Friday, 8 February 2013

'Forever Living Products (FLP)' is an 'Amway' copy-cat 'MLM Income Opportunity' cultic racket.

Due to the large number of people wanting to contact the author of this Blog off-line, rather than leave comments, here is an e-mail address for that purpose:

e-mails should be marked:  'For the  attention of David Brear'


Stop Press July 12th 2016


Readers are also directed to this fully-deconstructed analysis of 'Forever Living Products (FLP)' as a pernicious, or criminogenic, cult (Secte) - i.e. a self-perpetuating, non-rational ritual belief system instigated for the clandestine purpose of human exploitation.


In 1945, whilst most, contemporary mainstream commentators were unable to look beyond the ends of their noses, with a perfect sense of irony, Eric Arthur Blair a.k.a. George Orwell (1903-1950) presented fact as fiction in an insightful 'fairy story' entitled, 'Animal Farm.' He revealed that totalitarianism is merely the oppressors' fiction mistaken for fact by the oppressed.

In the same universal allegory, Orwell described how, at a time of vulnerability, almost any people's dream of a future, secure, Utopian existence can be hung over the entrance to a totalitarian deception. Indeed, the words that are always banished by totalitarian deceivers are, 'totalitarian' and 'deception.'

Sadly, when it comes to examining the same enduring phenomenon, albeit with an ephemeral 'Capitalist' label, most contemporary, mainstream commentators have again been unable to look further than the ends of their noses. However, if they followed Orwell's example, and did some serious thinking, this is the reality-inverting nightmare they would find.

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, recruitment leads, lead generation systems,' etc.).


Stop Press

'Forever Living Products (FLP)' - Craig Morgan blows the whistle.

Craig Morgan (b. 1963)

Craig Morgan contacted me in December 2015. He is British by birth and a builder by trade. He's also a down-to-Earth businessman and an atheist, but even he was deceived into pouring hundreds of thousands of pounds into the 'Mormon'-controlled 'MLM income opportunity' cultic racket known as 'Forever Living Products.'

So how on Earth did this happen?

Craig Morgan's ex-wife is Teresa Jones - a former hairdresser (from the village of Ashworth near Cheltenham): turned de facto 'FLP' slave. 

Craig Morgan remains very concerned for his ex-wife, but he also wants to put a stop to the 'FLP' racket.

I have to say, that in 20 years of investigating 'MLM' rackets, other than Eric Scheibeler, I have rarely come across an 'MLM' whistle blower of the calibre of Craig Morgan. He says that he is prepared to face absolutely anyone over this.

See original image
Teresa Jones (formerly known as Teresa Morgan-Jones)

NB. As a direct result of the publication of this article, all the above videos (which featured Theresa Jones reciting the 'MLM' fairy story) were suddenly pulled from the Intenet.

Teresa Jones is one of a significant core-group of 'FLP' adherents who has undergone  the classic radical 'MLM'personality transformation. For the last 9 years, she has been recklessly dissipating all her mental, physical and financial resources to the benefit of the multi-millionaire 'Mormon' bosses of the 'FLP' racket whom she has continued to trust, and follow, no matter what suffering this has entailed.

For 6 years (out of love and loyalty) Craig Morgan secretly subsidised his wife's financially-suicidal 'FLP'-related activities, falsely believing that he was investing in both their futures. During this entire period, Teresa kept her financial records hidden, and Craig only discovered the full truth about his wife's debts 4 years ago, when she dumped him (because he was so physically weakened ,and impoverished, that he was no longer of use) and the couple divorced. Lawyers, and a judge, then became involved, and Teresa's tragicomic accounts were finally declared. The judge commented that she wasn't really in business at all and that, consequently, her so-called'FLP business' was worthless. In the divorce Craig sought to recover £55 000 which he had inherited from his mother, but he discovered that Teresa was insolvent to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Although Craig was awarded £20 000, and access to his private belongings, in reality, (after legal fees) he's received virtually nothing from his divorce

It's taken Craig Morgan until today to feel strong enough to speak out publicly. Previously he had been falsely blamed for his ex-wife's debts and depicted by her as a violent and abusive liar and negative loser. Indeed, for a while, Craig was placed under such stress that he required psychiatric counselling and he also developed heart problems.

This is a brief transcript of Craig Morgan's testimony to me (Craig is dyslexic):

December 2010 my mother very unwell. 4 months she was in and out of hospital I was told she only had short time to live
Teresa never once came to see my mother, she had too much to do with her business
Whilst she was ill, my mum gave me and my brother £10000 eachI gave Teresa £5000 because I new she was having money problems because of FLP
The night my mum died, I had to drive Teresa and some of her team to the airport in the early hours of the morning for a Flp profit share rally. She had to go, she had to be there for her team
I had not slept for 3 days 
Forever was far more important than the death of my mother and my health
Yet after that when they returned from rally there were people within the business more intrested and sim pathetic 
At that time of loss and greath I was weak
In the following months I had to clear my house and put it on the market
July was at a forever training a member of the team rushed to hospital heart scare
In and out of doctors they said due to stress I was getting problems
When I was emptying property there was some forever People 
Asking if there is anything that you don't want
Being weak at the time kind and unwell 
I gave most of my mums things away
Now I no that they were telling people how well they were doing
But happy to have hand outs
Probably to sell to prop up there Flp dream
In November /December 
My X paid on my credit cards(at that time she had no credit rating because of her over spend)
So she bought car plan to get profit share
It cost thousands what bullshit
In December I handed over and I have records of this £50000
I said it was to pay the dept so it would make are life better 
Later I found out she paid around £10000 of it to take her mother brother and of course me on a cruse for here mums 80th birthday
She said here business paid for this more bullshit for the Flp facade 
Look how well I'm doing  
February Budapest for profit share ( I was very unwell)
At this time I've had to much bullshit wanted know more
When we were there she paid on my card a river cruse for her team 
And lots of other things were put on my credit cards
She told the team profit share is paying more bullshit
I walked across stage with here for profit share
It was less than £2500 grand
It cost more to buy it 
The death of my mother had paid for this bullshit
More lies to make Flp look GREAT 
Left the hotel I had a very very big room service bill
I had spent most of the time in bed 
Thank forever
On the flight back the flight team were great they could see how unwell I was
They were that concerned they said they would divert
I said no just get me home 
And on the flight a forever person was prospecting a trapped person in the seat by them (they are sick)
It took me two weeks to feel well
It was a Saturday took my wife out for lunch needed to talk to her
Back from profit share rally we had had more bullshit from forever team 
I wanted lunch a talk about the future 
Not been there 10 mins she started to prospect the waiter
I said no more I wanted to do something else was not going to give anymore to Flp
Will not say what she said I will leave that to you
3 weeks later mid Atlantic on the cruse (that the death of my mum paid for )
I was told she did not love me had not helped here in her. Flp life / business / bullshit 
She dumps me yet some other victim bleed dry by Flp 
A fun 16 months  
Bad health 
Sale of a family home 
And robbed 
It's the forever way 
And remember a friend in forever is a friend for life

A European journalist has asked me:

 "What do you know about Forever Living.... Is it a scam ?" '

This ties in with a frequently-asked question:

'Why do so few MLM victims complain?'

By chance, I have recently been in contact with a former friend of a young British man who (about a year ago), despite wearing the ego-inflating label 'Independent Business Owner,' was a de facto slave recruiter for the 'Multi-Level Marketing income opportunity' racket known as 'Forever Living Products (FLP).' Although he was subsequently obliged (partially) to come to his senses and quit (after running out of cash), for several months this guy suffered a frighteningly-familiar, radical personality transformation. Typically, he still does not accept that he was, in fact, the victim of an up-dated version of an age-old trap and, consequently (like the overwhelming majority of cult victims), he remains silent. 

Aloe Vera is a commercially-grown, hybrid species of succulent plant that probably originated in N. Africa - where closely-related wild aloes can still be found. These were reputedly used in ancient herbal medicine. Today, aloe vera (meaning extracts of the hybrid plant) is a cheaply-procured common substance widely-used in cosmetics and alternative/herbal medicine - marketed as having moisturizing, and/or rejuvenating, and/or healing, and/or soothing, properties. There is, however, little scientific evidence proving the effectiveness or safety of aloe vera for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, and the available (largely-anecdotal) evidence has been widely-contradicted by wholly-independent studies.

The 'FLP' adherent's former friend at first treated his whacky new behaviour as a huge joke, but she became increasingly concerned as he shut out of his life anyone refusing to support 'his new business.' 

The adherent changed his habitual way of speaking, dressing, eating and sleeping, and stuffed his home with exorbitantly-priced 'Forever Living Products' containing Aloe Vera (the regular purchase, and consumption, of which, he firmly-believed was going to fulfil his 'dreams and goals' and bring him unlimited health, wealth, happiness and freedom).


Whilst watching these typical 'FLP' propaganda videos featuring the tightly-scripted, unsubstantiated 'success/ miraculous cure' testimonies of deluded shills, bear in mind that the hidden overall loss/churn rate for so-called 'MLM income opportunities' has always been effectively 100%. In plain language, anyone claiming, and/or implying, that it is possible to make an overall net-income out of operating a so-called 'FLP Business,' is not telling the truth. The claim that '150 governments around the world have approved the FLP Business Model' is a classic piece of realty-inverting 'MLM' propaganda. 

In the above (astonishing) video, UK shill, Andy Waring, boasts that the 'FLP MLM income opportunity' has precious little to with selling, and is actually based on 'geometric progression.' In this way, Mr. Waring has been habitually committing fraud on behalf of his American masters; for this video demonstrates that 'FLP' adherents are taught that they can all receive constantly expanding profits forever, simply by exactly duplicating a 'proven plan' where they all obediently hand over their cash each month whilst attempting to recruit others exactly to duplicate the same 'plan.' Classically of an 'MLM income opportunity' racket, in 'FLP,' these unlawful losing investment payments (based on the false expectation of future reward) have been laundered as lawful sales ( based on value and demand), simply by giving victims pseudo-medical wampum (which has been arbitrarily given quasi-miraculous powers and an exorbitant fixed value, by the 'FLP' racketeers) in return for their cash. Self evidently, (from all rational points of view), this wampum might as well not exist, because its effects are unquantifiable and it has been effectively unsaleable on the open-market (i.e. to members of the general public with fully-functioning critical and evaluative faculties).


Currently, perhaps the most worrying aspect of 'FLP' activity in the UK, is the involvement of a significant number of former, and serving, police officers - one of whom, Emma Cooper, boasts of having been recruited whilst she and her husband, Shaun ( another former police officer), were in a highly vulnerable emotional state (after the murder of two colleagues).

Fiona Bone And Nicola Hughes
Unarmed WPCs, Nicola Hughes (aged 32) and Fiona Bone (aged 23), who were lured to a fake burglary and shot dead (Hattersly, Tameside, Greater Manchester), September 2012.

Readers should note that Emma Cooper has subsequently left comments on this article in which she ordered me to remove all reference to her emotionally-vulnerable state at the time she was recruited into 'FLP.' According to Emma Cooper,  my description of her as boasting of being of being in a highly-vulnerable state (after the murder of two colleagues), is 'slanderous.'  However, I would suggest that the real reason why Emma Cooper doesn't want attention to be drawn to her gushing and tearful 'FLP' performance, lies elsewhere. Former colleagues of Emma Cooper have since contacted 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare' and informed me that she did not know, and had not even met either WPC Nicola Hughes or WPC Fiona Bone, and that she had absolutely no involvement in the investigation of their murder.

These same witnesses state that most of Emma Cooper's former colleagues (including an officer who was a close friend of one of the murdered officers), are now 'disgusted' by her attempt to exploit this tragedy in order to make money.

In a more recent video, Emma Cooper again breaks down at an 'FLP' event (this time staged in Singapore) and confesses that she has suffered from depression and anxiety attacks. 



As part of a 'proven step-by-step business-building plan,' the adherent began to travel to regular pay-through-the nose-to-enter 'FLP' meetings and to buy many related-publications and recordings. All these materials constantly repeated the same message. They featured 'FLP Diamond' shills steadfastly pretending to be 'ordinary people who had quickly achieved extraordinary things ... simply by exactly duplicating the 'FLP business building plan' they had become 'financially free'... thus, anyone could begin recruiting ordinary people to duplicate exactly the same 'FLP business-building plan' and quickly 'achieve extraordinary things' themselves, etc. ad infinitum. 

As a result of all this typical 'income opportunity' brainwashing, the  adherent began to duplicate the 'plan' with religious devotion. Thus, he drew up an exhaustive list of everyone he had encountered in his life. Then, using a precisely-worded script, he progressively tried to convert his 'prospects' to 'FLP.'  His former-friend described all of the classic symptoms of an 'MLM' fanatic (principally, a complete incapacity to concentrate on external reality or to apply common-sense, or humour, to the absurd Utopian fairy story modifying, and controlling, his behaviour).


The peddling of so-called 'Leads' and 'Lead Generation Systems,' has also been present within the 'FLP' racket. Typically, adherents have been led to believe that the most successful 'FLP Distributors' have access to an exclusive secret knowledge which has enabled them to generate endless names of persons who are willing to join FLP, and that multi-millionaire 'FLP Leaders' are willing to share this miraculous Internet-based technology with anyone (for a price).

Martyn Lewis CBE (b. 1945)

Initially, when it was suggested to this would-be 'MLM millionaire' that 'FLP' is a pyramid scheme linked to the 'Mormon Church,' he immediately ridiculed his challenger and arrogantly directed her to an 'FLP' propaganda video featuring Martyn Lewis CBE. .


Dr. Peter Atherton
Bob Parker

If readers watch the above staged-interview, which also features Dr. Peter Atherton ('Scientific Advisor' to 'FLP') and Bob Parker ('Managing Director' of 'FLP UK'), they will notice that Martyn Lewis seems to have been completely taken-in by these two avuncular preachers of the fraudulent 'FLP' Gospel of Prosperity. That said, neither of these charlatans made any real attempt to peddle the so-called 'MLM income Opportunity' during the interview. Instead, they stuck to reciting their (conveniently-unquantifiable) cure-all mantra.

Yet, in order to understand exactly what smartly-dressed double-act, 'Atherton and Parker,' were doing, all anyone with an ounce of common-sense needs to do, is merely remove the words, 'Aloe Vera,' and put back the original, 'Snake Oil,' into this up-dated, but nonetheless absurd, quackery.

Now for those readers who don't know who Martyn Lewis is, or why his  apparent association with 'FLP' should shut-down the critical and evaluative faculties of adherents and casual observers: he is a highly-respected, retired BBC television newsreader who became internationally-famous in 1997, when he announced the death of Princess Diana.

Mr. Lewis is also a noted champion of charity in the UK (for which he received his CBE).  He is the vice-president of Macmillan Cancer Support. Sadly, it would appear that the manipulative racketeers behind 'FLP,' have obtained the services of Mr Lewis as an unwitting guarantee of authenticity, simply by pretending affinity with his (publicly-stated) existing beliefs and instinctual desires, and by offering to give £100 000 to Macmillan Cancer Support. Thus, shutting-down Mr. Lewis' critical and evaluative faculties whilst, at the same time, giving him the illusion that he made a free-choice to become involved with 'FLP' - making it very difficult (if not impossible) for him to face the reality that 'MLM' is not only a pernicious blame-the-victim racket, but also an ongoing threat to democracy and the rule of law. 

It is very interesting to note that it is actually 'FLP' adherents who have been raising money for Macmillan, but 'FLP' has received the kudos.

Iconic British Television personality, Michael Aspel (b. 1933)
Iconic British television personality, Valerie Singleton (b. 1937)

The grooming and co-opting of an evidently-ill-informed, iconic, British television personality, Martyn Lewis, to front a propaganda video, doesn't surprise me in the least, because 'Forever Living' is a copy-cat of 'Amway' and, as part of an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity, the 'Amway' mob followed exactly the same subversive tactic in Britain during the 1980s and 1990s - when evidently-ill-informed, iconic British television personalities, Michael Aspel and Valerie Singleton, were both deceived. In the case of Michael Aspel, this involved 'Amway UK' company officers overcoming his initial scepticism by offering to give £30 000 to his favourite charity. Valerie Singleton who, at the time, had been sacked from the BBC (following a public scandal) seems to have been fooled by Mr. Aspel's involvement with 'Amway.' 

Second generation 'Domionist MLM income opportunity' racketeers, Dick De Vos and Steve Van Andel, posing as a pair of visionary, philanthropic, Christian billionaire businessmen who have helped more than 3 millions people around the world to start their own business. 
Former, penniless 'Missionary,' turned  'MLM income opportunity' racketeer, Rex Maughan, posing as a visionary, philanthropic, multi-millionaire, 'Mormon' businessman who has helped more than 9 millions people around the world to start their own business.

The original 'MLM income opportunity racketeer,' Carl F. Rehnborg (1887-1973), posing as a historically-important, visionary-scientist, autodidactic scholar and multi-millionaire, philanthropic businessman who helped thousands of people to start their own business.

The parallels between the 'FLP' fairy story, peddled as reality by Rex Maughan, and the the 'Nutrilite' fairy story, originally peddled as reality by Carl F. Rehnborg (and more recently by the De Vos and Van Andel clans), are quite remarkable. In brief, all these crooks have played the unoriginal role of ordinary men, turned super men - prepared to share their secret of unlimited health, wealth, happiness and freedom  with anyone (for a price). However, this again is hardly surprising, because ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ was, after all, the prototype corporate-front for all subsequent 'Multi-Level Marketing Income Opportunity' rackets.

In the 1950s, 'Nutrilite' was a highly-controversial trademark owned by Carl F. Rehnborg a.k.a. 'Dr.' Rehnborg, a previously-penniless, American toothpaste-salesman (of German origin) who'd acquired a considerable fortune by reinventing himself as a historically-important, visionary-scientist, autodidactic scholar and philanthropic businessman. Lawyers from the US Food and Drug Administration Bureau of Enforcement, who 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 shyster attorneys, who’d combined, and updated, the medicine show and Ponzi-scheme to reflect the spirit of the age. However, Rehnborg was no ordinary charlatan. He almost certainly suffered from severe and inflexible Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 

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 also prepared to share this secret with anyone (for a price).
The Nutrilite Story
Tellingly, Rehnborg's own comic-book version of his life and achievements (set-down in various published documents, 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 Münchausen 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.

Carl F. Rehnborg, circa 1915.
Rehnborg, Circa 1927.

Thus, to date, the world has been led to believe that Rehnborg (who was born in 1887 in St. Pitersberge, 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. 

- was  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 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 dutiful young wife, Edith.

- 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’

- had lived the American dream, starting from nothing to become an admired and respected millionaire through ‘Helping 15 thousands fellow Americans to build their own MLM Businesses.’ 

Carl F. Rehnborg  circa 1939

Exactly like L.Ron Hubbard, scant 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. There is even reason to doubt that Rehnborg (who apparently did once work for 'Colgate & Co') was in China in the exact period he claimed during, and after, WWI; whilst 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.

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.

However, 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 Tblets.’ 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). 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 payments in a closed-market swindle, or pyramid scheme,  based on the crack-pot, non-rational theory thatendless-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), William W. Goodrich, was probably the first senior US law enforcement agent to deduce that the innocent baby that Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry had baptised a ‘New Business Model’ (later to become 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.’ They 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

Rhenborg 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 organization (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.


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), and they began to publish their own propaganda magazine, ‘Nutrilite News'’ (stuffed with colour photos of happy, healthy and wealthy ‘Distributors')

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 organizing 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 received 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 industrialized, pseudo-scientific swindle), began to transform into a highly-organized, 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 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 targetting 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 likerespectable 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 America.

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, closed-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' lie was progressively-absorbed back into the spin-off 'Amway' (aka 'Quixtar'lie, 1972-1994, where it still is peddled as the truth.

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 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.   
More than 30 years later, the so-called 'Direct Selling Association,' is a demonstrable lie financed and controlled by the bosses of a classic, organized crime syndicate.

Today in the USA and elsewhere, due to many factors (not least supermarkets, discount stores and the Internet) virtually no one buys consumer goods on the door-step.

door-to-door selling (or what used to be known as peddling) was a very common way of doing business in the USA, but at the start of the 20th century, its image was blighted by fly-by-night quacks and charlatans. In an age when most women did not go to work, and even the middle-class had servants to cook, clean and receive visitors, door-step products were invariably cheap and cheerful, and aimed at ordinary housewives. 

From just before WWI until the 1960s, the 'Direct Selling Association' was a national trade association in the USA that represented (and was only financed by) a number of generally-reputable commercial companies of various sizes. These used to generate profits by regularly selling everyday goods (usually perfumes, cosmetics, costume jewellery, household products, books, etc.) directly to the general public through salaried, and/or non-salaried, commission agents. Although unethical, high-pressure sales tactics were increasingly used by new, and less reputable, DSA members, in their traditional format, direct retail transactions were authentic and lawful, because they were mostly-based on value and demand. Furthermore, the DSA members originally tried to keep fly-by-night quacks and charlatans at bay, and, at one time, they agreed that, like political constituencies, commission agencies for any particular company, should be limited in given geographical/population areas. This prevented counter-productive internal disputes amongst the sales-force and enabled individual sellers to have a fair chance of finding sufficient loyal customers to make a decent living. 

Today, when examined in splendid isolation by casual observers, the self-proclaimed activities of the corporate structures still known as 'Direct Selling Associations' can appear to be the same as above, and entirely lawful. However, when the wider-evidence is rigorously examined, during the second half of the 20th century (as door-to-door selling died out in the USA and elsewhere) the membership of 'DSAs' came largely to comprise an ever-growing number of so-called 'Multi-Level Marketing/income opportunity' companies ('Amway', 'Herbalife', 'Nu Skin', 'Forever Living Products', etc.) which have been used to dissimulate vast closed-market swindles or pyramid schemes. The racketeers behind these counterfeit direct selling companies, have acquired their wealth by steadfastly pretending moral and intellectual authority, whilst deceiving an endless-chain of victims (now comprising many tens of millions of individuals around the globe) into making regular losing-investments in exchange for effectively-unsaleable wampum (i.e. banal, but grossly-overpriced products, often of a dubious pseudo-scientific nature with highly-exaggerated, and/or miraculous, claimed benefits which cannot be quantified). These transactions, already totalling many billions of stolen dollars, were actually based on the false expectation of future reward. However, they have been laundered as lawful retail sales based only on value and demand. 

The outrageous 'MLM direct selling'  lie, has been hiding in plain view for so long: that many people now not only accept it as the truth, but they will laugh out loud at rational persons suggesting that, in reality, so-called 'MLM recruiters' are adherents of the crackpot pseudo-economic theory that  endless chain recruitment +  endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits,  However, it is important for readers to distinguish between short-term participants and chronic, core-believers in the 'MLM income opportunity' fairy story. The overwhelming majority of people who have been taken-in by 'MLM,' quit within a short time, usually because they find it impossible to convert, and/or maintain, other contributing recruits, and/or they have no cash, or credit, to continue contributing themselves. Since they were invariably recruited by a friend or relative, they have little reason to complain, and they wouldn't know exactly what to say, or where to complain, anyway. 

The declared annual roll-over rate in groups like 'Amway', 'Herbalife', etc., has always been well in excess of 50%. Those who have persisted for more than 3 years, is certainly no more than 5%. However, if you ignore the insignificant number of grinning shills at the top of the pyramids, the overall hidden roll-over/loss rate in so-called  'MLM income opportunities,' has always been effectively 100%. Thus, the constant public-proclamations by the leaders of the largest, long-established groups like 'Amway'  that their sales-force has always been expanding for decades and lately comprises 'millions of Independent Business Owners conducting billions of dollars of sales annually,' is a grotesque, criminal distortion of ever-shifting reality.  

