No, I will not get sucked into the cult of Arbonne!

(The first part of this piece is edited from a much-longer piece I wrote for my old Angelfire site in 2010. Any comments from Arbonne shills will be treated as spam.)

I went to the fifth annual Jewish Women’s Spa for the Body and Soul this past January (2010), and entered a free raffle run by a woman I’d met through a now-disgraced local rabbi. (All I’ll say is that child molestation was involved.) I won a gold purse, which I picked up at an alleged “free lunch.” This woman is an independent sales consultant for Arbonne.

At this time, my eczema was at its worst in years, even worse than when I was a child. She thought I had rosacea (since when?!), and said those hideous red patches on my arms and hands “are always gonna be a part of who you are.” Um, no, they’d only appeared about three months prior. The free samples were for a week-long facial care regimen, and the full-sized versions cost over $200!

Of course, this wasn’t really a free lunch or getting some free samples and a prize. She fully expected me to contact her with a testimonial and to place my order, even to become an independent sales consultant myself to get up to 80% off. She left several messages on my phone in the weeks after, and put me on her e-mail list. I’m told that that when you place an order, Arbonne asks for your social security number and birthdate because they’re expecting you to become an independent sales consultant.

She also tried to push Arbonne’s makeup on me, though I haven’t regularly worn makeup since I was 22 and never wore it daily even when I was younger. These days, I only wear it for a special occasion like a wedding. Can some people just not understand that there are women out there who don’t care for makeup?

The expectation after a “free skin consultation” is that you’re going to be placing an order, and buying lots of stuff. I wasn’t that impressed by these products. Their ingredients are pretty much the same as in other natural products, which don’t cost an arm and a leg. She claimed that if your skin turns red after using Arbonne following Dove or Oil of Olay, it’s all the garbage coming to the surface as your body detoxifies. Arbonne itself contains artificial products!

The further she got into her “free skin consultation,” the more and more it sounded like a sales pitch. Even some of her lines sounded like they were straight from a commercial. “Why am I so passionate about Arbonne’s products? Because I’ve used them all.” She said her skin is so soft because she uses Arbonne. She also claimed she’s never had an averse reaction to any of the hundreds of Arbonne products she’s used, as though it’s unheard of to have any type of allergic reaction or experience a product which just doesn’t do anything for you.

She also talked about how she was earning so much money, is “goin’ to the top,” and how there’s one local woman who makes $30,000 a month, $2 million a year. She said she’d helped people to afford weddings, houses, and cars, and that she was wearing Tiffany’s jewelry and driving a black Mercedes Benz courtesy of Arbonne, which is “gonna turn white” soon. Arbonne doesn’t actually give you a car, but rather gives you the $400 a month to lease it.

***********************************

I ran into the local Arbot at a house party this past summer. A local rebbetzin had won a free facial, and decided to give it to the counselors as a reward for the hard work we did all summer. I had a sick feeling in my stomach when I came to her house that evening and saw the Arbot, but I tried to relax and enjoy the evening.

The facial and hand cream were pretty good, though again, completely out of budget. And when my skin has finally been back to normal, mostly, for so long now, I don’t want to ruin it by suddenly switching to new products. One of the so-called “party games” involved writing down the names of people in certain categories, people you could sell Arbonne to or rope into being consultants. WTF?!

She had the decency to not try to sell anything to the two 17-year-old counselors, though I heard from the other two adult counselors later that she was pretty aggressive over e-mail, in spite of claiming at the party that she didn’t want to sell anything. Oh, and she claimed that everyone but Arbonne uses roadkill in their products.

The only businesses I’m interested in starting are my own small publishing company and selling embroidery designs, NOT multi-level marketing cults.

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24 comments on “No, I will not get sucked into the cult of Arbonne!

  1. Trisha says:

    I have had better experiences with Arbonne consultants – and not that Australians have social security numbers, but we were NEVER asked to give out the equivalent, i.e. if we didn’t want to give any details at all that was just fine with the consultant.

