Wednesday, 31 January 2018

US military community bombarded by 'MLM' cultic rackets.

Image result for pseudoscience


Statutory Warning

More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that:
  • what has become popularly-known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' (aka 'Network 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 organised 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 rigged-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, recruitment leads, lead generation systems,' etc.).
  • Apart from an insignificant minority of exemplary shills who pretend that anyone can achieve success, the hidden overall net-loss/churn rate for participation in so-called 'MLM income opportunities,' has always  been effectively 100%.

David Brear (copyright 2018)

________________________________

The Truth About Multi-Level Marketing Businesses And How They Hurt Military Members


https://taskandpurpose.com/truth-multi-level-marketing-businesses-hurt-military-members/

Direct-sales businesses are prevalent in military communities, as military spouses and even some service members try to either launch full-time jobs or just make some extra cash on the side. These sorts of businesses raked in nearly $36 billion in sales in 2015 and have become so prevalent on military bases that one Duffel Blog, a military humor site, referred to the small army of scented-candle and oil-sales representatives as “SCENTCOM”.
Direct-sales businesses — often referred to as multi-level marketing businesses — have been around for decades, ever since companies like Avon and Tupperware recruited employees to sell their products in exchange for a small commission on each sales. They are often conflated with pyramid schemes, although there is an important legal distinction between the two. Pyramid schemes (which are illegal) gain the majority of their revenue from the recruitment of new members, while multi-level marketing businesses receive the majority of their money from the sales to external consumers — as do most legitimate businesses. That said, it can be difficult for outsiders to differentiate between legitimate multi-level businesses and pyramid schemes. Since 1996, 26 multi-level marketing businesses have been charged by the Federal Trade Commission for operating as a pyramid scheme, alleging that these businesses were less than forthcoming about the potential earnings for those who participate in them. Of those 26 businesses, each was either found guilty or was forced to settle out of court.   

I spoke to several people who worked for multi-level marketing business, and some did indeed make money, including one person who made a killing selling sex toys to the spouses of a deploying Army brigade. But these are the exceptions rather than the rule. According to a study 
hosted on the FTC’s website of nearly 350 direct-sales companies, roughly 99% of employees lose money after accounting for overhead costs, inventory, and other fees.
Just take a look at some of the direct-sales businesses popular in military communities. Around 86% of active “designers” at Origami Owl make an average annual income of less than $250 (not including expenses) per year selling jewelry, according to the company’s financial disclosure statement. Selling wickless candles for Scentsy? You’ll need to work for an average of four years to gain “Star” consultant status, with average annual earnings of just $1,300 per year (not counting expenses) — or roughly three and a half hours per week at minimum wage for one year to earn the same annual incom
One researcher who spoke to me studied the spread of these businesses, comparing them to viral epidemics. Military communities are tight-knit and can be isolated from the rest of American society at large. Military communities also represent a giant, untapped labor pool for multi-level marketing companies.  Although military spouses are better educated than their civilian counterparts, according to a 2015 RAND study, they face high levels of unemployment as well as under-employment, with nearly half of all military spouses claiming they were over-qualified for their current or most recent jobs in terms of education level. Many military spouses cited difficulties finding jobs due to frequent moves — generally every two to three years — and the perception that employers would not want to hire military spouses. Not to mention, many military spouses may find themselves stationed overseas where costs of living are high, yet there are few job opportunities either on base or in the surrounding communities. Military spouses face further employment challenges, especially considering they are more likely to have children than their civilian counterparts and may have to act as a single parent for months at a time due to long deployments.
That said, when polled, many military spouses still felt a strong desire to work. But surprisingly, only around half of those polled said they wanted to do so to generate income — over 90% of military spouses said they wanted to work for personal fulfillment. Underemployment and a desire for fulfillment drives many military spouses toward direct-sales businesses. One blog catering to the military community touted the benefits of direct-sales businesses, claiming they “fulfill a need.”   
Many in the military community reported being bombarded with requests to participate in multi-level marketing businesses schemes or attend parties selling products upon arriving at a new duty station, often feeling pressure to do so in order to fit in and make new friends. Even service members aren’t immune. I was personally approached several times by members of a multi-level marketing firm specializing in energy drinks named Quixtar — I even knew a fellow service member who was roped into the scheme. Quixtar, a subsidiary of Amway, was eventually sued for operating a pyramid scheme, settling out of court for $56 million.
Can anything be done to prevent service members from losing money to these types of predatory businesses? Yes.
For decades, payday lenders and shady car dealerships preyed on young service members, offering loans with exorbitant interest rates. Making matters worse was that payday lenders had plenty of political backing — millions of dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying. But Congress eventually passed a series of provisions, which, although far from perfect, limited the amount of money payday lenders could charge service members. Since then, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau designated Holly Petraeus to spearhead efforts to protect service members and their families from future scams. Service members and their families might benefit from similar oversight to curb losses from multi-level marketing businesses by requiring companies to buy back unused stock should participants not be able to sell it. Military life makes service members and their families vulnerable to certain unique financial threats — consumer protection agencies should continue to assist military service members and their families.  
Finally, more must be done by both the Pentagon and private industry to address the underlying issue which makes predatory businesses so prevalent on military bases: high unemployment rates among military spouses. Although there has been great progress in reducing unemployment among post-9/11 veterans, both public and private-sector agencies should now focus on providing America’s military spouses with meaningful employment by partnering with agencies like Hiring Our Heroes or other such programs.
Until then, just keep deleting those invites.
Crispin Burke (copyright 2018)


