The House of Universal Devotion was a religious sect founded in the United States of Atlantis early in the 19th century by Samuel Jones, also known as the Preacher. The core idea of the house (articulated by its holy book, the Book of Devotions) was the belief that God dwells within all humans, and that, if we live the proper lifestyle, we might overcome our limitations and become divine.
By 1843, the House had amassed a rather large following among the lower classes of Atlantean society, particularly in the interior of the country. Even in the years before the Atlantean Servile Insurrection, the House was viewed as a localized sect. Northern Atlanteans viewed Jones as a rabid fanatic. Southerners shared this view, but also hated the House because of its stance against slavery. The sexual licentiousness of the Handmaidens of the Spirit, a subset of the House, shocked many people of Atlantis' older, puritanical Protestant sects.
Nonetheless, the House eventually made its way into the urban areas of the country. By the 1880s, it had even spread to Terranova and Britain, although the House continued to have a poor reputation among the Atlantean status quo.
In the late 19th century, London detective Athelstan Helms and his associate Dr. James Walton were summoned by the authorities in Hanover, Atlantis, to look into the possibility that the House of Universal Devotion and its leader, Jones, were behind a string of murders of former adherents and critics of the church. Helms discovered that a cabal of Atlantean officials, including police officers, had committed the murders in an effort to discredit the House. With the truth exposed, the House was now insulated from further recriminations, much to the horror of Atlantean society.