My wife has always wanted to live in the country and has always wanted to live a more simple life, one where we actually know where our food comes from or how it’s been handled from seed to table.
Me on the other hand, i’m a city boy, and you’d never see me in a pair of boots unless it was winter and I had to shovel the driveway or go sledding with the kids on the steep local neighborhood hill.
We’d been reading articles and watching the news and many youtube videos just showing that our country we live in, was just becoming harder and harder to live in, while the rich were getting richer and richer. The disparity between the have’s and have nots was growing at an alarming pace. We have seen a country where the corporatocracy seems to care more about controlling all of our natural resources and to keep everyone so busy in making a living that no-one has time to make a life. So even though it seems like it’s taken forever to figure out how to do this, and researched endlessly on all the different systems we as a society take for granted. The systems i’m talking about is where water, electricity, gas, heat, and sewer systems comes from. I’ve never questioned this my whole life as I could go to the faucet and turn it on and water that was clear and what looked like to me “clean” water came out. The funny thing was that I really didn’t like drinking the water because it just smelled or tasted funny. So when I started researching spring development or how to dig a water well, and the associated systems that are required to get the water out of the ground was more complicated and costly than I had imagined. After more research, I found that clean drinking water from the aquifers around the country were getting contaminated by fracking lubricants and fluids from the process of hydraulic fracking. I subsequently came across a documentary called “Gasland” and “Gasland II”, these programs completely changed the way my wife and I started looking for land, that is, really anywhere completely away from the “shale plays” around the country, where natural gas is harvested from the ground. I whole heartedly believe that the next “gold” will be “water rights” and having a clean drinkable source of water. Nestle CEO seeks to control the worlds water supply and has been buying up water rights for over 20 years from around the world. More and more cities and places are on just on time delivery and if there was an Electromagnetic pulse or a solar flare of significance, we could be thrown back in to the dark ages, an era before electricity and mechanical devices that we rely on to magnify work which has allowed human kind to progress faster and faster over the last few hundred years. I watched a PBS Documentary called American Experience Blackout you can see a clip from it here, so after seeing all of these trends that are happening more regularly around the country, we felt a sense of urgency to get out of the city, and head to the back woods in a strategic way and location like joel skousen shows in his book / video “strategic relocation” which you can view the full documentary here.
So our first step was to put together enough cash to buy a trailer that was a pull behind (NOT a motorhome) as that requires monthly insurance – as it’s considered a car. A trailer is NOT considered a vehicle for insurance purposes.
We will be posting more information on this blog as we learn how to live off grid. Here are pictures of the Trailer we picked up, and moved to an undisclosed location.
So of to pack as we embark on our new journey — figuring out how to make it, and live off grid (except for internet of course).
We’ll have more blogs on finding live water, looking for the right property or land, staying away from the high tension power lines, and what we’ve learned about fracking, shale plays, solar passive building practices, solar panels, power systems, off grid battery systems, Thomas Edison’s Nickle -Iron Ni-Fi Batteries that have proven to have lasted over 100 years and much much more.
The Greedy Company Owner – gains more from terminating a top earner than losing.
The Alarmed Company Owner
The Egotistical Company Owner
Mr. Ego Distributor doesn’t like the way company is being run to decides to do his own thing.
The Top distributor, “Mrs MoneyPlus” figures starting his/her own company will make them a lot more money than being a distributor.
#1 TOP MLM TERMINATIONS: VULTUROUS DISTRIBUTOR ACTS
This is the worst of the bunch of all terminations. This involved an upline that is out of reach of part or all of a commission structure of a pay line. An example is that if a downline has volume that is producing massive income, the upline “Vulture” proceeds to create fraudulent charges against the downline, the downline gets terminated and the Vulture benefits. Cook continues to say that because of personality clashes and ego power plays. The problems are the company does not INVESTIGATE Properly. Verbal assaults are allowed by the company and nothing is documented. Any so called “Due Process” the company puts the threatened distributor is faulty. There is NO disclosure of accusations, only VAGUE references. Read more about our John Fraser’s MLM Termination story from Legalshield.
#2 TOP MLM TERMINATIONS: DESPERATE COMPANY OWNER
Sales are Dropping, overhead is too high: Sales are leveling off, but the last thing that is cut is home office staff. The company is in dire financial condition and needs the money to continue operating, a sad thing happens. The company owner starts thinking, “The distributor has already been well paid for his/her efforts, so why should the company continue to reward him? Another variation of this is seen in the “Wild West” Binary compensation plans where the plan is paying out too much. If “pay stops” are put into their plan, the company is going to lose it’s glamor. The Desperate company owner start termination, or makes qualification extremely difficult, for top earners who often have multiple earning positions. There are consultants in the MLM Industry that specialize in the cutting of commissions. One speaks often at the Direct Sales Association meetings and is very popular.
#3 TOP MLM TERMINATIONS: THE GREEDY COMPANY OWNER – OR Equity Firm in our case.
The owners that get greedy figure out that they have more to gain from terminating a TOP Earner in MLM than to lose. Their loss ratio is thought through as, if he or she leaves, the rest of their go-getter’s downline will stay. For example, if they save $100,000 per month (in the top earner’s position) and the sales only drop by $40,000, the company comes out ahead $60,000 a month in the company’s pocket. And this is the scenario with LegalShield, in my opinion as, I know of at least 15-20 of my friends that were terminated. ONLY 1 of them, had enough cash reserves at the time they were terminated, and were able to fight them hard enough, whereby, Mark and Tammy Smith won their court case in the Summer of 2012, LegalShield was forced to settle with them. They shorted him by probably around a quarter of a million dollars, however it would have taken about that amount to get the rest from LegalShield. Imagine 20, $100,000+ business builders or greater… were Terminated…. that’s about 2 Million dollars each year… or about $150,000 each month in savings. Without only having to pay out a one time settlement. NOT a bad strategy for an Equity Firm… wouldn’t you say? MidOcean Partners became the owner of Legalshield in the Summer of 2011, when rampant MLM Distributor Terminations became VIRAL at LegalShield.
