craig shergold myth
Jon Eidson (EIDSON@TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU)
Fri, 12 May 1995 14:59:11 CST
I am forwarding this for all to read. No discussions or replies
are necessary. Jon Eidson, Listowner Scouts-L
Your mailing list was one of the recipients of the request for
cards for Craig Shergold. I am just trying to let you know that it is
a phony. You can decide if you want to post the information below.
I suggest that you check out the Guiness Book of Records first,
just so that you know that I am not the one pulling your leg.
I just dread the thought of still more worthless paper burying the
Children Wish Foundation.
Gary Levin/Bellcore RRC 1H214/444 Hoes Lane/Piscataway, NJ 08854
> Subject: STOP IT!
> Date: Thu, 11 May 95 12:28:42 -0400
> From: Gary Levin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Please check out the Craig Shirgold entry in the Guiness Book of Records.
> He was 7 about 10 years ago. He had an operable brain tumor, and he survived
> nicely. He also lived in England, not NH. The Children Wish Foundation
> won't thank you for the useless flood of mail.
> Here is more precise information. Yes, I did check out the Guiness Book
> of Records myself to see that this was indeed the case.
> Gary Levin/Bellcore RRC 1H214/444 Hoes Lane/Piscataway, NJ 08854
> (908)699-3754 email@example.com
> Here's some information I received about the business card hoax
> -------------------- begin forwarded message --------------------
> Subject: You've been taken by the Craig Shergold myth.
> You've probably heard this by now, but that Craig Shergold
> note about a sick kid wanting business cards is bogus. Here's
> the story.
> Date: Thu, 14 May 92 16:26 GMT
> >From: Jean-Bernard Condat <0005013469@MCIMAIL.COM>
> Subject: File 2--Resurgance of a Myth ("The Dying Child")
> The resurgence of a myth: Craig Shergold
> If you happen to see a message on your local packet BBS about sending
> post cards to a dying child, you might wish to consider the following
> and perhaps even follow up on the BBS message.
> If you call the "Children's Make a Wish" foundation, you will find
> that they are not soliciting any form of card for Craig Shergold or
> anyone else. Better yet, if you call the Guinness people (US
> publisher is "Facts on File" @ 212-683-2244, ext. 336), you can get
> this same story confirmed. You will also find that they will no
> longer endorse or support any effort to break this record.
> Many years ago, Craig Shergold had a brain tumor, believed inoperable.
> He sought to set the Guinness record for get-well cards. The call was
> well-publicized, and he did, indeed set the record (consult a recent
> edition of the book--he has received in excess of 16 million cards
> to date; he officially set the record as of 17 Nov 1989).
> As part of this whole story, his plight caught the attention of John
> Kluge, the US billionaire, who paid for Craig to come to the US and
> receive specialized treatment. As a result, Craig has recovered
> completely from his tumor. He is also no longer seven, but well into
> his teens (you can see how out-of-date the request for cards is from
> this--it's like circulating a letter encouraging people to vote for
> Carter for President).
> The problem is that the mimeographed sheets and letters seeking cards
> for Craig have continued to be circulated. As a result, cards
> continue to pour in to the post office for Royal Marsden Hospital in
> England. Worse, the appeal has mutated into various other versions,
> such as an appeal for business cards, one for postcards, and another
> version that appeals for holiday cards.
> The Shergold family has publicly appealed many times that people cease
> to mail them cards and letters, and that no more appeals be made on
> their behalf. One easily accessible way to verify this is with the
> article on page 24 of the 19 July 1990 NY Times. People Magazine wrote
> an article about it on June 1, 1991, page 63. Even Ann Landers has
> carried an item on this [6/23/91], but people still keep trying to send
> cards. Both Guinness and Royal Marsden have repeatedly issued press
> releases asking people to stop circulating requests for cards, as they
> are creating an undue burden on both the hospital and the postal service.
