THERE’S a new ponzi scheme targeting Cape Town’s ‘woke females’ who seem to think that sharing videos on babies and spirituality via social media like Whatsapp and Telegram, is going to lead to an empowering ‘gifting event.’ With all the overtones of stokvel and women’s circle (both legitimate) loom also known as the ‘blessing loom’, and ‘secret sisters’, relies on new money from a devolving membership in order to function and is thus a Ponzi Scheme.
Things have certainly progressed since the simple ‘chain letter’ scams of my days at school. Try giving someone a gold coin to plant, to make a gold coin tree grow and you will get the picture.
If you missed the Bitcoin Ponzis or the Crowdfunding Ponzis such as Crowd1, get ready for the post-Covid Spirituality Ponzi going viral as we speak, in Australia, Nigeria and Cape Town.
Women do count in my book. But I’m afraid the maths is against anyone playing this game since the way it runs is in multiples, 1, 2, 4, 8, … 64 which then requires 4096 people in order to have that moment when the magic jelly beans fall out of the proverbial unicorn’s backside.
The best description is by a women writing under the pseudonym Delphine Delchambre who published an article about her experience on Medium.
To put it short: one is invited, usually by a friend or relative, to join a simple, circular, money making system — its circular form makes its members believe it is not a pyramid system, but when one would virtually pull up the center of the circle and lift it, one would quickly see the circle evolving into… yes, a pyramid! Entering the system is as simple as paying a small amount of money, which in this case was €150. All you need to start “the game” is a Whatsapp account, some patience and — this is key — you are asked and expected to invite at least 2 or more of your beloved friends, family and acquaintances. The more people you manage to add to the circle, the quicker the movement of it, and thus, the easier it will be for you to make your chunk of easy money. In front of such minimum “work” stands a wealthy reward: you’d end up making €5250. (you can find more about how the money making actually works, by looking through the diagrams and pictures posted below) So, with a small effort and by spreading the “love” and “positive vibes” of this circle, you’d end up making a staggering €5250 profit in no time! For every person to eventually make this kind of money, the “Loom” needs to always, ad infinitum, keep on growing. 64 new people are needed for every person to gain his or her Loom-boon.
My own encounter with a local version of the ponzi preying on our community in its nefarious ‘activation of the feminine divine’, was via a close associate attempting to ‘sponsor’ my partner in a BEE version of the game that appears to have differing terms for the various levels or stages.
Since the game runs like a trojan hijacking our community and informal sector, it may also be manipulated, as one Youtuber explains, the problems are endless.
Please don’t get loomified. If you want to start a legitimate gift economy, make sure it complies with stokvel legislation and is truly sustainable.