Motivational Company Waterboarded Employees?

Motivational coaching company Prosper is the subject of an unusual lawsuit: “A supervisor…is accused of waterboarding an employee in front of his sales team to demonstrate that they should work as hard on sales as the employee had worked to breathe.” C’mon team, let’s Gitmo sales! [Salt Lake Tribuine]


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  1. arch05 says:

    Great pun.

  2. braindesign says:

    thats nothin, we play russian roulette at my office every payday. survivors split the pay of the loser.

  3. clevershark says:

    Apparently waterboarding is the new black.

  4. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


  5. 46and2 says:

    wow. they wonder why people go postal?

  6. drivebybiped says:

    Proving once against that waterboarding isn’t torture, its just a motivational tool.

  7. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    Jesus, they didn’t even do it right!

    You’re supposed to put cloth over their head so they don’t *really drown*!!

  8. Ayo says:

    HAAAA, getmo sales. I’m dying laughing at work. So when was this? I’m hoping it was in a joking manner.

  9. hi says:

    That’s a team building experience to die for!

  10. Bay State Darren says:

    On the plus side, it’s the one time you’d actually be able to get away with punching your boss. Now that’s motivation!

  11. redhelix says:


    Maybe afterwards he disemboweled the intern and used his frantically scooping up his entrails as an analogy for holding on to customers

  12. Bay State Darren says:

    Did he ask a female employee to help demonstrate how much effort you should use to please a customer?

  13. ivey3rd says:

    This story is about an incident at Prosper Inc (, which is not the same as the peer-to-peer lending site as stated in the headline.

  14. Beerad says:

    Um, isn’t this a different Prosper? Like, Prosper, Inc. the Utah-based motivational coaching company rather than Prosper Marketplace, Inc. the California-based online p2p loan site?

    I’ll take Basic Journalistic Standards for $100, Alex.

  15. Froggmann says:

    Ummm last I checked [] isn’t about motovating executives it’s about p2p lending. Someone here as their domains crossed.

  16. uberbucket says:

    Waterboarding is SO pre-911.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Buried for inaccuracy.

  18. KyleOrton says:

    As a social experiment, I’d like to interview this victim every month and find out exactly when having so much money you never have to work another day in your life makes up for actually being tortured at work.

    I hope at one point it does.

  19. bkpatt says:

    Also in the news… sued for defamation and libel after publishing inaccurate story confusing online lender, with motivational coaching company in Utah. seeks $1B in compensatory damages, and $999,999,999,999B in punitive damages, promises to use punitive damages to heal the subprime housing crisis, all the while defeating the terrorists. released a statement saying “We take this matter VERY seriously.”

    Did I get them all? I know I missed one somewhere.

  20. PingPongDarts says:

    Just wanted to applaud that little pun at the end. :D

  21. vliam says:

    We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize?

    Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is waterboarding.

  22. AD8BC says:

    What’s really funny about the whole waterboarding fiasco is that the US Government has only waterboarded a total of three people…

  23. evslin says:

    @vliam: If only they had better leads…

  24. KyleOrton says:

    @AD8BC: You’re right. It takes 12 eggs to make a dozen, 3 feet to make a yard and 9 torture victims to make a fiasco. It’s like reporters were using that damn liberal torture metric system.

  25. Caprica Six says:

    hey guys, that’s not *the* peer-to-peer lending site The CEO is Chris Larsen. The proser is this article is Prosper Learning ([])

  26. Bay State Darren says:

    At this rate, I highly doubt Prosper will live long. [I instantly hate myself for that bad joke.]

  27. stinerman says:

    That they (the CIA in particular) admit to…

    I try not to trust my government unless they’ve given me good reason to do so.

  28. tph says:

    @evslin: The Glengarry leads are for CLOSERS!

  29. girly says:

    Wow, talk about mixed up priorties!

  30. Trai_Dep says:

    @AD8BC: You mean the United States of America emulated Pol Pot only three times?

    Let Freedom Reign! (Imagine my playing “America the Beautiful” on a kazoo here)

  31. Trai_Dep says:

    @Trai_Dep: And…

    Yeah, like a Bush-appointed CIA director testifying to Congress in public over how much torturing of crazy people the United States of America does is the venue I’d bet money on for being one we should trust for honesty…

  32. Caprica Six says:

    @tph: It’s all about the Glengarry leads!


  33. cde says:

    @bkpatt: You forgot to blame the employee. And to make sure he showed a receipt.

