Screwtape on the Neutralization of Effective Apologetics and Divine Callings

“The sooner you learn these bedrock principles, the more quickly you will advance down the diabolical ladder, and be even more fulfilled in your marvelously advanced wickedness.”

(photo: Michael Pacher, “Saint Wolfgang and the Devil”, c. 1473)

[This is inspired, of course, by C. S. Lewis' famous Screwtape Letters. Screwtape is a demon who writes to his “nephew”: the less-experienced demon Wormwood, giving him pointers on how to tempt human beings.]

My Dear Wormwood,

It's a huge problem that there are so many Catholic apologists today (both professionals and very talented amateurs), producing (from the Enemy's view) excellent apologetics. In the worst-case scenario, which we are duty-bound to always try to prevent, this results in growing numbers of people who previously (wittingly or unwittingly) upheld our goals, going astray and actually enrolling as members in the Enemy's camp: what they call (with disgusting arrogance) “The Church”.

We can't always (alas, not even usually) defeat such apologetics by argument, because, unfortunately, the Enemy seems to have a certain intangible “spiritual” power that we haven't been able to totally overcome, and also that dreaded foe, reason. Fortunately, repetition and propaganda have always been able to defeat reason and fact in most cases.

Thankfully, there are a number of strategies and tactics and efficient ways to accomplish our goals. We can, for example, see to it that the effective, efficient apologist writes as little of his apologetics as possible. The game is to distract him and promote in his mind a sense of priorities and emphases much more to our liking and advantage. If his work isn't out there in the first place (or far less of it is), then obviously it can't harm our followers and useful idiots.

One very promising avenue as of late is to divert the apologist – or for that matter, any Catholic who has effectively forced their false beliefs upon others – into a strong, even obsessive attention to mere politics and matters of government. This has recently been rather spectacularly successful. If we can achieve the result of getting these apologists to write more about politics, by far, than about what they call “the faith” then we have succeeded beyond our wildest hopes and aspirations.

Beyond this matter of relative output, they even tend to start thinking that everyone who disagrees with them on political matters, is a sort of “enemy”: rather than us and our Brave Leader being their true enemy. They forget that they are more often than not fighting against their own fellow “Christians” within the dreadful and pathetic so-called “Body of Christ.”

This can happen (another great break for us!) in any part of the political spectrum. “Political correctness” and a smug intellectual snobbery, or on the opposite side: extreme, paranoid semi-conspiratorialism and self-righteousness, are the fashions and fads of the day and conquer all.

We must encourage and exploit this wonderful trend as vigorously as possible, so as to divide and conquer the enemy: proven to be one of the very best and time-honored tactics handed down to us by Glorious Lord Satan.

Another avenue to undermine the harm that Catholic apologetics does, is to get the apologist sidetracked into the charming frame of mind that chooses to selectively see very little good in one's own organization (in this case, “The Church”). Such people complain about every (actual or imagined) bad thing (i.e., “bad” from their perspective; “good” from ours), in their "Church" and can't seem to see the good things (bad from our vantage point). It's a sort of tunnel vision or deliciously warped vision.

Sometimes it is brought about by happenstance, based on a wonderfully gloomy temperament or a pessimism that we seek to foster at every turn. We desire anything but optimism and hopefulness: states of mind that are highly dangerous and counter-productive. The cynical disposition always works in our favor, so we must by all means encourage it.

The opposite but equally effective error is the propensity of remaking the Church in one's own image: gradually tearing down and distorting previously accepted doctrines from the Enemy's Inspired Book and “apostolic tradition” or massively redefining them, so that they are no longer identifiable as what they once were. This is called (with typically human pridefulness and blindness) “progressivism” by its practitioners, and “dissent” by the more internally consistent and difficult followers of our Enemy and his "Church."

There are also many other habits we can promote in order to prevent as much as demonically possible, apologists writing harmful apologetics: not only the usual highly useful sins of (what they call “immoral”) sex, pornography, gambling, jealousy, self-centeredness, gossip, bitterness, or substance abuse (you've long since learned how to further all those extremely widespread temptations), but also habits that are “neutral” in and of themselves, but capable of devouring lots of valuable time.

Examples of these activities are sports, “worthless” (from the Enemy's perspective) books, TV, video games, music, etc. We must always encourage obsessions and excesses and extremes that eat into the time formerly devoted to actions that harm us and cause people to become closer to the Enemy.

Our enemies seem to rarely ponder priorities, emphases, and what they are told in their religion are the most important aspects of life. This is one of innumerable characteristics that arise from what is known as “original sin” and “concupiscence”: and they work splendidly in our favor.

That's more than enough instruction for today. I can't stress highly enough that these are very important general principles: to be zealously applied not only to apologists, but to everyone. All that differs is the calling or vocation each person has. Our job is to distract them from exercising that which their Enemy “Lord” has called them to. The very last thing we want is for them to fully follow the Enemy's “will” or (perhaps worst of all) to be guided by the Opposing Spirit: which we have never been able to expel from these warped Christian souls, absent “mortal sin.”

The sooner you learn these bedrock principles, the more quickly you will advance down the diabolical ladder, and be even more fulfilled in your marvelously advanced wickedness.

Your affectionate uncle,