Is MonaVie a Scam?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer? It is perhaps the most incredible example of deceptive marketing in the history of mankind.
What I’ve found is tons of irrefutable evidence supported by reputable third parties that MonaVie is a grossly overpriced product, with little nutritional value, wrapped in a poor business opportunity that appears to be illegal pyramid scheme, supported by nonsensical “scientific” studies and illegal medical claims.
That’s a lot to digest. I’m going to give you a minute to re-read that.
Typically when people are interested in MonaVie, they are focused on two things: 1) The nutritional value of the product and 2) the business opportunity. After all, the promise of MonaVie marketing is health and wealth for you and all your friends.
MonaVie’s Nutritional Value
Many of MonaVie’s claims come on something called a ORAC value. It’s a lab test that measures anti-oxidants in food. On the face of it higher ORAC seems better, but there’s a lot more to it than that. I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to try to explain ORAC to you. However, Dr. Jonny Bowden explains that MonaVie doesn’t cure cancer and gives great detail about ORAC in the process.
There are a couple more issues with regard to MonaVie an ORAC values. High on the list is that MonaVie lies about the ORAC score of MonaVie. They published two widely different scores.
Many distributors make the claim that drinking 4 ounces of MonaVie is like eating 13 fruits and thus is a way to save money. This is a huge lie. MonaVie put out marketing material that said it “Delivers the antioxidant capacity of approximately 13 servings of fruits and vegetables in just four ounces.” MonaVie set up a the classic telephone game where the initial message conveyed changes as it passes through the downline and the words, “antioxidant capacity” get left out. In this statement, the antioxidant capacity is measured ORAC value, and the equivalent fruits and vegetables are not even mentioned. A MonaVie product specialist cleared this up when called, but MonaVie didn’t issue a clarification or change its website for years… see more at Drinking MonaVie is Not Equal to Eating 13 Fruits.
To follow up on the above, a single apple has the antioxidant capacity of 9.5 ounces of MonaVie. If a person was relying on four ounces of MonaVie to give them the equivalent of 13 fruits, they are making a huge nutritional error as 13 apples has the equivalent ORAC value as 123 ounces of MonaVie. MonaVie Original retails for around $1.48 an ounce, so that’s around $182 of juice for the equivalent antioxidant capacity of 13 apples.
A consortium of U.S. government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), USDA, and the FDA to put out guidelines on fruit and veggies and serving size. The result is that 4 ounces of MonaVie is a Serving of fruit which looks like 1 snack container of applesauce (4oz) or about 6 baby carrots. At MonaVie’s retail price of around $6.00 for four ounces that’s like buying a baby carrot for $1.00!
If you need a little more evidence on the nutritional value of MonaVie, Men’s Journal put several fruit juices to the test using criteria set up by a director or clinical nutrition. The result was horrendous, “MonaVie tested extremely low in anthocyanins and phenolics. Even apple juice (which also tested poorly) has more phenolics…” and “Plus, MonaVie’s vitamin C level was five times lower than that of Welch’s Grape Juice. That’s not many nutrients, especially at $1.20 a serving.” Website changes have divided the article into many pieces, but the you can read it in two parts: part 1 and part 2 with the MonaVie-specific comments.
What do national doctors have to say? Dr. Andrew Weil gives a thumbs down on MonaVie, Dr. Dean Edell calls MonaVie worthless, and Dr. Joe Schwarcz warns against acai health claims. These are all unbiased, nationally-recognized doctors.
I could continue to give facts about the lack of nutrition in MonaVie, but perhaps the creator of MonaVie itself is one of the best sources. The Salt Lake Tribune reported this interesting information that came out from a lawsuit with Amway:
The suit also uncovered an internal MonaVie memo by Ralph Carson, the company’s chief science officer, who created the original juice. The memo was in response to raised eyebrows about claims being made about the juice. Carson cautioned that the drink was “expensive flavored water. Any claims made are purely hypothetical, unsubstantiated and, quite frankly, bogus.”
Those claims that he’s referring to are the illegal health claims that we’ll get to in a bit.
Juice in general is not healthy
Another aspect to consider is that juice itself is shown not to be healthy. For years we thought it was healthy, but that thinking has changed and many view soda and juice as being the same. The HBO documentary Weight of a Nation clearly spells this out.
Here are some key quotes from that video: “Soda and other sugary drinks… is the only individual food that is directly related to obesity”, “There is nothing in a soft drink that is good for you. A Twinkie or a potato chip or a candy bar has at least a little nutrition. These sugared beverages have none at all”, and “Juice is just like soda… there is no difference. When you take fruit and you squeeze it, you throw the fiber in the garbage. That was the good part of the fruit. The juice is nature’s way of getting you to eat your fiber.”
When we take the statements above together, juice the same as soda, soda having less nutrition than a potato chip, it is clear that MonaVie can’t be nutritious. The processing has stripped out the fiber… the good part of the fruit. Some may argue that MonaVie is only four ounces a day and it’s not going to contribute to obesity. Well that 120 calories a day does add up… in a year it is 12.5 pounds (43,800 yearly calories divided by 3,500 calories in a pound).
(To prevent MonaVie distributors claiming that HBO doesn’t know anything about health, Weight of a Nation was done with “the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”)
As you can tell from the label above, MonaVie doesn’t have much of the fiber that comes from fruit naturally. Recently MonaVie started to add “fake” fiber (Fibersol-2 / Maltodextrin), so consumers looking at the nutritional label could be easily tricked into thinking that they are getting the good part of the fruit.
Need another source? Here is the New York Times article by three professors of pediatrics who explain “Juice is Not Healthy”.
MonaVie’s Specialized Health Drinks
MonaVie adds a special ingredient or two to its basic juice to create a juice for a specific purpose. The above illustrated the minimal value of the juice alone. Let’s look at a few versions:
MonaVie Active – This MonaVie juice’s star ingredients is glucosamine. In four ounces of MonaVie Active there are 1500mg of glucosamine. On Amazon.com, I found that you can get 375 tablets of Kirkland Glucosamine HCI for a price of $22.55 (as of 6/8/2012). It takes two tablets to equal the 1500mg of glucosamine in MonaVie Active, which comes out to 12 cents a day.
For a year, the Kirkland glucosamine will cost you $43.80. For a year of MonaVie Active (4 ounces * 365 days = 1460 ounces is about 58 and half bottles (25 ounces per bottle). At the retail price of $45 a bottle, 58 bottles costs $2,610 a year. You can save some money by buying MonaVie Active in bulk, but you’ll never get the price under $1000, especially with shipping. You’ll save at least a thousand dollars, perhaps two thousand by going with the equivalent cheap solution from Amazon or your local drug store.
With this noted, scientific research shows that it probably is not worth buying glucosamine at all.
MonaVie Pulse – This MonaVie juice’s star ingredients are plant sterols and resveratrol added. In four ounces of MonaVie Pulse there are 0.8g of plant sterols. I couldn’t find the amount of resveratrol. On Amazon, I found CholestOff, which actually has 0.9g of plant sterols. The 240 tablets, 120 servings, costs $22.22, which is 18.5 cents a day or $67.59 a year.
MonaVie Pulse is typically the same price as MonaVie Active above (around $2610, but cheaper if bought in bulk) and it too will cost you thousands more than the much obvious cheaper solution.
What about the resveratrol? Without knowing how much is in MonaVie Pulse, we can’t really make a fair price comparison. There is this resveratrol, which will cost you $76.19 a year. The combination of CholestOff and this resveratrol is still a bargain at around $140 compared to spending a couple of thousand dollars and not knowing how much resveratrol you’ll get.
While plant sterols have been shown to the FDA to help cholesterol levels, resveratrol remains and unknown… A couple of articles show that we might need to wait for legit evidence on resveratrol.
MonaVie M(mun) – This MonaVie juice’s star ingredient is Wellmune, a patented derivative of baker’s yeast from the pharmaceutical company, Biothera. Four ounces of MonaVie M(mun) has 250mg of Wellmune in it. Once again, I went to Amazon and found Immune Health Basics, which has 500mg of Wellmune. It costs $37.49 for 60 capsules or about 62.5 cents for 500mg. Since this is double the amount in MonaVie, the true cost per serving would be a little more than 31 cents. It costs $114 for a year’s supply of the same amount of Immune Health Basics as you’d get in MonaVie M(mun).
The pricing of M(mun) follows that of MonaVie Active and MonaVie Pulse above, meaning that you’d save thousands by buying the capsules of Immune Health Basics.
When you do a little more research you’ll find that Wellmune is also similar to beta glucans, a pill that you also might be able to find cheaply. When I last looked into Wellmune, around the time that MonaVie announced M(mun), research as to whether it was helpful was conflicting. One study of people found that they missed no more sick days than the placebo group when taking the product.
MonaVie MX – This MonaVie juice has the star ingredients of Active (glucosamine) and M(mun) Wellmune. Also, in addition to the basic 19 fruit juices in the juice it has 11 vegetables. Below, we’ll cover in more detail why this isn’t necessarily a good thing. As for pricing, this product like all of MonaVie juices is around $40, but in this case a few extra dollars due to having the glucosamine and the Wellmune in it.
MonaVie Essential and MonaVie Kosher – MonaVie essential seems to be a rework of “MonaVie Original” which is the basic juice with no star ingredients. MonaVie Kosher is a basic juice with no star ingredients that has been certified Kosher.
Bottom Line on MonaVie Nutrition: Any way you slice it (pun intended), MonaVie is not a good source of nutrition when compared to time-tested advice of just eating fruits and vegetables. If you are thinking about MonaVie as a dietary supplement, it represents the worst value for you dollar… and it isn’t even close. The examples I gave of a single person spending thousands more than equivalent product is multiplied when you consider a family of four. That family could save an average of over $6000+ a year by replacing MonaVie’s juices with products found in your drug store or on the Internet. Depending on your tax bracket, this simple decision could be the equivalent of getting a $10,000 raise tomorrow or winning a lottery that pays you $10,000 for life.
Does MonaVie Work?
While the talk of many, many testimonials may seem convincing, such testimonials are typical with any MLM product, especially health ones. The fact that you can many testimonials for dozens of other MLM products shows that these testimonials are not unique to MonaVie products… or any ingredients in those products. Instead, there’s a wide variety of psychological phenomena with MLM health products that give people the perception that the products work. For more details see:
No Your MLM Health Product Does Not “Work.”
The MonaVie Business Opportunity
MonaVie is sold via multi-level marketing also known as MLM. I’ve written about The Business of MLM (or What Gives Freddy Krueger Nightmares) before and is terrible. Here’s a quick recap… click on the links to read more in detail:
- Around 99.54% of People Lose Money in MonaVie – This analysis was done using MonaVie’s Income Disclosure Statement (IDS) the last time they included the number of distributors to make such calculations possible.
- No Barriers to Entry – Since anyone can be a distributor for usually very little money, anyone can be your direct competitor.
- MLM Distributors Lack Control of the Business – MonaVie can take your business away whenever it feels like it for whatever reason they want. I think MJ DeMarco might have said it best in his book Millionaire Fast Lane, “I was involved in four MLM companies. Not once do I remember dictating product decisions, research and marketing, marketing restriction, rules, cost analysis or any other activity fundamental to owning a business. As a network marketer, you don’t own a business – you own a job managing and creating a sales organization… MLM distributors are commissioned employees disguised as entrepreneurs.”
Below we’ll get to the point about MonaVie and pyramid schemes. We’ll cover how “creating a sales organization in MLM” can be considered as participating in illegal pyramid scheme.
- MLM and the Reality of Saturation – Recruiting people into MonaVie is where the Diamonds make their money. The problem is that the market is already saturated. You simply can’t go to the top of the pyramid anymore because those positions have been taken for years. In order to get there you have to build thousands of people under you and if those people wanted to be juice salesmen they would have been long before now.
- Understanding the Churn Rate in MLM – Somewhere between 60% and 90% of distributors in MLMs leave the business every year because of the first bullet point above. They didn’t make any money. MLMs replace these people with new hopefuls because their sales pitch is enticing. When MonaVie recruits someone they tell them that they too can have health and wealth for them and all their friends. Who wouldn’t want that? The scheme churns through people every year with enough people quitting and joining so that the pyramid scheme never explodes past the population of the earth.