Major Crispin Burke is a U.S. Army aviator currently stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Follow Crispin Burke on Twitter @CrispinBurke

Monday, 29 January 2018

Christine Richard attempts to explain how 'Herbalife (HLF)' racketeers continue to commit fraud by hiding key-data.

Image result for pseudoscience


Statutory Warning

More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that:
  • what has become popularly-known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' (aka 'Network 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 organised 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 rigged-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, recruitment leads, lead generation systems,' etc.).
  • Apart from an insignificant minority of exemplary shills who pretend that anyone can achieve success, the hidden overall net-loss/churn rate for participation in so-called 'MLM income opportunities,' has always  been effectively 100%.

David Brear (copyright 2018)

____________________________

Instead Of Providing A Reality Check, Herbalife's New Official Compensation Disclosure Falsely Indicates That Most Distributors Make Money

By Christine Richard


Summary

Thanks to the FTC Order, Herbalife is now in a position to track and disclose alleged retail sales profits in its official statement of average compensation disclosure.
It can also now remove all those people who sign up just to purchase products at a discount, a group the company has long said distorts reported average compensation.
The new disclosure suggests that nearly 90% of distributors earned some income in a “typical” month.
To create that impression, however, Herbalife had to take 170,000 distributors off its disclosure document.
That's a violation of the FTC order, which says income disclosures must be "non-misleading."
Every day, Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) recruiters pitch the business opportunity across the US, describing how Herbalife allowed them to quit jobs and stay home with their children, boasting of financial freedom and showing photos from Herbalife-sponsored vacations in exotic locations around the world. Such pitches are prone to exaggeration, of course, which is why Herbalife and other multi-level marketing companies are required to provide a reality check in the form of an official disclosure of average compensation.
Distributors are expected to post a statement like this when presenting their individual experiences as part of a promotion of the business opportunity:
"Income depicted is unique to the individual and is not typical. Achievements require skill & consistent work. For typical earnings, see Statement of Average Gross Compensation at Herbalife.com."
Here's where the company is legally required to throw some cold water on all the hype.

Shortcomings of the Disclosure

Herbalife's disclosure of average compensation has long been a battleground between the company's supporters and its critics. Critics claimed that Herbalife so thoroughly parsed distributors before adding them to the disclosure statement that the company made it impossible for a reader to determine the average experience of distributors. Skeptics also pointed out that Herbalife failed to provide expenses in its income disclosure, effectively equating revenues with profits.
Meanwhile, Herbalife argued that critics took advantage of some of the shortcomings in its data collection to exaggerate the distributor failure rate. For example, because Herbalife never distinguished between its distributors and the vast number of individuals it said signed up with the company to get a discount on the products, critics blended the two, claiming thousands of people weren't being paid by Herbalife even as they had no interest in making money.
Herbalife also argued that because it didn't track retail sales by its distributors, it couldn't add this crucial element of earnings to the table. That limited disclosed compensation to commissions earned by distributors on their downline's purchases. Retail sales - the foundation of the entire business opportunity, according to the company - were missing from any analysis of compensation.
All of this has been remedied by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consent Order imposed on Herbalife's business in July 2016. Herbalife is now required to distinguish between distributors and discount consumers, classifying the latter as preferred members. It's also required to track retail sales and to collect information that would allow it to show just how much in retail sales profits its distributors are claiming to earn.
The only item still missing from the table is expenses, and that works in Herbalife's favor.