    But I have also had an experience with a Mary Kaye consultant where she REALLY pushed me to have a party of my own – and I never ever want to host parties like that. I am not a good hostess, i.e. won’t put on a totally lavish spread just ’cause I looooove to do so (in fact I hate cooking and food prep of any kind, so you’re lucky to get a pack of chips and some hummus if you come to my place 😛 ) and anyone pressuring me to put any such ‘event’ on is going to be sorely disappointed.

    Anyway, re: Arbonne, I do use their products, but I try to use it sparingly because it IS so stupidly expensive. And I wouldn’t have a clue where to look to find the equivalent sorts of products at a much cheaper rate. If I knew where to find those, I’d leap on them right away. 😛 But all I am willing to do is go along to parties and MAYBE buy something, depending on how my finances are looking that particular night.

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  2. Stephanie Scott says:

    Girl, I so hear you on all all these independent consultant home parties. I was just posting on facebook about how many different product parties I’ve been to and how I’m cutting them out. I narrowly escaped an Arbonne party after connecting what it really was (the invite said a facial party, but once I saw it was endorsed by a product I was out). What I can’t stand is how farmer’s markets are being taken over by these pyramid industries. I went to one to buy fruit and someone tried to sell me $80 moisturizer. Sorry yo, came for the potatoes.

    For most of these products, the experience varies GREATLY depending on the consultant. Several friends have sold Lia Sophia jewelry, and while the pressure to buy was still there, the party was truly a party and the jewelry was an option. I attended a Lia Sophia party through work where the rep was someone I didn’t know and she did the “game” where you basically end up committing to hosting parties, and her other game involved becoming a rep. She had a tough crowd, let me tell you, because none of us were going within an inch of a marketing rep email sign-up. Since 7 out of my 8 Lia Sophia jewelry items have broken or became discolored, chipped, etc., I will no longer buy from them based on their product quality. I have jewelry from Target and Forever 21 that lasted longer at 1/3 of the price.

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  3. Rhissanna says:

    Totally random sideways comment has nothing to do with Arbonne and pyramid selling (don’t get me started…) but because I saw the word ‘Arbonne’ and thought this was going to be a book review. ‘A Song for Arbonne’ is one of my favourite fantasy books; taciturn hero, strong women, twists I wasn’t expecting. I was quite excited to find it was a cult, and a little disappointed to understand this was about skin cream.:)

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  4. I’ve never been to an Arbonne party, but will beware, now. Thanks for the warning. 🙂

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    • Well these people that are speaking of an Arbonne party and are negative are probably jealous for one thing. Instead of accepting an offer into a business that really is a gift they are on here writing nothing but trash. Blowing someone else’s candle out will never make yours burn brighter. It is really sad to see all of this negativity on here and I especially dislike the word “cult.” Cultism look up Jim Jones or Marshall Applegate….those are cults!

      Arbonne is a terrific company with the best ingredients I have ever seen and I have worked in the beauty industry for over 35 years. I have seen an ingredient or two. Their products are developed by doctors and are endorsed by the Mayo Clinic. I urge anyone to try for yourself; please don’t allow someone’s sad, jealous, and negative nature steal a dream that could very well come true with Arbonne. Further, the ones that are talking about a pyramid…lol because they don’t obviously don’t have an understanding of network marketing which is endorsed by people such as Warren Buffett; oh yeah one of the richest men in the world! Look him up! A pyramid is similar to a chain letter but it is done with money. You never receive anything but in the end someone will end up with a million. That my friend is pyramid. Arbonne is network marketing and time leverage….very very different. If you are going to get on here and slam anything then do your homework and at least know what you are talking about!

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      • Carrie-Anne says:

        I actually have done a lot of research into Arbonne and other multi-level marketing companies, and clearly other people have had the same experiences and feelings. Did you even read anything I wrote, or did you just decide to defend Arbonne and ignored all the valid points I made and my own personal experience with the local Arbot?

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      • Carrie-Anne says:

        What a surprise, you’re an Arbonne shill. Did you not read the note at the top which said all comments from Arbonne shills will be treated as spam? Clearly you have an agenda to pimp Arbonne, and bash anyone who dares to speak out against your MLM company with its overpriced beauty products and propagandistic practices.

        Do you really defend a “party game” whose sole purpose is to write down names of people to potentially rope into becoming shills or customers themselves? That’s not a party game, that’s creepy cult-like recruiting. Do you defend the practice of aggressively pimping Arbonne to everyone you can find, with the expectation that they’ll in turn join up and recruit more people? How is that not a pyramid scheme?

        Very few people are as successful as the local Arbot and a few of her friends she’s mentioned. Most people fail at MLM and never get anywhere close to quitting their day job, driving a white Mercedes which Arbonne doesn’t give you (only the $400 a month to lease it), or going on trips and cruises all the time.

        Typical that an Arbonne shill would accuse someone who doesn’t buy into the party line of being “sad, jealous, and negative.” Since when is an honest opinion and experience jealousy or negativity? You’d deny my experiences and feelings just so you can continue pimping your precious Arbonne?

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      • Jean says:

        It’s fascinating that the language used by those working for Arbonne can be directly compared to those with fanaticized religious or cult beliefs. (Disclaimer: religion is wonderful; fanaticism is scary.) I’m trying to compile testimonials from NON-Arbonne sellers in order to convince my sister to turn away. She has suffered a great deal in financial and personal loss over the last ten years and I feel that companies like these prey on those that are weak, insecure and desperate for cash or social validation. As an example, I work daily with professional actors, most of whom are struggling to make ends meet to support their craft. Arbonne have cleverly managed to infiltrate this subset. There have been literally countless occasions when girls I’ve worked with have rung me up out of the blue to say they’d love to have coffee and then proceed to try and recruit me. Funny that I’ve experienced the same thing with Scientologists……………

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  5. Well these people that are speaking of an Arbonne party and are negative are probably jealous for one thing. Instead of accepting an offer into a business that really is a gift they are on here writing nothing but trash. Blowing someone else’s candle out will never make yours burn brighter. It is really sad to see all of this negativity on here and I especially dislike the word “cult.” Cultism look up Jim Jones or Marshall Applegate….those are cults!

    Arbonne is a terrific company with the best ingredients I have ever seen and I have worked in the beauty industry for over 35 years. I have seen an ingredient or two. Their products are developed by doctors and are endorsed by the Mayo Clinic. I urge anyone to try for yourself; please don’t allow someone’s sad, jealous, and negative nature steal a dream that could very well come true with Arbonne. Further, the ones that are talking about a pyramid…lol because they don’t obviously don’t have an understanding of network marketing which is endorsed by people such as Warren Buffett; oh yeah one of the richest men in the world! Look him up! A pyramid is similar to a chain letter but it is done with money. You never receive anything but in the end someone will end up with a million. That my friend is pyramid. Arbonne is network marketing and time leverage….very very different. If you are going to get on here and slam anything then do your homework and at least know what you are talking about!

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    • Carrie-Anne says:

      Why in the world would I be jealous of people in a cult? Yes, Arbonne and many other MLM schemes operate like cults. I also clearly stated I don’t have the personality, interest, or money to do this, and I don’t want to alienate my friends and family by constantly trying to sell stuff to them.

      Did you even read anything I wrote and consider each point, or did you just want to defend Arbonne? Are you that threatened by people with a different experience and opinion that you feel we’re not allowed to hold differently than you?

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      • That’s just it they are not a cult and you don’t seem to understand that. Further, I can’t tell you have researched anything because all you are doing is useless, negative talk. One other thing I am not on here to recruit anything but I hate when people run their mouth on things they don’t know anything about!

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        • Carrie-Anne says:

          Fine, tell yourself I haven’t done any research because it doesn’t confirm your bias. I know I’ve done research, even if my conclusions don’t agree with yours. You sound like a vaccine-denialist who tunes out anything that doesn’t fall in line with their anti-science cult thinking. But unlike a vaccine-denialist, I’m not going to delete and ban you just because you disagree with me.

          Since when is the truth negative talk? Not everything is flowers and bunnies. Some things are hard to hear, apparently. This post was also written in December, with part of it taken from a post from 2010. Obviously the time when my regular readers were reading and commenting on it has come and gone, though it’s gotten many hits since, from search terms like “Arbonne cult.”

