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.



  1. Amway diamonds are cutthroat ruthless businessmen with nice suits and nice smiles. They will take your shirt and your last dime if they can.

    1. The only thing I would change with that last statement is the term businessmen. Those diamonds aren't businessmen, they are con artists, thieves, charlatans, swindlers, and probably many other terms. Calling them businessmen is one of the problems that needs to be resolved because that gives them a certain level of veracity they don't deserve.

  2. I should have said they are ruthless cutthroat conniving scammers posing as business and "mentors".

  3. John and Joe - If only more people had the same level of undertanding as you have.

    You are right at the heart of the problem here, because almost 70 years of evidence proves that what has become commonly-referred to as 'MLM,' has been merely the title for a pernicious fiction which continues to be peddled, and ritualised, as 'fact.'

    The Utopian 'MLM' lie (which was first cobbled together in the USA the 1940s) has been repeated so often, that many casual observers (including: journalists, law enforcement agents, legislators, etc.) now accept it as the truth. Personally, I'm sick to death of well-educated twits asking me: "What is the difference between a pyramid scheme disguised as MLM and a legitimate MLM company?"

    'MLM' is an up-dated version of an age-old virus designed to attack the human mind; transforming the most-vulnerable persons whom it infects into contagious, unquestioning, jargon-spouting de facto slaves.

    Sadly, any casual observer who repeats any part of any pernicious, ritualised cultic-controlling scenario (without detailed qualification or heavy irony) demonstrates that he/she remains at a low-level of undertanding of how the cult phenomenon functions.

    1. David --

      Thank you for your comment. It is always nice to hear that we are going on the right path.

      After my recent Facebook debacle I grew another outer layer of hatred for these "organizations". As each day goes by, I feel myself getting more and more cynical toward people getting swept up by the MLMs. It could just be my lack of resolve when dealing with the same lines over and over again, but I think it also has to deal with the fact that I still can't reach these people with any worthwhile strategy. They seem to need treatment, and that treatment must be similar to waning off of heroin.

      I don't know if you have ever seen the movie, An Honest Liar, but it is part of the fuel that made me investigate MLMs and they psychological tactics. The movie is about James Randi and his quest to debunk magicians and con artists that decide to use their skill sets to take advantage of others.

      I'll leave you with this quote from The Amazing Randi,

      "There exists in society a very special class of persons that I have always referred to as the Believers. These are folks who have chosen to accept a certain religion, philosophy, theory, idea or notion and cling to that belief regardless of any evidence that might, for anyone else, bring it into doubt. They are the ones who encourage and support the fanatics and the frauds of any given age. No amount of evidence, no matter how strong, will bring them any enlightenment. They are the sheep who beg to be fleeced and butchered, and who will battle fiercely to preserve their right to be victimized… the U.S. Patent Office handles an endless succession of inventors who still produce perpetual-motion machines that don't work, but no number of idle flywheels will convince these zealots of their folly; dozens of these patent applications flow in every year. In ashrams all over the world, hopping devotees of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi will never abandon their goal of blissful levitation of their bodies by mind power, despite bruises and sprains aplenty suffered as they bounce about on gym mats like demented (though smiling) frogs, trying to get airborne. Absolutely nothing will discourage them."


  4. John - There has been some debate of 'MLM' rackets (particularly 'Amway') on the Randi Skeptics forum.

    At one time, members of this forum invited various 'MLM critics' to come and participate in the debate, because they felt unqualified to combat 'Icerat,' aka, the 'Amway' Lord Hee Haw, David Steadson. At the time, I declined the invitation, but I did offer forum members some guidance. Joecool participated in this debate.

    I don't know if you have watched this documentary, 'The Enemies of Reason,' but if you haven't, you should enjoy it.

    As far as I'm aware, no celebrity-intellectual (like Richard Dawkins) has ever made a clear public pronouncement about 'MLM' cultic rackets. Over the years, I have sent information on the 'MLM' phenomenon to various celebrity opinion-makers.

    1. David --

      Those videos were great, and they definitely apply to MLM as a whole. I'm not sure what is stopping celebrities from making the leap to MLM denunciation (aside from John Oliver), but my gut tells me it will happen eventually. These pseudo-business cults can't hide in the shadows like they had in the past, and it is a miracle that they haven't been completely tarnished at this point.

    2. John - Modern science grew out of ancient pseudo-science, but sadly, pseudo-science never died out and it keeps making a come-back wearing all-sorts of 'Ancient Wisdom/ New Age' disguises.

      Because of its widespread infiltration of traditional culture, pseudo-science is generally tolerated. The one form of pseudo-science which has been generally unrecognised as pseudo-science, but which is reconised as fraud (and some of its promoters have been jailed) is the economic variety; particularly, in the form of closed-market swindles (aka pyramids and Ponzis).

