by Viscount Sir Galen of Bristol
©2004, Paul T. Mitchell,
This work may not be reproduced in any form, written or electronic, without the permission of the author.
TO: All Apprentice & Journeyman level tempters, shades, devils and demons
FROM: His Abysmal Sublimity Undersecretary Screwtape, Underseer for English-Speaking Regions
DATE: 75th day, 13th period, 2,006,942, post descent
RE: The Society for Creative Anachronism
“Life’s just not fair!” This is a common complaint which we delight in hearing from humans; indeed it is the most commonly-uttered non-profane expression uttered by humans upon first entering our realm.
What they fail to realize, of course, is that life is far more fair than any of them could begin to realize. Their experiences are chosen for them by their maker, who tests their reactions and grades them on their performances. Occasionally, some of them are given additional lessons, and tested again. The grading to which our Enemy subjects them is divinely, infinitely, fair.
And so it is with us. Each of us is graded against one standard only: success! We are never told just when the test will end. As it says in the Enemy’s so-called “Book,” we will not know the hour of our judgment. We must each be eternally ready for the judgment, the inspection, the conclusion of the test.
One of your comrades recently was caught quite unprepared for his judgment. His patient was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism — not unlike over 20,000 of you operating in North America, Europe and Asia. His name is not important; indeed, his name has been eradicated. But his patient was returning from an SCA tournament. His conduct there had been exemplary. Our man was working on making his driving less courteous, his mood more irritable, his manner less patient. This failed utterly when the patient stopped by the roadside to assist a stranger with a flat tire. It was not a fellow SCA member, nor was it an attractive female. Indeed, it was an irascible elderly woman who treated him with suspicion. Still, the man was engaged in helping her to mount her spare tire when a drunk driver swerved onto the shoulder and killed him. You may rest assured that your fellow made an assertive claim for him, but it was summarily denied, as anyone might have expected.
Here I reach the purpose of this communique. This sort of occurence has become far too common. SCA members killed by surprise are dispropotionately likely to be lost to us. Therefore, until further notice, you are each directed to take all means necessary to keep your patients away from the SCA. If you have a patient in the SCA presently, do what you can to drive him out. Unless you feel that your patient is sufficiently advanced on the Road of Good Intentions (in which case you may apply in triplicate for a waiver from this policy), you must take whatever steps you are able to undermine your patient’s enjoyment of and interest in the SCA. Individual efforts to turn the SCA to our own ends are hereby placed in abeyance. I am personally directing a centralized effort on several fronts to undermine the ideals, goals and methods of this organization.
I have confidence that the SCA will soon become a place of refuge where our patients can play in safety and with confidence that they will ultimately join with Our Father Below, in the most authentically medieval of all available settings.