Reactions in Metro Detroit range from anger at being targeted to disinterest, tossing the unopened book in the recycle bin.
Have you received a purple envelope containing an unsolicited book in the mail recently? If so, you are not alone. And no, it is not one of those things you ordered when you were half asleep; this was intentionally sent to you. In a wave of mass mailing, thousands of copies of Changed by Tom Cantor were sent to Jews to persuade them to become Jewish Christians.
Joel Amster of Roseville and Cheryl Glaser of Oak Park both received the book and threw it out. Glaser said, “I actually did glance through it and slowly began to see what it really was. I put it in the recycle bin with the newspapers thinking it hopefully would be shredded up.”
Cantor, a California businessman, was raised Jewish. In Changed, he shares his journey from a rebellious child to troubled teen to an adult filled with anguish and despair. “My sins were so many that when the call came in the Yom Kippur service to remember them, I really didn’t know where to start,” he writes about his childhood.
Cantor was expelled from schools, traveled through Europe, graduated and increasingly felt “dirty,” both physically and morally. When he meets his non-Jewish future wife, Cheryl, he believes this is his chance to become cleansed. “At last, a union with her was going to liberate me from my own guilt, shame and despair.” However, Cheryl was raped and became pregnant, which devastates him, and Cantor filters the situation through his own needs and emotions.
He searches for cleansing, and he finds it in a church. He writes, “I did not have to obey a set of kosher laws for what not to eat. To be cleansed all I had to do was just believe and receive Jesus Christ as my Passover lamb.”
Cantor spends millions of dollars every year sending unwanted books to unsuspecting people, in hopes of converting them to his beliefs.
According to Randell Angius from Cantor’s medical company, Scantibodies Laboratory Inc., Cantor purchased names and addresses from mailing lists. Many are Jewish, but some are affiliated with churches as well. “I thoroughly apologize if you were offended,” she said, “He wants to share his story to inspire people to invite Christ into their hearts.”
Reactions in Metro Detroit range from anger at being targeted to disinterest, tossing the unopened book in the recycle bin. Donna Edwards of Oak Park has not read the book. “Don’t we have enough tsuris without some misguided person telling us that we, as a people, need to be ‘changed’ in some way?”
Joe Lipman of Clawson immediately recognized it as propaganda and plans to put his in the trash.
Carolyn Normandin, regional director of ADL Michigan, said these mailings are proselytizing, which is usual for some religious organizations. “There are a lot of people who feel it’s their mission to convert. The goal is to get as many people to listen as possible. It is disruptive.”
When asked if this was antisemitic, she said no. “Generally, proselytizing is not antisemitic in nature. It is offending, but not threatening.”
When Angius was asked if this method works for Cantor, she said they have received hundreds of positive responses, mostly from churches. However, she admitted Cantor has received many negative responses from people who have received the book. “Not as many, but fairly close” to the number of positive responses. “It was not his intention to offend anyone,” she said.
To be removed from Tom Cantor’s mailing list, call (619) 258-9300 x5194 or email email@example.com.