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This may come as a jolt to my doTERRA friends—prepare yourselves—but I used to love Young Living oils (blush). I was even an avid Gary Young fan (oh remorse). Fortunately, just as I was gearing up to attend the 2013 Young Living convention, I had a candid conversation with my sister (the skeptic in the family) that started me down a path of research and realization. (I hate it when my sister’s right). Here’s what I discovered so you can avoid making my embarrassing mistake.

The Founder is a Criminal

Gary Young has a very colorful past. I didn’t want to believe it at first, but the police records and court documentation is all legitimate. The first three arrests occurred back in 1981, 1983, and 1988when Gary Young consistently practiced medicine without a license (he only has a high school diploma). Gary Young served a total of 120 days in jail and spent two years on probation.

Then in 1993 Gary Young was arrested in Fife, Washington, for setting up an unlicensed medical practice. This time he plead guilty to the charges. In response to Gary Young’s less-than-ethical business practices, Young Living notified Gary Young of his imminent termination as CEO. This is where things get bizarre. Police documents and court records give a detailed account of how Gary Young broke into the Young Living’s premises and threatened multiple employees (including family members) with an axe. He had to be forcibly detained by police, and the Superior Court of Washington issued both Young’s family and his employees protective orders due to Gary’s violent behavior. True story.

Seed to Seal” is a Sham

Young Living loves to boast that they control the entire process from “Seed to Seal,” but the numbers simply don’t add up. Consider this: Young Living only maintains seven farms while still claiming to grow 90 different oils (for approximately 3 million distributors). There’s no way those limited hectares could produce their entire line of products.

Young Living actively hides the fact that they outsource many of their oils. Which makes me wonder, who are these shadow growers and distillers? Can they be trusted? In stark contrast, doTERRA is fully transparent in their partnering with hundreds of fair trade co-ops in over 33 different countries—often relying on small, community-run farms to grow plants in their indigenous locations (because location key in plant potency).

The Evacuation

Some people refer to this transition as an “exodus” but honestly, it was more of an “evacuation.” Emily Wright, Dr. David Hill, Greg Cook, and David Sterling left Young Living after repeatedly witnessing Gary Young’s alarming lack of ethics. For example, Gary Young claimed in Young Living seminars to have performed life-saving surgeries!? This, from a man who only has a high school diploma!? I say bravo to the doTERRA execs for putting their conscious ahead of their financial security and walking away.

More Isn’t Merrier.

When it comes to oils, I appreciate that doTERRA puts purity over profit by focusing on 40 oils instead of the 90+ that Young Living mass produces. This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but consider which restaurant you would trust more: one with dozens upon dozens of entrees or one with a selective list. Whose ingredients do you think will be the most fresh? Which dishes will be the most refined?  

Likewise, when you consider how much time and rigorous testing it takes to secure its CPTG certification, I love that doTERRA doesn’t spread their resources too thin.

Counting the Cost

I approach essential oil pricing like I do at Costco (ahh…the magic of unit pricing). So that’s another big plus when it comes doTERRA oils. Let’s say you were looking for a generic starter kit with about 7 oils. You’d probably compare Young Living’s Everyday Oils Kit (6, 5-ounce blends and 4, 5-ounce oils: Wholesale cost $130) to doTERRA’s Introductory Essentials + Mood Management Kit (5, 15-ounce blends and 3, 5-ounce oils: Wholesale cost: $20 + $115= $135). With doTERRA you’d 25ml more. Worth the extra $5? You bet!

Spurious Marketing

Young Living has a history of bold-faced lies. It’s a habit that started with their founder and continues to this day.

In 1983, Gary Young claimed in flyers that he graduated from the The American Institute of Physioregenerology. Yet according to the Institute’s founder, Gary Young was a dropout. He never completed 2/3rds of his coursework and owed a significant amount in tuition.

In a brochure from 1987, Gary Young stated that his paralysis was healed by “Oscillation Frequency Infusion,” alone. In the 90s, his story conveniently changed. He now claims that his recovery was solely due to essential oils and fasting.

Gary Young touts he received the Humanitarian Award from the State Medical Examiner’s Office of Baja, California. The State Medical Examiner’s Office has flatly denied that they have ever awarded Gary Young anything.

Gary Young asserted he trained in aromacology from the Royal Masonic Hospital in London. The Royal Masonic Hospital stated that they have no record of Gary Young at all.

Up until 2002, Young Living’s website boasted that Gary Young was Utah Certified Neuropath. The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (UDOPL) contacted Young Living and insisted that the statement be removed. You can still find this blatant lie on Gary Young’s personal website.

Wrap Up

Ultimately, I am relieved to now secure my oils from an organization named one of “America’s Best Employers” by Forbes. Every time I rub lavender oil on my toddler’s feet, I know that I can trust both doTERRA’s products and their roots.

And that, my friends, is why I chose doTERRA.


The Day Young Living Broke My Heart

Gary Young Somolia

Truth About Gary Young

Gary Young Fraud

Gary Young Arrest

Gary Young Scam

Young Livings Oily Leadership

Young Living Products – something negative


Crime and Wonderment: Gary Young’s Shocking Exploits in 1987

When it comes to wellness for my family, I’m a big believer in knowing a brand inside and out.

When I first started looking into essential oils, I was swept away by Young Living’s promises. The whole “Seed to Seal” approach sounded amazing. Fortunately, a brief Google search on Gary Young (the CEO and founder of Young Living) exposed documentation that reads like a crime novel.

Below is a brief summary of Gary Young’s escapades…in 1987 alone:

After two arrests, two year-long probations, and a total of 90 days in jail for practicing medicine without a license, Gary Young left the U.S. to try his luck in Tijuana. He created the Rosarita Beach Clinic—a health center which offered quick “cancer treatments” for $6,000–10,000 a pop.

Prospective patients for the Rosarita Beach Clinic were invited to send in blood samples and receive a “specialized blood crystallization” report. Recipients would then be scared into buying a Gary Young fraud treatment for whatever ailments the test revealed. When Dr. John Renner (a Board Member of the National Council Against Health Fraud), discovered the clinic, he decided to put Gary Young’s test to the test.

Dr. Renner supplied his own blood to be examined—but listed it under three different patient names.  The results he received back were anything but scientific. Indeed, each blood sample was diagnosed with thee completely different results.

But Dr. Renner wasn’t the only one to discover the truth behind Gary Young’s clinic. The L.A. Times also wrote a scathing article about their experience with the company. It all started when a reporter (John Hursty) sent in blood samples from healthy, young tabby cat named name Boomer. Gary Young’s clinic analyzed the cat’s blood (assuming it was from a human) diagnosed it with aggressive leukemia, and prescribed a program of supervised healing at their oh-so-pricey clinic. But don’t worry about the cat’s health; when the L.A. Times asked a licensed veterinarian to run tests the Boomer’s blood, the results were quite different.  The tests found zero traces of leukemia.

Just for kicks, the L.A. Times reporter then sent in a “follow-up” sample of blood (this time it was from a chicken) to Young’s clinic and listed it under another human name. This diagnosis was as phony as the first, claiming liver inflammation and “a pre-lymphomic condition.”

“But wait,” you may be thinking, “How different could animal blood look?” The answer is clear-as-day different. When the same chicken-blood samples were presented to Dr. Faramarz Naeim (head of hematopathology at the UCLA Medical Center), the doctor immediately noted that the blood cells were “oval-shaped” and therefore not human.

Some of my friends have asked why I no longer buy my frankincense oil from Young Living, Honestly, how could I possibly trust a company founded by a man who preyed on desperate cancer victims?