Thursday, December 22, 2016

MLM and How to Build Character

Today's blog post is about an article I recently read called How to Build Character. Someone who builds a good character is very different from someone with a good moral compass. Building a good character is important for functionality in society, but it is not indicative of a person's true self. Friedrich Nietzsche talked about people having masks and the impossibility to know who someone really is, and this article furthers that idea by providing a manual on how to develop good character. Unfortunately, this guide can be both good and bad depending upon who is using it and how they choose to use it.



"It doesn’t take much hard thought to comprehend what Bartol meant by likening character to a diamond. While in the literal sense diamonds do scratch other hard surfaces, including character might at first seem odd, but it really isn’t. Anyone of good character (or bad, for that matter) can make a lasting impression. Just as a scratch from a diamond that endures."



This quote summarizes the article nicely, and explains how character affects the people we encounter. People tend to remember extremes better than lulls and this especially includes impressions from a person's character. Nobody has trouble remembering the villain from an arson or the hero who saved the child from a burning building, but everyone forgets the person watching the event transpire. This is why it is important to learn how to build character and be able to present yourself in an appealing way to others.

MLMers utilize edification and character building to make themselves more impactful. MLMers work on their mindset by reading and listening to self-help gurus. MLMers work on their charm by watching and imitating their predecessors' actions when meeting new prospects. MLMers work on their self-image by dressing a certain way and utilizing clothing to assert an image of value. These people train themselves consistently and repetitively until they become the ideal character everyone wants them to be.

It is important to remember that this is a fa├žade and that MLMers are not a true expression of their outward appearance. MLMers at the highest ranks know this is not a viable business, and they utilize their good character (or appealing character) to generate revenue for themselves through deception. Eric Scheibeler was a perfect example of a wholesome individual that got to one of the highest ranks (Emerald in Amway) and realized the business was not viable and the leaders were phonies. This further demonstrates that good character does not represent a good person.



Sources: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/12/22/how-to-build-character/

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

MLM and Product Value

Today's blog post is going to involve some math as we delve into the list of competitive products MLMs offer. I have previously held discussions on other blogs about MLM products and their inability to be competitive in an open market system, but MLMers are always prepared to make a response. Some of their responses are, the products are better quality, more concentrated, and made from responsible manufacturers or some version of these points. Therefore, today's post will be an honest apples to apples comparison between 3 products from 3 different MLMs vs their competitors.

The first product I am going to do a comparison of is Amway's XS energy drink and Monster energy drink. The reason I chose XS out of the Amway products is, it is one of the most popularly sold items in their inventory and it is one that I have actually tasted. Energy drinks are an extremely popular item these days, and it is important to get the best value, best taste, and best product for your hard earned dollars. Something interesting to note, Amway XS energy drink is now available on Amazon and does not require a membership to Amway, or a membership to an LOS to purchase.

XS Energy is sold in a 12 pack and each can holds 8.4 fluid ounces. The price per case is $39.98 from this listing and it has the most positive feedback. For arguments sake, we will call this product $40.00 with shipping included. 12 x 8.4 = 100.8 fluid ounces per $40.00 spent, or about $0.40 per fluid ounce.

Monster Energy Drink is sold in a 24 pack and each can holds 16 fluid ounces . The price per case is $47.26 from this listing with shipping and has the same amount of stars with almost the same number of reviews. 20 x 16 = 384 fluid ounces per $47.26 spent, or approximately $0.12 per fluid ounce.

XS energy is approximately 3x more expensive than Monster energy, they both have the same amount of positive feedback, and they both are effective at helping with energy. Please make sure if someone debates that XS energy has something special that Monster energy does not that you specifically look at the ingredients. Each of them have plenty of caffeine which is the most important part of an energy drink. A common distraction brought up by XS proponents is the types of vitamins available in the drink versus other energy drinks. By and large, most people do not care about vitamins in their energy drinks, and vitamins are not the important ingredients for helping to keep energy levels up.

The second item from MLM is Youngevity's peppermint oil versus Plant Therapy's peppermint oil. They both come from plants and are both organic. They both are designed for the same needs and both are the same scent. They are both highly rated and seem to be extremely similar in effectiveness and production.

Youngevity's peppermint oil is available in 10 m/l for $24.70.  There is also a shipping and handling fee of $13.00 as well as a $2.28 tax bringing the total to a very convenient $39.98 which we will say is $40.00 a bottle. If you become a distributor you can knock 30% off and get free shipping which brings the bottle back down to $25.00 (they remove the "tax" as well), or you can order at least $50.00 worth of product and get free shipping (how inconvenient as one bottle costs $40.00).

Plant Therapy also offers a 10 m/l version on Amazon for $7.95 with free shipping and no tax. You do not have to buy a minimum amount and you do not have to sign up to be a distributor. You also do not have to sign up for a recurring shipment monthly.

Plant Therapy is between 3-5x cheaper than Youngevity for the same product with the same qualities. They both have high ratings and they both are manufactured well. There does not seem to be any logical advantages to buy the Youngevity version over the Plant Therapy version.

The third MLM product is Shakeology Vanilla from Beachbody versus Labrada Lean Body Vanilla. They both are designed as meal replacement shakes and both contain high quantities of protein mixed with vitamins and minerals. They both have high ratings and they both are made from responsible manufacturers.

Shakeology comes in a 30 pack for $129.95. They also add $2.00 shipping for the cheapest available and $10.56 in tax bringing the total to $142.51 or approximately $4.75 per serving. They also offer 10% off if you become a regular member (sign up for monthly shipments) and 25% off for coaches, but they still charge tax and shipping.

Labrada lean comes in a 16 serving tub for $27.98. In an effort to do a fair comparison we will double that order to 2 tubs for 32 servings. The cost of the two tubs will be $55.96 and then shipping is $8.31 bringing the total cost to $64.27. $64.27 split among 32 servings equals approximately $2.00 per serving.

While I didn't go into specific details about the ingredients, it is important to remember that both of these products serve the same purpose and Labrada lean is half the cost with no sign up or monthly commitments. It is designed to do the same thing as Shakeology and major clinics such as the Mayo clinic continue to post information about shakes and their overall effectiveness which is something to take into consideration before purchasing.

This pattern of overpricing products is not unusual because of the payout structure. The payouts go through many levels as new customers join the business. If an MLMer tries to tell you their product is the best value and the best quality then they are lying. There is no efficacy to prove their products are better because they are in market spaces with little to no regulation or clinical support, and their products are the most expensive when compared with their competitors. These three examples are not unique.


Sources:

XS Energy: https://www.amazon.com/XS-Energy-Drinks-Variety-Ounce/dp/B002C94E1I

Monster Energy: https://www.amazon.com/Monster-Lo-carb-Energy-16-Ounce-27-5/dp/B001DNBYXK/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1482270856&sr=8-2&keywords=Monster+Energy+Drink+blue

Youngevity peppermint oil: http://youngofficial.com/product/youngevity-essential-oils-peppermint/

Plant Therapy peppermint oil: https://www.amazon.com/Plant-Therapy-Certified-Peppermint-Therapeutic/dp/B0062C2IKA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1482272840&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=peppermint%2Bessential%2Boil&th=1

Shakeology: http://www.shakeology.com/where-to-buy#vanilla

Labrada: http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/lab/lean-body-mrp.html

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Friday, December 16, 2016

MLM and Guilt

Today's blog post is about the use of guilt to manipulate a person. In this particular case, a person may utilize passive-aggressive behaviors to administer guilt in the other person in order to gain an advantage. For instance, if I were a member of a church and I asked someone to donate,because funds are needed to repair a part of the building, and they consistently refuse, I may use passive-aggressive behaviors to help coax them into donating. I could say something such as, "Do you feel that you are more special than the others who donate and attend the church?", or "It sure would be nice if everyone did their fair share around here" (In a sarcastic tone). This would almost certainly lead to guilt and probably a donation.

