First-hand report on a pyramid scheme, charmingly animated

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Sure, everyone knows that pyramid schemes are a recipe for disaster. The reverse funnel system, on the other hand…

The persistence of these pyramid and MLM scams in the face of their being pop-culture jokes* is a testament to the gullibility, ignorance, and desperation present in late-stage capitalist America.

[* another example from an extremely popular network show:



I see so many jackasses on social media* disparaging needy people on the street that ask for money directly. But! Dress the same game up in a suit, add some slick and fast talk, convince some other idiots that you’re working with a sound investment, and you get a group of “geniuses”.

*I assume some are bots.


The kind of pyramid scheme he describes in the first video seems quasi-legit, but like he says, it’s really more of a bait-and-switch: you’re only kicking fees up to your recruiters because you’re buying product from them-- in theory you could make that work if you were a good salesman. (I’m not. I walked out of similar sales pitches when I was his age. “Nope, not for me. I ain’t got money to spend on your products anyway.”) They make you think you’re going to be a salesman, when in fact you’re their customer.

The second video points out that pyramid scheme and Ponzi scheme are different-- Ponzi schemes don’t necessarily even have a product, you take in money to pay earlier “investors”, which convinces more people to give you money.


Pure pyramid schemes don’t have a product, they just need you to pay up and recruit more people who pay up and recruit more people until the exponential growth dries up.

In the second video, I didn’t like how they said “legitimate multi-marketing.” I’m not sure what part of “multi-level” marketing is legitimate. The continued use of this term I think has opened up a wide door for pyramid schemes to continue to prey on people.

What’s missed with so many “legitimate” MLMs (where they DON’T take expensive sign-up fees), the REAL money the top-line makes is from all the conferences, seminars, books and courses they force unto you that takes thousands of dollars out of you each year. You might make some money, but you bleed out money slowly as “investment into your business” until you finally run out of your savings and the savings of whomever you could borrow from.

In South Korea, COVID was a great opportunity to ban all MLM meetings. They turned out to be super-spreader events because of all the unmasked old-people bused in from rural areas. MLMs, like Christian-spawn cults, are terribly plentiful in South Korea, with a lot of overlap between the communities.


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