MLM distributors like say that it is up to the person to do the work and not be “Lazy.” Well I’m an expert on Lazy and I can tell you that isn’t the truth. In MLM, losing is not a matter of effort, it’s a mathematical certainty. The circumstances surrounding the system set people up to fail.
MonaVie’s Illegal Health Claims
When I first wrote about MonaVie and wondered why people would spend $45 on juice, I had no idea how the product was marketed. I was shocked as distributors left comments connecting MonaVie to helping with cancer, autism, fibromyalgia, and just about any and every other medical condition under the sun. MonaVie has not been approved by the FDA to help with such conditions making these claims illegal.
It wasn’t until later that I learned that MonaVie CEO was the Vice President of Dynamic Essentials a company that madeRoyal Tondan Limu juice. The FDA warned the company about website claims to treat various diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and Attention Deficit Disorder caused their products to be in violation of the law. The company continued to sell the product and the FDA and Department of Justice fined the company millions and went as far as destroying the product. The action essentially put an end to Dynamic Essentials.
Dallin Larsen held “fireside chats” with hundreds of people. There is one “fireside” chat on Archive.org. He tells this convincing story how Dynamic Essentials is part of a publicly traded company with products in Wal-Mart and that they found this fascinating ingredient called Limu Moui. He goes on to essentially claim that limu that unique benefits to help with the system. At the 7:25 minute mark of the audio, Larsen tells of how he just came back from a tour talking to people who have used the product and tells of the stories he heard and how it has helping with asthma, arthritis, chronic fatique, fibromyalgia, lupis, migrane headaches, etc. He then goes to say that “We can’t make [the claim that you aren’t going to get cancer and heart disease]… I know that this product is having a benefitial impact on people’s health.
MonaVie, is an identical copy-cat of Royal Tongan Limu juice, but with acai instead of limu. The illegal health claims that I’ve seen in the comments on my article and elsewhere on the Internet come straight from the leadership.
Newsweek did a story on MonaVie in which Dallin Larsen acknowledged that while MonaVie has an 18-person compliance team which investigates distributors making false claims, “It’s next to impossible, like herding cats.” In short, MonaVie opened Pandora’s Box with their distribution system. The proper solution to fix this systemic problem is to distribute the product like Ocean Spray or Welch which doesn’t have these problems. MonaVie refuses this logical solution that would prevent consumers from be defrauded out of their hard-earned money and still allow them to get the product to those who were interested in it.
When I found MonaVie distributor Mitch Biggs claiming that MonaVie prevents swine flu, I decided to help out MonaVie’s compliance team and let them know. Mitch Biggs should know better. He was a MonaVie Emerald Executive, one of the top 166 distributors at the time, who make an average $155,000 a year. My goal was to find out how MonaVie would enforce the its policies and procedures which allow it to end a distributorship who is caught making illegal claims. Would MonaVie do what’s right and make an example to show distributors that they can’t be making these claims? Or would MonaVie cave, not wanting to create a rift amongst its distributors? The answer: Mitch Biggs Scams People and MonaVie Condones It.
A recent commenter suggested that MonaVie’s compliance was doing its job, so I showed him this story, which is about two years ago as of this pointing (June 2012). I decided to go an look and see if MonaVie is still letting Mitch Biggs be a distributor, which lead me to this video on a local news show. It seems like Mitch and Ashley Biggs are making erroneous and deceptive claims multiple times saying that MonaVie is an “easy, convenient and tasteful, way to get your fruit every day” and “just an easy, easy, way to get your fruit.” As we saw in a section above, MonaVie’s Nutritional Value, this is quite untrue. The spot even took the effort to bring a vase of 13 fruits to illustrate the deception.
It may seem like I’m picking on one distributor, but this is a leading distributor who was made an example of once before and yet continues to break the law publicly. If this is the stuff that is going on in the open, imagine what is going on behind closed doors!
Some may suggest that this is an isolated case – one example of a bad seed that every industry has. That’s simply untrue. It is a systematic problem which is so prevalent that Dr. Johnny Bowden’s article that I mentioned at the very beginning of this article was titled, “No More Claiming MonaVie Cures Cancer!” These are the kinds of things that happens when you tell distributors that they can be millionaires if you recruit enough people to buy a juice that happens to be priced at 20 times more than other juices. The distributors have to come up with some way to market the obscenely overpriced product. They are naturally going to try to make a point that it is a value for consumers as a replacement for medicine or something seemingly expensive like buying a vase of 13 fruits.
MonaVie’s Deceptive Marketing
If I were to go into depth about MonaVie’s deceptive marketing, I would never finish writing this article. This article is already so long that I wonder if you’ll read it. There’s just too much to say. I also think I covered a lot of it above. So here I’ll just give a few more examples:
In the above section, MonaVie’s Nutritional Value, I went into detailed the 13-servings of fruit and ORAC score myth. That’s a typical example of the marketing to keep in mind. Here are a few others:
- 19 fruits in the juice – MonaVie adds all these juices because the public has a perception that more juices is better. That’s not necessarily true. Regular readers know that a mutual fund with more stocks does not necessarily out-perform those with fewer stocks. A pizza with a 7-cheese blend is not necessarily better than one with a 3-cheese blend. In fact, the more ingredients, the easier it is to dilute the ingredients that MonaVie touts like acai. When you have 18 other fruits in addition to acai, the amount of acai could be less than 6% and still be the first ingredient on the list. However, if MonaVie only had 2 fruits and acai was listed first, you’d know that you are getting at least 50% acai in every ounce.
- Freeze-dried acai – For years MonaVie touted the amount of freeze-dried acai because it had a huge ORAC score. The reason it got such a high score is the fact that water was taken out, which allowed them to pack more powder per ounce. However, it was shown that MonaVie is less than 2% freeze-dried acai, meaning that even with a high score, there wasn’t enough of it to make a significant difference.
MonaVie relies heavily on their Scientific Advisory Board, specifically Dr. Alexander Schauss. Schauss has a long list of reputation problems. One of them was that he faked his credentials and got a mail-order PhD degree from California Coast University. MonaVie pitched Schauss as an expert on acai, but they are the only ones who recognized him for anything like this. The reality is that Schauss was the supplier of his OptiAcai brand to MonaVie.
Schauss, through his AIBMR Life Sciences, pumped out a lot of “research” which could fool some people into thinking that there was actual science. In fact, MonaVie product specialist Erica Bryant wrote distributors to tell them that AIBMR is the only source of that they should use. Some of this research led to ridiculous papers such as this “Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study” on MonaVie by Schauss. It doesn’t take a scientist to see that it was made for the specific purpose of giving distributors fuel to recruit more people. Tellingly, the final conclusion of the study made mention of another study that showed that eating fruit had positive results as well.
MonaVie: An Illegal Pyramid Scheme?
I believe MonaVie is an illegal pyramid scheme. Here’s why:[survata] The FTC has a lot to say on the topic of multi-level marketing (MLM) and pyramid schemes. The best article is this one: The Bottom Line About Multi-Level Marketing Plans that warns:
“Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. Some are pyramid schemes. It’s best not to get involved in plans where the money you make is based primarily on the number of distributors you recruit and your sales to them, rather than on your sales to people outside the plan who intend to use the products.”
The entire article from the FTC is well worth reading. Here’s another important letter from the FTC which has this quote:
“The Commission’s recent cases, however, demonstrate that the sale of goods and service; alone does not necessarily render a multi-level system legitimate. Modern pyramid schemes generally do not blatantly base commissions on the outright payment of fees, but instead try to disguise these payments to appear as if they are based on the sale of goods or services. The most common means employed to achieve this goal is to require a certain level of monthly purchases to qualify for commissions. While the sale of goods and services nominally generates all commissions in a system primarily funded by such purchases, in fact, those commissions are funded by purchases made to obtain the right to participate in the scheme. Each individual who profits, therefore, does so primarily from the payments of others who are themselves making payments in order to obtain their own profit. As discussed above, such a plan is little more than a transfer scheme, dooming the vast majority of participants to financial failure.”
This appears to be how MonaVie works. Distributors in the upline earn commissions based on the purchase of other distibutors below. The distributors below are required to be “active”, which means either:
(A) buying product themselves or
(B) selling twice the requirement to a preferred customer
When a distributor satisfies the requirement by (A) buying product for themselves and MonaVie pays a commission to the upline on that purchase that it can be considered a pyramid scheme using the FTC’s guidelines. This is the typical way that requirement is satisfied. The distributor application for MonaVie prominently includes the Auto-Ship Program (ASP) so that new distributors can satisfy the active by buying product requirement right away.
The option (B) to qualify as active by recruiting enough preferred customers, is a new option. Previously the only method was the above option A) which makes it quite clear that MonaVie could only be viewed as a pyramid scheme. With the new option (B) it becomes a little more complex. Since (A) is a sign of a pyramid scheme, we need data from MonaVie on the percentage of distributors that qualify through the (B) option. (MonaVie doesn’t disclose this information.) Anecdotal evidence tells me that the (B) option is quite rare. As explained in the above section, MonaVie’s Nutritional Value, MonaVie’s juices represent a poor product at an extremely expensive price (approximately 20 times the price, ounce for ounce, of other 100% fruit juices). In the rare case that a preferred customer is buying the product, it is mostly like that they were sold on the illegal medical claims or deceptive marketing, as described in the section above.
For more sources about MLMs and pyramid schemes from the FTC and others, I’ve put together a compilation here: MLMs Vs. Pyramid Schemes[/survata]
How you can help put an end to the scam
The best way to put an end to this scam is to go to the FTC Complaint Assistant and file a complaint. A recent article on CNBC had comments from the FTC saying that few people file complaints on these schemes and thus they rarely put in the resources to investigate them. There are two reasons why there are so few complaints:
- People are brainwashed from the beginning that the system “works”, and “the only variable is you.” Thus people feel as if it is their own failure rather than recognizing the system was mathematically set up to fail over 99% of people from the beginning.
- The FTC doesn’t do anything. You leave a complaint and that’s the end of it. The complainant gets no follow-up from the FTC and there’s never any evidence that the complaint is ever read. It’s fundamentally terrible system… but that’s what we have to work with.
With that said, if you’re as upset as I am about people being lied to and defrauded out of their money, please leave a complaint. If you do, please sent me a quick mail. This way, I’ll have an idea of the minimum number of complaints that MonaVie is getting.
Update: MonaVie has started marketing to college students and those who have recently graduated. These are probably the worst candidates for such overpriced MLM products. They have little income and often high student loans. I believe that MLMs have nowhere else to turn as the general population know that it’s a scam. I think they believe they will catch them early before they’ve gathered the wisdom to know to stay away.
I wrote a whole article about MonaVie Mynt.[Editor’s Note: This article itself is a constant work in progress. I didn’t have the space to get into explaining the scamming behind MonaVie’s MORE charity. Publication deadlines force me to publish this without proofreading. In the future, I hope to go into more of MonaVie’s products like its RVL line of weight loss, which is a copy of other other MLMs and also a terrible value compared to the equivalents in stores. However, at this point, it does more to help people to get this information in their hands quickly and that means saving some of the editing for another day.]
Thanks for the words of wisdom, @pat [not]
It’s really funny that un-funny people like you find it funny that your ‘live and let live’ sentiments can even be applied to lying rip-off merchants and snake oil salesmen.
It’s an un-funny nasty world you’re promoting.
Amway distributor Orrin Woodward, who received a $3 million loan from Monavie he didn’t have to repay if he met certain recruiting distributor goals, according to a lawsuit Amway filed against MonaVie in 2008 chk detail,
Thank you for this article. Just returned from a “Healthy Living Expo” and got a 15-minute, non-stop sales pitch about Mona Vie. The rep took an “antioxidant reading” from a new-fangled machine using my index finger, which shows on a rainbow screen how high or low my level of free radicals vs. antioxidants are in my body today. She was surprised when it shot to the higher end of antioxidants level of green. Blue and Purple are the highest level, yellow and red being at the lowest end. I got the pitch about how her daughter had cancer and this product helped her feel better, how it replaces the nutritive value of 10-13 servings of fruits and vegetables and on and on. Then I asked what’s the bottom line and nearly fainted when told it was $139.00 a month or roughly $30.00/week! I can sure juice, eat, bake, cook and whatnot a heck of a lot of natural fruits and veggies for that price and get a lot more nutrition from them. It wasn’t until I got home and checked out the product did I realize she was hoping to set me up as part of their MLM. What I thought was odd is the business card was stapled to the back of another distributor’s card.