Guilt: make (someone) feel guilty, especially in order to induce them to do something.

MLMers use all types of coercion to get their way and guilt is one of their favorite weapons. They will consistently work on making a downline member feel worthless if they miss a meeting, don't pay their monthly subscription, or don't listen to their tapes/cds. The psychological warfare MLMers use on their downline can be vicious and can leave lasting effects after a person leaves the business.

When I was propositioned for Amway my sponsor and his upline were taught to use guilt very effectively. They would talk about the importance of following the system and emphasize the downfalls of missing important events. There was no opportunity to be successful without following the regiment, and the cost of deviation was guaranteed impoverishment while being controlled by a system that is designed to eliminate the possibility of growth.

The most ridiculous example comes from the FED I attended in October of 2015 when my sponsor made me feel terrible about potentially missing a Christian service. For the record, I'm not a Christian, but even if I were, it is unchristian to impose your beliefs on another individual. My sponsor told me it was a service I couldn't miss and could actually be beneficial to the business. My hands were tied as I had the choice of, compromising my values and attending something I didn't feel comfortable with, or face the possibility of missing out on a life-changing opportunity.

The interesting thing about guilt is, people can pick and choose what to feel guilty about. Many things are not within our control as human beings, but the emotions tied to guilt are within our grasp. It is good to feel guilty about doing the wrong thing, but it is important to remember that people may try to take advantage and manipulate that natural instinct. It is a good idea to think about why you feel guilty for a number of reasons, but mostly because guilt can be irrational and we have the ability to critically think and bring understanding to the situation.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

MLM and Animal Farm

Today's blog post is about a book written by George Orwell named Animal Farm. This book was written in 1943-1944, and it is about a farm with animals that revolt against a cruel leadership. The story reflects greed and power while demonstrating that absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is synonymous with MLM as they utilize their cunning to manipulate and deceive the people within the organization. MLMs will utilize their higher knowledge to create a vacuum of information while continuously deceiving people into sacrificing their labor for a greater good. Animal Farm is a manual for creating a totalitarian empire.

The animals lived under a totalitarian regime, named Manor Farm which is run by the Jones'. They made the animals work tirelessly for very little food and comfort. The animals at Manor Farm have their own hierarchy reflected by their levels of intelligence with the pigs at the top.  The pigs eventually organize the revolt successfully and take control of Manor Farm for themselves, in which they describe it as a republic for all animal kind. The story demonstrates the slow progression as the pigs transform the republic into a totalitarian regime and ultimately into something much worse than the original faction run by the Jones'.

This book is a stirring read, and it is important to note the similarities between the book and MLM. When Napoleon (main pig leader) seizes control he begins to manipulate or abolish the previous rules to better suit his needs. He transforms the community by changing their commandments, changing the history of events, and eventually changing himself. He introduces mantras, such as songs and poems, that glorify himself. Also, he has a lackey named Squealer (appropriate name) who utilizes language to manipulate and deceive the rest of the animals whenever they have a contradictory opinion or concern. They lie, cheat, and deceive with the intent to advance their lives at the expense of the community.

MLMers are consistently breaking their word to better suit their need in a particular instance. An example of this is, when an MLMer suggests that you only need to work 10-15 hours a week in order to be successful. This rule gets warped as an MLMer becomes more indoctrinated and their responsibilities will slowly increase. MLMers will start to make downlines attend weekly meetings and show a certain amount of plans while still suggesting they go through the routine of introducing new prospects to the plan. Then they will add quarterly seminars, tapes, and books to increase the amount of focus a downline has, and not explain this as a necessary addition to the 10-15 hours a week.

MLMers will tell their downlines that uplines are extremely important, and if you ever have a question, they should be your first line of defense. However, if that upline leaves the organization they are quickly demonized and the downline is immediately taught to hate the former upline because of their betrayal.

MLMers will say the organization, as a whole, has never had an issue, but will fail to mention 99+% of recruits leave, and over 50% of recruits leave within a year. An example of this was my experience with Amway and WWDB. My sponsors never revealed to me that Amway has an incredible track record for making millionaires, but failed to mention it was a terrible statistic compared to the failure rates. If you bring up the failure rates, they are quick to focus on the system and suggest it is possible, but most people are lazy or do not have the desire. They shift the blame from the company to the members in an effort to retain their current crew.

MLMers utilize mantras and songs to help keep downlines involved in the organization. They will use terms like "Fired up", or "Freedom", or other chants to instill conviction and deter a downline from critically thinking. These mindless chants and mantras are designed to keep MLMers happy and devoted.

Finally, Squealer used fear tactics to sway the other animals and have them drop their concerns. MLMs are no different as they consistently bring up the negatives of a J-O-B, or talk about missing out on life as their family grows because they have to work. These tactics are extremely powerful, and consistently reinvigorate MLMers from dissenting opinions.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Friday, December 9, 2016

MLM and Holidays

 Today's blog post is going to focus on upcoming family events pertaining to the holidays. I recently read a very sad story on a different blog about a woman struggling with a partner that is currently involved with WWDB and Amway. The change in her partner's behavior happened rapidly and it seems her partner has already been fully indoctrinated. One of the key components when being involved in MLM is isolation from the outside world, hence the cult-like stigma that surrounds MLM. It is important to keep the MLMer motivated, and part of that motivation is surrounding them with like-minded people and pumping them with endless jargon and love bombing. Unfortunately for the woman, her partner has already stopped most contact with her as well as friends and family, and has now missed an important family life event.

It is important to keep your professional life separated from your personal life, because business is meant to support your personal life and not become it. However, MLMers try to do the opposite and make the professional life become the personal life and make them inseparable. They will provide friendships, guidance, and romantic relationships in an effort to keep a person isolated from the rest of society. This is inherently bad for a multitude of reasons, but mainly it corrupts the individual from having their own identity and free will.

As a recruit gets more enmeshed in an MLM they become more dependent on the group. They start to rely on the group to schedule their life, and they become less available for unrelated events. Over time, it becomes easier to make an excuse to miss less pertinent moments, and that builds into missing all major events. The partner of the woman who told her story on the other blog became so enveloped in the MLM that she ended up missing her brother's wedding, because her value system had completely changed, and she was no longer able to find value in moments outside of the MLM. She felt everyone from her personal life became a hindrance, and it was imperative to keep them away.

I had a similar situation occur when I invited my former sponsor to my bachelor party. We had grown very close very quickly, and I still wanted to have him as a friend. Unfortunately, the feeling was not mutual as I became a part of the "negative", and interacting with me would be a waste of his time. He was taught that anything unrelated to the "business" was going to interfere with his progress, and he was better suited to stay away from me.

