A Chinese vitamin MLM cult is replacing healthcare for poor Ugandans


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/23/hidden-camera-footage.html


#2

The Chinese do love to see what is working for us, and then copy it.


#3

First the Xtianist fundies and now this. Why is Uganda out of all Sub-Saharan African countries plagued with foreign scumbags selling snake oil and woo?


#4

Some friends of ours got infected by Amway back in the 90s, and were constantly trying to indoctrinate us. I politely pointed out that we already sold dope and speed, which is the only MLM scheme that actually works.


#5

A former co-worker once explained that one trait of any cult is to alienate the subject from their family, leaving a void in which the cult becomes the new family. This was in the context of our mutually complaining about another company to which we were contracted – it seemed that every last person there was insufferably arrogant; it turned out that the first thing that company did upon hiring was send the new employees to an orientation session, where they lived dormitory-style at or near headquarters (in other words, separating them from their families). He had previously been a social worker, and was a psychology major, so I figured he knew of what he spoke – on the other hand, shortly after this happened he tried to hook me into some MLM scheme.

EDIT

It’s not. We heard about an MLM scheme in Ethiopia, I’d say 8 or 10 years ago. We told the person to save their money (or rather, our money, since they called us about needing to come up with the initial “investment”). Later they told us that the people at the center of it had been arrested.


#6

Gracchus was probably alluding to efforts by murderous Christianist scumbag Scott Lively working with the Ugandan government to draft laws to imprison and execute gays.


#7

How soon before this comes to West Virginia?


#8

I figured it was either that or the LRA. Yeah, Ethiopia doesn’t really have anything approaching the latter – there are tensions between adherents of the establishment Orthodox church (which has existed there, in some form or another, since the 300s) and “Pente,” and I think this has occasionally escalated to violence. (Meanwhile, Christianity and Islam have co-existed there for centuries, not always peacefully, but in some areas it’s common to find Christians and Muslims in the same household.) The previous Orthodox Patriarch had some very un-Christian things to say about gays (along the lines of “we shouldn’t be merciful, they should be shunned and ridiculed”). While the church no longer has official standing, the gov’t was going along with this (and when a spokesperson rescinded it, it turned out to be a hoax). But (I guess) they eventually realized they had more pressing matters to deal with in terms of running the country and it hasn’t been in the news for a few years. (While Ethiopia is decidedly a LGBTQ-unfriendly place, I don’t think that particular Patriarch was particularly well-liked (for other reasons), for whatever that’s worth.)


#9

Already planned. Ask your congressman about the proposed changes to the ACA.


#10

Coming soon to America!!!

Capitalism!!!

I’m from Utah and that is MLM central. Several of the companies there advertise outside of the US and seem to do well enough to buy big buildings and make sure the founders (and no one else) get rich.


#11

What the hell is this world coming to. . . isn’t prayer good enough anymore?


#12

There’s a Chinese basis for some of their methods, namely Maoist self-criticism

Luckily she isn’t so easily fooled, and was able to document how Tiens convinces people to stay loyal through reinforcement of the idea that distributors are starting a new life and by its unrelenting “blame and shame” rhetoric about personal failure and not selling enough products. Only their inadequacies and doubts - and those of sceptical family and friends who should, of course, be dropped - were barriers to the recruits achieving great wealth.


#13

There’s a reason why ‘MLM’ can stand for “Mormons losing money”.


#14

True that. I knew a few people in Scamway that tried to recruit me, not impressed.


#15

I just saw this today…
Actual Snake Oil


#16

I recall some serious woo out of the South African govt around AIDS but can’t recall if foreign sources were involved.

A few countries in that region have a thing for using albinos for woobut that’s domestic in origin.


#17

That looks like it has some actual antibiotics in it, so it might be more effective than real snake oil (at least until it becomes useless when the bacteria become resistant to it)


#18

Why would they use a picture of such an unhealthy looking snake? Poor guy looks like he’s ready for the burn ward.


#19

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