Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Anonymous Remailer Services and creepy emails

For my email, I use GMAIL and have the notification turned on so I can see who the email is from and the subject. Just a bit ago, I received an email with subject "Books" from Anonymous. I was thinking maybe this person had used my contact form on my website to contact me about ordering some books or something pertaining to my series.

I jumped over and read the email. It was kind of weird. It really is from an anonymous person (due to the services of an anonymous remailer). I have no idea who sent it or why they are targeting me and my books. The email wasn't really bad towards me but towards 4RV in a round about way. I've seen comments on blog postings after I've left a comment that are nonsense type things and haven't really thought much about it. This email is kind of creepy though.

Here is the message from the anonymous person:

Hi Elysabeth,

I wanted to let you know that I've been reading various blogs about your book project. I think you've come up with a wonderful idea for children. I looked at the company's site for more info, but it doesn't look very pleasing. (Did you know they've been red flagged?) I'm glad to hear that you're leaving them because their books look terrible and I don't think you'll get noticed or taken seriously. Hopefully you'll be able to get better looking books with your new publisher and you'll be able to get them into our schools.

Good luck out there.

I tried sending a reply to the emailer and then got another response - basically saying that I couldn't reply to folks using the remailer service but could block them from sending me emails. Here is the reply from my reply email to the anonymous sender:

This message is being sent to you automatically in response to an email
that you sent to .

Most likely, you tried to reply to an email that has been sent through
this service. If you did not send an email to ,
please ignore this message.

The Anonymous Remailer is a free service that
allows individuals including crime victims, domestic violence victims,
persons in recovery, and others, such as those living under oppressive
regimes, to communicate confidentially in a manner that ensures their
privacy under even the most adverse conditions.

To block individuals using this remailer from sending email to your
address in the future, please send a message to
containing the line


anywhere in the body text of the email. You can simply forward this
entire email to using your email
program for your current email address to be permanently blocked
from users of the Anonymous Remailer.

For more information about the Anonymous Remailer Administrator's
strict anti-abuse policy, please send a blank email to


-- The Anonymous Remailer Administrator

It almost makes me feel like I'm being stalked. I wish I knew who sent it so I could figure out what they meant about 4RV being red flagged. I don't agree with them and perhaps they have another publisher confused with who I was with. Weird. Creepy. Unnerving. (I don't want to go into hiding, no I won't do it - lol)


Holly Jahangiri said...

That IS weird! For what it's worth, I just did a search and find nothing negative about 4RV Publishing.

It would be particularly hard to find, I think, given that their title, Confessions of a Former Rock Queen, by Kirk Bjornsgaard, was recently awarded the Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction.

elysabeth said...

I agree, Holly. I did a search right after I got the email but because I'm in the hot seat and have left 4RV sort of, I didn't want something to come back to me that I said it. So I posted everything that was sent to me - just so the world knows I'm not the one talking bad about 4RV or Vivian at all -

Thanks for stopping by - E :)

Holly Jahangiri said...

That's a good idea, but I doubt anyone who knows you would think you'd badmouth anyone; and even if you've left, you still have books with 4RV, right?

I'd be wary of any sudden flurry of interest from questionable publishers. (My "literary spammers" are even investing in snail mail and stamps, these days. I really ought to get one of those devices that turns junk mail into fake fireplace logs and sell 'em on eBay.) If you've recently left a publisher, they'll see you as ripe for the picking. YOU be the picky one.

Carol said...

yes, that is creepy. But my guess is that it is just spam. Strange world we live in these days!!!

WillowRaven said...

I agree w/ Holly. I even searched P&E, who are know for being brutal w/ 'label', but they have nothing neg on 4RV, either.

Someone is just trying to mess w/ you.

I know how it feel, I just had a cyber stalker a few mo.s ago, in indirect link to our JGDS books, too. Remember?

Vivian Zabel said...

Strange. I hope whoever leaves you alone.

Red tagged, huh? I don't even like red.

elysabeth said...

I did block all users from that particular service but there are apparently many more like it and they are likely to get through somehow. It's just weird that I got it and knew 4RV hadn't been red flagged for anything. It's still creepy, weird and unnerving that someone is talking bad about the company and we have no idea who it is - E :)

Holly Jahangiri said...

I'd just ignore it. Credible people sign their name. If there was anything to talk about, they wouldn't be the only ones talking. And using an anonymous remailer service is just plain chicken - a good reminder to "consider the source."