Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Denying the global 'MLM/Prosperity Gospel' holocaust



In 1945, whilst most, contemporary mainstream commentators were unable to look beyond the ends of their noses, with a perfect sense of irony, Eric Arthur Blair a.k.a. George Orwell (1903-1950) presented fact as fiction in an insightful 'fairy story' entitled, 'Animal Farm.' He revealed that totalitarianism is merely the oppressors' fiction mistaken for fact by the oppressed.




In the same universal allegory, Orwell described how, at a time of vulnerability, almost any people's dream of a future, secure, Utopian existence can be hung over the entrance to a totalitarian deception. Indeed, the words that are always banished by totalitarian deceivers are, 'totalitarian' and 'deception.'


Sadly, when it comes to examining the same enduring phenomenon, albeit with an ephemeral 'Capitalist' label, most contemporary, mainstream commentators have again been unable to look further than the ends of their noses. However, if they followed Orwell's example, and did some serious thinking, this is the reality-inverting nightmare they would find.



More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that what has become popularly known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' is nothing more than an absurd, cultic, economic pseudo-science, and that the impressive-sounding made-up term 'MLM,' is, therefore, part of an extensive, thought-stopping, non-traditional jargon which has been developed, and constantly-repeated, by the instigators, and associates, of various, copy-cat, major, and minor, ongoing organized crime groups (hiding behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) to shut-down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of victims, and of casual observers, in order to perpetrate, and dissimulate, a series of blame-the-victim closed-market swindles or pyramid scams (dressed up as 'legitimate direct selling income opportunites'), and related advance-fee frauds (dressed up as 'legitimate training and motivation, self-betterment, programs,' etc.).
________________________________________________________________________
Yet again, I have been asked:
  • How many victims have wasted their time and money in 'Multi-Level Marketing' scams?
  • Why do so few 'MLM' victims ever complain?
The short answer to these frequently-asked questions, is that the overwhelming majority of all the countless millions of victims who continue to get burned by individual 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cults, will remain silent and continue (unconsciously) to form part of the overall lie: whilst, as a direct result of the passivity of the overwhelming majority of the victims, all casual observers of individual 'MLM income opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cults (including, law enforcement agents, regulators, academics, legislators, judges, journalists, etc.) will also remain passive and continue (unconsciously) to form part of the overall lie.

Today, it is very difficult to determine exactly how many people in total around the world have already been churned through the pay-through-the-nose-to-play 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cultic game of make-believe, since it was first peddled as reality under the name of 'Nutrilite Inc. /Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.' back in the late 1940s. It is also important to distinguish between short-term and chronic 'MLM' losing-players. In general, the overwhelming majority of fraud victims never complain, but, right from the outset, the self-perpetuating 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' lie was maliciously designed to implicate its victims - loading them with shame and guilt, and, thus, prevent them from ever facing reality. Classically, the quantifiable evidence proves that, without exception, chronic 'MLM' losing-players have been subjected to co-ordinated devious techniques of social, and psychological, persuasion designed to shut down their critical, and evaluative, faculties. In this way, they have been conditioned (unconsciously) to think of themselves, not as the victims of a cruel deception or as brainwashed cult adherents, but as 'Independent Business Owners' exercising free-will.  What has made external reality even more unacceptable, is the ego-destroying fact that a large proportion of 'MLM' victims were deceived by a close friend or relative (acting under the guided-delusion that 'MLM' has been of great benefit to its participants) and, in turn, these victims then deceived, or tried to deceive, their own close friends and relatives (acting under the same guided-delusion that 'MLM' has been of great benefit to its participants). The few, destitute, chronic former 'MLM' losing-players who have managed to recover fully their critical, and evaluative faculties, and who have filed well-informed civil lawsuits against the corporate fronts of 'MLM' cultic racketeers, have invariably been obliged to settle out of court. Although a number of isolated civil investigations, and successful prosecutions, have been pursued by the Federal Trade Commission against some smaller 'MLM' front-companies in the USA, no co-ordinated official effort has ever been made to face wider-reality and identify, let alone tackle, the overall criminogenic/cultic phenomenon that has lurked behind all the shielding layers of structural, and pseudo-economic/scientific, mystification, reality-inverting 'direct selling/commercial'  jargon and kitsch capitalist/Utopian/American Dream imagery.

  




Until the 1970s, the original 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cultic racket  'Nutrilite' a.k.a. 'Amway,' remained confined to the USA. In the face of a prolonged (but far-from morally, or intellectually, rigorous) FTC investigation, the 'Amway/MLM' lie first spread to Canada, then to W. Europe and Australia. However, in 1979, when a corrupt, and/or naive, US federal judge failed to identify 'Amway' as the corporate-front for an ongoing, major, organized crime group, this classic regulatory-failure was widely-seen as a license to steal. Since that time, countless US-based copy-cat rackets have been instigated behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures pursuing lawful, and/or unlawful, enterprises - a significant number of which ('Forever Living Products', 'Herbalife', 'USANA', 'Nu Skin', 'Xango' etc.),  have been allowed to grow out of control and to infiltrate traditional culture all around the globe, accompanied by a distracting flock of co-opted political, academic and celebrity stooges, and shielded by a parallel labyrinth of legally-registered corporate structures known as, 'Direct Selling Associations.'

In the past, various casual observers have thrown up their hands in horror when I have dared to say that, given its duration, scale and devastating impact on huge numbers of vulnerable persons,  blame-the-victim 'MLM Income Opportunity/Prosperity Gospel' cultic racketeering is an ongoing financial, social and psychological, holocaust (with a small 'h') of which many people have been in denial. Sadly, the essentially-absurd fairy story entitled 'MLM' has been allowed to expand to such titanic proportions, that the truth has long-since become almost unthinkable. However, since the concept of the big propaganda lie, is widely-understood, it seems almost inconceivable that the directors of law enforcement, and intelligence, agencies around the world have also remained unable to look beyond the ends of their noses and identify what the bosses of 'MLM/Prosperity Gospel' cults have actually been doing. 


The following sinister quote has often been attributed to one of history's most-sinister criminals, Joseph Goebbels: 





'If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.'
Given its content, it is supremely ironic that there is no evidence for Goebbels ever having made the above statement. That said, it is a very accurate description of Goebbels' reality-inverting activities as Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief. Indeed, before his cowardly suicide in the face of reality, Goebbels spent the last years of his life steadfastly pretending that the heroic and enlightened leader of the 'Noble Aryan Master Race,' Adolf Hitler, was telling the truth, whilst the leaders of Britain and the USA (controlled by the forces of evil - Jews and Freemasons) were repeating big propaganda lies.

The origin of the first part of the above Goebbels statement would appear to have been a psychological profile of Adolf Hitler, compiled in the USA during WWII by the 'Office of Strategic Services,' later to become known as the 'CIA.' This document concluded that : 

'His (Hitler's) primary rules were: 
never allow the public to cool off; 
never admit a fault or wrong; 
never concede that there may be some good in your enemy;
never leave room for alternatives;
never accept blame; 
concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; 
people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.' 

