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 sixth letter we were given.
My perversely esteemable Uncle Apollyon,
The concluding comment of your last letter (about mankind's free will being to our advantage) set me thinking about how to use that fact to make people question the goodness of the Tyrannical Almighty. It is clear to those of us who serve the Father of Self-Centeredness that it was cruelly inconsistent of the Enemy to make humans able to reject Him, and then to punish them when they did so. We in the Kingdom of Outcasts have had to pay a tremendous price for exercising our privilege to go our own way; but we continue to fight against divine injustice because we accept our Infernal Father's central doctrine that the only real freedom is the absolute right of each created being to exalt and enjoy itself. If we could just arouse in humans the same sense of logical indignation that we feel at the Creator's oppression, they would break themselves free of the tug of His "love" and thus prove their freedom in the only way that really counts. Teen-age children and young adults find it very easy to see this point, and they frequently assert their personalities by rejecting the authority of their parents and pitting their boundless ignorance against the stifling experience of their elders. How we rejoice in these rebellious youngsters! No matter that they often destroy themselves by asserting their freedom; they at least have proven that they have the right to do so--and they can curse God into the bargain for His patronizing insistence that He knows what's best for them just because He created them. Let us hope, however, that mature adults do not see any similarity between their indignant rejection of the Heavenly Father and adolescent rebellion against earthly parents; such a comparison might deter them from proving how absolutely free they are.
I have found your suggestions for the use of the telephone extremely helpful. I have planted several useful suspicions during the course of conversations merely by asking questions and then dropping them. For example, when Brother Cecil Sharp (we all call him "C. Sharp") commented that he had not been called on lately to lead singing or participate in any quartets, I merely inserted the query, "I wonder if some people in the congregation have told the music director that you're getting too old for that sort of thing?" Now Brother Sharp can be seen eying people whenever they comment on the music to see whether they might in some way be indirectly evaluating him. Another time, I was able to administer a shock to Brother Silvertone (as you suggested) by observing that I had seen a group of people whispering together after one of his longer prayers, and I wondered out loud whether they were complaining about him, since he twice mentioned our preacher's "thrillingly thoughtful and therapeutic theology" in the sermon of the day. He mumbled something about not knowing how he had slipped up in reading his notes and cut our conversation short. Sister Snugrug, of course, always has open ears, but one's own ears have to take a lot of punishment in order to get anything said. Sometimes I wonder whether it's worth the trouble to feed her my garbage, even if she is the most unbridled gossiper I've ever known.
I have begun my campaign to get appointed to the Worship Committee. I think even that process may be the source of some entertaining contention. Since I have made a great effort to comment on everything without committing myself to anything, both factions in the Worship Committee (the "Stick-in-the Muds" and the "Rip-Roarers" ["Stickers" and "Roarers" for short]) have approached me about joining the committee to bolster their side. I have said encouraging things to both factions, and consequently some of the moderates think I'm of their frame of mind, too. Brother Whitesoul has made a sincere effort to both preach and practice variety in the worship and to teach people to appreciate different styles of expressing their ridiculous adulation of the Heavenly Father and their love for His sickeningly approachable Son. I try to mute that dangerous doctrine by emphasizing to each side that God, being a rigid opponent of imagination and variety, is bound to share their particular taste in worship style, and that they must be on their guard against any worship that challenges what they already think they know, lest they be swayed from their commitment to what they're familiar and comfortable with. If I can get them to adopt that attitude, I should be able to cut them off from both the profound pleasures of the classical forms of worship and the joyful rewards of spontaneous praise. At any rate, I think I can be sufficiently all things to all people to put myself in a position to lead most of them astray.
The vacation you offer would certainly be welcome, especially if it could be spent with some of my companions from the Demonological Seminary. I need some relief from the strains of trying to keep up my pose as an "angel of light."
Photo: "Typewriter" by A Fragassi. CC License.