I don’t have any experience with debt removal

But I’d say the scheme(s) you describe sound very fishy. Try Googling “Christian debt removal” and you’ll see a slew of negative reports. It’s quite easy to find legitimate credit counseling services; I’d suggest finding a local one, and then you could (a) find out what the legitimate techniques really are, and (b) ask them about the types of schemes you’ve seen. And good luck!

For those of you who wish to tell me to just pay back my debt

I am totally willing to do so, as long as I can work for your company from my home for minimum wage and health care for my wife. My wife is disabled and needs checking on every few hours so I am unable to work else where. There are no jobs anyway in Houston because the one requirement is that you must speak Spanish…but that is another story. Ya’ll let me know if you have heard anything about a credit card debt removal company like I described. I really need to get them off my back so I can start taking care of other things more important. Thanks for the help.

Finally I come to the one that peaked my interest

For up to 10 credit cards totaling less than $100,000 in debt I pay $2500 plus a couple of hundred per card. A small payment is then sent to the credit card company or collection agent which they will jump on and cash like a starving catfish on a fat worm. Since the credit card companies supposedly can change their rules and interest rates at a whim, a letter is sent with the check saying that cashing the check allows me to change their rules on them and suddenly I am in the drivers seat. I asked this company to see the letter, but it was privileged info that only this company would send directly to the credit card company. This company would then assume my debt in full and use some back door legal maneuver to get out of paying a dime. I am being very sarcastic about my description because I am trying to convince myself that this is just another bogus scam…but I found nothing bad on the Internet on it. Actually I found not much at all except for a few people that say it worked for them. Starving fish like me tend to start taking chances when they see nothing else to eat. We rationalize a reason for trying something we would have never touched in a sane moment, but time and circumstance tend to make us a little crazy. We go into a “wishful dreaming” state hoping the if we hope hard enough something will solve our financial problems and that shiny thing in the water is really a minnow…without a hook inside.
After all this talking I guess what I want to know if anyone has heard of this idea. It has been offered to me on a couple of occasions and I keep backing away, but I need to do something besides standing in one place till I get a net thrown over me. If it were just me, I could ride it out, but we are down to nothing left and just watching as things are taken away one by one and my wife is the biggest loser. We lost her insurance at the end of the year and it was the only way to afford her bills and prescriptions. We run out of all prescriptions over the next 2 to 6 weeks.
I welcome all comments, but if any of you have “first hand knowledge” and wish to write me I would appreciate it. If you want to tell me about a particular company that you found that was actually legit, you might want to write directly to me at my personal email address rather than posting the name to the MLM Survivors forum because that may be seen as soliciting for a company. Consumer Credit Counseling Services are useless because I have no income, at least not a steady one.

I have a questions about a company that is not an MLM, but could very well be a scam

With all the credit card debt out there I have seen a ton of people in the net offering to, by some secret miracle that only they know, to wipe out all my credit card debt.
One guy brags about all the trips he has been on and thousands he has made by “gifting”. I am supposed to send him $5,000 and he will help me find people who are willing to give me $5,000 and it is all based on the Bible. After just a few short weeks God is going to bless me with piles of FedEx envelopes filled with cash because I had the faith to give to others. While the Bible does teach to give to those in need, I do not think this is what God had in mind. I had a phone meeting with the guy and pointed out the fact that if each person that gave got back more than her gave, then someone eventually would be left holding the bag with nothing. The conversations ended right after that due to what he called my “lack of faith”.
Quixtar was similar with everyone being taught to push all negative thought out of your brain and fill it only with positive thoughts that Quixtar would put there.
Now comes along a new angle. This time with credit card debt. One group wanted me to basically ignore the collection agents, or actually antagonize them, and then log the calls with the idea if they went over their legal limit I could sue them for all I owed and more and even get back the $2000 I paid this guy to help me sue them. I’ll pass on that one too!

Think of it this way:

if it were that easy to make some extra money or to pull in a good sum with part time or easy work, then that type of work would be swamped!
Depending on how long you have until retirement, looking into investing is always a good idea, especially during times like now when the market is already down.