The New and Improved Table

With this in mind, we turn to the new and improved, post-FTC settlement average compensation disclosure for Herbalife distributors in the U.S. The substance of the disclosure is contained in a section that asks: "How much can I earn in a typical month?"
Herbalife's presentation of the data for a single month is a departure from previous years' disclosures, which covered a 12-month period. Because Herbalife implemented a number of FTC-mandated changes to its business beginning in May 2017, the company isn't able to present full-year data yet.
Should that matter? Probably not, because Herbalife is very much a month-by-month business. A distributor's advancement and compensation depend on meeting various monthly volume point thresholds, which encourages more consistent purchasing. Therefore, we can assume those earning compensation in a "typical" month are largely the same distributors who are earning in subsequent months.
Back to the company's response: "In a typical month from June to September 2017, about 45,000 U.S. distributors ordered products for resale from Herbalife, and about 40,000 of them earned money from their sales and the sales of those they sponsored." (The FTC Order has also required Herbalife distributors to distinguish between products they buy for their own consumption and products they buy hoping to retail.)
The disclosure table provides a breakdown of distributor earnings for those who bought products they hoped to retail.
At first glance, it appears that the vast majority of distributors earn money. For most, the amount is small, but it's at least something; 50% of first-year distributors, for example, earned less than $95 per month - before expenses - while 50% of those who had been with Herbalife for more than a year earned less than $305.
Yet, readers are told that 40,000 out of 45,000 distributors, or 89%, receive some compensation, in the form of retail sales profits and/or commissions on purchases by preferred members and distributors they've recruited.
Not bad if you have very modest expectations, but also not exactly true.
In order to imply that 89% of distributors received some compensation in a typical month, Herbalife needed to define as relevant only those distributors "who ordered products for resale" in that month. A reader might reasonably assume that's the lion's share of distributors, when, in fact, it's a small subset.
During the company's third quarter earnings call with Wall Street analysts on November 2, Herbalife President Des Walsh told analysts and investors:
"Today, we've got about 470,000 Preferred Members. We've got about roughly 215,000 Distributors. So, it's roughly a sort of a two-thirds, one-third ratio."
So, according to Walsh, one-third of all members or 215,000 people sign up with Herbalife for the stated purpose of making money. Yet, the disclosure only discusses the 45,000 distributors who purchased products for resale in a given month. That leaves 170,000 US distributors off the disclosure statement who didn't place an order, presumably because they didn't have any retail customers to sell to or perhaps had excess unsold inventory from a prior month.
Once again, Herbalife has managed to quantify success by simply removing failure from consideration; it's an old trick and a surprisingly bold one in the wake of the FTC settlement.
If all 215,000 distributors had been included in the table, Herbalife would have reported that just 19%, 40,000 out of 215,000 distributors, received any compensation in a typical month between June and September 2017. That's a disappointing outcome, given that Herbalife now has all the data at its disposal to add retail sales profits and to exclude discount consumers from its disclosure.
Not presenting these disappointing numbers to the public is a violation of the FTC Consent Order. Under the Order, the FTC bans Herbalife and its representatives from "making any representation, expressly or by implication, regarding the amount or level of income, including full-time or part-time income, that a participant can reasonably expect to earn unless the representation is non-misleading and, at the time such representation is made, Defendants possess and rely upon competent and reliable evidence sufficient to substantiate that the representation is true." (Subsection IV.B)
It's important to remember that the compensation disclosure document is not the work of overly enthusiastic distributors. It was created by Herbalife corporate to put overly enthusiastic distributor promotion into context. It's the fine print, and it's intended to contain the hard truth.
Potential recruits have to actively seek out this hard truth. They have to tune out the hype and override all the voices urging them to banish negativity and chase their dreams. Amidst the thumping music and cheering crowds at Herbalife recruitment events, they have to notice the scrolling disclosure statement at the bottom of the screen. They have to jot down the address and remember to follow-up with a visit to Herbalife's website.
Then, when they finally get there, the water is nowhere near as cold as it should be.

Christine Richard (copyright 2018)

Saturday, 27 January 2018

'Herbalife (HLF)' useful idiot, Antonio Villaraigosa, refuses to face reality .

Image result for pseudoscience


Statutory Warning

More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that:
  • what has become popularly-known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' (aka 'Network 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 organised 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 rigged-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, recruitment leads, lead generation systems,' etc.).
  • Apart from an insignificant minority of exemplary shills who pretend that anyone can achieve success, the hidden overall net-loss/churn rate for participation in so-called 'MLM income opportunities,' has always  been effectively 100%.




