Old Guard Patternists believe strongly in the memes that stir their passions but whose origins they cannot fathom. The Patternist's stated objective is to preserve the pattern. Seeing any shift in the pattern as a threat, they cling to losing, dishonorable positions without employing reason, discernment, or consideration of context.

Marie sets the strategy and loyal followers execute, long on enthusiasm and short on critical thinking. But even Marie, deep in the dark and Gyre, who lurks inside and empowers her, are shaped by the larger frame formed by the Headmaster. Narrowing the scope of their interests to physical pleasures, draining their intelligence for his food, and gathering them together for groupthink, he builds a grassroots movement: first loyalty, then fear; easily steered once in motion. Headmaster wants a herd and not a community, a breeding stock and not a population, a labor force and not innovation, unquestioning consumers instead of do it yourselfers, and everyone endlessly entertained hating everything.

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