I’ve heard a lot of chatter that many ViSalus distributors have moved their entire downlines to another company called Visi. I first heard it from a high ranking ViSalus distributor and this has been confirmed in a comment on my ViSalus post. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the ViSalus people jumped shipped for another MLM. Historically that’s how it goes with MLMs. Once the Titanic hits the iceberg (the MLM starts to collapse) they get on the lifeboats and see what they can do at another MLM. Many of the MonaVie distributors came from Amway.
When ViSalus was at its peak, it had distributors getting cars with obnoxious license plates that said, “Told U so!” In writing about how ViSalus was a scam, I warned them that the business plan of recruiting was an unsustainable pyramid scheme. With 75% of their distributors having left, and their parent company’s stock going from $45 a share to $8.50 a share (as of this writing) I can confidently respond, “Told U so!”
In any case, this article is about Visi. Visi is one of the life boats that ViSalus distributors are getting on. Are they jumping from the frying pan into the fire? Let’s find out!
An Introduction to Visi
There are so many places to start with Visi, but I found a distributor embedding this official Visi video on their website. Since it is meant to be an introduction to Visi, it seems as good a place to start as any.
Let’s break it down.
The first minute is about pitching the “dream”, citing that people have lose the ability because of responsibility. At the 50 second mark, they voice-over specifically mentions “hope.” The words and images (ballerina, rocket blasting into space [astronaut]) are carefully used to focus you on what’s “possible”, not what’s “probable.” In fact, the company doesn’t offer the ability to fulfill the dream of being a ballerina or an astronaut. And no one ever said, I want to sell supplement chews when I grow up.
At the 1 minute mark, you see a rapid succession of testimonials from Visi distributors. They come quick with Robert Klutts claiming that he lost 25 pounds over 5 weeks, Michelle Reiser claiming to be debt free, and Mike and Alexis McClenaghan pitching increased free time. Who want to lose weight, be debt free, and have tons of free time? See how seductive this pitch is? It’s powerful and just about every MLM I’ve used has some variation of it… even if well over 99% of participants lose money.
It is worth noting that Bob Klutts was a professional MLMer before joining Visi. That’s not to say that his weight loss claim isn’t true, but we know better to take weight loss testimonials from paid endorsers don’t we?
On Michelle’s Reiser’s LinkedIn page she claims to be a “Founding Partner” and a “CEO Advisory Council” member (In case she changes it, I’ve archived a screenshot of Michelle Reiser’s LinkedIn here). It’s no secret that in pyramid schemes those who get in early make the big money. Later recruits are left with loses after feeding the money up the line.
This may be a good time to point people to the FTC’s guidelines of MLMs and pyramid schemes, while noting that the FTC doesn’t actively protect consumers from MLMs that are pyramid schemes.
In any case, Michelle Reiser’s is misleading consumers into thinking that because she got debt-free the opportunity exists for everyone. Maybe it does for everyone who is a founding partner at in such a scheme. She lives in Canada, so the law might be different there, but in the United States the FTC is clear about such endorsements misleading people are illegal.
Finally we have Mike and Alexis McClenaghan. Mike McClenaghan admitted on his in this Business For Home article that he has I “been in this industry for over 22 yrs.” He also claims that he’s a “Arctic Emerald Founder Advisory Board Member.” (and in case he deletes it, I’ve archived it as well.) “Arctic Emerald” is the highest level of distributor in Visi’s scheme.
Yes the two people making income claims (Mike McClenaghan indirectly through a “free time” claim) are founders. That is convenient isn’t it?
Dreams Part 2
Founder and CEO Kent Lewis comes in at around the 1:15 mark with quotes “achieving their dreams” and “dream big again” in a span of less than 10 seconds.
Visi is a Cult now
At the 1:25 mark a creepy voice comes in saying that “Visi a culture, built and inspired, by the belief that boundless possibilities and abundant wellness are good for every body.” Everyone who loves limited possibilities and illnesses raise their hand!
Bring on the Paid “Doctors”
As I’ve found with MonaVie, and even ViSalus these companies love to bring on a paid doctor to lend credibility to the product. At the 1:37 mark we meet Charles Rouse, a member of the Scientific Advisor Board. On his website The Medicine Man, he admits that he’s a “creation scientist.” As Wikipedia cites from reputable literature on Creation Science, “The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is that creation science is a religious, not a scientific view, and that creation science does not qualify as science because it lacks empirical support, supplies no tentative hypotheses, and resolves to describe natural history in terms of scientifically untestable supernatural causes. Creation science has been characterized as a pseudo-scientific attempt to map the Bible into scientific facts. According to a popular introductory philosophy of science text, ‘virtually all professional biologists regard creation science as a sham.'”
I’m all for theological belief, but my point is that Charles Rouse is closer to being a witch doctor than a medical doctor.
Next up is Steve Rallis at the 1:43 mark. He says, “Our products are really the first of their kind to be developed specifically to help patients overcome the challenges associated with lifestyle diseases.” We can add Visi to the list of MLMs illegally pitching their products as medicine suggest that they help with “diseases” and are “developed specifically” for “patients.” At the 1:52 mark, Charles Rouse joins in saying that the products will help with headaches. He even implies it psychological medication as it will help if you are feeling “distraught.”
Rick Hagar makes a comment about how “in a short amount of time, people feel the results and know that the product is working for them.” This is the typical line all MLM miracle cures. The idea is to be very vague about what the product does and give subjective terms such as more energy, more alertness or fewer aches. Then claim that this product “works” which is purposely left undefined so that it can apply to anyone’s condition. The truth is that whatever anyone feels can be explained by this by this article, which was so popular that a group of doctors, scientists and researchers have asked to republish it. What people feel is best explained by the placebo effect.
If we look back at Mike McClenaghan’s posting on Business for Home above we find that Rick Hagar is a Visi Master Distributor. A great site, Amthrax writes about Master Distributors explain that these people are paid to pitch an MLM and bring in distributors through a downline they’ve recruited. They aren’t faithful to the products and bounce amongst MLMs.
At the 2:08 mark, Steve Rallis is back to say the products “change how they age, changes their risks.” This is a subtle way at claiming that the products can prevent disease which would be an illegal claim of the supplements.
At the 2:15 mark, we briefly switch back to testimonial mode where Mike McClenaghan is back claiming that he’s lost over 31 pounds. Once again, as a paid endorser, he doesn’t disclose that these results are not typical, which is another Visi-sponsored violation of the FTC’s Guidelines on Endorsements. In fact the FTC has a Reference Guide for Media on Spotting False Weight Loss Claims. The guide specifically states:
“It’s the law – and it’s always been the law – that before companies can run ads for weight loss products, they need scientific proof to support objective claims their ads make…
False or misleading claims can be conveyed in words and in images. Some brazen scammers just flat-out lie. Others use eye-catching before-and-after pictures. A word about consumer endorsements (sometimes called testimonials): Endorsements from supposedly satisfied customers – “D.G. lost 38 pounds in just 3 weeks” or “Jane from Springfield dropped 4 dress sizes in 30 days!’ – are a staple of weight loss ads. Too often, advertisers cherry-pick their best cases or even make up bogus endorsements, deceptively conveying to consumers that they’ll get similar results. Under the law, advertisers that choose to use endorsements have two choices: Either the results in the ad must be typical of what other consumers can expect to achieve or the ad must clearly and conspicuously disclose what the typical results are.”
The results are not shown to be typical and the Visi advertisement does not disclose what the typical results are.
Arctic Cloudberry: The Magical Ingredient
At the 2:25 mark, we are introduced to Visi’s “secret sauce”: Arctic Cloudberry. Many MLM health companies have some rare, exotic fruit and leads you to believe it is magical. For example, Vemma has mangosteen and MonaVie has acai. Visi has settled on the arctic cloudberry. The video explains that it is ripened under “the midnight sun of Scandinavia” as if the berry somehow gets some magical properties from the time of day the sun shines on it.
At the 2:48 mark, Charles Rouse is back to say that is the “perfect nutrition to keep the body purified.” I’m all for berries being great nutritionally, but there’s no berry that is “perfect nutrition”, we need a more balanced diet, perhaps with something called “protein.” And “keep the body purified” sounds a lot like the detox scam.
At the 2:55, the Arctic Cloudberry now has “life-changing benefits.”
10/2 and a Chew
At the 2:57 mark they introduce the “10/2 and a Chew” product. It fuels, “body, mind, and soul.” Yes, this product is supposed to work on the soul. There’s a word for this and it is called Quackery.
At the 3:20 mark, Jaime Dulaney makes an appearance. Ms. Dulaney’s LinkedIn page shows that she’s still a distributor with isXpera:
“isXperia, Florida based 7 year old company, is hitting massive growth right now. Wide range of superior products in the health/wellness, weight loss & energy, and anti-aging skincare industries. Company is unique because it is built by distributors, for distributors and has the most lucrative and exciting comp plan you’ll ever see.”
