Thursday 9 May 2013

Warren Buffett denies all knowledge of the 'Herbalife (HLF)' racket.

N.B. This article was up-dated November 1st, 2013.


In almost all business matters, I would not be so presumptuous as to claim more experience than Warren Buffett. However, the pernicious fairy story entitled 'MLM Income Opportunity' (which I have been studying for many years), has precious little to do with 'business' (in the traditional sense of the word) and, unfortunately, Warren Buffett still has lots of green reasons at risk preventing him from facing this reality.

Warren Buffett (b. 1930) is an agnostic businessman from Omaha, Nebraska, who reportedly is worth $58.5 billions, but who likes to portray himself as just an average guy living modestly on his $100 000 annual salary as chairman and CEO of  'Berkshire Hathaway.' 

Warren Buffett

As a little boy (aged just 6), Buffett (the son of a Republican Representative) already displayed a marked aptitude for making, but not spending, money. He went door to door peddling: chewing gum (at a 2 cents profit per pack), Coca Cola (at 5 cents per bottle, making a profit of 5 cents on a 25 cent pack of 6 bottles) and weekly magazines. 

However, young Buffett was not acting entirely independently, because his wholesale supplier was, in fact, his grandfather, Ernest P. Buffett, who owned a long-established grocery store in Omaha. During his high school years, Warren Buffett continued to make money in his holidays and spare time by delivering newspapers, selling golf balls and stamps, and from various other traditional commercial enterprises. 

When Buffett filed his first income tax return in 1944 (aged just 13), he deducted $35 for the expenses of a bicycle and a watch - by claiming that these were items he needed to operate his paper round. 

In 1947, Buffett (aged 17) and a young associate, Donald Danly, started a company called 'Wilson Coin Operated Machines.' They bought a secondhand pinball machine for $25 which they installed in the local barber's shop. Their initial investment immediately generated a steady net-profit of $50 per week. Within a few months, Buffett and Danly had bought, and installed, a total of 3 secondhand pinball machines in barber's shops, but, in 1948, the pair sold 'Wilson Coin Operated Machines' for $1200.

Today, Warren Buffett is generally recognized as one of the most-influential people in the world. He has recently been treated (successfully) for prostate cancer. He has pledged to give away 99% of his personal fortune to philanthropic causes. 

How many times have I read thoughtless comments insisting  that 'Multi-Level Marketing' can't be a fraud because Warren Buffett owns an 'MLM' company? In fact, I once received a particularly absurd comment from a deluded 'Amway' adherent who was completely convinced that Warren Buffett owns at least 10 'MLM' companies and that he recommends 'MLM' as 'the best way for anyone to become a millionaire.'

It is a matter of public record that Warren Buffett's company, 'Berkshire Hathaway,' owns a kitsch, but apparently innocent'party plan direct sales' company known as 'The Pampered Chef (PC)' which has sold the public (mainly women) a so-called 'MLM income opportunity.'  However (as far as I am aware), 'The Pampered Chef' has not exhibited the universal identifying characteristics of a cult. Recently, the corporate officers of 'The Pampered Chef' were boasting annual sales of $400 millions via a sales-force of 60 000 persons. 

Even if the above, precisely-worded, passage of the 'MLM Income Opportunity' fairy story was entirely accurate, 'The Pampered Chef' would still be a far-from-ethical enterprise, in that its officers have been deliberately withholding key-information from the public in order to continue to exploit large numbers of non-salaried commission agents whilst, at the same time, requiring these ill-informed people to exploit their own ill-informed friends and relatives.

In theory:

participants in 'The Pampered Chef MLM Income Opportunity'  (i.e. persons who have signed a take-it-or-leave-it annually-renewable, contract in which they were arbitrarily-defined as  'Independent Consultants', and who have paid the $155 fixed price for the so-called  'Business Starter Kit'), can choose to make money via:

regularly organizing 'Cooking Parties' at which they can sell banal products (kitchen appliances, utensils, etc.) to their friends, neighbours, relatives, etc., for a straight percentage profit (20-31%).


an escalating system of percentage commission payments on the sales of further 'Independent Consultants' whom they have recruited, and on the sales of the recruits of their recruits, etc., ad infinitum.

In practise: 

'Pampered Chef' participants are obliged to invest their time and to pay all the considerable, allied, operational expenses, but exactly how much of their own resources this will inevitably involve, is not disclosed to new recruits.

most participants are generally able to organize one or two 'Cooking Parties' and use their existing relationships (based on love and trust) to sell some 'Pampered Chef' products to a few supportive friends and relatives, but no participant could be reasonably expected to generate a significant, and sustainable, net-income by paying to organize these kitsch sales meetings time after time, for many years.

no common-sense limit has been set on the number of 'Pampered Chef' participants operating in any given area, whilst the participants are clearly offered incentives to be their own best customers and to recruit any other customers as competitors. 

equivalent, or better quality, products to those offered by 'Pampered Chef' can be easily bought in all-manner of traditional retail outlets and On line.

all any free-thinking person (so desiring) has to do to obtain unused 'Pampered Chef' products, is go to the Internet, where there is always an unwanted mountain of the stuff going begging. (We are talking about many thousands of items listed on popular auction-Sites like e-bay each day, and at a substantial discount compared to their original fixed-price).

Thus, it seems that just as in 'Amway', 'Herbalife' , 'NuSkin', etc., a significant number of so-called 'MLM customers' have not been buying products from 'The Pampered Chef' in order to use them. On the contrary, the products might as well not have existed, because they appear to have been the classic 'MLM' wampum; the real function of which has been to launder unlawful investment payments made on the false-expectation of future reward.

Finally, the vital question of what distinguishes lawful direct selling from an unlawful pyramid scheme, was raised last weekend in public at 'Berkshire Hathaway's' annual shareholder meeting. 

Warren Buffett was asked by a concerned 'Berkshire Hathaway' shareholder if Bill Ackman’s $1.2 billions short-selling bet that 'Herbalife' is an effectively-valueless company hiding a cruel fraud, will have a detrimental effect on 'The Pampered Chef?,' and if Warren Buffett considers Bill Ackman's analysis of 'Herbalife' as a fraud, to be accurate?

Given his iconic status as the shrewdest investor in the world, and considering the irrefutable facts that:

the 'Herbalife' racketeers have steadfastly pretended that their business is based on selling products to thousands and thousands and thousands of 'end users,' 

'Herbalife' and 'The Pampered Chef' have been linked via the so-called 'Direct Selling Association,' and via an extensive, and precisely-worded, thought-stopping 'commercial' jargon (including the term 'MLM'),

the bosses of various other members of the so-called 'DSA' (which were subsequently closed-down by the FTC as pyramid frauds) also shared the same extensive, and precisely-worded, thought stopping 'commercial' jargon which they employed steadfastly to pretend that their 'businesses' were based on 'selling products' to thousands and thousands and thousands of 'end users,'

Warren Buffett's strangely-familiar and precisely-worded, responses to his shareholder's questions, demonstrate a staggering lack of knowledge of what actually constitutes economically-viable (and therefore, lawful) direct selling, and reveals the considerable risk he has taken (in this state of blissful ignorance) with his shareholders' money. Self-evidently, when the 'Herbalife' racket is finally closed-down as a pyramid fraud, whomsoever is left holding 'The Pampered Chef,' will also be in deep trouble.