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      • Yes I read it and you said a lot of nothing that is backed up by anything except someone has obviously upset you with Arbonne. It’s just ridiculous to slam them when you are misguided and uninformed and worst of all uneducated at least on this subject. It’s sad to me when people like yourself start a so called BLOG that is nothing more than a public way to throw a lot of useless comments out there and fuss when you haven’t spent a dime with Arbonne. If you would had really used it then you wouldn’t be saying the things that you are. Okay if you have a skin problem that even medications can’t cure…is that Arbonne’s fault? Many skin problems are innate autoimmune problems and just part of who we all are. For instance some people get psoriasis and nothing will cure it. That doesn’t make their product bad. All Arbonne has ever tried to do is to remove the cancer causing ingredients that has been forced on American consumers for more than 50 years. Think about it Petroleum Jelly is Vasoline and that is made with the substance left after making gas. For years they didn’t know what to do with it so they began giving it to personal care companies. Anything you put on your skin absorbs into the blood stream within 26 seconds. We have all been science experiments and continue to be with the new and horrible GMO. Arbonne is petroleum free, soy free, gluten free, sulfate free, GMO free and is 100% certified Vegan. Many of the consultants in Arbonne are just ordinary people doing extraordinary marketing and making plenty of money and oh it is a White Mercedes….not Black. Again this is a little bit of education for the uninformed fussy person. If you are going to run your mouth then know your subject matter or cut the slander!

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        • Carrie-Anne says:

          Wow, you sound like a vaccine-denialist with that rant! Calling people who have a different experience misguided and uninformed just because we don’t agree with you. Also, there’s nothing wrong with GMOs. Science supports them. It seems like many anti-GMO people have no idea what they really are, or that we’ve been eating genetically-modified food for thousands of years by any other name. I also loathe and despise the gluten-free fad, as the majority of people now claiming gluten “sensitivities” and allergies do not actually have Celiac or legitimate wheat allergies.

          Yeah, I’m “slandering” Arbonne and “running my mouth” by providing real experiences and feelings, and reporting that many other people have also had similar feelings and experiences.

          And if you didn’t notice from the header, archives, and tag and category clouds, this is primarily a WRITING blog. It’s not so usual I do a personal post like this. I write about books, writing, and sometimes music or travel. The purpose of this blog is to help other writers and readers, and to share my own writing.

          You’re still parroting the Arbonne script, just like the local Arbot who insists it’s so easy to get rich quick and get a Mercedes. Her Mercedes actually is black, not white, since she hasn’t made enough money yet for it to turn white.

          I don’t leave long, ranty comments on blog posts on subjects I disagree with. If someone dislikes one of my favorite bands or is a vaccine-denialist, for example, I’m not going to leave a long impassioned comment about how wrong and misinformed they are, and trying to get them to change their mind. Is it that hard to understand that not everyone is in love with Arbonne?

          My eczema has gotten better, with inexpensive or relatively inexpensive over the counter products. Oh, but that’s right, you’ve only read this one post, and so haven’t read any of the other posts where I’ve mentioned eczema flareups or the fact that they’ve gotten better.

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  6. Tara McCullough says:

    Sounds like Cassandra has already drank the Kool-Aid! Her arrogance has already turned me off Arbonne. Thanks for the warning Cassandra.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You guys are the most ridiculous closed minded folks I have ever talked with. This is it in a nutshell: I am not arrogant at all but the truth is the truth, as someone said on here….nothing wrong with GMO’S only Monsanto knows exactly what they have done….remember that later in your life when you have an issue and your doctor says it’s from one of these nasty ingredients . Whatever! Next if you want to delete me because I defended Arbonne then I’m the winner anyway because if you aren’t smart enough to debate and your only real response is to delete me then I could care less. You are obviously a closed minded person out there dogging something because YOU COULDNT DO IT! It has been my experience if you are upset with them it was because you are so negative you couldn’t build a downline. I have not cursed anyone on here as that is just replacement for a person that has a limited dictionary. This is an extremely weird and toxic conversation. Have a more positive life an post something good rather than all of your uneducated and negative mindset.

