Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why should you trust your upline if s/he is making money off of you whether you fail or succeed?

From when you're but a wee little toddler, you've probably been taught some (or all of the following):


  • Don't take candy from creepy people
  • Don't take health advice from tobacco company
  • Don't take money advice from loan company
  • Don't take ethical advice from the Devil

So why do so many MLMers take business and money advice from their upline?

Think about it, In each of the scenarios above, it's basically inmates running the prison, or fox guarding the henhouse... There's an ETHICAL conflict in the scenario.

But, but you say, my upline *wants* me to succeed because if I succeed, s/he earns more, and so do I! How can this be an ethical conflict?

But that's because you fail to see the situation from your upline's perspective, but rather, from the MLM myth it perpetuates about itself.

Let's see it from your upline's perspective....


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Scam Psychology: Crank Magnetism and Sheeple Magnetism

"Crank magnetism" is a phenomenon describing that a crank for one idea often is also a crank of one or more unrelated but equally unorthodox and often irrational ideas.  The term was coined in 2007 by Mark Hoofnagle to describe a particular Holocaust denier who also latched onto some crazy DNA theory of disease from someone else.

When I encounter this term, I immediately thought of how "sheeple", i.e. those victims ready to be fleeced, tend to fall for one scheme after another, not necessarily at the same time, but they are vulnerable to cross recruitment, i.e. "here's something else that'd be good for you". To my surprise, there is no such term.  While sheeple is defined, and there are related terms such as reload scam, the phenomenon that a sheeple can believe in multiple unrelated scams is not a term.

So let me coin the term now: sheeple magnetism... phenomenon describing a sheeple, who fell for one scam, is often vulnerable to other scams.

Ponzi scheme victims are the most often found examples of sheeple magnetism, esp. if they were among the "net winners", i.e the minority who got more out of the scheme than they put in (so the rest are net losers).  They were often given "contrafreeloading" tasks to make them believe they "earned" their money. Such "victims" will go on to a different scheme that they recognize to be of a similar structure: way too easy work, way too much money, and believe they found their path to riches.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Two Ponzi Scammers Got Their Prison Sentences Handed Down...

Two ponzi scammers got their prison sentences handed down recently in early 2017.

Paul Burks, who was the head of the $939 million Zeek Rewards ponzi scheme with over 1 million victims around the world, got 14 years in a Federal prison, in addition to fines of $244 million in restitution (which he can't pay as he already gave up all his possessions) and 3 years probation. Given that Burks is already 70 years old and is believed to be not in the best of health, he may spend his final days in prison.

Two other top heads of the scheme, Daniel Olivarez (computer guru) and Dawn Wright-Olivares (VP of Operations and spokesperson) have been sentenced previously to lesser terms for their contributory roles in the scam that was shut down in 2012 by SEC and Secret Service. It was believed they were fined and have to give up their residence. There was no word on what happened to a restaurant Dawn allegedly operated, or what happened to her job at a different MLM company called iWowwe.

MLM Skeptic had been tracking Zeek Rewards for over a year before it was shut down and published several articles explaining how Zeek Rewards cannot be legitimate. Indeed, in the final days of their scam they tried to gag me with a "takedown request" to my content host by claiming MLMSkeptic had violated their trademark when it was quickly realized that the alleged trademarks was not even owned by them! Must be really desperate over there in their final days, as only a few weeks later when SEC and Secret Service stepped in.

In other news, co-leader of a smaller ponzi known as "The Achieve Community", Kristine Johnson, was sentenced to 21 months in Federal Prison. TAC, which is peanuts compared to Zeek, was shutdown in 2015 by SEC. It was a pretty simple Ponzi scheme that didn't bother to polish itself by hiring celebrity lawyers and experts and pretending to be legitimate. They mainly stuck to Facebook and such, by claiming "triple algorithm" that can multiply money... What utter nonsense.

MLM Skeptic had not been tracking TAC but it was identified early on by Oz of BehindMLM as a simple cycler ponzi scheme.

What do these two scams have in common? It's actually quite simple..

GREED.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bad Propaganda: "Alternative Facts" about MLM

Recently the Trump camp used "alternative facts" when attempting to "defend" some numbers that are obviously bogus... with even MORE bogus factoids. It is interesting to note that this has been used by MLM for decades, with little success.

So what are some of the "alternative facts" that had been used by MLM supporters?


