SEC fines Troy Dooly for pimping Zeek Rewards
As the Zeek Rewards train wreck catapulted along at full-speed towards an inevitable conclusion, here in the MLM blogging world the credibility of one of the oldest MLM blogs today was being called into question.
In the face of straight-forward analysis that revealed Zeek Rewards was nothing more than an affiliate-funded Ponzi scheme, Troy Dooly’s backflip over the legitimacy of Zeek Rewards baffled the MLM blog world and its readers.
After an initial critique in December 2011 in which Dooly explored some of the blatant red flags evident in the now infamous Ponzi points compensation plan, from April 2012 headlines like this were the next to appear on MLM Helpdesk:
- “Zeek Rewards CEO Paul Burks Clarifies Blockage Of Countries & Deactivation of Affiliates Accounts” (April 2012)
- “FTC Issues Consumer Alert On Penny Auctions Which May Explain Why Zeek Suspended Some International Affiliates” (April 2012)
- “NMBJ Breaks Story On Zeek Reward Income Disclosure Statement & Customer To Affiliate Ratios” (April 2012)
- “Zeek Rewards Update: Zeek 101 Suggested Behaviors” (June 2012)
- “Zeekler Penny Auction House Numbers Show The Real Story Behind Zeek Rewards” (June 2012)
- “Breaking Zeek Rewards Alert: Clearification From Last Night’s Zeek Rewards Leadership Call” (June 2012)
- “Seth Godin Shares Explains What Dallin Larsen Founder Of MonaVie and Paul Burks Founder Of Zeek Rewards Have In Common” (July 2012)
Things over at MLM Helpdesk kind of quietened down as the SEC noose around Zeek Rewards tightened in August. However, as evidenced above, the bulk of Dooly’s coverage on Zeek Rewards noticeably read like press-releases. These sorts of “articles” typically provided by MLM companies and reserved for publication on spammy marketing sites.
My personal favorite?
“Zeek Rewards And Their Affiliates Seem To Have Been Hit By International Cyber Crime Gangs & Bloggers With Possible Hidden Agendas” (April 2012).
Turns out some bloggers did indeed have hidden agendas, although they weren’t the bloggers Dooly was talking about.
In a cease and desist filed against Troy Dooly, the SEC reveal that
From at least April 2012 until August 2012, Dooly served as a paid consultant to Rex Venture Group, LLC (”RVG”), the parent company of ZeekRewards.com (“ZeekRewards”).
Under two successive contracts, RVG agreed to pay Dooly $6,000 per month to provide various consulting and public relations services that included, among other things, responding to negative press about RVG and ZeekRewards; providing live reporting from company events; conducting video chat interviews to “promote company, founders, officers, products and culture”; and providing media exposure to facilitate market penetration and improve public perception.
In the aftermath of the Zeek Rewards Ponzi apocalypse Dooly did acknowledge that he was a paid consultant and felt compelled to publish “positive” content for no other reason than to counter all the negative press Zeek Rewards was getting.
While all this was playing out though, the following conversation took place between Jim Gillhouse and Dooly on Aces Radio Live
Gillhouse: One question that keeps coming up over and over again is are you personally involved in this company and being compensated by this company for some reason?
Dooly: …as a rep?
Gillhouse: you personally as a representative representing Zeek Rewards yes.
Dooly: No, absolutely not. Nor is any of my family.
The SEC slammed Dooly for this, noting in their cease and desist
In each instance of public relations or promotion in various media outlets, Dooly failed to disclose to his readers and listeners that RVG was paying him for such publicity.
Dooly believed that, pursuant to a non-disclosure agreement, RVG maintained the exclusive right to determine whether or not to disclose Dooly’s consulting agreement and the amount of compensation.
Because RVG did not authorize such disclosure, Dooly declined to reveal his compensation and, in at least one instance, Dooly denied (or misled his audience about) receiving compensation from RVG (apart from reimbursement of expenses) when asked about his compensation during a public radio program.
The public radio program example the SEC cite is the exchange by Gillhouse and Dooly quoted above.
What I find worrying is the non-disclosure agreement between Dooly and Zeek Rewards covering his hiring. As an MLM blogger who does not operate as a paid consultant, I have no idea whether NDAs are standard practice for agreements between bloggers and MLM companies.
If so, that casts a rather worrying shade of uncertainty over the publishings of paid consultant bloggers. A darker shade still if the consulting gig is not disclosed or worse, denied.
For his part in promoting Zeek Rewards and indirectly encouraging affiliates to invest in it (by professing its legitimacy), the SEC claimed Dooly
violated Section 17(b) of the Securities Act, which prohibits publishing, giving publicity, or circulating “any notice, circular, advertisement . . . or communication which, though not purporting to offer a security for sale, describes such security for a consideration received or to be received, directly or indirectly, from an issuer . . . without fully disclosing the receipt, whether past or prospective, of such consideration and the amount thereof.”
In response to the SEC cease and desist Dooly struck a deal with the SEC which resulted in the issuing of a $3000 civil penalty (to be paid to the Zeek Rewards Receiver for distribution to affiliates who lost money) and a disgorgement (the forced giving up of profits obtained by illegal or unethical acts) fine of $3000 with $98.81 in interest.
$3,000 or approximately 17% was attributed to public relations or promotion in various media outlets,
this means that for his part in promoting the Zeek Rewards Ponzi, Dooly walks away with $8901.19 of the money Zeek Rewards paid him. That figure might have been higher but for Zeek Rewards failing to pay him the last $6000 earnt due to Zeek’s assets being frozen by the SEC.
Additionally, the SEC ordered
Dooly cease and desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act.
Looking forward, one would hope those who accept money directly from MLM companies in exchange for press-release type coverage might conduct ourselves a little more accordingly.
As MLM bloggers we ourselves are not exempt from conducting our own thorough due diligence into the companies we write about.
Footnote: The SEC cease and desist order was published on the 30th of September 2013 and can be viewed over at the SEC website.
My thanks to BehindMLM readers GlimDropper, felgercarb and littleroundman for bringing this story to my attention.
He is quite fortunate if a fine will be the only punishment.
Whether any other action is made public I’m not sure but I suspect Dooly’s fines will be the lighter of those handed out. Greg Caldwell, Kevin Grimes (compliance), Robert Craddock, Keith Laggos (NMBJ), Peter Mingles (ANMP) are just some of the non-executive Zeek Rewards staff possibilities.
In their own respective ways, all of them were balls-deep in ensuring as many affiliates as possible invested with Zeek Rewards.
Well he also will be at a loss when it comes to anything he says from now on. Imagine that! I am sure his reputation is going to pay the price.
Only in America, you heard a such story. Zeek would have still been here even as a Ponzi, but SEC always interim to stop anything companies that have plan to help the middle class.
That is why, I prefer to deal with non USA business where SEC has no power.
Not so. As per Zeek Rewards’ own financial records, ROIs were going to exceed new money being invested by either September or October 2012.
Zeek Rewards was going to collapse within months regardless of whether the SEC shut them down or not.
As for the middle class, taking their money and paying it to one or two percent of a million or so participants isn’t helping them.
My all time favorite “Troyism”:
“You can’t ride two horses with one ass.”
Yet that’s exactly what he tried to do here. He was trying to be Troy Dooly of MLM Help Desk, passionate advocate for the best interests of the MLM/Network Marketing industry as a whole and for the reps in the field.
But at the same time he was being paid to minimize the impact of negative information against and to promote a better image for Zeek Rewards.
It is so seldom that two goals could be more mutually exclusive.
I don’t think the 6 grand he’ll pay will hurt him, hell he still comes out ahead on the deal. The more interesting question is if he will change how he does business from here on out. I think he pretty much has to.
He can’t be paid PR flack for a given company and be a neutral arbitrator at the same time. He has to give up one of those gigs. That or just split the diference down the middle and refuse to sign any contract with a company that would prohibit him from saying at the very start of any video he makes on that company “In full disclosure, I am being paid by this company to do x,y and z.”
