In the tradition of C.S. Lewis's Screwtape, Ian Rose suggests that the ‘Big Lie’ Satan is currently sowing in our society would have horrified the Reformers.
On behalf of the Ministry of Truth, I would like to welcome all delegates to the 666th Annual Ministry of Truth Conference here at the London Hellton Hotel.
Tonight I would like to welcome to the stage our Supreme Leader, the Left Dishonourable Milton Gibskink, to deliver his seminal paper on 'The Road to Hell: Asphyxiation Methodology and Western Society'. Most agree that Gibskink is the foremost authority on this subject, having several years’ field experience in cities like New York, Sydney, Paris and, of course, London. Gibskink’s name has become synonymous with victory in the fight against the Enemy wherever Western society has flourished. So, without further ado, Mr Milton Gibskink, Master of Devinites!
(Gibskink takes the podium to ecstatic applause.)
MY DEAR FELLOW DELEGATES, I cannot begin to tell you how much pleasure it gives me to be here before you to deliver tonight’s address. It wasn’t so long ago that I was just another imp sitting in the stalls as you are now. Then I discovered the true secret of success. We all know that, to be successful, we must be deceitful and cunning but, these days, that is no longer enough.
In the old days, our ancestors could quite happily rely on a frontal assault. It was quite easy to infiltrate established religion and bring it down from within. The Crusades, the Inquisition – these are rightly viewed as two of our greatest achievements. Even when religion did take a turn for the worse, when elements of the truth emerged, it was thought relatively easy to quash these with a few good burnings at the stake. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that these burnings were not such a good idea, for those witnessing the burnings came to realize that those being burnt had come to an understanding of the truth.
Fortunately, those methods have been dispensed with and are no longer necessary in our current climate. After all, who now, even of those devoted to the Enemy, know the names of Cranmer or Latimer? Even better, many of those who do know the name of Cranmer laugh out loud at his greatest work (even though that Prayer Book cost us many a soul during the 340 years it was in widespread use).
However, my dear delegates, I digress. What have been my methods over the last 50 years or so and why have they succeeded? For decades I have listened to humans and I now understand with reasonable certainty the kind of lies that appeal to the modern human and the conditions in which they are most likely to believe them. But I must issue a note of caution: the Enemy also listens to them and, given half a chance, he will whisper the truth into their ears to try to win them over. It is far better that He is never given this chance.
Tonight, with your indulgence, I would like to outline my major strategy for combating the Enemy's plans: we must disseminate lies that will be readily believed. You see, it doesn’t matter what lie is told as long as it is believed. The key to any great lie is timing, and I am happy to say that no lie has ever been introduced at a more perfect time and in a more perfect way than the one I am about to propose to you. What is that lie? It is that “There is No Big Picture”.
How innocent it looks. It does not shock or offend. It does not even capture the imagination the way one feels a big lie should. This is precisely the way we like it. If we stated the lie in its more shocking form, we take the risk that people might see it for what it really is: a lie. Once or twice, misguided members of this very audience have allowed students to write the real lie on placards and wave it about in demonstrations – “God is Dead” and other such crass, old-fashioned statements. Today’s Western humans think themselves sophisticated so we must never come at things directly. The lie must remain concealed just below the surface of the conscious mind.
The genius of this particular lie is that, once it is accepted, it eats away at the very cornerstone of all truth. With it we are able to destroy reason, morality and conscience. Its greatest achievement, however, is the effect it has on the Enemy. If there is no Big Picture, there is no Enemy, no Ancient of Days and no Shining One. And if there is no Shining One, humans can never believe in Him, and therefore their soul is ours. How we shall feast on this present generation as never before!
As modern humans like to think of themselves as sophisticated, we must be careful not to mention the word that best describes their true status: ‘pagan’. Humans do not like it. “When we die, we rot”, said one of their own, a great ally of our cause. (Incidentally, what a great lie! Humans who come to us when they die do indeed rot. But no-one mentions that they are alive for all eternity during their decomposition!) Ah, I could go on rhapsodizing about the great undoing of the human soul, but again I digress.
This lie – that there is no Big Picture – is essentially the pagan view. One could quote from one of the Enemy’s texts, written thirteen centuries ago, that, without the Shining One, human life is like a swallow flying through a meeting hall, from a storm of nothingness, into the brief light and warmth of the hall, then out again into the same storm of nothingness. But this kind of language is all but incomprehensible to the modern human mind. Metaphor is now for the birds. It is a great victory for us for, once we control the style of language, we control the content of language. If There is No Big Picture, then the words that were used to describe that Big Picture fall into disuse. If there are no words for it, how can it be articulated? The human mind can contemplate the eternal, but if they have no language for it, they cannot communicate it.
What then, are the fruits of this lie? I must now divide my paper in two. I want to speak on the effects of this lie on humans at large and then on the Church in particular.
Is there any innate goodness in mankind? All of us know the answer to this question and it is a resounding, “No”. Left to their own devices, humans deteriorate. This was once well known amongst humans but now it barely registers. Who now reads Lord of the Flies, for instance?
But what keeps humans in check? It is what is known in heaven as well as in hell: the prospect of final judgement – that burning impetus for our spitefulness. It pains me to even mention this subject as we ourselves will eventually be consumed by it. But what if there is no Big Picture? Then there is no judgement. And if there is no judgement, there is no punishment. If there is no punishment, there can be no restraint on human behaviour. Is this not exactly the mindset we desire in which we are free to act and the Enemy is excluded? When every suggestion of excess is taken up with gusto; where one whispered wrong parents a thousand offspring; and where temptation is action ad infinitum.
What is the effect of this lie on the Church? You would be surprised. What would they do with the doctrine of hell? One of the Enemy's eminent members has gone within a whisker of saying that there is no hell, just nothingness for those who reject the Shining One. You cannot fail to notice how close – how infinitesimally close – this is to the pagan view. Why did he say this? It is because he, like others, cannot believe in a God who punishes those who reject His Son with hell. They do not realize that hell is God's last kindness to those who do not believe. After all, what can God do? Those who refuse to believe cannot enter Heaven, its eternal incandescent light would fill their souls with unimaginable, unending pain, their imperishable souls cannot be unmade; all that can be done is to reduce them over eternity. Even the cruelty of God is kinder than the kindness of humans. But we must suppress this message as much as possible. Let them think that, if there is a God, he is kind – like some half-remembered grandfather. Or let them think that, if there is a God, he will spare the good (whatever ‘the good’ means apart from Him). Or, as I have done so successfully, let them think that There is No Big Picture!
© 2005 Matthias Media / Ian Rose