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 😉

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

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

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.

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

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

scott b : 20 years ago, Amway duped me into coming in for an Interview. They claimed to be a marketing company. I had to watch 3 hours of videos of people taking vacations, riding jet skis, driving sport cars, living in mansions, etc...The entire time, they would never tell me their business or what position they wanted to hire me for. After 3 hours, they finally admitted they were Amway. I got mad as hell, and left. Wasted a half a day when I needed a job really bad. Lesson learned.

Asteri : the ads you showed scared the crap out of me because they are just... putting essential oils directly on their skin, on their babies skin, without a carrier oil. thats a chemical burn waiting to happen.

Nobody ever : The best mlm is drug dealing

Alicia : I recommend everyone go check out the podcast linked in the description and featured in the video Sounds Like MLM But Okay. It's really informative and super interesting if you are someone who enjoys anti-MLM content. The hosts are pretty funny at times too.

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.

Eli Nathan : i thought mlm meant "men loving men" oops i guess not

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

Elliotte Rodriguez : I love M&M's 😃

Michael Meszaros : Drew, when homeopathic people tell you the water "remembers" the toxins, even though there are no toxins present currently, does the water also "remember" all the fish piss that it has previously come in contact with? Thanks for the info.....

Paul Ban : I realized that the world is teeming with human parasites and that no kindness or grace is to be expected when sitting in a hospital waiting room. Someone close was dying of cancer in the other room and I was taking a break from caring for them. A man whose mother was dying in the next room and whom I had shared hours of care for our stricken close ones with, started launching into a Herbalife sales story. Shameless and merciless. Expect no succour, even at your darkest hours.

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.

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??!

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.

pRODIGAL sKEPTIC : I've lost friends over this, unfortunately..

Mike Anthony : I've had personal experience with MLM and being swindled at a young age. It's known as the Kryptonite of friendships in my household. I'll never bother with anything that remotely resembles a pyramid.

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.

Everblue 22 : The 1 dislike is a hun bot

Robert Daniel Pickard : I may have missed it in the video. A point that has been made by skeptics more articulate than I am, MLMs and other lifestyle scams, like scientology, _target_ new recruits. The way in is highly tuned to attract people who are susceptible to the manipulative tactics used to maintain control over members of the group. For MLMs, they often target people with high levels of anxiety about money. The reason I brought this up was I think it is important to keep in mind that people being harmed shouldn't be scorned or looked down on. Not that the video encourages that in any way. But I do think frustration at an organization like HerbaLife or Scientology can splash onto people who are already being subjected to a lot of bad vibes. Those harmed need compassion even if they signed up on their own. They most likely were under great duress that has only been exploited

Devilsigh : When a legit scheme is more profitable than an MLM, that's when you

Hanne myrvoll : I've never really been exposed to MLMs, I don't think they're very prominent in Norway, but while watching this I realized that this woman I visited about a year ago was part of one. She kept saying that the brand she was promoting was the only brand in the ENTIRE WORLD that makes their products completely free of toxins. She was also just kind of shitty seeing as she told me, while I was applying sun screen, that sun screen is much more likely to cause cancer than actually being in the sun without protection

Bud Askins : Seems MLM's are taking a page out of the prosperity doctrine play book...

Chase Davidson : I'd hoped this would be a collab with Telltale, since cults are his wheelhouse, but it was still a fantastic video. I love that you keep coming after MLM schemes, and I wish more people would learn about the BITE model and use it to look at groups that they belong to. People think a group has to be wacky and religious to be a cult, but MLMs like Amway pretty much are secular cults.

Amber Rose : Oh my goodness! One of the nurses at my mom's chemo treatment was peddling that DoTerra stuff!! I had never heard of it before but I shut it down on just the bs level. Several months later she comes home from a radiation treatment with some of those items!! I wish I could have paid more attention to this situation when it happened, that's layers of inappropriate! ><

Iona : Perfect use of that vine!

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.

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.

Ben Fama Jr. : So glad somebody finally called out these con artist. We always criticize religion and pseudoscience but say little about MLMs and self help. Thank you.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Nichita Pavlenco : My friend was involved in Kyani MLM for short time. Thankfully he asked me for advice about this company and I was able to recognise from the description that it was a pyramid scheme. He left the organisation in the couple of days but unfortunatly still lost a couple of hundred dolllars. It was really scary to hear him describe this experience with the company. Their propoganda levels were crazy, almost on level of nigerian prince scam and yet it worked. I did not think it would happen here in Sweden but apperently I was wrong. Thank you for this video, you are doing Lord`s work (pun intended) ;)

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.

Monster RAM : In order to stay in MLM, more appropriately called pyramid schemes, you have to have cult-like belief in the "system" and total devotion despite the fact that 99% of newly joined "employees" loss thousands of their own dollars and quit. In reality, this *IS* the model.

Jillian Smith : My grandma spent hundreds of dollars merely buying "Barley Green, a natural, non-toxic age-minimalizing organic food enhancement & vitamin/mineral supplement."     She said it tasted terrible; she wasn't sure she felt "better" but she said she hadn't been feeling too well lately anyway "in spite of" taking the Barley Green.  She  kept buying and drinking it for over a year at something like $76 a month because her saleslady was "so nice."

Kay Nichols : I recently got out and your points were pretty damn spot on as to why I did. My biggest problem is that I was compromising my morals. I don't want to lie to anyone and the company made it clear that we aren't allowed to make claims, yet behind doors they would. I wouldn't let it slide and I would correct anyone that made a misleading (and illegal!) claim. Eventually I was not invited to the group events or calls. Thats when I called it quits. We should chat. I could give you some of the things they said to me that were not very alarming at the time and later I realized were cult-like.

Kevin McMahon : I live in Australia and Multi Level Marketing is called "A pyramid selling scheme". It is illegal to do such things here.

Turtles : I find all of these sanitized, professionally produced advertisements to be so repulsive.

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.

EdwardHowton : There's this really old scam, I've been trying to remember what it was called, but it was rather pathetic and obvious. It used chain letters, where you sent a letter to someone and they were supposed to send a reply by attaching a nickel or a penny at the bottom (it's really old, that was serious cash for the time this thing was done) and then sending the same letter on to others, hoping to get coins back. Every time I see another pyramid scheme, like all the MLMs are because they're fucking pyramid schemes and they're welcome to sue me for saying so I'll tear them to shreds in court while napping, I'm reminded of that old chain letter scam. It's really no different. Money's just shuffled around from idiots down the line to hopeful morons above, and everybody loses in the end. Amusingly? Bitcoin. Same fucking thing. Exact same fucking scam. All the money comes from the idiots at the bottom who pay more to the assholes at the top. I never remember if that's what a value-added scam is or if I'm confusing terms, there's so many, but it's all the same fucking shape.

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.

pRODIGAL sKEPTIC : Any organization who starts their sales pitch with "we help train businesses like Disney and Nike transition to the online marketplace.." an outright lie, there's a problem. They don't train anyone, they don't help Disney because Disney doesn't need help in the first place. What they do is buy their shampoo online & trick other people into buying their shampoo online and trick other people into ... it's a Russian nesting doll of surreptitious language and empty content. & the whole plan is to take the startup costs from each starry-eyed would-be entrepreneur to stuff the pockets of the select few at the top of the pyramid who really stuck with it. It's all predicated on setting up people to fail because we know everyone wants to call themselves a "small business owner." Selling travel agency coupons and buying cotton balls on a certain website - is NOT being a small business owner. Recouping your startup costs by tricking others into paying startup costs is shady at best.

APE MAN : Belief makes Fool Logic makes Intelligent Cult + Pyramid Scam = MLM