Sounds a lot like what Visi is pitching right? I’ve archived Jaime Dulaney’s LinkedIn page as well, as I’m sure she’ll want to change it when see reads this. Ms. Dulaney’s company, with Brian Bailey, is called the Bailey-Dulaney Partnership, LLC and “is a founding member of Visi Global”… surprise! The page also states: “After many years of working together successfully in the network marketing industry, Brian Bailey of Florida and Jamie Dulaney of Louisiana, formed The Bailey Dulaney Partnership, LLC.” Once again, Visi is promoting the people it poached from other MLMs… not people who were pitched the business and had success with it.
Ms. Dulaney’s pitch in the video is: “I can not think of one reason why you would not try 10/2 and a chew”. This is almost a word-for-word “Just try it! Mind Game”, where they know that more than 30% of people will experience a placebo effect and think it helped them. Cigarette companies used the same ‘just try it’ marketing in the 50’s when it was shown that their products weren’t healthy.
Instead of the “just try it” marketing message, I challenge Visi to “just prove it” with the FDA via clinical trials. I’ll make it easy and accept whatever condition they think any of their products “work” for.
It’s a good thing that “two” rhymes with “chew.” If it were “one” the Visi marketing team might say that you have to eat a “bun.”
Creepy Voice is Back
At the 3:27 mark, the creepy voice is back. This time it’s focused on Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). It says, “Visi has a range of products that you will love.” Really? After this crazy pitch, I’m very sure that I do not love the products. It continues, “Introduce others to Visi…” Thanks cult-voice, I’m not buying it. Continuing more, “and teach others how to dream big again…” Still trying to drill the “dream big” message into my head. My website does that… without the scam.
Share Your Visi Story
At the 3:35 mark, the creepy voice segues us to “sharing your personal Visi story.” The Founder and CEO Kent Lewis invites people to credit a compliment of “you look great” to pitch Visi products. By this logic, Dove should be marketing its famous “beauty patches” via MLM. They people in the video didn’t realize they were getting a placebo and they were very convinced the product helped them.
Dreams Part 4?
At the 3:50 mark Michelle Reiser is back saying that the company gave her “the opportunity to dream bigger than she’s ever dreamed” We are averaging close to a “dream big” mention every minute. She follows it up with a pitch of “make a decision and just go for it.” It seems like she’s advocating that you skip the FTC’s recommendation to carefully review the company as I’ve done here.
Cue Creepy Neuro-linguistic Programming Voice
At the 4:00 minute mark, the voice is back saying, “Visi is home…” It is difficult to come up with a more obvious “We are a cult” message than implying that this organization should be your “home.” It continues with “… where you can finally celebrate the benefits of optimal wellness and abundant lifestyle.” Wow, putting together, “finally”, “celebrate”, “benefits”, “optimal wellness” and “abundant lifestyle” in the same sentence… good job Mr. Creepy. Above it was “abundant wellness”, but it graduated to “optimal wellness”, with “abundant” being used to describe the “lifestyle” now.
It doesn’t stope there suggesting that we “embrace success by fulfilling and realizing your fullest potential.”
I wish I could “finally celebrate the benefits” of reaching the end of the video. It is a “dream” that wwould fill me with a feeling of “abundant” and “optimal” “success”.
Alas I’m only slightly more than halfway through this one video and I’ve written enough words for five of my typical posts.
Bring in the Co-founder
At the 4:19 mark, we have Ryan Lewis (not to be confused with the awesome Ryan Lewis who has partnered with Macklemore), making his entrance. He’s a co-founder and COO of Visi. He throw out the “life-changing products” (second time we’ve heard that) and suggests that they’ll “help you make healthy choices throughout the day.” He doesn’t explain how they do this. He quickly moves on to push a message that you can “succeed”, by “sharing” and “be rewarded” for doing it.
Mr. Creepy Voice is Back Again
At the 4:27 mark, Mr. Creepy Voice is back. I’m starting to looking forward to his choice of brainwashing adjectives and verbs. This time “Visi encourages you to build life as you dream.” Another mention of “dream”, gettting tired of it? I hope not.
It’s followed up with “dictate your lifestyle by design not by default.” Another mention of lifesytle, this time in the context of “taking control” Fortunately, Visi is “here to you achieve just that.” Good use of “achieve”, Mr. Creepy.
The “You are the Boss” Myth.
At the 4:39 mark we have Mike McClenaghan back saying that it is a fun business. However, I’d like to focus on the “I’m the Boss and I’m making the decisions.” As I covered in the business of MLM, a popular book notes:
“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…”
If you read the distributor contract well, you’ll see that Visi can terminate your distributorship for almost any reason. That means they can fire you… which means you are not the boss, they are. Not only that, but you have to agree to mandatory binding arbritration, which limits your ability to sue them. As that article says the policy is “A Raw Deal for Consumers.” Put simply, consumer protection experts suggest you don’t do business with any company with such a policy.
The Visi Lifestyle
At the 4:45 mark, we are treated to Mike McClenaghan, Jaime Dulaney, and Michele Reisler pitching the “Visi lifestyle” as one involving travel, snow mobiling, and going on cruises. What they don’t say is that these events are only for the top ranking distributors like themselves. The reason why these events is motivate distributors or lower rank. There’s a quick mention by Ms. Reisler about charity in Honduras, which I will get to later.
Bring out the Car Scam!
At the 5:00 mark, were introduced to Visi’s car program, Dream Drivers. As with nearly every MLM, there’s a motivating car incentive for top recruiters. And of course the program’s name has “dream” in it. As Mr. Creepy says, “Whatever you can dream to drive is possible with Visi.” The program appears to be exactly the same as ViSalus’ terrible Bimmer program, except that you aren’t locked into a specific make of car.
How the Visi car program works is that you can either take $300 monthly in cash or $600 monthly towards the purchase of a car. It seems like a no-brainer to take the $600 towards the car. However, as many ViSalus distributors found out, it is a horrible mistake. First the car has to be in your name, which seems like a good thing, but it means you have the responsiblity to make the payments, not Visi. Visi only gives you the $600 if you maintain the rank. If the scheme collapses as ViSalus’ did, through no fault of your own, you won’t qualify for the $600.
That means that you’d not only have to come up with the $600/month extra for your car, but you’d have to do with a drastically smaller income than you are used to.
It is very similar to 2008 when mortgage brokers convinced people they could afford more house than they could. It lead to a huge financial crisis and foreclosurers. ViSalus distributors have seen that happen with their BMWs. If a distributor can’t make payments it ruins their credit and can cause a decade of financial pain.
Why would Visi put distributors in this devilish position? My guess is that they believe everyone will take the car as it seems to be the obvious choice. Then as the scheme implodes they’ll be extremely motivated by their impending financial ruin to recruit even harder.
The Ultimate Lifestyle
At the 5:15 mark, we have Rick Hagar back saying that “Visi offers people an opportunity to get what they consider to be the ultimate lifestyle.” What he doesn’t say is that the “opportunity” that Visi has available is similar to the “opportunity” the lottery has available. It’s there, but it is infinitesimal. Many of the top positions clearly belong to “founders” in this video. At this point Visi has many distributors that are competing against you, which is something the founders didn’t have to face.
More Mr. Creepy Voice
I’m convinced going to hear this guy’s voice in my sleep tonight. At the 5:24 mark he’s back saying, “Visi is a place you can finally call home.” Again with the “finally” and “home”? Laying on the cult talk a little think there, you think? Are they trying to target homeless people here? He continues, “A home where one can build a business if there was a dream to drive it.” I’ve lost track of the “dream” count in this video. We surely must be well into the double-digits now. And as mentioned above, this isn’t really building a business as they can fire you… it is a commissioned sales job.
Health and Wealth
At the 5:45 mark, they make the combination of health and wealth that I first saw with MonaVie’s Scam. With a pitch of health and wealth, how can you go wrong? Well, you can when it offers neither and you were just brainwashed into “dreaming” it were the case by this video.
At the 5:52 mark, Michelle Reisler re-emphasisizes the brainwashing that “Visi is home and it will be home for a long time.” That’s the third time they’ve tried to brainwash you with that li
More Mr. Creepy
I’m fairly convinced I could write a Mr. Creepy computer program at this point. His vocabulary seems limited. At the 5:58 mark, we get more “life-changing results that come with Visi.” “Dreams” is still the winner, but “life-changing” is making a good showing. Dulaney
Outside the Box
I thought they got the cliche’s covered, but Jaime Dulaney brings an “outside this box” to the game at the 6:05 mark of the video. She throws in a “reach your goals” for good measure.
Ryan Lewis is back to say that Visi’s “success” and “legacy” will be “measured by how many lives we’ve been able to impact and change.” I’m going to call that another mention of “life-changing”, I’m pulling for the underdog to make a comeback.
More Mr. Creepy
At the 6:25 mark, we have Mr. Creepy giving the “first step in the transformation journey.” He then commands you to “feel the astounding results” (again using the purposely vague language). Finally, you are directed to “share your personal story with anyone who seeks an enhanced lifestyle.” Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t really come across anyone who said, my lifestyle isn’t what I want it to be… let’s enhance it!
The CEO Kent Lewis is back at 6:40 saying Visi is “a company that believes being a little bit better every day.” Fortunately they set the bar so astoundingly low with this video that it wouldn’t very difficult.
