Screwtape

Screwtape

A Story by IMOGEAN
"

I wrote this letter using the same format as C.S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters." If you are unfamiliar with C. S. Lewis and these letters, please read the authors note before reading. It will greatly help you in understanding this piece.

"
MY DEAR WORMWOOD,
 
    It has come to my understanding that you have a lack of knowledge regarding, guilt and shame. Our Father down bellow pointed this out, which is an altogether shock and embarrassment on my part, since it is I who have been appointed to be your mentor. It pains me, that I have not yet, gone over this with you. I had assumed you understood. My bad!
 
Now, on to the issue at hand: When you have succeeded in your tempting the patient with sex, alcohol, and or drugs---enough that he has partaken and then developed a full on addiction, do not be so prematurely excited that you revel in your own success. It is not until the patient takes their last breath on earth that you should truly be experiencing the bitter sweet knowledge that the patient is truly hell bound.  
 
I have seen patients that I believed were a sure win that have gone over to the enemies camp and became more devoted to the enemies cause than most who have lived a somewhat untarnished earthy existence. Your prematurely thinking you have won over the patient, can and will cause complacency on your part. You must always be aware of this! Once the task of addiction has been established, to keep the patient's stronghold you must then utilize guilt and shame to our favor. Although be aware, guilt and shame is greatly used by the enemy in preventing, or preventing futher, any future degradation of the patient's spiritual state. Do not be fooled by the enemies approach in thinking that these tools are only to be used for the greater good. Because in reality, they will be our most valuable tool in keeping the patient within our clutches.   
 
You must clarify to the patient their worthlessness, by reiterating constantly the evidence of their sinful past ways. Point out to them all of the damage that they have caused, and not only to themselves, but to their loved ones as well.
 
 
 
They will see the evidence in their physical person over a period of successful addictions. When they look into the mirror, point out their rotting teeth and blemished appearance, for this is physical evidence and people believe things fully when proven as fact. The patient will become so overwhelmed in their guilt and shame that they will turn to the very vice that is destroying them. Addiction acts as a numbing agent to the pain brought on by guilt and shame, and its usefulness has always been proven to be our greatest asset.
 
There will be times when the enemy will win back our patient to the other side. If they are truly won back over by the enemy, they become extremely close to the enemy, and a greater threat to our cause than the lifelong devout Christian. In essence, all of our efforts transform into wisdom and becomes tools used in the enemies camp against us. You must do everything in your power to prevent this. Guilt and shame is our greatest leverage, Wormwood. Never forget that!
 
Your affectionate uncle
SCREWTAPE   

© 2009 IMOGEAN



Author's Note

IMOGEAN
I wrote this letter using the same format as C.S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters." The original "Screwtape Letters" was written during world war II (1941) and published in a European newspaper called "The Guardian." Much of the content in the original letters was about war and the issues surrounding those times. I have found the wisdom penned in the letters by Lewis, to be just as valid today as when they were originally penned and published, nearly 70 years ago.

Lewis's letters were more than original, in that they delivered a very Christian message, yet came from the point of view of demons. In my "Screwtape Letter" just as Lewis's, there are two characters---Wormwood, the student and nephew, and Screwtape , Wormwood's uncle and mentor. Both Wormwood and Screwtape are demons.

I felt compelled to write a modern day message about issues that are very prevalent in today's society. These issues also existed in the 1940's, the only difference is that today's world has more drugs to choose from and that are more readily accessible, also, sex is more freely practiced. I even put in a little modern day twist of language for comedic affect.

I chose this subject because, I am a drug and alcohol counselor and have vast knowledge about addiction and recovery. This was simply an experiment and I enjoyed writing it.

God Bless
Imogean~

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Hello Imogen,
There are just a few corrections that I might suggest making and these have already been covered by other readers about the possessive, enemies, (enemy's) etc.

