just an apprentice

the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Screwtape letters revisited...

The following message is republished here from the blog of a catholic priest who is known to stand on his head. The excellent work done by this subversive counter-intelligence agent has filtered out, de-coded and translated the exchanges between the Inquisitor and one of his minnions--Hogwart.

While these messages have been merely reproduced here, there are some indications that new messages are being intercepted and translated from a different source. The message republished in this post, while broadly relevant to the Christian community, is seemingly addressed to a minnion who is assigned to torment our Catholic brothers and sisters. We are working on decoding other messages that are being intercepted from other frequencies. Until then, here is the first of the messages that have been decoded:

...the new technologies of communication are to be exploited for our own ends. However, now that they have developed all these invisible means of communicating with one another they may soon start thinking that extra sensory perception or intuition is possible.

You will naturally want to encourage this, because you will think that from such interests you will be able to lead the gullible brutes into the delightful labyrinth of spiritualism, theosophy and the occult proper. This is just what I would expect from a beginner. Let me warn you most firmly not to follow that path. If they start to imagine that invisible means of communication are possible they may very well start to take prayer seriously. The next thing you know your patient will be doing something disgusting like praying the rosary, and that will lead to (horror of horrors!) a serious attempt at fasting.

Instead of the obvious route of tempting them into the occult (that so lacks subtlety my dear Hogwart) simply get them obsessed with the cleverness of their new playthings. In time you may get the females in your ward to use the internet for high speed gossip and endless shopping. Use the technology to lure young men into an addiction to pornography or role play games. With a little bit of finesse dear Hogwart, you will be able to lead the women into a delicious level of vanity and pure spitefulness, while you lead the men into a fantasy world that is only one step from the warmth of our eternal home.

Finally, be on your guard dear Hogwart. This is the season the enemy call Lent. Despite our successes in turning this into a time for 'sharing with others', some of the enemies agents still take prayer and fasting seriously. Watch out for them. The simpering self righteous little cretins make me want to vomit up all the exquisite bile I have been imbibing. Step on them Hogwart. Crush the vermin.

...should any of the vermin attempt to fast during this period they call Lent, you may think it right to tempt them with the thing they have vowed to give up. Sometimes this works, but more often it is counterproductive. Remember Hogwart, while they are disgustingly physical, you should not mistake their repulsive hairy physicalness with stupidity.
Should you tempt the patient who has given up chocolate with chocolate fudge cake with hot fudge topping he will probably spot it straight away and sidestep. If he gives in and eats the chocolate cake you will feel pleased with yourself. Don't. Your patient (if he is even the tiniest bit serious about fasting) will instantly realize he has broken his vow, and repent. Any repentance is to be regretted enormously, but your amateurish attempts will actually be counter productive because not only will your patient repent, he will turn back to his fasting with renewed determination.

Try instead to focus his mind on the actual process of fasting. Remind him all the time that he actually is fasting, and how difficult it is. With luck he will focus so much on fasting that he will forget to pray. If possible get him to tell others about his fast. Get him to compare his austerities with theirs (and for badness sake, don't allow him to compare with someone who actually fasts more rigorously than he does or you might spark off the beginnings of humility in your patient). As you keep his mind on his fasting, remind him how good it is to concentrate on what he's doing. With some patience you will soon be able to develop the beginnings of some nice self righteousness, and with skill over time you may be able to develop your patient into a full blown Pharisaical prig. There is no harm in him fasting twice a week on bread and water if you can get him to be proud of it. Ah, the bittersweet taste of really good self righteousness! They never make a main course, but they do make a very fine dessert.

...to be continued