Thursday, February 28, 2008

Waterboarding: Company Used It to "Motivate" Employees

Claims Former Employee in Lawsuit

Prosper, Inc.

About Prosper, Inc.

Prosper, Inc. provides executive-level coaching for individuals. Our mission is to provide our students with the education and hands-on experiences they need to achieve their personal and professional goals. We strive to make the road to personal achievement meaningful, rewarding, and enjoyable.

By understanding our business and by becoming sensitive to our world, we position ourselves to help others become leaders in an ever-changing marketplace. Our products and services are based on proven principles that, when applied, produce positive results in the lives of individuals and families. Source - Prosper, Inc.

So how does a company that "provides executive-level coaching for individuals" motivate its own employees?
A supervisor at a motivational coaching business in Provo 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.

In a lawsuit filed last month, former Prosper, Inc. salesman Chad Hudgens alleges his managers also allowed the supervisor to draw mustaches on employees' faces, take away their chairs and beat on their desks with a wooden paddle "because it resulted in increased revenues for the company." Source - Salt Lake Tribune

"[Prosper] allowed the supervisor to draw mustaches on employees' faces, take away their chairs and beat on their desks with a wooden paddle because it resulted in increased revenues for the company."
--Chad Hudgens, former Prosper employee

Former Prosper, Inc. salesman Chad Hudgens has filed a lawsuit accusing Joshua Christopherson and Prosper, Inc. of assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful termination.

Hudgens claims he volunteered
for a "motivational exercise" with his team leader, Joshua Christopherson. Hudgens also claims he volunteered in order to prove his "loyalty and determination" to Prosper, Inc..

Hudgens alleges Christopherson took the sales team outside the office to the top of hill. This is where the story gets bizarre, Hudgens alleges Christopherson told the rest of the sales team to hold Hudgens' arms and legs. Christopherson then took a plastic jug full of water and began pouring it over Hudgens' nostrils and mouth while extolling team members that "he wanted them to work as hard on making sales as Chad had worked to breath".

In his suit Hudgens says he required psychological counseling for emotional trauma.

According to How Stuff Works, waterboarding is known as a controversial form of interrogation that has been used for centuries.
Water boarding has been around for centuries. It was a common interrogation technique during the Italian Inquisition of the 1500s and was used perhaps most famously in Cambodian prisons during the reign of the Khmer Rouge regime during the 1970s (see David Corn: This Is What Waterboarding Looks Like for pictures of a Khmer Rouge water board now in a Cambodian museum). As late as November 2005, water boarding was on the CIA's list of approved "enhanced interrogation techniques" intended for use against high-value terror suspects. In a nutshell, water boarding makes a person feel like he is drowning.

Socrates, you dummies!

Prosper Inc., President Dave Ellis came up with an alternate view of that day's events, that no, it wasn't waterboarding, it was a "dramatization" of a Socrates story, how a young man asked Socrates to become his teacher. Socrates responded by "plunging the student's head underwater and telling him he will learn once his desire for knowledge is as great as his desire to breathe."

The company president claims that what happened to Hudgens was a form of "Socratic thinking" and not good old fashioned waterboarding.

In the end it will be up to a judge or jury to make that determination.


Image - Waterboarding
Image - Socrates


Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.

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