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***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Trials

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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:17 am

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SilverbladeTE wrote:Bruno

You don't think RFC reads this, or knows what we might expect, and do sneaky stuff to make it entertaining? ;)
He's put in LOTS of possibilities and he's quite capable of carefully foreshadowing some twist, slight or large...or not at all
Quite looking forward to see what way things go :)


Of course he may :lol:

I don't doubt RFC is capable of sneakiness - when he chooses to be.

But does he in this case?

That's more than any of us know. So absent any contrary clues from future books our interpretation of the Schueler apparition scene has to be based on the clues we have so far. And that's the reason I am sticking to them until or unless I get other clues.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:45 am

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Zagri wrote:I have reads the whole chapter.


Yes, I don't doubt you read the whole chapter and coming across as if I thought you didn't wasn't polite. I apologize. What I meant to say was 'read it again, especially the parts following the citation.'

Zagri wrote:In particular the Nahrmann Plan is presented as an alternative to a doctrinal attack. We have a paragraph describing a doctrinal attack. And then what follows?

“Which only leaves the nefarious, unscrupulous, underhanded ‘Nahrmahn Plan.’”


My point is that this only holds true for the 15 year interval until the first possible angelic reappearance date (year 915). That's what they are explicitly talking about and making clear. And they also make it clear that work on doctrinal revolutions is planned for the time thereafter (years 916 onwards). I cited the relevant parts in my post you are referring to.

Now if I understand you correctly then you are saying that since the Nahrmahn plan is presented as an alternative to a doctrinal attack the Schueler apparition scene can't be part of the Nahrmahn plan.

That would only be true if the Nahrmahn plan had but one part. Because only then could you argue like this: - 'no doctrinal attacks planned during the 15-year period - but Nahrmahn plan used during the 15-year period - ergo Nahrmahn plan not doctrinal attack.'

However it is stated nowhere that the Nahrmahn plan has only the one part (the non-doctrinal attack part) and no other!

The opposite is the case: it is expressly stated in the second-to-last chapter that the Nahrmahn plan has at least two parts. Because there, in february 916 (after the 15-year 'no doctrinal attack' period has expired) the 'final phase' of the Nahrmahn plan is authorized by Cayleb and Sharleyan.

And the final phase must by definition be something other than the first phase of the Nahrmahn plan (which was active during the 15-year-period). That's because it would make no sense to have two phases of the plan if both phases were the same.

Zagri wrote:Moreover, back in OAR we have another passage that goes into much greater detail:

Chapter VIII
Coupled with the literally inhuman capabilities built into Merlin's PICA, not to mention the other bits and pieces of advanced technology Kau-yung and Shan-wei had been able to hide away, he could easily have duplicated any feat the "angels" had ever performed.
But Nimue had rejected that possibility almost immediately. Not only had she been instantly and instinctively revolted by the notion of following in Langhorne's and Bédard's footsteps, but there'd been more practical objections, as well. Sooner or later, she was going to have to tell someone the truth, which was precisely the reason Merlin had never told an outright lie. Continuing to avoid lies was going to become both easier and harder, he suspected, but when the time came that the truth had to be openly revealed, he could not afford to have told a single lie of his own. Not if he wanted whoever it was to believe him when he told them of the far greater lie which had been perpetrated upon their entire planet for so many hundreds of years.
Even more to the point, simply replacing one superstition, one false religion, with another would never accomplish the task to which Nimue Alban had set her hand. "Decrees from God," to be obeyed without question, wouldn't engender the widespread independent, inquiring mind-set and attitudes which would be required in the decades and centuries to come. And the appearance of an "angel" preaching a doctrine fundamentally at odds with that of the Church and the Writ could not help but raise all sorts of accusations of demonic origin. Which, in turn, would almost certainly lead to the religious war she'd feared was inevitable anyway, but hoped to at least minimize and hold off for a generation or two.


That is a major ethical commitment. It is what makes Merlin different from Langhorne. For Merlin to abandon that ethical commitment and start making angels appear and having them issue 'Decrees from God' would require a little more than what you have cited, which in any case does not say what you think its says.
[snip]


You have a point there and I admit I have been thinking about this too when I first read the Schueler apparition scene. And at first didn't know what to make of it.