  34. girly says:

    @cde: the receipt should be contaminated with lead, too

  35. Amelie says:

    @AD8BC: What would be even more hilarious is if one of your family members would be the so-called fourth victim.

  36. bkpatt says:

    @cde: ARGH! I assumed the employee blaming was understood… I mean after all he was waterboarding, even though that’s not torture.

    The receipt is unavailable, as after the waterboarding, they refused to pay the invoice for the “motivation.” They did, however, sue in small claims court and win.

    I’m working on the lead tie-in, but this is getting complicated.

  37. B says:

    @big keytee: First prize is a new Cadillac. Second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is you’re waterboarded.

  38. Landru says:

    @Trai_Dep: Ever since gwb wrote that note to Condi, I been thinking – isn’t the phrase “Let Freedom Ring“?

  39. RumorsDaily says:


  40. Me - now with more humidity says:

    But how do we blame best buy for this? LOL

  41. AD8BC says:

    You know, it’s kind of funny that we would do something so heinous and awful as waterboarding when our enemies tend to lean toward the light side of torture… you know, like CUTTING PEOPLE’S HEADS OFF.
    Here, if you need a reminder of what real torture is. If you need to remember who the real enemy is.

  42. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    @AD8BC: I’m not sure who our enemy is, but I know damn good & well who is fighting tooth & nail @ Capitol Hill to destroy our Constitutional rights.

  43. Johann says:

    This just goes to show that there’s no such thing as bad press. People have been hearing so much about how bad waterboarding is, but we still ending asking ourselves: how can I get this waterboarding, and what can it do for me?

    Or maybe it just shows that not every idiot can find a job in the Bush White House.

  44. humphrmi says:

    Whoever did this, whether they actually forced the guy into waterboarding or not, does not represent the motivational industry. I’m not in that industry, but I’ve used various unique motivational coach services in my career, and the over-riding theme of all of them is, it’s not about increasing sales or decreasing costs. It’s about MOTIVATION, i.e. making people WANT to do more for you. Saying that sales people should work at hard at making more sales as this guy did at breathing is not motivation, not because of the waterboarding part (if it’s true) but because no motivational coach worth their salt would draw a direct connection between motivation and sales. It’s implied, you motivate, and sales increase.

  45. failurate says:

    @Jaysyn: I know it doesn’t fit with the “I hate my country!” theme that so many folks seem to live for now days, But for enemy, I’m voting for the guy sawing off and then holding up Daniel Pearle’s head. He makes a strong case.

  46. Trai_Dep says:

    @AD8BC: Which is why no one is saying the United States of America desecrates corpses. Yet. (Sigh, sad that I have to add that disclaimer).

    Torture, on the other hand… USA! Kampuchea – err USA! USA!!

  47. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @humphrmi: Also, the message I take away from that exercise is “Being motivated is good and you should be motivated,” and I hope you guys are a little more subtle than that.

  48. Angryrider says:

    Hey, waterboarding isn’t torture… until you’ve tried it.
    WTF?! “Everybody was . . . involved and enthusiastic.”
    The poor guy was struggling to breathe and yet like sheep the freakin’ coworkers went along with the manager like freakin’ sheep.

  49. BugMeNot2 says:

    Hey, if their current business fails they can always be contracted by the CIA to do “motivational sessions” in East Europe “board rooms”.

  50. chartrule says:

    why the 6 week wait to file a complaint ?

  51. n/a says:

    Wow, makes you wonder if George Bush, has stock ownership in this company?

  52. Tank says:

    @bkpatt: You forgot credit unions, showing your receipt at the door, and Best Buy/Walmart/Sprint/Comcast/FiOS/BoA/and HSBC.

  53. AlphaWolf says:

    LOL, team building is reaching a new level these days.

  54. privatejoker75 says:

    psshhh…everytime quarter when i don’t meet my goals i lose a finger. I’m down to two thumbs and a pinkie.


  55. kbarrett says:

    Hey, he got a free bucket of water. And now he complains?

  56. UEAKCrash says:

    Wait, did everyone read this article? It sounds like he made it all up, as most of the team is saying that he wasn’t held down. Plus, it took him 6 weeks to file the complain, but in the time before that, he went on a trip with that same team, where HE drove the boat that they were water skiing from.


  57. fashionista says:


    My thoughts exactly! The article headline would’ve read: “Employee Beats Sh*t Out of Boss Ater Waterboarding Attack!”