In 1945, whilst most, contemporary mainstream commentators were unable to look beyond the ends of their noses, with a perfect sense of irony, George Orwell (1903-1950) presented fact as fiction in an insightful 'fairy story' entitled, 'Animal Farm.' He revealed that totalitarianism is merely the oppressors' self-gratifying fiction mistaken for fact by the oppressed. In the same universal allegory, Orwell described how, at a time of vulnerability, almost any people's dream of a future, secure, Utopian existence can be hung over the entrance to a totalitarian deception. Indeed, the words that are always banished by totalitarian deceivers are, 'totalitarian' and 'deception.' Sadly, when it comes to examining the same enduring phenomenon, albeit with an ephemeral 'American/Capitalist' label, most contemporary, mainstream commentators have again been unable to look further than the ends of their noses. However, if they followed Orwell's example, and did some serious thinking, this is the reality-inverting nightmare they would find.
|Carl F. Rehnborg (1887-1973)|
Earlier this year, I opened this Blog with an article in which I traced the absurd origins of 'Multi-Level Marketing income opportunity' fraud to a trio of extremely greedy, but otherwise-mediocre, little narcissistic parasites: Carl F. Rehnborg, Lee S. Mytinger and William S. Casselberry.
|Carl Sam Rehnborg|
In 1958, Carl F. Rehnborg's son, Carl Samuel, received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University. In 1989 (as part of an overall pattern of ongoing, major, racketeering activity), the bosses of the 'Amway/Nutrilite' mob infiltrated Stanford University and obtained the right to pretend association with this celebrated academic institution, simply by bedazzling wide-eyed senior academics with a pile of (stolen) money. Although it beggars belief, for almost quarter of a century, there has been a Stanford Professorial Chair in Preventative Medicine named after the absurd, unqualified, quack, Carl F. Rehnborg. The current holder of this dubious title, is John Ioannidis, but it is no exaggeration to say that this is the medical-equivalent of a 'Charles Ponzi Chair in Economics.'
'JOHN P.A. IOANNIDIS
A member of the executive board of the Human Genome Epidemiology Network, Dr. Ioannidis has also served on the board of more than 20 leading international journals including the PLoS Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Clinical Trials and Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. He also serves as the editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation for the period of 2010-2014.
|Richard DeVos Jnr.|
|Steve VanAndel Doug DeVos|
For more than 50 years, successive grinning generations of two American families have got away with building a labyrinth of legally-registered corporate structures, pursuing lawful, and/or unlawful, enterprises, in order to peddle a demonstrably-toxic, totalitarian fairytale entitled, ‘Direct Selling' or 'Multi-Level Marketing Income Opportunity,’ which they, and their propagandists, have steadfastly pretended to have brought great benefit to humanity. During this shameful period, these two clans of world-class reality-inverters have become fabulously wealthy, whilst tens of millions of ill-informed individuals around the globe have continued secretly to be churned through a dissimulated closed-market swindle and related advance fee frauds. At the same time, many of these persons have had their minds hijacked by a frighteningly-familiar perversion of the ‘positive (good) versus negative (evil)’ Christian belief system. Although the unpaid proselytisers for this self-perpetuating crime-wave were given the illusion that they were making a free-choice, they were, in fact, subjected to co-ordinated, devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion designed to facilitate the shutting down of their critical, and evaluative, faculties, but without their fully-informed consent. In this way, a significant minority of chronic 'MLM' victims have been deceived into dissipating all their mental, physical and financial resources to the benefit of a sanctimonious little gang of self-proclaimed ‘compassionate Christian capitalists,’ whom they continued blindly to worship and follow no matter what suffering this entailed. Major organised crime groups were supposedly identified by US legislators as a cancer that had previously been allowed to gnaw its way into the heart of the Republic, when, in 1970, severe criminal penalties, and powerful civil remedies, were finally provided as a defence. Yet US federal prosecutors have (so far) done nothing to prevent the bosses of the original, blame-the-victim 'Direct Selling/MLM Income Opportunity' racket, and their associate enterprises, from maintaining control over billions of stolen dollars. Indeed, certain, corrupt, senior political figures and legally-qualified law enforcement agents have enthusiastically assisted in protecting the group’s kitsch front, obstructing full-exposure of the pernicious cult that has lurked behind it. Tellingly, the beneficiaries of these extensive financial, and psychological, crimes against humanity, have invested some of their ill-gotten gains to infiltrate traditional culture to a degree which makes even the most-notorious ‘Mafia Wise Guys' look like a bunch of amateurs.
