The dirty and not so sweet truth, Zevia Cola founded with child porn and racketeering capital, NOW partnered with Disney

Original Publication on November 18, 2015. Record at The Internet Archive ‘Wayback Machine’, http://idfluence.com/the-dirty-truth-zevia-cola-founded-with-child-porn-and-racketeering-capital/

The worlds premiere zero calorie, “all natural” (save for stevia and erythritol) soft drink has some of the worst skeletons in it’s closet.

Zevia Cola was launched in 2007 through a partnership between Derek Newman, his wife Jessica, Ian Eisenberg, Donald Thrasher and a padding of seed money from none other than one time executive of the Internet’s first online porn mega giant IEG, Brian Cartmell.

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Brian R. Cartmell Sourcewatch.org page with history and source information

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From Left, Derrek and Jessica Newman

During Cartmell’s time at Internet entertainment group in the early 90’s  IEG’s largest website, clublove.com experienced a boom in revenue by cross promotion connections to several websites with porn production criteria which did not meet ethical safety or health standards and a series of European child porn sites.

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ClubLove.com page capture from the internet archive project

After his time at IEG Cartmell began a racketeering scheme by marketing internet domains through the .cc name suffix.  .cc was the domain registration given to the Cocos Keeling islands in the Indian ocean. Despite the massive amount of money Cartmell made from using this domain name suffix, the people of Cocos Keeling were given hardly 1/20 the average name usage fee paid to countries, individuals and groups for individual registrations of websites using a domain name suffix.

Cartmell marketed .cc domains through a company he founded specifically for this purpose, eNIC.

After Cartmell sold eNIC to Verisign he started the company SpamArrest, an email spam blocking service.

However to market the company, Cartmell pilfered emails from his own customers and site visitors in order to send out spam to each of them via email. 

The tactic was ultimately devastating to SpamArrest’s popularity and income. Though the company is still in business it is regarded as one of the worst spam blocking services available.

Today the company represents only a few corporate accounts and neglects to list an actual business address or phone number. On the SpamArrest website the company uses a quote from the new york times which is actually noting another spam blocking service from an article which only mentions SpamArrest in an entirely different section and is not referencing spamarrest in the quote.

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Spam Arrest Front page

In 2004 Cartmell began a rampage of internet spamming, false publication listings, web archive tampering and manipulations of google listings referring to his past as an executive of an internet pornography company.

At the time Cartmell was a producer of a documentary named “Michael Moore Hates America”. Cartmell and the film’s writer/director Michael Wilson strongly supported the Bush campaign and were very outspoken in support of biased and bigoted conservative ideals at the time.

Cartmell’s history with SpamArrest and his involvement with IEG continued to resurface in the media and online forums concerning the documentary.

It was then that Cartmell attempted to bring restraining order and lawsuit against online blogger and activist Justin La Plante.

At the time La Plante had been posting web archive data from club love and noting on IMDB message boards that Brian Cartmell was a child pornographer and spam marketer.

The lawyer Cartmell used for this lawsuit was Derrek Newman of the then firm of Newman and Newman (now Newman DuWors).

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Derrek Newman

Cartmell and Newman lost the initial restraining order request and later requested dismissal of the suit.

Not long after, the pair began Zevia cola (NOW partnered with Disney).

Brian Cartmell currently resides in Arrowtown, New Zealand and claims on his own web site to still be a shareholder in Zevia cola.

Among some of Cartmell’s original blog posts are a collection of very bigoted statements.

Quotes from Brian R. Cartmell:

– “In my opinion, if anything should be sacrificed, it should be the entire Middle East. Our government tells us that we’re at war against the terrorists, and though we were willing to drop two nuclear bombs on Japan and firebomb the city of Dresden to bring an end to World War 2, we as a civilian population have essentially tied the hands of the U.S. Military this time around, condemning hundreds (if not future thousands) of our soldiers to death because Wall Street brokers and Suburban Soccer-Moms can’t stomach the thought of dropping another atom bomb to bring this conflict to a swift and necessary close.”

– “I’m a firm believer in consumption. The way I figure it, rampant consumption is the best answer to a rabid conservation movement whose agenda more and more reflects a greater concern for the survival and well-being of wildlife and plant species rather than for the survival and well-being of the human species.” 

–  “I think the human species has already modified the eco-system so much that it doesn’t really matter anymore whether other animal species survive or collapse into mass extinction. And in my mind, that’s a good thing, because I’m not interested in my own survival on this rock being dependent upon the continuation of species which can’t even manage to avoid being trapped in a fishing net.”

– From a blog post titled,  “Gay marriage is dumb”:

“It may be, as our culture progresses technologically, that more and more social reforms will follow, and the whole traditional structure of marriage and child-rearing will then be upended by significant advances in genetics and cloning. Until then, I believe that gay marriage is an issue to be decided at the State level, by and for the people of the State, without intervention by the Federal Government and as stipulated by the Bill of Rights.”

“Until the Homosexual population decides to accept and participate in the traditional, mainstream values and structures they currently flout, then there’s no rational argument that can be made for Homosexuals to require traditional, HOmainstream society to bestow its more sacrosanct rights and privileges upon them.”

“I don’t support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to define marriage, as I believe that amending the Federal Constitution to create a Federal definition of what is essentially a religious ceremony contradicts the spirit of the Separation of Church and State ideal laid out in the First Amendment.”

The ‘not so natural’ contents of Zevia cola

Derrek Newman, Brian Cartmell and the Zevia ingredient info page each claim that Zevia is an “all natural” soda using “natural” sweeteners.

Zevia uses the extract sweetener Stevia and Erythritol as sweeteners.

In the early 90’s Stevia was banned in the US because of concerns over it’s carcinogenic content. It wasn’t until late 2007 that the FDA approved only a few specific versions of the extract.

While the plant Stevia is extracted from is all natural and has shown to be more beneficial as a sweetener than sugar, the processed extracts of Stevia like those used in Zevia still lack proper long term testing as to their effects on the human body.

The extract is also heavily processed before it is used in Zevia cola. Hardly “all natural”.

Erythritol is a heavily processed sugar alcohol. Like Stevia it has much less of an impact on the human body as traditional sugar however like Stevia it takes a lot of processing in order to make it manageable as a food additive. Again, hardly “all natural”.

Partnership with Disney

It is unknown if Disney knew before hand, the history of Zevia cola but in December of 2019 Zevia announced a new Zevia Kids line of soft drinks featuring popular Disney images on the labeling.

This may be an image licensing deal between Zevia and Disney as apposed to a full partnership or cross-promotion.