This Is Why MLMs Get Called Cults

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Genetically Modified Skeptic : Do you know any MLMers? I'd love to hear some horror stories! Also, inb4 I'm called a hater or sour grapes 😉

Rachel Stephens : That chart with the pins and the third highest tier is $2k a month. Uh... $24k a year - you could literally work at In-N-Out and make a comparable salary at $10 an hour.

dangerouslytalented : They go through churches like smallpox. A ready made source of easily fooled customers.

Holy Koolaid : Koolaid - it's now marketed on multiple levels.

Beaver's Hobby : I remember I was 12 when my relatives brought me to one of their "conferences" and I asked them some quite logical and mathematically sounded questions eg. how would their recruits' revenue be calculated in to your total income and what is the percentage or cut per product, also how to calculate the actual income in relation to what seems to be a massive spending beforehand. They simply told me that I have "bad attitude" and didn't answer anything. If a 12 years old can poke holes in to their calculations and logic, that's not a good sign.

Paracosmonaut : "It is easier to fool people then it is to convince people they have been fooled" Mark Twain

Nonya Damnbusiness : One error in this vid. He says the best way to make money in an MLM is to get in early and be near the top of the pyramid. Not so. The best way to make money on an MLM is to start one and be the top.

Mark Young : Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t these sales-people the actual customers? (To the eyes of the MLM.) They are the ones who buy the products directly, whether they then re-sell them on is irrelevant to the MLM. They even do most of the word-of-mouth marketing for free.

hurr durr : Once my mother brought me with her to an MLM "conference". There was a part where the speaker on stage told the audience to close their eyes, and they started playing "The Winner Takes It All" by Abba from the speakers to give a sad vibe. The speaker told the audience to visualize their children in their imagination. He then started saying things like "Daddy, why can't we afford that bike I always wanted?". Some people even started tearing up. It was an absolutely disgusting display of emotional manipulation. I was like "What is this, a brainwashing cult?". Of course, later the whole thing crumbled, and my mother didn't get a dime from it.

Anthony PC : in other news... just heard GOOP got sued.

J Rain : I grew up in a 'Christian' based cult. One day, at a market I got met two doterra saleswomen, one who introduced herself and said she was a nurse, she invited me to a doterra party and when I went all my alarm bells went off, the tactics they used to get new members reminded me so much of the church I grew up in. I started telling the members of doterra how much their group reminded me of the cult I was raised in and why and I could see the shutters go up on their faces - it was almost as if they quite literally could not hear what I was saying and then... They'd just talk over me and try to sell me an oil package haha... They were like "oh, wow, honey, I can't believe that you grew up in a cult, you poor thing... We there is an oil for that" If I wasn't so disturbed by the whole thing I'd probably find it amusing. I feel very sorry for people who get ducked into these schemes.

T E A C H Y F I E R : My mom works in a MLM company. I have tried hundreds of ways to make her leave it ,but she doesn't. She joined it to cure my depression years ago, However she was unsuccessful in doing so and I was finally taken to doctor. But she still believed that the company she had joined had good "natural and organic" products that can cure cancer, depression and other diseases. Because she tried to sell products to her friends and family all have stopped meeting her and she thinks that they are her enemies stopping her from achieving her "dreams" so she has also stopped contacting them. From after she joined the company she and my father, who is a doctor, had started to have fights and debates she could never prove her company's products to my father but my dad was successful in disproving them. She left the company "T.I.E.N.S." and then she joined another company AIM Global and to this day she is working for it. The company's members brainwashed into believing every person that comes in the way of you selling this company's products is your enemy and that's why she left my father and her family and friends. I lived with her and my brother for several years. I also first believed in the products but when I started to research about them I knew they were not what they are told to be so I started to convince my mom to leave the company but she instead started thinking of me as an enemy and one day I had no choice but to leave her [she did many things to stop me thinking rationally but I did not so she one day stopped providing me basic needs to live like food so I had to leave her]. I am currently living with my dad. My brother is seriously mentaly ill but my mom does not take him to a doctor but instead relies on her company's medicine to cure him.

