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.


  1. One common thing for MLMers to say is "we aren't like that" or that things have changed for the better. This happens in Amway. But oddly enough, after saying that they use the same old stories such as comparing Amway to gym memberships or saying 90% of small businesses fail (Amway failures exceed 99%).

    1. Joe --

      That is an important point! I like the expression, "A leopard never changes its spots" for this situation. It is important to remember that the MLMs (in this situation Amway), are gigantic and have very little oversight. This means some groups may be better than others, but they all receive instruction from the same playbook. Even with different interpretations, if the playbook doesn't change, then it really doesn't matter what people try to say about their isolated experiences. Eventually the truth will come out and the tired old expressions will surface.

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

      The impressive-sounding made-up ritualised hierarchical ranks and titles arbitrarily given to the most-obedient de facto slave recruiters in 'MLM' cults, have invariably been precious metals and gemstones, but this puerile BS could literally be anything - "Privates, Corporals, Captains, Generals, Wizards, Grand Wizards, Imperial Dragons, Gauleiters, Apprentices, Masters, Grand Masters," etc.

  2. The creation of an abusive scene can only happen after the MLM victim is fully indoctrinated and converted to the cult. It will not work in the beginning, when the prospective recruit is being groomed and prepared for membership. This is why the practice of "love bombing" always comes first, and lasts for an extended period of time.

    Similar patterns occur with abusive husbands. An abusive man will be kind and lovable towards his fiancee in the courtship period, and his nastiness will emerge only after the marriage happens.

    Abuse only happens successfully when victims allow it to happen, and don't fight back. Attempted abuse fails when a victim stands up and refuses to take the abuse, and gives back as good as he gets.

    This is why, as a general principle in life, you should NEVER EVER take shit from anybody. If someone tries to be high-handed or arrogant or supercilious with you, scream back loudly and hit back violently! I don't care who the hell they are or what their status or reputation may be. Just scream back at them! Believe me, they'll think twice about ever bothering you again. And you'll get a reputation as someone not to be trifled with.

    1. Anonymous,

      That is an interesting perspective, but I would be careful with violent actions in response to abusers. It isn't good to put them in a situation where they have to escalate or walk away, because it only takes on abuser to take it too far and wind up doing something nobody can take back.

      There should be proper measures taken when an abuser gets physical and it is important to always get the authorities involved. No matter how helpless it feels, they are your best resource.

  3. I did not use the phrase "hit back" literally. I meant it figuratively as answering back strongly and (if necessary) harshly if someone tries to denigrate you or demean you or show disrespect for you.

    This works for two reasons. First, abusers don't expect it. They are used to talking down to persons or being high-handed with them. When you fire back at them, they are disconcerted and at a loss. Second, if you show fear or courtesy to an abuser, it only encourages him to continue and escalate. Abusers are almost always cowards. When you stand up to them, they fold.

    Anna Banana's anti-Amway blog works well because when Amway freaks show up there to abuse her, she always gives them a full-salvo broadside, in peppery language. It usually scares the hell out of them, and they don't come back.

    1. Anonymous,

      I agree that as long as it is only language, then it is important to not take their crap. It is easy to roll over, or to resist talking back, but that usually empowers the abuser and rewards them the result they are expecting.

      I believe most abusers are cowards as well, but it is still risky to talk back to abusers. They can be wild cards, and again, it only takes one that escalates to violence that could result in a non-reversible mistake. If I am given the chance to walk away, then I usually take it.

      I love Anna's blog, and I often blow off a lot of steam on idiots at Joe's blog as well. The internet is a great place to rip these MLM, and in particular Ambots, a new one (figuratively speaking of course).