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"Praise Altman, chosen of the Marker, architect of the Church. For Altman is the way and the light. Through Convergence, we all become one. One mind, one being, one flesh. Divine ascension awaits the faithful. Beyond the flesh and through the Marker. Altman be praised."
—Unitologist prayer[1]

Unitology is a religion officially founded in 2215 on the discoveries of the geophysicist Michael Altman. Unitologists adamantly believe that the human race was created by the intelligent design of a divine alien agency, and will be reunified after death in Heaven through the power of a sacred artifact known as the Marker.[2][3]

Unitology was inspired by the discovery of the Black Marker, a mysterious alien object found in the Chicxulub crater on Earth in 2214. Though this Black Marker's existence was covered up by the government and has been kept a secret ever since, it was unveiled to the public by Michael Altman shortly before his death, and Unitologists now claim the artifact contains the secrets of human evolution and eternal life. Fragments of knowledge recovered from studying the Marker form the basis of Unitology's teachings: death is only the beginning, and with the Marker's knowledge, all of humanity will ascend to divinity and be reborn as one entity - or "made whole" - in an event known as Convergence.[4]

Official History[]

Mickey Alty

Michael Altman, a geophysicist popularly immortalized and canonized as the founder of Unitology.

Unitology_Orientation_Video

Unitology Orientation Video

In 2214, a geophysicist named Michael Altman made a discovery that would change history. Buried at the impact site of a crater near the Yucatán Peninsula, he uncovered a divine alien presence - the Marker. The Marker spoke to Altman and revealed a plan that would unify mankind and lead them to a bright, new future. By the millions, people flocked to hear more about the Marker and the unity it promised after Michael Altman told the world of his profound discovery. But there were those who felt threatened by Altman's message. On March 15th 2215, Altman was assassinated and thus became the first martyr for the Church. Altman's followers mourned his death but found divine solace in his message of unity. They would not allow the truth to be silenced and formed the Church of Unitology to bring his teachings to the world. Today the Church of Unitology can be found everywhere in the known Universe. Its message is just as strong and relevant today as it was when Altman first revealed it. Billions of believers can be found across all social, economic and cultural groups and more are joining every day. As we await glorious Convergence, it is important to continue to nurture our relationship with the Marker and understand the future it is preparing for us. The Marker calls to all of us. It is our duty to approach it with an open heart and open mind.[1]

Public Doctrine[]

The Marker[]

"From the words of our savior, Michael Altman, we know that all life intertwines at the end to become one. One mind, one body, one voice. The Marker echoes this with its intertwined spires. We echo this with our entwined arms, fingers touching in oneness at the top."
—Unitology article, "Two Tines Entwined"[5]
Titan Station Church Sisters

The alien Black Marker and its promise of unity occupy a place of absolute centrality to Unitology doctrine and symbolism.

The basis of the religion are the artifacts known as the Markers and, most notably, the Black Marker found in the Chicxulub crater on Earth in 2214, revealed to the public by Michael Altman shortly before his death. As the Black Marker predated the rise of humanity, Unitologists believe the artifact itself was responsible for guiding the human race's evolution, reinforced by fragmented notes obtained from Altman's work on the project, and that this meant the Black Marker represented divine involvement in humanity's destiny.[6]

DS2 Unitologist Clergy Variations

Unitologist clothing sporting the Marker's symbols and shapes.

The meaning of the inscriptions on the Marker and the function of its signal have fascinated Unitologists for centuries.[2] The general belief is that the inscriptions on the Marker are a message that will reveal the true origin and meaning of human life, and that the Marker contains a code that holds the key to eternal life via rebirth after death, bringing about a physically real paradise through unification in an event called Convergence that will save mankind from its destructive materialistic course.[3]

Symbolism[]

With the Black Marker as the central object of worship, the Church's architecture and its members' clothing bear the artifact's symbols and twisting motif, inspired by the pictures and drawings recovered from Altman's research. Everything about Unitology is modeled in the image of the Marker and the awe invoked by the alien artifact itself. Dark colors permeate the Church's buildings and clothing, while intertwining shapes and circles in accord with the Marker and its promise of unity are used to create a rich environment in worship spaces.

Message[]

"Children of the Marker, we gather now to pay respect to the bodies of the dead, those who have been fortunate to be called ahead of us. Their bodies and souls go now into protective custody of the Church, where they will be looked after and cared for. This is not an occasion for grief, but an occasion to rejoice. Let us always remember that death is a blessing. Just as all life comes from the Marker, all life will one day return to it. The body and soul will live on, with brothers and sisters, with families and friends, when the day of Convergence arrives. For this is what the Marker promises us and this is what we know to be true. Altman be praised."
Titan Station Church of Unitology
Unitology Resource Center

A Unitology Resource Center on Titan Station.

