Herbalife’s Bankruptcy Business

Michael-Burton-Herbalife-Bankruptcy

Michael-Burton-Herbalife-Bankruptcy

“I LOVE HERBALIFE …”

… is what Herbalife President’s Team member Michael Burton said to me :: unconvincingly … this past fall when I was fake robotic questioning him about his various scum sucking.

“I will be sharing the great health results of the products with people and possibilities of how Herbalife can help as long as I am on this planet.”

Says he … sounding so serious.

How can Herbalife help you with your possibilities?

I’m glad you asked :: let’s take Michael Burton as a specific example … because the personal success stories of individual distributors {who have every possible incentive to lie} are at the core of Herbalife’s marketing and sales process. “Get yourself a story” :: noob Herbalifers are repeatedly told … you can’t have success until you have a story of success. It’s like the chicken and the egg situation :: where the chicken is a lie … and the egg is also a lie. Which came first? Who cares? Fuck liars … let’s eat a chicken fried egg sandwich.

As the story goes :: Michael Burton used to be the fat-n-proud owner of some {prolly used} car dealerships :: when those failed … he and his family were driven into bankruptcy. But then glory hallelujah :: god of pyramids be praised :: he found Herbalife … and now he’s parading around in his fucking underwear … flexing his abs and stacking up a cash menagerie.

For more than a decade :: Burton has been an over-tanned ever-present on the Herbalife seminar scene … held out by his peers {and his company} as a representative of the stunning success Herbalife has made attainable to the average everyman. This dummy can do it … and you can too!

Here’s a typical Burton deployment :: taken from a biz op pitch given by crazy persons … David and Karen DeSaegher.

Michael-Burton-Herbalife-24-Flexatron

Instead of giving their money away to other companies/stores they are buying their Food, Nutrition, Skin Care, Body Care, Hair Care, Clothing from themselves/their Own Personal Herbalife business/store/company. You Can Too.

If you buy pants from the store :: then you’ll have pants … but no money. If you buy pants from yourself :: then you’ll have pants … and money! It’s a win win :: for you … and yourself. Whoever thought up this whole “just buy shit from yourself” thing … should give themselves the Nobel Prize in imaginary economics.

But an examination of Burton’s primary hub-and-capture site over the years :: doesn’t show much selling of pants/BodyCare/Food :: it shows Michael Burton doing what almost every other top distributor was doing … selling an IM biz op to blind leads generated by totally fucking massive mass market media buys. A complicated sentence :: summed up succinctly by the site’s name and banner …

Herbalife-Think-Again

WorkPartTime@Home! … dot com … As Seen On TV

WorkPartTime@Home 2001 – Michael and Michelle knew that people were getting wealthy from the growth of the Internet, but they also knew they had no way to access the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it would take to start up an Internet company. The dream of becoming wealthy from working at home seemed out of reach until they were introduced to this turnkey system.

Internet Marketing for the Multi-level Marketer :: the unicorn’s unicorn … and the shape of Herbalife’s North American operation … until just right now recentlyish.

WorkPartTime@Home 2003 – We went from bankruptcy to making over $30,000 a month in less than 2 years! The best thing is that anybody can do it, just like we have!

You can like :: totally … stay @home with your cats and everything.

WorkPartTime@Home 2006 – Thank goodness someone that knew of our declining financial situation gave us a package of information about a home business, very much like the one we are offering you here on this website.

Thank goodness :: excuse me sir :: could you tell me where I might buy my shake today?

WorkPartTime@Home 2013 – One of America’s top publicly held companies will help you open your own home business. You could earn up to $12,325 your first month…

And for an extra $20 :: if you act now … you could earn up to $12,345 your second month. Call :: 1-800-123-4567 … dot com.

Victims came to the website after seeing/hearing/reading/clicking an advertisement for a work at home business opportunity … no mention of selling Herbalife powders. From the website :: they ordered a “decision pack” … and that pack had Burton pitching them on a new kind of MLM operation … an Internet-based op that had forever eliminated the necessity of recruiting friends and family {and people in line at Walmart}.

The purpose of the WorkPartTime@Home decision pack :: was to sell 4000 volume point Herbalife supervisor orders … and to get people signed up for Burton’s shadow scheme … Global Home Business Systems. For a series of stiff fees :: GHBS could turn your old fashioned vitamin MLM into a new fangled Internet Marketing business … which would burn the fuel of qualified leads … also purchased from Burton and GHBS.

If you’re thinking that this sounds EXACTLY like what Anthony Powell was doing :: EXACTLY like what Doran Andry was doing :: EXACTLY like what Shawn Dahl was doing … then you are EXACTLY right. For the last 15 years :: the entirety of Michael O. Johnson’s reign as HLF CEO … this was the daily mode of operation building Herbalife’s North American business. And the people :: and the personal success stories … from the North American business {wrapped as they are in aspirational ideas about democracy and the American Dream} are the anchor of Herbalife’s global business. An anchor of oily sand.

