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File Of Activities Of A Low Level Demon Against Us
May 24, 2013
Derek Wilson in his new book, "Magnificent Malevolence" published by Lion Fiction gives us Memoirs of a Career in Hell.
From the back cover: "I was a junior tempter then, but even in those days I showed phenomenal promise..."
From the archives of the low command: Ministry of Misinformation
C. S. Lewis, who introduced Screwtape, a senior devil, to the world in 1942, knew that evil is powerful and personal. He understood that its main thrust was against God and the people of God.
There can be no doubt that Lewis would agree that Screwtape and his diabolical colleagues have not ceased their operations in the last seventy years. As the human decades have passed, the same war has been fought, with new weapons and different battle tactics.
How fortunate, then, that the following account, rescued from the archives of the Low Command's Ministry of Misinformation, has fallen into our hands. This remarkable manuscript outlines the career of the prominent devil, Crumblewit SOD (Order of the Sons of Darkness, 1st Class). It was in a much mutilated state and has only, with difficulty, been cut and pasted together to make a reasonably coherent narrative of the activities of a post-Screwtape generation of devils. It is not, of course, "true" in the sense of being an objective appraisal of the struggles between good and evil which dominated human affairs in the period from 1950 to 2000. The account is distorted by Crumblewit's truly diabolical conceit and also his ability for self-delusion. However, it does shed fresh light on the ups and down experienced by the church throughout this period.
Crumblewit's energies were entirely deployed in the religious arena. He was employed exclusively in undermining the attempts of Christians to bring to bear upon world events the prerogatives of love, peace, and justice and to carry out the mission entrusted to them by Jesus . . .
I think we all know by now that there is a spiritual warfare going on between the forces of Heaven;the angels, and the forces of hell; the demons and we are the reason why they are at war. Wouldn't it be interesting if we could read the file of activities from a low level demon as he is trying to convince the devil he deserves a promotion? Well Mr. Wilson has provided us with exactly that. It is time we see what the plans of the demons are for us from their point of view. This way we are provided a way to know how the enemy operates and we can see when an attack is coming. Mr. Wilson provides us a wonderful glimpse in the demonic world and how the battle is directed against us. I recommend this book highly.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Memoirs of a Career in Hell in the tradition of The Screwtape Letters
Magnificent Malevolence follows the devilish career of Crumblewit a prominent devil in the Sons of Darkness (SOD) from 1942 until the present day. Unlike The Screwtape Letters this is not the collection of letters written by a mentoring devil to a subordinate but rather the thoughts of a single devil concerning his feelings and views on thwarting the unmentionable enemy - God.
Chapters are broken into periods of time and strategies of attack. In everything subterfuge is key - to distract the target and the enemy's agent from the true agenda. Division within and without the body of believers while working towards unity is a favorite tactic. Focusing rather on the differences that were keeping the various Christian factions apart kept the people from focusing on sharing the Enemy's message.
Convince the people that by suppressing (by personal choice) desires is actually a harmful repression. Convince them that they need to act on their feelings or suffer the consequences for years to come (after all what's wrong with do this one little thing when it will gratify that need).
Crumblewit's memoirs were found after his disappearance which some feel was orchestrated by his rivals within the SOD. With these notes one can advance into the lower levels of the Lower Command.
Having read The Screwtape Letters I can easily say that this book is a worthy companion to C.S. Lewis's work. Read in conjunction with As One Devil to Another for a real experience. This is an enlightening look at our modern world and what can be used to keep us busy and unable to do the work God has given us by listening to another voice instead - the voice of the Deceiver.
I was provided with a copy of this book by Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.
I recently received an interesting book from Kregel Publications for review, as part of their "Blog Tour" program. This book is titled Magnificent Malevolence, and is written in the tradition of the famous Screwtape Letters, which was published in the midst of the Second World War. I was provided a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Magnificent Malevolence is the entertaining and thought-provoking story of the demon Crumblewit S.O.D. (Order of the Sons of Darkness, 1st Class), as he ascends to a position of power and influence in the forces of darkness in the wake of WW2, progressing on through to modern times. It serves, as the introduction says, as a sort of "Hell's update." How fortunate, then, says the introduction, that this account, rescued from the "Low Command's Ministry of Disinformation," has fallen into our hands.
I read this book through more than once, as it is not as straight-forward as one would expect. It is, after all, an account that is "distorted by Crumblewit's truly diabolical conceit and also his ability for self-delusion." Keeping this distortion in mind led me to think some issues through more thoroughly than I might have had I not kept this in mind. The truth of a given situation in Crumblewit's account was not always apparent immediately, given that he is not exactly an honest demon (imagine that!), and he seems to be at odds with those on his own side more often than not. One is left wondering if he is truly a demonic "visionary," a contrarian, or perhaps simply self-deluded. Perhaps he is all three. This leads the reader into some much-appreciated (by me) contemplation, as the layers of deceit and self-deception contained in this story are peeled back one by one.