#4 TOP MLM TERMINATIONS: THE ALARMED COMPANY OWNER
The Alarmed Company Owner, begins his termination process because it’s reported that their agent, IBO, Associate, “Go-Getter” is working another MLM company sequentially. Some major MLM’ers this is a REGULAR process for them, such as Buck Reed and Sheri Sharman, whose MLM Businesses were Terminated by Pre-Paid Legal for charging higher than PPL’s limit of $20 per event.
#5 TOP MLM TERMINATIONS: EGOTISTICAL COMPANY OWNER
The Egotistical Company Owner has personality conflict with Top Distributor(s) the Go-Getter, and this becomes a needle under the proverbial mattress, whereby it becomes somewhat annoying and uncomfortable, and the Owner can’t wait to find an excuse to terminate him/them. The top agent suddenly finds that secret top leader meetings are being held and he/she is being excluded on purpose. The owner has other distributors spy on the target distributor to find “violations” of policies and procedures to immediately terminate him/them. Sometimes these distributors are a pain in the company’s “ASS”, and thinking they know more about running the company than the owners themselves, even though they have NEVER walked in the owner’s shoes or had the responsibility of running a business let alone a huge company.
#6 TOP MLM TERMINATIONS: MR. EGO DISTRIBUTOR
MR. Ego Distributor doesn’t like the way things are run and wants to do his own “thing”. Another company offered to make them “King of the Hill” of that company with percentages of the gross earnings going directly to this King of the Hill. These special arrangements are NOT uncommon in this industry and are commonplace.
#7 TOP MLM TERMINATIONS: MR. MoneyPants
The top distributor, Mr. MoneyPants, figures that starting his or her own company will make them a LOT more money than being a distributor. So they team up with others to try to start their own company, which creates a war of survival between the two. It’s natural that the parent company terminates the agent. Why fund the competition? The damages to downlines can be catastrophic. Years ago your it goes all the way back to two guys that split from Nutrilite and started first, the American Way, then AMWAY. That was a bitter battle as remembered by some of the old timers. Your author believes that MLM Terminations will be the normal progression of the MLM Marketing Business Model, it’s not a pretty sight, but Terminations are here to stay.
REBUILD FROM YOUR MLM TERMINATION… BY JOINING JOHN AND KELLY FRASER… Make a decision to act. Learn from Yoda and his wise teachings.
Come Have Fun with us and Live Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!
John writes about SEO and Marketing that generates live local leads for Service related industries, and most other types of businesses too. If you would like increase your skills in SEO and Local Marketing for your business, and want to learn how to make your phone ring like magic… contact us, or visit us here.
LegalShield Termination the Story of how John Fraser’s business was stolen through vulturous acts.
And Now the REST of the Story… I need to get this out, because my team especially NEEDS TO KNOW THE TRUTH, and so do YOU if you are looking at starting a business of your own with LegalShield. My story starts in 1998, when I started with Pre-Paid Legal Services (now Legalshield). I was with TPN, The People’s Network and within 60 days of me joining they merged into Prepaid Legal Services. So one week I’m selling Positive Motivational Satellite Channels and the next week I’m selling Legal Services.
I started part time and worked Prepaid Legal Services from 1998 through 2012, on and off and recruited about 30 people the first couple of years- one of the people my team brought in was Mark & Tammy Smith.
This started a ripple effect that went Coast-to-Coast and into Canada. I was intrigued and excited about the “Book of Business” they kept “Pitching” us. A REAL Asset that we could, SELL, TRANSFER, or through a Will / Trust that Legacy income to our children / grandchildren. In essence building LONG TERM RESIDUAL INCOME… that was the goal anyway for me, because I didn’t want to work for the rest of my life and DIE broke.
Here is the Pitch that I wanted to believe… If you work hard and if you Stick and Stay You’ll Get your Pay! — “The Pitch” – The LegalShield Scam – Work your Ass off – so one day, you can have Residual Income allowing you to retire young and rich, and when you die, your income stream can be transferred to your family and children. That’s just ONE of their HOOKs!
Here is a slide from a corporate training:
The idea of residual income through Legalshield sounded really good to me and my wife. This “ONE key IDEAL” is what kept me moving forward and NEVER cancelling my membership. This is the 2nd HOOK they use to KEEP you VESTED with the company. This is the BIGGEST BULLSHIT pitch that Legalshield constantly tells you. This is the MAIN reason why we STILL have our membership, see it worked!
My Legalshield business was Abruptly Terminated after an argument with Brian Carruthers, #2 Income Earner in Legalshield.
After I found out from my downline that he was “IN my downline” and had Somehow Taken Over Mark & Tammy Smith’s Business. (see the TEXT). Somehow Brian, took over the Platinum Position of Mark and Tammy Smith’s and I DID NOT RECEIVE ANY NOTIFICATION FROM LEGALSHIELD. Legalshield’s policy on Buy/Sell Agreements is, ALL UPLINE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS TO THE PLATINUMS POSITION MUST sign off. This allows certain parties to purchase the position as long as it does not dramatically affect an upline leader financially. We were Silver Executive Directors and were never contacted by the company, so we’re not sure how Brian Carruthers took over this position.
