Home » Count Vicegrim's Letters » Count Vicegrim’s Letters: Chapter 3 Failure!

Count Vicegrim’s Letters: Chapter 3 Failure!

The Count Vicegrim LettersThe Demon Mudpot’s Annual Review regarding the Temptation of the Patient in His 17th Year

You Idiot,

I am walking to my office this morning. I was looking forward to your Annual Report as all of your quarterly reports have been encouraging. Who should be waiting by my door but Lord Foulgrin. He shoves a copy of the Demonic Times right in my face and screams at me for the better part of an hour. There you are, right on the front page! You seem to have failed to mention that your patient has been turned to the Enemy!!!

How could you have let this happen? You imbecile! My voicemail is piling up with several Lords (and a High Lord) demanding an explanation from me as to how I let you let this happen. Of course I have explained that this is entirely your fault and that I would remedy the situation. I have checked with the Office of Skilled Tempters and they still have no openings to transfer anyone to your patient. Among all the terrible facts that have come to light today, the most frustrating is that I will have to continue to work with you!

With our working relationship clarified, on to your annual review.

What has Gone Well

Not a single, solitary, sliver of it.

What has Gone so Very, Very Wrong

Oh, where to begin? For starters, you did not keep your patient away from that neighbor. I told you he was dangerous. As I understand, he was the one who led your patient to the Enemy’s Son. I have already escalated the neighbor to a higher risk level and maybe his death can be arranged.

This is the sort of thing that happens when you try to tempt too much too fast. There is always that delicate balance of keeping the spiral of misery going, but not so fast that the patient feels the need to seek any help. And of course, where does he seek help. That’s right, from the person who can actually offer it. A more skilled tempter would have gotten him help from somewhere else, anywhere else. If he just had to confess his sins to someone, why not to someone who couldn’t help him? Mudpot, what a mess!

You know that place where you reach to touch your patient’s soul and you find the Enemy’s Spirit there. That disgusting vile Spirit resting there. Quietly, looking at you. Knowing you. Yes, Mudpot, one of my only comforts in all this is how miserable you will be for years to come having to be so close to that Spirit. It’s your fault and it pleases me that you will suffer. It gives me shivers to even think of being so close to…him.

But let’s not dwell on everything else that went wrong. I wish to take a pound of flesh off of you but the Demonic Lord’s want to hear what I am doing about this and I need to give them something concrete. Mudpot, follow this plan to the letter.

The Plan

First, we need to work on splitting the “gospel” into its parts. You see, your patient will have a good feel for it right now and we need to damage that. I think for your patient, the best path will be to separate his spiritual growth (good works) from his spiritual birth (salvation) .

You see, most vermin have a hard time keeping both in mind. There is a faction that acts as if the birth is all important and that there is no need for growth (I am using their terminology so that you will have it at the ready). There is another faction that thinks that the spiritual birth is just a way of getting to spiritual growth.

The power of the Enemy’s Plan is that it uses the removal of sins as the fuel for the ongoing spiritual growth. The vermin need to keep both in mind. That, Mudpot, is one of our Enemy’s chief weaknesses. The vermin are terrible at keeping both in mind.

So let’s say you choose to keep that spiritual birth as important and not the spiritual growth. Then, if you play him right, your patient will eventually feel like his behavior doesn’t matter. He can be led to believe that all that matters is that he gets to Heaven and nothing on Earth really matters. This can lead to a truly neutered child of the Enemy. He will be the Enemy’s while essentially acting like one of ours.

But suppose you choose the other path. Then you will emphasize spiritual growth to the point that your patient thinks that they need to keep being “good” to keep their ticket to Heaven. Now you and I know that once the Enemy’s Spirit is in someone they certainly don’t go to Hell but the vermin don’t know that. The goal then is to pile on rules and requirements. Bury your patient in guilt. Help them to keep questioning how the Enemy views them. Many a High Risk has been neutered with a guilty conscience.

Either path is fine but it is key that your patient does NOT hang onto both truths. That is deadly for us. So select which part to emphasize well.

Your report indicates that your patient has selected a local University. While this one was on the recommended list, it was near the bottom. Another failure Mudpot. That is not to say that this University isn’t workable for us. I am sending a list of recommended courses for this upcoming Semester. Get him in these classes. In particular, get him in the World Religions class with Dr. Frederick. He is one of our strongest allies in that school and he will make sure to carefully explain why the Enemy is simply another myth. I attended a lecture of his once and laughed so hard as he repeatedly mocked the truth. It really will brighten your day Mudpot, to attend his lectures. You WILL get your patient in that class.

As far as his sexual temptations. It is fruitless to push too hard right now on temptation as he will then turn to the Enemy Spirit inside him for help. Now is a time to push his self-righteousness. Give him a month or two of reduced temptation sexually. Convince him that it will never be a struggle again. Better yet, get him to make overly simplistic and judgmental statements about how real believers don’t struggle like that.

What you are trying to do is lay the groundwork for his later disillusionment. He has to believe that a true believer doesn’t have to fight hard. Once he believes that, then make him fight hard. He will then logically conclude that he must not be a true believer. At least he will doubt that he has the Enemy’s Spirit. The goal now is to blunt the work of the Enemy’s Spirit.

While this is a profound failure Mudpot and, if I had my way, you would be off this case. There is hope here. We cannot get his soul now but we can profoundly discredit the Enemy’s Son. The stakes are high Mudpot. If you let this High Risk grow and become a threat to the Great Lord, I promise you that I will personally drive a stake through your chest!

With Affection,

Count Vicegrim

Image created by Cavin and used with permission


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