In Dante’s Inferno, Satan is imprisoned in the lowest pit of Hell. He is held in place not by chains but by the ice of a frozen lake which was formed by his tears and fanned frozen by his perpetually moving wings. Other condemned beings are in the lake with him, frozen in various agonizing contortions. When viewed from outside Hell, Satan appears to be frozen upside down.
Cryonics is the ‘science’ of preserving living organisms (such as human bodies) by freezing them in liquid nitrogen. The human “patients” are frozen upside down.
(You can’t make this stuff up.)
The human patients are frozen upside down and stored in a pod with up to three other patients and/or a couple of severed heads. What drove them to agree to such an extreme form of live burial is the hope that someday they’ll be brought back to life and made “whole” by future medical advances.
Cryonics patients are considered legally dead but not actually dead. They are dead insofar as their heart has stopped beating, but they are not beyond resuscitation. They could be resuscitated, but instead their blood is drained and replaced with antifreeze. And then they’re hung upside down like a bat out of Hell and immersed in liquid nitrogen to freeze them solid.
The Egyptians were going for the same effect with mummification. The aim was to preserve the body toward some future resurrection and immortality. The mummies were entombed in a sarcophagus much like cryonics patients are entombed in a pod, which is for all intents and purposes a high-tech sarcophagus. Cryonics enthusiasts can only hope that cryonics will prove at least marginally more successful than mummification.
In ancient Egypt, it was mostly the so-called 1 percent who were mummified – the rich and famous; the pharoahs and their wives: maybe even some popular entertainers. Today, cryonics clinics take everyone, but given the price attached to the procedure, it’s mostly the 1 percent who can afford it.
The part that gets me about cryonics is that the patients are not actually dead. I was dead but not actually dead when I went through the process of being reborn. That’s when God gave me the chance to make a choice between forgiving and not forgiving. When I chose to forgive, I was exorcised of demons and then brought back to life. Lots of people are declared legally dead (or “brain dead”) and then come back to life. Legally dead is not actually dead. Believe it or not, people hanging upside down in liquid nitrogen are not actually dead.
Before I was born again, I used to suffer from frequent bouts of sleep paralysis. This was an ongoing occurrence from the time I was a child. As I grew older, I started to see figures sitting just beyond my full range of vision. I knew these figures were really there because, unlike figures in my dreams (which I saw with 20/20 clarity), the figures that appeared in my sleep paralysis episodes were blurry (I am almost legally blind). All I could make out was that the figures were clothed in black and had red eyes. I know now that these were demons, but at the time, as an atheist, I had no context for understanding who or what they were. I hated the sleep paralysis episodes, and dreaded each time they occurred. I have not had any since being born again 17 years ago.
Sleep paralysis is a horrible state to be in. You try to move, but you can’t. You’re frozen, trapped inside your own body. You can’t even scream. Imagine if cryonics were similar to sleep paralysis. Imagine if you’re in a state that is lucid enough to experience spiritual encounters like in sleep paralysis, but that you can’t communicate this to anyone because you can’t move. This, to me, would be a form of Hell on Earth.
Organ donors allegedly experience this very type of Hell on Earth. Donors who are declared brain dead may not in fact be actually dead. To bypass this inconvenience, and given that the organs are the most viable when the heart is still beating, doctors administer a drug that paralyzes the donor’s body so that the organs can be harvested as quickly as possible. No anesthetics (pain killers) are administered, just paralysis drugs. Opponents of this practice (including doctors and nurses who formerly supported organ transplantation) allege that some donors can actually feel their body being cut open and their heart, liver, pancreas, eyes, etc., being removed. They allege this because the deceased patients, who have been declared legally dead because they are allegedly brain dead, respond to the incisions by quickened heart and respiration rates and try to pull away from the scalpel; some even thrash around even after being administered paralysis drugs. I suggest that the terms “excruciating” and “terrifying” would not be sufficient to describe what these poor souls are experiencing, and yet this practice happens every day and has the seal of approval of most health care systems the world over.
Organ donation is, in effect, not that far removed from ancient rituals that saw sacrificial victims being held down while their still-beating hearts were ripped from their chests. The old practice required people to hold the victim down, whereas the new practice relies on paralysis-inducing drugs. “The more things change….”
When Satan is finally let loose from his prison, his second coming will in fact create genuine Hell on Earth. At that time, there will be very few believers remaining and everyone else will be damned. The damned will proudly bear the highly visible mark of Satan, and the believers will bear the invisible seal of God. The Age of Mercy will have ended (meaning, no more conversions) and the Age of Judgment will be in full swing. This is not a world I want to be part of.
And yet, the not-quite-actually-dead patients frozen upside down have willingly agreed to the cryonics “treatment” with the hope of some day returning to what they imagine will be a medically advanced world. The book of Revelation paints quite a different picture of future Earth, but sadly I doubt whether any cryonics enthusiasts are familiar with the New Testament.
Raising people from the dead was a hallmark of Jesus’ ministry; Satan and his demons often mimic what Jesus did, so raising cryonic patients from the dead would be right up their ally.
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after he was four days in the grave. He let Lazarus stay dead for four days to show that he was actually dead, not just legally or brain dead (or, as Martha described it, “stinking” dead). Many people began to believe Jesus was the Messiah after he brought Lazarus back to life.
Cryonics patients anticipate a significantly longer entombment than four days. I can only imagine what kind of spiritual state these resurrected people will be in, if and when they are brought back to some semblance of life some day.
I can only hope and pray that I’m not here to find out.