Marketing Anti-Medicine: Young Living’s M.O.

First let me preface: I love my essential oils. Open my purse, my gym bag, my diaper bag—even my ooh-la-la special occasion clutch—and you’re bound to find frankincense, eucalyptus, and lavender oils at the ready (and probably a half dozen more).

I firmly believe that essential oils can empower us moms to help soothe and comfort our littles.

Indeed, if you take a look at the 10,000+ peer-reviewed/evidence-based studies about essential oils (published in scientific journals), it is clear that essential oils—in tandem with modern medicine—can have remarkable results. That’s the key phrase, ladies: “in tandem with modern medicine.”

I have become increasingly alarmed by the anti-medicine culture embraced by many of Young Living’s distributors / users. These well-intentioned users—many of whom are my dear neighbors—have bought into a belief that essential oils can trump the doctor’s office, pharmacy, and even the emergency room. The ripples from this type of thinking can have life threatening consequences!

What’s at the root of this alarming culture? Two words: Gary Young. While I consider many Young Living users my friends, I have no tolerance for the founder and CEO of Young Living. Gary Young is a self-proclaimed “doctor” who has been arrested multiple times for practicing medicine without a license. True story! I could go on for days discussing Young’s frightening past, but below are just a few of the dangerous claims Gary Young has made on essential oil’s “healing” powers:

  • Young has long avowed that he cured his own paralysis with essential oils. However, according to Dr. Eva Briggs, MD, Young has never provided any documentation of either his hospitalization (supposedly he was in an ICU for four months) or his miraculous cure. More suspicious still, a brochure published by Young in 1987 solely attributes his recovery to “Oscillation Frequency Stimulation Infusion” without once mentioning essential oils. Ugh.
  • In his widely-distributed recording, “The Missing Link,” Gary claims that he healed a woman’s lupus in eight days with the blend of oils found in Young Living’s Immupower (pg 29).
  • In the same tape, he argues that the cure for diabetes is simply Coriander (page 11), and compares lavender oil to chemotherapy as a cancer treatment (page 12).
  • He also states that “born deafness” can be restored with Helichrysum oil (page 25).

Disturbingly, Young Living’s own CEO sets the trend for Young Living’s distributors (even with the best of intent) to teach users to rely and expect essential oils to be the sole means to heal life-threatening conditions, burns or illnesses.

To contrast this, I really appreciate doTERRA’s far more balanced approach. For example, in 2013, doTERRA brought a team of six doctors to their yearly conference; their presentation emphasized the importance of use of their oils in conjunction with modern medicine as a synergistic approach to health care. Thanks to Dr. David K. Hill, doTERRA’s Chief Medical Officer, doTERRA is now leading the industry by working hand-in-hand with health-care professionals to equip more specialists and hospitals with essential oils.

To wrap things up, I loved a quote DoTERRA’s statement last July on this very topic, “essential oils are progressively becoming a more vital ingredient in the recipe for optimal health.” Instead of proudly claiming their oils and the only “ingredient” to healing, doTERRA clearly values the power of both modern medicine and the power of distilled plants working together to make our lives more healthy, whole, and full.

Now that’s a brand I can trust.

About Us:

Marketing Anti-Medicine: Young Living’s M.O.

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Truth about Gary Young

Is Gary Young an MD?

Gary Young Fraud

Gary Young Arrest

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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?

Exploiting the Exploited: Gary Young’s Treatment of Native Americans and Somalis

If you, like me, fell in love with Young Living for its holistic care and positive impact—I’m afraid you’re about to be blindsided by some uncomfortable documentation on Gary Young. I had the same experience last week while Googling Young Living’s founder and CEO. Yes, the truth was difficult to swallow, but it’s also empowering for us moms determined to find the most trustworthy products for our families.

Gary Young—in an attempt to add some legitimacy to his marketing materials—has blatantly exploited multiple cultures for his own gain. Recently, an online “truth-crusade” led by Native Americans and Somalis have exposed his unconscionable treatment of vulnerable populations.

For example, Gary Young has long published claims regarding a close mentorship with one of the Lakota Nation’s most prominent medicine men. Recently, however, a representative for the Lakota tribe, has devoted significant time and effort to publish the truth. Below are the nitty gritty details:

Gary Young claimed that he developed his controversial essential oil “Raindrop Therapy” in the 1980s after working with the Lakota Tribe’s influential Wallace Black Elk. However, according to a tribe representative, Raindrop Therapy had never been part of the Lakota’s healing process. The tribe’s representative further responded to Young’s marketing by emphasizing that Gary Young “never ‘worked with’ nor was he ever taught, endorsed, or recognized by Grandfather [Wallace Black Elk]. He has stained our beautiful Grandfather’s name and it has to stop…to to claim to have been directly taught or instructed by Grandfather is simply an untruth.” The representative was most sickened by Gary Young’s insistence that he was involved in Wallace Black Elk’s sacred work.

