OREM — In a new, dark novel that depicts Earth with limited resources, the ultimate goal of the secret PIPM organization is to reduce the world's population by billions of people.

"PIPM Ultimatum" by Brad Tew is the first in a trilogy of science fiction novels set just a few years in the future. The first book takes place in the 2030s and '40s, while the other two are set 10 years before and 10 years after.

At first just a few people disappear, then hundreds, thousands and finally billions as PIPM, or Planetary Improvement and Population Management, works to control the world's population. The first few to disappear are folks who really don't have much to contribute — older people, the poor and the infirm. Then a series of hit squads target major drug dealers, poachers of endangered species, people on welfare, the homeless, terminally ill, mental patients, convicts, illegal immigrants, sex offenders, the list goes on.

In a series of vignettes, Tew takes the reader through many of these surgical attacks and killings, then jumps back and forth to two main groups, the PIPM organization and its leaders, Major General Thomas Powell his sidekick, General Rockwell, and the townspeople in the fictional Pawnee Rock and their sheriff, Benjamin Hamblin.

While Powell and his secret group of assassins go about their gruesome task of reducing the world's population, Hamblin figures out what's going on and urges the townspeople to change their behavior so they won't become targets.

Doing good deeds and improving society no doubt saves lives, but as Hamblin's deputy, Mark Badovinac wryly puts it, "For a lot of people it's easier to die than to change."

The novel isn't necessarily intended for LDS audiences, but they will pick up on some of the imagery and echoes, Tew said. Rockwell is based on the Porter Rockwell character in LDS Church history, while a corrupt governor of Missouri with the surname of Boggs may also pique church member's interest.

Gov. Lilburn Boggs gave an order to exterminate Latter-day Saints when they were attempting to settle in Missouri in 1838. In this novel, Boggs is exterminated.

Tew also has a political figure named Romney — "I'm related to Mitt Romney," he said — and two women who die have the same names as his two ex-wives, Tew said.

The innuendoes in the details make the book "a bit more fun" for folks who get the connections, he admits.

The book makes statements about saving the environment, bettering society through strategic elimination and paints with a broad brush the negative affects of humanity on the earth, including corruption in politics, medicine and big business.

His inspiration came from a feeling of helplessness over many of the issues that plague the world today, he said.

"A lot of people feel the same way. Their hands are tied," Tew said.

Maybe the book will motivate people to improve themselves and the environment, he said.

Tew's solution in the novel is to wipe the destructive elements off the face of the earth, for humanity is the disease. It is the consumers, particularly in the United States — not the American Indians that their forefathers defeated to build America — who are the real savages, according to the storyline.

A society built on choice and learning to improve one's life through civilized means is replaced with one based on fear and judgment in this tale. It's about an organization that becomes judge, jury and executioner without benefit of appeal. It's about forcing one to do the right thing or die. Where have you heard that storyline before?

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