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The Manifesto

June 6, 2018

On October 31, 2016 I received a manifesto in the mail from a gentleman who wants me to move in with him to help him finish writing his life’s work. The plan was for his wife and son to live in the house next door and he pitched it to me as a way to jumpstart my political science career. Which, I dunno, feels pretty jumpstarted already. Whatever. That’s not the point.

Homeboy sent me the unfinished manifesto as a stack of papers divided into folders, along with a 7-page personal letter detailing why he wanted me to live with him. This paranoid fellow found me from the Reader’s Digest article on me that was published in July 2013.

The various folders included words on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mind Control, and the Muslim Takeover (this was all written before the November 8, 2016 election). This guy believed Muslims were taking over (with President Obama as their leader) and that Hillary Clinton was an actor of sorts. Donald Trump was our only hope to protect us from the eminent doom of our country. The word paranoia falls short of adequately describing this guy’s existence.

Feeling concerned that a psychopath had developed a curiously strong interest in me, I alerted local police to the manifesto. The officer with whom I spoke gave me a bullshit dismissal and sent me on my way. There’s apparently nothing the La Verne police department felt they could do about a mentally unstable man sending a manifesto to a young woman.

So last I heard there’s a crazy guy who is living in the San Diego area and he has the propensity to write manifestos and send them to women who appear in Reader’s Digest. I don’t feel unsafe, but I do feel like I was on the receiving end of something a tad unnerving. Nothing good is ever associated with manifestos, ya know what I mean?

The package got to me when I was living in Los Angeles; I have since relocated back to Montgomery. I’m proud to report that I haven’t received any crazy mail in a hot second, so I can only assume that is the end of my manifesto-receiving days. It’s an end of an era. The dawn of a new day. No more psychopaths for me!

Now, I understand this is a weird thing to drop on you, dear mystery internet stranger or friend or whoever you are. If I had the manifesto with me and not in a box of important things in my parents’ house, I’d happily scan it and post it for you. But alas, it’s in the garage collecting dust next to high school yearbooks and letters from ex-boyfriends. Where would you harbor a manifesto if you received one? Right next to the acne and teenage angst, where it belongs.

All this to say: this is a thing that happened to me and I wanted to share it with you. There’s no moral, lesson, takeaway, or whatever. I was sent a manifesto. There’s the picture from my Reader’s Digest feature.

-Liz