The Church of Unitology is a major religion in the Dead Space
universe. The core belief of its followers, the Unitologists, is that an ancient device known as a marker
will bring eternal life. Followers of the religion commonly exclaim the phrase "Altman be praised," as a sign of reverence to the religion's founder, Michael Altman.
The Church of Unitology was founded around AD 2300 (200 years prior to Dead Space
), by a man named Michael Altman. Altman was part of the government team that discovered the Marker, and released details of its existence to the general public. At the time, people had lost considerable faith and looked up to Altman as a beacon of hope. Using this, Altman founded Unitology; however, it wasn't until his mysterious death that the religion spiked in popularity. Many faithful believe it was the government that had killed Altman, causing him to become a martyr, furthering the growth of the religion.
The actual origin of Unitology is much different then the commonly held belief explained above. Altman, a geophysicist, had discovered a mysterious signal emitting from the Chicxulub crater
. Bringing along an excavation team to the underwater crater, he discovered broken remains of a Marker.
At a research complex near the crater, the team tried to learn more about the marker. The artifact soon began to affect the minds of the people in the base. Some went insane and killed each other, while others began to worship the Marker as something divine. Soon after, a religious movement formed around the Marker, with members of the science team believing Altman to be a prophet. Altman became fearful of the cult and had no desire to take part in it. However, he used their belief to his advantage and persuaded them to let him see the marker, and took a vidlog of it. Fearing that the government would use the marker for their own purposes, Altman made his way back to North America and showed the video to the world, declaring that the military was covering up genuine proof of alien life.
Following this, Altman was captured by Markoff, the military leader of the research complex where the marker was kept, and brought back to the complex for interrogation. After Altman had been returned, a scientist also stationed there went mad from marker exposure and injected himself with a fluid he created based on inscriptions on the Marker. He turned into a necromorph
as a result.
Following the scientist's transformation, the condition quickly spread among the personnel and everyone started to turn to necromorphs. In the chaos, Altman escaped from Markoff and collected as much research about the marker as as he could. Realizing what must be done, he destroyed the facility, sinking the marker into the depths of the ocean.
Altman was then recaptured by Markoff, who revealed himself as a believer. He formulated a plan to found a new religion in Altman's name and create a new marker for mankind's ultimate evolution. Despite the chaos wrought by the marker that had previously been discovered, Markoff believes that a second attempt would work since the original marker was damaged. Markoff then took Altman's marker research and trapped the scientist in a room with a necromorph. Armed with only a spoon, Altman was killed. It was Markoff and his followers, not Altman, that created Unitology.
The basis of Unitology revolves around the marker. While little is known about its purpose or origin, it is believed that the inscriptions on its surface are a message that will reveal the true origin and meaning of human life. However, it wouldn't be for another two hundred years until the colonists of Aegis VII
would discover its actual meaning. The inscriptions are really the DNA code that transforms human corpses into necromorphs.