He continues, “Our greatest product is what you become.” If their best product is turning you into a brainwashed minion, it certainly doesn’t bode well for “10/2 and a chew.”
At the 6:48 mark, Mr. Creepy is back saying that “Visi partners build better lives…” (almost another hit for “life-changing”, but not quite). Just when I think Mr. Creepy has lost his touch, he continues, “… and dream big again.” I think the race is over and “dream” is a clear winner.
The video closes suggesting that you “imagine” flying to Scandinavia to pick “arctic cloudberries.” If I go to Scandinavia, it’s not going to be work in the fields. Sorry Visi.
Getting to those “Dream Big” messages
The “dream” is an MLM standby going back to the Amway days in the 1980s. In fact, it is very much ingrained in MLM. It’s so common that anyone who tries to use logic and reason to prevent this brainwashing has been called a “Dream Stealer.” I’ve even been called one myself, despite the fact that I help people pursue their dreams via sound personal finance principles. There are many articles on Google about dream stealing and MLM.
Unfortunately the “dream” is also ingrained in the Nigerian Prince (also known as 419) scams that you may received in your email. As Snopes writes:
“In a nutshell, the con works by blinding the victim with promises of an unimaginable fortune. Once the sucker is sufficiently glittery-eyed over the prospect of becoming fabulously rich, he is squeezed for however much money he has. This he parts with willingly, thinking ‘What’s $5,000 here or $10,000 there when I’m going to end up with $2 million when this is all done?’ He fails to realize during the sting that he’s never going to get the promised fortune; all of this messing around is designed to part him from his money.”
This is a very accurate description of the MLM con game. They get you in for a very low initial fee, but keep you paying month after month while you chase the “dream.” That dream exists for the people at the top like the founders here. As Inc Magazine wrote others are “just MLM cannon fodder”. The products are purposely expensive, because they are required purchases for admission into the “dream opportunity.” Also, more expensive products tend to make people think they are or higher quality through the price placebo effect. For example, there are numerous studies that show people will think wine is of higher quality if it has a higher price.
After more than 4000 words, I was only able to cover one of Visi’s marketing videos. I didn’t get a chance to dig into the products like I would have liked, but the video put very little focus on them, especially in comparison to selling the “dream.”
I hope to carve out a little more time to look at the products themselves. Considering the brainwashing video, the non-disclosure that the founders are not typical income earners, and Visi’s scientific advisory expert’s connection to quack science, it certainly doesn’t look good.
robyn weinbaum says
i work for a CPA firm that has a few clients who are MLMs. one sells advocare [get your shine/gltter on] and has amassed a really good downline, been in it about 16 months, is planning to quit her day job as a teacher. CPA reminded her that being a licensed, employed by the county, teacher gives her access to benefits such as: medical, dental, 401K, pension, PTO, etc.’but i get it! i’m making more money here than there. you should get involved.’
me: sorry i have a life and friends who did amway/monavie/other jucie things/energy bars/shakes.
glitter person: it’s not an MLM, i’m only allowed to go three levels deep.
me: you making more than you’re spending?
me: i just did your taxes. you made about $4/hour after expenses, before taxes. most of that from your cut of your underlings and you think this is a good thing? you could make 8 times that tutoring.
and she’s one of the ‘successful ones’
Lazy Man says
The book Merchants Of Deception is authored by a high ranking Amway person. He started to do the math that you mentioned, taking out his expenses and realizing that he wasn’t make very much either.
I’m curious about that Avocare compensation plan. I didn’t think any MLMs nowadays limited the levels. I thought that since there are ones out there that have “UMLIMITIED LEVELS!!!” any company not following suit would be at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting and die.
Lazy Man says
On page 25 of this AdvoCare compensation plan (http://www.advocare.com/0908345/Pdf/policy.pdf) it shows an example with a Ruby 6 star with 4 levels.
Aside from that, “glitter” does understand the definition of “multi” in “multi-level marketing”, right?
So Visi is going to be michelles home for a long time? Lol funny since she has already moved on and taken most of her team from visi. They went to some cream company I want to say nutrium but I can not say for sure
Lazy Man says
Hmm, her Facebook and LinkedIn still seem to say Visi. How recent is this?
Very recent within the last few weeks. She is still trying to keep her pay and that is why she never changed that stuff.
I don’t know about Visi, but Plexus distributors are running the best MLM in history. They are truly leading the industry on what women need. I think you should look at this lazy man and give me an honest review… instead of wasting your time with visi.
Lazy Man says
I hope that comment about Plexus is a joke. You can get a similar pile of crap at most MLMs. Someone was commenting about Fitness First or First Fitness the other day and it was the same old crap weight loss pills.
Here’s what the FTC says about weight loss. Hint the focus is on diet and exercise, not other products.
They’ve even gone after and fined some of the bigger companies that make such claims without adequate scientific proof. Plexus may fly under the radar because the FTC is busy, but that’s the only thing I can imagine happening.
The Plexus breast check kit (called Breast Chek Kit) is state of the art, FDA approved for finding and diagnosing breast cancer. This is a huge, cutting edge technology, and you cannot disprove it.
Lazy Man says
You mean this Breast Chek Kit: http://www.plexusworldwide.com/products/breast-chek-kit.html.
The page says, “Video doesn’t exist” and there’s the big warning at the bottom of the page: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drugs Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.”
They couldn’t even manage to spell “check” correctly. Reminds me of how “Froot Loops” doesn’t have fruit.
I see that it is a FDA registered Class II medical device, though it seems like most distributors on the Internet think it is class 11. Can you show me any details from the FDA (not Plexus marketing sites) on how it approved on the typical breast checking procedure? Let’s not over-hype the product, after all, condoms are FDA class II medical devices. I’m not saying that a condom isn’t important, but if Plexus decided to sell them, I wonder if you’d use the same marketing and say they have “products that are FDA approved for preventing STDs.”
Kari said: “This is a huge, cutting edge technology, and you cannot disprove it.”
A polyurethane bag is “cutting edge technology”? Doesn’t take much to impress some people eh?
The company’s website says that the product is not intended to diagnose any disease. So what exactly is it intended for then? Simply to part people from their money?
I was unable to find any websites where the product can be ordered, but it was easy to find the company’s typical MLM BS testimonial page.
The red flags are waving wildly.
Lazy man, this was very informative. I loved how extensive your break down was.
I’m wondering if you could do a breakdown for a MLM called “world ventures”.
It seems to have captivated many of my friends. I looked at one video and saw a hole in the compensation plan.
I mainly want a to send your analysis to my buddies before they waste there money on a sham.
Lazy Man says
Hey, I wrote a little about WorldVentures a couple of weeks ago here: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/worldventures-mlm-lawsuits/.
Hi Lazy Man, Good job on exposing the Visi scam, I have been doing the same as you, exposing the MLM scam Xango, and more importantly my step father, con man and ex con Sherman Unkefer(Xango top distributor), .Well I’m happy to announce that on may 29th a civil RICO complaint was issued by the Maricopa county(AZ) Attorney against Sherman unkefer, Xango and co conspirator, Derrick Raynes.(Unkefer’s son in law)with a $54 million dollar fine. Please google” Maricopa county sherman Unkefer news release”.
How does this tie into Visi?
Mr Unkefer is now using Derrick Raynes as front person to start selling VIsi.
Also on May 29th, a Receiver was appointed to confiscate all of Unkefer’s property and income.
Google: Mango trust receiver.
Unkefer needs money and I have no doubt that
the sleazy founders of Visi know all about the sneaky puppet show that Unkefer will be running with his Pats’y Derrick Raynes.
Check Derrick Raynes Facebook and you will already see him promoting Visi.
Visi and Unkefer = a double dose of sleaze and lies.
Could you take some time to address the investments scam called Wall Street? I lost over $500,000 in the “downturn” and discovered that the banks and investment houses could take my money that they were paying a paltry 1.2 to 2% on and multiply that by 500X. In other words for every dollar you are telling people to put away in a CD or other vehicle the institution that gets that money can lend out $500 to someone and charge them 8,9 10%. So lets look at this I put in $1000 and get $12 in interest…they get to lend out $500,000 at 8%: so off my $1000 they make $40,000 and give me $12…talk about a scam….and those people you’ve so generously helped save…they will be fodder just like I was in the next downturn…financial planners…that’s the real scam…
Lazy Man says
That’s really far off the topic of Visi. I think movies like “Too Big to Fail” and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” do a great job of covering those scams. There’s a great book called No One Would Listen about Bernie Madoff: http://www.amazon.com/No-One-Would-Listen-Financial/dp/1455819131. I highly recommend all these if this is your area of interest. They cram a whole lot more into a movie than I ever could, and make it entertaining to top it off.
I think you read my mind, because I just finished off writing a post on Lending Club where it is possible for you to make that 8%, 9%, or 10% that the banks are making. Of course you have to take the risk that banks take in that people aren’t going to pay you back. When you buy a CD, there is significantly less risk that the bank isn’t going to pay you.
Most of the people who took financial planners’ advice were diversified, stayed the course, and actually have more money now that they did in the downturn. If you were reading my blog, you’d have bought in on the lows. I’m keep some cash on the sideline so that I can do just that on the next downturn.
