all MLM busters

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Trump Is Going To Unleash MLM Scams On The World!!!

Below is an email I sent to a very wealthy investor I have been in contact with for several years who will go nameless. I intended to write this critique of a recent article written by Michelle Celarier: and he requested I point out her errors, so this is the result:

Keep in mind, I have over a decade and a half of first-hand experience coupled with a dozen years, and counting, of focused, practically daily MLM research and analysis, she has neither. It’s not that she gets everything wrong, but she and most other “critics” literally don’t know what they’re talking about, and make significant blunders. When I offer my insights, they want nothing to do with my thoughts, to their detriment and the detriment of MLM victims.

I’ll give you both my agreements and disagreements with each and every headline and sentence of the story. After all, I did say she had some good points, so the brackets are my comments, and I’ll put a + or – on the front end indicating whether I agree or disagree with the statement:

Trump’s Great Pyramid [ – I recognize the title needs to be attention-grabbing, and Slate is a left-leaning outlet, but Trump is a minor player in MLM, he made a very small percentage of his money in MLM, and is one of many celebrities involved in MLMs over the past few decades. He mostly lent his name to various companies because he is well-known. I doubt Trump has a clue what makes an MLM an illegal pyramid or RICO fraud. I asked Janet Ammerman, the lead FTC lawyer against Herbalife, during our phone call recently, why retail sales are the key issue regarding the difference between a legitimate MLM and an illegal pyramid, and she said “precedent.” That’s not a reason, there has to be an underlying theory regarding WHY the precedent is legitimate. Even clean-cut nice guy Pat Boone promoted Amway decades ago. Most people can’t explain the difference between an illegal pyramid, and I highly doubt Trump can, either.]

Multilevel marketing companies promise prosperity to the desperate. [ – Actually, MLMs promise prospertiy to everybody, rich, middle class, and poor. Because there many more middle class and poor, there are many more victims in these groups. Most rich people are too busy trying to increase and/or maintain their wealth and aren’t even known by the middle class and poor, are generally too business savvy to miss key weaknesses in MLM, and their time is more profitably spent on other methods of making money.  I was taught in Amway to “sponsor up,” in other words, go after people above my socioeconomic level. The tendency is to “sponsor down, and very soon you have the homeless trying to tell people how to get rich, which stops the growth in a dead end, then the organization collapses from the bottom up. Plus, the poor literally can’t afford the overpriced products and hyper-inflated tool prices. Thanks largely to the internet providing factual information, the poor are a larger percentage than ever, because they don’t use the internet as much and/or can’t speak or read English.] 1.9k


They’re thrilled about the new administration. [ + Of course they’re thrilled, they think they have a cooperative administration AND the critics have already claimed defeat. What MLM WOULDN’T be thrilled with this combination?]

trump admin. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes all have connections to multilevel marketing companies.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images, Lbrcomm/Wikimedia
During the depths of the Great Recession, Donald Trump counted among his many income sources a side gig as a pitchman for ACN Inc., a company whose “members” sold newfangled videophones and other products. [ + No issue with this statement, it is merely stating facts.] “Trust me, it’s changing everything,” he promised in a 2009 promotional video shown to eager crowds of recruits, many of whom would fork over nearly $500 to sell ACN phones in hopes they could sign up more would-be entrepreneurs to do the same. [ + Again, a factual statement, nothing one wouldn’t expect a pitchman to say.] “Believe me, it’s ultimately a dream come true,” said Trump, who also featured ACN on episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice. [ + Ditto.]
But instead of a dream, companies like ACN have become nightmares to many of the people who buy the hype. [ + Ditto again.] As with many similarly structured “multilevel marketing companies,” many of ACN’s sellers say they end up losing money, even as they plunk down more and more cash to participate. [ + And yet another ditto, but this doesn’t mean Trump set up the scam, understood the scam, or even knew about the scam, much like Pat Boone decades ago with Amway.]
