Vemma Con



“Raise your hand if you’ve spent your last dollars to get here today” … says one of the young Vemma Leadership Academy speakers as he paces the stage like an #MLMtweeker on the fiend. About half of the 3500 {mostly lower middle class} youngsters raise a sad hand while sharing knowing looks with other kids from their overpacked cross-country carpools … success demands sacrifice.

They think they’re part of a movement :: a mission … a fucking “young people revolution” {#YPR}.

MLM-Verve-Juice DotCom

Someone put juice in a can … and the world will never be the same.

It seems so fun to laugh at them :: stupid dummies … unless you’re looking right at them. Their baby faces :: sucked into an old-fashioned scam :: being sucked out … by some old-fashioned bastards with sexy cans.

This event was cheap {<em”>for me} :: I was already in town … and they didn’t make me sign anything {like a James Ray style waiver of death liability … or a 300 page Herbalife distributor agreement}. All of which I took as a sign from Jim Rohn that I must attend … and pass judgement.

The majority of the six-hour {no breaks!} speaking lineup consisted of #YPR Vemma sales leaders whose flat :: mini-guruesque … speeches started off something like …

“Hey what’s up you guys. My name is blah blah blah you guys :: I’m not old enough to drink you guys … and I’ve been in this business for well over eleven months now you guys.”

Applause :: it can be done! … hugs.

Blowups of their knowledgeless faces lined the Columbus Convention Center’s approach to Exhibit Hall E :: screaming “this could be you!” to all the dreamers … and affording these veteran leaders some of their best instagraming opportunities since last year’s senior prom.

Star-Executive DotCom

Darren Hardy :: the ubiquitous hoster of bullshit events … was the host this bullshit event.

“Your presence here signifies you are one of the exceptional, standout achievers of our time (whether you know it yet or not).”

… says Darren {typically understated} :: in his welcome note on the inside cover of the day’s agenda.

This juice selling thing is the new NASA :: bitches … #YPR.

Now is the time to take control of your future. For the bold, ambitious, and progressive-minded achiever, now is the greatest time of opportunity in human history.”

Gosh :: what a stunningly positive and breathtaking perspective … voiced by a firm-haired mentor of extraordinary virtue and hopeful loquaciousness. But the first thing Hardy did {after applying his makeup} was rattle off a load of depressing statistics about the prospects of those fool enough to get an education in lieu of an MLM BMW.

The nega-spiel was in keeping with Vemma’s new :: pseudo senseless :: emergency policies … screenshots of which were posted on the dreamstealing hater website YPR Pariah.


We shouldn’t discourage college attendance :: we should just imply that college is a terrible idea … and that our juice selling MLM is the fucking revolution solution.

BK Boreyko :: d-bag in charge and opening speaker … started out his substantive remarks by introducing the College Tuition Bonus option to an under impressed {but trying to stay positive} audience of unicorn lovers. The tuition ploy was added as part of a Vemma response to recent public criticism … but BK tried his scammy bestest to frame it as innovative largesse on his part.

He had a harder :: more winding … time doublespeaking his way around changes being made to the bonus policy which will require “Brand Partners” to have significantly more than the zero retail customers required by the plan to date. BK calls this new retail customer requirement an :: “extra layer of protection” … for the opportunity. “Customers are good thing” :: he says … apparently having a legal minimums epiphany.

I mean, if you opened up a Subway franchise and just focused on opening up more Subway franchises — and never said ‘hey should we get some customers in here to eat some sandwiches?’ — people would laugh at you.

Vemma-MLM-Verve-SexyCan DotCom

Yeah :: that sure would be stupid … MLM much?

The consumption of an MLM’s products within that MLM’s distribution network :: does not count as end user consumption for the purposes of making a pyramid scheme determination … as a federal court in California reminded Herbalife this week while refusing to dismiss a case against them …

Although Defendants contend that distributors should be classified as ultimate users, Omnitrition points out that “[i]f Koscot is to have any teeth, [a sale for a distributor’s personal use] cannot satisfy the requirement that sales be to ‘ultimate users’ of a product.”

Retail sales mean :: wait for it … retail sales.

It sounds hard though :: because people get into Vemma for the infinite income opportunity {the chance to “literally set yourself up financially for life” as BK said in the same fucking speech} … not for the juice boxes. But BK has a solution for the impossibility of retailing :: namely charity … and pity. Simply go to members of your immediate family :: and pitch them on buying $500 worth of Verve! per month because … a “portion of the proceeds” will go towards paying off your student debt. Easy :: breezy.

