Why Join the Empower Network?

A man holding another m an upside down and shaking the money out of his pockets

The Empower Network business model is built on hype, manipulation, and exploitation. Their so-called products appear to be little more than a means of transferring money from the bottom of the organization to the top. So, why join the Empower Network?

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Update 6Aug17: Ethan Vanderbilt recently posted on his blog that Empower Network has gone bankrupt. He also posted a video of the co-founder of Empower Network, Dave Wood, in what appears to be drugged crazed rant. The video has since been removed from YouTube.

Empower Network Review
Name: Empower Network
Website: www.empowernetwork.com
Price: $25 to $3,500
Owners: David Sharpe, Jonathan R. Cronstedt, David Wood
Rating: Not Recommended

Why Join the Empower Network?

It’s easy to see why so many people ask if the Empower Network is a scam, because it does resemble a pyramid scheme. I’ll compare it with the legal definition of a pyramid scheme later in this article, but like a pyramid scheme and its barely legal kissing cousin, MLM, members make money by recruiting people into the program.

Please keep in mind though, even if your MLM opportunity is NOT a pseudo-MLM scam, it is still 99.5% likely (virtually certain) that you will lose money while participating in it. Source: Signs Your MLM is a Scam

What You Need To Know.

Why join Empower Network?The only thing to sell in Empower Network is Empower Network. To succeed, you must recruit others and teach them to do the same thing.

On the surface, Empower Network appears to be a business opportunity designed to help its members succeed online. In reality, Empower Network is a game with a lot of rules that serve only the top and ensure that your money becomes their money.

You don’t get to make the rules. You can only choose to play or not to play.

Take a moment and consider what it costs just to join Empower Network. Then look at what it will cost to stay in and move up the ranks. Keep in mind that these membership levels and other training packages are the only products Empower Network has.

Before you can make money with Empower Network you must first buy that level of membership and own that product. This can quickly get expensive.

Empower Network Products.

Membership Costs:

There are several membership levels and monthly expenses. Plus there are several one-time costs as well. Here’s what the Empower Network will cost you per month.

Basic Membership $25 per month:

This is the entry level membership and entitles a member to a blog site. At this level, a member has access to business building training, online tools, pre-designed lead capture page systems and the motivating Monday night Empower Hour. A member must buy this level before higher membership levels can be purchased. [Anywhere else on the internet a website or blog costs less than $10 a month.]

Plus $19.95 per month:

You’ll have to pay another $19.95 per month, if you want to sell EN products and earn commissions. Paying this fee simply entitles you to earn commissions on the products you sell.

Why Join Empower Network-[This is crazy. Outside of Empower Network, there are literally millions of products online you can sell without having to pay someone for the privilege. Most businesses are grateful you want to sell their products and will reward you accordingly.]

Plus $100 per month:

This is to join and stay a member of the Inner Circle. The Inner Circle is billed as the only way to make big money with Empower Network. A member of the Inner Circle has access to the Empower Network audio library where there is information about Empower Networks founders, team leaders and members. An Inner Circle member has the right to sell this level and earn commissions when someone joins EN under them.

[Again, you’re paying them for the privilege to sell their stuff. That’s crazy.]

Other monthly expenses:

In addition to the above membership fees, there may be additional outside monthly expenses too, like an autoresponder service which typically costs about $20 a month. You may also be encouraged to buy traffic to your site. This may cost hundreds of dollars.

[An auto-responder is probably a good idea, but not in the beginning. The time to add an auto-responder is after the website is established and getting traffic. Buying traffic is an advanced strategy and not to be rushed into. It requires specific training and budgeting.]

Other One-time Costs and Expenses:

On top of the monthly membership fees and outside costs of following the Empower Network method, members are strongly encouraged to purchase the following products if they want to be successful with Empower Network. Each of the following packages is a one-time payment.

The Costa Rica Mastermind Intensive – $500

This is a set of training videos filmed at an Empower Network retreat in Costa Rica. It appears to be outdated now, but includes how to approach leads and advanced marketing strategies.

This is crazy expensive. Why would Empower Network charge for training that teaches you better ways to sell Empower Network stuff? They are the ones who benefit the most when someone buys their products.

The 15K Formula – $995

Technical training for marking online. Includes strategies for attracting leads and how to grow an online business.

Masters Retreat – $3,500

The Masters Retreat is 40 individual training sessions, plus a workbook that supposedly permits a member to earn while they learn.

