|The Envelope Front|
I'm not even sure how to describe this letter thing/package I got. It's some kind of marketing for... prayers? I think the ultimate purpose is to try to get your contact information and perhaps a donation.
They sent me an "anointed prayer rug" that I was supposed to use and send back, along with religious ramblings, etc. Let's explore this fantastic piece of junk mail!
I would like to have posted the entirety of the mailing, but I suspect that would be a copyright violation. Actually, they have it marked as copyrighted! I'll have to work with "clips" of the highlights and discuss them, and that should take care of fair use.
|Back of the Envelope|
I hadn't even opened it yet and it was already pandering hard to theists.
Note, that at this point, it was a very generalized feel-good prayer. There's nothing about being a supernatural order catalog yet, but that's coming. A lot of marketing companies try to put messages on the outside of the envelope to "hook" the person into reading more, such as "DO NOT DISCARD" or "TIME IS RUNNING OUT". This one, however, takes the cake.
I may do a breakdown of personal testimony/experience at some point, as they are complete failures of the standards of evidence. I digress.
|Anointed "Prayer Rug"|
Look into Jesus's eyes, they say, and you'll see them open. They've set up a cheap optical illusion, taking advantage of well known visual perception issues. The open eyes are very lightly printed, and if you stare at it long enough, you start to see it.
Typical with such marketing campaigns, they're trying to keep you distracted. The letter is attempting to hurry you along to pray on the rug, and quickly send it back along with the "prayer needs" page. They're keeping you too distracted in the ferver of raking in the cash to realize what they're doing.
|Tell them what you need!|
But wait, what's that?
Oh, right. They want your money. You see, part of the "prosperity gospel" is that if you give some "seed money", God will reward you many fold.
Of course, they don't tell you that you WILL get anything in return. They just claim other people have, and then let you make that assumption on your own. It's clever. It's sad that people fall for it. They know people will feel arrogant for asking for things like cars, etc, without donating something. What's $50 if you're about to get a Corvette out of the blue?
|Look at all the amazing undemonstrated claims!|
Look at all the flash and graphics! Don't look at the man behind the curtain - look at this! Wow!
In case that wasn't enough, still, they also included a "Sealed Prophecy" that's basically a brochure taped closed, and when you open it up, it's all capitalized ranting.
They say that they don't want you curious about the future, but rather concerned about worshiping God today.
Needless to say, I didn't follow the instructions.
Throughout this entire package, they're constantly assailing you with emotional appeal and marketing strategy.
I discussed in an earlier post how a belief in God can stunt one's capacity to critically think. This is a decent example. Those who don't think this through... well, they're out some hard earned cash now.
Skepticism can protect you from such scams.