Seriously, what the hell are you supposed to do with this?

Crazy book left in apartment building on Avenue C

You come home at 10:15p to find four copies of this ominous work displayed over your apartment's mailboxes. Do you:

1. Move out immediately -- screw the deposit. 2. Laugh that there's somebody out there so crazy they think people still read books. 3. Take a copy for the novelty value?

Actually, there is a fourth reaction: follow your journalistic instincts and send an email asking "WTF?" to the Marketing Manager at Remnant Publications in Coldwater, MI. Here's what that yielded.

Me: So... how did you guys get this book on top of the mailboxes in my apartment hallway? Do you have some kind of food delivery menu operation going on?

Remnant: Hello, David. I'm assuming you are located in/near Manhattan. We did a one million book saturation mailing to that area. The Great Controversy book was sent out as a one-time mailing to your zip code. We do not have your address in a database, and there are no plans for any future mailings to your area. We believe this is a timely and important book to share because it reveals to readers that history is perfectly aligned with the Scriptures. Thousands of donations were submitted to help make this mailing possible so that you can personally know that the Bible is a book of assurance and confidence of a bright future. We hope you will consider reading the book as it has a vital message for our time.

Me: Thanks for your quick response. If you're not too busy (Mondays!), I have just a few more questions:

  • In my apartment building, the books were not marked as having been mailed, and were neatly arranged atop our mailboxes -- as opposed to, say, phone books, which are typically just left in a pile. How are your publications shipped, and how do you arrange for them to be displayed for maximum effect? Is my postman a believer, or just someone who likes to keep things looking orderly?
  • I did some research (well, Google, anyway), and found out Controversy was written in 1858. Of course, I realize delays do happen -- it took my Internet provider a month and a half to install my service, so I can imagine that great and momentous happenings that shape the entire universe can sometimes fall victim to scheduling issues. Nonetheless, if the book portends specific events, and was timely 155 years ago, how can it still be timely today?
  • What made you choose 10009? Is my zip code particularly in need of assurance that the future is bright.

Any light you can shed on the above would be hugely appreciated. - Dave

Remnant: David, I'll do my best.

1. This is a saturation mailing. We are paying for each book to be delivered to the recipients mail box. Phone book distribution is more of a "leave them in pile" situation, and delivered the same way local newspapers are delivered (not by the USPS). There is also a detached card that is supposed to arrive on the same day the book is delivered, but this isn't always the case, unfortunately

2. The version of The Great Controversy we are mass mailing was published in 1911. It's by the same author who penned the 1858 version. The latter part of the book deals with Bible prophecies from Daniel and Revelation. These prophecies extend to the time just prior to Christ's return. The beginning of The GC book is a great history lesson on Christianity over the years and the resulting Protestant movement. You are correct that this was penned over 100 years ago, but the book speaks for itself. It points to the Bible as the true authority on the future, and the Bible is many years older

3. We chose zip codes within the Manhattan area as much as possible for this mass mailing. This was a huge mailing with one million books going out within the past month. It was sponsored in part by hundreds of donors who want the message of this book to be broadcasted all over the world.

If you have any other questions, feel free to send them our way.

Me: Those were some seriously comprehensive answers, and I truly appreciate it. Who actually donates the money to make all this possible? Hopefully rich people -- I'd feel terrible if someone missed a meal on my account.

Remnant: The donors are from every socioeconomic level, people give according to how much they believe in the project. I don't know the exact income levels, however I haven't heard of anyone that came into financial distress from it.

There is an urgency to get this message out before events start taking place as predicted by the Bible. This book covers the events that will shape our government (and the world) in the latter chapters, based on Bible prophecies predominantly from Daniel and Revelation. I encourage you to give it a read.


So I guess that answers that

UPDATE: But wait, there's more

Me: Hey Bill, I actually got another copy, this time in my mailbox! Am I being targeted as being particularly resistant to the teachings of Mrs. (Miss?) White, or was there some kind of delivery mix-up!? If it's the latter, I can pass my 2nd copy along to someone else in the neighborhood. There are a lot of troubled drug addicts in the park across the street who could honestly use a little guidance, and also there's a Jehovah's Witness church about half a block away. I'm not sure how you guys feel about them, but they always have this table set up on the sidewalk and if you want I can leave Copy #2 on it.

Remnant: David, do as you feel is best with the extra copy. I don't know how that happened, but with a mailing this large (1 million books) these things will happen. We only shipped one per address.

Have a great day!

Me: Sounds good. It's a fairly quick read -- I can't seem to find the next date the Witnesses are predicting the world will end, but even if it's sometime this year they should have time to finish it.

Is there an etiquette for handing someone a copy? When you mail it, it's all very impersonal, but when you're actually looking someone in the eye and saying "You need to read this, your soul depends on it", it's kind of intimidating. Do you guys have any techniques you use, like theater actors do when they get nervous?

Remnant: If you think the book is interesting, share that sentiment with someone you think would possibly be interested in reading it. Or you can simply leave it on a lobby table somewhere or wherever you think someone might pick it up to check it out.

It's your book, so it's your choice.

Crazy book left in apartment building on Avenue C, back cover
The Great Controversy