Thursday, 20 September 2012

'Lyoness' is a lie and Hubert Freidl is its author.


Saturday, 24 October 2015

The tragicomic (failed) prosecution of 'Lyoness Australia'.

In August of 2014, a media release from the 'Australian Competition Consumer Commission,' proudly declared that 'Lyoness'  had been under investigation, and would be prosecuted, as a suspected illegal pyramid / referral marketing scheme cleverly dissimulated behind a 'legal cash back' scheme. 

However, the same document revealed that agents of the 'ACCC' had not yet looked beyond the ends of their noses. Consequently, they failed to acknowledge that the mystifying labyrinth of 'Lyoness' companies has merely been the corporate front for the latest version of an evolving, historically-significant, criminogenic phenomenon which can be accurately described as, blame-the-victim 'Multi-Level Marketing Income Opportunity' cultic racketeering.

In reality, what has become popularly known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' is nothing more than an absurd, cultic, economic pseudo-science. The impressive-sounding made-up term 'MLM,' is, therefore, part of an extensive, thought-stopping, non-traditional jargon which has been developed, and constantly-repeated, by the instigators, and associates, of various, copy-cat, major, and minor, ongoing organized crime groups (hiding behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) to shut-down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of victims, and of casual observers (including regulators), in order to perpetrate, and dissimulate, a series of blame-the-victim closed-market swindles or pyramid scams (dressed up as 'legitimate direct selling income opportunites'), and related advance-fee frauds (dressed up as 'legitimate training and motivation, self-betterment, programs, leads,' etc.).

ACCC takes action against alleged pyramid scheme operator

28 August 2014

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings against Lyoness International AG, Lyoness Asia Limited, Lyoness UK Limited and Lyoness Australia Pty Limited (together ‘Lyoness’) for operating pyramid selling scheme and engaging in referral selling.
Although Lyoness has been investigated by regulators for conduct in other countries, this is the first court action taken against Lyoness alleging that the Lyoness Loyalty Program constitutes a pyramid scheme.
Pyramid schemes involve new participants providing a financial or other benefit to other existing participants in the scheme.  New participants are induced to join substantially by the prospect that they will be entitled to benefits relating to the recruitment of further new participants. Pyramid schemes may also offer products or services, but making money out of recruitment is their main aim, and often the only way for a member to recover any money is to convince other people to join up.  In contrast, people in legitimate multi-level marketing schemes earn money by selling genuine products to consumers, not from the recruiting process.
The ACCC alleges that Lyoness has operated the scheme in Australia from mid-2011 and that it continues to operate the scheme. The scheme offers ‘cash back’ rebates to members who shop through a Lyoness portal, use Lyoness vouchers or present their Lyoness card at certain retailers.
Whilst cash back offers themselves are not prohibited by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), the ACCC alleges that the Lyoness scheme also offers commissions to members who recruit new members who make a down payment on future shopping.
“Pyramid schemes are often sophisticated and may be operated under the guise of a legitimate business. Although these schemes can appear to be legitimate, the most significant inducement for new members to get involved is to earn ‘residual’ or ‘passive’ income from new members signing up,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The concern with pyramid schemes is that the financial benefits held out to induce potential members to join up rely substantially on the recruitment of further new members into the scheme.  For these schemes to work so that everyone can make a profit, there would need to be an endless supply of new members."
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, it is illegal not only to establish or promote a pyramid scheme, but also to participate in one in any capacity," Mr Sims said.
The ACCC also alleges that the conduct by Lyoness breached the ACL prohibition on ‘referral selling’, where a consumer is induced to buy goods or services by the promise of a commission or rebate contingent on a later event.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, injunctions, an order requiring the Lyoness website to link to the case report and costs.
As Lyoness International AG, Lyoness Asia Limited and Lyoness UK Limited are located overseas, the ACCC will be making arrangements for service on those entities.
The first Directions Hearing in these proceedings will be at 9.30am on 16 September, 2014 before Justice Flick in Sydney.
Release number: 
MR 217/14
Media enquiries: 
Media team - 1300 138 917

October 2015, it has now been announced that 'he ACCC's prosecution of 'Lyoness' has failed, but (to date) no announcement has been made as to whether an appeal will be lodged.

This latest tragicomic news from Australia perhaps explains why law enforcement agencies have been so reluctant to tackle 'Income Opportunity' cultic racketeers; for a mountain of evidence proves that 'Lyoness' is an extremely dangerous Austrian-based blame the victim cult, which has been churning victims all around the globe, but classically, the persons who prosecuted this Australian case, only presented a tiny part of what they have started to uncover.

In effect, the judge in this Australian case (Justice Flick), has thrown up his hands and lamely admitted that even he can't understand the mystifying capitalist fairy story offered by the bosses of the 'Lyoness' racket in the guise of an 'income opportunity'. All the same, Judge Flick decided that the 'Lyoness' has exhibited the characteristics of a pyramid scheme, but he has then decided to allow the company to continue without penalty, because (according to the company's own literature) although some rewards were unlawfully dependent on recruiting more and more participants, other rewards were lawfully dependent on the participants buying products.

So if this Judge can't look beyond all the familiar thought-stopping bullshit and recognise what 'Lyoness' actually has been hiding (by only examining the quantifiable results), what chance have victims?

The one common-sense question which no one (least of all himself) seems to have asked Judge Flick, was:

Given its hidden, effectively 100% loss/churn rate, what would be your personal reaction if a member of you own family came to you and said that he/she had signed up for the so-called 'Lyoness income opportunity?'

Blog readers should watch 25 minutes into this Canadian 'Dragons Den' linked-video to see the extraordinary effects of the criminal enterprise which Judge Flick has evidently failed to recognise, let alone stop. However, agents of the ACCC did not seek specialist advice before their tragicomic (failed) prosecution of 'Lyoness'.Consequently, ACCC prosecutors did not clearly explain to the judge how 'Lyoness' is an unoriginal cultic racket set up to prevent and divert investigation, and isolate its bosses from liability. 

To demonstrate how little the ACCC boys and girls understood about what they were really faced with, one of thehonest and brave whistle-blowing witnesses in the 'Lyoness' case, was Craig Wotton - a former pro-golfer and long-time 'MLM' shill. Mr. Wotton, who once promoted (the now-defunct) 'Vemma' racket, was briefly employed by the'Lyoness' racketeers as 'Managing Director of Lyoness Australia,' but when they cheated him, he pretended affinitywith the regulators and the media, and began playing the role of an honest man trying to protect his fellow citizens from criminals. In reality, Wotton is another narcissistic little 'MLM' parasite who immediately began promoting yet another 'MLM' racket, 'Modere,' and he was doing so throughout the recent failed-'Lyoness' prosecution, but ACCC prosecutors completely failed to look further than the ends of their noses.

Meanwhile the 'Lyoness' Ministry of Truth is broadcasting the latest tragicomic news from Australia as absolute proof that 'Lyoness' is an entirely lawful enterprise which has been unjustly attacked as an unlawful pyramid scheme by commercial 'competitors.'


VIENNAOctober 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Australian Court unmistakably declares: Lyoness is not a pyramid scheme. 
In 2014 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC began to investigate the business activities of Lyoness inAustralia on the recommendation of competitors.
The investigation results of the ACCC were submitted to the Australian Federal Court whose decision is now clear: Lyoness is not a pyramid scheme and does not engage in unlawful sales activities.  
"We were able to refute all accusations and clearly documented that Lyoness naturally respects the laws of the country," James O'Sullivan, Managing Director Lyoness Australia, is pleased to say about this court decision.
About Lyoness
The Lyoness group divides its three business areas into two brands: The Lyoness brand encompasses the shopping community and the loyalty program. Their target groups are consumers who want to save money by shopping with Lyoness (Cashback) and loyalty merchants who want to use an international multi-sector loyalty program. The Lyconet brand encompasses all network marketing activities of the Lyoness Group. Its target groups are self-employed people and companies. The Lyoness group is currently active in 46 countries on all continents. Over 5 million members enjoy the Lyoness benefits at over 50,000 loyalty merchants around the world. More at
James O' Sullivan
Managing Director Lyoness Australia Pty LTD
Tel: +61-2-9007-1000
SOURCE Lyoness Europe AG


David Brear (copyright 2015)
August 2015

The 'Lyoness' cult (secte) - an in-depth analysis.

In 1945, whilst most, contemporary mainstream commentators were unable to look beyond the ends of their noses, with a perfect sense of irony, Eric Arthur Blair a.k.a. George Orwell (1903-1950) presented fact as fiction in an insightful 'fairy story' entitled, 'Animal Farm.' He revealed that totalitarianism is merely the oppressors' 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 '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.  


'Lyoness'  ('Lyconet'has been presented externally as a traditional association. This was arbitrarily  defined by its ostensible instigator, 'Hubert Freidl, as a banal 'commercial' group. Internally, 'Lyoness' has been totalitarian (i.e. it is centrally-controlled and has required of its core-adherents an absolute subservience to the group and its leadership above all other persons). By its very nature, 'Lyoness' has never presented itself in its true colours. Consequently, no one has ever become involved with the organization as a result of his/her fully-informed consent.

'Lyoness' was instigated, and has been ruled, by psychologically dominant individuals and bodies of psychologically dominant individuals (with impressive, made-up ranks and titles), who have held themselves accountable to no one. These individuals have severe and inflexible Narcissistic Personalities (i.e. they suffer from a chronic psychological disorder, especially when resulting in a grandiose sense of self-importance/ righteousness and the compulsion to take advantage of others and to control others’ views of, and behaviour towards, them).* The leadership of 'Lyoness' has steadfastly pretended moral and intellectual authority whilst pursuing various, hidden, criminal objectives (mainly fraudulent). The admiration of 'Lyoness' adherents has only served to confirm, and magnify, the leaders’ strong sense of self-entitlement and fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beautyetc.


‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder,’ is a psychological term first used in 1971 by Dr. Heinz Kohut (1913-1981). It was recognised as the name for a form of pathological narcissism in ‘The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 1980.’ Narcissistic traits (where a person talks highly of himself/herself to eliminate feelings of worthlessness) are common in, and considered ‘normal’ to, human psychological development. When these traits become accentuated by a failure of the social environment and persist into adulthood, they can intensify to the level of a severe mental disorder. Severe and inflexible NPD is thought to effect less than 1% of the general adult population. It occurs more frequently in men than women. In simple terms, NPD is reality-denying, total self-worship born of its sufferers’ unconscious belief that they are flawed in a way that makes them fundamentally unacceptable to others. In order to shield themselves from the intolerable rejection and isolation which they unconsciously believe would follow if others recognised their defective nature, NPD sufferers go to almost any lengths to control others’ view of, and behaviour towards, them. NPD sufferers often choose partners, and raise children, who exhibit ‘co-narcissism’ (a co-dependent personality disorder like co-alcoholism). Co-narcissists organize themselves around the needs of others (to whom they feel responsible), they accept blame easily, are eager to please, defer to others’ opinions and fear being seen as selfish if they act assertively. NPD was observed, and apparently well-understood, in ancient times. Self-evidently, the term, ‘narcissism,’ comes from the allegorical myth of Narcissus, the beautiful Greek youth who falls in love with his own reflection.

Currently, NPD has nine recognised diagnostic criteria (five of which are required for a diagnosis):

  •       has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
  •       is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, ideal love, etc.
  •       believes that he/she is special and unique and can only be understood by other special people.
  •       requires excessive admiration.
  •       strong sense of self-entitlement.
  •       takes advantage of others to achieve his/her own ends.
  •       lacks empathy.
  •       is often envious or believes that others are envious of him/her.
  •       arrogant disposition.


'Lyoness' has employed co-ordinated, devious techniques of social and psychological persuasion (variously described as: ‘covert hypnosis’, 'visualisation', 'duplication', ‘mental manipulation’, ‘coercive behaviour modification’, ‘group pressure’, ‘thought reform’, ‘ego destruction’, ‘mind control’, ‘brainwashing’, ‘neuro-linguistic programming’, ‘love bombing’, etc.). These techniques are designed to fulfil the hidden criminal objectives of 'Lyoness' leaders by provoking in the adherents an infantile total dependence on the group to the detriment of themselves and of their existing family, and/or other, relationships. 'Lyoness' has manipulated its adherents’ existing beliefs and instinctual desires, creating the illusion that they are exercising free will. In this way, 'Lyoness' adherents have also been surreptitiously coerced into following potentially harmful, physical procedures (sleep deprivation, repetitive chanting/ moving, etc.) which were similarly designed to facilitate the shutting down of an individual’s critical and evaluative faculties without his/ her fully-informed consent.

'Lyoness' has comprised groups, and sub-groups, of previously diverse individuals bonded by their unconscious acceptance of the self-gratifying, but wholly imaginary, scenario that they alone represent a positive or protective force of purity and absolute righteousness derived from their leadership’s exclusive access to a superior knowledge, and that they alone oppose a negative or adversarial force of impurity and evil. Whilst this two-dimensional, or dualistic, narrative remains the 'Lyoness' adherents’ model of reality, they are, in effect, constrained to modify their individual personalities and behaviour accordingly.

The leaders of 'Lyoness' have sought to overwhelm their adherents emotionally and intellectually by pretending that progressive initiation into their own superior knowledge (coupled with total belief in its authenticity and unconditional deference to the authority of its higher initiates) will defeat a negative, adversarial force of impurity and evil, and automatically lead to future, exclusive redemption in a secure Utopian existenceBy making total belief a prerequisite of redemption,'Lyoness' adherents have been drawn into a closed-logic trap (i.e. failure to achieve redemption is solely the fault of the individual who didn’t believe totally). Cultic pseudo-science is always essentially the same hypnotic hocus-pocus, but it can be peddled in an infinite variety of forms and combinations (‘spiritual’, ‘medical’, ‘philosophical’, cosmological,’extraterrestrial’, ‘political’, ‘racial’, ‘mathematical’, ‘economic’, New-Age’, 'magical', etc.), often with impressive, made-up, technical-sounding names. It is tailored to fit the spirit of the times and to attract a broad range of persons, but especially those open to an exclusive offer of salvation (i.e. the: sick, traumatized, poor, dissatisfied, bereaved, vanquished, disillusioned, oppressed, lonely, insecure, aimless, etc.). However, at a moment of vulnerability, anyone (no matter what their: age, sex, nationality, state of mental/ physical health, level of education, wealth, etc.) can need to believe in a non-rational, cultic pseudo-science. Typically, obedient 'Lyoness' adherents have been granted ego-inflating ranks and titles, whilst non-initiates have been referred to using derogatory, dehumanizing terms. 

Although initiation can at first appear to be reasonable and benefits achievable, the 'Lyoness' economic pseudo-science gradually becomes evermore costly and mystifying. Ultimately, it is completely incomprehensible and its claimed benefits are never quantifiable. The self-righteous euphoria and relentless enthusiasm of 'Lyoness' proselytizers can be highly infectious and deeply misleading. They are convinced that their own salvation also depends on saving others.

The leaders of 'Lyoness' have sought to control all information entering not only their adherents’ minds, but also that entering the minds of casual observers. This has been achieved by constantly denigrating all external sources of information whilst constantly repeating the group’s reality-inverting key words and images, and/or by the physical isolation of adherents. 'Lyoness' leaders have systematically categorized, condemned and excluded as unenlightened, negative, impure, evil, etc. all free-thinking individuals and any quantifiable evidence challenging the authenticity of their imaginary scenario of control. In this way, the minds of 'Lyoness' adherents have become converted to accept only what their leadership arbitrarily sanctions as enlightened, positive, pure, absolutely righteous, etc. Consequently, 'Lyoness' adherents habitually communicate amongst themselves using their group’s thought-stopping ritual 'Income Opportunity' jargon, and they find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate with negative persons outside of their group whom they falsely believe to be not only doomed, but also to be a suppressive threat to redemption.

In 'Lyoness,' a core-group of adherents has been gradually dissociated from external reality and reformed into deployable agents and de facto slaves, furthering the hidden criminal objectives of their leaders, completely dependent on a collective paranoid delusion of absolute moral and intellectual supremacy fundamental to the maintenance of their individual self-esteem/identity and related psychological function. It has become impossible for such unquestioning 'Lyoness' fanatics to see humour in their situation or to feel pity for, or to empathise with, non-adherents. Their minds have been programmed to interpret the manipulation, and/or cheating, and/or dispossession, and/or destruction, of inferior outsiders (particularly, those who challenge their group’s controlling scenario) as perfectly justifiable.

The leaders of 'Lyoness' have continued to use stolen funds to infiltrate traditional culture and to organize the creation, and/or dissolution, and/or subversion, of further (apparently independent) corporate structures pursuing lawful, and/or unlawful, activities in order to prevent, and/or divert, investigation and isolate themselves from liability. In this way, the 'Lyoness' racket has been hiding in plain sight and has survived all ill-informed, isolated low-level challenges spreading like a cancer enslaving the minds, and destroying the lives, of countless individuals in the process. At the same time, its leaders have acquired absolute control over capital sums which place them alongside the most notorious racketeers in history. They have operated behind an ever-expanding, and changing, front of ‘limited-liability, commercial companies,’ and/or ‘non-profit-making associations,’ etc. 

Although they can appear to be euphorically happy, will insist that no one is controlling them and that they are excercizing free will, the inflexible long-term core-adherents of 'Lyoness' are demonstrably-psychotic (i.e. suffering from psychosis, a severe mental derangement, especially when resulting in delusions and loss of contact with external reality); for anyone implying that they have generated an overall net-income lawfully by regularly retailing 'Lyoness' services to the general public (based on value and demand), is not telling the truth.

'Lyoness' itself can be accurately described as being only one part of a largely-unrecognized, ongoing, criminogenic / cultic phenomenon of historic significance. The quantifiable evidence demonstrates that, for decades, right under the noses of ill-informed, and/or naive, and /or corrupt, regulators, legislators, journalists, etc., hundreds of copy-cat 'Network Marketing / income opportunity' rackets have been organized so that effectively 100% of all contributing participants were compelled to lose their money, whilst the insignificant percentage of bosses have shared billions of dollars of unlawful revenue which they have laundered as lawful 'sales.'

'Lyoness' adherents who have managed to break with their group and confront the ego-destroying reality that they’ve been systematically deceived, exploited and blamed, have been invariably destitute and dissociated from their previous social contacts.

Classically, the overwhelming majority of 'Lyoness' victims have remained silent. For many years afterwards, recovering former cult adherents can suffer from  psychological problems (which are also generally indicative of the victims of abuse): depression; overwhelming feelings (guilt, grief, shame, fear, anger, embarrassment, etc.); dependency/ inability to make decisions; retarded psychological/ intellectual development; suicidal thoughts; panic/ anxiety attacks; extreme identity confusion; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; insomnia/ nightmares; eating disorders; psychosomatic illness; fear of forming intimate relationships; inability to trust; etc.

Confused ex-'Lyoness' core- adherent, Andrew Plimmer, still unconciously recites thought-stopping 'commercial'jargon.

To give readers a revealing glimpse of the lasting-damage 'income opportunity' cults can inflict on the minds of ordinary ill-informed everyday people - a middle-aged Australian man, Andrew Plimmer, has had dozens of tragicomic propaganda videos posted on Youtube in which he recites the '100% positive Network Marketing' fairy story and attacks the traditional world.

Since January 2012, Mr Plimmer has been an unquestioning core-adherent of the unoriginal 'Lyoness' fairy story. However, 'Lyoness' is currently facing prosecution as a pyramid scheme in Australia and this fact seems finally to have stimulated Mr. Plimmer's dormant critical and evaluative faculties

Just over a month ago, Mr. Plimmer suddenly posted a new video on Youtube in which he tells a very different story, i.e. the truth (or rather a significant part of the truth); for Mr. Plimmer still cannot face the reality that, in 'Lyoness,'he, and countless persons around the globe, have been subjected to co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion designed to enslave and defraud vulnerable individuals, and prevent them fromcomplaining

Illogically, even though he now confesses to being 'treated like shit,' losing tens of thousands of Au$ and never fully-understanding how 'Lyoness' functions, Mr. Plimmer still insists that 'Networking Marketing' is a 'great concept.'Whilst all his other reality-inverting videos remain posted.

Readers of this in-depth analysis  (particularly, law enforcement agents) are warned that the leaders of the most-destructive cults have ultimately become megalomaniacal psychopaths (i.e. suffering from a chronic mental disorder, especially when resulting in paranoid delusions of grandeur and self-righteousness, and the compulsion to pursue grandiose objectives). The unconditional deference of their deluded adherents only served to confirm, and magnify, the leaders’ own paranoid delusions. This type of cult leader will seek to maintain an absolute monopoly of information whilst perpetrating, and/or directing, evermore heinous crimes. They will sustain their activities by the imposition of arbitrary contracts and codes (secrecydenunciation, confession,justice, punishment, etc.) within their groups, and by the use of humiliation, and/or intimidation, and/or calumny, and/or malicious prosecution (where they pose as victims), and/or sophism, and/or the infiltration of traditional culture, and/or corruption, and/or intelligence gathering and blackmail, and/or extortion, and/or physical isolation, and/or violence, and/or assassination, etc., to repress any internal or external dissent.

David Brear (copyright 2015)


 Questionnaire for Past,

 and Present,

'Lyoness' Adherents.

(short version) 

(Respondents are advised first to read all the questions before making any answer).


1. Was the person who first approached you to participate in 'Lyoness' a friend or relative, i.e. a person with whom you enjoyed a relationship based on love and trust? (if yes, give brief details).

2. Did the 'Lyoness' recruiter(s) present a bleak picture of the world of traditional employment, in which most people are forced to go out to work for 45 years with only retirement and a limited pension to look forward to?

3. Did the recruiter(s) present the 'Lyoness Income Opportunity' as a viable alternative to the world of traditional employment, in which it is possible for anyone to retire and enjoy total financial freedom, after a just a few years of concentrated effort?

4. At the time you were recruited, would you say that you were entirely satisfied with life; particularly, your achievements, education, career/employment status/prospects, home, relationships, social standing, salary, health, weight, physical appearance, etc.?

5. How would you describe your level of satisfaction with your life at the time you were recruited?

6. When, and how, were you first approached to participate in 'Lyoness' and when was the name 'Lyoness' first mentioned?'

