In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode The Doomsday Machine which aired on October 20, 1967, Star Date 4202.9.

Story Synopsis

The Enterprise responds to a distress call and finds that all seven planets in system L370 have been destroyed. They then enter L374 and discover all but the two inner planets have also been destroyed. They detect a distress beacon from the Starship U.S.S. Constellation, then find the battered remains of the ship itself. Scans show the bridge to be uninhabitable, but the rest of the ship to have reserve power and to be inhabitable. Subspace interference prevents good communication, and Kirk is unable to contact Commodore Matt Decker, Captain of the Constellation. Kirk therefore sends a boarding party to the Constellation to investigate. They find no sign of the crew, and Scotty determines the warp drive to be inoperable and the phasers to be exhausted. Kirk then locates Decker in the auxiliary control room, but Decker is in a state of shock and not very coherent. Even after an injection by McCoy, Decker is able to say that his ship was attacked by “that thing.”

Kirk and Scott play back the Constellation’s record tape in which Decker reports discovering destroyed solar systems and entering L374 to investigate the breakup of the fourth planet by Science Officer Masada. Decker reports that his ship was attacked and damaged, so he beamed his crew down to the third planet. The attacker then returned, further damaged the Constellation and then proceeded to destroy the third planet while Decker remained helpless on the Constellation. Washburn reports that the antimatter in the warp drive has been deactivated, and Kirk surmises that this is connected with subspace interference. Decker informs them that the attacker was a miles-long robot which uses a pure anti-proton beam to destroy objects in its path, then digests them as fuel. Sulu computes that the path of the robot has brought it from outside the Galaxy.

Kirk beams Decker and McCoy back to the Enterprise. They arrive just as the conical doomsday machine/planet killer makes a reappearance and pursues the Enterprise. It attacks them and damages the Enterprise’s transporter, then heads for the densely inhabited Rigel 7 system. Commodore Decker pulls his rank and assumes command of the Enterprise, using Order 104, Section B, Paragraph 1a, over Spock’s objections. Decker orders an attack on the doomsday machine despite Spock’s protest that its shell is made of neutronium and is therefore impermeable to attack from a single ship. The Enterprise is attacked by the doomsday machine, but manages to survive, and Decker then attacks the doomsday machine with phasers, which have no effect. The doomsday machine then attacks again, destroying the Enterprise’s shields and then begins pulling it into its interior with a tractor beam. From the Constellation, Kirk sees what is going on, and begins heading towards the doomsday machine using impulse power. He distracts it by firing phasers, freeing the Enterprise, and is then in turn saved when the Enterprise fires again.

After the Enterprise restores ship-to-ship communications, Kirk angrily orders Spock to re-assume command on his personal authority, which he does. After Spock assumes command, Mr. Montgomery accompanies Decker for an examination in sickbay. On the way, Decker overpowers Montgomery, then steals a shuttlecraft. Decker pilots the shuttle into the planet killer’s maw, killing himself, but producing a small power drop in the doomsday machine. Kirk reasons that the explosion of a starship might be capable of destroying the alien vessel. Scott rigs the Constellation to explode, then transports to the Enterprise, leaving Kirk behind. The transporter then malfunctions, and Scott is able to fix it only just in time to beam Kirk aboard before the Constellation is swallowed. At the last second, Kirk is beamed aboard the Enterprise. The Constellation then explodes, producing an explosion of 97.835 megatons, which turns the planet killer into a harmless pile of space junk.

 Fun Fact:

While the script was inspired by Moby Dickand Captain Ahab, William Windom has said at Star Trek conventions that he had his character compulsively fiddle with cassette cartridges as an homage to Humphrey Bogart, whose Captain Queeg did the same thing with ball-bearings in The Caine Mutiny.

Compliance Takeaways:

  1. How do you terminate a third party?
  2. How do you evaluate your risk assessment?
  3. How does your organization respond to findings in an investigation?


Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for The Doomsday Machine Doomsday Machine

In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode The Apple  which aired on October 13, 1967, Star Date 3715.0.

Story Synopsis

When Kirk beams down with a large landing party to investigate planet Gamma Trianguli 6, a flower turns toward security guard Hendroff and sprays him with deadly spores. Scott reports that the matter-antimatter pods are inexplicably losing potency. He believes it to have something to do with the planet’s unusual magnetic field. Kirk sends Valery and Marple to scout out the way to the nearest village. Spock then detects the presence of a humanoid watching them, and also detects planet-wide vibrations. Spock also finds a curious low-density rock which explodes unexpectedly when he tosses it away. Spock runs in the way of another flower which is about to spray Kirk and catches the darts in his own chest. McCoy injects Spock with masaform-D, but he does not respond, and Kirk asks Scotty to beam them all up. The Enterprise’s matter-antimatter pods have already been drained by what Scott now identifies as some sort of beam from the planet, and Scotty’s attempt to beam them up now fails, leaving the landing party stranded.