The Church publicly conveys a positive and appealing message of social harmony and unity, as well as apparent environmentalist concerns as evidenced in some members' concern over the practice of planet cracking and its destabilization of the "harmony of the Universe",[7] and the apparent destructive course they believe EarthGov has taken.[8] Despite this, the Church has close ties to the Concordance Extraction Corporation, being one of the company's majority stakeholders,[9] and Unitology appears to be very popular among CEC workers.

Env ds3 lunar street

Unitology's promise - backed up by apparent scientific credibility - excites many previously purposeless people in the impoverished world.

Unitology has great appeal because spirituality and meaning has diminished in many people's lives; in the manner of a New Age Movement, Unitology provided a simple and holistic message of unity, harmony and fulfillment that was just what many people in their world of increasingly incomprehensible technology were looking for.[2][10] As a result of these factors, Unitology was considered to be the fastest growing religion in history.[3]

Theology[]

"Join us in paradise. Be one with all. Bring light through the darkness."
—Unitology Mantra[11]
T Env Prop Sgn Glo Adv Paradise 01 E PACKED 0

A Unitology poster on the USG Ishimura.

Unitologist theology is based on the study and debate of the mysteries of the Black Marker. Titan Station's Church of Unitology was the site of the Annual Unitology Symposium and contained a vast library of Unitology scholarly material.[12]

In Unitology belief, "God" is apparently seen as the alien intelligence or agency that created the Marker and the human race, and it was the same force that would regather humanity and make it "one" in the process of Convergence. Though its exact definition in Unitology belief is unclear, some references have been made to this "God" representing "Universal awakening" and the "wisdom of the stars", with one source referring to this force as "the brethren".[13]

Eschatology[]

"Exchange flesh for freedom; possessions for insight. Unto the chosen shall be given reunion with both the living and the dead. Settle for nothing less than the finer wisdom of the stars, and the divine love of Convergence. Pain is devotion. Shed fear and regrets as you discarded the clothes of your childhood. Understand that there is no 'death' - only unity to come..."
—Unitologist sermon[6]
0537 sgn ch02ase poster09 c

Unitology promises that families and friends will live on in a greater community when mankind learns to transcend death through the Marker.

The Unitologist religion is highly eschatological, based on their concept of the end of days similar to the apocalypses described in many religions.

Death is central to Unitology and is seen as the gateway to eternal unity through the power of the Marker. Unitologists believe that all living beings will intertwine in the manner of the two prongs of the Marker, to become one. They call this process Convergence and believe that it will alleviate all of the destructive materialistic problems of the human race.[14]

The Unitologists seem to believe that they will be saved and that non-believers will be forsaken (unless their bodies come into the possession of the Church). Some even refer to people who do not share their beliefs as "infidels" or "heretics".

Convergence is the attainment of spiritual oneness in paradise. Convergence for Unitologists does not mean a usual "oneness of God" theory (although it can be supposed Unitologists do have such a doctrine), but the coming convergence of humanity: human souls will cease to possess their individuality and all become intertwined as a single entity. Sometimes the word "soul" is substituted for "body" or "flesh",[15] in what is thought to be a figurative reference.

Famous Mantras and Verses[]

Unitology 003

Unitology speaks of the unification of the bodies and souls of the departed in its cryptic doctrines.

  • "Altman be Praised."
  • "Make Us Whole."
  • "Praise the Great Marker."
  • "Death is only the Beginning."
  • "Keep Us Whole. Unity is Forever."
  • "There is no Death. Only Rebirth."
  • "Embrace the Evolution."
  • "Take Us. We are Ready."
  • "To Join is to Survive."
  • "One Mind, One Soul, One Flesh."
  • "One Purpose, One Mind, One Soul."
  • "One People, One Mind, One Purpose."
  • "Unity after Death, Unity Forever."
  • "Give unto the Church and the Church will give unto you."
  • "The Marker is life everlasting for all of its children."

Bibliography of the Church of Unitology[]

Unitology DVD set

The Teachings of Unitology collection.

Unitology souvenirs

Unitology merchandise.