I took note about the need to have a will

Useful advice, thank you. A related issue for me is financial security. I look at the instability on the global market, difficulties in the economies of the advanced countries and it kind of gets at me. I will not have a substantial pension when I am of a retiring age. I am looking for means of securing an extra income and making now more than I need so that I am able to save for the old age. I looked at Avon, Forever Living products and I do not see them as a solution. I am in the process of looking at other opportunities. Are blog members interested in this, have they got any direct knowledge or experiece? There are many scamschemes going on. It is good to learn from other people’s experience.

In general, people expect the same manners on the Internet that they do in real life

For example, you would not go into a forum\blog of people and say, “What’s this about?” without doing some research. It’s generally considered polite to do the research before asking the question.

For example, in most forums I’m in the focus is tech support and if you ask questions in those forums without doing research first, you’ll get a blunt “RTFM” (READ THE er, FINE MANUAL) response and if it’s a question that could be answered with a simple search on the web that it’s clear you didn’t do, you’ll be told RTFMA (READ THE, ahem, FINE MANUAL, SIR!).

In this case you’re asking a question that could have been answered quite simply with a quick Google search — and it was something you would have learned about if you had read — oh, I won’t go there again.

We’ll be glad to help you with the situation with your brother and to discuss it with you, but on the flip side, we expect you to do your part as well by reading the files you were asked to read before posting and by doing your own research as well.

We know MLMs. We don’t know Ex Fuze specifically, but there’s nothing new that Ex Fuze can do or offer that we haven’t seen in scads of MLMs before.

If you had come in saying, “My brother is in Ex Fuze and I’m concerned about this. I’ve found some info on it through Google (or Yahoo or AJ) but I don’t know if it’s as bad as it looks or if it’s any good. Can you help me?” then we would have been all over ourselves to help you.
But coming in and asking a simple question that was covered in the READMEs and with a quick Google search basically tells us you want us to do all the work for you and most people, here or elsewhere, don’t take kindly to that.

So tell us what is going on, what he’s been told, how deep in it he is, and so on and we’ll be glad to help with what we can.

Wow, this is my first post on this blog (letter from JZ.)

I specifically looked for one having to do with MLMs, and this one looked like it had the most members. In the rules somewhere does it say you can’t post innocent questions? And if they are innocent, should I expect sarcasm as a response? I asked this question because my brother is thinking of getting into the MLM regarding ex fuze and I want to have some information to talk him out of it. I have no idea how long it’s been around or if it has scorned ex-members (the people I’d like to converse with). So, a simple “no, I know nothing about it” suffices. I’m sorry for being stupid and wording my post wrong.

Most spam these days is sent by spambots

which are programs that infect people’s computers and people never even know these programs are on their computers. What’s worse is that anti-malware programs often don’t catch them (but claim they do).

I get several emails a week from various idiot domain managers that say, “Can’t deliver, bad address,” but their software is so primitive it can’t tell it’s a forged email header. In other words, some twerps are out there sending spam to people using my email address.

I can promise you that the same is happening for many others on this list — not because they’re on this list, but if spammers have your email to use to spam you, they can also use it in forging email headers.

This was likely just an extreme “stroke of luck.” By a rare chance it’s most likely that a spammer using Chip’s email address just happened to send it to this blog, where he was known. They also probably sent the same spam to a large number of forums as well.

Is anyone familiar with them?

This is only one of the very many MLM Clubs my loved one has belonged, but it is the current one, and the one that seems to be causing the most destruction. Now it is psychologically, as well as financially destructive and we are scared it is going to end very badly.

After losing, at least in the tens of thousands of dollars on some of the other ones, it seems her “sponsor” at this Fine Choice Food Clubs (if that is the correct term for her) has holed herself up in my loved ones home. While first coming in between her and her husband who have been married for 30 plus years, and encouraging my loved one to leave her husband, she has somehow worked her magic and is instead now living in their home with them, which is 2,000 plus miles from HER home. This woman has proved to be a master manipulater of a very sad situation, and I would like to see her prosecuted in the end for her part in all of this. But, I guess we will have to take baby steps. We are just learning as much as we can about all this in order to try to help somehow.