There has been a significant minority of chronic 'MLM' proselytizers, with access to cash or credit, who continue as de facto slaves to the lie, sometimes for more than 10 years. In many cases, these dangerously-deluded, self-righteous persons will do, or say, anything to sign-up, and/or maintain, recruits - convinced that they will only achieve total financial freedom by helping others to achieve it .They are indoctrinated to ignore their mounting losses/debts and to commit everything they can get their hands on. Some even steal from their friends and families, and/or deprive themselves, and/or their families, of food, heating, etc. In the very worst cases, gung-ho 'MLM' adherents known as 'Road Warriors' have been indoctrinated to go without sleep and have ended up dead at the wheels of their cars - crashing whilst en route to late-night recruitment meetings. Fanatical 'MLM' addicts have generally been compared to chronic gamblers, but I have called them 'financial anorexics.'  

Once the relatively-simple, underlying modus operandi of blame-the-victim 'MLM income opportunity' fraud is clearly understood, the tightly-scripted, reality-inverting activities of the 'DSAs' form part of an overall pattern of ongoing, major racketeering activity (as defined by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act 1970). Tellingly, the 'DSAs' (which have posed as rigorous and ethical self-regulators vehemently opposed to pyramid schemes), have long-since ceased to set , let alone enforce, any common-sense limits on the numbers of commission agencies being created by members.

The corporate officers of the American 'DSA,' like Joe Mariano (whose salaries have been paid with stolen money), are, in fact, committing wire fraud and attempting to obstruct justice when they make the following, demonstrably false, and/or selective, and/or essentially meaningless, statements on their own Website; for even their use of the term, 'Direct Selling,' is a cruel joke:

'Washington, D.C. (Jan. 29, 2013) - Following the Jan. 28 announcement that an enforcement action against Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) is being initiated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and several attorneys general for allegedly operating a pyramid scheme, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) has received numerous inquiries regarding whether FHTM is a member of the Association. "FHTM is not a member of DSA,” confirmed President Joe Mariano. Additionally, he stated that “the Association’s membership application process is rigorous, and is designed to ensure that only legitimate direct selling companies become members of the direct selling industry's trade association."FHTM had applied for DSA membership, but withdrew its application in 2011. A rigorous review of each applicant’s marketing and compensation plan is conducted to ensure compliance with DSA’s self-regulatory Code of Ethics. DSA works with applicant companies to address any deficiencies in policies and procedures prior to recommending to the Board of Directors that the company be approved for full membership. Mr. Mariano explained that "the membership review process serves to identify pyramid schemes that are masquerading as legitimate direct selling companies." Mr. Mariano also stated "that well over half of the companies that apply for membership in the Association withdraw their applications for a variety of reasons including failure to come into full compliance with the requirements of the DSA Code of Ethics," thus making the company ineligible for membership. Pyramid schemes and other fraudulent scams are ineligible for DSA membership.While DSA cannot comment on the specific allegations regarding FHTM, Mr. Mariano commended the FTC and state attorneys general "for their comprehensive, ongoing efforts to identify and prosecute illegal and fraudulent pyramid schemes, an approach that is consistent with concerns raised by DSA through its membership application process and its long-established self-regulatory efforts....."

.... The Direct Selling Association is a 102-year-old national trade association that represents companies who distribute products to customers through or with the assistance of independent salespersons who personally demonstrate and explain those products to the consumer, usually in the home or work place. Direct sellers are perhaps best known to the public as person-to-person, door-to-door, or home party plan sellers. Through the efforts of direct salespersons that provide personal demonstration, home delivery, and a variety of other sales-related services, direct-selling companies can offer quality products to consumers without substantial advertising or other barriers to entry found in other distribution systems, like brick-and-mortar stores. In 2011 there were approximately 15.6 million direct sellers in the U.S. with retail sales of nearly $30 billion.'

If readers just stop and think for a moment, then this is obviously a fairy story; for the above document conveniently ignores the key-fact that another so-called 'Direct Selling' company, 'YourTravel (YTB),' was a 'DSA' member that had just been 'approved as legal and ethical' only months before being successfully-prosecuted as a 'massive pyramid scheme' and shut down by the California Attorney General. In this particular case, it was found that 340,000 persons had been deceived by 'YTB'including a significant number who had bought effectively-valueless shares in it. 

Furthermore, if there really were 15.6 millions direct sellers in the USA in 2011, then how many of them remained in 2012 and where are all their customers? Readers will note that nowhere in any material published by any so-called  'DSA' anywhere in the world, is to be found a common-sense, accurate and unambiguous definition of what used to be considered a lawful direct selling company. 

i.e. a corporate structure which can prove that its revenue has largely-derived from the regular retailing of significant quantities of products, and/or services, directly to the general public via commission agents: rather than from purchases made by a never-ending chain of its own losing, commission agents. 

Tellingly, in all material published by so-called 'DSAs,' instead of  'the general public,' we always find the vague, and ambiguous, terms: 'end users' 'customers' and 'consumers' which obviously can be (and are) taken to mean absolutely anyone, including the commission agents themselves. Indeed, the so-called'DSA's' own so-called 'Codes of Ethics' specifically allow so-called 'self-consumption by Direct Sellers' to'qualify' as so-called 'Sales.'

Thus, heading the list of common-sense questions which should long-since have been put to the officers of the so-called 'Direct Selling Association' in the USA, is:

'Of your members' claimed '$ multi-billion retail sales,' exactly what percentage have been authentic, external, retail sales to the general public rather than internal transactions between your members and the millions of so-called 'direct sellers' themselves, arbitrarily, and falsely, defined as 'retail sales?'

Obviously, the officers of the so-called 'DSA' have painted themselves into the same absurd corner as the bosses of 'Herbalife', and their standard escape will be first to smile-sweetly, and steadfastly pretend that they can't be expected to have a ready answer to the above question, when the direct selling companies themselves don't monitor, or publish, this information. However, if put under pressure, they will then be obliged to claim that the questioner doesn't understand how direct selling functions, because many of the millions of persons who have always been described as 'direct sellers in the USA,' weren't actually 'direct sellers' at all, they were 'discount customers.'

Thus, I will confidently predict that, when challenged, the branch of the 'MLM' Ministry of Truth known as the 'Direct Selling Association' will cease to put forward the limp defence of ignorance. Instead, they will mount exactly the same arrogant, Orwellian offensive as the bosses of 'Herbalife (HLF)' 

In effect, they will say:

Read the word 'seller' as 'buyer,' stupid! Then theft is lawful.'

David Brear (copyright 2013)


  1. Thank-you it's about time someone with some brains and balls exposed this MLM madness.

  2. And corporate employment from 8AM to 5PM is not scam?

    1. huo lijan - Thank-you for putting forward essentially the classic manipulation of all would-be demagogues; for you have handed me the perfect opportunity to demolish it.

      I suggest you go and find a copy of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm,' read and digest it and then come back and tell me which of the intellectually-castrated characters you think best represents your own, current, intellectually-castrated position?

      Perhaps reading 'Animal Farm' will be sufficient to restart your critical and evaluative faculties, but, for your information, despite their 'capitalist' camouflage, exactly like the slimy pig demagogues in 'Animal Farm,' the slimy bosses of 'MLM Income Opportunity' rackets/cults have all steadfastly pretended affinity with their adherents' existing beliefs and instinctual desires, in order to enslave them.

      Unfortunately, the world is full of vulnerable people who hate their jobs and who dream of achieving financial freedom. The pernicious 'capitalist' fairy story entitled, 'MLM Income Opportunity,' has been perfectly tailored to fit the minds of such persons, and sadly (at the moment), you appear to be one of them.

      David Brear (copyright 2013

  3. You are awesome. I just respect you - you rip the shit out of MLM. Keep it up

  4. David Brar who do you work for?

  5. David Brar you failed to have Amway closed in England and you will fail to close FLP.

  6. Anonymous - the author of this Blog, is David BREAR who has absolutely no political, commercial or religious affiliations.

    In the mid-1990s, Mr. Brear began researching, and writing about, cultism, after he witnessed members of his family (in the North of England) undergo a sudden, radical personality transformation. This was first manifest in David's brother losing his critical, and evaluative, faculties and cutting himself off from all external sources of information, whilst giving up his career as a teacher to become a-full-time, unpaid proselytizer for 'Amway' - the original 'MLM income opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cult.

    Although David's family was being defrauded and torn apart by his brother’s fanatical devotion to the billionaire bosses of this US-based, major organized crime group, his urgent concerns were officially ignored until 2007, when a British government Minister (for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) filed a Public Interest Bankruptcy Petition against ‘Amway UK Ltd.’ Senior UK trade regulators were finally seeking the immediate, compulsory closure of ‘Amway UK Ltd.,’ but only on the isolated, technical grounds that the company had been charging recruitment fees in contravention of UK Lotteries and Trading Schemes legislation, and that the company (by itself) did not possess sufficient assets to repay years of unlawful accumulated gains. Off the record, senior UK trade officials compared the 'Amway' organization to the 'Ku Klux Klan' in the 1920s, whilst the UK government's attorneys openly-described 'Amway' adherents as 'deluded.'

    The UK High Court subsequently found that ‘Amway UK Ltd.’ had indeed been acting unlawfully, but the technically-insolvent corporate structure was not wound-up in bankruptcy and was allowed to continue to exist in the UK without any financial penalty or further independent surveillance, when its attorneys informed the Judge that all 'Amway's' previously-unlawful activities in Britain had already been voluntarily reformed to bring them into line with UK trading schemes legislation.

    This apparently naïve, and unprecedented, dismissal of a Public Interest Bankruptcy Petition due to unenforceable undertakings being accepted by a single senior Judge sitting in the UK High Court, was subsequently upheld by two out of three senior Judges sitting in the UK Court of Appeal.

    UK government regulators had, in fact, discovered that of the approximately 35 000 UK citizens whom ‘Amway UK Ltd.’ had described as ‘Independent Business Owners’ in 2006, other than an insignificant minority of wealthy decoys, 100% were losing money. Furthermore, during the period 1973-2006, around one million UK citizens had been churned through the ‘Amway income opportunity’ fraud. On paper, ‘Amway UK Ltd.’ had itself lost tens of millions of dollars during these 34 years, but the company had secretly been kept afloat by regular, overseas cash-injections originating from a labyrinth of European, and Asian, based corporate structures controlled from the USA. In reality, behind the permanently-insolvent front known as ‘Amway UK Ltd.’, it is known that hundreds of millions of dollars were secretly exported to the USA via related advance fee frauds known as 'tool scams' i.e. another labyrinth of privately-controlled corporate structures which had been used to peddle the never-ending chain of insolvent UK ‘Amway’ adherents over-priced publications, recordings, tickets to meetings, etc., on the pretext that these ‘business building materials’ contained exclusive secrets which were vital to achieving success in ‘Amway.’ In 2007 and 2008, neither the UK High Court nor the Appeal Court was made aware of these key facts, and (to date) UK law enforcement agents have refused to pursue a wider, rigorous criminal investigation.

    Currently, no anti-racketeering law exists in the UK.

  7. An intellectually-castrated 'MLM' robot signing itself 'Michael,' has attempted to post the following reality-inverting propaganda:


    'The problem with MLM is that people enter in masses without understanding it is a profession that needs studying and proper understanding, yes many look at it as madness or unreal, but doing it the right way is nothing but a form of selling, the products of MLM companies are as any other products need advertisement of somehow, and that means people who know what they do, yes maybe during the 50s and the few years to follow MLM was not evolving as a proper business module, but 60 years of refinement should not be ignored.
    Today I see and meet many successful MLM distributors who has succeeded in building customers loyal to the brand and suceeded in teaching their associates how to do it. there is no magic or easy way to do it. I agree that announcing MLM as a fast way of wealth is not accurate as those successful people in MLM has taken years and years of work to build a good income.
    So in conclusion, I would say you wrote this blog because you have no real understanding of MLM industry, and I wont blame you as you are an outsider. I would recommend you redo you study but look at the bright side of things, every industry has its dead bodies in the closet, but every industry has provided something good that made it continue, so it is a choice, to dig for the dead bodies, or help people achieve better lives.
    And remember when your friends fail in MLM it is not the MLM mistake that they did not do it the right way.'


    When translated into plain English, Michael the robot is trying to convince us that all the many millions of ill-informed persons who have been churned through 'MLM income opportunity' rackets' over the decades, and who have wasted their time and money, have only themselves to blame.

    Laughably, Michael the robot insists that 'every industry has its dead bodies in closet'.

    To continue this appropriate metaphor, effectively every single person who has fallen for the the so-called 'MLM industry,' has begun to commit financial suicide. Sadly, a significant minority of destitute 'MLM' victims, have ended up taking their own lives.

  8. David, thank you for the thoroughness and clarity of your writing about MLM. I hope that it will eventually contribute to the demise of this wicked, crackpot industry.

    1. Thanks Angela - It is interesting that someone such as yourself (an adult with fully-functioning critical and evaluative faculties) has described my writing about the pernicious 'MLM' fairy story, as thorough and clear, whilst today, a deeply-deluded anonymous (presumeably, well-educated English) commentator has attempted to hide from reality, by posting the following reality-inverting 'MLM Income Opportunity' propaganda rant:


      He/she says:

      'For some reason, you appear to be blindly supporting your myopic, prejudiced and blinkered opinion about MLM,

      There are millions of people who get burned for venturing into businesses they are ill informed about. Its not just MLM. Your rantings are typical of a miserable hysterical failure, who has ventured into it and did not get the results he wanted simple because his lazy fat arse prevented him from doing what he ought to do to succeed.'


      Yet again this childish, unsubstantiated, closed-logic, scripted-propaganda, is merely proving the validity of my wider-analysis; for, countless millions of temporary believers in the financial fairy story entitled 'MLM Income Opportunity', have been silenced simply by convincing them that failure to make money was entirely their own fault for being: 'negative' 'lazy', 'losers,' etc.

      In the adult world of quantifiable reality, all so-called 'MLM Income Opportunities' have been hiding effectively 100% overall loss/churn rates. The only way to succeed at so-called 'MLM' has been to be one of the many greedy little racketeers steadfastly pretending to have discovered the secret of how to transform from ordinary poor human into a super rich human, and who is prepared to share this miraculous knowledge with anyone (for a price).

      David Brear (copyright 2014)

    2. David, all these MLM defenders are the same. You present them with a well-written evidence-based analysis that they ignore as the 'ranting' and 'opinions' of an 'MLM failure.' Then, they respond by saying that you are totally wrong and irrational, and that they are totally right and rational, but they never offer any evidence to prove their claims.

      Your reaction to these arrogant machines, is to be admired.

      I can't understand where 'MLM' defenders get the idea that a thinker like you has been a 'distributor.'

    3. Anonymous - I think that, even as a child, I would not have fallen for the 'income opportunity' fairy story. That said, some very clever people have been caught at times of vulnerability in their lives.

      However, 'MLM' defenders don't get ideas. They all recite the same closed-logic arguments like obedient little robots.

      It's difficult to know who this latest 'MLM' defender is - perhaps a deluded 'MLM' adherent? - but often provocative 'MLM' apologists are the racketeers themselves pretending to be satisfied 'distributors'

  9. Commentators are reminded that it is the stated-policy of this Blog that scripted, reality-inverting 'MLM income opportunity' propaganda will not be posted without detailed qualification or heavy irony.

  10. Although I agree that some companies in MLM should be avoided like the plague, I don't think all are dubious.

    I'm not in any MLM business myself as I have my own business that takes up all my time, but I know a few friends involved with Forever and have seen them do very well indeed. Not sure if Forever have changed their business plan recently perhaps, but about three people I know are now working Forever from home full time, and are very happy doing so rather than their previous jobs. The skincare seems good, though I can't vouch for other products.

    Another friend is a member of a new UK based MLM called Wikaniko and is also doing well.

  11. Anonymous - Wow, and I know some people who claim to have made millions of dollars out of 'Bitcoin,' but they are liars.

    I observe that you offer my readers absolutely no independent quantifiable evidence (only an anecdotal statement describing 'about three' unamed persons of your acquaintence whom you claim have retired from their 'previous jobs' because of FLP), that anyone has ever generated an overall net-profit out any so-called 'MLM Income Opportunity'.

    In reality, active 'MLM' adherents all claim to be 'doing very well indeed,' because they are all programmed to exclude 'negativity' in order to sign up more deluded players of the 'totally positive MLM' game of 'commercial' make-believe.

    If this is a genuine comment, and you are in a real business, then I suggest you apply some commercial common-sense, and ask your 'MLM' friends to produce independent quantifiable evidence of their alleged 'success' (like income-tax payment receipts).

    If you begin to challenge the deluded 'positive' beliefs of MLM' adherents, you will discover that they are programmed to exclude all negative persons from their lives.

  12. Hi David,

    I found this post just now, having attended a Forever welcome new buyers/distributors event last night here in Dublin, through a friend who has just joined, I won't give her name as well that wouldn't be appropriate. She invited me along having seen her recent FB post and we met last week to dicuss briefly. Her enhusiasm was slightly frightening but I decided to go along and see what this was all about.

    I sat through 2 hours of the most painfully excruciatingly uncomfortable 2 hours of my life. I actually work in sales/business development for a highly successful global company. I earn pretty okay money circa 80K all in with company car but after tax well that becomes circa 40K. It is a hard job but I love my work and benig able to finish at 5pm more or less.

    Everything about what I saw last night smacked exactly of what you have alluded to and documented above. Everyone in the room seemed well just a bit desperate and odd. The speakers one of which was the UK CEO guy mentioned above was so cheesy and fake and polished with his shiny tan, made me feel violently ill with his utter shiny rehearsed little statements.

    Those who got up after him to say how amazing the products are, also scared the crap out of me. I got introduced to a team leader/higher manager guy and he seemes so slipppery eveil to in his eyes, simply begging me to join. That it is wonderful etc best thing ever but something just didn't feel right.

    I then spoke to one of the speakers and he had this glaze over his eyes, sort of staring at me as I pressed him on how much he makes, oh I generate thousands, yes but how much do you earn, oh well ... lots ... and what about tax ...... oh well we have great accoutants who can help you clear and write of all the tax .... you REALLY should join and WHO INVITED you here .......

    I then sat down with my friend and asked her how much is she actually making ..... oh well you see you need to get credits you see to make 350 ( 35% ) out of 1000 sales, so how much is that .... oh well Im not sure and what if I join do you get anything ..... oh well I get x% of your sales and then your people who join ..... but how much do you make .... oh well and pressing her she gets 70 euros if I join........ and her boss manager gets some and so on and so on ..........

    In summary, it is an absolute disgrace what these people are doing they talk about the funnel and weeding out the crap ones but thats after forking out 350 euros so logically they need to at least get loads of the 350 people in as well selling a legi product that em no one wants to stock directly in a real store but flog through people because its AMAZING!

    It smacks of exaclty what you said, a highly elaborate well orchestrated crime/mafia style syndciate. And the whole holidays in hawaii with all your forever chums. Someone had the audacity to say a job is just above broke ....

    Personally, I'd rather work in the real world, try my best, earn enough to survive/live and finish of my day to enjoy with family/freinds/loved ones than come at them with this crap/annoy them and lose their freindship/trust/love which they also have the audacity to say but they are wrong and we are right, Forever Living kicks butt!

    So, if anyone else is reading this, and thinking of joining. Don't and lets actually get these people out of here! I'm going to go back to probe them abit more and press some more buttons just for the fun of it actually, also useful to observe horrendous sales/brainwashing!

    Thank you so much for writing this post and confirming everything that was swirling around in my head.

    A thankfully still sane young man who loves life and is not going to succub to such utter brainwashing tripe!

    1. Anonymous - Thanks.

      In other posts, I have described these disturbing events as:

      'pay-through-the nose orgies of deluded self-gratification.'

      I presume your friend paid through her nose for your ticket in the expectation that you would sign-up.

      Please feel free to send me your contact details (these will not be posted).

  13. Hi thanks for this, as it and other unbiased information I have found on the web has confirmed my own thoughts. Any ideas on how I can get my girlfriend out of the clutches of flp? So far everything I say about flp causes arguments. I have lost a friend already as flp seem to have a defence mechanism that brands people as a negative person if they disagree with flp. This worries me I dont want to loose my girlfriend too and its hard because she seems happy doing it even though she doesnt even seem to be making any money. I can see clearly from the outside but they seem blinded on the inside. Thanks

    1. Anonymous - please send your contact details, these will not be published.

      'FLP' is one of numerous 'MLM' cults that are all employing the same techniques

      In 1961, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton published, ‘Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.’ In this standard, medical text-book, Lifton identified 8 ‘themes’ which, if present in any group, indicate that its members are being subjected to a mixture of social, psychological and physical pressures, designed to produce radical changes in their individual beliefs, attitudes and behaviour.

      1). ‘Milieu control’ — the attempted control of everything an individual experiences (i.e. sees, hears, reads, writes and expresses). This includes discouraging subjects from contacting friends and relatives outside the group and undermining trust in exterior sources of information; particularly, the independent media.

      2). ‘Personal or mystical manipulation’ — charismatic (psychologically dominant) leaders create a separate environment where specific behaviour is required; leading to group members believing that they have been chosen and that they have a special purpose. Normally group members will insist that they have not been coerced into group membership, and that their new way of life and beliefs are the result of a completely free-choice.

      3). ‘Demand for purity’ — everything in life becomes either pure or impure, negative or positive, etc. This builds up a sense of shame and guilt. The idea is promoted that there is no alternative method of thinking or middle way, to that promoted by the group or by those outside it. Everything in life is either good or bad and anything is justified provided the group sanctions it as good.

      4). ‘Confession’ — personal weaknesses are admitted to, to demonstrate how group membership can transform an individual. Group members often have to rewrite their personal histories and those of their friends and relatives, denigrating their previous lives and relationships. Other techniques include group members writing personal reports on themselves and others. Outsiders are presented as a threat who will only try to return group members to their former incorrect thinking.

      5). ‘Sacred science’ — the belief in an inexplicable power system or secret knowledge, derived from a hierarchy who must be copied and who cannot be challenged. Often the group’s leaders claim to be followers of traditional historical figures (particularly, established political, scientific and religious thinkers). Leaders promote the idea that their own teaching will also benefit the entire world, and it should be spread.

      6). ‘Loading the language’ — a separate vocabulary used to bond the group together and short-circuit critical thought processes. This can become second nature within the group, and talking to outsiders can become difficult and embarrassing. Derogatory names, or directly racist terms, are often given to outsiders.

      7). ‘Doctrine over persons’ — individual members are taught to alter their own view of themselves before they entered the group. Former attitudes and behaviour must then be re-interpreted as worthless, and/or dangerous, using the new values of the group.

      8). ‘Dispensing of existence’ — promotion of the belief that outsiders — particularly, those who disagree with the teaching of the group — are inferior and are doomed. Therefore, they can be manipulated, and/or cheated, and/or dispossessed, and/or destroyed. This is justifiable, because outsiders only represent a danger to salvation.

      You can read more about how the cult phenomenon works, in this article

      Sometimes, if you show new cult adherents an explanation of how they are being controlled, their critical and evaluative faculties will start to function again.

      In general it is always best not to argue with cult adherents, because that is exactly what they are taught to expect. It's usually best to ask them thought-provoking questions.

  14. Hi, reading this is some what sickening; as during a moment of weakness, thankfully, only two weeks ago, I went to an open day with FLP and decided to sign up, impressed with the speaker and what they could offer. Further more, my wife loves aloe vera products, so a product that I truly believe in as it is. After my excitement and having arranged a 'product launch' with my friends, I'm now thinking... oh my... what have I done! Time to back track??? Time to forget about leaving my career? Sounds like it! Better tell my friends that my fantastic business idea was... well... pants? It's a shame because I like the product and the people. Perhaps all desperate people hoping to escape the depressing reality that life and work is hard? It's tough looking in the mirror when the truth hurts. That's why people in these schemes are SO defensive I suppose. David, Many thanks for your writing. I wonder... should I forward this to all my new contacts and shatter their dreams of a better life? Would I be doing them a favor, or is it better to just step out quietly and let them get on with it?

    1. I know someone who has recently started selling FLP products and they cure all ills but when I publically questioned her I had her and her family upset that I was ruining her business and am no longer a friend it seems

    2. This is the classic reaction of 'MLM income opportunity' cult adherents. They are programmed to exclude all persons who challenge their beliefs.

