Thursday, 28 June 2018

'Successmore' - Asian 'MLM' racketeers attempt to silence a courageous critic..

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https://www.successmore.com/en/company-profile/

'Successmore Being Company Ltd.' is the absurdly-named corporate-front for an 'Amway' copy-cat blame-the-victim 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cultic racket, based in Thailand, instigated in 2013 and currently spreading (officially-unopposed) into the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (a.k.a. Burma) behind another corporate-front entitled 'Successmore Being Yangon Trading Company Ltd.' 



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The bosses of the 'Successmore' racket have been dissimulating a closed-market swindle (a.k.a. pyramid scheme) behind effectively-unsaleable pseudo-scientific products (one of which is supposed to counteract ageing, but is somewhat-unbelievably labelled 'S.O.D.').


It has recently been reported that on June 6th 2018, a citizen of Myanmar, Ye Myo Thant, appeared in Dawbon Township Court charged with breaching a 2013 telecommunications law and accused of 'causing huge damage to Successmore's image and reputation.' 

http://www.myanmar-mlmtruth.com/2017/10/successmoremember-marose.html

In reality, Ye Myo Thant has merely been telling the truth and attempting to warn his fellow Myanmar citizens that 'Successmore' is a dangerous scam. The fact that the bosses of 'Successmore' are attempting to silence Ye Myo Thant (by filing a malicious criminal complaint against him), should be recognised as part an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity.

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'Multi-Level Marketing' Warning


The following deconstructed analysis has been formulated to sharpen the critical and evaluative faculties of all unwary persons approaching 'Multi-Level Marketing' from the dangerous (subjective) point of view that it must be a business, rather than from the safe (purely-objective) point of view that they don't really know what it is.

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More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that:


  • the widely-misunderstood phenomenon that has become popularly-known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' (a.k.a. 'Network Marketing') is nothing more than an absurd, non-rational,  cultic, economic pseudo-science maliciously-designed to lure unwary persons into de facto servitude, dissociate them from external reality and not only steal their money, but also deceive them into unconsciously acting the role of bait to lure other unwary persons (particularly their friends and family members) into the same trap. 
  • the impressive-sounding made-up jargon term, 'MLM,' is therefore, the misleading title for an enticing structured-scenario of control which has been developed, and constantly acted out as  reality, 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 'Long Cons*'  - comprising self-perpetuating rigged-market swindles**, a.k.a. 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 shills (whose leading-role in the 'Long Con' has been to pretend that anyone can achieve financial freedom simply by following their unquestioning example and exactly-duplicating a step-by-step-plan of recruitment and self-consumption)the hidden overall net-loss/churn rate for participation in so-called 'MLM income opportunities,' has always been effectively 100%.
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*A 'Long Con' is a form of fraud maliciously designed to exploit victims' existing beliefs and instinctual desires and make them falsely-believe that they are exercising a completely free-choice. 'Long Cons' comprise an enticing structured-scenario of control acted out as reality over an extended period. Like theatrical plays, 'Long Cons' are written, directed and produced. They involve leading players and supporting players as well as props, sets, extras, costumes, script, etc. The hidden objective of 'Long Cons' is to convince unwary persons that fiction is fact and fact is fiction, progressively cutting them off from external reality. In this way, victims begin unconsciously to play along with the controlling-scenario and (in the false-expectation of future reward) large sums of money or valuables can be stolen from them. Classically, the victims of 'Long Cons' can become deluded to such an extent that they will abandon their education, jobs, careers, etc., empty their bank accounts, and/or beg, steal, borrow from friends, family members, etc.



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** The enticing structured-scenario of control fundamental to all 'rigged-market swindles' is that people can earn income by first contributing their own money to participate in a profitable commercial opportunity, but which is secretly an economically-unviable fake due to the fact that the (alleged) opportunity has been rigged so that it generates no significant, or sustainable, revenue other than that deriving from its own ill-informed participants. For more than 50 years, 'Multi-Level Marketing' racketeers have been allowed to dissimulate rigged-market swindles by offering endless-chains of victims various banal, but over-priced, products, and/or services, in exchange for unlawful losing-investment payments, on the pretext that 'MLM' products/services can then be regularly re-sold for a profit in significant quantities via expanding networks of distributors. However, since 'MLM' products/services cannot be regularly re-sold to the general public for a profit in significant quantities (based on value and demand), 'MLM' participants have, in fact, been peddled infinite shares of their own finite money (in the false expectation of future reward). 

Thus, in 'MLM' rackets, the innocent looking products/sevices' function has been to hide what is really occurring - i.e The operation of an unlawful, intrinsically fraudulent, rigged-market where effectively no non-salaried (transient) participant can generate an overall net-profit, because, unknown to the non-salaried (transient) participants, the market is in a permanent state of collapse and requires its non-salaried (transient) participants to keep finding further (temporary) de facto slaves to sustain the enticing illusion of stability and viability.

