Once upon a time, there was a Devil who had reached extraordinary heights, despite the fact that he was rather young.
Some of his ideas upset other devils. Quite a lot of other devils, really. Most of them, even.
But a small clique of very angry Devils thought he was the bee’s knees. They lauded him as a hero.
Unfortunately, they believed that the only reality was what they saw, and if they saw something in a particular way, it must be objective truth.
One day, the young devil woke up to find that dozens of devils had claimed he was an agent of Heaven. Dozens more claimed he had done tons of nice things for the Damned. Some even said he was kind to his co-workers.
This, of course, could not stand.
So they destroyed him. It took a long time and a lot of brimstone, but they eventually reduced his body to component items.
After that, they were all very happy.
For about 30 seconds. Then they realized they weren’t happy at all.
They looked at each other. They looked around. One said, muttering, but distinctly:
“The problem must be that this curse isn’t limited to any one Devil. It could be in any of us…except we righteous, of course.”
Then one of the righteous sneezed.
“WHAT’S THAT?” said someone near her. “That sneeze sounded SUSPICIOUSLY similar to the eruction of that one devil we disintegrated.”
And snarling, they tore her to pieces. And they found someone left-handed, and tore-him to pieces. They found someone who liked to use the word “indubitably”, and ate him.
But no matter how many horrible troublemakers they encountered, there were always more.
Some of the devils gave up. This was proof that they were part of the problem; you won’t see them again.
Some of them wept and screamed. You can still see them on the Interent.
A few left Hell altogether, claiming that Hell “wasn’t nice”.
But everyone knew that last group was crazy.
If a given place isn’t nice enough to dismember and defenestrate anyone ever accused of violating proprieties and norms, then it can’t be a nice place at all. Presumably all the ones who left were miserable.
And so, the ever-shrinking species of devils persisted and lived on, in an atmosphere of fear, accusals, reprisals, and madness.
That wasn’t exactly “Happily Ever After”–but hey, what is?