Powerful lessons to be noticed here.
As always you bring forth the facts. However, there are a couple of facts that you were subjective on and it is not correct. The most important is below.
1. The radio show was not with Gillhouse. That was 100% accurate. The radio show was with Tom Chenault, where I answered his question about receiving money from Zeek Rewards. I said “no, but RVG has paid my expenses.” I did not disclose that those expenses also included my consulting retainer.
GlomDropper… That was a good Troyism 🙂 Well positioned!
I would also like to add a couple of thoughts for what it’s worth.
2. I reported many times that regulators monitored MLM Help Desk. I would NEVER knowingly violate ANY law.
Since 2009 we have followed the FTC disclosure rules. I had no clue about Sec. 17(B) of the 1933 Securities Act. I warned about making changes or the FTC or State AG might shut them down as a pyramid, never gave a thought about un-registered securities.
Since the Settlement and my clear understanding of Sec. 17(B) of the Securities Act of 1933, the NDA has been removed from the Agreement, and all NDAs provided by new clients, will not be able to include stating I am a consultant or not, it will be strictly covering their proprietary company information.
3. This will never happen again because now I fully understand both the SEC and FTC rules. If you have noticed in the last few videos, and editorials I am making it clear which videos are about clients. The disclosures on at the bottom of the articles and at the end of the videos.
At times I even mention the fact in the videos themselves. And I will be providing inside the disclosure page a list of current clients.
Again, Oz pretty fair coverage of the situation.
I think you might be quoting a different show. The one I quoted was the infamous Dawn Wright-Olivares one with Gillhouse (linked in the article).
Glad to hear of the changes going forward, however I hope disclosure does not take a back seat to your own due diligence. I’m having a hard time believing the thought of unregistered securities never crossed your mind till August 2012.
There were also many instances on Troy’s blog and here where the critics posted about the impossible math behind the returns, empirical evidence of auction revenue based on the auction id’s not supporting the claimed revenue, the uselessness of classified ad spam being effective, Zeek’s Ponzi beginnings where affiliates were given Zeek-approved ads promoting impossible returns, the senselessness of some claims like economic sanctions against EU and NATO countries, and the banking problems where Zeek was obviously lying publicly and the details not aligning with standard business practices (such as canceling checks with little notice, whereas a normal bank transition you leave enough $ in the bank to cover existing checks).
In all of these conversations with Troy, we assumed Troy was being an honest referee of issues, but there were many claims then and since the SEC shutdown that Troy’s analysis was biased.
Also it should be mentioned that Troy also gained a lot of positive publicity and had other ways to monetize the new Zeek audience which adopted Troy as the unofficial grandpa of positive Zeekness, such as his coaching business. Thus, it is difficult to really know how impartial Troy was in his responses to the critics.
You seem to have more respect for laws than you have for your own readers? And less respect for common sense and for ethics?
You were asked DIRECTLY about it one time in June 2012 (I believe), about whether or not you were paid directly or indirectly to promote ZeekRewards. You’re answer was “No, companies don’t pay me to promote them, but Zeek has covered my expenses as a consultant / speaker at their events”.
I believe it was in June 2012, but it might have been after the banning of 6 countries (March or April 2012), or after the April 15th NMBJ review. People asked you about the FACTS in your actions, not about “Do you follow the laws?”.
You acted in the role of a guy who’s integrity was undisputed until then and in what people could expect from him in the future, backed up by a former Marine’s “Code of Honor” (mentioned in your “About” page), and backed up by the Constitution itself (represented by Stars and Stripes).
SEC probably gave a more correct answer to it than you provided in your own blog.
Not that Troy has the sole responsibility of performing due diligence on every company or doing the homework FOR opportunity seekers, but now I understand why he glosses over or doesnt talk at all about the best performing companies with the best success rates.
I am all for people making a buck and if someone wants to get paid to do commercials or promote (only) things or people that are in their “club” that’s awesome. Go for it. But BE CLEAR and dont position yourself as unbiased.
If He is an “advocate” why does he not talk about the best performers or the ones that have the most people hitting their goals instead of talking about lackluster MLM’s that do not perform any better than any other MLM.
Why not teach people HOW to evaluate a company, look at an IDS, look at and decipher financial reports, success rates, retention rates etc?
How is getting paid to promote one company over another any different from Paying a rep to move from one company to another? How is it different than purchasing a downline?
If you are in network marketing advocacy, “ACT LIKE IT!”
Regardless of what Troy did he’s only human. He (Troy) took responsibility for his actions and admitted fault. For that I have respect and will continue to read MLM Help Desk!
You can’t expect neither him nor us to talk about your own favorite company “on demand”. Add something about it (the “Contact” button) if you want a review, but remember that most reviews here don’t see it through “pink sunglasses”, they are rather critical. You will most likely get a different outcome than expected.
If people ask me directly, I will not recommend them to add any of their own favorite companies to any list here, unless they REALLY want to have them discussed from other viewpoints than their own.
For some people, testing the “resistance in a market” can have a value on its own, e.g. they want some REAL viewpoints rather than the companies’ own. I will typically try to test my own arguments against a “difficult audience” rather than an “easy one” in some cases.
As a general idea, defending your OWN favorite company on the internet is usually not a good idea. People who are biased / “personally affected” will have a lesser range of arguments they can use, i.e. they can’t discuss each and every side of a case without harming their own interests. Other people can use that weakness to “bring them into a corner” in the diacussion.
The last idea there has been reflected in this article and its comments. Troy Dooly couldn’t easily defend his own role as a paid consultant for ZeekRewards. He was brought into difficult “corners” over and over again, by simple questions about his own involvment. That’s the type of “resistance” you can expect in some cases.
I didnt say anything about a “favorite” company nor did I elude to talking about it “on demand”. I said if you are going to brand yourself as an advocate, drop the obvious bias and personal agenda’s THEN BE ONE!!
You did have your own “favorite company” in mind, didn’t you? 🙂
Some MLM professionals will use this website for different purposes than marketing of their own favorite companies. They will prefer to NOT have their companies reviewed, or they will prefer to have them reviewed so they can look at the “resistance” from a distance.
For a sales person (recruitment or products), being familiar with different parts of the market can have some value in itself. It’s possible to pick up many methods, tactics, strategies or arguments people can use in their own work (or avoid at any cost in some parts of the market).
Some people are probably using this website from time to time to become more “street smart”, more clever in identifying which battles to fight and which battles to avoid, and in how to put up different types of strategies for it. I will recommend that idea rather than the idea of having a favorite company reviewed.
Other ideas can be about looking at the “temperature” of a program, e.g. “is it HOT, or is it too hot to join?”. But people will typically find their OWN ideas, so I’m not very eager to add any ideas.
If Troy hasn’t reviewed a program, it’s probably because it hasn’t popped up on his radar, or it might have been too complicated to review. That’s the reasons for why we don’t review each and every company out there.
That has already been accepted, both the “being human” and “taking responsibility”.
The SEC case is about something NEW, something that wasn’t known before it popped up as a case on SEC’s website. People have speculated about it and asked questions about it (both here and on MlmHelpdesk), and now it has officially been decided by a regulatory authority. It’s about his actions rather than about him as a person.
One interesting part is the article about “Zeek Rewards And Their Affiliates Seem To Have Been Hit By International Cyber Crime Gangs & Bloggers With Possible Hidden Agendas” (April 2012). He fits that description pretty nicely, the “Bloggers With Possible Hidden Agendas”.
I will follow a rule like this:
“If you bring up a specific type of argument, you have indirectly accepted that others can use the same types of arguments too. You can’t reserve any ‘rights’ for the use of commonly used arguments you have introduced yourself.”
It’s a “live by the sword and die by the sword” rule.
