When I do a Google search on Young Living & Gary Young, there are some pretty nasty rumors floating around. How can I know what to believe?

As with any world-renowned person, mixed rumors abound. Gary Young has been defamed over the years any number of far-fetched and malicious ways, and even referred to as "crazy" by some. With that in mind... Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was once quoted as saying: “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules…You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” The truth of the matter? SIMPLY LOOK AT THE FRUIT: Gary Young created a culture and ethos of wellness and empowerment that has lasted for decades—and it will last for decades more. His generous & selfless heart was apparent in everthing he did. MILLIONS of people (including myself) have benefitted in unnumerable ways from his bold, fearless and pioneering spirit, and are profoundly grateful for the countless sacrifices he made and the opposition and scorn he endured to make that all possible. I personally don't govern my life by lending an ear to the "haters" who will always be there if one goes looking for them. Seriously—what fruit has THAT ever brought anyone...? Detractors (including some competitors) have, and will continue to, attack on all sides because they know that they are shadows of what Young Living is and what they stand for. They know that they simply can’t compete with Young Living's original, authentic and rich narrative... so they attack the source of that narrative: Gary Young. But the fact remains that they will never succeed in robbing Gary & Young Living's virtue and legacy as the originator and leader of the essential oil movement. Period.

Aren't Essential Oils a dangerous New Age trap?