(efforts transform into wisdom and becomes tools ),
.....should be subject and verb agreement
(efforts transform into wisdom and become tools)


What great subject matter for this WritersCafe.org! The Bible has a few things to say about wormwood.

Revelation 8:11
And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Wormwood has historically been denoted as having a bitter taste, undrinkable, medicinal, mind numbing of the drink Absinthe, but probably takes on the connotation of something that is too good to be true and eventually poisonous, like drugs, alcohol, and sexual problems. You are also looking at it from an observer therapist point of view.

Can a casual reader of some of the writings on this site be poisoned by the imagery that is conjured up by its overly specific erotic alliterations, as well could it also be possible for a therapist to be poisoned by association with their patients, unless they are immune or desensitized? I think it is possible for some to walk on hot coals as long as their feet are completely callused, but still not for very long. It is great to communicate with all people as long as the character holds up. Even grasses and trees that do not experience the wind will flatten to the ground when exposed to a slight wind after being inside an enclosure for an indefinite period of time. I have read that the rain falls on the just and unjust alike. As Christians we uniquely have a healer that we can turn to for the refreshing of our souls with affection for truth and a diligent heart but I am sorrowful for those who trust only in their own understanding.

Thank you for posting this.

Posted 9 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

WOW LOVE THIS! thank you for recommending it to me, your passion and grasp of the screwtape letters is spot on... My favorite parts actually the first one, where you point out to Wormwood that his premature victory celebration making him complacent is an outstanding point, it shows that though we may be "hard pressed and perplexed, we are not crushed or broken" loosely quoted from 1 or 2 Corinthians if I am recalling right, I don't have it memorized but it is one of my favs and has gotten me thru much of my struggles.

My other favorite part, genius in my humble opinion is about how those that have been once ensnared by the grips of the demons of addiction and get free of it by the Grace and Strength of God conquering our enemies and lifting us out of our pit will TRULY be more more of threat than someone who has lived a fairly devoted Christian life from the get go, never knowing the struggle that addicts do or attacks from the enemy can cause. This is so valid, and so true, the ones who have escaped can and do have more to offer to those that have never had to battle like that for their life and their freedom in Jesus.

Your point also about using shame and guilt and how the patient is not only hurting themselves but their loved ones too can cause them to turn even more deeper into their struggles and become closer to their demon out of desperation and shame.

This was an incredible read, thank you so much for sharing! Life changing book, life changing story you added from it's inspiration.... YAY for you GOOD WORK SISTER!

Posted 9 Years Ago


i have fond memories of reading "the screwtape letters" and thought them to be very clever and fun as well as insightful and a sort of "devils advocate" if you will.

i think for the most part you stayed true to the tone and integrity of the characters. the only thing that gave me pause was screwtape saying "my bad!". lol.

i know it's modernized but that was a little silly.

everything else was great! i definately appreciate that you talk abouto guilt and shame which are indeed powerful tools to keep people down.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Wow Imogen,
Just now I am listening to the Screwtape Letters with my carpool friend. We finished letter 5 this morning. How fortunate for me to find your writing. I like how you have stylized the material for this day. I feel as if I am in the minority these days as I wear the Christian banner...seeking to serve...seeking to be holy. And I fail. And I fail. And I fail. OUR enemy does seek to use these tools of guilt and shame to ensnare us and make us devoid of any confidence of our salvation. I always contemplate 1 John 1:5-9...that as I walk in the light, he is faithful to cleanse me from my iniquity. Walking in the light...yes, walking in the light. There is much implied by walking in the light. Guilt and shame will not be our victors if we are walking in the light. Super write...nicely done. Continue to encourage with your writing,
In kindred kind,
Todd

Posted 9 Years Ago


Imogen,

I have never heard of 'Screwtape' by C.S.Lewis. I am, however, very interested in it now, as well as any further developments of your own 'Screwtape' series. I found it to be insightful, unusual and very compelling. The assumption that the reader is the desired recipient is just so bold it is remarkable. Your own subject matter was very compelling and engaging to say the least. It brushes aside all the complicated variants involved in drug addiction and comes at it from a much more reasonable humane and spiritual direction. It really was like being spoken to by a wise uncle.

