Friday, October 4, 2013

Social Cost of MLM: How it exploits group mentality and cult indoctrination

There is a new article over at SaltyDroid which includes a true story by a member whose handle is Roger Wilco, and he has a sad story to tell. However, before I send you off to read it, I need to get my point across: MLM has a very heavy social cost, and some MLM leaders are exploiting their downlines through cult indoctrination and group mentality (whether they are aware of it is a good question) that they basically rose to success on their member's backs.

Much of MLM makes fun of people in regular jobs (which EVERYBODY have at one point or another) as a deadend, wage slave, and so on, while those in MLM will succeed, be their own boss, blah blah blah, which is a psychological attack, on both the company and personal (upline to downline) level to a person's self-worth and self-identity. The overall message is simple: do what MLM says, you no longer think for yourself. All of your thoughts came from the MLM and your upline. You became a parrot and sycophant without even realizing it.

And now the alienation starts.

Most MLMs asks their new members to make a list of their friends and family that they would like to "share" their newfound opportunity with. This is a bad violation of social and market norms. They should not intersect, and humans are normally against any sort of intersection, which are considered social faux pas, as in "why would you put a dollar value on friendship / family?"

As a matter of fact, MLM often simply ignore any such social norms, as the members were indoctrinated into thinking "social norms are for wussies". Which adds to their alienation.

Remember the part about MLM destablize your self identity by telling you what you did before, i.e. job, is worthless wage slaving? Now it gets worse. Your social norms were subverted, and your family and friends became your recruiting targets. Now they have two bad choices:

a) They join reluctantly which gives you false sense of accomplishment and enriches the company
b) They refuse you thus which drives you further away from your normal social circle, and further into the arms of your company / peer group of MLM, as your MLM group tell you "they just don't understand".

Pretty soon, any one pointing that out to you are regarded as "losers", "they just don't understand", and so on and so forth.

This is especially hard on partners, one of them is in MLM and the other is not. The contrast soon will break the partnership. The one outside will try to point out how far apart they became, and the one inside will resist, and will stay in because s/he had already alienated all the other friends and family and her only social circle left was his/her partner and the MLM peer group. And sooner or later the partner will have to go as someone who "just don't get it" and "loser with no ambition".

Which brings up an even more disturbing observation... MLM on college campuses.

Kids at college are often away from home, busy adjusting to campus life, forming new social circles and such. Do they really need MLMs, which OFTEN use cult tactics, to take time AWAY from their studies and other healthier pursuits? No! One could argue that college kids are MORE vulnerable to cult indoctrination (and thus, MLM indoctrination) than regular folks. There's a reason why only approved organizations are allowed on campus, and MLM somehow have infiltrated that circle by claiming to be a business, not organization.

Any way, you should now go read the Confesstimonial by Roger Wilco.

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