  • Was 'Lyoness' first presented to you individually or as part of a group?
  • Did the presentation comprise drawing circles containing numbers and percentages on a board or sheet of paper? 
  • Did you fully-understand the presentation?
  • Was the presentation given by a man with a woman nodding in agreement next to him?
  • Were you given to believe that anyone could understand 'Lyoness?'
  • Did the recruiters seem generally happy and excited as though they had wonderful news to share?

7. What prior knowledge did you have of 'income opportunities?'

8. What was your initial reaction when you were approached?

9. At the time you signed up, what did you believe to be the success-rate of persons participating in 'Lyoness' (i.e. about what percentage of participants did you think made an overall net-income out of 'Lyoness')?

10. Were you ever shown any independent quantifiable evidence (e.g. income tax payment receipts) proving that anyone has ever made an overall net-income out of participating in 'Lyoness?'

11. Did you ever ask to see such evidence? 

12. Could you give a brief explanation of what you understand by the term pyramid scheme or scam?

13. What would you say was the essential identifying characteristic of pyramid scams, Ponzi schemes, money circulation games, chain letter scams, etc.?

 14. Were you given to believe that 'Lyoness' cannot possibly be a fraud, because it had obtained  certification from companies like Quality Austria and TÜV Rheinland?

15. Were you given to believe that 'Lyoness' cannot possibly be a fraud, because it has existed for decades and has been investigated and approved by governments around the world?

16. Were you given to believe that 'Lyoness' cannot possibly be a fraud, because celebrities have endorsed it?

17. Were you given to believe that 'Lyoness' cannot possibly be a fraud, because of its involvement with charity?

18. Were you given to believe that 'Lyoness' cannot possibly be a fraud, because it has sponsored professional sport?

19. What was your main motivation for joining 'Lyoness' :
  •  to earn income?
  •  to buy products and/or services at a discount price?
20. Before you signed up for 'Lyoness,' were your encouraged by the recruiter to seek independent legal/financial advice?

21. Did you ever seek independent legal/financial advice? (if yes, give brief details).

22.  What factor would you say initially convinced you that 'Lyoness' was an authentic opportunity to earn income?

23. At the time you signed up for 'Lyoness,' did you have any knowledge of pernicious groups that employ co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion - designed to shut down the critical and evaluative faculties of ill-informed individuals in order to exploit them and prevent them from complaining?

24. Could you give a brief explanation of what you understand by the terms:
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
  • brainwashing?
  • coercive behaviour modification?
  • group pressure?
  • covert hypnosis?
  • ego-destruction?
  • thought reform?
  • mental manipulation?
  • love bombing?
25. Were you given to believe that it is possible for anyone to replace their income by participating in 'Lyoness?'

26. Were you given to believe that after achieving a certain level of income in 'Lyoness' you could cease all activity and receive the same residual income for the rest of your life?

27. Were you given to believe that this residual income could be passed on to your descendants after your death?

28. During your time in 'Lyoness'were you taught that the 'exact duplication of a proven step-by-step plan' could automatically bring anyone 'total financial freedom?'

29. As part of this 'proven plan,' were you taught:
  • to alter you habitual way of speaking? (if yes, give a brief explanation)
  • to alter your habitual way of dressing? (if yes, give a brief explanation)
  • to alter you habitual way of eating? (if yes, give a brief explanation)
  • to alter your habitual sleep pattern? (if yes, give a brief explanation)
  • to alter you habitual social contacts? (if yes, give a brief explanation)
  • that everyone above you in your 'Network' was your 'Upline' and everyone beneath you was your 'Downline?'
  • that your 'Upline' was there to help you and was to be 'admired and respected?'
  • that your 'Upline's success depended on helping his/her 'Downline' to succeed?'
  • to divide everyone, and everything, in your life into 'negative' vs 'positive?'
  • that you should draw up a list of prospective 'Lyoness' recruits comprising everyone you had ever encountered in your life?
  • that you should progressively contact all these 'prospects' and attempt to recruit them using a precisely-worded 'positive' script?
  • that when trying to recruit 'prospects' you should exhibit excitement and enthusiasm, and recite your own personal 'story' describing how your life had been been transformed for the better by 'Lyoness?'
  • that you should never say anything 'negative' about 'Lyoness?'
  • that you should never listen to, or look at, anything 'negative' about 'Lyoness?'
  • that all persons who refused to join you (particularly, those who said 'Lyoness' is a scam) were to be deemed 'negative' and a threat to your own success?
  • that all 'negative' persons were to be deemed 'losers, whiners, dream stealers,' etc., and should be excluded from your life?
  • that all persons with regular jobs were to be labelled losers?
  • that you should only have contact with 'positive winners?'
  • that you should regularly buy, and listen to, recordings of 'positive winners?'
  • that you should regularly buy tickets to, and attend, extended meetings conducted by 'positive winners' at which you took part in group, rythmic chanting and moving?
  • that you should regularly buy, and read, publications, written by 'positive winners?'
  • that you should exactly duplicate the 100% positive mental attitude and behaviour of the 'positive winners' in your 'Upline?'
  • that you should regularly visualize your 'dreams an goals' in life (luxury cars, expensive houses, exotic holiday destinations, etc.)?
  • that you should fix images of your 'dreams and goals' in strategic places in your home? 
  • that all persons who develop a '100% positive mental attitude and never quit, ultimately achieve their dreams and goals in Lyoness?'
  • that all persons who 'fail to achieve their dreams and goals in Lyoness, are negative losers, whiners, quitters etc., who always try to blame others, when they only have themselves to blame?'
  • that you should disclose personal information about yourself, and about your friends and family, to your 'Upline?'
  • that you should gather personal information about your 'prospects' (i.e. the persons whom you wanted to recruit) in order to find their 'hot button' (i.e. a specific means of approach tailored to an individual's personal situation and which could get him/her excited about 'Lyoness').
30. As a result of duplicating the 'proven Lyoness plan,' approximately how much money did you lose overall?

31. As a result of duplicating the 'proven Lyoness plan,' approximately how many days per week were you active and approximately how much of your own time did you commit each day?

32. How long did you remain under contract to 'Lyoness?' 

33. Did you ever manage to recruit anyone into 'Lyoness?' (if yes, give brief details).

34. What level(s), if any, did you rise to in the 'Lyoness' hierarchy? (give brief details).
35. Exactly how were you described on your 'Lyoness' contract(s)?

36. As a result of your involvement with 'Lyoness,' did you lose contact with any family members, and/or with anyone with whom you had previously been close? (if yes, give brief details).

37. Have you filed, or attempted to file, a complaint about 'Lyoness' with any law enforcement agency? (if yes, give brief details).

David Brear (copyright 2015)




Who hasn’t heard about cults? The word, ‘cult,’ has been thrown around so often that most of us now take it for granted that we must know exactly what it means. To be honest, very few people have sought out sufficient background material to be able to form a lucid picture of cultism which requires the formulation of the essential identifying characteristics of the phenomenon. Even the most-diligent news reports have tended to examine individual cultic groups in close-up, leaving the wider phenomenon either out of shot or out of focus. However, in recent years, it has become a matter of public record that, as a result of unprotected exposure to one of an ever-growing and evolving catalogue of apparently diverse and innocent groups, almost anyone can begin to exhibit remarkably uniform symptoms. In everyday terms, it is as though they’ve fallen head over heels in love. Although this initial euphoria is often short-lived, a significant minority will subsequently undergo a nightmarish transformation and recklessly dissipate all their mental, and/or physical, and/or financial, resources to the benefit of some hitherto unknown person(s), whom they continue to trust and follow no matter what suffering this entails. Only when enough victims of one of these latter-day ‘Pied-Pipers’ wind up in psychiatric hospitals or on mortuary slabs is the word, ‘cult,’ liberally applied by the popular press. It is then always revealed that there had been some timely attempt(s) to warn the authorities, but they couldn’t intervene, because, legalistically, cultism does not exist. That said, all cosmopolitan people readily accept that cults most-certainly do exist, but, due to the prevalent style of media coverage, we habitually think of them only as remote, and grotesque, freak-shows.

In my experience, if it is suggested that ‘we should all be on our guard against cultism, because it is actually much closer to us than we like to think,’ the average person is immediately convinced that such an idea is absurd. This instinctual reaction is usually accompanied by one, or more, of the following comments:
  • ·     ‘Don’t worry, I wasn’t born yesterday, a cult couldn’t fool me or anyone in my family… only idiots and weaklings join cults.’

  • ·     ‘In a free society everyone has the right to believe in what they want… if adults decide to hand over their time and money to some charismatic guru, it’s their own business.’

  • ·     ‘One man’s cult is another man’s religion.’

  • ·     ‘I suppose you’re including all the people who believe Elvis is still alive.’

  • ·     ‘Unless they are being physically held as prisoners, adults always have a free-choice to walk away if they don’t like what’s happening to them.’

  • ·     ‘Perhaps some cult members get harmed, but that’s their problem not mine.’

  • ·     ‘Cults have been around for centuries, there’s nothing new to learn about them.’ etc.

Whilst these opinions can all seem valid to the ill-informed, the underlying facts prove them to be nothing more than ego-protecting self-deceptions, which completely miss the point. It’s easy to understand that ‘knowledge itself is power,’ but it’s altogether harder to accept that (by the same token) ignorance is vulnerability. Obviously, cults never announce themselves, but their many disguises continue to adapt to mirror the changing spirit of the times. Throughout the ages, a dangerous minority of mythomaniacs, charlatans and would-be demagogues have always been able to get their human prey to sail blindly into positions of subjection, by first bedazzling them with all manner of false beacons which seemed so welcoming and authentic that the majority of people could not have been expected to determine exactly what was lurking behind them. Even though most of us want to deny it, at a moment of weakness all of us can need to listen to the latest cultic voice of insanity; especially when it appeals to our existing beliefs and instinctual desires, and originates from the apparent face of reason. To casual observers, the phenomenon might seem to be a ridiculous anachronism, but cultism or occultism has survived the tide of history and continues to wreck countless lives, simply because its instigators keep updating the lyrics of their siren song. Totalitarianism itself is enduring, its camouflage is ephemeral.

Young children’s unconscious acceptance of ‘Santa Claus’ as total reality, stems from a fictitious scenario reflected as fact by the traditional culture in which they live. Up to a certain age, children are not equipped to challenge the model of reality offered to them by authoritarian figures within their family groups; particularly, their parents. Therefore, once children have been converted to a self-gratifying, non-rational belief in ‘Santa,' the truth (that they are actually being deceived by the people whom they instinctively trust and follow) is unthinkable. The scenario can then be expanded to modify children’s behaviour — ‘Santa’ has magical powers… he can see and hear everything they do at all times… he will reward them for unquestioning belief and punish them for dissent. Only when they attain the necessary level of intellectual/psychological development, can children begin to use their critical and evaluative faculties and come to realise that ‘Santa’ is merely a game of make believe. If you think about it, what I’ve just described is the most elementary form of self-perpetuating, non-rational/esoteric, ritual belief system - perfectly tailored to fit infantile minds, and reliant on the maintenance of an absolute monopoly of information presented using a constant repetition of reality-inverting key words and images combined with pseudo-scientific mystification and closed-logic.

When analysed with the same level of intellectual rigour, many of the basic procedures and conditions required to establish cultic groups turn out not to be a mystery at all. They are revealed as only more-sophisticated versions of those which also propagate the benign ‘Santa’ deception. As such, they are frighteningly easy to replicate. However, the instigators of cults are anything but benign and, interestingly, many of their most-deluded subjects and convincing apologists turn out to be well-educated adults who have simply become incapable of facing the ego-destroying reality that they’ve been fooled by what is merely a game of make believe. No sane person would ever suggest trying to ban ‘Santa,’ and everyone lies to their children at some time to modify their behaviour, but consider the variety of destructive behaviour that an authoritarian adult (with hidden criminal objectives) could get dependent children to follow by exploiting their unconscious acceptance of the same imaginary, but nonetheless emotionally and intellectually overwhelming, narrative as total reality. The unpalatable truth is that, just by perverting the closed-logic rules of the game, anything - from theft by proxy to sexual, and/or violent, abuse - becomes possible.

Prior to publication, a number of people were given unfinished copies of my overall analysis to appraise. Although no reader could refute its content, the reactions of a minority were split into two groups; these were as different as chalk and cheese. Those who had already survived a direct personal experience of cultism devoured it. Others, who had never knowingly encountered the phenomenon, found the analysis less easy to digest; they generally described its tone as ‘alarmist’ or like a 'conspiracy theory.' One man (a middle-aged, American academic) was sure that it had been written by a naïve soul who had suddenly discovered the world to be a cruel place, and who now wanted to shout about it. Several years ago, when I was naïve, I might have agreed with him. In fact, I now blush when I remember a conversation I once had with a senior citizen of the Czech republic (a survivor of rule by the ‘Nazi’ and ‘Soviet’ myths), in which I coolly dismissed his passionate contention that any country whose own citizens mistakenly believed themselves to be immune to totalitarianism, faced the greatest risk of from it. Today, in the light of a traumatic personal encounter in Europe with the large, American-based cultic group known as 'Amway,' I have come to understand that I could not have been more wrong. However, many of the crass opinions which cultism continues to attract are completely predictable, because, even as adults, we all instinctively want to shut out of our minds any information that disturbs our habitual model of the world. Sadly, anyone who searches for the truth about cultism, and who then speaks plainly, is forced to ask a lot of people to think the unthinkable; so I make no apologies for this.

Another man started to read my analysis and decided that it contained ‘intemperate language.’ He felt sure that it was  ‘going to be a sermon’ in which I would ‘attempt to impose ideas of morality’ on him. That opinion made me go back to my original text and remove any suggestion of preaching, because that’s the last thing I want to do. I don’t pretend to be perfect, and I fully recognise that morality is only what is generally regarded as an acceptable standard of behaviour by whatever culture we live in. I tried to base my investigation of cultism on quantifiable evidence, and my analysis on rules made by democratic institutions defining what is criminal, and/or unethical. I didn’t invent this evidence or write these rules, but I couldn’t escape the fact that cultism involves the subversion of traditional codes of morality. Like my wise Czech acquaintance, I have had the dubious privilege of witnessing for myself how unsuspecting individuals can be tricked into entering a counterfeit culture in which their existing perceptions of right and wrong are overturned and then made absolute. As a result, I now accept that apparently rational persons can suddenly abandon all reason and allow themselves to be systematically abused, exploited and even slaughtered whilst participating in the systematic abuse, exploitation and slaughter of others. In short, I am describing how it is possible to enslave any human being, but without the use of chains. This, in itself, is an ego-destroying reality which, self-evidently, many onlookers will wish to deny. However, when this reality is faced, at first it can become impossible to find appropriate words (other than expletives) to describe the results of cultism. Even presiding judges, in related cases, have felt it necessary to deliver verdicts using emotive terms such as ‘evil,’ ‘sinister,’ ‘depraved,’ ‘obnoxious,’ etc., to express publicly their own private outrage. Unfortunately, many other well-intentioned people have been, and continue to be, completely fooled by the seductive words and images shielding the instigators of cultism. The great paradox of the phenomenon is that persons under cultic influence will steadfastly claim to be absolutely righteous, even when all the quantifiable evidence proves their behaviour to be (at best) misguided, or (at worst) downright evil. Although they are demonstrably dissociated from external reality, cult adherents are always certain that they alone represent the ‘truth’ and they act accordingly.

In my overall analysis, I have tried to demystify cultism by using an accurate, deconstructed vocabulary to describe the phenomenon. As a result of my own extensive investigation, I am entirely satisfied that all groups exhibiting certain essential characteristics, are manifestations of the same problem. The historical evidence has led me to the inescapable conclusion that the only real differences between cults are the exact motives and mental state of their leaders, and the length of time they survive before they face a well-informed and determined challenge.

Cultism is a trap. Obviously, anyone who only examines the bait in a trap and who remains unaware of its true purpose, risks getting caught themselves. Just like a mousetrap, the basic design for the cultic trap has remained the same down the centuries even if the presentation of the bait has become evermore sophisticated. Sadly, many commentators have found it impossible - when faced with the apparently illogical results of cultism - to abandon their existing academic, and professional, disciplines, which are anchored in the logic of the traditional world. Consequently, their understanding has often been made impossible by misplaced objectivity. However, it must be remembered that a counterfeit banknote might be 99.9 % perfect, but the bit that is not makes all of it a fake. Similarly, in order to have any chance of understanding cultism, it must be approached from the apparently subjective point of view that its results are always the product of a contagious deception, the victims of which unconsciously accept fiction as fact. Only then, can the phenomenon be examined with genuine objectivity. Once this vital principle has been learned, the apparently authentic words and images reflected by persons under the influence of cultism - like those printed on counterfeit banknotes - are revealed as dangerous distractions. They should never be taken at face value and, therefore, I try to remind the reader of this at all times. Any commentator who repeats the reality-inverting shielding-terminology of any cultic group, but without detailed qualification (or heavy irony), demonstrates that he/she remains at a pitifully low-level of understanding.

In truth, if it wasn’t for its tragic consequences, then cultism would be nothing more than a sick joke. However, until an individual is confronted by a nightmarish change in the personality and behaviour of a loved-one, then they can never really appreciate the full horror of the phenomenon. I realised a long time ago that there are always some people who will never be able to accept what I describe, because, for them to do so, they would have to abandon too many self-deceptions supporting their own view of themselves. Like many others before me, a soul-destroying experience with members of my own family forced me to abandon most of mine. Then, through close contact with the survivors of various cults and my research into the deeper origins of ‘Nazism’ and the ‘New Global Terrorism,’ I came to the further, inescapable conclusion that it is actually impossible to exaggerate the potential menace ultimately posed by the creators of these counterfeit cultures, or their significance to the history and future of civilization. I then found great comfort in the opinions of some of my critics, because the people who first tried to warn the world of the horror lurking behind an apparently absurd, little gang of sanctimonious charlatans - calling themselves the ‘National Socialist German Workers Party’ and led by a hitherto unknown, German Army veteran playing the comic-book role of ordinary man turned superman - were also dismissed as ‘alarmists.’

Whilst it remains generally misunderstood, cultism will continue to be an unnecessary threat to the lives, liberty and happiness of all communities, families and individuals all over the world.

David Brear (copyright  2015)









In line with the arguments of the Higher Regional Court of Vienna, the [WKStA] demands the expiration of the assets (following §20.3, Penal Code) of Hubert Freidl, who is a suspect charged with violations of §168a, Penal Code.


To avoid repetition, the content of the freezing order (ON 324) and the legal opinion of the [WKStA] are referred to.


Suspected is that Hubert Freidl began seeking investors for the establishment of LYONESS in the spring of 2003. The first LYONESS corporation (LYONESS Europe AG) was founded in Switzerland in July 2003.


From 2003-2010, Hubert Freidl owned 10%, in 2010 25%, and from 2011 on, 100% of the shares of LYONESS Europe AG.


95% of the Business Partners and Customers of GALVAGIN changed to LYONESS in 2003. Customers of HANSEATICA were also transferred to LYONESS. Between 2003 and 2007, more LYONESS corporations were found, and in 2008 the LYONESS concern experienced remarkable growth (including Austrian, Swiss, and Luxembourgian corporations).


The business idea of the LYONESS tribe – that is indeed under suspicion – stems from Hubert Freidl. He has implemented the business idea and has driven its development (increased the number of accounting categories from 3 to 5; increased the amount of products for daily use). He describes himself as a director, and since 2004 as the CEO of LYONESS. Hubert Freidl has had the following functions in the LYONESS Group:


LYONESS Holding Europe AG (LYONESS EUROPE AG since 12/10);

Switzerland (founding 07/03)


• Director with single signature (10/04 - 02/10)

• Chairman of the Board with single signature (02/10 -12/10)

• Director with single signature (since 01/12)


LYONESS DATA SERVICE GmbH; Austria (founding 04/08)


• Managing Director (08/04 to 08/10)


LYONESS Child and Famlly Foundation; Switzerland (founding 04/08)


• Member of the Board of Trustees (02 / 09-09 / 11)

• Vice-Chairman of the Board (since 09/11)


LYONESS MANAGEMENT GmbH; Austria (founding 04/08)


• Managing Director (08/04 to 09/05)


LYONESS HOLDING AMERICA AG (LYONESS INTERNATIONAL AG since 06/10); Switzerland (founding 06/09) 159


• Director (07 / 09-02 / 10)

• Chairman of the Board (02 / 10-12 / 11)

• Member of the Board of Directors (11 / 09-03 / 12)

• Chairman of the Board of Directors (since 03/12)

• Majority Owner (100%) since 2011


LYONESS Cashback S.A; Luxembourg (founding 09/10) 163


• Managing Director (Order 09/10 - until the AGM 2013)

• Director / CEO (order 11 / 10- until the AGM 2012)


LYONESS IMEA SA; Switzerland (founding 05/11) 164


• Director (since 05/11)


LYONESS Greenfinity Foundation; Switzerland (founding 10/11) 165


• Chairman of the Board (10 / 11-02 / 12)

• Vice-Chairman of the Board (since 02/12)


LYONESS Cashback AG (since April 2014 LYONESS Group AG); Austria (founding 11/12) 168


• Sole Shareholder since Incorporation

• Supervisory Board Member (12/2012 to 04/14)

• Board of Directors (since 04/14)


The suspect Hubert FREIDL can be considered the (Founding) Developer, Developer of the Binary Compensation Plan, and the founder and (beneficiary) owner of the LYONESS Group.

These results of the investigation correspond with the statements made by Hubert FREIDL, as well as those made by the questioned witnesses and other suspects.


A chain and pyramid scheme is put in motion by the one who allows the first participant to join. A chain and pyramid scheme is organised by the one who takes the measures to make sure that it can be put in motion. When the organisation of the scheme is completed, that is, when it is put in motion, the scheme is considered for trial. In accordance with was described above, the conditions for starting and organising a pyramid scheme as understood in §168a, article 1, paragraph 1 of the Penal Code, have been met by the suspect Hubert FREIDL.


