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Ten Signs You Are Involved in a Fear-Based Workplace MLM Organization

July 13, 2010

I read this article today about the ten signs that signal you work in a fear-based workplace. I chuckled, because nearly all of the ten signs also apply to MLM motivational organizations. For all their talk about jobs being bad and not beneath them, Diamonds sure know how to run their “leadership and training” organizations like one. Check out the article for a full description of each sign, as I’m commenting solely on its relevance to MLMs:

1. Appearances are everything. Do I even need to come up with an example? When you have photos of jets, Lambourghinis, fancy rings, sharp clothes and huge mansions constantly in the face of distributors, you know that appearances mean a lot to the upline kingpins of MLMs. Of course, appearances aren’t what they seem to be with these leaders, some of whom are in bankruptcy or lead less than virtuous lives.

2. Everyone is talking about who’s rising and who’s falling. How much time is devoted to recognition of pin winners on stage? My god, half the running time of the MonaVie Vision convention was carting people on stage to talk about how low they were before they found the purple juice concentrate.

3. Distrust reigns. When Diamond brothers don’t trust even each other, you know you have a problem. One look at all of the backstage dealings between Diamonds shows you that all that glitters is not gold within these motivational organizations.

4. Numbers rule. Ever hear the line, “the most important metric is how many people you have on standing order?” Ever heard of the Eagle and Double Eagle programs in BWW and WWDB? PV/BV? How many people on Auto-Ship? Want to know why Diamonds get so worked up when one of their fold decides to leave to form his or her own organization? Yeah, in MLMs and MLM Training Organizations, numbers mean a lot.

5. And rules number in the thousands. Ever seen the Six Cardinal Rules of BWW? Most motivational organizations have rules such as these. Break one, and you’re on your uplines bad-side for a long, long time (just as Kelly Bangert about his relationship with Brig Hart). Of course, if you are already a Diamond, you are free to do whatever you wish… within reason (and a two-year grace period, of course).

6. Management considers lateral communication suspect. Crosslining anyone? There’s a thread going on this on IBOFB’s AmwayTalk forum. The no crosslining edict is one of the most ridiculous things within these organizations. Take your blinders off and see the rule for what it really means. Controlling the distributor flock so that it only hears what the organization wants it to hear.

7. Information is hoarded. Since there’s no crosslining allowed, all information comes from the top, dripped down in small voicemail messages, emails or sermons from stage.

8. Brown-nosers rule. I don’t even need to start with this one. The amount of brown-nosing “edification” within these MLM training organizations is like the amount of crap at a waste processing plant. Cross your upline leaders, however, and you’ll be de-edified faster than flushing a toilet. Just ask Jimmy Halstead!

9. ‘The Office’ evokes sad chuckles, rather than laughs. Okay, the only one which might not apply. Someone has got to come out with a TV show — The Upline — that mimics what happens in these MLMs. The show might only last for a season, but my, my, what a show it will be!

10. Management leads by fear. Despite all their talk about hope, Diamonds actually run their organizations largely on fear. For instance, the fear of failure: “If you quit this business, you’re a loser.” Uh, so, I can’t quit the business and make something of my life? I have to stay beholden to you, my Diamond leader, until all my money has gone into a garage full of useless tapes, books, and brochures?

Again, read the original article and compare notes with us in the comments below!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Joecool permalink
    July 13, 2010 9:23 am

    Great post and it makes sense unless you have been sipping the grape kool aid. So many parallels to Amway LOSs.

  2. Burned Out With MV permalink
    July 16, 2010 8:36 am

    Sounds about right from what I saw and experenced. Great post Amthrax.

  3. January 18, 2011 11:31 pm

    What you listed are signs of pain in any organization. I have seen similar in traditional corporations as well as MLM. The culture of ones upline, team and company are critical when choosing a business.

    I have seen groups in the same company competing and talking smack about each other in the same geographic region – a good sign to stay away.

  4. Yugo Jakov permalink
    February 11, 2011 3:52 am

    Spot on!

  5. June 9, 2011 5:59 am

    All bla bla bla…

    In this world no one is perfect everyone is having imperfections even the one who has written this free blog has many things in his life that he must have hidden from the public. Just because Amway and few of its top ranked distributors have been so successful and are in the limelight that is why they are now getting pointed. If the person would have been successful in the business or if he would have been among the top notch business men in the normal world outside Amway he wouldn’t have got anytime to create this free blog.

