Update: ORF Report now with English, Dutch and Italian subtitles

After the struggle of keeping the ORF Report broadcast on Lyoness merely available on the internet, and after publishing the video with English subtitles (thanks to @LyonessVictims), we gladly announce that the Lyoness video is now also available to Italian-speakers and Dutch-speakers, for we have received the subtitle files for this video in these languages.

Our gratitude is immense, particularly to the Italian Lyoness Complaint Centre.

The subtitles can be selected by holding the cursor over the video and clicking either 'CC' or 'Subtitles' at the  top of the video. There 'NL' (Dutch), 'EN' (English) or 'IT' (Italian) can be selected to match the video and your preferences.

We appeal to the readers of this blog to translate the English subtitle file into their native language or any other language they speak and send it to us - so we can share the truth about Lyoness with even more people worldwide.

You can also download the original video and add your own subtitles.

Update: helpful links about Lyoness

The Lyoness Complaint Centre is somewhat proud to present the Italian version of this blog:

We welcome Italian-speakers to read about Lyoness (also) there.

Do note that there is no direct affiliation between the two blogs and that the Italian Complaint Centre is not responsible in anyway for what gets published here, and vice versa.

We would also like to remind you of the other helpful links we have provided earlier:

Readers of this blog should be aware that this blog is by far not the only medium concerned with the pernicious nature of the Lyoness pyramid scam. Several other noteworthy sources report regularly on current developments in the Lyoness case.


Several very interesting articles have been written by English author and income opportunity fraud expert David Brear, on his blog These articles can be found mainly in the latter months of 2012 (September and so forth).

A well-structured article has also been published on: Sadly, there has been no activity on this blog in 2013 yet.


In many countries, consumer forums have picked up on the devious nature of Lyoness' pyramid scheme. These are the ones the Lyoness Complaint Centre has found, understood (i.e. they are written in a language comprehended by the author of this blog), and recommends to its readers:

For German-speaking readers:

For English-speaking readers:

For Dutch-speaking readers:

Traditional media sources:

Suspicions of Lyoness operating an illegal pyramid scheme have been reported in traditional media souces for quite some time already, particularly in Austria and Switzerland. However, the articles published there have become considerably more concrete as the amount of evidence has grown and the number of victims has increased. These are some of the media sources one could check to remain updated on the situation concerning Lyoness:

Experts on Lyoness:

Eric Breiteneder is an attorney who has dedicated most of his time in recent years to the fight against Lyoness. Several victims have successfully gotten their money back through his services. Additionally, he publicly warns people against Lyoness and assists the Austrian authorities and media with their investigations into Lyoness. His personal website is:

Karl Hengstberger and Peter Hauser (also an attorney) have investigated Lyoness as well.

A full list of Austrian and Swiss attorneys with knowledge of the Lyoness dossier can be found here.


Share the truth about Lyoness: ORF Report

As reported earlier, the ORF Report broadcast 'The Man Behind Lyoness' has informed many people about the true nature of Lyoness. However, since Lyoness would like to preserve its monopoly on information available about the company to the general public, it has made serious efforts to have the video removed from the Internet, for instance by filing false copyright infringement claims to Youtube.

Luckily, both Plattform Lyoness and @LyonessVictims have recently made an effort to keep the video available for the general public, with the ultimate goal to educate victims, prospects and anyone else looking at the company about its true nature, without Lyoness censoring the information that is provided.

However, the Complaint Centre has received several messages in which people asked for more elaborate English subtitles for the video, as apparently, some of the phrases in the episode were not subtitled. In order to enable others to also subtitle the video in their own language (and share it with people speaking the same language), the Complaint Centre has decided to publish an updated version of the video, fully subtitled in English, as well as a copy of the .srt subtitle file in order to allow people to easily translate the subtitles and update videos with their subtitles.

To start the subtitles, hold the cursor over the video, click 'CC' or 'Subtitles' and select 'EN'.

The original video can be downloaded here.

The subtitle file can be downloaded here.

You can choose to integrate the subtitles in your own video and upload it somewhere, yet you can also just add your subtitles here.

Please, translate and share and let's get this message out there for everyone to see!

Also, share this blog!


Panic strikes Lyoness

We have it on good authority that Lyoness is organising a ten-day training programme for the highest members in its pyramid ranks, as a response to the 'negativity' (i.e. the court cases and media exposure) that has revolved around the company's business practices lately.

