Perhaps the most infamous chain letter, or email, known today is that of Katu Lata Kulu. Your choice is clear: send the message to someone else, or die.
People have been finding ways to create “chain letters,” for over a century. The oldest known platform for chain letters is the postal service. As far back as 1935, chain letters circulated for such schemes as, “The Prosperity Club,” or a, “Send-a-Dime,” network. Before long, the postal service was swamped with similar efforts.
The chain letter usually provides two elements: a backstory and a motivation to send it on. It might be an emotionally manipulative message (Microsoft will donate $1 to help this sick child for every email forward), or a get-rich-quick scheme (you’ll earn $100 for posting it on social media). Then, there are the more menacing letters than threaten violence, death, or the death of a loved one, if you do not comply. This is where the Katu Lata Kulu tale enters, but more will be provided on this in a moment.
Chain letters usually fall into one of two groups.
- Urban Legends- These can be health warnings, or some other “helpful,” information that you need to pass on. The offers of financial compensation for the ailing also fall into this category. These don’t really have any negative repercussions aside from wasting time and bandwidth.
- Hoaxes- This group is different. Individuals usually create hoax emails deliberately, with the intent to harm the end user. Such a letter may tell you to delete a necessary file on your computer. It may tell you to provide personal information, as with phishing web sites. These can be serious and can have dire consequences.
This brings us to the legend of Katu Lata Kulu. If you were on YouTube in 2007, you would have seen this phenomenon at its peak. The hoax went from the Inbox to the comment section. The legend goes like this:
Please don’t read this!
In 1945, a young girl named Katu Lata Kulu came over to America in a grey boat from Africa. A mysterious man killed her by cutting the word “LATUALATUKA” into her back. Now that you have read this message, she will come to your house on a full moon and steal your soul unless you follow these directions:
Retype this message as a comment for three other videos.
The origins of this practice are nearly non-existent. Research does not turn up any actual origin for the Katu Lata Kulu or LATUALATUKA.
Wikipedia once had a page dedicated to this notorious chain, but has since deleted it. This leaves only one final statement to be said of Katu Lata Kulu.