Here’s the set up, so that the paragraph I wish to quote will make sense:
Francezzo, our hero, is helping the Brotherhood of Hope to rescue spirits who are trapped in Hell, but have seen the error of their ways and help them up into the Light. While in Hell, he meets an ancestor of his, whom Francezzo admired in his misspent life. The ancestor reveals that he had been influencing Francezzo throughout his life and that he was with Francezzo at all of his greatest moments. Later, Francezzo realizes that all these ‘great moments’ were in fact his worst and most depraved moments. (I borrowed A LOT from WANDERER IN THE SPIRIT LANDS for the Hell in my Prospero Books, including this idea.)
Before Francezzo realizes what a bad guy his ancestor is, the fellow tries to convince him to stay in Hell and help with a project that the ancestor is involved in. He explains to Francezzo that spirits have some ability to influence the living:
“Again, I saw the power in intellect and in literature which I could control and influence through the imaginative descriptive faculties of mortals who, under my prompting, would write such books as appealed to the reason, the intellect, and the sensual passions of mankind, until the false glamour thrown over them should cause men to view with indulgence and even approval the most revolting ideas and the most abominable teachings.”
I am often reminded of this paragraph when I see the many things in this society that are considered perfectly acceptable which, only a few decades ago, would have been thought of as revolting or abominable. It seems all the eerier to me, when I recall that this was written over 100 years ago, well before this process really got started (even though the seeds were there already.)
It is even more alarming, of course, if you accept the premise of the book and believe that there are spirits in Hell with a deliberate agenda of affecting our society in this way.
Personally, I do not know if this is true or not…but I do think that the analogy of it being like something being done by a demon is appropriate. Certainly, if you start with the premise that morals are objective, and things like the Ten Commandments are not just arbitrary, then the effect upon society of such a program is certainly demonic!