We at the Lyoness Complaint Centre suspect that Lyoness is afraid that the brainwashing effects on its members may have worn off under the influence of the obvious, irrefutable evidence surfacing recently that the Lyoness 'shopping community' is a sham and that the 'business opportunity' it forms a disguise for is fraudulous and all but lucrative for at least 99.5% of the members.

We advise everyone invited not to go, no matter which promises are made. The only plausible reason Lyoness is inviting you to Austria for ten full days is to re-brainwash you and try to scam more money out of you - or to make you dupe more people into joining, which could be considered a federal offense in many countries when the scam will collapse. Instead, examine the quantitative evidence available and make up your own mind, without the influence of the psychological pressure and manipulation exercised by the Lyoness instigators.

For a considerable amount of hours, the Lyoness website is down - allegedly due to standard maintenance procedures and the implementation of updates. We are very curious.

We advise all Lyoness victims to withdraw their memberships from Lyoness as soon as possible and to demand your investments, down-payments, etc. back, as they were acquired under false pretences, into an illegal, fraudulous system. Do not forget to claim all your expenses.

It is also recommended to seek legal advice and assistance - a list of Austrian and Swiss lawyers with particular knowledge of the Lyoness dossier can be found here. Beware whom you trust with your personal story and details, and be cautious about whom you pay for their services - no matter how well-intented they may seem.


Freidl's crumbling pyramid: an update

Readers of this blog are probably aware that the Lyoness scam is collapsing as we speak. Additional to the rising level of media coverage over the last couple of months, more and more victims are realising that they have been scammed and start demanding refunds, filing suit against Lyoness and its instigators and/or filing complaints with the appropriate authorities, which in return also start investigations and court cases.

Today, it became known that in Sydney (Australia), a group of Lyoness victims has filed a class-action law suit against Lyoness Australia. Earlier, it was also reported that the Australian ACCC has started an investigation of Lyoness, mainly due to Woolworth's announcement that they are not and do not want to be a partner of Lyoness.

Another accelerator of the collapse of any pyramid scheme (and Lyoness in particular) is the surfacing of quantifiable evidence that shows that the company's business model is flawed (to say the least) and that the promises they make are unrealistic and factually untrue.

Yesterday, this blog listed a significant amount of quantitative evidence in the form of income data of members of Lyoness America. Like most numbers reported by this blog (for instance the calculations of the average discounts), they were cited and discussed on several forums. The following excerpt of a forum discussion of the income information published yesterday, should give the readers of this blog an idea of how Lyoness (and its deluded adherents) deals with argued criticism.

In the above screenshot, well-known Lyoness propagator on the German-languaged consumer forum 'Verbraucherrunde' by the name 'seemaster', questions the source of the information (or 'nonsense' as he calls it) - something he and his fellows never do when it concerns Lyoness propaganda.

Unfortunately for 'seemaster', the information published by this blog came straight from the official Lyoness website (pdf) and is part of the official Lyoness America income disclosure statement 2012, which specifies the available income data for all Lyoness America members over 2012. Although not publicly spread, Lyoness has gathered this information itself. According to Lyoness an income disclosure needs to be shown to prospects before they sign up, in order to comply with the relevant regulations in the United States.

When the intelligent Lyoness opponents active on this forum tell to 'seemaster' that the information is the most current data available, coming from his most-trusted source 'Lyoness' itself, 'seemaster' has to employ a different technique. He/she starts posting completely unrelated propaganda in a desperate attempt to a) shelter the information from uninformed readers of the forum (i.e. doubting prospects) and b) to switch to a more favourable discussion in which he/she has more chance of winning.

Particularly the graph 'seemaster' posted is interesting, as that represents exactly the opposite of the point 'seemaster' is trying to make. The graph is not an unknown way of promoting Lyoness; many presentations and Youtube clips constructed by the Lyoness instigators or deluded adherents feature a version of this graph. Although it is supposed to represent the 'incredible growth' of Lyoness as a company in terms of Lyoness memberships, it in fact illustrates the crumbling state in which the Lyoness pyramid scheme is located.

