Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

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Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by ThatGuyYouKnow on Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:14 pm

When I first started researching the IT I was actually overwhelmed by how much evidence was for it, and how little was against it. In my attempts to gather knowledge, opinions and have discussion about IT, it was clear that there was no really strong evidence against it that generated much reasonable doubt. When I don't kick kicked out of groups or discussions the one argument against it that is thrown around a lot is the Prothean VI not recognizing Shepard as indoctrinated. I also get the lame excuse that its just a theory and Bioware has debunked it. Everybody hear knows both of those are false. The theory doesn't say Shep is indoctrinated and Bioware never officially debunked anything. What I always look for in discussions is both sides. I like to go in neutral and examine the arguments and evidence, but with IT there is hardly any against it. If the theory is so stupid and far fetched it should be easy to disprove it then. Something so outrageous can easily be examined, critiqued and proven false. So what I am asking here from you guys is the best evidence against the theory. Maybe there is some I have never heard before that you can offer. Give me all the evidence you can to tear this theory down and lets all examine it.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by dorktainian on Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:30 pm


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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by Rifneno on Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:41 pm

Well OBVIOUSLY the Prothean VI would detect indoctrination. Their methods of detecting indoctrination were perfect! It's not like they were brought down from the inside by indoctrinated agents or anything.

There really is no decent evidence against it. Most of it is completely fucktarded. For example, we had one genetic defect telling us that Shepard's shields would've protected him from indoctrination. I couldn't come up with something dumber than that if I tried. I couldn't mockingly make up something worse than the things literalists actually believe. It's amazing.

As for BW debunking IT, they've actually all but done the opposite. At one point on BSN, some cumbubbles were petitioning to have IT stuff moved to the fan fiction section. A BW employee (not an unpaid volunteer mod, an actual paid employee of BW) denied their request, locked the thread, and said, and I quote, "There are elements of Mass Effect 3 that are meant to have non-literal interpretations." I think that's as close as they can really get without flat out saying it's true. What other "non-literal" interpretation IS there? And he said it specifically in regards to question about IT. Very, very heavily implies that IT is intended by the writers. Like, Chris Priestly on Jupiter heavy.

I get where you're coming from. And I'm glad to see it, that scientific approach is what I love about the original IT community. Sadly you're not gonna find much of that left in the forums. The few of the original crowd still around mostly hangs out in the chatbox and Mass Effect is rarely discussed anymore. But I digress. Kudos on trying to find good counterarguments to question your beliefs. We should all do more of that. But the fact of the matter is, there simply aren't any.

The only argument against IT I've heard that holds any water at all is that it's less likely after Extended (Wrist) Cut. And that doesn't hold much water either, just more than the Prothean VI nonsense. They were basically forced to make EC, and even then it has some real IT overtones to it. They greatly extended the amount of time you can see Shepard's eyes went TIMy, the control and synthesis music is creepy and unsettling as fuck, control Shepbinger is talking like Sovereign & Harbinger, leaving you to wonder how long before it restarts the cycles. And synthesis EDI, well, it's remarkable how close that perfect synthesis world is to a description of life from the point of view of someone that had been harvested and is now part of a Reaper. So I don't think EC "killed" IT like many people claim but I do think it was extremely disappointing and I can see why IT lost some people afterwards.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Well, there's the Sanctuary argument. Literalists say it's proof that the Reapers can actually be controlled. (If what Cerberus was doing there wasn't a threat to them, the Reapers wouldn't have attacked Sanctuary)

I don't think it necessarily debunks IT, but it's one of those things that seems hard to explain from an IT perspective. (Whereas almost everything else suddenly makes sense from an IT perspective)

If I had to try to explain it from an IT POV, I'd say that if I were the Reapers, and I wanted to make the idea that the Reapers can be controlled seem like a good one (even if the idea of control is actually just a trap), I'd attack Sanctuary, to plant the seed of doubt in Shepard's mind.

This may be reaching though. I'm open to better suggestions.

Another thing is Leviathan. Now don't get me wrong, I've written tons about how Leviathan helps IT tremendously, no need to point this out, but... literalists tend to bring this up, saying Leviathan "proves" the Reaper AI isn't lying.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by Rifneno on Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:45 pm

DoomsdayDevice wrote:Well, there's the Sanctuary argument. Literalists say it's proof that the Reapers can actually be controlled. (If what Cerberus was doing there wasn't a threat to them, the Reapers wouldn't have attacked Sanctuary)

I don't think it necessarily debunks IT, but it's one of those things that seems hard to explain from an IT perspective. (Whereas almost everything else suddenly makes sense from an IT perspective)



No it's not. In fact it's significantly weaker than the Prothean VI bullshit.

