Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Focus on the Fundies: They'll pay you to save money?

Another update on the strange Pentecostal minister who, in my last mention, begged for money so he could work on his book without having to actually work. This guy has a few obsessions, and money is definitely one of them -- I guess having several kids and no job has something to do with it.

One of his so-called income streams is from an Amway-like business with the unfortunate name of Melaleuca. In a recent post he and his wife agonize over why someone "declined to participate" in the pyramid scheme-like business:
I wonder if we communicated what we were really trying to say well enough. Did this person really understand that they will not be paying any more money than they already do now and that they will be getting much better products? It's really strange. And, we offered to write them a check to pay for a bunch of their groceries this month. What did we miss here? I can't think how it makes sense to NOT enroll. They actually lost money by declining. Plus, it would have been great way to support our ministry. Hmmmm...
OK, here's a clue: Some people don't want to "participate" or "enroll" -- you have to fill out a form just to shop with the company, much less become a marketer -- just to shop for household items. They just want to buy the stuff. It's too much trouble.

Even if (and I'll take your word for it) it saves them money? Well, maybe they don't want other people to be privy to their household purchases. Maybe they'd like their grocery shopping to be separate from "supporting your ministry;" assuming they want to do so, they'll get a tax deduction for just writing you a check instead. And offering what seems like a bribe to get them to "participate" makes it even creepier, even as it provides another example of how this guy's "ministry" is practically inextricable from his focus on lucre.

As for whether or not the Melaleuca business itself is on the up-and-up, I can only point out that the phrase "Melaleuca scam" gets over 75,000 results on Google, including several videos. I think if someone has taken the time to actually make a video about what a scam something is, that might be a bit of a red flag.

technorati: , ,

No comments: