# It’s Not a Matter of Effort, it’s a Mathematical Certainty.

144

[The following is a guest post by frequent commenter, Jim.]

Often distributors make various claims regarding the failure of distributors due to lack if effort. Most of us have read the reasoning by distributors that people failed because they didn’t utilize the help available from the team, because people think it’s get rich quick and quit when they don’t see instant results or you didn’t work the fool proof system. However, this is not the case. The mathematics of the compensation plan guarantees extreme losses regardless of individual effort.

To prove this I would like to focus on the main structure of the MonaVie opportunity, which is distributors are paid 10% of their lesser leg. This creates in a perfectly balance downline a maximum gross payout of 5% since distributors are only paid on one leg.

Let’s use an example assuming that you and your entire downline purchase \$200 per month of juice. Let’s also assume that you have 10 individuals on each side, for a total downline of 20. This means your entire downline is spending \$4,000 per month (20 x \$200). You would be paid 10% on only one leg, (10% of \$2,000) or \$200 gross commissions. You broke even. Therefore for every 1 person in the “opportunity” who breaks even, 20 must be cash flow negative. What is true for one individual “tree” is true for all. There is no way for anybody to make money without 20 people losing no matter how much effort or what system you are plugged into, it is a simple case of mathematics.

I am not stating that it is impossible for anybody’s downline to make money, just that the only way to do so is by them bringing 20 additional distributors who will lose into the “opportunity”. It is similar to a poker game, the only way for one to win is for others to lose, 20 others in this particular case. Everybody at the table can’t win no matter how good they may be. While it is possible for any one person to make money, and theoretically lots, it is mathematically impossible for everyone to make money regardless of effort or the system they are “plugged into”.

I believe there are actually many people involved in MonaVie who believe they are helping friends and family have the chance to improve their financial situation. I don’t think everybody in MonaVie is trying to rip off their friends and family. I think many do not see the mathematics and have trusted the one one who introduced them to MonaVie. To those distributors: please see the harm you are doing, please realize the next time you sign up someone you care about that there is less than a 5% chance they will not lose money and the only way for that to happen is for them to bring an additional 20 losers into the scheme.

Thus is the nature of the binary compensation plan when used within an endless recruiting marketing scheme. I am personally unaware of any such scheme which has had even a 5% success rate and there are plenty of them out there (see this Skeptoid article). MonaVie’s own IDS shows less than 2% of distributors cash flow positive.

Now I am aware there any several ways to get paid in MonaVie but most of the lucrative plans are reserved for those at the top and have no effect on the statistical odds of being profitable. First Order Bonus and Star Maker could have a slight impact on this analysis but as these are not recurring income or the major income stream I did not include the impact. To be fair, I also did not include other expenses associated with the “opportunity” such as the cost of travel, juice for tastings, motivational books, CDs, seminars, branding, or marketing materials which I believe would make the potential for profits far worse.

I am very open to hear any potential corrections to the above analysis from distributors, or any others, who may understand the plan better than I do. My goal is to be as accurate as possible without exaggeration so distributors can realize the damage that is required in this “opportunity” and to be able to see the truth that was omitted when they were shown the plan

The above article is intended to be accurate at the time of its original posting. MonaVie may change its pricing, product, or other policies at any time without notice.

This post involves:

... and focuses on:

Posted by Guest Author on September 3, 2018 in MonaVie Business. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

144 Responses to “It’s Not a Matter of Effort, it’s a Mathematical Certainty.”
1. Brent Hansen Says:

I was going to post a correction to your original post, but when I scrolled to the bottom here my friend Michael had already corrected your computations. One in 31 is totally correct. Screw the FOB and BOB and Starmaker, that is all fluff. Remember, MLM is about “residual” or “recurring” income..hahahaha! And only 1 in 31 can earn enough residual to break even. That is a maximum success rate of around 3.2% based on their own mathematics. Throw in mitigating factors such as skill level, positioning, upline, spillover, etc, etc, and it will actually look like something closer to the mv income disclosure statement. Look at this document less than .5% of all distributors can even pay for their own juice. Simply amazing! And I simply love the redefining of who a customer and distributor really is. Classic!

http://toddhartog.com/income-disclosure-statement.pdf

2. Jim Says:

Mike and Brent, thanks for the clarification.

So you’re saying you need to bring in 30 friends and family, and they each need to spend \$140, a total of \$4,200 and that’s just to break even? You don’t even get paid to do all that work and cause \$4,200 in financial damage.

I guess to be fair, everybody got juice, but for \$4,200 I could have had:

55″ Sony 1080p LCD HDTV \$1,350
Infinity Home Theater System \$180
2 Dell laptops \$250 each = \$500
Sony Cyber Shot 14.1 megapixel camera \$100
Garmin GPS \$150
Xbox 360 with Kinect \$300
Samsung Blu Ray player \$90
Copy of the movie “Believe” \$10
Ipod touch \$200
Frigidaire refrigerator \$450
6 cases of beer \$170
Take my lady out for a nice dinner \$200

I have to believe people just don’t see the damage that they are doing. Can you imagine the rage if someone broke into your house and stole all the above items, or stole them from somebody you care about? But yet people unwittingly do this to those they love and care for.

