Brandon Cunningham is a LifeVantage Elite Pro 9 Distributor. One would expect that someone so high in the company to be an upstanding member of the sales organization. After all, if the people at the top are dishonestly scamming people, it's going to spread through the whole organization. This website has found time and again that this is the case. It would take years to go through every distributor's videos and point out all the logical fallacies. Brandon Cunningham is lucky enough to be one of the select few to be featured here. Why, because he's openly trying to suppress critical thinking.
It's with that in mind that I do a little dissecting of this video. Yes it's a long video, but I'll be covering a subset of it... at least in the first publishing of this.
Update: Brandon Cunningham is running scared now that he's been exposed for scamming others. He had the original video set to private. When I put up another copy, he had it taken down with a copyright violation claim. I can submit a counter-claim based fair use for the purposes of criticism, commentary, news reporting, and teaching. If I do they'll have to sue me to get it taken off. I'm very sure I'm in the right and I don't think they would sue me over it, but I don't currently see the point of playing cat and mouse. Brandon Cunningham is already exposed in the article and his action of having the video taken down is tacit admission that he's misleading and scamming others.
Here are some points where Brandon Cunningham tries to mislead his audience:
I'm going to start at towards the end, because he is asked by the audience how to address the criticism from the Protandim article on Lazy Man.
At the 1:36:25 point, an audience member asks for a "quick comeback for Lazy Man." Before getting to Brandon Cunningham's response, it's worth noting that these salespeople are looking for "quick comebacks", not to legitimately address the legitimate concerns of people who have done their research.
Brandon Cunningham's response is to use questions or in other words use the loaded question logical fallacy. He then goes into a full fledged ad hominem logical fallacy, attacking the source of the information instead of the validity of it. That Wikipedia article shows that ad hominem is the second worst type of argument in a disagreement after name calling. Brandon Cunningham combines both with his loaded questions about the name "Lazy Man." He then uses another loaded question to put forth an appeal to authority fallacy, suggesting that only a doctor could be reputable. This is ignoring the fact that a doctor, Joe McCord himself admitted that he didn't invent Protandim in a signed document.
Brandon Cunningham says (1:38:10) that he chooses to believe Harvard over "Lazy Man." That would make sense if Harvard had any opinion about Protandim. Instead LifeVantage Lied to SEC, Investors, Consumers about 'Harvard' Study. Here's something to note, no research in the "Harvard" study was conducted at Harvard. Brandon Cunningham is apparently too lazy to do the research and see that he was lied to. Most likely he just doesn't care because to face the truth would cause great internal conflict (see cognitive dissonance) about how he makes a living scamming others.
Brandon Cunningham goes on to point out that "he's done it to 15 companies" and then agrees with an audience member that he gets paid to do it. It's interesting that earlier in the presentation he mentioned that the industry has a ton of snake oil products. The logical conclusion here is that it is to Lazy Man's credit to help consumers steer clear of these companies and snake oil products. The audience member is wrong that Lazy Man gets paid to write these articles. No one is funding the articles, they are like any other article on the site or millions of other websites that depend solely on advertising. However, let's put the cards on the table. On one hand you have an unbiased person exposing a snake oil company and their lies and making the information available to the consumer for free. On the other hand, you have a biased Brandon Cunningham misleading consumers with logical fallacies to sell them snake oil. Which do you want to put your faith in?
At the 1:38:50 mark, Brandon Cunningham continues to ask loaded questions like, "Does he have enzymes in your body that he named like Dr. McCord?" Note that Dr. McCord did not name any enzymes in your body. Not that it matters because McCord isn't responsible for Protandim and destroyed his credibility by lying about it.
Cunningham then continues with the lies. He asks the rhetorical question of "Why are McCord's names on all the studies?" and answers it with "Hello, they have to be!" He goes on to describe how if he was an author of a book and gets a quote from someone else to include in the book he has to include a credit or he would get sued. In scientific papers, appropriate credit for a quote is given in references section. If you read any of the studies on Protandim, you'll see numerous such references. McCord's name appears as an author of the study, which indicates his core participation in the study. Once again Brandon Cunningham is lying to scam the audience.
At 1:40:25, Cunningham says, "If someone makes you feel silly for getting involved in this because of a blog, they just gave you the green light to make them feel silly for saying something stupid to you." Brandon Cunningham, this video of you saying stupid things just gave everyone the green light to make LifeVantage look silly for trying to deflect criticism and not address it.
At 1:40:45, Cunningham responds to a statement of "Dr. McCord is not the inventor" by asking the question, "Really, who is? How do you know that? Prove it. Put it back on them."
The answer is very simple. We know that Paul Myhill is the inventor and not McCord because LifeVantage itself has proved it multiple times. You can read the patent application of Protandim and see that the company listed Paul Myhill and William Driscoll as inventors. You can read LifeVantage's own co-founder Paul Myhill admit that McCord didn't invent it: "Because the core composition came from a very unlikely source – me – we initially decided to hide that fact for marketing purposes and instead rely on the impeccable background of Dr. McCord." Finally, there is the signed admission from McCord that Myhill and Driscoll invented Protandim. That's three sources from LifeVantage, including McCord, itself.
Brandon Cunningham, it has been extensively proven. Your inability to acknowledge it only goes to further prove that you are extremely dim-witted and/or purposely trying to scam people.
At 1:41:05 Cunningham says, "Your job should be to ask them questions... why they haven't done this." Since when is it a product salesman's job to ask a prospective customer questions about what he's selling? That's backwards. Maybe people don't want to do this, because they have a soul and a conscience. Maybe they don't want to make a living scamming others out their money by spreading lies and misleading them as you have done, Brandon Cunningham.
