Practice safe sects
Oct. 5, 2021

Multi-Level Marketing | The Cults Of The Business World


In‌ ‌today’s‌ ‌episode‌ ‌of‌ ‌Let’s‌ ‌Start‌ ‌a‌ ‌Cult‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌discussing Multi-Level‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌companies ‌or‌ ‌pyramid‌ ‌schemes.‌ ‌From‌ ‌leggings‌ ‌to‌ ‌essential‌ ‌oils‌ ‌and‌ ‌kitchen‌ ‌knives,‌ ‌these‌ ‌predatory‌ ‌brands‌ ‌have‌ ‌manipulated‌ ‌countless‌ ‌individuals,‌ ‌causing‌ ‌them‌ ‌to‌ ‌destroy‌ ‌personal‌ ‌relationships‌ ‌and‌ ‌lose‌ ‌their‌ ‌life‌ ‌savings.‌ ‌ ‌

With‌ ‌tactics‌ ‌reminiscent‌ ‌of‌ ‌actual‌ ‌religious‌ ‌cults,‌ ‌the‌ ‌way‌ ‌MLMs‌ ‌operate‌ ‌is‌ ‌definitely‌ ‌disturbing.‌ ‌

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Sources from this episode include the Management Study Guide, Fundera, Investopedia, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, the subreddit “anti-MLM,” BBC News, The Snapping Point, Bustle, Vice, Go Banking Rates, Behind MLM, and The Balance (Small Business).


Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

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Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Transcript
Josh:

Hi Fred.

Josh:

My name is Josh shell host of a let's start a cult podcast.

Josh:

The only podcast to successfully hit one year of podcasting.

Josh:

And , if you're interested in starting your own podcast, , you can buy my course called let's start a podcast normally valued at 4 99, but for you lovely listeners, I've knocked it down to $250.

Josh:

It is definitely not a scam.

Josh:

So please go get it today.

Josh:

Now with all the grifting out of the way, let me introduce to you my guests this episode, and because it is my one-year anniversary of the show, I wanted to make it special.

Josh:

So my first guest is the host of the incredibly funny podcast TV trivia pod, where each episode a guest comes on and answers trivia questions to some of your favorite TV show.

Josh:

Please welcome my very first guest ever.

Josh:

Brian Shan.

Josh:

How's it going, Brian.

Josh:

And how has the last year been for your show?

Brian:

Hey, it's good to be back.

Brian:

Thank you for having me.

Brian:

It's an honor, you know, as you're the only podcast to make a year, I'm hoping to make it there myself.

Brian:

you could say I'm almost, I'm pretty much there, but I don't want to say

Brian:

anything, to, to blast them this on a call podcast.

Josh:

no, no, there's, there's been no one else.

Josh:

Joe Rogan doesn't exist.

Josh:

so, and my second guest, I have an inside joke with, because he has been on so many times that he's the unofficial second host of this podcast.

Josh:

He is my actual co-host on our other podcasts.

Josh:

Read it on Wiki, please.

Josh:

Welcome my guest with the most appearances, John John.

Josh:

How's it going, buddy?

Josh:

And how does it feel to be part of a podcast.

Josh:

that has made it to a full year?

Brian:

the only podcast

John:

the only

Josh:

The

John:

I've made

John:

it.

John:

Cause you know, my,

John:

you know, I've been in this show for so many times.

John:

what is his or my fifth appearance officially.

Josh:

even be

John:

you know, probably, Hey, it's not about quantity, obviously.

John:

It's

John:

about quality.

John:

That's why Brian was your very first effort guests on the show.

John:

So I am just,

John:

you

Brian:

Yeah, that wasn't a gamble.

John:

last minute.

John:

Hey, are you free?

John:

I'm like, I guess so.

Josh:

like a you up text, right?

John:

Yes.

Josh:

no, no, I appreciate you guys coming on.

Josh:

it's awesome to get, both of you guys on for this one.

Josh:

because in today's episode of the let's start a call podcast, we will be discussing multilevel marketing companies or pyramid schemes from leggings to essential oils And kitchen knives.

Josh:

These predatory brands have manipulated countless individuals causing them to destroy personal relationships and lose their life savings with tasks, with tactics, reminiscence of actual religious.

Josh:

The way MLL, MLMs operate is definitely disturbing

Brian:

And this is different than a Ponzi scheme, right?

Josh:

I think they're the same, right?

Brian:

Oh, are they the same?

Brian:

I

Brian:

believe I had just watched the other guys again.

Brian:

And at the end of that movie, I think it, shows all these graphics showing what a Ponzi scheme is and how, all

Brian:

this

Brian:

money these guys make.

Brian:

And It's a, it's a,

Brian:

It's a crime.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

definitely.

Josh:

Yeah.

John:

It's also quite ironic that this is what

John:

the topic is.

John:

Cause I was just watching the office.

John:

Brian, we were just talking about this earlier and it was the scene when Michael Scott was trying to explain that he was trying to get a team together for a pyramid scheme than Jim, Jim drew the triangle.

John:

And he's like, oh, well,

Josh:

Yeah.

Brian:

I have some calls to make.

John:

yes,

Brian:

I'm glad that's the direction you went with it.

Brian:

I thought you said, speaking of, it's funny that this is the episode.

Brian:

I was like, oh man, this is where is

Brian:

this going?

Brian:

I was like, I have a product for you.

Josh:

I am trying to sell my course.

Josh:

If the more people you bring on, the more you can make from my course, that's how it works.

Brian:

Yes.

Josh:

so that's right.

Josh:

We are talking about pyramid schemes.

Josh:

as most of you can probably relate to that high school acquaintance that you haven't talked to in years who randomly added you up on Facebook and Instagram, he messaged you asking if you're interested in making a hundred thousand a year all from the comfort of your

Josh:

home

Brian:

Selling essential oils.

Brian:

Right.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

essential oils.

Josh:

Exactly.

Brian:

I see.

Brian:

I do see a lot of the essential oil stuff now from friends from high school.

Brian:

And I'm like, oh man, what did these guys

Brian:

get themselves into?

Josh:

It's like, you're definitely not making that much.

Josh:

I, I know.

Josh:

Trust me.

Josh:

So have, have either of you, being a part

Josh:

of, or have any stories related to

Josh:

MLMs before we get into it?

John:

Actually when I was a dumb high schooler, I did try to get into one of those.

John:

I think it was the knife.

John:

One vector.

Josh:

Yeah, we talk about that later.

Josh:

Actually.

Josh:

That's a good one.

John:

I think vector was was one of the first ones

John:

I kind of felt, I mean, as a high schooler, you kind of don't know anything.

John:

And you're just like, oh, that sounds cool.

John:

I want money.

John:

You know, like I needed money in high school.

John:

Like I, all I had to do was go to war or go to school and go to a practice, go to the games and then go home and do my homework,

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

You, you you, you didn't pay rent or anything, so

John:

Exactly.

John:

Yeah.

Brian:

you say you tried to get in on one of these, like you did it like think, Hey, let me just go get a job.

Brian:

You were like, let me find, let me go house

Brian:

to

Brian:

house selling knives.

Brian:

This sounds

Brian:

like fun.

Josh:

John was like, I want to wait to rip people

Josh:

off.

John:

yeah, I felt like I had the charisma to go and, and sell, you know, but for some reason I kind of just woke up and just be like, oh my gosh, I just got duped.

