A New 1998 Screwtape Letter

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 78, Autumn 1998 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

Discovered and Copyrighted by Berni Phillips

(An entry in the Screwtape Letter Contest at Mythcon XXIX)

My dear Gallstone,

I cannot emphasize to you enough how valuable a resource the Internet is to us today. Consider, for starters, the initial purchase. Your man must be convinced that only the fastest and most up-to-date (and therefore expensive) machine is suitable for such as he. If he cannot afford such a machine, all the better. You can easily convince him that he and his family deserve such a creation, even if they cannot afford it. You may even be able to justify, by its supposed educational value, that it is worth not sending little Billy to that Christian school in order to buy such a behemoth. This has the potential of getting two generations at once. Then, of course, he must buy all the pricy peripherals and doo-dads that go with such a device.

No, don’t even suggest using the porn on the Internet. Oh, it has its place, but it hasn’t the subtlety I’m trying to instill in you. Rather, have your man select an anonymous on-screen persona to use in his communications. Next introduce him to the various newsgroups and chat rooms where he can run roughshod over the feelings of other, secure in the knowledge that his arrogance and computer makes him superior to these lesser mortals. After all, these are his opinions and anyone who holds another is obviously wrong and therefore an idiot to be abused.

Your man must be seduced into spending more and more time on-line. This has the double effect of destroying both his earthly and his after-earthly lives. His relentless tirades will harden the wisp that is left of his soul while afflicting many who belong to the enemy. At the same time, the neglect he shows his family and job may well deprive him of either or both.

Long live technology!

Your devoted mentor,