“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more ‘manhood’ to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”~ Alex Karras
To move forward, know where you are going! I learned the hard way, all that glitters is not gold and every path has a puddle. However, I discovered my puddle was quicksand and I was falling deeper and deeper into a tunnel that had no light at the end of it.
During my time spent on the Transformation.com website, I met a lot of interesting, wonderful and inspiring people that shared my views, shared my thoughts and listened to my woes. Many have become Friends-for- LIFE. I shared many secrets, many emotions and trying times in my life.
I knew I already had a wonderful, loving life but there is always room for improvement so I joined the team and challenged myself in every respect. I gained control of things I felt I had lost, I learned to love unconditionally, and most of all felt I was part of a team to better myself while I gave back to this community and helped others find their happiness.
For a while I was walking blindly and thought I was being led by the light. I attended the 1st Denver Convention and was blinded by the light. Everything was magical and when things seem to be just too good to be true they usually are. In this case, though it took a while, I learned that everything that glitters is not gold.
My journey led me to feel I was a leader, an inspiration to the community, a friend and part of a TEAM. Being a part of a TEAM, being part of something greater than I was, was most important to me. Feeling that I was giving back and helping others made me feel important. This feeling of being important is something I lacked in my own world.
Along the way I stumbled across a few people that I saw as being on this team to get what they could from others, not to give back. They were there to make themselves be looked upon as better than others. The impressions they gave was if you want to be perfect in every way do as I say, I will be your guide. I gave and gave until I felt I couldn’t give anymore and yet I would muster up more energy to give out more compassion whether they deserved it or not.
The more I posted the more I was belittled by the so-called big shots of the team. I was told to stop telling my story, that it was boring and no one benefitted by it. I was told to take my pictures down, that I had too many. Told I had an ego problem. The very program that helped give me the self-confidence and feeling of worth was robbing me of my self-worth.
[One incident in particular upset me] I looked up to a man that belonged to every Body for Life [affiliate and related site] Judge Michael T. Harris. I confided in Mike and he helped me along my journey to overcome my feelings of self-doubt, and introduced me to a self-help Journal by Robert S. McGee “ The Search for Significance”. It was on this journey I really began to see the light and came out of my shell. I felt I had grown up at last and was in control of my own destination.
During this journey my dear friend and mentor Mike Harris passed away. The entire [Body for Life] community mourned and [many] began challenges in the Memory of Mike. I re-posted the Challenge notice on other BFL sites and Facebook. I received many messages saying thanks for letting us know. I posted [this same information] on Bill Phillips Transformation site along with a nice picture of Mike speaking in Tennessee in 2006. I left to go to the gym and when I returned I found this message in my e-mail inbox.
From:forumadmin Date:06-03-10 Subject: post removal
-Soliciting and promoting a challenge to the members of this community that is not affiliated with Transformation.
5. Restrictions on Use. a.The Website is for the personal use by our users and Members only and may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors. Illegal and/or unauthorized use of the Website, including collecting usernames and/or email addresses of Members by electronic or other means for the purpose of sending unsolicited email or unauthorized framing of or linking to the Website will be investigated, and may result in the termination or cancellation of your access to, or use of, the Website. Commercial advertisements, affiliate links, and other forms of solicitation may be removed from Member profiles without notice and may result in termination of membership privileges. Legal action may be taken by us for any illegal or unauthorized use of the Website. i. Involves the transmission of “junk mail,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” “spam,” or any other form of unsolicited mass mailing, or involves self-promotion and commercial solicitation. The purpose and intention of this Website is to provide support, encouragement and help for one another, at no charge and no expense to our users
While we appreciate the spirit in which this is meant; the only challenges that can be offered on the site are through transformation.
We appreciate your membership and valuable contributions to this community. Thank you for cooperation and understanding in this matter.
We wish you well and healing in your time of loss.
Needless to say I was saddened and shocked. This was outside of their terms and conditions, but that this post would be removed and not accepted for consideration because of the nature of the content. This wasn’t just “Soliciting and promoting a challenge to the members of there community that was not affiliated with Transformation.” Any fool could plainly see it as an act of kindness, a challenge to be done in the honor of Mike Harris. Mike was also involved as a member of Transformation. How sad that Transformation could not honor the man that has changed peoples lives and mentored them.
Rules may be rules, but there are exceptions to any rule, and rules were meant to be broken. It just really really saddens me when rules dominate over compassion and common sense.
