Sounds like every other online affiliate program out there, trying to get their “nose under the iTunes tent.” Until the AMO’s start putting *their* “Life Coaching” content to be distributed in this manner, setting up a paid subscription model, with “convenient auto-pay” feature, hitting your CC on a regular basis, and no charge backs after agreeing to a binding purchase “arbitration” agreement, whether you’re ever “entertained” or not.
I’ve just come across their site. You have to hunt for the MLM angle, but I found it. Here’s an edited version. “We started FANISTA with the simple notion that, in a world of so much entertainment and so many sources of information about it, there had to be a better way for people to discover, share, and even buy entertainment ….And we added to that mix the even crazier idea that people should be rewarded, in real ways, for doing what it is we all love doing. We’re confident that once you spend a few minutes understanding what FANISTA offers, you’ll realize that it is a great way to take what you’re already doing in the offline world – telling the people you come in contact with on a daily basis what you love, and why – and moving that universal behavior online in a way that allows your voice to be amplified. Think of it as a way to rely on your most trusted friend as you walk down the aisle of your favorite entertainment store (real or virtual); better yet, become one of those trusted experts yourself! …. Once we do a wider release, you’ll be able to bring other people to the site. If they follow your lead and use it for at least some of their entertainment purchases, you might be able to rack up some commissions – which you can use to buy more stuff yourself, to get a check from us, or to donate money to a range of charities. It’s all part of our belief that, beyond the fact that there ought to be a better way to distribute entertainment and a bigger community to be built among us entertainment enthusiasts, there also ought to be a way to reward people for doing what we all seem to do so naturally: championing the entertainment we love the most, and telling people why.”
Sounds harmless, doesn’t it?
but want to wish you well in law school. When I attended (more than 20 years ago!), many law students started out with high ideals about making the world a better place. Over the next 3 years, most of them were funneled into traditional legal careers, in part to pay their student loans, in part due to their competitiveness in wanting to get the plum jobs at the big law firms. I hope things have changed, and that you will be able to channel your anti-MLM fervor into a career fighting MLM abuses. It would be great to have more people in government agencies and law firms who understand how these things really work and want to do something about it.
While in school, keep in mind that there are many avenues open to lawyers other than the traditional law firm path. I spent several years teaching business law and consumer finance at the local community college, and used part of those classes to teach about legitimate businesses versus illegal pyramid schemes. Since opening my own practice a couple of years ago, I’ve put out newsletters, at least one of which focused on MLMs.
Best of luck to you in whatever path you choose!
but I would suggest you join to see exactly the process of recruiting, motivation and maintenance! Join and set a deadline to quit, no matter what. I spent 5 years in Quixtar. Should have quit in the beginning. They sold me on exploding trend of online shopping, e-commerce, in late 1998.
I liked some of the teaching: financial conservatism, delayed gratification, importance of owning your own business, getting out of debt, saving or developing retirement income, retiring early, the prospects of ‘residual type’ income (interest, royalties, absentee business
I even liked the ‘Networking’ part; I always believed in “Who you know” being a big plus in business and in life; it is just having to get them to join money losing operations did not sit well with me.
The main problem is the merchandise; generally priced high to pay commissions, aggressive recruiting instead of sales and if you get ‘hooked’: “System” cds/tapes, seminars and travel.
I have, however, watched a close friend lose thousands of dollars to one of these organizations. This experience has made me hyperaware of the wreckage these organizations are causing.
I am very interested in getting involved in the fight against these organizations. Dr. Jon Taylor with CAI suggested I get involved with PSA but thus far my efforts to contact this organization have been fruitless. I’m posting to see if any of you know of MLM victim advocacy groups who are seeking volunteers and/or employees.
I currently reside in Richmond, VA and expect to be a full time law student this fall. Please let me know what I can do to help.