Insane Rules that Squeeze More Money Out of Members.

Why Join Empower NetworkThe Empower Network opportunity requires a member to first purchase all the Empower Network products or levels that they want to sell. In other words, if you purchase the $25 blogging platform, you can only receive commissions from that. When someone signs up under you and purchases higher levels you will not be paid commissions from those higher levels since you haven’t purchased those levels yourself.

Flashback to 1972.

As I researched Empower Network system and came to understand their organization, I was reminded of a similar organization I met in the early 1970’s. At the time, I was a sixteen-year-old dishwasher at a hotel in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.

Dare to Be Great was having a convention at the hotel. I met the son of one of the leaders in the organization and we became friends.

The boy was about my age and apparently bored with the convention. Our friendship ended when his parents caught him explaining the Dare to Be Great business opportunity to me. In his own words, he said, “We talk people into refinancing their home and giving us the money.”

Here’s a brief description of how Dare to Be Great operated as described in SEC vs. Glenn W. Turner (1973). The case relates to Empower Network because like Empower Network, Dare to be Great was marketed as an income opportunity and used tapes and training as a cover for taking people’s money.

Turner had a program called “Dare to be Great”, where you buy “adventures” (actually sales courses) at $100, $300, $700, $1000, $2000, or $5000. You receive a cassette player and a dozen different cassette tapes that teaches you how to sell…, a workbook and instructions book. You then recruit people to attend “adventure meetings”, where you try to get them to buy the adventures as well. The more and higher level adventures you convince people to buy, the more pay you get. Source: Ponzi Schemes

The Dare to Be Great organization was owned by Koscot Interplanetary which was owned by Glenn W. Turner. Mr. Turner was sued by the Federal Trade Commission and served time in an Arizona Prison. The case is pivotal for the Multi-level Marketing industry and resulted in the “Koscot Test,” the standard by which an organization is determined to be a Ponzi or pyramid scheme or not.

FTC vs. Koscot Interplanetary (1975) and the “Koscot Test”

FTC sued Koscot Interplanetary, which was one of Glenn W. Turner’s companies. Mr. Turner, who calls himself “Mr. Enthusiasm”, started Koscot Interplanetary to sell cosmetics just like Avon. The problem with Koscot is it doesn’t encourage sales of cosmetics, but rather, simply more positions in the company.

Koscot works as follows: To join Koscot, you pay $2000 to become a supervisor (or higher levels), and you buy $5400 worth of cosmetics. And you make money ($700) by encouraging others to buy in (at Supervisor, for $2000) just like they did. Essentially, Ksocot “supervisor” bought two things: 1) “the right to sell a product”, 2) “the right to receive, in return for recruiting other participants into the program, rewards which are unrelated to sale of the product to ultimate users.”

Koscot lost the lawsuit, and the definition FTC created for pyramid scheme became known as the “Koscot Test” (for pyramid schemes). It can be roughly summarized as follows:

  1. The participant makes a payment of money to the company;
  2. In exchange, the participant receives the right to sell a product (or service);
  3. In exchange, the participant receives compensation for recruiting others into the program;
  4. The compensation is unrelated to the sale of products (or services) to the ultimate user.

A pyramid scheme must have all four elements.

Koscot lost because they paid participants simply for recruiting more participants, thus fitting all four parts of the definition of pyramid scheme. Source: FTC vs. Koscot.

Is Empower Network a Pyramid Scheme?

In comparing the Empower Network system with the Koscot Test, they clearly meet the first two criteria and possibly the third and fourth criteria as well.

Whether or not they meet the last two criteria could be debated and would take a much deeper investigation to determine. My guess is that Empower Network has carefully constructed their organization to be just inside the law.

However…Please keep in mind though, even if your MLM opportunity is NOT a pseudo-MLM scam, it is still 99.5% likely (virtually certain) that you will lose money while participating in it. Signs Your MLM’s a Scam.

Empower Network Complaints.

Why join Empower NetworkEmpower Network might not meet the legal description of a pyramid scheme, but that doesn’t mean they’re good guys. The Better Business Bureau has 34 pages of Empower Network complaints.

