The High Priest was ushered into the King’s presence.
“How is the campaign going?”
The Priest bowed respectfully and answered smoothly.
“Our Priest’s sermons focused on humility, accepting Divine Will, forgiving your enemy and heavenly rewards in the after-life. At the same time the Lords increased their burdens and insults to the peasants. The Priests identified those who muttered at our sermons, and the Lords gave us lists of those peasants who were managing even the worst work loads and helping others. The leading intelligent men and women were then labelled as witches and taken into church custody. Under torture they naturally told us the names of all their relatives and friends who were then arrested”.
The King nodded.
“The Chief of Police will meet with you to organise the mass burnings”.
The High Priest bowed and left the room.
The King sat at his desk and pulled a paper towards him with the names of the peasants to be culled.
His eyes scanned the names which meant nothing to him. Every twenty or thirty years it was necessary – in the absence of a war. To kill the intelligent men who might become leaders. To kill the intelligent women who would give birth to intelligent men. To keep the peasants stupid, leaderless and cowed.
The King sighed with satisfaction. Did any other King know better than he how to manage a peaceful and productive Kingdom?