Skip to content

MLM Petition – An International Coalition of Consumer Advocates

October 25, 2013

I’m proud to support the MLM Petition, an international coalition of consumer advocates that recently filed a petition to the Federal Trade Commission. We’re asking the FTC to “investigate the multi-level marketing industry and protect consumers from fraudulent and deceptive practices.”

Read the MLM Petition press release here and visit the website here.

Many critics of MLMs run their sites independently from one another. I see MLM Petition as a great resource for bringing these voices together in the effort to prevent consumers from falling prey to dubious multi-level marketing schemes.

53 Comments leave one →
  1. Icekilla permalink
    October 26, 2013 11:19 am

    Why not extend the petition to something like change.org or avaaz?

  2. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 27, 2013 3:58 pm

    Kudos to all you, Amthrax and the people and professionals who have dedicated their expertise, time, (for most many years for free!) and effort and for the guts to stand up and most importantly for your compassion and passion to help others selflessly! THANK YOU to them who created this petition and toall of you who help create the awareness! This petition is dead on with our experience! It’s impeccable and love it that all these people came together!

    We all know the damage that this causes and leaves in it’s wake. Marriages taxed,ruined and division created, along with churches and friendships and families. Minds controlled. Cloaked in deception and enticed and promised with “financial freedom” and the American “Dream”.

    Those of us who know or have learned, you are promised the rainbow if you “just follow the proven system”,… but the results… empty promises, and false hope for millions, in the tune of BILLIONS of dollars in loses!…

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU… to you all you beautiful people!

    “It is during adversity when one can really make a big difference. But making a difference is not about being a big hero. It is simply about leaving the bathroom a little cleaner going out, than when you came in.”

    And…

    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.: ~Dr. Seuss🙂

    Keep up the good fight!

  3. Heather - "Just Came To" permalink
    October 27, 2013 4:27 pm

    This is so exciting. Sure hope it leads somewhere. Is that petition sign-able?

  4. October 28, 2013 2:23 am

    I read about this story in Reuters and Googled “mlm petition” to land here. As a former MLMer, I can tell you that in life there are wolves and there are sheep. I understand everyone coming together and encouraging lawmakers to do what feels “right” but as an American and simply as a human, I don’t think it’s fair to take away my right to take money from someone who is simple (dumb) enough to believe the lies we use in MLM. You look out for your own. My former MLM company was a part of something called the DSA which gives lobbying money to those who make the rules… the rules made it perfectly legal for me to take fools for a spin and if you were going to change those rules, the same fools would just fall for something else! Besides, you don’t have the money to change the rules.

  5. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 28, 2013 10:07 am

    Ronald Davison~

    I read your comments 3 times and still can’t believe my eyes!

    “I understand everyone coming together and encouraging lawmakers to do what feels “right” but as an American and simply as a human, I don’t think it’s fair to take away my right to take money from someone who is simple (dumb) enough to believe the lies we use in MLM.”

    Are you f-ing kidding?!!Take away your “rights” to LIE and exploit the “dumb”, It’s not fair to you?!! You are exactly what is WRONG with America, Humans, AND the Laws, not what’s Right!!

    You can’t possibly “understand”, you are incapable,It has nothing to do with how it “feels.” Although, I can also see you are incapable of “feeling” for anyone but yourself and I question why you would be a “former” MLMer” you are a perfect fit, what did you move on to, to exploit the “dumb”?…. What a disgrace.

  6. Tony K permalink
    October 28, 2013 2:48 pm

    I hope that R. Davison was just being sarcastic…

  7. Vogel permalink
    October 28, 2013 3:02 pm

    At first blush, it’s staggeringly depressing to see a comment as ruthless and uncaring as that posted by Ronald Davison, and yet at the same time I can’t help but be grateful to him for laying bare (inadvertently no doubt) the fundamental truth of MLM — i.e., it’s a racket where exploitative con-men look for suckers to prey on. It’s just that simple really.

    Now if the industry was only honest about its essential nature instead of trying to portray MLM as a “business opportunity” or an avenue for “personal development”.

    If I’d like to see an MLM’s distributor force wearing T-shirts bearing Ronald’s mantra: “I’m a wannabe wolf and you’re my dumb prey” instead of BS half-witted slogans like “drink it; feel it; share it”.

    Of course, we can’t expect the wolf to provide any warnings. That’s where we come in — the shepherds who protect the flock from ruthless animals like that POS Ronald. It’s a job that our regulatory agencies should be doing, but like Ronald points out, the DSA, acting on behalf of the crooked MLMs that finance its existence, lobbies to prevent regulation and oversight of this rotten MLM con game.

    It will eventually come to an end though. Hopefully that day will be sooner rather than later.

  8. noteam permalink
    October 28, 2013 5:47 pm

    I think Ronald was actually Tim Marks typing in his sleep using a different name. He must not have realized he was typing his real thoughts live on the computer🙂

  9. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 28, 2013 8:21 pm

    Vogel-

    Thank you for sharing, I always appreciate your wisdom and a lot of your truthful humor and especially your support! My heals clicking must have been deafening as I was reading Ronald Davisions (who ever he really is) comments. So true what you say, thanks.

    Without a shaddow of doubt I believe RD is precisely and the epitome of the belief system of those at the Top of the parasitic industry. I will grant him, at least; he was honest (in this case) and admitted the truth!

