Thursday, May 3, 2012

"They did it wrong", a special variant of "no true Scotsman" fallacy

Another frequent "rebuttal" from defenders of an "opportunity", when given evidence of malfeasance such as members arrested, charged, and convicted of running a pyramid scheme, is usually "they are bad people and did it wrong", with an implied corollary, "the company is completely innocent and cannot be responsible". One such example is highlighted below:
[Linganay wrote] ...All those reports you posts I've read about scam? It's not the company but it's just referrring to people who have not been honest. They just collected money but did not remit to the company. The company has been vigilant and terminated those who abused and misrepresented the company.  (see original version )
But what was the "reports you post I've read about scam" Linganay referring to? Here are just SOME of the headlines:
  • TVI Express "leader" in Majene, Indonesia sentenced to 9 months in jail for defrauding the public
  • Central Bank of Lesotho in Africa issued press release that TVI Express is operating illegally in the country and urges all citizens to refrain from participating
  • Times News of South Africa reported that Tarun Trikha is the head of TVI Express scam, which involved over 1 billion SA Rands, with over 50000 victims in South Africa alone
  • South Africa announced first arrest of TVI Express members for running pyramid scheme.
  • TVI Express Trio "TeamTVIOz" convicted of running pyramid scheme in Australia, and of falsely using logos of hotels, airlines, and cruise lines.
  • A dozen people arrested in China in multiple cities (2009, 2010) for running "British TVI Travel Express" scam. 
There was nothing about upline cheating downline by taking their money and not giving them membership. All were describing TVI Express itself as a pyramid scheme, and was shut down as a scam in multiple countries. You can check the actual news articles

Clearly, Linganay was mislead by his upline into believing that all the fraud reports about TVI Express are lies or "misunderstandings" caused by a few "bad apples", when it is TVI Express itself that is rotten.
(Linganay's full rebuttal involved several other fallacies that will not be addressed here, but perhaps another time. )

Linganay is essentially guilty of using a variant "no true Scotsman" fallacy, which I call the "they did it wrong" argument.


Logically speaking, this can be considered a strawman fallacy. Linganay believed that the arrests were merely that of a few individuals cheating their downlines by taking their money and not enrolling them. And he "refuted" that by claiming that's not TVI Express's fault, thus defeating the strawman.

This can also be considered a variant of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy, where the arrested folks are "not true TVI Express". 

Sometimes, the so-called "leader" will blame her downlines for not recruiting hard enough thus causing the failure of the pyramid scheme when it was her that lead all her downlines into a pyramid scheme. Here is an example of "apology" from Sherry Dossey, another TVI Express member. 


Or the above transcribed and slightly shortened, with some sections highlighted in bold:
I normally don't commit on anything negative such as this, but no one is responsible for any body loosing any money in their business but themselves. I put together a perfect system but we do not live in a perfect world so it didn't work. The system did not fail...The people failed the system and blamed me. I did everything I could do to make sure everyone made money. I told them we had to have at least 85 to 90% of the people working the business to pull everything back on track. If this had happened everyone would have been making a lot of money. These people put in $250 dollars and set back for a free ride thinking we would do all the work and they would draw big checks. At first everything worked perfect, but the bigger it grew we could not keep up with doing all the work. Only 8% of the people worked this business. A lot of the people that didn't work made money. and yes there were some that worked that got in at the end and got hurt. but nobody was responsible...
She disclaims responsibility completely. It's not her fault. Those people are just lazy. They are doing it wrong. It cannot be the system or the leader that is at fault. It must be the lazy people.

Sounds like cult-speak to me, but that's for another post.

In October 2010, TVI Express was issued a "cease and desist" in the US, spelling the end of Dossey's recruitment game (and that of many others, such as this "Presidential Group").

However, there is always one more "opportunity" out there. Dossey is still active in her recruiting games even now. Her current Google Plus profile indicates she's in several similar recruitment driven "opportunities", such as "turbocycler", which is described on the website as

 "member to member payment" 2x2 matrix system

Members paying members... sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me. But given her reputation in recruitment driven schemes, I guess that is no surprise.

What will she say when this one folds? 
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