“Having trouble losing that last 10 pounds? Maybe your skin isn’t as clear as you’d like it to be? Have a goal you just can’t seem to accomplish?
Maybe you’re tired of the same boring 9-5 every day of the week. Maybe your boss is getting on your nerves. Maybe you’d rather be your own boss…
If any of these statements ring true for you, the EliteYou is just what you need!
EliteYou provides the tools needed for you to become the BEST you possible. That sounds good enough, right? Well how about if on top of that, you could help others become the best they can be, all while making a heck of a lot of money? EliteYou will enable you to run a business on YOUR time, fill your pockets, and make your life the BEST life.
Contact me to join my very own EliteYou team, and begin your journey to success today!”
That is, verbatim, the Facebook post that introduced me to “EliteYou”. It was posted by a woman named Samantha in the group dedicated to the residents of our cul-de-sac. Samantha lives just three houses down from us, and is the kind of neighbor that complains if your grass isn’t cut to her standards, the head of the Neighborhood Watch, you know the type. I read through the post quick and dismissed it as just another in a long list of “multi-level marketing” (read: pyramid scheme) posts I’ve seen over the years.
This one, like so many similar posts, caught the attention of the others in the group (there’s 10 houses on our street, all cookie cutter families), all the same people who shared ItWorks! posts when that was the #1 pyramid scheme crawling its way across social media, but Samantha is what you might call a person with some modicum of influence. Her sharing of the post encouraged other residents of our street to check it out.
I just sort of rolled my eyes and went on about my day. About a week after I first saw the post, my wife Kimmy came home and informed me that she’d run into Samantha at the grocery store, where the latter extended to us an invitation to her “EliteYou Launch Party”. Kimmy said that Samantha had essentially made it so she couldn’t decline, and my wife being the people-pleaser she is, confirmed our forthcoming attendance.
A search online for “EliteYou” yielded no results whatsoever, which my wife and I found odd. We began wondering if this was yet another business Samantha was starting herself, much like the other eight she’d started in the seven years we’d lived there. Our curiosity furthered our RSVP, and that Saturday we walked to Samantha’s.
The gathering was about as expected. People ate, drank, mingled (with the same people they talked to every day), and waited for the host to make her presentation. In all, there were the 10 families in our neighborhood (the kids all stayed at another of our neighbor’s houses with their daughter who was back from college) and four other couples we didn’t know. After a short time, Samantha came downstairs.
Her presentation, without boring you, was without question the most vague experience I’ve ever had. I’ll give you the highlights:
EliteYou is essentially a vitamin supplement that claims to increase brain power and help regulate weight and a variety of other health things.
The video presentation she used to show the business model included a literal, actual pyramid.
That’s pretty much all the important points, but let me include a couple quotes that were used:
”I work full-time, so YOU can work part-time!”
”You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”
I lost count of these platitudes after the eighth or ninth.
Apparently Samantha’s presentation worked, because people immediately approached her to get involved. By my count, only my wife and I and one other couple (that we didn’t know before the party, but with whom we talked a bit and exchanged numbers) decided not to buy-in at that time.
From that point on, our Facebooks were filled to the brim with EliteYou, with all of the people who signed up at the party posting several times a day about how people can join them to “start their new life today”. It went this way for about two weeks. In that two weeks, Kimmy and I were asked at least once a day why we weren’t a part of it, and this is when things started getting weird.
I woke up around 3:30am and went downstairs to get something to drink. I turned at the landing and went down the last few steps and absentmindedly looked towards our front door, specifically the window next to it. I saw, standing at the end of the sidewalk that leads up to our porch, the silhouette of a woman. I’m not gonna lie, it creeped the shit out of me, stopped me dead in my tracks.
In the seven years we lived there, there has been zero crime on our street. None. At all. So I didn’t immediately react as if whoever was out there was a threat. A few of the women on our street like late-night walks, but I was curious as to why any of them would stop to stare at our house.
I opened the door and got a better look, finding that it was Joanne from down the street. I asked her what she was doing, and she didn’t reply. I took a few steps closer to her and asked again, and this time, it was like she was a robot who had just been turned on.
She lifted her arm in a stiff wave and said in an overly cheerful voice, “Hi neighbor! You have a beautiful home. Your family is lovely! But are you living your best life? If there is any aspect of your life that you feel could be improved, then EliteYou is the answer!”
I was more annoyed and confused than anything else at that point.
“What the fuck are you talking about, Joanne?” I asked her.
“EliteYou allows you to work from home, and on your own schedule! You can be your own boss! Since I started EliteYou, I’ve had more time for my hobbies…and my family! Today, and today only, I can offer you our EliteYou Silver Package for 75% off, which will put you well on your way to getting that new car you wanted, or maybe a gift for that lovely wife of yours! This is something I’m only offering you, neighbor, and you know what? If you just turn around and sell it to someone else, you can keep the profit AND get paid for bringing someone else on board! Are you ready to start living your best life?!”
