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Topic: Is anyone else seeing an uptick in proselytizing material with yoour books

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Subject: Is anyone else seeing an uptick in proselytizing material with yoour books
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2008
Posts: 28
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Really! For the third time in a month I have received a book with cards/brochures etc. promoting certain religious beliefs or viewpoints  tucked into a book that was sent to me.  I am well aware this is against PBS rules, but apparently others are not.  The first two times, I was annoyed but dismissed it with a shrug thinking maybe it was perhaps just something the sender was using as a book mark, but three times is a bit much.  And yes, different senders each time,  not all of them were brand new to PBS.  As someone who does not share these beliefs and has no wish to share these beliefs, this is deeply offensive to me and, excuse me if I seem to go drama queen here- it is creating a hostile atmosphere at this site for me. The only thing I wish to share with anyone here is an appreciation for books, and unless I request a religious text, I do not want tracts, brochures etc, especially those expressing ideas in purposefully offensive and upsetting ways (this last was an anti-abortion tract, illustrated in lurid detail- on the front so there was NO way of missing its point) . I have written in to the PBS team, but frankly I would be shocked (pleasantly) if they actually do anything other than send me a polite email about how such things are against the rules, etc. etc. So you all get to enjoy my rant. 

I can't be the only one to have this happen- is anyone else seeing this? Will PBS post a system wide "reminder"/warning concerning this behavior to members? Do I have to write up an RC stating that I don't wish to receive such material? 

Anyway, thanks for 'listening' (if you got this far)


Date Posted: 2/11/2011 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I've never gotten more than a bookmark with my books.

I'm sorry you're getting those things though. You shouldn't have to have an RC against the material as it's already against the rules, but a lot of members do create RCs for things that are already in the rules because they experience so much of it anyway.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 589
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I wouldn't write an RC.  I'd just throw it in the garbage.

Were the books sent via media mail?  If so, I'd just PM the senders and remind them that this material cannot be enclosed if they are sending it media mail, and that I do not appreciate it.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2008
Posts: 3,693
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 5:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Marna--Sorry this is happening to you!  Like the others who posted before me, I have never had a problem with this.  I've gotten a few bookmarks (which I liked), but nothing else.

PBS isn't and shouldn't be a place for trying to force one's beliefs on someone else!

It seems that for some reason things like this (or getting unpostable books, late mailed books) run in streaks.  Hopefully this is what it is for you and now you're past it!!

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2007
Posts: 55
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I haven't had this happen either.  The only questionable thing I've received was a business card. 

Lori - ,
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 79
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It's only happened to me once.  I ordered a copy of "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson and when the book arrived, there was a small card scotch-taped to one of the inside front pages with a Bible verse or something printed on it.  I didn't want to tear the page and ruin the book by trying to peel off the card, so I left it alone.  When I reposted the book on PBS, it was snapped up immediately (it's heavily WL'd), and when I shipped it to the requestor, I included a handwritten note with the book, explaining that the card was taped inside the book when I received it from the previous PBS member.  The requestor didn't care about it, so I assume it was no big deal.  It wasn't offensive (to me, at least) because it was just a Bible verse.

I've also received a few business cards tucked into books... I toss 'em in the garbage.

On the other hand, if I got a book from someone containing an anti-abortion tract or something along those lines, I'd let PBS know and I'd probably send a "not-very-nice" message to the sender.  That's just plain WRONG.  People need to stop doing that!

Pam M. -
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2010
Posts: 423
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I've never seen anything but the "second page" from the mailer.  I have very occasionally written notes to people and included them in books I've mailed.

No one has complained because they were along the lines of "so sorry you need this" to requester of a medical book.

Religious tracts would be annoying but not offensive.  Just toss them in the trash.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2007
Posts: 145
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This hasn't happened to me, but I would be annoyed.    I've gotten generic bookmarks and once someone had inadvertently included a cute picture of her preschooler (mailed it back to her). 

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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I have gotten stuff like that a few times--usually tracts or business-sized cards with Bible verses and the like. I just chucked the ones with the business-card sized things, thinking they were forgotten bookmarks, but I did pm the person who put the tract in there (it was big enough that there was no way it was just something overlooked) and let them know that it was against PBS rules as well as violating USPS Media Mail rules, and that furthermore, I found proselytizing through a book-trading site offensive and people pushing those tracts on me only serves to drive me further away from "The Lord" and closer to "hell" and I hope they can live with that on their conscience. (Mwahahaha!)

That said, I've also sent rather scathing PMs to people who send stuff obviously advertising various home-based business ventures, too. Just send the #*!)%~ book, already!


Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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I've only gotten bookmarks and an occassional business card/advertising for another site.