If you visit the BBB site and read the complaints against the Empower Network program, you’ll see there’s a pattern. Essentially, there is no product. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

I pulled out a few gems from the Better Business Bureau file on Empower Network so you can get an idea of what they’re like. These are unedited as you can see.

ive paid 2,000 dollars to empower network. i would like a refund
ive spent $1,500 on 4/15/2014 to empower network AND $125 with a mastercard every month after that until this date 8/19/2014. this money was to become an affiliate to the program which offers NO products. I made NO money with this company, i beleive it to be a scam for most people. My username for empower is “************” My access ID is “XXXXXX” I would Like to receive a refund for my payments towards this company


I am after a refund within the 14 day policy but am not getting a response. This is a pyramid scheme through and through so should be illegal.
Today is 2 march 2015

I made a payment to the Empower network on the 18 February 2015 for $644.95 USD and also on the 19 February 2015 for $3370.00 USD for a total of $4014.95 USD. Payments were made via my visa Debit card with **** bank New Zealand.

On 1 march 2015, eleven (11) days after payment i requested a refund due to being miss lead by advertising and realizing this is a pyramid scheme and i feel it is dishonest in the way it operates.
I am fully within the 14 day “STRICT” money back policy and there for want every cent i spent back.
I am laying this complaint because they have not replied to either of my requests sent even though they specifically say that they have excellent customer service.
I can not get through to the number provided either as i keep getting informed it has been bared.

my user name is XXXXXXX

I dont agree at all with the bully tactics that they use to manipulate people misguiding them into what for almost EVERYONE WHO JOINS will be an absolute nightmare and huge waste of money.

I dont feel the products provided were anywhere near the value as all the information i found is easily found for free online coming from a more honest source.


Empower Network is a huge scam with fake product , i want a refund !

After failing in different online businesses for 5 years and losing a lot of money ,
i came across Empower Network and it seems at that time so real and legit
And i wanted to join so bad – to get all in because the leader claim to say
that if you don’t get all in you’re not really in the business.
I did everything i could to get the money until finally i got it and got in – ALL IN !
As soon as i got in i saw that all the buzz and noise that was around it ,
it’s a huge SCAM !

Empower network offer products for thousands of dollars that are no more
than webinar recordings that the methods that present there aren’t up to date.
At that time there was no such thing refund so no one accept to give me a refund.
I invested $5,125 in one day into a huge scam , after working months as a waiter to get this money..
I bought the blogging system for $25/mo which i can get for $10/mo , the inner circle $100/mo – $100 for useless audios that leaders talk about things you can find online free
The costa rica intensive for $500 – parts of a seminar ***** **** did long time ago with no info for how to sell the product what so ever , 15k formula for $1,000 – webinar recordings that the methods that present there aren’t up to date and the final one the “masters course” for $3,500 the first event the company did – this is the content not helpful and not giving any value just stories.
It has taken me a lot of time to fully realize what is the complete business structure is and
how making money with them involves misleading people with false promises.

I join EN and i one day i got ALL IN , this is HUGE SCAM and i want a refund.

Desired Settlement
I want get refund on so much money that i spent on this crappy so called “products” , Empower Network is huge scam and i want to get my money back!

Recruiting Videos on YouTube.

And, if you search YouTube, you’ll find a few Empower Network recruiting videos. They’re all pretty much the same, a lot of emotional hype but no substance.

Nothing specific is discussed in these videos. It’s all happy, happy, pipe dreams. That’s because the speakers are pressing the viewer’s emotional buttons, convincing them they can be rich if they just join Empower Network and “go all in.”

That’s all they can do with the Empower Network marketing system because it has no substance. There’s nothing there!

The movers and shakers in Empower Network will continue to sell the dream and press people’s emotional buttons so members will believe the hype, go all in and keep paying those monthly fees.

On the Empower Network recruiting videos, you’ll hear the leaders say things like: “Prove to me that you’re serious about your business and my time is yours.” I heard the same thing decades ago at MLM conferences from Amway to A.L. Williams.

It’s the same old, retreated hype. The speaker is just trying to get you to go all in even if you have to mortgage your home, empty your savings account, borrow from the in-laws, rob your child’s college fund or load up your credit cards. It makes no difference to them. They just want your money.

On one of the Empower Network recruitment videos, you can see a woman, who could have been a televangelist, say, “Thank God, we put it all into Empower Network. Thank God, we put it all into Empower Network.” This is a blatant attempt to get the listener to go all in and bet the farm.”

On still another Empower Network recruiting video, the speaker says, “The struggle is in your mind…” In other words, it’s your fault if you can’t succeed with Empower Network.

When an organization focuses on feel-good psycho-babble, they’re avoiding having to actually teach the members anything useful. It’s a dodge, a cop-out and a clear sign they have nothing of value.

