the-secret-logoOne of the biggest criticisms I have of the MLM personal development niche is that it seems to be populated with self taught ‘feel good’ gurus.

Whereas in the real world people look at credentials and education, in MLM all of this seems to go out the window in favour of liking what you hear.

No matter how simple the message or how much you might agree with it, there’s a lot to be said for people making a living simply telling others what they want to hear.

That life is easy and they have all the shortcut answers.

Say it enough times and you might even convince people to hand over money just to hear your wisdom. Thus is the foundation for the personal development niche in MLM.

For the most part you’ve got a bunch of people running around claiming abundance in life and the methodology of teaching you to exactly how to achieve it yourself.

Because y’know, the diversity of life is so easily addressed with cookie cutter textbook systems.

A few years ago ‘The Secret’ was all the rage in such personal development circles. Despite being authored by Rhonda Byrne, James Arthur Ray’s name became heavily attached to the book as a result of his feature in the film by the same name.

Marketed heavily by distributors of numerous MLM companies, the idea was that whilst The Secret and people like James Arthur Ray (photo right) shared with you a secret so powerful that it had the ability to completely change your life, readers were still left wondering how to apply it.

Well, that’s where MLM and the personal development industry came in. All of a sudden you had every Tom, Dick and Harry offering you lifestyle enrichment and promising to show you how to apply the principles of The Secret into your very own life.

All for a hefty sum of money of course.

These people, who had done nothing more than read the book themselves had all of a sudden transcended the wisdom barrier and taken it upon themselves to make a living attempting to convince other people to change their lives by handing over large sums of money.

On the weaker side of the scale this brought with it mass financial ruin and many years of repair to truly get over the damage caused, but on the much more sinister side of things… you had outright negligence.

Turns out if you’re just kinda making things up as you go along and don’t really know what you’re doing – lives can be lost.


Back in February 2010, James Arthur Ray (photo right)was arrested and charged with manslaughter following one of Ray’s ‘Spiritual Warrior’ seminars.

During the seminar, 63 people crowded into a relatively small ‘sweat lodge’ and as temperatures soared to 49 degrees Celsius, were urged by Arther to ‘push past their physical weaknesses‘ whilst he ‘chided those who wanted to leave‘.

Meanwhile people were collapsing and vomiting all over the place.

The event claimed the lives of three people and Arthur Ray was arrested for negligent manslaughter.

Since then the trial has gone to court and after a four month case, yesterday jurors began their deliberation. Today they reached a unanimous conclusion;

For the deaths of three people who attended his Spiritual Warrior Event, James Arthur Ray has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Sentencing is still yet to come but with a maximum penalty of over thirty seven years on the table, at age 53 Arthur Ray could very well spend the rest of his life behind bars.

As I mentioned earlier, obviously the direct death of participants is at the extreme end of the scale but is a valid example of what can happen when untrained and unqualified motivational speakers are left free to operate unchecked.

In the meantime as far as MLM goes, you’ve still got hordes of self professed personal development gurus lining up to take your money in return for life enrichment.

Again, as far as the James Arthur Ray case goes I want to reiterate that it’s obviously on the extreme, but it’s easy enough to find examples of the very same principles employed by Arthur Ray today in MLM.

Don’t believe me?

At the Spiritual Warrior seminar, after going through a thirty six hour fast, Arthur Ray told attendees that

the sweat lodge would be “hellacious” and that participants were guaranteed to feel like they were dying but would do so only metaphorically.

You will have to get a point to where you surrender and it’s OK to die.

Meanwhile in a recent blog post by Polaris Global founder Rachel Oliver featured on the Polaris Corporate blog, Oliver in a nutshell claims that success is merely a choice.

When it comes to success in MLM, Oliver concludes that

the one who gets the result worked within the business for a long enough period of time, the one who didn’t get the result, did not.

Simple as that.

Pursue success in MLM at all costs and never give up?

Hmm, I wonder where she got that idea from…