I’ve been to hell. It’s in Alabama. In fact, it’s in all fifty states and probably in other countries, as well. But, here in the United States, we do hell like it’s nobody’s business. Well, OK, maybe not the REAL hell because everyone knows that the REAL hell is forever and ever and ever and it is REAL fire, torture and a place where there is constant weeping, gnashing of teeth and a place where the worm never stops turning. But, hey, we come damned close, if you will forgive the pun. We can actually SHOW you what hell is REALLY like and then explain to you how Satan is after your children, and how he wants to torture them for all eternity.
Satan wants your children to burn, so if you are the Christian parent of a rebellious child, then there is only one real choice to straighten your kids out. Scare the living shit out of them. And what better way to impress upon a young mind the love of god than a guided tour of hell.
This is the agenda that is behind the Christian “Hell Houses”. I’ve been to and hosted several of these while I was a minister and the theatrics and effort that are put into some of these rival modern horror movies. They are there to serve one purpose. If you don’t straighten up and accept Jesus into your life before you die, which can happen at ANY moment, then you are going to end up living on the Christian version of Elm Street. But Freddy Kruger is a wuss compared to Satan, of course.
Usually set up on the grounds of a larger church due to it’s many torture chambers….er…Sunday school rooms, as well as the availability of several other large rooms and a parking lot big enough to set up mock car accidents, some of these Hell Houses are really an awesome spectacle. Generally, there are five parts to a Hell House. Part one, guilt. Your child enters through a seemingly benign front door, but once inside, the fun begins. Christian ‘actors’ portray, in very realistic method, a variety of mortal sins such as drug use, prostitution, listening to secular music, sex of almost any kind and, of course, Atheism. These sins are acted out first to give your child warning by guilt if they should happen to be engaging in any of these things.
With guilt fully in place, part two. Fear. This is usually when they are herded outside to view a mock car accident. The church hauls in a couple of wrecked cars and places their actors in various locations with a heightened aspect of gory reality. Dismembered bodies, gallons of fake blood, smoke and often there is one unrepentant actor who is on the verge of death when the tour group arrives, only to die right in front of them with last words to the effect of, “No.. I am only fourteen…” or some such other tear-jerking comment. Next stop may be a mock hospital emergency room where the actor has just died. Onward to another scene of equally grisly portrayal of human pain and suffering, where the victim has died without knowing Christ, which sets the scene for volley number three. Hell, itself.
This is where these people really SHINE! While the tour group is making their way to the auditorium, gym or whatever large room the church has, the actors who have just died in the previous room scurry behind the scenes to take their places for their next role, which takes place in the church’s production of hell, complete with Satan and fallen angels. Satan, of course, is done up about as scary as he can be and the angels are not much better. Now, in my wry humor I would think it quite hilarious if a flash mob invaded this scene and broke out into Micheal Jackson’s.
But I digress…
The Hell Room is usually set up according to what the bible depicts hell to be. Plenty of shredded sheets soaked in fake blood, dry ice smoke, shrieks and moans emitting from high end sound systems, strobe lights and everything drenched in red lighting. The actors from the previous scenes of human misery on earth are now spotlighted here in hell, screaming and writhing in torture. One of them might look directly at your child with typical warnings about not receiving christ before you die, or right at the parent with an admonition for not yet making sure your kid is saved. Sometimes the now-dead-and-rotting-in-hell child actor will spout off something like, “Why didn’t my parents tell me about this place?! They could have told me about Jesus and I would not be suffering!”
Added in for effect are bodies lying on the ground close enough to the tour groups path so that occasionally an actor reaches out and grabs one of your kids legs and screams, “Help Meeeeee!” If this room does not cause a parent to take out a second mortgage to pay for the years of therapy that lie ahead, then the speech at the end of the Hell Room tour by Satan will. Basically, Satan pitches the usual evangelical shtick, but with a macabre twist. Statistics are sometimes cited about the rate of death amongst children and young teens, and how many of them died without knowing Jesus and how they are all down there with him, being tortured for fun and profit.
Just when the effects of the death, mutilation, sorrow, torture, lights, sound and speeches have got your kid scared shitless, it’s time for part four. The rescue. The group is ushered through a door into a room dark enough so that nothing in it can be discerned. Then, the lights come on. And they are really bright lights. White light everywhere. The set is made up to look like what the bible predicts heaven will look like, or as close as the budget will allow. Then, Jesus shows up. Usually a white guy with real long hair and a beard, flowing white robes and smile that would make a dentist have an orgasm. This is usually short, because the producers don’t want the group to forget about the shitstorm they just went through. Jesusdude explains that everything they just saw can be avoided if they just get to know him a little. Nothing complicated, just making him lord of your life and everything you do and accepting a life of credulous servility and joining him in brainwashing as many other kids as possible.
After a few minutes of this comes part five. The decision room. This is usually in the sanctuary where all the blissy stuff is. Huge cross, shiny chalices, candles and plush carpeting. Usually the youth minister oversees this, as the whole point of a youth minister is to attract as many youth as possible. He will probably be dressed in way that will be appealing to the youth. He will give a short sermon and ask if anyone wants to make a commitment or decision for Christ. At this point usually most, if not all, of the group are very enthusiastic about receiving Christ into their lives. Of course, at this point, most of them would eat a live insect covered in rhinoceros vomit if they thought it would keep them out of hell. Names are taken, information packets are given out and there are always ‘counselors’ on hand if anyone has any questions.
During Hell Week maybe a thousand people people go in the front door, eight hundred accept christ at the back door and the pastor tells the flock the following Sunday morning that they had an eight-percent success rate which just goes to show that a vast majority of our children are hungry for Christ. They are actually hungry for not dying in a horrific car accident and ending up in what amounts to be Tierra del Fuego in the middle of the summer wearing a ski jacket over thermal underwear and having Adloph Hitler as their host with the most.
Thus ends a week of church sanctioned child abuse that is supported by almost every adult in the church. Child abuse? Come on, Al, really? Well, yeah. Imagine this scene being portrayed in any other venue for any other reason other than evangelism and those who are responsible for it would be summarily arrested and parents would be calling lawyers so fast it would make your head spin. But this is religion, so it’s OK to poison your kids mental health.
These Hell Houses are horrifically damaging to a young mind and it is not the threat of torture that hurts them, but the actual torture of having to go through this, usually at the behest of their parents. Funny, Christian parents won’t let their kids go see an R-rated horror movie, but they allow them to participate in a theatrical presentation that would probably get an NC-17 rating. Just another example of how twisted the virus of religion is.