Wednesday, January 11, 2017

MLM and George Orwell's, 1984

Today's blog post is about a book I recently read by George Orwell, 1984. The story is about a man, Winston Smith, working for the government formally known as, The Party. The Party is the government of Oceania, one of the three main super powers, and is continuously at war with either Eurasia or Eastasia, or at least that is what they tell their people, in an effort to secure power. The Party has a figure head named "Big Brother", and he is a symbol of vigilance and power as his poster is hung everywhere throughout civilization along with "telescreens" and microphones used for monitoring every citizen twenty-four hours a day. There are three castes within the society, the inner party, the outer party, and the proles. The inner party is the group of people who control the government and dictate what the people of the outer party and the proles are allowed to do. The outer party helps with mundane tasks designed to increase the inner party's influence on the other two groups. The proles (proletariat) are the working-class, and they are the slaves of society that go through the motions of life (wake up, work, have children, die) without realizing they are being controlled.

The story is an important read, because it shows the development of a totalitarian regime and it also shows how people are manipulated and conned into giving up their ability to rationally think as well as have rights. The Party is a group that learned the mistakes of previous oppressive groups, the Christians with the Crusades, and the Nazi's with the National Socialist German Workers' Party, to become the ultimate power over its people. They learned how to manipulate and destroy the past so as to control the present, and they also manipulated and destroyed language to alter the way people thought. They created a society based on faith, loyalty, and surrender under the key assumptions of "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength".

MLMs have utilized similar techniques to create undying faith and loyalty. They have designed their business opportunity as an us versus them mentality by suggesting if you don't pursue MLM then you will be forever burdened with a 9-5 job and a life of constant struggle for the next pay check. MLMers are constantly at war with the outside world and the internet, and this war will continue as long as both exist. This technique of an ever lasting war outside of the MLM creates an odd sense of peace within as people falsely believe the leaders have their best interest at heart and somehow people within the MLM are more wholesome. It also brings a sense of unity and camaraderie as the people within the MLM band together and fight against the oppressive outside world.

MLMers preach freedom as long as they choose to follow the systems they have implemented. In fact, Amway has a special event called FED which stands for Freedom Enterprise Days in which they utilize the term Freedom as much as possible in regards to the MLM and success. Unfortunately, this is all a ruse as they utilize this "doublespeak" (saying one thing while believing another, also known as cognitive dissonance), to transform the idea of freedom into a meaning of slavery. What I mean by this is, in order to get financial freedom and live a life of luxury, you must commit yourself to the MLM entirely with both your money and time. You must show the business plans regularly, you must attend all functions, you must pay for monthly supplies, you must subordinate to your uplines. Only then, can you achieve freedom.

MLMers deliberately avoid the issues of facts and statistics. They prey on the ignorance of their followers and utilize the faith they impose as a business strength. They shun research and outside influence in an effort to keep MLMers devoted and unquestioning. If an opposing view is mentioned, then it is quickly attacked in a succinct and aggressive manner as to contain the problem as fast as possible. Similarly to an oil leak in the ocean, MLMers understand that dissenting positions can spread quickly and can be difficult, if not impossible, to remove. They are quick to attack the source of the opposing view, come up with a fallacious analogy, or simply pretend it doesn't exist, because they cannot specifically respond to the facts. MLMers understand the need for ignorance to generate strength within their organizations.

Even though George Orwell's 1984 was designed to combat a potential totalitarian government, it is easy to make connections to MLMs and their cult-like syndromes. If you are being pressured to join a MLM, please make sure to do research and examine red flags. Do not be afraid to have a dissenting opinion, and do not allow them to dictate where you get your information!

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


  1. I find it nothing short of amazing that you can pen a commentary on George Orwell's 1984, and NOT MENTION AT ALL that the primary target of Orwell's satire is Communism, Socialism, and left-wing tyrannies in general. The writer of the forbidden book in the novel, Emmanuel Goldstein, is clearly based on Leon Trotsky. "Big Brother" is clearly Stalin. The revision of history practiced by the Ministry of Truth is a perfect parallel to leftist and left-liberal attempts to rewrite inconvenient facts to suit present ideology. Did none of this occur to you?

    All you can come up with, as examples of Orwell's satiric targets, are "the Christians with the Crusades" and the "National Socialist German Workers Party"? What the hell is wrong with your political perceptions? Or are you afraid of offending your leftist and liberal readers?

    Orwell's political satire and commentary are not just anti-totalitarian... they are PROFOUNDLY anti-leftist and anti-Communist. This is why neither 1984 nor Animal Farm are taught any longer in our schools and colleges. The leftist scum who dominate teaching and curriculum decisions there have quietly consigned the texts to oblivion.

    Your website is great on smashing the lies of MLM scams and the mentality of those who fall for them. But if you are going to add a left-liberal political skew to your reading of texts, you're just part of the problem.

    1. Anonymous,

      My priority with this blog is to generate thought provoking posts about MLM and their corruption. I don't ever publicize my personal beliefs about politics or government because of responses like yours, but I can confirm that I am not leftist and I am not left-liberal.

