Franchisees normally just slink away into the dark

February 2, 2011

Cut a deal, sign the gag order and keep your mouth shut.

That was the advice given to me by a group of my peers at Nutri-Lawn when I rented one of those lawn care franchises in the 1990s.

I didn’t go quietly into the night as 98.2% of franchisees do.

I felt I had nothing to be ashamed of and kinda resented the dehumanization of it all.

I guess I still do. I never imagined so many people feel the same way.

[eXperi-MENTAL]


Is franchising life-giving or life-taking?

January 31, 2011

Almost without exception life-taking.

Those that win financially, lose a big part of what it means to be human.

Their silence indicts and then condemns them.

Never heard the saying: money frequently costs too much?

[Olivia Locher]


Gag orders distort & defeat rational investment decision making

September 30, 2010

Franchising is as healthy as its secrets.

mike right-web

Confidentiality agreements are used promiscuously:

  1. pre-sale (when looking),
  2. at any cash payment for “wrongs” during the relationship,
  3. at renewal,
  4. at listing of business for sale,
  5. when you exit, and
  6. at any lawsuit end.

In my 15 minutes of fame, I was asked a question:

[John O’Toole] Can you suggest one thing within the framework we’ve defined that would improve – not totally correct; we’ve passed that, we’re not astronauts – but one thing we could do that would make a real impact on these 40,000 victims, self-imposed victims in some cases? What could we do?

Mr Stewart: Outlaw gag orders. Outlaw gag orders.

Confidentiality agreements encourage opportunistic franchisor behavior because they conceal bad behavior to unsuspecting current and future financial market investors. They are a very large source of imperfect investment information.

Silence puts gold in only the pockets of those proposing these “agreements” that are tethered to the franchisee’s life savings.

More corrosively, they operate internally the same way a false prisoner confession works.

Psychologically they create an internal silencing mechanism, part of which is explained by the concepts of cognitive dissonance, learned helplessness, and obedience (Milgram, Stanford prison, Abu Ghraib). The experience of franchising can be engineered to provide a subtle and not so subtle method of mind control as was seen in the ’70s case of est.

The victim becomes convinced that they were the cause of their own suffering.


Don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone

June 15, 2010

What is a franchisee, employee or independent contractor?

The Coverall decision has franchisors running scared all over North America (Coverall Ruling Sends Shiver through Franchising)

Any publicly-traded company that is underperforming is a target for corporate takeover. That’s a natural thing.  Companies get bought and sold every day.

But because of Coverall,  any potential takeover specialist would heavily discount the target’s stock value if their “franchisees” were really misclassified “employees”.

To protect their sorry, loser asses the current management team would want to re-convert all franchisees to employees as a way to prop up their pathetic share price.

Not great news for disorganized, current franchisees.

Welcome to new world of:

  1. no franchise,
  2. no job (try servicing your, maybe $200,000 of debt),
  3. or a minimum wage job (same debt).

Ignorance costs.


Franchising is a class-based offence against human rights

April 4, 2010

You’re only as healthy as your secrets.

That goes for a family and I think that goes for an industry too.

Historically, power elites have often enforced compliance by wielding class differences  such as education, income, race, language fluency.

Very obvious to see, when you get an impertinent franchisee (like me) not just speaking, but having the lack of good judgment of being alive.

impertinent adj. 1 rude or arrogant; lacking proper respect. 2 out of place; absurd. 3 esp. Law irrelevant, intrusive

This is exactly why I will attend any franchise law conference that I can afford. Until I die.

And I bring along as many guests as I can find.

Drop me a line.  😉


The greatest Lies are told in Silence

March 9, 2010

Himmler at Dachau

Every organization is only as healthy as its secrets.

Below: Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler’s speech to the SS officers responsible for carrying out the wholesale extermination of the European Jews. Delivered in Poznan, Poland on October 4, 1943.

The text of the speech scrolls in both the original German and its English Translation.


Is your paper boy a franchisee?

January 6, 2010

Maybe yes, Maybe no.

Maybe not the urchin on the street but maybe those that deliver his papers to him.

My understanding is that there are 3 types of legal business relationships in Ontario:

  1. employee:employer,
  2. independent contractor and
  3. franchisee:franchisor.

It seems everyone is happy to consider them as independent contractors but I’m not so sure.

The Ontario Wishart Act defines a “franchise” (at a minimum, based on the U.S. FTC Rule) as having 3 elements:

  1. franchisees make direct or indirect payments to a franchisor (very, very broadly defined),
  2. the distributed good or service is “substantially associated” to the franchisor’s trade- or service-mark and
  3. the franchisor exercises “significant control” or assistance over the offered business opportunity.