What happened to being the change?
While they said “we appreciate the spirit in which this is meant; the only challenges that can be offered on the site are through transformation, and We appreciate your membership and valuable contributions to this community. Thank you for cooperation and understanding in this matter.“ I felt very unappreciated and felt [this was] a stab in the back to Mike Harris.
This was what I thought was the last straw until I received a string of e-mail’s from a Transformation Champion that I thought was a friend. In trying to make a long story short, someone asked the reason I wasn’t on Transformation. I responded and was blasted and told someone they knew was furious when I posted [a comment] on my Facebook page. They copied that and sent it to Bill Phillips when it happened. My friend claims to have been asked about it. [She was then told] “ Linda wonders why she wasn’t named a champion. Bill saw through her BS all along, she doesn’t get it, never has, never will and [Linda] will always continue to try and hurt others.”
[I was then asked why] if I said I wasn’t coming back, didn’t like Bill or the site , then why was I logged in [to Transformation]? It was always my understanding that people were welcome to come and go. No questions asked. I was coming and going and trying to STOP and think and plan and know exactly what was waiting at the end of my path. I was tired of walking around blindly. [Leaving] was not as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
I have always believed that everything, good or bad, happens for a reason. I believe these hurt feelings and harsh words was a blessing in disguise. I was able to let go and rid myself of the pain, stagger my way from the darkness and into the light to find that no matter how hard or how long I search everything I need is, and has always been, right here in my own back yard.
In order to move forward and continue on your journey you must sometimes STOP and think and plan and know exactly what is waiting at the end of your path. You can’t just continue to walk blindly. It’s not as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. You must know where the path leads.
To move forward, know where you are going!
In the Spirit of Body-for-LIFE,
Your BFL Cheerleader
GET HER DONE LINDA
Linda Ann Smith
Note: For purposes of readability and clarity, the content of this post has been edited. Linda has a very distinctive writing style and we wanted to preserve that.
Linda, it has been a pleasure watching you grow into a real champion over the last several years. I know it’s been hard on you, but you’ve truly made the real steps that mark a champion. It’s not about how much weight you lose, or how many people you help. It’s something much deeper and more intangible. You walk the walk. You reach out to help people because that’s just who you are. You is good people Linda Loo and I am so very glad I get to know you. 🙂
Just wanted to let you know, Linda, that your loving and understanding heart will always be with me, no matter where you are………I have always admired you and always will. Life unfolds as it should for each of us….
I’m glad you shared your story here. The way you were treated was just deplorable. Your sweet spirit and serving heart are what makes you so special to those of us that know and love you.
The important thing to know is that you did nothing wrong. I’m convinced they are a cult because – well…if it looks, smells, and quacks like one. I remember hearing Bill Phillips on his radio show announcing they were going to start charging for his site. I never had a problem with Bill before, in fact I defended him against a whole slew of people who said he was only about money. Yet, I heard him say he thought charging for the site would keep only those who were “serious” around (aka. only the most effectively brainwashed). After some of us aired our concerns, we were viciously insulted, threatened to have personal information revealed, etc. Bill’s community of “friends” turned into a community of Kool-Aid-drinking psychopaths.
You would think Bill, if he really were not concerned with being viewed as some pinnacle of perfection, but with changing people’s lives, would have stepped in and told people to call off their personal attacks. Instead, he encouraged them, made fun of the people who couldn’t afford his $250/yearly annual fee (for a WEBSITE), and he called them “divorced from reality”. The man posts photos of himself with a halo/glowing aura around him and tells YOU that YOU have an ego problem? I’ve heard he’s also been known to tell people to take photos of himself down because it wasn’t a good angle for him and that he told a very Christian, very kind woman to “F#$% off”.
Several people that were once big names in all his business games have come out against him. Some were too hurt to even begin talking about it, some might have even been bound by contract. This guy has hurt so many people. The funny thing is after you step away from it all, you have to laugh because it is SO fake. Here is a guy promising people the perfect body if you buy his book (lots of fluff, no substance), buy his WAY overpriced supplements, ignore his bad plastic surgery and ego problem (photo of himself on every page of Transformation), and partake in a cult-like, judgmental community that tears apart anyone who questions anything instead of answering questions with patience and kindness.
