You’ve Won! Or have you? Is RaffleWinner#33 Performance Art, Prank, or Fraud?

There’s a puzzling fraud that’s been going on using the Erowid name. Beginning in 2018 and continuing through 2020, several people have emailed Erowid trying to claim a prize they ‘won’ through an alleged Erowid raffle ticket. Yet Erowid hasn’t participated in nor offered a raffle of any sort in more than a decade. These raffle tickets were not issued by Erowid Center and there is no prize to be claimed.

Inside of the fake Erowid raffle ticket card.

So far, we have limited details. What we know…

  • The so-called ‘tickets’ appear to be a collage based on a photocopy of an old (actual) Erowid raffle from the Mind States 2008 conference with the addition of a 2009-era Erowid logo.
  • A couple of people have specified that they received it by (snail)mail. One person said it was left “in a card at their door”. (eek!)
  • In at least one case it was pasted inside a greeting card style card with a cover that had “gefeliciteerd” (Dutch for ‘congratulations’) on it.
Cover of one of the fake Erowid
winning raffle tickets.
  • The cards bear a ‘WinnersCode’, referred to as ‘RaffleWinner#33’.
  • One person claims they won “because of a donation”, and the card itself says “thank you for your generous donation to Erowid”

These tickets are not related in any way to bona fide donations made to Erowid Center. It has been suggested that it might be a research chemical vendor that is sending them out with purchases, but we haven’t been able to verify that (or which vendor). Erowid definitely isn’t involved in whatever transactions happened prior to the arrival of these cards.

We’d love any help in tracking down what’s going on so we can try to reduce confusion!

Highest Number of Current Members Ever

We’re still 7 hours away from the end of this donation drive and the close of March 10 2018 at the International Date Line (GMT-12). Fire is still working on merging in the 386 donation records from all the various payment methods in the last three days.

But, as of March 9th, we are now at the highest number of “current members” we’ve ever had, around 1750.

The definitions are pretty complicated, since some donors do not like to be called members and other people move and it takes a while to figure out if they are the same person.

About 3000 individuals have donated each year over the last few years, but only around half donate $30 or more as “members”.

It’s a fabulous service to the world by these 3,000 people.

PS: Fire wants me to make sure to say that these numbers are approximate :]

The Church of Sleep – Sleepists & Dreamists

Fire had a dream last night where she went to a religious retreat that was oriented around “Sleep as Prayer”. Participants were required to sleep more than 12 hours, but could not stay in bed more than 16 “because it would attract the wrong sort”.

In the dream, “Somnambulation” was the term that stuck in her head. Beds lined up like military cots. Fire and Earth were coming in late and had to pull a bed out lengthwise, we had to pull it out in order to get into our spot because there was no walking path without rearranging the beds.

In what-seems-not-to-be-dream life, there is no question that we are believers in the Church of Sleep. Sleep cures physical and spiritual ailments of all sorts and scientifically brings us closer to the Atman / Buddha Mind.

And, of course, the curious, dubious, yet telling world of dreams.

Get back to work!

3-Methylmethcathinone? Nope, 4-MMC

We’ve been getting samples sold as 4-methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone, 4-MMC), but there has been discussion online and some submitters have suggested that much of what is sold as 4-MMC is, in fact, 3-MMC. The argument is that the positional isomer, with the methyl on the 3 position, has similar effects, but is not strictly controlled in some jurisdictions where 4-MMC is specified, but positional isomers are not covered under some countries’ laws.

We obtained a 3-MMC standard from Cayman this week and DDL ran it through their equipment and re-ran a recent sample that a submitter said might be 3-MMC. The standard for 3-MMC had a distinct retention time in the GC (Gas Chromatograph), meaning that it is easy to differentiate as a different chemical from 4-MMC. While the Mass Spectrum fingerprints of 3-MMC and 4-MMC are nearly identical, the different retention times cause the two chemicals to show up as two separate “peaks” in the GC output.

See EcstasyData 4178.