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      • Carrie-Anne says:

        Wow, someone really drank the Arbonne Kool-Aid! Science is completely in support of GMOs, as you would know if you’d read actual peer-reviewed studies in scholarly journals, or even serious scientific blogs and publications instead of biased, one-sided sites like Mercola, Natural “News,” whale.to, GreenMedInfo, InfoWars, and other nonsense. Every major scientific body in the world has concluded, based on rigorous studies, that they’re safe. You’re like a vaccine-denialist swearing by a discredited, fraudulent paper from a certain defrocked doctor over the thousands of studies proving otherwise.

        I never said I’d delete or ban any commentators. That’s something conspiracy theorists and vaccine-denialists do, not science-minded people with facts on their side. I’m not in the business of deleting things unless they’re spam or hateful attacks.

        Keep telling yourself I’m closed-minded because I don’t have the personality or interest to join any MLM pyramid scheme (yes, MLM is a pyramid scheme) and am just bitter and jealous. What mature adult seriously talks like that? It’s like something I’d expect to hear from a 16-year-old girl or a rapper, claiming anyone with a different perspective is just jealous or a hater.

        And you’re still reciting Arbonne lines, like “couldn’t build a downline.” Most people who get sucked into MLM schemes don’t succeed because they don’t know enough people, and can’t get their existing friends and relatives to buy their expensive beauty products, sex toys, beef, perfumes, jewelry, etc. Penn and Teller did a wonderful episode on this topic. Normal people find it extremely off-putting when they’re solicited to buy stuff, or when what they thought was a free prize, a lunch outing, or a party turns into a commercial for something they can’t afford and don’t really need. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to solicit people for a living, and not everyone has the personality for sales.

        LOL at your claim that I’m uneducated and negative. You really have drunk the Arbonne Kool-Aid just like the local Arbot. I feel so uncomfortable when I run into her by community events, now that I know she’s a walking commercial for this MLM scheme.

        You clearly have only read this one blog post. “Post something good”? What the hell do you think I post about? To remind you, this is primarily a WRITING blog. I post lots of things about writing craft, advice, my own writing, book reviews, and sometimes posts about classic rock and silent film. I love how you’ve latched onto this one post from six months ago as “evidence” that I’m so “bitter,” “jealous,” “negative,” “hateful,” etc. Have fun swilling down the Arbonne Kool-Aid.

        I have far more important things to do with my time than debate some Arbonne troll who won’t relent until I drink the Kool-Aid. My second book is releasing on June 20th, and that takes precedence over a sad, unhappy, negative troll who thinks a contrary experience and conclusion is a “hater.”

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      • Carrie-Anne says:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/10/14/2000-reasons-why-gmos-are-safe-to-eat-and-environmentally-sustainable/

        Here’s some reading material to get you started. But of course, since you’re apparently such a Kool-Aid drinker, I’m sure you’ll continue to insist it’s not the truth since it doesn’t confirm your bias. New evidence makes an intelligent person change one’s mind. Intelligent people don’t automatically discount anything that doesn’t agree with them.

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  7. Kirsten says:

    I have been using Arbonne products for a few months now. It sounds like you dealt with an extremely pushy consultant. As with every business there are some in it for the right reasons (i.e. to share a great product) and some in it as a “get rich quick scheme”. I have never felt pushed by Arbonne and I have done an extremely large amount of research into the company (I am a researcher at heart). I find many reviews on them are due to pushy consultants that just want to make money fast and don”t care how they do it (foolishness). But I am tempted to believe that the people that write reviews are usually writing because they had a bad experience. The good experiences rarely get into a review as the customers are happy. Arbonne really is a premium product and I have had discussions with estheticians regarding the ingredients and they have all said the same “high quality, premium ingredients”. I am not here ta bash you or anything of the sort. I would just like people to read reviews for what they are. everyone will have a different experience and a different view. Alot of it based on who in particular they are dealing with. This email spam would tick me off as well but it would be as simple as blocking them.

    My personal experience with Arbonne is wonderful as I have extremely sensitive skin and their calm line is amazing! I can actually wash my face with something other than water, without a reaction. first time in 30 years!

    That’s all I have and all I can say is always have your own opinion, don’t be a follower. Everyone has the right to their opinion and should exercise their right to have it! Take care!

