The Rise and Fall of Employee Motivation Seminars

(The following report is a compilation of printed materials and transcripts of personal interviews conducted by the author(s). In the course of this exhaustive research we have come to feel that, given the controversial nature of the subject matter, it is best that the authors as well as their primary sources be kept confidential. Perhaps it is just as well, as the events depicted in the report are years or decades in the past. Many of the principals are retired or dead and, therefore, beyond any earthly reward or revenge. The author(s) may be dead, too. In this line of journalism, that is very likely.

---------- 1996, Leopold & Loeb, Media Consultants

Employee motivation seminars were a management tool popular in the 1970s and 1980s, and were based on the assumption that carrot and stick are insufficient to induce employees to give 110% to the job; rather, internal motivation must be cultivated in the employees somehow. Motivational training, usually conducted by outside consulting firms, employed a variety of techniques, from survey questionnaires to group exercises to meditation. These seminars had become enormously popular since their introduction in the 1950s (mostly in sales-related fields), as they presented a real advance over basic reward/punishment schemes ("Theories X and Y") or even Frederick W. Taylor's "scientific" methods.

Early attempts were not entirely successful. Many companies tried 1960s mind-game systems such as est or Scientology, only to end up with resentful (and sometimes crazy) employees. By the 1970s, however, corporate programs began to show results.

But no innovation is universally welcomed. Deeply religious employees and their advocates leveled serious accusations against motivational seminars, specifically the ones they felt promoted a "socialist" or "New Age" agenda. A socialistic attitude, they argued, would lead otherwise sensible people to embrace a world government under the Anti-Christ, as predicted in the Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible (as interpreted by fundamentalist Christians). Some even felt that the meditation techniques (such as those once used in the "Krone" program) opened employees to possession by demons. Their fears, it turned out, were justified.

Employee motivational seminars did indeed spring from an arrangement between American industry and the Prince of Darkness. Satan respects Americans like he respects no other people because it was an American, Daniel Webster, who defeated him in court, using his wits. Others, like Faust, have beaten the Devil, but only through appealing to Heaven. The Devil considers that to be on the level of tipping over the game board and, in his pride, does not consider those true defeats.

American corporate executives cut a deal with the Devil to deliver the souls of underlings in exchange for the usual favors. As the souls of corporate employees are "industrial grade," and therefore not worth as much as the souls of the elite, an executive had to deliver them in quantity in exchange for infernal favors. The perfect mechanism for this was, of course, an employee motivational seminar, in which large numbers of workers were possessed at once (By the way, television evangelists work the same way; their mass public "healings" are actually mass possessions).

This cozy arrangement between American leaders and Satan served both sides well. Demons consider possession of Americans to be a kind of working vacation, a welcome relief from tormenting the damned souls toiling eternally in the flaming dung-pits of Hell. Not that this isn't enjoyable work, but even a demon likes a change of scenery now and then. Satan and his lieutenants could award or withhold plum earthside assignments according to demonic devotion, thus reinforcing the infernal hierarchy. As above, so below. American leaders, of course, got the usual rewards--power, younger sexual partners, and that Christmas bonus for boosting corporate productivity while laying off excess workers.

* * * But within a decade, the system's inherent weaknesses began to manifest themselves. As motivational seminars gained in popularity, the demand for souls and demons increased. But as more and more companies got in on the deal, it ceased to be a competitive advantage. In Hell, too, the system's success presented problems, and Satan called a halt to the wholesale trade in souls.

The shortage of demons is a Hellish fact. Present-day demons, of course, are the same ones who participated in the original rebellion of the angel formerly known as Lucifer Satan. All the angels were created at once, and no new ones have been made since. The pool of demons, then, is a subset of that group. Occasionally a truly wicked soul is promoted to demon status, but equally often a demon is devoured by an angry superior (cf. C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters). On the whole, the supply of demons should be considered to have an upper limit.

In the early years of the program, American executives were pleased to see their employees possessed by the most hard-working demons (some of which had been early Protestants and Lutherans in life!). Soon, however, all the good ones were taken. Later possessions by demons of procurement fraud, office-supply theft, and Internet-surfing-on-company machines (Gen-Xers who had died of heroin overdoses) took their toll on the system. Worse, even the "best and brightest" demons appeared to have "gone native" or become "Americanized," becoming easily distracted by the attractions of our post-indiustrial society or falling dangerously into sympathy with the modern worker. One formerly trustworthy (!) demon was even caught committing workplace sabotage in solidarity with his co-workers! An embarrassed Satan had to deal personally with the matter. The phrase "working like a demon" quickly lost its cachet.

As more corporations jumped on the infernal bandwagon, they found that the employees of their competitors were performing equally well (or later, equally poorly). Worse, as the quality of the everyday American soul declined (with its power and aspirations) , many hapless executives found themselves caught short. In one company, worker morale dropped so much between contract and possession that an executive was forced to kill a fellow executive--who was his wife, also on the infernal take--in order to hold up his end of the bargain, lest he forfeit his own soul. It didn't help. The wife caught up with him in Hell.

Meanwhile, in Hell the situation had also deteriorated. Eventually all demons have been recruited earthside, so the "dream ticket" had ceased to be a credible reward for exemplary effort. Furthermore, production in the Satanic Mills had dropped. Temporarily out from under their demon overseers, damned souls have begun shirking on the eternal job.

Faced with a collapse in the soul market, Satan began revoking all contracts dealing with motivational seminars, releasing the possessed workers (mostly worthless anyhow) and taking back favors bestowed on contractees. This may explain the recent decline of the old industrial corporations in favor of information technology firms, in which traditional religious values are relatively absent.

The era of employee motivation seminars drew to a close and with it, the day of private economic deals with the Devil as well. Overheard executive conversatons revealed that Satan is simply not interested in any more such contracts.

Though some may be tempted to see the above episode as "another case of the power elite enlisting the powers of darkness to fuck over the little guy," they should look at the larger picture. The system did, after all, take care of itself according to the laws of the Free Market and temporarily thinned the ranks of management in the bargain. On the other (Invisible) hand, conversion to a global economy has succeeded where supernatural agency failed, a fact one would not bring to the Devil's attention if one should meet him.


It now appears that Satan plans to compete in the world labor market after having seen the prevailing trend toward cheaper labor. He has an advantage over the Chinese, who lead the market using convict/slave labor. Political prisoners have to be fed bread and water and must be allowed 3 or 4 hours of sleep a day. The damned souls of Hell, of course, eat nothing and work tirelessly twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The Devil now knows quite a bit about management theory (in relation to his demonic supervisors) and wants to recall them to Hell to oversee the "re-engineering" of Hell's production lines.

Modern world leaders thinking to hold off this development will probably find it impossible. Hell has on its side such human resources giants as Albert Speer, Josef Stalin and Adolf Eichmann, and the legal talent of the likes of Roy Cohn. With this "dream team," Satan can't lose.


The original (now void) contracts are sought-after collectors' items, not the least for their blackmail value against contractees. Even if the signees are beyond blackmail, as in the case of the aforementioned executive and his wife, their contracts are worth a lot simply as works of art. The Devil is a traditionalist at heart, and insists that contracts be handwritten by demons noted for their calligraphic skill and that the documents bear his seal and those of major demons acting as witnesses. The early contracts (pre-1983) are worth the most, as they are the most visually stunning and bear the names of America's best and brightest of the time, as well as the seals of Hell's better known demons and devils. Later contracts were mass-printed (by printers' devils, naturally!) and can bought cheaply at gun shows.