Experiencing a MonaVie Meeting

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[Below is a guest post from a commenter who has identified himself as Mackwiz elsewhere on this site…]

Recently, I was approached by a co-worker to look into a “business opportunity”. I was only told that the company was in the business of selling products using the acai berry and not given any company name. I figured it could be something interesting and showed up to the presentation.

I walked in and the people seemed friendly for sure. It seemed like people engaging in an emerging business so I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. I took a seat near the front as I was getting the pitch for the first time.

They had empty bottles on display and I thought (oh, they must be selling some really good anti-oxidant acai wine), but then I learned that it is actually just acai and supposedly 18 other fruits in a blended juice. The wine bottles seem to provide the effect of ‘juice in fancy bottle = really good’. I never got the actual price of the product while there, that was a surprise for later. Now that I think about it, one of the main images MonaVie is promoting is ‘very fancy looking’, which I am sure leads people into believing ‘must be good then’.

Now, the claims about the IDS being displayed prominently at the MonaVie presentation is true, well, at least it is true for my experience. The IDS was displayed for all to see and was up the entire time. I think this is because they spend some time trying to rationalize the IDS as a winning market model.

Ok, before I begin writing about the presentation and the speaker, I will give a little info about myself. I am by all accounts a rationalist and a healthy skeptic. I am all about using logic and reason to solve problems and generally prefer that over emotion, which is helpful in some instances but many times leads to bad logical fallacies. What I am saying is that I am the kind of person that MonaVie probably disdains, as lofty dreams for financial freedom and “pumping up the crowd” techniques are not going to work on me.

So the presenter comes up and starts his charismatic routine. Basically, he is talking about getting everyone “fired up”, while most people in the audience take the bait and “get fired up”. He then talks about how he had a crappy regular job and always wanted a better job, and how this MonAvie business model and product is the business opportunity of lifetime and only a fool wouldn’t get involved. He then starts using Kiyosaki quotes and the EBSI quadrant.

The basic sales pitch is “You are currently working for a conventional company that pays you peanuts and treats you like a bitch. Wouldn’t you like to make money on your own and not be subject to traditional company rules such as when to come into work, when you can have off, etc?” It sounds really good, and it makes you feel like you are in on some super-secret new business model that makes traditional business antiquated and oppressive.

Note that the entire time the speaker is being very humorous and is very motivated, which is psyching up the crowd. Personally, I got the feeling of being in a religious fanatic environment, with people who were too pumped up into the mental fantasy dream to take an honest look at what they were doing.

I’d say 80% of the presentation is MLM hype, which should tell you what is more important to the MonaVie execs when it comes to MLM or the juice. They used commonsense figures such as a chart that shows that once you hit 30 or so years old, your income level remains static, and they were suggesting that the MonaVie business model is a way to keep your income growing and growing throughout your life, which seems to me like a pipe-dream at best.

Of course, I am thinking “This is a F’ing pyramid scheme, I learned about this kind of crap when I was 15!” What they try to do during the presentation is present the IDS and the business model in such a way as “Oh, it is a pyramid but anyone can get to the top given hard work and persistence, unlike those other crappy pyramids!” The line used was, yeah we only have 7 people at the very top of the pyramid, but that is because they are hard workers who are at the top of their game, just like Tiger Woods and LeBron James at their respective games, and we can’t expect everyone to be at that level.

So that is how they explain away the IDS, basically by saying that the 99% in the bottom tiers are simply not trying hard enough, and if you get “fired up” and religiously get into the expensive motivational books they sell you will get to the higher levels. Looking at the IDS objectively, I could not figure out how anyone could look at that and not get highly discouraged and suspicious. I was thinking the entire time, “I bet when I Google this company later on I will get a few websites saying it is a scam”.

I noticed that, quite amusingly, the “TEAM” logo consists of two pyramids – was this intentional or accidental? The two pyramids are, as described in this Forbes article, the MLM distributor pyramid and the motivational tools pyramid.

Here comes the health pitch!

He spends a short amount of time going over how we are all unhealthy today and how this juice is the path to the cure. They then have an ORAC chart trying to dismiss all other acai competitors (by claiming only they use freeze-dried acai, and the spray juice acai ORAC sucks). I was yet to learn of all the problems with the claim they were making until I came to this site. He told everyone to stand up if they juice gave them noticeable benefits, and everyone stood up except for me (I had not had any…). The way the crowd was acting came across as if they were acting as fervent believers rather than sellers of a product. Why the hell would you need to “testify” like you are in a religion?

I was thinking if this juice is so great, why are they MLM selling it? Why have I never seen it in any stores, even when I was told that it was possible for a distributor to sell to retailers? Surely stores would be ready and willing to buy from a “fired up” distributor if this is really the unmatched health juice of the century.

The presentation ends with a lady showcasing a photo book of her going all over the world on MonaVie profits, basically the “proof” of what MonaVie can do for you if you get involved. She even jokes about how those lake night infomercials promise the same thing but “don’t worry – this is the real deal right here!”

I told my friend I would think on it, I didn’t want to be honest because I don’t want him to turn on me or tell me I am a “negative thinker”.

