My rule has always been never do financial business with a Mormon and I'm a
Mormon. It has served me well over the years. Too many hurt feelings to be had
that can get in the way of church work and callings.
"Investors were promised extraordinary rates of return â up to 200
percent â in a very short amount of time, the complaint says."G-R-E-E-D, that is what drove Nelson, Wilcox, Thoennes and all of the
investors. Everyone involved will get what they deserve. In the end, greed will
get you every time.
So, what was the specific position in the LDS Church the thug used?Was he a Bishop or Stake President?Sunday School teacher?The truth is, in relation to these stories, a fool and his money are soon
parted... And if it sounds too good to be true, it is.Don't give
people money based on promises that make absolutely no sense...If a
family member or friend needs money, I give it to them as a gift. Or I don't
give it to them...And when I lived in Utah, I would hear about
investment opportunities... My rule of thumb was that if it took longer than 15
seconds for someone to tell me how a business opportunity worked, I figured that
they were trying to rip me off...I figured that if they needed to
draw a diagram to exlpain how their "opportunity" worked, and they
couldn't just tell me flat-out, I figured they were lying to me...Remember this when you are in Utah, or dealing with another member of the LDS
Church, or anyone for that matter: If they start drawing stuff as they explain
their "opportunity", they are trying to rip you off...
I remember reading a WSJ article about LDS being prime candidates for these
kinds of schemes because of their willingness to believe in the goodness of man.
That was a decades ago and it just continues. Could the cause just be greed? Are
the root causes also manifested in multilevel marketing schemes?
Oh, I re-read the article... He was a Ward Mission Leader, and a
High-Councilor...Oops... I missed it the first time...This reminds me of the time when I was on my mission in Australia. I loved my
mission, it was an awesome experience, and I learned a lot while I was out...We were teaching a woman, and she was progressing towards joining the
Church...We had met her from tracting, and were having some
difficulty with involving Ward members in her conversion.We were
initally happy one night when we arrived at her house unannnounced just to
check-in with "our" investigator, to see a member and his wife
visiting her. Then I saw the flip-charts, pamphlets, and diagrams.My
heart sank when I saw what they were presenting. I was a tough young man, but I
about started crying.When I saw what they were doing, I reacted
negatively, but gentlemanly, and the members gathered their things, and quietly
left.Our investigator had a bad taste in her mouth, and eventually
asked that no one from our church visit her again.She thought they
had come to welcome her, but instead tried scamming her...
I sure hope there's a warm place in hell for these types. The LDS church should
publicly announce their excommunication from the church.
The interesting thing here is someone called these "men" to these
positions and kept calling them- I certainly hope they are a little
introspective as well- these "men" were passing interview after
interview and as such were continually being given the all is well signal from
which they could interact with others- perhaps a little thought on that one
matters as well since this is not the first time things like this have happened
and I doubt it is the only current instance of this behavior as well- callings
matter to LDS people- they pay attention and assume often wrongly that is
someone has a calling they must be a good person- would not want it the other
way around but it does say be careful when issuing a calling
"Many are called but few are chosen". Gee, I wonder why. What a
great prophetic revelation!
boo on dishonest people.
"It never ceases to amaze me how gullibe some of our church members are . .
. "President Harold B. Lee in the General Priesthood Meeting April
1970.Now President Lee was speaking particularly about those who
spread sensational stories and rumors but he might as well have been talking
about those who are taken in by scammers and conmen who use their church
position to create trust. We are a gullible people and I suppose we always will
I am LDS and I never do any investing business with anyone in my church. I never
did before I joined the LDS Church. I don't do business with people at church,
period.The largest ponzi scheme was by Madoff and started with
people close to him and people in his church. It is not religion specific but
religion is a vehicle because it is familiarity and trust built in.I
love being LDS and my fellow church members but I will always excuse myself from
anyone pushing financial arrives at church on the Sabbath. That should be a red
flag even before they promise too good of returns.
So sad. From the age of those involved, it looks like a new generation of ponzi
schemers are getting caught. These types of frauds seem to crop up every so
many years or so when memories of the last schemes start to fade. This has been
going on generation after generation in Utah and in the Church. Unfortunately
each generation must learn the lesson the hard way. Somehow I wish we could
break the cycle.
Utah, Mormon, Ponzi Scheme, Church Leader.... same old story.. over and over and
overDo not be so clueless....If it sounds too good to be true, it
generally iswake up folks
...The SEC focuses on these small operators and let's Bernie Madoff lose 80
billions of dollars in a classic ponzi...What's wrong with this picture?
