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:
- The world outside MLMs can’t be trusted
- 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.
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
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.
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.
And there you have it.
That’s why they stay.