By Len Clements © 2005
| This is the final installment of this series. The previous ten parts rebutted the writings of the four highest profile MLM antagonists: Dean Van Druff, Robert FitzPatrick, Ruth Carter, and Jon Taylor (get the back issues!). This edition covers the most common, general criticisms made by virtually all those who are anti-MLM.
The more naive of the anti-MLM crowd will typically offer a mathematical progression showing five people who get five, and so on, then gloat over their revelation that by level 14 they would have accounted for the entire population of the Earth (Van Druff uses an even more ridiculous “ten sponsor ten” scenario). However, when an MLMer uses such a scenario to demonstrate the income potential of their plan, the anti-MLMer is always quick to jump all over the absurdity of such a scenario ever playing out. So, why use it then as evidence to debunk an industry based on it’s theoretical occurrence?
So, you invite your new neighbor over for dinner under the guise of making a new friend. Once desert is consumed you begin your opportunity spiel. Yes, that’s not a cool way to build your business, and you’ll lose more friends than you gain. Fortunately, most MLM distributors don’t practice such tactics. Naturally, those who were victims of deception or had their friendships exploited like to tell their story to authors of anti-MLM propaganda. Unfortunately, authors of anti-MLM propaganda never seem to bother to see how the other 99% of us conduct our business.
Most Distributors Fail
Yes, they do. In fact, this is perhaps the strongest argument of all against the imminent saturation theory (although, most anti-MLM zealots make no attempt to reconcile the two completely contradictory positions).
Success in MLM Requires Extraordinary Talents and Skills
Not only is this untrue, it is perhaps the single greatest benefit of the MLM business model. If you don’t have the time, money or skills to build a large downline sales organization you can still achieve great success by finding someone who does! If you were to only get two or three people who are good at MLM to join with you, when they eventually succeed you succeed. They’re downline is your downline.
Pyramids in Disguise
Robert FitzPatrick epitomizes this position when he states “MLM is a legal form of business under certain rigid conditions set forth by the FTC and state Attorneys General,” but goes on to suggest “Many MLMs are in gross violation of these guidelines and operate only because they have not been prosecuted.” This is a bit like saying “Many honest people are liars.” Either you’re a legal MLM company, or you are an illegal pyramid disguised as an MLM company. And yes, this is unfortunately not uncommon and legitimate MLM companies certainly do suffer a guilt by association. But let’s be clear – illegal pyramids try to look like MLM companies because they want to appear legal!
Researcher Bias is a term used to explain why two opposing groups can study the exact same information yet come to completely contrary positions. People see what they want to see. If you have an agenda to debunk the MLM concept the “evidence” is not hard to find, if that’s what you’re looking for. Its no curiosity that when each of the four anti-MLM zealots mentioned above were asked to identify the number of happy, successful MLMers they surveyed, or to list the pro-MLM books or magazines they read, each refused to provide an answer (although Taylor claims to have interviewed “hundreds” of MLM distributors, he also claims the best information source are distributors who have failed). When Ruth Carter and her MLM Survivor followers are shown evidence of those who honestly succeeded in MLM they are always labeled “perpetrators.” Those who fail are always their “victims.”