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Reader Story: A Co-Worker’s Sad Tale

February 15, 2012

On this site, you’ll find a growing number of stories from former TEAM members about the dangers of the TEAM. The LIFE website, on the other hand, has a section devoted to testimonials from current members. Whom is one to believe? The LIFE stories, most of which follow a similar pattern1 of, “My life sucked, but now it’s better because of LIFE,” or the reader stories here, which can be summarized with, “TEAM (Amway/Quixtar/MonaVie/LIFE) eventually became a nightmare that I had to get out of” ?

If pro-TEAM members tell prospects that they can’t believe everything they read on the Internet, shouldn’t that apply to the TEAM LIFE testimonials as well? I encourage everyone to read the pro and con accounts and make up their own mind.

Here’s a powerful and chilling story from Katie about her short experience in TEAM and her observations of TEAM’s effects on her former co-worker, Gary.

It’s been great seeing so many people coming together and sharing their experiences on your blog recently. I wanted to share a story with you, and I think it’s important to share, because it’s an example of how far someone can fall even without being a Policy Council member, diamond, or any kind of kingpin in the business like the Peters or the Morgans. It’s about my friend and former co-worker whom I’ll call Gary.

Gary and I were co-workers who shared a cubicle together in 2009. At work, he introduced me to MonaVie by offering me an EMV energy drink. A couple of months later, he sprang the TEAM/MonaVie plan on me at a dinner that I believed was a celebration dinner for him getting a new job at another company. At that time, I did not join or even contemplate joining TEAM. However, a few months later, after I also got hired on at Gary’s new company (at his recommendation, no less), he kept inviting me to go to TEAM meetings, and I caved. I really liked Gary as a friend, and felt bad constantly saying that I couldn’t make it to the Tuesday night opens. Eventually he convinced me to go to a seminar in Wisconsin, which was about a 5 hour round trip drive for me, and on a work night. What possessed me to agree to that? I’ll never know.

I digress. This story is not about me. What I do know is that as Gary and I grew closer while going to meetings, seminars, and driving around showing plans, both he and I started drifting further away from our REAL jobs at our company. It was harder to wake up in the morning and harder to sit at the desk all day when we were being brainwashed to think that some day we could be job-optional and never have to go back. Gary confided in me last February that he had had a bad performance review at work, and that it was motivating him even more to “make the thing work” so he could help his wife retire, and then retire himself. Meanwhile, he was “Sharing The Plan” with more and more people around the office, trying to bring people on board. He succeeded with a few, and scared a few more off. He mentioned to me that he wanted to Show the Plan to our department’s general manager, stating that it is important to approach people who intimidate you because it builds character.

In May of last year, I told Gary that I was quitting TEAM. I wished him all the best and told him that I had tried it for 3 months, from one major to the next, but that I could no longer be a part of his future in the business.

After I quit, the TEAM inside our office kept growing like some kind of weed. I would see books and CDs laying on the desks of new hires as Gary or one of the others would approach them as fresh meat to recruit. The refrigerator in the break room was full of MonaVie EMVs. As I recently found out, several of our coworkers were being harassed by TEAM members pressuring them to sign up, buy things, and go to meetings, refusing to take “no” for an answer. One of my co-workers who had said no to the plan and was getting sick of the pressure finally spoke to our supervisors about it around July. Although I was out, there was no escaping it.

This past month, he was quietly asked to leave the office and not to come back. They took his badge and dismissed him. I cannot imagine the shame of having to go home to his wife and two children, including a new 4-month old girl, and tell them what happened. Obviously I am not in his shoes and do not know if there was something else going on that caused him to get fired, but from my perspective, much of the responsibility lies in his involvement with TEAM/MonaVie, now known as TEAM/LIFE. It gave him a bad attitude. He discussed it and recruited people AT WORK, which TEAM strongly advises against because things like this will happen. He may have even approached our management and supervisors, and I don’t care how motivated you are in this business, the one sure way to leave your job early is to tell your boss that you want to get out of your job early! TEAM preaches about making people leaders in their homes and in the workplace, so that when your retirement day comes, your boss will offer you a raise just to stay. TEAM fails to mention how they turn ordinary, hard working people into brainwashed slaves that can’t keep a job in real life because their heads are in the clouds. Gary went from being a strong employee at work, on whose recommendation I was initially hired, to being fired in the middle of a week and never being seen again.

The real kicker is this: exactly one week after being fired gracelessly from our comfortable, well-paying, 40 hour a week job, Gary texted me and asked if I would be interested in attending a TEAM/LIFE seminar in Wisconsin. I typed and deleted a number of responses to this and finally settled on a firm, “No thank you, and please don’t ask me again.” It breaks my heart and almost brings me to tears of fury that he is selling his soul and his childrens’ futures to these monsters in TEAM/LIFE. His family of four is now living on a teacher’s salary and whatever they are making from LIFE, which I would be willing to bet is less than they are spending on it.