Our loved one’s husband (once very opposed to all this) is now going along with all of this (in his desperation to keep his marriage intact, we assume) and has told his children and grandchildren to butt out of their lives. The “sponsor” has now succesfully cut ties between the loved ones and their friends and family members.

This can’t end good, and we need help to help them, but don’t know how. I’ve been to several websites. Is there anyone here who can provide information on this organization and offer any advice on how we can help them before it’s too late…

I left because I wasn’t making any money`

and, more importantly, no one else in my downline was either. So, either all of these people who my upline had earlier referred to as “bright, ambitious people” were actually total losers along with myself, or the MLM system was flawed.

So I went online to do some research, and while I still can’t find much information about ACN, I studied companies with similar systems such as Amway.

And almost became physically sick.

Why and how did you get out of the business???

PW it’s scary to think that after 10 years since being in MLM that you sometimes miss the meetings, the people, and the recruiting. To me, that speaks volumes of the deep hold MLMs have on people.

Janine what MLM were you involved with? You said that it was very cultish, sneaky, and pressure to attend seminars. It sounds like the Quixtar group my son is involved in.

DM you were in MLM 17 years? You talked about how the “heavy Hitters” got downlines to drain all their financial options and then would turn on these people saying that they weren’t trying hard enough to succeed.
It’s funny how the downlines are taught not to listen to “negitive”, but the uplines use that very tactic when others are not preforming as well as expected.

My son was looking over my shoulder

When I was checking my emails and noticed the MLM blog emails about Emeralds. As I tried to close the windows he got incensed at what he had seen. When he asked who was in a blog like this, I brought up Deb. Of course, he didn’t believe me and I have learned to end conversations about “the business” immediately because if I don’t we will have an argument, so I ended it.

I’m thinking of sending him the “Deb’s story” posting. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t already found the site, but I knew where to look for that post. Any advice out there?

Well I am glad you learned something

but MLM companies use stuff that is already out there for everyone else to hear and see. You can go to self help seminars without any MLM attachment. I think MLM’s do a disservice using self help programs. It’s just a way to make the company look good by hiding the lie. You said it yourself “ABC company helped you gain more ect” for yourself. Unfortunately, that was the MLM’s idea all along. EX: so and so won’t sue us cause he/she learned something.

I have found other sources of self help very similar to what the MLM’s use. So I can say I got it from somewhere else. The MLM experience was not so good that I was in and I switched to two different up lines. The MLM company that I experienced was more cultish than most and really sneaky about their cover up. You can only shout “goody two shoes” for so long when the truth is shown in full force. It was a cult like experience and they said if “my biz was not doing so well, it was all my fault and I had to go to self help seminars they provided”. I did not like being put on a guilt trip for something I didn’t do. This MLM was so bad, that if something was wrong with their computers on their end they would say “it was my computer”. Even the biz end of the company did no wrong. That was really fucked up.

Self help programs can help but only in the right venue. Best of luck to you.

I love reading the posts, and seeing how people cope after an MLM experience

I too was caught up in the “pie in the sky empty promises.” You know, it all basically came down to the money. How much you were supposed to have made, how rich you are going to be, etc. For a long time I felt duped. I felt like I was going to go nowhere in life because I did not make diamond, or national director, you get the idea.

I have not been in an MLM for over ten years, but I do think about it from time to time. Sometimes I do miss the meetings, the people, the recruiting. Then I remember that being in an MLM was nothing more than a waste of time and money, money that I did not have to spend in the first place. I got nothing from the MLM’s I was in except empty promises.

But, when I think about it, there was something I got. I learned how to have confidence in myself. I learned success principles that no job ever taught me. Believe me I read all the books, like Og Mandino, Les Brown, Brian Tracy,Maxwell Maltz, Shad Helmstetter, Zig Ziglar. I listened to the tapes that Dale Calvert made. I realized that even though I never made it in network marketing, I could apply the success principles in my current job and in my life.