I very brusquely told Joanne to go home, and went back inside, perplexed and irritated. I went and got a glass of water and when I went to head back upstairs I looked out the window to find Joanne walking towards her house…only backwards, and with her arm still raised in that wave. She walked backwards the entire way down the street with her arm up, then disappeared into her house. I was more than a little creeped out after that, and I didn’t get any more sleep that night.
The following morning I told Kimmy what had happened, about Joanne’s wave, how it sounded like she was reading from a script. Her response was that Joanne has always been a weird woman, and suggested perhaps that she was in the early stages of dementia, something I didn’t entirely agree with but accepted as an explanation in the absence of any other.
Throughout the rest of that day, we had two couples and two individual people from our street stop by to tell us how great EliteYou was, how much it was helping them in their daily lives.
“You probably can’t tell, but I’ve lost seven pounds!” – Christina from next door.
“Handed in my two weeks, brother! Working from how now! You gotta get in on this, it sells itself!” – Bill, her husband.
“I am SO glad Samantha had that party, this stuff has seriously changed my life! I’ve never been happier” – Claire, Samantha’s sycophantic best friend.
It was just testimonial after testimonial that sounded like they were pulled straight from the nonexistent website, and was always followed by them trying to convince us to join. We tried calling the other couple that didn’t join right away that night at the party, to see if they were being pressured like we were but we got no answer.
Things then escalated very quickly. That night, a loud bang on our front door woke us up. I went downstairs to check it out and looked through the window by the door and didn’t see anyone. Cautiously, I opened the door and found two things: a box sealed with EliteYou shipping tape, and a note, pinned to the door with a knife. The note read:
“We know how much EliteYou can help, and we LOVE helping our friends! We’ve decided to offer you the EliteYou Bronze Package free of charge! Still not sure? That’s totally fine! All we ask is that you try one, just one, of our Lifenhancement Multivitamins, and if after one day you still aren’t convinced, then we’ll concede that your life must just be perfect as is! You can just sell the Bronze Package to someone else and sleep soundly knowing you helped someone else reach the same happiness you already have! But full disclosure, we know you’ll be hooked ;)!”
Your Friendly Neighborhood EliteYou Team
This had obviously gone too far. I called the police and prepared to give a statement that would explain pretty much everything you’ve just read. Two officers arrived and took the report, all in all they were in our home for about thirty minutes. As they were leaving, though, they walked right past the box that was still on our porch.
I asked if they thought they should take it, if there might be anything on or within it that could help them figure out who stabbed our front door. One of them responded, in a voice that was a clear pitch higher than he’d been speaking in the whole time he was inside.
“No need. Let me tell you though, sir, EliteYou is a wonderful company that has helped me live my best life! It’s made me a better cop, a better husband, a better father! You should feel proud that someone you know wants you to reach that same level of happiness! And to get a Bronze Package free of charge? That sounds like a lucky day to me! Make no mistake, the Lifenhancement Multivitamins in the Bronze Package may not be as good as the ones in the Silver and Gold Packages, but they’ll get the job done!”
His partner then chimed in. His voice sounded normal but was entirely monotone, devoid of any kind of inflection or emotion, like someone was typing in the words and he was saying them as he went along.
“Thank you for calling us, sir and ma’am. We will be looking into this matter. We assure you that we will investigate any leads that we may come across. If we have any questions, we will reach you at the numbers you have provided us. If you have any questions for us, you can reach us at the numbers provided on our business cards. We will keep you safe. Thank you.”
Just then, both officers put up their arms in the same stiff waves that Joanne had done, and both walked backwards to their car, and reversed down the street. Naturally, our visit with them didn’t make us feel any safer, quite the opposite. Later that night, around 2 am, both my phone and Kimmy’s began frantically going off. Text messages, Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram DM’s, phone calls, from everyone on our street, asking if we’d tried the Lifenhancement Multivitamins and if we were ready to “start living our best lives”.
That irritated me to no end, and it was at that moment that everything, all the weird shit from the past few weeks, came to a head.
I went into the garage and got a can of gasoline. After also grabbing a piece of paper and a lighter, I walked out to the porch, picked up the EliteYou box and brought it to the middle of the cul-de-sac, doused it in gas, lit the piece of paper on fire and dropped it on the box, which burst into flames. I then, in my state of heightened anxiety and irritation, began yelling about how everyone who wants us on their shitty pyramid scheme bullshit could fuck off, how if anyone else approached us about it there were gonna be problems, etc. etc. etc.
Not a single light in any house on the street turned on. The box stayed ablaze for a short time but eventually died out, during which time I’d gone up to bed, though I had no intention of actually sleeping, and with good reason.
About an hour after my dumbass had lit a box on fire in the middle of a residential street, we heard a number of voices, all in unison.
“You have chosen to not become involved with the life-changing business that is EliteYou, and that’s okay!”
I jumped up from bed and looked out the window down at the street, and saw everyone from our block, roughly 30-35 adults and children, standing there in a kind of half circle towards the end of our driveway.
“We understand your hesitancy! But we can not forgive it! We live Elite lives, and can not be expected to share them with those who refuse to answer their call to greatness! You will now be exterminated, your chance at an Elite life will go to some other lucky person!”