Humm…seems like someone could claim that this commercial relationship is in reality and in practice, a franchise and not an independent contracting arrangement.

No one that I’m aware has asked an Ontario court or labour tribunal to determine what actually is and is not a franchise since Wishart was passed in 2000. I’d hate to think that the owners of Canada’s major newspapers are failing to write honestly about franchising because they may have become “accidental franchisors“.

This is an excellent article by Thomas M. Pitgegoff on the topic of these “hidden” franchises.

A clever card trick:

“professional” journalists stop writing about franchise abuses (after the jurisdiction’s 1st toothless law is passed) because they don’t want to draw attention to the fact that their own distributors are now unintentionally franchisees — a secret which would be an expensive hit to an already dying industry.

They talk about an “iron curtain” between the editorial and business sides of newspapers. This is, again, much more of a theory than a practice especially when high levels of corporate concentration, plummeting ad revenue and vertical integration are considered. Franchising is almost never written about now in anything other than an advertorial manner in Canada’s elite daily newspapers (eg. Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and Natinal Post) since Wishart was passed in 2000.

The underlying abuse has not been solved:

Accurate reporting is almost extinct except by non-professional journalists in the new media.

I continue to send out news ideas, run WikidFranchise and continue only to be interviewed by American journalists.

No wonder only fools as I read these papers anymore.

Too bad.


Nazis burned books 70 years ago. Fishy blocks writers/viewers today?

November 16, 2009

DeadFishAustraliadead fish’s reputation washed up on the shores of Australia last week.

Carol Cross is a friend of mine.

She drives me crazy at times with her repetition. But, then again, I irritate people too. 🙂

I allow anyone to post on FranchiseFool. Carol tells me she is still banned from contributing at the FranchiseeFishNet.org.

This is unacceptable to me.

Carol cannot even see The Fish on her computer: that’s right, she’s that blocked. This is wrong on so many levels.

It’s not wrong because she’s my friend: It’s evil because she is  a person. Plus a citizen of the greatest democracy on earth. A veteran’s wife. A former franchisee invest0r.

This is  offensive to anyone that ever believed in the right of free speech, natural justice, military honour, the rule of law, democracy…

If you feel you “have to” block, censor, gag or burn books, you better take another look at your business model.

And, I suggest, the “friends” you have as advisors.

Any industry that can be shown to be fascists by an  little old lady isn’t deserving of any investment, let alone respect.

PS: I was stopped for a day (Nov 12, 2009) as a registered contributor to The Fish last week. I’ve put up with 1,001 cheap shot comments for a full 3 years (459 points) now. I have no fishy, behind-the-scenes telephone calls: I never explain or complain or apologize. I had to post as a Guest and was reinstated for a day.

My offense?  I wrote and posted a very valid post (I think) about economic fascism (Arguments in the Service of Power (subjective truth)) that was clearly addressed to Ray Borradale in Australia. I intentionally hid the Hitler, Goebbels and Mussolini quotes. I wonder when the post will be deleted? Good thing I captured it beforehand.

If anyone else alive or brain-dead took offence to having their behaviour compared to fascists…well..if the show fits…

Then the fish goes ahead and wears it.

That post and and 16 McLuhan quotes were thrown into the fish’s text ghetto: Ranter’s Soapbox, Way Off Topic Posts.  This is where all politically honest objective truth posts are put.

I was reinstated and my posts exist (for now). Some old lady named Carol is still is banned from the fish. I tested the waters, intentionally, one day after Canada’s Remembrance Day. My parents both fought and my Uncle Neil died resisting historical Nazis in WWII. I was not going to be bullied by a Guest troll.

You decide if totalitarianism is alive or dead in franchising today. Who is crooked, misleading and/or tyrants?

Either way, your comments are welcomed.


Health care reform “debate”: More industry Canada Goose-stepping

August 20, 2009

USFascism

Go ahead: Blame Canada

I’ve held off commenting on the current U.S. health care reform debate.

Until now.

This “debate” is structurally identical to what passes for communication in the franchise industry today.

Propaganda, pure and simple (biased influence)

Unmistakeably, evil if judged by historical wisdom authors. Still corrupting even to most docile sheeple.

Some of it bordering on Große Lüge (The Big Lie), analogous to Big Tobacco defense style, Nineteen Eighty-Four,  modern PR, corporatism…

I think today’s Toronto Star op ed is a good summary of how most Canadians I know feel about our system versus the U.S.’s. In Why I’d rather be sick here than in U.S., Bob Hepburn writes:

For weeks, Americans have been told that Canada pushes its sickest and weakest to the bottom of wait lists, that our health care is inferior, that it’s the government that decides who lives and who dies.

