Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MLM and the "You are just angry" line.

Today's blog post is synonymous with one of my earliest posts about projection. Projection is a defense mechanism designed to transfer your own emotions onto someone else. It is, logically speaking, one of the worst ways to "win" a debate, and is usually used as a last resort when the person has had all of their more meaningful points refuted. Instead of continuing to focus on the subject, they begin to attack the rival by suggesting the rival can't be logical, because they are being emotional, or more specifically, angry. The United States, in particular, loves to get emotional when debating, which makes things more interesting, but is not good from a scholarly perspective. We also like to argue, rather than debate, because we attach a part of ourselves to the subject we are talking about. We have gotten to a point, in the US, where the ego is so fragile, that any time we are "losing" a debate we have a visceral reaction and become antagonistic.

MLMers have frequently resorted to projection on other blogs, and have commonly referred to authors and other commentators as angry. They may say the author is angry because they failed at MLM, or they have a specific vendetta against a MLM, or even that it has something to do with their biology. These MLMer attacks are both silly and direct reflections of their specific mood. MLMers wouldn't be looking for anti-MLM blogs unless, they lost a prospect or their family and friends recommended reading it. This loss of a prospect and or the rejection of the "business" by a friend or family member can be extremely damaging to a MLMers ego. This in turn will lead to a rage and will result in lashing out over the internet. When MLMers lash out they lose focus and rationality, which leads to ludicrous comments, some of which reflect themselves. 

Unfortunately, as an anti-MLM blogger and regular commentator on other blogs, there becomes a harsh realization about the ability . MLMers are very similar to addicts of controlled substances, and they aren't going to be able receive help from anyone until they are ready to help themselves. The combination of a weakened ego, and clever psychological manipulation, makes logical discourse nearly impossible. The other harsh reality is, the people these MLMers attack and call names, are the people that try the hardest to show them the errors of their ways.

The best strategy, in my opinion, when a MLM adherent devolves to ad hominem attacks and deviates from the subject, then end the discussion and resume it no sooner than twenty-four hours later. They will need time to refocus and calm down, and it may be best to start the conversation with addressing the exaggeration of emotions and how that is inappropriate for dialogue and business. 


  1. If the IBO is someone with a desperate "need to believe," then I feel the situation is pretty much hopeless. The modern world is filled with directionless, alienated persons who are hungry for some kind of connection to others, and to certainty and security. If they think they have found it in Amway or some other MLM, not even a crowbar will pry them loose. Profit and loss won't matter to them.

    Those who break free are the ones who go into the MLM for the straightforward purpose of making money (not the MERE HOPE AND DREAM of making money!) When they see that making money isn't in the cards, then they will rationally begin the process of extricating themselves. You don't need to worry about these people.

    But for the "true believers" (who constitute the hard-core basis for Amway), only a very tough deprogramming will suffice. And by this I don't mean kidnapping them or forcefully re-educating them. Besides being illegal, that won't work on most deeply committed MLMers.

    The deprogramming that I think most effective is RIDICULE and CONTEMPT. That's why an overly intellectual blog against Amway doesn't work as well as a nasty, shit-kicking, satiric blog that really hits hard and below the belt. Laugh at their silly beliefs, make fun of their ignorance, point out sarcastically the imbecile nature of their "system" and "the Plan," pour withering scorn on the pomposities of their "up-line" mentors. Believe me -- this sort of "deprogramming" is very effective.

    1. Anonymous --

      The situation is definitely difficult. I feel like people have been conditioned to be soft, dependent, and entitled. These three characteristics lead to a perfect recipe for being duped into MLM. They don't want to work hard, they can't critically think or do things for themselves, and they believe they are special and deserve the very best regardless of effort. It's scary.

      I agree. Most people that break free see through the propaganda and mind twisting BS MLM drivel. Even if they don't see it before joining, after a couple months of being poorer, and seeing it is just the same stuff over and over, they quickly realize it isn't an actual opportunity and flee.

