OPEN LETTER TO MY DEAR LIFEVANTAGE FAMILY
Needless to say, the company and I are not on good terms right now. Quite frankly, Doug Robinson's email to the LifeVantage distributors is fraught with error and misrepresentation. In fact, he gave very little attention to me personally on this matter, hardly exchanging a word with me concerning it. He simply didn't have the time for me.
It is very well documented that the company was founded on a pledge to give shares, and a percentage of profits, to the charitable cause that it helped to start - rescuing orphaned and abandoned children from being abused, exploited, trafficked and enslaved. This was my "Why?" for joining Bill Driscoll in starting LifeVantage in the first place . . . and it is a cause that he graciously took on as his own and championed also. I'm sure he's getting many hugs in Heaven as a result of the 15,000 children who are free from slavery today because of our work together.
I will be more-than-willing to make public all that documentation, especially since it was all public information to begin with. This charitable pledge was also the basis for which I assigned my invention (not Dr. McCord's invention!) to LifeVantage. As soon as Bill and I assigned the patent to LifeVantage the pledge was sadly taken out of company materials, almost immediately. I naturally felt quite betrayed. Again, I can provide full documentation supporting this and it can be easily verified in the public record - through company press releases, investor presentation materials, SEC filings, etc. My resignation letter was also a matter of public record and alludes to the fact that this pledge - which was foundational to the company and my very involvement in it - needed to be kept, otherwise it would represent a promise broken to the original founders and all of LifeVantage's stakeholders. The erasing of the pledge from company materials was the main reason for my departure, which the original Board and transition management team can certainly attest to. I was quite the thorn in their sides, constantly verbalizing the need to keep the pledge. As such, there is no disputing the existence of the original commitment. It's simply undeniable.
I have been quite clear in my communications with LifeVantage management that the company still owes the charity now known as Traffic Jam 100,000 shares as part of its original pledge to match the Founders' donation of shares to that same charitable vehicle. This amount was supposed to match Bill Driscoll's gracious donation of 100,000 shares that came in a couple of months late. I'm sure if he were alive today he'd be greatly disappointed that the company never followed through on that commitment . . . and other commitments. Bill and I had our differences, but I also owe it to him as my brother-in-arms to get his shares matched, as he fully expected would be done when he made his generous gift in the first place. I owe it to his memory and legacy. And I owe it to his family - to see more children rescued because of his gift and defense of the pledge.
Despite the implication made in Doug's letter, I never approached the company to ask anything for myself. In fact, it was David Brown who suggested that I become a "Goodwill Ambassador" for the company with a job role that would give me a greater platform to share the "correct" company history and bring attention to the fine work of the Traffic Jam Campaign. It was through that process that compensation (as with any job) was sought to channel to Traffic Jam. I have quite a few emails that show that this compensation was for the purpose of supporting the work of Traffic Jam. I'm on record multiple times stating that I gave everything away . . . and would give it away again.
It is with great sadness that I write this on the eve of my Birthday - not exactly the "gift" I was hoping for . . . or hoping to give. Since 2008, I have been pleading with the company to correct its marketing materials - to reflect that Joe is not the "Inventor" or "Creator" or "Scientist behind" Protandim; that Protandim wasn't "developed after 40 years of research;" and that it didn't consist of a "laundry list" of 40 ingredients that Joe whittled down to the current formula. This is all simply untrue. I'm sure the company will try to put some sort of further spin on this now and try to convince people otherwise, but the truth is the truth and will always come out in the end. Darkness can't hide from the light.
The CORE botanical formula I forwarded to Joe included the current five botanicals, plus one additional one - all in the EXACT same proportions/weights as the current formula (all 1/3 of the original to get it into one pill), but with Milk Thistle subsequently bumped up at my suggestion. The other ingredients were part of an "all-in-one" (multi-formula) addition to that CORE botanical formula that I developed. Given such indisputable facts (and that the initial patent was filed one month before we even met Joe), how am I NOT the creator? How is Joe THE creator? The simple email record, and even a letter from Joe himself, clearly show that the current company communications are downright false and misleading . . . and, in the eyes of many, perpetuate an ongoing fraud - one that the SEC and FTC should be made aware of.