Says BK :: cult style …

If your circle of influence doesn’t want to see you get your college debt paid off, or help pay for your college tuition — then they should be out of your circle of influence. You know? Focus on the people that love you.

If your mom doesn’t want to buy shit tons of energy drink so that a tiny portion of that money may trickle down upon you :: then she hates you … find a new mom.

“This is better than the Girl Scout Cookie pitch here people” :: says BK … incorrectly.

Vemma-WallWhores DotCom

After the {mostly subtext} declaration of the new retailing requirement … there was almost no talk of retailing for the remainder of the six-hour bullshit-a-thon. More like …

  • this event is changing your life forever
  • everyone in the room can make it to the top
  • quitting is the only way to fail at Vemma
  • people with jobs are doomed losers
  • listen to your mentors … not your friends and family
  • I was just like you once
  • you could be on stage at the next event
  • there’s no point in recruiting if your people aren’t going to rank advance
  • personally develop yourself with personal development
  • recruiting … dot dot dot … recruiting

But the overarching theme of the day seemed to be :: “they say we’re a scam … but we’re not.”

Being the super sophisticated fake robot that I am :: along with ingeniously disguising myself as a nerdy white boy … I rather deftly hid a camera inside of my telephone. The resulting footage was terrible … just like this fucking event.

If Vemma wants to silence the “noisy barking dogs” … they should just prove that the bulk of their products are sold to people not pursuing the business opportunity. If Herbalife wants to silence Belgium :: Bostick :: and Bill Ackman … they should just prove that the bulk of their products are sold to people not pursuing the business opportunity.


Young People Retailing?

>> bleep bloop

29 thoughts on “Vemma Con”

  1. Tragic, and infuriating.

    I think the only thing worse than an MLM seminar fueled by emotional manipulation, cult psychology and false promises, is one where the speakers are hopped up on highly caffeinated energy drinks!

    I’d rather be a ‘loser’ with regular income than a ‘winner’ who coerces his family and friends into debt so that he can make a commission off their loss.

    Imagine an industry where it’s legal to sell assets you know are worthless, just to make something on someone else’s debt. Sorry MLM, you’ve been pipped to the post by High Finance. Systems that help people profit on misery are the toxic thing.

    1. Word. I’d rather earn an honest living and be “poor”, than be a psychopathic con man, but living that “fast life”.

  2. Conor said:
    “I think the only thing worse than an MLM seminar fueled by emotional manipulation, cult psychology and false promises, is one where the speakers are hopped up on highly caffeinated energy drinks!”

    And one targeting a room full of vulnerable kids.

    The only hopeful thing about that video was herds of people leaving, bored and disappointed, during the presentation. Hopefully to go study for their future degree and job as a stable and responsible adult. I mean, doomed loser.

  3. “#YPR” might be more accurate, if the “R” stood for rape. As in the type of mental rape Orwell and Meerloo warned against.

  4. Sounds like an awesome field trip! And it looks like you got an awesome orange poly envelope in exchange for just six hours of your worthless time.

    I bet the audience wasn’t impressed by the College Tuition Bonus option because they know $9,600 won’t even cover average annual total charges at a two-year in-state college, based on The College Board’s findings. So much for avoiding the mountain of student-loan debt.

  5. Meet the new con.. same as the old con.

    The targeting of the college age folks is the most disturbing thing about Vemma, I think.

    From TFA

    Being the super sophisticated fake robot that I am :: along with ingeniously disguising myself as a nerdy white boy …

    good call


    After the {mostly subtext} declaration of the new retailing requirement … there was almost no talk of retailing for the remainder of the six-hour bullshit-a-thon. More like …

    Yeah, they talk out of both sides of their mouth. That’s how you can tell they’re lying–the forked tongue thing.

    But, damn, six hours!? aggh! I mean that seems a bit risky for them to be doing.

    On the one hand most of those that manage to make it through the whole thing (with the no food breaks) are well on their way (cult-tactic style) to having their minds re-written. (make the subject uncomfortable, deny them food, keep repeating the lines over and over, Large Group Awareness Training, lots of hype and “enthusiasm”, etc. If they make it all the way through, they’re probably in a mildly altered state by the end of it)

    But on the other hand, these are college kids with cell phones, etc. Lots of things competing for their attention and six hour brainwashing (uh I mean “sales”) session might not be able to compete–not even when it has a flashy name.

    But of course, they don’t ever have to get all the marks..

    Anyway, Salty, I hope you didn’t sit through the whole six hours. I don’t think I would’ve been able to, at least not without an mp3 player playing Robots over and over to act as a brainwash shield.

