This week, thousands of unsuspecting Chicagoans were greeted by precarious books in their mailboxes. The work in question is The Great Controversy: How Will It End?, a 377-page book originally written in 1858 by E.G. White, a founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
According to a note included in each distributed copy, the book "accurately depicts monumental events in history beginning with the destruction of Jerusalem, the rise of Christianity and how that faith became corrupted."
So that's fun.
The book is being sent by way of nonprofit-discounted postage by Remnant Publications, a Coldwater, Michigan–based publisher that has a penchant for saving souls. But Chicago isn't the only city that's been bombarded by The Great Controversy's religious mailings over the past few years. In January 2014, more than 350,000 copies of the book were sent to people across Charlotte, North Carolina, which equates to nearly half of the city's population. Later that year, the publisher sent out about the same number of copies to residents in San Francisco, which didn't get the best reception in a city that's well-known for being liberal. Last summer, Philadelphia was barraged with a swarm of copies, too.
The book aims to spread the message of Adventism, a 19th-century Protestant Christian movement that believes in the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ. It hopes to make readers see that "in the end, the great controversy between good and evil comes down to two choices—the traditions and religions of mankind or following the truth of the Bible."
Remnant Publications was not available for comment (it's closed on Fridays).
The book isn't exactly valued as a profound piece of literature—copies are available on Amazon for just one cent. One reviewer on the site said, "This is not a book to be tossed away lightly. It should be thrown away with great force."
In any case, it's not the worst kind of spam one can receive in Chicago. At least it's not a visit from one of those "secondary energy providers" insisting they can save you "hundreds" if you only let them in to look at your electricity bill.