Josh:

I

Brian:

Oh,

John:

Which, to be, to be

John:

fair, it's not, it's not as easy as it sounds because a lot of people are deeply entrenched.

Josh:

Oh, absolutely.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

And we will get into how deeply entrenched some people are.

Josh:

And a lot of people lose a lot of money on this.

Josh:

So it's, it's a definitely a dark, business practice.

Josh:

We'll call it that to be generous.

Josh:

so to start things off, we're going to hop into a brief history of multilevel marketing companies.

Josh:

the exact origins of multi-level marketing companies or network marketing, is it sometimes.

Josh:

are fairly unknown.

Josh:

However, most experts believe that their concept traces its roots to a California based vitamin company called Nutrilite corporation.

Josh:

And if that's not the most California company name is

Brian:

Interesting.

Brian:

I think that's the direction they went with it on.

Brian:

It's always sunny in Philadelphia when Dee is selling those berries to release your stress and you hold onto that thing.

Brian:

And Charlie's like, where do I put my feet?

Brian:

And he's like, oh, you're so stressed, man.

Brian:

You're so stressed.

Brian:

You're knocking years off your life.

Brian:

And they sell all

Brian:

these in bigger ons or

Brian:

something like that.

Josh:

Yeah.

John:

think they did the same in Brooklyn nine nine,

John:

with, I think it's called neutral boom, which is kind of probably a play on play off on now.

Josh:

it definitely is.

Josh:

yeah, cause it was, the first of its kind, in 1934, it introduced a direct sales business model that relied on loyal customers, selling their favorite products to family and friends.

Josh:

Landing a sale could earn them a commission of up to $50 a month or the equivalent of approximately a thousand dollars in today's money or a million Canadian dollars, which is probably not true.

Josh:

but the conversion rate isn't

Josh:

great.

John:

I'll be five us dollars.

Josh:

I can find them live up here.

Josh:

naturally many jumped at the opportunity to bring home a half the income and began buying the vitamin products at wholesale prices among the most successful ones where Jay van Andel and Richard DaVoss both of whom joined Neutrolyte in 1949, after a decade of working with

Josh:

Uh,

Brian:

I wouldn't believe it.

Brian:

I would believe it.

Josh:

they are terrible.

Josh:

They prey on a lot of, immigrants to, to America and, and try and get them to sell, and buy into the product.

Josh:

So they're, they're not great.

Brian:

I was wondering where this was going with Colts at first, but then like, really just praying on people.

Brian:

The people that don't know better,

Brian:

that are, that are at their most vulnerable.

Brian:

Th this is.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

They're promised the American dream and they get a taste of it right away.

Josh:

Then here's, here's Amway to screw you over capitalized style.

Josh:

so am we made use of the same direct sales model that Nutrilite pioneered, however, instead of vitamins, they sold household products like organic cleaners.

Josh:

These proved to be incredibly popular, especially among Housewives, a demographic that the company targeted is both customers and sellers.

Josh:

so it is kind of revolutionary where they're selling.

Josh:

To people who are, going to sell to themselves.

Josh:

But obviously there's, there's, there's an end because it's kind of cannibalistic in that style because they're consuming their own market base in That way.

Josh:

by the early 1970s, Amway had become so profitable that Andel and Davos were able to acquire a sizeable chunk of Nutrilite, which enabled them to add vitamins and food supplements to their portfolio.

Josh:

However, their astronomical growth caught the eye of the federal trade commission, which is an American government agency responsible for protecting consumers.

Josh:

you guys might know them as the FTC.

Brian:

That sounds familiar.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

They're there to protect you for the most

Josh:

part.

John:

Right.

Brian:

guys.

John:

Did you say the last name is the voce?

John:

One of

Josh:

devotes.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

D E V O S

Josh:

but it's one of those

Josh:

weird ones where the V is cat.

John:

it's capitalized.

John:

I wonder if it's the same, same family that I think she became the, the education secretary or

John:

something like that.

John:

Is that

Brian:

of Davos as well.

John:

Is that her, like, we're just see part of that

John:

family,

Josh:

Interesting.

Josh:

Let me check.

Josh:

you are correct,

Josh:

actually.

Brian:

Wow.

Josh:

she's married into the DeVos family.

Josh:

she's married to him.

Josh:

He's the, she's married to the co-founder of Amway.

Brian:

Wow, John.

Brian:

Well done,

Josh:

that is,

John:

my God.

Josh:

they are the 88th richest, family in America worth an estimated $5.4 billion.

Josh:

So

Josh:

that's where, that's where, your education dollars

Josh:

go.

Josh:

Sorry, sorry, Brian.

Brian:

man.

Brian:

Can you imagine what that curriculum would

Brian:

have turned into if she just would've stayed?

Brian:

You know,

Josh:

But we'll get the teachers to sell it to the students and

Josh:

they can sell to the

Josh:

grades below

Josh:

them.

John:

if you take this AP exam and then you get another person to take this AP exam,

Brian:

I think so.

Brian:

Going.

John:

it keeps ongoing.

John:

You get an a,

Josh:

good catch John.

Josh:

Good catch.

Josh:

I did not catch that when I was doing the

John:

oh my gosh.

Brian:

Really interesting.

Josh:

yeah, anyway, we'll continue on.

Josh:

In 1975, the FTC brought the company to court over allegations that it was a pyramid scheme, a business model that relies on the recruitment of new members to earn money, rather than on sales of an actual product or service.

Josh:

Emily's for your pushback on the lawsuit that they were involved in, ended up paving the way for other multilevel marketing companies to enter the market, including Avalon, Tupperware, and Electrolux.

Josh:

just a side note every time I see Tupperware, I think of that tic talk where he's like tubberware and he's just like, no, no, no.

Josh:

Say that slowly.

Josh:

And he goes tub and

Josh:

he's like, no, no, no.

Josh:

It's tough Tupperware,

John:

Out.

John:

The one would sell from impractical jokers.

Josh:

maybe it might be, it might be that one.

Josh:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Josh:

It's the T it was a big, it was a big tick top meme for awhile.

Josh:

anyway, the multilevel marketing industry has grown significantly since then, particularly in north America.

Josh:

In fact, according to the management study guide website, quote, the direct selling association of the United States of America reported that about 25% of its members were engaging in MLM channels of selling in the 1990s, whereas by the year 2009, it was

Josh:

And so it was a jump of math is bad, but that's

Josh:

77, almost 70%.

Josh:

So, uh, which is

Josh:

yeah, in, in the span of like 20 to 30 years, it jumped that much, which is crazy.

Josh:

so just goes to show how big of a spread it has, As of 2020, approximately 6.2 million Americans are said to be actively involved in MLMs with most of them working for either a personal care or, health and wellness brand.

Josh:

Unfortunately only 20 5% of them have turned a profit with at least half dropping out after one year and after making a huge.

Josh:

financial investment in the business.

Josh:

that is a very large percent.

Josh:

If I was better at math, I would have done this all out, but it's like over a million, just are way, way, way over a million, like just drop out, lose hundreds to thousands of dollars, after

Josh:

investing.

Brian:

Wow.

Brian:

That is huge.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

John:

Hey, what one could one could argue that podcasting

John:

is a pyramid scheme.

Josh:

I tried to write a joke in here about that and I couldn't find a spot to put it.