Even worse than buying the trinkets mentioned above, these dollars are often sorely needed to help these people save for their retirement, to provide a good education for their children, sometimes even just to pay the rent.

Unfortunately, these schemes seem to do best in times of high unemployement and during economic downturns, just when people need their dollars the most. Often the people drawn to these schemes are those in financial despair, looking for a way out and they just don’t see the mathematical guarantees of the exponetial losses that must be inflicted.

3. Jim Says:

Brent and Mike, or anyone else for that matter, can you tell me if there is a required amount of people, or pionts, below you to reach the different ranks? What exactly determines the different ranks.

Thanks for any help.

4. Mike Collins Says:

Jim,

If you want a complete “corporate” explanation of this wonderful opportunity you can view it here http://media.monavie.com/pdf/us/compensation_plan_en.pdf Aside from spending a bunch of time looking at it I’ll break it down real quick.

The ranks are as follows: distributor..ahem..I mean wholesale customer, star, star 500, star 1000, bronze, silver, gold, ruby, emerald, diamond, blue diamond, Hawaiian blue diamond, black diamond and a few more ranks that the average American has almost zero chance of ever reaching. That last statement would actually apply to the last 6 ranks listed.

I would like to point out that aside from the breakage built into the pv/bv ratio there is another “breakage/theft” mechanism in place. It’s the 500 point requirement. Yes, you must have 500 pv on both legs before they will pay you ANY team commissions. So if you generate 500 left and 490 right you are out of luck. Go sell/buy more juice.

The rank requirements are as follows: star 500= 500 left and 500 right, start 1000= 1000 left and 1000 right, Bronze= 2000 each leg and 1 star 500= 1 person in your personal team that has 500pv left and 500pv right. Silver= 3000 each leg and 2 star 500’s, Gold= 5000 and 3 star 500’s. These, as you are surely aware, are called “structural requirements”. If you do not have to requisite star 500’s you are “leaving money on the table”. So just do what all of us were taught to do by our upline and go down and purchase more juice in someone else’s business or one of the “other” wink, wink, positions in your downline.

Since leaving Monavie I have been in a few other companies and have seen all the dishonesty I can stomach. Backroom deals, break insertions, etc. etc. I finally figured most of it out then I met Brent Hansen and he taught me about the math. It was the final piece of the puzzle. Since then I have been watching what goes on in the industry in a whole other light. It’s the comp plan/plans?

I have analyzed a lot of comp plans in the last year and I can tell you that I am hard pressed to think of a comp plan worse than Monavie’s, outside of Amway perhaps. It is an absolute joke. It’s nothing more than a wealth transfer mechanism and now they are taking their dog and pony show to underdeveloped countries and selling those poor people on a dream that 99.6% of them will NEVER realize. If you ever read this dallin you should be ashamed of yourself. You need a paradigm shift buddy.

If you needed further proof (I’m sure you don’t) just look at the MV 2009 IDS. I know they recently released a new one but the numbers are so bad I can’ help but conclude they have deliberately muddied the waters by eliminating the first column in their IDS. If you want to read further here is a link to an analysis I did on that IDS: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1830900383765&set=a.1058656118141.10506.1578053256&type=1&theater

5. humiliated Says:

Mike, I am curious, how did you feel about the whole religious aspect of the biz? Dallin did a mass baptism at on of the R3G conventions last year and it made me queasy to see this blatant abuse of one’s faith. Did you find that when you were involved? Not only are they leveraging people’s friendship for sales, but also their religious faith and there is something so wrong about that to me. I see that a lot of the MLMs out there are Christian or Mormon based.

6. Brent Hansen Says:

Math aside how about the mitigating factors that exist in binary compensation plans? For a perfect example of what goes on behind closed doors (or in this case in a public forum) read these posts on the Amthrax blog.

http://amthrax.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/orrin-qrush-the-many-blogs-of-orrin-woodward-part-one/#comment-9822

7. Jim Says:

Mike, thank you so much for the info. I’m glad you found this site.

I’m not familiar with what a “break insertion” is, can you explain? Did you experience this or any back room deals within Mona vie?

I agree they deliberately muddied the waters by eliminating that first column. Why would you not include it if the numbers continued to look positive.

8. Jim Says:

Mike or Brent,

To dive a little deeper on the levels. Let me see if I understand you correctly. Let’s take someone who is Silver, they need a minimum of 3000 (30 cases)each leg, at \$140 each. They can have up to 5000 point (50 cases) each leg before being catorgorized as Gold.

Let’s assume right down the middle, that a silver has 4500 points, or 45 cases each side. That’s 90 cases total, each at \$140, total paid in by thier downline would be \$12,600. The distributor would be paid 10% of the lesser leg, or \$450, less the cost of juice \$140, means a profit of roughly \$300. Does that sound accurate? \$12,600 paid in the scheme in order for a Silver to make \$300?

Would it also be correct to assume this as a best case scenario, one in which both legs are even and structural requirements are met. Would you agree the amount paid in could be considerably higher if the legs were unbalanced, and the distributor would still only be profitable \$300?

