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Le-Vel is Suing Me to Silence Criticism

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Last year a reader wrote me to ask about Le-Vel Thrive. Jason wrote:

"[My neighbor] has started this 'Thrive' regiment with a patch, a pill, and perhaps some other lifestyle changes, and posts daily pictures of herself on Facebook to 'document' her progress with weight-loss. To me, this looks to be just another one of the plethora of scams and schemes out there. What do you know about this 'company'? Perhaps you've already written articles on it that I wasn't aware of. If not... perhaps this could be one to look into and write about for future articles.

I decided it was worth looking into and the result was this article on Le-Vel Thrive. I'll let you read the article, but regular readers can guess my reaction to their weight-loss patch and "premium lifestyle capsules."

My article aimed to educate people on MLM and pyramid schemes similar to Truth in Advertising's article on The Thrive Experience:

"When earning your fortune depends on constant recruitment, you may find yourself entangled in a possible pyramid scheme. Know the red flags."

For the most part, I simply stuck to quoting the FTC guidelines on MLM and pyramid schemes and giving my opinion based on those guidelines.

The overwhelming response in the comments are from readers detailing how bad Le-Vel is and thanking me for writing the article.

This is the third time I've been sued for trying to help consumers make an informed decision. The previous two times I had lawyers who were greatly sympathetic to my cause and willing to win their fees in what is called an anti-SLAPP motion. They are suing me in Texas, not my home state of Rhode Island. That means that I have to find a lawyer in Texas. Thus far, I haven't one willing to work on the contingency of winning to get their fees. It's hard to ask them to take the risk of perhaps working for no money at all.

On the other hand, defending such a lawsuit can run tens of thousands of dollars. Lawyers are typically paid several hundred dollars per hour and it adds up quickly.

This leaves me in the position to ask readers to help me so I can help you (cue Jerry Maguire). Suddenly my article last week,Ask the Readers: What Makes for a Successful GoFundMe Campaign?, makes a little more sense, right?

I give a lot more detail about what is going on my GoFundMe page.

I ask that you give what you can to support free speech. If you can't give anything, please share it on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and anything else you might use like InstaChat or SnapGram.

Finally, if you happened to know a lawyer in Texas who is willing to work on contingency and/or a news organization please put me in touch with them. I can be reached here.

Thank you for your support.

Posted on February 23, 2016.

This post deals with:

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... and focuses on:

MLM

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20 Responses to “Le-Vel is Suing Me to Silence Criticism”

  1. Revanche says:

    I’ll ask around. Crossing my fingers that someone competent is willing to help.

  2. Mr. 1500 says:

    Did you read MMM’s experience: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/11/mmm-receives-legal-threats-great-lawyer-wanted/

    I don’t think he was ever sued, just threatened. However, there seemed to be a lot of great comments from readers.

    Best of luck and keep up the good fight.

  3. Mr. 1500 says:

    Oh, it’s damned East Texas. This is where all of the patent trolls go to sue too because the courts there are sympathetic assholes to their pathetic causes. It must be the same with sh*t like this. I’m sorry this has happened to you.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I don’t really know the area well, but the lawyers I talked to said that it is extremely business-friendly. That’s less than ideal, but there are pros as a jury would be rather intelligent (at least that’s what I’m told).

  4. GlimDroppper says:

    Howdy Lazy, damn sorry they’re trying to do this to you, “defending” their brand by playing the bully.

    Whatever the relative merits of Le-Vel’s products and income opportunity they are pressing what seems to be a very weak legal argument with a rather expensive legal firm simply to silence an honest reviewer.

    Oz wrote you up, other will as well, let’s put as many well founded facts in as many places as possible.

    Shine some light and make some noise. The best way to fight people trying to stifle free speech is with more free speech.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Great point GlimDropper. If they had an issue with my review, they could have discussed it, but their cease and desist letter demanded that I remove everything and never talk about them again… while saying that they respect freedom of speech. It was a very odd.

  5. sorry says:

    Now it has been revealed why there are no negative reviews online…or at least why they are so hard to find. Le-vel is going after after site that has anything negative to report. I’ve noticed this before–reviews will be posted and then all of a sudden they disappear.
    Honestly the comments on your original post are what are causing the most damage to their “brand image”. The cult like promoters fight back so diligently with name calling and their robotic rebuttals…they all say the same thing…they are the ones who are making their “brand image” look bad. I have no interest in going to their brand facebook page to read reviews. Obviously those are biased. I want real reviews from people who have no stake in the company. Unfortunately for Le-Vel, those reviews do not look good for the company. This company is nothing more than a bully–teaching their promoters to be bullies.

  6. […] I wanted to give you an update to the article that I wrote earlier this week: Le-Vel is Suing Me to Silence Criticism. […]

  7. […] last couple of weeks have been perhaps the most crazy weeks of my life. You'd think that getting sued for a million dollars for helping people is pretty crazy. That's actually #2 on the Crazy Week […]

  8. Bryce Keller says:

    Just stumbled across your thrive article. Man I feel for you. It sucks when someone who is just trying to help others get dragged to court by a million dollar scam. I’m going to see if I can donate some money to your fund this week.
    I also think we will see some class action lawsuits coming to thrive in the very near future. These companies have a short shelf life and are always targets of class actions.
    Good luck with everything. Signed up for your email list and will click some ads. Maybe advertising revenue will help a bit.

  9. Tracey Scamper says:

    The bottom line is that Le-vel is run by a narcissistic douche bag named Jason Camper who can’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel. However, he got lucky and found a way to make some money in a pyramid scheme.

    He was at Advocare for years, did well there, but then blew himself up. Some of his peers from his Advocare days have some really terrible things to say about him.

  10. Simon says:

    The reason these guys are so pissed off about your site is because they are trying to sell the Le-Vel business (or a piece of it) so they can’t stand the negative search results. When you are trying to sell a company to a private equity firm, any bad press makes the buyer freak out.

    Same goes for their attempts to borrow money against the cash flow of the business to pay the owners a dividend on the backs of the people paying for crappy products. Makes me laugh. Banks hate this kind of press when lending.

  11. Scamper says:

    Is Level going to have its lawyers sue every website on the internet that has anything negative to say about them next? Are they going to call Al Gore and have the internet taken down so their snake oil brand can’t be harmed by peoples’ opinions?

    Why are these people, who are so confident in their earth shattering brand, so worried about these little tiny comments on the web? Must be hitting a nerve with the truth. God forbid people tell the truth any more these days.

  12. Dee says:

    Lazyman; the business address for le vel in Frisco is a Goin’ Postal franchise that offers those street address PO Boxes. It is not an actual company address. A supplement cannot be marketed legally as a patch. Per FDA regulations, supplements must be ingested. Use of a patch, cream, or even a sublingual does not meet the definition of a supplement. Therefore, yes, the Thrive patch is illegally marketed and I plan to bring this to the attention of FDA myself. Another comment said the BBB rating was A+. As of now (9/18/16 8:48pm central time), le vel is not BBB accredited and has no rating. Per the BBB site, “This business has no rating because it is in the process of responding to complaint(s) previously closed as unresolved.” Returns in the US go to an address in Utah. That address is for a fulfillment center. The one officer is a “Serial Entrepreneur”. I have met a few of those. Knowing that the Tx address is a PO Box, and the Utah address is a fulfillment center, where are these “premium grade” supplements being manufactured? Scary!

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