One of the many benefits that come from being associated with LIFE/TEAM, Orrin Woodward and the other Policy Council/Co-Founders is the true friends you meet along the self-improvement and community-building journey. Prior to this association, all my friendships were superficial and were really more acquaintances than friendships. I found out over time that when you develop the courage to step out of your comfort zone and begin to meet new people, God has a way of blessing you by putting fantastic individuals/couples in your life. I could spend the next month writing blog articles about all the great people God has placed in my life because of LIFE/TEAM, but I want to focus this article on one specific friendship that has developed over the years with Tim and Jennifer Samuels. Together, we’ve been through good times and bad times, but what sets this friendship apart is that when times have gotten tough, our friendship has grown stronger.
For those of you who follow this blog, you are well aware of the fact that over the past several years I have received unjustified criticism from Raquel Peters. What you may not be aware of is that over the past several months, Raquel’s negative attacks have intensified through on-line posts, phone calls, texts and personal meetings with various team members within my organization. She will tell you that her intentions are noble and that she only wants to protect people so they don’t go through what she went through over the past several years. But please don’t be fooled, everything Raquel has “went through” has been self-inflicted due to pride, ego and her unwillingness to participate in conflict resolution early on while all this was unfolding. I’m sure that Raquel would like our business to suffer because of her negative attacks, but the sad part about her actions is that the real victims are the individuals that believe her distorted version of what really happened and that have allowed Raquel to steal their dreams for a better future. To those individuals, please ask Raquel one simple question, “If LIFE/TEAM isn’t the answer to a better future, then what is your plan to help me live the life I’ve always wanted?” I’m guessing she won’t be able to provide an answer…at least one that will truly produce the results you’re looking for in life.
Tim and Jennifer not only had a front row seat while the Peters situation transpired, but they have also sat quietly over the past several years watching Raquel continually spread misleading information that has negatively impacted many innocent lives. As you may know, Tim and Raquel are cousins…a fact that Raquel uses to gain sympathy and support for her side of the story….”even my own cousin turned on me.” When in actuality, if anyone turned on anybody, it was Raquel that turned on Tim. I know Tim very well and I know that he values family very much. In fact, it is because of his value of family that he hasn’t confronted this issue sooner in hopes that Raquel would move on with her life and stop interfering with LIFE/TEAM members. But since Raquel insists on continuing her negative attacks, Tim and Jennifer have decided that the time has come when getting the truth out and doing what’s right is more important than being silent…even if a family member is involved. Therefore, Tim and Jennifer have written an article that relates to the ongoing criticisms/actions of Raquel and I would like to share that article with you. The following article has been written by Tim and Jennifer Samuels on their own volition and is posted below with their permission:
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
We have come to a point where we have decided that we can no longer stay silent about the events over the past several years. We have watched our friends and colleagues get slandered and lied about for too long. This is our story as it unfolded from the beginning.
We were contacted in January 2003 by Raquel Peters, Tim’s cousin, to get started in a business in which she had recently gotten started. From the very beginning, we were all in – not the fastest builders but believed in the principles and beliefs of the leaders and TEAM. As time passed we chose to mentor with Eric Blomdahl as he was the best fit for us – that was a decision that Raquel knew about. From very early in our involvement with TEAM, we never made that a secret.
In 2007, we left our affiliate company, Quixtar, through our own choice. We were not asked to leave Quixtar but based upon our own decision, chose to do so. During that time, we were still aligned closely with the Blomdahl’s. We had already started to see a separation within our team due to lack of communication with the Peters, the Blomdahl’s and us. Between August 2007 – March 2008, we all were working to hold our team together during our six month non-compete time.
When it came time to organize the team for registration in Mona Vie, and after developing a game plan with Eric, we talked to the Peters to verify who was going to talk to different parts of the group, how we were going to organize the registrations and when those registrations would be put into the computer. Two days before the date we had talked about we received a call from Mark Peters, Raquel’s husband, to let us know that “the registrations won’t be going into Mona Vie the way you think they are, the way George is doing it isn’t right.” That was the last communication with the Peters or the Morgan’s with regards to the registration process. As the deadline approached the Guzzardo’s, Blomdahl’s and ourselves tried many times to reach the Peters and Morgan’s trying to get clarification as to why the information we had received was different. None of our phone calls were ever returned. We attempted to get the registrations entered through the Blomdahl’s but on the night of registrations, the Peters called Tim where Raquel screamed and swore at him about the entire process. That was the last major communication we had with the Peters until July/August 2008. Later that same night we received a call from Eric explaining that the Peters had effectively locked him out from doing any further registrations in our team. He went on to explain that he had just gotten off the phone with Jill Guzzardo and that the plan was for him to register the part of our team he had left under himself and that the next day Jill would move them into their correct spot. The balance of the registrations for that group were the Peters responsibility and neither ourselves or the Blomdahl’s where involved. Mrs. Peters also claims that “we were given her third team during the Mona Vie registration process”. As we explained above, we had nothing to do with the placement of her third team – where to place them was her decision. Within several months that team was as well as several other large groups of our teams were “blown out” by conversations that the Peters had with them regarding the registration process. However from what we were told, the Peters never told anyone that they refused to cooperate or communicate with us or the Blomdahl’s to try and do anything different.
