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MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster’s TEAM/LIFE Story

March 4, 2013

Here’s a story from a new commenter about his recent TEAM/LIFE experience.

Hey all,

I have been in Team/LIFE for about six weeks. My introduction was via my cousin so that there lowered my guard. I saw the plan and it was all quite confusing. The life improvement materials “hooked” me so I took the first night pack. The CD’s sounded cool so at the follow through I signed up. When I look back I question why I gave my credit card and social insurance number at a coffee shop. A funny thing to note, when asked for my SIN I thought it was a joke and gave out a random series of numbers. Once I realized he was serious it took me some time to remember it. Likely a defence of my subconscious.

So I joined, listened to CD’s, read books, attended open meetings, and went on a road trip to a major. It was all fun stuff. During this time some walls came down and issues came out in the open between myself and members of my family. My exposure to LIFE/Team did boost my confidence. This is all during my first few weeks. At the back of my mind I still failed to see how LIFE would be a reliable method to earn money for any more than a few. Since I was in for the self improvement I brushed it off.

At this point I still had not told members of my family exactly what I was in. For one, I didn’t understand it all myself. Also, as you know, the “best” way to introduce people is via the plan. Calling my first prospect was difficult. The fact I couldn’t simply tell have what it was over the phone made it harder. He was shown the plan but didn’t sign on either way. My second booking went much easier and the plan was shown by another upline. After my upline left I asked my friend what he thought. Immediately I received a flat out no and a mention of pyramid scheme. A little over a week ago the first friend I introduced to T/L agreed to sign up (though this was more in an effort to keep an eye on me and see what I was getting in to).

Last Thursday I received my first LT subscription. I found it odd a couple of the CD’s kept referencing MV instead of LIFE. This sparked me to do my first bit of research. Talk of pyramid scheme was making me uneasy. I started reading the Canadian laws regarding MLM’s. Of course I was hesitant to read any criticism as “DON’T READ CRITICISM” is at the front of my mind. A seed of doubt in my mind was beginning to sprout. The following night my brother came to me and wanted to discuss his own research on T/L. I was open to hear what he had to say, Amthrax was one of the sites he walked me through. What I saw did not surprise me, only confirmed what I was not able to admit.

My time with “Life Training” was brief and educational. This is the first time I was exposed to a cult atmosphere. It’s a lot like a sunburn, easy to avoid with the right thinking but once you let your guard down you get burned. Thankfully I only received a minor sunburn.

Well folks, this got rather lengthy, will talk to you all later.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. freedomhaha permalink
    March 4, 2013 12:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing. It is outstanding that you were able to catch yourself before you got in deeper.

  2. freedomhaha permalink
    March 4, 2013 12:25 pm

    How did you find this site? Did anything on Amthrax in particular tip you in the direction of leaving LIFE training?

  3. Jaime E permalink
    March 4, 2013 12:32 pm

    Congrats. You just saved yourself thousands of dollars of NOT joining!

  4. March 4, 2013 1:16 pm

    @freedomhaha – hamster said that his brother told him about the site.

  5. March 4, 2013 2:21 pm

    Keeping an open mind is key to real life – not TEAM/LIFE though! I’m glad you were able to see the bigger picture. The books were the best part of the experience for me, and I still have many of them, and I am VERY glad I got them on amazon for cheap instead of paying full price at a major! Glad to hear you’ve gotten something out of it in your short time but still see the reality.

  6. MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster permalink
    March 4, 2013 6:04 pm

    Hey everybody,

    Before I go any further discussing on this site I want to say I believe most the people I’ve met in TEAM so far are likely all good people. I’m still in the process of sorting out how I feel about all this. There’s a good part of me wants to believe I’m overreacting but from what I’ve read the bad outweighs the good. If by chance the vision they promote is all true then awesome, the world will become a better place. Unfortunately the risks appear too great.

    @freedomhaha: Not any one thing.

    @Katie: I agree, the books are cool. They have gotten me to think about what I’m doing with my life and as a result I’m getting more focused. In a way the CD’s did help kick me out of a rut. While I don’t mind a kick in the rear I know repetitive listening could be very damaging.

