MARCH 1999

Another Intercepted piece of Infernal Correspondence


Dear Wormwood,

 

I am glad that you are concerned about patients worshipping the Enemy. You should be. We have had very little success in persuading people to worship of Our Father Below overtly and in any numbers. It is too cold in England.

I have a suggestion. We have had some marked successes in diverting worship, which is offered to the Enemy, so that the people finish up worshipping themselves. I can tell you that there is more rejoicing in Hell over one act of worship thus turned than over ninety and nine silly people dancing on a hill in the nude.

This is how it is done. Seek out a group of patients who are in the first excitement of conversion - or better, bring a little fervour and enthusiasm into a congregation by sending them a young priest with a guitar, precious little learning and much charm. Persuade the leaders of the congregation to concentrate on the enjoyment of the worship. Get them to invent parts of the worship so that, little by little, they lose sight of any doctrine.

Quite soon they will be attending worship because it makes them feel good, for the spiritual elation. You need not worry about opposition from the hierarchy. Just ask Slobgub, who is doing great work among bishops, to get the local bishop to attend such an act of worship and say how wonderful it all is. Then any attempt to return the worship to orthodox principles will be finished - after all the bishop has approved of the innovations!

Can you see what you have done? Instead of worshipping the Enemy they are worshipping their feelings of enjoyment and elation. They are hooked. We have had particular success in this over Advent, taking the sting out of it. The Enemy's Incarnation has been turned into a sentimental event for children with Christmas carols sung - in and out of church - from the beginning of December; wonderful!

One of our greatest successes of late has been the Nine O'clock Service at Sheffield which had the approval of the bishop and the archbishop. I thought at first that Greaseshanks went too far there and that it was foolish letting them frighten the horses. But I am glad to say that the foundations he laid were deeper than I thought. Recent events show that pagan worship is now accepted in the C of E.

Once you have established the entertainment principle of worship you have won. The patients cannot see that three old maids worshipping the

Enemy in a cold church at 8.00am on a Sunday morning are doing better work for Him than a whole churchful of young people who are there only for the religious thrill. The most encouraging aspect of all this is that you won't have to fight the clergy on the matter. They are, for the most part, way ahead of you, doing your work for you. It is always refreshing when life comes easy.

 

Your affectionate uncle
Screwtape.

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