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
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.
This limp quote from Justice Flick's recent ruling, beggars belief
'The manner in which pyramid selling schemes operate … is complex and elusive. The present Lyoness Loyalty Program is no exception,'
Sadly for the people of Australia (who pay his salary), Justice Flick doesn't seem to understand that, by their very nature, the external presentations of all pyramid schemes are maliciously designed to shut down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of not only their victims, but also those of all casual observers (including ill-informed judges). Behind the mystifying commercial bullshit lurks a far more simple truth - i.e. pyramid schemes are closed-market swindles - without any significant, or sustainable, revenue other than that deriving unlawfully from their own losing-participants (in the false-expectation of future reward).
In effect, the judge in this Australian case 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 the honest 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 affinity with 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' (presumably, this refers to Mr. Wotton?)
In conclusion, Blog readers (particularly those who are legally-qualified) might be fascinated to go through this largely-incomprehensible Australian judgement. It quite literally beggars belief that Australian regulators, and prosecutors, did not confine their courtroom presentation to a detailed deconstruction of the mathematically, and linguistically, mystifying Utopian fairy story habitually recited as reality during 'Lyoness' own presentations, combined with the hidden quantifiable results of the 'Lyoness' racket (i.e. effectively-universal financial losses for a never-ending chain of would-be millionaires).
I guarantee that any ordinary member of the general public (without expert/common-sense guidance) trying to read, and comprehend, the recent Australian judgement, will find his/her critical, and evaluative, faculties, shutting down.
Assuming that he is not corrupt, what Judge Flick evidently failed to understand (by not applying elementary common-sense), is that any so-called 'marketing scheme' which has not had a significant, and sustainable, source of revenue other than its own participants, is a dissimulated closed-market swindle, based on the crackpot, and unviable, pseudo-economic theory that:
Endless-chain recruitment + endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits.
In the most simple terms, behind all the thought-stopping bullshit, the victims of all closed-market swindles are peddled 'infinite' shares of their own finite money.
I can't be the only well-informed person now wondering if (after completing his recent, dangerous judgement), Judge Flick sang three choruses of 'Walzing Matilda,' before falling down in a heap.
Sadly, Judge Flick has issued an open-invitation for cultic racketeers to come to Australia, because (on the evidence of this judgement) the chances of them being held to account, are currently zero. That said, there are plenty of them already there.
David Brear (copyright 2015)