The Safe Cig Saga: Part 1 of ???
In plugging an announcement from one of our affiliate companies, I couldn’t help feeling like there was something awry. The company had suddenly vanished from the market nearly a month before, providing no information to anyone as to why. One of the founders only responded to us enough to say he wouldn’t be saying anything. Even as I covered the announcement, the company in question no longer had a website to link to and the video off which the announcement was based offered almost no clear, precise information. The announcement itself, hardly worth the time.
Soon after, a man on the internet told me a probably, maybe at least partially allegedly true story… And so begins the third age of man and the debatable, arguable history of The Safe Cig…
Admittedly, it’s my own mom that is always bugging me to check comments after I’ve posted a story. She wants me to be attentive to and aware of the responses my writing receives. Often after completing a piece, I’m off to new efforts and it’s all too easy to forget about the things I’ve already written. When I do check back on previous articles, it has proven helpful in understanding the sensibilities of our community and occasionally given me a new lead for a different story. This morning I found one of those leads.
Checking back on the announcement plug, a comment had come in during the early morning from a user denoted simply as “Doubtful.” The comment suggested things were not sunny at Safe Cig and that stories from Jon Deak and Rob Deak (brothers that co-founded the company) may differ, offering a link to a Tumblr post from Rob. That post details rather extensively the circumstances of the Safe Cig and its supposed systematic destruction at the hands of John David Cameron (brother of Mr. Avatar himself, James Cameron).
According to Rob Deak, Cameron joined promising success and riches and open doors through the good grace of his brother’s name. Ultimately, he spent all the company’s money (more than it even had) hiring friends and seized control with tactics not dissimilar to those seen in The Social Network. The company soon couldn’t fill its orders, pay its employees or vendors, and a nasty brawl is breaking out over who gets the scraps.
We’ve confirmed with multiple sources that the post did come from Rob Deak (though that may still be up for debate). We cannot confirm the validity or non-validity of his statements. With Safe Cig offline and radio silent, we may not know anything anytime soon either. The post was only published about 4-5 hours before the comment was made on our website. I’m not oblivious to the likelihood that the comment was posted by Rob Deak himself. But really, does it matter? There are only two things that matter now. What really happened at the Safe Cig? What happens next for Safe Cig?
But I couldn’t help but think back to the announcement post that didn’t quite smell right. Suddenly, it was more than just awry. It was downright contradictory. One of the Deaks had alerted us to the announcement and convinced us to cover it. Why would they do that if things were so apocalyptic and toxic at Safe Cig and if John Cameron was now running the place? And if Rob’s statements were true, why would the Seminoles enter a partnership with the company?
I combed what little information there was about the announcement. Safecig Inc? I thought the company was registered as The Safe Cig LLC. Down the rabbit hole.
A short jaunt over the internet later, and it seems Rob Deak isn’t just mad at Cameron and The Safe Cig LLC, he may be looking to cannibalize its brand from the outside. Admittedly, my own pride as a reporter/blogger is wounded because someone lied to me. In turn, I shared that lie with our community. For that I am sorry.
To clarify, the Safecig Inc that announced a partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is not (as far as we can tell) the same as The Safe Cig LLC which has been around and an acting affiliate of ours for some time. Confused? The Deaks co-founded the LLC, the Seminole Tribe sold a white label product from the LLC, and both broke away to start and partner with the Inc respectively.
Safecig Inc was registered in Jacksonville, FL on February 11th by Rob Deak. We’ve not yet received a clarification as to what this entity has to do with The Safe Cig LLC or why it can claim to have been around since 2007 as it has. It’s unlikely the weirdness ends here.
Allegedly, Safe Cig (the LLC) still has extensive outstanding bills and orders from vendors, suppliers, ex-employees, current employees, and even individual customers. By the looks of it, the company’s reputation has been in free fall some time now — earning it an F from the Better Business Bureau. Even now, one wonders if the organization can dig its way out. I, for one, am a sucker for a good story either way. But as an employee of an affiliate, I can’t help but cross my fingers for them.
Disclaimer: Ecig Advanced is (to the extent possible while their website remains down) an affiliate marketer for The Safe Cig LLC.
I’m on the look out for individuals that know more or would like to respond to allegations made within Deak’s Tumblr post. If you would like to contact me, my email is email@example.com. More to come I hope! If there’s anything clear to me now, it’s that the company’s total silence is probably hurting it now far more than helping it.