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Javier Pérez de la Cruz
Multimedia Journalist
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piqer: Javier Pérez de la Cruz
Tuesday, 04 December 2018

The Dark World Of Pyramid Schemes And Multi-Level Marketing

Make a lot of money and have fun while doing it! This is a great opportunity you don't want to miss! Invest only a few hundred dollars and find more people to join you and do the same. Soon you will be swimming in cash!

That's pretty much the pitch of every pyramid scheme, such as the "airplane game", which many among the New Age circles of New York and Florida got caught in during the 80s.

It its new season, The Dream digs into the dark world of pyramid schemes, kicking off with this "game", but going far beyond that case in particular.

The show is “sort of about pyramid schemes”, as the host, Jane Marie, says. It's her way to present multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes and the "highly litigious" subjects of the investigation.

"Multi level marketing has codified into actual business. The deceptions, the delusions, the manipulations that the airplane game introduced", tells one of the interviewees. "It's still based on a prosperity believe that we are entitled to all these good things, that they can come to you through belief, through confidence and through positive thinking", he adds.

The podcast, however, explores all angles.

For example, Jane Marie reports on how this kind of business focuses especially on women. Of course it tries to take advantage of them, but also sometimes strengthens their feeling of belonging and gives meaning to their lives.

Dark as it is, this world also has a bright side, if only as a collateral, unwanted effect. Like a cult. Or – some might say – like religion. But manipulation and impunity remain. 

"There's no police department, there's no authority in the country right now that will openly acknowledge this for what it is, look at it in depth and just show you in plain white and black that it is unsustainable and it is indeed a racket." 

"No one until now", says Marie, inviting us on a trip from the bottom to the very top of this controversial business. And like with every single thing nowadays, Donald Trump is also involved.

The Dark World Of Pyramid Schemes And Multi-Level Marketing
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