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Coercion Through Edification

November 12, 2010

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.

  1. If you stick with TEAM and follow its principles, you will succeed.
  2. 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.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. Vogel permalink
    November 12, 2010 8:25 am

    Wow! What a whiney cowardly little bitch. Unbelievable! Yes, I too nearly choked on the hypocrisy of Orrin’s post. He’s been badmouthing Amway for years, but now suddenly he believes that no one else has the right to openly criticize TEAM, or any other MLM for that matter?

    The central premise of his faux-Libertarian diatribe is flawed. Scams do not rely on “force” to part people from their money (that would be robbery, MLM’s second cousin). Rather, they rely on DECEPTION — and that’s Orrin’s specialty (he’s much too weak to use force).

    In Orrin’s religio-fascist dystopia, no one would have to pay taxes and no one would be allowed to speak ill of him, TEAM, or MLM in general — instead, it would be a world of nodding zombies obligingly trading Monavie’s grape juice to one another while he racks up the profits.

    How dare he try to silence his victims; the people who he preyed upon that are now speaking out against him (and for good reason). My guess is that the chorus of criticism will become deafeningly loud as his juice scam makes its final swirl on the way down the toilet bowl.

    He must be awfully bitter being known as “that pyramid scheme guy”, after being characterized as such by none other than Forbe’s magazine. Orrin would prefer that the Forbes authors be dismissed as failed MLMers too, but that’s obviously not the case and he knows it.

    Orrin’s victims must love the taste of his salty tears. F U Orrin!

  2. November 14, 2010 9:18 am

    Hi Vogel, for all your toxic words about Orrin Woodward, may I know what exactly he has done to you personally – if at all?

    I am NOT denying you the right to speak your mind (perspective) about a topic, but to do what you have done – which is to go into character assasination – such as calling the man, “bitch” and saying, “F U Orrin” crosses the line into contempt.

    You see, the whole article was OK when I read it UNTIL it came to your Comment, which was the first. Amthrax speaks with a dose of professionalism and I can feel his genuineness despite possibly differing with him on his point of view, but nowhere does he go into some low-class name-calling. Name-calling just sours everything, and I think you have done it without respect for other readers.

    Indeed, would you dare to show us your blog with your thoughts, and kindly let me do the same thing to you as you have done so to Orrin? (I am just being unreal here – obviously, I don’t really expect you to even show your face in the light of the day.)

  3. switch permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:35 am

    Rykel-
    Maybe you need to refer back to Orrin’s whole blog on his page. Because if this statement below isn’t calling names, I’m not quite sure what is….so basically instead of really reading the whole thing, you just jumped to conclusions just like every greedy, money hungry, selfish distributor does.

    \

    “These are the bottom feeders of Networking, the parasite marketers, who, believing in a win-lose scarcity mentality, blatantly attack one company’s reputation for the alleged benefits supplied to their current company.”

    And the sad part is, he covers it up to make it sound like a competitor….

  4. November 14, 2010 2:20 pm

    Rykel, let’s recap.

    Orrin scams a bunch of people. Then he tries to claim that it can’t be scam because those people weren’t forced. They were coerced through deception as Vogel correctly points out.

    Vogel didn’t assassinate Orrin’s character, Orrin committed character suicide through his actions.

  5. Vogel permalink
    November 15, 2010 12:27 pm

    Rykel said: “Hi Vogel, for all your toxic words about Orrin Woodward, may I know what exactly he has done to you personally – if at all?”

    Absolutely nothing, other than royally offending my sense of fair play and over-taxing my vomit reflex. It’s what he’s doing to other people that’s the problem. I’m nowhere near gullible enough to let a whiney-bitch-pyramid-scheme-hustler like Orrin get the better of me.

    Rykel said: “I am NOT denying you the right to speak your mind (perspective) about a topic, but to do what you have done – which is to go into character assasination – such as calling the man, “bitch” and saying, “F U Orrin” crosses the line into contempt.”

    Man up whiner. You’re almost as bad as Orrin. You guys F people every day of your lives and yet you cry like little girls when people call you on your atrocious BS. Go spill your crocodile tears for someone who gives a $hit. You all need to be slapped upside the head.