What Kind of People Do This?

How can the Empower Network leadership seem so friendly, so upbeat, so normal and charismatic and yet still manipulate and exploit people to the tune of thousands of dollars? I don’t know. Maybe their psychopaths.

A psychopath has a clear advantage in an organization like Empower Network because a psychopath will do whatever it takes to get what they want and never lose sleep over it. Psychopaths thrive when they have people to manipulate. On their own, they are nothing.


A person with an antisocial personality disorder manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

Psychopaths tend to lack normal human emotions such as guilt. They are also often highly intelligent and skilled at manipulating others.

Also, psychopaths seem to appear normal. You would probably never guess there was something wrong with them.

Note, not all psychopaths are serial killers.   (Source: Urban Dictionary)

Why You’re Not Succeeding.

If you’re in Empower Network and wondering why you’re not succeeding like the big dogs, it might be because you’re a decent human being.

It’s a Trap.

I hope my article about the Empower Network opportunity has saved you or someone you care about from making a costly mistake. The Empower Network program is nothing more than a method of taking people’s money.

They don’t care about you. They only care about your money and once they have it, you’re on your own.

The Empower Network opportunity is not an opportunity. It’s a trap.

Why Join Empower Network?

I have no idea why anyone would join Empower Network. The negatives far outweigh the positives and the positives are nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

A Sound Empower Network Alternative.

There is absolutely no reason to spend a fortune to build an online business. In the real world of sanity and ethics, people succeed online every day without going broke or in debt.

They get the proper training and support, and not just technical support, but the warm cheerleading kind of support that keeps them going when they feel like giving up.

Make no mistake, building an online business takes sustained effort. It also takes ethics and sound business principles. In other words, integrity.

If you’re tired of being ripped off, lied to, betrayed and abused by online marketers who promise you the moon but only take your money, I invite you to enroll in the FREE Online Entrepreneur Certification Course. 

Black and white photograph of Gary HortonIn this free training, you’ll learn what it takes to make money online with your own business. You won’t find any hype or guru worship, but you will discover a step by step process for building a profitable internet business on a shoestring.

Please leave your thoughts about Empower Network below.

I’m here for you,

Gary Signature 150px




53 thoughts on “Why Join the Empower Network?

  1. It is absolutely insane that they actually charge you for the “privilege” to sell their product. That explains why they are bankrupt and nobody wants anything to do with them. So greedy! If that isn’t enough, that video by Dave Wood is sure to put the nail on the coffin. Thank you for sharing this eye opening article!

    1. Hi, Johel!

      The downfall of the Empower Network has restored my hope that there is karmic justice in the world. Although, seeing Dave Wood go insane on video was disturbing to watch.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  2. Thank you so much for your review about the Empower network. It sounds really similar to the Aspire Digital network in that it is a MLM scheme, would that be your assertion? Thanks also for sharing a legitimate alternative on your site, it sounds well worth checking out. Kind regards, Karen

    1. Hi, Karen!

      Yes, Aspire Digital is very similar to Empower Network. I suspect Aspire was inspired by the Empower Network business model, if you can call it a business model.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  3. Absolutely awesome site. I have been wondering what people were saying happened to the owners of The Empowerment Network. I am so glad that I never knew about it. But I love the way you present your information. Very insightful and interesting. I hope my website will be this good one day. Thanks for your hard work!

    1. Hi, Michelle!

      I appreciate your kind words about my website. It’s a labor of love and has taken a couple of years to refine. Empower Network should have died years ago. Unfortunately, many people have been harmed by this monster. Watching it implode gives me hope that all scammers pay a price, although we may not witness it.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  4. Hi, Gary.

    I do believe that the very first sentence in your article spells it out quite clearly as to why the Empower network opportunity is one that no sane person would want to join.

    Hype, manipulation and exploitation are three attributes that spell trouble regarding anything, besides that of an online business opportunity.

    As you stated there truly is no product involved in this scam, but is based solely on a person’s earning money by recruiting others in down lines is the very definition of a pyramid scheme.

    The crazy up-sells, going as high as$3,500 upon joining this fraud opportunity tells me that Empower network is nothing but a 100% bogus operation.


    1. Hi, Jeff!

      I’m surprised Empower Network has survived as long as it has, but it does look like the end is near. Hopefully, this is a sign that people are learning to tell the difference between a scam and a legitimate business.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  5. Thanks for bringing things to light with regards to the Empower Network. It’s really intersting to read about this platform and to get a good transparent and honest review about what it has to offer. For me this is no surprise as it fits in with 99% of other scams out there. THere really are only a handful of none scammy online platforms. Its really quite embarressing.

