Tangleknot on Leading the Opponent’s Subjects Astray


Tangleknot writes to his demon nephew, TunglashDearest Tunglash,

How pleased I am to receive your letter from deception school! I trust that your instructors are teaching you the latest techniques. That you should write your chthonic uncle and consider my many millennia perfecting the art would warm my heart if I had one. How good that we can possess the hearts of others then. A proxy is even more diabolically delish!

So you wish to know how to lead the Opponent’s subjects astray. A most worthy question filled with many seemingly simple responses that take years to perfect. Some demons never do, but I suspect that with your heritage, you will do just fine.

Here are a few of my most hellish suggestions. I will leave the details for you to discover as one of my stature cannot give away all secrets lest I find myself in competition with some of my illustrious brethren. And I can’t be having more of that, now can I?

My first piece of advice is to stoke the fires of wanting more. More what? It does not matter. Even wanting more of the Opposition can be turned to our advantage if the subject of your deception has little understanding of the Opposition’s Handbook. And how many of them are delightfully ignorant in that regard! In pursuit of more they will discover some of our most brilliant traps. How I thrill to their cries of anguish as they tumble in! Even more, I relish the quiet ones who, once trapped, have no understanding how quickly their life force drains away or how soon they will find themselves face to face with you and me.

On the other cloven hoof, some respond best to little. Watching them giggle with glee over a breadcrumb when they can have the entire loaf—ah, such fun. They believe themselves so strong, so clever to have discovered some fragment of truth. And how they run with it, creating for themselves such wickedly vain imaginings. I will give the Opposition his due: He certainly made them a creative lot. Using that to our advantage makes for all manner of entertainment. I so love a good fabrication. Nothing like weaving grandiose hoo-ha out of a single sentence of their Handbook taken out of context.

Both of these strategies work well as distractions. Any distraction will do, though. When the Opposition wants them to be doing A, B, and C, make sure they do X, Y, and Z, instead. Do remember that the most effective X, Y, and Z have the appearance of A, B, and C. Some subjects will see through wasting time watching our television, but if you entice them to waste time watching Opposition television, then you dramatically increase your effectiveness. And do run them around. Multiply the number of conferences they attend, the programs they develop, the showcases for smoke and mirrors that are this season’s de rigeur Opposition events. Run them ragged. Soon A, B, and C will be distant memories.

For those who fancy themselves leaders within the Opposition forces, toss in a little taste of power. Give them a false miracle or sign now and then. Make it seem like it came from within the leaders themselves. Nothing like a spittle-spewer who  demonstrates a few faux acts of power to drive everyone into a frenzy. And get those leaders talking about mantles, swords, crowns, and armies. Elevate them to the status of generals. Get them whooping and roaring and battle-crying and shofar-blowing—I promise that you’ll just adore the cacophany of it all! I know I do. And when they are sufficiently ready to burst from the splendor of their noise, sic them on each other. Oh yes, the Opposition used that on a few of our manipulated armies millenia ago, but two can play at that game.

In the category of “Everything old is new again,” I love to trot out gnosticism. How these humans love deep secrets! Once the schisms set in, convince them that only their side knows the most profound mysteries of their Handbook. Or better yet, abandon all references to the Handbook and finagle a few false prophets to deliver new revelations of doctrine. For example, His Infernal Majesty continues to plumb the classics. Consider his devastatingly effective statement in the Garden of Eden. That one still slays them today, especially when delivered from the mouths of one of their self-appointed prophets. Best of all, a little stoking on your part will have them disdaining all correction. They’re the only ones who know the real truth. Or should I say, lie?

Oh, before I forget, you have bleached and ironed your Sunday best, correct? Always remember to add just enough hellfire for the proper amount of glow. And lose the name “Trish.” Proper Oppostion forces don’t go by “Trish.” I suggest “Restoration.” Has a nice ring to it. That way you can have them restoring all manner of things that were already restored by the finished work of the Opponent’s Right-Hand Man. Again, distract, distract, distract.

I see that you are taking a class in Magicks for the Foolish taught by my compatriot, Scarloin. Oh, he is a right foul piece of filth that Scarloin. Patented the prayer hankie idea just minutes before I could. (Though I must say, my bottle of Jordan River water has been doing better business of late). The more we can get the Opposition’s subjects to worship the created rather than their creator, the more our kingdom will grow. While we both know that rabbit’s feet and horseshoes no longer hold sway over them, they’ll easily trade those superstitions for more spiritualized ones. I suggest you whisper into their ears to put their trust in mantras, secret phrases, gyrations, keywords, and using their handbook as a talisman. Convince them that doing so will release power (because as you know, they all thirst for power). Then sit back and enjoy the show. I do.

Employing any number of these suggestions will be like yelling “Fire” in one of their crowded megachurches. All the running and screaming…nothing quite like it, is there, my boy? Pandemonium is such a beautiful word on the lips. Even more beautiful when enacted. And isn’t that what we’re all about?