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

MLM Veteran on answering MLM income question: Be evasive

Recently Ray Higdon, a self-professed high flyer in MLM and inspiration coach, posted on his blog "How to Answer 'How much Money Have you Made in Network Marketing". His answer is evasive and shocking, as it basically sidestepped the answer.

Here is a screenshot of Ray Higdon's blog, and copy of his text:


How To Answer “How Much Have You Made In Network Marketing?” 
This is a question that you most likely get when people feel like you’re maybe not as postured as you could be. Right? That maybe you’re not as confident as you could be, and people like to ding you with this question. “Well how much money have you made in network marketing?” 
Obviously, those of you who haven’t made any money in network marketing, you’re, “What do I say?” Right? My suggestion for this circumstance would be you can rely on your upline. You can rely on even trainers. You can use a little bit of my story, if you’d like. 
But my suggestion on answering that is to say: 
“Hey, you know what? I’m just getting started, but the people that I’m working with and getting trained by have made millions of dollars in network marketing. They’re showing me exactly what to do, so I’m fired up about it. I’m just getting started, but I’m excited that I’m learning from people who’ve proven it over the last X number of years. They’re helping me follow the exact footprints, exact steps that they took to make money, so I’m fired up about it.” 
That’s how I would answer it. By painting where you’re going. It’s very powerful.

Yep, you read it right: self-professed MLM coach telling everybody to NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION. Be evasive, blah blah about "getting training" instead.

Right, and my teacher was "Rich Dad", Bill Gates, and Buckminster Fuller.  Or I can rattle all the rich and famous people I'd like to emulate.

What a bunch of crock.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

One unexpected victim of Ponzi schemes: College Sports

Did you ever consider where are the ponzi scheme victims?  I mean, you usually think that the ponzi scheme victims are rich folks like Madoff victims, right?

You'd be very wrong.

ZeekRewards had an estimated 2.2 million victims all over the world.

TelexFree had almost TWO MILLION victims in US and Brazil

But here's a victim you'd never expect... College football.

You're probably exclaiming, "WTF? What does Ponzi scheme have anything to do with college football?"

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

MLM Basics: Why is MLM so... addicting?

Many people who are NOT in MLM wonder WHY MLM seems to be so addicting to its participants, and even as members lose money month after month. After all, an "entrepreneur" is supposed to be making money, right?

MLMSkeptic has studied the issues, and it is clear that the participants are not merely valuing the economic benefits from MLM (for there is minimal evidence of such enrichment except for a few near the top), but actually SOCIAL and MENTAL benefits that came with the MLM participation. It is the social and mental benefits, not the financial, that keeps the members in despite their minimal economic gains.

Those social and mental benefits can be divided roughly into three types:
  • Sense of belonging (family and group dynamic)
  • Sense of being something greater than oneself
  • Sense of accomplishment  (recognition)
Let's discuss each one.

Sense of belonging (family and group dynamic)

Many of the articles that tout the benefits of MLM emphasize the camaraderie of the group and team. There are even articles that tout "come for the opportunity; stay for the relationship".

One such leader asked the question:
Have Your “Why” Established. This is very important. This is your major driving force, your reason WHY you decided to make a move and become a network marketer. It could be family, financial freedom or even time freedom.  
It's not an accident that the author talk about family being a driving force, but have you ever wondered which family did he mean?

He probably doesn't mean YOUR family. Not your wife/husband/partner, not your father/mother, not your children.

He probably means your SALES/NETWORK family: your upline, your downlines, your lateral marketing folks.

But doublespeak is a standard tactic in unethical network marketing.

So how do you know if your specific network marketing is ethical or not? You don't.

There were plenty of examples where families have been torn apart because half of the partnership saw and recognized the hidden dangers, but the other half was already in too deep to see the forest for the trees. It will take a huge jolt for someone to recognize the threat to one's family from cultish-MLMs and some just sank deeper and deeper.

One example was when a wife, who's in MLM was talking with her MLM female friends, and the topic drifted to the husband, who was not in MLM.  One of the so-called female friends suddenly suggested that the husband is such a loser for not joining the MLM and the wife should leave that loser of a husband. Clearly, the husband is what's holding the wife back from true success. Wife was shocked into silence. WHICH does she value more... her family (husband and children)... or her personal success for a few dollars? And what sort of people are around her that would suggest NOT placing her family first?