March 23, 2012 3:37 AM

Paul Harvey: If I were the Devil transcript

Someone asked for the transcript. Thanks to Patty for finding it. Transcrit follows video below::

If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: "Do as you please." "Do as you please." To the young, I would whisper, "The Bible is a myth." I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is "square". In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: "Our Father, which art in Washington" . . .

If I were the Devil, I'd educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I'd threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I'd get organized. I'd infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I'd peddle narcotics to whom I could. I'd sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I'd tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say "she's right." With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons, but not wise enough to control them.

If I were Satan, I'd make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle.

If I were the Devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps.

In other words, if I were Satan, I'd just keep on doing what he's doing.

Paul Harvey, Good Day.

Love,
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Here is the best "If I were the devil" video: http://erickbrockway.com/2012/03/21/paul-harvey-from-1965-if-i-were-the-devil-heres-how-id-destroy-you/


And the correct transcript:

If I were the Devil...if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree -- thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first, I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: "Do as you please." To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is "square". In the old I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father which art in Washington.”

And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I'd threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. I'd peddle narcotics to whom I could. I'd sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I'd tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil, I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves. Until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions -- just let those run wild. Until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every school house door. Within a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography -- soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.

If I were the devil, I'd make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle.

If I were the Devil, I would take from those who have and give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

What do you bet, I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich. I would caution against extremes in hard work, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

I would convince the young that marriage is old fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on T.V. is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed, with diseases for which there is no cure.

In other words, if I were the Devil, I'd just keep right on doing what he's doing.

Paul Harvey, Good Day.

Posted by: Cai Noble | June 3, 2012 8:10 AM

Cai - thanks for sharing. The reason for discrepancies in reproductions of this piece is that between Paul Harvey's original version in 1964 and final published version in 1996, he rewrote it and used in several times. That is very typical of any professional writer who deals in cultural commentary.

Posted by: Barbara | June 3, 2012 10:18 AM

consider the fact that it was said just a few years before i went to nam,and a platoon sargeant had a tape of it he played for us in the central highlands.
having attended school in cambridge,massachusetts
it resonated w/me then,and since i've felt like a deer in headlights as the layers of deceat become
veneers through the years of experiance sharpens
my forsight.
i comprehend now the biblical strategies & tactics
the israelis used when beset upon all sides by the armies of the tyrants.........

Posted by: nikomo | March 17, 2013 5:53 PM

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