Tuesday, May 30, 2017

MLM and Team Phoenix...A "New" Con?

***UPDATE*** Check out Pt. 2 here: http://themlmsyndrome.blogspot.com/2017/10/mlm-and-team-phoenix-halloween-special.html ***

Today's blog post is about a recent group of hucksters that has sprouted up on Facebook. They call themselves "Team Phoenix", and they espouse a "new" way to make life changing money from home with "90%" of the work completed. They continuously pump out videos, from various different people, from various different places, about the magnificent lives they are living, and they utilize their camera phones and laptops to appear to be living life to the fullest.  This new group calls their work "affiliate marketing", even though they are part of the MLM Enagic, which sells overpriced water filters that supposedly make miracle alkaline water.

If you are curious about Enagic and alkaline water, then I highly recommend reading Lazymanandmoney's article here: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/kangen-water-scam/

Or, Ethan Vanderbuilt's article here: http://ethanvanderbuilt.com/2017/02/06/enagic-kangen-water-scam-yes-opinion/

Both of these authors have done a wonderful job summarizing the company, the terrible health claims, and the awful opportunity.

So, Facebook has been utilizing algorithms to help advertisers get to a better target audience, and people like "Team Phoenix" are attempting to take full advantage. As long as someone has done any type of research about MLM, careers from home, or side incomes, then the advertisement will probably pop up on your news feed. Unfortunately for me, because I often write about the problems with MLMs and the spokespersons for them, I get bombarded by advertisements even though I'm the last person they would want to target. I'm not sure there is any way to stop the advertisements or teach the algorithm not to target me, but my news feed regularly shows advertisements for MLMs, Robert Kiyosaki, Tai Lopez, Than Merrill and many of the other house flippers, and even Daymond John (One of the shark's from "Shark Tank") offering seminars.

The "Team Phoenix" advertisement popped up so many times that I decided to pursue it (for purely scientific reasons). The description written for the video talked about all of the wonderful things you could do with their help, such as, "Fire your boss", travel the world, make endless amounts of income, be with your family, start a family, work from anywhere in the world, and work as many or as few hours as you would like. They were utilizing all of the buzz words, and they told absolutely nothing about the actual money making opportunity. Once you click the link in the description of the video it takes you to a new page. The new page asks for your e-mail (to sign up for a mailer), and to choose a time for a free webinar where the opportunity will be explained.

The webinar takes about two hours and it starts like any typical MLM presentation. They talk about the potential of the opportunity, they talk about "Firing your boss", and they talk about traveling the beaches of the world (or some version of that). They did do something slightly different, they said this was "affiliate marketing" (which it isn't), and that it wasn't one of those tired old MLMs. It was stunning as MLMs had to defend themselves against the accusations of being a pyramid before getting to their pitch, but MLM has such a bad stink, that they tried to use a completely different, and legitimate enterprise, to hide behind. They even showed how you can be an affiliate for Walmart and tried to suggest Enagic was the same thing, which it isn't.

Finally, they start to actually talk about the product and how wonderful it is. They spend way too much time trying to be scientists, and they want to appear legitimate by performing a series of magic tricks posing as science. They don't offer any clinical research, any reputable experimentation performed by scientists, or even any actual evidence to support the claims that the water is beneficial (because that doesn't exist).

It isn't until the end of the presentation that they actually reveal the opportunity and how you make money. By then, they explain that you must purchase a unit in order to join the team, and you must copy and paste the same text that was utilized to peek your interest.

The advertisers are extremely clueless about this business, and will constantly respond to any questions with, "Your questions will be answered in the webinar", because that is all they are allowed to say. I couldn't even get the girl to say the company was Enagic until I agreed to watch the video, and after I questioned why it was so hard for her to say it, she replied it was what she was told to do.

Be careful of these advertisements on Facebook. They look very professional to the untrained eye, and the only reason Facebook is publishing these advertisements is the revenue they are generating from them. They are not policing these criminal enterprises and these con-artists. It is very easy to be misled by their propaganda.

***EDIT*** Sorry about the editing for this article. It was written hastily and with many distractions. I tried to go through and adjust many of the grammatical and logical errors in the English.