Meanwhile an insignificant (permanent) minority direct the 'Long Con' - raking in vast profits by selling into the rigged-market and by controlling/withholding all key-information concerning the rigged-market's actual catastrophic, ever-shifting results from its never-ending chain of (temporary) de facto slaves.

Although cure-all pills potions and vitamin/dietary supplements, household and beauty, products have been most-prevalent, it is possible to use any product, and/or service, to dissimulate a rigged-market swindle. There are even some 'MLM' rackets that have been hidden behind well-known traditional brands (albeit offered at fixed high prices). Some 'MLM' rackets have included 'cash-back/discount shopping cards, travel products, insurance, energy/communications services' and 'crypto-currencies' in their controlling scenarios.

No matter what bedazzling product/service has been dangled as bait, in 'MLM' rackets, there has been no significant or sustainable source of revenue other than never-ending chains of contractees of the 'MLM' front companies. These front-companies always pretend that their products/services are high quality and reasonably-priced and that for anyone prepared to put in some effort, the products/services can be sold on for a profit via expanding networks of distributors based on value and demand. In reality, the underlying reason why it has mainly only been (transient) 'MLM' contractees who have bought the various products /services (and not the general public) is because they have been tricked into unconsciously playing along with the controlling scenario which constantly says that via regular self-consumption and the recruitment of others to do the same, etc. ad infinitum, anyone can receive a future (unlimited) reward.

I've been examining the 'MLM' phenomenon for around 20 years. During this time, I've yet to find one so-called 'MLM' company that has voluntarily made key-information available to the public concerning the quantifiable results of its so-called 'income opportunity'.

Part of the key-information that all 'MLM' bosses seek to hide concerns the overall number of persons who have signed contracts since the front companies were instigated and the retention rates of these contractees. 

When rigorously investigated, the overall hidden net-loss churn rates for so-called 'MLM income opportunites' has turned out to have been effectively 100%. Thus, anyone claiming (or implying) that it is possible for anyone to make a penny of net-profit, let alone a living, in an 'MLM,' cannot be telling the truth and will not provide quantifiable evidence to back up his/her anecdotal claims.



Although a significant number of 'MLM' front-companies (like 'Vemma', 'Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing', 'Wake Up Now') have been shut-down by commercial regulators, some of the biggest 'MLM' rackets (like 'Amway' ,'Herbalife', Forever Living Products' ) have continued to hide in plain sight whilst secretly churning tens of millions of losing participants over decades.

The quantifiable results of the self-perpetuating global 'Long Con' known as 'Multi Level Marketing,' have been fiendishly hidden by convincing victims that they are 'Independent Business Owners' and that any losses they incurred, must have been entirely their own fault. 






Blog readers should observe how (in the above linked-videos) chronic victims of 'MLM' cults are incapable of describing what they were subjected to in accurate terms. Even though they are no longer physically playing along with the 'Long Con's' controlling-scenario, they unconsciously continue to think, and speak, using the jargon-laced 'MLM' script - illogically describing themselves as 'Distributors.' 

Chronic victims of blame-the-victim cultic rackets who have managed to escape and confront the ego-destroying reality that they’ve been systematically deceived and exploited, are invariably destitute and dissociated from all their previous social contacts. For years afterwards, recovering cult victims 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.  

David Brear (copyright 2018)

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The 'Successmore' racket in neither original nor unique and consequently, it cannot be fully understood in isolation. 

Today, 'MLM income opportunity' is a lie which has been repeated so often, that many people around the world (sadly including, regulators, legislators, journalists, academics, etc.) have come to believe that it must be true

About 20 years ago, I was told by a retired US Food and Drug Administration Attorney that (as far as he was aware) the phrase, 'Multi Level Marketing,' had first appeared in print in the early 1950s (or possibly even in late 1940s) in a privately-owned American magazine, 'Nutrilite News.'  

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Prof. William W. Goodrich
Although, I have never seen the evidence, I have no reason to doubt that my informant (who worked with FDA legend,  Prof. William W. Goodrich) was correct. Indeed, if readers look on the Net, it is generally claimed that,'although Multi-Level Marketing-style companies existed in the 1920s and 1930s, the first real MLM system was created in 1945 by the owner of Nutrilite, Carl F. Rehnborg.' 

Interestingly, however, the peddlers of the 'MLM' fairy story have preferred not to reveal exactly where or when the thought-stopping jargon term, 'MLM,' was coined or who actually coined it, because 'Multi-Level'  was adopted to hide the fact that these schemes are 'Infinite Level' and are, therefore, intrinsically fraudulent.






