John's realization when he finally reaches the "Place of the Gods" is that the so-called Gods were just human beings like himself and their once wonderful city, which we know as New York, was destroyed by some horrible weapon. He longs for the knowledge these men possessed and is sure that he can use that knowledge more wisely than they. He decides that, as a new priest, he will help his people make a new beginning, and he will help the recover the lost knowledge in order to build a new civilization.
He learns that this place isn't a horrible evil place where the gods live but just a place like where he lives exept for its now ruined from bombings and no one living from the bombing. Its not a place of evil simply a place of ruins.