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Rationalists

Page history last edited by Michael 1 year, 6 months ago

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Origin

 

Pre-War


     In about 1960, M. Stan Galland revealed a body of knowledge called Rationalism. This was at the core of a religious organization he founded -- the Church of Rationality. Galland died of natural causes in 1986, but the Church had hundreds of thousands of members by that time, and had received large contributions.

     Part of the predictions made by Galland included a nuclear war in 1990. The Church established several bases in the American West; some of them were intended to preserve the organization and its knowledge after the coming nuclear war. Most of these were unmanned at the time of the Atomic War, but some nearby buildings were home to a few Rationalists at each vault.

 

  • Yellow Base, north of Hemet, California (just off of Route 70); the "off the grid" headquarters of the Church of Rationality -- the actual pre-War headquarters was in Los Angeles. Quite formidable defenses surrounded this center:  rolls of razor wire, tall thick fences (with sharp steel blades on the poles and along the top, copious lighting, electronic monitoring including ground and motion sensors, bunkers with machine guns, and well-stocked armories. A very tall steel tower, the Vultures' Roost, contained night-vision and thermal viewers, along with sniper rifles and tripod-mounted binoculars.

  • Blue Base, 80 kilometers east of Santa Fe, New Mexico (mostly underground)

  • Green Base, just east of Toulumne (the Lady Washington Mine; similar to Blue Base, but no airstrip)

  • Red Base, near Petrolia, south of Eureka (similar to Blue Base; taken over by the Foundation and looted long ago)

  • Lake Arrowhead (vault construction still underway at the time of the Atomic War, and thus didn't have much in the way of contents)

 

Post-War


     On November 18th 1989 two nuclear weapons detonated at March Air Force Base, about 30 kilometers to the west. One was a 20 megaton warhead from an SS-18 missile, targeting the runways; the other was a 650 kiloton weapon (From an SS-17 M2) exploded several hundred meters above the hangers and workshops. Other nearby attacks were in Riverside and San Bernardino.

     About a thousand members of the Church were either present at the time of the Atomic War, or arrived within a day or so. Several thousand more arrived in the weeks after the nuclear attacks; substantial supplies kept them alive in cramped circumstances.

     The defenses and armaments at Yellow Base allowed the Rationalists to repel intruders quite well. Filtered water from deep wells, and huge amounts of preserved food, kept the Rationalist communities at Yellow Base and Lake Arrowhead alive through the first year or two after the Atomic War.

     Unfortunately for the Rationalists, their beliefs quite often lead to massive defeats, deaths from poisoning or disease, food shortages, and other foolish setbacks.

 

What Outsiders Know


     A strange religion in Sierra Gehenna, with a lot of mysterious Ancient technology. They attempt to recruit converts mostly in California, Arizona, and northern Mexico. Communities in Southern California consider them to be well-armed but insane.

 

The Reality


     A cult from before the Atomic War. The founder predicted an atomic apocalypse at about the correct date, and his organization spent a lot of money and effort on preparations. Whether Galland was psychic, lucky, thoughtful, or just using imminent danger to cement his organization, the result was a community quite ready to survive the Atomic War.

     By the 22nd Century, the cult Leader has realized their resources will not last forever. Teams are being sent out to recover valuable items from other Rationalist bunkers (Blue Base and Green Base most recently). Unfortunately for the cult, their beliefs are causing these recovery efforts to focus on the preserved writings, speeches and other records of Galland.

 

Population


     The Rationalist communities in California have a combined population of about 4,000 persons. Of these, 35% are female -- most converts brought into the community are male.

 

population by age

age

number

under 5

288

5 - 19

992

20 - 44

1,484

45 - 64

784

65 +

452

 

       In the age group 20 to 44 years, there are 965 males. About 5% are rejected for military service due to dental issues; 8% due to vision issues; 2% due to incurable serious diseases, 2% due to mental issues (including low intelligence), and 10% due to being excessively under- or overweight. Thus about 700 men are the upper limit for military service.

 

Territory and Locations

 

 

     A thousand or so members live at Yellow Base, with a lot of the buildings being built to resemble castles or Scottish Highland structures. A very sturdy steel fence, with sharpened steel blades on the posts and along the top, surrounded the compound. The residential buildings have the names of Scottish clans. A replica clipper ship stands in the compound. Many of the buildings were originally built with defenses (though not always effective); more walls, watch stations, and fences were installed after the Atomic War. "It's the ideal setting for professional and personal growth." 

