DO THEY KNOW? Do you think the top MLM reps know what they’re doing when they suck others into their team?

It’s the question we often ask ourselves at TVHQ and it’s been the source of some heated debates. 

Do the uplines, the top bots, the high-flyers in MLM, know what they’re doing when they pull people into their downline?  Do they know that most will fail?   Or are they brainwashed?  Trapped? Or sociopaths?


For those who are knew to MLM/this blog, some explanation.  MLM = multi-level marketing, like Younique, Forever Living, etc.

Upline = persons higher up in the pyramid, who generally appear to have lots of money, large teams, etc

Downline = the people below the upline.


As we’ve seen here, some MLM success-stories do work it out fairly quickly and leave because they can’t bear to see people they care about getting hurt.  Their moral compass, their emotional intelligence forces them to go before too much damage is done.  They realise that for most people MLM is a losing proposition.

And the others?  WATCH THIS:


Having watched the vido, do you think Emma, the top bot living in a castle, is lying?

Or is she convinced that she’s doing the right thing, using ‘attraction marketing’ to draw others into her MLM?  That she can help others get this dreamlife too?

And her brother – is he lying too, or does he truly believe that MLM is just another way of doing business?  To me, he looks sincere.

The question of Emma’s guilt or innocence, awareness or lack of, has been discussed  by those of us behind TV, along with other top bots.   Some of us believe she knows what she’s doing and is deliberately manipulating people.  Others think she is completely brainwashed and a victim.

The thing is, if Emma is doing everything she’s supposed to do: listening to ‘mindset’tapes all the time, constantly training and reaching out to others to bring them in, while balancing her family,  it’s possible that she DOES believe that what she is doing is right.  MLMs ban what they call ‘negative’ thinking.  Read this. And this.

This kind of thought-stopping tactic is also found in certain religions like Scientology.  An excellent blog to read about Scientology  is this one

Botwatch also wrote a well-researched post about MLM thinking here

Due to the high-turnover of recruits, all uplines have to spend a lot of time focussed on recruiting, which doesn’t give them a lot of time to reflect on what they are doing.   It’s an eternal sad hamster wheel of victims in, victims out.   As we discussed here, it can be very difficult to leave an MLM once a certain amount of time and money is invested.  That’s why we’ve always tried to reach out to the successes as well as those who have been used – in some cases, we think they are victims too.

Some, but not all.

There are also those who we have strong reason to believe know what they are doing and don’t care.  We will have more to come on this story, but for now, here’s an excellent blog about how to tell when people are lying.

How do you know whether you are good at spotting liars? Test yourself  here at the University of Berkeley’s EQ test website.  This test will tell you how clever you are at reading other people’s emotions, which is part of lie detection.

Many MLM uplines post videos on Facebook etc to persuade people to join, to mentor their ‘teams’, etc etc blah blah.  Next time you watch one, take note of whether their facial expressions match what they are saying, whether their smiles are truly sincere, and whether they show true emotional concern for their ‘teams’.   I’m not just talking words here – they should be showing genuine emotion/concern on their faces if they truly care.

People who lack emotion can sometimes appear very charming, smiling a lot, presenting a beautiful appearance, but will also show inappropriate facial expressions at times.   Take note of this.   It’s a red flag about how that person is truly feeling.

And finally, if you are high up in an MLM but want to get out, we ARE here for you.  No matter what you’ve done in MLM, you can make a difference right now, today, by leaving & helping others see through the deception.


“Post on FB about how the company can cure & treat all kinds of illnesses” – An ex-Bot from Ariix speaks.

Another ex-Bot has come forward, this time from Ariix.   Our questions and her responses are below.  Enjoy!

How did you get sucked in?





What promises were made?





Did you make money?




This is the Ariix Pricelist for the UK


Ariix presentation here

How were you treated?



Aloepocalypse Part Deux

In Part I we set out our reasons for believing that FLP is reaching market saturation here in the UK.  If you missed it, read it here.  In this post, we’re going to outline what the likely outcome of this is going to be for FBOs at different levels.


