Letters from the Chairman of the Board
The circumstances under which I obtained copies of the following letters are obscure, ambiguous, and peculiar, and are best left unexplained. Enjoy.
I was certainly glad to hear from you. It’s been a long time since we stood together in that garden back in Gesthemane. I guess you will never live that one down. You’re lucky at that – if you’d been my man you would have never gotten another chance.
In regards to your complaint you must remember that I am no longer actively managing the firm since I became Chairman of the Board. I still pack a lot of weight though, and I’ll check into it. But you have to remember that the souls available these days are a pretty shoddy lot. Our policy of modern materialism has just about wiped out saintliness; however the general quality of souls has gone down, and I am not at all sure the policy is sound. Still you can’t expect me to be unhappy that only a dozen souls came Up there last week. I don’t care if the Old Man is complaining; He gave His word on the original setup and you know that when He gives His word it stays given.
It’s been nice hearing from you. I saw Judas the other day; he says to give you his regards. Poor boy, I never have been able to convince him that he did the wise thing.
I received your inquiry and regret to inform you that you are suffering from a misapprehension. It is true that we do a restricted business in the buying of souls, but the nature of the general transactions are not what popular rumor would indicate.
You must remember that it is not necessary for us to go to extreme measures to obtain souls. In fact we usually suffer from an embarrassing surplus, which has pushed us to desperate measures to handle. I am sure that if you read your daily newspaper you will understand.
Considering, however, the efforts you have made to reach me and the touching faith you have in the efficacy of our management I will explain to you the basis of our current mode of operation and endeavour to do as much as possible for you.
Our standard contract runs much as follows: We remove the conscience (a simple painless operation) and guarantee the ability to attain worldly success. In return we receive the seller’s soul. As should be evident, our interest is not in the seller’s soul; rather it is in his career as an able, unscrupulous man. It is not him, but the evil he does that we are interested in. May I mention Adolf Hitler as one our more successful recent contracts.
I am sure that what you are thinking of is our notorious special contract. I regret, however, that you do qualify for this. It happens, infrequently, that a person with great capacity for good who has not yet realized his potential becomes desperate. If left to his own device the situation might well temper his soul to its true potentiality. Hence in such cases we have a standard policy of making a big offer while we still have hope. In such cases we invariably get in touch with the client first. No doubt one of the things that has caused many of the rumors is the fact that such persons are capable of very intense needs. Fortunately modern civilization has led to a decrease in this type of personality. I say fortunately, because we have never had particularly good results with this sort of contract, and have only used it out of necessity. I need but mention the Faust legend to illustrate the difficulties.
So you can see that these alternatives do not offer much for you. I suspect that you would not be interested in the regular contract which usually appeals only to the ambitious or the idealistic. There is, however, a third alternative that might well appeal to you.
Due to the increasing number of souls that we have to handle there is a severe shortage of trained supervisory personnel. So, in return for your soul, we will offer a reasonable degree of earthly happiness and success and a guaranteed supervisory position until doomsday.
I strongly urge you to consider this proposition. Consider: As things stand now you will spend a lifetime of misery and increasing desperation. Afterwards (and surely you recognize that your chance of salvation is almost negligible) you will spend a miserable eternity as a coal worker or some such. Instead you could lead a life of worldly success and afterwards be a trained foreman – I know for a fact that there are a number of foreman’s positions open at the number seven furnaceworks. You would have air conditioning, regular shifts, and many other job benefits. These are things to consider. The odds are that you will go to Hell anyway; why not make it worthwhile when you get there. Be practical and guarantee your future now. I grant that the opposition claims to have a better deal, but look at the price – a lifetime on the straight and narrow, always worrying about your conscience and about sinning. This is a great opportunity. Instead of straining for an outside chance of getting to Heaven you can relax and go to Hell with a guaranteed position. Few get this chance; many would take it. It is only because your great efforts have won my attention and sympathy that you have merited this rare opportunity.
I am taking the liberty of having one of our local representatives call on you so that you may take advantage of this opportunity. I commend you on your truly noble efforts to gain a better place in the world, both this and the next.
I am glad to hear that you are joining the education department. It always pleases me to see energetic and capable men moving into positions of responsibility. It is possible that you were not aware that we maintained such a department or that you were not aware of its true importance to the firm. Let me assure you, my boy, that it is one of the most important agencies in the firm.
Let me illustrate. Picture if you will an idyllic little setting, a mansion in one of the “underdeveloped countries.” A large landowner and an intellectual are having dinner. They listen to the best of music and hold an animated discussion on art and the latest French novels. They are, of course, political enemies and are divided by irreconciliable differences, but they gentlemen and hold this one last get together because they were once friends in the univerity. In the morning the landowner must meet his agent concerning the collection of rents, whereby he lives as an aristocrat off the toil of five thousand peasants. In the morning the intellectual will meet with his friends in a small cafe to discuss the assassination of the prime minister. Their lives diverge and all they have common anymore is their intelligence, their education, their refinement, their mutual memories of the univesity, and their contempt for the common man.
Do you wonder that I call education important? My boy, it is one of the chief pillars of Hell. Who are the most destructive classes of men? The aristocrat and the idealist. Who are the most educate of men? The aristocrat and the idealist.
You may think that it is your duty to pervert or distort education. This is not so. Leave that to mankind, who is far more capable of it than we are. It is your duty to encourage education. Always remember that one learned idealist is woth half a legion of Hell. Unguided man is capable of fare more than we humble servants of evil can attain.
Do not neglect the scientist. It is true that his general ignorance of the humanities severely handicaps his capacity for evil. However he will in his gentle unthinking way provide the tools and the weapons for other, more cultured men to use. Do not disparage the ineffectual who hesitates and procrastinates. Never fear, he will be there hesitating and procrastinating when the moment of action comes. It is such as he that serves to check the course of good when evil brooks no restraint.
Always cultivate the intellectual arrogance of the educated man – it is his more valuable asset. Once that ingrained sense of intellectual superiority is gained they do not hesitate to act and judge on their sense of what is best.
Our policy for some time now has been to encourage man to his own devices, a genial policy predicated on man’s ability to mess things up for hismelf far better than anyone could for him. It is a good policy and it has served us well. There is really nothing in Hell that has ot been taught us by our misguided friends of above.
I hope my little letter of friendly advice and welcome from an old
duffer like myself has been of help. It has always pleased me that
our firm has had such capable, energetic, and enthusiastic employess
as yourself. And always remember your department slogan,
This page was last updated December 1, 2005.