Monday, October 21, 2013
My cousin was raised by my parents since he was young and went to study abroad for college. He left around five years ago and in November 2012, he came back to visit for three months. My parents and I both thought he came back to visit us and his old high school friends, and to catch up on what happened since we last saw each other. Well he stayed at our house, but he was out all the time from pretty much day 2 in New York.
In the beginning, I found it understandable because he hadn't seen his friends in such a long time. One day I went into his room to get something and I found a list of names and their interests next to them. My family members, his friends, his former teachers, church members were on it. There were around 40-50 people on it. I thought, woah thats a lot of people he wanted to see. In hindsight, I now know it was a list of potential recruits for ZoiVi.
Soon, he started going out at 8 AM and coming home at 3-4 AM in the morning. He did this pretty much everyday. My parents were getting concerned over his lack of sleep and he said that he was fine. My cousin took some ZoiVi supplement for extra energy. He said he didn't need to sleep because he had that powder/pill and that since he slept less, he could spend more of his waking hours making money. Time is money, after all.
When he did have time, we had conversations late into the night. We talked about how college was a waste of time and how the student debt in this country was a huge problem. We talked about how jobs were stupid, and who needs jobs when we could be our own boss, and make our own schedule. We also talked about the law of attraction and the importance of visualizing your success and achieving your dreams. When you believe, you can achieve.
He mentioned network marketing (at the time, I didnt know what network marketing was or that he worked for a network marketing company) and how word of mouth advertising was the best form of advertising. Its free and effective. From those words, I assumed that thats what network marketing was and I agreed. Thats because my mom used to start plenty of her businesses. Her best one relied on word of mouth. She didnt have a single flyer or anything. People liked her product so much, they called her all the time, and demanded for them. She worked only three hours a day and made a couple hundred, sometimes over a thousand. And thats impressive. He told me he came to New York to learn from her how she did it because she was really good at it. If you want to make lots of money, you gotta study how people who have already done it, did it.
I agreed and still agree with him 100%. I think thats the right mindset to have. When you have dreams, you should go and achieve them with all you can. I do believe in the law of attraction and college is a waste of time and money. Thats why Im not in college now. And I think having a business like my mom is the way to go because she made so much money, and she also had the choice to spontaneously take a day off or a vacation without any real consequence.
But its the way he acted and went about achieving his dreams of becoming rich that bothered me...
My parents became curious over what those ZoiVi products were since he was taking them all the time and they ended up buying the DTX and Genki. Mom lost a couple pounds and gained it back a few days later. Dad claimed that he was perfectly healthy and didnt need DTX. No "toxins" came out when he took DTX. He had the urge to use the toilet all day but nothing major would come out. My parents raved over Genki though. They loved it because it had so many vitamins and minerals in it and my mom started to look younger after taking it everyday. She loved it so much she recommended it to all her friends and wanted to sell it.
I recall one evening, she wanted to help my brother recruit someone because she believed ZoiVi was a great company with a great product. She suggested a childhood friend who was friends with him ten years ago. The guy just stayed at home playing games on the computer, doing nothing really productive with his life, so it would be great if he got a job. I was on the computer at the time and pretended I was busy, but I was actually listening in on the phone conversation between my cousin and his childhood friend. It began with questions about his life and what he did on his free time and then my cousin smoothly changed the topic to hanging out in real life to catch up. He didnt mention ZoiVi or anything. He just said he wanted the guy to meet his new friends and everyone could socialize and have fun.
This is almost exactly like the script in action. I didnt find out until yesterday that these people are trained to follow a script. At the time though, it still felt wrong. My stomach was churning and I was really upset. I didnt like how his friend was talked into hanging out and then would be slickly lured into joining a company.
My cousin introduced mom to Evaji. Evaji and the representatives explained to her the business model and she didn't like it. Since she started so many businesses and had so much success, she didnt understand why these people were calling it their "own" business when they had to answer someone above them and someone above them took a cut of their pay. She found it stupid and complex.
Why couldnt she just buy the product for wholesale and then sell it retail price to a bunch of people in the community as she always did it? Why would someone be making money off of every sale she made? Why couldnt she determine when she worked, whenever she wanted? And why go to training half the week, which was a waste of time? To her, this wasnt a business.
My cousin said that everyone in the company was like family and everyone helped each other out. Everyone was in a team. Everyone was nice to each other. Everyone shared their profits this way. Evaji was a great guy who cared a lot about the people who worked for him. When employees who did well and customers who lost the weight got an all expense paid trip to wherever. Didnt my mom want to have a vacation all paid for?
My father, a former math professor, tried doing the math and came to the conclusion that you can never make money in this sort of business model. Only people at the top made money because they had everyone below them make money for them. Plus, the products were so expensive but the profit you would make from selling them were so low. I didnt know what the numbers were because he and my parents were excluding me from all this.
My cousin said that he made 400/week but that he could make more if he wanted to. He only worked part time. We asked him why hes always out then, and he said he wasnt going out to work and going to training. He was hanging out with his friends at the same time too.
Regardless of the stupid model, my mom still wanted to sell this product because it was great. In fact, this is almost a year later and she ran out of Genki a long time ago, and she still comments on how this is the best health supplement ever. She knew that if she sold in New York, she wouldnt sell well because her English wasnt that good and since the product was so expensive, it required good persuasive skills. She wanted to distribute this product in China instead.
Evaji was happy to hear that she wanted to expand ZoiVi into China. He gave her the english manuscripts to each product and told her to find a translator to translate them into Chinese. She was annoyed because she didnt even work for the company yet and she was told to do this. She felt like since she wasnt even working for ZoiVi, it wasnt her job to look for a translator or pay for one. Evaji said she would be reimbursed for the translations, but still, they should do the translations themselves.
For some reason or another, she called many places and couldnt find a translator that could take the job. I felt bad for my mom so I offered to help. She said she wanted to show me the manuscripts and maybe I could translate it, but was told that the documents were to be kept secret. Apparently my cousin said that I wasnt allowed to look at them. I looked them over when he wasnt home and turns out they were just statistics on the disease epidemics in America and how each ZoiVi product would benefit the body and improve health. What the hell? Every statement on the paper were things I already knew. I read books on holistic health all the time. Its my favorite subject in the whole world. This was common information found in books and online, nothing new. I found it so suspicious.
Anyway, I have a friend from China who is fluent in both Chinese and English who can translate that stuff fast. But at the time, my friend had lots of school related work and wouldnt be done until two weeks from that time. My cousin said no and that time is money and that things needed to be done right away. It was urgent. My cousin said my friend had the chance to become a translator for a million dollar company and that its something nice to put on a resume. Too bad he missed the opportunity.
The documents never did end up getting translated. My mom got annoyed over a couple weeks how all my brother talked about all time was ZoiVi, and business, and making money. She talked to her friends and they all told her not to join because they knew people involved in Amway and Herbalife and how screwed up their lives became. She made the connection that the company was a scam, although the products were great.
One night, my cousin came home and mom yelled at him telling him to quit, that he didnt know what he got himself into. That this "business" of his wasnt really his, but belonged to
Evaji. That Evaji was a bad man and profited off of everyones efforts. That people who join MLMs end up ruining all family and friend relationships. That she didnt want him to end up as one of those people.
He and my parents had a huge argument and in the days after, my mom would constantly bitch and complain about my cousin calling him a fool. She continued acting nice until he left New
York, but the relationship was still strained. I spoke to my cousin, and in his eyes, my mom is the fool because she skipped out on the opportunity to expand a million dollar company into fucking China, where she couldve became a millionaire herself because she would be the first one selling ZoiVi products there.
I honestly didnt know what to think. I was so confused. I searched up this company and found nothing meaningful. If the company was so huge and the products were so popular, how come I couldnt find anything about the product itself and only found information on making money? I didnt understand. Surely there would have been tons of reviews if the product was so great. Im glad to see more real people posting their experiences online, and though I have more of an outsiders experience with this company, I want to post this so others can read it.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
The story that I wish to share is not of the Zoivi member that realized that the entire thing was a scam, but rather my story is that of the girlfriend who had to watch the boyfriend she loved so much fall into this trap and turn into a complete stranger.
The past year Zoivi has caused me so much grief and I wish for no one to have the same experience. I want people to realize that when someone joins a cultish MLM such as Zoivi it does not only affect the person who joined it also comes with consequences that resonate onto the people closest to you: your family and your friends. So many relationships have been torn apart due to these so-called companies (I refuse to acknowledge them as legitimate honest businesses). The sad reality is that the relationships lost are never worth even the smallest fraction of whatever it is “earned” through working with these MLM cults.
My boyfriend and I have been good friends for over 4 years and during the last two we got together. We had an amazing relationship and we were good to each other. After a year of being together a friend of his roped him into going to a Zoivi meeting and then it all went downhill for us. He quit his good job and joined Zoivi and soon after quit college for it.
His life now revolved around Zoivi. All of a sudden, I scarcely heard from him anymore. He didn’t tell me what he was doing or what his job really was and whenever I asked him anything about work he was very vague about it. I became so frustrated because I wanted answers and I just felt deceived. All of a sudden he wasn’t sharing with me what is going on in his life. The worst was seeing all the pictures on Facebook and Instagram of him doing all sorts of fun things with these strangers and he couldn’t spend a day to do something fun with me. Screw all those “family days”; the only purpose those serve is to solidify their cult even more. Now the sweet loving guy I knew just walked around in a black suit all the time like a big shot, like all the other Zoivi people, but no one knew what he or any of them really did. I would hardly see him anymore, twice a month if I was lucky and our communication dwindled and for what!? Working literally 7 days a week with absolutely no time for anything outside Zoivi?! Coming home way past midnight regularly because of meetings and trainings?! (My favorite is that one time he was supposed to meet me then the CEO made a surprise appearance at 11 PM and called a random meeting that lasted like 3 hours and everyone HAD to flock to him…WHICH NORMAL COMPANY DOES THAT!)
So what was he doing at Zoivi exactly? All I ever heard of was training, training, one on ones, blah blah blah. First off, how much training do you need to sell mediocre, overpriced, not FDA approved diet products? Well then again probably a lot since no normal person in their right mind would purchase them without a Zoivi rep badgering and lying about the products. That is what they teach them in all those “trainings”, lies and how to tell lies. From what I perceived from these trainings they all started with sob stories followed by feel good motivational talks and then by more brainwashing. I mean how does hearing sob stories help “build your business” exactly? Well in Zoivi’s case it just helps you sympathize with the speaker allowing the audience to trust the speaker enough so believe them as they fill you with lies. That was the brainwashing I was talking about. My boyfriend had come to believe things that don’t make sense. I’ve listed a few at the bottom, read them and enjoy the b.s.!
- “college is a pyramid scheme” (Last time I checked you pay for valuable education, a degree, and chance to choose work from a larger job pool. They aren’t taking my money for nothing valuable in return. Yes the job market sucks and student loans are a pain but college is what you make of it and I still believe it still can be a viable tool to be successful.)
- “look at those people working in Wendy’s, they could be making so much more money with Zoivi” (It is not my place to judge Wendy’s workers but they are making an honest living by not tricking people to waste their money behind a fake business opportunity! Besides in actuality those burger flippers are probably making more than most of those ‘Zoidroids’ who most likely don’t turn a profit when the expenses are added up.”)
- “the products are not expensive” (Bullshit! The products are way overpriced! The same thing and even of better quality could be bought at GNC for fraction of the price. And they try to get you to buy their cheapest $700 package and then try to convince you that isn’t a lot..please give me a break. Besides they are not FDA approved and I did try their detox and all it did for me was make me puke! And all those “results” they show are not what they seem! Anyone could lose a few pounds of water weight if they starve themselves for a day as the detox instructs!”)
- “I could retire in 5 years and retire my parents like Mr. Evaji” (More bullshit. Here is what really happens, you would join lose money and soon you wouldn’t be able to keep up all the expenses of your “business” this includes buying the product stock and other booklets and stuff needed to sell, pay for your website upkeep costs, buying expensive black suits and ties, paying for transport, buying outside food because you don’t have time to cook at home anymore, “family” activities, meetings, costly retreats (airfare, hotel, food…you pay for), and others exist that I don’t even know of. All of this not to mention all your time and energy! On top of that no pension, social security, or health insurance. If Zoivi really cared about its employees wouldn’t it have benefits or retirements plans. Yes they blab about this “residual income” but think hard about that and if that even possible by selling crappy overpriced diet products or by recruiting ignorant people? Eventually they will lose money and quit and competitors will destroy any so-called Zoivi “consumer base”. Either way, Evaji is just sucking everyone’s money for start-up fees and events.)
- “I don’t want to work at a job just to make the boss money” (This one is so stupid. I mean at a job you work and make the money you earn, whether or not you are underpaid that is your judgment call. Besides there are bosses and business owners who make less than their employees or just break even, especially at a start- up business. Everyone starts somewhere, maybe you have to work for someone to learn the business to be the boss one day, or maybe you should go to college so you learn the trade and then be the boss. Besides the point, when you work at Zoivi, technically, you are not “your own boss” you still have and upline to account back to on everything you did and they make a share of your profits so, no you are not the boss of your own business they have control on your money and your “business”. And trust me your upline will be up your ass for every little detail in your life and call and text you 24/7 about your “business”, really a string of text from people in your upline at 12:30 AM about “business” is a little excessive. P.S. Duplicating Wednesday = You duplicate everything your upline does and they clone you to become them.)
Anyways my boyfriend basically turned into a Zoidroid douchebag. He completely changed! It was like he couldn’t think for himself and he lived in this little Zoivi bubble. It is part of any cult to brainwash the followers into developing this ‘it’s us vs. them’ attitude. His personality changed, he wasn’t fun anymore and he became cruel. He would be happy when he told some girl off in a one-on-one (the meeting to sign people up) and made her cry saying that she was stupid and would never succeed in Zoivi or have a mindset for success... yeah he turned into a jerk, completely the opposite from the kind, sweet guy I knew.
When he started missing important things such as Valentine’s Day and a college formal (that I really wanted to go to) for Zoivi trainings and meetings, I just became more and more frustrated, mostly frustrated seeing him slip away. Then I started researching what Zoivi really was, and the words MLM and pyramid schemes etc… and I started to realize the truth of what he was involved with and whenever I’d bring any of it up he would get so defensive and retaliate with the usual “you are being too negative”, “you sound like a confused person”, “you are overthinking it”, “it’s too big for you to understand”, “we are going to take over the world, trust me and don’t worry about it”, ugh the bullshit, used to piss me off to no limit! He would never give any adequate answer backed up by facts! Instead of having a mature conversation I was spoken to as a child. The best phrase that pissed me off royally was “you don’t support me”. BULLSHIT I supported him through a lot of shit even with the Zoivi crap I tried adjusting to it and cheered him, went to stupid functions because it made him happy. Then all of a sudden when I mention that I read that it wasn’t a stable business, I don’t support him all of a sudden. I see now that it wasn’t only heartbreaking but also unfair. I was just so hurt I tried keeping everything together and it all still kept falling apart. Eventually, he ended it saying that he felt bad for not being a good boyfriend to me and not giving me the time he deserved, of course he also had to add in that our relationship was too much a distraction for his business. Yeah right, I hardly saw him anymore or have normal conversations with him, how was I any sort of distraction to him? I felt like shit and so confused because we were so good before all this Zoivi garbage. Before all of the Zoivi crap he was a good person, kind, loving, loyal guy, now I don’t really know what he is anymore.
Looking back now, I realize from slight comments I’d hear from him, that all along the Zoidroids have been meddling in our relationship. I remember one time he told me that those Zoivi girls told him that if they had a boyfriend as busy as he was they would have broken up with him a long time ago. When I went to their stupid events I remember having this discussion with them, “Wow you’re so busy with college and work and he’s so busy doing big things over here, how does your relationship even have time?” I mean really, why is that any of their business! I feel like behind my back they have been slyly encouraging him to break up with me, mostly evident in the terrible nickname they gave me behind my back. On top of that after I met a lot of them, I asked the boyfriend the next day what they thought about me, his response was that they all were asking him why he didn’t get me into Zoivi already! I mean I was like thinking they’d say oh she is nice or we like her, she’s cool, or something like that. Why does the first thing out of their mouths have to be, “Why won’t she join?”? Since when do the people you work with have any say in your relationship?
What I do know is that the relationship that I cared for so much he thought was second to Zoivi. I was like he was cheating on me with Zoivi and Evaji! Frankly, since the first time I met Evaji, before I researched any of what Zoivi was about, I had a bad feeling about him. I didn’t trust him. Maybe it was the whole I lived in my car sob story I couldn’t believe or maybe it was the way all the Zoivi reps were willing to do anything for this man even lick the dirt off his sandals, either way I knew he was shady shit. The way they extol him like some sort of god is just creepy. I mean they put so much trust in this guy who ultimately created such an elaborate system to use them all. He has so much control over them! They would do anything he said just to suck up to him, because if he likes you or not matters. For example, my boyfriend had told me if he likes you enough he would invite you to live in the mansion, that and if you are doing successful in your “business”. Evaji is just a creepy man all-in-all. Once I told my boyfriend that I thought Evaji was gay because he dresses so flamboyantly and he was so appalled at my statement he was like no Evaji has plenty of girlfriends and that Evaji only wears the best brand named clothes and at the end of every month he throws away his entire wardrobe and buys a new one. OK, WHAT A WASTE! By the way everyone in Zoivi has such an obsession with name brand items, only brands like Hugo Boss and Armani they should wear. I don’t like their materialistic attitude and the need to smugly rub this “lifestyle” in everyone’s faces to make it seem like their little cult is superior to everyone else. My ex-boyfriend used to be humble and never cared about pointless crap about the brand of his tie but now he does just like the rest of them. Evaji either trained him or they all just want to be dicks just like their god. I just think Evaji is not a genuine person, all the niceness fake, actually all of Zoivi is really good at putting up this nicey nice act but it is just that, an act. They just care about your money not your friendship.
These Zoivi people are terrible and ruthless. If they ever approach you, avoid them at all costs. If you think this is a great opportunity to make money or to make new friends, think again. You won’t make money. If you do, it would not be honest money or worth the time and effort you put in. You won’t make friends. People interested in you only for your money and people thinking that you are going to fund their dreams; these are not real friends. Lastly, I ask you to think about your boyfriend or girlfriend, your real family, and your real friends before if you ever consider joining Zoivi. If you love them and care about them do not push them away with something as stupid as Zoivi. The people that care the most are usually the ones affected the most by stuff like this, so don’t hurt them.