While there are many brutal ways through which slaveowners intimidated their slaves, there were more vile and profound methods. Violence provides the most basic form of control, while others can be more efficient. The suffering of others, especially those one’s relatives, could have been used as a way to “motivate” slaves to conform to the rules. The fact that a person owned whole communities made it easier to threaten them with separation via selling. The lack of any legal protection was a strong deterrent by itself and allowed these and many other monstrous acts to go unnoticed. Governmental policies which were created with the intention to prevent any slave from rising to any higher class are one of the examples. However, these were only the forms of control that relied on laws and policies.
Other practices that prevented slaves from escaping or rioting were more devious. Slaves were not taught how to read or write, making them more dependent on masters. Another mind trick that worked well was a promise of freedom for slaves upon the death of their master if it was from natural causes. The usage of people’s vices, such as gluttony or addiction, was also efficient. Slaves could have been intentionally given addictive substances so they would not be able to resist asking for more and getting into deeper debt. Introducing slaves to the benefits of the afterlife in accordance with the Christian faith and a promise of future salvation to those who worked fair and did not sin is yet another example of empty promises. In conclusion, there are many other efficient methods of subjugation of a slave’s will to become free aside from violence, and many masters invented new ways of playing with humans’ hopes.