    3. FLP DOESN'T claim to 'cure all ills' as stated above; in fact the information is VERY clear that this is not the case.
      I've been selling the products for a while and have NEVER been made to pay 'through the nose' for training, meetings etc; in fact the most I've paid was a voluntary £1.50 towards the cost of the room hire at a product meet.
      I'm not 'out of pocket' and so far make approx. £200 pcm on sales, which is a nice top-up to my salary.
      Yes, if I were to be seeking the higher incomes quoted, I'd have to sponsor (or as said earlier, recruit) others to do similar to me. I let people know that there's a business opportunity if they're interested and then leave it up to them.
      Oh and by the way, I LOVE the products, which make NO wild claims to heal anything.
      This whole article is unbalanced, as are the majority of media reports - anything for a sensational headline!

    4. Anonymous - Why is it that the most deluded 'MLM' adherents always insist that they "LOVE the products?"

      Also, when telling lies, it's advisable to have a good memory. Thus, even the briefest glance at 'FLP' propaganda (some of which features in my article) proves that all manner of outrageous medicinal claims have been made in print for the organization's up-dated snake oil.

      £200 per month from selling the up-dated 'FLP' snake oil and with only £1.50 voluntary expenses?

      Unfortuantely, I've yet to encouter an 'MLM' adherent who didn't claim to making money, but I've yet to encounter an 'MLM' adherent with income-tax payment receipts to back up his/her anecdotal claims.

      The actual hidden overall churn/ insolvency rate for 'MLM' participation has always been effectively 100%. Thus, anyone (like you) claiming, or implying, that it is possible to generate a significant overall net-income by regularly retailing 'MLM' wampum to the general public, is not telling the truth.

  15. Anonymous - I'm glad to have been able help you to understand how this type of cultic 'income opportunity' racket works. You have to remember that in a cultic group, the adherents' belief is quite genuine, but what they believe in, is false. Belief in a secure Utopian future can spread exactly like a virus, and it attaches itself to people at vulnerable times in their lives.

    Also, notice how the 'MLM' version of Utopia has been cleverly tailored to fit the money orientated spirit of the times. Had an overtly 'religous' or 'political' cult approached you, the chances are you would have run a mile.

    Sadly, if you try to confront chronic 'FLP' adherents with reality; they will not want to listen to you. They are conditioned to exclude all 'negativity' from their lives. However, you have more of a chance of reasoning with new adherents, many of whom will quit the group anyway, within a short perod of time when they fail to make any money.

    I'm always interested to talk with persons like you who have had close encounters with MLM cults.

    I'd particularly like to know what it was about my explanation, that convinced you. I'd also like to know how much money 'FLP' has cost you and if you would like your money back.

    If you want to send me your contact details as a comment, these will not be posted.

    Kindest regards


  16. Reading your article whilst sat in the 'FLP' world rally. Rather ironic. Had no idea what it was pre arrival. Five hours in and I thought I would try and find out what exactly I am sitting through. Found this and it fits the description perfectly. I have used some products before which I would buy into again- unlike the nutrulite example, from personal experience, I find some of the trialled products work. But as to how the business runs- it's quite ridiculous. The friends family I am with are distributors, successful ones at that, and I believe you can make money through FLP but at what cost. To me it seems that in this business, your 'winnings' will inevitably be a result of another's loss, or by just adding to the bottom of the pyramid with those you enlist to boost yourself higher- all this and I am told that you are 'helping' all you enlist, and whilst they quite seriously believe this, I cannot. This MLM to me now seems illogical and immoral; though after this experience I can see how easily people could be drawn in. The prospect of joining also comes with a discount to the high price- adding allure. But think if this is such an allure, are the products too expensive for me? I am not going to buy some £500 anti wrinkle cream, because I can't afford it, ergo cheaper alternative. Don't let the distributers make you feel like FLP are the only good choice, and that this discount means you can afford them.
    I am here tomorrow as well, and this is raising a lot of moral and logical questions I don't feel I can effectively raise as the people I am with have such unshakable faith in what they are doing- and I also don't want to put down what I have no doubt were hard work hours and efforts over the last few years, building this 'business' :\

    1. Thank-you Anonymous for one of the most insightful comments I have received. Obviously, I dont' need to explain to you the reaction of the 'FLP' faithful, if they caught you reading my Blog.

      If you have any free-time today, I have some questions for you:

      Have you paid any money to attend this 'FLP World Rally?'

      Do you have any idea how much the tickets were to get in?

      How many people were attending?

      I presume there hasn't been any mention at the 'FLP World Rally' of the organization's connections with the 'Mormons, but would you have agreed to attend if you had known 'FLP' is connected to the 'Mormons?'

      Are you aware that one of the biggest 'MLM' rackets, 'Herbalife,' is currently under investigation in the USA by the FBI, SEC and FTC? and that if 'Herbalife' is closed down as a fraud/racket by the federal authorities, the whole 'MLM' edifice will almost certainly collapse?

      Are you aware that in the UK there is absolutely no agency of law enforcement tasked with investigating, and prosecuting, this type of major, US-based, racketeering activity, and that consequently even well-informed persons such as myself cannot file complaints?


      I am always interested in talking to people who have attended large 'MLM' metings and who have friends and relatives as adherents. If you want to send me your contact details in a comment, these will not be posted.

      Kindest regards

      David Brear

    2. What about Tropic skin care, its partially owned by Lord Alan Sugar, its the UK's first home grown MLM... surely you can make well informed complaints against them?

    3. Unknown - To whom, or to what, do you suggest complaining in the UK? Currently, there is no anti-racketeering legislation in the UK, whilst the UK police no longer accept complaints directly from the public concerning fraud, because they have been swamped. The British media (controlled by lawyers, accountants and owners/share holders) is too fearful to publish the truth.

      Complaining about Alan Sugar as a crook in 2015, is essentially the same as complaining about Jimmy Savile as a pervert 25 years ago.

      Britain is, or rather vulnerable British citizens are, now living with the consequences of law enforcement agencies allowng the 'MLM' phenomenon to go unchallenged for decades.

      'Tropic Skin Care' has been using an attractive, and innocent looking, tele-reality celebrity (previously promoted by Alan Sugar's television programme) as a front, whilst Sugar himself has played exactly the same role as his US counterpart, Donald Trump, has played for the 'MLM' racket known as 'ACN'.

      Both Trump and Sugar ought to be facing serious criminal charges, but by the time law enforcement agents get their act together, (again like Jimmy Savile) Trump and Sugar will probably be history.

  17. Hi David, have been reading your blog with great interest, my sister has asked me to host a flp party next week, am dismayed at reading various accounts, don't really want anything to do with this kind of vile manipulation, don't really know how to broach this with her

    1. Anonymous- Without knowing more about your sister, I can only offer you general advice.

      From what you say, your sister is probably only in the initial euphoric stage - like someone who has fallen in love with an abusive partner, but who is blinded by emotion. You possibly already understand that the more you tell a bedazzled new adherent not to have anything to do with 'MLM/FLP': the more you will risk driving him/her towards it.

      The majority of persons who begin to buy into the pernicious 'MLM' fairy story, do not become chronic believers - simply because they run out of cash. However, a significant minority (usually with access to independent funds) can persist for years - cutting themselves off from all persons who try to stop them. The critical and evaluative faculties of core-'MLM' believers do not function. They can be compared to chronic gambling addicts and they are dangerous to themselves as well as to persons who have contact with them.

      If you are interested, I can send you links to some very recent interviews with former 'MLM' believers who now realize that they were defrauded and that 'MLM' is a form of cultism. These people (who are well-educated and articulate) confess to losing significant quantities of cash within just a few months. They also describe how they were conditioned to lie to themselves and to others. All these people have filed complaints with US law enforcement agencies.

      These interviews might be sufficient to restart your sister's critical and evaluative faculties.

      If you want to communicate with me in private, please send your contact details as a comment - these will not be posted. I'm particularly interested to know which country you are from.

      Kindest regards


    2. I am amazed with your Blog. I am one of the International Manager of FLP. Your negative comments about MLM is ok because you do not really know how it works. Well, good luck to all the person who are negative about FLP... as far as I know, my family lives with the income of it, my customers are happy, I am happy, I am healthy and doing well. My team members are all educated people who have their professions still doing FLP as part time , not just for additional income but they are happy helping others. ..sorry to say, there are people in this world who are happy doing MLM..

    3. Anonymous - I'm not amazed at your unsubstantiated arrogance, because you are the equivalent of one of the arrogant junior pigs in George Orwell's Animal Farm - assuring us that all the animals on your Great Leader's farm are fully-informed, well-fed, healthy and perfectly happy ... sorry to say there were animals on Orwell's farm who also appeared to be happy slaving to build their future Utopian existence.

      They were deluded!

      'The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed.'

  18. An anonymous commentator has written in with typical anecdotal claim that 'FLP' produced a miraculous cure of chronic psoriasis the scalp. The commentator then goes on to say:


    'Point is David although most MLM seems like a scam this company seem to be legit. They have been going since 1978 the products basically sell for themselves they are that good! Maybe I am deluded like the other anonymous guy but I would normally never join any MLM scheme as I said this one seems legit. HerbalLife everyone knows is a scam, shit products bad mlm, AVON closing in on 2nd. Can I just also say that I did enjoy your blog and do see where your coming from, but in our society MLM is everywhere, most jobs in the world today have sales assistants, managers, supervisors < this is MLM what ever way you look at it right? PS Im not arrogant my eyes are open and I am here and everywhere to learn ;'


    The point is that in all blame the victim 'MLM income opportunity' rackets, the claimed 'benefits' are always convenietly unquantifiable. In the past, many charlatans have sworn blind that rubbing snake oil on psoriasis miraculously made it vanish, but they were lying in order to make money. Interestingly, many of their victims also swore blind that snake oil had cured them.

    In reality, there is little scientific evidence proving the effectiveness or safety of aloe vera for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes, and the available (largely-anecdotal) evidence has been widely-contradicted by wholly-independent studies. Aloe Vera costs virtually nothing to produce.

    Furthermore, no matter what adherents of 'FLP' steadfastly pretend to be reality, there is no independent evidence which proves that anyone has ever generated an overall net-income lawfully, by regularly retailing up-dated 'FLP' snake oil to the general public for a profit (based on value and demand).

    However, there is plenty of evidence proving that many mllions of 'MLM' adherents have been deceived into applying the crackpot pseudo-economic theory that: never-ending recruitment + never-ending payments by the recruits = never-ending profits for the recruits.

    Thus, effectively unsaleable 'MLM' wampum has been a means of laundering unlawful payments into dissimulated closed market swindles or pyramid schemes.

    1. I love how everyone who trys to say anything positive at all about Forever gets called a liar or stating propergander or referred to as an animal from animal farm yet they are brainwashed for calling you negative for disrespecting their chosen path. Double standards a little. Then belittling people with your extravagant choice of language just serves to expose your bitterness towards this industry which seems to stem from an egotistical standpoint not a logical one. Let me guess I'm a sheep 4 legs good and all that but the article was long and boring and proves nothing. All that it basically says is that you think people are liars and you are right because of your anecdotal opinion based evidence. Why should people who are earning have to prove to you they are doing well. Why don't you prove that they're not?

    2. Anonymous - You seem to have fallen into the trap of bleating that that you are not a sheep.

      Please try to think back to a time before your mind wasn't contolled by the 'negative vs positive FLP' fairy story?

      It seems rather strange that someone who can post a complex phrase (like ' Then belittling people with your extravagant choice of language just serves to expose your bitterness towards this industry which seems to stem from an egotistical standpoint not a logical one) should spell the common English word 'propaganda,' as 'propergander.'

      As for your naive, child-like questions:

      Why should people who are earning have to prove to you they are doing well. Why don't you prove that they're not?

      This scripted drivel perfectly demonstrates to the readers of my Blog that 'FLP' adherents' critical and evaluative faculties are not functioning.

    3. David I have noticed that pretty much all those who have criticised you in their comments and defend FLP/MLM seem to have very poor literacy....coincidence?!

  19. To the anonymous commentator who, today, has attempted to post typical, scripted 'FLP/ MLM' propaganda on 'MLM The American Dream made Nightmare,' and who then says:


    'I'm not an FLP distributor and don't work in network marketing, I stumbled across the article while looking for some anecdotal evidence on aloe vera for a skin condition.'


    I don't believe a scripted-word you say!

  20. To prove my point, the anonymous 'FLP' propagandist (who steadfastly pretends to be a fair minded observer), has returned and now says:


    'You use the word Propaganda yet you only post parts of people's comments that you think strengthen your argument. Closed minded fool or just a fascist I can't decide.'


    This absurdly transparent commentator is warned that reality-inverting 'MLM propaganda' is never posted on 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare,' without detailed qualification or heavy irony.

  21. A very well written and informative article, David. Thank you for all your efforts, here.

    A cousin of mine has bent my ear with the whole Forever Living spiel. This is a person who I really respect as both ethical and intelligent. But the whole overly-enthusiastic tone of voice and the language he used set off alarm bells in my mind. I had heard similar speech patterns in the past from another family member who was trying to recruit me for an expensive 'Landmark Forum' weekend, where I was assured (with cultish single-mindedness) that my whole life would be transformed for the better. Years before that, it was a similar thing at a random (and one-off) meeting with the Scientologists.

    "The only free cheese is in the mousetrap." That's a healthy outlook to maintain when dealing with folk who promise the miracle of transforming your happiness/finances/love life.

    Though guarded, I try to remain open to the possibility that individuals may not all be out to rip you off. There are still decent people out there.

    But slick, scripted presenters using slick soundbites with improbable promises and forced smiles? Nah. Time to say "No thanks," and pull down the shutters. It's sad when it's family or friends, though.

    Which brings me back to my cousin, recently entangled with Forever Living. (Thinking about it, there is an indicator as to the likelihood of the company's promises in their name, isn't there?) Obviously, I won't get involved myself. But I don't know if I should try and talk him out of it too, and risk souring our relationship. He seemed so happy about his new venture, and was excited to share 'The Opportuity' with me. Like I say, he's a lovely person, but down on his luck and they've got their hooks in him.

    I think these organizations/schemes are like viruses, able to bypass the defences of even intelligent people. The people who set up these schemes are devious. They know just what weaknesses to target in us.

  22. Thanks Anonymous - It always fascinates me how people can either see how the criminogenic cult phenomenon works, or they can't. This is mainly because the deconstructed explanation of cultism can often be a threat to how we see ourselves. For a long time, I have called cultism the original, or organic, computer virus, because it has been tailored to fit our existing beliefs, and instinctual desires, and it has been designed to self-perpetuate. At various times, I've also compared cultism to a cancer. Currently, you can be jailed for launching a computer virus, but no law identifies an organic computer virus. Yet, 'The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed.'

    All cults, no matter what made-up technical-sounding labels their instigators slap over their entrances, have been essentially the same. They are fundamentally fraudulent in that they have comprised groups of people who have been peddled a Utopian fiction as fact. I'm tempted to stop using the cult instigators' labels, and give them all identification numbers.

    Your cousin sounds as if he's in the initial, euphoric stage of cult adherence, and with a bit of luck he might decide to quit 'FLP' by himself. You are wise not to challenge him directly. It's always best to ask lots of thought-provoking questions.

    In general, 'MLM' cult adherents don't persist for long, and the thieving-leaders of these groups are mainly interested in finding adherents with access to independent funds. The more cash, property or credit a cult adherent can get his/her hands on: the more danger he/she is in. Cult leaders are interested in gathering other confidential information about not only their adherents, but also about the adherents' friends and relatives. The more cult leaders know about their victims, and potential victims: the easier it is to manipulate them

    If you want to communicate with me off line, please feel free to send your contact details in a comment (these will not be published). I'm particularly interested to know in which country you live and whether you have considered filing a complaint against 'FLP.'

    Kindest regards

    David Brear

  23. Thanks David,
    I am so aware of these people and always give them a big swerve. I believe and have experience first hand of the type of indoctrination that goes one. All the hype about what you can acheive. Well I am a freelance webdeveloper and my info sits on a numebr of websites. Today I received an email from one of these people offering pretty much the normal deal and that they are looking for people like me with business skills and an entrepreneurial streak. The mail was supported by a word document and even a request for an up to date CV which makes it a bit different. The impression is you would have to qualify when in fact the only qualification is do you have money to throw at them. I followed a video link of theirs and its the same old trick just dressed up with the normal pictures of huge mansions and beautifull beaches complimented by a whole crowd of very exited looking people. Its really sad that people like this have an open license to prey on the unsuspecting and in many cases people that have almost nothing financially and are desperate to make a change in their lives. Instead of submitting any info I have suggested to the sender to qualify their financial stautus and then I would consider the offer. I will not hold my breath for a reply.
    I hope more people find your informative site.
    Kind regards

  24. I would just like to say I have been in FLP for 6 months and am earning a fab income from it that I never did in 12 years corporate. Why would you want to say something is rubbish when people work for someone else for the rest of their life for an income that someone else choses for them. I am a mum that had limited days I could work always on a wage that barely left any money for nice holidays, treats etc. Well I can honestly say that this was the best decision I have ever made and the most money I have made in my working life!! you tell my children and husband this is not working because at the moment all I see is happy faces, not happy faces when I was leaving for work at 6am in the morning to return late at night with children stuck in childcare. So when you feel you have to run this company down have a real look talk to real people because you actually may learn something yourself. I would never of recruited friends and family if I wasn't earning the money and I glady show them my bank balance. This is a chance for me to earn good money with freedom. And if you feel the fat cats of the corporate JOB world are any better you are mistaken. I understand this is not for everyone, but if you want to have a change in life where you are the boss and in control of what you earn and hours that you decide to work and sit on a beach and still earn money, then my friend I really wouldn't waste my time sitting here typing all this out, as I feel who is the brainwasher here. Me where I show people what they can earn and not be on minimum wage or you that are shoving people back into the stressfull rat race.!!!

    1. Anonymous - What you are so foolishly describing here, is not a 'business', but the classic 'MLM income opportunity' Utopian lie.

      Unfortunately, the readers of 'MLM the American Dream Made Nightmare' have heard all of this unsubstantiated nonsense a thousand times before, and they don't believe it.

      In brief, whilst they remain under the malign influence of their groups, all deluded 'MLM' core adherents, like you, recite essentially the same 'positive' script in which they steadfastly pretend:

      To be telling the truth
      To be happy and excited
      That people challenging the authenticity of 'MLM' are liars with hidden motives
      To be making free choices
      To be making lots of money
      To have lots of time to be with their families
      To be helping their friends and relatives, by recruiting them
      To have been exploited by their bosses in the world of traditional employment

      I suggest you go away and find a copy of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm,' read it carefully and then come back and tell me which one of the intellectually-castrated characters best represents your current intellectually-castrated state?

      I sincerely hope that your critical and evaluative faculties will soon start to function again.

    2. wow. i just don't understand why the need to be so rude to people and call them names. i fully understand your point of view and its absolutely fine but gosh theres really no need for the sheer aggression towards those who are "brainwashed".

    3. Anonymous - Judging by your comment, I very much doubt whether you fully-understand my point of view; for what you describe as, 'rude and agressive,' is merely me being brutally honest, and ultimately, polite. Furthermore, and self-evidently, I am not 'calling people names', I'm merely applying my critical, and evaluative, faculties and describing persons whose critical, and evaluative, faculties are evidently not functioning, as 'intellectually-castrated,' in the sincere hope that this might shock them back into reality.

      'Intellectually castrated' would appear to be a far more accurate use of the English language, than the populist term 'brainwashing,' which first appeared in the 1950s and is an approximate translation of an ancient Chinese phrase literally meaning 'to wipe the mind clean.'

  25. Think you need to put more time into earning yourself some money not sitting here writing pathetic blogs!!!!!

    1. Whoever you are, do you not think that you are only proving the validity of my overall analysis?

      Sorry - you don't think do you, and that's my point; for the word, 'pathetic,' self-evidently applies to you and your fellow deluded, 'MLM' adherents

      Your two-dimensional 'us versus them' model of reality has clearly been fed to you by the wealthy leaders of your group - who are 'Mormons.' They have cut you off from external reality, by peddling you a group illusion of moral and intellectual superiority.

      Meanwhile, in the adult world of quantifiable reality, no rank and file adherent of any 'MLM' cult, has ever earned an overall net-income out of participating in a so-called 'MLM income opportunity.' All of these reality-inverting blame-the-victim-rackets have been hiding effectively 100% overall loss/churn rates.

      So tell me, if you are making all this money, where are your 'FLP'-related income-tax payment receipts?

      Have you ever seen the income-tax payment receipts of anyone involved with 'FLP'?

      Why on Earth should you imagine that persons outside of 'FLP' are incapable of earning money or that everything in life is based on the sole motivation of earning money?

    2. The following information (which has already been posted as a comment) is addressed to the anonymous woman from the UK who has started to post comments in support of the 'FLP' racketeers, today.


      'FLP' is one of numerous 'MLM' cults that have all been employing the same co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion.

      In 1961, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton published, ‘Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.’ In this standard, medical text-book, Lifton identified 8 ‘themes’ which, if present in any group, indicate that its members are being subjected to a mixture of social, psychological and physical pressures, designed to produce radical changes in their individual beliefs, attitudes and behaviour.

      1). ‘Milieu control’ — the attempted control of everything an individual experiences (i.e. sees, hears, reads, writes and expresses). This includes discouraging subjects from contacting friends and relatives outside the group and undermining trust in exterior sources of information; particularly, the independent media.

      2). ‘Personal or mystical manipulation’ — charismatic (psychologically dominant) leaders create a separate environment where specific behaviour is required; leading to group members believing that they have been chosen and that they have a special purpose. Normally group members will insist that they have not been coerced into group membership, and that their new way of life and beliefs are the result of a completely free-choice.

      3). ‘Demand for purity’ — everything in life becomes either pure or impure, negative or positive, etc. This builds up a sense of shame and guilt. The idea is promoted that there is no alternative method of thinking or middle way, to that promoted by the group or by those outside it. Everything in life is either good or bad and anything is justified provided the group sanctions it as good.

      4). ‘Confession’ — personal weaknesses are admitted to, to demonstrate how group membership can transform an individual. Group members often have to rewrite their personal histories and those of their friends and relatives, denigrating their previous lives and relationships. Other techniques include group members writing personal reports on themselves and others. Outsiders are presented as a threat who will only try to return group members to their former incorrect thinking.

      5). ‘Sacred science’ — the belief in an inexplicable power system or secret knowledge, derived from a hierarchy who must be copied and who cannot be challenged. Often the group’s leaders claim to be followers of traditional historical figures (particularly, established political, scientific and religious thinkers). Leaders promote the idea that their own teaching will also benefit the entire world, and it should be spread.

      6). ‘Loading the language’ — a separate vocabulary used to bond the group together and short-circuit critical thought processes. This can become second nature within the group, and talking to outsiders can become difficult and embarrassing. Derogatory names, or directly racist terms, are often given to outsiders.

      7). ‘Doctrine over persons’ — individual members are taught to alter their own view of themselves before they entered the group. Former attitudes and behaviour must then be re-interpreted as worthless, and/or dangerous, using the new values of the group.

      8). ‘Dispensing of existence’ — promotion of the belief that outsiders — particularly, those who disagree with the teaching of the group — are inferior and are doomed. Therefore, they can be manipulated, and/or cheated, and/or dispossessed, and/or destroyed. This is justifiable, because outsiders only represent a danger to salvation.


      You can read more about how the cult phenomenon works, in this article

  26. David, is it not possible that FLP and MLM could be right for some people and not others? Is it possible that not everyone in FLP is driven by money but rather, freedom from the 9-5 ratrace? Im presuming that writing this blog makes you happy and it is therefore your perogative to do so but the people who love FLP are happy otherwise they wouldn't do it when there is so much negativity around the profession. MLM isnt perfect but I'm a whole lot happier than I used to be when I did "a proper job" Live and let live I say :)

  27. Julia - You are reciting the classic 'MLM' false justification. Whether you can yet face up to reality or not, what you are actually doing is 'duplicating the system' and pretending to be happy and successful in order to recruit other people into the 'FLP' cult in the false belief that, in doing so, you are helping them to achieve 'financial freedom.'

