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Gullibility And The Evangelical


XCCC

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Is it a misconception on my part or are there an inordinate number of christians involved in quack-based schemes? Seems that whenever I flip past the xtian radio station on a weekend there is a goofy infomercial about some kind of miracle pill that will cleanse 40 lbs. off your colon wall or some such thing. The people I've known that have been involved in multi-level marketing have all been christians. Amway, Juice Plus, you name it. Why does there seem to be a link there? Gullibility? People willing to believe things solely backed up by personal testimony and not hard science? Or maybe it's my personal bias and christians are no worse than the public-at-large. But I don't think so...

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Guest eejay

Something to ponder about for me, but hey...why not? If they can sell the biggest bullshit story of all time, they may as well keep it going and make a little extra cash while they're at it. Look at Joel Osteen? Do you really believe that man is anything but into himself?

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Something to ponder about for me, but hey...why not? If they can sell the biggest bullshit story of all time, they may as well keep it going and make a little extra cash while they're at it. Look at Joel Osteen? Do you really believe that man is anything but into himself?

 

Man, you're quick! Just returned from your reply in another part of the forum. Yeah, I just don't know how people fall into the mega-church and following some charismatic leader who is that famous. Of course he's into himself (as I think all pastors have to be). How can you possibly think you have something to teach others about their eternal souls without being absolutely full of yourself? Delusions of grandeur run amok...

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Guest Acorn
Something to ponder about for me, but hey...why not? If they can sell the biggest bullshit story of all time, they may as well keep it going and make a little extra cash while they're at it. Look at Joel Osteen? Do you really believe that man is anything but into himself?

 

Business. My ex father inlaw was involved with Christian radio, advertisments, etc. Actually, the reason you hear more of that stuff from what Ive gathered is mainly due to very cheap and spacious time on air from low budget low signal radio stations. They cant pay the big prices, so they go where they can. Oh, and yes, Church folk are usually very apt to buy a product just because its on a Christian station, though their customer base is usually low. Low, for most anyhow. Some stations like the Fish104.7 out of ATL are more upper scale.

 

Eejay, Joel Osteen's father started that church in a rented building with a handful of memebers, died with a decent size congregation then Joel expanded his fathers work, according to him, unvoluntarily and reluctant. Yet, they kept coming and giving. In result of his new location

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Guest eejay

Thanks Acorn...I was aware of Joel Osteen's father starting the congregation. It is very well stated in the book "Your Best Life Now" which I've read. The fact that his dad started the whole thing doesn't make me believe he's less of a bullshitter.

'

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Guest Acorn
Thanks Acorn...I was aware of Joel Osteen's father starting the congregation. It is very well stated in the book "Your Best Life Now" which I've read. The fact that his dad started the whole thing doesn't make me believe he's less of a bullshitter.

'

 

Well. If a bullshiter, then he is the biggest ones ever known, seeing his congregation size and accomplishments. Right up there with Billy Graham, right :wicked:

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I don't deny that he's making a fortune. That's actually the scary part. The book was actually a gift from someone, cause I certainly wouldn't give that man a dime. Seems like there's enough sheep out there to support him though, so he'll do fine. I am quite familiar with Billy Graham, though I've only met him once in 1978. His son Franklin,however has a fleet of airplanes and I've actually been to his hangar in NC. (Hey OutbackJack, though he just sold one of his MU-2's, he also has a G-5.)

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I mostly take issue with Olsteen for his feel-good talk about how belief will make his congregation materially wealthy. That and his smarmy smile, greasy hair, and cliche accent (shallow, I know). Its amazing how many people you can draw when you tell them what they want to hear.

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Guest eejay
I mostly take issue with Olsteen for his feel-good talk about how belief will make his congregation materially wealthy. That and his smarmy smile, greasy hair, and cliche accent (shallow, I know). Its amazing how many people you can draw when you tell them what they want to hear.

It just amazes me how many people he fools. That smile projects loud and clear to me just what he's all about.

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Guest Acorn
I mostly take issue with Olsteen for his feel-good talk about how belief will make his congregation materially wealthy. That and his smarmy smile, greasy hair, and cliche accent (shallow, I know). Its amazing how many people you can draw when you tell them what they want to hear.

 

Yeah. He kinda gives me the chills too. Like a robot or something, but I will say that I always felt like he was guiding his message toward trying to help people earnestly, give hope; rather send your money to the front and God will give you 10times more.

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Guest Acorn
I mostly take issue with Olsteen for his feel-good talk about how belief will make his congregation materially wealthy. That and his smarmy smile, greasy hair, and cliche accent (shallow, I know). Its amazing how many people you can draw when you tell them what they want to hear.

It just amazes me how many people he fools. That smile projects loud and clear to me just what he's all about.

 

 

Hey. All Ill say to that is Ronald Reagan :lmao: Same way with his smile on camera.