I guess what I am trying to say is that my days as a distributor in New Image were the best times because I learned so much about myself.
I may of not made any money, but I think the learning experience itself was worth it. Since I had started applying the success principles and concepts to my job and my life, things have been alot better than they were before. I realized that it is not the money, it is how you live your life. Success is living your life towards worthy goals, not working an MLM.

I may not be a rich man, but I’m working on it. When I go into business again, I’ll most likely sell merchandise at the flea market and online. I’ll make some money, invest and save wisely. I guess that what I am trying to say is use your MLM experience positively. I know that for some of you, your MLM experience was a very expensive one, much more than I lost. But it does not have to shadow you for the rest of your life. The past does not have to equal the future.

Good luck to all of you and may God bless you all and your endeavors.

First, in any discussion forum

You’ll get more information if you start a new thread when you want to ask a question that doesn’t have anything to do with a current topic. People reading this thread will look for a discussion on a different topic, not on what you’re asking about, so it’s likely someone who knows something won’t answer because they were misled by the subject of the email and by this being part of another thread. (It also ticks some people off.)
Second, when you joined the blog, you were given links and information about files to read that can help you. Please read them. It helps you and it helps us because we get questions like this several times a month, to the point where people are so tired of it they’d rather just ignore someone asking those questions than to help them. If you had read the documents you were asked to read before posting, you would have learned that.
I’m not saying this to be mean, but to help. For example, we’re asked about a number of different MLMs every month. There’s a document called the MLM Flavor of the Month that you were pointed to in the introductory email. Reading that would have answered your questions as best we can and you would not have had to ask. Instead we now know you didn’t read the documents we asked you to and would rather take up our time than to use yours to your benefit.
Again, I’m not saying this to be mean, but to help to get cash advance online. An awareness of these points would be a BIG help in getting information. For example, one point we make in the introductory documents is that you could type in the name of the MLM you’re asking about and the word “scam” (or fraud if you prefer, or try both!) into Google and see what comes up.

You used the word “work” as in “MLM does work”

what exactly do you mean by that? If the test is “I made some money” then yes, some people do make money in an MLM – very very few make a boatload, a few make some serious dosh and a few make peanuts. The vast majority of people LOSE MONEY.

So if the criterion is “money gets into someones hands” then MLM works just like robbing banks “works” – some people do get away with it but at the expense of a lot of other people.

MLM is inefficient, it is probably the most inefficient way to distribute any sort of product and it functions by adding layer upon layer of expense.

What is “working” about that???

Did your grandfather make money in amway by retailing the products?

Was this in the 1960’s & 1970’s when amway actually sold soap or the new improved modern amway which sells dreams? How about his total, downline did they make money? And if he made money in amway in amway why switch to cell tech then xango. How about your group, not just you, is it making money?

We agree that mlm does work for some people…statistics show it works for about 0.01% of the distributors, of course that means that 99.9+% lose money with these scams.

Don’t come into this club with a “blame the the victim” attitude or you will be shown the door quickly. The fact is that mlm is DESIGNED from their highly overpriced products to their(even more importantly for the top upline)overpriced and useless motivational systems to fleece the new distibutors until they drop out and are replaced with new victims to repeat the cycle with.

Neither was I or my sponsor but that did not mean we weren’t repeating the lies and perpetuating the cheating scams that we were pushing literally as the Gospel Truth. The fact is that even though we weren’t liars and cheats we were still lying and cheating.

You are wrong! Unless of course you care to prove that statement.

Yeah, it’s called a job, career or profession.

The diiference bewteen your post and mine is that I have the indisputable facts to back my position, facts the mlm industry has tried their damndest to keep secret.

