'Amway' a.k.a. 'Quixtar,' is the original, blame-the-victim 'MLM Income Opportunity' racket, but 'Amway' itself, is only part of the wider-phenomenon of pernicious cultism.
|Two grinning generations of the DeVos and VanAndel crime families (circa 1995)|
|Today, Steve VanAndel and Doug DeVos, front the 'Amway/MLM' racket .|
By steadfastly pretending to be compassionate Christian capitalists, and by infiltrating traditional culture and discrediting, and/or intimidating, and/or paying-off, the few destitute, but determined, victims who have come forward, the billionaire bosses of the 'Amway' mob have been allowed to maintain a monopoly of information and continue to poison the minds of millions of vulnerable people around the world.
|Registered in the Cayman Islands, based in California and capitalized on Wall St., 'Herbalife' has been the corporate front for a blame-the-victim 'MLM income Opportunity' cultic racket.|
Not surprisingly, the profitable 'Amway' racket has spawned countless, profitable copy-cats.
|Former 'Amway' double-agent, Ian Howarth.|
|Former 'Amway' double-agent, Graham Baldwin.|
In 1994, when faced with partial exposure in the London listings magazine, 'Time Out,' the billionaire bosses of the 'Amway' mob easily bought the services of two self-styled 'cult advisors' in the UK, Ian Howarth ('Cult Information Centre') and Graham Baldwin ('Catalyst'). Readers should also be aware that Mr. Baldwin is a particularly absurd character, who (for years) has got away with steadfastly pretending to be a former Army Intelligence officer. Following the 'Time Out' article, a significant trickle of desitute, but confused, 'Amway' victims were beginning to come forward in Britain. Not surprisingly, the 'Amway' bosses were keen to maintain their monopoly of information in order to prevent a criminal investigation and isolate themselves from liability.
Subsequently, all persons approaching Messrs. Baldwin and Howarth with complaints, and enquiries, about 'Amway' (imagining that they were consulting independent experts) were told that although certain 'Amway Networks' had been accused (in the past) of operating like cults (by ill-informed journalists), the company itself was not a cult. Between 1994 and 2007, escorted by the affinity-pretending 'Amway' double-agents, Messrs. Baldwin and Howarth, numerous dissatisfied former 'Amway' adherents continued to be taken back to the organization where they were shown finely-printed clauses in their take-it or-leave it 'Distributor' contracts which appeared to oblige them to remain silent and pursue 'Amway's' own internal system of dispute resolution. It's difficult to know exactly how many British 'Amway' victims were kept away from regulators, legislators, law enforcement agents and journalists using these classic, 'Scientology'-style, subversive tactics. Due to the absence of victims, UK trade regulators did not launch a civil investigation of 'Amway UK Ltd.' until 2007. By that time, around one million UK and Irish citizens had been churned through the 'Amway' racket and an estimated $ one billion of effectively-valueless publications, recordings and tickets to meetings had been peddled on the pretext that these 'optional business building materials' contained exclusive secrets for achieving success in 'MLM.' None of the largely-cash-based receipts from the related-advanced-fee fraud were channelled through 'Amway UK Ltd.,' which itself never once declared a net-trading-profit in more than 30 years. Furthermore, during the same period, exactly the same system of inter-related frauds was being operated behind 'Amway's' mystifying corporate labyrinth all over the world.
For a long time, Ian Howarth succeeded in infiltrating a French government-financed, pan-European federation of cult research/advice associations, 'FECRIS.' In 2004 (at my instigation), during a FECRIS conference in Marseilles (which I attended at my own expense), Mr. Howarth was invited by the board of FECRIS to participate in an internal enquiry into the extent of his connections with 'Amway.' Mr. Howarth's initial verbal reponse, was to admit that, yes, he was a 'paid consultant to Amway UK Ltd.' He then told the astonished board members of FECRIS that 'Amway' had, in fact been covering all his expenses (including travel to, and accomodation in, Marseilles) and that he wanted the other FECRIS associations to pass any complaints they received about 'Amway' to him, because he had already negotiated compensation for people who had lost money. Subsequently, Mr. Howarth was given a series of written, common-sense questions about his paid activities on behalf of 'Amway,' which (not surprisingly) he flatly refused to repond to. However, before he could be kicked out of FECRIS, Mr. Howarth resigned and accused its board of 'behaving like a cult.'