Let’s just get this out on the table, shall we? Because, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, there are good Christians who hold this sentiment, and will steer clear of any use or incorporation of essential oils ( yes, I’ve encountered a few of them). ​Years ago, towards the beginning of my oily journey, a well-meaning friend of our family came over for a visit. Upon learning that I was actively using essential oils as an integral part of my wellness regimen, he was quick to give a stern warning that these oils were “New Age” and should be promptly discarded. This took me aback. Not that this was an opinion that I wasn't entirely unfamiliar with—I had just recently happened to have come across a posting by a popular Catholic speaker who gave her rather scathing opinion on the subject of essential oils, and even Young Living oils at that. She and other zealots like her have done a great disservice to Christendom with her extremely mis-appropriated and over-blown conclusions, even going so far as to recommend in a recent posting that we trust "science" (pharma meds) over these "unproven" oils! Clearly, is it quite apparent that she has both tragically forgotten our long-standing roots and failed to do her homework in the abundantly-proven science—but that the REAL enemy has not only been gravely over-looked, but even promoted here! Yikes. Now, for the sake of clear analogy, let me ask you this honest question…
ARE PUMPKINS EVIL? ​​Let me re-phrase that: If some people make ghoulish Jack-O-Lanterns out of pumpkins, are we, then, to reject or even condemn PUMPKINS altogether…? ​​Of course not. To do so would be to sorely overlook the created purpose of the humble pumpkin, which is to not only add beauty to our lives, but to nourish and sustain us. So, too, with essential oils. I believe more firmly than ever, that they were given to us by our loving Creator as a means to fortify, nourish, and heal us. Has this gift been exploited and twisted from its original purpose at times? Absolutely. Various forms of secular "meditation"; Yoga & Reiki masters and the like have all latched onto essential oil use like there's no tomorrow. But as Christians, we cannot be so naive as to think that the master counterfeiter wouldn’t take something so profoundly beneficial to mankind and not attempt to re-make it into his own image; hi-jacking what is God-given, and attaching pagan terminology & practices to it... twisting just enough to distort. An age-old, predictable tactic. So there is NO cause to recoil from essential oils—God’s raw creation—in fear and suspicion. As a discerning daughter of Christ, brothers & sisters, I fervently choose to RECLAIM what is rightfully ours and push BACK—rather than retreat! REGARDING YOUNG LIVING IN PARTICULAR... Let's talk about the founder and his motives for starters. Gary Young, a fellow Christian, had an unapologetic heart for God and accepted all people right where they were at. I've watched him speak at conferences where he never withheld from boldly giving credit to the Creator, and it was very evident in his speech and actions that he fervently sought to restore to modern man this part of God's creation. Gary's boldness was both inspiring and humbling, as it reflected back to me how I so often could be more bold in my public witness of my Faith. As a matter of fact, Gary openly shared that when he was at his absolute worst in the utter hopelessness of being told he would never walk again following his logging accident in his mid-twenties, he cried out: "God, if you give me back my legs, I will spend the rest of my life serving Your children!" I believe the Lord took him at his word, and poured out graces upon graces on Gary that allowed him to then push past impossible boundaries in both his recovery of his health, and in working to restore essential oils to their rightful place for the profound benefit of mankind. All this said, does Young Living as a company at times incorporate some "gobbeldy-gook" terminology into some of their marketing? Yes, unfortunately, they have. I certainly have not turned a blind eye to this. But neither do I feel threatened by it either. While severe restrictions (in regards to making any sort of health claims in their product descriptions) imposed by the FDA often leave little else than weak, "feel-good" terminology, I do feel that at times Young Living's marketing teams have crossed the line into psuedo-spiritual language that is entirely unnecessary (and quite distasteful to me as a Christian). But of course it is not surprising, since that is the climate of this world today. It really is everywhere... many people's "normal-speak". SO, WHAT SHOULD THE PROPER RESPONSE BE, THEN? Rather than being reactive, I choose to be proactive. I am certainly not a victim, and neither should you be! In addition to praying and reclaiming this realm for God's glory, along with other influencing & faith-filled leaders, I am working very hard to lobby for their marketing team to ditch the dumb language, and just stick to the tried-and-true science of these unparalleled oils, which stand perfectly well enough on their own. My voice may be small, but it's still a voice, and I'm going to use it to make whatever difference I can, rather than grumble behind the scenes which never ever changes anything. Please pray for us, that we will succeed in this regard! I personally believe that this has done a great disservice to Gary's mission and primary vision, which was to get these powerfully healing oils into every home across the globe, all the while openly giving God the credit for His inspiration and guidance. I refuse to behave like a victim in the face of the cunning tactics of the enemy: I will neither participate in his games by dabbling in ANY practises to do with the New Age, and also, just as resolutley, I WILL NOT go flailing in the opposite direction at the mere hint of questionable wording or the practises of others (of which I have no control over, nor should I expect to) that doesn't suit my spiritual tastes. Oh yes, there are most certainly those who maintain resolutely that they will NOT use essential oils from a company unless it is completley squeaky-clean in this regard, I am well aware! ​Even going so far as to declare witchcraft involvement and outrageously referring to some blends as "potions" because of some poor wording choices... as if Young Living's oils are conjured up in a cauldron, or Shamans are hiding behind the distillers casting their spells or some foolish thing! Ask the millions upon millions of members who have visited the many global Young Living farms over the last 25 years if they've ever seen anything but pure, squeaky-clean science and good, wholesome farming practices being executed on any given day on any given farm, thanks to Young Living's transparent open-door policy. BUT... ISN'T AN OILS COMPANY DECLARING ITSELF "CHRISTIAN" A GUARANTEE OF SAFER PRODUCTS, THOUGH...? Interestingly, an aquaintance of ours sent an email recently telling us that she has chosen, rather, a certain (apparently) much better Christian company with "superior" products as her preferred essential oils source. Being the truth-seeker that I am, I decided to do some further digging into this company she mentioned... and it didn't take more than two exchanges with the sole-proprietor (as in NO other employees), asking friendly but pointed questions, to discover that she has never actually stepped foot on even ONE of the handful of farms that she directly sources her oils from. Furthermore, the majority of the rest of her broad array of oils are actually obtained through middlemen distributors who sell "bulk" oils from all over kingdom come... hardly a standard for quality control! I could go on a serious tangent about the highly questionable calibre of these "top notch" oils of hers (oh, don't get me started!)... but do you know where our rather amicable conversation came to an abupt end? When I asked her if she could guarantee that the oils she obtained were completely free and clear of any spirtual tampering or interference along the supply chain enroute to her. She completely dropped me like a hot potato. ​Why is that? Because she knew that she couldn't even remotely answer that very important question to my satisfaction! Christian company name, bottle labels and all... the stark (and rather tragic) truth is that she is actually in a FAR more precarious position of supplying oils to the public that have the potential for highly questionable purity in both physical form AND potential spiritual residue than a long-standing, fully transparent company like Young Living. With no control over the operations or the standards of the farms her oils come from (with certainly no open-door policy), there is no accountabliity in any part of the process of the making of oils she buys. Which, incidentally, is how the VAST majority of essential oils are sourced today when oil companies don't own or closely govern the farms they get their oils from. So my primary point is this, friends: EVERYTHING we consume or utilizie that originates from outside our realm of influence (which applies to all of us, unless we live in a cave) has the potential to not be "squeaky clean"... or to be more blunt, spritually contaminated from somewhere along the supply chain enroute to us. THAT IS FACT. IN CLOSING... MY FINAL QUESTION FOR YOU: Do you have total assurance that even the grapes you consumed for lunch yesterday weren't cursed over by some foul-mouthed labourer in the vineyard...? (Or how about the iPhone you're holding, or the desktop computer you're reading this page on, for that matter...?) No, of course not. THAT'S WHY WE FAITHFULLY BLESS OUR FOOD BEFORE CONSUMING IT! We have the authority, in Christ, to take all things captive in His name. So if we do it with our food, for heaven's sake, we can also do it with our treasured essential oils! _______________________ For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is
received with thanksgiving,
for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4-5) _______________________ So... thank the Lord for your oils, pray over them if you feel you must (of course that can never hurt!)—and get on with using these good and holy gifts from Him! FINAL NOTE: Click HERE to read a thought-provoking letter from some of our faith-filled Young Living leaders on this subject.

