Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stock Analyst: NuSkin in China is definitely breaking Chinese laws

Citron Research, a stock research firm, has confirmed that NuSkin, which supposedly only operates as a direct seller in China, is in fact operating as a MLM, which is ILLEGAL in China. China considers MLM to be pyramid scheme and is outlawed.

On such researcher went to a Nu Skin meeting and the sponsor wrote the following notes:

See the multi-level structure? Each level is "1 generation", and how you can have 384 downlines if you go 6 levels down and earn 5% off your downlines.

That proves beyond a doubt that NuSkin is operating ILLEGALLY in China.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How to deal with intellectually dishonest debaters

As a MLM skeptic, I often run into people who ardently believe that their "pet scheme" is absolutely legitimate, even when it's not. When I point out deficiencies in their thinking, or evidence that the company haven't told them everything, there are generally two reactions

Positive: Oh, I didn't know that, thanks for pointing that out, it's something for me to think about

Negative: F___ you! I know this thing is legitimate and you've just being negative!

Most of the negative reaction folks will then pile on various bad arguments as cataloged in this blog, or as John T. Reed put it, "intellectually dishonest" debate tactics.

So how do you react to them?

Generally, by acting somewhat bemused, calm, and collected.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The "nitpicking" fallacy

One of the tactics used by supporters of a suspect scheme is to nitpicking your logic and evidence, find some TINY mistake, then use that as "proof" that your entire premise is bogus and worthless. It often takes this form.
A: Acme XYZ is a scam because of ____, ____, and ____. 
B: You misspelled ____! Your premise is obviously bogus! 
Yes, I've ran into this type of debaters personally. They are not talking sense, and they probably know it, but they are just out there to rile you.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The "don't you want to be rich" fallacy

One of the frequent fallacies you encounter in get-rich-quick schemes is known as "appeal to popular fantasy". It is sometimes used by members as a last resort, who basically concedes that the scheme is probably NOT legitimate, but as long as it makes money, it's enough for them. It often takes this form:
A: Acme XYZ is a scam because of ____, ____, and ____. 
B: Acme XYZ may be a scam, but as long it makes me $$$ I don't really care. After all, don't we all need money?
This is "appeal to popular fantasy" because all of us want to be rich, or at least rich enough to not worry about money. As long as scam feeds you money, and you probably won't be penalized in some way, why not make money off it?

The problem is this bends morals into a pretzel.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

NEWSFLASH: North Carolina Attorney General's Office "has concerns" regarding Zeek Rewards

Apparently NC AG's office has confirmed that they are soliciting documents from Zeek Rewards and its parent company regarding its business practices, due to prior inquiries and complaints.

The "That's just your opinion" fallacy

Sometimes, when a support of a suspect scheme ran out of logical arguments, they will attempt to characterize your premise as "opinion". It often takes this form:

A: Acme XYZ is a scam because of ____, ____, and ____. 
B: That's just your OPINION that Acme XYZ is a scam.
This is a derail attempt, by simply REFUSING to accept the other side's position reasoning or logic with a blanket statement: everything you say is worthless opinion. It is, as John T. Reed put it, "intellectually dishonest" debate tactic. It is a complete red herring.

If there is proper logic and evidence to support the position/premise, then the premise is far more than an opinion. It is a "supported premise".

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The "I know what I am doing" fallacy

One of the final retorts by a defender of a suspect scheme usually invokes "it's none of your business", argument, which usually takes this form:

A: Acme XYZ is a scam because ____, ____, and ____.

B: I know Acme XYZ is not a scam. I know what I am doing. It's my business, not yours.

This is a total red herring, because it neither argues against the premise, nor argues for the counter-premise. It is completely unrelated.

Why This Blog Exists

Neo (The Matrix)
Neo (The Matrix)
Does he know all the doors he can go through?
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I offer criticism of something as big and as pervasive, and as PERSONAL as multi-level marketing, I expected to encounter a lot of flak, much like a B-17 Bomber encountered over WW2 Germany.

What's interesting is even though most of my criticism are leveled at pseudo-MLM scams that disguised themselves as MLM companies, quite a bit of the flak is from "defenders" of the legal MLMs out there, somehow believing that I am bashing their "opportunity".

It is no surprise that many passionate defenders of their "pet scheme", whatever their reason, decided to share their opinion of my life, my hygiene, my mental status, and so on and so forth instead of trying to address the issues I raised regarding their pet scheme. Indeed, that was why I started this blog, to catalog the bad arguments and insults they used.

A common question among these defenders seems to be "why are you doing this?" Though they really meant it as a rhetorical question, since they already have an answer, such as
  • "You must be employed by our competitor", 
  • "You are just out to get hits for your blog", 
  • "You must be bitter from your prior failures in MLM" 
  • "Why don't you get a life?"
  • and so on and so forth. 
But the real reason is actually quite simple.

I do this because I wish to open your mind.