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The Congregation (Welcome 2 My Nightmare, 2011)

“The Congregation” Lyrics:

Now you’re here, so have no fear; I’m just your friendly guide
So come along coz you belong, you joined us when you died
From your birth until your final breath
I’m proud to say you finally entertained yourself to death

Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
A little tiny pinch of deviation

We understand what you had planned goes by another name
Where bluebirds sing and church bells ring, well isn’t that a shame
Your application sadly was denied
But let’s be clear, we love you here; you’re on the other side

Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
We promise it won’t stain your reputation

The Guide:
Ah, as you can see over here, the broken glass chamber are the boys from wall street. Let’s hear it for the boys. And here in the eternal mariachi room for the defrocked priest and telemarketers. And the totally fiery pit of boiling death the lawyers, pimps, and mimes…

Welcome to the congregation
Welcome to the congregation
Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
So thanks for dropping by here
We’re really gonna try here
But in the end, you know you’re gonna fry…. fry…. fry… here

Umm.. excuse me, sir, is there a bathroom here?

Welcome 2 My Nightmare (W2MN) LP, released in 2011, continues Steven’s dreams and nightmares found in the original Welcome to My Nightmare LP (1975) and Alice Cooper Goes To Hell (1976). W2MN is a combination of those albums, but these nightmares are different.

“What would be a nightmare for (Alice) in 2011? Well, technology would be a nightmare for him. Disco would still be a nightmare for him. We just started writing down things or ideas. Things that would really bother Alice.” – Alice Cooper

As Cooper notes, W2MN discusses what would haunt the villain today, not the Alice of the 70s, but the millennial Alice.

Songs like “Runaway Train,” “I’ll Bite Your Face Off,” “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever,” “When Hell Comes Home,” and “Something To Remember Me By.” Those songs shed light on stories about tragedies, terrors, and scenarios that not only disturb Steven’s slumber (and maybe ours as well) but may be all too real.

Hints of the original Welcome To My Nightmare LP are scattered and mixed throughout the music and layout. Bob Ezrin (producer) and Alice masterfully connect the dots between the original Nightmare and W2MN.

The Congregation” is a song that introduces Steven (and us) to a group of unlikely characters. Many of these folks never expected to be trapped in eternal demise – some convinced they were bound for Glory yet wound up in Hell.

Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
A little tiny pinch of deviation

We understand what you had planned goes by another name
Where bluebirds sing, and church bells ring, well, isn’t that a shame
Your application sadly was denied
But let’s be clear: We love you here; you’re on the other side

Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
We promise it won’t stain your reputation

The above-listed lyrics are tongue-in-cheek accounts of individuals who populate Hell – likely and unlikely souls. In many ways, the song points back to “It’s Much Too Late,” the second to last track from the Dragontown LP (2001).

In that track, Alice declares, “The road to Hell is littered with nice guys with good intentions.” Which leads us to the question, “Why do some end up in Hell and others don’t?” If our actions and deeds, as these songs suggest, aren’t the determination for our eternal destination, what is?

The very question of our existence and eternity – Why are we here? Where do we go after this? – and other burning questions have plagued humanity for thousands of years. However, God so eloquently answered these questions and more in His Word. However, we’ve tried to answer those questions ourselves.

Instead of relying on Him and His Wisdom, we place ourselves as the subject in life’s narrative and puzzles. We play God instead of allowing Him to be God.

Instead of looking at life through His scope and lens, we ask ourselves who we are, what we want to be, or where we are going. Wouldn’t using the Creator’s blueprints and tools for life’s journey make more sense?

Knowing this, we should change our perspective. The proper way to look at life’s ups and downs is through Christ’s eyes. Asking ourselves, “Who does He want us to be? What can we do to please Him? Why has He placed us here?

As the world spirals out of control and looks to AI, government entities, and worldly organizations for answers, let us stop and ask ourselves a pertinent question. What are we living for, and do we need to make any adjustments?

There are only two points to take away from this narrative.

Hell is not easily or readily discussed. However, God’s Word is straightforward about these two things: 1) We must accept Christ, and 2) the battle against our flesh is a never-ending struggle.

Accepting Christ.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”Romans 10:9-10

The simplicity of transformation is beautiful. There’s no need to be in church, use a training manual, or attend a conference. Salvation is merely a declaration of your mouth and belief in your heart.

With that, a transformation begins to take place – for some, it’s an overnight awakening. For others, it’s a slower process. Either way, it’s a journey, not a destination. As we transform, His will replaces ours. Our old self is crucified with Christ, and we are reborn in Him (Galatians 2:20).

The Battle Against Flesh.

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other.”Galatians 5:19-26

In the above-listed verses, Paul describes the difference between the flesh and the Spirit. Accepting Christ means we willingly enter the battle; we join the war – the war against evil, the fight against our flesh.

Now, before we proclaim, “It’s impossible to only live by the Spirit.” Check out this summary of verses 19-21 from the Life Application Bible.

“We all have evil desires, and we can’t ignore them. To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we must deal with them decisively (crucify them – 5:24). These desires include obvious sins, such as sexual immorality and witchcraft. They also include less obvious sins, such as selfish ambition, hatred, and jealousy. Those who ignore such sins or refuse to deal with them reveal that they have not received the gift of the Spirit that leads to a transformed life.”

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the above summary adequately explains verses 19-21. Stumbling is inevitable, but wallowing in sin and refusing to redirect your focus leads us further into darkness.

We must allow His Light to radiate in those darker areas of our life. Darkness will NEVER conquer the Light – Light ALWAYS consumes the night (John 1:5). We must not forget that. Let us focus on the Light and diligently work towards replacing our worldly thoughts with His Fruit.

Wrapping up this week’s post, “The Congregation” is about people accepting (and in many cases embracing) their evil desires. As the summary and verses above point out, we have a choice. Hell, whether we know it or not, is a chosen destination. But is there more than one Hell?

It seems Hell is not only eternal. It resides here on Earth as well. Think about it.

Is Hell just an actual place, or is it also a mindset? Isn’t Hell life physically, spiritually, or eternally lived without Christ? It sure seems that way.

Christ is the one that brings us together. He calls us to Love. He calls us to do more than live for ourselves. He calls us to Love God and Love one another as we do ourselves. Christ is the key that unlocks the door to Heaven.

We hope that you come to see that you are more than flesh. You are more than evil desires. You are more than what the world claims you are. You are one of His Creation. You are loved, and you were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

In conclusion, Steven’s tour of Hell is an interesting one. Many songs and scenarios paint the darkness and despair that resides there. Alice, as always, does an incredible job poking and prodding the mind to think deeper. With that,  “The Congregation” might be the most thought-provoking track on the LP.

It’s easy for humanity to look at others and pinpoint where everyone else’s failures and shortcomings reside. Some may think it will help them cope with their desires and inadequacies. However, that’s not how we were designed.

We are asked to deal with our sins first. Therefore, let us continually be mindful of applying his design to our lives and heed these words:

“Pay careful attention to your work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our conduct.” – Galatians 6:4-5

Some may see Alice’s journeys into morality and religiosity as satire. However, we see it as a challenge. We think Alice is asking us to consider what we believe seriously. Have we taken the time to ask tough questions and contemplate the ramifications of our actions?

If so, there should be no surprise in eternity. We should know our destination based on the choices we’ve made. It’s only one of two places – Glory or darkness.

That’s it for this week! Catch you next Friday.

In the meantime, Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

NOTE: We’d also like to share the following resources used by “Fridays With Alice.” Without these books and sites, this would be a much more complicated endeavor. So be sure to check them out if interested.

Click the images to learn more about these resources:

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