Talk of MLMs is everywhere right now. It’s cropping up on podcasts, documentaries, in the news, and on prime time storylines. The stories are sensational, sometimes confounding. Typically the victims suffer devastating financial loss and walk away a bit wiser, a bit angry, but ready to start over.
Then there are people who don’t. People who are wrapped up in MLMs and find their lives spiraling out of control until someone ends up dead. True crime cases with an MLM component have captured the public’s attention, since it adds a weird component to an already strange story.
While many of those stories don’t have anything to do with the MLM specifically, you can often find the motive in the messaging MLMs rely on. Although there are dozens of mainstream MLMs and the industry rakes in nearly $190 billion a year, the messaging is strangely the same no matter where you go.
- Sell the LIFE — Time Freedom, Project Success, Image is EVERYTHING.
- Only Failures Fail — The only people who fail are the ones who don’t work the system.
- How Much Do You Want It? — You have to spend money to make money.
These are the themes that come up repeatedly whether you’re listening to a Beachbody coach, a Monat rep, a Scentsy consultant, or anyone shilling for an MLM. For some, it’s as toxic as it is hypnotic.
It’s this foundation of manipulation that can bring out the worst in some people and drive others over the edge. Three shocking murders with MLM connections illustrate just how dangerous this messaging can become.
The Law of Attraction and Manifesting Murder
Listen to enough MLM pitches and the recurring theme is that they’re selling you a lifestyle. They promise time freedom, financial independence, the ability to travel and work from anywhere. But don’t worry: You only have to work for a few minutes a day thanks to this amazing system.
If you’re trying to sell someone on that then you’d better look the part. For network marketers, image is quite literally everything. Social media posts are carefully crafted, your life is recorded, edited, monetized.