We had approached a couple that we personally sponsored during the late summer of 2008. We met with them at their home to sit down and talk about what was going on. At that time, relationships within the team had been strained. We had asked them if things were ok between us or if there were problems that they wanted to discuss. They stated at the end of the meeting that everything was ok between us and there was nothing to discuss. This meeting would be one of the last communications we would have with that couple.
We then sat down to meet with the Peters in August 2008 to discuss what had happened during the registration process and why things were so strained between us. When we arrived at the meeting, Raquel told us that her dad (Tim’s uncle) had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. She was incredibly distraught due to the news. Tim asked if she wanted to postpone the meeting but she said no. We did discuss where the confusion came from, and we left agreeing that we were following the mentoring and direction we were given by the Blomdahl’s and the Peters were following the direction given by the Morgan’s and that it was hard to fault one another for following their mentors. We left agreeing that then we needed to work on better communications and reestablish some shaken trust. That was the last face-to-face communication we had with the Peters to discuss what was going on between us.
We started to hear rumors in December 2008 from people on our team that the Peters were leaving TEAM and that the Blomdahl’s had been trying to destroy their business. We were never contacted by the Peters directly to hear that they were leaving or that they had additional issues with us or TEAM. During that same time period we were told that individuals (that we had directly sponsored or were working directly with in depth) in our team were being told by the Peters that we were “off-track”. At the St. Louis Major in February 2009, one couple in our second leg was asked to text Melanie Morgan with regular updates as to what was happening there. Melanie Morgan had never worked in our second team so it was quite upsetting to find out that all of a sudden she was texting with this couple.
We sent a letter to Mona Vie in January 2009 outlining the situation with the Peters and what was happening (Please see the attached letter in its entirety: Page 1, Page 2). We did not hear back from anyone at Mona Vie but hoped that this would stop the craziness that was going on in our business. It did not. For months, the Peters continued to disparage us, the Blomdahl’s, the Guzzardo’s, the Hawkins and the Woodward’s. This was destroying our team. The Peters claim that they build our taproot for us for years. Yet, we were out building the team just as they were. At that point, we decided enough was enough. We were not going to allow the Peters to continue to ravage our team and blow people out of our business. We needed to take steps to protect the people that we were working and building with. In June 2009, we sent a letter to the TEAM Office of our own accord. We were not asked to do this despite the claims made by Mrs. Peters that we were coerced into this action. (Please see the attached letter in its entirety: Page 1, Page 2). We would like to add one footnote – we made a typographical error in the year that we got started. It was 2003 not 2001 as stated in the letter – a mistake made on our part. We wanted to no longer be linked to the Peters as they were destroying what we had built. The Blomdahl’s did not “steal” us as claimed by the Peters. The last time we checked, we were not property – we were free. When the Peters went around to our team disparaging us and telling them to quit, we did not come back to them saying that they “stole people out of our business” – especially the ones that we personally sponsored. We had made a decision that if those people chose to leave, that was their choice – not for us to try to hold them hostage in the business. We stand by this decision as this business requires a positive working relationship with the same values and ethics. This environment no longer existed with the Peters.
In July 2009, Tim’s father had a conversation with his brother (Raquel’s father) and that Raquel had told her dad that she had tried to get in touch with Tim but he had not returned her calls. We never received any calls from the Peters. Tim sent the attached email message to Raquel to attempt to sit down and meet with them. (See attached email in its entirety: E-mail) As you can see, the Peters had made a decision that they were not going to sit down and speak with us at all. This ended the communication between us and the Peters.
We had hoped that this situation would be able to be resolved without having to come to this point. Yet, the Peters have continued to disparage us verbally and through posts on the internet – both on Mrs. Peters’ Facebook page and blog sites. These sites say things like “we want the lying to stop” and “the truth has to be told.” The Peters claim that TEAM took away their residual income; they chose to leave TEAM. Did they formally quit? We don’t know. They told many people that they did. And let’s be honest if you go around and trash your boss behind their back would you expect to still have a job. Mrs. Peters claims on her Facebook site she was not given her spot???? Why would she expect to? She has spent years slandering, disparaging, and attacking the very group she wanted to be welcomed back into, we don’t understand that. The residual income the Peters built was in Mona Vie, and when the Peters decided to destroy their “team” the Peters destroyed that income as well. We were told by several people that “The Peters were not leaving Mona Vie and would continue to build and support those people that left TEAM.” The Peters did not do this and their Mona Vie income reflects their actions. At No point have we come back to the Peters with regards to the fact that WE lost most of our Mona Vie income because of the Peters’ actions. In all of the information we have seen she never addresses that.
Many times Mrs. Peters has claimed that people were stolen from her, she has spent hundreds if not thousands of hours over the years proving that they were not “the property” of TEAM, the Woodward’s, or the Blomdahl’s. If she is right then how could any of us be her property? In our eyes she is the thief, we know of many people that had hope, because of the information and association in TEAM, that they could improve their finances, or mend relationships with their son or be a stay at home parent. The actions of the Peters and Morgan’s took that away from them. What did Mrs. Peters give them when she stole their hope?