Top Bots:


As we’ve seen, the poster girls (and boys) of FLP UK are already being handed their next revenue stream.  Whether its an under-exploited region of the UK or a brand new European Market, these stars of the FLM world have achieved cult status and are being well looked-after by FLP.  If their businesses were to crash or if they were to defect, it would be a PR disaster and would precipitate the catastrophic crumbling of the entire pyramid.  So don’t waste your energy worrying about them. Yet.


Moderate Bots:


You know, the ones with a decent downline, the ones who get the slightly/very disappointing Chairman’s Bonus cheques, the ones who have worked stupid hours and sometimes been badly treated by the bots above…  You know who you are.


What happens when your revenue stream dries up? As recruitment rates fall, the bottom layer of the pyramid will disappear.  Your team will have to focus on selling product and we all know how hard this is and how low the returns are.  And remember – it’s now ok for your team to run a Life Tree World, Younique or Ariix business too, so they might not be 100% committed to Aloe any more.


…and then your commission cheques start to get smaller and smaller. And more team members drop out and you can’t replace them.  You apply as much pressure as you can, but you know how hard it is to sell in meaningful volumes outside of the scheme.  The product is too expensive, the company has a bad reputation because of negative articles in the media and awareness efforts by ‘keyboard warriors’ ,the only significant sales come from FBOs and their families.


…and what happens about meeting the lease payments on that big, white 4 x4? Or the rent on that impressive house?  The school fees? And how do you feel about pushing your few, loyal remaining team members to buy product so that you can meet your targets and get your cheques? Because they won’t have a hope in hell of recruiting a significant team of their own now, the market is past that point.


What on earth are you going to do?  That ‘residual income’ dream that you were sold, what has happened to that?  What about the ‘willable income’ that was going to secure your children’s future…?


Starter Bots:


Let’s be honest, drop out rates are already high and a peak market will only enhance that.  Most will pay their £200, realize that they will never make that money back and leave, having been told that they are uncoachable failures.  In some ways they are the lucky ones – hopefully they will drop out when their personal losses are in the low £ hundreds and whilst they still have their dignity & self-belief intact.


Advice to All FLP Bots:


Our intention isn’t to scaremonger.  We don’t want to gloat, we want to help you.  Please consider this a wake-up call: the business model is NOT sustainable and all signs point to the scheme accelerating towards its end.  We are telling you the facts that FLPUK will not, as it is not in their interests.  They are looking after a few selected Chosen Ones and the rest of you will have to pick up the pieces yourselves.


So take control.  We are constantly impressed by your work ethic and dedication towards a company that gives most of its scheme-members very little and takes so much.  You are resourceful, you are hard-working, you are determined.  Use the skills you have learned, harness that ability to work as a team or lead a team and start looking for another better, sustainable way to earn a living.  Don’t join another MLM. You are capable of so much more and you deserve so much better.


And we are here to listen and to support you.

EXCLUSIVE: Read the messages Candice, an ex-bot with Forever Living, received after the Daily Mail article.

Read the original article in the Daily Mail here.

We were aware some weeks before the DM article came out that Candice was going public with her story and we’ve been keeping tabs on her ever since – mainly because we weren’t sure what kind of reaction she was going to get, and we wanted her to know we supported her 100%.

We didn’t need to worry – the reaction has mostly been very positive for Candice and negative towards Forever Living and MLMs in general, YAY!!!

Now, we bring you some of the messages Candice has received since she opened up about her experience in Forever Living.  We think they are very enlightening and a powerful testament to how many people are silently suffering in MLMs and are looking for a way out.







“I was going to ask who your upline was and whether we have the same one”



And inevitably, there was hate mail from a couple of furious Bots who saw their possible downlines tricking away…….

First off, Passive-Aggressive Denial Bot:



And finally, Super Classy Rage Bot – cos nothing says ‘good PR for your MLM’ like calling someone a cunt.




“shot with bags of your own shit”.   We’re not going forget that line for a while.

Finally, a word to anyone stuck in an MLM, in debt, afraid, and possibly isolated from friends and family: we are here for you and so are our supporters.  Please don’t feel you are trapped.  Even if you’ve lost a lot of money, better to quit now, get out of the toxic MLM of lies than continue on.  We are thinking of you.  We are here for you.