  1. Well written article thank you for speaking out!

    1. Thank you Anonymous! I appreciate the feedback, and welcome any other topics you may be interested in reading about.

  2. I love this article: in the age of the internet and access to communications that are set in stone and is readily available past-n-present, the people will police each other to see what is legal. At the moment I also believe Team Phoenix is a scam based on their commission system. It is one thing to recruit people and get a small commission of 5 to 10 percent. However, when the commission is 50%, then I know that my intended purpose is merely to draw other people into the scheme. I am not affiliated with Team Phoenix, I merely a messenger who suffered badly with another scam perpetrated by ACN who offered terrible video-calling service and compatible phone. I will never again believe an MLM company.

    1. Anonymous,

      I haven't seen the commission structure or the compensation plan for Team Phoenix, but I do know they started their own group based on a ridiculous MLM scam known as Enagic. I think you touched on a very important figure, 50%, and how that is an impossible margin in sales. Sales is such a competitive market these days, because of the internet, and my company also pays commissions in the neighborhood of 5-10% depending on what you sell and at what price. Selling something and getting a 50% margin means the product is not priced competitively and there is some chicanery happening. Aside from the product actually being worthless, even good products don't reap sales percentages like that.

  3. thought I'd leave a comment here, I decided to have a look out of curiosity, I had a friend who is doing this.

    The webinars seem innocent enough, you get introduced to the people up top and their back stories. Explain affiliate marketing (at the time I had no idea what affiliate marketing or pyramid schemes were). Then hit with a $99 OTA to join (they slap a time limit on to pressure you in) me being naive, gave in to have a look.

    This stuff is all smoke and mirrors

    First of all, no clinical proof of any of the benefits these things provided. (Surprising, considering they have been making these for 40 years). Then I discovered Ethan's article (some sources are questionable). Discovered lazyman's article and Chem1 (better sources), that had me skeptical. Found some trials (small, but they were valid trials indicating hydrogen was causing benefits, but even Chem1 shut those down. And that site doesn't look like it's been updated in a long time.

    Enagic claims they are the best in the business, so I decided to compare with competitors. I found the competing machines cost less, had more features, didn't use an "electrolysis enhancer" chemical, could produce water with better ORP, had filters with reports to show what was removed, and offered way better warranties.

    I found very little info on Enagic's website (probably to cover their butts from overhyped marketing). Very little data on their filters (only that they remove chlorine and lead), and I didn't find any filter reports. Also they claim that meeting ISO standards set them apart (really all it means is it meets basic engineering standards set out by the ISO it doesn't guarantee performance). The shower unit, the guy in the video claimed it had magnets to restructure and ionize the water (which is laughable), and wasn't mentioned at all on Enagic's website.

    Now we get to the business model. This was when I realized that I was a brick in a pyramid, not an affiliate. Team Phoenix encourages recruiting more people in your "team" and you make commissions and advance ranks. You can sell these things outside of recruiting but it's a very hard sell (again considering competing machines are way better on paper) so that option is impractical. Actually the way they are doing this can be even worse than pyramid selling because now you have to constantly recruit people if your downline does well (which means a pyramid growing exponentially).

    I had questions, decided to ask on the page and through PM and was told not to worry about it, or was downright flamed. Also was pressured into completing the coaching call (which voids the refund). Many people said they wanted a Kangen machine anyway (which I think is crap because I haven't heard of these things before, and there are better machines out there).

    Now when all of this gets put together, the system is designed to lure you in and invest time, and $99 USD to get involved. Then drop a trifecta on you, since you are already invested and whatnot and have a coaching call lined up, you are pressured to give in. There other videos seem like typical "MLM mindset" stuff (watched them too). There are some FAQ vids (one of which, is called is this a pyramid scheme) which misleads people into thinking a pyramid scheme is a business hierarchy.

    This stuff makes me mad (the creator of this, Brandon Odom (who used to be a part of MOBE which has been dubbed a scam), claims he was scammed by a Ponzi scheme so that gave me some faith. I had a bad gut feeling from day 1.

    Now this seems like something similar, whether it's intended or not. Many of the people look to be doing this in good character but I can't sleep at night luring people into this, scam or not, It's misleading. These ads are everywhere too (both Team Phoenix and GAZ).

    Stay away from this stuff, it can ruin bank accounts and friendships.

    1. Anonymous,

      Thank you for sharing your story! I'm sorry to hear that "Team Phoenix" and "Enagic" took advantage of you. Unfortunately, as long as they continue to exist, there will be many more people with similar stories.

      I'm glad you found Ethan and Lazyman's articles informative. They are much better at describing these "opportunities" than I, and they have been doing it for much longer.

