VALENTUS. We give you the skinny on this allegedly ‘skinny’ coffee.

The Ugly Decaffeinated Truth



Most of us by now will have had the misfortune to encounter one or two of the Valentus crew.  Goals are being #smashed, promotions #nailed, babes being #boss.  Although allegedly in ‘pre-launch’, the product is out there and teams are growing at an enormous and frankly frightening & unsustainable rate.  So we thought it was time to take a good look at Valentus – at the company, the product and the compensation plan and to try to get to the truth behind the over-excited Facebook ‘lives’, the ‘Double Diamond’ promotions, the blurred-out bonuses and the TOTES AMAZEBALLS weight loss products.


Let’s start with the Company:


It launched in 2014 and the CEO is Dave Jordan, a network marketing veteran who has clearly honed his skills in a number of MLMs, usually moving on to the next just before companies have folded.  Timing is everything, people!  Dave is a expert in lead-generation and recruitment tactics, which is why it is hardly surprising that Valentus is all about recruitment.  Bots talk about Valentus being an ‘established, global business’ but facts about the real size & reach of the business seem pretty hard to find.



The Product:


The star in the Valentus universe is the Prevail SlimRoast Coffee.  It’s a coffee that you drink to make you lose weight.  Cards-on-the-table time: I loathe weight-loss gimmicks like this.  MLMs deliberately target the things most women are socially conditioned to want most of all: friendship, health, beauty and most of all, weight-loss.  Almost every MLM has some kind of weight-loss programme that they use as a hook.  These are generally unproven, short-term, unsustainable & unhealthy, both for the mind and for the body.  And yet we want to believe that just by sipping a cup of magic coffee every day we will miraculously turn into Kate Moss and be so much happier and more valued as a human being.  Anyone selling these kind of false promises and trading on the pressure women are already under to look thinner/younger/more beautiful deserves a special place in feminist hell.


Anyway, having got that off my chest, let’s look at the SlimRoast claims & reality.  Here’s the Valentus claim:


Formulated with natural appetite suppressants, feel good ingredients and detox components SlimROAST is a great addition to your weight management program. Not only will you find managing your weight with SlimROAST will produce exciting results, but you will love the taste of this delicious Italian dark roast coffee.


Now let’s turn to a qualified Nutritionist to debunk some of that.  It’s worth reading all of Abby Langer’s review as she tears the claims to shreds ( but here’s a few highlights:



Valentus SlimRoast has zero research proving it works. Testimonials don’t count.


SlimRoast contains mostly unproven ingredients that likely don’t work – together, or separately – to promote weight loss.


It’s pretty physiologically impossible to take a supplement and lose weight just from that, without any changes to your diet or activity. So testimonials that make that claim are probably not legit. I promise – when scientists find the magic ingredient that makes people lose weight while they sit on their ass, I’ll let you know. For now though – you’ll need to do the work. Sorry!


Compensation Package:


‘Eeeeeek!  It’s the best compensation package of any MLM EVER!’


Claims like this combined with blurred-out photos of allegedly ENORMOUS 5 & 6-figure incomes certainly implies that within a very short space of time you will be raking in the money.


Here’s the nasty truth.  Once again, it’s all about recruitment and about the bot being the customer.


  1. Success depends on bots committing to a monthly auto-shipment of product and in turn recruiting others to do likewise
  2. You cannot progress without signing up to automatically buy over £100 worth of product per month and building a team of other people doing likewise.
  3. You also get paid an additional commission bonus for every new member you sign up
  4. There is minimal information about retailing on the Valentus website and little reward for retailing in the compensation plan. It’s all about autoship and recruitment.


Massive red flags here: this emphasis on autoship/recruitment places Valentus on very rocky ground.  In fact, people have analysed the Valentus compensation structure and found it almost identical to Vemma’s – that’s right, the ‘Energy Drink’ MLM that was condemned as a pyramid scheme by the FTC because of its emphasis on recruitment/autoship.  Bar a small handful at the top, most affiliates lost money in Vemma.  Read this for more information on the Vemma case:




Stay away.  Don’t touch with a 10-foot pole.


