Published: Friday, June 14 2013 4:55 p.m. MDT
Wow, Mr. Merling. Took you 23 paragraphs to tell us something we already
know.People abuse faith and religion to accumulate wealth and power.
Better yet. There are scammers and suckers born every minute.What is
ironic to me is that the ones running the scam are more often than not the ones
preaching morals and values. And the ones being scammed? Well, when
you can't have a single thought of your own, it's pretty hard to tell
whether or not someone is telling you lies.
First: ""You give a gift, we basically take it offshore — and
we've been doing this for nine years, nobody's ever lost a dime
— and we multiply it back through the body of Christ.”The language fraudsters use is often a giveaway. The remarks above are
gobbledygook. The con man was hoping people would focus on the religious
reference and not the fact what he was saying made no sense. Second:
Small acts of charity that get a lot of publicity are often cover for
fraudsters. In a profile of Jeremy Johnson in the New York Times over the
weekend, his supporters made much of low-value grants he gave to Utahans,
ignoring he is alleged to have defrauded people of $400 million.
Johnson's two-week 'charity' visit to Haiti was also likely
'cover.'Third: Is the state government of Utah really a
good place to go for advice on avoiding fraud? The relationship between its
leadership and con men in Utah is currently quite high profile. And, note
Johnson used shell corporations to get around checking the background of iWorks
When it comes to organized religion the title of this article says it all.
It's not just investor fraud that is perpetrated on the faithful.
Here is what you should know in Utah: When your bishop, or former bishop, or
high councilman, or Elder's quorum president who seems to be rolling in the
dough comes to you with an opportunity to invest in an inside deal in a
can't miss venture, the first thing you should do (after you tell him
you're not interested) is call the police. Seriously. Call the police and
make a report. The D-News doesn't need to tell stories about Ponzi schemes
in other states among other faiths. Unfortunately, the LDS Church has more than
its share of wolves in sheep's clothing who feed on the flock and our
crooks can compete with the best of them. Realy. Call the police. Unfortunately,
these scammers usually do not get caught until everyone's money is spent to
support the lavish life style of the fraudster. The Cons rely on the fact that
they can lull their victims into inaction with more promises because the marks
do not want to admit that they were taken and their money is gone. Fraudsters
count on this gullibility and denial as an integral part of their schemes.
Why does it happen here so much? People gullible enough to believe tall tales of
religion are gullible enough to believe the lies of their leaders selling snake
All of you making derogatory comments about the LDS church really should find a
better forum than the church owned newspaper. If you don't like what you
read then go read the tribune. It will tell you what you want to hear. I hear
all this talk about tolerance and how intolerant the church is then I get called
a fool for believing in "tall tales" and being a liar. I really hope the
comments on this board are not a good representation of the population as a
Growing up in California, my Dad had a principle that he always held firm to.
He never did business with church members. I would add that since I have been
in Utah, don't work for church members. As a general rule (not speaking
for all of them), they pay less, promote brother so and so's kid and you
don't get a fair shake if you don't have a political in...In my opinion, this is a reflection of the getting ahead of the Joneses
mentality in Utah and not a reflection on the Church. When you get 20s and 30
somethings comparing cruises, vacations, cars, and neighborhoods, it catches up
in the culture. Wages in Utah are becoming less competitive. I
know as I am having much more luck with career opportunities in finance outside
of Utah than inside Utah.
How ironic an article, Saturday I saw the play "the Sting" in Southern
California. Its a story about these two low level grifters (In the '73
movie version were played by Redford and Newman) were able to scam this high
level Hoodlum Lonnigan (Played by Robert Shaw) out of one-half Million bucks. In
1930 dollars! What was Lonnigan's downfall was basic human greed and
letting revenge interfear with his logical thinking. Also Lonnigan didn't
know the grifters cooked/delayed the horse race results they were feeding him.
He was hooked and he got an unwanted haircut. Does this sound familiar? I love Utah's multi-level marketing culture. The fiction that the
participants selling whatever to somebody else as a distributorship will make
them rich. The truth is: the original partners make the bucks everybody else
works for dirt. As Play-by-the-rules above says. In Utah, the business game is
fixed. You best start your own business and hope for the best.
A comment on the article: Utah relevence in the title but little said about
Utah in the article. And an obvious spot that left the reader hanging is where
the point was made about fraudsters prey upon returned missionaries. The writer
stated the "what" and never went on with the "how". The article
read like the writer rewrote another writer's article and tried to
"personalize" it with tidbits of Utah involvement.
Physics27- I never said YOUR religion, I was talking religion in
general. And I didn't call YOU a liar, but leaders who use their position
of trust to get financial gain - they are the liars. Let me make rephrase what I
said. It is dangerous thinking that gets people in these tough positions. Many
church members think that because the person they are investing with is honest
and moral due to being a member or leader of their same church - that is
dangerous thinking. The gullibility is 'he is my bishop, he wouldn't
scam me'. That because he is a church leader, and that alone, makes him
incapable of taking advantage of me. I had a brother in-law lose $50,000 in a
ponzi scheme he got into with a member of his bishopric (mormon). I advised
against the deal, and he told me to mind my own business, which I did. He lost
the money. It was his whole life savings, and poof - gone. I know first hand how
bad these deals can go.
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