No one goes to “hell.” It is a myth. This myth is used by theological terrorist and theosophic tyrants of all contemporary and ancient religions to control the masses. It is the bible bludgeon benighted bigots use against those who will not conform to the idiocy of concepts and craven quest for control by a few predatory priests, pastors, rabbis, mullahs and others who claim a direct line of communication with vengeful hate-filled gods and bully those who do not fit into their antiseptic society. The preaching parasites push the challenged into committing suicide or take part in mass murders of innocence as with Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, Heaven’s Gate in California, and recently as happened this week with the tragic suicide of 14-year old Jamey Rodenmeyer (some news accounts spell the name as Jamie Rodemeyer), a freshman at Williamsville North High School in Buffalo, New York. While Rodenmeyer took his own life it was because of the insanity of those around him who bellowed they were Christians exercising their free speech by taunts, jeers and harangues out of the demonic lie of “Christian concern” for his soul, crying like demented Old Testament prophets that the youth was going to “hell” because he did not conform to their idea of “righteous living”. These “Concerned Christians”, a student group at the high school (the Buffalo, NY police are looking into the possibility of filing charges against the school bullies as of 23 September 2011), read mistranslations, as no where in Revelation does it say that any person is condemned to hell. In the NIV, the English reads: “Then death and Hades (the Greek god of the Underworld) were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death”. The original Greek is: καὶ ὁ θάνατος καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἐβλήθησαν εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς. οὗτος ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερος ἐστιν, ἡ λίμνη τοῦ πυρός. (It is for this reason that I oppose any religion being taught in any public school, as public schools do not teach any religious language translation or interpretation skills.) Only in ancient Egyptian theology of the Book of the Dead do we find any account of people cast into a Lake of Fire (Hell).
Rodenmeyer was struggling to live in sane self-actualization, being himself, while those who claimed to be Christian persecuted, baited and badgered Rodenmeyer into taking his own life. Based on that criminal act of bullying, Rodenmeyer’s classmates as a group are guilty of murder and should be punished–but will not be. According to scriptures that Rodenmeyer’s classmates claim to read and follow, not a one showed any understanding or knowledge of Matthew 7:1 or Acts 10:34. Instead of Rodenmeyer sitting in a forlorn hell, it will be the students of Williamsville North High School in Buffalo, New York who will be sitting in the bowels of their imaginary Hell. For these students, I wish Hell did exist, for they created a living hell for a young man whose time on earth was too short. Rodenmeyer tried hard to help others live free from bullying.
According to statistics, 28 percent of teens aged 12 to 18 said they have been bullied at school during 2008-2008, reports the National Center for Educational Statistics. Fourteen percent of all students have considered suicide; seven percent have attempted suicide, with the highest rate of suicides among young teens occurring in Congressional Representative Michele Bachmann’s district (R-MN); Bachmann, running for the presidency of the USA said that the suicides were “not a federal issue”. In May, Bachmann keynoted a fundraiser for the Minnesota Family Council, which at the time was lobbying hard against any bullying legislation in the state legislature (the Minnesota Family Council is a recognized organized hate group). As a state senator, she fought anti-bullying legislation, asking her colleagues, “Will it get to the point where we are completely stifling free speech and expression? Will it mean that what form of behavior will there be, will we be expecting boys to be girls?” The majority of the bullies claim to be born-again evangelical Christians who read their bibles daily. Today, the police in New York are looking toward charging the bullies with harassment, cyber-harassment or hate crimes.
Students involved with bullying that results in suicides are already being charged in Massachusetts at South Hadley High School where two boys and four girls, ages 16 to 18, face a different mix of felony charges that include statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury, harassment, stalking and disturbing a school assembly following the suicide of Phoebe Prince, age 15. Three additional students were later charged. The majority of the bullies come from student religious groups.
The word “hell” does not appear anywhere in the original Bible. The first use of the word “hell” appears in 725 CE, being an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “nether world of the dead”. “Hell” is derived from the Proto-Germanic *halja, meaning “one who covers up or hides something” and was used derisively for those who attempted to be something other than what they were in life: beggars pretended to be kings, the illiterate masqueraded as priests and teachers. The first use of the word “Hell” in the contemporary Christian context occurred in Iceland in the eighth century.