A lot of criticism can be expressed concerning this graph. For instance, it is unclear how high the number of memberships actually is at a certain timepoint and it is of course a preposterous assumption that Lyoness will grow to 5 million memberships in such a short (yet unspecified) period of time. This merely constitutes a deceptive lie designed to convince doubting prospects to sign up for Lyoness as they will have a fair chance at recruiting enough new victims to make an incredible amount of money. Especially the part that after September 2012 (i.e. the forecast part of the graph) the number of memberships suddenly grows with a lot steeper rate than it has ever done in reality, is very interesting.

The reality is that the number of Lyoness memberships has indeed grown over time (quite essential when running a pyramid scheme), but that the most interesting conclusion from analysing the membership growth numbers is that the growth rate has considerably stagnated over time.

Year Members Change


As can be seen from the table, the incredible growth rate of the number of Lyoness members has considerably decreased over the last few years. This probably explains why so few people make any money with Lyoness, as in a pyramid scheme, you need to keep achieving a higher growth rate in order to satisfy the investers that joined earlier. Also, it shows that the 'short-term goal' of achieving 5,000,000 Lyoness members is a ridiculous and preposterous statement, and in fact nothing more than a blatant, deceptive lie.

What is more likely to happen shortly is that the Lyoness scam finally collapses, either because it gets forbidden in host-country Austria, or because the scheme collapses as the capital flows dry up because members are having a hard time recruiting new victims.

Thanks, 'seemaster' (and Lyoness for making the graph) - you have made our point that the Lyoness pyramid is crumbling even clearer!

ORF Report back online with English subtitles

*Click here for the latest ORF Report video on Lyoness with full English (and Italian, Dutch and Serbian) subtitles.*

Earlier, this blog reported about the efforts made by Lyoness to remove everything from the internet that might educate people about Lyoness' pernicious scams. These efforts included getting the Twitter account @LyonessVictims suspended from Twitter and having both Youtube and the Austrian public television (ORF) take down various versions of an ORF Report episode that exposes Lyoness for the scam it is and Hubert Freidl for the racketeer he is.

For a moment, it seemed like @LyonessVictims was back, yet now, the Twitter account seems suspended once again. On the plus side, @LyonessVictims has made an effort to subtitle the ORF Report episode on Lyoness in English and put it back online. Now, both German-speakers and English-speakers can watch this enlightening and insightful video again.

This is the latest Lyoness featuring episode of ORF Report called 'Der Mann hinter Lyoness', available with English, Italian, Dutch and Serbian subtitles:

The subtitles can be selected by holding the cursor over the video and clicking either 'CC' or 'Subtitles' at the  top of the video. There 'NL' (Dutch), 'EN' (English), SR (Serbian) or 'IT' (Italian) can be selected to match the video and your preferences.

This is the episode of ORF Report entitled 'Geldmaschine Lyoness', with integrated English subtitles.


Lyoness: financial freedom is a fraudulent fairy tale

Earlier, this blog reported how little money is to be made by using the Lyoness discount system ('Cashback card', vouchers, etc.). However, we all knew from the very beginning that Lyoness has nothing to do with shopping, but that the money is to be made by making down-payments to acquire positions in the position system and then recruiting friends and family to do the same.

Exactly how much money is to be made with this 'opportunity'?, one might ask. The answer is simple: not that much. Most of the illicit earnings made through Lyoness disappear into the pockets of its instigators. With the great help of David Brear, the Lyoness Complaint Centre has managed to lay its hands on significant evidence that should be an eye-opener for everyone involved with, or planning to get involved with Lyoness.

According to an income disclosure statement published by Lyoness America, nearly no-one makes any money through Lyoness America. As a matter of fact, 46% of all members have made zero income. Yes, that is 0 dollars!! More than 86% of the American members makes on average less than 13 dollars per year with Lyoness. That is 1 dollar per month!!

Altogether, Lyoness members make about 23 dollars per month, yet it should be noted that the extremely low median value of $0.38 (monthly) indicates that the vast, vast majority of all members makes way and way less. The average is so 'high' (23 dollars per month) because of a very select group of riches in the top of the scheme. Only 0.12% of the members makes more than $2000 per month, and note that this is gross - expenses and possible taxes still need to be deducted from this.

Conclusion: given the extremely low average incomes of Lyoness victims, it is safe to say that by far most of the participants will lose money, instead of making any. In fact, it is very very doubtful that more than 1% of the American participants in Lyoness will ever make their initial down-payments back. Indeed, 86% of the victims would require more than 230 years (!) to compensate the 3000 dollar sign-up fee.

