Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Official Position on Quixtar

In the event there is any controversy, I wanted to write a post on my official position on Multi-level Marketing (MLM) in general and Quixtar in particular.

Problems with MLM.

First, we need to keep in mind that we are stewards of the resources that God has handed us. We have the obligation to handle our money well and use it in a way that honors God, and even multiplies wealth (Matthew 25:14-30). How you handle money will be a reflection of how you handle other kingdom matters. In order to keep the talk about money Biblical, there are also many warnings about hording money and having a single consuming desire for money, even if that money is pledged to God (1 Timothy 6:6-10; 17-19). In short, we should seek to do the best we can in our respective industries, not seeking to be wealthy, nor seeking to be in poverty. Now, we need to ask if MLM is good stewardship: No, it is not. In general, MLM is not a good stewardship because:

1. Cost of MLM products are generally much more expensive than that of competing products. There are some exceptions to this, but not many. The reason for this is that companies selling products tend to want to sell them, as such, they are sold for as little as they can, but in an MLM, a whole line of people need to pull profit out of the sale of that product. This will drive up the cost. In this respect, some companies manufacture and sell their own products; they seem to not be any less expensive. It is not good stewardship to pay more money than you need to for common household items.

2. Since the product sales to customers outside of the organization are generally lower, worthwhile amounts of money are not often made by marketing these overly-expensive products. Because of this trend, money is in growth of the network, so more emphasis is generally placed on recruitment over customer sales. This adds another point: While one person (the one with downline) may be making a large income, virtually all the other participants will not make worthwhile amounts of money. It is not good stewardship to spend time trying to build your own little way up at the expense of others who only have equal opportunity by repeating what you did, thus having a whole group of downline without profit.
3. Since the price of MLM products tends to be higher, there is a first barrier in selling product at all; the second barrier is the price: the markup on products for sale to customers is generally too small to make a significant profit.
4. Since most people do not make money in MLM, you will have a large amount of people who quit. This means that the time required to build and maintain a network far exceeds the reward for doing so. Reliv boasts to have one of the highest retention rates, but SEC 10K documentation reports the retention is a little over 50%. It is not good stewardship to use your time to rebuild a network with a small potential of monetary reward.

5. The stigma about MLM tends to drive people away from you thus risking your reputation. Remember that in the words of Jesus, if anything interferes with your reputation, it had better be the truth, not something else. MLM is often the social unacceptable joke to pop. Since I have been a critic of MLM, I have heard MLM references in Moody Presents [Unknown sermon], Adventures in Odyssey [All the Difference in the World], Renewing Your Mind [Wealth and Poverty], many movies, cartoons, etc. Some might call this discrimination, and it may be, but it is a fact that MLMers will tend to use social events of all kinds to recruit people, thus causing an annoyance to people.

6. Often times an MLM will be associated with an ‘educational system’ of some sort. In extreme cases, these are cults, in less extreme cases, they are simply bad for the Christian to be involved in. They are based on secular business motivation and self-help industry which is well rooted in Though Reform Psychology, a branch of ‘science’ that is antithetical to Christianity due to the core beliefs it teaches.

This being said, I do not consider MLM to be illegal, but it may be sinful. It is well known that the drive to build your group often leads to a growth in covetousness and a zeal that consumes the passion that we are supposed to reserve for Christ alone.

Problem with Quixtar

Now, outside of the listed opinions above, the only other reservation I have about Quixtar is that they have know about the abuse in the tools system since the 80’s, but have not taken action steps against the high level distributors that are responsible for that abuse. It is clear from the many testimonies that there are many people violating the Quixtar rules, many people are getting hurt, many people are going broke, yet the corporation appears to look the other way.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I have not vanished

Just a brief note that I have not vanished.

Typically, my only time to update this blog is Sunday afternoon, the last two of which were totally consumed by higher priority items. I have set aside some time this week to catch up a few things, perhaps tonight or tomorrow night, so stop by then.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

I’ve Been Teaching the Same Thing for 30 Years

Tape: EDC Leadership, Go Diamond 2003 Part 4

Speakers: Rex Renfrow

Stock Number: BWW137

Recording Type: ‘Basic Mix’

Motivational Aspects:

Rex tells us that we can do it because he did it with no money, a long job, kids, and healthy problems.

Cult-like aspects:

“Some of you won’t be back next year. You are going to listen to the losers, you’re going to listen to the wrong people, you’re going to see something or read something. Something’s going to steal your dream. Something’s going to steal your why. You think there will be something better to fulfill your why and you’re not going to find it.” [We call this Information Control. Rex’s words are meant to keep you from listening to or examining any other source other then the leaders in the business or else you will not get what you want.]

Rex goes on for a long time about how Quixtar is the best business in the world. He talks about a lot of other companies seeking to replace them, people who can not see how good this business is, etc.

Rex also goes on about the board works only for the people. He says that the upper level guys that serve on that board do it for the people, not the leaders who make enough money not to need to go. [It appears that Rex is setting up how high and holy the leaders are. The simple truth is that if there was not a board, the whole business could have fallen apart long ago, thus the leaders would have to get J.O.B.s.]

Rex goes on about how BWW is the best system in the world. More disturbing is when he is challenging people who question the system. He admonishes to go make your own, and how would you make it better?

He then goes on to criticize the people who complain that the price of tapes increased. He says that they would otherwise go out and spend it on movies that are ‘negative and clutter up your mind with junk’ instead of a good tape with good information about how to succeed. [The movie that is wretched is at least discernibly so, but the false Christian teachings on all those tapes is a more deadly poison.]

Rex talks about finding the one thing that will stop you from building this business and then questions if that one thing is worth it to keep you from “this future”. He then says that “you deserve what you get.” He goes on to give an example from 9/11 that some of those people probably said no to the business and had to keep working. [This is exit phobia indoctrination, the indoctrination that makes you think that you are going to surely fail if you leave the organization.]

“What’s your relationship with your wife? Is she proud of you? Is she proud of your commitment that you made to provide for them? Are you just saying words [about building Quixtar]? Are your actions backing it up? Are you sitting around doing things that you know if not what you should be doing, and you should be devoted to this business.” [DeVos spoke directly against this kind of material in his Directly Speaking [MP3] tapes. First, if you are expected to be the provider of your family, you will not succeed. That is God’s job. But, you need to carry some responsibility, you know, WORK! And there is nothing wrong with having a job. Finally, why is he criticizing people for spending time with their wife instead of building Quixtar?]

“It didn’t work for you? Yes it will work for you! Just be honest and say, ‘I didn’t want to work it.’ It will work for anybody that works it properly.” [This takes all blame for a faulty system from the people profiting off that system and places it on the victim of that system. No person can guarantee anything to work 100% of the time if you just follow a simple set of steps. To suggest otherwise is a flat out lie. This is another form of exit phobia indoctrination.]

Talking about God, Rex tells us that there is no better place to fulfill His mission for us than in the Quixtar business.

BWW Tapespeak:

When you know the Why, you will figure out the How.

Other Notes:

Rex starts his tape by saying that people in BWW are constipated with knowledge. He says that the ‘how to’ has not changed in over 30 years. [This is interesting. With this in point, wouldn’t it make sense to say, “OK guys, if you have heard our training, here are the notes, we will be saying the same thing this session, so you don’t have to come.” Or at the very least, let the people come back a few times and let them realize it themselves. But the problem rises when the BWW teachers keep on saying that you have to keep coming back with the classic “optional, but required for success” talk.]

Rex allows for your Job to interfere with building the business. This is good, if it were applied across the board, it would eliminate some of the problems with the System.

Quixtar Rules Violations:

“If you are committed, you got your act right, and you are willing to pay the price, you got somebody who will help you [somewhere in the upline]” Funny, Quixtar rule 5.3.3 says:

IBOs must be able to train and motivate the IBOs they have registered with a minimum of assistance from his or her first upline Platinum or above. If the IBO is a member of an established business-building system, he or she may make arrangements for his or her IBOs to be trained and motivated by the activities and BSM of that system, but under no circumstances may an IBO be forced or coerced to participate in the system. If a downline IBO is unable, for any reason, to access the system or chooses not to use the system, his or her IBO must be able to provide training and motivation.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Which is Better?

Which is better? Going to a weekend function with your motivational organization? Or going to a weekend for your hooby? My cost is about the same, meeting is less than a BWW function, hotel is a little more (staying by myself), so it averages out to the same cost.

At a BWW function, I would get there Friday night and go right over for a mind-wasting 5 hours of people talking but saying new, go to a night-owl so they know you are serious, get 4 hours of sleep, go to 5 hours of people talking but saying new, have about 4 hours off to have lunch, etc, go to 5 hours of people talking but saying new, get about 5 hours of sleep, go to a worship service where they twist around the Bible and scare you into making a "decision" with long-winded words and many-times-repeated emotional verses, then to go 5 hours of people talking but saying new, and then trying to drive home so absolutely exhausted you can barely see straight, but MAN ARE YOU FIRED UP!

I am currently at a conference relating to my hobby. I got here Friday night and met up with people that I have done business with online, but never met. We had a nice long meal, then I went back to my hotel about 10:30 or so, got several hours of sleep before waking up and going to two sessions of seminars, interacted with more people, bought some supplies that I planned in advance on buying, went out to a nice lunch, went to the hotel room to relax for a few hours, went out to walk around the town and see the sights, went to a nice banquet, back to the hotel by 10:30, get several more hours of sleep, and I plan to drive home early in the morning to worship with my friends in a sound church.

Which sounds better to you? (And I know I will get some Ambot telling me that I can learn to make millions at the BWW function, but not at a conference for my hobby. Save time now and ask what evidence you are basing that on?)