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John Oliver, Last Week Tonight: MLM Pyramids

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:38 pm
by fortinbras
The HBO comedy news show by John Oliver, LAST WEEK TONIGHT, devoted most of its Nov. 6th, 2016 program to MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) and how it is pyramid scam in disguise (very thin disguise - at least two of the operators openly refer to their schemes as pyramids). If each sucker is supposed to recruit five more fools and those in turn recruit five each, etc., to make money, then after 13 generations the scheme exceeds the Earth's population.

Prosecutions are difficult, partly because the victims are too humiliated ... and blame themselves instead of the scheme for their inability to make a profit. But also difficult because now the schemes usually involve the sale of merchandise - not particularly high quality merchandise - but this is different from the chain letter schemes of 40 years ago.

Anyway, a very interesting 30 minutes.

Re: John Oliver, Last Week Tonight: MLM Pyramids

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:52 pm
by wserra

Re: John Oliver, Last Week Tonight: MLM Pyramids

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:28 pm
by Pottapaug1938
I have had a sort of weird soft spot for chain letters ever since I got the one reproduced below:

Dear Mr. Esteemed Sir,
I am pleased to have the honour of making your acquaintance. My name is William B. Rutherford, and I am the managing director of a brewery which makes the most renowned beer in all of Europe. I humbly beg your leave to solicit your assistance in gaining a resolution of a problem which has befallen my brewery.

We recently commenced the secret production of a beer which has impressed noted American beer connoisseurs as being superior to the renowned Pliny the Elder and Heady Topper. The finished product as joyfully exceeded our expectations, however we made too much of it and cannot now dispose of it with ease. We are therefore soliciting your assistance.

As a token of your willingness to assist us in this endeavor, we ask you to obtain one case of the highest quality craft beer in your vicinity, and to send it to the person whose name appears at the top of this list. Upon doing so, please notify us of your shipment, and then strike out this name and subscribe your own name to the bottom of the list. When the person whose name appears before yours notifies us of the receipt of his beer, we will undertake to ship one case of our prize beer to you.

We warn you not to omit your cooperation. Others of our acquaintance have failed to ship any beer or have shipped inferior beer; and when their name came to the top of the list, they received not our prize beer, but beverages such as Budweiser Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, and El Presidente.

We beg of you to respond at once, so that you can savor the best in craft beer, which only we can provide to you. We await your instant reply.

William B. Rutherford
Managing Director

Mailing list:

Mike Untree Tisofthee, Bethlehem, PA
Sally Port, Ft. Meade, MD
Amanda B. Reckendwith, Berlin, NH
“Red” Rover, El Paso, TX
Herb Eehynd, Taos, NM
Prince N. De Pauppa, Calais, ME
Buster Chopps, Nome, AK
Polly Wannacracca, Port Townsend, WA
Una Sykill, Wichita, KS
Stu Pott, Knoxville, TN

Re: John Oliver, Last Week Tonight: MLM Pyramids

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:29 pm
by notorial dissent
That is just priceless, I see why.