Indiana: Gateway to Hell

Indiana: Gateway to Hell

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Wayne Bertsch| Stephen Schroeder | Nuvo |

Indiana Gateway to Hell

Is Indiana the gateway to hell? Stephen Schroeder believes it is, and he has lots of interesting facts to prove it. Wayne Bertsch went on a tour of downtown Indianapolis with Stephen Schroeder, and Schroeder explained the entire “gateway to hell” thing. NUVO published Bertsch’s article in November, 2005 and the article was also available on the NUVO website.

The Gateway to Hell article then mysteriously disappeared from the Internet (NUVO chalks it up to website maintenance errors) and the hard copy of this issue mysteriously vanished from NUVO’s personal archives.

Until now! Stephen Schroeder found a copy of the original issue somehow, scanned it, and sent us the images. We typed it up word for word and you can read the full original article below.

For more on this topic, listen to our interview with Stephen Schroeder! Stephen Schroeder talks about this Nuvo article and lots of other really interesting things about Indiana.

Below is the full original article, titled Indiana: Gateway to Hell? The article was originally published in NUVO Volume 16, Issue #815 – October 26 – November 2, 2005.

Indiana Gateway to Hell

Indiana Gateway to Hell

Wayne Bertsch follows Steve Schroeder on a tour of downtown Indianapolis – a downtown filled with clues of the impending end of the world.



Story and Illustrations by Wayne Bertsch

The sky is overcast, warning of rain; it’s a perfect day for the wild tales of conspiracy Stephen Schroeder is about to spin. Schroeder’s been many things in life: a soldier, a family man and a political radical. Now, he’s a whistle blower to the grandest conspiracy of all: the end of the world.

He first became notorious for defacing the Ten Commandments monument at the Statehouse and later stealing the statue of Pan from University Park in downtown Indianapolis. His one-man war against Christian and Pagan statuary is all part of his plan to reveal The Secret Pagan History of Indiana.

Indiana Gateway to Hell | Nuvo Cover | Oct 26, 2005

Indiana Gateway to Hell | Nuvo Cover | Oct 26, 2005

He requested we meet on the lawn of the Indiana Statehouse, and when he arrives his dark glasses seem trite for a conspiracy player. The rest of his look is more Old Navy than Old World Conspiracy.

He takes me over to the southwest corner of the Statehouse lawn.

“This is where it all began,” he tells me

Indiana Gateway To Hell | The Unholy Ten Commandments

Stephen Schroeder was not always distrustful of the government. After a stint in the Air Force, Schroeder took a job at the Federal Building as a security supervisor. He remained several years until running afoul of his supervisors, who, according to Schroeder, looked unfavorably on his conspiratorial research.

A few days after losing his job, he was distressed to find a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse lawn.

Why would a self-styled “Protestant separatist” object to the Ten Commandments?

“They contained a profane symbol,” Schroeder explains, “an ‘eye within a pyramid’ and the Second Commandment was suspiciously absent. That’s the commandment against making graven images.”

After appeals to the Indiana Civil Liberties Union failed to get results, Schroeder decided to engage in civil disobedience and attacked the monument with a sledgehammer. He knew the monument was under surveillance so he went home to get his affairs in order and waited for the authorities to pick him up.

“Nothing happened,” he recalls. “The Indianapolis Star mentioned me by name as the sole suspect, the police had me on camera but nobody wanted to arrest … I wanted them to come pick me up. Only when the  Jewish Post and Opinion published a letter from me where I admitted guilt and challenged them did they come for me.”

After doing time, Schroeder emerged, determined to dig deeper into the mystery.

“Come on,” Schroeder says. “Let’s take a walk.”

The Federal Obelisk Outside Indiana’s Temple to Ishtar

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Stephen Schroeder with Pan

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Stephen Schroeder with Pan

Our first stop is the Federal Obelisk across the street to the north of the Indiana War Memorial.

“Wherever you have a temple to Ishtar you’ll find an obelisk outside it,” he explains as we gaze at the obelisk. “The obelisk is a phallic symbol meant to represent the spiritual dwelling place of Ishtar’s male counter-part, Baal.”

I asked about Ishtar, which I understand was a horribly bad movie, but hardly the end of the world.

