Anti-MLM Mondays: High School Mean Girls to Hunbots Pipeline

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Happy Monday. Still recovering from Hurricane Ian, but at this point, I am in a good position to get things back on track. Enough about that, though. I have an interesting topic about multi-level marketing that I saw constantly when I was watching anti-MLM content during the pandemic.

We already know that MLM reps are called ‘huns’ because that’s usually how they greet their potential recruits. We have heard about cold messaging, which is what huns resort themselves to after tapping out their warm market. A warm market is their inner circle, like friends, family, and acquaintances. Once they tap out of it, they enter their cold market, which is full of complete strangers. We heard about huns not checking a profile beforehand when they send those “hey hun” messages to complete strangers — telling them they would be killing it in what they do. Even if they do check profiles, they will find something if they can solve it for a profit.

But one thing that is constant in this part of the topic is huns contacting their former classmates years after graduation. It didn’t even matter how long ago they went to school together… 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, even 10, 20, 25 years after graduation. If you’re from a small town, you might or might not have a message from a former classmate that claims to want to catch up with you in an effort to really pitch you an MLM opportunity.

I know you’re wondering where I’m heading with this, but before I get there, I will tell you that even though I haven’t gotten a “hey hun” message since graduating from high school 15 years ago, I have gotten invitations to join some friends’ pages on Facebook which turned out to be fronts for their MLM businesses. However, this isn’t what we’re focusing on.

I have noticed while scrolling in the anti-MLM subreddit, fellow Redditors have posted messages after messages of former school bullies who have contacted them about joining an MLM. We are talking about those who essentially peaked in high school (read: popular kids) who are still chasing that spotlight well into their 20s and 30s contacting their classmates whom they once hated to “link arms” with them in a business.

This will be a Reddit reaction post

A Reddit post from July 19, 2018, titled “The “Girl you went to high school with that joined an MLM” Starter Pack”

The order in which I embedded these posts is not the same order in which I found them, but I wanted to start off with a hilarious starter pack post that sees some correlation between girls who peaked in high school and their MLM businesses. It features quotes such as “I run my own business” and “no chemicals” but it also includes a picture of a baby named “Westley”, a Facebook post that conveys a hun’s love for her “job” and a picture of a Younique credit card. Yeah, that’s a thing. Anyway, the following posts fit the bill almost to a T.

A Reddit post from January 4, 2019, titled “Girl from high school in MLM posted this. Doesn’t this prove that it’s a pyramid scheme?”

A Redditor made this post after watching an Instagram story from one of her former classmates that tried to explain the difference between a pyramid scheme and an MLM. While they do have the same characteristics, most MLM huns don’t make the most money unless they have a team. Basically, they combine the recruiting tactics of a pyramid scheme with a commission-based sales tactic with a few extra steps

A Reddit post from January 4, 2021, titled “Guess that MLM! 🥴 girl is an ex-friend from high school who is a serial MLMer.”

Sometimes the former high school classmate is a victim of circumstance. In this instance, we have Molly, a Redditor who goes by “No-Veterinarian6652” who was being contacted by her former classmate who was in several MLMs. Scrolling to the comments section, I find a comment from Molly who answered another Redditor’s question about her ex-classmate joining Beachbody, in which she responded in part “She has two babies and is a SAHM and I know she is a target for MLMs. She was previously in YL and she never sent me a single message. I’m thinking she was doing the whole “causal” thing with YL and then some Beachbody coach reached out and now she’s getting whipped into shape. She went from posting about 5 stories/day on Instagram with YL to probably 30+ stories, makes reels, etc. with Beachbody.” Molly would go on to say that she’s been trying to get the hun out of MLMs to no avail

A Reddit post from December 21, 2020, titled “Why is everyone i knew in highschool in an MLM?! Were in our 20s. Its a little too early for a midlife crisis”

This next post is from a Redditor that had graduated from high school in 2017… 5 years ago. She had three classmates that were in different MLMs — the first is a Tupperware magazine, the second is all about It Works and their keto products, and the third is an Instagram profile of one of the Redditor’s former classmates who is with Younique. So why is she in this post? I scrolled down to the comments where the OP mentioned that one of the huns lied about getting pregnant their freshman year plus subsequent lies about being miscarried and getting an abortion to keep her boyfriend and also lied about her age to get a boy in trouble. The other two were just vulnerable and the OP even tried to get one out before the pandemic started. To that I say yikes

A satirical Reddit post from December 27, 2017, titled “Study: 90% of girls who were mean to you in high school now trapped in beauty product pyramid schemes”

This last one is a satirical one, but I also think this drives it home. Someone posted a satirical article from a Canadian online news satire company called The Beaverton and going through the website, it’s basically a Canadian version of The Onion. In October 2016, they published this article about mean girls and pyramid schemes and they came up with the 90% line, which does seem like it. Although it’s probably not close to the real stats, whatever they may be, I just thought this was funny

In short, and don’t quote me on this one, but coming from a small town with not a lot of opportunities, it’s little wonder people move out of their hometowns to start their own journeys (and some do come back). For those that do stay in their hometowns, they could be suckered into an MLM just to provide for their families.

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