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My Unlived Life With SkyBiz 2000

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The origin of these pages These pages were originally published in Finnish language only. This short story has been written afterwards due to many foreign visitors to my pages and so far merely in English. It exposes the essentials of the issue to foreign readers better than the Finnish pages. An English summary of the Finnish Sky Pyramids Files is hopefully coming up in 2001. Youīll find a list of sources and link-sites in English about the controversy surrounding Sky Biz 2000 Inc. (SkyBiz.com,Inc.) from here. Files in Finnish language
     
The author The author of these pages is a Finnish entrepreneur who has been enrolled to SkyBiz 2000 by means of misleading advertising and unfair trade practice. Since his sponsors are highly respected charismatic evangelical preachers in Finland and SkyBiz intents to pervade Christian churches and other non-profitable organisations, such as amateur sports, fishing and hunting clubs, it is highly recommended that prospects from such organisations read these pages before they join the business program. The spiritual leaders should not forget their responsibility to the community as an example of righteousness and high moral and ethics. And when it comes to raising funds via MLM for such organisations you ought to remember that it is illegal in most countries to do so, unless the organisations turned officially into profitable business enterprises.  
     
SkyBiz 2000 in few words SkyBiz International Ltd is a Hamilton Bermuda corporation with operations in Tulsa Oklahoma in the USA. Its subsidiary SkyBiz 2000 (SkyBiz.com) is a web hosting and multi-level marketing firm. The company sells e-Commerce Web Packages to first-time users, small businesses and homes. SkyBiz and its independant sales representatives are under many investigations in all over the world. They are as suspects for running an illegal pyramid scheme in many countries. Warnings by governmental officials have been given to consumers before the company has existed two years. Updated February 18th, 2001.  
     

Preface

Exploiting your family, relatives and friends

The professional recruiters in MLM industry lure their prospects by picturing themselves in a future with total financial independence, lots of freetime and a rich social life. "Anyone can do it!" they say. But the truth is the opposite: the vast majority, more than 96 % will not make any profits at all: they lose their investments, time and efforts instead. Only a very few distributors make a living out of network marketing - usually less than 1 out of 2000. The business is profitable only for the manufactoring companies, service providers and some top salesmen and leaders. But due to misleading advertising, unfair trade practices and insidious recruiting methods millions of people are being deceived every year. The perpetrators fleece their spare money and even the incomes for buying necessities in every day life. The unsuspecting and the unweary just simply cannot believe that their sponsors could be wrong or exploit them. It is usually a family-member, close relative or a dear friend or a business associate who presents the business plan to them. But this is fatal: those "MLM-believers" are being taken advantage of too!

This is how the plan works. To begin with, you need to recruit only one venerable person in high and honourable position. After this it will be very easy to enroll others. In families and between friends one swindles another without even recognizing it! They really do not know what they are doing. They even believe that they are doing a favour to their friends by offering them this great business opportunity! But they are actually being exploited alltogether! The repute of one or two top level distributors does not pay in referral selling to the unlimited depth. The vast majority in their downline will lose their venture capital. Those who earn something in the beginning will lose their income-source as the pyramid starts to collapse. This doesnīt mean that the whole company collapses: single teams and legs go bankruptcy. This is evident because more than 90 percents of the customers are unsatisfied.

 
     
MLM is your concern!

Agree with the PSA or show me that they are wrong!

It usually takes from several months up to a couple of years before the average member comes to his senses and sees that there is no way for him or her to make a fortune or a living participating the business program. They simply just do not have the potentials and the right contacts required in order to make it. Besides the MLM industry has been discredited due to fraudulent business methods in the eyes of the public. It does not matter which product they are selling: the markets will become saturated very soon, not only because of disrepute but also the fact that the markets are not being restricted or controlled in any way. Usually it is too late for a rep before he or she notices this. MLM has damaged their relationships, money has been wasted, mind, physical condition, previous jobs and vocations have been lost before that.

This is why everybody should be alert: you never know when it will be your spouse, child or friend who will be brainwashed! Do you want to lose your loved ones to a business venture that thrives parasitically on market economies? Or do you want to help the victims and instruct your neighbours before they make any mistakes and join something they really donīt know about? If you choose the latter, please visit the pages of the Pyramid Scheme Alert Organisation. I did and I donīt regret it!

