Secrets Of The Multi-Level Millionaires: Ellie Undercover

BBC THREE will be releasing their documentary, Secrets Of The Multi-Level Millionaires: Ellie Undercover, on Saturday 27 April at 10 am (BST). It can be viewed on their website, and via the BBC iPlayer (UK only)*. This is not to be missed!

In this documentary, journalist Ellie Flynn dives into the murky waters of multi-level marketing (MLM) companies. As regular readers of our site will know, MLMs are a growing problem in many countries, including the UK, fuelled by social media. They can cause financial, emotional and social harms. Many groups are targeted by these companies — military wives, the chronically ill, the elderly, university students, migrants, but especially young women.

Ellie goes undercover as two different personas, Annie and Lily, and signs up to two MLMs — Nu Skin and Younique. She does the online training, takes the ‘Instagram perfect’ selfies, and even attends Younique’s annual ‘EmpowerYou!’ conference in Telford.

12. Ellie undercover as Lily

Ellie does her online sales training as ‘Lily’

10. Ellie undercover as Anniejpg

Ellie takes a selfie as ‘Annie’

Apart from meeting former MLM distributors from across the UK, the BBC team filmed in Utah, where many MLMs have their headquarters.

7. Ellie in Salt Lake City 2

As part of the investigation, Ellie went to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ellie also speaks with Dr Alexandra Stein, to get her take on MLMs, and their cult-like aspects. Dr Stein is a UK-based cult expert and author of Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in cults and totalitarian systems. 

17. Dr Alex Stein

Dr Alex Stein, a UK-based cult expert

This film draws much-needed attention to the problems posed by the MLM industry — issues which are largely ignored by mainstream media and regulators. It will help to raise awareness about the risks of getting involved in MLMs.

It is really encouraging to see the BBC paying serious attention to this industry. The media seems to be starting to pay attention — see the investigative piece by The Feed (SBS VICELAND) that aired in Australia earlier this year. We hope that other mainstream media will follow their leads, and conduct their own investigations and exposés. And we hope that regulators will become aware of the serious problems inherent in MLMs, and take action.


*Region controls are in place for the BBC iPlay player.

Introducing “A Little Kotori” – the Latter-Day Saints member, fighting MLMs for the Mormon community

Elle Twitter[Elle:] I am so glad to welcome “A Little Kotori” to the anti-MLM fight, first speaking to her after she read my #Poonique tale. Her name means “bird of luck” in Japanese. She is a Latina living in the US-state of Utah, which is unofficially regarded as both “MLM country” and “Mormon country“, and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kotori wants to positively represent her religion, all whilst being a firm part of our anti-MLM movement. Please give her a warm welcome, and read her following thoughts on living in an area where MLMs are widespread, and her religion is almost always tied-in with this awful business model.

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