Oh, these are such good times for us. Better to not let the rumors of their end quell your enthusiasm for your studies, Tunglash. Just do as I say and you’ll graduate with honors. Then their world is your oyster.

And stick a tack on ol’ Scarloin’s throne for me, will you?

Your doting infernal relation,


When “Faith” Is a Lie


My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord GOD. Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace….
—Ezekiel 13:9-10a

I started a diet back in November that has seen me lose 30 pounds and keep it off. I’m right at the weight I want to be, and that’s a good thing.

One of the “guilty” foods the diet affords is Peanut M&Ms. I like Peanut M&Ms, especially the new variation, the dark chocolate kind.

But as I bought this guilty pleasure more often, I noticed an odd thing: I was being lied to.

The lie? Well, ask yourself, When is a pound not a pound? Answer: When it’s 12.75 ounces.

Now some people aren’t bothered by this because they don’t consider a substandard packaging size a lie. I do. It’s a form of fraud, especially when it’s done to make the price appear stable. Plenty of people won’t notice the change, and the company avoids the heat by claiming they’ve kept the price down. But they haven’t. The cost per volume/weight has gone up. Often considerably.

Edy’s/Dreyer’s ice cream went from a half gallon (2 quarts) to 1.75 quarts to 1.4 quarts. Same price. Except it’s not.

The government said last quarter’s consumer price index rose only 0.6 percent. Does anyone here, in an age of $4 a gallon gas and 1.4 quart ice cream containers, believe that for one second? Honestly? I suspect that the majority of packaged foods I regularly purchase have seen a downsizing in package size in the last nine months. In other words, food prices have gone way up, no matter what companies claim.

Okay, so the cynical ones among you will ask what we should expect from companies out to make a buck or a government that only seems to exist to placate the masses. Our surprise should not be when companies and government do bad things, but when they actually do good. Point taken.

On the other hand, what do we do about an institution that is always supposed to be good, yet lies to us nonetheless?

One of the issues I have with the American Church in its present state is that it confuses faith with a pollyannna mentality. It is simply wrong to say, “If we just have faith, all our problems will go away.” That’s a lie. Yet how often is that lie foisted off on believers on one level or another by well-meaning Christian leaders?

Here’s a prime example from Scripture of real faith and the action that followed:

Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”
—Genesis 41:25-36

Think about what would have happened if Joseph had instead told Pharaoh, “Don’t worry about your dream. Have faith in God! He will preserve us because He is a good God who only wishes the best for His children.Isn't it all so happy? Now let’s all go eat, drink, and be merry!”

Having faith does NOT preclude wisdom and preparation. Yet think about how many churches are ill-equipped to handle any kind of disaster. Think about the churches who routinely preach it will always be sunshine and lollipops. Is that your church?

In the passage that opened this post, God condemned the lying prophets who told the people not to be serious about the times, to go on as if nothing were changing around them, to claim a time of peace when it was anything but.

There is a stark difference between a healthy fear and senseless bravado passed off as faith. When Satan tempted Christ to leap off the top of the temple, the Lord responded to the father of lies with a healthy fear of the Father of Lights. We need that same kind of healthy fear.

Some of you may have heard talk of a looming trucker’s strike the first of June in protest over gas prices.  I don’t blame the truckers, I’m angry too that fat cats speculating on oil futures have driven the price through the roof.

Now think about how our entire country depends on trucked-in everything for its operation. Think about what happens when the grocery store runs low of food. Think about what happens when the hospital can’t get its supplies. Think.

Now ask yourself: What is the American Church doing to prepare?

See, it’s a lie to keep on acting as if everything is swell, as if the problems aren’t there, as if the seven years of famine won’t be all that bad. Genuine faith doesn’t sit on its haunches and sing happy songs. No, it gets out there and makes a difference. It prepares. It asks tough questions and comes up with tougher solutions. It asks something of its people.

It bothers me in the extreme that we simply can’t get Christian leaders to act. No matter what kind of fire we light under some of these guys, they’re content to spend all their time persecuting minor heretics and arguing over the finer points of infralapsarianism or some other non-essential when people are losing jobs, houses, and, potentially, food.

The early Church ensured that the proper people, godly people, were selected to wait the tables of the widows and orphans, to make certain they were cared for. How does that contrast with how we Christians prepare to meet challenges facing our communities and the society as a whole? How stupid and irrelevant do we wish to look in the eyes of the world if we are entering a time of tribulation without any preparation (other than to think, Hey man, Jesus is going to rapture me outta here! )? Is that the way the early Church responded to looming threats? (See Acts 11:28-30 for the answer.)

Faith is not a license for foolishness. Faith does not suffer liars lightly. Faith is only faith when it’s mixed with godly action.

What is our godly action right now? And why aren’t we acting on our faith?