Pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States, but I promise you we are exposed to them all the time. Only now, we call it "multi-level marketing" - and it's a total scam.
What's the difference? It's all in the technicalities, my friends. See, what makes pyramid schemes illegal is that you're paying participants to recruit other participants. MLM's claim that they're different because they're not paying you to recruit other people, they're paying you based on how much product those recruits buy and sell.
You're not getting paid for the recruits, technically. It's just that you can't really get paid without them.
It reminds me of the story of my local bikini hot dog lady (listen, I've lead a weird life in a weird town.)
She used to sell hot dogs from a cart at the side of the road wearing nothing but a string bikini and some sky-high heels. There would almost always be a line of cars waiting to buy from her. It became an issue with traffic flow so police stepped in and shut her down. She didn't have a food license and it was illegal to sell food without one.
She opened back up a little while later selling "plates, cups and napkins" - but giving away "free hot dogs" with those purchases. She wasn't technically selling food. She just to happened to be giving it away with all these plates ...
If a pyramid scheme is selling hot dogs, an MLM is selling plates and giving away a free hot dog with purchase. Same same, but different.
So MLMs aren't technically breaking the law because there's a product involved in the recruitment...
I don't know where bikini hot dog lady is now, but I hope she is recognized for her genius. So now that we understand what makes an MLM different from a pyramid scheme (see also: nothing but technicalities) we can more easily talk about how badly they suck, how predatory they are - most importantly - how people are getting out!
Reddit user pastel-vibes-forever asked:
Things got ... enlightening, to say the least.
My mother did Amway years ago. She told me she quit when she realized she approached every new acquaintance with an aim to make a sale instead of making a friend.
This is what got me out of selling Insurance. It wasn't a pyramid scheme, just a bad commission job. My coworker and I were at a bar just chilling after a sh!t day, started talking to this guy, and without either of us realizing it we had launched right into the pitch.
My recruiter told me she made $400 at the party I was at. I later learned she made 25% of that.
I was told if I could get 2 people under me, I would make $400-$500 per month.
Then I was told I needed 4 people instead of 2.
Then I was $2,000 in debt with nothing to show for it.
Deleted them all and changed my phone number.
I am an owner of 2 businesses, so I thought adding a small side hustle would be an easy transition, but it turned out that as a legitimate business owner, I couldn't bring myself to use the toxic business practices that were expected of me (cold messaging, hounding people for orders, constantly reminding people about deals, etc.).
When I left, I helped the two girls who were under me get out as well, and apologized for roping them into something I thought was a good deal.
Unfortunately one lived 4 states away, and the other didn't have qualifications necessary for my fields so I couldn't give them jobs at my other businesses. I did, however, take on the debt that they had gone into to get them in the clear.
I've been wanting to tell this story for ages, and never got round to it.
When my husband died (abusive prick so don't feel bad for me) he left me with a tonne of debt (ok you can feel bad for me now lol). Not long after he died I had gone to a Tupperware party for a friend, and made some positive comment about one of the products, and that put me on the presenter's radar. This presenter happened to be one of those top tier ladies that ignored their family to make it big. She was/is the regional person. Whatever the title is.
I was BROKE. Paying off so much stuff while waiting for the life insurance to come through, you'd be surprised at the amount of companies that don't give a sh!t that you've lost a spouse, they just want their money. So Tupperware was spun as a way to earn extra money. She even gave me the starter kit without having to pay up front.
Problem was, I worked full time, and it was near impossible to book parties. I did my first presentation at my house and booked no parties. I reached out to all my friends and family and booked no parties.
The pressure from this woman was IMMENSE. She'd call me while I was at my day job. She try to convince me to quit my day job to focus on Tupperware. She knew I was broke, but she was adamant that if I quit my job I'd make it big, and before I know it I'd have a Tupperware car just like her.
She never listened to me. Even when I said to her "How do you expect me to pay my bills if I quit my job and start up Tupperware?" She had a response for everything. Nothing was based in logic and every time she called me, which was weekly, I was filled with dread.
I started to ghost her. It took months for me to work up the courage to tell her I didn't want to do it anymore. It took weeks for her to accept me "don't want to do it anymore". She dragged it on, and on, and on. Finally she sent me a curt "Leave your kit at the front door" message which I did.
She tried a couple of years down the track to recruit me again. I ignored her calls.
All I wanted to extra income to help me. I also wanted to add to my friend group. All I got was stress, anxiety, and frustration.
Joined a jewelry-based MLM thinking it would be cute to sell jewelry as a side hustle in July after I relocated across the country. I got roped in to the "be your own boss" and "make money while you sleep" mentality, and for a while, it boosted my confidence because I truly thought I was doing a great job running my own business. On paper, I brought in good money (about $100 per live show, which was one hour a week), but I had to ship out the jewelry to them, which ate about 20% of the profit, then the money earned went back into ordering more jewelry.
