Thursday, 12 November 2015

'Herbalife (HLF)' cultic racketeer, Michael Johnson, employs 'Scientology'-style tactics.

It is common knowledge that in cultic groups like 'Scientology,' core-adherents are programmed never to defend accusations against the group and its leaders, but always to attack the so-called 'suppressive' person(s) making the accusations, by completely ignoring all supporting evidence (particularly cult victims) and incessantly demanding: 

'What are your crimes?'

See original image

Bearing the above in mind, Blog readers should be interested to discover this most recent paranoid piece of 'MLM income opportunity' cultic propaganda signed by Michael Johnson (the boss of the 'Herbalife' racket). One wonders why Mr. Johnson didn't simply entitle it:

Bill Ackman what are your crimes?


The case of Herbalife and activist investing run amok

Some 220 years ago, two dozen stockbrokers and merchants sat beneath a buttonwood tree on Wall Street and signed the famous Buttonwood Agreement forming the New York Stock and Exchange Board. This exchange, and the others that followed, ushered in a new era of free-market capitalism and changed world history.
One byproduct of the freedom implicit in a free market has been activist investing. Some activist investing is good for the marketplace, increasing shareholder value and improving corporate management and business practices. Activist investors play a critical role in preserving and strengthening companies they target, while making our nation's economy stronger and more dynamic.
Unfortunately, in the never-ending pursuit of an edge, some activist investors are using techniques and tactics that go too far. These investors are attacking strong, healthy companies with misguided and destructive campaigns based on falsehoods, deceptive practices and intimidation. The ultimate intention is to manipulate stock prices for the activist's own personal enrichment – in the meantime, doing untold damage to families, companies and our economy.
I know about such campaigns because I have seen them firsthand. My company, Herbalife, has come under an unprecedented, three-year and $1 billion public short campaign by Bill Ackman. His staff told the New York Times in March 2014 that this reckless initiative was simply about making an "enormous return." This brutally honest explanation tells the whole story; his crusade is about nothing more and nothing less.

Ackman's initial investment proposition was that Herbalife would collapse. He engaged in a massive pubic relations and lobbying campaign to see his dream come true, insinuating that our business practices were unethical and unsustainable in an effort to shake investor confidence. Yet when investors such as Carl Icahn and Bill Stiritz examined Ackman's research, they came to a completely different conclusion and instead became significant shareholders in Herbalife.
Undeterred, Ackman changed his thesis. He now asserts that the company will collapse because of poor earnings. Yet Herbalife has exceeded earnings expectations, and the stock is now trading higher than when Ackman began his public campaign. All told, Ackman admits that he has spent hundreds of millions of dollars just so he can win this billion-dollar bet.
During this epic battle, we have been the target of an insidious attack that at times has become personal. Fortune magazine recently engaged in an exhaustive and intensive six-month investigation of both Herbalife and Ackman and stated that Herbalife's "executives, employees, and distributors have all been villainized, if not defamed." Editor Alan Murray called Ackman's antics "disturbing" and indicated that they probably had gone a "step too far." Murray also asked: "In his all-out fight against Herbalife, is the activist investor assuming the role of judge, jury, and executioner?"
Self-serving campaigns by carnival barkers like Bill Ackman do not benefit the larger system, they corrupt it. What was once healthy activist pressure has transformed into a dangerous game of manipulation and deception, with no regard for the collateral damage that can include the lives and careers of ordinary Americans and the investing public.
Additionally, Ackman completely ignores the fact that our millions of members in 93 countries around the world buy and use our nutrition products because they help people lead healthier lives. Our direct-selling distribution model means we provide people with the opportunity to earn additional income, in a flexible environment and on their terms, similar to Avon, Tupperware and Pampered Chef.

Mr. Johnson follows the above 'Scientology'-style tactic, and inverts reality, by ignoring the quantifiable evidence (particularly 'Herbalife' victims) and steadfastly pretending that anyone who says that 'Herbalife' is a criminal enterprise, is a criminal.