My point of sharing Gary’s story is this: it’s not just the big pins that fall hard. The last I knew, Gary was a Turbo 10. At the time I quit, he had not obtained any level past bronze in MonaVie. He is a good man and a good leader, but he was not a millionaire and not even close to being able to retire. THIS BUSINESS DESTROYS LIVES ON ITS OWN. You don’t have to get on your upline’s bad side to destroy everything you have worked for!

I don’t know if it is possible to share this story on your blog, but I think it is important. If nothing else, I just had to get it off my chest, because I feel like only some of the readers of your blog would really relate to this story.

What can we learn from Gary’s story?

For starters, I hope that Gary goes and looks for a new job instead of devoting all his time to trying to build his LIFE business. A job, after all, will provide a stable income for his family. Should he desire, he can continue to build his LIFE business in his spare time until it equals his former income from his job. The unfortunate fact to point out is that the majority of people will never see their MLM-income equaling their job income. He’ll always be chasing the dream one weekly meeting after the next, one monthly seminar after the next, and one Major Function after the next. He could do very well for himself to listen to Katie, who analyzed the situation and realized that the business was not working for her.

Read more Ex-TEAM Reader Stories here.


1 For example, Kirk and Cassie Birtles share their story on the LIFE testimonials page, but they neglect to mention that, after years of being involved with TEAM, after years of listening to the CD’s and reading the finance books, they still foreclosed on their home in 2010.

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. I QUIT (and glad I did) permalink
    February 15, 2012 6:43 am

    So sad. But I’m sure his upline is telling him to keep doing what he’s doing. If the dream is big enough the facts don’t count. He probably has been told to just keep getting better. Read more. Listen more. Show more plans. The next one could be a the next PC!! Quitters never win and winners never quit. Blah blah blah. Gary- cut the cord and get your life back. I truly hope you hear this and listen.

  2. February 15, 2012 10:21 am

    One word.

    Destructive

  3. One time Fly that sat at the Team Conference Table permalink
    February 15, 2012 10:34 am

    Sounds a lot like what was going on at the TEAM Home Office, a temp hire would come in and before lunch one of the warehouse guys would be showing the plan on a friggin napkin!! We were all brainwashed! Sad.

  4. February 15, 2012 11:37 am

    That is so freaky – the part about looking at everyone as fresh meat, you try and get as many people as possible into the team, and that’s basically the only reason you get to know people once you join TEAM. I remember my upline telling me to even try and be friendly with people in a Tim Horton’s lineup and try and get their number, then call them a week later…reeks terrible of “ulterior motives”.

  5. webelieved permalink
    February 15, 2012 11:42 am

    Wow! Thanks for sharing Katie. In my opinion it is sad how Team burns through people and leaves a path of destruction in it’s wake in so many peoples’ lives. You were right, it doesn’t matter what level people hit, they all will be hurt in one way or another. I.e. financially, mentally, emotionally, lower self esteem, trust, in their relationships etc.
    I am so sad to hear about your friend and his family. I was wondering does Gary’s wife like that he is with the Team?

  6. webelieved permalink
    February 15, 2012 11:43 am

    Izzy- Who is Tim Horton? Is he a crossline or something?

  7. webelieved permalink
    February 15, 2012 11:57 am

    Katie- It is sad that part of the indoctrination to get one to build the business is to get prospects to believe their lives suck, their jobs suck and they are slaves to their bosses and the “45 year plan” endlessly trading time for money. The group needs to create this need, so prospects have a reason to build the business. Once one gets rid of their job and “retires”, Team will own them financially and mentally. They will have nothing left outside to keep them independent from the group and than they have to do the bidding of their upline, to keep their incomes. In effect they have become dependent on the group for their thinking and incomes.

    ** All comments on this site are my opinions based on years of experience with Orrin Woodward, his leaders and Team (now called LIFE).

  8. February 15, 2012 12:14 pm

    This is me.

    This is my story.

    I did exactly what Gary did, so many times, over and over and over.

    I personally blew through over 12 jobs in a timeframe of 8 years while plugged into the Team system.

    This is EXACTLY what the business did to me yet someone on Team would object, “WAIT! The business didn’t do that to you, you did this to yourself!:…

    …….and I’d say to them, NO no no. I take and took responsibility for my actions, but you can’t escape the tweeking in your belief system which “The System” of CDs/seminars and socializing at meetings with other Team members does to a person.