I had supported and trained Mark and also had given him over 1000 audio training tapes from Amway — classic tapes that helped with psychology, never quitting, how to contact and invite, and how some of the leaders bought RV’s and drove all over the country where the NEW teams appeared and helped them grow their businesses. Well Mark and Tammy bought an RV and left Maryland and went around the country helping their teams. I was burned out an took off for a few years — all while maintaining my membership and NEVER let it lapse. EVEN To this day we still have our membership — primarily because of the lawsuit…. and so they could never come back and say you’re residuals are terminated because you cancelled your membership.
So you can see here my first checks from Prepaid Legal through my prior corporation Smartel. Smartel was a Distributor to TPN, Jeff Olson and Eric Worre’s company that was Merged into Prepaid Legal in 1998. NOTICE the MDT=Month to Date Sales, which was 3 personal sales. And I had made 10 sales total so far in my career!!
Here is a copy of my Original TPN Associate / Distributor Application that was under my business name: Smartel Corporation (See Attached Image – notice my signature at the bottom right). As December 31, 1998, the Company had 603,017 Memberships in force with members in all 50 states, and the District of Columbia see the original Securities and Exchange Commission document: SEC 10-K filing here.
In the next 14 years until October 2, 2012 my recruiting efforts led to a sales team that sold over 111,000 memberships & recruited over 32,000 sales agents.
Here is a Statement of my PERSONAL INCOME over the 10 months PRIOR to the Legalshield TERMINATION. When I noticed our income was a FRACTION of where it normally was, I started calling the company and asking questions. (see the RECREATED Screen shot).
I reached the Executive Director Support Specialists at the Home office, and within about 1 hour I had a call from Brian Carruthers talking to me about how I should be SO LUCKY to be in a Brian Carruthers Sandwich, having me in his DOWNLINE and having him in my UPLINE.
After Brian re-assured me that Nothing would happen to my income and that he was now Above me and Below me— and that i should be greatful? I basically bitched him out for stealing our income for his unethical methods. (Listen to the Entire conversation here AFTER he Threatens to Terminate me). Fast forward to 08:00 minutes into the audio and you’ll see how Brian Validates that he is NOW Underneath my position (ILLEGALLY- by circumventing the Policies and Procedures)
Here is the Audio / VIDEO on Youtube to view:
NOTE: There is a 2 year NON COMPETE with Legalshield. Based on documentation that was I found out through our Lawsuit with Legalshield, our NON COMPETE EXPIRED in at the END of OCTOBER of 2014.
LEGALSHIELD, and PREPAID LEGAL Policies and procedures state that NO Associate can acquire another position on their downline without the PRIOR AUTHORIZATION AND SIGNED APPROVAL OF ALL UPLINE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORs.
That means from Mark Smith & Tammy Smith’s Position that was producing thousands of memberships annually from there UP. Which included Patricia Hunt (Executive Director) & John Fraser (Silver Executive Director) and Nathaniel Coleburn (Executive Director) AND then Brian Carruthers, and above him was Patrick Shaw a person who is a PLATINUM in his OWN original business, but also OWNS a position under the company name of Gung-Ho Marketing, the position ABOVE Brian Carruthers. #2 Position in the ENTIRE company. This also brings up an INTERESTING POINT. Legalshield will allow you to combine your income for testimonial purposes (from all of your positions), so even though Patrick is a PLATINUM in his OWN Separate business from Brian Carruthers, he OWNS a position ABOVE Brian, and he is pranced across the stage stating how much money he and all of the Platinum’s earn, part of his earnings he states is income that he OVERRIDES on Brian Carruthers ENTIRE ORGANIZATION. You can understand that ALLOWING Brian to TAKE OVER ANOTHER POSITION IN HIS DOWNLINE WOULD WIPE away a GOOD portion of HIS overrides as there would NOW be another PLATINUM in his downline. So needless to say Patrick was NOT very happy to learn that he wasn’t even notified NOR signed off on any documentation that would ALLOW Brian Carruthers to take over Mark & Tammy Smith’s TEAM FREEDOM position.
Legalshield’s Policies and Procedures also STATES that the business you build is YOURs, the book of business is WILLABLE and TRANSFERRABLE to your heirs, for upto two generations, unless you place your business in a Corporation or TRUST and then it can go on INDEFINITELY.
At the same time, Legalshield will NOT allow you to OWN or ACTIVELY BUILD than one position. Husband and Wife must be under 1 business unit, unless they both had positions PRIOR to getting married and they were in separate lines or Organizations. Patrick Shaw’s Main Position is under a completely separate Platinum — UNDER JOHN HOFFMAN.
I’ve been told that Darnell Self has Multiple Positions (over 10), Same with Brian Carruthers (and he rewards people who leave by giving them other people’s downlines– as an incentive to stay in Legalshield). He did that with Ben and Lauren Bradshaw’s Position when they terminated them (after they Joined Seacret Direct).
So Legalshield has been in the business of parading these TOP Distributors in front of everyone around the country, and they all have the same story. I got started just like you, and if I can do it you can do it too. Telling everyone that you can do it, I started just like you did. NO ACTUALLY you didn’t. These guys got special deals coming in. And They CONTINUE to get special deals to STAY
Dave Savula their #1 Million Dollar per year earner was their Poster Child, until Brian Carruthers, Darnell Self, Mark Riches, the Larry Smith, and some of the other leaders arrived, they ALL have MULTIPLE business positions. From one source I found that Darnell self may have over 10 positions, Brian Carruthers, i know has multiple positions. When a friend of ours, Ben Bradshaw ended leaving and going over to Seacret after building a very strong Legalshield business, Brian Carruthers somehow “took over” his position and possibly gave this position and the income to a struggling guy Nate Bourne— to help “prop” him up when many leaders were leaving Legalshield, to “buy him” and keep him in the business.
