Saturday, February 28, 2015

MLM History: DSA Killed a Bill in 2010 That Would Have Saved MLM

Network Marketing is in an identity crisis, and it had been for decades.

At the beginning MLM was really about selling stuff. It is in the past 3 decades that MLM had morphed into an industry no longer cares about retail. And their industry organization, Direct Selling Association (DSA) does not even bear the MLM or NM name.

(Frankly, DSA had existed LONG before existence of MLM, and was basically "taken over" by MLM companies. But that's a different story for another time. )

Previously I've addressed how DSA managed to condemn FHTM in 2012, a pyramid scheme, mainly by dissociating itself far from FHTM and claimed FHTM was denied membership 3 years in a row. My conclusion then is DSA is not making any efforts to clarify the differences between its members and a pyramid scheme, and it may not like how FTC will shape the industry in the future.

I've also addressed that DSA has basically ignored the existence of product-based pyramid scheme, and this action is clearly deliberate, because it needed to defend Herbalife in 2013 amidst Bill Ackman's long and epic short. DSA should instead lead the effort to stamp out product-based pyramid schemes and lead its members to strive for retail volume. But it won't.

Later, I discovered a DSA position paper where it basically denied the existence of legal precedents (i.e. just ignore it) and everybody can self-consume to their own riches. That, I predicted, will lead to the eventual destruction of MLM itself, if not by Ackman, then by the government.

But what surprised even me was the DSA's reluctance to even nail down the definition of "customer"... and how they killed a legislative bill in Tennessee back in 2009/2010 that attempted to separate a legitimate MLM from a product-based pyramid scheme. It wasn't launched by a "crusader" who's out to kill MLM. It was launched by a MLM insider.

And it went down in flames, killed by DSA lobbyists.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Can You Forgive Your Pastor Defrauding You Because He Said it's "Not Intentional"?

Imagine this scenario:

Your pastor is a man you trusted because you trusted people who are men of God. You've seen him save people from alcoholism. You know him to be a moral man that came from humble origins.

So when your pastor claimed that he's started a business where he needed money to make money, and promised a hefty return, you did not hesitate. Your pastor claimed the money will be invested in foreign currency, or perhaps commodities...

But after a few months, perhaps a year or so of paying out... There is no more payment. That's when the pastor admitted he wasted all of your money. And money of hundreds of other churchgoers and his other associates.

But he didn't mean it. It was "not intentional". He lost money too.

Can you forgive him? When your life savings are gone? When you will probably lose your house and declare bankruptcy?

For hundreds of people around the country, this is not imagination. It is absolutely real.

Welcome to the world of religious fraud.  We got two sob stories for you.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: PlanB4You Admin "Johny Schabregs" arrested by Netherland Authorities

PlanB4You, a suspected low-level ponzi scheme had been shut down in December 2014 by Netherland's FIOD (Fiscal Information and Investigation Service). Instead of keeping his nose clean and await trial, Schabregs, operator of PlanB4You apparently hoping for a fresh start, offered "two for one positions", i.e. buy one position, get one free. This resulted in his arrest on 20-FEB-2015 by FIOD. 

Prosecutors alleged that victims of Schabregs are spread among multiple countries in the Eurozone, including Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, and Italy

Even now defenders of scheme still claimed that the money will be used to start 25 companies and everybody will profit. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: SEC halts "Achieve Community" ponzi scheme

English: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Comm...
English: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters located at 100 F Street, NE in the Near Northeast neighborhood of Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The shoe have dropped, folks. And it's actually a sledgehammer.
Washington D.C., Feb. 18, 2015 — 
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze against two operators of a Colorado-based pyramid and Ponzi scheme that promises investors extraordinary returns of 700 percent through a purported “triple algorithm” and “3-D matrix.”

In a complaint unsealed yesterday afternoon in federal court in Denver, the SEC alleges that Kristine L. Johnson of Aurora, Colo., and Troy A. Barnes of Riverview, Mich., have raised more than $3.8 million since April 2014 from investors they enticed into buying positions in their company Work With Troy Barnes Inc., which is doing business as “The Achieve Community.”  