“Hell” has no Judeo-Christian origin. Self-styled hate-mongers from the emerging church of Constantine through the dark days of Martin Luther and into the blindness of Bradlee Dean and Michele Bachman, Hell has become a concept that is more in keeping with the word Gehenna (Greek γέεννα), Gehinnom (Hebrew: גהנום/גהנם which is Aramaic in origin: ܓܗܢܐ). It refers to one of two valleys where apostate Israelites and followers of various Ba’als (a
word that originally was used for Yah/Yahweh and actually means “husband” and “lord” and Canaanite gods. The the valley is found in Joshua 15:8, 18:16.
Among the gods of Gehenna was the agricultural deity Yahweh who was married to the goddess Asherah (Venus) of the Canaanites, was the god of “human passage”: Moloch who demanded blood of children–not as human sacrifices but as a source to gain drops of innocent blood by pricking their bodies to let flow into sacred vessels–to demonstrate each child attaining adulthood. The Moloch ritual became an antecedent for the cruel and unnecessary act of circumcision among those Hebrews who wanted their children to be known as not participating in the rituals of baal was piercing was the rule. Hebrew mythology has this practice beginning with historically unproven figure of Abram who stood before a burning bush before killing his own son (prototype for the execution of Jesus) but was released from his pledge to kill his son but ordered to cutoff the foreskin of every male in his tent and community: including visitors and strangers. Circumcision, however, did not begin with the Hebrews but in the Middle East by north-eastern African and Arabian peninsula tribes c 6000 BCE, and by the ancient Egyptians (c. 3100 BCE) who saw it as a way to keep blowing sand from lodging between the foreskin and head of the penis when its troops were on the march. The oldest records on circumcision come from aboriginal tribes in central and desert regions of Australia introduce circumcision of boys as puberty rite c. 10,000 BCE. Circumcision was not respected in early Christianity (I Corinthians 7:18 and Galatians 5:6) but seen as a form of mutilation and a foretaste of hell.
When ancient (Biblical) Hebrews thought of the fate of those who died, they did not consider either heaven nor hell. Instead, the deceased descended into Sheol: שְׁאוֹל. It meant (and translates as) “a pit” or a “grave”. It was darkness and not a place nor an afterlife. There was no belief that the dead would be “restored” or “come back to life” or be “born again.” As it appears in Psalm 6:4–5 “Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?” Sheol is a place of nothingness:
The ancient Hebrews had no idea of an immortal soul living a full and vital life beyond death, nor of any resurrection or return from death. Human beings, like the beasts of the field, are made of “dust of the earth,” and at death they return to that dust (Gen. 2:7; 3:19). The Hebrew word nephesh, traditionally translated “living soul” but more properly understood as “living creature,” is the same word used for all breathing creatures and refers to nothing immortal…All the dead go down to Sheol, and there they lie in sleep together – whether good or evil, rich or poor, slave or free (Job 3:11–19). It is described as a region “dark and deep,” “the Pit,” and “the land of forgetfulness,” cut off from both God and human life above (Pss. 6:5; 88:3–12). Though in some texts YHWH’s power can reach down to Sheol (Ps. 139:8), the dominant idea is that the dead are abandoned forever. This idea of Sheol is negative in contrast to the world of life and light above, but there is no idea of judgment or of reward and punishment. If one faces extreme circumstances of suffering in the realm of the living above, as did Job, it can even be seen as a welcome relief from pain–see the third chapter of Job. But basically it is a kind of “nothingness,” an existence that is barely existence at all, in which a “shadow” or “shade” of the former self survives (Ps. 88:10).
It is the direct opposite of the fiction of today’s Christian evangelicals.
To cover up the non-Yahwehistic origins, the Levi priesthood created the myth that children were fully sacrificed to the Palestinian gods so that nomadic Hebrews could justify their invasion and conquest of the land of Canaan (2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31, 19:2-6). Through a series of bad translations and redactions Gehenna is transmogrified in both Rabbinical Jewish and Early Christian writing as a destination of the wicked–in keeping with the evolving underworld of the god Hades in ancient Greek theology.