9. MonaVie Scam Says:

Jim, Mike, and Brent,

I want to thank you for getting into this in more detail. It is extremely valuable. I’ve been reading, but I’ve been quite busy looking into Protandim – another health MLM scam.

I should mention that we’d discussed the compensation in detail posts like: http://www.juicescam.com/monavie-is-embarrassed-by-their-income-disclosure-statement-2/. It came to the same conclusion as Mike’s Facebook post, around 99.6% of people lose money when considering the autoship. It can get a lot worse when you factor in any tools purchased, conferences attended, etc.

10. Brent Hansen Says:

Yes Jim, all of your assumptions, as well as your mathematics are absolutely correct. You are correct also in assuming that we are talking about a best case scenario. If you stacked one person breaking even on top of another however, the ratio could theoretically be reduced to 1 in 23, but the MV I.D.S. clearly shows that with all mitigating factors in place, less than .05% of all associates can actually cover their autoship expense. Scam is correct in saying that much more money is lost on tools, tickets, travel etc. If you look at Dr. Taylor’s statistics, the odds are actually higher that you can profit from roulette than from most of the top MLMs in America.

A break insert is when a line of sponsorship is broken and a new position is created within the geneology tree to “insert” a person above an exisiting distributor. Some new companies are using a “holding tank” feature in their back offices to place people in a hold pattern thus allowing people to be positioned above teams who already have volume.

In a binary, if someone is inserted into a position with a huge team on one side, they can simply reach profitability quickly by placing their existing team into a single inside leg. Break inserts are usually reserved for the big hitters in MLM who have teams already in place that can be easily manipulated into position. I know of lots of people who have benefited from break inserts.

11. Mike Collins Says:

To All: break inserts do happen but not always. They are not always necessary. If you will read the post Brent linked all of you on here http://amthrax.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/binary-discussion-on-facebook/ you will see what I mean. “Leaders” often stack multiple positions underneath them in the event they come across another “leader” to entice them to come over. This way they will be able to benefit off work that they did not do.

I was the beneficiary of one of these deals. I moved into the position and started to build it but stopped. During my stint with this particular company the owner instructed me to do the same thing, buy multiple positions. This is of course against the policies and procedures so we put them under family members names.

I went to another company with a different leader who got “placed”. As a result I was placed very near the top of the tree. It was through this process that I started to really understand what it truly involved in building this business.

It is very common. Dallin Larsen did this with Robert Dean on top of the millions he “allegedly” paid him. Rob only built one leg and he hit black diamond in 4 months. Orrin Woodward was an EDC in Amway before he started feuding with them. He was reportedly making \$4-500,000 a year. Within months of moving to MV he was a presidential diamond reportedly earning \$2-3 million. I was told he was given a position by Ken Porter and only had to build one leg. Even if he built 2 he would still be making a boatload of money. He has or had a huge organization. But “smart leaders” don’t build 2 legs. I certainly wouldn’t. I doubt Orrin did.

Read the thread with Ken Stewart. This is how it is done. Period. I don’t care what anyone says to the contrary. The “system” that the “leaders” teach from the stage on how to build a business is for suckers and rookies i.e.: the masses. The ironic thing is that the big checks that these leaders are “earning” are on the very backs of the masses they are deceiving.

12. Jim Says:

Thanks for the explanation regarding inserting.

Brent, you bring up a good point about the tools etc. Can you give me a good estimate of what someone new who was dedicated and plugged in might expect to pay in tools, conferences, travel, etc. Is there a minimum expectation of someone interested in the opportunity?

Mike, you said “Since leaving Monavie I have been in a few other companies and have seen all the dishonesty I can stomach. Backroom deals, break insertions, etc. etc. I finally figured most of it out then I met Brent Hansen and he taught me about the math.” Do you mind if I ask how long you were involved with mona vie and mlm in general? Nobody in your downline had ever figured out the math of the scheme and brought it to your attention? It’s been here on the internet for years, all you have to do is look. I can’t believe distributors are not constantly having to explain questions about the math. If you were presented with the math, was there some standard answer to overcome the objection?

Again, I’m glad you stopped by. I have to admire your ability to realize the problems and make a stand to educate others. I appreciate your time to answer my questions as well.

13. Brent Hansen Says:

Lets just do a quick estimate of a typical month’s worth of “business expenses” for tools, training and travel. This does not include any products at all. This is not the top packages available from the different systems, just a middle of the road, or conservative estimate, of someone who is “plugged in”.

4 weekly open meetings for you and your wife @\$5.00 per head = \$40.00
4 meals for two people after the open meetings to spend time with your “leadership or mentors” = \$80.00

2 monthly seminar tickets @\$25.00 ea. = \$50.00
Seminars usually are 2-3 hours away so there is a meal sometimes two depending on location
= \$30.00

Weekly CD packages and Book of the Month for a total of \$75.00

Miscellaneous Cds, magazines, and brochures to leave with prospects after business the introduction to the “opportunity”. = \$100 per month.

Gas and other meals while out “building the business” = \$200-\$300 per month.

