Editor’s Note: I had this article submitted to me by a friend. I publish it because I have seen numerous cases of similar circumstances. The lies about the ORAC score are common. I’ve heard the anthrax thing as well, but I have not seen any distributors put their money where their mouth is and subject themselves to anthrax to back up the claim. The claim about the lack of cancer in Brazil is particularly appalling… of course Brazil isn’t a cancer-free zone. Now on with the story:
I teach a Bible class for college-aged students. About a year ago, one of my students (we’ll call him “A”) came to me and said he had something he needed to talk to me about. “A” was a pretty level-headed kid who loved cars and wanted to open up his own auto shop. When he came over to my house a few days later, my wife and I were treated to a sales pitch to become MonaVie distributors. At that point we had both heard of MonaVie, but didn’t know anything specific. “A” started telling us about this fantastic â€œbusiness opportunityâ€ that was going to make him rich with minimal effort. He asked me, didn’t I hate having to go to work and have a boss and be told what to do? I said no, not really, I like my job. He told us that basically you are a sucker if you “trade time for money” working a regular 40 hour a week job. His entire pitch was all about the business, leadership, being motivated, and achieving your dreams. He hardly mentioned the juice at all and when pressed he told us that the juice was for â€œpersonal consumptionâ€ and it â€œwasn’t about the product.â€ Of course this screamed scam to us and we politely declined. I told “A” that I would much rather help him get his own auto shop started than sign up to sell MonaVie with him.
Fast-forward a year…I had become increasingly concerned about “A,” especially after learning that he dropped out of auto mechanic school (although honestly I don’t know if he quit before or after becoming involved with MonaVie). But he seemed happy and asked his girlfriend (who was also part of our college Bible class) to marry him, so I thought perhaps he was working hard and was in the minority that would be successful at MLM. However, sirens went off when my wife and I learned that they were planning to go to a MonaVie “business meeting” right after their wedding. I also discovered that one of his groomsmen was his “sponsor,” and from there found out about TEAM. When we approached “A” and his wife “B” about going to a meeting on their wedding night, they told us that it showed their commitment to the business, and that they would be an inspiration to their business partners. When my wife and I suggested that their commitment to their marriage might be more important, they informed us that we didn’t understand.
Now let me tell you something about me – my wife will be the first to tell you that I think I know everything, so being told I “don’t understand” something is the quickest way to get me fired up. I have two degrees in physics, and because of my interest in finance and the stock market I read the Wall Street Journal every day. So I am not uneducated and I believe I have learned a thing or two about business from the WSJ. My wife is also smarter than the average bear, and she loves research, so she set out to dig up everything she could find about MonaVie and TEAM (and found this website in the process). Sirens again went off after I found out that “A” and “B” had been pitching MonaVie and TEAM to the college students at our church under the guise of getting together for Christian fellowship. As their teacher, I felt it was my responsibility to make sure the students were not being preyed upon, so I asked “A” and “B” to stop. They refused, and once again I was told I didn’t understand, that I didn’t understand business, and that I needed to come to a meeting to learn about the business. So I decided to attend a meeting, and this is what I found…
I won’t say the speaker’s name, as he is very rich and could hire a much better lawyer than me, and I get the impression he would sue me for just writing honestly about him. Instead I will call him “C.” A quick Google of his name reveals that he has been involved with TEAM and Orrin Woodward since they were part of Quixtar. Orrin Woodward’s blog lists “C” as having achieved “Founders Emerald” by the end of 2004. This is worth noting because “C” at one point claimed he was making half a million dollars a year when he first got involved with MonaVie, and at another time claimed that his motivation for getting involved with TEAM was to buy shoes – he was working 80-90 hours per week and “getting nowhere.”
He opened up the meeting with economic facts about how bad the economy is right now and the unemployment rate. All valid facts, but pretty irrelevant. There were no MonaVie bottles on display, however the IDS was displayed, as well as an ORAC bar chart. Referring to the IDS, “C” said that the mean income of people who “take the business seriously” was $250,000 per year. He said only 13% take the business seriously. There was constant repetition about listening to people who are successful, not people who want to trap you in a job with a “ceiling.” If you have a traditional 40 hour a week job, your income will plateau, and can go no further than the “ceiling.” There was also a fair amount of college-bashing, with a comment made about how college students don’t know what they want, and don’t typically end up working in the field they entered college to study. The price of buying TEAM materials was also compared to buying college textbooks (something “A” had told me before). He said you would spend $60-75 on TEAM materials per month, the equivalent of buying one college textbook every other month. The price of monthly conventions or weekly meetings was not included. National conventions were pitched as costing at least $500 including travel which is necessary so that the new person can best learn what they are doing right from the start.
The entire meeting was focused on selling the plan, not teaching people how to sell. In fact “C” did not even explain how you make exceptional money with TEAM – he said you should ask the person who invited you to the meeting to explain it, or rather how to “set up your dreams.” “C” did say if you are not a salesman, change. If you don’t know anyone, go meet people or ask your relatives. He talked a little bit about how you can make money by getting other people to sign up, the binary pay plan, and “spill-over” effect. He also congratulated a new “power player” and explained that a power player was a person who had 10 people on his left leg and 5 people on his right leg and half of them were “on system.” He referred to Michael Dell’s 3 C’s (Content, Commerce, and Community), explaining that the first two were MonaVie, and the third, community, was TEAM. This was humorous to me because community refers to a customer base, so “C” was saying that TEAM is MonaVie’s customer base. In fact he did say that the juice was for “self consumption.”
What was said about MonaVie was outrageous. “C” said that a study was done on (M)mun where they injected anthrax into cattle, and the MonaVie (M)mun cured the anthrax. My wife dug up a link on the Wellmune page to a study about the anthrax-protective effects of some of Wellmune’s components. Even if the study is valid, “protective” does not equal “cure.” “C” also claimed that there has never been a single reported case of cancer in the history of Brazil. He elaborated, “Did God create a ‘no cancer zone’ in Brazil?” He never specifically said that it was because of the acai berry, the audience was left to draw their own conclusion. At the end of his “Brazil is cancer-free” speech he mumbled, “According to a Brazilian I know,” thus allowing himself to be blameless once his statements were found to be false – which was easily done with a quick Google search of “cancer rate in Brazil.” He also told a story of a young woman with two young kids who was diagnosed with cancer and given 3-6 months to live, and implied that she has survived for 9 months now using MonaVie and prayer. During one of the breaks “B,” who is diabetic, told me that since she has been using MonaVie her blood sugar levels have gone down, which is a very dangerous thing to do given the legal restrictions on medical claims that the FTC enforces and which are the law of the land.
He referred to the ORAC chart, and talked about how your body rots from the inside out without antioxidants. He said MonaVie contained 4,000 ORAC in 4 ounces, and you would have to consume nine boxes of blueberries, or 4,000 tomatoes to get the equivalent. He said he did not know of anything in a grocery store that would be as good in delivering ORAC, especially if you consider the cost of buying the 5 to 13 fruits every day as a substitute. I looked up blueberries on www.oracvalues.com, and they have an ORAC score of 6,552 per 100 grams (about 3.5 oz). The box of blueberries sitting in my fridge right now is 16 ounces, or 7 days’ worth of MonaVie, if you use their value of 4,000. This box of blueberries cost at most $5 if you buy during the off-season. One 25 oz bottle of MonaVie lasts a week if you are drinking 4 ounces every day, so at $32 for the distributor price of one bottle of MonaVie Original, my blueberries cost $0.71 per day for the same ORAC as MonaVie’s $4.57 per day. I also looked up tomatoes, and depending on variety, a fresh tomato has an ORAC score of 367-546 per 100 grams. This would mean you would need about 10 average-sized tomatoes to equal a days’ worth of MonaVie, not 4,000 tomatoes. Also, simple math will tell you that in order to need 4,000 of something to equal a value of 4,000, that something must have a value of 1. Nothing on the ORAC values website has a value of one – the lowest value they list is 82 per 100 grams for a lime. It is also worth noting that when I talked to “B” about the ORAC claims during a break in the meeting, she admitted she didn’t really know what ORAC meant, despite having attended these weekly meetings for at least a year.
I did not hear much about religion, other than that you should sign up so you can make a lot of money and give it to your church or a charity. “C” said his wife uses their profits to help the poor in Africa. He said the MORE Project has saved 9-year-old girls from having to work “on her back” like her mother did, and “things like this happen everywhere in the world because we don’t have enough money to get them out of it,” implying that if you turn down the pitch you don’t care about 9-year-old girls working on their backs. He also talked about all the lives they were saving for God. After saying next to nothing about how the plan actually worked, “C” still expected people to join on the spot with a $200 sign-up fee on the lowest level – don’t worry, they take credit cards. I can’t tell you if anyone actually signed up that night, as I was done after two hours and left. I told my friends to go home and look up ORAC values for themselves. I hope they do, but they probably forgot about it the minute after I said it.
Got a story to tell about TEAM? You could leave it in the comments below, but I highly recommend Submitting an article to sister site – TeamScam.com, where people can respond and support you.
Originally posted 2010-09-16 09:07:36. Republished by Blog Post PromoterThe 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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