Dave Savula has had been paid on multiple agreements or arrangements, from Prepaid Legal since the beginning, shown in the FORM 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission form, for the period ending December 31, 2001. (the Original file has been “amended” to “omit” this and other information. I have included the original file here. The RELEVANT TEXT of the file are duplicated here:
David A. Savula, a director of the Company, is actively engaged as an independent contractor in the marketing of the Company’s legal service memberships. During 2001, 2000 and 1999, Mr. Savula received from the Company $1.1 million, $936,000 and $815,000 respectively, pursuant to a previous agreement with the Company providing for the payment to Mr. Savula of override commissions and other fees with respect to commissions earned by, and new sales associate sponsorships within, the Company’s multilevel marketing sales force, as well as amounts received pursuant to his individual associate agreement.
So Two Weeks later on October 2, 2012 after attending a convention where we were working a deal with a very large organization that has perfectly aligned individuals who would most likely sign up — this organization had a membership base of nearly 60,000 prospects, which I was working on RIGHT BEFORE our BACK OFFICE LOGIN and INCOME STREAM was shut down.
So after we saw the above, denial of access while trying to enter help a customer sign up, we call the company, and were told they cannot talk with us, they cannot give us any information except that i’m NO longer an associate and here is the email the company attorney as they cannot talk to us any more, then they hung up on us.
I immediately emailed the company about why my business that was earning about $8,000-$12,000 per month was SHUT DOWN without any notice.
When a complaint is filed on an Associate, we call the Associate to listen to his or her side of the story. If the
complaint is substantiated by LegalShield, a verbal warning is issued to the Associate. Should another
complaint of the same nature be filed on an Associate, a formal warning will be mailed certified mail.
Here is a copy of the Email I sent to the company / after CC’ing it to my Kelly my wife…
Legalshield blew us off for nearly 4 months, did not return phone calls and would not allow us to call them and talk to anyone. No access to talk to anyone. $8,000 per month average dropped to — Zero Income. We blew through our savings!
Our car ended up being given back to the bank! All of our savings was depleted, and we were forced to get onto Food Stamps! We had to sell our computers, ipads, stereo’s, tv’s, electronics… all of the “fruits” of my effort, and eventually cancelled cable, and everything except for a phone and the basics.
Here is the company’s response:
Of course I didn’t have any money to sue them at this point. So I searched for months to find an Attorney would take our case on contingency to go after these bastards for fucking our life over. These types of things are why people have a BAD taste in their minds and mouths about Network Marketing or MLM. I finally found a law firm out of Dallas who i found through this Article in the Houston Biz Journal about Anthony Anderson wins verdict against Ameriplan and awarded $5.5 Million in a contract dispute by a former independent agent.
Ross Sears referred me to Ron Lovett out of Katy Texas at 713-532-0043. So we SUED Legalshield in TEXAS in 2013. Legalshield stonewalled us for over 1 year, and still have NOT provided me a copy of our associate compliance file to that we can see “who” or “what” happened that caused the Termination. It’s my OPINION that Brian Carruthers provided false allegations against me and within 2 weeks — 14 years of my work and dedication was thrown away.
All the people who i’ve talked to about Brian Carruthers say that Brian is only about the money and that he would screw over his own family, if it could put thousands or millions into his bank account.
At a level of Platinum (taking over Mark Smith’s Positon)…. if you follow the money trail, the ONLY PERSON to BENEFIT from me being terminated was Brian. Lets do some simple math. Lets say the team was averaging 1000 memberships each month. A Platinum will override that POSITION by about $50 per sale. So Brian was to INCREASE his income by estimating :$35,000 to over $50,000 PER MONTH if I was gone. NOT TO MENTION All of MY INCOME would NOW GO TO BRIAN AS WELL of about $10,000 per month average.
You can Follow the filings on our CURRENT lawsuit with Legalshield here. So after my discussion with Brian Carruthers, I told him that I took screen shots of my back office showing him to have his NAME in place of MarkandTammySmith Login ID as you can see here. His name, Email Address, His home address for his home in Davidson Maryland and Phone number were on this document. When I questioned the company this, Brian Calls me… BITCHES me out, berates me and then proceeds to tell me that, I should consider myself LUCKY that i’m in a Brian Carruthers Sandwich, that I’m now Above you and Below you. I told him that because of his position at PLATINUM it is HIGHER than my Silver Position, and about 80% of my income would be DESTROYED overnight. I told that if this affects us that I would Tell EVERYONE what he had done to a friend of his for over 14 years. He said, he only started talking to me after I started rebuilding my business in 2009, and that I was worthy of his time now. He also said that I was a loser, someone who sucks off others, and that if I EVER TOLD ANYONE ABOUT the SCREEN SHOTS of him taking over Mark’s position that he would and I quote.
… if you tell anyone about the screen shots “I will make it my PERSONAL VENDETTA to take you out at the KNEES”
This conversation occurred on September 20, 2012. On October 2, 2012 — we are GONE. (Less than 2 weeks later)
Here is a LINK to the CONVERSATION on Youtube — make sure you listen from the very beginning you can hear Brian threatening me…
So here I am, it’s Wednesday April 6th, 2016. Prepaid Legal Services Inc dba Legalshield, has stonewalled me at every turn. They sued me in Oklahoma (for my DEBIT BALANCE) the amount they advance you but you haven’t earned back from Residuals. So Ron Lovett sued Legalshield in Dallas, Texas in 2013. in January of 2014, Legalshield sued me directly for my debit balance. I’d like you to note:
My debit balance with Legalshield upon termination was approximately $160,000. When I was sued directly by them in January of 14, about 14 months AFTER they said my debit balance was only $60,000.
