“John will use intimidation, faith and violence to secure resources vital to the Cult's survival - be it a home or a person.”
— Promotional Description
Far Cry 5 Website
“I spent my entire life looking for more things to say yes to.”
— John Seed
Far Cry 5
John Seed is one of three secondary antagonists in Far Cry 5 and Inside Eden's Gate, and the youngest of the three Seed brothers. While Joseph Seed is the defacto head of Eden's Gate, and Jacob Seed is in charge of security, John took to the public role of the church's legal representation, and more privately the cult's head of indoctrination and influence; serving as the herald of the Holland Valley region of Hope County as well.
John is a cult lawyer prepared to defend his family through the legal system. After the separation of the Seed family, he was adopted by the Duncan family, a wealthy and highly religious family from Atlanta. According to The Book of Joseph, the Duncans considered John's soul to be tainted, and they psychologically tortured John in confessing all and any sins through interrogation and a series of fundamentalist pastors. John came to understand that even if he had nothing to hide, he would need to make something up, and became extraordinarily skilled at disguising himself with what others wanted to see. As a result, he became skilled at psychological manipulation and used this skill to acquire secrets about others to his own advantage.
After attending a prestigious East Coast University and graduating at the top of his class, John became one of the fastest rising lawyers in Atlanta, inheriting a small fortune upon the death of his parents. He became extremely wealthy and well-connected, apparently portraying himself as a physical sign of success. Despite this, he disliked himself and society for what it had done to his childhood and wished for its destruction. By the time Joseph had contacted him, John was an associate at a major law firm undertaking the redevelopment of his childhood neighborhood in his hometown of Rome. After their meeting, John joined Joseph in his Vision under the role of the confessor of Eden's Gate.
Upon arriving at Hope County, John was able to use his fortune in acquiring land and farms without hassle, and quickly became acquainted with the county political and legal system.
Probably, if not the most sadistic out of the four family members, John Seed is not a force to be reckoned with by most. He is known as "The Baptist" and wants people to see their sins and what they have done, literally. He is known to engrave one's “sins” into their skin. When John was younger, he was taken into the kitchen by his parents and beaten senseless until all he could say was "Yes", which is his motto throughout the game. He is hinted at being a masochist and is certainly a sadist. In a cutscene, Joseph says that when he was a child, John was kind and loving, which made him an easy target for abuse and exploitation.
And I saw, and behold... a white horse!
John is broadcasting that everyone can be free of sin with one word: "Yes." He reveals that he has Deputy Joey Hudson and announces to everyone watching has been selected to be cleansed and they don't have to do anything. They will come for them and welcome them to Eden's Gate.
Main Article: The Cleansing John sends a hunting party to capture The Junior Deputy for the Cleansing. At the Cleansing, John welcomes the selected to Eden's Gate but says the Deputy's not clean and forces them back underwater. John brings them back up and tries to put them back under, only for Joseph Seed to criticize John for mocking the Cleansing. Joseph tells John that the Deputy is not beyond salvation.
Main Article: The Confession
John captures the Deputy again. He brings the Deputy to his bunker and puts them in a room with Deputy Hudson while both are tied to rolling chairs. There, he remarks that when he was younger, his parents taught him the power of the word "Yes," and would beat him until he learned it. He then remarks that everyone who undergoes the Cleansing has their sin tattooed on their flesh so that it can be revealed. He says that the Deputy, given that they quickly resort to violence and has no qualms with it, must surely be the sin of wrath. He then rips the Deputy's shirt open and remarks that it is time for atonement. The Deputy is asked whether they or Hudson should go first. The Deputy can volunteer themselves by saying "Yes" or refuse to respond, causing John to become enraged and flip a nearby table only to then pick the Deputy himself. Hudson is wheeled from the room, and during that time, the Deputy escapes.
Main Article: The Atonement
Finally, John moves against the Deputy when they cause enough damage to John's operation. He captures Falls End and tells the Deputy to come to the church if they want to rescue his/her friends. While there, the Deputy is captured. When they awaken, John has finished tattooing wrath onto the Deputy's chest. He then has the Deputy brought forward for the atonement, where Jerome Jeffries, Mary May Fairgrave and Nick Rye are present. Nick has had Greed tattooed on his chest, and John forces Nick to place his hand on The Book of Joseph and swear to atone. Jerome refuses to comply at first but is struck until he does. Nick refuses, and John remarks on the nature of greed, stating Nick is really only out for himself. He then whispers something into Nick's ear, possibly about his family, and Nick changes his tune and agrees to atone. John knocks Nick down and cuts the tattoo off of Nick's chest before stapling the skin to the wall of the church. During the chaos, Jerome manages to switch The Book of Joseph with his bible. John then tries the same ceremony with the Deputy, only for the Deputy to pull the hidden gun from Jerome's Bible (which was actually a book safe). They fire on John, and the shot grazes him on the ear. John's troops carry him out to get him to his airstrip and instruct the rest to deal with the Deputy.
The Deputy, Jerome, and Mary secure the church. While Jerome stays to treat Nick's wounds, Mary drives the Deputy to John's airstrip.
Main Article: Wrath
The Deputy gets in a plane and chases after him, supported by Nick if the player chooses. After destroying John's plane, John parachutes to the ground, only to be fatally wounded by the Deputy. The Deputy approaches a severely injured John and grabs his key, John grabs his arm and asked what if Joseph is right and the world is on the brink. The Deputy rips the key off John's neck as John remarks that the Deputy isn't going to save anyone, and prays for God to have mercy on the Deputy's soul. He then succumbs to his wounds.
