10 reasons Mormons dominate multi-level marketing companies – Religion News Service

2017 Photo Mette HarrisonA guest post by Mette Harrison
LipSense, dōTERRA, Nu Skin, Young Living, Nature’s Sunshine, Tahitian Noni/Morinda, Amway, Melaleuca, Neways, Thrive, Xango/Zija, Younique, Jamberry, Unicity.
If these names sound familiar to you, you probably live in Utah, the number one state in the union for multi-level marketing companies.
I admit, I have multiple issues with multi-level marketing. So many people in my ward are into one of the above companies that sometimes it feels like I have to turn someone down every day. I get invitations to “parties” every week, and just when I think one wave is over, a new wave of marketing starts up.
I was first introduced to MLMs when my aunt tried to sell my father on Amway. Then when I was a new mother, an older woman in our ward quickly tried to resolve any difficulty I had with a new baby by hawking a product from her company. And on it went, with wedding showers with an MLM on the side and visiting teaching companions peddling their wares on our visits.
I’m tired of my friendship being used as “downstream” for people who want to make a buck. I’m also tired of trying to explain science to friends who think that one personal experience with an oil or a supplement is sufficient for extolling the virtues of an unverifiable, unscientific claim for healing.
But I’m also very much aware of the reality that Mormon culture breeds these kinds of companies for a variety of reasons. Here are ten:
It’s such a big problem that LDS apostle Dallin Oaks wrote a book about Mormons and Get-Rich-Quick Schemes in 1988, when he worried that members of the Church may be “specially susceptible to materialism.”
More recently, multiple news organizations have also written on the topic (see here and here). But as far as I can tell, there aren’t any significant changes happening.
My Mormon friends, this has to stop. If you are selling something, please don’t confuse that with our church. Don’t use our ward list to target people. Don’t sell your product over friendship with people. You might think it’s not a problem, but it is. I guarantee that you have friends who are pulling away because you are pushing this too hard on them and are having problems distinguishing the gospel from your MLM solutions.
I beg church leaders, bishops especially, to speak from the pulpit on this issue. Please ask ward members to keep MLMs out of church meetings and out of any church connections like home or visiting teaching.
And it would make me happy if you’d spend one of our fifth Sunday meetings on the dangers of MLMs. Bonus points if you can get an actual physician or trained medical professional to help church members learn to distinguish between scientific claims and fake claims. It would also make the ex-Mormons a little less gleeful when there’s another news story about Mormons getting cheated out of their retirement funds—like this one or that one or that one.
 
Other posts by Mette Harrison:
 

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