Leaked Documents: Ichabod to Apollyon (Letter #29)

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 twenty-ninth letter we were given. 



My Dear Devouring Uncle,


I believe I have been suitably chagrined by your avuncular remarks about my laxness in leonine deviltry; and in that frame of mind I am especially grateful for your use of my slimy little acronym (though I suppose you will expect a favor from me some of these days in return).  I shall not desist from searching for, stalking, and seducing my prey.  Nor shall I underestimate how much the Enemy can do with limited resources.  I remember the story of that fellow Gideon and his straggly band that the Enemy used to defeat our servants, the Midianites.  I suppose that, on the whole, we may be better off having church people who are giving enough to be proud of it than with Christians who are so stingy toward the Enemy as to be defensive about it.  I have another concern to share with you this time.  In trying to refresh myself about that Troublesome Book's advice to these people, I ran across some words that indicate that the Enemy's intelligence on our activities is right there for public consumption!  In the Second Corinthian letter, the writer says that forgiveness is important "to keep Satan from gaining the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his designs."  And in another place, the same writer cautions against maintaining anger, so as to "give no opportunity to the Devil."  How the Heaven are we to function if people take these bits of information seriously?  If they don't nurse grudges and feed their anger, they are going to be immune to all sorts of other deliciously hateful perversities of emotion and behavior, such as slanderous gossip, malicious misinterpretation others' motives, lying, treachery, and playing political hardball?  I see I must put more effort into keeping people from examining the Book carefully or taking it seriously.  I can only hope that most find the indulgences that make them vulnerable to us so natural and so dear to their egos that they will cling to them even in the face of warnings from their own Lord to the contrary.


What  are your observations on the current societal preoccupation with violence––either exploiting it to make money or trying to find ways to bring it under control?  I have found it rather disturbing that some who have in the past aided and abetted our cause by overemphasizing institutional actions (rather than individual responsibility) to address social evils are now saying that maybe "diversity" in the moral realm has a downside to it.  Perhaps strong traditional families (they may venture to suggest) are not so dispensable as the "enlightened" have been telling us they are.  This is dangerous talk!  Having gained so much ground in the undermining of family structures, we cannot at this advanced point let mere common sense take over again.  I take every opportunity to reinforce the principles of relativity and uncertainty when people begin to talk about finding some common ground for moral instruction in the schools.  I trust that the assumptions of humanistic optimism will limit such searching to futile attempts to identify a remedy for sin that doesn't acknowledge that sin exists.  What a truly hellish paradox that is!


I must go now, for I have been invited to attend the board meeting of some pesky little religious journal that operates on a shoestring and has only a small circulation, but that might do us the kind of damage that the Enemy's "little things" sometimes do, if the people involved are not sidetracked somehow.


Yours in infernal diversion,




Image: "Mailboxes" by A. Lyubavin. 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.)