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Carl F. Rehnborg (1887-1973)
Carl F. Rehnborg and his first family, circa 1920


Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, 'Nutrilite' was already a highly-controversial trademark owned by Carl F. Rehnborg (a.k.a. 'Dr.' Rehnborg), a previously-penniless, American former salesman (of Swedish/German descent) who'd acquired a considerable fortune by reinventing himself as a historically-important, visionary-scientist, autodidactic scholar and philanthropic businessman. Attorneys at the US Food and Drug Administration Bureau of Enforcement (who applied common-sense, as well as the law, and successfully-challenged the authenticity of some of Rehnborg's many absurd lies in the federal courts during two decades), privately knew him to be nothing more than one of a trio of sinister quacks protected by an echelon of aggressive attorneys who had combined, and updated, the medicine show and Ponzi-scheme to reflect the spirit of the age.

Former penniless science-fiction author, turned multi-millionaire, cultic racketeer, L. Ron Hubbard, posing as a historically-important,visionary scientist and philanthropist who had discovered the secret of how ordinary humans can become healthy, wealthy happy and free super humans. Hubbard was prepared to share this secret with anyone (for a price).


There are certain observers who consider that Carl F. Rehnborg's role in the creation of the 'MLM' lie was only secondary and that, although he was a quack, he was somehow a dupe who was used himself. However, just like his contemporary, L. Ron Hubbard, Rehnborg was no ordinary quack; for he was a particularly dangerous performer who undoubtedly became totally convinced that his own ego-protecting, elaborate game of all-American capitalist make-believe was reality. 


The Nutrilite Story









Tellingly, Rehnborg's own comic-book version of his life and achievements as set-down in various non-independent propaganda films and publications (including a book signed by his son, and heir, Sam Rehnborg), reads uncannily like the autobiography dreamt-up by 'Scientology' instigator, L. Ron Hubbard (a man who was once famously described as 'a combination of  Baron M√ľnchausen and Adolf Hitler'). Unfortunately, just as with the followers and casual observers of Hubbard, the only information made available to the followers and casual observers of Rehnborg, has been carefully controlled and all other sources systematically excluded, and condemned, as fake.




Rehnborg, Circa 1927.

Thus, to date, the world has been led to believe that Rehnborg (who was born in 1887 in   Florida) :- 

- was a noted-child-prodigy who read voraciously and who amazed his teachers with his detailed knowledge of: philosophy, religion, history, politics, astronomy, mathematics, aerodynamics, chemistry and human rights. 

- became  fluent in many languages, including Chinese. 

- was not a believer, but he studied Christianity, making a boyhood pilgrimage to Palestine and Egypt.

- had a great passion in his teen-age years - the study of planet Earth, its population, its food reserves, and the 'technology of conservation of natural products, but his first love was always the science of nutrition. 

 - was, by the tender age of 27, already a 'doctor of chemistry' who had moved to Tianjin in China to work as a salesman and then an accountant for an American Oil company.

- ran a shipbuilding company, before becoming the representative of the 'American Dairy Company' and, eventually, the representative of 'Colgate Products Company' in Shanghai.

 - witnessed ‘mass-starvation’ in China, before surviving a ‘siege of Shanghai’ by supplementing his diet (and that of his starving friends) with an improvised, vitamin and mineral-enriched broth made from grasses, vegetables, powdered limestone, ground-up bones and rusty nails, etc.

- sailed across the Pacific (studying its many island-cultures on the way) and landed on the West Coast of the USA, where, despite having no money, he managed to establish a 'research laboratory’ in his modest loft-apartment on California’s Balboa Island.

- selflessly dedicated 6 years of his life (1927-1934) to develop a ‘Revolutionary New Food Supplement’ to save mankind from starvation, assisted only by his second wife.

- first naively tried to give his wonderful new formula away, but the cynical world wasn’t interested, so, in 1934, he reluctantly decided to create ‘California Vitamins Inc.’ 

- moved his flourishing  ‘Business’ to a ‘Manufacturing and Processing Facility’ in Buena Park, California, and created the ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ in 1939. 

- acting in association with a ‘Network Sponsoring Company’, ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ (to whom he’d sold ‘Exclusive Nutrilite Distribution Rights’) created the ‘World’s First Multi-Level Marketing Scheme’ in 1945.

-  tried, but failed, to prevent Messrs, Mytinger and Casselberry from making exaggerated 'cure-all' claims about 'Nutrilite.'

- had lived the American dream, starting from nothing to become an admired and respected millionaire through ‘Helping thousands of fellow Americans to build their own MLM Businesses.’ 


Carl F. Rehnborg  circa 1939



Like L.Ron Hubbard, no independent quantifiable evidence has been produced to prove that Rehnborg was qualified (let alone expert) in anything, other than lying to vulnerable people to get their money. Again, like Hubbard, Rehnborg's lies, and exaggerations, usually contained elements of the truth. Apparently, he did once work as a salesman for 'Carnation Milk' and the 'Colgate & Co,' and he was in China during, and after, WWI, but all the other exciting episodes in his various occidental and oriental odysseys are largely anecdotal. However, the truth about Rehnborg’s convoluted ‘Rags to Riches’ American fairy story, is an entirely different matter.


