View Full Version : "Trophy Husband #2 - My Time Observing the 1% Feeding On The 99%"

Doc Bunkum
09-07-2014, 10:49 AM
Chapters from Diederik van Nederveen's unpublished book: "Trophy Husband - My Time Observing the 1% Feeding On The 99%". Chapters Sandie probably thought that had long since vanished from the internet.

Sorry, Sandie, not so.


Chapter 1.
Meeting Sandie

Cancun, Mexico, Valentine’s Day 1995

Cheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do blasted from the speakers, overpowering the waves crashing on the nearby beach. I’m not a gifted dancer despite a fairly successful stint in a ballroom dancing class. Seeing me on that Club Med dance floor would have killed any woman’s desire even to ask for my name, so I kept my distance. Through the fog-machine haze that engulfed the gyrating bodies scattered here and there, two women caught my attention. Their heads radiated a chemically induced hue, and a black-light-enhanced mixture of erratic laser beams bounced from their bottle-blonde manes. Both darkly tanned women were dressed in tiny sundresses that enhanced their curves as they twisted and writhed, as if consciously aware of being observed by everyone. They stood out, not only because of their appearance, but because there simply weren’t many single attractive women in their prime at this place — confident, made up, and ready to seduce anyone to their liking.

My friend David shouted over the music, “Hey, D, do you see that woman over there? I think that’s Sandie T….” I couldn’t hear the rest, and even if I did, I wouldn’t have known who she was. I didn’t really care since none of the 4Skin distributors had really connected with me yet. I do remember, however, meeting the blonde woman who had given a presentation earlier in the day.

At first I knew her only as a woman connected with 4Skin who, while taking care of business, liked to have some fun dancing. And that, too, she did like a pro. I had no reason to seek her out and speak to her, but David seemed to think otherwise and gestured for me to follow him as he approached the dance floor. The ladies smiled and kindly shook David’s hand. David introduced me to Sandie first, the shorter of the two. All I could hear was, “Hi … I’m Sandie … (garble) … son.” I couldn’t hear much else. With all the action going on around us, it was hard to have a conversation, so I politely shook their hands and turned around. David stayed behind to dance with them and seemed to be having a great time.

With David's hard work, determination and diligence, he had beat out over 200,000 distributors in North America to win the Grand Prize of the "Success, Sun and Salsa" incentive contest held by Utah-based 4Skin Enterprises. The Grand Prize consisted of an all expense paid trip for two to Club Med Cancun, Mexico for eight days with the corporate officers. I just thought David was being kind and had no idea how accepting his offer of a fun filled trip in the tropical sun would end up changing my life forever. Now as we stood there watching these gyrating, sweat-soaked, hot-blooded women, it shouldn’t be surprising that the thought of steamy sex entered my mind, only to be quickly suppressed. I reminded myself that I had gotten on that airplane to give 4Skin a serious try and not to allow my time in Mexico to be distracted by a cheap one-night stand. If this 4Skin deal was even half of what it promised to be, life was going to be good!

I pulled myself together and headed to the bar seeking a diversionary refuge. The only people there were Scott S., the Vice President of 4Skin Distributor Support at the time, and his wife, who was sipping an orange juice. I smiled, remembering my conversation with them earlier that day when I joined them for a chat on the beach. Scott couldn’t have been more out of place. A respectable Mormon who had flown all the way from the land-locked Utah desert, he sat shell shocked on a blazing white beach gaping at dozens of stunning young women whose bare breasts were everywhere on view. His eyes strained to sharpen their focus as his Mormon-censored mind struggled to take in a whole new range of images that rattled his modesty to its very core.

It may have been because of my European upbringing, or the behind-the-scenes co-ed changing arrangements, standard practice at fashion shows, that rendered immune to the scene. As a Dutch National I was used to the sight of a beach filled with beautiful girls who loved to play their innocent game, flaunting their female attributes to draw a reaction from eager-eyed men, sucking up visuals of topless beach babes. Besides, during this trip I woved to not frolic with or nibble on the opposite sex, as much as that resolution was noble, it was naive.

No man is totally immune from the female art of seduction. I simply had not met a woman interesting enough to become involved. As I laid back in the sand contemplating all the amazing possibilities of the 4Skin opportunity that, if the stories were all true, were in easy reach of anyone daring to dream big, I could practically hear Scott’s pale, precancerous skin singe in the hot sun. Unaware of any potential medical trauma, he blandly talked to me about how he’d made it big in 4Skin and about how deeply committed he was to the Mormon faith, whose message he eagerly shared with me, assuming that anyone who gave him a chance was interested.

“Ah, you’re from Holland. Well, we have many missionaries in Europe too, you know.” Sure, I had seen these chaps riding their bikes wearing their white shirts, neckties, and little black nametags staring at every Dutch girl that came their way. How could they have known that bras were optional in Holland?

At the bar, hours after that brief conversation with him earlier that day, I knew all I needed to know. Scott was a deeply religious man, and it must have been an enormous effort for him to resist the inner voice of desire.

As we met again, we continued the small talk — as much as two guys from such vastly differing backgrounds could muster up. The conversation would have been completely uneventful if he had not asked the tentative question, “Umm, so, Diederik, how is it that all those naked breasts on the beach don’t seem to affect you? Those ladies were sure looking at you!”

I laughed out loud. It was telling that the whole time he was lecturing me on the discipline and commitment required to carry out an expected two-year mission for his Church, what he’d really been thinking about was the plethora of iconized symbols of femininity on that Mexico beach. The breasts obviously made a big impression on him.

I looked at him and said, “They don’t do anything for me other than make me thirsty.” I took another sip of my orange juice and grinned, cocking my eyebrow up. I wish I had been wearing a standard issue Mormon CTR ring (Choose The Right) that I could flash at him to remind him of his covenants. Scott didn’t know how to respond, so I decided to dispense a little more wisdom, risking permanently jeopardizing my chance at friendship with this friendly but ultra-uptight and artless corporate executive.

“Scott, what are you, about six-foot-two? Well, I’m sure you got that way because your mommy didn’t hesitate to press her overflowing breasts into your mug right after you popped out.”

His wife, who had been listening but had kept quiet, burst out laughing, and Scott, with beet-red cheeks and struggling to recompose himself, suddenly hopped down from his bar stool to intercept a blonde woman approaching.

I turned to see who it was that made Scott snap to attention, as if he’d been curtly addressed by a Field Marshall. My eyes connected with a woman who turned out to be the same short blonde I had met on the dance floor. Now we could actually see each other unobstructed by smoke and disco glare. It was the next few moments that ignited all the forbidden pheromones in my body, a process that would prove too powerful to be squelched no matter how hard I fought.

Now we had a clear view of each other, but we had not connected on a deeper level, though I had the uncanny feeling that we had encountered one another somewhere before, as if in a former life. It wasn’t the first time I felt this way when meeting someone who would turn out to have a dramatic impact on my life. One such individual was a man named Chris who was like a second father to me. Without knowing me well, he once entrusted me with his multi-million-dollar yacht to sail from Singapore to Athens. When I asked him if he was sure he wanted to give a twenty-one-year-old Dutch kid command of his yacht, he said, “I’ve seen enough of you to know that you will never disappoint me. Go get the job done.” What would meeting Sandie lead to, if it was destined to be another adventure?

Scott courteously made the introduction. “Diederik, this is Sandie T.” Ah, yes, that was her name. This time I heard it all. He said her name as if I was supposed to know who she was. I could tell from her firm handshake and her unwavering gaze that she was confident and used to being in control. I guessed she was probably in her late thirties, definitely older than I was at twenty-nine. I liked that. Older women had their lives together. They knew how to forge meaningful relationships. They didn’t just rush into things.

It wasn’t so much her overall cuteness that caught my interest, but rather the intelligent twinkle in her eyes. Her low-cut sundress certainly did what it was designed to do, and indeed it took some effort for me to take my eyes off of her, but there was something more to this alluring woman. Whatever it was, Scott left us barely enough time to exchange niceties as he ushered her away, perhaps sensing impending disaster.

They left the bar, and I decided to wander off on my own, check out the facility, and catch up with my friend David. After ten minutes or so I still hadn’t found him, so I returned to the lobby, where I spotted Sandie, who had apparently escaped Scott’s care. Sitting all alone on a bench as if she had been waiting for me to catch up with her, she started with a flirtatious, “So Diederik, what are you up to tonight?”

I sat down next to her and smiled as she brushed her cascading blonde hair off a perfectly tanned shoulder, as if to give me a better look at the deep exposed cleavage I was trying to ignore. It was then that I sensed I was being lured in. I had seen it before. Whenever women act as if they are just shaking their hair, adjusting their blouse, or picking up a handbag they have carefully positioned so as to have to bend down to retrieve it, they know full well how such tactical maneuvers expose their body to the lucky man they’ve decided should be allowed to share their bed that night. If he is up for it. This was Sandie’s clever way of allowing me to think I was about to conquer her, when in fact she had set the trap.

Guided by my sense of having met an old friend, I said, “I’m not sure. I haven’t planned anything. I’m just waiting for my friend David. What about you?”

I had watched her speak that morning about the latest 4Skin products, so I assumed she was a product developer and asked her if she knew whether 4Skin was opening any markets in Europe. She said she didn’t know anything about the foreign markets and instead asked me about what I had been doing the past few months. It was obvious she didn’t want to talk about 4Skin, and she put on her “Well, are you going to tell me?” face. I figured I might as well tell her about my latest part-time occupation, acting in films and helping my friend with her sports massage business for runway models, female body builders, and endurance athletes. I was working as a model, actor and had been an athlete all my life, and my friend called me whenever one of her clients had an injury and needed deep-tissue treatment that involved stretching or weight-training exercises. I realized I’d gotten myself into trouble when Sandie gave me a mischievous look and playfully responded, “Ahem … maybe you should come up to my room and give me a massage to rub out all the knots from dancing.”

My mind nearly exploded! This woman was forward!

None of my professional clients had ever given me that kind of look — suggesting I join them in their bedrooms — and I stammered, “Won’t that draw a little suspicion from the corporate figures?”

“Oh, no one will ever know. I highly doubt my job at 4Skin will be at risk by having a little innocent fun,” she quickly assured me.

I looked at her as she stood up with a “Let’s get to it” pose, and before I had a chance to protest, she headed straight for the elevator, assuming I would follow, which I did. While we rode up in the elevator, I noticed her checking me out from top to bottom without the slightest reservation. Her room was a few doors down and across the hall from the room I shared with David, and I thought I’d have to remind myself to be very quiet after the massage so I wouldn’t wake him up.

To my surprise, upon entering Sandie’s room I saw another woman sitting on one of the beds. She immediately stood up wearing only her bra and panties and stretched out her hand as if it was no big deal. At that point, I recognized her as the other woman from the dance floor. Things started to come together.

“Diederik, this is my friend Becky. She does my hair and goes on trips with me. I hope you don’t mind. She’ll be sleeping soon. Don’t worry.”

I wasn’t worried, but rather relieved. I was still holding firm to my stance of total abstinence from sex with strangers. I didn’t expect to end up in Sandie’s arms, and I knew as little about Sandie as I knew about Becky — other than that both women had no trouble running around in various states of undress in front of me, a total stranger. I sat down in a chair and answered some of their questions, and once our initial hesitations faded and we all felt comfortable with the situation, Becky began playing around a bit. She bent over to show me her sunburned bottom and joked, “It got a bit too much attention from the sun today.”

“I am sure it wasn’t just the sun,” I said as I picked up on a hint of competitive female posturing. She confirmed my suspicion when she quipped to Sandie, “Maybe I should have invited that stud from earlier … now you’re having all the fun here!”

Now my mind went to full alert. All the fun?

Becky quickly excused herself, then crawled under her sheets a few feet away and turned toward the wall as if to say, “Don’t mind me. Have at it.”

As if our rendezvous had been planned in advance, Sandie lit a few candles, turned down the lights, pushed “play” on a stereo unit, and then moving with the rhythm of the soft tunes that filled the room, she stripped down to nothing. She wiggled to the bed, bent forward, and proceeded to lie on her back, facing me, offering up every square inch of her body for the taking.

“I’m ready for that massage you promised,” she said unabashedly.

My head screamed, This is unbelievable! Didn’t I vow not to do this?

As I stood at the end of her bed, I saw out of the corner of my eye that Becky had turned to face us but kept her eyes closed and was still playing her innocent “I’m sleeping; don’t worry about me” game.

I looked down at Sandie’s naked, tanned body, as she offered me a shameless and enticing view of her shaved female parts. Then my eyes were drawn upward to her two large breasts. Sandie’s inviting smile and stretched-out arms removed any doubt that I was about to hurt my chances of success at selling 4Skin products after word hit the executive office that I had taken advantage of one of their marketing employees. Oblivious to my internal torment, Sandie’s mind was not filled with overpriced shampoos, vitamin capsules, or skincare goods, but was anticipating much more fun than any of the 4Skin products could ever offer… and so I made my decision. I was sold.

With no expectations of a long-term relationship encumbered by the refinements of love, I was determined to give her my best and asked her to turn over. I started to rub her back and shoulders, working my way down to her feet. After about thirty minutes, she turned onto her back and said, “How about this side? I think my legs and calves are all better now.”

I complied with her request, and at the first slight touch Sandie was squirming and bucking like a confined thoroughbred about to be released onto an open range. She couldn’t wait to be catapulted to higher plains of excitement, and it didn’t take long for our consummation to take place in plain sight of Becky, who was no longer pretending to be asleep. It was actually a turn-on to know that she was well aware of what was going on while quietly listening to the deep moans that roared from her friend’s gasping throat. Like any forbidden pleasure, my excitement was only intensified by the fear of being caught and reprimanded — which only added to the pleasure of a straightforward erotic sex session with a very willing virtual stranger who wanted nothing more than to receive what I had to offer.

Exhausted and soaking with sweat, I stared at Sandie when she whispered, “That was something else. That’s exactly what I needed.”

(con't in Part 2)

Doc Bunkum
09-07-2014, 10:51 AM
Chapter 1. (con't)

Meeting Sandie

I kissed her goodnight and silently snuck out. While dripping all over the hallway and quietly opened the door to my room, only to be greeted by David’s inquisition, “What … or rather who did you do? For a moment I thought you must have gone for a jog, but that look in your eyes tells me you snagged yourself one of these beach bunnies.”

I just laughed and headed for the shower and hoped he would be sleeping when I returned, but no. He was very much awake and wanted to know everything.

“You met up with who?” his voice squealed as he asked.

“That blonde from the dance floor.”

“Sandie? Sandie T.? Oh my God! Don’t you know who she is?”

“Yes, she works in the Marketing Department. That’s all I know. What’s the big deal?”

David then explained that if it really was Sandie that I had been with, then I ought to know she was one of the co-founders of 4Skin. He was quiet for a minute, and when I was about to slip into a well-deserved coma he said, “Now I get it. I saw how she was looking at you during brunch. I’ll know for sure tomorrow morning when I lay eyes on you two at breakfast.”

Before drifting off, I gave some thought to what might happen if anyone found out about our secret meeting since I knew that, among Americans especially, this kind of behavior was considered highly improper for a top executive who was meant to set an example for hundreds of thousands of 4Skin distributors worldwide. I vowed to remain silent and not be too openly friendly with Sandie so as not to complicate things for her.

I might have been able to hold onto that resolution if she hadn’t come up and kissed me right on the lips the next morning when we sat down for breakfast, with a hundred distributors staring at us. I still tried to play it easy, but there was no stopping her. She didn’t seem to care one bit that everyone watched as she held my hand, kissed me, and played around with me all that day and every other day of the week-long event. We became inseparable, and our time in Mexico was spent largely ignoring the critical eyes of 4Skin staffers, as well as members of the distributor force, who had more than a casual interest in our blossoming love affair.

During the afternoon of the following day, I learned that in the world of Sandie, limits are not fixed. I’m no stranger to a little public friskiness. However, she was pushing all limits of restraint when she wrapped her legs around me in a stranglehold as we stood in the underground river, offering a refreshing change of scenery to all the 4Skin distributors swimming and floating by, all of whom were surely aware of the nature of that stranglehold. While it was exciting and fun, I did worry about the impression she was giving to the people who looked up to her as a powerful and influential leader, the bearer of their future fortunes, and I wondered what else was to come. She was a celebrity to these people, and it would take time for me to understand that her callous disregard for the opinion of others stemmed from her seniority in the company and her chronic aptitude to push matters beyond the boundaries of ethical tolerance. Sandie did whatever, whenever, and whomever she wanted. I wondered how long this could go on. Though surprised at her audacity, I was also relieved that I could let go of my worry about upholding her corporate and personal image, since there was no one better at sustaining its glamorous illusion than Sandie herself.

To show my prowess in areas other than Sandie’s bedroom, I tried to hold my own on the tennis court. Making up for my lack in skill, I slammed the balls so hard they got stuck in the chain-link fence and even once in the frame of my tennis racket. Feeling like a clown, I looked around. “Where o where did the ball go?” I’m a lousy tennis player, just never cared for it. In any case, I did notice that whenever I hit my serve correctly, there was no way anyone could return it, not even the seasoned players. There was hope, but I wasn’t going to gamble on it, so I suggested we do something else that I knew wouldn’t embarrass me too much.

Sandie was wearing shorts and an open-top sun visor, the kind I often see American retirees and Asians wear. Dressed for adventure as well, I suggested we board a little sailing sloop and set out on the Mexican waters. It would be a great way to escape the nosy 4Skinners and conjure up some memories of my ocean crossings. Everything would have been great if the vessel had been technically sound, but I failed to double-check the hold and drainage plug. About thirty minutes before we were standing up to our waists in water, I managed to give Sandie a first-rate demonstration of how anyone with experience can navigate a yacht a few inches buoys and jetties, and we headed out toward the open ocean, past the outer reef, hoping to take her over some large waves. Sandie loved it and drenched me in adoration — but then so did the water that gushed into the boat. We were sinking, there was no doubt about it. A half-mile out on the ocean I also realized that this fascinating new woman in my life was good at many things, but not at sailing, so I kindly asked her to step overboard to help reduce the excess weight. Now, everyone knows it’s treading in dangerous waters to intimate to a woman that her weight is a life-threatening problem, but lacking any other option to keep the boat afloat, I had to take the risk. To this day, I admire the fact that Sandie didn’t question me at all and grabbed hold of the line I handed her, leaving her to be dragged to shore like shark bait. And so, there we were, my future wife and the mother of our daughter-to-be, floating inches above the reef that I’d avoided to the best of my ability. Back on dry land, the near-drowning experience had failed to turn our burgeoning love affair into a shipwreck. We gave each other a long passionate kiss, a kiss that bonded us more than any of the kisses that had come before.

There was no denying the strong attraction we felt for each other. Whenever we were alone, we had lengthy conversations about our travels, previous relationships and the lessons found in them, life in general, and ideas about a world that was barely able to offer enough room for our insatiable hunger for adventure. One evening, as the light of the setting sun gave way to billions of stars, we engaged in yet another memorable romantic adventure. On the rocks at the end of the beach, in plain sight of all, we offered to anyone who cared to take their eyes off the sunset a peek at the anatomical differences we enjoyed so shamelessly. Not everyone approved, but it became clear to me that Sandie was really something else, and that in going along with her plans I was becoming more and more accepting of them.

Spent and dazed, we adjusted our clothing and walked further along the beach, then laid down and talked to each other about our past relationships. My thoughts went to an actress named D.D. with whom I had enjoyed a close friendship with benefits. She had the odd yet exciting habit of sneaking into my bedroom at the most unexpected hours of the night and just ravaging me. Since she was also dating actor Liam Neeson on the side, I didn’t harbor any illusions that our wonderful friendship would ever lead to a committed bond. Two people immersed in their own separate lives in a town that would dismiss us in seconds if we for one moment let true love distract us from the game of survival never had a chance at true romance. However, despite all that, D.D. had class and was a great singer with a rare beauty nourished by a warm heart that could melt not just men, but anyone who met her.

Sandie didn’t admit to dating anyone else at that time, though she referred to a guy named Ron with whom she had recently broken up. These conversations encouraged me to think that a relationship between me and Sandie may have a glimmer of hope, and on the morning of our departure there was no denying that we both felt a strong connection to each other. I kept the rush of emotion to myself when I noticed that whenever Sandie looked at me, her eyes showed more than mere lust and desire. While none of it made sense, we were falling in love.

Doc Bunkum
09-07-2014, 01:25 PM
I believe "Cognitive Dissonance" was Chapter 2 in his book. The order of the chapters kept changing from time to time, but this excerpt, I believe, was destined to be Chapter 2.


Chapter 2.

Cognitive Dissonance

The huge gains of a few are riding on the backs of millions who lose.

In a strong Japanese accent she said in broken English, “Me no longer do Nu Skin, solly, solly… me no good do MLM… me now wolking finance in bank… Nu Skin no good for me…bye bye” Mrs. Ayumi’s voice bleated through the receiver.

She was number 578 on the list of former Nu Skin distributors I called. All of them had left the business. I looked at the bag on the floor; there were at least another 150 cards and I could call all the numbers if I didn’t lack the energy. For three weeks I had dedicated two hours per day and called the Nu Skin distributors who had left their cards in Sandie’s office, or eagerly handed them to me directly during my trips to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Holland, France, Belgium, Sweden, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, Hong Kong, Florida, New York, Chicago, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and, during the Nu Skin conventions, downtown Salt Lake City; and all the many other countries and places I ran into Nu Skin distributors. At the time it had been about five years and I had no idea what happened to these people. The numbers were out-of-service or the message I received was always along the lines of: “Me no longer do Nu Skin, me velly solly.”

In some cases I got lucky, several people in Europe actually took a bit longer to express their frustration.

“What? Nu Skin? Oooh man, sorry to disappoint you but I left that business years ago.”

Yes, you and everyone else I’ve talked to, I thought to myself.

Distributors who didn’t change their numbers or didn’t mind speaking of their loss told me variations of the following: “Yes, I did fly into the Salt Lake Nu Skin convention; that was wild, what an awesome show!”

“OK, so you flew in all the way from…” I’d insert the appropriate homeland such as Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong, etc., “to be part of the big event; how did things turn out for you after that? Are you happy?’’

“Yes, I did and yes, I was. I did do all of that and a lot more and then my down-line just collapsed. It simply wasn’t working. I did everything my up-line told me to do. I even spent $15,000 to make it work – well, to make it look as if it was working. You know, as a leader you have to look like you are actually making money for anyone in your cold-market to even sign-up.”

“I’ve heard that a lot,” I’d reply. “What have you been doing since?”

“Anything but MLM. I found websites that spell out the details and now I understand the deception. I have called all the people in my down-line and apologized.” Interesting concept; apologizing to the people who were unwittingly pulled into Nu Skin.

What he told me complements the statements of many others. One lady from Chicago, who did not want me to ever mention her name because she met some of the Roneys, said:

“I only invested about $2,000, maybe $3,000, but I lost ALL of my friends and estranged several family members and wasted about two years of my life. It is simply impossible to do unless you are one of the early birds or are a Tillotson, Roney, McDermott or are in any way related to the founders. Trust me, I’ve done what I was told to do; I talked to anyone with a heartbeat and invited them to meetings where my up-line would ramble through typical hyped-up, deception-infused opportunity pitches only to watch the people I signed up quit within a year.”

The conversation I had with former Hawaiian Blue Diamond Marc B. was the most rewarding experience because I never thought that once you reach that magic level of ‘immunity’ things could turn against you.

It went as follows:

“Hey, Marc, how are you?”

He and I engaged in small talk for a minute or so before I asked, “How was it possible for your organization to deteriorate, and what happened that made you get out of Nu Skin?”

He said, “After Frank Kelley, the Attorney General of Michigan, attacked Nu Skin in 1991, calling it an illegal pyramid scheme, my group lost momentum and collapsed. I couldn’t keep the growth going especially when Barbara Walters went on the air with her rants against MLM.’’

“What was your best month’s income bonus?”

“The best I ever did was $135,000 but it is hard to keep fifteen frontline executives going with the enormous attrition rates.”

Marc’s dilemma wasn’t unusual. Attrition, when distributors drop out and are not replaced with more warm bodies, is the biggest detriment to the MLM world.

After that call I took a look at the charges the attorney general made and noticed that he was of course right to call it an ‘illegal pyramid scheme’, but that he failed to point at all the condemning facts! One of them is the requirement to order $100 worth of Nu Skin per month in order to stay ‘active’. Blake Roney and the then Nu Skin spokesperson Jason Chaffetz cleverly never mentioned that.

In other words, yes they are right, Nu Skin seems to be a product sales driven company, but the reason why most of the products are sold is because of the ‘opportunity’; not because people really need $100 worth of mediocre products.

It would only take one attorney general attending an opportunity meeting to become absolutely convinced that the deal is stacked with misleading claims, high-pressure, and blatant lies. (Excluding Mark Shurtleff, Utah's AG, who actually supported new laws allowing MLMs to continue with their deceptive practices and to whom Nu Skin contributed $5,000.*)

A corporate investigator contacted me recently about Nu Skin and one of the first things she said was, “I attended a Nu Skin meeting and a woman stood up and proclaimed she was going to quit her job as a city bus driver and dedicate all her time and money to Nu Skin. I thought, ‘Oh my God, she’s going to lose everything.’ The whole deal was sickening and so obviously misleading.”

This is exactly the same reaction Linda, my friend and forensic scientist in Oslo, said after attending a meeting. “The whole thing reeked of brainwashing and deceit. It is all about ‘getting people on the product’ and ‘signed up’ and then getting to their ‘warm market’; essentially just sucking them dry of their money, time, and friendships!”

“This is a sick business,” said another ex Nu Skin distributor who described how she “lost nearly everything while Sandie, Nedra, Blake, Steve and the other head honchos raked in the millions. I didn’t get it until it was too late.”

Through her I saw the ocean of other "opportunity" seekers, many of which told me how they bought new suits and dresses, borrowed money to pay for their home-office supplies, computers, phone-lines, tickets, hotels, food, products and camera's to record what was to be the crowning event, their turbulent start to financial independence.

I still see them standing in their impeccable get-up's, proclaiming in the presence of friends: ''I will be the next Hawaiian Blue Diamond, you wait and see Mr. D., you wait and see!"

At the time of my call to them, years since their brave and joyous proclamations, there was nothing left of the spunk and jubilation, their voices were drab, and drained from trying and ''never giving up.''

Reduced to symbols of failure, the hardest stigma for any Asian to endure, they reluctantly described their losses with a sadness more fitting among mourners among a funeral progression.

After hearing a variation of these stories at least 500 times I had really heard enough!

I thought about these people, how they, like me at one point, stood at the onset of their Nu Skin adventure, signing the distributor contract forms that clearly limit their rights to ''go after'' Nu Skin, at a time when they stand, stripped of their ''warm-market'' (all of their friends and family, who they harassed to sign-up too), ending up desolate and broke. Nu Skin took everything they legally can take from them, leaving them behind unable to fight back unless they too organize a class action suit with other victims like Natalie Capone did in Canada.

A senior Nu Skin insider told me that when Blake Roney became aware the hard reality of discontent could grow into a potential fall-out he dispatched a team to research the mental and emotional state of the former distributors; people who left the company after failing. Blake really wanted to get to the bottom of it in order to gauge the liability of the silent danger that broods among unsatisfied masses. He must have still been reeling from the latest domestic ‘class action suits’ that cost Nu Skin a lot of money and set a perfect legal precedent to serve as a permanent example of what lawyers and judges determined to be a Pyramid and a Ponzi-scheme; a huge warning and the worst set of terms imaginable to those looking at the business opportunity.

The purpose of this research, was not only to evaluate the impact of the reality that the success of a few in the MLM industry is built on the backs of millions who lose money, but he wanted to get a read on how they perceived Nu Skin. What if these people too organized a political and legal campaign that could trigger a global class action suit?

The results were surprising; they had not expected there to be such a general sense of apathy toward the time, money, and effort wasted on trying to build their Nu Skin businesses.

What appeared was that most people don’t hold grudges; they don’t blame Nu Skin but rather themselves.

I wasn’t done, far from it, so I gave this a little more thought and brought these findings to the attention of Dr. Jon Taylor, Ph.D., who is the author of several books and reports on MLM**, and earned an MBA degree and a Ph.D. in psychology. The answer he gave me explained exactly what goes on in the minds of people when they make a bad judgment call. “The majority of the people wrongly assumed they didn’t work hard enough, or think they failed to do what it takes to make it happen. They don’t know that most of the people who’ve ever signed up in Nu Skin lose money!” Jon exclaimed, “Still many ignore my warnings!”