This is a pyramid scheme with very little pretense to even try to dress it up with product & retail.  It’s growing rapidly in the UK right now but unless you are one of the top bots, you’ll be paying in your £100 per month and losing money (but not the promised weight!).


If you need proof that is a pyramid scheme, we have a recording of one of the top UK bots in a Facebook Live actually stating that you don’t need to sell product at all to succeed.  This is illegal.  This makes Valentus a full-on, undeniable pyramid scheme.  Like all such schemes, one of two things will happen:


  1. The authorities will catch up with Valentus, fine it and shut it down.
  2. The scheme will collapse.


Either of those end-games are bad news for 95% of scheme members.  They will lose their money.  And those at the top who are boasting about their wealth and recruiting more people in everyday are both immoral and –  in some cases – breaking the law.


We’re watching you, Valentus.


Mäelle hasn’t even launched yet & reps are already lying

your lips r moving

your lips r moving

your lips r moving

& you lie lie lie lie

This just in from an informer.

Here are some excerpts from the Mäelle  dementor “Mentor” agreement.  Note that it pretty much says this: do not make shit up about how much income you can make selling Maelle.  Do not pretend you don’t have to work your arse off and have amazeballs selling chops.  Do not pretend you don’t have to bug your friends endlessly, work 24/7, and not see your kids.  (okay it doesn’t say that, but it should.)    Etc.   Here it is, in boring but necessary legalese:



Ha, ha.

I guess no one read the “mentor” agreement, or  they don’t care, or (more likely) their upline told them to say this:

Lie One, which breaks rule 10.5.1 (f) and (g)



Lie Two, which breaks rule 10.5.1 (f) and (g)



Lie Three, which breaks rule 10.5.1 (f) and (g)


Which is it?

In our experience, it’s most likely the latter.

You just can’t trust them.

This is why we demand that network marketing companies be legally responsible for what their ‘reps’ say.




Younique: Ships Don’t Lie

Younique is a Mormon-owned makeup multi-level marketing ‘business’ out of Utah, and we’ve written about them before here and here.

One of the lines Younique reps/bots like to spin is the “it’s such amaaazing quality, huns!” as they fling younique products at you on Instagram.   But the truth is, it’s not – it’s not worth the price.  Real makeup artists know this.  Any half-decent makeup group knows this and bans Younique reps –  like Mrs Gloss & the Goss, a group also mentioned by British Beauty Blogger here.   Apparently the only people who don’t know this are Younique’s prey – the women trying to sell it.

And how do MUAs and anybody seriously into makeup know this?  Ships.  Ships don’t lie.

According to Port Examiner, Younique has been regularly importing products from China, Hong Kong, and Italy for years.


  1. They use the contract manufacturer Regi SRl in Italy for cosmetics





2.  Regi SRL also provides cosmetics for other small brands like Julep Beauty, Laura Geller…and a company called “HCT Packaging”.







3.  Younique gets packaging from China & Hong Kong







So, if you’re a Younique bot you’re probably thinking SO WHAT HATERS.   Well, if you’re charging £30 pounds for a pot of moisturizer, you should really be of a higher quality.    Like MAC.  Or Bobbi Brown (we put “bobbi brown” into the port examiner website and found shipping from Germany only, but nothing recently, as befits a brand that manufactures it’s own cosmetics in North America).   Or (insert name of decent makeup brand here).  For cheap packaging and contract cosmetics, your price point should be a lot lower.   But as we know, it’s not really about the products – it’s about the Younique rep buying the products, buying the hype, and believing she can make money by selling them and #stayhomewiththekids.

Hence the mahoosive price disconnect.




Younique.  Totally not worth it for the price.



PART 3: An Arbonne seller asks our informer to use her NHS position to convince women to join. She also offers to pay for it. Read on…


A few weeks ago I got to see from the other side an example of how some of these MLM people tick.

I work part time in the NHS and two days of my week are spent working in private practice.

I was approached by an Arbonne seller.