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In 1934, Rehnborg (aged 48) legally-registered ‘California Vitamins Inc.’allegedly to manufacture and distribute what he arbitrarily defined as 'the World’s First Multi-Mineral/Multivitamin Plant-Based Food Supplement - a Unique Combination of Vitamins and Minerals in a Special Base.’  At first, this so-called ‘Health Tonic’ was brewed up, and peddled as 'Vita-6'  a.k.a. 'Vitasol,' in insignificant quantities. Consequently, it was of no particular interest to regulators.





Anyone with an ounce of common sense could immediately tell that Rehnborg’s ‘invention’ was just another essentially-inert potion (in the absurd tradition of the medicine show); a random mixture of cheaply-procured common substances with an expensive price tag. It had probably taken Rehnborg 6 hours to concoct, not 6 years.




Aerial View of Nutrilite Products Inc. Plant





By 1939, Rehnborg had spotted the existing term, 'Nutrilites' (probably in an old scientific magazine). So he legally-changed the name of his pay-to-play game of make-believe to the technical-sounding ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ and moved his quackery onto an almost unprecedented scale. Soon, Rehnborg was legally employing dozens of white-coated workers in purpose-built industrial buildings in Buena ParkCalifornia. He also acquired an alfalfa farm near to the city of Hemet in California's San Jacinto valley, but it is unclear exactly where he suddenly found all the necessary capital to pay for these impressive sites and their modern equipment. To his followers and casual observers, Rehnborg’s activity looked like any other lawful enterprise. His staff were ordinary honest folk, to whom the truth was also unthinkable.


At this time, Rehnborg rechristened his potion ‘Nutrilite Double X (‘XX’Supplement.’ He now proposed to offer it as two ‘complimentary products’ in one pack -  comprising little green bottles of bright red ‘Multivitamin Capsules’ and boxes of pale-coloured ‘Multi-Mineral Tablets.’ The product was deliberately designed to look modern and scientific (like a proprietary medicine), but, tellingly, the price was fixed at just less than $20 a box (the equivalent of several hundred dollars today). 






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Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but in 1940 Charlie Chaplin's celebrated satire of 'Nazi' Germany, 'The Great Dictator', had transformed the Swastika into the 'Double Cross.'


Rehnborg claimed that the ‘XX’ brand-name was derived from the Roman numeral representing twenty. It should have been read as ‘double cross;’ for when the former toothpaste salesman’s pricey wampum was routinely analysed by independent chemists working for the FDA, it was discovered that (although it contained essentially what it said on the labels and was quite harmless) ‘XX Supplement’ really did mostly comprise a random mixture of cheaply-procured, common substances in which vitamins and minerals naturally occur (dried vegetable extracts: alfalfa; parsley; watercress; yeast; etc.). FDA experts later estimated that XX Supplement’  cost no more than a few cents a pack to produce. Thus, FDA lawyers must have known that Rehnborg was, in fact, using authentic pharmaceutical equipment to mass-produce a precisely-measured, harmless placebo, but labelled as a ‘Health Tonic’ (a meaningless term), and peddling it at an exorbitant mark-up (certainly, more than 1000%). This crack-pot pseudo-scientific swindle, which was tantamount to a self-styled 'alchemist' stamping a valueless amalgam of base-metals, 'Pure Gold,and selling it for the price of pure gold, could have been quickly nipped in the bud, simply by charging Rehnborg with criminal fraud. Apparently, prosecutors never considered the possibility that they might be dealing with someone with severe psychological problems whose own inflexible delusions were contagious. Instead, at first, FDA lawyers felt obliged to take no action; reasoning that, by truthfully listing the banal ingredients, but avoiding making any specific therapeutic claims, on his packaging, Rehnborg had found a loophole in federal laws concerning criminal misbranding of medicines. As result, an up-dated version of an age-old fiction was permitted to be mass-marketed as fact to an unsuspecting public. Unfortunately, the lack of any rigorous, official challenge only brought its author more credibility. Not surprisingly, a host of copy-cat 'Unique Vitamin and Mineral Health-Tonic’ scams quickly sprang up.






As WWII drew to its close, ‘Nutrilite’ had lost its novelty, so Rehnborg (who was approaching 60) had teamed-up with two respectable-looking associates, Lee S. Mytinger and William S. Casselberry (later described by FDA officials as a ‘cemetery-plot salesman’ and a ‘psychologist’). The result was ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.,’ a second corporate structure peddling ‘Exclusive Commission-Agency Rights’ to ‘Distribute XX Supplement’ using (what was first defined by the company’s owners as) a ‘New Business Model.’ In theory… you could try to sell ‘XX  Supplement’ to your social contacts for a small profit, but, if you wanted to make big money, you didn’t need to sell anything… you could buy a monthly quota of ‘XX Supplement’ yourself and sign-up your social contacts to do the same… your ‘Sponsored Recruits’ would then ‘Sponsor’ their own social contacts, etc., ‘compensation’ would automatically multiply in an infinitely-expanding geometric progression


‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ offered a mind-numbing contract’ in which the ‘company’ undertook to pay its ‘Independent Distributors’ an escalating ‘monthly commission’ on the totality of their escalating ‘Business Volume’(i.e. their own regular monthly purchasesfalsely defined as sales’, added to the regular monthly purchases, falsely defined as ‘sales’, of their ‘Sponsored Recruits’, and those of the recruits of their recruits, etc. etc. ad infinitum).