    I would rather suggest the author of this blog and his/her supporters to create a paid website to show or prove what he has planned to do by creating this site. Its easy to pull down the image of a great person using free media because thats the best way to show your frustration and outcome of failures.

    I am for the real concept of Amway business but not for the people irrespective of their positions who are violating the business principles. I am in the business to help people live better lives which I perform in my normal life too outside Amway business. If I commit a mistake I rectify it immediately after being pointed and I too have imperfections but not like anything to spoil my image.

    After all if you look back every great men in history whom we follow have their own imperfections but if we need to grow we sud see the areas where they made an example.

    If a man is Perfect then he’ll be GOD and here no one is. So, better we don’t point each other and rather spent more time in growing towards excellence rather than perfection.

  6. June 9, 2011 6:21 am

    Sorry fren if my words hurt you but wat I said was fact even if you don’t accept it. To prove my point you can better refer to the biographies of all great men in the world. The reason I believe in Amway principle is because not for the leaders in it or those who are breaking the ethics or even not for the creators but because of the ethics itself which I know is what we were taught in our childhood days. If someone don’t follow it is not Amway’s fault. The best and worst part of any business organisation is when the people associated with it commits a fault but what should the organisation have to do with that. An organisation gives opportunity but it does not control the actions of the people associated.

    Now my friend I’ll really love to know why you are so frustrated against Amway and will also love to know the name of any one organization (that is more than 25 years old) who does not have single pending case against it or against any of its employees, shareholders, or anyone associated to the company.
    Why don’t you say about your own company (if you are working in any), is that free from all legal suits of the court ?

    I am not against anyone but I am for what helps to grow in life ethically and if I commit mistake I should also be treated the same as anybody else in the world.

  7. not signed up yet permalink
    June 10, 2011 8:17 am

    We are speaking from our own personal experiences with TEAM Monavie, not bashing them jsut to be mean. Soem peopel ahve been with team for years spent thousands of dolalrs and invest as much hours trying to make it work and follwo the system and have not made money.

    Leadership and personal delveopment is alot more than buying CDS and goign to meetings. I ave seen absolutely no evidence of the personal devleopment that TEAM says they practice…theier version of personal devleopment is…”get to the next siminar so you can learn it” or “get this CD and book”

  8. I Quit ( and glad I Did) permalink
    June 10, 2011 8:24 am

    Fatnastci opst not sined! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. webelieved permalink
    June 11, 2011 8:19 am