No one at Herbalife :: including Michael Burton … will bother trying to justify the manipulative morally repulsive {fucking fraudulent!} bullshit permeating Michael Burton’s websites … because it can’t be done. Herbalife just wants to pretend like what happened :: never happened … and dipshit fake reporters like Duane Stanford at Businessweek seem more than happy to oblige.

Michael Burton was surprised to learn that I had his horrid decision pack videos :: pretending to forget about how he produced DVDs telling people to cash out their retirement accounts … and then sent them around to a gobsmacking amount of potential victims pre-selected for their fear and vulnerability.

But yeah :: I fucking gots it … and I did this with it to help him remember.

Write this down … just put it on a credit card.

In 2013 :: WorkPartTime@Home finished disappearing … as did the rest of the Internet businesses that have kept Herbalife alive all these too many years. Huge hordes of people signed up to “work from home” :: “no pitching to friends and family”  :: “the prospects will come to you” :: but the terms have been changed unilaterally … and now they’re facing a new reality at bury-the-bodies Herbalife. Here’s Michael Burton :: telling me about how it’s not like it was before …

 [I]t’s not about the truth with u , I am committed to my teams success I work with my guys like crazy all we do us nutrition clubs and fit clubs and face to face every freaking day working with people to lose weight or get in great shape to take on a healthy active life style , anything else u may ” have on me ” would be from years past and u are on a mission to discredit Herbalife and now me to try to prove your point…

Herbalife 2014 :: face to face … every freaking day working.

herbalife-fitcamp-bankruptcy

On July 29th :: Michael Burton filed a $7,124,893 bankruptcy … seven times as large as his pre-Herbalife bankruptcy {and the number is sure to grow because many debts are listed as size “unknown”}.  I applaud him for doing so :: because it’s one of the most fascinating scamworld documents I’ve ever seen … and I’ve been staring at it for months.

… a financial Instagram of Herbalife’s seedy business operations.

Rich :: millionaire :: super successful :: Michael Burton … fucking isn’t. He owns no property {his foreclosed upon mortgage part of Bear Stearn’s toxic sludge} :: he has no savings :: his cars are leased … his income is far {so far!} below what he has forever been claiming in his sales materials. He and Michelle are keeping separate households :: so his share of the “working every freaking day” monthly income is $6,500 … not bad of course … but he did have to tell people to leverage their retirement accounts in order to achieve it … and it is not sufficient to cover his expenses.

And you can too?

Michael Burton owes himself :: Worldwide Nutrition Group … $150,000. I guess if you’re going to buy from yourself :: you may as well lend to yourself … an economy of one. Don’t tell Ayn Rand :: but even economies of one have to pay the tax man … which Burton apparently failed to do … because he owes the IRS more than a million unbankruptable dollars … and has tax liens up the ying yang.

He owes …

  • Worldwide Express — $300,000
  • UPS — $400,000
  • FedEx — $200,000

… shipping companies aren’t in the business of extending long-term credit :: so those crazy ridiculous numbers might well be just a single month of Burton’s operation.

  • Lead Generation Technologies — $1.5 million
  • Guerra Communication — $350,000
  • Last Second Media — $12,500
  • Centurion Media — $116,800

… all names that come up repeatedly when one is investigating “successful” Herbalife distributorships :: companies responsible for producing and distributing quality adverts like this piece of shit television commercial I’m sure you’ve been subjected to more than a hundred times …

The YouTube description tells us that …

This little number rocked over 2 million leads for an Herbalife Distributor.

These operations were fucking ginormous :: the externalized advertising budget of a multi-billion dollar public company … the game so much bigger than the silly little players.

I will {of course} admit {because it’s true} … they fucking killed this shit. Like :: almost … in one fell swoop. Almost like they could have just done it {had they wanted to} :: at anytime … during these past fifteen years.  Almost like … this thing was totally fucking centralized.

They cut off their arms :: and their legs … because they don’t want {their stock} to die. They’ve replaced the cutting edge of scam :: with the “remember the 90’s?” of scam … and the always tenuous exploitation of global poverty. Two modes which {I will prove in the coming months} are every bit as scammy :: while being far less …

  • efficient
  • duplicatable
  • scalable
  • impressive / appealing {to the consumers of impossible dreams}

The switch from the new to the old wiped out the always lying Michael Burton in an instant … but somehow it had no effect on Herbalife proper? Some d-bag Wall Street d-bag called Tim Ramey named HLF his best stock idea of 2014

“Perversely, the inquisition HLF has endured for the past year has made the company better with a few ‘raising the bar’ policy tweaks on product returns and ‘lead generation,'” Ramey says, adding that the company has posted 19 consecutive “beat and raise” EPS quarters in a row.

“Policy tweaks” :: my motherfucking ass … this was a foundation shifting earthquake … which HLF has yet to survive. Because :: as I shouldn’t need to remind Wall Street … cleaning up toxicity is expensive … and greedy people don’t like to be fucked out of what they see as their due.