In reality, the new set-up was merely the original mystifying lie with a second mystifying chapter added, but to casual observers ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ appeared to be exclusively manufacturing for, and wholesaling ‘XX Supplement’ to, ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.,’ whose commission agents, in turn, appeared to be retailing it to the public for a profit. Although ‘XX Supplement’ was presented as ‘Unique,’ it mostly comprised substances which could easily be bought at a fraction of their exorbitant, assembled fixed-price, in traditional retail outlets. The product was effectively-impossible to sell to the general public for a profit on the open market. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of its final customers were merely the non-salaried agents of the second corporate structure, which itself was the sole agent of the first corporate structure. In order for them to maintain the false hope that if they signed-up further contributing participants they would automatically become rich, the participants in this dissimulated money circulation game were obliged by its rules to keep handing-over a monthly payment to Mytinger and Casselberry, to be shared with Rehnborg. From all rational points of view (medical, economic, legal, etc.), ‘XX Supplement’ might have well not existed; for it was just a convenient means of laundering illegal losing investment payments in a classic rigged-market swindle, or pyramid scheme, based on the crack-pot, non-rational theory that endless-chain recruitment + endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits. New victims were supplied with a $49.50 ‘Business Kit’ (i.e. a large cardboard box stuffed with a month’s supply of ‘XX Supplement’ and a fat folder containing page after page of mind-numbing pseudo-economic/medical presentations and diagrams, and instructions in how to go about remembering, contacting and recruiting everyone they’d ever known during their lives). These presentations contained the concrete evidence which FDA lawyers could use to prosecute Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry. Contributing participants were being instructed to smile, project excitement and enthusiasm, and to recite a precisely-worded script which proclaimed ‘Nutrilite XX Supplement’ to be ‘good value,’ because it could ‘cure or prevent,’ virtually any known human illness.



William W. Goodrich
William W. Goodrich



Even though it wasn’t his area of responsibility, FDA Legal Counsel (1939-1971), Prof. William W. Goodrich, was probably the first senior US law enforcement agent to deduce that the innocent baby that Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry had first baptised a ‘New Business Model’ (later to become popularly known as: ‘Multi-Level Marketing’) was actually the same old delinquent previously known a 'pyramid scam.’ Again, anyone with an ounce of common-sense could work out immediately that, since Rehnborg had been peddling medical alchemythe strong likelihood was that Mytinger and Casselberry were peddling economic alchemy. The sinister trio of quacks were obviously acting in association, but agents of the Food and Drug Administration and those of the Federal Trade Commission acted independently. At this time, anti-racketeering legislation did not yet exist in the USA. However, in the late 1940s, the rapidly-expanding ‘XX Supplement’ dossier was already in the hands of FTC lawyers. Apparently, prosecutors still never considered the possibility that they might be dealing with persons suffering from severe psychological problems and whose own inflexible delusions were contagious. Instead, they still felt obliged to take no action; this time reasoning that Mytinger and Casselberry appeared to have found a loophole in federal law prohibiting fraud. For even today, the fundamental identifying characteristic of all pyramid scams and Ponzi schemes, has not yet been accurately defined by legislators. As a result, another updated version of an age-old fiction was permitted to be mass-marketed as fact to an unsuspecting publicYet again, the lack of any rigorous official challenge only brought its authors more credibility. Not surprisingly, a host of copy-cat 'income opportunity' swindles (camouflaged by banal, but pricey, wampum) quickly sprang up.





By 1947, Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry were steadfastly pretending  ‘15 000 Successful Distributorships in the USA,’ with ‘sales’ totalling ‘$500 000 dollars per month.’ Mytinger and Casselberry had also organised the production of a ‘Free’ booklet, ‘How to Get Well and Stay Well’, in which they further pretended that ‘Nutrilite Double X Supplement’ had ‘cured or greatly helped such common ailments’ as : ‘Low blood pressure, Ulcers, Mental depression, Pyorrhoea, Muscular twitching, rickets, Worry over small things, Tonsillitis, Hay Fever, Sensitivity to noise, Underweight, Easily tired, Gas in stomach, Cuts heal slowly, Faulty vision, Headache, Constipation, Anaemia Boils, Flabby tissues, Hysterical tendency, Eczema, Overweight, Faulty memory, Lack of ambition, Certain Bone conditions, Nervousness, Nosebleed, Insomnia, Allergies, Asthma, Restlessness, Bad skin colour, Poor appetite, Biliousness, Neuritis, Night blindness, Migraine, High blood pressure, Sinus trouble, Lack of concentration, Dental caries, Irregular heartbeat, Colitis, Craving for sour foods, Arthritis, Rheumatism, Neuralgia, Deafness, Subject to colds.’


