Friday, April 29, 2011

NAPW Now Claims Defamation

Defamation? Really? Since when has telling the truth been deemed defamation?

Almost three years ago the NAPW called me and successfully lured me into a paid membership with their ego-stroking telemarketing canned script crap. This happened just days after they slyly captured my direct contact information via a return postage paid direct mail card that claimed I was entitled to a free membership. While they were successful at ripping me off, I too was successful at getting my money back. And that was no easy feat, let me tell you. So I blogged about it… I blogged about it, because the primary focus of my business is to help female entrepreneurs succeed. What else could I do? The NAPW preys specifically on female entrepreneurs. I had no choice but to put my experience out there for the world to see so others would not fall victim. Well, clearly the world has seen, and clearly so has the NAPW. The comments from my August 2008 post Watch out for Scams Attacking New Business Owners are a testament to that. For those of you who fell prey to the scam as I did, I am so sorry, and for those of you who either read my blog or knew better and stayed away – good for you. I salute you!

Now, almost three years later I have received a certified letter from NAPW’s legal counsel politely asking me to take down my blog post. The letter also politely stated this was a request not a threat. The letter then concludes by telling me how most courts in the U.S. would see my act as defamation… Hmmm… was that a threat? You want me to pull my post down? I don’t think so. I am so happy that my words have helped others… That was the point, and I feel really good about it.

So I did what any smart business owner would do… I sent the letter to my legal counsel. Here is what she had to say…

…The ultimate defense to any defamation claim (libel - is written, slander - is spoken) - the blog would go under libel - is "truth is a defense" - if everything you said is true then they have no claim and cannot prevent your freedom of speech. If you like, tell the attorney that sent you this letter to call me. (I will give him/her a piece of my mind as well). I would be happy to do this for you, no charge. I think your blog is fine. Tell the attorney that you spoke with your legal counsel, and invite them to call me, that their harassing letters will not be tolerated by you. Your blog contains truthful statements, which is legal. NAPW has no action or right to harass you. In fact, you could turn around and report them to the attorney general's office if the harassment continues.

The lesson here is to do your research. If you come across an offer or service of any kind that is something you never heard of before, do yourself a favor - take five minutes and harness the power of the Internet. It’s now the first thing I do. Unfortunately for me, I had to learn this the hard way – I’m hoping that you will not.

To view the letter, visit: