A mailing that went out to 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain’s
email list Tuesday said that President Obama is secretly leading the
United States toward the apocalypse. The email was a sponsored message from Nathan Shepard, who identifies
himself on his website as a "Bible scholar” who "decided that he must
become a survival expert, train and prepare for the worst disaster in
Shepard says that the United States is actually Babylon in the Book
of Revelation, and "the end times” the prophets foretold will come for
America in January 2017. He says America will be destroyed by Vladimir
Putin’s Russia in World War III.
Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, transferred his email list
from the short-lived presidential campaign to his company, which, among
other things, promotes his radio show.
When asked why Cain’s business sold sponsorship of the list to
Shepard, Dan Calabrese, the editor-in-chief of Cain’s website, said,
"HermanCain.com is a media organization … You have no more business
demanding the details of our business relationships with our advertisers
than we do demanding the details of yours.”
Cain has also rented his list to similar advertisers, including a
survivalist warning "your loved ones are in imminent danger,” and a
doctor selling a "brain protection kit” of supplements designed to
prevent Alzheimer’s triggers. With super-sized red text warnings, these
emails usually link to videos casting a dire picture of the country,
which in turn repeatedly tell viewers to continue watching or risk
missing out on some important bit of information that can protect them.
In this case, it’s a $60 discount on a survival pack to help you get through the apocalypse:
This is not the first time that former candidates’ lists have been used in unusual ways.
Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign, which remains millions of dollars in
debt, regularly rents its lists to those hawking survival goods warning
or the imminent start of World War III. Gingrich’s campaign took in more
than $15,000 from such messages in the first quarter of 2015. Because
Cain’s list is no longer controlled by his campaign, it’s not possible
to determine how much Cain has taken in from the emails.