    Cheers!!
    Kirsten

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    • BRAD, AN INSULTED VISITOR says:

      First of all, I’d like to say how grateful I am for Kirsten’s well-written and constructive response (on 6/19/2014) after having read through this entire ANGER-FUELED and HURTFULLY AGGRESSIVE THREAD. You took the words right out of my mouth, Kirsten — some of them, anyhow — and I guess I’m glad that, as fate would have it, yours happened to be the final comment by the time I landed here.

      THANK YOU for BEING RESPECTFUL, LEVEL-HEADED and MATURE with your words, especially when others (namely the blog owner) here have not been. And THANK YOU for acknowledging what should be obvious to most rational adults: that each of us has the right to freely share his or her own personal reaction and opinion without getting attacked or being called names.

      Yikes, people!! It’s a skin care line and direct (network) marketing program being marketed and sold by consenting adults, primarily (theoretically) TO other adults.

      It’s unfortunate if it’s true, as Carrie Anne claims (through hearsay, without knowing for sure) that ‘her’ Abonne rep actually harassed the two underage party-goers — but I would guess such a thing is likely against their policy. (Good news, dear Carrie Anne: vengeance might finally be yours. If you can prove it, then report her!)

      As Kirsten mentioned, if harassment occurs, one can simply block these horrific email and text stalkers, stop answering their phone calls, and simply offer an adamant and defiant “NO MEANS NO”. If the product doesn’t work for you — or if, for some reason, you had an adverse reaction to it, then return what you purchased and/or don’t use it or buy it. But please don’t call me names IF IT WORKS FOR ME.

      The same goes for any pressure you may be under to become a consultant: if it’s not for you, then don’t do it — and be as clear and direct as you need to be. (Obviously, our blog host seems to have few inhibitions regarding audacity or directness.) But again, please don’t condemn me if I choose to pursue it. I promise not to harass you, Carrie Anne.

      DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an Arbonne consultant — nor do I honestly believe I will become one, as it’s not exactly my ‘thing’ — but like many others who might’ve landed here, I’ve recently been approached by a longtime friend who has sipped the Arbonne Kool-Aid herself, and like Kirsten, doesn’t seem to have been negatively affected by it — not yet, at least.

      In fact, her reaction seems to have been positive in a multitude of ways, and yet I’m still skeptical, on her behalf. So for now, I’m giving my friend the benefit of the doubt — that she was smart enough to research and really consider what she was getting into before taking her first taste — but I’m also doing a bit of research on my own, just in case.

      I hope and pray that my that my good friend hasn’t ‘blindly’ subscribed to the potentially greedy, unethical, cult-like ways of what many believe to be an abhorrent, pyramid-scheming corporate monster. Or worse, that the core values which have always guided and defined my trustworthy friend — humility, faith, compassion, gratitude and generosity, for starters — might possibly have been transformed into exactly their opposite. I can say without a doubt that this couldn’t be further from the truth, at least in my friend’s case. Her core values still appear to be absolutely, deeply in place — perhaps more firmly in place now than ever before.

      I won’t go far into debating your ‘Science is completely in support of GMOs…’ claim, except to say that your use of the word “completely” would imply that there is 100% agreement on the subject within the world of science, which is simply not the case. SOME scientists, doctors and nutritionists believe that GMOs are safe, and some do not. SOME scientific studies and findings seem to indicate that GMOs may not be as harmful as once believed, OTHER studies suggest that they are far worse.

      You’re absolutely right on this one: new evidence can indeed change one’s mind. But the verdict on GMOs is still out. If the entire world of science “completely” agreed, then all debate on the subject would be over, and further research would go unfunded (and would therefore stop). The theory that “GMOs are healthy (or at least, not-so-dreadfully-harmful)” would then snuggle comfortably into its rightful spot next to other proven and unquestionably absolute theories like RELATIVITY and GRAVITY. (Sans Sandra Bullock, please.) Someday…maybe. But not quite yet, Carrie Anne.