As the last word simultaneously left their lips, they all began briskly walking towards and around our house. At this point Kimmy was already awake, and I told her to grab her phone and come downstairs with me. We made our way down to the basement as Kimmy called the police. We told them a large group of people was attempting to enter our home, and that several units would be needed. We also said that they were holding signs but we could see what they said, were chanting something we couldn’t make out, and were waving around torches, none of which was true.
The reason for the exaggeration of an already crazy situation was that we live in a small town; if ever there are more units needed than the local police can accommodate, they send in the sheriffs, who we hoped there was a chance might not be on the EliteYou train.
As Kimmy had the phone on speaker, we started hearing glass shattering and pounding on the doors. The 911 operator contacted the sheriff’s station while we were listening and sent them to our home. Kimmy went to the corner with a number of knives and a large can of pepper spray while I got my cordless nail gun (that I’d long since modified because I do dumb shit when I’m bored sometimes).
Suddenly all the sounds upstairs stopped.
“Hey guysssss?” a voice said from above us, a voice that sounded like someone trying to imitate someone else but doing a poor job. “It’s Ben Brunner, remember me? We met at the party, my wife and I were the only people besides you guys to not opt-in to EliteYou right away? Let me tell you, that was a huge mistake! EliteYou is amazing, it’s undeniable! I only wish I would have signed up right away, it would have been a much better choice for my family and I! Come on out and let’s talk!”
The silence after his voice lingered for a moment, but was then quickly overtaken by what sounded like absolute pandemonium upstairs. It sounded like they were breaking everything in our home. I positioned myself at the bottom of the stairs with the nail gun and waited. After only a moment, the doorknob began to rattle and the door started being pounded on. Soon after that, the wood started splintering. Once a hole big enough allowed for it, an arm reached through and began feeling around for the deadbolt and doorknob locks.
I took the opportunity and sprinted up the stairs and began slamming the nail gun into the arm, and eventually got the hand nailed to the door itself. Screams boomed from the other side of the door as I jumped back down to the basement floor. Luckily, our basement door is pretty heavy duty, so taking it off the hinges wasn’t an immediate worry, and we also learned then that they could feel pain.
What I didn’t anticipate was when whoever was connected to that arm stopped screaming and I heard the locks click. Then the basement stairs began to creak.
“EliteYou regrets not being able to bring you on as a Elite Salesperson!” various voices said in unison.
The stairs continued creaking and before long, several of them were piling into the basement, men, women, and children. I started shooting nails at the adults, and a few in each were able to make them withdraw in pain, wailing about how EliteYou would save them. The kids started charging us, but…and I’m not exactly proud of this, they were easily taken out by punches and pepper spray.
We then began hearing gunshots. A few more of our neighbors came down the stairs but were quickly subdued with nails and mace.
“Police! Everybody drop what’s in your hands and stay where you are!” we heard from the floor above us.
Several gunshots then rang out amidst the flurry of footsteps pounding on the floor above, bodies dropping. We heard more footsteps going up the stairs to the second floor, then a distant scream followed by more gunshots. We heard a few different voices yelling out “clear!” coming from different areas of the house.
The basement steps then began creaking. A voice identified itself as police and told anyone down there to put their hands up, which we did. I immediately let them know that we were the owners of the house and the ones who called. Officers continued coming downstairs, zip-tying the hands of the people we’d dispatched and getting whatever weapons they had away from them.
The police confirmed who we were and shortly thereafter we were led upstairs, and through the tears (pepper spray does not only affect those on which it’s employed if it’s used in an enclosed area), we saw an absolute mess of carnage. Whoever the arm belonged to that reached through the hole in the basement door had been removed from it, and the appendage still stuck to the door, only now it was hanging, dripping blood, having been hacked off by someone not patient enough to figure out another solution.
Our house was littered with bodies and absolutely destroyed. Walls were torn down, every item not nailed down was thrown around and broken, two ceiling fans were ripped out. Next to the basement door, slumped against the wall, was a dead man, with the face of Ben Brunner…tied over his own. It absolutely goddamn horrific.
Stepping over bodies, we went outside, where the corpses of the two officers who had come earlier that day were splayed across the walkway leading up to our destroyed home. Ambulances and fire trucks had all begun convening at the end of the cul-de-sac as we were taken to the police station.
That was three days ago. We haven’t yet been made aware of what exactly was in the EliteYou products, but we did learn that 19 of our neighbors, fathers, mothers, and children, had been killed, the rest were in police custody, be it in a hospital or jail. We also learned that the Brunners had been killed inside their home about a week prior to the attack on us, with “Join EliteYou now to start living your best life!” smeared in blood on their bedroom wall, the faces of them and their children removed and used for the raid on our house.
We have about as many answers now as we did before we were attacked, and I don’t know how far EliteYou spread before this happened, or if it was just contained to our neighborhood/the people at the party.
This has been long, but before I wrap it up, I just want to say, I don’t know how we could’ve avoided this. I feel like even if we wouldn’t have gone to the party, everyone still would have been pressing us to join. They were hypnotized, brainwashed, something.
Just…if you see EliteYou come across your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever, unfriend them. Do whatever you can to stay as far away as possible.