Herbalife or How To Ruin Your Body, Lose Your Friends and Pay For It Through Your Nose
I’ve never taken too much notice of ads posted on various job sites, on pinboards, in newspapers and through every imaginable channel which allows private persosn to address the general public. Still, I couldn’t help but notice a pattern in the ads. They all promised
Work from home
Chance to make X amount of money per month
Opportunity to make the world a better place
With no specifics regarding the type of work. It was not until recently when a friend of mine approached me with a similar prospect, that I started paying attention. He has had a rather troubled past and was struggling with life in general when he came across Herbalife, who promised him the above. Being a sceptical and highly intelligent person, he was very reserved at first, but a combination of his future partner being his point-of-contact to herbalife and having tried the products successfully himself, he got involved.
His life changed radically, seemingly to the best. Herbalife’s positive, upbeat and admittedly pretty convincing representatives (called “Distributors”) poured oil into his already burning desire to do good in a world dominated by greed, oil, politics and evil Big Pharma. Full of enthusiasm and remarkable networking skills he went about spreading the word of Herbalife to his friends and everyone willing to listen to him (which are many), and reselling the products which he bought off his point of contact. Since months down the track he has about 40 people in his “downline” which in my understanding is quite an accomplishment in terms of workload.
He and his partner combined do earn enough to live comfortably with their new born, but they work pretty hard buying Herbalife products (which, by the way, are not manufactured or researched by Herbalife) and selling them at a markup. But the biggest change was not in his living conditions, his new family, or his secured income. What really shocked me and took me a while to digest was his change from an extremely free thinking individual with incredible potential to a propaganda regurgitating worker drone. “Network marketing, you see”, he told me, his face beaming out of every pore, “is the future of business. No more corporations enriching themselves on the shoulders of society. The days of Big Pharma making a people’s health a planned obsolesence are over. This is a new generation of business, where people work in networks, helping each other become more whole in their nutrition and health”.
He was literally bursting of enthusiasm. Proudly he filled me in on the secrets of nutrition, the problems caused by refined food, imbalanced diet, lack of this and that and the obsceneties we do to our bodies by eating the wrong foods. The problem to him was crystal clear, and I agreed with him on just about everything but the solution to this dilemma, which, of course, was Herbalife.
“Look, Herbalife got a team of the worlds leading doctors and scientists, what they are onto will not become generally accepted in mainstream medical science for another 10 years. For god sakes, they’ve got a Nobel Laureate on their board of directors!” . Luckily I knew not to argue these things, and his conviction was almost intimidating. “Do you sometimes hear criticism of the sect-like company culture?” I carefully tested the waters. Yes he had. “But you have to look at the definition of a sect. What is a sect? Whenever there is a group of people with revolutionary knowledge, they are ridiculed. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then they join you. Right now they are laughing. You know what happened to Galileo? He got burned on the stake.” I was impressed by his smooth answer, but he didn’t seem to have thought about it. In fact, he regurgitated this sentence with a reflex only rivalled by an uneasy gutfeeling making a very unmistakable appereance.
So what is behind this company? How do they manage to sell their products through a chain of distributors several levels deep, each adding their own markup? How do they get people to associate so strongly with Herbalife? How do they get people to buy an overpriced product which has caused liver damage in many documented cases, and even death, has consistently received abysmal reviews, caused a host of lawsuits and scandals and has no proven measurable advantage over any other competing product? Is this really a revolutionary product taking the world by storm, or is it an army of brainwashed sales drones?
A quick look on the Herbalife page on Wikipedia and a read through this testimony on the german consumer protection agency has shed considerable light on this. The following translated excerpt gives a pretty good feeling of the experience of this guy which I am strongly inclined to believe is accurate and fairly typical based on what my friend told me.
“As I was walking to the [Wellbiz] workshop, I started hearing loud music. I stepped into the room, and what I wondered about what I saw there. Like in a sect, people were standing in front of their chairs and were clapping loudly to the music. They were all wearing a dress und a white pin saying “I love Herbalife”. They were advisors [Distributors]. “But what were they doing at a seminar where they teach how to be an advisor?” I wondered. Half of the about 45 people were already advisors. They were there to raise the mood. They would clap after every sentence of the speaker, who also was an advisor.”