Bravo again to Candice.  You are a LEGEND.

An Open Letter to Netmums about all the MLM recruiting on their site


Dear Netmums,

Thank you for providing a space for mums and especially new mums to share and support each other.   We think what you are doing is great.

There’s just one thing we need to talk to you about, and we believe it’s very important.


Right now, your site is like a mahoosive hunting ground for MLMs.  It’s like the ideal MLM targets are just sitting there, caught up in a net, a net of mums.




Some people we know contacted you and asked you why you allowed so much open MLM recruiting.    Thank you for replying,  we were glad to get an insight into your stance.






We understand MLMs are, ostensibly, legal (though some have been found to be illegal after investigation).

However, we have a point that we’d like to bring up:

It’s really hard to identify a pyramid scheme pretending it’s a multi-level marketer.

Even the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) says so.


“Identifying a pyramid scheme masquerading as an multi-level marketer requires a fact-intensive inquiry,” the FTC said in one report. It “entails a complex economic analysis including an in-depth examination of the compensation structure and the actual manner in which compensation flows within an organization.”


Spotting a pyramid is hard

Also read below:

US government can’t put an end to pyramid schemes

and this:

What’s wrong with MLM companies (everything, we say)

and this PDF we nabbed from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) site:


Of the 350 MLMs I have analyzed for which a complete compensation plan was available, 100% of them are recruitmentdriven and top-weighted. In other words, the vast majority of commissions paid by MLM companies go to a tiny percentage of TOPPs (top-of-the-pyramid promoters) at the expense of a revolving door of recruits, 99% of whom lose money. This is after subtracting purchases they must make to qualify for commissions and advancement in the scheme, to say nothing of minimal operating expenses for conducting an aggressive recruitment campaign – which (based on the compensation plans) is essential to get into the profit column.



Original link here.

The upshot is this: MLMs were invented in the USA but even the US government can’t keep control over them.  Why? As per the articles above, there are just too  many, and investigations take too long and are too expensive.

Because of this, we would argue that you can’t afford to wait for the law to catch up to the exploitation that’s going on.   Because of this, Netmums, we’re asking you to do the ethical thing: ban MLM recruiting from your site.    We’ve noticed (and have much evidence of) the way MLMs deliberately target women at transitional periods in their lives: new motherhood, losing a job, etc etc and many of these women came to your site looking for support and companionship.   Yes, we know some of these women claim to have made incomes through MLMs,  but again, there is much evidence that shows most people lose money in an MLM.   Our whole blog is dedicated to penetrating the lies told by MLMs to keep the scams going.

Please, please, reconsider your stance about MLMs on your site.





Have a look around you, on your Facebook walls, on other social networking sites, and have a think about all the bots you have ever come across.

How many of them are men?

I will bet that most of your bots are women – accurate statistics are hard to find in the shady dodgy secretive world of MLM, but our research conservatively estimates that somewhere between 75 and 85% of bots are women.

And that isn’t surprising. As we previously covered in this post the easiest targets for bots when they are looking to recruit, are women who are stay at home mums wanting to make some extra cash, or women who have recently had a child and would like to replace her paid employment with another source of income.

Bots are instructed to prey on these women in particular, pressing emotional buttons to make them feel bad about going back to work.   Read thisthis,

and this.

They use false statistics, such as 80, or sometimes 90% (depending on the “inspirational” meme du jour) of women earning 6 figures are doing so via network marketing. Hmm. We can take that one with a giant pinch of salt, and despite querying it again and again no-one has ever been able to back this up for us, other than by referring to a book in which it was written. (Because we should always believe everything written in books, right?)

They are telling women that they can easily make extra money (they start by saying a couple of hundred a month but soon ramp up the sales pitch) for just a few hours of work and spend the rest of that time with their precious children. And we know that is a lie.  Read this.


You shouldn’t be aspiring to full time or part time hours with a set salary, workplace benefits, a pension, a promotion ladder that actually doesn’t involve desperately spamming your friends and family.