> The Guinness people have discontinued the category to prevent this
> kind of thing from ever happening again, and are doing their utmost to
> kill any further mailings. The Royal Marsden Hospital is at a loss
> what to do with the cards that continue to arrive--most are being
> sold to stamp collectors and paper recyclers, and none go on to Craig.
> This appeal for Craig, as well as many urban legends, regularly appear
> on electronic bulletin boards around the world, and in many
> organizational newsletters and bulletins. It is both heartening and
> unfortunate that there are so many well-meaning people who continue to
> propagate these stories. It is too bad that so many people are
> unwilling to verify their information before passing such things
> along, especially when a simple phone call will suffice to do so. In
> this case, opening a recent copy of a book carried by nearly every
> library and bookstore would illuminate the situation.
> If you would still like to do something for a dying child, consider
> making a donation to a charity such as UNICEF or to the International
> Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Magen David). Many thousands of children
> are dying daily around the world from disease and starvation, and
> countless millions more are suffering from the ravages of war, famine,
> disease, and natural disaster. Think how many of them might be helped
> by the millions of dollars in postage spent on cards to Craig
> Also, I encourage you to save this announcement, in either electronic
> or hard copy form, and to post it to any bulletin board you've seen the
> original plea on. If you see it in the future, as you probably will,
> you can attach a copy of this announcement. Wouldn't it be great to
> finally kill this story, which spreads like a virus? - JBC]
> Forwarded by:
> Dr Jean-Bernard Condat
> Chaos Computer Club France [CCCF]
> B.P. 8005
> 69351 Lyon Cedex 08, France
> 1. PR Newswire: "Young Recipient of Millions of Greeting cards undergoes
> successful surgery." March 5, 1991, 585 words;
> 2. PR Newswire: "Requests for cards and letters for Craig forwarded to
> Make-A-Wish Foundation (Craig Shergold)." April 5, 1990, 350 words;
> 3. "Youth who set card record takes vacation." in: Sun Sentinel (FL),
> Nov. 6, 1990, page 17A, 158 words;
> 4. Rose BOCCIO: "Deluge of cards swamp sick boy, give him record." in:
> Sun Sentinel (FL), April 4, 1990, page 4B, 528 words;
> 5. Jane SEABERRY: "Boy gets more than get-well wishes: life virginia
> billionaire pays for his surgery." in: San Francisco Chronicle, March 22,
> 1991, page B3, 748 words;
> 6. "Get-well cards; enough already." in: San Francisco Chronicle, August
> 9, 1990, page B4, 538 words;
> 7. Ann LARDERS: "English Boy with tumor will be fine." in: Akron Beacon
> Journal (AZ), June 23, 1991, page E8, 643 words;
> 8. Jane SEABERRY: "Fairy-tale ending for get-well-card king." in: Akron
> Beacon Journal (AZ), March 21, 1991, page A1, 943 words;
> 9. David GROGAN: "Miracle in the mail; little Craig Shergold's recovery
> was in the cards; brain tumor patient goes for world record in get-well
> cards." People Weekly, vol. 35, page 63(2), June 10, 1991;
> 10. Robert ALBRECHT: "Get-well cards continue after "Guinness" record try
> has ended." in: Colombus Dispatch, May 3, 1991, page 8C, 494 words;
> 11. News Editors: "Make A Wish: Update on Craig Shergold and erroneous
> chain letter." March 4, 1992, 433 words;
> 12. "Don't keep those cards and letters coming, folks." in: Orlando
> Sentinel, June 20, 1990, page A6, 421 words;
> 13. Paula MONAREZ: "Well-wishers help sick boy attain guinness record."
> in: Daily News of Los Angeles, April 8, 1990, page L3, 563 words.
> ((Moderators note: The ease of electronic communication helps spread
> urban legends rather quickly. Despite subsequent disclaimers, they
> often continue to spread. Two recent examples include the "chocolate
> chip cookie recipe" and the "FCC modem tax". Perhaps somebody could
> write a short article on "urban legends and computer dissemination)).
------- End of Forwarded Message
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City