John:

You're welcome

Brian:

that you say it, this

Brian:

zoom screen is kinda situated like a pyramid,

John:

my

John:

gosh.

John:

Yeah, because you think about it every time you have your little call to action, I'm like, Hey, you better be my subscriber.

John:

And if you do tell, if you do become a subscriber, tell your other friends and their

John:

friends, you know about it, the more they know about the podcast,

Brian:

man.

Josh:

is very true.

Josh:

I guess the argument would be, you don't have to it's

Josh:

free.

John:

unless you are a patron.

Josh:

I don't have those John,

John:

Hey, but I think I think more people would listen to us if, you know, I feel like a lot.

John:

I mean, this is coming from experience.

John:

That one time I did the knife thing every time, like they had the little, what do you call that?

John:

kind of like the orientation.

John:

It's always some super young guy, some young charismatic dude flexing around with as little as what is Lamborghinis like, Hey, I did this at age 17.

John:

I just graduated high school.

John:

Next thing you know, I have a Lamborghini the next day and I feel like we need to make that Lamborghini investment.

John:

So that way we can flex on people.

Josh:

Oh, that's smart.

Josh:

Okay.

Josh:

What's our Lamborghini

Josh:

investment going to be John

Josh:

for, we buy those Joe Rogan microphones.

Josh:

we're doing.

Josh:

okay.

John:

That's what we're doing.

Brian:

if it is a Lamborghini, though, I'm

Brian:

guessing John gets to drive it.

John:

Oh, absolutely.

John:

Yeah.

John:

I came up with it.

Brian:

you.

Brian:

You have the most experience.

John:

Yeah.

John:

Josh is the cult leader.

John:

So I'm, I'm just in his inner circle at the moment.

Josh:

That's true.

Josh:

You all, you're all in my inner

Josh:

circle, just different levels of rings.

Josh:

You know,

Brian:

Here here.

Josh:

um, the growth of the MLM industry may be massive.

Josh:

However, it's incredibly low success rate is the reason why people are often warned against joining one critiques of such companies.

Josh:

Point out that its business model is deemed.

Josh:

given that product distributors are paid a percentage of the sales made by their recruits or downlines as they're sometimes called since their income is mainly hinged on the number of individuals that they brought into the brand, those who are unable to recruit people, don't earn anything at all.

Josh:

For example, 21 year old Faye Easter spent at least 600 pounds or around $800 during the few months that she was with air bond and MLM that focuses on beauty and health-related products.

Josh:

By the time she quit, she had only managed to make back 12 pounds or a measly $16.

Josh:

And, th this story does remind me of podcasting, but

Brian:

Right now I've put in so much money in this and I haven't gotten the, let's see almost nothing in return.

John:

Yes,

Josh:

equivalent of 16 Canadian dollars, which is 5 cents

Josh:

USD.

Brian:

Oh, it's a good thing.

Brian:

We enjoy doing this.

Josh:

Yes, it's for the love, the

Josh:

love of it.

John:

but my gosh, I will sell out so fast.

Josh:

oh, in a heartbeat, Spotify comes to me and they're like, where we're doing exclusive for

Josh:

$20.

Josh:

I'd be like, you got me.

Josh:

How man?

John:

Let's do it.

Josh:

Um,

Brian:

seen that much money podcasting.

John:

Exactly.

John:

You guys getting paid.

Josh:

meanwhile, a 22 year old Charlotte Dickerson who became an air bond sales representative lost a staggering 800 pounds or more than a thousand dollars in just four months.

Josh:

The website Investopedia, put it best when it said, quote members at all levels receive some form of commission.

Josh:

As long as the chain keeps going, the more layers there are, the more money people can.

Josh:

I think of it as a pyramid, the person or people on top earn the most while those who sit towards the bottom earn fewer commission dollars.

Josh:

relatively few though, generally earn meaningful income from their efforts.

Josh:

End quote.

Josh:

very few will make money.

Josh:

It'll be like the top 25%, like I said earlier.

Brian:

That's a quote that they put on their website while recruiting people

Josh:

No, this is it.

Josh:

No, no, no, no.

Josh:

This is Investopedia, which is like a, a financial, website basically that, that gives financial.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

So they're like.

Josh:

no, don't do this.

Josh:

This is a bad idea.

Brian:

You, you had also said that people are discouraged from this business model because a lot of them aren't successful and don't make

Brian:

money.

Brian:

Isn't it also because it's illegal

Josh:

it's a, it's

Brian:

or was it illegal back then?

Brian:

is it hard to prove, I guess, or

Josh:

yeah, it the, the FTC tried to charge Amway, but clearly that didn't work.

Josh:

they're still operating because they pushed back so hard cause they had the money to push back and they paved the way for more companies to do this.

Josh:

It's a gray area.

Josh:

it's not illegal, it's just kind of frowned upon by the government.

Josh:

but it's definitely, definitely people still do it and make a ton of money, like billions of dollars clearly, as we can see from the, education secretary or whatever you guys

Josh:

have.

Josh:

so yeah, gray area, I would say that's the best to describe it, not

Josh:

illegal.

Brian:

right.

Josh:

so that is a bit of the history of MLMs.

Josh:

we're now going to get into.

Josh:

Aggressive

Josh:

tactics that they use to indoctrinate

Josh:

people into their companies.

John:

they're going to call.

Josh:

this is the cult part.

Josh:

MLMs, aren't only criticized for their low success rates, though, for many of the lies that the industry perpetuates and it's blatant encouragement of aggressive and shady recruitment tactics are the reasons why people should stay away from brands that use this direct sales model.

Josh:

For example, the MLM company, vector marketing is best known for exploiting college students and recent graduates by sending them letters, promising exciting job opportunities with excellent pay and flexible work schedules.

Josh:

However, instead of legitimate nine to five, those who take up the offer made to go door to door, selling kitchen knives and convincing their friends to do the same.

Josh:

And, yeah, much like John.

Josh:

I have a, I have a similar story to this.

Josh:

When I was in college, I was broke at looking for a job when I saw a sales position on indeed.

Josh:

So I applied and they told me to come in for an interview, which was exciting.

Josh:

So I went in, got dressed, suit and tie and everything, uh, went to the building and there were probably 15 other people in the room with me, mostly around my age.

Josh:

And we sat through like the, 40 minute presentation about how great knives were and shown how we could go door to door, make making money.

Josh:

And,

Josh:

I was very pissed off because I thought I was going to get an actual job.

Josh:

And, uh, that's, that's, my villain origin story.

Brian:

I have to say the way you described that too.

Brian:

I mean, the, the tactics are like, Hey, come in for this job opportunity, you could make a lot of money.

Brian:

This sounds

Brian:

like the email scam you get that you just instantly delete.

Brian:

Like, why are, how are people, I don't know,

Brian:

letting this perpetuate

Brian:

like this, it sounds like a scam, you know,

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Well, and that's why they prey on people who are just at a college or in college.

Josh:

Cause they're like lower income people looking for a job and with the job market, it's not great.

Josh:

So they target those people and promise them the world.

Josh:

some people bit in the, in the, presentation I was in, some people stayed.

Josh:

I left right away.

Josh:

As soon as I could, I took a donut because I thought that was fair.

Josh:

And then,

Brian:

Yes,

Josh:

and then I left.

