Happy Monday, everyone. It’s time for another anti-MLM post. Read up my first three posts here, here, and here
I have mentioned that upon watching anti-MLM content for almost 3 years that hunbots, hunbros, and other MLM reps love to use manipulation tactics to get people to join their teams. They know they can’t sell the products by themselves and some know they joined the company by their uplines using the same tactics, but they do it anyway.
For this week’s anti-MLM post, I will tell you the manipulation tactics I have seen after watching years of anti-MLM content
When you join an MLM, the other reps under the same upline will shower you with lots of love. Sometimes too much love. That is called love bombing. They do this to make you feel welcomed and appreciated. They make you feel like you have a sisterhood. They make you feel like you’re part of a team. They even shout women empowerment at the top of their lungs. But that love doesn’t last. The love bombing and toxic positivity go out the window when you’re falling behind in making money for them
MLM reps play a long game of deception. They will post their so-called “free” cars or pictures from their “free” trips. They would also post about buying a house with their “money” or telling their followers that they were able to pay for expensive items and medical surgeries with their MLM money that they somehow couldn’t get with a regular job. Money isn’t the only motivator, as they could also claim that they feel lighter, more focused, and have more energy with their products. I will make a post about the “free” stuff they get in a later post (SPOILERS: They’re not free). The Huffington Post talks more about the art of deception from a former Mary Kay hun
People don’t have extra money lying around to buy starter packs to run a “small business” with an MLM company for a good reason. For those that are already in, they usually don’t make enough money to buy into the products monthly to keep their accounts active or to hit the next rank for the month. Their uplines, however, feed off of their downlines, so if they don’t see enough money coming in, they would yell at their downlines essentially to make them more money. An example of that is a video from Julie Jo and it’s about a top Monat rep yelling at her downline because they are not bringing her the money (warning: bullying, essentially)
The video example above could also be an example of general guilting. Again, MLM reps with a team will use every tactic in the book to keep their downlines in line, similar to a cult. Two weeks ago, I told you about how they would use fear, shame, guilting, and bullying to get other reps to do their bidding. Basically, whatever arsenal they have on hand as far as emotional manipulation goes, they will use it, and it makes their downlines cast blame on themselves because they did not make enough money for their uplines
MLM companies love to target moms. It didn’t matter what type of mom they targeted… soon-to-be mothers, first-time mothers, pregnant mothers, single mothers, stay-at-home mothers, military mothers, moms with empty nests, etc. They usually attract them because they are either pregnant with a child or have young children and need some income while staying home. They will advertise their scam as a way for a mom to be present for their kids or as a way to keep up with their kids’ schedules. You’re probably wondering “where does the mom shaming come in”? It comes in when moms put them in daycare. Daycare is seen as an antithesis of being a “present” mom. They see it as someone raising someone else’s kid, but in reality, it’s like any other school. Speaking of, some don’t like public schools either for the same reason and will homeschool them for the sake of being a “present” mom to their kids. However, the mom shaming go beyond just present for the kids.
Whether they’re a mom or not, body shaming is another manipulation tactic especially deployed by wellness MLM reps to bully their downline. They will use fatphobic terms like fat and ugly to reem them for not making enough money or losing weight to their liking. If they couldn’t do it to the faces, they would also do it online, especially when they lose a downline member. Another form of body shaming is when they appropriate those before and after pictures and say something like “getting rid of curves” or “getting rid of cellulite”, two things that are being accepted in today’s body positivity culture.
Fear of missing out (FOMO)
Looking for a certain number of people. Holding conventions. Building curiosity. Spamming the timelines of their followers with materialistic things. All of that creates FOMO, the fear of missing out. They’re always looking for 3 more people to join their downlines (and may have a discount on their starter packs if necessary). They will hold in-person, packed conventions where the top leaders and those who hit certain top ranks get to walk the stage as if they had graduated from college and give unnecessary motivational speeches that would last hours. They also love to build curiosity by pretending to ask people if they are looking to change their lives and spamming their unfortunate followers by posting the glamorous “lifestyle” they spew all the time. During COVID, MLM companies insisted on holding in-person conventions without precautions after the vaccines have rolled out, and it sometimes leads to deadly consequences. (Paparazzi Convention 2021 reaction. SPOILERS: COVID deaths, the lack of mask and vaccine measures in place, and it gets worse)
Claiming to be anti-MLM
I won’t dive too much into it but just know this… just like people who love to say “I used to be a Democrat until they started being mean” or those who say “I’m not racist, but…”, “I’m not homophobic, but”, “I’m not sexist, but”, there are MLM reps that say that they used to be anti-MLM until they saw some vision from their upline or something. To me, they weren’t anti-MLM. If they were, they would find the problem with the overall structure of the business model and never join. It’s not limited to one company. Keep that in mind when you watch an MLM video.
The last tactic is gaslighting. Making their downlines feel like shit. Blaming them for “not working hard enough”. Replacing the actual reality with an alternative reality. Sowing doubt by telling them their eyes deceived them. Top MLM reps especially use this tactic to keep their downlines in check if even one of them starts to question them.
Those are some of the tactics they use to manipulate their teams into doing their bidding. What do you think? Do you know of any other tactics they might have used? Let me know in the comments