     The land around Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains, has a population of about 1,500 persons. Much of the Church's food and forest products come from there.

     There are other church communities in the valleys near Yellow Base (Happy Valley for one).

 

Organization

 

Government, National and Local


     The Church is entirely controlled by the Leader; he (they are always male) has to manage quite a lot of affairs at a very low level. There's no set mechanism for choosing a new leader; so far, the Leaders have managed to pass on their authority without causing any civil wars within the Church.

 

Military Affairs

 

     When there isn't a military emergency, there are 300 men "under arms" for the Church, as the Retribution Team. While usually a well-armed and well-equipped force, a lot of their time is spent studying rather theoretical issues of Rational theory. In addition, the chain of command, training programs, tactics, equipment, etc. change often and arbitrarily.

     The Retribution Team is often used for strange tasks -- painting the landscape, blanketing an outside community with missionaries, watching the other Rationalists for impure thoughts, etc.

     Mercenaries from the Cartel, Mexico and even the Foundation have been hired in the past (when funds permit).

 

Justice, Social Control, Punishment


     Almost every person in the community, except for the very lowest, youngest or newest, has someone they can punish. Extra duty, menial chores, harassment, restriction of sleeping or eating privileges, and corporal punishment are all likely punishments. There aren't any fines (since nobody has any money). While capital punishment cannot be applied to members of the Church in good standing, being a criminal puts you in bad standing ... that said, the actual application of the death penalty is very rare. Persons die all the time from overwork, exposure, starvation, lack of medical attention -- but oh, no, not from the death penalty.

     There aren't any "jail sentences" either ... in many ways living in a Rationalist community is like being in prison already.

     Informers, spy-holes, censorship, searches for contraband, harsh interrogations, and arbitrary actions all result in everyone being found guilty of something at some point.

 

Political Factions, Dissent


     Factionalism between departments, people with different interpretations of scripture, people with ambitions, etc. is common, but all at a low rumble.

 

Famous/Infamous Persons

 

  • M. Stan Galland, the founder of the Church of Rationality. His first and middle names were "Melvin Stanislaus".

  • Conway Sutter, Leader of the Church. Born 2084, he's been Leader since he was age 17 (2101).

     

Relationships with Other Groups

 

      In southern California, the Church's recruiting and evangelization has caused various neighboring communities to resent them. Their possession and use of technology sets them against some communities and groups who view the Ancients' science as evil.

     While the Foundation and Cartel don't really have any problem with the Rationalists, the Church of Rationality views those groups as being "negative" and generally avoids official contact. That hasn't stopped the Rationalists from hiring Cartel mercenaries.

     The Catholic Church feels that Rationalism is incompatible with Catholic belief and with human dignity.

     Locals around Santa Fe, especially the Cartel, have heard rumors about the Rationalists (who've been unable to resist proselytizing in the area).

 

  • who are they: "Some cult from the far West. I heard of them from a cousin who worked for the Cartel, they're peaceful enough, but don't spend much money and are weird (like everyone out west). I guess they're able to defend themselves. They're always talking to people about realizing their 'inner pot-something' and a lot of other Ancient words. I think a lot of them can read Ancient."

  • what is 50 miles east of Santa Fe?: "That's in some hot, dry mountains. There are some Ancient ruins, but probably all picked over for salvage years ago."

 

Culture

 

Ethnic Groups, Immigration and Emigration

 

     They're a racially diverse group. Any immigrants are converts to the Church; there are apparently no heretics or emigrants.

 

Social Divisions and Castes


     The Church of Rationality has dozens of grades, conditions, statuses, etc. which are confusing even to the members. About the only notable division is between those born into the Church, and converts -- it's much easier for someone born into the system to stay out of trouble.

 

Religion, Beliefs and Superstition

 

  • who are you: "We're part of the Church of Rationality, dedicated to improving people's minds and souls. Our tested and scientific methods can bring you to the peak of perfection. We have papers to read, if you would like?"

  • when did the Church start: "M. Stan Galland deduced the principles of Cognizance decades before the Atomic War. The Church itself was only about 30 years old when the War happened."

