Churches combat MLM "preying" on members... On May 27, 2011 the Christian Broadcasting Network ran a special 30-minute show on the ethics of multi-level marketing. PSA President, Robert FitzPatrick, was featured on the show as "an expert in revealing deception and fraud in bogus home-based businesses." Video of his comments is on the CBN link.
The show's host, Lee Webb, acknowledged that MLM solicitations in churches now constitute a far-reaching problem. In his own congregation, he stated, the church had to post a special directory in which members could be listed as "do not solicit me" to prevent MLM recruiting. MLM recruiters often claim MLM is "God's plan." Others leverage church membership or position to pressure fellow church members to invest.
I have blogged about several religious scams. Targeting fellow Christians gives the scammers easy, trusting marks who will jump in and invest as the opportunity seems God approved and a way to spread The Word in a marketplace ministry. The most frightening thing is many churches don't have the good sense to send scammers who are targeting their members packing.
In some cases the pastors themselves were pushing questionable opportunities. Remember when Jerry and Arron Weinzierl posted paid Google ads soliciting a lawsuit against me. It certainly reflects God's love to threaten consumer advocated with lawsuits, now doesn't it???