True Crime Analysis, Breakthroughs, Insights & Discussions Hosted by Bestselling Author Nick van der Leek

“Because of Le-Vel…” I am…dead?

MLM has been compared to a cult. The cliche fits because both involve prescriptive beliefs, members only and members only rules, non-disclosure agreements, scams to make money and ultimately, ruin and doom for those who drink the Kool-Aid and sign their lives away to these schemes.

In the two years Shan’ann Watts was involved, she went completely over to the dark side. She wore the t-shirts, it took over her social media, it took over her family, it took over her mind. Even her phone was branded with the Le-Vel logo.


Below are a few screengrabs from one of Shan’ann’s Live videos. They reveal the particular flavor of Kool-Aid the Le-Vel cult was drinking.

At the very bottom is Shan’ann’s prayer flag, sticky-taped onto a makeshift shrine to Le-Vel.

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Because of Le-Vel Shan’ann Watts was able to retire at 33-years-old. That’s quite a boast. Is it true?

And then there’s this:

Because of Le-Vel I have my life back.

But did it give her her life, or cost her her life?

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  1. Cheryl

    Shan’ann was a liar, which made her a good candidate for screwing over others as she recruited her prey/downline people, her “team.” She was able to “retire at 33.” Really? She had “retired” on Chris’s salary, which the Watts family could ill afford for her to do with a big mortgage, two children, and a third on the way.

    • nickvdl

      It’s not nice to say, but yes – a liar. I think it’s impossible not to suggest anyone who starts with and sticks with MLM is ultimately lying to themselves and everyone else. Chris Watts was also a Thrive promoter btw.

      • Cheryl

        The more I learn about Shan’ann the less inclined I am to be nice to her memory. I think being “nice” by trying to appease Shan’ann, who ruled the Watts household, resulted in an out-of-control financial mess and family tragedy, which includes Chris.

      • Janny FreeJJan

        Chris does not have the personality to be a promoter, not in the least.
        I bet you my last dime that it was HER running his thrive stuff, it was HER who got him to sign up to be a promoter, it was HER sending his friends messages about thrive under his account so they thought it was him.

        She was a brainwashed idiot who seemed to prefer this bullshit to a real job and making an honest living.

        • nickvdl

          Brainwashed is right. We don’t know for sure what was going on on his side of the Thrive coin because his Facebook account is gone. We do know he was actively wearing the Thrive-branded shirts and attended the San Diego Thrive thing in June. Don’t forget he lost a ton of weight, and he was the one having an affair, so maybe he wasn’t as bad at promotion as one might expect.

      • terry

        Yes he was Thrive promoter ….BUT HE ALSO WORKED HARD TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY!

        • Jennifer

          You mean the family he brutally murdered.

    • Spock

      It’s hard to have any confidence in her words.

  2. Pauline

    I’ve become very cynical in my years now, and that’s not a good place to be either. I can look at every commercial and crack the code. I can hear what they aren’t saying. I see media manipulation in a way I never did before. Are all sales people liars? We as consumers want something – and as soon as a need is identified there is someone to sell you something to satisfy that need. Sha’nann had a need. She wanted to be someone, she wanted a purpose bigger than her marriage, her children, her house. She had been sick and she wanted to feel well. In order to succeed in that purpose she had to totally immerse herself in the company philosophy and sell it to others. Is that any different from selling cars or in the old days aluminum siding, brushes and vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias? To get good at sales you have to totally believe in your product and that it’s the best product and that everyone needs that product or you will fail at sales. In Thrive they are selling an “experience” – so much more than the powders and patches. In Mary Kay we were selling an “opportunity.” Scott Peterson was a failure at sales. He was a lazy fertilizer salesman. Hard to get inspired selling S t isn’t it? He could have been, had he at all paid attention to the needs of the agricultural community he was selling to. He told some woman in a jail house letter that “my college diploma only required that I could drive a tractor and herd a few steers.” A little disillusioned perhaps? Life didn’t turn out the way he thought it should have. The reality was he had a job in sales, a wife and a baby on the way. The illusion was he could have been a pro-golfer. Which did he prefer – reality or the illusion.

    And with MLM’s you have to believe that other people doing what you are doing will bring them what they want or you will fail. But the scam of the MLM’s are that an honest assessment of where you are after a certain period of time is not encouraged. You begin to see that that magical 1% at the top can only be attained by a very few. When you stop after a few years and see that you are spending more than you are earning all the while being told you have to spend to earn then you see that everyone in your “cult” believed it too. Group think. Keep trying. You’ve invested so much, either turn back or keep going.

  3. Shannon

    After watching, reading and seeing the Documents.
    She was a Liar, she manipulated and controlled.
    She lost.

  4. ELD


  5. Diane

    Regardless of Shan’ann’s personality or job or their financial situation, he suffocated his two small children, then broke their bodies so he could stuff them down an 8″ diameter opening into an oil tank. Let that sink in. Poor bastard. His life wasn’t what he wanted it to be so he killed four people. He is a shit and deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Death is too easy a way out. He could have walked away. He chose to commit murder.

    • SydMountaineer

      No, he did not commit murder – Shanann had more motive and a PROVEN HISTORY of constantly smothering her daughters since they were infants, of MBP, child abuse & neglect, and the CPS case against her after a doctor at the same hospital where her nurse friend worked reported her for Munchausen/Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (her daughter).

      She murdered Bella & Celeste then died while hanging over the toilet afterward. There’s also proof that her husband was not the one who tried to hide the bodies – Shanann was in rigor mortis, and there’s no possible way he could’ve physically or emotionally hid the bodies, at least not by himself.

  6. DCFan1911

    I think, ultimately, the heart of this whole case is the images that each wanted to portray. Shanann wanted to portray a prosperous, “American Dream” type of lifestyle. Beautiful kids, beautiful house, luxurious vacations, and dedicated husband. Chris Watts wanted to portray a “good guy”, dedicated,
    hard-working and moral husband/father image. Both images were false. Watts, however, was in my opinion a sociopath who had an unjustifiably high opinion of himself – and he killed not just to extricate himself from the financial disaster he found himself in, but to do so while maintaining his image as a decent and upstanding husband/father. Shanann was a flawed human being with a big heart. Chris was a depraved human being with no heart. When the truth behind the false images was dangerously close to emerging – via another bankruptcy or a divorce – Chris Watts chose to kill to avoid the consequences. If he had been able to find another way to achieve his goal – maintaining his image – without murdering his entire family, he would have. But in his sick mind, what he wanted trumped all else, and he felt he had the right to do whatever he needed to do to get what he wanted.

    • nickvdl

      Watts, however, was in my opinion a sociopath who had an unjustifiably high opinion of himself>>>Have you spent much time watching Shan’ann’s Facebook Live videos?

      • DCFan1911

        Yes. I don’t think she had a high opinion of herself as much as she had insecurities and wanted people to see her a certain way. Both of them, for different reasons, were trying to portray false images…but I believe their motivations were different. Chris thought highly of himself but was willing to mimic the behaviors and reactions society expected of him in order to fit in. Shan’ann did not think highly of herself and her FB videos and behavior are designed to portray a false image in order to help her soothe her insecurities.

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