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.