You should become a #bossbabe, selling overpriced junk to other women and honing in on insecure women to recruit to your cause, with none of the advantages of being employed (guaranteed income, a certain amount of security, workers’ right etc) and all of the disadvantages – limited freedom, stress being piled on you by your boss, sorry, upline, and a good dose of bullying.

^^You get we are joking right?

We believe pyramid schemes, because we all know this is, in essence, what these organisations are designed to keep an awful lot of people right at the very bottom.

Watch this:

Or this:

The top feeds from the levels below, every level feeds from the levels below. And who is at the bottom of these schemes?

Predominantly women.

And who is at the top?

We haven’t been able to check every single MLM (seriously, have you seen how many of them there are now?) but other than Stella & Dot and Rodan & Fields we’re having trouble finding women at the top.

YES, some women have been successful in these schemes, and are held up as examples of successful women, women to aspire to.

But you have more chance of making similar money if you get qualified, get a job, get promoted or even draw up a business plan and start your own business. You can do all that. There is nothing wrong with being in paid employment. Nothing wrong with having a career and a family.

And ask yourself this: would anyone expect a man to pin his hopes on a multi-level marketing scheme?

The answer is no.

The MLM industry targets and exploits women. Almost every email we have received since we started Timeless Vie have been from women desperate to share their story with us. Very similar stories of having been sold a lie about a life of wealth and abundance, having been bullied, having lost friends and family, having gone into debt in certain cases, being encouraged to spend time AWAY from their children (they don’t tell you that when they recruit you). MLMs keep the vast majority of the women in their schemes unsuccessful, and actually limit their choices.

This is why MLM is a feminist issue.

“It was when my son said the way I was talking was like a cult that I came to my senses” – a new ex FL Bot speaks.


I had been told of the benefits for allergies for animals and was looking for a natural way to help my dog




The more training videos I was watching the more I wanted to watch them




After my son had mentioned ‘cult’ I started to think about how I was feeling and could only relate it to when I had hypnotherapy years ago




I’ve lost £400 in 3-4 weeks




I am a nurse, middle-aged and consider myself to be a pretty strong character but I got pulled into something that certainly is not a business opportunity and in my opinion is a cult type organisation.




A note about neuro-linguistic programming.  It’s a good tool and can really help people with issues they may need to work through, but like any tool, it can be used unethically in the wrong hands.  Ethical users of hypnosis and NLP would always seek a person’s permission before putting them into such a state.   Unethical users will not.

Please also read the excellent post about Mind Set training here: We love this blog about Mindset Training (and also MLMs). Please Read.

FYI: We have also received a huge dump of FL training documents from an informer, including information used by FL bots to sell products to pet and animal owners, as well as veterinarians.  Stay tuned huns xxx


Why do they stay?

There’s a question we’ve heard over and over again since we started investigating MLMs.

The answer is complicated – e.g.  they are lied to about MLM in the first place –  but here are 2 more reasons we’ve learned about:

  1. The world outside MLMs can’t be trusted
  2.  Those who leave an MLM are traitors.

Leaving an MLM is more like leaving a religion than leaving a business.   You go from being one of the “loved” to someone who must be ignored or publically humiliated.

In this post, we’re going to try and take you on a trip inside the worldview of a typical MLM-bot.   Be warned, though.  It’s depressing as fuck.  Bring out the Ativan!


They believe the economy is doomed.

Some of the major thinkers in the Network Marketing industry believe the world’s economy is unstable, insecure, and soon will break.  The only remedy against this lack of security is: the MLM.

We learned about this insane belief from our first informer, whose post can be read at the link below.

A brave ex-bot tells all: FIRST IN A SERIES

Here is an excerpt from that story:


In future everybody is going to be working this way, and by then we’ll be so high up we won’t know what to do with all the money




Network Marketing “Guru” website




Not being able to survive is a primal fear, especially for a new parent. The MLM industry plays on this fear,  and you’ll notice hints of it popping up in MLM memes.     Take the FB status below.    This person believes by joining an MLM she will somehow avoid the insecurity of the real world and be protected by network marketing.  It’s sad and disturbing.





In an MLM,  Bots believe they have become part of some magical alternate economy.    They are safe, and the rest of us losers are not.   Unless we join, of course….