    1. Hi, Chris!

      It appears that Empower Network will soon be a thing of the past. I hope so. Unfortunately, there are several scams just like it destroying lives and more coming online every day.

      I agree, there are very few legitimate places to learn how to make money online. This is why my friends and I created the FREE Online Entrepreneur Certification Course.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  6. Thank you. At last some body spoke out just as it is. First, i like the picture image you used to describe such scam. That is exactly what happens to anyone who blindly joined the scam program.

    I remember back in the days when i joined such program. I can’t remember the name again but i think it’s something like GDI network. I got out as soon as i got in after seeing what looms in wait to milk monthly payment from me.

    I am really glad you exposed this and i am going to help you share the hell out it.

    Good work here and please keep them coming.

    1. Hi, Richard!

      I appreciate your comment and thanks for sharing your experience with GDI Network. 

      Recently, I learned Empower Network is going bankrupt. Unfortunately, as you know, there are countless pyramid schemes sprouting on the internet every day. These scams thrive by selling people the dream of fast and easy financial independence. To avoid getting caught in their web, it is essential to know when you’re being sold the dream. Any sales pitch that makes you respond emotionally is suspicious.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  7. Great Review.

    Never ceases to amaze the depths some people are willing to go to separate you from your hard earned money. Although “A fool and their money are soon parted” may be a harsh analogy for this type of business, I will say that with emotions being the driving sales force with Empower Network, “the ignorant will be parted from their money” would probably be more appropriate.

    That was not meant to offend anyone, for “Ignorance” is defined as a lack of knowledge and while “knowledge is power” I believe it is only potential power.

    Not putting knowledge into action is equivalent to not possessing the knowledge, for only possessing it and not putting it into action garners the same results.

    Thank you for providing this knowledge so that others may benefit from it.

    Thank you for your service to our country

  8. Gary, thank you for shedding the proverbial light on Empower Network and the rest of the Ponzi schemes out there. I have tried a lot of “opportunities” out there, only to let the owners get richer while I got more into debt.

    I too came up during the Dot.Com era and thought that becoming a millionaire online was a thing of the past, however, people were still making a comfortable living online and I had to find out how.

    In doing my research, I found that there are a lot of people online who purport to teach you how to do it like they did, but for copious amounts of money first. This is just another example and everyone is better off having you bring this to light.

    Lastly, thank you for your service to our country.

  9. Thank you for this thorough review of Empower Network. There is so many online offers like this one from Empower Network trying to squeeze the money from hard working people that just want to find the ways to earn income online. How can one check the background of the persons staying behind some offer online, their credibility?

    1. Hi, Milan!

      There are several online scams that operate much like Empower Network. 

      Their initial sales pitch is based largely on triggering emotions in a prospect. Usually, they sell the dream in order to create an emotional response in someone. Selling the dream is painting a vivid mental picture of a better life of financial security, abundance and without a stupid boss. Who wouldn’t want that?

      The problem with selling the dream is we humans make stupid decisions when we are in an emotional state and that is precisely why scams like Empower Network sell the dream. Once you buy into the dream, you will chase it for months or years and give the scammers more and more of your money.

      You may want to read my article How to Really Make Money Online and Never Get Scammed.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  10. Hey Gary,

    Thanks for another thorough review of an online money making opportunity that is big on promise but short on delivering. An unfortunate aspect of this is the deluge of seekers on the internet who fall easy prey to systems such as Empower Network.

    The monthly fees seem to quickly add up for the members of this network. Are they receiving any value for their outlay? Is there back office setup worth this kind of recurring costs?

    Just curious,

    Harry Warren

    1. Hi, Harry Warren!

      I can’t speak specifically about what is included at all levels of  membership with Empower Network, but it appears that the higher levels do include paid traffic, ad campaigns and website construction. Again, it is all geared to promote Empower Network and, in my opinion horribly over-priced.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  11. Wow,

    I like Empower Network review above, very simple yet language and easy to digest.

    Often time I will be very cautious with these type of pyramid scheme and MLM when coming to making money online. I have not joined yet but seems like most of this didn’t work well and just over promising.

    Great to know WA as solution and thanks for letting me know. Excited to giving it a try.

    I hope more and more people able to read this before wasting their hard earned money.

