Editor’s Note: Administering a website like this occasionally makes editors privy to some exotic and intriguing correspondence. In light of the particularly dark nature of some letters we have stumbled upon—we can’t reveal exactly how—we thought it our duty to share this series of missives. We appear to be in possession of only one side of the exchange of letters—from a nephew to his uncle. The nephew’s name is Ichabod and his uncle’s name Apollyon, who seems to be in an advisory position of some sort. It’s not our intent to demonize anyone by divulging what we have seen, but we feel we are performing an important service by bringing this devilishly cunning correspondence to light. Here is the ninthletter we were given. You can find the others here.
The Most Reprobate Apollyon Pitts
c/o Special Assignments Division
Dear Uncle Apollyon,
Thank you for your usual good advice and your commendations. I submit myself to your chastening instructions, even to the point of kazoo playing, if it becomes necessary. Right now, that development would be preferable to what has actually transpired. I’m afraid the somber events of the past few months, about which I was exulting in my last letter, have driven the people at Broad Way to include both confession and praise in their services on a regular basis. This paradoxical combination provides a double whammy against the directions in which we would lead them to think, since both activities inspire gratitude toward the Enemy. It surely shows our Infernal Father’s shrewdness that his first principle regarding what the Enemy is pleased to call “sin” is “Never admit any wrongdoing,” for that naturally results in submitting to His arbitrary will, which seems inevitably to be followed by purgation in the fires of discipline and possession by a simpering thankfulness for His “deliverance from sin.” And then they go right out of the frying pan into the spire with their praise-worship! They’ve chucked out most of the dull, lifeless stuff that used to characterize their services. It’s bad enough that they have started using some of these uninhibited, hand-clapping little praise songs–if that were all, we could merely persuade them to cut out everything else and feel super-spiritual for doing so; but they’ve also begun to sing some of the best old songs with a realization of what they mean. This has got to stop!
I’m happy to report that this new approach to things did Brother Tennebrae no good. He took an overdose of sleeping pills last Saturday night and is no longer among the living. The darkness we put in his mind finally prevailed and persuaded him that the sinfulness of mankind–his own included–was greater than God’s power and mercy. Whether his last act was sufficient to damn him I can’t tell, of course; but at the very least he has removed the possibility of his life being used for the glory of the Enemy, and he has inflicted great pain on those who loved him. You and I know that the Great Transformer will probably bring some good out of even this horrible event, but I shall try to make sure that the congregation sees only the umbra of futility that covers it now.
Curses on it! Brother Whitesoul has recovered from his depression and now preaches and (what is more distressing) leads with greater power than ever. Having endured with the congregation through its low time, he speaks with that strange spiritual authority that comes from accepting the suffering servanthood so ridiculously recommended by the Enemy and so maddeningly exemplified by His Son. He has encouraged the congregation in its current binge of self-examination and prayer, and he has made a concentrated effort to give the silly little communion service a special place in their spiritual “recovery.” He tells them that they are in a better frame of mind to experience that ceremony now than they were when they thought everything was all right, because it was first instituted at the very point that Jesus was about to be betrayed and killed. I used to be able to participate in that ridiculous exercise with no discomfort at all, but now I keep remembering that our Diabolical Leader had one of his own people at that first Supper, and that the very worst the betrayer could do was instrumental in the Enemy’s doing the very best that He could do.
But let’s talk about more pleasant things. Summertime offers its special set of opportunities to mislead the faithful. Vacations upset the regular schedule and provide perfect excuses to neglect habitual acts of spiritual exercise. I am delighted to see people take trips that encourage them to overeat physically and starve themselves spiritually, often while unwisely increasing their indebtedness and reducing their contributions to church and charity. Also, the warm weather brings out preoccupation with boats and other recreational vehicles, bodily exhibitionism, and burnt offerings to the sun (euphemistically called sun-bathing), all of which constitute the kinds of distractions we find easy to turn to our purposes. And I like the general assumption that churches, like water heaters, are to be turned down to “vacation low” for three or four months. Imagine, the Enemy’s troops unilaterally declaring a cessation of hostilities! It makes me feel like a scavenger on a battlefield, walking around looting dead bodies. I might observe, too, that the after-effects of vacationing are often as fertile for us as the time spent away; people who are exhausted and not very positive about getting back to work should be easy to use to make everybody around them miserable for a while. Too bad the summer doesn’t last longer; but then again, we heed the Enemy’s admonition better than many of His own adherents do, since we work both “in season and out of season.”
Don’t worry about “Scooter’s” cover being blown. The girl has gone to live with an aunt, and she’ll stay there to get a job and finish her education. She didn’t squeal on “Scooter,” and I think she still hopes he’ll come around to marrying her someday. The baby will be born and put up for adoption, in spite of a great deal of pressure from the girl’s peers to get her to have an abortion. I’m proud to say at least that the congregation’s new-found humility and conscience has not enabled them to deal with “shameful” situations like this in any way that would be a threat to our objectives. I happen to know that a certain young man in the fellowship has developed AIDS, and he didn’t get it from a blood transfusion, either. I can’t wait to get the gossip going about that!
Photo: “Got mail” by M. Bellucci. CC License.