As for Trump, his pleas to “trust me” and “believe me” have continued to pay dividends, only now he’s saying, “I alone can fix” whatever stands in the way of American greatness. [ + This is a pivot to the political arena, so it’s true, but liberals take Trump out of context and intended meaning, but that’s politics.] But even as Trump pursues his biggest scheme yet, one of his old ones will continue to thrive in 2017: The Trump era could ignite a golden age for politically connected multilevel marketing companies—or what critics (and John Oliver) say are often merely disguised pyramid schemes, illegal enterprises in which people primarily earn money by recruiting others instead of by selling products to the public. [ – The “biggest scheme yet” is another political statement, and I’m leaving it alone, but it’s not just critics and John Oliver saying most or all MLMs are scams, but the FTC as well. Keep in mind the most influential MLM investigation was Amway, which started under the Ford administration, and I’ll agree there have been more MLM shutdowns and major disciplinary actions taken in recent years, but this is largely, in my opinion, thanks to a maturation of the internet, and particularly social media. Also, the “recuiting others” is inaccurate, most MLMs don’t pay a bonus for the mere act of signing up, something MLMs proudly claims this makes them perfectly legal. This convinces many prospects and distributors the MLM is legitimate, even though the FTC website even clearly states a major sign of an illegal pyramid is when the ongoing purchases are made by mainly the distributors, i.e., internal consumption.]
MLMs aren’t a negligible portion of the U.S. economy, with some $36.5 billion in sales during 2015 and more than 18 million Americans participating in an MLM in a given year. [ – The term “sales” is misleading, as it implies, lacking further clarification, sales to the public. There is also a LOT more money tied up in the legitimate and illegitimate distributor consumption of the tools and other overhead costs, probably several times the $36.5 billion number above.] A dismaying number of figures in the Trump administration also have connections to MLMs—beginning, of course, with Trump himself. [ – I wouldn’t consider 4 to be “dismaying,” although there are probably many more. You would be surprised how many people have been involved in MLMs, mostly from a distributor point of view, but they are too embarrassed and/or ashamed to admit it. Look at the couple of dozen plus representatives who signed up for H.R. 5230, from both sides of the aisle. There is even an Amway caucus in Congress:, so this goes much deeper than 4 people in the Trump administration. When Amway sued me, the judge announced that he was in Amway. If this wasn’t sprung on me at the outset of the court hearing, I probably would have objected to him being the judge.]
During the Obama administration, the Federal Trade Commission made its biggest-ever effort to curb this industry when last summer it slapped nutritional supplement–seller Herbalife with a $200 million fine and, as part of a settlement with Herbalife, demanded it restructure its business so that it would “start operating legitimately,” as FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez put it. [ – This is true, but it was the Ford administration that started the landmark Amway investigation in 1975. It would have been much better to take Herbalife to court, as they did in the Carter administration with Amway. There would be many more publicly available facts, lots more negative publicity, etc., and probably other reasons why Herbalife was so anxious to settle.] The FTC alleged Herbalife had engaged in “unfair and deceptive practices,” and put it under a federal monitor for seven years, demanding onerous changes to its compensation plan and requiring extensive documentation of customer sales. [ + This is true, and Vemma has a 20 year audit protocol. Ramirez then set down an ambitious posture for the FTC: In the future, she said at an MLM industry conference in October, these companies should adopt the new Herbalife rules when structuring their businesses, as the FTC would be watching. [ – I’ve seen little action on this threat, and why would an MLM want to “swim away from the school of fish” and do the right things, such as having lots of retail sales and no tool scams? It puts them at a competitive disadvantage, they would rather take their chances of not being shut down amont the hundreds of other MLMs scams. The FTC hasn’t shown any intent to demand this type of information from the entire MLM industry, so the MLM scams are making a rational decision by doing nothing.]
In an MLM, sometimes more euphemistically called a “direct-selling” company because the products aren’t sold in stores, salespeople frequently woo participants by dangling riches before their eyes as they are led to make big, upfront purchases of pricey products, then asked to recruit others under them to sell the product and recruit still more participants in the hopes of earning big commissions in what becomes a pyramidal structure. [ + This is the bread and butter of an MLM scam.] As Ramirez noted, most participants don’t make significant income. [ – Most people LOSE money, so this is a gross understatement of the facts.] Following the Herbalife settlement terms would force these companies to ditch any deceptive income pitches and also keep track of sales to customers outside the member networks to prove that most of their products are not just being bought by the company’s own salespeople. [ + Another true, factual statement.]
In 2009, Trump licensed his name to an MLM called Trump Network. Some participants lost everything. [ – Some MLM participants lose everything with or without Trump in hundreds of MLM scams. If Trump was never born this would still be true.]