A number of books about Unitologist theology exist:

  • Teachings of Unitology, a six-piece set of teachings attributed to Michael Altman. It consists of the following books:
    • Chapter 01: Life in Unitology
    • Chapter 02: Community and the Power of One
    • Chapter 03: Convergence and You
    • Chapter 04: The Church
    • Chapter 05: Fundamentals of Living and Thinking
    • Chapter 06: Becoming One
  • The Tome of Unitology
  • Theology of Unitology
  • Holy Unitology
  • Understanding Unitology
  • A Guide to Unitology
  • A History of Scientific Unitology
  • Sacred Works of Altman
  • The Story of Altman
  • Believe
  • Feel the Spirit
  • Death is Only the Beginning
  • Prayers of the Unitologist
  • Eternal Life
  • Hymn Book

Merchandise[]

The Titan Station Church of Unitology has a gift shop that advertises the following:

  • Marker Replica 150c
  • The Tome of Unitology 50c (Mentioned above)
  • Enigma Statue 1000c
  • Enigma Mask 5000c

Practice[]

Preaching and Public Conduct[]

"The light of the Universe shines through us. Take the first step to your rebirth."
—Unitology promotes its message.[11]
T Env Prop Sgn Glo Adv AltmanServices 01 E PACKED 0

A poster found on the USG Ishimura and the Aegis VII Colony.

Unitologists are generally very evangelical, and often preach to non-Unitologists in an attempt to convert them to their message. Unitologists are open and unashamed of their beliefs, despite many of the public regarding their religion as bizarre or insane, particularly their belief in an intelligent alien designer of humanity. They publicly wear Marker pendants they buy from the Church, as a social statement that they are proud of their beliefs.

Unitologists are also very devoted to spreading their word through distributing literature in public spaces. EarthGov tried to suppress this on Titan Station by introducing a law that made it necessary for Unitologists to acquire a special permit before distributing literature. The Unitologists rejected this policy and labeled it as oppression. EarthGov was known to address evangelical Unitologists critically in the press, describing them as a threat to public order.[16]

Not unlike the aesthetic practices of other religions, Unitologists have built a rich religious tradition that is not without its aesthetic value. Monetary gain is achieved through merchandising products that spread the gospel of their church and memorabilia depicting the Black Marker in trivial fashions like paper weights and miniature statues.

Rites[]

Indoctrination[]

Unitology Murals 1

Various murals depicting the Church's rites.

Unitology members are initiated through a process known as "Indoctrination", and the Church does not favor individuals who are strong-willed and critical-minded, usually assessing them to determine this before letting them progress further in the Church.[17] A great deal of secrecy surrounds the Unitology indoctrination process.

Prayer[]

Unitologists appear to engage in communal prayer, led by the Church's ranked clergy.

Meditation[]

Unitologists are known to meditate with their arms locked in a cross with their hands bent inward to give the appearance of the Marker. They possess a number of aids for this purpose, including Marker replicas, candles and mats. Their meditation is characterized as quiet and reverent, as they focus their minds on the teachings of the Church.[18]

Death Ritual[]

"Death is a liminal space: should not be feared any more than going from one room to another. Death is like walking through a dark hallway but you are still inside a house and so the hallway starts somewhere and ends somewhere else. The 'house' is Unitology, its tenets are the foundation and your trust is the walls, your faith is the roof. You have to maintain that trust and faith or there is nothing to support you. And anyone who undermines Unitology is undermining your house too."
—Excerpt from the sermon "Fear/Removal of Fear for Unitologists"[6]
Unitology Murals 2

Another set of Unitology murals.

DS2 Unitology Mural

Another Unitology mural.

This is the most important part of Unitology practice.[2] Death is the most important step for Unitologists and they are encouraged to celebrate the death of loved ones and hope to join them in Convergence, rather than mourn them.

The Unitologists refuse to allow their members' bodies to be buried or cremated, instead choosing to preserve them aboard ships or space stations. The reason for this is the belief that a human body must be untouched after death, as it is the person's "vessel" for Convergence. "Convergence" is the belief that upon death, if the human body has been kept intact and the Unitologist has lived an unselfish life, all the bodies will one day be reborn with ascended spiritual and physical prowess, and will live in unity with his or her other members as a single community. It is heavily encouraged by members that they keep their bodies in the best shape possible upon death.

Despite their supposedly peaceful exterior, the Church is noted for having many cult-like features including its indoctrination practices, its hierarchy, and its proven capacity to induce mass suicide. The teachings to embrace death further enhance these.

Hierarchy and Ranking System[]

"Service to the Church and the will of the Marker requires a lifetime of dedication, financial commitment, and evangelism, all before an eternity of commitment to final Convergence. Only those of serious purpose can be considered for the upper echelons of the Church, not only because of the sheer population and diverse spread of our faith, but because of the stakes. Unlike other so-called religions, Unitology is based in scientific, concrete proof of humanity's crucial role in the Universe. The core principles divined by Altman himself from communing with the Black Marker must be used when considering any candidate for the upper ranks."
—Unitology article[6]
DS2 Enigma Model

Unitologist Enigma outfit.

