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05 January 2009


WE CAN ALWAYS FOLLOW OR CRITICIZE ANY IDEA THAT CAN BRING US LUCK. WE CAN NEVER ERASE THE FACT THAT MORE PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO HANG ON TO DIVERT THE PAUCITY AND DISTRESS IN LIFE WHICH MORE OFTEN THAN NOT COINCIDE TO WHAT THEY WISH FOR. BUT, AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE HAVE TO REALIZE THAT ALL THINGS ARE MADE POSSIBLE TO US NOT BECAUSE OF LUCK BUT WITH OUR HARDWORK COUPLED WITH STRONG BELIEVE IN OUR FAITH. AHH! WHAT A HECK I DO BELIEVE IN LUCK. I HAVE SENT THIS PICTURE TO TEN OF MY FRIENDS TO BRING ME EXTRA LUCK! IT COST ME NOTHING BUT MAYBE IT WILL ATTRACT MORE MONEY FOR ME (laugh...). CHAIN LETTER EVOLUTION Excerpt from Daniel W. VansARsdale Apocryphal letters claiming divine origin circulated for centuries in Europe. Around 1900 shorter and more secular letters appeared that demanded the reader distribute copies. Billions of these "luck chain letters" have circulated since then. During thousands of generations they have accumulated remarkable methods of getting themselves copied. For example, complementary testimonials developed, an exploiting perceived bad luck, another exploiting perceived good luck. Using a sample of over 600 dated letters, predominant types are identified and analyzed for their replicative advantage. Key events in chain letter history are examined in detail, including the puzzling origin of money chain letters. A reconstruction of uncollected intermediate forms suggests that around 1932 a luck chain letter actually brought unexpected money in the mail to some who lived in small towns. In 1935 the first money chain letter appeared, the infamous "Send-a-Dime," which was copied over a billion times worldwide within a few months. Newly discovered sources are used to argue that the unknown author of Send-a-Dime was a Denver woman motivated by charity. The collection of letters is presented on-line in HTML format in the Paper Chain Letter Archive. An Annotated Bibliography on Chain Letters and Pyramid Schemes contains over 350 entries. A Glossary facilitates the independent reading of sections.

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