Rulerism Data (as of 06/06/2006)
Rulerism is a monotheistic religion in which one god (The Ruler) discovered the universe and has been tending to it and assigning it law since then. Like the Judeo-Christian God, Rulerism's god is considered infallible. Unlike the Judeo-Christian god, Rulerism's god has not been depicted causing pain or death willingly to its followers.
Rulerism originated (as near as one can tell) in Russia, around 284 AC (after contact with alien races). It was the first wide-spread neo religion which incorporated the concept of intelligent and free-willed beings outside of Earth and so gained in popularity. Another reason for its popularity was that in those two centuries after contact, the people of Earth were largely confused as to what they should do to deal with alien entry to the cultures of Earth. No country on Earth wanted to relinquish its political individuality and form a massive conglomerate power, but they also realized that some form of unity would be needed to handle any new situations and threats that arose from the other-worlders. Rulerism, which had a basic set of laws and values and allowed for seats of power in the church without national recognition, was a viable alternative to a worldwide government. Thus, Rulerism and Rulerists became the face of Earth which was most often shown to aliens.
The mantra of Rulerism is very simplex at the core. Its doctrine is written in a very small book (approximately 200 pages) and can easily be translated to other languages. Primarily it tells parables and fables which encourage lawful, considerate, kind behavior. Those who follow the teachings of the doctrine will find themselves after death in a kind of eternal paradise. Those who do not are forced to repeat life again, as another sentient creature, until they can reach paradise. In this way, Rulerism believes in reincarnation.
Some very basic things the doctrine teaches against are: Suicide, murder, blaming one person for the fault of another, turning a blind eye to those in need, judging on appearance, holding a grudge, incest, rape, forcing another person to do something they are unwilling to do, theft, lying, treating sentient beings as property, forgetting previous transgressions of these rules, valuing money or material items above life, seeking to fulfill carnal wants at the expense of others' happiness.
Rulerism does not mandate going to church, but instead encourages meditation on the teachings of the Ruler in one's own home. Occasional gatherings of the church are held in specially constructed buildings, but these ceremonies are more to commemorate births or deaths than regular sermons.
Because of the doctrine's brevity, Rulerism also finds itself to be highly adaptable as a religion. Local beliefs and celebrations are incorporated easily, although usually the focus is shifted slightly to thanking the Ruler in his foresight to guide the universe to this point in time. This is part of the reason it took such a hold outside of Earth, despite coming from a fairly 'uncivilized' spacefaring race (as compared to Myches, Chuians, Nikitaks and Andoians).
Belief in Rulerism became almost a philosophy for many species, as opposed to a religion. It became no strange thing to be casually greeted or bid farewell by the phrase "May our Ruler guide you."
As Rulerism took hold across the galaxy, it too developed its own means of spending the massive donation funds the church had begun to aquire. Rather than turning the money inward, the Rulerist church began a series of humanitarian efforts for which it would soon be renowned. These included the construction and finance of hospitals in remote locations, the training and placement of doctors and teachers to worlds in need, language training courses in schools and cities where new species were being discovered and imense funding towards medical research and development. One of the companies Rulerism funded for medical research was the Earth-based Naitec company. Sometime after 305 AC, Rulerism withdrew funding from this particular company.
As another humanitarian effort, Rulerists also began to construct a small peace-keeping force for which to help settle disputes which would inevitably crop up from time to time between races or governments.
The Rulerist peace keeping force was not initially constructed by Rulerists from Earth. Primarily Myche construction and development pieced it together, and initially there were more Chuian, Rakwulf and Nikitak members than Human. Gradually the numbers shifted, and it became more common to find a few Humans in each group of Rulerist peacekeeping soldiers.