By September, once the glitz and excitement of it all wore off and I realized nothing was coming back to me, my boyfriend told me the only way to earn money in the business was to add new "business partners." I told him I wasn't interested in doing that, but that was part of the scheme. I was so hurt by the people who had roped me in to the business. So I quit that same day. Luckily, I made it out with only like $30 lost, but I still have a ton of jewelry and packing materials taking up space in my house.
Do Not Contact
I joined Primerica, I didn't see any red flags at first but small ones started popping up.
Like my team leader telling me to basically live outside my means to make people think I was doing really good and then they'd join and then I'd do really good.
Or finding out all the contests ran around recruitment and not sales numbers.
I left as soon as I realized, even put my name and number on the do not contact list.
Blew a lot of money trying to make that work only to realize I wasn't going to make any money without screwing my friends.
Been there, tried that. Term life insurance and financial advising. The biggest red flag for me after joining was that everything was focused around recruiting and building a team rather than building a book of business and developing the knowledge necessary to actually help your clients. I "noped" out of there pretty quick and without any issue. I am still friends with he guy who recruited me. He does very well, but admittedly inherited his dad's book of business who started with Primerica back in the 80's and never had to build his own client base.
Didn't Even Realize
I had just started college right out of high school. Was going to an art school (i know, bad idea) and was looking for a job to do between classes. Classmate of mine mentioned CutCo, so I naively went in for an interview.
Few points to know. I had no previous job experience at all, the "office" was in the next town over, and I didn't have a driver's license at the time, let alone a car. My freaking Mom drove me to the interview. Got the job anyway.
So I get the CutCo bag of stuff to show off and was sent on my way to harass my relatives. I thought that I was only doing example shows to them, practicing for the real deal. My Dad and StepMom even bought some knives (no idea what happened to them though, last I saw they used a different set). Once I run out to people to bother, i start running into problems.
Problem 1 was i didnt sell anything other than that one set. Problem 2 was i hadn't gotten any other people to talk to. The "pyramid" part of my pyramid scheme wasnt working real well. Problem 3 was the straw that broke the camel's back apparently. I couldn't get to the weekly meetings because my mom refused to drive me across town every week (she had a long commute).
In the end I got a call from my "manager" telling me he was basically letting me go and I needed to turn in my swag bag. I told him I couldn't get to him so he had to come to me. Later that day he rolled up, o gave him the bag and that was it. Dont think I ever got my cut from the knives I did sell either.
The real kicker was that I didn't even realize it was a MLM until almost a decade later, browsing this very sub.
Our office had an Avon lady that would take our orders on a bi-weekly basis. She was the sweetest person, not pushy at all. Unfortunately she passed due to an illness and we did not know anyone else who sold Avon.
I got the bright idea of signing up as I read on their website that many people would join up solely for the discount. It sounded easy as I was planning on only taking orders for the office. Paid my $25 online and waited for the brochure to come in.
Our apartment was always the last stop for the UPS guy. He stopped by one evening near 8pm hauling a heavy box with AVON all over. He gave me this look of utter hatred. I felt so bad when he asked me if I had signed up to sell. That should've been a red flag.
Every time you placed an order you had to buy the catalogs which were heavy and a nuisance since I only needed two at the most for the office. Whatever small credit I gained ended up reinvested on having to buy the catalogs.
Not too long after I signed up the calls started. I began receiving calls from various people during work hours to attend meetings, to meet the regional so and so, to place orders, how to boost my sales. It became so frustrating at the time as my father became ill and had to be hospitalized so I kept having to answer every call in case it was hospice nurses or other medical staff. One woman kept calling and calling so I snapped one day. Told that I didn't plan on attending any meetings and that if she didn't understand that the first few times I told her, then she was a moron.
With everything else going on, I would forget to place the orders and I finally told the gals I would no longer sell as I had no time for it. They understood and we lost our Avon fix. It was not worth the hassle and we should have just found someone to take our orders.
On the bright side, our UPS guy was happy he no longer had to make his routine deliveries of heavy boxes that would end up chucked in the dumpster.
I was a call agent for Tahitian noni for the USA and Germany (now called Morinda). It was horrible fielding calls near when people's $120 monthly auto payment was due for 4 one liter bottles of juice. I couldn't cancel their subscription on late notice without a fax with their signature at least a week in advance, unless they claimed "financial hardship."
Eventually I learned that I would just need to feed them what to say and then gladly cancel for them on the phone. Total scam. Only people who made money were the early people to sign up and the founders, who are multi millionaires.
I know a girl who got sucked into Arbonne. She constantly makes videos on FB and instagram acting like she has this perfect life and last I heard, her boyfriend (that she claims in her husband on social media) had to call her from a gas station to see if they had any cash in the house because both their credit cards were declined and he needed gas to go to a friend's birthday party. Needless to say, he didn't go. It literally says "boss babe" on her Instagram.
It All Felt Criminal
I worked at the head office of a large MLM, and one of the OG's. Mary Kay.