    Furry cows moo and decompress.

    1. @Cromulent,

      I understand where you’re coming from, to an extent. But you do realize scammers often use that argument, yes?

      The difference is (and this doesn’t always apply to all colleges all the time) is that there are certain classes you can take as certain colleges that, after which, once you’ve graduated, there will be actual jobs that actually do require you to have such-and-such degree.

      For example, many computer-oriented jobs require a B.S. in Comp Sci as a minimum.

      So.. while all those art history majors and a lot of the folks that went to an ivy league college to get a law degree they now can’t use might legitimately feel they were scammed… I don’t believe it’s fair to just straight out say “colleges are in the unicorn biz too”

      Furry cows moo and decompress.

      1. @Wyrd, Sure some occupations really need a degree. Engineer. Doctor. Lawyer? Not sure there.

        Comp sci need not be a requirement for most jobs in the field. I’m a programmer myself and I’d hire a sharp 17-year old who demonstrates ability over plenty of college grads.

        Should billing specialists in a dentist office be wasting 4 years in college? College today serves the same function as a GED did a couple of generations ago. Its a filter. And a darned expensive one at that.

        1. @Cromulent,

          Comp sci need not be a requirement for most jobs in the field.

          That’s great, but just at the moment, I’m not arguing about how things ought to be, but instead just about how things are.

          You’d hire someone w/o a Comp Sci? That’s spiffy. I didn’t have occasion to be being hired by you though.

          But back when I was searching for employment heavily, I can tell you that, as I said, almost all of the computer-related jobs required a C.S. degree. There were a scant few that did not–ones with a job title of merely “computer operator”. And there were some where, yes, a filler thing–xxx years of experience in yyy required, but (xxx – 4) years of experience could be fulfilled by a Comp Sci. But then there were others where both a Comp. Sci and zzz years of experience were required.

          I mean–when I first heard the argument “colleges are in the unicorn game”, it was somewhat persuasive. And, certainly, there are some (many) colleges that way-over-emphasize the notion that you’ll be rolling in the ca$h post-graduation.

          But it’s false to claim, without any limitations on the statement, that “colleges are in the unicorn biz”.

          We can’t let that falsehood trickle into the discussion on cult-like scams. There’s far too much /lie/ in the statement and far too little /truth/, and there is, I think, also a toxic amount of cynicism in it too. I should know because I’m the sort that’s forever trying to balance in between being not-too cynical and not-too gullible.

          Furry cows moo and decompress.

          1. @Wyrd,

            I would venture that higher education also helps nudge along the development of Skepticism and Critical Thinking. Becoming a Vemma rep has the exact opposite effect.

        2. @Cromulent, you can’t take the bar exam without going to some sort of law school, even the night school.

          Computers is one of those fields where you don’t need a degree to prove you got the chops… That’s why computer and IT field are full of CERTIFICATIONS instead… MCD, CJD, MCSE, A+… etc.

          University is a place where students both pick up advanced skills, but also the SOCIAL skills they need to succeed. Skipping university is an EXCEPTION, not the rule.

        3. @Cromulent,

          ” I’d hire a sharp 17-year old who demonstrates ability over plenty of college grads.”

          “What I would do” = PROOF!

      2. @Wyrd, I have one of those unused law degrees (late ’80s vintage) and I now work as a tech analyst (all on the job learning). But I would have never even been looked at for this job if the hiring manager hadn’t seen that law degree.

        That said, just looking at Vemma, setting it next to other MLMs and it’s apparent Vemma is the same ole song and dance being pushed by Herbalife and similar outfits. If a person just looks at the numbers it is apparent this is a ripoff.

        So trashing college for a ripoff, this is crazycakes. At least with a sheepskin a person might get past that first resume screen, as opposed to having cases of Verve stashed under your mattress that you’re never going to drink.

    2. @Cromulent ::

      Never went to college then? Bitter about it?

      Otherwise :: I don’t think I can understand why you’d make a such a stupid fuck statement on a post about a scheme that exploits kids who :: absolutely :: positively … need to be going to {and finishing} college. AT LEAST ONCE!

      Comp sci need not be a requirement for most jobs in the field. I’m a programmer myself and I’d hire a sharp 17-year old who demonstrates ability over plenty of college grads.

      Great :: well now we know what you would do in a hypothetical situation where you might be hiring someone … which counts for exactly shit. But the actual :: non hypothetical anecdote based data … could not be more clear about how kids need to go to college and learn something that can only be learned in college … or they’ll have a hard time staying middle class.