When I got home I did about a 10 second search and right at the beginning of the Wikipedia article on MonaVie there are numerous sources on how it is pretty much just another MLM scam. Then I found this site, and being the lover of rational arguments that I am, poured over the content and the comments. The trend is obvious, provide evidence and the MonaVie supporters come out almost like religious fanatics, saying things like “you’re just stupid and you have no life, MonaVie is the way” rather than providing actual evidence of their own. As a matter of fact, anywhere you look you can find the same trend, check out the comments on the Forbes article to see what I mean.

I gracefully bowed out later, saying that I would keep it in mind but it didn’t look like an option I wanted to take. He seemed disappointed, and I really wanted to tell him my real feelings, but I was afraid because I saw the way they psyche people and train them to disdain “negative thinking” i.e. skeptics, which I seriously believe MonaVie wants you to think are “infidels” – just look at the comments on this site.

All in all it was a very strange experience, and I am truly saddened that there are people out there willing to buy into delusion and cheap emotional tricks to get involved in schemes like this. I mean, the fact that the MonaVie CEO had a previous MLM company he was a top level executive on shut down for making phony miracle claims should be as red and loud an alarm as any.

Originally posted 2010-09-11 05:55:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The above article is intended to be accurate at the time of its original posting. MonaVie may change its pricing, product, or other policies at any time without notice.

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59 Responses to “Experiencing a MonaVie Meeting”
  1. Humiliated Says:

    Great article. I know what you mean about being afraid to speak out. That is how I felt, like it was somehow blasphemous. Was this a meeting at someone’s house? Were there a lot of people there? It sounds like you were the only non-distributor there?

    There used to be “tastings” with a room full of “fresh meat” and now it just sounds like the current distributors just get together to pound their chests in unison, keep the faith and then pounce on the ONE or TWO unfortunate souls who got sucked into attending.

    I wish that every single person that attended these meetings would do exactly what you did Mackwiz. Take their time, do their research and trust their spidey senses.

  2. Vogel Says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing. One aspect that I found particularly interesting is how they load the meetings up with fanatic distributors so that the 1 or 2 new prospects will feel heavy pressure to conform to the group’s mentality. That technique is straight out of Psych 101. Have a look at the Asch Conformity Paradigm and you’ll see what I mean. They are basically trying to induce conformity through peer pressure.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments

    It’s also interesting to hear how they try to discount the validity of, or distract from, their own IDS. We have seen that tactic used here repeatedly. It’s so ridiculous when distributors say that Monavie differs from a “conventional business”, where a new employee will never be able to make more than the CEO, while ignoring the painfully obvious fact that in Monavie’s entire history, no bottom-level distributor has ever come close to matching or eclipsing the earnings of the CEO (Dallin Larceny) or top executive distributors (like Brig Hart).

  3. Mackwiz Says:

    Humiliated,

    I was at convention center type location with about 50 other people. I think I was likely one of maybe 2 or 3 new prospects.

    Vogel, I think that is definitely a possibility, and likely a technique they would use. I also think that they are waxing their own egos, as likely many of them are distributors who are yet to make a profit.

    I think the simple question to bring this whole thing crashing down is this: Is is possible to make money as a distributor with no downline at all? Since you are selling the best juice ever, surely you can turn a great profit just by selling the juice alone, right? The answer of course, is no, you have to literally convert people to Monavie, because the MLM portion is how profit is made (for the people on top anyway) and the juice is nothing more than a tithe to stay in the system.

  4. Mackwiz Says:

    One other thing I wanted to relate was the placebo effect. About a year ago, I learned about this product

    http://reviews.amway.com/8194/101593/reviews.htm

    from a friend. He gave one of the pills to me and described it to me as a great pick-me-up. I took it and felt extremely energized (mind you it was 1:00 am at work when I took it first). He was telling me that it would probably be crazy to take more than one, which further enhanced the effect. I decided to buy a bottle for myself, which is priced at 40.00 retail through Amway (which I had no idea was MLM at the time).

    So anyway, I found out that the pills are actually just caffeine and rhodiola rosea, which you can get a higher dosage for cheaper at about 10-12 bucks. After the placebo effect got smashed through research, I took about 4 of the pills and felt like I drank 2 cups of coffee. Basically, it is nothing worth spending 40 bucks on (even 30 bucks with the Amway distributor discount).

    So yeah, paying 40+ bucks for something you can get for much cheaper just so you can get the placebo effect is a bad investment.

    It is understandable that people would trick themselves into feeling something that they are paying top dollar for, but you have to use research to understand what is happening. There is no need to “feel” 4 dollar juice, because you do not need to subconsciously rationalize this purchase. If I sold you 40 dollar oranges and told you they were super oranges I bet you would start to “feel” something after eating them, as the cost and claims would send your subconscious searching for something to say “yeah, I FEEL it!”, which is a rationalization process.

  5. Amthrax Says:

    Mackwiz – Great commentary about your experience attending a TEAM/MonaVie meeting. Have a couple of follow-up questions:

    1) Where geographically are you located? TEAM has a lot of meetings in the midwest and along the coasts.

    2) Do you remember the name of the speaker at your meeting?

