Saturday, July 16, 2011

COMMENTARY: What exactly is a "MLM dream stealer"?

Thought Reform and the Psychology of TotalismImage via WikipediaAccording to MLM believers, a MLM Dream Stealer is a naysayer, the "other" people telling you that you can't ever succeed. And they are to be avoided at all costs. The article even tell so-called dream stealers to AVOID MLMers.

I have a BIG PROBLEM with that idea. Why? Because it's the way a cult operates.

Cult! You say... Surely I am overreacting? You are probably wondering.

Just keep your mind open a bit and let me explain why this idea of "avoiding naysayers" is a cult characteristic.

You and Me Against the World

In the book Thought Reform And The Psychology Of Totalism written in 1961, Dr. Robert J. Lifton identified five tactics destructive cults use to control its members. Millieu Control is on the top of the list. 

In Dr. Lifton's own words, millieu control "tends to be maintained and expressed in several ways: group process, isolation from other people, psychological pressure, geographical distance or unavailability of transportation, and sometimes physical pressure."

When you combine psychological pressure, mental isolation from other people, and group process indoctrination, you get "us vs. them" mentality. 

And yet this is exactly what the "dream stealer" article is telling a believer to do: ignore other people, only your fellow MLMers believe you, the rest of you stay away from the true believers

Or in other words, MLMers are using cult tactics, and dressing it up as a "motivational article". 

Now wait a minute, you say, some of that sounds like good advice to me. 

Oh, some of that is okay if you need self-help to make up your mind, but there is such a thing called rational skepticism

Let's put it this way: if you have the dream to grab the moon out of the sky, and you dream very very hard, you still will NEVER achieve such a thing. Right? Because it is physically impossible. It doesn't matter what you dream or how much / how hard you believe it to be possible. There is something called REALITY that intervenes. (the moon is huge and bazillion miles away and all that)

So what does this have to do with MLM and dreams and all that? You ask?  There are many reasons to say no to a MLMer:

  • mistrust of the system / blanket dismissal
  • legality of the system
  • effectiveness of the product
  • personal denisgration: YOU will never succeed (no matter what you do)
  • possibly many more (these are the ones just off top of my head)

Mistrust of MLM System (irrational)

Some people simply dismiss the entire MLM industry with mistrust, with few rational reasons. 

Dismissing THIS sort of naysayer makes sense, since their negativity is not entirely rational. 

Personal Denigration (irrational)

Some people enjoy putting other people down. They are the bullies in school, always going after the weak. Even in life they will go after other people the perceive to be weak. The negativity is against YOU, not the alleged system. 

Dismiss THIS sort of naysayer makes sense, as their negativity is not rational. 

Legality of MLM System (rational)

Due to the way MLM works, it is considered a "legal form of pyramid scheme" by many, many people choose to study the compensation plan VERY closely and if they detect elements of pyramid scheme, such as all recruiting and no product, they will tell you "do not join, it's illegal". 

Dismissing THIS sort of naysayer would be STUPIDITY on your part, unless you enjoy getting scammed. 

Effectiveness of Product  (rational)

Does the product work as good or better than store brands? Can it be same cost of cheaper than store brands? If the overall value is not superior to that of store brands, it becomes nearly impossible to promote the product. 

Dismissing THIS sort of naysayer would be STUPIDITY on your part. You can't convince people to pay $1.50 for single packets of coffee WORSE than Starbuck's $1 packet VIA coffee more than once. 

What the Dream Stealer article says is to ignore ALL NAYSAYERS, even the rational ones. 

Ignoring rational negativity is stupidity.

Ignoring reason = cult behavior

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