One of the common things done when someone joins a cult is to intervene. As many people consider MLMs to be cults, does it make sense to intervene? According to this source, the answer is no: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deprogramming#Effectiveness_and_harm, which states in part, ”
Effectiveness and harm
Alan W. Gomes (chairman of the department of theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University) in his 2009 book Unmasking the Cults reports:
- While advocates of the deprogramming position have claimed high rates of success, studies show that natural attrition rates actually are higher than the success rate achieved through deprogramming.
The Dialog Center International (DCI) a major Christian counter-cult organization founded in 1973 by a Danish professor of missiology and ecumenical theology, Dr. Johannes Aagaard rejects deprogramming, believing that it is counterproductive, ineffective, and can harm the relationship between a cult member and concerned family members.
Professor of psychiatry Saul Levine suggests that it is doubtful that deprogramming helps many people and goes on to say that it actually causes harm to the victim by very nature of the deprogramming. For deprogramming to work, the victim must be convinced that they joined a religious group against their will. They then must renounce responsibility and accept that in some mysterious way that their minds were controlled. It is Levine’s professional opinion that once deprogrammed, a person would never be certain that they were really doing what they want. He states that deprogramming destroys a person’s identity and is likely to create permanent anxiety about freedom of choice and leave the deprogrammed subject dependent upon the guidance and advice of others. “Fundamentally deprogramming denies choice and creates dependency. It robs people of their sense of responsibility. Instead of encouraging people to accept that they made a mistake, it encourages people to deny their actions and blame others.”“
While I do not agree with a lot of the psycho-gobble-de-gook above, I agree it is very difficult to convince someone to get out of an MLM scam. I tried very hard to demonstrate with facts to our Amway downline that they were being scammed, and they simply would not believe the facts presented to them.