I just saw a commercial on TV for “miracle spring water” (similar to this one, but I think shorter.) It reminded me of how in my childhood my family used to get chain mail and other similar junk mail, including some sending things. The weirdest one I remember was an envelope that contained a blessed shower cap. You were supposed to wear the cap in the shower and I suppose pray for whatever you wanted, and of course send money back to the ministry.
I used to get that crap, it would be a blessed cloth or a fake dollar bill, with Jesus pic, or a little envelope of sand from the holy land (?). Always from the same ministry. I have often wondered why/how they got my address.
There are companies that rent mailing lists. I used to use them when I did direct mail fundraising. They’re sorted every which way, so you can rent the list most likely to support your cause. Like this place. I say “rent” not “buy,” because you choose your lists and the company sends out the mail to thousands of places. You do not know who they are, just that they’re cat lovers, or people with kids in preschool, something like that. You only find out about the get to keep the names of those who respond to your piece of mail. A 1%-2% response is considered excellent. So you might send out 10,000 pieces of mail and get 100-200 responses, and that would be considered extremely successful. (Try convincing your non-profit board of that, however.) It’s expensive, but once those people are on your donor list, they’re more likely to give again. Not certain, but more likely.
But, if they quit spending so much money on mailing lists, and all that paper and crap that comes in the envelopes they wouldn’t need my donation so much. Does no one in these places have any practical sense?
From some of the links, the prayer rugs are sent from “Saint Matthews Churches”, which is a PO Box in Tulsa, Arizona. They make millions of dollars a year from the scam. But the “Church” has a web site with fake images of their fancy sanctuary and church members, and this interesting page.
I get lots of weird mail because there is a mailing list that thinks I’m my now deceased Dad’s age so I get stuff for old people. Hearing aids, AARP, scams that try to confuse old folks but the weirdest mail I ever got was not related to that. It was a hand written a letter with no contact info other than a phone number (which I never called) offering to buy my house for cash.
That reminds me of the most offensive unsolicited mail I ever received. Not too long after my mother died, a 2 or 3 page hand-written letter from a woman I had never heard of living in a different state talking about how I needed to turn to God. Apparently, she had a hobby of trolling obituaries and sending such letters to people who were listed as next of kin. If I had had the time then, I would have gone to various bookstores and collected subscription cards from every porn magazine I could find and have subscribed her to them, and got her on every back-of-a-porn-mag mailing list I saw. I would have made it my goal in life to destroy her. But I didn’t have the time, so I just threw it away.
My mother passed away in March. Afterwards both my brother and I got a number of letters from vultures offering to buy her house.
From the wording they were all obviously aimed at people who didn’t want the hassle of selling the house, so if we had responded they likely would have made an offer below market value.
But the most galling one I received was from a company named something like “Official Records Dept.” It had the usual (for these types of scams) disclaimers about not being associated with the government placed where they were likely to not be noticed.
They wanted $97 for a “document” stating that my brother and I were now owners of the house.
In reality it would have been a worthless piece of paper.
I considered responding with a “screw you, assholes” letter but didn’t bother.
I got something similar when my grandma died. Except they were trying to get me to join the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Every now and then I get something stuffed under my doormat from “your neighbor” wanting me to come to their church.
I’ve also gotten the prayer rug, both the “Barbie sized” and one that was probably legal document sized folded up.
Sometimes I get address labels from charities wanting me to donate. I use the labels but don’t donate.