You have to live, breathe, and sh!t pink. Honestly, I once got sent home from the office because I had made a cardinal mistake... I had worn a pantsuit to the office. As a woman, we were expected to wear a skirt or dress daily. I was new and didn't really think they'd get upset over a pantsuit, all things considered. I was wrong.
I know this is a different perspective, but hear me out. I didn't really know what Mary Kay was initially, all I remember is seeing the old school pink eye shadow cubes in my mom's makeup drawer. I started to discover that things were all a bit strange and ... predatory. We would run campaigns inside of universities and colleges because the older generations all "knew" what was up. The company was marketing toward these younger girls specifically because they didn't know the shtick, and hinging on the fact that we would somehow be able to convince them of making easy money. I heard a lot of horror stories the longer I worked there. Specifically from people who were angrily demanding answers from directors at the annual "Seminar" held in Toronto for Canadian Mary Kay consultants. People losing thousands of dollars. It all felt so criminal to have been a part of.
The Product Works
My ex boss brain washed me into Hempworx. I was very skeptical about cbd working for anxiety. I had tried everything and nothing had worked before. CBD actually worked, surprisingly. This was before the big hemp boom so CBD wasn't available everywhere like it is now.
So my dumb self paid the 20 bucks - luckily that's all. I thought it was rather weird that my manager kept pushing me. Talking about "Running your own business." My mom had her own business before she died. I knew it wasn't "my business" - but the CBD worked.
After trying other CBD products and getting better deals, I basically saw they were exploiting people and charging way too much for their product. I was very back and forth on whether or not to sell to people most the time. The company was terrible, but the product helped me and it did work.
In the end I paid 20 bucks and never sold anything.
Long story short, my ex and I were going through the process of making funeral arrangements for our stillborn son. The cremation cost was about $2,500 give or take. The job I had at the time wasn't paying very much and do to her mental state I opted to pick up a little extra work on the side at my friends Shake Shop.
Before I know it, I'm being roped into that good ol Herbalife bullshit. Of course, I didn't know much about them at the time I thought they were legitimate. At first, I'm there just helping wash dishes and make shakes. The next thing I know, I'm helping to recruit people and using the product myself.
I eventually left ( within a three-month window of time) when I began to notice all the red flags and they just kept piling up. You aren't allowed to have the Herbalife logo anywhere, you weren't allowed to say you were an Herbalife shop, had to explicitly used the term Shake Shop, the distributor had to pay me under the table and wasn't allowed to mention the fact that she'd been doing it. Things like that.
I was about a week in when the funeral home knocked the whole cremation down to $800 and put me on a monthly payment plan. So in truth, after a week I no longer needed to be there. But it was nice having the extra $300 a month.
But after that time spent there, my inability to ignore all the red flags, and the fact that I was peeing neon green from using the product myself, I just thanked The Shake Shop owner and left one day.
For about 14 days after leaving I had Representatives from the company calling me to ask when I was going to start up my own branch. - without getting into a lot of detail, I told them to lose my phone number.
By now, I was actually taking steps to heal and I was in no position to get into something convoluted and dishonest as Herbalife. I did research on the company and what the product actually does to your body. Armed with of the new knowledge I honestly felt guilty. To simplify it, whenever you drink an Herbalife shake, tea, and any of the sawdust they call supplements, you are killing your kidneys.
There's something to be said when a Monster energy drink is healthier than an Herbalife shake. And yet, we still have 5 "Shake shops" in an 18 mile radius from where I live.
I was a "coach" for an online fitness MLM. While I do still enjoy the company as a consumer, being a coach was terrible. I joined it in a financially weak position and in a lonely time too, so I was desperate for a community. In the end, it only made my debt worse because the expectation was that you would subscribe to all the shakes and supplements and you HAD to get the newest program as soon as possible, even though it'd be part of your regular subscription months later.
Biggest red flag was uplines giving unrealistic goals with deadlines, and employing the idea of "if you aren't succeeding you aren't working hard enough, because anyone can do this" and promoting burnout by encouraging you to use all your free time towards your "side hustle". Big one: "If you have time to scroll on your phone, you have time to send invites!" like....never ever relax, work 24/7?
So basically I was super burnt out and depressed because I had a demanding full time job and was expected to treat this MLM like another full time job on top of it. Got so bad that family reached out because my "uplifting" posts were so thinly veiled that they could see how depressed I was.
Big yikes, haven't been able to do one of their programs since.
A former coworker of mine struggled to lose weight. She was also ALL UP in Arbonne. She also had a minor physical disability, which she blamed for her inability to lose weight. She was only maybe 20lbs over weight. Well, she gained 50lbs in order to be approved for gastric bypass, after which she lost the weight...and then proceeded to say Arbonne was the cause for her weight loss.
Look At Their Shoes
The IT guy at my old company roped me into going to a "presentation" at a fancy hotel in town on how I could "make money at home in my own time" — Naturally, being the naive person I am, I accepted. He told me to "bring a friend" if I could, which should have been the first red flag. So I roped in another friend saying there would be free food and off we went.
We get to this really fancy hotel and people are dressed in suits (I was under-dressed) and my IT guy finds us and introduces me to his "up line guy" and it was our IT Manager!! (Second red flag)
Anyways, IT guy introduces some other dude, me, and my friend (whom he had not met before and didn't bother introducing himself to) to the IT Manager by saying "These are my three guys". This was Red Flag #3.
So my friend is getting super weirded out by everyone and decides to leave. I confront him and was about to give him a guilt trip for bailing on me when he looks at me and just says, "Look at their shoes."
So I start looking around at all these people in business suits and lo and behold they are all wearing the worst shoes — some of them were even in sneakers. That's when I realized these were just people trying to put out the appearance of success where there was in fact none. I bailed with my buddy and never looked back.
Possible Side Effects
I left about five months after I joined. I started to see through dõTERRAs lovely guise at a team meeting where "cut people off" was a big theme. One of them had cut me off already when I told her I hadn't the financial income to buy 100PV to make commissions and that other oils are better quality for cheaper.
But, their usage guidelines have led to a horrible thyroid episode fueled by oils that stimulate the immune system. As my thyroid condition is autoimmune based, it was inevitable. I didn't know that the oils had an immune system effects. I suffered with a thyroid wrecking itself for months because I had no idea what the oils were doing.
Lack of warnings about potential side effects was something I should have paid attention to.
Harassing People All Day
So I got into Scentsy originally because I really liked the product. After a few months, my cousin wanted to join under me. She and I promoted and I was enjoying the extra money every month, but usually it all went right back into Scentsy.
Once I had my baby and decided to stay home, I realized I wasn't really doing as well for myself as I thought. The people who were ordering regularly from me stopped ordering and my husband and I were starting to use our extra finances to keep up with the quarterly quotas.
About three months ago, I decided enough was enough and have let my membership lapse. I still order from my cousin when I want a new wax melt. I really do enjoy the products, but unless you're harassing people all day every day, you just don't get sales.
My sponsor and up line kept telling me to do events and follow up. Get the information and follow up. I sent mailers every month to every person who purchased. I sent texts and emails. I would check in about non-Scentsy things just to keep the relationship there.
Ultimately, I stopped because it just wasn't worth the extra stress. I have since stepped out and started my own craft business- something I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm taking classes and getting certified to have a compliant product with US guidelines and I'm going to school for a business degree. There's no sales pressure or quotas to meet. I have fun and best of all, my husband doesn't complain about how I'm wasting money anymore. Lol
Forced To Leave Campus
So when I was in college in the early 2000s, this one guy I knew (who we'll call Ryan) got taken in by a MLM of some kind. I can't remember the name sadly, but he bought in big time. I'm talking missing classes we had to travel to conferences on his own dime, missing work and eventually quits, the whole deal. Ryan recruited a decent number of people he knew to do it although I'm still not sure how. I got the pitch from him at one point and it wasn't all that persuasive.
So this goes on for about a month and then every student in the entire student body gets an email blast from the campus chancellor/president. It explicitly warns students about MLMs, how to spot them, and warns that anyone recruiting for them would be asked to leave the premises.
Those of us not involved in the MLM have a good laugh at the fact that this guy's efforts apparently got to the top of the campus leadership. A few more weeks go by and we realize none of us have seen Ryan in a while. Turns out, he dropped out of school.
We were never sure if it was to do the MLM full time (which seemed to be where it was heading), if he ran out of money at some point and couldn't attend, or something else. From what I could tell years later, Ryan ended up re-enrolling and did graduate, but about four years after everyone else did.
This was back in the late 80s, which just goes to show you how old the whole MLM scam is.
I lived in a small town, worked with a really lovely guy who one day mentioned he was part of this amazing new business, would I be interested in hearing him out, etc etc. I knew nothing about ''pyramid'' schemes, as they were called back then, but knew of Amway as they were a mail-order catalogue you would see in people's houses from time to time. I agreed to listen to his pitch, met him after work and he ran through the whole thing. He was going to be making millions within a couple of years, and so was I if I signed up with him.
Total sucker that I was, desperate to find some kind of life and success that could get me out of my town, I signed up. My girlfriend at the time was totally skeptical about it, she kept saying to me that I was not going to make any kind of money at all selling household cleaning products and the like to people who would have to wait weeks for them to arrive. People want that shit now, they'll buy it at their local store when they need it. You get this filter on though, you just filter out any negativity, you think you're on some genius thing.
Then I realized that, sort of like Fight Club, there were members everywhere. This whole Amway pyramid thing had gone viral through our town, every second person that I approached had already been signed up by someone else. All the others that I approached were completely not interested, and not shy of telling me what they thought of the stupidity that was spreading through town. It was this weird vibe, you had half the town - including me - running around thinking they were smarter than everybody else and had discovered a goldmine. Thankfully, it didn't take me long to realize that we were all just selling shit to each other, and bothering heaps of other people with our ''pitches'' to get people to sign up and do the legwork for us. I was running around like an idiot getting the odd sale, and all in my spare time.
The wind truly went out of my sails after a few weeks, but I was now having to fend off the Spanish Inquisition from my work colleague as to why I hadn't signed up any new recruits or sold any more dishwashing liquid. I cracked it with him one day and told him that I was no longer interested and just wanted to get on with my job and my life. Then the truly weird stuff started, and again it was kind of like Fight Club.
Every person that I encountered that was a recruit, my name was mud to them suddenly, and I was getting the cold shoulder and in some cases outright harassment as I tried to do my job and live my life. I had a security guard strip my truck down when I was leaving an industrial site that I had just made some deliveries to. Delivered to this place for years, all through the same security checkpoint and guard. He was checking for ''stolen goods'', while chastising me the whole time about abandoning ''his business''. Some friends stopped inviting me on social outings, it was total whacko weirdo cult stuff.
Eventually, this weird-assed cloud that had descended on our town just kind of lifted - I think people just realized that it was all bullshit. The dude at work, he had refused to speak to me for months, started being his normal self again. I couldn't resist one day and asked him how his business was going. Of course it had all turned sour for him, he realized that he was investing a lot of effort into something that only made him a small amount of money, so he himself had quit the whole thing. He was a bit shamefaced about it, as he should have been.
My girlfriend? Oh, how she laughed...
Conspiracy theories are beliefs that there are covert powers that be changing the course of history for their own benefits. It's how we see the rise of QAnon conspiracies and people storming the capital.
Why do people fall for them? Well some research has looked into the reasons for that.
The Association for Psychological Science published a paper that reviewed some of the research:
"This research suggests that people may be drawn to conspiracy theories when—compared with nonconspiracy explanations—they promise to satisfy important social psychological motives that can be characterized as epistemic (e.g., the desire for understanding, accuracy, and subjective certainty), existential (e.g., the desire for control and security), and social (e.g., the desire to maintain a positive image of the self or group)."
Whatever the motivations may be, we wanted to know which convoluted stories became apart of peoples consciousness enough for them to believe it.
Redditor Lopsided_Confusion57 asked:
"What's the wildest conspiracy theory you fully believe?"
We can't say any of these are true but sometimes it's fun to speculate.
The time traveling cyclist.
"The Australian cyclist Mick Rogers is a time traveler."
"In the 2002 Tour Down Under, Rogers was in a great position in the breakaway and looking to move into the overall race lead but a collision with a motorcycle left his bike out of commission. With the team service car and mechanics way down the road, it looked like Rogers' chances were gone. Then a cycling fan, who just happened to be at that precise point in the road, offered Rogers his bicycle to continue on. The bike also just happened to be the *exact* model of Colnago that Rogers had been riding. It was the correct size, right down to things like the stem and crank lengths. It even had the same pedal system that Rogers was already using, so he could just clip in and be away. He finished that stage and took the race lead, which he held on to all the way to the end for his only career win in his 'home' tour."
"My theory is that in the original timeline, Rogers didn't win the 2002 Tour Down Under. He quit cycling in anger and devoted his life to theoretical physics and solving the problem of time travel just so he could arrange it to leave himself a spare bike where and when he needed it."
"I'm on board for whatever book or screenplay you write."
"Wait, so if Rogers motivation to find ways for time travelling was losing 2002 race, and if he won, then Rogers never found time travelling and our time line is forever devoid of genius like Rogers who would have found time travelling and attended Hawkins party."
"Yep, exactly. Our timeline is stuck with boring old Mick Rogers, 2002 TDU winner and 3x World Time Trial Champion while some other, much cooler, party timeline gets Mick Rogers, the second coming of Einstein. He probably even cures Covid for them."
The best money making stunt.
"Information is leaked from a studio about an upcoming project that p*sses off the fan base. The studio will then change things to keep the fans happy. The conspiracy is the original leak was just a lie to drum up free publicity for the project."
"This made me think of the Sonic movie. No way in hell were they going to make Sonic look that bad. Put out a fake trailer with him lookin all scary, everyone is talking about it. Wala. Take a bit to say you're fixing his look, put out a new trailer. You just drummed up tons of publicity since people are now following the story."
"I have mixed thoughts to that one."
"I mean 'No way in hell were they going to make him look like that.' Buddy have you seen the cash-grab BS that Hollywood has pulled off before? Hell, when was there a movie based off a game that wasn't exactly as bad as that Sonic looked?"
"I will admit that they may have done that as a publicity stunt, but I also admit that they could have thought it looked fine."
"Have you seen … CATS?"
"100% of the population believes that Putin has had people killed for political reasons but only a very small percentage of Americans believe that American politicians would ever do so."
