What Would Screwtape Say re Harvard Black Mass?

Yesterday, someone sent an email asking me, “Do you have enough energy to write this as a Screwtape Letter?

“This” being the “Harvard Black Mass”, I really didn’t. As it turns out, fifteen hours at the desk is my limit.

I didn’t have to have the energy, however, because my correspondent provided an example of what he had in mind, and I thought was full-witty.

“Dear Wormwood,

I congratulate you on the success of your latest efforts at Harvard University. I must say, dear nephew, that you have hit the baseball ball over Fenway Park’s “Green Monster” (what a delightful name) with this one. These mortals, especially the ones who claim to not believe in anything supernatural, have fallen once again into the trap. Since they are convinced we do not exist (what a wonderful lie that is!), they convince themselves that they need not worry about invoking our master’s name in anyway, let alone worshipping him. To them, it is all a little harmless fun, and their celebration of a black mass is meant only “as an expression of personal independence from overwhelming cultural influences!” How utterly delightful!”

I might have added, to close, “once emancipated from all that overwhelming light, there will be so much more room for us to encroach and overtake with our blessed darkness.”

Or something. Clearly, he is a better Screwtapian than I!

Interestingly, as the story was evolving, yesterday Ed Morrissey was also thinking of The Screwtape Letters, as he notes here:

this reminds me of a passage from The Screwtape Letters, in Letter 7:

“I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The ‘Life Force’, the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work— the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls ‘Forces’ while denying the existence of ‘spirits’— then the end of the war will be in sight.”

Unwittingly or not, that’s the ambition for which Greaves/Mesner strives.

Indeed. And if you’re looking for more information on that character, check out Dawn Eden’s excellent piece, posted late last night. It’s a hot read.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    I’ve heard rumors of black masses at Harvard, Yale, and the grownup version in California for years.

    The only real difference is this one is being done by atheists and is advertised.

    I wonder what those who believed the initial advertisement, who really are satanists, will do when the consecrated host fails to materialize as advertised?

  • Jonathan

    While reading your posts yesterday and the tortured shifts in Mr. Greaves’ explanations about whether he had a consecrated host or not, I thought of Lewis’ warning in the foreword not to believe anything Screwtape said. Life is (sadly) imitating art.

  • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

    The whole “materialist magician” idea is the one on which Lewis based the last novel in his space trilogy, That Hideous Strength. And boy, is it scary. Greaves and Co. are almost like characters from that book come to life. Oh, and they started their control of England by infiltrating . . . . a university.


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