Brian:

you

Brian:

do get to travel from a house to

Brian:

house.

John:

The ones who stayed were not that sharp.

Brian:

Ah, nice

Brian:

joke.

Josh:

I like that.

Josh:

Thank you, John.

Brian:

I will

Brian:

say my parents bought one of these, a case of these knives off of, I think one of my brother's high school friends who was.

Brian:

And man, they are fantastic.

Brian:

Uh, they are good to this day.

Brian:

They look like butter

Brian:

knives, but they will

Brian:

just slice through a steak.

Brian:

And it is

Brian:

amazing.

Josh:

Brian's like,

Josh:

speaking of knives.

John:

those little, herbal products now go live.

John:

They are pretty good too.

John:

They

John:

worked

Brian:

The, uh, man I call

John:

It was like, it was a horrible

John:

life or something

John:

like that or her Herbalife.

John:

Yeah.

John:

So, I mean, I tried it for a little bit and

John:

yes, it did kind of help, but I'm like, I would never sell these anymore.

John:

Like

Brian:

that like essential oils?

John:

It's kinda like a nutritional, like, like pills kinda,

Josh:

okay.

Josh:

vitamins and stuff.

John:

Like vitamins, there you go.

John:

And

Josh:

Okay.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Vitamins can be helpful.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

They can be helpful if you, if you're vitamin deficient, but definitely not all

Josh:

of them.

Josh:

And the essential oils are kind of

Josh:

bullshit and we're going to be honest,

John:

Yeah.

John:

it's it's a

John:

cold.

John:

And then you kinda just, you know, like when you go out, like, I shop like at like trader Joe's or, or, or a whole foods and

John:

the moment you see that.

John:

No, I know clients

Brian:

Geez, Louise.

John:

at the moment, like you see those big Yukon trucks.

John:

With the Herbalife sticker.

John:

I'm like, okay, I'll just go to Walmart today.

Josh:

I don't need

John:

It's not you.

John:

I don't need this

John:

right now.

Brian:

Is there a difference between

Brian:

essential oils and candles?

Josh:

candles.

Josh:

Yeah, there are, there are definitely candle

Josh:

pyramid schemes, but I wouldn't

Josh:

say

Brian:

oh, no.

Brian:

Just like in terms of what do you do with essential oils?

Brian:

Is it just for

Josh:

oh, Yeah, basically, it Just makes you how to smell that.

Brian:

Okay.

John:

Yup.

Josh:

for for, some people, I guess I could calm them down, like candles, calm people down, and it's relaxing, I guess.

Josh:

So in that sense, but they will not cure you of cancer, which is what sometimes is profit promised.

Josh:

So

Brian:

Oh, very interesting.

Brian:

And, uh, while you're buying these essential oils, can I interest you in a Himalayan

Brian:

sea salt lamp

Brian:

that will, uh,

Josh:

exactly,

John:

You may.

John:

You want to cook like a steak in that lab?

John:

Like salted steak right there.

Josh:

this sketchy recruitment method has landed vector marketing in hot water.

Josh:

Several times.

Josh:

In 2011, the company was made to pay $13 million to settle a lawsuit that accused them of failing to pay their salespeople, the appropriate, minimum wage.

Josh:

A few years later, they were again, embroiled in another class action law.

Josh:

This time, it alleged that the company was , inadequately, compensating, their salespersons.

Josh:

So that's where they get into the gray water.

Josh:

Brian, cause they're technically not paying employees, so they can, they open themselves up to lawsuits like that.

Josh:

and, vector marketing was actually forced to pay $6.7 $5 million, to settle this, but that's like nothing in the grand scheme of what they make.

Josh:

So they don't really care.

Brian:

I mean, if, no, one's, no one is hourly though.

Brian:

Like, why can't like, that sounds like if somebody won that argument and they're still not paying people, isn't that just the case you can like

Brian:

immediately bring up again.

Josh:

yeah, I, I'm not a business

Brian:

know how this stuff works.

Brian:

I'm not, yeah.

Brian:

I'm

Brian:

right there with ya.

Josh:

yeah, the law

Josh:

is fuzzy sometimes.

Josh:

I guess there's probably ways around it.

Josh:

They probably put something in the contract that says you're not guaranteed to make money.

Josh:

Maybe they didn't do that at the beginning.

Josh:

Who knows?

Josh:

there's a lot of gray area with All this.

Josh:

It should probably be illegal.

Josh:

They should probably just be like, okay, we'll pay you for what you do.

Josh:

If you

Josh:

don't sell anything, that's fine.

Josh:

Right.

Josh:

Like that

Josh:

should be what it is, but it's not.

Josh:

So,

John:

Yeah, I think at least like a base pay.

John:

I mean, it's kinda, it's sucky too, but

John:

like, I mean, I think there should all, I mean, it's not like the same concept, but what servers are in the food industry, like they get paid late, super low and based on the service and a pro or based on

John:

I mean, like, again, that's not a really good correlation, but at least offer those workers who are.

John:

Doing the, the marketing to, to the people, like at least base pay.

Josh:

I'll take it a step further

Josh:

pay servers base pay.

John:

Thank you.

Josh:

like minimum wage so that I don't like.

Josh:

So if I have a bad server, I don't feel obligated to tip because I've had bad, sir.

Josh:

I have good servers.

Josh:

I'll tip them more.

Josh:

You know what

Josh:

it, but that's how it should work.

Josh:

It should be, you all get paid the same.

Josh:

And then if you do more, bring in more business than you make a little more, that's the answer compensation, but you should all make

Josh:

them a minimum wage

Josh:

that is livable.

Josh:

You know what I mean?

John:

Yeah.

John:

And that's absolutely fair.

John:

And that thing that goes for everywhere else, like if you go a step above what you were supposed to, and then you should get compensated for it, like even more,

Josh:

especially

Josh:

teachers, right, right.

Brian:

therefore it, Yeah.

John:

Oh my gosh.

John:

Brian, I'm so passionate about making sure our teachers get paid, man.

John:

Like it's, it's crazy.

John:

Why are they putting you through all this?

Brian:

Thanks guys.

Brian:

I appreciate it.

Brian:

you know, it's, it's, it's doing its job.

Brian:

I enjoy it, but, yeah, I'm gonna, I'm

Brian:

gonna keep at it.

John:

Yes.

John:

Cause I was a pain in the butt as a student.

John:

So, I mean, I don't, if you had to deal with me, like, I wouldn't have blamed you if you strangled me as

John:

a child.

Brian:

You should have to go back and, you should email some of these teachers would be like, Hey, sorry.

Brian:

I was such

Brian:

a pain and I'm sure they would appreciate it, you know?

Josh:

you, you, molded me into a better person.

Brian:

Yup.

John:

say I'm a better person.

John:

I still

John:

use Wikipedia as a primary source for our podcast.

John:

So that's a, I'm pretty sure they're going to slap me again.

John:

If I, if I tell them that

Josh:

Oh, I didn't think we'd get into a whole pay debate, but this is good.

Josh:

this is good.

John:

is healthy,

Josh:

it's a healthy,

Josh:

Dialect.

Josh:

is that the right word?

Josh:

I don't know.

Josh:

We're moving

John:

I dialogue.

Josh:

dialect.

Josh:

We're going with it.

John:

Sure.

John:

It's your show roll with it.

