So you would like to write about SAPPHIRE?
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So you would like to write about SAPPHIRE?
Wouldn't you rather stick a fork in your eye?

I couldn't help but notice that many of you wish to write something about SAPPHIRE but are afraid of doing it wrong, that some find it too complicated, and that others have ideas but those are unfitted for this Group of Interest.

That is normal. SAPPHIRE is an element of the SCP lore with a very complex mindset that become even more complex as time passes.

To assist you, here is an etiquette of what to do — or not to do — in a few points.

The origin of the items

SAPPHIRE fight against SCP items, therefore they find no/little interest in creating them. However, since SCP items are what this site is about there has to be at least some. These atheistic SCPs have many sources:

  • In 80% of cases, they are recovered or re-purposed exterior SCPs, religion-related if possible. For example, SCP-236-FR is based upon Hades' helm, SCP-281-FR upon Muhammad's swords and SCP-353-FR somehow has a Sikh bracelet in it. SAPPHIRE will confiscate these items, sometimes destroy them, but will indeed keep them if they can be useful in serving their cause.
  • Speaking of destruction, about 60% of the group's SCPs are, similarly to GOC SCPs such as SCP-1609, SCPs that were destroyed, modified, or result from these alterations. This also applies to the items mentioned before, as there is actually more to them than just their religious nature; they have been altered. In the case of SCP-242-FR for example, the destruction of the Burning Bush shattered it into three new items: the weakened Burning Bush, the Flaming Atheist and the Throne.
  • In rare cases, they can be items created by SAPPHIRE themselves, such as SCP-137-FR (the brochures) and SCP-227-FR (the Horoscobooth). These SCPs were clearly created by the group to serve its own goals, so most often they find a use in terror attacks. They must, more than any other, follow the few rules of SAPPHIRE's code of conduct. Yes, there is one.

Want a tip? Feel free to pick mythical objects throughout history and completely diverge from their original purpose to make something twisted and surprising.

The function of the items

Virtually all SAPPHIRE items are useful to them. They don't just throw them out to the public for kicks. This means that to write a good SAPPHIRE article, it needs to be relevant to their interests. They're not all that hard to understand.

  • SAPPHIRE attacks the paranormal. Anything that is anomalous and could be worshiped is their #1 target. All plans that can in any way be used to kill, destroy, trap, kidnap, poison, disintegrate or discredit a god, a messiah, a relic or anything remotely worship-worthy are welcomed. It is clearly the goal of SCP-242-FR for example, the destruction of the Burning Bush.
  • SAPPHIRE attacks believers. That is, normal humans, in normal society. SAPPHIRE's goal is not to kill believers, rather to kill belief. If killing unrecoverable believers is what it takes, so be it, but if they can instead convert them — or rather, unconvert them — they will choose the latter. This is exactly the case of SCP-164-FR, which turns creationists into dinosaurs, killing a few to terrorize the remainder, and of SCP-137-FR which makes use of equally effective torture to disgust you of your faith.
  • SAPPHIRE prove themselves right. SAPPHIRE believes in Science and Facts. Often Facts are in accordance with Science, but sometimes they are not in accordance with SAPPHIRE's view of Science. In such a case, this needs to be fixed. This is especially true for SCP-281-FR, in which flat Earth is made to be round. In the case of the aforementioned SCP-164-FR, it is made clear to everyone that dinosaurs exist. On the other hand, the Horoscobooth painfully punishes those who believe in astrology.

Want a tip? Make sure to be as creative as possible if you are going to make an object whose purpose is to destroy. Killing God can easily result in a bland and boring article. Find something more subtle, look for loopholes, hold His children hostage, blackmail Him, trap Him in an impossible situation, convince Him that He doesn't exist.

Want a tip? Science-denying controversies abound in the news. Creationists and flat-earthers have already been mentioned, but there is also water dowsing, anti-vaxxers, crystal healing, just about all alternative medicine, various divination techniques, religion-based homophobia and misogyny… a plethora of topical issues might or might not have an encounter with SAPPHIRE.

Anomalous effects

SAPPHIRE follow a somewhat complex mindset, but it can be summarized in a pyramid. At the top of the pyramid is an ideal, what they call the Diamond: pure Reasoning, devoid of superstition and misconceptions. Right below Reasoning is Human Life, with a sheer preference for non-believers, and less important elements dealing with with Civilization: Culture, Art, Abundance, etc.

