SWRB, Usury, and Pyramid Schemes

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I know many big names are on Still Waters Revival Books website. I came across this the other day. I contacted their support person for clarification (and that was probably also the entirety of their session) and have yet to receive a response. I thought to post this to keep other people (who otherwise might be interested in Puritan literature) from being suckered in.

This was my message:

Hi. I am a Confessional Reformed Christian. I saw this on your website.
I know your group considers itself to be Reformed, so you should be aware.

1617807414297.png

Aside from sounding like a Pyramid Scheme, this is also usury, which the Larger Catechism forbids. Could you clarify?

The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, theft, robbery, man-stealing, and receiving anything that is stolen; fraudulent dealing, false weights and measures, removing landmarks, injustice and unfaithfulness in contracts between man and man, or in matters of trust; oppression, extortion, usury, (question 142)
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
100% profit in a short time sounds like a Bernie Madoff racket. I saw someone mention this or maybe a promo some months back, maybe last year. So it has been up for a while. How is it usury though if they are promising a return on some kind of investment, rather than someone being charged excessive interest on a loan they are bound to pay? From their perspective, is it usury if you have covered yourself with an out, as I'm sure they have, and not rather just some other scheme? So it's all buyer beware. Who knows, maybe the found the alchemists key or something. But I doubt it.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
After you "invest" in them, make sure to get a copy of the Puritan Hard Drive, because its low-low-price will expire at midnight!

In all seriousness... when I saw this, it struck me how brazen they have become. As for the men they plaster throughout their site? It is likely they only perused review materials SWRB provided them to get endorsements, and did not look too deeply into the outfit itself.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
100% profit in a short time sounds like a Bernie Madoff racket. I saw someone mention this or maybe a promo some months back, maybe last year. So it has been up for a while. How is it usury though if they are promising a return on some kind of investment, rather than someone being charged excessive interest on a loan they are bound to pay? From their perspective, is it usury if you have covered yourself with an out, as I'm sure they have, and not rather just some other scheme? So it's all buyer beware. Who knows, maybe the found the alchemists key or something. But I doubt it.

I guess that's true. I just saw the return on the investment as usury. I suppose it doesn't have to be. They still come across as shady dealers.
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
Yikes. I remember seeing that up on their site several years ago. I wonder how many people have "donated." Does anyone have the inside scoop on this? I see our own @Matthew McMahon is quoted on the site; perhaps he knows more about if this is reputable (or is it as shady as it seems)?
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Do they abide by US copyright laws? Is everything Public Domain?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
How is it usury though if they are promising a return on some kind of investment,
On the face of the document, they themselves call it a loan. They may be structuring it as a Sharia compliant loan, where they don't label it as interest, but roll the time value of the money into a "purchase price" paid to what we would consider to be the lender who has acquired the property from the actual seller.. But it doesn't really look like it's set up for that.

But with those kinds of returns promised, it doesn't look that clean.

By the way @BayouHuguenot , do they say what the 'short term' is?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Reg ran into objections from Early English Books at some point. How he got around it later and redid his collection I don't know. The first collection on CDs didn't bother to cut off the EEB labeling (well, UMI I think for the original microfilms). Someone or ones had sat at the local branch library and EEB knew someone had just grabbed tons and tons of stuff. I know because I contacted them to find out if anyone could do what SWRB was doing; well, no, was the answer. EEB had to get permission again from all the libraries that were originally microfilmed to do the digital offerings in EEBO and not all agreed I guess because you will still run into the need to consult the old microfilm collection.
 

PeterR

Puritan Board Freshman
Are there any laws in USA about advertising loans in that way? I rather suspect there would be if that were done here in UK!
 

Boreal

Puritan Board Freshman
I know many big names are on Still Waters Revival Books website. I came across this the other day. I contacted their support person for clarification (and that was probably also the entirety of their session) and have yet to receive a response. I thought to post this to keep other people (who otherwise might be interested in Puritan literature) from being suckered in.

This was my message:

Hi. I am a Confessional Reformed Christian. I saw this on your website.
[/URL]
I know your group considers itself to be Reformed, so you should be aware.

View attachment 7917

Aside from sounding like a Pyramid Scheme, this is also usury, which the Larger Catechism forbids. Could you clarify?

The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, theft, robbery, man-stealing, and receiving anything that is stolen; fraudulent dealing, false weights and measures, removing landmarks, injustice and unfaithfulness in contracts between man and man, or in matters of trust; oppression, extortion, usury, (question 142)
Thanks for the heads-up. Their site always did seem rather strange.
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would be embarrassed if someone I was witnessing to came across this and showed it to me. I wouldn’t know what to say....
 
Top