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Posted by: 2+2=4 ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 04:18PM

Anyone here watching this? New series about LuLaRoe MLM on Amazon Prime. I have only seen the first episode but so far the Mormon dimension to the story is very much in evidence.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 06:05PM

I'd love to watch it. There can be a lot of cult characteristics in MLMs, and I think LuLaRoe is one of the most egregious of the MLMs.

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Posted by: 2+2=4 ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 07:26PM

Showing my age here but seems like you need a subscription to 20 different platforms these days to watch everything you might be interested in! Our kids subscribe to some things we don’t and we all share our accounts with each other. I can watch things on Amazon Prime because my daughter has an account :)

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Posted by: CateS ( )
Date: September 18, 2021 01:25PM

Also old here.
I also have no subscriptions to anything with the exception of my internet and cell phone which cost a total of $100 per month.
If I can’t find it streaming for free, it ain’t worth watching. But then I am completely indiscriminate with my entertainment requirements. If there’s movement and people talking, I’m pretty much good.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 06:22PM

I'll have to look for that. Several years ago, when I had never heard of the company, I stayed at a hotel in Anaheim. There were hoards of women wearing the strangest clothing I'd ever seen. I felt like I'd entered another dimension and was just hoping I could find the exit! I was in an elevator and asked one of the women why they were all dressed alike and she said they were at a LuLaRue convention.

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Posted by: 2+2=4 ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 07:40PM

Yeah looks like maybe the whole thing peaked 3-4 years ago? Something like that-I haven’t finished watching. Always with these frauds, they can hold the illusion together only so long and then reality sets in, people start speaking up about the bad stuff and *poof* the magic spell is broken

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 09:47PM

It is strange looking, isn't it? There was a trend a number of years ago for teachers to sometimes wear goofy-looking prints (if you think of Ms. Frizzle on the Magic School Bus, you have the idea,) or very decorated holiday t-shirts and sweaters. Some of the early LLR designs tied into that style. But every teacher I know of has moved on. The younger teachers wear whatever looks presentable and is inexpensive (i.e. Old Navy,) and older teachers opt for practical and comfortable clothes.

I just cringe when I see LLR now. A lot of LLR ends up in thrift stores, often with the tags still on the clothes.

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Posted by: janeeliot ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 09:27PM

Yeah! I am not watching it -- yet -- but I was reading this article and thought about this forum immediately.

"The Stidhams are unbelievable characters. DeAnne, who apparently has “the higher hair, the closer to God” stitched onto her soul, was a divorced single mom of seven when she met Mark. After 23 years together, the couple, who identify as Mormons and often preached the church’s word at LuLaRoe conferences, have 14 children together. Two of their adopted children have since married each other.

"The first thing you see on screen in LuLaRich is the two of them fussing over a Guatemalan rug the shot will be framed around, micromanaging how the tassels are fluffed before allowing the interview to begin. *They project salt-of-the-Earth wholesomeness and maniacal hubris in equal, unsettling measure.*" Emphasis mine.

So -- that sums up what is disturbing in the current church....

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Posted by: janeeliot ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 09:28PM

I can't wait to see it.

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Posted by: janeeliot ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 09:34PM

"“I think it was pretty simple physics. We were a body in motion,” Furst says. “We were going to make a film, and you can either have a voice in it and tell your story or others will tell your story. I don’t know if it’s pure human instinct to want to defend and tell your own story, or if it’s part of our lesser self, our narcissistic or egoic self, that wants to be in control and still believes that there’s a chance—still believes that they can hold on to that thing, whatever they have.”

"One might argue that “thing” is delusion...."

"The Stidhams are fascinating manifestations of plausible deniability, explaining away everything from the predatory buy-in plan, the lack of profit for the vast majority of retailers, the refund money that was never paid out, the decline in product quality, and even their son, who had a corporate position, being caught on video imploring retailers to talk about the company in a way that made it seem less like a pyramid scheme."

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 09:50PM

I read that the Mormon attitude about dressing modestly has pervaded the company. The Stidhams don't seem to realize that not everyone thinks that way.

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Posted by: janeeliot ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 10:36PM

I'm not so sure that was the problem with the company, Summer.

Everyone (of the female gender) does wear leggings -- although not so much for modesty's sake.

It wasn't lack of a market or saturating a market -- it was the product, which was described as arriving "wet, torn, and smelling like “dead farts"...

And it was that MLM's are intrinsically scams. How the scam was worked is -- well -- reminiscent of Mormonism -- but also of our time. According to the Daily Beast piece, it is a millennial thing -- but it's also a story of women who want some power over their lives -- which isn't a bad thing, of course. Unless they can be easily played with empty slogans about "empowerment" and "girl boss." It just reminded me of how empty the changes in gender roles in the Mormon Church have been -- how they echo the feminists -- but with a patriarchal heart.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2021 10:38PM by janeeliot.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: September 12, 2021 10:42PM

So it's like Avon but clothes? You have to contact your local rep for pricing? That right there is always a big red flag to me. There are three in my tiny town. With very mormon names. No way are they making much money here with that much competition. The fabrics look cheap too, you can tell by the drape. Hang dry is a clue too. Plus, all those weird patterns and bright colors. Jeans with holes. Um, no. But hey, most things are garmie friendly!