His “Bloggers With Possible Hidden Agendas” argument was introduced by himself. It didn’t make much sense back then, but it surely makes a lot of sense now (but not in the way it was intended to make sense).
What goes around comes around. Save the sob story Troy, just own up to the fact that your so called educated responses to the negative reports about Zeek was only to attempt to make them look better in the public eye.
I remember those posts, we were all scratching our heads wondering why in the world “Mr. MLM Help Desk” was framing things in the manner that was essentially justifying the company.
Oh Wait! That’s because you were collecting checks behind the scenes without anyone’s knowledge.
So either your really ignorant and don’t have as much knowledge as you like to project on you little blog there, or your a straight up liar and knew exactly what you were getting into.
Either way you reputation is now forever damaged, so pull your big boy pants up and stop making excuses because karma will always come back to bite you in the end.
Good day, i will never again visit your ridiculous self serving hidden agenda bs blog.
Well… I did warn you that Zeek is gonna be considered a security under the Dewey test, and you kept saying “no it wouldn’t”. 🙂 (or something to that effect)
A company whose business model is to take most of its participants’ money and give it to SOME participants without actually MAKING money is a Ponzi scheme, not “help the middle class”.
If you honestly believe what you wrote, you need cult deprogramming help.
@ M_Norway – What are you trying to goad me into here and WHY? Obviously you have the agenda, NOT me.
Yes I had a COUPLE companies in mind. Were they my “favorite”? NO! He has DONE reviews on my “favorite” But, if they were, why would it even matter?
Believe it or not, people can post comments without having an agenda, angle or some kind of hidden meaning. I have no problem running on my OWN merit. I dont need other peoples’ or companies failures to springboard me. You might want to take a lesson.
ANYONE can write a critical review of the low hanging fruit. Regardless if the “review” was good or bad, why would I want my “favorite” company in the same basket as that garbage ?
Its easy to find a ponzi deal and ward people off from it. There are 10 new ones a day that come out. It takes a little more ethics and balls to talk about companies that do it right or out perform everyone else, because you dont want to steer people from whatever you are trying to promote, im sure.
I am obviously not the one with the agenda here. Stop grasping at straws trying to fabricate or uncover one. Why cant you live with the fact that I believe there should be ACTUAL unbiased reviews of REAL, VIABLE COMPANIES from people that call themselves Helpers, advocates and watchdogs?
Why dont you promote what works instead of what doesnt? What are you afraid of?
Troy’s business model is what the real story is and should be. This is a joke of a fine in comparison to the potential of millions of dollars he influenced into this ponzi scheme.
MLM Help Desk Business Model for Dummies:
Step 1 – Identify a company that is currently getting a lot of current publicity and traction
Step 2 – Do very little or no true due diligence on that company
Step 3 – Point out numerous “red flags” on said company via a video editorial
Step 4 – Wait for company to contact Troy or MLM Help Desk to give their side of the story and point out numerous misconceptions and inaccuracies of video editorial
Step 5 – Convince said company to engage in a “Consulting Contract” with MLM Help Desk
Step 6 – Let said company spoon feed information to MLM Help Desk so they can deliver PR to the public in a 3rd party watchdog style via numerous video editorials as long as monthly payments continue to clear the MLM Help Desk bank account
IMHO, this is nothing more than “shakedown marketing” behind an American flag and a marine tattoo for added credibility and the SEC let him off way too easy.
Based on your comment above I can tell you do not visit my site or watch my videos very often. If you did, then you would know how many companies the biggest and most successful that we cover (who are NOT clients).
You would also know we have a full training library of articles from myself and many of the top leaders in the network marketing arena on how to look for and build the right company.
You might even want to tune onto the radio show at the Home Business Radio Network to learn more.
There is a reason I write and respond with my own name… I will stand behind my actions right or wrong and take the consequences.
Now if you want to privately contact me to look at doing a review for your company feel free.
Yes we did talk about the Test (4 of them if I am correct), and as I mentioned in my video today, at the time I was not an expert on un-registered securities… Well I am now!
Troy. I do watch the videos and look at your site, Im only going back a couple of years but it seems to me that you promote that same 20 or so companies fairly regularly at the expense of the ones that deserve or could use the help based on their merit.
I’m not refering to MY company here. We are just fine. But, How would I know if a company you are promoting is a client or not?
I post anonymously because I dont want someone accusing me of having an agenda to promote myself or my company. I just want people to know that there are legitimate, well performing opportunities out there, not just mine.
Nor do I want people form an opinion of MY company based on my sometimes contraversial opinions. If it was just me, I wouldnt care but there are other people I have to consider.
Troy, I love what you do. Although I dont always agree, who cares? People dont always agree with me either. Its the goal and the progress towards it that counts. I think you do a great job with that and your heart is in the right place.
Please take my comments more inquisitive than acquisitory. Just ask yourself why I would think along those lines. Im here to help or raise awareness not to pick fault, although im sure it seems that way.
With as much as you have going on and the amount of Politics that get injected with your position, you will wind up getting pulled in directions you dont want to go in as is evident with recent events. I admire your strong beliefs but certainly dont envy the position you have put yourself in.
You will never be able to please everyone. With so many factors in play its bound to get a little screwy from time to time.
I tried to give you some ideas / handle you as an MLM professional. It was just as simple as that.
Most MLM professionals will often prefer to have some quiet around their own companies on the internet, especially in places where they don’t have any control with the information (e.g. this website is quite different from Facebook).
I have seen a few OTHER ideas which are relatively rational (other ideas than discussing someone’s favorite companies). I mentioned a couple of those ideas. I will often use similar ideas myself.
* One of the ideas was about familiarizing with a bigger market, looking at other parts of the market and even looking at relatively opposite parts. I explained WHY, e.g. for the purpose of picking up new ideas, new arguments, new knowledge. That idea should have some appeal for some experienced sales people.
I use a similar idea myself = test myself against other types of audiences (typically more “difficult” types). A sales person will need that type of experience to expand his market (new markets will not FEEL that difficult if you already have a lot of experience from similar situations).
In short, I gave you some professional ideas, but without telling you about all the details. People will TYPICALLY prefer to find their own ideas and build up their own details around them. So I have simply treated you as a professional, capable of finding your own ideas.
OK, I think I understand M_Norway.. That makes sense.
It would make even more sense if I had showed you some HOW and WHY examples, but that would be a derailing from the actual topic here.
The fact that I’m relatively “trained” and relatively “relaxed” makes it easier for me to enter new situations (e.g. other types of forums), and “make it work” there too (whatever I’m trying to deliver there).
We have had different MLM professionals of different types posting here over the years. We do NOT cover their needs very well, e.g. a review will not always be what they want it to be. But I have seen some “strategy changes” that actually made some sense = people have found some OTHER use of this site than what they initially were looking for.
I will sometimes try to mention “some other uses”. I gave you 2 relatively vague examples, vague because I assumed you already had your own ideas (and because I don’t like to “over sell” ideas).
“Some other uses” is typically about when people seems to be wanting something we don’t deliver. I will then try to offer something else, something they potentially can be interested in. That’s plain and simple sales man logic (and it will often be reflected in some of my posts).
The other part of that first commentt was about Troy Dooly’s role. He hasn’t delivered the type of review you wanted from him. But the truth is neither have we. If I defend his choice of reviews, I will indirectly defend the choices here. If I had started to criticize it / agree with you, I would indirectly have criticized the choices made here. 🙂
I posted a long comment at MlmHeldesk.com, in Troy’s own article about the SEC fine. I did’t exactly like his role as a “victim”.
The SEC fine is the RESULT of something, not the problem in itself. The lack of insight into Security and Exchange Law 1933 is only a minor problem. Reading laws won’t solve anything.
The core problem is his own mindset, the one he adapted when he replaced the U.S. Marines “Code of Honor” with empty “network marketing slogans” and “image building logic”, when he started to betray himself and everyone else.