She would be classed as a success in Arbonne terms as she has the White Mercedes (no doubt paid for on a month by month basis until the day she misses her targets).  She is a friend of a friend, she know what I do but doesn’t know my opinions on what she does, in fact as far as she’s concerned I don’t know anything about her.


Her proposal was that if I could make them see the light through psychological means (I think she had the idea that I practise some sort of mind control) then we could split the difference on what we charged them for me seeing them.  She proposed we charged them £80 for the hour, I keep £60 and she have £20.


She came to me with a proposal saying that she had a training company that teaches women (ah, that demographic again) to have the confidence to take up opportunities (clearly not quite true).  She was finding that some of them ‘really need a confidence boost’ and how would I feel about her referring some of them to me?

Her proposal was that if I could make them see the light through psychological means (I think she had the idea that I practise some sort of mind control) then we could split the difference on what we charged them for me seeing them.  She proposed we charged them £80 for the hour, I keep £60 and she have £20.

This could be sold as therapy ‘because you really need to sort yourself out’ (but would be carefully modelled coercion).  ‘I can pass lots of work your way’ she told me.


She said that the emphasis was to help them to sell this opportunity on to other people as an exercise in ’empowerment’.


I asked her what she expected me to do exactly and what exactly was the goal?  Basically, she wanted me to manage away any rational questioning about joining Arbonne and to use an aggressive and didactic argument to get them to sign on the dotted line.

She wanted to give me a tight script full of persuasion and counter argument to any doubts.  She wanted me to use my position as a psychotherapist (and she was keen to flag my NHS status too) to basically bully people to join Arbonne by using her crib sheet of false promises and keep them in the system under pressure by using a particular form of victim blaming, ‘tell me, what is your particular negative self talk that means you could walk away from this really amazing chance?’.

She said that the emphasis was to help them to sell this opportunity on to other people as an exercise in ’empowerment’.  I asked her what would happen if it was clear to me that someone was not in a position to take part because they were emotionally vulnerable.

She felt that this was an ideal exploitable area in that we could demonstrate the great positive hope they would gain by joining up and any depression or anxiety could be used to our advantage.  The more vulnerable the better.


This was totally unethical, outside the ethics of the professional body the governs my work and something I would never ever entertain.  I have yet to respond to her but I will and I doubt she’ll be happy to hear my thoughts.  What it did do is confirm all of my beliefs about the real danger these schemes pose to many people but particularly women.  This isn’t empowerment, it’s deceitful fraud and whatever these schemes say about the ethical standards they insist upon, it’s very clear they encourage something something very different at ground level.

The End.

This is why we need real data about the effect multi-level marketing, network-marketing, social selling, whatever the fuck-schemes have on communities. This is why. 

Studies by Direct Sales Associations will claim these schemes create money for communities, but is that really true?  What is the true impact? No one knows.  Maybe it’s time we found out.



Is the ‘All Things Gorgeous’ Facebook page, set up for Maelle to find recruits, against Facebook rules? Let’s check it out…

Read our previous posts about Maelle here

And here.

Recap: We learned in our previous posts that Maelle had hired some social media companies to help it find 1,000 MLM bots before launch in October.   Their big plan was to start a Facebook “passion” page about makeup etc. to attract women.  They posted about cult makeup brands like Kylie Cosmetics, MAC, NYX etc, and in the “About” page, they said ” All Thing Gorgeous is here to inspire you to look good, feel good, and do good!” .

There are now over 120,000 makeup fans, who have liked this page……

and there is no mention ANYWHERE of the page being for Maelle.


Here’s the real story  of All Things Gorgeous from the social media co.  Brand Excelerator:



And here’s some of the Facebook Page rules we think this page might break:

Collection of Data

“All Things Gorgeous” is being used to look for leads for MLM Bots for Maelle.




No deceptive claims or content

Fans who like the page have no idea it’s actually so Maelle can recruit more bots.




You decide.

UPDATE: These words have now been added to the All Things Gorgeous page:”All things Gorgeous is a passio page sponsored by Maelle – a beauty company like no other etc”.  Still no mention it’s an MLM.  Still no mention they are using the page to recruit.





