I confess, I am new to this whole “prepper” thing. But make no mistake about it – I do recognize bullcrap when I see it.
First things first.
Over the last few months I have committed to taking charge of my own – and my family’s – well-being. No more relying on the government or anyone else for our survival.
What I thought was going to be a fairly easy task turned out to be the uncovering of one of the most unscrupulous companies I have ever come across.
This is how it happened.
As I headed online to research my options for “survival meals”, I ran into a seemingly highly rated company named Food4Patriots, along with several other websites offering similar products.
Between all the available options and the vast array of offerings, I decided to subscribe to everyone’s newsletters.
A few months went by and I was ready to make a move. Time to shop.
I decided to take a closer look at Food4Patriots. Their newsletters had instilled enough fear in me to finally start “prepping”.
So far, so good.
Food4Patriots is part of a larger company, 4Patriots, which has offerings ranging from food to power, to seeds to air and water purifiers.
Food is my main concern, and that’s what they seemed to be strongest in, so I headed back to their Food4Patriots website. All seemed well.
Lastly, I did a quick online search for “Food4Patriots” to make sure all was kosher with this business.
This is where everything started to unravel.
What follows is my experience looking into Food4Patriots, 4Patriots and the rabbit hole I found myself crawling through.
On the very first page of online results for “Food4Patriots”, I ran into an article from early 2014 titled “The Inside Story of The Charlatan Who Duped The Nation’s Top Conservatives”, by Zack Beauchamp.
This is a fine, well-researched piece. It exposes 4Patriots’ shady marketing tactics, the mystery surrounding their pitchman – Frank Bates – and talks about the blatantly erroneous claims the company makes in order to sell their wares.
I visited all the links published in the article – many of which are broken or no longer work.
I didn’t want to make assumptions about a company without seeing what they’re about first-hand, so I decided to purchase their 72-Hour Supply Kit and document my experience.
My intent in writing this piece is not to repeat what was already said by the writer of the aforementioned piece. However, as the article was written over 4 years ago, I more so just want to update it with some findings of my own.
Ordering The Kit
Placing my order was a straightforward process, although the high-pressure sales tactics are ever-present.
After paying for the product, a number of “special offers” follow. You sit through lengthy videos where the pitchwoman, “Danielle”, truly appears concerned about my well-being and my need to purchase more product from them.
Yet, as I declined the purchase of her “special deal” to buy even more of the same product, she got more and more serious about my need to take advantage of their offer.
After declining the first two offers, Danielle began the third video by scolding me with “Look, people die in emergencies”. Basically, buy or die. Wow. A bit harsh, no?
More frustrating is the fact that I couldn’t complete my order unless I endured these three very lengthy upsell videos trying to scare the crap out of me.
I get it. You’re trying to make a sale. But must you put the fear of death in me to make a couple of bucks? We’re already seniors and inching towards heaven – we really don’t need any more reminders of our upcoming meetup with the Grim Reaper.
It turns out preying on seniors is a favorite tactic of 4Patriots, as I’ll explain in further detail later.
Online reviews are a huge reason why people like me purchase products and services in 2018.
With “fake news” everywhere, what’s to stop a company from creating fake reviews? Nothing, I suppose.
I decided to do some digging into the “review world” and my findings are troublesome.
To my surprise, my most trusted source, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) apparently is also a racket and I’ve been fooled all these years.
As reported by ABC, the BBB has been proven to be a “pay-to-play operation” and just about anyone can pay to have a good rating.
I did not see that coming.
4Patriots’ online reviews were nothing short of amazing. Their BBB (Better Business Bureau) page boasts an A-rating with a 4.75/5 on 707 reviews. There were, however, a highly suspicious amount of unverified reviewers spouting off praise and admiration for the company.
Not surprisingly, these reviews fit the “fake review” bill according to a recent report by Highya titled “7 Ways To Spot Fake Reviews”.
4Patriots had more reviews than many well-known national brands, which made it even more suspicious.
Plus, if the blatant manipulation of the BBB review system is part of the 4Patriots business model, is it not fair to assume they have done the same thing with Google and Facebook?
Well, I decided to check it out.
Google had the company with a 4.9 rating based on 262 reviews.
Facebook gave them a 4.2 out of 5 on 192 reviews.
I saw a pattern. And I was not convinced these reviews were real.
Who Is Frank Bates’ Clan?
I’m not going to rehash what was already uncovered by Mr. Beauchamp’s article about Frank Bates.
In short, we know Frank Bates doesn’t exist. He is an imaginary character cooked up by Allen Baler, a former affiliate marketer and peddler of nutritional supplements.
Baler is not hiding that he is a partner in 4Patriots, LLC. He can be seen touting the fact that he is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC on his own website.
Although I wanted to find out more about Baler, I was especially curious about all the cronies associated with him – namely “Danielle” and the deep, eerie sounding voice that narrates the videos put out by Food4Patriots. If the voice isn’t Frank Bates’ (since he doesn’t exist), then who’s voice is it.
My findings pointed me to James F. Arthur III – Baler’s father-in-law. Until recently, James Arthur was a prominent, practicing attorney from Memphis, Tennessee.