The holidays are right around the corner, and it is a great time to remind members of MLMs that it is important to take a step back from their "work" to spend time with their family and friends. Money is wonderful and it can help to make life easier, but at the end of the day it is friends and family that mean the most, and they don't have a monetary incentive to keep you around.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Monday, December 5, 2016

MLM and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

I recently took my wife for a date night which entailed dinner and a movie. We were originally planning to see Bad Santa 2, but got held up at the house and ended up switching to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I must side track for a moment and reveal that I am a big J.K. Rowling fan, and enjoyed most of the Harry Potter (HP for short) series. I also believe she has done something magical for books (all pun intended), and deserves every penny she has made from that franchise. Also, the reviews of the movie were relatively good with 75% positive from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 83% fan score. I usually agree with Rotten Tomatoes, and have found them to be a very good source of unbiased reviews in the past.

The movie itself was awful, in my not so humble opinion, and looked like a clear money grab. However, upon further thought about the movie, there were some significant undertones that suggested a darker meaning. The movie was extremely poorly written, had far too many CGI effects, and basically ripped off Pokemon and Star Wars. It was utterly lacking in all of the qualities which made HP great.

The weirdest parts were the choice of hero, and the creation of the "Good Guy" wizards versus the evil wizard. The main character, Newt Scamander, was the polar opposite of HP. He was weird, uncharismatic, and extremely conformist to the regime. The "Good Guy" wizards were a totalitarian regime that obeyed unbreakable laws, and punished those who did not conform to their laws extremely harshly as well as inconsistently. They do not have a proper judicial system, and instead had one person act as judge, jury, and executioner. The worst part about this is, the one person in charge of doling out the punishments turned out to be the evil guy in disguise who had infiltrated the system. They basically verified the need for checks and balances within a system, and showed the system was easily corrupted.

At one point in the movie, Tina (a main witch), was trying to report Newt for breaking a rule, but was unable to proceed because the main "Good Guy" wizards had already ostracized her for an unknown reason. However, this does not deter Tina from trying again, and this ultimately leads to a death sentence for her and Newt. The offense was non-violent and the punishment was dealt after a weird 10 minute interrogation in which the judge had already made up their mind in advance. This seems preposterous for a children's movie, let alone a HP related movie, and it only gets worse and creepier from there.

After being sentenced to death, they are led into a white room with a chair floating in the middle above some water-like liquid. The room looks like something from an insane asylum, and the chair is similar in design to an electric chair. The nurse wizard then proceeds to show the audience how they execute people, and this is really grizzly. Let me start by saying this death scene was extremely long and far too graphic to be considered normal. The female nurse begins by essentially lobotomizing Tina, and puts her fondest memories into the water-like substance. Then they get her seated in the chair, and it slowly drops her into the liquid which melts and destroys all forms of matter. As she is being lowered, she is crying and smiling because the audience sees all of her favorite memories.  Let me finish this thought by saying, there is never a need to emphasize death in movies, especially movies for younger folks, and this one took the cake for being overly twisted.

That wasn't the only point in which death seemed "normal" as the "Good Guy" wizards also killed a misunderstood boy that had the potential to be very dangerous. Again, there was no trial, no representation, just a snap judgment as they decided it would be more appropriate to pass an execution. This still boggles my mind, and on top of that, they ended up catching the main bad guy from the beginning of the movie. This guy had a series of crimes and murders, was the most wanted wizard in the community, infiltrated their government and assumed a high ranking role, executed a kill order earlier in the movie on the two main characters, and ended up being arrested.

The worst part about the "Good Guy" wizards is there obliterate curse which makes humans lose their memory. Toward the end of the movie, there were many humans that witnessed the wizards. In an effort to keep themselves safe from literal witch hunts, they decide to obliterate (I'm not using hyperbole, that is actually what they called the spell with some weird latin twist) the humans minds. As if that isn't bad enough, there is a main human character that befriends the other main characters, risks his life with no special ability against supernatural creatures and beings, and never asks for anything in return. What is his reward? He gets obliterated, and forgets everything that happened.

The "Good Guy" wizards that everyone is supposed to look up to are a ridiculous totalitarian regime focused on mind control and destruction of anything and everything that does not conform to their ideals. This movie is atrocious in its philosophy, and is a weird propaganda piece for government control.

This movie had so many weird parallels to MLMs and cults, it felt like a twisted documentary. The mind control, lack of information, inability to have a voice when addressing the governing body, and the outrageous punishments for insubordinate behavior, left me genuinely numb.

I'm sure I will get some flack for this interpretation, but it is important to be critical of everything, especially entertainment targeting younger minds. I'm curious to hear if anyone else has seen the movie, and even came close to the same interpretations.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

MLM and Systems

MLMs have a set of rules and coaching they establish as a system, and this system is designed under the assumption that when followed properly success is achievable. These systems come in many different forms, but the message is always the same, if you follow the system you will win, and if you don't follow the system you will lose. This design allows MLMs to shift responsibility and blame to the MLMer, because they will always be able to find a way to excuse themselves. They have many different ways to make themselves sound pure and authentic, and they are prepared to make the MLMer look very bad when they are unable to achieve the success they say is achievable.

These systems require blind obedience and unwavering faith as they continue to promote new teachings. An MLM proponent by the name of John Maxwell insists that teaching never ends, and there is always a new message that needs to be expressed. He suggests that his endless books and mantras are all valuable and continues to hold lectures in MLMs, even though he isn't actually an MLMer, teaching people how to be successful leaders.

MLMs have been around for decades, and the systems are consistently being reported as having a one hundred percent success rate. Yet, when you look at the income disclosure statements and the research on actual success within MLM, the results suggest they are far from perfect. Most MLMs boast a measly one percent success rate in turning a profit, and an even lower success rate for achieving the million dollar lifestyle. At some point, it has to be noted that these systems are inherently flawed, and there is no amount of dedication that will get an MLMer to their goals or dreams.

When MLMers are confronted with the glaringly bad facts the retorts continue to be the same. The MLMers didn't try hard enough, they didn't follow the system exactly as described, or they are quitters. Nobody is taking responsibility for the decades of time and effort that was put into these failing systems, and everyone is ready to pass the blame. How can there be guaranteed success when the numbers of failures have not diminished? How can these perfect systems continue to exist when nobody is attempting to identify the extreme inconsistencies? Why are people so quick to pass the blame, instead of trying to address the problem for future MLMers?

The chicanery of the systems is clearly a ruse. It is an excuse engine and a manipulation technique. It is a method to keep people blindly faithful while alleviating the painful reality of the failure rates. It is a facade, a ruse, a ploy to ensure more people's bank accounts are left with less and less money. There are rules in business about such terms as one hundred percent success, guarantee, fool-proof. This is strictly prohibited when entering a business venture, or involving yourself in any form of money making opportunity, because nobody can predict the outcome.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Monday, November 28, 2016

MLM and Pizza Gate, pizzagate, #pizzagate

Today's blog post is steering way off course, because there is important news that needs to be shared! Recently, more Podesta e-mails were leaked and these were the worst yet. They are calling it pizza gate, and it encompasses Podestas, Clintons, rape, pedophilia, satanism, and much more. The main issue that I have with this, besides the criminal acts being committed, is the blatant disregard for the consumers of news and media. We, as citizens of various governments, have very limited access to information, and it is vitally important to keep as many channels open as possible. Censorship, by and large, has been an outright failure, and yet it continues to prevail as it is used to brainwash the masses.

