Fiat Lux (new religious movement)

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Fiat Lux ( Latin for "let there be light") is a new religious movement that was founded and led by Erika Bertschinger-Eicke (1929–2019), called " Uriella ". Since Uriella saw himself as the “mouthpiece of God”, it is a new revelation movement . According to its own understanding, Fiat Lux is a medal . Characteristic, in addition to the veneration of Uriellas as a medium of God and healer, are the white clothing of the members, the diet exclusively of raw vegetables and the renunciation of the consumption of radio, television and "secular reading". Fiat Lux is called a sect by church-independent as well as by Catholic and Protestant bodies .

The movement was founded in 1980 by Uriella in Switzerland. In 1990 the center of the community was moved to Ibach in Germany. At that time, Fiat Lux had around 1,000 members. Uriella's controversial activity as a healer attracted the sick who hoped for a cure. Among other things, because of the strict rules of the order, Fiat Lux lost members, especially when Uriella fell ill and from 2005 hardly appeared. Even before her death in 2019, Fiat Lux had only a few members.



Before founding Fiat Lux, Erika Bertschinger-Eicke had contacts with “newly revealed mediumistic circles” in Great Britain and the USA . Since 1971, she has claimed to have had several revelations and visions. After a serious riding accident in 1973, she said she was "clairvoyant". On Christmas Day 1975 she is said to have received a first revelation in a deep trance in the “Light Center Bethanien” in Switzerland and has since understood herself as “God's mouthpiece”. After a first marriage, about which little is known, she married the entrepreneur Max Bertschinger as the second husband.

Foundation and expansion

After the death of her husband Max on January 12, 1980, she founded the Fiat Lux order and the "sanctuary" in Egg near Zurich as the starting point and central point of the movement. At this point in time she had already gathered 47 followers. The first church services at which she appeared as “Uriella” and passed on the “Revelations of Jesus Christ” took place in Egg. Until 1988, only members attended the services.

In March 1984, Uriella stated that the Savior had instructed her to begin missionary work. In the same month, the first public Fiat Lux event took place in Böblingen . Between 1984 and 1988, the community acquired or built several houses in the Strittmatt district of Görwihl and thus expanded to Germany. In 1988 a center was also opened in Sittersdorf in Carinthia (Austria). In the same year Uriella fell publicly in full trance for the first time in Zurich to receive messages. Since then, their services have also been accessible to outsiders, provided they registered and accepted the registration.

The former Catholic priest Kurt Warter, who joined Fiat Lux in 1983 and was called "Uriello", played an important role during this period. In 1984 he became Uriella's third husband. He standardized Uriella's revelations, shaped the development of religious doctrine and prepared the move to Germany. He died in a car accident in 1988.

Move to Germany

Center of Fiat Lux in Ibach in the Black Forest, main building (2004)
Second building in Ibach (2004). Fiat Lux fans have white cars as seen here.
Garden with a crucifix and plastic flowers "suitable for winter"

In September 1990, Uriella was allegedly commissioned by Jesus Christ to move to Germany. The "sanctuary" was moved to Ibach in the Black Forest after the order had acquired the former Gasthof Adler in the Ibach district of Lindau, extensively renovated and expanded it. Görwihl-Strittmatt, where supporters already lived in shared apartments, is only about 10 kilometers away by road. The two places are located northwest of Waldshut in the Hotzenwald , a region in the southern Black Forest.

By 1990 the order had about 1000 members. The number of followers had reached its peak. In 1991 Uriella married her fourth husband Eberhard Bertschinger-Eicke, known as "Icordo". Since 1992 there has been multiple public and media criticism and several convictions of Erika Bertschinger-Eicke. After a phase of uncertainty, however, the community stabilized again and was also active in missionary work.

In the 1990s, Uriella appeared repeatedly on Swiss television, for example in the shows Arena , Kassensturz , Viktor's late-night program and Ventil . She turned out to be a crowd puller because of her appearance and her sometimes bizarre expressions. For example, in Viktor's late-night program , she answered the moderator's spontaneous question whether Hitler was in Antarctica today: “No, he's on the moon and walks around there in chains.” Roger Schawinski , who invited her several times to his shows, said Regarding Uriella's appearances on television: “She was a unique figure, with her regalia , her remote appearance - and she brought insane ratings. [...] For 99 percent she was a figure of joke. She herself hoped to be able to gain new followers in the remaining one percent. "

Icordo stated in October 1997 a membership of 723 people, of which an estimated 70 to 100 lived in Ibach and Strittmatt. In 2000 the number of followers was estimated at 400 to 500. Some members left the order on their own initiative, others were perceived as unreliable and pushed out of the community. Icordo was already the leader of Fiat Lux at the time, although officially he was only press officer, seminar leader and managing director of the Raw Food Hermitage. He appeared more and more often on television without Uriella.

