Introduction to Stemtech MLM Compensation Plan
Welcome back to Notebook Crazy, everyone. This is Brad, and I am stuffed. I just came back from Mother’s Day brunch, and I have a belly full of garlic knots to show for it. All of you dutiful sons who had salad Nicoise for Mother’s Day brunch are probably wishing you were me and wondering how I did it, so allow me to explain. A few weeks ago, at Easter dinner to be exact, I was having a heated discussion with my family, and it led to my mother and me making a bet. The outcome on which we were betting on need not concern us right now, although if you are really curious about it, you can read all the details in a review I wrote on this site, a review of a company the name of which I have since blocked from my memory, but it had something to do with a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), and something to do with Dolly the cloned sheep. More important to us at this moment is what was at stake in our bet, namely the location of this year’s Mother’s Day brunch. If my mother had won, it would have been the stuffiest of all Mother’s Day brunches, all suits and ties and long stem roses and salad Nicoise. (My mother is generally not a stuffy person; she prefers burgers and marshmallow roasts and T-shirts and jeans most of the time, but I think she made her choice of venue largely for purposes of raising the stakes of our bet.) Thankfully, though, I won, and as a result, my family had Mother’s Day brunch at Oley’s Pizza in Fort Wayne, where I ate so many garlic knots that, no matter how many times I have washed my hands since we left, the garlic and olive oil lingering on my fingers means that I am typing this Stemtech review more quickly than I have typed most of the MLM reviews on this site, since the garlic is keeping the vampires away, and the olive oil is making my finger move more smoothly over the keys of my computer. (Yes, I type with one finger, even though I also have nine others, so I don’t want to hear any excuses about how you can’t start an Internet business because you never learned to type. My lack of typing skills has not stopped me from writing this Stemtech review or any of the dozens of other reviews I have written on this site. It did put quite a damper on my career as a transcriptionist, but that is a story for another day.) And, by the way, I did buy my mom some roses. I am not that much of a jerk.
I hope all of you have enjoyed your Mother’s Day brunch, because, despite the pleasant prologue about garlic knots and family unity, the rest of this Stemtech review is enough to make you lose your appetite. If the biological ick of algae does not gross you out, the financial ick that is multilevel marketing (MLM) definitely will.
Stemtech: The Company and Its Products
The first thing I found out about Stemtech is that it markets itself as using stem cells as the key to good health. Now, the Stemtech business opportunity is plenty horrible, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. Many of us have only heard of stem cells in the context of the controversy over using embryonic stem cells for medical research, but I can assure you that the Stemtech business opportunity has nothing to do with embryonic stem cells or embryos. We all have stem cells, regardless of age. Even adults have stem cells in their skin, bone marrow, and dental pulp, and perhaps in some other tissues of the body as well. (If any of you health sciences professionals care to enlighten me about other parts of the body that contain stem cells, I am all ears, or at least, all stem cells that can differentiate themselves into ears.) A stem cell is any cell that can change into another type of cell (such as a blood cell or skin cell), and they play an important role in the body’s ability to heal itself and to regenerate its tissues.
If you have been reading Notebook Crazy, you know that I am no fan of MLM companies that sell nutritional supplements, so I was already in a foul mood when I found out that Stemtech products are nutraceuticals, but when I saw the company’s tagline about being “The Stem Cell Nutrition Company”, I was utterly disgusted. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to find out what kind of products they were selling under the pretense of promoting healthy stem cells and keeping you young, but as a reviewer of MLM companies, it was my duty to find out, and it turned out to be even grosser than I imagined. The flagship ingredient in Stemtech products is a type of blue-green algae called Aphanizomenonflos-aquae, which is harvested from Klamath Lake in Oregon.
The Stemtech party line is that Stemtech products, with their blue-green algae, promote the production of bone marrow stem cells, which Stemtech claims are the key to youth and good health. As is so often the case with MLM nutraceuticals, the claims are not sufficiently backed up by scientific studies, and hype takes the place of evidence. I have been very fortunate, in this case, because I found two Stemtech reviews that go into detail about blue-green algae as a nutritional supplement, and that take Christian Drapeau, the founder of the Stemtech business opportunity, to task for his claims.
