The Best Piece of Fan Mail I’ve Ever Received

Over the summer, I wrote an article for Free Inquiry in which I asked atheists to “take care of our own.”

A few weeks ago, the magazine’s staff forwarded me a piece of “fan mail” they got at their offices… here’s the beginning:

He solved alllll of math. All of it. I should just quit my job now. Also, atheists believe in Dracula. Or something like that.

The full letter is below. If anyone can decipher it, I’d love to know what it says… (the second page isn’t fully showing up in the Scribd file below).

[Note from Hemant: I removed the letter because commenters rightly pointed out it includes the writer's name.]

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://profiles.google.com/emasters7 Elizabeth Hiatt

    Who let our secret worship of Dracula out of the bag?

    • http://twitter.com/fengardice Fabio García

      How dare disrespect our beloved Father of Lies by calling him that! It’s AL Dracula for you! Learn some respect.

      • Paul D.

        I wonder what “Al” is short for. Albert? Alfred? Aloysius? 

        • NickDB

           Alfred, how do you think Batman got his speed and strength???

          (Makes as much sense as the piece of drivel in the article)

        • http://twitter.com/fengardice Fabio García

          No, it just means “The Dracula”, just like “Il” in Italian or “El” in Spanish.

  • Rich Green

    Sounds like your fan is suffering from mental illness, perhaps schizophrenia.

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      He sounds too coherent for a schizophrenic, and more like your average conspiracy theorist…

  • Amazonfeet

    OK, who’s “Al Dracula”? I think someone’s off his meds….

    • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

      Yes.

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      I think that might be “Grandpa” on The Munsters.  At least the actor’s first name was Al.  If I were going to pick someone to worship instead of a god, I guess you could do worse.

  • Mike

    Obviously those nice young men in their clean white coats got his meds mixed up. 

    • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

      how is it different, really, from some semi-literate definition of [insert current religion's name here] written by an adherent?
      -r
      PS: I /would/ be curious, however, where the al dracula stuff came from.
      -=-

      • The Other Weirdo

         Probably a combination of watching too may Dracula movies followed by a Married… With Children marathon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Little/565071363 Paul Little

    Also, Time Cube.

  • http://twitter.com/Mandaray Amanda Cales

    I think perhaps you should find the nearest psychologist and forward this letter to them…this fellow sounds like he needs help.

  • beatlefreak9

    “Al Dracula?”

    He’s finally figured us out! Someone go warn Al!

    • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

      It’s taken care of, bf9, it’s taken care of. ;)
      -r
      -=-

  • http://twitter.com/Mandaray Amanda Cales

    Also, TIL that atheists worship vampires. 

    Hopefully this doesn’t mean Twilight is our Bible.

    • http://twitter.com/m_ethaniel Mistletoe Ethaniel

      Not to worry because Twilight vampires are NOTHING like Dracula vampires.

      Myself I worship Count von Count.

      • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

        Count Chocula?
        and the one who counts ah ha ha … on Sesame Street — is he just ‘the count’ … maybe I’m also getting old.
        -r
        I miss Count Chocula.
        -=-

        • CultOfReason

          The great thing about having kids is that you can once again buy all of your favorite childhood cereals for, you know, the kids ;-)

        • http://twitter.com/m_ethaniel Mistletoe Ethaniel

          The one on Sesame street is Count von Count.  And you have angered him by not knowing that.

          Coming soon… ONE!  ONE ass whooping *hahaha*.  TWO!  TWO ass whoopings *hahaha*…

          • amycas

             The puppeteer who played Count von Count died a couple weeks ago–I believe on the same day as Niel Armstrong.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      I’m a Bathory fan myself. The day Twilight becomes any sort of bible is the day I off myself because I won’t want to live on this planet anymore.

    • The Other Weirdo

       No. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  • Stan

    Uh, YIKES!

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com/ Kacy

    Huh?  Doesn’t he realize that Vlad the Impaler, the historical figure Bram Stoker used to create his fictional Dracula, was a Christian?

