Thursday, February 27, 2020

Are MLMs Empowering?

Do MLMs empower people?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer (but still short enough)...
While some people can get the “feeling” of empowerment by being part of an MLM (Multilevel Marketing), the reality is usually quite different.

Most MLMs will often lure people in with the idea of lavish lifestyles and financial freedom.  They show people in with flashy cars, big houses, travelling to exotic places, etc.  The truth of the matter is that in most MLMs distributors end up losing money (99%), and very very few make anything but a thousand a year or less.

Most MLMs are chalk full of inspirational quotes and speakers.  They push “guru” books that give very little real world advice on how to run a business.  Basically you are hiring a cheerleading squad that does little else but cheer.  It’s not much value to a “business owner.”

On that note, most MLMs would like to make you think you are a business owner.  Here’s the truth.  You are not.  For comparison, McDonald’s Franchise owner go to McUniversity to learn how to do everything, including finances.   Most MLMs don’t offer that type of support or advice. 

Most distributors (or whatever name the MLM wants to call them),  lack a registered business name.  The reality is that they are really working for the MLM, but because of a legal loophole they don’t have to pay you like a regular employee. 

Here’s just some of the things a real business owner has to consider:
*Business registration, business licence, vendor permit,  etc. (the basics to just starting your own business)
*Business Insurance (are you covered if something goes wrong at a party at someone’s house?)
*Vehicle Insurance (you are using you car for business purposes.  You need to let your insurance company know that you are because you can be denied a claim if you don’t)
*Health Insurance (most business owners are responsible for their own as they are not working for someone else)
*Office space/Home Office Insurance (again, make sure you are covered. If you are storing retail goods at your home, that needs to be covered)
*Accounting/Finances (most business owners learn how to run basic finances so the can know exactly how much they are making.  That includes all the licenses, insurance, gas/mileage, office supplies, business attire, miscellaneous supplies, advertising/marketing, internet, phone, rent, etc.    This is why most distributors don’t realize they are not making money.  They have no idea what costs they actually incur.)

Most distributors don’t consider the amount of time they put in and make sure their “income” reflects that.    They are making next to nothing while the company is raking in boatloads.  Doesn’t quite seem “empowering” now does it?

Most MLM products are over-priced.  They couldn't compete in the regular retail marketplace.  Their business model then focuses on selling to their distributors (and thus creating the down-line/up-line pyramid scheme type format) who have little hope of selling to regular consumers.  When little is going to end-users is where most MLMs get into legal trouble.  Distributors lose money as MLMs try to convince that if they only worked hard enough they could be wealthy.  If distributors fail, MLMs/Uplines will blame the distributor.  Is that empowering?   I don't think so.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Contest Scam

Be aware that when you enter a contest on social media, like Facebook, that there are lots of ways scammers can attack you.  First and foremost, make sure the contest is legit.  Check to see if that page is the actual product/company page (scroll to see if they have years of postings and not just a week for example).  Never click on links without being sure they are legit.  If you can't tell, then don't click on it. 

Scammers will also send you false winning notifications.

Here's a screencap of a scammer imitating Sweet Baby Rays. 

The first thing I notice is that the name is different.  They have their name as Sweet-BabyRays.  That's a big redflag that it is a scam.  Always be vigilant in checking everything.  Do not let the emotion and excitement of winning lower your defenses. 

I view the legit contest rules and it says winners will be announce 2/28.  Well this person posted on 2/20.   That doesn't make any sense.  I think the person is betting on people not noticing this fact and reacting to the "win". 

This is what the scammer's page looks like:

This is the only post on their page!   Instant red flag!!   They want you to click on a link.  Never click on that link.  They want your email (your email will also be sold to other scammers to let them know that you are gullible, a potential mark), and for you to create a password.  They are banking on the idea that your password will be similar to other passwords you use (something1, something2 etc) and thus will be easy to hack.  

You'll note the weird language "WANT WINNER!!!".   Ummm a legit big company like Sweet Baby Rays would not usually use awkward language like this (Yes sometimes companies can make grammatical mistakes, but bad grammar can also be a red flag...again be vigilant in checking to make sure it is legit).   

They say "this is not fraud".   Ummm no actual company would say that.   

If you see posts/pages like this scammer report it to Facebook, Admins, and even the actual company.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

EMF protecting crystals

I came across a website that claims a lot of things.  Most of what was said was complete nonsense.

The first thing I noticed is that this website/blog is loaded with links to selling crystals.  So the bias is clear.  They want you to buy their crystals.  Keep that in mind.

She talks a bit about what EMF is and while very simplistic, I can’t see much fault there except in the fact that she leaves out important info that would, of course, go against her ideology and prevent the selling of the crystals that she has.

She mentions electromagnetic sensitivity.  People who have claimed this have been tested and every single one fails a double blind test.  Check out the multiple studies and systematic reviews

Ok, so EM sensitivity is psychological and phsyciological.

Are there any concerns about EMFs?   
As I’ve discussed before on my blog.  No, not really.

So do the crystals have any EMF blocking ability?
Some do have some magnetic properties and metals in them that MAY disrupt EMF...BUT that would only be blocking within the crystal itself and not creating some forcefield around you.  Also any metals blocking would have completely surround the person, like a Faraday Cage to be of any actual use.  So even if it could work, a crystal on a chain around the neck is not going to protect you.

Further down she mentions Mercola, whom I’ve discussed many time here on Scambusting as a quack who constantly give bad and misleading information.

She suggests turning off your wifi at home and use a cord to connect to the internet.  Well, EMFs are everywhere my dear.   They are created by things like...electricity.  Also sunlight is part of EMFs.  You can see how silly this person is being with the suggestions as it’s clear she really does not understand EMFs at all.   The EMF spectrum:

She mentions about EMF Blocking paint.  I’ve never heard about this.  Sounds hokey to me.  And so it is.   Assuming EMF blocking paint would work, it’s on your walls.  Again, you have electricity, lights, etc all in your home.   You are not blocking really anything.  Again, if you want to block you have to create a Faraday Cage.  Such paint with conductive metals in it have very limited ability, if any.  Especially if they are not grounded.  Purchasing it is just a waste of money, unless of course if you paint your windows to block out the sunlight!

There is so much wrong that is said in the blog that I won't tackle it all.  Suffice to say, this is just nonsense plain and simple.   It's important to remember this...

The old scam artist rule of thumb:  Create a fake problem and then create the fake cure for it

Glyphosate (RoundUp) in Cereals

Glyphosate (RoundUp) in Cereals

A "study" put out by EWG (Environmental Working Group) has claimed that there are dangerous levels of Glyphosate in cereals. 

 Is this this true and is there something to worry about?

First let’s consider the source:  EWG.   This group is funded by the organic lobby so it has a clear bias.  Critics have labelled EWG tactics as "alarmist", "scaremongering" and "misleading".  They have been debunked many times so anything that they put out is highly questionable.  The EWG also likes to position itself as an official agency.  Many people are unaware of this and just assume it has credibility.

Second: The EWG admits that “The Products meet the regulatory standards set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.”  The EPA is a legit agency.  So any levels the EWG are claiming are recognized as safe then.

Third:  The Environmental Protection Agency has said that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.    The EWG likes to bring up a recent court case where a farmer sued Monsanto as proof that it is a problem.  Remember that court cases are not science.  Court cases are not always about the truth or reality.  The bulk of the scientific evidence is that glyphosate is perfectly safe.  “Even at the highest level reported by the EWG (833 ppb), an adult would have to eat 158 pounds of the oat-based food every day for the rest of their life to reach the strict limits set by the EPA."  The safety threshold level proposed by the EWG is 100 times lower than any oversight agency around the world.

Fourth:  The study was a round of tests and not peer reviewed.  Hardly a credible study by any means.

Suffice to say, there is no concern and disregard any info put out by the EWG as they have shown time and time again to be misleading.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Debunking: 10 Reasons Why Homosexual Marriage is Harmful

I don’t usually post political/religious content as I tend to stick to idiocy from quackery and health scams.   I came across this blog on Facebook.   Needless to say, the title grabbed my attention, and not in a good way.  “10 Reasons Why Homosexual “Marriage” is Harmful and Must be Opposed”
Must be Opposed?  Oh I sense the idiocy must be rampant here, but ok ok, let’s give it a read and see if there are any valid points (what was I thinking?  Lol).

There first point:  1.  It Is Not Marriage

They state that marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman.  This is demonstrably false, even in the bible as there are stories of polygamy, incest and other marriages.  Outside of the bible many different cultures had various different arrangements.  Before the bible (yes the Earth is older than 10,000 years) there were various different types of relationships.

They state that specific primary purpose of marriage is to have children.  Well first off, you can have children without marriage.  Human physiology has more to say about that than some man-made biblical law.   This also brings up the question of those that marry and chose to not have children and those that are unable to have children.  According to their statement, these people are not fulfilling the purpose of marriage.   I think it’s weird that they don’t mention anything about love or companionship.  I guess those are moot in their religious eyes?

Point 2:  It Violates Natural Law

I’m not sure if they understand what natural means as there are clear examples of homosexual activity in the natural world.  It can’t be sanctioned by a god as by definition a god is supernatural and thus natural law cannot be a product of such.  So the reality is that their perceived view of natural law holds no weight in the real world

Point 3: It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother

Sometimes yes that is true.  That can happen in a hetero relationship as well.  Again though, there are various types of relationships and in that case, also various types of child-rearing.  Some cultures have a village bringing up the children where various people (both sexes) take responsibility.  Many cultures have other family help out (grandparents, aunts, cousins, other siblings...).  Some same-sex relationships have children from previous hetero relationships and thus the child can have a father or mother as well.  Many children grow up with mentors and teachers as well helping with child raising.
Suffice to say, the blog has a very narrow view of the real world and only thinks one-dimensionally.

Point 4:  It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle

Well I would hope it validates it as everyone is worthy of loving another and vice-versa.  I think here they might be worried that children will become gay.  That’s just not how it happens. Even if one could argue it’s all a choice (it’s not),  children often don’t choose the same course as their parents.   The concern just doesn’t make any sense any way you look at it.

Point 5: It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right

Well, morality is subjective here, but if we are to go by the bible, again I must bring up things like incest.  Also consider issues with women viewed as property and the various other atrocities we no longer morally follow from the bible.

Point 6: It Does Not Create a Family but a Naturally Sterile Union

We’ve already touched upon the different types of child-rearing available in point 3.  Now let’s add in adoption.  It is also important to point out the issues of population growth on our planet.  We have finite resources.  To behave otherwise is to be irresponsible.    Some choose not to add to the plight of the planet.  Some live full and happy lives without children.  Again, marriage isn’t just about having children.

Point 7:  It Defeat’s the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage

Again they focus on raising children and morality.  See previous points.

Point 8:  It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society

You don’t have to accept it.  You have that freedom, just as others have the freedom to accept it.  I think the thing these people forget is that not everyone is a carbon copy of them.  A very simple concept is that freedom allows for different choices and views.  As long as one is not disallowing the freedom and rights of another go for it.  No one is forcing you into a homosexual relationship.  If you find the idea of same-sex “ickky”, that’s ok.  I find certain actions of some people not to my liking/taste.  The difference is I don’t propose to stop them.   It’s cliche but “Live and let live” works here.

Point 9:  It Is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution

I don’t know about you, but “cutting edge” sounds like a good thing lol.
I think it’s ironic here how they bring up the slippery slope to incest when some stories in the bible endorse incest.    Obviously the logical arguments against incest and pedophilia are clear.  Genetics warn us that there are potential dangers to incestual sex in regards to offspring.  In regards to pedophillia, it is simply a matter of children not being of the age to make a distinction of risks and issues of sex and thus cannot legally consent.  Pedophillia is then taking the rights away from the child.
Of course if you want to get into consent, then consider the atrocities of condoned rape in the bible.

Point 10:  It Offends God

Well, you can’t go by the bible to discern your god’s thinking as it clearly has issues (rape, incest, etc).
Thus any assertion of offence on behalf of a god is moot as there is no means to clearly identify such.

Friday, February 14, 2020

The plague that is MLM

MLMs are such a plague on our society.  They often offer over-prices and over-hyped products.  Some are outright illegal pyramid schemes (relying more on recruitment than actual retail sales) while other have confusing progression/level plans. 

Here are a few videos that show some of the issues with mlms.

MLMs target women (they give the illusion of empowerment)

Dangerous posts with essential oil mlms

How some mlms can be considered cults

Luluroe issues.

Bitter Economics of MLMs:

Exploiting the Pyramid

Doterra hostpital sponsorship promoting quackery