I consulted a friend of mine who is much more entrenched in the publishing industry than I. From our IM conversation (he shall be known as "wiseman" to protect his identity):
wiseman: it's actually a fairly common but shady parctice
me: what's the purpose of it?
wiseman: there will likely be some "favourable" reviews appearing from it on products near you soon
wiseman: part of a corporate hype machine
wiseman: oh man i work in publishing ... it's rife
wiseman: well when it comes to sales alls fair in love, war and marketing
me: that's nuts.
me: what of the craigslist post then?
me: i mean, it sounds like something worth notifying craigslist about.
wiseman: oh they want writers
wiseman: they might even do a print run
wiseman: but it's very likely a marketing organ
Upon wiseman's advice, I did a whois query on the domain name. It is owned by a man named Zane Valenti and hosted by by Automated Resources Group, Inc., who handle marketing, PR AND web hosting. Oh, and don't forget SUBSCRIPTION FULFILLMENT. And the only hit google gave me on Mr. Zane Valenti is a reader review someone named Zane Valenti posted about another web hosting company in 2003.
Let the PR propaganda machine churn! I have an idea... I'm going to start a company that offers all of these great things in terms of fulfillment, and I'm going to invent a phony magazine to offer testimonials regarding the efficacy of my company's fulfillment products!
So what to do next... call the hosting company, notify craigslist, or try to contact Mr. Valenti himself through the emails listed for Raven magazine submissions?