I just saw this on a debating forum:
“This house believes that multi-level marketing is healthy and viable business model that makes money for the vast majority of the people involved doesn’t use promises of financial independence and wealth to mislead people into believing that they can earn a good living easily accepts its share of responsibility when distributors fail to make money strengthens peoples’ relationships with their families and friends welcomes and responds openly to criticism of its methods”
Lols. Devil’s advocate with a tongue-in-cheek.
Be aware of this company: QuestNet. It operated in different places under various branches but have the same terminology. MLM is same everywhere. However I joined with on of their representative, but later after she persuaded me to buy a ‘pendant’ online (a cosmtic item) I wanted a refund but she told the order has been made which i cannot cancel. Neither her or Quest support staff helped me but she orally said I have to accept (of course after she get her commission from Quest).
I advise you all not to support this company fraud scheme or let your friends join or attend any of their ‘seminars’, presentations, shows, offers, ..etc. Even if the person who invited you is your brother, sister, closest freind or else. There is no joke. This company operates mainly in the what so called ‘third world’ countries like in middle east, Malaysia, India and others.
remember this: YOU were used. This is what I consider the worst aspect of an MLM. At the time you genuinely thought you were doing the right thing to get people to join. You were, literally, brainwashed to do this.
Other people took you, got into your brain, messed with your mind, and convinced you they were right. They used you to recruit people into their organization. They turned you into someone who would act as you did.
I’m not going to get into just what you were and were not responsible for, but do remember that while you were doing these things you were under the influence of experts who knew how to twist your thinking and convince you to do what they wanted you to do, not what you normally would have thought you should do.
When I started MLM, I had a lot of things I was involved in. Interesting how network marketing just eats up your life, your spare time, your friendships, and your relationships, isn’t it?
I withdrew for about 4 months after I quit ACN, and since then, I’ve only slowly been getting out and having a life again. Personally, I recruited about 10 – 12 people, and I’m not sure what to say to them.
I’ve tried to pay a few of them back…unfortunately, I’m not exactly rolling in the dough right now…which is also partly due to ACN.
Everyone can be misled. Network marketing/MLM companies prey upon the good intentions we have towards others, and our desires for ourselves.
What is important is learning from this, picking ourselves up, and moving forward.
I, personally, really have to thank my church and pastor for helping me through all that went on after I quit. Finding something like that may be a good idea.
I am grateful to find there is this support group here for people like me who have been mlm junkies and have since seen the light!
Don’t know if I will ever be able to feel non-guilty and unashamed again as regards all the people who I approached and tried to recruit and the 3(!) I did recruit…I truly believed at the times I joined these companies that I was helping people and would then be helped myself – how wrong I was…
Don’t know what else to tell you at present as I just feel upset when I think of all this…it will always affect me – I have become a hermit and have no confidence left – so I am grateful for the internet where at least I can be anonymous and find some like-minded people.
There I said it. It is out in the open. Now beat me up if you wish. Amway 3 times. Failed 3 times. Melalueca Failed. A long line of online affiliate programs failed, failed and failed again. But yet I still keep dreaming the dream. Hoping beyond hope.
Please is there a magic pill I can take to end this insanity. The numbers are against me. My friends do not answer my calls. People run from me when I walk down the street. Help I have fallen and can not get up. And yes I am in yet another MLM Oh my! What an idiot. Is this thing an incurable disease or what.
Actually, what Terence Real calls ‘self-medication’ in his amazing book ‘I don’t want to talk about it – the secret legacy of male depression’ (I think that’s the title!).
Anyone on here who’s done more than 1 mlm NOT recognise themselves in that post?
Tom, your post says everything I’ve been trying to say in my posts here.
If you stop MLM, you’ll use something else. Alcholol, drugs, porn, gambling, work, cars, sports…
You have to take responsibility for the pain that’s underneath this insane craving to find a fix.
Okay people, how many in this group have joined ONE MLM (or maybe two) and haven’t gone from one to the other and on and on?
Steve, you get 99 posts that disprove what you say and one that supports it, so you grab on to the ONE that supports you and ignore the rest.