Here is an exact transcription of our conversation:

“It is called ‘cognitive dissonance’ and it happens when you commit yourself to something that you totally believe in but when you get contrary evidence you have what is called ‘dissonance’. You ignore the reality in favor of the illusion because reality forces you to act out of your comfort zone and acknowledge the consequences. You resolve your dissonance by offering the evidence which counters their previously held beliefs – some reasoning, some explanation, to make the evidence go away or become less convincing. Studies have confirmed this. To explain how it works in simple terms, suppose a group of people was asked to hammer 100 nails into a board for $1 per nail and another group was paid $20 to do the same. Later both groups are asked how they felt about the task. Which group do you think would say they enjoyed the task most; those who got $1 or those who got $20?”

I answered, “Well, this is a trick question so let me say the group who got $20 per nail.”

“That is what you would think,’’ Jon answered, “but it would be the other group; those who got $1 per nail to be most satisfied about the task. They’d invent all kinds of reasons. Some would say that it was challenging, something that tested their skills or whatever. They came up with reasons for what they did, to add value to a silly task.

I see ‘cognitive dissonance’ in especially this Nu Skin program. People will go to great lengths to find plausible excuses for their failure rather than admit they were wrong. To admit to have been duped into something by their own friends and family members is far worse than to take the loss and even blame themselves, forget it, and move on with life.’’

Jon also explained that people ignore the facts, rather than to act in disappointment and anger, they often choose to not react at all. He then sent me an e-mail to explain the situation further.

“This is one of the issues I have with Nu Skin – and all MLMs – and with both civil and Church authorities. As you know, I have gone to great lengths to protest about these connections for years. They certainly don’t do the credibility of law enforcement – or of the Church – any good.

“The most important observation I would make as an answer to your question is that victims of endless chain recruitment programs almost never complain about their losses to either civil or church authorities – or the Better Business Bureau, for that matter. This is because in MLM endless chains every major victim is of necessity a perpetrator. He/she must recruit others in order to cover the ongoing costs of participation. So if a victim quits, he or she fears the consequences from or to those they recruited – who are often close family and friends. They fear self-incrimination.

“Also, MLM victims have had it drummed into them by promoters (like Nathan Ricks, etc.) that success or failure is entirely up to them – not the fault of the program itself – which has the Olympic rings and other important symbols or role models who have allowed their names to be attached to the program. So, MLM (and I include all of them) is the perfect con game. The very persons who are out selling the program to friends and neighbors are themselves victims who drop off the vine and go away quietly.

“In law enforcement, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. No complaints, no law enforcement. And no law enforcement, no complaints. It’s a vicious cycle.

“What I’ve said about law enforcement applies to the media, the Better Business Bureau (which gets some of its funding from MLMs), and to church and other influential groups. Without more noise (complaints) from victims, nothing gets done.

“It makes me very sad – and is one reason I spend so much time educating victims that their “failure” is not their fault. I hope my explanation helps.”

Regards, Jon

There is little anyone can add to describe the Nu Skin deception any clearer.

Blake only cared if the findings were recruitment stalling or promoting instead of tackling the real problems of Nu Skin’s compensation system and all of the other issues surrounding the business. For one, all the false claims the company and distributors made about the products and income potential. In my opinion (as one who doesn’t believe in the claims of the LDS Church), if the LDS Church admitted that The Book of Mormon was false it would shut things down immediately, as much as it would kill Nu Skin whose policies ride on the deceptive methods of their ‘opportunity’ when few sign-ups ever succeed. It is only ‘legal’ because those who order Nu Skin products mostly do so in order to remain ‘active’ and thus qualify for that elusive potential commission check; not for the merits found in the average products offered since most of the products are bought by actual distributors; not unsigned, retail consumers.

Also know that at the end of each month sales are at a peak because distributors scramble to get their orders in to not lose out on their position. This is a huge warning sign. “People order products to qualify NOT for the ‘miracles’ within them,” an ex-employee told me. “I heard the same is going on at Melaleuca in Idaho,” she added.

Why didn't Blake, Sandie, Steve Lund, and all the other corporate leaders purge out all the misleading elements that not only plague Nu Skin but the entire MLM industry? They can’t, since they are the ones who put them in place. Any change to the way it works would admit fault and render the system a loss!

We all know of people, perhaps even friends and family, who have spoken about some deal or religion they’ve joined or think of getting involved in.

Whether this is a business deal or a religion the successful process of the recruiting scheme relies on the shortcomings, lapse of judgment, or simply lack of wisdom of the prospect. None of them, however, get involved without being ‘coached and primed’ by a Nu Skin ‘missionary’ or a family member or friend who is connected to an up-line sponsor; the type of man or woman who will eat, sleep, and breath, and do cult-religion or MLM 24/7. Someone who will try to build a global network of leaders that will feed his bonus check non-stop; exactly like Nathan Ricks described it, “When I wake up, people in Europe have already been churning away eight hours to fill my pockets on their side of the globe and by the time they sleep the vigorous US market takes over, only for the Japanese to continue by the time I am drifting off into REM sleep.”

Like believing in any cult-religion, I too innitially followed what many around me were doing and believed in the Nu Skin program to be a way to make money. It was after I started to call all of the numbers on the business cards that it all came together.

When I heard one sob-story after the next I found information through the internet and that led me to Jon Taylor and Robert Fitzpatrick. Once I saw the deception of the ‘Nu Skinners’ it opened my eyes but it would take still more pain and misery dealing with another MLM company called Agel Enterprises to finally internalize that the intrinsic nature of MLM is a deceptive business that will not work unless you are blind, or have no scruples and enough money to float through the first year, and are part of market expansion.

On the day of my personal awakening I looked in the mirror and said to myself: “You are talking to people because you really want them to become distributors, not merely use the product. ONLY when they actually do what you do (recruit) will you ever have a chance to make a living!’’

The faces of all of the people I had met through Nu Skin, this huge mass of smiles and eyes filled with hope and desire, to hear many of them now, one by one, report of their plight; some of them sobbing, others angry and desolate stirred deep emotions within me.

Jon Taylor and Robert Fitzpatrick narrowed down the mathematical reality that it is simply impossible for everyone to sign up five people who in turn sign-up five people these distributors would run out of the global population within thirteen levels; contradictory to what the leaders say now, there is no amount of ‘hard work’ that would allow the billions on the thirteenth level to even sign up another person. Right there anyone can see that the deal is absolutely not designed for the masses to make money, except a few at the top. One look at the Nu Skin published genealogy of big-earners showed me also that a third of those at the top are family members whose self-indulgent smiles distract from the shocking truth.

On my way to visit my friend George, thinking of Jon Taylors words, I did a quick calculation in my mind and couldn’t believe the reality that emerged: At most, only one in four thousand people that sign up and do their song ‘n dance will actually make some money! If I stood next to Blake and Sandie on that Nu Skin stage, looking out over the 16,000 distributors who came from all over the world to attend the Nu Skin Convention, and I randomly point at four of them and say: ''You are one of the four chosen ones, now go and duplicate!" I actually hit the nail on the head of the miserable truth. My next revelation flashed before my eyes: the other 15,996 ‘wanna-be’s were merely there to nourish and strengthen the lucky four!

(con't in Part 2)

Doc Bunkum
09-07-2014, 01:42 PM
Chapter 2. con't

Cognitive Dissonance

The huge gains of a few are riding on the backs of millions who lose.

After I parked my car, greeted George, and had a moment of chit-chat, I asked why Utah is such a hot-bed for network-marketing, and how it was possible that overall good-natured people choose to be involved in something even judges call ‘Ponzi-Schemes’ and ‘Pyramid Scams’?

Is everyone missing something?

George answered, “As far as why it is still legal you’ll have to ask Jon Taylor and Robert Fitzpatrick to spell out the ‘tricks of the trade’ used by MLM communicators for deceiving law enforcement, but I did look at all the data you sent me and what I clearly see is that lawmakers never took a close enough look at the facts. They never went to the ‘opportunity’ meetings and I never heard them speak about the fact that you have to sign-up on ‘auto-delivery’ (your monthly product package) in order to receive that elusive ‘bonus check’. These law makers should demand shipping records, to see when products get shipped.”

He stood up from behind his desk and wrote some details on a whiteboard and pointed at the words: SWOT, Strengths-Weakness-Opportunity-Threats, and said, “These attorney generals are too easily impressed with Nu Skin’s corporate AAA rating and don’t ask the distributors and the corporate lawyers enough questions. If they weighed these precepts there would be no way for this stuff to continue and Nu Skin would be shut down pronto!”

The class action suit in Canada that ended in favor of the plaintiff Natalie Capone, against Nu Skin, included the elements of ‘personal loss and suffering’ but most of the government agencies spent too much time listening to the slick-jargon of Nu Skin attorneys kept pumping out of their hats.

George added, “It is time Wall Street analysts and government agents did a total, ‘bottoms up’, forensic review of the actual experience the 99.94% have who lose and never see a dime. The first thing that would pop up is the non-duplicability of the deal and that more products are shipped at the end of the month, indicating that this is an ‘opportunity’ driven, not a ‘product’ driven, scam. Also, if lawmakers see and hear the absurd claims made by independent distributors, it would clarify the anger Ms. Capone harbored, and that of all the many others who have sued and won against Nu Skin.”

George then predicted, “Once lawmakers attend these ‘hype-‘n-BS’ stacked meetings and conventions to firsthand experience the entire process of deception it will trigger a whole new level of scrutiny and that is exactly what your book should initiate.”

His wife walked in with tea, and whispered as she hugged me, “I made the step; I also left the ‘fold’.” I congratulated her on her decision to leave the Mormon Church, something that had been harder for her to do than for the men. “It took me awhile to purge that persistent cognitive dissonance you guys were talking about earlier,” she said with a big grin on her face. “I had to go through all of the reasons to stay in it until I couldn’t find one that made more sense than reasons to leave. I am glad I could leave it all behind without anger; many can’t.”

As always during my visits, George ran the latest family news by me, something he knew I enjoyed. Their son Brent was doing well. He found a wonderful woman; a clever, classy looking girl from Connecticut. George came over to show me their picture and said, “The moment I met her I knew that he would never find anyone like that around Provo and told him to go for it before another fella does.”

He put down the picture and said, “You asked me how these guys can build a company like Nu Skin and feel good about it. I may have the answer.”

This was what I had been waiting for; would he actually be able to break it down?

“For Nu Skin it all started with religion, in this case the Mormon religion, before that, Amway started and used their religious system to create a ‘sales cult’. In the Mormon cult you are trained from early on to argue away rational reasons to not believe the Mormon story and through years of indoctrination and making you believe that ‘a spirit talks to you’ you get into a state of mind where you feel that as long as you offer a nice story and as long as that story feeds the church lots of money and your family is happy and things keep growing it doesn’t matter that for the few who make it many thousands lose. After all, like Sandie told you: 'no one put a gun to their heads!'

He went on, “Remember when I told you about my youth, a time during which I was told the lies about Mormonism? Well, think about it, in order for me to actually believe the nonsense about how Joseph Smith translated ‘golden plates’, I had to argue away some major, healthy feelings of protest and confusion - and once anyone can argue away common sense anything goes at that point.

“Look at it; Nu Skin has been sued, hustled and reprimanded for causing massive abuse, for taking advantage of many all around the world and still Blake and all of the other scammers will climb on stage and say, ‘Don’t sign up dishonest people,’ Blake even adds, ‘Don’t sign yucky people,’ ignoring that he is the ‘yuckiest’ of all.’’

Whoa! I was floored! Did George just tell me that the man who married me to Sandie and ran around the world acting like a saint and who is now preparing to go on a Mormon mission to France is a fraud? Yes he did!

I sat quiet for a few seconds and thought that, based on what I knew about it, nothing I had to say could counter George’s statements. He was right. Despite the verbiage used in the class action suits in addition to the damaging facts I’d heard from former distributors it was still hard for me to grasp the enormity of the deception.

“Look D, these guys live and die for their church. They gladly take the high positions the general church authorities offer them, partly because they donate millions to the Mormon cause. Instead of being excommunicated for running a scam, it is people like Jon Taylor who have to fear being kicked out for ‘going against his leaders’. Steve Lund is now a General Authority in the church and Jon Taylor cannot speak ill of his leaders lest he be punished. Dallin H. Oaks said it on the PBS Mormons program, ‘It’s wrong to criticize the leaders of the church even if the criticism is true.’ It is sick and it is true. It is the power of money and brainwashing.

“Blake, Steve, Sandie and the others have learned to ‘compartmentalize’ and ignore elements that pull them off their path of righteousness; ignoring that the path they’re on is far from righteous despite donating a sliver of their corporate and private billions to a few select charities. Why don’t you ask all of the people that told you of their Nu Skin losses if they would feel better to know that a few pennies of their multi-thousand dollar losses went to a little boy in Africa so Blake and Sandie and all of them look good?”

We stood on the deck and looked out over the lights of the valley and I asked him if he could pin-point the reason why Utah is the hot-bed for MLMs (multi-level marketing companies). In fact, with over 50 MLMs headquartered here, Utah has by far the highest per capita concentration of MLMs in the country.

Jon Taylor has suggested his own reasons for this phenomena in Utah: (1) the extremely conservative political climate leading to legislation more friendly to MLMs than to consumers, (2) the tightly networked culture among Mormons (the predominant religion in Utah) that facilitates MLM recruitment, and (3) a strong entrepreneurial spirit going back to Mormon pioneer times – the belief that anything is possible if you work hard enough at it – which fits in nicely with unlimited or endless chain recruitment, the inherent flaw in all MLMs, which can be characterized as “entrepreneurial chains.”

George continued his take on it: “Again, the Amway founders started all of this misery and tinkered with the laws and compensation system long enough to make it stick, to get people to accept it and either get involved or leave it alone. The founders are religious zealots and that is exactly what inspired their sales system. In these religious communities you learn how to speak up in church, say your thing, and learn to lie to the superiors. (Who is going to admit to masturbating when asked by the bishop during an interview? Yes, Mormon bishops actually ask that question.) During our missionary training we were told to scan people’s faces, look for a gullible kindness, any opening, sign of weakness, ignorance or wavering. We were drilled to sell religion to total strangers; the hardest thing to do. I don’t care what all these guys will tell you D, but I know so since I was a Mormon and have done it!”
It took him about an hour to go through all of the details how being a Mormon sets you up to become a perfect sales machine.

“If you changed the labels and the names on the LDS issued pamphlets with Nu Skin logos and recruiting mantras you could be in business within hours. Just replace the baseless promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven with ‘Financial Freedom’ and if you learn all of the (unproven medical) ‘arguments’ of vitamins and skin care and paste them over the fables about the ‘lost tribes’ and ‘great battles’ between supposed great prehistoric North American cultures, of which no trace has been found, you can go for it and sell anything; especially when the products are really not that much or any different than anything else on the market.”

It was amazing to hear him describe the obvious parallels between the way religious groups operate and the sales skills they learned on missions. “One system bleeds over into the next. Ideas we use in the car racing industry are absorbed into the domestic market. An LDS (Mormon) kid who learns to walk on stage and proclaim that his church is true has a lot less trouble speaking to strangers, especially if he has been brainwashed at the MTC (Missionary Training Center). Only a fool will ever try to refute this. Nu Skin is in Provo, right next to BYU, a place teaming with returned missionaries of whom many speak a foreign language and all are brainwashed to follow orders and never question their superiors. If you still don't believe me when I say the LDS church and Nu Skin are bedfellows, just drive down to Center Street and see for yourself. Occupying the same block are the Nu Skin headquarters and the burnt out Provo Tabernacle which is currently being renovated into a Mormon Temple. Soon, the ‘bretheren’ on the board of directors will be able to skip over during lunch hour and 'do a session' so they can feel better about themselves while thousands are being deceived by their independent distributors,” George said while he gestured me to follow him for dinner.

I thought dinner may slow him down, but I must have hit a nerve because the moment I asked him why only a few former distributors complain he went on like a steam-boat on the Mississippi.

That made me think of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and I wondered if I could ever grasp the English language well enough to write this down for ‘everyman’ to at least be entertained.

I didn’t get more than a second to dwell on it before George went right into explaining why most of the ex Nu Skin distributors never organize themselves and file a massive complaint. “It’s because your friend Jon Taylor is right, it is mainly cognitive dissonance; distributors who have failed to succeed brought in others who also failed and see themselves as ‘perpetrators’ and are not willing to step forward and call attention to their failings and lack of judgment. It is the exact same mental mechanism that keeps many Mormons from leaving the church.”

I remember how indeed Jon told me exactly the same thing about MLM, “People will try to hold onto established beliefs of ‘possible success’ and try to ignore the hard reality for the sake of feeling OK about it when reality tells them they have been misled.”

George gobbled down his dessert and said, “The only real pyramid that the modern-day ‘tribes’ of distributors ever get to see is the abusive compensation plan that Jon correctly told you about; it only feeds the very few on top over the backs of the suckered in and sucked-out masses who vanish anonymously into thin air, since only the ‘chosen’ few will be heralded on the Nu Skin stages around the world.”

I was getting nauseous and asked if we could go out on the beautiful deck and look across the valley. He nodded and put his arm around me and said, “I know it is hard for you to realize that your ex-wife is a stone-cold abuser, someone who knowingly ignores the reality of how the masses perceive their experience with Nu Skin. Look at the way she treated her ex-lovers, how she treated you; just because she can. No one is stopping her while you are getting calls from investigators for a reason; people on Wall Street are also sick and tired of Nu Skin’s abuse.’’

He stepped a few paces and turned around and said, “I am concerned about you. I am serious. These people will go to great lengths to make sure that your book gets pulled off the shelves or they will do what it takes to discredit you. One thing I know for sure, you are not going to just walk away from this without more pain and misery. All they care about is continuing to make money and you are the last person on their list who ‘deserves’ anything. I know who Sandie is and I know the others. You are in for a treat, D; are you ready for it? You are not just dealing with a corrupt bunch of Nu Skinners, you will also piss off the LDS Church, not simply for exposing the nasty deal that it is, but for going after a company that sponsors them.”

I took a moment to let all of it sink in. I saw his chipper mood had become somber. He took a deep breath and said, “There is a lot about the LDS Church you don’t know, that many don’t know; even ordinary Mormons have no idea these things exist, such as a ‘Second Anointing’ or ‘Calling and Election made sure’. It is a ceremony performed in a temple*** by special invitation only. Those who receive this extra confirmation of their status within the church are usually wealthy and have been Stake Presidents and/or Mission Presidents. In practical terms, it gives them some forms of immunity and a ‘hall pass’ to do whatever is necessary to further the work of the Lord. If you continue to write your book and you actually get it done, and upon release it has the impact you are trying to have, I am absolutely sure that someone among these zealous freaks will go after you. The LDS Church makes millions from Nu Skin and they’re not going to allow you to simply ‘spout the truth’ and walk away.

“Think about it; Sandie makes millions per month, she knows you could have taken her to the ‘cleaners’ during the divorce, she knows how hard it has been for you to not see your daughter because you were kind and naïve in your handling of the divorce; even your daughter has been verbal about missing you. Despite all of that Sandie still doesn’t come to fair terms in order for there to be a healthy father/daughter relationship. That should tell you something. Then there’s Blake, about to go become a mission president for three years to polish up his ego by helping others brainwash more innocent people to believe the nonsensical religious fables all so he can enjoy free passage to the ‘hereafter’, and Steve, he’s already been a mission president and is now elevated as a General Authority. You are about to tell the world to look into the insanities of not only the Nu Skin scam but also expose the ‘lovely church’, and to make it worse you are including Mitt Romney and his financial connections to Nu Skin. Do you see what is at stake here?”

For a moment I didn't know what to think; was I getting myself too deep in dangerous water? Was this all going to end well for my daughter and me? But, what was I then going to do about it?

I sat down on the bench and George turned and said, “I haven’t told you but Jon is not alone, many of my Mormon friends, the guys that work for me, as well as my partners, all hate Mormons ripping off Mormons. It is unethical and reflects negatively on Mormonism. I told them about you and you'll be surprised that many of them totally agree with what you’re doing. As far as the unfavorable Mormon references, essentially you are simply reporting and the opposing sentiments you seem to promulgate are the stuff they've been dealing with all their lives, it is the abuse committed by the Mormon members and leaders they do not want to hear about.”

I looked at him and said, “I already told my contacts that if anything happened to me to keep printing the book and saturate the entire world. If that is the way I have to go so be it. I will not let a bunch of abusers get away with it. I will send them and the rare Nu Skin distributor, the 0.06% who made it happen, a signed copy of my book, a bottle of alcohol, and a fuse--since they have beaten the odds it’s time to celebrate.

“What is more fun than to burn a book filled with truths?!”

George just smiled, shook his head and said, “I think you are onto something, you are the Trojan horse that launches the condemning material compiled by people like Robert Fitzpatrick and Jon Taylor into the public eyes. I expect to see a lot of people come to your support, maybe then lawmakers will take a closer look and strip the great American flag off of the Nu Skin building and show the world who they really are!

“I got your back, just don’t give up. If Nu Skin makes the mistake to try and sue you for publishing your book I’ll be in court with you and I’ll bring along a few CPA's who will gladly take the judge through the numbers. It will be interesting to see where that will take things for them. The worst that can happen is that they end up “proving” that instead of one out of 4 or 5 thousand makes any money, 1 out of 3999 end up making some money. To make it all the way to the top the odds are even worse. I am also sure that Nu Skin China will love to see the numbers and the people will thank you for warning them before the impoverished masses become the grease on the wheel of a few who make it. Jon Huntsman should be ashamed of himself for lending his political influence to these scammers during his time in China as Ambassador.”

**The truth about MLM (multi-level or network marketing) (http://mlm-thetruth.com)

Doc Bunkum
09-07-2014, 01:45 PM
Chapter 2. con't

Cognitive Dissonance

The huge gains of a few are riding on the backs of millions who lose.


James Apr 4th, 2012 @ 12:56 PM


Well you finally got it going and launched the first truth cannon! I can hear the MLM's squirming in their fancy leather office chairs paid for by the backs and failures of their distributors. No one can hide from the numbers cause statistics and calculation is what it is. Talked to my lawyers for you and we got your back if they think they can shut down your right to free speech and your personal story, so don't worry and keep blasting the truth cannons cause I can hear the wall starting to come down and the screams of the Nu-Skin elite as the iron curtain starts to fall down on them. I heard Sandie is stepping down as a board-member or should we say pushed out by her kin. This will become a juggernaut and it will take a life of it's own after you release the first 10,000 books. I'm sure Wall Street is watching and paying attention. This book was long overdue and you let them slide long enough with your kind soul and nature. Just think that if Sandie had just let you be with and nurture the relationship with your daughter Sophia you would have left sleeping dogs lay and just continued being a good father. I guess it is your destiny and purpose to expose these corrupt, misleading and truly criminal practices, bringing them to an end or at least into the light so people are totally aware that it is a sham-scam from jump-street! What they did to you and your daughter is just sickening! Keep up the good fight and don't stop for anyone or anything. We have your back here on the east coast.

Stay strong my friend and defend the truth, cause it is that which truly sets you free!

Smooshy Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

This is really long and kind of boring. Also, I think it's a bit sad that you are parroting tired old arguments about MLM from tired old critics. Everyone has a story and an opinion on this...some positive, some negative.

But what's truly despicable is your mischaracterization of the Mormon church and it's role. It's cool if you don't believe in their teachings...a lot of people don't. But to suggest that Mormon's and their teachings are to blame for anyone's bad experience with MLM is absurd and the very definition of bigotry.

It's really too bad that you feel like to settle a personal vendetta, you need to drag others and their deeply held convictions through the mud.

Diederik Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

To Smooshy, Thanks for taking the time to read my chapter and post. It may be boring to you but if you are a distributor wondering why you aren't making any money, like 99.94% of everybody that ever signed up in Nu Skin, you may find this one chapter very enlightening; and this is just one chapter out of 40 that will tell you about the personal lifestyles fed by these 99.94% losses and the political lobbying to keep it going.

You will also read that when anyone stops reading the Deseret approved literature and sniffs through the real scientific data not much of what Jo Smith pulled out of his little overstuffed hat has any base of adherence. So you can believe whatever you want, but trust me when I'm done with my little prose the whole world will view this kind of business and Mormonism in a whole new light.

There are thousands of ex-Mormons to back me up and ready to add a lot more stuff to it that will blow your sensitive mind. Then are many scientists who will back up everything I have to say about Nu Skin. So looking at it from my point of view the feast is only beginning.


Diederik Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:20 PM

P.S. Smooshy, I understand from your angle what you're saying, but if you were standing next to the pile of information that I have including the personal details and corporate deception as well as the blatant lies systematically promulgated by the leading distributors and how the Mormon church is symbiotically intertwined within, you may actually think my little chapter is very sanitary. The whole book, however, will not be. Just to give you an indication, I've got Wall Street investigators calling me weekly and none of questions they're asking about these Nu Skinners want me to answer.

None of what these guys are doing is either Christ-like or adheres to the vision of the founding fathers.

I've been reasonable and kind to all of them but that's apparently not appreciated.

Frank Stegmueller Apr 11th, 2012 @ 10:46 AM

Vielen Dank. War ueber viele Jahre Nu-Skin Distributor und verstehe jetzt erst warum ich nie Geld gemacht habe.

Was fuer eine Scheisse !!!

Wunderbar dass Du den Mut hast diese Leute jetzt am Pranger zu stellen. Nur weiter so...!!!
Willem Ten Bengevoort Apr 10th, 2012 @ 02:23 PM
Finally some one stands out and has the balls to say out loud what others didn't dare to say:
MLM is a fraud, only a few will make money, the rest is feeded upon. Keep up the good work Diederick


Zack Apr 11th, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

As a real Christian, I'm really ashamed about what these people do to drive their business.
I think it takes the right amount of public disposure to get them out of business.

Please go on and let the public know that MLM is a sin and a curse of greed.


Janet Apr 12th, 2012 @ 03:27 AM

I have always known NuSkin to be a garbage product with very aggressive sales tactics. Their MLM business model is quite the scam, yes, and I am still amazed at how people continue to be suckered into this Ponzi scheme. It may have made the founders and their families very wealthy, but I can guarantee that their cardcastle will collapse....it's only a matter of time. Doesn't matter how many politicians they keep in their back pocket...the truth will be exposed, and karma will catch up to them. It always does. I emailed you my info. and experience with NuSkin, and am looking forward to joining your crusade. Keep up the good work!

Goos T. Apr 12th, 2012 @ 08:10 AM

Hi Diederik,

It is great to finally read something from the stories you have told me.

This chapter is awesome to read. I am looking forward to get my own copy of your book!

We'll keep in touch.


Steve DiMaggio Apr 12th, 2012 @ 09:03 AM

For years I have heard Richard Kall and Nathan Ricks blantantly lie. I am so glad you have the balls to expose these scammers. My wife and I are super pissed about losing $18.000

Keep going...!

Steve DiMaggio, NYC

H. Barton Apr 12th, 2012 @ 04:01 PM

I enjoyed reading this, a bit long, but kept me enthralled. Unbelievable how long this 'business' has stayed afloat. Do people really buy into their bs, greed-driven sales pitch? Of the few Mormons I've had the unfortunate experience of dealing with, they seem to all come from the same mold. Always proselytizing their silly cult. I am surprised they don't send out their spawn on missions with a case full of Nu Skin products. I can't wait to read your book! Great title, by the way

Jodi Armstrong Apr 16th, 2012 @ 01:51 AM

I was directed here from another forum. Very interesting stuff, Mr. Diederik. I applaud you for having the cojones to take on a corporation of this size. Good for you. These MLM's need to be put out of business. If you don't mind, I'd like to post this link on my Facebook page. I'll be back.

