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What's Wrong With Multi-Level Marketing?

Article Index
What's Wrong With Multi-Level Marketing?
Market Saturation - An Inherent Problem
Pyramid Structure: An Organizational Problem
. Morality and Ethics: A Problem of Greed
Relationship Issues: An Experiential Problem
Summary
Internet Links

Internet Links for Further Anti-MLM Research & Information

E-Mail examples, Frequently Asked Questions, Additional Points and Rebuttals section at http://www.vandruff.com/mlm_FAQ.html   E-Mail the author of this article, Dean Van Druff, at end of this section.

Pyramid Scheme Alert The Pyramid-Scheme-Alert (PSA) organization offers consumer information on MLMs, news of legal cases, analytical tools, insightful articles, and an opportunity to effect new laws and social change by membership and contribution. You can now do your own evaluation of any MLM program or suspected pyramid scheme by going through the steps suggested by Dr. Jon Taylor, a founder of the PSA, which was developed from six years of rigorous analysis and research to help identify which programs do the greatest harm and why. Check it out now at http://www.pyramidschemealert.org/resources/5step/5steps.htm

False Profits, a book exposing how MLM participation can commandeer and derail people's religious ideals, has a web site at http://www.falseprofits.com/ which includes a sample Chapter of the book and many other excellent articles concerning the legality of MLM.

A Christian businesswoman, Athena Dean, exposes the spiritual cost and compromise of MLM proselytizing within the church in her books "Consumed by Success" and "All that glitters is not God -- Breaking free from the sweet deceit of MLM," available at http://www.winepresspub.com/store/merchant.ihtml?pid=143&step=4

Ami Chen Mills "Shaking the Money Tree" is fascinating journalism that captures the "stink" of MLM pathology and culture most vividly. Hold your nose, and dive into major deja-vu at http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/10.03.96/cover/multilevel-9640.html

FTC warnings on MLM chicanery at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/lotionalrt.htm and http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/invest/mlm.htm, with an excellent legal and historical overview at http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/other/dvimf16.htm

US Government USPS on Employment Schemes, including Distributorship and Franchise Fraud, Phony Job Opportunities, and Multi-Level Marketing at http://www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect/emplmenu.htm, or direct to the MLM warning at http://www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect/pyramid.htm

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has Multi-Level Marketing Scam Alerts at http://www.bbb.com/alerts. This page has become cluttered, so you might want to click on SEARCH and then type in "pyramid" or "multi level marketing".

Forbes Magazine's article on Herbalife has graphs that show the "by design" MLM balloon burst, at http://www.forbes.com/forbes/1997/1020/6009043a.html

Inc. Magazine's Norm Brodsky gives us "Multilevel Mischief" which depicts how MLMs churn through human relationships at http://www.inc.com/incmagazine/articles/details/print/0,7570,ART941,00.html

Dr. Jon Taylor (see first link) of the Consumer Awareness Institute has posted an analysis of the similarities between MLM and illegal pyramid schemes, which can be downloaded at: http://www.whatisgood.com/nwm

The Quatloos fraud & scam site tackles MLM at http://www.quatloos.com/mlm/mlm.htm

Dr. Stephen Barrett explores the risks of medical products being marketed with MLM at http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/mlm.html. Specific examples are given.

"MLM Survivor.com" has some interesting headlines on the latest MLM lawsuits and legal actions by State and Federal law enforcement at http://www.mlmsurvivor.com/.

Charles Midgett's "The Other Side of The Plan" page at http://www.getfacts.com/amway/index.html examines some of the bogus truisms and urban legends taken as fact in MLM culture, such as "9 out of 10 small businesses fail within the first year" as an excuse for the ravages of inevitable MLM failure.

Eli Mantel's "Cagey Consumer" has a great set of research links and concise position statements at http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/5395/mlminfo.html

For articles on "MLM Harassment" at work, as well as postings on Amway and MLM in General, see The Skeptic's Dictionary at: http://dcn.davis.ca.us/~btcarrol/skeptic/mlm.html

Sidney Schwarz's ever-under-attack "Amway, the Untold Story" is a treasure-trove of dramatic information not normally disclosed by your friendly MLM practitioner, at http://www.teleport.com/~schwartz

For a humorous lampoon of some of the goofy products often peddled via MLM, see "The Laundry Disk 2000" Website at http://www.worldwidescam.com/

For transcripts of discussion group interviews and dialogs concerning the veracity of MLM, see http://members.aol.com/multisense/home.htm

A book written for Pastors, "Is your Church a Market Place?" by Kim S. Mather, is posted in part at http://www.users.fast.net/~gospeltruth/Reproof.htm

Robert L. Fitzpatrick's "The 10 Big Lies of MLM" is posted at http://members.tripod.com/~nomorescams/fitzpatrick.htm

A MLM Lawyer gives an opinion on what constitutes a "legal" MLM scheme in the US at http://mlmatty.com/legality.html

Consider Procter & Gamble's perspective on the Amway "Satan Rumor".

For a survey of lucid reformers within the MLM industry (a most welcome and cathartic trend) see: 1) "Where Have All the Products Gone" by Gerald Nehra at http://mlmstartup.com/articles/ramble.htm; 2) A lament of the soaring prices and flimflam nature of a few too many modern MLM products by Leonard Clements at http://www.profitsonline.com/profitsonline/Articles/ArticlesA-H/Clements7.html; and 3) A sober assessment of the assertion that "everyone can make money at MLM" by Tom Schreiter at http://www.mlmcentral.com/library/zerosum.html

As a closing parable - if you are not already familiar with it - please click here to read a synopsis of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes".

 

This document is at http://www.vandruff.com/mlm.html


 
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