The notice first appeared tied to a lamppost outside the church and declared: “THE APPLE CLEANSES THE SOUL…”
Then, a day or two later, we received a more detailed report in the form of a typed and photocopied tract shoved through our letterbox.
Since it is headed ‘YOUR SOUL’, I feel a sense of obligation to share at least part of its teachings with you…
“You do have a SOUL that takes you to HEAVEN, but can dwindle and disappear as you gradually SIN. If it does disappear, you let the DEVIL take over your life. And he will make you do all the SIN you never dreamed of, to control of you here and in hell.
“The proof you do have a SOUL is the WHITE light you see at the back of your eye, when you place a finger there, in the dark. It goes RED if your white light goes out. Shine white light in one of the EVIL ONE’S eyes, and you see RED reflected there. Proof they are there. Controlling the WORLD, the world which is really the GARDEN of EDEN.”
When do we get to the bit about the APPLES, you ask? Bear with me - or, rather, bear with the person promulgating ‘The Gospel According to Granny Smith’:
“The eating of little creatures, big and small, is a SIN. You should not even eat vegetables - they were meant for the animals. Well, what do you eat? At the beginning in the garden you were meant to eat APPLES and only APPLES, no water even, you get liquid from the APPLE…
“The special thing about the APPLE - and the DEVIL has hidden it from the beginning - is the fruit of the APPLE forgives SIN. So, eat the APPLE and it forgives you your SIN. The PEEL of the APPLE keeps the EVIL ONES away from actually harming you.
“You have to eat APPLES on a daily basis to get these benefits. When they are there, you can see History and the World in a new light.”
So, there you have it in a nutshell - or in an apple-pip - and if it’s got the juices going and you want to explore the joys of appledom in greater detail - though not necessarily for its sin-absolving properties - then you could start with this intriguing site in praise of English Apples.
A word of warning, however, there is a variety of apple that ought, perhaps, to be avoided at all costs...
[Image: Red Devil apple by Simon Mills]