evitability of World War II, and he spent the whole war in intelligence.rnHe was given the Legion of Honor, the Croix dernGuerre, and several British decorations (though he maintainedrnthat “the two most ridiculous activities I’ve ever been engagedrnin have been war and sex”).rnIn the I950’s, he wrote from all over the world, editedrnPunch, and took up a career as a radio and television interviewer,rnbecoming England’s most widely recognized personalityrnafter the Royal Family. He had gotten to know, or to atrnleast interview, Gandhi, Churchill, Montgomery, Macmillan,rnDe Gaulle, Truman, MacArthur, Kim Philby, Nehru, Ben-rnGurion, Orwell, Wodehouse, Greene, and Waugh (and laterrnSolzhenitsyn)—and was therefore well placed to comment onrnthe 20th century. He could publish wherever he liked. He hadrna wife and four children he deeply loved. And yet, by thern60’s, he was far from happy. He suffered from chronic insomnia,rnwas dabbling in adultery, and was drinking entirely toornmuch.rnHe then found himself doing a television interview withrnMother Teresa (whom no one had ever heard of). He was sornimpressed by her that he decided to do a documentary onrnher, as well as a book, and to donate the proceeds to her work.rnHe did another documentary on an Anglican abbey in Scotland,rnliving with the monks for three weeks and sharing theirrnlife. For he had always been interested in religion. As a child,rnhe “knew” that worldly things—money and fame and successrnand sensuality—ultimately “weren’t any good,” even when hernwanted them, and he “knew” (though how, he never understood,rnsince he was raised in an agnostic family) that the NewrnTestament “held the key to how to live,” that it was the “onlyrnlight in a dark world,” and that “Jesus was God or he was nothing.”rnWhile at Cambridge, he had lived in an Anglican residentialrnhouse for a term, where he enjoyed the simplicity andrnasceticism. In fact, his closest lifelong friend was a celibate Anglicanrnpriest. He was moved by the devotion he had seen inrnthat church in Kiev, as well as among missionaries in Indiarnand Africa. His concept of love came not from any sexualrnevent, but from a time when Kitty lay dying after an operationrnand he lay next to her, his blood being pumped directly intornhers, so that as life flowed back into her face, “for the firstrntime” he “truly understood what love meant.”rnBut it was not until 1967, when he was working on a documentaryrnin the Holy Land, that he began to call himself arnChristian. He was in Bethlehem in the crypt of the Church ofrnthe Nativity, waiting for the public to leave so that he could beginrnto shoot, and he was sitting on a stone ledge, in a shadowrncast by candles, thinking how ridiculous the so-called shrinesrnof the Holy Land were. The commercialism was positivelyrnrepulsive, and he could not help asking himself what kind ofrnidiot could really believe that this place marked with a silverrnstar was the precise spot where Jesus had been born. ThernHoly Land, in his opinion, had been turned into a kind of Jesuslandrnwith a string of “ecclesiastical junk shops.” Malcolmrnthen noticed the visitors coming into the crypt. Some of themrncrossed themselves and others knelt, but most of them seemedrnto see the Church of the Nativity as one more stop on a sightseeingrntour like Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks.rnYet as Malcolm watched, each face was “transfigured” by thernexperience of beholding what was supposedly the place of Jesus’rnbirth. The boredom and the idle curiosity fell away.rnWatching those faces, Malcolm Muggeridge suddenly “becamernaware that there really had been a man, Jesus, who wasrnalso God.” And then he “became conscious of His presence.”rnIn jesus Rediscovered (which has sold hundreds of thousandsrnof copies) Muggeridge wrote:rnI may, I suppose, regard myself, or pass for being, arnrelatively successful man. People occasionally stare atrnme in the streets—that’s fame. I can fairly easily earnrnenough to qualify for admission to the higher slopes ofrnthe Internal Revenue—that’s success. Furnished withrnmoney and a little fame even the elderly, if they carernto, may partake of trendy diversions—that’s pleasure.rnIt might happen once in a while that something I saidrnor wrote was sufficiently heeded for me to persuadernmyself that it represented a serious impact on ourrntime—that’s fulfillment. Yet I say to you—and I begrnyou to believe me—multiply these tiny triumphs by arnmillion, add them all together, and they are nothing—rnless than nothing, a positive impediment—measuredrnagainst one draught of that living water Christ offersrnto the spiritually thirsty, irrespective of who or whatrnthey are.rnFor the rest of his life, Malcolm Muggeridge would write aboutrnlittle else besides Christianity, though he also began fightingrnabortion (which he saw as the thin edge of the wedge thatrnwould lead to euthanasia and the liquidation of the elderlyrnas soon as they became inconvenient), thereby infuriatingrnjournalists and intellectuals across the globe.rnIn the 1930’s, they called him a liar. In the 70’s, they saidrnhe was senile, a wit who had turned witless overnight. MalcolmrnMuggeridge was many things, but witless was not one ofrnthem. This was a man, who, in casual conversation or whenrnquestioned live on TV, would say things like: “Americans arernthe only people who’ve become decadent without ever beingrncivilized.” “The only candidate I ever wanted to vote for was arnman who based his appeal on the fact that, having been confinedrnin a lunatic asylum, he had a certificate of sanity.” “Inrnmy lifetime, Britain has given away India, Australia and everythingrnwe had in Africa—and there we gave it to one tinrnpot dictator after another whose motto was always ‘One man,rnone vote, oncel’ And now we’ve gone to war over two rockrnoutcroppings [the Falkland Islands] off the coast of Venezuela!”rn”I’ve had my aerials removed. It’s the moral equivalent ofrnhaving a prostate operation . . . I’m willing to appear on TV,rnbut not to own one.”rnMalcolm once said that real humor comes from the differencernbetween what humans aspire to and what they achievernand that this is why most jokes are about sex. He, of course,rnnever told jokes. He ordered his life with wit, choosing to seernthe humor in whatever circumstances he faced. When hernwas rector of the University of Edinburgh and a Catholic chaplainrnsaid it was “monstrous” of Muggeridge to oppose the university’srndecision to give in to student demands and providernfree contraceptives “because he was assuming they intended tornbe promiscuous,” Malcolm wrote and asked “What the ReverendrnFather thought they wanted the contraceptives for—tornsave up for their wedding day?”rnWhat people seem to remember most about Muggeridgernis laughing uncontrollably when they were with him.rnSeveral of his friends say they actually used to laugh so hardrnthey had to grab a tree, or a fence post, or a chair to holdrnDECEMBER 1992/29rnrnrn