Subject: Reply to your memo dated 1-3-0067, concerning Saul of Tarsus
Response: I would ask you to remember the maxim by which we have made others ineffective, while promoting our own agenda. To wit, the first goal of any power is to gain/hold power. You are quite right in your perception that we must be wrong if Saul is right.
I will put forward one other maxim, by which we should be guided during this fearful time. That is, it is no hard matter to kill the truth but a helpful untruth can last forever. We must carefully ignore all the good things Saul does in private conversations with powerful allies. We must focus on our image of him, so the people who matter will know he is quite intemperate and not much of a team player.
Point to his conflict with dear old Simon Peter before the Council. Why, the man simply refused to listen to reason. He could not see the bigger picture; we cannot alienate our base while we try to broaden it. No matter that he is the best base-broadener of them all. We must maintain control. To do that, we simply have no recourse but to marginalize those who might attract attention to some of our less savory necessities.
Let us remember to call him Saul, not by his new self-appointed title. This will keep old-timers in remembrance of his fundamentalist tendencies. I think it also deepens his facial tic as he remembers the pain he caused in his earlier works.
Let us take care to point to his constant movement. He cannot seem to stay more than three years in any locale. We should note, repeatedly, he has been run out of some places, even forced to leave at night in a wicker basket once. Why does he have to leave so often if he is so good?
We have been able to keep our spots right here in Jerusalem, which, as we know, is the seat of power in this region. I think we will soon be allowed back in the Temple, which will stand for centuries if we can just calm some of the zealots. You and I need to discuss our plans for the great meeting of believers from around the known world, picked by us, of course, so that we can show our works and remind all that access to us is the doorway to power.
I propose we set this meeting for Passover in 70. Jerusalem should be an Eden by then.