My dear Snearman,
Your reputation precedes you. You are becoming quite the master-tempter and I am thrilled at the chance to work with you. I hear you have had some trouble with your latest patient and need some assistance in your service to Our Father Below. Fortunately, I have some new tactics straight from Research and Development which will help you in this rather difficult case.
Your patient is one of those ‘faithful Catholics.’ You have been given a challenging one. There are, however, a few techniques to knock him off his path to The Enemy without him even knowing it. In fact, if you perform well and follow my advice precisely, he won’t even be aware that he has left The Enemy’s service.
Number 1: Pandemonium ...
Under no circumstances should the patient ever be left in silence. Our research has found that patients can be conditioned to find it as vile as we do. This emptiness of noise is pivotal to the development of their inner parts towards the Enemy; a significant number of patients immediately experience accelerated ignorance of The Enemy’s movements when they are not allowed any part of quiet reflection.
Begin with something the patient enjoys and slowly bring him to excess with it. Then help him find another pleasure and let him bounce between the two. You can even begin to use tools which are claimed by The Enemy: have him volunteer for enough organizations, work for enough causes, and do enough hobbies that he never sits with his own thoughts.
Even when he attempts prayer, make his reading, journaling, and recitation the main object of his time so that he never actually lets The Enemy speak to his inner parts. And should you find yourself at a loss for distraction, you can always get him to stare at that glowing rectangular object he always carries with him. These days so many patients are practically tempting themselves!
Number 2: Smugness ...
Once the patient is surrounded by a cacophony of noise, it is vitally important that the tempter move them toward self-reflection. This appears counter-intuitive, but this is also the brilliance of our research! Without any attention to the Enemy’s movements, we bring one of their greatest weapons to a grinding halt: The Examination of Conscience. We then control their self-reflection and the tempter may work on a two-horned approach: Pride and Self-Hate.
In pride, the patient finds himself on top: he is more well-informed, better looking, more talented, more holy, more charitable…any cause or thought can be brought to profit for Our Father Below. He quickly loses any chance of real self-analysis and the more righteous he feels his cause is, the better. Without The Enemy’s guidance, he becomes food for us.
Alongside the external pride comes the internal self-hate. Without any knowledge of the true love The Enemy has for him (which I so regrettably discovered years ago,) he begins to hate others as well. He realizes he will never match up to the constant comparisons he draws between others and himself and isolates himself. Pride and Self-Hate become circular and spirals the patient down to us in tight circles.
Number 3: Complexity ...
My cleverly concocted third step relates specifically to the more difficult patients like the one you are tempting. Their deep belief in The Enemy is one that can be hard to overcome. There is a lot of natural habit and we must gain back all the ground The Enemy has conquered. Fortunately, followers of The Enemy have given us their game plan in what they call their Creed.
You must get your patient, with all his deep devotion, to focus on the more complicated beliefs, doctrines, and truths from The Enemy and forget entirely the basic building blocks of these first beliefs. Puff him up with pride when he knows more than someone else. Let him ridicule those who don’t understand the ‘truth of the faith.’ Let him forget the vileness of The Enemy’s relationship which is somehow the exact thing we find so repugnant: love. How I can hardly write the word!
You will know you have finally accomplished this step when your patient becomes so opinionated and self-righteous, he shares his every thought in 240 characters! It’s even more fun when your patient is a priest! He will respond to anyone and everyone who has a different opinion and with each character he types, he will be closing his ears to The Enemy who these fools believe is actually present in the other patients. He will also be closing his inner parts to love (yuck!) and once we’ve got him in this way, anyone who speaks on behalf of The Enemy becomes his enemy! I’m nearly giddy with glee!
Number 4: Tainted Love ...
The last and final step is my favourite. The Church is the largest and biggest problem we have in bringing patients to Our Father Below. We made great strides recently in bringing patients away from it through the misdeeds of its leaders. The further away from the stench of grace the better for us. However, it is possible to tempt your patient away without him thinking he has fallen away.
Make him fall in love with what he thinks is the Church. Make him love incense and chant more than the Eucharist. Make him love kneeling to receive that horrible Host because it makes him feel superior to his fellow patients who stand. Make him focus entirely on social justice and the sins of others and get him to forget his own personal iniquity which will bring him to us quick as you can say “Beelzebul.” Never, under any circumstances, let him see a style of liturgy or spirituality different from his own as good and of God. It becomes very hard to bring him down when he finds empathy with others.
In Closing ...
I look forward to hearing your report on your progress with your patient. All our patients seem to be doing a very good job at destroying themselves but we mustn’t rest on our laurels. Our Father Below demands top effort all the time.