Getting back to the beginning
There's a lot of information in the video (it's two hours long) and this article is long. Nonetheless, I'll jump in a little into the video and point out a few more choose scam quotes from Cunningham.
At 24:15 - "You should be skeptical, because the opposite is gullible. It's not good to be gullible. Ask yourself this... if this is a scam, I guess ABC News is in on the scam. Ever thought of that way? If there is dirt to find, don't you think ABC News has more resources than you with Google... to find dirt? That's their job... to find dirt. It's not what happened."
Much of this misleading talk is explained in The Truth Behind LifeVantage’s ABC Primetime Video. First, the ABC News created the video in 2005, when they had no way evidence that LifeVantage and Dr. Joe McCord were Lying about the Creation of Protandim. It wasn't until years later that LifeVantage employees Paul Myhill and Joe McCord admitted to it. ABC doesn't have the benefit of a time machine to go back and fix a video that they released in 2005. The fact that they haven't been interested in covering Protandim in any way in the last 8 years should tell you something.
Second, ABC's job is get ratings. That includes inspirational and hopeful news pieces. You can tell at the beginning of the ABC video where they are very careful about not saying that it works. They say it's "science possibility", "a potential breakthrough", "down the road"... and that's just in the first 20 seconds of the video.
There was no breakthrough. There's no other media coverage, which is why they are pushing this 8 year old video. To quote Brandon Cunningham, "it's not what happened."
Brandon Cunningham, your logical fallacy is appeal to authority: "You said that because an authority thinks something, it must therefore be true." In this case the authority (ABC) did not say something was true, was very careful about stating it wasn't true, and didn't have the benefit of information that was revealed at a later time."
You are busted for scamming the audience about ABC.
At the 24:52, Brandon Cunningham says, "We now have many, many, many universities studying this product and that would mean they are in on the scam."
The truth is that no university is studying Protandim. There's no press release or any communication from any university stating an interest in Protandim. Researchers who are affiliated with universities may have done research, but that is different from the universities themselves stating interest and approving such research. Additionally, Paul Myhill, Inventor of Protandim, Admits Science is for Marketing. Those who read the studies and understand them can tell that they are full of fluff. In fact, Dr. Harriet Hall breaks down the ridiculousness of one "study" in comical detail.
Brandon Cunningham then shows he's completely clueless by misstating pubmed.gov as govmed.gov and then crossing out govmed.gov and making it medmed.gov. This illustrates why MLM is a terrible means of selling health products... the top sales people know how to scam not the "science."
Once he figures out the Pubmed.gov site, he fails to mention that the FDA considers using such a source in selling the product to be illegal in marketing supplements. Specifically the FDA has sent this this warning letter to Nature's Pearl. It specifically states:
"When scientific publications are used commercially by the seller of a product to promote the product to consumers, such publications may become evidence of the product's intended use. For example, under 21 CFR 101.93(g)(2)(iv)(C), a citation of a publication or reference in the labeling of a product is considered a claim about disease treatment or prevention if the citation refers to a disease use, and if, in the context of the labeling as a whole, the citation implies treatment or prevention of a disease."
You can read the warning letter further, but it is clear that Brandon Cunningham is breaking the FDA Act in citing Pubmed in conjunction with marketing Protandim.
At the 26:40 mark, Brandon Cunningham displays his ignorance by citing that Cherry 7-Up has "antioxidant" on it because it contains a minor amount of cherry. The truth is that Cherry 7-Up has "antioxidant" on it because it is fortified with vitamin E, not because it has cherries in it. It took 10 seconds to Google that information form 7ups website. Maybe Cunningham should give researchers using Google and other tools a little more credit.
At the 28:40 mark, Brandon Cunningham makes the point that he hadn't previous heard of Pubmed.gov, because he's not a doctor. That's the point... the information there isn't for the average person to read. For those people, Pubmed gives a guide to what works . Specifically it point out that the best information is clinical trials, which Protandim fails on every account according to ClinicalTrials.gov, a site with the U.S. National Institute of Health. Why isn't Brandon Cunningham addressing this? Because he's trying to scam you.
At the 29:15 mark Brandon Cunningham asks why universities aren't studying his fish oil or multivitamin. He point out that he was typing in name-brands. This is clear lunacy. It's like suggesting that research on milk doesn't apply to Lucerne milk, Land O'Lakes milk, and Hood milk, because the search result didn't come up when looking for specific brands. He then falsely concludes that universities were studying Protandim (again they are not) because it reduces oxidation where his fish oil and multivitamin do not. Actually multivitamins are antioxidants... and are more well studied than Protandim.
Brandon Cunningham, your strawman logical fallacy is busted.
Around the 37:00 minute mark, Cunningham states that at GNC, Protandim was selling at one bottle every other month. That's proof-positive that there's no demand behind the product without people making illegal medical claims like those that Cunningham has done. Cunningham then goes on to say that LifeVantage is traded on the Nasdaq and that you don't get there if you are a scam. It's worth noting that Enron was a much, much, bigger company at something nearing $100 billion dollars... and it was a scam. It's worth noting that Bernie Madoff's $50 billion pyramid scheme was busted. Billionaire Bill Ackman has put a billion dollars of his own money, enough to buy LifeVantage four times over, into showing that Herbalife, another publicly traded MLM, is a scam.
Clearly Brandon Cunningham is mistaken in assuming that something on the Nasdaq can not be a scam.
I could go on and I may update this article with more coverage. However, as you can tell, I've covered about 15 minutes of the video and exposed numerous misleading information, including outright lies, from Brandon Cunningham. No one with even moderate intelligence should believe what Cunningham is saying in this presentation.
Originally posted 2013-09-05 18:06:33.
This post involves:
... and focuses on: