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Greed

Greed is the sin of valuing anything over love. In my life there are two episodes where greed got the better of me. Both happened in Seattle, in my period of drunkenness leading up to quitting drinking in 2016. Both involved interactions with people in the dance community.

Prepper. One was with an acquaintance who was something of a prepper, a survivalist. I listened to his prepper ranting and let myself get all worked up, so worked up that I took his recommendations for stocks to buy, and diverted a good chunk of my savings into two rock-solid, can't-miss, prepper-approved stocks. By the time I came to my senses and sold those dogs, I had lost about $18k.

MLM. The other was a much bigger deal, a descent into the madness of greed. I was exposed to one of greed's scariest and most grotesque manifestations, MLM.

At a dance, I overheard a dancer talking to a group of other dancers about a business he was trying to get off the ground. If only he had about $25k to work with, he'd make this struggling business take off, and it'd be huge. My alcohol-addled brain was engaged: here's an opportunity to get in on something big as an angel investor, and be set for life by being part owner of a successful new enterprise.

So I spoke up, saying I might be able to help, and we arranged a meeting. I met with him at his house, and he explained his idea to me. I never really stopped to examine the idea rationally to see if I thought the proposed business made sense. I was just completely gung-ho, eager to get rich, blinded by greed.

So I invested in his scheme. I talked him up from $25k to $45k so I could get a bigger equity share. We made a partnership agreement, which I signed with him & his wife. She was really the one in charge; he was acting as her tool. One of the things I heard her say, a ritualistic question she would ask as she came in to join us in a meeting: "Am I rich yet?"

The two of them were also involved in an MLM scheme involving very expensive equipment. I went as his guest to one of their MLM meetings, where they extolled the wonders of this equipment. Various local people got up & gave testimonials, and there was a visiting lecturer with an elaborate slide show. The claims were amazing, incredible; this equipment could do so much. I was interested, but the meeting also felt creepy to me.

I did some research online this time, and was able to save myself from going down that particular rabbit hole. This soured our relationship enormously; it was as if I had betrayed them on some deep level. They looked at me so reproachfully. But I still had confidence in my initial investment; I was gonna be rich.

So yeah, I lost the $45k and they skipped the country. Lesson learned.