      As for Arbonne (and many other present-day network marketing companies) in relation to their pyramid-like structure, there’s a difference between LEGAL, product-based companies, and those companies which simply market and sell the opportunity to market and sell the opportunity to market and sell — which are ILLEGAL. The latter are companies whose PRIMARY pay structure relies on recruiting more ‘lemmings’ or ‘suckers’, as it were — regardless of the product they might be hawking. (Notice my playful but not hurtfully offensive use of the words ‘lemmings’ and ‘suckers’? THAT’s the way to NOT speak-down to one’s readers…)

      Anyhow, as far as I can tell, Arbonne certainly offers incentives (including the dangled carrot of eventually ‘earning’ the equivalent of a car payment for that new, white Mercedes*) — but the actual paycheck an Arbonne rep receives is a commission based exclusively on the actual PRODUCT SALES he or she (and his or her team) makes, not on recruiting, for which they receive incentive gifts and advancement only, rather than a commission. Neither are they compensated for the hours of training they provide for the consultants they actually do recruit.

      (*Speaking of cars: if ‘your’ “Arbot” claims that the black Mercedes she was then driving was “courtesy of Arbonne”, then perhaps it was because her sales commissions had actually earned her enough income to afford the payment herself. Did you ever think of that? It sounds to me as though that’s exactly what she was implying. Just like the Mary Kaye pink Cadillac, Arbonne simply doesn’t offer the Mercedes incentive in any color other than white.)

      Back to the pyramid-structure thing: a version of this exists in nearly any business or corporation (or educational system, or government, or sports team, or…). You’ve got the owner and/or president and/or CEO at the very top; next you have a few to several VPs and/or other top execs, followed by department heads & mid-level management; finally you have the employees/support staff/worker-bees. There’s no denying that most businesses follow a pyramid-type structure as well, it’s simply called something different. But the folks at the too will nearly always be receiving a much higher paycheck than those beneath them, and the lowest-paid ‘worker-bees’, in most cases, might aspire to mid-level management at best, and perchance higher, although their opportunities for advancement are few and far between.

      The network marketing structure allows any ‘worker bee’ to carve his or her own way toward advancement, at a pace that makes sense for him or herself. They sell products and recruit others who might benefit in some way by joining them, and they are paid on the commission from product sales, whether their own or of those on ‘their’ team.

      Okay then — if mid- or executive-level representatives can earn a commission on the product sales made by consultants they recruited — or even incentive-based gifts — then how is that a whole lot different than a manager or an executive receiving a bonus based on the accomplishments or sales of their support staff? I’d say the biggest difference is that network marketing offers the option & opportunity for one to be in better control of his or her own career fate, rather than at the mercy of a supervisor’s whim or a company’s policies.

      I’m certainly no expert in the subject, and as I mentioned much earlier, I am still, at present, a skeptic — but I’m more willing to entertain the validity and soundness of Arbonne’s structure based primarily on my longtime friend’s experience, than to immediately dismiss it because of someone else’s unfortunate one. Still, my research continues.

      Carie Anne:
      After reading this blog post — and especially your subsequent replies to what others have had to say — I’m not remotely inclined to explore any word of the ‘historical fiction’ or book reviews or writing tips you have written. Not because it doesn’t sound interesting — it absolutely does.

      Unfortunately, you’ve lost this potential reader for good, due to your condescending and hurtful attitude. I choose not to read or support anything else of your writing because as a reader, I don’t appreciate being spoken-down to, and any implication that I’m not “an intelligent person” because I may happen to disagree with your opinion or point of view is profoundly offensive.

      And if, as you say, you have far more important things to do than to participate in a debate — which you started…on your own blog — with “some Arbonne troll”, then don’t do it. Simple as that. But then what was the point of your rage-induced original post on Angelfire? Of your RE-posting it on this blog? And of your continued rebuttal, after all this time? That’s odd, if you have more important things to do…

      You don’t know me (nor do you know any other of these commenters, I’m guessing) — so before you call me (by proxy) or anyone else a “troll”, please call a therapist or an anger management counselor, and perhaps a career coach or social media consultant or even your (supposed) publisher FIRST.

      Name-calling is NOT the way to attract new followers to your blog.