Mr Logic Apr 19th, 2012 @ 03:17 AM

Years and years ago my girlfriend and I went to speak to a couple that advertised about selling Amway in the local paper. My girlfriend was interested in making some extra money and wanted me to attend since she thought it might be a rip-off…this was late 70’s and Amway was in its infancy. They got us pretty hipped up, but I would not commit since I knew nothing about their product and its quality, I said; “We cannot sell something we do not believe in”. With that the couple gave us hundreds of dollars of sample products for us to try, and than were to return the samples to them.
The next day we tried out the products, especially the cleaning supplies, and they held no special properties above what were already in our cabinets. Actually, good old Mr Clean worked much better. We than analyzed the numbers and the amount of effort it would take to recruit the number of people we needed to quit our jobs…we realized we could start off with family and friends, but after that we’d need major advertising and much money to continue. I came to the conclusion that this was probably a pyramid scheme and not only did we not get involved, we kept the sample products and told the couple to f*ck-off.

We are prob one of the few people who scammed the scammers at Amway. Good luck with your book and expose these sociopath for what they really are, greedy, selfish lairs. And I’m not surprised of the religious background, the biggest scam there has ever been.

Doc Bunkum
09-10-2014, 06:04 PM
Chapters 3 & 4 in Diederik's unpublished book dealt with skin - only not NuSkin. He describes his dalliances with members of the opposite sex before he got tied up with Sandie. Chapter 4 is similar to Chapter 3. Much of the same story only a lot more details. Nothing has anything to do with NuSkin or network marketing, but for the sake of completeness, I'll include these earlier writings of his.


Chapter 3.

Women have asked me when and what my first love was like... I thought about it and decided to share some parts with you.

It was in 1983, I was eighteen and I hitchhiked to Paris from Holland. Impressionable, a little shy, and not at all set in my ways, this was my first trip where I was responsible for myself. No one knew where I would be or what I was up to. All I told my mother was that I was headed for Paris with twenty-five guilders (fourteen dollars) in my pocket.

My plan was to stay a few weeks and then return to Amsterdam and start a new program in business accounting and paint chemistry; combining the art of faux marble painting techniques and business. The dubious craft of “modeling,” posing in front of a camera was the last thing on my mind, nor did I ever as much as expect to ever have my first "romantic" encounter in the City of Light.

After arriving in Paris, I thought it would be fitting to take a nap under the Eiffel Tower on the lush green grass. From my spot, next to one of the four large stone buttresses that supported the seemingly endless structure, I panned my eyes upward into a seemingly limitless sky; all the way up to the top that had been the Eiffel family residence. Soon I sank into a nice, deep nap and would have slept for hours if a little dog hadn’t licked my face.

I opened my eyes, trying to adjust to the bright light, and found two long, suntanned legs leading upward to a white G-string, partly hidden behind a red mini-skirt. Contrasting with “Mrs. Eiffel’s” iron-dame legs, these warm-blooded, smooth stems were not the sight I was expecting. Her boldness to stand right over me snapped me right out of my haze, glowing with embarrassment at her lack of reservation to allow the public sightings of the tiniest of undergarments. Despite the good omen, I had not arrived in heaven yet. In all fairness, given my position, I had no choice but look upward while she did what most women who don miniskirts do stride around and enjoy the attention. She noticed my red cheeks and obvious Dutch accent and said, “Oh... I was looking at you. Did my dog bother you? I was worried that he may do pee-pee on you.”

She chuckled and while I reached a whole new level of overwhelm, she asked, “I am Isabella... what is your name?”

To accommodate me she came down and sat in the grass, allowing me to see more of her than just her legs. The little remaining teenage-boy-cool dissolved the moment I looked at her face, framed by cascading long waves of dark blond hair with sun-induced highlights draped delicately over her shoulders, wrapped in a fitting white, low-cut blouse that could barely tame the gentle swaying of pear shaped breasts, sans bra. Her perky nipples added color to my cheeks and turned my gut into knots. Why was this so hard?

I didn’t just blush, I radiated red, and when I thought I would never fall in love it was that moment in Paris that changed every shred of insight about the power of beautiful women... I was lost in the depths of the azure blue of her eyes that blended with the cobalt of my own.

I was glad she did the talking, explaining to me that she had studied art and specialized in sculpture, but made her money as a runway model and posing in swim suits.

Ah, yes, that made sense.

In response, with a few intelligible words, I did manage to communicate to her my name and proclaimed my own love for art and my plan to visit the Louvre that day. When I thought that all she saw in me was a young fellow with a knack for art, she instead of wishing me well, offered to show me the city. I was too naive and clueless, to notice her way of observing me conveyed her plan to show me other things that she too felt I should become familiar with; far more than mere paintings, sculpture and legendary Parisian architecture.

As we sat in the grass I couldn’t keep my eyes off her; she was a stunning, absolutely mesmerizing beauty. I knew it and she knew it and we both loved it in different ways. I never ever saw a woman like her, and certainly not one to be so kind as to take my hand, pull me up on my feet, then lean forward and look up to tell me, “Oh, you are very tall, I love tall men... nice.”

When she asked if I had a girlfriend it dawned on me that her “nice” didn’t mean the same as my idea of “kind,” and only adding to my confusion she planted a soft, wet kiss right on my lips accompanied with “Welcome to Paris.”

As I tasted her lips I thought of all the British and American soldiers that had liberated this city from the Nazis and finally understood how very happy these men must have been!

In contrast, all I did was hitch a ride to receive such an unforgettable welcome while these legendary soldiers had to fight street to street before receiving a true French kiss.

Besides not having time for girlfriends, I was clueless about what to do if I had one. I was into kicking and hitting sandbags at school, climbing trees or sailing the sea; stuff most women I knew hated. But in Paris, under the spell of Isabella I was far too smitten and nervous to make any sense, let alone be a match to a twenty-four year old supermodel who had seen and heard all she needed to know to read boys like the back of her hand.

While we walked across the Seine bridge I sensed that she knew how inexperienced I was; it showed in every way. We arrived at a café, sat down and the time we chatted gave my heart a chance to calm down a little, allowing me to at least glance at her without turning into a total stumbling fool. She asked me where I was staying. When I explained that I had no arrangements she insisted I take her offer and be her guest. “I’ll show you Paris and how you can make a fair amount of money fast. You'll love it!”

On the way to the Louvre she impressed me with her profound knowledge of nearly every piece of sculpture that we were about to see, and her way of discribing the forms, materials, the artist, and the times at which they were created made it ever so special. As I daydreamed of the faraway places from which Napoleon and his predecessors hauled many of the artifacts I gazed at her lips, my mind floated off on the melody of her voice. She took my hand and showed me more statues and paintings. I loved how everyone stared at us. Older, well dressed, distinguished men just sucked up every inch of her breasts, her beautiful face, and body; and yet, here I was, the spring chicken from Holland, walking hand-in-hand with Miss World--the best statue of all!

She paused at the sculpture of a Bathing Venus by Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain, glanced at me and asked, “Do you see her womanly body, the reality, and the imperfections?”

Even looking at a naked statue put enough glow on my cheeks to light up a cellar. Yes, I did see. The woman was a bit what one could call “chubby”, but I said, “She is a beautiful woman, so graceful.”

Isabella smiled and said, “If you love her womanly figure and her grace, you will have no trouble enjoying what I have to offer you.” I missed the deeper implications of her sultry innuendo and looked around to see what ''other'' statue she might be referring to. Not allowing me to even so much as ask, she planted another kiss on my lips and then grabbed my hand--were we heading to heaven?

As I rolled out my camping mat next to the radiator in the living room of her Victorian style, three bedroom apartment on Reu de Doctor Germain-See, I didn’t think of Mrs. Eiffel nor of Ms. Venus; but of Isabella who stood in the door opening observing me with a smile. Too tall for the French dimension guest beds I preferred the hardwood floor. I didn’t want to sleep in the guest bedroom anyway because it was right next to her room, thus offering her “privacy” when privacy was the last thing on her mind; nor mine of course, but my mother had raised me well and that is what you did; give women their space. Besides, while she was all over my mind, I foolishly assumed I was the last thing on hers, until she kissed me goodnight and I felt her body shiver the moment our lips touched, once again.

I had to force myself not to peek at her when she walked back to her room in her revealing, heart stopping, mind-churning, baby-doll negligee. My God, those legs!

How would I be able to sleep?

The next morning, while I made breakfast, she said, “Today we are going to meet my agent, perhaps she has a connection or a photographer who needs a beautiful boy like you.”

I smiled, unsure of the possibility that awaited me.

She continued. “Modeling is one of the nastiest of all jobs, it seems glamorous, but you’ll not necessarily enjoy being constantly judged on the level of perfection of your body; which is always in a state of change. Perhaps, for you men, it will be a bit less cruel. For us women it can be hell. If I ever have kids, it’s the last thing I want them to do. Women have no idea that the reality of the world they dream of can turn them bitter, self loathing and insecure or stuck-up and arrogant while they have little else to offer beside their perky boobies, skinny legs, and flat buns. That’s why most of them never get to the top; it kills their self-esteem. I was lucky to be lean but voluptuous and able to do bikinis too... if I had to do just fashion I would quit. If you only heard what the makeup artists, stylists, agents, designers, and producers say behind our backs.”

I asked her why she continued in the business if it was so horrible.

“I don’t care anymore, when I open my mail and see that another large check has been deposited, I then walk over to the mirror, smile happily about what I see and, if I am lucky, I turn around and kiss a man like you.” To illustrate, she got up and kissed me on my lips... again, licked my tongue and pressed herself against me. I felt a dizzying sensation rush through my body and face and I couldn’t say a word. My heart nearly exploded with pride--if only my friends could see me now!

We sat down and she continued, “Let me warn you to never listen to anyone but your agent and don’t measure yourself against others. Be yourself, as what you see in the mirror is not who you are inside. I bet you’ll be working as a model whenever you like to, but do not let it go to your head. It is all just an illusion. That is why I keep studying art and help traveling art shows and have friends outside of the fashion world.”

We arrived at the Elite Agency and Isabella’s agent took one quick look and said, “We don’t really handle men, but you should get in front of the camera!”

She immediately called a photographer and after speaking for a minute she hung up the phone and gave me the address she’d jotted down. Isabella suggested I go right away, kissed me goodbye, and then I walked through Paris for an hour before I found the studio. The photographer was expecting me and took a good look as if I were a painting, or a piece of meat, then smiled and before I knew anyone’s name sent me to the makeup room where female models were walking around in their underwear, some even topless.

Flustered, I shook hands with the makeup artist who got me ready for a hair gel commercial they were working on. After my hair was jelled-up to look ridiculous, I shook hands with a tall blond who kissed my cheeks introducing herself as Magdalena. All I had to do was get into swimming trunks and stand in front of a white screen as she fell into my arms and kissed me on the lips... topless. We had to do about twenty retakes and reposition her as to hide her nipples behind my arms. That was exciting! If modeling was always this much fun, could Isabella be wrong?

A few days later, her agent told Isabella there was a check waiting for me at the office with an amount that was higher than I ever thought possible anyone my age would earn in a whole month; and he was wondering if I could work again the following week in a commercial.

Before I knew it, one week passed by with modeling gigs, sightseeing, and tender moments intertwined in our busy schedules.

Seven days since meeting her under the Eiffel Tower, Isabella called to me from her bedroom; by the sound of her voice I sensed she was up to something. Only once before had I stretched out on her bed, fully dressed, and taken a nap with her head on my chest. It had been magical to feel her voluptuous body, the smell of her perfume blending with our pheromones as we kissed. She’d sensed my apprehension and nervous anxiety and said, “I love that you are here with me... we need to get to know each other better. Soon you will be ready for me.” Then she teasingly nibbled on my earlobe, “You see, I don’t bite; I only kiss tenderly and lick softly.”

Wondering what she was up to this time, I walked into her room happy to take her up on her invitation; perhaps to sit in the chair and watch her give me mini fashion shows again, while asking for my opinion… suggesting I put together combinations of clothes, shoes, and the extras found in her large closet and the racks throughout her bedroom, kindly correcting me if my choices made a mockery of style or ruined the lines of the female body whose “curves” I was to always accentuate.

I loved those moments of interaction. It was not only a great way to learn about fashion, but an opportunity for me to look at her without blushing, something I still had not been able to master.

She would say, “Don’t be shy... keep your eyes on me, look at me... look at my body... look at how my clothes move. It is all a complex balance of reality and illusion.”

That night was different; she apparently felt the time was right. She didn’t have fashion and teasing on her mind… she had decided that the moment had come for me to learn about the living statue; the very structure that carried her a lot further than runways and bikini beach shoots. I needed to become one with the flesh and blood that lived under those pieces of beautiful designer clothes and grow up.

I only heard her voice, “Close your eyes.” The lights slowly dimmed until it was pitch-dark, and then I heard music slowly increasing in volume. I smiled when Richard Wagner’s Parsifal Fantasia filled the room. Isabella had really put some thought into whatever was coming. A match flared up to light a candle, giving me a fraction of a second to see her form enshrouded in a white sheet.

Still not a word... the music swelled and then I saw her... but only the nondescript shape of her figure. She moved closer, stopped about eight feet away from me and set the candle on the floor behind her enhancing her silhouette. She now moved her arms and slowly twirled like a ballerina. In the flickering candlelight she bent down, turned on the balls of her feet, and released her grasp on the sheet allowing it to slide sensuously down her naked body... I stopped breathing as she approached me!

It was dim and I trembled the moment her nipples rubbed over my chest when she leaned forward to kiss me. Her long hair brushed my face, neck and chest and I wished the feeling would never stop. I remained yearning for her to touch me again, afraid, unaware that what she felt for me didn’t exactly match my confusion of love and lust but was rather lust and adoration. I was so green and so lost in emotions.

Like a dependent dog, sniffing his master, she played with me; and I didn't want to miss even a second of it. She turned her back to me and the candlelight revealed the sharp outline of her body, her hips, her endless legs, and the sides of her big, bosom; and when she bent down to pick up the candle she revealed the area between her legs that I was afraid to even glance at. This was too much!

She brought the candle up with her and held it at arm’s length to illuminate her body. Then touched my hair and stroked my cheek. “Just look at me, look at all of my body... it is now yours to see and touch; I want you to touch me.”

“What? Touch?”

Isabella magically produced a bottle of scented oil and motioned for me to put my hand out to receive. I took the offered oil carefully spreading it over her upper back and shoulders. I was shaking, my brain screamed, “One of the most beautiful women in the world is telling you to touch all of her, even the unspeakable places! Do what she says, this is what you always wanted, this is what men do, come on do it!”...

...She took me on a journey that surpassed any dream I ever wanted to come true and I am forever grateful as nothing could have been more beautiful. She guided me to all of the places she wanted me to see, feel and taste. To fill your head with the explicit details would be ultimately pointless; this experience was nothing less than truly amazing.

Until that night I was an inexperienced virgin, but once the night was over I had finally become a man!

To this day I don’t know why, but the next morning I called my mom and said, “Mama, I am in Paris. Everything is great. Well, Mama, I have become a man!” I beamed with pride and glanced at the fireplace mantle and smiled. A bronze statue of Thor, the Nordic god who conquered his goddess Járnsaxa, sat positioned near the edge. It couldn’t have been more perfect; I had conquered my greatest fear and desire. I became a man in the arms of the world’s most beautiful woman and my mother would be proud of me! She better be... I wouldn’t change a thing.

Doc Bunkum
09-10-2014, 06:33 PM
Chapters 3 & 4 in Diederik's unpublished book dealt with skin - only not NuSkin. He describes his dalliances with members of the opposite sex before he got tied up with Sandie. Chapter 4 is similar to Chapter 3. Much of the same story only a lot more details. Nothing has anything to do with NuSkin or network marketing, but for the sake of completeness, I'll include these earlier writings of his.


Chapter 4.
Isabella’s Lessons

Paris 1983

My new experiences with Sandie were raising difficult questions in my mind, questions about love and commitment and my relationship to women and what I wanted out of life. These are questions I had given thought to before, and every time I confronted them I was taken back, at least for a moment, to the powerful lessons I learned from the very first woman in my life. Her name was Isabella. She was a woman of exceptional beauty and wisdom, and her memory travels with me to this very day. My life with Sandie was in many ways a test of what Isabella taught me.

Nine years before meeting Sandie in Mexico, I hitchhiked to Paris. Eighteen, impressionable, a little shy, and open to new experiences, this was my first trip anywhere with no agenda and no expectations. No one knew where I was going or what I was up to. All I told my mother was that I was headed to Paris with 25 Guilders (about $14) in my pocket. Until then, my life had been devoted to education — three years in Germany and an adventurous fourteen months in Africa, with a brief stint in Nairobi. I was about to start a new program in business accounting and paint chemistry, combining my studies of faux marble techniques, a balance between art and business. The dubious craft of modeling, posing in front a camera, was the last thing on my mind. It simply came to me. I didn’t look for it. People had often taken my picture just for the fun of it, but in Paris that was about to change.

I arrived in Paris a week before I was to start a summer job working as a chauffeur for German- and English-speaking kids of well-to-do guests at the Hotel Nikko. My job was to drive them around town and make sure they didn’t get in trouble. Things didn’t work out that way.
The French nuclear engineer who had pulled over in Amsterdam to give me a ride had asked me to drive for him. He had been partying the whole weekend and wanted to sleep and have me wake him up in Paris — a dream come true for any hitchhiker! I was very happy to drive the five hours non-stop. And on the morning of my arrival, tired from the long drive I thought it would be cool to take a nap under the most emblematic symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. From where I lay down, right next to one of the four large stone structures supporting her long curvacious iron legs, I looked up into a seemingly endless sky, all the way to the top, where the Eiffel family had once resided. I soon sank into a deep sleep and would have slept there for hours had a little dog not come along and licked my face. As I opened my eyes, trying to adjust to the bright light, I saw two long suntanned legs leading up and up to a white g-string, in perfect parallel, contrasting with the iron legs of the Eiffel Tower. Those warm-blooded legs were not what I was expecting to see. They jolted me to life, and filled me embarrassment at this woman’s lack of modesty, to permit me to see the tiniest of undergarments right where those two endless to-die-for legs met. I had no choice but to look straight up. She noticed my red cheeks and said, “Oh, did my little dog bother you? I was worried he may do pee-pee on you.” She chuckled, and while I reached a new level of embarrassment, she continued. “I am Isabella. What is your name?”

She lowered herself and sat in the grass beside me, allowing me to see more of her than the legs that had vanquished what little remaining teenage-boy cool I possessed. Her face only made things worse. Piercing blue eyes set in a gorgeous classical face, framed by cascading waves of dark blonde hair with sun-streaked highlights draping over shapely shoulders, all wrapped in a white, form-fitting, low-cut blouse that could barely contain the bouncing of her large pear-shaped braless breasts. Their conspicuous nipples not only added red to my cheeks, they turned my stomach into knots.

Why was it so hard to breathe?

I didn’t just blush. I radiated crimson. It was that moment in Paris that changed every idea I had about the power of beautiful women. I was overcome, lost in the depths of those azure blue eyes that looked deep into the cobalt blue of my own.

I was glad she did the talking. She explained that she studied art and specialized in sculpture but made money running fashion shows and posing in bathing suits. Ah, yes, I thought, that made sense. The idea of seeing her in a bikini made my knees quiver, and with a few barely intelligible words I managed to communicate to her my own love for art and my plans to visit the Louvre that day. “Oh yes? Then let me take you,” she said. “I will show you the city.” I had no clue that she also had other things in mind that she felt I should become familiar with — things other than paintings, sculpture, and legendary Parisian architecture.

As we sat in the grass, I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. She was a stunning, mesmerizing beauty. I knew it, and she knew it, and we both loved it in different ways. I had never met a woman like her, certainly not one beautiful enough to render me dumbstruck and kind enough to show me the glories of Paris. She took my hand, pulled me to my feet, then leaned forward and looked up into my eyes. “Oh, you are very tall. I love tall men … nice.”

When she asked if I had a girlfriend, it dawned on me that her nice didn’t have the same meaning. Adding to my confusion, she planted a soft wet kiss right on my lips, accompanied by “Welcome to Paris.”

As I tasted her saliva, I thought of all the British and American soldiers who had liberated Paris from the Nazis and understood how happy these men must have been! All I had done was catch a ride to Paris to be greeted with this unforgettable welcome, while those legendary heroes had fought street to street before being rewarded with a real French kiss.

Not only did I not have time for girlfriends, I was clueless about what to do if I had one. I was into kicking and hitting sandbags at school, climbing trees and sailing ships, stuff I knew most women were not interested in. In Paris, under Isabella’s spell, I was far too smitten and nervous to make any sense, let alone be a match for a twenty-four-year-old super-model who could read boys like the back of her hand. She knew I had no clue, and it showed when she took me to a café. We sat together, and I eventually relaxed so that I was able at look at her without stammering like a bumbling fool. Then she asked me where I was staying. I explained my deal with Hotel Nikko, and she insisted that I be her guest instead. “I’ll show you Paris. Don’t worry about Hotel Nikko. I’ll show you how you can make some good money fast. You will love it!”

That afternoon we visited the Louvre and she impressed me with her knowledge of classical sculpture, with her way of speaking about the forms and materials, the artists and historical contexts of the most famous pieces in the museum. As I dreamed of the faraway places from which Napoleon and his predecessors had hauled many of these sculptures, I looked at Isabella’s lips, my mind floating on the melody of her voice. She took my hand and we moved on to other statues and paintings. I loved that everyone stared at us. Older, well-dressed men absorbed every inch of her breasts, her beautiful face and body, and yet here I was, a naive boy from Holland, walking hand in hand with Miss World, the most beautiful statue in Paris.

She paused at the sensual sculpture of Bathing Venus by Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain, turned toward me and asked, “Do you see her womanly body, the realism and the imperfections?” Even looking at a naked statue put enough glow in my cheeks to light up a cellar. Yes I did see. The woman was a bit chubby in a Rubenesque kind of way, and I said, “She is a beautiful woman, so graceful.” Isabella smiled and said, “If you love her womanly figure and her grace, then you will have no trouble enjoying what I have to offer you.” I had no idea what she was talking about and looked around to see what other statue she might be referring to. Before I had a chance to ask, she reached up and planted another kiss on my lips, then grabbed my hand. I thought we were going to heaven.

Later, as I rolled out my sleeping bag next to the radiator in the living room of Isabella’s three-bedroom apartment on the Rue du Docteur Germain-Sée, I wasn’t thinking of the Eiffel Tower, a mere ten minutes away by foot, nor of the Bathing Venus, but of Isabella, who stood in the doorway observing me as she smiled invitingly. Too tall for a standard French bed, I preferred the hardwood floor. I didn’t want to sleep in the guest bedroom anyway because it was right next to her room. I offered her privacy, when privacy was the last thing on her mind. My mother had raised me well, and that’s what I was taught to do, give a woman her space. Besides, I foolishly assumed I was the last thing she’d think of before falling asleep… until she knelt down and kissed me goodnight, and I felt her body shiver the moment our lips touched. I had to force myself not to peek at her as she walked back to her room in her revealing, heart-stopping, mind-churning baby-doll nightgown. My God! Those legs and that firm derrière! Nature is so brutal and unfair! How would I be able to sleep?

The next morning while I made breakfast, Isabella explained to me that she was going to introduce me to one of her modeling agents. “Modeling is one of the nastiest jobs of all. It seems glamorous, but you won’t enjoy being constantly judged for the perfection of your body and face, which are always in a state of change. Perhaps for you, a man, it will be a bit less cruel. For us women it can be hell. If I ever have kids, it’s the last thing I’ll want them to do. Most women have no idea what it’s really like. It can make them bitter, self-loathing, and insecure, or stuck up and arrogant. That’s why most of them never get to the top. It kills your self-esteem. I was lucky to be lean and voluptuous and able to model bikinis. If I had to do just fashion I would quit. If you could only hear what the make-up artists, stylists, agents, designers, and producers say behind our backs.” Isabella went on to explain how the experience had made her callous. “I don’t care anymore. At the end of the day I go home, open my mail, and see that another large check has been deposited, then walk over to the mirror, smile happily about what I see, and if I am lucky I turn around and kiss a man like you.” To illustrate her point, she got up and kissed me on my lips again, licked my tongue, and pressed herself against me. I felt weak and turned beet red and couldn’t say a word. My heart nearly exploded with pride… if only my friends could see me now!

“Today we are going to meet my agent. Perhaps she has a connection, a photographer who needs a beautiful boy like you.” We sat down and she continued, “Let me warn you never to listen to anyone but your agent, and don’t measure yourself against others. Be yourself, because what you see in the mirror is not who you are inside. I bet you’ll be working as a model whenever you like, but do not let it go to your head. It is all just an illusion. That is why I keep studying art and promote traveling art shows and have friends outside the fashion world.”

Later that morning we arrived at the Elite modeling agency on the Avenue George V. Her agent took one look at me and said, “We don’t really handle men, but you should get in front of the camera just to see what you’ve got.” She called a photographer, spoke for a minute, hung up the phone, and gave me the address. Isabella told me to go right away. She kissed me good-bye and I walked through Paris for an hour before I found the studio. The photographer expected me and looked me over as if I were a painting … or a piece of meat. Before I even knew anyone’s name, they sent me to the make-up room, where female models were walking around in their underwear, some topless. Flustered, I shook hands with the make-up artist who got me ready for a hair gel commercial they were working on. I was told I was going to replace a model they had initially booked for the job but who turned out to be too short and skinny for the female model who had been the face of the campaign. After my hair was gelled up to look ridiculous, I shook hands with a tall blonde who kissed my cheeks while introducing herself as Magdalena. All I had to do was put on swimming trunks and stand in front of a white screen as she fell into my arms and kissed me on the lips … topless. We had to do it about twenty times and position her to hide her nipples behind my arms. This was easy! Would modeling always be this much fun? Could Isabella be wrong?

A few days later Isabella’s agent told her there was a check waiting for me at the office. It was for more money than I thought someone my age could earn in a whole month, and they wanted to know if I could work again the following week in a commercial. Oh, yes, good, and if I didn’t mind, it would involve jumping into the ice-cold dirty Seine river. I had to jump from a yacht and act like I was in the Caribbean. The moment the cold water hit my shorts I knew Isabella had been right. I feared my nuts would turn into raisins, especially after I had to repeat the jump at least ten times in front of fake palm trees and tropical flowers floating on a platform. The pay made the cold worth enduring, however, and more jobs followed. Despite its moments of insanity, the job was mostly fun, and the models I met were all very kind, intelligent, and professional.

One week after we met, Isabella called me into her large bedroom, and by the sound of her voice I sensed she was up to something. Just once before had we lain together on her bed, with her head on my chest as we both took a nap. It had been magical to feel her voluptuous body and smell her perfume blending with our pheromones as we kissed. She’d sensed my apprehension and said, “I love that you are here with me. We need to get to know each other better. Soon you will be ready for me.” Then she teasingly nibbled on my earlobe. “You see, I don’t bite … I only kiss and lick.”

Wondering what she was up to this time, I walked into her room, hoping it was another invitation to sit in a chair and watch her as she gave me mini fashion shows. When we did this before, she let me go through her closet and the racks in her bedroom and select combinations of clothes, shoes, and accessories for her to wear. She gently corrected me when my choices made a mockery of style or clashed with the lines of the female body. I loved those moments of quiet interaction. It was not only a great way to learn about fashion, but an opportunity for me to look at her without blushing, something I still hadn’t been able to master comfortably. Isabella would say, “Don’t be shy. Keep your eyes on me. Look at me. Watch me move.”

Tonight was different. She no longer had fashion on her mind. She had decided the moment had come for me to learn about the living statue, to become one with the flesh and blood beneath the beautiful designer clothes. From my spot in her chair, I looked around to see her, but I only heard her voice. “Close your eyes.” Suddenly the lights went out. It was pitch black. Then I heard music slowly increasing in volume. I recognized Wagner’s “Parsifal Fantasia” filling the room. She had really put some thought into whatever was coming. A match flared up to light a candle, giving me a fraction of a second to see a solid white figure. “Isabella?”

Still not a word. The music swelled, and then I saw her, but only the contour of a shadowy human form, nothing else. She came closer, stopped about eight feet away, and set the candle down behind her, framing her ghostly silhouette. She moved her arms and slowly twirled like a ballerina. In the flickering candlelight, she turned on the balls of her feet and with a single motion pulled the sheet from her body. I stopped breathing … was she naked? I had only seen a glimpse of her body before when she walked into the living room to kiss me good night. It was dim, and I trembled the moment her nipples rubbed over my chest as she came down to kiss me. Her long hair had brushed my face, neck, and chest, and I wished the feeling would never stop. I silently begged her to touch me again. I was so innocent and lost in emotions that I couldn’t understand.