In the end I came to the exact opposite conclusion you do (as is obvious from my earlier posts :lol: ).

My reasoning as to why the IC seems to stage the Schueler apparition despite Nimue's 'ethical commitment' from OAR is the following:

The situation on Safehold has changed considerably from the time that Nimue first came up with the resolve to not duplicate an 'angelic' feat.

1. back then one of her considerations was that eventually she would have to tell somebody the truth.

That first - and hard - step has long been passed. In the current book there are scores of people who know the truth already.

2. she thought it important to not lie

As I pointed out already the Schueler apparition does not lie. Everything he says is the literal truth. The apparition does not even claim to be an archangel.

Yes, in the situation the audience in the church of course infers that the apparition must be an archangel. But that's not the same as the vision claiming it himself.

This important distinction is made several times throughout the book series in Merlin's own case: he is okay with being thought of as a Seijin by others - as long as he does not claim to be one himself. That way he has not 'lied' when the time for the truth comes at last. That's sophistry you may say. Don't blame me though: It's not my idea. It's what Merlin has done throughout the series. And I personally accept it. The task he has been set on is so complicated that he has to make some compromises IMO.

3. 'decrees from god that have to be obeyed without question' would not help creating the required mindset

And I can't help noticing that the Schueler apparition does not claim to hand down a decree from god! He claims that Chihiro lies, not that he - Schueler - has been personally tasked by god to make this proclamation.

Whats more the apparition does not claim it has to be obeyed without question! On the contrary! It rather seems to be set up to raise a lot of questions. To cause debate.

4. accusations of demonic origin

That's why they have Schueler of all people appear. And not Shan Wei or Pei or Merlin himself or some 'nobody' angel. And why they choose a cathedral for the appearance. Holy ground as it were. And present a book that's supposedly containing additional proof.

The whole setup seems specifically desigend to counter a 'demonic origin' accusation right from the start.

That's not to mean there won't be any such accusation. Of course there will be. But the setup makes that as hard as possible.

5. while it is true that the fundamentals of the church doctrine are unchanged so far (compared with OAR) it is also true that society and technology and the mindset of many people (mindset for change that is) have changed considerably since the first book. So the vision has a better chance of having a real impact (causing debate and questions) than it would have back in book 1.

And that the fundamentals of church doctrine are unchanged is a problem that needs to be addressed eventually. Something has to be done about it. Just going on with tech development alone is not going to hack it. It's a necessary step but in and of itself not enough in the long run. A doctrinal attack is necessary. And that's not my invention: it is being planned by the IC as the citations from chapter 1 of the book show.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:50 am

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Krenn wrote:You know, that gets me thinking... I'm going to start a new thread about this...

Speculation about what might be written inside the "Lost Testimony of Schueler" , and, of course, who might plausibly have written each proposed version, and how...

I'll reserve speculation on that for the moment. But I am curious about an assortment of things.

Thinking of stuff written, I'd like to know more about what was in the potion of Kohdy's diary he wrote in Espanol, and what sort of doubts he was having that made him decide to consult Schueler.

And there is the question of when things happened. The ceremony at the end of the book in the Cathedral of the Holy Archangel Schueler commemorates the day his order believes his soul left his worn out mortal body and returned to God, and that mortal body is supposedly buried in a crypt beneath the church. Just when did Schueler "die"?

Another question that occurred to me is that we know Kohdy returned to Zion to confer with Schueler, and died there. We don't know whether he actually spoke to Schueler and laid out his doubts. I rather doubt he would talk to Chihiro, given those doubts, and it's clear he considered Schueler the one he followed and was loyal to.

Chihiro was Assistant Administrator of Operation Ark, and the one you would expect to take over if anything happened to Langhorne. When the War broke out, Schueler would consider Chihiro the legal leader of the colony and support him.

If Kohdy did get to talk to Schueler, he would be saying Schueler's boss was possibly a liar and a bad guy, and laying out the evidence he was given by the Fallen who defeated him that he couldn't dismiss and made him go to see Schueler in the first place. What effect might that have had on Schueler? Enough to make him wonder about Chihiro and what side he was was really on?

I'm assuming Chihiro had Kohdy killed as a threat to him, but wonder how he knew Kohdy was a potential threat.
______
Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by DMcCunney   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:18 am

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Krenn wrote:You know, that gets me thinking... I'm going to start a new thread about this...