Seriously folks :)

I read these posts, and yes I lost money in Herbalife, and yes I lost money in Equinox, and yes I lost money in Cell tech. I got mad and blamed the companies too.
But……….
I have a grandfather that made money in Amway, and he made money in Cell Tech.
Now he is making money in Xango. I am even making money in Xango.
The truth is, that MLM does work for some people, and rather than blame companies for our own failures, wouldn’t it be more productive to take a look at ourselves and ask ourselves what we could have done better. I am not a liar, nor a cheat, nor do I push people to take a product they do not want or need, and I do not condone such activities. But I will tell you that with the right coach and the right program, virtually anyone can make money at MLM; I am totally convinced of this. It might not be your first shot at it that makes money, but eventually if you keep up your search, you will find something out there for you. If I didn’t have $40.00 to invest in something because I could barely put food on the table, I would not do it. Just like I have not sunk big bucks into this program either, I do what I can afford to do.
God bless, and a better tomorrow

The ability to flat out lie to people

despite being sent cease and desist notices by the FTC. The willingness to kill people, by conning them into believing that their allergic reaction to the products can’t possibly be an allergy to the products, but has to be from something else. Morality and Herbalife are mutually exclusive concepts. Multiply the value of all of your assets by the value of all of your liabilities. Now double that figure. That is how much money you will owe when you file bankruptcy because you were a Herbalife distributor that swindled people into joining that organization.
Remember, Herbalife was convicted once of being a pyramid scheme, and pled nola contendre once for being a pyramid scheme.

#####

If you are trying to lose weight, there are a myriad of programs out there that are cheaper, safer, and more effective than Herbalife.

Need info on Herbalife

Be careful, a relative of mine in Portland got sucked in Herbalife, they put tens of thousands of dollars into into it. Bought into it, installed extra phone lines, auto dialer machine, etc. Spent money to go to the “cheer leader” meetings. Bottom line, they burned out in a few months as the main thrust was just to hit up everyone they knew,or did not know, to become sellers, so they could move up to the next level. Like any other MLM, no quick money there for them.

Watch your wallet…

If he insists on her using her own money, that’s excellent

Then she has to deal with it on her own. I seriously doubt there’s been any attempt to recruit him. From what I’ve seen, it’s a female organization.
That was one of my complaints that I pointed out to Martin, but I think in his/her haste to prove that MLMs are good (or to be “open minded”) that they’ve completely missed the point of your entire post.
Heart surgery is a serious issue in itself and a sister in a cult is also serious in itself. You’ve been through a very rough time and, unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet you can use to wake your sister up. She has to discover she’s been scammed on her own and all they do focuses on keeping her from finding that out. It’s not easy, but we are here to help — at least most of us are because we’ve seen what an MLM can do to people.

He thought it was a scam too

right from the beginning he thought it was a pyramid scheme! I think that’s another reason she blew up at me, because she was having to defend this to him, too. He said that he thought it was BS. But she really wanted to do it, and she used her own money she had saved from her old job to buy the products, so he probably figured that if it made her happy, then fine.
I doubt she has tried to get him to be a part of it, although I don’t know since her and I haven’t been speaking, so I don’t see him to talk to him either.

On another point… I didn’t come here to debate good vs. evil or if all MLMs are the same (i.e. my prev posts)… I came to get some advice and information on something I already believed was a scam, so thanks for those of you that have been sharing stories and experiences and advice with me!

Your points in your email are on the money

I figured out how they sucked me in. They are trained to look for vulnerability, and to look for cracks of weakness in people and take advantage of it at that persons most weakest point in their life, the one on the top of the MLM chain. Some people are just plain naturals at this. Even my husband was fooled on some things. Ex: he didn’t know arbonne’s car program was a leasing program. I figured that one out for myself. I called the Mercedes dealer and did some research and got information from others in arbonne, whatever I could get. I am always asking questions:)

I figured out what my weak point was at that time in my life. I moved into a new area and didn’t know very many people. I was vulnerable not knowing things about my area and wanted to meet new people and make new friends. They knew and could see that in my life. So they told me what I wanted to hear. Camaraderie, friends, extended family. All those things. They look for that kind of “fit”. Thank goodness I was not a “fit”:)

No one should feel bad about themselves after this to long. It is a “sucker like feeling” sure, I had that. I joined a charity to meet new people and make new friends instead and that solved most of the problem of what I needed. That was a good choice for me. I even got spa clients from joining a charity. It’s given back to me already.

