Who is Anthony De Croud?

January 17th, 2008

Robin Bloor



Anthony De Croud is a phenomenon. He’s the “missionary” who purportedly originated the chain-email that I wrote about in my recent posting Incredible Luck Guaranteed To Millions For Almost No Effort!

But is he real?

He’s certainly a popular guy. Google “anthony de croud” and Google will tell you there’s 20,600 pages out there that mention him. From the ones I read, it’s clear that virtually all the pages refer to the chain letters that have been circulating the world for years. Anthony (and the chain letter that bears his name) are clearly global, and thousands of the postings are in other languages.

Here are some examples:

In German: Wer ist überhaupt ‘Anthony de Croud’? Ein Holländer, ein Engländer, ein Franzose oder gar ein Chinese? In Italian: La fortuna viene dal Venezuela ed è stata scritta da Anthony de Croud,missionario dell’Africa del Sud. In Portuguese/English (a mixture of the two): Not fim diz that to letter foi commanded by Anthony De Croud, um missionário gives to Africa do Sul. Agora missionários you andam to ameaçar ace pessoas? Máfia Style? “Offer ace letters senão perdes or emprego and to tua family sofre”. In Solvenian: TO POŠTO JE PRVI? POSLAL ANTHONY DE CROUD, MISIONAR IZ JUŽNE AFRIKE. PRED IZTEKOM 96 UR MORAŠ TO POŠTO POSLATI DALJE. TVOJA SRE?A BO PRIŠLA ?EZ 4 DNI, and In Albanian (I kid you not): Fati do te preke per 4 dite qe nga marrja e kesaj letre. Fati vjen nga Venezuela dhe kjo leter eshte shkruar nga Anthony De Croud , misionar ne Afriken e Jugut. Tani eshte rradha jote qe ta ritransmetosh . Mos dergo para , por vetem kopje te kesaj letre , te gjithe atyre qe kane nevoje per fat.

My impression is that the vast majority of mentions are Chinese (or Korean or Japanese), but I have no doubt I could find references in Russian, Arabic, Hebrew and Urdu if I kept on surfing through the Google pages. Anthony gets around. I even (accidentally) stumbled into references to him on a self-publishing web site that was awash with conspiracy theory content.

Back in Time

Traveling back in time I found references to the Anthony De Croud chain letter as early as year 2000 on (I think) an Italian web site where the chain letter hadn’t yet acquired its “Chinese proverb”. Apart from the stories in the current letter, it also had some other “good luck” stories, including:

An RAF officer received $470. (Mild good luck) Joe Elliot received 4 thousand dollars and he lost it because he broke the chain (a cautionary tale). In the Philippines Dinners Wollaha lost his wife 51 days after receipt of the letter. He had circulated the letter and before death he received 7 thousand dollars. (I’m really confused by this one – was he lucky or not or did he break even??). Don Peulchile received the letter and threw it away and in nine days he was dead (if he’d kept it he’d have become immortal). And as for Anthony De Croud, this early version precedes him. It “comes from Venezuela and was written by St. Antonio De Group, un missionario del Sud Africa”. There is also a version authored by Barman de Croud (a missionary of Bergamo Alta). It is possible that Anthony De Croud’s name evolved from one of these two. (Note he is not related at all to Don Vanuchi, who inhabits a 419 scam rather than a chain letter. They went to different schools together.)

By the way, if you want the url AnthonyDeCroud.com, it’s currently available. I checked, but I didn’t buy it.

Also note: Anthony De Croud is closely related to Pearlas Sandborn.


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