 
     
My story backgrounds

animation

The name of my short story is "My Unlived Life With SkyBiz 2000". The name arises from my short time experiences of selling SkyBiz products and participating my upline-teamīs advertising and business promoting campaign. Instead of having a great business opportunity and making lots of new friends I found myself involved in retailing a worthless product to computer illiterate friends and using such means of marketing that have no Christian ethics and moral at all! In fact most of the teamīs advertising is illegal in my home country, Finland. It includes false, inaccurate and untrue statements of statistics, turnovers and sales figures, unfair and false income representations, groundless rumours and describing work as "easy for anyone to do at no risk, no expenses and investments involved". Instead of enriching my social life I broke up with the few friends I used to have and lost them to MLM cult. I have nearly ruined my family relationships as well. This is what I call "the unlived life."

Ever since I have come to my senses I have been appealing to my ex-friends in order to make them change their marketing methods. I have been warning prospects not to join because of elusive dreams of extraordinary wealth, but only because if they needed the product. I have honestly told them about the bugs and missing language support and other problems too. Itīs no wonder that anyone hasnīt bought the product from me! But itīs better to have one satisfied customer than one hundred unhappy!

Due to my high principles in business I have been struggling with my ex-friends about almost everything. But they have never repented or changed anything significant in doing business. Instead of having a good life and enjoying leisure I found myself in a situation where I no longer could live a normal life with my family and friends. There has been perpetual intrusive calls to my home and regular business. I have been continuously disgraced by my ex-friends ever since I started to rebuke them.

After three months of pursuading my friends, protesting and having no results from it I finally decided to take actions against the abusers. Resulting from profound studies on the subject I published my Sky Pyramids Files, first in Finnish and now some of it in English too. It has taken me hours and hours of hard work to do it. But I am in great hope that I havenīt done this in vain. These sites will probably give comfort to many victims and encourage others to work for a better life and world where there are no pyramid schemes and MLMs.

I have made up with my friends in January 2001. Theyīre honest. They donīt deceive anyone on purpose. They are just being taken advantage of by the perpetrators in their upline whom they blindly trust. Itīs idiotic to break off relations with friends because of money. Iīve repented. And God will show my friends in due time that they have been deceived too. Weīll just have to wait and pray and hope for the very best.

 
     
My unlived life begins I am a deceived SkyBiz ex-rep from Finland as you aleady know. I joined on July 14th, 2000. I have been misled by the recruiters to believe that I would easily make almost three times as much income if I bought three e-Commerce Web Packages instead of one. Soon after this I was encouraged to buy two more sites and "business centers" - one for my wife and one for my seven-years-old daughter. So, I invested 550 USD on a business venture I did not really know anything about. Why did I do that?  
     
Why should anyone miss this great opportunity? I saw a great opportunity to earn a lot of money and retire after a couple of years of hard work. Actually the sales representatives told me that working in order to promote my business would be VERY easy and take only a short time each day, but I didnīt really believe them. This is what I believed instead! I was sponsored by my very dear friends who are charismatic preachers in my country and they assured me that the business venture was perfectly legal and the reps had high Christian ethics in marketing and running the scheme! I am a born-again Christian myself and a church activist since October 1994. Why shouldnīt I have believed them?  
     
Former MLM experiences

Could this be a positive experience?

I did know a little bit about MLM industry before I joined. I had seen a documentary on TV in the early 90īs. It was about a company called GNLD, Golden Neo-Life Diamite. It has been selling Golden Products™ such as soaps, vitamins etc. The documentary had convinced me that the reps of this company selling the products were misleading and fraudulent. Later on I was fooled by a lawyer to attend a GNLD-meeting. The representation and the "show" convinced me again that this was all about swindling the unweary and fleecing their money.

In the beginning of the year 2000 I had a positive experience about MLM - or did I? Our family friend was dating a MLM distributor and introduced him to me. He sold servicies that really could cut off a little of my firmīs expences. He did not try to recruit me, because I had told him at once that I was not interested in the business opportunity: I just wanted some information about the product. Eventually we made the deal.

Everything seemed to be allright. The Service Provider, the MLM company, the rep and me - the end-buyer - we all profited from the deal. Thereīs nothing wrong with it, I thought. Only later on - after my recent bad experiences - I contacted the Service Provider and learned to know that some reps of this MLM-company had been using questionable methods in selling the product too: they were only interested in their commissions, no matter how they got it. The Service Provider is now reconsidering the contract of distributorship with the MLM company.

