Monday, April 24, 2017

Dr. Doe is going on vacation!

I would first like to apologize for not posting as regularly as I did at the start of this blog. I am working toward a more regular schedule once my non "Alternative Business" (see post about Bill Nye), starts to get a bit more consistent.

Anyways, I'm getting out for a week and will be returning the following Wednesday! I will do my best to update the blog comments when I'm gone, but if I can't, please understand it is not personal! Sometimes you just have to get away and tune out the regular day-to-day activities. Also, I don't think my wife would be terribly thrilled if I was spending a bunch of time doing reading and writing for the blog.

Thank you to all of my regular readers for the support you have given me over the past 8 months (I can't believe this thing has already bee going for that long!). You guys are my fuel to keep pushing out content and I sincerely appreciate your comments and continued presence on the site.

Until next time! Aloha!

MLM and Bill Nye's New Show! Also "Alternative Business"

Today's blog post is related to a new Netflix series called Bill Nye Saves the World, and in particular his second episode titled Tune Your Quack-O-Meter. I grew up watching Bill Nye, and his show Bill Nye the Science Guy, and recently saw a few people posting about his show on Facebook. Bill has always had a great camera presence, and this reincarnated version of his children's show combined with Netflix's lax rules allows Bill to be his fully creative and interesting self while talking about more "adult topics" (as he aptly puts it). An important note is the political agenda behind the show. Bill has no qualms about letting people know he doesn't like the Trump administration and he uses extremely strategic mechanisms to help reinforce his political views (panel guests, experiments, segments with his "correspondents"). This is going to leave the audience very polarized as people may want to know about the subjects Bill is talking about, but Bill is going to give an overwhelmingly liberal biased view with the use of his scientific approach. This is one of the biggest issues I have with Bill, because science is inherently objective, however he is manipulating the objectivity of science to further his subjective point of view.

In Bill's second episode of the series Tune Your Quack-O-Meter he investigates alternative medicine. He centers the episode around the placebo effect and how its existence has made people believe alternative medicines are effective even though science suggests otherwise. At one point he has a correspondent go through sound therapy and the idea that certain sounds can help organs heal. The correspondent lies down on her back as the "Healer" proceeds to shout at her stomach in an effort to do something medical. He also explains how pH levels work and why an upset stomach needs something like Milk of Magnesia which is extremely basic instead of quack "Natural" remedies (the example he used actually contained vinegar...). The overall message of the show was, alternative medicine is just a fancy way of saying you are getting quack treatments, because if it did work and stood up to the painstaking scientific tests medicines have gone through, then it would just be medicine.

Anyways, as I was watching this show all I could think about were the people that describe quack MLM products as cures for all kinds of medical conditions. In fact, TINA.org (Truth in Advertising) did a study which showed 97% of MLMs from the DSA (Direct Sellers Association) made some kind of false medical claim. According to Bill's logic, if you can say something with 97% certainty in science, then it should be treated as fact until it has been disproved. Yet, MLMers continue to act as though their MLM products do work, and they also claim there are just a few bad apples saying incorrect things about their products, and the MLMs should not be responsible for those bad apples. It is time for MLMers to face the facts or at least ask their MLMs why they haven't gone through the same rigors of tests set forth by the FDA and why they haven't provided the same levels of documented proof for their alleged remedies.

This episode also revealed how MLM is an "Alternative Business", and should be treated as quackery in relationship to authentic businesses. MLMs have a track record of huge failure rates, long and costly court cases, high churn rates, and an exceptionally inaccurate representation of the expected outcome.Yet MLM doesn't fall under the same stigma as "Alternative Medicine" and can create new nicknames for itself once a certain stink starts to form. MLMs continue to be more pervasive than ever and have evolved into multi-billion dollar criminal enterprises. It is time to address MLM by its real title, "Alternative Business". It is business quackery designed to rip-off the most vulnerable members of society.

Source: Tina.org https://www.truthinadvertising.org/mlm-health-claims-database/

Source: https://www.thebalance.com/the-likelihood-of-mlm-success-1794500

Monday, April 17, 2017

MLM and 10 Common Behaviors of Abusers Pt. 3

Today's blog post will finish discussing an article and its focus on behaviors utilized by abusers. These behaviors can be recognized in many different facets of life, and they can especially be found in the higher ranking members of MLM. I utilize the term members because they do not like the term employees, and they infiltrate parts of people's lives that other businesses cannot. This is important to note, because the more involved MLMers are in people's personal lives, the more opportunity they have to be abusive.

7. They use their “power” against you:
 A boss or mentor, landlord, parent, spouse, etc. who has some degree of power over you may use their title to hold you hostage in some fashion. For example, the landlord may “forget” to mail your light bill to you ending up in your lights being turned off. Your boss may tell coworkers something you discussed with him or her in an attempt to create an “us against you” mentality. Or an immature parent may use their favorite child against you by talking about you and against you to the favorite child. The abuser may try any kind of way to control you with the leverage (or power) they believe they have.

First of all, I love the fact they use the term
mentor, because that is a term MLMs use frequently to describe their upper tier members. Mentor tends to have a very positive connotation associated with it because it usually describes someone selflessly taking a student under their tutelage for the sole purpose of making that student successful. This is part of the manipulation as it leads people to give unwarranted trust for people they do not know. This will lead to the power of authority, and they can utilize that authority to threaten the student with failure if they do not faithfully commit to the teachings. By utilizing this term, people are subconsciously becoming submissive to abusers in MLM without realizing they are granting the abusers leverage. 
An example of an MLMers use of power to manipulate or deceive their downline is guilt tripping them into coming to each seminar. Regardless of the seminar being repetitive or useless, MLMers may suggest it is the one opportunity the downline has to achieve success, and failure to attend could result in continued struggles with the
business or possibly even expulsion. This ultimatum leaves the downline member in a mental predicament resulting in a fear driven choice.


8. They are manipulative, controlling, and demeaning:
 Have you ever been questioned by someone who is trying to drill you on something? Have you ever experienced, at the hands of the abuser, constant questioning that makes you feel as if you are being blamed for something? If so, perhaps you should look at the situation again and again and again. Why? Because if you feel you are being “belittled,” manipulated, controlled, or humiliated, you probably are. Sometimes these feelings can come up in us when we are struggling with how someone is talking to us or expecting us to perform. This is normal. But if you are feeling these things for no apparent reason and cannot identify anything that could have triggered this response in the abuser, you are most likely being forced to take the abuse of the abuser. An abuser cannot function appropriately in relationships and will often show their “true colors” at some point.

This point is relatively straight-forward for MLMs. MLMers utilize questions proficiently to manipulate and control their downlines, such as, "Do you want the very best for you family?" or "Don't you deserve all of the best things in life and to make all of your dreams come true?". They are consistently demeaning people that are not part of the MLM and those that question their
business or their motives. MLMers try to control downline's use of media, friends, family, and outside activities until they are completely converted. Absolute or 100% obedience is the only way an MLMer believes success can be achieved, and they will utilize manipulating and deceit to make downlines believe this is true as well.