For that kind of money, I should buy beef from the woman selling grass-fed, no antibiotic, no hormone beef!
Lazy Man says
The machine is calibrated in such a way to make 90% (or some other high number) of people feel like they aren’t getting proper nutrition. Then create the problem and then attempt to sell the cure.. scam 101.
We’ve written about this device in detail before, but in a nutshell it uses old mundane technology to measure the levels of carotenoids in the skin. This is a completely useless measure that is indicative of pretty much nothing of relevance to health or overall antioxidant status. The device cannot detect the levels of water soluble antioxidants and non-carotenoids; it gives no indication of antioxidant status in tissues and organs other than the skin surface (the levels in skin tell us nothing useful); the test results can be drastically influenced by simply eating a carrot or taking a multivitamin; operator error is inherent and the results are not consistently reproducible; and the tissue levels of carotenoids in general don’t correlate with health in any way — in fact, large-scale epidemiological studies keep showing that supplementation with beta-carotene can increase cancer incidence.
Monavie makes money selling the device to the dummies who buy it, and then they make money again when the dummies who buy it use it to convince other dummies to buy into the scam. It’s a dummy-fest!
I am more evil than most.
I understand MLM is a broken system to leverage the majority for the benefits of few.
Much like the 9-5 job I have; but I pay nothing to MonaVie (I don’t buy the product) and I ‘pretend’ I pay for the product and sign up dummies. “Product purchase is not necessary to make money.” Thus I make about $200 dollars a week off Dummys who I have signed up.
Keep signing up suckers; you are paying for my new car.
Instead of alerting the the plebs. Play MonaVie for what it really is a scam to help you get more money. I reckon that will turn even more people away. I’m not in it for profit. I’m already ahead. My day job is merely a formality whilst I make close to 200k a year (only 55k of that is my actual 9-5 salary) from other ‘sources’. The internet is my play ground.
Loved reading all your research….I’ve always been fascinated by how oblivious people are to pyramid scams. About 20 years ago my boyfriend in college took me home to meet his parents and they pitched Amway to us, urging us to quit school to sell it. Never ad I heard of such a company but the presentation sent off alarm bells and I’ve never considered home based or sales type stuff like this to be legit. I enjoyed reading your explanation and wish more people wouldn’t fall these scams.
Im a consumer of this juice and very surprised after reading your report above
however, possible to provide proof to support your statement
1) when did you notice of this “fake juice”
2) any feedback frm member / consumer
3) have you made report to the monavie founder who produced this product
hear from you soon
I’m not a distributor, just a consumer of the Mona Vie product. Just like with any other supplement available at GNC, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. the efficacy of the product is subjective to the individual using it. My husband swears by Vitamin C and takes a supplement daily. I, however, see no noticeable effects from taking it. Are Vitamin C tablets a scam? I would say so, but he would not. Subjective. There are too many people with too many stories of how this product has helped them in their daily lives for you to claim that it is not of benefit. So it doesn’t work for everyone…there is not a supplement out there that does.
We have taken Mona Vie on and off for over 5 years and ALWAYS notice positive effects and always miss the benefits when we don’t have it. These are not “psychosomatic”. You can’t write of hundreds of thousands of people having positive effects as being delusional. For every one person making “illegal” medical claims, there are thousands that are just saying “it makes me feel better”. Nothing wrong with that…
Sure it’s more expensive than other juices, but it’s for me to decide if it’s overpriced, yes? It’s like telling every lady with a Coach or Vuitton bag that they are dumb-asses for buying such an overpriced piece of leather. I mean, come on…you can get a purse at Wal-Mart for $5.00…they are exactly the same, right? Right? Who am I (or YOU) to say something is overpriced, when obviously there is a market for the product. We have not found another product that gives us the same benefits or tastes as good as Mona Vie. Simple as that. We don’t mind paying more for this product.
I can’t speak as to the MLM part of the business. That too, is subjective as nobody is forced into going into the business part of it. No doubt, they paint a rosy picture of the money-making potential, but a lot of “legit” businesses do that as well. Check out every outside sales job posted on Monster…promises of easy six-figures and untold bonuses and riches! As with any JOB, it all depends on the amount of effort you are willing to put into it.
I’m sure you’ve made it your mission in life to expose all the wrong-doing in the world. You and you alone have the power to see the “truth” behind it all and the rest of us are just dumb, uneducated, mind-less lemmings following the piper off the cliff. It doesn’t work for YOU, so it cannot possibly work for anyone else. With all the “real” facts, data and experts supposedly behind you, why is Mona Vie still around?
I think I’ll stick with the truth of my own personal experience, not be told by some anonymous fool on the internet that I’m a schmuck for drinking this juice and continue to drink and enjoy Mona Vie.
Lazy Man says
If someone goes around claiming that toast cured their cancer, and tries to make money by selling you that toast at outrageous prices, it’s a scam. There’s a scientific universally-approved way of proven whether something works by testing it in large-scale clinical trials vs. a placebo. It’s a very objective test.
There are reasons why so many people are claiming that MonaVie worked for them: http://www.aitse.org/no-your-mlm-doesnt-work/. Spend a little time and look at all the other MLM health products (Zrii, Xowii, Xango, Nopalea, Asea) and you’ll find that people selling them believe that they work for them too. I guess that MLM has a monopoly where 100% of the products sold by that distribution method work and not much from any other do (you think I get 6000 comments if I wrote this article about vitamin C). Get 300 million people to try a placebo and mathematically you’ll have 100 million people will say it works. It’s easy to write off a 100 million people. It’s the percentage in a controlled, tested environment that matter.
There are lot more people making illegal claims that you say. I showed in the an article that people making the most money are doing it and when notified, MonaVie does nothing to take their ill-gotten marketing away. I’ve come across hundreds of people marketing MonaVie illegally and I never went out of my way to look for them. They are simply people commenting here and point me to other sites with claims. One is too many. The CEO admitted that keeping the illegal claims is like “herding cats” (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/08/01/a-drink-s-purple-reign.html). I’ve come up with an easy solution for herding the cats, don’t use MLM. Put it in the store and see if people still pay for it. If the product is good then this is the easiest way to eliminate the people making illegal claims.
Like other delusional commenters here you’ve tried to compare MonaVie to fashion. MonaVie is meant to be drunk at home as it requires refrigeration. The lady showing off her Vuitton bag or the guy showing off his equivalent bling (not sure what that is) is typically doing it because it is a status symbol. That’s why the knock-off industry with purses is so big. It’s a way of saying, “I have the money to buy this, so envy me for being successful.”
MonaVie is priced so high for one very specific reason, that’s how the company can profit the most. As Harper’s said, “They couldn’t have it all because Mary Kay’s business model (like that of any multilevel-marketing enterprise) is designed primarily to profit from, rather than enrich, its workforce.” MonaVie distributors are typically required to buy product to qualify for commissions, so the high price serves as a way for MonaVie to charge consumers month after month to be in the business. This high price has a trickle-down effect of people claiming that it works as medicine because medicines can sell for high prices, but juice typically can not.
Just because a small minority of people get tricked into buying snakeoil it doesn’t mean that it is a fair price.
You should be able to speak about the MLM part of the business if you are going to capitalize JOB like all the other MLMers. No one is forced to buy my time-machine either. That doesn’t mean I can legally market it and take people’s money and give them something else. The jobs posted on Monster are real jobs with real work being done. 100% of the people getting those 6-figure jobs actually pay 6-figures – it is very different than MonaVie pitching you a scenario that is only true for 0.1% of people that take the job. Furthermore, success in those jobs is determine by output produced. The people who are making 6-figures in MLM are running illegal pyramid schemes according to the FTC guidelines: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/inv08-bottom-line-about-multi-level-marketing-plans. It’s all money made on the downline: “If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s not. It’s a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money.”
I won’t bother addressing all the false things you said in the last two paragraphs. Just keep in mind that the guy who created MonaVie admitted that was “expensive flavor water. Any claims made are purely hypothetical, unsubstantiated and, quite frankly, bogus.”
MonaVie is still around because There’s a sucker born every minute. They market what everyone wants to hear, “Great health and riches for not just themselves, but their family and their friends.” Also, MonaVie tries very hard to suppress the truth, to try to stop people from getting this information and making an informed decision.
If you want to waste your money on MonaVie, that’s your own choice. Readers of this website are looking for how to maximize the use of the money they have and learn about legit ways of making more money.
I beef up on Vitamin C when I have a cold or the flu. It helps a lot.
A distributor gave me a free bottle of Monavie when I had an abscess in my colon and told me this was a miracle juice from the acai berry that had amazing healing powers. Beyond being tasty koolaid, this did nothing for me and I was not going to dole $120 for a 4-pack. In fact, I had to wonder if this juice was adding to the Prednisone I was taking since the sugar content was so high.
By the end of the bottle I advised my distributor that he had a very tasty juice but the company needed to drop the claims about this thing curing anything. They needed to change the packaging because the bottle suggested this belongs in the Wine & Liquor department in the grocery store when it really needed to be repackaged and put in the juice section in retail grocery stores. The marketing is way off and makes no sense.
In the end, Monavie folded and its claims were proven false when the FDA and other researchers tested it.
Debbie Barron says
I love it! It helps me! I’ve taken supplements all my life since a baby! I can tell when I look in the mirror too! I do my own research.
Lazy Man says
So I guess MonaVie is still around?
Let me know what “[your] own research” says about the court documents from the inventor saying it was expensive, flavored water.
Kimberly said: “I’m not a distributor, just a consumer of the Mona Vie product.”
Uh, whatever…your conduct does not line up with that claim, but if that’s the cover story you want to go with, knock yourself out.
Kimberly said: “Just like with any other supplement available at GNC, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. the efficacy of the product is subjective to the individual using it. My husband swears by Vitamin C and takes a supplement daily. I, however, see no noticeable effects from taking it. Are Vitamin C tablets a scam? I would say so, but he would not.”
You’re presenting this entirely the wrong way. In reality, the efficacy of a vitamin C supplement is not subjective. The purpose of the vitamin C supplement is to provide vitamin C, not to correct a disease or cause you to feel anything. If the product contains the advertised amount of vitamin C, then it has fulfilled its purpose. Problems arise when unscrupulous supplement companies, like Monavie, skirt the regulations and promise things that their products cannot deliver.
Kimberly said: “There are too many people with too many stories of how this product has helped them in their daily lives for you to claim that it is not of benefit.”
There are no more people making such claims than there are people who have made similar claims about other debunked snakeoil products throughout history – that’s the modus operandi of these scams. There is a word that describes distributors who go around making fantastic unverifiable snakeoil wonder-cure claims about Monavie — and that word is A-HOLE.
Kimberly said: “So it doesn’t work for everyone…there is not a supplement out there that does.”
Define “work”. All it really has to do to work is be wet and fruity. Any expectation beyond that is not only an idiotic pipe-dream but evidence of an illegal conspiracy to defraud consumers.
Kimberly said: “We have taken Mona Vie on and off for over 5 years and ALWAYS notice positive effects and always miss the benefits when we don’t have it. These are not ‘psychosomatic’. You can’t write of hundreds of thousands of people having positive effects as being delusional. For every one person making ‘illegal’ medical claims, there are thousands that are just saying ‘it makes me feel better’. Nothing wrong with that…”
I don’t have to write off hundreds of thousands of people because they don’t exist. But I can instantly write you off. Done! You don’t even have the common sense to detail what these wondrous effects are that you feel from taking the product – that’s the typical MO of a risk averse distributor who knows that they would otherwise be running afoul of the law. If the product was doing anything worthwhile it would have been thoroughly documented already through scientific studies and published medical case reports. But instead all we get is the same old dodgy BS fairy tales from disembodied anonymous voices like yours.
You need a reality check – fruit juice doesn’t cure diseases — it’s wet and fruity, nothing more. The product’s inventor even admitted that the product is BS — expensive flavored water, so wake the F up and stop this silly destructive game.
Kimberly said: “Sure it’s more expensive than other juices, but it’s for me to decide if it’s overpriced, yes? It’s like telling every lady with a Coach or Vuitton bag that they are dumb-asses for buying such an overpriced piece of leather.”
