Thursday, February 13, 2014

MLM Absurdities: MLM may be a Cult... revisited. Why Do Herbalifers get Tattoos?

Previously, MLM Skeptic has discussed how often MLM resembles a cult (of money/greed), where members are to worship their upline and their company, any dissent is stamped out with shame, any defectors ridiculed and denounced, any critics ignored.

Today we will discuss a different part of cult behavior... identifying marks... such as tattoos.

Michael Burton
showing off his Herbalife
tattoo at an Herbalife event
in Serbia 2012
Tattoos used to belong to the realm of gangs and religious cults. It is only in recent years that the more elaborate tattoos have made the transition to "fine art".

Think about it. Tattoos are semi-permanent. It's on your body. It is intensely personal. It is extremely difficult to remove (often costs thousands of dollars), so you are REALLY showing your commitment if you choose to get one.

No wonder gangs often have gang tattoos, so much so, law enforcement have gang tattoo databases to readily identify gang affiliations.

And religious cults often have tattoos, special signs or greetings, and such.

But tattoos for a company? Really?

Back in 2013, a real estate company in New York offered 15% pay raise if its employees get a company tattoo. Owner said he was inspired by one employee who got a tattoo just for the heck of it, and the owner offered him a raise, and from there he decided to go for broke.

Putting a company tattoo on yourself just for the heck of it? That takes some dedication... Or mental illness.

Meet Michael Burton... member of (cult of) Herbalife.

Here's Michael Burton, showing off his Herbalife tattoo. He said he used to be a flabby used car salesman and went backrupt, so he went into Herbalife (at insistence of his in-laws) and became so fit, he competed in those fitness competitions.

Then he went bankrupt. And he owes tons of people money. And he has almost nothing left. Except his passion for Herbalife and his Herbalife tattoo.

But he's hardly the only one with Herbalife tattoos.

Here's his daughter Sydney Mercedes Burton, showing off her own Herbalife tattoo (on her wrist)... and her "accomplishment" of joining her papa at "Millionaire's Team". Wonder if she'll follow him to bankruptcy too?

Sydney Mercedes Burton, showing off her accomplishment at an Herbalife event (undated)
and her wrist Herbalife logo tattoo (photo courtesy of

But this is not a family affliction. This is a widespread phenomenon... ink your body for network marketing.

Next on the exhibit, we have "Brian", a personal trainer, showing off his 6-pack at an Herbalife event, where he attributes his body to Herbalife, so much so he has an Herbalife tattoo on his shoulder.

Brian, showing off his six-pack and his tattoo at an Herbalife event
undated, vidcap off Herbalife promo video

There are many more but these are the ones easily found through Google.

What sort of business would cause people to spontaneously put the company logo on themselves?

A business won't, but a cult will.

The fact that someone did operate a cult based on Herbalife is quite interesting, and Herbalife only terminated him after news of his cult was spread far and wide in 2013.

When you join what you think is a business... beware. It may be a cult.

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