And that is a best-case scenario, i.e. in case of zero additional costs, which is highly unrealistic as you pay at least 3 dollars (3 month salaries for 86% of the participants) to sign a free member up, fees for meetings, etc. Or, as Lyoness puts it:

"Note that these figures do not represent an IBR's profit, as they do not consider expenses incurred by an IBR in operation or promotion of his/her business. The figures above refer to gross income (total income before any expenses are deducted). The expenses an IBR incurs vary widely. Expenses for IBRs can be several hundreds or thousands of dollars annually. You should factor in estimated expenses when projecting potential profits. Such operating expenses could include advertising and promotional expenses, training, travel, telephone and Internet costs, business equipment and miscellaneous expenses. Based on a survey conducted by Lyoness in 2012, the average annual expenses an IBR incurs are $1,294.44"

Thus, depending on the definition used, this means an average annual loss ranging from $769.79 to $1,281.44. And that is without considering the costs of the purchase of business-packages or down-payments.

Lyoness adherents have often told us that we do not grasp their amazing system because we have never visited one of their amazing meetings. There, everything is perfectly explained and much easier to understand, because everything is visually presented through videos or presentation slides. To make sure they understand what has just been discussed here - and to do them a favour in these tough days - we have drawn-up a visual representation of everything we have just discussed.

And of course, after taking the average expenses into consideration, every participant (except for the top 0.35-0.55%) loses a considerable amount of money each year, even if the down-payments are not taken into consideration.

Help us spread this incredibly important message!


The Austrian Mafia 6: ORF Report down again

Yet again, Lyoness has managed to persuade Youtube to take down the ORF Report episode that exposes Lyoness for what it is: a blatant, pernicious scam. Apparently, Youtube has not read the analysis of this blog about its copyright guidelines and how Lyoness is using these to desperately cling to its 'information monopoly'. It is ironic that Lyoness gets away with his modern-day form of censorship, as its videos (as well as its false copyright claims) violate the Youtube terms and conditions.

In any case, Lyoness will not prevent the people from seeing the truth. Luckily, Plattform Lyoness has managed to get the video online again.

Share this video with everyone you know and make sure that no-one ever gets duped again by this horrible fraud!

Update 2: Lyoness is 'buying' (but with your money)

Why would someone want to join Lyoness? Well, the first reason that springs to mind is that people are/were interested in having a little bit more money, or 'financial freedom' as Lyoness (and similar rackets) calls it. Financial freedom is an inherently vague concept, yet it is supposed to mean that you no longer have to work for your money ('let your money work for you', to throw in a nice cliche), but instead receive a passive income from your previous efforts. Instead of spending all your time working, you will then have time to enjoy life and spend time with your family (or buy a new one, or so - you're rich, so you can be a little eccentric). Who does not want that?

Probably everybody wants that. That is one of the reasons that 2.7 million people joined Lyoness until now. Most of the appeal of any disguised pyramid scheme comes from this flawed logic. Yet, ironically, the same logic destroys this dream for the vast majority of the participants in a pyramid scheme: a significant number of hard-working, continuously investing participants are necessary to make one person filthy rich and earn a 'forever-lasting' passive income with 'unlimited potential'.

To the >99% group of participants that will never achieve this, we would like to say: 'congratulations'. Why, one may ask? Well, all of you have managed to make at least one person extremely rich (although he claims to have a net income of about 2000 euros (pdf)). Granted, this started already long before Lyoness was even founded, yet it still continues, and the Lyoness victims of now, may just be the GTS and Galvagin victims of before.

On several occasions, this blog has reported about the spendings of Lyoness and its instigators, with illegal earnings, i.e. your advance payments. Earlier, Plattform Lyoness reported that Freidl had privately received 3.8 million Austrian schilling (roughly 280,000 euros) from the advance payments of GTS (Erin Trade SA). Now, evidence is provided that Lyoness instigator Hubert Freidl has used this money to buy a house in Rohrbach (pdf), Austria. In January 2012, Freidl has given (pdf) this house to his son Dominic (pdf). Reportedly, it is currently being rebuilt for about 200,000 euros.

So, factually, the losing participants (victims) of the GTS system have enabled Freidl to give his son a nice house for his eighteenth birthday. That is sympathetic, to say the least..