It’s nothing at all like that, and that laughably pathetic argument was debunked years ago. Monavie is akin to a green garbage bag that some lunatic bag lady (i.e., you) on a street corner is trying to sell to passersby as a Louis Vuitton purse. The inventor of Monavie already told us (as did commonsense) that the juice is analogous to a green garbage bag, and yet here you are still trying to peddle this fantasy about it being a Louis purse — a fantasy, incidentally, that would be readily expected from a Monavie distributor, not a customer.
Kimberly said: “I mean, come on…you can get a purse at Wal-Mart for $5.00…they are exactly the same, right? Right? Who am I (or YOU) to say something is overpriced, when obviously there is a market for the product. We have not found another product that gives us the same benefits or tastes as good as Mona Vie. Simple as that. We don’t mind paying more for this product.”
First of all, the quality of a $5 Wal-Mart purse does not even begin to approach that of a Louis Vuitton — that’s idiotic fallacy #1. Secondly, it sounds like you are indeed doing the equivalent of paying $50 for a $5 Walmart purse, or at least the stupid scenario you’ve created as part of your PR crusade for this snakeoil pyramid scheme is predicated on paying $50 for a $5 Walmart purse. You are selling inert, low grade non-organic swill that’s spiked with sodium benzoate. Monavie is worse than a $5 Walmart purse and yet you pretend that it’s a Louis. That kind of behavior is delusional enough to merit pity, but ultimately I can feel no pity for a con artist.
Kimberly said: ““I can’t speak as to the MLM part of the business.”
Let me guess…you will anyway, right?
Kimberly said: “That too, is subjective as nobody is forced into going into the business part of it. No doubt, they paint a rosy picture of the money-making potential, but a lot of ‘legit’ businesses do that as well. Check out every outside sales job posted on Monster…promises of easy six-figures and untold bonuses and riches! As with any JOB, it all depends on the amount of effort you are willing to put into it.”
Yep, I guessed right. The company is using this shitty joke of a juice as part of a bait-and-switch entry fee into a pyramid scheme. It doesn’t depend on how much effort you put in, hence the nature of the restrictions against such schemes under US law. You can stop pretending to not have skin in the game now because it’s obvious that you do, and like all the others that do, you’re a disingenuous scammer who has come here to read virtually every line from the Monavie playbook and walked away from the effort looking like a fool – nothing more.
Kimberly said: “I’m sure you’ve made it your mission in life to expose all the wrong-doing in the world. You and you alone have the power to see the ‘truth’ behind it all and the rest of us are just dumb, uneducated, mind-less lemmings following the piper off the cliff.”
Yes, if I had to place bets I would guess that you are dumb, uneducated, and a lemming, otherwise you’d be doing something productive with your life instead of this nonsense. I don’t see you as a victim, however, but rather as a victimizer that others should be protected from. Most people would see through your BS instantly, but you’re searching for that one-in-a-million rube who will fall for your BS and pump money into the pyramid. What a sad, sad existence. I have more respect for drug dealers and prostitutes.
Kimberly said: “It doesn’t work for YOU, so it cannot possibly work for anyone else. With all the ‘real’ facts, data and experts supposedly behind you, why is Mona Vie still around?”
It doesn’t “work” for anybody because it’s purple piss in a bottle and was never designed to “work”; it was designed to be window dressing for a fraudulent pyramid scheme enterprise.
Kimberly said: “I think I’ll stick with the truth of my own personal experience, not be told by some anonymous fool on the internet that I’m a schmuck for drinking this juice and continue to drink and enjoy Mona Vie.”
Pfft! You’ll stay on the Monavie train only until a better way to con people out of there hard earned money comes along. We’ll be keeping a vigilant eye out for people like you now and in the future.
I don’t understand Kim’s bitching. She feels like she’s been called a schmuck for drinking Monavie, but I must have missed the part where she was forced to click on the link in Google and read the article against her will.
I’m just saying, if I were a satisfied customer of a given product, I wouldn’t click on a link to an article about that product with a title that makes it pretty clear up front that it has nothing positive to say about it, and I surely wouldn’t act like a victim if I decided to do so against my better judgment.
Hey Kim? Let me give you a little advice for the future. You just don’t argue the merits of the MLM business model when you’re trying to pass yourself off as a customer. A genuine customer would neither know much about the business side of the product, nor would they care to know, and they most certainly wouldn’t go out of their way to try to make it look more favorable than it is by creating false-equivalencies between it and a job search website of all things. That’s shit a distributor would do, you dig what I’m getting at?
As an aside, I’m absolutely troubled by how warped you world-view appears to be, Kim. Lazy is trying to help people, and only a troubled mind could possibly perceive that the way that you have.
Alright, alright. I understand that it’s a self-serving interpretation, and that you probably don’t really see it that way, but you people really need to consider that it only leaves you looking like psychopaths when you try to warp what Lazy is doing here.
Consider, or ponder one thing… if the Acai berry was that good, and the juice that awesome… do you think for a second that the major juice companies would stand by and let an earth shaking, life changing, universe altering opportunity be monopolized by Mona Vie?
Mona Vie is so disturbingly bad that they (main stream juice) don’t even acknowledge Mona Vie Exists. If the product were THAT good Mona Vie wouldn’t be making millions(???) in the MLM market, they would be competing against the main stream juice suppliers who would be competing for billions in the consumer market.
don’t see that happening do you?
there are view here that might remember me – I used to post stuff a couple years ago, and I still enjoy MV from my upline from time to time for free, although not as often as I used to because “the” down line has been all but wiped out… but I occasionally get some free and it makes for very interesting and unusual libations.. nobody actually buys MV in the normal world…. so I like to go for an Acie drop, 2 parts MV 1 part vodka and a splash of Contreau… or if feeling particular feisty try the ‘Energizer’… 1 part MV (M)mum, 1 part Redbull, and 6 shots of scotch, your preference. Use the (M)mum because folks can’t figure out what the hell it is anyway and it sound really kewl .. the Mmum energizer. Why not use Energize you think.. fair question! I hate the stuff it tastes like turds. If I want energy I look for Gaurana… wonder if MV has any of that in it?
You sound like a nice lady and I hope you drink, cuz you probably will be put off by snarky attitude if you don’t. But I ain’t lying, whenever I drink the ‘Energizer’ by lower back pain goes away. Doctors said I would be living with this for the rest of my life and none of the cancer treatments worked. but MV with alcohol works for me.
so you have several real honest replies to your comments, and my not so sincere sounding reply (but a lot of fun eh?) .. seriously, the sooner you discover the truth about MV the better, because you are going to waste a lot of time and money chasing the MV illusion for health and prosperity.
Innocent Bystander says
You might get a kick out of this article from Alan Agaron comparing MonaVie to Charlie Shaw wine also known as Two-Buck Chuck.
Lazy Man says
Such a terrible comparison as they are not in the same area of beverages, but he does his best to make it work.
Innocent Bystander says
I think it was more about the fact the product has no science behind it :)
Lazy Man says
When the inventor says in internal memos that are now released that it is “expensive flavored water”, we can be pretty sure there was never any science behind it. It’s a shame that I can’t find a lawyer that wants to make a ton of money suing them. (I haven’t looked, I’ve got enough other things going on.)
Zanka no Tachi says
I was looking through your comments and you stated that you will be checking Jeunesse Global.
I just want to know whether this MLM company is another one of those scams?
The products that I have seen have profoundly benefited a lot of people however operates under a MLM business model. When I look for these type of products, they are no where to be found in beauty shops, pharmaceuticals or health shops.
It makes me extremely confused that a great product has a flawed MLM business model.
I would appreciate your deep insight.
Lazy Man says
Zanka no Tachi,
The “profoundly benefit a lot of people” storyline is a common one with MLM. Health companies choose to use the MLM distribution model because their product couldn’t exist well on its own. To learn more read No, Your MLM Product Doesn’t Work. It’s an article that a group of doctors, researchers, and scientists have endorsed on the topic. I put a lot of hours into it, and it’s the best insight into the topic you’ll find anywhere.
I haven’t gotten to Jeunesse Global, but you can look at any number of health MLM products: Zrii, MonaVie, Protandim, Vemma, Nopalea, Asea, Xocai, Xango, Xowii, Jusuru, etc. and there’s no great product there. There’s a confluence of psychological factors that are mentioned in the above link to make people believe they are.
1. I made more than I’ve spent every week for the last 5 years – but you’ll say it’s not true even if you have proof.
2. My migraines are gone, so is my scleroderma, although I don’t tell anyone Monavie did it. I tell them it had something nutritional in it my body was missing to heal itself. I’ve never heard anyone say Monavie is a cure for cancer – depends on who you talk to. Perhaps my info. comes from more reputable sources?
3. I put my finger on several fruits and in the machine and got a low score. I then put it on a cup I’d drank Monavie from, and rinsed out, and my finger scanned in the highest range. You really think the machine “knows” what fruit your finger dipped in and slants results?
4. My dr. saw me go from hypertension to normal blood pressure in just 4 weeks from the start of taking pulse. This was after I was allergic to 3 different medications.
5. I asked someone I know to dis-prove Monavie so I’d have an excuse to say no all those years ago. She’s got her PhD in biochemistry – and basically her job is to determine what medications and other substances actually penetrate the cell to benefit the body – otherwise, it’s useless and goes out of the body as fast as it goes in. She tried to prove it didn’t work but the research was sound and the scanner shows it DOES get into and help the body.
It’s amazing to me how someone can devote their time and reputation to discrediting people (like those who comment here with the truth) who they don’t know just because their experiences differ from what you write on your blog.
Lazy Man says
I won’t say it’s not true. I would say it’s extremely not likely to be true, but it is possible. Mathematical analysis of the MonaVie Income and Disclosure Statement shows that 99.54% of MonaVie Distributors lose money. So maybe you 1 of the 46 in 10,000 who make money. I could also show how it is mathematically a very bad idea to play the lottery. It would still be true even if a lottery winner shows up and says his experience is otherwise.
But just to play the game, please supply your proof.
As the article showed the inventor of MonaVie himself called it “expensive flavored water. Any claims made are purely hypothetical, unsubstantiated and, quite frankly, bogus.” It’s irrelevant if your migraines or scleroderma happened to disappear, because it is clear that MonaVie had nothing to do with it. Not only that, but the “heal itself” is a red flag of quackery, just what snake oil salesman like yourself peddle.
Putting your finger on a fruit and scanning it in a machine isn’t going to tell you anything. You think carrying around bananas all day is going to do anything. Do you think soaking your hand in fruit juice is going to help you. What you are measuring is not related to how healthy a particular food is. There’s a whole section of the article that makes it clear that juice is not healthy.
While you are giving proof of the profits above, please provide us with your doctor’s note corroborating your story.
You should have just linked them to this article all those years ago. The inventor of MonaVie himself has disproved MonaVie… there’s really nothing else to say on the matter…
… wait there is a bit else to say. It’s not up to your friend to disprove MonaVie… it is up to MonaVie to prove it. I could claim that I have a talking unicorn in my garage. I could challenge you to disprove it, but it would be ridiculous to expect you to do such a thing. It’s common sense that it would be on me to prove it in the first place. You are working backwards, and anyone with a PhD in biochemistry would tell you so… if it really is a credible story and not a fable.
The scanner you are referring to is one that has been disproved in this space almost a year ago. Here’s a quote: “The device is a retread of a similar quack-box (Biophotonic Scanner) sold by Utah MLM Pharmanex some years ago. It’s based on Ramen spectroscopy, and in the very best case scenario a Ramen scan of the finger would be useful only for measuring carotenoid levels in the outer layer of the skin, which is one of the main places that carotenoids naturally bioaccumulate due to their high fat solubility (e.g., people can turn orange from regularly taking high doses of beta-carotene). The method does not measure any other type of antioxidants (including all water-soluble antioxidants) or distinguish between beta-carotene and other carotenodids (like lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, etc.), nor does it provide a valid indication of overall antioxidant status or antioxidant status in any specific organ. The readings will go off the chart by simply taking a beta-carotene supplement, and since Monavie products are fortified with beta-carotene, it’s a fait accompli that skin beta-carotene levels will go up after consuming the products.
The scanner has no clinical or diagnostic value whatsoever and buying it would be a colossal waste of money.”
Please show that the scanner is a clear and accurate measure of health and that taking a very cheap beta-carotene supplement wouldn’t impact the results.
