My Dear Mogslopper, Your recent comments on the matter of the Church have me wondering about your quality as a Junior Tempter. Perhaps I have been overly restrained in my presentation of this unpleasant Reality to you. No longer; I shall undertake correction of your views immediately by instruction rather than an alternative method of...let us say "reeducation" that goes on Below and that you may be subject to, despite my long-suffering efforts on your behalf, if you do not focus yourself. The Church, as opposed to local expressions of church, is purported to be unassailable. For centuries, we have attempted to subvert her, to pervert her, to render her irrelevant--to only limited effect. But I have great hopes that with the advent of another century, we will find victory where until now we have tasted only defeat. There are specific areas where we find a weakness in the Church, often through her many sects and divisions that are scattered throughout time and space like horrible flickering lamps in the middle of early twilight. By themselves, they give almost no light--at least nothing one could be guided by. Together, however, they bring enough of the Beatific Vision to earth to lead many precious souls toward our Enemy. These churches, these communities of saints, when taken on their own can often be skewed by slight deviation toward a more helpful mediocrity or a distraction from orthodoxy or insipid points of theological argumentation (a la the infamous "angels on the head of a pin" debate). But the cumulative effect of their error is far too slight in relation to the Church as a terrible whole. Yet the opportunity exists to pull down many Churchmen with their churches, even if toppling the entire System is currently just out of our grasp. To that end, we have employed two opposing strategies throughout the ages. In the beginning, we persecuted the adherents of Christianity. We believed that, given its nascent state, a few hundred executions couldn't hurt our position. As the argument went, if you snuff out the saplings, you will not have to deal with the forest later. Given the difficulty of joining the new religion and the likelihood of martyrdom, millions of potential converts were kept from even investigating the faith. Later, as the blood of martyrs became the soil for a growing Church (all according to our Plan, I assure you) the Lowerarchy decided to switch strategies. The second strategy, initiated during a time of widespread cultural torpor, was to allow the Christians free reign of society. They immediately gained great acceptance with their fellow heathen and, in some cases, worldly wealth and honor. As Our Father Below proclaimed it, if they will not be quenched through torture, purchase their devotion through worldly compromise. The Cross, once an icon of ultimate sacrifice, became a trinket fashioned of gold and bejeweled with worldliness. The Enemy, as you could guess, never fully relented. Though we would mercifully offer the humans fulfillment for their temporary lives that pass away like the grass in the wind, He has denigrated the entire spiritual world by wooing and chasing the humans down time and time again. All of History is now filled with the stink of His association with the stupid mammals. He apparently never grows tired of their constant refusals, rejection, denial. Our Father has offered to take the humans off our Enemy's hands for good, but his fair offer was scorned long ago--another misdeed of our Enemy's in this long War. But I digress. At the very beginning, the Enemy explicitly instructed His followers to meet regularly. I am certain His intention is to use these meetings to absorb great quantities of the humans into Himself all at once, but He insists He wants them free to accept or reject His Son in a collection of their brethren. These meetings, though they themselves are not the Church, are currently called "church" by many followers and are treated as an odd and somewhat awkward weekly event. At certain times in history, the meeting has been compulsory. However, thanks to our tireless efforts, it is now often seen as an inconvenience, a time of formality and inactivity in an otherwise enjoyable weekend day. In the northern latitudes at least, society has relegated "church" to an archaic ritual quarantined from the rest of their lives. And that individualistic, compartmentalized view of time and the Church has allowed us to divide the lamps into smaller and smaller quantities of singular candles that we can more easily extinguish. Unfortunately, the upshot of the Church is that, completely unlike a club or social organization, it exists independent of its members. If no one attended any church, the Church would still survive, forged as it is neither of men and women nor of Mankind in general. No, the Church is in essence a thing outside of its participants; it is wholly of the Enemy. Our hope actually lies in the fact that most patients cannot see the supernatural through the mundane. Many will be unable to distinguish what they know about the operation of a political party or school from what they suspect about the Church. You can usually steer your man toward viewing his local fellowship of half-witted, half-committed brethren as little more than artificially done-up versions of themselves--hypocrites is the term I used to suggest to my patients--completely incapable of representing anything as high and holy as the Church. Likewise, you may suggest to your patient that the sheer ordinariness of a congregation is reason enough to believe the entire thing is a sham cooked up to empower a few and oppress the weak or some other such materialist nonsense. But if you allow him to see through the off-key singing and frivolous emotionalism that passes for worship, the illogical arguments and half-baked illustrations that they call sermons or teachings, and the self-interested, formulaic prayers to the core of inexpressible joy stirred up by sharing fleeting moments of life with fellow pilgrims in the Enemy's Presence--the heart of so-called Church--then, Mogslopper, the game is nearly lost to you. That is why I normally council against allowing any patient to come into a church at all, let alone walk into a group of Enemy-followers. When a group of humans intend to follow the Enemy come-what-may and refine and refine and refine their approach to--and their service for--Him, there is no telling how much damage they can do. Your best bet following conversion to the Church is to wrap your patient up immediately with self-important specters of Churchmen, the parasites of the Church, who will make immediate claims on his social devotions and perhaps on his wallet but no lasting claims on improving his spiritual wellbeing. Barring this group of scoffers or socialites or false prophets/profits, allow him no true companions from inside the real Church. Affectionately, Your Uncle


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