Friday, November 9, 2012

Ask Thugfang... Or maybe not?

Well! This is a bit of development.It appears that the Obfuscator replied to Thugfang's advice column on confession. After doing a little digging, it appears that Thugfang actually replied to the Obfuscator's comment. Of course he would. Someone that arrogant couldn't resist. Naturally he wouldn't reply in his regular column, but I managed to get my hands on the correspondence and am sharing it with you, because I think the question was quite good and really did see something the old devil missed. Might have been wiser not to point it out, though. So here it is, the correspondence of the unfortunate Obfuscator.

Dear Master Thugfang, Your well thought out tricks and traps will definitely be reread over the next while. There is much there to be applied with my Catholic patient, and I am beginning immediately. I am also looking forward to your additional column on post-confesson attacks.

However, through analyzing my patient before and after he goes to confession I have begun to realize why I have been having difficulty. It is due to the one question that you touched on briefly at the beginning of you letter, "How does confession work?" As you said, it is total nonsense to us, completely irrational. Yet, this man believes that it is powerful! So, would it not be better to show him how ineffective confession actually is? Why could we not attack the sacrament itself? I realize that the confessional is a no fly zone we cannot access. However, we could attack his faith in confession indirectly, by playing on his fears that he is revealing himself in a way that makes him vulnerable! Pride is the downfall of many men, as you yourself mentioned, so why don't we help him to realize that he is telling his sins to a mere man... one who might use that information for his own benefit. His pride would then guide him away from saying anything that would make him appear lesser or weak, for no man wishes to be judged by another. I will be considering all these issues critically as I continue to seriously practice your advice.

Sincerely, the Obfuscator

My Dearest, Darling Obfuscator,

So wise we are, suddenly! So perspicacious! You grasp things so quickly and even come to conclusions the master had not reached! Well, a gold star for the star pupil.

Certainly, if you can attack the patient's awareness of the priest's humanity, by all means do so. I have known it to work, but not, usually, in a patient with a well established habit of confessing. That sort of thing is better suited to the lapsed Catholic who is half-considering going back to the Church. That's when you want to trot out a parade of priest scandal stories and bad jokes about altar boys and confessions. Better still if he knew a priest who was an alcoholic, or a glutton, or even simply a bore. Anything to render ludicrous (in his mind as it is in ours) the idea that the Enemy could possibly use such a weak, pathetic sinner to affect His work. Even a cursory reading of the gospels would convince the dullest human that not only is that not unusual, it is precisely the Enemy's usual mode of operation, but most humans don't read the gospels. That is where you make mileage on the priest's sins.

In the case of a patient who has been confessing regularly for years, particularly if he confesses to several priests, his faith is in the sacrament, not the priest. As you pointed out, he believes the sacrament is powerful, and that is why he goes. He probably doesn't seriously attach that power to the priest himself.

On the other claw, if you do know anything about the priest, it wouldn't hurt to ensure the patient becomes aware of it. The juicier the better. What if the priest doesn't have any serious faults? Well, you're a demon, aren't you? Gossip, suspicion and lies are as good as a conviction in your patient's culture. Maybe he will stop going to confession altogether, or maybe he will simply decide to quit going to that priest. Either way, the distrust is certainly worth it, if you can make it happen.

Another thought. I once got a patient to stop going to confession to her regular confessor, who was a very wise and holy man, because I convinced her that every time he preached a homily on gossip he was thinking about her latest confession. I had forgotten that little anecdote. One of my more humorous escapades, if I do say so. In fact, the truth of the matter was that that abominable little prig spent so many hours in the confessional per week he was guaranteed to hear every sin in the book by four-o-clock wednesday afternoon. Make fun of her? Ha! He couldn't for the life of him remember which parishoner had told him what sins, except for one or two of the more colorful local characters. I strongly suspect he had heard a murder confessed once or twice (a few of my colleagues were assigned to local gang members) but given the fate of the priest's handler, I doubt he ever broke the seal of the confessional.

Which reminds me, I really ought to look you up some time. I have taken a special interest in your career, and we might be meeting far sooner than you ever expected.




  1. Dear Editor, I am surprised that you have gone to such great lenghts to find the correspondence occuring between Master Thugfang and myself. It is wonderful, however, to again be in print. Unfortunatly his answer to my delving question will profit many others in their assignments, since I have been unfortunate enough to attract attention and be dismissed. Maybe that "special interest" was code for special replacement. I am still awed by him, however, and find many tricks/traps to think about as I begin working to lower myself in the ranks of demons.

    Now I must work harder than ever with every new patient I am assigned, and am looking forward to the challenge. I have found that patients who are Catholic are bonuses, and usually are more difficult but worth the effort. The closer they are to the enemy, the further they have to fall... and, thus, the harder the fall! As Master Thugfang has been saying regarding confession, we do not understanding all the workings of the enemy and how he gains souls for himself. Yet, we do understand our patients' weaknesses and can use them to our advantage. I have actually had a chance to write him again and inform him of my intentions to focus on researching the effects of 'ignorance' on Catholics, an area I think needs to explored more in this age. Are there any pertinant articles in your back issues that might be of assistance here?

    Again, flattered to see my letter in print.
    Sincerely, the Obfuscator

  2. Dear Master Thugfang:

    I am writing to you amidst the chaos of Minion Ministry. In my work with this ministry, I have come across two topics that you mentioned in your response to the Obfuscator entitled Confession Part I. The first being hope and the second being pre-confessional contemplation.
    On hope- In order to deflect the Enemy’s light, I was wondering how to imbue a lack of hope into my patient’s mind. From my training, I have learned to twist definitions to get the desired “confused and lost” state. In order to do this, one has to know how the Enemy works- what His definitions truly mean. Thus, in your experience, which is the most twistable Truthful definition of the silly term, “hope?”
    On pre-confessional preparation- Have you run into any particular Examinations of Conscience that should be avoided to keep the patient from truly examining self?

    With due regards,
    Minion #008