dōTERRA Breaks Its Silence on Charges Made by Young Living

President and CEO, David Stirling, responds to accusations made against dōTERRA

It has always been the policy of dōTERRA® to essentially let charges and accusations against us to go unanswered.  Since our founding, a great many things have been said without a word of response from the company.  Over time, there has been no let-up from those who would malign dōTERRA® and its leaders; and since it has been of such a duration, and has created and cultivated so much anger and resentment among Young Living people, David Stirling, President and CEO of dōTERRA International, LLC, has decided to speak out.

We simply cannot allow the continued disparagement of our company and its leaders to go unanswered.  Tell a lie long enough and loud enough, and pretty soon, it’s taken as truth.  We previously requested moderators of internet groups to post this response to unfair statements made regarding dōTERRA®, but they have made it clear they have no intention to do so.  The following is a response from David Stirling to those ongoing negative and false statements.

David Stirling, President and CEO of doTERRA
David Stirling, President and CEO dōTERRA International LLC

August 31, 2010

dōTERRA® Breaks the Silence

Call it weakness if you wish, but for some reason the rhetoric expressed in recent email exchanges (especially by some who I feel know better) has hit a chord in me.  So, I’m going to break a three year silence and respond, in part, to the more serious allegations.  This response will not be sufficient for those most loyal to Gary Young and his mission, nor for those most loyal to the distributorships they have worked so hard to build ….  But, for those desiring a clearer perspective, I hope this may serve in your search for understanding.

As the Chairman of YL’s Executive Committee and its lead manager for four years, there is, of course, much information and knowledge to which I am privy.  I have no desire to damage YL in any way or to say anything that might be embarrassing to anyone there.  Life is too short to stir up those sort of emotions.  As one of the executives on the YL team used to say concerning people’s reputations (a man for whom I still have a lot of respect), “It is an awfully thin pancake that has only one side.”  We have allowed others to define us for the past two years, with information that has often been unkind and unfair.  While I suppose all of us may be guilty of trying to share things in a way that will put us in the best light, my hope and desire here is to simply share some of the other side of the story in a straightforward, simple, and personal manner.

First, for my part, I did not leave YL to start a competing essential oil company.  In fact, the thought had never occurred to me.  My entire heart and soul were with YL and its distributors, and I had no other desire than for the success of the company and those distributors who were working so hard to help make that success happen.  Two months before I was fired, I went down to Ecuador to meet with the owners for a few days.  Certain views and ideology were shared with me, with the desire they be integrated as a part of the company’s mission, going forward.  Some of these were contrary to what I felt I could support or even be associated with, to which I expressed my concerns.  I knew as I left that my time with YL would be short, and it was.  Not long after my departure from YL, a few former YL associates, including myself, Dr. David Hill, Emily Wright and Greg Cook, came together and discussed the need the world has for a better way of sharing essential oil [wellness].  I will only say that we all felt strongly that it was the right thing to do, and were compelled to move forward.

We believed that if we could provide a new standard for pure essential oils, and educate people unfamiliar with natural [wellness products], we could disperse some of the enmity existing between the [different wellness modalities].  Unfortunately, assertions have been made that we (the founders) stole formulas or other proprietary information when leaving YL.  I have also heard claims from some that dōTERRA® supplies inferior oils or dilutes or extends them with some sort of carrier.  Of course, the fastest way to resolve this question is to simply remove the cap and try them.  Frankly, we were confident that through the use of real research, combined with experience, we could equal or improve on any formulation.  Having said that, I would like to state very clearly that there were never any formulas copied or used in any way from YL.  Nor was there anything ever done in our departure that could be seen as illegal or dishonest.  We value our personal integrity far beyond any success or advantage that might be achieved by such actions.  All of our formulas are original; and, we believe, improved.

While we had many YL distributor friends who likely would have joined dōTERRA® in our early days, we were very careful to not approach them.  Nor were we then, or are we now, in possession of any distributor lists.  That would be illegal.  I am proud to say that almost all of our leaders who built dōTERRA® in the first two years were new to essential oils, and did what they did because they discovered the power of the oils and that they work in an almost miraculous manner.

The part of the email that was primary in spurring my response today, painted dōTERRA‘s founders as a bunch of hustling salesmen, caring little about the oils, in it only for themselves.  This is so far from the truth that I’m tempted to go through person by person just to share their backgrounds, credentials and wide respect with which they are held in their professions and communities.  I myself have nine children, and we are heavy users of the essential oils.  In fact, my wife and I owe a deep debt to dōTERRA‘s frankincense oil, which played an important role in … in our youngest child [life], when nothing else seemed to work.

When the dōTERRA® management was forming, two things were of greatest importance.

  1. The members of the team had to be completely trustworthy and honest.
  2. They had to be the best at their job, in terms of skill and judgment.

