If I Were The Devil

The Legend:

An email, with a link to an audio on YouTube, is currently making its way through cyberspace. Purportedly written and broadcast by Paul Harvey in 1965, it contains what seems to be eerily accurate predictions of the future, allegedly proving the devil is at work.

Subject: Absolutely SCARY. Please listen to this.

This was recorded 47 years ago; boy is it true.

Do you remember the famous ABC radio news commentator Paul Harvey?
Millions of Americans listened to his programs which were broadcast over 1,200 radio stations nationwide.
The following commentary was broadcast 47 years ago.... April 3, 1965.
I hope you will listen to this. It's short...less than 3 minutes.
Notice especially what he said in 7 seconds, from 1:57 to 2:04 in the broadcast.

A link to the audio was provideded in the email. Below is a transcript of the audio:

If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.

I'd 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 — thee.

So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I'd subvert the churches first, and 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."

To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I'd confide that what's bad is good and what's good is square.

And the old, I would teach to pray after me, "Our Father, which are in Washington ..."

Then, I'd get organized, I'd educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

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 intellect but neglect to discipline emotions. I'd tell teachers to let those students run wild. And before you knew it, you'd have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade, I'd have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography. Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse and then from the houses of Congress.

In his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I'd lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.

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

What'll you bet I couldn't get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I'd convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun and that what you see on television is the way to be.

And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there are no cures.

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

The Facts:

All extremely perceptive observations...just not prophetic. Paul Harvey did indeed write an essay entitled “If I were the devil” back in 1964 and while that original has the same theme as the audio version now circulating on the net, its quite a different piece. You see Mr. Harvey continually updated "If I Were The Devil" over the years and re-published and re-broadcast it with current observations and comments. Paul Harvey died in 2009 and, judging from some of the observations in the audio, probably recorded the new version not long before he died.

So, while it still a powerful and thought provoking essay, its just not the prophecy the piece is presented as– and that is the problem. Paul Harvey never pretended to be a prophet. His “If I were the devil..” commentaries over the years were always presented in the present tense – not the future. Mr. Harvey was obviously talking about current events since, at end of the piece, he said, “In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing".

Most of the topics in this latest version were not even recognized concerns in 1965 and as Paul Harvey himself used to say, “...and now you know the rest of the story”.

When in doubt - check it out at:



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