    Unfortunately he is only one and will probably be the one and ONLY who admitts this truth, the rest will deny and continue to preach their ‘noble’ and false misleading gospel. Just so hard for me to read… the epitome of greed, superiority complex, and sheer evil…just so disturbing and dangerous. Can’t believe he is willing a “former M L M e r”. But if he isn’t, Why?’ What would he trade it for? He doesn’t seem like he would willing give it up…perhaps a prison sentence or found another predatory scam? He certainly sees nothing wrong with preying on the “dumb” or I see it more accurately vulnerable and deceived.😦

    Noteam-

    Just makes you go hmmm….may never know who it really is unless of course he would have another moment of truth and provide us some proof. I don’t believe for a second, he is using his real name and not naive or stupid enough to believe he is just an honest person who just “landed here” at least without motive, more than meets the eye!

  10. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 28, 2013 8:38 pm

    There simply are no words of how grateful I am to be free from such evil and greed. I also have no words to justly express my gratitude to all those who sacrifice, contribute, fight relentlessly to stop this and try to make the changes necessary, and have helped me and I know others, rise out of these ashes…I am beyond thankful to you all.

  11. switch permalink
    October 28, 2013 10:28 pm

    “Multi-level marketing scams damage relationships. Family, friends,
    neighbors, fellow church members and countless others are
    targeted as recruitees, often causing or resulting in resentment and
    alienation, where otherwise healthy, harmonious relationships
    previously existed. The incessant mind control tactics used in
    these groups that are perceived by those enrolled as
    “encouraging,” “inspiring,” “life-changing,” etc., serve only to
    enslave and deceive the masses. Those enrolled become “close
    friends” seemingly with only their fellow MLM enrollees & find a
    new “family” in them in which to dwell. Financial ruin coupled with
    previously cherished relationships in ruin is a much different picture
    than the one the MLM powers that be consistently paint to their
    “followers.” Please put an end to these invasive, destructive
    scams.”

    Besides all the rest of the things said here from the site itself….”life-changing” seems to be the most familiar here.

  12. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 29, 2013 10:32 am

    Switch~

    That quote is dead on! More people just recently reached out to me and one seeing the results of brainwashing and the other of another failed marriage due to the choice of the spouse who choose the LIFE “family” lies over husband and children. The worst part is it doesn’t end there, the damage continues with spitefulness and revenge from the person in LIFE and because clearly it’s because of their life-changing-if-you-aren’t-with-us-you-are-against-us ideology,,,,,

    Amazing how they claim they make a “positive difference” in people’s lives. Delusional… ya know.changing the world.. one person and family at a time. There are millions of these truths and damages and would love to compile them in a BOOK….sad and destructive.

  13. Alex permalink
    October 29, 2013 10:38 am

    This is my story with Xango…

    I was in a relationship with a fantastic woman. I can say that she was my first love and the best thing that has happened in my life so far.

    Back in June we had some tough differences and we broke up in July 2013, but we worked on solving them and went back together in August.

    The problem was that she joined this MLM: Xango – Iuvare.

    The way I found out was pretty harsh to me: She invited me to an opportunity meeting. She told be of this brilliant business opportunity she found and she wanted me to be part of it. I asked her what it was about, thinking it could be something illegal. Yet every time I asked her that question she avoided it with answers such as “It’s too complicated to explain. I have to show it to you in person” or “Let’s meet up so I can show you”.

    I accepted to go to her meeting. When I arrived to the place, I saw all these bunch of people dressed formally (More formal than usual in a business environment. More like a very formal event) and they were all carrying cases with the labels Xango and Iuvare. At that moment, I had the chills and a bad vibe coming from the place.

    My partner seemed very happy and enthusiastic, so I stayed. I regret it, however. By the time I walked into their office (Which was nothing more than a rented house cheaply decorated with Xango’s propaganda) I felt creeped out for seeing things such as a wall with pictures of kids with cancer and letters from them and their families “thanking” Xango. I asked her about what’s that and she told me those kids thanked the sales men for the product which helped them. I remember saying “Let me guess: this snake oil promised to cure them the cancer and you guys profited out of them?” to which she replied “It does NOT cures anything. It just helps them improve their life quality”. The presenter actually implied at times that the juice DID “help cure” some of those diseases such as Cancer, AIDS, hepatitis and diabetes.

    When I walked in, the guy was very clear: Do not disturb the presenter, turn off your cellphones or you’ll be kicked out and leave the questions for the end. So they gave me the usual sales pitch. You know: We’ve been educated with a poor mentality, residual income, Robert Kiyosaki, easy money, being an entrepreneur and having a “once in a lifetime opportunity to change”.

    At first I thought “Ok, here comes the brainwashing”, but I was actually amazed at how cynic the presenter was.

    Basically this was the plan they were trying to sell us:
    • Pay an initial plan which included a sign-up fee for Iuvare, a Xango starter kit and 2 bottles of juice. All of this for the lovely price of $349USD.
    • Recruit 3 folks into the system. The 2nd guy you recruit will have to be given away to the person who recruited you. There’s some tricky math behind it but, if you studied Discrete Math or Data Structures, you’ll notice it’s a graph. Basically thanks to this, you’ll be making lots of money thanks to the people who join thanks to your downline.
    • Pay every month the absurd amount of $234USD for two boxes of juice (4 bottles each).

