Monday, 17 March 2014

Accurate questions reveal the full-truth about 'Herbalife (HLF)' and 'Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)'.

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.

More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that what has become popularly known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' is nothing more than an absurd, cultic, economic pseudo-science, and that 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, 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,' etc.).
Yet again, I have been asked:
  • How many victims have wasted their time and money in 'Multi-Level Marketing' scams?
  • Why do so few 'MLM' victims ever complain?
The short answer to these frequently-asked questions, is that the overwhelming majority of all the countless millions of victims who continue to get burned by individual 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cults, will remain silent and continue (unconsciously) to form part of the overall lie: whilst, as a direct result of the passivity of the overwhelming majority of the victims, all casual observers of individual 'MLM income opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cults (including, law enforcement agents, regulators, academics, legislators, judges, journalists, etc.) will also remain passive and continue (unconsciously) to form part of the overall lie.

Today, it is very difficult to determine exactly how many people in total around the world have already been churned through the pay-through-the-nose-to-play 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cultic game of make-believe, since it was first peddled as reality under the name of 'Nutrilite Inc. /Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.' back in the late 1940s. It is also important to distinguish between short-term and chronic 'MLM' losing-players. In general, the overwhelming majority of fraud victims never complain, but, right from the outset, the self-perpetuating 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' lie was maliciously designed to implicate its victims - loading them with shame and guilt, and, thus, prevent them from ever facing reality. Classically, the quantifiable evidence proves that, without exception, chronic 'MLM' losing-players have been subjected to co-ordinated devious techniques of social, and psychological, persuasion designed to shut down their critical, and evaluative, faculties. In this way, they have been conditioned (unconsciously) to think of themselves, not as the victims of a cruel deception or as brainwashed cult adherents, but as 'Independent Business Owners' exercising free-will.  What has made external reality even more unacceptable, is the ego-destroying fact that a large proportion of 'MLM' victims were deceived by a close friend or relative (acting under the guided-delusion that 'MLM' has been of great benefit to its participants) and, in turn, these victims then deceived, or tried to deceive, their own close friends and relatives (acting under the same guided-delusion that 'MLM' has been of great benefit to its participants). The few, destitute, chronic former 'MLM' losing-players who have managed to recover fully their critical, and evaluative faculties, and who have filed well-informed civil lawsuits against the corporate fronts of 'MLM' cultic racketeers, have invariably been obliged to settle out of court. Although a number of isolated civil investigations, and successful prosecutions, have been pursued by the Federal Trade Commission against some smaller 'MLM' front-companies in the USA, no co-ordinated official effort has ever been made to face wider-reality and identify, let alone tackle, the overall criminogenic/cultic phenomenon that has lurked behind all the shielding layers of structural, and pseudo-economic/scientific, mystification, reality-inverting 'direct selling/commercial'  jargon and kitsch capitalist/Utopian/American Dream imagery.

Until the 1970s, the original 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cultic racket  'Nutrilite' a.k.a. 'Amway,' remained confined to the USA. In the face of a prolonged (but far-from morally, or intellectually, rigorous) FTC investigation, the 'Amway/MLM' lie first spread to Canada, then to W. Europe and Australia. However, in 1979, when a corrupt, and/or naive, US federal judge failed to identify 'Amway' as the corporate-front for an ongoing, major, organized crime group, this classic regulatory-failure was widely-seen as a license to steal. Since that time, countless US-based copy-cat rackets have been instigated behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures pursuing lawful, and/or unlawful, enterprises - a significant number of which ('Forever Living Products', 'Herbalife', 'USANA', 'Nu Skin', 'Xango' etc.),  have been allowed to grow out of control and to infiltrate traditional culture all around the globe, accompanied by a distracting flock of co-opted political, academic and celebrity stooges, and shielded by a parallel labyrinth of legally-registered corporate structures known as, 'Direct Selling Associations.'

In the past, various casual observers have thrown up their hands in horror when I have dared to say that, given its duration, scale and devastating impact on huge numbers of vulnerable persons,  blame-the-victim 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cultic racketeering is an ongoing financial, and psychological, holocaust (with a small 'h') of which many people have been in denial. Sadly, the essentially-absurd fairy story entitled 'MLM' has been allowed to expand to such titanic proportions, that the truth has long-since become almost unthinkable. However, since the concept of the big propaganda lie, is widely-understood, it seems almost inconceivable that the directors of law enforcement, and intelligence, agencies around the world have also remained unable to look beyond the ends of their noses and identify what the bosses of 'MLM/Prosperity Gospel' cults have actually been doing. 

The following sinister quote has often been attributed to one of history's most-sinister criminals, Joseph Goebbels: 

'If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.'
Given its content, it is supremely ironic that there is no evidence for Goebbels ever having made the above statement. That said, it is a very accurate description of Goebbels' reality-inverting activities as Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief. Indeed, before his cowardly suicide in the face of reality, Goebbels spent the last years of his life steadfastly pretending that the heroic and enlightened leader of the 'Noble Aryan Master Race,' Adolf Hitler, was telling the truth, whilst the leaders of Britain and the USA (controlled by the forces of evil - Jews and Freemasons) were repeating big propaganda lies.

The origin of the first part of the above Goebbels statement would appear to have been a psychological profile of Adolf Hitler, compiled in the USA during WWII by the 'Office of Strategic Services,' later to become known as the 'CIA.' This document concluded that : 

'His (Hitler's) primary rules were: 
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.' 

Hitler's psychological profile was drafted (prior to the full-extent of his crimes against humanity being discovered) by a team of medically-qualified academics who had apparently been studying 'Mein Kampf,' Chapter 10:

 '... in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad mass of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly outrageous lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.' 

