I don’t want to be confrontational with someone who’s trying to be helpful…

…but…

Where on Earth did you get this? How do you spot someone, say in a mall, on the street, in a bookstore, anywhere, who has “the slightest self-doubt?”

And who DOESN’T have a least a little self-doubt?

MLMs do not distinguish who they are trying to get involved. The pitches that are used to promote them are designed to catch anything that will work *for that individual prospect.*

If you’re looking for a part-time income, the MLM rep will promote that.
If you’re looking for a full-time income, they’ll promote that.
If you’re looking to retire, they’ll promote that.

If you’re wanting to help a friend or family member out financially, or even if you just want to put more into the church or charity, they’ll promote that.

If you want to get rich, they’ll promote that.

If you want better vacations, they’ll promote that.

They don’t go after people who are self-doubters, or frustrated in their jobs, or weak-willed, or dumb or naĆ­ve. (I’ve heard all of those characterizations used to describe the “best prospect for MLM.”)

Are you getting the idea? There is not one specific thing that MLMs go after when seeking recruits. There is not one type of person who is more likely to get involved in MLM.

There is no blanket statement that covers it all. Anyone can be preyed upon if the rep happens to say the right things at the right time.

Is your son living with you?

I am only asking because sometimes parents subsidize their grown up children’s indulgences by providing them food and shelter. (I think reality sometimes strikes quicker when one has to make enough to pay rent, utilities and insurance). While this is ok sometimes, with things like MLM, tough love is sometimes called for. There are other Qx mommies here who can advise you better on this aspect, but it is food for thought.

Good luck!

If you can do this in a way that is non-confrontational

you’re likely to have better success. You’ve already discovered what confrontation does – it leads to dug-in heels. (Sorry, but the question about his upline being a friend without buying CDs is confrontational. OF COURSE, his answer would be “Yes.” He doesn’t know otherwise right now. My wife and I thought our upline would care about us, too.
Haven’t heard from them in over 6 years now.)

There’s an old expression that, paraphrased, says, “If I tell you it’s true, you can doubt me, but if YOU find out it’s true, then you must believe it is.” If you tell him it’s a scam, he can choose who he wants to believe. But if he finds out *on his own* that the claims that it’s a scam are true, he cannot doubt it.

Be gentle and lead him to find the truth on his own. Then be there for him when the light goes on. He’ll need support when he exits. And above all else, don’t offer anything that resembles “I told you so.”