Despite these attacks, the reality is that the overall quality of health care experienced in Canada is far better than in the United States.

If you have any doubt, just ask yourself this simple question:

Would you rather be sick here or in the U. S.?

For me, the answer is obvious.

I have worked and studied in the U.S. for a total of 10 years and, although I have received good care from American doctors and clinics, I’d much rather be sick here.

Some inconvenient data:

  1. 87% of Canadians beleive our health care system is better than the U.S. (EKOS survey),
  2. +90% happy with quality of care they received,
  3. 100% of Canadians have been covered since 1967 while 50 million U.S. have zero coverage,
  4. zero Canadians have gone bankrupt because of an health care expenses,
  5. zero Canadians have had coverage reduced because of being at a higher risk, and
  6. 10% Canadian GDP on health care (16% in U.S., highest in world).

We have problems, absolutely. Were lots of problems when I was hit by a automobile as a kid in 1968. But I know one Canadian family that was not bankrupted by hospital invoices. I went on to work at Royal Victoria Hospital, St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital and Victoria Hospital as a staff administrator.

Our first question is: How can we help? (not How will you pay?)

Ours is not a 100% government-owned, monolithic system. Many of the elements are privately owned and for-profit. It is wide-ranging but does not cover all health needs.

That said, even the most libertarian politicians know it is political suicide to even hint at tinkering with the founding principles of the Canada Health Act:

  1. administration,
  2. comprehensiveness,
  3. universality,
  4. portability and
  5. accessibility.

The debate, like in franchising, would normally be seen as just plain silly if it weren’t for the toxic effects on families and communities with these thought reform methods.

By its operating software, antithetical to a sustainable physical, spiritual and mental healthy human life. Machines running man.

Similar to many modern corporate technologies.


Blue MauMau returns false First Opinions

August 2, 2009

SecondOpinionBlueMauMauBlue MauMau is like a laboratory that provides knowingly inaccurate readings.

How a problem is framed influences very much the potential treatment and outcome. Humans anchor on a conclusion, often inaccurately and that can be used against them.

The cheapest form of dispute resolution is to plant the seeds of hopelessness early on.

I have tried to provide honest reviews personally, here and at WikiFranchise.org in the last 11 years.

I cannot say the same for Blue MauMau (BMM) anymore.

I was absolutely pleased by the range of and depth of discussion at first on BMM. It seemed to offer real hope for a forum of real change.

Over time, I had a gut feeling that things were not what they appeared. I have contributed less and less over time as my private concerns grew.

I first asked on FranchiseFool, Is Blue MauMau Crooked? in September 2008.

  • Curiously, no one from BMM (let alone Don himself) ever asked me why or attempted any defense.
  • I’ve never been afraid of an open debate and have always returned every BMM telephone call I ever received.
  • I found the BMM lack of interest in WikidFranchise.org to be noteworthy also. Dick Gibson from the Wall Street Journal reviewed it but BMM found it irrelevant?

The purpose of BMM is to confuse and misdirect the real causes of franchise failure.  Some directly (Dale Nabors, Bob Frankman, GBeany) shout down any new ideas on a digital platform while others act as apologists. The “blame the victim” mantra is unimaginative. The false near-religion that “pre-sale due diligence can look forward enough to predict and prevent franchisor opportunism” is an insult to any thinking former franchisee.

At best, the attorneys are silent when directly questioned. All three of them don’t seem to have their heart in it anymore.

BTW: Saying that you cannot earn legal fees in a certain jurisdiciton and are therefore somehow less biased is a moronic argument which is notable for its lack of assurance that: I receive $0 for any views or efforts made associated with BMM. What they offering is not legal opinions at all: a legal relationship (fiduciary duty, solicitor:client) does not and cannot exist because their is no contract between the internet reader and the lawyer.

The result is a thin gruel of half-truths, faulty rhetoric, thought-terminating clichés, and political science, served up to cool out the marks by producing a “hopeless situation“: for both individuals and groups of investors.

In big industry new ideas are invited to rear their heads so they can be clobbered at once. The idea department of a big firm is a sort of lab for isolating dangerous viruses. Marshall McLuhan

Maybe the originator of the phrase global village may know a thing or two about how technology is resisted by a dinosaur industry and the profitable delay by its social media contractors.

It is certainly not the first activity that has been captured by a U.S. $1-trillion industry that defends itself by any means available. But I may be entirely wrong in my conclusion that BMM is a digital house negro.

I am happy to debate anyone, anytime, in any credible forum.

I’ll let you know…


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