If Young Living is a multi-level marketing company, isn't this an illegal pyramid scheme?

(A direct excerpt from Jen O'Sullivan's site, ©2017 ) Some people may be turned off by direct sales companies, or MLMs. I find that people who have issues with direct sales companies have typically had a bad experience with one in the past. I’ve never had that issue. I’ve gone to Norwex® parties, purchased great items for major health benefits from GIA Wellness®, and I've used Juice Plus+®, as well as other amazing products that you can only get through a direct sales representative. To me, it’s all about education and customer service. When I go to Target® to buy a pair of leggings, I pay “big industry” and don’t experience great customer service. When I go to a clothing party at one of my friend’s homes and buy a pair of leggings, I’m directly affecting and blessing the life of an individual family, plus I get great customer service and an awesome pair of leggings. Truthfully, I wish I were able to purchase everything from direct sales reps. Young Living is not a traditional MLM or Multi-Level Marketing Company. While they do employ levels of commission, they are not marketing in the multi-level fashion. They are a Direct Sales Network Marketing company. An MLM mean the reps are encouraged to find business people and not customers. They focus on getting others under them to sell the product. In an MLM you usually have to stock product which can be a terrible obligation and weight to bear on your shoulders. Also, you usually have to sign up for autoship to be a customer and are locked in. Additionally, if you want to cancel your autoship, you effectively cancel your membership. Many times you have to write a letter to cancel otherwise, sorry, you will get shipped more product. {Not so with Young Living—customers only have to make one order a year to keep their membership active; they are not obligated to purchase any more than this if they so choose} Young Living encourages it's reps to lead with the product and educate their customers. As I said, I wish I could buy more products from direct sales, hard working men and women, rather than pay big corporations my hard earned dollar. ​​Consider how a traditional corporation markets their products. Take L'Oreal for instance. Based on the "Business Insider" article by Lara O'Reilly on June 6, 2015, L'Oreal spent 2.2 BILLION dollars in advertising in 2014, and that was down from the year before. Young Living, because they have their direct sales distributors spread the word for them spend hardly any on advertising, although I've seen local farm advertising and the occasional social media ad, plus I know they have a few celebrity advocates but nothing close to the amount spent by typical corporations in the personal care industry. But get this: The profit margins are close to the same. Most companies, to be solid and make a profit without going under, need to keep their expenses (advertising, human resources, real estate, etc) to around the 50% mark. Products are always marked up by 50 if not 75% or 100% more. Your hair shampoo from Target costs you $7. Target takes $3.50 of that. L'Oreal profits only $2.75 because the rest goes to marketing and overhead costs. The product itself only costs under $1 to make. What gives? ADVERTISING. With a product like Young Living, they pay families rather than big business. 50% of all their profit goes right back into the distributors' hands. It is amazing really when you start understanding that every single company on the planet is a "pyramid" {—especially large corporations, where the vast majority of hardworking employees have no hope of significant advancement in rank or pay}. THE DIFFERENCE WITH DIRECT SALES: there is no one holding you back and you can work your way right on past all the top executives in the company. You can even out-rank your own upline—so much for it being a "pyramid"! Incidentally, all of Young Living's top ranking distributors make far more than the company's main CEOs. That's amazing! So, next time you poo poo a Direct Sales person, consider where you would like to put your money. It really does matter and, yes, you may have been influenced into thinking the opposite. Big Business has a way of lobbying in their favor. As a final note, both President Donald Trump and Warren Buffett have said if they ever lost all their money they would start over in Direct Sales. Take that to the bank!