    3) Did you stick around for the Nuts and Bolts training session after the plan presentation?

    4) How much time did they spend on pumping up the TEAM tools aspect of the business?

    If you’re interested, I written quite a number of posts about TEAM and its leadership organization on my site.

  6. Mackwiz Says:

    Amthrax,

    I am located in the northern California area. I did not stick around for the Nuts and Bolts, it was late and I had to get out of there for obvious reasons.

    TEAM tools were pumped by the presenter as a kind of Bible to success. It wasn’t presented as “team tools” but rather the presenter was saying “these books I read brought me to success”. I’d say about half of the presentation was about how team tools will get you in the mindset to be successful, of course with the MonaVie business model.

    I can’t remember the name of the presenter but he was very charismatic and used humor to great effect. The gist of what he was promoting was the idea that following him into MonaVie would free you from the chains of traditional employment. He used Kiyosaki’s EBSI quadrant for effect.

    The lady at the end sealed the deal for me. “Here is the scrapbook of my journeys around the world thanks to MonaVie!”

    Would they use a technique like that if the juice was the real deal? Think about it, to all you supporters.

  7. Candace Says:

    Welcome, Mackwiz, and thank you for submitting your article.
    The only thing I can say, is that your experience is 100% typical of how MonaVie and other “businesses” like MonaVie operate.

  8. Anonymous Aussie Says:

    Mackwiz, your experience with Monavie is certainly typical of how this organisation operates – you described my first meeting to a tee, right down to the deceptive manner in which the representatives won’t mention the company in advance so as not to allow the prospect (i.e you) to do any research on the company, gather any information or form an opinion prior to them filtering you the information THEY want you to see and hear.

    Had you gone to a second or third or even fourth meeting, you would have also seen that ALL of these are conducted in the exact same way. I attended an acai presentation, I attended a training session and even a meeting on heart health – I was astounded that the same information was given each and every single time, the testimonials and the “business”. The IDS was also displayed proudly and when I queried about the largest percentage of representatives at the lower ranks, I was instructed to ignore that column and just focus on the earnings potential (yeah, right!). I do recall even mentioning to my friend’s sponsor (who is an emerald), that the information was repetitive and that some of it was very generalised to be even remotely educational – but no one else around me seemed to notice or if they did, no one said anything.

    Its comforting to know that there are people such as yourself who have the sense to see this organisation is an absolute farce and it’s representatives are conducting themselves in a manner that’s far from professional or that you’d expect to see in a genuine “business”.

    Thanks for speaking out.

  9. Humiliated Says:

    Ahh, I see something has changed since I was sucked in. They were proud to say what the meeting was about that I was about to attend. In fact, they were shouting it from the roof times. Now that they have lost all credibility, they can’t even be honest about recruiting people and they lure them in by disguising it as a “business opportunity”. Such “bottom feeder” behavior.

  10. Mackwiz Says:

    Humiliated, Aussie,

    I am wondering if that is what they are taught. My friend is a real nice and well meaning guy, so I wonder if they are taught this, in the same way Scientologists are taught to lure people with “stress tests”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-meter

    Likely the Wikipedia article on MonaVie along with the sites like this one makes them not want to disclose the company name before the indoctrination.

    All I can say is, being a critical cynic sometimes has its benefits.

  11. Mackwiz Says:

    Now that I think about it, the juice and E-meters are about the same thing in my opinion.

  12. Humiliated Says:

    Mackwiz. I agree, I think a lot of distributors that get involved are nice & well meaning and they get sucked in by the incredible brain washing tactics used at every level. I, myself, thought I was immune to such tactics but I wasn’t. That said, I was more involved for the alleged “health” benefits and not so much for the financial aspect because it still smelled like a pyramid scheme to me, and, I have to say, I zoned out when they tried to explain the “binary” system to me. It was purposely complicated and confusing to take away from the fact that it was just a pyramid scheme.

    Once I found these sites and began posting, I kept getting attacked by distributors as they saw that I hadn’t really been in it for the money, I DID flog it (and somewhat successfully I might add) because of the alleged “health benefits”, they said I was a quitter because I wasn’t really trying to create a business. They just couldn’t seem to wrap their heads around the reason I “quit” was because I was educated (because of these sites & one scientist friend of mine) on the complete and utter lack of nutrition in the juice (although many lies were told to me about how it contained 8-13 servings of fruits and vegetables, ORAC score off the charts etc.). It seemed to them, irrelevant that the juice was incredibly overpriced and nutritionally lacking,and that I had been purposely misled from all levels of this company, as long as I was MAKING MONEY, ripping off my friends and family. E-meter indeed.

  13. MegaVie Says:

    I was given a pitch by a friend of mine about a year ago. He started out by telling my husband and I basically that you are a sucker if you work a regular 40 hour a week job. He had this fantastic “business opportunity” that was going to make him rich with minimal effort. His entire pitch was all about the business, leadership, being motivated, dreams, blah blah blah. He hardly mentioned the juice at all and when pressed he told us that the juice was for “personal consumption” and it “wasn’t about the product.” Of course this screamed scam to us and we politely declined. A year later he is no richer and completely brainwashed. He and his wife (who is also involved) even spent their wedding night at a TEAM meeting. They were so proud at how “inspirational” they would be to their “business partners.” Now that we have learned more about TEAM we are very concerned, but everything we say to them is met with how we are close-minded, we “don’t understand the business,” or just flat out “don’t understand business.” We were told Robert Kiyosaki could teach us a thing or two about business. We are hoping to get enough information together to finally convince them that the wool is being over their eyes.