You want to know what the Reapers do to stuff that's actually a threat to them? Mile and a half tall cuttlefish come by and fire their main cannon and hit it with 30 times the explosive yield of the bomb that vaporized Hiroshima and burying the target in molten lava. Things like nuclear missile silos, or particle accelerators capable of producing any significant amount of anti-matter, or enemy dreadnoughts. My estimates put the minimum number of Reaper capital ships at about 10,000. Which seems about right since we often see them just hanging around looking scary because there's nothing important for them to do.

So... riddle me this: why the actual fuck did they just drop a few husks off and call it a day instead of obliterating Sanctuary with orbital bombardment if it was any sort of real threat?

So why did they do it? Well I know this is a long shot, but you know, they're called "reapers" for a reason. This is kind of what they're doing. To everyone. Everywhere. Is everyone, everywhere a threat to them? Spoiler: They're kind of dicks.

It also serves some purpose for indoctrination of TIM & Cerberus. First, it sets their research back a great deal. This goal is a dead end, and they're going to need to throw stumbling blocks in Cerberus' way to slow them down from reaching the inevitable conclusion. Second, it reinforces the belief that control is possible. Cerberus thinks the attack is because the Reapers are genuinely scared of the research. Which redoubles their conviction in their mad objective.

From an objective point, I find it the whole idea of control in this manner hilariously stupid. First of all, it relies on the assumption that true Reapers are like husks. Why the hell would they be? Their ground troops can be remotely controlled, obviously. This is the signal Cerberus is supposedly co-opting. But why would such a signal be present in sapient Reaper ships? There's a host-client relationship. The two are not interchangeable and they are very different. Second of all, even if such a signal did exist, it would be sent via quantum entanglement because that's the only method without a time delay over the great distances of the galaxy. And QEC is impossible to intercept or manipulate in any way.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by ThatGuyYouKnow on Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:15 pm

Rifneno wrote:Well OBVIOUSLY the Prothean VI would detect indoctrination.  Their methods of detecting indoctrination were perfect!  It's not like they were brought down from the inside by indoctrinated agents or anything.

There really is no decent evidence against it.  Most of it is completely fucktarded.  For example, we had one genetic defect telling us that Shepard's shields would've protected him from indoctrination.  I couldn't come up with something dumber than that if I tried.  I couldn't mockingly make up something worse than the things literalists actually believe.  It's amazing.

As for BW debunking IT, they've actually all but done the opposite.  At one point on BSN, some cumbubbles were petitioning to have IT stuff moved to the fan fiction section.  A BW employee (not an unpaid volunteer mod, an actual paid employee of BW) denied their request, locked the thread, and said, and I quote, "There are elements of Mass Effect 3 that are meant to have non-literal interpretations."  I think that's as close as they can really get without flat out saying it's true.  What other "non-literal" interpretation IS there?  And he said it specifically in regards to question about IT.  Very, very heavily implies that IT is intended by the writers.  Like, Chris Priestly on Jupiter heavy.

I get where you're coming from.  And I'm glad to see it, that scientific approach is what I love about the original IT community.  Sadly you're not gonna find much of that left in the forums.  The few of the original crowd still around mostly hangs out in the chatbox and Mass Effect is rarely discussed anymore.  But I digress.  Kudos on trying to find good counterarguments to question your beliefs.  We should all do more of that.  But the fact of the matter is, there simply aren't any.

The only argument against IT I've heard that holds any water at all is that it's less likely after Extended (Wrist) Cut.  And that doesn't hold much water either, just more than the Prothean VI nonsense.  They were basically forced to make EC, and even then it has some real IT overtones to it.  They greatly extended the amount of time you can see Shepard's eyes went TIMy, the control and synthesis music is creepy and unsettling as fuck, control Shepbinger is talking like Sovereign & Harbinger, leaving you to wonder how long before it restarts the cycles.  And synthesis EDI, well, it's remarkable how close that perfect synthesis world is to a description of life from the point of view of someone that had been harvested and is now part of a Reaper.  So I don't think EC "killed" IT like many people claim but I do think it was extremely disappointing and I can see why IT lost some people afterwards.