It is also interesting to note that I openly-stated that 'Herbalife' has been the legally-registered corporate front for an 'Amway' copy-cat major criminal enterprise (and is, therefore, an effectively-valueless company) long before Bill Ackman made essentially the same pronouncement in December 2012 and backed it up with a billion + dollar short-selling gamble.

Not surprisingly, Michael Johnson makes absolutely no reference to me nor to my in-depth analysis of 'Herbalife' as an unoriginal blame-the-victim cultic racket - in which I predicted his paranoid reaction to persons challenging the authenticity of his group's 'capitalist' controlling fairy story (with almost complete accuracy). 

Sadly for Mr Johnson, all apologists/propagandists for totalitarian/ totalistic movements are obliged to follow an inflexible script in which they are the truthful and enlightened good guys battling against the dishonest forces of darkness and evil.

Predictability has always been the great weakness of cults and totalitarian regimes.

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.).

'Herbalife' has been presented externally as a traditional association. This was arbitrarily  defined by its ostensible instigator, Mark Hughes, as a banal 'commercial' group. 

Internally, 'Herbalife' 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, 'Herbalife' 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.

'Herbalife' 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 'Herbalife' has steadfastly pretended moral and intellectual authority whilst pursuing various, hidden, criminal objectives (mainly fraudulent). The admiration of 'Herbalife' 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.

The above, Orwellian 'Herbalife' propaganda video features various narcissistic 'MLM' shills acting out a fictitious scenario of control as fact, in which they once were 'dirty' and 'miserable' little rats trapped on a treadmill in a form of Hell (i.e. the world of traditional employment), but after exactly duplicating a 'Proven Step-By-Step Plan' they have achieved redemption as superhumans in the miraculous 'Herbalife' Utopia, where no one works, but everyone is healthy, wealthy, happy and free....

..... and also drives a Ferrari, and/or a Hummer, and/or a Bentley, and/or a Porsche!

'Herbalife' 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 'Herbalife's' 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. 'Herbalife' has manipulated its adherents’ existing beliefs and instinctual desires, creating the illusion that they are exercising free will. In this way, 'Herbalife' adherents have also been surreptitiously coerced into following potentially harmful, physical procedures (sleep deprivation, protein restriction, 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.

'Herbalife' 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 'Herbalife' adherents’ model of reality, they are, in effect, constrained to modify their individual personalities and behaviour accordingly.

The leaders of 'Herbalife' 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,'Herbalife' 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 'Herbalife' 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 'Herbalife economic / medical  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 'Herbalife' proselytisers can be highly infectious and deeply misleading. They are convinced that their own salvation also depends on saving others.

The leaders of 'Herbalife' 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. 'Herbalife's' leaders have systematically categorised, 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 'Herbalife' adherents have become converted to accept only what their leadership arbitrarily sanctions as enlightened, positive, pure, absolutely righteous, etc. Consequently, 'Herbalife' adherents habitually communicate amongst themselves using their group’s thought-stopping ritual 'Multi Level Marketing / Income Opportunity / Science of Nutrition' 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 'Herbalife,' 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 'Herbalife' 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 'Herbalife' have continued to infiltrate traditional culture (particularly, by co-opting celebrities, former law enforcement agents and opinion makers) 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 'Herbalife' racket has survived all ill-informed, isolated low-level challenges and spread 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 'Herbalife' 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 'Herbalife' products to the general public (based on value and demand), is not telling the truth. 

Tellingly, the accurate terms, 'general public' and 'overall net-income,' have been specifically excluded from thought-stopping 'MLM' jargon. These terms are usually replaced by the impressive-sounding, but essentially meaningless, words, 'income' and 'customers and end users.' When faced with wide-eyed adherents, and/or grinning propagandists, spouting this particular 'MLM' jargon, 'income' can be accurately translated as, 'net-loss income,' and 'customers and end users' as, 'members of the never-ending chain of losing-participants who have been deceived into regularly purchasing effectively-unsaleable commodities, and/or services(based on the false-expectation of future reward).' 

'Herbalife' 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 'MLM' 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.'

'Herbalife' 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.

 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.

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)

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