In 1945, whilst most, contemporary mainstream commentators were unable to look beyond the ends of their noses, with a perfect sense of irony, George Orwell (1903-1950) presented fact as fiction in an insightful 'fairy story' entitled, 'Animal Farm.' He revealed that totalitarianism is merely the oppressors' self-gratifying fiction mistaken for fact by the oppressed. In the same universal allegory, Orwell described how, at a time of vulnerability, almost any people's dream of a future, secure, Utopian existence can be hung over the entrance to a totalitarian deception. Indeed, the words that are always banished by totalitarian deceivers are, 'totalitarian' and 'deception.' Sadly, when it comes to examining the same enduring phenomenon, albeit with an ephemeral 'American/Capitalist' label, most contemporary, mainstream commentators have again been unable to look further than the ends of their noses. However, if they followed Orwell's example, and did some serious thinking, this is the reality-inverting nightmare they would find.
At last, someone from the mainstream media has again begun to investigate the reality- inverting nightmare lurking behind all so-called 'Multi-Level Marketing income opportunities.' Virginia Sole-Smith (an American freelance journalist who recently published an insightful article about 'Mary Kay') has examined the wider-picture, applied common-sense and deduced that 'MLM' is an absurd, but nonetheless dangerous, Utopian fiction which has been peddled as fact to countless millions of vulnerable individuals around the globe. During the course of her research, Virginia Sole-Smith has discovered that there is no quantifiable evidence which proves that any so-called 'MLM income opportunity,' has ever had a significant, and sustainable, revenue other than that deriving from its own participants.
In order to avoid being held to account for conspiring to commit fraud and obstruct justice, numerous gangs of wealthy 'MLM' racketeers have cowered behind their echelons of shyster attorneys and steadfastly pretended that:
they are American patriots - religiously-inspired, law-abiding capitalists and philanthropists.
'MLM distributors'' own purchases (i.e. unlawful internal payment/investments made on the false expectation of earning an income) were, in fact, lawful external retail sales based on value and demand, because 'MLM distributors are consumers and end-users.'
This carefully-scripted propaganda clearly forms part of an overall pattern of ongoing, major racketeering activity (as defined by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970).
David Brear (copyright 2012)
The following is Virginia Sole-Smith's latest article:
'Why Mary Kay is Only the Beginning.'
In my Investigative Fund article, "The Pink Pyramid Scheme," which appeared as the cover story of the August issue of Harper's, cosmetics direct sales giant Mary Kay claimed "it employs multiple sales directors who earn more than $1 million a year." But the figure that surprised me more was this: of the 600,000 Mary Kay consultants currently working in the United States, only 300 of them are making a six-figure income — off the commissions they earn when the women on their sales teams buy products. That paints a stark picture: A very small, select group of folks (0.05% of the workforce) at the top of the pyramid, earning money off the vast numbers of people working the lower levels.
In fact, when you look at the direct sales industry as a whole, the picture gets even bleaker. There are 15.6 million Americans (and many more across the world) working for a direct sales brand like Amway, Scentsy, Herbalife, Nu Skin, Stampin' Up!, and of course, Mary Kay. The Direct Selling Association, a trade association which represents the interests of these companies in Washington DC, claims that the industry posted almost $30 billion in retail sales last year.
'Mary Kay's chief attorney, Laura Beitler: 'We can't, and don't, track retail sales' (i.e. The corporate officers of 'Mary Kay' have neither confirmed nor denied that have been committing pyramid fraud).
Nu Skin isn't Romney's only connection to the MLM industry. Gordon Morton, cofounder of the supplement company Xango (the self-described creator of the mangosteen beverage "category"), served on his 2008 campaign's finance committee. This past January, David Lisonbee, founder of the Sandy, Utah-based MLM company 4Life Research, donated $500,000 to Restore Our Future. And Romney's current finance chair, Frank VanderSloot, is the CEO of Idaho-based Melaleuca, a multilevel-marketing company that sells green cleaning products and nutritional supplements. Melaleuca and its subsidiaries contributed $1 million to Restore Our Future last year.
I focused my story on Mary Kay because I wanted to explore how the company uses a"you can have it all" fantasy of modern womanhood to manipulate women. But the truth is, that's just one marketing tactic employed by an industry baiting dozens of expensive traps with persuasive rhetoric about bootstraps and the American dream. The number one question I've gotten since publishing the piece is: "But is this company any better?" Usually this query comes from folks who've already invested time and money with an MLM or two and are wondering if maybe, just maybe, they picked the company who does things right. For the most part, the depressing answer is no. "We could go company by company through the DSA's members and applied the FTC's anti-pyramid scheme test," says Brooks. "Very few companies would pass."
Viginia Sole-Smith (copyright 2012)