"I mean, there's a reason the joke/saying is, 'The highest award a journalist can receive is being assassinated by the CIA.' There's probably been a handful who may've found out one too many things on the elites, and then had an accident before they could publish their findings."
"Ohhhh boy then south american journalists in the 60s-80s have been awarded way too much."
"MLK was literally murdered by the government."
"Lots of Black Panthers were too."
'"As part of the larger COINTELPRO operation, the FBI was determined to prevent any improvement in the effectiveness of the BPP leadership. The FBI orchestrated an armed raid with the Chicago police and State Attorney on Hampton's Chicago apartment.'"
"Quote from the Wikipedia article on Fred Hampton."
Conspiracies for the conspiracies to cover up the conspiracies.
"The CIA creates conspiracy theories to provide cover for the real conspiracies."
"It's actually kind of scary how smug anti-conspiracy discourse is used to derail actual conversations. A moment that chipped my faith in humanity just a little was when I was arguing with some people about Guatemala in 1954 and people denied my version of events happened 'because it's a conspiracy.'"
"Like no the parties involved admitted to it."
"If you don't know what I'm talking about and are from the USA you should have a google. But, basically the USA destroyed a democracy because it made a corporation sad."
"What's worse is when people will talk about how corrupt insert what politicians they don't like are, but then when you mention something that is actually confirmed to have happened, they pull the conspiracy theory card and act as if the idea people in power don't want to secure further power for themselves."
"We have been conditioned to think like that from since we started school though (I guess that's my submission for this ask post)."
"I think I remember reading about some CIA agents AMA. Someone asked him the question, 'What's the point of area 51?' The answer was, 'To keep your attention away from area 50 and 52.'"
"Obviously not an exact quote, but the idea of it has always stuck with me."
Extinct animals not actually being extinct for preservation.
"I think it is entirely plausible that the Thylacine still exists in the depths of the Australian mainland and the government knows it."
"It wouldn't be that crazy for misguided scientists to have moved or released a few in the late 1800s. Once the animal went extinct, they certainly couldn't reveal the existence of the mainland population lest poachers and local farmers destroy it. They also may have realized how significant the liability was for releasing large predators into farmland."
"Folks have found hair and scat samples that may be from the animal, but the university lab results always come back and say they are nonsense. That's probably the truth, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the government was strong-arming them into reporting BS results. TBH if I was a conservation scientist it wouldn't take much convincing for me to fake a negative test."
Robert 'Curt' Borton Jr.
"I believe in a LOT of really boring conspiracies. Stuff like. 'This person was about to expose corporate/government corruption, and then died suspiciously.'"
"But if you want to go for a more intense one, Robert Borton, who I just learnt about, takes the cake. tl;dr guy disappears in Vietnam and really strange sh*T happens to his family."
"This guy, Robert 'Curt' Borton Jr. turns 19 in 1965, he goes to fight in Vietnam. He lands in 1966 and vanishes 19 days into his deployment alongside 3 other soldiers."
"In 1976, two guys approach his dad and claimed to work for the Department of Defense. They asked him to sign a letter that would change his sons status from 'Missing in action' to 'Killed in action' and he refused. Arguing the military would not confront people in public to sign documents. However, in the following weeks he was approached again by these two guys in public places and eventually signed it out of fear. He later received money for doing so."
"His sister then claims that every time they've seen Curt's official files, the entries keep changing, and his sister claims her phone was being wiretapped. A cousin believes that everyone was being watched, claiming that he was followed to work several times and that two men would follow him from his home to his company and then back. After this went on for a month, he decided to confront them, but they denied following him. After that, for about a month, he was not followed."
"The family is convinced Curt was part of a secret government operation that brought him from Vietnam into the United States. Diane believes that he has tried to contact her and other family members on multiple occasions. She claims that she has talked to a man who is a "secret returnee" and that they are allowed to come back to the United States, as long as they do not contact their families. She believes that this was done because the U.S. government had already claimed that all of the living POWs had been brought home; since they were still left behind, they could not become known to the public."
We may never fully know if any of these are true. Given the track record and history of most governments in the world, maybe some of these aren't so far fetched.
Only you can decide what you believe or not.
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I hate ghosts, even if it's Casper. My life is already stressful enough. I don't need to creeped out by spirits from the beyond. Shouldn't they be resting and basking in the glow of the great beyond instead of menacing the rest of us?
The paranormal seems to be consistently in unrest, which sounds like death isn't any more fun or tranquil than life. So much for something to look forward to.
Some ghosts just like to scare it up. It's not always like "Ghosthunters" the show.
Redditor u/Murky-Increase4705 wanted to hear about all the times we've faced some hauntings that left us shook, by asking:
Reddit, what are your creepy encounters with something that you are convinced was paranormal?
I can't definitively say I've come face to face with the spirits. But I have had some unsettling feelings in the dark. Shadows are just shadows sometimes, but who can be sure.
