In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC), the Empath Guild is a Secret Project. It may be built at a cost of 180 minerals, on discovery of Centauri Empathy (E3). In order of usefulness, the Empath Guild gives your faction diplomatic contact with all other factions; +50% votes in Planetary Council elections for Planetary Governor and Supreme Leader; and infiltrator intelligence on all other factions.

How useful is this? If you haven't adopted any advanced Social Engineering models, you stand a good chance of entering into peace treaties with other factions when you first contact them. This benefits you two ways: first, your faction draws annual income, simulating trade, each turn. Second, you can call the first Planetary Council meeting, and the factions friendly to you are more likely to vote for you as Planetary Governor; Planetary Governor status carries additional benefits, bolstering the economic advantage of the Morganic (yellow, CEO Morgan) faction, and the diplomatic advantage of the Peacekeeping faction (lavendar, Lal). The increased intelligence on rival factions is nice, but unlikely to make or break your game.

Secret Project animation narrative:
"Symbols are the key to telepathy. The mind wraps its secrets in symbols; when we discover the symbols that shape our enemy's thought, we can penetrate the vault of his mind."
   -- Lady Deirdre Skye,
   "Our Secret War"

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