Uriella's retreat

Around the beginning of 2005, Uriella withdrew from the public and from her supporters. In the church services, tape recordings with messages from Uriella were played. Even close friends of Uriella stated in September 2006 that they had not seen Uriella for at least a year and a half. This sparked the suspicion that Uriella must be seriously ill. Fiat Lux was actually taken over by Uriella's husband "Icordo". The followers themselves hardly appeared in public. In May 2007, a dropout estimated that there were still around 300 active members.

As early as 2009, the group is said to have had fewer than 100 members. The reasons for the sharp decline were, on the one hand, Uriella's serious illness and the expectation that she would soon die, and, on the other hand, the fact that she had mistakenly predicted the end of the world in 1991 and 1998 and thus lost credibility. According to the sect expert Georg Otto Schmid, the strict rules of the order were also responsible for the fact that many members ran away. According to several press reports from the end of 2011, the sect had already largely disintegrated and only had one to two dozen members. The group's public activities no longer took place. Fiat Lux's attempts to influence the village community also came to a standstill.

In October 2017, the community offered one of the two houses in its seminar center in Carinthia - the guest house with 790 square meters of living space - for sale.

Uriella's death

Uriella died in February 2019 at the age of 90. Shortly before, the Aargauer Zeitung had written that according to an estimate by the mayor of Ibach, “up to 20 members” still live in the community. Other members traveled regularly on Sundays. They can be recognized by their white clothing and their white vehicles. On the occasion of Uriella's death, Infosekta, a specialist office for sect-related issues, announced its assessment that there were “a maximum of two dozen” members. A little more than 100 people, mostly dressed in white and beige, came to Uriella's funeral on March 1, 2019 at the cemetery in Ibach.


Services and life in the order

The core of the activities of the so-called Fiat Lux Order were the services in which Uriella gave her revelations. In terms of symbolism, Fiat Lux is partly based on a Catholic tradition. There are Sacred Heart and Fátima statues in the centers.

The members are dressed in white. The white color is supposed to ward off the ray of Lucifer ("Shamanah"). Entry into the order is associated with a written obligation to comply with numerous rules of the order. Members are not allowed to eat hot meals, meat or bread. They feed exclusively on raw fruits and vegetables and on soaked or sprouted grains. Alcohol, tea and coffee are taboo. The use of medication is frowned upon because of Uriella’s priority of spiritual healing. A prerequisite for membership is also the “renouncement of secular reading and entertainment of any kind, such as watching television or listening to the radio”. Instead, the order members should strive to "immerse themselves intensely in the training of the spirit and to live by it". They should also strive to be absolutely chaste even when they are married. If two Fiat Lux members wanted to get married, they first had to ask Uriella if Jesus would allow them to marry.

Uriella as a healer

Uriella also worked as a spiritual healer . The "Athrum water" was also used for healing. To make it Uriella in a trance stirs a silver spoon with left turns in a water-filled bathtub. In this process, the water is "reversed" and "charged with the heavenly Athrum ray". Then it was filled into canisters , distributed to members and given to the sick, but not for money. In 1989, the Zurich Health Department found that the water was contaminated with bacteria and mold and was therefore of poor drinking water quality. A later investigation by WDR for a report by Felix Kuballa came to similar results.

Uriella also practiced so-called cures for diseases that were severe or incurable from a medical point of view. According to her own statements, she was able to "x-ray" the patients and thus identify diseases. She often diagnosed cancer. All illnesses were then "cured" without the cancer being confirmed by doctors. During a healing, those to be healed sat in a circle on chairs while the healers stood behind them. For the purpose of so-called remote healing, there were images in the center of the circle of absent persons or pets who were also suffering from a serious illness.

In 1994, the administrative court of Baden-Württemberg confirmed the withdrawal of Uriella's permission to practice as a naturopath because of the risk to patients (Ref .: 9 S 326/93). In 1996 Uriella was accused of preventing medical care for three seriously ill women. Two of the women died a short time later. However, in the absence of evidence, she was acquitted in 1996 by the Waldshut-Tiengen regional court ( Baden-Württemberg ).

Since the early 1980s Uriella has been running a naturopathic practice in Schwellbrunn ( Appenzell Ausserrhoden ). Fiat Lux made sales mainly with the sale of so-called "remedies", which were mostly declared as dietary supplements . The Mannheim Regional Court sentenced Uriella in December 1998 because of customs and tax (import of various "remedies" from Switzerland) to a term of imprisonment of 22 months on probation . She also had to pay DM 100,000 to five charitable organizations.

