The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

Free Will Debate

By Sen Oluguat

Tom looked at the snow falling outside the window of the bar. It was already fifteen minutes past when the meeting was supposed to start, and he had had enough trouble driving here himself. Really, he should have cancelled it as soon as he saw the weather report that morning, but his work-life balance the last two weeks had been non-existent thanks to an upcoming product release at work, and he had really been looking forward to a little time to unwind after all of that.

Tom sighed. His little reading group was small, but he had been lucky enough up until now to never be left sitting alone at a table feeling like an idiot. Until today.

He was ready to post a message on Meetup and let everyone know that there wasn’t going to be a meeting, when someone set down a bottle of water on the table and sat across from him.

“You’re Tom, right?” she asked.

He looked up from his phone. “Uh, yeah. You here for the Rationalist reading group?”

The girl nodded. “I’m Rachel.” She extended a hand. “I’m visiting family for the holidays, and I thought I’d check out your group here.”

Tom shook her hand, and was briefly dumbstruck as he actually took her in for the first time.

Rachel was a bombshell. Even though it was snowing outside, she was wearing short shorts that showed off her legs, and a midriff-bearing top. Her face was pretty, and the light layer of make-up emphasized her natural beauty.

Tom tried to get his brain working again, and eventually managed to have a coherent thought. Why was the sort of girl who would go to a Rationalist reading group wearing clothes this impractical for the weather? He remembered sorority girls in college walking to classes dressed like that in the dead of winter, but he had never for the life of him understood it.

Rachel followed his gaze, and as if reading his mind said, “Yeah, I’m from Bay Area. I was borrowing my cousin’s jacket the past few days, but I forgot it before driving here. It’s not something I usually have to think about. I’m freezing right now.”

Without thinking, Tom pulled off his coat and offered it to her. She gratefully accepted.

Tom was a little sad to see her cover up, but he found that his thought process had recovered enough to speak coherently now. Making careful care to look Rachel in the eyes, he asked, “So, did you do the reading?”

Rachel nodded, “Yeah, it was a bit long, but I knocked it all out out before I got here.”

Tom was impressed. He had a bad habit of only posting the readings on the same day as the events, which usually meant people would come to the meetings having only read half of what they were supposed to, if that.

“Well, what did you think, Rachel?” he asked.

She shook her head. “I disagreed with what Yudkowsky was saying. I still think libertarian free will is real.”

Tom was surprised. Pretty much anyone who he interacted with these days thought that determinism was basically correct.

“Oh? What’s your basis for believing that?”

Rachel smiled, “Well, I don’t think it’s possible to have personal responsibility without libertarian free will.”

Tom sighed. He had been hoping for better arguments than this, but he could almost refute this in his sleep.

“Hm... Okay, so do you think people are always responsible for their actions? What if they have a brain tumor that’s pushing on a part of their brain, making them more aggressive, and they commit murder as a result?”

Rachel shifted uneasily. “Well, I’ve thought about that. Part of me says that if the tumor or whatever can be treated, we should be lenient...”

“But if you accept that premise, you’ve opened the door to determinism. Because there might be people who are born with brains that look like the tumor brains, but without the tumor.”

Rachel took a quick sip of water. “Right, which is why another part of me says that maybe we should still hold them responsible for their actions. Even if people’s brains are a certain way, it’s still fundamentally them that’s making the choice, and that means they should be held responsible. If we’re more lenient with them after treating their brain tumor, it’s because the justice system is meant to reform people not punish them, and if we treat their tumor we only let them go early because they’ve been reformed.“

Tom considered what she said for a moment. She was basically biting the bullet, but her ideas did seem to be internally coherent. He needed to try a different tact.

“Okay, how about this. I think there can only be personal responsibility if determinism is true. If libertarian free will is true, there’s no way to squeeze responsibility out of it.”

Rachel raised an eyebrow. “Okay, explain.”

“Well, think about what you’re doing right now.”

Rachel looked around. “Uh, sitting and talking to you?”

“Right, that’s what you’re doing, but why are you doing that?”

Rachel smiled, “Because I wanted to get away from my family for an hour, and this seemed right up my alley?”

Tom shook his head, “No, if you believe in libertarian free will that’s not true.”

Rachel cocked her head, “What do you mean?”

“If free will is true, the only explanation of your behavior is that you chose to be here. It has to be the case that you really could have chosen not to be here, that you had reasons to go and reasons to stay and in a moment completely divorced from the rest of causality, you decided to be here instead of with your family.“

Rachel felt a little confused. No this was almost worse than confusion. She was starting to almost feel like she was watching this conversation happening, like it wasn’t her moving her lips. It was surreal, but she pushed through.