She now turned her back to me, the candlelight revealing the sharp outlines of her body, her hips, her endless legs, the outline of her bosom, and when she bent down to pick up the candle, she revealed the area between her legs. I was afraid to look. This was too much! Slowly dancing to the music, she turned and walked toward me. The candle lit up the front of her body and cast strange shadows that distorted her beautiful face. I now had a full view of her magnificent breasts. When she stopped in front of me, I stopped breathing. She touched my hair and stroked my cheek, then softly told me to look. “Just look at me, look at my body, all of it. It’s now yours, to see and touch. I want you to touch me.”

“What? Touch?”

Without a word, she reached out and took my hand, first placing it on her belly. Her left hand slowly moved the candle up and down in front of her body, revealing every detail while she guided my hand up to her chest, her neck, her face, and then down to her pubic area… I pulled back. She knelt in front of me so I could caress her forehead, her hair, and her shoulders. She leaned in to kiss me on my lips, lick my tongue and lips in the process. Turning sideways, she offered her back. I moved my hand all over her shoulders, her spine, and the upper part of her rear. She then stood up and waited … and waited … then took my hand and urged me to caress the rest of her behind … before she turned and bent over … revealing her nether regions by moving the candle right beside her hip. I opened my eyes … and saw, for the first time, what a woman looked like … down there.

Slowly she raised her body and turned, giving me a full frontal view of everything. Her pubic area was nearly all shaved. Only a small strip above her labia remained. I closed my eyes and she giggled. The music finally stopped. She took my hand and pulled me towards the bed and put down the candle, picked up a bottle of oil, and poured some in my hands. I spread the oil between my hands as she turned around and stretched herself while whispering, “Touch me everywhere … touch me … please.” I lowered my hands slowly, carefully smearing the oil over her upper back and shoulders. I was shaking as my brain screamed, “One of the most beautiful women in the world is telling you to touch her all over … even in the unspeakable places! Do what she says! This is what you’ve always wanted. This is what men do. Come on, do it!”

It seemed like an eternity when I finally dared to rub her buttocks. She arched her back to give me full access to the area between her legs, as if to tell me, “Get used to it, I know you are looking at me. I love it … come on, take another look … touch me!”

Whatever I couldn’t see in the dim light I explored by carefully stroking her legs and buns, and then, with her eyes closed, she slowly guided my fingers wherever she wanted them. My heart was pounding! She moaned and wiggled.
I shuddered. She opened her eyes and said, “I want you to play with my body. You need to be comfortable with it. I want you to take off all your clothes. Come on … do it pour moi, seulement pour moi … tu es un beau garçon … viens à moi.” I hesitated, scared to death. I had never been hard and naked in front of a woman before. She noticed and got up to pull me from the bed and said, “Last week you were posing in swimwear for the whole world to see … il est bon, n’aie pas peur … don’t be afraid. I am your friend. I am the only one who can see you now. You see me, I want you to hold me in your arms.” She helped me out of my slacks and then sat on her knees and tugged at my shorts, which I still very much wanted to keep on. She smiled and yanked them down and looked at me and stammered: “Ah … good … tu es grand … I like very much!”

Ah, thank goodness she is happy with me. I am no longer a little boy!

She too was getting very excited. Her speech moved back and forth between French and broken English. She started to sweat and pant again. Nothing was left of the calm, graceful, disciplined lady that I had gotten to know. Hell, I was sweating like a dog too, and became ever more excited. What was going to happen?

Isabella pulled me back onto the bed, into her arms, passionately kissed me. She reached down to my parts and guided me inside her. I nearly fainted! The heat, the intense feeling of closeness was overwhelming. My head, my whole body was about to explode, then she whispered: “Breath slow, relax your legs, go slow … go slow … lentement …

During the next hours she showed me all the places she wanted me to see, feel, and taste, a journey that surpassed any dream I ever imagined, and I am forever grateful, as nothing could have been more beautiful.

To this day, I don’t know all the reasons why, but the next morning I called my mother and said, “Mama, I am in Paris. Everything is great. Well … Mama, I have become a man!

She asked, “Oh … okay!… Can I speak to the lucky lady?

“Uh … yes, of course.” I handed Isabella the phone. They talked a while in French.

I beamed with pride, glanced at the fireplace mantel, and saw a bronze statue of Thor, the Nordic god who conquered his goddess Járnsaxa. It couldn’t have been more perfect. I had conquered my greatest fear and desire. I had become a man in the arms of the world’s most beautiful woman, and my mother would be proud of me!

She’d better, since I wouldn’t change a thing.

Over the next few weeks Isabella showed me a whole new world, the one behind the glamorous magazine covers, the current fashions, the beautiful bodies and faces that compel men and women to buy the products they pose with. Over time, parts of that superficial world started to become clear. I saw how it worked. She talked about how the image of beauty is a carefully contrived artificial product. “You’d be surprised to know how little of what you see in the pages of glamour magazines has anything to do with public values or the demand of the masses. Even the smallest detail, like a colored shoestring or an off-center hat on the head of a tomboyish model, is the work of a few clever minds who make a small group of the well-to-do believe they are responsible for setting a trend. These designers, mostly gay, dictate what the hetero market will buy, prompting an endless stream of mainly Asian workers in copycat factories to crank out products that lose their value at the end of the season. My job is to understand what these few clever guys are doing when they present these designs to the world.”

One morning while I was still lying in bed finishing the last pages of Larry Collins and Dominique La Pierre’s book Is Paris Burning?, Isabella got out of the shower, walked past the mirror, stopped, and took a good look at her body. She turned around and checked out the shapely hard buns that had made her famous among bikini designers. They called her “Little Elle,” comparing her to Elle McPherson, who, at six feet, looked less glamorous but was an inch taller than Isabella and was known in the fashion industry as “The Body.” Some designers preferred Isabella to wear their best creations “to fill things up” as they said. That led to a run of the most outrageous bathing suits, some made of the skimpiest strings and things that even I didn’t think a woman should wear in public.

con't below - Part 2 of Chpt. 4 ...

Doc Bunkum
09-10-2014, 06:40 PM

Chapter 4. con't
Isabella’s Lessons

I may have been a bad judge of fashion, but I was finally able to look at her without blushing as she walked around naked. I now soaked up every eyeful and wanted more. I was spellbound by her fatal gift of beauty. How could anyone ever get enough? Isn’t the beauty of a woman the most powerful force that drives a man? As she stood before the mirror, slowly moving her hands up her belly and across her nipples, she turned to give me a naughty smile and said, “This doesn’t last forever, you know. Let’s both enjoy it while we can.” Did she mean her body, our relationship, or both?

Before I could respond, she stepped over, tossed back her long dark blonde manes, and crawled back into bed. Still wet from the shower, she kissed me deeply and said, “Don’t ever stop looking at me the way you just did. It really does something to a woman. I know what you want, and now I will teach you a little more about what women want.” She straddled me between her legs and lowered herself down on me. She kissed me and said in her typically mischievous voice, “I always laugh at how serious we models take ourselves, but if we didn’t, we wouldn’t stay on top.”

Later that week I accompanied her to a party at the Château de Breteuil, where we mingled with about two hundred guests, including a number of well-known French and British actors and distinguished businessmen. The castle was beautifully decorated, not ostentatious as some I had seen in French films, a lot more relaxed and livable. We made our rounds through the rooms and hallways and labyrinthine gardens, and along the way we met several people who invited us to their own parties the following weekend. Thinking it rude not to accept at least some of these invitations, we agreed to go to three. The first was held at an amazing villa, the second at the home of the chairman of a chemical company, and the third at a castle owned by two of Isabella’s designer friends. These two men were brothers who lived in an eighteenth-century château about an hour outside of Paris. When we arrived, they gave me a good hard look before shaking my hand, and I sensed that something was different about them. Their grip lingered just a little too long. They insisted on giving me a private 40-minute tour of the castle, and at the end they asked me directly if I’d be interested in living there for the summer. “We’ll give you a room for as long as you want.”

For a stranger to offer me a room of my own in a French castle, with a designer garden and a beautiful view of a fountain, was as bizarre as it was suspicious. They explained that all they expected of me was to entertain their friends and introduce them to as many top models as I was able to drag home to the castle during the summer. To make it even more incredible, they asked if I would agree to the following proposal: “We’ll give you a car and driver, unlimited access to the castle, $3000 per month for expenses, and free food.”

It sounded like a dream offer, but it was nuts, and Isabella and I laughed about it as soon as we were alone. “Are these men mentally stable?” I asked. “Oh, ean-Pierre and Pasqualle are bisexual. I suspect they will put some hidden cameras in your bedroom. They will want to watch you with these women, maybe even ask you if they can join in. They are a bit eccentric and resent having to go to Paris for fun. They’d rather have the best of Paris come to them. They obviously like you and think that with the proper coaching you can become the perfect houseguest.”

“What do you mean they’ll ask if they can join in?”

“Oh yes, they have asked me many times.”

“Have you ever done that?”

“No, and I will not … unless you want me to.”

I like to believe she was joking, so I just grinned, took her hand, and joined the others for tea and sandwiches, hoping it would subdue the light-headedness that had set in.

That night in our guestroom on the third floor of the castle, she quipped, “You do need more experience, you know. There are lots of different ways to find pleasure. You should feel free to explore.” I looked at her and said, “No thanks. I have plenty of exploring to do right here with you.” She smiled and kissed me, took her dress off, and rode Dutch Boy to heaven while telling me, “You are learning just fine. I think I’ll keep you all to myself for a bit longer.” That was all I wanted to hear, and I never slept better.

Before we left for Paris the next day, I took a few minutes to thank the hosts and kindly declined their offer by telling them that I was too busy with my studies back in Amsterdam to spend every weekend partying and entertaining women. They smiled and said, “You are a very sweet young man, and our doors are always open for you.” I shook their hands, and later Isabella told me that she wisely kept her mouth shut when she wanted to tell them, “It’s exactly your wide open back door that he should be worried about!”

I had finally settled into life with Isabella and had begun to think of our time together as almost routine when her friend Véronique came to stay with us. Véronique was a swimsuit model from the south of France who was in Paris for a shoot, and she was very friendly. She never even thought of sleeping in Isabella’s guest bedroom but opted instead to cuddle with us, opening up a whole new dimension to our relationship.

It was hypnotic to watch the two of them together. Véronique’s gentle caresses, kisses, nibbles, licks, and teasing made my way of touching Isabella seem like a barbarian wrestling match. They insisted that I follow Véronique’s lead, get over my stupid shyness, and learn to show my emotion through touch. “There is nothing manly about clumsiness,” Véronique whispered as she guided my fingers over Isabella’s body and her own. “Look how softly, how slowly, how carefully I fondle her nipples, her earlobes, and.…” Yes, I get it, let me try. “No, no, no, still too hard, too fast. Let the sensation saturate her brain, let it do its magic. Don’t skip to the next part … it’s not the amount of area you cover, but the amount of subtle sensation you create.”

A woman, they explained, is a totally different creature than a man. A man must be taught to feel. I was confused … until they both started to touch me … ooh, soo softly. It is amazing what a good ear nibbling and tongue caressing of the neck can do to your heartbeat! To watch their beautiful faces and bodies come together in their inch-for-inch discovery of my body nearly made me lose my mind. It was too much sensory impulse. I had to close my eyes … floating off in ecstasy, unaware of who it was who rode me to a shuddering climax. I would have joined any religion if that’s what it took for this lesson in sensual exploration never to end.

The next day Isabella and Véronique continued their instruction on the nature of female beauty and sensuality. Isabella was dressing for a charity event to be held in the gardens at Versailles. She slid her tan, smooth, 36-inch legs into a short summer dress as she explained to me, “A woman’s power lies in her ability to use her brain, develop confidence, yet remain feminine in a man’s world. By doing so she makes life less manly, less insensitive.” She put on her shoes, got up, took a last look in the mirror, and went on to say, “Being beautiful is no different than being smart, strong, talented, driven, or plain old fashioned hard working. These qualities are either taught, genetically passed on, or consciously adopted. However they come about, they are merely qualities whose value should be measured only in terms of what anyone does with them. I use my beauty to sell clothes, for example, but I will not use it to take advantage of men. They offer me Ferraris, Bentleys, and homes on the Riviera, but I will not have them. I would be selling my soul if I did. These men would have control over me, and I would lose my identity.”

She sat on the bed across from me. “There are some things I have no control over. I can’t change what the media writes when I change my hair or dress. But I can use my looks to do good in the world. The trick is to be true to myself and donate funds to charities I believe in. Men will reach deep into their wallets if they are bidding against a model who just pledged $10,000 to a particular cause, a cause most people wouldn’t even know about if it weren’t for the model who first drew attention to it. As a group, we models donate hundreds of millions during our careers to charities.”

We were on our way to the event when she told me, “My looks have made it possible for me to set aside enough money that I can some day start a family and remain financially independent from a man. I can guarantee you, I would hate to be a man and have to pay my bills.” Isabella and Véronique both confessed that while they loved the world of modeling, they were well aware that the clock was ticking, and they were both saving money for the day when they would no longer be paid for their beauty. They had each already accumulated over five million dollars by age twenty-four, not counting the hundreds of thousands they had given to charities.

We picked up our friend Eva and continued along the Seine, and I looked out the window as we passed the Eiffel Tower. As if reading my thoughts, Isabella gave me a long wet kiss, the kind that started all the trouble under the iron legs of Mrs. Eiffel. Véronique smiled and leaned over for her kiss, and I was glad that Isabella got as much out of me watching her running around in fashion as she got out of watching me kiss Véronique, only to drive her to kiss me even more passionately. I jokingly asked if they were lesbians. “Of course we are … look at her,” and they pointed at each other at the same time. How could I complain? Being a lesbian, a feminist, it was all fine with me, and I laughed and said, “But then what about me? Is this the end of my love affair with you Isabella? She looked at Véronique, then at Eva, and then back to me and said mischievously, “You don’t know what we do when you’re not around.”

A week later Véronique and Isabella showed me exactly what she meant. On the front page of a trashy celebrity news magazine was a photo of the three women kissing at the party. The article was called “Kisses for Brazil.” It told how Isabella and Véronique had each donated $10,000 at a fundraiser for abused kids in Brazil, and their gifts had triggered an avalanche of smaller donations. “You see, D, that’s how you make things happen. It pays to be a media lesbian.”

Not long after the party at Versailles, Isabella was called to New York for a major campaign, and her career was about to take a new direction. Before she left we had a few more long conversations. She painted with words what she had learned in the glamour industry, how humans tend to interact with each other superficially. When the unavoidable day had come for us to go our separate ways, I had a very different outlook on life. We went to the spot where we had first met, and she said something that took me years to understand: “Accept what Mother Nature has given you. Enjoy it. Treat it well and know that it is just an illusion. We are all flesh and blood, and you’ll only find happiness within yourself.” She kissed me for the last time and walked away. After ten paces she turned around, tears welled up in both our eyes, and she said, “Remember the good times we had. We may never see each other again.”

That September she left for New York and I left Paris to take a job on a twelve-meter racing yacht called Clementine, sailing first to Tenerife and then to the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Working as helmsman and wincher by way of Casablanca, Tenerife, and Gomera, it would be my first ocean race, and a dangerous one since we sailed through one of the worst storms in history. But I grew up and learned how to sail through anything.

Years later during a short visit to Paris, I was told by Véronique that Isabella did well in New York for about a year, then went to Japan to film a commercial. There was an accident and she fell from a set and was fatally wounded. The camera man who tried to comfort her as the ambulance was on its way reported that her final words were, “It was beautiful … I have loved all of it … it’s okay … I know what love is.”

When I heard the news, I took Véronique in my arms and sobbed. We walked to the Eiffel Tower and lay in the grass, and I told her the story of how Isabella and I first met. We smiled and kept quiet for what seemed an eternity. Then we were both okay. We understood what Isabella meant when she said “You’ll only find happiness within yourself.” I didn’t need to hold on to her image any longer. I knew I had to look beyond my own image in the mirror to find myself. But it would take a few more of life’s events to drive the point home. This was only the beginning of the voyare, the one within, the only one that would ever offer satisfaction and liberation...

Doc Bunkum
09-12-2014, 06:24 AM

Chapter 5.
Nedra Roney - Nu Skin's Co Founder in Action

Just to give you a little insight into the Nu Skin world of surprises, the following is an excerpt from my book describing the actual founding “mother” of the company reaching out for love a little too close to home.

Tarah Jeane is Nedra’s adopted daughter and it all started out good; Nedra was young, successful, smart, funny, driven and charming. She really wanted do right by helping Tarah’s birth mother find her way in life at an age and under circumstances that were less than perfect.

Soon, however, idealism and reality did not blend in and Nedra’s desires and ambitions didn’t include motherhood the way it was promised to be. Nu Skin’s growth enabled her to satisfy urges and spasm-spending spree’s, which enhanced by prescription drugs, did little but undermine mental faculties that could otherwise perhaps have saved her and her dependents from a roller coaster of extremes to which I too, (be it temporarily) have been a jaw-dropping witness.

Her way of showing love through external means of obsessive materialism was indicative of a woman who sees people as “opportunities” of personal gain.

Tarah made Nedra look good and grew to become an ideal nannie to her plural, colorful-bunch of adopted siblings until she wanted her independence.

Missing out on school and basic levels of healthy emotional development most of her life, circumstances only got less fortunate when she decided to marry her boy friend Dannon and wrangle herself free from Nedra’s control.
Initially Nedra went along with it, generously enjoying the part of buying the love birds a home in Las Vegas... but the reality to see her beautiful, young daughter have the life she herself couldn’t create became too much to bare.
It did more than amplify the disturbing reality of at least 13 failed marriages, it ruined her last, frail memory of hope when the merciless reflection in the mirror screamed out to her that midlife crisis was chewing up the last remnant of self esteem. What ever was left of it had already been soured by being forced off Nu Skin’s board of directors, another major setback in her life caused by her drug-enhanced behavior, amplified by Tarah’s desire for independence.


What follows is an excerpt from my chapter on the matter:

...After Tarah left Nedra’s home, to pursue her own dreams without Nedra’s influence and control. This gave Nedra enough time to brood over how she was going to handle her “obstinate” adopted daughter.

Tarah asked me what I thought of her dream of an income of her own by taking up modeling, and realizing her independence. I could not predict that the same pretty young woman in front of me, smiling at the forecast of finding success of her own, would call me up not too long after and tell me, “Nedra is having an affair with my hubby, Danon.”

I didn’t need to wait long to learn that my advice to “stay calm” and meet up with her friends didn’t have the desired impact. The moment I learned that Tarah had shot herself through her broken heart in her Malibu beachfront condo, possibly in the presence of one of her husband’s friends, I realized there is little anyone can do to change the fate of the lives of other’s when no solutions seem to be available to them.

Nedra must have been convinced that one way to break Tarah’s spirit of independence was to have sex with her daughter’s freshly married hubby, far away on the Cayman Islands, next door to Michael Crichton’s spread whose prolific writings may have drawn from the same inspirational beach setting that drove Nedra to write her own accord, a “Killer Rendezvous.”

After the incident, Nedra proved that her concern was not focused on mending her ways for the sake of others, but rather her concern was for herself; how else was I to interpret, “Do you think this affair will affect my relationship with God?”

Fear of the wrath of “her maker” was of greater worry to her than finding help to heal her sickness. It would be my last conversation with both women; with one I can no longer speak, and for the latter neither words nor desire remain.
If anyone could ever do anything to help Tarah, it is too late now; and for Nedra there seems to be little chance of redemption. I do imagine this to be hard for Nedra too, unless the results of a few sessions of Mormon inspired “turbo-repenting” offered her some relief.


When I flew on her private jet in 1999 after she yelled and screamed at Tarah trying to break her will by threatening her with financial sanctions, Nedra and her ex-husband, Tom Wentland, didn't hesitate to use illegal drugs right in front of the children, bopping in and out of semi-consciousness, until I physically removed the drugs from Tom's hands.

Her attorney at the time, Tom Branch, was waiting on the tarmac when the plane landed and was informed of the situation. He can confirm this story is true. I hate to think what would have happened to me had she been arrested again for inter-state drug trafficking if it wasn’t Tom, but police officers waiting. Nedra seemed to be dealing with it as business as usual.


Tarah’s birth mother, Kimberly, hopes that the tragic death of a child she loved, but had to let go of, can inspire others to seek serious help before they too fall for the illusions of a “way out” when better answers are available, even during the darkest moments.

For Kimberly the road of obstacles didn’t end when she passed her beautiful eight month old baby on to Nedra. The man Kimberly married showed to be less of a man than an animal when he burned the few physical memories of Tarah in a bout of blind rage. The fact that he ended up in prison shows how he too made choices that can simply not be tolerated.

The sigh of relief his imprisonment drew from Kimberly was quickly silenced and replaced by ever more tears when Nedra forbade her to attend the funeral of her own daughter.

For some people the many challenges in life may seem unbearable and hopeless. I sincerely wish that by giving a voice to Tarah, as well as Kimberly, someone may be enlightened and be spared from unnecessary suffering.
Tarah Jeane was born on September 11, 1981 and passed away on August 1st, 2002 in Malibu, CA. She is laid to rest in Valley Oaks, Memorial Park, Westlake Village, CA.

On July 13/02 I spoke to Cory Draper who searched 15 cemeteries to find Tarah's grave and noticed that Nedra mistakenly posted the wrong birth date. It will be corrected soon.

Update (07/04/12) I just heard that Nedra moved Tarah's body to an undisclosed grave site and I am waiting to hear back from a investigator. Nedra has thus far refused to disclose the location.


BJean Apr 18th, 2012 @ 09:08 AM

Tarah was a victim, no doubt about it, and she needs this voice. I'm happy that you've posted this, I'm also disturbed that Utah Valley Magazine published a spread on her in 2003 after she'd slept with her son-in-law causing her daughter to end her life. I wonder how long you'll be 'up' before they have you shut down. The Rip Off Report bowed down to these guys, I don't think it will take long to get your site pulled as well. In the meantime, I'm passing it along to as many people as I can so at least the awareness can be raised. I have several contacts in several Occupy movements who are also spreading the word. Keep up the fight!

Doc Bunkum
09-16-2014, 06:16 AM

Chapter 6

Meeting Nathan Ricks


“Ladies and gentlemen, here is Nathan Ricks, the man who has redefined Network Marketing, he is a legend and leader that has been with Nu Skin since the early years. He's going to explain how you too can make it in this business.”

David had called me about this meeting at least a month ago. I didn’t really want to go because it would take all night and I had a lot to do. Acting classes on two nights of the week and random auditions during the day required me to stay “on call” at all times. Besides, I had my job as a building manager that required my attention a few hours per day as well. To make it more complicated, I taught a coastal navigation class two Saturdays per month. To sit there in a West Lake, California hotel was not something I was excited about doing.

David, however, was visibly comfortable in his role, he even seemed proud to have brought me to the lion’s den. He had been involved in this MLM (multi-level-marketing) deal for years, knew who everyone was, and possessed the perfect personality: approachable, likeable, unafraid of rejection, and determined. However, I wasn’t easy; my opposing arguments forced him to spend a lot of energy convincing me before I would decide to become an “Independent Nu Skin Distributor.”

I had not signed yet, but whenever I spoke to people about skincare I did manage to sell the products. I didn’t believe that it would amount to much unless I indeed actually signed up, and as everyone suggested, I’d need to invest heavily more time and money. Both of which I had little, but if I didn’t “commit” and “go for it” it would never lead to anything. Most of my friends advised adamantly against MLM, urging me to learn more before taking a leap of faith.

Despite how good those brochures looked, I felt as if I was joining a religion and said so to David, who laughed and said, “Well, you got to believe in something, might as well be a religion that makes you money.”

On the surface it all looked beautiful, so clean and honest, sincere and slick. Empowered by observing me sell 12 bottles of a weight loss product to a voluptuous, very pretty, virtual stranger called Lisa D., a major banker, David felt I could “do anything.”

Lisa stood in front of me in line at the Koo Koo Roo restaurant on Santa Monica and Sepulveda Boulevard in West Los Angeles. I looked at her and told her she ought to buy my product. She smiled and said, “OK, give me all you've got.” David, looking on, got up and introduced himself, convinced because of my sales stunt with Lisa and my knack for acting I “could do anything.”

At the very least, I could get him in contact with many Hollywood actresses. He was right, some indeed bought the Nu Skin skincare products from me; most likely assuming the product had something to do with my flawless, God-given skin. I was lucky that way, but it was nonsense of course.

In order to get me to sign up as an “Independent Distributor” David pursued me for three months; at one point annoying me when he sold me stack of overpriced Nu Skin “IDN” protein bars. He was just irresistible; a true purebred salesman. He was life loving, charming, witty, relentless, and knew every possible rebuttal to all excuses anyone could come up with; and so I buckled and signed up!

Earlier that night, when we walked into the elegant hotel lobby, he immediately endeared himself to all the established distributors, looked around the room, nodded to familiar faces and smiled. I too scanned the room only to feel out-of-place. Most of the people present were women in their thirties, forties, and fifties. Men, most of them in their forties and a few young bucks that looked like skeptical car salesmen, were focused, seriously absorbing all there was to learn about this “Opportunity of a Lifetime.”

The large meeting room had never been this full; people were standing outside the door, creating the perfect sense of urgency, emitting a “need to act.”

This better be good, the last time I had been to an over-filled hotel room was in Columbus, Ohio a few months back, during the Arnold Classic. There the room had been packed with beautiful fitness models and body builders, some of which I worked with during the show. I was there to promote liquid chromium picolinate and do a few stand-up “Arnold-voice” gigs on stage for channel 13. The gig was riding on my ability to look and sound like him during a time when many controversial elements from his past were professionally squelched. Personally, looking and sounding like him wasn’t exactly a compliment but a great way to break the ice in an ego-riddled environment.

Back in LA I figured Nu Skin wasn’t such a stretch, I knew the health business well enough. However, I had no idea about the true nature of MLM so the most important part of the deal went over my head.

Nathan Ricks walked up, tall and lean, chiseled features, clean cut, and with the air of a college football athlete about to show off to a hungry crowd. He looked around the room, at first as if measuring up an opponent and he then slid into a disarming smile that had a twist of slyness. He took the mike and with a smooth swooping move flipped on a slide projector and leaped into a fast paced, aggressive sales pitch that I knew from late night TV infomercials, only letting off when he spoke of the past, a particular emotional moment when his brother in-law, Craig Tillotson, called to recruit him; a tiresome process that drained all of Craig’s ample sales spiels, obliterating Nathan’s arguments against joining Nu Skin. Craig's final, insidious; “What is wrong with you, you need to do this!” broke down the last defenses and Nathan too switched jobs.

Craig assured that he wouldn't be alone in the battle. Craig’s mother Clara McDermott, Nathan’s mother-in-law, was already doing well with Nu Skin and he was already making a “ton of money.”

Extremely competitive by nature Nathan joined and went crazy. “There was no way I was going to let Craig beat me to it, for long; the idea alone that he would make more money than I would kill me.”

While at the time I missed the exact family relationship between Nathan and the Nu Skin founders and the implications of it, Nathan didn't miss a word. He never stumbled or let down. He had done this many times before and knew how to lay it on thick, draw out the accents when he painted this picture of a life of freedom in wealth and carelessness, only to drive home the urgency that I too should “get in” and “get going” and not waste another second!

He was on a roll and no matter what anyone would do he indeed “was going to beat you to it.” Nathan was then and still is one fellow who doesn't stop until he's ahead; perfect qualities for anyone in businesses, especially someone in network-marketing.

Most of us had no idea how it would work in reality. We wanted to “join his team,” naively taking it in hook-line-and-sinker, boiling with desire to be like him; to earn that 24/7 commission from our own “global Nu Skin market.”

It was mesmerizing to see all the slides, to hear his hypnotizing pitch, blinding me of the details that separated the masses from Nathan and the rest of the world. Yes! I too felt the itch; this was going to change my life. I just knew it!

Then Nathan slowed down to a soft dribble, speaking about how he lived in a home that was called the “castle,” right somewhere in Utah, not too far from Salt Lake; a place I had never heard of. He could have been speaking of Timbuktu and I would have been equally fascinated. During a moment of “reflection” he made clear how proud he was of his family and being from Utah. After that it took him about twelve minutes to explain why Nu Skin was so much better than all other opportunities... not one word about the products yet.