    I agree with the other comments, this guy should probably see a psychiatrist–not for his lack of historical knowledge related to Vlad (Most Americans have very little historical knowledge.), but for the incomprehensible nature of this letter, the creepy scrawls at the end, and his weird delusions about “solving math.”  Something is not right in this man’s brain.

    • http://twitter.com/m_ethaniel Mistletoe Ethaniel

      As my co-worker likes to say, “Something’s missing in that guy’s diet.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

      That’s a great point.  If he got that detail wrong, who knows what else might be incorrect in that letter?  Someone should really go through it, point-by-point, and refute each wrong detail.

      I think you’re the one for the job!  Go get ‘em! :D

  • Lucilius

    Maybe he’s been watching the Munsters. You know: Al Lewis as Grandpa.

  • Flo

    That might be the funniest thing I’ve ever read in my whole life.

  • Theshoves

    I thought it was Lillith we were supposed  to worship(True Blood)???

  • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

    Oh crap! They know about Al!!!!
    Shit.
    -r
    -=-

    • http://bunnystuff.wordpress.com/ Jaimie

      I keep hearing “Al!” in Peg’s whiny Married With Children tone.

      • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

        lmfao
        -r
        Wait: I forgot to be sarcastic.
        -=-

  • Amey
  • http://twitter.com/brianrworley Rev. Brian Worley

    THIS… IS… AMAZING. If I were you, I’d get all eight pages of it framed. You’ve just been chosen the lucky recipient of the BATSHIT CRAZIEST :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

       I highly doubt it’s that unique. Someone willing to put this much effort into a theory isn’t going to be satisfied only telling it to one person. He probably sends this to a lot of people, if not everyone who writes for Free Inquiry

  • Beadknitter

    I’m sorry. I can’t read all of that. I lost enough brain cells just reading the first page.

  • A3Kr0n

    He’s your neighbor, eh? Silly flatlanders! Go Packers!
     You must look to your North for mature reason and logic!
    http://www.coveryourhair.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/cheese-hat.jpeg

  • bundito

    It’s funny, yet it’s not funny. If you can set aside the fact that the writer is almost certainly mentally ill, it’s hilarious. But we really should be decent people and not laugh at the image of a wild-haired, unshaven guy furiously typing by candlelight, with stacks of books teetering all around him. Not to mention the various alchemy apparatuses used for the careful study of excrement. There also also many, many notebooks, filled with tiny but precise handwritten calculations and ideas. They may have been written by Kevin Spacey. And then there are the equations. They’re everywhere – on the walls, carved into the top of the desk, scrawled on the floor with pastel chalk. Don’t look at the equations. Your mind cannot handle the equations. You tried to look at them, didn’t you? Your mind is now broken. You never had a chance of understanding them. Now you’ll never understand fission. Or poop.

    • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

      Forget the numbers and equations, follow the strings! Strings attached to tacks going hither and thither and yawn (yon?)
      -r
      PS: *yawn*
      -=-

    • Baby_Raptor

      So…He’s Dr. Mobus from Fallout:New Vegas?

      • The Other Weirdo

         Or Dr. Mabuse.

  • holeydood3

    I was actually hoping he’d include his circuitry schematics, just to see what a mind like that could come up with.

  • TheKevinBates

    Oh man, he solved math?  Quick Hemant, get his answers to 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unsolved_problems_in_mathematics .  Six of the Millennium prizes are still unclaimed, so it should be easy enough to just get answers and claim the $6m prize for solving them all.

    Something tells me, that like people in contact with aliens, this guy will clam up once you ask a specific question.  Unless its like: does math want me to worship Jesus?

  • Michael Caton

    Hemant, this is why you need this Bible staff. It has magic powers. If you’re too blind to have the faith needed to see its powers, you may wish to send it to Christian acquaintances who might recognize its value.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/261093323971?ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT

  • Artor

    Holy fuckballs! That is some amazing crazy! I started reading, gearing up to refute logical fallacies as I went. I don’t know enough math to analyse his number salad, but I quickly abandoned any attempt at intellectual rigor in favor of awestruck marveling at how unhinged a person can be and still operate a keyboard.

    • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

      I wonder if his fingers are hovering in the “home position” so as to avoid carpel-tunnel syndrome.
      -r
      PS: ‘cuz that’d be a damn shame, the carpel-tunnel syndrome, would be.
      -=-

  • Duke OfOmnium

    “Dracul” means devil, as I recall, so Al Dracula would simply have the definite article “al” and mean THE devil.  Or possibly he means Al Dracula, the notary public and cashier at Valdosta Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union.  

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      Actually, it’s derived from the Latin for “dragon” (draco), which can have diabolic connotations but not necessarily so.

    • RebeccaSparks

      In addition to what TCC says, Dracula is the diminutive of of Dracul, so it means little dragon.  (Vlad II was Dracul, Vlad III “the Impaler” was Dracula).

  • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

    I can’t believe they know about the cannibalism. *shakes head sadly*
    -r
    PS: Seriously, guys? I thought we had that under wraps.
    -=-

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Sorry. I got car sick after the last confrence and blew chunks. It was just bad luck that group of nuns noticed that finger as they passed by. I promise to chew better in the future! Honest!

    • Coyotenose

       Hemant brags about it. ON THE INTERWEBS.

      We need to have an intervention or something. It’s getting to be just like Chrissy on The Sopranos. He’s gonna ruin this thing of ours.

      • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

        Mannn!
        -r
        PS: Shhh!
        -=-

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    So…are there crazy atheists sending comparable letters to theist bloggers?

    • thorny264

      How can you outcrazy people who believe in magical sky fairies?

      • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

         Uhhhh…hmmmmm
        I’ll have to get back to you on that.

      • Coyotenose

         People who demand that magical sky faeries be placated by tax breaks for the wealthy.

        • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

          so… um…? a smaller portion of them are crazier than… wait? what?
          -r
          PS: what?
          -=-

  • Todd Libasci

    I’d bet anything he uses Dr. Bronner’s.

    • http://twitter.com/m_ethaniel Mistletoe Ethaniel

      I bet anything he IS Dr. Bronner.

  • http://bunnystuff.wordpress.com/ Jaimie

    He obviously did not finish his writing courses.

  • Matthew Booth

    While I’m all for publishing the inane ramblings of idiots, I suspect this person is old, confused and (literally) mentally ill. I personally would not have published this.

    • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

      why not? how is it different from one that is more ‘main stream’ ?
      Just because craziness has a higher population of adherents, doesn’t mean it’s not batshit crazy.
      -r
      NOTE: Catholics adamantly believe in transubstantiation which means cannibalism (plus they think it’s ok for priests to molest children) crazy is as crazy does.
      -=-

  • http://twitter.com/josh_b42 Josh Bunting

    I got a letter from the same guy, also forwarded to me from Free Inquiry. Did you get the re-gifted postcard too? And the birthday card?
    I wrote about it here http://atheisthobos.com/2012/07/17/i-get-snail-mail/

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Yep! Got those, too.

      • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

        holy shit: you’re not kidding?
        -r
        -=-

  • Croquet_Player

    O.K., here goes what will probably be a very unpopular remark.  This is actually something that’s been bothering me for some time, about the atheist community in general.  We mock and taunt the mentally ill.  Here’s a person who is clearly unwell -  I’m guessing schizophrenic.  And yet you printed his letter in its entirety and even included his name.  I’m all for engaging people in debate, but that’s not what’s happening here.  Show some compassion – letters like this should be gently put aside with no further comment.  Come on.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger GodVlogger (on YouTube)

       I agree… somewhat.
      But the stuff he is saying is really no more crazy than stuff routinely said by MANY christian leaders (and followers).

      Is this guy really any more crazy than Pat Robertson saying that Haiti gets natural disasters because they made a pact with the Devil to overthrow the French years ago? Pat Robertson gets a million views per day with his show the 700 Club on the Christian Broadcast Network. Devil vs. Dracula: what’s the difference?