Hitler's psychological profile was drafted (prior to the full-extent of his crimes against humanity being discovered) by a team of medically-qualified academics who had apparently been studying 'Mein Kampf,' Chapter 10:

 '... in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad mass of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly outrageous lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.' 





Despite appearances, Hitler was not confessing to being a liar in Chapter 10 of 'Mein Kampf.' This was merely a typically-mediocre little narcissist (who imagined himself to be a great author/thinker - the anointed-Messiah/saviour of his people) revealing his extraordinary knowledge of how to lie successfully whilst steadfastly pretending to be struggling to establish the truth against the reality-inverting forces of evil. Hitler would soon transform into a megalomaniacal psychopath. The unconditional deference of his deluded followers only served to confirm, and magnify, his own increasingly-paranoid, and self-righteous, delusions of grandeur.


David Brear (copyright 2013) 



Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The 'FlexKom/Lyoness' Ministry of Truth makes an appearance.





August 1st 2013, I published an article entitled:

'Lyoness' and its copycat, 'FlexKom,' have exhibited the universal identifying characteristics of a cult. 
http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.fr/2013/08/lyoness-and-flexkom-have-exhibited.html


Prof. Robert Jay Lifton



As part of my article, I explained how, in 1961 (after many years of field-research, interviewing US servicemen held prisoner during the Korean War), Robert Jay Lifton (b. 1926) published, ‘Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.’ 



In this standard, medical text-book, Lifton identified 8 ‘themes’ which, if present in any group, indicate that its members are being subjected to a mixture of social, psychological and physical pressures, designed to produce radical changes in their individual beliefs, attitudes and behaviour.



1). ‘Milieu control’ — the attempted control of everything an individual experiences (i.e. sees, hears, reads, writes and expresses). This includes discouraging subjects from contacting friends and relatives outside the group and undermining trust in exterior sources of information; particularly, the independent media.

2). ‘Personal or mystical manipulation’ — charismatic (psychologically dominant) leaders create a separate environment where specific behaviour is required; leading to group members believing that they have been chosen and that they have a special purpose. Normally group members will insist that they have not been coerced into group membership, and that their new way of life and beliefs are the result of a completely free-choice.

3). ‘Demand for purity’ — everything in life becomes either pure or impure, negative or positive, etc. This builds up a sense of shame and guilt. The idea is promoted that there is no alternative method of thinking or middle way, to that promoted by the group or by those outside it. Everything in life is either good or bad and anything is justified provided the group sanctions it as good.

4). ‘Confession’ — personal weaknesses are admitted to, to demonstrate how group membership can transform an individual. Group members often have to rewrite their personal histories and those of their friends and relatives, denigrating their previous lives and relationships. Other techniques include group members writing personal reports on themselves and others. Outsiders are presented as a threat who will only try to return group members to their former incorrect thinking.

5). ‘Sacred science’ — the belief in an inexplicable power system or secret knowledge, derived from a hierarchy who must be copied and who cannot be challenged. Often the group’s leaders claim to be followers of traditional historical figures (particularly, established political, scientific and religious thinkers). Leaders promote the idea that their own teaching will also benefit the entire world, and it should be spread.

6). ‘Loading the language’ — a separate vocabulary used to bond the group together and short-circuit critical thought processes. This can become second nature within the group, and talking to outsiders can become difficult and embarrassing. Derogatory names, or directly racist terms, are often given to outsiders.

7). ‘Doctrine over persons’ — individual members are taught to alter their own view of themselves before they entered the group. Former attitudes and behaviour must then be re-interpreted as worthless, and/or dangerous, using the new values of the group.

8). ‘Dispensing of existence’ — promotion of the belief that outsiders — particularly, those who disagree with the teaching of the group — are inferior and are doomed. Therefore, they can be manipulated, and/or cheated, and/or dispossessed, and/or destroyed. This is justifiable, because outsiders only represent a danger to salvation.

A couple of days ago, the 'FlexKom/Lyoness' Ministry of Truth finally attempted to post its reality-inverting propaganda (anonymously) on my article. However, I think that readers will agree that this piece of evidence proves beyond all reasonable doubt, the accuracy of Robert Lifton's analysis.

In essence, in response to my detailed, evidence-based explanation of why 'FlexKom' should be identified as a pernicious cult (and an ongoing major organized crime group), the organization's self-appointed bosses have foolishly responded by steadfastly pretending that anyone who dares to challenge the authenticity of any 'Network Marketing Company,' must be ignored as, completely crazy: 

'Wow this has got to be the dumbest blog online. Not sure if you have targeted just FlexKom for this nonsense or if it is the entire network marketing industry. But please if you are a reader you have to be able to see this blogger is kookoo!' 


Contrary to what the 'FlexKom' propaganda pretends, the organization is actually peddling the crackpot pseudo-economic theory that endless chain recruitment + endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits



The 'FlexKom/Lyoness' Ministry of Truth then went on to offer some typically-jargon-laced, and mystifying, economic pseudo-science, before offering us a typically-totalistic portrait of Planet Earth and then finally concluding that 'FlexKom' is the complete opposite of a cult and that anyone who thinks that 'FlexKom' is a cult, can only be a cult adherent. i.e. A member of the inferior poor and stupid 90% majority of the world population - or one of the majority, inferior, poor and stupid American population brainwashed by traditional education, religion and the media :

'One quick response on the subject: FlexKom will only have very few reps in the markets they enter. In Austria the rep count when they stopped taking new reps was 500 reps to service the entire country. FlexKom Mostly customers who use a free loyalty card/app. These customers will not even know who the owners (so called cult leaders) are and wouldn't care. They are just using the app/card to get cash back and awards over time when they shop just like a credit card and airline miles but dealing small to medium sized businesses who are struggling right now. WTF does cult have to do with a system that connects businesses around the world?

If you think about it. Look across the world today. 90% of The population are the workers clocking in and clocking out. Getting just enough to eat and have shelter. They send the young to what is called an education but is it? They get taught to sit still listen and do exactly what they are told. The ones that get ahead and get restless are drugged here in USA. All of the cult ideas are in place. The leaders are in control of the information that gets out. Through the schools history books, religions and media. The population is programmed to obey the leaders of the world. We watch as billions of dollars is being made by corporations and governments and these same companies are exploiting the rest of the world. We go to work for them and we say this is the way to go while we have less time freedom and less money to live with. We have more convenience than before because we have better technology but we have less time with our families. The mother used to stay home but can't anymore because there is not enough money being paid from these corporations. The debt society is the cult to be aware of. But I guess when you are already in a cult then something quite the opposite will look like the cult to most.' 





Readers should particularly note that throughout human history, there have been periods of mass-alienation... following wars, revolutions, plagues, natural disasters, economic depressions, etc. ... during these periods, dangerous manipulators (acting like ancient, Gnostic Prophets by pretending moral and intellectual authority and offering some form of Utopian existence in the here and now) who at other times might be dismissed as absurd crackpots and charlatans, have found it much easier to become accepted as authentic Messiahs and to acquire a mass-following.


