We at The American Catholic often receive unsolicited manuscripts. What follows is from a lengthy collection of documents, smelling faintly of brimstone, that purport to be the notes of a Mr. Wormwood taken while he was attending a class colorfully entitled Damnation 201. The documents are dated, but the dates given are gibberish:
Ah, Sleek Sylph looks especially delicious. Oof, Professor Thornbit is saying this could be on the final. Concentrate Wormwood!
Thornbit: After what mortals call death patients who escape our clutches are designated Saints by the Enemy. The penalty for a tempter allowing a patient to become a Saint is as final as it is terrible, albeit succulent for those of us who gain sustenance from those of you who prove incompetent. Here are ten simple rules to prevent you from ending up on my table.
1. Encourage your patient to violate those laws the Enemy calls his Ten Commandments. Emphasize to the patient that these are unmerciful rules that do not allow for the complexity of life. You will find, at least those of you who are not a waste of Hellfire, that the term “complexity” is ever useful in causing a patient to ignore the clear commands of the Enemy.
2. Most patients, ludicrously, are proud of their intellects. Encourage the cretins in this, as one of the few true human sayings is that “pride goeth before a fall.”
3. If you can, make your patient an atheist; the shock of such patients when they arrive here is an amusement that is indescribable. Take care however, some who claim atheism merely hate the Enemy and the Enemy has a way of turning strong hate into strong love in an instant if you are not careful. Also, make certain that your patient embraces atheism as a substitute religion and not as a proposition that he may rethink given evidence to the contrary. The Enemy and his agents are too cursed good at argument, and in providing evidence, against the useful absurdity of atheism.
4. The patient should be taught to regard every mortal he encounters as a potential victim for him to exploit. Although humans tend to be selfish animals, this isn’t as simple as it sounds. Honest affection and even love can spring from the most unlikely of mortals if his tempter is not ever vigilant.
5. Sexual excess, especially if channeled into what the Enemy considers perversions, can be a useful aid to propel a patient along our Downward Path. However, lazy tempters view this as a foolproof temptation at their peril. That abomination that the Enemy calls love can spring from the most wonderfully sordid sexual entanglements if the tempter of a patient does not take proper precautions.