As if this charade weren’t alarming enough, Gary Young has also taken advantage of impoverished Somali natives. In 2014, a Somali leader Sultan Yusuf Salah, struggled to redress false marketing/newsletter materials promoting his “relationship” with Gary Young. Sultan has sent multiple emails to Young Living asking them to remove his name from Gary Young’s “propaganda.”

In fact, Yusuf describes how Gary Young misrepresented himself as a “philanthropist and doctor,” showed up unannounced in his country, and obtained nine days of unpaid tribal service all while promising to pay for schools and hospital. However, two years later, Gary Young has yet to make good on his word. It turns out the trip was merely for publicity’s sake. In order to justify the hefty cost of frankincense oil, Greg Young spent a large part of the trip gathering photos for a four part-series for the Young Living newsletter about the process of collecting the oil in a foreign company. In the series, Gary Young portrays Sultan Yusuf as his friend and protector. But the Sultan says such depictions could not be further from the truth.

When Sultan Yusuf, discovered the depraved publicity being used in the Young Living newsletter he contacted both Gary and his company urging them to be honest about their real experience in Somalia. Young Living responded by claiming “defamation” and encouraging YouTube to remove a video that Yusuf posted clarifying the real events of Gary Young’s trip.

Ultimately, Gary Young’s glib willingness to exploit vulnerable populations is appalling. Ugh, need I say more?

About Us:

Gary Young’s Treatment of Native Americans and Somalis

Young Living Products – something negative

Gary Young somolia

Truth about Gary Young

Is Gary Young an MD?

Gary Young Fraud

Gary Young Arrest

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 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?

Young Living Products – something negative

Gary Young somolia

Truth about Gary Young

Is Gary Young an MD?

Gary Young Fraud

Gary Young Arrest

A Colorful, Criminal Past: Gary Young

Over the past month I have come to reluctantly accept that Gary Young—the founder and CEO of Young Living—is not the man he claims to be.

The process of admitting that someone you admire is actually, well, a con artist, is painful. So, I understand the impulse to rationalize in his defense. (“He’s a great healer!” “You are just a hater!” “Where’s the proof?” etc.,)

Heck, I’m guilty of writing all of those comments myself. Yet, as more documents surfaced online, justifying it all became emotionally exhausting. I was practically carrying lavender oil everywhere I went.

Eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that this man is a convicted psychopath. Yes, Gary Young was arrested not once, not twice, but five times (one of which involved threatening his own family members with an axe)! I have listed the sources below. Check them out; unfortunately, they’re all legit.

1981: First Arrest—Spokane, Washington

Gary Young was arrested and convicted for practicing medicine without a license at Golden Six Health World (his first clinic). Despite lofty claims to the contrary, Gary Young only has a high school diploma. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a year-long probation.

See Colwell C.D. State of Washington v. Donald Gary Young. In the Superior Court of the State of Washington in and for the County of Spokane. Information No. 83-1-0235-5; filed March 8, 1983.

1983: Second Arrest—Spokane, Washington

On March 9, Gary Young offered cancer treatment and prenatal care to an undercover cop. He was arrested by the Washington State Police Force for again practicing medicine without a license.

It was discovered that he distributed literature claiming he was a graduate of “The American Institute of Physioregenerology.” The institute’s founder went on record stating that Gary Young had dropped out after only a few classes and owed $1,800 in unpaid tuition fees.

Gary received a 60 day suspended sentence and another year probation.

You can read about this arrest here in the Spokane Chronicle.

1988: Third Arrest—Fife, Washington

Again, Gary Young was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. He served 60 days in jail and another year in probation.

You can find articles chronicling this arrest in the San Diego Union on March 8, March 11, and June 18.

1993: Fourth Arrest—Fife, Washington

Gary was arrested yet a fourth time for an unlicensed medical practice and plead guilty to the charges.

1993: Fifth Arrest—Spokane, Washington

On September 27, Young was terminated from Young Living, Inc. for fraudulent misrepresentation of himself as a doctor, misuse of company funds to support his personal endeavors, and overall erratic behavior.

Court and police records reveal that two days later, he returned to the company. He attempted to force entry into the office by removing a door’s hinge pins and battering at the door with the axe. He then shoved his second wife down the stairs and confronted his son and an employee at the back door with the axe. He had to be forcibly removed by the police. His shaken victims were each issued protective orders by the Superior Court of Washington.

In later court action in Utah County, Utah, several of Young’s family members including his mother, sister, and niece, filed sworn affidavits. These documents reveal that Young was physically abusive to his children (spanking them when they were infants and kicking them with his pointy-toed cowboy boots). Even his own mother went on record stating that he mentally and emotionally abused her.

Ultimately, I don’t know which is more disgusting: the truth behind Gary Young’s slick facade or Young Living’s continued cover up on his behalf.

Young Living Products – something negative

Gary Young somolia

Truth about Gary Young

Is Gary Young an MD?

Gary Young Fraud