  14. Mackwiz Says:

    The presenter at the meeting I went to said something to the effect of “if they scoff at our business model it means they really don’t understand business.” He tried to present himself as someone who was so motivated he read two business books at the same time.

  15. NotFooled Says:

    I was once taken to a meeting by a well-meaning friend who had unfortunately become involved with Monavie. It was everything you described Mackwiz.

    The speakers made it sound like I use it to cure all ailments, up to and including death, but when I asked if I could try it before I gave them my money, not a single one of the 50 distributors in the room had any juice with them or in their cars. If I knew of something that was that amazing, and got me that excited, I for one would never be without it. I told them I would like to at least taste it before I tried to sell it and then one of them said, “Don’t worry about the juice, do it for the money.” It’s all about signing people up and not about the juice. It’s a total scam.

  16. Mackwiz Says:

    NotFooled,

    I have been trying it for a week now and nothing special is happening. Bear in mind I have reoccuring back pain and headaches, and this juice has not done anything near what is claimed (replace prescription and OTC meds). As a matter of fact, it has not done anything at all.

    It is definitely designed to trick the subconcious into thinking it is medicine. You “take” one in the morning and “take” another in the afternoon. Its intentionally designed to feel more like medicine than juice in serving size.

    I actually woke up this morning with a sore throat, so I am getting sick (normally happens this time of year for me). Why hast thou forsaken me, MonaVie?

  17. switch Says:

    Mackwiz-
    Thanks for sharing your story. Exact same thing happened to me only I attended multiple times to get different stories/perspectives. Yes, I was curious, excited and what they called, “FIRED UP!” I’m glad you didn’t attend anymore and it’s funny how you mentioned how your “friend” seemed disappointed in your decision. Sounds exactly like my “friend”….only person he cares about is himself. Another sad part of the biz is that most distributors don’t even know they’re lying so they keep doing it before they even do any kind of research. Why?? Because their “mentors” are telling them not to read the internet and telling them false claims and stories. Makes me wonder how much of Mr. Larsen’s memo on “illegal claims” has made it to my area because the illegal claims still are an ongoing problem. He says it’s impossible to stop all of them…not our problem is it sir? It sickens me to no end that what I once had with these people was just all fake and on top of that, were “great friends”.

    Hurt feelings along the way??? LOL….no shattered feelings pal. Let me know if you want the locations of these greedy a$$holes too.

    I bet Aussie, Vogel, and Humiliated would love to hear some more distributors’ names that seem to have fractured the rules.

    What comes around-goes around. ;)

  18. Vogel Says:

    Dallin Larceny isn’t “herding cats” – he IS the cat and always has been.

    “Aug 22, 2002 — You’re invited to attend Dynamic Essential Inc.’s Super Saturday conference on a product that is changing the lives of thousands suffering with; fibromyalgia, allergies, cancer, depression, aches and pains, lupus, chronic fatigue, asthma, liver and stomach ailments, immune dysfunctions, ADHD, thyroid problems, migrain headaches, bipolar, AIDS, MS, and many many more! Join…Gary J. Raser President, DALLIN LARSEN Vice President of Sales as as they share… how to get your ROYAL TONGAN LIMUâ„¢ free! Plus…opportunity briefing & training, how to earn residual income for years ahead, highlights from the spring regional event, future vision for DEI & ROYAL TONGAN LIMUâ„¢, upcoming contests & events, corporate news & updates, North Little Rock, A R, Saturday, August 24th”
    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/LIMU_MOUI/message/224

    Less than a year later, Larsen’s Limu juice scam was shut down by the FDA and $2.7 million worth of inventory and promotional materials was destroyed in a landfill pit. The FTC/DOJ subsequently fined the parent company $2 million in a class action settlement as a consequence of the illegal marketing of Royal Tongan Limu juice, which was a virtual clone of Larsen’s fraudulent Monavie scheme.
    http://scienceblog.com/community/older/archives/M/2/fda1483.htm
    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/10/nbty.shtm
    http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/nbty/051012exhibs2nbty.pdf

    The illegal marketing of Monavie is no accident; it is by design, obviously.

  19. Mackwiz Says:

    If you look at the motivational lectures (the one with the claim of a person getting out a wheelchair especially) the phony medical claims are coming from the very top. MonaVie already got slapped by the FDA which is why they have those distributor guidelines.

    I have personally heard MonaVie spokespeople say that the juice is an alternative to prescription medicine. Not exactly, but enough to get people to connect the dots.

    “Herding cats” is basically a kind of throwing hands up, “not my fault” way of handling the FDA. This is merely a foxhole, and sooner or later they will be rooted out and that may signal the end for Royal Tongan Limu, I mean MonaVie.