    My experience with LIFE and TEAM hasn’t been a bad one, however there were things that made me uneasy. High on the list was not being able to tell people you called what the LIFE Business was. Technically you never lied but something about it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I know if I simply was able to give a brief explanation of what the business was over the phone it would have been so much easier to make that first phone call.

    Anyways, I’m getting sleepy. I’ll give more of my thoughts on a fresher mind.

  7. Freedomhaha permalink
    March 4, 2013 6:32 pm

    Hampster- I also agree that the majority of people in LIFE are good people. The people that I worked with in my immediate upline were not knowingly doing these evil things, but the problem existed in what they did not know. Also, agree that some of the books really helped shape my life in a positive way. However, the truly outstanding information is available for free outside of LIFE Training/TEAM.

  8. Frustrated permalink
    March 4, 2013 11:20 pm

    So refreshing to hear a story of self realization and the knowledge to be strong enough to walk away. It will be storied like these that will help people who are second guessing the promises of LIEF.

  9. Mike Bickel permalink
    March 5, 2013 8:23 am

    @MiniatureGiantSpaceHamster: Right now you are seeing what everyone sees in the beginning. Lots of friendly faces, seems like a church revival or a family reunion. You ask yourself a question: “How can all these people be wrong – they seem so nice and smart and dedicated and friendly!” Then you hear all the testimonials and lots of cheering and rah-rah. What you DON’T realize while you are there, is that all the Rah-Rah is from people who recognize that there are a ton of new recruits present in the room and the least ‘discouraging work’ will make them leave like rats abandoning a sinking ship… and if they leave, the “Rah-Rah” group will all be in major trouble. It’s exactly the same technique used by Jimmy Jones where the expression “don’t drink the Kool-Aid came from. Same technique as David Koresh and the Branch Davidians used. I will just tell you that you will have a “handler” and that “handler” will ensure that you continue to work the plan and yield profits and major buckage for the upline and he/she will smile at you lovingly and encouragingly until you question anything – at which point that “handler” will grab other “handlers” and they will “smilingly and encouragingly and lovingly” will “correct” your bad beliefs and perceptions and will make sure to say things like “Does that make sense?” to ensure you nod your head and agree. If you don’t, you will be dropped like a hot potato, shunned out of the group and threatened with a lawsuit if you divulge what they are doing. I’m certainly hoping you are listening to me, but PLEASE keep your logical mind with you AT ALL TIMES and PLEASE don’t hurt any MORE people by talking them into this “drug” that called MLM. A word to the wise should be sufficient.

  10. MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster permalink
    March 5, 2013 11:42 am

    @Mike Bickel: I don’t intent to promote MLM’s as I don’t see them to be a legitimate source of income. Plus I don’t like the idea of looking at every one around me as a “prospect”. I know I was wrapped up in all the hype. I was snapped out of it, time to move on. For the people who pass through this site I’ll simply provide my opinions.

    A couple things to note, in good conscience I don’t know how I would be able to claim the expenses for those open meetings on my taxes. It’s just the same thing over and over. Another thing that puzzled me was bringing a note pad and pen. I never could see anything worth taking note of. Especially when it’s the same stuff repeated.

  11. MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster permalink
    March 5, 2013 12:30 pm

    Bucket carrying VS Pipeline Building (formerly ditch digging VS something?), my thoughts. On paper this sounds great. Unfortunately this analogy does not stack up now that I look at it. A pipeline is an inanimate object. It has no life, spouse, friends, dreams, feelings, and so on. In life the people you bring in are the pipeline. Hardly inanimate. As a bucket carrier at least I know I’m getting paid for my time (otherwise I’d walk away). As a self employed bucket carrier with employees I know the people below me will get paid before me. If my business fails I don’t drag the people below down with me.

  12. Melanie Morgan permalink
    March 5, 2013 12:57 pm

    Mike Bickle~

    Excellent, Thanks!

    MiniatureGSH- Thank You also for sharing and it is wonderful to see people THINK critically so quickly after getting “wrapped up in the hype!” You can be grateful, you saw through it!

    I do have a question though, you stated:

    “A couple things to note, in good conscience I don’t know how I would be able to claim the expenses for those open meetings on my taxes. It’s just the same thing over and over.”