Keelin Blackburn : I think these companies recruiting tactics appeal to narcissists a lot. Learning the companies' jargon makes people feel smart and they get off on feeling like they know better than an actual medical doctor. They love explaining fake science to people and when they get a downline they feel like a boss. They get to prey on desperate people and feel like a savior while isolating their prey and gaining control. And they feel better than other people because they 'work for theirself' and 'own a business'. Plenty of regular people end up in this trap but these businesses are a playground for narcissists.

your mom : I just discovered your channel and I'm sad I've missed so much. I love it! I'm a single mom in a poor area, EVERYONE is in an MLM. It's been such a problem that I've changed my bios to say "stop trying to sell me shit". What worse is they ALWAYS try to use my son's disability to sell things to me. There's absolutely nothing more insulting side from just flat out attempted robbery. This is family, friends, Facebook groups.. I seriously won't even talk to anyone anymore if I see the words "oils" "herbs" or "wraps" in any of their online accounts. Its created it's own form of isolation as you pointed out in another video that mom's are the worst about "alternative" medicine. My kid practically has a bullseye on his forehead.

schzean : First ad at 6:15 was for an MLM - Hilarious. Way to go Youtube algorithms. And ANOTHER one at the end. I guess having MLM in the title does it.

Ellie Miller : Mary Kay behavior control: Use their products exclusively Your skin doesn’t react well to products? Too bad, if you sell it you gotta wear it. Control attire: you must wear a dress or skirt while working. It’s totally not sexist or anything because of something Mary Kay said or whatever. Information control: Yep, false hope every single week at “morale boosting meetings” or whatever the hell those were. You just go, wear a skirt or dress, dance like an idiot, put frilly crowns on the people who sold the most product, AND pay your sales director $10 for the “trouble” of putting this very necessary meeting together. Also, mixed messages about how a certain skin product should not be used on people with rosacea. Then go ahead and have a person with rosacea sample it because your director said it was ok, and then feel like an ass because the person sampling’s skin gets beet red and starts to sting. Then the director takes no responsibility... Thought control: If you’re feeling down... sell more product!! Work harder! You must just not be working the right way, or just doing something wrong! After all, Mary Kay has the best products for the best prices (both not true), who wouldn’t wanna live, sleep, eat and poop Mary Kay?? This is your dream. This is every powerful woman’s dream. Just try harder. Also, we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to read Mary Kay’s autobiography every year. EVERY YEAR. Emotional control: Oh, I’m sorry you were abused by a psychopath in your community and no matter where you try to sell your product, there’s someone who knows your abuser and wants to talk about it. Just keep trying! You’ll eventually figure out which circles don’t know your abuser or people in her circle, and you can sell to like... those TEN whole people! Don’t leave the company to go sort your emotional health out or start really healing from your abuse, keep selling and you’ll feel so great from the satisfaction of being your own boss! I definitely care about YOU and not the cut of money I get from having you on my team. Heeyy you know what would cheer you up? Taking a picture in my PINK CADILLAC later. You wanna take a picture in my pink Cadillac?? Peasant??!

Reverend scumlord : They're trying to push this in the UK too, I went to a Herbalife "seminar" which totally flopped, all of the guests/victims/marks saw right through it. For some reason British people don't seem so easy to sucker in with this sort of thing, maybe because we live in smaller communities and already have tight circles? There are certainly MLMs here but it seems a lot harder for them to recruit.

HayleyShaye : >.> They told me I MUST wear a skirt. That's when I got out. Before that they had us all dance to the song "Happy" so they could record a video to put online. I understands all sales people act so desperate but they had us go up to people at their jobs while they were working , I did it 1x and figured I could get sales other ways, which I did and I didn't lose any money but it wasnt worth all the hovering and calls from upline. 1 time when I worked in retail a women gave me a Herbalife card from a business downtown, I wanted it as I had them when i was younger and did enjoy the flavors so i went to the place downtown and when i told the guy where I got the card he basically shoved me out the door, and said he would not sell anything to me bc technically I was supposed to be her sales or something....and Im like but im here...with money...