  20. Amthrax Says:

    Mackwiz – Do you know if your co-worker is still involved with MonaVie? Has he been pitching RVL to you now?

  21. Mackwiz Says:

    I believe he is still involved but I made clear I wasn’t going to get involved, and he is not the kind to push when someone says they aren’t interested, so as such, we don’t talk about it.

  22. Izzy Says:

    I was reading through the posts and comments carefully, and yes, I will attest that there are eerie similiarities in the Monavie/TEAM meetings. It’s like you convert to a religion and accept the doctrines of that church.

    Regarding the research aspect, I know on my team, we were discouraged to do outside-of-monavie-team research. For example, I wanted to do some research on Alex Schauss and Dr Oz, and also wanted to find out more of the Acai berries. My upline discouraged me from “filling my mind with too much information as it’ll remove your focus off of your business”. Her words. Any normal person would encourage to research what you’re getting yourself involved in so that you can be well-educated, and can make an informed decision. In TEAM, you’re not given enough time to make an informed decision, as everything is rushed by you, and you have to struggle to keep up. It all happened so fast for me, Right from our first in-home meeting to the Open Meeting to getting signed up for “On System”, it all happened so quickly. Too quickly. We were given the same speech was reiterated week after week – Acai Berry stuff and IDS rhetoric, a five-minute break, and a “personal story” (called the “Night Owl” speech).

    The hype – yes, that was a major thing on our team. In fact, even at an Open Meeting, everyone stood up and clapped and cheered on a speaker when they were introduced by a distributor. Later I heard in a CD that if you don’t go to an Open except to bring in a prospect, you’re being selfish. That is a pure guilt trip right there. They charge five bucks per meeting, they really should be free!

    To NotFooled regarding the juice – in our team, there were people who sold juice samples for $2.50 a shot and $3 per can of EMV energy drink. So no free samples, lol.

    It’s amazing all the abuse we put up with. :-(

  23. Vogel Says:

    You’ve come to the right place. Pull up a chair and take a load off. You’re with sympathetic people now who aren’t looking to make money off you.

    How about disease claims. You must have heard a ton of those right?

  24. Izzy Says:

    Hi, Vogel, yes I have heard the disease claims like joint pain reduction, diabetes control, and food allergies cured. These were supposedly people that my upline knew. Also, I met the lady who was “cured” of food allergies since she started taking MV. I honestly believe that there may be a “placebo effect” as well, so not entirely sure what the whole story is, or if the stories has been fabricated to bring in new members, as my sponsor has used a rather fantastic story about a man in excruciating pain that was on morphine after a car accident, whose dosage has dropped due to Monavie.

    I’m actually very angry that TEAM is taking advantage of people, there’s a movement here in my city, and I’m very concerned about people in the TEAM cult. I hope soon I’ll be able to raise awareness, but now I’ll settle on using the Notes section in my Facebook :-p

  25. Mackwiz Says:

    “My sponsor has used a rather fantastic story about a man in excruciating pain that was on morphine after a car accident, whose dosage has dropped due to Monavie.”

    If MonaVie can cut down morphine use, one of the most addicitive substances on the planet, would it really be sold in an MLM? That’s got to be the most BS claim I’ve ever heard. Why aren’t they setting up a charity hospital to get junkies clean if this is true?

    There’s a reason why MonaVie medical claims run on “feel it” faith-healing techniques. Just enough ambiguity to get the placebo-effect going.

    This brings up an important question for distributors, if someone gets off the juice, do they go through withdrawals? With the great benefits stated, withdrawals would be highly likely. I could see someone lying next to a dumpster chugging MonaVe Active and saying “aaah, that’s the stuff”.

    “C’mon man, I’ll get money for the case next week, don’t cut me off man, I need the stuff!”

  26. Vogel Says:

    Rather than attributing these Monavie testmonials to the placebo effect, I would expect that in fact most of the stories are actually just straight up lies. Of those few testimonials that aren’t outight barefaced lies, the placebo effect would easily account for the results.

    We should also bear in mind that this is not just a typical placebo effect situation, but rather one in which there are tangible rewards for believing that Monavie acts like a drug (e.g., group acceptance, better sales, greater profit) and clear disadvantages to not believing (group ostracism, reduced ability to sell the product convincingly, etc.). In other words, the placebo effect is being strongly coerced.

    Of course, second-hand testimonials should be rejected out of hand (e.g. “my friend said that Monavie cured X”). First-hand testimonials should be subjected to the utmost scrutiny, and regardless of whether or not they are legitimate, they should not be used in product promotion, since they are illegal.

  27. MonaVie Scam Says:

    I agree about the lies. The reason why I tend to favor the placebo effect is that when some anonymous person lies about their experience on the Internet, I can’t PROVE they are lying… just like they can’t PROVE I am lying if I make a claim about MonaVie. The placebo effect is well studied, well known, and stands the test of time. It is also the simplest explanation for those who are not lying since it is the only conclusion that the science actually supports.

    That’s a great point about how it isn’t a typical placebo situation. I’ve added that quote to http://www.juicescam.com/monavie-and-the-placebo-effect/.

