Thompson is a supreme leader, who might be God or a human being, or perhaps either one, depending on the context. Thompson also seems to be a power or a quality invested within whoever Thompson is. "Perkins" is a related term that is used to describe the body of Thompson, so that the name "Thompson" does not have to be used. In that context, Thompson sounds like God. Elsewhere in the book, "thompson" with a small "t" is called the supreme leader, which makes him sound like a human being.