Pyramid games

            A story on TV featured an overweight woman on a jerry-rigged bench in a meeting room explaining why she bought into a pyramid game.  She ‘really needed’ the money.  Perhaps she was one of those who cashed in her life insurance and drove long distances nightly to be in a pyramid. 

            I went to two pyramid meetings.  The secrecy and security measures gave them an uneasy air.  The crowd was a mixture of average people with a sprinkling of hard types.

            The first meeting started with apprehension; they weren’t finding enough people to join.  The mood got better with testimonials and exhorta­tions of how people had made $l5,000.  This was appealing, but something was missing.

            On to the next meeting – a newer pyramid with more people.  It buzzed with excitement.  The pyramid was explained, many new people bought in and others paid off.  They were deceiving themselves as pyramids eventually collapse with 3% winning, 45% breaking even, and 51% losing all their money.

            These went on five nights a week with a constant need for more people. They were a good way to waste time, lose friends, risk arrest, and, in a few of cases, be robbed by criminals waiting outside.

            Who goes to these?  The greedy, who have no qualms about profiting at the heartbreak of friends and acquaintances.  The others are those P.T. Barnum said are born every minute – suckers.

            The games got warnings and action from the police and coverage from the media until they collapsed.  They must have left a trail of expensive lessons and damaged friendships.  Sometime in the future, they’ll surface again in a different and more ‘foolproof’ form, and the same types will go.  You have to see it to believe it.