But First a Special News Alert:

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency regulating fair trade and competition, has issued an advisory that Unicorn Sightings Companies (USCs) are legitimate, but it urges consumers to “do their homework.” “Some USCs are scams,” the FTC warns. Postings at “Anti-Unicorn” Redditt claim the business is misleading. One law firm announced a class action lawsuit. A consumer conference is planned on the “challenge” of USCs and how to better “regulate” them. An FTC attorney is keynote speaker. Academic papers are to be presented on why women, in particular, are targeted by USC promoters. Another report explains why the FTC is doing its best but cannot monitor Unicorn Sighting Companies. It recommends Congress pass a new law to distinguish the legitimate USCs from the scams.

Unicorn Sighting Companies (USCs) are growing in number and size, some charging as much $2,500 for 2-hour excursions. Tens of thousands of excited consumers, mostly women, are signing up. Online testimonials claim the sightings are “life-changing,” leading to continuous bliss, higher income and more exciting sex. CEOs of USCs claim they gained their success and wealth after their own Unicorn sighting. They say anyone can do it. USCs charge monthly fees for online training seminars on how to recognize Unicorns. Some offer licenses to become “Unicorn Sighting Coaches.” Coaching materials claim to teach consumers how to shift their perspective to see Unicorns and be open to receive the benefits. The USC industry slogan is, “You will see it when you believe it.”

“USCs must refrain from guaranteeing sightings or making explicit claims about increased income and sex in their marketing literature, the FTC ordered. The FTC spokesman stated that the number of actual sightings of Unicorns was being “exaggerated”, and claims of higher income and more sex, as a result of sightings, were “unverified.” A spokesman for USC’s trade group, Direct Sightings Association (DSA) who was formerly FTC Consumer Protection Bureau Chief, responded that consumers can be confident USCs uphold a strict Code of Ethics.  Most are members of the US Chamber of Commerce and the BBB. 

MLM’s Big Lie

by Robert L. FitzPatrick

Multi-Level Marketing is so rife with deceptions that victims often get lost in a maze – false income claims, upside-down pay schemes, hidden costs, fake “training”, bogus testimonials, on and on.

Each discovery leads to yet another layer of lies and finally to the heart of MLM deception – the Big Lie. The Big Lie appears “true” at first. Many people never recognize the Big Lie. They fall into more MLMs and blame themselves for always “failing.”

The Big Lie is: “MLM is Legal.” This Big Lie is promoted by MLMs, for obvious reasons, but it is also spread, incredibly, within “anti-MLM” too. 

When anti-MLMers repeat it, it diminishes all valid revelations. If MLM is Legal, then it is “legitimate business,” as the FTC claims. Some legitimate businesses are shady, risky, manipulative, and exploitative, so what’s so important if MLM is like that too? Responsibility for the losses must lie not with the MLMs but the “losers” for not “doing their homework.” 

The primary promoter of “MLM is Legal” is the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This agency made it official government “policy” in 1979. MLM has been overseen by the FTC ever since. The FTC cannot bring criminal prosecutions. 

Among consumers, the Big Lie is used to gaslight anyone who concludes, based on evidence or experience, that MLM is inherently fraudulent. The gaslighting is done by MLMs but also inside “anti-MLM.” I myself have been rebuked and shunned by some in the anti-MLM world for calling out the FTC’s Big Lie. 

Recently, in a court deposition, a MLM lawyer used the same approach as some in anti-MLM. He sought to claim I am disconnected from reality and not credible because I reject the Big Lie. Hiding behind the shield of FTC policy, he hurled the question, “Are you anti-MLM?” If I say, yes, it means I contradict official “law enforcement” policy. When I attempted to offer an accurate and complete answer, he interrupted and produced my document, Anti-MLM Declaration” like a smoking gun!

The Lie Is in the First Word

Of course, I know very well that the FTC treats and defines MLM as “legal.” At every opportunity, the FTC declares that MLM is a “legitimate business.”

The Big Lie is not in the words “legal” or “legitimate.” The Lie is in first word, “MLM.” What the FTC defines as “MLM” does not exist! The MLM I am against and which I say could never be “legal” is the real MLM that everyone, except perhaps the FTC, has encountered.

Here’s what the FTC tells the public on its website

Does such a “business” exist? Of course not. What the FTC describes is an “anti-business” business. It cannot exist – as a business.

  1. In the 21st Century, who could profitably sell ordinary commodities door to door or person to person – the stuff you can get on Amazon or in stores cheaper and that thousands of other MLM people also can “sell”? In all my years of consumer advocacy, I’ve yet to meet one person who earns a sustainable net profit from retail selling MLM products. Not one. 

  2. Who sells a product and then recruits their customers “to do the same,” thereby losing the customer and leading to more and more and more competitive salespeople? It would destroy retail selling, if retailing were actually tried. This is a ridiculous and impossible “business.”
  3. MLMs do not “pay” for “sales to retail customers.” MLMs offer a product that you buy. You could try to resell that product to “family and friends” at a higher price than you bought it for. If you recruit them, they now buy it at your cost! Why would any “salesperson” on earth do that? 
    If you do sell something to a “retail” customer, the customer pays you. If they pay a higher price than you paid, that’s not “pay” from the MLM. The MLM has no control over what you charge.  MLMs don’t even track retail sales. 

  4. Finally, in real MLM, you absolutely do “have to recruit new distributors,” if you want to at least try to make money! Recruiting is the only option. As noted, retailing is an absurd joke. Does the FTC know of even one MLM where you don’t have to recruit? I’ve never found one, and I have examined over 400 MLMs! 

So, yes, the FTC does declare that something is “legal” but it’s not MLM. What it describes as “MLM” cannot be found in the real world. As for the legality of actual MLMs, the FTC is dead silent.  

So, what is real MLM? Most people already know and many others would figure it out fast, if it were not for the FTC and others they trust insisting it’s “legal” and “legitimate,” causing them to doubt their own eyes and experience.  

Real MLM is the pyramid recruiting scam that 99% lose money in every year. It’s what clogs inboxes around the world and saturates social media with videos promising “unlimited” income. “Unlimited” refers to “endless chain” – recruiting recruiters to recruit recruiters. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime! 

Is it possible the “law enforcers” at the FTC are the only ones that don’t know what real MLM is?