News & Developments


  • Connector.

    Vemma Shut Down, Herbalife Still Under Investigation

    May 6, 2016 Read Full Article

  • Connector.

    Donald Trump, MLM Scam Promoter for President?

    May 5, 2016 Read Full Article

  • Connector.

    Regulators Tacitly Agree That MLM Is Unfair & Deceptive

    May 4, 2016 Read Full Article

Extensive Research

What went into the research by Consumer Awareness Institute. The investigative research that formed the basis of these reports includes: Analysis of the compensation plans of over600 MLM programs Extensive comparative research on MLM compensation plans and alternative business models to clarify differences Worldwide feedback from thousands of MLM distributors and ex-distributors in a wide variety of MLM programs over a period of over 20 years Interviews with the top experts in the field Surveys of hundreds of tax professionals where MLM is concentrated – representing millions of tax returns of MLM participants IRS income tax records of top distributors in one state Public court records in MLM cases Household consumer surveys regarding MLM participation Surveys of leading MLM company presidents Private and public financial disclosures by MLM companies Communications with law enforcement officials at all levels Direct experience with prominent MLM companies.

Disclaimer

These reports are intended purely as a communication of information in accordance with the right of free speech. They do not constitute legal or tax advice. Anyone seeking such advice should consult a competent professional who has some expertise in endless chain or pyramid selling schemes. Readers are specifically advised to obey all applicable laws, whether or not enforced in their area. Neither the Consumer Awareness Institute nor the authors assume any responsibility for the consequences of anyone acting according to the information in these reports.

Welcome to the premier website for persons investigating MLM

MLM-thetruth.com offers consumer guidance, based on the most extensive independent research on “MLM” as a business model and associated industry practices. Your questions about the advisability of MLM participation should all be answered here, as well as questions about recovery for victims and their families. MLM compensation plans and profitability are thoroughly analyzed, as are distinguishing characteristics separating legitimate direct selling from MLMs, and the deceptions used to promote MLMs, or product-based pyramid schemes.

Dr. Jon M. Taylor

Numerous research reports by top MLM expert Jon Taylor are posted on this site including analysis of profitability of over six hundred MLMs. Thousands of consumers have been guided to make more informed decisions about MLM participation.

Consumer Awareness Institute

Our mission is to seek and share the truth about MLM (multi-level marketing) through research and worldwide feedback.

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Watch this hilarious and insightful video on MLM.


Based on 20 years’ research on over 600 MLMs, multi-level marketing programs. Click a topic:

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Dr. Taylor, your research is incredible and a direct hit. I’m trying [to counter this], but this cult is getting stronger as our economic downturn continues to plague us. . .
– Karen H. California, US Consumer
– Karen H. California

Examples of MLMs or Multi-level Marketing companies include Amway, Herbalife, Nu Skin, Shaklee and 100s more
View MLM List Evaluate any MLM


DISCLOSURE: Once an avid MLM enthusiast, I rose to the top 1% of distributors for Nu Skin. But after a challenge from my wife, I took a closer look and discovered I was losing over $1,200 a month. This was the beginning of 20 years of research, which has been used by law enforcement, attorneys, the media, universities, and consumers worldwide.
– Jon M. Taylor, MBA, Ph.D. Consumer Awareness Institute – – – Opportunities that beat MLM

Our mission is to seek and share the truth about MLM (multi-level marketing), through research, analysis, and worldwide feedback. Numerous research reports by top MLM expert Dr. Jon M. Taylor and Executive Assistant Jonathan Brand, are posted on this web site, including analysis of profitability of over 600 MLMs. (See menu selections above.) Thousands of consumers have thus been guided to make more informed decisions about MLM participation. More…


  • Connector.

    MLM History

    When Charles Ponzi organized the Securities Exchange Company in Boston in 1919… READ MORE

  • Connector.

    MLM's Smoking Guns

    Critics say MLM is inherently flawed, uneconomic, & deceptive. MLM promoters disagree… READ MORE

  • Connector.

    Summary of Key Conclusions

    After analyzing the compensation plans and claims of over 400 MLMs, summarizing thousands of pages… READ MORE

News & Developments

Important ebook revised: MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING UNMASKED is available as a free download for consumers, law enforcement officials, attorneys, researchers, and educators. (See description below.)

A new report of COMPLAINTS FILED WITH THE FTC AGAINST MLMs shows a clear pattern of unfair and deceptive practices across the MLM industry. Note especially Exhibit 1 and the observations in Part III.

The evolving influence of the DSA/MLM lobby over the FTC is explained in detail in the report REGULATORY CAPTURE: The FTC's Flawed Business Opportunity Rule. After a corrupt and irresponsible rulemaking proceeding, the Federal Trade Commission recently stepped away from its role as the nation’s consumer watchdog when it issued its final Business Opportunity Rule (BOR). It is actually a good rule except for one thing: MLM companies – by far the most prevalent (over 90%) of all business opportunity sellers – are exempt from having to disclose any information to prospects to protect them from MLM fraud, which (with its inherent flaw of unlimited recruitment of endless chains of participants) is endemic to the industry.

