Last week, Bill Ackman announced that his company, Pershing Square Capital, has (during the last 2 years) invested $50 millions researching, investigating and challenging 'Herbalife.'
During his most-recent public presentation, an (at times) emotional Bill Ackman took a step further into my territory and openly-described 'Herbalife' as a 'criminal enterprise' and the company's CEO, Michael Johnson, as a 'predator.' He also briefly spoke of 'Herbalife's' so-called 'MLM income opportunity' as being an example of a propaganda technique used by the 'Nazis' and totalitarian regimes, known as the 'big lie.' At one point during the presentation, Bill Ackman’s was asked if his language was inviting a lawsuit. The questioner observed that a lawsuit would oblige 'Herbalife' to disclose internal documents. In response, Bill Ackman smiled. 'Sure, that’d be great,' he said, 'bring it on.'
Bill Ackman's investigation (led by Christine Richard and assisted by victims and whistle- blowers) has now gathered evidence proving that, internally, 'Herbalife's' so-called 'Nutrition Clubs' are not at all what they have appeared to be to casual observers (including : law enforcement agents, regulators, financial journalists, investors, insurers, bankers, accountants, co-opted-celebrities, opinion-makers, etc.).
So-called 'Herbalife Nutrition Clubs' have been part of the self-perpetuating, blame-the-victim cultic game of make-believe known as 'MLM income opportunity.' In the most simple terms: Pershing's undercover investigators have discovered that the only significant group of people regularly to have bought the banal, and over-priced, pseudo-medical 'Herbalife' wampum, have been a never ending-chain of losing-participants in the so-called 'Herbalife MLM income opportunity.' Furthermore, these persons have been deceived into handing over their money in the false expectation of future reward.
For obvious reasons, Bill Ackman is the first well-known, and wealthy, opinion-maker to look beyond the end of his nose and confront the extraordinary reality that the bosses of kitsch, US-based, major organized crime groups, like 'Herbalife,' have been world-class liars, and unfeeling parasites, who have amassed vast capital sums by reflecting the spirit of our age - peddling a Utopian Capitalist fiction (in the form of a perverted version of the American Dream) as fact. Yet despite his moral courage, education, wealth and celebrity, Bill Ackman has (so far) only pointed a flashlight at one part of the latest section of a much wider, evolving, criminogenic phenomenon which various other intellectually-rigorous observers have shone powerful searchlights on, in the past.
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' 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 income opportunity' 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.
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.'
'... 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.