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Has anyone been watching the downfall of HTGAM/PPF?

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It is all over Facebook, other forums, and reddit. I don't know if I can copy and paste or if mods want to reword this, but he has been caught as using two fake names as owner of How to grow a moustache and petal pusher fancies. He said he is exCIA form latin america for 4-6 years, created a veteran group to shill to vets with what looks like stolen valor, and more. You really couldn't make this stuff up. A "soap opera" you might say... :w00t:


Love to see the people who supported his ingredient list support this...
 
I don't want to post a link that could get me in trouble, but it is everywhere. Screenshots and everything. This guy has some serious serious problems. Joe at RR ever said they will be reevaluating stocking him once all the details come out, about 4 mins after tweeting support.

I am waiting on mods to tell me what can and cannot be posted.
 
To be clear, I was one of the first to say I loved the soap, but none of his stuff has a place in my house. I will sell my pucks to the fan boys in hope to take a couple more sales away. Some really awful stuff he did.
 
Wow. I just went down the rabbit hole of Reddit and started reading up on this. I'm still too new to the shave community to know how the reaction will be to this. I certainly thought that wet shaving theatre would be the last place I would see drama like this. I know that one of my guitar forums was rocked recently with news of dishonest business practices by a certain pedal maker and that escalated quickly.

I'll be looking forward to this. Will the fans of HTGAM/ PPF be enough to salvage the reputation......
 
It is all over Facebook, other forums, and reddit. I don't know if I can copy and paste or if mods want to reword this, but he has been caught as using two fake names as owner of How to grow a moustache and petal pusher fancies. He said he is exCIA form latin america for 4-6 years, created a veteran group to shill to vets with what looks like stolen valor, and more. You really couldn't make this stuff up. A "soap opera" you might say... :w00t:


Love to see the people who supported his ingredient list support this...
I'm confused, PPF ships from Boston and HTGAM ships from Arizona.. Very interested either way. I don't know if it's against any rules, but if not can you pm me the links, I'm having trouble finding them.
 
They both share an office now in Casa Grande, AZ. He tries to act like the "hodges" character never existed in his "apology", but says they now are two companies sharing a lab. Here is a bit to help put context.

http://imgur.com/a/Ij6wD

http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/424933-HTGAM-Thoughts-Issues-Concerns

The first fall......

My thoughts on today’s events. First, this will seem creepy, but it was personal for me. Anyone that knows me knows that I have been friends with Douglas for over a year on here. I have shared several thousand PMs on all ranges or shaving and non-shave related things. This issue today has been something I have sat on for quite some time not knowing how to react. I only post this because I feel really weird having talked to someone in depth this long and supported his work and defended him to learn it was all a lie. Here is what I have found.

Several months ago I heard rumors about Douglas and Hodges from PPF being the same person. I decided to ask Douglas, to which he denied it. He said it was a “love triangle” and that he has stolen Frances from Hodges when he moved to AZ. I took him at his word and joked around about it. Then I continued to hear rumors for several days and took a look for myself.

I first when to Hodges apellido, co founder of PPF with Frances, profile on facebook and found over 400+ photos and videos of Douglas dating back to 2008. The profile was very similar to “Douglas’”, attended Dartmouth, lived in costa rica, several references to punk rock. Things like starting a marketing company in CR (which we had discussed previously). I realized quickly that his last name was Spanish for last name. So I looked at his friends list for common names. There were several Hodges so I dove in. I found three family member, photos together, and posts dating back to 2008 as well. Hodges first name was clearly the same as mine….Erik. He once told me he was ordained to preform marriages, and there was a certificate for Erik Hodges posted to her wall.

At this point I went back to “Douglas” and asked again. He is still my friend and I wanted a straight answer. I was told it wasn’t true, that he has models for Hodge who is shy and he was regretting that too. I asked how he had 400 photos and videos and many over a year plus in costa rica. He said there was an annual moustache and beard convention there, so it was convenient. Desperate for the truth I even mentioned the family members by name and asked if he were Erik Hodges, he continued to deny it. He said it was a mistake to have taken the photos and he needed Hodges to removed them. He said it was hard because they weren’t talking since he took Frances to AZ with him. Douglas logged off. As I started screen shooting the page the name changed to HBeat Lee, all the photo began to disappear, and all mutual friends were gone except Aaron Schector from The wet shave review.

Douglas logs back on and I asked him how that happened. He said that frances had called Hodges in that 2-4 min period. At this point I had enough and moved on not bring it back up. I found the quotes posted before and other holes in the story that are repeated over and over again. I discussed it further with people and decided I wouldn’t say anything but I would be careful around it and stop defending “Douglas”. This was more a product of my shock in being lied to that the lie itself.

I considered motive for a while. It really didn’t make sense to me. The best I can come up with (others have bolder claims but I won’t share those till there is proof) is Frances and Erik Hodges started PPF. Erik went by Hodges, like his friends called him, and created a pen name. After some time he wanted to create more reviews and has interest in blogging and created HTGAM. He needed to be separate from PPF so created “Douglas”. His site quickly expanded to 100,000 visiters a month as moustaches came to fashion and could not ignore that potential. He created HTGAM. HTGAM quickly grow and he just talked about how great PPF was but Doug was the face guy. Eventually it got sloppy and he killed off Hodges by making up the love triangle. Now he could have both soaps in one house and work together without the fear of being caught.

Now all of this is marketing and I am used to that, a marketing guy myself. But two things really bothered me. First was being lied to for over a year. Clearly we have connection to our vendors and favorite. We defend them and buy all their newest products. May call them brothers. I was really bother to have shared literal thousands (around 10k) messages with a guy that I learned wasn’t ever real and have been lying to me the whole time, even when I asked him directly. That to me was not very brotherly. I have seen serveral quote people say are from “Douglas” that talk about trying to make as much money as he can as fast as he can and how sheepish people can be. I finally believed these quotes.

