From Spokane, Young moved to Mexico. By this time he had divorced Donna and married his second wife, Dixie. In Mexico, Young ran a clinic for the treatment of cancer with laetrile . Laetrile is a fraudulent cancer treatment that is both ineffective and dangerous.
After Mexico, Young, claiming then to be a physician, established a clinic in Chula Vista, California. He was arrested in California in 1988 for misleading and deceptive advertising and for selling supposed cures [10-12]. An undercover agent submitted a sample of her blood with a fictitious male name for the bogus “blood crystallization” test also known as “live blood cell analysis”. Young reportedly told her that she had prostate cancer with cells that could act in a “potentially aggressive manner”. Other charges against Young included selling unapproved medical devices and unapproved new drugs, manufacturing medical devices and drugs without a license, advertising drugs and devices to cure cancer, and practicing medicine without a license.
By 1992, Young had divorced Dixie and married his third wife, Mary Billeter Young. He then started his current multilevel marketing company, Young Living Essential Oils (YLEO).
Young’s biographical sketch on the YLEO website and a multitude of independent distributor websites describes Young as a naturopath and praises him as “one of North America’s foremost authorities on essential oils”. He states that Bernadean University awarded him a masters degree in nutrition in 1984 and a doctor of naturopathy degree in 1985. However, Bernadean is a notorious mail-order diploma mill that has never been authorized to grant degrees.
Young is not licensed, nor has he ever been licensed, as a naturopath in Utah or in any other state . In April 2002, the Young Living website used the title N.D. (naturopathic doctor) after Young’s name and stated that Young was a naturopath. I telephoned Young Living on April 2, 2002, and asked whether Young was licensed to practice naturopathy in Utah. The person I spoke with said that he was. I then asked for his license number. Although the website of the Utah Division of Professional Licensing (USOPL) lists the numbers of all licensed naturopaths, the Young Living employee said they could not give it out. After I complained to the UDOPL, Young Living removed the title N.D. and references to Young as a naturopath from the its website, but this misleading information still appears all over the Internet on distributor websites.
That is the background of Gary Young. He is a man with no training, with inflated credentials, and a history of arrests for health fraud. Now let’s examine his company.
Young Living Essential Oils
Young and his third wife Mary Billeter Young started Young Living Essential Oils (YLEO) in Utah in 1992. A biographical sketch describes her as previously quite successful at a multilevel marketing company , which I believe was Sunrider International. Building on her experience, the Youngs established YLEO as a typical MLM company in which “independent distributors” are said to earn money by selling products and by earning a percentage of the sales of the distributors they recruit.
The company justifies high prices by claiming that its products are purer than those of its competitors, but it provides no comparative information to support these assertions.
In a 1995 training video, Young states that he persuaded a reluctant user to try his oils by “appealing to his ego,” assuring him that he would “make history” . One current user of YLEO products told me confidently that when Young cured his serious disease with essential oils, he would “make history.” This suggests that Young continues to deliberately manipulate his customers.