Warren Buffett said:

'I have never looked at a Herbalife annual report and I do not know about its operation... Pampered Chef’s business is based on selling to the end user, and we have thousands and thousands and thousands of parties every week where people who are actually going to use the product buy from somebody. We are not making the money by loading up people and then having them leave the sales force…That should be the distinguishing characteristic if I were regulating the industry.'

Readers will observe that Warren Buffett very pointedly did not say that according to FTC guidelines, for any direct selling income opportunity to be lawful, it must involve its participants regularly retailing an overwhelming majority of products which they have bought from the sponsors (at least 70%) to the general public.

Warren Buffett merely repeated part of the so-called 'Direct Selling Association's' effectively-meaningless 'definition of direct selling,' i.e.  'selling to end users,' which has been specifically worded in such a vague way, that it can be taken to mean participants in 'MLM' schemes themselves. 

WARREN BUFFET'S NAME IS BEING USED TO COMMIT WIRE FRAUD, because, for decades, effectively 100% of so-called 'Multi-Level Marketing Distributors' have been unable regularly to retail a significant quantity of fixed-price products, and/or services, to the general public for a profit, and have failed to generate an overall net-income from their so-called 'home-based businesses.'

I have some common-sense questions for Warren Buffett:
  • What percentage of 'Pampered Chef ' recruits have actually remained with your company for more than: 1 year?  3 years?  5 years?
  • What has been the average annual drop-out rate for 'Pampered Chef' recruits?
  • Apart from the $155 'Business Starter-Kit,' what is the approximate amount of additional money that 'Pampered Chef' recruits have been required to find, to finance their first 12 months, non-salaried activities on behalf of your company.  
  • 'Pampered Chef's' corporate officers have recently claimed 'a sales-force of 60 000,' but since your company's instigation, how many different persons in total have bought their own 'Pampered Chef Independent Consultancy' from it, and, by extrapolation, what is the overall vanishing-rate for these so-called 'Businesses?'
  • What lawful, and/or ethical,  reason can you put forward to explain why the key-information contained in the answers to the above questions has been withheld by your company from prospective 'Pampered Chef' recruits?
  • Why is the Internet loaded with unused 'Pampered Chef ' inventory for sale?' 
  • Hand on heart, would you personally recommend joining any so-called 'MLM income opportunity' (including 'The Pampered Chef'), as a viable and ethical means for ordinary people to earn extra income?
  • Again, hand on heart, what would be your personal reaction if a member of your own family announced that he/she had signed up with 'Herbalife?'
  • When you made your public statements relating to 'Pampered Chef' and 'Herbalife' at the recent 'Berkshire Hathaway' shareholders' meeting, were you aware that numerous, unsecured, Micro-Finance loans have been made to immigrants, and other poor persons, in the USA, via the 'Grameen Bank' (an institution which you were responsible for bringing to Omaha), in order that these vulnerable borrowers could start so-called 'MLM Businesses?'
  • Before you made your investment in 'The Pampered Chef', had you actually seen any quantifiable evidence proving that more than 70% of 'Pampered Chef's' claimed 'multi-million dollar sale's' have been authentic external retail sales to members of the general public (based on value and demand)?
  • Even if, as you claim, the (demonstrably-unethical) activities of the 'The Pampered Chef' are not (technically) unlawful in the USA, are you aware that, due to your acquisition of this member of the so-called 'Direct Selling Association,' your name and iconic status have been habitually-used by 'MLM Income Opportunity' racketeers, and their propagandists, in order to commit fraud and to obstruct justice all over the globe? 
I look forward to the day when, if asked for his opinion of 'Herbalife' by a 'Berkshire Hathaway' shareholder, Warren Buffett replies:

Based on my knowledge of the fundamental characteristic which identifies: Ponzi schemes, pyramid scams, money circulation games, chain letters, etc.  - namely, that all these frauds have no sustainable or significant source of revenue other than their own contributing participants - any so-called 'MLM direct selling income opportunity' in which the overwhelming majority of its declared annual revenue has not been derived from authentic retail sales to members of the general public (based on value and demand), but rather from the participants' purchases themselves (based on the false expectation of future reward), is a dissimulated closed-market employing endless-chain recruitment and, according to the FTC's own (70% retail) guidelines, fraudulent. Therefore, unless the corporate officers of 'Herbalife' can produce solid independent evidence that their so-called 'MLM direct selling income opportunity' really has had a significant and sustainable source of external revenue, no honest observer would be able to arrive at any other logical conclusion other than the bosses of 'Herbalife' are economic alchemists who, just like Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff, have been secretly peddling ill-informed people infinite shares of their own finite money.

I sincerely hope that Warren Buffett's own view of himself, combined with his financial involvement with 'The Pampered Chef', will not prevent him from facing wider reality.

David Brear (copyright 2013)


  1. This article is a significant piece of writing, because it bears witness to our sad era of American history where most US citizens believe that Warren Buffet must know everything, simply because he looks like a kindly old billionaire straight from central-casting.

    1. Anonymous - You will observe that the only reason why any of this has been reported by the mainstream-media, is because several, famous Wall St. investors have become involved in the 'MLM' phenomenon.

      The concerned 'Berkshire Hathaway' shareholder who asked Warren Buffett for his opinion of Bill Ackman's analysis of 'Herbalife,' was mis-informed; for, Bill Ackman was merely repeating the analysis of 'Herbalife' which was independently arrived at (many years ago), and made available to the public, by persons like Robert FitzPatrick and myself.

      Indeed, if anyone from the mainstream media had the wit to ask Bill Ackman if 'his analysis of Herbalife as a fraud,' can be proved to be his own intellectual property, then they might discover a very revealing response.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  2. The Lyoness Complaints Centre congratulates David Brear with reaching 100,000 page views. It is to be sincerely hoped that many people keep visiting your blog and becoming (more) familiar with your work on the cultic nature of the income opportunity fraud you have been studying.

  3. PAY IT FORWARD! All it is, regeneration of wealth that has been taken from us all & all you need to do is wake up to it. Greed is what stops this. Earn, Spend, earn again & spend. whats different from the beginning of human kind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Anonymous - You will notice that, to give the readers of this Blog a well-deserved laugh, the Editor has decided to post your intellectually-castrated comment - in which you indignantly hit the exclamation-mark key whilst steadfastly pretending moral, and intellectual, authority.

      Unfortunately, what you have tried to promote here, is not the truth, but the pernicious pseudo-economic lie that endless-chain recruitment + endless payment by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits.

      You are obviously not Warren Buffet, but are you perhaps Bernie Madoff with access to the Internet in your cell?

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  4. David,
    If what you say about Ackerman short selling HerbalLife, means that HerbalLife is a fraud; then does it hold true that all mega short sells indicate those companies are a fraud? You may also want to note that the publicity about his move did actually cause the stock to fall. This is not an uncommon event in the stock market. What is interesting to note is that HerbalLife recovered from the corporate raid, and is selling at more today then it was when Ackerman pulled his stunt.

    IMHO... Large investors who try to make money by tanking companies on the stock market are unscrupulous.

    1. Anonymous - Effectively-valueless 'Herbalife' stock initially deflated by almost 2 billion dollars in the period immediately following Bill Ackman's 3 hour presentation in December 2012. Tellingly, you have attempted to dismiss these extraordinary events as a common-place 'stunt.'

      Self-evidently, had Bill Ackman been an unscrupulous person whose only motive was making money, then he could have bailed out immediately and made more than 30% on his billion dollar bet against 'Herbalife.' However, knowing that his research and analysis were accurate, and that 'Herbalife' continues to damage countless vulnerable persons, Ackman has courageously stuck to his guns.

