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Personal Reflections

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 86, Autumn 2000 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

by Larry Repass, Mexico City

The Spring and Summer 2000 issues of the Lewis Legacy have been given to me this week and I have devoured them (as usual). I especially enjoyed Larry Gilman’s article and follow-up comparing many passages from The Dark Tower with others from known works by CSL. His enthusiasm for Lewis and his honest approach, his impressive knowledge of Lewis passages, and his kind but insistent questions remind me of your own 1989 inquiries after the truth. Since those days I have followed your logical investigation into these “mysteries” with great interest. I have read my own experience many times in the testimony of others: discovered CSL in college, read all I could find from his pen, gained spiritual insights and grew in Christ, and then I discovered your “C S Lewis Hoax” in 1990.

A few months later I met Walter Hooper and expressed my honest “position” — that I had read the ‘Hoax’ and think her questions deserve answers. I subsequently had a short correspondence with him. He ended with a request that his communication be considered private and not for publication, so I have never revealed the content although nothing was there that had not appeared elsewhere already so there was nothing I could add to the debate from that source.

I recall deciding early that I was out of my league in regards to research for clearing anything up, and I accepted that my own role would be as a reader/learner and where possible acting as a pastor. You both have been in my prayers since then and shall continue to be. I was glad to be able to share with you a cassette recording of one of Hooper’s talks on Lewis.

A man no longer interested “in anything Lewis” told me that Hooper had asked if he would like to see an original C S Lewis manuscript, and was shown a type-written copy of The Dark Tower. He thought that was strange, to say the least, since he knew that CSL always wrote his manuscripts our longhand. This only confirmed to me what your writing had already convinced me of, that TDT was not written by Lewis.

My correspondence with Hooper was short-lived. When he realized that I was being duped by “that woman”, we no longer had anything to say to each other. I do recall that in my last letter to him I cited one of his own statements from the introduction to a later edition of ‘Screwtape’. He was answering a criticism that CSL seemed to dwell on petty temptations when a world war was brewing. Hooper had countered by asking if anything can be petty if it leads to the damnation of a soul? I prayed that his own question would do him good.