When you were an active JW, did you ever have dealings with a pyramid scheme?

by Tameria2001 39 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Tameria2001

    I'm not sure why this memory popped up, and I was wondering if any others, when they were still active JW had dealings with a pyramid scheme involving other witnesses in the organization? At the time it was 1993, and my husband and I were still newlyweds. Once in a while, we would attend a neighboring congregation because that was where he grew up, and some of his family was still attending there at the time. One night before we left the meeting, my husband's cousin's husband pulled us aside and asked if we wanted to make some extra money and if we did, to show up at his home at a certain time on a different night. Money was extremely tight, and both my husband and I was thinking that he had some work for us. He owned a small company, and why we thought that. So on the night, we were told to show up, there were at least 4 other witnesses there as well. We soon discovered that we were not there for work or for a job, but a stupid pyramid scheme. He had all these charts and graphs explaining how we would make all this money, but we would have to pay him $250 to get started. Talking about irate, I was royally pissed. There was no work, no job, and a wasted trip to this person's home. At the time my husband was only bringing home about a $160 a week from his regular job. I did not know who most of my new husband's family was, but I took an instant disliking to this guy from that point onwards. Biggest slimeball ever in my book. Well, I shouldn't say the biggest slimeball, but one of many that I eventually came across in that organization.

  • stillin

    For a while there, every Multi-Level-Marketting outfit that ever existed would rear its' ugly head in the congregation's. Instant "downline!" And gullible! And lazy! And greedy! My wife tried several. I never cared about any of them. It turned a nice get together for dinner into a business proposition. Yuck.

  • blondie

    Herbalife was the only one that was big when I was in; I guess they realized that I was not interested (I was definte in my response)

    Out in the western US, there was some scheme with shark fin.

  • dubstepped

    Sure. I was caught up in this massive thing that overtook my life where I felt like anyone not in it was an idiot. I tried telling everyone, knocking on their doors, but they didn't want the miracle cure to life that I had for them. Either way I kept giving of my time and energy and money, never got anything tangible in return other than a feeling of superiority knowing that I had the secret to happiness, while those at the top got money and I was living a life of poverty and servitude slaving for a fairy tale that I bought in to. I might still have an old box of product around somewhere in the basement.

    Other than that, sure, I saw things like vitamins and supplements, legal aid, telecommunications, and other such mlms.

  • sparky1

    The biggest pyramid scheme of them all was Pastor Russell's idiotic theological 'wet dream' that eventually morphed in the religion known as Jehovah's Witnesses. That scheme hooked us all either willingly through personal religious conversion or was imposed upon us by our family of origin. Needless to say, there never was any payoff to the scheme for those of us who were unfortunate enough to get involved.

  • Ding

    Sparky1 beat me to it.

    When I saw the words "pyramid scheme," I immediately thought of Russell and his reliance on measurements of the Great Pyramid (in inches, yet -- a measure unknown to the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews!).

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    I traveled back to DC on a trip in the late 80's and visited a congregation to take in a meeting. I knew no one there, I was being an uber dub and just had to take in a meeting. First thing when I walked in the Hall an older guy who looked extremely prim and a bit fay introduced himself and started a sales pitch for some cosmetic line. What a turd. I excused myself and sat down. Those fake business schemes were everywhere. Often they were health product related gems.

  • LongHairGal


    That’s an interesting description you gave of the whole thing.. Amazing how one man’s idea morphed into this.

    But, even when I was there, it was common to have JWs who were into selling this and that or fads that they were into - usually health related (iridology, high colonics, vitamins and other products). I never got involved with any of it.

  • blondie

    I was even told by the jw Herbalife person that if I didn't want to be healthy then I was going against god's command to preach; I told uncle, an elder. He told me that she wasn't the only one doing this, but some of the elders were doing it. Has this died down since the 80's. It reminds of the tupperware days and Avon.

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy
    When I met my wife-to be, she introduced me to a sister in her congregation who was an agent for Noni. Having found out how much she was paying the sister for the snake-oil, I very quickly got her weaned off it.

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