Leaked Documents: Ichabod to Apollyon (Letter #11)

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 eleventh letter we were given. You can find the others here.


The Most Reprobate Apollyon Pitts

Undercover Coordinator

c/o Special Assignments Division

My Dear, Devious Uncle,

This missive will be somewhat shorter than previous ones, because I have been exceedingly busy trying to pick up the pieces of my work after the recent orgy of repentance and revival at Broad Way.  Fortunately, as you indicated, much can be regained in the anticlimactic aftermath of all this emotional rededication.  I'll be quick to pick up on those who slip back into their old habits of sporadic Bible reading and prayer (or none at all), since they'll be ripe for insinuations that the glow they felt when the Spirit of the Enemy was revivifying them was no more than a foolish giving in to their desire to be a part of what was going on.  It will be a delight at the same time to make them feel self-righteous for having gone forward when some of their neighbors didn't.  I think the damage to our cause will prove to be minimal when things have died down; it's a good thing for us that most of these fickle humans don't build themselves any defense against a let-down from their spiritual highs.

You may laugh at this, Uncle, but I've just discovered that the contrasting and sometimes misleading uses of the word "sacred" furnish us with a wealth of opportunities for inculcating misplaced values.  For one part of the population, this word, and those akin to it, are used only derogatively and sarcastically.  Nearly everyone, for example, tries to avoid being accused of protecting a "sacred cow," a label pasted on any idea or conviction which a group of people considers basic and non-negotiable.  Consequently, one who affirms any foundation item of faith (that God exists, that He is the sovereign Creator, that His love was uniquely shown in the death of His Son) is immediately put on the defensive for blindly defending his "sacred cow" and being closed to reasonable arguments.  On the other hand, in the precincts of believers, what delightful rows have been generated over the "sacraments"—what are they, and how many are there, and who is authorized to administer them?  Then there are special vessels and images and places that are regarded as “sacred” by some.   And I was delighted to learn that a while back, the words "sacrilege" and "desecration" were applied to the disrespectful destruction or mutilation of a country's flag, confusing disrespect for the flag with blasphemy; if a flag is regarded as holy, people won't pay so much attention to the things that really are holy!  I'm hoping I can goad a lot of the people in my jurisdiction to get exercised enough by some of these controversies that they will concentrate on "sacred" objects, rather than on the terrifying Source of anything that is truly sacred.

The summer is over and church activities are back in full swing now.  That's another reason that I'm busy.  Because it's been noticed that I talk to a lot of people (they of course don't realize that it's in the line of duty), I've been added to the Fellowship Committee.  Between that and the Worship Committee (and oh, yes, the church bowling team has started up again), I'm in danger of being sucked into one of my own traps--being too busy to attend to the damnation of souls!

Yours in the Spirit of Error,


Photo: "mail box" by M-louis. CC License. 

Elton Higgs

Dr. Elton Higgs was a faculty member in the English department of the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1965-2001. Having retired from UM-D as Prof. of English in 2001, he now lives with his wife and adult daughter in Jackson, MI.. He has published scholarly articles on Chaucer, Langland, the Pearl Poet, Shakespeare, and Milton. His self-published Collected Poems is online at Lulu.com. He also published a couple dozen short articles in religious journals. (Ed.: Dr. Higgs was the most important mentor during undergrad for the creator of this website, and his influence was inestimable; it's thrilling to welcome this dear friend onboard.)