The Humanist Gentlemen Hub
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Introduction:

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Jean-Baptiste Ravin de Courville with 28 years of age.

The Humanist Gentlemen, commonly referred to simply as the "Gentlemen", are anomalous transhumanists whose goal is to improve the human condition through the use of anomalies. They consider anomalies a natural process, and that it is the duty of mankind to adapt to them. This evolution towards an anomalous humanity is facilitated by the creation of anomalies, and their utilization is being developed under the alias "The Better Men".

The Humanist Gentlemen possess an extraordinary documented history, starting in the second half of the 18th century with the creation of the organisation by Jean-Bapstiste Ravin de Courville and the Baron d'Holbach. Furthermore, the organisation may have enacted a certain influence in the French politics, notoriously during the French Revolution.

From the simplistic group for philosophical humanist pondering that it was during its infancy, it has developed and expanded enough to be considered a fundamental piece of France's anomalous world. The Gentlemen think of themselves as a modern continuation of the movement known as the Enlightenment, arguing that since the fundamental rights of mankind were acquired through this mentioned movement, the "neo-enlighteners" must acquire the fundamental rights of anomalous men. The Gentlemen are mainly present in France, but they also mark their presence in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain, and anecdotally in Eastern Europe. Its relatively small size limits the organisation's action capabilities, while facilitating its concealment from the eyes of the Foundation.

Internal Functioning:

The Gentlemen's organisation is seemingly divided into three main strata:

  • The "Network", comprised extensively of civilian informants, uniquely present in metropolitan France. They allow the Gentlemen to keep track of the movements of other organisations, and to locate anomalies. Networks informants are treated on a case-by-case basis. While some do not know who their employers are, others are offered apprenticeship after a period of time.
  • "Apprentices" are the disciples of the Gentlemen, who teach them anomalous sciences and the philosophical doctrine of the organisation, including through "field" missions. Every Apprentice is supposed to become a Gentleman one day.
  • The Gentlemen, in their own accord. They form the head of the organisation: they take an oath, receive "The Three Gifts", adopt a new name, receive a private residence, funding, and the responsibility of raising one or more apprentices. The Gentlemen possess enormous freedom within the organisation, seemingly able to act independently as long as their researches do not deviate from the guidelines established by the Assembly. Thus, a certain number of Gentlemen only research, and are accompanied by their apprentices in their private residences, while others attend retreats or clubs. It is estimated that the number of their members does not exceed a thousand.

The Gentlemen's organization seems to lack institutionalization, which its only administrative body being the "Humanist Assembly". This body would meet with an indeterminate frequency to arrange the organisation's guidelines, as well as the funding granted to each Gentleman. The organisation seems primarily based on a form of meritocracy.

Funding:

The Gentlemen's stable funding is provided by a membership fee that every full-fledged Gentleman must pay. The money is then combined and redistributed amongst the Gentlemen according to their individual merits and necessities. However, the organisation is also supported by donations from its wealthiest members; it indeed seems that many wealthy families have been historically involved with the organisation. It also seems that unidentified patrons pertaining to the same interests that the Gentlemen pursue also contribute to the cause. Finally, certain anomalies have been created with the sole intent of being sold through the intermediary of Marshall, Carter and Dark Ltd., a group frequented by several Gentlemen.

Activities:

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«Merleau, Da Lozzo, de Bellegarde, de Montieu and Ponty travelling to the Assembly of June, 1st.»

The main activities of the Gentlemen are centered around the research of the anomalous, particularly the theory of singularity bridges, and the creation of anomalies likely to improve upon the human condition. Several Gentlemen also practice philosophy applied to the anomalous.

Different policies frame the activities of the Gentlemen. Although some of these remain largely unknown to the Foundation, three of these policies can be cited:

  • The "Nova Gloria" (New Glory), which is the structural pillar for the Gentlemen's activities. It concerns the creation of anomalies aimed at improving the human condition, directly or indirectly, or understanding human mechanisms in order to influence their characteristics. According to the Gentlemen's philosophy, acquiring the "New Glory" is analogous to making man anomalous by their nature.
  • The politic of "Renovatio Pulchritati" (Restoration of what is Beautiful) in order to create "the art of the Better Men". This involves financing anartists (anomalous artists) to create artistic anaesthetical (anomalous aesthetics) works, turning the Gentlemen into important patrons for the development of anomalous arts.
  • The "Hominum"1 (The Men), an originally non-anomalous politic. Eponymously, the Gentlemen promote Humanitarian missions in the benefit of, but not only, populations oppressed by authoritarian government regimes, notoriously when they wish to gain control of an anomaly. This group of interest supposedly works to combat this kind of regime, despite the fact that no concrete evidence of their involvement can be found.

The Gentlemen, however, consider these politics as guidelines rather than dogmatic contracts.

Proselytism to humanist and transhumanist causes occur exclusively through the publication of scientific and philosophical studies. In order to recruit new members, the Gentlemen use the "Network" to locate new potential Apprentices, preferring an individual approach. Nevertheless, the Gentlemen occasionally approach members of other organisations, including the Foundation, to convert them to a new cause, especially due to their knowledge about the anomalous. The Foundation strongly encourages personnel to denounce anyone suspected to have ties or allegiances with the Humanist Gentlemen.

The Gentlemen are extremely discreet, and collecting information regarding their organisation is indubitably difficult. They seem to possess a tremendous amount of mastery, and control over memetic effects, which are utilized to transmit coded information.

Relationship with the Foundation:

The Gentlemen are not directly hostile with the Foundation, having expressed their respect to the Foundation and its success multiple times; however, the Gentlemen claim that the two organisations ideologies are "irreconcilable". The Gentlemen consider anomalies as a natural process that is futile, and dangerous to resist, contrasting with the Foundation's policy of containing even the most harmless anomalies. It is due to that reason, and the fact that the Gentlemen are conscious of their small size and force when compared to the Foundation, that they do not display open hostility except when they have interests at stake.

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