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.


  1. This is why Amway is seen as cult like. Us against the world. If you leave, you went from a "winner" to a bellyaching broke loser. The fear of being labeled a loser is a pretty powerful form of peer pressure. If nothing else, people will stay in longer just because they fear the label of loser, or not having hope because upline drills it in your head that Amway = hope and a job = dead end.

    The reality is that many people could have amassed a future fortune by investing money that was wasted on Amway products and the Amway training materials and seminars.

    Luckily for me, I didn't stay in Amway long enough and to a degree, I saw through the lies and manipulation. I always had a nagging feeling that the tools were a scam but at first I trusted my upline until I realized that rock stars make money by selling concert tickets for $50 a pop. And the Amway folks were charging more than that for a function.

    I'm glad I broke away and now I dedicate several hours a week to blog and to answer questions from my blog readers who seek advice. Time well spent in my opinion.

  2. It's funny that Amway calls people who leave the Amway business losers, but in fact the entire Amway "opportunity" is set up to appeal primarily to losers who can't make money in the real world of business. Look at all those big pins claiming that they were eating out of dumpsters and working at a gas station before they were shown "The Plan."

    Amway is a fraud, pure and simple.

  3. In 1945, George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) published ‘Animal Farm, A Fairy Story’ (Martin, Secker & Warburg, London). This best-selling book is the most-celebrated allegory of the 20th century. In it, Orwell exposed ‘Soviet’-style totalitarianism by presenting fact as fiction. With a perfect sense of irony, he described how, at a moment of vulnerability, an entire nation can be fooled into accepting a Utopian fiction as fact.

    ‘Animal Farm’ is now generally regarded as a satire of the ‘Soviet’ Empire. ‘Old Major’ is Karl Marx, ‘Mr. Jones’ is Tsar Nicholas II, ‘Animalism’ is ‘Soviet Communism,’ the ‘Manor Farm’ is the Russian Empire, ‘Animal Farm’ is the ‘USSR,’ the ‘animals’ are the 'Soviet' Peoples, ‘Comrade Napoleon’ is a combination of ‘Lenin’ and ‘Stalin’, ‘Comrade Snowball’ is ‘Trotsky,’ ‘Comrade Squealer’ is the Director of ‘Pravda,’ the ‘farm dogs’ are the ‘KGB,’ etc.

    Shortly before his death, Orwell explained exactly what he meant:

    ‘I thought of exposing the Soviet myth in a story that could easily be understood by almost anyone and which could be easily translated into other languages. However, the actual details of the story did not come to me for some time until one day… I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge cart-horse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way that the rich exploit the proletariat.'

  4. Whilst many contemporary, left-wing, British intellectuals were unable to see beyond the Utopian propaganda, Orwell looked only at the quantifiable evidence and realised that, internally, the so-called ‘USSR’ was about as far removed from an authentic Socialist republic as it was possible to get. However, mainstream British Socialists of Orwell’s generation (i.e. the leadership of the Labour Party and the trade union movement), although influenced by Karl Marx, also traced their egalitarian beliefs to non-conformist Christian Churches. Consequently, it wasn’t that difficult for them to begin to face the truth when it first leaked out

    In the UK, during the 1930s, ‘Stalin’ came to be almost universally recognised as a brutal despot. In 1939, all but the most-deluded British communists had to confront reality when ‘Stalin’ signed a ‘non-aggression pact’ with Adolf Hitler.

    After 1941, when the ‘Nazi’ lie invaded territory controlled by the ‘Soviet’ lie, and Britain and the USA became allied to the ‘Soviet' despots, it became a matter of expediency to deny reality again. Consequently, in 1945, it was almost impossible for Orwell to get ‘Animal Farm’ published.

    By 1949, the international political climate had changed dramatically. In 1951, CIA agents acquired the rights to ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ from Orwell’s widow.

    Five years later, the former had been turned into an animated film and the latter into a motion picture. Ironically, these productions were secretly supervised by an organization known as the ‘American Committee for Cultural Freedom’ (i.e. the propaganda Dept. of the CIA).

  5. Although Orwell included an extensive appendix to ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ entitled, ‘The Principles of Newspeak’ (in which he clearly explained that, in any totalitarian system, reality-inverting language and imagery are used to stop subjects from thinking), when the book was first published at the beginning of the Cold War, many westerners (particularly right-wing politicians and journalists) imagined it to be a criticism of Socialism. Orwell died within a few months of publication, and his American publishers did not attempt to correct this misconception (it was good for business). However, the following is what Orwell had to say in response to the first, crass reviews of ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four:’

    ‘My recent novel is not intended as an attack on Socialism or on the British Labour Party (of which I am a supporter), but as a show-up of the perversions to which a centralized economy is liable and which has already been partly realized in Communism and Fascism. I do not believe that the kind of society I describe will necessarily arrive, but I believe… that something resembling it could arrive.’

  6. http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.fr/2013/10/mlm-income-opportunity-racketeering.html

  7. Orwell hated totalitarianism of any sort, but he also recognized that the political left (including most socialists and much of the British Labour Party) were particularly prone to dictatorial regulation, oppressive bureaucracy, and "groupthink" (a brilliant coinage by Orwell in his novel 1984).

    Orwell's disenchantment with the political left goes back much earlier than the writing of 1984. His experience in the Spanish Civil War soured him on Communist thinking, and he wrote many essays and reviews that infuriated left-wingers in Britain. The novels Animal Farm and 1984
    were the culmination of a growing distaste that Orwell felt for the prissy, narcissistic, vegetarian-and-fruit-juice drinking leftist twits that dominate in Marxist and other radical organizations. Orwell couldn't stand these poseurs. They didn't see (or care much) what a nightmare leftism created in actual practice.

    The fact that neither 1984 nor Animal Farm are ever assigned or discussed or mentioned in literature classes today is profoundly instructive. Academia is now a bastion of leftist intolerance, and professors refuse to acknowledge the existence of these two major works of 20th-century literature.

  8. I presume Anonymous meant 'doublethink?'

    1. Yes, I should have said "doublethink." But the more recent coinage "groupthink" is something that Orwell would have recognized in a flash.

      The left today (from touchy-feely liberals to soft quasi-Marxists to hard-core unregenerate Stalinists) is totally in the grip of groupthink, and is convinced that groupthink must be imposed on the entire planet.

      Inside every self-styled "progressive" there is a totalitarian itching to get out.

  9. 'Totalitarianism is enduring: its camouflage is ephemeral.'

    Orwell was not alone in discovering this objective truth.

    The classic totalitarian mindset inverts reality and mistakes: slavery for freedom; fiction for fact; lies for the truth; etc. and finally acts of almost unimaginable evil, can become seen as perfectly righteous and good.

    With his term, 'doublethink,' Orwell identified how, when simultaneously fed into the human brain and ritualised, contradictory ideas/beliefs can not only cancel themselves out, but can also prevent the vulnerable/unwary from thinking critically.

    The parallel phenomenon known as 'groupthink' might be more-accurately described as 'group non-think.'

    I've lost count of the number of 'MLM' de facto slaves who have contacted my Blog indignantly reciting the same Orwellian script and insisting that they are 'Independent Business Owners' and that no one has brainwashed them.