Is there a difference between MMM and Helping Hands International? These two schemes are very popular in Nigeria. In fact MMM has over 500,000 members and Helping Hands is also moving towards that figure.
For many people who are new to MMM and Helping Hands International, the two schemes might look like the same thing, however, they are very much different.
While MMM is a Ponzi Scheme, Helping Hands International is a Pyramid Scheme. A Ponzi Scheme promises mostly huge ‘interests’ on contributions or ‘donations’ while a Pyramid Scheme does not really promise interests but pays out fractions of contributions from new members to old members who have to keep recruiting new members to move up on the pyramid.
As in the case of MMM, the major attraction is the 30% return on Investment. The Ponzi Scheme also promise more interest under the MMM Extra phase. The scheme require members who want to get up 100% which includes their 30% and other bonuses to perform certain tasks.
As for Helping Hands, the focus is on recruitments in order for members to build their own pyramid and move up the ladder. Helping Hands provides members with ‘juicy’ benefits such as laptops, iPads, cars and other exotic promises all in the bid to lure them and get them on the pyramid.
However, because MMM promises huge interest or ROI to members, it is likely to collapse faster than Helping Hands. This does not mean helping hands is better either. The mere fact that MMM will have to pay huge bonuses to members plus what they bring means there will be a huge pressure on the system this is why the collapse of MMM always makes more news.
The mere fact that MMM promises huge interests also makes it more attractive to members. While MMM and Helping Hands use the pretext of fighting poverty and helping the poor as their marketing gimmicks, people are drawn to MMM in particular by the huge returns they can make by not really doing anything other than bring in converts and waiting for their ‘Mavros’ to appreciate.
Some of the similarities between these two schemes are majorly in their sustainability.
In Pyramid schemes such as Helping Hands, every member must bring in two people and must continue to bring in more people to move up the ladder. The associate level is given to anyone who has referred two people while the Prime Minister is for those high up on the pyramid.
In Ponzi Schemes such as MMM, the lifeblood is to get more people to join it. As matter of fact, MMM system states it clearly that the continuity of the scheme depends on getting new members on board. For all their hassles, MMM promises “+10% from a contribution amount made by each member (referral) you invited to the System”, to members as referral bonus. The pressure to bring more people gets intense under the Guiders Level. All Guiders are promised ‘+5%, 3%, 1% and 0,25%’ plus their 30% and 10% referral bonus.
Another similarity between MMM and Helping Hands is that they do not have any physical product they sell or any services to render either to members and or themselves. Therefore they are both not a multi-level marketing, MLM programmes. They depend on a continuous flow of new members. Where they get stuck is when new members stop coming in, they are likely to collapse at that stage.
MMM and Helping Hands are at the end of the day same of the same. While one promises huge interests, the other promises empowerment and stable incomes for its members.
However, the people who get the shorter end of the ropes are the ones below the pyramid in the case of Helping Hands, while the ones who tend to lose huge amount of money are ones who join when the Ponzi Scheme has become too popular in the case of MMM.
These catch for these two schemes are hinged on escaping poverty, helping the people, fighting for the oppress. However, insider accounts and bitter experience of former members after they collapse are replete with financial losses, broken dreams and disappointment.