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Our Lady of Guadalupe Chain Email

by Brett M. Christensen

Like other chain emails, and similar hard-copy chain letters that predate the Internet, this message threatens dire consequences for those who do not forward it to others and good luck for those who do. The message claims that an attached image must be sent to at least 20 people within 13 days in order to receive “a huge surprise” and avoid bad luck.

In this case, the primary feature of the chain email is an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Roman Catholic icon that depicts an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a much loved and revered cultural and religious icon in Mexico.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is an important symbol of Mexican identity and the image is believed by many to have sacred and miraculous properties. However, this foolish and threatening email chain letter belittles and cheapens the cultural significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Mexican people and forwarding it serves no good purpose.
The “evidence” presented in the email is far less than compelling. The son of former Argentina president Carlos Menem was killed in a helicopter accident in 1995, but claims of a connection between the accident and the president’s supposed failure to forward an email is nonsensical and nothing more than idle speculation. In fact, it seems quite doubtful that this particular email had even begun to circulate at that comparatively early stage of the Internet’s history. And, for the record, the current president of Argentina is female and her son is alive and well. The other references to “a man” who won the lottery and one “Alberto Martinez” are so vague as to be virtually meaningless.

Chain letters of this nature continue to circulate because many recipients still hold a superstitious fear that bad luck will somehow come their way if they do not hit the “forward” button. Of course, the decision to “break the chain” or not will depend largely on the recipient’s personal belief system. What I can say with certainty is that, even though I have received hundreds of such emails and forwarded nary a one, I have yet to endure even one of the dire consequences that I have oft been threatened with.

Examples

Subject: FW: FW: Picture — see carefully

Sorryy guys cant risk it

The President of Argentina received this picture and called it ‘junk mail’, 8 days later his son died. A man received this picture and immediately sent out copies…his surprise was winning the lottery.

Alberto Martinez received this picture, gave it to his secretary to make copies but they forgot to distribute: she lost her job and he lost his family.

This picture is miraculous and sacred, don’t forget to forward this within 13 days to at least 20 people. Do Not Forget to forward and you will receive a huge surprise!!

Lady of Guadalupe Chain Email