    OVER 12 jobs?? Why? Because my mind, heart and work ethic was not into anything else except my ‘buinsess’. I was putting all my eggs in ONE basket, and that basaket was eventually going to produce a Golden Egg. I believed. I hoped. I wished. But the bills kept coming in regardless.

    Over 8 years… my highest gross annual income was $60k.

    When I left Team and focused for two years on my career, my gross annual income shot over $160k.

    I personally relate more to this story than anything else. And I have all the proof to prove it. Income tax returns, business receipts, business cards from all my past employers and friends that could testify that I changed in line with my timeframe.

    Its very sad but true.

  9. webelieved permalink
    February 15, 2012 12:26 pm

    KC- Was your 60K gross income from your job or from Team?

  10. Vogel permalink
    February 15, 2012 12:37 pm

    Great story! Thanks for sharing.

    FYI, Tim Horton was an NHL hockey start who died in a tragic car accident at the peak of his career. His name is especially famous in Canada for Tim Horton’s Donut’s — a beloved Canadian institution (they are a kind and donut loving people).

  11. das permalink
    February 15, 2012 1:56 pm

    Yes you are correct Vogel…there is even a Tim Hortons in Grand Blanc, MI right down the road from the Spanish mansion that Bill Lewis owes delinquent taxes on. 🙂 hahahahaha

  12. Katie permalink
    February 15, 2012 2:32 pm

    Webelieved – His wife is totally on board with TEAM/LIFE. I am hoping maybe this recent shake up might change her mind, but since I’m not on TEAM anymore I am not close with her any longer so I don’t know. I can only hope! I am also hoping it scares away some of his downline, but it’s hard to say.

    KC – you are definitely not alone. Thanks for sharing your story as well! I am glad you were able to get away from TEAM and make a wonderful living for yourself. 🙂

  13. Speak Your Truth permalink
    February 15, 2012 5:10 pm

    Katie~

    Thanks for sharing Gary’s story, it will help people see and understand the truth and how sad and destructive it is in all areas of your life. Gary will eventually find out he can’t continue,to “invest his families personal income” it runs out and you become buried in debt. It is important for all levels of people to share their stories and agree with you all are hurt. I hope others will come forward and continue to share their stories also.

    The destruction that everyone experiences is at different levels and I believe the only ones who make money are the PC, it is designed that way. I was a RT and could show you that financially it wasn’t much different after all the costs such as losses we were responsible for opens, seminars, eating tools, our income after expenses, and much more and was definitely less than any income we made on a job! It was no better off than the rest because the more people, the more expenses they put on you and to keep your business running. The money churing machine sucks everyone dry and sadly emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, are the worse price everyone pays. Hope Gary and his wife see this sooner rather than later!

    KC~

    Thanks also to you for sharing and as with everyone; it is probably only a fraction of what has been really experienced; especially the years that people dedicate to this lie, it would take a book to write everything down! You are right the Lie..f..ers will ‘blame’ you for everything, then turn around and take the credit for your success! They would say the reason your income increased was because you learned sooo much and were taught how to have a good attitude, and think, etc. They want and refuse any responsiblity for their deceptive coercion, lying to others, and bogus pay plan but want all the credit for the good in people’s lives.

  14. Speak Your Truth permalink
    February 15, 2012 5:16 pm

    das~

    How in God’s green earth could that be possible? A PC, that is buying exspensive cars and living the luxurious lifestyles of the rich and infamous because the “business opportunity” provides so much income at that level, or so they would like everyone to ‘believe’; are behind on property taxes? Hmm….

  15. February 15, 2012 7:29 pm

    @Das – I don’t see any evidence that the Lewis’ are behind in their property taxes today. They may (or may not) have been delinquent in the past, but it does not look to be the case right now.

  16. What the??? permalink
    February 16, 2012 6:33 am

    Just an evangelical Christian thought here ~ something that always disturbed me when I was in MLM was the sharing of the business. I thought as Christians we were to be sharing the gospel, which I think most Christians find to be quite a challenging thing. I always wondered how exactly I was supposed to share this business with people when I struggled with sharing the gospel. I just have a hard time believing that these people are the good Christians they claim to be when they are more interested in sharing a “business” that will take their time and money than they are in sharing the gospel, which is totally free.

  17. Vogel permalink
    February 16, 2012 8:38 am

    That’s an excellent question. It seems that OW and company want to knock that bible out of your hands and replace it with a bottle of snakeoil juice and a motivational CD.

  18. Freedomhaha permalink
    February 16, 2012 9:56 am

    What the???- One of the huge red flags is when my Dad a great Christian man said the same exact thing after seeing the plan. It made me take a second look and then found Amthrax. Spreading the truth on here is like spreading the Gospel in some ways because it can help people to disassociate it with MLM/TEAM/LIEf scam!

