Letter IV

Dear Slugmulch,

Allow me to advise you on how to increase the similarities between your patient and us. You see, the humans are spending every waking moment of theirs becoming more like us, or becoming more like him, and it is in our best interest that we make them as much like us as possible. Therefore, that begs the question, what are we like? I would say, at the risk of stating the obvious, that we are selfish. Our beautifully dystopian society is completely founded on selfish ambition, and it would serve us all well if we gave humans a taste of how good it really is down here. To show you why it is important to teach your patient selfishness, I will point to a story that is often lauded by the enemy's humans. You may or may not have heard the story of Job. It is not one that I, nor anyone else down here, enjoys recounting, but it is nevertheless a valuable cautionary tale for young tempters.

I will say that the story of Job is one of the darkest marks on our history and a time Our Father is not keen to recall, but let's look at it for the lessons we can learn. The enemy gave Our Father permission to try everything within his power to win over Job's soul, and Our Father did what any good tempter might have done in the situation and took everything he could from Job. He killed his crops, his cattle, his family and attempted to remove every part of Job's possessions and pride in the process. It was truly great work, yet it failed. Why did it fail? Well, that is a question that none down here truly know the answer to. We suspect foul play on the enemy's part (although that would be unlike him), but the true reason Job failed to turn to our side is unknown. There are many theories as to what should have been done differently with Job, but I am not one to ever question the decisions of our Father, nor would I encourage you to do so either.

We did, however, learn something of great importance regarding the human soul from the tale of Job: the elimination of material things does not always result in the elimination of an allegiance to the enemy. While many a great tempter has found success in attacking the weakness of the human's attachment to their things, it is always a risky business. Creating material poverty in your patient is a double-edged sword. Unfortunately, when humans have run out of material things to comfort them, they are often more inclined to run to the enemy. For some reason, the enemy has an affinity for those in trouble (although, what he sees in the poor I do not know), and his charity is a great hindrance to our cause. Now, as a brief aside I must note that this is not always true. An acquaintance of mine, and a somewhat obnoxious one at that, named Flogbelch has made a fortune feasting on the souls of angry and impoverished humans. He has mastered the art of taking everything from his patients and keeping them alive on resentment and exasperation until their end, and he has won many a soul this way, so do not fully discount the idea of robbing patients of their things.

However, I advise you to try the opposite. Give your patient everything that he desires. You will be surprised to find that the simplest procurement of material wealth can spark an insatiable selfishness within the human soul. Feed his selfishness. Give him what he wants and more. A human who has never experienced what it is like to truly be in need will never be fooled into believing that they themselves have a need for a self-proclaimed "savior." Drown him in the fulfillment of his wants and wishes, and in the process convince him that he no longer needs the help of anyone else to live happily. Once you place the quality of your patient's life fully in his own hands, he will not readily give anyone else control over his actions. The enemy tells his followers that they must give up everything they own in order to follow him, and if your patient has a lot to give, he will find this command difficult to follow. Turn your patient into a camel, and he will not look happily on the prospect of fitting himself through the eye of a needle. 

You are no doubt are aware of how pleasantly selfish the world we dwell in below has become. Each tempter responsible for gaining his own souls, few willing to help those around them. It's an individualists world here, and everyone who lives in it thrives on excess and gluttony. Give your patient a taste of our world. Show him that there is nothing more to life than achieving great gain for yourself. If he learns to be selfish while on Earth, he will only fit in all the better down here. Give him expensive clothes, nice toys, big cars, full bank accounts, fame, and fortune and show him how much better life is when there is nothing to want. Give him the world. For remember, we are the ones who benefit from the humans who gain the world and forfeit their souls.

Your dispassionate accomplice,

Wormwood