      I didn't do any research on this Brandon Odom charlatan, but it isn't surprising that he has had experience with other MLMs. He has polished this turd of a "Marketing" group with all of the typical MLM tape-speak garbage, and has given his recruits very specific and experienced scripts.

      Brandon was probably being honest about his experience with the Ponzi, which sadly makes him a better actor and hack for promoting his own MLM. He is similar in this regard to Tyson Zahner and his previously failed MLM "businesses".

      For some reason, these guys have a different psychology and don't flee the MLMs after failing, but rather embrace them more and become "leaders" and "gurus". Heck, even Eric Worre has failed out of his MLMs, including the original one in which he was sued for over a million dollars, and yet he still professes MLM (or "Network Marketing" as he calls it), as the best "entrepreneurial opportunity" for the "average person". These guys have an unbelievable level of narcissism.

      I'm not familiar with GAZ. Is this another Brandon Odom scheme?

    2. Thank you for your concern John.

      Luckily I dropped out and ran for the hills while I still in the window for a refund.

      thought I'd share my experience for those who were considering. I'm not sure if Brandon himself is a scammer although he used to run something with MOBE (even he admitted they were sketchy). I'm not in the business of defaming people but I don't like when people try to hide stuff like that.

      GAZ (Global "Affiliate" Zone) is a larger online MLM, Team Phoenix I think is part of GAZ or merged with it. I don't think Brandon himself is running it. Both deal with Enagic machines though. These kinds of things have targeted people who were hit hard by the recession, many seem to be doing well but both of these MLMs are on the smaller side (around 10,000 people last time I checked), I have a feeling the complaints will start rolling in as they grow and oversaturate.

    3. Anonymous --

      I think it is fair to say that Brandon is a charlatan. He has his face plastered all over this thing, and he designed his own entity. I'd find it very hard to believe that he doesn't know what he is doing and how he makes his money.

      Even though 10,000 people is a low number compared to the mega MLMs, such as Amway and Herbalife, that is still multiple millions (assuming $2000-$5000 a machine) that have been swindled. That is a lot of money and a lot of people's lives wrecked.

      Hopefully this ends soon.

    4. I'm not going to draw conclusions to flat out saying team Phoenix is a scam based on my testimonial alone, but I would like to see some more research done towards this and Brandon himself. I thought this article was interesting and honestly one of the first articles directed at them at all.

      I think you and some of the other scam busters should do some more digging to see what these guys are doing, their ads have been all over the place. Although my experience here for me rose a pile of red flags, while I was a part of this I tried my best to look for positives. There is a lot of misinformation on the net as well, I find many MLMs that get bashed by other people running their own MLMs. I'm not sure if there is anything that can be done to stop these guys though unless Facebook changes their algorithms, or they start getting complaints up the rear end.

    5. Anonymous --

      This was actually a unique post compared to my others. I don't normally target specific individuals or groups because that isn't my strong suit. Also, there are people that do a better job researching and investigating individuals and groups than I ever could, which is why I usually leave this stuff to them. I'm more of a philosophy and psychology person.

      As far as MLMs cannibalizing themselves goes, it is to be expected. These people are as stable in their ideologies as politicians, and will flip on anyone if it can make them a dollar. The sad part is, they may actually have good points when they describe the faults in other MLMs, but it can be overlooked because of their own monetary bias. Bo Short, a former Amway diamond, actually went on Dateline and gave his expert testimonial on how it is a scheme, yet he also is the CEO of Jeunesse and probably made some money from that little appearance. These people have no low point, and as the old expression goes, "There is no honor among thieves".

      As for Facebook, they could care less as long as it is generating them revenue. They don't owe anyone, except their stockholders, and as long as they are happy, then nothing will change.

    6. If that is the case I'm glad that you decided to actually take a look and uncover what lies on the other side of those story ads that you see popping up all over Facebook and other sites. Although I would like to see more scam busters uncover this as these online MLMs have been growing in popularity and there still isn't much information online if you google search the names. Looks like the internet truly is the Wild West at this point in time.

    7. Anonymous --

      I don't really go on FB anymore, or at least not on real accounts, therefore I can't see the advertisements as much. If you want me to look into anything in particular, then please e-mail me or leave a comment and I will do my best to dig around. I also don't mind playing spy, which is especially easy since these people are very eager to get anyone enrolled.

