Monday, April 16, 2012
Ponzi schemes promised high returns with very low or no risk to investors. The truth is that the returns given are from new investors.
Recently there are a number of cases in US. The most famous non church ponzi was Madoff Ponzi that involved USD$20 billion of investors' money. As for church related cases, the most prominent one is the one Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Church of Atlanta was involved that amounted to USD$11 million.
Usually in such cases, the pastors themselves are directly involved or they convinced their church members to participate in the investments. In the US as warned by an IRS agent if the investment has returns of 8 to 12% p.a the investor must be cautious. What he said is revealing,
"Good people go bad and it's always the greed factor or self-preservation. It clouds their judgment." Usually it is the greed of the individual that resulted in losing money.
Our country is not spared such scams. Scams in church may be isolated in Malaysia, but there are cases of Pastors involving themselves in multi level marketing (MLM) who solicited business from their congregations. Really these are clear conflict of interest. If these businesses are for personal gains, pastors should not be involved at all. They should be in God's business, looking after their sheeps and not doing a business for personal gains.
In my home town Kuching, I know of a pastor who is involved in a social enterprise that rear exotic fishes for export. Here he started this business to help the poor rural folks to earn a living. All profits are used to help the needy in rural areas. He is doing it for the love of God's children not for personal gains.
To read an article click on the title of this post.