The Hells of Those Who Spent Their Lives in Adultery (Continued)

Some people fool others with great subtlety and craft, presenting a pleasant face and pleasant speech but inwardly concealing poisonous deceit. In this way they captivate others for the purpose of destroying them. Their hell is more forbidding than others’hells, more forbidding even than the one murderers are in. They seem to themselves to live among snakes, and the more hurtful their plots had been, the more dreadful, poisonous, and numerous appear the snakes that surround and torture them. They have no idea that these are not snakes, the pain and torment they feel being the same. Few will believe this, perhaps, and yet it is true.

These are people who premeditate the frauds they practice, and find the highest pleasure of their life in them.

Dissemblers are chastised in several different ways, according to the nature of their deceit. In general, the communities banish such people rather than tolerate them. Whatever a spirit thinks, those nearby immediately know and perceive it, so they can tell if any duplicity is at work and what kind of duplicity it is. In consequence, after being driven away from society, they end up sitting alone. They then appear to have a broad face, equal in width to four or five others’faces. They wear a wide, white straw hat and sit like images of death, racked with pain.

There are others who by nature are given to deception, so that they do not act from forethought or under cover of a false appearance. They are recognized instantly, and their thinking is perceived plainly. They even boast about their dishonesty, as if wanting to appear clever. These people do not have the same kind of hell. But more on charlatans later [§§947, 957–960, 1271, 6197], by the Lord’s divine mercy.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 830

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