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Guest eejay
I mostly take issue with Olsteen for his feel-good talk about how belief will make his congregation materially wealthy. That and his smarmy smile, greasy hair, and cliche accent (shallow, I know). Its amazing how many people you can draw when you tell them what they want to hear.

It just amazes me how many people he fools. That smile projects loud and clear to me just what he's all about.

 

 

Hey. All Ill say to that is Ronald Reagan :lmao: Same way with his smile on camera.

Well, we are getting a little off the topic here, but what about Mr. Obama's smile?

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Guest Acorn
Well, we are getting a little off the topic here, but what about Mr. Obama's smile?

 

In all honesty, I have stopped looking at politics for almost 8yrs now. Its like religion, no end to debate.

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Yay I love getting off topic! :grin:

 

Olsteen, Reagan, Dick Clark, robots every last one! I'm sure of it!!

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Guest Acorn
Yay I love getting off topic! :grin:

 

Olsteen, Reagan, Dick Clark, robots every last one! I'm sure of it!!

 

Dick Clark! I forgot about him :lmao:

 

 

Well. The OP seems to have left the building anyhow.

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Well. The OP seems to have left the building anyhow.

 

 

Sorry. Baseball practices and birthday parties. Poor Joel Osteen! He doesn't want to be in his ministry! I had no idea he was required by god to carry on his father's church and sell books and build huge buildings. And gather a large following. And be interviewed by major media. And become an evangelical phenom. I'm sure he's suffering greatly...

 

My favorite evangelist currently is the amazing Creflo Dollar. Why in the world the TV at 24 hour fitness had him on the other day, I don't know. I mean, if your name is Creflo Dollar what the hell else are you going to do but try to scam as many people out of their dollars as possible? And here he was, telling his congregation that some people love their things more than god. I'm sure that doesn't apply to him at all...

 

Anyone (anyone) who has the temerity to say they know what god wants for you is full of sh**. Or themselves. You pick. Even Billy Graham (who is the least offensive of all the evangelists I can think of). He's as full of crap as any of them. Meeting with presidents and world leaders and giving them spiritual advice. Would any normal person feel qualified to do that?

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Edited above because I'm new enough to not be sure what's allowed in the Colosseum. Hopefully not too inflammatory or I guess I'll be moving to the Arena*, huh?!

 

*Guess that would be the Lion's Den... sorry!

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OK, went back and reviewed the rules. I see that we have, indeed, wandered in topic. So, to get back to the point, I guess the fact that some religious stations have less money would influence their infomercial programming. One could argue, though, that christians should have a higher moral standard that wouldn't allow them to prey on the gullible in order to support their programming.

 

And no one has either confirmed or denied any link between multi-level-marketing scams and christians. Surely someone out there has friends involved in MLM.

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Is Multi-Level Marketing when one person sponsors a batch of other people. And then they can each sponsor another batch of people? Every time the people below you sponsor others, you move up a level. Is that what you're talking about?

 

Some of my siblings are involved in that kind of thing, selling organic products. I find it really scary and I think they should stick to their home businesses and farms where they know who is the boss and legal owner.

 

However, their religion is not exactly evangelical so I don't know if there is a link.

 

Also, they think I am the gullible person....Okay I'm looking the word up in answers.com. It says: Easily deceived or duped. Here are two quotes:

 

Quotes:

 

"We are inclined to believe those whom we don not know because they have never deceived us." - Samuel Johnson

 

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." - Demosthenes

 

From further down the page:

 

Definition: naive, trusting

Antonyms: astute, discerning, knowledgeable, perceptive, suspicious, unbelieving, untrusting, wise

 

*******************************

 

I really don't know how to decide or judge that another person is wise or stupid or whether they trust the right or wrong people. All of us are suspicious of some people and trusting of others. Most people are wise in their own way. They see selling organic products as a way of earning an income. One person got started and he gets others into it--naturally because that puts him up a level. I don't like it one little bit but my input is not wanted at all and what's more, I have had very little or no contact for nearly a year. That is how I want it. All the same, there's the info in case it's helpful.

 

About their religion. They do have many things in common with evangelical religion. They trust god for the details of everyday life, which includes things like finding out about this kind of business and being led to involvement in it, etc. They differ with evangelical religion in that they don't try to convert others, don't believe in OSAS, and are not strong in born-again doctrine. When it comes to answered prayer and trust in god and end times, they are the same as evangelical religion so far as I can see; the evangelicals vary considerably on these items.

 

Are they gullible? Their education is no more than Grade 8, some of them not even that much. But I don't think it's all in level of education. I think there's more to wisdom than formal education and book-learning. Once I heard two young farmers talking. One man said, "I guess it doesn't matter how stupid you are so long as you can take care of yourself." The other agreed. Naturally, that meant taking care of their families and homes. Given that they were quite young, probably 20s, they were likely newly married with young children and just starting farm operations with huge debts and older over-seers who knew how they should do everything from what time to get up in the morning to how and when to discipline their kids, not to mention important stuff like operate a farm efficiently. These overseers had probably invested money in the farms and expected to see returns on it.

