Later in the work, Screwtape writes the following to Wormwood:
I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, it to conceal ourselves…. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism…. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics.
Then Lewis, writing in his normally prescient way, adds these words from Screwtape’s pen:
If once we can produce our perfect work – the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits” – then the end of the war is in sight.
And that is precisely what the diminishing belief in Satan, and the increasing belief in all things paranormal, is achieving.
This article on Stan’s winning strategy originally appeared here, and is used by permission.