Now, if you don’t mind, let’s keep this content on Visi. After all, it’s a scam that current, relevant, and not being adequately reported about in the media (though thanks to Bill Ackman and his Herbalife fight, it is getting there).
Mike McClenaghan says
Brian, has anyone told you that are a complete jerk. What gives you the right to criticize my wife Alexis and myself comments on how Visi has changed our lives.you have no idea as to what Visi has provided for our family, not to mention how many other families I’ve helped. I have been able to take more time away from my full time job this year because of Visi. Call it what you want, who says that you are the expert…what are your credentials? You create these bullshit reports to promote your Financial business…what a hypocrite. Don’t bash companies, it just makes you look weak and lazy. Don’t be surprised if you get a call or letter from the Corporate lawyers. Keep your nose of out of other people’s business….let’s see if you post this!!
Lazy Man says
Thanks for chiming in Mike. I’ll quote you so that I make sure I respond to you completely.
Only MLM distributors after I expose all the tricks the companies and distributors use to recruit people into opportunities that time and again show over 99% of people losing money. I compare it to robbers calling cops jerks. The intelligent people realize that I’m doing a great service of consumer protection and have nominated my blog for a Lifetime Achievement award.
I might be mistaken but the first amendment of the US Constitution gives the right to criticize others. I think the people who involve themselves in the kind of brainwashing video that I showed open themselves up to such criticism.
I don’t think I questioned how it’s changed your lives or suggested that it didn’t do it. What I was hoping to show is that your experience at the top is not typical, which again is a violation of the FTC Endorsement Guidelines.
You aren’t helping people by recruiting them into a scheme were a vast majority of people lose money. Most of the people at the top look at their own wallet and maybe a level or two below them and assume that they are “helping people.” It would be like lottery winners looking at only the people who picked 5 or 6 numbers right. They don’t look at the whole picture and see everyone. The totality is important. The high churn rate is important. The deceptive and false claims that are made are important.
Finally, perhaps Harper’s magazine put it best in describing Mary Kay, “The women I interviewed for “The Pink Pyramid Scheme” told me stories about struggling to patch together daycare or to survive high-risk pregnancies while working long hours scouting prospects and hosting parties without any guarantee of a sale. Debts mounted, marriages failed. 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.”
So if you want to help other families don’t encourage them to get involved.
There’s not school of MLM to go to. My credentials are in front of everyone to see… the logic that I use in the posts. A Space Octopus from the planet Kelmar has no credentials, but if she says that 2 + 2 is 4, we don’t presume it is wrong. The point is that my arguments and logic stand on their own merits… irrespective of any credentials.
However, if you want to know what makes me an expert you don’t have to look any further than the right column of my website to see how many MLMs I’ve covered in great depth over the last 6 years. I’ve personally responded to thousands and thousands of comments like this one. By that I mean comments from upset distributors who don’t argue my logic and arguments in the article. Instead of doing something rational like that, they resort to name calling, logical fallacies, and disinformation tactics such as demanding credentials.
I write about MLM companies when readers ask me for insight as to whether they are legit. I’m guessing that videos like the one I dissected above give them the impression that it is too good to be true. That’s kind of the promise: financial freedom, time freedom, great health. Many of the MLM companies have been pitching the same thing for years. The people come to me because they trust my deep analysis.
Don’t support companies that are designed to profit from their workforce (using Harper’s words). Don’t recruit others into such organizations. It just makes you look like a criminal pushing a pyramid scheme. (Note to Visi’s lawyers: I’m not saying that Mike is a criminal or that Visi is a pyramid scheme.)
I’m never surprised when MLMs use their big money and turn to lawyers to intimidate consumer advocates from expressing their opinions.
I’ve heard from MonaVie’s lawyers twice, LifeVantage’s three times, and One24’s once. I might even be forgetting a few.
If you want to discuss looking weak and lazy, MLMs using lawyers is a prime example of it. I’ve always kept these comments open for discussion. If companies have a different view from what I’ve presented in the article, I invite them to express it here. I’ve always said that I’m open to changing my views. I also strive to make my articles accurate and if there is anything that anyone considers inaccurate, I implore them to let me know so that I can correct it.
My business is helping consumers make informed buying decisions and avoid scams. What I do is no different than when NBC’s Today Show warns consumers about Vemma targeting students. Do you tell them to “stop bashing companies” and to “keep their nose out of other people’s businesses”?
I guess we saw. Now let’s see if you can come up with some intelligent points to debate instead of name calling, logical fallacies, and disinformation tactics. I invite you to start by making very specific points about the article or related things that you think I missed which I should explore further.
Mike McClenaghan sounds just like his future distributor and con man, ex con Sherman Unkefer. My sleazy old Step father Sherman always used and is still using ” How dare you expose me tactics”
Next step for Mike and his fellow snow berry peddler Sherman Unkefer is the character assassination of those who expose these predators and their criminal pasts and present.
Now that a court appointed receiver has taken away Unkefers income and Xango has thrown him under the bus and publicly shamed him,Unky needs a new bag.
Congratulations Mike McClenaghan and Visi!you now have your star salesman and equal with Sherman Unkefer.
Let the sleaze begin!
Lazy Man says
I noticed that Mike McClenaghan never came back to comment. He subscribed to get email alerts too. Guess he can dish out the challenges to me, but can’t take them on himself.
No wonder Magic Mike has not commented, his silence speaks volumes, he knows Unkefer is on board, but he is waiting for the non compete clause from Xango to end , then he will jump on in and start hawking the magic berry.
But until this happens, Unky is using his favorite puppet and grand son in law, Derrick Raynes to start the ball rolling in what he thinks is going to be the next Sxcamgo.
Magic Mike knows that an exposed crook and con man like Sunky, can ruin the whole scam, that is why he is silent.
Bringing on Sherman Unkefer to sell the magic berry is like having Hitlers minister of Propaganda Josef Goeble’s being hired by another Joe, Josef Stalin to promote communism.
A bit extreme comparison , but the same type players on stage selling false hopes and dreams.
Nice blog : some factual some not : no we’re not a cult and I lead visi in the UK (that’s United Kingdom not university of Kentucky ) please email me your Skype as I’d love opportunity to address some of your questions
Lazy Man says
It seems clear to me from the video that Visi is indeed a cult. I don’t see how anyone could even question it. However, if you are in the cult (you are using the word “we”) I can see why you’d think it is not a cult.
You can address the questions here for the public to see. For starters, what do you see here that isn’t factual? If there’s anything that I said in error, please state it here, so that I can go back and correct it. I don’t want to have bad information out there. Just be very certain to back up what you claim with solid proof, not your opinion such as you did by claiming that Visi is not a cult. You are welcome to that opinion, but it you can’t claim it to be factual or not without going into deep analysis as to what constitutes a cult.
Your description of the car program is factually incorrect for starters as you are under no obligation to purchase a new vehicle (unlike visalus)and visi will cover existing car lease payments, making it a worthwhile goal for many and not simply a flag waving “I told you so” exercise.
Lazy Man says
Andy, here’s what Visi Compensation Plan PDF here says:
“By reaching the level of Arctic 4 Star or higher, Vísi Distributors qualify to join the prestigious Luxury Car Club and become eligible for a monthly Luxury Car Bonus that goes toward a Vísi–branded Luxury Car.
After you achieve the rank of Arctic 4 Star and have received your new car, you earn a $600 Luxury Car Bonus from Vísi to apply toward the Vísi Luxury Car Program. Vísi will continue to pay the $600 per month Luxury Car Bonus for LIFE as long as you maintain the Arctic 4 Star rank and continue to drive a Vísi Luxury Car. If you elect
to not purchase a Luxury Car, you have the option of earning a $300 monthly cash bonus instead.
To continue to qualify for the Luxury Car Bonus you must maintain a pay rank of Arctic 4 Star or above 1 out of every 4 weeks. The Luxury Bonus is paid every 4 weeks. See Vísi Luxury Car Program Policy for complete details.”
I put two areas in bold. The first highlights that it is a flag-waving exercise, just about Visi instead of ViSalus. The second part that I highlighted clearly states that’s one is to receive a new car. Perhaps the Luxury Car Program Policy with complete details explains that existing lease payments can be covered, but I couldn’t find a Luxury Car Program Policy document on the web (it is probably out there, just saying that I can’t find it) and the PDF does not link to the Luxury Car Program Policy as it should.
So if Visi puts out factually incorrect documentation, please don’t blame me for taking it as accurate.
I just did a little fact checking on Visi, PAID DOCTOR, WITH WHITE LAB COAT, Dr Charlie Rouse. Seems that the good Doctor is an ex Pharmacist and he doesn’t list his medical school credentials. I guess as long as you wear that White lab coat with your name embroidered on it, the Sheep at the VISI meetings won’t ever question you or your fake lecturing credentials.
Dr Charlie also used to peddle Ixperia MLM and Alive Worldwide MLM too.
Give the Quack Doctor Charlie enough money and he can make cow manure into a viable nutritional supplement and sold through a pyramid scheme.
The funniest thing about Dr Charlie, according to his Medicine Man web site, he is also the Senior Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Albany GA.