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      • Carrie-Anne says:

        Wow, another butt-hurt Arbot in desperate need of the Wambulance. I like how you personally attack me when I never used such cruel, abusive, vitriolic language in my anti-Arbonne post from freaking December.

        You might want to follow your own advice and let other people honestly share their experience and opinions without jumping on them like an attack dog. God forbid anyone have a negative experience with Arbonne and decide to share that experience! Just Google terms like “Arbonne scam,” “Arbonne cult,” “Arbonne MLM,” and you’ll find plenty of posts like this, as well as Arbonne entries on websites devoted to pyramid schemes and MLM.

        Yes, every major worldwide scientific organization has rigourously studied GMOs and found them to be safe. We’ve been eating genetically-modified food for thousands of years. Do you have any idea what food looked like when humanity became farmers? Modern crops look much different, the same way cross-breeding and domestication has produced new species and tamer versions of wild species. But I’m not going to do your homework for you. You can easily look up the science supporting GMOs on your own, and from peer-reviewed sources, or at least serious, scholarly scientific sources instead of pedestrian, confirmation bias nonsense like whale.to, Natural “News,” InfoWars, Mercola, GreenMedInfo, RealFarmacy, and all the other popular pseudoscience sites preying on laypeople’s inability to properly vet sources and understand what constitutes real science.

        Nice job writing off me and my entire website because I happen to hate Arbonne. That’s an extremely juvenile attitude, like refusing to be friends with someone who happens to dislike your favorite food or one of your favorite bands. So? That’s a small portion of who that person is.

        And it’s entirely my decision to repost old pieces from my Angelfire site when I have free space on the blog. Why shouldn’t I repost the best of my old website, like book reviews, personal pieces, and album reviews?

        This wasn’t intended as a debate, but rather putting an opinion and experience out there. My regular readers read it and responded in December, when it was posted. Everyone who’s seen it since has found it by googling terms like ‘Arbonne cult’ and “Arbonne scam.”

        If you think the post was in any way rage-induced, you need to calmly step back and read it without confirmation-bias. It was written very calmly and objectively, and actually edited down from a post which was originally over 2,000 words.

        The personal attacks in your concluding paragraphs are completely uncalled for, and just shows your true colors. It might be a good idea to put comment moderation on this article, or disable comments entirely, if the few people bothering to comment at this late point are just butthurt pro-Arbonne people in need of the Wambulance.

        Like

  8. BRAD, AN INSULTED VISITOR says:

    Please forgive the few big-fingered typos in what I’ve written above. Writing that was especially exhausting on my iPad…

    Like

  9. Carrie-Anne says:

    Thanks to the abusive comments from the two chutzpahdik Arbots, comments on this post will be indefinitely closed. It takes enormous amounts of chutzpah to storm into a stranger’s Internet home and proceed to immediately attack that person, his/her opinions, the chosen subject matter, and everything else. My house, my rules. If you can’t show basic respect, you can leave. Why waste so much time and energy ranting against a post you disagree with? Would you go onto a vegan blog and write a huge rant about how meat-eating rules, or use a post on a devout Catholic’s blog to insist Catholics aren’t real Christians?

    As was pointed out in the Penn and Teller episode on MLM, if you don’t achieve success or don’t have an interest in the products or becoming a seller, you’re told the problem is with you, not the pyramid structure or the products. You’re made to feel like you’ve failed, not the business.

    This blog is intended as a friendly, safe place, not a place where I should expect to find abusive comments from cowardly cyberbullies. As a bullying survivor, it’s very important to keep such unpleasant, chutzpahdik specimens away. I don’t leave long rants on posts I disagree with. I simply leave the page. That’s the mature, adult thing to do. It’s not mature or adult to call someone with a differing opinion or experience jealous, hateful, rage-filled, immature, unhappy, etc.

    Any comments on any other posts are now set to go right into spam if they so much as mention the A word. Thanks again for necessitating my closing of comments on this post. Two immature Arbots ruined it for everyone.

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  10. […] again, my most-viewed post by a landslide was “No, I will not get sucked into the cult of Arbonne!” It racked up 12,505 views, with 33,818 total since its December 2013 publication. This remains my […]

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