      Unfortunately, Bernie Madoff was sent to prison as a Ponzi-schemer, not as an economic alchemist, but that is exactly what he was. Madoff simply took wealthy people's cash by pretending that he had a magic (deeply-mystifying) means of multiplying it.

      Even today, the media regularly states that Madoff stole $50+ billions, but this was merely the imaginary capital sum which Madoff claimed to have created. When Madoff was arrested he actually only held around $ one billion, his debts on paper ($50+ billions) were a puerile, but nonetheless pernicious, fairy story.

      I think the reason why celebrity-intellectuals like Richard Dawkins haven't yet publicly-tackled 'MLM' cults could be their deliberate complexity. 'Amway' copy-cats have invariably peddled a mystifying, heady cocktail of 'medical,' 'political' and 'economic' pseudo-science, with a dash of 'religious' sacred science thrown in.

      Also, even though 'MLM' cults are intrinsically evil, their ritualised 'commercial' camouflage, and apparent absurdity, has protected them from rigorous investigation.

      Many highly-qualified observers have been easily bedazzled by the kitsch ritualised exteriors of 'MLM' cults; falsely-reasoning that totalitarian movements cannot be based on selling pills, potions and/or packets of soap.

      The two things which have lately drawn attention to the extraordinary truth about the 'MLM' phenomenon are:

      1. Bill Ackman's public billion dollar challenge to the 'Herbalife' racket.

      2. Donald Trump's associations with various 'MLM' racketeers and fellow 'MLM' parasites.

    3. David --

      That was an amazing comment! I never thought of these cults as pseudo-science or "Economic Alchemy", but that is a completely brilliant connection. This quackery should be held by the same standards as modern medicine and science, but it seems to be more difficult to make that correlation. If there was a way to declare get rich quick schemes, cash gifting, pyramids, and ponzis as "Economic Alchemy", then I think a lot less people would be duped by their outlandish promises and more regulators would be able to shut them down.

      At the end of the day, there is nothing different between "Alternative Medicine" for helping people with illnesses and "MLM" for helping people with financial hardship. Both have 0 evidence to support their claims and both overwhelmingly have a negative effect on the population as a whole.

  5. John - I also like the term, 'Economic Creationism/Creationist,' which I definitely coined several years ago. I'm not not sure if anyone published the term 'Economic Alchemy/Alchemist' before me? I should explain that I am using 'alchemy' in its popular sense - the popular belief being that 'alchemists' were all a bunch of occultists wizard-type-weirdos, and/or charlatans, in search of the mythical 'Philosophers' Stone' which supposedly would turn base-metals into gold.

    The 'Philosophers' Stone' was also supposed to be an 'Elixir of Life' able to halt ageing and cure all disease.

    Historically, traditional rulers and lawmmakers feared 'alchemists' not as charlatans, but as persons who might bring about economic, and social, collapse if they really knew the secret of how to make gold.

    However, not all so-called 'alchemy' was pseudo-scientific BS. Out of 'alchemy,' grew modern chemistry. One of the most-surprising 'alchemists' was Sir Isaac Newton.

    Another noted 'alchemist' was Johann Friedrich Böttger - a man who probably started off as a self-deluded charlatan, but who then (to save his skin) uncovered a secret process for making money which previously had only been known in China.

  6. This is an awesome series! I am going to share this with as many people as I can.

    1. Wow! Thank you Ethan, that means a lot!

  7. The scary MLM zombie pattern:
    'New recruits continuously repeat the same terms, words and ideas. Many begin to dress differently. Some quit jobs and drop out of school, which they now say is unnecessary. They devote inordinate amount of time with other members of the MLM and avoid anyone else who does not support their MLM participation. They accept no questions or criticism of the schemes and may accuse any questioner, even close family members, of being personally against their success or against the MLM system, which they believe is unique and superior to all other business models. Most importantly, they express an unquestioning belief in soon-to-be-gained wealth and success. They believe the MLM will make them not only wealthy but also happy and fulfilled. In that state of belief, many MLMers lose interest in existing jobs, professions, education or any other talents or activities. They appear obsessed, brain-washed. Some will even divorce spouses who do not agree with their activity or neglect their children or their own health in pursuit of the promised “success.” ‘

    Source :

    1. Neeraj,

      Thank you for your quotation of Robert Fitzpatrick. He is a great ally in the battle against MLM and he has done painstakingly hard work with people (such as David Brear and Bill Ackman) to try and get the necessary information out there. I hope he continues his work because it is ground-breaking.