POD: c 85,000,000 BCE;
Relevant POD: 1452
|Appearance(s):||"The Scarlet Band"|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Nationality:||United States of Atlantis|
|Religion:||House of Universal Devotion|
Samuel Jones also known as The Preacher founded the House of Universal Devotion in Atlantis early in the 19th century. He espoused the belief that God dwells within all humans, and that, if we live the proper lifestyle, we might overcome our limitations and become divine. This unorthodox idea was tolerated by the United State of Atlantis, which held freedom of religion sacred.
Jones and his House grew in popularity throughout the lower classes of Atlantis, particularly in the interior of the country. The sect also spread to Terranova and Britain. But Jones' unconventional views on divinity, and his advocacy of free love amongst his female followers soon made him a target of the Atlantean ruling class. Further, in the years before the Atlantean Servile Insurrection, Jones and his followers were hated in the south of the country for their anti-slavery stance. Jones went underground with the help of his followers, appearing to preach to his flock on a sporadic basis.
Jones was drawn out of hiding late in the 19th century when a series of the House's critics were murdered. While all evidence pointed to the House, in truth, the critics were murdered by a conspiracy of the Atlantean status quo, including important police officials led by Inspector La Strada of Hanover. In an attempt to lend legitimacy to their scheme, La Strada engaged the services of British detective Athelstan Helms and his companion James Walton to "investigate" the murders.
Helms and Walton met with the elusive Jones in Thetford, where Jones assured Helms of his innocence. Helms was uncertain of the truth. It was then that the Atlantean cabal overplayed its hand, clumsily murdering Benjamin Joshua Morris, a lawyer and ardent critic of the House. Helms realized the truth, and denounced the cabal.
Jones was vindicated. In fact, the conspiracy to destroy the House provided Jones with more legitimacy, which further outraged conventional Atlantean society.