Let me demonstrate this by blatantly comparing the business model of Herbalife with #$%$ Germany, the Animal Farm described by George Orwerl and Scientology. Did I just hear your collar pop? Don’t worry, you’re reading this by choice, so feel free to move on, or send your hate mail to your local Hebralife representative who I’m sure would be more pleasant company if you happened to build your life on Herbalife. I do suggest you read the above mentioned articles before reading on.
Herbalife, #$%$ Germany, Scientology and George Orwell
The frightening common denominator I think lies in the way the audience is manipulated to slip into thought patterns which not only remove a persons ability to think critically of the subject, but also uses some of the most destructive human interests -power and the ego- to create a group which conforms and performs blindly in the name of the organisation. What becomes possible when such a group dynamic is established was demonstrated quite brutally with the Stanford Prison experiment - but the same rules apply for “soft” violence – conformity to party/organization line and doctrine leading to self-destructive behaviour and often a overly zealous drive to share the joy of having found a role in a firmly established social network – be it a “World Team Member” with Herbalife, a prison guard, a priest or a drill sergeant.
To get back to Herbalife, I am shocked by the fact that this kind of manipulation is not recognised and counteracted e.g. by means of legislation requiring informing potential customers of the facts and processes behind a “business opportunity”, more effectively restricting pyramid scheme business models, or – one can dream – teaching the basics of mass manipulation and deception to every high school graduate, using books such as the excellent The Wave by Morton Rhue.
My friend recently got a sidejob at a building company, where within a few weeks he eased through the ranks and with a wink of a finger has achieved more than in his entire Herbalife episode in terms of getting fairly rewarded for his efforts. As far as I can tell, his health has not seen any of the amazing results Herbalife promises – quite the opposite in fact, the last time I remember seeing him he didn’t have a pot belly and was far from starting to lose hair. On the contrary, he has built a family on the empty promises, lies and wet farts of overpaid executives and douchebag marketing MBA’s using good old tried and tested means of mass manipulation.
A Kingsport man has been indicted on charges that he mugged a bicyclist. It happened on Lynn Garden Drive on June 27th. Justin Monk was riding his bike around 10:30pm when 24 year old Charles Richardson is alleged to have approached him with a wooden club, knocked him off the bike and repeatedly kicked and beat him until he passed out. $270 dollars was taken from Monk's wallet.
A New Look at Herbalife
Herbalife is a multi-level marketing company which sells vitamins. The company describes itself:
We pursue our mission of “changing people’s lives” by providing a financially rewarding business opportunity to distributors and quality products to distributors and customers who seek a healthy lifestyle. We are one of the largest network marketing companies in the world with net sales of approximately $3.5 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, we sold our products in 79 countries through a network of approximately 2.7 million independent distributors.
Despite its claims of being “financially rewarding” for its distributors, the evidence shown otherwise. MLMs in general are bad deals for distributors, resulting in financial losses for almost all of them. Court certified expert on multilevel marketing Robert FitzPatrick has researched these companies for years, and has found (emphasis mine):
A statistical analysis of income disclosures made by 10 major multi-level marketing (MLM) companies and the largest of all MLMs, Amway/Quixtar, reveals that, on average, 99% of all participants received less than $10 a week in commissions, before all expenses. Additionally, the report shows that on average no net income is earned by MLM distributors from door to door “retail” sales. Total losses of the participants exceed $5 billion each year, if only the entry fees, basic business expenses, marketing “tool” purchases and the pyramid commission portion of their product purchases (about 40% of their purchase price) are totalled.
The data analyses prove that virtually all MLM participants never earn a profit and that MLM claims of a broad-based MLM “income opportunity” are false.
Herbalife Class Action Settlement Reveals "Secret" Business, Similar to Amway/Quixtar's Exposed on NBC
A $6 million settlement reached by attorneys for victims of Herbalife and its recruiting organization, The Newest Way to Wealth, reveals the same type of "secret" business that was exposed at Amway/Quixtar in the May 7, 2004 NBC Dateline. Both Amway/Quixtar and Herbalife are members of the Direct Selling Association.
Pyramid Scheme Alert has formally requested that the FTC investigate Amway/Quixtar's recruiting practices. It is now expanding this request to also include Herbalife, which follows the same pattern of deception.
