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The Skubala Missives: Letter 3

To the Most Eminent Secretary Kugelpuss:

Well, that escalated quickly.

You misunderstand my gentle council as veiled threats, which if ever there were any doubt that you were new to office politics, that doubt is now removed.  I am an underling just like you, Kugelpuss!  I mean only to help, devil to devil. And really, invoking the name of Gakjab as if I had slighted him was really unnecessary.  Gakjab was there with Screwtape when the present policy was designed and implemented.  They worked together in dark concert, and were rewarded together with appointments to our Master’s cabinet.

Moreover, who is it, do you think, that tasked me to reach out to you in the first place?

Let that question sink in.

But let us not descend into pedestrian squabbles.  You asked some good questions, which I will (if only in obedience to my superiors) render my best answers to.

The reason for our new policy, breaking with our patterns for thousands of years, is simply because this policy was not even possible until relatively recently.  When Hobbes imagined his Leviathan, there were no grounds for thinking that it would exist anywhere except his imagination.  While I have not inspected his file, I would be willing to bet that the whole scheme was encouraged merely as a mechanism through which to win his soul, since there was not even the slightest reason to think that an overarching organization such as the one he proposed was on the horizon.

But today we live in the cold glow of Taylor’s maxim, “In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first.”

Several centuries of human history have led us to a place where much of the infrastructure for Leviathan’s rule has been laid, and, more than that, more humans than ever are primed to submit to such a scheme.  Some of this has been carefully inflamed by our Master in Hell, some has been the natural response of the little scumbags to their own bloody history, and some has been good fortune.  In all of this, it seems that very little has been going the Enemy’s way, and a great deal of the credit for that goes to the workers in your department who have fully embraced our policy.

How so?  One of our great tasks has always been to conceal to them what is obvious to us–and obvious to any observer.  In this context, it means carefully obscuring the fact that the ‘system’ is still managed by Man.  It is their goal to escape the excesses of humanity, the greed, the lust, the envy, the bloodthirsty quest for power.  How stupid of them to think that they are free from such things if you have a State sufficiently empowered!  But they believe it!  The reason they believe it is because our master tempters prompt them to forget that there is no power exerted by the ‘State’ that is not guided and directed and implemented by their fellows, who are no less human than they are.

What this does for us is exquisite.   In the old days, we had to take care in raising up a great devil of a man.  He was hard to protect, for a man’s deeds were more clearly evident to his fellow man.  Remember the Berkman-Frick affair, and never forget it!  Nowadays, you couldn’t get anywhere near one of our agents, not only because of the many intermediate layers of bureaucracy with its increasingly impenetrable security, but because in most cases their names are not even known.  By day, they plunder their fellow man, gorging themselves on their succulent self-satisfaction even as they facilitate mass murder, always, of course, doing so while lining their own pocket books.  By night, they amuse themselves at restaurants and theaters, walking the street in perfect anonymity.  In a bygone day, they would be slain in the street.  In our modern creation, nobody has any idea what horrors on our behalf they have wrought, so they are left quite alone, getting plumper every day that passes.

There is a beautiful irony to this, which does not escape our calculations.  Just as the victims do not know the names of their victimizers, the victimizers do not know the names of the victims.  The whole scheme is flush with the Impersonal.  And there is, you will agree, nothing we detest more than persons, the personal, or The Person.

Yet there is even more to be said than this.

You will be aware of the fact that our Enemy possesses certain unfair advantages when it comes to the technology he employs.  Our Experimental Department has been hard at work over the centuries attempting to duplicate some of these advantages.  There was one technological innovation that we greatly desired but feared would never attain, which is embodied in that grotesque phrase, ‘the body of Christ.’

As an experienced tempter, you know all about this bizarre aspect of the Enemy’s relation to humanity.  It is clear from his conduct towards them that he really wishes to regard them as persons, even as he unites them with each other, and him.  Phrases like ‘one flesh’ or ‘buried with him in baptism’ are not, as the humans suppose, mere dogma, but actual realities which serve to make our work extraordinarily difficult.  There is safety in numbers, and it is even worse when they are not only joined in cause, but also joined ‘organically.’

Our Experimental Department has been hard at work attempting to duplicate this phenomena, and bring it to bear for our own purposes, but the best we’ve been able to do is create mere ‘organizations.’  But the advent of the System offers us our first real advance towards possibly being able to re-create the same kind of thing.  Under our careful stewardship, our agents fatten themselves up for the slaughter, and what is it that they’ve consumed that made them so fat?  To the degree that it is possible in their realm, they’ve gobbled up the souls of those they trampled upon.

Hence, by consuming them, we enjoy the many flavors of those that they consumed.

Do you see then what we are at the cusp of accomplishing?  Heretofore, whenever we brought someone into our storehouse, there was little hope that we could feast on our harvest without also exhausting it.  There certainly is not enough to go around for you and I and all of our co-laborers! But if we succeed in our efforts here, by creating our own Organism, with its self-sustaining nature, deprived, we hope, of any individuality and the various specializations found in the Enemy’s method of making the many ‘one,’ we will all engorge ourselves–forever.

Yours quite sincerely,

Skubala

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