_________________________________________________________________________


www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article196917629.html






Antonio Ramón Villaraigosa ( born January 23, 1953) is an American politician who was Mayor of Los Angeles 2005-2013. Previously, he was a member of the California State Assembly (1994–2000), where he served as the Democratic leader (1996–98) and the Speaker of the Assembly (1998–2000). During his tenure as L.A. Mayor, Villaraigosa drew national attention for his work and he was featured in a Times story on America's 25 most influential Latinos. He was the first Mexican American in over 130 years to serve as Mayor of L.A. He was not allowed to run for re-election in 2013, but he continues to be active in education, civic engagement, water, immigration, transportation and economic development issues. He speaks nationally, and throughout California, on these, and other, matters.
Villaraigosa is a member of the Democratic Party and he was a national co-chairman of Hilary Clinton's 2008 Presidential campaign, a member of President Barack Obama's Transition Economic Advisory Board and Chairman of the 2012 Democrat National Convention.
In November 2016, Villaraigosa announced his candidacy for Governor of California in 2018.
Despite his impressive resume, if (as he has recently implied) Antonio Villaraigosa sincerely believes Herbalife to be an entirely lawful enterprise offering a viable income opportunity, then he's not only far too stupid to be elected as Governor of California, but also far too stupid to be held to account.


Antonio Villaraigosa, Herbalife


In 20013, it was reported that Villaraigosa had been employed as 'senior advisor to Herbalife.'

http://www.laweekly.com/news/bitter-herbalife-battle-pits-antonio-villaraigosa-against-an-old-friend-4173346

In February 2015, while Villaraigosa was considering running for the United States Senate, the L.A. Times reported that he'd received at least $162 000 from 'Herbalife.' The story questioned whether 'Herbalife's' co-opting of Villaraigosa might become a major obstruction to his hopes for further election success in California, due to 'Herbalife's' awful reputation and ongoing FTC pyramid scheme investigations. 
Villaraigosa’s connections with 'Herbalife' have also been condemned by the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Unfortunately, Antonio Villaraigosa has piles of green reasons, as well as his ego, preventing him from facing reality.

David Brear (copyright 2018)

Thursday, 18 January 2018

'Lyoness/Lyconet' racket finally gets busted in Norway.

The following are automatic translations.

_______________________________________________

https://lottstift.no/om-oss/aktuelt/varsel-om-vedtak-sendt-til-lyoness/

On 11 January 2018, the (Norwegian) Lottery Authority issued notification of a decision with a decision to stop Lyoness' work in Norway.
Notification of decision sent to LyonessThe notification of decision is against Lyoness Europe AG and Lyoness Norway AS, but will also include 150,000 Norwegian participants and 1,000 loyalty companies included in the Lyoness sales network in Norway.

Illegal pyramid-based sales system

Based on testimony, the Lottery Authority has rejected appeals in 2016 and 2017, and the content of that, found grounds for assessing whether Lyoness is an illegal pyramid-based sales system after the Lottery Agreement Section 16, second paragraph.
In assessing, we have concluded that the revenues from Lyoness' business in Norway mainly depend on the illegal acquisition of participants, and not from the legal sale or consumption of goods, services or other benefits.

Lottery Authority's conclusion

In the notice of decision, the Lottery Authority concludes that Lyoness's work in Norway is an illegal pyramid-based sales system pursuant to section 16, second paragraph, of the Lottery Act.
We have paid particular attention to the fact that Norwegian participants in Lyoness do not receive or consume goods, services or other benefits from the sales system that correspond to the value of what is paid when they pay for them. Participants' payments to Lyoness are as a consequence of this to be regarded as consideration to participate in a pyramid-based sales system. The income of the company and the individual participant is related to the acquisition of new participants and those payments to Lyoness, and not from the sale or consumption of goods, services or other benefits.
In a letter dated 11 January 2018 , the Lottery Authority has warned that we will make a decision that Lyoness must stop all work in Norway. Notification of resolution means that all repatriation of participants and loyalty companies to CashBack World and Lyconet, and all sales and use of benefit cards, discount coupons, customer card shares, gift cards, promotional materials, seminars and other products in the workplace must be terminated.
The Lottery Authority's notification of decision basically bases itself on the information we have received from Lyoness in case.


___________________________________________________________________

https://www.dn.no/nyheter/2018/01/18/0849/Lyoness-Norway/lotteritilsynet-vil-stanse-shoppingnettverket-lyoness-i-norge


Lyoness Norway

The Lottery Authority will suspend the Lyoness shopping network in Norway

The Lyoness shopping network is a pyramid-like system, according to the Lottery Authority, which will suspend operations in Norway.