I tried to find a link or FB page about Liberty Baptist Church in Albany GA, but couldn’t, I was curios as to what the next sermon would be?
Pastor Charlie must do a great job preaching the word of Jesus and the satanic elements of a snake oil cultist pyramid scheme at the same time.
Break out the Snake handlers Charlie!
A lot of con men love using Jesus to try and make a buck, I got to hand it to Doc Rouse, he is a multi task con man preacher, and snake snake oil peddler rolled into one.
Dr Charlie also has a web sight called the Medicine Man, the Medicine man glorifies the miracles of natural supplements and has a natural remedy for just about everything.
Of course there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that basically erases anything that he wants you to believe.
Mrs Janice Rouse posted on her Face Book page in June of 2014 that Doc Charlie was at the world famous Mayo clinic in Jacksonville FLA for a CT scan, she asked us all to pray for him.
Just like a lot of the quack MLM paid doctors, ,they will try and make you believe that their MLM products will heal and prevent almost everything, wink wink “we can’t say it out loud, but we sure can spread it word of mouth wink wink
When these Quack doctors get sick, they miraculously abandon their snake oil folk remedy cures, and make a beeline over to the closet state of the art modern medical clinics they can find .
Here is a Bible verse I found just for Pastor,Doctor, Snake oil pimp Charlie.
Mathew 7:15-16 Beware of false prophets.who come in sheeps clothing(white doctors coat with name)but inwardly are ravenous wolves, you will recognize them by their fruits(cloud berry)
Ex con Sherman Unkefer attends Visi leadership meeting in San Diego last weekend. The cat is out of the bag, con man Sherman Unkefer is seen in a January 9th photo posing with former Xango perddlers Andy Willoughby(his Face book page) and Priscilla Harrison and Visi peddler Rick Hagar.The photo reads looking for a new opportunity? According to the prosecutor in Unkefer’s $54 million civil RICO complaint, the top brass at Visi terminated Sherman Unkefer and his fellow defendant( grand son in law) Derrick Raynes membership in Visi a while ago. So why was Unkefer at the Visi leadership meeting?? I will tell you, Unkefer’s looking for a new snake oil company since the state of AZ took his home, cars and Xango income. So look for the old con man coming soon with a fake story of redemption and how he always wanted to pay the victims of his theft but just never had thier names . yes , that is the new story we are hearing, and you will too in a few weeks or months. Unkefer and Visi, a perfect match of sleaze and lies. Congratulations Visi
Great post Harley. Thanks for the info.
The sad thing is that virtually every MLM has its own version of Sherman Unkefer. MLM is a cesspool of recidivist predators. There are so many examples of human flotsam like this in MLM. Many MLMers are just woeful naifs (i.e. the sheep), but there are also many dangerous serial offender con artists (the wolves); and these are the ones that get plugged in at the top of the pyramid — by design.
It can be summed up mathematically:
Desperation x greed = MLM distributor
Lazyman and I have done a fair bit of research on more than a dozen MLMs to date, and there’s not a single one that wasn’t rife with liars, cheats, and convicts. Monavie even used a convicted child molester and doctor impersonator (Louis B ‘Lou’ Niles; aka ‘ Dr. Lou’) as a frontline spokesperson/recruiter–he told people that Monavie cured cancer!
If the FTC were properly funded and not obstructed from fulfilling their mandate, MLM would cease to exist.
Thanks for this article. My brother and I love it. Our entire family had been brainwashed by Vísi and we can’t stand it.
I eat clean and exercise which keeps me in shape and feeling good.
I recently was approached by a Melaleuca rep trying to pull me in and all I could do was shake my head. All of the MLM companies drive me crazy!
Keep up the great work on exposing MLMs.
Great to see honest guys out there. Well done Lazyman on calling a spade a spade.
I am in South Africa and Visi has hit our shores. Friends of mine have just parted with around R4000 (around $500) and I feel sick about it. They can’t afford that type of cash and she said she is going to make millions from Visi!!!! They trying to hook us in, but I’m not too gullible and decided to do some research, I’m glad I found this site.
I just joined Neal’s Yard Remedies Organics. Honestly, not because I have any real intention of trying to climb the MLM ladder but because I like the products and wanted them at a discount.
I looked online for reviews and didn’t find anything negative. Just wondering if you might be interested in researching them?
Lazy Man says
I’ve never heard of that MLM, but in investigating dozens the products aren’t unique. They try to make them unique by adding an extra ingredient or some marketing, but overall you can typically find a non-MLM for 1/10th the price.
I understand the idea of signing up for the discount, but when you pay 10x more getting 30% not a deal. It seems like a deal, because they’ve set your expectation that the price is fair through their marketing.
MLMers will often make the comparison of a Ferrari to a Honda, a designer handbag to a cheap one, or a good restaurant to McDonalds. They are erroneously trying to play a game of comparing quality without establishing their own product as a premium quality brand.
I’ll put Neal’s Yard on my list, but the list is long and I haven’t had any demand for that.
I’m sorry but if the words “game changer” haven’t been used…I can’t possibly even consider this “opportunity”. Wouldn’t dream of it!
Where did Andy go?
My sister keeps joining these MLMs. I was interested in VISI because she did shed a lot of weight in a few weeks using the stuff. Actually, almost 30 pounds in less than 3 weeks. I am leery of that fact because I wonder if there are stimulants in the stuff and physically, how is it possible after everything I have read medically online about losing weight? Yet SHE isn’t lying cause I’ve seen the weight loss. So, I don’t know about its effectiveness with other people, just her. And it may sound like I am promoting it indirectly, but I am not. I am just puzzled about it. I should also say she was eating way low calories and doing major exercise. So, I am left to wonder if it was the VISI or a Biggest Loser approach to losing weight that made her drop the pounds? Cause I do notice it warns you need a low-calorie diet and exercise to go along with it. Doesn’t any weight loss need this?
I have researched VISI online and noticed the people who started the company are all salespeople. So, I am also leery that something “healthy” was not even “discovered” by someone who is a scientist, a doctor, or a dietitian. What do these guys know about health?
I also noticed my sister signed on because they offered her the chance to buy the products at a reduced rate. But I notice the stuff is still not cheap at a reduced rate. And this has happened in every single MLM she and my other sisters have tried. She tried ACME and got a “discount” for her home services. But it cost her $500 to join. I don’t think she saved enough to make up that initial fee. My other sister tried Tupperware, which a lot of people say they love. But she also had to buy a kit and ended up not making anything. Which I don’t know how people make money on it nowadays when you can buy the stuff cheaper on the Tupperware website (I have had salespeople tell me you save shipping and handling but if you buy the clearance or sale stuff online, it is cheaper with shipping than what the salesperson offers). Another sister tried Mary Kay and never made a dime. But, hey, she also got a “great discount” buying the make-up herself.
I wish you would look into UBER. I heard it started off good but now people working for it make little of the fees that are paid. I guess I don’t trust any billion-dollar business out there.
The biggest scam I see are Payday loans. My question is how is it legal when it even says on the paperwork the return interest is something like 500% over the long term and loan sharks get put in jail for that stuff? I really wish there was some way to go after them because they prey on the poorest in our society. I hope the government goes after more and more of these scam artists.
Last thought- As for Mike, I noticed he said he had to take “time off from his full-time job”. If you need a full-time job, how is VISI so effective in supporting you and your family? I also wonder if he got out and is too embarrassed to say he made a mistake. My sister goes from one thing to another and never says, yeah, that investment was a mistake. I will say that I suck with my money, am greatly in debt, and warn people away from my mistakes as an example of what not to do. I have no shame in stating that because people need to help each other not make the same mistakes. If others have tried VISI or other scams and failed, they should tell people and warn them away. Getting scammed is shame on the people who scammed you. Most people are good people just trying to earn extra money and that is why they get scammed. They shouldn’t be embarrassed, the scam artists should be.
Thanks for this site. I am going to keep an eye out for other reviews like this.
Lazy Man says
Thanks for the comments. I think it should be clear that diet and exercise, which have been proven helped someone lose weight and not an unproven supplement.
I have written about Uber – http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/should-i-become-an-uber-driver/ and even payday loans – http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/are-companies-that-make-payday-loans-bad/.
I bet those super expensive Visi Products are full of the finest ingredients and mystery powders that China can make. According to a new book out by Catherine Price called “Vitamania” the raw ingredients that make up a large percentage of dietary supplements come from China.
2 companies , USP Pharmacopeia and NSF International are independent supplement verification programs that test the supplements to see if they really contain what the company claims are in these magical powders and potions and vitamin pills.
The USP and NSF seal of approval on supplements ensures that you are getting what the bottle or bag of powder contains.
How strange is it that you never see the USP or NSF seal on any of these magical MLM companies products.
Visi Hydrolyzed Collagen costs about 4 to 5 times more than what you can find on the internet and it is probably the same cheap crap that all of the other companies are selling made in china.
Why would an MLM company lie to you? they care about your health and want you to be rich like them, it’s ok to buy mystery powder from China that probably costs a $1 a bag and sell it to you for $109.00.
Lazy Man says
I mention the USP and NSF in my article on Youngevity’s Scam.
