Friday, January 27, 2017

MLM and Charity?

Today's blog post is about the trickery used to validate MLM by suggesting they are charitable. There are a few main issues with this logic, such as, not being able to verify the accuracy of their philanthropy, not knowing whether they are doing it because they are noble or getting a benefit (most likely the latter), sometimes not being able to verify the legitimacy of the charity, and finally there is no actual correlation between businesses being legitimate and giving to charity. With all of these reasons to ignore the idea of an MLM being legitimate because they are charitable, it still doesn't stop MLMers from espousing this as some sort of irrefutable fact. This should be regarded as a red flag instead of a means of proof to secure credibility, especially if this logic is not supported by other better forms of evidence, or worse yet a stand alone form of credibility.

I was recently watching television when an odd commercial came on the air. I remembered seeing it before, and not putting much thought into it, but this time it was different. As the commercial played I started to feel my blood boil, especially after John Oliver ripped it to shreds on one of his segments. Without further ado, here is the commercial.



On first glance the commercial seems innocent, but after further inspection it becomes clear something very shady is happening. Not only is it a bizarre premise to have "Kars 4 Kids" that are clearly not able to drive, but they don't explicitly say what the money for the donated cars will be contributed toward. After watching this commercial you are left with a bad jingle that will not leave your head for the next million years, and the idea that some weird charity is trying to get free cars to give to children.

The Wikipedia entry for 1877Kars4Kids is particularly scathing. The organization is run by an orthodox Jew and their mission statement is to utilize the funds for bringing education to secular Jews. Basically, they are taking your money and putting it toward an unverifiable purpose of re-educating bad Jews to try and turn them into good Jews. They have never been able to verify how much of the proceeds have actually gone to this endeavor, and the other causes they have helped with are pennies in the bucket compared to how much they have raised. They have even been fined by two states for showing this commercial without explicitly saying what the charity is about. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kars4Kids

Here is the brief moment John Oliver decided to go on a tangent and vilify 1877Kars4Kids.



While this is only one example of a bad charity, it is far from unique. Charities are one of the least regulated types of organizations and they are able to file tax exempt on account of them being non-profit organizations. They are one of the best vehicles for running a scam and they are one of the worst vehicles for verifying authenticity of another organization. It is far from surprising that MLMs would be involved in charities, and the insidious nature of MLMs suggest that they aren't using charities because they want to give to their respective communities.

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.

13 comments:

  1. Americans will donate money to anything that has the words "kids" or "children" in the title. The orthodox Jew knew what he was doing.

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    1. Chaim Mintz is clearly predatory and is utilizing loopholes within our laws to take advantage. It is disheartening to see good institutions being grouped in with nonsense like this. There needs to be better unbiased oversight over groups like this.

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  2. Coincidentally, a well known MLM player started tweeting today about making donations to various charities and veterans groups. Irinically, I suspect if fewer people were involved in MLM's, there would be fewer charity cases.

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    1. Tolobelt -

      Absolutely! The MLMs are predatory against people with little to no means and increase the needs for government assistance. It is very frustrating that they prey on the vulnerable to make a dollar.

      Unfortunately the people MLM preys on may be plagued by a different version of a scam if MLM disappeared, but there is no way to verify this. The people with less resources tend to be the highest population of lottery players and gambling because they cannot find or understand a better way to generate wealth.

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    2. Well, at least in a lottery there are some actual winners.

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  3. For years, 'Scientology' racketeers peddling redemption have gained access to vulnerable persons via legally-registered front-group 'charities' which claim to help: ex-convicts, drug addicts, etc.

    'MLM' racketeers have also organised the creation of front-group charities running shelters for abused women. Such vulnerable persons are perfect targets for recruitment and exploitation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9hhQM0cTNE

    e.g. 'Younique' is a 'Mormon' owned 'MLM' racket (hiding behind wampum beauty products) and this group has used 'The Younique Foundation' to gain access to sexually-abused women in order to recruit and exploit them.

    https://www.facebook.com/youniquefoundation/

    During the course of my research into 'MLM income opportunity' racketeers, I have discovered that all of them have attempted to prevent, and/or divert, investigation of their hidden criminal activities by steadfastly pretending to be 'philanthropists.' When seen in isolation (by casual observers), the creation of, and the giving of money to, charity can appear to be entirely lawful activities. However, in the case of numerous 'MLM income opportunity' cults, when the wider picture is examined, these same activities are revealed as a blatant attempt to commit fraud and obstruct justice, forming part of an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity.

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    1. David -

      Thank you for providing this information. It is extremely frustrating to witness these organizations taking advantage of loopholes designed to help good people give back to their communities. It is a ridiculous double-edged sword that clearly needs better oversight.

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    2. Is Amway involved in any kind of fake charity?

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    3. It's interesting to note that Al Capone used stolen cash to create a false image of being a latter-day Robin Hood. He started one of the first charity soup kitchens in Chicago in 1930 which fed many thousands of unemployed.

      Bernie Madoff created a multi-million-dollar private foundation that handed out stolen money to hospitals and arts groups. Through Madoff's work at charities like the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation or his public service at institutions like Yeshiva University, where he was on the board, Madoff created a fake image of philanthropy, integrity and trust.

      Based on the above image bought with stolen money, numerous charities gave Madoff far greater funds to invest.

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    4. Anonymous - For years, 'Amway' has bought association not only with charities (particularly, UNICEF), but at the same time with certain A-list celebrities who have championed these charities.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuPO3w2GgAE

      Another tactic of 'Amway' (and other 'MLM' cults) has been to co-opt celebrities to front promotional videos by offering to give money to their favorite charities

      This classic tactic worked particularly well for 'Amway' in the UK in the 1980s and 90s where two popular, but fading, BBC presenters were tricked by an offer of £30 thousands each to their favourite charities. To casual observers like my late mother, once these celebs seemed to be endorcing 'Amway' it then seemed impossible that 'MLM' could be a fraud.

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    5. Also Google search 'Amway Charity Foundation' and discover the grandiose scale of this aspect of the racket. 'Amway' bosses have handed out a mountain of stolen money with almost exactly the same hidden motive as Bernie Madoff. They are handing back a fraction of their ill-gotten gains to make it appear impossible that these can be ill-gotten, and to fool fresh victims.



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  4. I recall as an Amway IBO (at the time), I heard touching stories about how you can write $10,000 check to charity or to your church when you go diamond. For some people, it was a hot topic. Thinking about it though, charity and churches need money regularly, not when you go diamond and can allegedly donate money.

    When triple diamond Greg Duncan filed bankruptcy, his tax return and some other financial documents were made public and I don't recall seeing any line item for charitable contributions. Imagine that, a diamond making a million dollar income and nothing for charity.

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    1. Joe,

      That Amspeak about donating $10,000.00 once you go diamond is more of the irrational fluff that sounds good to anyone with an inability to critically think. Unfortunately they litter people's brains with this nonsense and try to rationalize it with more lame garbage.

      It isn't really hard to imagine Greg Duncan, or for that matter any diamond, not giving to charity. After reading Merchants of Deception, it became clear these people are spineless thieves and complete narcissists. I'd also find it easy to imagine them shame attacking a homeless person that asks for help while telling them to get a job.

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