This story is almost too good to be true. The Book of Tiki (Taschen, 2000) is world's best book about Polynesian Pop, written by tiki expert extraordinaire, Sven Kirsten. It's loaded with photos of tiki mugs, wooden tikis, shoddy dingbat apartments with South Pacific motifs, great old tiki restaurant decor and menus, etc. I treasure my copy.
Anyway, Sven discovered that some scam artist has been sending out junk mail flyers promoting some kind of new age tiki cult and ripped off countless photos from his book.
Since the BOOK OF TIKI was published in September 2000, images from its pages have been copied for CD covers, web sites, paintings, shirts, boxer shorts, erasers, and other products, and I have enjoyed them as proof of its influence on contemporary pop culture.
But never would I have believed to come upon such flagrantly unauthorized, absurd and hilarious abuse such as this, being entirely composed from art and images from my book. In essence this is a classic junk mail scam, asking little old ladies to mail in money for miraculous results.
I feel very conflicted, since this is the funniest thing I have ever come across, right up my alley, along the lines of the Church of Subgenius and other cult parodies. As a matter of fact, it is like taking the mock scientific style of my book to its logical conclusion, pronouncing it to be a REAL cult! Yet I fear that there is a remote possibility that someone will actually buy into this stuff, even though the text and concept are so far out there, it all seems like a joke. Let's hope no one does.
Will anyone fall for this? The funniest part is that the scammer (who calls himself "Great Maori Magus HAAPAPE TUARII") is using a photo from the book of a waiter from a Polynesian restaurant to depict himself.
Make sure to read the come-on copy in of the junk mail flyer. It's a real hoot. I'm tempted to mail in the $(removed) to join.
Link (via Eye of the Goof)