Influence, Inc

by scifiscribbler

Tags: #cw:noncon #alt_history #brainwashing #dom:capitalism

A marketing prospectus for an unusual company in a world where legalities went very differently.


It’s a dirty word nowadays. Indeed, even the word most commonly used to distort the focus from the issue of control has become loaded due in no small part to the phrase you are in my power.

What makes it dirty is the fear of power being held over you. It is the issue of what would be done to us if we were not in control - and the lengths we think we might go to, with power of our own, shake our conviction that we make a positive difference in life.

However, Matthew Thomas and Carl Ellroy were willing to make full and frank self-examinations in 1937, when they were looking for business ideas. They came to the conclusion that what they would, honestly, most wish for could essentially be grouped into three categories: sex, money, and control. Money, of course, was what they hoped to make and is itself another form of power.

Perceiving that control could well influence the sex market as well, the two men founded Influence Incorporated and invested their capital in a small office set among the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio.

Their choice of location is perhaps surprising at first sight, but their business plan was sound. They placed an advertisement in a local newspaper for a secretary and reviewed the resumes of two hundred applicants. They recruited Laura MacLeane, a 21-year-old who was locally renowned as quite a beauty. On her first day at work they drugged, abducted, and hypnotised her. In 1937, this was still illegal.

At that time the methods Influence now employs had yet to be honed. Thomas and Ellroy spent six determined weeks, each man working twelve-hour shifts daily, never allowing Laura a moment’s respite, before they broke her. When she finally emerged from their office, six weeks after she went in, her mind was essentially useless; her body instead responded only to a series of programmed commands. She would cook and clean without thought or question - and at the suggestion, would do so naked.

Also only one suggestion away was the controller’s sexual fulfilment at whatever level he desired. History records that she was at first only able; by the time she was retired at the age of fifty she knew more tricks than the most prized harem girl, and would devote herself to them at a single command - the attention being all the more powerful since she paid no heed to her own emotions. Only those of her controller seemed to matter.

Immediately after breaking Laura MacLeane, Thomas and Ellroy contacted their second choice from the secretarial applications, explaining that their first choice had turned out to be a bad one. She accepted the job readily. The founders broke her, too, reducing their shifts to six hours each, with Laura working on the subject for the remaining twelve hours of the day. This breaking took only five weeks, the founders having learned from their experiences with Laura.

When they had broken their third woman, the two men set up the first of the businesses that have fallen under the auspices of Influence ever since: Slave For A Day.

They contacted university fraternities, wealthy single businessmen, and the burgeoning class of sporting stars who could be expected to want and afford the services of Slave For A Day. They began to rent Laura out to these people for a hundred dollars a day—a ridiculously high price in those days, but a price that was paid. Paid cautiously at first, perhaps, but as they experienced the single-minded devotion with which Laura would obey them for twenty-four hours—before donning her clothes once more and returning, as her programming instructed her—to the offices of Influence, Inc, which soon established a bunkhouse for its conditioned female property. As slaves broke their successors, they were added to the list of those for rental.

Slave For A Day acquired its own, separate office using the income from Laura’s first month alone. They gradually began to acquire property in the Columbus suburbs, but Thomas and Ellroy were not satisfied. True entrepreneurs, they knew that investment could mean far more money.

While Ellroy managed Slave For A Day, Thomas began travelling.

He roamed the world, researching the both the latest in pharmacology and the most arcane texts on herblore. He read of the latest developments in psychiatry and the oldest surviving works on hypnosis, and he gradually arrived at a unique synthesis of ideas.

In November 1938 he was in Egypt, in Cairo; already under the threat of warfare but nevertheless safe enough for his purposes. A cable from Ellroy brought with it enough funds to rent a small office in Cairo and procure those substances he wanted; he also recruited an Englishman, Brian Parker, who had come to Egypt in an attempt to avoid the war. The first woman they took in Cairo required only three weeks, and possessed a much greater degree of intelligence than the women currently making up the staff of Slave For A Day. By six weeks Parker was running the new Cairo branch on his own, by twelve weeks he had two women out at work, bringing money back. Thomas had moved on, up to Geneva, Switzerland. A third branch of Slave For A Day opened on the fifteenth of July, 1940, less than three years after Ellroy and Thomas had decided upon their new business.

