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Thread: "Book Burning in America: A Tale of Nu Skin" by Joe Alfieri

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    "Book Burning in America: A Tale of Nu Skin" by Joe Alfieri

    In case you missed it, here's the back story on this post.

    Sandra Tillotson, co-founder and senior vice president of Nu Skin, discovered that her ex-husband Adam Baker had written a scathing exposé about her and their marriage. (See the Adam Baker's Banned Book: "My Scandalous Life with a Billionaire Cougar" NuSkin's Sandie Tillotson thread.)

    It didn't take Sandie and her legal team long to try and take down all references to the book and sites that had a copy of it.

    This is when Joe Alfieri, a contributor to the Conservative Examiner, took up the story on 2011-11-06:


    Book burning in America: a tale of Nu Skin

    There are moments in a person’s life that shake you to your foundation, that cause you to rethink everything you think you know, moments that hit like a two by four upside your head. Just such moment arrived for me late on a Friday afternoon. A friend of mine, let’s call him Adam, since that’s his name, has self-published a book, Formerly Filthy Rich, My Scandalous Life with a Billionaire Cougar, and is actively and aggressively promoting the book, as every author does, and most especially those who self publish. Now his book is at the very least R-rated, and it’s an account of his...
    more »
    A week later on 2011-11-12 he published a follow up story in The Examiner:

    David vs. Goliath: an update on Nu Skin's attempt to ban a book

    In my last column, I wrote about Adam Baker’s book, Formerly Filthy Rich - My Scandalous Life with a Billionaire Cougar, and the battle to get it published. Baker is the former trophy husband of Nu Skin co-founder Sandie Tillotson, and his book is chock full of details of sexual escapades, political influence peddling, corrupt business practices, and possible criminal activity. The book is self-published, and was released on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the Kindle and Nook, and in a print on demand version from LuLu. Baker’s apparently kicked over a hornet’s nest, and Nu Skin ...
    The irony here is, it didn't take Sandie and her legal team long to get those two stories pulled from The Examiner. Try and locate the original story on the net and all you get is a 404 Error message - "Oops! The page you are looking for could not be found".

    I looked around and found only bits and pieces of the story scattered here and there. But persistence paid off and I was able to find the original copy of the article in it's entirety on someone's blog. So here it is, hopefully preserved for posterity.

    The original "Book burning in America: a tale of Nu Skin" article from 2011-11-06:


    Book burning in America: a tale of Nu Skin byJoe Alfieri

    Contra Costa County Conservative Examiner

    http://www.examiner.com/conservative...ale-of-nu-skin

    November 5, 2011 -

    There are moments in a person’s life that shake you to your foundation, that cause you to rethink everything you think you know, moments that hit like a two by four upside your head. Just such moment arrived for me late on a Friday afternoon.

    A friend of mine, let’s call him Adam, since that’s his name, has self-published a book, Formerly Filthy Rich, My Scandalous Life with a Billionaire Cougar, and is actively and aggressively promoting the book, as every author does, and most especially those who self publish. Now his book is at the very least R-rated, and it’s an account of his six year marriage to Nu Skin co-founder SandieTillotson. Nu Skin, for those of you who don’t know, is a multi-level marketing company which sells skin care and nutrition products through a network of independent distributors. That’s the official, and polite definition. For those who have at one time or another been touched by an MLM operation, it’s more commonly referred to as a pyramid company. Some might say a scam. Whatever the reality, or whatever your perspective, Nu Skin is among
    the biggest and richest MLM companies, a Goliath.

    Adam Baker, on the other hand, is a nice guy, with an attractive wife and adorable kids, who has a story to tell about what he knows about the company. And since he was married to a co-founder, was a distributor, had an office in the headquarters, and travelled the world on Nu Skin’s Gulfstream, he apparently knows quite a bit. Nu Skin thinks he knows too much, or at the very least says too much, and on this particular Friday afternoon used its team of lawyers to shut down distribution of Formerly Filthy Rich by Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Let me say that another way, in case you missed it: they got the book banned. A figurative burning of a book, but in the world of electronic publishing a burning none the less. A burning worthy of Nazi Germany, or Fahrenheit 451.Book burning and censorship in America, friends.

