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.


  1. In a very real sense, one has to feel pity for persons who are sucked into MLM schemes. As you say, many of them are not evil. They are usually good-hearted individuals who simply have few resources, few skills, and not a lot of hope.

    At the many anti-MLM websites the discussions can get hot, and nasty and savage remarks are tossed about by both sides of the argument. Putting that polemical exaggeration aside, however, we should recognize that most MLM victims deserve our sympathy and compassion. They have been cheated, tricked, and lied to.

    The core of the problem is this: when persons have accepted a faith, a belief system, a network of trust, or a deep sense of loyalty, it becomes next to impossible to convert them to skepticism. This is true whether the faith is religious or ideological. What does the Bible say? "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him!" This is a profoundly human attitude, and cynical MLM schemes depend upon it to keep the money flowing in.

    Rational arguments, statistics, and FTC findings don't work against faith. That's the problem in a nutshell.

    1. Anonymous,

      A very large reason for this post was to acknowledge my own shortcomings when it comes to addressing MLM with pro MLMers. In recent history it has become clear that the temper is flaring and the ability to maintain a calm position has crumbled. It is important to step back and acknowledge who the true foes are in this battle and not get so wrapped up targeting the victims of MLM.

    2. John - Might I suggest that you visit the UK forum, Mumsnet the members of which have been discussing the 'MLM' phenomenon for a few years. So far, almost 27 thousands comments have been posted and a significant number of people have participated.

      The Mumsnet threads have also led to the creation of various parallel Websites containing satire, information and advice.

      So many people (particularly women) have witnessed radical personality transformations amongst their colleagues, friends and families in the UK (due to 'MLM' recruitment) that they decided to get together on Mumsnet and discover the truth.

      Social media has also been infested with 'MLM' recruiters lately.

      Mumsnet is one of the few Internet forums that provocative 'MLM' adherents, and propagandists, tend to keep well clear of, because the regular contributors have arrived at a high level of understanding regarding cult psychology. They know how to stand back and keep cool, but they have also developed their own gently humorous, and thought-probvoking, vocabulary for rationally discussing the 'MLM' phenomenon.

      On the Mumsnet threads, fanatical 'MLM' adherents are referred to as, 'Bots', 'MLM' leaders are 'ShillBots,' etc.

      Mumsnet members have also created their own parody of the 'Forever Living Products' cult, 'Timeless Vie,' which pretends to sell health and beauty products based on lard rather than on aloe vera.

      The Mumsnet members continue to attract, and help, ex-Bots who are always welcomed with love and respect, because the Mumsnet members (some of whom are ex-Bots themselves) know that it takes great courage to come out of an 'MLM' cult and start to face the truth.

    3. David,

      Thank you for referring me to this forum and also for posting my blog on that site.

      I am a firm believer in a direct approach when confronting people about MLM. It is difficult for me to consider people's feelings when they are emotionally driven by reprehensible companies. Sometimes it is easy to slip and become the emotionally charged person because the "MLM adherents" you talked about are so repetitive and blind to their shortcomings.

    4. John - 'MLM' racketeers love it when 'critics' get angry, and 'MLM' Internet propagandists are usually experts in the dark art of provocation.

      'Scientologists' call this devious technique, 'Bull Baiting,' and it's just another means of shutting down a person's critical faculties.

  2. My experience is that most MLMer's are young and eager. They are often entry level type workers who face the prospect of working 30-40 years before retirement. Amway is presented as a way to make a short cut to retirement. 2-5 years sounds better than 30 - 40 years but because they have this hope for a better life, they dig in because as upline says, what is the alternative?

    The fact is that there are no real shortcuts to financial security, unless you win the lottery or have money dropped in your lap, such as with an inheritance.

    Aside from that, saving and investing is the only way. The problem is we live in a microwave society where people want things to happen quickly. Finances often don't work that way.

    1. Joe,

      I love that metaphor! We do indeed live in a microwave society. Patience has become a thing of the past as we can get everything we need in the blink of an eye.