Total: \$575.00 to \$675.00 per month. I personally had several \$1,000 months. One of the last meetings I conducted while building mv cost me a case and a half of juice which cost approximately \$200. So that one meeting with materials was probably about a \$250.00 meeting.

Now who is the genius?

14. Brent Hansen Says:

@Jim, not to seem naive or rude, what makes you think the common person understands the math? I have had the discussion with top-earners in the industry who do not even understand the math of their own compensation plans. It is nuts!

15. Mike Collins Says:

How did you figure out the math Jim? I was in amway first for about 3 years aprrox. 17 years ago. I swore off MLM after that convinced it was useless. When I saw the binary in Monavie I thought, this is going to be a piece of cake. Who can’t build two legs?

I then went on to hit Ruby in 10 weeks. I started making money. That was all I needed. It never dawned on me to ask the question until MV fell apart and I went to the other companies. I started noticing some common threads. So I started asking the right questions. You have to know which questions to ask. I think the process is a little different for everyone.

Most people get in, lose money, listen to all the BS about how it’s their fault, then quietly slip away just wanting to forget they were ever “stupid” enough for trying. Or they believe that they just didn’t “have what it takes” or “didn’t work it hard enough”

There’s nothing wrong with them quitting and disappearing. I think it sad if they believe that line that they were fed by their upline. It is a systematic reprogramming that starts from the minute you get in. It’s very seductive.

When I started to struggle I went through all the things that everyone, and I mean everyone goes through. But I am not used to losing so I wanted to know exactly what the process was, so I started gathering information. I’ve been doing this for the past 18 mos. I now have enough info to make \$100s of thousands of dollars in the mlm arena. I just don’t have the heart to do it. I find it morally objectionable.

I can tell by the fact that you didn’t know what a break insertion is that you probably haven’t been at the level that Brent and I have. So I wonder if you understand the whole picture. I’m don’t mean to sound condescending here. But you go through a lot. This industry is extremely crooked as I’m sure you are aware.

As far as understanding the numbers and why i didn’t catch on sooner, I like to use a quote about inflation that draws, in my opinion, a very fitting parallel. Pay attention to the last part of the last sentence.

It says: There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

One in a million……what an interesting thought.

16. mike Collins Says:

Jim,

That third paragraph doesn’t read very well. I hope you understand the spirit in which it was written. If I made an incorrect assumption please accept my apologies. If I assumed incorrectly would you mind sharing some of your mlm history? Thanks

17. mike Collins Says:

Now I can’t even count! Its the sixth paragraph ….

18. humiliated Says:

That was very educational, thanks Brent and Mike. I swear I have to read the compensation plan in many different permutations before it really sinks in!

I know that Jim has been on here really trying to understand the mechanisms of the MLM machine and his curiousity has benefitted us all. If I may speak to the “why aren’t we asking the questions” or “understanding the math” question, I think there is so much else going on when you first “join” that the actual comp. plan is secondary. In my own experience, I didn’t have ANY experience with MLMs but I knew that Amway was an MLM/cult. I was told that MonaVie was DIFFERENT because it was a “binary plan”. I didn’t quite understand what that meant and when the Diamond in our group started explaining it, I went to my happy place. The explanation was so complex and confusing (and I took a year of accounting in university…ok…only got a c+), I felt like a moron because I looked like the only person in the room that didn’t “get it”, so I didn’t ask questions, hence my visit to my happy place.

There are also several other “diversions”, the cars, boats, “charity”, alleged health benefits, it is like a circus, you don’t know where to look. It is all about the razzle dazzle, the more complicated they make it sound, the more impressive and credible it seems. As a result, people accept the simplest version of what they are told and don’t dig any deeper.

Also, I think your motivation for becoming involved is a huge factor. For me, I was thrilled about the alleged health benefits and went around babbling about the 13 servings of fruits and veggies in a daily serving. I think the “business” aspect was always secondary to me because I had a full life that I loved outside of MV. Lesson learned. My “losses” were fairly unsubstantial but what is worse is that I, in my own small way, helped to perpetuate this scam and line the pockets of Dallin & Brig.

Finally, I seriously believe that one of the reasons people don’t ask questions is that you don’t want to offend the person that got you involved. It is rarely a complete stranger that “enlists” you, it is generally a person that you care about and trust. I felt like I was questioning their integrity by asking the questions, and once things started to look “off” to me, I was still not wanting to “rock the boat”. It is a very unsettling feeling when you are used to living your life asking questions about pretty much everything!

19. Jim Says:

Mike, no offense taken, no need to apologize. In fact, you’re entirely correct, not only have I never been at your level, I’ve never been in MLM, I just know people who are. Actually, I’m grateful you and Brent made the correction that it’s not 20 people who have to lose in order to break even it’s more like 30. I think this is important for people to see, for them to realize that the business is not about juice, but is about the opportunity and the opportunity is rigged from the onset.

