Sending eMail (The eMail addy is the two words of our name written as one word and our mail host is the popular one by Googol.) All spammers must DIE!!

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everybody’s eMail enigma

Due to a literally overwhelming spam problem, we were forced to implement a radical new eMail system. We held out as long as we could, but to no avail. The Can-Spam law so thoroughly aggravated an already grave situation that we had to take things into our own hands.

At one point, shortly after the “Can Spam” bill went into effect, I was processing over 3,500 eMails a day. All the Can Spam law means is that spammers now “Can Spam” you with impunity, without fear of retaliation or the authorities. (Of course that’s a redundancy: we’re talking about spam, right?)

stumper solution suffices

We disabled the editor(at)positiveatheism(dot)org account. That address hasn’t worked since December, 2006. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In the interim, we have opened a different account for Positive Atheism. The address is at the top of this page. You will need to type it in yourself.

(Remember, it’s “E” before “I” — just like it sounds: a•the·ism; just like it is: a•theism.)

We will (eventually) remove this address from the 4,000-plus HTML docs that sport it. Those “mailto” links will be replaced with links to this page.

wagering warily

filtering forgettable flotsam

highway heading home

The trick to ensuring that your eMail gets through is simple: use The Magic Word.

No, not “please”! That’s not The Magic Word around here! We’re all grown-ups now: politesse rocks, to be sure, but it’s not PAM’s burden to provide training in that realm.

Instead, use the acronym


somewhere in your eMail’s Subject line.

But to place the Positive Atheism Magic Word into the Subject line is to give your letter the fast-track to our Inbox: do not pass Bulk, do not collect dust in the folder for less-read eList subscriptions.

You may put whatever else you wish in the Subject line. (Hopefully it’s polite, because as we implied above, well-learned politesse rocks! Big-time!) But polite, neutral, or otherwise, make sure it also contains this one string somewhere in the Subject.

We’re easy: The Magic Word is not case-sensitive. You may enclose it in quotation marks, put a slash after it, or even make it part of a really long word, such as “youguysatposathmagsuck” or “geezeuslovesyounonetheless,” and it will still get through.

The Positive Atheism Magic Word is subject to change.

We are hoping to make all the mailto links conform to this new situation. Most mailto Subject lines, such as “Send_NBW_File,” have been entered into our filter so that they pass. There might be a few that we haven’t found so just type “PosAthMag” in there “by hand” just in case.

filters frequently flunk fancy-filled frittering

Were we still using a regular eMail account (such as editor [at] positiveatheism [dot] org) and not some commercial account, game-rules described in this section would apply with ferocity.

As these words light up the screen for the first time, however, what we now have is working fine for us, even if it is the only commercial (read: “free” or “ad based”) e-mail sercice we actually can use. We could not allow Hotmail, for example, to append ads to our replies. Even that form of advertising could abolish our standing for any Fair Use claim we might make, forcing us to remove much of what’s in our library.

If you don’t write PosAthMag in the Subject line, you still might get through. Stranger things have happened, to be sure. But without that word, here are some ways that are guaran-damn-teed to get your letter filtered off into the land of wailing at-signs and the gnashing of cyber-teeth:

Your eMail will never see the light of day if:

  1. the Subject line contains only “Hi” or “Hello
  2. the Subject line co++ntains the word “penis” or “viagra” or “money” (but doesn’t contain The Magic Word)
  3. the Subject line is blank
  4. the eMail itself is encoded in Base-64
  5. the eMail was sent from [anywhere]
  6. the eMail was sent by Troy Whitney

But then, keep in mind that these rules apply mainly for when we have our own eMail account, like the “editor”-at-our-domain account was. If the commercial account remains as problem-free as it has been thus far, then we won’t need to instigate these rules.