Carl.F. Rehnborg circa 1947


Rehnborg now cast himself in the role of ‘Scientific Adviser’ to ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ He toured the USA preaching the gospel to wide-eyed ‘Distributors’ - ‘for less than $20 a month’‘Nutrilite Double X Supplement’ was the ‘Answer to Man’s Search for Health.’ After both companies’ owners were approached by FDA officials and warned that they could face criminal prosecution for misbranding, the booklet was ‘revised.’ Specific therapeutic claims were supposed to be eliminated. ‘All illnesses’ suddenly became a ‘state of nonhealth’ produced by ‘chemical imbalance’.… ‘Nutrilite XX Supplement’ cured nothing, it merely ‘enabled people to Get Well and stay Well’ by themselves. However, pages 41-52 of the booklet still recounted alleged case-histories explaining that ‘Nutrilite brought relief from such ailments as diabetes, feeble mindedness, stomach pains, sneezing and weeping.’ Not surprisingly, the FDA officials were not impressed, so they finally launched a number of raids, and seizures of ‘Nutrilite XX Supplement’ and associated publications.






In 1951, after a series of lawsuits, appeals and counter suits (in which Mytinger and Casselberry hired top lawyers who portrayed their clients as American capitalist heroes being crushed by Soviet-style bureaucracy), the FDA obtained (on behalf of the people) a permanent Supreme Court injunction against ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ preventing Distributors’ from referring to 50 publications making false claims about ‘Health Tonics and Food Supplements’ (including various ‘Revised Editions’ of ‘How to Get Well and Stay Well). FDA agents soon found that the injunction was being flouted. As a result of mounting complaints, they infiltrated the organisation (as potential recruits) and recorded deluded proselytisers chanting the same cure-all mantra about ‘XX Supplement.’ Faced with more litigation and fearing that their monopoly of information might be lost, in 1954, Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry hired a leading advertising agency which handled the clean-cut, but fading, Hollywood star, Alan Ladd. Along with his wife and children, Alan Ladd then briefly-featured in a kitsch 'Nutrilite' advertising campaign - published in various mainstream magazines right up until 1959. Alan Ladd (who secretly suffered from chronic depression and who had problems with alcohol and narcotics) was, however, soon to be air-brushed out of the 'Nutrilite' fairy story.


Image result for edith rehnborg cosmetics


Almost certainly in an attempt to dodge the permanent US Supreme Court injunction, in the Mid 1950s (using his third wife's name), Carl Rehnborg introduced yet another grossly-overpriced, effectively-unsaleable investment commodity into the 'Nutrilite/MLM' fairy story - 'Juvalite / Edith Rehnborg Cosmetics (ERC).' This would later be rebranded 'Artistry.'




 


The charlatan-trio, 'Mytinger, Casselberry and Rehnborg,' also paid a team of Hollywood professionals to produce a 20 minute colour propaganda film, From the Ground up’ (featuring themselves as three nice ordinary American guys turned philanthropic scientists and industrialists). They also revamped their own propaganda magazine, ‘Nutrilite News' (stuffing it with ritual photos of happy, healthy and wealthy ‘Distributors' and their dutiful wives).


Amway Co-Founders Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel (bottom row, second and third from the right, respectively) and their group of senior key agents pose with Nutrilite Founder Carl F. Rehnborg and his wife Edith Rehnborg, in front of their tour bus, 1956.
Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel (2nd and 3rd from the right, front row), Carl F. Rehnborg (immediately behind Van Andel, second row), circa 1950.








Soon, the 'Nutrilite' show was touring the USA on a motor coach (like a 'Tent Revivalist' group).  Mytinger, Casselberry and Rehnborg had begun organising pay-to-enter ‘Rallies and Seminars'’ (addressed by allegedly ‘Successful Christian Distributors’ like Rich De Vos and Jay Van Andel). No quantifiable evidence (in the form of audited accounts) was ever produced to prove what percentage of claimed ‘sales'’ were authentic retail transactions to the general public for a profit (based on value and demand), or how many people who’d signed a contract'’ with ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.' had actually generated an overall net-profit from the operation of what its instigators arbitrarily defined as an MLM income opportunity’. Excluding the tiny percentage of grinning shills at the top of the pyramid, the hidden, rolling insolvency/churn-rate was 100%. Since there was no significant or sustainable external revenue, participants were actually buying infinite shares in their own finite money. 