Unitology is a multi-tiered religion - at the top of the tree are masked individuals known as the "Enigmas", which included the Church's founders. The lowest rank, which forms the bulk of believers, is called "Initiate", with there being at least three more ranks above that of the average follower: "Vested", "Overseer" and "Paragon".[19][20][21]

The Church is said to possess considerable political and economic influence, despite a persistent atmosphere of what they see as persecution by EarthGov; the upper echelons of the Concordance Extraction Corporation are mentioned as being increasingly controlled by Unitologists - Warren Eckhardt being the most notable example - and it is mentioned that the Church requires members to contribute huge sums of money in order to move up in rank within it.

Secrets of the Church[]

Faith in the Marker and Scientific Credibility[]

"One only needs to look at the data to conclude that the Black Marker represents genuine, scientifically-grounded proof of divine involvement in human destiny. One can only wonder what treasures of Marker research have been destroyed, suppressed, or hoarded by EarthGov agents. Just two - two! - waterlogged pages salvaged from Altman's notebooks formed the foundations of Kyne's theories on the Black Marker and human emotional response. What else is hidden in the EarthGov archives?"
—Unitology note found on the USG Ishimura.[6]
DSR Unitology Chicxulub Studies

A 2508 note with information on the Church's secret studies on the biodiversity of the Chicxulub region as of the 26th century.

Unitology prides itself in being an apparent rational and scientific religion, and the Church is completely convinced that the government has been hiding or experimenting on the Marker ever since its discovery. The animosity between the two persists in the 26th century, with Unitologists believing that EarthGov is still attempting to hide all traces of the Marker and the truth that Altman revealed so many centuries prior.[22]

By 2508, one of Unitology's leading scientists and experts, Dr. Terrence Kyne, had formulated theories on the Black Marker and human evolution based on notes from Altman's work on the project. The Church had also secretly financed and completed several studies on the biodiversity of the Chicxulub region with the influence of the Black Marker in mind, despite interference from EarthGov. By examining a sample of aquatic life from waters adjacent to the Chicxulub crater, the Church was able to confirm variations from standard genotypes in the specimens, adding further proof to their faith in the Marker signal's power to influence organic life, with another short study on human brain tissue from the region also leading them to believe that humans were "uniquely reactive" to Marker influence and supporting their theory that the artifact had an effect on the development of proto-human life.[6]

Faith in Altman's Martyrdom[]

"When Michael Altman went public with his research on the Black Marker, the world was teetering on the brink of self-destruction. Many people, myself included, felt civilization was at an end. We couldn't change the world by ourselves, and most of us didn't want to. What Altman offered us, this chance at a rebirth for humanity, was exactly what our hungry, empty souls were looking for. Practically overnight, our hope for humanity was renewed. Even when Altman was forced into hiding, allegedly for fear of government retaliation, his acolytes Stevens and Markoff risked everything to bring his word into the light. His books sold out within hours. Millions flocked to conferences where we were taught the greater truths of the Marker. We stared in awe at the evidence of this alien artifact that would change everything. And we did whatever Altman, through his acolytes, told us to. We rallied against the government whose oppression kept our prophet from us. We joined together in congregations to share his word. And we prepared ourselves for the future he said was coming. Where were you when Michael Altman was assassinated by our government? It's the question of our generation, I suppose. It's certainly the day when everything changed for me... and the world. [...] The martyring of the scientist-turned-savior Michael Altman begat fanatical zealots, and I was one of them. Who wouldn't be outraged by the images of his broken, brutalized body, as if a clean death wasn't enough? Who wouldn't be moved by the stoic Markoff struggling on the verge of tears during his eulogy? In those terrible days, we birthed and maintained the tenets of a new religion, known now as the Church of Unitology. I was only a follower, but I was suddenly part of the biggest social movement in history. The riots that followed and the crippling of our government on colony after colony made me realize we finally had the power to change things."
—An account of the Church's founding from a former Unitologist.[2]
DSR Stevens Interview

An interview with one of the Church's founders, the psychologist Stevens, who had been part of the same research team as Altman.

