The Church of Hell

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 24 Apr 2024

"The pope is like Hitler with wings."
Certain Stratospheres


I always thought the black burn marks in the field across the street were made by borrachos playing with matches and bottles of 90-proof gasoline at 2 in the morning.  But as it turns out, the area is so hot and dry that the field occasionally bursts into flame.  Spontaneously.  I heard the sound of fire outside my door tonight, and looked and saw flames hanging around my van like a gang of bullies, or juvenile delinquents.  The flames were trying to pressure my van to burst into flames, speaking to it through the chain link fence that keeps cows and horses and soccer balls from escaping, but doesn't stop delinquent, criminal flames from sharing cigarettes with the well-behaved cars that do their homework, and who are parked like good, obedient children on the street.  I saw what was happening and went outside and put a stop to it.  Stay away from my van, you dirty, degenerate flames.  You will not corrupt my van with 3rd-degree tequila burns.  I rebuked the fire and moved my van so that it was blocking the road, until the flames smoked all the grass by my part of the fence, and moved along.  I helped the neighbor clear the dead grass and 400-year-old soda bottles out from under his broken-down car, so that it wouldn't ignite.  We stood there watching the flames march across the dry, dusty field like an army, and the Catholic church began to toll its bell.  "La iglesia del infierno," I said.  The church of hell.  The bell tolled, and the flames consumed the grass around the street sign.  Welcome to the neighborhood.  It was like an advertisement not to come here.  Look at the fires, playing soccer in the street.  Observe the street sign up in flames.  Calle de Palookaville.  La iglesia del infierno.  The church of hell. 

My neighbor laughed.

I found the "Casa de Fiesta Nocturna" on a recent walk, and had difficulty discerning the difference between the delinquent party house and the local Catholic church.  The art and iconography are definitely the same.  Skeletons, jesters, demons...  Esoteric symbols, ancient, territorial languages etched into the stained concrete walls, windows busted out, the dirty glass replaced with infernal depictions of saints and monsters and all sorts of idols....  What's the difference?  For whom is the safe assumption reserved?  Is it safe to assume the assumptions made by the parishioners of Our Dissolute Lady of the House of the Night Party are as safe as the assumptions made by the saints of the Jesuit canon?  Or is it a cannon that is used, as a massive bong perhaps, after drawing something dead on the walls, like an unregenerate "Christ," or the guy from Iron Maiden?

Whose assumption is safer?  The False Christ of Agony, who symbolizes defeat instead of victory, since literally all of the false Christs in the Unholy Party House are either in agony or dead, which negates the cover story about "relating to His suffering," since it's apparently the only thing the parishioners of the Church of Hell are allowed to do (is it necessary to make any effort to relate to His suffering, when He was here to carry the weight of our suffering (sin), and die and atone for it, to set us free from the dominion and power of it?),

Or the priests on stilts, performing a wedding of 2 giant puppets, while the bridesmaids and beast-men and kids and everybody run through them in a giant, festive game of ring-around-the-rosy for adults?

The assumptions made by the guests of the puppet wedding are safer, definitely.

What if you get a demonic Aztec cleansing after attending mass?  If energy equals mass times the speed of light squared (E = mc2), as the great German witch doctor "One Stone" once theorized, is your energy greater if the mass is in Latin, or Spanish?  If a guy in a headdress paints you with weed smoke after the ceremony, does the atomic weight of your soul increase?

Or do you get lighter?

What about the music?  Is it okay to crossover from Zapotec to Simon & Garfunkel, or is it cultural appropriation?  Doesn't this guy know that this is a traditional American song, and he has no business appreciating its beauty, nevermind actually playing it in public?

Does anybody go to Oaxaca to listen to Ennio Morricone songs?  Hasn't this guy read the manifesto of the Church of Hell?  He has traditional skeletons and other implements of suffering and death arranged at his feet like a righteous, holy loon, but he needs to understand that he ought to only play traditional Megadeth and Iron Maiden songs, as prescribed by the canon, and avoid things that are beautiful for their own sake.

This street musician guy is obviously a lukewarm unbeliever.  To the horror of his priest, he's probably really cool underneath all his traditional heavy-metal Catholic witchcraft garb.  Simon & Garfunkel and Ennio Morricone?  Please.  He probably thinks the Jesuit order is a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with medium French Fries, instead of a serious attempt at world domination.  I bet he rolls up to the drive-thru and can't decide which order to go with this time, the Triple Franciscan, Animal Style, or the Double Benedictine with cheese?  Ordo Fratrum Minorum Cappuccino Cinnamum.  Mocha Seclorum Ridiculum, to go.  He needs to spend a night or 2 in the Casa de Fiesta Nocturna with all the holy drunkards painting skeletons on the walls with cans of compressed, colorful weedsmoke.  A couple mad, orthodox bong rips will set this guy straight.

Ennio Morricone.  Simon & Garfunkel.  The melodic, uplifting beauty of such crossover heresy must not be tolerated.  I pronounce this guy anathema, for appreciating and appropriating beauty for its own sake.

The Church of Hell is better off without him.

In the meantime, the fire moved away from our cars, under some trees and power lines, and toward the small hotel where it wasn't going to do any damage anyway.  It had failed in tempting my van toward any kind of drugs, or dissolute religions.  The sun was going down, so the neighbor and I bid each other farewell, and went back into our houses.

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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