While I was not even actively working this business my debit balance paid down over $100,000, and they want me to just walk away?
Can you fucking believe this?
Here is why most people cannot retire from legalshield. They are constantly living on the income, as you’re continually required to produce monthly sales — unless you’re at a certain level, whereby you dont have to “Produce” any more. So with me OUT of the way. All of the override income has passed to Brian Carruthers, All of the DIRECT sales commissions on Mark Smith’s position went directly to Brian Carruthers.
Also the company boasts having a 75% or above persistency. I personally sold over 500 memberships (to individuals NOT group business). I had over 111,000 memberships by October 2, 2012. My personal memberships left after 14 years was a little over 100, and organizationally ,a little over 18,000. If you divide those numbers out, you’ll see the real persistency over time, which is why if you ever start building this business you’ll never be able to retire unless your team brings in thousands and thousands of sales. See the infographic.
The company lies to you from the beginning. They put people in front of you that have special or different deals than someone getting started today its a perfect smoke and mirrors game and the only one that will be played is you.
Brian Carruthers works with the company in a CORPORATE PAID position, the company has POLICIES and PROCEDURES and if the rules are broken by Associates, the problems need to be addressed. But what do you do when Legalshield will NOT honor their OWN CONTRACTS, when CORPORATE members do ILLEGAL practices, that hurt people like ME.
It has now been almost 4 years, our non compete of 2 years has expired. I deserve the PROMISES that the company sold me 15+ years ago. I still have my membership, I am DUE my residuals and all of the monies that are due to me, not to mention all of the damages for severe emotional hardship, nearly getting divorced over all of this crap, and never having done anything wrong, never prostelyzed, never became part of another business PRIOR to my termination and NEVER pitching the existing team on any new deals this whole time.
These people and Brian Carruthers need to be held accountable for their wrong doings. And if you’re looking at joining Legalshield, please NOTE that on all of their NEW Videos (at the end) they DO NOT GUARANTEE continuation of Your Income or your Business (isn’t that interesting). I think the membership has merit and has worked for us many times. It has its shortcomings. But as long as you understand what it does and does not do, it’s a good deal. If you are looking at a company that stands behind their word, and will guarantee you a lifelong residual income and book of business that you can take with you when retire. Id recommend a different business.
If you would like to work with Me & Kelly in our current endeavors. Contact us.
——– UPDATE as of SEPTEMBER of 2017 ——–
I reached out to contact Jeff Bell the CEO of Legalshield via Facebook because standing up to the FTC on Pyramid Schemes. See the Article below (copied from this reference.
Jeff Bell is CEO of LegalShield, an USA based leading provider of affordable legal plans and identity theft solutions for individuals, families and small businesses, serving more than 4.2 million people across North America.
He has send the next open letter to the FTC:
When Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez steps down in a few days, we will remember her speech at the Direct Selling Association’s Business and Policy Conference in Washington last October, where she clearly laid out what it means to be operating a pyramid scheme.
Her remarks were important, and they were necessary. Because the Direct Selling Association (DSA) can’t seem to enforce the ethical codes and standards it created, the FTC had to step in to clean house. While some companies, such as LegalShield, embrace network marketing as a powerful tool for entrepreneurial success, many direct marketing companies have turned into pyramid schemes. Maybe their leaders believe they can get away with these unconscionable practices.
In the wake of John Oliver’s take-down of multilevel marketing last fall, and the possible institutionalization of the FTC’s ruling in the Herbalife case, it’s time to review Ramirez’s criteria for what it means to deploy a pyramid scheme — and to put the transformation of these guidelines into law as a top priority on Ohlhausen’s agenda. First, real sales must be made to real customers. To me it’s dumbfounding that this must be stated. Legitimate marketing is based on actual people buying an actual service or product.
Ramirez defines “real customers” as “consumers who are not pursuing a business opportunity.” This was a clear conclusion from the July 2016 FTC settlement with Herbalife. A pyramid sells product to wholesale distributors and calls it retail sales. That is not permitted. It’s simple enough for any company to be compliant here. If you are not paying commissions on retail sales, if your sales are not profitable or verifiable, if you use targets or thresholds that are met only by wholesale product purchases, then it’s nearly certain you are running a pyramid scheme.
Every company should be held to these (ridiculously achievable) standards: No required wholesale purchase, no monthly quotas that can be met by personal purchase, no automatic shipments, no tricks. Second, Ramirez stated, “It is time that MLM income representations matched the income reality of the majority of multi-level marketing participants.” Every network marketing and direct selling company must present the business opportunity as a way for establishing supplemental income.
At LegalShield, we are proud of our associates who have built and lead large sales organizations that result in high levels of income. But we are equally proud of the tens of thousands who have improved their lives by earning $300, $500 or $1,000 incrementally each month. Third, Chairwoman Ramirez stated that companies should train their distributors on the issue of income claims — and I would add, on how to establish a successful business. Network marketers need a standard set of tools for associates to use — videos, meeting slides, flipbooks and brochures — that are very clear on what should be said and what cannot be said.
There is power in the direct-selling model, which accelerates success with excellent third-party tools, meetings and events. All independent marketing and sales associates should share their experiences, and over time and with proper training, their stories become the message. Not through tricks, or get-rich-quick schemes, but through growth, dedication and earned success.