      The continuing failure of US federal regulators to take immediate action, has allowed the 'Herbalife' racket to continue. Various unscrupulous persons (who freely-admit that they are solely motivated by a desire to make money) like Carl Icahn, have bought effectively-valueless 'Herbalife' stock knowing that their public involvement would re-inflate the stock, and that they could bail out before any federal investigation finally arrives.

      The fact that Bill Ackman has shorted 'Herbalife' to the tune of £1.2 billions, isn't what makes 'Herbalife' a fraud, nor does this event mean that all massive short sells indicate the presence of fraud.

      What makes the so-called 'Herbalife MLM income opportunity' a fraud, is the fact that its bosses remain unable to produce quantifiable evidence proving that the bulk of their company's claimed 'sales' have been authentic retail sales to the general public (based on value and demand). In reality, the overwhelming majority of 'Herbalife's' alleged 'sales revenue' has always come from unlawful investment payments (based on the false expectation of future reward), but which have been laundered as 'retail sales' - simply by giving the never-ending chain of losing investors effectively-usaleable wampum in return.

      Sadly, the 'Herbalife' racket is not at all unique. There are dozens of other counterfeit 'direct selling' companies' which have been hiding exactly the same close-market swindle, or pyramid scam, behind effectively-unsaleable wampum (often of a dubious pseudo-scientific nature). However, with a few notable exceptions, most of the instigators of these blame the victim 'MLM income opportunity' rackets have kept well away from Wall Street, for obvious reasons.

      Contrary to what you have falsely claimed, it is a unique event for a major Hedge Fund manager to produce a detailed explanation that a legally-registered corporate structure has been the effectively-valueless front for a massive closed-market swindle or pyramid scheme.

      David Brear(copyright 2013)

  5. As my friend, Mr. Shakespeare says, "Me thinks thou protesteth too loudly". I think you have a "bee in your bonnet" about MLMs and want to sound knowledgeable, but because there is so much truth out there about credible, honest and successful MLMs now, you sound like "sounding brass and tinkling cymbals".
    So, what you're saying is that the Pampered Chef is not really MLM because it is successful. There are far more successful MLMs than Pampered Chef, so they, by your logic, not really be MLM.
    Secondly, you imply that Warren Buffett, along with the entire, legal and legitimate DSA are frauds, skirting the law, duping the general public of their hard-earned cash. Or, Mr. Buffett has so much money he simply did not adequately check out the business practices, structure, or legalities of and regarding Herbalife. Right. Sounds logical to me.
    By the way, as a hedge fund manager we appreciate you being a keeper of what and wrong in the business world and alerting the general public of the "evils" of others' business practices! Sort of like the fox guarding the hen house, wouldn't you say?

    1. Joe Ellis - Methinks you need to buy (and digest) a good dictionary of quotations. You also need to check out the difference between what is legal and what is lawful. i.e. Many apparently successful corporate structures have been legally-registered, but (on closer inspection) what they were hiding (sometimes for decades) right under the noses of regulators, turned out to be completely unlawful enterprises.

      Mainly as comic relief, I have posted your revealing comment in which you apparently admit to having an ulterior motive in preserving, and peddling, the profitable 'MLM Income Oportunity' fairy story as reality, whilst spouting curious adaptations of popular Shakespearian cliches - in a somewhat transparent attempt to pretend moral and intellectual authority.

      Unfortunately, your written English is so poor that it is impossible to deduce whether you (plural) are claiming to be a hedge fund manager, or whether you (plural) mistakenly believe me to be a hedge fund manager.

      With an irony that is close to exquisite, you then imply that I am steadfastly pretending moral and intellectual authority and that I must have an ulterior motive. Self-evidently, all I'm asking for is a morally and intellectually rigorous investigation (which might produce the re-establishment of the rule of law) in respect of blame-the-victim 'income opportunity' racketeering. At the present moment in time, the USA is demonstrably ruled by those persons who have the most cash, but who (despite their empty claims of 'patriotic and religious-inspired philanthropy') often have little concern for the welfare of their fellow citizens, let alone those of other countries.

      As 'MLM income opportunity' fairy stories go, the version known as 'The Pampered Chef' appears to be one of the least cultic and damaging, but at no stage did I ever state that it is not an integral part of the overall, reality-inverting edifice known as 'Direct Selling / Multi-Level Marketing' - constructed by various billionaire racketeers in order to dodge rigorous investigation. You will also notice, that what I say is perfectly plain and logical, and that I never imply anything.

      Thus, contrary to what you pretend that I have implied, fundamental to what I have actually written in my deconstructed analysis of the phenomenon of blame-the-victim 'income opportunity' racketeering (dissimulated behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures), is the fact that this grotesque collection of unlawful enterprises has had precious little to do with business (in the traditional sense of the word).

      I observe that, exactly like Warren Buffet, you have displayed not the slightest concern for the damage 'MLM' racketeering has caused to millions of ill-informed victims around the world. You have also completely failed to address the common-sense questions which I have posed - honest answers to which would reveal the ugly reality lurking behind the kitsch corporate facade known as 'The Pampered Chef.'

      Furthermore, and again contrary to what you pretend, when Warren Buffet was publicly challenged about his knowledge of 'Herbalife' and Bill Ackman's evidence-based analysis that 'Herablife' has been fronting a pyramid fraud, amazingly, the 'Sage of Omaha' declared his knowledge of these important matters to be effectively-zero.

      Warren Buffet said:

      'I have never looked at a Herbalife annual report and I do not know about its operation...'

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  6. So misinformed! I have been happily involved with Pampered Chef for almost 9 years and make a significant income working my business part time around my families busy schedule. I work with consultants who have been with the company much longer also. Some do leave within a few months but they have made a little money and get to keep their started kit which is full of tools that they can use in their own kitchen. No big loss.....being self employed isn't for everyone.

    1. Anonymous - I've lost count of all the indignant, but nameless, 'MLM' propagandists and adherents who have turned up on this Blog insisting that I don't know what I'm talking about, because they are satisfied 'self-employed distributors, consultants,' etc., who make a significant income out of their 'MLM businesses.' Tellingly, these persons never claim to have made an overall net-profit. Indeed, not one proud 'MLM business owner' has ever offered to produce quantifiable evidence to support their puerile claims. Thus, your strangely-familiar unsigned anecdotal statement proves nothing, unless you can back it up with years of audited income-tax payment receipts for your allegedly profitable 'MLM business.'

      If as you claim, you really have been with 'Pampered Chef' for almost 9 years, perhaps you could tell my readers:

      Exactly what percentage of 'Pampered Chef ' recruits actually remain with the company for more than: 1 year? 3 years? 5 years?

      What has been the average annual drop-out rate for 'Pampered Chef' recruits?

      Apart from the $155 'Business Starter-Kit,' what is the approximate amount of additional money that 'Pampered Chef' recruits have been required to find, to finance their first 12 months, non-salaried activities on behalf of the company.

      'Pampered Chef's' corporate officers have recently claimed 'a sales-force of 60 000,' but since the company's instigation, how many different persons in total have bought their own 'Pampered Chef Independent Consultancy' from it, and, by extrapolation, what is the overall vanishing-rate for these so-called 'Businesses?'

      What lawful, and/or ethical, reason can you put forward to explain why the key-information contained in the answers to the above questions has been withheld by the company from prospective 'Pampered Chef' recruits?

      Why is the Internet loaded with unused 'Pampered Chef ' inventory for sale?'

