Pyramid Schemes

by schnell 33 Replies latest jw experiences

  • schnell

    Several years ago, I was introduced to a "wonderful" company called Fortune Hi Tech Marketing by a brother and his wife. They had been introduced by a former sheriff who claims he had researched the company and found no leins or judgments, and that former sheriff had been brought in by a pastor.

    You can read what happened with FHTM on Wikipedia if you so desire.

    This whole new idea of multilevel marketing had my brain reeling, though, and soon enough, I actually signed up with none other than Prepaid Legal. Interestingly, I attended a PPL seminar in San Diego and found it to be... very, very, very similar to a JW assembly.


    I left it all and wanted nothing to do with pyramid schemes ever again. But I've noticed something about numerous JWs. Without higher education or good jobs, a minority of them get involved in such schemes.

    One sister in northern California was actually convicted for running a Ponzi scheme. That very sister had the nerve to tell me on Facebook how the world is getting worse, "like Sodom and Gomorrah."

    When I've tried to tell these people that pyramid schemes are not economically feasible, and that multilevel marketing IS pyramid scheming, and that it WILL fail, they are so stuck on the community and the money that they won't listen. It's as fascinating as it is frustrating.

    I also see that they too see the similarities between being a JW and being a distributor for such a company.

    Somewhat rarely, the brothers will make a point in a talk at a convention that pyramid schemes should be avoided. It does happen. But not enough, and I don't have to wonder why.

    Has anyone else observed this? Any similar experience?

  • scratchme1010

    I think that my JW training has taught me not to believe in any of that nonsense. I'm a innate skeptical, so I find it hard for me to trust any of those things that make promises of lots of money with little work or education. So no, personally I haven't fallen for that nonsense and doubt that I will as I have a profession I like and work in a place I like and am good at managing my resources to live well.

  • zeb

    there was a couple in Oz that the jw got into again out of need for money that their poor level of incomes never supplied.I never heard of the results.

  • GrreatTeacher

    If you have some time, look at the website Pink Truth which exposes Mary Kay cosmetics.

    Just a tiny percentage of recruits ever make the money promise, and it's not because you didnt work hard enough, as they'll tell you, but because the business can't support all the thousands of consultants that they keep recruiting.

    In fact, it's usually a losing proposition in which the recruits actually spend more money than they ever make.

    It's a clever expose of a supposedly "respected" home party plan (MLM) business.

  • schnell

    Yep, I've read Pink Truth. Great site! It also points out that some of the "top earners" with rings and awards and speeches and stuff aren't making much more than $20k a year after taxes and expenses. In other words, they could just go get a job and be better off.

  • William Penwell
    William Penwell

    Years ago when I was young and naive I was tricked into joining Scamway. I was out of it in a couple of years when I figured out that it was just a glorified pyramid scheme. I attended a few of their rally s and you are correct these MLM's have a lot of cult type of behaviour. Like how the followers follow company with out question and act like it is a religion.

  • jookbeard

    I remember the Herbalife craze here in the UK all those years back, many Dubs enrolled onto it, during my time as a Dub I never personally knew of any MLM/Pyramid/Ponzi schemes but I believe some years later some being sucked into a few.

  • pale.emperor

    I almost got took in by one a few years ago. The fact that my recruiter would ring me at all hours of the day trying to get me to sign up made me pull the phone out of the socket and research properly. Glad i did.

    The ones i know of here in the UK are Kleeneze, Herbalife

  • Fairlane

    I knew a lot of witnesses who became involved with amway products . A member of my family became so convinced of its merits he persevered relentlessly refusing to believe it would fail.... big disappointment followed, but of course everyone else was to blame !! The same person is now big on conspiracy theories of every description ,also still claims jws have the truth although is completely inactive and lives a life completely contrary to their teachings...go figure !!

  • stillin

    My wife has been in and out of several over the years. I still half-expect the FBI to come knocking because of one of them.

    I just recently ran into a Latino acquaintance who got into Amway about six years ago. He is still doing it and claims to be making money. But I wonder why he keeps his day job? He speaks good English and he can extend the invitation of great success to other Latinos, so he probably does have a decent "downline."

    We began attending meetings at a new congregation a few years back. The first brother to approach us wanted to lay the Amway spiel on us.

    Thir conventions do sound a lot like fundamentalist prayer-meetings! Lots of pastors and others who can prey on their congregations are involved in Amway.

    Easy, big money. Right.

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