I was the one who pitched the idea, so I blame myself for what happened.
Fliers went up around the university one day, for this combo of a play and sermon, that would show “true evil” and children specifically were invited.
We were allowed in, and welcomed. We sat in a pew near the middle and waited for it to start.
The lights went off, and a soundtrack of screaming, wailing, and chains being thrown against something was played. Strobe lights flashed for a second, and some red lights came on in the front.
“YOU ARE ALL GOING TO BE MINE!” A young man, attractive, with a goatee, set of large, realistic horns, and a lovely suit was sitting in the front. I fought not to laugh. He looked ridiculous.
Some women came out on stage and the play started.
First of the sins was homosexuality. It involved scantily clad girls in bikinis, red, sheer dresses, and general moaning, and the young man in the devil costume began shouting about how much it made him happy to see people burning in such sinful lust for one another, and he began dragging them, one by one, to the torture area, a specific section of the front of the church where the girls joined the wailing and screaming soundtrack.
Next was the enjoyment of anything too much--music, food, clothing--putting anything before church was portrayed as worship of the devil, and he dragged them off as well, forced to be tortured with their own favorite thing to do in hell.
Next was lack of modesty. A woman in a nude suit with a bikini on over it, took off her top and the devil man was standing behind her, several young men came out and cheered for her--he talked about how easily he could pull young men from god’s grace, and the path using such devil women. Then a guy dressed as jesus came out, and my ground of friends giggled--he wasn’t a good jesus, just the hippie-est guy they had in the church arena, with a scruffy beard that he hadn’t grown long enough.
jesus brought the young men back to him, they were forgiven, but the woman wasn’t. she was brought to hell. This wiped the smile off of my face.
The next skit was two fat people, one who accepted jesus, shed their fatsuit,
and joined the group of people at the feet of the badly costumed jesus. the other fat person went to hell and was in the pit with the others. The wailing intensified.
Next were educators, who told children lies, the children rejected them, and were saved, the teacher was sent to hell.
Their last skit was the longest...and the most disturbing. We went from skepticism to outright sickness.
We had wondered from the started why the entire front was coated in a black plastic and tape cover.
Now we found out why. A doctor’s table mock-up was bought out and a woman laid down on it, with a doctor. The young devil man, now took center stage and was helping the doctor with the procedure. A nurse held down the woman while she got the bloodiest abortion I’d ever seen.
Blood fell off the table, guts were pulled out of her, she cried and wailed and it was then that I noticed a group of children in the front, all crying and hiding their eyes.
I pointed it out quietly to the guy in my group and he had his mouth open for a minute, then closed it. He pointed it out to the next person in line, going on down.
The girl on the table screamed, and blood-soaked parts of a baby were pulled out of her, one part at a time. The smell of raw meat and rotted flesh filled the room--I don’t know how they did it, I assume it was a fan and a large pile of it, but I felt the strong urge to vomit. some people already were into pre-provided bags---that was the purpose of this, to scare people, to disgust them. I had experience with this sort of thing and passed on to my group--”Breathe through your mouth, slowly, calmly, just get yourself accustomed to the smell.” They did so. No one vomited, but we did stare forward, like zombies. Other girls came out, covered in blood, bleeding from between their thighs and crying, they head towards jesus, and he shuns them, the devil man barely touches them, but manages to shove them into the pit. They fall on top of the now-pile of humanity--nearly 30 people, smashed into this one space, and the second finale begins--recitation of bible verses, going back over the rules of sin--they start pulling people from the crowd to accept jesus so they can go and stand up by their play-jesus.
We just leave. I wanted out of there. I grab the hand of the guy next to me and left. He did the same. We left, hand in hand, against the tide of people surging forward to touch their false Jesus. The pit had emptied out, the front was now bathed in blinding light, and we burst out the doors into the dark night, breathing in fresh, cool, non-stagnant and un-ill-smelling air.
I leaned over a bush and vomited. I couldn’t stop it.
“Are you okay?” One of the other girls asked.
“Yeah, yeah, sorry. just....sorry, I didn’t expect this to be that way.”
“It’s okay, none of us did.”
“Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
No one had even left the church when we pulled out of the parking lot.
None of us ever spoke of it again, but we all felt the same--pushing fear, anxiety, and threats on humanity... doesn’t fix anything. It just makes people worse. It was disgusting on so many levels, and we felt overly crushed by it. Overly helpless by it. We would do our best to not drop to their levels, but the play speaks for itself--you can live in fear at the hands of a fundamentalist church, and believe the play and the song and dance, and the falsity of everything we had seen--but the disgust in each of us was real. It was impossible not to have it stick in your mind, days afterwards, of the crowds surging forward in a sheeplike mob, desperate to join the farce-like jesus, desperate to be saved in some way from things that were not a threat to begin with.