    I have no doubt that your belief is quite genuine, but what you believe in, is not. One day you will wish that yo listened to my words of warning, but by that time, it might be too late.

    The overwhelming majority of people who become involved with 'MLM' cults have never seen one penny of overall net-profit. A significant minority have continued for years and lost everything. Some have committed suicide.

    In all these cases, the 'MLM' victims were conditioned to recite exactly the same 'positive' script as you are now reciting and to ignore all 'negative' persons, but:

    Where are your 'FLP'-related income tax payment receipts?

    Have you ever seen the income tax payment receipts of anyone involved with 'FLP?'

    Have you seen the satirical movie 'Believe'?

    1. Julia - I detect that you have grave doubts about 'FLP.' You do realize that 'FLP' is run by 'Mormons?' and that many of the techniques used within 'FLP' are also present within the 'Mormon Church?'

      The standing joke in the USA, is that 'MLM' stands for 'Mormons Losing Money.' Although, II first cracked the same joke about 10 years ago

      Have you asked yourself why 'FLP' adherents are taught not to associate with non-adherents, particularly persons who say it's a fraud?

      I'm not going to publish your latest comment, because what you are saying is the classic 'MLM' cult denial of reality, i.e. it's the world of traditional employment that pushes people into debt, enslavement and depression whilst so-called 'MLM income opportunities' are allowing people to achieve freedom.

      The traditional world does contain a lot debt, enslavement and depression, but so-called 'MLM income opportunities' only steal their adherents money whilst giving them the illusion that they are making free-choices. 'MLM' adherents haven't a hope in hell of achieving freedom, but they are peddled the addictive illusion that they can achieve freedom if they just believe 100% that they will..

      Frankly, I don't believe that you have examined the income-tax payment receipts of persons claiming to have made money in 'FLP,' and you are certainly not offering to supply me with access to your own income tax payment receipts.

      The people who are easiest to deceive are the people who are convinced that they cannot possibly be deceived, and from your previous comment, you seem to be such a person.

      Yet 'the most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed.'

      Please send me your fixed phone number in the form of a comment (this will not be posted) I'm very interested to talk to you.

  28. I found your blog whilst carrying out the search, 'Is Freedom Aloe Vera a pyramid scam' and am pleased to read that what you have written, confirms my suspicions.
    Someone I have known for years first invited me to a 'party' at her house to sell me products - they were overpriced and I was under-convinced but tried them. I was sold a product for around £10 to use on a skin condition on my hands which was completely unsuitable. In fact, the best product I have found to work is widely available at £2. I also bought an expensive handwash and tooth gel. These products were overpriced and demonstrated no particular benefits. I have since declined to purchase others despite being invited to try different creams.
    On a recent visit to my friend's house, she launched her recruitment attack; I asked her how much her daughter earned (I think she was recruited at least a year ago) and she replied £600 per month which is certainly not an amount that would enable anyone to stop working. My friend said that she was not involved in the 'business' just the selling (which I now realise is just buying'. Her and her family are totally brainwashed. They buy and use all the products and genuinely believe they are helping other people.
    She gave herself away though, when asked how income could be generated, by starting with, "Well, you buy all the products and use them yourself..." I realised that just as you say in your blog, the victims are the actual buyers not sellers.
    She asked me to attend a meeting with her; her daughter told me a fantastic story of a teacher who had given up her job because of all the stress and was now living a wonderful life due to FLP. Her husband even sent me a youtube video. I didn't watch it as I had already made up my mind.
    A few days ago, my friend telephoned me to see if I had watched the video and would I like to go to a meeting. I replied that I had all the products that I needed at extremely discounted prices and that I didn't like or believe in the FLP products.
    She then seemed to go into 'frantic' mode, saying I could just do the 'business side' (I assume this is the conning, money-making scam side' and then suggested that some of my relations might be interested. What made me worry about this conversation was that I was trying to talk to her but she was completely fixated on the recruitment and defence of FLP. She did not allow me to get a word in during her desperate pleas and was not at all interested in other things that I was trying to tell her.
    I have had other friends who were recruited by Amway in the late 80s, who quickly realised their mistake and financial loss and I am not too worried about my FLP friend as her and her husband appear to be financially secure. However, it does worry me that FLP is a legal pyramid scam in the UK and that people who have little or no money, are being encouraged to spend/borrow £200 to embark on this ridiculous venture.

    1. Anonymous - 'FLP' is legally-registered in the UK, but what the organization is doing behind its fake 'direct selling' corporate front, is fundamentally unlawful.

      'FLP' and other 'MLM income opportunity' cults have been maliciously set up in such a way as to commit fraud, but prevent, and divert, criminal investigation and isolate their bosses from liability. This is defined as forming a pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970.

      The co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion (which are being inflicted on the adherents of groups like FLP without their fully informed consent) are classified as impermissible medical experiments on humans. These are forbidden by the Nuremberg Covention of which the UK and USA are signatories.

      Plese send me your contact details, these will not be posted.

  29. Dear David, and blog readers

    I thought you might like to hear about the latest scam from an FLP delusionist. She has placed herself on EHarmony, in which her profile talks of her starting her own global business, which will soon lead to her retirement from her 9-5 job. She then contacts loads of other singles, pretending to like them. When they write, she quickly tries to recruit them! She is an attractive woman and mainly targets older men who are flattered by her interest. Presumably, she corresponds for a while, and finds an excuse not to pursue the relationship, once they are recruited.

    And how do I know all this? I was one if her victims, but saw through it before signing up or buying anything.

    1. Thanks Anonymous.

      This type of flirty 'MLM 'recruitment' will almost certainly have been taught to this woman by her 'Upline' handlers.

      Please feel free to send me your contact details in the form of a comment (these will not be published). I'm particularly interested to know exactly where this has been happening.

  30. I found this blog after being approached by a FLP rep. What I was focussing on was the product itself and the efficacy of aloe vera. I've looked at the BMJ, the WHO and some Cochrane Institute papers and there does seem to be some efficacy (not matching their claims though, although their products only 'alleviate' symptoms, they don't 'cure', not that you'd know from some of the marketing), and what alarms me is how my searches always return to Dr Peter Atherton. He's done an amazing PR job. And while I wonder, if he's done all this fantastic research, why is it not being cited elsewhere, I also can't find anything to discredit him. Did you manage to find out much else about him or his research? I'm guessing FLP have been too careful with their wording to get in trouble for their claims.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful input, Anonymous.

      Dr. Atherton is an extremely dangerous individual - a deeply-deluded 'MLM' shill who is apparently both victim and perpetrator.

      Sadly, Doctors and 'MLM' cultic rackets, go together like peaches cream, but then, various charlatan/victims with authentic medical qualifications have been involved with cultic gangs peddling all sorts of potentially lethal quackery..

      For the most extreme cases, take a look at Belgian mass-murderer (and murder victim), Dr. Luc Jouret, or at 'Aum' in Japan (a murderous cult that ran a fake 'hospital' with real doctors and nurses).

      Also, take a look at the 'MLM' racket known as 'Xango' which has been fronted in the USA by Dr. Templeman.

      If you want to know more about 'FLP's' Dr. Atherton, just watch him on Youtube, but, classically, he's not been the main beneficiary of the racket.

      In various videos (some of which have recently vanished) Atherton implied that drugs prescribed for arthritis, bowel syndrome etc., can be effective at relieving pain, but can kill you. However, 'FLP' products are more effective and are completely risk free.

      Atherton also explained how he was deeply dissatisfied with his medical career, but that he gave it up to transform into a full-time 'MLM business builder.'

      In other words, Atherton has been peddling a potentially-lethal hybrid-combination of economic, and medical, placebo

      This video linked below, featuring Atherton, contains the classic 'FLP medical' fairy story with aloe vera acting like a magical shield - protecting human bodies from all decay and disease.

      Currently, perhaps the most worrying aspect of 'FLP' activity in the UK, is the involvement of a large number of former, and serving, police officers - some of whom have been recruited whilst they were in a highly vulnerable state (after the murder of colleagues).

      The blame-the-victim 'MLM income opportunity' racket known as 'FLP' has been spreading through dissatisfied UK police officers, like an unchecked virus - with Dr. Atherton acting as a guarantee of its authenticity.

      Please feel free to send me your contact details in a comment (these will not be posted).

  31. Hi David

    Today I was at a FLP event in Holland. This was due a colleague of my partner (very polite woman). What I saw was the following.

    Everybody very, very nice and polite.
    We got a drink and then asked to sit down.
    A presentation was made of FLM by a teacher (why always teachers?). All products and what you can earn. You can stay at home with your kids instead of 'working'
    FLM is the number one aloe company in the world
    Then we got into a hall and there the colleague is talking about all the benefits, money

    To be honest it looks and feels like a mormon church. I' was a mormon (not anymore). But it feld the same way which gives me a little the creeps. All warm, family, cosy, healthy, corner of family, earn a lot of money. All you have to do is buy a start basket so you can feel the same healthy products. Otherwise you can not promote (not sell!) the products

    At the end I (try) asked questions which no one would tell or could tell me a answer. Everyone was talking through And the same over and over again how I can make money Don't SELL but FEEL & PROMOTE the product

    If you are the nr1 who are nr2 and nr3
    How much money do you make exacltly the last 3 years (proven track)
    How many senior managers are in Holland
    how many distributors were in Holland
    What percentage is coming from selling the product and what percentage is coming from bringing someone into FLP
    What is in your opinion negative to FLP
    Can you talk badly when you register yourself, How many managers did you buy-back the products from
    Can I see a balance from the company, FLC Holland
    Why if you earn so much do you still work in a company part-time
    If this model works so great for FLM why do other companies (Apple, Google, facebook, Microsoft, H&M, C&A, Ahold) don't follow this model?

    So most question came from a business background (because I'm independent network specialist) but again none were answered seriously.

    So we (my partner and me) saw the colleague completely talking about FLP (like elders of a mormon church that devotion) So I try to talk to her in common sense but I didn't get through. How to get through to her ? any idea?

    JSOC, Holland

    Ps I don't want to talk negatively about Mormons that's not the case. Its about the same feeling, devaotion and attitude I saw under the FLP people

    1. Jim - Perhaps you already understand that what you consider to be 'negative,' might only be the ugly truth, and the ugly truth is often very difficult to accept, because few people can admit that they were deceived by an attractive/'positive' lie.

      It now all depends just how much your partner's colleague needs to believe in the attractive'MLM income opportunity' lie whether she can face the ugly truth.

      Please feel free to send me your contact details (these will not be posted).

  32. Wikipedia's definition of a pyramid scheme includes the following extract:

    "The Federal Trade Commission warns, "It’s best not to get involved in plans where the money you make is based primarily on the number of distributors you recruit and your sales to them, rather than on your sales to people outside the plan who intend to use the products"

    I fear that FLP does just this. If you have enough people below you, all buying the products for personal use, then you will make money. One FL person told me that my plan of 'selling but not recruiting' was simply "wrong". Surely if the products were good enough, then it wouldn't just be the distributors buying them? Which is really is!!

    I'm still a distributor, but I'm getting out of this scam. It's turned family members against each other and is just poisonous.

    Who in their right mind would disregard their disgruntled family as "haters" (the term 'haters' being one that I only discovered after joining FL - funny that!!) because they get irritated at being harassed by it every day.

    1. Thanks Anonymous - If you read the rest of my Blog, you will see that all these blame-the-victim 'MLM income opportunity' racketeers have been using essentially the same tactics to dissociate their adherents from external reality in order to exploit them.

      'Haters, Whiners, Negatives, Losers,' are some of the dehumanizing terms which have been commonly used by 'MLM' cults to describe free-thinking persons challenging their authenticity.

      In order to understand more clearly what you have been involved in, the so-called 'sales' in 'MLM' cults are really unlawful investment payments (because they were based on the false expectation of future reward).

      Thus, the effectively unsaleable pseudo-medical products in a classic 'Amway' copy-cat 'MLM' racket like 'FLP,' are just a means of laundering the unlawful profits derived from fraud. From all rational points of view, 'MLM' wampum might as well not exist.

      I presume you are American?

      Have you considered filing a complaint with the FTC?

      Would you like some assistance to do so?

    2. I'm not American, I'm from the UK. I'd love nothing more than that poisonous company to be shut down, but due to family being heavily involved, the repercussions if they found my complaint out wouldn't really bear thinking about.

      I did wonder though - why have they never been taken to court before? Or had anything done with them legally?

      The thing that really irritates me is that one family member is actually making money out of this company. She's effectively recruited so many people (all under false pretenses) that she's making a little money from every one of them, thus making a lot. The last time we spoke she said she had about 150 people recruited.

      If someone has a recruit under them, then they have to buy 4CC of product to make any money from that recruit. So putting new recruits under existing ones, rather than under herself means that people are effectively being forced to buy around GBP600 of products to earn their commission.

      Why does that irritate me?
      Well, I didn't do well at the company because I refused to lie about it. And now all of her family basically look at me like I'm some kind of failure because "she did better than me". Every time I mention the tiniest little thing about having a bad day in the office, they're all over me like a rash.. "have you thought about giving Forever another go?", "you know, if you did it properly, you could give up your job in a few months." etc etc.

      When you're getting phone calls from someone, in tears, saying they wished they'd never started and that they wished they could give everyone their money back, and saying that their sponsor made everything up to get them to join, and then suddenly doing well out of nothing... well, there's definitely something not right with that. Least of all the fact that she's doing to loads of people what was done to her at the start. All morals out of the window.

  33. Anonymous - I'm truly sorry to hear all of this, but its par for the crooked 'MLM' course.

    I've been through the same nightmare with members of my family in the UK

    I detect that you are a welll educated person and I would like to answer your questions more fully.

    Briefly, even if you want to complain in the UK about an 'MLM' racket, you would find that you have effectively no one to complain to; believe me, I've tried for years.

    Few journalists have ever tried to investigate 'MLM' racketeering.Yet this type of cultic pyramid fraud remains beyond the understanding of UK law enforcement agencies, and many UK police officers have themselves fallen victim to the phenomenon.

    Currently, 'FLP' is recruiting heavily amongst the disgruntled ranks of the UK police service.

    Might you be interested to communicate with me off line? If you send me your contact details as a comment, these will not be posted.

    1. I've been following these comments with interest. The "family member" I mentioned previously has been recruiting more and more people. Thing is, she's a total blabber mouth and has already admitted to me that she has no customers!! NONE! So each month she just buys her 4cc of products to get the money from her downline.

      She's going on the holiday to Singapore but has apparently been told that whilst this should be bragged about on Facebook as a "luxury 5* holiday", in reality, she's been told in no uncertain terms that this is a business trip and is not allowed to bring her daughter.

      She has also been having a go at her downline for not making enough money, with the "rubbish" ones being told that they are no longer worthy of her time and she has cut them off. Some of these people are good friends with other members of the family - I'm not sure how well that is going to go down.

      And on top of that, I have written proof that she has committed copyright fraud, and I also have written proof that someone in her team has posted LIES on Facebook in order to make sales. We all know that they do this, but I have actual proof of it.

      She is about to quit her day job (I think she's working notice at the moment), has just bought a brand new car (mostly on finance, but is of course bragging about how Forever has allowed her to buy the car of her dreams) so I would love nothing more than to see this poisonous company shut down before she ruins anyone else's lives.

      If everyone on this thread starts trying to collect evidence that these people are sharks, perhaps we could start getting somewhere?

    2. Anonymous - Have you tried to a file a complaint against 'FLP' anywhere?

      If not, where do you think would be the appropriate place to file complaints about this type of racket?

      Have you contacted the press?

    3. I did send FLP a letter directly, explaining how this person was recruiting by lying to people, but I never got a response or even an acknowledgement of the letter.
      Going to the press could be a good move. I'm looking at gathering more evidence. If anyone has anything that they could send me, they are welcome to. I can publish an email address if permissible..

    4. Anonymous - Unfortunately, complaining to the employees of one of these 'MLM' front companies, is as pointless as complaining to a front company for the Mafia.

      Complaining to the so-called 'Direct Selling Association' (which is the fake self regulatory organization which groups 'FLP' with 'Herbalife', 'Amway' etc.) ' is also pointless.

      In the UK, you could try to file a complaint with Reporting a Fraud or the Companies Investigation Branch of what used to be the Dept. of Trade and Industry and is now the Ministry for Regulatory Reform.

      I doubt whether you will hear another word from any of these agencies.

      It is impossible for 'MLM' adherents to recruit others without hiding the truth. Indeed, in 'MLM' cults, adherents are conditioned to believe that the truth, is negative threat to their future redemption. They see lying to be perfectly justifiable, because they falsely believe that they are saving people, by recruiting them.

      Please send me your contact details and phone number (these will not be posted without your full agreement).

      I can eventually post an appeal for 'FLP' victims, and/or concerned relatives and friends of 'FLP' adherents, to contact you directly, but I'd prefer to speak with you first..

  34. Hello David,
    I found your blogspot via a link which trailed from the very limited write up about FLP company on Wikipedia. I notice you reference Nutrilife, and Amway in addition to FLP - but I'd really like to hear if you've ever come across Melaleuca Inc (about which there is a much better/more detailed write-up on Wikipedia...) and which I am otherwise researching.

    I am a business studies student and the lure of MLM and its evolution from the original pyramid scheme through to an apparently more 'reputable' model of business which the regulators in the UK do not appear to be focusing on, has always fascinated me (and happens to be something I am looking at, as part of a project for the marketing module I am working on...).

    As you say MLM appears to be founded on an odd blend of raw capitalism and mormon christianity. As a child in the 80s I also have a memory of my own father being signed up by Amway - and seeing his hopes of a better income for his family, quickly dashed thereafter. He was to all intents and purposes 'preyed upon' - because we had little money and he was desperate to find a way to make more so we could get away from the awful estate we were living on, at the time.

    That aside, I'm curious about Melaleuca and how its business model would appear to have at least attempted to distinguish itself, from these others. I have purchased their products as a 'Preferred Customer' in the past (their laundry detergetn and fabric conditioner are in fact very good!) and they appear to have invested a lot in distinguishing themselves from the 'others' in this field. From the info I recall, it would seem their focus is on 'Consumer Direct Marketing' a form of MLM they have trademarked I notice. Hence they only grow because their products 'stand up to scrutiny' and they could only ever be successful as a company (and indeed those who choose to become independent marketing executives, could only ever be successful and get rewarded via their compensation plan) - if the products are any good.

    This seems an interesting distinction, which appears to be borne out by the fact (insofar as I can tell) that there is no initial outlay required by their 'independent marketing execs'. You just buy the products (instead of say the familiar branded equivalents in Tesco or Sainsbury's). If you like them - you can (if you want to try and benefit from their compensation plan) recommend them to other would be consumers and encourage them to buy them too. There is a modest minimum order requirement, each month, which Preferred Customers and Independent marketing execs alike, are required to commit to, but you can simply stop buying the products and cancel your membership at any time. (Which is what I did when I inadvertently over-ordered and ended up with a small stock of detergent...but I used it all eventually, so I incurred no loss). From what I can tell, it's more of a 'customer-referral scheme', which while still MLM, is not quite the same.

    I would love to read your thoughts and to hear whether you've ever come across the company and whether their truly is a distinction in your view (albeit perhaps a fine one) between the quasi pyramids (FLP, Amway etc) and other company's attempting to be more of a 'Customer Referrral' organisation. Are they really any different?
    Many thanks!

    1. Sue - Please send me your contact details as a comment (these will not be posted).

      As you are discovering, very people have looked closely at the 'MLM' phenomenon.

      I would advise you to try to ignore all the thought-stopping 'MLM' jargon' and to apply your critical, and evaluative, faculties at all times, because blame-the victim 'MLM' rackets comprise labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures pursuing unlawful, and/or lawful, enterprises. These labyrinths are designed to prevent, and/or divert, investigation and isolate their bosses from liability.

      Classically, and for obvious reasons, 'MLM bosses have focused the attention of casual observers (including journalists and regulators) only on their lawful activities.

      Faced with the prospect of more-rigorous investigation, the bosses of 'Herbalife', 'Amway', 'NuSkin', etc., all lately claim to be operating 'perfectly-legal customer referral schemes.'

      I have looked at the 'Melaleuca MLM income opportunity' in the past, and at its boss, Frank VanderSloot.

      I consider Melaleuca to be part of an overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activity as defined by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act , 1970.

      VanderSloot was one of the 'Mormon MLM' bosses who bought Mitt Romney.

  35. I live in Majorca, and the local Facebook job vacancies page (Job Vacancies in Mallorca) is abundant with such adverts claiming great health, wealth & happiness. These recruitment adverts are largely posted by UK nationals seeking to recruit persons further afield - or just trying to find persons who either a) haven't heard of the company, as the UK is somewhat saturated with distributors, or b) are transient, and therefore easier to "scam" as they will be largely working in the summer season tourist industry, and therefore largely come in to contact with other transient tourist workers.
    Now, personally I agree with your comments, and certainly do not consider this to be a "job vacancy", but sadly the advertisements are allowed to remain so a few gullible people will lose money. It is such a shame that they are not prevented from exploited the persons who can least afford the exploitation.
    (I hope you don't mind, but I added your link to the most recent FLP advertisement, to provide some form of reference for the readers)

    1. Thanks Anonymous - If adding a link to my post prevents just one person from falling for this particular 'MLM' racket, then it was worth it.

      It's many years since I visited Majorca.

      Might I ask what (other than these fraudulent adverts) has prompted your own interest in the 'MLM' phenomenon in general, and 'FLP' in particular?

  36. Hi there
    A really interesting piece. Unless I missed something it does't mention those that DO succeed in this. It really isn't for me but I have friends that have truly changed their lives. When I have spoken to them about it, there is a sense of a Cult.
    I think the reality is that a lot will fail as they seem to think that it is a get rich scheme and others treat and understand that they are themselves a business and are successful.
    I suppose my question is why is your piece as venomous as it is? I think that you have some great points but the overall feel of the piece is as skewed as the 'propaganda' that you accuse the companies in the piece of?

    1. Anonymous -

      Perhaps you would like to share with my readers what independent quantifable evidence (e.g. income-tax payment receipts) you have examined which proves that anyone has ever 'succeeded' in a so-called 'MLM Income Opportunity?'

      The whole point on this article (indeed of this entire Blog), but which you have evidently failed to grasp, is that so-called 'MLM income opportunities' have all been complete inversions of quantifiable reality. So, rather than dismissing me as 'venomous' and 'skewed;' please try to comprehend that I am just the messenger of an ego-destroying truth which (as I have predicted) many people will never be able to accept.

  37. I'm really glad I found this blog. One of the Mums at my children's school is constantly trying to recruit people to her 'team' for FLP. On Facebook every single post is about how FLP has totally changed her life, how she's earning so much money. She's bought a car (Audi I think), lives in a nice flat (having moved out of her mother's after joing FLP, she's got enough to put her son into private school (though I note she hasn't done that yet), she's been to Lake Tahoe earlier this month with FLP, MExico next year (apparently) and is expecting a share of the "Chairman's Profit" I think that's what she said, in the company meeting in Singapore next year.

    She is toally evangelical about this new life she claims to have. She claims she is earning over £4000 a month, and many of the other mums, including her own mother, have caught the fever and signed up.

    The thing that really piqued me, though, is that she almost NEVER mentions the products. She has never shown me a product, never asked if I want to see it even, she just wants me to sign up to her 'team' and start 'living the dream'.

    I'll be honest, for a few seconds I considered signing up. She presents such a good front, seems to have everything and for very little work (that I can see, she always seems to be on holiday!) But something just didn't sit right. Where is all her money (assuming she is earning what she claims, of course) coming from? How can 1 small community have so many 'distributors' (she really has signed up loads of people) and yet no-one has ever tried to sell me a single FLP product?