“Ishtar/Astarte is the Babylonian goddess of warfare,” he says, ignoring my joke. “The Greeks called her Nike, here in Indiana we call her by her Roman name Victory. Her symbol is the eight-sided Star of Destiny. She represents war and fertility.”

On the western side of the obelisk is a stone carving of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. Once again, the Second Commandment about graven images is absent – this time covered up by Moses’ hands.

On the other side of the obelisk, Schroeder shows me a relief carving of a cross with a variety of images on it, including two goddesses.

“Putting someone’s image on a cross isn’t unusual,” Schroeder explains. “Instead of putting say, a Jewish carpenter on a cross, we have this cross with two pictures of a goddess holding intertwining snakes. The cross and circle are a perfect template for Monument Circle’s street layout. The images of the goddess at the north and south points represent Ishtar, and on the east and west we have a bull representing Ishtar’s male aspect Baal.”

I have to admit that these images don’t seem consistent with your usual Christian symbology.

So I have to ask, “What’s all this about Ishtar’s temple?”

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Indiana’s Temple to Ishtar

On the steps to the War Memorial, sculptures of lionesses stand guard. Ishtar, he tells me, is often represented by a lioness. Around the top of the building, a pantheon of statues peers down on us. Victory/Ishtar is there among them.

Our footsteps echo as we enter the War Memorial, reminding us that this is a place of reverence. Upstairs in the shrine room a huge American flag is suspended from the ceiling. According to my brochure, the flag “hangs above the Alter of Consecration commemorating all those fallen soldiers and comrades.” It goes on: “Those who visit the Shrine Room leave with a renewed sense of patriotism and an appreciation for the sacrifices of those who fought in the ‘Great War.'”

Schroeder points skyward to the glowing eight-pointed crystal near the ceiling – another example of Ishtar’s Star of Destiny.

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Victory Ishtar Statue

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Victory Ishtar Statue

“This is a temple for Ishtar, the goddess of war,” Schroeder whispers. “We know this because of the statues of Victory and the lioness and the nearby obelisk. Inside, you have an alter to all those who ‘were sacrificed in the name of war.’ That altar rests beneath the flag ant that flag hangs beneath the Star of Destiny.”

He pauses. “All these lives and souls are being offered up to Victory. To Ishtar.”

Outside the memorial at the corner of Meridian Street we stop and read a marker urging us to take special notice of the War Memorial’s beautiful Star of Destiny.

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Pan and the Asherah of University Park

We continue down Meridian Street to University Park. I remember this park as the home of the statue of Pan, a symbol of paganism that so disturbs Schroeder. These days it’s not Pan that he’s troubled by, it’s the Asherah.

The Asherah is an innocent looking statue of a tree, 5 feet tall with lopped off limbs. Schroeder explains that “Asherahs are mentioned in the Book of Judges when God orders Gideon to go out and chop down all the Asherahs. Why? Because the Ishtar and Baal worshippers are using Asherahs as idols.”

To create an Asherah, Schroeder says that you simply take a young tree and carve breasts onto it, then you lop off the limbs so that it appears to have upraised arms.

“I don’t see any breasts,” I object.

Schroeder motions me around the back of the statue. Sure enough, you have to stand in the marigolds to see it, but there are breasts sculpted onto this tree as plain as day.

“Come on” he says, “let’s go see Monument Circle.”

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Wayne Bertsch| Stephen Schroeder | Nuvo |

Indiana Gateway To Hell

Victory’s Circle and Magic Squares

As we walk down Meridian Street, Schroeder begins telling me about the secret history of Indianapolis and how it relates to the street layout of Washington, D.C.

“Washington was a planned city,” Schroeder says, “laid out and designed by a purported Freemason named Pierre L’enfante. If you look at any map of Washington you can see that it’s laid out in the for of a pentagram. A down-turned five-pointed star. At the bottom of that point sits the White House.”

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Indiana War Memorial

Indiana Gateway To Hell | Indiana War Memorial

“What does this all have to do with Indianapolis?”

“Alexander Ralston, the designer of Indianapolis, was L’enfante’s assistant and protege.”

“What’s it all add up to?”

