Father Jeremy Khyyrzhick

The thing about Father Jeremy, if that even is his real name, is that nobody can corroborate his story. Then again, his story claims that he's been cut out of the loop by top secret, black-ops orders of the Church going back to before the First Bishop of Rome, dropped kind of like that guy from "Burn Notice" except way more pathetic and Eastern European, and there are so many layers of questions and bullshit piled on top of one another across the entire narrative that there theoretically shouldn't be any way that his story even COULD be confirmed.

If, of course, any of it is true. Which it might not be.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves, here.

Anyway, the big, fat million-dollar question for American-born crashers has been, and likely will remain, this: does the Catholic Church know about Hell?

If so, they've kept pretty much mum about it. There are no known "Catholic-only" teams in existence, no working-Joe priest has even believed a crasher's rantings during confession, there are no fat job-offers coming down from the Vatican to pull such-and-such a sinner out of the Bad Place or consign such-and-such a monster back to The Flame, no conspiracy theorist has so-far proven that the Crackling Bunny Faces are actually agents of the Templars, and nobody currently working the crash-scene reports back to Holy Rome three times a week to keep the Pope and his cardinals abreast of the Nether's many comings and goings.

At least, not that anybody knows about. And from that silence, conspiracy theories are born.

Because, if not, well, that's pretty staggering. Suppose, for a moment, that the Church really doesn't know about Hell … I mean, what the fuck? We're talking about a nearly 2,000-year-old organization, with more than a billion members worldwide and agents on every continent with lines of power going back to the Pentecost. The Roman Catholics are the Western world's oldest and largest institution, having played a prominent (if not PRIMARY) role in the politics and history of all civilization since the middle of the 4th century; they unified and ruled more of the population of the planet from 313 AD to 1517 AD than any other mortal force ever has or likely ever will.

You're telling me that three meth-heads from outside of Tulsa, completely on their own, discovered something in 1983 that a 20-century-old paramilitary global superpower directly responsible for the invention of the Cyrillic alphabet in the 9th century and the unification of Europe against the Turks in the late 1600s somehow just … missed?

Keep dreaming, asshole.

Of course, the stories coming out of Father Jeremy aren't the sort of things that help crashers sleep better at night; there are no 'and then the Pope beat up the Devil' tales here. According to Jeremy Khyyrzhick, there are secrets in place going back a long, long time, and the Church is just a cracked, stained mask being worn by something very old and very cruel which does not love human life.

This much is pretty much accepted as true: Jeremy Khyyrzhick was born and raised poor and Catholic in Homiel Voblast, a swampy southeastern province of Belarus near the borders with both Russia and the Ukraine, now part of the zone of alienation. In fact, he was pretty near to spitting distance from the epicenter of the Chernobyl disaster, and has walked the abandoned streets of Pripyat a few times since 1986. Now, he lives alone in a small town in Iowa, and small animals die if they come within about a block of him and stay there for more than two minutes.

But the accepted story and Father Jeremy's tale diverge here: Khyyrzhick claims that the nuclear meltdown was orchestrated by the Catholic church, intended to open a city-sized cherry to the north of Rome, and allow them to move onto Phase Two of … something. He then goes on to explain that the Church faked the moon landings and is sponsoring the genocide in Darfur, and that the Deepwater Horizon failure off the Gulf of Mexico was similarly orchestrated, toward similar ends, or possibly was a result of attempts made by the Church, meant to crack open part of something submerged more than 36,000 feet below the ocean floor and valuable to them. He also has a startling tale about what will happen when 144,000 total souls have been removed from Hell, which he would just love to tell you if you have the time and don't mind him spitting on you.

Still: it's not just crazy theories, weird stares and vodka-scented breath with Father Jeremy; if it was, he would be lumped in with a million other loons all ranting about conspiracies from the comfort and convenience of your local street corner. The difference is that Father Jeremy has gets migraines and writes weird, possibly-coded journal entries about the Nether, and these are very valuable to Callus Detier, and Rachel Medium has repeatedly stated that Father Jeremy is the only one who will survive the Coming Fire, and Matt Damon bursts into tears whenever he hears the word 'khyyrzhick' - which didn't used to be very often, but now everybody has to try it, it seems like.

Which pisses Dennis From Moline off something fierce, let me tell you.

So, everybody pays attention to what Father Jeremy says. Even when he's really, really weird and gets those googly-eyes and his pants seem to be too tight and he wants to know how it smells 'down there'.

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