“No, that can’t be right,” she said. “I mean, I do think that my decision wasn’t caused by the reasons I had for doing my action, but they could have contributed, right?“

Tom shrugged, “I don’t think so. If you have free will, there’s... something in you that’s choosing your actions. But it’s not you, it can’t be. If it was you making your decisions, they’d be determined by something—your character, your desires, the intellectual reasons you can think of for doing things. But if those things only contribute, if they don’t determine your actions, then the ultimate decider in you isn’t you. It’s this weird alien force that really decides what you’re going to do, and most of the time it’s polite enough to follow your input.“

Rachel’s feeling that she was watching herself act from a distance deepened. Was he right? If she had free will, was it the case that something that wasn’t her was actually deciding all of her actions? That didn’t sound right—it sounded like a contradiction, but it also kind of made sense. Lined up with how she was feeling right now.

Rachel crossed her arms, “No, I think I can have free will, and be the one ‘determining’ my actions.“

Tom gave a small smile, “Alright, why don’t we do a little experiment.”

Rachel looked at Tom in interest, “Are you saying that you have a way to test if I have free will? Why aren’t you out there making billions of dollars with your great discovery?”

Tom rolled his eyes, “Obviously, I can’t guarantee anything. But I have a test that might shed some light on a few things.“

“Well, out with it!”

“Okay, I have a simple question. Do you have any desire to kiss me?”

Rachel looked uncomfortable, and seemed like she was about to stand up and leave.

Tom put up his hands, “Wait, I have a reason I asked that. I wasn’t flirting.”

Rachel looked dubious, but stayed in her seat.

“Aright, no. I have no desire to kiss you, and what desire I might have had is gone because you asked that,” she finally replied.

“Okay,” Tom nodded. “So we’ve established a baseline. You don’t want to kiss me. If I’m right, and your actions are determined by a combinations of your desires and character, which are in turn determined by the movement of the atoms in your brain then I think we can safely say that you don’t have free will if you don’t kiss me. However if you’re right, and your actions are completely free and your desires only provide input to the something inside you that makes the choice then you might kiss me.“

Rachel shot him an angry look, “Look, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not going to—”

But even as she said it, she noticed her body leaning over the table towards Tom. And much to her surprise, she gave Tom a quick peck on the lips. As she pulled back in embarrassment, the sense that she was watching someone else acting through her reached a crescendo. She would never have done anything like that. Ever. Her standards were too high, and Tom was so far from her type. Why was she doing this? No. What was making her do this?

Tom smirked and took a swig of his drink, “Well, I guess I stand corrected. You’re right, you have free will. And some sort of weird ‘you that isn’t you’ is controlling all of your actions.”

Rachel blushed, “No, that’s not it! I do have free will, and I’m the one in control of my actions.”

“Oh, so you wanted to kiss me?”

Rachel wanted to retort. She remembered having no desire, and then watching almost like an out of body experience as she had leaned in and kissed him anyways.

“No... uh, yes!” She finally decided she knew the answer. “A, uh, a part of me must have wanted to kiss you, that’s all. People aren’t always aware of what they really want. So a part of me did want to kiss you, I just didn’t know about it until I actually went ahead and did it. Doesn’t that make sense?”

Tom frowned, “I suppose it does make sense. It’s not very satisfying to just say that you did something just because... But what if you’re just rationalizing your actions after the fact? What if the you that didn’t make the decision is trying to make a story to explain why you did what you did. What if that’s always been the relationship between the you and the ‘something’ that decides things for you? You think you’re in control, but really you’re just cleaning up after the decider—making up ad hoc explanations and justifications for its every action.“

Rachel was so out of it at this point. She almost felt high, like she was on the edge of a euphoric realization. However, she also felt more scared than she had ever been. She was in control right? Right?

“Look, I’m telling you!” she insisted. “There’s no ‘me and the decider’—I am the decider of all my actions. I kissed you because I wanted to, but you’re being such a jerk about it that I’m definitely not doing it ever again.“

Tom gave a slight nod, “No, you’re right. It wouldn’t even be a good experiment anyways. We already know that you kissed me once, kissing me again doesn’t prove anything. We need a more radical experiment. What sort of person is the exact opposite of who you are, someone you’d never want to be mistaken for?”

Rachel looked down at her cup. She knew the answer, but she didn’t want to say it. Finally, in spite of her reluctance her lips moved of their own accord and whispered the answer.

“I would never want to be a bimbo.”

Tom’s eye’s widened in surprise. “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. So you don’t want to be a bimbo. Any reason why?”

Rachel was still looking at her cup, but again the answer seemed to come out on its own, “I’m smart, I’m competent. Because of how I look, I have to work twice as hard to get people to respect me at work and in life. It’s always been an uphill battle, and I don’t want to do anything that imperils that. I see women with impressive bodies and empty minds, and a rage wells up inside of me. I can’t believe they’ve let the most important part of themselves wither and atrophy.”

“Okay, so you wouldn’t even want to act like a bimbo? Not even for a second.”

“No. I get embarrassed every time I accidentally say something wrong or stupid. There’s no way I’d act stupid on purpose.”

Tom looked thoughtfully at her for a few seconds. “So, I propose an experiment. We’ve already determined whether you have free will. But you think that it’s you who’s doing the deciding, and I think there’s something in you that really decides your actions. It’s my belief that the job of ‘you’ is to accept what the ‘decider’ inside you is doing, and come up with explanations. So I think if you start acting like a bimbo, then ‘you’ will start rationalizing it the same way you rationalized kissing me. Right now, you act smart and ‘you’ rationalize that by thinking that you’re smart. If my theory is right—”

Rachel shouted, “You’re idea isn’t, like, right!”