A chain and pyramid scheme as meant in §168a, paragraph 1 and 2 of the Penal Code was established and expanded through meetings, brochures, and any other methods used to attract many participants. It is not about the power of persuasion, it is enough when the expansion behaviour directly or indirectly affects many people that are offered participation in the system. In accordance with was described above, the conditions for starting and organising a pyramid scheme as understood in §168a, article 1, paragraph 1 of the Penal Code, have been met by the suspect Hubert FREIDL.


In the fiscal years 2008-2011 LYONESS Europe AG obtained a revenue (“Revenue from Downpayments and Commissions from the Sale of Gift Cards”) of CHF 739,280,887.48 [725 million US dollars]. In 2012, this was CHF 320,596,796.55 [315 million US dollars].


Of UTM Holding Limited, it is known that on the basis of its use of the names and logos of LYONESS, as well as the LYONESS Internet Domain, it is in a consistent business relationship with Lyoness. Hubert FREIDL is 100% owner of UTM Holding Limited. In 2012, UTM Holding Limited transferred €250,000 [300,000 US dollars] to the personal bank account of FREIDL. In 2013, an additional €150,000 [175,000 US dollars] was transferred. No reason for the payments has been stated. The payments cannot be reconciled with the self-reported income data of the accused Hubert FREIDL.


According to the information available until now:


1.      Hubert FREIDL did not receive any compensation (in the form of salary) for his work for LYONESS over the period 2007-2013.

2.      Hubert FREIDL himself stated to have a monthly gross income of €20,000 [24,000 US dollars], plus bonuses and a total of €400,000 [480,000 US dollars] in liquid assets.

3.      His own downline consists of 179 people. The size of the commissions received over these people is not known.

4.      Revenues, dividends, and profit withdrawals can be reasonably suspected to be considerably higher than what was found in Austria, and what the suspect has admitted to.


Therefore, the suspicion is that assets have been hidden and are kept secret. This makes recovering the assets considerably more complicated. A further seizure of assets is thus unlikely at the moment.


A suspicion is more than a mere presumption. It is the knowledge of facts, from which, considering common sense, can be concluded that someone has committed an offense or crime (RISJustiz, RS0107304). Since the principle “in dubio pro reo” only applies at trial, it cannot be assumed that the suspicions for freezing or (long-term) seizing assets should be based on an imminent conviction of the accused.


The currently available suspicions justify in any case the freezing of assets by the State Prosecutor and makes pecuniary arrangements likely, so that also the for seizure necessary level of suspicion is sufficiently present at this time.


Since the legally required level of suspicion in this case, as well as the proportionality of the taken coercive measures, is given, and the level of risk seems evident, the [WKStA] upholds its request.     


Extract from the decision of the National Criminal Court of Vienna, Department 31.


Judge Christian Waizi, LLC.


317 HR 124/14 h






The National Criminal Court of Vienna summarised in the criminal case against Hubert FREIDL and others, on the ground of §146 of the Penal Code:




In the above mentioned criminal case, following §115 paragraph 1-3 of the Penal Code, the judicial seizure of the capital available at the bank account of Hubert FREIDL is arranged:


1.      Hubert FREIDL and anyone else with access to that account are forbidden from using any of the funds currently available on the account. In particular, they are forbidden from cancelling any of the incoming capital to the account, from utilising any restitution claims, and from granting any remittance or payment orders.


 20th September  2014


Norwegian regulators fail to identify the 'Lyoness' racket.

'Lyoness' is the name over the entrance to a classic blame-the-victim 'income opportunity' cultic racket, comprising a dissimulated closed-market swindle, or pyramid scheme, and related advance fee frauds. In the simplest terms, the overwhelming majority of all the money which has been flowing into the 'Lyoness' racket, has come from its deluded adherents based on their false expectation of future reward.

Monica Alisøy Kjelsnes

Over the past few months, Norwegian lottery regulators, led by Monica Alisøy Kjelsnes, have supposedly beeninvestigating the activities of the organization known as 'Lyoness.' The result of these supposed investigations can only be described as astonishing; particularly, when you consider that the corporate front for the  'Lyoness' racket has been set up in Norway in such a devious way that Norwegian regulators could not access any audited accounts. Instead, they relied on unverifiable figures supplied by the 'Lyoness' Ministry of Truth.

Thus, the Norwegian lottery regulators, led by Monica Alisøy Kjelsnes, have finally concluded that although'Lyoness' has been the front for an illegal pyramid scheme in Norway, based on the organization's own figures,'Lyoness' is no longer hiding such criminal activity and, consequently, will not be prosecuted.
'In the report the Norwegian Gaming Authority have concluded that Lyoness is not engaged in an illegal pyramid scheme in Norway today. The reason for our conclusion is that we have received information showing that more than 50% of revenue from Lyoness business in Norway today comes from sales of goods and services and not from recruiting members and their participant payment. We see that Lyoness in an establishment period in Norway has had more than 50 percent of its revenue from recruiting members and not the sale of goods and services.
However, the Authority considers that the Lyoness in the years 2012 and 2013 ran an illegal pyramid scheme in Norway where more than 50 percent of revenue in this period came from recruiting members. 
Since Lyoness currently operates legally we will not react to the violation.
We have posted information about the case on our website -
Yours sincerely'
Monica Alisøy Kjelsnes

Readers might be interested to learn that during the past months I have written to Monica Alisøy Kjelsnes on two occasions, and asked her what would be her own personal reaction if a member of her own family suddenly announced that he/she had signed up with 'Lyoness?'

Predictably, I have yet to receive a reply to my common-sense question.

David Brear (copyright 2014)


August 28th, 2014.


'Lyoness' lie finally under investigation in Australia.

Today's media release (posted below) from the 'Australian Competition Consumer Commission,' proudly declares that 'Lyoness' has been under investigation, and will be prosecuted, as a suspected pyramid scheme dissimulated behind a 'cash back'scheme. 

Laughably, but tragically, the same document reveals that agents of the 'ACCC' have not yet looked beyond the ends of their noses. Consequently, they still fail to understand that the mystifying labyrinth of 'Lyoness' companies has merely been the corporate front for the latest version of an evolving, historically-significant, criminogenic phenomenon which can be accurately described as, blame-the-victim 'Multi-Level Marketing Income Opportunity' cultic racketeering.

In reality, what has become popularly known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' is nothing more than an absurd, cultic, economic pseudo-science. The impressive-sounding made-up term 'MLM,' is, therefore, part of an extensive, thought-stopping, non-traditional jargon which has been developed, and constantly-repeated, by the instigators, and associates, of various, copy-cat, major, and minor, ongoing organized crime groups (hiding behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) to shut-down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of victims, and of casual observers (including regulators), in order to perpetrate, and dissimulate, a series of blame-the-victim closed-market swindles or pyramid scams (dressed up as 'legitimate direct selling income opportunites'), and related advance-fee frauds (dressed up as 'legitimate training and motivation, self-betterment, programs, leads,' etc.).

David Brear (copyright 2014)

ACCC takes action against alleged

 pyramid scheme operator

28 August 2014

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings against Lyoness International AG, Lyoness Asia Limited, Lyoness UK Limited and Lyoness Australia Pty Limited (together‘Lyoness’) for operating pyramid selling scheme and engaging in referral selling.
Although Lyoness has been investigated by regulators for conduct in other countries, this is the first court action taken against Lyoness alleging that the Lyoness Loyalty Program constitutes a pyramid scheme.
Pyramid schemes involve new participants providing a financial or other benefit to other existing participants in the scheme.  New participants are induced to join substantially by the prospect that they will be entitled to benefits relating to the recruitment of further new participants. Pyramid schemes may also offer products or services, but making money out of recruitment is their main aim, and often the only way for a member to recover any money is to convince other people to join up.  In contrast, people in legitimate multi-level marketing schemes earn money by selling genuine products to consumers, not from the recruiting process.
The ACCC alleges that Lyoness has operated the scheme in Australia from mid-2011 and that it continues to operate the scheme. The scheme offers ‘cash back’ rebates to members who shop through a Lyoness portal, use Lyoness vouchers or present their Lyoness card at certain retailers.
Whilst cash back offers themselves are not prohibited by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), the ACCC alleges that the Lyoness scheme also offers commissions to members who recruit new members who make a down payment on future shopping.
“Pyramid schemes are often sophisticated and may be operated under the guise of a legitimate business. Although these schemes can appear to be legitimate, the most significant inducement for new members to get involved is to earn ‘residual’ or ‘passive’ income from new members signing up,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The concern with pyramid schemes is that the financial benefits held out to induce potential members to join up rely substantially on the recruitment of further new members into the scheme.  For these schemes to work so that everyone can make a profit, there would need to be an endless supply of new members."
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, it is illegal not only to establish or promote a pyramid scheme, but also to participate in one in any capacity," Mr Sims said.
The ACCC also alleges that the conduct by Lyoness breached the ACL prohibition on ‘referral selling’, where a consumer is induced to buy goods or services by the promise of a commission or rebate contingent on a later event.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, injunctions, an order requiring the Lyoness website to link to the case report and costs.
As Lyoness International AG, Lyoness Asia Limited and Lyoness UK Limited are located overseas, the ACCC will be making arrangements for service on those entities.
The first Directions Hearing in these proceedings will be at 9.30am on 16 September, 2014 before Justice Flick in Sydney.
Release number: 
MR 217/14
Media enquiries: 
Media team - 1300 138 917




November 13th 2013

The 'Lyoness Ministry of Truth' 
insists that:

It's 'absurd' and 'offensive" to 'call' Führer Freidl a 'Nazi'
and 'Lyoness' a 'cult!'

However, in respect of herr Freidl, and his unoriginal fairy story entitled 'Lyoness,' these words are an accurate use of the English language


Oct 29th 2013

This morning, a 'Lyoness' adherent, Charles Costello, has left a comment in which he says:

'No substantial entry on this site for over two months. It would appear that the anti-Lyoness chorus has run out of music!'

Charles Costello is sadly-deluded fellow. Since the self-perpetuating, blame-the victim 'Income Opportunity' racket commonly-known as 'Lyoness,' is only a small part of an ongoing criminogenic phenomenon, I suggest that he takes a long hard look at the rest of this Blog.

Mr. Costello will find that contrary to what he steadfastly pretends, numerous articles have, in fact, been posted in the last few months by me; including this, October 25th.:

If  Mr. Costello then takes the trouble to investigate further, he will discover that the 'Lyoness' racket is actually mentioned in documents submitted last week (along with a petition drafted by an attorney, Douglas Brooks, and signed by over 1000 concerned persons) to the US Government.

Mr. Costello could also benefit from reading this recent article about another self-perpetuating, blame-the-victim racket commonly known as 'Scientology:'

I invite Mr. Costello to confront the ego-destroying fact that organizations exist (known as cults), the self-appointed leaders of which, seek to control the reality of their followers by cutting them off from all external sources of information, in order to exploit them. 

To core-'Scientologists,' exactly as in the case of core-'Lyoness' adherents, no matter what evidence is produced proving that they are the victims of a cruel deception, their minds are programmed to reject the truth as 'a pack of lies.'

If at any time in the future Charles Costello, manages to re-enter reality and his critical, and evaluative, faculties begin functioning again, I have invited him to contact me.

There is no shame in having the courage to admit to being the victim of a fraud: the shame lies in refusing to face up to reality. 

David Brear (copyright 2013)

CNBC Africa 

By Wilhelmina Maboja
Last Updated: 20 August 2013 12:02

International shopping program Lyoness is in the spotlight as claims stream in that it is a pyramid scheme in disguise.

"Based on my understanding of Lyoness and what has been put out there in terms of transparency and its contract in plain language, it seems to me that there is a secondary purpose to the company," Megan Power, consumer rights journalist for the Sunday Times newspaper told CNBC Africa on Monday.

Lyoness is a free loyalty programme based on shopping and cash back benefits through a variety of channels such as cash back cards, mobile vouchers, gift cards or online shopping from selected merchants who have partnered up with the company. The company was started in Austria and was launched in South Africa in 2011.

According to the Lyoness, there are already 30,000 members registered in South Africa.

“I have no idea what the true figures are, Lyoness says that’s the number and growing and they believe there’s a large market here in South Africa and there will be further uptake,” said Power.

She explained that Lyoness offers a cash back benefit where you get up to 2 per cent cash back for every purchase you make with selected loyalty merchants. Once you reach 250 rand in your lioness account, the funds are transferred into your private bank account.

The suspicions however stem from the friendship bonus scheme where you receive a discount of 0.5 per cent off purchases made by members that you referred to Lyoness.

According to reports, the company could be categorised as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme as the system is based on the fact that profits are derived from recruiting new members and not a sale. As long as new members are available, the system works, once the resources are exhausted, everything collapses. This will leave those at the top of the pyramid with the most money.

Other areas causing controversy, Power pointed out, is Lyoness’ claim to be partnered with four of the biggest retailers in South Africa- Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay, Dischem and Foschini.

“The retailers have been pushed to the forefront as they have lent this program credibility so in Lyoness’ selling pitch, it has referred over the last two years to those four companies yet the only involvement they actually had was in selling bulk gift cards,” explained Power.

She added that Lyoness sells the idea to its members that they can purchase a gift card at a discount through them.

“I have since spoken to Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay, Foschini and Dischem and they claim they were unaware of this. They were aware of the bulk purchase, as it ran into millions and these purchases came through their gift card departments,” said Power.

She stated that the four big companies may not have been aware of Lyoness’ business model before and now that they do understand it better, they are unhappy that their consumer gift cards are being resold to consumers at a discounted rate.

 Lyoness has also sparked widespread controversy from around the globe. Power pointed out that the Austrian Economic and Corruption prosecutor is in the process of an investigation into allegations that Lyoness is a pyramid scheme, following complaints laid by two former Lyoness members.

Also, Eric Breitenede, an Austrian lawyer, representing over 300 complainants against Lyoness, mainly comprising of premium members that are demanding the return of the large deposits that they had made into the Lyoness scheme. Breitende has had several victories thus far

August 7th 2013

As if to demonstrate the accuracy of my analysis that 'Lyoness' has exhibited the universal identifying characteristics of a cult, today, 'The American Dream Made Nightmare' has received some particularly abusive (but anonymous) comments from fanatical members of the 'Lyoness' faithful - who have evidently been brainwashed into believing that all persons challenging the authenticity of their group's Utopian fairy story, must be morally and intellectually inferior.

One of these sadly-deluded characters refuses to accept my detailed explanation of why the so-called 'Lyoness income opportunity' is actually a reality-inverting plan to commit financial suicide, and instead says:

'fuck you - idiote'

I should like to take this opportunity to thank the authors of these abusive comments for supplying this Blog with more evidence that 'Lyoness'  is a cult. ____________________________________

August 1st 2013

Introducing the 'Lyoness' copy-cat 'income opportunity' cult,


July 6th 2013

Austrian Ministers block parliamentary questions about the 'Lyoness' racket

June 10th 2013

The big 'Lyoness' People's Business lie, turns out to be an adaptation of the big 'Nazi People's Car' lie.

Would you have bought a 'car' from this kindly little Austrian man?

So why would anyone want buy a 'business' from this other kindly little Austrian man?


June 9th 2013

The 'Lyoness' racket is still hiding in plain view.


JUNE 5th 2013

An anonymous American describes  the essentially 'Nazi' belief that only a chosen minority who 'use and embrace the Lyoness system,' will become the winning members of Hubert Freidl's Master Race. 


JUNE 4th 2013

The continued use of 'quality certification' by the 'Lyoness' racketeers, to commit fraud and obstruct justice around the globe, is brought to the attention of the certification companies, Quality Austria and TÜV Rheinland.

The management of 'Leitbetriebe Austria' refuse to face reality.

Another scoop from: 

'The Lyoness Complaints Centre'

'Dr.' Julian Hosp

Kitsch 'Lyoness' racketeer, 'Dr.' Julian Hosp, has been caught teaching the American 'Lyoness' faithful how to lie.


May 28th 2013

  William S. Pinckney                          Anshu Budhraja                      Sanjay Malhotra                    

The 'Lyoness' Ministry of Truth remains silent as the shocking news is broadcast that the Managing Director of 'Amway India Enterprises,' William S. Pinckney and two other senior corporate officers, Sanjay Malhotra and Anshu Budhraja, have been arrested for fraud by the Kerala state Police.


May 26th 2013

In another scoop, the 'Lyoness Complaints Centre' reports that, as part of his desperate attempt to maintain his group's crumbling monopoly of information, the self-appointed 'Lyoness' Führer, Hubert Freidl, has summoned what remains of his once- proud global command-structure to Austria for a '10-day training programme.'

(i.e. session of intensive brainwashing)

Götterdämmerung appears to be at hand for what remains of this latest absurd little gang of fake 'income opportunity' Gods.

I wonder if führer Freidl will be venturing forth from his secret 'Lyoness' command-bunker to preside over the final rituals personally? 

Although the strains of Wagner will no doubt be playing, hopefully Freidl won't be peddling cyanide capsules (at a discount) to any tearful 'Lyoness' suborbinates who don't want to be held to account for their führer's financial, and psychological, crimes against humanity?
May 24th 2013

Lyoness exposed on Austrian Television:

 (English subtitles)

Another group of 'Lyoness' victims who have ploughed their money into Hubert Freidl's pyramid fraud, have filed suit against the front-company, this time, in Sydney Australia. 

Meanwhile, the 'Lyoness' Ministry of Truth steadfastly pretends that 'Lyoness' is booming in Australia when, in reality the organization has effectively fallen to pieces.

Another insightful article is published by:

 'The Lyoness Complaints Centre.'

All core-adherents of the Utopian 'Lyoness' fairy story, have been programmed to believe that they are going to make lots of money by first giving their own money to 'Lyoness,' and then finding others to do the same, etc. ad infinitum, but according to 'Lyoness' own documentation, other than an insignificant minority of schills at the top of the pyramid, effectively 100% of all participants in the so-called 'Lyoness Income Opportunity,' have lost money!
Readers of this Blog are reminded that:

It is universally accepted that lying to, or withholding key-information from, people in order to take their money, is fraud which is a form of theft!


May 19th 2013

Deluded Giulia is certain that 

Warren Buffet believes in 'Lyoness.'

Here's some much needed comic-relief for readers of this Blog.


Today, a deeply-deluded adherent of the pernicious 'Lyoness' fairy story,  signing herself Giulia Fidilio, attempted to post the following repetitive bullshit on 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare:'

People...come on! Who is David Brear anyway? 

I have never heard of he some sort of expert in direct marketing or MLM?

I have a BA Hons (London Metropolitan University) in Marketing and I don't recall this David Brear as a marketing expert of some sort.

I'm Italian and I have been in Lyoness for over a year.

But, since you want facts, here's a few facts for you:

- I am Italian, and I have been in Lyoness for just over a year

- I started earning money after a month and a half

- I also have a company (MG sas) that is obviously in the lyoness network (we accept the cashback card)

- purchase daily from huge worldwide companies such as Apple, Dell and Expedia...and I have never had a problem (I always receive my cashback)

- in Italy Tamoil is national partner as far as petrol is concerned...well: the vouchers we get also carry the Lyoness logo, and the CEO of Tamoil also comes to meetings



Also, Mr Brear dutifully forgot to mention that some great financial experts, business minds and great investors (such as Donald Trump and Warren Buffett) believe that network marketing is THE PERFECT BUSINESS.

Anyways: I have proof of everything I said. What I want to find out now is...will you have the guts to publish my post Mr Brear? Or do you only accept negative propaganda???!!

And please note that my post is signed!

Readers might be interested to learn that the apparent author of this provocative cocktail of fact and fiction, is Giulia Fidilio, who (as she states) does run an Italian-registered business which appears in 'Lyoness' documentation on the Web:


MG & C. sas di Giulia Fidilio

Partner Company ID: 802579

Short description
tel: 00390373390052
Fax: 00390373387604
Via Dorina Mosconi, 18 
26010 Castel Gabbiano


Readers mght also be interested to learn that I have sent Giulia's unsubstantiated claims about the exact nature of Warren Buffet's declared opinion of network marketing, to Warren Buffet himself. For it is yet more proof that, due to Warren Buffet's ill-judged (and evidently ill-informed) involvement with the kitsch 'MLM income opportunity' known as 'The Pampered Chef,' his name and iconic reputation have been habitually used by racketeers, like Hubert Freidl, to commit fraud and obstruct justice all around the globe.

Obviously, there is a world of difference between investing in a corporate structure which has been making money from peddling a so-called 'MLM income opportunity,' and actually paying to participate in one of these economically-suicidal games of make-believe. 

Personally, I'm fascinated to know what this intellectually-castrated person, Giulia, Fidilio,  who self-evidently still believes Hubert Freidl's Utopian fairy story to be reality (and who has boasted of being educated only to use marketing terminology) imagines are the appropriate academic qualifications which anyone would require to be able to recognise, and to describe (in accurate deconstructed terminology), a pernicious cult operating a dissimulated, blame-the-victim closed-market swindle and related advance fee frauds?, because that is what the name'Lyoness' has been hiding, and this unoriginal group (of which Giulia Fidilio is currently a classic reality-denying follower), forms part of an evolving criminogenic phenomenon which I have been researching, and writing about, for many years. 

'Income Opportunity' racketeer, Hubert Freidl, posing as the great business führer.

In the adult world of quantifiable reality, the pernicious 'Lyoness' fairy story and its narcissistic author, Hubert Freidl, have had precious little to do with 'marketing' (in the traditional sense of the word).

May 18th 2013

Panic Stations at 'Lyoness' in the UK 
The führer and deputy führer of 'Lyoness,' peddling places in their (non-existent) future Utopia.

Werner Kaiser Lyoness
'Lyoness' deputy führer, Werner Kaiser

In another futile attempt to deny reality and prevent the inevitable collapse of his self-appointed führer's unoriginal Utopian lie, the 'Lyoness' deputy führer, Werner Kaiser, has flown to London to address doubting (and increasingly-angry) believers.

Personally, I'm quite surprised Herr Kaiser hasn't gone the whole hog and flown to Scotland, just like his reality- denying predecessor, in 1941.


Another scoop from
 The 'Lyoness Complaints Centre.'

The Austrian authorities knew all about the 'Lyoness' racket years ago, but did nothing to stop it.