    The lawyers argued (at least to B&N, their story to Amazon was quite different, which we’ll address in a moment) that the book was defamatory. It may be, but defamation is best argued before a court of law, where each side presents its case. Adam says he stands by every word he’s written, and is ready to produce witnesses. If that’s the case, then there is no defamation. Nu Skin says burn the book anyway, before anyone gets to read it. Barnes & Noble rolled over and pulled the book from its website quicker than you could say, oh, Sarah Palin. The Joe McGinnis book about Palin if you’re keeping score, is still available, even if it is defamation, or claimed to be.

    The story presented to Amazon by Robert S. Clark of Peer Brown Gee & Loveless of Salt Lake City, said nothing about defamation, but the result was the same. Nu Skin argued that the material in the book was not Adam’s. Baker says that of course it’s his story, and is ready to produce his drafts and copyrights to prove it. No matter, Amazon has pulled the book “pending investigation.”

    Earlier in the week Adam’s WordPress blog was shut down, and although he hasn’t gotten word as to why from notoriously slow to respond WordPress, one has to think there’s something of a pattern here.

    And here then is the Thumper betrayed Bambi moment, for me, dear reader. I celebrate and proclaim on a continual basis, loudly and very proudly, the freedom we enjoy as Americans, even as I watch good people slandered, lies told, and reputations destroyed in the press on a daily basis because of that freedom. I tell myself it’s the exchange of ideas in a public forum, and that the truth will out in the end, that it’s the price paid for freedom of speech. And that we all enjoy that freedom, that we’re all equal in the marketplace of ideas and free speech.

    But I am shaken by this story of David and Goliath, by the idea that a woman with over a billion dollars and the company she owns a good deal of can prevent the publication of a book that might do them harm, even if the tale is true. I’m shaken by the story because I can’t imagine it happening in this country, where we supposedly value the truth, unvarnished, and equally distributed. Am I wrong? I’d like to think that David will slay Goliath, because if he doesn’t, then perhaps all is lost, and those mobs on the street in Oakland braying against evil corporations may have more truth in them than even they know.
    And here's the follow up article "David vs. Goliath: an update on Nu Skin's attempt to ban a book" article from 2011/11/12 that was also shortly sent to File 13:

    David vs. Goliath: an update on Nu Skin's attempt to ban a book by Joe Alfieri

    Contra Costa County Conservative Examiner

    November 11, 2011 -

    In my last column, I wrote about Adam Baker’s book, Formerly Filthy Rich - My Scandalous Life with a Billionaire Cougar, and the battle to get it published. Baker is the former trophy husband of Nu Skin co-founder SandieTillotson, and his book is chock full of details of sexual escapades, political influence peddling, corrupt business practices, and possible criminal activity. The book is self-published, and was released on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the Kindle and Nook, and in a print on demand version from LuLu. Baker’s apparently kicked over a hornet’s nest, and Nu Skin’s lawyers have spent the better part of the last two weeks swatting at all the buzzing the book generated. For the most part, unfortunately, they’ve been successful in gagging him. Here’s a partial list of venues shut down:

    AmazonBarnes
    & NobleLuLuWordPress
    WixGoDaddyRadio
    interview removed from archive
    s

    Now, I wonder what Sandie and her legal team are going to say when they find out all their efforts to suppress these two articles was all for naught?

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    Re: "Book Burning in America: A Tale of Nu Skin" by Joe Alfieri

    Just to add, I was always curious why this story never got more coverage.

    How did the deletion of those two columns come about?