Josh:

In addition to promising non-existent job opportunities to those who participate in MLMs, also frequented host parties as a way to recruit downlines among those who are roped in after attending.

Josh:

One of these was Angela, a stay at home, mom of three from Reno, Nevada.

Josh:

She found herself joining Tupperware.

Josh:

after her neighbor's sister claimed to be selling them to, to raise funds for her fertile treatment.

Josh:

Before long Angela was attending the company's weekly rallies, where she was bombarded by aggressive sales, recruitments, and her uplines who kept telling her she was failing to recruit enough.

Josh:

So just going to these parties and getting just bombarded with hate because you're not doing your job is the worst thing I could think of doing is something in my off time.

Brian:

Yeah, it doesn't sound like a good party.

Josh:

no, no.

Josh:

no.

Josh:

The worst

Josh:

party,

Josh:

these comments became even more hostile after Angela's mother was diagnosed with cancer in an interview with the Huffington post, she shared quote, they said, you need to use your mom's cancer as this is your sales pitch.

Josh:

You need to turn it into a party.

Josh:

and ask everyone that cares about you and your mom to help you sell Tupperware and quote.

John:

Oh,

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

And it gets worse, Other sellers, even beginning using Angela's mother to sell more Tupperware telling their customers that they were helping raise funds for her cancer treatment.

Josh:

Even if they

Josh:

weren't.

John:

no.

Josh:

So could you imagine hearing your friends, mom having cancer and then thinking Kuching I can cash

Josh:

in on this, like it's

Brian:

Oh, man.

Josh:

Yeah.

John:

throwing hands so

John:

fast.

Josh:

definitely.

John:

use them Tupperware

John:

side of the head.

John:

And I'm

John:

just like, what are you doing?

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Too bad.

Josh:

Tupperware's plastic,

John:

look, you do it hard enough.

John:

That could be some.

Josh:

that's true.

Josh:

That's true.

Josh:

thankfully Angela ended up leaving Tupperware shortly afterwards.

Josh:

Fortunately she wasn't saddled with debt and inventory.

Josh:

Unlike most other MLM participants who are often forced to unload mountains of remaining products at garage sales and on Facebook marketplace.

Josh:

Unfortunately her time with MLMs continued to haunt her long after she gotten rid of her last Tupperware after developing a deep vein Thrombosis, which is just blood clots, basically.

Josh:

she was inundated with messages on social media, from people recommending that she take everything from plexus health drinks to essential oils to replace the blood thinners that she needed to mitigate her blood clots, which is, uh, how horse paste became so popular.

Josh:

Um, this constant barrage of messages is another aggressive sales and recruitment tactic that MLMs use for quote Huns, which participants are sometimes cheekily referred to as so Huns, H U N S like you'd call your girlfriend or wife, or, so they are

Josh:

not all Huns, like sending messages though.

Josh:

Especially since uplines often encourage them to reach out to casual acquaintances and even strangers.

Josh:

However, when they have to choose between making back the money, they invested into their business and maintaining social graces.

Josh:

Then the former usually takes top priority because you don't want to, most people don't want to ruin their relationships with their friends.

Josh:

So they just take the hit from the, their investment, which is where a lot of people lose their money.

Josh:

Right.

Brian:

Right.

Brian:

So a lot of these people are relying on this as their main source of

Brian:

income.

Brian:

Like they're putting all their chips

Josh:

not all of them, but, like it depends on the, so, so, Like I said, the knife.

Josh:

College students usually get, brought in.

Josh:

So they're usually looking for full-time jobs, something to make money.

Josh:

So yeah, they're putting their all into it.

Josh:

Housewives who, maybe they're on maternity leave or I don't know if you guys have that in

Josh:

America, but, uh, um, yeah, so maternity leave or just stay at home.

Josh:

wives or husbands that, really have have to fill up their day with something.

Josh:

and they choose to try and start a business and this is what they call their starting their business.

Josh:

so it's not everything, but it is their time and usually their family's money, like joint money that they're putting into this.

Josh:

So,

Brian:

That's tough.

Brian:

That's a, that's a tough

Brian:

spot to be in.

John:

you have the allure of, you know, the, the empty

John:

promises that they give you.

John:

It's like, you want to be your own boss.

John:

Like you don't, you want it to be like an entrepreneur, like, you know, to a younger person or someone that never had that growing up.

John:

That's a huge, that's a huge draw for them.

John:

So I don't, it's hard to blame the.

John:

It's it's these companies that have like shady business practices that keeps getting away with it, or the real culprits in this.

Josh:

Oh yeah.

Josh:

I think John read my script.

Josh:

He's hit every point.

Josh:

I'm going to hit on, like, he's just, he's just nailing

Josh:

it.

Josh:

He knows more about MLMs than

Josh:

I do.

Josh:

Um,

John:

pain.

John:

Okay.

Josh:

John knows from experience, um, as a result though, their personal relationships begin to suffer.

Josh:

Not only do Huns become a source of embarrassment for their friends and family members, but they may even receive insults or verbal abuses from individuals who are irritated by their.

Josh:

but do people only join MLMs because of parties, messages on social media and the opportunity to take home asset earnings?

Josh:

Not really, for a majority of them, they were led into the business with false expectations, by an upline who promised them the world.

Josh:

As John said, This is exactly what John just said.

Josh:

So if you want to skip ahead just seconds.

Josh:

for instance, Huns often use the tagline, be your own boss to convince others to join their MLM.

Josh:

This phrase may sound incredibly simple, but you'd be surprised at just how many people are sick of their nine to five corporate jobs and are looking to find a way out.

Josh:

Many recruits were also lured in, by glamorous photos of Huns, enjoying luxury vacations on tropical islands or abroad on cruise ships, the captions accompanying such images, often claim that the trips were paid for by the.

Josh:

However they don't mention the astronomical amounts of money they had to spend on buying products just to qualify for it.

Josh:

so this is a classic thing where they'll give you like sales goals.

Josh:

And if you buy enough product from them, they'll take, you, they'll give you whatever gift cards or, or, getaways or something like that.

Josh:

But only if you spend way more than the trip would actually cost, you know what I mean?

Josh:

Like cruise ships, aren't that expensive.

Josh:

so,

Brian:

I'm pretty sure we did someone similar in elementary school when you would, either raise money, selling chocolate bars or something.

Brian:

If you raise a hundred dollars, you get like a basketball and if you raise $200, you get like a ticket to

Brian:

some sporting event.

Brian:

And like, I, that sounds familiar.

Josh:

Yeah, that that's actually, that's very true.

Josh:

I'd never thought of

Josh:

that.

Josh:

That is the education secretary at

Josh:

work

Josh:

there.

Brian:

starts in elementary school.

Brian:

Wow.

Josh:

Uh, those idiots

Josh:

will sell pizza, like it's no tomorrow.

Josh:

yeah, yeah, definitely.

Josh:

That, that, that falls into It for sure.

Josh:

promises of a wealthy and, opulent lifestyle are among the many coercive recruitment methods that hands use.

Josh:

It has proven to be incredibly enticing.

Josh:

However, the reality is that most recruits find themselves in dire financial straits only a few months later.

Josh:

However, do either of, you know, who won't put you in dire financial straits, or course you into false business practices

John:

here comes this pyramid scheme ads.

Brian:

shell.

Josh:

Well, not always true.