Try looking beyond yourself and looking at patterns that aren’t yours.
I’ve met at least one person on this forum, talked with others on the phone and am on good terms through email with a number more. I’ve had experience WORKING in treatment, as well as being in treatment (if you work in treatment, you WILL need treatment yourself at some point). I’ve learned enough to be able to assess people and what they’re like.
There are many people here who have been in MLMs for different reasons and in many cases they had nothing to do with low self esteem, at least at the start.
Until you are willing to learn more than what you’re experience has taught you and to learn from other people’s experiences, you will continue to pound your head against a brick wall, just like you did with addiction. You have a chance to learn something here. Take it.
Or keep saying the same thing, getting hammered, and insisting you know more than everyone else. It just shows everyone the limits on what you do know.
It causes a reaction because such a blanket statement, generalizing over everyone because of what one group says, and that just does not work.
Yes, you’ve been through a rough experience and learned a lot. You’re also doing what I’ve seen many of the kids I worked with in treatment do and what I’ve seen adults do when they go through something like this and learn a lot. You’ve gained a tremendous insight into humanity and human nature, but that does not mean that you know it all. You do not know everything about addiction or poor self esteem.
You only know well what led to YOUR addiction. You are also comparing MLMs to substances and the dynamic is quite different. Pot doesn’t come up to someone and say, “I can help you help others.” MLMs do that. MLMs create illusions and hide behind a smokescreen that pot and alcohol and other drugs do not.
Here’s a bit of homework for you: Find the Roseanne episode titled “My Name is Bev.” In it Beverly, Roseanne’s Mother, is arrested and has to go to an AA meeting. After the meeting, she tells Roseanne that now she realizes she is an alcoholic and that’s her trouble. Then Bev goes around and tells everyone how they use alcohol as a crutch. She tells them they can’t have a good time without drinking and that they’re all alcoholics. Dan can’t have his friends over to see the Superbowl and have a keg because Bev says he needs to have fun without the booze.
She takes her problem and her situation and projects it onto everyone else. Because she uses alcohol as a crutch (or thinks she does), then in her eyes, everyone who drinks at all must do the same thing.
Did you learn about projection as you were dealing with these addictions? It’s when people project their own issues or problems or attitudes on others instead of accepting that it’s in them only.
YOU ARE PROJECTING. You are saying, “I learned this and it’s true, so this is what the deal is with you.” That doesn’t work. You’ve learned part of the story, but now are insisting what’s true for you is true for all. That is not the case and the more you insist the more you are saying, “I know this one thing, and it explains it all” and making it clear that your knowledge has limits and that you either can’t or don’t want to look beyond those limits.
You’ve missed the point from the start: YOU ARE GENERALIZING and people do things for many different reasons. You know SOME of the reasons you were addicted, but from what you say, that does not mean you know ALL the reasons you were addicted.
That’s one simple way of explaining it for some people, but not for everyone.
Now I know I’ve not seen the whole cross-section of these forum, but you’re saying countless people describe themselves that way, but you’re ignoring that many people do not. You’re talking about ONE GROUP of people in MLMs, not ALL GROUPS and not ALL PEOPLE.
Steve, I’m not in an MLM, have never been, at least officially (I was associated with a few guys in Amway back in college for a bout a week, then decided I just wasn’t excited about any of it). I have nothing to lose if you’re right and guess what — YOU’RE WRONG.
You are saying that because it caused a reaction, it means it hit close to the bone.
You’re complaining that people said you were generalizing, then you generalize and say all MLM victims have a healthy self-esteem.
– Unsecured personal installment loans for bad credit.
Yes you will keep getting roasted if you keep generalizing, especially about many of the people who are in this forum. Does it occur to you that you’re essentially coming into a forum and saying, “You’re messed up, or you were. Here’s why and I know all about you and what’s in your mind and none of you do” ?