For the record, this is just my educated guess. I spoke to a former 4Patriots employee who confirmed this.
I also found a phone number for James F. Arthur and, when I called, the voice on the other end sounded a lot like the notorious Frank Bates.
If Baler has “pops” involved, who else in the family is in on the racket?
Let’s look at “Danielle”, the sweet sounding pitchwoman who practically bullies seniors into buying their products.
A simple search on a background check website pointed me to Paige Oliver Moore, the former roommate of 4Patriots co-founder (and Allen’s wife) Erin Baler. I was able to confirm this through social media images of Ms. Moore.
Hmmm. All of this has got me thinking: what if Erin is the real mastermind behind the 4Patriots empire, voiced by her father and pitched by her former roommate?
Food for thought.
Saving Us From Disaster – Or Creating It?
One of the company’s most heavily advertised products is the “Patriot Power Generator”.
Surprisingly, this product recently went through a major recall.
Even worse, the manufacturer received 13 reports of generator fires. 13 fires!!
Isn’t this a company who claims to be protecting us from disaster?
Oh, the irony, of someone claiming to protect us “patriotic” Americans by selling us faulty products made in China.
It gets even more shameful. I recently received an email from 4Patriots with the subject line “John Died”, which tells the story of how “John” died because of a power outage.
The email is accompanied by a video that begins with the image of a coffin. You read that right: a friggin coffin!
These guys aren’t messing around. They will go to any extent to frighten us.
Here’s a snapshot of how the piece begins:
Ok, they got me scared.
So, what’s 4Patriots solution?
You guessed it: purchase one of their power generators.
Hold on. “John” died because he had no power generator and you want me to buy one of your faulty ones that could set my house on fire??
Long-Lasting Food That Doesn’t Last
From my understanding, one of the things that makes “survival foods” achieve their long shelf life claims is an oxygen content of under 2% in its food pouches.
I had an independent lab analyze 13 of their products for oxygen content.
To my dismay, an alarming 9 out of the 13 products tested had more than the recommended 2% oxygen content per pouch. Yes, fellow preppers, that is a 65% failure rate.
Several of the items had oxygen levels as high as 21%. That’s ten times the ideal levels.
How can I trust my survival to a company whose foods won’t be good when I need them?
No doubt about it: Food4Patriots gets an “F” when it comes to their food offerings.
Preying On Seniors
You know, I really don’t have too much of an issue with companies trying to sell their products using marketing tactics. It seems to be just the way it is these days.
What really gets my blood boiling is when companies prey on seniors, as Mr. Beauchamp’s expose has already pointed out.
And, in my opinion, Food4Patriots does just that.
They tout “Seniors Set To Get NO-COST Survival Food”, as in this article, just for us to find out that we still need to pay $14.95 for shipping and handling.
$14.95 for free food isn’t free. $0 is free.
And then to add insult to injury, we need to sit through three videos of hardcore upsells reminding us how people “die in emergencies”.
Back To His Roots
In life, I believe people tend to revert to what they know and are best at.
As was made public in Mr. Beauchamp’s expose, 4Patriots’ (formerly Reboot Marketing) founder Allen Baler got his start as an affiliate marketer for weight loss products and testosterone boosters.
Well, it seems Baler has come full circle.
He has recently launched Patriot Health Alliance, a company that peddles overpriced bottles of “Patriot Power Greens” and testosterone boosters.
Oh yes, and the company’s pitchman is none other than Jeff Reagan.
Who’s Jeff Reagan, you ask? Jeff is the newest one in Baler’s long list of fake names.
And, if you think this is just my opinion, 4Patriots own website confesses that Jeff Reagan and Frank Bates are fake names.
Who’s The Real Patriot?
While investigating this company, I often ran into another company of a very similar name: My Patriot Supply. Could they all be related? I had to find out.
According to Mr. Beauchamps article, 4Patriots used to purchase products from My Patriot Supply.
I still did my own research.
According to the US Trademark and Patent office records, My Patriot Supply was founded before 4Patriots and Food4Patriots, and they are not related.
Seems to me that 4Patriots chose to brand themselves as closely as possible to their former supplier to potentially trick customers into thinking that they are actually the same company.
To make it even more confusing, I then discovered U.S. Patriot Tactical and Patriot Prepared; both also companies in the survival industry.
When I reached out to all of the above similarly-named companies, all insisted they had no affiliation with 4Patriots.
Upon further investigation on my end, I can confirm that none of them are related to 4Patriots or Food4Patriots.
Overall, I’m shocked – and saddened – by my findings. As a true patriot, I choose to trust those who claim to be looking out for us red-blooded Americans.
What really irks me is how they use our fear of death to push their products. It’s unnecessary. It’s low.
4Patriots and Food4Patriots seem to be a scam run by a sleazy internet marketer who stumbled upon a clever business idea.
My hope is that others become aware of 4Patriots and Food4Patriots and make their own purchase decisions based on what I believe is the truth about this company.
You do have options, fellow “preppers”. Don’t be fooled by scammy and predatory tactics such as the ones used by 4Patriots and Food4Patriots.
Share this article and let’s put a stop to these fraudsters.
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