Subject: hello
From: Catalina Crain <richtrent@walla.com>

Even before I opened it, I could tell that this message was going to be spam. However, I expected the message it contained to be a generic spam message pimping out email addresses, prescription drugs, or OEM software like the vast majority of spam I receive. I have seen spam that told me that I should go to a website, call a phone number, or even fax all of my personal information to Nigeria. I have never seen spam that suggested I go to Amazon or Borders to purchase a book:
AMAZING TRUE STORY! A MUST READ! THE NEXT OSCAR WINNING MOVIE!

Celebrities, Drugs and Murder:

Title: Beverly Hills Youth: from Riches to Rags to Riches

This NEW RELEASE is Now available at:

www.Amazon.com
www.Borders.com
www.BeverlyHillsYouth.com



The book supposably tells the story of one Christopher Kehoe, who grew in Beverly Hills, knew O.J. Simpson as a child, grew up into a bad person, went to prison, and then redeemed himself through the power of the Lord. I assume this heartwarming story of redemption misses The book, written by a mysterious figure named G.C. Bourquin, was apparently published by "Back 2 Life Publication," whose website seems to be promoting some sort of recreational center in the Kansas City area. It proclaims "Welcomes you to our State-of the Art Non-Smoking and Alcohol-Free Entertainment Facility!," as if the viewer were standing in the foyer of a brick-and-mortar establishment instead of looking at a badly designed website. To compound the absurdity of the site, images on every page proclaim that the site, or the "entertainment facility," or maybe something completely different is coming in August 2005. The description metatag gurgles, "Welcome to the homepage... I can't waite until the whole CMS is done!"

But the story gets better. I stumbled upon the website for Back 2 Life Ministries, which is owned by the same Chris Kehoe and his wife. Despite the fact that two press releases for the book describe Chris as a "local thug", the couple seem like a normal American Christian fundamentalist family, from their six children to their reactionary views on homosexuality (including the choice quote "They are not born that way, just as murderers are not born that way."), music (proving for once and for all that fundamentalists have bad taste), and witchcraft:

If you have ever dabbled with or practiced any type of witchcraft (black magic, spells, curses, Ouija boards, packs with the devil (demons), etc.) Just know that through the Blood of Jesus (and only the Blood of Jesus) can break every curse and or stronghold.

The next time the devil attempts to help me move, I will let him know that I am not interested, and that the Blood of Jesus and I can pack up my stuff just fine, thank you.

The BeverlyHillsYouth and Back 2 Life websites are all hosted by One Way Web Stop (OWWS), which does not seem to have a Terms of Service statment anywhere on their website, which suggests that they are either not serious about ensuring that their clients keep to acceptable standards of Internet behavior. Also, the Better Business Bureau reports that the owner of OWWS is one Robert Kehoe.

They do have a "Promote Your Website" section, which includes "email marketing thousands of opt-in email subscribers all over the internet." Also of technical interest is their "Website Locker" feature, which they promise will " Encrypt your website's source code, protect your pictures, disable print and print screen. Totally protect your site from hackers, and stealers..." However, the Website Locker seems to be a 128 bit SSL certificate, which does absolutely nothing to protect website source code or picture.

The web behind this spam message is even more tangled than the previous book spam message I received. If I learn anything more, I will add it in the comments.