Zamfir wrote:DSenette wrote:not for the same individual. if you're the person who is treating it like a ponzi scheme, then i find it hard to think that you'd also be following the dogma whole heartedly as an actual adherant would. especially since for you to KNOW it's a ponzi scheme, you'd have to also know that the entire thing is a lie for the purpose of making you filthy fucking rich (for various definitions of rich).
so yes, it can be a ponzi scheme and a religion, but no one person could actually treat it as both.
Seriously, why not? Empirically, people are excellent at collecting wealth and power while also honestly believing in their cause. The Catholic church is the prime example of a religious organization that collects dues from around the world. The Vatican is still filled with die-hard believers who dedicated their lives to religion, and who are not exactly living a life of blow and hookers.
At other points in history the Vatican was filled with blow and hookers, and quite some of the cardinals of those days must have been in it for the money only. Then again, it's also possible to be in it for the gold, the hookers, and the religion, and all of them serious.
but they're not collecting the money as a ponzi scheme and they're not actively and knowingly participating in a ponzi scheme.
if you legitimately don't know that what you're doing is a ponzi scheme you can't be actually accused of leading a ponzi scheme.
besides that, collection of wealth and running a scam are two completely different things. the catholic church (as in, the church) isn't collecting wealth specifically to collect wealth, they do have a purpose for collecting the money and it's typically either for improving "the church" or improving the congregations of the church or for actually improving the lives of members of society as a whole (that one doesn't always happen they way they claim it will).
all of which is ENTIRELY different from tricking people into giving you money under false pretenses.