Rest assured that PBS does take that stuff seriously and will talk to the other member about it. If they get too many complaints the account will get closed.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2010
Posts: 3,024
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I'm glad you reported that. Maybe if more people report it, it will get the member kicked off.

Last Edited on: 2/11/11 1:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,397
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I haven't gotten anything like that in a while.  I wouldn't bother with an RC as it is not necessary.  If you receive more, simply throw them in the trash (tear them up if it makes you feel better) and note that the item was added when you mark the book received (there's a box for added info for the PBS team).  Hopefully if enough people indicate that a sender is doing this, then the team can address it.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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I sympathize with you,

Haven't received anything like this yet (just the standard insert from PBS although it sometimes annoys me a little (seeing the toilet seat up annoying, not digging your car out of a 5' snowbank annoying)).

Wonder about the person sending this stuff though.  Where I come from getting someone offended when they have your address isn't a good thing.  I suspect statute of limitations has expired on this but I had a friend who once a month mailed roadkill to someone of similar offensiveness.  Report them, if they are doing it consistently (and send enough books for it to become an issue) then TPTB will probably at least address the issue with them.

Lori M: I would have been sorely tempted to RWAP that one as I seem to remember tape on the book being expressly against PBS wrapping rules (the Bible verse wouldn't offend me, as would neither excerpts of the Tanakh, Koran, etc but TAPE is very offensive).

Last Edited on: 2/11/11 2:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 2/11/2011 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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See I get that stuff sent to me with books returned at work.  Not allowed here either but nothing much will stop those people from "wanting to spread the word".

I think you should let them know sending that type if thing is not allowed in media mail and to please check the book before sending.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I haven't noticed an increase in this type of activity.  A 4 year member, I've received over 550 books...think I got one tract and maybe one business card in all that time.  I pm'd regarding the tract.  Regarless of whether I approve or disapprove of the content, they are not allowed per site rules and violate media mail requirements also. 

And the grossly graphic pics?  I'm refraining from hunting up my soapbox...really, resisting...

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2009
Posts: 1,691
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Every so often I forget to remove a bookmark that has angel on it, but I have never held my place with full gospel literature. I havent received any either.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,175
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I get stuff with the occasional business card or receipt or plane ticket. In the case of cards, I usually can't tell if it is just a bookmark, or meant to be advertising ... but in any case, I just use them as free bookmarks until my dogs eat them. (I have a dog that will steal paper off the table to chew on).

I have never received a brochure ... but if I was to get something like that I would just chuck it. Or maybe save it to show my husband if it was particularly entertaining in some way. (yes, overtly religious tracts DO count as entertaining.) My very most favorite is Jesus riding a dinosaur. I wish I could get my hands on some of those.

I also stick random pieces of paper in books to use as bookmarks ... so although I don't include them on purpose, I would not be surprised if a few have escaped me. Hopefully nothing someone would find offensive.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2008
Posts: 28
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Well, color me pleasantly shocked! PBS got back to me and let me know they are doing something.  Thank you all for your kind replies and suggestions. i really am pretty easy going and don't let these things upset me (too much) but I think the nature of the last one threw me for a loop. I do hope this was just one of those coincidental runs and not a trend.  I 'm holding off on the RC, since it seems an over reaction and will end up creating more issues than it solves as someone pointed out  above. I think I will be opening the books and shaking them out over a trash can in the future so I don't risk encountering more distressing images! That said,  I am *kind of* sorry I never received the Jesus on a dinosaur tract!

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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My favorite forgotten book mark so far was a picture of a breast and the words "feel me up soon" and it was from a doctors office..LMAO!

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2009
Posts: 1,691
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I almost forgot until hubby reminded me, we once received a book with a flier from PETA that said Kentucky Fried Cruelty on it with a crazy cartoon lady weilding a knife in one hand and a upside chicken in the other. We just pitched it.

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I always note in the survey when I get something inappropriate.  I want PBS to have a record of it.  That way PBS can tell if it is an ongoing habit or just a forgotten book mark.

I've found that PBS does take this type of thing quite seriously.  None of us want to risk PBS becoming the target of media mail inspections.


Date Posted: 2/11/2011 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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LOL Xen, I use any handy scrap of paper for a bookmark and have probably used dr. reminder postcards myself...haven't seen that one tho!

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2011
Posts: 212
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I've been fortunate in that I haven't received any inclusions in my books other than old doctor's appointment reminders.

I'm disappointed that I haven't received a "Jesus riding the dinosaur" bookmark, though...

Date Posted: 2/11/2011 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,581
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LOL , Marna C. I can tell by your picture that you are easy going. The only thing I found in a book lately was an old bank envelope,  And there was no money in there ;>(