The time had come for us to defend those about whom lies are being told. All we want is for the truth to be told. We want the lies to stop regarding us, the Blomdahl’s, the Guzzardo’s, the Hawkins and the Woodward’s. We are not self-righteous, we only believe in one absolute truth, but we know for a fact that the “truth” the Peters want the world to believe is based on what they want people to believe, not actually what happened. We want the Peters to just move forward with their lives and cease their remarks. The Peters made their decision three years ago to leave TEAM – now the Peters need to respect our decision to stay and build our business.
Tim and Jennifer Samuels
Tim and Jennifer did a great job in providing their side of the story in their article. All the links with the supporting documentation clearly shows that Raquel’s actions and behavior were a concern for quite some time and that attempts were made to try and get a handle on her actions before things got worse. Unfortunately, the fact that you’re reading this article is evidence that those attempts were unsuccessful. The other thing that stood out as I read their article was the irony regarding Raquel‘s “stolen team“ claim…the one claiming a team was stolen from her is actually the one doing the stealing from the Samuels‘. I’ve never been able to figure this one out…Raquel’s negative attacks blew out members of her own team and then she complained because her income dropped…??????
Tim and Jennifer briefly mention Raquel’s claim that her TEAM income was taken away. I would like to add some additional information regarding that claim. Earlier in this article, I mentioned that what Raquel has “been through” was self-inflicted. The following three points are perfect examples of what I am referring to when I make that statement:
1) Raquel made phone calls, scheduled meetings and met with numerous people within her team all on her own and announced that she had made the decision to leave TEAM. In addition, at a Mona Vie tasting party, she openly promoted Black Diamond University…which is perfectly fine to do, but she did so knowing very well that the Black Diamond University is a completely different method and philosophy of building communities than TEAM. She had every right to leave TEAM and switch to Black Diamond University, but then I think it’s only fair to expect her to take personal responsibility for her decision and actions and not blame others for the loss of TEAM income.
2) TEAM scheduled a “Go Black Diamond” meeting in Cleveland, OH and at that function had a special meeting for all Directors to review, ask questions, and sign the Director’s Agreement. All Directors were invited, including Raquel, and she chose not to attend the meeting. Again, she had every right to decide not to attend, but then I think it’s only fair to take responsibility for that decision and not blame others because she refused to attend a meeting and sign an agreement.
3) Raquel is quick to point fingers and blame everyone else for her predicament, but Raquel had options available to her when this situation was starting to “snowball” out of control. She could have implemented conflict resolution to resolve this matter…Orrin offered his help several times…she refused every time. Raquel also turned down Tim’s attempt to resolve this matter in the e-mail linked above in the Samuels’ article. Instead, the path she chose was to spend the last three years launching a negative attack campaign. Two things I have learned regarding life: 1) The only person responsible for our decisions and actions is our self; and 2) Our decisions and actions have consequences.
The above three points are perfect examples of how Raquel’s predicament is the result of her own decisions and actions. The following questions sum it all up: If an employee decides and announces they are leaving the company; then they refuse to attend a meeting and sign that company’s employee contract, then they refuse multiple attempts to help them resolve the conflict; and then they chose to spend the next three years slandering that company and its employees…would you expect that company to welcome them with open arms? Continue to pay them? Have former co-workers continue to do business with them? Have them be a spokesman/representative for the company? When viewing this example objectively from the company’s and co-worker’s perspective, I believe we all would agree the answer to be an unequivocal…No! So it is really unclear why Raquel feels it should be any different for her situation. It is unfortunate that the consequences of Raquel’s decisions and actions turned out poorly for her, but the time has come for her to take responsibility for her actions and move on with her life.
I am sure that Raquel and her supporters will come up with interesting responses in an attempt to refute this article, but if you’re like me, the “back and forth” is getting old. This dispute has dragged on way too long and has developed into a “he said; she said” situation. Causing everyone to wonder, “Okay, who’s really telling the truth here?” The time has come to get this matter behind us once and for all so that everyone involved can get on with their lives and get back to constructive things. I have reviewed all the posts, texts, activities, and documentation regarding Raquel’s activities. And in the process, the number of people who are willing to be personal witnesses is overwhelming. Therefore, I have decided it is time to get an outside, impartial, third-party involved to help resolve this matter. So I wanted each of you to be the first to know that I have turned this matter over to my attorney and we have asked a judge to step in and determine who’s telling the truth.
I know there will be opinions for and against this decision, but based upon Raquel’s latest attacks and the number of innocent lives that have been affected by her attacks, I feel it is the only course of action that will resolve this matter quickly and effectively. And in the end, if the judge determines I am wrong, I will be the first to publicly apologize to Raquel. Conversely, if the judge determines Raquel is wrong, then I would expect her to do the same in return.
In the meantime, I ask that all of you please say prayers for everyone involved so that this matter can be resolved quickly so we can get back to making a positive difference in people‘s lives.
I thank you in advance for all your thoughts and prayers…they are greatly appreciated.
God bless and have a great day!
Eric C. Blomdahl