Well done for that...I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Interesting. It makes for an entertaining read, that's for sure, a discussion between demons over something they are blamed to hold control over and speaking as if they are in the right, for their cause at least, is no doubt not an easy write, but you did it well. Personally, I'm not to big on the whole religion thing, but things from different perspectives often keep me entertained. Thank you very much for the clarification in the author's notes, that saved me some researching. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


The scariest part of this is that it is true. We have a real enemy out there, dedicated to our destruction. Sure, some people don't need any help to traipse down the wrong path - some don't need a devil to distract them - they do fine by themselves, but that doesn't change the fact that evil isn't just a writers contrivance, it is a real, prevalent, active force...
a convert is much more dangerous to the enemy than a lifelong Christian. I wholeheartedly agree. Once you've seen the monster - you are determined to kill it - because if given the chance, you know it would kill you.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Hello Imogen,
There are just a few corrections that I might suggest making and these have already been covered by other readers about the possessive, enemies, (enemy's) etc.

(efforts transform into wisdom and becomes tools ),
.....should be subject and verb agreement
(efforts transform into wisdom and become tools)


What great subject matter for this WritersCafe.org! The Bible has a few things to say about wormwood.

Revelation 8:11
And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Wormwood has historically been denoted as having a bitter taste, undrinkable, medicinal, mind numbing of the drink Absinthe, but probably takes on the connotation of something that is too good to be true and eventually poisonous, like drugs, alcohol, and sexual problems. You are also looking at it from an observer therapist point of view.

Can a casual reader of some of the writings on this site be poisoned by the imagery that is conjured up by its overly specific erotic alliterations, as well could it also be possible for a therapist to be poisoned by association with their patients, unless they are immune or desensitized? I think it is possible for some to walk on hot coals as long as their feet are completely callused, but still not for very long. It is great to communicate with all people as long as the character holds up. Even grasses and trees that do not experience the wind will flatten to the ground when exposed to a slight wind after being inside an enclosure for an indefinite period of time. I have read that the rain falls on the just and unjust alike. As Christians we uniquely have a healer that we can turn to for the refreshing of our souls with affection for truth and a diligent heart but I am sorrowful for those who trust only in their own understanding.

Thank you for posting this.

Posted 9 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

You did a really good job emulating Lewis' style here, I enjoyed reading this, and it almost seems as if it were an excerpt from the book (overlooking a few slight differences in style--which is good: emulating doesn't mean you should copy). Overall, thoughtful and well-written. keep it up!

--Rylan

Posted 9 Years Ago


I first read C.S.Lewis' Screwtape Letters whilst serving in the British Army in Hong Kong in 1955. Paired with J.B.Phillips' Your God is Too Small, these books conditioned my thinking and are still referred to regularly. Regrettably, temptations have expanded and become more sophisticated since my youth and you do well to consider updating Screwtape. You do it very well, capturing his style almost seamlessly. Purely in the interest of emulating Lewis' flawless grammar, may I suggest that 'enemies cause, 'enemies camp' and 'enemies approach', Para 3, would be better stated singular with apostrophe.
Thank you for the information on the original publication in the Guardian (still thriving) and the date of writing. I was not aware of those facts.
John

Posted 9 Years Ago


You have performed a service to each of your readers.
Screwtape is a profound and beautifully written piece.
When I have become more familiar with the Screwtape Letters,
I will feel better qualified to give this the review it deserves.
The writing is bautiful, the content profound.
Favorite !
RATE: 100%
---- Eagle Cruagh

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on April 18, 2008
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IMOGEAN
IMOGEAN

Chico, California, CA



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The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, serenely, divinely aware... And this is why I write: AWARENESS... It is not in the moment that I tasted the delicacies of life .. more..

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