It’s amazing to me that people can support a scam that the company’s own inventor admits to. It has nothing to do with experience… it’s just simple science No Your MLM Doesn’t Work.
The immoral asshats at Monavie are still at it, trying to fleece the public with fake CNN new reports trumpeting the faux-lanthropy of the MORE Project.
There is a special place in hell for people who use orphans and poor kids in Brazil to camouflage a blatant con game.
Monavie’s blog site has quite a few of these insipid deceptive articles. This one really caught my eye because it included hysterically idiotic statements like the following:
“MonaVie markets a wide range of drinks that have nutrition to improve your overall health, assist in the plight to get active, optimize immune systems and fight signals that you’re aging.”
“Assist in the plight to get active”…”fight signals that you’re aging”…OMG, I can’t stop laughing…help me lord.
I attended a recruting event as suggested by my chiropractor. distributors themselves are unfit. thank God i did not sign up. they talked about the power of three. i knew it, this is mlm.
I attended a town day business faire today in MA. I thought I was walking up to a booth about wine. It was Mona Vie. I had never heard of it. The representative told me the scanner used the same technology as the Hubble Telescope to measure the rings of Saturn! The thing looks like a cheap pencil sharpener! After that, I let them scan my finger. Supposedly, I’m close to death. Got the hard sell on the drink. Declined. Just had a full checkup, blood tests and all a few months ago. My doctor says I’m in great shape! Who should I believe? I think I’ll resist listening to the very overweight, tired looking rep with the “health scanner.”. They should call it a health “scammer!”
Lazy Man says
Thanks Jeanie. I have plans to do a write up on the scanner at some point.
Honorius Adamsky says
I looked through the article and comments and I must say, as a newby in MLM (since January 2013) you are wrong (at least in a matter of saying that MLM products or binary systems does not work).
I proved myself the success is based on Napoleon Hill’s and Robert Kiyosaki’s claims. Think positively. MLM is helping people, try to find the Social Business, a Nobel Prize honoured Professor Yunas promotes. It is close to MLM. It is not a pyramid, one buys products and recommend them to others. Two of my friends have made real serious money at Monavie. They are Black Diamonds having lots of Liders (Rubies, Emeralds, Diamonds) within their organisations. You say that is less than 1% – BS! It is much more, as I know many people who sticked from ordinary job to Social Marketing oriented, and they are successfull.
Bless you and remember: negatives are paying back by negatives…
Lazy Man says
Thanks for the comment, Honorius.
Hmmm, you’ve got 10 months of experience and I’ve been writing about them for about 6 years now. Not that time put in means anything, but you didn’t offer any logic as to why I was wrong either.
I’ve covered Kiyosaki in detail here: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/robert-kiyosaki-and-multi-level-marketing-exposed/. I haven’t read all of Napoleon Hill’s stuff, but I haven’t read him supporting MLM in anyway. I don’t know which Professor Yunas you are talking about and what he promotes. Please cite your sources to make your point. And please stay away from an appeal to authority fallacy.
The MonaVie income disclosure statement is publicly available and you can see that it is less than 1%… that’s from the company itself.
I don’t know why you rant about positivity and negativity. Sounds like you are confused. This website is about being positive and helping people avoid the negative experience of being scammed by MonaVie and its ~$40 juice. For example, I write dozens of positive articles showing people how to save money: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/save-money/.
Been there done that says
Could you please correct your spelling, grammar, and syntax before you post your nonsense?
Honorius Adamsky says
First of all, I would like to apologise to those, who has felt resentful because of my post.
I misspelled Professor Yunus family name, so here is his website, and there is only one step ahead from his ‘social industry’ claim to MLM busieness, as a platform for helping many people all over the world.
I agree Napoleon Hill was not involved in any MLM business, but his positive-oriented guideline shows how to be successfull anyway. And that is the solid base not only for the MLM business.
Concerning 1% of successfull people in Monavie, I ment hundreds of people who are, actually, earning enough money for everyday life working as MV distributors. Not all of them are liders in company’s hierarchy but are successfull enough. That is why I said the system works.
As for the products. My friend who is Dietary Doctor, showed us many examples of her patients, who reported improvement of health conditions (proven by the blood tests for example), after supplementing with Monavie’s both juice and RVL. I am not a doctor nor a scientist but real examples must to be considered.
I am not English native so any mistakes of spelling, grammar and syntax are not relevant.
That’s all, I will not write any other posts here, so you can just leave my comments without any response.
Lazy Man says
A “social industry” would be well-covered by an affiliate program. When you graft something good and legal like that with an illegal pyramid scheme of recruiting others to get your money back you get an MLM.
It’s fine and great to be positive. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, cigarette salesmen and a den of pick-pockets would also be positive of their industries. Look into cognitive dissonance.
The problem with throwing around names like Yunus and Napoleon Hill is that you are using an appeal to authority fallacy to misrepresent them as approving of MLM… when they did not.
It’s fine that you met hundreds of people who do make money in MonaVie. I could go to the annual convention and meet them as well. What you won’t see is the hundreds of thousands of people who lose thousands of dollars. It’s like showing people who won $5 to a few million in the lottery and ignoring all the others who lose.
Distributors always have anonymous friends who are doctors who show examples, but there are never any concrete documented examples. The blood tests are usually things like TBARS which is not proof of helping anything. Again, you are not a doctor or scientist, but you can see that I’ve shown several doctors and scientists reviews of the product in the article.
You say that real examples must be considered. What must be considered is that they shouldn’t be considered… because just about every MLM has reports of real examples, but again nothing that has been scientifically documented. It’s like people claiming to be abducted by aliens… there are stories, but not surprisingly there’s never any proof.
Sorry, I won’t leave your comments here without a response because you are simply wrong at every level. If you aren’t going to learn to stop scamming people, I’ll point out to others how you are doing it… even if you don’t realize it because you’ve just been taught by your upline.
Melanie Morgan says
I know this is not adding much to the thread, so I will apologize now, but could not help myself and felt I should at least thank you Jeanie for sharing, you too Vogel, for making me laugh, that is hysterical.
Lazyman, thanks, keep up the good work, love your site!
Lazy Man says
You should never apologize for expressing sincere gratitude and recognizing good work done.
I’m not a doctor, distributor, purchaser, consumer of this product. I work for a packaging company who makes packaging for companies like MV. Couple of points from my perspective:
1) If it’s illegal to sell and detrimental to society (like meth), then the people making it and selling itshould be prosecuted. I don’t think Mona Vie falls into this category.
2) If they are falsifying claims, then someone should file a substantial law suit with them. It sounds like you may have a case to pursue. I don’t think that the evidence would hold up, but I’m no lawyer or judge
3) If it’s not illegal and not punishable by American law, then what’s the deal here? I go to Salt Lake are for work every month and the shear amount of jobs that companies like these make are staggering. The SLC economy is doing quite well thanks in large part to the rotating amount of MLM companies there. It’s not just about selling juice, there are entire industries in SLC supplying these companies, making money, and creating jobs. Accountants, bottle suppliers, box makers, construction for new buildings, label printers, marketing firms, networking companies, lawyers, etc…fighting against something online is your perogative, but what will it actually accomplish? Say you succeed an tear down every MLM. What’s been done now? Basically, a crap load of people are out of work or hurting financially.
Like I said, I have never participated in, endorsed, purchased, or sold any of these items from any of the companies. However, it seems to me like your vendetta is vindictive and short sided. If your goal is educate the public, then great. But why? Is it really all that horrible to buy these things like tobacco is? Or is it just poor financial decisions? People buy $40,000 cars all the time when all they needed was a $5,000 one to get around. Why? Because it makes them feel good. People overpay for crap all the time and all they are getting is a false hope for something better. Houses, cars, computers, clothes, juice, watches, furniture. These aren’t scams, just American capitalism.
You are free (obviously) to do what you’d like to do, but just ask yourself, what happens if you get what you want? What’s the end goal of all of this stuff? I can tell you what happens to me; My family and the company I work for lose money. A fair amount. Just a different perspective that you may not have considered. Hard working Americans providing services and products lose if you win. And what do you win? I don’t know, maybe you work for a company that stands to pick up market share and benefit from these guys failing.
Point of long rant? I guess I don’t really know…Just another point of view. You’ve probably already considered it though.
Lazy Man says
1) No one says that selling juice is illegal, and comparing it to meth is kind of empty. Not sure why you would put this in there. It is worth noting that running a pyramid scheme is illegal and as the article pointed out, using a product to disguise that doesn’t make it suddenly legal. If you need a refresher, here’s the FTC document on it: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/inv08-bottom-line-about-multi-level-marketing-plans. Keep in mind the FTC shut down Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing earlier this year: http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/01/28/a-rigged-game-the-ftc-calls-fortune-high-tech-a-pyramid-scheme/. I don’t think anyone has a problem if MonaVie is sold at Wal-Mart (or your local grocery store) in a legal sense. I don’t think anyone had a problem with the products that Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing had either.
2) I have documented quite clearly that they’ve falsified claims. Some are direct from corporate, but a majority are from their sales force which are for legal purposes similar to independent contractors. It’s an extremely difficult lawsuit to structure. You could sue all the distributors individually, but many are good people who are just getting scammed and don’t realize it. You can sue the company itself, but they’d say that they’ve structured the company legally in a way that minimizes their liability. I’m not a lawyer either, but I’ve talked to more than a few and they’ve all rolled their eyes because it is simply too difficult given the legal system that we have in place. It’s not about whether there’s a legitimate claim, but the practicality of spending millions to fight a big company, that has made a great attempt to limit their liability in this legal system, over a $40 bottle of juice.
3) Again, it is illegal and punishable by law, just really hard to enforce. After all it took the FTC a decade to shut down the aforementioned Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing… and that’s FTC.
Getting into the economics of it, the point you make is a little silly. It’s almost like saying Bernie Madoff employed a staff of people, so we should let him continue to run a scheme that bilks people out of billions? Enron employed a lot of people. Why not just let that go?
If you take a little time to look at the MonaVie income disclosure statements, you’ll see that the vast majority of these people lose money. These are not typically your white-color businessmen, but people who can least afford it… people who are desperate for any kind of income. It’s hurting the people who might not have got the education to realize the scam this is.
Overall, it’s somewhere between $30-50 billion dollars that is being spent annually on these products. If I get what I want there will be a couple dozen MonaVie distributors who might not make their $500,000, but hundreds of thousands of people (who really need it) will keep their $1500 a year. That money will most likely get used to buy things. Hey it can buy a lot more juice, which requires a lot more bottle suppliers and label makers. That in turn will create many more jobs that what you are see today. You could even find that with all the new demand for product that your company has more business than it ever expected and passing it on to the employees in the form of a raise. In short, all this money would either find its way back in the economy or in desperately needed savings.
I won’t cry for the Salt Lake City. When the FTC has warned multiple times that these can be pyramid schemes, and even shut down a few, they should know that they are built on a house of cards. I presume bottle and label makers will continue to make products for other companies. I presume that the lawyers (if they were any good) will find jobs elsewhere. In my opinion, SLC has built that MLM economy by defrauding the rest of America… and even expanding it to the rest of the world. They shouldn’t have benefited from it from the first place.
People know what they are getting into with tobacco. They aren’t being mislead. They aren’t forced to buy the tobacco as an admission fee to a business opportunity that isn’t honestly there. Cars are the same way. These products compete against each other in a fair market. The show their value and aren’t “expensive flavored water” to use the inventors’ own words. Spend some time reading this site. I’ve written over 1700 articles here. You will find that I’m not against American capitalism. I’m against defrauding people.
In your opinion are there any legitimate MLM’s ie: AVON, Amway,Herbalife, or Warren Buffets “Pampered Chef”? How do you distinguish? Why have they been teaching “Network Marketing” in Harvard and other business schools for the last 15 to 20 years? Don’t get mad at me for asking….
Lazy Man says
That short question has a long answer. There are probably thousands of MLMs out there and I don’t have the time to investigate them all. Even if I did, most do not make the necessary information available for one to know. It’s a little like looking at a black box and speculating what’s inside. For the most part
They have never taught MLM or Network Marketing at Harvard. It’s a rumor that the Harvard University dispelled in the Wall Street Journal in 1995. In that article they made the point that it went back to multilevel consultant Beverly Nadler stating it in 1984 without attribution (in other words, it’s not known where she got the information, but Harvard itself denies it.)