Fourth, the FTC wants all direct selling companies to monitor and enforce appropriate behavior. Companies must have rules and enforce them. It’s that simple. Monitor associates’ behavior, enforce ethical codes, conduct training meetings, establish a system for facilitating concerns and complaints.
LEGALSHIELD WILL NOT HONOR OR ENFORCE THEIR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AGAINST BRIAN CARRUTHERS WHO GOT US TERMINATED AFTER THREATENING ME on September 22, 2012, and on October 2, 2012 — My position was TERMINATED and BRIAN CARRUTHERS IF YOU FOLLOW THE MONEY — WAS POISED TO RECEIVE BETWEEN $50-$100 in OVERRIDES ON ALL 1000-2000 or more memberships that I GENERATED WITH MY TEAM — BRIAN SOMEHOW GOT US TERMINATED and TOOK ADVANTAGE OF TURMOIL INSIDE THE COMPANY AS MANY LEADERS WERE LEAVING TO GO TO OTHER COMPANIES LIKE NERIUM, SEACRET, and other MLMS. Legalshield DID NOT DO ITS DUE DILIGENCE AND DESTROYED MY RETIREMENT INCOME THAT I INVESTED 14 years to that point in developing. (LISTEN TO THIS AUDIO ON BRIAN THREATENING ME on that September 22, 2012) — John Fraser, Sept 7, 2017 (5 years — Legalshield has Stonewalled me)
All of these are critical to deploying a successful and ethical network marketing infrastructure. These practices are not optional. They keep the system working, ethical and profitable.
From Chairwoman Ramirez’s speech it’s clear she was not content with the status of the MLM industry. There’s too much consumer harm, too little product value and too much talk with too little action. I could not agree more!
LegalShield left the Direct Selling Association, and I resigned as a member of its board of directors, because the DSA allows bad companies to masquerade as legitimate network marketing companies, which further soils the industry’s reputation. The danger to every direct selling company that champions the best and appropriate practices is that their viability is being undermined by bad actors.
I strongly urge Chairman Ohlhausen to deploy these guidelines into law. At my company, we meet or exceed the FTC’s guidelines as we prove why direct selling and network marketing are powerful and positive models for entrepreneurship and free enterprise.
In a time when too few opportunities exist for too many, we believe in our model and know that it can help create happiness and success for entrepreneurs without preying on others or deploying unethical schemes. For us, onward will continue to be upward.
I connected with Jeff Bell on FACEBOOK to NOTIFY HIM OF THEIR WRONG DOING and Stone Walling our Case for 5 years. This was his reply to me:
Here is the AUDIO RECORDING of the Conversation with KERI NORRIS: (this might take a moment to load)
AFTER THIS recording, it TOOK nearly 1 month until I got a message hoping to proceed to the next step(s).
Here is the follow up email from Keri:
It’s really funny how Legalshield can simply say, we didn’t screw up, you did. Oh by the way there was NO investigation, and on top of that, we will NOT RELEASE your ASSOCIATE COMPLIANCE FILE to the Associate to see what really happened. So I guess I’ll have to come back with the BIG GUNS and instead of having them do the RIGHT thing and simply repay us for what was owed me for destroying my life and retirement, LEGALSHIELD BREACHED MY AGREEMENT AND DID NO DUE DILIGENCE ON VALIDATING THE FACTS WITH ME PERSONALLY. IT WAS MUCH EASIER TO KEEP $50,000-$100,000 PER MONTH IN REVENUE GOING TO ONE OF THEIR TOP PRODUCERS AND NOT QUESTION HIS INTEGRITY.
BRIAN CARRUTHERS – IS MONEY HUNGRY, LEGALSHIELD IS POWER AND MONEY HUNGRY, AND I WILL NOT STOP POSTING THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR STORY UNTIL SOMEONE LISTENS, AND UNTIL THEY PAY ME, 40 YEARS OF RESIDUAL INCOME AND BEYOND THAT I WOULD HAVE TRANSFERRED TO MY WIFE AND CHILDREN. I HOPE THAT LEGALSHIELD UNDERSTANDS THAT I WILL NOT BACK DOWN, I WILL KEEP POSTING THE TRUTH ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS AND COMPENSATION PLAN AND I WILL DO MY BEST TO STOP THEM FROM DESTROYING OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES, WHILE THEY TURN THEIR BACK TO WRONG DOINGS FROM UNETHICAL LEADERSHIP AND CORPORATE LEADERSHIP AS WELL.
Legalshield Lawsuit – Paperwork UPDATE on 5/5/2018
If you’d like to see how Legalshield has been stonewalling this lawsuit costing me monthly income now for over 6 years. Here are some of the documents I could find on the lawsuit. Also when Legalshield Settles with a Person, they SEAL UP the Case to make it look like they’ve NEVER Terminated or Lost a Lawsuit. That’s really shitty. I think if someone wants to join a company they should know the good and bad.
My Personal Commission Statements – This is NOT being shown to entice you to Join Legalshield this is to PROVE that I had a debit balance of over $150,000, and that the residual income from my position was paying down my “debit or advance commission from the company” and that when they SUED me the only asked for the balance of approximately $60,000. So close to $100,000 in residual income was paid to my position over 14 months and LEGALSHIELD SIMPLY KEPT THE MONEY and said to FUCK OFF. So sue us if you want. Oh by the way if you sue us we’ll tie you up in court so long you’ll give up. Well I will NOT GIVE UP. These assholes will PAY ME or the truth of their operation and residual income being an independent contractor are not true.
Per Legalshield’s rules I am allowed to show my personal income, but NOT show other people’s income so here they are.
