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Ponzi

At a pleasant birthday party in the park yesterday, one of the attendees chirped that he had started his own business when asked what he was up to. Naturally, his friends asked him what sort of business it was, etc.

He then proceeded to lay out what was clearly a pyramid scheme. So clearly that everyone present said, "Isn't that a pyramid scheme?" (Or something to that affect.) He affected ignorance of what such a thing was, even while spouting classic talking-points of the Ponzi scammers. "I don't know what a pyramid scheme is? What is that? Is that like, when you make money for your boss? Don't you make money for your boss?"

A basic rule of thumb; if someone can't describe in one simple, declarative sentence what it is they do for a living and what they're trying to sell - it's probably a pyramid scheme. "I sell legal insurance" is a job. "I'm in a nework marketing opportunity that's publically traded, that brokers legal insurance for agents, but what I do is inform people about the network and how they can get involved." is a pyramid scheme.

Because I didn't know the people there well, and because I won't argue with anyone, I kept my mouth shut - but it ticked me off. How is it that otherwise reasonable people can get sucked so thoroughly into these schemes? And listening to them rattle off what are clearly canned responses is disturbing - what brainwashing techniques teaches people to recite catechism like that so exactly... but they can't manage to say, pay rent on time?

I swallowed my irritation. But his prior propensity for squealing in baby-talk and constantly referring to himself in every sentence went from peculiar to grating. Freakin' scammers.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
nixieq
Mar. 11th, 2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
his prior propensity for squealing in baby-talk

...is there a context for that, or did he just bust out the baby talk/squealing at random moments for no apparent reason?
aghrivaine
Mar. 12th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
No, no particular reason. He just liked to do "funny voices" - which mostly meant baby-talk.
crapdaddy
Mar. 12th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
Do I know this person?
aghrivaine
Mar. 12th, 2007 06:01 am (UTC)
I've never seen you in his presence, though that doesn't mean you don't know him - you travel in the same circles.
kylecassidy
Mar. 12th, 2007 03:41 am (UTC)
from time to time i've been shocked by people who i'd thought otherwise rational who'd fallen for something like this and were selling washing machine dryer sheets and looking for people in their downstream because riches are only a few weeks away....
aghrivaine
Mar. 12th, 2007 06:01 am (UTC)
And they're so thoroughly indoctrinated, too. Freaky.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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