Monday, 6 February 2012

HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND INFURIATE PEOPLE.

Why do some individuals fall for Ponzi schemes and multi-level-marketing hype? From my own experience of money-making rackets, I realize that my pride blinded me to the truth. These schemes are set up to generate substantial wealth for the folks at the top of the pyramid while the bottom level partners lose money.

My introduction to this supposed opportunity to earn an unlimited income came in 1982 when a member of my church introduced me to Amway. From my upcoming How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir, here is the account of my first experience as a multi-level marketer.

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"Now that you're in Amway, Bruce, you're going to have to hold meetings," Sister Eileen informed me as she drove me home from church the following Sunday. "Invite everybody you know but don't tell them it's about Amway. Say that you've got a business plan or a way to supplement income, depending on who you're talking to. Some people get nervous if you call it a business."

"Why can't I just tell them it's Amway?"

"People have heard some nasty things about the company, but they're all untrue. It isn't a pyramid scheme because products are involved. In a pyramid scheme, people send money to the person higher up in the chain and so on and so forth. The Amway opportunity lets people sell products and build their business as big as they want to."

That made sense but I still felt qualms about withholding information from people who had legitimate concerns.

Sister Eileen taught me how to present the plan that afternoon. Filled with excitement, I sat by the phone after supper with my address book. I opened it and dialled each of my friends from A to Z. Instead of being eager to visit me and find out about the opportunity, each one became suspicious when I evaded their direct questions. Some friends remained cordial afterward but I lost most of them, including my CB buddies, that night.

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How I Was Razed is the testimony of how God showed me his true nature after charismatic house church elders misled me for more than fifteen years. You're welcome to contact me directly for more information about this upcoming paperback.