Yes, there are junkies and MLM addicts, but that does not make all victims fall in that category. One thing I learned while working in treatment is that you can’t make such generalizations. I worked with a lot of teens who had been on drugs. I can’t say, “All the druggies I worked with had low self esteem so they took drugs.” I can’t say, “They all did it out of peer pressure.” I can’t say, “They all did it because they were bored and there was nothing else for a teen on a backwater military base to do.”
People are complex and do things for many reasons. Just as teens do drugs for different reasons, people do MLMs for different reasons. From what I’ve seen, only a few do it because of low self esteem.
sure there are some that have that low self esteem but face it we are all out for the almighty dollar, I know I was. For me the idea of having that “disposable” income would mean I could take care of my mom as she gets older and take her traveling around the world which is something she loves. I was a prime target, smart, young, single, no kids and they swooped in. That first meeting I’ll never forget it you know you have to get there early to “get a good seat” only later to learn that’s part of their “plan”. When they spun those dreams of gold, spending more time with family etc. Then they come around asking what would you do if you had this much money for some folks they dream of fancy cars and for the younger folks like me we all wanted to take care of our parents. That question right there is what plants that seed for the MLM and makes you think….just “what if” this really works. Then you say “Well, I’ll try it I don’t have
anything to lose”. The more I think about it the more I realize how smart they really are.
In these days it’s tough out there in corporate America and it’s especially tough for those “targets” which are usually people in college or those that have just graduated or young couples. I really feel many of the younger folks 20’s, 30’s do it because of the promise of that American Dream that is dangled before you. I don’t think it always has something to with a low self esteem in the beginning. Maybe after a while your self esteem has taken a beating within the mlm then yes I can see it becoming a problem. This is something I can see more so when you have stayed in and failed you keep trying harder and harder with no change in results. Of course that would affect your self esteem if you kept feeling like a failure. They will even tell you this. “Just keep showing the plan” “Don’t be a loser” etc.
I will say I never fully “sold out to the business” because I have too many “distractions”. And I’ve always been very private and a very independant woman. They don’t like those characteristics too much. There are some things I won’t give up regardless of what’s at stake. No matter how strong you are going in they will break you down or at least try. They will try to consume your life every waking minute with that MLM….hence the whole 9 steps (which I don’t remember) but i know they say Listen, Read, Associate etc..they lead you on as if you are their friends and only wanting the best for you. Essentially you begin to look at the organization through rose colored glasses. I fully believe we are most affected by our peers, they influence our decisions to some extent. If these people in a MLM are all you associate…..I think we all know where that leads, especially if you are around the “fake it til you make it” group.
Steve if you have never been involved you may never understand why your first comments were met with such hostility. What I’m trying to say is I really don’t think a low/damaged self esteem is what causes a lot of people to get involved. I do feel it is a direct result or affect of the badgering you get while involved.
On another note I just found a whole case load of cds I got from them and never listened to….what should I do with them? Could they help anyone’s research? I briefly thought about Ebay but I really don’t want to contribute to anyone’s brainwashing.
I can see where my lifelong self esteem problems have led me to this addiction – and made me susceptible to those promises of success which might have made me feel more worthy…
I take responsibility also for the losses in all areas of my life – and I am writing it all down – not with a view to publishing it – but rather I plan on burning it…
After this I will feel cleansed and able to function in society – and I plan on going back to my voluntary work where I will be valued, if not in dollars, then just for being myself – and that is someone who is kind, generous and very human. I am going to make that my success story.
Thanks to everyone for your expressions of support – all your points of view are respected.
I made some comments a while back about mlm and addiction – and got roasted for suggesting that mlm ‘use’ (like drug use) was a coping strategy of people with low or damaged self-esteem. My comments were seen as unhelpful generalisations, lacking in empathy and somewhat insulting to the innocent ‘victims’ of mlm – all of whom, supposedly had healthy self-esteem that was then destroyed by the evil of mlm.
I am totally anti-mlm. In the UK, I actively do what I can to expose the side of the argument that pro-mlmers want to keep hidden from their prospects.