    8. That seems understandable. But maybe if you want to look around at GAZ (parent/ sister MLM or Team Pheonix), I think that would be cool. once again thanks for looking into this.

  4. Brandon and the Team Phoenix scam show that when some people get burned in an MLM racket, the lesson they take away is that it would be smarter for them to be raking in cash as high up-line than to be slaving for peanuts as down-line. So, if you've lost money in an MLM, start your own!

  5. 'Team Phoenix' - I was recently sent concerns about it by someone who says that "it goes after people who have been burned in MLM scams by claiming that its founders have risen from the ashes of MLM scams and want to help you do same"

    'Team Phoenix' is yet more evidence proving that tackling 'MLM' racketeering front-companies on a case by case basis has been a complete waste of time. Indeed, this morally and intellectually feeble approach has been exactly what 'MLM' racketeers have anticipated.

    Each time a disguised money, and mind, sucking head has been identified and cut off the totalitarian 'MLM' monster, it has immediately grown several more.

    Today, there are considerably more than 1000 'MLM' racketeering front-companies of varying sizes legally registered in the USA. All of them have been essentially copy-cats of the reality-inverting 'Amway' original - hiding rigged-market swindles and secondary advance fee frauds. The scale of financial, psychological and social damage which this ongoing criminogenic phenomeon continues to inflict, but which remains largely unrecognised officially, has almost no precedent.

    No agency of US law enforcement has ever come close to identifying the true nature of the phenomenon of blame-the-victim 'MLM' cultic racketeering, let alone attempted to tackle it.

    1. David --

      Thank you for your comment! I'm sure you will be able to put a better post together about "Team Phoenix" and their nonsense than I ever could. I had no idea they got their name from the belief that they are phoenixes rising from the ashes, but it wouldn't surprise me that they would equate themselves to mythological creatures. They seem to have an otherworldly view of themselves.

      I hope the anonymous that had the bad experience with "Team Phoenix" takes the time to read some of your blog. I think it will help give them a better understanding of how damaging these groups are, and how they are parasites feeding off of a "criminogenic phenomenon". It is nice to see he isn't as jaded as I am, and I don't want him to think that everyone is out to get him, but there is no room for sympathy or giving the benefit of the doubt when it comes to these things.

      I would venture to argue that the FTC does understand the nature of MLM, but the very group that gives them authority has continued to cripple them. I think Edith Ramirez had a very good idea of what was going on, and that was the reason she got canned. I think the FTC lawsuits prove they can get enough evidence to make these "businesses" pay through the nose, or be forced to shut down, or both. The fact that the people in power in the government want to keep siphoning off profits from these groups is disgusting, but it is the status quo.

    2. Anon that had a bad experience with team Phoenix here.

      I did read through a lot of this blog and il glad I did. I didn't end up joining but I went as far as I could go before I had to commit to it, needless to say I was out of there once I realized what was happening.

      I don't feel everyone is out to get me but that's how I felt asking questions to those zombies (call them that because they all say the same thing and do the same things, honestly it's freaky... almost cult like). With that said, the fact that I'm hearing about this, and that I almost thought this was a reasonable way to make money makes me sick to my stomach.

      I've been kicking myself ever since I realized what damage I could have done, both to myself and prospects. People who have jumped in are thinking they are helping people selling these things. Either that or they just don't care because they think aren't responsible, and just play a middle man in the whole thing.

    3. Anonymous --

      I actually meant David's blog. He has put years upon years of effort into learning and writing about this topic, and has a far greater command than anyone else I know over the material. His website is called "'MLM' The American Dream Made Nightmare", and his own story is particularly chilling. I should have a link to the blog on the side of this one. Sometimes his material can be pretty dense, but it is worth taking the time to read.

      David would probably argue that MLM is a cult, and I would agree. The psychological techniques they use are identical and the way they want people to separate from society while only adhering to the rules of the MLM is "freaky". It's amazing as an outside observer how powerful it is, but when you get caught in the web, it becomes truly terrifying.

      Don't beat yourself up over this. Anyone can fall for it, including myself, and the best thing we can do is arm ourselves with knowledge and history so as to not fall for it again. Sometimes the people that think they are too smart to fall for this stuff are specifically the people that don't see it coming and become the most brainwashed. I feel that as long as we do our part to not grow these MLMs, then that is victory in the battle against darkness.

    4. Sorry about that John, I will have to look more through David's blog on the matter, thanks to both of you for spreading information out there.

      Yeah once I realized what was going on I was freaked out. These guys defietly gave whatever they were doing a "pretty coat of paint" that's for sure.

      Defiantly wasn't as "in your face" as some of the stuff on John Oliver's video. These guys actually were professional enough to sound legitimate, but some stuff was still questionable. Again I bombarded the webinars a bit with questions, and got the same answers you were getting and they claimed they worked for the medical industry. As I said I had a bad gut feeling from day 1. Some of the stuff was fishy for sure.

      Scariest part is this also preys on people who have know idea what affiliate marketing is, or what pyramid schemes are (and somehow target previous MLMers). (I certainly didn't know when I looked into this). You are most vulnerable when you have no idea what something is.

      Although, need to be careful with what's out there on the web, lots of misleading info. Sites demonizing what someone else is doing and promoting their own thing, or sites clearly biased toward something. Both on the Enagic product and MLM's. It makes formulating valid opinions difficult.

    5. Anonymous - Well done - it takes great courage to admit that you were (almost) duped by an 'MLM' cult. You now realise that the 'MLM' core-adherents' belief is quite genuine, but what they believe in is seductive BS. In other words, they are deluded and their delusion has been designed to infect others.

      Over the years, I've seen all sorts of people who have been bedazzled by 'MLM' cults: including qualified attorneys and doctors, police officers, journalists, and even a hereditary member of the British House of Lords.

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

      There's a group of kind and humorous, but tough, observers (mainly in the UK) who have been discussing the 'MLM' phenomenon on the 'Mumsnet' forum. Quite a few of them are persons just like yourself who almost became converted, but who managed to discover the truth before it was too late.

      These observers refer to the most fanatical 'MLM' adherents as 'Bots' - there's even a Botwatch Blog.

      You should realise that many millions of people have been churned through 'MLM' cults, but relatively few have remained in them and become 'Bots.' That said, most transient 'MLM' adherents have not been interested in discovering the truth, because it's too damn-painful to face.

    6. Some more info about these guys and how they run. I might sound a bit pro team Phoenix here but this is what I dug up on my encounter.

      Since what they are doing is over the internet: you aren't targeting your family and friends directly. They don't even have to know what you are doing, as you run this through a seperate business page on Facebook.

      The business model is considerably better than other MLMs at least on paper and the only real expenses you have (other than the $99 join fee and buying the machine) is money for Facebook to pump out ads. And again you don't make money for recruiting to team Phoenix itself, only off machines you sell (which you will do most likely by recruiting, but you can sell outside the scheme, although that's difficult).

      I think this is another reason why these people can get away with this. It's the same idea as cutco knives. You don't have to recruit more sellers to make money, you are paid to sell the knives. But once again because we are dealing with an MLM product, for what they are, they are heavily overpriced. However unlike the Enagic machines, the knives do work.

      Although what these guys are doing is NOT affiliate marketing.

    7. Anonymous --

      Thank you for your breakdown of costs and the way "Team Phoenix" works.

      I'd find it hard to believe that these people aren't trying to get their immediate community involved (friends and family). It may not be required, and it may not be mentioned by "Team Phoenix" specifically, but these are going to be your best "leads" when it comes to MLM. It wouldn't make sense not to target these folks.

      I believe "Team Phoenix" is trying to come up with a clever story, because they know that relationships get destroyed from previous experience, and are acting as though this is going to be different. The truth is, they don't have that much control over their "downlines", and they don't care where the recruits come from.

      The business model is identical to MLM, because it is MLM. The $99.00 fee is a pay-to-play fee and is completely illegal. You are not gaining anything from paying that fee. You can reference my post about "Direct Cellars" and their ridiculous "Distributor Fee". The $99.00 is going directly into "Team Phoenix's" pocket.

      The machine is also a pay-to-play fee. You don't actually need a machine to make money, therefore it should not be a part of the entry cost. This the ruse they use to get people to join the MLM. It makes as much sense as a used car salesman having to buy a car before they could work for the car lot.

      The only thing that is really being sold is an "opportunity" to sell other people an "opportunity". The machine itself is not actually being sold, because it is only being purchased on the condition that they can find more people to join the scheme. This is as plainly a pyramid as they come.

      I think this is where the confusion comes from, and why people get misled into thinking MLMs are different, "because they have a product". The product is clearly irrelevant and is just a disguise to hide an exorbitant sign-up fee.