Spock recovers, but the landing party is then surprised by a rapidly moving electrical storm despite the absence of nearby clouds. The ground also begins to smoke. Valery attempts to report in by communicator, but his communication is jammed. The landing party goes to investigate, but Valery is tragically killed when he runs over one of the exploding rocks. The humanoid returns, and Kirk has Chekov and Spock create a diversion while he sneaks up on the watcher. Kirk attacks him, evoking tears. Kirk promises not to hurt him again, and the humanoid tells Kirk that his name is Akuta, chief of the primitive people he calls the feeders of Vaal. He appears to be in some kind of communication, since Spock notices antennae emerging from either side of his head. Kirk asks to be taken to Vaal, just as Scott reports that the Enterprise is being dragged into the planet by a tractor beam from the planet.

Akuta takes Kirk to Vaal, who appears to be a door into a hill in the shape of a dragon’s head. Spock’s tricorder shows that the entrance leads into the planet’s interior and is surrounded by a force field. When Akuta takes the landing party to meet with the rest of the people of Vaal, Kirk notices a strange lack of children, and finds that Vaal has forbidden love, providing “replacements” as they are needed. Seana introduces herself to Spock and is greatly amused when he tells her his name. McCoy finds that the people are in perfect health without any disease or aging. Kirk and Spock then witness a ceremony in which the people of Vaal provide it with fuel. Chekov seduces Martha, and this is observed by two of the people of Vaal (Makora and his newfound girlfriend), who proceed to imitate it. This angers Vaal, who gives Akuta instructions.

As Kirk and party are resting, Akuta explains to his people that they must kill the strangers and gives them instructions on how to bash their heads in using a heavy stick. They then disappear, and the Kirk and Spock go to confront Vaal. Vaal responds by calling a thunderstorm and striking Spock with a lightning bolt. The people of Vaal then attack, killing a security guard. As usual, the rest of the landing party fends off the attack and get off unscathed. Vaal weakens as the feeders are prevented from feeding him, and Kirk has Scott attack Vaal with the ship’s phasers to weaken it further. This drains Vaal’s power reserves and frees the people from his grip. Spock accuses Kirk of giving the people the equivalent of the apple of knowledge and driving them from their Eden, but Kirk maintains that Spock’s resemblance to the Devil is much more apparent than his own.

 Fun Fact:

After reading the script giving Akuta an antennae implanted in his head, Bob Justman jokingly suggested they should cast Ray Walston, famous for his portrayal of Uncle Martin in My Favorite Martianfor the part. Twenty-five years later Walston was indeed cast in Star Trek, in the role of Boothby in The First Duty.

 Compliance Takeaways:

  1. How do you validate that your policies are being followed?
  2. If Red Shirts are always going to die, how do you manage that risk?
  3. What is the Board of Director’s role in compliance?


Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for The Apple Apple

Sylvain Mansotte is the co-founder and CEO of Whispli, and this week’s guest. Whispli is a Boston-based company focused on innovating how corporate whistleblower programs are delivered. Sylvain joins Vince Walden to discuss what makes Whispli different from traditional hotlines, the importance of trust and anonymity, and how their programs work.

Traditional whistleblowing hotlines are bureaucratic and anxiety-inducing. In most cases, the lack of anonymity causes employees to hesitate in reporting misconduct, and some do not report it at all for fear of losing their jobs or suffering harsh consequences. Sylvain estimates that companies will miss 90% of reports because of a lack of anonymity in whistleblowing programs. Whispli is an innovative alternative to the traditional compliance hotlines, that promises complete anonymity with secure two-way communication channels.

Trust is the ultimate human currency and the foundation of all relationships. Whispli offers a level playing field for employees and higher-level workers to have conversations about difficult topics in a safe environment. It builds trust, which makes employees more inclined to speak up and report misconduct. Whispli allows users to change their avatar for each conversation to further maintain anonymity, and the system delivers all reports to their respective departments. Whispli is primarily a written communication channel, but if employees wish to call in, there is a hotline available in the program. They have also developed a mobile app, whose features include real-time voice modification.


Sylvain Mansotte on LinkedIn

In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode Mirror Mirror which aired on October 6, 1967, Star Date unknown.

Story Synopsis

After Kirk fails to convince the Halkan Council to allow the Federation to mine dilithium crystals on their planet, the landing party (Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura) returns to the Enterprise. Interference from an ion storm, however, causes them to be transported into a parallel universe and a mirror image Enterprise.

Now aboard the I.S.S. Enterprise (Imperial Starship Enterprise), the landing party discovers crew members who are mirror images of themselves and belong to an evil Federation known as the Empire. Their first experience is the torture of transporter operator Mr. Kyle with an agonizer for his alleged failure to beam the landing party up quickly enough. Immediately, Kirk realizes that a mirror image landing party must have been beamed aboard the real U.S.S. Enterprise.

