TPD pp51-55: Power Games

Trigger Warning: Incest, pedophilia, and atrocious “Christian” logic.

The Demons. Left: Lucius. Behind: Rafar. Not shown: Complacency.

All across the land small town, an unnatural cold front blows, chilling the town. I have to assume it’s late summer based on the carnival and Sandy’s summer classes, so assuming we’re not in Alaska, a cold front is probably highly remarkable. Also wouldn’t that damage crops? Poor farmers. Apparently wind and rain are the result of demon activities. Also howling dogs and… quarreling humans. Heh. We were doing so well with the horror cliches until then.

Lucius Malfoy doesn’t notice a thing, of course. He’s still bragging on about his own glory and kicking around poor little Complacency. Then the room is filled with

a violent, boiling cloud [that] crashed and thundered into the room like a tidal wave, a sudden avalanche of force that crushed like iron. The demons were swept across the room like so much debris in a raging tide […] Lucius [was] in the grip of a huge, black hand.

…how big is this room? Seriously, conference rooms aren’t that large. The Demon Prince Ba-al Rafar has arrived, ladies and gentlemen, and he’s large enough to squish Malfoy in one hand, while yet small enough to stand in a reasonably-ceiling conference room, albeit with his massive wings “fill[ing] the room”.

“You who have no fear — are you now afraid?”

“Ye see a terror, and are afraid.” “Who is like thee […] Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”  “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.” Hey, look, it’s biblical! No wait. Those passages are all talking about God. For all the talk about the power of God in the Bible, I’m not seeing much about the powers of demon Princes. I’m not a Christian, but it sure seems like poor theology to assign great power — and he moves like a cyclone, inflicts punishment without mercy, speaks in clouds of fiery red vapor — to demons which are only marginally biblical in the first place. Smells a bit of idolotry, especially when God hasn’t even put in an appearance.

He orders Malfoy  to stand with the others. Malfoy insists he has not ordered him to yield his place. Gee, he showed up, smacked you around a bunch, and told you to stand with the others. That sounds like a yield order to me. Rafar, naturally, smacks Malfoy around again, until he gives in. Prince Uncharming’s breath is apparently blood red — that can’t smell good.

Rafar tells the demons to fear the hosts of heaven after all. Because they’re so terrifying in their plan to do utterly nothing. He seems pissed that Malfoy didn’t care about Complacency being attacked, not because demons should have compassion, but because the enemy was attacking and they ought to mount a defense.

We now find out why they were targeting Sandy in the first place. Yes, despite his claim that they were going after Sandy for unrelated reasons, it turns out Malfoy here was actually lying; they were using Sandy to get at Marshall. After all, it can’t be that a young woman’s soul is just as important as that of a grown man. I mean, he’s the editor of the local PAPER! He’s like a local celebrity! Clearly he’s the most important person in town.

Anyway, it seems they’d played a similar game with the previous editor:

“We found a weakness in his daughter and felt we could divert his energies towards her, perhaps destroy him at home and disintegrate his family. It seemed to work on the former editor.”

Wait, hang on. I remember this guy. Didn’t they say he was

“caught molesting a 12-year-old girl”

back on page 32?

…wait. Hang on.

They broke up his family by…

But that implies….

his daughter? Cousin? Something along those lines? Ew. Massive squick.

Wait. But they said they went after the family, not after the man directly. Meaning they didn’t instill pedophilia in him, but instead….

oh god…

I’ve got two in one hand and two in the other and I’m vastly terrified as to what sum I’m going to get if I continue this train of thought.

But for you, dear readers, I will go there. Here goes:

THEY GOT TO THE EDITOR BY INFECTING A TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRL SO SHE WOULD SOMEHOW CAUSE HIM TO MOLEST HER. Because the incident was of course all the fault of the harlot girl. She wore a short skirt, she was asking for it.

I need a bath. Someone tell me I’ve misread this passage. I would be fucking gleeful to be proven wrong.

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5 Responses to TPD pp51-55: Power Games

  1. Jarred H says:

    I have to assume it’s late summer based on the carnival and Sandy’s summer classes, so assuming we’re not in Alaska, a cold front is probably highly remarkable. Also wouldn’t that damage crops? Poor farmers.