    I thought the opens were “FREE?” I have seen this stated by LIFE. Could you share HOW much it is or why they are saying it is “FREE?”

    Thank You, could luck with your future!

  13. MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster permalink
    March 5, 2013 3:38 pm

    @Melanie: I believe the opens are free if you have a subscription or are on system, I forget which. If not it’s $5-10.

  14. Frustrated permalink
    March 5, 2013 3:52 pm

    I was trying to figure out how to find a meeting… where are these things held? and why can’t you simply look them up?

    I also stumbled onto the Grace Outreach site and thought it was convenient that you can simply send Woodward, Brady, and the whole list (cause the list of people in charge seems to go hand in hand with the top leaders of life) cash through their tax exempt religious organization. Why bother selling materials when you can just ask for free money.

  15. March 5, 2013 5:49 pm

    @Frustrated – Meetings used to be visible from the outside, but they put it behind a login screen some time ago. You can still see where some of top leaders are speaking in the Featured Speakers Schedule link underneath the Leadership tab.

  16. Melanie Morgan permalink
    March 5, 2013 8:38 pm

    Thanks Miniature, I appreciate that.

    Saying it is FREE without stating that it is free for ONLY certain ones, and then not say what those one’s are to me is extremely misleading and I believe it is intentional based on 13 years. I think everyone wants to have those important details!

    This IS their M.O…. same with everything, apparently they don’t think people are bright enough to get all the information at once. Just one of thousands of examples… when they said you can “earn” the Fun-In-the-Sun trip (not fun) by reaching a certain level, but know one is told until after you busted your butt to achieve that level that you earned it but also YOU get to pay to play… for the entire trip, except the hotel room! All other expenses…Plain Tickets, Food, Car Rental, were the responsibility of those who “earned it” And the worst offense was a few years after that they drew from a hat names that bought a ticket or something lame and all those people got to go for free off the profit-sharing efforts of those RT and above who still had to “earn-it” and pay their own way!

    I can honestly say I am more than grateful that I will never be a part of their lies, double standards, hypocrisy and good be more happy without it.

    I truly believe that IF they were transparent and gave the important information upfront, the attrition rates would be astronomical and they are already atrocious. Withholding info breaks trust, it doesn’t build it.Simple… treat others as they want to be treated. If they practiced what they preached that would never be the god status they raise themselves up to be, but would help their reputation naturally..They intentionally leave out information, and sometimes and would never give it out if they think it will keep people from getting started or staying, Like the odds and much more, thus foundation is built on deception.

    Thank God we never have to spend another “fun-in-the-sun-trip” or ever do anything with them again! That is the stuff that makes for much regret. I would rather of stayed home with my family or better yet taken that money and my family on vacation ,because in 13 years we never did because of the business!

    Just NOT my idea of “FUN” pretending you are on vacation to have to be around cross-line that they DON’T want you talking to and even more controlling your schedule with MORE meetings!

    Free should mean just that FREE for everyone because that is what they imply.

  17. Melanie Morgan permalink
    March 5, 2013 8:56 pm

    Their trips now in Life are not free either, far from it, it is at the expense of your downline that could just all save that money and go on a very nice vacation for what it will cost the downline collectively for one couple to go. Wonder how many of them have added up what is spent for 6 months to pay for this?

  18. MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster permalink
    March 6, 2013 4:10 am

    Here’s a few things to note, someone else will have to confirm. If memory serves me right my very first open meeting was free as I was a guest. The next four were included in the signup fee. There may have been a monthly open included but I can’t be sure.

    In hindsight that notepad would have been great for taking down all these little details.

  19. MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster permalink
    March 6, 2013 4:24 am

    I like to try and keep the people out of my discussions but there’s one thing about Orrin I observed. He could have made a big name for himself as a comedian, that guy has the talent. I can picture him up on the Just For Laughs stage telling his story of how he and his wife got involved in networking. That CD was legitimately funny.

  20. March 6, 2013 8:36 am

    Admittance to the weekly meetings is normally free for guests. Once you sign up, you’re supposed to pay to attend the meetings, unless you sign up for the LIFE Live monthly membership, which grants you free admittance to the weekly meetings (monthly too?). This was a recent addition to the TEAM/LIFE Training set of packages they sell to members.

