It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.

Letters from a senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood)

Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is TRUE! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous – that is the philosophy of the future.

Letters from a senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood)

It sounds as if you supposed that ARGUMENT was the way to keep him out of the Enemy’s clutches. That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier. At that time the humans still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not; and if proved they really believed it. They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning.

Letters from a senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood)

It is funny how mortals always picture us [devils] as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.

Letters from a senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood)

Consider too what undesirable deaths occur in wartime. Men are killed in place where they knew they might be killed … One of our best weapons, contented worldliness, is rendered useless. In wartime not even a human can believe he is going to live forever.

Letters from a senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood)

How much better for us if ALL humans died in costly nursing homes amid doctors who lie, nurses who lie, friends who lie, … promising life to the dying, encouraging the idea that sickness excuses every indulgence … and even withholding all suggestion of a priest lest it should betray to the sick man his true condition!

Letters from a senior devil (Screwtape) to a junior devil (Wormwood)