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The Ethos, also known as the Ethos Society, and simply called the Church in the Japanese version, is a religious group in Xenogears. The Ethos is a monastic religious sect and a church dedicated to the collection and preservation of culture, knowledge and technology. They have a role in the governments and politics on the planet (the opposite of secularism: separation of church and state).
They control history and records of history. Bart Fatima says, "All we know about our history is from the little pieces that we find for ourselves." and that a lot of what happened before Xenogears is a complete blank.
They exist in all countries, are the main source of maintenance for the world's Gears, and are a strong influence in each government. The Ethos are responsible for organizing the Kislev battling competitions, and for regular extermination of the Wels monsters.
The Ethos is similar to Ormus in Xenosaga, in that they are both evil corrupt churches which use religion as a form of mind control, although Ormus has a definite Christianity slant while the Ethos is more ambiguous when it comes to having Christian origins.
It is unknown what the Ethos' beliefs are. They believe in some "god", a deity with unknown attributes. Isaac Balthasar claims the Ethos teaches evolution, suggesting Ethos followers believe in theistic evolution.
It is unlikely the Ethos has anything to do with Christianity, other than structure and atmosphere. It appears to be a progressive church of technology and science mixed in with theism.
The Ethos may be an evolution of the unspecified faith and spirituality from the ancient Zeboim era (as Kim Kasim was prevented from pursuing his scientific research due to "blasphemy against God"), or the religion that Sophia and Karellen believed in at the church of Nisan.
Truth of Ethos Edit
|“|| The 'Ethos' was created as a Solaris sub-organization and given the task of managing earth-dwellers. But over the years the 'Ethos' started to set up convenient doctrines for itself... It then went on to gather the ignorant masses, and created a god for them to believe in. Then, the 'Ethos' even went so far as to plot a separation from its creator, Solaris. So Solaris had no choice but to eliminate all those who defy our rule and raise the flag of rebellion. The ones prepared as 'eliminators' were... the Etone.
The leaders of Solaris (Myyah Hawwa, the Gazel Ministry, Emperor Cain and Karellen) founded Ethos in 9511 after the Shevat-Solaris War. Many people came to the Ethos seeking help, be it spiritual guidance, technology, or knowledge, leading it to rise as the dominant religion in most of the world. On the surface, the Ethos appears to be a religion of peace.
In reality, the Ethos is a religion of mind control, and is secretly full of kidnappers, murderers and child molestors. Like Gebler, the Ethos was a front for the Gazel Ministry to indirectly control the Lambs, in order to ensure that another rebellion like the Shevat-Solaris War did not occur, funnel supplies into Solaris, and provide slaves for the Ignas Gate. The Ethos's mission had the secondary effect of insuring that Solaris operations, such as Project Noah, ran smoothly. The Ethos were also responsible for overseeing the Soylent Systems.
As members of Ethos began to be tempted by the 'resources' they were accumulating, Bishop Isaac Stone created the sub-faction Etones, using the need to hunt Wels as a cover for their true purpose: eliminating any that deviated from the mission Solaris had established.
|“|| The pontiff and his brethren deserve to die! They allowed greed to tempt them into abandoning their 'duties as the 'Ethos' ' to pursue world domination. They passed their own death sentences when they allowed such desires to overtake them. And that's not all. Saving orphans and refugees... that may seem like works of mercy. But the little boys and girls kept here were actually used as a means to satisfy the desires of the pontiff and bishops. Indulging in selfish desires... This is not 'conduct befitting priests'! Such defiled leaven have no right to speak for god. That is why we set out on this purification work. They must atone for their sins. These are the Bishop's orders!
When the Ethos organization attempted to break away from Solaris, they devised the 44th excavation plan, which involved salvaging weapons and medical technology from Zeboim. They would then mark these goods as classified, allowing them monopolize the advanced tech and seek global domination.
However, the 44th excavation plan failed when Bishop Stone's Etones carried a massive purge, nearly killing off any Ethos members who were not involved directly with Solaris.
It was during this purge that Billy learned the shocking truth of the organization from Verlaine, Bishop Stone and underground computer banks in the Ethos Headquarters, such as kidnapping refugees for use as slave labor and the sexual abuse of orphaned children.
The headquarters was left deserted with all of the corpses of the deceased Etones carried off. The headquarters would remain open to the player until Disc 2.
By the end of Xenogears, after the lies and corruption of the church was exposed, and the fact that Solaris exploded and sunk into the sea, it is presumed the Ethos no longer exist.
In the original Japanese version, the Ethos is simply called the Church. It was most likely changed in the English localization to avoid controversy.
"Ethos" is a Greek word meaning "character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence its hearer's emotions, behaviors, and morals.
- Isaac Stone (bishop - dies in Xenogears)
- Billy Lee Black (Etone - quits in Xenogears)
- Verlaine (Etone - dies in Xenogears)
- Shakhan (cardinal - dies in Xenogears)
|“|| God? Where does such a being exist? You should know by now how the 'Ethos' came about... It was an organization created by Solaris aeons ago solely for the purpose of managing ignorant humans. Its doctrines are just deceptions to control the masses. The 'Ethos' used the 2 sweet fruits of 'faith' and 'technology' well to skillfully manipulate global affairs and people's zeal. Thus, they manipulated the ignorant masses to repeatedly continue their pointless wars. Eventually battle data on 'man' and 'weapons' gleaned from these wars were sent to Solaris itself... And analyzed to aid in ruling the entire earth. These intentionally perpetuated wars caused so much psychological discord. But faith in 'god' ....salvation... was used as a cushion to soften the blow. It was a well thought out system. But the choice of managers was extremely poor.
|“|| To carry out the actual supervision, Solaris established the 'Ethos'. So the 'Ethos' is actually controlled by the 'Gazel Ministry', or Solaris' highest governmental body. So, yes, the 'Ethos' is really a 'front', or a subsidiary organization, working for Solaris! Excavation findings, goods and natural resources from the surface are transported to Solaris by the 'Ethos'. This also includes 'human resources', or people used for manual labor and so on.
|“|| Or did you think that acting out the part of a faithful servant of god would someday yield an answer from a great god somewhere? Can't you see that such a divine being just never existed from the beginning? And you don't seem to realize this, but you yourself were passing judgement on sinners as much as we were!