But Thomas still wasn’t content. His travels took him eastward, and a branch was founded in Shanghai a full year before America entered the war. His partner in setting up the Shanghai office, Yen Lo, devised a still more effective method for breaking the staff of his office. Now they could be broken in less than two weeks, and post-breaking possessed sufficient intelligence to live normal lives - because, as far as they were concerned, they did. They slept alone at their homes - except when rented out - they shopped for themselves, and every so often a note would be pushed under the door. Curious, they’d pick it up, read it...

The triggered slave would arrive less than an hour later at her customer’s address.

The new process required greater expense to maintain additional living quarters, and it had a lower profitability. However, it made for much lower risk of arrest – remember, at this time this business was illegal.

This double life process, akin to traditional post-hypnotic suggestions but with irresistible force backing it, led Ellroy and the finally returning Thomas to create the second company under the Influence banner.

The launch of Powerful Friends in 1946 led, as these things can, to the availability of a freer stage of marketing for Slave For A Day.

Powerful Friends is, as the name suggests, a power broker—the control remained, as it had with Slave For A Day, in the hands of Ellroy, Thomas, and their business associates. Judges and celebrities across the country began to disappear for a week at a time—the Lo-Thomas method had been still further refined. After their abduction, a payment to Powerful Friends could lead to leniency in sentencing or a celebrity ‘friend’ putting in an appearance on important occasions. Only one condition was made in Powerful Friends; no political actions could be influenced.

The judges also began to turn a blind eye to the somewhat lascivious adverts that slowly started to appear in newspapers and periodicals across America as branch after branch of Slave For A Day opened. By 1949 there was a branch in almost every major city.

It was around this time that women, too, began to hire the slaves, simply to take a day off from their own chores or to impress a guest with a ‘maid’. Before, of course, steps had been taken to ensure that they never heard of Influence. Seeing a new market, Ellroy and Thomas began to investigate the market for male slaves and homosexual slaves of either gender. The result, eventually, was almost a doubling in the annual turnover.

In the 1950s, the Board’s own work in Powerful Friends was used to gradually roll out protections for their industry.

By 1967, amid revolutions in sexual politics aplenty, Influence began to receive applications from the submissive section of the population applying specifically for slavehood.

Ellroy and Thomas decided to retire, cashing in the chief part of their not inconsiderable holdings in the company. Influence became, more than ever, owned by our franchise holders—and you can join their ranks.

Brainwashing by consent became a firm policy for Slave For A Day, and much copy was made of that fact in 1986, when the last slave to have been broken under the pretence that she was a secretary was retired. Those who had been enslaved before the (patented) Lo-Thomas method was devised have been looked after in nursing homes ever since. Today our slaves get a percentage of the fees they demand and often market themselves.

But 1986 saw yet another change for Influence. By now the corporation was a worldwide concern, with over sixteen thousand branches in the United States alone. Every country boasted at least one branch—and those with only one were typically third world countries which we had only just entered.

With the lunar settlement now numbering several thousand, Influence is looking to found the first extraterrestrial branch of Slave For A Day. This is, of course, our most popular franchise—and if you’re willing to put up the money and can meet or beat the IASA spacefaring physical, you could be in charge. We already have a significant number of submissives in conditioning who would welcome a Lunar career.

Are you the man—or woman—to take up the challenge? Have you got what it takes to look inside you and take control? Are you free from the biases over sexuality that dog our race? Could you run a successful business? Are you interested in space travel?

If so, you will be welcomed into our group. And remember the motto devised by Ellroy and Thomas all those years ago:

Real power is never given—it’s controlled.


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