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How to sell your soul - the right way

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t lament the fact that we no longer have the Weekly World News to enrich our lives — and here’s a perfect example. Last week I ran across an article online headlined “How to sell your soul to the Devil.”

Oh, sure, you might think that because the article was on weeklyworldnews.com, the article might be of questionable veracity, but not me.

I also was not dissuaded by the fact that the story was posted May 5, 2009, even though the Weekly World News stopped publishing in 2007. I am, if nothing else, open-minded.

The writer of this article was someone named Marge Floori — which, as we all know, could not be published if it were not true — so Ms. Floori is now one of my favorite writers.

“You can have power, wealth, an attractive mate and virtually anything else you ever dreamed of — by selling your soul to Satan!” Floori begins the article by saying. “But how?

“You must know what you’re doing when you make the deal or Satan will cheat you blind. That’s the word from Dr. Rex Touth, expert on satanic rituals and author of ‘How to Negotiate Unholy Contracts.’”

Like the first-rate journalist that I now understand her to be, Floori makes good use of her expert source.

“Dr. Touth cites cases dating all the way back to the 16th century in which humans have agreed to spend eternity in Hell when they die in exchange for earthly pleasures while they’re alive.”

Then she quotes the good doctor himself: “Human history and world literature are teeming with stories like that of Germany’s Dr. Faustus, who sold his soul,” she relays. “Our own American statesman Daniel Webster once debated Satan in a landmark soul-selling case in which he renegotiated the contract and had it overturned. Thousands have gained riches and fulfilled their fantasies.”

And I’m thinking, “OK, I’m listening.”

To which Floori serves up exactly what I’m looking for — tips for how to take advantage of Satan. And those tips (according to Dr. Touth, remember) are as follows:

SET THE DEAL UP PROPERLY. There’s a right and wrong way to make contact with the Devil. The right way is to be alone in your room, close your eyes and say, “Satan, I summon you. I have a quality soul to sell if the price is right.” It may take dozens, even hundreds of tries, but at all costs, avoid sounding desperate or needy. He’ll show up eventually.

DEAL FROM A POSITION OF POWER. By far the biggest mistake people make is to underestimate how badly Satan wants their soul. It’s like precious gold to him, and he’ll pay anything to get it. When he appears, get him to make the first offer, then up it.

GET THE ABSOLUTE BEST. Remember, you’re going to burn in Hell forever. So no matter how badly off you are now, demand the best. For instance, even if you feel unlovable and desperate with loneliness, don’t just say, “I want the most gorgeous woman on Earth and I want her to be madly in love with me.” Instead, add, “In fact, throw in 100 other women as well so I can pick and choose according to my mood.”

REMEMBER TO DEMAND THE LIFE-EXTENSION CLAUSE. Satan won’t tell you if you don’t ask, but you can get a guarantee of 300 years of youthful life before you go to eternal damnation. Why enjoy a mere 75 or 80 years of reckless living when you can get 300?

See, this is how you know Dr. Touth is the real deal. By offering this special insight, he shows that he not only has the goods but also the guts to share with the rest of us.

Floori goes on to report that “religious groups worldwide are trying to ban Dr. Touth’s book,” quoting “a spokesman for the North American Council of Churches and Synogogues” (which may or may not be an actual organization): “This kind of trash is spiritual dynamite,” she attributes to the spokesman. “We can’t, in good conscience, let people read how to destroy their almighty souls.”

Then, like one of your better news writers, she spins it all back to the beginning by offering a nice summarizing ending to the story.

“But Dr. Touth says we should all be aware of the facts so we can make an informed decision. ‘It’s your soul,’ he says. ‘Do what you want with it.’”

And ker-pow! The story is over.

Now get out there and sell your souls (or not; your choice) — but if you do, do it right, OK?

Former managing editor of several community newspapers, including the Woodburn Independent, Lake Oswego Review and the Times papers, Mikel Kelly is chief of the central design desk for Community Newspapers and the Portland Tribune, and he contributes a regular column.

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