Oasis LifeSciences Archive
May 24, 2006
Posted by QBlog
Am I the only one who's really bothered by the latest "Advertorial" initiative from Ty Tribble's MLM Blog? I dunno, it just seems rather... uh... how do I say this? Whorish?
Maybe that's too strong a word. I mean, it's clearly labeled as "advertorial" at the beginning of the post but still... it just feels wrong.
Of course he's free to do what he wants with his blog but where does one draw the line? And how does running "advertorial" in the same space as the unpaid content impact the blog's integrity? I don't know but I have a hunch it's not increasing it much.
But It's Advertising, Right?
Many blogs, including this one, run a variety of ads to generate a little cash that often helps cover hosting fees and maintenance costs. But those ads are clearly labeled as advertising and they don't look at all like actual blog content.
So, there's clearly a difference between running traditional web ads and posting "advertorial" as a blog post right? I think so.
As a journalist I struggle with "advertorial." I find it in my favorite magazine. I find it in some online reviews. It's in the newspaper and on television. It's practically everywhere. It just feels uncomfortable seeing it in a blog, especially one that uses a lot of space criticizing a competitor.
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged
But who am I to judge? I'm just really expressing some of my thoughts on the matter. What do you think?
January 1, 2006
Posted by QBlog
From former Quixtar Diamond Bo Short's recent press release:
Bo Short and his team are experiencing tremendous success with Oasis LifeSciences. He concludes, "Finding Oasis LifeSciences was like landing in the middle of 'The Perfect Storm.' It is incredible and such a rarity in this industry."
What is "The Perfect Storm?" Well, it was a Wolfgang Peterson film released in 2000 about an unusually intense storm pattern that "catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger." The film chronicled the devastating meteorological events that transpired in October 1991, in the North Atlantic.
Wikipedia defines a perfect storm as "a situation where, by the confluence of specific events, what might have been a minor issue ends up being magnified to proportions that are out of control."
Maybe Bo Short should hire a copy editor?
UPDATE: Ty Tribble has correctly pointed out that the term "perfect storm" has come to mean more than simply a meteorological disaster or the magnification of minor issues to "proportions that are out of control."
One question to ask is what Bo Short was trying to say with his press release. Clearly he was trying to say that his perfect storm was positive. However, I still wonder why he capitalized his use of the term. I can't find an instance of its usage in that manner (capitalized) when it does not refer to the Perfect Storm of the North Atlantic in 1991.
Should Bo Short hire a copy editor? Probably so. Does perfect storm mean something positive as well as something negative? Yes indeed.
Has this whole issue been taken way too seriously? Absolutely. It was funny. Like a Bushism. That's all.
December 13, 2005
Posted by QBlog
Who owns Oasis LifeSciences?
The Oasis Global Resources page mentions that the company is part of an "ECONET" owned by Bill Lee. What the page doesn't mention is that Lee is also the Chairman of Univera, Inc., a South Korean biotech. Univera happens to be the parent company of Oasis LifeSciences, which is a division of MaxCell BioScience.
If Oasis LifeSciences is a subsidiary of Univera, why isn't that information clearly posted on the Oasis website? A quick search of the site reveals that the word "Univera" appears less than a dozen times and none of those instances explain the relationship between Oasis LifeSciences and Univera.
For contrast take a look at Quixtar's relationship with parent company Alticor. According to Google, the word "Alticor" appears on www.quixtar.com almost 1,000 times. There's no confusion about who owns Quixtar.
While doing research about the ownership of Oasis LifeSciences I made a curious discovery. A Google Cached page of the Oasis LifeSciences website lists Derek Hall as the Vice Chairman and CEO of Univera Inc. However, the live page simply lists Hall as the "Chief Executive Officer" and makes no mention of his role with Univera.
Is it possible that Hall recently ended his role as Vice Chairman and CEO of Univera and the live page at the Oasis site simply reflects that new reality? I suppose but I did find a Nutracon China Conference schedule from December 3, 2005, where Hall is listed as "Vice-Chairman & CEO, Univera Inc." And why doesn't this November 17, 2005, post from the former Passport blog mention Hall's role at Univera? The post generously mentions his roles with other companies but nary a word about Univera. I wonder why that is?
Strange and Suspicious
Seriously, I wonder why I can't find more information about Univera. Hell, I can't even find an official Univera, Inc. website. It's 2005 and a 28-year-old company with 1,000 employees and $200 million annual revenue doesn't have a website? What's up with that?
I probably wouldn't be so suspicious if I didn't know about Operation Cure.All and the recent name change (circa 2004) at Oasis LifeSciences (formerly Oasis Wellness Network). What's still confusing is how Univera, MaxCell BioScience and Oasis LifeSciences all fit together. And there's probably a really good explanation for all this but I can't understand why that explanation isn't really easy to find. That's what has me so curious.
If you can shed light on all this please send me an email or leave a comment.
UPDATE: Ty Tribble has published two entries on his blog explaining that Univera is the parent company of Oasis LifeSciences. Tribble is new to Oasis, coming from Passport and Quixtar before that.
December 6, 2005
Posted by QBlog
So, what's going on with Oasis LifeSciences? I've been doing quite a bit of research since learning that Bo Short was essentially dissolving his Passport business to join his former Quixtar friends at Oasis. That research has uncovered information you won't find on the Oasis controlled blogs.
Today I'm launching a multi-part series dedicated to sharing my discoveries about Oasis LifeSciences and its principle players.
According to the Rocky Mountain News, Oasis LifeSciences was "formerly known as MaxCell BioScience and Oasis Wellness Network." It's not immediately clear when the name "Oasis LifeSciences" was developed but the domain, oasislifesciences.com, was registered June, 2004.
Why would MaxCell BioScience and Oasis Wellness Network change the company name? It's only been in business a little over six years. Could it be an effort to avoid being connected to Operation Cure.All?
What is Operation Cure.All?
Operation Cure.All was a Federal sting operation designed to stop Internet scams for products that purport to cure a variety of ailments. The Operation was part of a coordinated effort headed by the FTC with help from the FDA, Health Canada and various state Attorneys General. MaxCell BioScience was one of several companies caught in the investigation.
The FTC complaint details the charges against what is now known as Oasis LifeSciences.
The Federal Trade Commission, having reason to believe that MaxCell BioScience, Inc., a corporation, and Stephen Cherniske, individually and as an officer of the corporation ("respondents"), have violated the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act
After being busted for making "numerous allegedly false and unsubstantiated health claims" the FTC ordered MaxCell BioScience and Stephen Cherniske to abide by a detailed settlement agreement. The agreement includes paying a $150,000 fine to the FTC as well as ceasing a variety of health claims about products.
Did You Know?
Does the reality of Operation Cure.All mean you shouldn't get involved with Oasis LifeSciences? No, not at all. I'm merely sharing information that might be useful in your decision making. The final order was issued July 30, 2001 (a few months before Bo Short launched Passport) and a lot can change in four years. I certainly can't find evidence of any new sting operations involving Oasis. If this isn't information you care about, then simply ignore it.
UPDATE: I've received information from Brett Dabe explaining that "MaxCell BioScience is still in operation. All corporate checks are paid through Maxcell. The change from Oasis Wellness Network to Oasis Life Sciences was marketing strategy."
Yeah, the change from Amway to Quixtar was marketing strategy too.
Also, it's funny that none of the newly converted Passport blogs mention MaxCell BioScience as the parent company of Oasis LifeSciences. In fact, the MLM Blog recently removed a comment that made the MaxCell/Oasis connection. Compare the current post and the Google Cache copy.
December 5, 2005
Posted by QBlog
I've been doing a little old-fashioned research about the Oasis LifeSciences Multi-Level Marketing business. That research has yielded many interesting discoveries, one of which focuses on Stephen Cherniske, President and Chief Science Officer of Oasis LifeSciences.
Apparently Cherniske has caught the attention of Stephen Barrett, an MD who runs consumer watchdog sites such as Nutriwatch, Quackwatch and MLM Watch. Barrett points out that Cherniske's master's degree was obtained from Columbia Pacific University, a college that was shut down by a California Court a few years ago.
Of course Cherniske takes issue with Barrett's criticisms and has responded with criticisms of his own (pdf).
I attended Columbia Pacific University from 1979 to 1982. The school, as Dr. Barrett admits, was accredited at that time, and my degree requirements were quite stringent. Fifteen years later, after several administration changes, the college lost its certification. Thus the flap referenced by Dr. Barrett only affects students who attended after June of 1997. Still, he includes me in a list of recent graduates from Columbia Pacific University, hoping to disparage by association what he cannot say in print.