Great reply! The reason I believe in IT is because it really just fits. All of the things that make no sense and that seemingly horrible ending are really put into perspective with IT. Why would the Reapers really give anybody those options? We have been obliterating organic life in the galaxy for millions if not billions of years, but now we put our fate in this one humans hands? You can either destroy us destroy us, control us, merge with all synthetic life including Reapers or you can just shoot the boy in the face and just flat out refuse everything. It makes no sense at all, but when you introduce IT sense can be made of those choices. Why so many can't examine evidence and come to a conclusion I just don't know. Im pretty sure all of us did.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by magnetite on Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:06 am

They won't examine the evidence, because they want Bioware to do all the hard work for them.

I've heard many of them state: Why can't Bioware just come out and tell us Shepard was being indoctrinated?

Did they play ME1?
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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by Raistlin Majere on Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:05 am

DoomsdayDevice wrote:Well, there's the Sanctuary argument. Literalists say it's proof that the Reapers can actually be controlled. (If what Cerberus was doing there wasn't a threat to them, the Reapers wouldn't have attacked Sanctuary)

I don't think it necessarily debunks IT, but it's one of those things that seems hard to explain from an IT perspective. (Whereas almost everything else suddenly makes sense from an IT perspective)

If I had to try to explain it from an IT POV, I'd say that if I were the Reapers, and I wanted to make the idea that the Reapers can be controlled seem like a good one (even if the idea of control is actually just a trap), I'd attack Sanctuary, to plant the seed of doubt in Shepard's mind.

This may be reaching though. I'm open to better suggestions.

Another thing is Leviathan. Now don't get me wrong, I've written tons about how Leviathan helps IT tremendously, no need to point this out, but... literalists tend to bring this up, saying Leviathan "proves" the Reaper AI isn't lying.

Rif already did his take on that, but I have another one.

Sanctuary never proved that the Reapers could be controlled, only their foot soldiers, at best. TIM claims it is just a matter of scale if I am not mistaken, but either way it really is not.

The standard Husk, is just that a Husk. At best it has a simple VI of some kind directing it when not under Reaper control. And that is the gist of it, Husk's and all the other reaper ground forces are controlled by the Reapers, that implies some kind of access point exists that is intended for a control signal. Hijacking this I would not consider impossible. However you would have to fight the Reapers for who has the stronger signal and...yeah.

But applying that same logic to the kilometer long cuttlefish is a vastly different thing. That is not some flimsy VI with an intended control point, but an AI vastly more powerful than anything else in the universe.

Really the thought experiment I like to engage in the most when it comes to this is regarding the Quarians and the Geth.

The Qurians spent 300 years coming up with a viable way to fight or control the Geth. 300 years for a race of technologically gifted, if weakened, people to come up with a counter measure against an AI they created. Even after all that, their countermeasure is based around blinding the Geth, not controlling them and the Reapers can block it with a software update.

Cerberus, at the very best, has what, 2-3 years? of work to try and control a AI race infinitely more powerful than the Geth.

That just does not add up.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by windsurfing on Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:23 pm

Sanctuary shouldn't be even a question anymore if people completed the game, Starbrat admits they already controlled Jack Harper aka TIM.

For more background, Jack harper was under reaper influence from way back when he and Ben got into that tangle with robed fellas in the cave whilst searching for the Artifact the Turians were after as well.
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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:59 pm

Rifneno wrote:From an objective point, I find it the whole idea of control in this manner hilariously stupid.  First of all, it relies on the assumption that true Reapers are like husks.  Why the hell would they be?  Their ground troops can be remotely controlled, obviously.  This is the signal Cerberus is supposedly co-opting.  But why would such a signal be present in sapient Reaper ships?  There's a host-client relationship.  The two are not interchangeable and they are very different.  Second of all, even if such a signal did exist, it would be sent via quantum entanglement because that's the only method without a time delay over the great distances of the galaxy.  And QEC is impossible to intercept or manipulate in any way.

Yeah, I agree control wouldn't work for precisely this reason.

I was just purely talking about the act of attacking Sanctuary, because you need to be able to explain that act, even if you can mention a million reasons why control would never work.

But I'm pretty sure bringing up "if it was a real threat, the Reapers would have nuked the place from orbit" isn't going to convince a lot of literalists, they'll just say the Reapers sent ground troops because Shepard needed to be there and find out what Cerberus was up to for story reasons, and wouldn't be able to do that if the place got nuked from orbit. Then they'll throw in the Rannoch Reaper and its retarded targeting mechanism for good measure.

Just playing devil's advocate here, even if I agree with everything you said.

And yeah, reinforcing the idea that control is possible, like I said, seems a bit like reaching, though it would fit perfectly with the Reapers' cunning nature. But in my mind the most compelling reason for them to do this, is to plant a seed of doubt in Shepard's mind as far as control goes.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by Rifneno on Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:12 pm

Raistlin Majere wrote:Sanctuary never proved that the Reapers could be controlled, only their foot soldiers, at best. TIM claims it is just a matter of scale if I am not mistaken, but either way it really is not.

The standard Husk, is just that a Husk. At best it has a simple VI of some kind directing it when not under Reaper control. And that is the gist of it, Husk's and all the other reaper ground forces are controlled by the Reapers, that implies some kind of access point exists that is intended for a control signal. Hijacking this I would not consider impossible. However you would have to fight the Reapers for who has the stronger signal and...yeah.

Yes, exactly! It's not a matter of scale at all. There's a signal that you can feasibly co-opt in husks. There's nothing to suggest such a signal exists in true Reapers.

I think the fact that indoctrinated Protheans were also trying this angle shows that it's under Reaper suggestion they try. Why would the Reapers encourage organics to try if there was even the tiniest chance of their research bearing fruit? It HAS to be a dead end. It is the only logical conclusion.

There's nothing to suggest one way or another but I do wonder if Sanctuary even did really co-opt the signal or if the Reapers were just listening in and stinging them along. "They're trying to make husk 40652857y move its right arm to test their primitive hack. Let's make 40652857y move its arm so they think they've made progress."

But applying that same logic to the kilometer long cuttlefish is a vastly different thing. That is not some flimsy VI with an intended control point, but an AI vastly more powerful than anything else in the universe.

Really the thought experiment I like to engage in the most when it comes to this is regarding the Quarians and the Geth.  

The Qurians spent 300 years coming up with a viable way to fight or control the Geth. 300 years for a race of technologically gifted, if weakened, people to come up with a counter measure against an AI they created. Even after all that, their countermeasure is based around blinding the Geth, not controlling them and the Reapers can block it with a software update.

Cerberus, at the very best, has what, 2-3 years? of work to try and control a AI race infinitely more powerful than the Geth.

That just does not add up.

Holy shit, I wish I'd thought of coming at it from that angle. Those are some excellent points.

windsurfing wrote:Sanctuary shouldn't be even a question anymore if people completed the game, Starbrat admits they already controlled Jack Harper aka TIM.

For more background, Jack harper was under reaper influence from way back when he and Ben got into that tangle with robed fellas in the cave whilst searching for the Artifact the Turians were after as well.

OMG, someone else actually read the extended universe stuff?! Did you also notice how Ben's interaction with the Arca Monolith mirrors Shepard and control? Electrical arcs flying everywhere, gray skin and you can see wires through holes and thin parts, ect.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:07 pm

Here's another popular literalist argument.

They ask: If it's an indoctrination attempt, then why would they give us the option to destroy them?

The way I see it, you could go and answer that question, sure, but I always tell them: Shouldn't the question be:

If they're giving us the option to destroy them, how can it ever be real?

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by Rifneno on Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:54 am

DoomsdayDevice wrote:They ask: If it's an indoctrination attempt, then why would they give us the option to destroy them?

I thought we were discussing logical counterarguments.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by Raistlin Majere on Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:16 am

DoomsdayDevice wrote:Here's another popular literalist argument.

They ask: If it's an indoctrination attempt, then why would they give us the option to destroy them?

The way I see it, you could go and answer that question, sure, but I always tell them: Shouldn't the question be:

If they're giving us the option to destroy them, how can it ever be real?

Because we are not indoctrinated yet. If indeed Shepard was fully indoctrinated, then yes there should not be a destroy option.

But that is not what we are arguing. In broad strokes our argument is that it is the final part of the indoctrination. Shepard is balancing on a knife's edge but he has not fallen yet, there is still a glimmer of hope.

That hope is the destroy option, the one logical course of action, the one thing matching our stated goal, in a endless stream of warnings, half hidden threats and empty promises coming from starbrat. He does not want you to pick destroy, because he, or they, know that Shepard is not yet under their control. They have to trick Shepard, but they cannot gloss over or hide the fact that there is still a way out.

