In the seventh letter from Screwtape to Wormwood, Screwtape opens by wondering why, in Wormwood’s last letter, did he ask whether they should conceal themselves? He responds that the “high authorities,” presumably referring to a senior devil or even Satan himself, has decided that for them. When Humans don’t believe in them, the devils lose “all the pleasing results of direct terrorism,” and they “make no magicians.” However, when Humans do believe in devils, humans cannot be made materialists and skeptics. Screwtape names the “Life Force,” the worship of sex, and psychoanalysis may prove useful in making their science so mythological that, in effect, Humans will believe in devils.
Screwtape now returns to the topic of the previous letter, whether the Patient should become a pacifist or a patriot. Screwtape tells Wormwood that the Patient should be made a pacifist, a “conscientious objector,” which will make him part of a small, vocal, and above all unpopular group of people. Screwtape’s only caveat is that should the patient actually feel that a just war is lawful for a Christian like himself, his pacifism will feel wrong. Wormwood should then simply try suddenly to change the patient into a patriot, and the resulting confusion will only help pull the patient away from his religion.
In closing Screwtape makes an excellent point. Whichever way the patient chooses, patriot or pacifist, Wormwood should pursue the same avenue. There are three steps to drawing the man away from his religion:
- Begin by making the patient feel that his religion requires him to follow his chosen avenue, patriotism or pacifism.
- Let him fall under the “partisan spirit,” the factional and worldly aspect of the conflict.
- Finally, the patient should see his religion merely a part of the larger cause, something to defend, not partake in.
If the patient is led along these three steps, Screwtape assures Wormwood he is “more securely Ours.”
Letter #6 | Letter #8