    I suspected early on that this is yet another MLM scam. I saw another contact make a fortune after getting in early with SpinGlo, I think it was called. I could see that was weird from the get-go. He has now transitioned into Viral Angels and I think that is just as bad. He is so evangelical about this and yet WHAT IS THE PRODUCT?! He is not a stupid man yet he can't see the nose in front of his face, and I see the same blind credulity from those signing up to FLP (including the Mum I know, who is really nice, but everyone is going to hate her if this ends badly, which I imagine it will).

    Money for nothing is never free. The cost to the people who get caught up in this will be more than financial, and far far worse. Losing friends and family, relationships, everything, for the sake of a suspending one's critical faculties due to greed and materialism, is not a price I am ever going to pay.

    Back to the day job for me, I think ;)

    1. Thank-you for a very insightful and helpful comment.

      If you calmly ask this poor woman (who claims to be raking in the cash) to produce her 'FLP'- related income-tax payment receipts, I'll guarantee that they won't be forthcoming.

      All these groups have a closed-logic script designed to make 'doubters' feel guilty.

      I'm always interested to know where exactly 'MLM' rackets are operating, so if you would like to send me your contact details (as a comment) these will not be posted.

      At the moment, the 'FLP' virus seems to have a strong presence in the North of England as well as in the South West.

      Few British recruits have the slightest idea that a significant proportion of 'FLP' profits have been winding up in the coffers of the 'Mormon Church' in Utah, as well as in the pockets of various corrupt 'Mormon' politicians and elected officials..

      It's amazing how many well-educated people continue to fall for cultic groups disguised as 'income opportunites,' simply because they peddle a 'step-by-step plan' to achieve Paradise on Earth: rather than in 'Heaven.'

  38. David I'm also glad to have found your Blog. I've recently seen colleagues pestered by FLP nuts pretending to have made fortunes and 'transformed their lives'.

    What I'd like to know is why the British government has allowed this obvious fraud to enter our country?

    1. UK taxpayer - Privately, certain UK government agents have accepted that all so-called 'MLM income opportunities' are cultic scams, but, sadly, they behave as though these scams have become too big to halt.

      'MLM' rackets first began to enter the UK from the USA back in the 1970s.

      If you tell a big enough lie and keep repeating it, eventually many people will come to accept it as the truth.

  39. I found your article very negative and biased. I know several people who have done very well in MLM, and as a skeptic, I needed to see their payslips in order to believe them. A lot of what you have written is very subjective and obviously only your opinion, not backed up with thorough research. It is utter nonsense to state that the governments cannot do anything - if these schemes really were illegal, they would not have survived for as long as they have, and they would be shut down. If you actually study the business model, it is easy to see that the 'riches' achieved are simply re-allocation of the profits, which are not spent on marketing, because the marketing is done by the distributors. I studied these systems for a year, and now understand that the companies grow and succeed because they are not greedy, and give a large percentage of the profit to the distributors. This encourages distributors to work harder, and they then get rewarded financially. Distributors pay tax just like anyone else - these MLM companies simply offer a drop shipping service effectively. The bitterness that is in your tone implies that you tried your have at Direct Selling, and did not manage to succeed. It is a tough business, and certainly not for everyone, certainly not for people as negative as yourself. Articles like yours are irresponsible, as they mis-inform people and may persuade them not to have a go themselves, thereby stealing an opportunity for success from them.

    1. Anonymous - If, in ignorance, you look at a deception with false objectivity, you actually risk becoming part of the deception; and this is exactly what you are doing currently and inviting me to do.

      That said, by the tell-tale personal style, and 'negative vs positive' jargon, contained in your intellectually-feeble comment, you are almost certainly another bleating 'MLM' propagandist pretending to be a fair-minded independent observer.

      However, your comment is essentially meaningless drivel, because you obviously don't understand the meaning of the term, 'overall net-profit.'

      You might recall that Bernie Madoff operated for decades without any challenge from law enforcement agents. Many observers applied false objectivity and reasoned that Madoff couldn't possibly be a crook, because surely he would have been stopped.

      Presumeably, you have not studied the Madoff affair, or imagine that he is unique.

      What you refer to as 'payslips,' do not constitute quantifiable evidence that anyone has generated an overall net profit out of operating a so-called 'MLM' business. Presumeably, you have no real commercial experience. If you do, then you are devoid of common-sense.

      In the course of my research (during 20 years) I have spoken to tax officials in various countries. None of them can recall seeing income-tax payments deriving from persons operating so-called 'MLM businesses' for the simple reason that effectively no so-called 'MLM business' has generated overall net profits.

      Years ago, when 'Amway' was investigated by the Assistant State Attorney of Wisconsin, Bruce Craig, he examined the tax records of 30 thousands 'Amway' adherents in that State. All were losing money. Even the top 1%, were losing an average of approximately, $1000 annually.

    2. I know a few people who claim to be doing well from flp, but they don't look like they are. Every second of their time seems to be spent advertising flp on facebook. Putting up testimonials from satisfied customers who have lost weight but don't look any different! Asking people if they can be tagged on facebook:ie use you and your friends to make them money.
      What a wonderful business idea
      Tell people to sell to their friends and family, so very little chance of returns or complaints.
      Tell them if anyone disagrees with their products and selling:
      a Repeat words that you have read in flp's literature and website
      b If that fails have nothing more to do with them as you don't need their negativity. (But still send them private messages trying to sell them stuff after you defriend them)
      Tell people to buy it themselves so they can earn commission from them self!
      Learn to lie tell people aloe can cure all ills, and tell them they look better for taking it.
      Obviously people will lose weight on clean 9, aloe has laxative qualities!
      Facebook seems to be a very good advertising medium for flp

    3. I totally agree with you on this one. I was thinking the exact same thing the other day. I know someone who is supposedly doing really well in this business - so well that she quit her job. She now, however, spends even less time with her family than she did before.
      She brags about how she used to work "60 hours a week", but in reality she worked 4 days a week...for her DAD!! She now puts her 3 year old into childcare more than she did when she was working, and the poor mite is suffering because he's just passed about from pillar to post on a daily basis.
      The brand new car she just bought and is flashing about all over facebook was mostly on finance. She's now started posting Sponsored adverts over facebook so I can't even get away from her lies after blocking her!
      And to top it off, I have proof that her team lied on Facebook to build up interest in the rubbish products.

      The bottom line is simple. FLP distributors sell the products to THEMSELVES. Virtually none of them have customers who aren't signed up - this makes it a pyramid scheme beyond all doubt in my eyes.

  40. Hi David,

    What a refreshing read, I'm so glad I found your article! My best friend has recently been sucked into this creepy cult that is known as FLP. She's normally a rational and very sensible woman, but she is radically changing before my very eyes.
    Every conversation we have relates to "the business" or how amazing she is feeling from doing "clean 9" and drinking aloe gel, when I question her with any sort of hint of scepticism I am shot down, head bitten off, how can I not believe in this miracle gel when she is living proof of its benefits! How silly of me!
    Her Facebook wall is a stream of photos imprinted with positive messaging, part of her "marketing campaign" and if anyone dare write a sarcastic comment on these posts, they must be erased immediately to repel the negativity!! I found this out the hard way when I suggested that she should call herself the Dalai Lama!
    I don't want to jeopardise our friendship, but I want to grab her by the shoulders and shake these ridiculous ideas out of her head!
    Any ideas/advice that you can give are most welcome!


    1. Emma - Thanks - it's quite surprising how similar sudden cultic personality transformations all are.

      Depending how long they have been in a group, there are several ways to try to get through to cult adherents, but it would be better if I knew more about your friend.

      If you want to discuss this off-line, please send me your contact details in a comment (these will not be posted).

  41. You are entitled to your opinion. It does not change the fact that some people are very happy with the choice they have made and make an income from it.

    I do think you should check your facts. Emma Cooper, the police officer you quote above did not in fact join Forever Living until December 2013, 14 months after the death of her two female police officer colleagues, which certainly made her consider whether she wanted to remain in her position when she had a family of her own. As I recall, the whole country was forced to consider how dangerous the role of the police officer had become when this tragedy happened. That makes her fairly sensible in my eyes. Interestingly, this very article has a publishing date of February 2013, 10 months BEFORE she joined Forever Living, which adds to my belief that you are attempting to use any information, however tenuous, to justify your hatred of any MLM organisation.

    I agree with several people quoted here who believe you should live and let live. Just because you don't agree with something, it doesn't mean it's wrong. We all have free minds and free choices and if we make a mistake with those choices, we live with them. Seeking to trash the opinions of others and flatten their way of life is akin to some of the terrifying behaviour we are witnessing today in the religious world.

    Whether you delete this comment or verbally attempt to overcome it by yet again quoting George Orwell or reams of articles twisted to your argument is irrelevant to me. It is clear that if anyone disagrees they are worthless in your eyes whereas complete strangers who make a short comment are "an adult with fully functioning critical and evaluative faculties". Some points you make are valid, but you would gain respect if you gave a balanced view.

    For your information, and that of your readers, I have been with Forever Living for some time, I don't make a fortune, but I do make an income and have health benefits from the products. Those who work with me do so because they too have improved long term conditions through use of the products. We submit our tax receipts to the Inland Revenue like everyone else (aside from large companies and celebrities of course) and pay tax on our earnings. To suggest otherwise is ill-informed and litigious. Some of us have also removed ourselves from the unemployment queue thus saving hard earned tax payers further money. We all, as a society, buy products every day and it's your choice where you buy them from. When you break this down, this company doesn't exist wiithout products and after 36 years, they seem to be doing quite well. :-)

    a balanced view.

    1. Anonymous - More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, reveals that what you describe as 'a balanced view' is (at best) wishful naivety and (at worst) crass stupidity.

      The reason why I do not allow 'MLM' propaganda on this Blog without detailed qualification or heavy irony, is because what is laughably referred to as 'MLM' is an absurd, but nonetheless pernicious, lie which has been peddled to the public for decades. This lie has caused immense damage to countless persons - something which you choose to ignore, but then your own ego will not allow you to accept that you've been fooled by the 'MLM' lie.

      Emma Cooper very clearly states that she was approached by 'FLP' recruiters whilst she was in a psychologically vulnerable state at the funeral of her colleagues. This important information was added an existing article - warning people of the dangers of 'MLM' cults in general and 'FLP' in particular..

      In the case of my own brother, he was recruited into 'Amway' after several of his friends were killed or maimed in a serious road crash and he was experiencing chronic depression.

      I have encountered many former 'MLM' adherents with similar stories.

      It's very interesting that, when challenged, you claim to be receiving an income from 'FLP,' but you do not claim to have generated an overall net-income. Furthermore, you do not offer to produce your 'FLP'-related income-tax payment receipts, because these obviously do not exist.

      'MLM income opportunity' racketeers continue to make fortunes out of persons such as yourself - i.e. persons who are so certain that they cannot be fooled, that once fooled, they will never face reality (that is, until they are destitute).

      I suggest you go and find a copy of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm,' read and digest it and then come back and tell me which of the intellectually-castrated characters you think best represents your own, current, intellectually-castrated position?

      Perhaps reading 'Animal Farm' will be sufficient to restart your critical and evaluative faculties, but, for your information, despite their 'capitalist' camouflage, exactly like the slimy pig demagogues in 'Animal Farm,' the slimy bosses of 'MLM Income Opportunity' rackets/cults have all steadfastly pretended affinity with their adherents' existing beliefs and instinctual desires, in order to enslave them.

      Unfortunately, the world is full of vulnerable people who hate their jobs and who dream of achieving financial freedom. The pernicious 'capitalist' fairy story entitled, 'MLM Income Opportunity,' has been perfectly tailored to fit the minds of such persons, and sadly (at the moment), you appear to be one of them.

    2. I'm not anonymous abve.

      I was involved with FLP with my ex husband. What you describe is exactly how it is. We were taught to fake success to recruit other people. I never met anyone who could prove that they were making real money in FLP.

      It's ironic that anonymous above accuses you of terrifying behaviour like religious fanatics.

    3. Thanks Anonymous - It's also highly-interesting that Anonymous above makes no reference to the fact that the instigator of 'FLP' is a leading adherent of the 'Mormon Church,' or that there are many other 'Mormon MLMs'.

      The point is that all cult fanatics accuse rational persons who challenge the authenticity of their non-rational beliefs, of being non-rational fanatics.

      This is, of course, a complete inversion of reality.

    4. Questions for anonymous above:

      1. Was the person who first approached you to participate in 'MLM,' a friend or relative?

      2. Did the 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 'MLM' 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?


    5. 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?


    6. 24. Could you give a brief explanation of what you understand by the terms:
      Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
      coercive behaviour modification?
      group pressure?
      covert hypnosis?
      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)?

  42. What an interesting hours reading. I belong to a women's network which is in its infancy - at the third meeting an ex policewoman introduced herself and gave a rather projective and quite "false" speil about how she wanted to motivate other people to wealth and wellness. Immediately, my hackles rose and I thought Herbalife (had friends that became ex-friends when I wouldn't buy into the product claims and researched the medical claims independently - I was a newly single parent and promised Utopia if I'd only buy €250 worth of "stuff" and sign up).
    Someone else in the group has confirmed that she and another member are both FLP promoters. And I seem to be the only one that is concerned about the future and integrity of our little network - a couple of other people just thought it was overpriced health products - they cannot seem to see my concerns. I am torn between saying that I cannot remain within the group or do I accept my fate as being labelled a hater or loser, which is where I will end up if I stay and speak out (not even challenging, just questioning - I'd hate to see anyone fall for this scheme knowing I hadn't tried to make them see all the angles).

    1. Thanks for your comon-sense input Anonymous. If you want to communicate with me off line, please send me your contact details as a comment (these will not be posted). I'm particularly interested by the fact that it's (again) a former policewoman who is promoting the 'FLP' fraud. FLP seems to be rife in police ranks in several countries, particularly the UK.

      You have recognised the classic scripted 'MLM income opportunity' pitch - hand over your cash and simply sign up more people to do the same, and someday soon (provided you obey your leaders), you will all be living perfect lives where no one works, but everyone is happy , prosperous healthy slim, beautiful etc.

      Sadly the quantifiable evidence proves that effectively no one who has fallen for the Utopian 'MLM' fairy story has been able to generate an overall net profit. A significant minority have wound up bankrupt and suicidal. The total number of persons around the globe who have been churned through criminogenic groups like 'FLP', 'Herbalife' ,'Amway' etc. runs into the hundreds of millions and the quantity of cash that has been stolen, is equally astronomic. Yet virtually no one complains to law enforcement, because the 'MLM' lie is so vast and pernicious.

      I don't know if you are aware, but 'Herbalife' is currently facing federal investigation in the USA after having been challenged as a fraud by a major Wall St. Investor. Yet, the majority of observers (including most journalists and law enforcement agents) remain incapable of confronting the scale of the criminal activity which has been lurking behind the so-called 'MLM Direct Selling Industry.'

  43. Hi David
    I want to say thank you. I went to a meeting recently and I felt bamboozled.
    I was considering it till I read your Blog.

    What do you recommend I say to members who trying to recruit me?

    1. Remain polite and ask them thought-provoking questions; particularly, concerning whether they have seen any quantifiable evidence (in the form of income-tax payment receipts) proving that anyone has made an overall net-income out of 'FLP' participation.

  44. Hi David,

    A friend of mine recently fell into all this caltrop (Forver Living) and is now trying to push it on me. I have made every attempt to help her see the light, but that only pushes her into a deeper into the dark tunnel. A long time ago, a company called BizNas offered the same thing, and being young and naive, I joined. Luckily, I stopped as soon as I got my intital "investment" back, because I realised how shady it was. These schemes should be stopped. But who is going to do it? Anyway, I'm going to send her the link to this page and hope she can break the cultish spell cast on her. Keep up the good work.

  45. Thanks Anonymous - Try directing you friend to the latest evidence which has surfaced in the 'Herbalife/MLM' saga.

    This evidence comprises an astonishing video in which a 'Herbalife' multi-millionaire shill admits (during a closed meeting) that 'MLM' is a 'deception' which he wouldn't want his own family to be involved in.

    Good luck trying to reason with your friend.

    Please, feel free to send me your contact details in a comment (these will not be posted).

  46. question david, just got a presentation on this from a forever living presenter/manager. and it all just sounded too good, i was skeptical. reading your blog has made me more skeptical, but i still need more info, is there any other place you can point me to get more info about this MLM/scams.... if iam going to refuse this person, i 'll need infoto refute his claims , and probably become a hater in the process, but thats not a problem as long as i can prove to myself i'm right.


  47. Anonymous - Try going to Robert FitzPatrick's 'Pyramid Scheme Alert' or to 'Pershing Square Capital's 'Facts About Herbalife.'

    Try also going to this disturbing 2003 American network television expose of the 'Amway Quixtar' racket.

    'Herbalife' is currently under federal investigation, and has been targetting Latino Americans, because most English speakers know it's a fraud.

    Last year one of 'Herbalife's' perfect millionaire role-model under-bosses, John Peterson, was found in his pickup truck with a bullet in his head. Although the police initially said this was a suicide, Peterson was facing a criminal investigation which no boss of any 'MLM' racket wanted to be pursued. If and when 'Herbalife' is closed down by US government agencies, then the entire MLM lie could quickly crumble.

    Last year a smaller 'MLM' racket, Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, was closed down by the US FTC working in conjunction with the Attorney Generals of several states including Illinois and Kentucky.

  48. By sister in law has just quite her well paid public sector job to flog this stuff. She was earning £35k+ plus a year and had been in that job for 10 years. Interesting what you said about the police, she was recruited to forever by a police community support officer, while on long term sick with stress. She genuinely believes forever living will exceed her former income and that she will enjoy free 5 star holidays with her team because if her new 'business'. It makes me cringe, I think they have brainwashed her while shelves vulnerable and I can only see this ending badly.

  49. Anon - Please send me your contact details in a comment (these will not be published).

    In order to help you, I need information about where this is happening and to which police force the community support officer 'FLP' recruiter is attached.

    If your sister in law has already given up her job, she is in serious danger and requires immediate help.

    Can you think of anyone in your family to whom she might listen?

  50. Dear David,

    I have been a long term critic of the cult of 'MLM' marketing and was glad to find your blog. I have a number of friends caught up in Herbalife and FLP, and find the unsubstantiated claims in order to make sales unbearable. "MLM Marketing has made more female millionaires than any other industry" is one that crops up time and time again, a quick google search can disprove this in seconds. As I work in the banking sector, I have been closely following Ackman's huge short bet against Herbalife, which has seen its share price tumble in recent months.

    I have been thinking of going to one of these events just to see what happens and throw some difficult questions at those orchestrating this. I have seen friends and family rather more simple minded than myself and susceptible to the lies weaved by these so called businesses, and would like to play my part in their inevitable downfall.

    The very fact that every post on social media is quickly showing off how great their lives are, holding large cheques that they haven't actually received, promises of cars and travel shows without a shadow of a doubt the cult like status of these parasitic companies. In now other area would individuals continually go on about their work and life changing opportunities.

    While you have primarily focuses on the business model, the products themselves are no better. If you ask any decent nutritionist what they think of herbalife products you will always here the same. Pumping yourself full of unnecessary chemicals is not healthy. As for FLP.. they take existing products and simply add aloe vera in order to avoid extensive testing to ensure the product is safe, of course they will likely double the price while they are at it..

    I would very much enjoy discussing this with you in more detail given our identical view points on the matter. If I ever make it to one of the MLM company events with a recorder you will be the first to know about it!

  51. Anonymous - Please send me your contact details (particularly, your fixed phone number) in a comment (these will not be posted). You will find that I have done a lot more research concerning the pseudo-medical 'MLM' wampum than you think, but then, it doesn't require much research to work out that 'Herbalife' and 'FLP' products have simply been rebranded snake oil.

    Have you watched the CNN investigation of 'Herbalife' (broadcast in 1985)? This public exposure led to a US Senate enquiry into 'Herbalife,' as well as a lawsuit against 'Herbalife' in California which itself led to a $850 000 fine and an undertaking by 'Herbalife' to stop telling lies.

    I first watched parts of this video more than 12 years ago, but it's only recently been located and made availbable on Youtube.

    This settlement has been breached by 'Herbalife' (or rather by its agents), on literally thousands of separate occasions, but the California AG has never enforced the settlement and closed 'Herbalife.'

  52. Hi David
    I'm glad I've found your blog. I didn't really know much about MLM until recently. I was really happy for a friend of mine when she announced that she and her sister were starting their own business. Go them!
    I became skeptical about what it might be when she started raving about something called Clean9 and the benefits of aloe Vera. The "detox" seems to consist of eating very little, so no wonder people lose weight! A lot of pseudoscience but relatively harmless.
    Further alarm bells rang when she announced that despite only having run this business for a week she had been "promoted"! Two more weeks in and she's a "Business Mentor".
    She seems to have been recruited by Emma Cooper, who's video I found sad actually. I liked the image she first painted of the woman looking to make £200-400 a month so that she could use all of her maternity leave. Turns out what she actually wanted was lots of money and stuff. Property, flashy cars and luxury travel.
    I'm really worried for my friend as she's left a proper job she loved and I'm guessing earned her around £40-50k, and she has a mortgage to pay and no partner to support her.
    I didn't understand how she could ever sell enough products to support herself, especially as she's doing it with her sister and they know mostly the same people!
    She gave me some free beauty samples, so I supported her by showing some interest. I assumed that she would try and sell me some detox rubbish but I was genuinely willing to buy some beauty products (face cream etc).
    Surprisingly, she did not even attempt to sell me anything! No mention! She is just trying to recruit me as a seller! Eek!
    I don't know what to do without offending her. I once told her that I thought her fave new book The Secret was rubbish and that her thoughts, no matter how positive, could not influence physics (specifically could not change the number of parking spaces outside her work and whether anyone else would be using them) and she thought I was the one who was nuts!
    Any advice? I can only see this ending in disappointment at best and repossession at worst.

    1. Anonymous - My Blog is here to give concerned people like you a short-cut to understanding how 'MLM' cultism functions. Hopefully, you won't make the same mistakes that I once made when, in ignorance of what I was facing, naively I tried to confront members of my family in the UK who fell for 'Amway'.

      I'm truly sorry to hear about your friend.

      From your comment, I think that you already realize that former WPC , Emma Cooper, should not be blamed. She looks like the classic example of someone who was converted to 'MLM' at a time of emotional vulnerability. Like your friend, Emma Cooper is now both unwitting perpetrator and victim of a cultic fraud, but she is unable to accept this ugly reality, because she's been deceived into allowing herself to be subjected to coordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion.

      As you have deduced, if you are too confrontational, you risk driving the cult adherent further into their group's two-dimensional ('us versus them') delusion. However, if you are too nice, you risk being ignored.

      Cult adherents are always convinced that they are not being manipulated and that their involvement with their group is the result of a completely free-choice. In reality, persons who fall heavily for 'MLM' rackets can be technically described as psychotic (i.e. dissociated from external reality). If you try to confront them with reality, they are conditioned to exclude you from their lives - on the pretext that you are a 'negative threat to their achieving success.'

      Unfortunately, the very worst cases of 'MLM' addiction have produced chronic psychological illness and even suicides, but hopefully your friend's critical and evaluative faculties will start to function again when she realizes that she's not making an overall net-profit.

      For obvious reasons, 'MLM' cult adherents never use the accurate term 'overall net profit'. Like addicted gamblers, they will only speak of what they have won, not what they have lost.

      I find that there are certain approaches which you can use to stimulate 'MLM' adherents critical and evaluative faculties.

      Please send me your contact detals in the form of a comment (these will not be posted). I need to know more about your friend, in order to advise you how best to approach her.

  53. It's truly distressing as a citizen of the United States to see the harm being done by these mlm cult exports. I do wonder, do any of the sellers of Forever Living products business opportunity realize that the money they send to the company is used to finance the political campaigns of Mitt Romney and others like him?

    Do the citizens of the UK understand the threat that is posed to the American democracy by the Mormon cult? Are they aware of the fact that the Mormon cult was behind the subversion of the original Prop 8 in California to allow gay marriage? The Mormons lied about the extent of their involvement and the amount of money spent by their cult to deprive gay people of their rights.

