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Reader Story: The Ultimatum – Support Us/TEAM or We Shut You Out Of Our Life!

February 17, 2012

First-time commenter, Natalie, shared a whopper of a story on how her parents have become willing slaves to the TEAM/LIFE business. The ties of blood no longer matter, having been replaced by the ties of money, greed, and TEAM LIFE. The ultimatum her parents gave to her is about the worst thing that a brainwashed MLM member can say to friends and family. Read on for the details:

Thank you Everyone for sharing your personal accounts of your experiences with TEAM/LIFE. As Amthrax and Speak Your Truth mentioned, if only there was one phrase or story to which people could related to to life the shroud of secrecy that Orrin et. al. are so very good at using to blind people from the truth; that this is an unfair, and unsustainable business model.

I think instead of just one story, the only way the light of truth can shine through Orrin’s fog is more and more people coming forward with their stories and Amthrax, your blog is a tremendous asset and platform to encourage people to come forward with their stories without fear of persecution (or litigation) from current TEAM/LIFE bullies.

I’ve been personally involved with Quixtar/TEAM/MonaVie in Claude & Lana Hamilton’s network. It was my parents who got me involved. For whatever personal reasons they have, they are completely sold on the idea that TEAM/LIFE is the ONLY answer to financial freedom. They’ve been involved with Claude since 2003, still are, and have made NO MONEY. When I ask my Mother ‘why do you think you haven’t seen success at this yet?” To which she replied “Because your Father and I still have growing to do. We need to change.”

This is the saddest part of this organization that has been discussed many, many times on this blog: The cognitive dissonance distributors experince between constantly being told “You can do it. You can have what I have. Just do what I do. Follow the system.” and when they do that yet no success materializes, distributors are told “You haven’t improved yourself enough. You haven’t grown.” and then…”Here’s a CD, book, ticket to a seminar.” Distributor loses more money, PC gets richer.

This is, I think the crux of why people like Orrin, Chris, Tim, Claude are a bane to free enterprise. They are cockroach capitalists. They are diliberatly proliferating an unsustainable business model, only profitable to those at the top, because of a few loopholes in the legislation regarding MLMs. They’re also purposefully exploiting people’s insecurities, wants, desires, dreams to acheive their own goals, not the goals of others as they so vehemently preach. The crowning acheivement of the PC, and Orrin, is creating a community of people blindly devoted to financial superiority.

I’ve been out of TEAM/MonaVie for quite a few years now (of which my money thanks me for) and have noticed a staunch change in my own thinking. I was free to think critically again. However, knowing my parents are still involved in this business, I began researching the MLM model which led me to this blog amongst others. I finally mustered enough courage to address the facts (i.e. the Policy & Procedures doc, and the LIFE Compensation Plan) with my parents. I sent them an email containing my thoughts and their response was, either you support us in this endeavour or never speak of it again. They completely ignored their own flesh and blood and couldn’t even condescend to have a frank conversation about the facts. They perceive anything critical of TEAM/LIFE, even if it’s supported by evidence, as a negative point of view which is completely non sequiteur. Facts don’t involve emotions. Yet another example of how well Orrin and his flock employs a convolution of certain (strategic) values with the actual business model.

Most recently, I posted on my parents and Claude’s Twitter the question “What’s up with this?” and a link to Amthrax’s post ‘Do As I Say, Not What I Do…[Updated]. Litterally, within a half hour, my Mother calls me to ask me if there’s any way I can remove that Twitter message. She told me how Claude had called her about this and was disappointed that I didn’t call him directly as his ‘friend’ to talk about this. I thought the use of ‘friend’ was a particularly low technique…I haven’t seen this guy in years, have never sat down over beers or coffee and talked about non-TEAM related things…how is that friendship? Accordingly, ‘friends’ would have no problem responding to a simple question, publically or not. During this conversation things became emotional and heated, of course, because to a TEAMster who is fully submersed in the cult, any form of dissent is a direct attack on them.

