The Devil’s New Mission

The Devil went to every single school
Across America to find a Faust—
But no one wanted knowledge. Each dim fool
Stared at a phone—the Devil could not roust
A one to lust for power, wisdom, art—
None could be tempted for none had a heart.

The Devil went back down to Hell and spoke
To all his demons—Pandemonium
Gathered around and silence finally broke.
“I searched around America—I come
With nothing for a one of you to do—
You can’t corrupt the ignorant. It’s true.

“You can’t tempt anyone who will not care,
Who neither love nor hate their lives, are loathe
To value anything, feel no despair,
So ignorant they think the poet’s “Goethe,”
Assuming they have even heard of him—
Why put out any light that glows so dim?”

The Devil  left them, went to Heaven. God
Spoke, “Lucifer, what brings you here? A soul
You want to tempt?” The Devil gave a nod
And said, “I wish. But I can’t meet my goal.
There’s no one there to take a dare. They stare
As screens, indifferent, without a care.

“They shrug their shoulders over everything—
They’re natural nihilists who at their best
Discourage greatness before it can spring
To life—so lazy they must always rest
From never doing anything. A nation
Who cannot even rise up to temptation.”

“There’s greatness still in Asia, Africa”
God said. “These peoples rise, and with them great
And awe-inspiring men. America
Is slumping, slouching—there’s no debate
That they’re as dead as Europe. Do move on.
Your Western opportunities are gone.”

The Devil shook his head. “I know you’re right.
I’ve gotten used to tempting in the West.
To wrestle with a Faust is my delight,
But now it’s time to take on all the rest.”
“I think you’ll find the rest a worthy foe,”
God said,” So now, my adversary, go.”


To the Demons

Our Master asked for me to write this note
That we should concentrate on those who gloat
That they are wiser than all men and so
Deserve to lord it over others. Grow
Their power, let them feed the envious
And fill their bellies with that poison puss
So they will gladly give their powers over
While cursing what would feed the divine clover.
We must empower parasites who feed
The envious—together they’ll indeed
Destroy the good that grows on Earth. A plus
If you convince them hate is virtuous,
So long as envy is the driver. Hate
Is always what we aim to make—debate
Replaced by accusations and the lie
Each honest disagreement would deny
You of your dignity, your right to what
You’ve chosen to believe is true. The cut
Of challenge we’ll make look so deep, they’ll fear
The slightest disagreement—they’ll give ear
To none who would correct what’s wrong in life —
Or even little things—they’ll feel such strife
At any challenge, they’ll demand that all,
Including they themselves, be made to fall
In line with those they deep their betters. Ditch
Descending on the pastors, priests—no, switch
To lifting demagogues who preach that sin
Is virtue, theft is giving—all to win
A vote. Yes, do take note that power grants
Us ease in what we do. Prudes drop their pants
In lust when power comes their way. Let’s trust
That power does corrupt, that all men lust
For power to corrupt their souls to Hell
And we will surely see our numbers swell.
Just have our preachers preach that coveting
Is virtue, wealth is stolen—that will bring
The world to us, and Hell will dwell on Earth.
Persuade men that a gang of thieves is worth
Their love and worship—men of demon stock
Should be considered as the solid rock
On which society should build itself.
Now, do not think that we are going to shelf
The great reforms we made with Screwtape. No!
Those petty things are genius! Although slow,
The little things will eat away with time —
We do not have to concentrate on crime
To lure a person far from God. We tease
And make it so there’s nothing that can please,
No matter how good they may have it. Lust
For more and covet, envy, lose all trust,
And slowly break the bonds that make men good —
Help them destroy their culture, neighborhood,
Society by making them mistake
These things for government—for goodness’ sake! —
It is pathetic how these can
Go wrong, be led astray since time began
For them. I think with this we found a god
For them—a god of men to whom they’ll nod
And bow before. They’ll think they have a Father —
They will—who rapes then treats them as a bother.
Do this and it’s our Master you’ll most please.
Sincerely yours, sirs, Mephistopheles.


Troy Camplin is a freelance writer and writing consultant. He is the author of “Diaphysics,” an interdisciplinary work on systems philosophy, and “Hear the Screams of the Butterfly,” a novella; other projects include the application of F.A. Hayek’s spontaneous order theory to ethics, the arts, and literature. His play, “Almost Ithacad,” won the PIA Award from the Cyberfest at Dallas Hub Theater. He blogs at

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4 Responses

  1. B. S. Eliud Acrewe

    The C. S. Lewis vantage point with the intertwining of Go’th’ is almost Byronic. I wonder, though, about the greatness still in Africa and Asia, as their inhabitants seem to be fleeing those continents for Europe and America as fast as they can.

    • Troy Camplin

      Thank you. I would argue, in the cases of Africa and Asia, that most are in fact not fleeing. I am rather arguing that there is great potential in those places, that they are on the rise as the West, fighting more and more against itself, its culture and traditions, has entered a time of decadence and decline. Not even the devil is interested anymore, as there’s little left to corrupt. Of course, this social situation may also suggest we’re on the cusp of change and the emergence of greater complexity, but it also may mean a shift in the world to other places. Perhaps both, if we are optimistic.


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