Photos Vivastreet UK wide FlexKom Franchise opportunity


'FlexKom Income Opportunity' cultic racketeer, Asker Sakinmaz.
'Lyoness Income Opportunity' cultic racketeer, Hubert Freidl.


Sadly, the current world economic crisis has produced a perfect climate for a new generation of heavily-disguised little parasites, like Asker Sakinmaz and Hubert Freidl, to begin to gorge themselves by pretending affinity with the common hopes and fears of humanity. 



Narcissistic charlatan: turned megalomaniacal-psychopath, Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi 

http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.fr/2013/04/sergei-panteleevich-mavrodi-b.html




The essentially-identical (but more advanced) activities of Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi, demonstrate that Messrs. Freidl and Sakinmaz are neither original nor unique - whilst the longer they remain officially-unchallenged and the more capital they are allowed to steal: the more difficult it will become to hold them fully to account for their economic and psychological crimes against humanity.


David Brear (copyright 2013)

Monday, 9 September 2013

'Salty Droid' propaganda comments - David Brear sets the record straight.




US attorney, Jason Jones, author of 'The Salty Droid.' 






In the last few days, some very specific, reality-inverting propaganda has been allowed to be broadcast in the form of comments on an increasingly-popular, US-based, anti-scam Blog, 'The Salty Droid,' which has been highlighting, and discussing, so-called 'Multi-Level Marketing'. Prior to this, I had been in direct contact with the young (but legally-qualified) author of 'The Salty Droid,' Jason Jones, because it had been brought to my attention (by third parties) that the same inflexible, and annoying, commentator (who apparently, to date, has made hundreds of interventions) has been trying to broadcast some rather familiar lies about me. These lies only began to appear when a link to 'The American Dream Made Nightmare' was posted as a comment on a 'Salty Droid' article highlighting the 'Herbalife' racket. At that point, the annoying commentator, who uses the name 'Kasey Chang,' immediately began to try to portray me as someone who, for personal motives, simply believes that 'all MLM is fraud, ' that I have never produced any evidence-based analysis to support my biased, closed-minded position, and that I absolutely refuse to engage with any open-minded person(s) challenging my black and white view of 'MLM.'

http://kschang.hubpages.com/

In the past, I have looked closely at the frankly-mystifying, Internet activities of 'Kasey Chang,'  and I have to say that the body of work which has been published in the last two or three years bearing this signature which claims to be an objective scientifically-based attempt to expose scams (particularly, pyramid and Ponzi schemes), pseudo-sciences and cults, is extensive, apparently impressive and full of references, but devoid of common-sense (to the point of crass stupidity), devoid of empathy (to the point of arrogance), unoriginal, deeply-ambiguous and misleading (particularly, to the victims, and potential victims, of 'income opportunity' cults) and ultimately dangerous. Sadly, anyone engaging with this character - the self-appointed 'Devil's Advocate of MLM' (or whoever could be lurking behind 'Kasey Chang') - imagining that he/she will be able to reason with a fellow human being, has ended up wasting his/her time and energy, dancing round in ever-decreasing, jargon-laced circles. Indeed, without exception, 'MLM Income opportunity' devils are already protected by well-paid echelons of shyster advocates, so what possible legitimate reason could any individual in their right mind have for endlessly-reciting the same amoral sophistry for free?   



Just to set the record straight, it should be abundantly clear to anyone who ignores the above, false and defamatory, comic-book characterization of me, and takes the trouble to read any article on 'The American Dream Made Nightmare,' that I am probably the last person in the entire world who could be accused of having entered an intellectual bunker and sealed the door. Indeed, I have spent the last 15 years attempting to apply common-sense, and explain in accurate, unambiguous, deconstructed terms, how the core-adherents of all pernicious cults are sadly-deluded individuals who have been deceived into mistaking essentially the same two-dimensional (negative v. positive' , 'good v. evil' , 'us v. them) fiction for fact. Furthermore (as far as I recall), at no time have I ever made the simplistic, and essentially-meaningless, statement: 'MLM is fraud.'



Meanwhile, back in the multi-dimensional adult world of reality, what I have actually said is as follows:



More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that what has become popularly known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' is nothing more than an absurd, cultic, economic pseudo-science, and that the impressive-sounding made-up term 'MLM,' is, therefore, part of an extensive, thought-stopping, non-traditional jargon which has been developed, and constantly-repeated, by the instigators, and associates, of various, copy-cat, major, and minor, ongoing organized crime groups (hiding behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) to shut down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of victims, and of casual observers, in order to perpetrate, and dissimulate, a series of blame-the-victim closed-market swindles or pyramid scams (dressed up as 'legitimate direct selling income opportunites'), and related advance-fee frauds (dressed up as 'legitimate training and motivation, self-betterment, programs,' etc.).


Many years ago, I also said that: 



Any commentator who repeats the reality-inverting shielding terminology of any cultic group, but without detailed qualification or heavy irony, demonstrates that he/she remains at a pitifully low level of understanding of the cult phenomenon. 

Obviously, I didn't pull this original conclusion out of thin air; for it was the product of a hell of a lot of rigorous research and analysis - a small portion of which can be found below.

The parallels between all contemporary versions of the 'MLM' fairy story and the original 'MLM' fairy story entitled ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’, are quite remarkable. In brief, all their authors have played the unoriginal roles of ordinary men, turned super men - prepared to share their secret of unlimited health, wealth, happiness and freedom  with anyone (for a price).

 However, this again is hardly surprising, because ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ was, after all, the prototype corporate-front for all subsequent 'Multi-Level Marketing Income Opportunity' rackets.


In the early 1950s, 'Nutrilite' was a highly-controversial trademark owned by Carl F. Rehnborg a.k.a.'Dr.' Rehnborg, a previously-penniless, American toothpaste-salesman (of German origin) who'd acquired a considerable fortune by reinventing himself as a historically-important, visionary-scientist, autodidactic scholar and philanthropic businessman. Lawyers from the US Food and Drug Administration Bureau of Enforcement, who successfully-challenged the authenticity of some of Rehnborg's many, absurd lies in the federal courts during two decades, privately knew him to be nothing more than one of a trio of sinister quacks protected by an echelon of shyster attorneys, who’d combined, and updated, the medicine show and Ponzi-scheme to reflect the spirit of the age. However, Rehnborg was no ordinary charlatan. He almost certainly suffered from severe and inflexible Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 

Former penniless science-fiction author, turned multi-millionaire, cultic racketeer, L. Ron Hubbard, a.k.a. 'Dr.' Hubbard, posing as a historically-important, visionary scientist and philanthropist who had discovered the secret of how ordinary humans can become healthy, wealthy happy and free super humans. Hubbard was also prepared to share this secret with anyone (for a price).

http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.fr/2013/06/scientology-herbalife-nutrilite-amway.html
The Nutrilite Story


Tellingly, Rehnborg's own comic-book version of his life and achievements (set-down in various published documents, including a book signed by his son and heir, Sam Rehnborg), reads uncannily like the autobiography dreamt-up by 'Scientology' instigator, L. Ron Hubbard - a man who was once famously described as 'a combination of  Baron Münchausen and Adolf Hitler.'