Something else interesting arose during that conversation with my Mother; this has already been mentioned on this blog before but, she told me ‘they’ (I’m assuming she meant the PC and/or the TEAM grunts) are ‘watching’ this blog. Which, I think is great! Their attention is indicative of their worry about dissenting voices having resonnance with people. Needless to say, I never got a response and Claude promtly removed my Twitter message from his feed.

In closing, I can’t thank enough Amthrax and Everyone who posts on this blog for taking the time to share their thoughts, experiences in public. This, I feel, will be the key not only moving the conversation in a healthly direction about how MLM schemes affect folks, but will be key in even starting a conversation! As we all know, the ‘leaders’ (a very loose term) on TEAM/LIFE don’t really like to talk about REAL truth like they portray themselves to. They prefer instead, their own message of persuasion presented as ‘truth’. Slowly, but surely, the real truth is coming to the surface…

This story is just sad and heartbreaking to read. The odds are stacked heavily against Natalie’s parents succeeding in the business, regardless of how many CD’s they listen to, how many functions they attend, or how many plans they show. Eight years is a long time to be in a business in which they’re making ZERO money.

Fortunately, because Natalie is a former member of TEAM/Quixtar/MonaVie, she is well positioned to help her parents should they eventually decide to leave the business. She knows what it’s like to lose her critical thinking skills and gain them back; while her parents might not want to have anything more to do with her, she’ll be there for them when they wise up.

Read More Reader Stories »

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie permalink
    February 17, 2012 6:52 am

    Natalie, thank you so much for sharing! I am so sorry for your situation but I am glad that you are able to see the truth. I hope your parents are able to come around before they get seriously hurt.

    I also wanted to say, as far as your phrase “capitalist cockroaches,” did you make that up?? I love it!!!

    Additionally, Claude calling your mother to tell her that he was disappointed in you… classic. He still makes it HER fault and HER failure by calling her out on it even though you’re an adult and are free to make your own decisions and say whatever you want on a public forum. But I guess that’s part of the new TEAM/LIFE rules and regulations, isn’t it? I am nervous to see what he calls and says to her once he sees this blog post!

    Best of luck, Natalie!

  2. February 17, 2012 10:08 am

    HA! So the truth is out – Woodward and Co are watching this blog. Straight from the horse’s mouth. That confirms everyone’s hunch. Hey Woodward…now that I know you read this blog I wanna tell ya something – You did one thing good ……. you taught us how to live frugally, and to cut corners in our finances. Good practical advise. That’s the ONLY good thing you taught us, dude. Then you manipulate us into using whatever other money we have plus credit available, to buy more tools. Anyway, I been out of TEAM for a coupla years now, and guess what? I’m applying the same principle you guys taught us – AND PAYING DOWN THE PRINCIPLE OF MY DEBT!!!!

    To Natalie, thanks for sharing your story and I’m really sorry to hear about the ultimatum, it’s not fair that TEAM is doing this to your family. That’s another point against Woodward and Co – they say they’re family-and-relationship oriented but obviously they’re breaking families and relationships apart. Hang in there you have people here supporting you! (HUGS)

  3. February 17, 2012 10:09 am

    Natalie,

    I could not agree with you more about the double speak that goes on in the Team. They rope you in with “You’re awesome! You can do it!” comments, but then proceed to chip away at your self-confidence so you’ll buy more tools, all the while making you feel that you’re just one more CD away from exploding and that the next seminar will give you what it takes to hit the next level.

    It’s a fine line between encouraging you enough to stay in the business and discouraging you enough to make you feel you need to stay on system for at least another month. Orrin is a master of deception and he walks that line very well. Kudos to you for figuring this out. I have faith that your parents will figure it out as well. You planted the seed by bringing some facts to their attention, let’s just hope it takes root and grows quickly!

    Keep the faith!

