Dustin Hoffman utters a classic line in Steven Spielberg's Hook: "What would the world be like without Captain Hook?"
With my new short story series The Jerusalem Chronicles, I jump back into the Satanic world that I envisioned in The Age of Apollyon and Black Sun. The guiding question as I wrote these books was: What would the world be like without God?
Of course God is still present in the world of The Age of Apollyon Trilogy, but His presence, power, and influence is extremely diminished. The message is clear: in the absence of God's direct response to Satan's manifestation, the Devil clearly has control of this world.
Now it would have been easy to create a carnival of Halloween bugaboo and occult freakshow weirdness in these books, but that would have been lame, cliched, and unbelievable. A theme that grows in strength as the story progresses is that Satan doesn't want rituals and "devil-worship;" he simply wants everyone to turn their backs on God in whatever way they want.
Satan doesn't actually rule the world in these books; he only appears for a few sentences, but it's enough time to pulverize Notre-Dame Cathedral and issue the Proclamation - that everyone is their own master and should serve only their own desires. That's Satanism in a nutshell, and I wanted to portray a "realistic" Satanic world that still contained enough of the freakshow elements to make it a fun read. Satan does not remain on the earth and it's up to the human race to sustain their faith however they choose.
I believe that if such a manifestation would occur, the following would probably happen:
- The churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues would be packed with fearful would-be converts who would trickle away with the lack of a direct response from whatever deity they claimed.
- Two kinds of Satanists would emerge: the theatrical kind who would live every day like it was Halloween, and those whose hearts were truly hardened against God and would let their carnal appetites run rampant. Of course, this happens all over the world already.
- Demonic possession, whether real or imagined, would skyrocket.
- Regions, cities, and perhaps entire countries would isolate themselves, becoming "holy havens" for those fleeing persecution or just looking for a community of believers where they could feel safe.
- Most governments would remain officially neutral, but the interest of Satanic loyalists would be heavily favored, not so much for the fear of Satan's wrath, but rather the wrath of those who follow Satan.
- All religious-based moral codes and influence on mainstream society would be wiped out.
- Interest in supernatural and paranormal studies would increase dramatically. There would be no more atheists - not everyone would acknowledge God, but no one would be able to deny Satan.
- There would be chaos and anarchy in the beginning, but in the absence of subsequent manifestations, people would soon get back to business as usual, though with renewed purpose or hopelessness, depending on the individual.
- Fear and uncertainty would grip the world and the religious establishments would bear the brunt of humanity's anger.
With these books, I wanted to take a cold hard look at a frightening reality which thankfully will remain in the realm of fiction, although we have yet to see exactly how the events detailed in the Book of Revelations will play out. The good news is that in that prophetic account, God's hand is never far away, even when it rains down judgement. That's what I feel makes The Age of Apollyon books so chilling: as the world literally goes to Hell, God is silent.
And who knows if we'll ever find out the reasons why.