Speculation about what might be written inside the "Lost Testimony of Schueler" , and, of course, who might plausibly have written each proposed version, and how...
Oh, I concur. The content of the Testimony will be a critical part of the story. RFC mentioned at a con that it would appear, and the initial reaction of the Church of Charis would be "We have no idea what to think! We don't know anything about it, and will reserve judgement until we do know something!", but would later shift to "There might be something to this..." What will give them that idea is a fun question. (This presumes the whole thing wasn't a Narhmann inspired IC operation.)

I'd also be fascinated to know more about what was in the portion of Seijin Kohdy's diary that he wrote in Spanish, and when and why he started to have doubts about what he was doing.

I'm also fascinated by his fight with and defeat by one of the Fallen, who instead of killing him sat him down for a long talk and suggested among other things that it was Chihiro that turned to evil and was altering Langhorne's plan, and provided enough evidence that Kohdy couldn't simply dismiss it out of hand. It made him decide to go to Zion and confer with Schueler, who appears to have been second in command of the forces fighting the Fallen, and the one Kohdy personally served and trusted. Just where did Kohdy's foe get that information?

We know he was killed in Zion, but not by who. I very much doubt it was Schueler. And given the bug put in his ear by his Fallen opponent, and why he was going to meet with Schueler, I doubt Kohdy dropped in for a chat with Chihiro.

What I'm starting to wonder is whether he actually spoke to Schueler, and made him begin to wonder about Chihiro. Chihiro was Assistant Administrator for Operation Ark, and the logical one to bump up and take over if something happened to Langhorne, and Schueler would have considered him his legal superior. If one of your trusted people tells you there's evidence your boss is a bad guy and presents evidence for it, it would give you "furiously to think".

What might have made Chihiro aware of Kohdy and the threat he represented is another good question.
______
Dennis
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Zagri   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:30 am

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If I put on a police uniform and spent the day arresting people, I would hope I came up with some better defence at my trial for impersonating a police officer than 'I didn't actually say I was a police officer, Your Worship.'

The archbishop who witnesses the Visitation clearly believes he is looking at Schueler as would any person present. If they did not believe that the Archangel Schueler was present and speaking the Testimony of Schueler would have no validity at all. No-one present is going to call the Schueler image 'Someone who looked like the Archangel Schueler but did not actually say he was the Archangel Schueler and therefore may not have been the Archangel Schueler'.

Merlin's ethical decision is not just to avoid lying, which the Schueler image in any case does by presenting itself as an archangel. It is also to avoid using angelic appearances to lay down Decrees from God. If the archangels actually do return at some point, they can easily produce further angelic appearances to explain how Schueler was beguiled by the Mother of Lies and the Testimony of Schueler is a fraud. Back in OAR Merlin decided angelic appearances were instinctively revolting and would not work and that was not a temporary tactical position, it is the moral premise of the entire series, that Merlin is not prepared to become Langhorne.

Merlin's ethical commitment is Chekhov's gun. If Merlin changes his ethics there needs to be some absolutely clear reason in the text for Merlin not to fire the gun. We see no such mention.

I'm inclined to think, subject to what we eventually discover about the new book, that the Visitation is a recording made by Schueler shortly before his death and set to 'fire' on a fixed date when Chihiro will not be around to respond. Schueler does not mention any current event, person or place. Schueler's reference to terrible deeds done in his name could be a reference to the Punishment of Schueler, which we are told contrasts with the rest of the Book of Schueler. The lack of specificity about what the terrible deeds are does not sound like someone functioning in and observing the present.

Minor point. Throughout the series, Merlin thinks of himself as the last Christian in the universe and is extremely uncomfortable with Safeholdian ceremonies that ape the Christian liturgy. Even Maikel Straynair uses an actual Christian ceremony to marry Allannah and Lywys in secret. I cannot see the IC willingly fabricating an event that is an ethical parody of Christianity.