    They also told us that we could sell the bottles of juice, but the money wasn’t there and since Iuvare was a fast-track program they HAD to do recruiting in order to be successful.
    So at that moment I told my GF “Honey, this is a scam. Why did you bring me into this?” to which she said “It is not a scam. This works. Just let him finish and then you can ask us whatever you want”. So at the end, I did ask a few questions such as what level he was in (20k), how much he was making a month (Around $2,000USD) and how many people he had beneath him as his downline (Around 320 persons). My warning system pretty much went off by then.

    From there, I kept watching her as she was sinking into a pile of debt and at the same time, becoming the person she didn’t want to be when I met her. The monster she was scared of becoming. To make it short, the more time she spent inside, the more she became an arrogant, greedy and proud person. The values I saw in her when I met her were pretty much gone by September. There were moments when she heavily criticized me for not having a car and not being able to afford a variety of unneeded things while using some dirty reverse psychology mumbo-jumbo on me, making me feel guilty. All of this directly derived into her trying to convince me into joining Xango and praising how much money I could make off that company, alongside the lifestyle we could have with our combined profits from Xango.

    I did a deeper research and I managed to find resources from people such as Robert FitzPatrick and Dr. Jon Taylor. I was shocked when I read their documents and the moment I saw that 99% of the people in MLM lose money, I fell off my chair.

    I was kind of a skeptic, so I wanted to do my own calculations. It took me a couple of days with Excel, but I found out that under ideal conditions of growth (3^x people recruited each month, where x is the amount of months that passed by), and just considering the expense of the 2 cases of juice per month, 96% of the people inside Xango lose money. My GF was one of those. If we consider other expenses, that percentage increases considerably.
    By the moment I’m posting this, she has probably lost about $1,200USD in this MLM company. Most of that money paid with her credit card. That’s just accounting for her, BTW. I found out she recruited her younger brother, for which their father had to co-sign and offer his credit card. So let’s double up that loss to $2,400USD so far between the two.
    Every time I tried to talk her out of Xango she got heavily mad at me, calling me names such as loser, dreamstealer, mediocre, poor-minded and overall, making me feel worse for trying. I saw her become worse and it was something I just couldn’t handle myself anymore. We’re talking of a Chemical Engineering student who has strong foundations in Statistics and Advanced Mathematics. I keep wondering: How could she fall for this?
    I posted on my Facebook wall a screenshot of Taylor’s report on MLM’s loss rated and I highlighted Xango’s estimated loss of 99%. The moment she saw that, she called me pissed, demanding me to delete that post because “I was scaring away potential prospects”. It got ugly. Next day I decided to break up with her.
    Three weeks have passed since then and the news I’ve gotten from friends of her are that she’s still inside Xango, still losing money and still drinking the kool – aid.

    Knowing her, she’ll not profit. If she does, I don’t know how she’ll sleep at night knowing that she’s profiting off the backs of 99% of her downline, who are losing money so she can have a good lifestyle.

    Considering her chances of profiting are next to none, however, she’ll keep sinking into a huge debt, which might cause her to lose the few things she has, including her college education that is already costing her a hefty amount of money even with the scholarships she earned. Her financial situation wasn’t good when I met her. It gradually got worse. I had to help her financially so she could stay in college and yet, she fell for this scam.
    Also, knowing her emotional condition, she’ll have a breakdown the moment she realizes she was conned for a huge amount of money. That is what worries me the most. She’s just so fragile, that I wonder if she would endanger her life after the realization of the damage she’s causing to herself and her family. To make it worse: Will she ever realize she’s being conned?

    Only time will tell. In the meantime, I hope the kool – aid runs out soon.

  14. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 29, 2013 2:02 pm

    Alex~

    Thanks so much for sharing! Sorry for your experience, unfortantely there are reams of these stories, more people need to come forward like you will speak up,🙂

    What a sad, sad but all too typical story and had you not mentioned it was “Xango”, I would have sworn it was the Team & LIFE “business opportunity plan “, same recruiting dishonorable techniques…. they ALL use the mind-control/numbing, false hope (riches, lottery luring), misleading and twisted rhetoric. Income claims “20k” needs to be complained about for sure! Bet he didn’t back those claims up…I have seen some comments they ARE preying on the college students and then convince them to quit college by their constant indoctrinating (college is bad, will never get you the life you always wanted, bs) messages. When most of them attended college and then USE it everywhere they spew their bio.. “reputation/credibility” tool. Hypocrisy.

    You are a great writer, hope you share with any and every agency, person, website, anywhere you can….FTC, SEC, DOJ…anywhere. They need to be as overwhelmed and fed up as the rest of the world because their are some great people doing what they can and won’t be denied!…

    Every person needs to speak up and say “ENOUGH”…something will eventually be done, .. many things are already set in motion due to people like you…..

    Thankfully many are using their skills and resources, all of them are doing their part and are creating the fly-wheel effect!🙂

    It is obvious people are fed up and the agencies are beginning to listen slowly they are shutting the fraudulent pyramid schemes down!🙂 Thanks again, good luck!

  15. Vogel permalink
    October 29, 2013 3:26 pm

    Oh Alex, my heart aches every time I read a story like that; and your’s was particularly well articulated and representative of the reality of MLM to a T. Really, I don’t think there is a single case in MLM history that didn’t pretty much follow your story-line EXACTLY.

    I doubt that MLM has ever made anyone a better person — EVER. In fact, it’s quite the opposite — MLM is like a factory for making lost souls and abusers. It’s no coincidence that MLM has a bad name, or that people run when MLMers come near, or that they cringe and laugh when the name Amway is mentioned.

