I was first compelled to
give some thought to Gods plan for the
Universe when the Angel Gabriel appeared to me in
the company boardroom, late one evening when the
corporate headquarters was deserted.
I freely admit that I was
terrified. For one thing, Id been totally
taken-in by the Dawkins Delusion, so
hadnt expected there to be a God -
nor an associated hierarchy of celestial beings.
Also, I had built my multi-national with no
regard to the lives I had wrecked along the way,
nor the massive ecological damage done by my
mines and factories.
As Gabriel stood before me
within a halo of radiant light, I was expecting
to be directed to the super-fast executive
elevator to Hell.
You are blessed
amongst men, announced the Archangel.
Have you got the
right address? I responded in surprise.
Gabriel pulled a sheet of
paper from his white, flowing robe and consulted
it. Are you Henry Greedbanker, the
psychopathic bastard who built Earthrape
Ive got the
right person then, confirmed Gabriel,
replacing the note. Anyway, as I was saying,
God is greatly pleased that you are doing His
will. He wants to encourage you to continue with
your current behaviour, and assure you that you
are destined for an honoured place in the Kingdom
I suppose I was overcome
with the emotion of the moment. I fell to my
knees and praised the Lord. Then, as I fervently
worshiped my Creator, I began to think things
through: I wasn't oblivious to having led a
hedonistic existence and to doing more than most
to expedite the end of the world. My schoolboy
understanding of Christian ethics seemed to be at
variance with the Archangels message.
Can I ask a question? I said to my
thats aimed to elicit an answer, I
No ones ever
asked me a question before. He looked
puzzled. Theyve just accepted my
messages from God, without comment.
I rose from my knees, sat
down at the boardroom table and beckoned for him
to join me.
I looked into his eyes.
Im the most powerful industrialist on
Earth, I continued. Up until ten
minutes ago, I thought I was God.
I paused. Whats this all about?
Just what I said,
he responded with bewildered confusion.
For Gods sake
man, I said with a note of frustration,
Im a leading force in driving this
planet to destruction. How can I possibly be
doing Gods will?
Gabriel looked down at the
table and spoke falteringly. Gods
downsizing and relocating, he mumbled.
Downsizing what and
relocating from where?
Gabriel paused to think of
a way to explain. You know those nuclear
weapons you sell to terrorists? he said.
Yes. What about them?
They have to be
assembled in precisely the right way or they
Its like that
with a Universe.
What do you mean?
In order for life to
exist in the Universe, lots of things have to be
precisely balanced. For example, there can only
be a limited number of conscious beings.
So God needs to limit
the Earths population?
He wants to make
Earths population redundant so he can
concentrate on expanding life on Gliese 581g. The
laws of this Universe only allow enough conscious
beings for one planet.
I could see the logic.
A bit like when I closed that factory in
Wigan and moved production to Cambodia to get the
benefit of the cheap, un-unionised labour,
In a way,
So Hes trying
to wipe out life on Earth? I summarised.
Im afraid so.
I was confused. Why
doesnt He just send a plague or a flood or
Have you read the
papers recently? questioned Gabriel.
Hes sent floods, volcanoes,
earthquakes and plagues. You lot are very
difficult to kill. We were getting worried that
mankind would get suspicious about His divine
carnage, but humans have this strange view about
God as being innocent of anything bad while being
responsible for everything good. Gabriel
sighed. He killed half the population of
Haiti in 2009 and everyone thanked him for saving
one child that luckily got away.
Gabriel brought his mind
back to the business in hand and looked at me
earnestly. We need people on the inside,
like you, who can promote wars and global warming.
Now youve told
me, do you expect me to go along with the plan?
Just carry on having
a good time with no regard for the planet or
anything else. Gabriel recommended.
Youll be dead fifty years before the
planet dies. If you help us, a nice future life
can be arranged for you on Gliese 581g
plenty of wealth and women.
I thought for a moment.
Fair enough, I said, winking
conspiratorially at him.
Gabriel winked back, smiled
and then vanished in a glow of unearthly blue