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Advice on Email hoaxes and Activism

I received an email informing me of the death of 7 women at Gleneagles Hospital after they had inhaled some perfume samples mailed to them. The email goes,



***

URGENT NEWS
News from Ampang Gleneagles Hospital Important news to pass it on
Please spend 1 minute and read on.... News from Gleneagles Hospital (Ampang) URGENT !!!!! from Gleneagles Hospital Limited

Seven women have died after inhaling a free perfume sample that was mailed to them. The product was poisonous. If you receive free samples in the mail such as lotions, perfumes, diapers etc.. throw them away. The government is afraid that this might be another terrorist act. They will not announce it on the news because they do not want to create panic or give the terrorists new ideas. Send this to all your friends and family members..


Warmest Regards,
Mei ling
Gleneagles Hospital Limited
Human Resource Department
Tel: 03-4270 3474
Fax: 03-4270 3472


***

I suppose that people, ed included, generally get quite the feel-good buzz from taking action with immediacy as it validates their significance as intelligent/good/activistic/a notable fighter against evil a la ‘Justice League’, ‘Wonder Twins’, Popeye, or Ultraman. I’m inclined to think at times, that the path to Hell is paved with the ‘good works’ of such self-gratifying individuals.

We ought to just hold off, at least for a moment, and wonder if we could possibly be wrong - all articles written on this, amongst others sites, are a result of a war against my own previously sacrosanct beliefs, and I’m constantly looking for new evidence to contend with a2ed’s current findings and perspectives. I suppose, one could say, that this is metaphorically illustrated by Lord Nataraja who dances the eternal dance of creation and destruction - and whom I view as a religious representation of the idea of Dialectics.

Advice

The next time you receive such emails, or are inclined to follow any hallowed leader or oppositional movement, stop, and remind yourself that you’ll never be smart enough to discern truth in its entirety. Thereafter, do what you will, but always afford your chosen path, leader, party, etc, the skeptical eye as well.

As for such emails, just copy a couple of lines of the message, paste it into the search bar and ‘google’ or ‘yahoo’ it. If it is an unreliable message, you will find identical messages being returned in the search results, and some of which will be discussed at sites such as, nuketown.com, hoax-slayer.com, or breakthechain.org. The above message, if i’m not mistaken, is about 7 or so years old.

Most would prefer to err on the side of caution, i’d elect erring on the side of skepticism in the face of my beliefs and reflexes. At the very least, the latter produces less spam emails than the former.


a2,

ed

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