|Title||The TEAM/LIFE Business|
TEAM used to be a tool organization with Amway/ Quixtar until they were terminated in 2007."
FROM A KNOWLEDGEABLE SOURCE: "Signature Management Team(or better know as just The Team) is a network marketing/ multilevel marketing (MLM) training organization located in Flint, Michigan.(They used to be one of the training organizations for Amway/Quixtar until they split from them in 2007) It was founded by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady in 1999. After they split from Amway, they joined forces with another company( Monavie,a beverage company), and this past November have moved from being just a training organization to having their own MLM called The LIFE Business. Until Nov 2011, they were not technically a multilevel marketing company but provided tarining tools in the form of books and cds for people to build their network marketing business. The LIFE Business provides a subscription service offering informational and inspiring books and cds.
Behavior1. Regulation of individual's physical reality
a. Where, how and with whom the member lives and associates with
b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
c. What food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects
d. How much sleep the person is able to have
e. Financial dependence
f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations
2. Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals
3. Need to ask permission for major decisions
4. Need to report thoughts, feelings and activities to superiors
5. Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques- positive and negative).
6. Individualism discouraged; group think prevails
7. Rigid rules and regulations
8. Need for obedience and dependency.
1. a. Members are not told where they can or cannot live, sleep, or work, but the organization strongly encourages people to not 'crossline'. Crosslining is communicating with other members who are not downline or upline from you. b. Members are strongly encouraged to hang around with 'The right association'- those people who have the results that you want in life, namely the TEAM. E. Financial independence: A huge source of income from the TEAM is from the sale of their motivational books and CDs from the TEAM Training system. This is not disclosed when someone first signs up with the business, nor is an income disclosure statement for TEAM profit- sharing given out. There has been stories on the internet of high ranking members getting voted out of profit sharing because they had a disagreement with leadership. The way profit sharing is allocated is not made clear- leaving people with little legal standing. 2.Members are strongly encouraged to attend a Tuesday night 'Open meeting' each week, a monthly seminar, and a quartely weekend 'major function' every few months. There are also numerous house plans to attend each week along with 'showing the plan' 15 times a month to future pospects, following up with them, having mentoring sessions, and attending periodical women's/men's leadership meetings. 3. Members are encouraged to ask their upline before making major financial decisons. 6.Members are encouraged to 'follow the system' as a guarantee for financial freedom. People are encouraged to not ' try to be the system'.The ' power of duplication' and 'rotating the pattern' are taught. This is not noticable at first, but people are really encouraged to think like Orrin Woodward. There is this underlining assumption that one's thinking is messed up and that you need the books and CDs to correct 'negative thinking'. TEAM also doesn't just have a 'business' but there is a certain belief system there, and assumptions about the way the world is.
Information1. Use of deception
a. Deliberately holding back information
b. Distorting information to make it acceptable
c. Outright lying
2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
a. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio
b. Critical information
c. Former members
d. Keep members so busy they don’t have time to think
3. Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
a. Information is not freely accessible
b. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid
c. Leadership decides who “needs to know” what
4. Spying on other members is encouraged
a. Pairing up with “buddy” system to monitor and control
b. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership
5. Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc.
b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources
6. Unethical use of confession
a. Information about “sins” used to abolish identity boundaries
b. Past “sins” used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution
1. A lot of information is withheld to the new person looking into the business, like TEAM's history with Amway, how much it really cost to be in the business, what TEAM makes off of the sale of their ' motivational' materials, how many members TEAM has, and how many 'legs' ones upline has, or even how much money they are making in the business. Members are also taught deceptive pospecting practices. They encourage people to not look at the ' negative internet' or watch the 'negative news'. Of course their views on this and other things are hidden at first. They have created a bunch of 'cheerleadership' blogs to game to google search engine results so negative information is pushed down. B. They misadvertise Orrin Woodward's status as a ' Top Leadership Guru' C. I have been outright lied to. 2. B. People are encouraged to not look at outside information from the world' because it will perpetiate 'traditional wisdom which brings debt' C. Any critical questions or objections will be dodged. If someone is not making money it is never the fault of the system. Ex- members who didn't make money are said to have not done the work. 3. Prospects are given introductory CDs to fit their personality and situation to draw them in. CDs that would 'blow them out of the water' are not given. B. This organization has a pyramid structure since it is a MLM company. 4. a. Everyone who joins has an upline mentor. 5. a. Members usually listen to a great deal of TEAM generated motivational books and CDs. People are encouraged to listen 2-3 CDs a day and read 15 minutes.
Thought1. Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"
a. Map = Reality
b. Black and White thinking
c. Good vs. evil
d. Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)
2. Adopt "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words".
3. Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged.
4. Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.
a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
e. Speaking in "tongues"
f. Singing or humming
5. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate
6. No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful
1. b.Two options are given, either join TEAM or spend up to the next 65 years working in a J.O.B where they will be enslaved forever, helping their boss achieve their dreams. Then when you retire you will end up either dead, disabled, or broke. This is because you are trading time for money instead of building an income pipeline, blah blah blah. This is your only chance. d.There is definatley a sense of ' us- vs. them' in this group. It is said that we are ' waging the media war'. 2.LIFE TEAM Speak and Their Demands 3. If I had too many questions or objections, I was encouraged to 'adjust my thinking'. 4. If I had too many questions, I was told I needed to listen to more CDs. 5. That was here too. 6. They will say that this one is not true but they have an attitude of people that don't want to do ' the business'- they act like they are stupid and lazy.
Emotional1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings.
2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their fault, never the leader's or the group's.
3. Feeling-stopping. Like thought-stopping, this is the automatic suppression or blocking of feelings that are not acceptable by the cult identity- such as feeling "homesick" or feeling "depressed" or feeling "resentful".
4. Excessive use of guilt
a. Identity guilt
1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)
2. Your family
3. Your past
4. Your affiliations
5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions
6. Social guilt
7. Historical guilt
5. Excessive use of fear
a. Fear of thinking independently
b. Fear of the "outside" world
c. Fear of enemies
d. Fear of losing one's "salvation"
e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
f. Fear of disapproval
6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.
7. Ritual and often public confession of "sins".
8. Phobia indoctrination: programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
a. No happiness or fulfillment "outside"of the group
b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; "10,000 reincarnations"; etc.
c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak"; "undisciplined"; "unspiritual"; "worldly"; "brainwashed by family, counselors"; seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.
2. This was definately here. 4. If I had a concern with the business, I was reminded of my previous situation and how my 'old way of thinking' brought me there. 5. Instilled fear of losing financial salvation. It was implied that everyone else outside the group was 'brainwashed'. 6. Their 'opens', 'seminars' and 'majors' are used to hype up peoples emotions. People are also encouraged to hype up these meetings for new prospects. Edification of ones upline is encouraged.
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