Friday 20 March 2015

'Herbalife's (HLF)' new defender, 'CREW,' financed by George Soros 'Open Society'

More than half a century of quantifiable evidence, proves beyond all reasonable doubt that what has become popularly known as 'Network,' or 'Multi-Level, Marketing' is nothing more than an absurd, cultic, economic pseudo-science, and that the impressive-sounding made-up term 'MLM,' is, therefore, part of an extensive, thought-stopping, non-traditional jargon which has been developed, and constantly-repeated, by the instigators, and associates, of various, copy-cat, major, and minor, ongoing organized crime groups (hiding behind labyrinths of legally-registered corporate structures) to shut-down the critical, and evaluative, faculties of victims, and of casual observers, in order to perpetrate, and dissimulate, a series of blame-the-victim closed-market swindles or pyramid scams (dressed up as 'legitimate direct selling income opportunites'), and related advance-fee frauds (dressed up as 'legitimate training and motivation, self-betterment, programs, leads,' etc.).

Years before the intervention of Bill Ackman in December 2012, I was openly saying that the legally-registered, so-called 'Multi Level Marketing' company known as 'Herbalife,' has been part of an ongoing criminogenic phenomenon of historic significance.

'Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW),' claims to be a non-partisan watchdog organization that targets both Democrats and Republicans for corruption.

According to its own literature:

 'CREW is dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials—regardless of party—who sacrifice the common good to special interests.' 

Whenever I come across self-righteous individuals, and/or organizations, steadfastly pretending moral and intellectual authority (particularly, in Washington DC), one common-sense question immediately springs to mind, 'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?' - Who will watch the watchmen?

Talking of persons pretending moral and intellectual authority, 'CREW' has, in fact, been heavily-financed (to the tune of $800 000) by George Soros' 'Open Society,' and that fact, casts a huge doubt on the real motives behind 'CREW's' recent, reality-inverting public intervention in the ongoing 'Herbalife' vs Bill AckmanWall St. saga; for at the beginning of August 2013, it was reported that the Soros Hedge Fund had bought a large stake in 'Herbalife,' causing shares in the counterfeit 'direct selling' company immediately to jump 9%; for it was also implied that the messianic billionaire, George Soros, had personally been responsible for making this trade. 

                     George Soros                                     Bill Ackman

          Carl Icahn

The temporary re-inflation of the market price of effectively-valueless 'Herbalife' shares, meant that (on paper) Bill Ackman was around $300 millions down on his $1.2 billion short-selling bet that 'Herbalife' is a fake enterprise which will soon be closed down, whilst (again on paper) Carl Icahn and the Soros Hedge Fund, were hundreds of millions of dollars up on their own long bet against Bill Ackman's short position.

  Paul Sohn (b.1978)

In reality, the person who was largely-responsible not only for the Soros Hedge Fund buying a significant chunk of effectively-valueless 'Herbalife' shares, but also for making sure that the rest of the world knew about it,  is Wall St. whiz -kid,  Paul Sohn. He is reported as boasting to a gathering of fellow Wall St. whiz kids (whom, for obvious reasons, he wanted to pile in on the 'Herbalife' deal) that :

'George Soros broke the Bank of England..! He can break the back of Bill Ackman!'

More than a year later, young Mr. Sohn was no longer employed at Soros, but the following information was made public by 'CREW:'

'As part of its longstanding interest in how Wall Street investors manipulate the regulatory process for financial gain Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act with the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking documents on December 8, 2014. In light of reporting showing that hedge fund manager William Ackman orchestrated demands for investigation of Herbalife while maintaining a short position in the company’s stock, CREW’s FOIA requests with the FTC, SEC and DOJ seek to learn more about Mr. Ackman’s efforts.'