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by dorktainian on Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:25 pm

DoomsdayDevice wrote:Here's another popular literalist argument.

They ask: If it's an indoctrination attempt, then why would they give us the option to destroy them?

The way I see it, you could go and answer that question, sure, but I always tell them: Shouldn't the question be:

If they're giving us the option to destroy them, how can it ever be real?

Indeed. what right minded evil galactic overlord would ever give one man the chance to wipe them out?
The same for Control. Why would starjar give up his control of the reapers just because you brought a big battery to a battle of wits?


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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by CSSteele on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:42 pm

You also have to look at how the ending choices branch and depend entirely on previous choices and War Assets. Depending on some choices, your Shepard ONLY can get Control. I think an actual detailed analysis of the breakdown between what gives you Destroy vs Control vs Synthesis and which options lead to those limited options in the sub-optimal play throughs might lead to a few more helpful counter-arguments.

In IT, of course, that means in a Control only option ending, your choices show you to clearly already be too far indoctrinated for the 'Capstone' personality for the Reaper, and so you're melted into a husk. It's a tight-rope, razor edge as Raistlin stated, and Destroy is there because it has to be. If you're amazing enough, they tantalize you with the Synthesis option to be that capstone.. which is their goal of course. That's the ultimate 'I've been indoctrinated' step and it's why it's 2nd hardest to achieve. You're delivering the Galaxy to them and in their final hour, you turn on them and become the Reaper's greatest asset, the Galaxy is following you at that point. It's beautiful symbolism, even if it's frightening.
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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by dorktainian on Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:50 pm

CSSteele wrote:You also have to look at how the ending choices branch and depend entirely on previous choices and War Assets. Depending on some choices, your Shepard ONLY can get Control. I think an actual detailed analysis of the breakdown between what gives you Destroy vs Control vs Synthesis and which options lead to those limited options in the sub-optimal play throughs might lead to a few more helpful counter-arguments.

In IT, of course, that means in a Control only option ending, your choices show you to clearly already be too far indoctrinated for the 'Capstone' personality for the Reaper, and so you're melted into a husk. It's a tight-rope, razor edge as Raistlin stated, and Destroy is there because it has to be. If you're amazing enough, they tantalize you with the Synthesis option to be that capstone.. which is their goal of course. That's the ultimate 'I've been indoctrinated' step and it's why it's 2nd hardest to achieve. You're delivering the Galaxy to them and in their final hour, you turn on them and become the Reaper's greatest asset, the Galaxy is following you at that point. It's beautiful symbolism, even if it's frightening.

Also... who doesn't want to destroy the reapers?

If that is you, you are indoctrinated.




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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:15 pm

Raistlin Majere wrote:
DoomsdayDevice wrote:Here's another popular literalist argument.

They ask: If it's an indoctrination attempt, then why would they give us the option to destroy them?

The way I see it, you could go and answer that question, sure, but I always tell them: Shouldn't the question be:

If they're giving us the option to destroy them, how can it ever be real?

Because we are not indoctrinated yet. If indeed Shepard was fully indoctrinated, then yes there should not be a destroy option.

But that is not what we are arguing. In broad strokes our argument is that it is the final part of the indoctrination. Shepard is balancing on a knife's edge but he has not fallen yet, there is still a glimmer of hope.

That hope is the destroy option, the one logical course of action, the one thing matching our stated goal, in a endless stream of warnings, half hidden threats and empty promises coming from starbrat. He does not want you to pick destroy, because he, or they, know that Shepard is not yet under their control. They have to trick Shepard, but they cannot gloss over or hide the fact that there is still a way out.
Well put and completely agreed of course, but then you're answering the first question. Reversing the question makes people realize they're looking at it the wrong way. At least, semi-intelligent, sane people. xD

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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by Der Wahnsinn on Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:23 pm

I'm going to be very quick about that topic. I have never seen any good "evidence" against IT. All I have seen was huge BS.
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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

Post by windsurfing on Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:50 pm

Rifneno wrote:

OMG, someone else actually read the extended universe stuff?!  Did you also notice how Ben's interaction with the Arca Monolith mirrors Shepard and control?  Electrical arcs flying everywhere, gray skin and you can see wires through holes and thin parts, ect.

Yes the similarities are unmistakable. More of this in the novels as well with Paul Grayson.
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Re: Lets examine the evidence "against" The Indoctrination Theory.

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