The Black Hole is a Disney-produced science fiction movie from 1979 that tried to cash in on the Star Wars phenomenon. The film has a cult following but is generally considered to be a miserable failure. One thing about it that's interesting, though, is the premise that hell exists inside a black hole. If you're going to go ahead and believe (i) hell exists and (ii) it's a physical place, the site of a massive star's collapse is a pretty good representation of it.
Michael Santini, a former mechanical engineer turned evangelical pastor, has a different idea about hell: He thinks it's on Venus, the planet, and he wrote an entire book about it.
It's called Venus: Don't Go There: What Science and Religion Reveal About Life After Death, and on page seven Santini promises an "honest and straightforward description of a known, undesirable location." His goal in writing the book is to scare people, he says, about the prospect of eternal damnation by making the concept more real to them. I called up Santini, who says he worked on the Milstar Communications System as well as classified projects he's "sworn to secrecy" about, to figure out how he came to his rather unusual conclusions.
VICE: What got you interested in trying to figure out the physical location of hell?
Michael Santini: I started suspecting it a few years ago. What really made me think about it was the fact that when Jesus comes back, he's going to come back to the Earth in a physical body, a body that was similar to his resurrection in the Bible. And people after the Final Judgment are thrown into the Lake of Fire. The idea of the Earth being here for a while after the return of Christ and the setting up of his kingdom—that whole idea of the Earth surviving forever—makes you try to find a place where people are going to be going who do not stay on the Earth. So Venus became a candidate, a model if you will, for where people go after the Great White Throne Judgment.
So what makes you think hell is on Venus?
The Bible says that hell and a Lake of Fire burn with sulfur. In other words not only is sulfur there, the sulfur is actually burning. How can that be true on Venus? Here's the amazing thing that I discovered. The planet not only has a whole lot of sulfur in it—there's sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere, the clouds are made of sulfuric acid—there's lightning on Venus. Lightning that was detected by the Venus Express spacecraft a few years ago teaches us that the sulfur is literally burning, just like in the Bible says. It's one thing for sulfur to just be sitting around on the ground, but it's another thing for sulfur to be in the atmosphere. Venus is full of lightning events.
Can you give me another example of why Venus is hell?
The Bible says that hell is unquenchable fire. You cannot put it out. On Venus it's 864 degrees Fahrenheit. It's burning-hot, day and night. And when it's nighttime, and the planet rotates, and there's darkness on Venus? Guess what? There's no quenching of that heat. It stays exactly at 864 degree Farenheit all night long because the cloud cover and the density of the carbon dioxide lock in the heat. The Bible teaches us that hell is a place of unquenchable heat, and Venus is the only place in the solar system that gives us unquenchable fire.
Why did you decide to write this book? How does knowing the physical location of hell help people to avoid it? I mean I'm assuming the end of your goal is to help people avoid that fate. But how does knowing where it is make any sort of difference?
Because a lot of people who don't have any faith do not believe in physical hell. They don't believe in heaven. There is no way in their physical minds that hell could exist. But I'm trying to tell you that the planet Venus is the perfect model for where hell is. Every scripture that talks about it fits that planet. Get scared. Get worried. There can be a hell. God can come back and send you there. In other words, I'm trying to make these people who think that hell is just an imaginary place to go, "No, no it's in the solar system." It can be right here. It fits what the Bible teaches. Get scared. Get worried. Come to Jesus. [ laughs] You know what I mean? Be concerned about your afterlife.
So what does hell look like, anyway?
In my last chapter, I have a vignette where there are six men who have been condemned to Venus. They are in a lava tube, because Venus is full of lava tubes, and they're talking about their situation and it's very dismal. I mean if you look at the pictures in my book, the planet is nothing but lava fields. So they are bored. They are completely bored. They are very warm in their immortal spiritual bodies. They are not literally burning up, but they are uncomfortable. They don't have any water to drink, and even in the afterlife, you notice in Revelation, people on Earth, they eat and drink and celebrate with Jesus, but on Venus you can't eat and drink but you have the desire to eat and drink and it won't be fulfilled. It's a place of unfulfilled desires, Allie. It's a place of unfulfilled desires is really what hell is. It's two things: It's separation from God, and it's a place of unfulfilled desires.
So if you know the physical location of hell, do you have any idea of who the Devil is or what the Devil looks like?
I don't know what the devil looks like, but I know that Satan and his minions are [going to get sent to Venus after the Second Coming]. Because when Jesus comes back he's not going to tolerate any of these people being around, especially these spirits. Right now, he's on Earth causing mischief, causing evil, causing things like the Holocaust to happen and inducing people to do evil like human trafficking. A lot of wicked things in this world are done by satanic coercion. So right now he is working evil on Earth, but when the Lord comes back he's going to go to Venus. He will be there with his demonic army. So you do not want to go marching around Venus because these evil spirits are on that planet with you. So not only are you going to be in this cage, you're going to be worried about where Satan and his demons are because they were thrown on Venus, too. It's a vast wasteland. As a matter of the fact I give a place where Satan and his army is probably going to be, and I give a place where lost humanity goes. They'll be in a different spot. But part of the fear factor, part of the undesirableness, is you're on the same planet with the Devil.
What happens when we can travel to Venus? Will we be able to interact with the dead?
We've got the technology now to go to Venus, but people are not there now. In my book you'll find people are in Hades. People are not in hell right now. The Bible teaches us that Hades is in the center of the Earth, and my book goes on to say the center of the Earth is not solid. Sheol is where people went in the Old Testament who were lost, and in the New Testament, people called it Hades. Now nobody's on Venus. You can go there, but after Jesus comes back, then they go to Venus. There's not gonna be a need to travel to Venus when Jesus makes Heaven on Earth. Could we go? Sure, God let us do that. He gives us everything. We would probably not want to go there, but if we wanted to go there, we could probably go in the afterlife.
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