"The persecution isn't working. Everywhere we've tried it, the 'Believers'--as they like to call themselves--just keep multiplying. We need a new strategy."
Legion glared at the demonic throng gathered for instruction.
Skank cleared his throat and his eyes flashed red. "I've got an idea, Sir. The latest report says that this idea is working better than our wildest nightmares.."
Skank snarled and his chest swelled as he took the floor. "You see, it's a new twist on our favorite tactic--deception. I fear we've overdone the false religion thing. They hardly believe anything anymore. Strangely enough, that very apathy often leads them right into the Enemy's hands. Their desperation drives them to Him."
Growls of disgust rippled through the sulfuric steam.
"But this deception," Skank continued. "Oh, it's delicious! So simple, too. It didn't work for many years because those who called themselves His followers knew what they were talking about. They read that despicable Book of His and put it into practice. It was easy to tell who followed him and who followed us.''
He rubbed his claws together and cackled. "But now! Sir, your infiltration of their school systems, entertainment, and government has done its job. They are churning out idiots by the thousands who have no idea what the Enemy says. The whole idea of sin has been so watered down it doesn't scare them anymore."
"Yes, yes, I know all that. Get to the point."
"What I mean is, I've trained scores of new demons in the art of spiritual deception and they are quick learners. We've got truckloads of blinders, earplugs, and heart hardeners and we know how to use them. Our latest marketing campaign is...Are you ready for this?"
"Yes, yes, get to it!"
"What's working so well in America is so simple it's brilliant. We've infiltrated the churches. We have targeted the ones who are searching, floundering, what-have-you, and simply told them that they are fine and that they already have a relationship with God and that anyone who doubts that is judgmental."
"Yes! I know, it sounds crazy. How can that work, right? That horrid Book spells out in frightening clarity what it takes to have a real relationship with...with Him. But they don't read it, see? It's hardly even preached anymore. We've hinted to the pastors that they should preach more encouraging, helpful sermons that anybody can benefit from. So now they're stressing that the Enemy loves everybody and all they have to do is mutter a prayer or some such nonsense and that's it! They're in!
"We've even got some of their main players writing books about how everybody is probably saved anyway without knowing it!"
"You're lying! No one would fall for that, even humans."
"No, it's true. I just checked with your prince over North America and got it straight from him."
"That's ludicrous. Don't they know that our Enemy is...how He is--Eeooow! I can't even say the word. But don't they know how different from us the Enemy is? He hates sin. Hates us as we hate him. How can they be that easily fooled?"
Skank smirked and looked around. "Because the Believers are helping us."
A gasp echoed through the vast pit.
"They always have, but never in such numbers. They are so easily duped into misreading that Book that they shoot themselves in the foot. Dare I mention the Crusades? How about the Vatican? See what I mean? They've got churches all over the planet that would make any Pharisee proud. How I miss those guys..."
Legion snarled. "No real Believer is gonna propagate your deception. Now you're deceived."
"Oh, but they already are, Sir! They've redefined love to mean not stepping on anyone's toes. They've reacted to the Pharisaical churches by putting out a "We're all okay" message. The hungry seekers suck it up like our delicious sludge. Just check, Sir. Take a look down there. The churches are packed with them!"
The curtain parted and Legion squinted into the light. In a moment, the curtain fell into place and he laughed. "Hm. Thought I'd seen it all. So they really buy, that do they? Nice tactic. Get them to substitute feelings of spirituality for a relationship with the Enemy. Great idea. We've got them talking about angels, mystical experiences, relying on childhood baptisms and we've got 'em!
"I see how this could work. With no power in their lives, no change in ownership, they go right on sinning all they like. He doesn't discipline them, because they're not His, so they think everything is fine."
He flashed yellow fangs at Skank. "I like it. Is this in place on every continent?"
"Yes sir! But we consider America our masterpiece. With their so-called freedom, it costs them nothing to sign on to the Enemy's plan, so we have more success there than anywhere else."
Legion shook his mane and sparks few. "I like it. Start now. Here are your orders: Keep them away from the actual Book. Convince them that they're too busy, they already know what it says, they go to church, and so on. In fact, encourage them to go to church. That will only further their deception. Convince them they are fine."
Skank cackled and clapped his claws together. A roar filled the pit as millions of black creatures took flight.
Legion settled back with a satisfied smirk. "You know, Skank. I've always hated you, but today you have my grudging admiration. Your depravity is worth commending. Deception like that will get you a kingdom soon. Our time to work is growing shorter, but as long as possible, keep up the destruction."
He chuckled. "You know what keeps me going, Skank? The thought that when the Enemy's Son goes to get his church, so few will be missing that the rest of the world will hardly notice!"
He shrieked. "Isn't that a delicious thought? Their so-called Rapture will take place and the churches will still be full of people! They won't even notice. Don't you love it?"
Introduction - Boy, are we all different! The world is colored by a vast array of personalities, opinions, and interests. Aren't we glad we are not all the same--dull...