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.
We get it regularly.
However I do worry that it (Timeless Vie) doesn’t provide a balanced view; there are no positive stories.
On the face of it, that seems a completely reasonable point.
That’s what proper journalists would do, right?
They’d have the sad story and then the happy story so you, the reader, got both sides of the issue. And what would you think? You’d probably think there’s a 50% chance you could be wealthy in an MLM, and a 50% chance you’d fail. Fair. Balanced.
Except….acccording to this study, approximately 99% of people lose money.
If most people lose money, is it really fair and balanced to have 1 story for and 1 against? Wouldn’t a really balanced piece of writing about MLMs have 99 stories of failure vs 1 story of success? Wouldn’t that be more accurate? And wouldn’t a really balanced piece point out that the 1 person who succeeded did so because of all the people that failed?
The idea of ‘false balance’ in journalism has been around for a while, but none of us connected the issue to the debate over MLM until one of us talked to a journalist in New Zealand. He was interested in what we were doing, and the feminist stance we were taking, and he pointed out that ‘false balance’ could be a problem when it came to issues like MLM. Read this, about the climate change science and false balance.
The idea is this: that by presenting both sides of a story and giving each equal weight, journalists inadvertently give people the impression that both sides are equally valid. They aren’t.
On one side, we have an industry that is making lots and lots of money by selling women false hope, that allows reps to make false health claims, that says one thing in public and another in private (we have so much evidence of this at this point it’s not funny), that in some cases refuses to divulge how much money women will really make, and is largely ignored by government. For ‘positive’ stories you only have to go to the websites of the Direct Sales Association, Arbonne, Younique etc.
On the other side, there’s us. We are making exactly zero money from doing this. We have jobs, families, we do this in what spare time we have. We’ve researched. We’ve talked to victims. We really care about them. We’ve tried to get answers from the DSA, MLM companies and government, and have discovered that there’s a huge information gap about what effects MLMs really have.
If we were to do positive stories, we’d be giving our readers the impression we think MLM is a valid business model, when all evidence we’ve found so far indicates it’s not. Would that really be the right thing to do?
This is why we don’t do “balanced” stories about MLM.
Because what matters is the truth.
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:
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.
We’re folowing so many social selling companies at this point that we’ve decided to combine all the updates into one spectacular post.
1. Younique’s new charity – look! look over there! we help people
Their new charity is called “Defend Innocence”, and it’s ostensibly to help stop the sexual abuse of children. Sigh. Obviously anyone with a heart would be in support of that.
However, we have this question for Younique: if you want to do right by women and children, why don’t you provide those women (who often join to support their kids) the truth about a Younique presenter’s typical earnings? So they don’t waste money they can’t afford and end up #lossbabes?
In the meantime, here’s a slideshow of some of the women trying to swap, sell, or get rid of their Younique stock. #lossbabe
2. Forever Living targets NCT groups
For non-UK readers, NCT is the National Childbirth Trust linky here. It’s an organisation set up to help parents and new babies.
One of our supporters sent us this email from NCT – there’s a big-ass ad by a Forever Living bot in it. Not that you can tell. Strangely lacking in bottles of aloe, no?
The ad is deceptive as it’s not until you click on it that you realise that it’s advertising for a multi-level marketing company.
Holy crap NCT. DOn’t you have any ethical standards for who can advertise? As we’ve blogged previously, new mums are particular targets of MLMs and are vulnerable. Start here.
3. Maelle mentors are excited about being at the top of the triangle, and hoping it’ll be better than Younique i.e. they’ll actually make money this time.
Life is gooooood in the triangularity.
(‘cept hmmmm. They don’t even have any products yet. )
And on that note, I’m off to play with some lipstick and cheer myself up.
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.
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.
2. One of the founders used to work for Younique
3. New “Mentors” (the name for the Maelle Bots) are being charged $10 EACH to meet the owners and see the products at a club in Salt Lake City, Utah. So high-classy, no?
4. It costs £59 or $89 USD to become a Maelle Bot. Bot Starter Kit #lossbabe. They claim the usual things -it’s worth hundreds of pounds more! The training is OMGface! etc etc.
5. It’s an MLM, just like all the rest. We believe 90% of new Maelle Bots will be #lossbabes 😦
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.
In other words MLM USES FAKE FACEBOOK PAGE TO FIND OUT YOUR NAME AND LIKES ETC SO IT CAN TARGET YOU & BRING YOU INTO THE MLM.
This gives us the rage.
The slideshow below shows the screenshots we got off the removed page:
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.