The Business of Deception

By Dave Marsh
December 14, 2010

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A drama about how Satan undermines our lives and deceives us

Director's Notes:
This was written originally to talk about how Satan especially targets leadership. I was deeply influenced by C.S. Lewis' book 'The Screwtape Letters' where Lewis gave us an insightful glimpse into the mind of 'blue-color demons' and how they go about deceiving us in some of the most subtle ways...

Satan: He's running 'Deception Central' from his office
Demon #1: He's a deceptor in training
Demon #2: Ditto

Portable phone
2 chairs


Deception Central. This is where Satan operates from. He is dressed in a business suit and is constantly on the phone dishing out subtle ways of undermining leadership within the church, work and home.
(LIGHTS UP CENTER STAGE where Satan sits behind a desk, singing "Under my
thumb" by the Rolling Stones and typing away at a laptop.)

Satan: (phone rings) Deception Central, you find em, we’ll grind em. Oh, Mr. Guilt, how are you? Good. What’s up. Uh huh. Hmmm. Okay, no problem, here’s what you do. First, tell him that church work is the only way to effectively love and serve God. Second, tell them that they’re not serving God enough and need to do more. Yeah. Right. Guilt. Exactly. Yep, they’ll ignore their family thinking they’re doing the right thing. Okay, no problem.

Satan: (Starts singing again and typing) (Phone rings) Deception Central, you hook em, we’ll cook em. Hello Ms. Fatalism, what can I do for you? Uh huh. Yep, I see. High school teacher eh? Good leader? Hmm. Okay, here’s the plan. Tell her what she’s doing ultimately won’t matter. Yeah. Oh, real subtle like. (Demon #1 enters) Take her out to where the kids are smoking in back. Yeah. Sure and if that doesn’t discourage her enough show her her paycheck. Good. Okay. Bye.

Satan: Hello, Mr. Allegations. Please, have a seat.

Demon #1: Thanks. I need it. What a day.

Satan: Didn’t I assign you the Harper case?

Demon #1: Yep and boy is it a doozy. As you know, this guy works as a middle manager down at the GE plant. Straight as an arrow. Affirms his employees in public, criticizes in private, does everything by the book.

Satan: Ah, I see. These leaders are rare and few and far between but easily…

Demon #1: (cutting him off) Seduced?

Satan: Seduced? No no no. We like to refer to saying they are in need of a little misleading, a little redirection, a little misrepresentation. That’s all. Remember, subtly is the key. No need to hit them over the head. Now, this manager of yours. Here’s what you do. Start a teeny, tiny rumor about him.

Demon #1: What kind of rumor? He’s a pretty upright guy.

Satan: Use your imagination. It can be a rumor about anything. People will buy it hook, line and sinker. Dishearten the poor chap but hitting him where it hurts – his integrity. He’ll then spend every waking moment stewing over it or trying to discount it. Soon, all that effort will only succeed in distracting him from his focus.

Demon #1: You’re a genius. Thanks. (leaves)

Satan: Of course. Good luck! (whistling as phone rings). Deception Central, find the dude, we’ll delude. Hello, Mr. Demoralize. Yes, yes, how’s the wife? Good. What have you got? Uh huh. Hmmm. Right, work at home mom. Okay, here you go. Tell her that making money is more fulfilling than raising these kids. No, not like that. Make it subtle. Send some executive women over to the house when she’s got spit up all over on her.
Yeah, exactly. Right. (Demon #2 comes in) Good one! Projectile poop would be good too. Sure. Okay. No problem. Bye.

Satan: Hello Ms. Frantic, how have you been?

Demon #2: Good good. Just got back from the Lake of Fire.

Satan: Ah, I hear it’s beautiful this time of year.

Demon #2: Sure is. Not that I really needed it though. It’s so much fun just "guiding" these people. They’re so gullible.

Satan: I know what you mean! Now, what can I do for you?

Demon #2: Well, I’m having a little problem with Jack Raymond.

Satan: Not again. Didn’t the allegations work?

Demon #2: No. He merely shrugged them off. He actually called it an "attack" and prayed about it.

Satan: Ugh. We’ve got to cut that out right now. How about a little discouragement?

Demon #2: No luck there. He’s surrounded himself with… a small group!

Satan: Aggh! Watch your language!

Demon #2: Tell me about it. They’re always encouraging him, holding him accountable and praying over his failures. What should I do now?

Satan: Okay, okay. Don’t panic. Let’s go to Defcon 3. Make him busy.

Demon #2: Busy?

Satan: Yeah, get him some mandatory overtime. Get him a raise too so he can buy more stuff that he can spend more time with and worry more about. Also get him some more charity events so he has to cancel the small group a little more. Start a new hobby, that sort of thing.

Demon #2: Ah, you’re the greatest! (leaves)

Satan: It’s rough being so good. (He looks at his watch and closes his briefcase). Well, time to go to that planning meeting. (phone rings). Deception Central, their not lies if no one cries! Lucifer here. (starts walking out) What have you got? Hmmm. Church drama director eh? That’s easy. Tell him their boring as all heck! Dull dull dull. Right. Yeah. Blah
blah blah.



(c) 1998 Dave Marsh

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