    Rykel said: “You see, the whole article was OK when I read it UNTIL it came to your Comment, which was the first. Amthrax speaks with a dose of professionalism and I can feel his genuineness despite possibly differing with him on his point of view, but nowhere does he go into some low-class name-calling. Name-calling just sours everything, and I think you have done it without respect for other readers.”

    Well now that you know that reading my posts will make you sniffle and cry, you can just skip them in the future. And why should I respect you? Have you earned my respect? Hardly. I don’t respect pyramid scheme fraud-juice con artists.

    Rykel said: “Indeed, would you dare to show us your blog with your thoughts, and kindly let me do the same thing to you as you have done so to Orrin? (I am just being unreal here – obviously, I don’t really expect you to even show your face in the light of the day.)”

    Sorry, did I miss the post where you exposed your face to the light of day? When Forbes magazine calls me a pyramid scheme hustler, like they did Orrin, then you can lampoon me to your heart’s content. Until then, step aside…and stop whining!

  6. Joecool permalink
    November 16, 2010 3:35 pm

    Conmen usually don’t force their victims into anything. They get them to do it on their own accord.

  7. CGC permalink
    November 17, 2010 12:18 pm

    Orrin Woodward is a most vile and despicable rat, for he knows full well he is perpetuating a complex scam on thousands of people. This shallow rant of his is a lame and disingenuous preemptive strike at all those exposing the truths he’d rather remained hidden.

  8. Steve Smith permalink
    November 17, 2010 5:01 pm

    I was a former Team member for 3 years and spent time with many top leaders. Until I realized the biz was going no where and the system had brain washed me. My question
    is, since Team/Monavie is such a great opportunity, than why isn’t there anyone achieving
    higher ranks? I check the Monavie website on Fridays just to see the progress and NO ONE from Team that I know of is moving up the ladder. This is a horrible business opportunity.
    The money spent on tools, functions, and products is insane! They make it seem like once you hit Silver or Gold you are on the road to retirement! When in actuality you are still losing money! I could go on and on… Orrin saying he is not responsible for those who apply themselves and have poor thinking??? That is rubbish. I applied myself to the fullest extent possible and did everything I was told to do. No success here. Yet it is the greatest opportunity in the world! Whatever. Thanks Orrin and company for all the lost time with real family and friends not to mention all the money out the door! By the way, The Hawkins were with Team when they were with Amway. As are almost all of the big “leaders” that are still around. All they do is try to maintain the group with the same old retirement stories from 10 years ago… No new retirement stories to share. That is because there are none! Thanks for keeping this blog going. It actually helps me deal with everything that happened over that 3 year period. The ups, the downs, and ultimately the departure.

  9. November 17, 2010 7:56 pm

    Steve. This reminds me of another one of Orrin’s beliefs: it doesn’t matter if you don’t make any money from this venture, look at all of the other benefits you’re getting from being on TEAM!

    Question – before you left, how many people were attending the weekly TEAM meetings in your area? Did you see any growth in terms of attendance numbers? Any other stories to share?

  10. Steve Smith permalink
    November 18, 2010 4:53 pm

    Attendance numbers were dwindling when I left the Team. In fact, they stopped having open meetings at half the locations in my area. When you walk into a Tuesday open meeting 5 minutes late and there are only a few names on the visitors list, its not good. They decide to have policy council members do the open meetings to keep the “dream” alive for the existing team and to try to draw in new people. It used to be that the big leaders were only heard at seminars and major conventions. Orrin and Chris at Tuesday meetings??? Every week??? You realize the ship is sinking at that point.

  11. November 24, 2010 12:16 pm

    To all EXCEPT Vogel: Once, I wrestled with a PIG. It got me all muddied and dirty. I decided then that I will NOT fight with a PIG again. All he does is spill out F words and uncouth speech. If we are all out to fight and beat up each other, why bother with an internet forum? My understanding of a FORUM is that it is meant to be a FAIR and COURTEOUS Discussion. NOT a wrestling ring. Repeat: I will NOT fight with a PIG anymore. I learnt my lesson well. Sorry, did I hear an angry Oink somewhere?

  12. switch permalink
    November 24, 2010 3:26 pm

    ….and a racist oinker once took some shots at us too but clearly missed.

