Apostles ran a Ponzi scheme (?)
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02-05-2014, 03:35 PM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2014 10:42 PM by Noonespecial.)
Apostles ran a Ponzi scheme (?)
I was cruising through the 'good book' and came across an interesting passage:
Acts 4:32 - Acts 5:11

In summary:
The apostles were dishing out some deep shit. Everyone liked it and were joining the group in droves. People would sell all their stuff and give it to the apostles, who would give it to the people already there. It was a grand, happy commune.

Then one day some dude decided he wanted to keep a little for himself. When he was caught with some cash he got so stressed out he had a heart attack and dropped dead right there. They buried the bum. Later, his wife walks in and she hears what happened to her hubby. Being guilty herself, she stress and drops dead too.

After that, everyone was so frightened, they made sure to give all their cash to the bossman.

Is this or is this not the definition of a Ponzi scheme? New people give their money to be distributed to those already there. Then more new people give their money. Repeat. And don't forget the motivational story.

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02-05-2014, 08:17 PM
RE: Apostles ran a Ponzi scheme (?)
Dunno... Sounds a bit like the band I just joined.

Audition... Played a 2 hour, rocking good Blues set. They asked me to join on the spot, saying this was the sort of stuff they did. So I joined up.

This morning they sent me the set list... Its all bloody Take That and Wham covers.

Talk about false fucking advertising! Angry Censored

I thought it was a bit fishy when they all ordered milkshakes while I ordered beer... Consider

I dunno what this world is comin' to... Unsure

Sorry... Got a bit sidetracked there.

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03-05-2014, 02:52 AM
RE: Apostles ran a Ponzi scheme (?)
It's not exactly a Ponzi scheme because disproportionately more should go to the people the earlier they joined.

When a new member joins they give their stuff to everyone. In a Ponzi scheme they would give their stuff to the person who introduced them to it who would give a proportion to whoever introduced them etc. It means that the person right at the top makes an awful lot of money.

Religious cults do away with the hierarchy and just have a central figure who gets given it all straight away.
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03-05-2014, 06:01 AM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2014 06:11 PM by Noonespecial.)
RE: Apostles ran a Ponzi scheme (?)
(03-05-2014 02:52 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  It's not exactly a Ponzi scheme because disproportionately more should go to the people the earlier they joined.

When a new member joins they give their stuff to everyone. In a Ponzi scheme they would give their stuff to the person who introduced them to it who would give a proportion to whoever introduced them etc. It means that the person right at the top makes an awful lot of money.

Religious cults do away with the hierarchy and just have a central figure who gets given it all straight away.

True, there are differences in implementation, but the generality is still valid:

1. The apostles directly took the money. In a Ponzi, most of the money still goes to the boss. Madoff had feeders who took kickbacks, but most investments went to him. Mr. Ponzi mainly took the money directly.

2. The money was redistributed "as needed". In a Ponzi, the money has to be redistributed as needed to keep the investors happy.

3. There is motivation to give. The Apostles used fear, as in the case of the husband and wife dropping dead for not giving EVERYTHING to the boss. The passage also revered Joseph for giving everything. In a Ponzi the motivation is greed. Madoff was smart in only giving around 10% return. Some of my coworkers were drawn into a 1000% return scheme before it fell apart.

4. In both a Ponzi scheme and this example enough money has to be given to keep the people happy. If people leave the money will dry up.

5. The passage describes how new people are constantly joining; just like in a Ponzi.

6. Are not the Pope and cardinals some of the richest people on earth? (Yeah, yeah, the "Church" owns it. Still nice to be able to have lobster and caviar every day.)

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