      While it would be nice to have a forceful intervention, in which they are forced from their current location and placed into a center away from the cult-like elements, that doesn't seem possible. Society doesn't view MLM and cults as threats like they do drugs, which is odd, considering the damage and the psychological effects are extremely similar. Unfortunately, it would appear this healing process has to come with much more limited resources.

      The only problem with ridicule and contempt is the backlash it can create. Sure, it is fun to make fun of the people that you will never see or interact with over the internet, but it is much harder to do that with friends and family. Even though it may be necessary to do this with family, it could result in an extreme shift, and create a false dichotomy in which the MLMer feels they have only two options. They may feel they can only be in MLM, where they are surrounded with "love-bombing" and energy, or a household of anger and contempt. I'm sure you realize which they will choose more times than not. As a result, they may become more entrenched and the plan could backfire. The worst time to do this is when the MLMer still has a foot outside of the grip of the cult, because it could push them into full fledged believer mode. It is hard to take that risk knowing the result will be one extreme, they get out, or the other, they become more committed than ever.

  2. I recently had an exchange with (I assume an Amway IBO) someone who referred to me as "bitter", "broke" and a "failure". It seems comical that the IBOs assume that people who are not in Amway have failed in life or that they must be broke.

    Truth be told, I did join Amway as a way to make extra money when I was young and still not advanced in ranking and earning power at my job. After I left Amway, I received multiple promotions at work and I'm now living comfortably with retire to right around the corner.

    When I retire, I'll have enough income to cover my bills and to live very comfortably. I also have managed to save enough resources to take all kinds of trips to place and to be able to complete my "bucket list".

    Ironically, what I discovered is that I joined Amway to gain more time and money but ironically, it's what I had less of because of Amway.

    Now I blog and share my experiences so others can avoid the mistake that I made.

    1. Joe --

      I think I'm going to write a post about assumptions. It seems MLMers believe they can make all kinds of assumptions, however they believe our assumptions, which often aren't assumptions but they label them as such, are not credible. It is a really weird double standard, but then again, it isn't that weird since logic isn't their strong suit.

      I believe people are really into instant gratification these days, and I'm guilty of this too. It is hard for us to see the bigger picture and look at a "J-O-B" as the way to our dreams. Even if we start in a lower position, it is hard for people to imagine a "2-5 year plan" in which they get a series of promotions and become more successful. It's great to hear that you have been able to accomplish this after your stint with Amway.

      I definitely noticed, after my weekend at the FED, that my time was being drained. I knew this would occur since it would take time to make money, but it was way more than I was led to believe. Not only that, but after going to these things, I felt like I hadn't received any of the secrets to success, but rather was on an emotional high. This was one of the various red flags.

      I hope you continue to share you blog, even into retirement, as it provides a very valuable resource for others.

  3. MLMer's portray critics as "you're just angry" because they ment to imply critics are "fools" to despise what he cannot get. But as soon as critics show the scars (yes, we've been there), they did a "no true Scotsman" and claim "you obviously" didn't try hard enough.

    It's also known as presumption of hate.

    So "Doc", seems we cover similar grounds. :)

    1. Kasey --

      Thanks for coming to my blog! I will definitely put your blog on the side of my page, if you would like me to add it there. By the way, you beat me to the punch on one of my future articles. I have been focusing on fallacies recently and the "No True Scotsman" fallacy was going to be one of my next pieces. You beat me to the punch!

      Psychology has always been interesting to me, mainly because I like to understand why people do what they do and think the way they think. I was convinced at an early age that there are two types of people, those that are puppeteers and those that are puppets. The most interesting thing is the way puppets can't ever see that they are on strings, and actually believe they are thinking for themselves. It isn't until they have that "Matrix Moment" and take the "Red Pill" that they realize their self-control was an illusion and they were actually doing what someone else wanted all along. That to me, is the beauty of psychology.