9. They one-up you in a subliminal fashion:
 Most people know someone who one-ups them. I know about 20 of them. That’s who they are and they are most likely suffering from low self-esteem. Or…I am misunderstanding that they are not trying to one-up me. But there are some people, most often abusers, who will attempt to overshadow you, minimize you, or belittle you in a subliminal fashion. You may not recognize the “slight” right away, but you’ll eventually begin to question what the abuser could have meant by a comment. Some abusers have learned to give compliments that are also belittling. For example, a mother-in-law who doesn’t get along with her daughter-in-law may tell her daughter-in-law that she looks beautiful only because she went to bed early last night and would look better with her hair shorter. A colleague may say something like “Congratulations on earning your degree. I wish I had a degree. Some people can’t afford it, while others go broke trying to get one for show. You should be happy!” There is always some kind of negativity in the attitude, responses, or comments of the abuser. You may even begin to notice that the person is being very condescending and abusive but with a sweet or innocent tone of voice.

I haven't personally met MLMers that have done this, but I have read and written to many MLMers that do this over the internet. The internet MLMers are a cesspool of vitriol and nastiness. They act as though the people that oppose their views all came out of the same dumpster and couldn't possibly be successful in any endeavors. MLMers constantly lie about their monthly incomes and suggest they know people making millions of dollars. Even though they may be failing at MLM, they are succeeding by association due to the amazing
mentors. I have told MLMers that I am in a family manufacturing business and help provide a good to people in need. I have a stable salary and am able to take time off if need be without concern about next month's rent. MLMers will still respond that I am only making "The man's" dreams come true, and that I am a prisoner or slave to my position. MLMers will state they have it better and will reiterate their freedom from a schedule or their dependence on another for a salary. This is their "one-up".

10.
 They leave you feeling drained, used, manipulated, and mistreated:
 If you feel abused, mistreated, manipulated, disrespected, envied, or treated poorly, don’t overlook these feelings because you are probably correct. There are times when we, as humans, can misread anything and can make a ton of mistakes in relationships. But I encourage you to focus on the constant and “chronic” feeling of being manipulated, mistreated, or even envied. I believe that humans are more sensitive and more spiritual than they believe they are. We know. We know when we are being mistreated and we certainly know when someone is against us. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out when someone else is mistreating us, no matter how kind they may appear on the outside.

This is a hallmark that many "failed" downline members have felt as they drop out of the
businesses. The downline members will start to realize there never was an opportunity to be successful, and that they were the MLM upline's meal tickets. Downline members will realize the constant travelling to meetings and seminars along with the continuous purchases of MLM products and tools are worthless, and the wasted effort will have been for nought. They will realize they weren't really free, and they spent more time trying to run their MLM business than they would have normally spent in a "9-5 J-O-B".

MLMers have utilized these behaviors proficiently and the results speak for themselves. Millions of people have tried and failed MLM, and many have written their stories online. Some were involved for a short period of time, and some people were involved for decades. Ultimately the results are always the same as the founders and highest ranking members take the profits while they leave their dreamy eyed downlines penniless. The more devoted their downlines are and the more abuse their downlines are willing to withstand will result in the worse losses the downlines will endure.

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.

Source: 
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2017/04/10-common-behaviors-of-the-abuser/ 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

MLM and 10 Common Behaviors of Abusers Pt. 2

Today's blog post continues going through the list of behaviors used by abusers and frequently demonstrated by MLMers. It is important to note that MLMers do utilize the behaviors regularly, and these behaviors do not regularly come with red flags unless a person has cause to look for them. They are cleverly disguised behind an insidious persona meant to deceive consumers and the reason they continue to be pervasive comes from their ability to be successful with these behaviors.

4. They suffocate you with lies:
 As stated above, the abuser will often deny they are abusive because for the most part, the abuser cannot own up to his or her behavior nor can they acknowledge who they really are. It’s too painful to admit you are an evil person with little to no compassion or empathy. An abuser, from my perspective, is one step away from becoming a sociopath. Many abuser’s tend to lie and, as stated above, turn things around. Blatant lies are common. Circular reasoning or circular questioning is also common (i.e., taking a person around and around until the encounter begins to cause confusion). The truth is often not in the abuser.

There is a lot going on with this one, so we will break it into two topics:

1. The first part of this relates to my first paragraph about the insidious persona. MLMers will utilize love bombing, nice clothing, and an extremely upbeat mentality to lure consumers into trusting their intentions. These superficial lies help to mask the underlying lies which revolve around their desire to take a downline or consumer's money. MLMers will suggest they have nothing but the best of intentions, that they came from the same dark places in life, and that nobody else will care about the downline's desires. This ruse has been extremely effective in separating millions of people from their money.

2. The second part of this paragraph talks about the circular logic and reasoning. This has been an extremely important topic on all anti-MLM blogs because it is the number one weapon for MLMers against people that dare to oppose their views. MLMers talk in riddles and hardly ever straight forward about the important facts pertaining to the
business. They utilize poorly constructed analogies, ludicrous metaphors, loaded or vague questions, technical jargon, and extremely white or black examples. All of these tactics are utilized for one major purpose, to avoid impactful questions. They want people to think less and follow more, and the better you can repeat their programming, the more likely you are to succeed.


5. They create cliques to go against you:
 Abusers sometimes lack social confidence, a healthy self-esteem, and “power” within their relationships. As a result, the abuser will often form an “alliance” with other people (sometimes with others similar to them), who can go against the victim or at least validate their incorrect view of the victim. An abuser may, for example, tell a close family friend that his wife doesn’t show affection and avoid any kind of intimacy with him. The abuser’s friend may say something like “wow, why would she ruin the marriage like that? I’m on your side, don’t worry.” The victim, not knowing this, may sense that the family friend is against her or doesn’t accept her anymore. The silent ostracism can be too much to handle sometimes. The victim or the abused may begin to feel uncomfortable around this family friend and even judged. “Silent abuse” causes second guessing, obsessing, and rumination in the abused or victim.

This particular abusive behavior is extremely important to recognize and often goes unnoticed. This is the behavior MLMers install in recruits and downlines to help transition them into a complete immersion with the MLM. By teaching people to separate from their current life to form a new life with MLM it eliminates their ability to be jaded by outside forces.

I had personally been told by an Emerald in Amway that he had my best intentions at heart and wanted me to be successful. He tried to tell me that I may need to leave my fiancee (now wife), if she wouldn't do the
business with me. He attempted to form a clique within my own household and create resentment toward my partner! While I wish I could say my situation is unique, there have been many blogs and posts by others with similar stories, such as Anna Banana's blog, Married to an Ambot, and Joe Cool's blog, Amway - The Dream or the Scheme?. It is important to also note that cliques are not unhealthy as a whole, but rather it is the foundation of the clique that determines whether or not it is something good in which to be involved.


6. They create scenes:
 Scenes are often created by the abuser who likes to have control. Have you ever seen an abuser yell, scream, curse, or have some kind of temper tantrum in an attempt to control you, gain attention, and even an audience to feel sorry for them? I have. This can be 10 times worse if the abuser, who is creating a scene, is doing it in front of others they have created a clique with. This kind of scenario may be more likely to occur in families with strange dynamics or in workplaces where workplace bullying is occurring.

MLMers are an interesting case when it comes to this behavior. They are constantly trying to "Avoid Negative" and that would include making a scene, however there are many stories of MLMers imploding and releasing their wrath on their downlines. Anna Banana has frequently talked about the awful things her husband was subjected to by their upline platinum and Eric Scheibeler wrote a book about the abuse he had received from his upline diamond.