But the FTC’s newfound toughness may come to naught in the Trump era. [ – I think the internet, and particularly social media, has more to do with the FTC “newfound toughness” than whether there is a D or R in office. Grasping for defeat rather than working together using social media is a huge mistake. Big. Huge. Mistake. ] There’s little hope, according to both critics and cheerleaders of the MLM industry, that the Trump administration will assume such a strict posture toward Herbalife’s peers. [ – See previous comment. Ditto.] “The more likely scenario is that they just won’t bring a pyramid scheme case,” said Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising, a consumer advocacy group that helped the FTC in its prosecution of Vemma, a nutritional-product MLM that the FTC alleged was a pyramid scheme in August 2015. [Another hopeless libtard. Sigh.] The case was settled in December on terms similar to the Herbalife one. (Neither Vemma nor Herbalife admitted guilt in their settlements.) [ – It’s quite normal not to admit guilt in a settlement. While “similar,” there are also distinct differences. Vemma has a 20 year auditing protocol, has a $238 MILLION penalty hanging over their head if they screw up, didn’t and probably couldn’t, pay a single penny to their victims, and has accepted the FTC’s accusations as fact if they go back to court.]
When Ramirez announced on Jan. 13 that she would step down from the FTC in February, shares of the largest publicly traded MLMs—Herbalife and Nu Skin—shot up. [ – So what? The stock market is fickle and overreacts to everything in the short term. Herbalife stock is now below what it was after the mid-January run-up, and was over 18% higher in mid-February, shortly before the latest quarterly report. I understand trying to make a point, but blatant one-sided reporting hurts Michelle’s credibility.]
With her departure on Feb. 10, there are only two commissioners remaining on the FTC and the acting chairwoman, Republican Maureen Ohlhausen, is a staunch supporter of self-regulation by MLMs. [ – She also voted FOR the Vemma and Herbalife actions and is duty-bound to enforce the court orders.] Trump will appoint three new FTC commissioners, including the chairperson.  [ + Factual statement.] Whether it’s Ohlhausen or someone else, the next chairperson is also likely to be sympathetic to the MLM cause. [ – Pure conjecture, as well as a defeatist attitude.] The only name floated for the spot so far has been Republican Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who was also greeted with glee by MLM shareholders when his consideration was reported by Politico on Jan. 17. [ – False: Facebook Director Peter Thiel Is Leading The Search For Trump’s Top Antitrust Officials although I agree anyone from Utah, particularly a mormon like Reyes, the MLM scam heaven on earth, is highly undesirable. MLM and mormons have a natural affinity for each other, and they both rely on extreme cold-calling to promote their interests. In fact, Reyes is the Utah AG only because his predecessor, John Swallow (who was found not guilty earlier this month), was caught up in a business scam: Works, Inc., et al. | Federal Trade Commission that many MLMs also use, continuing to bill people even though they don’t want the products or services any longer.]
There’s good reason for the industry’s cheer. [ + Yes, the best reason for the MLM scam industry cheering is the critics refuse to come together and agree on the real problems and then execute the counter-effort.] In October, Reyes was a special guest speaker at an MLM conference in Salt Lake City, the capital of a state that is home to so many MLMs that the term is sometimes jokingly referred to as “Mormons Losing Money.” [ + And why wouldn’t he be invited? It’s his state, he’s the lead law enforcement officer in the state, his state’s industry, and his religion’s kissing cousin!]
“Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has been a supporter of the direct selling industry for many years,” the organizers of the Direct Selling Edge Conference said in promoting his speech. [ + What an amazing opportunity for the anti-MLM scam effort to bring attention to this issue, and we blew it.] “As a former business owner himself, Reyes applauds those who desire to manage their own businesses on their own terms,” which is the kind of “be your own boss” come-on MLMs make to prospective members. [ + Same as above, we blew it.]
If Reyes gets the gig, he’ll have plenty of MLM supporters as peers in the administration. [ + Again, these people don’t have a clue that most MLMs are scams, and neither did any previous administration.] Let’s start with Trump himself. [ – Yes, he’s public enemy #1, let start with him.] In 2009, Trump licensed his name to an MLM, which became known as Trump Network, and “often gave the impression of a partnership that was certain to lift thousands of people into prosperity,” according to the Washington Post. [ – There have been numerous well-known people hyping MLMs over the past few decades. I personally saw George H.W. Bush in 1993 at the largest business convention ever (I think the record still stands) in the Georgia Dome. I don’t think he has a clue how MLM scams really work, either. How about all the Dems who are working for/supporting Herbalife, do you really think they believe Herbalife is ripping off people with an illegal pyramid (lack of retail sales) and RICO fraud (tool scams)?]
