Sunday 21 December 2014

Nevada: The trickle of 'Herbalife (HLF)' victims might soon turn into a flood.

Several weeks ago, I was sent information from a concerned resident of Las Vegas about the tragic results of the 'Herbalife' racket in Nevada. 

At that time, I gave my correspondent the following brief analysis.

The fundamental rule of all Las Vegas casino managers is to keep their winning customers playing, because although it is possible for anyone occasionally to win by chance in any independently regulated casino, in the end, if winning customers don't quit whilst they are ahead, eventually the odds will always favour the house and they will lose.

The fundamental rule of all 'MLM' racketeers is to keep their chronic victims playing, because, in practise, the 'MLM' game of make-believe has not been independently regulated and has been secretly rigged so that only the few crooks who keep setting it up, can win. Thus, the longer victims play the 'MLM' game of make-believe, in the false hope of one day winning the jackpot, the more cash they will lose and the more, fresh victims they will attract.


Nevadans accuse 'Herbalife' of preying on Latinos and the poor:

Southern Nevadans who say they lost thousands of dollars to a pyramid scheme run by Herbalife called on the state attorney general Thursday to investigate the company, which sells nutritional and weight-loss products.

Activist Jose Melendrez said Herbalife preyed on Latinos and poor people by promising they’d make good money as “distributors” — but only after they shelled out thousands of dollars up front.

“Folks are being sold something that’s not a reality, that’s not going to happen,” said Melendrez, president of Nevada Alliance for Latino Education and Justice.
He spoke to reporters standing before a small group outside the Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. Some carried signs in English or Spanish with slogans including “Herbalife is a FRAUD!”

Melendrez said he knows of at least 60 victims in Nevada, but added people often are reluctant to come forward because they’re embarrassed.
“I just felt like a big fool and a sucker,” said David Furniss of Henderson, who said he lost about $7,000 trying to be a distributor for Herbalife. While laid up after a motorcycle accident, he heard a radio ad for an online business that sounded promising.
After paying $79 for an introductory packet that came in the mail, he said, he paid $1,500 for lists of phone numbers he could use to recruit new distributors. Marketing programs that call for participants to make money by recruiting others are often pyramid schemes, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission advisories. Furniss said he also was given a “coach” in Canada who talked to him on the phone about how to make money.
In a statement, Los Angeles-based Herbalife said it has “millions of satisfied customers” nationally and more than 8,600 members — its word for distributors — in Nevada. Any members who are unhappy, the company said, can call 866-866-4744 so it can address the problem.

Herbalife said attacks against it in Nevada and other states have been fomented by hedge fund manager William Ackman, who has bet on the collapse of the company and campaigned for government investigations of it.

An Herbalife spokesman said he had no evidence Ackman had any connection to Thursday’s protest in Las Vegas.

Melendrez said he had never heard of Ackman and first heard about Herbalife through other advocacy and community groups. Melendrez added that he has a personal connection to the Herbalife issue: His brother-in-law lost several thousand dollars.
Herbalife recently agreed to pay $15 million to settle similar allegations in a federal class-action lawsuit in California, including up to $2.5 million in refunds for people who return unsold products.

The company didn’t admit wrongdoing, but agreed to change some of its business practices, such as shipping charges on the return of unsold products, Reuters reported. The settlement is scheduled for final approval by a judge in May.

Melendrez said he hopes Nevada officials will seek more reimbursement for victims here.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, Beatriz Aguirre, said the office “cannot confirm or deny an investigation.” But she said it has received 38 official complaints about Herbalife. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto will be replaced in January by Adam Laxalt.

Edme Torres of Las Vegas said she spent $10,000 on Herbalife products and another $10,000 opening a “nutrition club” on Twain Avenue to try to sell products. Torres and her husband, Edgar Solis, said they lost their home and had to declare bankruptcy in 2012.
Torres said she was told spending more money would get her steeper discounts on Herbalife products that she could supposedly then sell at regular price. But every dollar she got went back into Herbalife, she said.

Melendrez said Latinos can be especially vulnerable to such schemes thanks to lack of education and “a big entrepreneurial spirit.”

Furniss said he’s lucky the money he lost didn’t ruin him. But he said Herbalife seems to target poor people by giving them “the glimpse of the gold.”

Contact Eric Hartley at or +1 702-550-9229. Find him on Twitter: @ethartley


Readers are reminded that the hidden overall loss/churn rate for 'Herbalife' participation has been effectively 100%. Therefore, anyone claiming, or implying, that it is possible for the average 'Herbalife' contractee to generate an overall net-profit out of the operation a (so-called) 'Herbalife Business,' is not telling the truth.


  1. The response of the herbalife shills to this news has been yawningly predictable. Once again, they ride their hobbyhorse of "failures didn't work hard enough" and continue their grand tradition of victim blaming. After hearing that the FDA had told herbalife to take down a YouTube advertisement the pro-herbalife crowd went ballistic. At Seeking Alpha one of the long time distributors savagely attacked Dr. Barrett when he made a comment. It was one of the most vicious attacks on an individual, as well as on the entire medical profession I have ever seen. This person accused the doctor of writing 'garbage' prescriptions, harming his patients for money, killing thousands of people every day for kickbacks from 'Big Pharma'. This medical mastermind went on to claim that it's a fact that drinking twenty ounces of water every morning will lower your cholesterol and claiming that every Japanese citizen does this every single day and that's why they're the healthiest people on the planet. That would come as a surprise to the Japanese, they lose 100,000 people every year to deaths from smoking, they have a very high rate of stomach cancer, around 50% of their extremely high suicide rate is related to health problems! and God only knows what the fallout from Fukushima will do to the Japanese people.

