John Farson (also known as The Good Man) was originally a harrier and stage-robber who began to gain a political following in the lands of either Garlan or Desoy while Roland was still a boy. His sigul was the eye of the Crimson King, and there is subtle suggestion that they may in fact be the same individual.
Although Farson's name features large in 'Wizard and Glass' he does not actually appear to any of the characters in any of the seven 'Dark Tower' volumes and is only referred to by other characters. Probably due to the confusion of those times, some characters even identify him with Walter/Marten/Flagg. However, Walter is a separate individual; George Latigo, one of Farson's lieutenants, is surprised to meet Walter when he was expecting Farson. Here, Latigo's POV provides the novels' only physical description of Farson; he was a tall man and "broad at the brisket."
In his early years he used his brother Jack Farson to infiltrate the village of Tomesbury hoping to steal the assets of the wealthy there, his plan went awry and his brother betrayed him choosing to no longer help him in his schemes. His anger grew at his brothers betrayal and so he planned their murder, whilst on vacation he sent a group of Billy-Bumbler's to kill them, taking their two-year old son James as his own, however a wedge is now being driven between them by Walter Padick.
Role in the Dark Tower SeriesEdit
Farson promised his supporters a fair and democratic society as opposed to the Feudalist-style Affiliation. He even had a John F. Kennedy-like slogan, "Ask not what the Good Man can do for you, but what you can do for him." This was so enticing to some of his supporters that they were willing to commit treason for him. One such was Hax the Cook, who accepted the assignment of poisoning the people of Taunton. Hax remarked that no matter how much it grieved him to cause the deaths of so many innocent children, it would hurt him more to see them grow up in a society that which was "under the rule of the gun".
Wizard and Glass/The Gunslinger BornEdit
Later, after Roland, Cuthbert and Alain were sent to Mejis, they became aware of a plot to supply Farson's forces with oil, indicating that Farson had access to a greater share of technology from before Roland's world had 'moved on' - namely, infantry that still possessed some degree of mechanization. Farson's corruption had also extended to the cattlemen of Mejis and their enforcers the Big Coffin Hunters, led by Eldred Jonas, the failed gunslinger. It is also during this time that Farson destroys the capital of Cressia, Indrie, betting his followers on how far he can bat the heads of his victims.
He allows his nephew James to infiltrate Gilead in the hope of returning the Pink Sphere to himself after Marten informs him it is there after becoming furious with Clay Reynolds when he appears at his camp without it.
The Fall of GileadEdit
He leads a final army against the city of Gilead. This army consists of Slow Mutants and the Troitans. His army is successful and Gilead is destroyed.
Roland's ka-tet only managed to postpone the fall of Gilead a mere twenty months. However, Farson is not mentioned as a factor at the battle of Jericho Hill, suggesting that he may have been killed or lost his power before then. Due to his allegiance to the Crimson King and his methods of subversion, treason and mass murder it is highly unlikely that he ever really entertained any notion of installing a society that was remotely democratic or fair, and while many of his followers (like Hax) did fall for his message, others (like Jonas) were simply out for profit.