Monday, April 28, 2008

Peter Popoff sent me Aaron's Rod! Wow!

The boring envelope. Click to read.I'll admit, I've been negligent. I got another "personal" letter from Peter Popoff about a week ago, but didn't open it until last night because the envelope looked boring and I was busy enjoying the first decent weather of the year. But now it's gotten cold again so I have time for Pete's correspondence.

This letter is shorter than the last one, thank goodness. And he sent me another gift!

Page one of the letter. Click to read.Again, I'm posting the letter in full (with my personal info blurred out) for the benefit of anyone else who is getting these "personal" letters.

The opening line of this one is interesting: "What's going on? Haven't you received my last letter?" I don't recall him writing anything like this before, although I usually do not respond to his letters. Perhaps Peter Popoff Ministries has upgraded their client management software?

In the second paragraph, he specifically predicts two major changes in my life between April 28 (that's today) and May 18. I'll post on May 18 on whether or not this prediction came true.

In the fifth paragraph, he asks me to clear my mind of various things like "the worry over your need of a job". Whoops, looks like the computer put me in the wrong category for these mailings, since on the form I filled out way back when I'm pretty sure I said my biggest worry was my chronic health problems (which have lead to financial problems). Regardless of what I put on the form, since he has claimed numerous times that he is getting personal communication from God about my situation, he should know that my big worry is not getting a job, but getting well enough so that I can worry about getting a job. But I guess it's safer to promise jobs to the unemployed than to promise cures for the incurably ill.

He also mentions in the third paragraph "a family problem that has been at a stand still for a long time". I haven't a clue what this could be referring to.

In particular, he's promising what he calls a Numbers 17:8 miracle.

Page 2 of letter. Click to read.Here on page 2, he asks be a couple of personal questions:

"Have you been in a situation where all of your hopes were dashed instantly?" While there have been times when certain things have been hopeless, I can't recall ever having my hopes dashed instantly. More often I have foolishly maintained hopes of things improving when most people would have given up long before (e.g. my second marriage).

"Have you ever been in a situation where people who are really important to you just seem to, for no apparent reason, drift away from your grip?" Yes, though not right now, but like with the first "personal" question, he has described a situation in such generic terms that no doubt a large percentage of the population could identify it.

Of course he is hoping that I (and the thousands of others who no doubt received this letter) am thinking, "Wow, he really understands what I'm going through!" To bad for him that I have read too much about cold reading to be taken in.

In the bottom half of page 2, he starts his usual plea for money in general terms, ("things must be done", "There is at least one important thing you must do")

Page 3 of letter. Click to read.On page 3 he puts on the pressure. In fact, according to him, only he can solve my problems because he has a "supernatural anointing", whatever that means. Otherwise, "there is no way out". And if I do not read his whole letter and do what he says, I "may regret it for a long, long time, probably for the rest of your life".

Page 4 of letter. Click to read.On page 4, he asks me to press the "Numbers 17:8 Aaron's Rod" against my forehead and say a prayer. I actually did this. He also asks me to sleep with the rod under my pillow. I forgot to do it last night but I'll do it tonight, so that no one can claim that's why I didn't get my miracle. Then I'm to break the rod in half and mail half back to him.

Numbers 17:8 Aaron's Rod, supposedly.If you're curious what Aaron's rod looks like, according to Popoff, here it is. To me it looks just like a piece of a bamboo skewer, the kind that sells at 100 for a dollar around here. But he did put it in some kind of cloth pouch. Interestingly, although this is supposedly like Aaron's Rod in Numbers 17:8, he doesn't promise that it will sprout and bear almonds.

And finally, at the bottom of page 4, he gets around to asking me for money. To be precise, he asks for "$17.08 to honor Numbers 17:8". Interestingly, he never asks for a donation to honour any verses from the first chapters of any of the books of the bible, I wonder why that is?

Response form. Click to read.Here's the form he wants me to fill in, which asks not only for money but also for my "secret" requests, presumably so that he can show his "divine" knowledge of my situation in future letters. He even stuck on this Post-it note from Popoff. Click to note to remind me to send as much money as possible. Gotta love that personal touch.

Then, at the very end of all this correspondence, he mentions that no one else should touch the Aaron's rod. Of course, he doesn't mention this until after I have spent 10 minutes reading his letter and my curious child has had lots of time to ask what's going on and handle the rod. Probably most people who got this letter who have kids have accidentally let the kids touch the thing. So that gives Popoff an easy out for when our Numbers 17:8 miracles doesn't come according to his prediction.

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