    MLM feeds the beasts of narcissism, greed, close-mindedness, jealousy, materialism, insecurity, dishonesty, exploitation, manipulation, harassment, paranoia, delusion, and outright stupidity — all of our basest traits.

    MLM is like Agent Orange to the soul — an absolutely devastating aerial assault on the core of one’s humanity.

    All this will eventually come at a great price, one way or another, for those who propogate the hell-on-earth that is MLM.

  16. The Truth Hurts permalink
    October 29, 2013 4:10 pm

    Melanie Morgan,

    Many things can “make a difference” in someones Life. Why is it that so many who get hooked into organizations looking to fleece them think that only “good people” are looking to help them change their lives?

    One needs to consider if the “difference” is bad or good, what is this “difference” doing to their Life or circumstance in the long run?

    In my opinion, the Devil is always looking to “make a difference” in everyone’s Life. Individuals just have to be on guard to understand the Devil wears may disguises..and he never quits trying to “make a difference”.

  17. The Truth Hurts permalink
    October 29, 2013 5:33 pm

    Just thinking more about good and evil tonight.

    I think the worst thing of all (to me) is when someone or something masquerades as a good or Godly person/organization, when all the while they have an agenda so far from good or Godly that in the end it will devastate and shock you to your core.

    This can happen to anyone, in all walks of Life. Maybe it is a good thing to share what I feel are “warning signs”.

    When I was in a certain organization, I was slowly seduced..but seduced by what? Years later, I would say my answer to that question is pure Evil. Now I know many reading this may question my assessment, but I feel strongly that I can only label my experience with this organization nothing in the long run but Evil.

    I wonder, when I initially signed up, was that when the Evil agenda began on their part? The agenda to use me for financial gain of their own, not caring if it ruined me in the process? What does this do to a person..do people go along and become so changed, so distorted, that you too become a prey person? Notice I said PREY PERSON? I mean a person who Preys upon another, uses another no different than a Lion looks at his Prey. Either way, you are eaten up; in the case of the Lion, he eats you physically. In the case of the organization I was in, you are the PREY, and you are eaten mentally. In the end we are both hunted…

    The truly evil part of this to my way of thinking is that “false friendships” are formed. Betrayal is common place. In the end, you have a choice, eat or be eaten.

    If one chooses to eat, then one must continually recruit; In order to keep the balls in the air, this can never stop. What residual income can there possibly be? You have to keep building, as your retention rate is abysmal.

    If one chooses to not be eaten, if they have the moral integrity to see through the smoke and mirrors and can leave, they are called LOSERS, QUITTERS, you name it. The sudden loss of friendship is devastating, almost like a shunning. You are bereft, left to feel like Flotsam on a stream.

    Now I ask this; how can any organization that purports to be good stoop to these depths? Now we are back to my original assessment. Evil. Pure Evil. Evil flourishes when good men do nothing..

    Thanks Amthrax for being a Good Man who stands up! Thanks for creating a forum for many who have been devastated and demoralized to come and heal.

    Inch by inch, all who come here to heal will regain their former lives and get back to being the person they were and are. I feel on this site we are here to help each other…and that is true friendship indeed.

  18. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 29, 2013 9:56 pm

    The Truth Hurts~

    I agree wholeheartedly with so much of what you say.

    “how can any organization that purports to be good stoop to these depths?”

    Doesn’t matter how much you say something is “good” it doesn’t make it so, and worse I agree it’s evil and destructive in so many lives. The ‘good’ they self promote they are is artificial and the friendships are superficial.

    Still amazes me the aura of arrogance and self-deception.

    Do they really believe THEY are everyone’s answer and have authority over (God) in everyone else’s lives?

    Amazing and Thank you Vogel, for your post at 3:26!

    Vogel said: “MLM feeds the beasts of narcissism, greed, close-mindedness, jealousy, materialism, insecurity, dishonesty, exploitation, manipulation, harassment, paranoia, delusion, and outright stupidity — all of our basest traits.”

    That is the truth and what I see as the evil’s.

    Vogel said: “All this will eventually come at a great price, one way or another, for those who propogate the hell-on-earth that is MLM.”

    It couldn’t come soon enough for me and Godspeed for all those being deceived.

  19. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 30, 2013 12:49 pm

    “Breaking MLM News: ViSalus Hit With RICO Alligations, How Will This Affect Byth Stock Or CVSL Bid To Buy Blyth?”

    http://mlmhelpdesk.com/breaking-mlm-news-visalus-hit-with-rico-alligations-how-will-this-affect-byth-stock-or-cvsl-bid-to-buy-blyth/#.UnFghq8o7IU

  20. Melanie Morgan permalink
    October 30, 2013 1:13 pm

    “Breaking News: SEC Sanctions Troy Dooly Under The 1933 Securities Act For Pimping Zeek Rewards”

    http://mlmhelpdesk.com/breaking-news-sec-sanctions-troy-dooly-under-the-1933-securities-act-for-pimping-zeek-rewards/#.UnFnT68o7IU

  21. TruthSeeker permalink
    October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

    For anyone who has hopes of the SEC, or FTC stepping in and doing something, just read through Melanie’s post about the sanctions put on Dooly.

    The SEC stepped in and with all their power, might, and a really set of sharp teeth fined him a couple of thousand bucks.