You asked how I figured out the math. For me, I figured out the general scheme the first time I saw it. No offense, but to me it was fairly obvious that it was just a pyramid scheme with a bottle of juice attached. I understand not everybody does see this and it is my hope to help others understand the math. That being said, clearly you both understand the compensation plan better than me and I look forward to any other clarification and input you can provide. My goal is not for me to make mona vie look bad but to be as accurrate as possible and let the facts of the math speak for themselves.

Brent said “@Jim, not to seem naive or rude, what makes you think the common person understands the math? I have had the discussion with top-earners in the industry who do not even understand the math of their own compensation plans. It is nuts!”

I find that very interesting. I don’t think it would be reasonable to believe that those at the very top do not know what the scheme is all about and the associated math. Perhaps they play ignorant when asked. But I do think you can be profitable, even quite profitable, and still be an unwitting dupe in the scheme. I don’t doubt that there are many involved who through group think and other psychological influences truely believe this is an honest to goodness legitimate opportunity to change their lives for the better. I don’t think the epiphany comes just because one reached a certain level, but rather through a critical evaluation.

That being said, what responsibility does the successful distributor, or any distributor, bear? Clearly anyone who has been around MLM for even a short period of time hears the objection that it looks like a pyramid scheme, even if it’s just from the diamonds talking about how it isn’t one. At some point isn’t it just willful neglect not to see what’s behind this criticism? Wouldn’t you want to research and read what the opponents say, if nothing else so you can see their “errors” and be able to explain them to your prospects? Does your upline telling you not to read negative information alleviate one from this responsibility?

Once you look, there are multiple legitimate experts who spell out the math and the math is irrefutable. You seemed to say that nobody ever asked about the math. This basically means nobody ever looked, or looked hard enough, but really it’s easy. I find this very troubling. Is the psychological influence so great that nobody dares go against the instructions of their leaders and the group?

When I first started looking into mona vie I was actually very surprised that everyone seemed to be arguing over the miraculous benefits of the juice, which luckily Vogel, Food Tech, Candice, Lattimore, Lazy man and others were doing an outstanding job of researching and refuting. I mean, they really crushed it. If you’ve got the time, go read the archives on lazyman and money, it’s gold. And still people show up here and elsewhere with miracle health claims, which by the way makes mlm’s involved in health products potentially physically dangerous on top of financially damaging. This led me to think of the following analogy:

Have you ever seen a street magician do the trick where he puts a quarter in someone’s hand, grabs them by the wrists, bangs their hands together a few times and viola!…they open their hands and the quarter has miraculously disappeared? This is my analogy to mlm. While everyone is amazed and argueing how or whether he made the quarter dissapear, even people swearing that it happened because they saw it with their own eyes, they fail to realize the magician has taken the watch off the wrist of the dupe during the trick.

Just as we know through science, logic and reason that the quarter did not dissapear, as long as the focus is continued to be placed on whether or not the juice actually works, the theft of the scheme will continue to be successful.

There is no way I can convince a true believer, especially one who has experienced a placebo effect, that all of these miracle juices are nothing more than just plain juice. All the science and logic just isn’t going to work. But I do believe I can present a good person with the facts of the math and the damage that must be inflicted, and that I hope can influence them.

While I may not be able to convince someone who experiences the quarter dissappearing that they didn’t experience what they think they did, I can point to their wrist and show them their watch is missing.

20. Vogel Says:

Damn good post Jim! Ah, you reminded me of the good old days. Remember Lattimore? He was our Lao Tzu. He, Food Tech, Candace, Lazyman, and many others, yourself included, have done the world a mitzvah. Cheers.

21. Vogel Says:

…I failed to thank Humiliated too…my bad. And Anonymous Aussie too…how could I forget! Sorry if I forgot to mention anyone else by name.

22. Brent Hansen Says:

Love the magician analogy Jim. Unfortunately for most in the mlm world there is a very misunderstood theory called cognitive dissonance. When someone holds two conflicting beliefs at the same time, they change their beliefs to avoid internal conflict. Michael brought this to my attention, and I am thoroughly convinced that this theory answers almost all underlying problems within the industry. If you are following the “Troy Dooly” thread on Amthrax, you will find a perfect example of cognitive dissonance on the part of Troy Dooly. He has totally reprogrammed his thinking and belief system to toe the party line. I understand it because I have been there before, and believe many of you have as well. Thank you!

23. Vogel Says:

Continuing with the discussion of analogies, I’ve often thought of that magician analogy while reviewing the company’s scientific claims and research, because in a sense, I’m a magician too and I can see through every one of their scientific tricks. I’m watching a second-rate magician pull sleight of hand and dazzle the audience, none of them realizing that The Amazing Dallinski (with the help of his loyal assistant Schaussie) didn’t really saw a woman in half, he used a set of fake legs; he didn’t pull a hankie out of his nose, he pulled it out of his sleeve; the rabbit was in the hat the whole time; and the coin didn’t disappear, he just cupped it in his left palm.

The other analogy I find irresistible is that of a movie set (MLMs modern day version of the classic snakeoil traveling medicine show). The movie set that Monavie creates is designed to resemble a real corporation; the execs and kingpins are all actors and the distributors are the audience. I think that a lot of the people who get roped into Monavie have no clue what a real corporation looks like or how it’s run, so the movie set version looks to them just like the real thing.

My favorite character in the production is the bellowing, belittling, braggart millionaire executive. That always seems to play well for the audience because they think that’s how a CEO really acts, probably because they closest they’ve ever come to one is watching Trump on The Apprentice or Mr. Howell on Gilligan’s Island.

The other movie set, for the distributor training events, is designed to resemble something akin to a stockholder’s meeting (with a healthy dose of 3-ring circus/variety show thrown in for entertainment value). The rubes in the audience don’t seem to know that at a real corporate meeting, the execs don’t stand on stage bragging about how much money they made to motivate the secretaries, salesmen and janitors; they don’t show slides of their vacation in Bora Bora; and they don’t rub dirt in their employees’ faces by presenting the VP with the keys to an expensive new sports car.

The other movie set they use is the scientific seminar, reminiscent of what you might see at a biotech startup R&D meeting or a medical research conference, except the big difference is that the script read by the lecturer at the podium on Monavie’s set consists of jargon-laden misleading nonsense and the bobbleheads in the audience don’t know enough to realize how bad the actor’s performance really is.

Monavie’s sales tools concession is like a blend between a movie theater popcorn stand and a tacky souvenir shop at a second rate tourist trap.

But wait! There’s more! 10 cents from every \$50 ticket to “Monavie: The Movie” goes to your local distributor and a hundredth of a penny goes to drug-addicted orphan baby prostitute landmine victims in some third world country.

24. MonaVie Scam Says:

I would like to throw out my thanks there too to all of you. I’ve been a little off the radar of late. I’m still doing things with general MLM under a new MLMmyth.org domain.

You guys give amazing viewpoints that I hate to see them buried in comment #108 of a post like this. Often the posts apply to the issues with MLM that are deeper than just MonaVie, so I think it made sense to create an umbrella site to deal with those general level issues.

I still mention the Lattimore’s Bear Attack pill argument on the LifeVantage Protandim posts. What a visionary Lattimore and his friend Barry were!

25. humiliated Says:

Awww..I miss Lattimore, Food Tech and Candace! You guys were the pioneers Vogel! I wish they would pop by and say hello!

Vogel, you have a really good point. So many of the people that I saw getting involved with MonaVie were not savvy to the ways of the Corporate world, they hadn’t had to sit in on a (yawn) budget meeting etc.. I think I almost break into hives when I hear “meeting with the VP” or “solution gathering seminar” at my job..and I love my job (well…most days)!

The conventions don’t even come close to one that would happen in the “real world” with singers, preachers, fake doctors etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dallin & Brig don’t walk out in a fog of dry ice and the sound system blaring “Stairway to Heaven”! It is EXACTLY what you say..a well orchestrated show. But, to the ignorant (read inexperienced) masses it is very effective.

JS! How exciting! I can’t wait until you get the new site up and running!! Any idea when that will be?

26. jim Says:

@Vogel, love your analogy as well. It’s all just selling the illusion. And you’re right about Humilliated and Aussie, thank you both very much for continueing the cause. I try to help here when I can but the dedication of this core group is truely admirable.

@Brent, I am familiar with cognitive dissonance, in fact I believe Aussie, Humiliated, or maybe both of them have brought the subject up prior. I think you are right, this form of justification is not uncommon. What are your thoughts on that cognitive dissonance was first coined referring to cults. Having extensive experience with MLM and mona vie in particular, looking back do you now consider them to be cults?

As for Troy Dooley.. I went and read that entire thread at Amthrax. I do not think Troy is experiencing cognitive dissonance, it seems to me as though he is fully aware of the math of the schemes. Unless I missed it, and I spent hours reading that, although you brought up the math in detail, he never addressed your points. He seemed very willing to talk about subjective matters and how people should behave and identity issues, but when it came to the math, he was suspiciously quiet.

I believe you mentioned that you had conversations with Troy on his blog, if so did you discuss the math with him and can you link the discussion? I looked on his site but didn’t see it.

Getting back to cognitive dissonance, this was in part the point of my previous post… that people can be subject to mental manipulation. That people can claim that their experience was different than the critics, that the juice just being juice is a matter of opinion, they can be influenced by lies about science that they simply can not understand, they can be fed conspiracy theories about big pharma and the government, etc. All of these tactics can be employed to explain away when confronted with conflicting facts that threaten the beliefs of the group. But you can’t explain away math to even the least reasonable person. But math is not subjective and not subject to interpritation. 2+2=4 and if someone tells you 2+2=73 it is clearly not true, anyone who claims they can not see the answer is 4 is either a legitimate idiot (probably institutionalized) or a charlatan who is looking to hide the facts.

27. Brent Hansen Says:

Vogel, you crack me up……Gilligans island, Dallinski, funny stuff!

28. Mackwiz Says:

Man, you guys took the engine apart. That is some front page material.

And now for something to make your stomach turn:

I like the first top comment.

29. Vogel Says:

Brent: “Vogel, you crack me up……Gilligans island, Dallinski, funny stuff!”

