The Post Office Opened My Mail

Or so it would seem. I’ll give you the details.

As you may already know, I have these medical and scientific theories I have been sharing with people via U.S. mail for some time now. Anyway, I also send a letter to myself just to make sure it went thru. (Or if I mail in a mail box, to see if the letters were rain-damaged and so forth.)

Sound strange? Apparently not. Because I got one of these letters-to-myself today. And it was opened! The envelope was opened on three sides, and (get this), stapled in the center. The mail carrier had just dropped it off. So no one else could have touched my mail.

Why would the post office have opened it? And then stapled it shut?

And BTW, my other letters were just harmless theories. And they all had my return address on it. This actually brings up another good point: what happened to my other mail? Any thoughts?


Envelopes sometimes are pulled open accidentally through the handling of the mail. It happens.

More curious about these mailings you do. Are the recipients on a mailing list that you created from people that have requested these theories of yours, or do you just select individuals in our society to mail them to unsolicited?

If the latter, have you gotten responses?

Jim, I don’t think the USPS “opened” your mail. It’s illegal to open mail that’s not addressed to you. It was likely damaged in transit. Are you suggesting that the government is interested in your theories and is monitoring your mail? I hope you aren’t, because that would be nuts.

I’m also wondering why you’re sending mail to yourself “to make sure it went thru.” Receiving a letter you sent to yourself doesn’t verify that another letter sent to somebody else reached its destination.

I’m getting the impression that you think some kind of surveillance is going on.

If you have to ask, THAT’s strange.

Was it first class mail or was it sent as Media Mail or some other class of mail?

@Ynnad Everything is first class of course. As to the rest, I have shared these theories on these boards. And as I said, they do have my return address. There should be nothing there out of the ordinary. :slight_smile:

Most likely the letter was ripped open by a malfunction in an automatic sorting machine. Most letters go through fine, but on rare occasions stuff happens. In your case the letter was probably not damaged too badly and simply stapling it back together was enough to fix it. In some cases, the damage is severe enough that they’ll take what’s left and put all of the pieces in a plastic bag, along with a letter that says “WE CARE” in big letters at the top.

Except for how you decide to whom you send your theories to.

Is there a possibility that you have mailed enough unsolicited “theories” to the same people over and over that they contacted the FBI to make sure you aren’t dangerous?

Oh, the USPS opened some of my mail once, it was about 35 years ago.
I’m racking my memory trying to remember the exact situation…here’s what I’m coming up with.

I was job hunting, pre-internet, and I mailed out one or more unsolicited resumes and cover letters. And I cannot for the life of me remember why I did this, but I either neglected to put a return address on the envelope or I used the delivery address as the return address.

One of these letters was undeliverable for some reason, invalid address, I think. But even though I don’t remember the situation, they ended up with a piece of undeliverable mail I sent with no valid return address. And they didn’t like it.

They opened the mail to find out who I was, which they did, since the letter contained a resume and cover letter. Then they returned it to me at the address shown on my resume, postage due.

I got a mail slip that I had a letter waiting for me at the post office, postage due. I didn’t connect it with resumes I had mailed out. I went to the post office, paid the amount indicated-it wasn’t a lot, it may have been straight fist class postage or they may have “fined” me a couple of bucks more ( I can’t remember ). But then they handed me an envelope that contained the letter and envelope I had mailed—- opened——. I don’t remember if there was an explanatory letter or not.

I don’t know if any of this is applicable to your situation, but a letter with a return address identical to the delivery address may have raised suspicions, it could be construed as an attempt to conceal the identity of the sender -which someone might do if they were mailing something illegal.

I wonder if this has anything to do with why your mail was opened.

It’s illegal / against the rules to open ‘first class mail’ (as is the subject of this thread). ‘mail’ is a broader category. It’s legal for the USPS to open ‘standard mail’ and most mail categories.

Also, I think that some of the rules on opening mail are actually rules on unreasonable search: as such, what the post office finds when it opens mail is not admissible in court, is not part of a chain of evidence etc, but that’s not the same as not being permitted to open mail.

Have you thought of phoning the post office and asking them?

Can’t you just call the people you’ve sent them to, and ask if they’ve been receiving them? And you can ask if they’ve been opened.

I had a photographer friend who’d been sending promotional mailings that were folded very “creatively” (think drunken origami), and he called asking if I’d gotten his latest. Well, it turned out his local branch post office didn’t think they were “in spec”, and just shelved them. He started carting them a couple of miles to mail them at another branch, and no problem.

This is assuming you know who you’ve sent mail to, and is aside from the wisdom of sending theories to anyone who hasn’t begged to hear them, of course… :roll_eyes:

When done via email, it’s called “spam” or “junk mail”. Maybe you’ve heard of these.

How else does one mail mail via the U.S. Mail? I heard the carrier pigeons were on strike.

In the late 70s there was a street person in Pittsburgh named Robert Lansberry. He was an intelligent, though crazy, dude. He walked the streets wearing a sandwich board sign complaining about the CIA interfering with his mail.

I bought him lunch/drinks a few times. As long as he remained calm, he was interesting to talk with. If he started getting wound up, I’d walk away.

Letterlock? I hardly knew her!

Are you sure the mailbox was empty before the mail carrier dropped off the mail? In any event, there have been a few cases where I have accidentally received mail intended for a nearby address, and it wasn’t until after I opened it that I noticed it wasn’t for me and, after resealing it, put it in the proper mailbox.

I’ve found it is actually safer and dryer to simply mail it in the post office lobby, which is supposed to be open 24 hours a day. And where I live at least, it is not uncommon to just leave your outgoing mail in the mail slot. :slight_smile:

I worked for the post office for years when I was younger. Your letter was damaged during the mechanized sorting process. Damaged mail still needs to be delivered.

I guarantee you that no one at the post office has the slightest interest in reading your mail. They have actual shit to do. And opening mail for shits and giggles is an excellent way to get frog-marched in handcuffs off the sorting floor by the postal inspectors.