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, (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.



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".

 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.


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.


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, 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.

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.


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.