Here in Idaho Falls we had the same thing. a guy used his position in the
Ward--EQ Pres--to scam $60 million in a ponzi scheme. almost all the victims
were LDS, even his own in-laws. I agree gullibility is part of it, but I'm sad
to say, greed to the promise of 25% returns sucked many people in also. This
type of thing is just all-around, so very, very sad.
Did ever a financial wolf NOT dress in sheep's clothing?
My word! How often over the last 40-50 years have the church leaders reminded
and reminded church members to avoid "get rich quick schemes" like the
plague. As much as I'm ashamed of the listed defendants in this case, not too
much sympathy for the individuals who got caught up and lost money in this
scheme.RE: California Steve "My rule has always been never do
financial business with a Mormon and I'm a Mormon. It has served me well over
the years. Too many hurt feelings to be had that can get in the way of church
work and callings." I very wise practice that I follow as well!
I served a mission in the Philippines and I met a bishop who was previously
inactive for a number of years after being bilked out of his life savings by a
member of the Stake High Council, shortly after being baptized. He didn't leave
the Church for that reason, however. He left when the Church wouldn't release
this man's address so he (along with other members) could seek retribution in
court.Ten years after the incident he finally returned to activity
and, in a stake conference, this same con artist was being sustained to a
position in the stake. He objected, and the calling was rescinded. He never
did get his investment back though, and he was unaware of any official action by
the Church against this man.
When will we learn? If a member of the church uses his standing in the church
for business marketing, run. Run as fast as you can.We Mormons could
be a bit wiser. Too bad we fall for this too often.
Look business is simple. Never do business with family and friends! Never!
Never expect to earn more than market rate. If you do great, if not then your
not disappointed. Never invest in something you know nothing or little about. If
you don't have a degree, experience or practical knowledge of an area then don't
do it! Never! Remember most of us are not as smart as we think we are! Just ask
your wife, husband, life partner or your mother! If you had to ask your dad you
probably got your rear kicked! Always sign a contract, never worry about
the taste of pie in the sky(it has no taste). Never do business at
church. Boy oh boy didn't the money changers get chased out of the Temple?
Learned that one when I was young. Lastly, not only Mormons deal with
these issues! You just don't hear about the other groups that are across the
country. Deal in regulated industries, trade groups, and markets! If
you think your stuck in something like this clean out your account. Demand your
money back and get off this article!
The Prophet in 1837 lost money in a recession with a bad bank.....nothing wrong
or illegal with going out of business; businesses come and go. If we stop
being gullible, we may also lose our love for humanity and our belief in
prayer. We are admonished to be child-like.
Gullible and child-like are not the same thing, Chris. Jesus warned be
"therefore wise as serpents, and charmless as doves" in the book of
Matthew. We need to live in faith, but Joseph Smith made it pretty clear that
true faith stems from the inspiration of the Spirit, not from naive belief
(Lectures on Faith). As a commercial loan officer in downtown Salt
Lake years ago, my policy was that as soon as a business person applying for a
loan started talking about his position in the Church, he was not going to get a
loan from me. Nothing wrong with membership in the Church, but talking about
one's callings as justification for a loan automatically set an alarm off in my
mind. People could talk about being members of the Church without repercussions,
but talking about one's positions and callings was suspicious.
This stuff just drives me crazy. People of faith do NOT trade on their religion.
Their faith means to much to them. This means that anybody who uses religion (or
their position in their religion) to gain confidence has revealed themselves not
to be a person of faith after all. It really is that simple. Run the other way.
This is true of investments scams, Business opportunity scams (i.e. multi-level
marketing) or any other "opportunity" to make unusual amounts of
money. Also, if people understood the relationship between risk and
return, they would not be taken in so easily. Extreme rates of return means it
is either highly risky or a scam. So sad that so many are taken in by these
wolves in sheep's clothing. If found guilty, I hope the law is very harsh with
them and that the LDS church is very harsh as well.
If only people would also recognize the similarity between this situation and
those who seek political power by using their religious credentials.
The fact that this scheme has been going on for five years, causes me to
question how these members were getting through their temple recommend
interviews? Also, callings for members to serve, are supposed to come as a
result of revelation. Others in the ward, including at the stake level,had to
know about this business venture. Didn't anyone, simply out of common sense,
question it? Some times, i think we members are in a deep sleep, and are
content with it.
