"We...can't afford to have children now"

"Our credit rating is shattered and we often think about filing for bankruptcy"

March 2000
By a former Equinox couple

This is my own personal story of what happened to me, specifically through my husband's involvement in Equinox. There is light at the end of the tunnel, which though have yet to see, still have faith is there.

I first met the man who would become my husband (then 20 years old) when at a local Equinox office where I went for an interview. Like many "suckers" I answered an ad in a local paper that offered a high salary and an opportunity to travel. Who could resist? I went for it and was immediately drawn in by the "overly friendly" staff who admired my resume and enthusiastic attitude. I later learned that all the positive strokes I received initially were what they refer to as "edification," which is one of the ways they draw people in.

I proceeded to engage in chit chat with the woman I had spoken to on the phone, she became my

manager--and soon I was led off to one of the "seminars."

Now, I like to think of myself as an intelligent woman--after all, at that time I was attending graduate school. Looking back the claims they were making should have seemed impossible. However, like many other people greed got the better of me and I decided to stay--even though my brain was sending off warning signals like crazy.

In desperate need for cash to pay my rent and tuition--how could I turn down an opportunity like this to make money? So, I filled out an application and was promptly hit up for an initial payment.

I tried to get more money to put up through loans at several banks, but was unsuccessful (thank God!). Each time I went back into the Equinox office, I was subsequently treated more and more like a disappointment-- even though I had recruited many friends for training. I also answered phones for them.

Then I was approached by the man who eventually would become my husband and our office director who both offered to fake pay stubs so I could get a loan--no questions about how such stubs would be obtained. They would also falsify my work history too. Well, that was it for me--I decided to quit right then and there. Having been brought up with morals--I couldn't understand why these people didn't care what they did to make money.

Many people came and went at our office--often losing everything they had, but no one seemed to notice the high turnover rate of our staff.

The next time I saw my future husband he had just returned from opening an office in another state. He was finally out of money, credit cards, and other resources to support his "fake it 'till you make it" lifestyle. He returned home broke and broken hearted. At that time I learned his best friend recruited him, among many others in his small community, with promises of big money and a luxurious lifestyle. After he quit his "friend" wanted nothing to do with him--that broke his heart more than Equinox ever could.

To make a long story short--I fell in love with this man. No one can ever say I married him for his money. When we wed my husband was more than $25,000.00 in debt. We have struggled to survive ever since. We lost our car and receive constant calls from bill collectors--along with accompanying demand letters etc. No matter how much we work (and we are both have good jobs)--it seems impossible to pay the bills racked up regarding that time with Equinox.

Our credit rating is shattered and we often think about filing for bankruptcy. At this time we have given up our hope of owning a home. We also can't afford to have children now. It's terrible to feel this way at age twenty-six--let me tell you!

Our only hope now is this Equinox trial going on. Perhaps justice will be served and the many people who were robbed of their futures by Equinox will see something returned to them--even if it's just the satisfaction of seeing Equinox International closed permanently. And also the knowledge that no more innocent people will ever go through what we did and endure even still--going through every day dealing with a never ending cycle of hopelessness that debt like ours brings--even to young people.

Looking back, there was a good reason why Equinox told us to avoid our families--because they knew better than to get involved with a company like that.

Please stop and think about "get rich quick schemes" and listen to your family.

I urge everyone presented with some sort of multi-level marketing scheme to stop and think before you act.

Hopefully, "what goes around comes around." And personally, I can't wait to see how this Equinox story turns out.

Copyright © Rick Ross

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