Repayment when shopping, own shopping points and lucrative shopping offers are among the benefits the Lyoness lure attracts to get new members.
The Switzerland-registered network has its own subdivision in Norway, with around 150,000 Norwegian participants and 1000 so-called loyalty companies as part of their sales system.
Lyoness
  • Is a distribution and trade network that was created in Switzerland in 2003 by Hubert Freidl.
  • The system is structured so that you can get benefits in terms of getting a small portion of the amount you pay for.
  • The Norwegian subdivision Lyoness Norway has approximately 150,000 Norwegian participants and 1000 loyalty companies as part of their sales system.
  • Lyoness Norway is led by Claes Gunnarson.
Now the Lottery Authority will stop its business in Norway. The audit believes Lyoness is a pyramid-like sales system, and issued a decision last week for a decision on pending orders in businesses n. Lyoness disagrees with the audit's statement, saying that it will respond to the audit's case-making.
In its assessment, the Lottery Authority has emphasized that Lyoness's revenue is mainly due to the acquisition of participants and not from the sale and consumption of goods and services or other benefits.
The Lottery Authority writes in the letter that it announces that, from the summer of 2016, a large increase in the number of inquiries about Lyoness's activities in Norway from participants, family, friends to participants and persons who had been tried to report that Lyoness was running pyramid games, recorded a large increase.
Lyoness has a four-week deadline to object to the decision that has been notified, or the basis for the notification.

Disagree with the production

Leader Claes Gunnarson in Lyoness Norway answers the following criticisms in a press release: "Lyoness has received a preliminary decision from the Norwegian Lottery Authority. Lyoness emphasizes that this is not a final decision.
Lyoness disagrees with the Lottery Authority's case-making, and is particularly surprised at the preliminary decision to suspend Cashback's cash benefit program. The cashback card is free and is used by over eight million members globally and 160,000 in Norway for purchases of goods and services at approximately 1000 Norwegian stores and online stores.
Lyoness is now going through the preliminary decision with the lawyers, and will respond to the Lottery Authority's argument. We believe Lyoness is a legitimate business and will respond to the Lottery Authority's charges ".


___________________________________________________________
www.nettavisen.no/na24/lotteritilsynet-mener-lyoness-driver-ulovlig---150000-kan-rammes/3423407336.html

The Lottery Authority believes Lyoness operates illegally - 150,000 can be affected

All activities in Norway can be stopped.
The Lottery Authority has concluded that Lyoness's operations in Norway are an illegal pyramid-like sales system, the Lottery and Foundation Supervisory Authority writes .
"We have paid particular attention to the fact that Norwegian participants in Lyoness do not receive or consume goods, services or other benefits from the sales system that correspond to the value of what is paid when they pay for them, writes the audit.
As a result, the participants' payments to Lyoness are considered as consideration to participate in a pyramid-based sales system. The income of the company and the individual participant comes almost exclusively from the replacement of new participants and their payments to Lyoness, and not from sales or consumption of goods, services or other benefits, the audit writes.

150,000 Norwegians

Managing Director Claes Gunnarson in Lyoness Norway AS disagrees with the Lottery Authority.
Background is a prudential case that was created last year. In a letter dated 11 January, the Authority notified Lyoness of a decision to suspend the company's activities in Norway.
The notification is directed against the Norwegian company Lyoness Norway AS and the international parent company Lyoness Europe AG, affecting approximately 150,000 Norwegian participants and approximately 1000 loyalty companies included in the Lyoness sales network in Norway.
Furthermore, it means that all referral of participants and loyalty companies to Cashback World and Lyconet, and all sales and use of benefit cards must cease.

Surprised

The decision is not final and Lyoness has four weeks to come up with his opinion on the matter.
Lyoness disagrees with the Lottery Authority's case-making, and is particularly surprised by the preliminary decision to suspend Cashback's customer benefit program, according to Claes Gunnarson, Head of Lyoness Norway AS, in a press release. It reports BA (requires subscription).
Lyoness is a distribution network established in Switzerland in 2003 and has over seven million members in 47 countries.
The prosecution of Lyoness, named under the name of Lyconet, was stamped by the Lottery Authority as illegal pyramid play, until a structural change in 2014 no longer gave the audit grounds for thinking this, writes BA.
The newspaper also writes that several Lyoness members in Europe have sued the business and received significant sums of money