  13. Vogel permalink
    November 27, 2010 8:08 am

    Rykel said: “To all EXCEPT Vogel: Once, I wrestled with a PIG. It got me all muddied and dirty. I decided then that I will NOT fight with a PIG again. All he does is spill out F words and uncouth speech. If we are all out to fight and beat up each other, why bother with an internet forum? My understanding of a FORUM is that it is meant to be a FAIR and COURTEOUS Discussion. NOT a wrestling ring. Repeat: I will NOT fight with a PIG anymore. I learnt my lesson well. Sorry, did I hear an angry Oink somewhere?”

    If it weren’t for bad analogies, I don’t how you distributors would ever express yourselves.

    No angry oinks from me…just deep belly laughs. Cool story about how you got muddied up by a farm animal; and one that can talk no less. I’d take a time-out too if that happened to me.

    I realize that seeing the letter “F” on your screen is too much for an uber-sensitive swindler to bear, but if I promise to never hit the F key again, will you stay and let me hurl you around the ring a bit more?

    I get nauseated whenever I witness distributors like you feigning to be all butt-hurt. You are a Monavie distributor – you should have skin as thick as a rhinoceros by now. Rejection and derision is your daily bread. You have no claim to the moral high ground and you merit no sympathy as long as you are involved in this fraudulent enterprise. Need I remind you that YOU are a snakeoil-hustling pyramid schemer? When you choose to make your living dishonestly, you have no right to chafe when you are publically scorned. Don’t like it? Stop trying to rip off our friends and family and find an HONEST job. I might have some odd jobs and yard work for you if you promise to work hard and not try to rope my neighbors into joining your fruit-juice-cures-cancer pyramid scheme.

  14. November 27, 2010 9:17 am

    Rykel – Have you considered the possibility that it’s you/TEAM/MonaVie who is the pig in your analogy? That you are the one who’s muddying up everyone else’s lives?

  15. Burned Out with Mona Vie permalink
    November 29, 2010 3:06 pm

    Wow, using references to TEAM, pigs and the dreaded “F bomb word” in the same comments, I have to make it a habit to surf Amthrax’s blog more often.

    At any rate, what is the very politically incorrect reference to putting lipstick on a pig?

  16. aurora permalink
    December 21, 2010 8:21 am

    This commenter requested that her comments be removed from this site.

  17. Izzy permalink
    January 18, 2011 1:19 am

    Yeah….coercion.

    IT’S ALL ABOUT COERCION, DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Before I start yelling my head off, let me rant my head off first. My upline came over to our flat telling us about this business opportunity. When I told her to cut to the chase, she kept on saying “I will get to that” and continued on with her presentation. She then gave me materials and left – a book and a CD. When Hubby and I were alone, we discussed it, and agreed that perhaps we’ll wait for about 2 months, then we’ll access our finances, but keep an open mind. 2 days later, our upline came back, and I told her what we agreed on, and she quickly told me that now is the time to get in, and the more you wait the more opportunities you’ll miss. She convinced me to sign up (Hubby wasn’t home then) and I had the purple elixir and instructions on getting on to the road to financial freedom. Oh, and a dent in my credit card.

    Over the seven-month course, I was encouraged to go to seminars, open meetings, and to get the Top Five books. While it was nice and refreshing at first, the pressure built up as the months rolled by and I wasn’t getting any downline. After about a month of being “in the business” without success, Hubby and I had another discussion about going for another 2 months, if I don’t get further, then quit and move on. Okay that sounded reasonable. So I told my upline, both Hubby and I together. Nope. Upline was like “It’s not fair that you put your wife in that predictament, putting a time limit will only limit her success.”

    I went to a Major convention which was in the next province from me, but the next Major in St Louis, oh brother, I was pushed to go, save up money, everything. My husband was opposed to me going out of my own country when I wasn’t even getting anywhere with my business! Hubby this time put his foot down and told both my upline and my upline’s upline “NO!” They both came at him “YOU aren’t working the business, YOUR WIFE is, and that he basically had no right or knowledge to tell her what to do since she knows the business than you!” I ended up not going, and now I’m glad I didn’t!

    Backtracking just a bit, I’d like to bring up the issue of the expenses. My upline KNEW we were on welfare, and that I didn’t have much credit left. I started off with “Step 250” and the basic TEAM system. After about 3 months of not getting anywhere, I cut back on my Points Volume to 100PV, one case of Monavie. I was faced with opposition from my upline, and I told her exactly what’s on my credit card bills. No mercy, but I stuck to my guns. After 6 months I went off system and again was faced with disapproval. I told her I was maxing out and that I’m canceling out my autoship, but she kept on warning me how I was going to lose my success, and whatever bonus I would get when I start getting commissions. I later ended up quitting altogether, explaing how my credit cards were maxed out and that I couldn’t go on anymore. Bloody bitch didn’t even care. What did she think I was, some magic money tree?

