Blinded By The Light (Wormwood Is Also A Star)

manfred mann said it’s fun
to look into the eyes of the sun
disregarding wise advice

not all that glitters is gold
half the story has never been told –
these words of marley suffice

to reveal the difference
between clarity and indifference
and the lure of luciferous lies

beware which sun you admire
lest you’re consumed by wormwood’s fire
and the star inside you dies

Posted in Longreads and Essays

Gagdrool Writes to Screwtape

My dear Screwtape,

I am writing you this most urgent message to inform you of a very important occurrence in the plans of the Enemy. It concerns you mostly, but may affect these despicable humans for a long time, perhaps forever. I fear we may have lost many a soul already.

But let me tell you of this gross attack that has been wreaked upon our dominions. It is a book, a compilation rather, and the filth contained within its pages causes me to wince when I think upon it. This abomination is, as I am sure you are aware, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. They are your letters, my dear Screwtape, to your nephew, Wormwood, discussing a certain Christian, Wormwood’s patient, need I remind you, of whose soul was lost. It seems this Mr. Lewis, a Christian himself, figured your letters would prove to be of good use to other Christians in making known your tactics for the clouding of the minds of these maggots, being that you are an authority on this. Anyway, even though you are probably quite aware of what you said to Wormwood, I wish to relay the gist of what Mr. Lewis has chosen to repeat so that we can decide on the best course of action to render such unveilings of our plans null and void.

As I mentioned, it seems that the objective of Mr. Lewis in compiling your letters is to give his brothers and sisters (such references to the family of the Enemy make me shudder) insight into the tricks of our trade, namely the art of temptation. In other words, he seeks to inform his fellow Christians about how we devils deceive humanity. That, I believe, is his primary purpose in writing The Screwtape Letters.

It enrages me to no end to see the way Mr. Lewis has attempted to achieve this purpose and even more so that he may have accomplished said purpose through these means. Mr. Lewis uses the settings of the human mind and the world, with the war we are waging within them, to convey his point to the reader. This method, ingenious perhaps, though somewhat different, allows the reader to place himself in the situation of the temptations of Wormwood and his patient. Then she can apply these temptations to her life and see where she might be in danger. Therefore (and here I gnash my teeth) the Christian can easily grasp the meaning behind the words. Such a revelation of some of our greatest temptations of humanity causes the reader to put up a guard against them lest he be greatly deceived. Here then lies the greatest affront to our work and threatens to undo all that we have worked for.

As I have said, I am fearful that Mr. Lewis has achieved his purpose and much more. Already word has reached us that many of our best deceivers are losing the souls they have hidden the truth from for years, all because of this gross compilation of your letters. I feel that unless a new stratagem is devised and something drastic is done, the results of the work of Mr. Lewis will condemn us to the lowest levels of Hell. Our Father is very displeased. I care not to be the source of his further wrath. Or you the target of his fiery darts.

I await your reply with much impatience. As for us here on the front lines, the war goes on. We may yet deceive many of the vermin yet.

Your fellow deceiver,


January 31, 1985

Illustration by biodin