Instead, some participants lost everything: Homes were foreclosed on and cars repossessed. [ – While true, this occurs in every MLM scam, so Trump’s participation is meaningless.] The company filed for bankruptcy in 2011. [ – So what? Most MLM scams fail. What is the point?] And for his job as a motivational speaker for ACN, Trump earned $1.35 million for three speaking engagements in 2014 and 2015 alone, according to recent financial disclosures. [ – Trump’s name has value, especially in the business world. Compared to the other sources of his wealth, this is a rounding error to a rounding error. Again, what is the point, except to skewer a political enemy? I’m all for taking advantage of Trump’s current political position, but the focus should be on the scams, NOT the individual.]
Trump’s Cabinet picks also have MLM links. [ + This should be seen as an opportunity to bring more attention to MLM scams, not grasp for defeat, as is being done throughout this story.] First there’s his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, whose husband’s family fortune derives from its ownership of Amway, the world’s biggest MLM, with $9.5 billion in annual 2015 revenue on everything from soap to cat food. [ + DeVos should be the primary focus, as she wouldn’t be the Secretary of Education if it weren’t for Amway and the money she and the Amway families have used to literally buy influence. You can’t say that about anyone else that has ever been in any executive or legislative administration.] While the company’s sales have been in decline, falling from a peak of $11.8 billion in 2013, Amway remains the 29th largest privately held company in the U.S., according to Forbes[ + Amway fell even further in 2016, and this fact was available to Michelle about 2 weeks prior to her story. In fact, Amway has fallen 25% over the past 3 years, but she’s too busy declaring defeat to make this point. Not only is Amway the biggest MLM, it is also the biggest MLM scam, owing to their extremely well developed tool scam and almost total lack of retail sales.] 
The company has a long, well-documented history of legal troubles. [ + Yes, why isn’t this the focus of this story?] In recent years, Amway or its executives have tangled with law enforcement around the globe, most notably in India, where its CEO for the country was arrested and accused of running a pyramid scheme in 2013, let go, and then rearrested in 2014. [ + Not only arrested, but he was also in jail for about 2 months during the 2014 arrest, but hardly anyone pounds this home.] Amway denied any wrongdoing. [ – Of course they did, virtually every individual and company denies wrongdoing, especially in the beginning of a controversy. It’s PR 101. What is the purpose of even mentioning this?] In the U.S., it paid $56 million in 2010 to settle a class action suit alleging it was running a pyramid scheme but did not admit wrongdoing. [ + I was a beneficiary of this lawsuit (to the tune of about 5% recovery with no compensation for lost time, while those who lost little and did little got about 200% return) and attempted to get more involved with the plaintiff and communicated directly with the judge as well, but not much came from either side. It was a terrible settlement, but the lawyers made their money and ran away. They should have taken Amway to trial.] Meanwhile, Amway’s donations to Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government program have funded the training of more than 500 Chinese bureaucrats, who led that country to legalize direct selling, opening a new boom market that MLMs are now exploiting. [ – China reopened to direct selling, not using the MLM model, in 1998, and the Harvard training started in 2002, so this point is absurd.]
Amway’s outsize political influence goes back to 1979, when the FTC lost its pyramid case against Amway. [ – I wouldn’t classify the Amway case as a loss, unless a victory is defined only as a complete shutdown. The Amway case clarified retail sales are required, prohibited price fixing, and making exaggerated lifestyle claims, hardly a loss.] After four years of litigation, an administrative law judge found that Amway did not run an “illegal” pyramid scheme because it had safeguards to protect against the reliance on recruitment. [ – Safeguards that the FTC unfortunately didn’t make Amway prove were being enforced. I never made the required retail sales and Amway never missed paying me the bonus I didn’t earn. THIS is the point Michelle should have made, but didn’t, because her personal and political ego are so huge.] These included requiring its distributors to sell 70 percent of their inventory each month and to sell to at least 10 different customers per month. [ – Again, the FTC failed to require Amway to show these rules were being enforced. What good is a rule that isn’t enforced? It’s window dressing, and gives the perception Amway is legitimate when the exact opposite is true. These facts could and should have been told, but weren’t.]
