Pyramid Schemes - Melaleuca - MLM

by NOdenial 33 Replies latest jw experiences

  • NOdenial

    OK... this topic will probably get some people quite upset - but I am going to say it anyways. The topic of 'con artist types' in the borg reminded me of this issue.

    Where I come from in Western Canada and USA, there is a huge issue of Dubs getting involved in MELALEUCA. There is one brother in the interior of British Columbia that is making MUCH more money in a month than most people make in a year. No doubt - many of his clients are other Witnesses.

    Aside from the morality of being invloved in such schemes... I have a problem associating with anyone whose friendship with me is not transparent. They always seem to have an alterior motive.

    Did you know Dubs that got caught up in this kind of stuff? What did it do to their relationships in the hall?


    PS... I HATE Melaluca crap! It makes me sick - and I feel their claims of it's medicinal and anti-microbial qualities are grossly misrepresented. But that's just MY opinion.

  • the_classicist

    I do, my grandma and her brother sold it. They didn't make very much money off of it, but they certainly believed in the melaleuca claims.

  • unbeliever

    I am not familiar with Melaleuca but Noni juice was real big here for a while with the local witnesses. Some brother got my mom to join and over a period of about 6 months she spend $800 on that shit and made like $40. I was furious at this so called "brother". She is so poor and $800 is a lot of money to her. When he got out of that he then tried to sell her "magnets" that gave you energy. I told him flat out he was a snake oil salesman and to leave my mother the f*** alone. I told him I would tell the elders how he would watch playboy videos (his daughter told me) if he tried to sell her anything else. The magnet venture failed and last I heard he was trying to sell these $1000 pots and pans where you could cook anything in them with some kind of oil and not use water. That man was a pile of crap...right along with the crap he sold.

  • jeanniebeanz

    As embarrasing as this is going to be to admit, I once got dragged into one of these things by another 'brother'. It was because with no education getting a job for anything but minimum wage and as a manual laboror was tough. I was looking for a way to not have to eat beans and tortillas every night with my family. Thing is, it just turned into a big expensive mistake. We ended up using the product ourselves because as soon as I started to sell, I realized that I did not have any outside contacts to sell to, and I did not want to sell to the other witnesses.

    Painful costly lesson learned very young... Mainly though, if there had been other opportunities open for me through education I would never have gotten involved... These people really screw you up by limiting your ability to function in society, some of us were grasping at straws at times trying to make ends meet...


  • Mulan

    I posted about this on the con artist thread.

    I'm sorry some had bad experiences. Not everyone does! I didn't try to recruit my friends, and didn't want them to think that of me. But if they came to me, I talked, and they liked it. Some also made money. Some didn't and just wanted the products at wholesale. So far, no one has mentioned my company.

  • NOdenial


  • Honesty

    Aaah Yes, Noni Juice. That stuff looked, smelled, tasted and acted like prune juice concentrate on me. I still felt like crap but at least I didn't need to eat any ruffage or make sure I had enough fiber in my diet when I was on it.

  • jeanniebeanz
    So far, no one has mentioned my company.



  • bikerchic

    Melaleuca is a rip off! I got into it via a JW who had left Bethel with nothing and I mean nothing they even borrowed the car the left in, lol. Long story short they are making 6 figures in Melaleuca using nothing but JW's as their pyramid and are busy living the "good" life with boats, new expensive cars and houses while waiting on Jehovah to destroy the earth and it's wicked inhabitants...... yeah wait on Jehovah but tie up your camel!

  • Eyebrow2

    Maleluca has some KICK ASS skin lotion...especially the one for very very dry and damaged skin...very expensive though.

    My mom was involved with it for a while. Didn't make any money, because she has always tried to just sell the products, not make a second religion out of it, like most involved (which is really the only way you could ever make a living off of it.)

