Everything has its antipode, its opposite, its evil twin. Superman had Bizarro. Mr. Spock had goateed Mr. Spock. And Mammon, the second prince of Hell, had Dick Cheney. For Disneyland, I believe I have found its Garth of Izar in Singapore’s Haw Par Villa.
For those of you unfamiliar with the tragic kingdom, imagine if Disneyland dropped acid, then raped a miniature golf course, and the resulting progeny was adopted by a Chinese Kim Davis.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Haw Par Villa. Keep in mind that this is a theme park (I guess the theme is “wtf”) where they used to take school children on field trips. Sometimes twice a year.
It starts out harmlessly enough, with a fairly normal Chinese gate, followed by some pretty standard things for a display of Chinese legends and mythology:
• severed heads on a rock
• the Statue of Liberty.
Then it guides visitors (children) past dioramas of scenes depicting valuable life lessons such as:
• Be Kind To Turtles So They May Save Your Life When The Ferry Sinks (left)
• You’re Gonna Get A Ticket For Running Over The Head Of A Pedestrian With Your Hydrocephalic VW Beetle (center)
• Always Wear Underpants So Your Scrotum Does Not Peek Out During A Wolf Mauling (right)
Slowly, visitors (crying children) are acclimated to upcoming horrors and made to view scenes from Chinese history. You may remember the Monkey/Rat Wars or The Great Chinese Tainted Baby Milk Scandal of 2008.
And then, the pièce de résistance, The Ten Courts of Hell.
The Ten Courts of Hell
The Chinese believe that when you die you are shepherded through a bizarre afterlife triage to determine your fate through a series of ten courts.
You don’t just go to hell when you die, you go to the gates of hell. That’s where Ox-Head and Horse-Face (two of the more popular gods of China) then force you into hell with their spears. That’s right, in China, everybody goes to hell. Then (in the First Court of Hell) the king of the netherworld determines how good of a person you were. Good people go to paradise. The bad people? They are taken to the other Nine Courts for their punishments.
“Well, what kinds of punishments, Paul?” Glad you asked. Visitors (screaming children, begging to go home) get to see this in graphic detail.
The Second Court
In the second court, prostitutes are drowned in pools of blood, while gamblers and the corrupt are frozen into blocks of ice. Conmen, robbers and those who injure others are thrown into a volcano.
The Third Court
Drug users/dealers, tomb raiders and those who urge others into social unrest are tied to a red hot copper pillar and grilled. Oh, also, prison escapees and those disrespectful to elders get their hearts cut out.
The Fourth Court
Tax dodgers, rent deadbeats and business fraudsters get pounded by a stone mallet. Those disobedient to their siblings, as well as those who disrespect their parents are ground by a large stone.
The Fifth Court
Those who plotted another’s death for money/property are thrown onto a hill of knives along with money lenders who charged exorbitant interest rates,
The Sixth Court
Many people I know would suffer the fate of the sixth court. Here, people who cheat, curse or kidnap are thrown into a tree of knives.
Meanwhile people who misuse books, possess pornography, break written rules or misuse food will be sawn in half.
The Seventh Court
Rumor-mongers will have their tongues pulled out and rapists will be boiled in oil in the seventh court.
The Eighth Court
If you caused trouble to your parents or cheated on exams you will have your intestines and organs pulled out. But if you harmed others to benefit yourself you will only have your body dismembered.
The Ninth Court
Robbers, murderers and rapists get their head and arms cut off. Neglect of the old and young results in being crushed under boulders.
The Tenth Court
Finally, the king sentences you to another life either as a human or an animal, and either a life of ease or one of suffering.
Apparently, all this sentencing goes on while you are being raped by wolves.
Side Note: Garth of Izar was a villain on an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. He had the ability to shape shift, and at times was an evil version of Kirk AND Spock. And he also wanted to be a greater leader than “Alexander the Great, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler or Lee Kuan Yew.”
Garth, of course, failed. But Lee, at the time of the episode, had been Prime Minister of Singapore for 10 years and would go on to lead the nation (in some form or another) for another 40+ years. Probably because of theme parks like this to scare the populace into compliance.