My comment is partly constructive and partly critical. It’s impossible to present anything constructive if you can’t present the truth at the same time. He has already received some “supportive comments” from a few readers, so what I’m doing is simply to balance the comments a little, making them become closer to the truth.
I posted 3 questions on PatrickPretty.com… Not very friendly ones either.
The “skilled media advisor” stuff was meant to point him the right direction, or a potential right direction. There is actually knowledge “out there somewhere” in how to handle a situation that way.
“Get all the skeletons out of the closet at the same time” is actually a media strategy used to handle crisis, one of many strategies, and they should preferrably be adjusted for the TYPE of crisis before they can be used.
SOME OF THE RULES
1. Identify the problem correctly. If you can’t identify it correctly, you will be unable to find good solutions to it.
2. Look at it from other viewpoints than your own, and identify all the different viewpoints your defense strategy is meant to cover. Give the different viewpoints different ranks and “classes”, you can’t use the same type of solution on ANY type of problem.
3. Solve the most important one first, and give it most focus. PEOPLE are more important than THINGS, but more difficult to handle.
4. Don’t bring in unimportant details, other than when they’re a natural part of the story. Don’t let it derail into unimportant stuff.
Look at some real examples for good and bad strategy to get an idea what they are about. BP’s Tony Hayward had some bad media strategies during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, wanting his own good life back in the middle of the crisis. BP’s Swedish Chairman had some “interesting” translation errors, but people can accept that.
5. It isn’t actually about “rules”. Putting up rules like that is simply a method to identify something logically.
Troy had a relatively poor media strategy. He had too much focus on where he felt OTHERS had made mistakes, but without checking the facts. He’s poorly prepared for a situation like this, and poorly able to handle it.
He handled the apology better. The focus there was on where and why he had made the mistakes he made. The trouble is that he only told half truths, very important parts were omitted.
He has actually ruined his own presentation there by not telling the truth, he has lost most of the points he was able to score. It was just another network marketing story designed to mislead people.
The core problem here is his own mindset, the one he has adapted to fit in as a network marketing “expert”.
couldn’t find it there norway!! there’s a bunch of supportive comments ‘rah rah troy!’, but i suppose since it’s troy’s blog, you cant play.
this whole apology thing by troy, is just some more marketing spiel and a weak effort to salvage his reputation. whats the point if he edits out comments following an apology or explanation or whatever.
not knowing the law, is never an excuse, and an ‘expert’ not knowing a law is plain laughable.
He typically has 24-36 hours “moderation queue”, but it sometimes can last up to 14 days before a post shows up.
The first apology in September 2012 was accepted by most people as “fair enough”. It reduced the critique to almost nothing within few days, except for maybe among people who had been directly affected by all the misleading stories.
This new story contains some NEW details he lied about back then, heavily reducing the “value” of that first apology. That’s a poor media strategy, and he’s following it up with even poorer strategies, acting in the role of a “victim”.
He’s not the “victim” of anything other than his own actions and mindset. He’s not the victim of ZeekRewards or RVG or “Ponzi players”, or SEC or the “Security and Exchange Act 1933”, or Oz or PatrickPretty or me.
If he want to be treated like a former US Marine, he should seriously consider starting to act like one (assuming US Marines have some “Code of Honor”). The network marketing “Code of Honor” doesn’t work very well in the situation he has brought himself into, it was probably the primary factor that initially brought him into this trouble.
Most of us don’t know the laws, we’re neither lawyers nor judges. People typically becomes more “dysfunctional” if they study things like that too deeply without having the correct basic education.
You will find many other areas he’s not an “expert” on either (actually most of them). I checked most of the areas found on his website before I asked him about whether or not he was paid to promote Zeek, in 2012. His “core field of expertise” seems to be about promoting himself as an MLM expert.
I had such hopes for Troy following a group education given to him about ASD and other Ponzi scams. He appeared to have changed course. But now it seems, he is back on the same heading as before.
I posted a comment on patrickpretty.com, and I’m reposting it here to analyse the defense argument and to keep a track of my own postings in the same case.
Quote from a post by Troy:
My reply to it:
“I signed an NDA” is less important than “Why did the company ask for an NDA like that in the first place?”. Most companies will make public statements about it if they have hired some professionals. ZeekRewards made statements like that for most other consultants than Troy Dooly. 🙂
“Did you hire HIM as a consultant? We must hide that from public knowledge at all costs! It may destroy the company if people discover the truth. Make him sign an NDA!”.
Zeek / RVG were much more relaxed when they hired Keith Laggos as a consultant, Gerry Nehra as a consultant, and so on and so forth, all except Troy Dooly “their hidden weapon”.
When people are constructing defense arguments, it doesn’t always make much sense if you analyse it from other viewpoints. I’m a former sales person, and I will TYPICALLY analyse stuff from more than one viewpoint.
It isn’t about Ponzi schemes or laws, but about mindsets.
He has a self appointed role as one of the “good guys”, “former US Marine, former MLM leader, respected MLM expert, the Protector of the Constitution and all that is right”.
And we are the “bad guys”, “the critics, people with hidden agendas, the ones who want to ruin all that is good, the ones willing to attack everything he believes in”.
He simply hates being “adjusted” from his belief system, especially when it comes from someone from “the other side”.
In sale, you will first need to see it from the other side and accept that side. First then will you have any chance placing your own arguments.
“You must accept before you can get accepted, you must respect before you can get respected,, you must understand before you can be understood”, and so on and so forth. But it has to be real, pretending anything doesn’t work in the same way.
A whore by any other name is still a whore. Oh, I’m sorry the wrong radio show was referenced…disregard.
Well the latest comment are well written and thought out. Although I must say I am glad the SEC used facts and did not create a subjective conclusion without them.
1. I never play a victim role. I was sanctioned for violating a SEC regulation. I was presented the facts, saw what I had done and we gladly corrected the issue. No splitting hairs or arguing the facts.
2. I have never seen critics as the bad guys, that is a known fact. Which is why everyone is always welcome to comment at MLM Help Desk. I have differentiated between true critics and negative whiners more than once.
And most of you who did engage over Zeek were not only treated with respect, you were also defended when negative whiners wanted to pretend what you had to say was irrelevant.
I do appreciate the suggestions from all of you. Over the last year or so, I have come to value the opinions of the majority in this community.
So, I hope we are clear, I do not pretend to be a victim period! I stand responsible for my own actions, and never point to anyone else.
@Troy…. dude you will represent anyone who pays you money…. we saw this in Revoluson… a free Ipad and you will say what ever Derek wanted you to say… This is Bullshit…!!! you are a fraud..!!!
You report whatever the person paying you wants to report…!!! Your REP has been tarnished and for that …. I AM HAPPY…!!!! You are a disgrace to our industry …!!!
Your story is still very “thin”, e.g. the NDA story. It sounds like a “constructed defense system” rather than someting from real business. In which situation will a company ask anyone to sign anything like that?
You were hired to promote ZeekRewards on the internet, by posting positive reviews and doubts about the critics, e.g. presenting it to make it look like the company was a victim of undeserved critique from bloggers with possible hidden agendas and poor understanding of facts.
“Professionalism” is about VALUES, both ethical values and real values. It failed when you focused on MONEY rather than on VALUE.
Both you and RVG must instinctively have known that there was something controversial in your agreement with them, something needed to be hidden from your ordinary audience. You BOTH accepted the extended NDA as a solution to something.
You can mislead yourself to believe the NDA was “forced upon you against your own will”, but you can’t mislead all others.
Professionalism is about VALUE. You created short term positive value for RVG and yourself, short term negative value for others (the people who were misled), long term negative value for yourself (your own market value has been reduced).
This isn’t something you can solve with marketing logics, it wasn’t there it failed. You can’t solve it by reading laws, it wasn’t there it failed. You can’t solve it with “positive thinking” ideas either, that method will only mislead you.