    A very similar punishment to that given Paul Burks, and one that meant absolutely nothing. Picture this as a headline, “Paul Burkes defrauds consumer of $600 million dollars, and the SEC steps in with all of their brilliance and fines him a measly $3,000,000. I am sure Burks is laughing his a$$ off all the way to the Cayman islands.

    Truth be known, the government probably spent more than the $3 million fine just investigating the Zeek scam, and I guarantee it cost more than a couple thousand bucks to sanction Dooly.

    What a joke! I swear the government is worthless.

  22. October 30, 2013 5:23 pm

    PLEASE don’t anyone make any comments about Ronald Davison. Anyone who thinks it’s his “RIGHT” to make money from someone who is simple (dumb) enough to believe the lies we use in MLM, doesn’t deserve out time of day.

  23. TruthSeeker permalink
    October 30, 2013 6:39 pm

    Ronald Davison is obviously a dipshit.

  24. switch permalink
    October 31, 2013 7:12 am

    Alex said-
    “Knowing her, she’ll not profit. If she does, I don’t know how she’ll sleep at night knowing that she’s profiting off the backs of 99% of her downline, who are losing money so she can have a good lifestyle.”

    Bingo. And on top of that, (as you stated) the many illegal claims and testimonies curing terminal illnesses to get there…how disgusting. And yes,…how they sleep at night is beyond me. This is so sad to see that other companies like Mona Vie are spreading unlawful claims like this. Maybe Xango’s CEO and Larsen are connected….wouldn’t surprise me whatsoever.

    Please…..I’d rather lick toilets for a living.

  25. October 31, 2013 10:06 am

    yes. you can sign at mlmpetition.com

  26. switch permalink
    October 31, 2013 10:50 am

    oh and btw,…. how can we forget about the word, “ELECTRIC”….. “This weekend is gonna be ELECTRIC!”…. I seem to have heard that one MANY times when they slithered their way into my home….

    Good Gaawwwd…..just the thought makes wanna dry heave.

  27. October 31, 2013 11:36 am

    scam.com is considering removing the petition. Please get involved. http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?p=1404084

  28. Rascal Teamster permalink
    November 1, 2013 9:47 am

    Awesome thread and so great to see some progress. As this website is getting some national publicity, I figure this would be a good place to post this.

    One thing I hope they hammer is the business of training tools. While I was part of the Team, I wasn’t ever convinced that the product side of the business was a pyramid. But I didn’t need any convincing that the tool business was. And it still is.

    If you are in a business that tries to convince you, as Team Life does, that you need a package of CDs, Books of the month, and seminar tickets, just to be able to “build” the business and properly pitch the opportunity……RUN. It’s a scam. NO legitimate business opportunity requires that much training in order to be able to sell the opportunity. I can’t believe I fell for that crap. Just ask your upline who makes the money off of all of those tools and see what he says. Better yet, ask him to SHOW you how that tool money is made. There just may not be anything in writing.

    I’ve been in retail now for 32 years. I’ve sold lots of things….high end products….big ticket items. When I present the product and explain the product, the customers decides whether or not the item I am offering is worth the price I’m asking. It’s the same way in any real estate transaction I’ve been a part of. However, the real money in MLMs is NEVER in the product. It’s most always in the training.

    As proof of this, I offer the two links to pictures in Raquel Peter’s Facebook page, “Is Orrin Woodward’s Life/Team business destructive?” You can read her story there if you like. She can’t comment, as she’s currently being sued by Team Life and Eric Bloomdahl, but her evidence says it all. Pay attention to her 2007 1099 Forms during her Team experience during the Amway years (links below). Does it not read that she made $34K from Amway, but $85K from Team? That Team money is from the sales of training tools and speaking…..the back end to the MLM paycheck. Only the $34K from Amway is from the product side is legitimate.

    When Mark Paul, my Team upline, used to tell me that, “Someday the Team tool money will equal the product income,” we (I) always thought that the main money was from product, and they hoped to build the tool business big enough to rival it. This was ALL double speak. What they were really hoping is that someday the product income would equal the tool income, so they didn’t look like such a illegal pyramid. What a bunch of lying, deceiving, slime bags.

    And speaking of slime, did you catch the new book by Terri Brady, “Letters to Lindsey?” This is her FREE blog in book form. Ain’t that a peach? Folks this is how the tool scam works in present day. They need to make money off the sales of tools and books, but there isn’t enough profit in books to pay the pyramid builders……UNLESS…..not only do you write the book, but you publish the book at Obstacles Press, which you just happen to own. Then you sell it down through your entire organization as the book of the month, and not only did you reap all the profits across the board, but you might even become a best selling author. Terri, you should really be ashamed of yourself getting, “convinced by your husband to write the book.” Either you are that naive, or you are that big a part of the scam.

    Let me run some numbers by you, Terri……16,3,10,8,5,9,1,7. Out of all the thousands of people in the Team and Worldwide that “LOVE” your material, no one’s reading it. Those are the number of comments in order of the last 8 articles on your blog. The “big one” when you got 16?….well that was the number of replies to your post announcing the release of your book. See, no one appears to care…..but you found a way to make money off these non-caring individuals by turning the material they didn’t want to read when it was free into a book that you can make them buy as a book of the month. That’s soooooo sleazy.

    I used to think that the Team Ladies were not major players in the scam and just being deceived by their husbands. But thanks to Terri and her new book, she has effectively convinced me that the ladies are just as evil as the men. Seriously Terri……the material was available for FREE already. Please, can you tell me again, how your business is all about helping people by providing leadership material? Seems you were already providing this material.