I personally haven't seen an upline create a scene around a particular downline member, but I have seen something equally as bad at the FED (Freedom Enterprise Days), held by WWDB (World Wide Dream Builders), an LOS (Line of Sponsorship), for Amway. As each diamond member came on stage they would routinely badmouth CEO's, "Corporate America", J-O-B's, and basically anyone outside of the
business. This was part of their strategy of forming a clique against outsiders with the new recruits, and it isn't much different from someone throwing a temper tantrum about something they don't like in a giant clique of like-minded members.

Source: https://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2017/04/10-common-behaviors-of-the-abuser/

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, April 5, 2017

MLM and 10 Common Behaviors of Abusers Pt. 1

Today's blog post is the first installment of a three part series about common behaviors abusers use on their victims. My favorite website, aside from this one, called psychcentral.com, had an interesting post about the ten common behaviors or traits of abusers. Needless to say, there is a lot of abuse that occurs in MLM, but it is necessary to identify what those abuses specifically are and how to bring consciousness to the situations. These behaviors are not exclusive to any particular field and they could have very real relevance to other facets of your life.

1. They turn things around: Abusers are good at turning things around or making things fit the way they want things to be or appear to others. Abusers can be very sneaky, subliminal, and vicious. Their viciousness does not always have to be expressed behind an angry face. Viciousness can be displayed through a smile and, if you look closely at the abuser, through their eyes. An abuser can sometimes do very well cloaking themselves and covering their true intent, attitudes, and behaviors. Sadly, this is how they “capture” their victims.

MLMers are trained professionals when it comes to this type of abuse and they train their downlines on how to execute it flawlessly. This particular abuse was used on me when I was attending the FED (Freedom Enterprise Days) for my potential LOS (Line of Sponsorship), WWDB (World Wide Dream Builders) an extension of Amway at the time. It was the end of the second day of the event and I told my former sponsor that I did not want to attend the religious ceremony at the beginning of the third day. I was exhausted and the ceremony did not align with my beliefs. There was no potential benefit for my
business by attending that service and I was not going to gain any pertinent information. Yet that didn't stop my sponsor from making me feel like a heel if I didn't attend and even threatened my conviction toward the opportunity. After attending meetings, reading books, and going to the first two days, everything could have been for naught if I chose to skip the opening ceremony and they would have refused my entry. He utilized coercion through guilt and vulnerability, and rewarded me with a congratulatory high-five when I caved in my morals.

2.
They oust you when you oust them: The moment you decide that the abuser is not a positive force in your life, they can turn on you. Why should they continue to be nice to you if you are “calling them out” or pinpointing who the real problem is. The abuser will often retreat into an attitude of arrogance and denial. Some abusers refuse to acknowledge their pathological and unhealthy behaviors toward others. The best way to deny they are the problem is to get rid of you.

This is a hallmark of MLM. As soon as you break from their systems they cast you away and label you with a scarlet letter. You are a failure, a quitter, a hopeless loser, and anyone that listens to you will be condemned to failure in life as well. You are a contagious poison that must be quarantined from anything and anyone related to MLM. They will break off all ties and your
friends from the MLM will quickly erase you from existence. If they cannot get you to conform to their control, then you will be expelled and you may never return until you renounce your wicked thoughts and conform to their beliefs.


3. They play “mind games:”
 Mind-games are some of the most evil things a person can use against you. Why? Because playing mind-games includes some degree of psychological and emotional control. When you are bonded to a person [you] come to trust them, you will most likely give the abuser the benefit of the doubt, forgive them, or sometimes even take their abuse. The victim will experience emotional and psychological confusion which includes second guessing, questioning, ruminating (i.e., thinking of something repeatedly until it begins to affect your mood), and obsessing. Once this pattern of behavior begins to affect your daily life, the abuser has won. Why? Because they are [now] in control of you and how you see the world and yourself. Mind-games may also come in the form of outright denial or a “my [word] against your word” attitude.

MLMers are the champions of mind games. They have the ability to talk out of both sides of their mouths and they are never wrong. They utilize jargon and complicated analogies to deceive their downlines and potential recruits, and they never specifically say how the actual
business works. They have all the answers in a flawless system, and yet the system has a 99% failure rate. They tell you every seminar, book, and meeting is crucial to your success and that there is an endless amount of teaching, yet the system is supposed to work in either 10,000 hours or 2-5 years or 10-15 hours a week or whatever other line they could come up with. There is an endpoint and there isn't an endpoint according to MLMers. They want you to be able to retire and live your wildest fantasies and yet they are not retired or doing any of these things. They don't want anything negative thoughts and yet they are completely negative about anything non-MLM related. These people are wizards and they can transform themselves and MLM into anything a person desires, and once that person runs out of money or quits, they throw them to the curb never to be mentioned again.

These abuses run rampant through MLM and anyone that has been involved in any way has probably seen any one of these three. Unfortunately these abuses also spread to people that are not involved, or have never been involved but may have family or friends that are involved, and it continues to perpetuate a virus that spreads throughout populations across the globe.

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.

Source: 
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2017/04/10-common-behaviors-of-the-abuser/

Monday, April 3, 2017

MLM and Social Media

Today's blog post is about the continued pervasive solicitations for MLM through social media outlets. It comes as no surprise that social media has been a great way to spread the MLM gospel, yet it continues to be a burden on relationships and continues to ensnare good and honest people. I recently had two different people post on my Facebook with MLM, and unfortunately neither were able to understand they were involved in a scheme. I have tried to diligently show people the issues with MLM, without beating them over the head with facts, in an attempt to have them reach a logical conclusion. Needless to say, I failed every time and have finally given up on trying to be rational with friends in an effort to maintain friendships.

The first friend that I removed had recently joined an MLM called Direct Cellars. Direct Cellars is an MLM involving wine and the idea is to buy your monthly wines until you have a certain number of people below you, then your wines are free. Also, if you pay for different levels of distributorship, then you will be paid a portion of other people's initial distributorship. The MLM is a blatant fraud as there is no actual distribution or sales of wines, but rather a monthly mandatory purchase of low quality wines at full retail that are delivered to your house. I went through how he was making money, how he was getting free wine every month, and how this was both a pyramid and a cash gifting scheme wrapped in one. Not only did he not understand this was not a real business, but he even tried to reach out to me again for the business opportunity and feigned interest in the daily events of my life. After I made a post on Facebook saying that I will not tolerate any more friends posting this crap and that they would be immediately removed, he responded 15 minutes later saying MLM is a good business and not a pyramid. I still believe the man is a good person but tremendously misguided, and I hope he snaps out of it soon because he will have a tough time dealing with the people he is damaging.

The second friend I removed posted before and after pictures of herself after using Modere for three weeks, or so she claimed. I gently tried to inform her that she needed to be careful about posting these pictures because they are in violation of the FTC's rules and regulations on how to properly solicit these types of products. She then vehemently defended the post suggesting it was nothing more than a progress update on her journey through weight loss (her before and after pictures didn't actually look like she had lost any weight, but rather pulled her pants up higher). I told her that would be fine if she hadn't put in the final sentence, "Thank you Modere", because that makes people believe they can achieve the same thing by just taking the product. I was again faced with a defense that she hadn't even listed the specific products she used, but above my comment in the thread she admitted that she was a distributor of the products. Therefore, it doesn't matter if specific products were listed or not, because she is marketing all of them.