 Richard DeVos                                                Jay Van Andel

Circa 1950
circa 1965

In 1959, when it seemed that ‘Mytinger and Casselberry/Nutrilite Products Inc.’ might finally be shut down (under the ‘Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 3381-3383’, rather than anti-fraud legislation) De Vos and Van Andel hid behind familiar, patriotic words and images stolen from contemporary popular culture. They created the ‘American Way Association’ - the first of what was to become a shoal of red, white and blue herrings.

Previously, the two up-and-coming charlatans, Mytinger and Casselberry, gravitated towards the established (but ageing) Rehnborg, and vice versa. Rehnborg seems to have reflected the pair's own narcissistic delusions as reality and behaved as though they were important businessmen/psychologists, whilst the pair treated him as though he really was an important and respected scientist/ philanthropic businessman. This was the point at which'Nutrilite Inc.' (a legally-registered, and industrialised, pseudo-scientific swindle), began to transform into a highly-organised, self-perpetuating, blame-the-victim 'Prosperity Gospel' cultic racket - tailor-made to fit the existing beliefs and instinctual desires of a broad range of people - peddling a perversion of the 'American Dream' whilst giving victims the illusion that they were making free choices. 

Evidently, US law enforcement agents never fully-understood that Rehnborg, Mytinger, Casselberry, DeVos, Van Andel and their close-associates, were dangerous manipulators who magnified each others' narcissistic delusions. The longer they went unchallenged: the more adherents they ensnared and the more-capital they acquired. The more capital they acquired: the easier it became to deceive more adherents and the more severe, and inflexible, their own delusions became. Sadly, and exactly like L. Ron Hubbard, the more convinced of their importance Rehnborg, Mytinger, Casselberry, DeVos and Van Andel became: the more convincing they became.



On September 6th 1949 (along with Michael Pacetti), two, clean-cut, hitherto-unremarkable USAAF veterans of Dutch Protestant origin, Richard DeVos (aged 23) and Jay Van Andel (aged 25), registered the ‘Ja-Ri Corporation.’ However, throughout the 1950s, this (apparently independent) company was solely the agent of both Nutrilite Products Company Inc.' and of  'Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.'

The two Pentacostalists, DeVos and Van Andel spent ten years perfecting their own sanctimonious 'MLM' act, before finally setting up a copy-cat 'income opportunity' racket.

 'Amway' frst operated as an affinity fraud targeting the flag-waving adherents of Evangelical Churches in the Bible Belt. Most early 'Amway' adherents were already trained to defer systematically to the moral and intellectual authority of their pastors - so De Vos and Van Andel simply dressed up, and behaved, exactly like respectable Church pastors. They taught their male followers to duplicate their clean-cut example. Thus, alcohol, cigarettes and even beards were forbidden. Amway men had to wear a suit and tie, whilst Amway women were forbidden to wear pants or anything too sexy. Indeed, until relatively recently, 'Amway Network Leaders' were commonly referred to as 'Black Hats.'


The classic movie, 'Elmer Gantry' (released in 1960), was written and directed by Richard Brooks and is loosely-based on a novel of 1927 by the Nobel prize-winning author, Sinclair LewisIn the Movie, 'Gantry' (played by Burt Lancaster) is a grinning charlatan in a loud suit - a hard-drinking whore-chasing travelling-salesman, who, for sexual and financial motives, attaches himself to the beautiful 'Sister Sharon' (played by Jean Simmons), the focus of a profitable 'Tent Revivalist' group working the Bible-Belt during Prohibition (1920-1933). 'Elmer Gantry' keeps his grin, but he dons a sombre suit and black hat, and is reborn as 'Brother Gantry' 'Charismatic Preacher' and 'Moral Crusader'. He soon discovers that he has the power to create mass-hysteria, and reap tens of thousands of dollars, by manipulating individuals' existing beliefs and instinctual desires. At a key-moment in the movie, a Protestant Minister (bedazzled by 'Brother Gantry's' offer to fill his church coffers) abandons the traditional Christian message and proclaims: 'Business is business, that's the American Way'.

Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but at almost exactly the time that 'The American way Association' first appeared, 'Elmer Gantry' was playing to packed movie theatres all over the USA.





Initially (and with an irony that is close to exquisite), in order to dodge being drawn into the ongoing FDA investigation of 'Nutrilite,' De Vos and Van Andel got rid of the pills and potions and now laundered all the unlawful investment payments into their copy-cat, dissimulated, rigged-market swindle, behind the claim that they were selling a laundry detergent  (i.e. banal, but effectively-unsaleable, non-'medicinal' pseudo-scientific wampum of their own fabrication). Again, the updated snake oil stain remover was deliberately designed to look modern and scientific, whilst De Vos and Van Andel grinned from ear as they too steadfastly pretended that these strangely-familiar, cheaply-procured mixtures of common substances, were all-American, exclusive, good-value and unique.




