I thought it was a hoax. Surely this couldn’t be true? An actual college, offering a curriculum in “network marketing”????
You know – – network marketing – – as in multi-level marketing, as in legalized pyramid schemes. Yes, folks, it’s true. Bethany College in Kansas is going to be offering a curriculum in professional scamming!
But if a college is going to be teaching this network marketing, multi-level marketing stuff to students, then it has to be legit, right? Wrong.
I have no idea what would possess any educator to think that they ought to spend valuable classroom time teaching this type of legalized scam to students as if it was a legitimate business pursuit. I can only assume that the powers that be, namely one Robert Carlson, M.B.A., professor and chair of business, has done no research on MLM and has no idea how these scams operate. He says about the new network marketing stuff:
“Entrepreneurs have not been taught how to correctly use network marketing. This has led to many using unethical, unsustainable, and nonproductive network marketing business models. We want to fill the education gap and teach students how to use the foundations of servant leadership to successfully and honorably operate a network marketing business.”
The only education gap there is when it comes to MLM is educating the masses about what scams these companies are. The only people making money are the owners of the companies (yes, MLM is so lucrative that it’s a very attractive business model for owners) and a few pyramid toppers (who are making money at the expense of everyone below them).
A full 99% of people involved in multi-level marketing lose money. This figure has been demonstrated time and again by researchers analyzing the figures released by the companies. Here is just a small sampling of companies that have been analyzed:
MLMs hide behind products and services that look legitimate. Without these, they would very clearly be illegal pyramid schemes. But with a product or service to use as the “front” for the scam, they appear legal. The sad fact is that very little actual retailing goes on in MLM.
Call it what you like – – network marketing, direct sales, MLM, dual marketing – – it is all the same scam, dressed up with different names meant to deflect attention away from the truth. Multi-level marketing isn’t a “business opportunity.” It is a scheme in which 99% of people lose money, giving their money to those above them in the pyramid. By design, the vast majority of the people in one of these schemes will be at the bottom of the pyramid with few to no people under them, and therefore no earnings.
Yet apparently there is something to be taught about these systems:
The curriculum includes both classroom education and experience-based practicum with network marketing mentors. Students will learn business practices, planning requirements, compensation plan variables, product distribution processes, marketing and advertising methods, and industry trends.
No amount of teaching will change the fact that these legalized pyramid schemes will leave 99% of the people with financial losses. This is obviously a much higher failure rate than for legitimate businesses, but supporters of network marketing will tell you the people who fail just haven’t tried hard enough.
The faculty and staff of Bethany College should be ashamed that the school is going to be officially teaching scamming to its students. Even worse, the multi-level marketing curriculum is going to be taught through the college’s “Center for Servant Leadership.” That’s right… somewhere in the midst of teaching students to be servants and leaders, they are also going to be taught how to effectively scam others.