Full press release available here:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wake Up Now goes after its former head: Sues ex-CEO Kirby Cochran, et al for $70M

Only a few days ago did I report that Wake Up Now (WUN) may be heading for eternal slumber. Turns out, it's got some last gasp yet, but only to drag down somebody with it.

You heard it here, folks (thanks to BehindMLM for breaking the news)  Wake Up Now wanted to take down someone with them, and that would be their former CEO Kirby Cochran (resigned October 16, 2014), as well as Elaine Cochrane (wife of Kirby, ex-legal counsel), Nathan Cochrane (son of Kirby, also ex-WUN staff) and some guy called Juan Carlos Lozano (Mexico area WUN leader).

However, by the various titles / headings used in the complaint, this was clearly written as a PR piece, not a legal complaint, as it contains such gems as:

  • Kirby Cochran Gets His Nose into The WUN Tent
  • Kirby Cochran Infiltrates WUN 
  • Kirby Gets "Loving Brother" Gary C. In On The Action
  • and so on 
Still, looking past the titles, it's clear that WUN painted an interesting story... they claimed that Kirby Cochran basically allowed WUN to go public by merging with one of his existing companies, and in doing so, basically took it over from the inside, and proceed to give his wife and son cushy positions doing little to nothing, contracted his brother as a consultant to eat up all the profit, then spent more money scrapping the old system for a new one, which didn't work. Upon resignation, Kirby Cochran allegedly solicited many top people in and around the company to launch a new one, ignoring the non-compete agreement and went after all the foreign IBOs, mostly by allegedly spreading lies and defaming WUN. 

But how true is this? 

Friday, February 13, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: BLGM busted by HKPD, 5 arrested, office locked and dark

According to multiple media reports, Better Living Global Marketing, which operates "Bidder's Paradise" has been raided by Hong Kong Police Commercial Crime Bureau and 5 were taken into custody. Office is locked, and inspectors have confiscated cases of documents as well as computers into evidence.

BLGM basically operates as a Hong Kong clone of Zeek Rewardsd ponzi scheme, with various "winners" paraded as "proof" that the auction works, and then claimed the auction brought in so much profit that it needs investors to expand. However, according to BehindMLM, there were cash flow problems that was first discovered in 2014.

Apple News HK reports:  (translated, original linked below)
HKPD Commercial Crime Bureau has broken up an auction website alleged of using pyramid selling technique to defraud people. The affected company’s Tsim Sai Tsui office is dark and locked yesterday, with many victims knocking on the door looking for redress. Five arrested have made bail and will await trial. The founder of website, Luke Teng, 55, is son of HK’s most famous Christian Church leader Jing-Hui Teng.
The affected company “Bidder’s Paradise Ltd” office at XingWengHua center is locked. Only two people were observed enter. When confronted, one said “I’m a relative of Luke Teng, and the company’s active for two years, and said “We don’t cheat people”, and claimed there will be a press conference later to explain everything, and otherwise, no comment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why Law of Attraction / The Secret is bull****, according to Psychology Professor

What is "The Secret"? Some new-age mumbo-jumbo about just think positive and good things will happen to you because "Law of Attraction". What is law of attraction? It can summarized as "happy thoughts attract happy happenings (wealth, health, happiness)".  Why? Some bogus reference to ether, mind transfer, "positive electrons", and other pseudo-science.

Now you ask, why is this important? The short answer: it isn't, except it appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. And anything touched by Oprah (or her spawn, "Dr. Oz") automatically becomes a popular phenomenon... and often, they are absolutely bogus.

The author of "The Secret", Rhonda Byrne, basically rewrote Wallace Wattle's 1910 book "The Science of Getting Rich", and melded other lessons from authors that echoed similar sentiment such as Napoleon Hill. But whereas Napoleon Hill and others advocate action, Byrne advocates laziness. According to the law of of attraction, just THINKING positively means good things will happen to you... no action needed.

The Secret is so lame, it got made fun of in The Simpsons ("Bart Gets a 'Z'") and Family Guy ("Brian Writes a Bestseller")

But do you know WHY is The Secret so lame? Let a psychology professor explain it to you...