Muthafeckin Maelle

We are never safe, huns.  We are never safe.   From fecking MLMs.

We go on the social media to chillax,  to talk to our friends, to maybe goss about some pretty nude lipsticks and smear some anti-aging cream on our faces or compare Micellar waters or nappy creams or whatever.  THAT’S ALL WE ARE DOING.  We don’t look to be stalked by MLMs, right, amirite?

This is your warning that a new one is planning to launch in October 2016 and will be bombarding your newsfeed, cos you’re it’s core demographic, soon.   It’s called Maelle.  Maelle does makeup, and we all know who the target audience for that is.   However,   Maelle done things a bit differently.  It has hired a social media company to create a fake campaign on Facebook called “All Things Gorgeous” to attract trap victims  women into it’s MLM.


This gives us the rage.


Maelle’s plan to target women (note, this page has now been taken down)

The slideshow below shows the screenshots we got off the removed page:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.




Maelle wants 100,000 “leads” = women to convert into MLM Bots.  And how do they plan to achieve this?


In other words, women who go to “AllThingsGorgeous” thinking they can chat about beauty etc don’t know that they are being prospected as possible leads for an MLM company.  Further more, the “About” section of the page gives no hint that fans are, in fact, being prospected this way: (screenshot of “About” section below):



We think this is unethical BS, especially by the social media companies working with Maelle.  SHAME.

We will not link to the page cos we don’t want to give them any more attention.

Maelle’s new Top Bots are currently pumping hard on the FB etc to build teams of peasants to suck money from. all under the guise of ’empowerment’ blah blah blah.   As we know, being the first in an MLM means you’re most likely to make money mo’money off your recruits, which is why they’re all so enthusiastic.   No one wants to be on the bottom of the triangle, right?  But the TOP…oh yes.

Allegedly Maelle has already got 531 Bots 😦

Join my team, hun!



Maelle is mindblowing-er than all your other skanky MLMs, y’all




Also, Maelle loves all the little animals and bunnies and wouldn’t hurt anything, except the women they will exploit that is.    Also they love PETA.





However, when we went to the PETA and Leaping Bunny websites, here is what we found – well, we couldn’t find Maelle on any of them? HMMMM.

UPDATE: we have confirmation from Peta that they are cruelty-free, however Leaping Bunny has not confirmed.



More to come on Maelle.


“If you do this before the end of the month, then I will pay you £500” – how top FL bots pay people to resign.

Many thanks to the informer who sent this in.

First, some background: the Bot who wrote the following post/messages is very high up in FLP UK, and presents herself as a hard-working single mother who wants to help others achieve the same business success.  It’s classic MLM targeting.  However, as we shall see, she along with others has achieved this ‘success’ in unethical ways.  Ways that your average Bot, slogging away on a housing estate, probably has no idea about (and then wonders why they can never get ahead).

Note: We have reliable information Forever Living is NOT the only MLM to do this.  Please do not assume your MLM is any better, cos it most likely isn’t.

Here’s how she sells herself: LIVIN’ THE DREAM, Y’ALL




In the following messages this Bot offers to pay-off an “inactive Manager” so she can take over that Manager’s downline and the money she could earn from it.

Note: “Inactive Manager” = a Bot who has previously achieved Manager status but now is not spending money every month on FL products to stay “active”.  i.e. they are not a real Manager at all.  FL could call them a “Kite Flyer” and it would be about as meaningful.

1cc used to = £227 pounds.  So the “Manager” would have had to spend £908 per month to keep their status.










FLPUK 4cc incentive doc

How to retail 8CC huns!

Is MLM training hypnotizing you? Read this.

“Mindset training” and “NLP” (neuro-linguistic programming) have been mentioned in many of our posts about MLM.  As we’ve covered previously, these are business and sales tools – ‘soft skills’ – that are not bad in and of themselves, but could be used for less than ethical purposes.  We loved Rebecca’s post about Mindset and MLM so, as she is a Mindset Coach herself, we decided to contact her and ask her a few questions about NLP & Mindset training.  Her website is here.