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    2. Readers will not be surprised to learn that, one month later, the above anonymous 'Pampered Chef' shill has been unable to respond to my common-sense questions concerning the ugly reality lurking behind this kitsch corporate façade.

      Given the capital that Berkshire Hathaway controls, it is highly-revealing that the legal representatives of this fabulously wealthy corporate structure have also remained completely silent in the face of my published analysis of 'Pampered Chef' and 'MLM income opportunity' racketeering.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    3. You are obviously a very skilled writer, but your tone and choice of words indicate that you enjoy using your skills to belittle other people as much as you enjoy simply sharing your opinion.

      The only thing that is "highly-revealing" about Berkshire Hathaway's silence is that they do not and cannot respond to every naysayer and critic of their investments. Your insinuation that it is some revelation of guilt or wrong-doing is flawed.

      As for the questions that you think need to be answered, why don't you apply them to any business that uses sales representatives? The results will not be much different.

    4. Anonymous - Despite what you steadfastly pretend, I do not enjoy belittling people, but I do enjoy defending the people by exposing anonymous little 'MLM Income Opportunity' shills, like you.

      Furthermore, despite what you also steadfastly pretend, in my articles, I never insinuate anything and, far from offering mere 'opinion,' I invite readers to think, by offering them detailed research, analysis and considered opinion.

      I presume you are not Warren Buffet, but I take it (from the slimy sophistic tone and choice of reality-inverting words to characterize me falsely as a sadistic bully who is merely another 'naysayer and critic' of Berkshire Hathaway), that the shy little 'Pampered Chef' shill has now been replaced by another form of 'MLM Income Opportunity' shill. i.e. an amoral, but academically-qualified, individual paid to pretend moral and intellectual authority whilst posing as an objective, and independent, observer in the crowd.

      N.B. 'Shill' or 'Schill' (a.k.a. 'Outside Man'), is American slang for one of a crew of charlatans who is used to lure victims into frauds, particular rigged gambling games, by appearing to be an ordinary everyday guy in the crowd who keeps winning. In the classic sleight-of-hand scam known as, the 'Shell Game', (a.k.a. 'Three Card Monte', 'Three Card Trick', 'Three Card Molly', 'Chase The Lady', 'Chase The Ace', etc.), victims are deceived into believing that the game is genuine and anyone can win, by the use of innocent-looking shills, often with highly-distracting females on their arms. In the end, no victim can win, because they are up against a team of experienced criminals who all act-out a carefully-scripted, reality-inverting scenario. If a losing victim begins to challenge the honesty of the front man 'Handler' (a.k.a. 'Tosser'), other criminals, also pretending to be ordinary members of the crowd, will falsely-accuse the victim of cheating, kick over the table, start a fight or an argument, etc., all these are distractions created just to enable the 'Tosser' to run away with the money. Complaining-victims can also be silenced by telling them that they cannot go to the police, because they were breaking the law by gambling in the street.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    5. Anonymous - Your latest provocative comment has not been posted, because it is essentially the same as your previous effort.

      Please try to comprehend the following, and then please go away :

      It clearly states in my article that Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffet (via the ownership of 'Pampered Chef' and the use of an extensive 'MLM' jargon, etc.) have become linked with the members of the so-called 'Direct Selling Association' (including 'Amway' , 'Herbalife', 'Forever Living Products' , 'Nuskin', etc.). However, I did not disclose that my published research and analysis (concerning the overall pattern of ongoing major racketeering activites hidden by these mystifying labyrinths of legally-registered, but fake, direct selling companies) was sent directly to Warren Buffet at the request of his secretary.

      Given the extraordinary nature of my published research and analysis, and the serious implications it has for the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, it is highly revealing that I have not been sent any written reply. However, Buffet's secretary did confirm by phone that her boss had received my communication, but she then denied that she'd requested it.

      Without offering any plausible reason(s) why these matters should have attracted your interest, you have sent various comments to this Blog in which you seek to trivialise, and dismiss, Warren Buffet/Berkshire Hathaway's attoneys' silence on the serious subject of the company's involvement in blame-the-victim 'MLM income opportunity' racketeering, by implying that the company constantly receives many similar 'criticisms' from 'naysayers' about all of its investments, when, quite obviously, this explanation is puerile nonsense.

      Furthermore, you have indirectly made the even-more nonsensical claim that the operators of all traditional businesses using sales representatives, have (just like the instigators of so-called 'MLM income opportunities') been maliciously hiding effectively-100% overall loss/churn-rates for their sales representatives, and have had no significant, or sustainable, source of revenue other than their own sales representatives.

      Finally, you have criticised me for not passing comment on your steaming pile of 'MLM' bullshit whilst steadfastly pretending that you are not a purveyor of 'MLM' bullshit.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    6. Anonymous - Your latest comment has not been posted, because, whoever you are, you are obviously just trying to waste my time, and provoke me, with your tediously-repetitive pretence of moral and intellectual authority belied by your egocentric, nonsensical statements and childish denials of reality.

      If what you say is true (i.e. that you have previously fallen for various adaptations of the pernicious 'MLM income opportunity' lie), then it seems that what you are engaged in here, is merely a feeble attempt to justify you previous, foolish behaviour.

      Contrary to what you steadfastly pretend, you were not told to go away, you were politely requested to go away.

      If you take the trouble to read any of the articles on this Blog analysing the ongoing global phenomenon of blame-the-victim 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' racketeering, you will discover that contrary to what you steadfastly pretend, you have indirectly claimed (by saying: ' As for the questions that you think need to be answered, why don't you apply them to any business that uses sales representatives? The results will not be much different.') that the operators of all traditional businesses using sales representatives, have (just like the instigators of so-called 'MLM income opportunities') been maliciously hiding effectively-100% overall loss/churn-rates for their sales representatives, and have had no significant, or sustainable, source of revenue other than their own sales representatives.

      Furthermore, if you read any of the articles on this Blog which analyse the wider phenomenon of pernicious/criminogenic cultism (particularly, 'Nazism') you might then begin to realize why you, your ill-informed opinions (i.e. 'Even if everything you say is true, there are much bigger problems in the world') and your arrogant instructions (i.e. 'Use your skills, time and passion to solve one of them'), have all been treated with utter contempt.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    7. Might I say that I completely agree with your analysis David.
      Sly old foxes like Warren Buffet and George Soros can smell a fraud a mile away just like they can smell an opportunity to make money. They know perfectly well that MLM is a profitable fraud and that the FTC has been too frightened to go after it. It stands to reason if an honest expert like you confronts Buffet and Soros with what they already know to be true, they cannot make any comment publicly.

    8. Occupy Wall St. - Please go and read my article about the appearance of the name 'George Soros' in the pernicious 'MLM income opportunity' fairy story and learn that George Soros was almost certainly not initially responsible for the company which still bears his name, backing the 'Herbalife' racket.

      That said, to anyone with commercial experience, even the briefest glance at so-called 'MLM Income Opportunities,' reveals them to be variations of essentially the same dissimulated closed-market swindle or pyramid scam.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  7. How long do you think it will be before short sellers go after Pampered Chef?

    Do you think the Ackman analysis of Herbalife as a pyramid scam can be applied to Pampered Chef?

    1. Occupy Wall St. - A curious choice of name, when your blinkered questions are evidently those of a Wall St. researcher (working for short sellers sniffing around 'Pampered Chef') rather than those of a Wall St. protestor?

      I believe that the going-rate is around $300 per hour to pose questions like this, to members of the 'Expert Network.'