Paul Burks can have misled you, he was skilled enough to manage that. He misled people here too, but ONLY when he managed to deliver something they WANTED to believe in, something they saw as a “good solution” to themselves.
People were actually misleading themselves, he just placed some “acceptable solutions” right in front of their eyes (where people had their attention focused, or sometimes where they were defocused).
Not so fast. You purposely deceived people. Some of whom are very likely filing proofs of claims because they listened to your jive. How are you going to “correct” that?
Sweep it under the rug?
You hid behind the NDA. You breached the public’s trust and did not disclose your relationship, and yes, you also broke the law.
That’s right you are not the victim… You are the perp. The people you lied to are the victims and they are real.
I wish you well sweetpea. Keep your nose clean from now on.
Slightly related: Some spammer tried to spam my Zeek hub with an ad for a new zeek clone starting up in Eastern Europe, touted as “far away from USA/SEC”. Sad and pathetic.
Do they need an “influencer”? There’s one for sale.
Who didn’t see this coming? A bunch of net winners have already settled with more to come. The guy that tried to recruit me in was up 43k and still contends that Zeek was viable and is a Lyonesse honk to this day. Must be in their DNA.
Here’s the link:
Comments will typically become visible after 24-36 hours, and that comment has now become visible. But I posted it here first in post #29.
I have posted a new comment, pointing out that the SEC fine only is a symptom of a bigger problem, a small reflection of the real problem. The drop in Alexa rank is another reflection, and he will also find other types of reflections.
And then I pointed out “Professional Code of Conduct”, “Conflict of Interests”, “written and unwritten rules and the ideas behind them”, “the ineffectiveness in trying to address the wrong problem” and some similar ideas. I also identified something about “jurisdiction”.
SEC has a specific and formal jurisdiction. Readers don’t have any formal jurisdiction, but they are not limited by any formal jurisdiction either. They can cover a much wider range of violations than SEC can. They can’t fine him or formally judge him, but they can clearly judge him.
In my observation Mr Dooly is now caught between a rock and a hard place.
Does he continue with the Pollyanna-ish “MLM = good / negativity = bad” mantra which so often stifles objective thinking in MLM circles.
Or, does he learn from his experience and become what he purports to be, an impartial advocate for “real” multi level marketing.
One thing that stuck out in my mind as I went back through some of the old Zeek articles was the whole “don’t listen the “the critics” as they don’t have all the information” line Dooly repeatedly dismissed criticism and compensation plan concerns with.
Turns out we didn’t have all the information after all…
I posted a last comment (I believe) on MlmHelpdesk. If people can’t find the answers they’re looking for, it’s simply because they don’t WANT to find them.
Troy (reply to a comment from me):
“Code of Conduct” and “Conflict of interst” didn’t ring a bell there, so I tried something else, pointing out the extended NDA as a poor defense rather than a problem.
He might have believed it was a good defense in the first place, but it looks rather “constructed”. “Circumstances outside my own control simply forced me to act in a specific way, against my own will and good intentions. That’s why I signed it, to enable myself to act like that.”
I am not sure what you are looking for. The SEC has far better attorneys and investigators working the case than you, and they invested over 13 months reviewing all the documentation and additional info provided, and determined that 17% of the agreement had anything to do with “promoting” Zeek.
I’m not sure how many ways there are for me to say I failed in providing full disclosure per the SEC. I have already apologized for that and several other issues throughout the Zeek coverage.
I did give all sides the opportunity to create a fair and balanced debate on the Zeek issues and many people saw the red flags and walked away due to what they read.
Oz, as for your comment on “don’t listen to the critics” that has never been my stance. I have stated don’t listen to the negative crybabies.
If I did not believe folks should have listened, GrimDropper, K. Chang, Jordan Maglish, M_Norway etc, then I would have only provided a biased onesided opinion. Instead I engaged with all of you. Agreed on some points, disagreed on many, and listened as you educated me on many areas.
All fo you have provided great commentary and subjective conclusions, that should provide anyone reading the ability to determine what my motives were and are moving forward.
Since, there is nothing else to say, thank you for the professionalism you have all shown, and from time to time I will continue to support this community by linking to Oz’s articles and commenting from time to time.
Living An Epic Adventure,
A fair call after the SEC action, but I don’t believe this was the case prior. I remember plenty of “the critics don’t have all the facts” and “Zeek is not a Ponzi scheme” commentary prior to the SEC action.
I’m specifically talking about when you were singing the praises of Greg Caldwell and Robert Craddock (understandable since you were all in Burks’ pocket at the time).
Personally I’m much more vested in what’s to come so I’m happy to leave it at that. There’s no witchhunt so to speak on my part, just the cataloguing of what took place and the outcome. It’ll be interesting to find out what happens to other Zeek consultants.
Two additional thought, you mentioned an SEC investigation that hinted at a broader scope beyond Zeek. Are you able to clarify what the investigation is/was about and who the SEC are looking at?
And with the Grimes payback, was any legal action taken by the SEC and in what capacity did Grimes and Reese pay back the $60k (and was it to the Receiver or SEC?).
You failed to provide full disclosure, and based that decision on an extended NDA? The extended NDA doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse. But that isn’t really important anymore, you have already decided to make changes to future contracts.
It only was important if you wanted to know WHY so many comments focused on that part and similar parts of the story. The answer can be found in ethics rather than in laws, and in other types of written and unwritten rules than the ones you initially focused on. You can probably live an epic adventure without knowing what that is about.
Most people will probably respect the decision from SEC as “fair”. It WAS fair, it pointed out the main problem in the way the judiciary and the regulators sees it = they will identify it within the context of “illegal actions”, a clean and simple way to see it.
My mentioning of “Professional Code of Conduct”, “Conflict of Interest” and similar ideas can be ignored. It has already been covered in the settlement, but it was identified in the way the regulators see it.
PEOPLE have probably already accepted the facts in the case.
That description is short, factual and neutral (facts can be discussed, I have primarily focused on the method). It will cover the most important parts.
* The initial agreement, WHAT it was about
* The result of that agreement (the actions)
* The final result of that agreement, WHAT and WHY
That method can be used if you want to present it in a non emotional way, the short version of the story. You can adjust the facts to make them become more correct (e.g. precise dates / time period, precise number of articles and videos), but you can’t adjust them with the intentions of making them become more favorable to you.
Non emotional way can be usec on some people, but not on all (it doesn’t cover details). You must handle details in the way they are presented (e.g. if people ask technical questions, you must give technical answers, if people are asking about one specific article, you must answer that part).
Trying to present it in a technical way, e.g. “was fined for violating Section 17(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act 1933”, isn’t a good idea. It doesn’t reflect the truth as people see it, it’s only a distraction from the truth. People will throw stones at you if you try a method like that (figuratively speaking).
Your media strategy wasn’t a very good one. You had much more attention on how other bloggers had handled the news than on your own role in it. You have received a lot of troublesome questions and focus on details.
THE TRUTH AS OTHER PEOPLE SEE IT
Your own ideas haven’t worked very well here. Professionalism is about presenting the truth as other people see it, not as you see it yourself. It’s also WHAT to handle (priority), HOW to handle it (different methods) and WHY you should handle it.
“The truth as other people see it” will be different if someone has been directly affected than if people simply are making personal comments.
We don’t do typical “personal consulting” here, so my version of “the truth as other people see it” will of course be about readers in general.
If you remember the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, you can use BP’s Tony Hayward as an example for poor media strategy and “seeing problems from the wrong perspective”.
He had his weekend vacation on his sailboat in the middle of the crisis. When all others were desperately looking for solutions to stop the flow of oil, he wisely decided to relax for a couple of days with his family. The media published it as “Tony Hayward on luxury vacation in the middle of the crisis”.