Schueler leaves the structure of Langhorne's religion intact except for shuffling the archangels on the Titanic. The IC want to ram an iceberg into the bow of the Titanic. The reshuffle is as likely to cause violence and schism in the Church of Charis as the CoGA. If the Schueler message is the work of the IC, they are down below decks dynamiting large holes in the hull of their own ship.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by evilauthor   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:50 am

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Zagri wrote:If I put on a police uniform and spent the day arresting people, I would hope I came up with some better defence at my trial for impersonating a police officer than 'I didn't actually say I was a police officer, Your Worship.'

The archbishop who witnesses the Visitation clearly believes he is looking at Schueler as would any person present. If they did not believe that the Archangel Schueler was present and speaking the Testimony of Schueler would have no validity at all. No-one present is going to call the Schueler image 'Someone who looked like the Archangel Schueler but did not actually say he was the Archangel Schueler and therefore may not have been the Archangel Schueler'.

Merlin's ethical decision is not just to avoid lying, which the Schueler image in any case does by presenting itself as an archangel. It is also to avoid using angelic appearances to lay down Decrees from God. If the archangels actually do return at some point, they can easily produce further angelic appearances to explain how Schueler was beguiled by the Mother of Lies and the Testimony of Schueler is a fraud. Back in OAR Merlin decided angelic appearances were instinctively revolting and would not work and that was not a temporary tactical position, it is the moral premise of the entire series, that Merlin is not prepared to become Langhorne.

Merlin's ethical commitment is Chekhov's gun. If Merlin changes his ethics there needs to be some absolutely clear reason in the text for Merlin not to fire the gun. We see no such mention.


Agreed.

I can actually see the Inner Circle being responsible for the Schueler's appearance IF and only if Cayleb and Nahrman went behind Merlin's back to pull it off. After all, it's Cayleb, not Merlin, who gives the go ahead for Operation Androcles. They went behind Merlin's back because they knew he'd never agree to faking an Archangel appearance. And the only reason they could get away with it is because by this point, the Inner Circle is so big that no one can know what everyone else is doing, so cutting Merlin out of the loop is as easy as just not mentioning the plan to him.

But...

There's no way to hide what they've done AFTER the fact. If Merlin asks (and he will ask), Owl will tell him because Owl takes orders from Merlin first and foremost no matter that Cayleb and Sharleyan technically outrank him otherwise in the Safeholdian power structure.

Which means faking an angelic visitation behind Merlin's back would cause a HUGE breach in trust between Merlin and Cayleb. And Cayleb ought to be smart enough to know that would happen, and also smart enough to value Merlin's trust over whatever might be hypothetically gained from going behind Merlin's back.

IOW, if faking Schueler's return is out of character for Merlin, going behind Merlin's back to fake it would be equally out of character for Cayleb.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:05 pm

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One of the things that Operation Androcles brings to mind ( and a number of the other "coincidences") is Rob S Pierre and Noveau Paris for the Honorverse. For entire books, we were led to believe that Haven and the People;s Republic were a recapitulation of the French Revolution, and then it wasn't. It just seems a little too obvious for RFC to tie the name to Schuler so blatantly - unless of course he is engaging in a little reverse psychology (I never do things this blatantly, so they'll never believe I've done it this time) - but I don't think so.

The Nahrman plan was the industrialization of Safehold - a second phase should be something to increase the pace of industrialization, not an attack on the church. What that plan might be, I have no idea, at least with respect to something that would have annoyed the hell out of the historical Schuler.

Then, the textev is that the IC basically approved Phase 2 without
much argument (at least that was presented), and the visitation plan should have kicked off a major discussion, with a number of dissenters

Bottom line - I don't see the visitation as something the IC did - a third group, as has been mentioned earlier, yes, but one the IC is unaware of. There have already been two such groups revealed (although one of them effectively became the IC, and the leadershoip of the other has been coopted into the IC). As has been mentioned before, two is a ridiculous number - if there are two there should be more than two.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by JRM   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:53 am

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fallsfromtrees wrote:The Nahrman plan was the industrialization of Safehold - a second phase should be something to increase the pace of industrialization, not an attack on the church. What that plan might be, I have no idea, at least with respect to something that would have annoyed the hell out of the historical Schuler.

Then, the textev is that the IC basically approved Phase 2 without
much argument (at least that was presented), and the visitation plan should have kicked off a major discussion, with a number of dissenters



I think that a lot of readers are missing the forest for the trees. Let’s take a step back and review. Operation Ark had the following basic parts:

Escape from the embattled earth, and any Gbaba that follow the colony fleet. Travel at least 10 years to find a new world beyond the expected expansion of the Gbaba.

