“Hell’s Finest Scalpel”

My dear Wormwood,

I, too, am pleased with the developing situation in Europe. A rising tide of Islamic migrants will undoubtedly see a rise in European converts for their god. One of the chief duties of Hell, as you should by now know (and is widely recognized among our colleagues), is to encourage the practicing of devout religions among mankind. Do not mistake me, I do not mean every devout religion; obviously Christianity is to be made in its every facet inconsequential* in our patients’ minds. And even the vaguely tethered branches of skewed Christianity that have survived through millennia of hate and fire (despite our best efforts at their extirpation) are, when in their pure and ardent forms, damaging to our cause. Not because they of themselves lead souls to the Enemy’s gates, but because they encourage the kinds of charity and critical thinking that we strive to block out of human minds. But barring that, religion, when utilized properly, is Hell’s finest scalpel.

The devout religions that we should and do encourage have done us very little harm over the course of history, while a great tonnage of ignorant lives has been taken by Hell in profit. I am talking, mainly, of the myriad Eastern religions that have been used to justify every ridiculous human fantasy from animal-worship to polygamy to genocide. And need I even mention our two greatest weapons where Western religion is concerned? Atheism and Materialism, no matter that their practitioners (at least, the ones who are competent enough to recognize that they are practitioners) adorably insist they aren’t religious, are religions that have been utilized by Hell for decades to ensnare the “intellectuals” of mankind.

I feel I should clarify what I mean by inconsequential; you are growing to be quite an adept hellion, but you are young, and the last thing I want is for you to ignore, or, worse, to attempt to entirely smother any thoughts of Christianity in your patient. In the first place, as I have said many times before, the Enemy will probably not allow you to block out all thoughts of Him– He is self-admittedly a jealous kind, after all.

The aim is not to deflect every possible thought from your patient’s mind that revolves around faith. Rather, block any thought that might stimulate his conscience, waking him from the dreamy quagmire you have so meticulously woven around his soul. Do not for any reason allow him to think of the wrath one base action would incur on him from the Enemy; rather, let him dwell on those actions that he perceives should “please his ‘Father'”. So long as there is no cause for your man to be alarmed at the gaps in his spiritual armor, there also is no cause for him to seek repentance. So then, Christianity does us good as long as it is conditioned. Work the thought of it to be subconsciously viewed as inconsequential but not entirely irrelevant, for as you have so plainly seen in the last few decades, a man who considers himself to be “right with Jesus”, but still acts a pagan, is some of the easiest prey Hell has known.

And that is what I mean by all this tiresome talk- that the humans in our charge must in no way feel as though there is an imminent need or relevant reason to, say, confess their sins in fervent prayer. It has been proven to us countless times that the man who attends church on Sunday only to mindlessly frequent his favorite brothel on Monday is unconsciously experiencing just the type of gradual and unsuspecting damnation that we desire. This is the method of choice for Hell’s seasoned tempters (I do hope you note this), and has for centuries provided a steady flow of comfortable souls into the glorious, insatiable, deserving maw of Our Father Below,

Your affectionate uncle

Screwtape

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3 thoughts on ““Hell’s Finest Scalpel”

  1. I noticed: how this seems like it came straight from the book. You did an amazing job.
    I liked: how you used phrases such as,And that is what I mean by all this tiresome talk.
    I wondered: If you completely wrote this off the top of your head or if you studied for it.
    I would suggest: making it a little more understandable for an eighth grader. (that is the only thing I could think of)
    Strong words or phrases: And even the vaguely tethered branches of skewed Christianity that have survived through millennia of hate and fire (despite our best efforts at their extirpation) are, when in their pure and ardent forms, damaging to our cause.

  2. A totally commendable emulation of C.S. Lewis’s voice. Your commanding vocabulary serves you well in an assignment like this one. Being able to take on a persona like this is necessary for creating the voices of characters that may be unlike your own, and you do that flawlessly here. “Deserving maw” is a nice juxtaposition (one of many), and your logic– your mimicry of the way Lewis turns on its head what you’d expect to hear from a demon– is sound. I’m proud to have this on the 5000 Words site.

  3. kchick316 says:

    Wow, this was really good!
    I noticed that you’re really adept at speaking as Screwtape, interesting.
    I would suggest remembering you’re not a head demon in real life, I think you may have forgotten!
    I wondered if this was another chapter in Screwtape, because I can totally see it fitting!
    I liked how you were able to get yourself in character!
    Strong words or phrases “The blind devotion is revolting, but I digress.”

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