We in the newsroom have always applauded ourselves for reaching the masses, but we never in our wildest dreams expected to receive a 120 page letter to the editor from a resident of a small town in Germany.
Still, about three weeks ago, we did. A large manila envelope arrived in the Daily Journal newsroom with a forwarding address of Ellerndam 11, Deutschland.
Inside the envelope were a cover letter and a lengthy document composed in German on fairly high quality paper. The cover letter was dated October 30, 2007. Aside from the date, we could not understand a single word of it. A quick Google translation revealed this much:
“Dear Sir or Madam,
Attached I send a couple of documents and facts about the scientology church and organizations that are or may be deprived of you, and could be of interest.
The main document was dated March 3, 1999 and addressed to the United Nation Commission for Human Rights. The text had no paragraphs or page breaks of any kind. While a translation of the entire letter, manifesto, novella, whatever the case may be, is not on our agenda, it is pretty obvious it has something to do with Scientology. The word is repeated several times in all caps throughout.
A dimes worth of research put us in touch with another publication, the Cadiz Record of Cadiz, Ky. Cadiz Record Reporter Franklin Clark composed a piece in 2011 when the Record received the exact same letter at their office.
Clark said he gets calls all the time from other publications receiving the same letter.
"There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. It doesn't matter the size of the paper, big or small," Clark said.
The date of receipt of the letter is also very staggered. This publication received the letter in September 2013, two years after the Cadiz Record received theirs. The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, North Attleboro, Mass., received the same package in June of this year.
Whatever point Sasse may be trying to get across must certainly be important to him. Assuming he is spending his own money on postage and duplication fees this project must certainly be costing him a pretty penny. And while this reporter loves nothing more than to hold those in power accountable, it might help if he could read the darn letter. A request to the editors for a three-week expense paid trip to the German Alps for further investigation was not approved as of press time.
Pat Pratt is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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