When these two things are in place, you can move very fast, as it is no longer necessary to “check” someone’s work or worry that their intentions may be less than completely honest.  When we decided to go forward with dōTERRA®, funding immediately became a front and center issue.  There was no shortage of people/groups willing to support our endeavor; but, because we felt the need to preserve the integrity of dōTERRA‘s mission and the essential oils, in the end, we decided to see if we could fund it ourselves.  This resulted in the founders leveraging every bit of equity they had in their homes or any other asset.  It also meant that they received no income from dōTERRA® for the first 13 months, and far less than they were accustomed to earning after that!  For all, this was a significant sacrifice, and for some, it represented a very real trial of faith.  Something like this is unheard of in today’s business environment.  It served to forge a united team that is 100% committed to the purpose for which dōTERRA® was formed.  It is also something which gives me a tremendous sense of pride for this team.

If you were to visit dōTERRA‘s headquarters in Orem Utah, you would experience an environment of high energy, love and respect, with a sense that employees really love doing what they’re doing.  We have a great time, because we love and respect the people with whom we are doing this.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

In starting dōTERRA®, there was nothing more important to us than the purity and [therapeutic] quality of our oils.  This is the primary reason for our success thus far, and simply will not be compromised in any way.  Of course we know the primary brokers that YL and others obtain their oils from.  We have chosen to use none of them, and likely never will.  Our oils are sourced from all over the world.  We pay more (some significantly so) because we require a higher grade.  dōTERRA® also puts our oils through an unequaled quality assurance process, ensuring [therapeutic] grade as well as their being free from other contaminants.  Please know that there is absolutely nothing more important to us than the quality of our oils, without which the expected results simply cannot be obtained.

Again, my desire in writing this is not to paint YL or any other EO company in a poor light.  I would be the first to acknowledge and give credit to Gary Young for his role in introducing the U.S. to the [serious] use of essential oils over the last 15 years.  There have been others, as well, like Pénoël, Schnaubelt and Tisserand.  I would also include Dr David Stuart and Dr David Hill, who have worked tirelessly in this effort and are tremendous educators.

Perhaps an important point to make, is that dōTERRA® is not about a single person’s mission or story.  The essential oils have a mission of their own that is larger than any man or individual.  We see dōTERRA® as being something of a steward in helping to bring about the mission the essential oils have in doing good for the peoples of this earth.  You will not see any executive member of dōTERRA® emerge as an iconic figure.  When it comes to dōTERRA®, you will also never see any improper or overt references to deity or faith healing from the stage.  Please do not misunderstand.  Each member of our team has a deep and abiding faith in God which, like many of you, influences everything that they do.  We are simply committed to sharing the oils in a manner that can be understood and accepted by your typical mainstream (western [healthcare] raised) person.

dōTERRA‘s mission is not to compete with or try to destroy other essential oil companies.  Our vision is to become a very large multinational company, partnering with hospitals and research universities all over the world.  These efforts are already well underway, with offices opened in Taiwan and the United Kingdom.  There are also significant efforts, and exciting progress, happening in Australia, Japan and Latin America.  It is so gratifying to see many distributors finding great success, some of whom have worked hard in other companies with only marginal results.  In fact, last month dōTERRA® broke five new Diamonds alone, bringing the total to 12 so far this year!  dōTERRA® is growing at unprecedented rates, largely because the world is ready for a company focused on its mission of a mainstream approach to essential oils.  I do not mean to sound overly confident or presumptuous, but our expectations and plans are for dōTERRA® to continue to double in size every 3 to 4 months.  Our 25,000 distributors are part of this mission to bring about a wellness revolution, bringing essential oils out of relative obscurity and onto the world stage, for the purpose of benefiting more people than could otherwise be achieved.

In conclusion, I hope that we can always be respectful of one another’s businesses, products and reputations.  If a Gary Young or another EO leader has made a difference in your life and you feel a loyalty to them, then please do not change that.  Relationships take time to build and can be lost in a moment.  When such relationships are mutually edifying, they are worthy of our efforts and should not be sacrificed.

I apologize for the length of this response.  My hope is simply to provide some information that might serve to soften some hearts and perhaps even change some opinions out there regarding dōTERRA®.  I will now return to my relatively quiet position on these issues and allow people to form whatever opinions they may.

David Stirling
President and CEO
dōTERRA International LLC



It should also be noted here that Young Living filed a lawsuit against dōTERRA®, making all of the same charges against dōTERRA® and its officers.  In the process, I was called in to give a deposition.  I was grilled for four-to-five hours, rather intensely.  But, I could tell, by the time it was over, that there just wasn’t a case to be made against either dōTERRA® or its officers. 

In the end, the judge finally agreed, totally dismissing the case.