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"Take a deep breath. Calm your mind. You know what is best. What is best is you comply. Compliance will be rewarded."
Daniel Whitehall to Agent 33[src]

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


HYDRA's Method

"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]

Carl Creel being controlled by Sunil Bakshi

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]

Donnie's Gill's Escape

Sunil Bakshi retaking control over Donnie Gill

"You know what is best. What is best is you comply."
"I don't–"
"Compliance will be rewarded. Mr. Gill, are you ready to comply?"
"I'm happy to comply."
Sunil Bakshi and Donnie Gill[src]

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]

Capturing Agent 33

Daniel Whitehall breaks down Agent 33's mind

"Are you ready to comply, Agent 33?"
"I will never work for HYDRA!"
"I expected it would be a long night."
Daniel Whitehall and Agent 33[src]

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]

Sunil Bakshi's Capture

Sunil Bakshi being forced to undergo Faustus

"If I obey, will my compliance be rewarded?"
"To be honest, it really won't make a difference."
Sunil Bakshi and Agent 33[src]

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]

HYDRA in the Framework also used Faustus in their prison camp for their opponents. The method was used on children who showed early objection against HYDRA.[7]

Glenn Talbot's Torture

"Glenn, the doctors said you should take a deep breath. Calm your mind. You know what is best. What is best is you comply."
Carla Talbot to Glenn Talbot[src]

During his time as a captive in the HYDRA Preparatory Academy, General Glenn Talbot was subjected to Faustus. Agent of HYDRA Candice Lee had Carla Talbot activate Talbot's programming under General Hale's orders after the latter called to Carla following his rescue by S.H.I.E.L.D. .[8] Under this programming, Talbot attempted to kidnap Robin Hinton[9] and betrayed the location of the Lighthouse to Qovas, resulting in the Siege of the Lighthouse.[10]

Glenn Talbot is put under HYDRA's control

Later, after Talbot infused himself with Gravitonium and developed messianic delusions as a result, Hale then attempted to trigger the programming to stop him from searching for more Gravitonium and from killing Phil Coulson, only for the programming to fail and the attempt to prompt Talbot to kill her instead.[11] Talbot's brain damage following the Faustus method had eventually led to him attacking Chicago during his quest for Gravitonium, leading to Quake being forced to confront him and, when she had failed to reason with him, she had to launch him into space, ending Talbot's suffering.[12]




  • In the comics, Doctor Faustus is a recurring villain of Captain America who specialized in mental reprogramming through hypnosis.
  • 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.
  • 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 Daniel Whitehall's orders and Bakshi was completely compliant to Agent 33 and Grant Ward before his death. This suggests that enhanced individuals are more resistant to the programming installed by the brainwashing process than normal humans.
  • The brainwashing process could alter if not selectively erase memories of the victims, as Jemma Simmons tells Agents 33 that despite her brain scan looking normal, she would still have memory gaps.