Posts in the The Dementape Letters series
- The Dementape Letters: One
- The Dementape Letters: Two
- The Dementape Letters: Three
- The Dementape Letters: Four
- The Dementape Letters: Five
- The Dementape Letters: Six
[The following correspondence was found in the storage area under the stairs in our condo, which is also where we keep the catbox. Its authenticity has yet to be verified.]
To my dear niece, Gutrot:
Congratulations on your new post. I hope you realize the honor that Our Father Below has bestowed on you, untested as you are. In the past, when a new Branch has needed to be opened, He has left it to experienced tempters He knows can be trusted to follow established protocol through to success; however, He has judged that the Enemy’s latest move must be met with the vim and vigour of youth, such as we have left. I would never think of questioning His wisdom in this decision…but since it is my Department of Kingdom Thwartation whose budget will suffer if you fail (and because your mother IMed to let me know you are feeling some post-graduation uncertainty about the efficacy of your training), I consider it my personal responsibility to ensure your triumph. Hence, this note.
Dean Stinkknees forwarded your transcripts to me at my request, and I am impressed with your marks, though I should point out that when I graduated from Tempter University (back in the centuries when it was still Tempter College, and ambitious demons could expect a well-rounded education), the curriculum was much more demanding. I will be truly impressed when I see you in action and when I taste the fruits of your labor. (Ah, Gutrot…there is nothing like the taste of the First Soul that joins us in Our Father’s House Below as a direct result of your tempting expertise. You will never be truly full, but you come closest when tucking in to your First.) If you will keep in mind everything you have learned in the last fifty years and do exactly as I say, I am confident you will descend the ladder of accomplishment as quickly as can be expected.
Now to your current situation: To be as honest as I can be (considering my inherent nature and millennia of exceptional deception), I’ll tell you right out that we don’t know what to expect. This “Emerging Church” idea of the Enemy’s is either His best or His worst in years…and it is up to us to make sure it is the latter, rather than the former. We could wish, in our more wistful moments, that the Enemy and His loathsome Son could have been content to maintain the status quo (which, of course, always stagnates in Our Father’s favor) rather than open Themselves to the risks one can expect when one innovates. (It is in dread of these risks – and the fact that we are incapable of creativity – that Our Father eschews innovation of any kind. The Other Side is always the one to think of something new and terrifying, leaving it to us to scramble for a response.) But since we are not in the habit of wistfulness, we do not have the luxury of wishing for long; instead, we must celebrate the Enemy’s penchant for taking the Battle onto untried ground, and hope that we can exploit His love for dangerous territory.
Your assignment to the leadership of the local “Emerging Church” calls for a look back to past sudden and aggressive attacks from the Enemy. You should remember most of these from your classes at University, but I will cover them in detail (with specifics of some of our counter-attacks with which we had the most success) in subsequent missives. For now, I advise you to review your history texts and begin with a simple temptation toward Pride.
Pride, of course, is the temptation to which all those Subjects the Enemy has chosen to use in His abominable innovations are most susceptible. It is enticing for Humans to believe they have been chosen for innovation because of some intrinsic value that places them above the Humans that have been chosen to safeguard the Enemy’s Church from attack. (It is always more glamourous to be on the offensive than the defensive…for us and for them!) This is obvious fallacy, since the Enemy values all of those created in His appalling Image as much as they could ever be valued…but our specialty is fallacy, so if there is an opportunity to exploit this already extant lure, do so immediately.
My advice is to take the leader of Christian Service as your primary Subject, at least as you begin to infiltrate the Operation. Historically, these leaders have been the most difficult nuts to crack (you already know this from your classes), since Service was so low on the priority list of most of the Enemy’s Children that only the most dedicated, humble, and compassionate Humans would bother to scale the mountains of red tape and bother we put in their way. Under this new paragdigm, however, it seems obvious that the Emerging Church contingent of the Enemy’s Body considers Service right up there with Preaching or Music (and perhaps just above). This opens temptation opportunities on two fronts: 1) Pride because Service has been by and large neglected and now the leader of Christian Service is “getting it right” more than anyone before, and 2) Pride because those Humans who give of their time, resources, and Love to those who need any of the above are the “rock stars” of the Emerging Church, and are regarded with notoriety that would make the odiously humble Son blush.
Make the most of this. Observe that prong of attack to which your Subject may be most vulnerable, and exploit it. If you need examples of lines, see Appendix V in Tempting the Enemy’s Humblest Servants. (My especial favorite is “You should get a badge for humility.”) I expect a full report in triplicate via email, fax, and Express Mail on Monday. If you need emergency counsel before that time, feel free to txt me.
Your vile and affectionate aunt,
[read part two]
Next in series: The Dementape Letters: Two