The other thing I took issue with is how he was intimidating and painting some other people in the industry as crazy for saying this and saying if they went public he would run a campaign against them. Again, no the action of the guy I thought I knew and not very brotherly.

I am assuming I will be roasted for this and that people will call me a crazy staucker, but it was important to me after all of this to really know what was what and who is who. If you don’t like it, people feel free to continue buy from Doug. If you find it as upsetting as me, people choose to vote with your wallet and not burn the witch at the stake. I know I have made up my mind and I hope you all understand where I am coming from.


 
I guess he developed a Veterans group on FB as a non vet, and was the sole vendor pushing the product on it. Those were his reasons he should be able to stay. The last screen shot was from the guy that wrote that long story when "Douglas" was begging him to take it all down, saying he was exCIA, and that's why he lies.
 
I know nothing about what has gone on, but thought it strange when my order of PPF deodorant had a HTGAM shipping label on it.
 
I read some of it and don't have a complete understanding of it yet, honestly because I just don't care for all of the drama. I have two teenage girls and I can barely stand their drama filled conversations as I zone out half the time and agree with them just to spare myself the aggravation. So I'll pass on the details because I just don't care.

I suspect that creating this character may have started as a publicity thing that may have worked a little too well. When you lie you end up getting caught and when you get caught you then tell more and more lies to try and lie your way out of it. This may be the case here. Personally, I try to avoid drama as best as I can and honestly could care less. I do know that it would likely be exhausting to carry on a series of lies like that. A review of your own product, or a self interview would likely cross some lines, though I'm sure other companies have resorted to more damaging forms of publicity.

We're drawn into these small soap manufacturing businesses and hold them to the highest standards but likely a lot worse is going on in corporate america on a daily basis. Just watch a television commercial closely and see how the manufacturer is trying to manipulate you. It's no excuse but it happens constantly every day. Those that are good at it are rewarded with success. It's not like they weren't selling quality products at fair prices so overall I think the only intention was to grow their business, not to cheat anyone.

I never really got drawn into the HGTAM soaps as they are a good deal better than average but not outstanding for me. I thought that the branding worked but I didn't care for the antics myself. PPF soaps on the other hand are truly excellent. I've heard rumors that the HGTAM 2.0 soaps are quite similar to PPF, which would explain why people like them so much more than the prior HGTAM versions. I'll likely still purchase PPF soaps and will likely still recommend them solely because they are outstanding and some of the very best I've found of the 300 or so I've tried. I have their coconut in my top five and many of their other scents in my top ten.

The part I don't understand is why bother with all of the drama when they already have such a great product. They should have put their efforts into growing the PPF brand as it's far superior in every way to HGTAM.
 
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Well, that's a dismal story. Marketing goes nuts. It's so odd. But the marketing hooks that drew so many into what looks like a spider's web of lies left me cold. Has there ever been a worse name than "How to Grow a Mustache?" Yeah, "Synergy". No, wait, all-time stupid name: "Petal Pusher Fancies." I mean really. I wouldn't have been able to look myself in the mirror. An Italian soap called Tcheon Fung Sing is as silly as I'll go.
 
I've only read chunks, but the one thing that seems very clear is that he's a creepy and sketchy dude. I'm sorry, but where there's smoke there's fire. Having grown up with the Internet, I've seen a lot of people come down with weird cases of Munchausen, and get addicted to lying. Why? Often times for no reason at all.

I wouldn't be surprised if he needs professional help. Sadly, many of these people don't get it, because they're so amazingly evasive. Perhaps due to all that CIA experience.
 
Amazing. I jumped ship months ago at the very first sign of untrustworthiness when HTGAM pulled the slimy marketing stunt with /r/AgainstTheGrain. And now Italian Barber is getting mixed up in this too? I must have a nose for these sorts of people because IB did enough to trigger my gut reaction in the past few months too. Neither of them were getting business from me for separate reasons, and now all of this.

They both have an attitude problem where they assume their products are the absolute finest top class wine in the world, and anybody who disagrees is a hater.
 
Is the Italian Barber not really Italian or a Barber? Tell me it's not true? Next thing you will tell me he's really Rob Ford.
Joe is Italian and he sure is a barber. A barber (from the Latin barba, "beard") is a person whose occupation is mainly to cut, dress, groom, style and shave men's and boys' hair. A barber's place of work is known as a "barber shop" or a "barber's". Barber shops are also places of social interaction and public discourse. In some instances, barbershops are also public forums. They are the locations of open debates, voicing public concerns, and engaging citizens in discussions about contemporary issues. They were also influential in helping shape male identity.
 
Amazing. I jumped ship months ago at the very first sign of untrustworthiness when HTGAM pulled the slimy marketing stunt with /r/AgainstTheGrain. And now Italian Barber is getting mixed up in this too? I must have a nose for these sorts of people because IB did enough to trigger my gut reaction in the past few months too. Neither of them were getting business from me for separate reasons, and now all of this.

They both have an attitude problem where they assume their products are the absolute finest top class wine in the world, and anybody who disagrees is a hater.
From my understanding, Joe is not involved in this....I believe he is just considering dropping the HTGAM and PPF lines in response to the recent events....
 
From my understanding, Joe is not involved in this....I believe he is just considering dropping the HTGAM and PPF lines in response to the recent events....
Like the rest of this drama it's mostly what's carried out on the social networking meccas of twitter and facebook.
 
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