    Amthrax- LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!! All true on Team.
    Leaders use fear and even if it is unspoken you know if you don’t brown nose your upline diamond you won’t get anywhere, because they will withold edification, stage hosting,help, speaking, whatever they can use to control you. If you want to work with someone you trust more, or someone that you like, you will be demoted. You can be taken off the speaking, lied about, spoken badly about in your own team to your own personals. They pretty much can do anything because of the edification, good speak, God like attributes given them publically. By edifying them, unknowingly you have give them power to destroy you, your team, your reputation and credibility. PC can say whatever they want to your team and people will just simply believe them! AMAZING! No questions, even when what they are telling your team is against your nature and who you are. People will just believe whatever they tell them!
    Their is NO equality on Team. You are looked down upon, and your opinion does not matter, EVER!
    Real truth and character doesn’t really matter either, only Team’s reputation.
    Withholding information is definitly used on Team. Only certain people are in the know. And if you do the PC’s bidding, behind the scenes, and brown nose you will be rewarded financially it seems. Brown-nosing can be rewarded more than someone else that did more work and had bigger teams! Secrets, power over people and money rule the day.
    Crosslining is a NO-NO, I wonder now if it is because they can hide their dirty little secrets that way…….hmmmm yes I would say yes that is exactly why. Latteral communication is suspect. This company acts like the mafia. People will follow you around when you are new and make sure you do not talk to anyone that is not your downline. People report in on you to your upline whatever they think you are doing….. funny they just believe whatever they hear. They gossip about you behind your back. They will discuss what topics people need to hear about before hitting the stage. It will be decided what your group needs to hear, so people will think “oh God must’ve sent that message”, because it came randomly. NO YOUR UPLINE IS MANIPULATING YOU!!!
    Downline brown nosers, unleaders are encouraged to report in to upline on your alleged activities, and if you do any small thing they don’t agree with, you will be shunned, even if you are the one who built the team! Some will go as far as tell teammates, your friends not to attend your meetings!!! Meetings that the pc told you to have!!! If your upline doesn’t like you or more accurately is jealous of your results, they can come in a destroy your credibility with thier lies, manipulation with no consequences.
    There were times we would hear a main speaker at a major tell us how to do something and then your PC would deedify them, and tell us it is not to be done!! He would tell people we were off track when we followed the system!!! Now why would this person be paid to speak on a team stage, be chosen by Orrin, to tell us how to do something and now we shouldn’t take his advice???? What the hell???? I thought the system was duplicatable?????????
    Recognition and Numbers Rule the day on Team-
    I have seen leaders volume load like Amthrax article Team Approach Volume. I have seen people appear to buy their way to recognition on Team, like say turbo 25, turbo 50, Round Table, Ruby, Diamond. Buying tickets, and product loading to hit the next level. I have heard of people working together and putting in bulk orders in the bottom of a Team, to hit the next pin levels. I have seen “leaders” hit levels once and then not hit those levels and be ranked one to two levels below what they claim from stage. These activities ultimately decieve new people into believing the business and the misleaders are growing faster then they actually are! Ultimately underminding their confidence and trust, making others wonder what is wrong with them? Why isn’t their business growing the same???
    I have seen leaders lie from stage, implying they built their business in a short amount of time. I have heard Orrin say he hit Presidential in weeks, Lies, lies, lies……oh my!
    Monavie changed their pay plan to not require star 500 legs, at high levels. (I would bet this was requested by Team leaders) Leaders jumped huge levels in Mv and ultimately it was made to look by Team, like their teams were growing super fast !! In reality they were the same size, the change in pay plan allowed them to rank higher, that is all. These people were edified from stage to be rocking the business. Really they hit these levels because of the hard work and sweat of their downline!!! Not from their own efforts!! These people are on stage pretending they built these huge businesses and they have so much experience when they do not. They got lucky!!
    Now before someone comes on here and calls me a complainer, a loser, not wanting to do the work, I was one of only a small group of people to hit top levels on Team of Destiny/Team/Team-Monavie/Team L.I.F.E./(whatever Orrin is calling himself these days), not someone who didn’t do the work as you would be brainwashed to think! At one point earning well over $100,000 a year while involved with Team!! I know what I say is true from experience with the great MIS-Leaders, themselves. I am sure there are other leaders here on Amthrax that could confirm all I say is true.
    Clearly, in my opinion,Team is all about deception , control, power, money and brainwashing, period!!!!

    These tactics seem to be used by cults. See cult expert Steve Hasan’s BITE MODEL at
    and decide if you think any of these tactics are used on Team.

  10. not signed up yet permalink
    June 11, 2011 2:20 pm

    We beleived…you are right about information being with held. I told my sponsor I am a black and white guy, no greyarea with me. If I decied to do this, I need to see EVERYTHING up front…financials, ops, how the things, proof and verification of the income claims. Guess what I got? deflection, misdirection and well we cant tell you unless you get in. I was falt out told I would get that information….when THEY decided I was worthy of getting it. And I am expected to invest a mimimum of 500 bucks a month with no verification ofa nythign they say at opens, plans showigns or cons.

    Mr Baneerjee…

    Just ebcause aperson makes moeny and is successful does not amke them great. One open we had Tim Marks speak…he told us how he before team he was making 80 grand a year and spending 120 grand. Wow. How about living within your means mr marks. Theres big adult word that you will never hear TEAM use…BUDGET! Then Mr Marks went on to say how his last day of work he made a big production of it by having a limo pick him up and other absolutely rude and disrespectful thigns he did on his way out, and the audience was eating it up. And this is the sign of greatness? The we heard about his big million dolalr home in Florida, his motor coach and his private jet.

    On the one hand TEAM spouts biblical principles on the the TEAm seems very amterialistic.