    @Hampster – were they referring to the training system as TEAM, LIFE Training, or both interchangeably?

  21. Melanie Morgan permalink
    March 6, 2013 10:34 am


    I know exactly where you are coming from, funny perhaps at first but when you hear the same stories and jokes over and over and over, for years and years, and years… it takes the funny out and it gets real old. Especially when you know why that specific content of the story is being told. 🙂

  22. Chris permalink
    March 6, 2013 12:32 pm

    I was in team about a year and a half. The cds are funny at first.and good to up and.learn some insightful principles. However the info is mostly from the books, the jokes get old and for me the the reason they try to get u fired up is to.keep u coming back . The long term investment in team in my opinion isn’t worth it. Money wise or information wise.
    With doing the contacting…why do they seem to be so secretive about the business in their contacting techniques?…

  23. MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster permalink
    March 6, 2013 12:47 pm

    @Chris: “With doing the contacting…why do they seem to be so secretive about the business in their contacting techniques?…”

    We all know why. 😉 The fact I had to be secretive made the phone calls difficult.

    I completely agree the CD’s would get old. Since I wasn’t involved very long the CD’s never had a chance to get stale.

  24. Melanie Morgan permalink
    March 6, 2013 1:21 pm


    My sentiments exactly. I am with MGSH I could never ‘follow’ the script because it never felt right. Tell me anyone on the planet that likes telemarketers calling them, the “script” is annoying as hell. The secrecy…they call that.. “The curiosity approach”..cuz it sounds better and more as if that makes it that legit.

    It was simply because they were always running from the stigma and truth. Same reason they would never say the name of the “company” they were working for.

    They knew that your odds were nill of ever “getting the plan booked” or in front of anyone so they resorted to manipulating, if you couldn’t them to say yes to booking the meeting, then you lost them. Part of the “5 step pattern” of slow and steady process… til they “get cha”.

  25. Chris permalink
    March 7, 2013 1:35 am

    Good points…they always wanted the person contacted to not know exactly the reason they were being.contacted…if you.said.I’m in a group called team, the person your calling might do some investigating and whoops,.they might find sites like this. Probably why I didn’t have.a lot of success, I was too honest. The part that got me is when they said ” we’re not salesman” . How often did they spin that statement. They were always trying to sell you the next event.

  26. March 7, 2013 6:45 am

    “The curiosity approach”

    Ha ha I remember that one very well, too well perhaps. I just opened the stinky CD and whoa it left a stain on my ceiling worse than a stinky cheese! The stinky cd was a talk by Ron Puryear of WWDB/ScAmway from a talk he gave at a BWW major. Crap!

  27. Mike Bickel permalink
    March 9, 2013 3:42 pm

    If you want to see my friend Mark Haas in action and how he is trying to “sell” everyone that they are going to be forming a “franchise” like McDonalds just watch this video. If you watch and pick apart this video, you will see that it’s all about building a pyramid scheme – NOT about selling a product. He’s honest enough to say that all the literature and “information” (which he points at as being something you won’t find anywhere else) makes money, he then proceeds to tell people they are building a franchise like McDonalds, but in fact they are doing nothing but selling people manufactured “information” and making money. How the heck is this any different than sending out a chain letter (information) and having everyone just chip in money and hope to make millions? He starts off about how bad it is to be in debt, but doesn’t tell anyone that they will, for sure, be poorer for the process.

    This is our man Mark in action – and this video was taken off the web from his own blog. I think that if any FTC person were to watch this in its entirety, they would KNOW that it’s a pyramid scheme.

  28. Mike Bickel permalink
    March 9, 2013 3:45 pm

    Whoops – on the above video, watch the FIRST one and then go to NEXT PRIMER VIDEO which is Mark’s video. Not sure why the link takes you to the first one.

  29. concerned strawberry permalink
    March 10, 2013 12:45 pm

    I tried to sign the petition to stop pyramid schemes but it said I needed a government email. I’m confused as to why I could not sign the petition. sorry, I just am not computer savy. I saw many more signatures are needed and I truly would like to help with this. could the link be posted again? thanks

  30. March 10, 2013 1:11 pm

    You don’t need a government email to sign the petition. You should only sign the petition once.