    Don Eaton a spokesman for the Mormon Church said in an interview with KGO-TV (ABC San Francisco) "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put zero money in this.”

    Three months later the Mormon Church filed an amended return in which they admitted to spending $190,000. Unfortunately, this was 3 months after the election, so 17 million California voters never were able to know the full extent of the Mormon involvement until well after the election.

    The Mormon Church ran phone banks, sent out direct mail, had well designed web sites, produced 27 slick commercials, bussed people in from Utah and had lots of travel expenses by high ranking Church officials. They also raised approximately $30 million from Mormon families to pass Proposition 8.

  54. I would like every person in the UK who consider any involvement with Forever Living products to ask themselves if they want to help finance hate. Do you want to funnel money to Mormon cultists in the United States to help them subvert our democracy? Do you want to assist Mormons in their persecution of gays and ethnic minorities?

  55. Barbara Delaney - Although Mitt Romney's crackpot beliefs have been derided by many media commentators in Britain, very few people in the UK realize that criminogenic groups like 'FLP' have links with 'Mormonism.'

    Interestingly, Mitt Romney's ancestors were recruited into 'Mormonism' in Preston in the North of England.

    The first leaders of 'Mormonism' found it almost impossible to find converts in the USA, so missionaries were sent to England in the 1830s.

    Early English recruits to 'Mormonism' were invariably poor unemployed, and /or desperate to change their lives. They were offered Paradise on Earth in the USA.

    It seems that some things never change.

  56. I've just been advised of your comments regarding myself within this site. I find it comical that you're clearly not a psychologist but simply a scorned once MLM promoter who clearly now has plenty of time on their hands. You still feel qualified enough to guess my mental state. Its ludicrous.
    Remove your slanderous comments of my mental state, its hugely insulting. Your opinions on MLM are completely up to you but using my personal situation is offensive.
    Its not based on any facts. If you would like to ask me any personal questions you are welcome to so that you can document facts rather than the rubbish you have written so far.

  57. Emma Cooper - In response to my writing...

    'Currently, perhaps the most worrying aspect of 'FLP' activity in the UK, is the involvement of a significant number of former, and serving, police officers - one of whom, Emma Cooper, boasts of having been recruited whilst she and her husband were in a highly vulnerable emotional state (after the murder of two colleagues).' have written :

    'I've just been advised of your comments regarding myself within this site. I find it comical that you're clearly not a psychologist but simply a scorned once MLM promoter who clearly now has plenty of time on their hands. You still feel qualified enough to guess my mental state. Its ludicrous.

    Remove your slanderous comments of my mental state, its hugely insulting. Your opinions on MLM are completely up to you but using my personal situation is offensive.

    Its not based on any facts. If you would like to ask me any personal questions you are welcome to so that you can document facts rather than the rubbish you have written so far.'


    Emma Cooper - Any fair-minded person (with or without medical qualifications) watching your emotional, videoed-performance on stage (in which you graphically speak of attending the funeral of murdered colleagues), would realize that my description of you and your husband boasting of being in a highly vulnerable emotional state at the time you were recruited into 'FLP,' is entirely accurate, and, therefore, not libellous or insulting.

    That said, your insulting description of me as 'a scorned once MLM promoter who clearly now has plenty of time on their hands,' is false and defammatory, and, therefore, is libellous.

    Who exactly has told you that I have been a 'promoter' of so-called 'MLM?' What quantifiable evidence were you shown? Surely, you can deduce from the content of this Blog that this is an absurd lie, designed to prevent you from taking notice of anything I have written.

    One thing is absolutely certain, at the time that you fell for this particular version of the 'MLM Income opportunity' fairy story, your critical and evaluative faculties cannot have been fully functioning. That's how this type of self-perpetuating racket works.

    Whether you choose to accept reality, or not, at this stage, the fact remains that you would appear to be currently still under the malign influence of a US-based cultic group which has been stealing from countless vulnerable persons like you, and your husband, whilst giving them the illusion that they are making free choices.

    I think that it might be good idea for you to send me your contact details (these will not be posted).

    1. David - It is sad how Emma Cooper accuses you of 'using her personal situation,' when as you observed, it was the FLP recruiters who did that.

    2. Anonymous - Sadly Emma Cooper is far from unique. You-tube is alive with disturbing videos of deluded 'FLP' Evangelists spreading the 'MLM Gospel of Prosperity' by entusiastically testifying to how 'FLP' has completely transformed their lives.

      All 'MLM' recruiters speak about how much money they are making, but none of them disclose what is their true situation. i.e. whether or not they have generated an overall net-profit. Whilst they remain under the malign influence of their groups, these people will insist that they are neither the victims of lies, nor liars, and that what they are doing is the result of an entirely free-choice.

      This inverted model of reality systematically categorises persons like me as 'liars' who are trying to force 'MLM' adherents to do as I say.

      Obviously, all I'm doing is inviting my readers, and particularly 'MLM' adherents, to think.

      Emma Cooper evidently has little idea of how criminogenic cults like 'FLP' function. Groups like 'FLP' have generally preyed on vulnerable, and ill-informed, persons who are deeply-dissatisfied with their lives, but particularly with their jobs.

      Once they are converted to belief in the 'MLM' fairy story, adherents become effectively contagious; for they are obliged by it, to try to convert everyone whom they know.

      When their list of 'prospects' runs out, 'MLM' adherents are then obliged to approach complete strangers.

    3. has Emma Cooper sent you her contact details?

    4. Anonymous - In the same way that I do not post information that has been sent to me in confidence, I do not answer any questions relating to the confidential information which might, or might not, have been sent to me.

    5. People actually believe this

    6. Anonimouse - I presume you are asking a question - to which the answer is: yes, but only vulnerable people.

  58. est ce que flp pourrait avoir des liens avec la scientologie?

    1. Anonymous - You ask (in French ) if 'FLP' has any links with 'Scientology', but I shall reply to your question in English.

      The 'FLP' racket was ostensibly instigated by an adherent of the 'Mormon Church' and it has passed a huge quantity of cash to this organization. .

      There is no evidence of any direct link of the 'FLP' leadership to the leadership of the 'Scientology' organization, or to adherents of the 'Scientology' organization, but the 'FLP' racket has been essentially identical to that run behind the 'religious' front known as the 'Church of Scientology.'

      In both 'Scientology' and 'FLP', exemplary shills pretend moral and intellectual authority . They claim to have access to a secret step by step knowledge which can enable ordinary humans to transform into superhumans. They also claim to be willing to share this secret knowledge with anyone (for a price).

      The coordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion which are used in both 'Scientology' and 'FLP' to shut down the critical faculties of individuals in order to exploit them and prevent them from complaining, have been essentially identical.

      Currently, there are 'Scientology' adherents involved in other 'Mormon'-led 'MLM' rackets and 'Scientology' has been linked to 'Herbalife' in the past when various 'Scientologists' were also peddling 'Herbalife,' particularly in France and Germany in the 1990s.

  59. I'm very interested in the Mitt Romney link. I was also really interested to read how much money Rex Maughan has personally donated to his campaigns:

  60. David, do you know of any sources of factual statistics, eg turnover (esp. in UK), no. of distributors, average earnings per distributor and how many are at each level of the pyramid?

    1. Anonymous - Once you know how the trick is pulled, the factual statistics in all 'MLM' rackets (including 'FLP') can be predicted with almost 100% accuracy.

      In all 'MLM' rackets, other than an insignificant minority of shills (occupying the top levels of the pyramid), the hidden, overall net-loss/ churn rate for participants (no matter how they have been falsely-defined in their take or leave it contracts), has always been effectively 100%.

      At least 50 % of 'MLM' participants have failed to renew their first annual contract. In some 'MLM' rackets the drop out rate for the first year has been more than 90%. Overall, the retention rate for 'MLM' rackets after 5 years, has been effectively zero.

      The only people who manage to continue to commit the prolonged financial suicide laughably known as 'building an MLM business', are persons with access to independent income, credit, inheritences, etc. who have been programmed to be '100% positive' and exclude all 'negativity' (i.e. external reality).

      This means that virtually everyone who has ever signed up for a so-called 'MLM income opportunity' during the last 60+ years, has eventually abandoned his/her so called 'business/ distributorship' without generating an overall net-profit.

      When challenged, 'MLM' racketeers have lately claimed that most of their 'distributors' weren't 'distributors' at all, they were really just 'discount customers.'

      Unfortunately, your questions are essentially meaningless, because they are written in thought-stopping 'MLM' jargon.

      The bosses of the 'FLP' racket currently claim 9.5 Millions 'Distributors' worldwide and a multi-billion dollar annual 'sales,' but these figures, and all the jargon terminology, are the constituent parts of an unoriginal fairy story, because they actually hide an ever-shifting illusion.

      The only facts of real interest in any 'MLM' racket, are:

      - The percentage of revenue which has derived from regular lawful sales of products, and/or service, to the general public (based on value and demand).

      - The overall number of persons who have been churned through the 'MLM' racket since it was instigated,

      - The percentage of these persons who can prove that they have generated an overall net-profit by providing income-tax payment receipts.

      No so-called 'MLM' company would ever voluntarily declare the above key-information, because it reveals that so-called "MLM' has been one of the most outrageous lies since the demise of the so-called 'Third Reich.'

      In the course of my research (during 20 years) I have spoken to tax officials in various countries. None of them can recall seeing income-tax payments deriving from persons operating so-called 'MLM businesses' for the simple reason that effectively no so-called 'MLM business' has generated overall net profits.

      Years ago, when 'Amway' was investigated by the Assistant State Attorney of Wisconsin, Bruce Craig, he examined the tax records of 30 thousands 'Amway' adherents in that State. All were losing money. Even the top 1%, were losing an average of approximately, $1000 annually.

    2. David, I've just read your last article on the Pigeon King

      This scam does look just like FLP when you explain it clearly.

      The pigeon guy whose been jailed for 7 years didn't make any money?

    3. Anonymous - In the end no 'income opportunity' racketeer makes any money lawfully. They all steal money by telling lies. Sometimes, they try to avoid being held to account by giving back what they have stolen, but only so that they can continue to steal from fresh victims.

      Arland Galbraith who instigated 'Pigeon King International,' is a dangerous criminal, but he actually fell for his own 'income opportunity' lies. He started out knowingly lying to his victims about how he had a miraculous 'pigeon-breeding income opportunity scheme' to save N American small farmers. As belief in this attractive lie spread, Galbraith collected $C42 millions, much of which he paid back to the initial participants in his scam, but only to attract more victims and to prevent the scam from collapsing.

      When the scam finally did collapse, Galbraith had sold worthless contracts with a total face value of over C$300 millions and he would have required to have unlawfully sold another C$ 1.5 billion of worthless contracts to honour all his existing debts.

  61. So, in your opinion, is Emma Cooper's £13,000 a month:
    a) income b) profit c) turnover d) an exaggeration e) other ?

  62. Anonymous - Please read, digest and try to understand what I have actually written, it requires you to have fully-functioning critical and evaluative faculties.

    Presumeably, you are asking me to believe that Emma Cooper is currently receiving commission payments of £13000 per month from 'FLP' deriving from the sum-total of monthly purchases of 'FLP' goods made (in the overwhelming majority) by persons whom she has recruited into the 'FLP' organization, and from purchases made by persons whom her recruits have recruited, etc. etc.?

    Presumeably you are not claiming that Emma Cooper is generating £13000 net-profit each month by regularly retailing (in the overwhelming majority) 'FLP' goods directly to members of the general public who are not under contract to 'FLP' (based entirely on value and demand), because that would be a demonstrable lie.

    That said, it is truly laughable how 'MLM income opportunity' propagandists never ever make the important distinction between net, and gross, income. It's also truly laughable how they imagine that they can pull the wool over the eyes of everyone, including persons with a vast commercial exerience.

    For your information, the word 'income' (in respect of any commercial activity), is an entirely meaningless term, until it is qualified by the either the prefix, 'net' (which involves first deducting all the allied expenses which have been incurred to obtain that income) or the word 'gross' (which denotes that this is income before allied expences have been deducted).

    The even-more-accurate term 'overall net income' is what is at issue in all 'MLM income opportunity' rackets. i.e - How much time and cash have individual adherents committed to their non-salaried 'MLM' recruitment activities in total, and how much quantifiable reward have they received in return.

    To calculate the overall net-income of any 'MLM income opportunity 'adherent, one needs to add up all the gross-income from the start of their non-salaried recruitment activity, and all the allied expenses (again from the start of their non-salaried recruitment activity), and then deduct the total allied expenses from the total gross-income. The monetary value of an adherent's non-salaried time and effort should also be calculated and deducted.

    Ignoring the insignificant minority of shills at the top of each MLM pyramid, effectively no 'MLM' participant has ever generated an overall net-income from operating a so-called 'MLM business.'

    Indeed, the longer people have persisted dutifully buying their quota of effectively-unsaleable 'MLM' wampum each month, whilst committing their own time and funds trying to recruit, and maintain, others to duplicate the same economically-suicidal plan: the more money they have lost.

    Anyone claiming, or implying, that it is possible to generate an overall net-income from participating in a so-called 'MLM income opportunity' is not telling the truth.

    The real money is made in 'MLM' rackets from peddling a never-ending chain of hopeful participants the illusion that they can achieve financial freedom by exactly duplicating a plan. The plan always requires 'MLM' participants to ignore their mounting losses and to keep purchasing the effectively-unsaleable wampum each month whilst attempting to recruit others to duplicate the same plan, etc. ad infinitum.

    1. I'm not asking anyone to believe anything, I was merely trying to critically evaluate the statements made in her video which you have linked above. The sum of £13,000 a month is mentioned a lot, but never defined.

    2. OK Anonymous, I realize now (from your dignified response to my bluntness) that you were posing a serious question.

      Unfortunately, your previous comment arrived just after an anonymous comment of an abusive nature.

      You should understand that 'MLM' adherents cannot recruit other adherents if they tell the full truth (i.e. that they are making an overall net-loss). This why they are conditioned to exclude reality and only to say '100% positive' things about their activity (and also why they teach their recruits to duplicate the same system of 'positive' information control).

      In order for Emma Cooper to have received a £13000 net monthly payment from 'FLP' she will have to have recruited a set number of contributing participants to the 'FLP' closed-market, because virtually no one outside of FLP has been buying the wampum. Thus, in order to maintain or increase her level of payments, she will have to commit her own time and money to maintain or increase her own little section of the overall pyramid, but the overall pyramid is in a constant state of collapse (due to the large percentage of insolvent adherents who abandon their 'MLM' activity each year).

      To give you some idea of how crazy the ever-shifting 'MLM' labyrinth is - a former 'Amway' shill Eric Sheibeler, spent 10 years building his so-called 'MLM Business'. During this time, he managed to gather a group of 2000 converts, but more than 50% of these people had to be replaced each year. Eric was presented in the 'Amway' propaganda as a big success 'Emerald Distributor' - making fortunes annually after quitting his detested job. In reality, even though he had flashed commision cheques for tens of thousands of dollars, when all his allied expenses were calculated, overall he had lost approximately $100000 of his own money, but he had passed about $4 million to his 'Amway' handlers. Most of this cash came from the sale of publications, recordings, tickets to meetings, etc. to his recruits on the pretext that these material contained the secrets of success.

      When Eric finally returned to reality, he was destitute and suffering from chronic psychological deterioration symptoms. As part of his recovery, he wrote a book entitled 'Merchants of Deception.'

      Eric features in this documentary from 2003.

      Eric Sheibeler was once just like Emma Cooper - euphoric and deluded.

      Hopefully, Emma will come to her senses before it's too late. When she does, I will show her immense respect and I will do my best to help her.

      Once people have entered this type of reality-inverting cultic group, their own self -esteem often prevents them from facing the reality that they've been duped by a fairy story for adults. It's even more difficult for police officers, and former police officers, to admit that they've been involved in a fraud.

  63. I met someone recently who mentioned Forever Living to me - I didn't really pay any attention but she mentioned that there were meetings in my locality (Dublin) and I came across one by chance and decided to go along to see what it was all about.

    I arrived halfway through the presentation (which I wasn't expecting, I thought Forever Living was some kind of therapy/lifestyle practice!) and it was immediately clear to me that this was what I would have termed a pyramid scheme - I hadn't actually come across 'MLM' until I googled Forever Living after I left the presentation.

    It was slick and the whole premise was that it was so easy to make money and get up the FLP ladder. The constant refrain was "would you like some of this" and the audicene chorused "yes"! 'Mormon' and 'cult' popped into my head - I've seen this glassy eyed behaviour from people at Alpha course type events - and then I came across your article and found the same words!

    People are desperate to find a way out of their monotony and buy into the dream of financial freedom (yes, I have those dreams too!) but of course nothing comes that easy and FLP and other such companies build on this fabrication (that it is all so easy):
    Fantastic salaries (based on recruiting of course), bonus holidays, cars and more "would you like some of this"? Talk of the FL family "I like to think of my team as 'helpers', we help each other". The starter pack is just under 400 euros. To earn 300 a month you need 20 regular customers buying 50 euros worth of FL products every month! The packaging is cheap looking but people were queuing up to register.

    I had a number of people approach me, telling me how great FL is and the person who introduced me was so anxious to set up a face to face meeting. I couldn't wait to get away.

    I'm not in the habit of responding to blogs, but I found your blog fascinating to read but also sad due to the number of people who are taken in by these schemes, often when they are vulnerable. Carry on your campaigning.
    PS I will be re-reading Animal Farm and recommending that my kids do too!

    1. Thanks Anonymous - for your thoughtful and elegantly-written comment. I'm very pleased that you appreciated my efforts to explain the cultic tragicomedy entitled 'Forever Living Products.'

      I would ask you to take a look at other articles on my Blog which explain what is currently happening in the USA with another 'MLM income opportunity' racket called 'Herbalife.'

      Because 'Herbalife' has been traded on Wall St., it was wide open to attack by activist investors.

      Even though one hedge fund (Pershing Square Capital) has spent more than two years and $50 millions trying to expose 'Herbalife' as a fraud (and make over $ one billion in the process), the 'Herbalife' racket still exists in dozens of countries around the world.

      If and when 'Herbalife' gets shut down by the US federal governement, the entire 'MLM' phenomenon could soon follow suit.

      Right now, this is a can of worms which few Americans wish to open.

      The 'Herbalife' racketeers have bought some very powerful opinion-makers in the USA, including former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. During the last 7 years, Albright has received about 10 millions stolen dollars.

      If you want to send me your contact details in a comment (these will not be posted).

      I'm particularly interested to hear your further thoughts.

    2. Hello David is there another way of contacting you. I'm a bit nervous about sending my contact details in case they are inadvertently posted!
      The global extent of these schemes is so depressing and not helping my worldview!

    3. Anonymoua - The now-global phenomenon of 'MLM' racketeering, demontrates that the USA has long since ceased to be a country ruled by law, and that the American equivalent of the 'Nigerian Bank Scam,' has, in fact, been protected, and sometimes promoted, by corrupt politically appointed senior US law enforcement agents and their corrupt masters.

      'MLM' racketeers have been co-opting poorly-paid regulators for decades, usually with lucrative future job offers in the private sector. Attorneys at US federal government agencies know that if they keep their noses clean, they will be be made for life when they decide to leave. Currently, a former Federal Trade Commissioner, Pamela Jones Harbour, is on the payroll at 'Herbalife.' The same gang of racketeers has also co-opted a former US Surgeon General.

      When you have billions of stolen dollars, almost anything is possible in the USA.

      This shameful state of affairs, has led me to describe America as a de facto kleptocracy

      Please rest assured that no confidential contact details (or identities) are posted on this Blog. If you look through the comments, you will not find any such information posted.

      That said, if you prefer, you can contact me via

      Just mark your e-mail for the attention David Brear.

  64. I had responded to a job advert while looking for employment, and was contacted by a nice gentleman who had talked through Aloe products. I thought it would be selling into stores and health clubs, you know - a legitimate job!! Confused, I was sent a link to a video (Husband and wife combo - Jayne Leach / John Curtis) which 'looked' fantastic, but again didn't really answer anything. I went along to an event locally last summer and my sponsor, Debbie who had ran a very profitable business with her husband before joining Forever Living had convinced me that I should in addition to paying £200 for the initial start up box to become a distributor, that I should also buy a book / DVD. The DVD was £15, and the book was £20. The ticket itself was £30 - So this was £265.

    I had used all the products as I was suggested to do within 3 weeks. They were 'good' products, but expensive and no one, not one of our friends were interested in buying anything because it was too expensive and they couldn't afford it. Due to getting no sales, Debbie my sponsor was continually getting in touch for chats, trying to get me to the next training event, or road show, which of course cost money each time, cost for fuel, and was usually at night times or on weekends.

    This was August 2014. 7 months later and I have ZERO sales. I had (I say 'had' because I'm done with this cult and con now)

    I seen the biggest highlights at the show being the higher ups who were of diamond status, but coming from backgrounds such as executive lawyers, investment bankers, former business owners, educational heads. I also saw some 'ordinary' people I could relate with, who appeared to be making reasonable money judging by the slideshow presentation showing moderately decent foreign holidays and improved lifestyles (no exaggerated land rovers or jags, or Bahamas trips) but now I'm left thinking "at what expense"? Do these people have any friends left?

    All the middle tier members appeared to all know one another, and policy states that all middle / senior people should be seen to attend these things regularly as should independent distributors.

    You cannot sell on gumtree, you cannot sell direct to health shops or gyms, you cannot sell on eBay, you cannot sell on your own created website or at regional shows. In fact, you are very limited to how you can actually sell the products (either friends, or through their own Forever Living template with a .biz name) you are not an employee, so you have none of of the legislative protection you'd find with a legitimate job as an employee, but must abide by the company policies and procedures. It's like you have to abide by all the rules, while they offer nothing in return at their end. It's very one sided.

    I spent (including fuel) probably in the excess of £500+ and had made £0. I am in no way a lazy person nor am I non-motivated. I earned my civil engineering degree while working a full time job, and also worked part time sales to get the extra money to pay for my own education. I also had a young infant that I was responsible for, so I was extremely busy to get to the job I now currently have - which is a civil project engineer. The MLM model just seems to be very very sleazy and dishonest. To manipulate and exploit loved ones appears to the be the only way to make it, and they try to reassure people by placing a product in the way you are not 'using' your family because they are getting something from it. Disgusting, and I'm glad I'm away from it

    1. Thanks Anonymous - What you are describing here is the classic self-perpetuating blame-the-victim 'MLM' cultic racket which is based on deceiving people into deceiving their own friends and relatives, etc. ad infinitum.

      Please send me your contact details in a comment (these will not be published).

      The activity which 'FLP UK' occults, is prohibited under criminal laws which define fraud as lying to, or withholding key-information from, people, in order to take their money, property, etc.

      If I were you, I would send 'FLP UK' an itemized bill for al lthe time money and effort that I was deceived into wasting. When the management of 'FLP' ignores this bill, I would find myrself a lawyer and ask him/her to issue a High Court Bakruptcy writ against the company for default of payment of my bill + my legal expenses.

      This means that when 'FLP' still refuses to pay your bill, the High Court will automatically bankrupt 'FLP UK' and seize any available assets on your behalf..

      If you approach 'FLP UK,' armed with a full explanation of how the racket functions, the management of 'FLP UK' will be ordered by the real bosses of the racket in Utah to pay you anything not to go to law enforcement, the press etc.

  65. Mr. Brear are you aware that another Mr. Brear is recruiting for FLP in Yorkshire?

    1. Yes Anonymous - I already knew of the recruitment activities of this politically-active 'FLP' adherent. Although Owen Brear has the same surname, and lives in roughly the same area of England where I was born, as far as I am aware, he is not related to me in any way.

      I recently became aware of Owen Brear after receiving a number of inexplicable comments accusing me of being part of 'FLP' myself. Finally, these comments (which I didn't post) prompted me to run a Google-Search, and I immediately found the disturbing explanation.

      It seems that 'FLP' has infiltrated the UK Green party.