Their upline knows too much about them

It starts subtly.  You don’t even realise you’re giving away your closely-hidden secrets, until you are.   That’s what makes it so insidious.

We learned from one of our first informers about how MLM recruiters hone in on  potential recruits’ worries and concerns.

Read this.

And excerpt from this story is below:

 If it doesn’t make you cry – its not your reason why




What this means is that you, the potential Bot, have shared some of your deepest darkest fears with your new captors, the MLM.  From now on, whenever you have doubts, they will use these fears to keep you inline.  BUT, they’ll say, what about your kids?  You’re doing this for THEM.   They’ll remind you of your ‘why to make you cry’.  They’ll remind you how uncertain the world is.

See below for a social media example of a Bot talking about their ‘why’.



They are threatened or belittled if they try and leave

You’re a Bot, but it’s not working for you and hasn’t for a long time.  You know you aren’t making any money.  You are exhausted from the endless demands from your upline to put through this or that order or recruit this or that friend from your ‘chicken’ list.  Your partner is not supportive.  You don’t really see your kids.   All the promises have turned out to be lies.

You decide to leave your MLM and go out on your own.  You hope for support  = after all, haven’t they all described themselves as your “MLM family”? .

Then the threats start, and the personal attacks.


For more on this, read this post.

In one case, we were told confidentially that an ex-Bot was so traumatized by the threats from her former MLM colleagues that she considered taking her own life.




Any Bot seeing the way others are treated is going to have serious second thoughts about being upfront with their decision.

We have received many, many PMs from Bots saying “I agree with what you’re doing but I”m too scared to leave/I’m hoping to just go inactive/I just want it all to fade away/I wish I’d never joined/I’m scared of what they’ll do”.


They think if they leave they have failed.

People who have the courage to leave are regarded by other bots as failures and losers.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if there are extenuating circumstances or you’re losing money.  There is no support for someone trying to leave and rebuild their life.  Even worse, some Bots have lost connection with their pre-MLM friends and family, so they have literally no one to turn to.

There is NO compassion for people who don’t ‘succeed’ in an MLM in the MLM world.

Yeah, I know.  It’s a scam.  But in the MLM world they pretend it’s a real business and all Bots are just entrepeneurs on the way to millionaire status.

Below is an example of a  typical response from an MLM Bot to our informers:


 The ‘whistleblowers’ are those who couldn’t make it work.





 They’ve put too much money/time/effort into their MLM already.

This is the so-called “sunk cost fallacy”.   It’s the same thinking that drives gamblers to keep gambling even if they lose.

The more money the Bot puts into their MLM, the more time, the more relationships he/she loses because of it, the more likely he/she is to stay.  Because, if she stays, one day she will hit the big time and be rich!   That’s what MLMs promise, and because MLM culture strongly promotes the idea of the individual having the power to change his or her destiny, many Bots believe if they just change this or that thing about themselves one day it will happen for them too.

Read this.

And this.

We love this blog about Mindset Training (and also MLMs). Please Read.

And this.

And there you have it.

That’s why they stay.

“Like Ladders”, Facebook swaps and other ways Bots try to appear more successful than they actually are



Rule number ONE in MLM is what, huns?

 Fake it til you make it.

There’s a problem with this though – after all,  how do you fake new recruits to your team? fake sales? hundreds of new likes? new followers on Twitter?   Those things are quite a lot harder to “fake”, right?  That’s certainly the way it appears on the outside and why so many MLMs are successful in recruiting more and more victims.


We have received tips to the contrary from our supporters,  and these tips along with our own sleuthing have led us to what we believe are the answers.  We know how Bots, ‘successful’ or not,  fake FB “likes”, sales, etc and we’re going to tell you as well so when you see it happen, you understand how it’s just another game being played and you can warn your friends.










One example of a business that sells fake Facebook likes

We contacted a social media manager we know and asked for her input on this issue.  Here’s her response (she asked to remain anonymous):




Then she showed us a graph, from Facebook,  of an MLM bot she knows and who has had a recent increase in likes.  See the obvious spike (468.9% increase in a WEEK)?  That indicates the Bot bought them.




