State of Truth

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State of the True Way
真道國
Chendau Gue
Flag
Motto: 革偽復導
Purge the false and restore the Sage's guidance
Status Partially recognized state
CapitalKannin
Official languages Classical Yen
Utility languages Qyredine, Hin, various others
Ethnic groups Unknown
Religion Kaungiist Cotrism
Government Cotric totalitarian theocracy
 -  Commandant Seu Nyi
Establishment
 -  Proclamation of the State of Truth 1979 
Population
 -  estimate 55,000,000a
GDP (PPP) estimate
 -  Total $105 billion
 -  Per capita $1,895
Currency Provisional tael
ISO 3166 code CHD
Internet TLD .chd
a. Rough external estimate; the State of Truth has released no demographic information.

The State of Truth (Yen: 真道國, Qyredine: Chendau gue) is a state with limited recognition occupying areas of northern Qyred, southern Tangkuo, and southeastern Yunlin, in East Catai. Nominally established in 1979, it was initially the political wing of the Truth-Cleansing Sect heretical insurgency in Qyred, and after the 2002 ceasefire agreement with the Qyredine government was formally consolidated into a state. It is estimated about 55 million live in its territory which spans X square kilometers.

The State of Truth is a theocracy directly administered by principles of the Truth-Cleansing Sect, a heretical school of Cotrism, and under its tenets it opposes stratified Cotric organization, claiming to be acephalous, bearing very little formal political organization or hierarchy, but has a strong and prominent leadership; it is symbolically led by a restored Preceptor and administered by a Grand Commander. The State of Truth took on a more stately appearance after the Restoration War's conclusion to assert legitimacy of its existence. Its supposed administrative center is located in Kannin.

The State of Truth receives very limited recognition as a state, and is designated as a terrorist organization by numerous governments including Qyred and Tangkuo, as well as being universally condemned by the Cotric community as of the 1980 Congress of the Learned. It is accused of supporting subversive and heretical radical groups in neighbouring East Cataian countries, in particular an ongoing insurgency in Qyred. However, it has pursued either clandestine or open ties with many nations and governments in and outside of East Catai, and has even opened its borders to tourism. The State of Truth has also established an independent, nearly self-sufficient economy with thriving industry that had a gross domestic product of nearly $105 billion in 2017, and a GDP per capita of about $1,900.

History

Beginnings

Early photograph of Kaungi, the 'Sage Reincarnated' and founder of the Truth-Cleansing Sect.

The State of Truth's existence is deeply linked with the Truth-Cleansing Sect, a heterodox school of Cotrism adopting highly controversial tenets, which emerged in the 1960s. The Sect in turn is tied with its founder Kaungi, a Cotric scholar who starting in 1966 took on a profession as a Lector without an observatory and became dissident in his teachings. Kaungi became popular and very charismatic, his ideas that much of modern Cotrism's organization was corrupt resonated well with a disgruntled Qyredine population that became increasingly opposed to authorities after the Qyredine-Tangkuoan War and subsequent economic crisis. Kaungi rallied large numbers of followers and his speeches and lectures were televised and also broadcasted on radio.

By 1974, the Truth-Cleansing Sect, as Kaungi's followers began to refer to themselves as, had gathered millions of supporters and adherents. It was viewed as dangerous by religious and political authorities for its massive influence and perceived on-principle opposition to their institutions. However, attempts to limit the influence of the Sect failed when the risk was mass civil disobedience. In 1977, Kaungi, after four months of disappearance from public view, reappeared and made a speech where he declared that all Cotric organization was contrary to the Sage's will, and many established elements of Cotrism introduced after the Sage's death as evil. It did not take long nor was it difficult for Qyredine authorities to deem this as a dangerous deviation and immediately Kaungi's arrest was ordered. Kaungi then in widely broadcasted speeches claimed that he was the reincarnation of the Sage who had came to rectify the errors that had occurred with Cotrism, and called for open rebellion across Catai and the world against the 'revisionist' institutions of Cotrism. Kaungi then went into hiding in 1978, and was not to be seen for almost twenty years.

Rebellion and the Restoration War

Insurgents on captured armoured vehicles in 1986.