  28. Izzy Says:

    I am gobsmacked. I shouldn’t be but when I read though this….ouch. :-(

    The reason why this is affecting me so much is because my husband has known my former upline for a good 20 years, and me, 10 years (I knew her through Hubby) She’s an the ministry team for Sunday Night Supper Ministries which is a soup kitchen that gives a hearty meal on Sunday evenings then a Church service afterwards. It just hurts to feel like someone that we know and trust, and on the same ministry team – would lie to us like that. I just don’t understand it.

    *sigh*

    I don’t know what to say…why would she lie to someone who’s in ministry with her? argh

  29. NotFooled Says:

    Izzy- That’s strange, they tried to get me to sign up but nobody tried to sell me any juice! I wasn’t really concerned about trying the juice as I’ve had fruit juice before. I wanted to read the label and see if magic was listed as one of the ingredients because I couldn’t believe some of the testimonials I’d heard. I found it strange that the only bottle in the room was whisked away as soon as the speeches ended. After that, there was no attempt to sell any juice, only to get people to sign up as distributors. I wonder why that was?

  30. Izzy Says:

    NotFooled, here’s a blog post that addresses the issue on TEAM becoming less product-focused and more focused on the distributerships.

    http://amthrax.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/rumor-team-becoming-less-product-focused/

  31. Mackwiz Says:

    “I don’t know what to say…why would she lie to someone who’s in ministry with her? argh”

    Basically, MonaVie has created a link between religious duty and being a distributor. I am not one to knock people’s religious beliefs, but from my personal experience most of the people I knew as distributors were church-going people.

    I personally think that MonaVie creates a false “trinity” for religious people consisting of wealth, health, and religious duty. It is shameful, but unfortunately scamming people who are only trying to do their religious duty happens.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Tilton#Scandal

    These blood-sucking leeches disgust me, hence, why I am here so often.

  32. Izzy Says:

    Macwiz, I know about the Farting Preacher LOL!!!! While the parodies are hilarious, it is quite sad that Tilton was a scammer.

    As Hubby said to me time and time again, we need to learn some things the hard way. I tell him it’s kinda hard to move on and stop being so angry when I’m facing so much debt, barely escaping bankruptcy!

  33. Vogel Says:

    The corruption of religion is one of the many facets of Monavie that really get my dander up. It really reduces this scam to the lowest rung of the morality ladder. Here is an organization that: targets naive elderly people with diseases, sells them overpriced worthless snakeoil, uses talking heads who are frauds (and outright criminals in many cases), misuses a bogus children’s charity as bait, and wraps it all up in a shiny package saying that this is what God wants!!!!

    That’s an insult of epic proportions. I don’t think that these professed Christians pay any heed at all to the words of Christ.

    I make it a rule to avoid any business that tries to pander to God or any particular religion in their advertising. Spritually, I find it highly offensive, and as a consumer, it immediately raises red flags — a warning that the product or service is so inferior that the only way it can be sold is by begging under the aegis of religion. It’s divisive and transparent.

  34. CollegeFreshman Says:

    Your description is very similar to the meeting I went to.

    The people who were at the meeting were all very religious people. They were good people. They were simply mislead. Simply put, they are too naive to see it for the scam that it is. They do it with the stated motive of furthering their ministry. It is not that the people themselves are bad. Rather, they have been brainwashed to the point that they can’t see the truth. MonaVie’s propaganda has the structure and psychology built in to convince the simple-minded that they are right and everyone else saying otherwise is simply trying to hurt them. They state in their propaganda to remain “open-minded” and “put aside your skepticism.” Simply put, they are telling you to leave off your guard and play the gullible fool. Unfortunately, they tout their plan as a means to a better life and adamantly denounce that it “isn’t for the money.” The open-minded will accept this statement and go through with the scam. If they make money, the religious put it toward their ministry and consider that it must be a good thing. It’s about teamwork. It’s about entrepreneurship (unfortunately, none of them understand the true meaning of that word). It’s about living a life without stress over money.

    They also talk at length about where all the money is. The employed and self-employed make little money. Then they prove that investors get the most money. These three things they put in a box with the employed and self-employed on the left side, and the investors and B-Type businesses (which they barely explain what that means) on the other side. Since, as they prove, the employed and self-employed have little money, and the investors have most of the money, and since the employed and self-employed are on the left side and the investors and B-type businesses are on the right side, B-type businesses make a lot of money. Great! So since you draw a box around investors and B-type businesses, automatically if investors make lots of money, B-type businesses make a lot of money. Great minds! Wow! They’re smart!

    What I would wonder is, how many investors made a lot of money in the recent stock crash??? Isn’t this investor mindset what caused the Great Depression? Even if B-type businesses are as good as investors, do we really believe that either thrive? If a B-type business is like investing, does it not stand to reason that we would very likely lose all our earnings?

    I could say so much more, but my mind and my time can’t bear it.

    And all you MonaVie people are out there laughing at how I must be “trading time for money.” At least I’m not out there trading my soul for money.