Unfortunately, just as with the followers and casual observers of Hubbard, the only information made available to the followers and casual observers of Rehnborg, has been carefully controlled.


Carl F. Rehnborg circa 1915

Thus, to date, the world has been led to believe that Rehnborg (who was born in 1887 in St. Pitersberge, Florida) :- 

- was a noted-child-prodigy who read voraciously and who amazed his teachers with his detailed knowledge of: philosophy, religion, history, politics, astronomy, mathematics, aerodynamics, chemistry and human rights. 

- was  fluent in many languages, including Chinese. 

- was not a believer, but he studied Christianity, making a boyhood pilgrimage to Palestine and Egypt.

- had a great passion in his teen-age years - the study of planet Earth, its population, its food reserves, and the 'technology of conservation of natural products, but his first love was always the science of nutrition. 

 - was, by the tender age of 27, already a 'doctor of chemistry' who had moved to Tianjin in China to work as an accountant for an American Oil company.

- ran a shipbuilding company, before becoming the representative of the 'American Dairy Company' and, eventually, the representative of 'Colgate Products Company' in Shanghai.

 - witnessed ‘mass-starvation’ in China, before surviving a ‘siege of Shanghai’ by supplementing his diet (and that of his starving friends) with an improvised, vitamin and mineral-enriched broth made from grasses, vegetables, powdered limestone, ground-up bones and rusty nails, etc.

- sailed across the Pacific (studying its many island-cultures on the way) and landed on the West Coast of the USA, where, despite having no money, he managed to establish a 'research laboratory’ in his modest loft-apartment on California’s Balboa Island.


- selflessly dedicated 6 years of his life (1927-1934) to develop a ‘Revolutionary New Food Supplement’ to save mankind from starvation, assisted only by his dutiful young wife, Edith.

- first naively tried to give his wonderful new formula away, but the cynical world wasn’t interested, so, in 1934, he reluctantly decided to create ‘California Vitamins Inc.’ 

- moved his flourishing  ‘Business’ to a ‘Manufacturing and Processing Facility’ in Buena Park, California, and created the ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ in 1939. 

- acting in association with a ‘Network Sponsoring Company’, ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ (to whom he’d sold ‘Exclusive Nutrilite Distribution Rights’) created the ‘World’s First Multi-Level Marketing Scheme’

- had lived the American dream, starting from nothing to become an admired and respected millionaire through ‘Helping 15 thousands fellow Americans to build their own MLM Businesses.’ 


Carl F. Rehnborg  circa 1936



  

Exactly like L.Ron Hubbard, scant quantifiable evidence has been produced to prove that Rehnborg was qualified (let alone expert) in anything, other than lying to people to get their money. There is even reason to doubt that Rehnborg (who apparently did once work for 'Colgate & Co') was in China in the exact period he claimed during, and after, WW I; whilst all the other exciting episodes in his various occidental and oriental odysseys are largely anecdotal. However, the truth about Rehnborg’s convoluted ‘Rags to Riches’ American fairy story is an entirely different matterIn 1934, Rehnborg (aged 48) created ‘California Vitamins Inc.’, allegedly to manufacture and distribute what he arbitrarily defined as 'the World’s First Multi-Mineral/Multivitamin Plant-Based Food Supplement - a Unique Combination of Vitamins and Minerals in a Special Base.’ At first, this so-called ‘Health Tonic’ was brewed up, and peddled as 'Vita-6'  a.k.a. 'Vitasol, in insignificant quantities. Consequently, it was of no particular interest to regulators. However, anyone with an ounce of common sense could immediately tell that Rehnborg’s ‘invention’ was just another essentially-inert potion (in the absurd tradition of the medicine show); a random mixture of cheaply-procured common substances with an expensive price tag. It had probably taken Rehnborg 6 hours to concoct, not 6 years.


Aerial View of Nutrilite Products Inc. Plant



By 1939, Rehnborg had spotted the existing term, 'Nutrilites' (probably in an old scientific magazine). So he legally-changed the name of his pay-to-play game of make-believe to the technical-sounding ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ and moved his quackery onto an almost unprecedented scale. Soon, Rehnborg was legally employing dozens of white-coated workers in purpose-built industrial buildings in Buena ParkCalifornia. He also acquired an alfalfa farm near to the city of Hemet in California's San Jacinto valley, but it is unclear exactly where he suddenly found all the necessary capital to pay for these impressive sites and their modern equipment. To his followers and casual observers, Rehnborg’s activity looked like any other lawful enterprise. His staff were ordinary honest folk, to whom the truth was also unthinkable. At this time, Rehnborg rechristened his potion ‘Nutrilite Double X (‘XX’Supplement.’ He now proposed to offer it as two ‘complimentary products’ in one pack -  comprising little green bottles of bright red ‘Multivitamin Capsules’ and boxes of pale-coloured ‘Multi-Mineral Pills.’ The product was deliberately designed to look modern and scientific (like a proprietary medicine), but, tellingly, the price was fixed at just less than $20 a box (the equivalent of several hundred dollars today). Rehnborg claimed that the ‘XX’ brand-name was derived from the Roman numeral representing twentyIt should have been read as ‘double cross;’ for when the former toothpaste salesman’s pricey wampum was routinely analysed by independent chemists working for the FDA, it was discovered that (although it contained essentially what it said on the labels and was quite harmless) ‘XX Supplement’ really did mostly comprise a random mixture of cheaply-procured, common substances (dried vegetable extracts: alfalfa; parsley; watercress; yeast; etc.). FDA experts later estimated that XX Supplement’  cost no more than a few cents a pack to produce. Thus, FDA lawyers must have known that Rehnborg was, in fact, using authentic pharmaceutical equipment to mass-produce a precisely-measured, harmless placebo, but labelled as a ‘Health Tonic’ (a meaningless term), and peddling it at an exorbitant mark-up (certainly, more than 1000%). This crack-pot pseudo-scientific swindle, which was tantamount to a self-styled 'alchemist' stamping a valueless amalgam of base-metals, 'Pure Gold,' and selling it for the price of pure gold, could have been quickly nipped in the bud, simply by charging Rehnborg with criminal fraud. Apparently, prosecutors never considered the possibility that they might be dealing with someone with severe psychological problems whose own inflexible delusions were contagious. Instead, at first, FDA lawyers felt obliged to take no action; reasoning that, by truthfully listing the banal ingredients, but avoiding making any specific therapeutic claims, on his packaging, Rehnborg had found a loophole in federal laws concerning criminal misbranding of medicines. As result, an up-dated version of an age-old fiction was permitted to be mass-marketed as fact to an unsuspecting public. Unfortunately, the lack of any rigorous, official challenge only brought its author more credibility. Not surprisingly, a host of copy-cat'Unique Vitamin and Mineral Health-Tonic’ scams quickly sprang up.