The International Coalition of Consumer Advocates (ICCA) was recently formed to stand up against MLM abuse. It has petitioned the FTC to protect consumers against unfair and deceptive practices in the MLM industry. The petition and an invitation to post your complaint is posted on the ICCA website at www.mlmpetition.com.

Be sure to watch this excellent video - "Pyramid Schemes: a Primer" in English - or Spanish.


Free eBook

The Case against MLM as an Unfair and Deceptive Practice
The Complete Guide to Understanding the Flaws – and Proving and Countering the Effects – of Endless Chain "Opportunity" Recruitment, or Product-based Pyramid Schemes. Download the full text or just the chapters that interest you. Summaries and descriptive table of contents guide you through this imporant reference book. This book is a summary of thousands of pages of research – and feedback from all over the world – on over 500 MLM programs. You will better be able to define and separate MLM from legitimate direct selling and "business opportunities." You will learn what you need to know about market saturation, high prices of MLM products, costs to recruit a downline, high attrition rates, odds of profiting in MLM (versus other income options), typical misrepresentations used in recruitment, and who are the villains and victims in MLM. You will also discover critical information about the legality and ethics of MLM and why law enforcement is mostly silent on MLM fraud. You will discover what a "good MLM" would look like. You will also learn how to recover losses and what actions you can take to protect you and your loved ones from loss of money, family, and friends from MLM participation.

Download eBook
Plus – Download special report:

FTC Regulatory Capture
This report documents how the DSA (Direct Selling Association) lobby helped the MLM (multi-level marketing) industry gain an exemption from the FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission’s) Business Opportunity Rule, leaving consumers unprotected from the most unfair and deceptive of business practices, proving the need for a firewall between regulators and those they regulate – and for public officials with the skill, the will, and the resources to stand up to powerful special interests.
DEFINITION
of MLM

About Our Research


20 years of research on over 500 MLMs formed the basis of these reports. It's the most extensive research ever done on MLM as a business model, as well as on specific programs. You can download and read all or portions of the eBook described to the left, or you can read the summary linked from the button below.

Summary of Research Findings

Make Your MLM Experience Count

Your experience in an MLM is extremely important to the current research. It takes only a minute to be included in this important research project that adds to the most extensive and accurate database of MLM information to date. Click the survey button below and help get the truth out to regulators and others who need it:

MLM Survey

On the Lighter Side

Question:
How can a person make a small fortune in multi-level marketing?
Answer:
Start with a large fortune.

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INVITATION: Please send us your favorite joke or humorous story about multi-level marketing, and we will consider it for the next update of "On the Lighter Side." Email them to me at jonmtaylor@juno.com - - - - Multilevel-marketing Unmasked...


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Disclaimer:

These reports are intended purely to communicate information in accordance with the right of free speech. They do not constitute legal or tax advice. Anyone seeking such advice should consult a competent professional who has expertise in endless chain or pyramid selling schemes. Readers are specifically advised to obey all applicable laws, whether or not enforced in their area. Neither the Consumer Awareness Institute nor the authors assume any responsibility for the consequences of anyone acting according to the information in these reports.

What Is The Loss Rate in MLM?
99.7%

I found the perfect picture for MLM promoters to use to show off the luxury enjoyed by those who make it big in MLM. Nothing like the “time freedom” to do what you want – even living the luxurious life of a boat owner. Go to - funnypicturesplus.com


MLMs
Shocking Stats

While some MLMs publish statistics on average income of participants, none of them subtract costs necessary to conduct a successful recruitment campaign, which is essential to rise to a level in the pyramid where profits are possible. Such expenses include purchases required to qualify for commissions and/or rank advancement, travel and registration fees for conventions, “sales tools” and lead generation systems sold by upliners, and a wide range of general business expenses.
Dr. Taylor tested the Nu Skin program for a full year in 1994-95 and kept track of the expenses necessary to conduct a successful recruitment campaign. While many of these expenses have increased because of intense competition, he used half of his expenses (adjusted for inflation) as a breakeven figure to establish loss rates for 50 MLMs that publish average income statistics. His statistics have remained unchallenged for over ten years.
Dr. Taylor was also able to get statistics on odds of winning at various games of chance at Las Vegas casinos. He found that the odds of profiting from “Roulette” or the game of “21” are about ten times as great as the odds of profiting from multi-level marketing.
While some MLMs publish statistics on average income of participants, none of them subtract costs necessary to conduct a successful recruitment campaign, which is essential to rise to a level in the pyramid where profits are possible. Such expenses include purchases required to qualify for commissions and/or rank advancement, travel and registration fees for conventions, “sales tools” and lead generation systems sold by upliners, and a wide range of general business expenses.</div>
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<div>Dr. Taylor tested the Nu Skin program for a full year in 1994-95 and kept track of the expenses necessary to conduct a successful recruitment campaign. While many of these expenses have increased because of intense competition, he used half of his expenses (adjusted for inflation) as a breakeven figure to establish loss rates for 50 MLMs that publish average income statistics. His statistics have remained unchallenged for over ten years.</div>
<div></div>
<div>Dr. Taylor was also able to get statistics on odds of winning at various games of chance at Las Vegas casinos. He found that the odds of profiting from “Roulette” or the game of “21” are about ten times as great as the odds of profiting from multi-level marketing.