  35. Izzy Says:

    A memory just came to me, my upline did stress (she’s a Christian, and so are Hubby and I) that “we are blessed to bless others”. She used to go on about how we can have all this money to help people in need and to further G-d’s work and ministry, that we can do anything if we had a wealthy, residual income, blahblahblah. That was attractive to me because by nature I really do like helping other people as much as I can. And when she said it was a Christian organisation, I perked up, but that was the first time I’ve heard of a Christian organisation that helps each other as team members. It just all sounded good.

    It’s not a bad thing if you have a regular paycheque-to-paycheque job.

  36. Anonymous Aussie Says:

    Vogel states “Spritually, I find it highly offensive, and as a consumer, it immediately raises red flags — a warning that the product or service is so inferior that the only way it can be sold is by begging under the aegis of religion.”

    I’ve also seen a number of consumer advocates warn consumers of any sales pitch wrapped in the flag or under the guise of religion – which is an attempt to appeal to a person’s sense of emotion instead of logic. I agree wholeheartedly it’s a red flag.

    What really gets to me is the fact that the underlying driver isn’t “helping people” – it’s money. Period. Take away the (false) promises of financial freedom and you’ll remove the precise reason causing such poor judgement – greed.

  37. CollegeFreshman Says:

    One of the first problems with their talk I noticed was the admonition to “put aside your skepticism” and become “open-minded.” Why are they concerned with my skepticism? Is it because they know it won’t stand its tests?

    Let’s get into the psychology of this idea: Why MonaVie wants you to be open-minded.

    If I were to tell you that I have an amazing computer program that would allow you to create beautiful pieces of artwork by reading messages from images inside your brain, you would think that would be insane but desirable. If I went on to say that you should download it from my site, you would become skeptical. If I further told you to lay aside your skepticism and disable your firewall before you download, wouldn’t you think it stupid to download it? Wouldn’t that strongly imply that it was a virus?

    Okay, you agree. Isn’t that the same thing as the “open-minded” line MonaVie uses? Really! They want me to at least turn off my brain filter and allow incoming transmissions of their insane propaganda. Does that not equate the “diable firewall, accept virus” command?

    Hello! People! Obey the 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not be stupid”!

  38. Vogel Says:

    Hey Freshman, I’m sure you’ll like this short Juicescam article:
    http://www.juicescam.com/being-open-minded-about-monavie/

  39. Burned Out With MV Says:

    Seeing all the hype about religion and Mona Vie I can’t help but remember the old folk song parody “Plastic Jesus” and it’s many added verses to the original by different singers.

  40. humiliated Says:

    Izzy, I think that your up-line probably started out with the best of intentions & I think it is imperative that you understand, they have targeted people like your up-line. They use religious guilt to hook them and then eventually they turn into greedy little Monabots who conveniently forget all of the principles of Christianity. I am amazed at how many good Chrisitian people who come on here and say that they “fell for it” because they appealed to the love of their faith.

    Vogel, while I agree that there are those that out and knowingly lie about what Monavie can do or did for them (a la Lou Niles) purely for financial gain, I do think you are right that there is a very large element of ‘placebo coercion’. Once a person feels that they are part of this “community” they MUST get some benefit from the juice or feel ashamed. I think the fear of rejection is extremely powerful within this context, even without financial reward. Then, there is just good, old fashioned secondary gain where a person convinces themselves that they are feeling benefits because they know it means dollar signs for them in the end.

    I also saw my up-line “befriending” people that they would normally have NOTHING to do with, convincing them that they were now a good friend and would lay down their life for them. That really bothered me because I could see that these people (who were not “popular” people in their “real lives) truly believed that they had these true blue new friends. Meanwhile, these feelings did not exist for my up-line and I knew this because they would talk about these people behind their backs. I know that in Corporate America, people take “accounts” or potential clients out for dinner or golf etc. and pretend to like them, even if they don’t, but this was so much more personal.

  41. Izzy Says:

    @Humiliated – yes, there’s a CD out there that talks about making it an effort to meet 2 new people per day, even random strangers in a lineup or something, strike up a conversation and get their phone number. As I look at it in hindsight, it seems to be a violation of the person’s trust and goodwill. As my upline said to me, when she went to church, she sat EVERYWHERE, not in “her usual seat”. Her perpose was to get to know as many people in her church as possible so that she can show them “The Plan”.

    This website has brought me to light on the pyschology behind cults, even has a section on commercial cults. However, any cultish group has the same psychological repercussions. A lot of us are afraid to admit something because it could possibliy be true, or not all people are bad, etc. I’ve been going through an emotional upheaval for the last 11 months (after I left TEAM) it has affected me emotionally, but I’m getting better. http://www.culthelp.info/

    When I griped about TEAM on Facebook one day, a lady that I knew, who happened to be on TEAM as well, told me not to say anything negative about the business because it was my sponsor who wrong me not the business blahblahblah, and she felt like she had to “clarify” the difference. If she’s doing so well, then why would she feel like she has to stand up for TEAM?

  42. switch Says:

    Izzy-
    Of course she didn’t want you to say anything negative about the biz….the Team is the only thing they have. Nothing else to fall back on accept their ass when proved wrong.

    Their way of begging for forgiveness and mercy is flat out pathetic.