Unfortunately, it got worse as one of her friends tried to suggest her post was completely appropriate and was not in violation of any FTC rules and regulations. Now I was getting attacked for trying to help an ignorant friend by some random person that had no idea what they were talking about. Instead of reading the particular section I highlighted from the FTC, the person went on a tangent about the FCC, and kept doubling down on her post's legitimacy. He, along with the woman who made the post, were fueling a perpetual cycle of ignorance and fraud, whether it was intentional or not, and they were beyond logic and reason. Again, there was no hope for a rational discourse about the situation and it turned into a hopeless fight that would have resulted in zero change.

Social Media is a wonderful platform that helps me get my daily dose of nostalgia mixed with spying into people's personal lives. It is a real life syndicated tabloid talk show that is endlessly entertaining, but not as terrible as shows such as Maury Povich or Jerry Springer. While it has its flaws, it continues to be a significant part of my life, and hopefully MLM can be made illegal sooner or later so I can continue to enjoy the various platforms without being plagued by business opportunities, before and after photos, and diet and supplement products.
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, March 31, 2017

MLM in Vegas

Today's blog post is about a person I met while on a trip to Vegas for a trade show this week. Vegas is the ultimate hot spot for gambling and has been known for its thrilling attractions, risque entertainment, and lax rules on alcohol. This hasn't stopped MLM from finding a way to get a piece of the action, and a person I met went into detail about the different MLMs in which he was involved.

I couldn't help but envy the guy. He is a thirty-five year old business owner that hasn't had a "J-O-B" since the early 2000's. He has been consistently conned and has not let that hold him back. He talked about starting his business out of his parents house and had lost 99% of his assets in one bad deal but still managed to make it all back and become successful. There is no stopper on people that have this level of determination. He has an open-mind and an innovative business spirit, which is a perfect target for MLM hucksters.

He brought up his experience with ACN, the MLM Donald Trump has endorsed, and how it used very similar tactics to the father of MLM, Amway. He was initially introduced to ACN at the gym, and the person who introduced him utilized their mutual interest in healthy dieting to foster a discussion about other topics, then he brought up his MLM. This guy was a prototypical MLM robot and even had a copy of Kiyosaki's, Rich Dad Poor Dad at the ready. Not knowing what ACN was about, he went to a meeting and got to see the scheme drawn out on a board. Luckily, he had seen MLM before and never signed up, but he described exactly what a typical MLM meeting is about.

He talked about Kiyosaki and how the book seemed to have good advice. I quickly disarmed that situation and went through Kiyosaki's checkered past. Let me be frank, Kiyosaki is a conman and should be charged as a criminal for his terrible advice and rip-off real-estate seminars. This man has never had any financial success in any of the businesses he espouses knowledge about and is a shill for MLM. He is a failed wallet manufacturer, a failed Amwayer, a deserter of his platoon in Vietnam, a liar about his book being non-fiction, and an evil credit card menace that has taught people to raise their limits and plunge themselves in debt for his seminars. This man is the ultimate fraud and should be consistently written about as such. His wealth and success has come from his kindergarten level books that have been sold as MLM propaganda.

The most important thing he mentioned about the meeting is the way these MLMers are always prepared with a comeback for any questions you may have. He mentioned it was difficult to refute a lot of their claims because they seemed to make sense. He even mentioned the wonderful MLM isn't a pyramid because Corporate America is a pyramid line (amazing how that analogy seems to float through every MLM), and how MLM has a product whereas pyramids don't. I meticulously debunked those myths by talking about two products that have the same shape may not have anything else in common therefore pyramid schemes and "Corporate America" should be treated as separate ideas, and the FTC has specifically stated that products do not make MLMs legitimate. Unfortunately, it is still apparent that most people are relatively uninformed in dispelling these terrible analogies and lies, and even someone that is a true entrepreneur was susceptible to the nonsense.

Whether it is Vegas or any other town, MLM will not stop being pervasive. Whether you are adept at business or completely uninformed, MLM will not stop being pervasive. This is not a business opportunity. but rather a very powerful and well organized swindle. It has infiltrated the highest levels of government and has grown to monstrous sizes. MLM continues to be a plague on modern day society, and the people that think they can't be tricked, are the people that are most likely to be tricked.

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, March 22, 2017

MLM and Health Claims

Today's blog post is about an article written by Truth In Advertising (TINA.org) involving illegal or false health claims from MLM supplement companies. The article states, "Calling into question the Direct Selling Association’s commitment to consumer protection, a truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) investigation has revealed that 97 percent of DSA member companies selling nutritional supplements have distributors deceptively marketing their products with unsubstantiated health claims." TINA.org's investigation is not only scary, but down right frustrating, as this industry continues to propose they have answers to major diseases through unregulated and untested products. These flim-flam companies have just as high a rate of failure as they do for their illegal health claims.

Some examples of their illegal health claims include, "
From autism, and cancer to Ebola, there is an MLM supplement that is being marketed to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent a wide variety of diseases, the ad watchdog’s findings show. " This is just the tip of the iceberg as fellow bloggers regularly see other health claims from distributors boasting about their miracle product cures. These MLM companies have gotten too big to regulate their distributors, and probably don't want to regulate them because the distributors are the bulk of their revenue. If the regulatory agencies are ineffective in policing these companies, and the companies are unable to police their distributors (or care to), then it is up to each individual to be aware and informed for their own protection.

MLM companies have no qualification processes to join and hawk their products. They give MLM distributors free reign to promote the products, and only create limitations on how they actually distribute the products. There are consistently false or illegal testimonials, photos, research studies, and references. Youngevity claimed to be working with Clemson's research institute, and Nerium claimed to be working with Princeton, both of these claims are completely false. John Oliver's twenty minute segment on MLM also eviscerated Herbalife and showed distributors hosting a meeting and claiming to help with heart problems and pregnancy. As long as you have a pulse and a couple of dollars in your pocket, then you are allowed to start selling MLM products.

Snake-oil companies have existed for far longer than MLM, and the MLM business model is not creative or new, but rather a convoluted pyramid designed to destroy people's finances
MLMs have not grown out of necessity for their products or their business model, but rather through top dollar donations, lobbying, settlements, SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) lawsuits to stifle first amendment rights, and continuous lies about everything involving their businesses. These people are not your friends, they are not interested in making you fabulously rich, they are not interested in curing your diseases. These MLM companies are here to take your money, get you to find more friends to take their money, and ravage your local neighborhoods until everyone is stuck with worthless products and no assets.

Sources: Truth in Advertising - https://www.truthinadvertising.org/tina-org-investigation-reveals-mlm-industry-rife-with-illegal-health-claims/

John Oliver - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI&t=749s

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, March 17, 2017

MLM and a "Quality" Analogy

Today's blog post is about a recent stint of analogies that have been coming up on other blogs. The idea that MLM products somehow have better quality than other products is a myth that has been going around since the beginning, but the analogies seem to change and evolve over time. MLMers can't ever point out what that special ingredient, potion, spell, voodoo, or whatever it is that makes the product better, but they have no problem espousing that it exists, and that it makes their MLM product of the highest quality unlike the generic competition found at every other brick-and-mortar or online store. The price for these top shelf, top notch, grade-a, MLM products is always far higher than their competitors (http://themlmsyndrome.blogspot.com/2016/12/mlm-and-product-value.html), and it also is much more difficult to purchase because many require a membership. You may also have to sit through a pitch about the business opportunity, and in certain cases you have to purchase monthly, which makes these products far less reasonable to purchase.

