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.



  1. I don't agree with the term mentor. In Amway, the "mentor" is one who profits financially from you. Therefore, there is a conflict of interest in that relationship. It's not like perhaps a grandfather mentoring his grandson on how to grow up and be a responsible man.

    In my case, my sponsor wanted so badly to break a downline platinum, he told me to dump my fiance' (now wife of 21 years)because he felt I could go platinum sooner. He told me that a single platinum could easily find a new girlfriend.

    It was at that point when I reached an important crossroad in Amway. I was already beginning to doubt because I had seen through the lies about diamonds not making money on tools and functions and I had begun to ask questions which upline could not properly answer.

    But asking me to ditch my fiancé was out of bounds and the decision to quit became clear and easy.

    For some of these reasons, Amway is also compared to a cult.

    1. Joe,

      I agree that the term mentor is incredible deceptive when utilized by Amway and other MLMs. It is frustrating because their disciples act as though these "mentors" have done them a great service, but they just sound like born again Christians after suffering from alcoholism.

      These vulnerable disciples are no different than someone being introduced to heroin. They grow dependent on the "drug" (MLM), and their dealer (the "Mentor"), and everything else disappears as long as they are on the "drug". They must run out of money or have a serious wake up call to escape the perils of MLM, and they can only do that on their own. The parallels are very scary.

    2. Notice the vulgar attitude of your sponsor, Joe. He thinks all girls are interchangeable, like spark plugs in a car engine. What an asshole!

  2. The term "mentor" is taken from a character in Homer's Odyssey. Mentor was an elderly man who gave advice and guidance to the younger man Telemachus -- advice and guidance based on his wisdom and his years of experience. The name got picked up later, and has been used in western languages as a word to denote such a man.

    A real mentor is a person of good will, who sincerely wants to help you. He does his work without compensation.

    An Amway "mentor" is nothing of the kind. Relations in Amway (as in all MLMs) are profoundly selfish.

    1. Anonymous - Ironically (looking beyond the nice modern definition of the term, 'mentor'), it seems that the profoundly-selfish motivation of so-called 'MLM mentors' (who pretend to be selflessly initiating their recruits into 'the secrets of success and leadership,' whilst quietly screwing them psychologically and financially), might have far more in common with the motives of persons holding positions of authority in ancient Greek society (upon whom Homeric characters like 'Mentor' and 'Petroclus' were modelled) than first appears.