What is NLP/Mindset training?


Firstly, THEY are two different things.


NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, stems from studies aiming to demystify the art and science of excellence. The creators of NLP looked at a selection of very successful people who communicated, and studied what they all had in common. How do they communicate, where do they place their focus, how do they learn, how do they build relationships? From there they developed a series of surprisingly simple techniques to help us model the findings.


Mindset training or coaching looks at the beliefs you have about yourself and works on changing them until you are better able to reach your full potential. I describe it as getting your mind to work for you rather than against you, understanding that we have more choices than we are led to believe we have, that our intelligence and opportunities are not fixed. Basically I see mindset as empowering, removing limiting beliefs, and so handing back a whole lot of choice and control to my clients. The concept of mindset comes from the work of Carol Dweck, who researched what she called growth and fixed mindset.


However, I find that mindset has become a bit of a buzzword and I explain in the piece you linked to its limitations, especially in relation to MLM.  Read that piece here.


How do you learn it? 
Like anything else – you can buy books, training courses, study for qualifications if you like in NLP. And practice makes perfect.


Mindset is a little more “new”. I would advise starting by reading Carol Dweck’s book on the subject.


Can anyone learn it?


Yes, both mindset work and NLP techniques are beautifully simple.
I could confidently teach you a couple of techniques or concepts of each in a very short period of time.


How do people use it in sales?


NLP techniques can be used in many circumstances – as a coach I use it to help people communicate more confidently and also to reduce certain anxieties. I use the techniques more though as a way of helping me be a better coach – my NLP skills help me build rapport up with my clients and also help me “read” my clients more effectively – I can listen to what they say and what they don’t say in order to get a deeper understanding of where their issues lie.


NLP techniques are also used in sales, by most sales people whether they know it or not. Skilled users of NLP are able to quickly build up a rapport with almost anyone – and we buy from people we like. A sales person can also use NLP techniques to create pleasant associations with their products or services, tapping into what they pick up the client is looking for. Have you ever had a salesperson encourage you to visualise driving the car they are selling you, going into great detail? Or someone selling you a house inviting you to imagine yourself living there, painting you a picture of your new life? That’s NLP.


Skilled sales people also place themselves in a position of authority. Very subtley they will tip the balance of power in a conversation to favour them, and reduce the objections the client may have. They will pace and lead the conversation, rather than allowing the client to be in control. This sounds very sneaky, but most people who sell do this to a certain extent. But it is a skill which can be honed and perfected, making your selling irresistable. And NLP can help a salesperson get that skill.


Finally, for the purposes of this interview, the choice of language used in a sales pitch is really important. Sales “scripts” are developed by experts, paying great attention to the words used. In NLP we talk about “magic words”. There are also what we call “embedded commands”, which you probably won’t notice as being a command when you hear them, but they are designed to tap into your unconscious mind. Do you want an example? Don’t think about singing dancing crocodiles. (Did you just visualise a crocodile chorus?)


If we up the NLP skill level a little bit we can move on to the hypnotic use of language and tone. Have you ever found yourself almost zoning out during a sales pitch? Highly skilled users of NLP will repeat certain words or phrases, use specific key words and phrases repeatedly across the pitch and will speed up and slow down the speed at which they speak, changing the tone of their voice as they do it. In short, if you ever feel you have been hypnotised by a sales pitch then you aren’t going completely mad. They haven’t actually hypnotised you, or at least I hope not, but they have used certain techniques that hypnotists do use.


What about on video?


Yes, I would say that NLP techniques can be used on video. Perhaps not to the same effect as in person, as when watching a video it is easy to get distracted, or pause and come back to it.


Is there any certification required by government before you can use it?


No. Anyone can use NLP. When I was trained to use NLP I was also taught about the ethics surrounding it. Think of it as a scalpel – a tool that can be used to heal as well as harm. I don’t believe government regulation would be a good idea, and it certainly couldn’t be enforced. I would guess that any one of us use something that could be interpreted as NLP on a regular basis. Anyone that has any notion of sales, or who is naturally skilled at influencing others are most likely using something that could be described as NLP.


