If Satan – or for that matter, any devil or demon – were going to communicate with all of humanity, what method would be used to terrify/warn/attract the most people? If you said “A letter written by a possessed nun in a secret code that couldn’t be translated for over 300 years,” you win today’s “What the devil is a devil’s letter?” contest. Researchers using decryption software secretly obtained from the hell known as “the dark web” have translated a letter from 1676 written by a nun who didn’t remember writing it so it must have been written by Satan.
The story begins at the Palma di Montechiaro monastery in Sicily. Born in 1645, Isabella Tomasi entered the Benedictine convent in 1660 and became Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione. According to the legend, she awoke one morning in 1676 and found herself covered in ink with a mysterious letter in front of her in her handwriting but undecipherable. Since she had no memory of writing it, she claimed it was a message from Satan which she transcribed while possessed. Since no one could come up with a better explanation, the text was called ‘the devil’s letter’ and put on display at the convent where it has defied decoding for 341 years.
We heard about the software, which we believe is used by intelligence services for codebreaking.
Daniele Abate, director of the LUDUM Science Center in Catania, Sicily, says some of the computer scientists working for her were poking around on the dark web (the portion of the Internet hidden from search engines and only accessible by special software and secret passwords) when they found decryption software they’d never seen before. Like any good computer scientist, they immediately decided to use the software to communicate with Satan.
Actually, first they did a little research on Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione and found that she was a trained linguist. That gave them a hint.
We primed the software with ancient Greek, Arabic, the Runic alphabet and Latin to de-scramble some of the letter and show that it really is devilish.
How devilish? According to the Times of Israel, the team was able to decode 15 lines of the letter and found devilish sentences like these:
God thinks he can free mortals.
This system works for no one.
Perhaps now, Styx is certain.
That’s the hellish river, not the band (which should be in the Rock Hall of Fame – is this Satan’s fault too?). Not all of the decoded letter was released, most likely because it was “rambling and not entirely consistent and understandable.” Experts don’t blame the devil for this – they blame poor Sister Maria whom they believe was suffering from schizophrenia or a bipolar disorder.
Was she? Stranger messages allegedly sent from both sides of the spiritual divide are believed by many. It’s taken 341 years to get this far with this ‘devil’s letter’. Is it worth going further? Is it safe?
Or do these computer scientists have too much time on their hands?