Reader Story: Help Roy Talk Some Sense Into His Friend
Here’s another reader story from over the weekend. Roy is looking for tips on how to talk some sense into his friend who’s been involved with TEAM for the past several years (starting with MonaVie and now with LIFE).
[Editor’s Note: I have made some slight changes for clarity and easier readability in Roy’s letter below.]
After having read through many of the postings on your site, teamscam and doing a lot of individual research on my own I have decided to contact you – and hopefully others involved – for assistance.
This may get a little long and I apologize but I’ll be as brief as I can…
A friend of mine and his wife have been in Monavie for over 2 years. They approached me about 18 months ago with a “great business opportunity” and since they knew I was a good businessman — I have owned a manufacturing company in the Midwest for 12 years, nothing large, just 14 employees but a legit business with a national market — they thought this would be a perfect fit for me. I put them off for about 6 months until finally asbout a year ago I told them that I wanted absolutely nothing to do with an MLM business — a relative of mine had gotten me into A.L. Williams in the late ’80s so I was very familiar with the principle and knew it was something I would avoid for the rest of my life. There was a couple months of no contact but then things returned to normal between us. You see, he, his wife, my wife and I all graduated from the same high school class. Although we don’t live in the same community we do get together a few times throughout the year.
We wound up getting together at their house in the middle of January. I had hoped to wait a while longer, but we couldn’t work out a later date, as they were going to Columbus, OH for a weekend. We had a great time, played games and talked about the “good old days.” They had been fixing up their home and it was beautiful so we chatted a bit about that too. At the end of the night we were saying our good byes and I told them to have a safe trip to Columbus. They shared a smile and said they were really looking forward to the trip.
In early February, out of the blue I got a call from the husband who asked if he could stop by on the 15th to see my place of business; he was travelling through and had always wanted to see what we do. I agreed. He stopped by, I showed him around and we talked for a while. Then he said he had something in his car that he though I should have. He went out anc came back in with a red-covered cd, “Freedom Shift” or “Freedom Matters,” something like that, by Oliver DeMille. He told me to take a listen and that he would get back to me in a couple of days. So I listened to it…
Wow, as soon as it was done I looked up Oliver DeMille and see that he has a somewhat troubled career and his university has been under some clouds. I then looked up the-life-business.com and things became somewhat clear. I remembered a name from the cd – Orrin – so I did a “life business orrin” search and found a lot more, including your blog site. I also saw that some type of seminar or U-Rah-Rah meeting had taken place in Columbus, OH during the time they were there. I could not believe that these guys were trying to lure me back into an MLM business. After take a couple days to cool down I sent the following message to him via text on 2/18/12 – “Ok. Listened to the cd u offered. Now in fairness I would ask u 2 read this article from forbes magazine – www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0811/050.html.” The crickets chirped for a few days.
Finally, on the 23rd, I sent this email to them:
I did not send the Forbes article to you to be a personal affront so I hope it wasn’t interpreted to be that. I don’t try to judge anyone, especially on what they chose to do to try to make some extra money (unless it involves drugs or something similarly illegal). I know that when you asked me about Mona Vie (sp) I said that I don’t have any desire whatsoever to be involved with any multi-level marketing deal. I was a little disappointed to learn that this was also. It’s just not for me – at all. What you do is totally up to you and that’s okay by me. To be honest, I’m a little fascinated by what the attraction to it is for you. Anyway, I wasn’t trying to personally offend anyone.”
Later that day I received this response:
I have to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. We are selling the house and I have not payed much attention to anything else. As for being offended, you did not offend me. I have heard it all. The article was very slanted and to tell you the truth it made me chuckle, talk about trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. If you really want to know who Orrin Woodward is then take a look at his leadership blog and judge him on what he stands for, not from some liberal “journalist” who is trying to save the world. (sidebar: Orrin is the #7 leadership guru in the world and just won the IAB award as the #1 leadership person in business) Orrin speaks out against the media often so it does not surprise me when articles are written about him. I would not expect you to join me in trying to help people with their problems. The cd I gave you was just to give you awareness of what is going on in this country, I certainly did not intend to have you join
anything. Good information is good information. How you decide to help is completely up to you, I just hope you (and others) who are good people decide to do something before it is too late.
