Monday, April 21, 2008

New feature: Ask Mr. Screwtape!

Dear Mr. Screwtape:
I think the Bloggernacle is fertile ground for brining souls to our Father below. I was thinking that the current unpleasantness in Iraq might be a useful wedge issue to distract people from following the precepts of our Enemy. Do you have any advice?

Dear Mugglewumperid:

As I once told my delicious nephew Wormwood,

I had not forgotten my promise to consider whether we should make the patient an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist. All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged . . . Whichever he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the "cause", in which Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favour of the British war-effort or of Pacifism. The attitude which you want to guard against is that in which temporal affairs are treated primarily as material for obedience. Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more "religious" (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here.
The same rules apply now, though I was discussing an earlier World War. In fact, several of my pupils already have several members of the Bloggernacle well down this path. (These links are only some of the more typical examples - these people are everywhere on the Bloggernacle). Most have not quite gotten all the way down the path, but they progress with every new post.

Notice how they begin by treating their specific views on the war as a integral part of their religion. Soon, under the influence of this partisan spirit, they will soon (some already have) come to regard it as the most important part. Eventually, politics will trump religion, and then we will have them. I suggest you study their work carefully and apply these techniques to whomever you have been charged with.

Affectionately Yours,


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