Thursday, 18 August 2011

Lurking in the letterbox

Since my "no junk mail" sticker came off (was removed?) from my letterbox, I open it with trepidation.  I have a post office box and so don't check the one at my home very often.  When I do check it, it's to scrape out the rubbish that has been left in there and turned to paper pulp in the rain.

Today there were only two leaflets.  One for "pressure washing".  For a moment I fantasised that this was a service that would allow me to vent my pent up anger at someone while they did my washing.  "You call that clean?"  "Take the tissues out of the pockets!"  "What do you mean, you're using hot water?!" "Hurry up - I need to wear that dress in 2 hours!"  "Scrub!!"  I was about to call the number when I realised that it's actually for washing my house using high pressure water.  No need for that.  I can barely get around to washing the dishes, let alone the house.  I always have pressure washing whenever visitors are expected.

The other leaflet had a picture of a waterfall and the word "purification" caught my eye.  I thought it was for a water purification system. Think again.  "Are drugs and toxins making you less yourself? THINK CLEARLY. ENROLL ONTO THE PURIFICATION PROGRAM."  (If you read too quickly "purification" and "putrefaction" can easily be confused.)

Wow.  I turned the leaflet over and was confronted with a quote from L. Ron Hubbard.  Hope I don't get into trouble for writing his name here.  The fine print on the bottom of the leaflet informed me that "SCIENTOLOGY, L.RON HUBBARD and THE SCIENTOLOGY SYMBOL are trademarks and service marks owned by Religious Technology Center".  The capitalisation is theirs, not mine.  What on earth is "religious technology"?   A nail gun for crucifixions?

I find it fascinating that anything can be advertised.  I also find it really interesting that Scientology is only mentioned in the very fine print at the bottom of the leaflet.    My theory is that the more vague or oblique the message is, the worse the grammar.  Did you know "The planet has hit a barrier which prevents any widespread social progress - drugs and and other biochemical substances."  That's not even a real sentence and I think that when L. Ron wrote it he hadn't done the Purification Program and wasn't thinking clearly.

Now the program consists of a "precise regimen of sauna, physical exercise and nutrition".  I can get that from my gym and personal trainer, nothing wrong with that.  What I really don't like is dishonest preying upon people.  As if anyone would be able to sit in the sauna and not have Scientology pushed on them!  If Scientology is something that you believe in, then that's terrific.  If it's so good that you want me to believe in it too, talk to me about it honestly.  Don't sell me a gym membership that is actually a front for some kind of religion.

The last time something in my letter box got me cranky was when I discovered a sealed envelope that was addressed to the "Householders - over 18 years of age - do not open if easily offended".  Being over 18, curious and not easily offended I decided to open the envelope.  Inside were graphic images of abortions.  Again, the conversation was started on a dishonest note.  It wasn't about being offended by the contents, it was that I wasn't given a choice about whether I wanted to see graphic images of abortions.  I could only make the decision after I'd seen them.

On my list of things to do tomorrow is to secure another "no junk mail" sticker.  And take note advertisers, ignoring my request will not result in me wanting to do business with you.

Now, I've got an Officeworks catalogue to read.

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