      Even if you are only getting paid a percentage of the "machine sale", it isn't because the person wants the machine. The same can be said for the knives.

    8. That sounds true, they claim that $99 is for the "coaches", which are clever telemarketers IMHO.

      In my opinion, those last 4 paragraphs younsaid there sums it all up. I just thought I'd toss that up there, as someone who has gone through part of the process to see how it measures up.

      Even when discussing with my friend about it (I'm not blaming my friend on this, I decided to look out of curiosity), as well as a few people on their community. They all said that same thing, "the product is just an initial investment to get started". They also defended also with "it makes sense that you would have the product yourself". It's a bit of a weird system, they use their videos to entice people in, buy the product, and mislead people to do the same. Most seem to be doing this in good character, they have no idea what they are really doing. Is there any way I can contact either of you? Maybe I can share some more.

    9. Anonymous --

      You are more than welcome to continue to comment, or you can write to my e-mail, thedude2488@gmail.com. I don't do any phone calls, but if you really need a more direct form of communication, then I can give you a Facebook account I use for messaging.

    10. I would greatly appreciate being able to contact through messenger.

      Once again, I thank you for exposing these guys, I'm surprised no one else has done it yet considering how popular the ads are. Someone had to uncover these guys and expose what's really happening.

    11. Shoot me an e-mail and I'll send the link.

    12. Euskaldunayl@gmail.com

      I'm on their webinar now lol I'm glad I found this forum

    13. Unknown --

      I'm glad you did too! Hopefully you can tell a friend, and then they can tell a friend, and they will tell 2 more friends, and before you know it -- everyone will know!

  6. John - From my own conversations with them, some individuals at the FTC have understood how some infinite-level recruitment frauds have been disguised as so-called 'multi-level marketing income opportunities', but as far as I'm aware, no one at the FTC has publicly acknowledged the overall phenomenon lurking behind so-called 'MLM.'

    Well into the second Obama administration, Edith Ramirez eventually made an attempt to tackle 'Herbalife,' but she left the FTC when Trump was elected - which itself says plenty.

    Remember, leading Democrats like Madeleine Albright, have had their noses deep in the stinking 'MLM' trough - so it's not just the Republicans who haven't wanted to face reality.

    Obama's first pick as Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, David Vladeck, did nothing to halt the 'MLM' phenomenon, and in some respects he actually protected it

    In reality, the FTC should never have been tasked with dealing with 'MLM' front companies, because what has laughably been described as 'MLM' has had precious little to do with business.

    1. David --

      I must admit I was being presumptuous. I really thought, at least at this point, that the MLM charade would be common knowledge for the committee. I also thought that the FTC had enough experience, from previous court cases and congress interference, to fully understand what is happening, but simply couldn't do anything about it. Thank you for illuminating me with your personal experience. That is truly saddening.

      I have no doubt that MLM has penetrated both sides of the aisle. The amount of time these elected officials have to spend raising capital is horrendous, and if easy money is available, then they can easily be purchased. MLM is also small potatoes compared to the Clinton foundation, and I'm fairly certain (again being presumptuous), with a little digging, you can find connections.

      The amount of intelligence that can be gathered and has been gathered on MLM further proves this is corruption that has penetrated government. MLMs don't even try to hide their schemes anymore, because it isn't really possible, and still my government turns a blind eye.

      If the U.S. Attorney General Sessions decided to go after MLM, then there may be some results.

    2. John - Apart from the fact that Donald Trump and his pal, Carl Icahn, have both been deeply implicated in promoting and peddling the 'MLM' lie, AG Sessions is close to various co-opted members of the 'MLM' faction in Washington - including Utah Senator, Orrin Hatch.


      Washington quislings like Sen. Hatch ought to be compelled prominently to wear the logos of all the 'MLM' racketeering front-companies which have been bribing them.

      The current political masters of the FTC and Dept. of Justice are thoroughly corrupt, and/or bedazzled, to a point which makes the USA a de facto kleptocracy.

    3. BTW John -


      In 2013, it was reported by the mainstream media that, according to a remarkably-frank interview (given 30+ years ago by a former, senior US government official, Mervin Shumate), the federal Food and Drug Administration was prevented from launching a massive operation simultaneously to raid 5 'Herbalife' warehouses and seize their contents (on the grounds that the company had been making fraudulent claims about its pseudo-medical products), by the sudden intervention of the 'Mormon' Republican Senator for Utah, Orrin Hatch (who, at that time, was the head of a powerful Senate Committee to which the FDA was accountable).