      That said, the wider answers to your blinkered questions are already contained in my article and in my replies to the various comments (above), but I'll recapitulate.

      First of all, the framework of what you have described as 'the Ackman analysis of Herbalife as a pyramid scam,' was produced many years before Bill Ackman, and his reseachers, began to take an interest in these tagicomic matters. Mr. Ackman says he has already invested millions of dollars in researching 'Herbalife,' but I would say that, for all his money, so far, he has only scratched the surface when it comes to fully-identifying the vast, and evolving, criminogenic phenomenon that lurks behind this one counterfeit 'direct selling' company. Indeed, Mr. Ackman and his researchers could have found a far more comprehensive analysis of cultic 'MLM income opportunity' racketeering on this Blog, and for free.

      It is my considered opinion, that if well-informed, courageous and honest, senior US law enforcement agents (rather than ill-informed, and/or corrupt, senior trade regulators) were ever given the go ahead (by well-informed, courageous and honest US political leaders), to conduct a rigorous investigation of the global, financial and personal holocaust that lurks behind the kitsch corporate façade known as 'Herbalife,' then a lot of wealthy people (including senior US politicians) who have had their snouts in the wider 'MLM income opportunity' trough, would be facing criminal prosecution on racketeering charges.

      If the USA ever reachs such a desirable return to rule by law and common-sense (which, sadly, is highly-unlikely given the recent tragicomic history of the American republic), then Wall St. short sellers will have already embarked on a veritable feeding frenzy.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

    2. David,
      Have you ever been wrong about... anything? How many Pampered Chef distributors have you spoken with directly? How many Herbalife distributors have you spoken with? Have you ever attented a Pampered Chef party or a Herbalife nutrition club where some of the retail sales are happening? Ackman based his complaint on research done by the Indago Girls and bought it hook, line and sinker. He never bothered to speak with the little people who actually do the work. Can you name three legitimate MLM companies or do you automatically label them all as illegal pyramid schemes? Do you believe that Social Security is a pyramid scheme? If yes, what have you done to try and stop Social Security?

      Btw, I do not work for Pampered Chef, Herbalife or any MLM company.


    3. A typically-provocative de facto propagandist signing himself/herself, 'Jeff,' has attempted to dump a steaming pile of 'MLM income opportunity' bullshit on this article, in the form of a series of thought-stopping, jargon-laced questions concerning the nature of my own, and of Bill Ackman's, research and analysis, whilst steadfastly pretending that he/she does not receive any payment for acting as a de facto propagandist for 'MLM income opportunity' racketeers.

      In brief, by asking intellectually-feeble questions like: -

      'How many Pampered Chef distributors have you spoken with directly?'
      'How many Herbalife distributors have you spoken with?'
      'Have you ever attented a Pampered Chef party or a Herbalife nutrition club where some of the retail sales are happening?'
      'Can you name three legitimate MLM companies or do you automatically label them all as illegal pyramid schemes?'
      'Do you believe that Social Security is a pyramid scheme?'
      'If yes, what have you done to try and stop Social Security?;'

      and insisting that:

      'Ackman based his complaint on research done by the Indago Girls and bought it hook, line and sinker. He never bothered to speak with the little people who actually do the work.'

      - 'Jeff' is (apparently out of the kindness of his/her heart) attempting to convince the world that both Bill Ackman and myself have been duped, because the only way to establish the authenticity of any version of the pernicious 'MLM income opportunity' fairy story, is to interview flocks of persons who have been subjected (without their fully-informed consent) to co-ordinated, devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion (designed to shut-down individuals critical, and evaluative, faculties) and who, as a result, are certain that the 'MLM' fairy story is true.

      As a preamble to all this steaming bullshit, 'Jeff' asked me:

      Have you ever been wrong about... anything?

      The answer to this question is:

      Yes - I now blush when I remember a conversation I once had with senior citizen of the Czech Republic (a survivor of rule by the equally-pernicious 'Nazi' and 'Soviet' fairy stories) in which I cooly dismissed his passionate contention that any country whose own citizens mistakenly believe themselves to be immune to versions of the totalitarian fairy story (tailored to fit their existing beliefs and instinctual desires), face the greatest risk from them. Today, in the light of my research into latter-day criminogenic cults hiding behind labyrinths of corporate structures, I have come to understand that my wise Czech acquaintence could not have been more right and I could not have been more wrong.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  8. David,

    It is insightful and sad at the same time that business like Amway and Herbalife (mlm's)
    are a microcosim of State/nation level socialism as you point out in your articles.
    It seems rather to be a symptom of current society as a whole and I don't see it getting
    With that said, how did you come up with your line of reasoning to write these articles?
    There are lots of abstract concepts to deconstruct so where did you begin?
    It's hard to filter garbage out of your mind when almost everything is presented as truth.


    1. Max

      Thank-you for your thought-provoking questions.

      'If I have seen further: then it was by standing on the shoulders of giants.'

      Thinking, and writing, in accurate deconstructed terms, is a discipline which anyone can learn, but few people have the time, inclination, and/or motivation, to do so.

      My work is built on the common-sense foundation that one can never truly understand any subject, unless you take it completely to pieces and describe what you find using non-ethnocentric words.

      I was born with the type of mind which automatically looks beyond the surface. However, I polished this natural skill through being involved with the world of fine art and antiques from a very young age.

      In the art trade, objects which appear to be authentic and valuable often turn out to be valueless fakes, and vice versa. Also, in the art trade, some valueless fakes contain elements which are authentic.

      I observed that, in many cases, persons who have impressive academic qualifications and who are widely-perceived as great experts, don't have the beginnings of a clue what they are doing, but their inflated egos prevent them from facing reality.

      Accepting that you are ignorant, is always the first step to acquiring wisdom.

      Thus, at a certain age, I found myself obliged to deconstruct the cult phenomenon, after being confronted by adults in my family who had undergone inexplicable, sudden, radical personality transformations - after falling under the spell of the 'MLM Income opportunity' fairy story entitled 'Amway' .

      I couldn't find anyone anywhere in the world who was truly expert in 'Income Opportunty' cults, so I decided to study the phenomenon myself. However, unlike the majority of academics, I didn't set any limits on my research.

      In order to arrive at my current level of understanding of the wider cult phenomenon, I dug deeply into the histories of numerous notorious cultic groups, I then began to look at totalitarian regimes. I discovered that, once you stripped away all the external decoration and ethnocentric terminology, internally, cults are embryonic totalitarian regimes which are all essentially identical.

      If you want to send me your contact details in the form of a comment (these will not be published).

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  9. I notice that your article on Buffett's involvement with the Pampered Chef has been linked to a discussion about Herbalife on Seeking Alpha

    I also notice that David Steadson has joined the discussion (using his own name) and he is openly claiming that Warren Buffett approves of MLM.

    1. Anonymous - The absurd, but nonetheless dangerous, Mr. David Steadson is a manipulative little shit with a psychology degree, steadfastly pretending moral and intellectual authority, but who should be in prison. His extensive reality-inverting activities on behalf of the bosses of the 'Amway' mob, form part of an overall pattern on ongoing, major, racketeering activity. It doesn't surprise me in the least that the 'Amway' Lord Hee Haw is now using Warren Buffett's name and image, to enable his wealthy masters in the 'Amway' bunker to continue to commit fraud and to obstruct justice.

      Contrary to Mr. Steadson's propaganda broadcast on Seeking Alpha, Warren Buffett doesn't seem to have had a clue what he was really becoming involved with when he purchased 'The Pampered Chef,' because Buffett is an expert in business: not an expert in pernicious cultism.

      However, Buffett and his attorneys are now aware that the 'The Pampered Chef' is directly linked (via the so-called 'Direct Selling Association' and the extensive, thought-stopping non-traditional 'MLM' jargon)) to numerous criminogenic organizations (hiding behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) which have all exhibited the universal identifying characteristics of a cult. However, for purely financial motives, Buffett and his attorneys apparently don't want to face up to this ego-destroying reality.

      So much for Buffett's claims to be a honest man and a philanthropist.

      David Brear (copyright 2013)

  10. David,

    I read all of the above comments alongside your replies and I have one general question (because maybe I missed the reponse):

    Do you believe that all MLMs or Direct Marketing opportunities are of a criminogenic nature and are disguised under "legally-registered corporate structures"? Are there really any good ones out there.


    1. R

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

      In reality, the total number of individuals who have been temporary believers in the big lie entitled 'MLM income opportunity,' is already vast. Current estimates (based on declared annual drop out rates) reveal that, over the years, at least 10 millions Americans have temporarily bought into the original version of the big 'MLM' lie, entitled 'Amway.' Currently, in India approximately 1.5 millions individuals are being churned through the 'Amway' lie each year.

      Yet 'Amway' is just one chapter of the overall 'MLM' lie.

      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 hiding in plain view, 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 (lurking behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) to shut-down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of victims, and of casual observers, in order to perpetrate, and dissimulate, a series of blame-the-victim closed-market swindles or pyramid scams (dressed up as 'legitimate direct selling income opportunites'), and related advance-fee frauds (dressed up as 'legitimate training and motivation, self-betterment, programs,' etc.).

      David Brear (copyright 2014)

    2. David - I disagree with the way you lump all these companies together. I know people who have made a great income from several MLM companies (PartyLite Gifts, Pampered Chef, Avon, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Ambit Energy, & Legal Shield). I am a customer of many of them. As a Registered Nurse who is married to a commercial airline pilot, I used to believe in the old mantra; "get an education, get in with a good company, and live the American dream". After my husband's company "de-stressed terminated" his retirement we realized we needed to diversify our ability to make money if we wanted to retire comfortably (God help those who think Social Security is solvent). We began purchasing rental properties, purchased a traditional-type franchise, and kept our eyes open for other opportunities. As people who dislike sales, MLM's seemed too "cheesy" for us as we considered ourselves respectable and better than that. We were customers but really never thought of MLM's as a real business opportunity. A close friend invited us to look at an MLM company called Ambit Energy. We went to Dallas to check it out further, looked into the approval processes with the Public Utility Commissions in the states they serviced, compared the initial investment to what we invested in our franchise and took the plunge into network marketing with Ambit. We no longer think we are too good for an MLM. We have recouped our initial investment many times over. We actually make money weekly and monthly, have no paper work, have no employees (we have 60 with our franchise), and the time investment really works with our schedule. Our retirement is in better shape than ever! MLM is a legitimate business in my experience. What am I missing?

    3. Anonymous - Please Google-search and watch this video below.

      Then ,please explain exactly why you feel the need to post all this unsubstantiated '100% positive' testimony on my Blog?

      Remember all the people, who feature in the video, now confess that they were, in fact, lying when they were once going around reciting exactly the same '100% positive' recruitment-script that your are now reciting.

      So what makes you think I'm going to believe you ?

    4. Do you have any other "facts' other than a site supported by a group that is shorting a stock for monetary gain?

    5. Anonymous - I suggest you go and find a copy of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm,' read and digest it, 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.

  11. Thanks David,

    Forgive my spelling and grammar on my last comment as I was in transit. I considered diving into an MLM venture and of course did some due diligence. It seemed that it did require some effort as any business to succeed. What I did not like was the recruiting nature versus selling a tangible product. It seemed in order for you to move through the ranks, recruiting is mandatory; you need to get a minimum number of individuals to “buy in” to get to the next level (pin). Other than this the product itself was not bad. Nonetheless, you are right; only less than 5% can really make it to something worthy, whereas the majority would continue to get disenchanted and drop out over a period of time.


  12. R - Ignoring the insignificant minority of grinning shills, for effectively 100% of all participants, what has been labelled 'MLM income opportunity,' has actually been a method of committing financial suicide. The longer adherents of the 'MLM' lie continue to believe, the more they lose. In the very worst cases, some victims have lost everything, including contact with their friends and families, and taken their own lives.

  13. Well it's Sunday night here and I fee like making a confession. First, let me say that MLM is the single most abhorrent blight in this world. I am a successful MLMER and estimate that I am in the top .5% given that I actually do earn in excess of $100,000 per year and that 80% of that is genuine passive income. How can I make these negative statements about this industry. Well it is magnificently simple. The industry is a con and here's why. To arrive at that income level one needs to be something else. Highly skilled, extremely hard working, unethical, cold hearted and there are many more traits not listed here. It's a CON, CON, CON. I confess we magnificent examples of elite sales skills, front of room presentation abilities to sway audiences to come on board become seduced by the residual income. Seduced by the money, locked in by the money. It's hard to wave 100k plus a year goodbye for me but imagine how locked in the super con-artists are. Some of the super cons earn 100k plus a month. Where on earth would these spruikers earn that kind of money and live that kind of life. It's a CON because the psychologies of persuasion are at play to the nth degree. Think about the power of belonging, fear of loss, fear of failure at lay in this game and you have a CULT. It is a disgusting industry. Here's a question for anyone purporting to be successful in this game; "How do you sleep at night knowing you are selling false hope to 99% of the incoming reps?. Oh by the way, "How do you sleep at night knowing you have given birth to a monster when that 1% kicks in and enacts his/her powers on the other 99% of gullible, helpless dreamers." Oh this is a CON. Like all disgusting things in this world they will have their end. Kill this industry

  14. Anonymous - Thanks for your paradoxical confession.

    Sadly, what has come to be known as 'the MLM industry,' is not an industry in the traditional sense of the word. On the contrary, what has lurked behind all the reality-inverting 'MLM' jargon is merely fraud on an industrial scale.

    I'm curious to know who you are, which 'MLM' racket you have been part of and if you have been to the authorities to blow the whistle?

    If you want to supply me with your contact details in the form of a comment, these will not be posted.

  15. Hey David,
    You do great work. Imagine you were being paid $100,000 per year to spend an hour a week updating this blog and you realised that if you revealed your greatest indiscretion you would lose your $100,000 per year. That indiscretion could be a moment of infidelity, minor theft, plagiarism anything really that might place you in the same league as a garden variety liar. Would you do that? This is my dilemma and it is also the dilemma of any of the con-artists that manage to create a serious income in this dreadful business. It is simply hard to give up the addiction and THAT is the trick played at this level. Add to that the treacherous tribe who call themselves FOUNDERS of these ugly things. They crank out hundreds of millions and profit tens of millions. Even the low level operators make a few million a year as their filthy little enterprises perpetuate.
    Oh the horror, horror, horror. Candidly I wish the whole industry would vanish, this then would absolve me of the responsibility to OUT THEM.

  16. Anonymous - If you think I'm going to pity you, you can think again, but you do interest me.

    I also have a sneaking suspicion as to who you might be.

    The celebrated 'Soviet' dissident and Nobel Prize winner, Alexandre Soljenitsyne, wrote:

    'So long as you don't take everything away from a man, he remains in your power, but when you have stripped a man of everything, he's free again.'

