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See the text behind the audio of each Truce episode!

The Amway Decision. The Federal Trade Commission decided that Amway was not an illegal pyramid scheme, but a legitimate business. How did that happen? Why is it important. This week on the Truce Podcast we’re joined once again by Robert Fitzpatrick of Pyramid Scheme Alert (https://pyramidschemealert.org/), author of Ponzinomics to explore the history of MLMs.

Also in this episode is a brief history of the founders of Amway: Richard DeVos and Jay VanAndel. The DeVos name probably sounds familiar. Our current Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVos, daughter-in-law to Richard. She’s made a lot of news in her position because of her stances on charter schools and arming teachers in public schools.

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We know that tying business to religion can be tricky. Think about recent stories involving Hobby Lobby, Chick-fil-A, or In-N-Out Burger. But what happens when we tie our religion to a business model that just doesn’t work?

That’s what many multi-level marketing (MLM) companies do every day. They saddle distributors with debt and product they can’t sell… often in the name of Jesus. We’re joined once again by Robert Fitzpatrick (https://twitter.com/PyramidAlert) of Pyramidschemealert.org, author of Ponzinomics.

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What is multi-level marketing? It turns out, 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 History of Multi-Level Marketing and How Direct Sales Became an American Swindle”.

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The Prosperity Gospel. It goes by a lot of names. Prosperity, name it and claim it theology, The Secret, the word of faith movement… but how did it begin? Who came up with the ideas that are now spreading throughout the world?

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This week we talk with Mark Galli, editor in chief of Christianity Today about leadership. Are we all called to lead or are just some of us? Does that mean we don’t have to lead if we’re not gifted in that way?

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Is it okay to fail? Are we okay with failure in the Christian church? Even mainstream churches frequently link financial and business success with God’s blessing. If we’re not rich and don’t have a big following, does that mean that God doesn’t love us?

This week on the Truce Podcast we sit down once again with Andrew Schwab, lead singer of Project 86 and host of the Pioneers Podcast to discuss failure. He shares with us the difficulties his band faced with their album Truthless Heroes and Atlantic Records. Andrew is also the author of the books “Fame is Infamy”, “Tin Soldiers”, and “It’s All Downhill from Here”.

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There are so many temptations for people who create media. We are constantly targeted by scams, encouraged to brag about ourselves, and told we could always be doing better. Those pressures are shaping the modern church. For better or worse.

This week on the Truce Podcast we are joined by Andrew Schwab of Project 86 and the Pioneer’s Podcast to explore the odd temptations facing modern Christianity. Andrew is also the author of the books “Fame is Infamy”, “The Tin Soldiers”, “It’s All Downhill from Here”.

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