Monday 3 December 2018

Robert FitzPatrick on 'MLM' and the 'Me-Too' movement.

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Is "Me-Too" Truth-Telling Finally Coming to MLM?

Dear Colleagues,

With an MLM-owner-promoter now sitting in the White House and Amway's Betsy Devos presiding over American education, and with the FTC's humiliating surrender to the influence-buying of Herbalife, many people are asking about the state of Truth related to "multi-level marketing." Has the Big Lie won over Truth, they ask me (and I have asked myself)?

The merchants of deception are in the forefront, but truth-telling has not abated. In fact, it is popping out in new and more powerful formats. There is even a major movie series coming in 2019 on AMC in which the harmful deception of "multi-level marketing" is the film's theme and backdrop. Already, reviews of the upcoming film are connecting it to Donald Trump's real-life promotions of MLM schemes and the MLM epidemic in America. 

Those of us who have been carrying the torch of truth about "MLM" should also know that many new (and younger) messengers are showing up. They are informed, confident, courageous, and adept with social media.

One that I have spent a lot of time helping is a professionally-produced podcast series - the first of its kind in depth of research - that delves historically and personally into the dark realities of multi-level marketing. Called The Dream, the 12-segment podcast presents never-before-publicized history and facts and respectfully gives a voice to the millions of people who were misled into investing their time, money and lives in MLM. For its factual authority as well as professional and entertaining format The Dream should be placed alongside John Oliver's immensely popular and unflinchingly truthful segment on MLM on his HBO show. I urge you to listen and refer The Dream to others. 

Like the "me-too" movement, which is revealing the extent of abuse and assault that women (and others) endure, The Dream podcast may be part of a new movement in which victims of MLM fraud will, finally, be able to come forward. Their "failures" will no longer  be borne in shame. Their losses can, finally, be seen as not their own fault, which the MLM promoters falsely and maliciously claimed, but as the intended result of a financial assault. 

Another truth-telling development related to MLM is the remarkable class-action RICO lawsuit filed against Donald Trump, principally for his deceptive promotions of the MLM "income opportunity." This is the first time that MLM's false and harmful promise of income is the basis of a fraud and racketeering case brought against a national political figure. MLM has insinuated itself right into the White House and brought its treacherous history and inevitable lawsuits into that office.

At the grass roots level, many new voices of truth-telling are emerging. Several are mentioned below that offer forums, podcasts, interviews, and reports on the realities of MLM fraud. This new generation of voices is not mired in old myths about "good" and "bad" MLMs. They are not taken in by the pretense that "MLM is legitimate," and most of the new voices are no longer focused only on single MLM schemes. They see through the disguise used by all MLMs of "sales business" and they understand that MLM's absurd "products" are only bait for the "endless chain" trap common to all MLMs. Most of the new voices recognize "MLM" as a cultic racket. The realities of mass deception and pyramid fraud are their baselines.

Image supprimée par l'expéditeur.My own effort at an uncensored and comprehensive report on MLM is being poured into a new book, entitled "Ponzinomics, the Untold History of Multi-Level Marketing and How Direct Selling Became an American Swindle." It provides a fact-based history of how MLM came to be, its American business and cultural roots, and a detailed dissection of its design and operation. It provides an historical account, naming names, of the MLM promoters' ongoing actions to evade and mislead law enforcement and the government officials who have colluded. Beyond its factual content, this book is an attempt on my part to help change the language used to describe MLM from the inappropriate, inaccurate and disguising "business" and "sales" language that is mostly used today, to proper terms that are used for scams, swindles, con-games and cultism.  

Image supprimée par l'expéditeur.Finally, addressing truth-telling about MLM means acknowledging and honoring the passing of Jon M. Taylor, author, teacher, and publisher of Jon was a colleague and friend for 20 years. Until his passing in August, he provided assistance to millions of people seeking the truth about "multi-level marketing." His work in identifying the universal and defining elements of "MLM," revealing that the MLM model itself is a classic pyramid scheme - and thereby obliterating the distinction between "MLM" and "pyramid scheme" - was groundbreaking. That he did it as a Mormon living in Utah was especially courageous. Utah is where MLM scams are most heavily concentrated and have a strong and corrupting grip over state politics and the state economy. It is pervasive in families, churches and social life there. The LDS (Mormon) church is also based in Utah and is a major beneficiary of MLM "profits." Jon publicly and directly warned the top Mormon church leaders about the breakdown in ethics in taking MLM money. One of Jon Taylor's signature works, "MLM Unmasked," is still online. He would be happy to know that others are carrying on the work.

I extend my best wishes to all for 2019. I would be happy to hear of your own experiences or work in telling the truth about MLM.

Robert FitzPatrick

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