Nineteen consecutive “beat and raise” quarters? Nineteen? Through an epic bear attack :: and an unprecedented “policy tweaking” suicide attack … beat and raise? Nineteen quarters?

No.

I’m starting to wonder if Herbalife’s earnings claims are EXACTLY like Michael Burton’s earnings claims.

Fraudulent fractals.

>> bleep bloop

74 thoughts on “Herbalife’s Bankruptcy Business”

  1. Wow! Crazy $h1t.. Hopefully the SEO of this SD post torches this guy…

    Wonder what Bo Jackson has to do with this guy:

    Jackson Bo Group, LLC – 100% Membership
    Interests
    State of Entity Formation: Texas
    Location: 3804 Hidden Tra
    il, Flower M
    ound TX
    75022
    Privately Held; Non-Marketable Security

  2. So the hydra-lizard cut off a lot of its own head-tails in an effort to stay blame free in the eyes of the public.

    It would be good if the pressure could be kept up. Presumably, what Herbalife is looking to do next is to hope that the negative attention dies down so they can get a new batch of Michael Burton-types in the future. So hopefully they will not be able to do that.


    Furry cows moo and decompress.

  3. SD, I’m sure you’ve seen what the market’s been doing to Nu Skin (NYSE:NUS)? It’s down A LOT. Apparently the People’s Daily News in China called it a cult. This kind of news is usually a precursor to a major crackdown. One of the articles I read noted that NUS claims to have 850,000 cultists, erm, DISTRIBUTORS, in China. Maybe not so many soon…

    1. http://seekingalpha.com/article/1949291-dark-days-ahead-for-herbalife-longs

      http://seekingalpha.com/article/1943351-you-cant-beat-mickey-mouse-so-stay-out-of-herbalife

      From the seeking Alpha article:
      In such a heightened battle for right and wrong, classes of highly-profiled investors have chosen their sides, and have made claims against each other’s thesis. Having listened to both sides of the argument, I have concluded that neither are definitely conclusive – but amidst the process, I have discovered an important element to the story, the most telling of all in my opinion, that others in the press have overlooked or purposely avoid explicitly stating, which may or may not have been deliberately orchestrated by the larger media and broadcasting sector. What is this element? It is precisely the story of Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson and his intricate ties to Washington through his senior tenure at Walt Disney (DIS). After having done some research, my core belief is that HLF is not a good short solely based on the fact that the CEO’s ties to Washington are unbreakable, and for better or for worse by history, winning a battle against the omni-powerful house of Disney is equivalent to attacking the most powerful conglomerate of national interests of the United States.

      The insuperable power of Michael Johnson via Disney

      Michael Johnson was President of Walt Disney International since 2000, which is a position he held since succeeding current Disney President Bob Iger. This practically puts Johnson in the most elite of circles in the Disney club. One only needs to read the history of Disney to get a sense of its political power through the past centuries (WWII and on). During his career at Disney, Johnson expanded the company’s media presence from less than 40 markets to more than 80 today, creating subsidiaries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Disney then quickly became the top home entertainment distribution organization with enhanced licensee operation controls under Johnson’s global leadership. Having led such feats could only mean that he worked with lawmakers and regulators across the world for over a decade – in which one can only assume he developed powerful relationships to push his agenda. He was the highest paid CEO in 2011. He got more than $90mm, having exercised more than 2mm stock options in 2011 for a profit north of $70mm. In the process, he has made many of his constituents rich, tripling the company’s stock over the years. Furthermore, Johnson is a former backer of failed Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. His presence in Washington therefore is irrefutably certain, and an extremely powerful one at that. In addition, Herbalife has spent $3.6mm on lobbying in the past five years, according to OpenSecrets.org. An even more fun (and scary) fact – if you take a look at the IPO prospectus filing of HLF on EDGAR filed on 1 October 2004 (linked here), there is a picture of the Obama family (when he was a Senator, 2004) being presented as model distributors! Search for “F-60” and you will see the family photo, including Obama himself playing on the beach with his children. (Author’s note: It appears that this has been disputed as an urban myth according to links, but I will let the readers decide.)

    2. I tried using google translate on the second People’s Daily NuSkin article on an iPad…couldn’t figure out how to do it on the whole article at once so it was sort of frustrating…maybe one of you technical geniuses could tell me how to do it…will google translate do passages larger than a couple of lines at a time??? But anyway, I did get some idea of what was in the article.

