Is Breakthrough Trading’s exponential growth a result of a pyramid scheme? Is the profit said to be accumulated by being part of the company a sweet lie or a genuine shortcut to being a millionaire? In our new investigative report, we will explore the possibilities.
If you go to alphagenuine.com, which is owned by Breakthrough Trading S.C, you will see that the company is selling an intangible product. What they say they are offering is membership to a life-skill training program in exchange for your money. You are told that if you can manage to convince a friend to join the program, you can have a portion of the subscription fee your friend has to pay for yourself. And if your friend can bring others under them, you will also be gaining a certain amount of what they are paying, in a sort of hierarchical way or in its basic sense, a pyramid. But here is the catch. You can’t cash out whenever you want. You have to satisfy some sort of requirement before being able to take out your payment, and that’s what will keep you under their leash, working your ass off for their sake.
The company’s training program, Alpha, has become very popular in Addis not for its mind altering, paradigm shifting courses, but for how easily one can make money with it. Obviously, it is this promise of easy economic gain that has all kinds of people flocking to Breakthrough’s gates, not the actual self-development training.
It all starts with a word from a close friend. They will come and tell you about this new business they just started, they will show you the promised profit, and if they can be very convincing, Alpha Genuine will have a new trainee. They pull every string possible to manipulate people psychologically, and we will discuss them as I detail my own personal experience at one of their events. I will refer to those weaknesses borrowing the term “vulnerability” from the tech world.
I came to learn about BreakThrough Trading through a friend of mine who was persuaded by another friend. From what I heard, they have celebratory events every week in big hotels, and they have hypnotherapists said to be able to re-program your sub-conscious mind. My friend was adamant I attend the event and join the “alpha movement’’. I attended the event for their 2nd anniversary in Sapphire hotel, Bole. It was a big event, and I was amazed to see so many people attending. The hall was filled with laughter, dancing, excitement, and smiles. The music was so loud I had to change seats to the back to mitigate its disturbance. The salespeople, who once were rookies, were dressed with a suit and yellow tie. These “high alpha achievers’’ or “image builders” (group that consists mostly young adults) welcomed us from the doors. When the event started, there were about 300 people seated. The event for the most part was very cultish. They made us repeat the phrase “I am the happiest” for like 15 times before I lost count. It sounded a whole lot like a prayer. Cultish vibes!
The invitees who gave their speech at the podium were people that spent lot of their lives in the financial world. One guy said he spent years working in banks. Before that, he was so poor that he didn’t have a place to sleep in; he left the country illegally and suffered a lot. A quote he frequently used during the speech was “poverty stinks; a poor guy stinks, both metaphorically and literally. He stinks because he can’t afford soap and water to shower.” That was his way of showing his distaste for his past self, a traumatic past he never wanted to reconcile with perhaps. His remarks were insensitive and hateful. His selling point was ‘‘be your own boss’’, which sounds hollow when you realize he was urging the attendees to pour their money into Alpha and not into their own creative ideas. The whole theme of the event was just money, money and more money. Cars, free plane tickets was the biggest accomplishments touted by them.
The next scheduled guest was a sales expert they said, working in different companies as a consultant. He also preached the same thing his colleague did. And next up was the interesting part, testimonials from people who went through the training and saw change in their life. The whole thing was very redundant. The less than 2% who made about 70,000 ETB per month at the expense of the other 98% gloated on our face. They talked about Dubai visits; one of them talked about becoming the youngest millionaire in Ethiopia.
An event celebrating the success of a life-skill training program was quickly turned into a massive display of wealth and power, slightly laced with the promise of you one day becoming one of them.
Robert FitzPatrick, an expert in Ponzi schemes author of the book ‘Ponzinomics’, associates this kind of ‘savior mentality’ with such schemers. The schemers save or rescue a selected people from your pool of people and highly reward them with some percentage which, compared to what the owners make, is minimal to none. But the people at these events will listen to their stories and see their pictures alongside the founders. The audience will relate to them and say to themselves ‘if they can make it, then why not me?’
Brilliant marketing! But the math says otherwise.
Here is how the math goes. If I start a Pyramid scheme with 5 people, and make the people under me each bring another 5 under them and they in turn bring in another 5, after the 13th cycle you will run out of people to recruit because the number exceeds the entire human population of 8 billion. Yeah, the number of people to be recruited to carry on the 13th cycle would be 13.3 billion to be exact. Oh!! How scandalous!!!
A life-skills training program turned to a pyramidal business like BreakThrough will of course tell you how you are not optimistic enough and how lacking of self-confidence you are. In these types of hierarchical businesses, if you are a late comer, chances of you making a decent amount of money from it are zero. ZERO!!!
This will not be the last time we will be discussing about BreakThrough or its fallen predecessor Tiens, dear readers. That I promise you.
Stay tuned for the second part of this article, particularly with a detailed look at the person behind all this-CEO of the company, Netsanet Zenebe.
Robert FritzPatrick Book- https://www.amazon.com/Ponzinomics-Untold-Story-Multi-Level-Marketing-ebook/dp/B08NHWBSZ2
Lularich Movie- https://www.amazon.com/LuLaRich-Season-1/dp/B09CFXPNSX
Breakthrough Trading videos
Netsanet himself presenting about the company
The high achievers speeches-