Aid organization and associations

In 1994, Fiat Lux, perhaps above all, for tax reasons, the charitable Fund "Adsum - I am ready," would serve the needy people in Eastern Europe with relief supplies. To finance these deliveries, the order distributed a Little Red Riding Hood doll. Uriella expected each follower to sell 120 dolls. Because Jesus himself said: “I oblige every FIAT LUX wearer to sell many dozen [of these dolls]. Even if you exercise a professional activity, you still have enough time to work in my apostolate. The holy number 120 would appeal to Me very much. It is not set too high. ”Some members found the selling pressure strange and left Fiat Lux. According to Uriella, Jesus responded with the following message:“ It is shocking that these relief efforts have created a tension in the ranks of my children that lead them to quit led from the order. What a pain for my heart! "

The “International non-profit association for the research and promotion of a natural way of life, nutrition and treatment” and the “International Research Group for Bioenergetics e. V. ".

Local politics

In 1999, Icordo ran successfully at the top of an election list of Fiat Lux members for a seat on the local council. In 2004 no list was submitted, Icordo justified the renunciation with "worldwide changes", and that he would then be the worldly spokesman for a "purified" humanity.

Animal protection association in Waldshut-Tiengen

In 1999 the chairwoman of the animal protection association Waldshut-Tiengen und Umgebung e. V. because of the planned construction of an animal shelter with the request for donations to Fiat Lux. Fiat Lux then transferred a donation of 20,000 DM. At the same time, 220 Fiat Lux members joined the animal welfare association, including Icordo. Fiat Lux suddenly had the majority in a total of around 400 club members. The city of Waldshut-Tiengen, which had promised a guarantee of 250,000 DM for the construction of the animal shelter, asked the animal welfare association to clarify its relationship with Fiat Lux. The association's board feared the loss of the guarantee and tried to exclude the Fiat-Lux people from the association again. Icordo called for an extraordinary general meeting on this process, which the association's board rejected because of the foreseeable majority. The Waldshut-Tiengen district court was turned on and ruled that the required general meeting had to take place.

The meeting took place on December 8, 2001 under the direction of the Waldshut mayor Martin Albers . Albers said from the outset that a blanket exclusion of Fiat-Lux members from the animal welfare association was not up for debate because they had not behaved in a way that was harmful to the association. So it was only voted whether Icordo should be excluded. The vote went in favor of Icordo. He had previously stated that he had been about animal welfare for years. He is a member of seven animal welfare organizations, his wife Uriella even in sixteen. The fear that Fiat Lux wants to take over the board of directors in the animal welfare association or control the association is not justified. One only wants to do committed background work for animal welfare.

In 2006 around 50 to 60 Fiat Lux members came to the general meeting of the animal welfare association, which at the time had 743 members. The proportion of Fiat Lux members was only a third. Currently (2019) the animal welfare association has around 700 members, while Fiat Lux only has a few members.


The founder Uriella declared herself to be the mouthpiece of Jesus Christ , whose messages she received in a trance . The teachings were preached in first person form by Jesus or Mary .

Fiat Lux teaches reincarnation . For example, Uriella used to be Maria Magdalena and Icordo already lived as Isaac , Joseph of Egypt , Ulrich Zwingli and Johann Strauss . The teaching partly uses Christian expressions, but contains only a few Christian elements in a syncretistic mixture of Jewish-apocalyptic, Gnostic , Eastern-religious, esoteric , astrological - Kabbalistic , spiritualistic , archaic-mystic and ufological elements. Positive and negative "rays" play a major role.

According to Uriella, the Popes were John XXIII. and John Paul I poisoned, Paul VI. had been replaced by a doppelganger and the whole Vatican was controlled by Freemasons . The True Catholic Church and the Palmarian Catholic Church also hold similar positions .

Uriella predicted the imminent end of the world twice. In 1991 she announced that the end of the world was near. The fans of Fiat Lux would then be rescued by aliens in spaceships, only to be deposited a few weeks later on a "cleaned" earth called "Amora". On August 8, 1998, the Fiat Lux Order announced in a press release that Uriella had received her 578th message from Jesus Christ in full trance on October 26, 1997, who, among other things, had predicted that the third world war would take place in the middle of 1998 [ the press release accidentally stated 1988] was to be expected and the "Russian invasion of Europe" was imminent. Due to several revelations, the following sequence can be foreseen:

“In August 1998 will be

  • the murder of an important head of government,
  • the world stock market crash with the subsequent world economic collapse, according to computer viruses, as well
  • the invasion of the Russians in Germany take place.

