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Is the Tea Party Movement Like a Pyramid Scheme?
Mother Jones ^ | Oct. 19, 2010 | Stephanie Mencimer

Posted on 10/19/2010 5:49:39 PM PDT by woofie

One of the movement’s leaders, Mark Meckler, was once a top operator in a company accused of conning consumers. Is he applying the same tactics to the tea party?

There's a book Mark Meckler likes to recommend to reporters and others seeking insight into the tea party juggernaut. Called The Starfish and the Spider, it explores the "unstoppable power" of decentralized and leaderless organizations. "We're like the starfish," Meckler, a national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, said earlier this year. "There is no head, there is no leader of the organization. There are thousands of starfish out there and they are self-replicating in that way."

It's certainly an inspiring metaphor. If one tentacle is chopped off, the starfish grows a new one, making it a model of resilience. Yet there's another type of organization that's resilient, decentralized, and reminiscent of the Tea Party Patriots, a national umbrella organization that claims to represent 15 million activists and 2800 local affiliates. You can find it in companies like Amway, Herbalife, and others that rely on what's known as multilevel marketing (MLM), a business model some consider to be nothing but a pyramid scheme.

Like the tea party movement, these companies also operate as "leaderless," grassroots organizations. Organized by "networks," they espouse a bottom-up approach and depend on a neverending supply of people willing to work long hours with no assurance of pay. Meckler, it turns out, is intimately familiar with these types of outfits, having spent years at the highest ranks of one accused of preying on consumers with promises of easy money.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: ephedra; herballife; markmeckler; mlm; mlmteaparty; teaparty; teapartyexpress; teapartypatriots; tpp
I assume this is total BS ....but it gives people a sense of what the left is peddling

If this guy is associated with the Tea Party I hope he is not using it to hype his stuff

1 posted on 10/19/2010 5:49:43 PM PDT by woofie
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To: woofie

If there’s anything the left hates worse than patriotism, it’s profit.


2 posted on 10/19/2010 5:51:33 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: woofie

I’ve invested all of $3 in the Tea Party “pyramid scheme” since they first appeared on the scene.


3 posted on 10/19/2010 5:52:26 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: woofie

Anything that comes from Mother Jones News should be taken with a freight car’s worth of salt. Motehr Jones readers think that The Nation or The New Republic are right wing publications.


4 posted on 10/19/2010 5:52:49 PM PDT by Mad_as_heck (The MSM - America's (domestic) public enemy #1.)
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To: woofie

You’re really posting from Mother Jones? Here at FR?

Are you too old for the zot?


5 posted on 10/19/2010 5:54:50 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (Yes, as a matter of fact, what you do in your bedroom IS my business.)
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To: woofie
Is the Tea Party Movement Like a Pyramid Scheme?

The left isn't getting anywhere with the usual stuff. You know, racism, crazies, etc. so they are going for the corruption angle. Gee, what next?

6 posted on 10/19/2010 5:56:49 PM PDT by doc1019 (Martyrdom is a great thing, until it is your turn.)
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To: woofie
Mother Jones magazine.... Heck, I was expecting something more earthy like Mother xxxxxx magazine

[If you are from Berkeley.... it is the most common action verb known.]

7 posted on 10/19/2010 5:57:28 PM PDT by pointsal
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To: Responsibility2nd

My thoughts exactly. Why this hasn’t been pulled is beyond me...and I’m no fan of Meckler.


8 posted on 10/19/2010 5:58:11 PM PDT by Marty62 (marty60)
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To: woofie

Leftists can’t comprehend any movement which doesn’t involve leader-worship, collective thinking, or hatred of a race/class.


9 posted on 10/19/2010 5:58:24 PM PDT by Soothesayer (“None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license...")
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To: woofie

More like a trapezoid.


10 posted on 10/19/2010 5:59:30 PM PDT by meyer (Tax the productive to carry the freeloaders - What is it with democrats and slavery?)
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To: woofie

This idiot doesn’t understand a pyramid scheme. There needs to be a transfer of cash at each level, with each layer added making the originator more rich until the levels grow so large they collapse the structure. This is nothing like that...there is only ONE layer.