      Mormons believe that Joseph Smith dug up gold plates from God and stuck the plates in a hat with a seer stone and his face, thus allowing him to translate them into the Book of Mormon.

      Catholics are taught that a cracker literally changes into the flesh of a Jewish mid-eastern man/god that died 2000 years ago (transubstantiation is not symbolic, rather literally the cracker’s ‘essence’ becomes Jesus meat).

      So, is the Dracula obsession really all that much more crazy?

      • TheExpatriate700

        If the nutjob is stupid enough to send crazy letters to people, he has only himself to blame if he is held to ridicule. My grandfather, who ultimately died of Alzheimer’s, never got this crazy. Some people just plain deserve to be made fun of.

        • Birdie1986

          This person is obviously mentally ill, so you can’t really compare him to Pat Robertson, who is obviously just a completely misguided moron. I agree that it’s in poor taste to mock this person.

          • NickDB

             How is the one obviously mentally ill and the other isn’t? I’d say they’re both batshit crazy.

            • RebeccaSparks

              Look, this person is clearly schizophernic according to book they use to diagnose mental illness.

              From the DSM-VI

              “Diagnostic criteria for Schizophrenia

              A.  Characteristic symptoms: Two (or more) for the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period (or less if successfully treated):

              *delusions
              *hallucinations
              *disorganised speech (for example frequent derailment or incoherence)
              *grossly disorganised or catatonic behaviour
              *negative symptoms, that is,, affective flattening, alogia, or avolition

              Note: Only one Criterion A symptom is required if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person’s behaviour or thoughts, or two or more voices conversing with each other.”

              While some religous belief might be bizarre, believers can probably still fuction, and their beliefs cannot be helped by antipsychotic meds like Risperidone.

              • Sebjowett

                Unfortunately his ravings are nothing new. I heard an extremely similar burst of vitriol in the mid-90′s from a co-worker. Someone somewhere is teaching this, and unfortunately some people are believing it, because someone will always believe something, no matter how crazy the rest of us think it sounds.
                And really, is it any crazier than ‘mainstream’ religions, such as Mormonism, which the possible next President believes to be true, when the bok of Mormon is so clearly a 19th century fake?

                • RebeccaSparks

                  We can debate on what abour religions are “crazy”, but this guy is showing -clearly- schizophenic tendancies.  It’s not the crazy beliefs so much as it’s the way he’s writing the letter. Here, from a web page about warning symptoms, here’s a list of the behaviors I think he shows in this:http://www.schizophrenia.com/earlysigns.htmExamples of Cognitive Problems Associated with Schizophrenia ——Making up new words (neologisms)–Becoming incoherent or stringing unrelated words together (word salad)–Frequent loose association of thoughts or speech- when one thought does not logically relate to the next. For example, “I need to go to the store to buy some band-aids. I read an article about how expensive AIDS drugs are. People take too many street drugs. The streets should be clean from the rain today, etc” The need to go to the store to buy band-aids is forgotten…….–Speaking in an abstract or tangential way. Odd use of words or language structure…–Nonsensical logic…–Obsessive compulsive tendencies- with thoughts or actions–Thought insertion/ withdrawal- thoughts are put it or taken away without a conscious effort–Conversations that seem deep, but are not logical or coherentSo let’s compare. This is Akin quote about legitamate rape:““It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”This is either extremely ignorant, crazy or both.  It is frightening ot think of this man making laws.  However, the whole paragraph is sensical.  Here’s our letter writer:“Here’s what went on in his camps during ice age battles of “The Survival of the Fittest” of Darwin’s law then: cannibalism!! Making Roast Dinners out of one another!! They even had contest to see who eats who!! That’s Facts of Truth!! by KNOWN eternal laws of Eternity!! NOT of THIS day old world!!  But OF Eternity which has this day old world IN it!  This day old world is the CRIB of Mankind where all learn by DIY mode.  And this Crib is in the Household of God, the Father, Hemant.  This solar system is His household.  YOu teach math in high school.  I’ve completed mathematics end to end!  …”This is all loose association and word salad.  This paragraph is not coherant at all.  You can use if for a textbook illustration of schizophrenia.  Akin might be crazy too, but he’s not speaking under the influence of a psychotic break.  I just hope that none of you Any-religious-person-is-mentally-ill-as- this-guy are intake psychiatrists.

      • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

        crack up: “Jesus meat”
        -r
        ha!
        cannibals.
        -=-

      • Fu

        “So, is the Dracula obsession really all that much more crazy?”

        Yes and no. Society and organized religion have made the other crazy beliefs that you list perfectly acceptable and normal. How it is possible that such palpably absurd things are  not mocked by 99% of people who give them any thought is a bizarre, fascinating, and tragic feature of our world. 

        As someone who has experienced the onset of extreme delusional mental illness in someone very dear to me, I have to agree with the posts here that argue that it is in bad taste. I’d reason that it’s analogous to posting pictures of burn victims and laughing about how ugly they are.

        The point that GodVlogger makes is valid in that we should focus our mocking, pointing, and laughing at people who should obviously know better.

      • http://bunnystuff.wordpress.com/ Jaimie

        I agree there may be some mental illness going on here. But really, this is no nuttier than some of the conspiracies theories I have heard when in the church. Humanist takeover of minds, rapture and antichrist theories, and the mark of the beast. All of them are so paranoid, so lacking in basic logic and reality, it makes the head swim. Reading about it is one thing, watching someone you know spout them is a different matter. You almost want to think these people are crazy, just to give them the benefit of the doubt. But they are just as sane as you or I. 
        Al Dracula may be the product of an unstable mind but, given the crazy I have heard, it may also be a new offshoot of another Christian branch.

      • unclemike

         The difference between Pat Robertson and this letter’s author is that Pat Robertson is on TV.

        That’s pretty much it.

    • Edward Tarte

      Hemant, I agree with Croquet_Player.   Accordingly, I request that you delete this posting.  Its presence diminishes the quality of your website.  Your marvelous award-winning website will be better with this posting not included than with it included.

      • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

        You guys are being SARCASTIC, right? I mean… right?
        -r
        -=-

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

        I agree that it is not nice to play mean to the mentally ill.  But I’d not ask Hemant to remove the post, just to remove the full letter with name.  Leave the first little part of the letter for the taste of what Hemant receives as “fan mail.”

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Another aspect is that by giving him this attention, are we enabling?

    • http://pythagoreancrank.com PythagoreanCrank

      +1 here too.

    • Baby_Raptor

      He emailed his ramblings to at least two different people, probably more. He’s looking to be heard. To me, that cancels out any privacy he should be given.

      Should people be insulting him as much as we collectively are? Probably not, but with the way christianists in general treat “The Other,” I’m not inclined to get up in arms about people insulting someone who threw insults first. 

      • EivindKjorstad

         Thing is, being mentally ill means sometimes being unable to protect his own interests. Sometimes people -do- need to be protected from themselves.

        I’m with the others, yes the letter is funny, but most of all it’s sad. And it’s obvious whoever wrote it has mental problems.

        • NickDB

           How is this person definitely mentally ill? The only difference between this crazy and the other crazy Hemant points out are the number of people who believe it.

    • Marco

      I have a feeling this is an elaborate hoax. I googled his name and there is practically nothing out there. The only relevant reference I found was his name as part of the list of a spacecraft that went to an asteroid. http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/overview/microchip/names2b13.html
      Other references don;t seem to be the same guy or are the usual “mylife” fake leads.

      What are the odds that someone capable of writing something like this has not divulged the same ideas already on the web?

  • http://twitter.com/m_ethaniel Mistletoe Ethaniel

    Wow.  Just, wow.

    I agree with previous posters.  This guy needs help.  Or a good night’s sleep.  Or SOMETHING.

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    We would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for that meddling old man.

