Dear Illegitimate Debt Collectors…

Last year I had to go to physical therapy for an ankle injury.  Long story short, they’re trying to bill me for an appointment that I never went to.  I dealt with the office, who said it was resolved.  I dealt with the office’s parent hospital, who said it was resolved.  Now I’m dealing with the hospital’s debt collectors, who have told me that it’s resolved (but keep sending me bills).

So this is an excerpt from the letter I wrote this morning to dispute the balance…..

I am not going to pay this balance.  Not now.  Not ever.  Not even a little bit.  I’m completely serious when I say that I’ll never, ever, ever send you or anyone else any money at all in reference to this balance.  Every time you mail me a bill in reference to this matter you’re killing a tree for no reason…because I’ll never, ever, ever send you any money.

So please stop mailing me letters.  When you kill trees for no reason Amazonian villagers lose their homes due to deforestation.  Forced to move from their villages into cities, the natives have no way of navigating the new economy forced upon them.  Facing the desperation of their new reality the natives’ lives spiral out of control into a drug fueled depression.

The city-dwellers, never having seen the natives thriving in their villages only a few short years earlier, make the same mistake that Allan Holmberg did in believing that the Siriono were “among the most culturally backward peoples of the world….Living in constant want and hunger….they had no clothes, no domestic animals, no musical instruments (not even rattles and drums), no art or design (except necklaces of animal teeth), and almost no religion.”  Holmberg reported that the Siriono could not count beyond three or make fire and reported that they were “living exemplars of primitive humankind—the quintessence of man in the raw state of nature”.  Allan Holmberg—Nomads Of The Longbow (1950).  Since I’m sure you’re well aware of 20th century Andean anthropological studies I have no need to remind you of Holmberg’s famous mistake, in that he judged the overall ability and worth of the many on his observations of the few, well after their society had been ravaged by war and disease.

These false beliefs about the now heroin addicted Amazonian natives influence voters, then politicians, then public policy….which in turn only exacerbate the problem of dangerous environmental policies in an area that is responsible for producing 20% of the Earth’s oxygen.

Let’s get serious about these very real issues.  Issues that you and your company are only making worse by repeatedly sending me letters to collect $35.02 that I do not owe.  I’m a giver.  You should be too.  Give back to Mother Earth—She’s done so much for you.

Thank you for your prompt attention in this matter.