|The advent of provable, full-blown psychic ability in humans was around
2110 C.E. Telepathic regulatory agencies were immediately set up
to counter the fears of the "normal" population. Most of these legislations
were confused attempts to calm a frightened populace which failed or were
overturned by courts of law. None of these attempts was a solution
for appeasing the suspicious public and the human rights of telepaths.
It was not until 2150 when Earth Alliance President Robinson created the
Psi Corps as existed during the days of Babylon 5. According to Psi
Corp propaganda, the impetus for its policy centered around the heroic
act of William Karges, head of the Corps personal security staff, and a
secret telepath. Using his abilities, he thwarted four terrorist
attempts on Robinson's life. He supposedly died saving the presidential
hovercade from being bombed. With his death, equal-opportunity
laws were passed to ensure that telepaths could register their abilities
without fear of discrimination.
President Robinson also chartered Psi Corps to help telepaths live in society, and not simply "keep the normals safe." Psi Corps' role was to locate, control, and license telepaths for work in commercial, legal (with very stiff regulations), and military sectors. Unfortunately, its policy never stuck to the ideals that it touted. Telepaths were still discriminated against by forcing them to wear gloves for the protection of the normal's privacy, marking them as a teep. In addition, telepaths are generally excluded from holding high public office, or even endorsing a candidate (although this has changed - Earth Alliance president Clark was endorsed by the Corps in his bid for the Vice-Presidency). According to the Psi Corps rules, all telepaths are forbidden from engaging in unauthorized scans.
The modern Psi Corps developed into a monolithic agency with several major divisions: Psi Cops, Military, Research and Development, the Mix, and others. Earth Force uses telepaths from the Military Division on a loan-out or special intelligence basis, rather than within their core units of soldiers and officers.
The Mix was created under the Internal Security Act of 2156. Psi Corps was given technical jurisdiction over it. It grew into the biggest conglomerate of private telepaths in the Earth Alliance. It is a commercial branch that provides telepathic services for businesses. Once headed by the visionary Arthur Malten, it is now no longer the ambitious agency it was since his untimely death on Mars. While the Psi Corps has its own Commerce division, the Mix is a much more popular choice for commercial telepaths. Their employees almost equal that of Psi Corps, and have scores of offices on more worlds and stations than the Corps itself. Since telepathy has been proven, the commercial application of psi powers has been a lucrative business. It has also kept many business deals honest. A commercial telepath can be hired by one or both groups, or both can hire their own teeps. It is not uncommon for both negotiating parties to share the cost of hiring one teep. A hired telepath is not bound to volunteer that her employer is lying. If the other party asks, the telepath would simply refuse to answer which signals the other group that you are lying.
Telepaths are heavily encouraged to enter Psi Corps, and normals are given incentives to turn telepaths in. Discovered telepaths are given three choices: join the Corps, be imprisoned, or be administered drugs that smothers telepathic abilities and live the life of a normal. There are rumors that those who refuse to join or take the drugs simply disappear. Even the "choice" of the psychic-suppression drugs is deadly, contrary to Psi-Corp propaganda, eventually wearing the patient down mentally and pysically.
Employees are indoctrinated into the heirarchical organization with subtle subconscious programming the day they arrive. Although this makes loyalty to the Corps fairly certain, it does not override free-will. Those that resist their superiors are hunted down and neutralized by the most powerful Psi Corps operatives, Psi Cops. Those heading the Corps view their lower members as cattle; using their members for covert operations, forcing male and female psis to marry against their will, and if completely unwilling, the females are raped or artifically inseminated as part of a breeding program to produce more powerful telepaths. Brain chemistry experimentation is also high on the Corps' agenda. Thus far, a stable empath has been created. Experiments to push a human beyond the P12 limit have been classifed. Its mission to help telepaths now forgotten, Psi Corps is a powerful branch within the Alliance, using blackmail and subterfuge to gain power and wealth.
The P-Rating System
Telepaths are rated by Psi Corps according to the limit of one's abilities
according to the P-rating system. Initial tests determine the P-potential
of a teep. While training can increase a telepath's P-rating, most
telepaths only become more competent in the P-rating they are born with.
It is the duty of all Earth Alliance citizens to insure that telepaths of any age register with Psi Corps. Telepathy usuallly develops near or during puberty. Testing Centers are widespread on Earth. In addition to established Centers, there are mobile units that travel from school to school testing students for psi potential. Young telepaths are removed from their family unit and placed in the local Psi Corps Center. To lessen the psychological damage each telepath is assigned a senior student for support for one year. The senior student has been trained in the use of subtle calming and brainwashing techniques that strengthens the young telepath's loyalty to the Corps. At the Center, the child is tested to determine her psi level and skill at using her abilities. Basic instruction is also given; mainly in hte area of blocking out the thoughts of others. However, no matter how strong the telepath is, there is always a "background hum." After a year, the telepath is usually transferred to the Psi Corps Academy.