Magic squares, he explains: the belief that puzzling grids of numbers could somehow divine other-worldly power. The original layout of Indianapolis was exactly like magic talisman squares relating to the sun, Lucifer and Mars.

“The center square of that Mars square is the 13th square, where we eventually built Monument Circle,” Schroeder says, pausing for dramatic effect.

“That monument is topped with Victory. With Ishtar.”

Winter Solstice of 2012: The End of the World

That pentagram in Washington, D.C., is key to his whole theory, because that pentagram is the path Venus travels during the eight years that she’s in transit across the night sky. “The last transit of Venus was completed in 2004,” Schroder says, “and then she began another eight-year trip, which will lead back here during the solstice of 2012.

“We’re tied to Washington,” he emphasizes, “through the national road, through the gift of land that was laid out by Washington’s architects. This spot was chosen because of its position on the lunar meridian. With Vennus in completion of her transit and the sun at its zenith it will be a marriage of the sun and the moon. The male and the female.”

Schroeder gestures north toward the War Memorial. “All the lives sacrificed to Ishtar in the alter we call the War Memorial will be wed at last with Baal. At that point all of that energy, and everything I’ve shown you, will come to focus on our ‘monument on the circle.’

“That monument capped with Ishtar/Victory at its peak will cast a long shadow directly down the street and onto the outer wall of the House chamber of the Indiana Statehouse.”

“And what’s in the Statehouse?” I ask.

“That wall contains a mural: ‘The Spirit of Indiana.’ The first papers that commissioned the work from Eugene F. Savage call it the ‘Apotheosis of Indiana.’ Apotheosis is the act of making an object or person into a god.”

“Like chopping the limbs off of a tree to make an Asherah.”

“Sort of, but that’s just making it into an idol. This is actually trying to raise Indiana and make it into the personification of Ishtar. To wed her to her male counterpart, Washington, D.C., and give birth to the end of times.”

“What does the mural have to do with that?”

“It depicts several images of Greek gods. The compelling image is the two-faced Guardian of the Doorway, Janus. I think he’s there to mark the doorway through which some great evil will pass and signal the beginning of our end of days.”

Indiana Gateway To Hell | The Day After

We couldn’t view the “Apotheosis of Indiana” mural that day, so I took a trip downtown the following day and took the self-guided tour. I picked up the tour pamphlet from the information desk and wandered into the House chamber. I took several pictures of this striking mural, trying my best to zoom in on Janus. Sure enough, his double-facing head was visible, disembodied, near the center of the mural.

As I left the House chamber, I mused on the strange coincidences in Schroeder’s theory. Deep down I knew it had to be bullshit. Right?

Pausing at the balcony outside the rotunda, I looked down.

The balcony was surrounded by another series of Greek statues and, there among them, was Ishtar’s Roman aspect: Victory.

I gazed farther down to the ground floor where beautiful tile-work was laid out to form an eight-pointed Star of Destiny.

Ishtar would be proud.

It seems her tributes are everywhere if you just know where to look.



Original scans provided by Stephen Schroeder (presented below in their entirety).

Indiana: Gateway to Hell

Indiana Gateway to Hell | "End of Days" | NUVO | Wayne Bertsch | Stephen Schroeder

Indiana Gateway to Hell | “End of Days” | NUVO | Wayne Bertsch | Stephen Schroeder

Indiana Gateway to Hell | NUVO |

Indiana Gateway to Hell | NUVO |

Indiana Gateway to Hell | NUVO

Indiana Gateway to Hell | “End of Days” | NUVO | Wayne Bertsch | Stephen Schroeder

Indiana Gateway to Hell | NUVO

Indiana Gateway to Hell | “End of Days” | NUVO | Wayne Bertsch | Stephen Schroeder

Can you identify this woman?

Indiana Gateway to Hell | Mysterious Lady's Face | My New Favorite Face | Whose face is this??

Indiana Gateway to Hell | Mysterious Lady’s Face | My New Favorite Face

Indiana Gateway to Hell | Mysterious Lady's Face | My New Favorite Face | I really want to know whose face that is!

Indiana Gateway to Hell | Mysterious Lady’s Face | My New Favorite Face | I really want to know whose face that is!


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