From the [deep] Archives

      It’s election day today- but don’t worry, it’s only midterms, not a real election day. To take your mind off politics, today we have an informational brochure from Winter 1980.

The Inquisitional Record Examination
Information Bulletin 1243-46


           Welcome to the wonderful world of the Inquisition! Many Church groups and state organizations require that certain members of the populace take the Inquisitional Record Examination (IRE). Your performance on this examination will not only determine your success in the Afterlife, but that of your relatives and acquaintances as well.


           Many infidels are uncertain of what to expect when faced with the stimulating new challenges of trials, tortures and incessant repentances in a language they’ve never heard before. They often have questions. Questions like: Why is the Cardinal asking me for a match? Why is he setting fire to my person? We at the Inquisitional Testing Service (ITS) have anticipated your concerns and questions, and will answer them in simple terms, so that even an illiterate pagan like you can understand them. And if we cannot answer them, remember, God is on our side.

Q: Why the Inquisition?
Well, think about it this way. Do you realize how positively jejune it is to be a Bishop or Cardinal these days? Nothing to do all day but translate Latin and go on nasty, soggy Crusades to God knows where. You’d be surprised how a jolly heretic burning or thumbscrewing can really brighten up an otherwise eventless afternoon. Also, it’s good for the tourist industry. That’s why.

Q: Why me?
Although some heretics find the idea of burial alive or drowning unnerving, there is no rational reason to feel that way. Statistics show that a heretic with a relaxed attitude and large sums of money will do 87% better on the average and on the rack than the entire Inquisition pool. So don’t be nervous- your life is not necessarily at stake, although your ability to perform such functions as eating and walking may be permanently impaired.

Q: What do I do when I go to the Inquisition?
Report to the dungeon indicated on your registration slip on the day and time indicated. Then fill out the simple Personal Information Form. If you cannot read, do not fill out the form.

Q: What can I expect while taking the IRE?
After a brief hearing, you will be assisted to one of several pre-tested torture devise. Then the official Inquisitor so designated will ask you a simple question. After each unacceptable answer, your pain threshold will be tested.

Q: How do I get him to stop?
Easy enough! You confess to being a heretic.

Q: What happens then?
We continue the examination, only more slowly.

Q: Won’t I lose out either way?
No, if you confess, you may get off with purgatory.

Q: But this is ridiculous! Why can’t everyone be tolerant of other’s religious beliefs and stop this mindless persecution?
Stupid question, Lover of Satan. We at the Inquisitional Testing Service will pretend we didn’t hear that.

Background Information Questions
A. Name? (1) Yes        (2) No

B. Are you a member of the Church? Why not?

C. How do you describe yourself? (This information for statistical use only.)
(1) Heretic       (2) Pagan       (3) Jew         (4) Demonically Possessed      (5) All of the above.

D. Do you have any particular phobias? (This information for abuse only.)
(1) Heights       (2) Depths      (3) Fire      (4) Having your eyes gouged out and your bones broken

Minority Persons – ITS does not discriminate no matter how repulsive is your race, color, or creed. In fact, minorities are highly sought after, and ITS will continue looking until they find you.

Handicapped Persons – All heretics who take the IRE will automatically qualify for federal aid for the handicapped. (See Section 5, Taking a Re-Test)

You may be excused from the Inquisitions for the following reasons:
           1. Succumbing to the Black Death. It has been proven statistically that very few people in the contagious stages of Bubonic Plague get called to the Inquisition, and even fewer get called of those who have died from it.
           2. Becoming a registered Inquisitor. Learn the innocent joys of flogging and sacrifice, not necessarily in that order. Although you yourself will probably not have to take the IRE, the chances are good to excellent that sooner or later you’ll get butchered in a bloody peasant revolt.
           3. Moving to New Jersey. It is unlikely that any Church official will look for you there. Then again, many prefer the rack.

The Day of the Examination
Test Dates – The Inquisition is given 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except Sunday mornings and on Christmas and Easter.

Final Instructions
           1. ALL MARKS made on the body ARE TO BE HEAVY AND BLACK
           2. You must complete your torture on one device before continuing to the next. If you expire before time does, you may check your bruises received from that device alone, but you may not go back, or you will forfeit your chance for further torture.
           3. NO reference books allowed. If you can’t scream properly without consulting a dictionary, you will certainly lose points.
           4. If you’re stuck on a question, go on to the next. Random guessing will probably annoy your Inquisitor.
           5. When in doubt, say something in Latin.
           6. If that doesn’t work, mumble.

There you have it – all you need to know to perform well on the IRE. If by chance our advice doesn’t work, and you happen to get burned or killed in some nasty way, don’t worry. You can always get a refund.

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