Chip Atkinson says
I live in Greensboro, NC, home of Market America. Im not a mlm fan, but i do know several of the founders. Is MA a mlm scam?
Lazy Man says
I don’t know about Market America. This article is about Visi.
Beth Locke says
I was wondering if you have an update on Visi? I’ve noticed that people from corporate have left and some distributors. I also saw that Sherman Unkefer is climbing that ladder. Doesn’t that reflect badly on the company that such a crook is associated with them?
Lazy Man says
I don’t have any updates. I haven’t put any more time into Visi. I don’t know how many people are actually using the products. It doesn’t seem like many.
Krissy Nicile says
Visi is great and hundreds of people are joining everyday. Only one person has left from corporate since the company launched. Yes many big money earners have left which they do in many mlms that’s what they do. It gives mlms a bad name but whatever. I’ve been with Visi for almost 3 years and don’t plan on going anywhere. They have amazing life changing products.
Visi is in 21 countries and still growing. Debt free in their first 7 months.
The $600 car allowance can be used toward your current vehicle if 7 years or newer. That I know for a fact. So digging up whatever article on that go ahead cause it’s not correct.
Say what you want. Most things you say are not true and most is what you only assuming which brings out the ASS in you because you ASSumed. Mike is still with Visi today as are many that have since day one.
Mike most likely didn’t comment back because why would he. He said what he needed to say he doesn’t need to keep arguing with your child like mind.
Your little article gave me a great laugh.
Lazy man is right. Nothing better to do but pick apart mlms. Get a life. Hundreds join mlms everyday. If everyone understood residual income they would bust through a brick wall to get it.
People that don’t make money with it don’t work. They are lazy and expect a fast, easy way out.
This industry is the future.
I’m a lifer with Visi and proud to say so.
Lazy Man says
And like all MLMs, hundreds of people are quitting every day.
So you mean that people at the top of the pyramid schemes leave to go to other pyramid schemes and that gives the pyramid schemes a bad name? Good to know.
What’s the point of a car allowance… just give people $600 and tell them to use it however they want. Why do they care if your car is 7 years or older? If anything they should reward the people with older cars, but it is much more fiscally and environmentally responsible.
Why wouldn’t Mike comment back? He’s afraid of an open discussion? He’s afraid of constructive criticism? If he wants to argue like a child, that’s up to him.
Informing people about the fraud of pyramid schemes is a very noble endeavor. Maybe you should read: It’s Not a Matter of Effort, Failure’s a Mathematical Certainty.
There’s no future in pyramid schemes. Every regulatory agency is looking at Herbalife and when the biggest pyramid scheme is brought down, the attention with shift to other ones.
I have some new information on the Visi scam. Yes Sherman Unkefer is climbing the ranks, he was featured with his sons ex wife Laundy Unkefer in a May 22nd 2015 Visi Facebook post.
I have known Unkefer for 25 years since he was married to my mother before she died in 2008 drinking Xango juice for her cancer.I am also a witness against Unkefer and his sons ex wife laundy in $54 million dollar civil RICO complaint that was suppoosed to be settled months ago.
Unkefer has always been a sleaze bag and I was present when he was sentenced to 10 years in 1989 for stealing $18 from investors in his precious metals scheme in the early 80s.
He was supposed to pay $7.5 million in restitution but decided that setting up a fake trust in my mothers name before she died would be the right thing to do for a con man and thief.
The last update I got from the prosecutor Reid Pixler handling Unkefer’s case a few weeks ago,was that Unkefer is trying to get out of paying his victems even after he signed an agreement.
Mr Pixler also informed me that CEO of Visi Kent Lewis lied about Unkefer being involved in Visi and had let Unkefer go. This was after Unkefer was spotted at a San Diego Leader summit January 10th of this year.
We think Unkefer might be a silent investor posing as a distributor not to get attention from the Attorney General of maricopa county AZ.
This would explain why Visi CEO Kent Johnson would lie to a Prosecutor. And would also explain the type of con men, liars and thieves who prey upon the gullible and how they all stick together to rip people off.
I also found out that Visi CFO Paul Frampton was also the CFO for Forevergreen another MLM company. Frampton was on board with Forevergreen when the state of California fined FG $75,000.00 12-19-2011 for lead contamination in their wonderful “green”nutritional supplements.I Wonder if Visi is using the same Chinese supplement factory as FG?
What could be more Green than lead contaminated Chines made MLM supplements?
Another disturbing matter is the so called Scientific Advisory board , this includes Alan Ogden, an unemployed pharmacist, former Amway distributor and Mars/Venus life coach, Charlie Rouse, Natural path DR. (QUACK) Unemployed Pharmacist and preacher who prescribes natural remedies, that is until they don’t work and he has to travel over 300 miles to the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville FLA for treatment. And last but not least, Canadian chiropractor Dr Steve Rallis.
Is this some kind of a joke Visa? If this is a scientific advisory board then I am Steven Hawking. Bring on the strippers!
Another disturbing matter is the rock star treatment of Alan Ogden in the Visi promotional videos.
he boldly claims that he is the “Glutathione Authority” How the hell did this guy make himself a Glutathione authority”? Are people that gullible that they can’t do a little research on these so called scientific experts?
Glutathione is now being promoted in Visi testimonials that it cures everything and is the root cause of all that ails you.Thanks to Alan Ogden.
CEO Kent Lewis and Sherman Unkefer know all about pushing the limits of their worthless productcs, they where both in Xango before the FDA had to warn them in 2006 that the outlandish claims being made was about to get them shut down.But by then the hype about xango was already a run away train of deception.
At least Xango had a real Doctor making those claims, he was the Father in law of the founder of Xango, but why should that matter.
If this is the company that is run by liars and they respect thieves and con men who destroy peoples lives by wiping them out financially,and have them at Leader Summits then this is the company for you!
Beth Locke says
I agree with you Harley completely. I’m very concerned about the moral compass of Visi. I think that Sherman Unkefer is a really bad guy and should be shut down not promoted on the companies facebook page. I know that Kent Lewis has been in many MLM’s through the years. I think he was actually fired from Xango. I can’t believe people are buying into this. Hopefully justice will be served and soon!
Thank you Beth, you will see some more charges being brought against Unkefer in the not too distant future.
These next round of Charges will likely be from the Feds, and some jail time for sure.
I wouldn’t doubt that he and his new friends with the kooky Viking hats are thick as thieves.
Beth Locke says
Hey Harley I just noticed that Visi is having two events one July 21 in AZ and July 30 in SanDiego. You’ll never guess the “Special Guest” industry expert is Sherman Unkefer. Looks like VISI isn’t hiding the fact that he is working with them. This has got to be hurting their reputation!
The 73 year old con man is back! We knew it wouldn’t be long until Unkefer had to get back in the game. Life long crooks and scammers just don’t retire, they keep going and going. They can’t help it.
I wonder if he is having himself introduced at these meetings as a Banker, ex Banker, ex investment banker , or . owner of 2 banks, he never held any of these positions , but in all of his Xango meetings, that is how he wanted to be introduced.
It appears that they are having Unkefer go after the Spanish speaking market with Fran Mioni (director of sales Hispanic market) since his record of life long fraud is not too well known among the Hispanic community. Maybe he can take advantage of them.
Pretty clever move on the part of Visi.
I am also starting to see the pattern of Visi as Xango did with their fruit juice. Start getting people to believe that Glutathione will cure anything.
EX Xango, and now Visi CEO Kent Lewis and Unkefer know all too well that you can get away with saying that your product will cure anything before the FDA will send you a warning like in the case of Xango 2006.
Get the quack doctors with the white coats out there at meetings and conference calls and start using the junk science to scam the weak, sick and gullible.
I messaged “Glutathione authority”( yes, that is what he calls himself) Alan Ogden on his Glutathione authority FB page and asked him what makes him the GA? His response was that he was in practice for 40 years, I then asked him if he was a doctor or a scientist? and what peer reviewed scientific or medical journals he was featured in so I could read the results of his Gltathione studies? SURPRISE! No response.
From what I can find out on the internet about Alan Ogden is that he likes to make videos of himself and pretends he is a doctor by prescribing Amway and other MLM products for various ailments at the end of each video$$$
He also has his own web sight “do you have something for that .com. For $99.00 you can ask him a question and he will prescribe something for you for $99.00 and he also has cures for cancer and autism and pre menstrual problems and ADD an PTSD and on and on.
Scum bags like Alan Ogden are dangerous.
My mother died of cancer in 2008 and she believed in quacks like Ogden, but in her case Xango juice would cure her cancer. Sadly 10 days before she died she regretted her trust in these charlatans.
One also has to question why is Alan Ogden a retired pharmacist? he doesn’t look that old, Why would he give up a well paying job to sell Amway products?? I sure as hell wouldn’t give up a steady job to go broke selling Amway. And isn’t it the doctor who prescribes medicine? not the pharmacist? Why is he pretending to be a doctor by prescribing Amway products for cancer?
So what you have here is, the Visi flagship product Vara being promoted by a supposed retired pharmacist, Amway distributor quack who never had the brains to get into a real medical school, a serious lack of any credentials to crown himself an authority on anything except maybe losing money in Amway. An irresponsible quack, Quack is even too good of word since he has never been a doctor. making all sorts of wild and unproven claims , hired on by Visi as a featured member on their Scientific advisory board. The outright deception is almost comical.
