Marvel Cinematic Universe


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"Mr. Bakshi, let's go again."
"Where do we start?"
"At the beginning, like the song says, a very good place to start. You and I both know the Faustus method takes time. And I've got plenty."
Daniel Whitehall and Sunil Bakshi[src]

The Faustus is a psychological coercion method used by HYDRA to sway potential assets to their cause.



Daniel Whitehall brainwashing Agent 33.

"Take a deep breath. Calm your mind. You know what is best. What is best is you comply. Compliance will be rewarded."
Sunil Bakshi[src]

Through hypnosis and mental reprogramming, HYDRA recruited valuable assets to their organization. HYDRA is able to lure potential assets over to their side willingly. The process is usually reserved for those who hold great potential for HYDRA's operations, but are unwilling to do so. To make sure that the brainwashing works, HYDRA forcefully keeps the victim's eyes open. If the indoctrinated start to show signs of breaking free from the control, they can be easily swayed back to HYDRA through a vocalized code.[1] These techniques could reverse certain effects.[2] Victims of the Faustus method do not forget their past; they are merely conditioned to follow HYDRA's orders.[3]

Sunil Bakshi invoked the vocal code on Carl Creel when Creel complained that the Obelisk was taking over his body and he was losing control. After Creel repeated the mantra with Bakshi, Creel regained control over himself and hinted, during his fight with Lance Hunter, that he could duplicate the power of the alien artifact to petrify Hunter. [2]

Aboard the Maribel del Mar, Jemma Simmons was told by Bakshi to repeat what he tells her when she confronted Donnie Gill. Simmons started saying the Faustus mantra to Gill but Melinda May interrupted her when she fired on Hunter to keep Hunter from killing Simmons. Gill then chased Simmons until she led him to Bakshi. Bakshi caught Gill by surprise when Gill recognized him and Bakshi said the mantra. This made Gill compliant to his commands.[1]

When Bakshi returned to HYDRA Laboratories, he told Daniel Whitehall that the brainwashing technique was faulty. Whitehall assured him that it was sufficient. Bakshi then told him about his impression of Jemma Simmons and her cooperation in the Moroccan mission. Whitehall replied that, if necessary, Simmons could be made compliant.[1]

Agent 33 was captured by HYDRA and held prisoner as Whitehall and Bakshi used the Faustus method on her. Agent 33 resisted greatly, even attempted to escape, but Whitehall stayed with her until she was ultimately made a HYDRA agent.[1]

Agent 33 remembered her past, since during her fight with Melinda May, she commented that she was once a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.[3]

After Simmons escaped HYDRA Laboratories with the assistance of Bobbi Morse, she was thankful to Morse because Simmons feared that the Faustus method would be used on her.[4]

Skye asked Grant Ward if he was a victim of brainwashing which caused his loyalty to HYDRA. Ward told her he was not.[1]

During her interrogation of Sunil Bakshi, Bobbi Morse revealed that any HYDRA operative could be a victim of Faustus without his knowledge. She used this revelation to make Bakshi wonder if the process was used on him.[5]

Releasing Sunil Bakshi from the custody of the United States military with the aid of Grant Ward, Agent 33 subjected Bakshi to Faustus as revenge for what was done to her.[6]



  • In the comics, Doctor Faustus is a recurring villain of Captain America who specialized in mental reprogramming through hypnosis. He first appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Agent Carter series, as an operative of Leviathan, and through his hypnosis, was able to brainwash individuals to do his bidding. When he was captured by the SSR during season 1 finale, he ended up sharing a cell with Arnim Zola, hinting at his possible involvement with HYDRA and thus this method.
  • The hypnotic images Daniel Whitehall used on Agent 33 and the ones Agent 33 used on Sunil Bakshi are different, which implies there are different levels or types of the Faustus Method.
  • The words "comply" and "compliance" appear to be the keywords in the brainwashing process as well as the vocal activation codes of the Faustus Method.
    • All known victims respond to orders by saying they are "happy to comply."
  • Carl Creel was defiant and Donnie Gill was at his own will before Sunil Bakshi invoked the vocal activation and they become submissive. Agent 33 never showed any unwillingness against Whitehall's orders and Bakshi was completely compliant to Agent 33 and Grant Ward before his death. This suggests that people with special powers and abilities are more resistant to the programming installed by the brainwashing process than normal humans.
  • In Love in the Time of HYDRA, Agent 33 mentions that Whitehall wiped her all away, which means the Faustus Method might affect the personalities of the victims.
  • The brainwashing process could alter if not selectively erase memories of the victims, as Jemma Simmons tells Agents 33 in Scars, that despite her brain scan looking normal, she would still have memory gaps.


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