From Sunday Adelaja
At about the same time our church the Embassy of God that used to be called in the 90’s the Word of Faith Church was making its strides on the historical landscape of the former Soviet Union. Paralleled out of nowhere, the name MMM hit the air waves.
Ponzi schemes and pyramids – what are they?
The terms Ponzi schemes and pyramids were new in the former Soviet Union. Ponzi schemes and pyramids are a long known fraudulent way from getting money from rather ignorant people. Whereby operators pay returns to the participants, from fresh money coming in from newly recruited members.
A legitimate business on the other hand, must be involved in production of goods or services through which profit is made. A profit therefore is made legitimate by the exchange of goods or services produced. When it comes to Ponzi schemes and pyramids however, they do not produce goods or service so there is no process of production whatsoever, therefore there is no legitimate means of making a profit. Ponzi schemes and pyramids like MMM base their operations on the greed of men to make quick money without paying the price of hard work.
They entice new members and participants purely based on the desire of these participants to make quick money. Sergey Mavrodi himself is quoted as saying, MMM is a business built on exploiting people’s vice of greed and lust for money. Thanks to my ability to understand and speak Russian language fluently, I personally listened to Mr. Mavrodi in an interview in Russian language when he was saying this. According to him, his philosophy is as long as greed and lust for money is part of human nature, MMM will live. He says that there is nothing anybody can do in any country to stop his business, because people still want to have quick and easy money. Even today, on his MMM website, he gives a clear warning to all the participants that they could lose their money and yet people still go ahead and get involved. In Mr. Mavrodi’s mind which he openly speaks about, he is not cheating anybody and he is not robbing anybody, because according to him, he is sincere enough to tell them exactly what he is doing. So he says, I tell people what I am doing, they know they are involved in criminal acts, they know they are involved in pyramids, they know they are involved in frauds, so what am I doing wrong then? People are intentionally getting involved in something they know is evil and could go catastrophic at any time.
15 million Mavrodi casualties.
In Russia by the time his company was shut down, he had succeeded in attracting about 15 million people who put their money and eventually lost their money as a result. MMM is a known pyramid and Ponzi scheme network all over the world. It is actually renowned for it. More so the founder of the organization Sergey Mavrodi has been convicted for Ponzi scheme and has served jail term of four years. As a matter of fact, he is right now in hiding and operating MMM Nigeria and others while on the run from his own country Russia. Hence when you go to the page of MMM Nigeria, you will see where there is a warning that this MMM is not allowed in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, because the founder is wanted in these countries.
Why every Nigerian must fight against get rich quick schemes
“We who have means and a voice must use them to help those who have neither.” ― Jennifer Donnelly.
There are some points that we need to underline specifically for the Nigerian public that could help answer a lot of unanswered questions.
- Sergey Mavrodi being a mathematical genius and winner of several mathematical Olympiads while still a student in school, uses his knowledge and his superior intellect to manipulate the rather gullible populace.
- Thanks to his intellectual prowess, it is not difficult for him to realize the power of mass media on the people. Sergey Mavrodi’s strength is in pouring a large percentage of the money he gets from people into advertisement and publicity.
- The greatest attraction to MMM though is the thirty percent promised returns on a monthly basis. This is the standard Ponzi and pyramid percentage in almost every such scheme throughout history. To my Nigerian brethren, I want to ask, what you have done for you to warrant a reward or profit of thirty percent a month which could be up to three hundred and sixty percent in a year. Have you asked yourself where the money is coming from? Is it coming from heaven or dropping from the trees? Of course you know the answer – the money is not coming from production or sales, it is coming from your down line, the new people like you who are bringing in money.
- If you are being paid from the money other people are bringing in, to a thinking mind that is enough reason for you to know that the whole project will collapse sooner than later. This is because whenever the input becomes less than the output that means more people are collecting their thirty percent from the company than those who are bringing in money, that marks the end of the system.
- Right now, the operators of MMM in Nigeria and all over the world are busy pushing their guilders, managers and participants to keep on recruiting new members who bring in fresh money. That which first appears to them as success also carries in itself the seed of its demise. This is because the more people bring in money, the larger the amount of money that is asked for their thirty percent returns. Sooner or later you will have more people taking away from the system than are bringing into the system, marking the end of the whole scheme.
- Why is this bad as far as some people have made some money from the system? Well, let me tell you why it is bad. Let’s say the first one million people brought money in. For that one million people to continuously be paid thirty percent, they need to bring in at least another three million people. So if the system collapses even though one million people have been paid, three million people will still be left hanging, looking for where to be paid from. The bigger such a pyramid grows, the more catastrophe it becomes eventually. When three million people lose their money that equals to more sorrow, more pain than if it is one million people who lost their money.