|Jay Van Andel (1924-2004) Richard DeVos|
L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986)
|Carl Sam Rehnborg|
Tellingly, Rehnborg's own comic-book version of his life and achievements (set-down in various published documents, including a book signed by his son and heir, Carl Sam Rehnborg), reads uncannily like the autobiography dreamt-up by 'Scientology' instigator, L. Ron Hubbard - a man who was once famously described as 'a combination of Baron Münchausen and Adolf Hitler.'
|Carl F Rehnborg (circa 1940)|
By 1939, Rehnborg had spotted the existing term, 'Nutrilites' (probably in an old scientific magazine). So he legally-changed the name of his pay-to-play game of make-believe to the technical-sounding ‘Nutrilite Products Company Inc.’ and moved his quackery onto an almost unprecedented scale. Soon, Rehnborg was legally employing dozens of white-coated workers in purpose-built industrial buildings in Buena Park, California. He also acquired an alfalfa farm near to the city of Hemet in California's San Jacinto valley, but it is unclear exactly where he suddenly found all the necessary capital to pay for these impressive sites and their modern equipment. To his followers and casual observers, Rehnborg’s activity looked like any other lawful enterprise. His staff were ordinary honest folk, to whom the truth was also unthinkable. At this time, Rehnborg rechristened his potion ‘Nutrilite Double X (‘XX’) Supplement.’ He now proposed to offer it as two ‘complimentary products’ in one pack - comprising little green bottles of bright red ‘Multivitamin Capsules’ and boxes of pale-coloured ‘Multi-Mineral Pills.’ The product was deliberately designed to look modern and scientific (like a proprietary medicine), but, tellingly, the price was fixed at just less than $20 a box (the equivalent of several hundred dollars today). Rehnborg claimed that the ‘XX’ brand-name was derived from the Roman numeral representing twenty. It should have been read as ‘double cross;’ for when the former toothpaste salesman’s pricey wampum was routinely analysed by independent chemists working for the FDA, it was discovered that (although it contained essentially what it said on the labels and was quite harmless) ‘XX Supplement’ really did mostly comprise a random mixture of cheaply-procured, common substances (dried vegetable extracts: alfalfa; parsley; watercress; yeast; etc.). FDA experts later estimated that ‘XX Supplement’ cost no more than a few cents a pack to produce. Thus, FDA lawyers must have known that Rehnborg was, in fact, using authentic pharmaceutical equipment to mass-produce a precisely-measured, harmless placebo, but labelled as a ‘Health Tonic’ (a meaningless term), and peddling it at an exorbitant mark-up (certainly, more than 1000%). This crack-pot pseudo-scientific swindle, which was tantamount to a self-styled 'alchemist' stamping a valueless amalgam of base-metals, 'Pure Gold,' and selling it for the price of pure gold, could have been quickly nipped in the bud, simply by charging Rehnborg with criminal fraud. Apparently, prosecutors never considered the possibility that they might be dealing with someone with severe psychological problems whose own inflexible delusions were contagious. Instead, at first, FDA lawyers felt obliged to take no action; reasoning that, by truthfully listing the banal ingredients, but avoiding making any specific therapeutic claims, on his packaging, Rehnborg had found a loophole in federal laws concerning criminal misbranding of medicines. As result, an up-dated version of an age-old fiction was permitted to be mass-marketed as fact to an unsuspecting public. Unfortunately, the lack of any rigorous, official challenge only brought its author more credibility. Not surprisingly, a host of copy-cat 'Unique Vitamin and Mineral Health-Tonic’ scams quickly sprang up.