I also have experience of addiction – having, like countless millions, been a ‘junkie’ using cigarettes, cannabis and alcohol throughout the larger part of my life until I decided to quit it all some 3 years ago. For me, those substances were a ‘self-medication’ for a pain; a discomfort – an agonising lack of self-worth and self-esteem.
In addiction, the drug isn’t to blame for the users’ lack of self-esteem. Sure, it helps to make it worse. But the drug is the ‘medication’ to deal with the inner emptiness, the pain the addict already feels.
I’ve spent a few years watching and researching all kinds of mlms, reading the testimony of people who have been in mlms (such as this site) and gaining direct experience of mlm people. Countless people have described themselves as being ‘mlm junkies’ and if there’s one common pattern I’ve seen, it’s that most serial mlm-ers behave like addicts or ‘gamblers’ (addicts by another name).
Like addicts, ‘mlm junkies’ search for a ‘fix’ in mlm, don’t find it, feel more ashamed and in pain, and keep searching for another mlm to fix that pain. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the ‘mlm junkie’ retains a core belief that there IS one mlm out there that will fix him / her.
In previous posts, I suggested that rather than being responsible for creating poor self-esteem in serial mlmers, just maybe mlm was set up to exploit what was already there. That caused a bit of a reaction.
Maybe that’s hard to stomach because it’s much easier to someone to be a victim of mlm in the same way that it would be much easier to blame my using chemicals on the dealers who sold them to me; or the bar or the supermarket.
Why am I posting again about this? Because like any addiction, unless people take responsibility for what drives them to use ‘stuff’ as a way to avoid facing their inner pain, the industry (drugs, gambling or mlm) will continue to thrive. This morning, I picked up two more posts here saying ‘I’m a mlm junkie’ – and the response from the forum, once again, was ‘It has nothing to do with you – you are the victim of evil people’.
When I googled Quixtar Scams I was amazed to find that there are 87 pages of web sites. Most of the sites I went to had MLMs defending thier business, bashing “negative” people, trying to pursuade other MLMs of better ways to bild their down lines, or to sell their brand of power drinks and energy bars, etc. I kept looking for a support group because I figured there has to be others that are having a hard time dealing with loved ones involved in these kind of schemes.
My son has been involved in Quixtar for over three years. Other an working, most of his time spent recruiting and with his upline. Friends, going out and other interests are a thing of the past. To me, this isn’t normal for a young man in his early 20s.
I don’t understand how Quixtar people call themselves Indepentent Business Owners. I don’t know of any other business that councils people on every aspect of their personal lives–relationships, financial, religion, or any decision process. I once asked my son ‘what credentcials do they have to council you on anything?’ And recently when he had the opportunity for advancement at the company he works for I told him ‘you don’t need to talk to your upline, you’re capeable of making the decision on your own.’
Truthfully, from the things my son has told me and from the things I have read (books and online) all I can see are RED FLAGS! I do see Quixtar as being a cult and I believe these people are being brainwashed. I have a great deal of anxiety about this.
Thank you for providing this site. It is helpful to at least know that I’m not alone.
I’m delighted to hear your daughter is making progress in disconnected from Quackstar. Hopefully she will soon realize she can get equivalent products at lower prices elsewhere.
I couldn’t help thinking as I was reading about your daughter how the marketing I was in would try to appeal to a person in a situation similar to hers. Our hook was offering products and services that helped people get out of debt. Only problem was that at the time they cost $75 per month (for the deluxe membership with rep status). Of course you wouldn’t join such an organization and keep it to yourself. You’d want to share it with all your friends…. help them get out of debt…
Really, it is sickening how these marketing businesses prey on people who are looking for a real solution to real problems. You are right — smoke and mirrors. They all make it sound so good going in. If you don’t know what’s going on, the marketing pro’s will make you think that if you don’t join you’ll be missing out on the greatest thing since sliced bread. And the good ones will convince you that the sooner you start investing in your future (by joining them), the sooner you will be on the road to riches, financial freedom, that dream home or car or vacation… Those who are successful in marketing are VERY good at doin what they do and that is convincing others to join up, and once they join, continue to stay in, buy the motivational junk, leads, etc.
My daughter got involved in Quixtar a couple years ago. I had my reservations from the beginning especially when I found out they were a part of Amway even though she told me, “It’s not Amway, Mom.” I had once been approached nearly 30 years ago by a brother-in-law who was just getting involved in Amway at that time, luckily my husband and I saw no merit in the plan at that time and we still see no merit in the Quixtar plan. However, being a good mom and not wanting to alienate my daughter, I held my tongue, kept my reservations and supported her without approving of the “business” she was involved in. The first year went by. I did her taxes (I used to be a tax preparer). She had a $5,000 loss and had only earned less than $500. Not good at all her in father’s eyes, especially when he found out that the bulk of her loss had to do with the motivational junk and “meetings” that she had attended over the past year. His comment was, if she had invested the $5,000 she would be much richer today.
Move ahead midway through the second year. She called me in tears one afternoon because she was so distraught she could no longer make her payments (credit card, car, student loan… yes, she is a college graduate with a good paying job.) She cried when she told me she was going to have to get rid of her car and get something much cheaper because she couldn’t make her payments. I told her that was her choice, if she needed to do that. I can still hear her voice, in tears, “But I don’t want to get rid of my car!” So, I did what any good mother would do. I offered to help her. However, I had one stipulation. There was no way I was giving her money if she was going to continue throwing away money on the Quixtar business junk. She agreed. She even told me that she had already paid $150 for her semi-annual “meeting” ticket but she was not going to be able to go since she couldn’t afford the gas, hotel, meals, etc. to go. I told her it was better to lose $150 at this time than continue throwing money at something that was making her broke. She agreed that was true.
She still has her IBO, she told me that she likes some of the products and she still buys them. Ok, at this time I can accept that. I did her taxes this last year, she earned about $500 and her loss was about $3,000, since she spent part of the year still buying the “business” junk.
There are so many people that take advantage of the poor souls that get involved in Quixtar. Not just the Motivational people, but there are so many other “services’ that have sprung up (answering service, etc.) that everyone convinces you, you must have to operate your business. (YOUR business, that makes my husband laugh, more like THEIR business since they’re taking all your money!) In fact, there even is a tax preparer in the Grand Rapids area who advertises himself to be an “expert” in preparing IBO’s returns and all it costs is $350. Huh? H&R Block will get you the same refund and charge much, much less.
Smoke and mirrors, dreams that can’t come true. If a person really wants to make money and retire early, they’d be much better off learning how to invest their money instead of throwing it away on a pipe dream like Quixtar and they’d do much better.
Hal said I should fill everyone in on how my daughter is doing today. She tells me she’s working to be credit card debt free in less than a year and totally debt free (except for maybe a house payment) in a couple years. She’s happier and more like her old self. At one point in the Quixtar cult, she was selling all her CDs and DVDs to get money (not that you can get much for them) but this last Christmas her gift list included many CD and DVD choices. After she had been into Quixtar for about a year, I asked if maybe she’d like a new bigger screen TV for Christmas (she only had a small 19″ TV) and at that time she told me that no, they never watched TV so it would be a waste of money (another Quackstar brainwashing tactic, they discourage them from watching TV or keeping up with events in the world), this last Christmas she was very happy and pleased to receive a 25″ color TV from her dad and I. She and one of her roommates spend a lot of time watching the MacGyver Series DVDs I also gave her. She still wants to find a different job, she’s not happy with the one she has, which is how I think it became so easy to suck her into the Quackstar lies, and she’s been checking into other choices. J.O.B.s REAL jobs.
While I’d like her to cut the ties completely, I’m just glad that she’s doing so much better and she’s no longer throwing money away on all that junk.