Transformation is not what it is supposed to be about. It is about making money off the hard work of others…with a twist of worship to Bill Phillips. Something about him is so weak and insecure that he needs people to tell him constantly that they couldn’t “do it” without him. Instead of shrugging off this codependence, he encourages it. It’s really sickening. Linda, you are a wonderful person. All you ever wanted to do is help and instead got scolded over and over again like a bad child and you’re an adult woman. You truly DO have a champion’s spirit. You don’t need a title and the approval of someone who considers themselves near God, but is as far as they fall away from him.
Wow Kelly. Thanks for sharing your post. My hubby came with me to a “get together”. He said it reminded him of an amway convention. First of all.. when I was spending so much time there, he said “Are you sure this isn’t some sort of dating site?”. I really did feel very strongly about all that I was learning, but am really starting to wonder about the motives etc. I began to get a little disenchanted when they upgraded the site and wanted everyone to pay after a year. Hmmpf
Linda, I feel the same way, I really never thought the site was just a money marketing program. I believed we were going to make a difference, not help make an individual build another financial profit!!
I’m glad I’ve got to meet you Linda and know our paths will cross again!
Thank you for your honesty
I always wondered what happened to you. You were always so motivating to others. I consider you a champion in my eyes. Thanks for sharing your post.
Thanks for sharing Linda :<)
I can’t believe I drank the koolaid for as long as I did and was a bit naive at t.com. You are a gr8 champion Linda and a great leader in helping others.
Love ya, Paul 🙂
I am always incredulous when I hear such things as I have read here. I cannot wrap my coconut around your story and what has been written here by others in comments and in other blogs. Linda, I have had the pleasure of talking with you until the wee hours of the AM in Tennessee at the Champions Weekend… I have followed your story and know your heart. You are a leader. You are a positive example. You don’t need to drop the F*Bomb to get people’s attention because you get our attention with your light… Don’t waiver from what and who you are… keep teaching and being an example for us all as to what is possible.
Hi, Linda! You were always so kind to me and I wondered why you left. For me, the longer I have been away, the more I also question the motives there. Anytime a person is censored because of higher-ups, it’s a creepy situation. I love having my own blog now. I can talk about anything I want without fear of being ‘kicked out.’
Kelly..you are so spot on you made my day w/your comment. I had a voice that went unheard for a long time and I chuckle at your candidness. If you are on face book I’d love to be friends. I love honest ,no hold back people that speak the truth even when others wear blinders in hopes to win the big prize..lol..have a awesome day as you just made mine by reading your addition!
Laura – I sent you a message on your website. I went through a whole spectrum of emotions after leaving Transformation. It felt like I was cutting off an arm. I can’t even describe how difficult it was. The fact that it WAS that difficult speaks volumes to the dangerous nature of the cult-like mentality promoted there. I was just going into a big challenge and I was all excited and then Bill just started doing and saying things that completely violated my idea of integrity. I had to face the fact that this guy I’d idolized for 10 years wasn’t who I thought he was. I thought it was a hard thing, as a child, to have an idol fall from grace…but it was harder as an adult when I am old enough to know better. Like many, I traded personal e-mails with Mr. Philips. I felt “special” and like a valuable part of his community. Then, you start finding out you’re not all that special, you are the victim of someone who has learned how to psychologically exploit weaknesses in others to make a fortune. Bill did not approach me to start a challenge when I was overweight and depressed. I had just finished a BFL challenge. I looked and felt pretty good but he told me in an e-mail that there was always room for improvement and that while I’d probably transformed on the OUTSIDE with Body-for-Life, I still needed to transform on the inside because his BFL plan was inherently flawed. He insisted that those who completed BFL transformations didn’t “get it” and I did so I really needed his challenge more than anyone. My kindness towards Mr. Philips dissipated the moment he allowed other members of his community to participate in character assassination towards myself and others publicly and then participated himself by calling us crazy. He drew first blood. I only said that it was a shame I could no longer afford to be a part of his community after the site charge was enacted. I hate that I am not alone…because others are going through this pain, but there is also comfort in knowing I am not crazy and that the snake oil salesman is indeed just that.
I wanted to end my story with happy thoughts, after all the pain, the nasty things I was told and the way some people made me feel I would never be good enough; I forgive:
I forgive everyone for every “wrong” that I believe they have ever inflicted upon me. I forgive them for my own sake, that I may release the venom – the anger and resentment within myself – and regain my joy and serenity. I have compassion for everyone who has ever been a player upon the stage of my life.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie