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False Profits: Seeking Financial and Spiritual Deliverance in Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes

by Robert FitzPatrick and Joyce K. Reynolds

False Profits is an in-depth examination of the multi-level marketing industry and related illegal pyramid schemes which have grown rapidly in the US and abroad in the last 15 years. The examination looks at the MLM field from the perspective of its financial, social, personal and spiritual effects on those enrolled and solicited.

A centerpiece of the book is a dramatic account of the illegal pyramid scheme, called the "Airplane Game", as it unfolded in South Florida and other parts of the United States in the late 1980s. This account is provided as part of the exploration of the underlying motives, values and needs that draw people into these programs and into MLM.

False Profits:

  • traces the philosophical and promotional assertions of the MLM industry to fundamental American values and beliefs and describes how they are used and misused in MLM solicitation campaigns.
  • explains the structural, legal, promotional, and philosophical similarities and distinctions of the multi-level marketing industry and illegal pyramid schemes.
  • examines the MLM distribution system in light of the principles of traditional distribution channels, the requirements of supply and demand, market saturation, good faith manufacturer/distribution relations, and the role of honest and full disclosure of market conditions and expectations.
  • analyzes the assertions in MLM recruitment and its sales of motivation materials regarding what constitutes success in life, the meaning of prosperity, the power of creative visualization and belief, the value of alternative work or occupations, and the role of MLM in the overall economy.
  • illustrates how the MLM system of enrollment changes personal, family and professional relationships.
  • provides data on the size of the MLM industry, growth rates, number of people involved, success rates of distributors and incomes of distributors
  • critiques the most popular promotional literature of the MLM industry against real life experience of millions of participants.

The final section of False Profits offers alternative approaches to work, vocation, and personal integrity in work and business. This side of the subject is considered because of MLM's pervasive messages and predictions about its role in the distribution field and its self-promotions as the preferred or only sustainable way to earn a living in the current and future economy.


ISBN: 0964879514

$12.95

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This page last updated on 3/13/09