Pyramid Selling Groups or Cults?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Ben W, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    I have a friend who is quite a close friend, yet some while ago he decided to get into some type of Amway type thing where he began to sell these cleaning products on commision. That is cool, I mean everyone has to have a job and if selling stuff from home works for you that is sweet.

    Yet have you had the experience which I am having now in that whenever you talk to your friend the conversations always lead to how wonderfull these products are and how I could make all this money by becoming a seller of it blah blah blah?

    How do I reclaim my friend back from this group which seems to me to be operating in a manner not unlike certain fringe churches?
     
  2. jimbob

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    I have experienced the same thing. It was Amway in this case. I always take the direct approach, and your close friend will get mad, and then get over it, just like mine did.
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    he's gone man! let him go! the Amway people are stronger than anyone else on the planet...I mean look at those cars they drive! ;)

    in some instances I'd rather have a friend join a cult than one of these pyramid schemes that tries to sell Christianity as a part of the deal. I can at least reason with them once they've joined the cult and win them back into the fold.
     
  4. donnA

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    I don't know much about this type of thing(amway?), but have known a lot of people who sold products from home, they all talk about their product and beleive in it as a good product. Many women make extra money for thier families by selling make up, home interior stuffs, house cleaning products,scrapbooking products, and one I heard of I will not mention. I've been asked many time if I wanted to sell also. They get a commision for every new person they sign up to sell. And like Mary Kay if you can reach a certain level of selling in a year you get a pink caddy(don't know if they still use pink since their signature color is now silver).
     
  5. Marcia

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    In many states, pyramid schemes are illegal. Some of them are cultic. We are not talking here abut just selling products like Avon or Mary Kay, which as far as I know, are not pyramids.

    But some companies that heavily pressure you to recruit others, or that promise you big bucks when you recruit others and when they recruit yet more people, are often pyramid schemes. Ask a lawyer in your state or maybe a state legislator re your state laws on this.
     
  6. Marcia

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    Ben, I just realized you are in Australia so the post about state laws does not apply. I do not know the laws in Australia on this.

    I would find out more about the group your friend is involved in - some of them are externally Christian groups with cult-like leaders. Ask him what the group is and who heads it up. Is the person promising spiritual benefits to those who work and sell for the company? There is at least one company that does this and it is fraught with false teachings and other problems.

    If the above is not the case, I would just be frank and tell your friend that you want the friendship back - without the product hype! Tell him it's taking over the friendship.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    The only "church" that is built on an Amway-type multilevel profit-making program is L Ron Hubbards Scientology.

    You buy your way in. Buy your way up. And sell off to downlines.

    Multilevel businesses are not for everyone but they are an integral part of our economy. Many products NEED the individual information and sales advice of trained staff that they would never get in a regular store.

    We have some enzymes that sell for $100 a bottle. Next to them is a different type of enzyme that sells for $7 a bottle. Unless we explain to people which one may be best for them, they will always opt for the $7 bottle. I would to!

    BTW, Amway is a nice clean business. Founders are all avid born-again christians and they sell soap. Can't get much cleaner!!
     
  8. AVL1984

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    True, Dr. Bob. I know many in Network Marketing, including my wife. We've tried Amway, and it wasn't for us. :( We eventually settled on Pre-Paid Legal Services out of Ada, OK. :D It has been a good business for my wife, and like any business it takes time and money to build a clientel. We personally used the services before my wife became an associate, and have found them to be quite helpful. Last year when the airlines wouldn't refund money on airline tickets, even though we had purchased the flight insurance to cover the possibilty of anything happening that would stop us from traveling, we called our provider attorneys and faxed them the appropriate information, and the matter was settled. We got the full $685.00 back and a letter of apology from the airlines. They have helped in several other situations as well.

    To compare network marketing to a cult is not really accurate except to the extent that many IFB churches have one "come in" and then "sell" Jesus and their 1-2-3, pray after me mentality to others. I believe it's called easy believism. Plus, let me ask, would anyone really be interested in a business (or even the Lord) if the person who was involved showed little or no interest? I know I wouldn't.

    AVL1984 [​IMG]
     
  9. Glory Bound

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    I suppose it all depends on what you consider a "cult". Most (if not all) MLM's (Multi Level Marketing business types) have similarities to cults. I've read from non-religious sources about the cultic attributes of MLMs.

    I've seen the faces and heard the fervent excitement of people in the direct marketing business. The MLM companies constantly need to pump up the distributors to build excitement. It's actually a little scary sometimes. Like a cult.

    As far as legality is concerned, a true pyramid company is not legal in the US. MLM's must stay within certain legal guidelines (for example, prove that distributors are selling product and not just recruiting others). I know they operate around the world, closely watching and staying within the guildelines of the law.
     
  10. jimbob

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    Dr. Bob...
    I had heard that the Amway folks were christians.

    I just find the effects disturbing, this selling environment has on the people whom I have met who have done this.
    They seem to become consumed by selling, and trying to recruit sellers. It is a little creepy to me.
     