  • Richard Hughes

    Hemant Mehta.

    Do not use your public soap-box to mock schizophrenics.

    It is beneath you.

    • http://twitter.com/savage1267 Robert W Edwards

      He’s not schizophrenic; or, if he is, he shouldn’t be writing letters to people.
      -r
      PS: again: forgot to be sarcastic.
      Just because he’s a jackass, doesn’t mean he’s diagnosed with anything.
      -=-

    • Toast4122

      When schizophrenics write funny things it is okay to laugh. 

    • jdm8

      What if this person sent this letter wanting his work to be distributed? Given that he writes to other people, he may be looking for a way to get his beliefs known.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Scoggin/100000044792747 Aaron Scoggin

    I don’t get it.

    • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

      Take one hit of mescaline and wait 45 minutes. You’ll get it then…

  • Pepe

    This surely can’t be a troll. Rite? rite?

    • Coyotenose

       It would be tremendously cool if it were a Poe, but sadly the length implies otherwise. :(

  • Aljaž Kozina

    I think this letter might have been computer generated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kwieser Karl Wieser

      I agree: a typewriter font, but it’s set full justified, and some of the formulas have subscripts of a different size. I think the whole thing my just be a hoax, or done for fun.

      • Anonymous Atheist

        I see nothing suspicious about this. This letter is simply written in Microsoft Word or the like, with the classic Courier New fixed-width (‘typewriter’-style) font, by someone who knows how to use some of Word’s formatting features (full-justification for body text, centering for headings, subscript/superscript, and alignment tabs).

        • The Other Weirdo

           Right. Just because you’re insane doesn’t mean you can’t hack into every missile silo in the world and trigger an apocalypse. I mean, I’ve seen that sort of thing in movies, so it’s probably real.

  • OregoniAn

    If Mitt Romney is going to send you fan mail – at least he could be dignified enough to sign it…

  • Ramswrsw

    I think this is simply an indicator of the extent to which so-called religious “faith” and mental illness overlap. The wilful disregard of objective reality necessary for adults to sustain a belief in magical invisible beings and versions of history, biology, physics that clearly contradict established fact is a form of psychosis which may be relatively mild in the wishy-washy “holidays only” church-goers, or fairly severe in the case of Westboro Baptists. As a psychotics version of “reality” comes under challenge, he/she slips deeper and deeper into a psychotic fugue state in order to maintain the core fantasy. Obviously this writer has encountered considerable challenge to his core fantasy, the existence of his special, magical, invisible friend who is the source of all of the writers validation and power. The writer’s ego fears that without his imaginary supporter his existence will be meaningless and he will be worthless. Thus, the retreat into psychotic fugue to protect the core fantasy is an act of survival.

  • Annonoguest

    AL DracuLA
    AL LA
    Allah

    He’s calling atheists secret Muslims.

  • Jvarley9001

    That “all of it” line…

    My good fellow, are you a Homestuck?

  • Fester Sixonesixonethree

    It’s insane drivel. The man’s clearly not in his right mind – eternally or in this day old world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    You know, I kind of wish I’d had this thought unprompted, but after reading several pretty good appeals to compassion below, I have to agree that we shouldn’t be getting our entertainment by mocking someone who clearly suffers from severe mental illness.

    As an EMT, I’ve seen people who should know better indulge in making fun of the mentally ill to their faces (or at least in earshot) and it never failed to piss me off.  I shouldn’t be doing the same thing here whether this guy will ever read it or not.

    Being the good guys is no fun some days.

  • EdStarr

    I’m a clinical psychologist experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.  This style of production is very familiar to me and would be to anyone else with training and experience in psychopathology.   It evinces a number of characteristic qualities of thought that are typical of psychotic process.Like several others who have remarked here, I too am uncomfortable with treating people who are ill and cannot help what or how they think as objects for poking fun at.  Ridicule of this sort is cruel and morally indefensible.  The man was trying to communicate with you in the only way he can.  Give him a modicum of understanding and show him some compassion.You also should not have allowed his name to be revealed.  In doing so, you set this man up for persiflage of the most personal.   He deserves better.
    Please remove it as soon as you can.