First, a word about blue-green algae. One of the ickier things I have discovered during my quest to review every MLM business opportunity out there is just how many MLM companies out there that try to get you to make your friends ingest algae at their own expense and just how many euphemisms they use to disguise these algae. First, there is the disturbing trend in nutraceutical MLMs where they sell you supplements in which the flagship ingredient is “sea vegetables”. Of course, sea vegetables is a euphemism for seaweed, and while you might guess that “seaweed” is a very straightforward and non-euphemistic name, you would be wrong. Seaweed is algae, no less and no more. I am not saying that to gross you out. Seaweed or sea vegetables or sea algae or whatever you want to call it has been a part of the human diet for millennia. Some types of seaweed are clearly edible and nutritious, and if they suit your tastes, I wholeheartedly encourage you to continue to eat them. But nori (the dark-colored seaweed used to wrap sushi) is one thing, and Aphanizomenonflos-aquae is quite another. Aphanizomenonflos-aquae is what Dr. Dale Peterson, his review of an earlier Aphanizomenonflos-aquae product marketed by Drapeau described as “a potentially deadly pond scum”.
Peterson’s Stemtech review, written in 2007, when Stemtech was selling its Stem Enhance supplements through a different company (as is so common in the MLM world), is truly entertaining to read. Peterson is an alternative medicine doctor who has adopted a “to each his own” attitude toward the blue-green algae supplement fad since it first surfaced in the 1990s. (It appears that he also takes a similar stance on vegetarian diets.) He recounts a story of a patient who came to him with food poisoning-like symptoms after taking Aphanizomenonflos-aquae supplements. Unlike in the case of spirulina, the type of blue-green algae most commonly used in nutritional supplements, it is very difficult to ensure that Aphanizomenonflos-aquae supplements are free of several types of bacteria that cause cholera. When was the last time you heard of someone getting cholera? It was probably in fifth grade, when you played Oregon Trail on an Apple II-e in your school’s computer lab. But by far the most entertaining part of Peterson’s Stemtech review is the part where he reprints the letters he exchanged with Christian Drapeau, in which Drapeau accuses him of being a plant for Big Spirulina.
The story of the Stemtech business opportunity is a story like so many I have recounted before here on the pages on Notebook Crazy, in which a guy with a nutritional supplement that he claims will prevent aging keeps resurfacing. Drapeau and his pond scum pills have been part of several companies. Before it was known as Stemtech, it was Cell Tech. Cell Tech was the defendant in a number of lawsuits related to the safety of its products and the veracity of its claims. There was even a wrongful death lawsuit, in which a Cell Tech employee’s death from liver failure was allegedly connected to her use of Cell Tech products. I was unable to find out the outcome of that lawsuit. Anyway, by 2003, Cell Tech had gained quite a scummy public image, so it did what MLM companies so often do when times get tough, and it reinvented itself. It started marketing its blue-green algae pills as StemEnhance and saying that their health benefit was that they promote the release of bone marrow stem cells.
It appears that the Stemtech business opportunity is available in many countries. The Stemtech website has pages for the United States, Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Mauritius, Namibia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, and some other countries that, thanks to the layout of the Stemtech website, I cannot identify.
The Stemtech Compensation Plan
The Stemtech compensation plan is available on the Opportunity page of the Stemtech website. It is technically possible to earn commissions on the sales made by an infinite number of levels of downline distributors. The leadership levels in the Stemtech compensation plan are Director, Senior Director, Executive Director, Sapphire Director, Ruby Director, Diamond Director, Double Diamond Director, Triple Diamond Director, President’s Club, and Chairman’s Club. The Stemtech compensation plan also includes a vehicle bonus that ranges from $300 per month to $1,200 per month.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- It is always entertaining when physicians take on MLM nutritional supplement-mongers, and I found a healthy dose of that while researching this Stemtech review.
- The way all the flags are laid out on the Stemtech website is kind of cool; it is both visually appealing and user friendly, all except for the bottom row of flags, where you cannot read the country names.
- The Stemtech business opportunity seems to have established itself in some countries that are not yet crawling with MLM companies.
- I don’t know which part of the Stemtech story grosses me out the most, whether it is the pond scum algae, the adverse reactions some people have had from taking it, or the usual MLM sleaze.
- Nutraceutical MLMs give me the creeps anyway, even when it does not involve something as literally slimy as pond scum.
Stay away from the Stemtech business opportunity. If blue-green algae are not slimy enough, then the history of the Stemtech business opportunity definitely is. If you want to make algae part of your diet, be my guest, but whichever way you look at it, MLM business opportunities that involve the sale of nutritional supplements are not the way to achieve financial wellbeing. Staying at the job you have now, even if it is stressful and only pays meager wages, is certainly less financially destructive that getting mixed up in an MLM scheme that has autoship requirements like the Stemtech business opportunity. Unless you want to end up with a basement full of pond scum, I strongly encourage you to pursue other opportunities. If you really have your heart set on MLM, I have reviewed plenty of less sleazy MLM companies here on this site.
If you still think I am pond scum for claiming Mother’s Day brunch in a bet, schedule a call with me and give me a piece of your mind.