As she put it:


That is a huge red flag for likes-buying.

*full disclosure: we have bought advertising on FB for Timeless Vie – mainly to boost our posts (the ones FB accepts, that is, ar ar) and once to boost our page.   We have never ever bought likes and we never will.











^^ there was another screenshot of the Jewelscents bot above begging more people to join her team and literally posting every. single. day. but it was just too depressing to post.   Blah.












We removed the name of the group below deliberately.  Why? Because we feel for these women who need to make back their money.   We’re on their side.   From what we saw on Facebook, many of these women are selling their DS stock at a loss to themselves.




I swear we are not picking on Younique deliberately, but there was just SO MUCH STUFF people were trying to move: (below is just one of the many, many, many posts we screenshot).




Or people were just trying to swap their stock for other stock:






So, there you have it.  Behind the scenes of many a Bot is a desperate merry-go-round of likes-laddering, likes-buying, selling stock at a loss while avoiding MLM compliance twats, and swapping stock with other Bots in the same boat.  Oh and recruiting each other to their teams.   All seems totally legit, right?  Exactly like a successful real business works.


 UPDATE: a supporter sent us this screenshot – showing a jump in “likes” for a particular MLM bot who sells herself as a successful business coach.   Hmmm…a 235.6% increase in a week?  Seems suspicious.  Also, note the low engagement rate for her page.    She has over 10,000 likes, but ony 286 people are actually talking with her page, which seems extremely low compared to the number of likes.  This may indicate a large number of her likes come from buying and “like ladders” with other bots.  It may also mean many of the likes are from fake FB profiles.





For comparison, here are the stats from our Timeless Vie facebook page.   We have nearly the same number of people talking about our page as the Bot above,   yet our number of likes is much lower.  This shows genuine engagement by the people who like our page.   Also, note that our increase in likes is only 2.8% from last week.  There are no big jumps.




The Invasion of the Ariix Bots…and more information about Ariix.

You’ll want to take note of this one, hunz.


Approximately 36 hours ago (we lost count, it’s been a long 36 hours ) a very irate Ariix bot started posting on our FB page.   Then she called in reinforcements.   We get the feeling some of them weren’t that happy about being tagged cos they never turned up, but the ones that did?  Good times babes, good times.


There were many accusations flung about including threats of libel and slander against us, so we decided to look into some of her claims a little more closely.  There are 3 main issues we will be looking at in this post: the fact that Ariix’s products are in the “PDR” = Physicians’ Desk Reference book in the USA, and the fact that they have a stellar team of doctors to advise them, and the fact that a clinical study proves that “Slenderiiz” is a scientifically proven effective treatmet for weight issues.






So Botwatch did some research on the PDR for us, as we were busy dealing with bullshit on the page.

It is exhausting huns.  worth it, but exhausting.

First, here is what a reputable source, the National Institutes of Health, has to say about it:


Here is a screenshot:



To put it bluntly: the PDR is basically a great big ad.  Ariix pays for it’s products to be in the book and their claims are NOT independently verified by the publisher.


The publisher is a private company


Here is what the PDR says about Vinali:



Sure sounds like a health claim Ariix!


However, there is this little disclaimer down below:



MLM watch dealt with the PDR bs here.




Here’s the first post we did about one of Ariix’s doctors:


Ariix’s doctor lost his license for mis-prescribing drugs, Ariix seller appears to targets cancer patients, and other stories


Again Botwatch delved into another of Ariix’s doctors for us, a doctor called Dr Hurt.  That is a real name we promise.







So, Dr Hurt ran a ‘clinical trial’ of Slenderiiz.  Let’s look at her educational qualifications.


Her Doctorate is from here.  It is possible to get a PHD in 30 days from this college. It’s also NOT accredited.


Her fellowship is here.  It’s an online course.  We’ll let you make up your mind on both of these.

Her Bachelor’s Degree is from Liberty University, a Christian college in the US. Liberty University.

Courses there are taught from a “Christian World view”.





Botwatch did a great take-down of this “clinical trial” here.

Botwatch conclusions are below:


sorry, Ariix.  You get an F for science.