When I returned to my main page, it had reappeared! I deleted it again, and went to my "trash" to consign it and its brethren to electronic limbo. When I got to my trash page, none of the three deleted e-mails were there. When I returned to my e-mail's main page, this damned (pardon the pun) e-mail was back.
At this point, I gave into the inevitable, and opened the bloody thing, and found the following letter. I will say nothing of its provenance, as they say in the art biz, or what truth, if any, it may contain. If it is truly from Who it claims to be from, there is probably none, after all one of His titles is "the Prince of Lies." But, I also remember that science fiction author Robert Heinlein said: that the best way to lie is to tell the truth in such a way that you will not be believed. The truth, if any, in this letter, I leave to the discernment of my gentle readers.
Dear Mortal Friends,
It pleases Me to once again take pen in Talon and inform you of the magnificent progress that I have made in the last sixty-odd years in My attempt to force a "hostile takeover" of the Earth and Humanity from My Adversary.
First of all, I would like to thank all of you who, knowingly or not, have aided Me in My little project. Millions of innocents killed from Rwanda to El Salvador, and so many of them in one of My Adversary's Multitude of Names. Sudan, Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, and New York City: the list could go on for days. Not to mention the many innocents who have been executed or incarcerated around the world. Tiananmen Square, the Gaza Strip, Huntsville Prison: again an endless list of undeserved suffering. But don't worry about them; all of those who died blameless are in My Adversary's tender care.
That being said let Us go on to the main subject of My letter.
After your so-called "Second World War," I had almost given up hope of ever attaining victory over My Adversary. (Yes, yes, I know My Adversary's Scriptures say the outcome is preordained, but in reality that is nothing but wishful thinking written by His Public Relations Department.) The advent of nuclear weapons had, I thought, made a Third World War impossible. Who would want to rule a radioactive cinder whose most evolved life-form was the cockroach? Not Me, I assure you.
I even began to think that I should just start the ball rolling for the predicted Biblical Armageddon, make a half-hearted attempt to follow the script laid out by John of Patmos, take My lumps, and get it over with. Three times in a century and a half I had come within a hair of defeating My Adversary, overturning His prophesied plans, and establishing a New World Order on His beloved planet. I tell you, such disappointment was almost enough to make Me give up.
Then, My Pride (good old Pride) reasserted Itself. I was literally bowled over by the strength and depth of the Inspiration It gave Me.
This happened while I was standing in an open air market in Los Angeles in late 1945. Prowling about in the body of a monster in human form (I find it easiest to possess serial murderers, especially of the sadistic variety); I found a copy of a work by British critic Cyril Connolly, called the Unquiet Grave. (I've always been a Fan of critics: so arrogant, so malevolent; they remind Me of Me.) In Part One there was a quote that caught My Eye, "There cannot be a personal God without a pessimistic religion. As soon as there is a personal God he is a disappointing God."
Reading Connolly's astute observation of human nature, I asked Myself the Question: How can I turn this to My advantage? I looked up from the tract I had been reading and I saw a handbill stuck to a lamp post. In that instant, the basic concept for a new approach to My project crystallized like a supersaturated solution.
The handbill that had provided Me the vehicle for My latest plan had been for a "Revival Meeting" featuring "The Old Time Religion." Using My Adversary's followers for My purposes had always been one of My favorite stratagems. From the Catholic Church suppressing the Manicheans, to the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the list of atrocities committed against His followers in His Name are legion.
Returning to My Palace, I called together My Privy Council, and sketched out the basic concept for them. At first, there was doubt amongst them, but as I explained some of the more subtle Aspects of My Plan, their heads began nodding up and down. By the end of My presentation there were a sea of horrific grins and a hellish gleam in the eyes of My Dukes that I had not seen since the Crusades.
For My tools to accomplish My Plan, I decided to concentrate on Avarice, Sloth, and Pride: the most all-embracing and long enduring of the Seven Deadly Sins. For my vehicle, I chose the most powerful nation on Earth: the United States of America. For My target date I chose the early Twenty-First Century.
My plan required instilling fear throughout the planet that the end of the world was approaching. The instilling of fear has always been one of the most important tools of My Trade. Fear has an immediate and measurable effect on you mortals; destroying whatever reason and compassion you have, leaving you with only an easy to manipulate sheep-like instinct. Mankind's development of ever more powerful nuclear weapons, together with the approach of the millennium, aided me tremendously in this regard.