The Amway decision set the stage for an explosion of copycats, which went almost unchecked by regulators until the Herbalife case. [ – There were several cases, such as FHTM, Burnlounge, Zeek, and TelexFree, but none as large as Herbalife.] After its landmark settlement last summer, Ramirez said the reliance on the Amway rules was “misplaced.” [ – Even Amway doesn’t follow the Amway rules and probably never did. If MLMs followed the Amway rules, most would go out of business within weeks.]
Both the Amway and Herbalife cases underscore one of the problems of prosecuting alleged pyramid schemes: There is no federal law defining the crime, leaving it to the courts to interpret and pricey lawyers to find wiggle room. [ – While I would prefer an official definition, there is plenty of court precedent and common sense understanding of “unfair and deceptive” in regards to MLM scams. This is a cop-out.] The debate is also clouded by the rhetoric of free markets. [ – Only to a libtard. A conservative such as myself can easily separate legitimate, free market capitalism from an MLM scam.] At the far right end of that debate is the DeVos family, which has donated $200 million to Republicans over the years, and owns a company that combines Christian fundamentalism with extremist free-market ideology and maintains such a grip on many of those who join it that some, fearful for their lives and harassed mercilessly, went into hiding after they sought to expose it. [ – These colors don’t run, even after Amway sued me. Why does Michelle talk to the cowards instead of the determined warriors against these MLM scams? Because she WANTS to lose? That is the only answer that makes sense.]
The economic and political philosophies of Trump and MLMs are perfectly in sync. [ – No they aren’t. Trump doesn’t want people to be scammed. He, like most others, simply doesn’t understand that most MLMs are scams.]
Other Trump-connected MLM fans include Housing and Urban Development Secretary–designate Ben Carson, who was once a pitchman for the MLM Mannatech, and the agricultural policy adviser from Trump’s campaign, Charles Herbster, whose Kansas City, Missouri–based company Conklin, which sells fertilizers and pesticides, is also organized as an MLM. [ – May as well throw in the kitchen sink.]
Next comes Trump’s special adviser on federal regulations, investor Carl Icahn, who has an estimated net worth of $17 billion. [ + Now there’s a snake in the grass.] Icahn is something of an accidental beneficiary of MLM wealth, having invested in Herbalife to get back at his nemesis, fellow shareholder activist Bill Ackman, after Ackman launched a public short on Herbalife in 2012 and called it a pyramid scheme. [ – I don’t think Icahn would agree that he’s swimming in MLM wealth, his Herbalife deal hasn’t worked out very well for the past several years.] Icahn has ended up virtually running Herbalife, owning 24 percent of its shares and holding five board seats. [ + Yes, and Icahn is running Herbalife right into the ground.] But despite Icahn’s clout, Ackman’s lobbying effort to bring down Herbalife led to the FTC crackdown, which could pummel Herbalife’s earnings. (The company has other problems, as it recently disclosed that it is subject to an anti-corruption probe by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice over its burgeoning China business.) [ + This is true, and should have been a major part of this story, rather than declaring defeat. The biggest impact issue of the FTC crackdown will start in May, when retail sales must be confirmed to obtain a bonus.]
Icahn is helping vet Trump’s choices to head the regulatory agencies and one of his companies has already benefited on Wall Street from the selection of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency pick Scott Pruitt, whom Icahn helped vet. [ – I agree this is troubling, but where were Michelle’s articles about all of the Democrat people on Herbalife’s payroll?] If Icahn assists Trump in naming FTC commissioners, he will be helping to staff the body charged with enforcing the Herbalife settlement. [ – Yes, but this body has its marching orders, and enforcement is largely out of the commissioners hands. The time for political influence was much greater during the investigation, not afterwards.]