An appeal is launched for all 'Lyoness' victims around the globe to contact 'Quality Austria!'


Hubert Freidl  (in an increasingly-desperate attempt to maintain his collapsing monopoly of Information), has temporarily succeeded in persuading Youtube to take down the 'Dragon's Den Canada' and 'ORF Austria'  Videos (which expose him as a greedy little parasite and and a liar), on the specious grounds that these public broadcasts infringed 'Lyoness' copyrights.

'Income Opportunity' cultic racketeer, Hubert Freidl

Another Scoop 
The Lyoness Complaints Centre!

On a live television show ('Dragon's Den'), when confronted with a deluded adherent in search of 'investors,' an independent team of multi-millionaire business experts, ridicule 'Lyoness' as a pyramid scam. 

(The 'Lyoness' segment appears after around 24 minutes)

Sadly, the scripted-reactions of 'income opportunity' adherents, are all essentially the same, but, in the above case, the adherent couldn't begin reciting his group's usual script, because, quite obviously, it's absurd bullshit that flies in the face of reality. 

On the popular Canadian television show, 'Dragon's Den,' you can actually see an 'income opportunity' adherent's brain short-circuiting, and the sweat pouring off his brow, as he begins to ask himself:

'How can a poor, inarticulate fool like me, tell this team of cool, multi-millionaire businessmen/women that they don't know what the hell they are talking about?' 

This absurd, but tragic, truck driver from Ontario, Andy, who features on 'Dragon's Den,' happened to have fallen for the Utopian lie entitled 'Lyoness,' but, in truth, he could have been presenting any one of thousands of 'Amway' copy-cat 'income opportunity' rackets.

As soon as the wealthy business experts heard the familiar key-words: 'Business Opportunity', 'Network' and 'Recruiting,' loud alarm bells began to ring. They were largely-disinterested in the word, 'Lyoness,' for they realised immediately that they were being confronted with a pathetic little pyramid scam victim, and I'm sure their scathing reaction would have been the same for 'Amway', 'Herbalife', 'Nu Skin', Forever Living Products', 'Xango', etc.; for all of these rackets (and thousands more) employ the identical key words and images. 

The above video from Canada is a significant piece of evidence proving how investigation of 'income opportunity' rackets has been obstructed by essentially the same system of reality-inverting propaganda.

Given access to evidence like this, absolutely no one with fully-functioning critical, and evaluative, faculties would ever dream of signing up for any so-called 'income opportunity.'

The 'Lyoness Complaints Centre' can now be contacted at:

Austrian television has broadcast a video of Hubert Freidl confessing that the 'Lyoness Cash Back Card' is a smokescreen 

Faced with imminent indictment for fraud, Hubert Freidl has quit Austria.

Many more victims of the  'Lyoness' lie have begun to face reality and organize.

The former Managing Director of 'Lyoness Austria' has blown the whistle.


Readers please note that, as a result of well-informed complaints to Carrefour in France and Lego in Denmark, both these reputable European companies now no longer do business with the 'Lyoness'  racketeers ( Jan 7th, 2013).


It has been reported to this Blog that 'Lyoness Australia' held an emergency meeting, Friday 12th April 2013 (in Sydney) to discuss how the company is going to tackle the deluge of demands for refunds. More than 300 adherents have already woken up to reality and obtained their money back following the departure of Woolworths Australia (a trusted-brand which has been slapped all over 'Lyoness' propaganda in Australia). Apparently, when contacted by phone, Woolworths in Australia now says quite openly that 'Lyoness' is a scam and that Woolworths is not connected to it in anyway. 

It has also been reported to this Blog that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has received sufficient complaints to open an investigation of 'Lyoness.'


WARNING - In March 2013, it was reported in the Austrian press that 'Lyoness' is the subject of an ongoing criminal inquiry conducted by WKStA (a specialist Dept. of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Justice), and that several class-action civil lawsuits have recently been filed in Austria on behalf of several hundreds individuals who have been persuaded to invest their cash with Hubert Freidl, and his associates, in the false-expectation of future reward.

If you have begun to swallow the innocent-looking 'cash-back' bait, you have actually entered the first stage of the 'Lyoness Income Opportunity' racket. Unfortunately, this means that you have already given the beneficiaries of the racket free-access to a significant quantity of personal information about yourself. This personal information can be used to try to induce you to advance further into the self-perpetuating 'Lyoness' labyrinth of lies. This will involve you being given the illusion that you are making a free choice to hand over your cash, along with personal information about your own friends and relatives, so that they too can be scammed, and used to scam others, but without them realising.

The next stage of the
'Lyoness' racket, involves persuading you to make a 'once-only' payment of around $3000 on the pretext that this will produce a future reward of $25000. You will also be offered the ego-building title of 'Lyoness Premium Member' - provided you can recruit the required number of additional $3000 'Lyoness Premium Members' yourself. 

In order to achieve this admired and respected rank of 'Lyoness Premium Member' you will be advised to draw up a list of everyone you know, and everyone you have ever met in the course of your life. You will be told to contact all of these people and offer them a chance to benefit from the 'Lyoness Income Opportunity.' This first involves persuading your friends and relatives to sign up for the 'cash back' scheme.

This is just the beginning of the scam, because there are many more tiers of the 'Lyoness' pyramid of lies, on offer. The ego-building titles attached to these tiers are all similarly dependent on recruiting more and more $3000 so-called 'Lyoness Premium Members.' 

In order to make this fraud appear lawful, 'Lyoness' victims are given blocks of gift vouchers in exchange for what are, in fact, unlawful investment payments (made on the false-expectation of future reward). 

About 15 years ago, I coined the common-sense phrase: 'premeditated, or dissimulated, closed-market swindle,' in order to deconstruct all Ponzi schemes, pyramid frauds, money circulation games, chain-letter scams, etc. However, although a few commentators have used my term (sometimes without attribution), a 'closed-market swindle' is not yet defined in law. That said, it is universally accepted that lying to, or withholding key-information from, people in order to take their money, is fraud which is a form of theft. Common-sense also reveals that, by 'passing any law, but failing to enforce it, has the effect of authorizing the very crime which you are trying to prohibit.' 

The lie which is fundamental to all 'closed-market swindles' is that people can earn income by contributing their own money to participate in any alleged 'profitable commercial opportunity' which is secretly an economically-unviable fake, due to the fact that the alleged 'profitable commercial opportunity' has been rigged so that it generates no significant, or sustainable, revenue other than that deriving from its own participants. For more than 50 years, 'Multi-Level Marketing' racketeers have been allowed to dissimulate closed-market swindles by offering endless-chains of victims various banal, but grossly-over-priced, products, and/or services, in exchange for unlawful payments, on the pretext that 'MLM' products and/or services, can then be regularly re-sold for a profit in significant quantities. However, since no gang of 'MLM' racketeers has ever proved that 'MLM' wampum has actually been regularly re-sold to the general public for profit in significant quantities,'MLM' participants have, in fact, been peddled infinite shares of their own finite money.

In the final analysis, other than their ephemeral external presentations, internally there is no real difference between all closed-market swindles; for any alleged 'opportunity to make money,' wherein (when challenged, and/or rigorously investigated) the promoters are unable to provide independent quantifiable evidence to prove that their alleged 'viable commercial activity' has had any significant, and sustainable, source of revenue other than its own losing participants, is self-evidently a dissimulated closed-market swindle.


Earlier this year, Shyam Sundar's Corporate Frauds Watch Blog was contacted by a person signing himself/herself, 'Carmel Muggeridge from Australia,' who attempted to post typical Utopian propaganda (in the form of a comment) for a blame-the-victim 'income opportunity' racket/cult known as 'Lyoness.' 
Yesterday, someone signing himself/herself, 'Sandy,' posted more thought-stopping 'Lyoness' bullshit (in the form of a comment) on CFW. 

'Income Opportunity' cultic racketeer, Hubert Freidl

The author of  the unoriginal 'Lyoness' lie, is a grinning Austrian, Hubert Freidl (b. 1972), self-styled business/self-betterment guru and mathematician. Exactly like the authors of the 'Amway' lie, Hubert Freidl steadfastly pretends to have succeeded in life (becoming an admired and respected multi-millionaire at the age of 40), through determination, totally-positive thinking and by helping others to succeed. 

Meanwhile, in the adult world of quantifiable reality, Hubert Freidl would appear to be a serial failure when it comes to operating traditional businesses. These are just some of the European-based corporate structures which he has previously instigated:
  • 'Freidl & Wagner' - registered June 3th 1994 (when Hubert Freidl was just 23 years old), but closed November 5th 1996.
  • 'Quick - Shape Freidl' - registered  December 2nd 1995, but closed October 31st 2002.
  • 'FEELGOOD Freidl' - registered May 3rd 1996, but closed October 10th 2002.
  • 'Erin Trade' - registered April 29th 1998, but placed in liquidation May 2000 and closed July 1st 2002.
A pay-through-the-nose-to-enter, 'Lyoness' orgy of deluded self-gratification.

Here is a disturbing'Lyoness' propaganda video designed to shut-down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of not just the organization's adherents, but also those of all casual observers (including regulators and journalists). 

Notice how the bosses of the 'Lyoness' racket have used part of their ill-gotten gains to create a children's charity, sponsor professional sport  and pretend direct association with traditional retailing companies, particularly the French supermarket giant, 'Carrefour.'

Interestingly, Hubert Freidl has openly acknowledged that he took the name 'Lyoness' from 'Lyonesse' - the name of a (Celtic) mythical land which, like 'Atlantis,' is supposed to lie beneath the sea.

Perhaps it's all just a coincidence, but Hubert Freidl (who claims to be passionately interested in myths and legends) has not acknowledged that the 'Thule Society' was named after another mythical land, 'Ultima Thule,'  and was one of the cultic groups from which the 'Nazi Party' emerged after WWI.

All this makes me wonder: 

What other narcissistic fiction (presented as fact) might be lurking behind the corporate façade of 'Lyoness

(In the 1920s, the US-based cultic racket known as the '2nd. Ku Klux Klan' operated an essentially-identical, dissimulated pyramid fraud, in which victims were initially induced to make losing-investment payments in exchange for life insurance. Again, 'KKK' victims were offered future rewards and ego-building titles. These were dependent on the number of further victims they recruited. At the height of the self-perpetuating scam, the '2nd KKK' claimed 6 millions members in the USA (including many respectable members of the traditional establishment: police officers, WWI veterans, politicians, businessmen, professionals, etc.) and the organization was generating a fortune annually for its bosses).

Simply by instigating  a front-group 'charity' with some of his stolen money, Hubert Freidl (pictured left) has recently been able to pretend direct association with 94 year old Nelson Mandela.

Narcissistic racketeer, Hubert Freidl, playing 
the comic-book role of ordinary man turned superman.

It is no exaggeration to say that, due to the amount of money it has already unlawfully generated, the 'Lyoness' lie represents an ongoing threat to democracy and the rule of law. Hubert Freidl, an otherwise mediocre little parasite, should have long-since been recognised as yet another narcissistic racketeer peddling an illusion of Utopia (built from its victims' money), and all of his stolen wealth confiscated. History teaches us that the more capital deluded charlatans, like Hubert Freidl, unlawfully acquire: the more dissociated from external reality they (and their deluded core-adherents) can become, whilst the more difficult it becomes to hold them fully to account for their crimes. 

David Brear (copyright 2012)


The following, is an English translation of an article (published in Switzerland) which begins to expose 'Lyoness' as an 'Amway' copy-cat, i.e. an ongoing, major organized crime group/pernicious cult peddling a step-by-step plan to achieve 'Utopia,' but actually stealing its victims' money and tearing their families, and friendships, apart. (For legal reasons, some of the names of the dangerously-deluded 'Lyoness' recruiters, described in this article, have been changed): 

L'Hebdo / Switzerland, 16 feb. 2012, by Clement Bürge

' "Are you interested in earning thousands of francs? Join Lyoness." announces *Angelo, with an assured voice and a charming smile. The handful of onlookers, gathered at a hotel in La Chaux-de-Fonds, listens to this modern-day prophet open-mouthed. Armed with a polished PowerPoint, this thirty-something presenter gives the recipe for his miracle solution: join the Lyoness community of buyers. Native to Austria, the company claims to have attracted two million people in twenty-three countries, including 12,000 in Switzerland. It promises its members to get discounts, to recover money on their purchases, or to even earn tens of thousands of francs in cash.

Members can choose: to make money slowly, quickly hit a jackpot, or both. The first method is to acquire a membership card that Lyoness says is free. In reality, it is obtained against the purchase of CHF 450 of gift vouchers in partner companies and offers 1% to 6% discounts from these brands. In this network, which is poorly developed in Western Switzerland, there are small traders, such as service stations Jubin in Jura or Boky, a Chinese restaurant in Lausanne.

A robust approach is applied to converting people into business partners. By investing 3,000 francs in the company, members can withdraw 25,000, provided in turn they recruit a number of investors. That February night in La Chaux-de-Fonds, we will not know exactly how many, such is the apparent complexity of setting up the system. Presented in diagrams, Angelo is excited about the system’s miraculous formula. "It's very complicated," says Josiane*, a lady in her sixties. "No need to understand, it works by itself," interjects an associate of Angelo. "It's fantastic", she says finally. Too fantastic.

Complaints of fraud are springing up everywhere, including in France, Austria and Switzerland. "Very often, people get a few hundred francs, but never more, said Eric Breiteneder, an Austrian lawyer in charge of more than 50 cases related to Lyoness. To our knowledge, nobody has got the famous 25,000 francs."

The problems go back to the heart of the system. "The return of money from the entry of new investors reflects the principle of the Airplane Game," said Fabien Rouiller, a lawyer in the The Commission on Lotteries (Comlot). Also called a Ponzi scheme or pyramid selling, the system is based on the fact that profits are derived from recruiting new members, and not a sale. As long as new members are available, it works. Once the resources are exhausted, everything collapses, leaving those at the top of the pyramid with the most money.

How has the company survived until today? "The law explicitly prohibits this system”, explains Yannick Buttet from the commercial enforcement authority in Valais. “But in addition to the Airplane Game, Lyoness can get discounts. The combination of the two confuses the issue. We are in the grey area. It's very clever." The Austrian Eric Breiteneder agrees: "To launch a trial is often more expensive than the amount invested, hence the longevity of Lyoness (founded in 2003, ed.)"

The damage being caused by Lyoness exceeds the monetary losses, tearing apart families and friendships. "The group works on sponsorship”, attests Anne-Valérie Pinet, a French lawyer who represents the first complainant. “Members are trained by relatives, who are not wary of anything. But once the scam is revealed, the links break." From the outset of the proceedings, the lawyer and his client were subject to threats from the victim's relatives.

Emotion is intensified because of the close relationships that are integral to Lyoness. "These people are fanatics or religious," says Eric Breiteneder. Rituals, a dress code to follow – wearing badges is obligatory - Lyoness regularly organises international meetings. "It sounds like a great mass," said the lawyer. Dance, song, it is a moment for worship. The founder and CEO of Lyoness, the Austrian Hubert Freidl, also engages in the show. Always present in the company's communications, the balding orator is the subject of boundless admiration. "This is our benefactor," said Angelo. Little information is known about the guru. His two partners, Tzvetan Streif and Hubert Wagner, come across as experts in casino games and chance. The three chair the mysterious Lyoness Child and Family Foundation. "This foundation is used to move money from one country to another. But nobody really knows where his money comes from and where it goes," said Eric Breiteneder.

The international headquarters of the company is based in Buchs (SG) "for tax reasons," according to Angelo. But Eric Breiteneder emphasizes its other function: "All contracts of overseas members are signed with the Swiss entity. Swiss members sign a contract with the Austrian group. The reason: they seek to complicate legislative procedures in the event of a trial. "A Swiss firm has received a complaint from former employees of the firm who would have had access to documents proving the fraudulent activities of Lyoness." Today, the law does not allow the Swiss authorities to actively fight against the company. But the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs [SECO] will soon be able to get involved," says Fabien Rouiller of Comlot. From 1st April, the change in competition law will provide SECO with new legal powers, which will finally allow it to seize the files. When contacted by L'Hebdo, SECO said it could not rule before the new law comes into force. But the lawyer in charge of the Swiss case revealed: "Lyoness is frightened, and is seeking to move its headquarters to Luxembourg before the deadline." Lyoness was contacted several times at its bases in Switzerland and Austria, but refused to respond to our questions.'


  1. Yes and we all know how honourable all the Swiss banks are!!!

    1. Hi from Cape Town South Africa, Lyoness has now been introduced here and is taking off. I have been approached and offered a free memebership - it will not cost me anything I am told?? Reading all these blogs is quite scary - I dont plan to buy into anything so will be intersting to see what they come up with. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks

    2. Hi Anonymous,

      I also joined Lyoness in Cape Town in February 2013. But unlike Europe where profits never materialise, in South Africa Lyoness simply do not deliver. From their website I ordered pamphlets, marketing material and vouchers on two occasions and paid the charges in full, including shipping chargers. The first batch of vouchers could not be delivered, but after I purchased "gift vouchers" from the retailer concerned they were credited electronically. The pamphlets were never sent. On my second order only half of the order was delivered via SMS that I have to present to the retailer concerned. The other vouchers were not delivered. Presently I am out of pocket of more than R1,300 and I instructed Lyoness to establish a final account and refund the money for which they did not deliver products - so far nothing from the Lyoness office...
      Lyoness is an organisation that is all marketing and absolutely no product. I can never in a million years recommend Lyoness to either friend or foe based on my experience. I can only be thankful that I never signed anyone up for Lyoness.
      I stress that I not making this up, this is exactly my experience.

    3. Casper, I too am in CT. Lyoness claim that there lack of response is because they are so busy... I'm not so sure.

      I recently wrote on my personal website what I thought to be a balanced appraisal of Lyoness, saying what I call 'Tier 1' (the 1-2% Cashback) to be legitimate, but that 'Tier 2' (the 'pre-pay vouchers') is dangerous and close to being a pyramid scheme. Within a week my membership had been cancelled and I got panicked phone calls from people in my 'upline' insisting I remove my posts else they will all be expelled and lose their 'business' income (which includes any investment they made). Lyoness told them which sites I had and even what I had posted on Facebook!!!)

      Absolutely Fascist behaviour. Everyone should GET OUT of this cultic 'mind-controlling' scheme.

  2. I have been approached by a few "enthusiasts" of these and they tried to get me into the scheme, and to one of them I told him so stop, kindly, as he is a very old friend, we grew up together, to stop before I send him somewhere he can't fit anymore.
    They seem to have this "expression" I'm only a friend trying to help you.

    1. Sadly this is a classic approach. 'Income opportunity' cult adherents really do believe that they are trying to help everyone they know, by recruiting them. They often try to make people like you feel guilty and selfish when you challenge their absurd beliefs and refuse to swallow their group's sugar-coated poison.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  3. Nice articles. It is obvious that Lyoness is a pyramid scheme, both through the unit system and through the system commission, members are awarded for bringing in new investors and are paid a small part of the new investor's investment. The company is trying to complicate legal procedures by moving its headquarters, formally changing the board of directors once in a while and by benefiting from the European Court of Justice's principle of mutual recognition. Now that they are starting to feel the heat in Austria, Freidl and his gang might soon move to Hungary or something, where the financial laws are a lot less strict, but which is still an EU member state, so that other states will have difficulties forbidding lyoness.

    I must admit that Freidl has been playing it smart, though. Most previous pyramid schemes have aimed at individuals, whereas this one is mostly aimed at small business owners. They lack customers, especially in these times, and are promised that they will significantly increase their sales, just by paying the 2000 euros and giving minor discounts. Next to that, they can easily become a millionaire by enrolling their competitors and colleagues.

    Furthermore, Lyoness targets naive people by advertising its alleged friendships with large multinational corporations. Most of those companies have never even heard of Lyoness, let alone that they care who gives away discount vouchers of a few procent for their products. Irrelevant documents and certificates (like the ISO 9001) are used to 'prove' that Lyoness is legitimate and if all else fails: 'nobody has forbidden us yet'.

    By the way, mr. Brear, concerning the list of former companies of Freidl, I was surprised that you left out 'Global Trading System (GTS)' and 'Galvagin', as those two companies were basically identical to Lyoness. The only problem then was that Freidl did not expand too much to other countries, so the financial potential was easily satisfied and then Freidl had to liquidate the companies in order not to have to pay anything to his investors.

    The same he is doing now by the way. Just this time he is going for the big bucks. He keeps the money flowing in by expanding to as many countries as possible (in rapid succession, some countries haven't even reached stage 2 yet before new countries are opened), so that he can rob as many people of as much as possible money before he retires on the Cayman Islands or so.

    1. It's nice to be appreciated, and thanks for your input. As you suspected, I do have additional material for this article including information about 'GTS' and 'Galvagin,' but I've never found the time to post it. I don't know if you have been following events in the USA concerning the 'Herbalife' racket, but these have occupied my Blog of late.

      For the record, I was the person who complained to Carrefour and Lego about the use of their names by Hubert Freidl. I have contacted around 40 other major companies in Europe with the same complaint. Not one company attorney, or officer, was aware of 'Lyoness.' In some cases, the companies involved had had no direct contact with 'Lyoness.' There gift vouchers had, in fact, been sold to 'Lyoness' by third-parties.

      If you want to contact me directly, just leave your e-mail address and/or telephone number on this Blog as a comment (it will not be posted).

    2. You are definetly appreciated! Up until yesterday I hadn't had the pleasure to get acquainted with this blog, but as I have seen now you have written and published a lot of interesting stories. Unfortunately I haven't had time yet to read up on the whole Herbalife scandal, but I hope to get a chance to do that this weekend.

      I find it very interesting that you say that Lyoness has been bragging about its alleged contacts, but that a lot of major companies have certainly not assessed nor approved of Lyoness. This is something I have been suspecting from the start, but I could not prove it.

      Moreover, I find it interesting how much certain symbols can mean to certain people. Personally I am immediately sceptical when I see a company brag about all the huge MNCs that they are friends with, but apparently a lot of consumers really attach a lot of value to such claims. The same goes for the worthless certificates that Lyoness distributors throw in your face when you dare to ask whether what they doing isn't a little bit illegal in most countries.

