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Memo: We Can’t Let This Happen Again

September 21, 2013

Retrieved from the archives of the National Security Agency


To: [Undisclosed Recipient]

Subject: We Can’t Let This Happen Again

My Dear [Name Withheld],

It comes to my attention that someone (our intelligence has not yet been able to tell us who) has been reading some books on campus. This alone is bad enough, but it happens that these book are classified as Level-Three Very Dangerous. We need to make sure that whoever has them is not reading them.

Records show that some of these books came from the library, an institution that we’ve been trying to shut down for years. Our demons in the Department of Illiteracy have made some excellent progress, but they have yet to force the libraries to close their doors. In the meantime, we can at least make sure that we keep certain books from actually being read.  For example, I noticed from the records that someone checked out The Noonday Demon by R. R. Reno. Reno has been a thorn in our side for years, and it seems there is no getting rid of him. His essays in that book are measured, compelling, confident and charitable–exactly what we don’t want from our religious writers. We want their prose to be more like [Name Witheld] or [Name Witheld]–angry, divisive, petty, outrageous. We need people from the evangelical Left and Right to focus more on demonizing their opponents and whipping up the masses into a frenzy than actually searching for truth. Plus, the title essay in the collections threatens to destroy all the work that we’ve done in the field of academia. Who would have thought that a puny human would realize that the academy’s emphasis on “critical distance” and “cultural relativism” could be concealing the deadly sin of sloth. I shudder to think it.

And speaking of sloth, you need to make sure that no one reads The Noonday Demon: Recognizing and Conquering the Deadly Sin of Sloth by John Blackwell. He’s a Methodist, but he’s not one of our Methodists. His entire book is a call to action to try and recognize the different kinds of sloth. I have a fear that anyone who reads his book will draw closer to the Enemy. This book could destroy everything that the Department of Distraction has been working on for the last 50 years. We need to keep those humans from thinking about sloth at all. If they ever do think about it, we need to do our best to keep them thinking that sloth simply means not working. What I wouldn’t give for a whole campus full of workaholic students, rushing about from thing to thing, vaguely aware of a crushing sense of need and despair, but too busy to do anything about it.

Another book to watch out for is Henry Fairlie’s The Seven Deadly Sins Today. It is one of the most devastating exposes of sin, written by an unbeliever, no less–I still don’t know how we let that one slip by. Our Research and Development department spent many years creating and perfecting the powerful weapon known as the “self-help book.” This book is a potent antidote to that. Every sentence in the book is dangerous. Just look at this statment: “Once again the puritan makes the mistake of thinking that to have sex continually on view is the incitement to it. It in fact weakens the feelings and passions that sex can and should arouse.” This is most assuredly not what we need. It takes a great deal of care to convince someone either that sex is a bad, or that it is the only Good. In the five seconds that it takes to read those sentences, Henry Fairlie could destroy years of hard work. And the book is full of sentences like that.

Worst of all, I noticed that someone on campus is reading Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, using Peter Kreeft’s 500-page abridged version Summa of the Summa. On no account should anyone read Aquinas. He is a Level-One dangerous author. We want people to believe that St. Thomas believed more in “pure reason” than in faith, that he was kind of a half-hearted Christian, but a full-hearted metaphysician. If someone actually reads Aquinas, they will found out that he is quite the opposite. The same goes for all the saints and philosophers. Keep on spreading the ideas that Nietzche was a madman, that Sartre and Kierkegaard are depressing, that Descartes was stupid, that Anselm’s Ontological Argument isn’t sound, that Luther hated Jews and Calvin burned Servetus, that the Wesleys believed in Free Will and that George Whitfield didn’t, that John Yoder hated America and that R. J. Rushdoony loved it. So on and so forth. We don’t really want people to have a serious, well-developed opinion on a particular philosophical or theological opinion. Instead, we want them to think using a series of ten or twelve pre-packaged slogans that they bring up during a conversation. Plato? “Wasn’t he a racist?” Augustine? “He was influenced by Neoplatonism.” See what I mean?

I don’t even want to think about what will happen to someone who is reading Herman Dooyeweerd’s In The Twilight of Western Thought.

Do everything you can to make sure that these books aren’t being read. Your colleagues in the Department of Social Media are there to assist you whenever you need their help in distracting your clients.

As Always, Your Affectionate Uncle


[End of Transcript]

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2013 2:08 am


    It is with great regret that I inform you that a copy of the dissident work Out of Revolution has resurfaced. This book threatened our advances in the Schools of Historical Study in the 50s, but we were able to marginalize it to just a small few followers of the enemy. How a printing of this book has emerged is a mystery to me – I trust that you will work your hardest to silence the tongue of he who reads and deafen the ears of those who hear.

    • September 21, 2013 3:02 am

      The Schools of Historical Study have done quite a great job over the last few years. Wasn’t it one of the fellows down there who came up with the slogan “Hey Hey Ho Ho, Western Culture’s got to go?” Priceless.

  2. September 21, 2013 2:27 am

    One can be relieved to know that Punic Wars and Culture Wars is not only not being read, but it is not found in most libraries. The real danger of that book (were it to emerge) is not the author’s content, but his insane propensity to recommend an endless number of authors and books. The bibiography of that book alone would undo so much of the fine work that has been done to minimize ink-on-paper intake.

    • September 21, 2013 3:02 am

      I have long been reminding my fellow demons that the true dangers of book recommendations have yet to be realized.

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