Letter XI

Dear Slugmulch,

As you grow into a more experienced tempter, you will begin to learn the ways in which the enemy makes our job easier for us. I cannot think of a more adequate example than the virtue of humility. Our enemy makes this characteristic difficult to obtain, and thus creates an opportunity for temptation. Obviously, all of our work is rooted in increasing the amount of pride in our patients, but there are two ways to go about doing so, and depending on the current nature of your patient, it is crucial to choose the correct route.

The first way is to feed your patient's pride. I've mentioned this method to you before, and I can look at your patient and see you have done well to heed this advice. Continue to allow him to believe he is better, smarter, stronger than everyone else in the room and you will have on your hands a human well-prepared for the service of our Lord. This strategy is consistently successful, but if you are not careful, your patient will catch wind of what you are doing. Problems will arise if he begins to look into the teachings of the enemy, which are blatantly against the virtue of pride.

As soon as he hears the enemy say pride is bad for him, he will be onto your scheme. He will look for ways in which he is being self-righteous, haughty, arrogant and all your work will begin to unwind. However, there is a way to prevent this from occurring, which brings me to the second way you can increase pride in your patient. Remember, it is equally important to pay attention to what your patient is moving away from as to what he is moving towards. Humans often think these two are mutually exclusive. They are not. It does not matter if man is moving towards us or away from the enemy, as long as he is going in our direction.

Therefore, it will be equally effective to create an aversion to humility within your patient. Hatred of humility is as good as love of pride. The way you create this aversion is simple. The enemy teaches that the virtue of humility is of the utmost value, but what he fails to point out is that this virtue comes at a cost. A cost that many patients, including your own, will deem too high.

Humility is the giving up of self, which means it is your responsibility to maintain the health of your patient's self as best you can. If you find he is beginning to volunteer, serve, or otherwise use his own time and energy to the benefit of others with no tangible return to himself, he is losing his self. I can think of nothing more damaging to a soul. If your patient loses his self, you lose him. Help him see that giving up his self costs him much and gives him nothing. It is easier than you might think to cause him to hold tightly to his self when he has weighed the cost of losing it.

Furthermore, what you must remember is that humans often forget that humility is humiliating. Therein lies their weakness. Despite stating with his mouth that he desires to be a "humble servant," your patient will avoid humiliating experiences with all of his strength. Let him. No one enjoys the process of being humbled, your patient in particular. When his work receives no validation, he claims it does not bother him. He's lying. Your patient is looking for food for his ego, but the enemy will not feed him. Allow him to starve, and he will come crawling to you for sustenance. 

I cannot overemphasize the importance of decreasing the value your patient places on humility. Everything the enemy does and teaches hinges on this virtue. When you rob a man of his humility, you rob the enemy of a man. Do whatever it takes.

Haughtily yours,

Wormwood