B Sharp : I remember when I was really young, maybe around 5 or 6, people coming over to our house a lot. They were strangers to me, but it looked like everyone was having fun and we always had Amway products. I found out when I was much older that my parents got suckered into this MLM crap with Amway. They were trying to supplement their income and apparently bit the MLM hook. Fortunately at that time my parents didn't go into debt for it thanks to my mom's refusal to buy anything more until the current stock was depleted. My mom learned her lesson but my dad, unfortunately, didn't learn his. After my parents divorce when I was a teenager I watched my dad fall, time and again, for these MLM/get rich quick schemes. Witnessing this is probably the reason I'm a skeptic and will never work MLM and never work on commission. I feel I can smell MLM bullshit as soon as they begin to speak.

Gene T : Was applying for jobs and wasn't fully reading the job descriptions and ended up applying for a company that sold knives / scissors. Went through the interview and was offered the job. After talking with friends & family I realized it would not be a way to make a living, maybe a side job for extra money. I called the lady that did the interview and thanked her for the job offer but I had to decline the job. The building used for the interview was barely decorated, it seemed like they just rented it. A couple weeks after this, that building was empty and I never found out if / where they moved to. After that I read job descriptions more carefully.

Wray Townsend : AmWay/Quickstar is most definitely a cult. They do heavily push how you should dress, how you should speak, build up these events and individuals as life changing and larger than life, pressure you to go out of town to conferences that isolate you, keep you up very late (sleep deprivation), and then push religious fundamentalism at their conferences...and they tell you to ultimately cut ties with "negative" people (aka, anyone that doesn't support their MLM). It is a cult...bottom line.

Chiafade now : Yes they are a commercial cult. Cults aren't only religious. They can be religious, political, or commercial. As an ex jehovahs witness I've known many JW's who sold Herbalife. They fit right in. They were used to the structure that they were familiar with.

Jonathan Stern : I went to interview for one of these. The advertising made it seem like it was a regular sales job. During the interview, I realized it was essentially a pyramid scheme. So, I tanked it.

Shawn McDonald : I literally just quit being in Amway September 13th 2018 and had been in it for about three months. I left because it became clear that it was a product based pyramid scheme and had weird cult like mentality (everything mentioned in this video and MORE). I lost over 600 dollars and saw no profit as one of their distributors. Amway sells a dream to people of being rich and retiring well before anyone else and the fact that Apple, Nike and other companies are somewhat partnered with Amway to try to seem legit. But the cult mentality is definitely present and it can be dangerous. While I am a Christian myself, I found it disgusting they were using God to trick people into this obvious pyramid scheme. Also, the uplines and diamonds would make insane claims. One diamond told us one in a meeting that his friends had a crappy life and were divorced and what not because they didn't join Amway when he did. As if Amway is the answer to ALL life's problems. Also, I heard one of my uplines who is a 27 year old dude tell some young 20 something girls that they should check upline about dudes they should date because and I quote " uplines don't want you girls dating loser guys who will work a JOB their rest of their life". Many of the uplines also bashed people who work for a living while themselves still work for a living which is stupid. Also, my sponsor and uplines and others in the organization try to act like they are your friends. However, they just do that to make sure you don't quit so they can continue to make money off you in the pyramid scheme. But once you leave or criticize Amway in anyway they will cut you off. Save yourself some time money, and frustration and DO NOT join any MLM.

