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Topic: Proselytizing

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Subject: Proselytizing
Date Posted: 6/12/2014 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2008
Posts: 9
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In the six years I have been a member of PBS, I've never had this issue come up before, and I'm curious if others have/how they handled it. 

I recently received a book from a member who had added various stickers with religious content to the outside of the package. The book itself is a secular history book. I do not share the religious beliefs of the sender, and would never send religiously themed material to someone unless I knew they were comfortable with it. I absolutely respect this person's beliefs and their right to hold those beliefs, but I prefer not having them foisted upon me without my consent. 

I PM'd the sender and told them that I was appreciative of the book, but would prefer, should I swap with them again, that they refrain from adding religious material to my book or its wrapper. The sender responded that I should put this in my conditions (which I did right after I sent the first PM to the sender). To be honest, it never occurred to me that I would need to include "no unrequested and/or unrelated propaganda" in my recipient conditions, or I would have done so when I first joined.

Has anyone else dealt with this? How have you handled it?

Thanks!



Last Edited on: 6/12/14 8:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2014 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 34,913
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Lisa, this member needs to be reported to the Admin. Team.  They will not shut down her account, unless she refuses to stop this practice.  Please use the "Contact Us" button located at the bottom of any page and once there, send in Feedback.  They will have a chat with this member and explain she cannot include this type of information with the books she mails.

  According to the Terms of Use Agreement:

Additional Mailings
This site is designed for the exchange of media items requested by other club members. Members shall not include additional material such as advertising, commercial solicitations, political materials, religious tracts or similar items in any requested mailing. Members further agree not to use member names, addresses, member lists, or any subset thereof for the development of mailing lists or the distribution of advertising, commercial solicitations, political materials, religious tracts or similar items, whether or not included with requested media.



Last Edited on: 6/12/14 8:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2014 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2008
Posts: 9
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Hunter,

Thank you for your response. I appreciate you taking the time to dig out the specific language from the Terms of Agreement! I'm following up now.

Much appreciation,

Lisa

Date Posted: 6/12/2014 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,400
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PBS has been very firm about religious and political inserts and stickers.   First, any inserts risk our use of Media Mail.  Second, we are a very diverse group, united only by our love of reading.  

I personally am thrilled that PBS takes this issue very seriously.

Subject: oops Emily and I were typing at same time
Date Posted: 6/12/2014 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,576
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Though Hunter was correct in citing the rules for what should not be added inside the package, I am wondering if you were being overly sensitive if it was only stickers applied to the outside of the package/envelope. Since you didn't give examples of what the stickers said, maybe it wasn't proselytizing at all.  Lots of people here will decorate packages with stickers many of which we receive FREE in the mail.  Am wondering if this person was simply avoiding throwing out those free stickers and thought it would be nice to put them on a package?

Many people have mentioned here in this forum what they received that was inappropriate that was included inside the book-- mostly business cards or sales pamphlets or religious tracts. I have never seen anyone complain before about stickers on the outside of the package.



Last Edited on: 6/12/14 10:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/12/2014 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2008
Posts: 9
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Jeanne: The stickers included bible quotes and directed the reader to take part in the religious practices described in the quotes. These weren't pictures of smiley faces or flowers or animals, but texts.

Date Posted: 6/12/2014 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2008
Posts: 9
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Emily - I agree; love of reading is why I'm a member. 

Date Posted: 6/12/2014 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,725
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Any reasonable person should know that foisting religious anything onto strangers may be offensive to some.  What if someone decided to write "Satan loves you" on the outside of packages? Or "Wicca forever". Or "Praise Allah". Personally, I am not offended by any of those, but I also would not write that or stick it onto my packages to strangers. If you are mailing stuff to members of your church, stick away. 

Date Posted: 6/12/2014 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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While some may find it personally offensive, I don't believe stickers on the outside are against the rules.  I'd love to hear about it if someone hears different from TPTB.

Date Posted: 6/12/2014 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,725
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I believe they suspended a member not too long ago who had refused to stop putting religious stickers on her packages. Or they told her she would be suspended and she quit. 

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,400
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I would not object to a religious return address sticker.   But put a fetus sticker on my book wrapper and I'll scream bloody murder.   Keep your politics and dogma off the books.  I do.  Show the same respect.

