The Story of Bless 7 and TeachingU2Fish.com

Dave Lieber’s Watchdog Nation visited a church to learn about an investment program, Bless 7 (part of TeachingU2Fish) that started in Florida and spread to Dallas-Fort Worth. Here’s the story readers of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Dave Lieber column first learned: 

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The scene is a small church off East Rosedale Street in Fort Worth. It’s the regular Tuesday night meeting of Bless 7, a financial program that’s become a summer sensation in Fort Worth and Dallas.

More than 6,000 people have joined, organizers say.

Donald Wilson of Tampa, Fla., founder and CEO of TeachingU2Fish, which offers the Bless 7 program, prepares to speak to three dozen people.

Donald Wilson, founder and CEO of Bless 7, part of TeachingU2Fish

“How you doing, everybody?” he asks with a twinkle in his eye. “How many of you need a financial blessing?” When only a few answer, Wilson tries to pump them up: “It’s time for y’all to wake up now, hear? If they ain’t told you about me, you better wake up now. Amen?”

“Amen!” audience members shout.

Church where Bless 7 meetings are held Tuesday nights in Fort Worth, Texas

Word about Wilson is spreading through the African-American community. He promises that Bless 7, part of what he says is a for-profit ministry, will help pastors raise thousands of dollars a month for their churches.

Bless 7 also promises wealth and exposure for small businesses and nonprofits that join.

Wilson wears his hair in a short ponytail. He keeps a Bluetooth device in his right ear even when addressing an audience. He’s confident of his abilities to persuade.

“God told me when he designed this program, he designed it for the poor and the needy,” Wilson says.

It costs $25 to join the plan. Then members start recruiting others. When they bring in the first seven, they have completed their first mission. That’s where the name comes from. They get paid — or blessed — for each recruit.

But blessings so far have been sparse, some members have said. Audience members say they can’t get the program to work on their computer or haven’t been paid.- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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Wilson says that the program started this year in Florida but that when he moved it to Texas in May, organizers used paper applications to register members. Now 6,000 members’ information is being converted to a computerized database.

“The IT people messed it up,” Wilson says. Members lost access to data on the people they had recruited. “So I shut it all down,” he says. “We’ve got two women putting 6,000 people back in there one by one.

“We’ll be resuming pay Friday. If it ain’t ready Friday, we won’t start Friday. … But I think we’ve made it through troubled times. Some places would have shut down. But people all around the world are coming in. Amen?”

“Amen,” some answer.

After his explanation for the delay, Wilson pivots into his pitch. Aside from money for bringing in people, the program promises members other tangible goods and services. Without those, a financial program that pays only for recruiting others is considered an illegal pyramid scheme in Texas.

Wilson says that’s not the case here.

A key part of the program is that members get paid when people use the program’s Web browser toolbar for Internet searches.

A toolbar is a lengthy horizontal strip atop a browser in which search terms are typed. The Bless 7 toolbar also has a donation button, a video button and announcements.

Every search that uses the toolbar brings a member 5 cents. That adds up to thousands of dollars, Wilson says.

Members also have access to an online “discount shopping mall” that offers cash back on purchases. Members get a commission when others use their store.

Other promised Bless 7 benefits: discounts on drug prescriptions, phone bills, travel and a home security system. Medical, dental, auto and life insurance is offered too.

Wilson also promises that as members move up levels in the organization, up to $5,000 a day in gold and silver coins can be delivered to their home. A shiny silver coin is passed around the room. “I would advise you to get a fireproof safe,” a Wilson lieutenant says.

A shiny silver coin is passed around. Get a fireproof safe, the people are told.

Then there are deals on auto leasing and houses for high-level members. A member in good standing needs only a notarized letter from his or her church’s minister attesting that the member regularly donates to that church. Then the program promises to make auto-lease payments of up to $2,500 a month. After two years, the program “gives” the car to the member, organizers promise.

Members can get a home the same way. Bless 7 organizers say they will get foreclosed homes and give them to members who have a notarized letter from their pastor.

Little of that has happened yet because Wilson says he is still in the early stages of gathering people.

Wilson recently asked everyone to give an extra $7 to keep the program going. He raised $1,900 from that. But he says setbacks this year have cost him $180,000.

That doesn’t stop audience members from stepping to the back of the church to pay.

As another Bless 7 speaker, Elgin V. Pringle 3d, says, “You wake up, put on your bathrobe, pick up the check and lay back down.”

His father, Elgin Pringle Jr., the Fort Worth manager for the program, says, “It’s going to be the next national phenomenon.”

Amen?

Amen.

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Dave Lieber shows Americans how to fight back against corporate deceptions in his wonderful book, Dave Lieber’s Watchdog Nation: Bite Back When Businesses and Scammers Do You Wrong. Are you tired of losing time, money and aggravation to all the assaults on our wallets? Learn how to fight back with ease — and win. Get the book here.

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