  66. From what I've seen of FLP fans everything on this Blog post adds up!
    So long as you don't argue with them they're all friendly and warm. Tell them its a scam, they're as cold as ice!

    1. Anonymous - Thanks. Perhaps you realize that the 'FLP' adherents, and propagandists, who try to post their pernicious 'MLM' fairy story on my Bog, behave in exactly the same way. They invariably play the innocent victim, acting as though no one has the right to be rude to them, but this itself is a classic form of coercive behaviour modification often used by charlatans and con-artists.

  67. What exactly then do you have against these MLM companies?
    1.The fact that the "distributors" don't pay taxes on their income?
    2.The companies are run by religious people?
    3.Higher positions earn higher incomes than the lower?
    4.they change the way "brainwash" the way people see their lives?
    I'm just trying to understand what it is that you see as wrong with these companies.
    If so then why?

    1. Anonymous - I sense this might be hard (if not impossible) for you, but please try reading and digesting the fully-deconstructed evidence-based analysis that I have written in this article (and in many others), not the simplistic nosense which you evidently imagine I have written.

      Then, if you apply your critical and evaluative faculties (provided these function), you might possibly understand how thoughtless your above questions are; for exactly what independent quantifiable evidence have you cited to proove that:

      - any of the countless millions of transient so-called 'distributors' who have been under contract to the corporate fronts for all these 'MLM Prosperity Gospel' cults, has lawfully generated an overall net-income on which income-tax has been paid?

      - any of the self-appointed bosses of these 'MLM Prosperity Gospel' cults are anything other than narcissistic charlatans - steadfastly pretending moral and intellectual authority whilst perpetrating all-manner of clandestine crimes (principally fraud and obstruction of justice)?

      - what you laughably refer to as 'incomes' actually represent overall net-incomes?

      - co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion have not been universally inflicted on vast numbers of adherents of 'MLM Prosperity Gospel' cults (without their fully-informed consent) in order to cheat them out of their time and money - preventing them from complaining by tricking them into believing the related lies that: 'MLM' is a perfectly viable, and legal, 'income opportunity,' and that failure to achieve 'financial freedom' in 'MLM' was entirely their own fault?

    2. it might be hard for me to understand yes, as i'm 13 years old.
      I just want a plain english explanation of your information as my mother is involved with one of these companies and i do not exactly understand what you are trying to prove.
      my comment is not meant in any sarcastic way
      thank you

    3. Anonymous - Frankly, from what you have written, I'm still not entirely convinced that you are whom you claim to be, i.e. a concerned 13 year old whose mother is involved in with an 'MLM' racket, and who simply cannot understand what I have written.

      If you are whom you claim to be, then I do understand why you wish not to identify yourself publicly. Perhaps you can understand what fraud is - i.e. lying to, or withholding key-information from, people in order to take their money - which is a form of theft.

      The central lie which all 'MLM' racketeers have spread, is that 'they are offering people a genuine opportunity to earn money.'

      The key piece of information which has been withheld by all 'MLM' racketeers, is exactly how many persons they have deceived into handing over their time and money without giving these persons the slightest net-income in return.

      Decades of quantifiable evidence demonstrates that effectively no one who has signed up for a so-called 'MLM income opportunity' has generated an overall net-profit, i.e. a sum of money greater than the sum of money which they paid in.

      Right now, I am prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I think that it might be better if you send me an e-mail via - marking this for the attention of David Brear.

      I'd like to know your given name, what school you attend and if you can refer me to a responsible adult (e.g. one of your teachers; preferably, your head teacher) who can confirm that you are whom you claim to be.

      You have my guarantee that your identity will not be disclosed.

  68. David I want you to know that when my boyfriend joined FLP he changed and suddenly felt important. You now have a mission in life. Yes he wanted to succeed, but you want to help others to succeed. I'm speaking from experience. No one in FLP wants to cheat anyone.

    1. 'other half' - Thank-you for your interesting comment.

      For the overwhelming majority of temporarily-deluded 'MLM' adherents, I do not contest what you describe. I have no doubt that your boyfriend genuinely believed in what he was doing and that he had no knowledge that he was being defrauded by the bosses of 'FLP' and used to defraud others on their behalf.

      However, for the wealthy minority of narcissistic charlatans who continue to instigate these copy-cat 'MLM Prosperity Gospel' cultic rackets, all of them have set out with the deliberate intention of cheating as many people as possible and preventing them from facing reality.

      Might I ask - is your boyfriend still on his delusional 'FLP' mission to save the world from poverty and sickness, or has he returned to the adult world of quantifiable reality?

      Also, is/was your boyfriend aware that FLP is connected to the 'Mormon Church' and that a significant percentage of any money he has given, or gives, to his 'Upline' handlers will wind up in 'Mormon' coffers.

  69. So there is nothing wrong with the selling of products, but these companies actually train people on recruiting and almost no product information. Almost no customer of these companies is someone who is not part of the so called "business opportunity"- meaning the companies' retail sales is made up out of the people who join. And the "opportunity" is not at all like a genuine sales persons' job. If I understand correctly that is? That means at some time they will reach market saturation, thus the people "sell" the products to themselves at discount? There really is no benefit then as you keep losing money or getting money from the people in your "downline" who buys their own products, then it starts to look a lot like a pyramid actually where the guy on top is really the only person who benefits. All the big "cheques" and "pay cheques" is made up of exploiting the people in your "downline".
    Thanks for this article - really does give one a clearer view of the situation.

    1. Anonymous - Thanks for your thoughtful appreciation.

      In 'MLM' rackets, because they have no significant or sustainable source of revenue other than their own losing participants, from all rational points of view, the products might as well not exist. This is why I prefer to describe MLM products as 'effectively-unsaleable wampum.'

      The hidden function of this wampum has been to make it appear to regulators, and to casual observers, that 'MLM' schemes are based on lawfully selling products rather than unlawfully signing up more more and more losing participants.

      In reality, the overwhelming majority of so-called 'MLM sales' have not been made to members of the general public (based on value and demand): they have been made to never-ending chains of losing participants (based on the false expectation of future reward). This is why I prefer to refer to this type of fraud as 'dissimulated closed-market swindles' : rather than a pyramid schemes.

      In reality, due to their high churn-rates, all so-called 'MLM' schemes have been in permanent state of collapse, but this key-information has been deliberately withheld from the public and from regulators.

    2. What would your opinion then be of sellers of these products? As I also fell in this mlm trap, I never did any recruiting,never intended to, although this is all the company keeps insisting on! it just didn't feel right to me, but I do think the products work relatively well. Sold a couple of them to outsiders not part of the company, made a little profit. What do you think I should do in this situation? Keep my membership, cause I would like to keep using the products or terminate anything related to the company? Another question I'd like to ask you is, why do you think that the company owns their own hotels, part of their mlm scheme or just plain business?

    3. Anonymous - My advice to you would be to have no further contact with any 'MLM' front-company.

      I think your own experience demonstrates the accuracy of the following common-sense analysis:


      Due to many factors (not least supermarkets), door-step selling (or peddling) has died out. In Europe and the USA today, virtually no products are sold door to door.

      There has been no significant or sustainable revenue flowing into 'MLM' rackets other than that coming unlawfully from their own losing participants.

      It has been effectively-impossible for honest persons to generate an overall net-profit by regularly retailing 'MLM' wampum to the general public, let alone achieve 'total financial freedom.'

      'MLM' wampum has invariably been of a pseudo-medical nature and its claimed benefits have never been quantifiable.

      'MLM' organizations are centralled-controlled and the price, and quality, of their wampum has been fixed.

      Equivalent and/or superior items can often be found in all-manner of traditional retail outlets and online, often at prices vastly inferior the exorbitant fixed prices charged by 'MLM income opportunity' cults.

      The internet, particularly auction websites, has been loaded with unwanted 'MLM' wampum at prices vastly inferior to the original fixed prices.

      Although it has been possible for temporary adherents of 'MLM' groups initially to sell some wampum via existing relationships (based on love and trust), in practise, it has been impossible to find a significant number of genuine retail customers.


      Thus, when you say you 'made a little profit,' how much money did it actually cost you to make this 'little profit?'

      I'd like to know more about these hotels which you describe. Have you been involved with 'FLP?' To your knowledge, have adherents been encouraged to buy accomodation in these hotels?

    4. Yes I have been involved with FLP, they have hotels which the company owns, resort hotels known as Forever Resorts. Referring to profit, I made that on a few single products, like buy wholesale , sell retail,but never got my initial investment back if that is what you mean. As far as I know, no adherents have been encouraged to buy accomodation, the hotels do very good, there are a lot of outside business people making use of the facilities. As far as the hotels is concerned I think that might be strictly professional business.

    5. Thanks again Anonymous - What I was driving at, is the fact that you have never made an overall profit by retailing 'FLP' wampum. What you, and millions of others, have made, is an overall net-loss.

      Cultic groups like 'FLP' rely on the fact that, for reasons of self-esteem, the overwhelming majority of their victims will not want to face the reality that they have been cheated. They condition their victims to ignore everything 'negative' (like expenses) and concentrate only on everything 'positive' (like any 'payments' they receive). In the worst cases, 'MLM' adherents can become exactly like gambling addicts who only speak about what they have won, and not what they keep losing.

      As for the 'FLP' hotels, these would appear to be lawful enterprises, but their real function has been to prevent, and/ or divert, investigation of the unlawful enterprises behind the labyrinth of legally-registered corporate-fronts known as 'FLP.'

      I would compare this type of structural mystification to counterfeit banknotes - parts of which can pass even the closest inspection. However, if any part of a banknote fails to pass inspection, then it's entirely valueless.

      In the USA, organized crime groups have often hidden their rackets behind fronts of 'legitimate business.'

  70. I attended one of their meetings and the down line seemed to be the recruitment of more "FBOs" (Forever Business Owners- a catchy term for distributors) rather than product marketing and training and a crass display of materialism in the perfectly scripted presentation. But all this has been dealt with in the comments above.
    But what really surprised me was that FBOs were prohibited from selling to supermarkets and other stores. But would it not make more sense to avail this products to the mass market and hence make more tangible sales and generate real revenues for "FBOs" (I don't need to be an Economist to see that this is an unsustainable business model)
    Unless their real interest is only in recruitment- then it is a classic pyramid scheme: when it looks like a duck and talks like a duck....

    1. Anonymous -Thank-you for your thoughtful comment and your common-sense (eye-witness) observations.

      You might be interested to know that about 20 years ago, I also made the following observation to a UK member of parliament:

      What look like Ponzi schemers, walk like Ponzi schemers and quack like Ponzi schemers, generally are Ponzi schemers, unless you are an 'MLM' fanatic, in which case they are only what your 'Upline' handlers tells you they are.

      In the final analysis, the hidden criminal objective of all blame-the victim 'MLM income opportunity' racketeers, has been to recruit a never-ending chain of ill-informed victims into a self-perpetuating non-rational ritual belief system which has been fiendishly designed to exploit them whilst giving them the illusion that they are making free-choices.

      All pyramids and Ponzis are based on shutting down their ill-informed victims' critical and evaluative faculties in order to peddle them infinite shares of their own finite money. In 'MLM income opportunity' rackets, giving victims effectively-unsaleable products, and/or services, has been merely the means by which unlawful losing investment payments (based on the false expectation of future reward) have been be laundered,

      Most victims abandon their economically suicidal 'MLM' activities when they find it impossible to convert new believers, and/or to peddle the effectively unsaleable wampum to persons with fully functioning critical and evaluative faculties.

      However, for a significant core-group of victims (with access to independent funds, salary, credit, inheritance, etc.) once their' critical and evaluative facualties cease to function, cash can be extracted from them (sometimes for decades) in all manner of allied frauds.

      I have yet to meet an economist who has fully-understood the cultic nightmare which has been lurking behind the so-called 'MLM direct selling industry'. I have to say that academic qualifications seem to have been a major barrier to understanding 'MLM income opportunity' cultic racketeering, because once academics have been fooled, their own egos invariably prevent them from admitting to their own stupidity. Furthermore, it's the easiest thing in the world to co-opt amoral academics - just wave bundles of (stolen) cash under their noses.

  71. Fascinating blog thank you. I stumbled on this as a friend has recently become involved in FLP, having been recruited by the UK's number 1 'manager' One of the so called shills) and I was interested in how others perceive the company. My suspicion has been confirmed so thank you. I just hope that my friend sees sense before they get involved too deeply and will be asking some probing questions when I next see them. Just wanted to say thanks for your efforts.

    1. Thank-you for your comment Anonymous.

      A word of warning - the initial euphoric stage of an 'MLM' conversion, is sometimes not the best moment to try to intervervene. It can be a bit like trying to reason with someone who has suddenly fallen in love with an outwardly attractive, but secretly abusive, partner.

      When seriously challenged, new 'MLM' converts invariably go straight to their 'Upline' handlers, who then try to disconnect any doubting recruits from all rational external voices. Fortunately, once you know how a cultic 'totalistic thought reform program' works by dividing the world into 'negative vs positive', 'us vs them', you can predict to your friend (with almost 100% accuracy) what his/her 'Upline' handlers will try to do.

      You will find that the level, and duration, of your friend's adherence will very much depend on how much he/she needs to believe in the 'MLM' Utopia + how much cash he/she has available.

      For futher advice, please feel free to contact me off-line via the e-mail address given at the head of this article.

  72. Hi. I have friends who are making over $100,000 (according to them) and they're driving round in luxury cars and have a lovely house. They MUST have made money to do this as they were not well off before. I don't doubt you for 1 minute what you are saying about FLP / MLM but these guys are actually doing OK (and constantly trying to recruit). I don't understand how they've made so much money by recruiting other sellers. It does not add up. But like the early adopters of the pyramid schemes in the late 90's, they have done well out of it. What is your prediction for these people who are clearly actually doing well at the moment with their huge number (150) of downline staff.

  73. That's a lovely story but does not apply to the people I am referring to above. Would you expect it all to come crashing down in a year or so? (by which time they'll have no mortgage either...)
    How can Forever Living have kept going for so long if it is so bad?

    1. Derrick - Contrary to what you have stated, the tragicomic events which I briefly set out above, are self-evidently applicable to all 'MLM income opportunity' rackets and persons steadfastly pretending to have made money from operating so-called 'MLM businesses'.

      As for your your question - you might as well ask me : How did Bernie Madoff keep going for decades? or: How did Jimmy Savile manage to sexually abuse hundreds of adults and children in Britain over a period spanning more than 60 years?

  74. Hi David

    I've been a distributor since Feb 2015, and I'm slowly building my customer base and team. Your article has naturally re-raised some of the questions I had before signing up, as has reading the comments from ex-distributors about how they've been conned.

    I've also noticed the comments and references in the article about how so many people have lost friends and caused disharmony in their families by ramming the products and business down their throats. I've not been taught to do that. Nor have I seen or heard of any leading distributor throughout FLP promote such actions as a practice. I've offered the products to friends and family, and indeed the business, some have bought products, some haven't. Some have agreed to take a look at the business, some haven't. I haven't lost friends over it, nor do I intend to do so. Perhaps people who have had this experience have been badly advised by their mentors? Perhaps they've been so desperate for it to work for them that they have been over-zealous in promoting the business and products and end up pushing people away as a result? After all, as duplicable as the business model is, when being passed down through thousands of distributors, methods can get twisted and lost in translation.

    My point is that no business model is perfect, and so far I haven't seen evidence of Forever claiming to be so. I believe it can offer you a better way, but you have to be prepared to work your arse off to make big money. I've never known FLP claim to make anybody rich quickly or easily. The message has always been you have to WORK.

    Will I be in a position to one day quit my day job, help my friends and family, and have the bonus of living a luxury style? I hope so, but I don't know. But so far I've seen no other way to be able to do so, and from what I've been shown so far, I believe in the business model FLP has in place. Using that belief, I will give EVERYTHING I have inside me to achieve it. Business owners invest £1000's upon £1000's to achieve their dreams, and a lot of them fail. So investing a few hundred pounds, along with dedication and pure hard work to try and achieve mine feels like a necessary risk. It could all blow up in my face - but I'll do everything in my power for it not to happen.

    Lets make a pact. You are clearly very good at what you do, and your article is a very interesting, if one sided read. But you believe in the message you are putting across, evident in the effort gone into this article, and for that reason - I respect you. I'm asking you to respect my belief that I can prove you wrong. That I can achieve a lifestyle of peace of mind, and that this company is the most rewarding company you will ever work for as long as you are willing to work. HARD. So, let our pact be this:

    If FLP ever gets shut down by whichever authority for operating using any illegal method, I will come back to this article, admitting you were right.

    However, if (or should I say when!) my belief in FLP is proved just, through MY hard work, and I am earning at least twice the wage I am now in my full time job, on a consistent basis - I will send you legitimate evidence of my earnings now, against what I'm earning then, whenever that may be, for you to then publish in an article confessing that you were wrong. That FLP only fails the people who are not willing to work for it, and work their business in the way FLP intends you to. That the thousands of people who have quit in the past, simply gave up.


  75. Anonymous - Let's get this straight: Without the slightest supporting evidence, you are asking my readers to believe that you've never seen anyone being subjected to co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion in 'FLP.' Unfortunately, these scripted, blanket denials of reality are themselves common to all 'MLM' rackets.

    Instead of wasting your time trying to persuade me that the closed-logic 'MLM' fairy story only comes true for the minority of dedicated people (like yourself) who believe that it is true, why not try applying your critical and evaluative faculties.

    Strange isn't it, that so many 'MLM' rackets have been instigated by 'Mormons'? Well perhaps not so strange, when you do a bit of research.

    In 1848, gold was discovered in California. Only a few people knew this, but within months the news was published all over the world and around 300 000 thousands excited prospectors flocked to California creating the famous 1849 Gold Rush. Yet the sum total value of all the gold which was subsequently extracted in the following few years was inferior to the sum total of parallel economic activity which was generated by the arrival of these unthinking dreamers. One of the key players who originally spread the news about the gold strike and who then cornered the market in mining materials and supplies for excited prospectors (at grossly-inflated prices), was Samuel Brannan, a multi-millionaire 'Mormon.'

    If you think about it, 'MLM' rackets are frighteningly similar. The racketeers convince bedazzled dreamers that gold is there in 'MLM' for the taking, but the would-be 'MLM' gold-miners are then told that they should buy an exclusive map, along with all the exclusive mining tools, from the racketeers.

    Anonymous, no matter what you steadfastly pretend to be reality, the quantifiable evidence proves beyond all reasonable doubt that, for 60+ years, the parallel economic activity of peddling a closed-logic fairy story to never-ending chains of dreamers, is where all the real money has been made in 'MLM' rackets.

    So please don't be so foolish as to try to peddle this puerile Utopian fantasy on my Blog?

  76. David can you say how many people have passed though FLP?

    1. Anonymous -I presume you are not the Anonymous above who spoke of 'thousands of people' quitting 'FLP' in the past.

      It's interesting that you have asked me for this key-information and not the 'FLP' mob.

      Currently the 'FLP' mob claims 9 millions adherents worldwide, but the annual drop-out rate (i.e. the percentage of adherents who do not renew their year-long contracts) has always been in excess of 50%. This means that, currently, at least 4.5 millions individuals are being churned through the 'FLP' racket each year. That's at least 45 millions each decade.

  77. If this rubbish worked, the NHS would buy lots of cheap aloe Vera, hand it out freely and save billions on health care services. Like laws of physics this works against you, doesn't work and is a scam

    1. Anonymous - The same could be said for numerous 'MLM Income opportunity' rackets currently operating out of the USA. Many of them are hidden behind (effectively-unsaleable) pseudo-medical wampum.

      Have you looked at the 'MLM' racket called 'Xango?' The leaders of this one peddle miraculous fruit juice to their adherents at more than $50 per litre. Not only do they claim that 'Xango' juice will cure you of almost any known human illness, but they also claim that by buying it, and recruiting all your friends and relatives to do the same, you can cure yourself of poverty.

  78. Magnificent work thanks. I knew of the Amway scam but not the full Nutrilite history. Forever Living is getting a good "discussion" :) on Mumsnet (women, esp. with young children, are often targets for FL-bots) and I was directed to your site from there. Its up there with Merchants of Deception or Sidney Schwartz's Amway: the untold story". Man thx.

    1. Peter - You might also be interested to know that a long-overdue film documentary tracing the tragicomic history of the 'MLM' phenomenon, is in production.

    2. I am indeed! Do you have any details?

      P.s. (Does it need Kickstarter help? I contributed $20 to Troma's "Return to Nuke 'em High Part II" - but that is probably no recommendation for non-Tromaphiles :)

    3. Peter - You can find details of the film (including how to donate) here.

      The trailer looks quite promising, but I will predict the usual echelon of amoral attorneys trying to prevent the film's release.

  79. Well timed read for me! Last week I was treated to an overly enthusiastic 'sales pitch' from my aunt, about the "amazing" FL business prospects. Like so many have mentioned, I was puzzled by the lack of emphasis on actually selling FL products, instead I was told I simply needed to start with "5 key people" that would be my team to manage. Huh? I thought the whole purpose in any viable business is to sell product/service in return for remuneration. That initially set alarm bells ringing. Then I noticed the odd (almost cultish) allegiance to her manager/leader, who was almost heralded as some kind of guru/all knowing master! The sound bites, repeated keywords, the retelling of the success stories & that she had actually 'seen them' (at meetings/presentations) 'so it must be true' *rolls eyes. The almost slavish declarations of "as long as you work hard at it, you can be successful and make serious money".
    My aunt spoke of this ex police officer, you speak of & seemed to be particularly taken in by her emotional presentation....hearing my aunt like this was all very weird. In her enthusiasm she then proceeded to get her team leader (or whatever he is) to call me & share the wonders of his experience: there was boisterous proclamations of the fact that a few years ago he had lost money, property & comfortable lifestyle when he was made redundant, but with FL had recouped all his losses & then some, now putting his 3 children through private school & talk of not wanting for anything. The comical thing was that in the midst of practically boasting all of this, during the call I heard him suddenly start running & he was slightly out of breath when he returned to his 'testimonial speech', he then apologised & said he had to run for the bus! I wondered to myself, if this was a man who according to him is living a lavish lifestyle & affording private schooling for his kids...wth was he running for a bus & not idk, perhaps driving a top of the range car, or something??? Anyway I found this & his transparently desperate & aggressive attempt to get me to attend a 'team meeting' that evening, amusing to say the least. Now I worry about my aunt because she is so clearly drawn into this nonsense & can't see it for what it is, a scam. She kept referring to how the teams help & support each other & what a 'positive & supportive' company it is to work for & that all they ask of you, is to use the products yourself & "recommend". She appears to be increasingly more reliant on these FL people & even her partner is complaining that all she ever seems to talk about & be about is FL.
    I have to say that I find it very interesting that the terms to describe heirarchal level in these things, such as 'diamond', 'emerald' etc, are the very same terms used in alpha & beta monarch mind programming/control...but that's another story! Thanks for such a refreshingly 'straight with no chaser' approach to your research. It served to confirm what I sensed & observed.

    1. Thanks Anonymous.

      Former WPC Emma Cooper, seems to be a key-figure for the 'FLP' racketeers in the UK.

      All these 'MLM Income Opportunity / Prosperity Gospel' cults are essentially the same.

      Please take a look at this article and questionaire below. Just replace the word 'Herbalife' with 'FLP', and you should get a much clearer idea of what has happened to your aunt's mind.

      I'm very interested to communicate with you off-line. I'd particularly like to know where abouts this is happening and if you have considered trying to complain to the authorities?