  19. ExAmbot permalink
    February 16, 2012 11:14 am

    @What the??? said
    “I just have a hard time believing that these people are the good Christians they claim to be…”

    Now I don’t understand you – these are scammers and are doing what scammers do. Not hard to understand. The gospel and christianity is a tool towards the end-scamming others. Was there, got scammed, scammed others, got the tshirt, loosed it if u will, after my veil was lifted. There is much evil, unfortunately, that has been perpetrated on others in the name of christianity.

  20. ExAmbot permalink
    February 16, 2012 11:14 am

    @Vogel
    “It seems that OW and company want to knock that bible out of your hands and replace it with a bottle of snakeoil juice and a motivational CD.”

    So that you can “help” others bring their wives home blah blah.

    Mlm HELP version is an MLM remnant the sound of which I still detest! And I doubt it’s just me.

  21. February 16, 2012 11:39 am

    @What the???

    “Christians should not do MLM!”

    From a regretful pastor I met recently who’s church was brought down by his introduction and involvement in MLM. Unfortunately, the ugly MLM tentacles ensnared and brought down three (or four I forget) other churches. All thanx to his newly MLM involved-flock who knew friends/members in the other churches.

  22. Finally permalink
    February 16, 2012 11:51 am

    Amthrax, he may be caught up now but about a week ago Gennesse county had him listed as his property taxes being delinquent. We saw it on the county site.

  23. webelieved permalink
    February 16, 2012 11:57 am

    Finally- I saw it too, I wonder if he just paid them? I swear it said delinquent at the top of the page.

  24. February 16, 2012 1:02 pm

    Wow I can’t bleieve I didn’t subscribe to this post. No wonder I wasn’t getting updates in my email. Anyway, Vogel is right, Tim Horton’s cafe and doughnut shop is a Canadian icon and that’s where we gather. Heck, we coulda done a lot better business-wise by opening up Tim Horton’s franchaises! XD

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, religion don’t belong in business. I should’ve stopped my upline right there when she said it was Christian. As a Messianic Jewish believer, I’m not even supposed to work on Shabbat, and here I am feeling guilty for breaking Shabbat because of the Saturday afternoon seminars. It offended me big time to have the Bible twisted around to suit some prosperity gospel that Woodward obviously indirectly promoted.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis is still owing back taxes anyway. All the other pc guys are. Well, haven’t heard much about that Hamilton fella, though.

  25. February 16, 2012 1:31 pm

    @velizabethwhite: In addition to subscribing to comment notifications on a per-post basis, you can subscribe to receive an email every time there’s a new post on the site. Look in the upper-right hand side of the page for, “Follow Amthrax via Email.”

  26. Itsapauling permalink
    February 16, 2012 7:47 pm

    Maybe PC Bill got a nice profit sharing check after this last “major” and paid his taxes instead of adding to his car collection… or maybe he had to sell a couple of cars… =^(

  27. February 25, 2012 11:53 pm

    so if these Team Life advocates came into my place of work. and managed to convince me to buy a book also a membership………….can i opt out or is this going to be a problem….??? any infos appreciated.

  28. February 26, 2012 8:26 am

    Supposedly, LIFE provides a 30-day money back guarantee. I suggest you take them up on their offer.

  29. Freedomhaha permalink
    February 26, 2012 9:09 am

    Good call Jason. I suggest you check out the Amthrax post on how to get the books they offer for just a fraction of the price.

    [Editor’s note: Read this post about the Top 50 book list and how to get them cheaper.]

  30. Lynda permalink
    March 16, 2012 8:35 pm

    I was just asked to join LIFE and was to make a decision by tomorrow morning. Your story and all the comments have made me to go with my gut feeling which was not to join!! Thank you so much to all of you. I think more concentration should be on spreading the gospel, not spreading a business. I feel sorry for all who have not looked into it, and instead were trapped by someone they thought they could trust.

  31. March 19, 2012 2:34 pm

    @Lynda – Thanks for sharing your story. Your comment was in moderation, and I just got around to approving it now.

  32. Speak Your Truth permalink
    March 19, 2012 3:54 pm

    Lynda~

    I too appreciate you sharing! I am glad to see people are listening to their ‘gut’. If more would do that, it would save a lot of losses. The Team LIEfers would like others to believe Amthrax site is the problem or those on here are just losers, quitters, negative, haters, who have never been ‘successful’ or ‘built’ the Team and people talk others out of ‘joining’. Just not true. As you stated our experiences and the facts only confirm what you already knew. 🙂

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