As a Christian, though, how do I safely navigate this world of essential oils?

While many companies and individuals have certainly twisted and drawn essential oils into many New Age practices, the oils are, in and of themselves, perfectly natural and acceptable for Christians to use to enhance wellness, support mood & behavior, and also to enhance both personal & family prayer. Not only are the chemical constituents in essential oils helpful in stimulating certain calming and focusing outcomes, but helping to associate prayer with lovely, fragrant aroma helps us to train our minds and bodies to turn to prayer more readily. As a faithful Catholic myself, I am extremely passionate about taking back God's creation, and using it for it's rightful purpose. Nothing more, nothing less. A CHRISTIAN HISTORY OF OILS Not only are essential oils natural God-given gifts from the earth, but they are also deeply-rooted in Scripture and tradition. The history of oils is rich and beautiful in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Dating back to biblical stories and God’s request for plants, oils, incense and aromas to be used for worship... to the tradition of St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Hildegard, to the power of the sacramental chrism—oils are not something that Catholics should be wary about in the least. Biblical references to aromatic gum, balms, spices, precious ointments, perfume, incense and anointing oils abound. Myrrh, Frankincense, Cinnamon, Aloe, Cassia, Cedar, Cypress, Juniper, Fir, Myrtle, Spikenard, Hyssp, Galbanum, Labdanum and others are mentioned by name. Anointing oils are yet another class of oils that would have carried a unique significance due to the particular way in which they were mixed and the purpose for which they were used. These were fragrant, oil perfumes which were sometimes a combination of olive oil with herbs, spices or resins and sometimes referenced as pure, genuine, un-mixed, liquid oil. A large body of the Biblical references that refer to oil do so in the form of olive oil which was a critical provision for life at that time. Aromatic oils, ointments, or healing oils—which today take the form of essential oils—would have been olive oil (or another fatty carrier) infused or blended with crushed plant material. ESSENTIAL OILS & ANNOINTING OILS... IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? TO BE CLEAR: However rich and beautiful the tradition of the Church is in anointing oils, essential oils are not anointing oils in and of themselves. Essential oils are created primarily for therapeutic use, and can be also used to enrich your prayer times just as statues, pictures and icons can help to do. That said, there is a right way to go about utilizing your oils for properly-ordered spiritual purposes. You are certainly free to consult a solidly-formed Catholic priest about whether or not he would be open to blessing oils for you to use to anoint your loved ones... just as he would with turning simple tap water into Holy Water. WHAT ABOUT BLESSING YOUR OILS BEFORE USING THEM? First... can you confirm, with utter certaintly that your store-bought (or even organically-sourced) food is exempt of the possibility of any not-so-great spiritual residue? In other words... can you guarantee that the farmer or labourer didn't utter curses while tending to it in the fields, harvesting it, boxing it up, or shipping it out? Of course not. As Christians, we know that blessing our food before consuming it is just spiritually prudent. So... why not extend that prayer of blessing to the essential oils we use? It just makes sense—and certainly can't hurt. OUR RESPONSIBLITY God desires that we use the gifts and talents He has given to make our lives richer and to glorify Him through them. Thus, to draw upon the oils of plants, trees, bark, flowers, etc., and to incorporate them into our lives is the kind of "dance" with creation God intended. We do this regularly in the Catholic tradition with other forms of nature… making beautiful bouquets of flowers, iconography, offering incense, etc. All this said, it is imperative that we are responsible, prudent, and properly educated as to what is acceptible in light of our Christian faith for how to incorporate essential oils into our daily lives in healthy and spiritually life-giving ways. IN CONCLUSION Truly, what a gift He has given us! As with any precious gift, let us do our part to safeguard and protect it for it's rightful purpose, brothers & sisters! As for myself, I will continue to help educate others in healthy use of essential oils, both in body and spirit, and I invite you to join me in this mission to take back God's creation, to use as He intended. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Genesis 9:3) _____________________________ Through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2)