Is Dani Johnson a Scammer?
March 12, 2008 7:09 PM   Subscribe

A friend of a friend has started to shell out money to Dani Johnson. She's only a few hundred dollars in so far and I'm trying my best to find information to dissuade her from getting in any deeper. Google, however, is letting me down - every link I find is basically a scam site of some kind gushing about her. Taken as a whole the result of this search being garbage is damning enough on its own but I'm looking for something more definitive I can bring to her. 500 results in I see a Yahoo Answers question asking the same thing but there isn't a substantial answer there. Hopefully Metafilter knows better. :) Is it a scam? Is it a pyramid scheme? Is there any proof?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Looks like you're getting involved with a friend of a friend's religion, which is rarely a positive endeavor.

This is clearly a scam, but your friend once removed can only learn this lesson one way, unfortunately.

I'd let her join the scary cult and waste her money, unless there are children or animals being deprived of food or shelter.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:41 PM on March 12, 2008

What was Dani Johnson selling that allowed her to earn $20,000 a month (besides four encounters a month with Spitzer)?
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:46 PM on March 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think this is the kind of circumstance where you say: "I'm just going to say this once because I care about you. I think it's a big con and you are going to regret it. But I don't want to argue about it so I won't keep telling you it's crap if you don't keep telling me it's great. We'll figure out who was right in the fullness of time".
posted by unSane at 7:54 PM on March 12, 2008 [12 favorites]

Well yeah, with such unbiased reviews, how CAN you have questions?

She's offering the two things that people want, money and Jesus- that and a positive message that any sales trainer will tout. The Jesus aspect makes it cultish.
posted by mattoxic at 7:55 PM on March 12, 2008

I only found this in general:

The problem seems to be that she is 'respected' as someone who warns people about scams etc and she is only offering 'advice' and if the buyers aren't successful then they are to blame. Essentially this is something that your friend is most likely going to waste their money on with little to no negative publicity on the internet. The biggest issue with the online gurus is really the effort that they suggest it takes, most people don't have the time really. Then it is the 'additional' programs for sale which people think will make things 'easy.' Realistically, the only way to stop your friend from this is to get them to realize that it is motivation that makes money not some marketer's technique system. But thats the reason these thrive, everyone wants a quick buck and no one wants to put the amount of time in that is necessary. All in all Dani's system ironically works in that Dani makes tons of money! Tell your friend they are better off doing working hard at work.
posted by occidental at 8:45 PM on March 12, 2008

the sadly ridiculous thing about these kinds of culty-esque groups is that often people spend lots of money on them and are involved for years and even much later in their life don't regard it as having been a mistake. So in a way, who are you to say it was?

I know it's annoying - my sister did the Landmark Forum for a while (discussed here) and I really didn't think it was a good use of her time or money. But in the end, it was her time and money, and in certain ways she got what she wanted out of it.

So I think all you can do is express your opinion, and let folks make their own choices. It's not an outright "Nigerian transfer" type scam - it's just "rules for success" type seminars that you don't think are worth it.
posted by mdn at 9:05 PM on March 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

How about pointing out some general criticisms of multi-level marketing, since it seems that Dani Johnson is doing the same sort of 'business'?

Here are a few to get you started:

Wiki article/MLM criticisms

Amway MLM criticised as a cult

More MLM criticism
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:16 PM on March 12, 2008

unSane has a point
posted by matteo at 6:57 AM on March 13, 2008

Without knowing anything about Dani Johnson everyone seems to be jumping on the "MLM is a scam" bandwagon. MLM is simply a commission structure and has nothing to do with the fact that a company might be legit or not. If you look on you'll find hundreds of MLM companies. You can't tell me they are all bad.
posted by metaflame at 12:27 PM on February 3, 2009

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