      They seem to talk about the pyramid and LGAT aspect of MLM/NuSkin in the US, some of the incriminating troubles and accusations they’ve already faced in the US. There was also some stuff about NuSkin’s age-LOC products, evidence casting doubt on the science of it, also casting doubt on the reliability of the endorsement NuSkin got from some guy at Stanford, I think it looked like the article had some evidence that Stanford has asked that NuSkin stop implying that Stanford itself is somehow endorsing NuSkin’s age-LOC bogus “science”. Then there was a section at the end of the article discussing that it appears that NuSkin is trying to blame any problems in China entirely on their sales people. The article quoted Chinese legal people who said that attitude was not going to cut it under Chinese law, that in China, the corporation has the ultimate responsibility unless the salesperson is a separate legal corporation, or something like that, which they didn’t think the salespeople in China are, and NuSkin should be legally responsible for any wrongdoings by their salespeople there. The tone seemed to be very tsk tsk tsk about NuSkin’s plausible deniability response, blaming salespeople, to the criticisms in the first article.

      I don’t endorse the communist party or anything, but I have to say, they do seem to see/report this situation pretty accurately. I hope a lot of Chinese people read the articles and stay away from American MLM companies like NuSkin and Herbalife.

      1. There is a note on the page
        http://translate.google.com/
        that says “Type text or a website address”

        so if you just paste the website’s address in, that should “work”. Mind you–the actual translated page will probably not read so great.

        Furry cows moo and decompress.

        1. Thx Wyrd. I shouldn’t try to do everything on an iPad, for some things it’s like trying to sprint in running shoes across the bottom of a swimming pool. If I’d been at a real keyboard I might have actually seen that.

  4. Pingback: Anonymous
  5. So fucking disgusting. I hope Michael ends up on the street…but prolly not. He’ll be at it again within a few months. God damn these shit bags.

    1. @The Overseer ::

      Nope :: he’s still totally “at it” … nothing’s changed. HLF is still parading him about … testimoanializing him all willy nilly.

      As they say in India … “watch this space”

  6. …and the Herbalife International of America Inc. had ‘unknown’ in the Burton Bankruptcy document. i.e. Herbalife does not know, or did not want to say, how much they had to write off because of Burton.

    I wonder how much stock Herbalife has on their accounts, as due to be paid for, but is in fact just stuff that has been pushed out to people that the Herbalife business model bankrupts.

    I also wonder how long Herbalife’s unsustainability will be sustainable for.

    I think Herbalife now needs to up their PR budget. A lot. But it won’t be good enough.

  7. In a way, these scammers are proving what “Rich Dad” Kiyosaki said, but in a very different way (not the way Kiyosaki intended).

    Basically, you CANNOT get rich through MLM, because in MLM, you’re stuck as a glorified S (self-employed sales).

    The true way to get ahead in MLM is you start a B (business) that feeds your S downlines. But that just means this B is an fraudulent recruitment scheme.

    Or if you have enough money, you can do what Warren Buffet did… Buy the whole biz.

    But it’s clear that the average Joe has no chance in MLM, unless a) he’s part of the inner circle (like the Tartol Clan for Herbheads) or b) he’s picked for Judas goat because he showed some promise as such.

  8. That bankruptcy PDF….wow.

    Now that Herbalife has been forced to clean up major parts of their unsavory mess they will try to deny that a lot of it ever happened….ministryoftruth. Thanks SD for not letting the facts disappear.

  9. This should include some articles by people who have gone bankrupt by testing out the Herbalife self-owned business. They sell you a lot of hot air filled balloons and you invest your dwindling savings, then turn to cc to finance your “business” and you have jumped off the cliff into the inevitable bankruptcy court. The players in this criminal business should be behind bars and herbalife MLM should be banned forever.

  10. Massive trade suggests Ackman is doubling down on Herbalife

    ” Is Bill Ackman adding to his short bet against Herbalife?

    That is what option experts are deducing after a massive bearish bet against the stock was executed over two days this month. Incredibly, even with Herbalife’s 10 percent plunge on Thursday off a Chinese investigation into fellow multilevel marketer Nu Skin, shares still need to drop another 40 percent within a year to make the trade profitable at expiration. ”

    “This was just a huge, huge bet to make, and the number of people who could do that is really small,” said option trader Mike Khouw, primary strategist at Dash Financial. “And Ackman has just enough hubris to do it.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101343507

    1. Funny how that works isn’t it? It’s called getting the mark to think their time/monetary losses were their own fault…”you didn’t try hard enough” “you didn’t invest enough” “you should have bought more classes and sales material from us” “you need to put more hours into it” …there’s always some excuse to direct the blame away from the a$$hole criminals running the scam. Blaming up the victim, it’s such a tried and true criminal technique that it’s a cliche.

      Sometimes victims, when they figure out they’ve been screwed, just want to forget about the whole embarrassing f@&$ing mess and move on. Also, importantly, it’s not that easy to be heard as a victim, even if you want to be heard. Only big wheels with a lot of money like Ackman have a megaphone big enough to get anybody to listen. I really haven’t heard anything too much from the millions of victims of other verified scams: Madoff’s Enron’s, Fortune Hi Tech, any number of other legions of pyramids/MLMs/frauds that have been shut down. Hordes of people have been scammed, but it wasn’t because thousands protested that the scams got shut down. It doesn’t work that way. With scams like Scientology, you only hear a little bit about it when a semi-celebrity wakes up and figures out the fraud. Then the press cycle moves on to the next story. They never even cover it if a “nobody” wakes up and tries to tell the world about the awfulness they have gone through.

      Because we’re a (relatively) free country, we seem to think that our citizens need to be “free” to make their own mistakes, like getting scammed by MLM. Sure, we do need to be free to make mistakes and learn from them. Cult tactic groups add a twisted wrinkle to this concept though. The trouble is, undue influence/cult-tactic scams, like MLM, work by removing freedom of mind. It’s as simple as that. Caveat Emptor no longer applies in such cases. This is concept is very difficult for Americans to understand. We are social creatures. Since we all do use reasonable, ethical, social influence techniques in daily life, Americans can’t see that sometimes people cross the line into unethical, destructive influence and control of other people. I believe the current terminology for this among experts is Undue Influence/Social Coercion. Social influence is an incredibly powerful thing, as shown by numerous studies such as the Asch Conformity Experiment, the Smoke Filled Room Experiment, the Stanford Prison Experiment, etc, etc, etc. Read the classic book “Influence” or study the work of Lifton or Phillip Zimbardo or Steve Hassan (or the essays and allegorical novels of George Orwell, for that matter). The work has already been done. The removal of freedom of mind is the problem, Americans are very naive, complacent and ignorant about it and our criminal justice system does not deal well with it.

        1. @murc229 ::

          So do you have an address or phone number at Herbalife where people can return their hundreds of millions of dollars worth of “leads” then?

            1. Their uplines, duh.

              So much so, Herbalife had to outlaw them last year. Six months after Ackman’s epic short.

              Clearly, they know exactly what their top reps are doing… For YEARS, and did something only when they are afraid Ackman can goad the Feds to act.

    2. @murc229 ::

      Funny. Maybe on file with thousands of different government agencies :: large and small … none of whom have the proper statutory authority :: funding :: or expertise … to do anything about it? Maybe in the heads of hundred of thousands of victims who melted away without ever properly admitting to themselves that they’d been scammed {due to the brutal and intentional manipulation}? Maybe in the heads of hundreds of thousands of others who realize they were scammed :: but blame themselves … or know that reporting it is basically pointless.

      Maybe once you’ve participated in the scam yourself … you can’t report the scam with out implicating your own actions? Maybe they’re in countless blog posts :: tweets : facebooks :: forum posts :: yada yada … that were threatened out of existence by badguys and their badguy lawyers? Wait … none of that shit is funny.

          1. Multiply that one by some sort of ungodly number to account for ones not shown there and (as SD said) strewn about the web…then suddenly grow a brain and also realize that you need to go look at PATTERN OF COMPLAINTS (something BBB actually got right)…and voila!

          2. Just wanted to post one more thing on the “lack of complaints” fallacy…(which a bank pulled out yet again this week in defense of HLF, I just read in a NY Post article). There are some great articles over on the Seeking Alpha site by Robert Fitzpatrick, Douglas Brooks, William Keep, Bruce Craig (and maybe Jon Taylor…can’t remember). This excerpt is from an essay by Robert Fitzpatrick, comparing HLF and Ackman to the history of the famous Ponzi case:

            “It should be noted that Ponzi’s business never generated significant consumer complaints. Critical questions and accusations, rather, came from muckraking journalists who took legal and professional risks to question the scheme. Critics were often viciously attacked by Ponzi’s investors as elitists, big business manipulators, anti-business socialists, or small minded individuals who resented or envied Ponzi’s success. The tide changed only when an authoritative voice weighed in against Ponzi. That highly respected figure was Clarence W. Barron, the de facto founder of the Dow Jones news service and the publisher of the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s Magazine.”

            http://seekingalpha.com/article/1150071-the-herbalife-controversy-a-historical-perspective

    3. @murc229

      funny, where are the thousands of victims complaints?

      Hi! I am so grateful you happened by today.

      You know, I’m having kind of a down day–a little blah. I’m not sure I’d be up for a complicated debate where I have to spend a lot of time looking stuff up.

      Thankfully you asked something that is very, very easy to answer. @SD has already done the work and he even mashed up a picture and stuff.

      Now I get, @murc229, that what you were basically implying is that Herbalie must surely be all froo-froo in proof by contradiction style. I.e., if Herbalife were a scam, then surely there ought to be a ton of victims complaining. But there are not.. therefore Herbalie must be legit. It’s been a while since foundations of math class, but I am getting the sense that, that logic is sloppy at best. But it doesn’t matter in any case.

      Because in fact there are victims complaining. But you can’t hear them because 1) some unhappy truths just don’t make it on TV/radio/etc. 2) You’re not really listening anyway and 3) Some of the conned will never even know that they were conned. (happens more often than you would be prepared to believe)

      But anyways, what you actually asked was “where are the thousands of victims complaints?” And @SD has a list of 2600 scammed persons who filed suit.

      Since 2,600 is in “thousands”, this technically answers your question.

      http://saltydroid.info/herbalife-profit-and-loss/
      From the article:

      Pictured above {and below} are just a tiny subset of those very real people :: with their very real losses … detailed as part of a 2005 class action settlement between Herbalife and 2600 of its unlucky victims. Anyone still under the ignorant misimpression that the Herbalife story is about billionaire hedge fund managers {I’m talkin’ to you William Cohan} :: should spend a few hours reading that list of names out loud to themselves … until the stark reality of the situation starts to sink in and cause the proper level of outrage and existential crisis.


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

    4. @murc229
      If HLF is such a successful, huge, multi-billion dollar product-selling business, why is it that absolutely no one I know buys or uses Herbalife products? …..”Funny”
      Unlike products from companies like Clorox, say, or Nabisco or Nike or whatever…you actually see those products in your friend’s kitchens and bathrooms or see your friends wearing or using the product.

      If HLF is a product selling company, I ought to see some evidence of their products out in my world somewhere…and yet I don’t. “Funny”

  11. I believe the bulk of HLF distributors are discount customers they cannot lose money or be victims.Many distributors interested in the business opp. reach their own goals and some do not.Mind control not sure about that.Most people would scream to high heaven if they feel ripped off.Volume points can be accumulated over time,no need to buy up front.Its a bad business decision to purchase up front when just starting out.

    Neilsen and lieberman studies both found many happy current and ex distributors.With millions of out of the network consumers.I have read articles from Fitzpatrick Taylor Craig Carter and Van druff and also the pro MLM people Clements Baebener Cook and the DSA.Trying to be on the right side.I guess I dont believe the anti-MLM people We are a free society and the responsibility is on the individual to be responsible and diligent.

    There are millions of independent distributors and they probably run the whole distance from great to criminal.The criminals should be stopped as soon as possible,as it is in all industries.

    1. @murc229
      One: Since HLF won’t disclose sales records, you have no basis for knowing any truth about sales…as you yourself put it, you “believe”, and that’s it. HLF won’t let anybody look at sales data to clear things up. Lack of transparency about sales records makes me personally think of the saying:

      “Where there is secrecy, there is fraud”.

      Two: People will not scream to high heaven as long as they are drinking the kool aid.

      Three: Scammy companies with lots of money like HLF can pay for studies that come out with whatever results they ask the “researcher” to come up with. Lieberman was paid by HLF. You can go verify that for yourself.

      Four: I stand by what I said about undue influence/social coercion. It exists, it is a real thing. Have you ever heard of Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate, or are you too young? The science on social influence (both negative and positive) is out there. If you are mixed up in HLF, I feel for you. If you are, I encourage you to read as much as you can at this site. Start with the series SD did on Sheeple, Parts one thru five, it gives good background on the topic, then just read whatever posts interest you. It’s really entertaining, for one thing, and it is also entirely accurate. If you are afraid to read articles at this site, I think you ought to ask yourself: why is that?

    2. You wrote “I believe the bulk of HLF distributors are discount customers they cannot lose money or be victims.”

      And you based your belief on what, exactly?

      Without actual sales data to these “bulk of HLF distributors” you have what’s known as “blind faith”, or “opinion”, which, as the cliche goes, everybody’s got one, like noses and ***holes.

      If they do indeed do proper “self-consumption”, fine, but there’s no proof that they do, or do not. There’s simply NO DATA.

  12. When Wedbush upgraded HLF a few weeks ago they used info from distributors in China as proof that Nu Skin was not competing.
    What did Greenburg say? “You cant rely on info from distributors”

    So I ask,”What would be the point”

    2.Thats your opinion.Can you prove that.

    Nielsen and Lieberman studies will stand in any court.Your opinion is not valuable.

    Very few small sect will ever act in that manner.Most would complain

    I read it all and make informed decisions

    1. The honest truth is Wall Street don’t give a **** about the distributors as long as company keep pushing up the stock prices… through both buybacks and good financial numbers.

      John Hempton of Bronte Capital wrote back on January 2013:

      I agreed with Bill Ackman that Herbalife is mostly about ripping off distributors and people at the end of the chain. The product is more than twice as expensive as competitor shakes. I called Herbalife “scumbags”.
      But they are highly cash flow positive scumbags and they will use the cash flow to buy back shares. Over the past five years the share count has gone from 140 million to 108 million and will fall further.
      They are scumbags then – but they are scumbags working for stock market investors.

      So don’t bother using Wall Street as a legitimacy gauge. They don’t care about the company’s ethics. Need more proof? Go check tobacco companies.

    2. Your interjection that if people are cheated they would complain…

      What if they don’t know they are being cheated? Like all the people in the Matrix?

      Are you aware of the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme, shut down in August 2012? NOBODY in the company realized they were being cheated, right up to the day Feds moved in and closed their doors, kicked out all the employees, changed the locks, and started carting away the documents as evidence.

      Even as the Feds started carrying away boxes of documents, in full view of the people STILL coming to its door to drop off checks hoping to join in, those people think the Feds are just employees taking out office supplies.

      It was not until the next day when a guy, with a badge on his belt, and identified himself as a Secret Service agent investigating the Zeek Rewards Ponzi shut down by SEC emergency order, AND want to take people’s statements, that people REALLY realized that they’ve been cheated.

      And for some it took MUCH LONGER, several MONTHS later, as they are in denial, and even raised funds to sue the SEC in attempt to restart Zeek.

      So please don’t say “you can’t scam that many people at once”. It’s been done. Zeek has over 1 MILLION victims all around the world.

      Yes, HLF will be different, but your logic on that specific item holds no water. Find some OTHER relevant points to discuss.

    3. As for Nielsen and Lieberman surveys…

      You can’t prove anything from a survey. You can only extrapolate from a survey. And such extrapolation are notoriously inaccurate, due to variety of factors. The infamous Dewey Wins headline from way back when comes to mind.

      And survey companies have vast amount of experience, couple decades worth, to know how to word the questions just enough to produce the right results without being obvious about it. No such data about the actual survey process of the former distributors were done. Survey of Herbalife market share was a random web survey of “major websites”, which is clearly NOT a representative slice of US population.

      Did you know that voters tend to vote yes on school funding issues if the voting place is in a school vs. a non-school location?

      Have you thought about why would Herbalife had to classify their lowest tier distributor as “customer”, if they already have so many customers as per their own survey?

      What you think supports your current opinion may not actually do so.

  13. From the FTC
    with a breakdown from police departments and municipalities

    Total MLM complaints

    2010-2,289
    2011-2,042
    2012-2,922

    There are over 2000 MLM in USA

    1. hey, murc229, why aren’t you responding to SD, Jack, and others? They’ve tried to explain why there are so few FTC complaints.

      Herbalife and MLMs mess with peoples minds. Its a psychological scam – they don’t rob people with guns and masks…

      Herbalife pretends to be your friend, your supporter. Herbalife convinces you that if you fail, its YOUR FAULT. You start to believe it… and after being psychologically manipulated so much, you are EMBARRASSED, and BROKEN…and quitting is TRAUMATIC and difficult. Most likely just want to FORGET it ever happened.

      The scam is dark and sophisticated. It’s NOT simple, like, if Walmart charged you for two boxes of Cheerios instead of one…so you complain to customer service. It’s complicated, like if you got raped by a family friend, and didn’t know what to do, maybe keeping it secret for years…

    2. @murc229,

      First; just outta curiosity, from whence did you get yer numbers? Are they on an FTC site somewhere? Totally possible, but 10 min of googling has not turned them up so I suppose they must be buried. Or did you maybe get your numbers somewhere else?

      Second, assuming the numbers are even real: What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China? What point are you actually trying to make?


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

    3. Are you aware of the amount of “victim blaming” that goes on in MLM?

      i.e. “The system worked for me, so if it didn’t work for you, it must be your fault”
      or perhaps “You simply lack faith and dedication, please train harder, come by the next meeting”

      The victims who lost money, perhaps some of them are just not cut out for it, but many of them are told MLM is a one-size-fits-all business, many are told conflicting stories, about it’s for part-time income, then once they joined it’s “I pledge to give my all for at least one year to truly realize my potential” (see Mary Kay story).

      Oh, I agree that part of which is the MLMs have gotten so lax they allowed their top reps to setup side-businesses like remoras to feed off the main body. The common used term is “Amway Tool Scam”, even though it is present in VERY major MLM, where top reps setup training camps or lead generation systems and feed off the new reps so the main company has plausible deniability. This article is about Michael Burton’s side biz, but Shawn Dahl, and others have nearly IDENTICAL businesses.

      And guess who else had a side biz? Ruel Morton, formerly of Fortune High Tech Marketing (FHTM)

      USA Today has this to say:

      “Ruel Morton and Todd Rowland, two top Fortune money earners, are both offering “boot camps” to train the thousands of salespeople under them in their “downline.” Morton’s now-frequent pitches for the $395 three-day seminars at his Texas ranch are not subtle.
      “You can either choose to be a king or you can settle for being the subject of someone else’s kingdom!” he exclaims on his website, RuelMorton.com.”

      ( http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2011-02-07-multilevelmarketing03_CV_N.htm )

      Two years later (Jan 2013) FTC and 6 state AGs shut down FHTM for good.

      While the “tool scams” are not directly attributable to MLMs themselves, there’s no doubt that the entire MLM environment setup the situation that is ripe for abuse, and the MLMs decided to do nothing about them, just like the Wall Street decided to do nothing about the unscrupulous companies… as long as they produce.

    4. So @murc229 – my only question is: if Herbalife is such a great company, why on number one of the FAQ on their web page is the question: What do you do about unsavoury business practices?

      Then there is question 4. Isn’t Herbalife just a pyramid or Ponzi scheme?

      Then there is question 5. Is Herbalife a cult?

      Check out more very entertaining questions that no genuine, honest, decent company would have the reason, or the stupidity to post to their official website:

      http://company.herbalife.com/faq/company#a1

      It is very funny indeed. But also bizarre in the extreme. Yet there are big bets on Herbalife being a wonderful solid company? Rather than on it being a nasty criminal enterprise, that is finally having some light shed on it?

      And then there are people like you, coming out of the woodwork, saying that it is a decent, normal, good company, that everyone is being mean to? Except not many people like you. Just you, recently. Hardly anyone else. Surely there must be millions of happy Herbalife distributors who would leap to the defence of the marvellous company, and take umbrage, and support you in your lonely quest? Except there are not. And they don’t. It seems to be just you. And you might even see the light? Here’s hoping.

      1. @Random Stuff

        Yeah, good point. ’cause there’s not ever millions of distributors coming out in support. There are some scammed folks that still believe in Herbalife, but Herbalife’s supporters are mostly folks like Michael Burton… or people on Wall Street.


        Furry cows moo and decompress.

    5. @murc229 ::

      Cool :: good job with the counting. Is counting shit up your area of expertise? Then maybe how about counting the total number new/illegal immigrants that are being exploited by Herbalife? Should those people be reporting their losses to the FTC then?

  14. Wow! I can’t believe I missed this post last week. But I am busy working @home with my cats, so shit falls through the cracks.

    The Burton bankruptcy paperwork is amazing! So many WTF line items. Burton makes $6k a month but has no assets to speak of. What’s striking to me are how many business debts affect his personal bankruptcy. I don’t begrudge any business requiring a personal guarantee, but I see this pattern as symptomatic of Herbalife’s refusal to accept distributorship applications from corporations and partnerships. Whereas franchises want business-savvy managers representing their brand, MLMs prey on unsophisticated individuals.

        1. @Wyrd

          Ah! Herbalife and peace in the Middle East … leaders without balls to take action, a tiny minority that forcefully dictates its own selfish way and too many innocent people suffer in between.

  15. I saw this ass clown speak at an “HOM” meeting in the Dallas area with my estranged wife a few months back. She has gotten herself deeply involved with HLF cult. Burton’s daughter is a “Health Coach” at the “nutrition club” my wife frequents. She thinks their family is mega loaded so I’m sure she hasn’t seen this. I had seen one too many MLM pitches to fall for their bs, but my wife (younger) ate that sh*t up. I supported her efforts but did not join up. She is now a total brainwashed HLF drone and at Xmas decided that “I don’t see her vision.” etc, and that she wants a divorce. We had a nice home and life with a 4 year old daughter together but there’s no talking logic with her. Every word out of her mouth is some quote from Jim Rohn or Rich Dad, Poor Dad etc. and about her new path that she is on.. the Herbalife path. God help us.

    1. @Dennis A., make sure the divorce is final and you don’t have to pay all her bills after she goes bankrupt from this hype pyramid. She may have to brainwash a few others to keep paying bills.

    2. That’s terrible. I hope you are able get custody to keep your daughter out of the unicorn cults and away from the privation of keeping up appearances while falling further and further in debt. If you need help finding appropriate legal representation, email the Droid.

      Unfortunately, after your wife figures out she’s not making money with Herbalife, she’ll move on to Amway or forex trading or life coaching or affiliate marketing. Once a unicorn bites you, you’re more susceptible to other unicorns. They can smell the hemorrhaging cash.

  16. Thanks for the advice guys. I wish she would snap out of her hypnosis but she is way gone. This sucks, I miss my pre- HLF family.

    1. Hi Dennis, she is in fact hypnotised. My suggestion is to have other people make suggestions to her. She is unlikely to take advice from you as you are basically “the enemy”. Get someone to send her a link to a short post about her guru’s Bankrupcy.
      Enrol others to help. To a certain extent you need to use some of the cult tactics yourself. If everywhere she turns everyone around her is pointing out the scam there is a chance she may begin to doubt. It has to be done subtly to be effective though. Save the sledgehammers for later. They are counterproductive now. I am a hypnotist and if you need advice (totally pro bono) PM me.

      1. G
        I agree, I think that’s great advice.

        It ‘s interesting, what you wrote kind of distills down to a very few words the same advice given by Steve Hassan in his book “Freedom of Mind, Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs”: Try and enlist family and friends, others who care about the person into a team if possible. Negative social influence got them into the cult tactic group, positive social influence may be able to get them out. The goal is to try to get the person to think for themselves.

        Robert Cialdini and Philip Zimbardo (look them up, they’re amazing) both endorse the book. I thought it was pretty good. It’s not free but it is less than $20 from Amazon, I think.

      2. Thanks for the advice. That is exactly what I plan to do. Although the damage already done to our marriage may be insurmountable at this point, I still want to help her wake up at least.

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