11 posted on 10/19/2010 5:59:46 PM PDT by ez ("Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton, Paradise Lost)
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To: woofie

Pyramid scheme...? You mean like Social Security...?


12 posted on 10/19/2010 6:00:41 PM PDT by freebilly (No wonder the left has a boner for Obama. There's CIALIS in soCIALISt....)
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To: doc1019

Funny thing is they don’t seem to mention anyone losing their fortune to the tea party or how anyone at “the top” is getting rich off it.


13 posted on 10/19/2010 6:00:41 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: woofie
A. Pyramid. Scheme.

OMG, the left is starting to drool again. Get the bib!

You know what a REAL Pyramid Scheme looks like?


14 posted on 10/19/2010 6:01:25 PM PDT by Lazamataz
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To: freebilly

I hate you.


15 posted on 10/19/2010 6:01:47 PM PDT by Lazamataz
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To: woofie

This doesn’t even make any sense, not even to deluded college students and other misguided liberals.

Does Mother Jones even know how chain letters operate?


16 posted on 10/19/2010 6:02:01 PM PDT by I_Like_Spam
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To: cripplecreek

Did you add Mich. sales tax?


17 posted on 10/19/2010 6:02:01 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker
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To: woofie

Mother Jones is not exactly a bastion of intellect.

At all.


18 posted on 10/19/2010 6:02:05 PM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: woofie

The comparison is idiotic.


19 posted on 10/19/2010 6:02:16 PM PDT by lonestar
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To: woofie

Meanwhile the Federal Gov’t. hugely extorts your tax $$ in a grande scheme called Ponzi! We willingly throw a few good investment dollars at the TP pyramid. At least we know the value of the end results.


20 posted on 10/19/2010 6:02:35 PM PDT by tflabo
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To: Lazamataz

Hey, I got in on the ground floor!


21 posted on 10/19/2010 6:02:35 PM PDT by meyer (Tax the productive to carry the freeloaders - What is it with democrats and slavery?)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

The underpants gnomes said I didn’t have to pay sales tax on a donation.


22 posted on 10/19/2010 6:03:43 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: meyer
Hey, I got in on the ground floor!

Seems like my elevator got stuck between the 9th and 10th floors. :(

23 posted on 10/19/2010 6:04:21 PM PDT by Lazamataz
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To: meyer
"Hey, I got in on the ground floor!"

Are you a double diamond yet?

24 posted on 10/19/2010 6:08:31 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to GOD! Thomas Jefferson)
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To: woofie

Having sat through a Koskot pitch decades ago I can recognize a Ponzi Scheme, and the Tea Party ain’t it. Don’t think Amway is either.


25 posted on 10/19/2010 6:08:35 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla ('“Our own government has become our enemy' - Sheriff Paul Babeu)
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To: woofie

Ah, the left is dragging one of their favourite whipping posts: The Drreaded Amway.

They must really be desperate.


26 posted on 10/19/2010 6:12:27 PM PDT by FourPeas (Pester not the geek, for the electrons are his friends.)
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To: cripplecreek

;-)


27 posted on 10/19/2010 6:14:18 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker
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To: woofie

Just desperately seeking the “leaders” who must be “cleaning up” ...they’d sic the IRS on ‘em if they could find ‘em.

Can’t audit the whole of Flyover Country tho!!!


28 posted on 10/19/2010 6:14:35 PM PDT by mo
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To: woofie

Mother Jones should stick to baking veggie-burgers in aluminum foil solar ovens and recommending eco-fascist friendly cockroach traps.


29 posted on 10/19/2010 6:15:17 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: woofie

The left doesn’t seem to be able to understand the bottom up nature of the Tea Party. There isn’t a ‘leader’ who ‘calls the shots’. There are folks who set up local gatherings, and there are some groups that set up national gatherings like the 9/12 Marches, etc. But Tea Partiers are just folks who have come to understand that they are not alone; there are more folks like them out there, and enjoy getting together with folks who feel the same way they do about government. And they are becoming active in politics, when they’d never done anything like that before.