As for the business I am in: at least 10 people have a better understanding about finances, 2 marriages have been saved, 1 person is no longer a substance abuser, and that is just what has happened in our business alone. Multiply that by a few thousand and you have a lot people being helped. I have become a better person, my marriage has become stronger, and my relationship with my children is the best it has ever been. I am not being scammed and I am not scamming anyone (like the article said). The information is the best in the world for helping with Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Following, Freedom ( which is very important to me), Friends, and Fun. If you ever need any help in any of these, I can refer some great information to you.
If you ever want to talk about what was wrong in the article just let me know. Again I am not offended and look forward to seeing you again. I am interested in what you thought about the cd, I will be coming through again on Wednesday and will stop by and pick the cd up. Thanks.”
So back to the internet, and in about an hour I was sure the IAB was nothing more than another MLM business (which I see you guys have already discerned) selling “insurance” and that the voting is public for the top “guru”. So many things I heard and read say this is utterly a scam but why does my pal not see it for that? After reading the testimony of so many others on the Amthrax site I can see why he fails to see through the logic presented against TEAM and LIFE (appropriately names Lie(f) by many). Due to the “cult” environment and manipulation put on by those in the leadership roles, I can see why they would continue to follow down that path. I do not understand it based on my own un-indocrinated POV, but for someone as deep into it as they seem to be I can see why they fail to comprehend what to me is obvious and becomes clear to many others after spending time, money and energy in it. There’s more psychology coming at them then I ever thought there could be.
Two things in his email have me quite concerned.
First, they are selling their house. What?? We were there only a month ago fawning over it and not a single thing was said about it being put on the market — then or in the near future. Not that it’s any of our business but that just made absolutely no sense. Second, his 5 word sentence of “I have heard it all.” When I discuss my business, there NEVER comes a point in the conversation when I feel I have to say something like that. Why? Because its a real business and people are not looking at what I do with utter skepticism from the onset. There is a lot more wrong with the response but I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to keep this short.
Here is my question to you, and if you end up posting it, for you other bloggers that have been in TEAM: How can I reach this guy and help him? I believe they are selling their house because they can no longer afford it, although that is only a guess on my part. Neither he nor her have a regular “job” and by what I’ve read here I doubt that TEAM, LIFE or MonaVie are providing all that well for them. We care for their well-being but also know they are totally into this stuff. I think of it like a gambling addict that has to keep going back because they’ve stuck a ton of money into the machine and they are always just that next dollar away from the triple seven payoff. I hope you or someone can offer advice.
Please don’t include my full name or email address if you post this – I am concerned about identity theft. Not by you or bloggers on the site but by others that may be making their way through here. Please call me “Roy Bobbin”. Thank you.
Some key points from Roy’s letter:
- Roy’s friend has tried to get him involved with the TEAM MonaVie business before. Now he’s trying — despite what he says about just giving him “good information” — to get Roy involved with TEAM LIFE.
- The friend continues to use refer to Orrin Woodward’s dubious leadership “awards” from LeadershipGurus.net and the IAB.
- His friend is selling his house. I hope he didn’t get advice from his upline to become debt-free by getting rid of his mortgage and selling his house? I hope his upline isn’t encouraging him to pay for everything in cash. And, I hope his friend knows about Round Table and Policy Council members who have foreclosed on their homes and initiated strategic defaults on their properties.
- The friend talks about people in TEAM LIFE having a better understanding of finances in their lives. That’s great, but how many people are making money in this venture. If you look at how people are prospected to get into this business, it’s almost always about making money. Why is it that it always becomes about being a better person after just a few months? This is because TEAM LIFE needs to distract their members from the simple fact that no one (except for those near the top) is making any money at all.
Roy’s story shows the concern that friends and family have for those who are gripped in the clutches of TEAM. They, like many others who have shared their stories on this site, don’t want their friends to lose their house and lose their friendship.
So, is there any way for Roy to talk some sense into his friend? What’s it going to take for this couple — two plus years into TEAM MonaVie and now TEAM LIFE — to understand that this business opportunity might be doing them more harm than good?