Settle the new world, restricting electrical usage for the first 300 to 500 years, so that any Gbaba that are following on the escape vector of the colony fleet will not detect the new colony.

After the initial safety period of the new colony, restore the colony to Terran Federation technology. Continue research and development along with population growth with the goal of achieving defensive capability from the Gbaba.

Consider returning and taking care of the Gbaba problem.

Now Nimue is awakened and finds that Operation Ark has stalled on step 2 and after consideration lists the following steps that need to be taken:

The common knowledge that enables innovation needs to be restored. There was no prohibition of this knowledge; it was just removed from the memory of all colonists. Merlin teaches Arabic numerals, math, and technology associated with ship building, guns and artillery, cloth production. Charis develops the new knowledge partly because of their defensive needs, and some because of economic opportunity.

The second step is that at least for the short term COGA doctrine on electricity needs to be repealed. There are at least three obstacles to repealing the prohibitions. First, is the religious belief based on the book of Jwo-jeng and the reinforcement from the book of Chihiro. This is a religious belief that is reinforced by the use of miracles in the temple that believers are directed to visit. The second obstacle is the OBS that potentially punishes anyone using electricity. The third obstacle is the potential return of the archangels. This might include a group that was kept in stasis, and has the potential to restart the “War of the Fallen”.

The last step that Merlin needs to take is to see the full repeal of COGA doctrine. Safehold can’t prepare for contact with the Gbaba that they don’t know exist.

Now, after I have paraphrased some 7000 pages of narrative. I have come to the conclusion that Merlin has restored the common knowledge required for innovation, and has established the requirement for innovation on both a national and personal level. It is now time for doctrinal change. As Merlin puts it in TFT chapter one;

“If 915 came and went without any angelic reappearance, they’d have another eighty-five years to work on doctrinal revolutions.”

“And I do like Nahrmahn’s notion about the opening round if we decide a time’s come when we can go after the inerrancy of the Writ.”

It doesn’t matter who is responsible to the spectacle of the last chapter. If the Inner Circle wasn’t responsible, then they should have been, because in one form or another it is absolutely required.

My belief that the visitation was part of Operation Androcles based on the following description of the com conference where Caleb gave the okay to Nahrmahn.

“It was physically impossible to find a time at which all of the inner circle could have joined a com conference. That was why they were normally limited to the circle’s senior members, and quite often not all of them. Tonight, however, every member who possibly could be was present electronically, in a net which covered the circumference of Safehold, ...”

This was clearly a major announcement of future policy.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by LadyWhirlwind   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:45 am

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The thing is: is it a good idea to repel the church doctrine with a (fake) appearance of an Archangel? Wouldn‘t that mean replacing one doctrine with another? I‘m not sure that that‘s what the COGA really wants in the longterm.

At some point they‘ll have to explain what really happened., and they‘ll have to prepare the mindset of the Safeholdians for that first.
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Re: ***Major Spoiler*** The ending scene of Through Fiery Tr
Post by Krenn   » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:11 am

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JRM wrote:It doesn’t matter who is responsible to the spectacle of the last chapter. If the Inner Circle wasn’t responsible, then they should have been, because in one form or another it is absolutely required.

My belief that the visitation was part of Operation Androcles based on the following description of the com conference where Caleb gave the okay to Nahrmahn.

“It was physically impossible to find a time at which all of the inner circle could have joined a com conference. That was why they were normally limited to the circle’s senior members, and quite often not all of them. Tonight, however, every member who possibly could be was present electronically, in a net which covered the circumference of Safehold, ...”

This was clearly a major announcement of future policy.


See, I'm torn....

on the one hand, I pretty much agree with you.

On the other hand, this PARTICULAR form of angelic revelation is NOT how i would have done things, and doesn't FEEL like the IC's style of work.

Breaking down the neccessary doctrinal revolution into some more discrete steps....

1. Get safehold used to the neccessity of constant national-scale innovation and development (mostly done)

2. Get safehold used to thinking critically, verifiably, scientifically, skeptically, honestly, and openly about past knowledge, science or commandmants: Well underway, but still mostly limited to the youngest generation of the Charisian empire. the College System and omnipresent ongoing adult education for professionals stills need to be widely distributed to the mainland.

