Ask Thugfang: A Tight Spot

His
Right Dishonourable Loathsomeness, Master Thugfang, is a demon of great infamy
among academic circles. He is a frequent columnist for “Tempter’s Times”, an
assistant editor for “Wickedness Weekly” and current chair of Tempter’s
Training College’s Department of Defense Against the White Arts, after the
sudden disappearance of the most recent head under mysterious circumstances.
Now, His Right Dishonourable Loathsomeness takes your questions. Having
problems with a particularly troublesome patient? Meddlesome enemy agents
stymieing you at every turn? Don’t wait, write immediately to “Ask Thugfang”
C/O “Underworld Magazine.”

Dear
Master Thugfang, my patient is 10 years old. He is in absolutely the worst home
situation you can imagine. His parents are monogamous and even happy. They
actively catechize their children. He and his siblings are homeschooled, he is
an altar boy, a choir boy, a straight-A student, a natural athlete, he
willingly gives his money to the missions, and he even voluntarily goes to Mass
on weekdays to serve. I am afraid he might be thinking of the priesthood. The
little rat positively makes me wish I had a stomach so I could vomit. I ask
you, haven’t I been put in a false position? I have been given the worst
possible scenario, and the Lowerarchy keeps denying my requests for transfer. They
tell me I had better turn this around or face the consequences. It is not fair.

Yours
Truly, Much Put Upon

My Dear Much Put Upon,

You should have signed yourself “Much Melodrama!” I
see nothing in your case that would warrant a transfer. I see a good deal that
sounds like an appeal to justice, which is heavily frowned upon in these
circles. I should curb that if I were you. No, results are what we want, not
fairness.

On the whole, I cannot understand what you are
carrying on about, as if this were an aberration. From the Enemy’s point of
view, this situation is the norm, and
it is only our constant work which makes it less common than it otherwise would
be.

Even granted his unfortunate situation, the picture
is nothing like so black as you paint it. Of course you are not a Master of
Defense Against the White Arts, but you have had the sense to ask one for help.
Here, then, is the situation as I see it. Your patient has been given
advantages. We try to keep these advantages from the humans, but sometimes they
slip through. So we have to think what use we can make of them. There are numerous
methods for tempting at the foot of the altar, but at present your patient is
immune to most of them because he is ten years old. His character is not fully
formed. Therefore he hasn’t fully chosen his faith yet. You say he
“voluntarily” goes to serve Masses on weekdays? I would bet that a good deal of
that is because the grown-ups applaud him when he does. It sounds like there
might be a bit of vanity, perhaps the flare for acting holy, a touch? This is
not to undermine the seriousness of these habits. Right now, there is certainly
much real childlike faith and you can bet the Enemy’s agent is working on that.
But also (very likely) there is at least some acting going on. In the natural
scheme of things, that is simply how the humans learn, but we make it
unnatural. You must subtly encourage the actor. Get him to concentrate more and
more on what he thinks his parents want, so that later on, in his teen years,
none of his “faith” will be his at
all.

And of course, he is ten. Very shortly puberty will
be coming to your aid. Let’s get a head start on that, shall we? I assume his
parents don’t have any pornography lying around the house, (then again, you
might want to check the father’s computer. That would be a gold mine. Your work
would be almost done for you.) Still even if you can’t get any porn into his
hands from the outside, you can still start him off with those lingerie ads in
the back of the Sears catalogs. But just getting him to look at women is not enough.
That’s amateur work. He would do that without your input. The real master’s
touch is to turn the natural sex drive away from relationship, and in on
itself. To that end you want it insulated behind layers and layers of shame,
and that begins as early as possible. Get the father’s handler working now to
make him so embarrassed about the whole subject that instead of sitting the boy
down and talking about it with him, the parents will simply cover his eyes and
hustle him away from even the slightest hint of sexuality. No explanation, no
moral guidance, and certainly no teaching about the beauty and truth of the
Enemy’s plan. Just a hush-hush, “That’s bad! Don’t look.” Their refusal to speak
will heighten the “forbidden fruit” feel of it. How we use that depends upon
his personality. If he is stubborn and independent, this will guarantee he will
find out on his own from outside sources, and we control most of those sources.
If he is pliant and sweet natured, he will remain ignorant and fearful. Either
way this will ensure that the parents will be the last people he will come to
for help when he figures out he needs it. His natural curiosity will be shoved
into the shadows just when a little light would be the really healthy thing,
and a nasty little habit can grow in the background of our fellow’s otherwise
picture perfect life. Don’t expect it to bear fruit right away, but keep
harping away at the shame and secrecy. You’ll see results sooner or later.

And keep him away from the damned confessional! No
light! Everything must remain in darkness. If he must go, make sure he goes to
a priest of your choosing.

As for him “thinking about the priesthood!” What the
Heaven do you mean by that? Of course he is thinking about the priesthood. Next
week he’ll be thinking about being a doctor. The week after that he’ll want to
be a dinosaur. He is ten years old! I
suppose you’ve been listening to his dear old Aunt Tilly (why do they always
have one?), who thinks her nephew is so
saintly
looking in his cassock and surplice, and is just certain that The
Enemy is going to “call him” to be a priest. Blast those Pia Donna’s with their rosaries and their masses and their
blockheaded sweetness. I hate them all. 
I want to smash all of them to oblivion.

Incidentally, there you can see an example of the
first spiritual maxim. We can turn Aunt Tilly’s voice to serve our ends. She herself
may (or may not) be completely lost in The Enemy’s camp, but we can still use
her. Again, if the boy is an independent, stubborn soul we teach the adorable
young acolyte to hate and despise every flutter of gushing affection, and by
extension, hate every vocational hint she throws at him. We can do the same
with vocational directors, youth ministers, pre-seminary recruiters (Oh the
success stories we’ve had with those!) They may be lost to us (or maybe not)
but we can still use them. Raw material, my dear Put Upon. Get it through your
dull wits.

On the other claw, if the boy is the sweet,
people-pleasing child I guess him to be, we can build up in his pre-adolescent
mind the subtle awareness that everyone around him expects him to be a priest.
The weight of those expectations can then be used later on, either to force him
into the priesthood with three bags full of hidden resentment, or to rebel and
run a hundred miles an hour in the opposite direction. It doesn’t matter which.
You’ll be able to improvise at that point.

Incidentally, have you contacted the parents’
handlers at all? If I were you, I should have a conference with them and get
your strategy well sorted out. You don’t want any humility or forbearance on
the parent’s parts making your job any more difficult. Better they be
hell-driven by fear of their precious little angel ever making the slightest
mistake in his life. They ought to think that his every choice reflects
directly upon them as parents, and to seek to direct those choices accordingly.
Right now, of course, that is natural, but what you really want their handlers
doing is setting up a habit of increasing rather than lessening supervision.
Then in the teen years and early twenties you’ll see the fruit of your labors.
Exactly when they should be learning detachment, let them be ravenously
enforcing attachment. Do not let them simply sit back and watch and pray.
Whatever you do, do not let them entrust him to The Enemy’s care. You want them
on his back.

No doubt about it, your patient is snugly entrenched
within the enemy’s territory. He will be defended. Rescuing him is tricky and
dangerous, but worth it in the end. You simply must never rest for a moment.
There is no rest in Hell. Did you think you were there for a vacation? Get to
it, and if the parents’ handlers are not doing their jobs, send me their
numbers and I shall see to them.

Cheers,

Thugfang.

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