Unknown to even the Church itself, two of its founders, the psychologist Stevens and the former military official Markoff - who had been part of the initial Black Marker project alongside Altman - were fully aware of the Black Marker's power to create Necromorphs. During the project, Stevens developed complete faith in the Marker's supposedly benevolent purpose of uplifting humanity through Convergence; he subsequently rationalized that the Necromorphs were merely a "glitch" of the Black Marker and not the true eternal life promised by the artifact, using the Marker's evident desire to be reproduced to justify his belief that it was not working properly and that all humanity needed to do was replicate it. Following Altman's capture after going public with the Marker's existence, and after the Necromorph outbreak that devastated the original research facility above the Chicxulub crater,[23] Stevens conspired with Markoff to murder Altman so that the two of them could fabricate a narrative that the geophysicist was, in fact, a believer in the Marker's divinity.

Revealing only Altman's data that would support their faith and posing as Altman's "acolytes", Stevens and Markoff began to publicly preach in the name of Altman, declaring him a martyr and gathering followers to form the Church of Unitology to continue what they claimed to have been Altman's vision - despite the government's efforts to cover up the entire disaster.[23] Michael Altman was, thus, not a true believer as the Church thinks, but a mere scientist whose act of unveiling the Black Marker to the world turned him into a pawn for Stevens and Markoff.[2][6]

Rebirth and Convergence[]

"Death is only the beginning. We are all one in the eternal flame of release."
—Unitology Mantra[11]
The Art of Dead Space Sprawl Uni Suicides

The Church's capacity to induce ritualistic suicide has been known to lead believers to kill not only themselves but also members of their own family.

Unitologists believe in keeping the body intact for death, and in great shape, so that it may be "reborn", along with the other members' bodies, to live as a greater community and facilitate the act of Convergence. In actuality, Convergence consists of the final stage of the Necromorph life-cycle, which reconstitutes all dead matter into a single approximately moon-sized sentient being known as a Brethren Moon, an interstellar apex predator with immense telepathic and telekinetic powers.

Altar concept

Suicide by suffocation or head trauma is commonplace during Necromorph outbreaks to keep the body relatively intact.

Unitology's beliefs regarding reincarnation and unity are vindicated, though in a much more disturbing manner, by the Brethren Moons themselves, as it is mentioned by the Moons that for every race that manages to achieve Convergence, a new brother joins the cluster. Additionally, the Church's assertions that the Black Marker was responsible for creating humanity appear to be correct as well, as it is heavily implied that the alien artifact forced evolution on Earth to create an intelligent species capable of replicating it with the ultimate plan of creating another Brethren Moon.

Unitologists' destructive and suicidal actions during outbreaks may not, indeed, be entirely related to their faith, but an effect of exposure to the Marker signal, as non-believers have been shown to behave similarly and spout apparent Unitologist phrases after being affected by dementia. Brant Harris and Nolan Stross both claimed that "God" was speaking through the Marker, while Isaac Clarke once stated that he believed Nicole Brennan was "one with the Universe" while under examination on Titan Station following his exposure to Marker 3A.[24]

Soul Cleansing[]

"New acolytes may offer fiery zeal, but fervor burns out."
—Unitology article justifying the practice of "soul cleansing".[6]
DS2 Unitology Door 1

A locked door guarding the Church's more questionable practices from public eye.

Many critics say that the Church is closer to a ruthless cult, unafraid to use force to protect its secrets. Believers are expected to donate not only their wealth and possessions, but even their bodies after death; acolytes who step out of line or who question Unitology's teachings are forced to undergo psychologically-damaging "soul cleansing".[4] This "soul cleansing" is also required for members who wish the enter the Church's higher ranks.[25]

Mausoleum Fleet[]

"All fleet vessels are designed for centuries of deep-space operation and equipped with state-of-the-art defense technology, ensuring that Convergence will proceed without interference when the holy hour approaches."
—Phoebe Tremayne, Sanctified Messenger of Fleet Selection and Security[26]
DSR text log Uni fleet

A text log describing the purpose of the Mausoleum Fleet.

The Church secretly funded the construction of "mausoleum ships", massive vessels carrying stasis storage tubes to transport the bodies of its members. Though no documentary evidence of this shipbuilding program has ever been supplied to the public, rumors of its existence refuse to die, with witnesses claiming to have seen the fleet and describing the huge size of these vessels.[3]

In reality, the purpose of this fleet was to transport the bodies of the Church's members beyond the reach of its enemies, sending these ships towards uncharted space in the hopes that "the brethren" would make the bodies "whole".[13] The ships were designed for centuries of deep-space operation and equipped with highly advanced defense technology; disclosure of any information pertaining to the fleet to "heretical parties" was punishable by seizure of property or excommunication.[26]

The USG Ishimura's mission to Aegis VII[]

"We have successfully brought the holy Marker on board. Dr. Kyne, an expert on the original Marker, is deciphering its secrets. Forgive me for quarantining Aegis VII. Director Eckhardt's work may have been inconvenienced. But they're suffering some sort of epidemic. Regardless, planetcrack begins tomorrow on schedule. CEC can scratch out its illegal operation, now that the true prize is ours. Let's see EarthGov try to cover this up. Altman be praised."
—Captain Benjamin Mathius' message to "Paragon Jorden".[19]
DSR Marker Mercer Unitologists Prayer

Dr. Challus Mercer leads a group of Unitologists in prayer in front of Marker 3A.