      Anyway, thanks for your reply and for your insightful articles. I will send you my email address in a separate post, so that this one can be posted and my email address can stay anonymous to your readers.

    3. Gentlemen

      Can you tell me please if the certifications they show (ISO 9001:2008, TUV Rheinland, IQNET, etc) are for real?

    4. Yes, these are real certificates, but if you consult the Websites of certification companies (like TUV Rhineland) and certification bodies (like ISO), you will discover that these impressive-sounding, but standard, documents are awarded in the hundreds of thousands annually, but they are absolutely no guarantee that their holders can be trusted.

      The point being that Hubert Freidl is fully-aware that virtually no one who joins 'Lyoness' has the slightest idea what an 'ISO 9001 certificate' means.

      I have already made several complaints to 'TUV Rhineland' and to 'Quality Austria' about the obtaining and use of these certification companies' names by Hubert Freidl, in order to commit fraud.

    5. First of all, I am very happy you have asked this question, since - as David already pointed out - most people just accept the certificates as some sort of proof that Lyoness is legitimate, without even knowing whether they have actually been awarded these certificates and/or what these certificates comprise.
      > To answer your question (like David already did as well): yes, for as far as I can assess it, Lyoness has received a TUV and an ISO 9001 certificate, indeed issued by TUV Rhineland and Quality Austria. Yet, in several pending law suits against Lyoness in Austria and Switzerland, Lyoness is being accused of document falsification; this however does not seem to concern the certificates you have mentioned. Nevertheless, note that when Lyoness adherents show off beautiful copies of these certificates (which is part of the strategy they have to follow, which also includes showing income statements, etc.), the signatures are always missing.
      > However, the real question at stake is not whether the certificates are real, but whether they are in any way relevant to people considering to join Lyoness. Ask a Lyoness adherent which TUV certificate it is that is in their possession and where we could find the criteria underlaying the assessment of suitability for this certificate and you will not get an answer. This is strange if you want to brag with a certificate issued by an institute mainly concerned with engineering certificates - with which the Lyoness business model and its legitimacy are not directly or obviously linkable.
      > The ISO 9001 criteria are easier to find, yet none of those criteria seem in any way relevant for assessing Lyoness' reliability. Most criteria are about whether everything that is done goes according to documented processes - hardly any guarantee that Lyoness is a pleasant business partner. The certificates are merely paraded around to wow potential victims which are clueless to the relevance of these certificates for their agreement with Lyoness. And as David said: Freidl is most aware of this.
      > Ps. Freidl's former 'shopping communities' - Galvagin and Global Trading System - were also in the possession of all sorts of certificates (and partnerships with major companies), yet were liquidated as soon as Freidl was rich enough.

  4. The following policy statement is in response to various persons who have recently tried to place their thoughtless comments on this post:

    Thoughtful comments are welcome on 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare.' However, it is the considered policy of the administrators of this Blog not to publish (without detailed qualification or heavy irony) the reality-inverting comments, and/or childish insults, of intellectually-castrated cult adherents, i.e. formally free-thinking persons whose critical and evaluative faculties now do not function, and who merely spout scripted-drivel which has been fed to them by their handlers.

  5. I've been in one of those meetings, and met one of representitives along with my uncle. I straight away noticed that if this guy is a normal guy like me or anybody else, why/where he got from a watch, cufflings etc with lyoness logo. Something dodgy going on i thought....Guy even showed us his account on the internet highlighting the income transfers from lyoness scheme.
    My question is, we're talking here quite often about the law and trust etc...but rule is simple - if something is not forbidden means is my question is - WHERE IS ACTUALLY THE SCAM...people paying some money..ok...doing purchases...getting % back from their purchase and also gaining % back if somebody under them do the purchase - am i right? Where is scam..that those % are tiny? that you'll never get your money back? I'm very sceptic about it but I actually can't see where is the scam cause on a daily basis I've been approached by banks, petrol stations etc who actually offer customer cards with discount rebates etc...lyoness seems to be an "universal card"...instead of having separate card for bank, petrol station, shop etc you have one...Can somebody explain me exactly how that scam works as I'm in the middle ... I will be grateful...thank you ////JACOB

    1. Jacob

      The short common-sense answer to your thoughtful question is as follows:

      Theft is universally forbidden by law, and lying to, and/or withholding key-information from people, in order to take their money, is fraud which is a form of theft.


      However, Jacob, a longer answer is as follows:

      You obviously can sense that the 'Lyoness' fairy story is far too good to be true, and that the vulnerable people who who need to believe it, are excited-fanatics who cannot be reasoned with.

      Although 'Lyoness' is presented externally as a 'lawful business/income opportunity,' internally, it is essentially the same as a totalitarian 'religious,' or 'political,' group - complete with deluded followers convinced that they have found a path to salvation complete with an infallible leader to guide them.

      The apparently banal 'cash back card', is only the entrance into the real 'Lyoness' scam.

      Once inside the group, adherents are progressively-dissociated from external reality. They are told that all 'negative' outsiders criticizing 'Lyoness' and its leadership are not to be trusted, and that they can only achieve 'future financial freedom' by developing a 'totally positive mental attitude' and by 'duplicating Hubert Freidl's patent plan' to purchase blocks of 'gift vouchers' (costing several thousands €uros) and by recruiting more people to duplicate exactly the same 'totally positive plan,' ad infinitum.

      Thus, Freidl's blocks of gift vouchers, are merely a means of laundering unlawful investment payments into a closed-market swindle or pyramid scheme. Imagine if Freidl was running a (slightly more obvious) money circulation scam selling blocks of banknotes, rather than blocks of gift vouchers, but gift vouchers are, in fact, a means of exchange, just like cash.

      In effect, Freidl is saying that anyone can make infinite profits through investing their cash in a form of money and recruiting others to make infinite profits through investing their cash in more of the same form of money, who, in turn, will make infinite profits through investing their cash in even more of the same form of money and recruiting others to invest their cash, ad infinitum.

      Freidl's absurd scam is one of the oldest financial fairy stories known to humanity. He's just changed the wording very slightly to make it seem completely new and lawful.

      In reality, Freidl is yet another economic alchemist (just like Charles Ponzi) peddling the crackpot pseudo-economic theory that endless recruitment + endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits.


      I hope, Jacob, that this answers your question, and that you will keep well away from this very dangerous, major, ongoing organized crime group. Remember, 'Lyoness' adherents' belief is quite genuine, but what they believe in, is false.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    2. Jacob, the scam is not in the 1% cashback, nor in a merchant signing up as a partner. The scam is as soon as Lyoness offer accelerated loyalty benefits when you put money INTO the system. This is where your 'deposit / investment' generates a return for someone further up the pyramid, and you will see returns when someone you encourage to pay IN actually 'INvests'. If you are the last in your downline to invest, you don't see a return, and in effect lose your money.

      If Lyoness shuts down in your country, they get to keep ALL money invested AND ALL money owing to members - a fortune!!

    3. JP Farrell thank-you for your thoughtful observations. Please feel free to contact David Brear directly by sending your e-mail address as a comment (this will not be posted).

  6. first of all I hope you will listen to David's advice and stay away from Lyoness and its followers.
    > Secondly you should not forget that 'not forbidden' is not the same as 'legitimate', or even 'legal'. Although Lyoness is growing quite big for a pyramid scheme (especially for Western European standards), it is still relatively new and small in most countries. Scams need to grow a certain size and victimise a certain amount of people to be noticed by market regulators and legal authorities (and even that is no guarantee for action, compare Amway, Herbalife, etc.).
    > In countries where Lyoness is running for a while now (e.g. Switzerland) and/or has many members (e.g. Austria), regulators finally are taking some action and have started investigations and law suits. However, it will take quite some time before a final verdict will be reached and Lyoness will be closed down for good. Consequently, it is hard for other EU members than Austria to explicitly forbid Lyoness in their country, due to an European Court of Justice initiated legal principal called 'mutual recognition', meaning that if one country accepts a product, company, etc., others should too. This was invented in order to prevent national protectionism within the free European market, which in this case leads to severe difficulties for other member states to prosecute and forbid Lyoness - another thing Freidl is well aware of, and one of the reasons that Lyoness plans to move its headquarters to an EU member state with even looser regulations, preferably in Eastern Europe.
    > Next to that, not many investors have noticed that they have been duped yet, especially not outside of Austria. In countries where there is still some potential, people might still be making money of of this scam - like with all pyramid schemes in the beginning. Furthermore, new capital keeps flowing into Lyoness, as the company is rapidly expanding to nearly every country in the world. Why? He is running out of investors! Pyramid schemes like Freidl's only persist until they get forbidden, a lot of bad press in the mass media or they run out of investors. This one has already been around longer than expected (when compared to Freidl's previous pyramid schemes), due to the international expansion. Nevertheless, eventually you run out of countries, investors and capital and the whole thing will collapse, leaving many investors with a pile of debt instead of a 7 figure residual income and discounts for life. Then the law suits will come everywhere, Lyoness will become forbidden, but then it is too late. All the money will be somewhere in the Virgin Islands or so.
    > Thus, most investors do not realise yet that their money is gone and additionally they are still under active supervision of their brainwashers, which in a blame-the-victim scheme means that is everyone's fault, except for Lyoness', like David has pointed out so often already.
    > Do not forget that the law in most countries forbids pyramid schemes like these and that the false logic preached by Lyoness adherents 'nobody has forbidden us yet' is indeed false and does not change the fact that their business model violates a dozen of federal financial laws in nearly every country it operates in.
    > Believe me, Lyoness is going to fall soon - you'd better put your money somewhere safe. After countries as India, China, Brazil and Russia are sufficiently exploited, Freidl is going to run with the money before he as to pay it all back (that would be quite some cashback..). Even though Lyoness is nowhere explicitly forbidden yet, it is illegal almost everywhere."

  7. Hmmm funny how no one is deffending lyoness is something fishy going on here

  8. Readers might be interested to learn that David Gilyeat is a 42 year old 'Lyoness' adherent from Northumberland in the UK.

    From his photo, Mr. Gilyeat looks like an honest enough sort of a guy, and I'm sure that he is sincere in his beliefs; but sadly, he's already posted numerous comments on the Net in which he is reciting the absurd fairy story that anyone can earn lots of money by first giving their money to 'Lyoness.'

    Perhaps we should ask Mr. Gilyeat if he knows how many charlatans (down the centuries) have robbed the masses by steadfastly-pretending that they have discovered a secret system for turning ordinary poor men (like himself) into super rich men (like them), and that they are prepared to share this secret knowledge with anyone (for a price)?

    Mr. Gilyeat, 'Lyoness' is just one more version of the oldest fraud known to mankind. Once you are inside the trap, Hubert Freidl is certain his victims will not want to admit that they have been deceived and used to deceive their friends and relatives.

    Remember, in life, it's your real friends who always try to tell you the truth (no matter how painful this might be). It's your enemies who grin from ear to ear and tell you ego-building lies.

  9. This is a message for the person, 'S,' who has recently contacted this Blog wanting to correspond in private.

    No comment is ever published on 'The American Dream Made Nightmare,' without it first being read and approved by the Editor.

    Thus, any reader wanting to correspond in private, can include their contact details without any fear of these being published.

  10. You have no mention of Canada?

    I signed up for this card.ordered a merchant card almost two weeks now and it has never arrived?

    Can any one explain the delivery system on these cards?

    1. Perhaps this is a serious question ( although I doubt it), but obviously the same plain language analysis of the 'Lyoness cashback scheme' as an entrance to a dissimulated racket, applies in all countries (including the Dominion of Canada).

  11. Despite the very clear warnings to intellectually-castrated cult adherents, a typically-arrogant 'Lyoness' robot has recently been attempting to dump piles of its group's thoughtless bullshit on this Blog. All the familiar, and tiresome, elements were included: e.g All persons criticizing 'Lyoness' have no idea what they are talking about. 'Lyoness' can't be a scam because its associated with big name brands, etc. etc.

    Apparently, the 'Lyoness' robot accepts that 'MLM' schemes are pyramid scams, but it insists that 'Lyoness' is not an 'MLM' scheme.

    1. Well he has a point there; Lyoness even on paper does not have a product they market - making it even more obvious that it is a pyramid scheme if compared to MLM companies.

      It is rather typical for Lyoness adherents to act in such a way. On public forums where informed people accuse Lyoness of being a pyramid scheme, the Lyoness adherents claim that Lyoness is 'legal MLM' - on a blog where MLM is criticised for being nothing more than a covered up form of pyramid swindle, the adherents claim that Lyoness is not MLM.

    2. The problem is not have a product, once the product is shoping, in fact it is a shoping comunitty.
      The problem is the whole organisation itself.
      also they invite people to invest in the matrix of each country and kontinent in order to get great sums of money. example you invest in matrix america, asia etc 2000 euro and you will get back more than 250 000 euro (gradually)in between 5 up to 7 years.
      many millions were invested and only the topmembers get big benefits...i invested 2000 euro and got back 8 euros in 6 month LOL..that yes is pure pyramid...i,ll never see my money back...250 000 LOL would be nice....but it wont work out.
      Pure scam, but....well organized/covered.

  12. You are correct 'Anonymous,' for in the final analysis, the made-up technical-sounding term 'Multi-Level Marketing,' is meaningless nonsense (or bullshit) designed to dissimulate a closed-market swindle and prevent the victims of that swindle from facing reality and complaining.

    Thus, for more than half a century, so-called 'MLM' has really been a code-name for ongoing major racketeering activity, but US regulators are now only just beginning the grasp this, in the wake of the 'Herbalife'/Bill Ackman affair which they cannot ignore.

    Since the overwhelming majority of claimed 'MLM sales' have been internal transactions between so-called 'MLM' companies and their own non-salaried commission agents, these payments have, in fact, been unlawful investments made on the false-expectation of future reward.

    Hubert Freidl and his criminal associates have slightly modified this form of racketeering (in yet another transparent attempt to dodge being held to account), but they have still been peddling what they arbitrarily define as 'an opportunity to earn income.'

    Tellingly, the means by which victims of all 'income opportunity' rackets have been told they can make money, always involves first handing their money to the racketeers and recruiting others to do likewise. The exact nature of the technical-sounding bullshit being fed to these victims to persuade them to commit financial suicide is, therefore, immaterial.

    Even though they can be extremely annoying, one has to feel sorry for anyone who needs to shut out reality, and believe in the 'Lyoness' adaptation of the pernicious 'income opportunity' fairy story.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

  13. I live in South Africa and I have just been approached to introduce this to my school communnity (for the parents). Having read this blog, I am hesitant. I would love to get more concrete info if possible. I really appreciate this expose

    1. Anonymous from S. Africa -

      Plain common-sense should reveal that the 'Lyoness' fairy story, is far too good to be true. However, for 'more concrete information,' essentially the identical fraud to 'Lyoness' has just been closed-down in the USA by the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney Generals of Illinois, Kentucky and N. Carolina. Classically, this American fraud, known as 'Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing' or 'FHTM,' was presented as a 'risk-free income opportunity.' You can find the FTC press release published in another article on this blog, along with a link to an American television documentary.

      Try also watching a television documentary exposing the fraud behind the so-called 'risk-free Amway/Quixtar income opportunity,' from 2003.

      If you search on the Net., you will find further, independent published analyses of the 'risk free income opportunity' fraud known as 'Lyoness.'

      If you want to communicate directly with me, please send your e-mail address as a comment to this Blog. It will not be published.

    2. Hi
      To present it to parents at your schoolis not a good idea. it later might touch your image.
      Myself i,m with loyoness for about three years...i was a leader, for my country, i invested quite a lot, believing this system..but in fact it is not well managed. they change the rules all the time..i know all those lyoness big guyes and some are making fortune yes...maybe 0.0000001% of all members makes good money...and all the rest?
      See..Lyoness counts with about 3 million members in 40 countries....but only about 30 reached the presidents team....some 600 are at leaders see in percentage....less than 0.1% makes money.
      I have hundreds of people in my lifeline....i invested quite big sums and i really regret.
      Also lyoness feels free to change the rules all the time, so we have no waranty of whatsoever....national directors they make their own
      business, inviting people against the interest of ancient members is all a crazy game of friends protecting friends...i honestly dont advise nobody to do it with lyoness....i lost it all , and i,m getting out for toooooooo many reasons..yes it is a scum, but very well organized and covered.

  14. Hello David Brear, my name is Pedro and i'm from Brazil. I've recently acquired the BUSINESS member/partner "package", which sums approximately U$3100,00.By reading your comments i've started becoming a bit afraid. But the thing with Lyoness is that, as long as you have more people to invite, it will be endless, correct? For example, here in Brazil it opened about 6 months ago. There are, so far, nearly 5000 members. There are over 190 million inhabitants in Brazil.Which means a LOT of market to be "conquered", correct? Please let it be known i'm not defending or criticizing Lyoness, just making an informal statement.What i mean by that long as there are people enough to be invited, it will go on and on right? Although the last ones will have no money back...i perhaps am considering of leaving the organization. What are your thoughts regarding this matter? Ty!

    1. Pedro

      I can't force anyone to leave an exploitative 'income opportunity' fairy story. All I can do is offer accurate information and invite people like you (who are beginning to have doubts) to use your common-sense.

      Poor persons who hand over their money to much richer persons and who recruit other poor persons to do the same, and who pay all their own expenses, cannot be accurately described as 'businessmen/women.' They are slaves; for, in the adult world of quantifiable reality, there are countless gangs of disguised slave-masters, just like those who run 'Lyoness.' All of them pretend to be operating 'viable commercial schemes from which ordinary people can lawfully make lots of money,' but none of these charlatans will reveal exactly how many ordinary people have joined their 'schemes' and exactly how many ordinary people have received more money than they have paid in. This is because all 'schemes' based on the childish lie that 'perpetual recruitment + perpetual payment by the recruits = perpetual profits for the recruits,' are self-perpetuating frauds.

      Manipulative 'income opportunity' charlatans like Hubert Freidl, always enslave their victims by offering them the illusion that they can enter a future Utopia where no one works, but everyone is prosperous, happy and free.

      Pedro, if you just stop to think, how can you believe the absurd 'Lyoness' fairy story - that there is a morally and intellectually superior man from Austria, Hubert Freidl, who has discovered a secret knowledge which can enable anyone to achieve their dreams, and that this wonderful Aryan superman is prepared to share his secret knowledge with anyone (for a price)?

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    2. My best friend has become heavily involved in the Lyoness thing. I signed up as a shopper just to appease her, but I have serious concerns about the program and will not be going any further with it.
      I was just wondering who you are exactly and what your background is? I'd like to know something about the author before referring my friend (and her friends and their friends etc.) to this site. Thank you.

    3. Anonymous.

      Thank-you for your enquiry.

      There are over 100 plain-language articles posted on this Blog which have been written by David Brear. He began researching and writing about the cult phenomenon back in the 1990s, when members of his family fell under the malign influence of the original 'income opportunity/prosperity gospel' cult, 'Amway.'

      David is the author of 'The Universal Identifying Characteristics of a Cult.' In this, he describes the phenomenon of exploitative criminogenic groups which employ coordinated, devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion designed to shut-down not only their adherents' critical and evaluative faculties, but also those of casual observers.

      In complete contrast, David is someone who invites his readers to think at all times.

      If you wish to correspond, or indeed speak, with David directly, please send your e-mail address as a comment.

      This will not be published.

      You might also be interested to visit the Pyramid Scheme Alert Website. This is run by David's associate, Robert FitzPatrick.

    4. Thank you for your prompt response. How ironic! My grandfather was involved in Amway. Perhaps that is part of the reason I am so skeptical.
      I am in complete agreement with your analysis of Lyoness, and therefore quite concerned for my friend. The next time she brings it up, I plan to direct her to your blog. I also found a site where people ask questions of fraud experts, mostly attorneys. Lyoness has been lambasted there as well.
      Just for the record, I live in California. Lyoness infiltrated this area about 18 months ago as far as I can tell.

    5. Anonymous from California - thank-you for your thoughtful comments.

      Hopefully, your friend will come to her senses very quickly.

      I'm probably telling you things you already know, but it is important to keep asking your friend thought-provoking questions and, if possible, keep a sense of humour.

      Have you seen the excellent satirical 'MLM' movie 'Believe?'

      Over the years, belief in variations of the absurd 'income opportunity' lie has continued to spread around the world in an insidious way. Without a significant level of complaint, the authorities have taken no action, but whilst the authorities have done nothing, 'income opportunity' racketeers have been able to plant the divisive myth that what they do is a perfectly legal form of free-market capitalism and, thus, anyone who criticizes them must be an anti-free-market lunatic.

      Various gangs of wealthy sociopaths are now hiding their reality-inverting crimes in plain view and, sadly, they have paved the way for a host of abusive copy-cats. Indeed, this phenomenon is racketeering on an almost unprecedented scale. Currently, the so-called 'Direct Selling Association' pretends that its members conduct $30 Billions of lawful retail sales annually in the USA. However, if you subtract from this impressive-sounding figure all the internal transactions between so-called 'MLM direct selling' companies and their own non-salaried commission agents, you are left with precious- little. The quantifiable evidence (comprising an almost total absence of income-tax payments by so called 'MLM Business Owners') which proves 'MLM direct selling' to be one of the most outrageous lies of all time, is massive and conclusive. At first glance, it beggars belief that legally-qualified law enforcement agents continue to attack a global criminogenic phenomenon on a case by case basis, but then, why should they round up and kill this flock of golden-egg-laying geese?; for many amoral government attorneys continue to take much more highly-paid jobs in the private sector.

      In respect of your friend, you might be relieved to know that most participants leave 'income opportunity' frauds within a short time (usually when they run out of cash) to be replaced by a fresh crop of would-be millionaires. They have little reason to complain. However, the significant minority of chronic victims (with access to an independent income, credit or capital) almost never go to the authorities to complain. They have invariably been duped by a friend or relative and, in turn, they have tried to dupe their own friends and relatives.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    6. Hi Pedro
      Lyoness started promoting in Brazil about 3 years ago, in Curitiba and Blumenau, spreading later to other cities. it was supposed to open in August 2011, but only opened their office in Sao Paulo recentlly(Brooklyn sp). So having 5000 members, in all that time is not much, concerning that the most arent business pack partners, and seeing the huge number of inhabitants.
      see that in a short period of existence of lyoness Brazil, the local management was changed 4 times.
      Also in all that time they only have deal with very few big companies like Carrefour and C&A and only now are starting the small companies....( very little shops for 5000 members isnt it?)so in fact it is going very slowly also in Brazil.

      Future will show you what Lyoness is about. Meetings and more meetings if you want to have a good team. Also you will have to pay extra to be in most meetings organised by Lyones, you pay for workshops and Congresses...well in fact you,ll have planty work and costs extra.
      I,m not saying not to deal with lyoness, but i,m just showing you that the pad that you took (and i also did for a long while)is hard and sure you won,t benefit, except if you make many new partners on your life line, also paying about as much as you did.
      I have quite some experience with Lyoness in Brazil and other countries and all i can say is that i regret.
      Wish you all The best.

    7. Thank-you Anonymous for blowing the whistle on what 'Lyoness' is really about - i.e. selling tickets to more and and more meetings and about recruiting more and more more gullible people to buy into this worthless fantasy of future financial freedom.

      I'm also very grateful for your confession that you now regret your own involvement with the Lyoness fantasy. However, I'd be very interested to know exactly who you are.

  15. As soon as I saw ads locally where I live to sign up for this , something seemed off. There was no mention of the company name or a website address to inquire further, only a phone number to call. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.
    Whats in it for the local stores (groceries, restaurants etc.)to sign on with them? Are they conned into it or are there legitimate benefits for them?

    1. Many small business owners are struggling in the current economic climate. The pernicious 'Lyoness' lie has been tailored to fit the spirit of these tough times. Thus, it's quite easy to persuade struggling small business owners to believe that by signing up with 'Lyoness', suddenly they will have lots of new loyal customers.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    2. Hi

      I find lyoness quite interesting. Any person with common sense and knowledge, knows money do not come easy. Also; When it comes to SME or helping out these business owners, lyoness wont help a bad business survive, however it will provide valuable statistics, and or increase their customer base. Which has been proven.

    3. Unknown - The words 'provide' and 'proven' are classic reality-inverting 'MLM income opportunity' bullshit.

      'Lyoness' is, without a shadow of doubt, the corporate front for a dissimulated closed-market swindle (aka pyramid scam) and related advance fee frauds. These cultic crimes have been run in conjunction with co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion - designed to prevent 'Lyoness' victims from facing reality and complaining.

  16. Wow, thank you both for all the great information. I recently had a close friend turn me onto Lyoness, but after reading your notes I'll definitely reconsider any affiliation with the company, especially in the US. Again, thanks for all the great info! Well appreciated!

    1. Thank-you for your kind words. I would, however, invite you to contact the Federal Trade Commission and tell them all about your close-call with the 'income opportunity' lie entitled, 'Lyoness'

      If you look at the recent articles on this Blog about the essentially-identical 'income opportunity' lie entitled, 'Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing,' you will find a press release from the FTC which includes the contact details of officials who are involved in this case.

      I presume that you would like to see your government finally try to protect you and your fellow citizens from this type of organized crime, but this will never happen until you and your fellow citizens complain about it in significant numbers.

      David Brear

  17. To the anonymous person who has recently tried to post his/her ill-informed opinions (in the form of a provocative comment) on this Blog:

    Thoughtful comments (supported by quantifiable evidence) are welcome on 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare.' However, it is the considered policy of the administrators of this Blog not to publish (without detailed qualification or heavy irony) the reality-inverting anecdotal claims, and/or childish insults, of intellectually-castrated cult adherents, i.e. formally free-thinking persons whose critical and evaluative faculties now do not function, and who merely spout scripted-drivel which has been fed to them by their handlers.

    By the way 'Anonymous,' the derogatory terms 'whine' and 'whiner' (which have been much-used by 'income opportunity' propagandists systematically to categorize and condemn all free-thinking persons challenging their lies, are spelled with an 'h'). Also, your phrase: - 'You remind me of the typical sideline critic who has, and never will do nothing - except complain about how others do things' - is an example of a double negative ( a concept which seems to be somewhat beyond your current intellectual capacity).

  18. Lyoness is currently taking advantage of thousands of idiots on queenslands gold coast . My mum and her bunch of friends have now lost tens of thousands of dollars and will lose more when the lawyers and solicitors they hired turn their bill in. Essentially if you are stupid enough to believe lyoness's bullshit and give them money you deserve to be screwed over

    1. Your mom and her friends may wish to know that Lyoness Australia is holding an emergency meeting Friday 12th April 2013 in Sydney to discuss how they deal with the hundreds of requests they have received from Lyoness Member's in Australia demanding refunds. Also, over 300 members have already had their money back. They have refunded this money to members following the departure of Woolworths Australia (which was a major brand name for Lyoness Australia) Its interesting that if you phone Woolworths in Australia they openly say that Lyoness is a scam and that they are not connected with them in anyway. Your mum may also want to file a complaint with the ACCC in Australia who have an open file on Lyoness. Good Luck

    2. Thanks for this timely information. Please feel free to send David Brear your e-mail address (this will not be published).

  19. Thank-you Anonymous from Australia - At one time, I might have agreed whole-heartedly with you, and I'm sure that there are certain 'Lyoness' bullshit believers who do deserve to lose their cash (hopefully, your mother is not one of them), but, sadly, the damage being inflicted by this type of self-perpetuating, blame-the-victim, cultic racket, is not limited to money or to its immediate victims.

    In the final analysis, even if we refuse to join, we are all potential victims of this type of organized crime.

    Classically, core-adherents of 'Lyoness' are trained to cut themselves off from everyone, and everything, challenging the authenticity of the group's controlling fairy story. From my own personal experience, I've seen gung-ho 'income opportunity' adherents prepared to go to almost any lengths (including theft and/or going into debt) in order to keep obtaining all the money to pursue their guided-'dream' of 'total financial freedom.'

    In the worst cases, financially-suicidal 'income opportunity' adherents will hand over personal information to their handlers and then enthusiastically participate in the emotional blackmail and silencing of concerned-relatives whom they have mistaken for 'negative dream stealers.'

    Also, history proves that it is very dangerous to allow narcissistic parasites, like Hubert Freidl, to get their nasty little fingers on huge quantities of stolen cash.

    You say that your mother and her friends have hired lawyers and solicitors to get their money back, but I'm very interested to know if your mother and friends have fully-escaped from Hubert Freidl's pernicious 'commercial' fairy story? i.e. Are they still repeating all the mystifying mathematics, and reality-inverting 'business/accountancy' terms, which were used to shut down their critical and evaluative faculties? Have they accepted that they were the victims of an age-old fraud?

    I know that there are well-informed politicians and journalists in Australia who have demanded a full-inquiry into the essentially-identical cultic racket known as 'Scientology,' but, as far as I know, they have not yet spotted the latest version entitled 'Lyoness.'

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

    1. Hi, I'm from Europe, namely the Czech Republic. Here is currently starting a MLM business. Many of my friends are enticed to significant profits. None of them did not take the hand calculator and not count how many would have to flow through Lyoness money to them and was also! just paid. Unfortunately. I see it like most intelligent people, scam number one. signature jt

    2. Thanks Anonymous from the Czech Republic -

      Sadly, your country, along with other former 'Soviet' satelite states, was first infected by the 'MLM' virus back in the mid-1990s, just after the Hammer and Sickle had been lowered. I believe that the 'Amway' Trojan Horse, was the first to arrive, but painted with the Stars and Stripes to reflect the spirit of the times.

      Make no mistake, although they are presented externally as being 'capitalist,' internally groups like 'Amway,' 'Herbalife', 'Lyoness,' etc. are totalitarian (i.e. they are centrally-controlled and require of their core-adherents an absolute subservience to the group and its patriachal leadership above all other persons).

      Totalitarianism itself is enduring, its camouflage is ephemeral.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  20. The following policy statement is in response to the anonymous person who today has tried to post 'Lyoness' bullshit on this Blog:

    Thoughtful comments are welcome on 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare.' However, it is the considered policy of the administrators of this Blog not to publish (without detailed qualification or heavy irony) the reality-inverting comments, and/or childish insults, of intellectually-castrated cult adherents, i.e. formally free-thinking persons whose critical and evaluative faculties now do not function, and who merely spout scripted-drivel which has been fed to them by their handlers.

  21. just curiuos, i was offered the program and looked at the businesses listed here in ireland, a lot of these companies are big chains here and they have legal departments and lyoness i see have office in the financial center here, surly they would check out all the issues before committing to anything like this ? like i said i was offered it just other day so no nothing about it but one way i do check for info is facebook, this is the place that you can find happy or unhappy people, one business i looked into had a lot of complaints from angry people bacuase they couldnt get their money back, on the fb page for lyoness i see lot of positive people talking about it, but i also see someone mention that two companies have been taken off and someone saying they lost 3 grand

    1. Pat -

      You sound like a very thoughtful person, and coming from Ireland you should have an advantage when it comes to understanding how fanatically-held beliefs can be created and then used to exploit vulnerable people and prevent them from complaining.

      The blame-the-victim 'Lyoness' fraud is neither original nor unique. It employs various devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion designed to shut down its victims' critical and evaluative faculties. One of these techniques is known as 'closed logic thought reform.' Briefly, this technique involves persuading victims to shut out multi-dimensional, external reality by offering them an attractive future reward, but which is linked to their developing a total belief that they will obtain the attractive future reward.

      Thus, the most fanatical 'Lyoness' adherents look at the world only in two dimensions, 'negative (i.e. all things outside the group)' versus 'positive' (all things inside the group). Such persons quite literally believe that if they do, or say, the slightest thing 'negative,' then they will fail to achieve their future reward and that this failure will be entirely their own fault for not being totally 'positive.'

      Eventually, it becomes impossible for the core-adherents of camouflaged totalitarian groups like 'Lyoness' to admit that they are losing money, because (in their castrated minds) such an admission would be systematically interpreted as being a negative threat to their achieving their future reward of 'total financial freedom.'

      In the most simple terms, the core-adherents of groups like 'Lyoness' will steadfastly pretend to be making money, but they will never produce quantifiable evidence which proves that they have made an overall net-profit.

      By the way, any charlatan can rent a swanky address; particularly, when he/she has got piles of stolen money to play with. For 30 years, Bernie Madoff's fraudulent company occupied an entire building at a prestige address in New York city.

      In my experience, the legal Depts. of the large companies listed as 'partners' by the 'Lyoness' racketeers, have not even heard of 'Lyoness,' let alone checked it out.

      In certain cases, these large companies haven't dealt with 'Lyoness' directly. They have sold their gift vouchers to third parties who have then resold them to 'Lyoness.' The statement that large companies have 'committed' to 'Lyoness' is, in fact, an absurd lie.

      It is impossible to over-state the dangers of groups like 'Lyoness,' for their core-adherents have been lured into a trap in which they have been progressively dissociated from external reality, but they will insist that no one is manipulating them and that they have joined 'Lyoness' as a result of a completely free-choice.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    2. David, I found your Blog the other day whilst looking for information about Lyoness. In the past I've seen my former partner throw away thousands of dollars in pursuit of his Amway dream. Now he's trying to get people to sign up with Lyoness. He says it's not a scam, because it's not an MLM. I've read a lot about cults, but I have to say I never really understood how they worked until I read your explanation.

      Are you a psychologist with a degree in economics ? or an economist with a degree in psychology?

      Whatever, keep up the good work!

    3. Anonymous - Thank-you. However, I am most certainly not an academic. I think that one of the great problems when it comes to academics looking at cults, is that they are usually anchored in the logic of the traditional world. Consequently, their undersanding has often been made impossible by the application of misplaced objectivity. In reality, in order to have any chance of understanding cultism, it must be approached from the apparently subjective point of view that its results are always the product of a contagious deception, the victims of which have unconsciously mistaken fiction for fact. Only then can the cult phenomenon be examined with genuine objectivity.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  22. Thanks so much for the info. One of my friends just came over to my house and asked me to join Lyoness today. She had done similar things before, but I always refuse her. Personally, I don't believe this kind of model and I don't like it either. Even if they are able to make money, the money would be from recruiting friends and family members. It seems to be so wrong to me. I was looking for more info about this Lyoness company so that I can refuse her again and not making her feel so bad. Luckily, I found some good info here. Thanks very much!

    1. Anonymous - You make a very good point: For what sort of person wants to profit-financially from their friends and relations?

      However, pernicious groups like 'Lyoness' program their core-adherents to believe that by recruiting, they are not only helping themselves to achieve 'total financial freedom,' but also everyone whom they recruit. This is why you should never accept the word of anyone deeply-involved with an 'income opportunity' cult. Classically, these deluded people often swear blind that are 'making money,' but they systematically see this type of false anecdotal statement to be perfectly justifiable.

      Hopefully, your friend has not arrived at this level of folly.

      That said, remember that your friend's self-righteous belief in the 'Lyoness income opportunity' is probably quite genuine, whilst 'Lyoness' itself is a 'capitalist' version of an age-old 'Utopian' fairy story - designed to fit the spirit of the times.

      When trying to reason with your friend, it might be helpful to remind her that, in life, it is your real friends who always tell you the truth (no matter how painful this might be): it is your enemies who smile sweetly and tell you ego-building lies.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  23. Dear All,

    Please, please, please do not invest your hard earned CASH in Lyoness.... in Europe its all over the TV, as a SCAM. I had the misfortune to FALL FOR THE DREAM and invest my money into the company last year. During the course of my relationship with the company (Lyoness) I have raised the issues of initial and continued misrepresentation by company officials with senior members of staff on various occasions verbally and in writing. To date there has been no remedy or in most cases even the courtesy of a reply to my concerns.

    Lyoness Corporate Staff and Board Directors of the USA, United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and Asia have been made aware of my concerns and yet only Steffen Mueller, CEO of Lyoness Asia Ltd has acknowledged this stating;
    ‘You are right here is a lack of communication.’

    The biggest LIE or mis-communication is the promise of the NATIONAL MEDIA MARKETING PROGRAMMES. This is used to HOOK new members in with promises of CUSTOMERS for FREE!

    Clearly, there is either a lack of concern or negligence on behalf of the company and its staff in relation to the misleading information, in particular the Lyoness Media Campaigns of phase 3, that we were given to entice me into joining the company and unwittingly passed onto my own contacts when presenting the Lyoness Business to them. This has led to over 8,000 Members joining Lyoness, which has netted over $9,000,000.00 (Nine Million Dollars) to Lyoness in down payments against partially paid invoices.

    Ive now left the company and am seeking legal remedy via my lawyer under:
    Unfair and deceptive trade practices,
    Illegal pyramid scheme,
    Fraudulent inducement,
    RICO claims.

    You may wish to know there are also CLASS ACTIONS starting in the USA, UK, AUSTRALIA and FRANCE.

    Please stay clear of this company, its no more a real business than Charles Ponzis business was. The whole thing is a lie, the company only want you to invest money in units. THINK ABOUT it they have been in business for 10 years and only have 20,000 Small to medium sized business as merchants. Furthermore, the BIG NAMES they bost about..... well they dont have contracts with any of them. Its just affiliate deals online which you can all sign up to yourself.

    1. Thank-you, for this anonymous testimony which doesn't surprise me in the least. However, I'm very curious to know who you are and if you have tried to file a complaint with any regulatory, or law enforcement, agency?

      I presume you are in the USA or Canada (due to your reference to RICO).

      If you would like to send me your e-mail address as a comment, this will not be posted.

    2. I have the latest TV show 'report' about Lyoness with English subtitles, would you like it? If so where shall I send it..... everyone needs to see this.

    3. Thanks.

      Please send your e-mail address to this Blog (this will not be published) and we can then correspond off-line. You could also try posting the 'Lyoness' Television show on 'You-Tube' and send the link to 'MLM The American Dream made Nightmare.'

  24. Hello,

    I´m very happy that I found this blog and got from here lot´s of intresting facts about this company- thank you.
    Lyoness has been entered into Estonia (November 2012) and now very aggressively trying to find "sponsors". Some my familiars are fallen into the trap of them.
    Now I feel mission to inform Estonian people that this is a trick and they should keep away from it.
    Actually I have question- is it really so that you can´t stop the contract woth them ? I´m asking because this was the information what I got but for me seems it absolutely illegal.

    1. Anonymous - When you stop to think for moment: Why should anyone believe any statement made by these lying 'Lyoness' racketeers?

      Usually, 'Income Opportunity' racketeers offer their victims contracts which contain hidden, impressive-sounding (but ultimately, unenforceable) legalistic clauses which are designed to fool the victims into believing that they cannot make complaint outside of their organization and that they are obliged to enter into an internal system of dispute resolution.

      When the wider picture is examined, these gagging-clauses have obviously been an attempt to obstruct justice and, as such, they should be seen as being part of an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  25. You mention Amway and Herbal life. Are you saying that they are also scams?

    1. Anonymous - The fact that you are asking this question demonstrates that you have not read the contents of this Blog.

      I have not only openly condemned 'Amway' and 'Herbalife' as variations of the same blame-the-victim, cultic scam, but also as being examples of a form of ongoing, major racketeering activity (as defined by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970).

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  26. A sadly-deluded fellow has sent me a threatening comment today in which typically he pretends moral and intellectual authority (even though he cannot spell, or punctuate, simple English, and he doesn't understand the difference between slander and libel), but he didn't care to leave his name.

    He says:

    'Sorry Mr. David Brear but Im calling bullshit on this blog... Small Business in Lyoness here in the U.S. are seeing an increase in new loyal customers. So it works as long as its done right and educated properly. As for the business opportunity as you probably know because you seem like such an expert on the subject and how the commisions get paid. If someone purchases a car at a loyalty merchant and the loyalty benefits creates units commisions are paid. Its simple the more you feed the economy the more rewards you get back.... Things have changed to keep everything legal based on a countries certain laws thats obvious and any business would do so. I am sorry to inform you but after 10 years and 2.6 million members and growing your speculation and Slander on a company name may end you up in a lawsuite and prison. Give facts sir not jargan about fairy tales and your opinions.

    If you could give me proof that the child and family foundation is not real then cool. If you can show me that commisions and Friendship Bonuses do not get paid then cool. But you have failed to do that I get paid everytime someone shops and that money is paid by the merchant feel free to email me and we can chat further about this. This goes for anyone on this blog lets chat share ideas and concerns I will show you what I know thats all I can simply do.'


    I Googled the e-mail address and found this:

    'My name is Steven Melo and I am a young Entrepreneur and Independent Business Representative for Lyoness America the worlds Largest Community of shoppers. I am 24 years old and have lived in Chino my entire life went to school at Chino High School. Once in college I decided to make a career in Firefighting then I was introduced to the wonderful world of networking and have been professionally building relationships for the last 2 years. I love making new friends feel free to email me @ or shoot me a text or call @ (909)-539-8005'


    Regular readers of this Blog will know that it is the stated policy of the administrator that cultic bullshit (in the form of scripted comments) is never published (without detailed qualification or heavy irony). However, I'd like to take this opportunity to ask this self-styled 'young Entrepeneur and Independent Business Representative' what quantifiable evidence can he produce to support his ego-building financial fantasies, and under what criminal law, and in which country, he imagines that I might get prosecuted and sent to prison for daring to challenge the authenticity of the tediously-familiar 'Income Opportunity' fairy story entitled 'Lyoness'?

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

  27. Yet another anonymous person who pretends moral and intellectual authority, has tried to post two thoughtless comments on this Blog. First of all, he/she claims to be an unbiased observer who understands my 'concerns about Lyoness members,' but he/she then goes on to object to my accurate description of 'Lyoness' pay-through-the-nose-to-enter-mass-meetings, as 'orgies of deluded self-gratification,' and says:

    '.... if Lyoness members really are pumped up so that they are allways positive and working for a better future: what's bad in that? It's better to live joyfully than miserably without hope for a better tomorrow.'

    This has to be amongst the most morally and intellectually-feeble commentaries that this blog has ever received, or ever will receive. The childish twit who wrote it, should hang his/her head in shame; for in the adult world of quantifiable reality, 'Lyoness' is merely the latest label hung over the entrance to an age-old trap in which ill-informed victims are whipped up into a frenzy of deluded self-gratification and then peddled false hope. When the worst 'Lyoness' victims finally re-enter reality, they are invariably destitute and dissociated from all their previous social contacts. Some of them are suicidal.

    This commentator's reasoning is, therefore, the same as defending the sale of heroine on the grounds that, intitially, heroine addicts appear to be perfectly happy.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

  28. The following policy statement is in response to the anonymous person who today has kept trying to post 'Lyoness' bullshit on this Blog:

    Thoughtful comments are welcome on 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare.' However, it is the considered policy of the administrators of this Blog not to publish (without detailed qualification or heavy irony) the reality-inverting comments, and/or childish insults, of intellectually-castrated cult adherents, i.e. formally free-thinking persons whose critical and evaluative faculties now do not function, and who merely spout scripted-drivel which has been fed to them by their handlers.

  29. Hello David,

    At the moment is situation so that Lyoness has been entered also to Baltic´s (Lithuania and Estonia). In Lithuania they are very active and now pushing things also in Estonia.
    When I heard about Lyoness first time then didn´t took it very serios and something in my heart said that it´s bit strange business and there should some kind a trick.
    Since this Lyoness is very active here now and some my frends are alredy fallen into their lie. To open their eyes and to prevent that other my frends, familiars etc. don´t follow them then I´m trying to find bit more information about this Lyoness.
    I have read your blog and all comments what different people have posted here and also I have reviewed some other sites.
    My question is what I should tell to my friends ? I´m asking because they woun´t belive if I say: Lyoness is a scam and don´t have any business with them.
    They will ask facts because they have invested money alredy in Lyoness system.
    Thanks a lot for help. If needed then I can send my e-mail address.

    1. Anonymous - Amongst the identifying characteristics of 'income opportunity' rackets like 'Lyoness,' is the fact that the systems they offer are so complicated, that no one can really understand them. Also, victims will often display an arrogant certainty that, even though they can't really exlain how their 'income opportunity' works, other people have made lots of money and, therefore, they are not being defrauded.