John's adoptive parents abused him greatly, which affected him well into his adult years. John believed that he - like all sinners - deserved his punishment and even held a degree of gratitude for them teaching him “the Power of Yes." John has made it his life mission to bestow that power on himself and others, initially through his own vices, until Joseph helped him turn that sadism into helping others find absolution and atonement so that they could be worthy of being sheltered from the Collapse and brought into Eden.
Even though John may have believed his personal mission in life was to save souls, he was highly sadistic and took a great deal of personal joy in the suffering atonement caused his victims. During the Cleansing, he cruelly drowned the Deputy further until Joseph reprimanded him. Joseph indeed admits that John was not perfect and even a monster at times, especially when compared to the rest of the Seed family, but Joseph dismisses it as only being because of John's childhood abuse.
Despite his cruelty, John believes Faith is much worse than him due to her abuse of her “Angels,” insinuating that John believes he treated his followers well.
John is a slim male with brown hair, blue eyes, and a medium beard. His body is covered in tattoos, the most notable being a large, scarified tattoo of the word "Sloth" on his chest. His usual outfit is a blue button-up shirt, black jeans, and a vest. In some of his propaganda videos, he is wearing a brown trench coat as well.
- John has a scar of the word "sloth" carved horizontally along his chest, revealing his own sin.
- John's jacket has a small aeroplane pattern to it - foreshadowing his death.
- John is the only one of Seed family that once he is killed you may pick up and carry his body around.
- Furthermore, he's the only Sub-Boss The Junior Deputy doesn't have to fight on their own.
- John's first nickname on Ubisoft's Far Cry website was the Inquisitor but was changed to the Baptist.
- Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. John Seed is baptising people into Eden's Gate with bliss infected waters.
- John has multiple tattoos, including one on his hand that lists the Seven Deadly Sins in Latin. "Acedia" (sloth) has been substituted for "Tristitia," which more closely mirrors the concept of dejection and despondancy. Another one of his tattoos is a dove within a wreath. This is most likely a reference to the biblical story Noah's Ark.
- He is seen using a tattoo gun in-game and being proficient with tattooing equipment. It is possible John is the tattoo artist who made Joseph's as well as the cult VIP's tattoos. Hurk furthermore admires John's tattoos and says you have to "respect the ink," his personality aside.
- Unlike his brothers and adoptive sister, John is the most sadistic.
- John and Faith appear to be slightly fearful of Joseph.
- John only cuts the tattoo of the sin from the body of people who resist the cult. If they accept the cult at the first chance, they are only given the tattoo.
- Both Sharky Boshaw and Adelaide Drubman suggest John wants the Deputy due to him having sexual feelings towards them. Adelaide will mention to the Deputy after the "Confession" mission that John is "playing a strange game" with them, and while John wants them, it's frighteningly unclear if he wants the Deputy dead, or alive.
- Sharky: Man, that John really does have a hard-on for you, so I'm thinking you two should just fuck and, er, get it over with.
- Adelaide: John wants you really bad. Have you considered he's maybe in some kind of love with you? Yeah, he killed you two or three times already, but he's playing cat and mouse. Just saying, next time you find yourself alone with him, maybe a good long something or other could save our necks.
- At some point in his life, John battled with both drug and sex addiction.
- In Far Cry Absolution, a prequel book to Far Cry 5, a female cult member named Holly reveals she sleeps with John "from time to time".
- In The Book of Joseph, a pre-order item that came with the first 2000 units of the x Mondo edition of the game, John Seed is described as a person who has little trouble getting people to confess their dirty secrets to him. Joseph Seed, the author of the book even claims that "The President himself would have handed John the nuclear codes without hesitation. Maybe that was how humanity would end." Blackmailing, including coercing confessions from people, is a well-known control tactic of many real-life cults.
- The Book of Joseph also details John's past, including that his adoptive name was John Duncan and that prior to reuniting with his brothers, John was working as a lawyer specializing in real estate in Atlanta, Georgia. John had used his influence to actually have their childhood neighborhood torn down. It is implied that John committed tax fraud. His work with real estate also matches with the descriptions given by Virgil and other characters in game of how the cult started buying up property all across the county.
- In The Confession, John starts off whistling the song "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn. This song could possibly reference the fact that he "met" the Deputy again, as planned, or it could even have deeper foreshadowing, as the song also played in the ending of the 1964 movie "Dr. Strangelove," as nukes destroyed the world. In that way, the song very likely references the nuclear ending to the game, where the song even plays in the credits given that path was taken.
- Although difficult, John's capture party is the only one that can be avoided whereas Jacob's archers and Faith's 'invitations' to the bliss are forced.
- After Update 1.05, John along with Sheriff Whitehorse, is available as Special Outfits for the deputy.
- Joseph tells John during the Cleansing, that if John doesn't start showing a bit of mercy to the non-believers, "This one shall reach the atonement... or the Gates of Eden shall be shut to you, John." This indicates that Joseph is not quite impressed by the methods that John is using. During his eulogy for John, he also states that "John was not perfect, and sometimes he was not even good".
- John is seen in two versions of his outfit, one being with his trench coat, and one without, showing his blue silk shirt with vest. In comparison, Joseph wears either his black suit jacket, white shirt & vest, or goes shirtless, while Jacob & Faith each only have one outfit for the entire game.