 

My sibs are in their forties by now and it may well be that the people who loaned them money to buy homes are looking for returns that are not coming in. I can see why they would be suckered in by stuff like this kind of marketing. I still don't like it.

 

I'm not sure if this is what you're talking about.

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"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." - Demosthenes

 

From further down the page:

 

Definition: naive, trusting

Antonyms: astute, discerning, knowledgeable, perceptive, suspicious, unbelieving, untrusting, wise

 

*******************************

 

I really don't know how to decide or judge that another person is wise or stupid or whether they trust the right or wrong people.

 

 

Interesting points, RubySera. I ask these questions considering myself to have been a gullible person in the past. I would assume that whatever someone was telling me they were telling me with good intentions unless I had reason to believe otherwise. I think my experience with evangelical christianity has changed that. I'm not saying that I never believe anyone, but I'm sure a lot more careful. And, more cynical (which I don't necessarily consider bad). I definitely take things with a grain of salt and investigate more.

 

I'm not really trying to decide if some are wise or stupid. You're right about formal education not being the only way for someone to be intelligent. I'm really suspicious, though, that people like Creflo Dollar, some of these infomercial people that try to sell various miracle pills, the top few of the MLM marketing chain--they all seem to either use religion to draw people in or to depend on religious peoples' gullibility (tendency to believe things at face value instead of really looking into them). Which just makes their business seem that much more illegitimate and immoral.

 

I think your feelings about your relatives selling stuff are probably right. But, to each his own, I guess. I think that kind of thing works out every once in awhile. But for every success story there are many who either earned little or ended up losing money.

 

Thanks for your reply!

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What really bothers me is that it seems in the system my sibs are involved with, the person who gets others below him gets money just for sponsoring them. I did a bit of research in wikipedia just now on multilevel marketing and followed a few links. From wikipedia:

 

A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, usually without any product or service being delivered. It has been known to come under many guises. Some famous examples including the massive Albanian Pyramid Schemes of 1996[1] were technically not Pyramid schemes but Ponzi schemes.

 

Pyramid schemes are illegal in many countries, including the United States,[2] the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Malaysia, Norway, Australia [3], New Zealand, [4], Nepal[5], Sri Lanka [6] and Iran[7]. These types of schemes have existed for at least a century.

 

I don't know too many details. Maybe they're not involved in a pyramid scheme but from what I remember based on what I was told, it sounds an awful lot like it. So maybe this is more devious than what you are talking about, XCCC.

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Here's a few opinions about xtians and crazy schemes. I got involved with Primerica for a while (long after leaving xtianity) and I made some observations. Oh, for those of you who don't know, Primerica is a life insurance/financial planning organization run on a MLM type model.

 

One of the reasons I think xtians were drawn to Primerica (and they were in droves) is because the company is blatantly run by xtians. Much of their internal training and cheerleading has a very xtian undertone to it. So obviously xtians are drawn to a company that exudes their "values". I also think these MLM schemes tie into people's belief that god wants them to be prosperous.

 

I know that my manager in Primerica was a very vocal born again xtian and he was very direct about god sending him to Primerica to gain his god given prosperity (while helping others).

 

But really, if people are going to believe what they are told at church, you could sell them swamp land in Florida, couldn't you? I do think there is a certain gullibility, a certain habit of not questioning what they are told.

 

Heather

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XCCC, I had not intended to detract from your thread, and my guess is the person who posted on my thread just hasn't seen your thread. But anyway, I started a thread here in Rants and Replies about my sibs, what they're doing, they think they're so good...... Anyway, Knitterman wrote a really good post on there that may be of interest to you if you haven't seen it yet. Jus figured I'd draw your attention to it.

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XCCC, I had not intended to detract from your thread, and my guess is the person who posted on my thread just hasn't seen your thread. But anyway, I started a thread here in Rants and Replies about my sibs, what they're doing, they think they're so good...... Anyway, Knitterman wrote a really good post on there that may be of interest to you if you haven't seen it yet. Jus figured I'd draw your attention to it.

 

 

Thanks, RubySera. Very interesting thread over there. I sense a "religious fervor" among the MLM people I've known. And a preoccupation with "financial freedom" (so they can give more money and time to god, of course...).

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How kind you are, XCCC. When I saw your post on my thread I thought "Oh no! I have really ripped your thread off."

 

I had actually written some of my OP in response to this thread and then I thought it's off-topic so I started my own thread. How ironic. It seems creators of threads aren't rulers of universes; we can't control every detail of all that happens in our threads. They take on a life of their own and take us in unanticipated directions, which is okay. If we knew everything to be known, we wouldn't start discussions to begin with. But these two threads do seem to have evolved into parallel discussions more or less. Yours might be more level-headed while mine is in Rants and Replies so people might be ranting more about how Christians rip each other off in the name of brotherly love. Thanks for your kindness and understanding.

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