The devil and his minions gathered together, some on his right hand and others on his left.
And the devil said, “Over two thousand years have passed since our Creator and Enemy descended to the earth, was killed, buried and rose again, defeating our plans and putting us to utter shame.”
The fallen angels joined in a chorus of boos and hisses.
“Our Great Enemy has gathered a growing number of defectors, particularly in the place called the United States,” the devil continued. “Who will present a plan to stop this defection so that the name of Our Great Enemy is reviled?”
One minion suggested persecution. Another suggested causing malaise toward reading the Enemy’s Book.
Then a crafty angel came forward and stood before the devil, saying “I will defeat them, by destroying their credibility.”
And the devil said to him, “By what means?”
The crafty angel said, “I will cause the defectors to put their trust in a certain prince — a prince who behaves more like our servants. A prince who is arrogant, boastful, divisive, etc.”
“Why would the defectors follow this prince then, being he acts more like us than the slaves of the Great Enemy,” asked one minion.
“Because I will cause the defectors to see this prince as a means to an end. I will delude them into believing that this prince will protect their way of life.”
The crafty angel continued.
“Then I will strike the earth with a deadly pestilence, and I will divide the defectors one from another, not only in body but in mind and spirit. But the prince in whom they trusted will continue to cause division, and many will die from this pestilence.”
“And then the defectors will all die of the pestilence?” asked one minion gleefully.
“No. Instead I will persuade the defectors to publish slander and conspiracy theories. Many will say the pestilence is a lie, a trick to overthrow the prince. Many will attack other defectors for not showing allegiance to the prince.”
He went on.
“Now it is a custom for the people of this country to choose their leaders every four years. So I will cause even more division among the defectors, by raising up strong prophets who command absolute loyalty to the prince. But when the prince in whom they trusted is not chosen by the people, that’s when I will strike!”
“By persecuting them, to wipe them off the face of the earth?” asked another minion.
“No, instead I will cause them to sin against their Lord, the Great Enemy. I will cause them to publish lies, rebel against their authorities and hate one another — just like us! And then nobody on the earth will listen to their testimony about the Great Enemy anymore.”
The devil said, “You will destroy their credibility, and you shall succeed. Go out and do so.”