30 posted on 10/19/2010 6:20:24 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Lazamataz
Seems like my elevator got stuck between the 9th and 10th floors. :(

All I can say is that it's lonely at the top. :-)

31 posted on 10/19/2010 6:25:10 PM PDT by meyer (Tax the productive to carry the freeloaders - What is it with democrats and slavery?)
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To: guitarplayer1953
Are you a double diamond yet?

Double Diamond Squared!

32 posted on 10/19/2010 6:26:06 PM PDT by meyer (Tax the productive to carry the freeloaders - What is it with democrats and slavery?)
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To: ez

But, you see, the author is examining this through an acid haze.....Chromosomes died in the pursuit of his obtuse reasoning.


33 posted on 10/19/2010 6:47:54 PM PDT by Shady (The Ruling Class will be overruled 11/2/10...)
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To: woofie
... once a top operator in a company accused of conning consumers.

In left-think, accused=guilty (as applied to non-leftists)`

34 posted on 10/19/2010 6:48:35 PM PDT by Spirochete (Just say NO to RINOs)
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To: Lazamataz
I hate you.

I hate my shoes....

35 posted on 10/19/2010 6:59:09 PM PDT by freebilly (No wonder the left has a boner for Obama. There's CIALIS in soCIALISt....)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I think I AM too old to withstand a zot and I wasnt sure if it was legal to post from Mother Jones or not. Thankfully no zot yet


36 posted on 10/19/2010 6:59:25 PM PDT by woofie
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To: woofie

Gee, I just don’t know which left-wing narrative to believe. Pelosi and part of the MSM push the narrative that the Tea Party Movement is a Republican Party astroturf operation. The Obamatons and the rest of the MSM push the narrative that the Tea Party Movement is a nefarious vast right-wing conspiracy headed by the Koch brothers. Mother Jones now pushes a new narrative about a pyramid scheme scam.

The left’s narratives are utterly inconsistent with each other. They also conflict with the facts.


37 posted on 10/19/2010 7:06:04 PM PDT by Skepolitic
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To: woofie

Who is Meckler? I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been at any of the Tea Party events I’ve participated in.


38 posted on 10/19/2010 7:20:35 PM PDT by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: I_Like_Spam
Does Mother Jones even know how chain letters operate?

Maybe not, but they are a "Gold" Amway distributer and would like to speak to you about a business opportunity.
39 posted on 10/19/2010 8:04:52 PM PDT by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: SuzyQue; CounterCounterCulture; ElkGroveDan
Who is Meckler? I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been at any of the Tea Party events I’ve participated in.

He was definitely involved in Sacramento Tea Parties -- April and August 2009, at a minimum.

He was an organizer of the April Tea Party, televised live by Neil Cavuto -- here is Mark on stage:

More pics on this thread:

CA: Sacramento Tea Party Pics (Cavuto live, McClintock speaking)

40 posted on 10/19/2010 8:21:20 PM PDT by calcowgirl ("In politics the middle way is none at all." -- John Adams)
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To: woofie

bfd

There’s no evidence that TPP is selling its contact lists.


41 posted on 10/19/2010 8:32:22 PM PDT by onyx (If you truly support Sarah and want on her Ping List, let me know!)
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To: Mad_as_heck

Anything from Mother Earth News that isn’t about good weed, or the best bongs for the buck is pisswater.


42 posted on 10/19/2010 9:23:38 PM PDT by packrat35 (I got your tag line..)
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To: SuzyQue
Who is Meckler? I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been at any of the Tea Party events I’ve participated in.

Meckler is the real deal. I know him and trust him, and believe me after 22 years in this business there are very few people I trust any more.

43 posted on 10/20/2010 7:02:13 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (Now can we forget about that old rum-runner Joe Kennedy and his progeny of philandering drunks?)
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To: woofie

Is Mother Jones like a Russian human-trafficker?


44 posted on 10/20/2010 7:11:09 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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