To date, Messrs. Baldwin and Howarth have never been fully-investigated (let alone held to account), but there is absolutely no doubt that they were duped into participating in an international conspiracy to commit fraud and obstruct justice. Indeed, when the wider-picture is examined, Messrs. Baldwin and Howarth's key-role in hiding the results of the (US-based) unlawful 'Amway' enterprise in Britain, clearly forms part of an overall pattern of ongoing, major racketeering activity (as defined by he US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970). Rather than heading UK-registered charities, these two self-righteous crooks should probably be in prison.
Currently, the phenomenon of blame-the victim 'MLM Income Opportunity' cultic racketeering has, yet again, begun to find its way into the mainstream media. This time, because of the involvement of well-informed Wall St. investors who have challenged the legality of the 'Amway' copy-cats known as 'Herbalife' and 'NuSkin.' For many years, the officers of both these corporate structures have steadfastly pretended that their revenue has derived entirely-lawfully from billions of dollars of sales (based on value and demand) conducted by networks of non-salaried direct sales agents known as 'Distributors' or 'Independent Business Owners'. However, on the dubious foundation of this unoriginal encrypted 'commercial' fairy story, the reality-inverting cultic racketeers behind 'Herbalife' and 'NuSkin,' have taken their crimes well-beyond those of the DeVos and VanAndel clans.
With the assistance of an enthusiastic echelon of amoral attorneys, accountants and bankers, the 'Herbalife' and 'NuSkin' mobs easily deceived US financial regulators, and got away with peddling effectively-valueless shares in what have been essentially-identical, dissimulated criminal enterprises - again comprising blame-the-victim closed-market swindles, or pyramid schemes, and related advance fee frauds, a.k.a. 'tool scams.'
Hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman (of Pershing Square Capital), saw very clearly and very quickly, how the 'Herbalife' racket has functioned. As an experienced and successful short-seller, he also saw how it was possible to make money by challenging the legality of 'Herbalife.' Consequently, during 2012, Bill Ackman quietly acquired a short position against 'Herbalife' totalling $1.2 billions (one thousand two hundred millions dollars). He also began to gather evidence and compile a common-sense explanation of:
- why 'Herbalife' is an effectively-valueless corporate structure.
- the extent to which the blame-the-victim frauds lurking behind 'Herbalife,' have been causing significant damage to vulnerable people.
- why 'Herbalife' should never have been allowed to have been capitalized on Wall St.
Predictably, the bosses of the 'Herbalife' mob reacted by inverting reality; attacking rather than defending. For decades, 'MLM income opportunity' racketeers have been lying to, and withholding key-information from, the entire world, to make money and obstruct justice. They have also been using many millions of stolen dollars to subvert the legislative process of dozens of democracies. Amazingly, as a percentage of their financial turn-over, 'MLM' racketeers have even outspent leading members of the tobacco, and arms, lobby. Yet, all of a sudden, Bill Ackman found himself being accused of lying to make money and of influence-buying in Washington.
Indeed the bosses of the 'Herbalife' racket have been following some frighteningly familiar rules:
- never allow the public to cool off;
- never admit a fault or wrong;
- never concede that there may be some good in your enemy;
- never leave room for alternatives;
- never accept blame;
- concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong;
- people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
The modified description of the victims of the 'Herbalife's' racket, is a classic Orwellian inversion of reality. All persons formerly defined as 'Distributors/Independent Business Owners,' are, henceforth, to be known as 'Members.'
The following, is what it actually says in 'Herbalife's' latest false declaration to the SEC:
'Herbalife distributes and sells its products through a network of independent members, or Members, using the direct selling channel. We are in the process of changing our terminology to identify “distributors” as “Members.” Those Members who participate in the business opportunity that our network marketing program presents are referred as “sales leaders.” As of December 31, 2013, we sold our products in 91 countries to and through a network of approximately 3.7 million independent Members. Most of our Members are discount customers, however as of December 31, 2013, 672,000 achieved sales leaders status.