So, what is pizza gate, and why is it a big deal? During the recent United States election, a large number of e-mails were hacked from the chairman of the Clinton campaign, John Podesta. John Podesta was also a counselor to Barack Obama, and Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton's presidency. These e-mails that were hacked are slowly being leaked through a news group called Wikileaks, and this latest set of e-mails involves Podesta's relationship with a pizza shop owner named, James Alefantis (I believe this name to be fake as it roughly translates in french to "I like children"). James Alefantis is the owner of Comet Ping Pong pizza, and it turns out pizza is not the only thing he serves. The coded language from the e-mails revealed he is highly connected to the Podesta brothers, in particular Tony, as well as many of the democratic party members, and they are all part of a large child trafficking ring.

There is a small block of stores in Washington D.C. that has at least four stores promoting these activities, including Comet Ping Pong, and they are Besta pizza, Politics & Prose Bookstore, and Terasol Bistro and Artisan Gallery. On top of the e-mails, there are regularly identified symbols used by these four locations, and they all refer to pedophilia by the FBI's database. Moreover, they have strange hours, weird and grotesque artwork, and other subliminal messaging throughout their businesses.

The main culprits thus far are, James Alefantis, Tony Podesta, Hillary Clinton, and Andrew Kline. The main focus here is on the last two as they are both high ranking members of the U.S. government. Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, Democratic Presidential Nominee, and Former first lady is riddled with connections to these three, and she and Bill have also had their foundation connected to this as well. She is a main ambassador on child related issues, and you can see her connection to her programs and funds here:
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/feed/hillary-clinton-has-spent-her-life-fighting-for-children-here-are-8-ways-shes-changed-their-lives/

Andrew Kline is the owner of Besta Pizza a trade name for the corporation Uptown Pizza. Andrew Kline is also a lawyer and lobbyist for the DoJ, and his position is prosecution of...human trafficking. This is the ultimate wolf guarding the hen house situation.

While all of this is truly tragic, it has a much bigger impact on the United States as a whole in its relationship to censorship. The mainstream media is publishing tons of stories about this being "fake" news, and how it is detrimental to society. They are also shutting down websites and taking down segments of Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook. This is the first time Reddit has ever been censored, and Facebook and YouTube have never cared about news content in the past. This is an important note, because they are castrating their audience and forcing them to be uninformed by virtue of human beings believing other human beings can't understand what they are reading. Sound familiar?

The cult-like closed system of information is backfiring on them, and their perfectly brainwashed masses are being given real information about taboo topics. All of the work and programming the US has done to make sure people don't ask questions and stay in line is at risk, and the only way to stop it is to pretend like it isn't real with censorship.

MLMers utilize these same tactics when they are indoctrinating new recruits. They insist the news, internet, friends, family, and everything negative is wrong or unknowing. They monopolize your information, and eventually control your entire reality.

Here are some video's on pizzagate:

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

MLM and The Path from Hulu

Today's blog post is about an interesting show that was recommended to me by Hulu. The show is called The Path, and it stars Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad. I had previously watched Breaking Bad, and told myself I need to stay away from these series, because I end up losing many productive days binge watching them. Obviously, I did not live up to my goal, and ended up bingeing on The Path all day Saturday.

The show is based on the Meyerist group, a made-up cult in upstate New York. The show has many layers as is it deals with interactions and drama within the cult and with the outside world. It is fascinating to see the parallels between MLM and the show, and it is especially helpful to see the many viewpoints of people coming into contact with this group, both inside and outside.

The lead character, played by Aaron Paul, named Eddie, is dealing with the overwhelming evidence that the group has been lying to him and his family. In the opening episode, you can see he is not conforming completely to the ideas being presented by the Meyerists, and it is later revealed that he was devoted until he went on a trip to Peru. Dealing with his own issues in the cult is one thing, but he also has to deal with the fact that his family is extremely devoted to the cause. He tries to tread as lightly as possible, and pretend to fall in line, but there are constantly issues coming up and eventually his views get him kicked out of his family.

While there is dissension in the Meyerist group, there is also a devoted police officer trying to bring the group down, a neglectful father that tries to get his daughter out or receive some sort of compensation, and the locals in town that do not want this cult infiltrating their society. This adds to the significance of the story, because you aren't stuck with a one dimensional view of the impact of cults. Cults are mostly covered from the inside, and made to look as though it doesn't affect a broader portion of the general public, but this show includes the people of the society and the burden they feel having the Meyerists around.

The main points of the show that are similar to MLM: an us vs them mentality, a specific set of rules or guidelines created by a superior intellect which must be followed or failure is imminent, a set of levels that are artificially created by the cult leader to ensure superiority and create subordination from the lower ranks, a level of ambiguity and lies to help spread the message and generate more followers, a specific target audience of people that are vulnerable.

I highly recommend this show, and look forward to comments correlating MLM with the Meyerists.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fun Post Friday! Twenty One Pilots, Car Radio and MLM

Today's blog post is going to stray away from the psychological connection to MLM. Instead, I'm going to continue down the road of the philosophical idea of MLM.

I recently heard a song from one of my favorite bands of all time, and the best part about this band is to break away from the current trends while still hitting the main stream radio. This is extremely important, because they are reaching a large audience and can have a greater impact on my current generation. One of the recurring themes of this blog is the inability for MLMers to think critically, and to need a system, or a specific teacher to guide them toward success. The same can be said for the current popular music scene. There seems to be a limit on creativity and innovation. I fear we are more closed-minded with music, and there is a specific method to make a "hit".

When I was taking music, I learned the psychological aspect of how particular hymns, melodies, or jingles become popular. There is an emphasis on a very basic chord progression and very repetitive lyrics. The easier it is to understand and repeat the music, the more popular it tends to trend. Of course that is not the case for all music, but for the most part this is the case for main stream music, and this stems from the earliest developments of music. People yearn for understanding and to make sense of the information they are being given. Music is no exception to the rules of form and functionality.

The song that I am focusing on today is by the band Twenty One Pilots, and it is called Car Radio. Here are the lyrics:

I ponder of something great
My lungs will fill and then deflate
They fill with fire, exhale desire
I know it's dire my time today
I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence
Sometimes quiet is violent
I find it hard to hide it
My pride is no longer inside
It's on my sleeve
My skin will scream reminding me of
Who I killed inside my dream
I hate this car that I'm driving
There's no hiding for me
I'm forced to deal with what I feel
There is no distraction to mask what is real
I could pull the steering wheel
I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence
I ponder of something terrifying
'Cause this time there's no sound to hide behind
I find over the course of our human existence
One thing consists of consistence
And it's that we're all battling fear
Oh dear, I don't know if we know why we're here
Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking
I liked it better when my car had sound
There are things we can do
But from the things that work there are only two
And from the two that we choose to do
Peace will win and fear will lose
It is faith and there's sleep
We need to pick one please because
Faith is to be awake
And to be awake is for us to think
And for us to think is to be alive
And I will try with every rhyme
To come across like I am dying
To let you know you need to try to think
I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit
And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit in silence
And now I just sit
I ponder of something great
My lungs will fill and then deflate
They fill with fire, exhale desire
I know it's dire my time today
I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence
I will start with the only negative I have with this song, and that is the overwhelming amount of repetition. I am not a repetition snob, but it is clear from the depth of this author's lyrics that it is designed for mass appeal.

I ponder of something great
My lungs will fill and then deflate
They fill with fire, exhale desire
I know it's dire my time today
In his first paragraph, he describes sitting (presumably in the car), and he is going through an extremely emotional situation. He is too ambiguous to presume what is going through his head, but it is clearly negative as he refers to his time as being dire.