He was also the one who wanted his own life back, focusing on how he PERSONALLY experienced the disaster rather than on all the people who had been directly affected by it in much worse ways.
I used Tony Hayward as an example to illustrate the idea of “see the truth as OTHER people see it”. That’s the first truth you will need to handle, the primary one. The truth as you see it yourself is normally secondary in professionalism. You will need to handle that personally rather than professionally.
“Pimping ZeekRewards” isn’t a formal legal term, but people in general can clearly accept that description.
The plot thickens with Zeek. I was apart of this and loved it. Shame it wasnt legit
Moving on, Paid bloggers will become a problem in the coming months as more people get into it. It will be hard to find wholesome information that isnt swayed my the dollar. The internet is just a place for the little guy to become like a highstreet newspaper spreading the hottest pile of crap.
That isn’t a problem when bloggers are able to “balance” each others (and themselves), where you can find a relatively balanced information if you use a few different sources.
One of the problems in the ZeekRewards case was the audience itself. People will TYPICALLY look for information that can support their own ideas, what they WANT to believe in rather than the factors that don’t support their own ideas.
If people are ATTRACTED to something, they will typically make an initial decision about it very rapidly. When searching the internet for information, they will typically look for types of information supporting their own ideas, and will see that as “more reliable” than the opposite type of information. It’s called “Confirmation bias”.
Bloggers can’t change that part of the human nature, and they shouldn’t try to do it either. For some people, the problem will eventually solve itself when the reality kicks in.
PAID REVIEWS OR ARTICLES
In itself, there’s nothing wrong in paid reviews. It first becomes a problem when it’s misleading in any way, as a whole rather than in the details. But that problem can occur in unpaid reviews too, so the problem isn’t about payment. I analysed and identified it in post #49.
I believe people clearly should accept payment if anyone is willing to pay for something, and it doesn’t come in conflict with other parts of your work.
This thread is pure gold. Thank you all
Question: I noticed that this article and the one on troy’s site are both published on the 1st, did troy post up because the cat was out of the bag or did he just come clean?
The NDA excuse is weak at best and M_Norway’s reasoning reguarding the NDA sounds more like troy’s style. Troy’s past history, the half truths, and the out right deceit makes me wonder why anyone would put any stock reguarding MLM advice in troy.
Troy dooly was/is a ponzi pimp plain and simple.
This is great. I knew Troy had to be getting some form of compensation for his gung-ho comments about Zeek Rewards. Nobody is as enthusiastic about something as he was over Zeek without getting some form of payment.
And it was fairly obvious that Zeek was a ponzi, yet Troy, posing as an impartial reviewer, insisted it wasn’t. Then he was attending red carpet events paid for by Zeek… it doesn’t take a genius to add 1+1+1.
I don’t buy the NDA excuse one bit. It looks fairly obvious that Troy was playing the “impartial reviewer” while getting paid under the table. He knew that his credibility toward Zeek would be questioned if everyone knew that he was a paid representative.
Heck, even in TV commercials they call old, has-been actors “compensated endorsers.”
It’s about “speaking with two tongues”, one false and misleading and the other one isn’t much better. 🙂
Received this comment via email yesterday:
Dawn and gang open up a new business. Wonder when the claw backs start she would have to sell it to pay back ?
I got the same offer of email except this person can’t find my email address even though it’s listed on the about page where s/he commented.
Seems Troy had already posted a video reply on his own website.
For me the matter’s pretty much closed. I didn’t invest based on Dooly’s advice and endorsement though so I guess the wounds are still raw for others.
Where’s Paul Burks in that photo?
I start to listen to Troys reply..but shut it off after 10 seconds. It’s rather obvious the email shines the truth.
@ Oz I know..I don’t see DD either..LOL guess Iwowiee, whatever it is isn’t working for Dawn eh ?
That e-mail is reflecting another type of problem, or potentially the same problem Troy Dooly had when he accepted RVG as a client.
The Due Diligence done there was about listening to all the advices supporting what they wanted to believe in, reading all the positive reviews and ignoring all the negative ones, accepting “social proofs” and ignoring common sense.
A lawsuit against Troy Dooly or any others won’t resolve that problem. It will be about repeating the same pattern that initially brought them into the problem = focusing on their own “wants and needs” rather than the facts in the case and common sense.
Which is what I termed “I want to believe” syndrome, but is called by scholars “subjective validation”, which is a variant of confirmation bias.
Its a shame that pursuing a lawsuit is so uncertain and expensive. Dooly did a lot of people wrong.
You can not explain everything as self delusion, especially when there is a large dose of misrepresentation included in the mix.
Maybe you knew Dooly was full of Shi%^%4 but these people did not.
That was an argument for the conclusion, “a lawsuit will not resolve that problem”. It was not a conclusion in itself.
The logic goes like this:
“The e-mail is reflecting another type of problem”
A description of what it is reflecting. I’m not building up a scientific report, so none of the arguments will need to be perfect.
“A lawsuit won’t resolve that”. They will need to analyse the problem from more than one perspective, e.g. from a less biased one.
I haven’t analysed all the details, but the e-mail is reflecting the same type of ideas that initially brought her into the problem, e.g. looking at the explanations we WANT to be true rather than analysing the realities.
I tried to analyse it from many different perspectives, but that method became too complicated. I will need to analyse my own methods first and try to simplify them.
Good idea because what your saying is confusing.
They obviously did their homework and were misled by an admitted liar. They have also done their homework concerning a law suit and determined based on their research that it is not worth their time and effort to pursue.
What part of this even remotely suggests to you that they need to consider some other perspective?
What perspective would that even be?
The easiest way to identify it is simply to identify some factors in the correct logical order.
* Zeek itself was misleading
* Paul Burks was misleading (trained magician)
* the lawyers were misleading about it
* “MLM professionals” were misleading (e.g. Troy Dooly)
* people who joined Zeek were misleading about it
Troy Dooly wouldn’t have been able to mislead anyone if he hadn’t had support in the other factors higher up in the logically sorted list of misleading factors.
Top recruiters in Zeek failed when they entered new programs (e.g. T Lemont Silver in JubiRev). Zeek itself as a program was clearly a main factor for WHY people were sucked into it, “the right types of ideas people really WANTED to believe in”.
I can add some more details here, but now I’m only trying to identify some “uncomplicated methods” for how to identify the problem correctly.
Troy Dooly CAN be blamed for his role, but it’s probably better to blame him correctly and identify his exact role. I have added more “perspective” to it by identifying other parts of the misleading system.
I have placed the people he potentially have misled into the same system rather than placing them outside as “innocent victims”. Most victims have actively contributed to the situation by misleading themselves.
That’s why I explained the logic, “Argument 1 + argument 2 = conclusion”. You will typically look at the wrong part of a logical explanation and assume it is the conclusion, e.g. interpret individual parts separated from the whole context.
That method will identify the different parts of the problem in context with the other parts, from an overview perspective rather than looking at the individual parts separated from others.
“People joined ZeekRewards because they were attracted to the income opportunity, rather than because Troy Dooly endorsed the program.”
That statement can be tested logically, and it will probably reflect the realities for most people.
When people are searching the internet for information, they have typically already made a decision for what type of information they WANT to find. Most people will look for information confirming the ideas they already have.
They don’t suddenly drop into a website “with no thought in mind”, e.g. “I had never heard anything about ZeekRewards before I visited that website, and his arguments were so convincing that I simply had to join the program. I didn’t have any choice”. For most people, that explanation doesn’t reflect the reality.
I can’t analyse each and every detail here, i.e. posting tens or hundreds of arguments. People will need to identify it correctly themselves.
“Most of the time, people were simply misleading themselves, but the system was also cleverly set up for that purpose”.
I believe that conclusion is the one that will reflect the realities better than most other conclusions.
Here’s the realities:
People were typically introduced to the program by friends. Most were eager to join, and accepted the information that best reflected what they WANTED to believe in.
