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$1 Tech Executives: Who Said Corporations Are Pyramids?

November 16, 2011

Here’s an article from CNN Money detailing tech executives who make just $1 in annual salary.

  1. Steve Jobs: The former CEO of Apple had a $1 annual salary from 1997 to his death in 2011.
  2. Benjamin Feder and Karl Slatoff: CEO and COO of video game company Take Two Interactive.
  3. Meg Whitman: The new CEO of HP takes home just $1.
  4. Larry Ellison: The top dog at Oracle takes (to his many homes) $1/year.
  5. Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt: The former leadership triumvirate at Google have been bringing home the bacon, just $1, each year.
  6. Charles Ergen: EchoStar’s chairman (and former owner of the Dish Network) also makes $1/year.

When faced with the criticism that they are involved in a pyramid scheme, MLM-proponents frequently like to harp about how jobs and corporations are pyramids. What would they say to these examples? Considering just salary, the janitor at one of these tech companies makes more money than the CEO!

Of course, these individuals have received other forms of compensation for their hard work. Whitman, for instance, does have a big bonus and pile of stock waiting for her if she can turnaround HP. The Google leaders have plenty of stock. Ellison gets huge cash bonuses, stock options, and a security detail.

What would MLM proponents say now? Would it be something to the effect of:

But, but, but… those people are exceptions to the rule!

If so, that’s a very interesting response. What about the people who make it big in MLM? Aren’t they the exceptions to the rules as well? It’s been mathematically proven that MLMs like MonaVie and LIFE have a very poor financial success rate. There’s only a few people at the top, and they make drastically more money than the distributor at the bottom of the organization.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. brent hansen permalink
    November 16, 2011 10:08 pm

    I am sick and tired of hearing this rubbish. At least if you choose to be part of a so called ‘corporate pyramid’ you are not going to pay to go to work. You might actually get a check, and be able pay your bills. That is truly more than you could say for 99% of all marketers.

  2. Burned Out With MV permalink
    November 17, 2011 3:50 am

    Hmmmmmmm, take home pay $1 ………… since most CEO’s job hop every few years and the side benifits and perks are the main source of income, plus the stock deals for residual income after they jump ship I guess it’s easy to be a corporate benifactor when you are already rich. Kinda like saying the MV BD’s main source of income is “The Comp Plan” (Best one in MLM, by it’s own admission) when everybody knows the tools and tickets are the real cash cow for them.

  3. brent hansen permalink
    November 17, 2011 7:15 am

    Webelieved, the principles that they taught you at the open meetings are all true principles, they just simply do not apply to the models they have been engaged with.

    The mathematics ensure that the 95% can never leave the left side of the quadrant because in order for the elite to succeed in MLM it must come at the loss of the majority. So although the principles are TRUE, they merely masquerade the core of the model which is a LIE.

    That is the problem with product based pyramid schemes, they are all lies, wrapped in the skin of many truths. That is why so many (including myself) are duped. When a principle rings true to who you are and what you believe, you immediately recognize it. We are wired as human beings to align ourselves with true principles, because that is how we were created.

    I remember being totally enthralled the first time I heard my former Diamond speak because he said the things I had always wanted to believe. We get caught up into it all intellectually, emotionally, and even spiritually because true principles are being taught from stage. We only fail to recognize that they simply do not apply to the MLM model.

    People do not know why they fail, but the leadership would have them believe that it is because of what they are not, and all the while telling them that they have the ability to do it. Both messages are taught simultaneously which cause major cognitive dissonance, and soon people have to change their thoughts to resolve the internal conflict they are experiencing. Then, they become hardened and calloused in their defense of the very mechanism that keeps them trapped and losing money.

    I may be wrong but I believe that their are many people who are earning from product based pyramid schemes who do not actually understand the mathematics of them. I recently spoke with a active Life PC member who admitted to me that he did not understand any of the mathematics of the compensation plan from which he was earning. When he asked him what the maximum success ratio from the network was, he could not answer, because he had no idea. I believe that in MLM there are two types of people succeeding, there are those that understand the math and simply are too greedy to care about others. Then there are those that do not understand the math but have resolved any cognitive dissonance they might experience, by deciding to change their entire thought process, and they have literally convinced themselves they are serving humanity.

