The Unedited Truth About What Happens When You Get Brainwashed By An MLM

Creating the life of your dreams sounds beautiful rolling off the tongue of a top tier multi level marketing “babe”. What’s even more enticing are the streams of messages from women online seeking to build their teams and push products that are said to “help cure all”. Your worries, low self-esteem, and insecurities are all being put on a pedestal as the most important aspects—all part of the brainwashing. The business opportunity you can’t resist with products for weight loss, hair growth, skin glow—beauty and brains? More like beauty and brainwashing. 

You scroll through the profile of an Instagram “babe” with the dream life—the Cadillac, the shredded hubby, the family, the fashion.. the hints of products throughout the page. But make it “valuable”— they teach. You begin to question, What makes me any different? Every weekly meeting is based on all of the potential you hold, so after all, you can get there too, right? 

The initial intention may seem quite innocent. This girl made some money, she began to “attract” more— what makes me different? I want the car, I want the business, I want the followers—what makes me different? It’s the intention of the business that every “babe” fails to share with you upon that first innocent direct message. So let’s finally talk about it. Because while it’s “helped” so many people. it’s harmed more than anyone ever chooses to speak out about. So I’ll take the heat and speak my truth. 

Before the shut down brought upon by the pandemic, I was a regular college student working part-time at a restaurant. I was studying medicine and switched over to business, and I instantly began seeking opportunities to evolve my business knowledge. One of my old friends was opening a wellness cafe with her mentor in partnership with a nutrition supplement business I previously used to lose weight. At 21, wanting to be the “skinny girl”, I began to use meal replacement shakes and never thought about simply loving and nourishing my body. It seemed quite incredible that these products could be used to make fun shakes and teas, and they “helped” me to lose weight after all, so wasn’t that perfect? No. It was the beginning of a brainwashing nightmare.

 Online schooling made it easy to spend more and more time at the new cafe I was working at. I created beautiful bonds with my “soul sisters”. I was recognized and appreciated. It felt absolutely amazing to help grow this small business through social media marketing and building community. It was the experience I was seeking, and it aligned very well with the communications material at the university. A few months into my experience, I learned that in order to be an official operator of this small business, I had to become a distributor for the company that was used in this business—the only company used, and the only products allowed. I loved the experience and all of the positivity after being excluded from humanity for a little while—it felt amazing to be a part of such a warm community. The experiences we shared from team dinners to events were exciting, but my first in-person event happened a year after joining the company, when I had already “dreamed big ” into having my own healthy spot. I was already building the community, taking care of the business, so why not just build my own? That’s when it all started. The lies of what being “your own boss” really means in an MLM. 

It means that what you’re building is what you’ve been brainwashed to believe is your own. A space for making the community a healthier and happier place. Sounds harmless; sounds good, warm, and positive. But there’s always more—the more no one talks about. The intention. 

The intention of these people is to make their lifestyle appealing to you so that you’ll want to follow this business opportunity—regardless of what it takes. Simply because if they can, what makes you any different? Except what becomes evidently most strange as you begin to meet others and learn more—to those of us who aren’t fully brainwashed quite yet—is that the majority of these top-tier babes don’t own their own physical businesses, they simply get very good at telling a story of how this company “built” them. Failing to share the facts of what it means to build your team. You learn how to sell a dream. You become a point, a number, a failure if you don’t “recruit” enough. Tell everyone about this opportunity—it’s life changing. 

Months into owning my own wellness cafe, I realized how trapped I felt. It took going away for about a week—mentally away from the world of MLM—to see it. I felt an intuitive pull to look into this company further— not the products, which I had already done, but the foundations of the company. The truths from people who left. I’ve reconnected with people who were once there and then… just weren’t anymore. I finally educated myself on the horrors of companies such as this one that prey on members who seek community, change, and opportunity. The majority of them are young girls looking for their own self-love and self-validation. They see this as the opportunity to do so, as it’s so glamorized, when in reality, it’s all for show. 

I’d heard that your “business partners” would abandon you and not really want to be your friends if you left the company, but I knew my friend’s were different. They’d met my family, they saw the energy and work that I’d put into building my business. I knew they’d understand and love me regardless. But sometimes rationality and being a pessimist is much needed—because once I closed down my business, I heard nothing back from them. Friends were lost because the money was lost. My business Instagram account was hacked and deleted after I chose to speak out on my profile about the horrors of MLM companies. My experience and truth made an impact—with the genuine intention of educating girls my age about the BTS of what they would see as a “small business” full of love and positivity. 

I’ve always loved wellness and healthy foods, so creating a truly healthy business— a real small business that supported the community instead of a big corporation— was a simple transition. I am lucky to say it feels amazing to be aligned with authenticity, but I know many girls my age are still very much involved and truly focused on this business opportunity as a lifestyle. I’ve learned the intention and I chose to be me instead of a “boss babe”—I chose to dream small and build my own legacy. Any girl in her 20s wants to be independent and shine—that’s the culture we’ve stepped into. 

Experiencing business ownership at a young age allows for some freedom of advice. MLM’s are not your vehicle to success. You are. So be a fucking Maserati.