I hear it...Nbc Wings GIF by HULUGiphy
"I was helping my dad clean my grandma's house after she passed and I went in and was trying to find a song in my phone and before I could I heard a cough plain as day come from down the hallway where her room was. She died of lung and throat cancer it was pretty crazy."
"When I was 5 I remember getting home from my grandpa's birthday party. For context my mom was pregnant with my brother at the time, so my parents had already bought his crib. I woke up in the middle of the night to find a women in a white dress and long black hair standing over my brother's crib. I managed to wake up my dad so he could take me to the bathroom. When I got back it was still there. It was only until morning when it disappeared. Every now and then I see a glance of what I assume is that thing running past the backyard."
"My best friend and his wife had moved to a new apartment. I came over to visit a few times, and each time I'd see the motion of a cat in my peripheral vision. Not the image of a cat, but a sense of how a cat moves. Anyway, one day I finally cracked some joke about the ghost cat in the place and his wife was instantly saying "See! See! I told you we had a ghost cat!"
"I worked graveyard shift in a dementia ward for 4 years and it was anything but quiet. I was working with a nurse one night when we both heard a resident say "excuse me." We looked around and no-one was there. I checked on the resident in question and she was fast asleep in her own room. Many of us also experienced someone whistling in the ward late at night and one nurse even managed to catch a video of it happening. It was unnerving to say the least."
"I once saw someone short walk by me in my house. They walked into the laundry room which only has one way in. I walked into it behind them and they where gone. I thought it was my little brother but I went to his room and he was asleep. I still have no clue what that was."
Now was everyone here positive they were sober? Just asking. Those are certainly spooky moments. I'd like some video footage please. Continue...
Reflectionsghost library GIFGiphy
"I was up at 3am when I was maybe 7 or 8. I looked out the window and saw a woman in a white dress run across my yard. I could see through her. She was transparent like the reflections on the window."
"So, my work place is haunted. I was having a really crap day, and as a cleaner, it's normal that me and my co worker will be the only ones left at night. So I was standing on the second floor, leaning on the banister for the stair case, when I heard this male voice say in my ear "you alright?" Clear as day. I turned around so fast and nobody was there and it scared the hell out of me."
"I remember as a young kid I usually use to sit in my bed and watch tv with my room door open while the adjacent guest bedroom next to mine would always have the door shut. I always remember seeing that door fully open and close by itself multiple times a day very slowly and gently. Never really bothered me much now that I think about it… but there were other creepier experiences I had in the same house that made me feel uncomfortable like I was being watched."
"I went to the Betsy Ross House as a really little kid in the early 90s. Normal house but I was confused why the tour guide never talked about the woman on the chair crying at the edge of the bed in Betsy Ross's bedroom. So I asked about it. No one else saw the woman at the edge of the bed. I figured it was just a wax museum since there was a wax statue of a man in uniform rolling bullets in the basement."
"Years later, I was looking at haunted Philadelphia tours to go on with a friend and the Betsy Ross House was on it. I was like "woah! I was there!" and looked into it some more. Turns out there is a woman at the end of the bed crying and a uniformed man in the basement that people have reported seeing. There is no way that 8 year old me would have known about either of these things."
hello kitty...hello kitty lol GIF by Animation Domination High-DefGiphy
"I had this hello kitty Balloon In my bed room, it had a string and weight on it. So it was late, I had the lights on just Sitting on my bed. The Balloon turns, faces my door, slowly floats into my hallway and turns and floats into my sister's room. To this day I am scared of balloons."
They are among us and they like Hello Kitty. I'm probably rattling the paranormal cages and they'll come for me next, but I'm ready. I feel like this thread has prepared me.
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The past year brought about much anxiety and it's been a challenge to find the light in what has felt like perpetual darkness.
"What gives you genuine happiness?"
Food brings people together, and that combination brings much happiness for these Redditors.
"Plenty of my favorite food eaten together with fam."
"Harvesting fruits/veggies from plants which I grew myself and then gifting the harvest to others. I love to grow blueberries and hope I will have lots next year."
Compliments To The Chef
"Seeing people enjoy food that I cooked, especially seeing my fiancee smile while she eats my from-scratch chocolate chip cookies."
The Little Things
"It's difficult to tell the difference between genuine happiness and enough distraction. Food, like video games or playing the piano, makes me joyful while I'm eating it. I believe that the things that make me truly happy are the ones that happen infrequently, if at all, and are beyond of my control, such as being complimented or receiving physical contact."
Being alone with our thoughts can be comforting.
Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
"Being outside with no people around. Live in a city and I get up super early and just walk around before everyone else is out. Best part of my day."
In Between Consciousness
"I think it may be the only time I am ever genuinely happy when I am in that state of going to sleep where I think, but at the same time I am neither asleep nor awake. It feels like I am entirely detached from the physical world; free of fear, and pain."
"Don't try heroin."
