Around circa 3733 BC, war threatened to destroy Beta III and its inhabitants. The leader at that time was a gifted engineer and philosopher, Landru. He believed the way to preserve his people was to take them back to a time of peace and tranquility. He sought to end war, crime, disease – all of the evils that plagued his world, and to produce "the unity of good" – a world without hate, without fear, without conflict. To that end, he built and programmed a sophisticated machine, which took on his identity. (TOS: "The Return of the Archons")
In the tenth issue of IDW Publishing's Star Trek: Ongoing comic series set in the alternate reality, it's revealed that Landru was actually a Human (his first name being Cornelius (β)) and the head of Starfleet's Advanced Research Division who created a prototype artificial intelligence in 2167 to assist in colony development. His true intentions were more sinister as he was attempting a means of population control. On Beta III, he conducted experiments on the colonists, programming them to his whim to create a utopia where he would be seen as a god. The crew of the USS Archon attempted to stop him, but the ship was destroyed and its crashed remains were built into a temple by the descendants of the crew's survivors. As civilization on Beta III began anew, Landru hid his technology from the colonists and watched over his experiment, reveling as it unfolded. Landru eventually died at some point before 2258, but he lived on through his machine. Using transwarp beaming, the crew of the USS Enterprise ripped the heart out of the computer that was controlling the minds of the inhabitants freeing the people and ending Landru's legacy. After the mission, Admiral Pike was admonished by an unseen superior for not keeping a tighter leash on his protégé Kirk after exposing the secret experiment that lasted for decades.