The original 'Nutrilite/Artistry' lie was progressively-absorbed back into the spin-off 'Amway' (a.k.a. 'Quixtar') lie, 1972-1994, where an up-dated 'organic/ anti-ageing ' version is still peddled as the truth



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Only after the 'MLM' virus had spread to almost every State of the Union, did the US Federal Trade Commission finally make a half-hearted attempt to close-down 'Amway.' After receiving a significant number of complaints,  FTC prosecutors, advised by specialist economists, recognised that what they were faced with, was not a direct selling scheme, but as a classic pyramid scam, without a significant or sustainable source of revenue other than its own victims, but hidden behind a smokescreen of banal products. However, after years of investigations and hearings, in 1979, a naive, and/or corrupt, federal judge ruled that although 'Amway' had previously been massively in breach of the law and would have to pay fines, the company would be allowed to continue to trade. This was because the judge accepted the latest unbelievable chapter of the 'MLM' fairy story. i.e. That 'Amway' s owners were respectable Christian businessmen who were vehemently opposed to  pyramid schemes and that, consequently, they had stopped fixing prices and introduced their own rules which would, henceforth, oblige the members of 'Amway's' sales force to sell at least 70% (by value) of the products which they had bought wholesale from the company, to at least 10 customers, before they could receive commission paymentsAmazingly, no independent, common-sense mechanism was created to ensure that this latest twist in the fairy story was true, and that 'Amway' would now be in compliance with the law.

Not surprisingly, this tragicomic judgement was seen as an open-invitation to thieve, and, consequently, a whole host of 'Amway' copy-cat 'MLM' rackets soon began to appear. 

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Today the so-called 'Direct Selling Association,' is a demonstrable lie - a false beacon that has attracted, and continues to attract, millions of vulnerable persons into de facto slavery by fooling them into believing they can become 'business owners.'  The so-called 'Direct Selling Association' is financed and controlled by the bosses of a classic, organised crime syndicate.

David Brear (copyright 2018)

_________________________________________________________________________


(Short) Questionnaire for Past, and Present,
'Multi-Level Marketing Income Opportunity' 
Adherents. 

(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 2018)

3 comments:

  1. Myanmar Business Today29 June 2018 at 02:54

    https://www.mmbiztoday.com/articles/4-government-departments-investigate-mlm

    Four government de­partments led by the Ministry of Home Affairs have begun scruti­nizing companies accused of practicing Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), ac­cording to an announce­ment by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Septem­ber 11.

    Government watchdogs first began investigating in early of 2017, based on directives from the Presi­dent’s Office and Ministry of Home Affairs.

    “The Ministry of Home Affairs and President’s Office have received hun­dreds of complaints of fraud and theft staged by MLM companies. We are investigating the com­plaints accordingly,” U Thein Naing Tun, Direc­tor of Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI), said.

    A group formed to lead the investigations was organized by four depart­ments, the Department of Trade and Customs, the Internal Revenue Depart­ment, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, and the Department of Food and Drug Administration

    From 2009 to 2011, the government took action against MLM companies by seizing assets, arrest­ing leaders, or putting companies on a blacklist under the infamous 1950 Emergency Provisions Act.

    However, the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act were abolished in 2016 in the wake of nearly a half-century of corrup­tion and flagrant abuse, therefore creating a vac­uum in the government’s ability to prosecute these tricksters.

    In addition to price gauging unknowing con­sumers, most MLM busi­nesses operate on the black market and hence, aren't paying taxes.

    Research indicates that unethical foreign com­panies which lose status in neighboring coun­tries choose Myanmar as the destination to hawk overpriced crap because the nation doesn't have strong retail regulation or enforcing agencies.

    In a discussion at Py­idaungsu Hluttaw in early August, U Kyaw Kyaw Oo, MP from Hlaing Town­ship urged the parliament to take legal action on MLM companies imme­diately. He warned poten­tially 100 MLM compa­nies in domestic market.

    Multi-level marketing is a strategy that some direct sales companies use to encourage their existing distributors to recruit new distributors by paying the existing dis­tributors a percentage of their recruits' sales; the recruits are known as a distributor's downline.

    In first week of Septem­ber, Myanmar Junwell Global Co., owned by Ma­laysians but registered under a Myanmar name, sold J Coin and J Card shopping cards utilizing a MLM system and de­frauded investors of over a $1 million.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myanmar Business Today - I was aware of this article, but (given the evidence) why any chapter of the puerile 'MLM' fairy story should be covered by any serious publication aimed at an adult audience and dealing with real business, beggars belief.

      In the adult world of quantifiable reality, what has become laughably referred to as, 'Multi-Level-Marketing,' has precious little to do with business (in the traditional sense of the word). Any commentator who repeats reality-inverting 'MLM' jargon without qualification or irony, demonstrates that he/she remains at a pitifully low-level of understanding of the 'MLM' phenomenon.

      Delete
  2. I read this and thought this "sod"- MLM looks even more crackpot than Amway, Herbalife and all, but they are all just as sodding crazy aren't they?

    ReplyDelete