    I found the answer over on the exmormon forum:


    Re: Further Nu Skin bullying

    Just wanted to chime into this post, even the great article written and put on the examiner.com is now missing. I am a reporter who put in a call to the examiner, they told me that the article did NOT violate their terms of service, but they removed the link anyway under severe threats and intimidation by some attorneys. What is next? Sounds like this guy needs to get some serious media attention, before her team moves into "phase 2" of their attack and just whacks him for telling the truth. Don't be surprised if that's not in the news either. I sent an email earlier and did get a fairly quick response, at this point I believe he is giving away the books for free just to get his message out there.

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    Re: "Book Burning in America: A Tale of Nu Skin" by Joe Alfieri

    I see Joe used Free-Press-Release to write an interesting review of Baker's book:


    New Book, Formerly Filthy Rich, Reveals Secrets of MLM Giant Nu Skin

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Los Angeles, California, United States of America (Free-Press-Release.com) October 27, 2011 --

    LOS ANGELES, CA, OCTOBER 26, 2011: Nu Skin Enterprises’ gross profit margins may top the personal products industry, and co-founder Sandie Tillotson may earn press accolades for her business acumen and charitable contributions, but a new book may shake the foundations of the company by revealing some of the less than honorable business practices of the Utah-based giant and the salacious life of its most visible executive and co-founder. The book, Formerly Filthy Rich, My Scandalous Life with a Billionaire Cougar, by Adam Baker, is an account of his six year marriage to Tillotson, which ended in divorce in 2008.

    A child star in the Ice Follies with his five sisters and parents in an act known as The Baker Family, Adam married Tillotson shortly after they met when he was a dancer at a club in Salt Lake City. Baker discovered that beyond the trappings of a life of enormous wealth, corporate jets and exotic homes lay a world of lies and deceit that were the foundation of Tillotson’s personal wealth and the Nu Skin empire.

    As an example, Adam cites a trip to a company convention in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore. “Sandie came in like a movie star with a motorcycle escort for the ride from the hotel to the convention. It was a wild scene getting out of the limousine, with Nu Skin distributors reaching out to shake her hand or just touch her gown. I got her through the crowd, and once we were inside she screamed at me to get her hand sanitizer, that she couldn’t stand these people and they all smelled like garlic” he says. “Now remember, these are people who paid for Nu Skin distributorships, and Sandie made a handsome profit on them. And she couldn’t stand them. It was unbelievable. It was the same with her Force for Good charity. We flew to Malawi and she couldn’t stand to touch the children. ”

    “Her whole life was built on lies” Adam continues. “She wouldn’t even use the products she sold, because she said they were junk.” Baker recounts the story of what he calls “the ultimate scam,” the company’s patented Biophotonic scanner. “The scanner is supposed to measure the carotenoid levels in a person’s skin, and has a money back guarantee. The idea is that if your levels are low, you take some Nu Skin supplements and, bingo, the levels are magically where they’re supposed to be. But the device only works because it knows the identity of the person being scanned. Sandie said it was the only way they can have the money back guarantee, and not pay any money out.”

    But the marriage gave Adam everything he ever dreamed of: luxurious homes around the world, million-dollar shopping sprees, a private Gulfstream, champagne-laden dinners at five star restaurants with celebrities, corporate moguls, and politicians. “We dined with Anthony Hopkins, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, went to the horse races with Jon Huntsman, threw fundraisers for Mitt Romney in our penthouse in New York City.” An endless supply of money fueled Adam’s ever-increasing appetite for adrenaline adventure, and kept him in the fold. But the deceits continued, and he came to realize that his gilded cage was in fact a prison, and he was forced to re-examine his marriage to Tillotson and his life. What he found was a secret so shocking it threatens to destroy Sandie’s entire empire.

    “I’m here to tell that secret” he says, “because the world needs to know what kind of a person she is, what she’s done to people. It goes beyond business, beyond our personal issues. The evidence in this book shows a very different and dangerous person from the person the public sees. ”

    Formerly Filthy Rich, My Scandalous Life with a Billionaire Cougar, by Adam Baker, is available on line at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and at IT.
    # # #

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