Using its heavy influence within the CEC, the owners of the USG Ishimura, the Church was responsible for replacing much of the ship's crew with Unitologists on its fateful mission to Aegis VII with the goal of securing Marker 3A. These replacements took place after word of the Aegis VII Colony's discovery of the Marker reached the Church; the CEC's Executive Director of Colonial Mining Affairs, Warren Eckhardt, oversaw the recovery operation spearheaded by fellow Unitologist Captain Benjamin Mathius. After hearing the reports of the colonists' dementia and its link to the Marker, Eckhardt was also entrusted by "Enigma Lange" with a covert mission to infiltrate the colony and find someone who showed signs of being immune to the Marker's disturbing effects.[9][21]

DSR Concept Crew Deck Uni Suicides

Isaac Clarke finds a group of Unitologists who committed suicide on the Ishimura's Crew Deck.

Chief Science Officer Terrence Kyne was the Church's expert on the Marker aboard the Ishimura; what he observed of the infection did not correspond with the teachings of Unitology and he believed what he witnessed was unethical. Kyne repeatedly stated the Church was mistaken and attempted to stop Captain Mathius' mission, in stark contrast to another scientist on the ship, Dr. Challus Mercer, who created the Hunter in his desire to further the infection. Mercer believed he had a missionary duty to help Marker 3A trigger Convergence and that this would finally grant him eternal life.[19]

Titan Station Sabotage[]

"Your engineering skills make you perfect for this task, but you're still a new convert to Unitology. Relax, and have faith. All I can tell you is that, after today... the government will no longer stand in the way of the Church."
Tyler Radikov to Karrie Norton as she unwittingly unleashes the Necromorphs on the Sprawl.[27]
DS2 Dead Enigmas Make Us Whole

Unitologist Enigmas commit suicide in the Titan Station Church of Unitology during the Necromorph outbreak.

Following the creation of the Site 12 Marker on Titan Station by EarthGov, word of the secret project eventually reached the Church of Unitology. Seeking to release the Marker from EarthGov control and bring about Convergence, the Unitologists sabotaged the project and deliberately unleashed the infection, with Daina Le Guin leading the operation on behalf of the Church;[27] a recent Unitologist inductee, Karrie Norton, was manipulated into completing a "special secret mission" for the Church on the Titan mines, leading her to unwittingly unleash the Necromorph infection. The more casual members of the Church on the Sprawl were informed that their "rebirth" was coming, as a text log could be found of a woman talking about a unique ceremony that they were preparing for.

The Art of Dead Space Daina Ship

Daina Le Guin's ship used in her mission to capture Isaac Clarke for the Marker secrets in his mind.

Aforementioned Karrie Norton willingly chose to combat the Necromorphs when she realized she had condemned civilians to death after she was betrayed by her partner and fellow Unitologist Tyler Radikov. She quickly renounced her faith after realizing what the Church's true intentions were, and instead worked with EarthGov Director Hans Tiedemann to stop the Necromorph infection from spreading. Meanwhile, Daina Le Guin used the chaos of the infection to complete the Church's other objective: to free Isaac Clarke from the Sprawl's hospital and capture him in order to use his Marker-touched mind to build Markers for the Church and "spread glorious Convergence to the entire galaxy".[1]

The Circle[]

"Brothers and sisters. The age of man is at an end. We have become too many with too little to go around. Corporations that we once trusted with our money have squandered it. The governments that we once trusted with our future have sabotaged it. To their eternal credit, we are dying. But fear not, for there is a future. As promised by the prophet Michael Altman, the Black Marker has a plan - for all of you. It will lift us up from our miserable existence and we will become one; united in body and united in spirit. Our unity will be our salvation. We will live on, not as men, but as God. The Church of Unitology is waiting for you, my friends. Throw off the chains of this life and join us as the new one begins. I'm Jacob Arthur Danik. And I am this message."
—The leader of the Circle, Jacob Arthur Danik.[28]
Danik's_speech

Danik's speech

After the incident on Titan Station in 2511, many Unitologists doubled their efforts to spread the gospel of their religion, going as far as taking up arms against EarthGov. The most prominent militarized Unitologists fighting against the oppressive EarthGov were members from a branch of Unitology known as the Circle; a violent and fanatical group of believers led by Jacob Arthur Danik, they used the substantial financial gain and political connections of the Church[29] to commit acts of terrorism wherever a Red Marker test lab may be located on any given colony.

