A Blast from the Past: The Second Easiest Way to Lose False Friends

Posted: October 30, 2017 in Livin' in the USA
Tags: , , , ,

(For the last few months we’ve been running the best posts from years past, posts that will be new to most of our subscribers. This one is from 2014. We’ll be posting more blasts from the past for the next several months, and will intersperse them with new material.)

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English: A simple binary tree diagram illustra...

English: A simple binary tree diagram illustrating the hierarchical structure of a multi-level marketing compensation plan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The easiest way to lose supposed friends is, of course, to loan them money. As little as fifty or a hundred bucks will generally do the trick, and being rid of them is a bargain at the price. As a bonus, the minority who pay you back in a timely manner are almost always real friends.

The second easiest way is to flatly turn down a supposed friend who’s involved in a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme — Amway, Herbalife, etc. My close friends are neither naive enough nor unethical enough to involve themselves in such pyramid scheme-like crap, but every once in a while someone I’m not especially close to will hit me up to buy overpriced MLM junk, playing the “friend” card. I simply tell them, “Don’t take it personally. I like you, but I never buy from multi-level marketers.” To date, almost every single one of them has immediately vanished. (The one in a hundred who’ll stick around is probably an actual friend, just naive. In my case I can only think of one exception.)

Try refusing the next time a “friend” tries to take advantage of you via an MLM scam. I have a strong hunch your experience will be the same as mine.

  1. sjhigbee says:

    Yes… I know what you mean about the ‘friends’ who suddenly appear just to sell you stuff. Fortunately it’s been a while since I’ve had to deal with that hogswill, but there was a real rash of it in the late 80s, early 90s, I recall.


    • Yes, it did seem to peak around then. Lately, not so much, at least in my circle of friends and acquaintances.

      I’ve heard that it’s still endemic in certain populations, though, notably Mormons. An ex-Mormon author I published a few years ago lost his wife because of an MLM scheme, in which she took overpriced herbal supplements rather than receive conventional cancer treatment.

      After he told me about that, I had even less use for MLM pyramid schemes that I did previously.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sjhigbee says:

        How despicable! I’m guessing these communities are particularly targetted because they are probably less aware of such scams and when a friendly overture is made, they will respond with less caution. Con artists really are scumbags, aren’t they?


      • Yes, there’s little lower than abusing the trust of a cancer patient. The likely reason scam artists hit Mormons and fundamentalists so often is they present themselves as members of the “in” or “chosen” group, so there’s already a high level of trust at the start. Since Mormons and fundamentalists aren’t the most skeptical of folks, they tend to take the claims of other members of their groups at face value. And, unfortunately, that makes it very easy for scam artists.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sjhigbee says:

        Yes – what a shame:(.


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