Kaungi's followers enthusiastically responded to his call, sympathizers in the military mutinied while mobs of followers occupied police stations and seized control of towns and cities. In 1978 the massive Kaungiist uprising began and Qyred was thrown into chaos. A group of soldiers part of the Truth-Cleansing Sect led by Sun Lu attempted to seize Nyongiang, the capital city, but failed. Crackdowns on the uprising started but proceeded with great difficulty.

By 1979 mutinies and unrest had mostly been dispersed, but the Truth-Cleansing Sect began to organize guerrillas in mountainous northern Qyred while coordinating cells of followers for attacks on the central government. Several military units in the north defected, providing the insurgency with equipment and professional manpower. In early 1980, with the beginning of all-out assaults on Qyredine government positions, Kaungiist radio broadcasts proclaimed proudly the beginning of the Restoration War. The Qyredine government forces suffered from low morale and lack of experience in counter-insurgency which resulted in rapid catastrophic losses. Insurgent attacks on urban centers further hampered the government's war effort. The Truth-Cleansing Sect was then universally condemned as heretical at the 1980 Congress of the Learned, but little support was given to the Qyredine government due to continued suspicion by other East Cataian states. The Tangkuo People's Republic provided funds and arms to the State of Truth, and ASU weapons were channeled in amidst the ASU Civil War.

By 1990, the State of Truth had substantial territories controlled in northern Qyred and was progressing in establishing strongholds in the south. After a failed coup d'etat attempt in 1993, the Qyredine government stabilized, and launched counteroffensives that destroyed State of Truth presence in southern Qyred and began to advance on the north. Tough resistance and renewed internal struggles halted this effort and by 1999 the frontline had stagnated, before in 2000 a rebel offensive recaptured large amounts of lost territory.

Ceasefire, reconstruction, and ambition

Exhausted and continuously left isolated in its region, Qyred negotiated a ceasefire in 2002 with the State of Truth, effectively securing its independence. The State of Truth made its status as a proper state known to the world, though no other sovereign state recognized it at all. Immediately reconstruction began in the devastated Qyredine north. Making use of the fertile farmland of various valleys of the Mo and Li rivers, factories left over from Qyredine industrialization in the early 20th century, as well as local mineral resources, the State of Truth developed a diverse economy, increasing gross domestic product figures, and attained in many fields self-sufficiency. It also reorganized and modernized its seasoned military forces with equipment acquired from abroad as well as developed domestically.

Politically, the State of Truth experienced extensive purges of both dissidents to Truth-Cleansing Sect rule and rivals within the leadership. Many were continuously persecuted for ties to established Cotric clergy, the Qyredine government, or local elites, with this the Truth-Cleansing Sect established complete control in the society of its territories. Kaungi had reappeared in 1996 and since then assumed position again as supreme authority of doctrine in the Sect, while administration was in the hands of the Commandant. With Kaungi's death in 2004, the less-assuming multi-member Councils of Debate was established as the nominal religious authority.

Attempts at power projection and expansion of influence were also made by the State of Truth leadership, most notably infiltration of Qyred with the Front of Restoration of Truth - directly supported and equipped by the State of Truth - that has been fighting a protracted insurgency in Qyred since 2004. It has also infiltrated neighbours such as XX with propagandist, preacher, intelligence and combat cells. Beyond East Catai, the State of Truth has been involved by various means in conflicts in XX.

Governance

Seu Nyi, Commandant since 2005

The State of Truth's governance is based on the Truth-Cleansing Sect's ideals of a Cotric world that completely lacks any form of leadership or hierarchy, which had corrupted Cotrism's original teachings; this has been compared to anarchism. Thus its leadership often practices anonymity and is rather unassuming; nearly all notables use either aliases or religious names, and information on its structure is very rare and difficult to obtain.

The most clearly identifiable figurehead is the Commandant, who has near-unchecked powers over the administration and command of the State of Truth, and whose nominal and symbolic authority is second to only the Councils of Debate. Since 2005 the Commandant has been Seu Nyi. The Commandant is in theory elected collectively by all Cotrists, but is practically limited to denizens of the State of Truth, and serves until death or abdication. The Commandant is symbolically the protector and curator of the Restored Cotric world.