Also interesting to me were Crumblewit's ideas and thoughts on the Lord God Almighty, the "unmentionable one," as he puts it more than once. Crumblewit saw himself as having the ability to use sneaky tactics and surprise against his adversary, though other demons he encountered were more realistic in their appraisal of God's omnipotence and power. God is utterly sovereign, and he causes all things to work according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11). Even those actions meant for evil are used by Him for good (Genesis 50:20).
Many times in his account, Crumblewit was very proud of the way he handled given situations, but was quick to disassociate himself from any disastrous (from the demonic perspective) future consequences of his actions. Crumblewit's ability for self-delusion led him not only to think that he could actually sneak something past the omnipotent God without notice, but to also refuse to acknowledge any unanticipated or negative consequences of his actions. This thought leads me into self-reflection on my own tendency towards self-justification...
In this book, many topics were discussed from the demonic point of view. The post-WW2 establishment of Israel is discussed, and makes for some interesting thinking. Crumblewit presents this as a great achievement, but one is left to wonder if his "achievement" is only one in a superficial sense. Crumblewit also discusses the destructive shifting of focus by ministers from God and their flocks to their "ministries," liberal Christianity, the Charismatic movement, the ecumenical movement, fundamentalism, the process of rendering congregations fruitless, and different political/economic systems such as Marxism and democracy. There are some interesting observations made in the discussion of political systems that bear some thought, even if the reader is inclined to disagree to some extent.
In order to bring the story and the struggle into modern times, the book also looked at the use of the internet for both good and evil. I think that this section was valuable, in that it dealt with the realities of the internet both as a help and a potential hindrance to the Church. The internet is here to stay, and I think that we (as the human race in general and the Church in particular) have more than a little adapting to do. I appreciated that Mr. Wilson dealt with this subject in the book through Crumblewit's point of view.
I find that Magnificent Malevolence is a work of fiction that has deeper implications, and deals with history, theology, the actions that theology drives, and the implications and consequences of seemingly unrelated events. It is entertaining, and as thought-provoking as the reader wants it to be. How many layers of the metaphorical "onion" of deception contained in this book to peel back is entirely up to the reader, but I found it a satisfying experience.
This book also encouraged me to look long and hard about self-deception and conceit, as these two traits defined Crumblewit, and were all but dripping from every statement he made. As I said earlier, one is never quite sure where Crumblewit really stands in the eyes of his demonic superiors, and the latter parts of the book definitely reinforce this uncertainty as Crumblewit grows in power and influence, and tension builds within the forces of darkness.
I enjoyed this book because it was an enjoyable, thought-provoking read. I read it twice: the first time solely for entertainment value. Once I realized the possibilities this book contained, I read it again more slowly, reflecting on the twists and turns of the events and issues it discussed, and the deceit that twisted everything.
I recommend this book for anyone looking for a good read in the spirit of The Screwtape Letters, and I encourage you to think hard on the distortions and deceit contained in it. Crumblewit was a master of deception- deceiving others and himself with equal skill. Magnificent Malevolence is one of those books that I see myself re-reading every once in a while, simply for entertainment and for the thought it provokes.
This remarkable manuscript outlines the career of the prominent devil, Crumblewit S. O. D. (Order of the Darkness 1st Class)
Crumblewit provides a fiendish appraisal of the struggles between good and evil....
Written in the style of Screwtape Letters, Magnificent Malevolence is an entertaining book. As you follow the career of the demon Crumblewit, you understand the spiritual warfare that goes on around us each day. One must remember 1 Peter 5:8 as they read this book. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour".
Mr. Wilson uses his knowledge of history, and combines the antics and actions of Crumblewit to show us how the church history has been affected by demons through the ages. It is very thought provoking and makes you think about day to day life.
This was an enjoyable book to read, and will gladly add this to my library of books, and would surely recommend this to others to read.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
"Memoirs of a Career in Hell in the Tradition of The Screwtape Letters"
Books similar to Magnificent Malevolence have fascinated me. The original is The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, and Magnificent Malevolence is honoring the 50th anniversary of The Screwtape Letters! Here are a few other examples for those interested: As One Devil to Another by Richard Platt, Demon by Tosca Lee, and Lord Foulgrin's Letters and The Ishbane Conspiracy both by Randy Alcorn. I would describe these books as possible "behind-the-scene" views of the evil side of reality. A reality that tends to be ignored, however we need to remember that "our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens." (Ephesians 6:12)
These books allow us to look at our lives, responsibilities, temptations, etc. as followers of Christ from a totally different perspective. Here's an excellent example of this from Magnificent Malevolence:
"One of the elementary lessons we all learn in tempter school is to keep our subjects busy. The more time they devote to the trivia of their petty lives, the less time they have for contact with the enemy." (pg. 27)
We may read about the danger of busyness to our walk with God in a devotional or Christian living book, but reading in this context seems to ...(how could I put it)... magnify the truth... if that makes sense!
Many happy readings to you!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.