Then there’s Congress, where critics also fear the passage of legislative efforts they say would virtually legitimize many pyramid schemes. [ – I think quite the opposite. The H.R. 5230 legislation was needed because Clinton was going to win the election, and the Dems were perceived to be more agressive against MLM scams. Now that Trump won, there is no need for the legislation, because the Republicans are viewed as pro-MLM.] One such bill, introduced last summer by a bipartisan caucus organized by the industry lobbying group, the Direct Selling Association, was opposed by Ramirez because it contradicts the terms of the Herbalife settlement. [ – Why didn’t Michelle state the fact that the bill has expired and has not been replaced, probably for the above reasoning?] Days after she announced her resignation, Ramirez wrote a letter to the DSA chastising it for its opposition to the FTC view, which the DSA had laid out in a press release shortly before Trump’s inauguration. [ – Ramirez was answering a DSA letter, let’s suspend the theatrics, please.] The question is whether there is retail demand for the products of MLMs or whether the purchases are just a camouflage for recruitment. [ – Of course there isn’t retail demand for most MLM products, as explained here: and is an explanation I’ve seen nowhere else.] The DSA, and the bill, argues that purchases by participants in the scheme, called “internal consumption,” can represent true demand, which means they would count when determining commissions paid to salespeople. [ – Let’s be clear, it isn’t the DSA, it’s the large MLM pulling the strings for the DSA puppet. Internal consumption has been shot down since the 1979 Amway decision, and has been successfuly used in virtually every MLM prosecuted since.] Ramirez and the FTC disagree. [ – Of course they do, Ramirez and the other FTC commissioners voted unanimously that retail sales are critical, and have stated this since at least 1979 in the Amway decision.] Even if MLM participants do want to buy products for their own use, they shouldn’t be compensated for doing so, Ramirez said. [ – Sloppy writing. Ramirez lost this issue in the BurnLounge case. Her position is MLM particpants shouldn’t be compensated in the absense of retail sales, and it’s the correct position in my opinion.] To ensure compensation is driven by retail sales, she noted, companies should keep track of all customer sales outside the network (as Herbalife is being forced to do). [ + Of course they should, it’s the only way to know whether an MLM is an illegal pyramid or not.]
What this all adds up to, in the eyes of opponents and supporters, is a benign era for MLMs. [ – Not in my eyes. Now is the time to take advantage of the momentum and social media to apply even more pressure against MLM scams. Michelle has yet again thrown in the towel, and it’s not even half-time.] Regulating these companies, with their legions of independent salespeople, is difficult for the toughest regulatory regimes. [ – No it isn’t, just do what I already suggested to the FTC: But we can keep wandering around with different ideas and declaring defeat while victory is within reach.] And the Trump era will be anything but that. [ – Trump is a “law and order” guy, he can be educated to understand most MLMs are scams and hammer them, unless the critics are determined to lose.] “Anybody who would continue to expect or hope for law enforcement regarding financial schemes of this type would be living in a dream world,” said Robert FitzPatrick, the president of the watchdog Pyramid Scheme Alert. [ – FitzPatrick is worse than Michelle. He is clueless.] “[MLMs] are going to gain protection.” [ – If you’re determined to lose Robert, I’m quite sure it will happen.]
FitzPatrick will get no quarrel from the industry’s biggest fans. [ – Of course he won’t, I’ve said for years FitzPatrick is the MLM scam industry’s favorite “critic.”] “We think that with the new administration you can forget any aggressive action vs. MLMs,” industry analyst and Herbalife shareholder Tim Ramey wrote in a note to clients in January. [ – Ramey is the same guy who has been projecting $90 for Herbalife stock for the past several years. There is nobody weaker to hold up as an MLM fan than Ramey.] “When Betsy DeVos was named to the Trump Cabinet we took that as a very strong signal that the Trump administration had no real issue with the MLM world. … You don’t put Betsy DeVos in your cabinet and then go out and try to put [Herbalife] out of business. [ – What did you expect Ramey to say? He’s been fired at least twice for leading others down Herbalife’s primrose path.] We are in a post-regulatory world.” [ – Not if we work together and apply pressure.]
* * *
It’s fitting that the Trump administration has such an affinity for MLMs: Their economic and political philosophies are perfectly in sync. [ – Then why didn’t Barry completely shut down MLM scams during his 8 years in office?] Even though the FTC continues to say such claims are deceptive, MLM companies are notorious for making ludicrous promises of wealth that can still be found all over the internet. [ – This happened during the Obama administration as well, where is the even-handed analysis?]
It’s not dissimilar to what Trump has promised his followers. “The false income opportunities of pyramids schemes are parallel to what Trump is offering—an alternative reality, a false hope,” FitzPatrick said. [ – It won’t be hard to improve an obviously lackluster economy, and it shouldn’t be hard to effect real change around MLM scams, IF we work together.]
One of the earliest critics of Amway, former insider Stephen Butterfield, wrote about how its conservative economic policies actually helped bolster Amway’s ranks in his 1985 book, Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise. [ – There is no conservative/liberal when it comes to criminal activities, such as illegal pyramid and RICO fraud.] “In alliance with the religious right, Amway (which stands for American Way) has spent more than three decades building an authoritarian, pro-business movement in the American middle class,” according to a promotion blurb for the book. [ – It was the Carter administration that allowed Amway to escape, so there is plenty of blame both political sides deserve.] “Amway preaches devotion and obedience to its leaders, hard work and sacrifice for the Company, contempt for the poor and worship of the rich.” [ – No, it doesn’t. Was Butterfield in Amway? I was.]
