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Letters to Bentrock: A Demon's Guide to Trapping Prey

Bentrock Book

By J. B. Cyprus

In the tradition of C.S. Lewis' classic work The Screwtape Letters, Lucifer's tempters pursue a new generation of "Prey" inside a Texas Prison.

The Evil One has updated and modernized his lies and temptations, but his objective is the same: steer one more soul onto the broad road that leads to his home Below.

Follow along as Senior Demon Deumus teaches fledgling tempter Bentrock how to steer his prey, a Texas prison inmate, toward the wide gate that leads to destruction. One would think that securing the damnation of this "bunch of criminals, thugs, and addicts" would be an easy task, but, as Deumus notes, it is not. "If they start to consider themselves - now naked and in a cage - the terrible, awful, incontrovertible truth occurs to even the hardest heart: I was made for more than this."

Readers will find themselves immersed in this realistic look at how tempters cynically leverage the modern culture and our human weaknesses to pursue their prey, both in prison and in the "free world". Fortunately for our inmate, he is not alone in this fight. None of us are.

An old devil's letters to young tempter

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Letters to Bentrock Audiobook
Coming on July 1, 2024

Audiobook Sample: "Distraction"

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Audiobook Trailer: "Money Matters"

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What Others Are Saying

"Letters to Bentrock is, all at the same time, insightful, hilarious, serious and brilliant. The author has a keen understanding of the psychological and spiritual climate in a prison. It’s also true that, contrary to popular belief, prisons are some of the most challenging places for the underworld to do their work: The upper world is exceedingly active in this most unlikely of environments. Highly recommended. "

"Wise and practical counsel for all who are or who have been imprisoned by desires of the flesh, the lies of the culture and the schemes of the Evil One. In his explanation of how followers of Jesus are so easily deceived and tempted, J.B. combines profound insight into the human psyche, a deep understanding of the Scriptures, and a real grasp of the false promises of a hedonistic culture. What results is a work too rich to be called a primer to the Christian life but that functions as a textbook for avoiding 'the sin that so easily besets us' so we may live faithfully for the One who loves and saves us."

Letters to Bentrock - J.B. Cyprus

Dr. VANCE L. DRUM
Former Director of 
Chaplaincy Operations
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Rev. ROB RENFROE
Author of Unfailing: Standing Strong on God's Promises in the Uncertainties of Life; The Joy Stealers; A Way Through the Wilderness; The Trouble With The Truth; and other books

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Book Preview Chapter 2: Midnight Intervention

Dear Bentrock,

I have just been informed that your Inmate will be transferring to his permanent unit tomorrow morning. He was sentenced yesterday and is spending the night at a transfer unit. You should visit him there to get things started on the right path. 

Since your assignment is now confirmed, there is no point in continuing to hide the truth from you: this will not be an easy mission. The prison system is the one place where the Enemy continues to make progress and where our own success rate is barely rising (we tend to do better once our assignees are released back into the “free world” as they describe it). Your classmates from training who have been assigned to the suburbs, universities, and working-class neighborhoods will all find their tasks much easier.

 

It will not surprise you to learn that there is a great deal of frustration among the senior staff Below about the Enemy’s prison successes. Our colleagues complain that it ought to be easy to accomplish the “simple task” of maintaining our inmates’ current direction. Nearly everyone they send to us, they note, is already on the fast track to our Domain. While their free world prey frequently come from good homes, have been indoctrinated in the Enemy’s book, and are often professing Christians, our inmate prey tend to come from dangerous and disadvantaged circumstances with unmatched track records of what the Enemy calls “sinfulness.”

All of this is true, and your Inmate is no exception. He has been reliably traveling in our direction for many years. He comes from a broken home, has received little training in the Enemy’s ways, and he has adopted a personal law-of-the-jungle philosophy built around the ideas that strength is its own justification and doing “what is necessary” to thrive is the only morality that matters (at least “where he lives”). Maintaining a Hell-bound direction for someone like that ought to be easy, but it will not be.

