The Universal Brotherhood

The Universal Brotherhood is, at least on the surface, a somewhat decentralized humanitarian organization whose “monks” roam the galaxy giving comfort and alleviating suffering wherever they can.  They are pragmatic and apolitical, and while they do not believe suffering holds intrinsic merit, they refuse to enjoy luxury or privilege of station above what is available to the most lowly of those to whom they minister.  Although this appearance is not intended to deceive, it occasionally blinds those who disparage or underestimate them to the fact that each monk is a highly educated, highly trained agent seldom out of touch with and always ultimately accountable to the central Church. 

Dumarest is generally supportive of the Brotherhood and their activities, and has both received crucial aid from them on occasion, and risked his life to reciprocate their generosity. However, their relationship is not entirely without friction. First, their aid to the masses is usually predicated on the recipient spending time under the "Benediction Light", a sort of virtual reality device which allows the supplicants to experience simulated pennance that liberates them from their sins for a time, but which also hypnotically conditions them to be unable to kill another human being (something which Dumarest cannot afford).

Also, Dumarest is the only person who has pointed out the dual nature of their motto "There, but for the grace of God, go I" (while it can inspire humility in the fortunate, it can also reflect envy in the unfortunate). And finally, Dumarest eventually begins to suspect that the Brotherhood is no more pleased than the Cyclan by the prospect of his eventually returning to Earth, although to date he has not discovered why.

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