And btw, I’d like to tip my hat to everyone who has participated in this conversation thus far

It has been cordial and non-combative – on both sides. Kudos to all. Now, I do think it’s important that people understand that the THEORY of MLM is vastly different from the reality. The theory is what sucked my wife and me into the business. We truly worked the numbers on paper for weeks after we had signed on to our organization.

I am now convinced that those who develop these MLM plans create them in a way that makes them look profitable and achievable. In fact, our program actually changed about halfway through our involvement, SPECIFICALLY to make it look more realistic. The bonuses illustrated in the new plan weren’t as stellar, but the number of recruits required in order to generate a profit was considerably smaller, making it look less intimidating to a new prospect.

Trouble was, even though the plans looked good on paper, neither plan matched reality. Most people, under an MLM system, would never see profitability, and once my wife and I realized this inherent truth in the design, we could not justify getting involved in any other MLM after our first experience.

The theory simply doesn’t translate into reality, and the blame does not fall onto those who believed a deceptive marketing plan propped up by hype. Coupled with “educational” “tools” systems, the entire marketing design is, at best, fatally flawed, and at worst, criminal.

To date, no one has been able to show us an MLM plan that lives up to its hype. (I’ve had one person give it a shot, with an inconclusive result.) At best, an MLM may be able to provide a part-time income for someone, IF he/she can avoid motivational/educational systems and is willing to work VERY hard at making personal sales for that part-time pay.

IMO, this forum needs to be a place where those who experienced MLM first-hand can share their experiences, not just with others who are now out of MLM, but also with those current MLMers and their family members and friends who have questions and doubts. That’s the only way our perspective on the industry can remain fresh and relevant.

BTW, I don’t see self-promotion as a problem, either. On the other hand, self-promotion coupled with insensitivity is usually not looked upon favorably. It’s usually better to choose gifts that do not bring the giver a financial gain.

Just a note

telling someone that they are overreacting and that they were having a fit, doesn’t jive with the “not meaning to offend” vibe. I am passionate about many things. It does not mean I eat, sleep, breathe and more…these things I am passionate about.. to the exclusion of all else.
Arbonne is just not an appropriate “gift”. It may be what Roxy’s sister wanted her to have.. but again, to me, that isn’t the true definition of gift.
Yes, yes you can lump all MLM’s together because they ALL follow a multi level commission plan. And multiple level commission plans do not allow but for less than 1% to make money. Period!
The closeminded comment sounds so much like MLM speak. Are you sure you’re not IN an MLM? Can’t tell you how many MLMers have told me that, “if you were a bit more openminded, you might see something you like”.
And as someone else mentioned, longevity is not a sign of ethics.
I think you might mean “obstinate” which means unyielding to persuasion.. and there you might be right. We’ve weighed out all the options, researched, read AND experienced firsthand.. and we’ve come to a conclusion and came here to be surrounded by others who came to the same conclusion. This isn’t a place (in my mind) to debate the validity of MLMs. There are plenty of those places out there for that. So why come here and expect an openness towards MLMs?
Well there you go…you’re looking for information to back up your theory that MLMs are a viable business model. Definitely, not the place for you. This IS the place if you would like your theory tested though. By actual numbers and by those who have been there.
If your sister
Even a steakhouse owner breaks away and has a life outside the restaurant. Not every conversation and thought has to do with getting customers into the restaurant. Supporting someone is one thing but when my support is made to be connected to my pocket book…honestly, you have no right to expect it.
See….you’re wrong to assume that folks here are closeminded because they don’t agree with you. We were all once open to MLM (or most of us were) and that openness forced us to ultimately do the research that brought our current opinions about. I’m sorry but IMHO it is you who is closeminded.
lol.. I just read Hal’s response and see that we’ve made a number of the same points.. but I’ll go ahead and send this along anyhow.