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Posted by: janeeliot ( )
Date: September 13, 2021 04:44AM

It's sorta like Avon -- and sorta not. Avon always skirted close to a legitimate company. I used to sometimes buy it -- back in the day -- which was -- oh -- mid '60's. The cosmetics aren't bad -- a little tame, proper, and prim, as cosmetics go, but not bad quality and not an outrageous price. I think they seem to have switched over to more legitimate online sales rather than neighbors who knock on your door. I think you made your money more from what you sold than who you recruited. That is where it differed from LuLaRoe.

I just saw that documentary -- binged the whole thing. I found it riveting. It's just -- so Mormon. The way the guy at the top slings it. Takes me back. And not in a good way. You know, at one point he compares himself to Joseph Smith. He's being martyred. I mean -- just see it. The mixed up message for women. Take on being the sole breadwinner in your family. Make your husband quit his job so he can help and support your work for us. Oh -- and don't forget to be submissive. Always know your first job is stroking his ego!

I could go on, but it's late.

Just see it.

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Posted by: notmonotloggedin ( )
Date: September 15, 2021 12:01AM

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: September 18, 2021 01:20PM

Roger that.

As a woman that could stand to lose a view pounds myself, I know that if you are a pluz-sized woman, solid colors, preferably black, are the way to go. The Stidhams catered to the plus sizes, and took advantage of them bigtime.

Lularoe claimed to "empower women." Instead it marketed clothing that looked like clown suits, to women trying hard to stay at home and still make a few bucks. These women turned their houses into warehouses for hideous clothes that would never sell. They lost money. Some went bankrupt. Nobody felt "empowered" except maybe the Stidhams.

It's just as well I can't watch this documentary. I am depressed enough as it is.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 18, 2021 01:28PM

I've seen a number of photos of racks and racks of LLR clothes at thrift stores, most often with the tags still on them. The consultants couldn't sell the clothes, so they just dumped them. That's a lot of money down the drain.

It's a truism that for the vast majority of people (usually women) who sign up with a MLM, *they* are the customers. Once the company has sold the product to them, the money has already been made. It's a shame that the women can't see this. Lots of times women end up having a huge amount of product in their homes or garages with no way to unload it all. I've seen this with LLR, Amway, doTerra and other oil companies, Paparazzi (junk) jewelry, etc.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2021 01:29PM by summer.

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Posted by: 2+2=4 ( )
Date: September 13, 2021 12:52AM

janeeliot Wrote:
> “*They project salt-of-the-Earth
> wholesomeness and maniacal hubris in equal,
> unsettling measure.*"
> So -- that sums up what is disturbing in the
> current church....

Spot on

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: September 13, 2021 06:44AM

Watching it now. It's fascinating.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: September 13, 2021 09:28AM

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Posted by: wondering ( )
Date: September 14, 2021 10:05AM

I watched it due to your post. I found it interesting.

Mormons using mormon catch phrases and sales methods to scam other Mormons. Then like tscc they blame those who went bankrupt for not adhering to the company policies. Also the way it was structured the women couldn’t make huge amounts of money like they put the carrot out.

Sales people had to buy merchandise in $5k to $10k lots. Then the stuff was theirs to sell and make profit. The catch was you had no say in what you were sent. Buying blind. The company wanted them to order new supplies of the same stuff 3-4 times a month.

Also you had to attend meetings regularly and pay your own expenses such as airfare food hotel. Also you had to were the ugly clothes every day. Also they were told to show fancy cars and houses bought as examples of what you would have as a sales associate. Even though the cars were sold to forfeited and houses foreclosed.

When you chart it out it is Mormonism. Same thing. Pay all your money, who cares if you can feed your family. Give all your time to church. If you don’t have enough money it is your fault, donate more.

They settled class action and state legal issues by paying off millions and went back to work as usual.

The interviews showed the couple lied in court repeatedly. Also their family in business “couldn’t remember anything.”

Great documentary.

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Posted by: PollyDee ( )
Date: September 14, 2021 06:24PM

Deanne(Startup)Stidham is my husband's cousin. One of several of his family members that have a rags to riches story and became household names of a sort. Yes, they claim to be active Mormons. They are extremely rich, however, these family members are absolutely morally bankrupt. In their pursuit of riches, and some small degree of fame, they have completely destroyed their family relationships.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 14, 2021 10:53PM

Yes, there are a lot of parallels between LuLaRoe (and MLMs in general,) and Mormonism.