Using NLP in sales isn’t necessarily bad either – we have to be allowed to sell our products or services. It is when NLP is used to harm, to exert undue influence or to manipulate people that we step into a grey area. If I used NLP techniques to sell you a dodgy car or to recruit you into a Ponzi scheme, that would be unethical.



Yes, I think it is possible she felt as though she had been hypnotised but I doubt she was actually hypnotised. As I mentioned above some NLP techniques are based on hypnosis techniques (and vice versa) so a slight feeling of zoning out may have been linked to NLP. Perhaps the trainer used a specific tone of voice, or repeated certain phrases.

From what I know of hypnosis you need to be receptive to it, so I doubt you would unwillingly be hypnotised by a video. I am not saying it is impossible, but I think it is unlikely in this case.


 Thanks Rebecca, that’s very interesting.


We help the DSA with the wording of their documents. You’re welcome.


For those who don’t know, the DSA (Direct Sales Association) is the industry “face” of MLM in the UK.  The UK DSA website is here.  There are similar organisations in Australia, the EU, NZ, Canada and the US.   The DSA has some uber honest members like Forever Living, Vemma (pretty scammy) and Herbalife (this rich guy thinks Herbalife is a pyramid scheme). So, like, the DSA is a totally a reliable source of info, right?   They do things like lobby the government for MLMs   ‘direct sellers’ and fight legislation.   If you want more info, you can read their AGM report here:  DSA – 2013 AGM Booklet

We’re going to go more in-depth on the DSAs, but for now, we’re just going to take a look at a phrase we saw over and over again on DSA reports in the UK, EU, USA, etc.  Example here on the bottom of the page: 2012_stat_general_presentation27062013_xls

The phrase, in ittle bittle teeny weeny writing you basically have to read with a magnifying glass, is this:






Here it is again, in big font so everyone can read it:

(5) Direct sellers are career-minded entrepeneurs building their own business…or part-time entrepeneurs earning extra income.  Of this diverse group, many were customers of the products/services prior to becoming a company representative.  As Direct Sellers, all enjoy significant discounts and in fact, some choose to only enjoy and use the discounted products and decide not to sell at all.


Okay, so, we thought we’d help the DSAs out a bit by adding some wording to the phrase to more accurately reflect what we’ve learned here at TV.     Here it is, the new, updated weasel word phrase.


More to come on the DSA.

Luv ya huns! xx


Mummy Guilt-trip MLM Meme of the Week and why MLMs want you to feel guilty for working

Vom.  And more vom with a side dish of vom.




The real issue here is that many women (and men) find it hard to get flexible work.   Maternity pay is not high enough for people to survive.  Instead of addressing these social issues, though, our governments would rather just pretend that MLM fulfils those needs.   They happy to stand back  and not look too hard:  at:  women being screwed over trying to make money rather than actually making money.  They are happy to keep pretending it’s all above board and legit.

MLMs know this.  We have been told by an informer they know it and they exploit it, deliberately.

From an informer:




They (MLMs) are counting on typical workplaces & nurseries charging obscene fees to stop women from reaching their full potential…..& all too often they (women: Timeless Vie) get sucked into this pyramid/funnel/hellhole scheme.


We get it.  We’ve been new mothers ourselves.  We remember the rush of hormones, of love, all of it.   We’ve all felt the financial pressures, the love of work, the love of family, the insane busyness, the inner conflict.   But the answer is not MLM.  We deserve better.

Remember this next time you see a “mummy stay home and do MLM” meme, don’t feel guilty.  Feel the rage.   THe MLMs WANT you to feel bad, and they want your money.  They don’t actually want your workplace to change or for your mat leave pay to rise.  They don’t ACTUALLY care about women’s issues.   Don’t forget many MLMs are from very conservative religious communities like this one.

They want you to stay home and be someone’s good, obediant little downline.

(we have no issue with SAHMs, btw.  We’ve done it ourselves).





More to come on why the UK (and many other) governments love to not look to closely at MLM.

#MLMisafeministissue. #MLMisasocialissue.