Dictation of religious doctrine itself lies in the Councils of Debate, a body of experts on Cotrism who convene to meet agreements on matters of doctrine. The Councils are nominally selected from random sortition of all of the Cotrist population (as Cotric clergy is theoretically abolished under the Truth-Cleansing Sect), but has been in practice exclusively held by figures highly knowledgeable in Cotrism such as former clerics and prominent Sect members. The Councils also act as the collective curacy of Cotric scriptures recognized by the Sect. Conciliar terms last for 5 years; upon death or abdication of any member prior to conclusion of the term, elections are immediately held to replace them.

Referenda may be held for certain decisions where the Council can not reach a consensus on, and can be called by the Commandant, by majority of the Council, or by sufficient popular demand. These along with elections for known leadership have been used to attribute a degree of democracy existing in the State of Truth but have been questioned as either shams or fraudulent and manipulated.

The Truth-Cleansing Sect has an obvious and strong influence in the State of Truth, with its own organizations essentially being its government. The State of Truth is commonly regarded as authoritarian if not totalitarian.

Local administration

Under principles of the Truth-Cleansing Sect, the basic Observatory comprises all Cotrists regardless of rank in an area who form a community, and them only. Each subdivision of the State of Truth is therefore an observatory in itself, its whole community equally pursuing and generating Accomplishment. Local communities form communes of which there is an estimated 100,000 across the State of Truth, each comprising about a few hundred people. Inside communes, local committees and councils are gathered from close neighbors, who collectively meet to discuss and resolve issues, and decision-making in communes always involves broad consensus and popular vote. Central authority is consequentially very seldom felt locally in the State of Truth. Intervention of authority higher than communes is very rare outside of military matters. This model has been compared to libertarian municipalism.

The religious, political, and cultural integrity of these communities are overseen by 'watchers', typically Truth-Cleansing Sect members, who monitor and influence the communes against deviation from Cotric doctrine or rather the State of Truth's interpretation of it. These cells also report on the municipalities in general towards central administration.

Foreign relations and activities

Since 2002, the State of Truth observes a ceasefire with the Qyredine government, although the Front for Restoration of Truth continues to wage an insurgency against Qyred; it is supported by the State of Truth, but direct continuity and union with the FRT is not often publicly acknowledged to avoid appearing to violate the ceasefire. The State of Truth is in open conflict against the government of Tangkuo alongside several insurgent groups aligned with it. However, the activity of the insurgency in Tangkuo, while sizeable, is rather intermittent, particularly dependent on relations with local authorities and temporal doctrine. Recently the 2018 Southern Tangkuo offensive saw highest intensity of hostility ever since State of Truth infiltration of the country. It is also in conflict against the government of Yunlin, an animosity that dates to the Yunlinese Civil War, and holds territory in the southeast of the nation. Insurgents affiliated with and supported by the State of Truth are believed to be active in Ashihara but the secretive nature of the regime means their strength cannot be ascertained. The entity has been designated as a terrorist group by Sükhbaatar (where it is also involved in local conflict via proxy) and a number of Asuran nations such as Aquidneck.

Besides conflict with states, the State of Truth also has poor relations with several societies and influential organizations in East Catai. The Wusitwui and the Pure White Banner are some of the State of Truth's notable non-state opponents.

The State of Truth has been involved in support of terrorism and insurgent activity in numerous conflicts, with one recent example being the Sergelen War of Independence. These have ranged from providing funds and equipment to deploying combat personnel, and are an important pillar in the expansion of its influence globally.

Military

Troops of the State of Truth on parade in 2010.

The Military of the State of Truth is perhaps the largest and most powerful of militaries of disputed states in the world, with no other political entity of similar status of recognition coming close to the strength the SoT military possesses. It is estimated the 'regular component' of SoT armed strength has 440,000 active personnel with about 400,000 in the ground forces, 30,000 in the air force, and 10,000 in the navy. In addition to this, reserve militias are responsible for local defense and may number as many as 800,000. The SoT armed forces is well-developed, rivalling and even surpassing many medium-sized countries in military power. Asuran observers have referred to it as the 'most salient testimony to the State of Truth's power in its region'.

Organization of the SoT military is heavily based on the organic popular army concept developed by peasant revolutionaries in early 20th century Yidao. It has been defined as a direct product of political and religious agitation of the Kaungiist population into defense, and is closely linked with the masses of SoT society. Centralized structures are limited to strategic committees coordinating major operations, and elements of the SoT military are for most of the time highly autonomous. Divisions of military organization also overlap and synchronize closely with divisions of political and religious administration, which is echoed in composition of officers and commanders who are also clerics. General doctrine of the military has been based on considerations for long-term struggle and hostility.