  43. Izzy Says:

    I still gripe, Switch, LOL! I set the privacy settings on the posts so that “friends except (team member)” so she won’t see it. I posted the cult help site on my FB just after I posted the link on here, but am still afraid to set the permission to even let her see that link cuz I mentioned MV/TEAM in my post, and I don’t want to lose her friendship, she is a lovely lady when she’s not talking about TEAM.

  44. switch Says:

    Izzy-
    You’re being too nice! I really don’t see it as a gripe but rather speaking the truth.

    Your friend is lucky to have you as her friend. And we’re very happy you’ve joined the blogs here.:)

  45. Mal Says:

    You all are hating cause you are nothing but lazy close minded people. Any business you have requires hard work and discipline. Dont speak if you dont know what you’re talking about. I’m involved with the company making probably more money then you. I dont understand people who take the time to write paragraphs about how it sucks. What are you trying to sell?

  46. MonaVie Scam Says:

    I wrote the post on being open minded about MonaVie: Being Open-Minded About MonaVie.

    No close minded people here on this side of reporting the scam.

    Why do you think we are trying to sell something? We just want to help people not get scammed. That should tell you something.

  47. Mackwiz Says:

    Mal,

    Why don’t you refute some of the things I wrote instead of going on a baseless tirade about hardwork and discipline, laziness, and close-mindedness? Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t MonaVie pitch the idea that you don’t have to be a slave to a regular job? Isn’t that them trying to play into your own laziness?

    Why are you so “close-minded” about this website and it’s contents? Don’t you understand that their commands to be “open-minded” only means “believe only what we say”?

    And how much discipline does it take to get your family member to sign a distributor contract, when you know (or should know) that they have a 70% chance of dropping out, thus losing money?

    As to why I wrote that entire piece, the reason why I wrote it is not because I am selling anything, I make a living honestly and comfortably so don’t give me that crap. I don’t have to beg my friends and family to sell juice so I can line the coffers of Black Diamonds who make me go on quasi-religious retreats that I have to pay for.

    I wrote it because I was so taken aback about what I experienced at that meeting I had to tell what I saw. I’m not the only one who feels this way about MonaVie and TEAM. To me, it was like going to a cult indoctrination.

    If you are making a living in MonaVie then congrats, you are one of the few who managed to do it. I’m pretty skeptical though, being as you have about a 1% chance of making a living.

    There is a difference between “hating” and criticism. Were the people who went after Bernie Madoff “haters”?

  48. humiliated Says:

    Mackwiz. You bring up a very good point about how much “discipline” it takes to make this “business” work. You simply set aside your integrity, morality and scruples (that is the hard part) and make a list of all friends and family members you can sell this overpriced juice to. What the hell is so “disciplined” about that?

    Mal, you say that you are involved with MonaVie and you probably make more money than us. Do you not get it? This isn’t about money (although I would venture to say that if we compared paychecks, you would be wrong) but about doing the right thing. This is about NOT ripping your family and friends off by selling this overpriced, essentially nutritionless juice to people that you know and love just to make a buck. I can’t even congratulate those in the top 1% of earners because it means they are more savvy at ripping people off, expert con artists, if you will.

    Finally, you say “I dont understand people who take the time to write paragraphs about how it sucks. What are you trying to sell?”. You see? That is your problem. You probably went into MonaVie doing the same amount of research as you did researching this site….NONE. If you had, you would know that I was involved with MonaVIe for a year and half. I DO know what I am talking about and I feel horrible for having ripped my friends and family off as I believed I was selling a good product. Furthermore, not ONE of the regular posters on here has ever ONCE tried to sell another product on here. You will have to do better than that.

    Read the articles, then come back with a cogent argument besides “nanny nanny boo boo I make more than you”.

  49. Dr. Philip W. Loh Says:

    Just for your information, according to the correct news on 13th July 2011 from Bangkok Thailand, all products license applications of MonaVie at Thailand have been rejected by the Thailand FDA.

    Good News or Bad News? What Say You?

  50. Speak Your Truth Says:

    Mackwiz~

    Thanks for sharing your experience and very accurate information, I might add. The ‘plan shower’ did just what he is taught; put all the blame on himself for his ‘bad job’ ‘bad corporate America’, everything ‘outside’ of them is bad; done intentionally, the goal is to convict you of the same belief and if it doesn’t work the first time, then with those who get started will continue to be told that million more times until you become convinced. Also,get everyone ‘fired-up’, hype the company and everything else in the world doesn’t deliver, ‘planting the seeds’ as they call it, distract from the facts and wala you now know what you never knew, text book! LOL.

    It is laughable when someone comes here like Mal and uses the brainwashed statements. Haters; because you are lazy & closed minded? Doesn’t even make sense. Ignores the facts, doesn’t even high five her ‘plan-showing comrade,for showing an awesome plan. lmao! Mal where is your respect and ‘encouragement’ for your ‘team mate’? LHOL

    It discusts me to know the manipulation being used to swallow people up into the pit of illusions.

    Mal, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and send JS a copy of your checks, you seriously don’t expect people just to take your word for it that you make more money, do you? If your not willing to do that then,Save your BS.

    Mackwiz~ There are thousands who feel the way you do! Mal, just can’t handle the rejection. :)

 
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