So here we are, just a few days shy of 30 years later, and almost 20 years after the Harvard-MLM rumor had been debunked… and people are still trying to spread it. What about that seems legitimate to you?
The meth thing was to show how ridiculous it is to compare the two. One is punishable by law, the other (MLM juice) is simply people taking risks to make money and sell a product. No real crime.
The Madoff thing is a perfect example! He did create jobs, but then was punished by the law. I’m sure those people found other jobs. I’m just saying, if MLM companies are as bad as Ponzi schemes, then prove it in a court of law and punish the bad guys. You have written over 1700 articles, so you’re clearly passionate, but what’s been accomplished? We have a system of justice that can be used. This article, though well documented, cited, and researched, will ultimately not put a sizable dent in the industry. Will a few people read it and change their minds, yeah. Will the couple in Singapore living off of $5/day see a chance to make generational changing wealth and take a risk still? Most definitely. Those are the people that would need protecting if this is so bad and this forum is a poor way to protect them. Again, if it’s as bad as you claim.
Here’s what you have shown, that you can research and write articles. But why? If it’s to protect innocent people, I would argue that it won’t reach the people you deem to be innocent. If it’s to piss off the MLM folks, then mission accomplished. If you want to get rid of the industry all together, then stop writing and start acting. I’m sure it’s tough and difficult, but so was the Ponzi stuff and Enron stuff and on an on. Anything worthwhile is going to be difficult. Take them to court, present the evidence, get paid 100’s of millions, and start more legit companies.
If you’re not willing to do what it takes, then you are truly a lazy man with weak principles (though I don’t know you, just what i’ve observed through your writing). Your true values are dictated by your desire to see change occur and do what’s necessary. I would say that you don’t really value the defrauding of people, but merely like to talk and write about it. Which has some value, but not what it takes to make the change you claim to be for. Unless I’m missing something, your 1700 articles over 6 years have stopped the MLM’s from growing…how? They are some of the fastest growing companies in the world…
I guess my question is this, is all this work really accomplishing what you want to accomplish? Seems like a lot to go through just to prove a point. Like you are looking for a teacher to grade your website and give you an A for research and authorship.
Lazy Man says
I think with the Meth thing you confused an illegal product with an illegal distribution method. There’s a difference. Running a illegal pyramid scheme is still a “real crime” and people are real victims. It’s got a name… fraud.
I’ve written over 1700 articles about personal finance. I’m passionate about helping people. It’s accomplished a ton according to the mail and the comments I receive.
Feel free to use the system of justice and prove MonaVie wrong in a court of law. I put forth a blue-print for you. I don’t have the money to do it. If you have the money to do it, then please go ahead. If you want to fund me and I’ll be happy to do what I can to fight it with your money.
You seem to make a point that because it won’t make a sizable dent, why try? Police can’t stop all crime, so maybe they should give up too. For the thousands and thousands of families who have gotten the information they needed to make an informed decision, it’s made a significant difference. I’ve had nearly 3.5 million readers now. I can’t say that I’ve helped every one of them, and surely some are repeats, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that I’ve people millions and millions of dollars. It’s certainly worth it.
It’s unfortunate that I can’t get to the person in Singapore living off of $5/day. However, I have had people in various countries (I think Singapore was actually one of them) see this site and ask me to help them publish it in their country. Maybe that has helped a few people in Singapore. If you can think of a better way to protect them with our resources available, please suggest it.
I don’t think you know what you are talking about with regard to the judicial process. You mentioned before that you are not a lawyer. I’m not one either, but I’ve talked with many of them about the road you are suggesting and their legal opinion was that it was a waste of time and money.
In fact, you reminded me that back in 2010 someone did take MonaVie to court. I almost forgot about it and just now looked it up. An MLM attorney here opined on the case saying, “The lawyers in Arkansas better have some serious cash because they’ve just signed up for some ridiculously expensive litigation. Proving that there’s a pattern of misconduct amongst tens of thousands of distributors will be a challenging task and require some substantial discovery.”
If you can afford “ridiculously expensive litigation”, then good for you. I can’t.
You might wonder what ever happened to the lawsuit. Well MonaVie settled the case admitting no wrong doing, and created a 4.5 Million dollar settlement fund.
So in the dream world you state, “Take them to court, present the evidence, get paid 100?s of millions…” simply doesn’t exist unless you are funding it with millions.
Capitalist said, “Your true values are dictated by your desire to see change occur and do what’s necessary. I would say that you don’t really value the defrauding of people, but merely like to talk and write about it. Which has some value, but not what it takes to make the change you claim to be for.”
I think you greatly underestimate the value of educating people. Even in a world where I have the millions to take down one company, like the FTC did with Fortune High-Tech Marketing, it isn’t going to stop the industry. So now you want me to spend billions going after all of them in court? Again, give me the billions and we’ll see where it takes us.
I think I’m doing a much better job educating people than you give credit for. You say that these companies are growing, but have you looked at Google Trends for MonaVie? They are around 25% of their April 2008 high (represented by 100). You might be interested to know that I published the article in April of 2008, and you can see that from the first comment placed.
You say these MLMs are growing and yet it would appear that MonaVie has lost 75% of its attention in the time I wrote about it. I thought they should be “some of the fastest growing companies in the world”, not getting decimated. Then again, this should come as no surprise as One24 quickly fizzled when I wrote about them. Their latest Google Trends is 0. ViSalus’ distributors were cut in half as they reported in public filings. LifeVantage’s CEO on the last conference call mentioned that they weren’t happy (my words) with the lack of growth over the last 5 quarters.
I’m not seeing the same growth you are talking about.
I don’t know if I can take all the credit, but I certainly don’t think it is hurting the situation any and it seems like a great case can be made that it is helping a lot.
I appreciate the discourse on this topic. I’m not at all desiring to take any MLM to court. I’m only motivated to post comments here.
As far as the growth of the industry, I only see if from my end…the companies I do work for have increased their sales over the past couple of years.
I believe you are saying that MLM’s are falsified overpriced items with no discernible amount of value to them being sold through a scandalous, quasi illegal scheme. If they are making false claims, then they are illegal. If these are ponzi schemes then they are illegal. So, yes, the drug analogy still holds true.
As far as the police not stopping crime, I agree with you! They should fight crime. I know plenty of police men. You know how they fight crime?? Ready…they arrest and prosecute bad guys. I don’t know any police men sitting around their desks writing countless articles about how terrible tax evasion is for our society. You know what they do? Go after people.
Now, like I said, I don’t care enough about MLM’s to do something. I only care enough about this conversation to write a few posts. I don’t value changing your opinion very highly, obviously. If I did, I would refute your claims (if I could), claim slander, and take you to court or have you arrested. Getting into a verbal spat in the comment section of a website will hardly do anything. I get that
Education is important, but who are you educating? The people who want it, or the people who need it? Some friends of mine where in Uganda and noticed there were child soldiers being exploited. They filmed a video and brought it to the US to educate. However, education was not the end goal. The end goal was to end child soldiers. You know what they did, wrote their senators, congressmen, and foreign leaders. Traveled all around the country, got onto Oprah, got a bill passed through the US legislation and signed by the president, got written into UN policy and have effectively crippled the LRA advancements. That’s passionate action. They had no budget, but found friends who did. You just need to find wealthy friends who are passionate about the same things you are. I’m not one of them. I’m only trying challenge you, truth be told.
The google trend is gauging interest in internet searches, not company value. Monavie is down in overall sales because the industry is cyclical. The top distributors go from one company to the next. It’s what happens over there. You know who’s not down? The people making all the products for these companies. I know because I’m on their floors watching them increase capacity and throughput on all sorts of items. I did your same google trend search and many of these companies are stable and growing over the same time period. Mary Kay, Avon, Forever Living, Usana, 4Life, Zija, Isagenix, Nuskin. All up or stable over that same period of time.
Clearly, you are making money of this site. My guess is, that’s your main goal. I good goal to say the least. It may not have started that way, but you have found a way to profit here. Some might say that you have benefited a great deal from MLM’s. Your site gets the most traffic through google searches for MLM scams, roughly 300 new clicks/day. You have advertisers on here who are likely paying you to be here. My guess is, you make more money off of MLM’s then the vast majority of the people selling them. Well, I KNOW that’s true because you say that 98% of them are losing money.
According to spyfu and cutestat.com. This website is worth roughly $55,000 right now and you are making $91/day in ad word sales. Not a bad little deal for you. These numbers are almost year old and likely up if user engagement is up.
So, keep making money off the MLM’s. I’ll keep making money off of them too.
Lazy Man says
I’m not interested in spending the millions/billions that it would take to fight these companies in court.
I haven’t covered any of the companies you mentioned (Mary Kay, Avon, Forever Living, Usana, 4Life, Zija, Isagenix, Nuskin), so I don’t think you can use their growth as any kind of indicator of me not making progress. On the other hand, you can see who I have covered and how they’ve done. I feel pretty good in my success rate.
I don’t like the drug analogy, because making and selling meth is illegal. That isn’t true with any fruit juice that I’m aware of. I think meth is taking it a step too far.
These wouldn’t be Ponzi schemes, they would be pyramid schemes. Again the refresher on that is at the FTC website: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/inv08-bottom-line-about-multi-level-marketing-plans
Hmm, when my car was broken into and the crooks stole my GPS the police didn’t even dust for fingerprints. They took my report, but they certainly didn’t attempt to arrest or prosecute the bad guys. I’m not the only person who has this story. In fact, I’ve heard it is fairly comment So I guess you would say that the police obviously aren’t making a dent and should give up.
The police might not sit at a desk about how bad tax evasion is, but that’s probably because it is already common knowledge… no one disputes it. Is someone going to read an article that tax evasion is bad and decide, “Hey I shouldn’t do this?” No. If someone gets information about how a mortgage company is scamming consumers though, they’ll probably think twice before dealing with that company, right? Same thing with these companies. Making the information available and helping consumers educate themselves is certainly the first step.
I’m vaguely familiar with the Uganda child soldier story. One of the creators of the video ended up having to be taken to the mental hospital. That’s not where I’m looking to go ;-).
You presume that I haven’t taken this action when I have. I’ve worked with Robert FitzPatrick and others at Pyramid Scheme Alert. There’s a lot of organizing going on that you probably don’t realize. It’s very high level political stuff and yes, I’m very involved with the time I have. I’ll stress again that busting MLMs is a hobby of mine, it’s not my main focus. It isn’t even the main focus of this website as it comprises of probably fewer than 5% of the posts. If you want to reach people interested in MLM full-time go see the previous website or MLM The Truth.
I know that the Google Trend gauges interest and not value. Unfortunately because MonaVie is not public, it’s probably the best tool available to us. I cited other metrics for the other MLMs that I have covered significantly. I don’t think I mentioned that iJango isn’t even around anymore. If anything, you’ve made the best case for the amount of good work I’ve done, “writing letters.”
Funny thing about website valuations… they are never very reliable. Look at a bunch of bloggers laugh at one company trying to value it: https://twitter.com/BudgetsAreSexy/status/400313536905101313. The bottom line is that you can’t trust any of these valuations. In the case of the one that mentioned AdWords, it’s what companies would have to pay Google’s AdWords program, not what a website owner would make.
You would be wrong in your guess that making money is my main goal with this website. I made more from my websites before I started writing about MLM. Remember I’m not an MLM site, but a personal finance one. Banks, mortgage brokers, and other finance companies pay a lot more for advertising than juice companies – especially ones who prefer to use MLM instead of traditional advertising. I sacrifice a ton of time engaging in these comments and that does impact the amount of money I can make from personal finance articles. I had a friend sell his site (bargaineering.com) to BankRate.com for $3 million. Two of my other friends (GetRichSlowly.org and Consumerism Commentary) also sold for well over a million. If I wanted to make money that would be the path I’d go. I have effectively given up the opportunity to do what they did to help educate people about MLM. Quite often, I lament how much easier my life would have be if I had never heard of MLM.
Your argument comes off like someone complaining that teacher makes $35,000. Clearly teachers should love children and work for free, right? How dare they accept payment for their work educating others?!?! Might I remind you that you made the point on how this article being “well documented, cited, and researched.” I don’t know about your local news, but mine has investigative reporters who I imagine are paid journalists. They expose scams and they are paid. I’ve never heard one person say to them, “Nice little business you got there” to the news for doing it.
