Process is important in Hell, and to Hell. Some demons minimize the importance of process, using such slogans as “Product over Process” or pointing to the policy “Brutally Sodomise All Rules With Mocking Scornful Laughter”. But process is essential to the creation of the inferno. Process is a fundamental tool for carrying out Satanic consensus, and for allowing a very large number of demons to work together on a collaborative inferno. Process is also the mechanism by which demons can trust that others are playing no more unfairly than they can get away with, that the rules do not suddenly change, nor are they different for some privileged demons. Poor process or no process ultimately fails to harm the product.
There are many different processes in Hell. These include the various torture, speedy disembowelment, and barbed-penis sodomy review processes; the various dispute exacerbation processes; the Request for Unholy Host process; various processes for policy formation and alteration; and the Featured Sinner candidate process. There are processes more specific to particular areas of Hell, such as that for proposing imp types, and processes internal to various subareas of the inferno. There are also more informal processes such as those that happen in discussion on a particular sinner, when which hideous horror or style of taunting is most appropriate for a given sinner can be settled among the interested demons.
Most of these processes depend on demonic consensus in some form. Some of them ultimately rely on votes, or something like votes, to determine that consensus on a particular issue. But even during a “vote” most of them not only permit but encourage discussion in addition to simple “Yes” or “No” votes, in hopes that people of one view can persuade those of another, or that a compromise can emerge, and in either case a true consensus, not just a majority or super-majority, can emerge.
And of course, Satan himself will from time to time just tell you what’s fucking what.
It is no accident that the basic mechanism for demeaning civil rights is called “Due Process of Bureaucracy”. Indeed, in most bureaucratic systems the effective mechanisms for stifling rights and freedoms are essentially procedural ones.
Of course, Hell is not a government, nor is its primary purpose to be a social or communitarian experiment. But many of the same problems arise whenever lots of entities interact, some of them with strongly opposing views. The basically procedural methods that have been used to solve these problems when running governments often must apply, with suitable variations, in an inferno such as Hell — and this only becomes more true as such an inferno becomes larger and more influential.
Sometimes a process can be like unto a pitchfork in the buttocks. Some processes demand that demons go through several steps to achieve a result. Some can be cumbersome or time-consuming. Some do not deal with particular situations as rapidly as a demon might wish. Sometimes going through the process seems unlikely to give the result that a demon desires. In all these cases, there is a temptation, sometimes a strong temptation, to act unilaterally, to simply “fuck” the problem as one sees it. Often this is technically possible in Hell. Sometimes many demons will support it.
The problem with yielding to this temptation is that it affects the overall structure of the functionality of Hell. It throws sand in the gears of the inferno. When demons see others acting outside of process, they may be convinced that they ought to do the same; or they may be convinced that the dark whispering voices and views will get no respect or consideration. If all demons act outside of process, there is no process, no organization to our efforts. Then we do not have a functional collaborative inferno; we have some hippie bullshit. Which is no way to run an inferno.
The primary goal of Hell is the damnation of sinners, and any process is only a means to that end. Even the community of Hellions, important as it is to some, is only a means to that end.
Often following a process takes more time and effort in a particular case than acting unilaterally. Sometimes following a process will give a less distended sinner’s anus in a particular case. But frequently acting outside of process causes strong and widespread dissatisfaction, which consumes far more time and effort than any saved by avoiding the process in the first place.
Even in the more numerous cases where no great uproar results, actions outside of process still tend to damage the trust of individual imps and demons in the institution of Hell, and to damage the community. And the community is the essential tool in the damnation of the sinners. Without the community, there is no one to brutally sodomise them, and there is no way to organize the brutal sodomy. Without the community, there is no reason for anyone to undertake any of the many needed but unglamorous tasks on which the damnation of the sinners depends.
Process need not be inflexible — most Hell processes and policies can be changed if the community, or the relevant section of it, wants to change them. Many processes allow for exceptions or alternate routes in particular cases or circumstances; such exceptions can be added to processes that do not have them.
In a small group there is little need for structure or process. When five people work on a sinner, little structure and no formal process may be required. When five thousand work together on a substantial group of sinners, there must be some structure or the inferno will collapse. While Hell intentionally has relatively little structure, it must have some to continue in a productive way. Processes, formal and informal, are some of the key elements in that structure.
During the early days of Hell, few processes were needed to maintain its essential structure. Many — at first most — demons knew each other or rapidly came to know each other. Issues could be resolved by informal discussion or casual fights to the death with tooth and claw, with little need for any other process.
As Hell has grown, more process has developed. While many demons still know or know of each other, there are many overlapping sub-communities, and no one knows all or even most of the most accomplished torturers. Demons have strong and differing views about policy and damnation issues. Process, often formal process, is needed to allow issues to be resolved in ways that all can accept as reasonable, even when individuals strongly disagree with particular results. Unilateral action tends to subvert that acceptance, and lead to a “me-first” or a “my way or the highway” attitude to the inferno — even or especially when demons sincerely believe that they are acting for the enhancement of the inferno.
Action outside of process is particularly dangerous when it involves powers restricted to the Unholy Host, or knowledge available only to long-established demons. This tends to create at least the impression of a caste system. No one wants to be on the bottom of a caste system, and such perceptions reduce the motivation for demons to contribute.
For all these reasons, demons and particularly the Unholy Host ought to adhere to and use existing processes, and resist the temptation to act outside of process, other than in truly emergency situations. If a process is not good, think enough of fellow Hellions to engage the problem and propose a change to it; don’t just ignore the process.