Sultan Yusuf Ahmed Salah of Somalia recently posted a YouTube video in which he claims that Young Essential Oils Founder Gary Young visited Somalia to test resins from their rare Frankincense trees and write about his journey. According to Salah, Young promised to provide charitable donations to establish health clinics and money to train teachers.
Young Living Farms’ legal department then contacted YouTube to request removal of the video because it contained copyrighted materials and false information to defame Young’s character. YouTube then removed the video. After the video was removed, Utah Stories was contacted by two independent essential oils specialists telling us that Young Living Farms is trying to silence the truth of what Gary Young did when he visited Somalia.
Was Sultan Yusuf Ahmed Salah indeed mislead and lied to by Gary Young? Or is Salah himself an extortionist, as Young Living Farms claims?
Salah says that Young claimed to be a medical doctor and philanthropist, and that he wanted to donate money to help the locals build clinics and train teachers. According to Salah, the money was never sent. Instead, Salah’s photos were used in highly fictionalized accounts of the events which occurred in Young Living Farms’ newsletter called Essential Edge to promote Young’s successful, yet very dangerous Frankincense collection trip to Somalia.
The photos, used in a four-part series on Young’s Somalia trip, depict Salah as a friend and protector of Young. Young writes in his newsletter that Sultan Yusuf Ahmed Salah showed up to the airport to ensure his safety. According to Salah, Young came to his village without proper notice and began asking for photos and misleading Salah and his people with promises. Salah stated he was most offended by how Gary Young demonstrated the “danger” of his journey by posing with Salah’s men and their guns.
Certainly this story is more detailed than what we are able to present in this article.
Later in the day,Young Essential Oils’ Marketing and Legal Team spoke to Utah Stories off the record.
Utah Stories was scheduled to meet with Young Living’s PR and legal team at their Lehi headquarters yesterday morning. But they cancelled the meeting because we were unable to provide all questions beforehand. Prior to the meeting, Utah Stories requested electronic copies of the newsletters which have Young’s account of the story in order to ask the best journalistic questions. They have not provided the materials as requested.
We are simply seeking Young’s side of the story. Young has a history of at the very least stretching the truth. Young has consistently made claims that his oils can cure illnesses and diseases which have not been scientifically proven, including reversing infertility. Young has been convicted of practicing medicine without a license.
Still Utah Stories supports the essential oils for helping with stress relief, anxiety and muscle pain. The Utah-based Young Living Farms is a world-wide business with seven farms. They employ 1,000 people. But the facts of Young Living Farms’ success do not forgive lies or misleading practices.
Utah Stories was able to find Young Living’s Essential Edge stories online and have provided Young Living Farms our questions. They have not yet responded to our e-mails except to make the following statement:
“Young Living maintains an ongoing commitment to inspire and support communities in need worldwide. Our customers, members, and employees, all share in this passionate dedication led by our Founder and CEO D. Gary Young. His experiences in becoming the world’s leading authority on the therapeutic value of essential oils were shaped through selfless service to others. Young Living continues to create opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people globally.”
Young Living says they will answer our questions via e-mail. We will present their answers in a follow-up story. We have inquired to speak with Gary Young so he may provide his side of the story, offering an unedited 10-minute video Q and A.
See the video on Sultan Yusuf Ahmed Salah. We will see if YouTube allows the video to remain up this time.
Utah Stories wrote a previous story on Young Living Farms in 2012.
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