I believe that description is rather typical for most people.
Each and every part of the system contributed to people’s decision making.
* social factors, e.g. friends recommending the program.
* other social factors, e.g. people’s OWN ideas about what a 65 year old business owner is expected to do, or people’s OWN ideas about how profitable penny auctions are.
* other social factors, e.g. it’s easier to believe a lawyer than “some people on a website”.
In that misleading system, WE were also a part of it. Paul Burks / Dawn Wright-Olivares increased their marketing efforts BECAUSE OF the resistance they met on the internet. Hiring some of the “MLM professionals” was simply a RESPONSE to that resistance, a method to “outweight” negative info with positive. That’s reflected in Troy’s contract, he was clearly directed towards an internet audience.
Troy clearly contributed to misleading people, but we will need to identify it correctly. And that has already been done in most parts. The e-mail is adding a lot of details to that picture, but the perspective in that e-mail isn’t correct. It’s too focused on a minor part of the picture, and it ignores most other parts.
TRUST OR DISTRUST PEOPLE?
If there’s anyone to distrust here, it should be about IDEAS rather than about PEOPLE. It was the IDEAS that failed, people’s OWN ideas about “how things work”, e.g. the idea that an income opportunity is “good” when it pays a lot of rewards, or the idea that self appointed “experts” are much more reliable than the general internet audience. Or even worse, believing in the idea that the people who are reflecting one’s own ideas are more reliable than the ones contradicting them.
Cut the “most victims” crap. The letter writer is not “most victims” but an individual who has described their own personal experiences.
Your blame the victim attitude is appalling.
I’m not blaming the victims, I’m identifying the realities in the case. You’re probably constructing your own theories rather than looking at the available facts.
Normally it will be much more functional to identify the whole picture before trying to analyse the details. I did that in post #72 and #74, before gradually looking at some details in post #75.
You will typically use methods more similar to the problem tried to describe, e.g. looking at the details that confirms the ideas you WANT to believe in, rather than looking at all the available information. That’s what happened in post #69, where one argument was interpreted as a conclusion. You didn’t look at the whole, only at the details.
Yeah. You are.
If this is not placing blame on the victim, what is it?
“Identifying the realities”. That’s actually what I have been doing most of the time. What have you been doing?
I have placed the victims INTO the same chain of misleading factors as the other factors, rather than on the outside. I seriously believe it was their OWN ideas that were used to mislead them most of the time.
If you have other theories, you can of course post something about it.
Do you understand that if someone is mislead, it is the liar who is at fault not the victim? Do you seriously not understand what fraud is and why people are held to account for perpetrating them on the public? Would you further penalize and chastise victims for believing lies? Apparently yes, which just illustrates how far askew your thinking is on this.
Take off your frequently worn “I used to be a salesman” hat and look at it from a legal and ethical point of view. Fraud is fraud even if it helped you make a sale.
You simply can not tell lies and justify them by claiming that the customer wanted to be lied to or because the customer brought his own misconceptions to the table. That’s bullshit and if that was your style as a salesman you could not have been very successful.
Its immoral, and often illegal as Dooly found out when the SEC came knocking on his door. Is that the company you keep?
Whomever wrote the original letter to Oz has every right to be pissed at Dooly, and its particularly unseemly for you to inform them (if they read your comments) that they “wanted” Dooly to lie to them. That is total crap.
On that note I will say that a lot of people decide to participate in schemes like Zeek Rewards, and only then go off looking for someone to reassure them it’s going to be ok.
They’ve already made the decision, acknowledge that it’s a Ponzi (or suspend their doubt) and then they just then need to find a scapegoat if it turns to shit.
I get these “investment advice” comments all the time on here, I just never publish them (this isn’t a “when should you invest in a Ponzi scheme” advice forum).
That and it prevents BehindMLM ever winding up being one of said scapegoats (‘but someone on BehindMLM told me it was legit…’).
Seriously, this is the level of stupid we’re often dealing with.
Try to answer the question: “What have YOU been doing?”. Try to identify it LOGICALLY, e.g. in context with the topic of the thread or in context with my posts (rather than in context with your own ideas).
Here’s an example where you have allowed your own ideas to derail from the statements you were reading:
I had already explained the logic. I’m analysing it LOGICALLY, while you are probably analysing it EMOTIONALLY (e.g. what you feel about something). That’s a “different wavelength”. That’s the logical explanation for it, you’re on a different wavelength.
When you’re on that wavelength, my only options are either to ignore you or to post corrections. And I have already posted my standard comments about “constructed theories” earlier in this thread.
The problems with discussions where the parties are operating on different wavelengths are that most of the arguments simply will be ignored. I have posted several logical statements and questions, and they have been completely ignored. And I have ignored most of your statements, because they don’t make much sense.
If you have a better explanation … (then CALL someone?). 🙂
How can you possibly come to that sort of conclusion with any degree of certainty, given the lack of available information ??
There were over a million Zeek Rewards “accounts” according to the receiver.
No one has any idea of the ratio of true believers / players / in-the-know players / delusional / shills / naive / any one of the possible variations within that million ESPECIALLY given the range of cultures, locations, education and experiences possible within such a large number AND with nothing but a superficial knowledge of the people / industry behind Zeek and other online fraud.
Yes I noticed. Your standard comments. Static and changeless. Did you even consider the contents of the letter that Oz received before making one of your “standard comments?”
You should. Maybe if you had you would not be so quick to blame the victims.
It’s actually what most people do. When they’re searching for information about something, they will typically have some ideas about the TYPE of information they’re looking for. Most people are actually more or less affected by “confirmation bias” types of choices.
What makes your comments anything more than “constructed theories from a salesmans’ viewpoint” and/or any more valid than “constructed theories from the viewpoint of a long term observer of the HYIP ponzi fraud “industry”
IM(very)HO, such an “industry” exists, indeed thrives,
To ignore its’ power and presence is to dismiss the orchestrated loss of billions of dollars to economies on top of the incalculable damage done to its’ victims.
“most people” “more or less”
What is “most people” when you’re talking about a known one million ??
501 thousand ??
900 thousand ???
You are using the same sort of “salesman spin doctor” language which gets victims in.
At the peak of Zeeks’ popularity there were at least 20 Google pages of positive reviews and hundreds of thousands of “I’m getting paid, its’ real” individual postings on the ‘net.
There were testimonials from lawyers, accountants and hundreds of other “trustable” sources i.e. Troy Dooly type “gurus”
We / you have NO IDEA what amount of “confirmation bias” was involved.
Neither do we have any idea about how much greed, naivete, genuine belief, shilling or inside knowledge was involved and we DEFINITELY don’t have enough information to be throwing around terms such as “many” or “most”
IM(very)HO there is a well resourced and experienced, albeit loosely organized “industry” behind to whole “next big thing” HYIP phenomena.
I gave you a link.
a link to a generic Wikipedia article about “confirmation bias”
An article filled with words such as “tendency””tend to” “it has been suggested” and “contributes to”
You / we have no definitive proof of what most / many / some or all of the Zeek Rewards members believe or believed.
What you are doing is pure biased (from a salespersons’ point of view) speculation.
That’s because it was the right type of source. You were asking the wrong types of questions, i.e. asking for exact and static number of people rather than for what type of effect. People can’t give correct answers to wrong types of questions.
I’m pretty sure those words were quite correctly used?
You can’t expect to find something like that on the internet?
The Wikipedia article? It was a relevant logical source you could check yourself. The first 6.5 lines gave an overview.
My initial statement was like this:
It was backed up by the Wikipedia article. It’s about how people easily will be affected by their own ideas and beliefs, e.g. when searching for information or analysing it. “Most people” is the most correct measurement for that, and exact numbers wouldn’t make any sense at all.
The focus should be on “correctness” rather than on “accuracy”. “Most people” isn’t an accurate measurement, but it was actually the most correct one to use.