As WWII drew to its close, ‘Nutrilite’ had lost its novelty, so Rehnborg (who was approaching 60) had teamed-up with two respectable-looking associates, Lee S. Mytinger and William S. Casselberry (later described by FDA officials as a ‘cemetery-plot salesman’ and a ‘psychologist’). The result was ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.,’ a second corporate structure peddling ‘Exclusive Commission-Agency Rights’ to ‘Distribute XX Supplement’ using (what was first defined by the company’s owners as) a ‘New Business Model.’ In theory… you could try to sell ‘XX  Supplement’ to your social contacts for a small profit, but, if you wanted to make big money, you didn’t need to sell anything… you could buy a monthly quota of ‘XX Supplement’ yourself and sign-up your social contacts to do the same… your ‘Sponsored Recruits’ would then ‘Sponsor’ their own social contacts, etc., ‘compensation’ would automatically multiply in an infinitely-expanding geometric progression

‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’offered a mind-numbing contract’ in which the ‘company’ undertook to pay its ‘Independent Distributors’ an escalating ‘monthly commission’ on the totality of their escalating ‘Business Volume’ [i.e.their own regular monthly purchases (falsely defined as ‘sales’), added to the regular monthly purchases (falsely defined as ‘sales’), of their ‘Sponsored Recruits’, and those of the recruits of their recruits, etc. etcad infinitum].






In reality, the new set-up was merely the original lie with a second chapter added, but to casual observers ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ appeared to be exclusively manufacturing for, and wholesaling ‘XX Supplement’ to, ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.,’ whose commission agents, in turn, appeared to be retailing it to the public for a profit. Although‘XX Supplement’ was presented as ‘Unique,’ it mostly comprised substances which could easily be bought at a fraction of their exorbitant, assembled fixed-price, in traditional retail outlets. The product was effectively-impossible to sell to the public for a profit on the open market. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of its final customers were merely the non-salaried agents of the second corporate structure, which itself was the sole agent of the first corporate structure. In order for them to maintain the false hope that if they signed-up further contributing participants they would automatically become rich, the participants in this dissimulated money game were obliged by its rules to keep handing-over a monthly payment to Mytinger and Casselberry, to be shared with Rehnborg. From all points of view (medical, economic, legal, etc.), ‘XX Supplement’ might have well not existed. It was just a convenient means of laundering illegal payments in a closed-market swindle based on the crack-pot theory of endless-chain recruitment. New victims were supplied with a $49.50 ‘Business Kit’ (i.e. a large cardboard box stuffed with a month’s supply of ‘XX Supplement’ and a fat folder containing page after page of mystifying pseudo-economic/medical presentations and diagrams, and instructions in how to go about remembering, contacting and recruiting everyone they’d ever known during their lives). These presentations contained the concrete evidence which FDA lawyers could use to prosecute RehnborgMytinger and Casselberry. Contributing participants were being instructed to smile, project excitement and enthusiasm, and to recite a precisely-worded script which proclaimed ‘Nutrilite XX Supplement’ to be ‘good value,’ because it could ‘cure or prevent,’ virtually any known human illness.


William W. Goodrich
William H. Goodrich


Interview with William W. Goodrich, Office of General Counsel, 1939 - 1971
Even though it wasn’t his area of responsibility, FDA Legal Counsel (1939-1971), William H. Goodrich, was probably the first senior US law enforcement agent to deduce that the innocent baby that Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry had baptised a ‘New Business Model’ (later to become known as: ‘Multilevel Marketing’) was actually the same old delinquent previously known a 'pyramid scam.’ Again, anyone with an ounce of common sense could work out immediately that, since Rehnborg had been peddling medical alchemythe strong likelihood was that Mytinger and Casselberry were peddling economic alchemy. The sinister trio of quacks were obviously acting in association, but agents of the Food and Drug Administration and those of the Federal Trade Commission acted independently. At this time, anti-racketeering legislation did not yet exist in the USA. However, in the late 1940s, the rapidly-expanding ‘XX Supplement’ dossier was already in the hands of FTC lawyers. Apparently, prosecutors still never considered the possibility that they might be dealing with persons suffering from severe psychological problems and whose own inflexible delusions were contagious. Instead, they still felt obliged to take no action; this time reasoning that Mytinger and Casselberry appeared to have found a loophole in federal law prohibiting fraud. For even today, the fundamental identifying characteristic of all pyramid scams and Ponzi schemes, has not yet been accurately defined by legislators. As a result, another updated version of an age-old fiction was permitted to be mass-marketed as fact to an unsuspecting publicYet again, the lack of any rigorous official challenge only brought its authors more credibility. Not surprisingly, a host of copy-cat 'income opportunity' swindles (camouflaged by banal, but pricey, wampum) quickly sprang up.


By 1947, Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry were steadfastly pretending  ‘15 000 Successful Distributorships in the USA,’ with ‘sales’ totalling ‘$500 000 dollars per month.’ They had also organised the production of a ‘Free’ booklet, ‘How to Get Well and Stay Well’, in which they further pretended that ‘Nutrilite Double X Supplement’ had ‘cured or greatly helped such common ailments’ as : ‘Low blood pressure, Ulcers, Mental depression, Pyorrhoea, Muscular twitching, rickets, Worry over small things, Tonsillitis, Hay Fever, Sensitivity to noise, Underweight, Easily tired, Gas in stomach, Cuts heal slowly, Faulty vision, Headache, Constipation, Anaemia Boils, Flabby tissues, Hysterical tendency, Eczema, Overweight, Faulty memory, Lack of ambition, Certain Bone conditions, Nervousness, Nosebleed, Insomnia, Allergies, Asthma, Restlessness, Bad skin colour, Poor appetite, Biliousness, Neuritis, Night blindness, Migraine, High blood pressure, Sinus trouble, Lack of concentration, Dental caries, Irregular heartbeat, Colitis, Craving for sour foods, Arthritis, Rheumatism, Neuralgia, Deafness, Subject to colds.’



Carl.F. Rehnborg circa 1950

Rhenborg now cast himself in the role of ‘Scientific Adviser’ to ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ He toured the USA preaching the gospel to wide-eyed ‘Distributors’ - ‘for less than $20 a month’‘Nutrilite Double X Supplement’ was the ‘Answer to Man’s Search for Health.’ After both companies’ owners were approached by FDA officials and warned that they could face criminal prosecution for misbranding, the booklet was ‘revised.’ Specific therapeutic claims were supposed to be eliminated. ‘All illnesses’ suddenly became a ‘state of nonhealth’ produced by ‘chemical imbalance’.… ‘Nutrilite XX Supplement’ cured nothing, it merely ‘enabled people to Get Well and stay Well’ by themselves. However, pages 41-52 of the booklet still recounted alleged case-histories explaining that ‘Nutrilite brought relief from such ailments as diabetes, feeble mindedness, stomach pains, sneezing and weeping.’ Not surprisingly, the FDA officials were not impressed, so they finally launched a number of raids, and seizures of ‘Nutrilite XX Supplement’ and associated publications.