Josh:

Go support me on buy me a coffee now, the, uh, the products and services that support this podcast.

Josh:

but it would be hilarious if you got an Amway ad on this episode.

Josh:

Uh, so enjoy some

Josh:

ads.

John:

Let's get down to business to defeat the Huns.

Josh:

there we go.

Josh:

That's what they were singing about.

Brian:

And that's what we back to a Latin too.

Brian:

I can show you the

Brian:

world and like,

Brian:

uh, so many

John:

Oh my gosh.

John:

I'm opening up

John:

memories.

Brian:

Disney references this episode.

John:

Oh, my next time, Brian sees

John:

a kid selling

John:

chocolate.

John:

Get out of this pyramid scheme, little buddy.

Josh:

just shake

Brian:

Oh, I have students that do that.

Brian:

It's it's a couple of times a year.

Brian:

They come in with a box of chocolates, like, Hey, Ms.

Brian:

Shin want some chocolate?

Brian:

And I was like, yes, please.

Brian:

And they're like, and then I, go in for it.

Brian:

I know they're I know they're asking for money, but I act like, you know, I can just take one and they're like, no, no, no, you have to

Brian:

pay for it.

Brian:

I'm like what?

Brian:

Like teacher discount.

Brian:

This is

Brian:

a, this

Josh:

I

Brian:

You just offered me chocolate.

Josh:

You should be like, I'll bump you up half a grade point.

Josh:

If you give me

John:

Fair trade, man.

John:

It's like, Hey kid, it's chocolate now, next thing you know, it's knives.

John:

Next thing you know, it's beauty products

John:

get out while you

John:

can.

Josh:

it starts a chocolate ends at horse paste.

Josh:

all right.

Josh:

So we've talked about MLMs, how they started, we've talked about.

Josh:

There are shady, big business practices.

Josh:

And now we're going to compare them to cults because this is a cult show.

Josh:

And if we have an episode without cults, people will revolt.

Josh:

so the aggressive and shady tactics that MLM companies use are the main reason why they're often regarded as modern day cults, religious groups like people's temple they use similar methods, promising people that, joining their ranks would allow

Josh:

Their manipulation continued long after the individual had signed up, though.

Josh:

We'll devote ease of Jim Jones, talked about the utopia amid common.

Josh:

and the threat that the Soviet union posed MLM, Huns painted an enticing picture of all expense, paid vacations to exotic places, and being able to decide when to clock in, for work, which is a big plus for sure.

John:

Oh,

Josh:

both religious cults and MLMs alike emphasize the tight knit community that they can provide, which has proven to be appealing for those who feel lonely and unsupported in real life, which is definitely something that happens with social media nowadays.

Josh:

however, these aren't the only reasons why MLMs are considered cults on the website.

Josh:

The snapping point companies that use this direct sales model were weighed against the byte model.

Josh:

B I T E of authoritarian control, which was developed by American scholar, Dr.

Josh:

Steven To describe the various methods that cult leaders use to recruit and maintain control over other people.

Josh:

So it's basically a breakdown of how people control, people in cults and, and similar, structures anyway.

Josh:

and it stands for behavioral control, information control, thought control, and environmental control.

Josh:

And the MLM companies

Josh:

meet almost every single element under each

Josh:

criteria,

Josh:

which is

John:

twist.

John:

It's going to be a plot twist.

John:

Dr.

John:

Hassan is the main hun.

Josh:

Oh

Josh:

God, no, no, he's a good guy.

Josh:

He's he's defining what cults are.

John:

Hey, the reason why he can define

John:

it is because he created it.

Josh:

That's true.

Josh:

That's why I'm the expert cult leader, because I create them.

Josh:

That's.

John:

He's a mall.

Josh:

exactly.

Josh:

for one thing, Huns control the behavior of their downlines through methods, like encouraging them to use their free time to recruit more people and sell more products those who are failing to hit their quotas are often humiliated

Josh:

For example, the cosmetic MLM unique, which is spelled in the dumbest way.

Josh:

It's spelled Y O U N I Q U E.

Josh:

So it's like U unique.

Josh:

I hate it.

Josh:

Uh, uh,

John:

unique.

Josh:

it is not,

Josh:

it was sadly not.

Josh:

so they host an annual incentive trip for high-performing.

Josh:

On the other hand, Mary Kay and other beauty and cosmetic MLM gives a baby pink Mercedes-Benz to those

Josh:

who rake in tons of sales.

Josh:

So there you go,

Josh:

John.

Josh:

That's what we need to do.

John:

A fun fact.

John:

I actually live about a mile and a half from Mary Kay's main headquarters.

Josh:

Oh,

Brian:

Please tell me that parking lot is aligned

Brian:

with, with those

Brian:

cars.

Josh:

with the baby pink.

John:

Yeah, actually, yes.

John:

I've actually went inside once.

John:

I'm not because I'm part of it is this for work-related and they have a museum inside, actually.

John:

It's

John:

pretty cool.

Josh:

What is in this

Josh:

museum?

John:

just like their history of it.

John:

It's really tiny, but I'm just like, uh, for the longest time I thought Mary Kay was the twins, the Mary Kay nasty.

John:

I was like, oh

John:

wait, that's not them.

Josh:

Well, I'm sure they use that to their benefit.

Josh:

Like for branding purposes, they Probably

Josh:

use their names.

John:

Probably

Josh:

besides behavior MLM also controls the information that the Huns receive, for instance, essential oil brands often tell Huns that their products are powerful enough to cure anything from the common cold to the COVID-19 virus.

Brian:

No way is, is wait, is that a, is that a joke?

Brian:

Did you make that up or

Josh:

that's not a, joke.

Brian:

that's a real thing.

Brian:

Oh my gosh.

Josh:

Yep.

Josh:

that's it just made me chuckle because this is a there, there are a lot of the reason why so many people are vaccine hesitant.

Josh:

like

Josh:

media and yeah.

Josh:

They're like this can cure your

Josh:

COVID to the people that have gotten COVID

Josh:

times by now.

John:

the only essential oil I need is the one I use to fry my chicken.

John:

Okay.

John:

So let me.

John:

Let me just say that.

Josh:

is it, is it low fat or.

John:

No, I need full fat buddy.

Josh:

Right.

Josh:

I forgot.

Josh:

You're in Texas.

Josh:

You need that.

John:

Come on

Josh:

don't sell low-fat they're

John:

No,

Josh:

illegal.

Josh:

leave that to the lib tards in California.

Josh:

Am I

Josh:

right?

John:

yeah, man.

John:

I'm from California originally though.

Josh:

I'm kidding.

Josh:

I don't care.

Josh:

I have no Alliance

Josh:

to either, so

John:

true.

John:

Hey, this your America shop for

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

That's my America shot.

Josh:

Um, uh, well, I should, I took a shot at leave as well.

John:

That's

Brian:

America.

Josh:

this misleading information is spread through social media channels and during annual conventions where attendees are also fed with the brand's overall positive doctrine.

Josh:

One that emphasizes how critics of MLMs are simply haters or sheep who are jealous of their success.

Josh:

according to the snapping point, quote, many MLMs will explicitly create an us versus them mentality among their consultants.

Josh:

Usually this is through discrediting ex-consultants as haters whose businesses failed through their own faults.

Josh:

Clearly that's victim blaming, and this is cult behavior end quote.