Anne Weismann accepts a Madison Award from the ALA on behalf of CREW (Photo Credit: ALA Washington Office)
Anne Weismann, Interim Executive Director of 'CREW'

Completely ignoring Bill Ackman's evidence-based analysis of 'Herbalife' as the effectively-valueless corporate-front for a criminal enterprise that continues to deceive, and damage, countless vulnerable individuals around the world, Anne Weismann (Interim Executive Director of 'CREW'), has instead suddenly asked Congress to investigate attempts by short sellers 'to manipulate the federal government for personal financial gain.'
' it’s William Ackman ginning up a federal investigation into Herbalife to make good on a billion dollar bet against the company.'
'Mr. Ackman and his hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management have gone to unprecedented lengths to urge federal regulatory action against Herbalife, a company in which Mr. Ackman and his fund have maintained a significant short position.'
'Mr. Ackman has admitted he just needed to get any one of the SEC, the FTC, the 50 attorney generals around the country, [or] the equivalent regulators in 87 countries, interested in investigating to succeed in driving the price down.'
According to documents obtained by 'CREW' through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Ackman’s lawyers regularly contacted Lois Greisman, the Associate Director of the Division of Marketing Practices at the FTC, with emails attaching articles and blog posts critical of Herbalife. 
CREW says that many of these messages 'appear to have been ginned up by Ackman or his supporters.
...'While it appears DOJ and the SEC may be investigating Mr. Ackman’s conduct, Congress needs to look at this issue. Many Americans already believe Wall Street is a rigged game. Watching billionaire hedge fund managers get richer by instigating government action can only lead to further decreased confidence in the country’s financial markets and government leaders.'

Herbalife Ltd.
NYSE: HLF - Mar 20 1:24 PM EDT
40.87Price increase2.93 (7.72%)

As a result of a recent, re-intensified, coordinated propaganda campaign to paint Bill Ackman as an unethical and dishonourable criminal, the market price of effectively-valueless 'Herbalife' shares has again begun to re-inflate.

Meanwhile, back in the adult world of quantifiable reality, after examining the available data, an entirely different picture emerges. In fact, when it comes to lobbying government, the 'Herbalife' racketeers have been massively outspending Ackman, and Pershing Square, over the last two years:

Lobbying expenses of 'Herbalife' and 'Pershing Square', in US$ and % of total assets

During  2013 and 2014, 'Herbalife' committed almost 5 times as much on lobbying the US government as Ackman did. When the lobbying expenses are calculated as a percentage of total company assets, the difference  for 2013 and 2014 (respectively), is that 'Herbalife' spent 37 and 26 times as much on lobbying as Pershing Square.

Not surprisingly, 'Herbalife' has significantly increased its lobbying budget since Ackman announced his short in December 2012.

Lobbying expenses of 'Herbalife' ($) in the USA, 2009-2014
For many years, 'Herbalife's' annual lobbying budget remained around $500,000, but during 2012 to 2013, this figure doubled and is expected to double again during 2013 to 2014. In the first half of 2014, 'Herbalife' had already spent more than $1 million on lobbying. This was already equal to the total lobbying budget for 2013.

Lobbying expenses of 'Herbalife' as a % of annual revenues, in the USA, 2009-2014

As a percentage of annual revenue, 'Herbalife's', lobbying expenses also quadrupled during 2012 - 2014, but that is not all there is to it; for while many large commercial companies have considerable lobbying budgets, one rarely finds one that spends as much of its revenue on lobbying as 'Herbalife.'

Lobbying expenses 'Herbalife' compared to competitors, % of revenue, USA, 2012-2014

'Herbalife' steadfastly pretends to be an entirely legitimate 'direct selling enterprise' and part of the 'nutrition industry.' In which case, 'Herbalife' should consider companies like Unilever and Procter & Gamble to be its main competitors. However, these companies spend only a fraction of their revenue on lobbying compared to 'Herbalife'. As a percentage of annual turnover, 'Herbalife' has lately been spending 3 and 5 times (respectively) as much annually as P&G and Unilever. In 2014, these highly-revealing figures have climbed to an estimated 7 and 12 times (respectively).

Furthermore, 'Herbalife' mainly lobbies on issues related to 'trade and finance', whilst authentic nutrition product manufacturers, such as Unilever and P&G, focus on health related issues.

When people are asked which industries they would expect to spend the most money on lobbying? - weapons, tobacco, oil and pharmaceuticals are the most often heard replies. Few people (if any) mention the nutrition industry. Yet, by comparing the lobbying expenses of 'Herbalife' to big tobacco, oil, and pharmaceutical companies, we find a remarkable picture.