In 1951, after a series of lawsuits, appeals and counter suits (in which Mytinger and Casselberry hired top lawyers who portrayed their clients as American capitalist heroes being crushed by Soviet-style bureaucracy), the FDA obtained (on behalf of the people) a permanent Supreme Court injunction against ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ preventing ‘Distributors’ from referring to 50 publications making false claims about ‘Health Tonics and Food Supplements’ (including various ‘Revised Editions’ of ‘How to Get Well and Stay Well’). FDA agents soon found that the injunction was being flouted. As a result of mounting complaints, they infiltrated the organization (as potential recruits) and recorded deluded proselytisers chanting the same cure-all mantra about ‘XX Supplement.’ Faced with more litigation and fearing that their monopoly of information might be lost, in 1954, Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry hired a leading advertising agency which handled the clean-cut Hollywood star, Alan Ladd. Along with his wife and children, Alan Ladd then briefly-featured in a kitsch 'Nutrilite' advertising campaign - published in various mainstream magazines right up until 1959.  



 



The charlatan-trio, 'Mytinger, Casselberry and Rhenborg,' also paid a team of Hollywood professionals to produce a 20 minute colour propaganda film, From the Ground up’ (featuring themselves as three nice ordinary American guys turned philanthropic scientists and industrialists), and they began to publish their own propaganda magazine, ‘Nutrilite News’ (stuffed with colour photos of happy, healthy and wealthy ‘Distributors’). 

Jay Van Andel                                                         Richard De Vos

Circa 1950

Soon, they were organizing ‘Rallies and Seminars’ (addressed by ‘Successful Christian Distributors’ like Rich De Vos and Jay Van Andel). No quantifiable evidence (in the form of audited accounts) was ever produced to prove what percentage of claimed ‘sales’ were authentic retail transactions to the public for a profit, or how many people who’d signed a ‘contract’ with ‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ had actually received an overall net-profit from the operation of what its instigators arbitrarily defined as an ‘MLM income opportunity’. Excluding the tiny percentage of grinning shills at the top of the pyramid, the hidden, rolling insolvency/churn-rate was 100%. Since there was no significant or sustainable external revenue, participants were actually buying infinite shares in their own finite money.

It should come as no surprise to the regular readers of this Blog to discover that, just as with the followers and casual observers of Hubbard and Rehnborg, the only information made available to the followers and casual observers of the two former 'Nutrilite' shills,  De Vos and Van Andel, has been carefully controlled.

However, the early lives of ‘Rich’ De Vos and Jay Van Andel are largely a matter of public record. As their names suggest, they were descended from Dutch immigrant stock. Although the pair were born within a few miles of one another in the ‘Bible-Belt’ State of Michigan, and brought up in the same strict Christian Reform Church’, they first met as teenagers at ‘Grand Rapids Christian High-School’. They then volunteered (from college) to serve in the USAF at the end of WW II, but they were barely out of training when hostilities ceased. After demobilization, De Vos and Van Andel returned to Michigan, where (influenced by their brief military experience) they operated various, lawful small-business partnerships (selling flying lessons, hustling hamburgers, etc.). 

At this point, the authorized version of De Vos and Van Andel's star-crossed lives (as constantly repeated by themselves and their apologists) begins to sound like a comic-book yarn written by L. Ron Hubbard mixed with a page from the ‘Wall Street Journal’.



In 1948, De Vos and Van Andel (aged only 22 and 24) suddenly sold everything they owned and bought a Connecticut schooner, ‘Elizabeth’. 



They then set sail to find fame and fortune, but their boat sank off Cuba in March 1949.



The two young adventurers were miraculously snatched from the jaws of death by a passing Italian cargo-ship and taken to Puerto Rico. After 5 months of travelling in the Caribbean and South America, they returned to Grand Rapids with the idea of ‘importing craft products from South America’. 



On September 6th. 1949, De Vos and Van Andel joined the first ‘Network’ of a pioneer ‘Multi-Level Marketing Company’, and created the ‘Ja-Ri Corporation’ — to ‘Distribute Exclusive Food Supplements and Vitamins’. 



Ten years later, the pair (aged only 33 and 35) were so ‘Successful’ that they had 'Sponsored over 5000 Distributors' in their own ‘Ja-Ri Network’, but they were ‘having problems’ with their ‘Sponsoring Company’ (‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’) and its ‘Supplier’ (‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’). They decided to branch out on their own as the ‘Sponsors’ of a new type of ‘Christian-Inspired Multi-Level Marketing Scheme’. 



‘Ja-Ri Inc.’ became their own ‘Supplier’ and the ‘American Way Association’ (soon re-branded the ‘Amway Distributors Association’) was created as their own ‘Sponsoring Company’.



De Vos and Van Andel's first product was ‘Frisk’ (soon re-branded ‘LOC’), an ‘Exclusive Biodegradable Liquid Detergent’, manufactured by the Eckle Company of Detroit



The pair then bought Eckle (using ‘Ja-Ri Inc.’), moved its equipment across Michigan to Ada and re-branded it the ‘Amway Manufacturing Company’.

In November 1959, they also created the ‘Amway Sales Corporation’ and the ‘Amway Services Corporation’.

In November 1963, the ‘Ja-Ri Corporation’ was itself re-branded the ‘Amway Corporation’.

Finally, on the January 1st. 1964, the ‘Amway Sales, Service and Manufacturing Corporations’ were all merged into the ‘Amway Corporation’.… 

Driven by their ‘100 % Positive Mental Attitude’ and guided by their ‘Egalitarian Christian Values’, by the start of the 21st. century, De Vos and Van Andel had become ‘Admired and Respected Billionaires’ through ‘Helping over 3 Millions People in more than 80 countries to start their own Businesses’.

It is almost impossible to prove or disprove every detail of De Vos and Van Andel's Caribbean odyssey, but the truth about their convoluted American Rags to Riches’  fairy story is an entirely different matter.




          Jay VanAndel                                                             Richard DeVos

circa 1965

In reality, in 1959, when it seemed that ‘Mytinger and Casselberry/Nutrilite Products Inc.’ might finally be shut down (under the ‘Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 3381-3383’, rather than anti-fraud legislation) De Vos and Van Andel hid behind familiar, patriotic words and images stolen from contemporary popular culture. They created the ‘American Way Association’ - the first of what was to become a shoal of red, white and blue herrings.