The Hebrews do not make Gehenna a purgatory until the days of the Mishnah: in Kiddushin 4.14, Avot 1.5; 5.19, 20, Tosefta t.Bereshith 6.15, and Babylonian Talmud b.Rosh Hashanah 16b:7a; b.Bereshith 28b. It is an invention that has no ancient foundation.
Jesus uses the word Gehenna 11 times to describe the opposite to life in the Kingdom of God: βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ (Mark 9:43-48). The “Kingdom” is within people (Luke 17:20-21), it is not a physical or extra-terrestrial place. It follows the Hebrew: מלכות השמים, Malkuth meaning a cleansing of the mind (spiritual rebirth) and a willingness to tolerate and emotionally support–not destroy–others. It was Cyrus king of Persia who embellished this thought by saying: ” ‘The Lord, the gods of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah (a line plagiarized in 2 Chronicles 36:23). The “Lord” being discussed was neither Yahweh nor Jesus, but a universal aspect of love that would occur once people stopped judging one another (Matthew 7:1 and Acts 10:24; cp.
Beavis, Mary Ann (2006), Jesus & Utopia: Looking for the Kingdom of God in the Roman World. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Fortress Press). The “Kingdom” is not focused on the man Jesus, but on the community of those who celebrate the life and uniqueness of everyone, referring to a state of mind and heart that has no limit as to how many may share in “blessedness”: acceptance of others without being enchained to an ontology or theocracy. It is the very antithesis to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and the preachings of Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Bob Vander Plaats.
The idea that “hell” is a place of torment filled with demons is a literary device to capture attention and inspire fear; god is no longer the greater lover, but the great evil monster: the Beast in all religions as found in Plato’s (428 B.C.-348 BCE) myth of Er[is] (The Republic 10.614-10.621) and Dante’s The Divine Comedy (Circle 9 – Cantos 31-34). Dante draws on various hate-filled theologians, from Augustine of Hippo in his (City of God, book 15)–represented the evils of the earthly city (Dante, Inferno 11. circle 9, 61-66) to contemporary pontiffs and theological “scholars” who slavishly studied redactions without bothering with the original texts and whose translation and interpretation skills were parochial at best and infantile in reality.
Dante created Judecca, for the base of his Hell–named after the apostle, Judas Iscariot, who by common misunderstanding is claimed to have betrayed Jesus , is the innermost zone of the ninth and final circle of hell. The term also broadly hints at a manifestation of Christian prejudice (that Dante certainly shared on par with the antisemitism of Martin Luther) against Judaism and Jews in the Middle Ages. The name Judecca alludes to the names–Iudeca, Judaica–for the area within certain cities (e.g., Venice, Warsaw, Rome, and so forth) where Jews were forced to live, apart from the Christian population, and with the writing of Martin Luther (Von den Jüden und jren Lügen; in modern spelling Von den Juden und ihren Lügen, a 65,000 treatise written in 1543 in Germany), led his protégé, Adolf Hitler, to come to a “Final Solution” that included genocide as well as encouraging suicide. Hitler proclaimed that his stand against the Jews was a testimony to his devotion to Jesus Christ and conviction that he was defending the Christian Church.
Together with the alleged Apostle Judas in this region of hell are others who, by betraying their masters or benefactors, committed crimes with great historical and societal consequences. Since Hell, according to Dante, is at the far end of the light of god and without the warming comfort of the god of his day, this ultimate ring of the circle is completely covered by the ice, and like “straw in glass”, the shades of souls of the dead are locked in various postures with no mobility or sound whatsoever (Inferno 34.10-15). Dante calls this circle (number 9), a frozen lake, Cocytus (from Greek Κωκυτός, meaning “to lament” and symbolized as a “river of wailing”–a metaphor used by latter-day Hebrews and early Jewish Christians in Alexandria, Egypt). It is described by Virgil (70-19 BCE) as a dark, deep pool of water that encircles a forest and into which pours sand spewed from a torrid whirlpool (Aeneid 6.131-2; 6.296-7; 6.323). It comes from an ancient Babylonian (where Job is known as Shubshi-meshre-Shakkan) and Sumerian (where it is known after the incipit: lu2-ulu3 nam-mah dingir-ra-na)legend, and both take antecedents from ancient Egyptian theology (Coogan, M. A (2009). Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in its Context. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p.382; cp. Shupak, Nili (1993). Where can wisdom be found?: the sage’s language Bible and in ancient Egyptian literature. Freiburg Switzerland: University Press. p. 12). It is reserved for the wicked, even, and especially, those who have prospered in the world (Job [אִיוֹב ʾ iyobh] 21:33) and did nothing for others and worked against laborers (one can easily argue that it is a prototype of the Koch Brothers). It is a didactic poem set in a prose frame.