I like to reiterate what others have commented:Any time any fellow member
approaches me about ANY sort of "business" while I am at church to
worship God is a HUGE RED FLAG for me. Osgrath: You hit it right on the
money (no pun intended)...if you have to state your current or past positions of
authority in the church to have a "business-like" discussion...HUGE
RED FLAG! Too many men in the church (happens in ALL churches, denominations,
etc) throw their calling titles around as if it were an entitlement. I'd
suggest any person trying to involve anyone in your congregation into your
"business" investment by using your standing in the church, read
Doctrine and Covenants 121: 36-37...AGAIN, and just think about it.
Open an ETRADE, Ameritrade, (etc.) account.........buy stock......sell stock.What's so hard about that?
I'm hopeful they will get adjoining cells.
We need more republicans so we can end government regulation in business. This
type of business could grow exponentially if only the government would stay out.
Is there something about the Prosperity Gospel that compels this sort of
behavior? Is it not difficult to see Quorum apostles -- who are invariably very
well-off, materially -- or people like that cretin Osteen, and wonder,
"When do I get mine?"When is the return to austerity and
humility? Still waiting...
Quite a number of years ago there was an an editorial in the Church News. One
line of that editorial was: "When someone asks you to pray about a scheme,
keep your hands on your wallet while your eyes a closed."
The guy that got me was my wife's home teacher.. I trusted him so I dove in.Very costly mistake.
Two quick thoughts here: First, I don't have any problem doing
business with Mormons. I think generally they're honest folks and forthright
people. That brings up my next point: the minute someone comes up to
me with any kind of business venture at all and says, "Hey, you can trust
me. I'm a Mormon/bishop/stake president/any other calling in the LDS church, I
wouldn't trust them. I have family members who have been scammed by people like
this. It's sickening and sad that they'd be so dishonest in their business
dealings and try to get folks involved in something based on their membership in
the LDS church. However, if someone gets involved based solely on that
reasoning, I think they've got a hard dose of reality headed their way and a big
"I told you so" coming their way. I've heard it said,
"The Lord is my Shepherd, not my stock broker", and I think that's a
safe motto to live by.
if someone has to bring up a common religion between you for do something for
them run the other way! just because someone says they are LDS or any other
religion for that matter does not mean they are trust worthy there are bad
people in every group! or wear their church on their sleeve.
When we moved to Utah from another state, the common advice given to me was
"When a person tells you he is a good Mormon, hang on to your wallet".
Can't believe this happened here :} Some Mormons will walk west till their hat
floats if "some" Mormons tell them to !
Didn't anybody read the story (or even the headline?) This happened in
1.) This issue is not an "LDS-only" problem. Any fraternal
organization can be used to further half-baked money-making schemes.2.) It is exceptionally lazy thinking to say "Never do business with a
Mormon." May as well say, "Never do business with a Jew." Or,
"Never do business with Mexicans, or Asians or (insert any group you harbor
prejudice about in this spot)." 3.) Problem is: We believe
we DESERVE huge returns. The delusion is not limited to those
"investing" in Ponzi schemes. It extends all who, through deft
dealing, take much more than they need in any transaction. CEO stock option
packages pay millions (Buffet has railed against them for years) are they worth
it? Are any of us really THAT deserving? Hugh Nibley wrote about visiting a
redwood forest that wasn't there (his grandfather had bought it, sold it for
railroad ties, and lived well for a few years). It took a thousand years to
grow it. His grandfather destroyed it in weeks. It was legal, but sick.4.) They say "you can buy anything in this world for money."
5.) But, can Zion be successfully built on the economics of Babylon?
No, it cannot.
It would be helpful if the article explained what this man's "postion of
authority" was. Currently we have no real information.
Another example of a "cheat" in sheep's clothing.
I have been LDS for many, many years. I've always made it a rule that if
anyone uses their membership or church position as a reason I should trust them,
I immediately avoid that person in any kind of business or financial
involvement. Also, I avoid anyone that promotes "get rich" schemes with
little labor or work. We have been taught that we need to get an education, live
within our income, avoid debt and if we haven't to work steadily to get out
of debt, and save a portion of our income for a rainy day. LDS members have been
given so many words of wisdom to help them avoid ruining their lives and would
be wise to listen to the right sources to guide their lives. Greed has never
been a solution to take care of ourselves.
Anyone have the breakdown by religious preference of Bernie Madoff's
victims? Just wondering.