Beware the Morlocks of MLM

by John Counsel on December 16, 2009

[This article is so good and appropriate for this site, we decided to re-publish it here. Well worth considering closely. We warmly welcome John Counsel to our growing group of Contributing Editors.–Lou Abbott]

I’ve always been a big science fiction fan. One of my all-time favourites is H.G. Wells’ classic “The Time Machine.” In one memorable adventure, the hero visits a far future time where he discovers the human race has evolved into the Eloi — beautiful, serene, innocent men and women, seemingly ageless, living in idyllic conditions where all their needs are taken care of, automatically, by unseen hands.

The longer he stays with them, the more disturbed he becomes by their mindless innocence… their lack of concern when one of their number drowns despite being surrounded by others, their lack of knowledge of who provides for them, their lack of interest in anything but the immediate moment.

Then he discovers the appalling truth: humankind has actually evolved into two streams — the Eloi, and an industrialised, subterranean race called the Morlocks. And it’s the Morlocks who provide for the Eloi… because they breed them for food!

When these chilling, cave-swelling cannibals need to restock their larders, they simply set a siren wailing and the unthinking Eloi come to them, without resistance, and go passively to their awful fate.

In a discussion I was having a week or two back, on the subject of scams and rip-offs in MLM and the kinds of people who make up the two main groups involved — the perpetrators and their prey — I was struck by the similarities to the Eloi and Morlocks.

My friend made the comment that the scammers must have some way of seeing suckers coming and lying in wait to ambush them. He even used the term “they saw me coming.” It’s too familiar to far too many of us.

I made the flippant reply that, these days, scammers don’t need to see their victims coming… they send for them!

That’s when the Morlocks suddenly leapt from my memory and the striking similarities hit me forcibly.

I was even taken by the fact that if you abbreviated the name “Morlock mutants” it would probably be “MLM”… too close for comfort!

But it’s alarmingly true.

On-line especially, it’s a now-familiar phenomenon for a new scam to launch and then, out of nowhere, all the same people start sending out spam about this “newest, hottest, ground-floor” opportunity that will make us all rich in the next 90 days by doing nothing because they’ll do it all for us and spillover will run hot and banks will pay us to join and we’ll have huge malls and make overnight fortunes, etc etc etc etc etc ad nauseum.

Notice how it always seems to be the same opportunists who fall for these scams? Often, they’re people from our own downline organisations who just can’t resist this latest “opportunity” to lose money and damage their reputations and relationships (if they have any left by now).

Where do the scammers behind these schemes find them? How do they see these suckers coming so unerringly?

They don’t see them coming. They don’t even lie in wait to ambush them. They don’t need to.

They send for them. Again. And again.

In the same way that these desperate junkies try to send for you to join them as fodder for the Morlocks of MLM… the amoral, manipulative, conscienceless troglodytes (underground dwellers) who prey on the naive, the ignorant and the gullible, by appealing to their greed, laziness and ignorance.

We all have a choice. We can be Eloi. We can be Morlocks. Or we can be neither.

Membership of each group is 100% voluntary.

Which do YOU choose?

Learn to recognise the classic warning signs of scams, especially those counterfeits posing as legitimate MLM programs. They’re not. They’re fakes, always. But MLM has to wear the damage they inflict.

We need to stand up and be counted. We need knowledge. We need facts. We need objectivity. We need reason.

There are four cornerstones to any success in life:

  • Vision.
  • Time.
  • Effort.
  • Discipline.

We need to invest time and effort to realise our vision. But without the discipline we draw from that vision, we’ll rarely invest the time and effort required.

Here’s the simple key to identifying most scams and counterfeits in MLM

They promise a FALSE vision built on a “foundation” of

  • NO time needed.
  • NO effort needed.
  • NO discipline needed.

If you spot those appeals, you know you have a FAKE.

Beware of purely emotional appeals that target greed, laziness, fear of loss, ignorance and gullibility. It’s usually all five, but never as obvious as this. They come with fancy names and fancy packaging to mask the harsh reality of what they really are.

If you appeal to greed, laziness, fear of loss, ignorance and gullibility, guess what kind of people you attract?

Do you really believe you can build any kind of long-term financial security with greedy, lazy, desperate, ignorant, gullible people?

No way. When they realise the truth — that this is netWORK marketing, not NOTwork marketing — they’ll be off at the sound of the first MLM Morlock siren call that sends for them.

The question is… will you?

Learn to recognise those MLM Morlock siren calls for what they REALLY are.

Discover how to analyse and evaluate MLM opportunities reliably and objectively, once and for all.

PS: I recently watched the latest re-make of “The Time Machine” with my 20 yo daughter, Esther. This is the version starring Guy Pearce and Jeremy Irons. She preferred this version to the old 1960s version starring Rod Taylor, which I preferred. She ridiculed the make-up and costumes of the 1960s Morlocks. I thought they were pretty daggy, too — but the newer version missed the whole chilling point of the older version (and the original H G Wells story)… the Morlocks in the latest version come to the surface and hunt the Eloi. In the original version and story, they don’t need to. The Eloi come straight to them whenever they hear the Morlocks’ siren call.

Just like so many people in Internet marketing who go into a mindless trance and pull out their credit cards whenever a “guru” list mailing arrives in their inbox.

©2009 by John Counsel. All rights reserved.

Author Profile: JOHN COUNSEL is a network marketing professional with more than 25 years of experience. Consults to managements of direct selling companies. Writes regular columns and feature articles for various business media, online and offline. Author of several best-selling business books. Presents seminars and workshops, webinars and other training programs. Creator of Fourth Generation Thinking, Selling, Business Systems. Read more from this author
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

John Counsel January 12, 2010 at 8:32 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

CP, it’s spelled Morlock, although in this case it could just as well be Moron.

