Prisoner Number Conditioning / Number Conditioning / Number Training
Known development history This technique is new and is currently being used in limited field testing. The process is currently being tested on a limited number of 'high interest' prisoners in Black Gazza who are being used as test subjects by the researchers there.
The intention is to create a cheap and effective method of mental control to control prisoners and other people deemed useful but dangerous.
Device description and operation The core of this system is to use the standard prisoner processing equipment in Black Gazza to condition the prisoner's mind so that they enter a receptive trance state after being addressed by their prisoner number (or some other number or code word as determined by their programmer). In this trance state, conscious control is suspended and the prisoner operates on a form of autopilot.
In the trance state a prisoner must answer any question truthfully and must obey any command. Under normal circumstances the trance state ends a few moments after the last input from the person who initiated it. Note that appropriate safety measures are in development.
For example, a guard could see a prisoner and read the prisoner's number off his markings or uniform. He would then address the prisoner by number to activate the trance state, then issue questions or commands. He could also combine initiation and command "prisoner (number) go back to your cell and lock yourself in".
Commands come in four basic levels.
1) Questions. A subject must answer the question truthfully. After a few moments without questions or orders the trance would fade.
2) Commands. A simple and immediate task such as "lock yourself into manacles" or "stand there for one hour" which is a one step process. The trance would end after 'timing out' if no further orders were given.
3) Programs. A set of commands, usually to be performed in sequence. "get dressed into your prisoner uniform, go to your cell, lock yourself inside" or "go to the roadwork area, deliver a message to (target), then return to me" and so on. The trance would only end after the last step were completed.
4) Conditioning. Long term, either similar to a post hypnotic command (to perform certain orders once a certain trigger event or word occurs) or more extensive programming and conditioning. For example an alcoholic prisoner could be ordered to become violently ill when they taste alcoholic beverages (the taste being the trigger for the response), or could be ordered to never crave or like alcohol again, in which case their mind would follow this like a permanent command. In both cases the prisoner would leave the receptive trance state but the number conditioning would remain active.
Speculation and Conjecture There are conflicting reports regarding the effectiveness of the technique and susceptibility of the recipient. For example the coding is designed for people to enter the trance if the number or code-word is spoken first in a sentence, to prevent accidental triggering. Some test subjects who were more susceptible would respond to a phrase such as 'prisoner (number) to activate the trance.
The conditioning relies upon the subject's subconscious to operate. When given a command the subject's own object recognition capabilities, motor skills and so forth are used. If asked to go to a certain place and perform a certain task, the subject will do so. A mindless drone would require remote control to navigate to the objective.
Continuing the above example, the subject would have no choice in obeying or disobeying, however they may go about the task in their own way and not as intended. For example to go to an unknown location the inmate might search for it, or might ask for directions, and so on.
One noted variant is a 'tamper proofed' version of the conditioning which forces the inmate to protect it, making them oppose and fear any attempt to reverse the conditioning process.
Known System Flaws The system has few safeguards at this time. For example:
-No limitations. A conditioned inmate could be ordered to commit suicide, or to commit crimes. An inhibitor against destructive behaviors should be added to the process. Note that in testing, conditioning such as 'never harm a guard' and 'never harm prison staff' are often used.
-Open-ended tasks. A conditioned inmate could be ordered to perform an open-ended task such as "stand here and wait for me" or "walk west" or "clean the entire prison" and would continue to do so, neglecting their own needs (such as food, water, medical care and hygiene) until they died. A task the conditioned subject can not complete such as finding a certain person might have the same result.
-Interpretation. Because the conditioning uses the subject's own mind, it has been observed that the method a subject uses to carry out an order can vary from the operator's expectations. It is speculated that prisoners might use this to control the process. For example if given a command such as "bring me dinner" it is possible (but unlikely) that an inmate might twist the conditioning to choose the food source (and thus go where they liked) rather than go to the closest source of food. If commanded to 'clean the toilets' one inmate might interpret that as clean them thoroughly, one might interpret that as 'check each and flush them'. And so on, the system is far from perfected.
-Conflicts. It is simple to issue conflicting instructions. This most often happens when issuing a command that clashes with existing conditioning. For example asking a prisoner under trance to lie. The subject must answer questions truthfully since this is hardwired into the number conditioning. However they must also obey the command to lie. This is another area where safeguards are needed. Subject responses to such situations have included falling unconscious temporarily, coma, derangement, and damage to the mental conditioning.