The victims of Herbalife's recruiters tell the same story as those interviewed during NBC's exposé on Amway/Quixtar. They are lured to recruitment meetings and told about the extraordinary income opportunity in the business, in which speakers claim they have personally become wealthy. Recruits are then told they also need to purchase books, tapes, marketing materials and attend seminars offered by the kingpins in order to become as successful as they are.
According to a story in the Los Angeles Business Journal where Herbalife is based, "The suit… alleged that top-level distributors made more money selling independent promotional materials, which were supposed to help the lower-level distributors drive sales, than on the actual sales of Herbalife products."
This is exactly the charge made to NBC Dateline by top-level Amway whistle blowers. They stated that the claims by Amway's kingpins of high income from Amway product sales are false and that actually the top-level recruiters earn most of their money from the recruitment business itself, not from the Amway business. The NBC report focused on the recruitment operations of Amway kingpin Bill Britt of North Carolina
Victims in both cases, Amway/Quixtar's and Herbalife's, stated that these recruiting programs operate as secret pyramid schemes in which the upper level
Gordito, I am sorry that you were not successful in your Amway business. If you want to turn your life around and get healthy both physical and fiscal you should join my downline and we will turn your life around from being a loser into a winner. You will have to work hard as there is no magic formula but many are succeeding in my downline today as I spend the time training and helping you build your business unit.. I read your post as a cry for help so I will help you . Will you help yourself ?
Oh by the way have you noticed the nummber of pits that are in open interest for August 55 ? Going up from here.
I can get you started towards for as little as 0.99 . This will give you the opportunity to buy some weight loss product and begin to build your health. Please hurry before you lose all your money on the short position.
So why buy Herbalife or waste time deceiving "downline" or potential "downline"? If you want to invest your money, get in to real estate, the stock market, the commodities market, currency futures, start a real business where YOU can earn a profit, NOT some one on an "up-line" that you do not even know who may have no morals, may be using the profits to chicken hawk, spread a cult, sell marijuana, etc. Every business owner likes to reap personally from HIS work. No one wants to sweat only to lose out and profit someone else who doesn't deserve to earn a profit due to your sweating for very little to nothing, or even a loss. Multi level marketing is another word for communism.
These types of plights come down the pike quite often. When they contact me, I tell them: Oh yeah? If I'm going to make all this money, pay my expenses to come to the meetings; give me 100M shares of stock, 200M shares of preferred, 500M warrants in the company. When they balk, I tell them, what's the matter? Bill Gates had an idea. To get his friends to believe in him, he didn't dream up pipe dreams, fairy tales, science fiction nor lies to woo them. He promised them shares of stock in his company when his company succeeded. I love for high pressure seared conscience saleswomen and salesmen to approach me. I love to see rats scramble. Works every time. Don't let these fast talking confidence boys and girls talk you in to any thing. As always, investigate before you invest. Some great references are below.
MLM stands for mammoth leech monster!
A ferw months ago, I was looking online for a job that I could do at my home to help my boyfriend with our household bills. I stumbled upon a company named Herbalife. I signed up and got my starter kit a few weeks later.
The website said that there would be no inventory to manage, and no costs, other than the starter kit which was $9.95. A few days into the program, they sent me a sample kit. It cost me $150.00!
I wasn't too upset about that. But then a week later, during a training phone call, they said I needed to make a supervisor order. I figured that they would be keep the product at their warehouse, and that the order would be paid for when it was bought by other customers.
They wouldn't tell me how much the order was, and they did not say they would be charging my account. You can imagine my anger and surprise when, a week after that, I open my front door, and see 8 boxes on my doorstep! I looked at the price on the order list, and it was $3,500!
I recieved an overdraft statement from my bank the next day, and there was the $3,550! On top of that, I had to sign up for their I-office, which was another $9.95. I ended up spending almost $5,000 on a company that promised no additional start-up cost!
Herbalife is a money hungry, lieing bunch of a**es. Anyone who has thought about or has signed up with them, ditch this company! They will get money out of you anyway they can.
I still have boxes of product in my house, because I don't have the money to ship it back. They broke me, and then they expected me to pay to ship the product back to them, which would cost me another $116.00!