That was more than 30 years ago, and now nearly all those ideals are back in vogue—or at least cherished by those in power. [ – If Amway and other MLMs were that bad, why didn’t Barry do more during his 8 years?] And to those who perceive themselves to have lost ground, who see Trump’s  “American carnage” surrounding them, a miracle cure can hold a lot of sway. [ – No, it’s a different world. The internet, remember?]
“[The current political moment] is perfectly aligned with Amway’s mission—selling a phony lifesaving raft to people who are drowning. [ – Another political hack comment. FitzPatrick is disgusting.] People will pay any price for it because they are drowning, and Amway is dependent on people drowning,” said FitzPatrick, referring to Amway’s influence in a Republican Congress, which now threatens to erode the social safety net by gutting Medicare and Social Security and repealing Obamacare. [ – Now I know why Michelle puts this idiot FitzPatrick in her stories, they are BOTH liberal hacks. Talk about aligned philosophies.] “The more there are helpless people, people deprived or struggling, the better the market is for their phony proposition.” [ – Actually, quite the opposite. It is much preferable for middle to upper class people to be scammed, they have the money to lose. Broke people don’t have money, obviously, so they have to be replaced more quickly, which means more work. FitzPatrick is simply clueless and Michelle eats it up.]
In recent years, the heavily publicized Herbalife battle has shined much-needed light on MLMs. [ + Finally, something I can agree with. So why not leverage that publicity?] Last year’s scathing John Oliver segment on them has received almost 10 million views, 2 million of them in Spanish. (Immigrant, often undocumented, Latinos trying to make it in the U.S. have become a major target group.) [ + Yes, but why not leverage that video as well? And keep in mind immigrants are targets because they don’t read/speak English, don’t have the money to even be on the internet, and trust each other. Educating a target group is easier than educating everbody.] A documentary on Ackman’s Herbalife battle, Betting on Zero, hits theaters March 10 and will be available on demand April 7. [ + So why not make that the lead issue rather than burying it in the back of the article?]
Even while the popular culture’s view of MLMs is shifting, FitzPatrick doesn’t think we’re yet at a tipping point where consumers reject them en masse. [ – Of course not, idiots like FitzPatrick keep talking about endless chains and saturation.] Trump’s election may help explain why. [ – Not a chance.] After the election, FitzPatrick says he sent out a newsletter to the many victims of pyramid schemes who’ve come to him for help, explaining the connections with Trump. [ – It was the last straw of FitzPatrick’s idiosy for them. That’s all.]
“I had some cancellations of the newsletter, and some of them, after canceling, just wrote the word MAGA on the cancelation,” FitzPatrick said. [ – So if a few Trump supporters think FitzPatrick has gone over the deep end, it’s THIER fault?] “This is the pathos of it. [ – No, the pathos is a nutcase who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Clue – His first name is Robert and last name is FitzPatrick.] Those people in general were victims of MLMs, and yet, they are so caught and immersed in the web of lies that they really don’t know why they lost. [ – And you’re not helping them, Robert. You’re clueless, remember?] Now they’ve put their faith in Donald Trump after being scammed by the type of organization that Trump endorses. [ – Just because they are pro-Trump doesn’t mean they now like MLM scams. That is quite a leap in logic, but also what we’ve come to expect from him.] But when you point out that Trump is going to enhance these schemes, protect them, and he’s part of them, they can’t hear it.” [ – That’s because your position is nutty, Robert.]
Trump, FitzPatrick says, was their last, best hope. [ – And Barry was a success? The economy has limped along, Trump has ideas how to get it moving again. This has little to do with MLM, but Robert’s entire universe revolves around MLM. He’s a nut.] And like MLMs, he may yet provide a familiar disappointment. [ – Time will tell. I honestly don’t know how Trump can make it worse than Barry did.]
Feel free to share this with anyone you want, it’s going on my website.
P.S., nice development on another large MLM getting sued, did Michelle and/or Robert breathlessly forward you the story? It doesn’t fit her pessimistic attitude, so probably not. You can get it here, and even read the lawsuit for yourself rather than relying on someone else telling you what to think about it: Advocare Gets A Class Action Lawsuit – allmlmfacts


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