It started in May of this year with a random letter from some political project to 'save social security' addressed to my mother who is 85 and about mid-stage Alzheimer's. This letter indicated President Obama was going to put an end to Social Security and this was happening very soon. My mom sent in $50 in support of legislation that would work to ensure the continuation of Social Security. This scared her very badly as Soc. Sec. is most of her income.
The onslaught of political mail that followed was massive. I only recently learned many of these "non-profit" political concerns are sub-projects of another 'umbrella' having some inspiring name that makes you want to take your hat off and salute. The picture is of the mail collected over the course of about 1 month. It is a lot bigger now.
Apparently mother's donation got her on a list of those that give cash and was sold to every non-profit agency in the U.S. In particular is this outfit that calls themselves the American Federation of Responsible Citizens. Their mail is specifically targeted to the elderly and written in a consistent formula of 1) Personal Subject Matter; danger, make the reader afraid 2) create a sense of urgency 3) hit them up for money and make sure they know this is the ONLY method that will work to undo what was so eloquently explained in #1.
In the case of a recent letter mother received from the American Federation of Senior Citizens (another sub under the FRC) it followed the pattern: 1) Initiate fear, [in this case, fear that Social Security is ending and President Obama is directly responsible] 2) Create a sense of urgency [in this letter it states, "I cannot guarantee that you will be given another opportunity to sign these documents....there is some sense of urgency since cuts to your Social Security are currently pending and legislation is currently being considered that would: *Restrict the retirement age for people to collect benefits; *Eliminate Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA); *Use means of testing to determine who "needs" Social Security; *Eliminate the program entirely." 3) Hit the reader up for money [Final page of this letter: "Your crucial donation of $5000 or $2500 to the American Federation of Senior Citizens is the best way to guarantee that your fight and your voice for a stable and secure Social Security system is heard here in Washington....Your crucial donation of $5000 or $2500 in this election year can go a long way in making sure that your Social Security is the sacred trust you want it to be."
Now you and I both know without a doubt this is a scam from the word get-go. My mother, however, believes anything she reads in print. This disease is really affecting her, I can see the deterioration almost on a day to day basis. She has no deductive reasoning skills left but she knows she relies on Social Security and the threat of it ending will put her hard-earned way of life in jeopardy. The letters are written in such a way that they make the reader believe that by paying as much they ask, this is the only way to undo the "damage that has already taken place."
These people make millions off of the elderly and because of their non-profit status it is difficult to find out where the money actually goes. The slander I see as dangerous, indicating President Obama has lied to Congress and everyone, has breached the Constitution, has supplied guns to Mexican terrorists, is going to grant amnesty to every person that wants US citizenship and all their relatives... the smear campaign is unbelievable. My mother believed it however, every word.There is another one of these outfits operating under the name of Policy Issues Institute with a number of other names under this main one. Their 'dire' message is just as inflammatory.
Their "proof" is mostly outright lies, use of old data or no data to back up their stories, they take info out of context and publish it as truth or they just make something up. It's a SCAM, and my mom fell victim to it and was writing checks to ALL OF THEM. I have finally taken her checkbook away and won't give it back and we fight about it every day. Additionally, I have to get the mail (usually around 20 pcs EVERY DAY except Sunday when the mail isn't delivered, sort through it for bills and other important letters and not let her read all the political letters addressed to her. All they want is her money and if you read the fine print, these donations are not even tax deductible. The Task Force to Impeach Obama actually resorted to sending a Certified letter to my mother where she had to go to the post office and sign for it. In this letter they asked outright for her donation of $5,000! The others have since sent other letters wanting $600 minimum donation. I've often wondered what happens to these older folks that get this mail, make donations and don't have anyone to look after their affairs, no one to intervene...
I have written to everyone - to L.A. County Elderly Abuse, to Barbara Boxer, my Congresswoman, to the U.S. Postmaster General, to the Democratic National Committee, to The (CALIF.) Attorney General and finally to the Federal Trade Commission. No one is listening to me or they say there is nothing that can be done - except the FTC - I may be able to recover some of the money my mother sent to these political beggars. I've learned there is nothing that can be done to stop this mail as political mail is somehow protected especially in California where we live. The only thing you can do is to call each one of them and ask to remove your name from their mailing list. Thing is, if they even give a phone number, they don't answer it. I called this FRC org 5 times before I finally spoke to someone. Today I sent this story to the Los Angeles Times. I only hope they will print it.
I'm simply trying to get the word out. It's a serious issue and in no uncertain terms, another way the elderly are targeted and bilked out of their life savings. I am infuriated the way they took advantage of my mom in her debilitated condition, even if she was in her prime it's a shameful thing to do to somebody.