      For years, Hatch has been associated with various 'MLM' cultic rackets.


    4. David --

      I suppose this summarizes why nearly every MLM decides to incorporate in Utah? Oliver exposed Hatch and Larkin in a different segment about Dr. Oz and his blatant shilling for supplement companies.


      It's pretty insane how many people have seen these segments and nothing is being done about it. The disconnect between these shows and reality has become scary. I understand that Oliver is satirical, but this information that he reported on is real and it is terrible.

      Oliver has taken a few different shots at the "supplement industry", and it seems like the government doesn't care. He just did a recent show about supplements, again, when he slammed Alex Jones. While I may like the fact that Jones puts out some valuable content, he is just as bad as the rest with his supplement nonsense. It is glaringly obvious that this industry is completely screwed up and the government is almost entirely to blame.

      The correlation between MLM "products" and the deregulated markets they target are uncanny, and should be cause enough to get an AG involved. If nothing else, to completely restructure or abolish the FDA and come out with something new.

    5. John - Another seldom-discussed factor protecting 'MLM' rackets based in Utah, has been the fact that many 'MLM' racketeers are adherents of the 'Mormon Church' who, consequently, hand over 10% of their earnings to their 'Church.'

      It's difficult to estimate how much ill-gotten cash this cosy arrangement has brought, and continues to bring, into 'Mormon' coffers

      'Mormon'-connected 'MLM' rackets have been importing fortunes into Utah for decades, and from all over the world - including China where ironically, just like endless-chain recruitment frauds, 'Mormon Missionaries' are supposedly forbidden.

    6. David --

      Your knowledge on this topic and all of its connections is staggering. It never ceases to amaze me how everything is connected, and how religion continues to be a major part of the corruption. The expression, "Don't judge a book by its cover", doesn't do this enough justice.

      I don't really know anything about Mormonism, except for what I saw in the movie "Religulous" by Bill Maher, and it appeared to be similar to Scientology. They both seemed to be more secretive than the other religions, and they both seemed to focus more on psychological manipulation. To say these organizations are creepy would be an understatement.

      It makes me wonder about the Amish, and if we are lucky that they decided to not pursue more criminal enterprises. I'm sure there are small sects that have done some things, but the amount of secrecy and control they display leads me to believe they could have been very successful as a "criminal syndicate".

    7. Interesting that you should mention the Amish. Adherents of this community have proved to be a perfect vulnerable target for at least one 'MLM'-style charlatan in the recent past.


    8. Wow! You can't make this stuff up! The "Pidgeon King", is sad, bizarre, and slightly hilarious (in a sadistic way). That article is the perfect reason for why I told the other Anonymous that anyone can fall prey to these schemes at any time. You also don't have to go looking for the schemes, because chances are, the schemes are going to come find you.

  7. I find it ridiculous that Brandon Odom and Team Phoenix Marketing are doing what they are doing. In the presentation they paint it all like unicorns and rainbows, but the reality is they are pushing Enagic Kangen Water Filter system and they do not mention that in their presentation. If at least they would be open and honest and mention the product they are selling. I find it distasteful and you can see my posts on MLM USA on facebook groups.

    1. Brandon Odom is a conman, and he uses the same thought-stopping rhetoric and deception to lure unsuspecting people into his scam as the people that have come before him. I have talked directly to him and received a weird long propaganda document which he uses to deceive his targets. I will try and make a post about it when I get more time. Hopefully I will be able to show the inner-workings of his mind and how he is the same kind of charlatan as the rest of these MLM snake oil salespersons.

  8. John - The chronic failure of regulators and legislators has produced a world full of mediocre little crooks, just like Brandon Odom, who all believe that they can become billionaires out of creating their very own 'MLMs'

    'Pro-Gains' is/was the front for a half-baked British 'MLM' racket being instigated by another classic narcissist, Marco Hajikypri.


    Marco managed to make an appearance on the UK version of 'Dragon's Den' (where he was promptly devoured).


    I presume the producers of this show are constantly looking for arrogant twits like Marco, because they make such entertaining viewing. Unfortunately, they sometimes begin to believe that they are famous television stars.

    Earlier year, Marco managed to get some wide-eyed UK journalists to publish his puerile lie that he'd been offered £90 millions for his company. Yet, the only recent independent Info I can find on the Net, reveals that 'Pro-Gains' had declared gross-assets of about £20 000 and net-liabilities of about £30 000.

