William "Bill" R. Taggart is the founder and leader of the pro-humanist group Humanity Front. He appears as a main antagonist in Deus Ex: Icarus Effect and a major character in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. He is a highly successful psychologist and anti-augmentation activist and speaker, well known for his charisma and oratorical abilities.
Bill formed the group Humanity Front in 2021, soon after Antoine Thisdale's famous court case regarding his right to amputate and augment himself to be able to compete with his augmented peers.
Deus Ex: Icarus Effect
In 2027, Taggart is in Geneva, Switzerland, when the Tyrants plan to assassinate him, making him a martyr for his cause and push for a UN vote on augmentation regulation. Although Ben Saxon fails to kill him, Scott Hardesty shoots and kills his secretary, which still successfully ignites anti-augmentation regulation discussion among the government. At gun point with Saxon, Taggart asks him: "Did they send you?"
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
After returning from the Highland Park FEMA complex, Jensen finds Taggart in Sarif's penthouse, along with his bodyguards and personal aide, Isaias Sandoval. Taggart will confront Jensen directly, claiming he wishes to speak with him as well as condemning the violent actions of Purity First, and attempts to psychoanalyze him. Adam may either listen to his claims that augmentation is endangering the human race, or confront him about the Purity First incident, to which he will show contempt toward the player.
In the comic series, Taggart has another meeting with Sarif in London. Together with Zhao Yun Ru, he offers Sarif an opportunity to cooperate with them. Sarif immediately dismisses the offer, accusing them of being part of the conspiracy.
Jensen later finds out from Eliza Cassan that his aide, Sandoval was personally involved in the attack on Sarif Industries, having assisted the Tyrants by agreeing to surgically remove the GPL implants from the Sarif scientists so they can be kidnapped and hidden. Not knowing Sandoval's location, Jensen can choose to confront Taggart at the Detroit convention center, where he had recently given an inflammatory anti-augmentation speech that led to a riot. Taggart will attempt to redirect the topic to Jensen's supposed emotional traumas and the biotech industry's supposed covert super-soldier operations, but if Jensen is persuasive enough he can be convinced to give up Sandoval's location. Using pheromones on Taggart will trigger an awkward dialogue, in which Taggart essentially admits knowing that Jensen's accusations are true.
It is also revealed in this conversation that Taggart's wife Marjorie, was murdered by a Neuropozyne addict. Snooping on Taggart's computer will reveal an e-mail, in which an upset reader tells him to go back to Utah with his twelve wives.
During Jensen's friendly confrontation with Sandoval, he explains that he was introduced to the Tyrants through his brother Zeke Sanders, but angrily states that "Taggart already knows the truth" - slightly suggesting that Taggart was truly cooperating with the Tyrants during the attack on Sarif industries, providing them with Sandoval's expertise as a physician. This is confirmed in a pocket secretary found at the FEMA facility in Detroit.
Hugh Darrow then calls a world-wide meeting between influential people at Panchaea to discuss augmentations. Taggart, David Sarif and Hugh Darrow are the people that the Panchaea conference will center around. Jensen will run into Taggart again at Panchaea, where he is barricaded in a server room along with some other survivors. Taggart feels that Darrow's activation of the universal signal has confirmed his anti-augmentation rhetoric all along and takes it as proof that augmentation technologies are too dangerous. Taggart then goes on to elaborate on how humanity will always need centralized control, and the Illuminati is ideally placed for this - and Jensen himself perhaps even more ideally placed, given his knowledge and accomplishments thus far.
Whether Jensen agrees with him or not, he can choose to deliver Taggart's message to the world at the end of the game, railing against the dangers of augmentation and turning public opinion towards greater control of augmentation technology, thus placing the Illuminati further into power.
Following the Aug Incident, Bill Taggart, Hugh Darrow and Zhao Yun Ru top the list of missing and he's presumed dead.
In response to the worldwide crisis caused by the Aug Incident, the U.N. rushes to pass the Taggart Act, a piece of legislation designed to regulate the mechanical augmentation industry apparently named after Taggart.
Taggart wrote a book "No Better: The Myth of Human Augmentation" which highlights his personal beliefs regarding human augmentations. This book, along with its various audio and video versions, is a top ten bestseller as reported by Picus.
The following is the CASIE Social Enhancer's summary of William Taggart:
- Is very adept at learning about people and understanding them. If he is denied information, then he has nothing to exploit.
- Will try to sway an audience to his side in order to win a debate. His accusations must be confronted directly, in order to show him no weakness.
- Believes himself of a higher quality than other persons, and will demonstrate this by pointing out their failings. Personal attacks on his character will destabilize his lofty position, and make him cautious.
- While he cannot be killed when encountered in Detroit, should you attack his bodyguards he will not react in any way. He will not revive any you knock unconscious, will not attack you, and will not even alert his bodyguards should you start taking them down in front of him.
- Taggart can be killed in Panchaea but it will not affect the end of the game.
- When in Picus Communications televised advertisements for a lecture by Taggart called "Humanity, Which Way Now?" will appear. In the runner on the televisions, however, the lecture is called "Which Way Now, Humanity?"
- William Taggart's character may have been inspired by American psychologist B. F. Skinner, and his book "Beyond Freedom and Dignity" which is similar to Taggart's "No Better: The Myth of Human Augmentation". As Taggart holds that unregulated human augmentation and absolute individual liberty can pose a threat to society, Skinner is against an "autonomous man" and holds for societal progress by naturalist cultural evolution.