Sunday 10 April 2016

Mumsnet members challenge the pernicious 'MLM' lie

It's no secret that, recently, I adopted the user-name 'Eyespying (Eyes)' to participate in a public discussion of 'MLM' cultic racketeering on the influential British Internet forum, 'Mumsnet.' It's also no secret that, after 17 threads containing more than 17000 comments, 'Eyes' was eventually barred from this discussion apparently for openly mentioning the names of individuals whom the administrators of MN, and their legal advisers, feared might possibly sue MN. This was despite the fact that my offending comments were deleted.

Some of the people I mentioned on MN, are:

  • Ian Howarth - director of the so-called '(UK) Cult Information Centre' who once worked for 'Amway UK Ltd.'
  • Graham Baldwin - director of 'Catalyst' who once worked for 'Amway UK Ltd.'
  • Theresa May MP - current UK Home Secretary who has appeared as a useful idiot in 'MLM' propaganda.
  • Madelaine Albright - former US Secretary of State who has appeared as a useful idiot in 'MLM' propaganda.
  • Peter Kiernan - former Deputy Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office who temporarily represented 'Amway UK Ltd.'
  • Cliff Callaghan - former UK Deputy Inspector of Companies who launched a civil investigation, and prosecution, of 'Amway UK Ltd.'
  • Peter Bott - former senior forensic accountant at the UK Company Investigation Branch.
  • Dr. Hans W Micklitz - a legal academic who co-ordinated a flawed report on 'MLM' for the European Commission in the late 1990s.
  • Frank Field MP - a left wing British politician who apparently knows that 'MLM' is a fraud.
  • Tony Blair - former UK Prime Minister who has appeared as a useful idiot in 'MLM' propaganda.

  • Donald Trump - who has tried to instigate his own 'MLM' racket, 'Trump Network,' and who has acted as paid pitchman for the 'MLM' cultic racket known as 'ACN.'

  • Michael Johnson - current CEO of 'Herbalife' and multi-millionaire 'MLM' cultic racketeer.
  • Bill Ackman - a famous American activist investor who has bet around $2 billions that 'Herbalife' is a fraud.
  • Ted Braun - a film maker who has made a documentary about Bill Ackman's 'Herbalife' bet.
  • Dave O'Connor - an Irish 'MLM' cultic racketeer.
  • Bob Parker - current CEO of 'Forever Living Products UK Ltd.'
  • Tim Sales - an 'MLM' cultic racketeer and 'Scientologist.'

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To date, very little accurate information, let alone analysis, has ever appeared in the UK media concerning so-called 'Multi-Level Marketing (MLM).' Faced with this moral and intellectual vacuum, last year, a series of insightful threads were launched on 'Mumsnet.' 

Many MN members had witnessed the disturbing robot-like behaviour of recruiters for US-based so-called 'MLM Income Opportunities;'  particularly 'Forever Living Products.' The MN members were concerned by the fact that currently, in the UK, 'MLM' recruiters seem to be almost exclusively women who are deliberately targeting other women (often via social media Sites like Facebook).  

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Indeed, many of the products offered in these so-called 'MLM Income Opportunities', have been specifically designed to catch the eye of women, and particularly pregnant women, and/or new mothers.

It was observed by MN members that, no matter what so-called 'MLM' is being pitched, the far-too-good-to-be-true Utopian script has always been essentially the same, in that recruiters have pretended affinity with potential recruits by offering an infinitely-lucrative, risk-free business-opportunity which can allow cash-strapped, and possibly guilt-ridden, new mothers to give up work and stay at home with their children. 

Almost immediately, MN members adopted the humorous term, 'Bots,' to describe these omnipresent, script-reciting 'MLM' recruiters, and the term 'Bot-watching' was also coined. Although at first, MN  Bot-watchers tried to keep their discussion lighthearted, they realised that 'MLM' is some sort of sinister self-perpetuating pyramid scam (preying on persons at a time of vulnerability), but given the veneer of legality by the inclusion of exorbitantly-priced products (often of a quasi-medical nature). Due to the sudden radical personality transformations which 'MLM' adherence can provoke, MN members had begun to fear that these groups might, in fact, be cults.

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More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that what has become popularly known as 'Multi-Level/Network 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 organised crime groups (hiding behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) to shut-down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of victims, and of casual observers, in order to perpetrate, and dissimulate, a series of blame-the-victim 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, positive-thinking/mindset, programs, recruitment leads, lead generation systems,' etc.).