  31. ageofwisdom51 permalink
    March 27, 2013 9:08 am

    @Amthrax (and MGS Hampster): okay, thanks for the link to this–don’t know how I missed it except hubby had been sick for over a month back when this was written. Egad, it almost read what my own grown child could have written last summer, only it looks like “Hamster” was not being “coached” on the mandatory first 5 solicitation phone calls like we, the elderly parents were victims of. Also sounds like “Hamster” was much more amenable to things others had to say before falling headlong into the cult. Oh, and I guess this proves, once and for all, that prior CD info was being repackaged from iteration-to-iteration of the biz. Tongue-in-cheek, it must have been a little confusing to hear CDs where one is supposedly selling the magical, all-disease-curing acai berry juice for a biz called Mona Vie when coming into it as looking for leadership self-improvement in the 8Fs.

  32. MiniatureGiantSpaceHampster permalink
    March 28, 2013 11:14 am

    Some random thoughts.

    I won’t say it was a mistake for me to join Team/LIFE. My mistake was not doing my research. Everything I’ve researched so far indicates Team/LIFE is not a viable vehicle to earn money. Through them I am steps closer to achieving one of my dreams, to feel like I’m in control of my own actions as opposed to my fears.

    As a person who didn’t “step out in to the world” until his mid twenties I had a lot of stressful catching up to do over the past six years. Eventually something clicked, I’m not the only one in my shoes. People all around me have their own problems and issues they deal with every day. I was not alone. Over the past six years I can see where I was, where I am now, and the increasing number of improvements I’ve made throughout. Every day I’m faced with new challenges. Some times I fall down. Over all I witness myself moving forward.

    When you meet Team/LIFE you are hit with an overwhelming wave of motivation and postiveness. If they were simply a non-profit organization of positive and encouraging people than I’d have little issue giving my time. Unfortunately I was never sold on the idea of making money. I realized I was only lying to myself and them by staying in. One regret I do have is cutting ties as swiftly as I did. Reading this blog did cause me to recoil in fear. Since then I have leveled out, what’s done is done. No going back. I left about as quickly as I made the decision to join, quite fitting actually.

    What am I up to now? Still following my dreams. Something I’ve never given up on, even during my six weeks with Team.

    Advice for new people visiting Amthrax:

    I echo what everyone else says, do your research. Seek the truth. If at the end of the what I believe is wrong and Orrin is everything he says he is then so be it. Turning a blind eye and deaf ears to everything critical of Team/LIFE however will never lead you to truth. Ask the hard questions I failed to ask and don’t accept a question as an answer.

    The nerd in me would like to cap this off with a quote from a certain alien in the TV series Babylon 5.

    “Understanding is a three edged sword; your side, their side, and the truth.”

  33. leslie permalink
    May 18, 2013 6:05 am

    How did you cancel your subscrption? Your auto renewal?

  34. MinitureGiantSpaceHamster permalink
    May 20, 2013 4:46 am

    I did cancel my subscription and auto-renewal. There were some Team CD’s and a book I received from my monthly subscription I received which I returned. I was refunded.

  35. loveofeden permalink
    June 11, 2013 1:08 pm

    I signed up in May 2013, I want out but my upline is ignoring me. How do I end my this scam before it’s too late? I’m in Canada.

  36. June 11, 2013 1:18 pm

    If you’re within the 30-day time range, you’re guaranteed your money back, no questions asked. Email or call the Canadian office:

    LIFE Canada
    c/o 800-444 St. Mary Avenue
    Winnipeg, MB R3C 3T1

    Re-read the section in your contract that states you have 30-days to get your money back. Don’t take no for an answer.

  37. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 11, 2013 6:39 pm

    Also get the email in stating you want your money back with sent receipt so there is confirmation. If it were me I would also call the bank so they cannot auto charge your account. Good luck!

  38. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 11, 2013 6:45 pm

    Loveofeden- d

    Definitely go around your upline, they could ignore you until it is past the date….but I bet if you were contacting them for tickets or extra tools or wait til you cancel and they need an . Extra ticket sold to hit a “goal“ or renewal it would probably feel like you are being stalked!

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