HERBALIFE - NOT THE WAY OF LIFE FOR ME!!!
It’s funny. It’s never a problem until it affects you, and when it does, it’s suddenly the biggest problem in the world. It is these sorts of things that my Herbalife experience has taught me. Being down here at the bottom of the world - New Zealand, I never saw this coming. However it is this one company that has now wasted a lot of my time and money – and I’m not the only one that has been affected. It has affected hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
It seemed simple enough. I called up a person, whose “work at home” ad I had seen in the local paper. There were many of these “work at home” ads – little did I know that they were all from the same company – Herbalife. When I called I was greeted with an answering machine, and so I left my contact details. The next day I got a phone call from a “Herbalife Distributor.” However, he didn’t introduce himself as that, in fact he didn’t even mention the word Herbalife for a long time. He was with the “Work at Home Business Centre”, and was here to “help me make a lot of money.”
Well, I fell for it, it was convincing. Little did I know that the same speech he had used on me, he was using up to 10 times a day on many other people from around the world. But most of us have heard of this “work from home” scam, they know that it doesn’t work, because if it did, why wouldn’t everybody be taking advantage of it? I hadn’t heard of it before, and it sounded great, so that weekend I went along and met my “sponsor.” $220 later, I had registered with the company, had an 'International Business Pack' and some “weight loss” products, which my sponsor had sold me. He told me I needed to lose some weight, well I didn’t, but he convinced me that I needed to start taking this stuff.
I had spent $220 and off I went, deciding that my best approach would be to start small and build my business up – "Herbalife has a money back guarantee", my sponsor told me, "so I’ve got 3 months to get started, and if it still doesn’t work, I will take it all back, and get my money back”, was my strategy.
Back home I was ecstatic - I was going to be rich, and make my $5000 a month, within the next week or so. I tried to watch the videos that came with the pack, but they were meaningless. There was no way in hell I was going to wear a badge that said “lose weight now, ask me how”, and they were expecting me to sell this stuff to my friends and complete strangers. I couldn’t take the products myself, so how would I ever be able to sell it to other people!
Now don’t get me wrong here, so far its sounded like I haven’t put in any effort. But I did, I eventually wore the badge, and tried my hardest to sell this stuff to my friends, but they wouldn’t buy it, especially at the price that I was trying to get for it. “$65 for a weight loss shake, I can get it for $15 down at the supermarket, that’s a rip off” was the sort of response I got.
” Universal Saturation, Human Greed and the Company’s Bad Reputation Have Ruined Herbalife”
I started this website based on my Herbalife Experience. I was a 'Herbalife Distributor'. I was a Supervisor for 3 months, and in that time I uncovered everything I needed to know about this company to know that it is a scam. Through being a Herbalife Distributor I lost close to $2000. The goods I purchased were overpriced, and ineffective, and although the company offers guarantees for Distributors, these are nothing more than tips and tricks to get you to sign up. From the Day you sign up in Herbalife, you will spend the rest of the time trying to make up for the money that you have lost.
I have since resigned as a Herbalife Distributor, and have spent my time trying work out exactly why I failed as a Herbalife Distributor. After reading hundreds of articles on the Internet, and researching dozens of Herbalife Court Cases, I have come up with the following conclusion about Herbalife.
99% of Herbalife Distributors will lose money with Herbalife, based on the following 3 facts:
1. Universal Saturation – There are too many Distributors and not enough customers. Herbalife doesn't know or care if your area is already saturated. You have made all of the investment. They don't take any of the blame for totally overbooking your market with distributors.
2. Human Greed – Most Distributors are just there to make a quick buck. They don’t care who they sell their products to and when recruiting want nothing more than for you to sign up and spend money on buying thousands of dollars worth of stock. They don’t care how well you do, they just want to get paid themselves by convincing you to spent thousands of dollars on overpriced weight loss products
3. Herbalife’s Bad Reputation – For years Herbalife has been referred to as nothing but a Pyramid Scheme. Because of this, as well as the many Herbalife Court Cases, the scandals involving the safety of Herbalife products and the number of people being ripped off by Herbalife, the company has built up one of the worst reputations of all the multi-level marketing companies. So many people have failed to make money as a Herbalife Distributor that most people refuse to get involved, let alone purchase Herbalife products.