    This is the level of idiocy that an herbalife distributor manifests. This is what passes for medical knowledge and thought among cult adherents. I can guarantee that every single herbalife consumers when faced with a serious illness would demand the services of an actual medical doctor. I think instead they should be referred back to their "wellness coach". Let him or her remove your burst appendix and treat your peritonitis.

  2. Barbara - Presumeably you are aware of what 'Scientologists' are conditioned to believe about the medical profession and drug manufacturers, which is not too different to the 'Herbalife' fairy story.

    'Scientolgists' usually turn up mob-handed on the scene of major world disasters offering victims something which they describe as 'touch therapy.' This quite literally comprises touching deeply traumatised, and or physically injured, individuals.
    Imagine being at the scene of a major world disaster and hearing someone cry out:

    'Stand back - let me through - I'm a Herbalife Distributor.'

    1. David

      Scientologists are trained to hate doctors in general and psychiatrists in particular.

      Scientology teaches that Psychiatrists are the agents of an evil extraterrestrial ruler and that they were responsible for the Holocaust.

    2. Thank-you anonymous. I find it quite remarkable that a reality-inverting racket which was instigated by a man diagnosed by one of America's leading psychiatrists, as a psychopath, and which openly admits that one of its objectives is to have psychiatry banned as an evil pseudo-science, is allowed to be registered as a 'religion' in the USA.

    3. Having an herbalife distributor near you at a time like that would be your second disaster.

      Germany has the right idea about Scientology.

  3. My ex tried to talk me into taking Nutrilite vitamins, as they would basically make me a new man, all my problems were over, That I would no longer need medication. All my problems would be solved; that wealth and freedom from job slavery could be realized if I would just believe. Amway had the secrets and they were more than willing to divulge them to me and anyone, at least for a price. Isn't that the same bill of goods that Scientology tries to sell? No real need for doctors, Scientology will be in charge of your auditing, all the ruin to be revealed. Yep. No thank you Mr. Hubbard, and no thank you Mr. DeVos, and no thank you Herbalife. Scientology kills! Amway? Herbalife? All the same.

    1. One of the most active 'MLM' rackets in the UK at the moment, is 'Forever Living Products.'

      'FLP' has been fronted by a qualified Doctor, Peter Atherton, who has been going around telling osteo-arthritis sufferers that prescription anti-inflammatory drugs are effective, but life threatening, whilst 'FLP' wampum is just as effective, but perfectly safe.

      Dr. Atherton tells all the usual lies about 'FLP's MLM Income Opportunity' and even claims that thanks to 'FLP' he's been able to take early retirement from his medical activities.

      Dr. Atherton is evidently a functioning psychotic whose own Utopian delusions are contageous and potentially lethal, but few people seem to understand this, least of all law enforcement agents.

    2. Probably the greatest snake oil salesmen is Kevin Trudeau. Without credentials he has pulled off some of the biggest televised schemes in the History of the United States. Believers in his hocus pocus approach are a defacto cult. This, due to the fact that Trudeau has all the significant 'secrets' and is willing to make these known to anyone for a price. He is basically a tool, snake oil, salesman. His market, any number of delusional believers, The health myths are supposedly revealed (in part) in his books. Trudeau simply peddles 'bullshit.' and he has been exposed in every manner possible to man. Yet like other fathers of cults seeks to make a financial killing and escape detection. The marketing of herbal remedies is a pseudo science--similar to the auditing techniques in Scientology.

      It can be demonstrated that these charlatans are peddling are death.. Today I posted to my Quixtar Cult Intervention today a new post. A condemnation of 'religion' and 'business cults'. How these founders were psychotic madmen operating significant fraud and racketeering. Tthey hide behind lawyers and continue to proselytize those suffering from mental defect, believers of mythology..

      Most casual readers may never fully realize the menace these cults present. There is plenty of room in the world for free thinkers. There is plenty of space for others. Mass delusion make the intellectually castrated 'believers of anything'. I've noticed that thinking atheisst are best positioned to point out the fallacy of belief in mythology. It is only with an unencumbered mind, free to think for oneself and to dwell in truth

      Cults effectively pray on people who are essentially insane.

      There will always be the Atherton's and apologist for every cult; all these inhabiting a labyrinth, prisoners of their belief. The followers are defacto-slaves. They also exist in their 'bunker of belief' and insanity.

    3. On a lighter note - Merry Xmas 'quixtarisacult.'

      You and I know that most people find it very difficult to appreciate the danger that unrecognised cultism poses. Often this is because cults, and their instigators, seem to be more absurd than dangerous

      However, due to its global scale, the quantity of unlawful cash it has generated, and continues to generate, and the depth to which it has been allowed to infiltrate traditional culture, 'MLM Income Opportunity' racketeering, now poses one of the greatest cultic threats to democracy and the rule of law, since the demise of the so-called 'Third Reich.'

      The ultimate danger of the cult phenomenon is that, in times of mass-alienation (following wars, natural disasters, economic depressions, etc.), otherwise mediocre little individuals, who in different times would be easily-recognised as absurd charlatans, find it much easier to pass themselves off as authentic Messiahs and to acquire a mass-following

      When ever I watch videos of cult instigators in action, I'm always put in mind of those small creatures that instinctively puff up their bodies in order to fool larger predators and give them time to run away.

    4. Yes, Merry Xmas to you David.

      This is a season of hope. The world can be a better place. A pipe dream of mine perhaps. Encouraging things have developed although I remain somewhat jaded. The proliferation of Business Opportunity Fraud has become so entrenched in traditional culture, the likelihood of it every being completely eradicated is unrealistic. The war on drugs will never end, and neither will the debate against cult predators. The record is still being written.