I'll let you decide what to think about Cherniske's credentials. My goal is simple — to inform.
December 4, 2005
Posted by QBlog
According to the Rocky Mountain News, two MLM businesses are in court disputing the origins of a "pricey anti-aging product."
Oasis says Resource Maxima's patent and trademark violations are doing double damage by luring Oasis distributors to Resource Maxima's business. Shunning grocery stores and vitamin shops, both companies advertise on the Internet. To purchase the products, customers must go through a sales distribution network made up of individual entrepreneurs operating out of their homes.
In September 2004, Oasis - formerly known as MaxCell BioScience and Oasis Wellness Network in Broomfield - relocated to Lacey, Wash., taking 28 of its 80 Colorado employees.
Interesting. Did you know Oasis LifeSciences changed its name in 2004? Did you know the Oasis LifeSciences domain was registered in June 2004?
December 3, 2005
Posted by QBlog
From Bo Short talking about his Passport business:
We have no Titles!
As an author on books about leadership I have been struck by something very interesting while interviewing great leaders; the more confident they are in their ability, the less concerned they are with titles. I believe that many people in this industry that achieve so-called pin-levels, while hard-workers, are not necessarily leaders. Each of our teammates are called Independent Associates. A leader should be allowed to make an impact immediately, even if they do not wear a fancy title. If it is your business your voice should be heard.
Also, Short has essentially folded his title-free Passport business to join up with some former Amway/Quixtar friends in the Oasis LifeSciences MLM. And yes, Oasis has titles including the illustrious "Diamond."
In September 2004, Bo Short uses the absence of titles to market his business but in November 2005, titles (however goofy) are fine as long as they aren't Quixtar titles. What a difference a year makes.
November 26, 2005
Posted by QBlog
The Oasis LifeSciences multi-level marketing business gets more and more interesting every day. The company hit my radar about this time last year when I learned that Joe Land was building an Oasis business while still an active Quixtar Diamond. Not long after that he left Quixtar to build Oasis full-time.
More recently the company turned heads with the announcement that Bo Short's Passport MLM is joining forces with Oasis. And a few intriguing observations have resulted from all that head-turning.
One such observation is that several of the Diamonds in Oasis were once Quixtar or Amway Diamonds. That's noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, it clearly demonstrates that becoming a Quixtar (or Amway) Diamond might not provide the type of "lifelong freedom" that is commonly promoted to IBOs. Secondly, it seems to prove that the old adage "birds of a feather, flock together" holds true in multi-level marketing.
How many Quixtar (and Amway) Diamonds (or other pin levels) are now Diamonds in Oasis? My incomplete list, partially compiled from the Team Oasis site, includes:
- Marshall Douglas
- Joe Land
- John Terhune
- Mark Middleton
- Ron Boyanovsky (is this Amway Diamond Ron Boyanovsky?)
- Bo Short (not sure about his status with Oasis)
- Al Keranen
The last name on the list, Al Keranen, has received some special attention by site visitors. Several emails have landed in my inbox asking me if the Oasis Al Keranen is the same as the Amway Diamond Al Keranen who plead guilty to mail and bank fraud charges in a $12 million investment scheme in 1990.
Is this the same man?
It sure seems like the same person, though it's hard to tell. I certainly don't want to wrongly label the Oasis Al with the transgressions of the Amway Al. And I suppose even if it is the same man, the obvious question would be "so what?" Maybe the man made a mistake 15 years ago. Don't we all make mistakes? Shouldn't we forgive and forget if he served his time in prison?
If you can confirm that the Amway Al and the Oasis Al are the same man then
please step forward and let us hear the evidence. For those who aren't sure
I've created an animated graphic that may give a better view of the two Al Keranens.
November 23, 2005
Posted by QBlog
The emails keep coming in reporting that the Oasis LifeSciences MLM is filling up with former Quixtar Diamonds and their IBO downlines. I'm compiling a list but it looks like Oasis could be "Plan B" for disgruntled Quixtar leaders. Whatever happened to Rule 6.5 (aka the Non-Competition and Anti-Raiding rule) anyway?