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ACN Scam Update - Crushing of Dissent
I've made a small alteration to the article I published about the ACN pyramid scam last April. The two websites I linked to at the end of the article have met unfortunate fates.
One was a blog that existed for the express purpose of denouncing ACN. I was not surprised that it ceased to exist shortly after I discovered it. I don't know why it disappeared; only that it did.
The other site still exists, but its material about ACN has been removed. I'd like to thank a reader, Susanne, for bringing this to my attention. The material was removed as the result of legal action by ACN.
ACN did not win a legal victory; the case was dismissed by consent. In plain English, the defendant (Peter Bowditch) did not think it was worthwhile to spend more time and money on the matter.
The case was file number NSD 1689/2005 in the Federal Court of Australia. The court documents in this case do not appear to be available from the court's webpage, but they can be found online with a little searching, and I have read them. (I've decided not to post them myself unless there's considerable interest from my readers. Let me know.)
I'm disgusted. A company has the resources to target an individual, but the individual has fewer resources and little recourse. Under the circumstances, I think Peter put up an excellent fight and I enjoyed reading his correspondence with the ACN lawyers.
My ACN pyramid scam article has generated a lot of e-mail, both from ACN supporters and from people thanking me for helping them avoid losing money. I've even gotten a couple e-mails worthy of ridicule. The toughest e-mails are the ones looking for advice on steering their friends away from ACN. It's difficult, and I didn't succeed with the friend I was trying to steer away.
I've come to believe that the single most important thing to do when evaluating ACN is to create a simple business plan. Project your customer base a few months out, then do the math to see how much your commission would be. (How long will it take merely to earn back your start-up fees, and will it even cover your annual renewal fee?) If more people did that, fewer would remain interested in ACN.
Although my ACN article is consistently among the most-read items on my blog, I have never been contacted by ACN's lawyers. Which is almost a shame; I'd probably enjoy the publicity.