Guardian Liberty Voice Important Info for Writers

March 26, 2015 at 11:57 pm (Rants) (, , )

Are you a new writer considering writing for Guardian Liberty Voice? If so, this article will be extremely useful to you. First, the most important thing you must do is to Google the phrase Guardian Liberty Voice. After doing so, you will run across a boatload of information including blogs, articles and even full length feature stories about how this company is a scam, and how its owner, DiMarkco Chandler, cheats and abuses writers. When reviewing this information, it is important to remember that where there is smoke, there is fire.

My personal story is that I joined the company in 2013. I realized early success with a few articles, and all seemed well. Chandler told me that the company was currently worth $27 million, and that I would receive equity ownership after six months of satisfactory work experience. I became an editor and started placing other writers underneath me as per his recruitment program which is similar to a multi-level marketing scheme. I did eventually sign a contract to receive 1% equity in the company, and I was promised that I would receive quarterly equity payments worth that amount.

I also signed a contract that stated I would provide about one article per business day. Soon, though, Chandler started putting a lot of pressure on me to work ever-increasing hours, and to work on weekends. He would call me in the middle of the night yelling about one thing or another, and was outright abusive on numerous occasions, name calling and demeaning me. One day, he called me and doubled the amount of articles he demanded I provide in order to keep my commission. He also had stated that I would begin making commission off the writers under me as soon as I recruited them. However, he also changed his mind on that, and decided that I would not start making any money off of them until approximately a month later, because he wanted to use that money to pay the trainers in “boot camp” (his training program for new writers) instead of me, the recruiter.

The real trouble began when I noticed that my writers were not getting paid. In fact, when I first joined the paper, there was no payroll system in place. This should have thrown up a red flag that Chandler had no intention of paying many of the people who were giving him content. As it turns out, I had to consistently fight to get my writers paid, and pay was always late. During this time, Chandler began piling more and more work on me and on everyone who worked there. He demanded we hold endless meetings with our teams each week, and that we attend multiple daily meetings. He would threaten to withdraw the “equity ownership” if we did not comply. He then insisted that the editors work a full eight hour shift once a week, that we take over writing all the contracts for the writers, and that we fill out reams and reams of paperwork for each writer. The meetings, forms and overall workload became impossible to handle. There were editors there working 22 hours per day, every day, all under the guise of getting this so-called “equity ownership.”

One of DiMarkco Chandler’s favorite things to do was to pit people against each other and then watch them fight. He achieved this by telling one person that they were in charge of everything, and then turning around and telling another person the same thing. This resulted in absolute chaos, and outright hatred, of the senior editors, for one another. There was a lot of yelling at meetings over who was the boss of what. In the meantime, our writing time was being stolen by the endless meetings and phone calls to resolve the issue of who had control of what department.

Part of his master manipulation tactics included traditional abuse techniques such as building a person up, then tearing them down with screaming and degradation. This happened over and over. He would tell someone they were “the most important person in the company,” and then do something such as remove their access to different sections of the site. Once, I went on vacation for three days, and when I returned, several of my articles had been removed from the site for bulls*** reasons, although I had been told I was the “most senior executive” right under him. Attempts to meet with him about the issue failed as he consistently made up excuse after excuse about why he could not show up on Skype at the appointed time. I see now that this was all part of his tactic to degrade and destroy the person in order to try to further control them as they sought to get back into his good graces.

As more and more people became disgusted with the treatment they received at the Guardian Liberty Voice, they began flocking online to tell their stories. This led to a lengthy expose written by blogger Carol Tice in which she interviewed ten previous writers, some of whom had not been paid. As the company’s online reputation continued to deteriorate, I was repeatedly called upon to defend it, to continue to produce more and more content and to do more and more work. Since my articles were actually doing well, it was difficult to see the total picture of what was happening.

One day, DiMarkco called me up and told me that he had changed his mind about paying out equity. This, by the way, was the equity that had caused everyone there to work for pennies. The promise of a big cash payout caused people to essentially work for free in hopes of one day seeing actual money. Most of the writers there never received a dime for the work they did, because he would make them wait 50 days to receive the first payout, and by that time, they had either been fired or left on their own. What he failed to tell us in the beginning was that he was using black hat SEO techniques to try to trick the Google search engines into indexing our articles in high positions. This would work some of the time, but not all of time, resulting in most people never seeing any success.

He calls his black hat SEO techniques “universal SEO theory.” However, anyone who knows anything about SEO knows that there is no such thing as “universal SEO theory” because Google is constantly changing its algorithms. Unfortunately, my own ignorance of how search engines work caused me to fall for his tricks. I actually thought that the way he instructed writers to write for SEO is what Google wanted. Now I know that it is actually what Google frowns upon and in fact penalizes.

Chandler’s black hat SEO techniques and overuse of ads on the site eventually caused Guardian Liberty Voice to lose about 90% of its traffic, which meant that all the writers stopped making money, period, including myself. Google caught on to his tactics and they penalized the site. The site went from having massive traffic to having barely anyone visit. This financially devastated me, and I ended up leaving the company a few months ago.

Now, my name is added to the list of people who have not been paid on articles they provided to the paper. In addition, the previous accountant also recently left, citing fraudulent business practices. As it turns out, she alleges that Chandler had been misappropriating funds and hiding taxable income. She also states that many writers have not been paid what they are owed.

I also recently found out that DiMarkco Chandler stands accused of renting out apartments in a building with which he was not affiliated, and that he was once allegedly found guilty of money laundering and fraud in federal court.

It seems Chandler’s newest scam is that he is now calling the boot camp training program “Liberty Voice University,” and he is running an essay contest in which he is charging people money to submit an essay. He will publish these essays and keep the ad revenue for himself while the contestants will most likely never see a dime, just like the hundreds of writers who are financially suffering due to his scam tactics.

I urge you to avoid becoming involved with the Guardian Liberty Voice at all costs. Do not become a victim of DiMarkco Chandler and his con game. There is enough information out there now to convince you of the true nature of this so-called “newspaper.” Save your time, your pride and your money and run in the other direction.

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