A link to 'MLM The American Dream Made Nightmare' was posted on the first MN thread discussing the 'MLM' phenomenon, and as a result, I began to receive significant numbers of new visitors. I soon received a couple of comments inviting me to participate on MN. At first, I didn't want to enter the discussion, but at this time, I was also contacted by a political researcher who (as a personal project) was taking a look at 'MLM'. I had already explained to this contact that the full, and frank, explanation of the 'MLM' phenomenon had become largely unthinkable to most people. Thus, the researcher was curious to observe the reaction of MN members to my (no-holds- barred) overall analysis of 'MLM.'

The reaction of MN members, was to create 'timeless vie,' a parody of an 'MLM' cultic racket, and the Botwatch Blog.   

David Brear (copyright 2016)


  1. Hi David, missing you on the thread but great to read this piece. We've come a long way since the first thread (back in July last year I think) and, I don't think we had any idea that it would eventually evolve, without any particular planning, into a campaign to highlight this pernicious business model (MLM).

    Gradually over the months, we individually began to post evidence of serious misconduct in the form of bogus (both potentially harmful and completely unsubstantiated) medical claims;grossly misleading claims about a "successful lifestyle conceived through FL" made in order to create intrigue and ultimately persuade people to become sign up as reps; disturbing cult-like training sessions which served to control the reps and keep them from thinking logically (anyone questioning or offering a critical comment was ridiculed because negativity of MLM was taboo.

    Timeless Vie (now spelt with two I's "Tiimeless Vie" in homage to a paricularly obnoxious MLM: Ariix) and BotWatch was created to aid us in bringing our growing evidence and stories to the general public. We have received a lot of great feedback and many documented examples which back up what you (David) have been saying for a long time.

    We are making a difference and, ultimately would love the UK to copy China's stance and only permit MLM to operate under very, very strict rules and supervision, as detailed in this excellent link from Ethan Vanderbuilt .

    1. Anonymous - Thanks for your kind words.

      I would contend that any so-called 'income opportunity' (no matter how it has been dressed up) based on the crack-pot pseudo-economic theory that endless recruitment + endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits, is already unlawful in the UK, because to peddle this self-perpetuating mind-virus to vulnerable persons who need to believe that it is true, is fraud - a form of theft.

      I personally think that, other than a RICO-style anti-racketeering law, the last thing required to halt the 'MLM' phenomenon is any new technical legislation using misleading 'business' terminology. What has always been required is a common-sense public admission by business regulators that so-called 'MLM opportunities' have had precious little to do with 'business,' followed by rigorous enforcement of existing criminal laws prohibiting fraud.

      UK prosecutors need to be educated as to how MLM cultic rackets function.

  2. You are very much missed on the threads David, we will keep them going though, I think the message is getting out there now and the fact that Forever Living put so much effort into getting you banned means feathers are being ruffled.

    1. Anonymous - Again thanks for your kind words.

      The list on persons who want to silence me (some of whom are sociopathic criminals who control vast capital assets) is as long as your arm.

  3. david
    i read your story the other evening and my heart goes out to you.
    i think it would be a great idea if you reposted it so people can see just how damaging this mlm stuff can be. i saw many of my own experiences described in your story. I do not regret for one moment that i refused to give in to the pressure from a relative to participate in their scammertunity. There are many in the US who hate mlm's as much, if not more than you do.

    1. Thanks Anonymous. Sadly even though I refused to be recruited, I still had to try to deal with my Ambot brother. What I didn't realise at the time, was that everything my Ambot brother said, and did, was being controlled by his 'Amway' handlers.

      I wouldn't describe myself as 'hating MLMs,' because, in the final analysis, the term, 'MLM,' is just meaningless nonsense invented by cultic racketeers.

      That said, I hold 'MLM' cultic racketeers in complete contempt and I am opposed to all non-rational, ritual systems instigated, and/or perverted, for the hidden purpose of human exploitation.

  4. #teameyes as your so graciously accepting comments and compliments I would like to say that the reading of the nm threads, subsequent sites and the marvellous book Merchants of Deception and the general understanding of cult control techniques provided me with the understanding and strength to leave an abusive relationship - sounds odd but there were so many similarities, controlling information sources, rewarding me for keeping "outsiders" away, financial abuse and the constant promise that good things were round the corner if I would just do as instructed. You may have contributed to saving my life, so I thank you for all those hours and all those threads.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Anonymous. You have made an important, and insightful, observation regarding the connection between cults and abusive one-to-one relationships. I'm very pleased to have been able to help you.