Josh:

yeah, so it's very much a, it's a team thing, and this is problems with social media

Josh:

in general today.

Josh:

But, I

Josh:

digress.

John:

Even when they bullied the bullies a team.

John:

Huh?

Josh:

Yeah, we're a team until you're not making sales quotes.

Josh:

And then you're the enemy.

John:

My goodness.

Josh:

controlling the thoughts of their sales representatives is also something that the majority of MLM companies engage in a fantastic example of this doctrine that they espouse, for instance, unique claims that their

Josh:

Meanwhile, beach body, a fitness-based MLM convinces their hands, that they're legitimate coaches who are qualified enough to give advice about workout, routines and diets in the real world, though, this can only be done by licensed and certified professionals, which beach bodies.

Josh:

Huns are certainly not.

Josh:

And I actually knew a girl in college who joined a fitness based MLM and she was definitely not qualified to give a workout advice.

Josh:

she wasn't an outage.

Josh:

I'm not saying that like as a, as a desk, but, she, she, just didn't study for that.

Josh:

Didn't, go to school for that or anything like that.

Josh:

So it was just, she just one day signed up for it and then started giving advice.

Josh:

Like she was an expert.

Brian:

Oh, yeah.

Brian:

You

Brian:

pick things up and put them down.

Brian:

do the trick.

Josh:

Yeah, it's not very hard to say lift weight, make

Josh:

big muscles.

John:

Yes, grunt heavy,

John:

eat

Josh:

John, John's an

Josh:

expert in going to the gym.

John:

Oh, who says that?

John:

I work out.

John:

I maybe I just go to the gym and go to the cafeteria.

John:

You never know.

Josh:

just go to the

Josh:

tanning bed.

John:

I don't need, I'm already 10

Josh:

That's true.

Josh:

I need to go to the tanning

John:

you need to get a 10.

John:

I got melanin.

John:

All

Josh:

Yeah, God damn.

Josh:

It's already getting dark at like seven and sucks.

Josh:

A lot of MLMs also instilled in their consultants.

Josh:

The idea that there'll be ostracized from the friend groups that they've formed, if they leave the.

Josh:

In fact many ex Huns have shared that they were ignored by people.

Josh:

They once considered friends while their former uplines spread nasty rumors about them.

Josh:

This form of manipulation falls under the final criteria of the byte model, emotional control.

Josh:

After all Huns are less likely to leave.

Josh:

Once they've seen the kind of abuse that those who have quit are subjected to.

Josh:

So that's very, cult-like where

Josh:

they,

Brian:

Checks all the box.

Josh:

in conclusion, given the controversial nature of MLMs, it isn't surprising at all to find out that they've been involved in many different scandals, for instance, Lua, Roy Leura, something like that.

Josh:

It's a dumb spelling to a clothing brand that is arguably one of the most well-known MLMs of all times, was accused of coursing Huns to undergo gastric bypass surgery and Tijuana to improve their appearance.

Josh:

meanwhile in Yeah, full surgery, just to be a clothing brand

Josh:

seller.

Brian:

And have you guys sort of the spring.

Josh:

it's spelled,

Josh:

you've heard of

Josh:

it.

Josh:

It It's spelled like L U L

Josh:

a R O R E.

John:

It's the leggings, right?

Josh:

Well, that's Lulu

Josh:

lemon.

Josh:

I don't know.

Josh:

It might

Josh:

be the

John:

No, it's this, I think it's the same.

John:

Lululemon's like the legit one.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

So that's just a play On that title.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

That seems to be what they do.

Josh:

They just

Josh:

name it similar to a very popular

Josh:

brand

John:

On a side note to wanna fun times, I'll leave it at that.

Josh:

I wonder how cheap they'll get

Josh:

bypass surgeries are there?

John:

If you can have four $40 into one and I'll last you a whole night

John:

drinking,

Josh:

that's

John:

I could assume that, a surgery you'll probably be like, ah, just a little tad, more

Josh:

I was going to say that's

Josh:

good.

Josh:

Cause that's might be all they make from the MLM.

Josh:

So,

John:

maybe

John:

even your Canadian dollars will last

John:

long their job.

Josh:

true.

Josh:

I can buy a meal

John:

And that is my shot to

John:

Canada.

Josh:

That's fair.

Josh:

You

Brian:

Get them all in.

John:

I'm not even putting that lightly.

Josh:

no, no.

Josh:

That's the wrong country.

Josh:

John

John:

Oh, sorry.

John:

Sorry.

John:

Wrong.

Josh:

protein poutine.

John:

Poutine.

John:

Yeah.

John:

Poutine lately.

John:

You know

Josh:

I, I do,

Josh:

I do.

Josh:

I

Josh:

just had to raise ya.

John:

I'm an immigrant.

John:

I got an excuse.

Josh:

meanwhile in 2019 food supplement called accompany.

Josh:

Herbalife was forced to pay $20 million to the securities and exchange commission after he was convicted of , deliberately misleading investors.

Josh:

In 2020, it also paid $123 million to settle criminal and civil penalties that were related to a bribery case originating in China.

Josh:

These are just some of the many lawsuits that have followed MLM companies over the past few years.

Josh:

Unfortunately, even with these scandals, they're false promises as well as they're aggressive and manipulative recruiting tactics.

Josh:

they continue to draw thousands of people in all of whom would have unknowingly doomed themselves to losing their savings and perhaps even their sanity.

Josh:

And that is the end of my Ted talk today.

Brian:

Crowd goes wild.

Josh:

yeah, please come back next

Josh:

year.

Josh:

Uh, um, so what do you guys think of, I changed your perspective on MLMs, or your, your Facebook friends that are in the.

Brian:

Oh man.

Brian:

I'm.

Brian:

I'm just thankful.

Brian:

None of my friends

Brian:

have reached out to me about buying essential oils yet.

Josh:

They might after this episode.

Brian:

oh man, that would be a,

Brian:

sorry.

Brian:

Thanks.

Brian:

But no, thanks.

Brian:

Uh,

John:

Hey, just say you work on a teacher salary.

Josh:

Yeah.

John:

alone.

Josh:

You're like, I can't afford this.

Josh:

a podcaster,

Brian:

I'm a podcast.

Brian:

Uh, I will say this reminds me of you.

Brian:

You guys talked about orientations and stuff too.

Brian:

This is not how

Brian:

timeshares work as well.

Josh:

very similar.

Josh:

and actually my parents bought a timeshare, which sucks.

Josh:

So, I think it's in Florida and I don't think we've ever used it.

Josh:

So, Yeah.

Josh:

not a great thing, but I mean, it just goes to show you, anyone can be duped, which when I was doing this research, you know, it did make me feel.

Josh:

More empathy for the people that do get roped in, because

Josh:

I mean, they're usually on hard times, you know, and not in a good spot, so they try and they try on anything.

Josh:

Right.

Josh:

So,

Brian:

Going from bad to worse.

John:

Yeah.

John:

And you know, it's just having, having some sort of like, a little bit of experience on it.

John:

There's not that much people that can actually just say like, Hey, I tried it, but I was like, quick enough at least to, to get away from it.

John:

Not a lot of people have that option.

John:

And like you said, Josh, these companies just, just prey on people that are vulnerable and it's just super.

Josh:

yeah.

Brian:

John, did you have to buy

Brian:

the knives you sold?

