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)

Merely to over-ride a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo … He cannot “tempt” to virtue as we do to vice

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

We always try to work from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural … An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula … To get the man’s soul and give him NOTHING in return – that is what really gladdens our Father’s heart

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

I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one.

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

Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground.

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