Call it pet afterlife insurance. Or call it the strangest small business venture we've heard about in this lifetime. Just don't call it a holy rip-off, because the atheist known as Bart is serious about cashing in on an event he doesn't believe in.
The business in question is Eternal-Earthbound-Pets.com, a service founded by atheists whose target customers are devout Christians anticipating the rapture.
Here’s how it works:
Starting for a $110 fee, Eternal-Earthbound-Pets.com (EEP) promises that if and when the rapture occurs, they will care for any pets left behind.
What’s the rapture? According to many Christians it is when believers will be instantaneously transported to heaven, leaving behind their nonbelieving friends and earthly possessions, including pets.
So the idea behind EEP is that pets and atheists will not be raptured (according to many, the only prerequisite for rapture is accepting Jesus as your savior), which means there will be plenty of pet-loving nonbelievers available to care for all heathen animals, provided they know where the believer’s pet lives and the believer’s check has cleared. That's where EEP comes in.
“We’re all of good character, we’re pet lovers and we’ve all blasphemed against the holy spirit in accordance with Mark 3:29,” says Bart, a retired department store executive from New Hampshire and the founder of EEP, who refused to provide his full name.
Subscribers pay $110 for the first pet, and $15 for each additional under the same roof. Although he would not get specific, Bart says some people, more than one and less than 175, are on board. Holy cow!
Small Business Quandary: Can Opposites Attract?
Now there’s a lot we could write, but in an effort to keep this objective, let’s first take a look at one important way EEP is different from most businesses out there. Whereas most businesses big and small (Whole Foods (Stock Quote: WFMI) excluded) go to great lengths to demonstrate that the business owners and the customers share similar values, EEP definitely does not.
Imagine, for example, the CEO of Home Depot (Stock Quote: HD) saying to customers: “We appreciate your business, but frankly, we don't believe in D.I.Y. projects. You want to spend all weekend fixing your garage door when for a little bit more you could hire a guy who knows what he’s doing? Fine. We’ll sell you the tools, but I think you’re nuts and I would never do that kind of thing myself.”