The State of Truth has its own military industry, which is expansive enough to be able to supply most if not all equipment needs of its military. Most equipment of the SoT military are designs of the former ASU which have been copied or upgraded locally, though completely natively innovated weapons have also recently entered service. Besides producing its own tanks, armoured personnel carriers and even fighter aircraft, the State of Truth also manufactures radar systems and missiles, including several models of medium-range ballistic missiles. Contributing to its military capability is the fielding of symmetrical warfare assets such as armor in large numbers.

Kaungiist and pro-SoT armed groups in East Catai are militarily, technically, and financially supported by the SoT, serving important components in its broad strategy and also becoming a significant element in tactical operations.

Economy

An old house repurposed to serve as headquarters and meeting place of a local cooperative, which are the primary owners of enterprises in the State of Truth.

State of Truth economic policy has been steered towards achieving general self-sufficiency due to virtually all nations neighboring its territory being politically hostile. GDP by purchasing power was estimated at $105 billion in 2017 and GDP per capita at $1,895. Direction of economic policy is generally very localized with decentralized planning practiced, though recommendations are issued by the office of the Commandant when needed. Most enterprises are under communal ownership, with some managed by workers' syndicates, and local communities typically form cooperatives. External trade the entity engages in are of a limited volume, usually outside of East Catai, and typically illegal in nature, although goods produced in the SoT frequently infiltrate markets of its neighbors - most prominently minerals and foodstuffs.

While much of its territory is rugged, the SoT has achieved self-sufficiency in food production. Besides use of the flow of major Qyredine rivers, SoT agriculture has also made some advancements such as use of hydroponics to increase yields. Allegations of drug cultivation have been made by Yidaoan observers, although the SoT officially has claimed to oppose drug production and that it has eliminated poppy-growing in the northern Qyredine area since its assumption of control.

Factories in an industrial zone in the SoT.

The SoT economy has significant industrial capability. Northern Qyred prior to the rise of the State of Truth was a center of heavy industry in the nation, and the seizure of extensive industrial assets during the Restoration War allowed the State of Truth to quickly succeed in multiple fields with regards to self-sufficiency. Decentralized management has contributed to high yields and growth rates in these fields. Several major manufacturing and processing fields include chemicals, arms industry, machinery, automobiles, and electrical grid components. In recent years an information technology sector has been slowly growing. Industry in the State of Truth seems to entirely serve internal needs, with only armaments being occasionally exported.

There are some mining activities in the State of Truth, mainly involving extraction of platinum, titanium, tin, columbite and oil shale.

Tourism to the State of Truth has become possible since 2008, and contributes annually about $2 billion to its economy. About 1 million foreign tourists visit each year. Various ancient Cotric observatories, city ruins, and the uniquely scenic karst formations of northern Qyred's mountains are major attractions. Tourist access to the country is negotiated via proxies located in Saitsiu.

The State of Truth has extensive foreign financial ties. A number of enterprises legitimate or otherwise have been identified worldwide as operations by the State of Truth, with the illicit commercial activities including human trafficking, arms trafficking, drug trade, and money laundering. Even legitimate SoT-affiliated businesses operate in both East Catai and beyond despite attempts to curtail them by opposed actors. The SoT operates an expansive and lucrative oceanic smuggling enterprise not only transporting goods into and out of its own territory but also delivering items worldwide.

Religion

The complex of the Grand Restored Observatory in Kannin, the centre of Truth-Cleansing Sect teaching.

The State of Truth espouses a form of Cotrism universally condemned as heretical since 1980, formulated by the Truth-Cleansing Sect and the self-proclaimed reincarnation of The Sage, Kaungi. This heresy incorporates elements of earlier historical heresies and movements such as Songchi and Yausau. The most significant deviation from orthodox Cotric learning is the idea that hierarchy, organization and leadership are alien and un-Cotric, and that their institutions have corrupted the Sage's message and hindered pursuit of true Learning. Truth-Cleansing Sect Cotrism advocates that every single Cotrist is an equal and valid foundation of Learning...