Government regulators and most news media turn their heads or find other diversions from the reality of a fraud epidemic on Main Street America. But some comedians, movie producers, comic strip writers, and television sit-coms are finding rich material in the mass folly and pathos. Indeed, laughter, ridicule and satire may be the best weapons consumers have against wily pyramid promoters. So clever and disguised are their tactics that one risks entrapment by taking them seriously at all.
Here is a list of movies and clips on multi-level marketing fraud that not only bring a smile but also open eyes and minds. It appears that comedians and satirists see the fraud of multi-level marketing plainly, while regulators and the main stream media are flummoxed.
- Pyramid University: A bitterly funny and very wise YouTube satire (less than 4 hilarious minutes) by comedian John Crist offers mocking advice to those seeking help in advancing a multi-level marketing business. See the YouTube.
- Comedians Penn & Teller dedicated an entire segment of their popular ShowTime series, BullS_t, to expose multi-level marketing. The segment is entitled “Easy Money.”This show is hilarious and a devastating exposé too. Robert FitzPatrick is featured expert in the show. Only available from Amazon for a few bucks or to ShowTime subscribers. Note: The full show has nudity and profanity.
- The “King of Queens” television comedy hilariously portrays being lured by a friend into a MLM water purifier scheme. (no longer available on YouTube)
- Comic strip character, Dilbert, despairs after being misleadingly invited to a luncheon with a MLMer, co-worker.
- The British sitcom, Peep Show, has a very funny take on pyramid recruiting, entitled “This is not a Pyramid Scheme” (note some profanity in the 4-minute YouTube clip)
- The comedy show, The Office, depicts bungling office manager, Michael Scott, recruiting his very own staff members into a pyramid marketing scheme. How many people have been in similar situations?
If you are wondering why comedians are able to see right through the frauds, but regulators and journalists do not, it is important to learn about the work of one key person in lobbying and public relations for multi-level marketing. That national figure is the noted economist, Dr. Lasdwun N. Luzes. He is a popular speaker at Amway meetings, a lobbyist for the Direct Selling Association, a fierce critic of consumer protection and a fervent anti-regulation spokesman.
Dr. Luzes has written the definitive defense of MLM. He argues that MLM’s pyramid scheme model is one of the most new powerful marketing tools ever devised. The problem is not its legality, deception or the harm that it causes. All marketing produces similar results to varying degrees, he claims. He feels the problem is the failure or the reluctance to fully embrace and fully legalize the pyramid scheme for money making purposes. His short book is available on Amazon.com. Even if you do not agree, or do not laugh, you will gain a better understanding of the power behind MLM.