Lobbying expenses of 'Herbalife' compared to high-rollers, USA, % of revenue, 2012-2014

The increase in lobbying expenditure made by 'Herbalife' following Ackman's short, has placed this alleged'nutrition company' on pole position in comparison to weapons manufacturers, tobacco producers and oil, and pharmaceutical, companies. While during 2012 'Herbalife' only managed to outspend Royal Dutch Shell and Philip Morris (from this list), subsequently, the 'Herbalife' racketeers have put even the highest (lobbying) rollers such as Pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, to shame. As a percentage of annual revenue, 'Herbalife' will lately spend more than twice as much on lobbying as Pfizer, 4 times as much as BAE Systems, 8 times as much as Philip Morris, and a staggering 24 times as much as Royal Dutch Shell.

The lobbying activity of 'MLM' racketeers has not been limited to the USA. Like Philip Morris, both 'Amway' and'Herbalife' have found their way to Brussels.

Not surprisingly, the lobbying activities of 'Herbalife' in the EU are slightly less shocking than in the USA. So far, Ackman's short has only made regulatory action imminent in the USA. THE 'Amway' bosses however, have committed a vast amount of stolen money to persuading EU officials to allow them to continue to thieve from the citizens of Europe - currently, almost 2 millions euros per year (and that is only what has been officially declared).

In the European Union, compared to authentic commercial companies and the highest (lobbying) rollers, both 'Herbalife' and 'Amway,' are on the lobbying pole position yet again. Although 'Herbalife' has been spending more than 5-10 times as much as Pfizer, Royal Dutch Shell, etc., on lobbying in the EU, Philip Morris did manage to spend slightly more than 'Herbalife.' However, 'Amway' massively outspent everyone. As a percentage of annual revenues (in $), the EU lobbying costs (in €) of 'Amway' are almost three times as high as those of Philip Morris, and a staggering 26 and 32 times (respectively) as much its alleged competitor, P&G, and weapons manufacturer BAE Systems.



- All total lobbying expenses for 2014 are projected (i.e. the amounts reported for the first half year were doubled).
- 2013 revenues were used to estimate  2014 revenues. 

- To avoid issues with exchange rate differences, the percentages for the EU were calculated using lobbying expenses in euros, and turnover in US dollars.

'Citizens for Responsibilty and Ethics in Washington is dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials—regardless of party—who sacrifice the common good to special interests.' 

Presumeably, the fact that Madeleine Albright is no longer in government, explains why those tenacious watchdogs at 'CREW' don't have the slightest interest in her financial connections with racketeers.

During the last 7 years, Madeleine Albright's company , 'Albright Stonebridge Group,' has received approximately ten millions  dollars from the 'Herbalife' mob. In return for this pile of stolen cash, Ms. Albright has betrayed every single value that she (and her late father) ever claimed to have stood for, by enthusiastically participating in committing fraud and obstructing justice. 

'Herbalife's' most-useful idiot, Madeleine Albright, and her associates, can have absolutely no moral or intellectual justification for holding onto the ten millions pieces of stolen silver they have received from the bosses of the 'Herbalife' racket.

David Brear (copyright 2015)


  1. "...all of the King's horses, and all of the King's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again!"

  2. quixtarisacult - This what we know 'Humpty Dumpty' has been doing in public, so imagine what he's been getting up to in private.

    Yesterday, I tried in vain to get Anne Weismann to give her version of events. I particularly wanted to know if she considers 'Herbalife' to be an entirely lawful enterprise?

    I also wanted to know what Ms. Weismann had to say on the subject of John Peterson - the exemplary multi-millionaire 'Herbalife' shill / under-boss who took the 'Herbalife' racket to Mexico and who was facing federal investigation for peddling so-called 'leads,' but who was found slumped in his upscale pickup truck, parked outside his upscale Colorado home, with a bullet in his head.

    It seems that Mr. Peterson couldn't simply be air-brushed out of the 'Herbalife' fairy story like so many other shills have recently. This was probably, because he knew too much.

    Local law enforcement agents said that Peterson had committed suicide, but the list of wealthy 'MLM' income opportunity bosses in whose interests it was to be rid this troublesome shill, is almost endless.