    The saddest thing of all is that viable models can be created, but it requires several things. New thinking, better understanding, and a desire to help and serve those at the bottom of an organization. The mathematics are a mere formality that can be overcome when one understands real servant leadership, and seeks to create something to benefit the masses, instead of extract wealth from them.

  4. brent hansen permalink
    November 17, 2011 8:14 am


    Perhaps you do not understand exactly what I wrote. I totally agree that everything you have written or quoted here is a lie. I think we merely misunderstand each other when I use the word ‘principle’.

    When I say principle, I refer to the basic principles that we all kind find in the Bible. Such as the law of the harvest, servant leadership, principles of honesty, integrity, character, kindness, persistence, hard work, ethics, etc. etc.

    When I say the word principle, these are the things I think of. Principles have existed from the very foundation of everything. The law of the harvest cannot be denied, nor changed, you will harvest what you have planted period.

    The cash flow quadrant, 45 yr plan, residual pipeline income, etc. etc. are not principles. These are theories thought up by man. Principles, like our dreams, come from a Divine source. Principles cannot be mutated, and we are all subject to them just as we are subject to the law of gravity.

    When you hear a cd or a speaker from stage, they are teaching true principles interwoven with their bogus theories. This is what causes cognitive dissonance. You hear about persistence and servant leadership, (true principles) but directed towards understanding the so called 45 year plan (invented theory). Does this help clarify the point I am trying to make?

    You and I both know about all the crap they are shoveling, but to the new person, it is hard to decipher what is true, and what is a lie, because it is interwoven in every audio, seminar, and talk given.

    That is why i said, the principles are true, they simply do not apply to the model. They can’t apply, because the model is a lie.

  5. Speak Your Truth permalink
    November 17, 2011 9:32 am

    Excellent explantion Brent. Everything is double standards, mixed messaged and misleading twisted staments.. truth and lie is like oil and water, but it creates the ‘internal conflict’ so they wear you down with constant bombardment of these messages or otherwise you would hold to common sense, true principle and your beliefs because you cannot hold two conflicting beliefs at the same time, is what causes internal conflict.

    It is cleverly and deceptively designed and has been practiced by these faudsters for decades; to hold your mind captive by keeping you immersed in cd’s, seminars, tues, majors (their controlled information) etc…so your mind does not have time to rest and reflect on logic and truth or get ‘outside’ information to verify, hence the no cross-lining.

    The ‘system’ is essentially information overload used constantly and your brain has no time to process nor do you have time to reflect internally. It is all used and knowingly by the cons, with a boat load of deception, coercion, mixed with biblical validity and thought reform, with specific intent to strip you of your critical thinking and buy into the ‘group think’…my opinion…it is its own created religion and indicative of a very destructive Cult.

  6. Speak Your Truth permalink
    November 17, 2011 10:06 am

    I meant to add webelieved and think we all know, there is no denying the thought reform use and lies are spread as ‘truth’. Very powerful process and it works…but is not permanent…Thank God!

    Also thanks this website and people like those on here who are helping people ‘see’ and also for those who are captive….it helps ‘snap’ people out of it! 🙂

  7. ConnieF permalink
    November 17, 2011 10:31 pm

    These comments are so astute, as to how the fraud is perpetrated on unsuspecting and hopeful Ambots. As notorious fraudster Barry Minkow wrote “the most efficient fraud is one where the skin of truth is stuffed with a lie”.

  8. Murray Lees permalink
    November 18, 2011 7:09 am

    Brent Hansen and Speak Your Truth; thank you so much for your comments.

    I’ve been struggling with a parent who is deeply immersed in what Brent has referred to as congnitive dissonance. They truely believe they will save humanity with the LIFE pyramid. When I was home visiting during the summer prior the launch of LIFE I inquired about how is it a good business idea to be paying into three pyrimids at the same time (i.e. MonaVie, TEAM, and now LIFE) to which they responded…neither are pyramids, all are MLMs. Fine. Accordingly, I’ve come to find out through my poor parent that LIFE has been positioned as a means of profiting from the ‘system’ or ‘tools’ who’s profit were once only reserved for those at the top (i.e. when Orrin was still involved in Qixtar). Orrin has even promulgated…and this was the icing on the cake for me…that the PC is NOT MAKING MONEY OFF OF LIFE. I swear to you, this is what my parent told me…no one on the PC is taking profit out of LIFE. To which I asked “So who owns the LIFE business enitity?”…silence.

    After reading the P&P for LIFE, in the very first paragraph refers to LIFE L.L.L.P. which stands for Limited Liability Limited Partnership. Who are the partners who have equity (shares) in LIFE? I suppose that would be the PC but who can be sure? The rub of it all besides the lie that the PC aren’t profiting from LIFE is that in a L.L.L.P. partners (shareholders) risk (liability) is limited to their investment. So, if each partner agrees with each other that they will only invest $1 each, if the whole thing goes belly up, each partner is only responsible to pony up their original investment. Everything else could possibly be written off if bankruptcy happened. There is of course all kinds of legal wrangling that I’m certainly not an expert in but at the end of the day…all of the risk is transferred to whomever desides to sign up for LIFE. If LIFE implodes and owes people money…tough…that’s the risk you take signing up for this BS ‘business’ model.

    Anyway, my parent is not at all open to hearing any discussion on these practical matters. The same goes for the math. Totally shut off and won’t (or can’t) answer any practical questions that any normal entreprenur would ask.

    Numbers always talk and I’ve never seen anything like the extent to which Orrin will go to make sure the numbers are suficiently obfuscated, not readily available, or even ignored.

    Thanks guys.

  9. Speak Your Truth permalink
    November 18, 2011 8:21 am

    Murray Lees~

    I am sorry to hear about your parent, but there is hope. You and can clearly see how your parent has bought into the ‘group think’ without question. The crack in the ‘beliefs’ they have been fed and bought into will get bigger, even if they may not appear to be hearing you. It is a long sublte process to get them to ‘convert’ but I believe you will get them thinking. They won’t verbalize their doubts but will begin to question what they already know intuitively. Keep calmly asking those tough questions with love, it will eventually begin to reverse the cognitive dissonace. Alls it takes is the right question, you are already doing that. Something will resinate especially if they are already doubting; and will get them thinking. Be paitent it may take awhile.

    Good luck and welcome to the site! 🙂

  10. brent hansen permalink
    November 18, 2011 8:27 am


    You are more than welcome for the comments I have made, I hope perhaps that I have written or will write something that may be of value to you and your family.

    Unfortunately there is a 96% chance that your parent will never benefit financially from the Life compensation model. As has been demonstrated through several analysis, the mere mathematics of the compensation structure require a very high percentage of financial failure in order for the select few to profit. That is the grim reality of a product based pyramid scheme, the chances of benefiting financially are in all reality greater in Las Vegas.

    However from the product standpoint, I cannot judge the person if they like the product Life offers. The personal value that they may find in listening to or being part of the Life system is a totally subjective topic, and any advice or evidence I may offer would be coming from a t business, accounting, or ethical standpoint. I am here to share my experiences, and hopefully make people aware of the mathematical and financial injustices that exist within these systems.

    I am not aware of who exactly has ownership of Life, nor who would benefit from any corporate profits, but I am not naive enough to believe that it is no one. From the anonymous analysis given by one of our Amthrax readers, we can learn that 30% of all dollars are returned as gross profit to Life. I do not believe that there is anyway of knowing what the net profits are, and to whom these profits are given because that information is not available.

    You are exactly correct when you wrote that the numbers are obfuscated, how else can a model like this be built? What would happen if I was in a room with 10 friends and invited them all to join me in business, but then told them that 9 of them could never break even?Do you think they would all be excited to join me? The numbers are necessarily hidden to obscure the truth, otherwise companies like Life would implode.

    If the Life training system is so valuable, and so great, why is it being brought to market through a top-heavy MLM? Other training personas such as Anthony Robbins, John Maxwell, Jeff Olsen, and many others are perfectly content bringing their products to market through traditional means. MLMs generate massive wealth for the founders, and those at the top of the structure, these guys know and understand that and have chosen their marketing arm accordingly.

    If the Life training Cds were on a shelf at Barnes & Noble, or being sold on, how much business do you really think would be generated? It is the combination of wrapping the packages up into a quasi-business opportunity that guarantees their success. They may talk about the merit of the 8 Fs, but in all reality a ‘business’ opportunity lies at the core of their ability to move the product. No business model = no sales.

    Unfortunately, your parent has been caught up in the hype of somehow being able to benefit from the model, even though not understanding the mathematical reality involved. My advice is to somehow try and direct your parent to this site, but ultimately, they have to want to seek the truth for themselves.

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