    Not really. Cold fronts happen all the time. Without them, there wouldn’t be any rain (or snow, hail, or any other precipitation. Bear in mind that meteorologically speaking “warm air mass” and “cold air mass” are relative terms.

    Random bit of trivia from getting my meteorology merit badge in the Boy Scouts: If you’re looking up at a cloudless sky, you’re in a cold air mass.

    I’m not a Christian, but it sure seems like poor theology to assign great power … to demons which are only marginally biblical in the first place. Smells a bit of idolotry, especially when God hasn’t even put in an appearance.

    This is a common criticism of the spiritual warfare crowd.

    Someone tell me I’ve misread this passage. I would be fucking gleeful to be proven wrong.

    You’re reading it wrong, but I’m not sure you’ll feel better about the actual interpretation. Basically, the previous editor’s daughter was convinced(*) to make false allegations of sexual abuse. Given how I’ve recently been learning just how common accusations of false accusations are used to defend our rape culture, I don’t find this explanation much (if any) comfort over your misinterpretation.

    (*) I can’t remember whether it was through deliberate coaching by the human villains or false memories implanted into the girl by demons.

    • yamikuronue says:

      That is marginally better than “Girl was abused but it’s her fault because demons”, but yeah, still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. False memories sinks it back down to “girl was traumatized by abuse just to get at the important guy” on top of the issue of rape culture that you mentioned.

      The thing that bothers me, on rereading, is that Brummel talked about doing what he could to ease things for the girl’s family. The way he phrased that implies that the girl’s family and the editor are two separate entities, implying that he was molesting someone else’s kid. But I’ll just chalk that up to inconsistent writing or maybe Brummel’s lying because he’s eeevil and evil people lie for no reason.

      I’m seriously beginning to hate this book.

    • And this was the message that had my mother constantly telling me that recovered repressed memories were actually demonic plots to destroy families.

      Since I WAS sexually abused, this book (and the ideology itself) messed me up for a really really long time.

  2. Jarred H says:

    I mean, he’s the editor of the local PAPER! He’s like a local celebrity! Clearly he’s the most important person in town.

    I thought I might add some perspective here by mentioning the an important fact about the spiritual warfare culture:

    Spiritual warfare people are usually conspiracy theorists.

    They see demonic plots in everything. In their minds, every little thing that they deem as being “of the enemy” is part of some great plot by Satan himself to destroy all that is good and holy in the world, destroy good Christian lives, and lure people to oppression and eventual damnation. The Buddhist monk, the feminist, the liberal, the gay, the atheist college professor, the Wiccan high priestess, and everyone else are taking part in this great conspiracy, either as ignorant dupes or knowledgeable and willing participants.

    TPD embodies this mentality perfectly, which is why Hogan is portrayed as so important. Marshall Hogan is a journalist — and a real one at that, not some pawn of the “evil liberal media” (for that trope, see Peretti’s book, “Prophet”). And unlike Cameron “Buck” Williams, Marshall Hogan actually acts like a journalist. So naturally, he’s a huge threat to the Spooky Secret Satanic Conspiracy.

    Of course, comparing Hogan to Buck Williams gives me this fantastic idea for a story in which the ending of TPD is different, Hogan fails to help stop Satan’s evil plans for the twon of Ashton and is disgraced and sent out of town. So he changes his name to Cameron Williams, assigns himself the nickname of “Buck,” and moves to Chicago a few years before Nicolae Carpathia comes on the scene. You have to admit that going through this stuff in Ashton would explain why Marshall/Buck would be so willing not to put his neck on the line to try exposing the antiChrist…..

    • yamikuronue says:

      I would SO write that fanfic! Except for the part where I’m trying to edit my novels >.>

      Heck, I’m even seeing this ‘Buck’ thing being somehow related to either the Lamb or the other novel my mom sent in the package, Hind’s Feet in High Places; it could be taken ironically as he discards the Christianity he’d learned in Ashton, rejecting the God of inaction presented here, explaining why he’s so quick to pick it back up when he finds the RTC Zod of Wrath because hey, this god is DOING something about evil! Granted, he’s killing 2/3 of the population, but it’s a far cry from his previous nonexistence!

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