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In "The Worst Crime in the World" by G. K. Chesterton, Father Brown was talking about someone who said the truth by a very cheating way:

Shall I tell you something that sounds like what they call a paradox? Sometimes it is a joy in the very heart of hell to tell the truth. And above all, to tell it so that everybody misunderstands it.

Does that mean Satanic joy or sinister joy?

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2 Answers 2

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It means a joy to Satan, which is sinister, so, yes.

A more complete excerpt makes it clearer:

"That is what I mean by the infernal irony; by the joke shared with the Devil. Shall I tell you something that sounds like what they call a paradox? Sometimes it is a joy in the very heart of hell to tell the truth. And above all, to tell it so that everybody misunderstands it. That is why he liked that antic of pretending to be somebody else, and then painting himself as black — as he was. And that was why my niece heard him laughing to himself all alone in the picture gallery."

Google Books quote

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Father Brown was talking about someone who said the truth by a very cheating way.

As you mentioned that he told the truth in a misleading way and so the joy will be a “bad joy” because it harms other people.

In this context, the “joy” is a feeling of “schadenfreude”.

Schadenfreude:

Schadenfreude is a complex emotion, where rather than feeling sympathy toward someone's misfortune, schadenfreude evokes joyful feelings that take pleasure from watching someone fail.

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