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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Adulation for MMM

In the first days of the latest MMM crisis, representatives of the company began vaguely hinting that the government should not investigate its operations for fear of the wrath of millions of shareholders. Some analysts even speculated that MMM president Sergei Mavrodi might run for president on the strength of the scandal, and now a group called the MMM Shareholder's Union claims to have 20,000 members and is calling for Mavrodi's release. One of MMM's responses to the investigation was to publish advertisements calling for letters from supporters. This week all the papers have been running full-page ads featuring these letters. We reprint some excerpts here -- without vouching for their authenticity -- to show how MMM is pushing its populist argument.

Thank you very much -- at least you are worrying about the welfare of simple people, those who aren't needed by our dim-witted government or our "respected" president. They are more concerned with cutting off every means by which a simple person can earn at least a little income. They are just trying to stuff their own wallets. I just don't understand why they were so unhappy with that commercial about buying a house in Paris. I guess they are worried that simple people might end up living next door to them and their families. They just want us to work as servants in their houses, not having anything of our own. They write that MMM is just a speculation, a deception. Why don't they talk about how they themselves are cruelly deceiving people? They are building mansions for themselves on the money of simple people and sending their families to live abroad. I give thanks that our country has honest, clean and just people like the founders of MMM.

The ad ran in Izvestia, August 10

I am a sailor who has served for 15 years. During those 15 years I was able to save up 40,000 old rubles. Then, thanks to Gaidar, I was left with nothing, except my ruined health. That is how Gaidar's government robbed us. And I think that millions of people -- sailors, miners, pensioners, teachers ... -- will agree with this letter. I invested every bit of my money in MMM and in two months I was able to compensate for the money that the government had stolen from me. I also persuaded many other people to buy MMM shares. If the government can't do anything to help shareholders, at least let it stop its attacks on MMM. I trust MMM. When I get some extra money, I am going to buy your shares and I advise others to do the same. MMM is the only real force that can unite the population.

The ad ran in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, August 9

I am an officer who gave 16 years of his life to our country. In those days, the government was not able to solve my housing problem. For that reason, my parents still live in one of the "hot spots" of the former Soviet Union. Finally, in the form of your company, I have some hope. I believe that together we will overcome all our problems and force the skeptics to blush at their own unconstructive criticism. In a year, I hope, I will be able to buy some normal housing for my family on the dividends I will earn from MMM.

The ad ran in Izvestia, August 6

In our family, we are all shareholders. The money from our shares helps us solve many problems. I just sell a share and pay my rent or telephone bill. If we need something, we sell a share and when we have something extra, we buy shares. All of us trust MMM completely. We see that the company is reliable and respectable and that its advertisements completely reflect reality.

The ad ran in Sovetskaya Rossiya, August 11

I am one of your 45 million honest shareholders. I sympathize with all my heart with your firm, and may God grant you success and patience with our authorities, who are hounding you so much. They are doing the same thing to us pensioners. Since 1990 they have been cheating us, including Yeltsin. I am going to vote for Mavrodi for president, God grant him health. May MMM continue to prosper for the good of all of us simple and honest shareholders. Be clever and smart with your enemies, and kind and honest with us, your shareholders and friends.

The ad ran in Moskovskaya Pravda, August 5