The five main fractions that make up this society are Dauntless (the brave), Erudite (intelligence), Amity (peace), Candor (honest), and Abnegation (selfless). Those originally in power were the Abnegations but Erudite believed that because they were superior they deserved to be in control of the society. Erudite’s plan to take over tried to follow the rules of power but failed in the last step. First Erudite needed to establish immanence, because they were the intelligent fraction they were who everyone turned to for doctors, medicine, and engineering but the leader of Erudite needed the information that Abnegation was hiding from everyone about the truth in order to keep it that way. Whoever held the knowledge of the society held the power and control. In order to obtain this secret information Erudite needed to attack the Abnegation but could not do so on its own and turned to Dauntless for their army, who’s soldiers would not willingly harm innocent people. This is when continual variation changed the way Erudite and Dauntless interacted between themselves and the other fractions. Once they came to an understanding that together they would be the new leaders they devised a plan to administer a serum that would put the entire army under the control of the Erudite and attack the people of Abnegation in order to find the information. All these small different fraction are connected in a bigger way than they know, the information Erudite is trying to obtain, if gone public would reveal that they are not the last survivors on earth taking shelter in what used to be the city of Chicago. That in fact they are an experiment that the world was conducting to see how they could create a world of people who were obedient without question but the divergent threatened that world. Because the mind control serum did not work on divergents they used this opportunity to find them and tried to kill them to keeping their world intact. Erudite understands that they are not the big power source but if they can control others from finding that out they could come to make the other fractions an extension of themselves.
The main character of the franchise, Tris, finds out she is a divergent when it comes time for her to take the exam to see which fraction she belongs to. After getting several warnings that no one can find out what she is she finds herself digging into finding out what is really going on. The citizens of this society are only told what they need to know to do their jobs. Where Erudite lost control of power was the information that they were giving their citizens, specifically those who were divergent. Erudite and Dauntless told everybody that they were trying to get everyone to take the mind control serum as a way to restore peace and to maintain the society they were all accustomed to living with. Most leaders of each fraction eventually decided to comply to prevent harm onto their people and took their words as truth. Those who were divergent knew what was being preached was not the truth and knew that if they did not stop the Dauntless and Erudite they would kill innocent people for being able to fight their lies cloaked as the truth. Erudite eventually lost because the divergents were able to get the truth out to the citizens who were able to fight back and then able to decide for themselves whether to leave their city or venture out into the real world.
As much as Erudite tried to get rid of all of the divergents and to be the leaders of their city they failed because they did not successfully accomplish the rules of power. They could not control the divergents who were not being fooled by their lies and eventually gave back the power of choice to the citizens and who they chose to follow creating docile bodies that were able to practice disciplinary action based on their morals.