Abstergo Industries is a multinational corporate conglomerate, and the primary front for the modern day activities of the Templar Order. One of the largest and most prominent corporations in the world, Abstergo Industries, or its predecessors, were responsible for the majority of human technological development for the past millennia.
Despite genuinely contributing to the technological development of society, Abstergo Industries' primary mission, as dictated by its Templar members, was "the destruction of the Assassin Order, the procurement of advanced technologies originally created by the First Civilization, and establishing a New World Order".
By the year 2012, Abstergo Industries had expanded into various business sectors, setting up various subsidiary companies, such as Abstergo Entertainment. In the same year, Abstergo Industries had come under investigation by the United States government for the "New Fluoride" experiment and was due to have its accounts frozen, prompting the company to hasten their planned Eye-Abstergo satellite launch.
- "In 1937, we founded this company, this enterprise, with a purpose. The time to nurture it to fruition is upon us."
- ―An Abstergo employee, in a message to Templars around the world, 1944.[src]
Officially founded in 1937, Abstergo Industries was actually one small part of the Templar scheme to control the world through capitalism and scientific progress. Abstergo's origins lay in the perfection of the assembly line by Templar leaders Henry Ford and Ransom "Ranny" Olds, at the turn of the 20th century. The assembly line was an early means to control both workers and the capitalists who employed them, representing the first step in the Templars' goal to subjugate the world through economics.
In 1910, assorted Templar leaders, including Ford and Olds, formulated the "Plan". This scheme combined economics, politics and military conflict as a means to make the world safe for Templar rule. The defeat of communism was a key part of the Plan, as it represented both an ideological and economic threat to the success of the Templar world vision.
In 1937, the formulators of the Plan, as well as Templar puppet and President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, established Abstergo Industries as a front for their activities. This enabled them a means to accumulate wealth and accelerate scientific progress, and largely anonymous, Abstergo's leadership claimed their duty was to "shepherd those beneath us through life, even if force is required".
During World War II, Abstergo remained quiet, but kept track of the progress made abroad by Templar puppets "H" and "S" (Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin). In the United States, Abstergo and other Templar-controlled corporations ceded rights to its workers and their labor unions, but only as a means to tie the people closer to the Templar capitalist vision. By 1944, Abstergo and the Templars were prepared for the inevitable post-war era, where they would "ensure the development continues in the proper direction", and organized the Bretton Woods Conference in July of that year to spread capitalism throughout the world, particularly in Europe.
Following the war, Abstergo controlled global, economic and technological development, though it always remained behind the scenes. In 1948, Abstergo eliminated former Templar and renowned economist Harry Dexter White. White helped organize the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, two organizations that allowed the Templars to spread their capitalist world vision. However, White was also passing information to the Communists, and for his betrayal, Abstergo killed White and made it appear like a heart attack.
Abstergo was also responsible for British mathematician Alan Turing's criminal prosecution and possibly his death. In a phone recording dating to June 1954, two Templars known only by the initials "V" and "N" mentioned the need for Turing to be killed. They feared "mass unemployment" if the mathematician successfully developed robots, and that such an invention would threaten the progress of the Plan.
Abroad, Abstergo involved itself in foreign governments to ensure the spread of capitalism and Templar control. In 1953, Abstergo agents backed monarch Shah Pahlavi, Tehran strongman Sha'baan Ja'fari, and the National Intelligence and Security Organization, otherwise known as SAVAK, against the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Abstergo and the Shah removed Mosaddegh from power and placed him under house arrest, where Mosaddegh later died in his home in 1967.
Internal memos stolen from Abstergo in 2012 implicated the corporation's involvement in the 1954 overthrow of Guatemala's socialist President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán and installation of Carlos Castillo Armas as his replacement. In both instances, Abstergo worked through the CIA, a branch of the U.S. intelligence community it had controlled since its inception.
Abstergo's influence spread beyond the bounds of the Earth, as it helped establish and fund the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958. Ostensibly, NASA was a civilian branch of the U.S. government, but in reality, it was tasked with producing new space-going technologies for Abstergo and Templar use. When the Templars became aware of the existence of an Apple of Eden on the Moon, it tasked NASA with working towards a mission to land on the Moon and retrieve the artifact.
Also, when President John F. Kennedy planned a joint lunar landing with the Soviet Union, the Templars decided to remove Kennedy from power. Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, a Templar puppet, continued the push towards the Moon, and in July 1969, Templar agents Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon and retrieved the Piece of Eden.
Firmly in control of the United States government, Abstergo continued its interference in other nations. In the 1970s, Abstergo focused on Argentina and Chile out of a recognized need "to ensure company's success" and allow their agents "to move freely from country to country and maintain power within all of them". In Argentina, Abstergo promised leading capitalists that they would pass their corporate debt to the Argentinian public, in return for the support of the ruling Junta and the elimination of the Argentinian trade unions. Consequently, the Junta remained in power, and at least 30,000 Argentinians disappeared over the course of the decade.
In Chile, Abstergo planned to open up the markets and force the sale of all public companies to the private sector. They thwarted President Salvador Allende's efforts to socialize Chile's industries, and may have played some role in his 1973 suicide. In the aftermath, Augusto Pinochet seized power as a dictator. Following both Latin American cases, Abstergo successfully hid its involvement and instead left evidence that implicated the U.S. government.
By the final decades of the 20th century, Abstergo emerged from the shadows as a powerful corporation leading the way in pharmaceuticals, though it also engaged in research in other fields, such as communications. For example, in 1985, Abstergo's research division was secretly working on a device capable of imitating the mind-controlling properties of a Piece of Eden across a network. In the same year, Abstergo developed its first fully-functional Animus device and began to seek out appropriate test subjects.
In 1991, Abstergo helped Boris Yeltsin to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev, the legitimate head of the state and reformer of the Soviet Union, to which Yeltsin introduced privatization of the massive state-owned industries. As such, these industries were quickly taken over by oligarchs, and by 1993, Yeltsin disbanded the Russian Parliament and Constitutional Court. After nearly 80 years of fighting against Communism, Abstergo and the Templars had finally eliminated the largest obstacle to the global spread of capitalism. As a failsafe, Abstergo then made sure future leader Vladimir Putin would continue to push for capitalism just as his predecessor Yeltsin had.
At the end of the 20th century, the Animus Program's Subject 4, given the codename "Daniel Cross", infiltrated the Assassin Order as a sleeper agent and successfully attacked and killed their head, the Mentor. Subject 4 then returned to an Abstergo facility in Philadelphia and provided the location of Assassin training camps across the world. Following this, Templar agents eliminated the majority of these camps in what they called the Great Purge.
In the same year, Justice of the Supreme Court and Templar puppet Antonin Scalia convinced Sandra O'Connor to retire. Scalia sent a letter to "S" in which he mentioned that "W" (George W. Bush) would restart animosities with Iraq, which in turn would give "C"'s (Dick Cheney) contractors more work. From there, the Supreme Court could dissolve standing campaign finance laws, which would allow Abstergo to effectively place anyone it chose in the Senate, House, and the Presidency.
In November 2004, an author known only as Gary was writing a book on the CIA, and through his research, he had discovered evidence that Abstergo had interests in every large company across the planet. Thanks to Templar intervention, however, Gary's book never saw the light of day.
By 2011, Abstergo employed its considerable communications division to use closed circuit television to spy on civilians. In April, an individual named Mr. Jameson accidentally discovered this closed circuit on his television set, between the channels of 172 and 173. This hidden channel displayed the names of his family members, their credit card numbers, medical information, and their personal preferences. Confused, Mr. Jameson contacted his cable company, Comstatic, to complain and in response, Abstergo sent agents to "deal with" Mr. Jameson and his 12 year old son, Paul.
In early 2012, the head of Abstergo ceded control of the company to an unknown person. In a phone call, he warned his successor that if the free market failed, the civilian populace would turn against capitalism and Abstergo. Abstergo also suffered a major setback in their Eye-Abstergo project when an incident took place in Denver that led to a large loss of civilian life and key Abstergo equipment.