    Here in the link below is Marco Hajikypri (and his little MLM mindset pal, Adrian) in full narcissistic flow.


    The 'Daily Mail' link was sent to me by a journalist who wanted to know if Marco might have once been a 'Herbalife Distributor.'

    One thing is certain, like Brandon Odom, Marco Hajikypri has not dreamed the 'MLM' BS up by himself, and I fear that we will not have heard the last of him.

    1. David --

      We most certainly have not. The Facebook advertisements are running rampant, and I have just published a second article on Odom and his BS. He sent me a "blueprint" on how to achieve success, and I spent the last couple of days dissecting it. This piece of propaganda and sales trash is the reason I write. These people need to be held to account for their actions, and I will see to it that people continue to have access to necessary information about these crooks.

      Thanks for the information about Marco. I have been really busy with work lately, but will definitely sit down and read about this guy.

    2. John - Marco Hajikypri is an interesting example of a would-be 'MLM' racketeer, because at the moment, he seems to be failing.

  9. How do I go about getting my $99 back!?! Before they charge my card again

    1. Hi Unknown,

      You can always call your credit card company and ask to do a charge back if he runs your card again, and you can let them know to stop payment for his "services". The credit card company will nearly always take your side on any complaint, and in this particular instance, there shouldn't be any problem getting your money back for his fraudulent "service".

  10. And so the truth is in the internet, thanks to all of you. I'm sending a screaming reply to Brandon now... hahaha.... shutting down.

    1. Hi Bill --

      I'm glad you got the information you needed. Be careful to not get into trouble with "harrassment" or whatever else they may try to use. It is best to just not respond and walk away.

  11. I realize I'm a year late, but found your site in a search to see if I'm the only victim of ANOTHER MLM scam: fake "interviews." You answer an ad for an office assistant or manager, and they schedule you for an interview. I can usually spot an MLM, but now they have another way to capture you: the fake interview.

    Querying them about the job does no good. They assure you it's an office job or secretarial job. They capture you at their office and yeah, it's a stinking MLM. They insist they didn't lie "because you'll be acting as your own secretary or supervising your office and staff as part of 'running your own business'." The worst ones fake their way through an "interview" and waste even more of your time before they admit what they really do.

    If you are using a job-search agency, don't answer when they ask you to list the businesses you have already interviewed for. They call up the business and try to solicit the job so they can then charge you the "finder's fee" if you get hired.

    1. Anonymous --

      I haven't heard of these fake interviews before, but they sound like the same level of deceit as any other MLM tactic. I will definitely look into this and see what is happening.

      I am not sure I understood the last part of your comment in reference to the "job-search agency". Are you saying the MLMer will call a business and try to get a head-hunting fee if you get hired by the business? This doesn't make much sense, I can't imagine a business paying some random person money for alleging to have found a potential hire for them with no accreditation.

  12. I need to to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every
    bit of it. I have got you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…

  13. Wow, this one is still generating hits, Il have to see if other people have caught on with this guy’s shenanigans.
    Anon above, you should also read the article he wrote about Brandon around October.

    1. Anonymous --

      This is one of the most popular posts I have made. I was recently told that he has disbanded "Team Phoenix" and is no longer affiliated with "GAZ" (Global Affiliate Zone). Now, I don't tend to believe these people about, well anything, but I don't see a reason for why they would have lied about this. Hopefully, he has stopped this particular garbage, but chances are he is on hiatus until he starts his next scam.

    2. But I thought this was something that lasts a lifetime? Hah!

      I am not surprised, once people catch on with what’s happening (and the MLM gets over saturated), it crashes. Not to wish harm on anyone, but I hope that people recognize this guy as a repeat scammer, and karma catches up.

      Although in a way, I also wouldn’t be surprised if other MLM’s filled in their place. All we can do on blogs like this is inform people about what companies like this do to brainwash people into their scams. And for that thank you for blogging about it.

    3. Anonymous --

      Brandon is more talented than some, but is still an amateur charlatan. I don't think he is a particularly smart person, but he is smart enough to be dangerous.

      You are absolutely right to not want to wish harm on others, especially since many people think they are doing something great for their family.

      I'm glad you found value from this! Your comments are my only form of payment, so I really appreciate the positive feedback. This will definitely help me to keep going!