Illustration by Cayden Bullock

Introduction to Religious Studies unintentionally summons demon

*The Backdoor is a work of fiction and humor

By Andrew Hayes

Lewis & Clark’s newest Religious Studies seminar took a tragic turn this week when students accidentally summoned a demon during group discussion. The course, titled “Demons, Darkness, and the Five Dialogues” was supposed to serve as a bridge between the core E&D curriculum and the Religious Studies program.

“Unfortunately, it seems to have served as a bridge to the sixth layer of Hell instead,” professor Cameron Waters said. “Maybe we should’ve arranged the desks in a circle instead of a pentagram.”

Kevin Woods ’19 was in Miller at a senior seminar on the morning of Sept. 6 when the first floor of the building was rocked by seismic activity.

“I thought it was just that massive earthquake that’s supposed to hit Portland in the next hundred years until I smelled the sulfur,” Woods said.  Woods proceeded to covertly rip his Juul before adding, “Hasn’t someone told [the infernal spirit] about our new smoking policy? I mean, that thing reeks.”

Waters told us that she was searching for the course syllabus when she accidentally opened an ancient Moodle document filled with glowing occult symbols.

“When the classroom stopped shaking, there was a massive horned creature sitting where one of my advisees used to be,” Waters said.  Unsure of what to do, Waters continued the class as normal. “Calling attention to non-traditional students creates an unsafe learning environment, even when that student is leaking magma on the carpet and crawling with maggots.” Her strategy seemed to work; instead of unleashing chaos across the campus, the demon used a six-inch claw to scratch “Asmodeus, King of the Nine Hells” and announced in a distorted dual-octave voice that it uses he-him pronouns (but is also okay with they-them).

“Asmodeus is honestly pretty chill to have in class,” Flora Montgomery ’22 said as she swatted at a locust on her Patagonia sweater. “I used to rock climb with the kid who got dragged to the underworld—I mean, dropped the course—and he always walked through the ravine to get to Aca without wearing any shoes. Or deodorant.”

“I just wish he’d stop playing devil’s advocate in our group discussions,” Waters said, “but otherwise he seems to be adjusting well to the mortal world.”

The Backdoor tried to get in contact with Asmodeus multiple times but found he was unwilling to stop or make eye contact when approached on campus, confirming that the demon is indeed fitting in well with the LC social scene. Our suspicions were confirmed at press time when the Prince of the Damned was spotted just outside the Agnes Flanagan chapel hissing about “neo-colonialist religious persecution.”

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