John:

I think so.

John:

Yeah.

John:

If I'm not mistaken,

Brian:

do you remember

Brian:

how many knives you

Brian:

bought?

John:

it was like a set, like a certain set.

John:

This is like 14 years ago.

John:

So it's like drawing a blank, but I think you had to like buy a certain amount and then you just, from there, you just go door to door to sell it.

Brian:

right.

Brian:

How successful were you,

Josh:

I was going to

Josh:

say,

John:

I think I did it for like a week and I was like, ah, no, thank you.

Josh:

did you sell

Josh:

any

John:

I think I got a couple.

Josh:

nice, so you did better

John:

And I was

Josh:

I think

John:

yeah, but after like a week of just like walking

John:

constantly, I'm like, no, I don't do that.

Brian:

Man.

Brian:

I hated that stuff in a, high school, elementary school, things like that, selling the chocolate, selling the pizza and the cookie dough, like asking people, I couldn't, I couldn't do it.

Brian:

That's not, that's not me.

Brian:

I can't go around asking people to buy something.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

I was the exact same way.

Josh:

Like we would get those and if my mom didn't bring it up during a family gathering or something, I didn't sell any, it was, it was either to myself or, or my parents.

Josh:

And then if, if it was never mentioned again, I would forget about it.

Brian:

Oh yeah.

Brian:

It all came from the parents taking it into their place of work, putting it on like a counter or something.

Brian:

And like, you know, how Toby and Darryl do to cookies

Brian:

in the office with Kevin,

Brian:

you know,

Josh:

it back to the yeah.

John:

I must say that a little bit of experience has now led me to my podcasts and career of not having any shame for promoting our show

Josh:

and grifting.

John:

and grifting.

John:

Yes.

John:

If there's one great takeaway about it, it is now that we don't have any shame,

Josh:

that's

Josh:

true.

John:

we've been at the bottom and we're still here.

Josh:

We'll get up there someday.

Josh:

We'll get up.

Josh:

It's only been a

Josh:

year.

Josh:

It's only been a

Josh:

year.

John:

You're right.

John:

You're right.

Josh:

speaking of which Thank you Fred, for this incredible year of podcasting for everyone, who's listened to the podcast and become a Fred.

Josh:

I want to thank you.

Josh:

All of my guests who have taken the time to come on.

Josh:

Thank you as well.

Josh:

as we hold, listen to my last episode where I was alone, that definitely wouldn't be a good podcast to listen to for a year.

Josh:

so, so special, thanks to them.

Josh:

And, uh, thanks to my awesome guests today.

Josh:

Brian I'm told you never forget your first, so I'm glad you could make the time today.

Brian:

can I say that?

Brian:

I think I

Brian:

was the second,

Brian:

but wasn't I the whole, no sauna, one a about it was about

Brian:

Japan and, they would, they would force you to like rub your feet.

Josh:

You're right.

Josh:

We're cutting all that out.

Brian:

Okay.

Josh:

I'm deleting my first episode now, because I am now realizing Brian was not in the first episode.

Brian:

Oh, mate,

Josh:

my first.

Josh:

So

Brian:

mate, maybe.

Brian:

Uh, was it maybe

Brian:

the first that we recorded, but just didn't release first

Josh:

You were my, you were my, first real podcast or guest.

Josh:

I think that's what it

Josh:

was.

Brian:

Wow.

Brian:

And again, I had started maybe releasing episodes a month

Brian:

before you did,

Brian:

so that was the amount of experience there.

Josh:

no.

Josh:

Cause I think I remember I wanted to start the podcast and I didn't have anyone connections or anything like that So I was just like two of my buddies at home.

Josh:

I was like, yeah, you guys hop on now that I'm remembering.

Josh:

Yes, you were my

Josh:

first podcast.

Josh:

Host guest.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brian:

I'll take it.

Josh:

Brian, tell Fred where they can find your podcast.

Brian:

Alright.

Brian:

I am the host of TV trivia pod.

Brian:

It's a podcast.

Brian:

TB trivia right now.

Brian:

I've mostly covered the office.

Brian:

So it's again, it's, just questions directly from the show.

Brian:

For example, what's the name of Michael Scott's screenplay?

Brian:

when Jim imitates Dwight, what are the three B's he uses?

Brian:

And again, it gets more difficult from that on my most recent episode, where creed is the acting manager, he has the

Brian:

office come up with an acronym for what

Brian:

and,

Josh:

body.

Brian:

Bo body.

Brian:

my man,

Josh:

How are, yeah.

Brian:

but yeah, that's, that's my podcast.

Brian:

You can find me anywhere.

Brian:

You get podcasts and

Brian:

following all the socials at TV trivia pod

Josh:

And all those will be in the show notes.

Josh:

So, definitely go check, check O'Brien's show.

Josh:

It's funny if you want, you can go back to like December, November, maybe of last year and listened to the one I was on.

Brian:

way back.

Brian:

One of also my first

Brian:

podcast guests as well.

Josh:

Hey, nice.

Josh:

we were

Josh:

almost each other's first.

Josh:

That's what we

Brian:

Yup.

Brian:

Yup.

Brian:

Almost

John:

first one was a drunk at night

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

I forgot about it.

Josh:

It was a one night stay.

Brian:

my first was with a, with all my friends, friends, and family too, that I could

Brian:

rope in and be like,

Brian:

Hey, I need you

Brian:

to do this for me.

John:

pyramid scheme.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

That's what it is.

Josh:

That's what it is.

Josh:

and John, if this podcast ever makes money, I'll consider paying you as my co-host, but until then, please

Josh:

plug the podcast.

Josh:

We are

Josh:

actually co-hosts on,

John:

Yes.

John:

Well, but first off, just want to say congratulations my guy for, for a wonderful first year.

John:

And, and, it's, it's, it's been, it's been great being in these, well, this is my fifth episode with you, I think,

John:

or sixth or whatever we could be wrong.

John:

Yeah.

John:

So, you know, it's just been an honor that, you know, you constantly think of me to, to, uh, even though I'm a last minute guests at times, uh, take a, a hot pot, but yeah, man, huge, congratulations to you, wishing you more episodes and more years to celebrate.

John:

But as far as our other podcast is concerned, Josh and I are both the two out of three of, of Reddit on Wiki, along with our friend, Sean, we discussed some of the craziest things we find in the internet.

John:

we have episodes about lost colonies, paranormal.

John:

A lot of smart that's Pete non PG related about anything, anything you could find on Reddit on Wikipedia, we cover it.

John:

You can find us wherever you find your podcasts.

John:

You can also find our website Reddit on wiki.com.

Josh:

Awesome.

Josh:

Awesome.

Josh:

Well, thank you guys for coming on.

Josh:

Uh, definitely go check out both the podcasts.

Josh:

I'm biased on both of them, cause I've been on both of them, but they're great podcasts.

Josh:

and finally, if you want to support the show, you can do so by rating reviewing and sharing this podcast on apple.

Josh:

Chaser and good pods.

Josh:

If you want to split the show financially, you can do so@buymeacoffee.com slash let's start a cult, and you can follow me on the socials at let's underscore cult.

Josh:

And that is all, uh, thank you, Fred.

Josh:

For this past year, I look forward to many to come I will

Josh:

see you next time.

John:

That's what she said.

Brian:

And the office