    1. Hi, Maxx!

      I met the founder of Dare to Be Great when I was a kid in the early 70s. It was the FTC’s prosecution of Dare to Be Great that established the laws defining pyramid schemes. I feel I’ve had a ring side seat in the evolution of pyramid schemes and MLM over the years.

      Two rules used to determine if an organization is an MLM or a pyramid scheme is 1. Does the company offer a product? 2. Does most of the revenue comes from retails sales to the public? 

      Internet based companies like Empower Network claim to offer a product. However, their products are digital, or mere levels of membership and of questionable value. 

      I’m not convinced their products satisfies the first rule and suspect their products are nothing more than legal cover for sucking huge amounts of money out of their members. Also, because members are required to buy products and levels before they can promote them, Empower Network fails to satisfy rule #2.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  12. hi there how are you doing today, I took a good look at your page I think it is very well organized and planned, you did a great job on all aspects of the page, like with the instructional videos that add a very nice touch, I need to still learn how to do a lot of stuff, but by what I can see you are a pro and I should take some lessons from you..

  13. Good article. The Internet is full of “opportunity”. I heard about Empowered Network but never really get into it. and I AM GLAD. it’s outrageous how much they charge for information that may not even be that much valuable. Great article. and I am not a big fan of the recruiting idea, and even less if you don’t actually sell anything.

  14. It’s crazy how organizations can get away with these worthless schemes, basically without repercussions. I like that you mention even technically legitimate MLM’s are most likely still a losing proposition. I’ve flirted with MLM’s in my sales career and it was always a bust. Empower Network seems like one of the more insidious organizations. Thanks for warning people away from them.

    1. Hi, Michael!

      I’m just as shocked as you are. I don’t know why schemes like Empower Network are not shut down. They are global and with several headquarters around the world. It is probably some legal technicality. I’m sure they have a team of lawyers keeping the regulatory agencies away. You never know.

      We all have to get better at spotting scams from a safe distance. When we all can spot a scam from a mile away, there will be no money in their trickery. Only then will they disappear.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  15. HI, Gary. It’s good to read another one of your reviews. It’s scary that scams like Empower Network are allowed to be on line and ruin people’s lives by taking their money on false promises. Do you know if they are under investigation by the FTC or not? If not, they should be.
    Thanks for the thorough review. I hope people will see your review before they get scammed. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Grant!

      To my knowledge, Empower Network is not under investigation. I could only speculate as to why. There’s a thin and blurry line between a pyramid scheme and an MLM. In my book, the product an MLM offers is just a legal red herring to keep the investigators away. 

      Thanks for stopping by,


  16. Hi Gary,
    I couldn’t agree more with you on “How To Really Make Money Online & Never Get Scammed.” I can certainly relate to the getting scammed part of your post. My experience with scammers has been where they try to rush me into something by saying “this is a once in a life time opportunity.” Needless to say I din’t fall for it. Other scam opportunities will make their opportunity sound like the best thing in the whole wide world. They repeat the same thing over by rephrasing throughout the article. The word “free” is often times used until you sign up only to find out on the other side that it’s not free. You mentioned “Beware the Dime Sale.” This is one I learned the hard way.

    Your comparison of “an opportunity seeker vs an entrepreneur” is something I wish I had known before. You’re right, I felt like an addict because I was desperate to make fast money. I now realize being an entrepreneur requires patience, time, effort, & skill. Besides Wealthy Affiliate, do you know of any other legitimate affiliate programs that you would recommend?

    1. Hi, Daniel!

      I had to learn these lessons the hard way too. I’ve come to see the scams we fall into as part of the education. Hopefully, we can avoid the killer scams that crush our spirit or totally destroy our finances.

      You asked about Wealthy Affiliate. I’ve been a member for about two and a half years. Before I joined, I had about six years of online marketing experience. Of all the training I’ve seen, investigated and often paid for and tried, nothing comes close the value of Wealthy Affiliate. It’s affordable and it works. I’ve combined the Free Wealthy Affiliate membership with my own FREE email training course and mentoring.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  17. Hi Gary

    What a great post and enjoyable read. I am naturally very wary theses days as I have been burnt before by scammers whether online or AFK. I found the 70’s case very interesting which highlights again how scams have been around forever and a day. It is for that reason that sites like yours, clear and well presented by the way, are so very useful and counter the dark side of life with light and integrity.

