- what has become popularly-known as 'Multi-Level Marketing' is nothing more than an absurd, cultic, economic pseudo-science.
- the impressive-sounding made-up term 'MLM,' is, therefore, part of an extensive, thought-stopping, non-traditional jargon which has been developed, and constantly-repeated, by the instigators, and associates, of various, copy-cat, major, and minor, ongoing organised crime groups (hiding behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) to shut-down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of victims, and of casual observers, in order to perpetrate, and dissimulate, a series of blame-the-victim rigged-market swindles or pyramid scams (dressed up as 'legitimate direct selling income opportunites'), and related advance-fee frauds (dressed up as 'legitimate training and motivation, self-betterment, programs, recruitment leads, lead generation systems,' etc.).
The following article has been specifically written to inform and guide senior UK police officers.
|Dee Collins, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire|
West Yorkshire Police replied July 24th 2017
Dear Mr Mariner,
Thank you for your request for information, received by West Yorkshire Police on 03/07/17.
Chief Constable Dee Collins has no interests in any multi-level marketing (MLM) companies, nor does she have any connections via family to the energy or telecommunications business. West Yorkshire Police has a Business Interests and Voluntary Working policy which applies to both police officers and police staff and does not attempt to preclude individuals from undertaking additional employment. The policy covers the process on notifying when individuals have or wish to pursue a business interest, and the considerations which will aid in determining if the interest is acceptable or not. Any requests for a business interest are notified to the Business Interest Team and then considered by the Business Interest Panel. Please see the link below for the Business Interests and Voluntary Working.
If you are not satisfied with how this request has been handled or with the information provided, please read the advice notice attached to this letter. If you do wish to take up your right of complaint, please remember to quote the reference number above, in any future correspondence.
Rebecca Howcroft Disclosure Officer
Various 'MLM/Prosperity Gospel' rackets have been using UK police officers, and former officers, as shills. Due to the increasing stress of the job, a significant % of serving UK police officers are always desperate to take early retirement from the service.
Thus, a significant minority of UK serving police officers have been a particularly vulnerable target for recruitment into 'MLM' rackets like 'Amway', 'Herbalife' ,'Utility Warehouse', 'Forever Living Products,' Ariix', etc.
Back in the 1990s, when I first began to challenge the chapter of the pernicious 'MLM' fairy story entitled 'Amway,' to my horror, I discovered that numerous West Yorkshire police officers were adherents. At that time, my brother (who was a fanatical 'Amway' recruiter living in the town of Halifax) boasted that there were plenty of local policemen in his group. Members of my family were acting under the belief that:
'Amway' had existed in the UK for many years and had been endorsed by UK Conservative politicians and government regulators.
the widespread involvement of police officers was a further guarantee that 'Amway' could not be fraudulent.
However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Faced with an ongoing Federal Trade Commission investigation of 'Amway' in the late 1960s, the phenomenon of 'MLM/Prosperity Gospel' cultic racketeering began to spread out of the USA (first infecting Canada, then Europe and Australia) in the early 1970s. The 'MLM' phenomenon was initially allowed to enter the UK 1972-1973 (apparently without any official scrutiny whatsoever) in the guise of 'Amway UK Ltd.'
By the late 1980s, the 'Amway' racketeers were boasting 100 000 'Distributors' in the UK, but they never disclosed the overall churn/loss rate. This tragicomic situation continued without any regulation until 2007, when (mainly as a result of my own persistent complaints) the Company Investigation Branch of the Dept. of Trade and Industry (then Britain's equivalent of the US Federal Trade Commission) made a timid attempt to close 'Amway UK Ltd' by filing a Public Interest Bankruptcy Petition in the UK High Court (in the name of the Minister of Trade, John Hutton). At this time, 'Amway' claimed only 35 000 'Distributors' in the UK, but soon afterwards, this figure fell to 12 000.
Briefly, the UK government's case was brought against 'Amway UK Ltd.' on behalf of the British public, on the grounds that the company had been grossly-exaggerating likely earnings in its so-called 'MLM Income Opportunity' whilst charging significant sign-up fees to participate in it. The unobtainable 'Dream Amway Lifestyle' had been presented (and sold) to 'Amway' participants in publications, recordings, meetings, etc., and it was submitted by government prosecutors that all these practises were in breach of UK trading schemes, and lotteries, legislation. Thus, UK government prosecutors requested that the High Court follow established legal precedent and deem these accumulated illegal revenues a new debt/liability to be handed over to the court, but which 'Amway UK Ltd.' did not have assets to cover. The financially insolvent company would then be automatically closed.
Privately, I was assured by Company Investigation Branch officials that, once this standard civil insolvency procedure had been followed, a criminal investigation/prosecution of the vast frauds lurking behind 'Amway UK Ltd.' would then be pursued by the UK Serious Fraud Office.
Even though senior UK trade regulators had been fully-informed how the 'Amway' racket functions, at no stage was it clearly explained to the High Court that between 1973 and 2006 at least one million ill-informed UK and Irish citizens had been quietly churned through the so-called 'Amway MLM Income Opportunity.' Nor was it explained that 'Amway's' effectively 100% overall loss/churn rate had been deliberately hidden from the UK and Irish public in order to deceive new, temporary ill-informed victims and thus, sustain the fraud.
As far as the High Court was concerned,when examined in isolation, 'Amway UK Ltd.' didn't appear to be a significant problem. For a start, it had never once declared an annual trading profit in 33 years. In fact, on paper 'Amways' British front-company had lost millions of pounds and had only been kept afloat by regular cash injections coming from a labyrinth of other 'Amway' corporate structures registered in Europe and Asia (but which were controlled from the USA). In the light of this extraordinary evidence, the blindingly obvious question for UK prosecutors to have have put to the judge was:
What possible motive could anyone have to invest many millions of pounds in legal fees to attempt to prevent such an apparently pointless and chronically-insolvent company (like 'Amway UK Ltd.') from being closed?
Unfortunately, common-sense was not applied and this key-question was never asked, let alone answered, because the Trade Ministry investigation had been restricted to 'Amway UK Ltd.'
In reality (during 33 years of unregulated activity) the unlawful profits from the 'Amway' racket had been generated in the UK by peddling the never-ending chain of would-be 'MLM Diamond millionaires' a 'step by step plan to achieve total financial freedom.' This 'plan' was contained in a never-ending stream of over-priced publications, recordings, pay-through-the-nose-to-enter meetings, etc. It has been estimated that as much as one billion US dollars could have been removed (mostly in cash) from Britain via these secondary advance fee frauds.
The bulk of the 'Amway' theft was carried out in the UK behind another labyrinth of legally-registered corporate structures, like 'International Business Systems UK Ltd.' This privately controlled British company (based in Somerset) appeared on paper to be owned and run by 4 'Amway Diamond Distributors' - Jerry and Mandy Scriven, and Pat and Greta Gregory. In reality, it was controlled by members of the Yager family in the USA.
'MLM/Prosperity Gospel racketeers, like Dexter Yager, have pretended to be ordinary poor humans who have discovered the secret of how to transform into fabulously wealthy superhumans. They offer to share their secret knowledge with anyone for a price. Part of the price is always that the victims' surrender their critical and evaluative faculties. In other words, this is a particularly dangerous advance fee fraud employing co-ordinated devious techniques of social psychological and physical persuasion, but it can also be characterised as a very sophisticated form of protection racket in which vulnerable individuals are presented with a stark choice between financial doom and financial salvation.
In the 'Amway' racket, the secondary frauds have been controlled by just a handful of wealthy crime-families. This unoriginal system was first identified in the 1980s by Mafia specialist, Prof. Robert G. Blakey - who was employed as an expert by the attorneys of Proctor & Gamble Corp. who were embroiled in a bizarre series of lawsuits with 'Amway' and its bosses.
Thus, as Blakey predicted, to casual observers, the 'plan'-peddling front-companies appear to be independent of 'Amway.' However, when the UK government finally began to investigate 'Amway UK Ltd.,' the parallel British companies were immediately closed-down. The British 'Amway Diamonds' who ostensibly owned and ran them (like Jerry and Mandy Scriven), were excommunicated from 'Amway.' In reality, this classic hermetic system had been set up to prevent, and/or divert, investigation and insulate its beneficiaries from liability. Most of the cash profits from the British 'Amway' racket had been shipped to persons like the members of the Yager family in the USA, who are the real controllers of the front-companies like 'International Business Systems.'
None of the above criminal enterprise has ever been investigated, because the UK government's restricted bankruptcy petition against 'Amway UK Ltd.' was mysteriously declined and no further penalty imposed, first by a single High Court Judge and then by 2 out 3 Appeal Court Judges, after 'Amway UK's' company officers were allowed to submit unchallenged false statements to the High Court, in which they pretended to have been completely unaware that the company had been in breach of the law. They also gave unenforceable undertakings to the High Court that the company had already voluntarily reformed its activities to bring it in line with UK legislation.
Today, it is difficult to estimate accurately the total number of serving British police officers, and former officers, who are adherents, and who have been, adherents of 'MLM/Prosperity Gospel' cults. However, the figure certainly runs into thousands, if not tens of thousands. The British police service allows its serving officers to pursue lawful part time business interests, but officers have first to obtain the permission of their Chief Constable.
David Brear (copyright 2017)