So, how do MLMers attempt to prove that their company's products are of a higher quality? Do they attempt to utilize research from clinical tests? Do they research the ingredients from the competitors and do thorough analyses of the contents in comparison to their company's products? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no. Instead, they try to use technical jargon, mixed with circular arguments, and then transition into the bad analogies. It is important to note, none of these techniques have any veracity and are simply used to deceive and mystify.

One of the common quality analogies that continues to be used is the comparison between Mercedes and Honda. Their hypothesis is, if MLM products are more expensive than their competitors, then it is because of the quality. Similarly, Mercedes is more expensive than Honda, therefore the quality of Mercedes is better. Aside from the kindergarten logic being used, let's break down all of the flaws in this argument.

Higher price does not always mean better product. Yes, products of higher quality tend to be priced higher than those of lower quality. However, there is more than just this simple notion as the market place is more dynamic and has different tiers. You have to make sure that you are comparing two products that are in the EXACT same category, and the analogy above fails to do so. Honda does not target the same market as Mercedes (for the most part), and both have success for varying reasons.
Honda is designed to focus on an economical and simple vehicle, whereas Mercedes focuses on a luxurious and technically engineered vehicle. Mercedes and Honda both have specific regulations they must adhere to, and both must price their vehicles according to the market they are targeting. The bottom line is, BOTH have excellent quality for the markets they are targeting and they BOTH have great financial success.

A better comparison would be between Honda and Toyota or BMW and Mercedes. Not only are these comparisons involving the same target markets, but they are also involving the same countries of origin. When comparing these companies, price is usually the last thing to look at because it is more important to know which company has, more recalls, longer warranties, better safety standards, better gas mileage, better interiors, better longevity, and then somewhere down the line you can worry about the price.

Analogies like the one listed above run rampant in MLM pitches and it is important to remember that analogies are great for helping to understand, but they are not acceptable for determining facts. If an MLMer decides to answer your question with an analogy, especially if it is pertaining to something requiring data, then it is important to analyze what is actually being stated.

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, March 10, 2017

MLM and Realities

Today's blog post is about taking time to reflect upon my world. The reason I call it my world is, it is inherently unique to me as everyone has their own version of reality. One of my favorite expressions is, "There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each differently" (Robert Evans). I'm going to switch the order around but today is about exploring my version of MLM, the MLMers side of MLM, and then the truth about MLM.

My version of MLM is very dark. I have explored MLM relentlessly and come across the same MLMers and their logic ad nauseam. They have no ability to critically think, they have become completely warped by jargon and analogies, and they have been blinded by the insatiable desire to become the person with the most stuff. MLMs have become synonymous with a virus as they spread their opportunity through the general population. MLMs are a pervasive parasitic paradigm shift in pyramidal schemery that continues to plague society.

MLMers believe MLM is the answer to the mysteries of the elite. They believe it is a golden ticket to launch them from poverty to greatness, and they also believe they will be doing a noble service at the same time. MLMers generally do not believe they are harming anyone and simply want what is best for their family and society. In general, MLMers are harmless, simple people that just want to make a great life for themselves and their families. MLMers are also very spiritual people, and believe they will be right with god as long as they pursue this venture. They believe the world is full of corruption and that MLM is their way to fight back against the evils of corporations.

The truth about MLM is found in the FTC investigations, the court cases, and the words of the MLM leaders. The FTC has found certain MLMs to have problems which have resulted in them being warned, fined, revamped, or completely shut down. They have gone after all kinds of MLMs, supplement based, juice based, clothing based, currency based, vacation based, and many others. The only thing all of these companies have in common is their MLM structure. To date, not one MLM has been exonerated in court, and have only survived because of large settlements and agreements to change their troubled ways. They continue to be sued and settle regularly until they must abandon their business and start something newDateline had a former Amway leader talk about the tools scam and how completely terrible the business actually was, and Eric Schiebeler has written a book, Merchants of Deception, about his experience in Amway and its corruption.

At the end of the day, not all MLMers are bad people, in fact most of them are probably good people. They lead very simple lives, and they just want the best for the people they love. They are victims of crime groups that utilize psychological tricks to deceive and manipulate the MLMers, and they prey on their vulnerabilities. The worst way to describe most MLMers is, they are a group of people similar to Jehovah's Witnesses that want to take a moment to talk to you about god, except they are at Starbucks instead of your house and they want to present a life changing business opportunity.

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, March 1, 2017

MLM and Pluralistic Ignorance

Today's blog post is based on a recent article from Psychcentral called How to Avoid Groupthink on Your Team. This article figuratively screamed, "Read Me!" with that Orwellian title. The article talks about a particular issue within the herd or group mentality, called pluralistic ignorance. Pluralistic ignorance is group silence due to fear of asking a question about a particular topic that was not understood. The fear of being judged by the group as the only person who did not understand is extremely powerful and is a regular problem within large meetings or lectures. Teachers often emphasize the importance of asking questions by suggesting if a particular point didn't make sense to you, then there are probably others that also didn't understand. This is one of the best ways to combat against pluralistic ignorance.

An example of pluralistic ignorance could be a boss addressing their sales staff about a new strategy for marketing their products. The boss may use certain types of jargon that are confusing or vague which makes the staff have questions, or worse, complete misunderstanding of the new strategy. The staff, out of fear of looking foolish in front of the boss and their peers, may elect not to ask questions about explaining the strategy and instead remain silent until the meeting is over. Afterward, they may ask each other for help explaining the strategy from the meeting, only to find out nobody else understood either. This is where pluralistic ignorance is generated and is an extreme problem when trying to go over new material in front of a group.

MLMs utilize pluralistic ignorance to their advantage and consistently utilize technical jargon that new recruits couldn't possibly understand. In fact, many of the mid level members of MLM don't understand what they are talking about, which makes the pluralistic ignorance more prevalent. They do not do a good job of explaining the business opportunity, which includes describing how new prospects generate revenue, how the bonus structures work, what commitments are needed to make the business work (time, money, education), or even the statistics for success. Unfortunately, the more technical they sound in their explanations, the less likely people are to question their validity.

MLMs also use bad analogies and dreams to fuel pluralistic ignorance. They invent their own answers to questions that either, don't actually answer the question or shame the questioner. They insist upon never directly addressing major points, and emphasize focusing on the results and dreams of others. An example of this is when people ask if MLM is a pyramid. A common response will be something obscure and technically difficult for a prospect to understand while also being unnecessarily long. A common bad analogy is the famous, corporate America is a pyramid explanation, which is not only erroneous but is also full of technical jargon that would confuse people and make them fearful to ask more questions.

It is extremely important to ask meaningful questions and phrase them in such a way that you will not feel concerned about others opinions. This is an important skill to develop and the article does a great job of explaining how to practice and grow in group settings. The worst disservice you can do to yourself, especially when investing your time and money, is to not fully understand what the opportunity actually entails. At the end of the day, the group isn't responsible for your inability to understand, therefore you cannot fear their impression of you.