  80. In the end of the day if you want to make something work and you're putting efforts in, you will succeed. We all know there are people who are making millions by working in different environments.
    I feel that it's unfair to make remarks of this kind. It seems that you've had a bad experience and failed to achieve within MLM but please do not forget, the industry is worth billions and with a good product its achievable to do well. Have you tried any of the products these companies offer???? Because its easy to have a go at this type of opportunity yet.... what about office politics, conflict of interest, being limited to one location and set hours, missing out on seeing your children grow up and achieve their goals?
    I think there are advantages and disadvantages at working in an office, shop or home. This does not mean that we should limit ourselves and only see bad things about direct selling and team building. It gives people opportunity to create their business and when the product is good and it makes people happy, what harm is there in sharing something what changes people's lives.... forever ☺ for better. We all know that pyramid schemes are illegal. If businesses like these you've mentioned are still prospecting there must be something more to it, something what makes these businesses work. Why not to conduct some research on products these companies offer to see what public says about them.
    You're up against businesses that have been growing and expanding for years, businesses that have made people successful and are successful themselves. They wouldn't achieve that without a good product. Some people choose to work for somebody and help them achieve their dreams whilst others chase their own dreams. Nothing wrong with either of these, it's down to a person and their desires.


    1. Anna

      Promoting a scheme in which rewards are offered for bringing new contributing recruits into the scheme ad infinitum, is illegal under existing UK trading schemes and lotteries legislation. It is, in fact, a criminal offence in the UK to promote such an economically-unviable, closed money circulation sheme. Conviction carries a custodial sentence.

      Unfortunately, before a criminal inquiry can be launched, sufficient complaints would need to be received.

      Thus, in order to prevent victims from complaining, the bosses of groups like 'FLP' have done all they can to silence all potential complaint - hiding in plain sight and making it appear to victims that 'Multi Level Marketing' is ethical, innocent and legal.

      Under the present toothless and long-winded sytem, 'FLP' UK would first need to be closed-down by UK government civil regulators by filing a public interest bankruptcy petition in the High Court requesting that the company repay all gains previously obtained illegally. This would make the company's liabilities exeed its assets and force bankruptcy and compulsary closure.

      'FLP' is one of numerous essentially-identical corporate structures in the UK (many of which are American controlled and enjoying political protection in the USA) that have all been fronting the essentially-identical frauds. With the exception of 'Amway UK Ltd,' UK regulators have ignored all these corporate structures, even though (in private) senior UK regulators freely-accept that they are highly-organized frauds removing billions of dollars from the vulnerable citizens of hundreds of countries all over the globe.

      Fraud (a form of theft) is essentially defined in the UK as lying to, or withholding key-information from, people in order to take their property or money.

      Ironically, the key-information which has been withheld from all the many millions of persons who have signed up for, but subsequently left, FLP since its instigation, is the overall number of persons who have signed up for, but subsequently left FLP, since its instigation, along with the percentage of all these many milions of persons who have generated an overall net-profit from the operation of a so-called 'FLP business.'

      Other than the insignificant minority of deluded shills at the top of the ever-shifting 'FLP' pyramid, in reality, the hidden, ongoing overall churn/insolvency rate for so-called 'FLP businesses,' has been effectively 100%.

      Anyone (like you) foolishly claiming, or implying, that it possible for the average person to generate an overall net income from participating in 'FLP,' is, therefore, not telling the truth.

  81. I've come to your Blog from links on the Mumsnet FLP threads. What do you make of the Mumsnet crowd?

    1. Anonymous - With a few notable exceptions, the 'Mumsnet crowd' seem to be sitting of the fence, but leaning very heavily to one side. Whilst some of the Mumsnet members fully-accept my analysis of 'MLM' as a form of cultic racketeering which has become effectively above the law, most don't seem to be able to take in the scale of the problem or what this ultimately implies.

      The Mumsnet members on the threads, have all encountered deluded 'FLP' recruiters, mainly on Facebook, but they mostly remain at a stage where they find the recruiters' behaviour both hysterically funny and deeply disturbing.

      Typically, the more I have tried to explain to the Mumsnet members the full horror of what they have begun to uncover, the more my presence on Mumsnet had become unwelcome.

    2. Thanks. Like you I don't find this so funny as the Mumsnet crowd. One of my neighbour's children, is being pestered by an forever living recruiter on FB. She's a student nurse and she's already showing the some signs of falling for this rubbish.Your article has only confirmed what we already suspected.

    3. Anonymous - What makes you think that she's beginning to believe the 'MLM' fairy story?

    4. My neighbour asked my opinion of forever living because I'm in business. First off, her daughter bought some products for mad prices. She's now started talking about all the money you can make. When her mother told her forever sounds to good to be true, she's gone all defensive. If I tell her it's a scam do you think will this make things worse?

    5. Anonymous - It's impossible to say. If you want further advice, I'd need to know a little bit more, so please contact me directly by email (see the head of the article). Can I ask you, does your friend's daughter know that 'FLP' is connected to the 'Mormon Church?'

  82. Hi,
    First of all thank you for the research that you have done. I am (an adult with fully-functioning critical and evaluative faculties.) What I'm about to share is a true story, which started about two weeks ago. I was at work when my wife texted me, she had initially told me that she was going to town to meet an old friend. In the text, she wanted me to refund her some money that she had loaned me (we had agreed that I would refund her in two months time, but only a month had passed.) In all honesty, I told her that I had not yet gotten the money. She pressed on and even started asking me to ask my 'monied' friends for a loan so I could refund her. I rarely ask my friends for money (only when it's an emergency.) I asked her what the 'emergency' was and she went silent. She just asked if I can find more money to refund her and loan her extra, she will be glad. Anyway, it was her money and her being my wife and all... I borrowed a friend the cash and came with it home (I only borrowed enough to refund her, and I have since settled the loan from my pal).
    The following day, she came home... very excited, smiling.. well am sure you can guess the rest, with an FLP kit. She wasn't a talkative person, actually, she used to prefer that we spend more time as a family as opposed to having friends over. Anyway, it's been two weeks and I think she has talked to almost everyone in her phonebook. I've seen countless women troop in and out of our home. We both work hard to make ends meet. She is now always on her phone trying to secure a meeting with so and so.. constantly texting etc. In her fulltime job, she works for an NGO and the grant that has been sustaining their organization is set to end soon, so she has been quite eager to get another job.
    At home, she's already using the flp products, which I find very expensive for our income to sustain. She has since asked me to 'support' her business venture by joining flp under he rmentorship... Well I am not sure how to help her get to her senses without being labelled as 'negative threat to her achieving success.'

    1. Thanks for your story Gedion

      It seems that your wife is going through the initial euphoric stage of an 'MLM' cult conversion. This euphoria might quickly wear off, but the more cash or credit your wife has access to,: the longer she can continue and the more danger she is in.

      It's going to have to be your wife's own choice to face the truth and come out of 'FLP.' You should try gently to steer her in the direction of the exit whilst explaining to her that you will there for her when she is ready to accept the truth.

      Sadly, the truth is that your wife has been deceived and she is currently trying to deceive others, but she genuinely believes she is only trying to help them.

      If you want to contact me directly Gedion, please feel free to do so.

      e-mails should be marked: 'For the attention of David Brear'

  83. Hi David,

    What about getting in on brand new MLM (seems like the best way to make $money$) get in early. What about starting your own MLM? Seems like this would be the smart thing to do financially... Sort of like being the bookie... As far as making $money$ goes... This would probably be the best bet! From a business standpoint/business mindset/capitalist mindset only... I know your totally against mlm's but what about the questions i asked? Can you answer these questions honestly and not lace it conciously or unconciously with your years of programming/conditioning. Thank you Good Kind Sir! Much Success & Best Wishes! :-)

  84. Anonymous - You seem to have failed to read the regular warnings posted on this Blog that comments containing reality inverting 'MLM' propaganda /jargon will no be posted without detailed qualification or heavy irony.

    The founder of the Scientology racket, L. Ron Hubbard, is notorious for boasting that if you want to make a million dollars, the best way of doing this, would be to start your own religion.

    Thus, if your questions are serious (which I very much doubt), then your morally and intellectually indefensible standpoint / mindset would be neither 'business' nor 'capitalist,' it would be criminal, and you would be inviting me to condone your committing crime, because history proves that it is possible for mediocre indvididuals to make millons of dollars by starting their own exploitative ritual belief systems and calling these rackets 'religions', 'businesses', etc.

    Furthermore, what you try to dismiss as my 'years of programming/conditioning,' has self-evidently been the free-excercising of my critical and evaluative faculties manifest in my consistantly employing fully-deconstructed accurate terms to reveal such cultic rackets lurking behind decades of thought-stopping 'MLM' jargon.

    1. Please note, I'm not the 'Anonymous' who asked these questions!

      These questions show the state we have now got to where people believe that fraud is business.

      From a purely money making point of view, becoming the boss of drug cartel or of a prostitution gang, are also attractive options.

    2. An excellent point 'Anonymous' - more and more people evidently believe that, because 'MLM' racketeering has been labelled 'business,' it cannot be challenged. Most of these amoral persons seem to be financial journalists and trade regulators.

  85. Hi David
    Well done for highlighting what is essentially criminal racketeering. I know someone whose partner is in the grip of the Aloe cult. She will not listen to reason and has asked him to leave the house because he is not conforming to her "perfect positive world."I myself fell prey to Landmark "Education" and lost quite a bit of money to that sinister outfit. I also lost a little money to Delphin, a self development MLM scam. Fortunately I got a moment of clarity and could see clearly I was being seduced, coerced and conned.Never again. The unfortunate part is that it was people I trusted that introduced me to both. Keep up the good work

    1. Thanks Anonymous - The more people who have the courage to admit that they fell victim to variations of the cultic Utopian lie: the quicker this age-old, virus-like phenomenon might finally be brought under control.

      Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of victims of 'MLM' cultic rackets still prefer to remain silent.

      As you have seen first hand, one of the main reasons for this, is because 'MLM' victims are invariably recruited by a person, or persons, whom they love and trust and (in turn) they try to recruit persons who love and trust them.

      As ever, 'the most powerful weapon in the hands of oppressor, is the mind of the oppressed.'

  86. Hi folks - I bumped into Amway here Downunder during the mid 1990's. It was wearing the tag of IDA (Interactive Distribution Australia) in a smallish country town of some 30,000 people. The local diamonds sold not one, but two accounting businesses in order to finance their grand entry to IDA and it didn't take them too long to get their 35 person 'down line' either.

    I was invited to spend a weekend at a couple's home and go to a 'business seminar' at a local casino, and so off I went. Just about everything they used had the IDA signature emblazoned on it - toiletries, dish washing liquid, cosmetics - there were even 'Amway' magazines showing cars, computers, furniture and lots of other stuff.

    I was even told by this couple (Ken and Barby Amway) that they had made the grand sacrifice of $15.00 in order to 'sponsor' me to the 'seminar'. I felt obliged to go... But at the end of the 'weekend' I told them that this 'business opportunity' wasn't for me.

    I could see their faces fall, as they thought they had roped in a frail and vulnerable person into their nightmare scam, but I was too smart for that.

    First thing Monday, I paid a visit to the local state 'Office of Fair Trading' and told them what had happened. They looked at me apprehensively at first, until I told them that I hadn't paid the $100 for the 'starter kit'. They were relieved, and told me that too many people had come their way and that most of them had signed up - and had lived to regret it.

    If you do the math, you'll soon realise that in a town of only 30000 people, there's only enough potential for a very small amount of people to 'go diamond' and that in order to make it within the down line system outside of the initial intake of 'distributors', you'd have to spread your wings far and wide, just to break even.

    Do yourselves a favour folks - if the outcomes seem too good to be true, then they probably are. What this couple had done, was to isolate me from my normal family, friends and weekend activities, and had then literally proceeded to 'soft soap' me with Amway products, all the way from the breakfast table, to the bathroom and beyond.

    Great rewards in this life, come from hard work and ingenuity, not from 'fast buck' scams and pyramid schemes.

  87. Thanks Austin. You make some very good points.

    Perhaps the most astonishing thing you witnessed, was the feeble reaction of your local Office of Fair Trading. Why didn't its employees go to police and/or to the media and/or to legislators, and attempt to put a stop to the 'Amway' thieves? After all, they are paid by taxpayers supposedly to protect taxpayers.

    The 'Amway Ministry' of Truth has been boasting of the 'approval of governments' around the world for decades. In reality, the morally-bankrupt refusal of government agents around the world to take action against 'Amway,' has enabled the bosses of the 'Amway' racket to pretend that they have 'government approval.'

    'Amway' shills, like the ones you describe in Australia, have been committing fraud and obstructing justice all over the world, since the pernicious 'Amway / MLM' fairy story was first exported from the USA, back in the 1970s.

  88. Hi David - thanks for getting back to me so quickly, most blogs I post on can take hours or even a day or so to respond (usually because they're getting dozens or hundreds of posts in a short time frame).

    "Why didn't its employees go to police and/or to the media and/or to legislators, and attempt to put a stop to the 'Amway' thieves?"

    Well for starters, public servants at the front desk of such a department aren't always empowered to progress things like that on their own bat. They did indicate to me that if I had been scammed, they would (time and resources permitting,) be able to support me, in person, if I had decided to go to the local Magistrate's Court in order to get my money back, but documentary evidence on my part would have to be produced before they could get involved. Signed contract, and/or bank statements showing money going out for goods/services etcetera.

    The best thing Fair Trading officers can do, is to educate the public about potential and actual scams, so the general public can avoid them. Of course, not everybody is listening when they are talking, so there's bound to be some burnt fingers somewhere.

    What happens here nowadays, is that federal government departments like our ACCC get involved, particularly if the scam starts to cross state borders. That's what makes it a federal scam - similar in effect to your 'mail fraud' laws, in terms of pursuing and fining, and even jailing the "jailbirds".

    Sometimes they are able to shut the scam down, and divide the proceeds amongst former victims, or divvy the $ up amongst local or national bona fide charities, if former victims can't be identified (because the scammers deleted or shredded all membership and banking records.)

    Recently, Origin Energy, a national power grid supplier, was fined two million dollars here in Queensland, for overstating the benefits of annual electricity 'discounts' that were on offer, but no actual resale price on kilowatt hours, or the supply of rental on power lines, was quoted to potential customers. That was a "hatchet job" by the ACCC... Well done, because I'm an Origin customer too!


    1. austin - In the end, events elsewhere might soon overtake Australian civil regulators,

      Are you aware of what has been going on in the USA regarding another global 'MLM' racket, 'Herbalife?

      Briefly - 'Herbalife's' bosses have left themselves open to public scrutiny after unlawfully raising billions of $ capital on Wall St. by selling shares in their dissimulated criminal enterprise. When a major Hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman, began to look at 'Herbalife,' he realised its true nature and announced a short position against the company in excess of $ one billion. In simple terms, if and when 'Herbalife' is closed and its shares are rightly deemed valueless, Ackman will make a fortune for his fund. However, to prove his good faith, he's promised to give away any personal share of these profits, to charity.

      To date, Ackman has pumped over $100 millions into exposing 'Herbalife.' Even though hundreds of victims have come forward and continue to come forward, US regulators are still dragging their feet. However, the FBI is now also involved. If and when 'Herbalife' goes down, then the entire 'MLM' lie will almost certainly follow, so (predictably) a syndicate of wealthy 'MLM' bosses are all fighting to keep their rackets alive.

      Apart from 'MLM' bosses, the number of persons in whose financial interests it is to keep the 'MLM' lie alive, is almost endless. Various politicians, bankers, accountants, attorneys, academics, Wall St. investors, financial journalists, etc. have all had their noses deep in the stinking 'MLM' trough and have, consequently, sided against Ackman.

      That said, the net is closing on the 'Herbalife' mob.

  89. Hey David,I quit Forever Living a few days ago after only a couple of weeks at it.Reading your blog has just confirmed my decision.I signed up without doing enough research but the relief I got when I quit was incredible.Thinking of it now it was very cult like,with everyone hanging on the leaders every word.After one week myself and some of the other new people were being told that we were to prospect everyone to get them to join.I thought it was a bit much being expected to just go up and proposition a complete stranger to join this" AMAZING" company. .When I questioned this other leaders would frown and say you have to be positive and just run with it.The training did bring me out of my shell a bit but I ended up really feeling that these people as nice as they were,we're trying to change how I think.I even noticed myself after a few days getting a bit annoyed with some of my family for thinking the products were too dear and that's not me.I was to have my big launch party the other night and I rang my sponsor and cancelled.That's how stressed I'd become with the whole thing.It can very easily consume you,I'm annoyed that I was so naive but so glad I copped on in time.So glad I didn't sign anyone in.Thanks for your insight.

    1. Anonymous- It's quite extraordinary how criminogenic cultic groups like 'FLP' can get inside adult minds, shut down our critical and evaluative faculties and, eventually, can dissociate us from external reality.

      You should not be annoyed with yourself for starting to fall for the 'FLP' fairy story. On the contrary, you should be annoyed with the authorities for allowing these mind-bending rackets to exist in plain sight. Lack of official challenge, is often what gives them credibility in the eyes of victims and casual observers.

      You should actually be very proud of yourself for confronting external reality so quickly. Cults are maliciously designed to trap human beings via our instinctual desire to protect our self-esteeem/ ego and related psychological function.

      'The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.'

      Your brave and honest reaction to your brief cult/'FLP' encounter, makes you quite a rare person.

      Thank-you for contacting me!

      I am interested to communicate further with you, directly?

  90. (I posted the above)I am one of the lucky ones David To get away early.My 'sponsor' who is a very nice person that is friends with a family member,has asked me to think about it for a few days. I suspect she will contact me next week at some point but I have no intention of going back.Correct me if I am wrong but I feel this may be frustrating for you that knowbody will complain about this racket.I can see why people won't complain as most of the people involved are related to or are friends of the people involved and don't want to be seen as trying to squash someone's "Dreams".I would fall into this category of people not wanting to complain but in the long run I know I would be doing people a favour if I did.My sponsor is doing it almost two years so she is very deep into it and is I would say "completely brainwashed" by the whole thing.Would you advise that I just say that it's not for me and wish her all the best or tell her the truth.I suspect the truth will be turned around that I am too negative and should be more open minded.
    By what means would you like to communicate further.Thanks for your response.

    1. Anonymous - You already see this very clearly. Far from preventing friends and relatives from fulfilling their 'Dreams', the most gung-ho 'MLM' adherents are unconsciously engaged in a form of psychological, and economic, suicide. In the very worst cases, 'MLM' adherents have lost everything, and ultimately taken their own lives rather than face up to the truth.

      I remember once talking to a highly-educated older guy in the USA who accepted that 'MLMs' are cults, but he then insisted 'they sell people hope'. At this point I pointed out that all the evidence actually proves that the instigators of 'MLM' cults have been peddling false hope to vulnerable people who need to believe that it's real.

      Most people find it difficult to look at the wider-picture and are frightened that they will get their fanatical 'MLM' friends or relatives into some sort of trouble, if they complain to the authorities.

      It's always difficult to offer advice to people about a friends or relatives trapped in a cult, without knowing more about the adherent, and how and why they got involved in the first place.

      In general, you should keep in mind that cult adherents are always given the illusion that they have made a free-choice to join, when they have, in fact, been duped. Therefore, they need to make a free-choice about leaving. Many commentators have rightly compared cult adherents to persons who have fallen in love with abusive partners. Thus, a subtle approach is to explain to cult adherents that you don't want to interfere with their life, even though you feel that what they are doing is ill-advisd, but that you will always be there for them when they decide to leave their group.

      The combination of humour and thought-provoking questions can also be an effective approach with 'MLM' cult adherents. It's a good idea to try to pre-empt the subject of the conversation and take cult adherents back to a time before they became involved with their group.

      The e-mail address - - will find me directly.

      Please mark the mail: 'for the attention of David Brear.'

  91. What's the connection between this blog and Rachel Brear?

    1. Anonymous - This is second time that someone has contacted me about someone called Brear who is also an adherent of 'FLP.'

      A quick Google-search reveals that Rachel Brear is from Halifax in Yorkshire (the town where I was born), but she has no connection with me.

      Might I ask who you are, and why you have asked this question?

    2. I found your blog when searching "Rachel Brear Forever Living"

    3. Anonymous - Thank-you for your reply, but it doesn't answer either of my previous questions. If you don't want openly to disclose your identity or the reason for your contacting me about Rachel Brear, then please contact me confidentially via the e-mail address given at the head of this article.

  92. I am reading your blog because I have been concerned about a former colleague of mine who has just jacked in a decently paid public sector job for FLP (too late to 'save' her now) and has also recruited my best friend into her 'downline' (although I might still have a chance with that one, she doesn't seem to be taking it too seriously!). So much of what you say rings true about the change in her attitude, total faith in the products, cult-like waxing lyrical etc. I tried desperately to talk her out of giving up her job, or at least to give it longer than the barely 6 months it was between starting with FLP and jacking in her job, and gave her lots of information I'd found online about the perils of MLM but, inevitably, I was being 'negative' - of COURSE there was negative info out there but there was FAR more positive stuff online about FLP which, for her, just went to prove that it was a good thing and it IS perfectly legal you know...sigh..

    But I'm going off topic a bit here, what is p*ssing me off right now is that other businesses on Facebook HAVE to have a page, not a profile, which is free but FB try to get them to 'promote this page' by charging a fee; it wouldn't surprise me if eventually all pages have to be paid for. People choose whether to 'like' a page and whether to see posts from the page. Yet all these Herbalife/FLP/Juiceplus/Snake Oil peddlers seem to get away with filling up their personal profiles with masses of sales/recruitment drivel, motivational quotes and 'before and after' photos which the rest of us get exposed to unless we stop receiving notifications from them (which is what I've done. However it also means you miss the real-life stuff they occasionally post).

    Do you know if anyone has complained to Facebook about the proliferation of profiles being used, in many cases, almost solely as business advertising? Over the last year or so it seems to have got out of hand, with MLM peddlers seeing at it as the optimum way to spread the word widely. Does Mark Zuckerberg realise what a golden opportunity he has provided for all these schemes????!

    PS On the subject of income, just out of interest, my friend who has jacked in her job claims she is making most of her money from selling products through her online shop rather than through recruitment, although I know she frequently posts about 'looking for motivated, driven people to join her team'. She has also told me she is making around £800 a month, which I take to mean that is the income she receives from sales through FLP and which is approximately half of her previous take-home pay, although she has said that she hasn't yet paid any tax on this income and will declare it when she does self-assessment, now that she is a 'self-employed business owner'. She is confident that now that she can devote all her time to FLP she will be raking it in. Just sayin'...

    PPS Is it just me or is 'amazing' the most overused word in MLM...?!

    1. Mrs M. Have you visited the Mumsnet threads which have been discussing 'FLP?'

      You will find that many other people have witnessed exactly the same radical personality transformations.

  93. I have had a year of hell and fully expect it to continue. My daughter was recruited at a very vulnerable stage in her life last year by FLP. She has had a complete personality transformation to the point that I dont recognise her anymore. After several months I discussed with her my fears of FLP and thought it had a "cult" feel to it. I discussed it too late. She was already on the FLP road and I was dismissed and she closed the door on me. The last talk we had about her earnings was in November 2015 (9 months) after she had started and she was talking about taking on a part time job as she was struggling to make ends meet. I tried to talk to her again about research I had done and had grave concerns about this company. I was met with rage and hate and that was the end of our relationship. She has cut me, the rest of her family and her friends out of her life. She now has "new friends". She doesnt see the personality change, she doesnt see the anxiety and stress levels she exhibits, she doesnt feel the hurt her family have, she is just numb. I just hope anyone reading this thinks twice about FLP as a route to "happiness" through huge earnings. I have found no happiness over the last year and she is far from happy or rich (though she perceives to be "the happiest she has ever been" - im her mum and im not blind. You never think it will happen to your family as we are strong and close..... never say never

    1. Anonymous - Your daughter's personality transformation is classic of a cult adherent, not just an 'MLM' cult adherent. I'm sure you must have already formed that conclusion.

      You are not alone and if there is anything I can do to help you, please don't hesitate to contact me via the e-mail address at the head of this article.

      I'd particularly appreciate any information you can give me about the persons who recruited your daughter and who now control her. Has she mentioned someone called Dave O'Connor?

      Have you visited the Mumsnet Threads which have been discussing MLM cults and particularly FLP? There are over 16 thousand comments on 17 threads. Perhaps you are already participating in the debate? There are also now various journalists in the UK investigating the 'FLP' racket and with whom I'm in touch.