Editor's Note: Beginning today and for each subsequent Friday for a while we are running a new feature. 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 first letter we were given.
Transcription provided for easier reading:
The Most Reprobate Apollyon Pitts
c/o Special Assignments Division
Dear Uncle Apollyon,
I had not anticipated the extent to which the influential job you procured for me would translate into "spiritual capital." People in the Broad Way Church have opened their arms to me, evidently because I told them I was transferred in to take over a responsible management position which requires professional training and pays big money. Such high standing in my secular job seems to qualify me for important positions in the church, without too much attention to the depth of my commitment to Christ. Already I have been invited to join the finance committee and to be captain of the bowling team, and I am being mentioned as a nominee for deacon when the next appointments take place. You're right about the worship committee, however; I won't get on that anytime soon. I'll have to be content with subtle complaints about the worship services that will keep the pot of controversy and suspicion boiling without my being a visible part of it.
Isn't it marvelous what our fellow-agents have been able to do with the television evangelists recently! Everybody here is talking about it, some with real sorrow, but more with relish. Igneus is going to have to be careful with that preacher who seemed to repent, though. If the old sinner really does take the Enemy's medicine and go through a period of self-evaluation, surrender, and rebuilding, his latter state will be worse than the first for us. He will be much less susceptible to having his head turned by money, power, and people's adulation of him than before, and he will embody a kind of persuasive beauty that enables people to "see right through him" in a quite different way, for they will perceive the Enemy's Son, rather than the preacher. But praise be to our Infernal Father that the sins of most preachers are never revealed to anyone until they've gone far enough to create a scandal. Some of our glorious victories could have been nipped in the bud by regular frank sharing sessions between the preacher and some mature prayer partners. Thank Hell that most preachers are either too proud or too busy, or both, to avail themselves of that kind of support group.
I'm not quite sure about the soundness of your repeated advice that I scrupulously try to lead an exemplary life. Do you mean that I should really live according to the Enemy's standards, or only appear to do so? Should I avoid sin, or just avoid being found out? Isn't a facade of righteousness sufficient for my purposes? I'm finding it rather frightening to be reaching out for real righteousness, because that seems to bring strange incursions from the Enemy. Please elaborate and advise.
I have indeed noticed the strange ambivalence these people have about unity. They seem to think that it depends on their relationship to the Bible; rather than their relationship to the One whose Name they profess and wear. Thus, they purport to desire unity and to be working assiduously for it, but then they base their efforts on a kind of intellectual quibbling that assures the more division the more vigorously it is carried on. In the name of Lucifer, I hope they never discover the unifying power of the Enemy's Holy Spirit. If I can keep them playing their carnal games (in the name of religion yet!), they never will.
In detestation of the Paraclete,
Photo: "Spies" by J. Zeldman. CC License.