In any case, making light of a situation that has caused so many people so much misery, damage and loss, you certainly qualify as some kind of troglodyte.


CP January 11, 2010 at 11:44 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Hey I’m a legitamate worlock and I take offense at you runing off my eloi like that.They are good to eat especially with sugar and spice then everything is nice.Mmmm I got a taste for some good old eloi right now.Hey anybody want to triple their money in 30 days with this new product of mine? I’ll show you how.Come on everybody I’ll show you how.HE Hah! Hey how you like my long hair in the movie?HE Hah!(smile)


John Counsel January 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Okay… just catching up after the holiday break (it’s summer here in Oz) 😀

Ground floor opportunities are just that: you come in at the ground floor, then it’s all downhill from there!

That’s the unspoken message, if you think about it: “get in early for the biggest advantage, because every person after you has less of a chance than you do”.

I can’t think of a clearer or more discouraging message to give people. The only reason people get away with it is because the vast majority of people only see dollar signs from the massive emotional appeals to their fear of loss, ignorance, greed, laziness and gullibility.

The moment anyone approaches me about a “ground floor” opportunity, I tune out. I want only opportunities that get BETTER over time, not worse. And if they’re promoting a really good opportunity in that way, it turns me off to them as a potential sponsor, because I prefer intelligent, ethical people as sponsors, not dummies, ignoramuses or abusers.

Jeff, I understand your aversion to pre-launches that are, in effect, behind-the-scenes and private. That’s wrong.

But public pre-launches are a great way for people to build strong downline teams ahead of official launch without spending a dime. Then, when the company launches officially, they can all earn good money in their first month. But it has to be open and transparent, not some kind of “good ol’ boys” club.



Jeff Pearl January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

This is all too familiar. Some people just never learn. They always have to jump on the next new ” this one is it” mlm. The latest being Trump Network, a year ago it was Agel that would make everyone rich, then a year before that Market America, before that it was Usana, and on and on.
If Trump had bought a different company, then they would swear that company was “it”, and Ideal Health wasn’t worth looking at. If trump buys another company, they’ll all jump on that.
These mlm company leaders have never figured out that the general public is sick of their insider deals, and being treated like the the insiders that joined in the pre-launch, now need to bs the public to join so the public can make all the insiders rich that signed up all their friends and family and distributors from their last company behind the publics back, and now there ready to tell us all how we can all get rich by getting in on the ground floor, when the company has actually been doing business behind the scenes for months.
What do you tell the people that hear about your company 2-3 years from now. The pre-launch and ground floor is history.
Pre-launches should be banned, When a company opens for business, it should just open on a certain date to everyone. Prelaunches reek of insider trading and companies that use that strategy make me sick.


Tony Bright December 27, 2009 at 7:34 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Very chilling analogy John! I was an Eloi on many occasions over the years falling victim to the MLM call. It was the powerful allure of the “next big thing and massive spillover” that drew me in.

In my own defense, it was not that I was looking for something easy and quick because I was afraid of work, but rather, that I just didn’t know how to do it on my own. I had little time and had no real mentors and the learning curve was insurmountable. I kept dreaming of being in the right place at the right time and it never came.

I had come to a point in which I realized, that it was up to me to make it happen. However, I was burned out on the MLM dream and so I sought out another venue to achieve my dreams. I actually feel liberated almost like the MLM demon has been exorcised.

I no longer feel that anguish over not knowing what to do, or watching the attrition of an unearned downline dwindle away and my income drying up in 3-6 months. I am no longer motivated by the fear of loss and am glad to be in control of my life again.

I now feel empowered to make choices based on what makes good business sense whereas before, I was behaving like an alcoholic who could not resist a drink. You might say I was a Morlockaholic, addicted to MLM.


John Counsel December 21, 2009 at 1:45 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Thanks for your comments, everyone. My latest post, “Three quick tests for scams — and your own vulnerability”, gives you some simple, practical ways to spot scams of all kinds, not just in MLM.

James K., you’re completely correct about “what do they need me for?” If the answer turns out to be “nothing more than a lead generator to support my upline’s lifestyle”, then you can still do something about it in most network marketing opportunities. All it takes is one person of integrity and character to break that ultimately self-defeating group mentality by changing the mind-set to one of providing the four essential requirements that every new person needs to succeed:
• Communication
• Training
• Support
(especially emotional support and encouragement)
• Recognition.
Fortunately, the Internet makes all four requirements easy, fast and inexpensive to deliver.



James Kinney December 20, 2009 at 11:32 pm Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

I am so glad that you posted this article Newwork Marketing should be a honorable profession when it is done with integrity, but as you mention there are those that believe they have the right to bleed money from the individuals that are just starting a business. I believe that it will continue and people will continue to pay the (High Tuition Fees of atending “Knicker Bocker College” unless the rules are changed.
It is the people that you have mentioned that give MLM, Network Marketing, and Affiliate programs a bad name.
When I receive a advertising that is filled with ‘Hype”, and “False Promises” I usually disreguard them and place the person on my spam list, then have future emails dilivered to my deleted box.
One question I alwas ask myself is this: “If it is so easy, what do they need me for”?


Morris Fisher December 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

We are so easily lured by the easy. Great article.


John Copland December 19, 2009 at 10:26 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

A very insightful article about the possible pitfalls that come with every new “get in early” MLM Opportunity that presents itself. Now, with the Internet it seems like there is a new one every other day. I only wish that I had read this four or five years ago. It would have saved me some money.


john guy December 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

How very true.
Great article John and a great film too.
Sorry Esher I have to agree with your dad.


STEPHEN CLARKE December 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Great article John….the similarities are there and as you mentioned we must ALL beware of the Morlocks!!!


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