As I enter the main conference room of the Agency, I find sad, forlorn figures seemingly begging for motivation to continue exploring humanity’s darkest secrets. And motivation is the Devil’s work, after all.
In a precise moment of inspiration, I remind them that the most crucial growth doesn’t happen during meditation or reading a complex book; it occurs in the midst of conflict and stress. It happens when you’re at your limit and often past your breaking point.
Now focused on mine, their eyes hang on the suspense of what I will say next. Each of them knows that if anyone can push them to do more, the Devil can.
“They’ve been waiting for you,” says Dee, approaching me from behind and putting his arm around me. “I have been waiting for you,” he continues with a sigh of relief.
The Project, which is now over a year old, is moving into a new phase, which shows us actual numbers. People in that room see and read data about suffering and death, torture and slavery to learn from it and find ways to alleviate their consequences on the world.
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Ultimately, the Project is a mission of compassion. Ours is a mission that has changed our perception of the world and mutated our understanding of humanity. Understandably, they are weary. And some of them are at their breaking point, wishing for that growth the Devil speaks about so calmly.
I tell them I understand. My friend says they waited for me and needed me to motivate them. Perhaps, I think to myself; I should let them know that it is I who comes here for motivation. I do.
Conceivably, I should remind them that I am in awe of the power of their conviction, and I cannot express my reverence for their willingness to see the truth for what it is. That I, the one who many call the Devil, look to them for momentum and confidence. I imagined early on that I would one day dismantle the systems of misinformation I helped set up, but I didn’t dream I would do it with people like them.
I tell them precisely that.
The group of fifteen looks at me, and smiles start to show in some of their faces, while others project their understanding of why they are essential to the Project. The knowledge of why they are so important to me.
I thank them calmly and tell them that I have to go and see a friend whose name I don’t know – someone who lived through the horrors we read about here – that I needed to look upon your faces before entering her nightmare.
— The Devil Unbound