Source: https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2017/03/01/how-to-avoid-groupthink-on-your-team/

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, February 24, 2017

MLM and Confirmation Bias

Today's blog post is about the concept of confirmation bias. This idea stems from the inappropriate or negligent strategy utilized to ascertain an answer to a question. Confirmation bias comes up frequently in science when people are attempting to find a desirable result in an experiment, and will sometimes grasp at straws or invent a conclusion. The same can also be applied to MLM as people attempt to prove the efficacy of MLM through faulty means.

Confirmation Bias: Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations). 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

According to the Wikipedia definition, here are some of the methods MLMs use that would be considered confirmation bias:

1. If someone has a question about a particular part of MLM, for instance the expected amount of income a distributor can generate, MLMs will not talk about the income disclosure agreement. Instead, an MLMer might show pictures of flashy cars, mansions, boats, and money, which is misleading at best because only a fraction of 1% ever attain that kind of wealth. They decide to ignore the statistics, which have been designed to show the actual expectation of monthly and annual income.

2. MLMs utilize wholesome values to imply it is genuine and legitimate. MLMers will suggest the business has veracity because they are devout Christians, believe in matrimony, or they may be charitable. While these can be great qualities, they have nothing to do with a business being legitimate. It is important to look to regulatory agencies, such as the FTC and the SEC for guidelines on what makes a business legitimate.

3. MLMs utilize ambiguous evidence very frequently. They suggest there are a lot of successful people and then fail to mention anyone, or if they do, they mention only a few of the top 1%. MLMers may suggest the industry is thriving or is a multi-billion dollar industry, but fail to note that it has far more members driving that total revenue over a billion than blue chip companies that are worth far more in comparison (this is another way of saying MLMs are inefficient). Finally, they may something such as, "The people that are successful are the people who put int he effort, and the people who quit didn't try hard enough". Well, that may be true for some, but for most they do try really hard and they still fail. This is again a point they tend to leave out of the conversation.

4. Attitude Polarization is very big in MLM. I have had many debates with MLMers about their businesses and how the statistics reflect a very poor performance. The responses are routinely bizarre and suggest, the statistics came from a flawed source (often they come from their own companies), the statistics don't accurately reflect the overall business (statistics are designed to take data and make inferences about the data gathered), statistics can't quantify individuals (similar to the last one), or statistics are not real evidence (meanwhile they will call upon their own statistics as long as they suit their cause). This has become a rampant problem for people that are disillusioned by thoughtspeak (Orwell). They cannot rationally look at evidence anymore and have utilized programmed cognitive dissonance to rationalize the dissenting information.

5. Belief perseverance is also very big in MLM, especially after utilizing attitude polarization. MLMers will continue to pursue MLM even after being confronted with evidence because it feels good, or they think they are learning something useful, or they just want to do it and don't care about the results. This is often connected with denial, because no rational person would want to throw money away, especially if it was hurting others in the process.

6. The irrational primacy effect often comes into play when describing the opportunity for success in MLM. Unfortunately, as MLM grows the possibility for growth shrinks in an exponentially larger percentage. When MLMers describe the successes of their predecessors they are forgetting to mention that it was a different time, a different market condition, and a different knowledge base. All of these effect the new MLMers outcome, but they still rely on the fact that a previous person was able to be successful.

7. Illusory correlation happens the most, and often includes many of the previously stated confirmation biases. One of the most common illusory correlations is the shape of MLM and the shape of Corporate America are both pyramids, therefore they are both legitimate. Not only does this not make sense on an arbitrary level, but it doesn't make sense on a deeper level either. Yet it rolls off the tongue well, and MLMers continue to fool and deceive new prospects consistently with this terrible line.

MLMs frequently utilize confirmation bias to manipulate and deceive their distributors. They provide false analogies, unrelated information, and deceptive claims. They also go out of their way to discredit any dissenting information and opinions, and they are quick to sever ties with anyone that does not share their complete worldview.

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, February 17, 2017

MLM and Relationship Red Flags

Today's blog post is about a recent article I read on my favorite website, psychcentral.com, about relationships and red flags. The author goes through five major red flags and how they consistently prevent relationships from being successful. MLM is an extremely relationship based "business", and it is important to delve into some of the warning signs when someone is proposing an MLM to you.

Here are the five relationship red flags:

1. Different Values - The author describes this as CORE values and not personality types. Certain core values may be your stance on religion, work, children, and creativity. You may not have to align with everything perfectly, but it is important to have more in common than not.

MLMers cannot have different core values from their uplines. They must be conditioned until their mindset is completely identical to their predecessors. In my personal history, I had an MLMer make me go to a Christian service, try and dump my fiancee (now wife), and ignore family and friend's opinions. These core values were too different from mine, and these are a few of the various reasons for why I had to stop MLM.

2. Inability to Apologize - The author describes this as either a character flaw in an individual or a lack of respect. Either way, it is a telling sign that the relationship will not work.

MLMers cannot accept responsibility for their actions. They cannot recognize their faults, because they are conditioned to find excuses. If an MLMer is confronted with their undesirable earnings, then they will say it is because they didn't work hard enough. If an MLMer is confronted with making their downline miss important events, then they will say it was important to their future. If an MLMer is confronted with the failure of their downline, then they will say they didn't try hard enough and never acknowledge the fact that they had responsibility for that failure as well. While this may not be exactly the same as being able to apologize, the overall message is people need to be able to take responsibility for their actions.

3. A History of Failed Relationships - The author warns people of certain patterns of relationship failures with both romantic partners and platonic relationships. If a person seems to routinely have issues maintaining relationships with others, that could lead to an undesirable fate for your own relationship.

MLMers have the WORST history with failed distributors. Their churn rates are significantly higher than any other form of business, and the amount of MLMers that are receiving profits above slave wages is as high as 5% and as low as .01%. With numbers like these, it makes sense to run as far away from MLM as possible.

4. Trust Issues - The author says trust develops over the course of a relationship and if trust fails to develop then there may be a serious flaw. Envy is an immediate sign of poor boundaries as an individual may invade or ruin certain parts of their partners life.

MLMers do not trust anything outside of their own networks. They don't trust the media, they don't trust other MLMers friends or families, and they don't trust any type of business that isn't MLM. They have such a strong distrust for outside influences that they encourage people to simply leave reality and become completely enmeshed in their activities. They want you to have only MLM relationships, MLM learning materials, MLM activities, and they hate if you have anything that conflicts with their agenda.

5. Controlling, Possesive, or Abusive Actions -
  • Wants you to spend less time with your friends and family
  • Doesn’t respect your boundaries
  • Wants you to quit your job, school, or hobbies
  • Accuses you of being unfaithful or always wants to know where you are
  • Takes your money or runs up your credit card bills
  • Criticizes you excessively or says no one else would ever want you

This part of the article was literally meant for people involved in MLM. MLMers want you to get away from friends and family because they are a distraction or waste of time and they may have unpopular opinions.

They don't respect personal boundaries and attempt to invade every facet of a person's life. I even read in a blog that a person had to ask if they could get coffee in the middle of a conference for fear of falling asleep. This is a grown adult asking permission while attending a voluntary activity.

MLM wants you to "retire" from your job, thinks college is a waste of time (debatable these days, but certainly not because of MLM logic), and they want you to focus all of your time on "Running the business". There won't be time to go to the movies, go for hikes, or go to the mall, because you MLMers have to run that business, or attend conferences (I put this in italics now because it is more like a pep rally).