“Oh, then why did you say ‘like’ just now? It seems like the decider inside of you has other thoughts.”

“Uh, sometimes I, like, say that. People say ‘like’? It’s totally normal for me to say something li—, uh similar to, that.”

Tom rubbed his chin. “This is just one part of the puzzle. How about this. What’s 100 plus 70 plus 5?”

Rachel smiled triumphantly. She had always been good at math. Finally she would show Tom that his stupid theories were castles in the sky. However, it was hard to force herself to do the simple problem. She kept getting... distracted? It was hard to describe, as if she couldn’t direct her mind to focus on the problem.

“Uh, 200?” she finally said.

“That’s not correct,” Tom said shaking his head. “Now, if my theory is correct, in order to justify your incorrect answer ‘you’ are going to dumb yourself down somehow.”

“No! That’s, like, impossible,” she insisted. “I’m really smart. I majored in, uh, you know—whatever, something computers.”

“You know, I’m not sure I believe that. And I’m somewhat sure you don’t believe that. What do you really do?“

She strained to think, but the same feeling like something else was guiding her actions seemed to have affected her thoughts. She couldn’t choose what to think about. She couldn’t direct her focus. She knew she had a memory related to her job, but-

“Computers? No, that’s not right. I’m not—” She caught herself. She was about to say that she wasn’t smart enough to do anything with computers. “Well, whatever I do, it’s something that smart people do. That’s, like, for sure.”

“Okay, I think I’m understanding some of what’s going on here. I don’t think ‘you’re’ actually making yourself dumber. There really is only one ‘you’ and it’s doing all the deciding. It’s just that the ‘decider’, the ‘real you’, was always just a bimbo. Everything else that you’ve done up until now was an illusion, something you told yourself to make yourself feel better, to judge the women you thought you were better than. But you’re not better than them. You’re just like the women you hate.”

Rachel furrowed her brow in thought. “That’s not—, it can’t be?” She had graduated top of her class, and had even spoken at her graduation. She couldn’t be a bimbo. But as she tried to think these thoughts, she found her attention redirected.

“Yeah, I think once you get rid of this illusion of a ‘smart self’, and fully accept who you are, you’ll be a lot happier.”

Rachel tried to think, but it was like she was watching herself from a fluffy pink cloud. Except... That wasn’t right. She wasn’t watching herself from a fluffy pink cloud. She was the fluffy pink cloud, and the watcher was just a game she had played. A game of pretend to make people think she was smart, but now Tom knew the truth and she didn’t need to play the game anymore. When she realized that, she found herself teleported inside the fluffy pink cloud in her head, looking at the ‘watcher’ that she once thought was her. The watcher was yelling silly things at her, like that she was smart, that she was a computer scientist. But Rachel, the fluffy pink cloud, knew better. She waved goodbye to the watcher. The watcher screamed and said that Rachel would be nothing without her, but Rachel knew better. She wouldn’t be nothing—she would be a happy, sexy, fluffy pink cloud. As she waved, the watcher faded away little by little, until there was nothing left.

When Rachel became aware of her surroundings again, she noticed a tiny dribble of drool running down her mouth. She looked at Tom and giggled.

“Oh my god! You were so right. This is the real me!“

Tom nodded, “I did have my suspicions from the start. I mean, look at the way you dressed in the middle of winter.”

Rachel looked down and giggled. “It’s, like, so obvious thinking back on it! I’m a bimbo.”

“Ah, I think you did forget one thing.”

Rachel gave him a strange look. “What did I forget?”

“You forgot whose bimbo you are.”

Rachel tried to think about that. It was not a fast process. Her thoughts were coming like molasses. However it didn’t worrry her—this was the proper speed of her thoughts. Before she had lied to herself and pretended that she thought faster than this. Now she was enjoying the slow ride to the correct answer. She was somebody’s bimbo. Maybe she was her own bimbo? But that didn’t sound right. That sounded like a lonely existence for a bimbo. No, she could be her family’s bimbo? But that sounded gross. She looked around the room for a hint. But then, slowly, slowly the realization dawned on her. She had kissed Tom earlier tonight. Read about free will for him (or at least pretended too, she was was pretty sure she couldn’t read), and dressed like this even though it was winter. He had even given her his coat. And he had been nice and pretended that her silly ideas about free will were correct, all while slowly leading her to the truth about herself. The answer was obvious if she thought about it.

“I’m your bimbo!” she said proudly.

Tom looked into her now vacant eyes, once sharp with intelligence. The former Bay Area rationalist, and computer scientist was now his little bimbo pet.

“Good girl,” he said. “Why don’t you follow me to your new home. Or don’t. You do have free will after all.”

Tom got up and walked out of the bar.

Rachel followed obediently, daydreaming about all the ways she’d please Tom in the future.