However, a great success in Abstergo's Animus Project offset the Denver catastrophe, and in September, the Lineage Discovery and Acquisition department captured a new Animus subject, Subject 17, to replace the deceased Subject 16. Subject 17 successfully survived the rigors of the Animus and was able to provide Abstergo with a holographic map detailing many Pieces of Eden, though he escaped soon after.
Repeated attempts to reacquire Subject 17 had to date remained unsuccessful. Recently, Abstergo sent its top recruits and Daniel Cross to eliminate Subject 17 and the de facto head of the Assassin Order, William Miles. Frustrated at Abstergo losing Desmond Miles, Daniel was able to track Desmond Miles and his cell to New York. When Subject 17 attempted to steal a First Civilization battery from an office in Manhattan, Daniel cornered him at gunpoint. However, Desmond disarmed Daniel, and knocked him out with the battery before escaping.
Some time later, Daniel tracked Desmond to a martial arts tournament in Brazil, where a woman held another battery that Desmond needed. Daniel reached the woman first, and shot both her and her husband to death as Desmond arrived. Daniel attempted to flee with the battery, but was caught by Desmond, who once again knocked him out and escaped with the battery.
When the Templar agents successfully captured William Miles who had obtained the third and final battery, Vidic sent Desmond Miles and his team a video proposing his demands: Give him the Apple of Eden and William would be returned to them safely. Despite the fact that William would tell the team to forget him, Desmond decided to rescue his father.
Once Desmond arrived at the Abstergo facility in Italy, Vidic ordered him to come in peacefully. Desmond refused, killing any security guards who crossed his path. In retaliation, Warren sent Daniel Cross to deal with the Assassin threat. However, once Cross had Desmond cornered, he began to suffer from the Bleeding Effect and fled trying to deal with his mental breakdown.
Vidic, frustrated with Desmond, stated that he was no longer an asset to Abstergo and authorized the guards to kill him on sight. Meanwhile, Desmond pursued Cross through the Animus Training Facility and assassinated him. Vidic was furious at Cross's death, screaming that the Assassins only took while Templars gave the world order and peace.
Eventually Desmond reached Vidic's office, where his father sat surrounded by armed guards. Vidic demanded that Desmond to hand him the Apple. Desmond reached out with the Apple in his hand, but instead of giving it to Warren, used its power to manipulate everyone in the room. As Vidic pleaded for the last time, Desmond influenced one of guards to turn his gun on Warren, shooting and killing him. Desmond then prompted the rest of the guards to kill themselves. Once he had liberated his father, Desmond escorted William out of Abstergo, with the Apple of Eden in his hand. Ultimately, Abstergo cancelled the launch of the satellite as they were unable to obtain the required Piece of Eden in time.
As the greatest industrial force the Templars owned, Abstergo shared the same beliefs as the Templars; order and discipline through power and control. Some Abstergo employees did not recognize the Templar Order, neither did they hear about it, but certain high-ranking members of Abstergo knew the Templar cause. Since the Third Crusade, the Templars started realizing the power that the Pieces of Eden had over humans, and so they began searching for them. In modern times, they had used numerous subjects from the Animus Project to access the memories of their ancestors, in order to get hold of a map showing these artifacts. This goal later formed into total control and possession of all Pieces of Eden.
The Templars' goals had changed as they sought control to unify the entire world using these artifacts, going from "lasting peace, no matter what the cost" to the "New World Order". To accomplish this, they had to reach their ultimate goal; launching a Piece of Eden into orbit around Earth.
The vast majority of Abstergo's employees were not Templars, including its scientists, engineers and CEOs. Abstergo also had hundreds of spies in other companies around the world, including sleeper agents.
Italicized names indicate membership in the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order:
- Isabelle Ardant – Operations, Historical Research
- Jane Birkam – Position unknown, friend of Warren Vidic
- David – Acquisitions, Lineage Research and Acquisition.