Dante had a unique ability to go after traitors (as he saw them), Judas, Cassius, and Brutus. These three are in the mouth of the greatest traitor “the Devil” who chews on their tormented bodies throughout eternity (Inferno 34.61.7) and is named Lucifer (Lucifer, a name that translates as “Light-bearer” and was one of the favorite Sons of God, who by mythology rebelled against his father; in ancient Egypt Lucifer was known as the “Morning Star”; matriarchal societies had Venus as the Morning Star) is a parodic composite of his wickedness and the divine powers that punish him in hell. As ugly as he once was beautiful). Uniquely, this Devil is the twin to the Heavenly Father: a parody the doctrine of the Trinity (Father, Son, Spirit) as each mouth reflects the reverse of the Trinity’s prowess: creation becomes destruction, continuance and obedience becomes separation and disobedience, and enlightenment becomes ignorance and disbelief).
Judas is the most unfortunate victim in Hell, and a reversal of the concept of predestination that Augustine initialized. Judas, according to the New Testament fulfilled his role as “foreseen” by Jesus at the Last Supper: when he later identified Jesus to the authorities with a kiss. The kiss, with the rise of Constantine I’s catholic (universal) church in 325 CE, changed from a pledge of trust to a sign of betrayal (although by the time of Dante it returned in feudal rights as the final symbol of an oath of fealty). According to the synoptic gospel of Matthew, Judas regretted his betrayal that led to Jesus’ death. Judas returned the silver and hanged himself (Matthew 26:14-16; 26:21-5; 26:47-9; 27:3-5). Suffering even more than Brutus and Cassius, Dante’s Judas is placed head-first inside Lucifer’s central mouth, with his back skinned by the devil’s claws (Inferno 34.58-63), reflecting ancient Egyptian theology (c. 2705–1070
BCE) and the doom of sinners being determined in a balance where Maat’s feather determined sanctity and truth of the deceased; see the pyramid texts (ca. 2400-2300 BC) of Unas (ca. 2375 BCE and 2345 BCE; cp. Mancini, Anna (2004). Maat Revealed: Philosophy of Justice in Ancient Egypt.New York, NY, USA: Buenos Books America). Unas was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, and the last ruler of the Fifth dynasty from the Old Kingdom; Unas’ texts contains verses and spells which were not included in the later 6th dynasty copies, with many lines antecedent to John Patmos’ Revelation (Utterance 217). The pyramid texts were written as a blue-print to help the pharaoh overcome hostile forces and powers in the Underworld (known as the Anti-Christ the Magi(cian), and thus join with the Sun God Ra (Son of God), his divine father in the afterlife (Oakes, Lorna & Gahlin, Lucia (2002). Ancient Egypt: An Illustrated reference to the myths, religions, pyramids and temples of the Land of the Pharaohs. New York: Hermes House, p. 94; reissued in 2003 under the title The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt: An Illustrated reference to the myths, religions, pyramids and temples of the Land of the Pharaohs. London: Lorenz, 2003).
Later religious inventions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, describe Hell as being ruled over by demons who take delight and sadistic pleasure in tormenting the damned (usually defined as anyone who goes against the covenant of any religion or questions authorities such as priests, rabbis, pastors and mullahs). The various versions of the mythological Hell are ruled by a death god. who was addressed in antiquity by such names as Nergal: a Babylonian deity with the main seat of his cult at Cuthah represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim; see: 2 Kings 17:30. Nergal was originally a solar god known as נֵרְגַל and in cuneiform is known as “the furious one” who burned outdated teachings in a constant revision of Babylonian theology and was identified with the god and planet Mars. Nergal has an equal in the Greek god Hades: ᾍδης who was also known as “Plouton” (Greek: Πλούτων, meaning “the rich one” as he was lord over all minerals of the earth including gold, silver, copper, and so forth. Hades and his Battle with the Gods is the foundation stone for the myth of the Apocalypse (Revelation), as recorded by Homer in his epic poem Iliad (xv.187–93).