|William H. Goodrich|
Even though it wasn’t his area of responsibility, FDA Legal Counsel (1939-1971), William H. Goodrich, was probably the first senior US law enforcement agent to deduce that the innocent baby that Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry had baptised a ‘New Business Model’ (later to become known as: ‘Multi-Level Marketing’) was actually the same old delinquent previously known a 'pyramid scam.’ Again, anyone with an ounce of common sense could work out immediately that, since Rehnborg had been peddling medical alchemy, the strong likelihood was that Mytinger and Casselberry were peddling economic alchemy. The sinister trio of quacks were obviously acting in association, but agents of the Food and Drug Administration and those of the Federal Trade Commission acted independently. At this time, anti-racketeering legislation did not yet exist in the USA. However, in the late 1940s, the rapidly-expanding ‘XX Supplement’ dossier was already in the hands of FTC lawyers. Apparently, prosecutors still never considered the possibility that they might be dealing with persons suffering from severe psychological problems and whose own inflexible delusions were contagious. Instead, they still felt obliged to take no action; this time reasoning that Mytinger and Casselberry appeared to have found a loophole in federal laws concerning pyramid scams and Ponzi schemes. As a result, another updated version of an age-old fiction was permitted to be mass-marketed as fact to an unsuspecting public. Yet again, the lack of any rigorous official challenge only brought its authors more credibility. Not surprisingly, a host of copy-cat 'income opportunity' swindles (camouflaged by banal, but pricey, wampum) quickly sprang up.
By 1947, Rehnborg, Mytinger and Casselberry were steadfastly pretending ‘15 000 Successful Distributorships in the USA,’ with ‘sales’ totalling ‘$500 000 dollars per month.’ They had also organised the production of a ‘Free’ booklet, ‘How to Get Well and Stay Well’, in which they further pretended that ‘Nutrilite Double X Supplement’ had ‘cured or greatly helped such common ailments’ as : ‘Low blood pressure, Ulcers, Mental depression, Pyorrhoea, Muscular twitching, rickets, Worry over small things, Tonsillitis, Hay Fever, Sensitivity to noise, Underweight, Easily tired, Gas in stomach, Cuts heal slowly, Faulty vision, Headache, Constipation, Anaemia Boils, Flabby tissues, Hysterical tendency, Eczema, Overweight, Faulty memory, Lack of ambition, Certain Bone conditions, Nervousness, Nosebleed, Insomnia, Allergies, Asthma, Restlessness, Bad skin colour, Poor appetite, Biliousness, Neuritis, Night blindness, Migraine, High blood pressure, Sinus trouble, Lack of concentration, Dental caries, Irregular heartbeat, Colitis, Craving for sour foods, Arthritis,
|Carl.F. Rehnborg (circa 1955)|
Rehnborg now cast himself in the role of ‘Scientific Adviser’ to‘Mytinger and Casselberry Inc.’ He toured the USA preaching the gospel to wide-eyed ‘Distributors’ - ‘for less than $20 a month’, ‘Nutrilite Double X Supplement’ was the ‘Answer to Man’s Search for Health.’ After both companies’ owners were approached by FDA officials and warned that they could face criminal prosecution for misbranding, the booklet was ‘revised.’ Specific therapeutic claims were supposed to be eliminated. ‘All illnesses’ suddenly became a‘state of nonhealth’ produced by ‘chemical imbalance’.… ‘Nutrilite XX Supplement’ cured nothing, it merely ‘enabled people to Get Well and stay Well’ by themselves. However, pages 41-52 of the booklet still recounted alleged case-histories explaining that ‘Nutrilite brought relief from such ailments as diabetes, feeble mindedness, stomach pains, sneezing and weeping.’ Not surprisingly, the FDA officials were not impressed, so they finally launched a number of raids, and seizures of ‘Nutrilite XX Supplement’ and associated publications.
|Jay VanAndel Richard DeVos|
In 1959, when it seemed that ‘Mytinger and Casselberry/Nutrilite Products Inc.’ might finally be shut down (under the ‘Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 3381-3383’, rather than anti-pyramid scams legislation) De Vos and Van Andel hid behind familiar words and images stolen from popular culture. They created the ‘American Way Association’ - the first of what was to become a shoal of red, white and blue herrings. The original 'Nutrilite' lie was progressively-absorbed back into the spin-off 'Amway' lie, 1972-1994.
Interview with William W. Goodrich, Office of General Counsel, 1939 - 1971