  11. Marcia

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    There are Christian cults and Christians who get into cults. This is not that uncommon.

    Not all MLM's are cultic but many of them have cultic characteristics. I recall when there the MLM's were getting big back in the 80's -- most of the ones I knew of were New Age. Now the Christians are imitating the New Age methods and other stuff.

    Have to go out of town so will not be responding here for a few days, assuming it's still open when I get back.
     
  12. gb93433

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    What I find is that each Amway group is different. Some are greedy, while some I met stand up for Christ and share their faith.
     
  13. Bob Farnaby

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    Not all Amway sellers are christian.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  14. Bob Farnaby

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    Australian Law differentiates etween Multi Level Marketing and Pyramid selling.

    Basically if there is a worthwhile product/servce its MLM, if it depends totally on creating recruits that buy in to create more levels of recruits to make money and no significant product/service then it's pyramid selling and illegal.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    US is that way too, Bob. Pyramids (where unless you get in the scheme early you will not earn anything) are illegal.

    They have taken Amway to court over it and proved it NOT to be a pyramid. But some Amway distributors were running their groups like that. "Just sign people up, don't worry about products" is a giveaway that it is NOT good MLM.
     
  16. Australian Baptist Student

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    As someone whose sister is in Amway, I view it as a definite cult, and directly opposed to Christianity. The sales pitch is always "what are your dreams", "dreams" here being "things money can buy, but you cant afford". They delibrately try to make you disatisfied with your lot, and encourage greed. 1 Timothy 6:8 says "but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content, but those who desire to be rich fall into temptation". Amway says it will make you a millionare, and my sister listens to its tapes every day, buys their books and attends all the meetings. They are still broke 5 years on, but "keep chasing their dream". They are no longer going regularly to church, and are encouraged to have wish lists on the fridge to keep them hungering after the vain riches of this world. Colossians 5:3 says covertousness is a form of idolatry, and their meetings are revival tents for greed. People get up and say out loud in front of everyone what they covert, and everyone else applauds. Others get up and say how before Amway, life was rotten, but since Amway came into their lives, life is great. Its testimony time. If someone they are trying recruit says their dream is to be a millionare, own a boat etc., they do not reply Luke 12:15 "Take heed and beware of all greed, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" and Matthew 6:19-21, "do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth... for where your treasur is, there will be your heart also" that is, they do not preach Jesus into the conversation and share his warning about greed, rather they say, "great, Amway can give you what you covert" (probably not in those words).
    Jesus says we should take up our cross and deny ourselves, Amway says greed is good. Galatians 6:7, "do not be decieved; God is not mocked for whatever a man sows, that he will reap, he who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption, he who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life" 1 Corinthians 6:10 "nor the greedy ... will inherit the kingdom of God", Romans 8:5-8 "those who live according to the flsh set their mind on the things of the flesh ... to set the mind on the flesh is death ... the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God". Wanting to be a millionare is not Godly! Greed is spiritual idolatry! Paul says to flee idolatry. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 speaks of not even associating with a brother who is greedy. You cannot serve God and mammon. Christianity and Amway do not mix.
    The products may be OK, but why not just sell them? Why the whole greed and "you can be a millionare" stuff? I am happy to buy toothpaste, but not a life-style or an ideology.
    God bless, Colin
     
  17. DavidsAngel

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    I tell ya. I had a few very good friends that talked me into selling things. I quickly realized the only way I really made any money was to get others to sell it. That was the biggest thing to make money. I didn't like that. So, I stopped
     
  18. Craigbythesea

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    This has also been my experience. :( [​IMG]
     
  19. Australian Baptist Student

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    This has also been my experience. :( [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]Hi,
    I still believe you cannot worship God and mammon, you cannot promote the Gospel of Jesus, and greed. The flesh wars against the Spirit, we have only one God. As long as Amway promote themselves via greed (what are your dreams, you can be a millionare etc), then it is fundamentally anti-Christian. Good Christians are in it, but they will prove the truth of Jesus words re the innability to serve two masters the hard way. One of the tapes I was lent stated that Amway was not designed for people who wanted to be moderately well off, but for those who wanted to be millionares, it stated one should choose wealthy people as your friends, and so on. It was blatant, naked greed, and not Godly.
    Take care, Colin
     
  20. AVL1984

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    Many do tend to go WAY overboard on their "enthusiasm" and pushiness in selling or presenting their "opportunity". I know that many will go as far as misrepresenting claims on what their product/service can do. I also know that though the parent company says they don't condone this, they sure don't do much to stop it from happening until there is threat of legal action or complaints with the attorney Generals office of a state or several states, but mostly the home state. Also, many of the sales reps will misrepresent their incomes, the potential for incomes, etc. Beware also of the "professional MLM"er...the one who jumps from company to company making the quick buck and leaving the associates he/she recruits below her/him high and dry and without any leadership.
    The longer my wife and I have been in Network marketing, the more we believe it leads less to dependence on God almighty, and more and more dependence on one's self ability to gain associates, and those associates ability to sweet talk others into the opportunity.

    AVL1984
     

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