    You almost make the same point in your comment; for you admit (albeit indirectly) that you have been bought, whilst you recognize that I am not for sale.

    That said, there are few adults who haven't done something at some time in their lives of which they are ashamed and which they don't want the world to find out, but it strikes me that you have been paid, and/or blackmailed, to live a lie and that you are bitterly ashamed of your weakness.

    You apparently understand that as long as persons such as yourself keep pocketing your thirty pieces of stolen 'MLM' silver and remain silent, then this profitable and pernicious lie will continue to infect the minds, and destroy the lives, of millions of ordinary people around the world.

    By the way, I am still interested to receive your contact details.

  17. David!!!!

    God will bless you endlessly for taking such a huge revolutionary courage and putting the effort of setting up this blog and having the hope to One day END this universal Lie of the so called Home-Based-Business fraud!!

    I am an MLMer and I am also one of Successful good earning "so called leaders"! But you know what I can't sleep at nights.

    It took me about two hours to read your your almost two years effort blog. May God Bless you forever. I am happy that we still have living creatures like among us!

    At this moment I am too emotional and I don't think I can write my story fully.

    In short I can say:

    3 days ago I have gone to my country's police station and I have filed a case against the company I am working in. I live in Middle east. The reason I woke up from this fairy tale dream was when I reliazed my down line is joining the business and ME, for duplicating more people into the business. And they were joining ONLY because I look like a very respected and reputated person.(my father is small business owner) And I was shocked and awaken when I noticed 98% of my down line have not joinined for the company or for the products. But joined because they are trusting a child of a businessman and skilled Tongue Marketer(me).

    I am now TOO shocked and deprssed to be able to continue writing here. But I will definitely come back to share my story. That's the least I can't do for this Universe filled people who seek fiancial freedom and with weak critical thinking brains!!!

    I wish every human could think a little common sense for themselves like David! If we did, today MLM as an industry would not exits!!!!!!!

    Down with this Universal Lie MLM Industry!!!

    I Admire Warren Buffett and I am sure poor old billionaire doesn't have a clue or is least bothered To find out what this bloody MLM shit is all about! Because he doesn't need money. It's us ordinary people who do!

    I will end my writing wishing and hoping the day to come where Billionaires like Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Bill Gates and many more of them and/US Government or United Nations take the initiatives to END this crap that is been going on for almost 50-70 years long and SAVE ordinary fiancial freedom seekers like me and many more people like me who is falling victim every passing day.

    We don't have the money we desire to have, at least let us die with good reputation!

    This freaking industry is not only fulfilling its promised to 95% of its enrollees but also destroyed the little descent life earned reputation of people.

    By the way to all Reader:

    There is a total 18,600 $ which was invested by my and my down line into this unethical UN lawful company. I have decided to sell my personal Gold jewellery and repay every single down line. (In case police doesn't help me get the money back )

    I will pray for you David!
    Plz keep up this blog and please do more similar blogs and apread the kknowledge!

    God Bless you.


    1. Sophia - Please don't thank me. I should thank-you for facing up to the truth and for having the courage to speak out.

      I think that you will find that it's not 95% of transient 'MLM' recruits who have lost their time and money, but effectively 100%. We are talking about tens of millions of individuals in countries all around the world. To date, the overwhelming majority of 'MLM' victims remain silent.

      It's actually whistle-blowers such as yourself who will end the pernicious 'MLM' lie: not the likes of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and certainly not Donald Trump.

      Which blame-the-victim 'MLM' racket were you involved with?

      Please think very carefully before you start trying to pay back your recruits. The bosses of your 'MLM' racket could use this to try to prove their own innocence.

  18. "I think that you will find that it's not 95% of transient 'MLM' recruits who have lost their time and money, but effectively 100%. "

    You know what David! I agree with the 100% ratio figure. Because even though I have a big down line now, but still my own money is not yet back fully. this is again due to the nature of MLM's very carefully created business module/formula to ripp of the universe's ordinary people's cash!

    Thank you for your reply.
    Lets continue this talk in ptivate. Before sharing my story I need some ethical advice from a brave human like you to fight this case in police. Only then I will have the time to come back here and post my story in details for the rest of the world to learn.
    And only those will learn and see this post whom take the effort of doing a little research before accepting to do such a crap so called business like me and so many more.

    I am so ashamed of myself for even believing in such a thing. I can't believe I am A victim! I am so sad and embarrassed to find out this truth about myself. But

    I am trying to make this mistake serve me a purpose and not just a Shame, by sharing my story for others to learn.

    1. Sophia - Even persons who have been presented as 'MLM multi-millionaires' have turned out to have been living a lie whilst secretly up to their eyeballs in debt.

      I offer you my respect. You should feel absolutely no shame for openly admitting that you were fooled by the 'MLM' lie: the shame lies in remaining silent.

      'MLM' racketeers continue to thrive, because they know that few of their victims will have the courage to face reality.

  19. David, if not MLM, what do suggest is the best course of action to become financially independent?

  20. Anonymous - The world is full of persons who fantasise about becoming wealthy and free, and you appear to one of them. However, making money is skill which is not given to everyone. Thus, numerous 'MLM' racketeers have made fortunes by selling their victims the illusion that they have a secret knowledge which can make anyone financially free, and that they are prepared to share this secret knowledge with anyone (for a price).

    For some reason, you now assume that I must have a secret knowledge that can enable persons to become financially free.

    In my experience, wealth does not automatically bring hapiness or freedom. Indeed, in many cases wealth has brought unhappiness and crippling responsibilties.

  21. David,

    Thank goodness you're generous with your time, experience, and what is clearly your natural talent for writing. You're definitely being of service by being a voice to be reckoned with on this very touchy subject.

    I was recently approached by an old friend last Monday peddling Amway. Poor guy. I don't even think he mentioned Amway more than once during that hour skype call. I was momentarily memorized by my own greed, and I say greed because I really do have all my needs met. I'm sure financial fear and desperation does the same trick for other people.

    After the dust settled of dreaming of what my MLM genie could afford me, I realized the approach of that MLM wasn't my first rodeo. A company called 5 linx (phone something or the other) and the other WFG (insurance policies, annuities) is where I learned to ask my Amwayer questions about travelling time/expenses, marketing materials, downline, sponsor or upline, recruitment, etc., which all answers sounded carefully crafted to sound like a 12 step program of recovery or were simply answered metaphorically to make me feel better psychologically about putting in time & money for my riches. I believe he likened it to cow shit when he asked if I would shovel cow shit to make millions, of course, said I would but that is not what is really being propositioned here. He later sent me a link to listen to Greg Duncan and that's literally where the cow shit reference.

    I came across your blog since my conversation with my friend is incomplete and I still need to say thanks but no thanks. I am to read Business of the 21st Century by the author who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad this week, btw, the author clearly stated he himself never made his fortune through MLM. Lol

    Thanks again!

    1. Omi - I'm glad to have been of assistance to you, but all I did was help you think more clearly for yourself.

      You might be interested to look at this forum (linked below) based in the UK, which is currently running one of the best campaigns in the world, to expose 'MLM' rackets.

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. Hi David,

    Very interesting blogpost which I came across while researching MLM. The cult like nature of these organizations was very evident when trying to reason with a friend that this was indeed a scam! I'm sure you have a lot on your plate but if time permits would you be able to look into this company called Crowd1. They are targeting countries in Africa also Philippines, India etc where I believe extremely vulnerable people are being taken advantage of.


