ACN, MLM, and Network Marketing

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An article published by Politico about a lawsuit concerning that MAGAt rat’s endorsement of ACN scrolled by on my feed, today. It triggered some thoughts.

Pat Lenfest and ACN

I remember when Pat, a friend since high school — someone whom my grandmother adored — tried to get me to “sell” for ACN in 2004. He was describing it excitedly as a new way to work for ourselves by selling products that “sold themselves” using a strategy called “network marketing,” or “multi-level marketing.” Having never heard of the concept before, naturally I was curious and wanted to learn more about MLM before I would be willing to commit to it.

It was quickly very obvious how fucked up it was when it was explained how you needed to build your team (who also had to buy in), that your commissions were based on how many people you had per “leg” and how many they had in their “legs.” For starters, you had to buy in for the “opportunity,” at $400ish for a kit. And so did people you recruited to be on your team. And so did their recruits.

On and on it went.

Yeah, it was pyramid scheme.

The more Pat pushed me to join the more resistant I became until I eventually decided to turn down the “opportunity.” I could not be on a team with anyone that pushy. That, eventually, turned to him trying to pull a wannabe tough-guy “sit down” chat while on a drive with me (Pat was obsessed with The Sopranos) that was, superficially, about not missing out on opportunities that come once in a lifetime but where he also implied a very obvious threat to my life for leaving things so up in the air because of my hesitation.

Friends since high-school, indeed.

It was at that point that decided that I wanted nothing to do with Pat and his abusive behavior (there was a history of toxic behavior that I overlooked over the years, but that was the final straw for me). I walked away and cut off all contact. I’ll put up with a lot but even I have my limits.

In time, when it was clear to Pat that I wanted nothing to do with him, he started leaving threatening messages in my voice mail and in comments on several Livejournal entries.

Of course, IP addresses were recorded and they, the comments, and voice mails were forwarded to law enforcement. Naturally, nothing came of it but, needless to say, it was obvious that we could never again be friends.

Anyway, I found out earlier this year that he had recently died.

Lung cancer. He smoked like a chimney.

Rot In Pain, jerk off.

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Self-explanatory, isn't it?..

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Adrian Feliciano
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