3: avoid another world war, and related massive atrocities. Avoid loss of public faith in basic morality, honesty, fairness, and public trust. - Still uncertain. Things could get ugly if they're not very careful, or if they're unlucky.

4. Get Safeholdans used to the idea of continually updated, new and relevant, evidence and experiments regarding their foundation myths and doctrine. Not really started yet, except in the most preliminary of ways.

5. Get Safeholdans to SERIOUSLY QUESTION certain key elements of Early Safeholdan Religious History, and to widely accept that certain limited elements may, in fact, be wrong, for otherwise doctrinally acceptable reasons.

(Such as, say, "The Punishment of Schueler is actually an editing error. That document was actually recovered from one of Shan-Wei's lairs, misfiled, and mistakenly included in the revised Writ by an overly ambitious junior clerk...We Regret the Error.")

6. Get Safeholdans to start Accepting ACTUAL SCHISM AND HERESY. various small groups of religionists who consistently reliably believe something WAY DIFFERENT from what could ever plausibly be in the Writ. Such as, say, Judaism, Paganism, Universalism, Janeism, Shintoism.... Small minority sects who all right-thinking people think are completely crazy and following pure works of fiction, but the communities are still permited to live isolated, peaceful lives anyway. No stake-burning allowed.

7. Actually gradually get the majority of Safeholdans to slowly accept that their entire religion is, in fact, a work of fiction which happens to have copied some useful spiritual truths.

And the really important point to that Task List... If the Inner Circle ever gets caught telling a truly major, verifiable, pre-meditated, bald-faced doctrinal or spiritual lie... Their ability to ACHIEVE their entire task list PLUMMETS.

That's the one problem with the Schueler Appearance... Impersonating a major Archangel? Forging an entire Testimony in his name? Skipping straight past step 4 "minor new evidence about the History of Safehold has come to light, and should be investigated," all the way to Step 7, "Archangel Chiriro is a known liar, forger, and sadist, and Archangel Schueler was a willing patsy?"

That's WAY to big a jump, and too big a risk, and completely the wrong style for the Inner Circle to have attempted.

And the other hand, a MUCH SMALLER step in that general direction might have made sense...

If I were the Inner Circle, what I would have done is... built a shrine. A quiet, peaceful place in the middle of nowhere. Build a small, open-aired building out of Federation Tech, with an empty courtyard and a roofless shrine in the center of the building... and then hang a sign on it. "The Place of Revelation" or somesuch. Provide no explanation of what this shrine is, how it got there, what's it's reason of existence is... nothing.

But once a week, a religious document, written on impressive federation-tech materials, will dramatically fall from the sky and land on the altar.

The weekly document could be anything which is both true and constitutes new evidence. Journals. Memos. Committee notes. Archeological Surveys. Embarrassing secret histories. Histories of ancient Harchong or Vicarate misconduct. Anything you like, once a week, falling from the sky in a miraculous tomb. and always either verifiably true, highly plausible, or at least internally consistent and impossible to disprove. Sometimes covering events from a hundred years ago, sometimes a thousand.

And of course, someone would report the location of this miracle shrine to the church, and the location would need to be occupied, and studied, and monitored, and all the texts questioned, and all the texts would miraculously 'leak' a few weeks after they came out, and everyone would waste a lot of time trying to track where the tombs were appearing from, and how far they were falling before they landed on the shrine, and whether or not crosswinds could cause the falling tombs to miss....

something like THAT would make PERFECT sense. It looks like a miracle, it requires continous study and skepticism, it reveals new evidence, it's very public, it doesn't necessarily or automatically call into question major points of Church Doctrine, it gets people used to the idea that new, bizzare, and miraclous evidence walks among us everyday...

and 20-40 years LATER, THEN you can move on to the next major stage, where you actually start to drop major hints of Archangel deception or misconduct. AFTER you've built up a HUGE reservoir of trust, mystery, and polite skeptical inquiry.

Jumping straight to a revelation by Archangel Schueler... the basic methods and presentation style sort of make sense for the IC to use, by the STYLE and CONTENT of that message is WAY too revolutionary.
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