    I suggest you drop the book of the month idea and just put this dribble in the Life shopping cart and see how many people choose to buy it when they are GIVEN A CHOICE…..

    If the FTC doesn’t drop the hammer on the entire tool business side of MLM, then they truly don’t care about fixing this industry and protecting the rest of us.

  29. November 1, 2013 12:14 pm

    Rascal, that was awesome.

    As an added effort to make both sides of the pyramid equal, don’t forget what must’ve been modeled after their meeting structure, the “tricks after the tricks” where you shove a condensed version of a book that you already wrote (Uncle Orrey’s Life Primer) down the throats of the loyal. That’s the gift that literally keeps on giving.

  30. Vogel permalink
    November 1, 2013 12:17 pm

    Ah, the truth of it all! Great post RT. Bottom line: yep, it’s all about ‘tools’, the worthless products are a mere afterthought (an admission ticket to participate in the con game), couples who run these scams shoulder the blame (and inherent evilness) equally, and ‘we the people’ need the FTC to act now and act forcefully.

    I wonder what will become of these pathetic scammers once the day of retribution comes. They certainly aren’t qualified for anything, other than perhaps a life of crime and an afterlife of eternal damnation.

  31. November 1, 2013 3:49 pm

    Great stuff RT

    Check this out Seen at Scam.com
    “Anyone who thinks Networking has anything to do with sales will never make it big in this business, with very few exceptions.”

    ”This is a sponsor and teach business, not a recruit and sell business. Network Marketing is building a family of consumers.”

    Mhhh… very telling wouldn’t you say?

  32. Mr wut? permalink
    November 1, 2013 7:51 pm

    Again, what’s the difference?

    You recruit people into buying a product and consume it. Usually you tell them that they can profit out of doing the same thing. You’ll make a money through that. When this becomes ad-infinitum, eventually every person on earth is inside and there’s no one to sell to. People get inside not to consume the products/services, but to make money. And they become disappointed because it turns out they end up losing money.

    Of course people can’t tell the difference if they’re constantly being brainwashed!

  33. Anna permalink
    November 2, 2013 4:24 am

    Sadness. That’s what I feel today when I think of the good friends I have still engulfed in this cult. Frustration for those who have become perpetrators that I can no longer be friends with. Disgust with the many people, like the Brady’s who are “all-in” to this game of deception.

    Thank you, Amthrax for creating this meeting place that allows us to vent and discuss this. Thanks Rascal for great posts like the one above. Thank you, Raquel and Melanie for laying it all bare and being so available when I first started questioning what was happening here.

    I pray for all of the above, and that this petition accomplishes something worthwhile.

  34. TruthSeeker permalink
    November 2, 2013 9:12 am

    @Rascal, great post! While I fully appreciate your optimism in this statement, “If the FTC doesn’t drop the hammer on the entire tool business side of MLM, then they truly don’t care about fixing this industry and protecting the rest of us.” I assure you that they truly DO NOT CARE about fixing this industry.

    I have come to the conclusion that any action taken by the FTC and SEC in regards to MLM is simply window dressing to make the public think they are hard at work earning their government paychecks, and justify their paltry contribution to society.

    Nothing could expose their real concern for the American public more, than to read up on the Zeek Rewards / Troy Dooly SEC backlash, and punishment.

    Paul Burks ran one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history, and was able to pilfer over $600 million from his victims. Troy Dooly, through his platform of MLM Help Desk, and his testimonials aided and abetted in the commission of this crime.

    Both were investigated by the SEC, shutdown, sanctioned, and fined. Here is what the great MLM advocate Dooly received as his horrible punishment.

    “In response to the SEC cease and desist Dooly struck a deal with the SEC which resulted in the issuing of a $3000 civil penalty (to be paid to the Zeek Rewards Receiver for distribution to affiliates who lost money) and a disgorgement (the forced giving up of profits obtained by illegal or unethical acts) fine of $3000 with $98.81 in interest.”

    Through his testimony, Dooly was responsible for bringing in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars from participants into the Zeek scam. After being investigated, and punished for his participation, he was hit with the full brunt force of the U.S. government with a MASSIVE, STINGING, AND AMAZINGLY HUGE, $3,000 fine. Seriously?

    I am sure the “Dooly” investigation cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, and all they clawed back was $3,000?

    Now the funny thing, and I quote:

    “this means that for his part in promoting the Zeek Rewards Ponzi, Dooly walks away with $8901.19 of the money Zeek Rewards paid him. That figure might have been higher but for Zeek Rewards failing to pay him the last $6000 earnt due to Zeek’s assets being frozen by the SEC.”

    So get this, as a Zeek consultant and industry guru, Dooly walks away virtually unpunished by the SEC, and with a net profit of $8,901.19.

    Paul Burks paid a $4 million dollar fine and walked away as well. I’ll bet he is enjoying a life of luxury in the Cayman islands or some other hiding place.

    The DSA lobby and massive campaign contributions protect these charlatans from ever being investigated, and if they are, they will be let off scott free.

    Keep dreamin!

  35. Isaac permalink
    November 9, 2013 6:37 am

    Regarding comments about Terry Brady’s book, I have no problem with her publishing a book based on her blog. I’m a person that prefers to read a physical book and I’d be willing to pay $15, $20, or $25 for good content in book form (I’m not saying whether her book is good or not because I haven’t read her blog).

