Re: Sunasu Vitamin Co.
- --- In eckankartruth@y..., samorez@a... wrote:
>Sam, thanks for the info! And for those who may come here in the future and read the archives, here's a comment made by Colleen Russell (who you probably know) over at a.r.e.:
> Sharon, you asked about the MLM vitamin group Paul started for Gail.
> He hired a Dr. Donsbach, Kurt I think, to develop the formula in the
> early 70's. Ever the opportunist, Paul realized he had the perfect
> sales force readily available and willing in the ranks of Eckankar.
> The last I heard of Donsbach was when I saw an expose of a "cancer
> clinic" operating out of Tijuana, Mexico. Guess who the director was?
> You got it. Dr. D.
> Gail and Darwin came over to my house soon after Paul died. They
> wanted to get Sunasu moving in San Diego. They had a list of names
> from a free "give-away" list accumulated at a local health-food
> convention. They wanted me to set-up a sales, recruiting meeting.
> Unfortunately, the night they picked was the night of the Oscars! One
> little old lady showed up. It was kind of embarassing to me. In
> retrospect, the embarassament was theirs for the callous and
> predatory way they were trying to take advantage of naive and
> gullible eckists. I was 20 years old, going to school full time,
> working and had two babies. That's right. It had to be the spring of
> 1972 because my second son had just been born. Like I had time to be
> a vitamin distributor. Sheesh, the nerve of those people!
I must not have been clear about my post....I agree with you one hundred percent, that the Twitchell we honored was really a traveling salesman, something like the Music Man. He manipulated, seduced, and betrayed and that's the truth. Along with this, I learned a great deal out of a painful experience and my struggle to heal are now finally realized through the discovery of my ex-husband, ex-higher-Eckankar initiate, ex-Guru (maybe
still Guru) becoming a Registered Sex Offender. (See previous posts).
By the way, the company we launched back then was Sunasu -- and I was also a distributor of the vitamins, minerals, herbs. Bob Libin, distributor of Niagara Cyclo Massage Chairs helped to launch it. It was supposedly a way for members to make money for themselves and for Eckankar.
Well...my thought it, it could have been worse!! At least Twitch
didn't send cult members out selling flowers on street corners! <gg>
Look, I like vitamins. And my favorite is one I've used for many years, on and off, sold by another MLM company. Except their alfalfa, which never quite "set right" with me, and I had to laugh because years later I read that it was *not* organic! So...if Sunasu wasn't connect with a "religion", well...look, I'm not familiar with the vitamins, and for all I know, maybe they were good. I haven't been able to afford this other brand for many years, but I've used many and to be honest, well...they work for me. And I told many people that it was a good idea to buy a distributorship just to get lower prices for yourself. I wasn't into that "sales" stuff, just didn't have time. I
was always happy with whatever salary I was making in whatever job I had at the time...my family was more important than $$ and I, personally, could never do both...go for bucks & have a fun & sort of laid-back lifestyle, and enjoy my children. Sure, money would have been nice...but to get it, I would have had to compromise. It's not like that for everyone, though. Oh...I read some interesting things about Amway over at ex-cult-support, though. I had friends who got a bit nutsy (for a short time) about Amway and other things...but I'm sorry, their laundry detergent (and Shaklee, okay, I'm not promoting the brand but I *do* prefer their vitamins) isn't much better than some el-cheapo brands I use between the "good" stuff.
Sam, this Gail/Darwin thing is another thing that when I was an eckist, sort of "resonated" in a "wrong" way. It didn't make sense. You know...first of all, the troubles they had contacting Gail when Twitch died, because she was "camping with friends". Then she named Darwin as "Godman #2" and then married him? It didn't make sense, somehow...I remember thinking, gee...was she "camping" with Darwin at the time?
Don't believe I had all those thoughts back then, when the only thing I knew was reading the "official" eckstories about it. They weren't discussed at the studies & Satsangs I attended...and any "sticky" questions were quickly deflected, the subject changed...I didn't get to my first eckseminar until 1997, can you believe it?
Look, I may joke around & stuff, and even comment on wanting to hear the "dirt", but...the "dirt" is very relevant.
I think it's important that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth be told.
- For those who may be interested, and to "file" this from my personal "archives" to where I can find it again <gg> here's an interesting
"snippet" written by Gunnar, who's a former eckist who was posting at
a.r.e. before my time...his brief "critique" of the cult can be found at
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1756/eck.txt (this may be in the "files" section here, too...I'm not sure.)
Twitchell didn't plan to let go of the "rod of power" until at least
'75. However, he happened to die of arteriosclerotic heart disease in
'71. There are indications that he never planned on handing the rod of
power to Gross at all nor to anyone within the near future. Statements from people really close to
Twitchell point to his emotional dependency on Gail, his wife, who was
unsatisfied with him and was looking for a more luxurious life as well
as a more attractive man which she found in Darwin Gross (the two got
married soon after). It was she who handed Gross the "rod of power",
allegedly following a dream or vision of hers.
Gail's attitude towards all this becomes clearer when one listens to
accounts by people who have witnessed the times. Although no products
were to be sold on eckankar events, Twitchell, of course, made an
exception for his own wife who was into vitamin selling. As Jeff Hayes
writes on ARE:
"The vitamin selling scam was a pyramid selling org like any other.
The focus was on recruiting more members, not on selling the
'vitamins'. It was actually a nutritional program, similar to what
you see in the body building mag's, but emphasising good health rather
than massive muscles.
"I know this first hand because in the days of distant youth I was a
member of the pyramid ... i forget the name of the org now... hummm
Vita-somthing? Oh well. I have since learned the First Dictum of
Selling: Never Buy Inventory. And the product was nothing special - I
used it for a while and experienced nothing special.
"The last word that I can drop here is that it seems to have been
Gail's idea from the start. I was not ever so high in the org as to
get details, but nothing in the literature mentioned Eck, Darwin,
Paul. What I was told by those above me in the food chain was that
Gail was doing this to improve the health of those that needed it.
"I took that with a grain of salt even then."
I have heard reports from many people who were cult members at the
time that selling Gail's vitamins was *very* big in the cult.
So...I question what Twitch wrote in "Difficulties of Becoming the
Living ECK Master" about how no products were to be sold or anything
at eckthings. It's obvious Twitch was speaking with the typically