Despite appearances, Hitler was not confessing to being a liar in Chapter 10 of 'Mein Kampf.' This was merely a typically-mediocre little narcissist (who imagined himself to be a great author/thinker - the anointed-Messiah/saviour of his people) revealing his extraordinary knowledge of how to lie successfully whilst steadfastly pretending to be struggling to establish the truth against the reality-inverting forces of evil. Hitler would soon transform into a megalomaniacal psychopath. The unconditional deference of his deluded followers only served to confirm, and magnify, his own increasingly-paranoid, and self-righteous, delusions of grandeur.

'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.

In the late 1990s, I supplied UK trade regulators with completed questionaires from a few destitute former British 'Amway' adherents whom I had managed to track down via another (genuinely-independent) UK cult advice association, 'Family Action Information and Resource' (now known as the 'Family Survival Trust'), but 10 years later (when the UK government finally began to investigate 'Amway') these important testimonies had mysteriously been forgotten.

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.
In December 2012, Bill Ackman hoisted battle ensigns; making his analysis, and his short position, public. At the same time, he bravely called for 'Herbalife' to be investigated and closed-down as soon as possible, in the interests of the public.

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. 
After more than 12 months of wild fluctuations in the market price of effectively-valueless 'Herbalife' shares, last week, it was announced that the company is finally to be investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. 

Although (to date) most mainstream journalists have refused to look beyond the ends of their noses, and reported 'Herbalife' as a purely financial story, what is actually at stake here is whether America is a grown-up democracy governed by the rule of law, or a sleazy de facto kleptocracy ruled by an axis of billionaire 'MLM Income Opportunity' racketeers, their amoral attorneys (many of whom have been former regulators), accountants, bankers, co-opted academics and corrupt, and/or stupid, politicians.

As if to prove the validity of Bill Ackman's analysis, the 'Herbalife' racketeers and their criminal associates have recently rewritten their fairy story in a transparent attempt to convince regulators that they have not been telling lies. 

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

In order to avoid being held to account for fraud, the bosses of 'Herbalife' now want the world to believe that the overwhelming majority of their transient loss-making 'Members,' have merely been transient 'Discount Customers.'

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.

The latest modification to the thought-stopping encrypted-language in which the 'Herbalife' fairy story has been presented, conforms perfectly to my overall analysis of how blame-the-victim 'MLM income opportunity' culic racketeering has functioned; for if any crook sets up a self-perpetuating money circulation game by persuading prospective players to hand over $200 per month and to recruit 6 more $200 per month players, who each can recruit 6 more $200 per month players, etc. ad infinitum, on the pretext that all players who obey the mathematical rules of the game can eventually build a constantly-expanding network of recruits/recruiters and receive an unlimited residual income comprising monthly commission on the $1200 monthly payments of their recruits/recruiters and on the $7200 monthly payments of the recruits/recruiters of their recruits/recruiters, etc. ad infinitum, then it is immediately obvious, that such a game is based on the crackpot pseudo-economic theory of infinite geometric expansion, or endless-chain recruitment, and is, therefore, a fraud.

However, once you understand the above, it doesn't take a genius to work out that, if a narcissistic crook wants to dissimulate exactly the same fraud, all he/she needs to do is launder the unlawful payments by telling casual observers that his/her endless chain of losing players were 'customers' and by giving his/her endless chain of losing-players some cheaply-procured commodity, and/or service, in exchange for their money, and then telling casual observers that all these unlawful transactions (made on the false expectation of future reward) were really lawful 'sales' (based on value and demand). In other words, the products, and/or services, are just distracting wampum which might as well not exist.

 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.
'The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever.'

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. 

Once this is understood, what has actually been occurring, can only be determined by asking past and present 'Herbalife' adherents the right questions written in thought-provoking, accurate, deconstructed language.

'MLM' racketeers apparently still believe that all casual observers (including regulators, legal and economic advisors, law enforcement agents, legislators, journalists, Wall St. researchers and judges), will not be able to look beyond the ends of their noses. 

Consequently, America's home-grown axis of evil remains certain that the full-truth will never be uncovered.


(Short) Questionaire for Past, and Present,
'Multi-Level Marketing Income Opportunity' 

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

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

2. Did the 'MLM' recruiter 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 present the 'MLM 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, 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 '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?
7. What prior knowledge did you have of 'MLM?'

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 'MLM' schemes (i.e. about what percentage of participants did you think made an overall net-income out of 'MLM')?

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 'MLM?'

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 'MLM' schemes are not pyramid scams, because they involve the sale of products, and/or services, to customers and end users, and offer money-back guarantees?

15. Were you given to believe that 'MLM' schemes cannot be frauds, because  they have existed for decades and have been investigated and approved by governments around the world?

16. Were you given to believe that 'MLM' schemes cannot be frauds, because celebrities (including senior politicians) have endorsed 'MLM' schemes?

17. Were you given to believe that 'MLM' schemes cannot be frauds, because their sponsors have given money to charity?

18. Were you given to believe that 'MLM' schemes cannot be frauds, because they have sponsored professional sports stars and teams?

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

21. Did you ever seek independent legal/financial advice?

22.  What initially convinced you that 'MLM' was an authentic opportunity to earn income?

23. At the time you signed up, 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 'MLM?'

26. Were you given to believe that after achieving a certain level of income in MLM 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 you time in an 'MLM' group, were you taught that the 'exact duplication of a proven step-by-step plan' would bring you '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 '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?'
30. As a result of duplicating the 'proven plan,' did you lose contact with anyone with whom you had previously been close (give brief details)?

David Brear (copyright 2014)

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