      There are many ways to try to get your friends' critical and evaluative faculties working again, but I would strongly advise you to maintain a sense of humour and to appeal to their common-sense.

      You could ask them very basic questions like:

      - Do you actually understand how the 'Lyoness' system is supposed to work?
      - Doesn't the 'Lyoness' system sound far too good to be true?
      - Have you ever seen any real evidence (like income-tax payment receipts) proving that ordinary participants can make a net-profit out of 'Lyoness?'
      - Before you signed your contract with 'Lyoness' (and gave the organization your money), did you seek independent legal/financial advice?

      Please feel free to send me your e-mail address (this will not be posted). I am particularly interested to correspond with people from the Baltic who have encountered the 'Lyoness' racket.

  30. Hi , I am bit surprised on seeing in this blog about the lyoness scam. Can anyone tell me where is the scam. I am not supporting lyoness. I just want to know more, may be I might have missed something. I am in Australia, I joined as a free member and after recommending some new members I am starting to see money coming into my account. Though there is not many participating merchants right now, but there are many new merchants joining day by day so it looks promising. So far for me it looks transparent. I don't recommend my new members to upgrade to premium members until I understand fully how it works and also I have not yet upgraded to premium member. So before that I just want to know more. Can anyone tell me where is the scam.

    1. John - At first, you say that 'Lyoness' looks transparent, but then you admit that you don't (yet) fully-understand how the next stage of 'Lyoness' works.

      I presume that before you signed up for the first (allegedly 'free') stage of 'Lyoness,' you didn't seek independent legal, and/or financial, advice.

      Surely, at this point, loud alarm bells ought to be ringing.

      You ask: where is the scam?; but if you just stop for a moment and ask yourself the following common-sense questions, you will see it:

      If we persuade ten wide-eyed children each to place ten dollars on a table (by telling them that we know a 'secret magical/mathematical formula' which can enable them to get back more money than they paid in), unless we have super-human powers, how can we divide up the resulting one hundred dollars so that each excited child can actually get back more than he/she contributed in the first place?

      Bearing that in mind:

      Where are all the funds going to come from to pay out profits to the excited adult participants in the next stage of the so-called 'Lyoness Income Opportunity?'

      Obviously, these funds could only come from recruiting more and more wide-eyed participants ad infinitum. Thus, lurking behing the 'Lyoness Cash Back' bait, is a dissimulated closed-market swindle, or pyramid scam, which is based on peddling the self-perpetuating, crackpot, pseudo-economic theory that endless-chain recruitment + endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits.

      The mass-meetings which many thousands of excited 'Lyoness' core-adherents have paid-through-the-nose to attend (in the false-expectation of learning secrets vital to achieving success), have also generated many millions of tax-free dollars for the bosses of the 'Lyoness' racket.

      I don't know if you are a fisherman, but, from your comment, I think that you are now beginning to realize that 'Lyoness' is a labyrinthine series of nets in which you are one of many fish who are not only nibbling on the bait, but also attracting other fish to come and join you.

      Although you are still in the entrance to this labyrinth, you (or some of those you attract) might be tempted to swim further inside until a point is reached where you will not be able to find your way out, undamaged. Furthermore, you will always be given the illusion that you are making a free choice. Thus, when you have lost your cash, you will be told that you have absolutely no right to complain, because no one forced you to join 'Lyoness'

      All these blame-the-victim 'Income Opportunity' rackets (and there are literally thousands of them) are based on luring ill-informed people with an tasty lie which they want, and/or need, to believe is true. The lie is always essentially the same, but it can be seasoned with all-manner of impressive-sounding mathematical, and commercial, hocus-pocus. This hocus-pocus has been maliciously designed to shut down your critical, and evaluative, faculties so that you will only react like a child, using your instincts and emotions. Eventually, your ego will prevent you from facing the reality that you are just another open-mouthed little fish who swallowed the 'Income Opportunity' bait.

      Finally, if you find yourself getting angry at my common-sense explanation of the 'Lyoness' racket, then, sadly, your ego is already impairing the function of your critical, and evaluative, faculties.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    2. Despite repeated warnings, a thoughtless fellow (signing himself 'Osman Togay') has today tried to dump another unsolicited load of scripted, 'Lyoness' bullshit on this Blog, including the familiar, specious argument that 'Lyoness is a trading scheme and not a pyramid scheme,' and that if I only understood how the 'Lyoness binary system' works, I too could be making lots of money.

      Typically, other than trying to deceive us with the impressive-sounding, but absurd, pseudo-economic term, 'binary system,' this funny fellow, 'Osman Togay,' doesn't care to explain exactly where all the miraculous money is going to be coming from to keep paying out endless profits to the endless-chain of 'Lyoness' participants.

      In reality, 'Lyoness is a very obvious closed-market swindle, or pyramid fraud, dissimulated as a 'trading scheme' - for the simple reason that the so-called 'Lyoness income opportunity' has had no significant, or sustainable, source of revenue other than its own losing participants.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  31. Readers might be amused to learn that 'Osman Togay' has not given up in his quest to convert me to his crackpot belief that, in 'Lyoness,' a finite quantity of money can be infinite.

    'Osman' has now informed me that the revenue in the so-called 'Lyoness income opportunity' is coming from:

    'the cash rebate percentage from merchants which are also members of Lyoness.'

    With an irony that is almost exquisite, 'Osman' goes on to say

    'I hope this is more clear for you and if you would get involved bit more you will be surprise with the math.'

    Surprised! I'm totally astounded!; for this intellectually-castrated fellow doesn't seem to realize that, contained in his latest scripted bullshit, is confirmation of my common-sense analysis that the only source of revenue in the so-called 'Lyoness Income Opportunity' is its own participants.

    The only other explanation is that the bosses of 'Lyoness,' and/or their so-called 'merchant members,' have superhuman powers which enable them to produce cash out of thin air.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

  32. interested global citizen14 April 2013 at 00:05

    Hello David - in the article in L'Hebdo / Switzerland, 16 feb. 2012, by Clement Bürge it is stated that "the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs [SECO] will soon be able to get involved ..... From 1st April, the change in competition law will provide SECO with new legal powers, which will finally allow it to seize the files. When contacted by L'Hebdo, SECO said it could not rule before the new law comes into force. But the lawyer in charge of the Swiss case revealed: "Lyoness is frightened, and is seeking to move its headquarters to Luxembourg before the deadline." Lyoness was contacted several times at its bases in Switzerland and Austria, but refused to respond to our questions."

    Furthermore the article states " ... the ... Lyoness Child and Family Foundation ... is used to move money from one country to another. But nobody really knows where his money comes from and where it goes," said Eric Breiteneder."

    Please inform me of progress made by SECO, whether Lyoness have moved their HeadQuarters, and what is the status of the Lyoness Child and Family Foundation. Has a case being brought against Lyoness by SECO (or anyone else), and if so I would appreciate any verifiable FACTS (only) about the company and the case that are available, including but not limited to the suspicion raised in the article about the Lyoness Child and Family Foundation. Thank you

    Kind regards, an interested global citizen

    1. Thank-you for your interest, but I would prefer to respond to such specific questions about the mystifying labyrinth of corporate structures known as 'Lyoness,' off-line; so if you would please send me your e-mail address in the form of a comment (this will not be published).

      I would say this, however: - From my own extensive investigations of cultic groups (and particularly those running blame-the-victim 'Income Opportunity/ Prosperity Gospel' frauds), their instigators can continue to organize the creation, and/or dissolution, and/or subversion, of further (apparently independent) corporate structures pursuing lawful, and/or unlawful, enterprises in order to prevent, and/or divert, investigation and isolate themselves from liability.

      Once you understand this fact, it becomes immediately apparent that groups like 'Lyoness' are criminogenic (i.e. they produce crime and they are the product of crime) and that they cannot be successfuly tackled by law enforcement agents and prosecutors, who don't fully comprehend the real function of counterfeit corporate structures which have been built specifically to obstruct justice.

      In the the USA, this type of ongoing, major, organized crime group has been partially identified, and defined, in law by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970.

      When the wider evidence is examined (with intellectual rigour), the labyrinth of corporate structures known as 'Lyoness' (including the 'Child and Family Foundation'), is revealed as having been created with the proceeds of fraud in order to continue to commit fraud and to obstruct justice.

      It is, therefore, a pointless-excercise to investigate, or even to prosecute, the related-enterprises of the individual, counterfeit, corporate constituents of the criminogenic 'Lyoness' labyrinth, in isolation.

      Indeed, this is exactly what the bosses of the 'Lyoness' racket have planned for.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  33. Victims of the Lyoness racket are welcome to visit the Lyoness Complaint Centre at

  34. You may want to know that Lyoness Hungary is now also under investigation by the Government in Hungary. ... 9_doc = 8132
    Looks like everyone will loose their money.

  35. Even when presented with hard evidence, the Lyoness acolytes I know would not be swayed one bit. That is shocking, frightening and sad. It is also indicative of cult-like brainwashing.
    I have taken it upon myself to contact the corporate offices of some of the large retailers with which Lyoness purports to have a business partner relationship. So far, I've found none who have ever heard of the scheme.
    Those of you in the United States please contact the Federal Trade Commission in Wash. DC @877-382-4357. Let's tip over the first domino here.

    1. Thanks Anonymous - You have hit the nail on the head.

      The deluded core-adherents of 'income opportunity' cults like 'Lyoness' have been brainwashed. i.e. They have mistaken an 'us versus them' fiction for fact and their critical, and evaluative, faculties no longer function. Indeed, the deluded core-adherents of all 'Income opportunity' cults will stand and argue toe to toe with concerned individuals who try to reason with them in an effort to bring them back to external reality.

      Although the cult phenomenon is generally considered to be connected only with crack-pot groups presented as 'religions,' in reality almost any form of human association can be used to camouflage cultic racketeering - 'political', 'commercial', 'cultural', etc.

      If you have read the contents of my Blog, you will be aware that I also contacted most of the big traditional commercial companies listed as 'Lyoness Loyalty Partners' in Europe, and I also discovered that their legal Depts. had never heard of 'Lyoness.'

      Although it is good start for American victims of the 'Lyoness' racket to file complaints with the FTC, in the end this is not a job for commercial regulators; for mind-bending cultic gangs of thieves, like 'Lyoness', 'Amway', 'Herbalife', 'Nu Skin', 'Forever Living Products', 'USANA', etc., are not, and never will be, businesses (in the traditional sense of the word).

      I would be interested to communicate with you off-line, so if you want to send your e-mail address as a comment (this will not be published).

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  36. hi david
    hello from beautiful cape town , south africa.
    just to let you know i also joined as a free member ! however, i refused to
    part with my hard earned money [ r 20000 ] to purchase units. lyoness also
    claim to be affiliated to woolworths / pick & pay etc.
    i telephoned woolworths head office to query abount lyoness --- no one in head office has heard of lyoness !!!!

    furthermore , its a tragedy when working class people must part with there
    hard earned money in the hope of earning thousands more !!

    this will never happen.
    reminds me of skybiz 2000 and asd.
    my final comment : lyoness is a scam !
    thanks and kind regards cape town

    1. Thanks Anonymous from Cape Town.

      I have described 'income opportunity' cultic racketeering as a tragicomedy, because, apart from its horrific results, it would be nothing more than a sick joke.

      You have probably noticed that the identical evidence about the so-called 'Lyoness loyalty Partners,' is coming in to this Blog from all over the world, but when you try to explain this ugly truth to deluded 'Lyoness' adherents, they are programmed to believe that 'it's all a pack of lies being put about on the Net. by commercial competitors.'

      The 'Lyoness' racketeers even have a brainwashing document which is issued to doubting-victims, in order to prevent them from facing reality and complaining. This 'Lyoness' document in itself, is an obstruction of justice and, as such, it forms part of an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  37. I just watched the Dragon's Den video. It's too bad the Lyoness pitchman wasn't more articulate and better prepared. Had he been so, it would have made an even more powerful statement against the scheme. I went to the CBC website and read the comments. All but one were from Lyoness members who were, typically, unfazed by the opinions of 5 multi-millionaire business experts. The level of delusion here is absolutely pathetic.

    1. Anonymous- I'm sure you can see that, although 'Lyoness' is not presented as a 'religion,' what we are dealing with here, are child-like persons who have a non-rational, blind faith in a form of secure future paradise - where no one works, but everyone is prosperous, happy, healthy and free.

      I classify groups like 'Lyoness' as pernicious cults: i.e. self-perpetuating, non-rational ritual belief systems, instigated for the clandestine purpose of human exploitation.

      Sadly, the unquestioning faith of core 'Income Opportunity' cult adherents is quite genuine, but what they believe in, is an absurd, but nonetheless dangerous, fake (constructed with their own money).

      In reality, Hubert Freidl's economic cannon-fodder have been intellectually-castrated by their subjection (without their fully-informed consent) to what is technically defined as a closed-logic, or totalistic, thought reform program. The secret instigation of such a system on ill-informed persons, constitutes a form of psychological experimentation forbidden by the Nuremberg Convention. Totalistic thought reform programs are designed to dissociate persons subjected to them, from external reality and drive them into a psychotic state.

      In simple terms, 'Lyoness' adherents have been conditioned to believe that total financial freedom is only available if they develop an absolute belief that they will obtain total financial freedom.

      Classically, 'Lyoness' fanatics also believe that their own economic salvation depends on saving others.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  38. Nice try Herr Freidl. Of course the Dragon's Den video can still be seen on the Canadian Broadcasting Co. website, and the Austrian news reports can be seen on the ORF.TV site.
    I just ran across something called "Zeek" which appears to be quite similar to Lyoness. Zeek has been the object of a federal investigation in the US and may have already ridden off into the sunset. Reading the comments from Zeek's followers is EXACTLY like reading those from Lyoness's. Zombies are among us and they are legion.

    1. Yes, the US-based reality-inverting 'income opportunity' racket that went by the name of 'Zeek Rewards,' is alarmingly similar to 'Lyoness.'

  39. I hope Guila Fidilio will read this.
    Dear Ms. Fidilio,
    I am an American of Italian descent (and proud of it) who joined Lyoness at the request of a friend and I'd like to answer your post.
    Firstly, I want to note that you refer to Lyoness as "Network Marketing" which in the English language is synonymous with "Multi-Level Marketing. We in the US have been assured over and over again that Lyoness is NOT an MLM. Interesting, no?
    I don't think any of us dispute the fact that one can save money using the Lyoness Cashback Card. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that small part of the program. What we take issue with is the pyramid scheme aspect: bringing in everyone you know at a cost of $3,000 a person. We believe that is where the real money is being generated and that it is unsustainable and probably illegal.
    In the final analysis, it doesn't really matter who David Brear is, because as we say in English, the proof is in the pudding. If you read his blog or visit the Lyoness Complaint Centre or the website of Austrian attorney Eric Breiteneder, you will find all the evidence you need to call the legitimacy of Lyoness into question.
    Buona fortuna.

    1. Thanks Anonymous - for what is important here, is not me, but what I am saying and the way that I'm saying it.

      However, I feel that I must point out that when the 'Lyoness Cashback Card' is examined in isolation, it can appear to be quite harmless and even beneficial to people: in the same way that a piece of cheese can seem quite harmless and beneficial to mice, until you examine the cruel trap on which it is sitting.

      I strongly suspect that this 'Giulia' character is not quite what 'she' appears.

      Judging by its precisely-worded content, 'Giulia's negative versus positive' propaganda bullshit has almost certainly come from the 'Lyoness' Ministry of Truth. Indeed, it's entirely possible that führer Freidl penned this latest chapter of the fairy story himself.

      Notice, particularly, 'Giulia's' practised-use of the devious technique of psychological persuasion known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming. 'Giulia' first attempts to character assassinate me. She then attempts to associate herself and 'Lyoness' with the traditional academic world and with the world of traditional business. Finally, she insists that any statement posted on my Blog which challenges the authenticity of the 'Lyoness' fairy story, is 'negative propaganda.'

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    2. The following is addressed to Giulia Fidilio:

      Thank-you for explaining that you are a 34 year old mother from Verona and not Hubert Freidl in disguise, but unfortunately, even if that is true, you are still parroting your 'Lyoness' führer's words.

      The stated editorial policy of 'The American Dream Made Nightmare,' is that scripted-propaganda promoting/hiding blame-the-victim 'Income Opportunity' rackets, will not be published without detailed qualification or heavy irony. This is for the simple reason that such material has been designed to commit fraud and to prevent the victims of that fraud from facing reality and complaining.

      Thus, although you have accepted (in your most-recent comment) Warren Buffet most certainly does not believe in 'Lyoness' and that fraud (or what you choose to describe as 'a few problems') has been taking place within 'Lyoness,' your further claim that this fraud has been the fault of a few isolated liars within the organization, is a familiar defence of 'income opportunity' racketeers, which has been used by the narcissistic bosses of groups like 'Amway' and 'Herbalife,' for decades.

      Indeed, once you know how blame-the-victim 'Income opportunity' racketeering functions, Hubert Freidl's transparent script (with which he hopes to dodge being held to account), can be predicted with almost total accuracy, and no one should imagine that he/she will be allowed to use it here without being ridiculed.

      Furthermore, Giulia Fidilio, your particularly absurd claim that Lyoness cannot be a fraud, because the company has Italian legal certification, and that it is unfair to say that Italian government officials can be corrupted, is worthy of a stand-up comedey routine.

  40. Giulia Fidilio

    - I have read your recent, thoughtless comments which have not been posted (for obvious reasons) and I have to say that, in view of their content, I stand by my original description of you as being 'intellectually-castrated' - i.e. although you will vehemently deny it, you have nonetheless been subjected, without your fully-informed consent, to co-ordinated devious techniques of social and psychological persuasion designed to shut-down your critical and evaluative faculties.

    The result is that, although you will again vehemently deny it, you are nonetheless currently dependent on the collective 'Lyoness' delusion of moral and intellectual supremacy which has become fundamental to the maintenance of your individual self-esteem/identity and related psychological function.

    Classically, although you try to laugh at others, it has become impossible for you to see humour in your own situation or to empathise with free-thinking, and well-informed, persons like me, whose critical and evaluative faculties are fully-functioning, and who challenge the authenticity of the unoriginal 'Lyoness income opportunity' fairy story.

    Unfortunately, although you have taken great offense at my description of you as deluded, I stand by it, because it is entirely accurate, and your reaction is demonstrative of how 'Income Opportunity' rackets function - i.e. once deceived, the inflated-egos of well-educated persons such as yourself, will not allow them to face the truth that they have fallen for a game of make-believe and that, in turn, they have unconsciously deceived their friends and relatives.

    Your current belief that the CEOs, attorneys, accountants, advisors, etc., of numerous, major, international corporations, Apple, Dell, Sony, Phillips, etc., have all investigated the 'Lyoness income opportunity' and given it their approval, is childish drivel which can be easily tested, just by giving all these companies a call.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

    1. Giulia Fidilio

      Again, your latest comment has not been published, because, once it is is the public domain, it would make it even more dificult (and painful) for you to face reality.

      Unfortunately, whether you are currently capable of understanding or not Giulia, Hubert Freidl has succeeded in temporarily destroying your capacity to think critically, which has made you appear to be foolish.

      I, on the other hand, actually invited you to do some serious thinking and to grow up face realty like an adult.

      If, at any time in the future, you decide to accept my invitation, I will offer you not just my respect, but also my help.

      Please remember these words and take care.

      David Brear

  41. Lyoness Victims here. We have reposted the ORF video with english subtitles as YOU TUBE keep taking it down, due to pressure from Lyoness. You can see video at:
    We are also working on the other 2 videos and having english subtitles added so victims can see all the facts.
    Thanks for all your hard work with this site - the message is getting out there now.

    1. Thank-you 'Lyoness Victims' - you might be interested to know that this particular article, has so far received more than 30 000 page visits.

  42. News from Lyoness Australia. Some members who have invested money have filed a law suit at their local Court House in Sydney against Lyoness. The cracks are getting bigger and the lie is becoming public.

    1. Thank-you for your up-date - if you require further expert opinion for your Australian attorneys concerning exactly what lurks behind the 'Lyoness' front company, please let me know.

      I also feel that you should be contacting certain Australian politicians who have begun to look at exactly the same type of cultic racket as 'Lyoness,' in the very recent past, and who tried (but failed) to launch a major inquiry in Australia.

      Please send me your contact details (these will not be posted).

  43. why do accredited companies join the group? surely they would do there own investigating before joining

    1. Anonymous - I presume that you are asking:

      Why have famous traditional companies joined 'Lyoness?,'

      but this question pre-supposes that this has happened, when, in point of fact, there is no quantifiable evidence that it has.

      The 'Lyoness' racketeers are practised liars who have obtained the use of the names of dozens of major companies simply through purchasing gift vouchers from them directly, or from third-parties.

      If you take the touble to contact the legal Depts. of the companies which have been listed as 'Lyoness Loyalty Partners,' you will discover that they had not heard of 'Lyoness,'let alone investigated its activities.

      In the case of Lego Toys and Carrefour, as soon as their officers were made aware that their names were being used by the 'Lyoness' racketeers to commit fraud, they took immediate steps to withdraw from any existing commercial relationship.

    2. The short answer is they don't.
      Lyoness has been using the names of large corporations to give them an air of legitimacy. Lyoness buys gift cards in bulk from a 3rd party. That's it. There is absolutely no relationship between Lyoness and the major retailers. A few of the largest companies in Europe and Australia have publicly stated this is the case. I have personally contacted corporate offices in the USA of some of the largest retailers with whom Lyoness claims to have agreements and have found none who have ever even heard of Lyoness.
      As to the small businesses, yes, they have paid a fee and entered into an agreement in the hopes of gaining new customers.
      Read this blog, watch the Austrian TV news videos, and visit the site of attorney Eric Breiteneder and you will discover all you need to know about Lyoness.

  44. Mike in Dallas TX .....I was going to join this but no more thnx everyone for the heads up

    1. Thanks Mike - Hopefully you can now see how, as the world economic crisis has deepened, 'Lyoness,' and many other cruel 'income opportunity' rackets, are being tailored to lure unwary private individuals, and the owners of small businesses, into the deluded belief that 'salvation is on hand.'