Guy Fawkes : I could give a ton of examples because I'm fascinated by MLMs but I'll stick to one particular friend. She's in her late 50s. She started in Amway in her mid 20s. She's been in numerous MLMs over the years. Diet cookies, diet shakes, various supplements and MonaVie, which was a "miracle" juice product. She is now into BeachBody, the company behind all those workout infomercials you see all over the TV. Didn't know they have an MLM component? They do. In the last year I'm fully aware of this lady spent in the neighborhood of $5000 on products, meetings and conferences. I saw her income statements for that year. Her high month was $150 income, which was 100% made up of rebates for her own purchases. Other than that she makes between 0 and $15 a month return on her $5k+ yearly investment. The basic model of this "business" is to create competitors for yourself. How can that be sustained? Think of it this way: If the top level of the MLM is six people, how many levels would it take to exceed the total population of the world? At only 13 levels down you'd reach over THIRTEEN BILLION PEOPLE! This explains it well: For example, assume the 6 new recruits each find 6 more people to make their $500. Now these newer recruits will need to find 216 people so they can each make their $500. Assume again, for the sake of argument, that these 216 newest recruits are successful. They have to find 1,296 people just so they can each make their $500. At this point, you’re at the size of a small town, and at the next level, 7,776 people are needed. Pretty quickly, you run out of people to find as new recruits, and the pyramid collapses since everyone at the bottom has lost their investment… By level 11, you require just about every person in the United States to become a recruit, and by level 13, you’ve exceeded the Earth’s population! The larger the initial group of people, the less levels needed until the pyramid collapses.

BadMouseProductions : In my circles MLM has a very different meaning...

dangerouslytalented : Does Landmark Forum count? My old boss was trying to sell all of us these five hundred dollar weekend seminars that would lead to more and more long intense seminars. I was a security guard. No way was I going to spend a week’s pay on these things.

Ruby Doomsday : I let the "sell our t shirts from your own social media platforms" ad that preceded this video play for almost three full minutes before I realized it was genuinely an ad and not the intro to this video.

JoJo Rumbles : What really pisses me off is that career fair keep allowing these people to have booths. They're not a real job.

Mike W : Great video. I’ve known a couple dozen people over the years that tried MLMs and failed. There was one person I knew in the early 90’s that was actually a very successful Amway salesperson. He was also the most annoying person I’ve ever known as every word out of his mouth was about Amway. He was constantly selling and recruiting and no longer conversed as friends normally would. One of the few that actually made money, but had to sacrifice friendships to do it.

Åsa S : Kids should be taught this in school, so they learn how to recognize cults, and cult like behavior, and not fall for the bs.

Martin Rayner : They should be made illegal or restricted to the point where this sort of racket is no longer a viable business model, but that’s unlikely to ever happen because of the conditioned bias against any form of government regulation in the United States, even when it’s helping to protect consumers against predatory or clearly deceptive business practices. Yet another instance of average Americans voting against their best interests – in this case because they’d rather be “free” to be ripped off than be told what they can or cannot do by the government (pronounced “gubmint” btw).

metademetra : Okay, Younique won’t let you even mention other makeup? That’s a little weird. I worked at Clark’s for a bit as my first job, and even though I had to wear a pair of their shoes while on the clock, my manager didn’t flip out if I said I also liked Converse. Also...they gave me a pair of $120 shoes for free so that I could have my shoes to show off. And they paid me minimum wage and not commission only. And the product’s quality didn’t drive people away. The difference in legitimacy is night and day.

Gwen O'Reilly : Next time someone messages me about an mlm ill send them this lol

Christopher Fowler : What I always find ironic about MLMs is that if it's really the kind of work you'd be good at, you could go work a traditional commission-heavy sales job with none of the risk and the same potential gains with a far greater chance for success. Hell you could find a wholesale hookup for a product you already like and dropship it as your own business. The skillset required to be successful in an MLM is literally used to sell every product on the planet without a pyramid scheme attached. If you or someone you know is looking at one of these companies _just go try sales_ ffs. You might be good at it and love it, you might suck at it and hate it... but at least you won't wind up with less money than when you started.

Comic Girl : My bestfriend did Amway. They encouraged the abuse she was experiencing from her now ex husband. It was so disgusting. She was told to pretend everything was perfect or she would be "let go". This particular area they were openly anti gay and single mom. They exclusively went after couples. Only the husbands could make the decisions. It was so strange to see her from going to this independent person to being mind controlled.

The Mouse that Roared : Back in the late 70s I was approached by a young woman who offered me a free facial and makeup session. I made an appointment and she arrived at my home. Right from the beginning, instead of offering me information on the products she was selling, she was agressively attempting to recruit me into joining her (Mary Kay) MLM. She seemed more desperate to recruit me than she was to actually make a sale! She even went so far as to draw me a diagram... of a pyramid!!! .. to show me how it worked! I told her I was only interested in purchasing her makeup and not interested in joining a company where the emphasis is on building a sales crew under you and not on actually selling a product. I made a small purchase. (that probably would have been more substantial had her focus been on the actual product and selling it) but she seemed very depressed at only making a sale.. Clearly she wasn't there to sell anything. Over the years I'd seen friends waste months of their time or even lose their shirt on similar type marketing companies. No thanks.

Joe C : When I graduated from college I worked for Cutco knives which is an MLM. The knives themselves are very high quality. I had to buy a set for myself to demonstrate them when pitching them to potential customers, but they were discounted for agents. I still use those knives some 15+ years later. I didn't make much money. Other people did. I found that those with better interpersonal skills tended to make more money. Simply put, if you are a good natural salesperson you should do OK. If not you are going to have lots of problems. Especially of you work for an MLM that forces you to make significant investments of your own money. Those should be avoided at all costs.

K : You should do a video on Southwestern Advantage. They prey on college students with promises of making good money over the summer by selling supplementary school books (math, science, etc for your kid to read over the summer or during school) door to door often in a different part of the US that is supposedly randomly selected for you. It all seems on the up and up since otherwise why would the college allow them to use their facilities? Though the trick is that they get through with Alumni that were actually successful to recruit other students. (And they are admittedly, a legitimate company under the law). You're NOT paid an hourly wage, purely on commission. Which honestly, I've heard many stories that went either way. However, what made me turn away during the second interview was that I googled the company online and found out that according to US law, since you are paid based on commission as a "salesman", the parent company is not responsible for you or your actions. Now I wasn't planning on going wild my first summer away from home, but if I was injured or worse, attacked, while working for this company, they were not required to pay my medical expenses, workers comp, or ensure my safety. The nice lady who was an alum seemed to be an honest person, and if I were to work with her as my supervisor, I would have felt a little bit more secure. However, your "supervisor" is randomly selected based on where you go (at least that's how I interpreted their presentation) so we're back at square 1 with my life being in the hands of a stranger that I've never met since I couldn't be sure that the company I'd be working for would ensure my safety. NO. THANK. YOU. That alone should make anyone say NO to this company without reading the many claims that they encourage unethical sales tactics (embellishing the actual effectiveness of their supplementary books), that many young women felt that their male supervisors saw it as a "dating service", or that the claims of "making big money" are overblown (like in MLMs) and that most students only break even once you account for gas, wear and tear on your car, living expenses for the summer, etc (since you have to pay living expenses for the new town you're sent to AND wherever you're currently living if you are still in your lease). Funnily enough, a year after I turned down this "amazing" opportunity, a couple of guys started working as bussers at the restaurant I worked at. They had been roped into the "Southwestern Advantage" program, quickly found out that they weren't going to make any money, and just decided to get normal jobs in the area as they had paid for their living arrangements upfront for the whole summer. I wouldn't exactly call this company an MLM as the recruiters don't get any bonuses based on how many people are "below them" like in a typical MLM, and there is a very legitimate product that you DON'T have to pay for upfront. However their recruiting tactics are eerily similar to an MLM; "Don't trust what you hear online, those are just people that didn't make money and are unhappy", flattery, and trying to make personal connections quickly (using university alum, my recruiter kept talking about "girl power", etc). This was several years ago during my undergrad, so I have no idea if the company has changed since then or addressed these issues. But to this day, whenever I see someone on my social media talking about going to an "entrepreneurship" opportunity on campus I tell them to leave as soon as they hear "Southwestern Advantage". Edit: Oh, and I forgot to mention, they "highly encourage" all of their "employees" (who again, are not official, contracted employees) to go to church on Sundays. It amazes me that this is legal. The company started out selling Bibles door to door and based on some of the reviews of the school books it seems like the "knowledge" they're selling is pretty on par with "God works in mysterious ways".