    If that ain’t coercion and guilt-tripping, then I don’t know what is.

  18. aurora permalink
    February 9, 2011 6:09 am

    This commenter requested that her comments be removed from this site.

  19. Izzy permalink
    February 9, 2011 12:50 pm

    Yep…nuffin’ like good ol’ conventional buying what you want and when you want and how much you want.

  20. OWesladouche permalink
    February 11, 2011 10:28 pm

    I agree with Vogel that Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, George Guzzardo, Claude Hamilton, Dan Hawkins, Don Freeze, Bill Lewis and other team monavie leaders are deceiving people for their own gain!!!

    This is really botherin me that these con artists are getting away with hurting so many people! Where is the justice?

    There seems to be a large number of people on this site speaking out and telling the truth, yet how many people are we saving? I love this site and appreciate what it is doing, however, I merely want to ask everyone here what else can we do to stop Orrin Woodwards madness?

    Any ideas? Maybe an organized effort to contact the FTC, local Congress officials, news agencies, Creating more blogs, emailing and writing Christian organizations to warn them about Orrins evil ways using the church as a way to grow his business etc. Is anyone willing to use their real names and photos on these blogs? That would carry huge weight by putting a real face and human behind the issues at hand that people can see and relate with.

    I guess I am thinking out load here…just want to see some action and hope that as a group we could do more to stop the next Bernie madoff from harming anyone else!

  21. Izzy permalink
    February 13, 2011 9:52 am

    @owestladouche, I’d like to see some action taken as well, so you’re definitely singing my tune! I wish there’s a way we can contact each other but unfortunately I don’t feel comfortable displaying my email address on a public forum. It is definitely more satisfying to get some action done as opposed to just talking about this whole affair.

  22. CGC permalink
    April 24, 2011 11:16 am

    Here’s an interesting article from ESPN on how athlete’s get scammed. It’s relevant to this thread because you see that there are many ways to use coercion without force, and also you see that some of the same techniques documented in this article are used by Orrin Woodward himself.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6408849

    Can you spot the similarities?

  23. Vogel permalink
    April 24, 2011 9:08 pm

    That was a really interesting (and really sad) article CGC. Thanks for posting it.

  24. switch permalink
    April 25, 2011 6:01 am

    yes, …….thank you! Extremely sad indeed.

  25. April 25, 2011 12:42 pm

    Editors Note: Today, I deleted several off-topic comments from this thread.

  26. Vogel permalink
    April 25, 2011 2:46 pm

    Editors note: Removed part of this comment, since it was in poor humor.

    I like your ideas about the FTC and reaching out to Christian groups. A class action lawsuit would be the best way to go. Contacting the media and getting a reporter to write a good exposee would be sweet too.

  27. April 25, 2011 5:40 pm

    Vogel – Exposee is a great idea! I remember how damaging the Dateline piece on Quixtar was for Team, and it wasn’t even on the Team’s LOS! I bet Dateline would love to do a segment on Monavie or Team.

  28. Speak Your Truth permalink
    April 26, 2011 9:36 pm

    Yes this is sad and I agree! Did Orrin mentor these con’s?

  29. webelieved permalink
    April 27, 2011 8:09 am

    Edification is totally used for coercion. It is done with specific intent! For instance, a leader will be chosen that is far away ie a different state to edify to others that are not in their area. People will be led to believe that said leaders business is EXPLODING and the business works so well…. with no way to verify any information because they are far away, you will hear only what the big wigs want you to hear. This is why people in one state are edified to people in another state. That way you will Believe in TEAM. What a joke!!!In my opinion coercion by edification, deceptive practices, product loading to produce bigger pin levels (which gives false recognition) are all used to get you to stay with Team and spend your money.

Trackbacks

  1. Orrin Woodward, Scams, MonaVie, Team, and Lies… Oh My!
  2. Coal In The Stockings: Is TEAM Moving Backwards? « AMTHRAX
  3. Claude Hamilton, AKA Mr. Profitability on the LIFE TEAM « AMTHRAX

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