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S4:E9 How Do Pyramid Schemes Work?

S4:E9 How Do Pyramid Schemes Work?

How do pyramid schemes work and what is multi-level marketing?

What is multi-level marketing? It is a very popular business model that targets Christians and other people of faith. But… it is almost guaranteed to fail. Because MLM’s and direct sales companies are not designed to sell a product but to sell the business itself. Joining us for this episode is Robert Fitzpatrick. He’s the president of Pyramid Scheme Alert and the author of the new book “Ponzinomics: The Untold Story of Multi-Level Marketing“.

Also mentioned in the episode is the podcast The Dream. Season one talks in great detail about pyramid schemes. Please be aware that some of the episodes use strong language.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • What is multi-level marketing?
  • What is a pyramid scheme?
  • What is a Ponzi scheme?
  • Who are Ponzi schemes named after?
  • Who was Charles Ponzi?
  • Is multi-level marketing the same thing as a pyramid scheme?
  • What is the difference between a pyramid scheme and multi-level marketing and a Ponzi scheme?
  • What is a good book about pyramid schemes?
  • Will I lose money with multi-level marketing?
  • Is Amway considered multi-level marketing?
  • Is Herbalife multi-level marketing?
  • Do pyramid schemes target Christians?
  • Should I join an MLM?
  • Which MLM should I join?

Looking for the Amway stats we mentioned? You can find them here: https://pyramidschemealert.org/half-of-amways-products-are-retailed-really-plus-other-wacky-numbers-3/

S4:E8 Can I Still Love the Church?

S4:E8 Can I Still Love the Church?

Can Christians love the Church in an era of deconstruction, politics, COVID, and BLM?

So many Christians are angry at the Church. Not just the Church but their local churches as well. Can Christians love the Church in an era of deconstruction, politics, COVID, and BLM? Producer Chris Staron decided to take a look inside one small congregation to see how Black Lives Matter, COVID, the 2020 Presidential Election, and more have impacted one community. How are people in Jackson, Wyoming responding in a time of dissension and deconstruction in the body of Christ?

Special thanks to Ray McDaniel and Karl Klemmer for talking with Chris for this interview.

Helpful Links:

Discussion Questions:

  • How have the last few years changed your ideas about the global Church?
  • How have they changed your ideas of your local church?
  • How would you respond if you were the pastor of a local church today and your congregation wanted you to pick a political side?
  • Should pastors speak about politics from the pulpit?
  • Why do we put so much emphasis on messages from the pulpit and discount the ability for congregants to have meaningful conversations on their own?
  • Are you deconstructing your faith? What does that term mean to you?
  • If you are deconstructing your faith, have you removed the local church? The Bible? If so, how has that impacted your faith?
  • Are you open to people who have different opinions? How do you interact with those people? Is it in person?
  • Do you have friends with different opinions than you? How can you get some if you don’t?
  • Do you see the Church as a “we” and “us” or as a “them”? Why?
S4:E7 100th Episode!

S4:E7 100th Episode!

Melvin Benson of the Cinematic Doctrine podcast asks Chris Staron about the Truce Podcast

Truce usually uses research, music, sound effects, and expert interviews to tell complicated stories about the Christian Church. We’ve made something like 100 episodes! Our listeners recommended that we celebrate by asking Chris questions submitted by audience members.

Special thanks to Melvin Benson of the Cinematic Doctrine podcast for asking the questions!