Many may not even be aware of the Young Living Trial that took place in 2017. The findings of this trial caused a very big hit in the essential oil industry and hurt everyone involved.
Our dōTERRA executives have taken the high road for the last 10 years and have remained silent about this until the trial was over, as they were forced to testify in court to set the record straight on why they left Young Living many years ago.
They did not leave out of greed! They left because of their integrity! Transparency and integrity are two qualities critical to building a business today and I am proud to be a part of an organization who stands up for these things!
The information below is on public record and more information continues to be disclosed!
While it is important to share this information, it is also equally important to be sensitive when talking about this. Just think about all the Young Living advocates and employees that were affected by the way their “leader” directed their ship and guided them into a huge storm.
I am proud to be a wellness advocate for doTERRA!
So, to those Young Living users and advocates who have created a livelihood and business around a company that guided them in the wrong direction, I extend my condolences. Don’t lose hope in essential oils, because there is a wonderful company just waiting to welcome you home!
Here are some straight up facts about Young Living:
- "less than 1%” of its oils come from company farms and the “vast majority of the oils were being purchased through brokers,”
- Young Living's "Seed to Seal" is an outright lie that our executives refused to be a part of. The company lacks transparency regarding where they source their plant materials from and the tests they conduct to ensure the quality and purity of their oils.
- Gary Young didn’t respect women and didn’t think [women] should be in management roles.
- UPDATE (6/18/19): In 2017, Young Living pleaded guilty to illegally harvesting and trafficking endangered species of rosewood oil and spikenard oil from Peru.
Here is the information that Eric Larsen, one of our master distributors, has encouraged us to share publicly:
Many of you have shown interest in the Young Living Trial that began on May 30th and will conclude next week. Kirk Jowers has sent me three updates thus far which I am reposting below.
I appreciate the interest the field has shown in the trial. It makes sense after five years for everyone to want closure on some of these baseless accusations and to better understand the atmosphere at Young Living when David Stirling, Emily Wright, Justin Harrison, Lil Shepherd, and so many others departed. The trial should never have happened, but I am grateful that it has moved Young Living’s accusations from the “he said, she said” category to facts that are verified by sworn testimony and objective rulings from the judge.
doTERRA has largely remained silent during this five year period as the judicial process as proceeded. I am beyond pleased that doTERRA and its corporate and Wellness Advocate leaders are being vindicated.
I am providing another update because Young Living rested its case this week and it is now doTERRA’s turn to call its witnesses. The record of the case already is voluminous. Accordingly, I could never begin to cover a fraction of the topics in my letters to you, but as appropriate I will send more topic focused letters that you are free to share.
One particularly troubling theme that arose last week was the hostile work environment for women at Young Living during the time in question. For example, sworn testimony revealed that Emily, who was the only woman on Young Living’s executive board, was being paid “half” of what the men on the board were being paid because “Gary Young didn’t respect women and didn’t think [women] should be in management roles.” As chief operations officer at Young Living, David tried to raise Emily’s compensation many times but Gary Young “fought [him] on every attempt to do that.” Eventually David was fired in part because of his efforts to support equal pay for equal work.
“Gary Young didn’t respect women and didn’t think [women] should be in management roles.” - David Sterling
Mary Young, in a letter to Emily that was admitted as evidence, summed up the Youngs’ philosophy:
“[Gary Young] may say things we think he shouldn’t say and maybe he talks too much about God and maybe he goes too far with his own philosophy or his preaching, but I have come to the conclusion that that is his right. If we don’t like it or the distributors don’t like it, then that is just too bad.”
At one point during Emily’s testimony, she was asked why she didn’t quit Young Living earlier (a question I asked myself roughly 100 times during Gary Young’s testimony). I was impressed by her response: “For one, I loved and believed in the oils and wanted to further that mission. Two, I loved our employees. And I was -- I was their protector.
Three, I discovered our distributors and wanted to protect them as well. I really wanted to protect the company from Gary so that it could become the great company that I knew it could be.”
doTERRA is that great company of which Emily dreamed, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
P.S. The relevant court transcript follows:
Q. (Steve Smith) When did -- at some point in time did he stop paying?
A. (Emily Wright) He cut my portion in half, paid the other three gentlemen on the executive board what they were rightly to be paid on that correct, cut mine in half.
Q. Did you understand that one of the reasons that David Stirling was fired is because he wanted you to get paid the amount of money you were entitled to in your agreement?
Q. Was that a little upsetting for you that someone would get fired over trying to save your pay?
Q. Did Gary Young ever tell you why he decided to drop your incentive compensation in half despite your written agreement?
A. Gary Young didn't respect women and didn't think we should be in management roles.
It was great to see you yesterday for lunch. I am happy to send highlights of some of the sworn testimony thus far.
In addition to setting the record straight on the origins of doTERRA, this trial has produced a wealth of sworn testimony and court admitted documents detailing the toxic environment at Young Living in 2007.
For example, in the sworn testimony by Young Living Founder Gary Young, Young Living’s Seed to Seal program was revealed as a farce. Even worse, Mr. Young wanted employees to not only condone, but promote this grossly misleading marketing ploy. The employees who refused to get on board were persecuted and ultimately fired. David Stirling, for example, testified that Young Living obtained “less than 1%” of its oils from company farms and that the “vast majority of the oils were being purchased through brokers,” despite Mr. Young’s earlier testimony that a “big majority” of Young Living’s oils came from its 15 farms.
“Less than 1%” of its (Young Living) oils from company farms" and that the "vast majority of the oils were being purchased through brokers.” - David Sterling
A simple Google Earth search today of the size of their fields and yield per acre would reveal that Mr. Young’s assertion was impossible and is even more outrageous today.
Indeed, I will let the cross examination of Mr. Young speak for itself:
Q. (By Mr. Smith) That's a lie, you don't grow a majority of your oils, do you, sir?
A. (By Gary Young) I don't know the exact percentages, but I know we grow a big percentage of our own oils.
Q. When you told the jury your company grew a majority, that would mean more than 51 percent, right?
A. That would be correct.
Q. And that's a lie?
A. I don't believe it is.
Q. When you had confrontations with your management who was Emily Wright and David Stirling at the time, they refused to participate in your claimed seed to seal because you did not grow the oil that you were claiming publicly?
A. That is false.
Q. And since then, up to today when you told this jury a moment ago you continue to sell a majority of your oils, that is now especially untrue because of the amount of oil you now sell, right? You've grown in size by 10 or 12 times, correct?
A. Yes. Correct.
Q. And you haven't bought 10 or 12 as many farms, right?
A. From the day before?
Q. From the day that they were there in 2007 to current, there aren't 10 or 12 as [many] farms bought by YL?
Dave Stirling’s sworn testimony further makes the point.
Q. (By Mr. Smith) Sure. Mr. Young may have given testimony in this case that said he grew the vast majority of his oils on farms he identified as being in Idaho, in Utah, in France, and in Oman, I think in Ecuador. Those were the ones. Was that true at the time? Was young oil --Young Living growing the vast majority of its oils on farms opened by Young Living?
THE WITNESS [Dave Stirling]: The farm in France was 25 acres. The farm in Idaho was a very small farm as well. It was just simply mathematic calculations, if anybody ever did that, it was very, very clear that less than 1 percent of the oil that they were selling could have come from the farms.
Q. And were they buying oils or were they manufacturing their own oils on their own farms?
A. The oils, of course, the vast, vast majority of the oils were being purchased through brokers.
Thanks for inquiring about the Young Living trial. I have sat through nearly every minute of the Young Living trial that has now reached the mid-point. Accordingly, it seems ripe for an update. I expect Young Living to complete making its case today, Friday June 9, or Monday, June 12. I remain confident that Young Living has not advanced its cause and now believe Young Living has done great damage to its credibility. Young Living’s evidence is scant to non-existent, and their paid “experts” have been unable to make up for the inherent weaknesses of this case, which should never have been brought. I have come up with a new phrase that goes through my head as these trial days roll on, “those who can, compete, and those who can’t, litigate.”
On the bright side, the trial has only enhanced doTERRA’s reputation and made crystal clear why people were leaving Young Living in 2007.
This week, Young Living put Dave and Emily on the witness stand and their integrity and forthrightness made me proud. Their testimony, combined with the testimony already heard and evidence previously received made it abundantly clear that neither Dave nor Emily took any shortcuts and that each of them adhered without exception to their contractual obligations. I was even more proud to serve with them at doTERRA.
I wanted to provide this shorter update this morning, but will provide a little more detail if I have a few minutes this lunch or after the trial recesses this evening.
So…why choose doTERRA over Young Living? I think you know why!
Young Living vs. doTERRA Trial
UPDATE (6/18/19): Read this article where an independent lab tested the purity of 33 oil samples from well-known names in the essential oil industry to see what was really inside each bottle. See their results here.