Lyoness Complaint Centre: Technical Updates

To improve the satisfaction of the readers of this blog, the Lyoness Complaint Centre has implemented a few (new) features. As you may had already seen, it is possible to have these pages (automatically) translated into any language that suits you by selecting your language in the left top corner of your screen. Also, it is possible to subscribe to email updates (right-side menu), to like, follow and share us on several social media and to search this blog for the key words or content you are looking for (right-side menu as well).

What is new?

As is common on these kinds of blogs, articles are ordered chronologically in monthly folders. After receiving several comments that readers would like to have some more structure in the content available here, we decided to implement an additional content-based ranking of articles (see the cloud on the right-side of this page). By simply clicking on the key word or category that suits your quests, you will see a list of the articles published with that label attached. This is particularly handy when you for instance want to read the entire 'Austrian Mafia' or 'Lyoness Myths' series.

What's to come?

The first new addition to this blog will be a 'related news' and/or 'related articles' section under every post written here, to increase the readability of this blog. However, if you, as a reader of this blog, have any ideas, comments or suggestions about how this blog could improve, we would gladly hear about it. You can leave us a comment or contact us on Twitter.

Help us spread the truth on Lyoness!

Until now, the Lyoness Complaint Centre has almost reached 7000 page views. This means that we have reached about a thousand unique viewers. We are very grateful to everyone who helped us reaching these viewers and informing them about Lyoness.

However, we are an ambitious blog. We will not rest until we have reached at least as many people as Lyoness has scammed (an estimated 2.7 million people). Therefore, we will need your help!

Help us spread our message!

Share your stories, experiences and information about Lyoness with us; file your complaints!

Follow us on Twitter, Tweet our articles; Like and Share us on Facebook and Google+!

Post links to our articles on forums, blogs, etc.!

Tell everyone you know to stay away from the Lyoness scam!

Apple and Lyoness: a partnership between equals?

The severely deluded Italian woman (Giulia) who has been spamming the excellent blog of David Brear with her thought-stopping, mind-numbing nonsense, raised in one of her last masterpieces of cultic propaganda the point that big companies like Apple are a partner of Lyoness, therewith referring to the ridiculous argument that major corporations endorse the Lyoness business model.

Earlier, this blog reported about the Lyoness instigators and adherents using the deceptive argument that Lyoness is (explicitly) endorsed by major corporations (and certification agencies) with big, experienced and thorough legal departments. This argument builds on two condemnable assumptions (both largely untrue). First, that major corporations care whom they do business with - which is especially questionable when it concerns redundant, irrelevant and unimportant business such as discount vouchers or even gift cards. The second assumption is that the major corporations that have their name and logo featured on the Lyoness website and PowerPoint slides have actually done business directly with Lyoness - and therewith are aware of who and what Lyoness is and what its system comprises.

Readers of this blog will know that this is not true (or at least in most of the cases). Big companies like SparCarrefour, Microsoft and Lego have already declared not to have done business with Lyoness directly, but that their gift cards and/or discount vouchers have been sold to Lyoness by third parties. Another way in which Lyoness has established 'partnerships' with big companies is by joining affiliate programmes. It is preposterous to assume that the companies benefiting from such affiliate programmes (by an undoubtedly increased number of sales, and therefore turnover and profit) will check very thoroughly whom they are doing business with, especially whether they are hiding an obvious pyramid scheme (and related scams) behind their innocent facade of a 'shopping community' that receives discounts.

In case of the 'partnership' with Apple, the same logic seems to apply. Apple runs an affiliate programme in which pretty much any reseller can participate (as long as their website works and does not contain objectionable material, such as explicit language or content, or support for violent or discriminatory groups). The commission for the Apple affiliates is 2%.

Coincidentally, Lyoness offers a 2% discount on the products of the Apple Store. As Freidl needs to eat too, only 1% flows directly back to the Lyoness member; the other percent disappears in the pyramid scheme that Lyoness operates as the 'position' or 'unit' system.

Conclusion: there is no evidence to support that Apple endorses Lyoness, and it is highly implausible that this is the case. The far more likely explanation is that Lyoness joined the Apple affiliate programme.

For everyone considering to join Lyoness to buy the newest Apple gadgets there is another disappointing announcement on the Lyoness website:

"Please note that the new IPad(Retina Display), iPhone5, new iMac and IPadmini are excluded from remuneration."
In other words, Lyoness members do not get a discount when buying any of the newest Apple products, but are stuck with the option to buy the outdated versions (i.e iPad 2, iPhone 4) with a meager 1% effective discount (calculated before VAT). Wow!