I was struck by the fact that their sales reps even wear those ugly clothes to the fancy dinners they have at every convention. When I used to go to convention dinners, I used to dress with such care - a silk dress, a pretty clutch, and heels. I couldn't imagine wearing those dreadful, loud clothes to a formal dinner.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: September 15, 2021 01:43AM

I am glad it's not just me Summer. Most of them look like someone ate a box of Crayons and then barfed them up. The fabrics are just so cheap too.

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: September 18, 2021 01:46PM

Excellent comparison.

How could ANYONE like these clothes.

It is not enough to bankrupt these women, they have to insult them too.

These clothes are cheap (cheaply made) and ugly.

What more is there to say?

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: September 14, 2021 10:48AM

I like how you compared the scam to Mormonism; especially about the about victim blaming.

-I lost my faith in the church and the leaders.

Blame-> You didn't pray hard enough. You didn't search the scriptures. You probably weren't obedient enough. You must have read some anti-church literature. You wanted to sin.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: September 14, 2021 12:04PM

My neighbor sold it. Someone else in the ward sold it. A friend from growing up, her daughter sold it. So that is why I don't hear about it now.

I actually liked some jeans Avon had back in probably the late 1970s or early 1980s and I was slim and trim then and young, and they fit really well. I was never much into their cosmetics, etc., or their scents. Everyone gave them as gifts all the time and I hated them. Even as a younger girl I got them as gifts.

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Posted by: Phantom Shadow ( )
Date: September 14, 2021 08:59PM

I thought that name sounded familiar. A relative was selling this stuff a few years ago. She became quite defensive over criticism of the company a while back, She's not a Mormon. It occurs to me that she hasn't been demonstrating/selling her stuff on FB recently. She lives in Texas, but in Austin, which gives you clues as to her politics. My guess is that she's out of it. I hope so.

I never liked the clothes she showed off.

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Posted by: moehoward ( )
Date: September 16, 2021 01:23PM

I watched all the episodes and the series was ok. Episode 1 dragged on forever. My complaint was that the series was very sanitized. I believe a lot of bad behavior was not talked about. The sales reps wept alligator tears at the end but I think it was because the bonus checks weren't coming in anymore..

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Posted by: wondering ( )
Date: September 17, 2021 05:34PM

The bonus check thing was interesting. They received them on how many orders they places and for how much. So if the lots were $5-10k each order and they were expected to order once a week, that’s a lot of money. $21.5k to $43k per month they were spending for that crappy merchandise. So they get $7-10k bonus check, they are still in the hole. The accounting proved most everyone lost money reselling the stuff. The only way they had income was bonus checks. But the bonus checks didn’t cover expenses. That’s why they were all going bankrupt. There was no way to get ahead. Yes they could get further and further in debt.

Then they changed bonus checks to sales not purchases. No one made money on sales. By the time they changed the format there were too many salespeople for a saturated area. Then top gets more money. Also since the company considered the sales people just purchasing lots of junk, making the stock now owned by the salespeople, there was no way to monitor sales. Company didn’t care about resale of merchandise.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2021 05:38PM by wondering.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 17, 2021 06:57PM

The truly unfortunate thing about MLMs is that most of their consultants don't understand even the most basic of accounting concepts. So for instance, consultants tend to crow about their sales without subtracting their expenses. And most do not take their hourly labor into account.

Almost all MLM participants end up losing money. It's normally above 90-95% of them. "The Finance Guy" does a good job of analyzing the earning potential of various MLMs. In this 2018 article, he notes,

"Before we look at the above table, notice that 72.63% of Lularoe retailers did not qualify so earned absolutely no commission at all in 2016. Another 27.33% Earned less than $45,000. In other words 99.96% of Lularoe Retailers earned less than a full time income in 2016."

He also notices that LLR's own income disclosure agreement, which the company is required under law to provide, doesn't add up. I don't think I've ever seen this in any other MLM. At least on the Income Disclosure Statements, they tend to be honest.

ETA: I should add that lying and "flexing" is a huge part of MLM culture. Consultants are urged by their uplines to exaggerate or outright lie about their earnings and lifestyle. That picture of their supposedly new Mercedes or Lexus? -- it was probably taken on the car dealer's lot. As an aside, the consultants are 100% responsible for the leases on their cars, and if they don't continue to make their numbers, they become responsible for the lease payments on a car that they perhaps cannot afford. The business trips that they brag about are largely financed by themselves. Consider that anything a MLM consultant brags about might not be at all true.

Remind you of a church and church culture that you know?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2021 07:04PM by summer.

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Posted by: 1206 ( )
Date: September 17, 2021 04:02PM

More reading on LuLaRoe and its nexus with LDS culture:

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: September 18, 2021 02:02PM

This is an outstanding and extremely interesting article about American culture which answered many "questions" I realize now that I had, but hadn't actually thought about enough to put into words.

Thank you!

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: September 18, 2021 02:09PM

I too found this article eye-opening.

Can't see how the documentary can be any more revealing.

watched a few youtube videos about Lularoe "consultants" being taken to the cleaners.

So at least I know the truth.

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