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The All Things Risk Podcast

The All Things Risk podcast explores the themes of risk, uncertainty and resilience as applied to sports, the arts, current affairs and just about any other domain. We feature long-form conversations with interesting guests who have loads of fascinating stories, tips and tools.
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Dec 15, 2020

Imagine a fantasy world in which there is endless abundance, a world in which risk and uncertainty don’t exist and a world in which all you have to do is think positive thoughts, do what you’re told, and – provided you do it – all your dreams will come true. You might be surprised to hear that millions of grown adults believe or have believed in this fantasy world – and in the process have lost fortunes, friends, marriages and in some cases, even their own lives as the fantasy crumbles and reality sets in.

This is exactly what happens to many people who get involved in multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs) or their cousins, ‘gifting’ schemes. And yet, the purveyors of these fantasies are legal, billion-dollar companies like Amway, Herbalife, Nu Skin, Arbonne, and others. Why does that happen how is this legal and possible?

Meet this episode’s guest, Robert FitzPatrick. Robert is a world-renowned expert in examining and revealing deception and fraud in bogus, home-based businesses. He is a recognised authority in MLMs and pyramid scheme fraud and has been featured in the programme 60 minutes, ABC World News and NBC Dateline in the USA, the BBC in the UK and the CBC in Canada. Robert’s latest book is called Ponzinomics – The Untold Story of Multi-Level Marketing.

The book describes how MLMs were created in the USA, escaped criminal and civil prosecution and spread all over the world. It explains how the legitimate business of direct selling was turned into pyramid selling, and how a business can become a delusional belief. We get into all of that in the episode, discuss why only a fraction of a fraction of 1% ever make any money in an MLM (hint – unless you started the scheme, then it’s not you), what you can do if a friend or loved one is involved in an MLM, and much more.

Show notes:

Ponzinomics

Pyramid Scheme Alert

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

Pyramid and Gifting Schemes

Amway

Herbalife

NXIVM

Aleph cult in Japan

John Oliver on MLMs

Schitt’s Creek MLM episode

Anti-MLM Reddit

Betting on Zero – Netflix documentary on Herbalife

Steve Hassan

Bill Ackman

Marauders of Hope

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Our free course module “How to Set Up Any Decision for Success” from our upcoming course How to Make Decisions With Calm and Confidence

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