    A concerned friend

    1. Thanks for your interest 'A concerned friend'.

      If you want to contact me directly, you can e-mail me.

      The address is in the title of my Blog.

    2. Based on my examination of the available evidence, 'Crowd 1' is, without a doubt, the made-up name for yet another, classic, 'Amway' copy-cat, blame-the-victim 'MLM' cultic racket.

      Would you like me to post an article on 'Crowd 1?'

  24. Yes please! That would be really great if you could David.

    1. OK 'A concerned friend.'

      I presume that you have read this recent article posted on a Swedish platform discussing crypto-currencies:

      Ignoring decades of alarming evidence to the contrary, the author of this article, Teodor Stig-Matz, repeats the dangerous proposition that 'not all MLMs are frauds,' but includes some very interesting facts concerning the instigators of the 'Crowd 1' racket.

      A Swedish regulator, Josefin Aronsson, described as an 'expert on pyramid schemes' is quoted making the lazy assumption that 'the line between pyramid schemes and legal MLMs can be difficult to draw.'

      The obvious question to put to all such commentators is:

      Given the available evidence, what would be your reaction if a member of your own family (particulary a son or daughter) suddenly told you that he/she had signed up with 'Crowd 1?'

  25. Thank you David. I'm glad I stumbled onto your blog while researching MLM and Warren Buffet. This was in fact one of the reasonings by my buddy as to why MLM is a legitimate business. I read the above article among others and not all MLMs are fraud is indeed a very dangerous proposition. Especially during this pandemic when lot of people are out of jobs and money is hard to come by these unscrupulous operators are defrauding them out of their hard earned money by the promise of easy riches. In a place like India where more people have access to the internet but not necessarily a proper education and have the faculties for critical thinking, have strong beliefs in religion and other things of a supernatural nature the conditions are rife for people to be exploited by these cults. Thank you for doing what you do and I'm eagerly awaiting your post.

    1. One factor that has made pernicious 'MLM' cultic rackets even more dangerous in countries like India, is Micro-Finance.

      Indeed, Micro-Finance in its original (eyes wide shut) format could almost have been invented by 'MLM' racketeers. All of a sudden, the poorest of the poor were able to take out sizeable unsecured loans to participate in so-called 'MLM Income Opportunities,' whilst Micro-Finance Institutions have never had an informed policy towards the 'MLM' phenomenon.

      In the past, Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, was easily lured into publicly associating with de facto agents of 'MLM' racketeers. This led to 'MLM' racketeers using his image (and that of Barack Obama from whom Yunus received honours in 2009 and 2010) as a fasle guarantee of legality.

      However, this factor has not been confined to the poor in developing countries.

      Ironically, Warren Buffet was instrumental in bringing a branch of Grameen Bank to his home State of Omaha. Grameen Bank has readily lent to countless persons in the USA who have then given their loans to 'MLM' racketeers.

      Despite its name, Grameen Bank is not legally a bank in the USA, because it does not accept deposits. It accepts donations from wealthy, and not-so-wealthy, patrons who are led to believe that their tax-deductable gifts will then be loaned to disadvantaged persons (at a reasonable rate if interest) in order for them to create profitable small businesses.

      Grameen Bank has, thus, not been strictly regulated in the USA, because it doesn't have to make account of its activities to its patrons who expect no financial benefit in return for their donations.

      Grameen Bank is known to have made significant numbers of loans of $1500 to poor 'Herbalife' adherents from the Hispanic Catholic community. Often, it has been the proud relatives of these ill-informe 'MLM' victims who repaid these loans out of sense of honour.

      In the past, when I have tried to confront senior staff at Grameen Bank in the USA with 'MLM' reality, I have found their attitude to be at best lazy and disinterested and, at worst, extremely obstructive.

      I have had contact with concerned persons who have come out of the world of Micro-Finance, because they have witnessed the corruption within it.

      Warren Buffett has also proved to be impossible to confront.

  26. That's a whole new can of worms. I did not know Grameen bank operated in the U.S. And now I see that these borrowers are stuck in a vicious cycle with these MLM rackets. There's so much dirt on these MLM racketeers that a streaming service could commission a multi season investigative series.

    1. 'MLM' racketeers have openly taught poor adherents how to obtain money, but only so they can then take it from them. Credit cards were the favourite route for years, but I have had personal experience of 'MLM' adherents who have been taught how to defraud their friends and family members. In such cases, the 'MLM' adherents were so deluded that they truly believed that what they doing would ultimately be for the benefit of the persons from whom they were stealing.

      In the UK, the prospect of special social benefits designed to support unemployed persons starting small business, were dangled as bait to persuade ill-informed victims to sign up for various 'MLM' rackets.

      I found it impossible to discover who was responsible in this type of government support scheme for deciding which 'small business' ideas were legal and viable. Indeed, the officials who I communicated with, were little better than amoral robots. In reality, provided the proposed 'small business' ideas were not obviously sleazy (sex, drugs, etc.), morally deaf, dumb and blind UK government officials were prepared to allow almost anyone into the scheme. The political motivation for this type of scheme being to give the illusion that unemployment rates were falling in the UK.

  27. Would you mind if I shared your article on Crowd1 once you've posted it?

    1. Not at all. The more people who understand how these 'MLM' rackets function, the better.

    2. 'A concerned friend'

      I don't know if you speak French, but these linked-videos present a recently-produced common-sense investigation/explanation of 'Crowd1.'

      Material like this begs some not-unreasonable questions:

      What exactly do Swedish regulators do all day long?

      Why haven't Swedish regulaors already done the same basic common-sense research as the producer of these videos?

      Why are the instigators of the 'Crowd1' racket still being allowed to thieve from people all over the world?

      Why are the instigators of the 'Crowd1' racket not behind bars?

      Why have the instigators of the 'Crowd1' racket not had all their unlawful profits seized?

  28. I would really like to know what he's talking about in the video, but I don't speak French. I appreciate how helpful you have been. Do you think the Swedish regulators haven't done anything since Swede's are not the ones signing up in huge numbers. Also this company is probably not registered in Sweden. Again these guys seems to be targeting countries where the regulations are lax and legal proceedings even if it comes to that would probably take a long time to happen.

    1. What this individual young French guy has discovered (apparently all alone and with just a basic understanding of how to obtain current, and historic, corporate information online) is that some of the labyrinth of impressive-sounding 'companies' fronting the 'Crowd1' racket don't actually exist anywhere, let alone Sweden.

      Simply by reading 'Crowd1' documentation (again available online) he's also discovered that 'Crowd1' contracts forbid adherents to try to contact other real companies that 'Crowd1' bosses pretend to be associated with, on pain of excommunication.'

      Plainly, what Swedish gaming regulators should have been doing after they were alerted to the probable illegality of 'Crowd1,' is a little bit of basic research, and then urgently informing Swedish law enforcement agents and tax compliance officials, that evidence strongly-indicates that persons living in luxury in Sweden are actually earning money out of an enormous international fraud (preying on vulnerable persons in economically-deprived countries) behind a labyrinth of international corporate registration, and tax registration, numbers, some of which exist and some of which don't exist.

      Even the briefest investigation of the available evidence also reveals that 'Crowd1' is linked to all-manner of 'MLM' income opportunities cultic rackets and racketeers.

      The whole kitsch set-up, which its instigators have labelled, 'Crowd1,' is a classic criminal enterprise designed to prevent and/or divert investigation and isolate its instigators from liability. Exactly who has been running this sinister criminal enterprise still remains difficult to determine.

      PLease e-mail me and I can send you more-detailed information.