I have these thoughts, so often I ought
To replace that slot with what I once bought
'Cause somebody stole my car radio
And now I just sit in silence
The second paragraph describes these thoughts repeatedly coming to haunt him when the outside noise is turned off. It is very difficult for most people to deal with their day-to-day thought processes and emotions, and MLMs no this and take full advantage. They provide the mind numbing activities and structure to keep consumers hypnotized into a lull as they extract their dollars. The car radio, much like MLMs continuous training and development, is used as an escape from taking responsibility for thoughts and actions.

Sometimes quiet is violent
I find it hard to hide it
My pride is no longer inside
It's on my sleeve
My skin will scream reminding me of
Who I killed inside my dream
I hate this car that I'm driving
There's no hiding for me
I'm forced to deal with what I feel
There is no distraction to mask what is real
I could pull the steering wheel

This is the epitome of the struggle every consumer has when they are faced with the reality of being involved in a MLM scam. They can hide their pride and continue in stride when the cd's are on and the plans are drawn, but when they have to sit and look at their business, it becomes all too clear it is more of an illness.


I ponder of something terrifying
'Cause this time there's no sound to hide behind
I find over the course of our human existence
One thing consists of consistence
And it's that we're all battling fear
Oh dear, I don't know if we know why we're here
Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking
I liked it better when my car had sound

This is the confirmation that whatever he is dealing with is truly spiraling out of control, and it is making him question everything he has been told. This is the "Aha moment" where people start to question what our purpose is. I had this moment when I was shown the breakdown of the costs for my MLM. The fear of not knowing if I was going to be successful was pushed aside as I realized I knew I wouldn't make it if I stayed in line with this business.


There are things we can do
But from the things that work there are only two
And from the two that we choose to do
Peace will win and fear will lose
It is faith and there's sleep
We need to pick one please because
Faith is to be awake
And to be awake is for us to think
And for us to think is to be alive
And I will try with every rhyme
To come across like I am dying
To let you know you need to try to think

This is the last non-repetitive paragraph, and in my opinion the best. This is the resolution of the interior conflict, and the answer becomes clear that the mind numbing radio was not good after all. He has successfully made the transition from being a programmed slave and reactivated his brain. This is the moment every MLMer comes to and there are only two paths. If they choose to ignore the facts, then they will become an MLMer for life and they will exile themselves from the community and their friends as they slowly funnel their money and time into the MLM. But if they choose to listen to that angry little thought in their head, then they can be granted clarity and make a healthy transition away from the poisonous MLM syndicate.

Here is the actual song, thank you for indulging me on this journey through music and philosophy with MLM.


If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MLM and The Hours of Operation

Today's blog post is about a common lie that is both repeated and mutated to fit any situation. What I mean by this is, a MLMer can tell you to work as little or as much as you want in order to have success, because the system works for all types of people. I am of course referring to, as the title describes, the 10-15 hours a week rule. This rule is very similar to the 2-5 year rule (very vague), and the 10,000 hour rule (I wrote a post about this called "MLM and Arbitrary Milestones/10,000 hour rule). It incorporates the idea that you can do MLM in your spare time, and with minimal effort, and watch as the money starts rolling in. Unfortunately, the consumer is left to find out for themselves this narrative is false.

The odd thing about the 10-15 hour rule is, most people wouldn't fall for this without the other parts of the deception. If someone came to you and said, "I've got a plan to make you fabulously wealthy, and all you have to do is work 10-15 hours a week" there would be suspicions raised. However, with the accompaniment of a tangible end point such as 2-5 years, it seems more legitimate. Another way that the 10-15 hour rule is made to sound more credible is, the training system works 100% of the time as long as the consumer follows it perfectly. Again, this makes the 10-15 hour rule sound plausible, because there seems to be some sort of proven success attached to the claim.

The upsetting reality is, both parts of the comparisons given above are false. There is no 100% fool-proof system, and there is no 2-5 year guarantee. This, similarly to proofs in geometry, makes the rest of the statements false as well by association. There are no guarantees that hours given in labor will give a specific reward, and there are no guarantees that working a particular system will work every time. It is imperative to have red flags whenever someone suggests this.

The closest thing we have to a guarantee is education and trade skills. Education and trade skills are the only two investments a person can make in themselves that will increase the probability for success. Studies have shown, beyond a reasonable doubt, that people who pursue these two fields have higher salaries and more desirable positions in the workforce than those who do not.

In my other article, MLM and Arbitrary Milestones/10,000 hour rule, I went over a case study that showed chess masters differ in practice time between 2,000 hours and 25,000 hours. Therefore, effort can not reflect a guarantee. There are people that join MLM to only work 10-15 hours a week, and there are people who work MLM 40 hours and above. However, the net result is the same, and it usually a significant loss as reported by the income disclosure statements.

Be aware of buzz words, and people's motivations. Ask questions such as, "What does this person get from helping me?", or "Why does it seem like nobody else in my community has heard of this, or pursuing it?", and of course my favorite, "Does this seem too good to be true?" As Mark Cuban (billionaire investor and star of Shark Tank) has said, "...Always remember this. If a deal is a great deal, they aren’t going to share it with you."

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Monday, November 14, 2016

MLM and Endorsements

Today's blog post is about MLM and the endorsements they give to people or corporations which are regularly involved in our popular culture. These endorsements range from sponsoring leagues (Advocare sponsoring Major League Soccer), stadiums (Amway Center for the Orlando Magic), people (Drew Brees for advocare, Cristiano Ronaldo for Herbalife), and of course Presidential-Elect Donald Trump (ACN). It is important to remember that these endorsements do not actually reflect the opinions these people or organizations have about MLM, but rather their financial bias to support these companies. While it is unfortunate that certain stars, such as Ronaldo and Brees, feel a need to get a few extra dollars from their sponsorship with these sham businesses, we can not take their reviews of the companies with 100% certainty that they are in support of their products or practices.

This type of conditioning is a huge issue, because it gives an air of legitimacy to the sham businesses. For many people, it would be hard to believe that drinks like Gatorade, Red Bull, or Monster are actually not regularly consumed by the athletes, and that the water coolers next to their benches are simply filled with water. This type of advertising is bad enough with reputable companies, because they are utilizing the visual success of athletes to push a product that has no connection to their journey or status among the top representatives of a given sport. Therefore, to allow a sham business like Herbalife or Advocare to regularly be highlighted by professional athletes is extremely devastating.

The mayo clinic wrote an article about meal supplement shakes, and their issues with being successful for long term results (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/protein-shakes/faq-20058335). Professional athletes have an extremely rigorous diet that is constructed and monitored by professional nutritionists, and to suggest they would need a weight loss shake, let alone support one is utterly ridiculous without accounting for their financial bias.

On a side note, I always laugh when I see the commercials for Dannon's Oikos Yogurt with Cam Newton, or when Clay Matthews was being paid to eat Campbell's Chunky Soup. It is clear, if you have experience with the rigorous activities, that you will not be eating processed foods. While these commercials are relatively harmless, they are not attached to businesses designed to take people's money through money making opportunities.