Grace W : I’ve grown up in an mlm household. First, my mom was a single mother who worked at Kay jewelers, She made a good amount of money and took awesome care of me and my sister. The downfall of that was when she met my future stepdad who was in Herbalife and told her she’d basically never have to work again. He worshipped Herbalife and was surprisingly “successful” when my mom met him. Years go on, they get married, my stepdad medically separated from the navy, and my mom quit her job at the jewelry store. They tried to enlist family members, every neighbor we had, they even had me asking friends to ask their parents about joining under my parents. As I look back on my childhood, I realized how fucked up herbalife was and how crazy my parents were when they had me go to an Extravaganza in St. Louis Missouri and sit in those conferences for hours and hours a day. I was only 15 and they were training me to be a distributor. Luckily I wasn’t really for the idea, so they gave up after a couple years.

Cortni Merritt : I work at an MLM corporate HQ. We have an entire compliance department where Distributors can report other Distributors for violating policy. So yes, they are encouraged to report "thoughts, feelings, and activities to superiors," even if it's not their upline members, as well as "spy and report on others' misconduct." Use of competing products is not a compliance issue, but there are plenty of other policies that can be easily (and frequently) violated.

myroc1 : I had a friend call me on the phone and then handed it to his superior so he could convince me to sell his products... I didn't realize what he was asking for so I had to keep asking for clarity. Never found out what I was selling or anything because he was so desperate to not describe the job. I never accepted the offer and let him know it was confusing about what I would be doing and how it would make me money. I imagine some people think they're too dumb to get it and assume the confusion is theirs to own. Such a sinister way to make money.

wally man : Had a friend and his wife who got sucked into Amway decades ago. They invited me and a mutual buddy over one evening so they could "practice" their sales technique. Of course, it turned out to be a full on sales preso. The guy even put on a suit for god's sake! What struck me the most though was how his normally outgoing wife took a subservient role, sitting behind the guy as he did the preso, nodding and smiling where I'm sure the script they were following told her to. Pretty disgusting overall.

RobosergTV : its not a cult, its just plain old pyramid scheme. How can people of 2018 fall for that?

Grant Martin : My wife and I were in an MLM years ago. They called a 9-5 job, a J.O. B. for Just Over Broke.

superultrafriendly skeptic : i saw a fascinating video (can’t remember whose :( ) about a woman who had left lula roe, and apparently there’s a policy that you aren’t allowed to say ANYTHING negative about the company. this includes addressing negative claims that others have made. so if someone criticizes the clothes, you aren’t allowed to respond because it’s too “negative”. this discourages the members from even looking at or considering negative claims, and severely limits freedom of expression (imagine not being able to complain about your job to your friends). lowkey brainwashing

RealHousewifeRachel : I sold Pampered Chef before we had kids and thankfully it didn't fit anything in this model, at least in my experience. It was fun, but that's it... I didn't make much money, but I made some great friends along the way and thankfully all I was left with when I left was a kitchen full of products that are going strong 10 years later. I mean, it's cookware, and didn't prey on other peoples' pain, illnesses, or financial situations. That being said, I'll never go into an MLM (even PC) ever again because of those awful stats you mentioned and of course, the cultish vibe that many of them give off. This model describes most MLMs very well, and I appreciate you posting this video. I'm also in the "Sounds like MLM but OK" FB group, and enjoy scrolling for a good chuckle. And the whole #bossbabe and #girlboss stuff makes me ill.

mukkaar : MLM sells false hopes and dreams, not products.

Nobody ever : The best mlm is drug dealing

Bree Evans : Got an MLM ad on this video... Well, that's ironic.