Ethan Vanderbuilt Interviews 2 Michael - Wake Up Now And The Religion Of MLM

Friends and internet neighbors, thank you for joining me for Ethan Vanderbuilt Interviews #2. The purpose of this series is to share with you people that have learned first hand the danger of money making and business opportunity scams.

My guest for this interview is a long time subscriber of mine by the name of Michael. He has come face to face with talent scams and many other types of scams.


We had a chance to talk about Wake Up Now, 5Linx, and the similarities of religion and MLM. I hope you enjoy the interview. If you have escaped from a business opportunity scam and would like to be a guest on my show, please let me know.

Michael creates artwork and you can check out his website here.

Here is an overview of what we talked about:

PART 1: Talent Scam

My first experience with a “scam” was a talent search program geared toward people trying to get into the entertainment business. I am a writer and graphic designer, but at the time I was interested in modeling. I went to a meet up and I was thrilled when they picked me.

I had no idea how the business worked and I thought that I would be going to Washington DC to meet with some of the biggest agents in the industry. I was wrong. I paid over $350 to get into the convention. I barely had money to get home. It was a heavy blow. I got scammed.

PART 2: Escape from Modeling School

I got approached in the mall by a recruiter from a modeling school. I was invited to a presentation where the potential models had to do the whole “mock runway” thing. I instantly felt uncomfortable when the recruiter said that we had to pay the school $1200.

I never contacted them again and I never replied to their emails. When I finally contacted a legit modeling agency, I was somewhat relieved that they sent my pictures back to me without asking me for any money up front. That’s how I knew that they weren’t a scam.

PART 3: Crossword Puzzle Scam

The final time I got scammed was by a Crossword Puzzle Contest in a video magazine. I thought for sure I’d win the cash and the prices in the advertisement. I worked hard on the crossword puzzle, only to find out that the authors of the scheme already had the final solution done.

It didn’t matter how many words I crammed into the crossword puzzle, I was still going to lose because the solution to the puzzle was already done. Every level to the contest had an entry fee of $5, $10, and $20. I lost over $200 over that scam. I said to myself, “Never again.”

PART 4: A Question of Business Ethics

My grandfather was an old time preacher who put honesty before monetary gain. He taught me that people are more important than profit. Family over finance. As I ventured deeper into the business world, I discovered that many people leave their ethics on the shelf.

In a way, they sell their ethics dirt cheap so that they can get ahead or “fake it until they make it”. Then they come back to that same shelf, thinking their ethics will still be there. But, they’ve started down a slippery slope of dishonesty which later leads to self-delusion.

PART 5: 5Linx, Wake Up Now, Legal Shield, and HerbaLife

Who trains these MLM people? There is little to no accountability for their behavior. What are they actually selling? It is a business with end user retail sales? Or is it a recruiting scheme? So many videos on YouTube with the word “scam” in the title, but not a single one tells you why it’s a scam. Instead, the person promotes the scheme as legit. That’s a huge red flag.

Run-ins with MLM people:
A belligerent 5Linx SVP
Aggressive Wake Up Now IOBs
Demanding Legal Shield reps
Adamant HerbaLife members

PART 6: MLM and the Make-Easy-Money Ministry

MLM has become much like a religion. They have infiltrated churches and even college campus. They are economic cults, chanting at rallies and having big events that seem like parties. The failure rates of these MLM programs are rarely brought up.

Because of the training, these programs turn family members against each other and destroy friendships. The biggest thing I see is people defending these scams, even when they know that they’ve been scammed. They’re ashamed to admit it and MLM companies count on that.

Other topics:

  • Remember: an MLM sales funnel is pyramid on its side
  • There is a Math Trick to the MLM business model
  • North America has more personal lose through MLM
  • Arguments with MLM (online and offline)
  • Trying to silence a critic/Attack the person
  • Change begins with giving people the correct information