To some, a person who rejects the progress of science in one or more forms. By the 23rd century it had mostly been identified with those whose disagreements turned to the malicious.
The most drastic of these groups chose to abandon technology entirely, and are typically referred to as the exiles. They began to leave Earth's cities during the 21st century, or took part in making the cities leave Earth. As many died victims of their own violence as of famine and pestilence, and by the time the arcologies had been completed, over a billion of their number perished. Currently, the overwhelmingly vast majority of those that remain of them roam the wilderness of Earth as hunter-gatherers.
The remaining luddites (or ludds) are, collectively, a set of organizations branded as anti-technological terrorists ('luddoterrorists') by just about everyone else. While, technically, they could have claimed gerens status, they generally did not choose to do so. Most prefer the greater anonymity that being considered a content provides, and few had respect for the concept of safe haven for contents that the Anti-Homogenization Act proposed. The Purge splintered many of these groups, and most are, at best, a historical footnote.
Certain of the above chose to progress with humanity, choosing instead to correct their sins by giving their lives to 'saving' their fellow race. The most prominent of these groups are as follows:
- The Cheshvan Order, an Orthodox Jewish group whose numbers grew surprisingly large for the population they draw from. This was widely believed to be due to the Jewish calendar ending in the year 2240, and a large population believing that Earth needed to be made worthy for the Messiah. They were one of the few organizations that are an official gerens, since their targets are never among the content. Before the Purge, they owned the Jericho arcology on Earth. The timing of the invasion shattered the group into many quarreling factions, uncertain about the meaning of the invasion.
- The Church of Eschaton was an organization dedicated to bringing humanity back to its 'proper place' - that the world would someday end. They were a fractured, desperate order, some of them promoting technology (some of which is quite capable of destroying worlds, such as Klein taps), others trying to disrupt its progress, and to sabotage planetary defense systems. After the Solarian Purge, they have largely become irrelevant, though some attempt to disrupt mission work.
- Gaea's Children were a derivative of an environmentalist movement which came to believe that humanity deserves extinction. Although they oppose all technological progress, they were particularly famous for their attempts to disrupt the terraforming of Mars. During the Diaspora, they were perhaps the most notorious traitors amongst mankind, routinely revealing the positions of ships and colonies.
- Jehovah's Sword claimed descent from the 'original' followers of Christ, although most trace their beliefs to fundamentalist or evangelical roots. Before the Purge, they were by far the most well-financed of the groups, but since then have largely fractured and melded into other groups based on individual ideals.
- The People of the Wheel is a large, originally indo-oriental group who believes that the life of man must eventually come to an end. While they do not preach against technology directly, its use as artificial sapience, and humanity's first step through transhumanism being that of immortality is an unforgivable offense. The most numerous of the groups, they function as an assassination society targeting the oldest members of the populace. The Solarian Purge did little to change their views, but it did change their target, as the First willfully admitted to being older than the Universe.
- The Silent Crescent is an offshoot of adherents to the Hanbali interpretation of Islamic law. They are among the most violently opposed to the creation of artificial life, and of degeneracy. After the Purge, the latter has become their primary focus, and are no longer as strongly affiliated with the Muslim faith.
While the above groups have an extant, unifying philosophy, others have developed more singular goals. Rather than support a possible list of goals which some members may be opposed to, most of the rest choose a singular goal that they are dedicated to above all else. In this sense, they are more technically gerens than the above organizations.
- The Returner Foundations were a collective of closely allied organizations opposed to the human development of space. Most members of a given organization were members of all, though they considered their duties to be separate. The Purge saw to the end of this group, for the most part.
- The Scarlet Foundation sought to prevent (and later destroy) all human development on Mars. Their most infamous act was the destruction of the Ulysses colony in the mid 22nd century, killing some two hundred thousand. Their successes since then were more limited, often focusing on picking off transport vessels too and from the once-red planet. Obviously meaningless since the war.
- The Golden Foundation was the second major focus of the Returner Foundations. The Goldens seek to prevent any human development on Venus and Mercury, and the very thought of the Neith Proposal did not even bear considering. Again, with Lost Sol, they had no meaning.
- The Silver Foundation sought the purification of the Moon from human taint. Also rendered irrelevant
- The Jovian Foundation took it upon themselves to prevent the development of the outer planets. Due to their rather violent opposition to the existence of Ouranos Prime, they received a great deal of sponsorship from the Solar Consortium. This caused a bit of a split in the organization, many feeling that it made them little better than privateers or pawns. Their purpose also ended with the Purge.
- The Firmament Foundation attempted to prevent the development of other star systems. They formed to try to stop the launching of the Centaurus Mission, but it occurred so rapidly that they were unable to get an operative on board any of the ships. They remained for a time after the Diaspora, but eventually petered out as their mission became futile.
- The Anti-Degeneracy League is opposed to what they consider to be degeneracy, which is any modification of the human form beyond the Alpha strain. After the Purge, they largely became synonymous with the Silent Crescent.
- Ice is opposed to the creation and use of artificial sapience. Having a common ally in the Triad, they quickly became one of the most powerful organizations during the Diaspora.
- One Voice was originally opposed to the genetic enhancement of nonhumans, especially in terms of sapiation. Since then, they have become a sort of propaganda movement designed to suppress non-human races in general, and are no longer considered luddites.
- The Children of God are among the youngest of these groups, being opposed to the presence and use of the mobius patterns, and later of infusions and wraiths. As with the People of the Wheel, the Purge gave them a new target.
- Cleansing is a retributive group whose sole purpose is the extinction of the triates.
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