List of organizations in the Honorverse
Audubon Ballroom[edit | edit source]
A former terrorist organization, dedicated to the elimination of slavery in general, and Manpower Incorporated in particular. The Audubon Ballroom is now folded into the formal armed forces of the planet Torch. (Note that there is a real-world Audubon Ballroom; it's best known as the site of Malcolm X's assassination on February 21, 1965.)
Brotherhood of Maccabeus[edit | edit source]
The Brotherhood of Maccabeus was a fifth column, working for religious conservatives (e.g., believers in Masadan-style theocracy) on Grayson. The origin of the Brotherhood is unknown, but an early leader was Oliver Mayhew, a close relation of the Protector and a member of the Grayson's Council. After Oliver's death, his son, Jared, became the leader of the Brotherhood. Its goal was to assassinate the Protector and his heirs, in order to gain the Protectorship, an impose conservative theocratic rule on Grayson. The assassination was to take place at a time when war between Masada and Grayson was brewing. If successful, Maccabeus was then to take control of the government to negotiate a peace agreement with Masada. The Brotherhood believed that success would allow Maccabeus to retain control on Grayson, and to appoint like-minded individuals to high government and Church positions to secure a conservative take over of Grayson. This would permit acceptance of something much like the Masadan perspective on Church and state policy. Eventually Grayson and Masada were expected to unite for the first time.
Church of Humanity Unchained[edit | edit source]
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History[edit | edit source]
The Church of Humanity Unchained was founded on Earth, specifically in the Northwest United States state of Idaho, by Reverend Austin Grayson—known to future generations of Church members as Saint Austin—in the 25th century AD (4th Century Post Diaspora). During this period, Earth's ecological problems were beginning to be resolved, but some groups decried the pervasive "dehumanization" caused by technology. Coupling charisma, determination and real ability to attract converts, Grayson managed to combine his back-to-the-Bible beliefs with the technophobic frenzy of the time.
Promising to lead his believers to a world which would be a New Zion free from technology, Grayson and the Church assembled enough funding for a cryogenic slowboat colony expedition which departed from Earth in the year 314 P.D. (2415 AD). After 670 years, the colonists arrived at a planet they named Grayson in 988 P.D. (3090 AD). The planet's deadly environment (heavy metal toxicity in water and soil) threatened to doom the anti-technology colony, but two of the colony leaders, Oliver Mayhew and Hugh Yanakov, led something of a doctrinal revolution that changed the Church's beliefs in technology shortly after Austin Grayson's death—three Terran years after arrival. Technology became, not necessarily evil per se, but its abuse and misuse remained so. Some were unwilling to go along with the change, but enough technology remained in use that the colony was able to establish a permanent foothold.
The Grayson Civil War between the "Moderates" and the "Faithful" during the 14th Century Post Diaspora resulted in a religious schism; the most reactionary elements attempted to seize control, and almost succeeded. After their defeat, they were removed from Grayson to the planet Masada, while the Moderates remained on Grayson. From that moment since, there have been two Churches of Humanity Unchained, each claiming to be the True Faith.
Since the beginning of the Masadan Occupation by Manticore, the Masadan version of the Church has again fractured into many small sects, some of which have resorted to outright terrorism.
The Grayson branch of the Church remains active and influential on Grayson, and many of the changes and reforms which followed the last attempt by Masada to either capture or destroy Grayson have been possible largely with the support of the Church. Still, conservative elements which opposed Benjamin Mayhew IX's reforms, and Grayson's joining the Manticoran Alliance have remained both resentful and active.
Beliefs[edit | edit source]
The holy book of the Church of Humanity Unchained is the Bible, followed in importance by the Book of the New Way, a collection of teachings from and sayings of Reverend Austin Grayson. The Book of the New Way is divided into numerous "books" in the manner of the Bible, among which are at least six books of Meditations.
Technology[edit | edit source]
The original Church believed that Technology was the root of all evil and a dangerous force which aimed to dehumanize human beings. The Church advocated a return to "the way man was supposed to live". The exception to this was medical technology which was viewed as a gift by a loving God to His children. This view changed after the death of Reverend Grayson, and as a result the Grayson colony managed to survive in a dangerous planetary environment, albeit while losing much of the technology base it had access to when it left Earth. The Grayson branch of the Church regards technology as an instrument which is not inherently evil, but misusable and abusable. The evil resides in the person who misuses it. The Masadan branch still maintains original beliefs about technology (especially for women) which are similar to the original views of the colonists who left Earth. However, they have reluctantly come to accept technology as a "necessary evil" when used to advance the Faith, as for instance in invading and conquering Grayson, or conducting both a necessary amount of interstellar trade and some piracy of selected merchant vessels as well.
Theology[edit | edit source]
The Grayson Church of Humanity Unchained is a Christian denomination; it recognizes the Holy Trinity and uses terms generally associated with the Christian faith ("Reverend", "Deacon", "Sacristy", etc.). The Church's expression for the Sign of the cross is "In the Name of the Tester (i.e., God), the Intercessor (i.e., Jesus) and the Comforter (i.e., the Holy Spirit)". The Christian status of the Masadan branch of the Church is less clear, as the Masadan hierarchy has de-canonized the New Testament. A common view is that, had Jesus saved humanity as held by Christians, technology would not exist.