      Thank you for bringing the direct connections from the book to people from history. I am not as well versed in this as you, but I can assure you I didn't have an agenda leaving this information from the post. I was trying my hardest not to write a complete summary, or derail the post, because I wanted people to focus mostly on MLM and to read the book.

      The examples I listed in the post were directly from the book, and again I did not delve any further for fear the post would get to long or distract from the main connections I wanted to emphasize. I probably could've split this book into about 20 blog posts if I went back and highlighted specific passages and made a deeper effort to analyze further.

      For the record, according to this article, George Orwell was profoundly socialist or at least in support of socialism from a moral standpoint. I don't believe he really fit the mold of any particular type of specific entity, but this was the closest.

      If you would like to discuss the book further or have a fun indepth conversation, then I would love to engage you on this as this is not a specialty of mine. Before that happens, I must insist that we do not bring certain levels of judgments as it will skew the conversation in a negative direction.

    2. Anonymous,

      After rereading your post, I have a few challenges for you.

      1. You are clearly more adept in this literature than I, and were the reason for why I even read the book and wrote the post, therefore in the future, would you like to help collaborate with me?

      2. I appreciate you treating me as a peer and being direct with your interpretation and opinion of my writing. However, instead of looking at me as a peer in reference to this article, I challenge you to look at me as a person who grew up in a neutered system and is doing their best to reconcile the lost education by means of searching information out for themselves. I am from a distinctly different generation, and as such, may not have the resources you would commonly expect.

      3. I challenge you to select other books or literature you find important related to any subject and then read my interpretation of it. I think you may get a clearer picture of who I am.

    3. Dear John Doe --

      I never wanted to get into any sort of fight with you. I love this website, and I deeply respect what you have done to present to the world the real truth about MLMs and their pernicious influence. The psychological insights you have published here are invaluable. You and Brear are the only ones diagnosing the core of the MLM disease.

      In my post about Orwell given above, I was a bit angry and uncharitable. I apologize to you for that. I should have been less abrasive and violent. But I am from New York, and we in this city are used to very intense argument with no holds barred and no prisoners taken. I often forget that this is not true elsewhere.

      It's just that I am super-attuned to left-wing bias and bigotry, since I encounter it every day. And with the furious and insane anti-Trump rhetoric that surrounds us here in America, I have a hairtrigger temper about any kind of left-wing bias.

      Concerning your suggestion, I can of course mention some books that I have found helpful and significant. But in fact you have probably read much more widely in the area of MLMs and psychology than I have. All I could do is mention a few works of literature that pertain to American businessmen and their mentality. Have you read the novel "Babbitt" by Sinclair Lewis? It outlines a lot about the kind of skewed thinking that motivates "Get Rich" schemes. There's also "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which paints a vivid picture of the scheming and lying in pyramid schemes or other financial ripoffs.

    4. Anonymous,

      Thank you for the apology, but it isn't necessary. I don't see a reason for you to have to castrate your responses, and I'm glad you regularly read and comment on this blog. Your presence has helped me to continue to push myself to provide the best content I can.

      I don't have a problem with people being passionate about their position, and I find myself getting very animated when it comes to defending other bloggers and their articles. I read ludicrous responses daily from deranged MLM apologists and have grown very impatient and aggressive.

      I too am very sick of the anti-Trump rhetoric. I recently deactivated my Facebook, again, because of the nonsense articles supporting Obummer and Hitlery (I probably shouldn't use those terms, but it's my blog). Part of the reason I was surprised you thought I was left leaning was the work I did writing the pizzagate article. Not only have the democrats stunned me with their continued lies and castration of information, but the fact that they are connected to down right evil involving pedophilia is completely inexcusable. I also regularly follow the David Seaman channel, because if nothing else, he supplies a completely different voice to the voiceless.

      I haven't read "Babbitt", and it has been an extremely long time since I read "The Great Gatsby", but I will definitely look into those and post something soon.

  2. It's clear to me, that the information you posted here, is the reason why Amway is often referred to as cult like. I could add that the Amwayers worship their leaders and they basically worship money, even if most of them don't have much of it.

    1. Yes, their worship for money is the basis for the cult. David Brear does an excellent job of explaining the roots in which cults are formed and money has been a type of cult. Unfortunately, it is systemic as our society bases our value structure on money and we therefore have people who will try and take advantage of that system.

  3. "If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself."


  4. John - George Orwell was writing at a time when totalitarianism had been commonly dressed up as: 'Fascism, Socialism, Extreme Socialism (Communism), National Socialism, Imperialism,' etc. However, he realised that totalitarianism is enduring, but its camouflage is ephemeral.

    Orwell took great pains to warn his readers that the totalitarian phenomenon would probably have to return in different disguises after its current disguises had been blown.

    Thus, Orwell recognised that the Totalitarian fairy story can be dressed up as almost anything, and that it is at its most contageous when the age-old narrative has been updated, and perfectly tailored, to fit the spirit of the times.

    'The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.'