January 2019. THE LAWSUIT and Breach of Contract BETWEEN JOHN FRASER AND LEGALSHIELD CONTINUES.
A Motion to Compel Legalshield & Brian Carruthers to provide the compliance file to verify and Determine that it was Brian Carruthers that Got us Terminated (or not), will result in a court order to hopefully get these assholes to show me who and what got my business terminated and why.
Here is the document:
Stay Tuned to this page as it will be updated with Information from the Lawsuit against Legalshield and Brian Carruthers
JANUARY 24, 2019 — LEGALSHIELD RELEASES 8500 PAGES OF CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS TO JOHN FRASER’S ATTORNEY FOR REVIEW. FORCES US TO SIGN A PROTECTIVE ORDER OVER THE DOCUMENTS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE / WERE IN MY BUSINESS… AND STATES THAT ANY RESPONSES TO THESE DOCUMENTS MUST BE DONE UNDER A SECRET SEALED PROCESS. — WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE?
HERE IS THE DOCUMENT: YOU MAY CLICK ON IT TO DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE OF THE PROTECTIVE ORDER TO VIEW THE DOCUMENTS.
UPDATE MAY 19, 2019. Email to MidOcean Partners / New 10% owners, Kathy Pinson – LS Executive, Keri Norris – LS Attorney, Direct Selling Association — who is supposed to POLICE these types of companies, various Attorneys.
Legalshield / Regarding Misconduct of Brian Carruthers Framing Me/Terminating our Business… to divert $30k to 100K MONTHLY to him for his benefit / breaking or circumventing/corporate policies and procedures.
frasertulsa <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sun, May 19, 2019 at 11:57 AM To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, IR@midoceanpartners.com, “Kathy S. Pinson” <KathyPinson@legalshieldcorp.com>, “Keri C. Norris” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: pgeeber <email@example.com> Bcc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark Smith <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Herman Luette <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Sirs and Ladies,
RE: I was Framed / Setup by Brian Carruthers to Steal my Legalshield business income / by taking over Mark & Tammy Smith’s Platinum position below me… wiping us out of our income stream. And when I found out about this… Brian Threatened to “take me out at my knees”.
documents to incriminate me through fabricated facebook posts that I didn’t post... I told him that I would let everyone know what he did and HE SETUP ME UP TO GET MY BUSINESS TERMINATED…. which he did on October 2, 2012. I have been trying to get this story out since then… and have filed a lawsuit regarding this. Please I need someone who will listen to my story and make right what he has stolen from me.
Here is the recording of the argument I had with him two weeks prior to our termination. https://youtu.be/haG_CPKG3Ng
My name is John Fraser, i’m writing this letter to you to plead for your help. I was a lifer “of 14 years” with Prepaid Legal and Legalshield, until an unfortunate situation in 20112012 when the transition of the sale of Legalshield occurred to MidOcean Partners. There was a lot of volatility within the marketing associates “field sales team”. During this time, many people (marketing associates “MA”) started jumping ship from Legalshield to other companies, specifically Nerium (currently owned by Jeff Olsen) a former executive with LS, Seacret a Skin Care company, and a few others.
I however with my wife Kelly were working on a deal to bring in to Legalshield an association of 60,000 people strong at that time and had just done a presentation for a portion of that audience (see video here).
There was a certain high profile individual who had just released a documentary that went viral and worldwide with a captive audience interested in potentially having “legal protection” available to their association as many of them were inventors needing access to legal services to help protect their intellectual property.
business of 14 years terminated to take advantage of nearly $30,000 to $50,000
Brian got my
$100,000 per month income that is NOW GOING DIRECTLY to him and he forged
We returned from this event over the summer and were working on signing up the entire association, however Legalshield Marketing Associates specifically the larger “Platinums” were hemorrhaging left and right as MA’s were leaving or buying positions on those companies and building / prostelysing / recruiting their team’s into these other businesses… in essence, scalping people from Legalshield.
There is NO WAY I would have jeopardized losing a deal that was going to potentially take us to Platinum and increase our income significantly, and give us a commission of in excess of $100,000 in the next few months.
Brian Carruthers who was my friend and mentor since a prior company, “The People’s Network”, we came into Legalshield and built a very large organization. Mark & Tammy Smith came into our business and became one of the largest organizations and fastest growing in the Entire country an organization that Legalshield wanted to emulate their success and growth using flipbooks and other materials / and methodologies.
Brian Carruthers was losing many of his leaders (MA’s) people to these other businesses. I was NOT one of these. My wife Kelly, was getting disgruntled at the chaos of legalshield running promotions, having the bar raised, and then lowering it over and over to meet the least common denominator, by changing promotion rules and then the people who did the work to reach the bar, all of a sudden, the bar was lowered to allow under achievers to be “rewarded” for less effort. This was disheartening to me.
My wife wanted to leave Legalshield. And for the record, I had my own business entity separate from my wife in LS, and our income was separate from LS.
My business was generating commissions of around $8,000 per month with peaks upto 12K, and while we were terminated our debit balance was paid DOWN BY OVER $100,000 of RESIDUAL INCOME from Oct 2012 to Jan of 2014 that should be still going to me even till today on that book of business.
Upon being contacted by Multiple People in these different companies, my wife wanted “find out” more about these other companies and why people were jumping ship. I on the other hand wanted NOTHING to do with any of these companies.