If I ever get another fetus, it will get reported.  Just like the last one. 

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 12:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2008
Posts: 9
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Sara: I absolutely agree. I feel even more strongly about it since hearing the various views voiced here, and knowing that at least one member has been suspended (or quit) for the same practice. I've been dialoguing with the member who sent the stickers, and I'm finding some of their statements unreasonable. To wit: "Was there any religious material in the package? If so I apologize. I never with out request knowingly put anything in the package. I apologize if I did so. I do sometimes put religious stickers on the outside of a package?" [I replied that the member had done so and referenced the text sent.] "Ok. Yes I sometimes put those on. I wanted to make sure that I did not put anything inside the package .That I do not do unless requested. But since it is on your requestor conditions [sic] i always read those and I do as people wish. Because I honor religious liberty whether to believe or not." [As mentioned above, I added this to my requestor conditions after receiving the package with stickers.]

This reasoning really bothers me. I don't feel that my religious liberty is being "honored" by these distinctions.

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 1:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 170
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It's probably not worth the hassle to dialogue with her any further.  You stated your objections and that's that.  Report her to PBS and let them take it from here.  I really don't think it should be necessary to have an RC stating no propaganda inside or outside package.

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 1:52 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2008
Posts: 9
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Agreed, Sarah. I did report her, and I don't see the point of further dialogue.

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 1:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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I agree that members should not put stickers espousing religious or political views and beliefs on packages they mail. Report them to PBS if you wish. But stickers like these are not common and I don't think an instance such as this warrants an RC. Ignore the wrapper, dispose, and move on. I would have more of an issue with this, however, if religious, political or commercial materials were included inside the package.

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 4:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Lisa, you should not need Requestor Conditions for this matter.  I recommend removing them, since RC's are reserved for book condition.  Reporting this person to TPTB was the right thing to do.

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 4:41 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2008
Posts: 9
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Thank you, Debbie. I shall do so. 

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Stickers on Package. Much ado about nothing.  Rip open the package and read the book. Problem solved.

This falls into the "Life Is To Short" category.

-RD

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I sometimes receive mailers with stickers and rubber stamp designs.  It tells me a little bit about the person.  I also reuse the mailers so the next person might think I put the stickers on the package.  With all the crazy stuff going on in the world I not going to get rattled because somebody put "Jesus loves you" on the package.  

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,576
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Sorry, Lisa, I have never seen such stickers though I participate in another forum here where the members frequently put stickers on our envelopes and packages.  Though I support a lot of charities, I have never been sent stickers like those!

Yes, do report the member.......

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2013
Posts: 1,022
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Sarah P is right. Some time last year a member was suspended for exactly the same thing. The member was asked to stop sending the religious mailers, she refused and as far as I know was banned. 

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,146
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I, too, was going to say that you could if you wanted to go in and delete that RC. It's only going to possibly come back to hurt you - there are folks who don't read RCs, but simply deny them no matter what. (You've probably seen people post stuff like "Remove all RCs" and "I don't mail to RCs.") So, by your having added one, you could miss out on books. And that would be total BLASPHEMY. :-)

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I keep hearing a couple of you saying someone was suspended for putting stickers on the outside of a package.  I would like to know where or from whom you got this information.

I noticed that the wording was vague,  If you believe this but don't know it as a fact, you shouldn't be passing it along.

Sending religious material inside a package is against the rules.

I do not think that stickers would be the same. However I have never asked TPTB this question.

Date Posted: 6/13/2014 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2013
Posts: 1,022
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I'm referring to this thread where a member was apparently suspended for the exact reason mentioned here.

http://www.paperbackswap.com/Account-Closed-Jesus/topic/283976/

Edit:

This is the email that was said to have been sent to the member

First email from PBS:

Dear Angela,

We have been made aware that a book you sent arrived with religious statements written on the package. The receiver was very offended.

We have a very large membership, with diverse faiths. It's not OK to proselytize to other members here.

Will you be able to refrain from doing this for future mailings?

Please let us know,

The PaperBackSwap Team



Last Edited on: 6/13/14 4:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2014 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,576
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wow, I went to Homeschoolers' forum and read the entire discussion.......sorry I didn't see it last fall and get involved.

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