  11. webelieved permalink
    June 11, 2011 3:38 pm

    Not Signed Up Yet- It seems you still have your critical thinking skills in place. Many people do not after being on system for awhile they cannot see the irony in it all. I was one of those people, brainwashed to the max. I couldn’t see my way out of a paper bag for years. I was all in, used up and thrown away by my upline and downline, because I didn’t agree to their unethical ways of treating people !!!
    I am glad you are asking the hard questions. Ask them to show you anyone that went diamond that started from scratch in mv in the past 3 years….. you will hear crickets chirp, haven’t heard of one, and you are supposed to spend your money on their Team training, that is proven and duplicatable???? When they have no results??? LMAO that is the definition of insanity!!! All the people toughted on stage came in with big groups established in Amway/Quixtar!!! To my knowledge noone has hit a large level that is legit, and started from scratch in Team in three years!!! In fact many do not hit their ranked levels week in and week out, It is just a one time occurence, volume loaded level, a fake !!!

  12. Speak Your Truth permalink
    June 11, 2011 5:16 pm

    Hey Chiranjeet~
    That is histerical. So, you are suggesting we get paid to tell the truth? Thanks for suggesting that and maybe you would want to send your money in for someone to blog, but Our MOTIVE is not MONEY. Is that what yours is? Perhaps someone has outsourced ($) you to come here and spread your message? That seems to be what you think everyone elses motive is? LOL You have no facts just assumptions. You assume anyone outside of Amway isn’t successful, and how is this ‘fact’ again? You should perhaps define your OPINION of ‘success’ for us.

    YOU say; “Just because Amway and few of its top ranked distributors have been so successful and are in the limelight that is why they are now getting pointed.”

    Really? Who would you be talking about that is so ‘successful and in the limelight’? Your blanket statements aren’t facts.

    Thanks for telling us if you commit makes you rectify them immediately, take a pat on the back from us, but that is not the case with our experience.

    YOU say; “The reason I believe in Amway principle is because not for the leaders in it or those who are breaking the ethics or even not for the creators but because of the ethics itself which I know is what we were taught in our childhood days.”

    Just to give you a clue, you might want to read the rest of the comments (thousands on blog) and you will figure out it is about breaking the ETHICS, that is the PRINCIPLE! Interesting how you overlook that.

    Thanks for your personal opinions and pep talk, but I believe you have arrived at the wrong blog. Perhaps you could find another one that people are getting paid from so you could spread your pep talk to some gullible people who would fall for you reading from the script?
    Just a suggestion, Sorry, fren your pep talk is not fact whether you accept that or not.

    One last thing, your statement about litigation doesn’t change anything, just because you say ‘every’ company sues doesn’t make it right or give anyone a pass to be unethicical. Chances are that is the reason for the lawsuit. Glad your goal in life is to help others grow ‘ethically’, good luck with that one. If you can make others do that you deserve to be paid. While you at it, you should work on those people we have had first hand experience with that have done things that are unethical, illegal, and immoral.
    Check out the freedom of mind link from this blog.

  13. switch permalink
    June 12, 2011 9:05 am

    There’s a huge difference in those who have had “imperfections” and those who have LIED THROUGH THEIR F’ING TEETH to make a profit. I’m sorry fren, but yeah….it’s happening whether you accept it or not.

    Trying to cut yourself a break in making yourself look like your trying to improve people’s life through excellence is absolutely ridiculous.

    Seeing how you love to post your link to your personal FB profile page, and think so highly of YOURSELF, maybe you should rethink the Justin Bieber/PLAYBOY TV approach you’ve listed in your “interests” and actually give a full, well, thought out message to your team that you’re somewhat serious about this whole “leading people to excellence” deal.

    Just a thought.

  14. I Quit ( and glad I Did) permalink
    June 13, 2011 7:52 am

    How’s that go?… Oh yeah! BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. ageofwisdom51 permalink
    August 29, 2012 9:43 am

    @Amthrax: even in the first two months of my son being in life/TEAM STEALTH, I could see portions of your #1, #6, #7 and #10 start to come to fruition, just in the things he would spit at me (or keep from me, as I found out later). As I said on the other “undue influence” thread: the FIRST thing I noticed, besides subtle behavioral/speech changes was this sudden need in ‘keeping up appearances’….he had “an image to maintain”……..

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