The force, contrary to popular belief, is actually quite small. It has approximately sixty large ships (capable of supporting the population of a medium sized country), one thousand four hundred smaller ships (city-sized population support) and two flagships (large-sized country support, but barely mobile and ineffective in anything but use as a 'base'). Each ship has its own assortment of smaller transport and melee planes, but considering the size of the universe and the size of the armadas of some worlds, this is barely a force to be reckoned with. For this reason, Rulerist peacekeepers often were given the aid of local or allied armadas in the event of largescale problems.
Regrettably, Rulerist forces were involved in city-wide massacres circa 306 AC. Some species which were involved in these massacres were the Hekshanians, the Mites, the Morbacks, the Tresh and the Ranecs. In the case of Mites and Ranecs, the two homeworlds were subsequently devastated. It is unknown how much of each population survived the impact or what exactly occurred, but it is known that the Ranec armada was involved in the devastation. The two species are 'sisters', evolving very nearby and very similarly but on different worlds.
In most cases, the massacres appeared to be either a miscommunication of sorts or an act of overzealousness by troops involved. Remember, however, that Rulerist peacekeeper forces are primarily local species. This can not be blamed on the church as a whole, nor can it be blamed on the planet the religion originated from (Earth).
In order to help rebuild after some of the damage of these massacres, Rulerists have put together programs to fund survivors and placed their own people in the cities to help rebuild a stable economy and social structure. In some cases, however, the Rulerists are seen as unwanted intruders (Morbacks) or as the new dominant force (Hekshanians). Some species attempted to abandon their cities after the massacres (Hekshanians) and so the Rulerists had to put drastic measures into practice to ensure no illegal emigrations could take place. This is where the infamous mine-fields come in to play. Placed in the upper atmosphere of a planet and programmed to remain over major spaceports, the fields can be deactivated only by authorized ships. Passengers can find themselves on authorized ships only by a rigorous process and mounds of paperwork. This is not to say some do not try to smuggle themselves in and out. Sentient trafficking businesses to and from these worlds now boom.
Shortly after the massacres, despite the rebuilding efforts, guerrilla resistance forces or violent public demonstrations began to appear in spots around the galaxy. Occasionally these fell to actual battlefield fighting, where the Rulerist peacekeeping forces were deployed against the opposing guerrillas. While the Rulerists have superior funding, their motivation to fight in these clashes remains low. They desire to help local people, not battle them. If military history is anything to go by, if the guerrillas are able to support their army long enough, they will exceed the Rulerist cost tolerance and eventually the Rulerist religion will fall. However, this will most likely take well over thirty years to come to pass, and so the guerrillas may find themselves defeated in that timeframe.
As a rule, Rulerist peacekeeping forces do not single out groups of these guerrillas or actively attack them. If a group is found, they are usually taken prisoner and put on trial for any war crimes they may have committed. They are rarely sentenced to death, although it does occur.
A local Rulerist church is run by a series of 15 men, women or other (there are some other alien sexes) per sect who work together to make major choices for their sect and attend to the finances and businesses of their area. There is usually about one sect per major city, or one per every five towns in more rural areas. While the church has no individual head, Rulerism is credited sometimes to having its doctrine written by an M. Schnoor, whose ancestry is from Germany.
Rulerism is not a genocidal master-race conversion religion. There are, however, some sects which have interpreted the easily bent doctrine to mean a more sinister thing than it was intended. These sects, however, are not encouraged, funded, or officially recognized by the church of Rulerism. Despite their claim to the name and use of the doctrine, they are more akin to cults. These local cults can show up on any world or with any species. One known all-female cult frequents the port city of North Tek on Hekshano, where a massacre took place.
The general sign of Rulerism is known as the "Eye of Him", a silver design which looks similar to the Egyptian "Eye of Horus". The Eye (according to scripture) allows the Ruler to look over the individual wearer with more clarity, but also places the wearer under the Ruler's scrutiny. For this reason, the peacekeeping forces and any police officers under Rulerist power must always keep the Eye on their person. It is a constant reminder to think back to the teachings of the doctrine before taking action, since the Ruler will be watching them in particular.