- Laetitia England
- Àlvaro Gramática – Research, Future Technology
- Caroline Grey
- Aubrey Jacobs – Alan Rikkin's assistant
- Carson Kairns
- Robert Klein
- Jansen March
- James Morse – Abstergo employee whose e-mail could be accessed from their website by inputting the login password "PFRDVJ5aLLg"
- Mitsuko Nakamura – Research, Lineage Research and Acquisition
- Erica Nichols
- Nancy Nilop – Human Resources agent
- Richard – One of three men who threatened to kill Lucy Stillman, before being stopped by Vidic
- Alan Rikkin – Chief Executive Officer
- Damian Saravakos – Medical examiner, Medical Division, Lineage Research and Acquisition
- David Kilkerman
- Henry Liman
- Leila Marino (deceased)
- Lucy Stillman (deceased)
- Otto Schmidt – Operations, Lineage Research and Acquisition (deceased)
- Theodore Rizzo (deceased)
- Daniel Cross (deceased)
- Warren Vidic – Head of Research for genetic memory and the Animus project (deceased)
- "Guess the shit's really hit the fan this time."
- ―An Abstergo employee e-mailing Vidic about the Fluoride failure.[src]
Abstergo was one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with their primary focus being anti-depressants. Desmond Miles first saw the word "Abstergo" on a bottle of ibuprofen whilst he was still living on the Farm: according to his mother, "The average American household contains three dozen Abstergo-owned products at any given moment. If you tried to purge them from your life completely, it would be a full-time job."
It was also stated in an e-mail to Warren Vidic that Abstergo was secretly experimenting their products on people, and that one of their experiments had failed, poisoning an entire town. Information about this incident had partly been leaked, causing the whole pharmaceutical division of the company to be closed down for investigation. The product Abstergo was experimenting with was named "New Fluoride".
- Main article: Animus Project
Abstergo began their Animus Project in September 1985, with Dr. Warren Vidic as the head operative. The project initially relied on psychoanalysis, hypnosis and chemicals to unlock genetic memories in their subjects, though it all changed with the invention of the Animus, which enabled subjects to synchronize with their ancestors' memories in a virtual reality environment.
The Lineage Research and Acquisition department acquired subjects to farm memories, which were later implemented into Project Legacy for Abstergo recruits to decode the memories without requiring a descendant to relive them in the Animus. However, it was put on hold after the individual or group known as Erudito began hacking into the Project and giving recruits memories Abstergo did not want them to see.
The Animi Training Program was also launched some time in 2012 to train recruits into becoming lethal agents, by having them synchronize with the skills of great Templar agents and non-Assassin individuals from centuries before.
Abstergo knew of the First Civilization and the Pieces of Eden. However, they had only discovered a few of the locations of vaults, and were unaware of how to access the information archive within them.
The Akashic Satellite Plexus was launched in 2008, and on 21 December 2012, Abstergo intended to launch its cornerstone, the Eye-Abstergo satellite. On the surface, it was a collection of communications, weather and observation satellites, though the Eye-Abstergo addition was intended to amplify the powers of an Apple of Eden.
Though the Assassins believed Abstergo would use it to control the world, this was denied in their internal documents for their top agents. Emphasis was placed on the "ASP" becoming able to locate "individuals with potential", and was heavily shielded and presumed to be operational in the face of even the worst predicted solar flares.
- Abstergo is a Latin verb, meaning "I cleanse".
- In the tenth Glyph, titled "Apollo". scanning the American flag on the Eagle showed the Abstergo logo, suggesting that Abstergo Industries was behind the moon landings. Similarly, scanning the white flag planted on the moon revealed the Templar cross.
- During Ezio Auditore da Firenze's visit to a Vault, the Abstergo logo could be seen on several images projected by Minerva.
- On the retrieval of the Apple from the Colosseum Vault, when Desmond activated the Apple of Eden, several symbols started to appear around him. Of the symbols that were displayed, the Abstergo logo was one that appeared quite frequently.
- In concept art for the Vault, what looked like the Abstergo logo could be seen on the floor of the circular room in which Ezio fought Rodrigo.
- Abstergo's Animi room had a wall with a large window in the shape of the Templar cross.
- A Twitter page was created for Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy, named the "datadumpscanner".
- The multiplayer mode of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations was played from the view of Abstergo employees undergoing training in the Animi.
- The Abstergo logo was present in many forms seen throughout Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles.
- The Abstergo logo symbolized the Penrose Triangle, first created by the Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd, who described the triangle as "impossibility in its purest form".