MLMers that try and use celebrity endorsements to verify the legitimacy of their business and the products should be taken with extreme caution. These athletes/stars have little to no background in the MLM field, and are not taking the products they are promoting.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

MLM and Depression

Today's post is about two types of depression that can come from MLM. The first kind of depression is developed from the programming MLMers give consumers while they are installed in their system. Most people post about the roaring energy and excitement of the seminars and major events like the FED (Freedom Enterprise Days) from Amway, but they leave out the downswing in energy after the events are done. The second type of depression is more commonly described after people leave MLM, and have to deal with the wasted monetary resources, the lost or damaged relationships, and the emotional toll of being deceived.

Depression: Clinical depression goes by many names, such as “the blues,” biological depression, and major depression. But all of these names refer to the same thing: feeling sad and depressed for weeks or months on end — not just a passing blue mood of a day or two. This feeling is most often accompanied by a sense of hopelessness, a lack of energy (or feeling “weighed down”), and taking little or no pleasure in things that once gave a person joy in the past. (http://psychcentral.com/disorders/depression/)

The first kind of depression is extremely serious, because this depression develops from the brainwashing MLMers give to their downlines. Part of the reason people get enveloped in MLM is, the excitement and thrill of the events as well as the herd support. The other part is the comedown, which is similar to a drug, after the party meetings and seminars are done. After MLMers denigrate everything about life outside of MLM, it is extremely difficult to maintain a certain level of positive energy for typical daily tasks. Work becomes a chore, or worse a nightmare, because it is getting in the way of the guaranteed freedom. Family events and activities with friends also lose their thrill, because the only goal is to become successful in MLM. As the consumer gets more and more immersed in MLM, the worse and worse they feel when they are outside of the environment.

The second kind of depression comes from the escape from MLM. After they have programmed the consumer to hate and disregard everything unrelated to MLM it is extremely difficult for many consumers to reengage in society. There will be a level of anxiety and distrust in consumers that didn't previously exist, and there will be an irrational fear of bonding with other people. Consumers will have difficulty with their conscience and the amount of damage they had caused while involved in the business. Lost friendships and family will pay a heavy toll, as well as dealing with the personal deception.

Both types of depression are very powerful and very real. MLMers perpetrate serious permanent damage to their victims, and have caused many relationships to end. Consumers must be on guard when entering a business opportunity, and they must understand that a business opportunity is just that and nothing else.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

MLM and Visual Appearance

Today's post is about the visual aesthetic MLMers want to portray. MLMers, by and large, are very robotic personalities, and they can be easily identified by certain traits. The clothing choice is another way MLMers condition their downline to act a certain way, and create a certain set of values they deem suitable (all puns intended) for the business. It is extremely important to create a particular facade that starts with the initial appearance, because this helps to deceive the consumer into listening to the pitch.

"If your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer."- Neil deGrasse Tyson

MLMers have been practicing their pitches for decades, and their appearance has also been carefully tailored to create a persona of magnitude. They will wear three-piece suits to every meeting, and they will be carefully manicured from head to toe. This image creates false connections in the consumers head, because they will establish this facade as someone with great power, connections, money, esteem, and success. The image an MLMer portrays can help to prevent consumers from asking questions, because the automatic response is to trust someone with this look when referencing a business topic. The consumer will be far less likely to question a MLMer that is in a three-piece suit, than they would a MLMer in a t-shirt and cargo shorts. 

I have never seen Fred (sponsor), or Tom (upline) in anything other than dress clothes. Tom was always in a nice suit, and Fred was usually in something business attire related. Fred was more charismatic than Tom and he got away with wearing some different types of clothing that weren't suits, but his attire was always professional. In fact, when he propositioned me for the business, at the comedy club, he had the opportunity to go home and change first, but opted to remain in his work clothes. He already overdressed for his job position (telemarketer), and this was an even stranger venue to be professional in appearance. He stuck out like a sore thumb, but his charisma helped to make his clothing seem normal. Even if he was a successful professional, it would have been awkward for him to show up in that kind of outfit at this type of business.

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we intend to be." -Kurt Vonnegut

This quote couldn't be more accurate about the transformation into an MLMer. The suit I wore and the attention I got when attending the MLM seminars made me into something completely different from what I was. I felt strong, important, and even a little indestructible. My descent was rapid at first, and I felt as though I had the "golden ticket" to happiness and nobody could take it away. I was becoming a phony and it felt both real and right. I was losing my ability to care about others and their opinions. I was losing my ability to think about the here and now, because my dreams had begun to take over. I was losing myself.

This particular post doesn't stop at MLM, because everyone has a facade and tries to maintain their idea of how people expect them to be. Nietzsche wrote about everyone's masks, and the difficulty in knowing who somebody truly is, but as Vonnegut said, people become the facade they are pretending to be, and the lines between identity and self become blurred. It is important to remember that MLM is a business opportunity and not who you are as a person. Don't let someone make you conform to their ideals.


If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Monday, November 7, 2016

MLM and John Oliver

Today's post is to celebrate and acknowledge a wonderful segment presented by John Oliver. I have been a big fan of his since he was on the Daily Show, and was both excited and stunned that he actually did a piece on MLM. I found out a few months ago that you can suggest topics for him to present (this is my subtle way of suggesting I may have helped make this happen), and I suggested MLM several times on his forum. The real reason I believe he decided to make the segment is the recent address from Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the FTC, and her remarks against MLM. She basically threw everything at MLM including the kitchen sink, and here is what she said from David Brear's article (http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.com/2016/10/edith-ramirez-recites-modified.html).

It would seem MLM has been tossed into the spotlight recently, and that doesn't seem to bode well for its future. MLM tends to slink around in the shadows of society, and gradually picks people off as targets to join while still remaining ominous. In fact, MLM only tends to come out when people are at a vulnerable place in their life, and it is interesting to see the tides turning as MLM is starting to look very vulnerable. Bill Ackman (Billionaire and CEO of Pershing Square) and Robert Fitzpatrick (Pyramid Scheme Alert) have led the charge against Herbalife, and it wasn't clear at the beginning how it would pan out, but it seems to have been a slow and steady battle with many successes. Now that the FTC has concluded their investigation, sanctioned Herbalife, and forced them to restructure their compensation plan and their opportunity pitch, there could be some real change.


Without further ado, here is the John Oliver segment on MLM. Enjoy!

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Friday, November 4, 2016

MLM and Repetition

Today's blog is about the outrageous amount of repetition involved with MLM, and what the side effects of this repetition have shown. Some of the most common expressions that come to mind when thinking about repetition are, "Practice makes perfect", "The more you practice the better you will get", and "Repetition is the key to success". It is important to note that these expressions have a positive connotation, but can actually be just as negative when forming certain skills and abilities. In the case of MLM, they utilize mind numbing repetition to mold their members into thoughtless beings with a single purpose of getting more recruits.

FDR said, "Repetition does not transform a lie into truth".

MLMers are designed to be reactive when opposition rears its head. They are told what to say, how to say it, and they are given reasons for why it should make sense. However, when this thought stopping jargon is analyzed, it becomes apparent that all is not as it seems. The story the MLMer weaves is merely a distraction at best, but usually a very spun lie. My echolalia post is designed to debunk some of the common thought stopping jargon, and how it sounds good on the surface but is really nonsense.

MLMers are relentless in their repetition, and they know it is a key ingredient to develop their "de facto slaves" (David Brear). They will constantly talk about the dreams, the wealth they have generated, the success they want for you, and the lies and evil that exists outside of their wholesome and glorious business. They will also make sure to denigrate any of the outside influences whenever they can, and will continue to pump the same mindless jargon into the downlines until they become exquisite replicas. They are then unleashed on the world to continue the repetition they are programmed with, and their only mission is to find new victims.