Hades was never a place, and it is wrong to parallel the name to the Hebrew Sheol (שאול, grave or dirt-pit), that refers to the abode of the dead). A similar deity was Enma/Yama (ancient Buddhist/India and Chinese theology; the Sanskrit is: यम. This deity was given the name of the Buddhist dharmapala who was the judge of the dead, and presides over the Buddhist Narakas or Pāli: निरय [Nirayas]. Nirayas is a temporary place, where, according to the Pali canon, the Buddha states that a person who has ill-treated their parents, ascetics, holy persons and elders is taken upon his death to Yama (Nyanaponika Thera & Bodhi, Bhikkhu (1999). Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: An Anthology of Suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya. Walnut Creek, CA, USA: AltaMira Press.).
Yama springs from the ancient Persian/Aryan theology of Zoroaster. Yama is known as Yima Xšaēta in the Zoroastrian scripture of the Avesta), or in Christian/Judaic and Islamic mythology as The Devil (or Satan, the Sumerian / Babylonian name, or Lucifer). In Islam, the Devil is a strange beast that does not actually reside in Hell but supervises the torture of the damned and has unlimited powers (part of an Islamic Trinity which was invented from the ancient Egyptian Trinity; the word Trinity does not appear in Jewish or Christian scriptures). The New Testament uses the Greek word Hades to refer to the temporary abode of the dead (e.g. Acts 2:31; Revelation 20:13). Hell was never considered as a permanent place in early Christianity, but evolved when various clerics learned they could make money selling remission of sins–a custom that continued until Martin Luther attempted to stop it in the sixteenth century with his verbal assaults on Johann Tetzel whom he accused of selling indulgences–a historic lie still in coinage. Tetzel, a Dominican, did carry promises of forgiveness from guilt of sin for the dead–a subject that is found in 2 Maccabees 12:42–46, and when confronted with Martin Luther’s 27th thesis, responded with his thesis 55-56: Animam purgatam evolare, est eam visione dei potiri, quod nulla potest intercapedine impediri. Quisquis ergo dicit, non citius posse animam volare, quam in fundo cistae denarius possit tinnire, errat. In: D. Martini Lutheri, Opera Latina: Varii Argumenti, 1865, Henricus Schmidt, ed. Frankfurt am Main & Erlangen, Germany: Heyder and Zimmer, vol. 1, p. 300; “For a soul to fly out, is for it to obtain the vision of God, which can be hindered by no interruption, therefore he errs who says that the soul cannot fly out before the coin can jingle in the bottom of the chest.”
Purgatory (as a noun it does not appear before 1160 CE) was a temporary hell, from which there was release, after a period of suffering. It does not become an official teaching of the Roman Catholic church until the Second Council of Lyon (1274), the Council of Florence (1438–1445), and the Council of Trent (1545–63). In 1999, Pope John Paul II declared that the term Purgatory does not indicate a place, but “a condition of existence”. Purgatory, however, was not a Christian invention, but came earlier with classical Buddhism, for example, that discusses rebirth in any of the six realms—whether as a god, human, demigod (asura), animal, hungry ghost, or hell being. It is a temporary state conditioned by the character of the intentional actions performed in a person’s past lives (karma). While Luther objected to money buying pardons in Germany, the same objection did not occur in Buddhist lands or where Buddhist missionaries ministered. Donations to a monastic community, altruistic practice of spiritual disciplines, and good deeds have always been seen as valid means of generating merit that may be dedicated to relieving the purgatorial suffering of beings imprisoned in sorrowful rebirths or in transit between lives (The idea of purgatory in Chinese traditions is discussed by Stephen F. Teiser (1994). The Scripture on the Ten Kings and the Making of Purgatory in Medieval Chinese Buddhism. Honolulu, HI, USA : University of Hawaii Press, reissued 2003).