MLMers demand your undivided attention, and they will constantly say those that failed were not "Following the system" perfectly. This is basically the same as being unfaithful to the cult, as someone can only "Follow the system" perfectly if they are completely devoted without questions. I have also read certain MLMers have made impromptu calls or check-ins at very late and inappropriate hours.

MLMers have no problem taking all of your money through monthly auto-ships, tools, and conferences. This is what they are designed to do, while also taking control of the rest of your life. Robert Kiyosaki is a master of teaching people to extend their credit well beyond their means and place outrageous charges on credit cards with no ability to pay them back. Kiyosaki is also an important figure in MLM and has written a book for Amway that is read by every single member.

MLMers will give distributors unconditional love and support when distributors are involved in related activities, but if they attempt to deviate from the plan, then they will be attacked with passive-aggressive behaviors. They will also use scare tactics to keep an MLMer involved, such as dooming them in life if they choose to leave, or suggesting they may be missing the most important lesson that can be taught. Merchants of Deception is a great story about an Emerald being consistently attacked and conditioned by his upline to do everything he is told.

These red flags are an important reminder to those attempting anything in life, but as far as MLM is concerned, it receives a big fat fail.

Psychcentral kindly provided the inspiration for this article and the link is posted below:

https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2017/02/16/5-relationship-red-flags-what-you-should-know/

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, February 14, 2017

MLM and Origins of Belief and Values

Today's blog is about challenging where your beliefs and values come from. Everyone has an inherent set of beliefs and values, but most people don't understand whether these beliefs or values came from within or were established through outside stimuli. Human beings, by nature, are group oriented and thrive by belonging to communities which are developed through similarities. These similarities are usually genetic, but they do develop into social similarities over time. Eventually certain people within the community will rise due to certain inherent traits, such as the ability speak publicly, and begin to transform the community into a belief and value system that is congruent to their own. Before long, people will rely on the belief and value systems of the group and will lose their own value and belief system.

This crux between self belief and group belief has been contended with since the beginning of civilization. There is a natural hierarchy within humans and the idea of every human having perfect equality is inherently flawed. No civilization can exist properly with every human having perfect equality, yet this Utopian philosophy still exists as many people with limited control over their lives view this as the ideal situation. There will always be leaders and followers and those leaders will work to convert the followers to their sets of beliefs and values.

MLMs are no different as they work to form groupthink (Orwell) throughout their downlines. They have a specific set of leaders that teach the followers what is important, both materialistically and spiritually. MLMers show videos of mansions, cars, boats, vacations, and most importantly money which installs the materialistic part of the value system. Then MLMers support their spiritual value system by installing specific religious beliefs. MLMs are adaptable as well and utilize targeted demographics to morph their value and belief systems based on the culture they are infiltrating. Not everyone can be converted to a certain Western Style value system, which is why MLMs can become anything a certain group desires.

The important thing to note is the emphasis of the group belief system taking over the self belief system. This is very similar to the mob theory where an individual may not participate in harassing or violating another individual, however if certain people in a mob decide it is important to terrorize another person, then other individuals may drop their own self beliefs to fit in with the group. MLMs prey on individuals with low self-confidence, low self-worth, and people who are highly impressionable or vulnerable.

The first weapon against this type of manipulation is introspection. The only persons that can truly understand what is important to their well-being and happiness is themselves. By taking the time to critically think about your own values, you can start to prioritize and eliminate certain group beliefs.

The second important weapon is to understand that things are not black and white. This kindergarten philosophy does not apply to any real life situation as human beings continue to become more and more complex. There is always something of value from every group and that does not mean that the value comes from something good. A group can show you bad traits and ignorance which should be avoided, while still offering a level of camaraderie that other groups do not have. This is part of what makes MLM very tantalizing, because they introduce a certain bond that human beings desire while taking advantage of a person's vulnerability to a poor financial 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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Checklist for a "Quality" MLM

Today's blog post is about a ridiculous checklist an MLMer posted. This was his version of key guidelines for an MLM, and somehow every MLM that doesn't meet these qualifications should be deemed inherently bad. It is important to note that this is something that was programmed into him by a maniacal MLM upline, or worse, this MLMer is the maniacal upline trying to utilize deceit by means of a worthless checklist. Without further ado, here it is:

10 ways to choose an awesome Network Marketing Opportunity.
1. Has the company been around for at least 5 years?
2. Is the company well funded?
3. Does the company offer products or services that are unique?
4. Is there a genuine need for the product or service?
5. Is the product or service trendy or just a fad?
6. Can you generate immediate income?
7. Does the marketing system take full advantage of technology?
8. Is the person who is introducing you to the opportunity committed to YOUR success?
9. Is there a way to build your business part-time without losing your full-time income?
10. Can you have FUN with this company?

Let's go through each point and dissect the inherent issues with them pertaining to MLM.

1. "Has the company been around for at least 5 years?"

This is completely backwards logic when it comes to MLM. MLMs have spread like wildfire because of social media platforms and checking to make sure an MLM has been around for at least five years is a significant hindrance on anyone's potential success with MLM. The whole point with MLM is to get in as early as possible and form the biggest team before other people come along and snatch up your prospects. If you have to wait five years before you even get started, then you might as well take a fire to your money, because the percentage of people left is incredibly small compared to the beginning.

2. "Is the company well funded?"

Not only does this have nothing to do with MLM, but if the company has already been around for five years, then it should have already proven to be "well funded". MLMs don't need a lot of funding because most of their marketing is done for slave wages based on a false premise of a "Utopian lifestyle" (Thank you David Brear) once they have committed themselves to the business. Also, when has an MLM ever told anyone anything about their funding or monetary resources? The government can't even get the biggest MLMs to release any forms or income/disclosures, therefore your chances of finding out are somewhere in the neighborhood of 0%.

3. "Does the company offer products or services that are unique?"

Let me be perfectly plain. NO MLM HAS EVER HAD A UNIQUE PRODUCT EVER! They specifically target markets with little to no regulations and they continue to pump out overpriced generic products to help compensate for the pyramid type pay structure. If an MLM ever had a unique product, then they would not market their product in an MLM but rather sell the product through normal channels such as online and brick mortar. The MLM structure is not advantageous for the consumer or the distributor because they MUST mark-up the products significantly in order to pay out the levels of the team (pyramid).

4. "Is there a genuine need for the product or service?"

Again, let me be perfectly plain since this relates to the previous point. THERE IS NO ACTUAL NEED FOR AN MLM PRODUCT OR SERVICE. There never has been and there never will be, because of the structure in which MLM is formed. These are generic products wrapped up in a misleading scheme based on the dreams of charlatans that want to take people's money. There is not one MLM product or service that has been needed in the market place and there never will be.

5. "Is the product or service trendy or just a fad"

This is the weirdest point because it actually makes no sense. You can't ask an OR question and have both words mean the same thing. I honestly can't tell what the person is asking because this is like asking do you wear clothing or garments? This is a bad attempt at a loaded question and should automatically derail anyone from being interested in a business opportunity that proposes such nonsense.