      Criminals who create and launch computer viruses, risk prison sentences, but, at the moment, the authorities refuse to accept that groups like 'Lyoness' use a form of infectious mind-virus to steal from millions of people and prevent them from complaining.

      In the final analysis, criminals like Hubert Freidl, are inflicting economic and psychological warfare tactics on many millions of ill-informed people around the globe.

      'Cash back card schemes' are just the latest camouflage for 'income opportunity' racketeers, and there are already several copy-cats of 'Lyoness' starting to appear, some of which can be traced back to 'Lyoness.'

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  45. Cape Town has been hit hard by the recruitment side of Lyoness.
    My husband and I were also shown the Lyoness bank accounts from people many levels up, meanwhile the person who wants to recruit us and the person above her have made hardly anything.

    Also the system is so complicated. I like the idea of getting a percentage back....but then they try hook you with ALL the other stuff BUT you should invest if you want to see results....... (Really) much for free to join.

    I would rather stick to getting my 1 % back from pick n pay, dischem and fnb ebuck which I know is guaranteed. That aside the fact that Woolies, P N P don't know anything about Lyoness is also an eye opener.

  46. Wendy - I presume you are aware that Hubert Freidl maliciously infiltrated S. Africa culture by co-opting one of Nelson Mandela's grandsons, and that he subsequently managed to obtain (via the use of this boy and the instigation a childrens' charity front group) a propaganda photograph of himself with Nelson Mandela.

    Freidl's callous exploitation of a sick (and evidently ill-informed) old man, forms part of an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity.

    The fact that Freidl has instigated a cultic racket in which his core-adherents' critical, and evaluative, faculties have been shut down by converting them to a deluded belief in an 'Apartheid/Nazi'-style myth of his own, and his group's, absolute supremacy, makes his clandestine criminal activities in S. Africa, even more grotesque.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

  47. David Brear, are you prepared to stake your house and other assets on your position against Lyoness?

    1. Anonymous 'Lyoness' propagandist (who ever you are) - I am taking this feeble comment as a threat from Hubert Freidl and as another attempt by him to obstruct justice - as such the comment 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)

      If this anonymous, intellectually-castrated and provocative 'Lyoness' propagandist had the capacity to read and digest what I have actually written on this Blog, he/she would have discovered that my position (as he/she chooses to call it) is not 'against' anything.

      On the contrary, I am for the truth and for the re-establishment of the rule of law - namely the deconstruction and rigorous criminal prosecution of all self-perpetuating, esoteric, ritual belief systems instigated, and/or perverted, for the clandestine purpose of human exploitation.

      I must, however, agree with this tedious little 'Lyoness' propagandist's characterization of what is occurring here, as game of poker; for the 'Lyoness' mob are bluffing with a stack of stolen chips and an empty hand. Hubert Freidl's latest transparent tactic, as demonstrated in the above comment, is to threaten to raise the 'stakes' with the filing of malicious lawsuits

      Unfortunately, for the Lyoness' mob, this time they have come up against a much stronger player who is holding the winning hand, and who has already gone 'all in' intellectually and called their absurd bluff.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  48. Hi All, I am from Noosa in QLD, Australia. This is very interesting commentary for me as I have just had a business colleague try to entice me into joining both types of Lyoness with my Small Business and also as a general shopper. I have asked him many of the questions others in this Blog have asked and his replies have been exactly as you say they are. Evasive, hard to understand and unbalanced. "I want to get all of my mates in on the action early". Alarm bells went off when he called me a Mate! I am far from it and is always the sure sign of a Bull shitter, for me. I would also like to make a comment that in running a small business, the percentage of money put into all forms of advertising will never get up to 7% of my turnover which is what Lyoness is declaring as their fee charged to retailers. Woolworths and Harvey Norman would have an even smaller budget, of sales : advertising ratio. So, trying to make me believe that these guys are going to throw 7% of Turnover into Lyoness is absurd. It is bad enough having to cough up the .8 - 3.3% of sales to Credit Card companies/Banks. I do not know of any business who could afford to give away 7% of each sale on top of the usual bank fees of up 3.5% no matter if it is a loyalty program or not. The most you get back from a loyalty program is around 1% maximum and usually much less. How much money do people believe is profit in a retail sale? Total Scammers!

  49. Thanks for your common-sense comment, Anonymous from Australia.

    As you already knew, when bullshit sounds too good to be true, it's because it is too good to be true. However, the belief of 'Lyoness' adherents is quite genuine: it's the bullshit they believe in ( i.e. a proven, step by step plan to achieve 'total financial freedom forever'), that is false.

    As in all 'income opportunity' cultic rackets, deluded 'Lyoness' recruiters are trained to pretend affinity with their prospects. Thus, you have seen how they will suddenly approach you as though you are their best 'mate' in all the world - whom they desperately want to help out of the kindness of their hearts.

    If you refuse to sign up, and particularly if you criticize or ridicule 'Lyoness,' its most-deluded recruiters will immediately stop treating you as their best 'mate;' for they are programmed like robots to exclude 'negative prospects' from their lives as 'stupid and cowardly losers' who are a danger to their own future financial redemption. However, if you agree to sign up, and particularly if you hand over thousands of dollars, the 'negative versus positive Lyoness' game of make-believe will systematically portray you as a 'wise and courageous future winner.'

    As you deduced, the impossibly-complex, and generous, 'Lyoness cash back' bullshit, is just a mystifying smokescreen. In the adult world of quantifiable reality, the overwhelming majority of money that has flowed into 'Lyoness' (99.7%), has come from the losing investments of its deluded adherents. To date, in this way, hundreds of millions of dollars of unlawful payments (which were based on the false expectation of future reward) have been laundered as future purchases (based on value and demand).

    It's quite extraordinary how someone like yourself, a small business owner in Australia, can immediately smell that 'Lyoness' is an absurd scam, but teams of highly-paid Austrian regulators, have (so far) completely failed to comprehend how the scam functions - even though the explanation is widely-available for free on the Net. Sadly, regulators, get paid whether they achieve results or not.

    It, therefore, might be a good idea to expose regulators to the reality of the free-market (which they all claim to be in favour of), by paying them only on results.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

  50. Another Stupid South African here: Reading all these comments is scaring the proverbial out of me...
    Hindsight is 20/20 I guess we should have been more careful and done more research before not only joining; but handing over cash to become Premium members! The problem is that Lyoness has taken off so successfully in South Africa, the growth has been phenomenal. There are many individuals who are willing to share their success stories, they show the proof of the returns .. Big sums of money earned out of the system; making believers out of all of us. The dilemma is what now, it becomes clear that any down payments will be lost. Unless like an abuser, one continues to recruit fellow members in the hope that they too make down payments and the initial 'investment' (we are not allowed to use that term) is recouped!? It is Gross and goes against the grain to treat not only friends but other human beings this way!

  51. Anonymous from S. Africa - Thanks for your honesty.

    Fuhrer Freidl knows full well that, due to fear embarrassment, shame, etc., only a tiny minority of fraud victims ever come forward to complain, and that without sufficient complaint, criminal activities never get investigated. Thus, it is a huge mistake to believe that you were 'stupid' to fall for the 'Lyoness' scam, because that's exactly what Fuhrer Freidl wants you to believe.

    What you might have been shown as 'proof of returns in the Lyoness income opportunity' racket (i.e. bank statements, cars, houses, rolex watches, etc.) probably wouldn't stand up to rigorous investigation. The only quantifiable evidence that money really has been earned lawfully from a viable business venture, is several years of audited, income-tax payment receipts.

    When asked to produce income-tax payment receipts, 'income opportunity' schills invariably throw up their hands in horror and steadfastly pretend that 'no one would ever divulge such private documents.' In reality, if anyone was to sell a failing traditional business by pretending that it was 'a profitable going concern,' whilst deliberately withholding the quantifiable evidence from the buyer that the business was, in fact, failing, then the seller would be committing criminal fraud.

    Thus, in 'Lyoness,' and other 'income opportunity' rackets, the victims are also the perpetrators.

    Sadly, this is another reason why most 'income opportunity' victims prefer to remain silent.

    David Brear (copyright 2013)

  52. The Lyoness racket in SA has lost 4 of its biggest retailers in the past 3 weeks.
    Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Foschini group and others have ALL stopped selling gift cards to Lyoness.
    The ONLY revenue that could possibly have been driven through to the network is from premium member signups and this makes it a 100% pyramid scheme. Hope the liquidators claw it all back!
    The Sunday Times had a full page on the subject last week in the Consumer section.

  53. No substantial entry on this site for over two months. It would appear that the anti-Lyoness chorus has run out of music!

    1. Charles Costello - You sadly-deluded fellow, - since the self-perpetuating, blame-the victim 'Income Opportunity' racket commonly-known as 'Lyoness,' is only a small part of an ongoing criminogenic phenomenon, I suggest you take a long hard look at the rest of this Blog.

      You will find that contrary to what you steadfastly pretend, numerous articles have, in fact, been posted in the last few months by me; including this, October 25th.:

      If you then take the trouble to investigate further, you will discover that the 'Lyoness' racket is actually mentioned in documents submitted (along with a petition drafted by an attorney, Douglas Brooks, and signed by over 1000 concerned persons) to the US Government.

      Try also reading this recent article about 'Scientology:'

      I invite you to confront the ego-destroying fact that organizations exist (known as cults), the self-appointed leaders of which, seek to control the reality of their followers by cutting them of from all external sources of information, in order to exploit them.

      To core-Scientologists, exactly as in the case of core-'Lyoness' adherents, no matter what evidence is produced proving that they are the victims of a cruel deception, their minds are programmed to reject the truth as 'a pack of lies.'

      If at any time in the future Charles Costello, you manage to re-enter reality and your critical, and evaluative, faculties begin functioning again, please feel free to contact me.

      There is no shame in having the courage to admit to being the victim of a fraud: the shame lies in refusing to face up to reality.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  54. It's impossible to argue with these people, David. Trust me, I know from experience. Don't forget, unlike in other countries, here in the USA Lyoness "isn't an MLM". Therefore, the Lyoness acolytes will give no credence to the petition. I cannot wait for the day the FTC shuts this distasteful sham down. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for your support Anonymous.

      Of particular note here, is the Irish name, 'Costello.'

      The mutant strain of the 'MLM Income Opportunity' virus known as 'Lyoness,' has been particularly dangerous in the Irish Republic - a country that has suffered more than most during the current world economic crisis.

      Last year, I had a disturbing telephone conversation with a deeply-deluded Irish businesswoman who was totally convinced that 'Lyoness' was not only going to save the Irish econmy, but also save the entire world economy.

      About 10 years ago, I had contact with a celebrated Northern Irishman, Ivan Cooper. The courageous, former civil rights leader and non-sectarian politician, who had organised the peaceful demonstration which turned into the 'Bloody Sunday' massacre. At the time I encountered him, Ivan Cooper had abandoned his more public roles, and was an insolvency practitioner. In this professional capacity, he was representing a group of bankrupt 'Amway' victims including a former 'Diamond Leader'.

      All of the common-sense warnings which Ivan Cooper was quoted as giving about 'Amway/MLM' in the Irish press back then, equally apply to 'Lyoness' today.

  55. Thought you'd be interested to know that Walmart is no longer a "loyalty Partner" with Lyoness USA. It goes without saying Lyoness did not exclude THEM, obviously, as Walmart has been their biggest draw here from the very beginning.

  56. Can anyone explain why Lyoness USA members "invest" thousands of dollars in foreign markets? If one has to recruit others to the program in order to make money, what is the motivation for throwing money at Brazil or Asia, for example? Obviously it would be difficult, impossible really, to recruit people who live overseas. How are premium members supposed to generate income this way? I'm still racking my brain over this highly convoluted system, trying to figure out every aspect of it.
    Secondly, what has happened to the Complaint Centre? It's been a long time since they posted anything.

  57. Anonymous, you might as well ask why, at the beginning of the 18th century, 30 000 people in Britain (including famous scientists, mathematicians, politicians, bankers, lawyers, authors, actors musicians, landowners, members of the clergy, etc.) all lost their money by 'investing' it in an incomprehensible, but unviable, 'overseas income opportunity,' fronted by the so-called 'South Sea Company.'

    In the USA, and elsewhere, Hubert Freidl and his gang, have been peddling fake shares in non-existent projected-profits which they have steadfastly pretended will derive lawfully from 'Lyoness' expansion into the world's most-populous countries in S. America and Asia.

    Behind this unoriginal financial fairy story and economic hocus-pocus, the only significant source of revenue flowing into the so-called 'Lyoness system,' has been it own deluded participants. Just like the deluded victims of the South Sea Bubble instigators, Charles Ponzi, Bernie Madoff etc., 'Lyoness' victims have been deceived into buying 'infinite' shares in their own finite money.

    The fact that the 'Lyoness system' is so convoluted that you cannot immediately understand it, has already rung alarm bells, but what you have not yet grasped is the fact that, ultimately, the 'Lyoness system' has been maliciously designed to become progressively-incomprehensible in order to shut down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of its victims.

    Once you understand the above simple truth, it becomes immediately obvious that it is a dangerous waste of time trying to figure out every aspect of the mind-numbing 'Lyoness' game of make-believe. Indeed, this is the equivalent of a hypnotist asking a subject to start at ten thousand and then count backwards.

    By the way, the 'Lyoness Complaint Centre' is still in operation and some important news is about to break concerning the 'Lyoness' racket being kicked out of a European country after an investigation by gambling regulators.

    David Brear (copyright 2014)

  58. I understood what Lyoness is all about long ago, David. Nevertheless, when one has people close to her throwing money at this thing, well, that is what becomes hard to grasp. It becomes personal, if you know what I mean. The level of brain washing necessary to "throw good money after bad" is terribly frightening. I am anxiously awaiting the news from Europe, and I hope it is a country in western Europe which has close ties to the USA.

    1. Anonymous - Sadly, the most fanatical core- 'income opportunity' cult adherents, have been dissociated from external reality.

      Currently, I'm in contact with a middle-aged lady (a university-educated teacher) in Europe, who has watched her (now) former husband (another university educated person) destroy himself and his family, after falling for an 'income opportunity' cult.

      Amazingly, this guy has been enslaved since the mid-1990s. He's financed his economically-suicidal activity by going massively into debt. Yet even now, after almost 20 years of nothing but losses, this guy still cannot be reasoned with.

  59. I had the displeasure today of listening to their pitch in a personal one-on-one session with one of their "business developers". I explained at the outset that since my company has developed a suite of mobile applications, including a dictaphone feature, that I would be recording the session.

    The presenter immediately objected saying that he would then have to taper his pitch down and as a result I switched it off. Half way into his utterly misleading presentation I upped and left.

    You have to be blind not to recognize this for the massive scam that it is. Pure and simple bullshit.


  60. Thanks for your common-sense, Anonymous.

    For my own records, I'm always interested to talk to people (off-line) who have encounted 'income opportunity' cult recruiters. If you want to send your contact details as a comment, these will not be published. I'm particularly interested to know what country your exerience took place in, and what you think of the almost total absence of legislators, law enforcement, and the mainstream media, when it comes to challenging these pernicious rackets.

  61. Re: The Investigation in Norway
    It seems to me that once Lyoness has been in a country long enough, they will probably always be able to meet the 50% rule. At some point, they will have exhausted the supply of recruits. When that happens, the money will come from shopping. The big money will have already been made by those at the top. These guys are so damn clever! They have truly thought of everything!
    I don't know if the 50% rule is an international criterion for evaluating these schemes, but if it is, then the only way Lyoness will ever be stopped is if a country launches an investigation early enough.
    What are your thoughts, David? And have you heard anything further about what's going on in Australia?

  62. Anonymous - The Norwegian rule of 50% revenue coming from retail sales is generally in line with other regulators internationally, but classically, regulators make little attempt to explain what they mean by the vague term, 'retail sales.' Yet this criteria is vital to understanding how this type of major cultic racketeering activity functions.

    Authentic retail sales are always based on value and demand rather than on the expectation of future reward, whereas pyramid schemes are always based on the false expectation of future reward.

    No one seriously disputes that it is effectively impossible to generate an overall net profit by participating in 'Lyoness,' but a significant minority of losing participants have been persuaded to believe that anyone can achieve financial freedom in 'Lyoness' by exactly duplicating a plan.

    The economically and psychologically suicidal 'Lyoness' plan comprises handing over your cash to the organization whilst developing a 100% totally positive mind set (i.e. blind belief) and recruiting everyone you know to duplicate the same economically and psychologically suicidal 'Lyoness' plan, etc. ad infinitum

    Observe how the Norwegian regulators have failed publicly to answer the one common sense question: the answer to which actually begins to reveal the danger lurking behind 'Lyoness'.

    What would be your reaction if a member of your own family, or a close friend, suddenly told you that he/she had signed up with 'Lyoness?'

    Clearly, the 'Lyoness' bosses have set up a classic, cultic blame-the victim racket which was deliberately designed to prevent ,and/or divert, regulatory investigation and isolate them from liability.

    Self-evidently, 'Lyoness' is itself not a retailer and has had no significant, or sustainable, source of revenue other than its own participants.

    The core-participants' losing investment payments (made on the false expectation of future reward) have been laundered as 'retail sales.'

    Perhaps the Australians will be able to look beyond the 'Cash Back' jargon and all the mathematical mystification, and work out how the 'Lyoness' racket functions, In order to do so, I would suggest that they look at the 'KKK' in the 1920s or the 'Nazi Party' prior to 1933. Like 'Lyoness,' both these cultic organizations were tailored to fit the spirit of the times, and their bosses peddled their deluded core-adherents a plan to achieve places in a secure future Utopian existence.

    In cults, the economically and psychologically suicidal plan to build Utopia, always comprises handing over your cash to the organization whilst developing a 100% totally positive mind set (i.e. blind belief) and recruiting everyone you know to duplicate the same economically and psychologically suicidal plan, etc. ad infinitum.

    Sadly, when faced with cults disguised as 'companies offering income opportunities', regulators have little idea what they confronted with, but instead of telling the truth and admitting to their ignorance, regulators have had a tendency to run up the white flag.

  63. Thank you, David, for your intelligent and critical evaluation of Lyoness, as this organisation is now targeting individuals in Western Australia, where I reside, and thus the scam continues. My hope is that people in this state read your Blog and decide not to join and, more importantly, do not part with any of their hard-earned cash to line the pockets of Hubert Freidl and his cronies.

  64. Anonymous - Thanks for your support.

    Have you tried to file a complaint yourself?

    One person you might consider contacting, is Australian Senator, Nick Xenophon.

    Behind its commercial facade, the 'Lyoness' racket is remarkably similar to the 'Scientology' racket, and Xenophon has been demanding an Australia government inquiry into 'Scientology' as a form of organised crime.

    If you want to send me your contact details in a comment, these will not be posted.

    Kindest regards

  65. Lyoness in NZ has now morph into Lyconet here if Lyoness is so great then why the name change
    business change ?
    I recently meet Lindsay Cotton, one of the local High achievers in Lyoness, that man going places
    He wants to be it,
    I have various concerns about both Lyoness and Lyconet, One fact that sent warning bells, was about such name changes, if the Company was all it claims, why then the name change ?
    Having not read enought evidence to convince me that the Company 100% legimate, I would rather
    Sit on the side lines and watch others get ritch, if that is the case.
    My gut says no, my wallet says yes, so in the meantime I am sticking with my gut.
    An aquantace, is so hooked by the whole idea all she can see is the $$$$$$$$$ signs, reason
    Goes out the window, where money is concerned, with her, so if she gets ritch, good on her, but if
    It ends up to be s snowjob, I dont want to be the one to say "i told you so"

    Whatever way it goes, I would rather buy shares in Lockheed, a safer guantee for me, at lesst the
    Company produces the apporate level of transparency, unlike Lyoness or Lyconet.
    I may not get mega ritch, but being ritch doesnt make you happy, because you got to keep looking
    Over your shoulder to see whos trying to take it from you "money pays the bills" Happiness comes
    From with in.
    Good luck to all those who take the gamble

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful input Bob - Just like religions, there are countless 'income opportunities,' and all of them claim to offer their adherents an exclusive plan to achieve a form of paradise (albeit paradise on Earth). Many of these cultic rackets have been obliged to change their names in order to avoid bad publicity. All of them hide behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures.

      'Income Opportunity/ Prosperity Gospel' cult adherents are told that, in order to achieve wealth, freedom, health, happiness, etc. they must develop a 100% positive mind set and exactly duplicate a proven plan of non-stop recruitment and regular payment.

      Unfortunately, 100 % positive thinking, is only another way of saying blind faith, whilst 'income opportunity' cults have all been hiding effectively 100% loss / churn rates.

      Thus, 'income opportunity' cults are designed to blame (and silence) their victims, because when inevitably they fail to make money, they are simply told that they were 'quitters' who weren't sufficiently 'positive.'

      In reality, an increasing number of copy-cat criminals have been peddling essentially the same self-perpetuating lie that - endless chain recruitment + endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits.

      Again, just like religions, no quantifiable evidence is ever produced to prove that this attractive fairy story is true.

      The only evidence which is ever produced by deluded 'income opportunity' recruiters cannot be quantified. i.e. they all claim to be making money hand over fist and point to unquestioning example of their happy, healthy, multi-millionaire leaders, but if you ask to see their income-tax payment receipts, they will trot out a script designed to block all common-sense enquiry and make the doubting-Thomas enquirer feel stupid and 'negative' for asking.

      You can actually watch videos on You-tube teaching 'income opportunity' cult adherents how to deal with 'negative' (i.e. free-thinking) persons asking common-sense questions.

      Participation in pernicious cultic groups like like 'Lyoness' (aka Lyconet) does not represent a gamble; for it is an absolute stone cold certainty that anyone giving his/her money to Hubert Freidl's gang will never receive an overall net-profit in return.

      Your poor aquaintence has actually been bedazzled by a 'Prosperity Gospel cult disguised as an 'income opportunity', and she is currently committing financial suicide.

      In NZ, law enforcement agents, legislators, journalists, seem to have little idea how this criminogenic phenomenon functions, because few victims ever come forward, and those who do, are unable to explain what has happened to them, in accurate plain language.

  66. Hi guys, just came