Coercion Through Edification
Orrin has a fascinating article on his blog about the nature of scams. There’s so much here that I can’t possibly fit everything I want to say in one post. Let’s tackle a few quotes today:
He posits the theory that a scam, scheme or con cannot last unless it is backed by coercion or force:
Government is the only true monopoly of force available in any society. Coercion requires force, which involves either government intervention or mafia type tactics. Free enterprise businesses, like Network Marketing, cannot be a scam, since people are free to come and free to go, they will simply leave and the scam will collapse.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
A year and a half ago, I commented on the fact that several leaders have left TEAM to form their own training organization. Prior to their departure, however, they were being edified greatly by Orrin. In my opinion, edification is the coercive force by which Orrin applies to maintain his grip on the TEAM flock. Through tapes, CDs and seminars, he plants up two life possibilities in the mind of TEAM members.
- If you stick with TEAM and follow its principles, you will succeed.
- If you don’t do what TEAM does, you will fail in life.
How is that not coercion through edification and fear?
And so, instead of edifying Mark & Tami Crawford or Randy & Val Haugen, Orrin is praising the new leaders in his organization, such as Chris & Danae Mattis and Dan & Lisa Hawkins. What will happen when they eventually leave and/or quit?
I don’t have to attack another enterprise in order to build my own. If you really believe in your Networking business, just build it, allowing your actions to speak louder than your words.
Orrin certainly did his share of badmouthing after being terminated by Amway a few years back. Of course, you won’t hear any more criticism coming from his mouth, certainly not after signing a confidential agreement with Amway.
When people call the entire Network Marketing profession a scam, merely because they didn’t succeed, it demonstrates their lack of understanding of scams and personal responsibility.
Does everyone get wealthy? Of course not, not everyone will discipline themselves daily to achieve that level of success. The key point is that those who do apply themselves, do achieve success. Similarly, those who don’t apply themselves consistently have no right to blame TEAM for their lack of discipline or poor thinking.
So, the 99.5% of people who fail to make any money from MLM failed because they didn’t man up and get it done? Umm… okay there, Orrin.
If someone attempts a scam, without the power of coercion, it will not last. For example, if someone attempted to sell a property for twice the market rate, perhaps a clueless customer would fall for it, but it couldn’t last as the market will quickly identify the offending party and avoid any business dealing with him.
Does this explain how to sell purple juice concentrate for ten times the market value? Is this why people who don’t join MonaVie or quit want nothing to do with TEAM afterwards?
Orrin simply lacks the perspective of time. More and more TEAM members are coming out and commenting and criticizing TEAM and MonaVie. I find it surprising that he even wrote an article defending why Network Marketing is not a scam. A commenter posted recently that Orrin can convince anyone of the big lie. I think that’s exactly what he’s trying to do with his latest post.
I encourage readers to read Orrin’s original post and to leave their opinions in the comments section below. Do you think Orrin is right or wrong about the nature of scams? Is Network Marketing a scam? Is it one’s own fault if one doesn’t succeed in MLM?
Update on November 12, 2010: Orrin made some changes to his post this morning.
Many will call Network Marketing a scam, but unless backed by coercion, meaning people are not free to leave, Networking cannot be a scam over the long term. Yes, a scam artist can bilk people for a month, maybe even a year, but eventually will crash and burn. Networking has been around for well over sixty years, and scams cannot last that long unless backed by some form of coercion. In Networking, some will win, and some will lose, but that simply defines life, not a scam.
I wrote on JuiceScam site that Bernie Madoff pulled off his scam for many years. There was no coercion or force in his scam; he succeeded because people believed in him and trusted him with their money. To me, that sounds a lot like TEAM members placing their trust and money into the “hope” that Orrin is selling.