MLMs will preach about duplication, and the simplicity of the business as long as you follow their system. They will say they have all the answers, and there is a 100% success rate when you apply their system, contrasting a 0% success rate if you don't. You must repeat everything they teach you with unwavering loyalty, and you must devote your life to the business.

"By repetition, each lie becomes an irreversible fact upon which other lies are constructed." - John Le Carre

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

MLM and the Monopolization of Information

Today's blog post was inspired by a recent read from one of my featured writers, David Brear. He has had an extensive history with MLM in his family, and he has written about their relationship to cults. While this particular blog isn't specifically identifying MLMs as cults, there is an underlying relationship between this blog and that idea, because the blog involves the psychology that is used to create cults. I will link David's article to the bottom of this post.

David's definition of monopoly of information from the article: The leaders of  pernicious cults seek to control all information entering not only their adherents’ minds, but also that entering the minds of casual observers. This is achieved by constantly denigrating all external sources of information whilst constantly repeating the group’s reality-inverting key words and images, and/or by the physical isolation of adherents. Cults leaders systematically categorize, condemn and exclude as unenlightened, negative, impure, absolutely evil, etc. all free-thinking individuals and any quantifiable evidence challenging the authenticity of their imaginary scenarios of control. In this way, the minds of cult adherents can become converted to accept only what their leadership arbitrarily sanctions as enlightened, positive, pure, absolutely righteous, etc. Consequently, adherents habitually communicate amongst themselves using their group’s thought-stopping ritual jargon, and they find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with negative persons outside of their group whom they falsely believe to be not only doomed, but also to be a suppressive threat to redemption.

MLMs lure consumers with the promise of a money making opportunity, but they are consistently vague about how the opportunity works until you are brought to a meeting. Their initial focus is on creating an environment where the consumer will be love bombed to earn trust, and then they will propose their irrational idea. They have to make sure a consumer is properly primed, because the consumer, in most cases, will not willingly hear the idea otherwise. Afterward, MLMers will turn their attention to outside resources designed to destroy the reputation of the MLM and attempt to discredit them.

When I was first propositioned for MLM, there was no mention of the business and how it worked. Instead, the focus was on a fantasy that everyone has and a loaded question that most people would answer affirmatively. In fact, the name of the MLM was disregarded until I was brought to an event where hundreds of people clambered together in a church to receive training. This is the beginning of the indoctrination as the herd helps the new recruit unconsciously form a consenting opinion about the opportunity. MLMers will consistently suggest that outside resources, such as the internet, family, friends, co-workers, and media outlets cannot be trusted and their information is routinely false. MLMers will follow this by suggesting they have all the answers, they will take care of your needs, wants, and desires, so long as you subordinate to their teachings or system.

This system is designed by the mentors that are all knowing, because they have videos showing their wealth. The mentors will encourage MLMers to consistently listen to recordings and attend seminars to reaffirm their message. The recordings and seminars will be repetitive and mind numbing, and will deter the MLMer from engaging in outside learning. They will continue to press their information while denigrating everyone else until the MLMer is completely indoctrinated.

Fred and Tom have been involved in MLM for over 10 years, and they are completely indoctrinated. They will discredit any outside opinion, and have begun to completely isolate themselves from society. Their attention has been solely consumed by the MLM as they continue to work toward their fantasy of retirement (similar to being beamed up by the mother ship). They are completely deluded and shells of their former selves.

Here is the link to the rest of David Brear's article: http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.com/2012/03/universal-identifying-characteristics.html

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Monday, October 31, 2016

MLM and Self-Esteem/Arrogance

Today's post is inspired by a few comments I read from other blogs. MLMs are very good at inflating MLMer's egos based on the love bombing mixed with the herd mentality. It is natural for people to be filled with a high sense of self-esteem when they are in an environment that treats them as though they are powerful and important. It is important to note that this isn't a true form of self-esteem, and can easily be washed away as soon as the external resources are gone. This self-esteem that is generated from the MLM herd usually generates a sense of arrogance, because they are fragile and they must protect the system that is giving them the confidence.

Arrogant - Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.

Self-Esteem - C
onfidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect.

After reading comments from many MLM defenders, I found there is often a level of arrogance in the way they form their programmed rhetoric. A self-confident person would not be bothered by people talking badly about their company, and would opt to spend their energy on a constructive project rather than being defensive. This in turn led me to a Psych Central article on the difference between self-confidence and cockiness (I will provide a link at the bottom of the page).

The arrogance really shines through after doing this for an extended period of time, because the stuff that the defenders say is roughly the same across the board. Therefore, I must eliminate the actual words and analyze the language used, the amount of research performed, and the responses given to a naysayer of MLM.

The language used is normally aggressive or condescending. It is very rare for an MLMer to start a counterpoint with language that would take into consideration the adversary is an actual human-being. They instead go into attack mode, and use loaded language, loaded questions, or some sort of equivocation that attempts to make the writer look stupid. The MLMer often has trouble separating the words written and the points given from the actual writer.

The amount of research an MLM defender does before posting on a blog is essentially 0. They do not provide links or references for their points, and they do not fact check themselves before they type in their robotic retorts. This makes talking to them difficult, because they have tuned out half of the discussion before it even began. The arrogance to believe only what the upline MLMer tells the downline is both bizarre and frustrating, and to not provide any evidence to support their points makes it even worse.

Finally, the responses they give to naysayers strike the strongest chord. They will spend a large amount of time writing a response that tears a person apart and end it with, "I'll pray for you", "Have a great day!", or "Good luck and god bless!". This is one of the worst forms of arrogance, because they are attempting to put themselves on a moral high ground and elevate themselves above the naysayer. This is also is their way of "winning" the discussion while conveniently allowing them to exit without allowing for a response. It is the MLMer getting their quick jab, while still remaining morally above the naysayer that provided an initial discussion, and then quickly leaving while feeling unscathed from the nastiness of a "negative" point. The hypocrisy mixed with the blatant disregard for their fellow human beings is staggering.

Here is the link to the Psych Central article: 
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/12/26/the-fine-line-between-self-confidence-cockiness/

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Friday, October 28, 2016

MLM and Sleep Deprivation

Today's blog post is about MLMers using sleep deprivation as a manipulation technique. Sleep deprivation has a variety of effects ranging from impaired brain activity to death. Healthline.com describes what will happen to your central nervous system when you are sleep deprived:

 Sleep deprivation leaves the brain exhausted, so it can’t perform its duties well. The most obvious  effect is sleepiness. You may find yourself yawning a lot and feeling sluggish. Lack of sleep  interferes with your ability to concentrate and learn new things. It can negatively impact both short-  term and long-term memory. It gets in the way of your decision-making process and stifles  creativity. Your emotions are also affected, making you more likely to have a short temper and mood  swings. Overall cognitive function is impaired.

Needless to say this is a tremendous issue when it comes to learning the ins and outs of the business. With all of these negative effects it makes one wonder, why would MLMers want to make their prospects sleep deprived? It seems like backwards logic since they are supposed to be teaching prospects valuable information and trying to help them succeed, yet they are pumping information into people with reduced cognitive faculties.

