Tuesday, January 13, 2015

(Humor) Classifying the Different Types of Network Marketing Douchebags

Let's face the reality: Network Marketing has always had an image problem. It's a thin blurry line away from an illegal pyramid scheme. Even the so-called "legitimate" companies now admit they sell more opportunities than products. Different companies are getting slammed around the world for being a pyramid scheme, esp. in Asia and Europe. AND they have a penchant for pushing woo on the unsuspecting public.

Therefore it is no surprise that network marketing attracts a LOT of douchebags who have somehow latched onto MLM as their ticket to success. This is my attempt to classify the douchebag traits. If you spot a trait you think isn't on this list, let me know via the comments and we can discuss them!

NOTE: It is possible for a douchebag to hold more than one (or even, ALL) of these traits

The Evangelist

The "evangelist" want to tell people that MLM (and their product, sometimes) is the greatest thing ever much like a preacher preaches religion. They are armed generally with propaganda (i.e. myths) instead of facts. They are very excited to tell you about the industry and their products, but their primary concern is sign you up as their downline. In general, they are all about the positive.

Subtype A: the Firebrand

The firebrand is an evangelist who has pure HATRED of any one who refused to be preached to or don't agree with their view (MLM is the greatest!)  Any disagreement will be pinned on "they don't understand", "they are doomed as wage slaves in a deadend J-O-B", or even "it's a conspiracy against _____".

Subtype B: the Fluffer

The fluffer is an evangelist who will also fluff you up (and only you) to be aroused to his or her ideas, so much so they are nuts about positivity. They'll tell you that you can be or already are special, you have potential, blah blah blah. The fluffier you are, the easier you are to pluck later, after getting your ego stroked (in more ways than one).

Subtype C: the Fear-Monger

The fear-monger is an evangelist selling fear. Actually they sell "solutions" to relieve people of their fear (that they caused) and their money.  They will preach to your existing fears (you'll die broke in a ditch, you'll amount to nothing in a dead-end minimum wage job, you'll die of broken health...) and they'll pitch you a solution (income opportunity or woo supplements) that will solve the fear they caused in you.

Subtype D: the Bling-Flasher

The Bling-Flasher is an evangelist who show the world the amount of bling (jewelry, fancy watch, fancy car, fancy house, etc.) s/he can afford and "share" this abundance with you through his/her gospel of prosperity. Car may even have vinyl wrap proclaiming their affiliation (Vemma logo cars like BMW, or the infamous Mary Kay pink cars) and generally talks about opportunities (and selling such) instead of selling products.  What they don't tell you is how many products they sold, or how much did they spend traveling around "inspiring" people (i.e. recruiting).

The Defender

The defender is out to "defend" his faith... uh his scheme against any sort of criticism or even doubt against critics or even members whose faith had been shaken by variou scandals or bad news. They fall into several types (though some defenders can exhibit multiple traits)  Defenders can be noobs or seasoned veterans.

Subtype A: The Credentialist

The credentialists want to show the world how "smart" they are by flashing their credentials around. Their message is "trust me" because "I was rank X in Y different MLMs", "I had bazillion downlines", "Acme MLM asked me to consult with them", or even "I wrote about / teach MLM at _____".  However, if you dig a little deeper you may find that a good portion of their credentials are made up or exaggerated, such as "a dozen years of network marketing experience" actually meant "jumped ship every year, amounted to nothing". Will often turn indignant when confronted.    (Also see Pseudo-Intellectual, Indignant)

Subtype B: The Pseudo-Intellectual

The pseudo-intellectual reacts to criticism such as "Scheme X may be a pyramid scheme" with neutral or condescending (you don't know what you're talking about, you can't talk about things you haven't tried...) wall-of-text, often copied from their upline's bogus explanations or Wikipedia without understanding what they posted. Generally they resort to bogus explanations like "all companies are pyramid-shaped", "pyramid schemes don't have products", and so on.   Their long-winded responses are filled with fallacies and bad arguments, instead of properly formulated reasoning or evidence. They usually don't even know what laws define a pyramid scheme in their own jurisdiction.  When confronted with their ignorance, they generally turn indignant or tried to flash their credentials to validate their view. (Also see "The Indignant" and The Credentialist)

Subtype C: The Indignant

The Indignant can be recognized by their indignant attitude, such as "how DARE you criticize my pet scheme?!?!"  They usually respond with ad hominem insults "whoever wrote the criticism must have a bug up their ***" or some such rather than pseudo-intellectual or credential responses. Also see "The Loan Shark".

More after this page break...

The Insider

The Insider is connected to the founder or highest levels of the company, and thus enjoy advantage that you average Joes are not privy to, and that's talked about as if they are naturally good at this, when it's really family connections.  It could be their parents were good friends with the founder, or he was a top level affiliate in a PREVIOUS MLM by the founder, and so on. Often such "heavy hitters" were offered backroom sweetheart deals such as cash incentive to migrate his existing organization of downlines to join this scheme.