After 3 months a meteorite will fall into the North Sea. The coastal countries affected by this will disappear forever in the sea. The human strategy will not work to deflect the meteorite from its orbit with nuclear weapons, because angels will prevent this with magnetic beams of force. A tidal wave several hundred meters high will travel at jet speed.

Volcanoes will explode around the world, including every one in the Eifel. A seaquake will explode a nuclear power plant under the sea. California and Los Angeles and Hollywood will disappear in the Atlantic Ocean. "

The prediction about California prompted the Swiss Evangelical Information Center for Churches, Sects and Religions to make a mocking comment: "The sinking of California in the Atlantic Ocean requires considerable plate tectonic activity (or is Uriella's 'Jesus' not entirely firm geographically?)"

When August 1998 passed without the Russians marching into Germany as announced, Fiat Lux issued another press release on September 3rd with the title: “God granted a brief respite for the very last phase of cleansing the earth. - Uriella is a true prophetess. ”It said:“ In a few months those prophecies will also come true, which by the grace of our CREATOR have now been postponed ”. In addition, a forecast for 1999 was renewed, which was already in the previous press release: “At the end of 1999, the major examination period will be over. The remaining third of humanity, i.e. around 2 billion citizens, will then experience a 'Golden Age' on this earth. "


  • Klaus-Martin Bender, Guido Grandt, Michael Grandt : Fiat Lux. Uriellas Order. Evangelical Press Association for Bavaria, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-583-50655-3 .
  • Joachim Müller, Hans Gasper, Friederike Valentin : Lexicon of sects, special groups and world views. Facts, backgrounds, clarifications. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 2001, ISBN 3-451-05528-7 ( Herder spectrum 5528).


Web links

  • Fiat Lux, information on groups & world views
  • Uriella - Order Fiat Lux (as of 2007)
  • Fiat Lux and Uriella campaign for intellectual and psychological freedom - Federal Association of Sect and Psychomarket Consulting eV (AGPF), collection of newspaper reports and documents (status 2003)

The Order does not have its own website, as computers and the Internet are viewed as harmful; However, Erika Bertschinger-Eicke had registered the domains and .


  1. a b c d Uriella died , February 25, 2019.
  2. a b c d e f g h i Uriella - Order Fiat Lux Manuscript of a lecture by Christian Ruch on November 22, 2000 in Waldshut.
  3. a b Uriella - Order Fiat Lux, information sheet from August 1989.
  4. a b What is Uriella doing? The sect leader from Ibach is 90 years old today, February 20, 2019, with an update on February 25, 2019.
  5. Road connections between Görwihl-Strittmatt and the center in Ibach-Lindau on Google Maps
  6. a b Michèle Binswanger , Christian Zürcher: The Bachelorette of God
  7. When Uriella met Porno-Heidi - the most bizarre TV appearances of the sect leader, February 25, 2019.
  8. a b Hugo Stamm: Uriella shies away from the light. In: Tages-Anzeiger . May 4, 2007, archived from the original on August 23, 2008 ; accessed on February 25, 2019 .
  9. a b Christian Ruch: Speculations about “Uriellas” state of health material service of the EZW, 9/2006.
  10. Lilian Spörri: «Uriella is on its last legs» . In: , April 24, 2009.
  11. Peace has returned to Ibach , Badische Zeitung, February 19, 2011, by Verena Pichler
  12. Sect leader Uriella (88) sells house in Austria, October 30, 2017.
  13. That is what the Fiat Lux supporters believe. In: . February 25, 2019, accessed February 25, 2019 .
  14. Sira Huwiler: Ibach: sect founder Uriella carried to the grave in Ibach. March 1, 2019, accessed February 4, 2020 .
  15. a b Athrum water - the precious liquid,
  16. Through raw food for salvation! Nutrition at Fiat Lux
  17. ^ Icordo becomes commander in chief. In: Basler Zeitung . May 13, 2004, accessed February 25, 2019 . Fiat Lux. In: August 1, 2003, archived from the original on September 10, 2003 ; accessed on February 25, 2019 .
  18. ↑ About Courts and Rumors - News from Fiat Lux . In: Evangelical Central Office for Weltanschauungsfragen, Materialdienst 5/2001, p. 177.
  19. infiltration of an animal protection association reports Südkurier documented in
  20. God gives a memorandum of thought, July 14, 2001.
  21. ^ German animal welfare association fears takeover by Fiat Lux, December 9, 2001.
  22. About us Tierschutzverein Waldshut-Tiengen und Umgebung e. V., accessed on February 27, 2019.
  23. Uriella's UFO belief
  24. a b c Uriella's Prophecies 1998
  25. Uriellas press release of September 3, 1998
  26. Whois at DENIC