What our colleagues fail to acknowledge, and what you must never forget, is that your Inmate is even now confronted by an undeniable truth: his approach to life has failed. It has failed to such an extent that he now finds himself cut off from his friends, from his romantic interests, from his remaining family, and from the personal comforts he had accumulated. He simply cannot deny the reality that his life choices have now led to him living in a small cage where even the most insignificant details of his day – from when he eats, to when and how he bathes, to if and when he may speak to his mother – are now controlled by disinterested and often hostile bureaucrats.

 As you will immediately recognize, our colleagues’ prey among university students, executives, factory workers, teachers, retirees, and whatnot may all be easily convinced that their lives are going “just fine” and that they are, on balance, “good people” with little need to change. This has always been, and continues to be, the most reliable way to keep someone on the wide and easy road to Our Domain. 

Indeed, our convict population provides an invaluable service to our free world colleagues. If one of their free world prey begin to wonder a bit too much about whether they are really “good” and “deserving,” we just whisper a quiet reminder that there are plenty of thugs and thieves who are the real “bad people.” Our colleagues point to the prisons and tell their prey that it is the inmates, not they, who need serious spiritual help. “While you may have made some mistakes in life,” we reassure them, “at least you have never committed any of the really big sins like the ones that landed those convicts behind bars.” So, we provide an important service to our free world colleagues just by being here! 

Sadly, your Inmate also knows this is what most people think. He knows (and it is only now really beginning to sink in) that as of yesterday he is officially, according to the judge and the laws of Texas, just a convict. He will carry that designation for the remainder of his life, and it will affect every facet of his future. So, like most inmates, he will enter the prison system deeply troubled, on the verge of despair, and believing that he needs to “change his life” one way or another. 

In other words, we are at a moment of crisis right now, tonight, even before your Inmate arrives at our unit. So, you need to do something that will be completely unnatural for our kind: you must comfort him. This is urgent and we do not have time to debate tactics. You must go to him now and plant the seeds for the Seven Essential Messages that we embed in every inmate the day they arrive. These messages will help us year after year to keep him out of the Enemy’s hands. Memorize these and whisper them to him tonight! I will check in with you tomorrow...

Chief Warden Deumus

Texas Department of Corruptions, Incarceration Services Division

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Letters to Bentrock 
Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

SOURCES AND METHODS

 

PART I: A NEW LIFE

WELCOME BENTROCK

MIDNIGHT INTERVENTION

THE SEVEN MESSAGES

DISTRACTION

STOKE THE ANXIETY

THE NICKNAME

MONEY MATTERS

THE LETTER PROBLEM

THE LETTER PROBLEM PART 2

RESPECT

THE APE-GODS

THE DROP-OUT

THE DANGER OF DESPAIR

A VERY UNFAIR WORLD

OUR FRIEND ANGER

THE ANGER MIRAGE

SEXUAL APPETITE

THE ROACH

GETTING OUT

IMAGINING HIS HAPPY FUTURE

GANG LIFE FOR HIM

THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE

COUCH JOCKEYS AND CORNER BOYS

SELFISH LOVE

THE VOLUNTEERS ARE COMING!

THE LAST SUPPER

 

PART II: A DANGEROUS DIVERSION

THERE IS ALWAYS TOMORROW

TOMORROW

TURNING HIS LIFE OVER

GET HIM OFF HIS KNEES!

BLOOD OUT

THE SEEDS OF DOUBT

THE SPECTATOR

THE AWFUL NOISE

FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF

MY WILL BE DONE

THE PROFESSOR

THE HYPOCRITES

COUNTERFEITERS AND THE LONG CON

FOR THE CHILD

THE MOSQUITO SYNDROME

DANGEROUS MONOTONY

THE MOST DIFFICULT DEMAND

THE MAGIC FISHING BUDDY

FAMILY VISIT

AN UNTIMELY INTERVENTION

JAILHOUSE CONVERSION

SENTENCING DEFERRED

 

PART III: THE FREE WORLD

THE PAROLEE

UNGRATEFUL GRATITUDE

SEND HIM TO CHURCH

UPSIDE DOWN

NOT PERFECT, JUST FORGIVEN

COUNTERATTACK

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WALLPAPER?

THE UNDESIRABLES

THE ONLY DESIRABLES

AS WE FORGIVE THOSE

MEMORANDUM FROM THE SECRETARY

 

EPILOGUE

AN INMATE’S FINAL LETTER

Table of Contents
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