  • what happened to Galland: "Oh, his physical body died before the War, but he will return to assist mankind again. Would you like some papers to read?"

  • where are you: "Most of our members are in southern California, but we're spreading across the world!"

  • do you know about the Foundation of Man: "Alas, yes. They are negative people, filled with toxic forces and self-loathing. We heard of you (the CLF) and realized you might be able to help. As the Church of Rationality grows, the suppressive persons will fade away; this would suit you, yes?"

 

Morality and Values


     Blah blah ...

 

Progress and Failure


     The various writings of M. Stan Galland provide copious guidance for every facet of life -- although outsiders sometimes wonder about the utility of this guidance, based on life in mid-Twentieth Century America.

      The structure of the Church makes status very precarious; it's very Kafkaesque -- people are dragged off for re-education for no known reason, and promoted equally mysteriously. The current Leader gained the position in an entirely not-his-own-doing way in 2101.

      Having said that, outsiders will definitely fail more often; there are many, many rules that must be obeyed to avoid punishment.

 

Family, Age, Sexuality and Gender


     The typical low rate of female births, and the largely male gender of converts and immigrants, makes the population of Yellow Base and Arrowhead about 60% male.

 

Education and Language


     A version of Ancient English is the only accepted language; the Church of Rationality published (before the Atomic War) a quite extensive dictionary, providing the proper definitions of words ... these definitions often don't match any other dictionary.

 

Environment and Agriculture


     Blah blah ...

 

Food


     Blah blah ...

 

Art and Entertainment, Music, Literature, Recreation


     Blah blah ...

 

Fashion and Appearance


     Blah blah ...

 

Urban and Rural Areas, Architecture


     Blah blah ...

 

Equipment and Resources

 

     The Rationalists are rated as Poor, Non-Industrial, Non-Agricultural, with a Technology Level of B (Late Electric Age, circa 1955 AD).

 

Economy


     The members of this community aren't allowed to possess money, or to conduct barter. The annual gross national product (across all of their Californian communities) is about $100,000.

     The Church has $60,000 in cash reserves, of which $12,000 is silver coins, and $3,000 is gold coins (mostly Canadian Maple Leaf coins). The value of their stored weapons and other Ancient supplies is possibly millions, or even tens of millions -- although it would take decades to realize that amount of money in the North American markets.

 

Science, Medicine and Technology


     Blah blah ...

 

Weapons and Military Equipment

 

1989


     At the time of the Atomic War, Yellow Base held several thousand HK91A2 and HK91A3 semi-automatic rifles (civilian versions of the G3 rifle) in 7.62mm NATO caliber, a hundred or so HK SR9 sniper rifles (similar to the HK91), hundreds of .45 caliber M1911A1 pistols and .380 caliber Beretta "Cheetah" pistols, and six hundred 12 gauge pump shotguns. Tens of millions of rounds of small arms ammunition were stored in climate-controlled bunkers.

     Hundreds of kilograms of modern explosives were stored nearby, and used to make improvised hand grenades (and for more "professional" demolition work).

     1,200 Level III kevlar vests were available.

 

2140

 

     By 2140, there are still nearly a million rounds of small arms ammunition available -- but the "dud" rate is about 50%. The Church has purchased small arms and other military goods from Styx and the Cartel -- but only .45 ACP rounds and 12 gauge shells are available in the quantities needed for the Church's supply of weapons.

     The kevlar vests fell apart decades ago, and the explosives are long ago used up.

 

Communications


     Dozens of CB radios are mostly used in the defenses around Yellow Base and Arrowhead; there are also telephone systems inside of those communities.

 

Vehicles


     Dozens of four-wheel drive jeeps and trucks, and a couple hundred dirt bikes, were stored at Yellow Base before the Atomic War, along with repair and maintenance supplies, and large underground fuel tanks.

    Lack of proper maintenance, mis-understanding of operating manuals, running the engines with improper fuels and lubricants, etc. have pretty much destroyed all of these vehicles. Many of them appear clean and dent-free, but have many, many issues "under the hood".

     Rationalists traveling between Yellow Base and Arrowhead ride horses or wagons.

 

Aircraft


     None.

 

Watercraft


     None (unless you count the clipper ship at Yellow Base).

 

 

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