A Warning to the Nations

Posted by M ws On Wednesday, August 15, 2012 0 comments
It was on April 3, 1965 that Paul Harvey, ABC radio commentator, delivered his piece called “If I were the devil”. Naturally, the strongly worded piece bothered and flustered the conscience of the radio audience in the United States.



Paul Harvey started his broadcasting career in 1944 in Chicago. He had a strong fan base because of his insightful, in-depth feature stories. In the ’50s, Harvey befriended FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who shared his perspective of life. Paul Harvey also befriended Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who became famous for his witch-hunting of suspected communists in the ’60s. It is no surprise to learn that Paul Harvey was a close friend of Rev. Billy Graham, the famous American evangelist.

Interestingly, Paul Harvey's radio programme featured a segment called “The Rest of the Story” where he spun fascinating stories which intrigued his listeners. Undoubtedly, his innocuous voice and articulate delivery engaged listeners like no other could. Apparently, he would sign off dramatically, by saying out his name, and then a long suspenseful pause would follow after which he would give a snappy “good day!” You can listen to it when you watch the YouTube clip of the original programme posted at the end of this post.

There are a few versions of his diatribe and I am posting the original 1964 piece.

If I Were The Devil by Paul Harvey

“If I were the devil… If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness.

And I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population.

But I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree—Thee.

So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first—I’d 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 them that man created God, instead of the other way around.

I would 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 art in Washington…’

And 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 threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa.

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.

Fanning the flames

“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 intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions—just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing.

I’d have judges promoting pornography—soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress.

And in His own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science.

I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money.

If I were the devil, I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

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

And what do you bet? I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich!

I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism, in moral conduct.

I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be.

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

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

Paul Harvey. Good day.”

Ironically, Paul Harvey's diatribe only became popular in 1999. Snopes has done a very good write-up about it and you can read it HERE.

Spine-chilling to say the least!

Paul Harvey died at age 92 in 2008. To think that forty-eight years ago, he delivered such prophetic words. Is it any wonder that some regard him as the modern-day Nostradamus?

*Thanks to Angela who sent me the 1999 version that intrigued me so much that I spent many hours reading about his life.

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