6. "Can you generate immediate income"

I have never heard of a business that generates IMMEDIATE income. In fact, most investments don't generate IMMEDIATE income and anything that suggests that there is IMMEDIATE income is a RED FLAG. This is another way of suggesting MLM is a "get rich quick scheme", which an MLM will never admit, and may deflect by saying there is IMMEDIATE income opportunities, but it takes a lot of effort and time, which completely detracts from the previous statement. If someone says there is IMMEDIATE income then it is time to IMMEDIATELY excuse yourself.

7. "Does the marketing system take full advantage of technology"

Okay, a couple of issues here. The name of the business opportunity is Multi-Level Marketing, or in this person's case "Network Marketing" (sadly has become interchangeable), so what does it mean by "marketing system"? According to MLM, their plan reflects using people involved and therefore it is discretionary as to whether or not they choose to use technology. Also, the phrasing of the question is completely bizarre. If you take away "marketing system" and put in yourself, then is this person basically asking if you utilize technology? This seems to be phrased as a question, but is more so meant as a statement or advice. This is a runner-up to point number 5 for strangeness.

8. "Is the person who is introducing you to the opportunity committed to YOUR success?"

Ah, this is a wonderful question that pulls on my philosophical heart strings. First of all, is it really necessary to capitalize "YOUR" in the question? I'm fairly confident we can understand whom this question is about. Secondly, the person introducing you to the business has a financial bias to make themselves successful before they worry about you. It seems contradictory to ask them to take time away from themselves to help you be successful in the same endeavors. It is also ludicrous to assume the person introducing you to the business does not consider the opportunity to make money off your enrollment and monthly auto ship. This question is completely asinine when it comes to the structure of MLM.

9. "Is there a way to build your business part-time without losing your full-time income?"

This seems to be a subjective question and truly depends on the person instead of the MLM. After watching many episodes of Shark Tank, I believe it is necessary to focus all of your attention on new business ventures, but again this has nothing to do with the business itself. This question seems backwards and suggests that the MLM dream business which can make you fabulously wealthy and retire should come second to your nasty old full-time "J-O-B".

10. "Can you have FUN with this company?"

Wow, this is not only irrelevant but extremely bad advice. If your livelihood was dependent on how much fun you were having, then I'm pretty sure most people would not be working. It is "FUN" to receive a paycheck for all of your efforts and be able to pay for "FUN" activities with your money. This is something that MLMs cannot supply for 99+% of their members, and that strikes me as not "FUN".

On a serious note, this check list was actually created by a real human being. This person is trying to take money from unsuspecting consumers and they do not care about the people they hurt in the process. This list is something I would expect from a kindergartner and not a fully functioning adult (I use full functioning lightly). Please be careful as this list was designed to pertain to ALL MLMs as a whole.

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, February 6, 2017

MLM and Boundaries

MLMers have key issues when forming proper boundaries for a business relationship. They do not understand the concept between private life and public life while confusing a business opportunity with a hobby or activity. Real businesses may have team building activity days to help enhance camaraderie or to show appreciation for their workers by recognizing them for their value, but they understand this is meant to encourage productivity and help their bottom line while also paying their employees during these activity days. MLMers reverse this and make activity days such as conferences and seminars into the main priority of the business and they also force their MLM downlines to pay to attend.

MLMers insist that these activity days are something special, and that they can be a breakthrough moment waiting to happen. This is a universal lie designed to keep downlines paying more money while having a smile on their face. These major conferences are nothing more than a theatrical activity day designed to instill energy and camaraderie within your LOS, and any upline that suggests the material being discussed has any business value is purposely tricking downlines into making them more money.

Uplines utilize their edification and position to manipulate boundaries in an effort to extract as much cash from their downline as possible, and if it isn't through conferences then it may be through monthly auto ships or tools. They will pretend to be a support system, a mentor, and act as though they have your best interest at heart while telling you to do things that only take you further from your goals. They may insist you increase your personal volume per month in order to get to the next level of the hierarchy when in actuality that takes more money out of your pocket. They may also insist that you continue to maintain a high monthly purchase rate, even though they know you are not doing well with sales.  Then if you aren't doing well with the monthly sales, they may make you double down on your losses by suggesting you need more tools to help learn how to sell better. These tools are designed to reinforce your passion for the business and have no merit for increasing business productivity.

MLMers will control the way a downline thinks and alter their course of thought to an endless stream of positive thought. This may include insisting they don't listen to family members, friends, partners, acquaintances, or anyone that has been in a downline's life. MLMers will insist that the business comes first and slowly absorb more and more time for the business as opposed to personal life. They may eventually suggest keeping all of your relationships in the business, and try to dissolve any romantic relationships you have. They will destroy all boundaries separating a professional life from a private life.

Finally, MLMers will seek to transform their downlines into themselves and then repeat the process. They will work on an MLMers individuality and destroy it causing nothing to remain except for the programmed thought speech created by the MLMers. They will convert the downline while sending it out into the real world to do the same to others.

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, February 2, 2017

MLM and Visions of Grandeur

Today's blog post is about the delusions MLMs provide in reference to success. MLMers may start their pitch by suggesting it is a reasonable side income, but that quickly goes to the waste side when a consumer agrees to join. Instead that side income bit turns into a life long residual income bonanza filled with the most wonderful imagery their minds could conceive. Once a consumer has been pushed passed the basic levels of introduction into an MLM, then the dreaming begins and it doesn't stop until that entry level MLMer goes broke.

Psych central had a great article about the change in mindset for the millennial generation. There seems to be a larger emphasis on being famous and that stems from a set of outside influences consistently being pumped into them. Sure there have always been people that have had big dreams of success in Hollywood, but there was also less emphasis on "following your dreams" and more emphasis on getting a good education and being productive in society. Also, it was never frowned upon previously to have a middle class income and a reasonable work position, however that mindset seems to have changed and there is now a larger emphasis than ever on "making it to the top".

One of the recurring themes we continue to come back to is, a person started from the bottom and now they have arrived. There can be a multitude of different scenarios, but they always have the same formula. Everyone eats these stories up and this is why we keep pumping out more and more stories about kids from the ghetto, a different country, or disabled suddenly becoming immensely rich and successful. We see shows like Behind the Scenes from VH1, Crib's from MTV, 30 for 30 on ESPN, America's Got Talent, The Voice, or any late night talk show involving regular celebrity appearances. These stories and television shows do not show the overwhelmingly low success rate to be one of these stars, and they consistently encourage people by suggesting these lifestyles are attainable without supporting any statistics. There are so many shows suggesting being famous is not only ideal, but it is morphing into the main value and identity young people want.

MLMs are a different version of these same television shows. They consistently show outrageous amounts of wealth and luxury while preaching it can all be yours for little to no effort, very small monthly fees, and by helping your fellow members of society. They continuously leave out the statistics for success and prey upon people's insatiable need for more, especially if they are impoverished. MLMs will promise you everything under the sun and they will offer an MLMer the chance to become the person they idolize on stage. This is ultimately a false offering filled with impossible odds, but they are keen to only show the success, a similar concept to Vegas slot machines.

MLMs are preying upon people being warped by visions of grandeur as well as those with the "nothing to lose" attitude. They are striving to recruit people that are trapped in the childhood mentality of being "special" without doing anything to garner that classification. They want people looking for the big lottery win. They are going for the emotional people that can be swept up by a nice story and a fake smile. They want people that will never question their methods and simply focus on the carrot at the end of the stick.

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.