The Lyoness Myths #7: Warren Buffet believes in Lyoness

The Lyoness myths section was developed to assess the validity of the arguments used by Lyoness instigators and adherents to 'prove' that Lyoness provides a viable business opportunity. It should provide people considering to become a Lyoness member with a more balanced view of the 'overwhelming' sales pitch of the Lyoness racketeers, as well as show people defrauded by Lyoness how exactly they were deceived and lured into Freidl's web of lies.

Recently, English author David Brear wrote an excellent, copyrighted article on how income opportunity racketeers use wealthy billionaires as a legitimation of their nonetheless illegal activities. For many scams, it has been reported that victims have been enticed into joining by claiming that famous rich people as Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki (who?!) and even one of the wealthies men on earth, Warren Buffet think 'network marketing' is 'the perfect business'.

Until now, there had not been any explicit evidence that Lyoness promotors (i.e. instigators and deluded adherents) had been using this bogus argumentation to dupe new victims through the Lyoness scam, until deeply deranged Italian woman by the name of 'Giulia' contacted David Brear and left a thought-stopping and most disturbing comment.

For more information and outstanding background analyses on the phenomenon of income opportunity fraud, see:


Update: @LyonessVictims back online

Earlier, this blog reported that the Twitter account @LyonessVictims was suspended. However, it seems to be online again. Make sure to follow!


Lyoness: the paradox of an exclusive pyramid scheme

Both the Lyoness Complaint Centre and Plattform Lyoness have received the story of an Italian man that was lured into the Lyoness web of lies. As reported by this blog earlier, Lyoness mainly targets small and medium-sized enterprises facing hardship under the current global economic crisis.

These enterprises are obviously being lied to in order to make them sign up for 'free' and then transfer all their assets into Lyoness. This blog has earlier discussed some of the bogus, untrue arguments used by the Lyoness instigators and adherents to achieve this. Yet, the Italian Lyoness victims who has contacted Plattform Lyoness and the Lyoness Complaint Centre mentioned another argument as the main reason for him to sign up with Lyoness and become a premium member.

"I tell you [that we were enthusiastic about bringing new customers to our shop] because I swear I did not become a Business Partner for their foolish career promises made by enroling directs: I did it to bring new customers in my shop! This is it.

Question 1: [why] did I believe that 1% discount should be so attractive?
Question 2: [what] pushed us to spend almost 5.000 euros?

Answer: the blatant lie of the exclusivity! They told us we were be the only Lyoness company in [our town] until the "market" should be saturated and we obviously could not satisfy such a huge demand anymore. A month later (March 2010) another IT company similar to ours, in our town became Lyoness partner: very exclusive, isn't it?

Every cultic pyramid scheme thrives around an idea of exclusivity. This - simply - starts with the nature of the organised recruitment meetings, which are invitation-only. If you want to become a member, you need to be 'recommended' by someone who is already a member. During the meetings, emphasis is put on how special you must be that someone (who is also very special) considered you good and important enough to be introduced to this secret of great wealth, success and happiness.

Another aspect of this is that the systems explained at these meetings have to sound complicated. Obviously, this is done to make sure that casual observers, doubting prospects, journalists and government regulators/prosecutors cannot immediately see that they are fraudulous. Although the basics of the systems are in fact very simple, the lengthy and vague explanations provided by Lyoness may make them more complicated than they necessarily have to be.

Next to fooling everyone who is looking at these explanations, there is another very important reason to do so. Lyoness victims have indicated before that they needed to attend several presentations before they had fully comprehended the system. This makes them feel like they are the 'chosen ones', the ones intelligent enough to grasp this complicated, yet magical system that is guaranteed to reward the ones participating in it.

It also has the desirable effect that it instills the thought into the brains of the participants of the system that anyone who is negative about the system must just not have understood it, either because this person is stupid (and does not have what it takes to become one of the 'chosen ones') or is merely insufficiently informed. This effect can be nicely seen in the Dragons' Den Canada episode featuring the deluded Lyoness adherent, truck driver Andy

Andy keeps trying to explain how awesome the opportunity is that he is offering to the 'Dragons', yet they immediately disregard it as an obvious pyramid scheme. Not for a single second does Andy doubt the fairy tale that has been sold to him and that he is trying to sell to the world. Instead, he keeps emphasising that he will explain it simply now - he is convinced that his sceptical audience has just not understood what he is saying, because he talked in too complicated terms, which are incomprehensible for people who do not belong to the group of 'chosen ones'.

