My name has found itself on a new mailing list. Of that I am sure.

What’s curious is that my name on this mailing list is W.S. Truman. I never fill out forms by that name. None of my credit cards are in that name. My Frequent Flier Miles are not under that name. I mention my FFMs because I was recently told it was time to cash them in and I picked up a subscription to Forbes, The Atlantic, and ESPN Magazine. I suspect that one of those three passed my name along. I suspect it was Forbes because two of the three things I received in the mail today came from conservative organizations. One of them, on the envelope, asking a loaded question that my answer to was actually not the one they were assuming I would have.

My mom made a habit out of using different names whenever she would sign for things that could put her on a mailing list. She has four names, so it wasn’t hard for her to do (she used the dog’s name once, and Roscoe received a credit card in the mail*). For a while, she kept track of who put the lists out where. She wrote an great article about it that she published in her local newsletter. It was good enough that it should have been in a more formal newspaper or magazine (I got only some of her writing talent).

* – Yes, this is a true story. It said “Just call to activate” though I assume that calling would have meant a more lengthy process than that. Among other things, to be sure that they didn’t actually give a credit card to a dog.


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4 Responses to Mailing Lists (W.S. Truman)

  1. Brandon Berg says:

    I had a teacher in high school who said he used different middle initials to track who sold his name to whom. He claimed that he once donated money to an conservationist group, which sold it to outdoorsmanship groups, whence it migrated to survivalist and finally white nationalist groups.

  2. Peter says:

    Brandon –
    Two of the three links in the name-selling chain your teacher experienced make sense. Conservationist –> outdoorsman is a logical jump, and there’s certainly overlap between survivalists and white supremacists (you can guess what the feared “survival threats” often entail). What I don’t understand, however, is why anyone would assume that many people with a mainstream interest like outdoorsmanship would be interested in a much more controversial fringe activity like survivalism.

  3. trumwill says:

    What I don’t understand, however, is why anyone would assume that many people with a mainstream interest like outdoorsmanship would be interested in a much more controversial fringe activity like survivalism.

    Actually, I can totally see it. For every one person actually interested in pursuing survivalism (but with regular mail service), there are probably 100 that find the notion of it romantic or otherwise fascinating. It’s that 100 that you’re selling to. Disproportionately outdoorsy types.

  4. trumwill says:

    A side-bit, the one magazine junkmail thinger I got that wasn’t political was Western Horses. Not wholly unrelated to one of the things at the heart of the conservative coalition (rural types).

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