Training at the Academy is difficult and most students burn out before their training is complete. Telepaths are drilled in the use of their powers within the Corps guidelines. Scanning is strictly controlled. Unauthorized scans require a court order or the consent of the subject's next of kin. Evidence uncovered by a scan is not admissable in a court of law unless it is performed on the subject's deathbed with the subject's permission, and there must also be corroborating evidence.
In addition to instruction in the use of telepathy, the Corps offers extensive courses in many "normal" fields: economics, scientific theory, tactics, government, criminal law, xenology, etc. Commercial telepaths are given training in negotiation skills and business law. Commercial telepaths need clearance, payment, and details of the business transaction before they will mediate a deal. Telepaths entering work on criminal cases are very few in number. Scanning criminal minds is very stressful and leads to a high burn-out rate. After several years of education, the telepath is to choose an internship to determine if a certain section of Psi Corps is what he wishes to join. If that division is not to the telepath's liking, a transfer to another section is usually granted.
Those rare individuals rated P12 are taken to a special training center where they receive top-notch instruction. Each Psi Cop is checked out on all the latest military hardware, allowing them to operate on their own if needed. Although P12s are given the best of everything, they must always have total loyalty to the Corps.
Psi Corps operates a secret training/research facility in Syria Planum, Mars.
Telepaths that refuse to take sleepers or join the Corps become "blips." They are placed in concentration camps to be used by the Corps as they wish. Each Blip must wear a bracelet that is coded with their personal data, P-Rating and internment history.
The development of provable psi power in 2100 parallels the human colonization of Mars. Human psi ability is primarily a recessive genetic trait, though it is suspected that chemical and gene therapy can "make" a telepath out of a "normal." One in every thousand humans has telepathic abilities of discernable potential. One in every ten thousand has telekinetic abilities,but half of them are clinically insane.
Loving sex between two telepaths is said to be the ultimate union since both telepaths willingly drop their mental walls and merge in mind and body. "Normals," although lacking in psychic ability, can learn certain tricks that make it difficult for psis to scan them, but only for a brief period of time. Unlike other races, such as the Minbari, humans restrict and regulate their telepaths. Most regulations bar telepaths from certain sections of government. For example, telepaths are not allowed to enter regular military service; "they are too valuable." Casinos are also off limits. The Psi Corps Charter bans it from recommending political candidates to its members; however, it did so in 2258 when Morgan Clark ran for the Vice-Presidency. As both a practical deterrant against accidental scans, and a symbol of these restrictions, telepaths must wear gloves while out in the world. This is done out of fear and distrust, and the monster it has bred is called Psi Corps. Although a minority among the "normals," many telepaths in the Corps think of themselves as genetically superior to "normals." Modern human slang terms telepaths as "teeps" and telekinetics as "teeks."
Humans with psi powers require the visual acquisition of the target in most cases. This simply provides a point of focus for the mind. If visual contact canot be made, it is difficult to impossible to scan. However, some P12s are able to scan without the target being in line-of-sight, but the target must be familiar to the telepath. Some telepaths also like to get the feel of a room's acoustics before performing a scan. Telepaths of sufficient power can project images and sensations into the minds of others. This skill can be used to defend themselves only against other humans unless specially trained or extraordinarily powerful.
For locating a Shadow Battlecruiser on Mars and allowing its recovery, the Shadows gave the COS advanced psionic surgical knowledge and technology. Several telepaths of various P-ratings were taken and processed by the machines. The most useful project became the Control Initiative. The Control program consisted of planting fully fleshed artificial personalities (APs) into the minds of unsuspecting telepaths. These personalities were programmed to be completely loyal to the Corps, and were not known for their kindness. These APs are buried deep in the subconscious, undetectable by most deep telepathic scans. They lie dormant, but aware, and are able to control the body when the original personality is asleep. The AP is programmed for self-preservation and will act on any perceived threat, subtly manipulating the conscious mind of its "host." They are placed within organizations like Earth Dome and Babylon 5, completely unaware of their shadow personality. When the time is judged to be right, a telepathic password is broadcast to the sleeper, irrevocably destroying the original personality and allowing the AP full control and access to the body. All such agents were codenamed "Control." Unfortunately, two unknown individuals destroyed the secret Control research lab on Mars. The number of subjects that did survive is unknown.
Apparently, not all high officials in the Corps were aware of this project since the uncovering of the mole on Babylon 5 in the year 2259 led to her debriefing, dissection, and the termination of the program.
COS: Conspiracy of Shadows
The COS consists of high level Psi Corps officials, key Alliance Senators and the Office of the President. This black government group came in contact with the Shadows in 2253. What deals were struck is unknown; however, it seems that whatever prior goals the group had were abandoned or modified in light of their new allies. What the Shadows hoped to gain from helping the humans become a closed, fascist society is unknown. The popularity of then President Santiago and a peaceful solution to the Mars Independence issue were the primary thorns in the COS's side. Through various means, these were eliminated. By 2260, President Clark enjoyed Santiago's former position and Earth, Mars, and several colonies were firmly under the Alliance's thumb.
In memory of Voltayre...Simply the best!
Other good sources of Psi Corps Information: