A Stitcher Original Series Podcast
I would imagine that most people could relate to feeling some sort of sense that there is something better for them out there in the world.
At one time or another, most have probably felt the pull of an opportunity offering the promise of a purpose and an upgraded lifestyle if they just remained focused on the goal with positive intentions.
If cultivated in the right manner, these desires could be used to harness action towards a worthwhile pursuit in life. If left unchecked, these yearnings could be preyed upon and taken advantage of without the slightest hint of impropriety ever being revealed in the offering until it was too late and the damage was done.
The Dream is a brand new podcast offering hosted by award winning journalist Jane Marie that takes a hard, investigative look at multi-level marketing, a model of selling and distributing products peer to peer with a tiered sales recruiting component being the fulcrum of the entire operation.
Deserving Of More From Life
Multi-level marketing has been around for decades through a variety of companies with goods like storage containers, makeup, and health tonics. Many feel multi-level marketing equates to nothing more than a Ponzi scheme delivered under the guise of product offerings and the promise of a better life for the recruited distributors.
Ultimately, the companies behind MLM are taking advantage of people’s “prosperity thinking”, as described on the debut episode of The Dream. “Prosperity thinking” being the innate belief that many people have that they are good, positive people who deserve something more from this life. Who can not relate to that?
The debut episode of The Dream was a brilliant tone-setting piece that focused on a cash-infused game from back in the 80’s called the “airplane game”. It was a game that evolved out of the human potential movement, a self-empowerment movement that caught major inertia throughout the United States in the 80’s.
While the airplane game was a straight up pyramid scheme, with no corporation or product offering attached to it like most multi-level business models, it was the perfect illustration of how and why people, smart and sophisticated people, could get swept up in something as baseless and illegal as an actual Ponzi scheme.
A Play On Emotions
As much as the airplane game resonated with people’s desires to get cash in their hands, it also struck right at the core of their emotions in wanting to have something better out of life.
Most of the folks involved in playing the airplane game came through the human potential movement, so they were already seekers on a path, believing with all their being that they were undertaking a transformation in life. So a game suddenly appearing in front of them offering envelopes stacked with cash must have felt like a rightful bounty on the way to their destination of true fulfillment.
There are two individuals featured in the debut episode of The Dream that both got swept up into the airplane game back in the 80’s. It is fascinating to hear competent, well educated, and close-knit family folk detail how they got immersed in an activity that was flat-out illegal.
It is astonishing the lengths we humans can go to mentally to normalize behavior that should be sending shivers of concern and doubt throughout our souls. These stories from The Dream are cautionary tales. We should all give pause prior to proclaiming ourselves immune from being swept up in such fool hearted financial and emotional mania.
Infiltrating The System
Episode #2 expands on the concept of how multi-level marketing plays just as much on people’s emotional desires, if not even more, than their desire for earnings. The Dream does a great job at bringing on credentialed experts as well as actual participants from multi-level marketing ventures to underscore the social currency, connection, and sense of purpose that can be promised and at times even delivered from multi-level marketing.
The Dream even sends a producer undercover in episode #3 to sign up to become a distributor of makeup goods for a multi-level business. She quickly discovers major red flags and even feels herself succumbing to the pressure and hidden sales tactics from assigned mentors, known as her upstream.
A Path Towards Empowerment For Women?
Women, especially, sought empowerment and purpose from companies like Tupperware and Avon. While those companies benefited by skirting the conventions of typical distribution models and avoiding the reliance on “strange men” as the door to door salesmen, the women pushing the product were rewarded just as much socially and emotionally as any financial perk.
They hosted and attended parties, they fulfilled orders from friends in need of items and found themselves generating earnings and contributing to the household in ways never possible before for women.
But what happens when it goes wrong? What happens when there are no more people left to recruit from your inner circle or entire town for that matter? What happens when the glory and promise of riches do not reconcile with the hard cash you have sunk into the inventory of items that no one cares to purchase?
Jump On Board With The Dream
The Dream is a highly entertaining, extensive and exhaustive, investigative look at every facet of the multi-level marketing model of product sales. As the show promises, they will look at the bottom of the rung of the pyramid all the way up to the few at the top who are raking in boatloads of cash.
The Dream is sure to be a compelling journey into the collective psyche of humanity as much as an expose on a business model built like a flimsy house of cards. Do jump on board now and get started with The Dream.
Have you any experience with a multi-level marketing venture you could share? Do you relate with any of the sentiments being expressed on The Dream, in particular, the emotional promise of a better life? Please do comment. We would love to hear from you.