I’m not asking for a real name, but it’d be nice to call you something other than bonneoumauvais.
More importantly: You hit the nail on the head. Your sister drank the cool aid. She is, at this point, literally brainwashed. Would your sister normally behave at all the way she has under Arbonne? I don’t know. You’ll have to answer that one, but I doubt she would.
We can offer support, but we can’t fix this and neither can you. She is being told that her whole life should be Arbonne and if she has a spare few bucks, she should invest it. If she has a spare few minutes, she should invest it. If you’ve seen Star Trek, she has become a borg drone.
This is exactly what the Abronne people want: They want her to listen to her over anyone else, they want her to consider them the source of all knowledge and wisdom and they want to control her thinking, which she has. The reaction she showed to the words “pyramid scheme” are typical: she is in denial. At some level she knows what it is and you dared to tell her the truth. That’s not what she wants to hear, so when you said that she had to react to avoid facing the truth.
I wish I had good news, but basically at this point all you can do is be there for her and nod and say yes at the right times and politely stay back from her. She really believes this is the best thing on this Earth and will believe whatever they tell her to believe.
If/when she comes out of this, she’ll feel like dirt because she’ll realize that when you needed her, she wasn’t there but you’ve been there for her all along. At that point, you can use that to help her understand what the issue is with a group like Arbonne and it may take hold.
Until then, she is brainwashed and the first thing you can do is make sure she doesn’t suck in your family or friends and cost them money.
As painful as it is, you can’t stop her from going broke or into debt or from messing up her own life. It’s like she’s an alcoholic: you can’t do a thing to effectively stop her until she hits bottom and realizes how much trouble she’s in.
Make sure nobody lends or gives her money. She needs to run out of money as quickly as possible. If your parents, for example, keep lending her money, then they’re letting her continue. If, on the other hand, it comes down to she’s spent all the money and her husband’s paycheck isn’t due for another week and they’re there to turn off cable or power and nobody helps out, then she’ll first say everyone is not supporting her, and second, she’ll have to start dealing with reality.
For some this happens when the first bill is paid late, for others it happens when a service is cut off. For others, it happens when they’re alone and in the gutter.
That sounds tough, but if people keep enabling her so she can keep spending money then she won’t see what kind of damage this is doing to her and her family. She will need to fall and see how bad things are on her own.
It’s not easy to deal with, but we’re here to listen and help!