      The catalogue for the school right down the street :: where this event was originally scheduled to be held …

      I don’t see anything about unicorns :: but I do see Astronomy 823 … Numerical and Statistical Methods in Astrophysics.

      1. @SD, How asinine. I did complete college. Multiple degrees, comp sci & math. Nice OSU reference; if I need help with free tattoos or used cars I’ll look them up.

        1. @Cromulent ::

          Well … there goes your only reasonable excuse for saying something so ridiculous then. Context man … jeezy fucking peezy. This ain’t really a “your general thoughts about the world” kind of site … now is it? Put your multiple fucking degrees to work on answering that question.

          1. @SD, you do Stirling work as always, but sometimes it seems to me you get awful “touchy” on subsets of the topic that are not pivotal. I think I understand where cromulent was going with this. I did not get any sense from him that he is in ANY way FOR mlm, merely that he was saying colleges are basically a scam too. Not anywhere near as bad as mlm of course but they are a “filter” that frankly is not worth it unless you will be a surgeon say. And even then, a facility truly dedicated to teaching to a person’s true potential could do it in half the time. It was a statement of philosophy and observation, not one going against your overall thesis here.
            Is it really necessary for you to “dumb down” the conversation on the presumption your regular readers can’t distinguish subtle inferences? And even if so, os it necessary to do it so abruptly? A simple: this is not about the wider issue of the intrinsic usefulness of colleges, but merely a comparison that next to mlm, going to college is the equivalent of having oxygen and a spacesuit when on the surface of Mars, as opposed to being on it naked. Or something.

            1. Is it really necessary for you to “dumb down” the conversation?


              And even if so, is it necessary to do it so abruptly?


              Got any other questions to which I can give one word answers?

  6. A couple things to note, from my COMPLETELY AMATEUR interpretation of Steven Hassan’s BITE cult manipulation model…

    1) Sunken Cost Fallacy — once they got you in the door, unless they do something that really pisses you off, you’re unlikely to leave, so they got you basically chained to your seat

    2) Exhaustion — 6 hours, eh? By the you’d be just begging them to please finish and let you leave, you’ll believe anything they say (of course, the Bleeper is made of harder/sterner stuff) There’s a reason why interrogations lasts long into the night and all that. Attendees are basically mass interrogated and manipulated.

    3) Parading all the winners is a type of cult manipulation. it implies that the rest of you NOT on the stage are all losers. They then, of course, dangle that money carrot in front of you all. If we can do it you can too! (Just busted that fallacy on my blog not long ago)

    4) Mob mentality / group control — if you’re in a group, you’re unlike to leave the group, even if the group was arbitrarily assigned. It’s “sense of belonging”. (Obviously, this is dependent on personality) However, college kids are more vulnerable as they are out of home into a life that high school did NOT prepare them for, and this sort of group manipulation is especially effective in giving them a new “peer group”.

    Bonus note: the MLM BMW is lease payment only, can be withdrawn at any time the guy can’t meet his sales quota (drink enough of his own koolaid) AND they need to put the Vemma logo on it (unpaid)

  7. …Because the world has been staring at all those overly-convenient vending machines for years now, thinking to itself, “Self, I sure wish a senseless herd of middlemen would come along and get between me and this here machine.”

    1. @Coin Slot, and triple the price, man.

      How the heck do you sell Verve when Red Bull is at Walmart for $1.49 a can (not counting tax) while Verve WHOLESALE is $3.125 a can, NOT counting shipping? No wonder they slander the **** out of all the other drinks. They had to.

      1. @M2,

        Like wow.

        That’s like mind control meets Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

        Dammit now my head is exploding again. I just can’t process avant garde well. Like that pencil video @Jack posts.

        Avant garde should have warning labels on it. meh.

  8. I just had an epiphany.

    Vemma said themselves that their wholesale sales in 2012 was 117 million

    Brand partner needs to order 150 every 5 weeks to stay qualified. Call it… 1600 a year, minimum?

    That’s roughly 73125 “brand partners”.

    Yet you see various press releases where they claim they are adding 25000 brand partners a month in 2010, 2011, 2012, and even some 2013 months.

    So either their brand partners are NOT selling all their inventory and thus don’t STAY qualified every period…

    Or they have a HUGE turnover/ churn rate.

    Or both.

  9. I “escaped” from WealthyAffiliate months ago after actually learning a few things from other members.

    In any case, they do a lot of college-bashing too.

    Hey, why spend all that money on med school when you can scam people? lol

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