MLMers utilize long and strenuous days to their advantage, because prospects are more easily manipulated when they cannot think clearly. MLMers don't want you to critically think about their pitch, where the money comes from, or how to be successful. They just want you to join and continue to spend money. The major seminars reinforce these points by making the days extremely long, 9 am to 12 am (sometimes later if you are in a "nuts and bolts" or "night owl" meeting), and then repeat the process the next day. No other company encourages anyone to go through training for that long in a day, because they realize it will not be beneficial to your success as an employee.

I have two examples of sleep deprivation from the FED I attended, and they are a constant reminder of how ridiculous it all was.

1. When I got done with the second day of the FED, I told Fred that I needed to get some extra sleep if I wanted to be able to retain the information from the final day. Instead of understanding that an 18 hour day (including travel time) requires extra R&R he guilted me into coming in at the beginning of the following day for a religious ceremony that I didn't believe in. If I didn't have sleep deprivation, I probably could have confronted his ludicrous objective, but instead I just caved in because I didn't have the energy or cognitive ability to think clearly.

2. When Fred was attending the FED, I remember him falling asleep and thinking, "How could he fall asleep? 
He is so passionate about this business, and is probably missing out on something important". I asked his wife what was going on, because she was staying awake, and she said, "He had a rough night on a blow up mattress, and we car pooled with Tom (the sponsor/eagle), and he had to stay for the 'night owl'".  Looking back, I realized that he was just as much a victim of the sleep deprivation as I was, and he too could not be "fired up" enough to stay awake throughout the conference.

I'm not the biggest fan of Ted Talks at the moment, because they haven't been doing a great job in selecting certain people to conduct them (Robert Kiyosaki), but they did do a nice job with this sleep deprivation video. It is a little more dramatic than it needs to be, but it gets the point across that anyone interested in making you successful will let you get some much needed shut eye.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

MLM and Consciousness

Today's post could also aptly be named echolalia part two, but I wanted to focus more on the unwillingness to be aware of the programming. This is an information age, and we have access to more answers to questions than ever before. I am the tail end of a generation where libraries were a necessity, and book reports required opening actual books. Which brings me to the main point, people are less informed now than they ever have been in history. It seems contradictory that you can talk into your phone and immediately find out when William Shakespeare was alive, or how to cook a proper chicken tikka masala, but people can't seem to figure out that the stuff they are saying in MLM has been debunked hundreds of times.

Consciousness: the awareness or perception of something by a person.

This post was inspired by a couple of YouTube videos. The first video compared MLMers to zombies, and there are some worthy comparisons. When talking with an MLMer it is impossible to have a critical point, because they are deeply programmed to immediately respond without actually hearing what you are saying. An example of this was in my story with my conversation with Tom. I told Tom that I didn't think all of the monthly expenses were necessary to try and run this business. Before he even registered what I had to say, he immediately responded, that is how his team was going to work the business and if I don't like it, then I can try the business with someone else. Another instance was with Fred when he told me that the MLM was not a pyramid, because it has a product. He clearly did not come up with this line (it has been said for decades), and did not do any research to verify its accurateness. This, to me, is a loss of consciousness, because he is repeating garbage that somebody told him and he treats it as though it is a law of nature. He told me this line with such conviction, that it would make others not want to research its authenticity as well.

The second video I watched was Dave Ramsey on MLM. This video is bizarre for a number of reasons, the first being, he suggests MLM is not a pyramid because legally there is a product being sold (again this is incorrect as stated above, and I will put the FTC's definition of MLM at the bottom), but then suggests, "The business you are in is recruiting, recruiting, recruiting, everyone is a recruit". So, he gets it right there, and then the video goes on and on trying to legitimize MLM, which is more unnecessary nonsense. He is a YouTube personality that has over 160,000 subscribers giving him an air of authority, and he talks to people as an expert on business related topics. Yet this particular subject seems to have eluded him, because he got the actual definition from the FTC wrong, and the reason for why they consider MLM "legal". He is not a dumb person, but this was clearly a lack of consciousness as he could have very easily looked up the definition, and provided an expert analysis.

This is a troubling time, because people are opting to lose their ability to critically investigate a topic, and are becoming unconscious participants. I know this is a complex topic with many reasons for why people choose to not investigate for answers, and the purpose of this is to figure out how to change that rather than simply point and scream.

Here is the FTC's definition of MLM and how it can be considered "legal". 

  Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the  public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the  number of  people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s probably not. It could be a pyramid  scheme. Pyramid schemes  are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money.  (https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/multilevel-marketing)

Here is the MLM zombie video: 


Here is the Dave Ramsey MLM video:

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

MLM and Addiction

Addiction is a very interesting topic, because it is easily identifiable, it is treatable, and yet is one of the hardest concepts to completely understand. Addiction comes in many different forms and there is potential to be addicted to almost everything. This is why many drug companies try to suggest their drugs don't have any addictive properties, even though addictive properties do not completely stop someone from becoming an addict.

Addiction: Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocainenicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction)

In layman's terms, addiction can be any substance or activity that makes your life go from an original point to a lesser point. This makes addiction very scary, because the reasons for becoming addicted are not readily definable. There is no research that suggests only when people do a certain action, will they then become addicted. Addiction can come from joy, stress, depression, anxiety, or from nothing and be completely random.

When I was learning about the brain and addiction, we went through the example of how cocaine affects the brain. The following is a condensed version of how it works. Cocaine affects the limbic system (our reward system), and the limbic system is in control of releasing dopamine (our neurotransmitter that makes us happy). The limbic system releases a certain amount of dopamine depending on how pleasurable something is, and it has a certain balance to ensure we don't get overly happy or overly sad. However, cocaine makes the limbic system go crazy and then it releases an extremely large amount of dopamine the first few times. This is why people become addicted, because their brain feels REALLY good, but cocaine also damages the transmitters which help to create dopamine. This is where we get the phrase, chasing the high, because the deterioration of the transmitters happens quickly, and the limbic system doesn't naturally release this larger amount of dopamine, therefore people run into a double problem. They can't continue to feel as good as they originally did when they took cocaine, and they feel extremely bad when they aren't on cocaine forcing them to up the dosage and continue to try to get to the original high, which eventually becomes impossible. Not only does this cycle tear apart their day-to-day lives, but it destroys their brain chemistry as well.

Are MLMers similar to cocaine addicts? Undeniably, and here are some of the parallels between the two addictions.

1. The first time you get love bombed at an MLM meeting is very similar to the first time a person uses cocaine. The high from being involved in a group of people that care about you, listen to you, and embrace you is extremely addictive, and MLMers know that. They want you to feel as good as possible, and they want you to keep coming back to try and get more of that love and support.

2. MLMers will begin to chase the high after they are struggling without the group. They may be failing to find recruits, failing to sell products, or failing to get family and friends support. This helps to make sure MLMers keep coming to meetings, and keep trying to get the love and attention they had originally gotten.

3. MLMers will slowly become dependent on their team, and their life will become more and more absorbed by all things involving the business. You will see the MLMer's personality change as they become more involved with the group, and their day-to-day responsibilities will start to go unattended.

4. MLMers will start to get less and less positives out of the experience, because uplines will not continue to love bomb unconditionally without results. Upline may ridicule the downline, and the pleasure of the love bombing will fade as the downline continues to struggle.

I have heard of MLMers pursuing the dream to the point of foreclosure on their homes, job loss, and divorce. MLMs have been responsible for taking away retirements, and have made people lose friends and family. MLMs have the exact same downsides as any drug (legal or illegal), but MLMs may be worse because people can be harder to escape.

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.