Isagenix Fraud: A Follow-Up by Dr. Hall

In a follow-up to her original article about whether Isagenix is a scam, Harriet Hall, M.D. prints some of the criticism she got and her responses. This article was originally published at the Skeptical Inquirer website.

Defending Isagenix: A Case Study in Flawed Thinking
Volume 35.1, January/February 2011

Do those who comment on blogs even read the articles they are responding to? Here is a case study in emotional thinking, ad hominem arguments, logical fallacies, irrationality, and misinformation.

The Internet is a wonderful medium for communicating ideas and information in a rapid, interactive way. Many online articles are followed by a section for comments. Like so many things in this imperfect world, comments are a mixed blessing. They can enhance the article by correcting errors, adding further information, or contributing useful thoughts to a productive discussion. But all too often the comments section consists of emotional outbursts, unwarranted personal attacks on the author, logical fallacies, and misinformation. It provides irrational and ignorant people with a soapbox from which to promote prejudices and false information.

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Isagenix Scam: Questionable Medical Claims, No Science Behind Them

Multi-level marketing company Isagenix offers a cleansing product which it claims helps people lose weight. Is this MLM scheme offering a bogus product, or is this a legitimate weight loss program?

Let’s start off by clarifying that in general, multilevel marketing companies are legal scams in the United States. The government allows them to exist and multiply. They offer products which are little more than a “front” for the schemes, since without a legitimate looking product or service, the companies would be at risk of appearing to be illegal pyramid schemes.

In this article, we are not focusing on the MLM method of selling an opportunity or product. We are looking at the product itself.  Isagenix has its roots in colon cleansing products. These are detoxification products which they claim help people lose weight. The company also offers vitamins, supplements, and anti-aging products for the skin.

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Book Review: Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms by Michelle Golden

Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms
By Michelle Golden

Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, 2010 (hardcover, 348 pages, $45)

Reviewed by Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, CFF

There are many books on the market about social media marketing and social networking for. Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms breaks no new ground. But it is well organized, very thorough, and offers most of what you need all in one place: fundamentals for beginners as well as tips and ideas for experienced bloggers and social networkers like me.

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Navistar v Deloitte: Blame the Auditors for Fraud Committed and Concealed By Employees

In cases of corporate fraud, including embezzlement, financial statement fraud, earnings management, bribery, and the like, it’s easy to blame the auditors. After all, they have very deep pockets, often with large malpractice policies.

Even though the task of auditors is usually well-defined and agreed-to by shareholders, management, and the board of directors, it doesn’t seem to matter to them that the financial statement auditors aren’t responsible to find fraud during their audits. People quickly forget that the auditors disclaim responsibility for finding fraud multiple times before, during, and after the audits, and that management is ultimately responsible for preventing and detecting fraud in their own companies.

Last week Navistar sued their former auditors, Deloitte & Touche, for fraud, fraudulent concealment, breach of contract, and malpractice.  The lawyers say Deloitte lied about its competency in performing audits, and the company ultimately restated its financial statements for 2002 through 2005.  Whose fault is it that Navistar overstated its pre-tax income by $137 during those years? According to them, Deloitte.

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