  4. switch permalink
    February 17, 2012 11:07 am

    Geeez….their own daughter shunned and flushed down the drain. How unfortunate. And for what exactly? To be a pathological liar for years to come?

    This story should have the PC standing proud. Ask yourself, PC, does this make you happy and satisfied that this couple has acted so a$inine towards their own daughter?

    This is a CLASSIC example of how the kids see EVERYTHING in their parents lives. If they’ve shunned their own daughter out their lives, what else is she seeing out of them since 2003, and being involved with team? I’ll bet some TALL cash, it’s not exactly all sunshine and rainbows.

    By far, one of the saddest stories I’ve ever come across on this forum.

  5. February 17, 2012 11:12 am

    @Platinum Blond – The fine line you speak of is perfectly exemplified in Orrin’s post on Learning Through Failure. Just keep failing in TEAM LIFE and one day you will succeed! It’s safe here, because we’re all failing in this together!

    I hope Natalie’s parents can see the light sooner rather than later.

  6. February 17, 2012 11:15 am

    It’s interesting to note that Claude Hamilton is now “following” this blog. Natalie’s parents will do well to follow his example and to read all the content on this site.

  7. Natalie permalink
    February 20, 2012 8:16 am

    Thank you for the support and comments Everyone!

    @Katie – Unfortunately I cannot take credit for the term ‘capitalist cockroaches’. Kevin O’Leary inspired that one! MLMs/Pyrimid Schemes are the product of a hyper-capitalist, hyper-materialistic state of mind. The very nature of what MLMs promise to the ‘new guy’ is materialistic to the very core. Every relationship formed in the MLM organization is predicated on money and the pursuit of money. Proponents of MLMs like Claude and Orrin and everyone else at the top are cockroaches because as a marketing paradigm, they know MLMs are unfair and unsustainable but they present the MLM model to people as a viable business option. They lurk around typically unseen to outsiders of their organization waiting for an opportunity to pick up another unsuspecting target who may be down on their luck and bring them into the fold using the most underhanded sales tactics I’ve ever seen. They jab, jab, jab, people into becoming involved by using euphemisms, jokes, and exploit people’s wants/dreams/desires, and every other dirty persuasive trick in the book and then call these ‘sales techniques’. They use circular and distracting arguments to overcome objections…meaning they just distract people when they ask a direct question about the business model. They purposefully obfuscate and distract people from the reality of the MLM by focusing on all of this leadership and culture nonsense instead of the reality of the math behind an MLM. The only reason why MLMs are even legal is because of the guise of a product being marketed ‘directly’ to consumers instead of through other lines of distribution (wholesale, retail). But just because something is legal, doesn’t always make it right, or ethical…

    I love business. I love entrepreneurship and am a small business owner. A real business…not a scheme that fools people. The way my business grows is by being as open, transparent, accountable to my clients, and honest as possible. I hate it when people like Orrin gives the rest of us entrepreneurs a bad name by the unethical way he operates.

  8. Freedomhaha permalink
    February 20, 2012 10:03 am

    Natalie- To even call teamsters entrepreneurs is disingenuous to those of us trying to build real small businesses.

  9. Natalie permalink
    February 20, 2012 12:05 pm

    @Freedomhaha – Couldn’t agree with you more friend.

  10. rickdg permalink
    February 20, 2012 2:04 pm

    Welcome Natalie,

    Your story is sad, but there are a lot more stories already shared here and stories that haven’t came to light. I love how you explain the whole motivation of Orrin and Co.

    You make it real clear. thanks!

    “This is, I think the crux of why people like Orrin, Chris, Tim, Claude are a bane to free enterprise. They are cockroach capitalists. They are diliberatly proliferating an unsustainable business model, only profitable to those at the top, because of a few loopholes in the legislation regarding MLMs. They’re also purposefully exploiting people’s insecurities, wants, desires, dreams to acheive their own goals, not the goals of others as they so vehemently preach. The crowning acheivement of the PC, and Orrin, is creating a community of people blindly devoted to financial superiority.”

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