Behind the Mind of an MLM Distributor

Whenever I explain The MLM Gas Station and $8/Gallon Gas or Tim Sales Scams to someone who is not affiliated with MLM, they either understand it right away or think it is ridiculous that I even have to write such articles.

Conversely when I show either of those to an MLM distributor, I get an illogical argument. Much of the time they’ll ask who I am rather than concentrate on the issue directly. A similar thing happens if I point out that their company qualifies as an illegal pyramid schemes according to the FTC. I can give them the exact pages and quotes from the FTC’s website and they disregard it completely. Sometimes they’ll focus on enforcement of the law rather than the legality itself with an argument of: Then Why Hasn’t [My MLM] Been Shut Down by the Authorities?

For some time it perplexed me as to why an MLM distributor is unable to process very simple straight-forward logic that non-MLM distributors can. Then I read somewhere that it is something called congnitive dissonance. That’s a psychology term that is new to me. Rather than explain what it is, it is best to give this example from Wikipedia:

“An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term benefits.”

In short, a person will invent a new reality to suit their belief system. Wikipedia gives another example which explains the number of health-related MLM Scams:

“After someone has performed dissonant behavior, they may find external consonant elements. A snake oil salesman may find a justification for promoting falsehoods (e.g. large personal gain), but may otherwise need to change his views about the falsehoods themselves.”

This explains why someone in an MLM that is an illegal pyramid scheme can discount the logical truth… they’ve changed their view about the falsehoods they tell until it is their reality.

On the other side of the coin, there is a percentage who knowingly participate in a pyramid scheme. My theory is, why take the risk? Avoid MLM, and the risks of losing your business overnight, altogether.

However, a Cage the Elephant song comes to mind: Ain’t no Rest for the Wicked. It tells the story of three people knowingly performing illegal acts, because they got bills to pay and mouths to feed. Surely that plays a large role in some distributors minds as well.

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