Kirk, Uhura, McCoy, and Scotty impersonate their mirror image counterparts while finding a way to return to their universe. Kirk learns that he has been ordered to annihilate the Halkans, but piques Spock’s curiosity by ordering the Enterprise to hold its fire for 12 hours. Kirk then survives an assassination attempt by Chekov when one of his party defects, and then subjects Chekov to the agony booth. Kirk also uses the computer to determine that he succeeded to command by assassinating Christopher Pike and was responsible for the death of 5000 colonists on Vega 9.

While Scotty is adjusting the transporter to return them back to the correct universe, Kirk meets Marlena, the “Captain’s Woman.” Meanwhile, anti-Spock has received a directive to kill Kirk if he does not carry out his orders by destroying the Halkans on the Enterprise’s next orbit. Marlena shows Kirk the Tantalus Field, which he recovered from a lost civilization and has been using to eliminate his enemies.

Another assassination attempt, this time by Sulu, is crushed when Marlena uses the Tantalus Field on Sulu’s co-conspirators. Kirk stalls Spock by knocking him unconscious, and Uhura, Kirk, and Scott head for the transporter room while McCoy stays behind to make sure that anti-Spock is all right. Anti-Spock the comes out of his self-induced trance and mind melds with McCoy. Discovering that a switch has occurred, anti-Spock then assists Kirk in returning his landing party to their own universe so that the Empire landing party may return to its.

When Kirk and the party return, they find that their Empire counterparts were immediately recognized and put in detention. The Enterprise’s crew attributes this to the fact that it is easier for logical men to appear barbarous than for barbarous men to appear civilized.

 Fun Fact:

This TOS episode is the basis for several episodes in DS9: In the first such DS9 episode, “Crossover” it details the events in this episode which led directly to the fall of the Terran Empire to the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance in the late 23rd century. Anti-Spock became leader after assassinating anti-Kirk. Yet he was inspired by Kirk, attempted to reform the Empire, leaving it vulnerable to a combined Klingon-Cardassian attack.

Compliance Takeaways:

  1. Tone really does start at the top.
  2. How do you change your compliance functions within an organization?
  3. High risk requires high risk management.


Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for Mirror Mirror Mirror

As President Trump allows Russia to pay bounties for the Taliban to kill American soldiers, self-isolating (again) Jay and Tom have a special Thursday July 4th edition to look at top compliance articles and stories which caught their eye this week.

  1. The Novartis FCPA settlement. Tom has a 5 part series Part 1-Introduction, Part 2-the Bribery Schemes,Part 3-Internal Controls, Part 4-Fines, Penalties and Recidivism; Part 5-Data Analytics. Matt Kelly with Radical Compliance. Mike Volkov has a 3 part series on Corruption Crime and Compliance. Matt and Tom take a deep dive on Compliance into the Weeds. After all this Novatris pays another $678MM for corruption inside the US, see DOJ Press Release.
  2. Why you need a plan for distributors under the FCPA. Bill Steinman opines in the FCPA Blog.
  3. Alexion settles FCPA enforcement action. Dick Cassin breaks the story in the FCPA Blog.
  4. Banks facing increased compliance risks. Mengqi Sun in the WSJ Risk and Compliance Journal.
  5. The DOJ 2020 Update to the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs with a new emphasis on middle management. Dylan Tokar and Jack Hegal in the WSJ Risk and Compliance Journal.
  6. How badly did EY botch the Wirecard audit? Michael Rapaport guest posts on Francine McKenna’s The Dig.
  7. CCPA went live on July 1. Were you ready? Jessica Wilburn on Navex Global’s Ethics Matters.
  8. What is the role of compliance in the future of work? Neta Meidav in CCI.
  9. On Compliance and Coronavirus, I was joined this week by Ryan Schonfeld to discuss IT and physical security in the era of Coronavirus; Cindy Flynn on employment law issues and Bill Sanderson business change in the era of Covid-19.
  10. On the Compliance Podcast Network, Tom concluded his one month look at the role of HR in compliance on 31 Days to a More Effective Compliance Program and started a new month of looking at 3rdThis week saw the following offerings: Monday-the parameters of attorney/client privilege; Tuesday-Miranda warnings in internal investigations. On July 1, the new month brought the new topic of 3rd party risk management. Wednesday-the 3rd Party risk management process; Thursday-the business rationale. The month of July is being sponsored by Affiliated Monitors. Note 31 Days to a More Effective Compliance Program now has its own iTunes channel. If you want to binge out and listen to only these episodes, click here.

Tom Fox is the Compliance Evangelist and can be reached at Jay Rosen is Mr. Monitor and can be reached at