    It isn't technically a pyramid scheme though, because there is product involved etc...but of course MY argument has always been, if these products are so wonderful, and the company so redeeming, why don't they just sell them in stores? That is the same argument I have for Shaklee (which has some awesome biodegradable cleaning products) and other such MLM companies. Or why don't they just restructed themselves like Avon and Mary Kay, and keep it purely direct selling so that the person can make a little money with out putting people under them...etc...etc...

    I just read Mulan's post she linked to. She is right, I think 90% of the people that get involved with MLM don't expect too, and don't want to do any real work. They you have organizations like Amway that probably make more money off of their stupid tapes and books and endless peusdo religions meetings. (Amway has some great laundry detegent and cat litter, btw)

    In reality, if someone is good at direct selling, and isn't too pushy, then Shaklee and Melaleuca really are not bad companies to be involved in. I think Shaklee...from what I have seen with the people I know in it, is probably the least annoying. A good sales person that has a decent product can sell anything. Too many people sign up for MLM that just cannot cut it, or have "get rich quick" attitudes.

  • doofdaddy

    I have'nt seen this product but I do live where the tree grows that produces the oil. The aboriginal people who showed us newer capitalistic inhabitants this amazing plant don't receive a single cent in royaltys from anybody. Now that's a ripoff

  • JW83

    Amway sux

  • Mulan

    No, it isn't Herbalife. Is that one still around?

    Mine is Unicity, formerly known as Enrich International.

    I agree that the products should be sold in stores.

  • Preston

    I have a friend that sells Maleluca for a living, however I told him that I would always have strong reservations about not getting involved in any multi-level marketing profession. It's my understanding that Maleluca does do a lot of a good as a product. For instance their substitute for laundry cleaner contains less silicate, thus stretching the life of the clothes...HOWEVER..they're not the only ones doing it and you can get the same thing at a lot of speciality stores without having to contribute a fee to joining ther venture. I think the rub of a lot of these ventures is that they make the means of making money so enticing that you're in on some big secret...but you're not.

    - Preston (of the "almost sold Cutco Knives for a living" class)

  • talesin


    Oops.. mary kay is not the same as Avon. True, you buy your product direct from the company, but your director, who recruited you, gets a 'commission' (cut), and she drives the pink Caddy. No recruits, no Caddy.

    been there, bought the tee shirt class

  • Odrade

    NODenial... I'm with you. I HATE MLM stuff. I know not everyone involved does this, but I hate the recruiting meetings, and the "parties" for the most part, because at some point, the salesperson will begin on the speech that is basically just "if you don't get involved with this product right now, you are FOOLISH and missing the one great opportunity of your lifetime and you'll regret it for the rest of your life while all the SMART people will be whooping it up with their bags and bags of money, wearing clothes made out of $50 bills, and drinking Dom in glasses made from crushed diamonds on their yachts. So, are you going to be FOOLISH or SMART?"

    I do NOT like anyone implying I am stupid for making a different choice-- extra sensitive to that.

    Anyways, a couple of years ago my neighbor had a Pampered Chef party, I went and had a GREAT time, bought stuff too. But the sales lady ran it like a fun party, with a 5 minute presentation in the middle about the company that basically went like this: "If you like pampered chef and have a bunch of the stuff and attend parties, you might think about signing up to be a distributor. These are the benefits, this is how much it will cost you, and this is how much you will make at these sales marks. I don't make much money doing this because I do it as a hobby, but I have lots of fun, have made enough money to stock my kitchen with every item I ever wanted from Pampered Chef, and get enough to go do a spa day every month or so." Then we got to eat more cake.

    That was the closest I ever came to getting involved in a legit MLM, and I thought it was a GREAT recruiting speech. No one said anyone would be "foolish" for passing it up, no one made grandiose promises, and it was so much fun that at least 2 people signed up for parties of their own.

  • cyber-sista

    Yes,, melalueca was big in our congo and was the one multi level scheme I got sucked into. In order to be a rep or to get a good discount you had to keep up a quota of what you bought each month I believe it was 45 dollars worth of stuff. their whole spiel was that this was all stuff you used every month anyway, so it wouldn't be a problem. 8 years since I have bought any of the stuff and I still have some melaluca liquid hand soap on the shelf. You couln't use 45 dollars worth of their stuff each month and ended up buying backup. I quit using the stuff when I realized it wasn't anything that special and it was more expensive than things that were readily available at the heath food store ,etc.