Amazingly, two US academics (who have previously acted as specialist economic advisors on pyramid schemes, to the FTC), William Keep and Peter Vander Nat, have almost arrived at the same common-sense conclusion in a forthcoming article, 'Multilevel Marketing and Pyramid Schemes in the United States: An Historical Analysis,' to be published in 'The Journal of Historical Research in Marketing.' That said, this article is fundamentally-flawed, because in private, William Keep has freely-admitted to me that there has been a cultic aspect to 'MLM' which he, and his co-author, were obliged to ignore, because this is not their field of expertise.
In simple terms, in respect of 'Herbalife,' most researchers have been hunting for bear, but they have only been loaded for rabbit. Indeed, evidence of the above hybrid-variation of a sustainable pyramid fraud dissimulated behind effectively-unsaleable products, and/or services, is what agents of the FTC are finally going to hunt for at 'Herbalife', but unfortunately, it is not quite as simple as that, because, the instigators of the 'Herbalife' racket (like those of the 'Amway' racket whom they have copied) have been inflicting impermissible, co-ordinated, devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion on their victims in order to shut-down their critical, and evaluative, faculties and prevent them complaining. In other words, since current 'Herbalife' adherents have been dissociated from external reality, their testimonies can be predicted with almost total accuracy, because they have unconsciously accepted the fictitious (but nonetheless emotionally and intellectually overwhelming) 'MLM Income Opportunity' controlling scenario, as fact.
Georges Orwell (Appendix to 'Nineteen Eighty-Four')
The purpose of 'MLM Income Opportunity' jargon is not only to provide a medium of expression for the unquestioning world-view and mental habits proper to the core-adherents of 'Herbalife,' but to make all other critical and evaluative modes of thought impossible. It is intended that when 'MLM Income Opportunity' jargon has been adopted once and for all and traditional language forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the 'positive' principles of 'Herbalife' - should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary is so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every 'positive' meaning that an 'MLM Distributor' can properly wish to express, while excluding all other 'negative' meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This is done partly by the invention of new 'positive' words and phrases ('Herbalife', 'Multi-Level Marketing', 'Distributor' , Independent Business Owner,'), but chiefly by eliminating undesirable 'negative' words and phrases ('cult', 'totalitarian', 'fraud', 'deception', 'brainwashing', 'victims', 'exploitation' , 'de facto slaves') and by stripping such words and phrases as remain of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever.
Consequently, America's home-grown axis of evil remains certain that the full-truth will never be uncovered.
6. When, and how, were you first approached to participate in 'MLM' and when was the name of the sponsoring company first mentioned?'
- Was 'MLM' 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 'MLM?'
- Did the recruiters seem generally happy and excited as though they had wonderful news to share?
- to earn income?
- to buy products and/or services at a discount price
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
- coercive behaviour modification?
- group pressure?
- covert hypnosis?
- thought reform?
- mental manipulation?
- love bombing?
- 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 'MLM Network' was your 'Upline' and everyone beneath you was your 'Downline?'
- that your 'Upline' was to be 'admired and respected?'
- that your 'Upline's success in MLM depended on helping his/her Downline to succeed,'
- to divide everyone, and everything, in your life into 'negative' vs 'positive?'
- that 'MLM' products were to be deemed 'positive' and non-'MLM' products deemed 'negative?'
- that you should buy a regular quota (by value) of 'positive' products?
- that you should draw up a list of prospective 'MLM' recruits comprising everyone you had ever encountered in your life?
- that you should progressively contact all these persons and attempt to recruit them using a precisely-worded 'positive' script?
- that you should never say anything 'negative' about 'MLM?'
- that you should never listen to, or look at, anything 'negative' about 'MLM?'
- that all persons who refused to join you (particularly, those who said 'MLM' is a scam) were to be deemed 'negative' and a threat to your own success?
- that all 'negative' persons were also to be deemed losers, whiners, etc., and should be excluded from your life?
- that all persons with regular jobs were to be labelled 'Just Over Broke' 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, meetings conducted by 'positive winners' at which you took part in 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 MLM?'
- that 'all persons who fail to achieve their dreams and goals in MLM, are negative losers, whiners, quitters etc., who always try to blame others, when they only have themselves to blame?'