 
     
Team Adventure - helping or exploiting people? Letīs go back to SkyBiz.com and my experiences with the company, its products and the Finnish reps "Team Adventure". (www.comeurope.com) I very soon became to realize that everything was not OK with the business opportunity I had went into. In the beginning I had thought that it was a great idea to help computer-illiterate people to use computers, programs, e-mail and internet. Actually I could make a good profit while helping my friends out as well, I thought! (Many of them can be described as "computer-illiterate".) But when I tried to sell the product and present the business-idea to them, I noticed that they didnīt really need the product right now. So the only reason to recruit them had to be the business opportunity. First they needed to do well in business, I thought. Maybe then they will be interested in computers and internet? But this didnīt work out either! They showed very little interest to the business opportunity. On the contrary: some people told me that I was involved with an illegal chain letter campaign! Well, as a Christian, what could I do next? Obviously I needed to find out if this was true what they told me.  
     
Beginnerīs enthusiasm turns into disappointment Everything had happened very quickly. I had been selling the product and the idea of MLM only for two days! I can accomplish a lot if I get excited about something! So, I finally started studying the product, the web builder and its technical support etc. I learned that it was rather hopeless for a Finn to use the page editor! The Finnish version was still under construction and had some fatal errors mainly in interpretation from English to Finnish. There was no online language support. How could I sell this product to my friends and relatives and claim to have high Christian ethics in business? There was no answer!  
     
The "innovators"(owners, and founders) are to blame, not the "believers!" While studying the product and SkyBiz.com I contacted my upline several times. I talked to the entrepreneurs behind the Team Adventure. They are responsible for the teamīs marketing and business strategy. I didnīt know these people before. I very soon caught them for telling me lies and violating constantly the Terms and Conditions by the SkyBiz 2000. They are the perpetrators if someone has to be exposed and charged! Together with the main companies they can be described as the "inventors" of the MLM industry. They are charismatic leaders and masters in psychological manipulating. They brainwash our family members, relatives, friends and associates to exploit us!

The leaders of the Team Adventure claim to be newborn Christians too, but I doubt that! No Christian man treats his neighbour in a way they do! And Iīm sure they do it on purpose since they have been in the business for years and have been using the same illegal recruiting methods all the time.

I hope that every Christian reads the following two articles to make sure that he or she will not be taken advantage of in any insidious way: http://www.vandruff.com/mlm.html and http://www.sehlat.com/aux/nomlm.html. I also pray that each and every one who is in charge for running an MLM company reads these sites. Maybe itīs time for them to turn away from their evil ways and seize eternal life? I suggest that you read the VanDruff-site even if youīre not a Christian. Itīs the best general article Iīve found so far about critics on MLM in general. Read the FAQs too before contacting anybody: answers to your questions will be probably there.

My friends who sponsored me are not the crooks! They are just lost sheep and brainwashed brothers and sisters who did not stay alert. They are MLM-believers. But there is still great hope for them to find a way out of the trickery. Letīs not judge anybody unrighteously! God gives everyone a plenty of time for repentance: letīs do the same. We often forget that there are real people involved in frauds. They have families, feelings and future too. What if they repented? Could we deal with our emotions when living a new life with them? Iīm sure that if they turned away from fraudulent business ventures they would do their best to help other people to do the same.

 
     
Give them a chance for repentance! Our premier goal should be winning perpetrators over to our side - not defeating them! Letīs not try to destroy lives but preserve them! Letīs not make it any harder for anyone to repent than it already is! Remember what Paul writes: "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." Gal.5:15 Let God have His revenge; if someone is not willing to repent s/he will pay the price until "to the unlimited depth" as they say in the business. (or until to the bottomless pit as it is written in the Bible)

This doesnīt mean that anyone shouldnīt take legal actions against perpetrators. Of course they should! But even then they should remember that the abusers may repent. This could mean a new beginning for them. It may not be too late after all to start a new life in righteousness!

 
     
"Donīt do any business with them! Theyīre well-known impostors in the industry!"

No risks involved, no expenses?

My story continues. I finally asked my previous MLM-contacts if they knew anything about my upline distributors. They told me immediately that it would be wise for me not to do any business with them! Lucky enough, during my investigations and studies I had already had enough time to cancel four out of five business centers I owned. The instant losses were minimized that way. But if I reckon up all the expenses now I end up losing more than 2500 USD already. My working hours fighting the bugs on the SkyBiz page editor and arguing my ex-friends about business principles are not free of charge! I am not forgetting the online phone costs either! Thereīs only one expense that I donīt feel sorry about any more: I was late to cancel the first business center I had bought. I wouldnīt have written the Sky Pyramids Files and started fighting back against the abusers if I had succeeded in cancelling my participation in the first place! This proved to be a victory for prospects and victims of MLM! Many have become free of guilt of failure because they now understand that it was not really their fault. Many have made a sound decision and not joined due to flawed reasons. And many will benefit from my sites in the future, thanks to God!

I have had contacts by reps from other MLM-businesses claiming that the leaders of the Team Adventure are well-known crooks in the industry. Well, how would I know? Letīs not spread the word unless we checked out the facts first? This is exactly what I have been doing! You can read all about it from my Sky Pyramids Files. But donīt believe anything what you are told unless you are convinced by your own consideration and heart. Give air to objective thinking! Jesus Christ says: "If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." Matt.15:14

 
     
Fighting back against the abusers Iīm now fighting back against the abusers. I have found out that the Finnish Consumers Office have started investigations on the independent sales representatives Team Adventure on November 17th, 2000. The top leaders are as suspects of misleading advertising and unfair trade practice. If the complaints will be notified as justified, the team needs to change their advertising and way of recruiting people. If they wonīt collaborate the officials may decide in due time if they impose a preliminary injunction against SkyBiz reps and products. They can emphasize the injunction by prescribing a penalty of fine for anyone who breaches it. But it may take several years before anything of the kind happens. More complaints need to be sent in. Public concern need to arise. Sadly, people are not very eager to admit that theyīve been taken advantage of by their loved ones and make a complaint. The top leaders know this, unfortunatelly. But one shouldnīt make a complaint against an mlm-believer: one should blame the top leaders and the company in question instead.  
     
The laws in Finland are not consistent enough to protect consumers against MLM frauds The laws on pyramid schemes and MLMs are not clear and consistent in Finland. Therefore it is difficult for the governmental officials to do anything to prevent illegal pyramids from operating in our country. We are now looking forward to see some actions and changes to take place! If thereīs no need to change the laws, we just have to utilize other lawful means. The most vicious perpetrators will probably be charged and convicted any way. But the most important thing is to prevent MLMs from working in our country. Knowledge is the keyword here. If people only knew the real fraudulent essence of all MLMs - their foundation is corrupt - they would not join them, not even during financial, mental and social crisis, not to mention in order to seek adventure.  
     
Media can really make a positive impact on legislators and everybody The most powerful weapon against frauds and illegal pyramid schemes must be the media-attack. If the public had more information it would not be that easy to fool them. We have to convince the media that they should focus on this issue more. The cons will be expensive for the community! It is not only losses in purchase and income taxes. It is also the harmful and disgraceful attitudes of the MLM-believers towards traditional labour that causes troubles. Letīs not forget the incurable impact on the deceived souls of the victims and their families. Who wants to suffer from broken off relations? No one! Who enjoys it? Only the wicked! Letīs fight them back! Enough is enough!

There was a headlines-article about MLM in an evening newspaper "Iltalehti" on June 6th, 2000. I was happy to read that the MLM-ecstasy is subsiding in Finland. And one of the top promoteres of MLM in Finland has turned against it! Iīm now looking forward for the Finnish TV-companies to make some documentaries about fraudulent network marketing businesses in Finland. They made a few in the 90īs. But it seems that many people have forgotten the lesson.

Time is on our side. Every pervasive pyramid scheme will collapse eventually. No business will prosper in long terms if more than 90 % of its customers are unhappy and quit in less than two years. It is only a matter of time when they will be exposed. The real essance of network marketing businesses cannot be concealed for ever. Meanwhile, it is the individual legs and downlines that collapse, not every MLM company. There will be enough people, whom the companies can fool in order to sustain, as long as the prospects donīt get the facts right while being recruited.

 
     
Cancel your participation I have cancelled my participation to the SkyBiz.com business program in November 27th, 2000. I eventually felt that it was unethical and immoral to continue even if I tried to be as honest as possible and have high Christian ethics in business myself - actually I didnīt promote my business after the first two days at all. But I was still a part of a scheme that is fundamentally based on a fraudulent and flawed idea. I suggest that if you are participating any MLM do the same. Itīs worth it! Set a good example on your friends and family. Money canīt buy love but MLM can destroy your relationships! Only you can stop it!  
     
  Petteri Haipola, updated in May 19 th, 2001

 

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