Paul Harvey’s 1965 warning, unfortunately, came true.

In 1965, an incredible transmission was transmitted for all to hear. It has unfortunately come true nearly half a century later, and it is scary to hear.

Paul Harvey, a conservative American news commentator and talk-radio pioneer whose staccato manner made him one of America’s most-known voices, drew tens of millions of listeners during the height of his career. On the radio, his «idiosyncratic delivery of news stories with dramatic pauses, quirky intonations, and many of his standard lead-ins and sign-offs» made him instantly recognizable.

No one could have imagined that his renowned words from decades ago would be prophetic and reflect today’s reality, despite the fact that he was fairly precise in his reporting. Indeed, the renowned ABC Radio analyst, Paul Harvey Aurandt, who was born in 1918, seemed to predict how the United States would be today during a 1965 episode.

Most of us recognize the broadcast almost immediately after hearing the famous line, which also serves as the lecture’s title and is repeated throughout the essay. «If I were the devil,» Paul Harvey famously remarked in 1965 before delving into current issues. While Harvey’s words are indisputably true, they may not be as foresighted as some believe.

Yes, Paul Harvey’s famous essay «If I Were the Devil» was published in 1964. The piece was first broadcast in 1965 and is still widely read today. However, Harvey altered the current rendition, which is widely disseminated on the internet, to represent current conditions throughout his life, which unfortunately ended in 2009. So far, the only authentic Paul Harvey version we’ve found was in his 1964 newspaper column:

What Would Happen If I Were the Devil?

If I were the Prince of Dar-kness, I would cover the entire planet in Dar-kness.

I’d have a third of the land and four-fifths of the people, but I wouldn’t be pleased until I had my hands on the ripest apple on the tree.

So I should go to any length to take over the United States.

I’d launch a whisper campaign first.

I would tell you, with the wisdom of a snake, what I told Eve: «Do as you please.»

I used to tell the kids, «The Bible is a myth.» I would persuade them that «man created God» rather than the other way around. I’d remark, «What’s bad is good, and what’s good is square.»

I’d say to the newlyweds that work is humiliating and cocktail parties are beneficial. I would caution them not to be «extr-eme» in their faith, patriotism, or moral behaviour.

And I would teach the elderly to pray, having them repeat after me, «Our father who is in Washington.»

Then I’d organize myself.

I’d teach authors how to make horrible literature exciting, so that everything else appears dull and uninteresting.

I’d alternate between watching TV and watching dirtier movies.

I’d infiltrate unions and lobby for more leisure and less work. I usually work with my idle hands.

I’d sell narcotics to everybody, champagne to renowned ladies and gentlemen, and pills to the rest.

If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to polish young minds while neglecting to regulate emotions, enabling them to run wild.

I’d hire an atheist to represent me in the highest courts, and I’d get preachers to say, «She’s right.»

By flattery and promises of power, I would persuade the judges to vote against God and in favor of po-r*ography.

As a result, I would kick God out of the courts, next the schools, and lastly the Houses of Congress.

Then, in his own churches, I’d replace religion with psychology and deify science.

If I were Sa-tan, I’d make the Easter symbol an egg.

And the Christmas emblem is a bottle.

If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who seek until the motivation of the ambitious was ki-ll-ed. Then my police state would compel everyone to return to work.

Then I’d split families by placing children in uniform, women in coal mines, and conscientious objectors in slave labs or camps.

If I were Sa-tan, I’d just keep doing what I’m doing and the entire world would go to h-ell as certain as the De-vil.

[Source: Paul Harvey, «If I Were the Devil, I’d Pray, Our Father Who Art in Washington.» The Gadsden Times, October 13, 1964 (p. 4).

A 1996 newspaper version of Paul Harvey’s «If I Were the Devil,» which appears to be what’s heard in the video above, is frequently heard today and wrongly identified as the same work from the 1960s. There are, nevertheless, significant distinctions.

Although it retained the original essay’s theme and structure, the 1996 edition expanded the substance to cover current events at the time. Nonetheless, this version is nearly two decades old and incredibly relevant to what our country is going through right now:

If I were the prince of dar-kness, I would want to cover the entire planet in dar-kness.

I’d have a third of its land and four-fifths of its inhabitants, but I wouldn’t be satisfied until I’d gotten my hands on the ripest fruit on the tree—you.

So I would go to any lengths to take over the United States.

I’d start by subverting the churches, and I’d start with a whisper campaign.

With the insight of a snake, I would say to you what I said to Eve: «Do as you please.»

I’d inform the kids that the Bible is a story. I would convince the children that God created man, not the other way around. What’s bad is good, and what’s good is square, in my opinion.

And I’d tell the old to repeat after me, «Our Father, which is in Washington…»

Then I’d get organized and teach authors how to write lur-id literature that’s exciting enough to make everything else seem dull and uninteresting.

I’d sell drugs to everyone who will listen. I’d sell booze to distinguished ladies and gentlemen. I’d numb the rest of them with medicines.

If I were the devil, I’d rapidly have families fighting among themselves, churches fighting among themselves, and nations fighting among themselves, until each was burned in turn.

And I’d have enticing media fueling the fire with promises of increased viewership.

If I were the devil, I would advocate for schools to focus on sharpening young minds while ignoring emotional discipline. I would encourage teachers to let such children run wild. Metal detectors and drug-sniffing dogs would soon be installed at every schoolhouse door.

If I had a decade, I’d have pris-ons overflowing and judges favoring por-n*graphy. I was about to kick God out of the courts, schools, and Houses of Congress.

In his own churches, I would replace psychology with religion and deify science. Priests and pastors would be enticed to mistreat youths, girls, and church funds.

If I were the devil, I’d take from the rich and give to the poor until the incentive for the ambitious was gone.

What’s your bet that I couldn’t persuade entire states to promote gambling as a means of making money?

I’d convince the young that marriage is obsolete, that swinging is more fun, and that what they see on television is the way to live.

As a result, I may u-ndress you in public and tempt you into bed with incurable diseases.

To put it another way, if I were the devil, I would simply continue to do what he is doing.

[From Paul Harvey’s «If I Were the Devil,» published in the Reading Eagle on July 1, 1996.]

Paul Harvey’s statements have never been more relevant, whether in 1965, 1996, or another iteration. He was a wonderful man with even more understanding. But perhaps another Harvey quote better explains how, decades ago, he could seemingly predict what America will look like today.

«In times like these, it’s helpful to remember that times like this have always existed,» Paul Harvey said. Whether you believe his statements are prophetic or not, they are undoubtedly strong, and they offer a warning to our country that we should finally start hearing. Rather than expecting that «times like these» will always exist, perhaps it is time to right our ship and cast the devil overboard for good.

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