Universe People

A Czech UFO religion blending messages from cosmic beings with anti-modern technology sentiments.

The Universe People, also known as the Cosmic People of Light Powers, is a UFO religion that emerged in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the 1990s, centered around Ivo A. Benda. The group gained attention following the mass suicide of Heaven’s Gate members in 1997, with Czech media drawing parallels between the two due to their similar ideologies. However, the likelihood of Universe People committing similar acts has since been considered low.


Ivo A. Benda initiated his public activities in the mid-1990s, organizing over 180 lectures attended by more than 12,000 people, according to his claims. In 1997, Benda published “Rozhovory s poučením od mých přátel z vesmíru” (Interviews With Instructions From My Friends From the Universe), marking the beginning of the Universe People’s ideology dissemination. Initially, their teachings focused on the anticipation of a cosmic catastrophe and the subsequent evacuation of humans to another planet. Later, their focus shifted towards defending against negative extraterrestrial beings, notably referred to as saurians or lizard people.


The Universe People believe in a fleet of spaceships operated by extraterrestrial civilizations, led by the Ashtar Galactic Command, orbiting Earth. These civilizations are thought to closely monitor and assist humanity, waiting to transport their followers to another dimension. Their teachings incorporate elements from ufology, Christianity (Jesus is considered a being of “fine-vibrations”), and various conspiracy theories, including opposition to compulsory chipping of the population. Despite distrust towards modern technologies and mass media, which they view as tools of manipulation, Benda has sought media attention to share his group’s ideas.

Cultural Impact and Controversy

Critics and opponents have often labeled Benda and his more active followers as mentally ill, and the Universe People as a potentially dangerous cult. Their practices and the propagation of their beliefs through the Internet and public lectures have led to a unique cultural footprint, attracting both followers and satirical interest online.

The group has attempted to engage with official institutions, such as sending instructions on defending against evil extraterrestrial entities to the Slovak Ministry of Defense, which led to a brief security scare. Despite these incidents, the Universe People remain a curious example of how UFO religious beliefs can intersect with public discourse and media​​​​​​.

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