I initially stated that "nobody lied," desiring to give this current management team the benefit of the doubt and chalking it to human error and the discontinuity of company management in general. But then, month after month went by with the same erroneous materials still being widely distributed by the company, despite their own admission to me that Joe isn't the creator. These same materials are on the company website TODAY. I just don't get how a company can keep doing that, with full knowledge that the materials are sending the wrong message to current and new distributors. Many times I wrote emails (which I'd be happy to share with you) and each time nothing was done to take down the offending materials.
I'll be glad to once again share that whole "Protandim Development History" with you, which is backed up by meticulous documentation, the full email record, plus personal notes and commentaries. It spanned over 20 blog entries. I'm an "open book." I had nothing to hide. I shared it all.
I'm sure, though, that if I were to re-post Protandim's development history, the company would claim that I was then "giving away company secrets" and would once again try to silence the true history of the product's creation - MY creation of Protandim - that occurred for almost ten months before I even met Joe. The reality is that the company misrepresentations have gone on for so long now that they have no choice but to try to silence the truth. Just you wait and see. I can almost hear the "cease and desist" letter being typed up right now. And I can almost picture the new "watered-down" version of the history that the company will now come up with.
Doug mentioned in his letter that I found the company response unacceptable. Well, one of those unacceptable conditions was that I sign a new set of releases (to silence me telling the true Protandim story again) and that I pull down my "LifeVantage / Protandim Founder's Page" on Facebook which, of course, would be in addition to my blog that was already pulled down. Do you see the common theme here? Silence. Silence. And more Silence. I'm a high-justice person who stands for truth and integrity and, despite the company trying to buy that silence by offering for Traffic Jam to be featured at convention, I told them that I couldn't in good conscience do that. I'm not signing away my voice. My "Founder's Page" stays. My voice stays. And my appeal to get the company to meet its commitments . . . stays.
Do you want a company of integrity? Well, then, don't let them silence the truth any more. Protandim wasn't an "idea" that Bill and I took to Joe. It was a full formula that even Joe stated in a letter was almost at its "final embodiment." And the company's charitable pledges to Traffic Jam wasn't an "idea" that I just came up with. It was represented in multiple press releases and SEC filings and collateral materials. If you don't believe me, go to EDGAR and check yourself for at least the SEC part of it.
Ever wonder why the company took down all the archived press releases? Because it backs up what I'm saying and what I've been asking, not for myself, but on behalf of trafficked and enslaved children.
Given the erroneous wording in Doug's email, I can only assume now that the company has chosen the issue of the 100,000 shares to try to discredit me - making it sound like I've been making selfish and unreasonable demands of the company - while at the same time trying to discredit the true history of Protandim's development. Doug, of course, fails to mention in his email that the "great deal of material" that I posted on the Internet concerning "my view" of that development was 1.) Taken down by me as a sign of "good faith" and 2.) Was only posted in the first place after I reached out to the company multiple times beforehand - with no response.
I'm not sure how Doug can call it "my view" of Protandim's development anyway, considering that it included hundreds of emails (that were copied or sent to dozens upon dozens of people) as well as a number of other source documents that were widely circulated. It's not just "my view," as demonstrated by the substantiated, well-documented evidence. Of course, if the company has its way, you probably won't see any of that document and you'll just have to accept Doug's words that it was simply "my view" of events. Where was Doug during the development of Protandim? Who is he to challenge the clear evidence? Can he not see the patent was initially filed a full month before Joe even came into the picture? Does he not see whose name is on the patent?
For months, I've taken steps of "good faith" and have expected the company to do the same - to act in "good faith" to take down the erroneous marketing materials that were propagating that Joe was the inventor/creator of Protandim. Sadly, the company never reciprocated. The 100,000 share issue, unfortunately, has now become the easy point of contention that allows LifeVantage to not have to give credit to me for my invention. By making it so public and contentious, LifeVantage now has a convenient excuse to not have to include Bill and me in our rightful place in the company history. Something that should have been celebrated can now be easily swept under the rug because I'm the "bad guy" with "unreasonable" expectations who asked the company to honor its commitments. It now allows them to feel better about themselves somehow - for so long being negligent in getting the real story about Protandim's development out there; for so long casting me in a "false light" by commission and omission; for so long keeping up the erroneous materials to the point of malice and great hurt.