Following this logic, a moral code emerges, even during terror attacks:

  • No manipulation of minds! No memetics, no amnestics, no hypnosis nor psionic powers, none of that. The central goal of SAPPHIRE is to have people reject religion, and for this they will often terrorize the masses, after all they are terrorists. But, unlike those who believe Alesia was in the Jura mountains,1 this terror remains honest with the reasoning it emerged from. If a person rejects God because they witnessed their family turning into dinosaurs or because they literally became a martyr — or they simply heard a very convincing speech, that happens too — then it is fine, as long as it is a personal choice that they made on their own. Re-programming minds for that is out of the question. Not directly, at the very least.
  • No casualties. Not too many. Just the right amount. Okay, still a little bit, but exterminating the population is not the point. Should death occur, believers will come first, especially priests and preachers, those whose purpose is to make more people believe. An attack can actually be more or less directed: if it targets a community, important figures will be targeted. If it is nothing more than a "regular" attack targeting the general public, a simple installation in a crowded area will suffice.
  • Apart from terror attacks, nothing too spectacular. Because of course, in a terror attack, the point is to bring terror to the hearts of Men and therefore to reach a broad audience. But SAPPHIRE will only use anomalies in public if they are certain it will make more people loose faith than gain it. Belief originates from the anomalous, and showcasing it too much could prove counterproductive. If you can, write objects whose outcomes are more inexplicable than paranormal. Fully-developed dinosaurs roaming the streets, people that casually vanish and reappear, are much better than a giant Buddha statue floating above Paris that shape-shifts as weeks pass.

Want a tip? No rule is set in stone. A very well-written SAPPHIRE article could make use of mind control, kill many people and be spectacular. If you really would like to write an article that strays away from SAPPHIRE's ideals, just make sure it is well-justified, for example you could explain that a lodge or some members of the organization went crazy and were then expelled or even assassinated by the group itself following this treason.

SAPPHIRE's means of action

We are now entering quite secondary matters. But knowing the organisation's means can be crucial in determining what the scope of an article can be. So let's keep in mind that SAPPHIRE is, it doesn't get simpler than that, a volunteer organization.

  • The financial resources of SAPPHIRE are variable but quite low. Among the more notable members of the group are several patrons such as the Silversteins and the Faustils, who made fortunes and now fund a good part of large-scale operations, for example buying the SCP-236-FR cruise ship or funding an expedition to the North Pole. Those are things a wealthy person could afford, but nothing compared to what the Foundation, the GOC or many other GoIs could do. Additionally, 90% of operations are carried out locally and thanks to members' contributions.
  • SAPPHIRE's human resources depend on who you include in it. SAPPHIRE is entirely based upon volunteering: those who can craft explosives will enter a RUBY squad, and those who graduated scientific studies will infiltrate the Foundation as EMERALDs. But no training or salary like Foundation guards; SAPPHIRE members train one another or on their own, and in total secrecy, much like your average jihadist.
  • SAPPHIRE's technological means are not bad, but not excellent either. A good part of SAPPHIRE members are part of the civilian scientific world: each person has access to more or less advanced hardware and knowledge. Atheists master hard sciences but not occult sciences, and when they delve into it, they often have no better than pseudo-scientific theories that they haven't completely disproved yet, but are outdated by a few decades per Foundation standards.

Want a tip? Its low financial means do not make SAPPHIRE a secondary GoI for that matter. The main strength of SAPPHIRE, similarly to Are We Cool Yet, resides in its clandestine nature. SAPPHIRE members are everywhere and are elusive. They are ants participating in a network that stretches across all of the western hemisphere. It includes high-ranking persons, wealthy persons, well-informed persons. Furthermore, it is probably one of the few GoIs that are the closest to the civilian world, that which the the Foundation is supposed to protect.

SAPPHIRE's political stance

Which is somewhat irrelevant, but was probably asked for once or twice. SAPPHIRE does not have a well-defined political lean, since it is a mass of volunteers from various backgrounds, however it seems obvious that one will not encounter typical right-wing Christian conservatives. So if it can help you write about SAPPHIRE characters, or picture the general setting of their meetings:

  • The vast majority of their members, especially the more important ones, must be liberal to ultra-liberal, a la Ayn Rand in the style of Elon Musk. They are often very involved in hard sciences, and liberalism implies being free of any religious dogma and above power. Welcome to Rapture.
  • Another portion, the more proletarian one, must be very left-leaning, the anti-clerical type left. SAPPHIRE is, as previously mentioned, a volunteer and associative organization, and lodges can be created by just about anyone who has a bone to pick with a centralized institution like the Church, in the most republican of ways.2 Hemovores, for example, as I personally picture them in Rooting out Evil are a minority where most members fell to the very bottom of the social landscape. Atheism can be a last resort for the outcasts of the anomalous world.

Want a tip? These two political stances might seem contradictory — and they are. That's it, I honestly don't have advice on that. Atheism has many social layers, there is Jewish atheism, communist atheism that was instigated in the USSR, revolutionary anti-clericalism, atheism as a philosophical stance, liberal atheism which ferociously stands for pharmaceutical brands against homeopathy, anarchist atheism… if you so wish, feel free to play around with all of that.

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