    1. Hi, Matthew!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. The Empower Network is one of the worst I’ve seen. They use emotion, group think, and peer pressure to separate people from their money. It’s a high-level psychological operation that destroys people’s finances.

      Thanks for stopping by


  18. Firstly, allow me to say how much I loved visiting your site, well laid out, easy on the eye and also easy to follow.

    Next, to the post. This was a very informative well-written post and I want to thank you for that. I especially loved the historical data and similarities expressed.

    I remember well, watching people get caught up in the hysteria that was The Empower Network. So many people going “ALL-IN” to the tune of thousands of dollars. Very sad.

    Anyways, again thanks for a great post.

    1. Hi, Tim!

      I feel I’ve had a ring side seat in the growth of the MLM/Pyramid Scheme industry. It was just dumb luck that I stumbled into the nest of Dare to Be Great, but what a lesson it was! Empower Network is Dare to Be Great polished up for the internet. Any organization that stokes your emotions, sales the dream of financial freedom and demands you give them lots of money is a scam. Run away!

      Thanks for stopping by,


  19. A very interesting and informative website indeed. You’ve done a great service to all the people who visit your site by explaining the pitfalls of MLM and Ponzi schemes. I’ve been involved with MLM companies for several years and can see how they can suck you into their money grabbing plans. I’ve been fairly successful but like you mentioned had to bow due to the unpleasant tactics of powerful upline leaders because I did not tow their line or questioned unethical aspects of the business. Thanks for the review of some of the sites that are taking people for a ride.

    You have done a fabulous review of Wealthy Affiliate and correctly portrayed how it can be a great avenue for honest, hard-working individuals who want to earn from an online business.

    1. Hi, E-novate!

      I appreciate your comment about Empower Network and thanks for sharing your personal experience with MLM. There are far more people who lose money with MLM than make it. I’ve tried four different MLM companies and watched people get chewed up and spit out. For me, the saddest part is the damaged and ruined relationships that MLM often leaves in its path.

      Empower Network is one of the worse I’ve seen. Nothing but greed and destruction there. It’s not an honest way to earn money online.

      Wealthy Affiliate is a great community where anyone with integrity and a willingness to learn will fit in.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  20. Hi Gary, This is amazing. Being in my 60’s I can’t believe people get caught up in these programs. How-ever 40 years ago when the Dare to be Great program was being promoted I was eager to live the dream that they presented so well.
    Thanks for informing us about this program. Empower Network will apeal to people that are not knowledgable about this type of program and many will pay the price.
    My experiance tells me to be very careful and do my research before I spend any hard earned money.
    Don’t get caught up in the glitter. Keith

    1. Hi, Keith!

      I hear you. I’m 59, but back in the day, I tossed some hard earned money in the wind with MLM companies. I didn’t join Dare to Be Great but saw enough to know how rotten it was. Did you join it?

      Really, now that we have the internet, I don’t understand why anyone would do anything else, but Empower Network is not the way to learn.

      I wish more people would realize that making money online is really simple. It doesn’t cost a lot to learn or to be successful. It does however require sustained effort and patience. Here’s the best place to learn.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  21. The internet is full of scams, and also with scam detectives. Your consumer advocate attitude is quite apparent. The info on Empower for instance is very good. People are getting smarter, and it is harder to promote a legit homebiz these days. People that scream scam are usually those who did not get rich over night, and usually are fairly lazy. They don’t do the research on the opportunity and they don’t do what is necessary after they decide to join. Nobody has to do anything they don’t want to, an old business principle comes into play here: caveat emptor, let the buyer beware. Keep informing people. It is always nice to find an advocate.

    1. Hi, Steve!

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Yes, indeed, buyer beware.

      All the best,


  22. Oh Gosh, you’re bringing back old memories.
    I used to be a member of Empower Network. But, I stayed a few months. I have no idea why I’ve joined them in first place. I was not really convinced with this business model and yet I still wanted to try.

    Big mistake!

    The thing which always struck me was why on earth I had to pay for my own contents? That was the way I felt since the website wasn’t mine!
    They encourage you to write everyday. They more or less give you some tips about SEO, how to write etc. But, frankly, I was not too sure if the training was good.

    And, this high fees to pay if we wanted to be part of an inner circle and being able to be part of their affiliate program.
    That was just ridiculous! And, I can’t believe they are still around.

    Agree, it’s clearly a scam.

    It’s good to have someone like you writing reviews about them to inform others about that scam.


    1. Hi, Nathalie!

      Thanks so much for sharing your first hand experience with Empower Network. I apologize if I caused you to have flashbacks, but your comment will help other people avoid the mistake you made.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  23. Hi Gary and thanks for the review on Empower Network. For some reason, they still seem to be going strong even today.
    However, that word “scam” can mean a lot of things to different people, but at the end of the day, anything is a scam if promises are made and not kept, or worse, false expectations are created in any way, shape, or form. This is how people end up spending their money uselessly only to find out too late that their dream would never become reality.

    1. Hi, James!

      Yes, unfortunately, Empower Network appears to be alive and well. I agree the word scam means different things to different people. I like the simple definition of a scam that the Merriam-Webster online dictionary provides. It says, “a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people.”

      The operative word is “deceiving.” If there is deception involved, I consider it a scam. Empower Network is all about deception as there really is no product there.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  24. Hi Gary,
    Thank you for this information. I had not heard of the empower network before stumbling upon your blog. Incidently, I had another company ring me this morning, promising to create an award winning website for me that would make me money from click adds and all I had to do was give them US $395 plus 49.95 a month for hosting. When asked what do i have to do to for the work for a couple of hours a week, the said i just had to write a few words.
    Do you think any site that has a kick back to the introducer is a scam?

    1. Hi, Sharon!

      I’d love to know the name of the company that approached you about building a website. Clearly, this company believes it can make more money scamming you into buying their con than actually building websites for themselves. You are right to avoid them.

      I’m not sure if I understand the last line of your comment. But, there is a difference between a “kickback” and a commission. A kickback is when someone in authority approves the funding for a project and is secretly paid by the people who receive the funding. That’s illegal.

      A commission is when a person matches a product or service with someone who can benefit from that product or service. That’s fine and a natural part of business. However, it is often abused. As long as the person making the purchase gets what they expect and is satisfied everyone wins.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  25. I have heard a lot about the Empower network but I never knew that it was a scam, this is surely something I want to ignore.

    I’m a premium member of the wealthy affiliate community and that’s a place I suggest to everyone, it’s the best on the internet

    Thanks for sharing with us this great review and do have a nice day ahead 😀

    1. Hi, Anis!

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the Empower Network is a nasty way to lose a lot of money. It is a Ponzi scheme masquerading as an MLM. The only people who make money with Empower Network are people who don’t mind stealing from others, not the sort of people I want to associate with.

      Thanks for stopping by


  26. Wow! Hard to believe Empower Network is still around after all these years – just like the 419 scams. I remember EN from more than 30 years ago when I was looking for income opportunities. Nothing but up-sells and smoke and mirrors. No real product – just keep extracting money from those duped into the scam.
    Like the previous commenter said, there’s no way I’d want to associate myself with such a scheme.
    Great write up! We’ll shine the light of truth on these cockroaches.

    1. Hi, Oren!

      I had no idea Empower Network had been around so long. Can you imagine the thousands, if not millions, of people they have scammed?

      You’re right. Empower Network is really nothing more than a sophisticated 419 scam that tops out at ridiculously high numbers. There is nothing but heartache to be had with Empower Network.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  27. Thanks for this review about Empower Network.
    When I was first starting out online I almost joined Empower Network but came across a lot of negative reviews so I decided against it.
    After reading your review I am really glad that I made that choice.
    Fortunately I found Wealthy Affiliate and built my online business following their training an I couldn’t be happier.
    WA wins hands down over Empower Network by a country mile!
    Great review 🙂

    1. Hi, John!

      I’m so glad you didn’t get involved with Empower Network too. That could have been an expensive mistake.

      For people who want to learn how to really make money online, Wealthy Affiliate is the only place I recommend.

      Thanks for stopping by,


  28. Wow, what a broad price range for joining the empower network! I could not see myself recruiters others to recruit other, and so on. This has scam written all over it for sure. I loved your review, it was very informative, yet made me chuckle. I could not, in good conscience try to recruit other people knowing that it was a total fraud.

    1. Hi, Matt’s Mom!

      Empower Network is one of the worse scams I’ve seen. There are a couple of others that follow a similar business model such as MOBE, Project Breakthrough, and Aspire Digital. They are all horribly expensive MLMs that don’t have anything to offer except the opportunity to sell the same nothing opportunity.

      Legitimate training to learn how to earn money online does not cost much. Anyone who can operate a personal computer can build a successful online business and they can get started for free. Read more about real honest to goodness training here.

      Thanks for stopping by,


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