Joyce Claude says
Monavie do works . I go to work 10 hours a day and I take and get off work
I am not as tired as I use to be., this product do work.
Joyce Claude said: “Monavie do works . I go to work 10 hours a day and I take and get off work
I am not as tired as I use to be., this product do work.”
Monavie doesn’t work. Even the product’s inventor admitted it, testifying in court that the product is nothing more than “expensive flavored water”, and adding “any claims made are purely hypothetical, unsubstantiated and, quite frankly, bogus.” A 2-ounce shot of “bogus” and “expensive flavored water” obviously can’t make someone less tired, so clearly you are mistaken (or lying).
No, you’re not. Your a disingenuous little weasel employing gross fallacies in a pathetic bid to undermine the article. Your intentions couldn’t be more clear, or your execution more laughable.
Get lost, clown. You’re not fooling anybody.
I contended that mlm was growing as an industry. Not the people you cover. Claiming you led to there demise is fine, but the people just move on. You really haven’t done anything To impact the industry as a whole
Your cop logic is the Same as people who say that the mlm stuff has helped them. You are saying that because one cop didn’t do his job that cops don’t work?
You can only dream about making the impact that invisible children has done. they literally changed foreign policy. And Jason is doing great now.
I wish you well and hope you can achieve all that you want to do.
You’re swell. Communication is 7% words but you really nailed me. I’m actually much more disingenuous and weaselly than you realize. Keep being awesome and bringing such insightful dialogue to the conversation. No matter what people say, you are a winner
Lazy Man says
If you are correct that MLM is a growing industry and I covered growing MLM companies at the time (which is true of One24, MonaVie, ViSalus, and LifeVantage). Some of the people in the MLMs that are collapsing move on, but not necessarily all of them. I don’t think you can show that everyone who leaves all the MLMs I covered goes to another. Logically, and from the emails I’ve read, many of the people who are introduced to MonaVie read this and get the hell out of dodge. They aren’t thinking, “Well maybe I should go look around for a Vemma distributor and get into that.”
I think you need to review the cop logic. Your original point could have been summed up by, “If you can’t take down the whole industry why are you even trying?” My point in bringing up the cops was to show that they don’t stop every crime, and they continue to do what’s within their power to help people. Fighting MLM, like fighting crime, is not an all-or-nothing proposition.
I’m not in an “impact competition” with Invisible Children. I’m very comfortable with the impact I’m doing. If you’ve got a problem with it, maybe you should look in the mirror and try to be part of the solution.
Communication in this forum is 100% words, not 7%.
The difference between Lazy Man and you is he earns his profit in a meaningful positive way.
SNAP! (a real soft and meaningful snap mind you)
The part that caught my attention in your meandering was when you said “you know how you fight crime, Ready”…. well….I wasn’t ready. just sitting there minding my own business and BLAMO golly gee willickers Capitalist tap dances his way to center stage and drops a triple traveling time step with a log roll on me.
Then there is the Education thing…. Who are you attempting to educate? What is your passive aggressive somewhat obscure motive in all this? You dilly dally around saying this and that without coming out and saying much that would explain why you would be compelled to “only post here” in little old Lazy Man world without so much a care. Maybe because you just like to say things and see yourself talk a lot? I don’t understand that at all… anyway… If you want user id links to show up in your google or bing searches you should pick a better User name than Capitalist. just saying. Just thought I would educate you a little bit, one educator to another. I know it will probably be a BLAMO moment for you, but that’s the way I roll.
And how do you know all those names “Usana, 4Life, Zija, Isagenix, Nuskin” you just make those up or what? Let me try it…….
I was a sponsor of several polygon progressive that developed search and rescue services called “siin and IIIDLL and 884LL and goo8” but they never found Poly… see, I can’t do it. I really admire being able to know all those capitalistic things like that.
And how can I forget, the comment that started it all…. MLM’s are falsified overpriced items with no discernible amount of value to them being sold through a scandalous, quasi illegal scheme – dang that’s uh, I forgot what I was going to say about that.
you are an odd duck Capitalist, as am I. we are all ducks in the Ponzi pond. I only relish the discourse we are having. No intention of taking you to court and I don’t value changing your opinion. But since you appear to be wandering around a bit I thought I would join you on the walk.
It was a nice walk. thanks
I explained my connection already, I print things for them all or try to, home skillet. I probably make more money off the products then the people who sell them, like the website owner does.
My reason for engaging here is morbid curiosity. I was doing research for a meeting and stumbled over here. The only other place you find such determination to convince others they are right is on religion sites.
Oh Capitalist, your words…they wound me. Whatever will I do, having been judged and found lacking by a disgusting piece of sub-human gutter trash? Listen, I take issue with bullsh*tters is all, and you’ve got the stench of bullsh*t absolutely wafting off of you. Your line of questioning is disingenuous at best, and unless of course you’re simply a world-class idiot, your reliance on false-equivalencies and fallacious arguments is anything but accidental. But no, you’re totally not here because you’re another in a long line of self-serving douche-bags who have recognized the challenge that this article poses to your ability to continue to lie to people. Nah, you’re only here trying to undermine both the article and Lazy’s credibility because you want to challenge him. Of course that’s it. And I’m the Space Pope. You couldn’t be any easier to see through if you were transparent, Capitalist, but do feel free to continue on with your bullshit. Just know that you’re not fooling anyone.
“The only other place you find such determination to convince others they are right is on religion sites.”
See, this is what I’m talking about. It’s another of your limp-dick false-equivalencies. A pathetic attempt to draw an unfavorable comparison that’s meant to insult us, to leave readers with a bad impression of us, or both. You can’t successfully challenge the article itself, so you’ve taken to making pot-shots at it.
You’re pulling the same sort of tired shit that we’ve seen your ilk pull time and again here over the years, and yet you really expect us that you’re only here because you had a couple of minutes to kill? Screw you, asshole.
If I don’t think it’s a problem why try to solve it? I’m just an annoying commenting weasel duck who is apparently selling this stuff.
I thought you wanted to make an impact that’s why I compared you in the first place. Guys with passion and no money making an impact.
Lazy Man says
I’m not sure how it is possible to take the stance that it is not a problem, especially when you seem to recognize that 98% of people lose money and that fact is almost never disclosed.
You quickly moved on from the fraud discussion when you were presented with it. If you condone this fraud as “not a problem”, I would argue you should be the one looking to change yourself.
I thought we established that I am making a big impactimpact at least by the best tools we have to measure. The Invisible Children is a much larger organization of people fighting a group that has considerably few supporters and I think considerably less than 30-50 billion a year in revenue. Their cause was a lot more localized. There are probably several more reasons why it is a ridiculous comparison.
Really you haven’t offered anything of value here except to “challenge” someone to do more to fight something that you don’t view as a problem (essentially backing the defrauding of others). I liked your original economic thought as it was slightly unique, but it was easy to blow out of the water.
I have been drinking the juice for 7 years.. occasionally I miss if my finances are low… i have recommended it to some friends over the years and made a couple dollars… i will continue to drink it until i find something better. it cost less than what i used to put in a blender (organic and wild fruits and veggies are expensive)and i don’t feel as good when i am not drinking monavie.. the only money i put out is to purchase the juice.. we all have the choice to buy it or not.. i am grown and chose to buy it when i can.. where again is the problem?
Lazy Man says
MonaVie isn’t organic, so I’m not sure why you would compare it to “organic and wild fruits.” The inventor of the product called it “expensive flavored water”, so it seems like you were much better off before knowing what was going into your blender. You may look at my more recent review of the NutriBullet and see that I put fruit in a blender too. It’s a lot cheaper than $1.50 an ounce… and that includes me adding very expensive Greek yogurt.
You ask where again the problem is. I bolded it for you in the early part of the article, “MonaVie is a grossly overpriced product, with little nutritional value, wrapped in a poor business opportunity that appears to be illegal pyramid scheme, supported by nonsensical ‘scientific’ studies and illegal medical claims.” Where is MonaVie not a problem?
Invisible Children started with nothing more than a video camera and a cause. Their challenge was to get the US Governement and UN to act to end a substantial problem. When they started, they had 3 dudes who were college students. If you think it’s easy to get the President of the US to sign a bill into action, you’re crazy. I would argue that what they did is harder than taking Monavie to court. The point is that you were acknowledging that there is a better way to challenge the industry, but you don’t have the means to do it. I’m saying that you lack determination to find the means because you, in your heart, don’t believe it’s that big of a problem.
I have no problems with the scholarship and point of your writings, I have said multiple times that the majority of American industry is simply semi fraudulently persuading people to purchase their products. Lexus has ads that promise you a better life if you buy their cars. Cell phone companies all use limited studies to say that their companies are better than someone else’s. Almost all marketing (in this case including multi level) is based on an unsubstantiated or barely substantiated promise of a better life. These guys included. You have basically proven that Mona Vie is just another company amongst many. Why pick them out? I’m not sure, but it’s a free country. When I ask myself, why would a guy spend so much time focusing on a few companies? The answer is that they are easy targets for you to make some money off of. You have done a great job creating a group of followers, who then go tell their friends to come back and read. The more unique users and readers, the more American Express pays you to advertise. It’s quite brilliant actually and I don’t fault you for it. I’m sure you like pissing off MLM’s and getting letters from them so you can write more so you can get your site at the top of Google so you can get more readers so you can make more money.
I’m probably wrong. I’m sure you will tell me why I’m wrong. I’m sure it’s all about those poor people with freedom to choose and protecting them from making bad choices and then annoying their friends. It sounds like you and I would have a good time discussing this over a beer and would probably have a much more meaningful conversation than can be had over the internet. Since you have chosen this as your medium and I chose to engage, then it’s all we have. You will never convince me that you are doing all you can to bring these companies to their knees and I will never convince you that this is all quite silly and not accomplishing much. You may now have the last word as I have clearly lost this argument, but what did you win? It’s the cycle of internet blogging and the point of my comments, you may win arguments and a few people might change their minds, but you will never make real change sitting behind a computer. Regardless of how convincing you may be logically. We celebrate the lives of people who make real change to real problems and do whatever it takes. That will never be me. It will never be you. We both lack conviction and desire. Your view of the size of the problem and your conviction to change that problem are indicated by the length you will go to end it.
If these MLM’s are as bad as you claim them to be, I hope you prove me wrong and bring them down. I really do. I’m not holding my breath though. I don’t think they’re as bad as you claim and I don’t think this is the best way to make an impact. It IS however, a good way to get followers and make money, so press on, brother, towards your capitalistic end!
Lazy Man says
I don’t think you realize that filming child soldiers pretty much speaks on its own. You ask 100 people if they support child soldiers and you are probably going to get 100 people say, “Of course not.” Maybe there’s one nut who misunderstands the question. My point: It’s a very easy and obvious cause to support. I’m not saying that Invisible Children had it easy, but I’m saying that rallying support for it was definitely much easier.
MLM is an entire ball of wax. You aren’t even willing to acknowledge there is a problem… and you know that 99% of the people lose money. You have an organization with hundreds of thousands of brainwashed people who petition Washington at the slightest thing that might their industry (See how MLM got excluded from the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule). You have MLM companies giving politicians money to influence decisions in their favor. Again, I’m a little hazy on my details, but I don’t think Kony had any of this support in the US… and Invisible Children didn’t have to fight it.
Capitalist said, “The point is that you were acknowledging that there is a better way to challenge the industry, but you don’t have the means to do it. I’m saying that you lack determination to find the means because you, in your heart, don’t believe it’s that big of a problem.”
I never made an acknowledged that there is a better way to challenge the industry. Certainly from the lawyers I’ve talked to, the courts isn’t the avenue… and they have the experience in this area. Go look at Pyramid Scheme Alerts’ advisory page. They have two attorneys right there. I’m saying that you vastly misunderstand the difficulty of attacking it how you propose. Furthermore, there’s investing genius Bill Ackman who put a billion dollars of his own money on the line (yes billion with a “b”) to show that HerbaLife is a pyramid scheme. It’s a year later and though he’s got some politician support, he hasn’t made much of a dent in that one MLM company… let alone the whole MLM industry.
Capitalist said, “You have basically proven that Mona Vie is just another company amongst many.”
Umm, when I made the statement in the article, “MonaVie is a grossly overpriced product, with little nutritional value, wrapped in a poor business opportunity that appears to be illegal pyramid scheme, supported by nonsensical ‘scientific’ studies and illegal medical claims” I think I definition differentiated them from Lexus or a cell phone company. I’m not fan of Lexus’ advertising and have written about it before I even wrote about MonaVie. However, they tend to deliver in what they advertise (a car that competes well in the luxury car space as opposed to “expensive flavored water” propped up by a business opportunity that doesn’t exist). It’s ridiculous to even compare the two.
Capitalist said, “Why pick them out? I’m not sure, but it’s a free country. When I ask myself, why would a guy spend so much time focusing on a few companies? The answer is that they are easy targets for you to make some money off of.
Why don’t you re-read the first paragraph again? Here’s the information you are looking for: “The original article about my introduction to MonaVie is preserved here.” If you do a tiny bit of research you’ll see that you are completely wrong with your assessment here. I didn’t go seek out MonaVie to write about, MonaVie found me by trying to charge $45 for their bottle of juice. If they charged $3-4 like any other juice, we wouldn’t be having this conversation and I would never have written about a single MLM. As for the time I spend focusing on a few companies? I simply engage in the discussion as I do with all my articles. It’s no secret at over 6000 comments there’s a lot of discussion going on here. During that time a lot of information about how the company and its distributors are defrauding people have come to the forefront. If my readers were focused on that Lexus article and kept bringing new ways that the company scams people, maybe there’d be 6000 comments on that article. There aren’t.
And if you think it’s easy to write these articles and make money from them, you should give it a try. I wish you the best of luck. Let me know how it goes for you.
Capitalist said, “I’m probably wrong. I’m sure you will tell me why I’m wrong. I’m sure it’s all about those poor people with freedom to choose and protecting them from making bad choices and then annoying their friends.”
That’s about 1% of it. The people don’t have the information to make an informed decision. What they get is people like Pat, who a few comments above tried to say that Harvard teaches MLM… a confirmed falsehood that has been repeated for nearly 30 years now. What’s wrong with giving people the information they need to make informed decision? Some form of consumer protection exists in just about every civilized country. If you don’t agree with it, perhaps you can go to a country that outlaws it. Otherwise, perhaps you should embrace it.
You are right that you’ve already lost. You are welcome to defining “real change” however you wish, but it does not have to be mine. I’m quite happy with what I’ve accomplished and the emails that I get from thankful people affirm that. I’m sorry that you live in a black and white world where you either have created World Peace or you have wasted your life. Maybe that makes it easier for you whose ambition seems to boil down to printing labels or some such. Maybe that’s why you feel the need to attack a consumer advocate who made a real impact on the lives of at least tens of thousands people through the 3.5 million who’ve come here to read my articles.
Maybe you are just jealous you can’t make that difference and/or worried that your poor SLC economy might bust if not for these scams.
Capitalist should change his name to something more apropos like “Apologist” or “Protectionist”. His logic is inconsistent with capitalism, which basically dictates that the fittest survive. If a company like Monavie is so vulnerable to criticism that they can be killed by it, then the company deserves to die. If that company supported bottlers and packagers, that’s just too damn bad. The law of the jungle is harsh.
What capitalist is arguing for instead is protectionism or stronger unions or something along those lines, where the jobs of bottlers and packagers are protected even though the company that pays them is unfit to compete in the marketplace.
Capitalists is an idiot who doesn’t know what capitalism is. Not surprising coming from a Monavie shill.
You sound like a fine young gentleman with lots of friends. You totally nailed me. Congratulations on your fine win. Since you are such a winner with lots of friends…
I have a great business opportunity for you to make lots of money and be healthy! All you will have to do is give me $50,0000 to be in on the ground floor. Are you in? I cannot prove that it will ever work, but I do know that you will likely lose all your friends pursuing this dream. Send me an email with your credit card number, SSN, and address to [email protected].
Thanks and please stay awesome.
Funny thing… you say the “inventor” called it flavored water…. then you post the label with the ingredients and water is not even an ingredient? All i see are a lot of wild fruits… i say wild because many of them are not farmed? you are helping me understand why it seems to work so well for so many people… thanks
Lazy Man says
The lack of water in the label has been covered in these comments in the past. I can’t remember whether companies can legally leave it off the label or if it’s another thing that MonaVie isn’t legally doing. I’ll leave that as research for you. The point is that there is indeed water whether the label says it or not. Why didn’t you put “inventor” in quotes? No one is debating this to my knowledge. Are you going to argue with the court documents or the newspaper that I cited in the article about it?
You know that the fruits are indeed farmed, right? You don’t think they just send people off to the woods or the Amazon to collect the 19 fruits?
If you really want to understand why it seems to work so well for so many people, you need to understand the same is true for MLM health products that contain none of these fruits like ASEA and Protandim. Here’s a great article published on a website from a group of doctors, scientists, and researchers: http://www.aitse.org/no-your-mlm-doesnt-work/
Capitalist said: “Vogel: You sound like a fine young gentleman with lots of friends. You totally nailed me. Congratulations on your fine win. Since you are such a winner with lots of friends.”
You’re making it pretty damn clear that you’re not here to engage in any form of honest debate but rather to play schoolyard games like “I am rubber, you are glue…”.
I merely pointed out that your argument regarding the jobs of the bottlers and packagers that Monavie uses was anti-capitalistic and that, because you don’t seem to understand the principles of capitalism and how they would apply in this scenario, your chose of user name seems unintentionally ironic. To that, you reply back with this silly example of sarcastic love bombing. I know it’s sometimes hard for people to admit when they are wrong, but that doesn’t excuse your dickish reply.
you are a wolf in sheeps skin.
If you were a true capitalist, and supported free markets etc., you wouldn’t be howling at the moon the way you are. What better way to antagnonize an opposing viewpoint than to enter its realm and divide its sheep by posing as freindly fire. Or, you are one of those libra types that takes great pride in badgering the establishment just to amuse and bemuse.
if you insist on thinking you are a free market minded capitalist, your interpretation is tainted. If under the age of 40 and from pretty much any colledge you probably suffer a serious taint problem. A 60’s child, probably dealing with some residual drugs. You are clear and articulate though…. eh.. good drugs than. If you are between 40 and 50 there is a 132% chance you missed the 60’s slime and received an education free from liberal bias (62% slime + 70% Liberal Bias = 132%) so we can be automatic freinds for life. I suspect you know full well that what you do and say is subterfuge regardless of your age or education. If you are inclined to think otherwise I guess we keep having these chats as long as you are up for it. I don’t make it easy, but at least its fun.
for me… I am a distributer. don’t buy the stuff but get it free from time to time as a bribe offering to keep me off this site mostly. I accept it, use it for mixer. Makes great drinks. The MX Sizzler is good, or the EMV El Presidente. My super favorite is the Active Absinthe Monkey Gland.. carefull it has a Kick and a bite.. as in Joyfull and Triumphant (some holiday cheer there for you). now I don’t like the Mmum Orgasm.. not my style, your mileage may vary.
So do I win a prize too? I am creative and funny and garsh darn it people know me. Or do I get discarded as a school yard dolt …?
Hhhh oooooo wwwww lllllllllll…oooo
As a rule of thumb, nobody who resorts to name calling is serious about engaging in a debate. You have called me an idiotic shill and a dick. The debate you seek will not happen here. You clearly have me figured out already. You are the winner because you are a winner in general.
Drop MLM’s, not love bombs
Capitalist: “As a rule of thumb, nobody who resorts to name calling is serious about engaging in a debate. You have called me an idiotic shill and a dick. The debate you seek will not happen here. You clearly have me figured out already. You are the winner because you are a winner in general.”
Use your eyes, not your thumb. I have already established the seriousness of my interest in debating this subject through my many past contributions to date.
You haven’t said a single thing thing that’s remotely relevant to the topic at hand. You’re just making shallow proclamations about capitalism (demonstrating that you don’t really understand what it entails) and trying to impugn the blog host’s motives. Basically, being — a dick.
If you don’t get on topic soon, you deserve to be unplugged from the dialog, so now would be a good time to stop using this forum as a pissing post.
My grandfather has always had bad cholesterol and blood pressure since he had a doctors app last week after taking Monavie for around 5 months. He stopped taking his cholesterol and blood pressure meds half way through. It is beneficial you just are pissed off that you can’t find ways to get people signed up under you when you were doing it.
Lazy Man says
I wouldn’t be dumb enough to ever be a distributor for a fraudulent company like MonaVie, but keep up the lies finalrayne
Both my husband & I took this product for awhile. We both had positive health benefits from it, just entirely different ones. He got great sleep again, had more energy and it cleared his chronic sinus issues. I am lactose intolerant and seem to suffer from an over stimulated bowel. This product helped my digestive issues and made me the most regular I had been in years. We were both very pleased with our results. Also, it was interesting that it effected us both so differently.
Lazy Man says
You know that the placebo effect effects people very differently?
Given that the creator of the product disavowed any health claims and called it expensive flavored water (see above for exact quote)… I’m not sure why you’d think the product would help you.
I’m not lying bud but keep telling yourself I am sorry your to ignorant to see something that’s true right in front of you. Honestly I feel sorry for you.
Lazy Man says
So you know my life better than me? What’s your proof that I was ever a MonaVie distributor? Keep in mind, I wrote an article detailing my connection MonaVie here: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/my-introduction-to-monavie/.
I love it how you try to make my original comment about yourself my grandfather who had a crap ton of health issues is healthier because of it even his doctor says so I’m sorry I could care less about price or their marketing. This juice will probably make it so my children in the near future will be able to meet their great grandfather.
Ya just read it and you obviously changed your mind since then my grandfather is benefiting from it so it is good enough for me everyone has their own opinion. I only have my aunt under me and I am just in it for the energy drinks they are cheaper and healthier than buying a monster a day.
Lazy Man says
Remember that the person who invented the product characterized it as “expensive flavored water. Any claims made are purely hypothetical, unsubstantiated and, quite frankly, bogus.” Just re-read the article for the citation.
So there you go, the inventor of the product is calling your claim bogus. Of course, there’s also this pile of evidence here showing that it also bogus.
My claim about my grandfather is not bogus.
Lazy Man says
Go have that conversation with the inventor of MonaVie who claims it is bogus.
Good for you and your grandfather having a great doctor’s visit last week. But for some reason you think we’re questioning the results of that specific visit. We are not and we don’t care. If it’s not already obvious, your claim that MonaVie was the reason is what is bogus! If you don’t believe us, simply take Lazyman’s advice – go ask the inventor of MonaVie the same question you posted here. Surely, you trust him. Too bad you’re pissed that you got busted trying to make illegal medical claims. Feel free to come back and fill us in on your conversation with the inventor. I highly doubt that you will.
It appears that lacking victims, the parasitic hosts have begun feeding on each other.
Hmmm…link was lost in the first post, so second try with the raw url
Lazy Man says
Thanks for that silo, now I see why Alex Schauss isn’t as involved in MonaVie anymore. I’d say it is shocking, but nothing surprises me anymore.
Whatever it is, Monavie is a good product. I have witnessed it and I have tried it. It does not matter what kind of negative research you have don e on Monavie, one way or the other, Monavie has a lot of health benefits and I have seen people overcome some of their long term illness by drinking Monavie. Trust me.
Lazy Man, from what I have read about your comments, you seems to be very vengeful and full of hatred for Monavie. Someone might have deceit you or “destroy” you that you are now bent on revenge. There are so many MLM health drink based companies around, why target Monavie? Such a shame.
Lazy Man says
I remind you that the inventor said that it was “expensive flavored water.” MonaVie does not cure long term illnesses. Trust me.
There’s a reason why Dr. Bowden says it doesn’t cure cancer or a pile of other things despite distributor claims.
I am a champion of the consumer, not scammers trying to illegal sell “expensive flavored water” as a medical treatment. Pretty hard to find any redeeming value when I’ve shown: “MonaVie is a grossly overpriced product, with little nutritional value, wrapped in a poor business opportunity that appears to be illegal pyramid scheme, supported by nonsensical ‘scientific’ studies and illegal medical claims.”
I didn’t target MonaVie. If you read the beginning of the article they pitched the product to my wife who told me about it. I have no motivation for revenge, never paid them a single dollar.