    I don’t even have a problem with LIFE leaders self-publishing books and selling them to other people in LIFE. If people want to freely purchase a book written by a LIFE leader, fine.

    The PROBLEM I do have is if a LIFE leader’s book becomes Book of the Month. That immediately should be a red flag to anyone in the LIFE business. LIFE promotes a DUPLICATABLE business model to make money. But if those making the money say that the model is to grow to be a top leader, write a book so that it can become BOM and make money off of that….that’s NOT duplicatable and very self-serving.

    I think this is the Achilles’ heel of LIFE. If the LIFE leaders have to stoop to the level of writing their own books and putting those books on BOM to make money, something is definitely wrong with the business model. These books are just the next iteration or over-priced, low-value items (like the thousands of CDs they peddle every month). None of these items would last in the open marketplace of Leadership Development tools.

    BAD, BAD BUSINESS MODEL. I hope LIFEr’s will come to that realization and get out while they can.

  36. Rascal Teamster permalink
    November 9, 2013 7:02 am

    Exactly Isaac.

    I don’t care if they write a book from their blog articles either. It’s the forcing of the members to buy it as a Book Of The Month that bothers me…and should bother ALL Lifers.

    If they want to put it on the website and let people choose to buy it, fine. But force??? I don’t think so. That’s too cheesy.

    I struggled through Orrin’s, “13 Resolutions.” It is awful. Content was good, but the proof reading was terrible. It was hard to get through it. Tim Mark’s, “Voyage of a Viking,” was even worse. I couldn’t even finish it.

    Let the would be authors try to stand on their own merit. Chris Brady is the only one with any writing ability worth reading. He is an excellent author, and the only one who could stand in his own.

    When this group has to resort to penning their own books of the month in order to make enough profit to feed the pipeline, they are in deep trouble.

  37. Rascal Teamster permalink
    November 9, 2013 7:26 am

    Any of the people who have been around Orrin for years has heard Orrin say, “getting the information to our members as cheaply as possible is the main goal.”

    In “The future of the Internet” CD, Orrin mentions free downloads…..being able to get system delivered via download. It was always about providing the information that people needed.

    Nothing is less expensive than a FREE blog, Orrin. Or is getting the information to the members as cheaply as possible not the real objective?

    Does anyone else smell this? Kind of smells like a mixture of BS and Cooked Goose!

  38. Isaac permalink
    November 9, 2013 11:45 am

    I agree 100% @ Rascal Teamster.

    Before I left TEAM I was certain that downloads would be made available instead of (or at least in addition to) CD’s. But that was over 3 YEARS AGO!

    With Orrin being such a great “bench marker” you would think that LIFE would utilize the available technology to get audio files out to everyone quickly and cheaply.

    Why don’t they do it? I assume it’s because they need to charge $5-$6 for CDs to keep money flowing through the company. If you reduce that cost for LIFE users, that reduces the revenue and those making the money get hit hard.

    Why? Because LIFE does not have sustainable products. It’s all about the TOOL revenue.

    You’re right – this goose might be cooked!

  39. Chrisxrascal permalink
    November 9, 2013 11:41 pm

    Alex – I did a little research on the product of Xango. I’m starting to wander if the company is in cahoots with Dallin Larsen and Monavie? Common trend in networking find a need, market the product at a higher price and get people to buy in bulk and sell hope. It’s ashame, these so called leaders with so called integrity and character can’t look at theirselves and face brutal reality as they say and face their conscience. Unfortunately most are into deep. People in desperate situations, do desperate things.

  40. Alex permalink
    November 10, 2013 6:50 am

    I have no idea whatsoever, but if you can link me to that intel, it would be nice of you🙂

  41. Vogel permalink
    November 10, 2013 4:52 pm

    I have never seen any evidence that Dallin was connected with Xango. He was a senior executive with both Dynamic Essentials and USANA however.

  42. Chrisxrascal permalink
    November 10, 2013 5:43 pm

    Maybe I could be wrong. I just saw a lot of similarities in the companies. Also their both Mormons.

  43. November 11, 2013 9:54 am

    Xango and MonaVie have had skirmishes in the past when several high-level MV distributors defected to Xango. Their products are similar (Mangosteen vs. Acai) and their MO is functionally the same. But, as Vogel pointed out, there’s no evidence that Larsen is connected to Xango.

  44. Vogel permalink
    November 11, 2013 9:56 pm

    The MLM wonder-tonic snakeoil-juice scams (and MLMs in general ) do look remarkably alike, because they are almost cookie cutter duplicates of one another; and yes, most of them are based in Utah and many seem to be run by and/or target LDS members.

    Monavie, Xango, and Tahitian Noni are probably the most well known examples.
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51175479-76/annual-companies-company-distributors.html.csp

    One of the latest copycats in the MLM scam juice game is Jusuru out of California. A total joke. No less absurd is Juice Plus, a snakeoil wonder-juice in pill form sold by NSA, an old-time infamously scammy MLM company based in Nashville. Up until fairly recently, there were also a ton of scammy non-MLM mail order companies that sold acai capsules for weight loss, until they got shut down by the Feds.

    Grifters just can’t seem to resist using juice-themed bait to lure suckers.