Uni soldier logo

The symbol of the Circle.

The Circle was dedicated to bringing humanity to Convergence through force. Danik believed that the creation of Marker replicas based on the original Black Marker was an intrinsic aspect of the human race, but that they needed to do so with respect and care for the Markers and the "natural evolution of the Universe". Danik saw EarthGov's test labs and experiments on their own captive Marker copies as perversions of nature, and sought to free the Red Markers in an effort to undo the damage he believed the government had done, viewing the Necromorphs as the consequences of EarthGov's disrespectful tampering.[30] In contrast to the typical followers of Unitology who were natural, church-going types, members of the Circle possessed at least some amount of combat training which, when combined with their religious fervor and their large fleet of dropships, allowed them to overwhelm EarthGov's forces at the Marker test sites.

1

Jacob Danik releases the Tau Volantis Moon.

While some members expressed their doubts after witnessing the horrors of the Necromorphs, they were assured by their superiors that the deaths and suffering were necessary and that, by bringing about true Convergence, all those who had died would join them and humanity would "transcend the pain and our baser human frailties to become something better, purer, whole."[31]

The Terra Nova Cult[]

"Take our hands that we may feed you, take our eyes that we may see you, take our minds that we may serve you; we will live forever..."
The New Cult Mantra[32]
DeadSpace3Awakened-OfficialScreen-CultLeader 2

The Unitologist Cult observe the initiation ritual led by their "prophet" on the CMS Terra Nova.

After the destruction of the Tau Volantis Brethren Moon, the Circle was left in very little numbers, and even then, their faith in Unitology had become even more extreme as they formed a new cult aboard the derelict CMS Terra Nova. They mutilated their bodies and severed their hands, replacing them with crude mechanical parts to make them more like Necromorphs. They viewed the Brethren Moons as gods and the Circle's leader, Jacob Danik (who was killed when the Tau Volantis Moon awoke), as their saint.

DS3A Terra Nova Cultist

A Terra Nova cultist, having carved the Marker's shape and symbols into his body.

This new cult was led by their anonymous leader and self-proclaimed "prophet", who performed a ritual that required cutting off the hands of the willing and the unwilling. In contrast to the usual Unitologist teachings that the body is a sacred vessel that must be preserved for Convergence, this new cult leader began preaching that the body is imperfect, literally hewing away the body's imperfections and replacing them with grotesque appendages in honor of the Brethren Moons, claiming that this way they would be "made whole". This caused several of the former members of the Circle to refuse to join the new church, with some, such as Randall Carr, even outright losing their faith in Unitology.[33]

The Terra Nova cult was eventually destroyed after Isaac Clarke and John Carver killed the leader and the Brethren Moons abandoned them, seeing that they had no further purpose.

Conflict with EarthGov[]

"We, the children of the Marker, grow tired of the oppressive, thinly-veiled attacks from EarthGov on our rights to worship as we please. Reduced hours of operation for the Church. Fire marshal restrictions on the size of revival events, permits needed to distribute literature. These are all poorly concealed attempts to quash the truth. OUR TRUTH. And they will not succeed. The blasphemous, short-sighted, reckless, destructive and hopeless path that EarthGov has us on is a dead end. One that only Unitology has the answer to. Altman has foreseen it, and we are blessed to execute it. Prepare yourselves brothers and sisters. Convergence is nigh."
—"Altman's Footsteps: A publication for the followers of Michael Altman"[8]
Hans DS2

A vandalized EarthGov poster featuring Hans Tiedemann.

As of the 26th century, the Church of Unitology's primary opponent is EarthGov. Historically, Unitologists have often come into conflict with the government - be it EarthGov or its preceding Sovereign Colonies administration - over the destruction, suppression, and hoarding of information on the Marker, and the Church firmly believes that the government murdered their purported founder, Michael Altman.[22]

The Church is powerful but vies for more power and shows signs of wanting to overpower EarthGov. EarthGov has often portrayed them as radical carpetbaggers and insurrectionists in the press,[16] while Unitology regards them as still trying to suppress the truth that Altman revealed about their divine Black Marker. They claim to be the only source of opposition to the oppressive political system.[8]

Up until 2514, the conflict was primarily an information war fought in the press, though the strength of both sides suggests instances of espionage and armed struggle as well. The Church of Unitology appears to be more popular and in some way acts as an insurrectionary vehicle against EarthGov. Both EarthGov and Unitology are closed totalitarian factions, and they are both desperate to possess the Marker for themselves.

Of the two, Unitology is more irrational and prone to cause disasters with the Marker, while EarthGov attempts to study and develop new Markers to secure more power and to hopefully solve its mounting economic issues, regardless of the risks involved.

DS3 Unitology Propaganda

Posters promoting Unitology and decrying EarthGov.

By 2514, the Church of Unitology, led by Jacob Arthur Danik, appears to have overthrown EarthGov or, at bare minimum, severely weakened its structure.[34] The exact nature of this coup d'état is never made clear, though it is known that the Unitologists took advantage of the general population becoming increasingly anti-EarthGov following the Titan Station disaster.[35] Events perpetuated by Danik suggest the targeted destruction of the various Marker Shrouds throughout EarthGov space played a large part in weakening the government.

Notable Members[]

Several members of the Church of Unitology are prominent characters in Dead Space; including:

Trivia[]

  • Unitologists are often derogatorily referred to as 'Marker-Heads' or 'Rock Worshippers.'
  • Art director Ian Milham cites one of Unitology's inspirations was the practices of Scientology; in particular, the grounds that members must pay vast amounts of money to learn the Church's teachings and secrets, the considerable controversy surrounding it as well as the all around sci-fi influence, among other things.[36][37]
    • However, other developers deny that Unitology is a direct criticism of Scientology, stating that Unitology is intended as a pastiche of cult organizations in general.[10] This may or may not be related to the Church of Scientology's habit of suing over negative portrayals.
    • The word "Unitology" was first coined before Dead Space, by a 1999 humor/satire article claiming Scientology and Unification Church would reform into one.[38]
  • The Unitologists' beliefs of "Unification" stand in contrast to the game's main theme, "Dismemberment".

Gallery[]

Recruitment Posters[]

Murals[]

Miscellaneous[]

Sources[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dead Space 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Log:Unitology Exposed
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Log:Unitology Article
  4. 4.0 4.1 The World and History of Dead Space - Unitology
  5. Log:Two Tines
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Dead Space (2023) - Notes on the walls of the Ishimura Medical Deck
  7. "...what a bunch of Unitologist bullshit!" - In response to a statement on planet-cracking being damaging to the overall harmony of the Universe (Dead Space: Downfall)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Log:Altman's Footsteps
  9. 9.0 9.1 Staring Into The Void: The Lore of Dead Space
  10. 10.0 10.1 Wright Bagwell on Unitology
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Holoscreen in the Testing Center of the Indoctrination Center found in Chapter 4 (Dead Space 2)
  12. Unitology tour recordings encountered in Chapter 4 (Dead Space 2)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Log:Unknown
  14. Holo-presentation in the Seminar Room of the Indoctrination Center found in Chapter 4 (Dead Space 2)
  15. Holo-presentation in a Unitologist's habitation found in Chapter 6 (Dead Space 2)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Log:Recruiting
  17. Log:Recruit Test Results
  18. Unitology tour recording encountered at the Reading Room in Chapter 4 (Dead Space 2)
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Dead Space (2023)
  20. The Art of Dead Space
  21. 21.0 21.1 Dead Space: Extraction
  22. 22.0 22.1 Log:Unitologist Artifact 01
  23. 23.0 23.1 Dead Space 3 - The Story so Far
  24. Examination of Isaac's mental condition
  25. Log:Background Request
  26. 26.0 26.1 Log:Eternal Rest
  27. 27.0 27.1 Dead Space (mobile)
  28. Dead Space 3
  29. Log:Unitologist Artifact 03
  30. Log:Unitologist Artifact 02
  31. Log:Unitologist Artifact 04
  32. Dead Space 3: Awakened
  33. Log:Instruments or Tools?
  34. Log:EarthGov Artifact 01
  35. Steve Papoutsis: Earth Gov is in significant turmoil after the events of Titan Stations. There are hold outs hanging on to the old government but the population is very anti earth gov. Aegis7 - Meet: Steve Papoutsis (March 7, 4:00PM PST)
  36. ars technica: L. Ron Altman: Why Dead Space 2 is a Direct Attack on Scientology
  37. Penny Arcade: Scientology and Dead Space: how the horror series may carry a hidden message of religious skepticism
  38. Five Future Religions Waiting To Happen
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