The form of 'exclusivity' that the Italian victim is referencing, i.e. the claim that Lyoness will guarantee the exclusivity of participating companies, is part of a whole bunch of lies that Lyoness instigators and adherents are not afraid to use to make everyone join Lyoness and have the participants transfer their money into the scheme. This is ironic, because wasn't Lyoness an exclusive club, in which participation was an honour?

Inherently, pyramid schemes are never exclusive, even though they always like to pretend they are. Pyramid schemes cannot be exclusive, because their stability, growth and persistence depend on the entrance of new funds, either in the form of investments of new participants, or new investments made by existing participants. Andy, for example, invested 10,000 Canadian dollars into the scheme, in three steps.

Therefore, the instigators and adherents of Lyoness will do anything and tell you anything to make you join Lyoness and put as much as possible money in. Paradoxically, also that your company will be an exclusive loyalty merchant for Lyoness in your region and your line of business, protecting you from market saturation, competition and guaranteeing you an incredible increase in customers and sales - or that the fact that you have been invited to come to a recruitment meeting or to join the scheme makes you 'special'.

The Austrian Mafia 5: Twitter is no longer safe either

The popular Twitter account '@LyonessVictims' seems to have been suspended. Although no hard evidence is available, there seem to be few other explanations than that Lyoness has pulled an 'Andy' on this account.

The Lyoness Complaint Centre finds it incomprehensible and offensive at the same time that major corporations as Youtube and Twitter offer Lyoness the opportunity to free the Internet from anything that isn't lyrical about their pyramid scheme, by simply (and falsely) claiming that Lyoness' copyrights were violated.

In fact, just like on Youtube, Lyoness is the one that should have its accounts suspended and its tweets removed for violating the terms and conditions.

As many users of Twitter may know, the use of Twitter is subject to a set of 'Twitter' rules.

Indeed, one of those rules is:

"Trademark: We reserve the right to reclaim user names on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those user names. Accounts using business names and/or logos to mislead others may be permanently suspended."

Unlike in the case of the contested (Youtube) videos, Lyoness is not fighting this battle about copyrights it doesn't own. However, it is highly doubtful that owning a trademark is enough to prevent people from using a name for a non-commercial, purely informative cause. The account did not impersonate anyone, did not use company logos and did not use the name 'to mislead others'. In fact, from the name 'LyonessVictims', it is quite clear what the point of view expressed by this account is.

Also, there are numerous of unaffiliated Twitter accounts baring the name 'Lyoness' in their screen name. However, since those are positive (i.e. irrationally lyrical) about Lyoness, their persistence will never be contested. The Lyoness Complaint Centre cannot believe that it is the purpose of the Twitter rules that companies get to decide which information is available about them online, and especially not to censor this information by spamming the positive information and deleting the negative information. In fact, this violates nearly every country's freedom of speech legislation.

As mentioned, if anyone here is violating the Twitter rules, it is Lyoness.

"Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. [...]. [e.g.] If you repeatedly create false or misleading content in an attempt to bring in an attempt to bring attention to an account, service or link."

Well, it is obvious that the various existing Lyoness accounts do this, as they keep pretending that they are marketing an 'innocent shopping community'. In fact, they try to lure unwitting Twitter members to their website and meetings to persuade them into buying their actual services: the pyramid and Ponzi scams!

Also written in the Twitter rules is:

"Unlawful Use: You may not use our service for any unlawful purposes or in furtherance of illegal activities."

That pretty much speaks for itself. Nearly nothing about the Lyoness 'business model' is in fact lawful and therefore all tweets uttered by the Lyoness accounts, or promoting the Lyoness services, are in violation of the Twitter rules and should be immediately and permanently removed - along with the accounts that have produced them.

We urge Twitter, just like we are urging Youtube, to take down the Lyoness propaganda (which violates their terms and conditions) and to stop allowing these fraudsters to remove the truth about their illegal activities from the Internet. At the same time, we really hope that the person behind @LyonessVictims will not stop fighting against Lyoness, but will make a fresh start and will continue fighting for the good cause.

The Lyoness Complaint Centre has updated its Twitter avatar. We just hope we're not illegally using the Lyoness company logo: