writer himself, his works of literature would inspire authors for generations. His most famous work, "The Call of Cthulu", was the first entry into a genre referred to as the cosmic horror story. This promoted the subversive idea that human beings were not loved by an omnipotent god, but were insignificant gnats in a large and uncaring universe, filled with unknowable creatures far beyond our comprehension.

For decades, he believed that these were his ideas, dug up from the dark corners of his imagination. Unbeknownst to him, these creatures that he imagined (nyalathotep, dagon, shub niggurath, etc) were actually real, and had been influencing his thoughts from the beginning. This was in order to gain a foothold in the mortal world, for the more they are known to mortals, the more power they gain, eventually giving them the strength to cross over. Lovecraft eventually went insane and died in obscurity, but various writers after him have picked up his work and added to it, eventually leading to what would be known today as the Lovecraft mythos. This has inspired various forms of media, including games (bloodborne), television, movies, and other works of art that are influenced by the subversive elements of the genre if not mentioning the mythos or the creatures directly, and thereby feeding their power.

A dictator of a small country has realized this truth and sought to end this threat to his people by controlling access to media outlets. These monsters can only cross over in nations that they have been able to successfully subvert, making the effect localized instead of global. While bigger nations like the U.S. will go to hell, this nation will be safe from the beings on the mortal world. By eliminating all knowledge of them and slowly removing their forms of influence in various outlets, they would be prevented from taking hold in a country. Certain outlets would be regulated through a number of measures meant to erase this genre from his country, similar to many dictators of the past. For instance:

  1. Strict monitoring of Internet access. Monitoring search engines and eliminating key words or phrases, shutting down sites like Facebook or Twitter that connect people, limiting network access to certain places instead of in the home.

  2. Book burning and erasure of articles or stories that have cosmic horror influences, as well as executing or imprisoning authors.

  3. Strict censoring of movies, games, and TV programs, pruning them of certain influences and determining what can and cannot be shown.

The point is by selectively removing certain things and restricting access to information, the public will eventually forget what has been lost, closing off their minds from these beings and limiting their power over us.

By restricting access to media completely, I am looking for a way to realistically eliminate these subversive elements in this country in the quickest amount of time possible, and would judge answers based on that. How can I make this feasible?

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    $\begingroup$ Does the dictator have an idea of how many people can know before it's unsafe? The measures are different if you're looking to prevent 50% of the population from being exposed to this, compared to trying to institute a 99% or 100% blackout. $\endgroup$
    – D M
    May 4, 2019 at 18:00
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    $\begingroup$ If there's not a trace of cosmic horror influence in the public sphere due to censorship, most people would forget pretty quickly... Unfortunately, history makes it clear that if you are willing and able to disappear anyone who steps out of line, you can quickly cause the public to do much crazier things than forgetting about a specific author. $\endgroup$ May 4, 2019 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ Is this an alternate universe where HP Lovecraft was born much earlier than he was in our world, or is this a future setting where our present is their past? $\endgroup$ May 4, 2019 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ @AdmiralJota the former $\endgroup$
    – Incognito
    May 4, 2019 at 18:09
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    $\begingroup$ If the monsters can influence thoughts, how is the dictator (and all the folks who would carry out the resistance plan) immune? Wouldn't the monsters influence folks to disbelieve the dictator? $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    May 5, 2019 at 2:02

2 Answers 2


If I assume that the CHS is only transmitted as an ensemble of memes, and not telepathically implanted by the Ancient Ones in the current population, then censorship will never eliminate it, because it will be forced underground and spread by word of mouth in secret places. The censorship makes it forbidden knowledge, and humans love that stuff too much.

But, if the Dictator, clustered her citizens in groups of small villages that couldn’t communicate with each other, and they were encouraged to write horror stories about Lovecraftian things — The Tentacle Games — without being told anything about the Cthulu Mythos.

Then the Dictator could measure where the meme still existed. It wouldn’t be universal but might be wide spread. Then she only needs to kill every potential meme carrier — secretly — and repeat the contest, tricksie hobbittese

For safeties sake, she should kill the entire village and grind the entire village (buildings, books, bathrobes, everything) into dust.

Children born to meme free villages could be taken while still young and raised by androids until they reach sexual maturity wherein they could be grouped together to form new villages.

As long as no one knows the consequence for sharing a CHS meme is obliteration, and people are incentivized to share the meme, the dictator could eliminate the threat in as little as one generation. But each successive generation would have orders of magnitude lowerprobability of knowing it. Eventually the Tentacle Maiden’s Tail could stop since the meme would be excised.


Well, as a dictator you can just tell people not to publish this stuff.

But if you want something more subtle you could copy the way Disney destroyed the Grimm brothers (and others) or how Superman (fictional) defeated KKK (real).

Make your your own cosmic horror media, hire the best writers and most popular actors, fund a TV series and movies and tie-in novels. Engage foreign media from the beginning. If you can get the doomed Americans to make their own versions of your television and movies, they will be cool things to be proud of not the dictators insane and insanely expensive whim. It should be entirely possible to make money on this. Lots of money. Your money.

The exact details of this depend on how the entities get influence and how much you know of it. At the conservative end you are simply pushing the real stuff off the market by heavily promoting your own. Which might involve using money to get rights to previous cosmic horror and making sure no reprints or licensing deals happen. Or you could get away with using the actual names and lots of details but tacking them onto something you made up that is sufficiently different from the real.

Either way the goal is to change the public perception of the cosmic horror entities so that it no longer matches the real ones enough to give influence.

Does people knowing of Nyarlathotep give him influence if they also know he is an alcoholic ex-actor who uses low budget special effects to separate idiots from their money? I'd say not.

You can think of this as a vaccination. Inoculating people with very similar but safe "vaccine" gives them resistance to the real and dangerous thing. And if you do this enough herd immunity develops.

And this stuff works fast.


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