And then you have Sherman Unkefer, a life long con man liar and thief, who has the audacity to embarrass and humiliate his own children by hooking up with his sons ex wife(sicko’s)and who is now, preying on the Hispanic community to separate them from their money.
Good job Visi,you have some of the best living examples of snake oil industry at your helm.
If anyone speaks Spanish or knows someone who speaks Spanish, please have them translate Sherman unkefer’s criminal record and the Visi scam so his future victims will not be taken by these crooks.
I have known Alan Ogden since he was a child. He has always been all about the money. He has jumped from one MLM to another. He is a salesman more than a pharmacist. He is out to sell whatever he can.
As far as him being a caring person, that is probably one of the least likely terms I would use to describe him. He is manipulative and interested in his own gain.
He also tends toward affinity marketing, targeting people within the close knit religious community he is part of, to get them to join his network on whatever MLM he is working at the time. .
Linda said: “have known Alan Ogden since he was a child. He has always been all about the money. He has jumped from one MLM to another. He is a salesman more than a pharmacist. He is out to sell whatever he can. As far as him being a caring person, that is probably one of the least likely terms I would use to describe him. He is manipulative and interested in his own gain. He also tends toward affinity marketing, targeting people within the close knit religious community he is part of, to get them to join his network on whatever MLM he is working at the time.”
Interesting. The evidence strongly suggests that Ogden is a BS artist. I checked out a Visi promotional video featuring an “interview” (i.e., cloaked sales pitch) with Ogden and the first thing the interviewer focused on was Ogden’s “credentials”, most of which appear to be bogus.
00:40 – “For everyone who doesn’t know, Alan is a pharmacist. He has more letters after his name than anyone I know. Not only does he have a lot of degrees he has studied intensively because he is passionate…he is brilliant.”
One would rightly wonder what those degrees are that the interviewer spoke of. The video shows a still image of Ogden with a tag line underneath showing the credentials “B.Sc.Ph.Dipl.Geriatric Ph. CNPA. CSPNA”. Anyone who knows anything about university degrees would look at that jumble of letters with dismay because, with the exception of the BSc, they are meaningless.
So what do those additional abbreviations after Ogden’s name really mean? This blurb from his bio on the Visi website provides the elusive details (I say elusive because a Google search for CNPA and CSPNA turns up nothing):
“I have a bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences (B.Sc.Ph.) from the University of Alberta, Canada, as well as a diploma in Geriatric Pharmacy from the University of Denver, Colorado. I’m also a Certified Health and Wellness Trainer (Center for Optimum Health, Buena Park, Calif.) and a Certified Natural Products Health Adviser (NPHA) and Certified Natural Sports Nutrition Adviser (NSHA) both through the Alive Academy, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I am a Body Energy Systems Specialist (Innovative Health Institute, Phoenix, Ariz.)”
So it turns out that Ogden doesn’t have “degrees”; he has a mere one degree, and it’s only at the bachelor’s level. The other letters he adds after his name like CNPA and CSPNA are bogus. They represent online open-book certification courses from dubious non-accredited institutions like “Center for Optimum Health” and the “Alive Academy” – essentially worthless paper purchased from third-rate diploma mills to pad his paper-thin resume. In no way is he authorized to put those meaningless letters after his name. He is merely a poseur with extremely modest and unimpressive credentials. With red flags like that, you can be sure that everything that comes out of his mouth is pure unadulterated BS.
Great post Harley. What’s really sad is that everything you wrote about Visi’s M.O. applies to every single MLM that sells supplements. They all use exactly the same cookie-cutter approach down to the most minute details. The only thing that changes is the name of the alleged wonder ingredient that’s supposed to cue everything under he sun.
Let’s all hope that they get their comeuppance some day soon.
Thank you Vogel, the so called paid medical scientific quacks with their name embroidered on the pocket are the lowest of the low.
They are worse than any sleazy used car salesman.You may buy a lemon and be out of some money, but at least they won’t claim that the used car will cure cancer.
I recently noticed that the wife of paid Visi natropath quack, Dr charlie Rouse , took down her Facebook posts of her and her husband at the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville FLA for his throat condition.
She Doesn’t want to let anyone know Dr Charlie travels over 300 miles to see real doctors when his vitamins don’t work.
Beth Locke says
Did you see that two top distributers are filing suite against the master distributer and Visi corporate. They claim to have a lot of evidence against the company. Do you know anything about this? What do you think will happen to Unkefer and the company?
Lazy Man says
I didn’t see anything about that. I typically only see what people leave comments about. I don’t have a calendar appointment for Tuesday nights to go searching for Visi stuff.
That’s interesting stuff though. I’d love to read more on it.
Beth Locke says
If you go to YOU TUBE and search VISI leaders exposed you can see the video. You can also go to Tim Lunsford Facebook page he posted the video there and you can see comments from past distributors.
Sherman Unkefer involved with a shady company?
Say it ain’t so.
I have seen Unkefer constantly fighting with every MLM company he has ever been in.
The company founders can do anything they want with your money since it has to go through their hands to get to the distributors, and often times these born con men are conning each other and all hell breaks loose.
Before Unkefer’s RICO charge he was going to sue Xango for $10 million for doing some shady creative accounting.
That is why you see these so called MLM success stories jumping from one company to the next on and on and on while spreading the LIFETIME INCOME lie with every company they join.
There is no lifetime income when you have to keep jumping from company to company just like my mother did when she was married to Unkefer.
Lawsuits among the sleazy MLM con men happen all the time. and MLM companies suing other MLM companies are going on all the time but they all do a good job of hiding the never ending back stabbing and drama among each other.
A classic example of back stabbing, greed, and sleaze is the story of Xango. The founders of Xango used to work for Tahitian Noni Juice, they stole all the marketing plans and miracle juice concept to start Xango, while they all worked at Tahitian noni Juice.
Tahitian noni sued and the case was settled out of court and results sealed.
Then comes along Ben Boreko with his new snake oil MLM juice Vemma that contains Mangosteen just like Xango.
I remember the outrage when Xango sued Vemma for stealing their mangosteen juice idea. Xango lost the lawsuit and vowed to bury vemma.
Of coarse Vemma went on to out selling Xango doubling in size while Xango went from #4 to #130 in the MLM rankings while Vemma is at around #60.
Nice lesson in Karma for Xango.
Lazy Man says
I got your comments, but they are all manually approved. Sometimes when information like this comes out, people delete videos or erase the information. I like to grab screen-shots and copies before approving comments.
I found an interesting video from Tim Lunsford about leaving ViSalus, which is another MLM/pyramid scheme that I’ve written about before.
Good detective work Beth, one of the con men named in the lawsuit is Rick Hagar, who happens to be in Sherman Unkefer’s up line or down line and they both hold Visi meetings together.
I still think Unkefer is a silent investor and is pulling the strings behind the Arctic cloud berry bush.
This lawsuit is no surprise.
I got involved with Visi for over one year. I paid for my kit and distribution fees and started hitting up everyone I knew. I had no good results but sadly no one else did either. I paid my 109.00 a month for my product. Never made 1dime. I quit after a year. That was May 2015. Didn’t hear from Visi again until Sept, 2015 when they charged my credit card using my daughters name.to renew my distributor ship. Remember I quit in May!!! I don’t know how they got my daughters name. (She hated the product) who authorized this charge? Not me and my daughter was never involved . Sleezy business practices. I have the fraud department and business bureau notified. DISHONEST and sinking ship. Anyone else have a story like this??? DUPED
I keep trying to let people know, that anything that Sherman Unkefer is involved will result in something shady, or maybe the company started out legit but was soon poisoned by Unkefer and his never ending schemes.
When you get a 10 year prison sentence for fraudulent schemes like Unkefer did in 1989, and was recently indicted in a $54 million civil RICO complaint , one has to wonder why is Unkefer promoting the super expensive powdered nutritional products and at all of the top meetings of Visi leaders?
Mr Unkefer was recently spoted at a Visi leaders meeting in Park city Utah September 12th of this year. Unkefer was also at the Visi leaders launch in January 2015 in San Diego.
On a lot of the Visi Facebook posts, unkefer is never in a company photo like all the other leaders, he can usaully be seen in the background. is Visi afraid to out Sherman as a leader of their fine company?
If Unkefer is considered a leader by people who know his past, then you get a better picture of the company he keeps.
Harley, then that’s how visi paid for their big Sept. Meeting……..they fraudulently charged people’s credit cards that had quit. Visi just never deleted credit card numbers!!! And I was told by one of the partners that my information is on file a year after I quit. So that gives them the right to charge my credit card when they need money?? FRAUD. I have been accused of starting drama, called nuts and ALL sorts of unprofessional names. No other way to look at it and the truth visi cult members don’t want to hear!
According to business for home .org august 11th: Top leaders sue MLM company Visi over business development deal.
Google , Visi lawsuit
2 Arctic Diamond diamond partners Michael O’Brien and Tim Lunsford have taken legal action against both Visi Corporate and it’s master partner Rick Hagar.