Company of integrity, Doug says? How about keeping its original promises to match the founders' shares to rescue children? How about keeping its original promises to give 10% of pre-tax net profits away for children and related humanitarian causes? How about filing an 8-K correction notice with the SEC every time the erroneous message of Joe being the "creator" went out? How about the promise to correct the development history while at the same time keeping up the offending materials that lead people to believe Joe was the inventor? How about David's promise to "make it happen" for me to have a "Goodwill Ambassador" role with the company, to help further the purposes of Traffic Jam? How about the company's constant encouragement for distributors to use the copyrighted material of ABC News for commercial purposes? How about all those big distributors who came over with down-lines allegedly "stolen" from Zrii? How about ALL the mentions of diseases when it's clearly not permitted in the marketing of a supplement?
Integrity? Company of integrity? Actions speak louder than words.
This is a very sad day for me folks. The "petition" that Doug mentioned in his letter was merely me throwing up my arms in bewilderment and wondering why on earth the Board wasn't fulfilling the matching pledge with a measly 100,000 shares when the evidence was so clear that 100,000 shares were missing (Believe me, I was asking for these shares long before the recent run-up in price). Even a math flunkey could see that the numbers didn't add up and 100,000 shares were still owed. Instead of bringing the match to completion, with an amount of shares that pales in comparison to the fat stock options the executives are getting, they chose to make this big issue out of it. It could have been a cause for celebration. Instead, the company has chosen to create yet another public relations nightmare. I didn't ask for that. They did it. And I'm baffled by it.
I started off with 5 million shares. Why on earth would I make all this fuss about 100,000 shares if it were not true? I'm a man of principle and the principle-of-the-matter is the shares are still owed. Gosh, by their reaction, you'd think I asked for the moon.
I merely responded by saying that I would put out the public information and ask distributors to let their voices be heard - for integrity and common sense. But somehow that's now something portrayed as me being devious and destructive. Hello? Why would I try to destroy the stock of the company I'm trying to get shares from? Hello?
Conversely, I don't believe the LifeVantage Board has acted in its fiduciary duty in this matter. I believe they are acting in a destructive manner. Why on earth would they bring about such a disruptive episode in the midst of such growth and promise? The missing shares are soooooooo obvious that they are missing from the match. I gave 200,000 shares. Bill gave 100,000 shares. the company gave 200,000 (matching mine) and, hello again, Bill's shares didn't get matched. 100,000 shares missing. You don't need a mathematics degree to figure that one out. Why would the Board put so much at risk - the airing out of this laundry - instead of just issuing the shares to help rescue kids?! And celebrating it!
. . . Unless, of course, they were needing something to make me look "bad" or "unreasonable" so they don't feel so bad about the incorrect company communications about who invented the product. And to release themselves from an obligation to correct that history in a way that celebrates Bill's and my involvement.
. . . Now they can just quietly remove the "creator" tag from Joe and hope that nobody notices. Just like they did when they removed the "inventor" tag from him.
Doug's letter concludes by asking distributors to not get involved in anything that "disparages" the company. Wow. I asked the company to honor its commitment with a measly 100,000 shares to stop 11 year-olds from getting raped 20 times per day; to stop 7 year-olds from having to shoot their parents before being forcibly conscripted into a child militia. Now, if any distributor goes along with supporting what is clearly in the public record, and honoring their own conscience to see the pledge fulfilled for children such as these, they are in violation of their distributor's agreement. Seriously?
Looks like the strong arm of silence rearing up again.
My apologies for rambling on in this open letter. Obviously I'm a passionate person - the same passion that brought Protandim into being in the first place. And, obviously, I'm quite upset right now - not just by these events, but how they've now been represented in Doug's email.
Unfortunately, it's the distributors and the children who lose out because of the Board's baffling conclusion and Doug's irrational choice to send out his email. Quite wreckless, if you ask me. Certainly not acting in the best interests of the shareholders. They turned a public relations celebration into a public relations nightmare.
I apologize to all of you that it has come to this. It certainly wasn't my intention.
I want you all to know that I love you all and do indeed wish you the best. I will STILL use my "Founder's Page" on Facebook as a place of encouragement and, given this recent turn of events, as a place of clarity and truth.
I really don't think there's much to add. We tend to agree with what Paul said about the ongoing fraud and we've had LifeVantage already attempt to try to silence the truth with legal threats.
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