  • Kimpatsu

    Dracul means the Devil (Father of Lies), so he’s saying that if you reject his god, you worship the Devil, as these are the only two possibilities.
    I rather like the cannibalism bit, though. Can I have Hemant on Rye with extra mayo, please?

  • Cortex_Returns

    I totally get that this was a weird and amusing thing to receive, and that your first inclination would be to share it with other people. But as a psychologist, I also feel obliged to ask you not to make fun of this guy, and to remove at least the identifying information in the attached document.

  • Deltabob

    I must agree with several of the other commenters.  This person does appear to be mentally ill. I’m requesting this post be removed. Also, for those saying “if he’s mentally ill, then he shouldn’t be writing letters” as a defense for laughing about it…really folks – is that what you really think?

    • The Other Weirdo

       Maybe he’s crazy, but then again, maybe he meant it as a joke. You know, a really bad joke that only the mentally ill can come up with.  Why shouldn’t we laugh at his attempt at humour?

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

    I just wanted to echo the sentiment of the fact we should not be laughing at someone’s apparent mental illness.   To those who say, “Well it just sounds like any conspiracy theorist.”   Newsflash folks… some of those folks are mentally ill.  That’s the reason conspiracy theory appeals to them.  To them, it is confirmation of their paranoia.

    And whoever said, “If they are mentally ill they shouldn’t be writing letters.”  Seriously?!  Should I not be writing this post?  I have a mental illness as well. 

    • The Other Weirdo

       When House made the young female patient with no personality or memory cry while simultaneously insulting the two interns assigned to him, we all laughed. Don’t deny it. And why not? To paraphrase House, “Why not?  It’s not like she’ll know or remember why she’s crying.”

      The point is that it’s becoming more and more difficult to tell the supposedly obviously crazy who believe in invisible sky fairies from the supposedly sane who likewise believe in the invisible sky fairies.

      It’s not our job to mollycoddle everybody who sends us letters on the misguided–and offensive–idea that just because they wrote some crazy stuff they obviously are crazy. If we learnt anything at all from the Harold Harding fiasco last year it’s that he was different from other Christians only in that he put a date to his prediction. They all believe the same prediction, too, just without the date.

      Now who’s crazy?

  • Octoberfurst

     You know what the  really sad part is? If this reponse had been sent to Worldnetdaily people would have been congratulting the author for his “brilliant” rebuttal.

  • Danoposada

    I’m calling Poe’s law on this.

  • Sebjowett

    Al Dracula, the lesser known half cousin.

  • Guest

    You know what struck me first about this? Check out the margins. It’s a fixed width font, and the left and right margins are perfectly straight. It probably took some effort on the part of the letter writer to get that to happen on what looks like a typewriter.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      It’s not a fixed width font.  It’s either done on a word processor, or he’s a professional typesetter.

      Unless I’m mis-counting (possible) I’m seeing slightly different character-per-row counts (~70)

      • http://twitter.com/fengardice Fabio García

        It is a fixed width font, but it’s justified (spaces between words vary). It’s easy to check that the letters aren’t aligned vertically as they should be in a monospace font.

  • EdStarr

    Hemant Mehta;
    I am disappointed that you haven’t elected to respond to the reasonable and well meant critiques of this posting.  It was, to say the least, inappropriate.  Please do the right thing and address this candidly.  We non-believers regularly criticize the religious on the basis of their moral claims and ethical standards.  Rightly so.  But unless we hold ourselves to at least better than those we eschew, our arguments are hollow and baseless.  This is our responsibility to each other.

  • http://www.fanletters.com/ celebrity fan mail

    The fact is that, the stuff he is saying, is really no more crazy than the stuff routinely said by many christian leaders.

  • fan letters to celebrities

    I just want to say letter is funny… i’m not intervening it, but there is nothing interesting in it for reading.. 


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