"I've noticed that some things can make you so happy that they make you happy before (anticipation) and after (reminiscing) you've done them."
Being with loved ones, both humans and pets, can be the very definition of happiness.
"Weekend mornings sitting on the couch curled up with my husband and cat, both of us reading a book. It feels like quality time even though we aren't talking. Just a lot of peace."
"Your comment made me imagine a cat sitting on a couch, reading a book, wearing reading glasses and that made me really happy."
Hide And Seek
"Watching my cat get stuck somewhere stupid, then yelling for help. The best place so far was in a cabinet over the stove."
Our Inner Comedian
"When I manage to make my friends day by making them laugh. I honestly get so happy when they are happy."
What Brings Joy To Others
"I really love to hear about other people's hobbies/passions/interests. It never fails to make me smile."
"Equally, my hobbies/passions/interests make me happy."
I'm a kid at heart.
So it's not surprising that going to a Disney park as an adult brings out the inner kid in me.
Having grown up in Southern California, I get nostalgic about all my trips to Disneyland with my family and friends.
Eventually, I got a job there in entertainment, where I've made lifelong friends and grew as a performer.
My glee quadruples when I bring friends who've never been to a Disney park before and I see the excitement on their faces.
And what brings me pure joy is hearing from these first-time visitors that, after a long day of running around for 12+ hours, they tell me they had the "best day ever."
Walt, you did a good thing.
A lot of talk going on about women's bodies, isn't there?
Not necessarily with women front and center as part of the conversation, unfortunately.
One of the main talking points against these bans and laws being placed on women's bodies is the idea that it would never happen to a man. "If men could get pregnant, there'd be free abortions tomorrow," is a slogan thrown around quite a bit online. Is that true?
Let's ask them.
Men of Reddit, would you take a male contraceptive pill if it was readily available? Why/Why not?
Genuinely, you might find yourself surprised at how many men are willing and ready to do their part in controlling what goes on during contraception.
Click, Click...No Boom.
"Yes. Makes more sense to unload the gun than shoot at a bulletproof vest."
"Without a doubt. I hate the idea of a vasectomy...nervous about the procedure. But I'd 100% take a male contraceptive pill"
Both Parties Are Making A Choice
"Yes. I world prefer both genders have birth control and that both are actively using it to give the best possible chance of no accidental pregnancies."
What Have Women Been Going Through?
"Honestly I would because I hate the fact how it f-cks with my girlfriend's body. And I rather deal with it than her"
"Absolutely ruins my day when I think about what a hormonal disaster the implant has been for her. It doesn't even bother her that much, but why should she have to deal with any of it at all? Saving up for a vasectomy so it can all just be done with."
Some men are not for a male contraceptive.
Hear them out.
"Think I'd probably still rely on rubbers. Shooting a load without one and relying on it being blanks... I'd be too paranoid about it"
"Rubbers will still help against things OTHER than pregnancy too - so, wearing them is still a good idea"
Wait, What Day Of The Week Is It?
"Oh yes 100%. The only reason I'd be hesitant is i'm very likely to forget"
"Yeah my ex couldn't even remember to buy condoms so not sure I would trust him with a pill. I also wouldn't trust myself with it either, hence the condoms :D"
What's It Doing To Me?
"If it had the same side-effect as the female one and affected my mood or my libido? F-ck no."
"Not all methods have that effect on women. There are literally hundreds of contraception, it's finding the best one for your body."
"I imagine that if men were taking contraception there would be triple the research into making sure you guys were A-OK"
It's All In The Conversation
"Personally, I wouldn't take it. The pill messes with your hormones and that's why I don't expect a woman to take it and also, that's why I don't want to take it."
"If she does, because she wants to - ok. If she doesn't, because she doesn't want to - ok, too."
"If I happen to hook up with someone, I'll wear a condom, because pregnancy isn't the only thing to prevent."
"If I am in a relationship and my gf tells me that she doesn't want to take the pill (anymore), I don't have any right to argue with her and that's why I'll wear a condom."
"I don't care if it "doesn't feel so good" - for me, the best thing about sex is the shared intimacy."
However, really, it's the man in all of us that wouldn't mind shouldering some responsibility in the child-baring years of our lives. Cheers to that.
So Long As It's A Unity Effort
"Yes, I have this theory that every man's phone alarm would go off at the same time at the bar, and we would raise our bc pill in the air to cheers all taking it at the same time"
Why Make Them Do Something You're Not Willing To Do?
"Abso-f-cking-lutely YES a million times yes!!!"
"Straight away, it would be a d*ck move if I expected my girlfriend to take stuff if I'm not willing to"
...Is That Pun Or...?
"Yes! My wife has been carrying the burden of birth control for 11 years now. Lots of pain, discomfort and other effects over the years, its time men can share the load."
We won't know what the future brings. Science at this point makes it feel like anything is possible, so in the next century? Who can say?
Be ready, men. It's our turn, next.
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