  45. Vogel permalink
    November 11, 2013 10:19 pm

    But of course, how could I forget to pay tribute to Dallin Larsen’s previous wonder tonic offering, “Royal Tongan Limu Juice”. Is that not a name that just screams SCAM? Can you hear the snakeoil caravan rolling into town…Doctor Larsen’s Traveling Medicine Show…”step right up ladies and gentlemen and get your Royal Tongan Limu Juice here…it’s good for whatever ails you…dropsy, croup, lumbago, apoplexy, the vapors…you name it, Limu can fix it!”

    Limu didn’t tickle the FDAs funny bone. They levied multi-million dollar fines, shut down the company, and made them pour the last of their snakelike juice into a landfill pit.
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/53061545-79/monavie-company-distributors-percent.html.csp

  46. January 8, 2014 2:10 am

    “At first blush, it’s staggeringly depressing to see a comment as ruthless and uncaring as that posted by Ronald Davison, and yet at the same time I can’t help but be grateful to him for laying bare (inadvertently no doubt) the fundamental truth of MLM — i.e., it’s a racket where exploitative con-men look for suckers to prey on. It’s just that simple really.”

    It’s worse than that even… it’s a racket where exploitative con-men look for suckers to prey on, and then corrupt them into finding and victimizing even more suckers.

    It’s so insidious that the VICTIMS help their VICTIMIZERS.

    If there is truly evil in the world, then it loves to hang out at MLM meetings.

    I am a founding member of the ICCA, I have actively investigated and exposed illegal pyramid schemes as they clawed their way into the music industry. Some may recall the work I did to expose the outrageous “Burnlounge” MLM (multi-level marketing) scam that victimized a number of famous musicians, as well as thousands of others.

    More recently I investigated the latest snake in our garden, “Conquer Entertainment.”

    During those investigations, I gained a powerful ally, the founder of PyramidSchemeAlert.org – Robert L. FitzPatrick.

    Recently, Mr. FitzPatrick invited me to join 38 other advocates and 1000 other signatories in a petition to the FTC which demanded that they act, once and for all, to clearly define and make illegal, these scams which skirt the law, victimize thousands, and cause untold harm and financial loss.

    I’m proud to be listed as one of 39 founding members on the ICCA web site:
    http://mlmpetition.com/expert-signatures

    “We, the People, call on Congress and the Obama Administration to end the neglect of consumer protection and the failure of law enforcement regarding pyramid scams and Ponzi operators. We respectfully request a Congressional Investigation of the FTC and SEC regarding enforcement of laws against Pyramid Selling Schemes, Multi-level Marketing Scams, Ponzi Investment Frauds, Bogus “Business Opportunity” and “Work from Home” Schemes.”

    I’m glad to be a part of this historic action to end MLM scams, and I encourage people to get involved, help spread the truth, and help stop the victimization of people who are already struggling.

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11268786.htm

  47. Melanie Morgan permalink
    January 8, 2014 10:48 am

    Noel Ramos~

    First THANK YOU for sharing, and Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for YOU and the rest for coming together, taking your time, recourses, knowledge, talent and especially action in being a part of the petition.

    Now, I pray something gets done!🙂

  48. Melanie Morgan permalink
    January 8, 2014 11:54 am

    Noel Ramos~

    Congratulations and great job on the Burnlounge take down!!!!🙂

  49. January 8, 2014 2:41 pm

    Thank you Melanie. We are obviously battling a multi-billion dollar fraud that’s been allowed to grow and fester for 3 decades. Some of these shady corporations have grown so large and wealthy that they have politicians and law enforcement in their pockets. They spend millions annually on lobbyists (like the Direct Selling Association) and campaign contributions.

    The mob got out of bootlegging and instead got into cosmetics, household products and herbal supplements.

    I think it would be wise for us all to fully realize that WE are the vanguard. Although I too hope the FTC acts as we’ve requested, we can’t expect the government, which has continued their extreme laissez faire policies for decades, to step up and completely end this plague when so much money is at stake.

    We have to keep turning up the heat; spreading the truth, exposing the victimization, the lies, the manipulation and the horrible toll these frauds are taking on the very people they are allegedly helping.

    The overall, indisputable proof that these schemes do not help folks get rich, is the preponderance of evidence to the contrary.

    Their longevity is ultimately their worst enemy: after THREE DECADES and millions upon millions of “MLMers” why isn’t our economy bulging with countless multi-millionaires? WHERE ARE ALL THESE SUCCESS STORIES?

    Once you cut through all the BS, hype, fanaticism and pure hogwash spewed by the very few at the top of each pyramid, it becomes glaringly obvious that for 30 years, a shockingly tiny percentage of people have ever made any real money from these schemes, and the ONLY way they did it was by victimizing everyone they came into contact with.

  50. Vogel permalink
    January 8, 2014 4:17 pm

    And umpteen thank yous form me too Noel. I so appreciate that you’re out there on the front lines.

  51. January 9, 2014 12:59 am

    Thanks Vogel! I imagine this link may have been posted to the blogs here before, but just in case you had not seen it…

    More great press on the ICCA, including a full copy of the petition and its 38 Coalition signatories:
    http://nypost.com/2013/10/24/ftc-urged-to-crack-down-amid-herbalife-controversy

Trackbacks

  1. Good Sites to Follow: A MLM Skeptic, Behind MLM, and YPR Pariah | AMTHRAX

Leave a Reply. Because your thoughtful opinions are valued, you are encouraged to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if your comments are edited for clarity or to keep out questionable matters. Off-topic and inflammatory comments may be deleted. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers. The accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: