On my way to an appointment in the Salt Lake area, I decided to visit the Delta Center, where the Utah Jazz excite fans with their brand of basketball. I had learned that the Delta Center (and the Salt Palace and the Hilton) was rented by NuSkin for their international convention.
I sauntered in, hoping not to be noticed by anyone who knew of my activism against MLM’s as disguised pyramid schemes. What I found was an audience of thousands of excited NuSkin distributors from all over the world treated to hoopla as sensational as any game ever played at this revered sports arena. As I looked over the sea of true believers, I wanted to shout out, WHAT ABOUT THE NUMBERS?
Speakers were touting the support of NuSkin of not only the Olympics (they are a major sponsor) but of the Special Olympics. Pictures of wheelchair athletes and those with prosthesis competing brought tears to the eyes of enthusiastic viewers. Then Karl Malone and other prominent athletes (especially Olympians) were shown in film clips with LifePak and other NuSkin/Pharmanex products, etc. This greatest of all business opportunities was extolled by speaker after speaker. But I wanted to hold up a sign reading, DOES ANYONE HERE UNDERSTAND THE NUMBERS?
Fireworks, drum rolls, laser lights to introduce each new speaker. A show of shows. And workshops covering every topic an enthusiastic networker would find interesting. Many in Oriental languages. And you would think you were visiting Tokyo from the appearance of the bulk of the audience, many from Japan where Nu Skin is huge. DON’T THE JAPANESE UNDERSTAND THE MATH?
I headed to the registration table, where I planned to seek a press pass to “write an article about MLM.” (Normal registration is $300 per person.) Someone stopped me. Oh, no—Joe R., the very sincere, persuasive person who recruited me for my one-year trial over 6 years ago! I was certain that if I ever ran into him, he would pull me over for a tongue lashing for my expose against MLM and NuSkin. But here I was among his associates and downline. Would they throw me to the floor and make me eat a pound of life-prolonging Pharmanex supplements? Or fill my shoes with a rejuvenating energy drink? Or smear my face with NuSkin miracle creams?
No such reaction. Joe hit me up with the same engaging smile—and a whole new pitch about how NuSkin with its new Big Planet Division was revolutionizing network marketing—and the web. He offered me a free VIP pass to see some of the presentations. DOES HE STILL REFUSE TO SEE THE NUMBERS?
Joe told me “We’ve having all the greatest speakers here. You know, Ronald Reagan, Cohn Powell, Gerald Ford, etc. etc.”
I told him I had to hurry to an appointment, so he gave me his cell number and told me to call.
Later, I called to clarify two things. “Did you say Reagan? Doesn’t he have Alzheimer’s.”
“Oh, that was at last year’s convention.”
“Wait a minute, Joe. He was too sick then.”
“Well, maybe that was two years ago.”
Actually, I remembered Pres. Reagan speaking several years ago at a NS convention. I also remembered that this basically good and honest man (Joe) had gone through a metamorphosis during the course of his NuSkin recruiting to the point that he could no longer distinguish truth from fiction. HE CERTAINLY COULD NOT GET THE NUMBERS STRAIGHT.
Then I asked if he had read anything I had written lately. No, he had not. I told him about my book The Network Marketing Game and asked if he’d seen it or any of the news accounts about it. No, he had not heard of it.
I did not tell him of my other reports, as I knew the numbers would mean nothing to him, as he seemed blind to anything negative about Nu Skin. Cognitive dissonance personified!
My book had received major media coverage throughout Utah, with over 500 column inches of space, and he had not even seen or heard of it. I found out through other sources that no one else in my up-line had heard of it either.
So my worst fears were exceeded. I had feared that my up-line would be out to get me and that I should lay low for fear of major retaliation for my whistle blowing. Something worse than retaliation happened – much worse.
Nobody noticed and nobody cared.