“More or less” was a correct measurement in the statement “Most people will actually be more or less affected …”. We’re talking about PEOPLE here, not a computer program. And WHAT they will be affected by are variables rather than constant factors (e.g. their own ideas and beliefs).
Norway I think you must have been a used car salesman.
A man walks onto a used car lot desiring a shiny red sports car. He wants confirmation from friends, his wife, the salesman, that he is getting a “good deal” and doing the right thing. The salesman strokes the man’s ego, does not mention that he just mopped up a large oil spill, there’s sawdust in the transmission and the odometer has been rolled back. The salesman insinuates there is a warranty when there is not.
The man buys the car. The engine burns up two days later. The man is pissed.
The used car salesman says, “he wanted a shiny red car. He was sold a shiny red car. The man should have no complaint. He got what he paid for even if it did blow up. He mislead himself, he should have known better. He brought this on himself. He’s to blame if he chose to come onto this crappy car lot and buy a car from me. He was incautious.”
Now There is potentially some validity to those statements if that were the whole story…but….
Here’s the twist.
It turns out that the man was prudent and not incautious at all, and even though his wife wanted to see him in that shiny red sports car, the man understood that a salesman will say and hide things to make a sale, so he looked under the hood for himself and he took the car to have it evaluated by a mechanic he was told he could trust. He took it to a man who claimed expertise in evaluating shiny red cars.
He took it to Dooly’s Garage, and we know what happened next.
Now I ask you, who is to blame for this buyer’s loss? Is it the salesman, the expert mechanic or the buyer himself?
In our little scenarion the SEC has shutdown the car dealership so we know they have some blame. Dooly the “expert” has been shown to be a shill so we know he has some blame. We have heard from the car buyer who claims he was lied to and we have heard from the used car salesman… who it turns out is you.
I hereby nominate M_Norway for the Pretentious Prat of the Year Award.
Now you’re even telling people they are asking the wrong sort of question ???
Gimme a break.
Again I say you and I have nil, nada, zip, zero, zilch idea of the motivations of or reasons for the behaviour of such a diverse number of people as were involved in Zeek.
You may consider what you’re doing is an educated guess that a proportion of said people employed a form of “confirmation bias” but, in reality, educated or otherwise, what you are doing is “guessing”
You simply do not and can not know for sure who did what and why they did it with any degree of certainty.
I could have ignored the questions, but then I would probably have received the same type of questions over again.
The logic was explained near the end of that post.
Both of us have probably more knowledge than that, but not accurate knowledge. You are using the same type of logic Troy Dooly used when he brought in several variables (e.g. penny auction revenue), and came to the conclusion that nobody could reasonably come to any type of conclusion about whether or not ZR was a Ponzi scheme. There were simply too many variables.
That idea is rather dysfunctional. Some people were probably willing to believe in it, but most people will probably know they don’t need to know each and every variable to analyse something relatively accurate.
You’re using similar methods yourself, e.g. you can easily point out a fraud simply by looking at the prospected ROI and how a program is being marketed.
You’re not reflecting the realities here. You will accept much less accuracy from yourself than you expect from others.
You three are still at it? 😀 What are you three, amateur shrinks? 😀 Trying to analyze motivation, and picking apart each other’s analysis? 😀
Okay, with that out of the way… I’m agree… PARTLY, with M_N here.
I personally believe, with some evidence, that Dooley basically is using pseudo-scientific method… He believes that Zeek is NOT illegal (that paycheck sure helps), so he went out looking for evidence that proves such, or at least evidence that are equivocal, and use that to “prove” Zeek is “not illegal”. The catch here is “not illegal” is NOT the same as “legal”. There’s a huge gray area in between.
The scientific way is you research all you can about the topic, then you reach a conclusion based on all the evidence.
The pseudo-scientific way is you have a foregone conclusion, and you go look for evidence proving your case and evidence that does NOT disprove your case.
It was office furniture, to big companies (e.g. banks, insurance) and “official sector” (e.g. local and national government institutions). Try to make up an imaginary picture from that?
I jumped directly to the question, and I’m using the realities as an example rather than your imaginary reality.
Blame the salesman?
I believe people already have done that, if you consider Paul Burks and Zeek’s management to be the salesman here.
If you consider the recruiter to be the salesman, I don’t think that’s a good idea (but I haven’t analysed the idea either).
Blame the mechanic?
I believe people already have done that, here on this website, on MlmHelpdesk, on PatrickPretty. I participated actively for a short period of time, but I was able to finish it.
Look at the realities right in front of your own eyes, rather than the imaginary realities in your own brain.
Blame the buyer?
From my viewpoint, that’s not a very rational idea. I will typically look at how functional an idea is, e.g. the results you’re getting. I will typically look at other types of ideas than that.
I have a feeling that you potentially may have asked a wrong type of questtion, i.e. I don’t think my answer reflects what you WANTED to get. Maybe we should include the magazin publisher Keith Laggos, or the compliance lawyer Kevin Grimes?
If you feel there’s someone who need some extra blame here, you can probably post a few posts about it. Please make them become stand alone posts, i.e. don’t attach them to any of my posts (that behavior doesn’t always make much sense).
You do not get it. You have taken the salesman’s point of view, exonerated the company, the salesman, the lawyers, the owners and the mechanic while putting the onus and responsibility on the car buyer.
It is he whom you have blamed for his own losses,not the company, not the salesman, not the lawyers and and not the experts… all of whom demonstrably lied, and colluded to mislead the person.
That is why I take issue with you.
You transfer responsibility for the fraud from the perpetrators to the victims. I am not sure why you do that but in the end you justify the acts and protect the reputations of criminals by placing blame on the victims.
Dooly admitted doing wrong to the SEC. He mislead people. No further rationalizations are needed here.
I jumped directly to the questions, and analysed the realities (ZeekRewards) rather than the hypothetical scenario. Hypothetical scenarios are too time consuming to analyse, partly because I normally will discover several logical flaws.
You can probably use hypothetical scenarios as examples (to some degree), but you can’t expect people to analyse them.
We’re not a discussion forum for hypothetical ideas. When I switched to analysing ZeekRewards, I kept the thread more on topic (if that makes any sense).
I analysed the 3 different parts of tht question with a “fresh mind”, i.e. from scratch. And none of the ideas made much sense (the reality version of it).
Blaming the salesman (Paul Burks) didn’t make much sense now. Blaming the expert mechanic (Troy Dooly) didn’t make much sense. Blaming the buyer didn’t make much sense either. It’s probably the “blame someone” idea that doesn’t make much sense. I didn’t find much “functionality” in any of the ideas.
You can try to analyse it yourself?
What you call a hypothetical ideas was an analogy. For most people an analogy serves to illustrate something more clearly and simply, providing it is apt, which I believe mine was. However analogies seem to confuse you.
When you lay the responsibility for a bad outcome on a person you are blaming them. Do you at least understand that much? Sometimes they share the blame and sometimes they don’t.
That’s entirely the point.
M_Norway is the only one analyzing motivation and making assumptions based on his analysis.
There “probably” “WAS” an amount of “confirmation bias”
We simply don’t know for sure without making assumptions and we DEFINITELY don’t know what percentage of participants engaged in confirmation bias when making decisions.
Adding to our lack of definitive proof is the fact there are large numbers of people involved in online fraud whose business it is to make themselves appear to be something they are not.
Their whole purpose is to act as Judas goats.
At this point we have no idea of the breakup of the million or so confirmed Zeek members, much less their motivations.
Personally I find it unhelpful for anyone to be blaming the victims, ESPECIALLY when such blame is entirely based on assumptions.
Hoss came to the same conclusion, and I came to the same conclusion in post #97. I used a slightly different argument = the idea isn’t very functional.
If that was a question to me, you will need to put some words to it. If it was a question to yourself (a part of a “inner dialogue” or something), you don’t need to post those on the internet. 🙂