Subtype A: The Secret Insider

Some insiders desperately want to HIDE their connections to the founders or top level execs of the company and want to pretend to be Joe Average, albeit, a successful one. Indeed, some founders are known to have played as "leader" or "company rep" before outing themselves as CEO / founder.

Subtype B: The Hopper

The hopper hops from scheme to scheme periodically, never pushing one scheme for longer than a few months. They have no true allegiance to anything except how to milk one scheme for all its worth, and defect to a "bigger and better offer" when one comes along (often accompanied by a promised paycheck from the founder).

Subtype C: The Double-Dipper

The double-dipper are known to join multiple opportunities and push them simultaneously, sometimes with distinct online personas, websites, and capture pages. They may even have a primary opportunity, and only mentions the secondary ones "in passing". If they have more than two, they are multi-dippers.  Double-dipper is known to cross-recruit, a definite no-no in in network marketing, but obviously douchebags don't care, "Plan B" and "backup" and "contingency plan" and all that.

The Sheeple 

The sheeple are at the lowest ranks of network marketing and schemes that went in without knowing what they were doing, and learned from douchebags bad traits without realizing it. These are the people who got burned by MLM, whether in the short term or in the long term.

Subtype A: The Romantic Hopper

The Romantic Hopper is a hopper-wannabe who has unreasonable hope that "this will be the one", except it never is, much like a hopeless romantic is always after another guy/girl s/he can't have. S/he is not high enough to be a real "hopper", but is probably downline of a hopper.  (See "The Hopper") This will last until their money run out or they somehow build enough downlines.

Subtype B: The Faux Lion (Judas Goat)

The Faux Lion is a sheeple who had been brainwashed into thinking they are lions among sheep and world is for their taking.  The emulate the Evangelist type (or one of the subtypes), but what they are really doing is they are hunting and rounding up sheeple for the REAL Lions, like a Judas Goat leading sheep to be fleeced (or slaughtered).

Subtype C: The Dreamer

The Dreamer is known for looking at an ass and sees a stallion, or looking at a scam ("We pay 1.5% per day!) and sees "great money-making opportunity". Such a person is always in a reality-distortion field (of him- or herself) and is fond of stating that how law enforcement or regulatory agencies "don't know what they're talking about" even AFTER their favorite scheme was seized by the government and shut down.  (Also see: The Groupie)

Subtype D: The Groupie

The groupie is a fan of one (or more) Bling-Flasher, and a Bling-Flasher Wannabe. A Groupie will walk around proclaiming "Yo, Bro, you see that man who just walked by? He makes 500K a month and drives a Beemer!"   Groupie tries to emulate everything done by the Bling-Flasher, right up to the point s/he can't afford to do so any more.

Subtype E: The Discriminator

The discriminator judges people by the likelihood of profit potential. If you are not semi-interested in the opportunity, or just buy some **** from him/her, s/he is not interested in wasting time with you. Sees everybody (friends, family, workmates, etc.) as dollar signs instead of people.  Will spend all of their "social capital", and even owe a bit more.

Subtype F: The Loan Shark

The Loan Shark thinks s/he is owed everything from everybody. The world owes him or her success. The refuseniks (people who refused his "polite" request to explain the opportunity) owes him/her an explanation. Downlines owes him/her respect, etc. etc.  Loan Shark walks around perpetually with a chip on his/her shoulder. Always out to "collect" on past favors (i.e. social capital).


  1. IBOFB is the pseudo intellectual and defender. LOL

  2. kkkk... A new idea... Why not talk about the sites? And the bloggers like... you ;D What is your category?

    And about the cops or the haters. About the people that comment in the blogs. About me... kkkkkkk... There are a big world outside the MLM.

    1. Why don't you do it? I already have my niche.

  3. Good post. I've see a fair amount of each except I haven't seen the Loan Shark type.


    1. Loan Shark generally graduate pretty quickly to Evangelist because they were able to collect on their social capital "loans". But people's social capital generally run out when one spent it all on MLM.

  4. There needs to be one for the age old failed MLM rep who has been doing very badly in MLM for 20 years because they basically aren't a convincing enough liar nor a dynamic enough personality, so they basically go through the motions on a daily basis and are unable to back-track on their career choice because they don't know how to do anything else and it would be an admission that they've completely wasted their life on MLM....

  5. There needs to be one for the age old failed MLM rep who has been doing very badly in MLM for 20 years because they basically aren't a convincing enough liar nor a dynamic enough personality, so they basically go through the motions on a daily basis and are unable to back-track on their career choice because they don't know how to do anything else and it would be an admission that they've completely wasted their life on MLM....