Lawsuits already between corporate and distributors not a good sign.
Beth Locke says
Do you know Sherman left Visi? They don’t have him listed as being with the company. Do you think they are hiding it? I know they are opening Mexico with the friend of Sherman’s. What’s your thoughts?
Hi Beth, who knows what that sneaky old con man is up to. Recently he was spotted at the Visi Summit leader meeting September 12 in Utah with his sons ex wife and his new wife Laundy Unkefer.
The $54 million dollar civil RICO case against Unkefer is winding down and there should be an announcement by the Attorney General of Maricopa County (AZ)Bill Montgomery within 40-60 days.
The press coverage on this should be huge and it will send Unkefer crawling under the first rock he can find and he would be a liability to any company he is involved with.
We know Unkefer waz trying to host Visi meetings here in Phoenix 3 times at the Drury Inn motel and they were all failures.
Let’s just hope Unkefer stays under his rock for a long time and he doesn’t con people out of their money with get rich quick scams. This is what drives this sad old con man night and day.
It has been a year since Visi fraudulently charged my credit card and the stories I hear get worse! After 10-15 people who got evolved only 2 are left and they are so fanatical you can’t stand to be around them. Everyone I know that made the big claims on how they lost weight, feel better and look better now say nothing because they gained it all back. Save your money and time and chalk it up to Another MLM company scam!!! I lost a lot of money on this Visi DREAM…….more like Nightmare!!!!
I recently started seeing Visi start to push a product called Vara that supposedly contains the AMAZING Glutathione. I just checked a few of the facebook profiles of these Visi scammers and they are now strongly hinting that this “Vara” product can somehow cure Autism and HIV and cancer and on and on and on. Typical MLM, after the puppets gain the weight back they are going to need something else to sell. How about a small bag of miracle Chinese made magical powder for a $100? Time to call the FDA and report Visi ASAP.
Beth Locke says
Yes they are starting with yet again another product Vara. They have also changed their whole look i’m assuming because they were struggling and had to change the look. They have also got a new guy Edward Hartley saying he is taking it to 100 million in 2017. The past distributors are still suing them for multiple reasons. It does look like even Unkefer couldn’t do anything with the company I think he has left? Have you heard Harley? I’m just so confused on how they can still be running?
Beth, I don’t know how they are still running?? I wish I could warn all of the new starry eyed recruits. The more research I do the more I KNOW how I was duped. And to make matters worse, Visi is claiming to have sponsored athletes.(Now that’s laughable) Mind you, none of which are athletes in any known respectable gyms or competitions.
Edward Hartley , ex Orango Gold MLM super star! What happened ED? Why do all these washed up con men have to keep jumping from one snake oil MLM company to the next? I thought These companies provided a never ending stream of residual income? Unkefer tried to be a big snake oil star again, but I think his past and current legal woes and the dogged investigating reporter Ray Stern from the Phoenix New Times, put a damper on his career in the snake oil biz. Unkefer has got big troubles coming from the Feds and more negative press soon and I think Cloud berry boys told him to lay low or hit the road.
I don”t want to get off the subject of the Visi scam but i recently got some good news about the downfall of xango that has just happened in the last month or so. Xango has recently joined another pyramid scheme company called Zija. But the truth is more like xango was being foreclosed on and Zija came in for the sake of poaching the tiny number of Xango distributors and they are trying to spin it like a it’s a huge corporate merger . Ha ha ha good one Xango. And on the subject of quacks like Ogden, Xango’s Dr Templeman appears to have found another job as adviser for a new MLM called M. Network. Templeman who’s son in law started xango pretended to be the dr OZ of Mangosteen and claims to be a sought after speaker at universities and medical conventions. This is a very sick and dangerous quack. Adios Xango couldn’t of happened to nicer bunch of scumbags.
That’s good news. One more over priced MLM product scam off the market. We will see how long it takes the Visi crooks to jump ship. I will never fall for a MLM company again. What a bunch of cons……
Lazy Man says
I should really have an article for Xango. If I didn’t have a never-ending to-do list, I would. Can you point me to any publicly available evidence of Xango being foreclosed upon?
I found it on Behind MLM, google xango acquired by zija international behind mlm and read the comments by .scam buster 789 . Xango was supposed to have it’s big convention this last weekend in Vegas , looks like it was cancelled. I am very happy about this news ,as you know I hold xango personalty responsible for sending my mother to an early grave with their bull crap lies and fake medical studies from Dr J frederick Templeman. Xango’s full on propaganda blitz with magazines, books, cd’s,dvd’s fake radio interviews, infomercials praising the miracle of mangosteen juice would have made Joseph Goebbels proud the way they suckered in so many people .
Beth Locke says
That is great news about Xango. Back on Visi not sure how they are still going. They have introduced a product “immuniti” saying that its a recent discovery. Sadly if you research the “formula” Qnet in Asia has been using the same magic stuff in there edg3 product for years now. The same Dr. Crum has been selling his formula to MLM companies for a long time. This is so deceitful I wish that people would do research before spending money. Dr. Crum also sells his magic stuff on amazon proimmune 200. Visi people look into this search Dr. Crum they are using his formula and Qnet Edg3 is selling this already in Asia they have been for years. It’s not new or groundbreaking.
Thanks Beth for the new info on Visi, You can tell when an MLM is going down , they have to keep coming up with so called incredible new products all the time to keep the sheeple from getting bored. Realistically it is some synthetic laboratory crap made in China that these con men get for pennies a pound then sell for a 1000 x markup . Scum
Decker Lewis says
My dad is Kent Lewis. He is abusive and has not been living with us for months. There is a protective order in place. If that is evidence enough that Visi is not led by great leaders, I don’t know what will. His criminal record is online.
M Alice says
So sorry about your dad. What is his full name? Sadly, there is more than one Kent Lewis with arrest records. Between you and Harley, this company has some explaining to do! I hope you and your mom are at least benefiting from his fortune.
Best wishes to you.
These mlm so called leaders are just con men and predators. My old step dad Sherman Unkefer disowned his children and started hooking up with his sons ex wife. His children have been so traumatized by their fathers actions that they refuse to mention his name. Of course Unkefer goes to church every Sunday and is always using biblical quotes when he can to sell something or pretend that he is a good god fearing man.
Decker lewis says
His name is kent decker lewis. It would be payson utah. Thanks for your concern. He still denies abusing us and that hurts.
Decker lewis says
I know that the products are loaded with caffeine. It basically takes away your appetite and then you lose weight. That is just what i have noticed.
Decker lewis says
However, if you are going to make a complain, leave my name out of it. Just say a member of the lewis family household said …
I’m sorry Decker about your father., Guys like your father and my moms ex husband Sherman Unkefer some how leave a trail of destruction in their personal lives but try to give out the image that they are squeeky clean and upstanding in public.
It takes a real sociopath to spend his every waking moment peddling cheap Chinese synthetic crap vitamins for a $1000 mark up and hire a fake doctor to con the distributors have into spending $100s of dollars a month for $2.00 worth of crap. Just like the magical fruit Mangosteen the Arctic Cloudberry neither one has ever been and never will be in any reputable medical or scientific journal
Just was told that some of the BIG Visi leaders have jumped ship to a new company called Liv. I don’t know what happens to all that big money they say they were earning with Visi? But for know Jen Perga and crew are on a new adventure. Has anyone heard of Liv??
Wow! The residual income that all these snake oil pyramid schemers make must be so big that they have to quit and join another pyramid scheme mlm to make for all the money they lost in the last pyramid mlm scheme and so on and so on and so on. What do you call a mlmer whose keeps jumping from one pyramid scheme the other?
A 25 year leader in the industry!??
Wow! The residual income that all these snake oil pyramid schemers make must be so big that they have to quit and join another pyramid scheme mlm to make for all the money they lost in the last pyramid mlm scheme and so on and so on and so on. What do you call a mlmer whose keeps jumping from one pyramid scheme the other?
A 25 year leader in the industry!??
After watching some of Alan Ogden videos I smelled a rat and started searching and ended up at this site. I wouldn’t trust him at all , especially the weird story about his health problem which Glutathione cured in 3 days.
Big Visi leaders jump to Liv. They don’t mention Visi again but Liv is “Live the life you want” and so that boat sank after a few months. Now the “change the world company” is Xenesta. This company will change your life and men’s testosterone levels. It is a miracle drug!! Where have I heard this before??? This makes me angry!! Pushing this crap every 3-5 years and then they jump ship to the new MLM company. Let’s see how many Xenesta people get on and tell us how great their product is………until the next new fly by night company comes along. SHAME ON THESE FOLKS!!! Bring it on you new snake oil peddlers. You are liars. What happened to the Dr. that told us Visi would change our lives and health?
He wasn’t really a doctor , he said he was a pharmacist .
Lazy Man says
Hey, hey, my wife is a pharmacist and she does have doctorate of pharmacy. I think you might mean that he wasn’t a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) which is what most of think of when hearing “doctor”, but may not be technically true.
Gary Brine says
What do think about the claims made by CBD associated companies – for example ‘mydailychoice?’
Lazy Man says
I haven’t looked into or read anything about them.