    A pioneer bro and sis from another area were selling the heck out of the stuff and were claiming that melalueca had blessed them and helped them to keep pioneering. They had the inside scoop that the leaders of this company were actually witnesses and that is why it was such a wonderful company (of course this was the inside scoop, which we weren't supposed to spread around.) The stories they told about the products were next to miraculous--how it cured burns in minutes, etc. all the people at the melalueca meeting were JWs--it was almost like being at a KH meeting. Anyway, like I said I eventually got out of the program, but I would bet that some of the faithful ones are still buying the stuff.

    I recall a mulitilevel telephone scheme some of the brothers were into and bragging about how much money they had made off of it. There was also a cure all product called Colorad. Another was a company that sold some milk powder stuff that was expensive, but claimed to be better than milk. Some got involved in coral calcium. There were some JW alternative doctors in our area (not real doctors) 2 of them were claiming to be of the annointed and so got a lot of customers. There was a pioneer sister kinesiologist and another sister of the same sort who had a big JW following. Yes, I tried that one too for a while and have some crazy stories about quack cures there too. A few got involved in Amway( Amway was thought to be dark side in our congo since the ones who got involved with that company ended up leaving the WT.) There was even a multilevel vacation marketing scheme happening when I left. Oh yes, and one sister was a major tupperware salesperson--totally fanatical about plasticware. Oh, yes and the Home Interiors parties and the Pampered Chef company was another. and there were the crystal parties too (dishes not stones!)--And, there was another pyramid scheme expensive gift company too! And there was a candle company too. Mary Kaye and Avon made the rounds too (one pioneer sis who wore tons of jezebel looking makeup was a Avon rep)

    I forgot their was something called something like paratex? It was a parasite killing herb--this was really big for a while--yes, we all had symtoms of parasite invasion!

    Come to think of it besides going to the meetings the bros and sisters in the first congo I went to were majorly involved in the multilevel marketing thing--I didn't realize how much until I wrote this post--Wow--Could this have something to do with the JW personality? Gullible?...


  • William Penwell
    William Penwell

    They sure don't listen to the counsel at the meetings. I seem to recall some years ago there was an article in one of their rags about not getting involved with MLM schemes. Also I agree with your analyze on a persons motives when they get involved in that crap. When they come over all friendly and say hello you always have to question their motives. I don't agree on how much they make. I know so many of them will brag about how much money their making but in reality something like .01% actually only make enough money to live on. He maybe tells you about what he makes before he has to pay out all his overhead and down line people. He probably doesn't make as much as he says he does.


  • freedom96

    I fault any company that makes false claims, and / or is truely illegal.

    That being said, there are some MLM type companies out there that do work, if the person involved actually does it. The problem with many of these companies is that with its low cost investment/ start, it attracts a lot of "job" mentality people, who do not know what it takes to run a business.

    I have owned several businesses, and it is indeed hard work, regardless of the type of business. In order to make anything work, you must work at it. If I treated my business as serious as most MLM people work their company, I would go out of business.

    Also, for those who hate "pyramid" type schemes, look at your own job. Depending on the amount of people that work there, you will have the lowest paid warehouse people, then work on up into sales, and then middle management, upper management, so on until the owner. Guess what? That is a pyramid people! What chance does the guy on the bottom, the warehouse guy, have on taking the owners spot? Or even upper or middle management? Come on, we all live in a pyramid type world when it comes to jobs. So why be so critical of a business where everyone has a chance, though it might be small?

    My hat is off to anyone who tries something different to get ahead in life, regardless of company, or how they do it, as long as it is legal.

  • Eyebrow2

    I love pampered chef....they have some great products, and the parties are usually fun. If anyone in the dallas area is in pampered chef and has a party, PLEASE invite me hahah.

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