The classic movie, 'Elmer Gantry' (released in 1960), was written and directed by Richard Brooks and is loosely-based on a novel of 1927 by the Nobel prize-winning author, Sinclair Lewis. In the Movie, 'Gantry' (played by Burt Lancaster) is a grinning charlatan in a loud suit - a hard-drinking whore-chasing travelling-salesman, who, for sexual and financial motives, attaches himself to the beautiful 'Sister Sharon' (played by Jean Simmons), the focus of a profitable 'Tent Revivalist' group working the Bible-Belt during Prohibition (1920-1933). 'Elmer Gantry' keeps his grin, but he dons a sombre suit and black hat, and is reborn as 'Brother Gantry' 'Charismatic Preacher' and 'Moral Crusader'. He soon discovers that he has the power to create mass-hysteria, and reap tens of thousands of dollars, by manipulating individuals' existing beliefs and instinctual desires. At a key-moment in the movie, a Protestant Minister (bedazzled by 'Brother Gantry's' offer to fill his church coffers) abandons the traditional Christian message and proclaims: 'Business is business, that's the American Way'.

Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but at almost exactly the time that the American Way Association’ first appeared, ‘Elmer Gantry' was playing to packed movie-theatres all over America.




Initially (and with an irony that is close to exquisite), in order to dodge being drawn into the ongoing FDA investigation of 'Nutrilite,' De Vos and Van Andel now laundered all the unlawful investment payments into their copy-cat, dissimulated, closed-market swindle, behind the claim that they were now selling detergents  (i.e. banal, but effectively-unsaleable, non-'medicinal' pseudo-scientific wampum of their own fabrication), not pills and potions. Again, the updated shielding-products were deliberately designed to look modern and scientific, whilst De Vos and Van Andel grinned from ear as they too steadfastly pretended that these strangely-familiar, cheaply-procured mixtures of common substances, were all-American, exclusive, good-value and unique.


The original 'Nutrilite' lie was progressively-absorbed back into the spin-off 'Amway' lie, 1972-1994, where it still is peddled as the truth.


Only after the 'MLM' virus had spread to almost every State of the Union, did the US Federal Trade Commission finally make a half-hearted attempt to close-down 'Amway.' After  receiving a significant number of complaints,  FTC prosecutors, advised by specialist economists, recognised that what they were faced with, was not a direct selling scheme, but as a classic pyramid scam, without a significant or sustainable source of revenue other than its own victims, but hidden behind a smokescreen of effectively-unsaleable products . However, after years of investigations and hearings, in 1979, a naive, and/or corrupt, federal judge ruled that although 'Amway' had previously been massively in breach of the law and would have to pay fines, the company would be allowed to continue to trade. This was because the judge accepted the latest unbelievable chapter of the 'MLM' fairy story. i.e. That 'Amway' s owners were repectable Christian businessmen who were vehemently opposed to  pyramid schemes and that, consequently, they had stopped fixing prices and introduced their own rule which would, henceforth, oblige the members of 'Amway's' sales force to retail at leat 70% of the products which they had bought wholesale from the company, to at least 10 external customers, before they could receive commission payments. Amazingly, no independent, common-sense mechanism was created to ensure that this latest twist in the fairy story was true, and that 'Amway' would now be in compliance with the law. 

Not surprisingly, this absurd and dangerous judgement was seen as an open-invitation to thieve, and, consequently, a whole host of 'Amway' copy-cat 'MLM' rackets soon began appear.   

More than 30 years later, the so-called 'Direct Selling Association,' is a demonstrable lie financed and controlled by the bosses of a classic, organized crime syndicate.




Today in the USA and elsewhere, due to many factors (not least supermarkets, discount stores and the Internet) virtually no one buys consumer goods on the door-step.




Historically, door-to-door selling (or what used to be known as peddling) was a very common way of doing business in the USA, but at the start of the 20th century, its image was blighted by fly-by-night quacks and charlatans. In an age when most women did not go to work, and even the middle-class had servants to cook, clean and receive visitors, door-step products were invariably cheap and cheerful, and aimed at ordinary housewives. 





From just before WWI until the 1960s, the 'Direct Selling Association' was a national trade association in the USA that represented (and was only financed by) a number of generally-reputable commercial companies of various sizes. These used to generate profits by regularly selling everyday goods (usually perfumes, cosmetics, costume jewellery, household products, books, etc.) directly to the general public through salaried, and/or non-salaried, commission agents. Although unethical, high-pressure sales tactics were increasingly used by new, and less reputable, DSA members, in their traditional format, direct retail transactions were authentic and lawful, because they were mostly-based on value and demand. Furthermore, the DSA members originally tried to keep fly-by-night quacks and charlatans at bay, and, at one time, they agreed that, like political constituencies, commission agencies for any particular company, should be limited in given geographical/population areas. This prevented counter-productive internal disputes amongst the sales-force and enabled individual sellers to have a fair chance of finding sufficient loyal customers to make a decent living. 





Today, when examined in splendid isolation by casual observers, the self-proclaimed activities of the corporate structures still known as 'Direct Selling Associations' can appear to be the same as above, and entirely lawful. However, when the wider-evidence is rigorously examined, during the second half of the 20th century (as door-to-door selling died out in the USA and elsewhere) the membership of 'DSAs' came largely to comprise an ever-growing number of so-called 'Multi-Level Marketing/income opportunity' companies ('Amway', 'Herbalife', 'Nu Skin', 'Forever Living Products', etc.) which have been used to dissimulate vast closed-market swindles or pyramid schemes. The racketeers behind these counterfeit direct selling companies, have acquired their wealth by steadfastly pretending moral and intellectual authority, whilst deceiving an endless-chain of victims (now comprising many tens of millions of individuals around the globe) into making regular losing-investments in exchange for effectively-unsaleable wampum (i.e. banal, but grossly-overpriced products, often of a dubious pseudo-scientific nature with highly-exaggerated, and/or miraculous, claimed benefits which cannot be quantified). These transactions, already totalling many billions of stolen dollars, were actually based on the false expectation of future reward. However, they have been laundered as lawful retail sales based only on value and demand. 

The outrageous 'MLM direct selling'  lie, has been hiding in plain view for so long: that many people now not only accept it as the truth, but they will laugh out loud at rational persons suggesting that, in reality, so-called 'MLM recruiters' are adherents of the crackpot pseudo-economic theory that  endless chain recruitment +  endless payments by the recruits = endless profits for the recruits,  However, it is important for readers to distinguish between short-term participants and chronic, core-believers in the 'MLM income opportunity' fairy story. The overwhelming majority of people who have been taken-in by 'MLM,' quit within a short time, usually because they find it impossible to convert, and/or maintain, other contributing recruits, and/or they have no cash, or credit, to continue contributing themselves. Since they were invariably recruited by a friend or relative, they have little reason to complain, and they wouldn't know exactly what to say, or where to complain, anyway. 

The declared annual roll-over rate in groups like 'Amway', 'Herbalife', etc., has always been well in excess of 50%. Those who have persisted for more than 3 years, is certainly no more than 5%. However, if you ignore the insignificant number of grinning shills at the top of the pyramids, the overall hidden roll-over/loss rate in so-called  'MLM income opportunities,' has always been effectively 100%. Thus, the constant public-proclamations by the leaders of the largest, long-established groups like 'Amway'  that their sales-force has always been expanding for decades and lately comprises 'millions of Independent Business Owners conducting billions of dollars of sales annually,' is a grotesque, criminal distortion of ever-shifting reality.  

There has been a significant minority of chronic 'MLM' proselytizers, with access to cash or credit, who continue as de facto slaves to the lie, sometimes for more than 10 years. In many cases, these dangerously-deluded, self-righteous persons will do, or say, anything to sign-up, and/or maintain, recruits - convinced that they will only achieve total financial freedom by helping others to achieve it .They are indoctrinated to ignore their mounting losses/debts and to commit everything they can get their hands on. Some even steal from their friends and families, and/or deprive themselves, and/or their families, of food, heating, etc. In the very worst cases, gung-ho 'MLM' adherents known as 'Road Warriors' have been indoctrinated to go without sleep and have ended up dead at the wheels of their cars - crashing whilst en route to late-night recruitment meetings. Fanatical 'MLM' addicts have generally been compared to chronic gamblers, but I have called them 'financial anorexics.'  

Once the relatively-simple, underlying modus operandi of blame-the-victim 'MLM income opportunity' fraud is clearly understood, the tightly-scripted, reality-inverting activities of the 'DSAs' form part of an overall pattern of ongoing, major racketeering activity (as defined by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act 1970). Tellingly, the 'DSAs' (which have posed as rigorous and ethical self-regulators vehemently opposed to pyramid schemes), have long-since ceased to set , let alone enforce, any common-sense limits on the numbers of commission agencies being created by members.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh6z1hP4H0o

The corporate officers of the American 'DSA,' like Joe Mariano (whose salaries have been paid with stolen money), are, in fact, committing wire fraud and attempting to obstruct justice when they make the following, demonstrably false, and/or selective, and/or essentially meaningless, statements on their own Website; for even their use of the term, 'Direct Selling,' is a cruel joke:

'Washington, D.C. (Jan. 29, 2013) - Following the Jan. 28 announcement that an enforcement action against Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) is being initiated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and several attorneys general for allegedly operating a pyramid scheme, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) has received numerous inquiries regarding whether FHTM is a member of the Association. "FHTM is not a member of DSA,” confirmed President Joe Mariano. Additionally, he stated that “the Association’s membership application process is rigorous, and is designed to ensure that only legitimate direct selling companies become members of the direct selling industry's trade association."FHTM had applied for DSA membership, but withdrew its application in 2011. A rigorous review of each applicant’s marketing and compensation plan is conducted to ensure compliance with DSA’s self-regulatory Code of Ethics. DSA works with applicant companies to address any deficiencies in policies and procedures prior to recommending to the Board of Directors that the company be approved for full membership. Mr. Mariano explained that "the membership review process serves to identify pyramid schemes that are masquerading as legitimate direct selling companies." Mr. Mariano also stated "that well over half of the companies that apply for membership in the Association withdraw their applications for a variety of reasons including failure to come into full compliance with the requirements of the DSA Code of Ethics," thus making the company ineligible for membership. Pyramid schemes and other fraudulent scams are ineligible for DSA membership.While DSA cannot comment on the specific allegations regarding FHTM, Mr. Mariano commended the FTC and state attorneys general "for their comprehensive, ongoing efforts to identify and prosecute illegal and fraudulent pyramid schemes, an approach that is consistent with concerns raised by DSA through its membership application process and its long-established self-regulatory efforts....."

.... The Direct Selling Association is a 102-year-old national trade association that represents companies who distribute products to customers through or with the assistance of independent salespersons who personally demonstrate and explain those products to the consumer, usually in the home or work place. Direct sellers are perhaps best known to the public as person-to-person, door-to-door, or home party plan sellers. Through the efforts of direct salespersons that provide personal demonstration, home delivery, and a variety of other sales-related services, direct-selling companies can offer quality products to consumers without substantial advertising or other barriers to entry found in other distribution systems, like brick-and-mortar stores. In 2011 there were approximately 15.6 million direct sellers in the U.S. with retail sales of nearly $30 billion.'

http://www.dsa.org/press/press_releases/?fa=view&docID=5448

If readers just stop and think for a moment, then this is obviously a fairy story; for the above document conveniently ignores the key-fact that another so-called 'Direct Selling' company, 'YourTravel Biz.com (YTB),' was a 'DSA' member that had just been 'approved as legal and ethical' only months before being successfully-prosecuted as a 'massive pyramid scheme' and shut down by the California Attorney General. In this particular case, it was found that 340,000 persons had been deceived by 'YTB'including a significant number who had bought effectively-valueless shares in it. 

Furthermore, if there really were 15.6 millions direct sellers in the USA in 2011, then how many of them remained in 2012 and where are all their customers? Readers will note that nowhere in any material published by any so-called  'DSA' anywhere in the world, is to be found a common-sense, accurate and unambiguous definition of what used to be considered a lawful direct selling company. 

i.e. a corporate structure which can prove that its revenue has largely-derived from the regular retailing of significant quantities of products, and/or services, directly to the general public via commission agents: rather than from purchases made by a never-ending chain of its own losing, commission agents. 

Tellingly, in all material published by so-called 'DSAs,' instead of  'the general public,' we always find the vague, and ambiguous, terms: 'end users' 'customers' and 'consumers' which obviously can be (and are) taken to mean absolutely anyone, including the commission agents themselves. Indeed, the so-called'DSA's' own so-called 'Codes of Ethics' specifically allow so-called 'self-consumption by Direct Sellers' to'qualify' as so-called 'Sales.'

Thus, heading the list of common-sense questions which should long-since have been put to the officers of the so-called 'Direct Selling Association' in the USA, is:

'Of your members' claimed '$ multi-billion retail sales,' exactly what percentage have been authentic, external, retail sales to the general public rather than internal transactions between your members and the millions of so-called 'direct sellers' themselves, arbitrarily, and falsely, defined as 'retail sales?'

Obviously, the officers of the so-called 'DSA' have painted themselves into the same absurd corner as the bosses of 'Herbalife', and their standard escape will be first to smile-sweetly, and steadfastly pretend that they can't be expected to have a ready answer to the above question, when the direct selling companies themselves don't monitor, or publish, this information. However, if put under pressure, they will then be obliged to claim that the questioner doesn't understand how direct selling functions, because many of the millions of persons who have always been described as 'direct sellers in the USA,' weren't actually 'direct sellers' at all, they were 'discount customers.'








Thus, I will confidently predict that, when challenged, the branch of the 'MLM' Ministry of Truth known as the 'Direct Selling Association' will cease to put forward the limp defence of ignorance. Instead, they will mount exactly the same arrogant, Orwellian offensive as the bosses of 'Herbalife (HLF)' 

In effect, they will say:


Read the word 'seller' as 'buyer,' stupid! Then theft is lawful.'





David Brear (copyright 2013)