I attended some of these meetings and listened to their pitches with no intention of ever leaving Legalshield. When in attendance of one of these meetings I was notified by a leader in my team that “Brian Carruthers” was showing up in my “downline”. In essence he had a position “above me” and now “below” me. Having multiple positions per LS’s Policies and procedures was OK as long as certain rules were followed. The rule was, a Buy/Sell agreement must be in place with the person(s) buying the position from #1. #2 All upline executive Directors and above must sign off on such authorization, all the way through LS Corporate. This would have included 6 people. Of those 6 people one of them being Brian Carruthers no one had seen such agreement or authorization.
If you follow the money and the “reason” why Brian Carruthers did this… his income had DROPPED significantly with large droves of people leaving his business. He freaked out and was driven to despiration. The BEST and ONLY way to really increase his income was to get PAID the Platinum Bonuses at that time were approximately a mimum of $30$50 on each membership that flowed through that position. Well that Platinum position where Mark & Tammy Smith’s position was at (in my downline) was generating between 10002000 NEW memberships each month, with 200300 new ASSOCIATES. This was a CASH COW slot. The ONLY problem was that, Mark and Tammy Smith’s position were put in “HOLD” when they left to go build Nerium and scalp their team and other LS leadership to go there. Brian was in a position where he had significant influence in the company, and he knew the ladies in the Executive Director Support Line (he is/was a player). I believe that somehow he got someone underhandedly to Put his NAME and Information onto the Smith’s business shown below as “NO RECOGNITION” and “reactivated it” by taking it out of “hold” status. This WIPED My Silver ED Position out of income, along with a number of other ED’s above the Smiths
position. THIS WOULD ALLOW 10002000x $30$50 to flow to Brian Immediately. (see attached picture showing Brian’s information attached to the Smith’s Position). This would PUT $30,000 to $50,000 to over $100,000 CASHFLOW to Brian Each month. NOT to mention the 8k to 10K that would have flowed to Brian’s UPLINE position to mine, that he would have received ALSO.
I also subsequently during our lawsuit… and during discovery found, PHOTOSHOPPED Facebook profile of myself showing how I had joined Nerium and how I was so excited to be part of their team… WHICH I NEVER DID, NOR JOIN.
I tried to get LS to reinstate our business, or to open up an investigation into this matter, but NO ONE WOULD Listen.
I then started writing a BLOG of my story online shown here which ranks on Google on the first page if you google the words “legalshield termination” the actual blog post is here.
Based on the 2nd Amendment Rights of Freedom of Speech I started writing the truth of what has taken place. Later LS tried to Squash me by filing a Lawsuit and tried to get me to “take down” my blog posts and negative comments regarding the company and this “story”.
We counter sued and subsequently found through discovery of the 8500, there were “forged documents, or incriminating printouts of FACEBOOK posts and information that were NOT created by me, and were somehow FABRICATED to incriminate me and this “narrative” that somehow John Fraser left LS after 14 years to follow Mark Smith and Join Nerium. NON OF THAT is TRUE.
I appeal to you to help me bring Justice to my story, to Reprimand and FINE or Terminate Brian Carruthers for Stealing my business away from me through Vulturous Acts of GREED that has affected 14 years of my life… trying to build a residual income for my family that was DESTROYED by Brian Carruthers if you follow the MONEY. HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON TO GAIN SIGNIFICANT MONEY by getting me Terminated.
NO one will listen, Not EVEN Cathy Pinson, or the Management Team with LS.
I just want to receive my residual income of nearly 6 figures each year on my book of business. I want all the monies that Brian Received illegally from the Smiths position to be TAKEN AWAY FROM HIM… I would like my position REACTIVATED and I would like my BACKPAY of LOST COMMISSIONS for the 7 Years of FIGHTING this ISSUE.
If I DID LEAVE LS. I would NOT have a Lawsuit, If I did leave to Go to Nerium… I would NOT be wasting my time continuing this LAWSUIT against the company. I would like to settle this matter and I deserve the monies and residual income that I built and the Book of Business that I overrided… to be paid to me for life and with the Ability to Transfer the proceeds to my kids and wife upon my DEATH which is what was promised.
I hope that someone will PLEASE REACH Out to me. I hope that you understand that if you were in my shoes… you’d want the wrongs to be “righted”, and Justice to be served. I would like RESTITUTION from Carruthers and and the Company for NOT following corporate policies in investigating wrong doing and Senior Marketing Associates ABUSING THEIR ACCESS and POWER.
NO one should be allowed to destroy someone hard work and effort do develop a retirement income for their family especially after 14 years of effort.
Can you help me? Can we have a dialogue to put this case to rest?
If I cannot get any resolution or get a settlement, I am going to continue to post our story and continue to find a news agency or reporters to keep getting this story out in every avenue I can find, online and in the marketplace until someone will resolve our claims.
Thank you very much for your consideration,
John Fraser 106553563 (was my old associate number) cell 9189923110 email: email@example.com
You know I was thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up – and started reflecting about where do these crazy ideas come from.
Society? Parents? Peer Pressure? The Church? The list goes on and on…
There is so much pressure in today’s world for our teenagers to “know” what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and they have to have their entire life path, planned out, thought through, and they will damn well like it… And don’t leave any room for chance or creativity.
What if they don’t like what they do? What if they change their mind? What if what we’ve been told all our lives is all wrong!
Consumerism is the brainwashing of all Americans into believing that happiness is down the road, and, always out of reach, or we put in hard work first…
What? Hard work? What if I want I work Smarter not Harder?
What if the secret to happiness is exactly the opposite of all the bullshit everyone is trying to feed us?
How do we find out the motives of others? What if you are an immigrant or English is a foreign language to you?
The world is a jungle…
I’m going to be uncovering the TRUTH ABOUT HAPPINESS our struggle to fight the status quo, and winning through non-conformity.