The Danger of MLM

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformed, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Reformed

    Reformed
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    About ten years ago a nice young couple started attending our church. They were personable and fun to be around. After establishing a level of trust with various members, they approached one of the elders and said that they could guarantee an increase in collections if the church would help them market their multilevel marketing business. Their offer was rejected out-of-hand and they quickly left the church for greener pastures.

    A few months ago, thanks to Facebook, I made contact with an old Air Force buddy I was stationed with in England. We reminisced about the good times we had. We interacted on each other's posts. I was rather excited to rebuild a friendship from years past. Then came the private message asking me to call him. I knew what it was about right off the bat. He posted about his 'business opportunity' all the time. I never commented on those posts because I am not interested in multilevel or network marketing. I did not want to be rude, so after his third attempt to talk to me I finally called him. The call was predictable. Fifteen minutes of pleasantries and then 'the pitch'. I chose to be polite and listened until he was done with his attempt at persuading me, and then I gave him an emphatic 'No' that could not be misunderstood. The inevitable distancing has already taken place.

    I have witnessed otherwise stable, common sense folks destroy family relationships and friendships because of the delusions of grandeur proffered by MLM companies. It really is sad. To be fair, I do know one person who is a distributor for a well known MLM. She refuses to recruit others. She just sells the product and does a good job at it. When I last spoke to her about her business she told me she averages about $500 a month in profit, all from product sales. That is fine. She did not buy into standard MLM recruiting pitch. She is a rarity.

    Dean and Laura Vandruff wrote and excellent article on the perils of MLM. you can find it HERE. I highly recommend you read it.

    I am not suggesting that every person active in an MLM is dishonest. What I am suggesting is the MLM business model is unsustainable. Those who make money do so on the failure of those beneath them (as the Vandruff article points out). But even more important than the MLM industry's flawed business model is the deception and dishonesty that occurs when friends and family members are seen as a means to an end. And when it reaches into a church, the damage can be considerable.

    If you are in an MLM and feel the need to excoriate me about this post, feel free. Trust me, I have had professionals take me to task over this issue and I stood my ground with them toe-to-toe.
     
    #1 Reformed, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2014
  2. JamesL

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    Good stuff.

    When I was about 19 years old, I got a "job" selling perfume. My share was $5.00 per bottle. The first day, I went out for 8 hours, and sold one. Wow, a whole five bucks.

    Then I was told that the trick is getting other people to sell, and they would get other people to sell.....

    I was like "trick, huh?" that's about all it is.

    About 5 years ago, a kid at church started telling me about this cool "business opportunity", and wanted me to come with him on a Saturday night to hear about it.

    The guy was talking about making so much money that we could all stop working. Kept talking about residual income..... So I asked him, "Can you tell us how much longer it will be before you get to stop working?"

    He looked very proud as he proclaimed that he'd already quit working. I tilted my head a little and said, "What do you mean that you've stopped working? You're working here on a Saturday night, trying to get us to buy into this idea of no work."

    I never got another call from that young'un

    The biggest thing you're right about is visions of grandeur, people chasing money. Such a shame
     
  3. Jerome

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    Here is Pastor James Merritt (former President of the SBC) at the pulpit promoting the "Fortune High Tech Marketing" pyramid scheme:

    http://vimeo.com/31660219
     
  4. InTheLight

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    Agree that MLM can ruin family relationships and churches.

    As a business owner, I run into people that are promoting MLM's all the time. My response?

    "Let me see if I'm understanding you correctly. You want me to divert time from my business to get into the business of getting other people into the business of competing against me?"

    That shuts them up pronto.
     
  5. Jerome

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  6. OnlyaSinner

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    Not familiar with MLM, but some decades back we had exposure to Amway from both sides. The high-pressure recruiting was a total turn-off, but the young neighborhood lady selling Amway provided timely delivery of effective products at reasonable prices. Of course, her motive was to raise money for college, not to "make so much money as to never have to work again."
     
  7. HankD

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    One would be better off becoming an insurance agent.

    Young families are a relatively easy sell.
    You can be independent or associated with a legitimate insurance company.

    Some companies provide leads.

    HankD
     
  8. Salty

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    When confronted with an offer of MSM -
    try this answer:

    Sounds good, tell you what - I will work for you for three months - and you pay me $12 an hours. I am willing to negotiate the hourly wage. After those three months, I will then decided if I want to start on the lower rung myself.
     
  9. Winman

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    I'll never forget my first experience with Amway.

    Back in the 80's I was a property and casualty insurance agent down in Florida. One day I was writing an automobile policy for this fellow when he said he had a business opportunity he thought I might be interested in. He asked if he could give me a call. I said sure, although I really wasn't interested in another job at the time. He called me in a few days and asked if he could come to my home. As he was a customer of mine, I felt slightly obligated to hear him out, so I agreed.

    He came over the night appointed around 7 PM. He was dressed in a nice suit, and his wife in a beautiful dress. They were very nice people. They sat with my wife and myself for perhaps an hour and a half and kept showing us photos of successful people in their business with huge houses and many fancy cars. The fellow kept asking me if I would like to have a house like this or cars, and I told him honestly NO, I was quite satisfied with what I owned.

    The funny thing is, he would never tell me what his business actually was. I asked him several times what kind of business this was, but he kept on showing me these fellas with many big houses and cars, and telling me how they don't have to work anymore. I did see the word Amway several times, but at this time I had never heard of it before, and did not know what it was.

    Then, the doorbell rang. I went to the door and a little boy about six years old was standing there holding his crotch, he obviously needed to go to the bathroom very badly. I had no idea who this boy was, I had never seen him in the neighborhood before.

    The man got up and explained it was his son. He and his wife had left their son sitting in the car in my driveway in the dark for nearly two hours. I couldn't believe it.

    I asked the man why he didn't bring the boy in. He said he didn't want the boy to disturb us. I told him I had two small children at the time and he could have played with them.

    I was steaming, I told the man that there is something wrong if you want money so bad you would leave your child sitting in a car in the dark for two hours.

    I let the boy go to the bathroom, but I made it clear I was not interested in any business that would make me forget my family.

    Now, I know that is not fair to Amway, but that was my first experience with them. I have been turned off on Amway ever since.
     
  10. Jkdbuck76

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    Good for you! I hope what you said hit home and actually caused them to treat their gift from God better.
     

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