Those, I thought, would be the main reason we were there. Sure, he dribbled over them by telling us about this or that soon to-be-launched “hot item,” or about some scientists that claimed a “breakthrough” but he soon went back to the compensation plan; how good it was and how it worked. That was exactly what made me wonder. Prospects and newly signed distributors couldn't help but think that they too would keep sales going until long after the Australians and New Zealanders turned off their lights. All they needed to do was find that “gem,” that one worker-bee who will go nuts and help fill their pockets while they napped, just like Nathan.

As I looked around the room I saw how pupils became dollar signs and people’s arguments became opportunities to counter, persuade, and conquer. Jokes and smiles were tools to build up rapports that could lead to “closing the deal” and by doing so transfer the greed factor and fuel the utopian fever.

When I realized that all the money generated from my first level sign-ups, before becoming an executive distributor, would go to my “up-line” or sponsor, in my case fellow actor David Christian for his effort of “coaching” me, it didn’t make that much sense to me. It merely told me that Nu Skin didn’t believe in me until I had burned up my warm market and I would only be paid a commission from anyone they signed. Nathan made it crystal clear; he’d not take any of us serious unless we got in at “a thousand points.”

“Why would I take you serious if you don’t take Nu Skin serious?” He blurted in the microphone. With one point to equal one dollar, it was for most us a lot of money to invest in something that had not made much sense to me and several others who shared their concerns with me later. Nathan, aware of the deflating murmur traveling through the room said, “Remember, look at what you are getting; a company, products, a ‘hands-free,’ seamless compensation plan and awesome leadership... for only a small investment.”

Obviously Nathan's talent was (and still is) to create “sense,” out of the whirlwind of data and stories that spoke of a different world, a promised land where all dreams come true; but on the other hand he was “all business” and if I invested that much money I wanted to actually like the guy that I was giving it to. Despite how it would not all go to him I decided right then and there I was only signing up to be “active” and for David’s sake; for all the time he invested chasing me around.

David wasn’t the first one to pursue me; a woman before him had tried. She prospected me when I was cashing a check for $2,000 for my work on a film at the bank. She stood behind me and leaned over, looked at the check, and said, unblushingly, “Two grand? Uh, well, I know a deal that can generate that kind of money every week.”

I hadn't come to Hollywood just to “make money,” instead I saw the film business as an adventure. However, a little extra income couldn’t hurt and I promised to meet her on Saturday evening on my way back from teaching my class in Marina de Rey. When I walked into the restaurant I had just made $500 teaching two guys how to sail, anchor, and navigate along the California coast. Having the money to pay bills took the pressure off a bit until I saw her sitting at the bar in a mini-skirt and push-up bra. I knew I had to be on my guard.

Women do not meet men in mini-skirts for a business meeting unless they expect whatever it is they’re after will require their “assets” to be thrown in to get it. They know what the basal, fatal attraction can do to our mostly primitive, one-track male minds. She turned around, smiled, grabbed my hand, pulled me in, and laid it on thick using the subtle separation of her legs to get me off-guard when she kissed me on my cheeks accompanied by, “Don’t you Europeans do it this way?”

I smiled and asked her to get to the point as I was on my way home after twelve hours bouncing around on the Pacific Ocean in the unforgiving California sun.

Everything about her told me to leave. She grabbed my hand again, asked me to sit down and explained the Nu Skin basics and pulled out her field tested “doe-eyed” look and said, “Dietrick, this is a great deal, just sign up with me. Come on, it will be great. We can work together, you and me, and go out there and get people signed up everywhere we go.”

I looked at her and wondered how many other guys had fallen for her sexy charm and joined Nu Skin just to see her run around in her minis—crazy.

Besides being unprofessional, I didn’t feel that I was anything more than a warm body in her mind. I decided to leave. “I really need to think about it. I will call you once I’ve made up my mind.” I got up and walked out. She followed me, asked me where I was heading, as in, I need a ride. She said, “My car is down a few blocks; couldn’t find parking.” I instinctively looked around at all of the free spaces... women never cease to amaze me.

“OK, get in.”

The moment she climbed in my car she looked around and said, “You really need this Nu Skin deal; you could buy yourself another ride.”

“I love this car, no need to get rid of it... it is my way of understatement,” I joked.

“Right, is that what you tell all of the women who dare to get in?”

“No, only those who ask for a ride. Is this where I drop you?”

Months later she complained that I had signed up with David. She felt he “stole” me from her. I told her that he didn’t need a mini-skirt to get me to sign up; just a better sales pitch without flashing underwear. She didn’t let up and even called Nu Skin about it. No one cared.

After Nathan’s presentation I walked over and asked him what my chances were without having any family members living in the US, or many friends to introduce the business to. He took a second, looked me over and said, “That is the great thing about Nu Skin, for anyone willing to work, it is an even playing field.”

“So, I can do what you do and get this going?”

“Well, yes, if you really, really want to get this then you can. I am no different than you are.”

“That sounds good... I’ll discuss it with my sponsor.”

David was happy I signed up. “D, you are going to be awesome at this.” Yes, I could sell a lot of stuff to strangers as long as I believed in it. I could talk to anyone, and everyone always talked to me. During the trip home, reflecting on all that took place, we felt that Nathan gave us all the catch-phrases to satisfy any questions or doubts and help us become better distributors. We were devoured by excitement and infused by his smooth MLM recruiting talk.

David said, “The company has been around for about ten years, they are beyond the danger zone. It is a good deal, D; it will work out well for you. Just do what I do and keep talking to people about it, take them to meetings and get them in front of Nathan and things will take care of themselves.”

David had a point. Nathan was a man on a mission who was on the hunt for people who were very serious and able to do this business; but what did it really take to do it? None of the biographies of the leaders we spoke to mimicked my own in the slightest; that Nathan too lived on a whole different level of wealth was clear, but at the time I had no idea how different his reality was compared to my own. When he spoke of making hundreds of thousands a month I was thinking of getting my next acting gig to stay afloat in a town that consumed people that didn’t constantly push themselves in front of the camera.

When David dropped me off, different ideas about business and earning possibilities had been instilled; yet I had no clear idea how to really get going, and I speculated about what Nathan’s day might look like. He had projected images on a whiteboard and said whatever it took to impress us, and one of the things he showed was his house, after apologizing that the landscaping wasn’t done. It was a huge home, at the edge on top of a hill, overlooking the Salt Lake Valley.

He seemed so hyper and restless, how much time would he get to spend there with his family? I doubt he was home much. Then again, I didn’t spend a lot of time at home either... but I didn’t have a family to take care of.

Back in my apartment, I looked out the living room window at the apartment of an Iranian couple across the garden who fought like cats ‘n dogs. Below them lived a friendly gay couple that hated the students that filled most of the apartments in my building for the constant stream of abuse they’d cause. My rent was due the coming week and I still hadn’t heard back from my latest audition. This life, this world of mine, was so far removed from that of Nathan’s. I leaned my shoulder against the window frame and let my mind float off in a daydream; a future void of financial worries and the ability to help my loved ones in whatever way they needed.

If there ever came an end to the constant stream of movie roles I had been able to secure, maybe then, indeed, Nu Skin could be my salvation…

Janette Bullick Apr 14th, 2012

You're a very talented writer. This made me laugh, so spot on with your observations. Mormons are creepy, they breed like maggots to ensure the strength of their cult. Forced to tithe 10% makes the Mormon church very rich and powerful. I never met a Mormon who was a good person. And the saying 'the love of money is the root of all evil' definately applies to them. I know first hand how manipulative and evil Mormons are... I admire your gumption. May seem like a futile effort, but eventually it will make its way to the right person and they will be exposed for what they are. Make sure to send a copy to 60 Minutes.

Doc Bunkum
09-16-2014, 08:41 AM
It doesn't matter, but this chapter was originally Chapter 6 in Diederik's book. Hard to keep track of things as he kept changing material around.


Chapter 7


Los Angeles and Utah, 1995

Sandie visited me at my Greenfield Avenue apartment in Los Angeles on or around March 12, days before my second trip to Utah, and stayed overnight. She tolerated the juvenile jokes and primitive living conditions better than I expected. Our lifestyles could hardly have been more contrasting unless I moved to a hut in Dar es Salaam. I didn’t really need to live that way. It was my choice, it was cheap, and it kept me focused. I could have gotten myself back on a large yacht and made a lot of money sailing around the world, or I could have done more modeling work, or taught painting, but at that time acting was where my mind was. My job as on-site manager at the apartment complex was a hilarious distraction. It didn’t faze Sandie that I had to use the fire hose to subdue out-of-control parties or that I got calls on my cell phone from tenants who couldn’t get hot water at 2:00 in the morning. And when she heard how the police came not to arrest but to compliment me for kicking in a neighbor’s door when he refused to turn the music down, she just smiled and reached out to rub my arm.

Sandie seemed okay with everything I did, and I can’t deny having put her to the test. She was the only woman I ever met who didn’t scream like a stuck pig when I plunged my banged-up Toyota into Los Angeles rush-hour traffic. And trust me, I laid it on thick. My driving in those days was never without white knuckles, burned rubber, and a 180-beat-per-minute heartbeat. Compared to her, all the Hollywood women I knew seemed boring. They were too worried about their fingernails, hairdos, fake tans, silicone breasts, and pretty faces. Whenever I drove twice the speed limit, they whined and shrieked, and most of them complained about my car. My vehicular understatement reached its peak when the freeway became visible through the holes in the floorboard beneath their manicured high-heeled feet. Only a few die-hards dared set foot in my apartment, where the constant moving about of Scott and Sebastian and other friends restricted our privacy. If all that didn’t scare them away, the foul-beaked cockatoo, still swinging from his hook in the living room, blew any chance of relaxed conversation, let alone romantic exploration. By now the bird had a more sophisticated repertoire of crude slang than a Jersey longshoreman, and he didn’t like women, not one bit. It would take a serious commitment for a gal to put up with my living situation, and to my surprise Sandie made a genuine effort to do so. She slipped right under my comforter as if she belonged there.

We had fun together, but it was taking me away from my obligations. I had stuff to do, a career to attend to, major bills to pay. Getting any career going takes time, and acting was no different, but my work wasn’t going fast enough to suit Sandie’s taste, since it interfered with her plans to have me travel around the world with her. I saw my career in a very different light than she did. To her, my running around with guns in silly action films was not to be taken seriously. Maybe she was unaware that I felt the same about selling Nu Skin products that no one really needs. I had a lot of questions about Nu Skin, the owners of the company, and their inexplicable compensation plan. Sandie wasn’t interested in answering my questions, but she did entertain me with stories about the company’s early days and her own valiant struggles to promote Nu Skin in every quarter of the globe. I was very impressed and proud to be with a woman who had accomplished so much and who seemed sincerely interested in me.

The moment of no return in our budding love affair came when Sandie walked into the Bank of America on Santa Monica Boulevard to pay back my grand-uncle eight of the fifteen thousand Guilders I owed him (about $8,000). To me that was a huge amount of money for someone to pay on my behalf. Sandie’s generosity eased my debt and helped liberate me to travel with her, but I felt enormous pressure to pay her back. No woman had ever supported me financially since I’d left my mother in Holland. To owe money to someone I was dating was a self-confidence killer, and looking back at that crucial moment, I should have known better.

The first time I felt uneasy about Sandie paying my way was a few days after we met in Cancun. I was about to pay for my own lunch when she picked up the tab for about eight of us dining in a beautiful restaurant right above the underground river. She said, “Don’t worry, I got it.” We all looked at her and thought, “Yes, we all know you got it, but none of us asked you to.” That was the day I realized who she was in the Nu Skin corporate line-up and what that meant in terms of her spending power.

To put that spending power into context, if a normal person goes to work and earns $20 per hour, he can expect to have an annual gross income of about $40,000. After taxes there’s about $31,200 left, and of that another 15% to 20% is eaten up by local and sales taxes, leaving that person barely able to live according to American middle class standards. If another person earns double that amount, at $40 per hour, yielding an annual total income of $80,000 before taxes, then that might make for a comfortable living, but it’s still a long way from Sandie’s half-million dollars or more in annual Nu Skin income, which would work out to roughly $1,040 per hour — if she worked a standard 40-hour work week, which she doesn’t. Not by a long shot does this include the many millions more that she makes each year on investments in land, insurance, improved properties, hard money lending, and other investments too numerous to relate. Her total estimated income in 1995 (the year of our marriage) was $15 million from all these various sources. That works out to $62,500 per hour (again, presuming a normal 40-hour work week). She and I used to joke that she made about $17,000 an hour, twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week, even though many weeks would go by during which she did absolutely no work for Nu Skin. And of course after the 1997 Initial Public Offering of Nu Skin stock, her income multiplied many times over. She had a way of rationalizing these numbers away by saying, “Just because I make a lot of money shouldn’t be a reason for you to feel bad.”

By the end of March, Sandie decided to rescue me from my Los Angeles bachelor life, and she took me to Deer Valley, Utah to show me the ski-in-ski-out home she was in the process of building there. The foundation and frame were already in place, but there was still a lot of work to be done. I walked around and visualized the possibilities. She must have picked up on the fact that I’d become uncomfortable with her paying for everything and making all the decisions because she asked me if I’d be willing to contribute to the design work and help out the contractor. I said yes, and that was the beginning of my life in Utah. I spent the next several months planning the interior of the Deer Valley home, ordering furniture, and designing and painting the fireplace. By the time the house was finished, I was able to think of it as partly mine.

Meanwhile I moved to Utah. In four trips using Sandie’s Mercedes Benz 600 SEL, I hauled all my stuff from Los Angeles, driving 720 miles one way in six hours flat. She didn’t believe I had already returned after the first trip and called me on my home phone! All she said was, “You’re crazier than Mario Andretti!” I had never driven a V-12 before, and it was surprisingly calm and quiet but very fast. In Germany, I had some rich school buddies who used to let me race their Porsches because I could always beat the other guys. I had a knack for calculating speed and distance and a car’s ability to handle directions, something that later landed me some stunt-driving gigs in Hollywood, where I routinely outdrove souped-up Camaros and Corvettes with my janky old Toyota simply by cutting it a little closer than they did.

The Mercedes was fantastic on the open road. A hundred miles seemed like a ride to the mall. I averaged 120 mph but would occasionally push it up to 160 mph to cover long open stretches. I had to slow down around Las Vegas and Los Angeles and at one point was chased by a Nevada cop, who never got close enough to read my license plate until he eventually caught up with me two minutes after I stopped for gas. I figured he’d catch up sooner or later, and as I saw him approaching the gas station with his siren at full blast I asked the cashier at the restaurant if I could borrow any receipt over $50. When the cop pulled up right behind me at the gas pump, he came at me with his gun drawn. I stepped between him and the rear license plate, looked at him like he was crazy, and asked what in the world he wanted from me. He told me to put my hands on the trunk. I refused and asked him again what this was all about. He heard my thick drawn-out Arnold-style accent and was caught off guard. He told me he had seen me speeding at more than double the limit. “Then what’s my plate number, officer?” I asked. He answered, “I haven’t been able to see it yet. You were going too fast. Now please step aside and put your hands on the trunk.” I asked him if it was possible that another car just like mine had driven by at high speed. He didn’t buy it until I told him I could prove I was innocent. I pulled out the receipt and asked him how I could have eaten all that food in five minutes. He was stunned. He studied the receipt, then looked at the cashier behind the window, who greeted him with a big friendly wave. He turned back to me and said, “I guess you’re right sir. No matter how big you are, there’s no way anyone can eat that much that fast. You can be on your way now. Drive safe.” I wiped the sweat from my brow as he drove off and wondered what would have happened if he had compared my credit card number with the one on the bill. I vowed from then on I’d ask only for cash receipts, and in honor of the wide open road and the kind officer I kept the speed at just under 140 for the rest of the trip.

Before long the move was complete, and I was settling into Sandie’s life in Utah as best I could. I was given carte blanche to finish the interior of the Deer Valley home, and at the same time I was allowed to make a few modest additions to her main residence in Sandy, Utah, just outside Salt Lake City. I commissioned four bronze statues for the gardens, did some landscaping, and put together a library. Sandie had purchased many things for this house, but never books, so I threw some energy into buying books — lots of books. To my surprise, she had a large set of bookshelves upstairs with hardly any books on them. I found a bookstore in Los Angeles that sold beautiful used books by the case, as good as new. I loaded up the Mercedes with as many books as I could fit in it on art, history, architecture, animation, and nature, and transported them to Utah. These books are still sitting there in the bookcase today just as they were the day I put them there.

I next bought a copper deck light that came from a ship. I thought it would look great in Sandie’s cabin near Oakley, Utah. It reminded me of long nights spent squinting through the Atlantic fog during crossings between France and Guadeloupe or Casablanca and Grenada. The light never ended up in the Oakley cabin, however. It just didn’t fit the decor. Besides, the cabin was already filled to the rafters with Western-themed furniture and art. This “cabin” was actually part of a complex about an hour from Salt Lake City which the family used periodically for weekend retreats. It included a main house with four bedrooms and two living rooms overlooking a lake, as well as a guest house with another five bedrooms, seven fireplaces, a full gym, a library, and an observation deck with a fire pit and grill. There was also a jacuzzi, a horse stable with yet another guest room above it, a climbing wall, and a four-story observation tower with an elevator. On the floor of the master bedroom in the main house was a lion-skin rug with a complete head and mane which the family referred to as “the MGM lion.” Other features of the cabin included a pool table and roulette table, dragon-shaped chandeliers, huge timber beds, life-size bronze statues of an elk and eagle at the edge of the lake, and a bearskin with intact skull and claws. The garage held fifteen snowmobiles in winter and a dozen or so ATVs and ten mountain bikes in summer. A side room in the garage housed a gun collection that included several M15 and M16 machine guns, two 50-caliber machine guns, some 50-caliber automatic rifles with ten thousand rounds of ammo, and as many handguns as it would take to start a rebellion. There was also a full-size military armored personnel carrier (that is, a tank) with a 50-caliber and a 60-caliber machine gun parked at the main house, and at least another hundred guns displayed on the walls throughout the main house. Also in the main house was a safe concealing a stash of handguns, including a 50-caliber Casull, a 454-caliber Casull, a 50-caliber Desert Eagle, and a 9 mm automatic. It must have taken years to amass this collection of firearms, which were kept at a house where no one lived full-time.

That was just the weekend retreat. Sandie’s main residence was (and still is) a house on Deer Hollow Drive in the township of Sandy in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains that opens to a stunning view of the entire Salt Lake Valley reaching all the way to the West Valley Mountains. This house has 8473 square feet, five bedrooms, a tennis court, a giant pool, a horse corral, stables, and a gym. The entryway features a grand piano near a towering twenty-foot basalt rock fountain and a Richard MacDonald bronze statue of “The Trumpet Player.” The decor and furnishings throughout are meant to impress. At one point Sandie bought four Andy Warhol paintings and hung them on a basement wall in the corner by the TV. Visitors were sometimes surprised to discover that the house was home to an Asian leopard named Mufasa, and that a giant python resided upstairs (until he slithered into the attic in search of mice and disappeared). In 2002 the property was valued at $7,899,801. To manage the house, Sandie has employed at various times a maid, a cook, two or three nannies, a stable mate, several gardeners, and a property manager. During the time that she was married to Adam Baker, there were at least twenty-five cars and trucks garaged at this house and at other garages nearby, including multiple top-of-the-line Ferraris and Lamborghinis. This house was not as warm and inviting as the Deer Valley home, but it was a spectacular example of unbridled excess.

And that’s not all. When I first met Sandie, she also owned a three-storey condo in Park City, Utah, and an even grander and more exotic home in Boulder, Nevada, both acquired while she was married to Craig. She would later go on to buy two upscale houses in Hawaii, three condos in New York (one in the Trump Tower, one on Park Avenue, and one in the Time Warner Building occupying two whole floors), and a 300-acre ranch in Promise, Oregon, known as the Bar-B Ranch, where the family still goes to celebrate the Fourth of July and have their own rodeo and demolition derby. It didn’t take me long to pick up on the twin interlocking precepts that govern so much of Sandie’s life: There is no limit to what money can buy; and if you can have one, you might as well have a dozen.

I’d been in Utah for a month and had seen several of Sandie’s homes — the Oakley cabin complex, the condo in Park City, the building project in Deer Valley, and Sandie’s main home in Sandy, as well as her old home about a mile down the road — all fabulous stuff. But I had not seen the Nu Skin headquarters yet. If there was one thing I was eager to see, it was the home of the company that made it all possible. I well remember how it felt to drive up to the tallest building in Provo, a six-floor, royal blue, all-glass rectangular tower with arched window facades on three sides framing the three offices of the most important people in the company: Blake Roney, Steve Lund, and Sandie Tillotson. They all had a bird’s-eye view of the valley, the mountains, and the town below that revered their presence. We parked in Sandie’s private spot right next to Blake’s car, an exact duplicate of Sandie’s. Oh, yes, they bought the same cars when they hit the $500 million annual revenue mark. The California dealer just loved it. And what dealer wouldn’t if you were to buy six white Mercedes Benzes at about a $140,000 a pop? Sandie, Nedra, and Blake each bought the sedan and the convertible to keep up appearances in a town where the average income at the time was about $24,000 per annum.

We walked into the marbled entry of the Nu Skin Empire. This was the place where the Sequoia computer was in operation that Nathan Ricks had dreamily bragged about during his opportunity presentation. This was the brain center of data processing that made the printing of seamless, global commission checks possible. The computer performed all the calculations in various currencies at precisely timed exchange rates. An American distributor was paid in US currency based on income generated in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and elsewhere. The computer was a breakthrough in payroll technology when Nu Skin first introduced it, and it played a large role in their continuous growth during the early nineties.

Sandie beamed as she introduced me around. I shook hands with everyone, including the security guard and janitor. We zipped upstairs to meet Blake and Steve, whom I had not yet met. Steve, the attorney, was very kind and showed me his pristine office. Then Blake came over and showed me his. I watched him as he walked behind his massive desk and sat down behind a small pile of paperwork beneath a three-foot-tall Goofy doll hanging upside down from the ceiling in his little toy car. The image perfectly captured Blake’s child-like sense of humor. During lunch in the Nu Skin cafeteria, I met a number of workers who were perfectly friendly but who clearly looked at me as an outsider, another guy Sandie had brought into their midst, someone who probably didn’t share their value system and who didn’t really belong.

Back at Sandie’s house in Sandy, I was instructed to put my belongings into one of the two huge walk-in closets attached to her bedroom. Sandie’s own clothes were so plentiful that they filled up the equivalent of a boxcar, but she graciously carved out some space in one of her closets for my tattered rags left over from the era of my not giving a hoot about what I was wearing. I know how strange this was for a guy who was all too aware of how the clothes make the man, but I had been in and around the fashion industry for a long time, I was rebelling against looking good, and I had become a true fashion barbarian. Once when I was twenty, I showed up for a TV commercial assignment in Milan, and the director told me, “You are not comfortable with how good looking you are, and so you look like a vagabond. I didn’t have you drive all the way from Amsterdam to look like that, so clean yourself up.” After the shoot, he walked over to show me the stills and whispered, “This is what we see, and we like it. When you put some effort into it, you can look sublime.”

There are plenty of handsome guys in the modeling industry, and I wasn’t the best looking, but I was the tallest model anywhere. The combination of reasonable good looks and a six-foot-seven frame made me stand out, and the production company had taken my measurements and had shipped in all these amazing tailor-made suits, shirts, and even shoes from Germany. The problem was that none of these clothes would ever fit a normal model, so they gave them all to me with strict orders to wear them to parties all over Milan and be photographed with as many famous models as possible.

Back in Holland, none of those designer clothes lasted long in my care. I had a habit of walking off a modeling job or movie set, getting into my car, and driving to a friend’s house to hang out, still in full modeling attire. If my friend was welding, I soon found myself holding a pipe or steel plate, with red-hot sparks burning holes through my clothes. If my friend was painting, then I did some painting too, and my perfect shirt was ruined. It also wasn’t uncommon for me to stop along the freeway to help out with a stranded car. Before long, I’d be on my back fiddling with a loose exhaust pipe or changing a tire, totally ignoring the fact that I was using a Hugo Boss dress shirt to wipe the grime from my face. I may have been the best-dressed handyman in Europe, but it didn’t leave me with much of a wardrobe.

I can still see Sandie’s smirking face as she watched me deposit my wrinkled piles in the closet. Stuffed in boxes and sitting in her garage for days, my things weren’t quite up to her standards, and it wouldn’t take long for her to insist that I get myself some new clothes. This process required me to drive all over town only to find that most stores didn’t carry size-16 shoes or slacks with a 38-inch inseam. But I tried, and eventually I managed to spruce up my appearance enough to serve Sandie’s purpose — to show off her new trophy boy. At the time I still believed I had a chance of being seen as her legitimate partner. Those days were good; there was hope, and there was a lot to do.

I was rapidly swept up in the dramatic pace of Sandie’s life. Some days we’d go horseback riding in the Wasatch foothills or in the forest around the Oakley cabin, then the next day we’d fly to Las Vegas to visit Sandie and Craig’s home in Boulder and hit Lake Powell at 100 mph on Craig’s cigarette boat. When we weren’t busy traveling and playing, her daily schedule was a masterpiece of logistical planning. She got up at 7:00 a.m., showered, applied her make-up, and did her hair while listening to Regis and Kathie Lee or “Good Morning America.” Then she’d slip into a stylish suit, head to the office around 9:00 or 10:00, and work until 5:00 or 6:00, spending most of the day keeping track of her investments. Nu Skin no longer required much from her, but she would occasionally help select a lipstick or eye-shadow color, or choose a product name or vote on Hawaiian Blue Diamond incentive trip travel plans.


Doc Bunkum
09-16-2014, 08:43 AM
Chapter 7 con't


While Sandie was at the office, I was usually working on the Deer Valley home or overseeing remodeling, repair, and landscaping projects at the Sandy house. At the end of the day we both came home for dinner, which was prepared by Sandie’s Peruvian cook, Candy. After dinner, I usually helped clean up the kitchen, and we’d sit on the veranda or head into the garden and watch the sunset from the gazebo. At bedtime, the lights would dim and the layers of make-up would come off. Then she did something I found very interesting: make detailed to-do lists for the next day or week or month. Some of these tasks and directives were intended for me, and I knew I’d better execute them unless I wanted a cold stern look. When Sandie was done making her lists, we might watch TV for a while, and then she expected sex. I certainly didn’t mind, but her way of initiating it reminded me of a dog that puts its nose under your arm and nudges you to demand attention. First she announced that it was time for sex, then she lit a candle, then there was a quick kiss, then a whirlwind of heavy action during which she would scream out, “Oooh, shiiiit! Harder, harder … **** me! Yes … nooo, don’t slow down, deeper!” Initially it was the same every night, another item on her to-do list. She was quite demanding in that department, but I kept telling myself this is just how she is, this is normal, this is what you do when you are in love, this is what women want.

Sandie was a member of the Jazz 100 Club, an exclusive fan club for those able to pay hefty sums for dinner and a courtside seat at Utah Jazz basketball games. Several evenings a week during basketball season we would go to dinner with friends and take in a game. The Jazz 100 Club is yet another place where wealthy people enjoy life to the fullest. Members ride up to the top level of what was then known as the Delta Center in a special elevator, sit with other affluent Jazz fans, and have a great meal. Once I sat with Charles Barkley, another time with Olympic gold medalists Al Joyner and his wife Florence Griffith-Joyner, and one evening I heard the latest in the life of Senator Jake Garn, who shared his favorite memories of his space shuttle exploration experience. It was an emotional story to hear about his six days in space, orbiting the earth over a hundred times while suffering from space sickness. The most gripping part of his story was the moment of reflection when he poignantly recalled, “Looking down at that tiny spot we call Earth, it made me wonder how in the world we humans can be so stupid as to fight each other for the illusion of profit.”

Those early forays into public on Sandie’s arm made me a little uneasy. Everyone stared and wanted to know about this new guy in Sandie’s life. But once I ignored the glances and whispering, I relaxed a bit, cruised around, and mingled with this millionaire or that billionaire in the name of light conversation. I had no clue about their business, nor was I interested in their religion and how the Lord had given them so many blessings — especially when I had just read in the paper that their company had been entwined in a nasty lawsuit relating to bribes and the Olympic bid or some other such scam, which are abundant in Salt Lake City.

One evening at a Jazz 100 Club dinner, I was in line at the buffet filling my plate with tomatoes and mozzarella balls when a tall attractive woman behind me came up and asked, “How does it feel to be with Sandie?” When I answered that it felt fine, she said, “Well, you aren’t the first guy to come into her life. A friend of mine dated her, and it didn’t turn out well. Just watch your back.”

Doc Bunkum
09-16-2014, 06:53 PM
I can't wait for Diederik van Nederveen's book to come out! This is a brilliant analogy!

Sample Chapter: "The Curse of the Pyramid"


Actually, this chapter should follow the "Meeting Nathan Ricks" chapter as it appears to be a follow up to the biz op meeting Diederik went to. But he numbered it #27 in his sample chapters. Whatever. I'll stick it in here.


Chapter 8

The Curse of the Pyramid

The Westlake opportunity meeting came to a triumphant conclusion, and David and I drove back to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. David’s mind was churning on overdrive: “Man, D, if we get into this Nu Skin deal and sign up everybody we know like Nathan Ricks says, we’ll have enough money to quit our jobs and take it easy. We can travel together and revisit all those places you told me about when you sailed around the world. We can walk the Chinese wall, make love to beautiful women on beaches in paradise, and have candle-light dinners within sight of the pyramids.”

My response to David that night was hopeful and encouraging. I had been just as impressed as he was by the pyramid Nathan had drawn on the white board to illustrate the Nu Skin compensation plan, a plan that was supposed to make everyone in that room a millionaire. But now I know better. For years I’ve seen the fraud and deception up close, I’ve talked to hundreds of distributors who lost everything they had, and I’ve lived and mingled with the founders of the company, whose exorbitant wealth grew directly out of the investments of all those failed distributors. I know now that Nathan’s presentation was nothing but a scam and that Nu Skin is in the business of lying and deceiving. It’s a blight on American commerce, promoted by a few pious but amoral Mormons who care only about repeating the lies, feeding their Church, and stuffing their pockets.

The truth about Nu Skin has long been openly available. It’s been publicly revealed in court cases that declared Nu Skin an illegal pyramid scheme. It’s been analyzed in abundant detail by Jon Taylor and Robert Fitzpatrick, who’ve shown that the compensation plan simply can’t work. It’s been chronicled by Andrew Left, who uncovered Nu Skin’s criminal operations in China. And it’s been experienced first hand by the hundreds of thousands of distributors worldwide whose lives have been destroyed by hoping and believing in Nathan’s empty dream. The truth about Nu Skin is clear and obvious. It isn’t written in Joseph Smith’s invented ''Reformed Egyptian'' but in plain English. And I can guarantee you that I didn’t learn it by looking into a stovepipe hat or using seer stones, and I didn’t get it from a restored version of the MLM book of bullshit. No, I saw it for myself, and it’s been confirmed by every scientist, lawyer, journalist, and business analyst I’ve spoken to.


Like Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith and the founders of Nu Skin, the ancient Egyptians were masters at deception, disguise, and misdirection. Their pyramids and tombs were designed to fool evil spirits and thwart grave-robbers by incorporating blind entrances, hidden traps and corridors, and sealed rooms that made it all but impossible to locate the hidden treasures within. So it was that the tomb of King Tutankhamun remained hidden and undisturbed for over 3300 years before it was rediscovered by Howard Carter in 1922. When Carter finally hit upon the first clue to the lost tomb, the top step of the stairway leading down to the secret underground chambers, it still took him weeks to dig through the rubble, break through the barriers, and locate the inner burial room, and even then the mummified remains of King Tut were found to be enclosed within three coffins, one inside the other, that were themselves hidden inside a series of four shrines. It was a masterpiece of architectural obscuration and occlusion, a material counterpart for the delusive, fact-bending Nu Skin pyramid.

Carter’s discovery came eight years after he was hired by Lord Carnarvon to scour the Valley of Kings for King Tut’s tomb, a quest that many others had failed at and that Carter had often been discouraged from pursuing because it was thought to be a wild goose chase. But Carter refused to give up. The search paid off because of Carnarvon’s generous benefaction, Carter’s persistence, and their collective commitment to discover the truth.

The euphoria was palpable when Lord Carnarvon, in his library at Highclere Castle, received the wire message from Carter announcing his discovery. Carnarvon immediately readied his entourage for the twenty-two-day journey to meet up with Carter in Cairo so he could be at the scene when the tomb was opened. When Carnarvon arrived, Carter’s men resumed the dig. The stairway was cleared and the outer door was removed, only to find that the twenty-six-foot-long passageway was filled to the top with shards of limestone. When the stone was cleared away, they found that the corridor led to another sealed door. Carter used a chisel to carve out a hole in the door large enough for him to peer through. He held a candle up to the hole and gazed inside. Lord Carnarvon was standing at his right shoulder and asked, “Can you see anything?” Carter famously replied, “Yes, wonderful things.”

The discovery of King Tut’s tomb brought Carter universal fame and set off a feverish wave of Egyptomania, but it was quickly accompanied by dark rumors of a curse that doomed all those who disturbed Tut’s resting place. Just forty-seven days after the tomb was breached, Lord Carnarvon died in agony in Cairo, and others involved in the
project started dying as well. Within six years after the discovery, twelve of those present when Carter opened the tomb were dead. Seven years later, only two members of the original team were still alive. Even Lord Carnarvon’s dog mysteriously fell dead, and Carter’s pet canary was eaten by a cobra, the symbol of the Egyptian monarchy. Carter himself died of natural causes in 1939, but the popular perception was that the curse of King Tut’s tomb had claimed the lives of twenty-one members of Carter’s expedition.

Distributors who are victimized by the curse of the Nu Skin pyramid fare no better. 99.94% of them die a painful financial death, while the Nu Skin kings and queens simply recruit new distributors to keep the cash flowing up the pyramid right into their bloated bank accounts. Like Carter’s search for King Tut, the Nu Skin search for untold wealth is a relentless quest in pursuit of a dream, but Carter’s was a search for historical truth, while the Nu Skin quest is a
hopeless fantasy that will never pay off for 99.94% of those who fell for the deception. Unlike Carter, the modern-day Nu Skin treasure-seekers don’t have the luxury of being funded by a financier who is determined to promote their success. Instead, they end up alone, deceived, and abandoned by those who urged them to stay on the proven path and repeat the same old process of recruiting and recruiting, while repeating the tired old mantras, “It’s a numbers game. Just keep calling new leads. Just keep inviting prospects. And never give up!” In the end, the only treasures obtained by all the failed distributors are the piles of unused Nu Skin products embossed with a fountain of youth image sitting in their over-stuffed garages, a sad monument to their pointless labors.

Back in Los Angeles, David dropped me off at my apartment building. I walked into the living room and greeted the cockatoo, who for once kept his profanities to himself. I stood for a moment looking out the window, reflecting on the opportunity meeting and my conversation with David. There were parts of this Nu Skin deal that I didn’t fully understand, but I thought it probably wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. I was interacting with a lot of models and actresses at the time, and it would be easy for me to introduce them to Nu Skin products and see if they liked them.

I made myself a six egg and onion omelet, and room mates Sebastian and Scott came down to ask me how the meeting went. I told them it was a surreal experience to hear Nathan Ricks talk about signing up with Nu Skin and traveling down the golden path to riches. “There’s something a little suspicious about it all,” I said, “but everybody’s saying it will change my life. They say people are becoming millionaires right and left.”

I finished my omelet and realized I was getting tired. An evening full of Nu Skin hype and glare does something to a young man’s mind. I rolled into bed and soon drifted off into a well-deserved sleep. It must have been about an hour after that, just as Nathan’s European down-line started cranking up its Nu Skin money-making machine, that I dreamed of receiving a frantic phone call from my friend, treasure diver Bernard. He could hardly contain himself. “Diederik, man, wake up! This is important! I need you to listen carefully. We’ve found a huge hoard of sunken treasure off the Ivory Coast in the wreckage of an ancient Egyptian ship, and it’s full of gold. We’ve pulled up several loads of it already, and one of them contains a set of golden plates covered with mysterious writing!”

In my dream, I sat up straight, rubbed my eyes, and said, “What? You gotta be kidding me. Those golden plates can’t possibly exist. They’re not real.”

“D, I’m serious. I think we’ve found the lost golden tablets that were once kept in the fabled treasure room of the Nubian Pharaoh Shabaka at Luxor! I need you to come help me interpret the text. One of the plates is covered with a bunch of little interconnected circles arranged in a pyramid pattern with strange numbers and symbols next to them. The tablet seems to be dedicated to Thot, the Egyptian god of wisdom and writing. You know, the ibis-headed god they say invented mathematics and the science of embalming. But I can’t read the symbols. I need your help!”

I awoke up in a daze. That organic omelet must have done something to my head. I got up, drank some water, and laid back down. As my head sank back into the pillow, my clouded mind reconnected with fragments of the dream. The deeper I slept, the clearer it became, weaving a story that will forever be etched in my memory.

In my dream I saw the great Pharaoh Shabaka sitting on his golden throne inside his palace at Luxor. His palace was a royal blue, all-glass rectangular tower with arched window facades and marble floors. A fierce cobra’s head adorned his crown, and a crook-like scepter leaned at his side. His face was dark and pensive, his hair wooly like a Nubian warrior’s. At a table before him sat a scribe diligently writing on sheets of papyrus as the pharaoh dictated. At that point Shabaka concluded his dictation, reached for a cup of wine, slowly brought it to his lips. As he sipped the cool goodness he looked down at the completed work and grinned in total satisfaction.

“This will be my greatest triumph,” he said to the scribe. “It’s what I’ll be remembered for forever. I see an endless chain of people, all connected to one another through their unquenchable desire for profit. They will feast on each other’s efforts, and I will reign at the top of the whole system as the one who will reap the rewards of all their hard labor, while they gain nothing but misery and despair. Meanwhile we will sell a whole new line of embalming products that will keep our subjects ageless and beautiful forever. We will call it deathLOC! There will be elegantly packaged embalming fluids, long-lasting facial creams, polished bronze brain picks, richly decorated canopic jars, and special stretch wraps for the truly discerning dead. Our designer sarcophagi will be the envy of corpses worldwide!” A devious grin slid across the pharaoh’s face as he stood up from the throne and raised his scepter, shaking it to the heavens. “For I am Pharaoh Shabaka, lord of death and master of the pyramid!”

“Now summon the royal mathematician and astronomer and have him run through these numbers. This, my dear scribe, is a great opportunity! Can you imagine what will happen when we turn death into an endless money-making enterprise? Everyone dies. It’s unavoidable. And everyone wants to be beautiful in the afterlife. Now we can guarantee eternal, ageless beauty for everyone, and no one will be able to resist. Our embalming scientists have learned how to lock in post-mortem beauty at the genetic level. We will have the most beautiful mummies in the world, and I will bury them not just six feet deep but six levels deep and as wide as the desert will allow! If the royal mathematician confirms my plan, I’ll have it inscribed on golden plates so that people will follow it in perpetuity, like mindless sheep to slaughter.”

The scribe bowed low before the pharaoh, exited the chamber, and went to fetch the royal mathematician, who was studiously working on his calendar. What did the pharaoh want this time?, the mathematician wondered. Was it another impulsive plan to build a gigantic pyramid using slave labor that would kill millions? He set down his abacus and followed the scribe to the throne room. He reverently approached the pharaoh and asked, “You wished to see me, o great one?”

“Yes. Look over the plans I just dictated to our scribe, and tell me what you think. I need to know if these numbers work. Report back to me after you’ve studied them.”

“Of course, sire. You will have my report promptly.” The mathematician rolled up the sheets of papyrus and bowed low before the pharaoh as he left the throne room. He retired to his study, expecting to find an outline of another of the pharaoh’s grandiose civic projects — a colossal statue or obelisk or temple of some kind. He closed the curtains behind him and lit an oil lamp. Then he unrolled the sheets of papyrus on his table and looked at them. They weren’t what he expected at all. There was no description of an ambitious building project. In fact, this was not like anything he’d ever seen before. At the top of the first sheet was a walnut-size circle with a row of five smaller circles immediately beneath it, each connected to the circle above with a little line. The pattern was then replicated for each of the five small circles, so that each was connected to five smaller circles beneath it, and the same for each of those smaller circles, and again and again, forming a giant pyramid that filled the entire page.

At the top of the page, above the pyramid, he read in bold hieroglyphic symbols:

“Nu Death Compensation Plan.”

The first walnut-size circle was labeled “Pharaoh.” A random smaller circle beneath it was labeled “You.” Across the bottom of the sheet were the phrases “Never give up!,” “Carpe diem!,” and “Believe in yourself!” And at the very bottom: “Don’t embalm yucky people! They pollute the hereafter and may come back to hurt you!”

The second sheet of papyrus contained an explanation of the plan. Part of it read: “Do you wish to be eternally beautiful and wealthy beyond your wildest dreams? Of course you do, and now you can! Buy deathLOC. Sell it to your friends, family, and neighbors, and use it yourself. Pharaoh Shabaka extends to you this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the ultimate tool to secure for yourself an income for your retirement and benefit from an exclusive line of high-quality products that will ensure your timeless beauty.”

The mathematician looked up from the papyri. “This is absolutely brilliant,” he thought. In his mind he could see a million beautifully embalmed mummies stretching from one end of the horizon to the other, while the pharaoh’s treasure room overflowed with gold amassed from all the sales of deathLOC to his happily deceased distributors. This plan could not fail. There would never be any false claims or complaints, no returns, and no ten-percent restocking fees. Satisfaction guaranteed! Now when your down-line flat-lines, the embalming process starts up, bringing money to you and your up-line and enhancing your bottom line. The profits will flow even when life is over.

“The pharaoh has outdone himself this time,” the mathematician declared. “Praise be to Pharaoh Shabaka, and long live Nu Death!”

(For those who don't know that Nu Skin's AgeLOC products have been outed as a hoax.)

Entertained Jan 16th, 2013 @ 11:38 AM

This is hilarious! Of course if you don't understand all the inside jokes it might not be so funny. But im a former distributor and I couldnt stop laughing about Dont embalm yucky people. The first time I heard Blake Roney say this on stage I thought is sounded so unprofessional and I was embarrassed to have my recruits hear it too. So then I learn Blake is a mission president for his church and i wonder does he tell his missionaries Dont convert yucky people?

Doc Bunkum
09-17-2014, 09:12 AM

Chapter 9

Wedding Bells

Utah and Japan, October 1995

Over the course of the next several months, Sandie tried to mould me to suit her needs and fit me into her Nu Skin world, and I did my best to accommodate. I was acutely aware that my life had become her life, that I was gradually being absorbed into her carefully controlled universe. It was an amazing universe, there’s no doubt about that, a remarkable demonstration of what’s possible on a materialistic level when vast sums of money are exercised and put to work through planning and creativity.

I felt as though I’d become part of a complex machine that governed the lives of the Tillotson family circle. The problem was that I was making no real contribution to it. Of course I had designed the Deer Valley home and had done some odd jobs around Sandie’s other houses, but I no longer had a career or a paying job of my own, and it was difficult to avoid the feeling that I was sponging off of Sandie. Sandie tried to comfort me by assuring me that her money was ours and I shouldn’t worry about such petty matters. She said I should just enjoy our time together and adjust my viewpoint to make it work.

I was not a man who looked for security in the traditional sense. I was restless and I loved adventure. I sought out new experiences and never backed down from a challenge. I was macho in that sense — very competitive, impulsive, maybe even too daring at times, but I never failed to achieve my goals, and aiming for them always led to unforgettable memories. Why else would I leave Europe, go to the US, live on a shoestring, and struggle to get into the movie industry, one of the hardest of all businesses to break into, unless I was driven to do so? It was crazy and impractical, especially since no one I knew was insane enough to drop everything and move to another continent to start a new life.

It’s many a man’s dream to act in Hollywood films and TV shows, and I had done that now, just as I had sailed around the world before my thirtieth birthday. In some ways that was an even crazier dream since sane people don’t voluntarily sail through storms that are so violent that the crashing waves tear off your raincoat and freeze you half to death. To me, sailing the North Atlantic through hurricane-strength winds was a way of proving to myself that by holding fast to the wheel and braving the storms I couldn’t be beaten while screaming like a drunken Viking “Bring it on!” It was just so incredibly powerful to feel the deck shudder and my muscles ache. It made me feel alive like nothing ever before. Then there were the trips through Kenya and Tanzania on a motor bike, sleeping in the wild, pursued by lions and hyenas when I snuck into a national park at night and conducted my own private safari. You’ll never know fear until you’re awakened in the middle of the night by the roaring of a hungry lion standing up on his hind legs right below your hammock, clawing at your rear end and blasting you with his terrible hot breath just three feet away.

I had plenty of experiences like this, and they had made me tough and resilient. They had proven to me that I could do anything I set my mind to. I had looked death death in the eye and had held my own against the brute forces of nature. But to enter Sandie’s world and be stripped of my self-reliance, to be forced to depend on her charity and live in her shadow, was as daunting as any challenge I had faced.

* * *

In May, just a few weeks after Sandie and I had started seeing each other, we traveled to a resort in Hawaii for a Hawaiian Blue Diamond incentive trip. During a break between meetings, we were sitting in our hotel room when she turned to me and said, “You know, we can’t be dating like this. We need to get married. It’s important that you think about this, but don’t take too long. I’ll take care of the planning.”

“Are you sure about that?” I asked.

“Of course. It’s not good for Nu Skin for us to be running around like this. I’ll make some calls.”

“Alright,” I said. “If that’s what you want. Then let’s get it over with.” We hadn’t talked about this before, but I could understand that Sandie needed to make our relationship legitimate. She was a high-profile businesswoman under constant scrutiny, and Nu Skin needed her to project the right image. A proper marriage would make it okay that we were sleeping in the same bed. But if the motivation to marry me was to save appearances, I wondered how she could have openly dated all those other guys before me without causing a stir. She never answered my questions about that. In any event, that’s how Sandie delivered her romantic proposal. She made some calls, and the wedding was scheduled for October 28. Invitations went out, a photographer was hired, and Sandie went shopping.

As the magic day approached and tension mounted, my mother and sisters flew in from Holland. My friends David and Sebastian flew in from L.A. Sandie’s kids were warming up to me, and I made a point of spending time with them. I even took them to Kenya for a two-week excursion before the end of summer so we could get to know each other better. They seemed happy to see some potential stability in their mother’s life. The fact that their father Craig was always welcome to show up and be in their life made accepting me a lot easier. Everything seemed to be falling into place.

The morning of October 28 began with Sandie’s friend Becky arriving early to help Sandie do her hair and put on her wedding dress. She looked very sweet and beautiful. She really wanted this, and as far I could tell, she had true intentions to make this marriage work.

The wedding took place in Sandie’s living room, which was spacious enough to accommodate the event and the reception afterward. Having the wedding in Sandie’s house made it an intimate, relaxed, family-oriented affair, with about forty friends and family members in attendance. Sandie had asked her business partner, Nu Skin CEO and co-founder Blake Roney, to perform the ceremony. He was an ordained bishop in in the LDS Church and the perfect person to sanctify our marriage for the benefit of Nu Skin. Image was everything to this company, and Blake was a pro at manufacturing a polished, wholesome image.

As the guests mingled, one of Sandie’s friends played the piano, and another sang. We took photographs with family members in and around the beautiful home and gardens, and everyone was happy for us. It was the first time I had ever worn a tuxedo. The shoes were so slippery I nearly fell on the stairs. My mother gave a surprise video presentation on my life and some of my humble accomplishments so that Sandie’s friends and family would know something about this mysterious stranger who had only recently intruded into Sandie’s life. She showed pictures of the yachts I had skippered, the home I had built for her, my school projects, and other things a proud mother feels the world needs to know about her son. She talked about my schooling, my work in Hollywood, the honor of being named Cosmopolitan model of the year for 1990 in Holland. I thought it was very sweet of her to do this. It was the first time I had heard her talk about me like this in public, and I felt I had a new awareness of what she really thought of her darling little boy.

Among the guests were Sandie’s financial advisor, Lee Brower, and his wife. Lee had worked closely with Sandie for several years but had not yet met me. From several paces away he took a good, long, calculating look, then turned to his wife and whispered, “He is so young!” A friend overheard her say, “Yes, but darn cute. He looks like a nice guy.” I’m sure one of the things on Lee’s mind was the fact that this nice young guy about to become Sandie’s husband had not signed a prenuptial agreement. It never occurred to me, and I wouldn’t have done so if Sandie hadn’t insisted that we both sign one a couple of weeks after the wedding. The document was at least fifty pages long, and I never even bothered to read it, much less hire an attorney to advise me. Why should I when I thought Sandie and I were destined for eternal harmony? It would later turn out that when things got complicated, Sandie secretly absconded with my copy of the prenup, so to this day I still don’t know what its contents were.

Sandie entered the room. She was beautiful and, to my surprise, nervous. I’d never seen her like that before, like a little girl. She was adorable. It made her seem approachable and human. I felt I could actually connect with the deeper feelings that she normally hid from view, far beneath the surface of her calm exterior, as if she kept them in a box that only she had access to. I looked in her eyes and she looked in mine. There was a true love there, a warmth embracing us. My hands were tingling. We knew we were doing the right thing. I was full of hope and couldn’t wait to live our life together.

Blake started the ceremony, and Sandie and I were given the rings. She was so nervous that she almost slid the ring on the wrong finger. It was a standard Mormon ceremony, but we had written our own vows, and I pledged to take my role as stepfather seriously, to stand by Sandie’s children and help them in any way I could. The rest of the ceremony was honestly a blur.

Before I knew it, it was over and we were officially married. I was elated and bursting with love for my beautiful new bride. The world was all before us now. We signed the marriage certificate and laughed and talked at the reception.

We spent our first night together in the Park City condo, away from other people. As we drove up to the condo, a twinge of insecurity arose within me. It occurred to me that we were starting our marriage by going to a place that Sandie and Craig had built, a place where they had spent time together and planned to embark on a life of their own. We were going to sleep in the same bed that she shared with him. As we slipped under the black silk sheets and held each other that night, the notion entered my mind that it would take me, her fledgling new lapdog, a whole lot more than simply to lift my leg in order to make my mark.

* * *

The very next day Sandie and I flew to Hong Kong for a couple of days and then on to Japan for two huge Nu Skin events. This trip would serve as our honeymoon, and for me it was the first time seeing Japan, Nu Skin’s most important overseas market.

Nu Skin Japan commenced operations in April 1993 and quickly became a major success story for Nu Skin in Asia. In the previous year some $30 billion worth of goods and services were sold through direct sales in Japan, making it the world’s largest direct sales market, about twice the size of the US market. Not surprisingly, several other MLM firms also entered the Japanese market in the 1990s. Over a million Amway distributors recorded $1 billion in sales in Japan for 1992, for example, and a local company, Pola Cosmetics, sold twice that amount the same year. Avon and Mary Kay Cosmetics soon followed. Because of the success of several MLM companies there, Business Week published an article on May 31, 1993 about Nu Skin’s entry into that market in which Leron Lee, a retired baseball player and a major Nu Skin distributor in Tokyo, predicted that “Japan will be Nu Skin’s biggest market.” Statistics from Nu Skin’s 1997 annual report, announcing 297,000 active distributors in Japan generating revenues of nearly $600 million, proved Lee right.

What accounts for the success of MLM in Japan? Part of the answer involves similar social networks already in place. “Organizations from college clubs to tea ceremony schools provide ready-made distribution frameworks,” wrote the author of the Business Week article. Another likely reason is that many Japanese consumers preferred high-priced, high-quality prestige items, unlike many Americans, who are often shopping for bargains.

On the first morning of the Tokyo convention, Sandie started getting ready with the help of two hair and make-up artists who made her look glamorous and radiant. When she stood up on stage smiling down at me, I could feel her enjoying her success. I was trying to imagine how amazing it must be to be admired by literally hundreds of thousands around the world for the hard work and risk it took to get there. Sandie was at the height of her career, and she deserved it because of her enormous drive and organizational talent. She radiated confidence and energy, and I was proud to be her husband. In many ways I felt honored that this woman on stage, at the prime of her life, loved me and had chosen me to tag along. I saw how easy it was for her to relate to people and command their respect.

As I scanned the huge Tokyo Dome, overflowing with Nu Skin fans, failure seemed impossible. An overwhelming energy permeated the scene. What could ever stand in the way of this enormous volume of human potential? These people were not just distributors, they lived for Nu Skin and would defend it with their lives. Their entire existence revolved around this company and its glowing promise of riches and success.

The moment Sandie, Steve, and Blake walked on stage, the entire arena roared as if they were greeting rock stars about to whoop the masses into delirium. The president of Nu Skin Japan, Mr. Takshi Bamba (aka “Bambasan”), solemnly introduced the Nu Skin dignitaries and handed the microphone to Blake. Blake squinted against the glaring lightshows like a captain scanning the shoreline for the harbor. A swell of orchestral music fired up the already frenzied masses, only to have Blake’s calm, welcoming voice settle them back down into a disciplined class of eager pupils, ready to absorb every detail of an important lesson. He began by thanking everyone for their hard work, which had propelled Nu Skin to unprecedented heights, and he told an inspiring story about the company’s recent success, punctuated by the never-fail doctrines “Don’t sign up dishonest people” and “Never give up!”

The applause mounted as Blake handed the microphone to his brother Brook, who struggled through a product presentation that frustrated the translator. It all eventually worked out when the translator smiled and bowed, and everyone clapped when the Jumbotron flashed images of the new line of Nu Skin products, some of which had just been introduced in the US. Sandie then approached the microphone and gave Brook an encouraging smile, and a flash of relief crossed his face. Brook gladly stepped aside to let Sandie present a new product that had been specially developed for the sensitive skin types of the Asian market.

From the front row of the Tokyo Dome, I couldn’t help but think of the company’s humble beginnings that Craig, Sandie, and others in the Tillotson family had told me about. For them to be earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per month — in Sandie’s, Blake’s, and Nedra’s case even more — must be an enormous boost of confidence. At that stage of the game, all I could see was that everyone who had fallen under the Nu Skin spell was happy, thriving, and wildly optimistic about the future. All their efforts were focused on boosting recruitment, expanding the company, and reaping the rewards.

We broke for lunch, and I walked to the lobby to meet up with Sandie, who was taking a while to emerge from the enormous high-security stage. As I stood waiting in my suit and tie, crowds of happy distributors passed by throwing glances at me filled with reverence and adoration, as if I had played a part in the Nu Skin phenomenon. “You husband Sandie,” a brave middle-aged Japanese lady said. She handed me her business card and told me, “You call! I am Blue Diamond three years!”

“Okay, I will remember! All the best to you.”

Sandie joined up with me, poised and glowing. The crowd that followed in her footsteps swarmed around us like giggling school children, reaching out to shake her hand and exchange business cards. She said all the right things, sincerely wishing them success. Nu Skin’s image depended on good public relations, of course, but she really seemed to care. She too had walked in their shoes, working hard to make it in the Cambridge Diet Plan years before founding Nu Skin, and her experience helped Nu Skin grow to become a giant.

We joined the other VPs for lunch, after which the spectacle resumed. I escorted Sandie up the steps, led her on stage, and turned around to face the enormous crowd gazing up at me. Cameras flashed and people clapped as I returned to my seat, while behind me Steve, Blake, and Sandie reached center stage to begin the distributor recognition ceremonies.

The show went on. It reminded me of the Super Church I once visited in Columbus, Ohio, except that instead of using religion, Nu Skin influenced people’s thoughts and actions through well orchestrated messages, sales gimmicks, great-looking products, and dreams of material riches. In Ohio I was hosting a sales booth at the Arnold Classic when the winner of a fitness competition came over and asked me if I’d like to accompany her to her Mega Church service that Sunday. I agreed because I had never seen a non-denominational church with a congregation of five thousand, and she promised me “it will be lots of fun.” It was her way to find out if I was “into it” and if I wanted to get to know her better.

On Sunday morning she picked me up and took me to church. The feel-good sermon by a charismatic preacher in a trim double-breasted suit burst out over us through enormous speakers accompanied by sound effects and an amazing light show. I was shocked to see a religious worship service packaged as a commercial crowd-pleasing spectacle with a priest in the role of performer and salesman, drumming up customers for his up-beat brand of prosperity theology. This church even had its own television studio to market and distribute the product. I looked around the auditorium and saw a sea of happy faces soaking up the message that they too could find the answer to all of life’s questions, and a small contribution would be appreciated.

After the service, thousands of well-dressed men and women mingled outside the auditorium. Moments after my host wandered off to meet up with someone else, a friendly young woman approached me and asked if I was single and looking for a partner to build a family. This cavalier way of handling major life decisions was very different from anything I had ever encountered. I was relieved when my friend returned, grabbed my hand, and took me off to show me the rest of the church campus. But when she too asked if I was ready to date and settle down in Columbus, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!

The Tokyo convention was a vivid dramatization of the impact Nu Skin was having on millions of people worldwide. Some of the Japanese Nu Skinners reminded me of the officers and crew of a Japanese submarine I had visited in Singapore in 1988, when it was explained to me that the Japanese morale is made of iron. After showing me around the cramped quarters of his enormous submarine, the Japanese commander mused on his nation’s role in the Second World War: “American weapons were made for hard battle and were superior in quality. If we had those same weapons, we could have annihilated the Americans in one day. But unfortunately we didn’t have them and we lost the war.”

When I asked him how they managed to survive on a day-to-day basis, he said, “My father and his entire battalion subsisted on raw fish and grass for six weeks while the well-fed Americans bombed us 24/7, but when the Americans landed on our beach, my father and his men out-performed them in hand-to-hand combat.” This was exactly the spirit that the leading Japanese Nu Skin distributors had put into action, just like their ancestors during World War II — “Never give up!”

* * *

con't below...

Doc Bunkum
09-17-2014, 09:13 AM
Chapter 9 con't

Wedding Bells

* * *

Sandie and I left the world of Nu Skin behind to spend a few days in the foothills of Mount Fuji. The limousine driver who had taken us all over Tokyo drove us to the train station and told us that he supported President Truman in the war. He was glad Truman dropped those bombs. “It saved many of my friends and my brother.” I had always wondered what the older generations of Japanese men think of that dark episode in history. “Millions would have died if the emperor had continued the war against the Americans and the Russians, who had also declared war on us,” he said.

What little I knew about Japanese culture at the time I learned from a tough and extremely disciplined Japanese marine and kick-boxer back in Singapore whose high tolerance for pain had impressed me when we kicked around on the beach. He was a better fighter. I only subdued him because of my physical size. He jokingly called me “Anton the Giant,” referring to Anton Geesink, a Dutchman who was the first Westerner to win against Japan in the heavyweight open class Judo competition in the 1964 Olympics by beating the Japanese favorite, Akio Kaminaga. Many insisted that Anton’s great height of 6’ 6” and his heavy build were the dominating factors that led him to win a record number of international titles, a notion I support given the fact that his opponents were technically just as good or even better but a lot shorter and thus lacking the all-important feature of leverage. It hit me that whether you kicked butt as a wrestler or became a Nu Skin clone, leverage is what it took for the few at the top of the pyramid to earn the big money from the masses below, the thousands and thousands who filled the largest gathering place in Tokyo.

On the way to Mount Fuji, looking out the train window, we passed some villages that reminded me of Dutch towns. The Japanese had erected life-size windmills and Dutch buildings, planting them strangely out of place in the middle of the Japanese countryside. I had heard of Nagasaki Holland Village, where they have recreated more of Holland than anywhere else in the world. I started leafing through our Nippon travel guide and read that in the early seventeenth century the Japanese government had warmed up to early Dutch traders because, unlike their Portuguese Jesuit predecessors, the twenty-three Dutch sailors who floated into Nagasaki bay in 1600 aboard a ship from Rotterdam called De Liefde (“Love”) hadn’t come to convert anyone. Those half-starved sailors cared only about food and starting trade relations with Japan, which eventually led Holland to replace Portugal as the only Western nation allowed to trade with the emperor. This agreement lasted until 1854, when the United States forced them to open up to the rest of the world.

Traces of those early relations can still be found in the modern-day Japanese language. Of the original 3000 Dutch words borrowed into Japanese, 160 are still in use today. They call it Rankaku (“Dutch learning”), and when I read about it I walked around Japan with very different eyes and spotted lots of references to Dutch culture and architecture that I never knew existed. When I learned of their history, I instantly felt a bond with these early Dutch sailors who found a lot more than rice and Saki on the rich islands of a war-torn Japan.

Sandie couldn’t get excited about these traces of Dutch history. She was more concerned about my lack of desire to take her to bed. She had good reason to be worried. I was trying to find ways to avoid having sex with her. I thought about it and decided it had to do with seeing her on stage. As I sat there in the Tokyo Dome basking in her shadow, I felt so insignificant and useless. She was in charge of everything — the marriage, the homes, the travel plans, the dining schedule, everything between waking up and bringing her to another orgasm at the end of the day. It was all part of her grand plan. We had been married about a week or ten days, and now it hit me. How did I not see this coming?

It didn’t turn me on to be with someone who had her hand around my scrotum like a vice. I guess I was suffering from post-marital stress. I dealt with it enough to keep her from choking me to death, but the spark had started to fade the moment I realized the enormity of what she had become. Everything revolved around her. My needs were acknowledged only so long as they didn’t interfere with hers, but they were not something she could develop an interest in. I was also not assertive enough to take her aside and say, “Let me teach you how to navigate the stars or how to read a map, calculate a position,” or “Let me teach you how to use a camera, paint faux marble, or do any of the other things I’ve done to make a living.”

She loved shopping and traveling, building and decorating houses, and she was quite good at it. I hated shopping unless it was to buy something for others. Christmas was Sandie’s favorite time of year. Then she shopped for everyone else, and she was generous and thoughtful. It was wonderful to see her come to life during the weeks leading up to that joyous day. But in Japan, before our first Christmas, I didn’t know that yet. We met in February and were married in October, and all I knew was the Sandie who ran Nu Skin and pursued her own pleasures.

A few days after our side-trip to Mount Fuji we returned to Tokyo. I took a few hours to walk around and ended up at the calm water’s edge of Tokyo Bay. With my back turned to the incredible buzzing of activity, I remembered longing for the sighting of land at the end of one of my four-week ocean crossings. The first yacht I skippered, the Libertad, was, like De Liefde, registered in Rotterdam. That parallel aside, we never starved at sea thanks to the invention of fishing tackle and canned food.

The peaceful calmness of the water contrasted with the troubles in my head. I really didn’t know Sandie all that well and felt anxious about what was to come. She was the woman I loved and admired, but there were moments when I felt miles apart from her, unable to connect, and a chill ran down my back, the same feeling I had whenever I steered a yacht without knowing absolutely how much distance there was between the keel and the rugged reef below. Of course, I would go slowly and any damage would be limited to a few scratches of the paint, but it was still unnerving to move into an area unaware of what was to happen. During storms I was forced to sail for days between huge rocks and shoals relying on pure intuition, passing rocks with a few feet or less to bear. A relationship shouldn’t produce feelings of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. There was something looming beneath the dark water’s surface.

* * *

Shortly after our trip to Japan, Sandie’s mother Doris fell and broke her hip. Complications led to a long hospital stay. I went to visit her regularly, and when possible I brought along her grandson Derek. One day I went by myself and took her flowers. She opened up, eager to speak about the past, her years living in New York state, and her life before the Mormon Church. She told me about her love for singing and how she used to play tennis. These conversations gave me a completely new understanding of who she was and what she had sacrificed for Sandie’s father Charles and his obsession with the Mormon faith.

With some difficulty she told me of losing her first husband, who crashed into the New York Sound during a training flight, and of the loss of a young son they had together who drowned near their home on Long Island. During our third meeting the topic turned to religion, and she asked if I had ever considered becoming a Mormon. I told her I had only a superficial acquaintance with the Mormon belief system, and I asked her what her thoughts were on the subject. She looked at me for a few seconds, as if assessing my sincerity, and told me she had been converted by her husband Charles. “So are you a true believer now?” I asked. She answered dryly that it didn’t matter. She noticed my smirk, as in “Come on, you can do better than that.” I saw a mischievous glimmer in her eyes, and I asked her point blank, “Do you think any of those stories in your Mormon bible are true?”

“It doesn’t matter … I believe because that makes everything easier. It’s what Charles feels is right, and I have no reason to go against it. It’s not worth the trouble.”

She sidestepped the question further by speaking about Sandie. In an apologetic tone she explained that she and Charles had done their best to raise her according to sound Mormon doctrine, which she felt had failed to keep Sandie virtuous and out of trouble. She intimated that the Church had not been very effective in helping them raise their daughter properly, and she apologized for giving me a less-than-perfect wife. Startled to hear this, I told her that Sandie and I were getting along great and everything was just fine; she had nothing to apologize for.

From the sound of my voice she could tell I was taken aback. She went into a confused diatribe about how she and Charles had tried to keep Sandie safe but that “terrible things happened that were out of our control.” I had no idea what she was referring to, and I asked her why she felt Sandie’s behavior was her responsibility. She answered, “Sandie didn’t listen to us, and Charles and I couldn’t protect her from her own spirit.”

I wasn’t sure what she meant by Sandie’s “spirit,” but I gathered that it had caused a rift between Sandie and her parents. I then recalled that Sandie had once told me how, during her childhood back on Long Island, her mother went a whole year without speaking to her. She never told me why.

Shortly before we got married, Sandie and I took a trip back East, and she took me to her childhood home and neighborhood. She told me how when she was twelve, she would hide sexy clothes at a friend’s home so her parents wouldn’t know about them. She would walk out of her mother’s front door in the morning dressed conservatively, take a detour to her friend’s house, and arrive at school looking like a … well, a lot less conservative. We drove past a spot where she said she was thrown from a motorbike when the driver she was with didn’t see a chain blocking access to the beach. She could easily have died. That wouldn’t be the only traumatic experience to befall her during her youth.

The family home burned to the ground when Sandie was in her teens, and nearly all their tangible memories were lost, including photographs, toys, and clothes. There was also an incident in which she was taken on a ride with some guys who abused her. She wouldn’t say exactly what happened, but whatever it was, it may have changed Sandie’s way of looking at men forever and left a mark on her early development, possibly leading to a hardening of her character.

I was grateful for Doris’s insights. It was important for me to know something about Sandie’s upbringing. I expected it would help me understand her better, now that I was aware she had rebelled against her Mormon parents and retained deep emotional scars from some unspeakable teenage trauma. She brought shame on her father, who climbed the ladder of the LDS Church to become a bishop and assumed duties that took him away from his family, which he left in the care of a dysfunctional mother, who suffered from her own traumas.

After losing the love of her life, Doris had ended up with a stern chauvinistic husband whose iron discipline was conditioned by his puritanical German immigrant ancestors. Much like his own father, Charles didn’t tolerate anything out of the box, certainly nothing that would tarnish his squeaky clean image among the Long Island Mormon community. I could also now see how Sandie’s parents had had an impact on her brother Chuck, who was sent to the army to be “straightened out” and who eventually, like his father, became an accomplished carpenter. Chuck would later help build most of the homes Craig and Sandie owned after making it big in Nu Skin.

Not long after our last conversation, Doris Neaman Bolstridge died when complications led to an embolism. Whatever Doris’s personal struggles entailed, the way she dealt with them didn’t improve her relationship with her daughters, certainly not Sandie, who resented her like the plague and only out of obligation paid any attention to her at the very end of her life. Once the early joyful months of our marriage wore off, I came to realize that neither Doris nor Sandie was capable of showing much emotion. There were dark secrets to this woman, the woman I now called my wife, and it would take me years to realize their true nature.

Doc Bunkum
09-17-2014, 03:22 PM

Chapter 10

Formerly Filthy Rich

“Corruption is only as powerful as the corruptible.”

-Diederik van Nederveen

Valencia, Spain, October, 2011

“Let me know where he is...and I can get him arrested. My attorney says he will have no problem shutting down the book. No court thing necessary. He will have a hard time defending himself from jail!”


On October 27 Sandie was enraged the moment Adam Baker published an e-book about his life with her that was so slanderous and salacious I feared, had he offered it in paperback, the pages would’ve stuck together; the moment I finished the first chapters I understood her anger and was ready to go all out to stop him publishing the book further.

My first reaction to her e-mail had been one of amazement because while I realized the possible implications of his book I too was struggling, for way too long, with my own emotions. My head was hurting, I needed some fresh air, a better perspective, and decided to drive to the historical Spanish city of Valencia not too far from where I was staying and take a long walk.

During the drive I debated that on the one hand the whole thing was disgusting to see my ex-wife attacked in a way that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy, but on the other hand I felt some measure of vindication because she chose to ignore my warnings that this would happen one day. She had been less than kind and fair in respecting my rights to be in our daughter’s life, fully aware of how deeply it affected me. To see someone stand up against her ignited the last remnants of anger that still lingered deep in my gut.

There is a lot of unfinished business between us and to see Adam swing at her nasty side felt good, but at the same time I wanted to give the part of her that I had fallen in love with a hug; to me, there was just not much of that part of her left to hug.

I perceived her e-mail to be the forebode of years of aggravation. I had never spoken to anyone who wrote a book about their ex-wife, and if anyone did I could never imagine it to be this terrible! When you read it your mind would drift into a deep gutter, you’d struggle to stay afloat in a whirlpool of filth, and the only hope being to grab hold of the curb and pull yourself out…begging that none of it is true.

You’ll need to read it yourself to grasp the essence of the deep hate and contempt that drips from every chapter; that is if you can find a copy, since Nu Skin lawyers forced all web sites that posted the book to remove it. In itself another great example of the corruptible power of money when one of the web sites, The Rip Off Report, who holds firm to their irrevocable policy of “non-removal of all postings”, decided to give in to Nu Skin’s book burning obsession!

Had Nu Skin lawyers given it a bit more thought and allowed readers to stand free of censorship, ‘on the revolting beach of contention, scanning the ocean of repugnant, foaming verbiage, and encouraged them to reach and sift through truth and fable, the dismissible nature of it’ would have done the job. Now his message continues to float in a symbiotic embrace on a tidal wave of increasing credibility.

The very act of bullying others to ignore the first amendment, playing judge and prosecutor, without allowing Adam to present his “evidence” in a court of law is indicative of exactly the kind of flawed, MLM-character that Wall-Street-company investigators have asked me to comment on. In their eyes, despite the libelous tone, his book must therefore be true; taking him to court would otherwise have easily proven him wrong. But to them, the media attention these long-winded legal proceedings demand are of little value.

What is it that Nu Skin and Sandie are hiding?

In his book, Adam described her in a way that even I can’t describe without violating my own sense of decorum. Despite some recognition of her behavior and character, several of the things he claimed must have slipped my attention during my seven years with her. I guess he was blessed to get to know her a lot better than I did.

For a microsecond I was not sure if I should regret to have missed out on some interesting elements of “living it up with the Tillotsons”, or just be happy to have kindly suspended unnecessary involvement. On the other hand, I have never seen her fly anywhere with a bag full of cash (one thing Adam claimed). It would make little sense since she has plenty of legit income streams to not need to smuggle more of it out of the country to save on a few tax dollars.

Then, other than some cannabis, I also never personally saw her use or sell hard drugs. Also, until I see an actual affidavit, signed by Adam’s son Eric, stating that she has gently fondled his Gentile-genitals, this too remains in the open. What I do know, however, is that she likes younger men, is a liar, cheat, and a phenomenal manipulator, who, for example, will tell her friends, “Oh, I am so glad D got to spend some time with Sophia.” Failing to add how she has hustled, or at least twisted, the situation during my sporadic visits, limiting the interaction with my own daughter or at least make it harder. In other words, when Adam writes how she can be a sadistic, sociopathic, narcissistic wench; I am in total agreement!

Adam also states in his book that Nu Skin’s (through Pharmanex) Bio-Photonic Scanner is “rigged”, and all data it produces is manipulated and thus tainted. That too is very likely since I have had several phone calls from former employees who told me the same!

The argument that most people do not eat enough fruits and veggies and therefore need LifePak is unproven. What studies have shown is that those who take any form of supplements are usually already health conscious and thus receive their nutritional values from their diet. The extremist junk-food eater is not going to have the money, or desire, to buy the $2.80 per day LifePak anyway. If people take a fraction of the $80 plus per month of the LifePak expense to spruce up their diet with natural products it will actively support their health and save a fortune in a relatively short time. Know that LifePak is one of the most expensive multi-vitamin mineral supplements on the market but has still failed to pass basic label tests. Not consuming this over-priced, unproven product will also stop the abusive practice of recruiting people based on misleading, incomplete data and would stop the ill-impact the entire Nu Skin-MLM experience has on most of the people that ever sign up!

In the end, it is not only important to know whether the product works but if you can actually make money with it. After all, the Nu Skin Enterprises website states clearly that the device is not meant to be used as a medical device nor is it intended to diagnose disease or conditions. See the following link:


Adam was right when he stated that most who ever sign up never see a dime, but then, we already knew that but what was interesting that he too had given people who had signed up in his downline their money back for the inconveniance.

When Blake Roney’s brother, Mark, called me in Spain to explained that Blake asked him to handle his affairs before and after his leave from Nu Skin to start a three year long “Church mission” in France I suggested that I may be able to speak to Adam and halt further damage by talking to him and trying to stop his devastating e-book from spreading.

Mark forwarded the communication between Adam and me to Sandie’s lawyers who, instead of communicating with me to at least discuss potential solutions, used the information to disrupt my already feeble communication with Adam! They eventually threatened him that they were going to subpoena our e-mails to “prove” some conspiracy. Of course Adam went right along doing what he apparently had planned for years; to tell his story in every way he could, thus ignoring them.

Sandie may have instructed them to eradicate his postings, but all it led to was that more attention was drawn to it. She claimed in the past that, to her, divorce is “pure business”, a ‘deal’ that needs to be handled without emotions. Fairness and simple decency have no place in closing down a relationship in her world and Adam may be a jerk for writing his book the way he did in response but it sure is understandable. If you value cars and airplanes like Adam does losing access to the twenty two of them on top of the airplanes he was no longer going to fly a "Sandie Type" divorce must be devastating. I saw her give him one car after the other while she argued with me over basic rights and fairness. It was an interesting experience in the least.

Adam may have exaggerated, or even made up a few things in his book, however, I know a lot to be true and it is exactly Sandie’s way of handling her private affairs that is indicative of her role in Nu Skin where, according to many I spoke to, none of the important decisions have ever been made based on her input. I am sure it didn’t help her “status” to create disgruntled insiders who could run around angry waiting for any opportunity to strike back.

It may not be a big deal to her, since she has enough ‘security’ stashed away, but how will that attitude work out for all the distributors trying to brainwash their prospects? It will blow over, right?

I am not so sure.

What if ten thousand ex-distributors organized a class-action suit for all the misleading claims? They may not win in a Utah court fraught by MLM-loving judges and backed by politicians like Orin Hatch who do whatever it takes to support the abusive business practices of his MLM friends; among some others, it was Orin Hatch who fought hard to block a proposal to force MLM-supplement companies to be more forthcoming on their labels. If one-thousand former Nu Skin distributors spent a few dollars per day employing a team of lawyers, PR campaign managers, and volunteers for sure could put an end to this sickening business model by way of media frenzy. That is what it takes to get this done!

If investment analysts call me and spend hours on the long list of unethical business practices, then you know there is something brewing. It took exactly this kind of tenacious research, data gathering, and staying power to take down Enron and others who slid through life on the backs of those they abused.

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) took the brunt and totally embarrassed themselves to the bone for allowing a crook (Bernie Madoff) to get away with it until his son turned him in when he slipped up while sipping a glass of Bordeaux while they reclined in front a flickering Manhattan fireplace.

“Yes boys, daddy is a crook, I have been for years, hope you can live with that.” One of his sons couldn’t, and killed himself in utter desperation. In my opinion, and I don’t have any illusions to stand alone in this, it is absolutely amazing that SEC agents dropped-in at the Madoff office during the years leading up to the conviction and never once followed up on unanswered questions, or failed to even ask at all!

Nu Skin and all the other MLM scammers get away with their abuse because of lobbyists and clever verbiage, supported, coached, and backed by politicians like Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Orin Hatch, Jason Chaffetz, and all the other Nu Skin/MLM supporters. Again, Adam was right to suggest that all of these power-players back each other to protect, and if possible increase, the MLM income; and that of the state and church, at any price. It is so obviously wrong and abusive that even Adam, a stripper/gardener, can see it for what it is!

As an observer and insider, I know how it is to look at this huge company, the billions it creates for the owners, the complicated system of controls that safeguard Sandie’s and the other Nu Skinners’ assets, and how powerless you feel. Even thinking about “fighting back” at one time gave me stomach pains. It really has been and still is a “David and Goliath” situation for Adam, for me, and anyone else who so much as aims a finger at them, the “holier than thou” Saints, who ONLY care about themselves and their unobstructed “passage to heaven”. It is sick!

It is impossible to ''let go'' of the memories of driving 12 hours one way to see Sophia to arrive in Salt Lake and find her only ''available'' for a few hours per day because Sandie had her schedule manipulated to limit time with her. It took me at times a week to feel the lumb in my throat deflate of sadness and anger to have to leave her behind.

This made it a lot easier to fathom Adam's anger to be reduced to dirt by Sandie after he too was sucked in to her world as if he was Abrahams lost sheep in heat.

For Adam, a car and toy lover, to have to let go of all the materialism was quite a wake-up call. It must have been something else to be allowed to buy twenty-two fancy sports cars, at least two airplanes, a helicopter and then lose it all to her obsessive, divorce-manipulations, months before she flies off on her Gulf-Stream jet to Malawi to pose with the underprivileged people of Africa. Indeed, she'd do anything for a series of great photo-ops that do little but serve her and Nu Skinners' egos and their recruiting scheme.

Again, Adam was right, as soon they come back from that dirty world of the impoverished they go and spend more millions on building pirate ships, castles of homes, buying more land, and donating more to a church that is built on little but fables.

I don’t have warm feelings for Adam because of the trouble he caused in my life, but I have to give him credit where credit is due; he had the balls to go after Sandie like no other man ever has, causing a major shockwave across the polished Nu Skin world. It now has investment analysts taking a whole other look at these Nu Skinners and it will never stop until justice and truth have gotten their day in court; or at least the court of public opinion.

“He is a self-admitted cheater!” she wrote, but I know she told him to “go and get a girlfriend” since she did the same to me when things didn’t work out. Her tactic is to go after you if you do and ride your emotional guilt all the way to the bank. It is OK for her to be in charge, make millions, and be “married” to you for the show of it. However, if that doesn’t work well to enhance the relationship and you as much as think to reach out for another woman, she will use it against you, even telling her close friends that it was all your fault for being a “cheater.”

She knew during the onset of their courtship that Adam was still involved with Denise Bolos and it was she who still pursued him. I was right there and saw it all, I even spoke to Denise about it. For Sandie to call anyone a “cheater” is a joke. Not just as far as her private life is concerned, but let’s ask all the failed distributors how cheated they feel to know what the real odds are, to let them see the truth behind the misleading claims Nu Skin and Nathan make and to show them how all of their lost dollars went to boost Sandie’s, Craig’s, Nedra’s, and Blake’s insane lifestyles!

In and of itself, the whole “Formerly Filthy Rich situation” is at least something that offered another fascinating digression but also a collection of new challenges.

To me, Sandie’s mean-spirited act, wrapped in a cloak of “just handling business” was designed to satisfy her emotional desires: the crushing and hurting of others. While the fallout was not only going to influence the lives of me, Adam’s, and Sophia’s, but it was going to potentially affect many people, many for which Nu Skin is their source of income, or rather… their dream of income.

For Sandie, the emotional value she receives from fighting him, by getting rid of the book through her lawyers, is far more important than to come to fair terms. She simply can’t stand the idea that any of her ex-husbands will be OK and thus able to move on in a way consistent with the lifestyle she had been quick to absorb them into.

If the roles were reversed, if Adam and I were multi-hundred-milionaires, there would be no question if we would have to pay her alimony on top of a huge settlement based on our massive incomes. She then, rightfully so, would have sued by the slightest objection to have access to her child; but since men are supposed to take the beating it is OK for her to get away with cutting exes off of her ‘payroll’. Their lives are merely arbitrary; a nuisance you ‘throw lawyers at’ when things don’t flow as desired. What troubled me most in my situation is the fact that after the divorce she continues her mean-spirited nonsense.

Because it was Adam’s battle there was some distance between me and his cause; making it easier for me to see what was going on (and is still going on) without being blinded by personal issues. I asked Adam to send me an e-mail, to tell me what really went on during their split. I just wondered if there ever was mention of a fair sense of closure. His answer was to be expected:

“Sandie left me with nothing- not jack ****. I had a couple of old trucks and a horse trailer. Out of 2 homes I owned in my own name, she took them both. I left Utah to look for a new place to live before the divorce was over, she had her people break into my house and take my furniture and vandalize the place. So whatever bullshit she is telling people that she gave me such a ‘great deal’ it is all lies. Maybe she figures I got a great deal getting out of there alive. I’ve worked my ass off ever since for every ******* penny.”

Yet, now she is the one screaming, “Get him arrested!”

In her world you either do what her rhythm dictates or be on your way...and that was not good enough for him so he made sure to tell her, and in turn she was not about to negotiate. Reward him? No way!


con't in Part 2

Doc Bunkum
09-17-2014, 03:26 PM
Chapter 10 con't

Formerly Filthy Rich

It would be the first of many more e-mails between us that would merely show that the level of influence is related to the power of money. On the other end, the absence of any desire to lie down or be reasonable, letting go of her “it’s all just business” attitude, leads to desperate acts. It showed me that hate infused by money is like oil on fire and will devour anything in its path, even take a company on a tail-spin.

It must have been about a year or two ago when they divorced and I warned her that if she had abused her power to purposefully hurt him it most certainly would aggravate things; which it did. For Adam it all started after basically being told to ‘take your **** and walk’; and to make sure he got the message she subtly added, ‘If you don’t I’ll take everything away from you.’

Essentially, that was indeed everything, since it had been she who paid for it all. Her ‘Indian giving’ was something I too had become accustomed to. She’s actually quite creative, always finding new ways to ‘make it OK’ to ask for stuff to be returned to her that she then redistributes among her close family members.

“That is her way to really drive home the point that you are about to be stripped,” Adam jokingly explained, “That was the only thing I am used to.” However, when he saw that she didn’t stop there and felt the ill intention behind it, he turned the act itself into a formidable driving force to go after her, matching her, what she told me, the experience of great enjoyment ‘running him out of town.’ I then knew what kind of lopsided deal it must have been since she did the same with me.

She described right after their court battle how she managed to manipulate the legal process in such a way that instead of her having to come to an amicable settlement he now owed her millions instead! Despite how all the cars and planes he bought during their marriage lost 20% of their value the moment he took possession, I still figured that, no matter what, he’d be OK. I guess she took it all back or he was forced to sell to pay for the legal battle.

Judging by the nature of his prose he sure did his best to re-pay her back for the effort. Aware of the true dynamics he had been dealing with, despite, or perhaps in light of, all of the temporary materialistic advantages, I actually understood where he was coming from. Even if having his last say, whilst suffering Sandie’s wrath, to write the book is indeed all he can do, I don’t expect to ever find it at the Salt Lake Public Library, it will definitely make its mark in Nu Skin history. For Sandie, as a business woman, one of whom you would expect to have earned at least some of her wealth based on making ‘long-term projections’, to go into these relationships only to let them end bad by treating people the way she does while still expecting that it will all be OK for her is either a sign of gross ignorance, or absolute confidence, that no matter what happens she will out-power, out-sue, and out-terrorize anyone in order for her little world and interests to remain intact. One of her arguments is, ‘You came with little or nothing so when you leave you’ll do so with as little or nothing.’

Her way of mishandling her personal life adds credibility to those who have suggested throughout how Nu Skin’s growth did not in any way rely on her great insights and actions, that her wealth relied on ‘being at the right place at the right time,’ thus, earning her the nickname, “token woman.”

However, I personally think that despite the drama, Nu Skin’s early success did partly rely on her basic wits, hard work, dedication, and skills. At this point, her knowledge of the Network-Marketing industry makes her a formidable element as a potential business partner. On the other hand, giving some credit to those who dismiss her role in Nu Skin’s success, it was indeed her mother in-law Clara McDermott’s connections and hard work that launched Nu Skin into momentum. Without Clara as well as some others, Nu Skin would have floundered. That is why it is all the more shocking and annoying for Blake, but also the entire company, to be dragged into Sandie’s mismanagement of her relationships. I remember well how Blake told me, “She will not listen to anyone, not even me.”

Whatever damages her issues with Adam Baker did to her and Nu Skin’s image, it led Wall Street corporate investigators to me with piercing questions. Hearing what they were looking for confirmed some of my own questions and alarmed me to look deeper in to the Nu Skin mess as well.

She categorically ignores what anyone says; it’s her way or the highway. I am quite sure that such an attitude is a blatant violation of her fiduciary obligation. Not many of the shareholders will ever understand that her talent is not so much to run an honest business but to draw the blood from under your nails!

I arrived in downtown old Valencia and the fresh air did me good. It blew away the dark cloud of absurdities that jumped at me from the Sandie e-mails, the sickness of MLM, Utah, and all the other sources of trouble that for one reason or another were sadly still a part of my life because of my love for Sophia, and my inability to be in her life in harmony with everyone involved. Under the circumstances it would simply take too much money; something Sandie knew all too well.

A few minutes into my walk through the old heart of the beautiful city, only a stone’s throw from the beach, I already felt better. The beautiful collection of age-old buildings distracted me, and as I searched for a deeper perspective on the difficulties of the situation, I suddenly found myself under the old Serranos gate.

I took a moment to study the way the weathered wood of the massive doors are bolted to huge steel hinges. I’ve always loved things that carry a story; they change and enhance the way I think and if there was anything that could do that then the gates to an old city were the perfect object to get my mind churning full speed.

Patterns arose; things became clearer as I glanced at the street and kneeled down to run my hand across the worn granite cobblestones. Through the sensation of touching its smooth surface stories emerged that carved its surface and I tried to capture the stories hidden beyond the calmness of its rigidity and apparent solidity.

These stones were chipped and polished by millions of feet, hooves, iron horseshoes, and steel-rimmed cartwheels that too are no more. I erected myself and looked up at the magnificent structure of what was once one of at least seven entrances into the city. Throughout the centuries, this was the only secure ground; it was a place of refuge, food, and shelter while outside the walls thugs, looting soldiers, bandits, and the natural elements ruled. Through these gates people, their thoughts, hopes, and dreams walked, marched, galloped, or were dragged in by their limbs over the very same stones on which I stood.

Each of them left microscopic tracks, initiating a potential impulse, a speck of potential inspiration to see past my own day-to-day realities and illusions, signs of past lives of whose blessings and struggles I can only speculate. Like theirs, it would be only a glimmer of time until my own life’s-energy would fade, to blend in with a sea of anonymity.

I walked further, to get away from the overwhelming arches, twenty-five feet high doors, hidden passages, and domes, as if to let some distance get between me and the reality within the context of the conflicting and dysfunctional history of which they reminded me. Still, even from halfway across the bridge, the intimidating gate and the attached, now equally useless, segments of a wall seemed to call out, longing to be included into modern-day life; as if to once again be assigned to keep out individuals who carry in contraband from faraway places, warning of the revolutionary ideas and philosophies that are still a direct potential threat to a society once controlled by bishops, churches and their soldiers.

Is it then naive to expect that such ideas have become fleeting forms of entertainment to a modern society obsessed with individuality and communication? Could those who ruled come back to torment us again? Or are they still among us, ready to strike? The city seems to be asleep, no one is hearing the murmurs of old structures and only by the grace of tourism, or maybe for simple for lack of funds to tear them down, these gates still stand as they have for 500-600 years; watching life below take its course in equanimous observation of the scurrying about of people conditioned to think that their objectives have all but any importance to the direction of history and the acquisition of happiness.

The bridge across the Turia leads straight through the gate and in my mind’s eye I see the guards who stood for many centuries, scrutinizing every element that entered or left the city; protecting interests dictated by a revolving lineup of leadership, wielding their power through the always reliable realities of hunger and illness and the emotions of constant fear, desire, greed, and hope; not much different today as it has been for as long as people have ruled over others, mostly for the sake of selfish political or philo-theosophical interests.

It was then that it hit me how any opposing spy on the road into a twelfth century Valencia carrying in his contraband is essentially no different than Adam’s twenty-first century libelous book traveling on the world-wide-web, aiming straight for the heart of Villa Nu Skin in the traitorous marsh-land of MLM. It is closely examined, halted by their assigned ‘gate keepers’ who sniff-out, scrutinize, and pass on information to those higher up the Villa Nu Skin-power-pyramid, where it is quickly evaluated for its potential implications or dismissed and ridiculed.

Blindly following orders, the Villa Nu Skin guards ignore any argument or alternative possibilities and stop the book from entering the city where it could drive people to a ‘change of heart’... to awaken them from the Villa Nu Skin induced coma and the deception that it is. They feverishly hunt down those who carry off copies Adam slyly dropped on the dusty, rutted road to enlightenment and turn them into smoke on the main square for all to see what fate will await anyone determined to expose truths and fables.

The guards stand proud, but remain oblivious to the complicated systems they loyally defend; the same systems invented to control as many of Villa Nu Skin’s inhabitants and all the variables installed to keep things going according to the wishes of the ‘chosen ones.’ It is their livelihood for which their leaders lobbied hard and manipulated, even killed off, opposition in order to establish growth through clever manipulation and absolute submission to blind faith in order for it to continue as long as possible...until it is overrun and gutted out; either transformed or reduced to rubble.

The slightest opposition drives Villa Nu Skin’s top honchos to deliberate a bit longer, even plan possible counter attacks to retain as many Villa Nu Skin inhabitants as possible; the ocean of gullible souls who feed their system. To the head-honchos there is no value in other people’s truths, only Nu Skin’s truths are to be taught to these doe-eyed, brainwashed followers of a culture whose task it is to keep on breeding further in every corner of the global empire; an ever expanding area they have carved up among themselves.

Villa Nu Skin Queen Sandie, well aware of and staying clear of living according to the ‘Big-Lie’*, just rides the wave her royalty status provides. In the shadows she does her own-thing. Her latest obsession is to entertain a super-expensive boy-toy; a willing soldier from an opposing tribe. She’ll make sure there are Ferraris to drive, jets to fly, and real-estate to buy in order to keep him enthralled, perhaps even feel some satisfaction, if it wasn’t all just to have some fun.

Those who enter her domain should know that they better play by strict rules in order to not be sued, abused, ridiculed, insulted, arrested, and imprisoned; preferably without trial. Adam and his contraband await no better treatment merely because the Queen of Villa Nu Skin carelessly smuggled him into town with an unstoppable obsession to milk him dry against public opinion.

He sensed the imminent, disastrous ending would come when his value had been worn thin but he never actually expected her to turn into a vindictive, jaded, and scorned enemy who applied shrewd methods to dismantle the very relationship she so desperately initiated. She asked him to stay and ‘change’; but since he was unwilling he is asked to be so kind as to sneak out at night and leave behind his home, kids, and anything of material value...if not, he’d face a battle.

Despite the abuse that followed the request she still expected him to also close the little secret hatch to the underground passage, after squeezing through it without a cough or hiccup. When he didn’t comply a battle raged, one she won by out-powering him in every way. To save his hide he left, crawling in away in the shadow of the Villa Nu Skin walls of terror. The moment his last protein shake-farts faded from the castle chambers Sandie’s laugh echoes throughout the hallways. She snubs at anyone who dares to even hint that someday he, or any of her other lovers, may come back and hammer on the large wooden gates to find at least some emotional restitution.

Indeed, he came back, and the doors remained shut. He took a moment to think about his options; he could climb a tower and blurt out his case across a sea of Casa Nu Skinners, even try to inspire the global Villa Nu Skin population, or he could find a scribe and dictate his plight in the hope that anyone would care to read it and in doing so run their nose through their dirty laundry.

Of course, Queen Sandie chooses to ignore that she herself not only spun an equal portion of the conflicting fabric but soiled the garments they both have woven from it.

To her it was just fun to go against the Villa Nu Skin rules; to find and lift a man like Adam from the poor, surrounding villages, wipe off his marshland drenched face and feet, slip them into ostrich-skin-boots, and dress him up in tweet get-ups and parade him around town at grand spectacles. Only insiders know that when the candles of censorship are snuffed out, and the garments of restraint are stripped, she’d shower in an illicit stream of carnal sin that knows no equal... just because she can, and simply because it’s fun.

This will go on for a while, irritating Villa Nu Skin co-honchos who try to focus on the everlasting battle against attrition that gives the nature of their game enough stress as it is. Forced to constantly attract new recruits they pummel precious new souls with fantastic stories of ‘success’ and ‘doing good’ around the world to feed the furnace of MLM greed.

The last thing they need is the personal filth of their Queen to end up on the street of Villa Nu Skin where it feeds a growing force of hungry inhabitants, enraged by a disgruntled insider who came to inform them, another former lover, who had enough of the unfairness and abuse. The head-honchos still won’t spend one microsecond to analyze the cause or merit of Adam’s cargo; which is merely perceived to have little power to be of any grave concern since it is so obviously defamatory and libelous that no one will ever take it seriously. It all simply couldn’t be true.

I drove back to the house, the last remnants of the old city disappearing in the mirror as I glanced one more time. What was the big deal, unless it was a big deal?

It was a thought that didn’t leave my mind because it directed me to a fracture in the Villa Nu Skin walls. Were these people really immune? By their reaction anyone would think they were scrambling, posturing, and hoping it would all disappear.

None of them, for not even a second, tried to walk in Adam’s shoes, let alone mine.

None of them ever asked Sophia how she felt about the insanity of her life nor told her the details of why her father is not able to be in her life in a way consistent with a fair outcome of court proceedings; had there ever been one.

NO! All Sandie and the others thinks of is how to protect their flawed system of deceit! Perhaps that is why they tried to kill his book off before a neutral judge could take a look at it?

It would take far too much time and would allow Adam’s ‘truths’ to spread around a global distributor force who in turn would love or equally hate to know just how much of their losses are being wasted by Villa Nu Skinners on banalities; sports cars, a yacht, airplanes, fancy trailers, castles of homes, and whatever else they desire.

It may be extra painful to the distributors because the stuff Sandie and Adam bought is exactly the kind they were shown on slides, YouTube videos, and brochures designed to drive them to sign up.

To add to the insult, Adam was not even one of them; he didn’t belong to the largest percentage of hard working Villa Nu Skinners who would never get a free-rein to spend millions. Most of them, no matter how much they worked, would never earn a dime. In their mind, Adam Baker, the stripper/gardener, didn’t “do anything to deserve it!”


con't in Part 3

Doc Bunkum
09-17-2014, 03:29 PM
Chapter 10 con't

Formerly Filthy Rich

As I walk into the house the phone rang once again. I answered and heard, “Hey D…you know nothing good can come from this.”

I recognize the voice of my Nu Skin insider and ask, “What is corporate thinking?”

“We are all very concerned and hate what he, but also Sandie, has done to us.” My contact continues, “Then some of us are also really tired of the things Sandie and Nedra have brought to the company and it may not be too surprising if Sandie, like Nedra, will be asked to step down unless this gets handled, have you got any ideas?” Sure, I had ideas, but none of them would be acceptable to Sandie since it would mean she had to start thinking in terms of solving the conflict. She wasn’t going to negotiate with anyone who left her, let alone ‘give a terrorist money’ to stop his attacks. She’d rather go down in flames... if it ever came to it.

“Let me get back to you,” I said and hung up, sat down, and let my imagination go back to Valencia… and indeed, Villa Nu Skin’s defenses are formidable.

Their priests are trained to only read and preach from one book filled with secret Villa Nu Skin formulations of success that are highly guarded in the vaults of the viceroys’ (the Roneys’) fortress; and all of it Adam’s salacious, filthy little book failed to shatter. The walls still stand after Napoleon’s Marshal Moncey’s failed attack on Valencia, my imaginary Villa Nu Skin that Adam’s dubious exposé has barely stained. The walls still glitter and keep on shining.

Not easily discouraged, Adam snoops around the walls, sticks a moistened finger in the air, throws a last glance over his shoulder...and lobs a handful of flimsy, yet poisonous, seeds over the fortifications; caught and carried off further by the west-bound breeze deep into Villa Nu Skin proper.

Some of the seeds are quickly devoured by scruffy, flee and lice infested pigeons, others squashed under the iron-clad boots of Villa Nu Skin soldiers; who irreverent of the potential truths or lies inadvertently grind them into specks of biodegradable waste.

However, a few others, by the power of sheer coincidence, land in the fertile vegetable garden behind the monastery. There, surrounded by all of the essential elements, they miraculously grow overnight and break the Villa Nu Skin surface; a world held together by cognitive dissonance, ignorance, and self-loathing by those who fail to live up to their own elusive, artificially infused expectations.

A few days later a man approaches the gates. The guards question him. He shows them a piece of paper, they look, nod, and bow to let him through… they whisper, “It’s the ‘other’ lover… you know, the giant from the North? He’s back… we better make sure he doesn’t stick around.” The man may have been a stranger to some of the new guards but he is no stranger to Villa Nu Skin, having lived there many years ago, and swiftly he finds Viceroy Roney’s quarters.

He informs the viceroy that he knows a way to put a halt to Adam’s tirade and to possible future attacks and that it is vital to Villa Nu Skin to allow him to intervene. However, it becomes obvious to the man that the intellectual workings of the city have dwindled, perhaps because the Queen’s over-confident behavior has empowered even the viceroy to be fearless.

Before exiting through the gates he’d entered, he decides to cross the market and speak to a few acquaintances that recognize him immediately. After brief communications, they confirm the rumors concerning Adam’s attempts to discredit the Queen and some of them feebly conclude with an unwavering testimony in support for their Queen; but not all have fallen for her stories and suggest he pay a visit to the secret herb gardens. The man thanks his acquaintances and takes another detour, this time past the monastery.

There he throws a few curious glances across the wall and sees how the nuns work the soil and lovingly water and care for little sprouts that pierce into the Villa Nu Skin world. From a distance he analyzes the crops and beckons to the mother superior to approach. They quietly exchange a few words before he reaches inside his cloak and secretively slips her a few gold pieces. She turns and gestures to the nuns to hand her a few of Adam’s nasty little seedlings and advises him to make sure to water them soon... “Keep them out of direct sunlight”...and, “whatever you do, do not touch the leaves for the stink and sticky residue will linger and burn your skin for a fortnight.”

The man thanks her and turns to continue his way out of the city. The nuns throw one more look at him as he disappears among the people, nod among themselves, and go back to work secretly stimulating the growth of Adam’s offspring that would soon be sent off to pollinate the global marketplace beyond the walls of censorship.

The man carefully handles the seedlings on his journey home brimming with joy even though his intended outcome for visiting Villa Nu Skin failed, but the acquisition of the priceless seedlings was something he didn’t foresee. He knew the perfect place to plant the tender, yet already stinking, foliage… in his blossoming Nu Skin garden of dubious revelations soon to be harvested into a book of his own that would reach out to the ends of the earth far beyond the reach of Villa Nu Skin’s guards, solicitors, priests, and their Queen…

Sandie and Nu Skin had to respond, they simply couldn’t ignore it. Sandie wrote, “His book is all lies, so he can’t hurt me. People who know me know better.”

Well, I do know her and have no doubt she has struggled to battle several fronts; the first of which trying to fathom the severity of the attack in order to plan for the protection of her public image. Then, at the same time, she needed to play it down. Aware that I was a witness to many of the things he described and she could not simply write it off as a bunch of nonsense.

She had to figure out how to explain away bringing this bag of filth to her business partners, many of which already despised her personal lifestyle that contrasted strongly with their own boring, modest, fear-based Mormon worldview; not to mention the distributors facing an anti-recruiting tool on the internet that will likely affect people’s desire to sign up.

“Let the Adam thing run its course,” she said, “I am not going to give it any energy.”

As a great believer of controlling energy, Sandie knows how feeding anything that is opposing her only makes it stronger; counting on the opponent’s lack of recourses and probability of bleeding to death before being able to deliver a devastating blow to her empire. Somewhere in the middle of it all she didn’t want me to think that writing a book would matter all that much. She would be right if, especially if you are truly immune.

But is she and everyone else?

She may have wondered if her then boyfriend, Gary Scott, believed a word that Adam wrote. Would he ignore the warnings like I ignored Ron G. when he told me to be aware of Sandie’s wonderful ‘scorned woman’ tricks that confirmed her dubious past and her ongoing manipulative ways of which I had been initially unaware? (all of that will be in my book)

Ron is the man to know; he had three weeks to think about her while incarcerated based on her bogus charges. How much time will her next lover need to figure it out? Most likely none of them have ten-million dollars to be immune and bounce back when she calls ‘game over’. As long as her lawyers believe she is a victim of an unfounded, ugly attack by an unscrupulous ex-husband for which she takes absolutely no blame, they’ll keep sweeping the internet and bullying off anyone who dares to post anything unfavorable about her or Nu Skin. Counting on the ignorance of most onlookers to not see her part in causing such a vile display of personal exposure, she simply continues her daily rituals.

As I looked at the Gate of Valencia I also imagined what I would see, hear, and feel if I removed time and space; to return to the year 1238, and stand right next to the soldiers that King James I of Aragon assigned to guard the city after conquering it on September 28th of that year. Did he immediately instruct his commanders to train the guards to look and listen for certain signs, accents, scars, the color of fabric, and any other detail that spoke of a story they didn’t want to hear?

I thought of old King James and all the rulers that trained their sights on his territory, his influence, and his assets and marveled at the enormous effort, organization, and cooperation needed to keep it all going until his period was absorbed into that of the next ruler who out-powered, out-spent, and outnumbered James’ armies. No matter what he did, eventually his reign too would become part of the endless chain of transformation. Very much like Nu Skin whose system to out-last, out-recruit, and out-smart all the other MLMs and their leaders and lawmakers is still, no matter what, part of the same cycle; but one day it will end too.

They constantly have to engage new partnerships and invent more catch-phrases and other concepts that have only one purpose: to retain the attention and the direction of your spending. It takes constant vigilance and many man hours to ensure that a giant multinational like Nu Skin satisfies their fiduciary obligations to their shareholders, employees, and distributor force who balk at any slip-up and files class-action suits.

Doc Bunkum
09-18-2014, 10:26 AM
Chapter 11

Lawsuit Documents

Sandie Tillotson filed this lawsuit on May 21 2012 and had the court lable it as "private". The recent Salt Lake Tribune article stated:

For its part, Nu Skin, through spokeswoman Kara Schneck, said Tillotson had voluntarily decided not to seek another term on the board and was not forced out.

"That was her choice," said Schneck.

Tom Harvey of the Salt Lake Tribune was told by Sandie's lawyers that she "stepped down voluntarily'' thus admitting to blatantly lying on her behalf.

Items number 16-17 state otherwise saying Sandie was forced to resign from the Nu Skin board of directors and has suffered financially. Sandie felt it was significant enough to include it in her 60 Million Dollar Lawsuit!

If she is as deranged to take me up on my invitation to go through with a full blown trial it will be awesome to subpoena her financial statement (which I already have) and sniff through them line for line to verify her so called "losses" due to my website. Also that will give distributors a great insight in how much money Sandie ripped-off from them by lying about how great the Nu Skin "opportunity" is...

Interestingly enough, the decision for her to be removed from the board was made BEFORE my website was even launched. Plus, I never refered to her being a prostitute on my website, yet I'm being sued for it. Read UPDATES for more information about this frivolous lawsuit.


Doc Bunkum
09-21-2014, 11:19 AM
Chapter 12

Questions Mitt Romney doesn't want to be asked

A psychiatrist told me that ''58% of men think about sex every half hour or less but Mormons think about their religion equally if not more.''

Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints (Mormons or LDS) and has close ties and connections to Nu Skin Enterprises. Several seven digit contributions have been made to Romney's Super-Pacs from co-founders of Nu Skin.

The following questions are ALL based on the actual teachings and ways of the Mormon religion. For those who doubt, I urge you to do some research, it will be fun! Most everything can be found on a basic Google search.

It is a gross misconception to grant Mormons ''media immunity'' and even call it ''bigotry.'' Nothing warrants to call Mormonism a ''religion'' when everything clearly shows that it is a business cult.

Upon examining Mormonism, I couldn't help but formulate a few questions I would love to hear a reporter ask the man who aspires to warm the seat in the oval office. (Or any Mormon for that matter, I might add. Remember, Mormon is spelled the same as "moron", only with an extra "m".)


1. Mr. Romney, in the Terrestrial Room of temples, you along with many other patrons have vowed under oath to consecrate (give) all that you have been blessed with, and all that you will be blessed with, to further the kingdom of God on the earth; in other words, the Mormon Church. This oath is made before “God, angels and witnesses” and you have accepted it by bowing your head and humbly saying “Yes.” A presidential position will undoubtedly be considered by you and your religion as a blessing from God. Can you honestly state that your winning the election won't be instituting a theocracy? (source: http://voices.yahoo.com/mitt-romneys-mormon-secrets-11070962.html?cat=75)

2. Are you willing to break the oaths you made to God in the temple to fulfill your promises to U.S. citizens who voted for you?

3. If the LDS prophet Spencer W. Kimball can receive a "revelation" in 1978 allowing previously banned black-skinned men to now be ordained with the priesthood, does that mean the current LDS prophet, Thomas S. Monson, might receive a revelation wherein practicing gay people could be married in the temple? If that happened, would your stance on same sex marriage change?

4. Why do you feel that your faith with all of its strange and unfounded references is the best system to guide you through life when simply believing in the real Christ or seriously engaging in meditation has arguably a better record of guiding people, especially women, since an above national average percentage of Mormon women suffer from depression and obesity?

5. Would you explain why it was so important for you and your parents to support the civil rights movement in the 1960s when your church believed the color of their skin and flat nose was a curse put upon them from God? Did your active support of civil rights include petitioning your church to allow blacks equal rights? If not, why?

6. Do you consider Native Americans to be descendants from the Book of Mormon prophet Lehi?

7. The Book of Mormon has references of God's curse for wickedness being dark skin. The curse was lifted in 1978 yet people are still being born with dark skin? After having fought side by side with black Americans for civil rights, does this contradiction bother you?

8. Do you agree with your church when it changed the introduction of the Book of Mormon to reflect the findings that Native American's DNA proves Asian, not Israelite, ancestry even though nearly all "divinely inspired" LDS prophets have confirmed their lineage links to the Book of Mormon's prophet Lehi?

9. Does it bother you that your founding prophet Joseph Smith Jr. lived a lifestyle almost identical to convicted rapist Warren Jeffs, especially that Mr. Jeffs’ religion and lifestyle was because of Joseph Smith's teachings and that if Joseph Smith was alive today he too would be in prison for his sexual indiscretions?

10. The LDS Church gladly accepts millions of dollars from companies like Nu Skin Enterprises who Mormon and non-Mormon CPAs alike have deemed to be an ''unfit business opportunity.'' Nu Skin is a company that also sponsored your campaign, so we are wondering what it is they expect from you in return? (Perhaps lobbying to keep the federal trade commission off their backs since their 99.94%* distributor loss rate attracts a lot of flak from lawmakers?)

11. If you are faced with a real world problem would you consult your "Lord" for guidance?

12. In light of the fact that the LDS church is currently spending five billion dollars on an urban revitalization project in Salt Lake City that raises serious financial questions worldwide, is it right for any religion to be tax-exempt when dabbling in for-profit ventures? Would you ever consider forcing religions to fully disclose their financial records?

(ie: Burj Khalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates, tallest building in the world, completed in 2010, with a total of 3.3 million sq. ft. costing $450 per sq. ft., compared to City Creek Center which was recently reported by KSL in Salt Lake City to have a pricetag of $5 billion. With an approximate total of 1.6 million sq. ft. including sidewalks and grassy areas, the breakdown is over $3,000 per square foot!! Where is the money going?)

13. Do you think it's wrong for a Mormon bishop to ask sexual questions to a boy or girl as young as twelve years old behind a locked door and alone? (Mormon clergymen are known to ask kids if they "touch themselves" or perform any other sexual acts).

14. Do you believe that the current LDS prophet can speak face to face with Jesus in a special room in the Salt Lake temple?

15. Do you believe that you can become a god someday and be able to create and populate your own planets?

16. Do you believe that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson county Missouri?

17. Do you still believe the planet or star of Kolob, which is near the planet where God dwells, lends its light to our sun as your Mormon scriptures, the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, claim? Does this mean the NASA space program is doomed for funding?

18. Don't you think it is wrong that while you keep bleating, "We are all God's children," you avoid speaking up against the $30 million the LDS (Mormon) Church spent on shutting down Proposition 8 in California, which halted the legal process to allow gay's and lesbians to marry? While at the same time, you also ignore that in Utah, parts of Idaho, and Arizona thousands of children stuck in the FLDS Polygamist Camps (Fundamentalist Mormons) are sexually abused by adult men, often their own fathers and uncles, on a daily basis without anyone taking action!

The following questions were submitted by Richard Packham (http://packham.n4m.org/romney.htm). I want to thank him for sending the link to his Romney questions:

1. According to Mormon scripture, the founder of your church (Joseph Smith) was told by God in 1820 that all the churches of the day were "an abomination." Do you agree with God's view of other churches, as quoted by Joseph Smith? (Pearl of Great Price, JS-Hist 1:18-19 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1.18-19?lang=eng))

2. The extensive interest of Mormons in genealogical research is to enable them to perform "baptisms for the dead," (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/128?lang=eng) thus posthumously inducting previous generations into the Mormon church. Many non-Mormons become angry when they learn that the names of their ancestors - having often been faithful members of some other religion during life - have been used in this way. often without permission of the living descendants. The posthumous baptism of many Holocaust victims caused considerable anger among Jewish groups, and your church agreed to stop the practice as to them (but admitted that it was unable to do so). Do you feel that such anger is justified? (Would you feel anger if some voodoo cult was using your deceased grandparents' names in some voodoo ritual, and then announcing to all the world that they were now voodoo worshippers?)

3. It is well documented that Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, secretly had many wives. Some of those women were at the same time married to other men, some were as young as fifteen, He claimed that he was commanded by God to enter into these marriages. Do you feel that these early marital practices of the church founder were really commanded by God? (See the book In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith by Mormon historian Todd Compton for detailed biographies of these wives.)

4. Mormons believe that when Christ returns to earth, a millennium of peace will begin under Christ's rule (Article of Faith number ten (http://www.mormon.org/beliefs/articles-of-faith)), presumably as a single theocracy. Most Mormons believe that during that time, Mormons will be Christ's appointed officers and that the law will conform to Mormon teachings. Do you believe that?

Check out Richard's full list on Yahoo Voices here (http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-the-mormon-secrets-that-every-voter-should-know-2012-7).

Susan Brandon Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 10:11 PM

I have attended a few Mormon weddings at the Salt Lake temple. Those of us who aren't Mormon, including parents and other close relatives, were not allowed to go inside the temple. We had to stand outside and wait for the service to end. Why? I was told that it's because we aren't Mormon, but we were there for a wedding ceremony, not to attend a religious service. I found this rather insulting.

11-11-2017, 12:42 PM
Sandie and her lawyers lied. Diederik didn't write or say anything about Sandie trafficing drugs or laundering money, her third husband did and Diederik defended her against his allegations. Sandie purely intends to bully, distort the facts and ruin Diederik's relationship with their daughter.
He only removed his book and website because she wanted to have peace. He also never asked for money because that would be extortion. Sandie offered money and Diederik accepted a peace pact but she never ever paid what she promised. He settled with her for the chances that he would see his daughter but thus far he hasn't.

Sandie Tillotson filed this lawsuit on May 21 2012 and had the court lable it as "private". The recent Salt Lake Tribune article stated:

Tom Harvey of the Salt Lake Tribune was told by Sandie's lawyers that she "stepped down voluntarily'' thus admitting to blatantly lying on her behalf.

Items number 16-17 state otherwise saying Sandie was forced to resign from the Nu Skin board of directors and has suffered financially. Sandie felt it was significant enough to include it in her 60 Million Dollar Lawsuit!

If she is as deranged to take me up on my invitation to go through with a full blown trial it will be awesome to subpoena her financial statement (which I already have) and sniff through them line for line to verify her so called "losses" due to my website. Also that will give distributors a great insight in how much money Sandie ripped-off from them by lying about how great the Nu Skin "opportunity" is...

Interestingly enough, the decision for her to be removed from the board was made BEFORE my website was even launched. Plus, I never refered to her being a prostitute on my website, yet I'm being sued for it. Read UPDATES for more information about this frivolous lawsuit.