"Reality Check"

By an Equinox attendee

I got online tonight looking for a reality check--thanks to your site I got one.

Last week I went to a meeting at a Pittsburgh office of Equinox and came away feeling manipulated but interested. After two more meetings, every red flag I had was going off about this company, and yet everyone there made it seem so possible to make so much money. I was trying to convince myself to ignore them.

I went there after casually mentioning to a friend of mine that I was looking for a job. I later found out that he had invested almost $3,000 in the company, and I thought to myself--well this can't be a good idea. I can't believe I'm actually considering charging $2,500.00 on a credit card--which had a balance I just cleared out. But I though if my friend did it, and was there for two weeks before he did--he must have looked around and done research and all to be comfortable putting in that kind of money. It must really work.

They paraded around this one employee who had received a $10,000.00 check after only five weeks there. I thought--well, if I could make half of that I could pay off my credit card balance.

But you know what? I'm an honest person! The kinds of lies I would have had to tell to make money there would have kept me awake at night and I wouldn't have been able to do it.

In the time I was there, they made several bogus claims about the products--deodorant causes Alzheimer's disease in 23-year-olds, chlorine in water is a "leading cause of learning disabilities" in children--both of which I knew to be false. And there were some other shady and misleading claims. They even said that if your friends or your parents told you not to get involved, it was because they had no money and therefore had no idea how to make money. In other words, anyone who tried to get you to listen to reason should immediately be dismissed as a non-believer.

They also said, the Better Business Bureau was a for-profit company whose advice could not be trusted--"well, we don't contribute much money to them so they don't give us very good reviews." They spoke of Bill Gould as if he were a god or something. All this basically made me feel that if I did not give them this money, I was destined for financial ruin!

I must say, these folks are GOOD at what they do!

I never would have even considered giving up that kind of money if my friend hadn't done it too. He's not a stupid person. But I see now that he was being mislead through the biggest dream of poor college students everywhere--Financial Independence. And because it almost happened to me--I know it's not because he's stupid or naive, but more like willful blindness.

So wanting to get rid of mine (i.e. willful blindness) I went online and found your site. Thank god I found it before I gave them the money! I made printouts of all the articles and will give them to my friend. It may be too late for him to back out, but at least I want him to know.

I went to the Better Business Bureau's site and found, among shady reviews of the company, a description of a pyramid scheme, which of course fit Equinox almost exactly [sic]. They are obviously teetering on the edge of the law, staying in business through loopholes and technicalities [sic].

I just wanted to let you know that your site made a difference to at least one person, it saved me a lot of money, and it really woke me up. I am going back to the office on Monday morning and I am going to bring back most of the almost $300.00 in products I purchased to start showing to friends. I bought a few things for my own use and I guess I'll have to keep them, but I should be able to get most of my money back.

Thank you for putting this information out there in such an easily accessible format and all in one place. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a cult (though it does have some of the qualities of one--Psychology major talking here), but it is a scam, even if it is a barely legal one and it is dangerous [sic].

I almost made a big mistake, but now I know better.

Copyright © Rick Ross

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