I can’t help myself man, this stuff is so comical at times, and I have to keep my wrath balanced with humor so that I don’t get my yin-yang all out of whack. Lattimore was the real master of Monavie satire though…brilliant and powerful. A complete absence of humor on the part of every ardent Monavie distributor that’s ever posted here has always been one of the biggest red flags about this company, unless of course you happen to find humor in comments like:

“Monavie cure grandmas CANCER! You guys are negativ and probebly think farmasooticals are the bee all and end al. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Here is a recent comment from Amthrax’s site that I thought you would all have fun with. Asking everyone to come up with a ‘better’ idea than;
LIFE/TEAM/Orrin/MonaVie/Amway/etc., not without the criteria though ..lol :)

October 2, 2011 10:14 am

Hi friends, I just finished reading up on your comments about the upcoming LIFE business model, and cannot help but ask… “OK, so LIFE/TEAM/Orrin/MonaVie/Amway/etc. sucks because “most” people cannot make more money than they spend on the business… but do YOU have a better idea?”

And please note – your “better” idea MUST allow a breakeven earning ratio of 1:2 minimum. By this I mean, “Find 2 and you get yours FREE!” Not only that, it MUST give the participants a shot at stardom and freedom. Thirdly, it MUST give the participants a chance to become part of a “community” of like-minded, positive-thinking, hungry-for-a-better-life individuals. Last but not least, the participants MUST make more money right from the get-go – and significantly more money than they spend on whatever expenses they so need to incur in the course of building the business (your idea).

With that said, I hope to hear some solid responses… as the saying goes, “It is always easier to criticise, than to offer a more creative solution.”

p/s. Amthrax, my apologies… I have been away because we just had two watershed elections in Singapore and I was pretty involved as campaign manager. (election agent)

Gotta love the ‘shot at stardom and freedom’!

The stardom line is particularly funny: How many people can name the CEO of Amway? I can’t. Stardom in the MLM world is extremely relative; I doubt many MonaVie distributors could name a top distributor in, say, Pampered Chef.

To be a star in the eyes of the general public, there aren’t that many paths. You’re not likely to be noticed in the corporate world unless you climb to the top of a really big company. Stardom is most common where people themselves can be said to be the product – sports, politics, film, or writing come to mind.

I was thinking a ‘good idea’ would be take up babysitting. Definitely wouldn’t have to worry about the ‘break even’, it pays more and it doesn’t take much to convince a little child you are a ‘star’…most think their parents are..and if you really wanted to ‘create a community of like-minded’ then babysit more children or open a day care..lol

Oh and once you’re done with the babysitting job..back to Freedom! :) …LOL

35. brent hansen Says:

@Vogel, wrath balanced with humor, thanks for the heads up, I guess I should display both simultaneously huh? Gilligan’s island, hahaha, I am still chuckling, and its been days. Dry ice, fog, stairway to heaven, love it, love it, I never knew that commenting on blogs could be so entertaining.

@Jim, I honestly believe that Troy has never been hit head on with the things that Michael and I have been hitting him with. I think part of cognitive dissonance require one to make a decision one way or the other, then think up every justification possible to support that decision. The only way I can understand is through my own experience, I have been there, so I have empathy. I know every one liner for MLM, and could smack down even the best critic. I chuckled the other day as I recalled a story that I shared with Michael about showing Amway to a millionaire friend of mine. He smiled at me and said, “Brent, don’t you know these things cannot work.” To which I responded, “yes they do and I will show you.” He said, “when you have your mercedes bought and paid for by money you have earned from mlm, come back and I will join you.” I glared at him and said, “see you soon.” Now who is the ASS here. Twelve years came and went in that opportunity, and I burned up 4 cadillacs (hahaha) but never got the elusive mercedes benz, nor the six figure passive income I had bragged about.

I was probably the poster child for cognitive dissonance, so I know what internal conflict feels like first hand. As for Dooly, when I brought these equations to him and many others, they simply tried to redefine “success” in an mlm. After all didn’t you know Jim that according to the DSA over 70% of all of those who sign up, do so to simply receive a discount on the products? It is not about business at all, they simply LOVE MLM PRODUCTS, and join because they want a little better price.

Furthermore, there is a whole multitude who join simply for the comradery, friendship, or to be part of something. According to Troy, all of these could be counted as “SUCCESS” in mlm, therfore my mathematics simply do not explain the whole story, and do not provide an adequate explanation of success and failure in an MLM. Kind of funny as I logged into my MV back office for the first time in 3 1/2 years and discovered that there was 1 single case of juice sold throughout my team of 600 plus associates last month. Now where are all those who simply joined for a discount? Is it possible that the DSA is full of it?

You know Jim the DSA is the ultimate source of all light and knowledge right? After all they are the prestigous governing body of MLM, they are the industry watchdogs, and when they speak it is gospel.

Now that you bring it to my attention, you are right, Troy never did come at me with anything to dispel the reality of mathematics, interesting.

@SYT, babysitting and lawnmowing would both be great alternatives. Both would provide more income than most of the MLM models out there. Great thinking! I hit another pro MLM guy before with the fact that my friend makes more off of his boxer who has one litter of puppies a year, than most people who take MLM serious. He was pissed off at me and explained how engaging in MLM was simply worth it if for nothing else than the tax savings alone. Afterwards I brought it to his attention that the average American pays zero income taxes, and he did his best to baffle his way out of that comment as well.

The story is always the same with these guys, they have all experienced dissonance, and it takes some sort of come to Jesus realization that they are engaged in models that HURT PEOPLE, STEAL FROM PEOPLE, AND ROB PEOPLE OF THEIR DRIVE AND INTEGRITY. ENOUGH SAID FOR NOW!

36. Jim Says:

Brent, regarding Troy I suppose I will never be 100% positive about someones private thoughts and beliefs, but it seemed obvious to me that he was avoiding the math question.

Your right, Troy and the DSA may attempt to deflect criticism with claims of retail demand, alternate definitions of success, etc. But I think we both know the true draw is the opportunity and you have the facts of the math of the opportunity. If you can ever get Troy or any voice for MLM to admit that 97% have to fail, that is the smoking gun. Don’t let them get away with calling it a “probability” of failure, it is a 97% certainty of failure in an internal consumption endless recruiting scheme.

I read your facebook exchange and it seemed like a part of the defense was that all businesses have a high probability of failure. While the true statistics are exagerated by MLM advocates, no business that I am aware of outside mlm requires 97% to fail. There’s a huge difference between experienced failure rate, probability of failure and certainty of failure. Mlm is the only one rigged before you start.

37. brent hansen Says:

@Jim, you are dead on when you said that there is a “certainity of failure”, one of the most interesting things I have found is that most MLM guys cannot differentiate between mathematics, and statistics. Many of them are more than anxious to quote statistics as justification for their models, but success in an mlm is determined by mathematics. There is no way that you and I can become a victim of statistics, but we both can become victims of mathematics.

I wonder which exchange you read between Troy and I, there have been quite a few, on quite a few different points.

38. Jim Says:

@Brent, I read the Amtrax exchange between you and Troy under the Qrush topic. I also read the exchange you and mike had with the diamond you linked from facebook on this thread. If you can link me to any additional threads where you discussed the math with Troy or any mlm authority, I would love to read it.

There is a definite difference between probability and certainty. I could flip a quarter 100 times and although the probability is that I will have 50 heads and 50 tails, there is no certainty. Mona vie’s comp plan guarantees at best I will have 3 heads and 97 tails (when heads is considered the winner).

39. brent hansen Says:

@Jim, I actually have files of conversations all tucked nicely away waiting for the right opportunity. Screen shots are an amazing thing.

The sad thing is about all of this is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Any company could create a model that would be viable for the masses. It seems however that they are all satisfied with their day in the sun, a quick burst of growth followed by plateau and decline.

Greed stops them from creating a “real” business model. I spent 30 minutes on the phone yesterday with an Amway corporate rep asking them about the mathematics of their deal. I haven’t been around the stairstep for about 6 years now so I wanted to refresh. Funny thing is, even the corporate people believed that it was a viable model.

Sometimes I think I might be the crazy one, its like being in the matrix or something. Blue pill red pill?

40. Stephen Says:

Listen, if this group does help people with their courses and books then people are getting what they paid for. If they do not want to put out the effort to make money from it themselves then that’s is their loss.

41. MonaVie Scam Says:

Stephen, you need to read the article again. It isn’t about the effort. The circumstances that MLM puts you in means only 1 or 2 in 100 can succeed… regardless of effort.

42. Stephen Says:

I did read it and frankly it still comes out the same. You still get the books paid for, you still get the classes. Even if you don’t make money you still are getting something.

43. MonaVie Scam Says:

I could sell you a Honda Accord for \$75,000. You’d still be getting something.

The lesson here it to buy the books from the cheapest place and take the guaranteed savings.

I, and many experts, like the books listed at PersonalMBA.com and the list is free.

44. jim Says:

Steven, you said “Listen, if this group does help people with their courses and books then people are getting what they paid for.” I would contend that people are not getting what they paid for. People are being told that they are getting a super drink with abilities beyond that of more common juices and that they are being provided with a legitimate opportunity to provide financial freedom to themselves as well as their friends and family. Neither of these claims are true.

The article demonstrates the guaranteed failure rate of the endless recuiting, binary compensation plan. One would be hard pressed to believe that those at the top of the scheme do not fully comprehend these facts. Knowing that the failure rate will be so high the motivation now becomes to keep people involved as long as possible, believing that they can be the one who succeeds. This is where what has been referred to as the pyramid on top of the pyramid, that you referred to in the selling of motivation material, comes into play. The objective is to keep them buying the juice, plugging away at the dream, attending functions,and buying more books and tapes as long as they can. Let’s not forget recruiting more people who they can repeat the scheme upon.

Look, I applaud those who are looking to improve their lives and are looking to educate themselves. And yes, they are getting the books they paid for,but why on earth would you ever want to buy books and tapes on how to live a better life, be virtuous and successful from the very con men that are taking advantage of you?

Previous: Orrin Woodward Looks to Whitewash History with Amway
Next: Conference Call Details