by Rev. Steve Schlissel
I’ve heard comedians draw howls as they sought atonement by offering to their audience a self-deprecating confession, admitting they watch infomercials. “It occurred to me that I didn’t, in fact, own a knife that could cut through my shoe.” Not to be outdone by their high-tech electronic counterparts, direct-mail marketers dreamed up a print equivalent: 12 to 16-page advertisements, always in a widely spaced courier font, with blue underlining here and there and red “hand drawn” (haha) arrows and comments sprinkled on the must-see, panic portions. Though designed to take less time to read than is required to watch an infomercial, it has to be more humiliating to be caught being ensnared by these. That’s why, so far, not even comics have copped to it. Well, somebody must read them.
Enter a Reformed minister from Brooklyn. Hey, if the reason you continued past the above paragraph was to joy in my degradation, you can stop here. It’s true. I read one. Okay? But believe me, it wasn’t for the intellectual stimulation. I mean, I didn’t get past page one without understanding that the typos and grammatical embarrassments were not there because the author had to rush this news to me (which is the case, friends, with my newsletters—when they come out [and one is coming out very soon!]).
These ‘’mercial-letters’ (the “info” in them cannot justify calling them ‘infoletters) often tout political causes, and if not, it’s health they’re allegedly after. Whatever the topic, there seems to be a correlation between number of pages and the depth of the pool from which they are written. If you cross page 12, you can be sure you have a conspiracy being exposed by writers at the deep end. Funny how this proves true whether the “urgent news” is uncovering a political or a medical—or a politico-medico-conspiracy.
Though the news sure was made to sound urgent! It told of the USA being “on the Verge of the Most Devastating Financial Meltdown Any Nation Has Ever Seen.” By itself, a perfectly credible statement. But the next sentence tipped the hand by ascribing the coming crisis to “BUREACRATS” (sic, including all upper case text in a font thrice the size of the body text) “and Fat Cats” who don’t want me to know what I have a feeling this person is going to offer to tell me—for a price.
As I read on (please, don’t make fun of me; I’m very sensitive—and I did it for you, anyway), I was repeatedly told about a book I was going to receive free (strings first mentioned on page 14!) which, if I “could find it today, would cost at least $100 to $150.” If I could find it? If I would want it, an appointment should be made for me to see the whitecoats.
Like much in the world of conspiracy theorists today, no effort was made to relate “b” to “a,” much less to consider that one ordinarily follows the other. It seemed enough for the author to posit conspiracy: he expected credulity for having invoked the magic word. Never mind that the conspiracy he was exposing began 240 years ago with men whose children would not live to see the second stage put in place. Sure. That makes SO much sense! But I trust you get the point. I won’t turn this into another 16-pager.
I’ll only tell you that 16 was the number of pages in which our author railed against the “unbacked” dollar (I agree, by the way), the Federal Reserve system, and assorted “fat cats.” Along the way he claimed that every US President who has spoken out against the conspirators “has experienced multiple assassination attempts!,” though “Andrew Jackson was fortunate enough to escape, but Lincoln…Grover Cleveland…and John F. Kennedy were not so lucky.” Lincoln was a constitutionalist? Kennedy spoke out against these conspirators? As I said, the water gets pretty deep at page 11 (where these excerpts appeared).
The clincher—you should have guessed—came after all these pages. (Those pages included one where he lamented that, though he wanted to tell me all about “the scandalous details of America’s monetary history,” he “simply didn’t have the time or space.” But I kept thinking, “If you hadn’t used a wide-spaced courier font…”) It was then, when you are about ready to pay a great deal to insure an end to this, that he told what it would cost to discover all these important secrets, and how, for the same price, I could learn how to transcend the corrupt dollar system and store up things of real value, not this fiat, bogus, worthless government toilet paper with presidents pictures on ‘em, which are just plain ol’ garbage.
The cost? That will be $99, please.
It took me three seconds. Then…WHAT?? 99 pieces of government toilet paper with presidents pictures on ‘em? THAT is the way you found around the conspired system you’re revealing? I have two words for you and your 16 pages: OY VEY! Now I know, I shouldn’t have confessed to reading this. Because, as easy as I get paper cuts, no matter how I folded, stapled or mutilated this peck of pickled paper, I couldn’t get it to cut through my shoe.
The curmudgeon was so right: you cannot lose money underestimating the intelligence of the American people. Even if it is fiat money you’re not losing.