At the core of the Church of Humanity Unchained's faith is the concept of the "Test of Life". Life itself, and the challenges found in every aspect of it, constitute a Test placed upon a person by God himself; known in the Church as "the Tester". Every person must, at one point or another of life, rise to meet his or her particular Test(s). Success is not required; only that everyone truly does their best to pass it.
The status of women[edit | edit source]
The original Church tenets were harsh with regard to women: Austin Grayson subscribed to the notion that "man is the head of the woman", and thus women's roles were limited to motherhood and marriage. After the Grayson Civil War, each branch of the Church modified its views of women's nature and roles. The Grayson branch adopted a somewhat gentler view; the Masadans increased their misogyny to extremes, blaming women for the fall of man, and in particular for the failure of the conservative side in the Civil War.
Following the example set by Barbara Bancroft during the Civil War, the Grayson branch came to see women as givers of life who had to be preserved from any danger and risk, even if that meant that women could not be allowed to pursue professional goals or any other goal outside of family life. This was done, ostensibly, to "protect" women, and even after the reforms of Honor Harrington's time, automatic protection of women is a deep value of Grayson culture and society.
On Masada, however, women were collectively blamed for "the Fall of Man", and so they came to be viewed essentially as chattel, though some of the older cultural forms were retained, such as marriage. In fact, however, women had no rights whatsoever on Masada and belonged to their fathers first, and later to their husbands. Women were forced to wear veils, deprived of the right to learn even to read, required to obey men in all things, and forbidden from any influence over their children, the father having rights to all decisions. The status of women during the Manticoran occupation of Masada is legally greatly improved, and some women have taken advantage of new opportunities, but the culture is conservative, even after the fall of the theocratic government and change has not been rapid or even. After the defeat of the theocracy, there were many instances of murder of abusive husbands and of Church officials; this has largely subsided.
In both Churches, perhaps as a result of the Church's early view of women, it is common to refer to the Church of Humanity Unchained as "Father Church".
Organization[edit | edit source]
The Grayson branch of the Church has two official heads, one temporal and one spiritual. The Protector of Grayson serves ex officio as the temporal head of the Church. In fact, the Grayson state is considered to be the temporal arm of the Church, although the Church has striven since the Civil War to not interfere with the running of political affairs.
The spiritual head of the Church is the Reverend, a title given to the First Elder of the Church. The Reverend can, in consultation with the leadership of the Church, issue decrees regarding Church policy, doctrine, and internal affairs. By tradition, every week the Reverend celebrates a service in the cathedral of a Steading, cycling through Grayson's eighty-two Steadings and beginning again.
The Reverend presides over a Council of Elders, seconded by a Second Elder of the Church, who assumes the duties of Reverend and First Elder in the event of the Reverend's death or retirement. This method of succession was seen when Second Elder Jeremiah Sullivan became Reverend and First Elder after Reverend Julius Hanks was murdered by conservative elements.
In turn, the Council of Elders is the leading organ of the Sacristy, as the ruling body of the Church is known. The Sacristy serves as the Church's organizational and theological authority. Beneath the Sacristy, there is a distributed church organization corresponding to the Steadings, with a Brother serving as the local head of the Church for each Steading as well as the Steadholder's personal chaplain.
There are three levels of priesthood:
- Elders, whose Council, presided by the Reverend, leads the Church
- Deacons, with an intermediate degree of authority within the Church's structure
- and Brothers, who serve as local priests
The organization of the Masadan branch prior to its defeat and occupation was more political and more theocratically absolute than on Grayson. There is also a Council of Elders led by a First Elder. Unlike Grayson, the Masadan Council of Elders was the ruling body of the Masadan theocratic government.
Committee of Public Safety[edit | edit source]
The Committee of Public Safety, aka CPS or the Committee, is a fictional revolutionary government which succeeded the Legislaturalists in the Republic of Haven in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber.
The Committee of Public Safety governed the People's Republic of Haven (PRH) between mid-1905 and mid-1915 P.D. It has many resemblances, perhaps because the situation evokes similar responses and policies, to the Committee of Public Safety which for a time ruled Revolutionary France in the 1790s AD.
Established by a Quorum of the ROH Legislature after the Harris Assassination in 1905 P.D., the Committee was ostensibly a temporary caretaker, but as its leaders intended, was never dismantled. Its reign was marked by great upheaval, with purges in the military and civilian sectors, and prosecution of the War started by the Harris government (against the Star Kingdom of Manticore). However, the economy improved as did the public education system.
Members of the Committee (all dates are in Post Diaspora):
- Leonard Boardman: Secretary of Public Information (1912–1914)
- Angela Downey: Secretary of Technology (1905–1914)
- Henry DuPres: (unknown position) (1905–1914(?))
- Admiral Esther McQueen: Secretary of War (1911–1914)
- Cordelia Ransom: Secretary of Public Information.
- Rob S. Pierre: Chairman of the Committee, named after the French revolutionary committee Maximilien Robespierre
- Oscar Saint-Just: Secretary of State Security (1905–1912) Chairman of the Committee (1912–1915), named after Louis Antoine de Saint-Just
- Avram Turner: Secretary of Finance (1911–1914)
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
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