Pyramid Schemes Damage Practitioners and Harm Others
(Minghui.org) A non-practitioner friend of mine in China called me the other day and talked about OneCoin, a pyramid scheme suspected of being a scam. He said he knew a Falun Gong practitioner, who in the name of helping others, had sold thousands of OneCoin, to the tune of over a hundred thousand yuan, to other practitioners.
My friend said that he saw many practitioners trading OneCoin. He said, “Whenever they meet, they ask each other how much money they made or how much OneCoin they had sold recently. They claimed to be honest practitioners, and convinced many people to purchase OneCoin.” My friend told me that he would have thought all practitioners were like that had he not known me.
I've known about OneCoin since early last year, and have heard about it several times since then. Since this is such a serious issue, I decided to share some thoughts about it here. Many practitioners are involved, and some everyday people consider practitioners cheats. When OneCoin crashes one day, these people will lose their investments. Won't they blame the practitioners and Dafa? We should consider the consequences.
Master clearly talked about pyramid schemes and direct sales in His lectures:
“Disciple: There are practitioners promoting pyramid schemes and direct sales products among practitioners, and they won’t listen to others’ well-intended suggestions [to stop].
“Master: Whoever spreads among practitioners things unrelated to the Fa-rectification is interfering with Dafa disciples and damaging the form of Fa-rectification! The sin is bigger than that of demons. In the old forces’ words, it is more severe than what demons have done. That is truly causing harm. I have raised this question before: who can damage the cultivation form of Dafa disciples? Have external factors been able to damage it through persecution? They have only tempered Dafa disciples and made them mature, sifting out the sand. Who can really harm this cultivation group, or harm Dafa? No one can, as experience has shown. As I’ve said, that is how things are, and those who are interfered with are people with attachments—but nothing can damage the Fa. Only people within the group can have an adverse effect. Whoever does these things is not a Dafa disciple, so don’t regard him as a Dafa disciple no matter how long he has cultivated for.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)
Some of us want to sell things to practitioners, or even bring merchandise to group Fa-study locations to sell. For example, one practitioner who owns an incense factory told others during Fa-study, “Come and buy incense from me. All of you will receive a discount.” This practitioner is already doing what Master told us to avoid: “spreads among practitioners things unrelated to the Fa-rectification,” and it is wrong.
My understanding is that it might be alright if a practitioner happens to walk into the store to buy incense. But we should not target practitioners to sell merchandise to, let alone make a profit from the transaction.
Some practitioners have made tens of thousands of yuan, or hundreds of thousands of yuan profit through selling OneCoin. And now they are thinking about how to make more money selling it. Some admit they have made money through OneCoin, but they think there is nothing wrong since they did not sell it to other practitioners or everyday people.
Let us review Master's words:
“Disciple: A few years ago, incidents of collecting funds and making speeches that disrupted the Fa were taking place in the city of Harbin, and have continued occurring since that time. Many of the practitioners involved in that still haven’t awakened to the fact that what they’ve been doing is wrong, and they have not made up for the losses. Some of them act as though they’re very diligent, but in reality are trying to avoid dealing with the matter and are concealing what they’ve done. What should we do about this?
“Master: Some people are just going through the motions while a part of Dafa, and some are taking advantage of certain situations. Some of these cases are caused by a lack of diligence in cultivation, and some result from people having ulterior motives and thereby taking advantage of Dafa disciples’ kindness. So by all means, you need to watch out for these things. When you donate to or financially support someone, you must know and be perfectly clear on what he is doing with the money. Otherwise you cannot do it. If you give someone money, it amounts to supporting him in his actions, and you stand to be at fault as well. Therefore, the old forces won’t regard you as having been duped. Instead, they will see you as being in cahoots with the other party and supporting him. So you absolutely must be careful with these things.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
I think we should have a clear understanding after reading this lecture. When a person buys OneCoin, he or she is supporting a pyramid scheme. Any practitioner who participates in OneCoin could be used as an example to convince others to purchase more, “Look, such and such a practitioner bought this—it must be real.” “So many practitioners have bought this. There should be little risk in it.”
Fa-rectification cultivation is serious and we cannot fall at this critical moment; otherwise, we may lose this precious opportunity.