Monday, May 17, 2021

We Won! Trader Joe’s was the First Crack in the Armor

By Allan Stevo - May 17, 2021 at 04:11PM


For more than a year, Trader Joe’s has been a particularly troubling store for some readers of these pages. 

Trader Joe’s has some excellent quality products at a consumer friendly price with a quirky corporate style. What’s not to like about such a place? 

When corona communism was implemented after the Ides of March 2020, we saw exactly what was not to like about such a place. 

Trader Joe’s became one of many private companies that enforced the terrible one-sized-fits-all health mandates, including the CDC’s April 3, 2020, face mask order, the single most powerful tool of 2020. 

The very concept of private property is further perverted when such behavior takes place as private companies enforce illegitimate government edict. 

It didn’t stop there. Through participation in trade organizations, the executives of Trader Joe’s and other companies, called for even more stringent across-the-board policies from government. They didn’t just enable, they didn’t just enforce, they didn’t just encourage, they demanded even more tyranny! 

To the credit of Trader Joe’s, their corporate policy always left room for individual exemptions among customers. However, in practice, this was very difficult to invoke. The Trader Joe’s horror stories are legion, and some of the worst of the past year. 

In some locations, a customer practically had to have a law degree to get their face mask exemption policy honored. 

The easy breezy decentralized corporate style of Trader Joe’s quickly devolved to utter tyrrany as managers were more likely to follow the directives of the CNN chyron than the actual corporate policy. 

That once friendly “crew member” who always gave you an extra big smile at checkout was suddenly a mask Nazi of the tallest order. 

I mean it when I say “Nazi.” A defining characteristic of nazism was the fusion of state and corporate power. Nazis needed corporate cooperation for their efforts to take hold, just as the corona communists of the Ides of March 2020 did. 

Executives at Trader Joe’s overwhelmingly looked the other way as stores enacted the most preposterous policies. 

Example: an employee polling other customers on whether a medically exempt customer looked like someone who should be medically exempt from a mask and then inciting customers to corner and angrily confront the unmasked shopper about that. 

This kind of sick behavior was happening to grandmothers! Who could possibly justify an employee cornering a shopper in the spices section and gathering together an angry mob of customers? 

Regional Vice Presidents encouraged the tyranny further, giving full support to such behavior and being so full of hubris as to actually put such support in writing. That level of hubris speaks volumes about an organization in a way little else can. There was utter disconnect from reality and total contempt for anyone who disagreed. As is so often true, pride precedes a fall. 

On April 29, 2021, I sent a strongly worded letter on this topic of their rampant abuse of costumers to Trader Joe’s CEO Daniel Bane. 

Just to make sure the letter was not ignored, my team and I followed up that letter with a press release further pointing to Trader Joe’s illegal and unethical discrimination. 

It is the job of corporate communications departments to take note of the chatter about their company in the media and online. In such an environment, press releases can be a helpful exclamation point on a sentence that needs to be spoken with emphasis: Don’t tread on us.

If done right, both the CEOs office and the communications team end up going frantically through the company figuring out how to address those concerns. 

This particular press release was picked up and reprinted by at least 109 media sources that day. The Trader Joe’s communications team probably noticed. 

Beginning the very next day, the toughest Trader Joe’s stores in the country stopped their ridiculous level of radical enforcement. More than a year’s worth of the most unceasing awful behavior toward customers literally stopped overnight. 

It was so rampant that I used to receive several complaints about Trader Joe’s some weeks. As of April 30, more than two weeks ago, I have not received a single new complaint. This was not only what I was observing through correspondences, but my team and I also have folks patrolling the world as health freedom inspectors keeping an eye on tyrannical corporate enforcement of illegitimate government policy. These health freedom inspectors reported similar results. Additionally, I myself am constantly out testing techniques and probing for cracks in the system. I firsthand observed an absolute night and day shift on April 30, repeatedly confirmed in the days thereafter. 

I think we had their attention. 

In the days ahead, I encouraged people to reach out to the Trader Joe’s CEO at his personal email address as follow up to the letter. 

Hundreds of readers of these pages did that. This activity peaked with some 300 emails being sent to the CEO on a single day, Thursday, May 13, 2021.

I was CC’d or BCC’d on about a hundred of them that day. 

This wasn’t sent to This was sent to the CEO. 300 emails to a single inbox can be hard to ignore. 

The CDC adjusted their guidance on Thursday as well. Trader Joe’s didn’t leap to the lead on that, sticking their necks out because of the CDC guidance. Based on anecdotal accounts, they had a lot of pressure from employees and customers alike. The lawsuits, the complaints, the pushback, the pressure means a lot. I’ve never worked at a company where a single email that was written right and directed to the right inbox at the right time could not move an entire company to immediate action.

Just one email can do that. Anyone who wants to deny that, has never seen that happen or has some agenda by which they seek to discourage you. One, well targeted email can make a difference. Ten can as well. A hundred can. A thousand can. I don’t pretend to know what happened behind the scenes, but I know that our emails had the ability to shape policy at several dozen companies this Friday and my guess is that they did. They may have even helped to shape policy at the CDC, a much harder entity to motivate than a private business. Having seen letters like that cross desks, both governmental and private, I know how very impactful they can be.

What I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall. 

The next morning, on Friday, May 14, 2021, Trader Joe’s publicly altered their policy. 

They dropped all face mask mandates for customers. 

To save face, they cited a CDC guidance from the previous day about vaccines and face masks. They claimed that they would only allow entrance to unmasked customers who had been vaccinated, a detail that they publicly have stated they will not be checking for. 

They crumbled. 

I knew they were weak, these tyrants, I knew these orders were getting ready to crumble, but I didn’t realize exactly how weak they were. They are very weak and the proper response to weakness from an enemy of freedom is to fight all the harder, until they look back at 2020 and say “I’m never gonna try that again.” 

Despite the corporate spin and gobbledygook, the truth of the matter is this:

On May 14, 2021, you and I, who have long been fighting this in ways both big and small, won a decisive victory, as we took down the Trader Joe’s face mask order. We left Trader Joe’s with no other alternative. We made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. 

Dozens of companies immediately followed. 

This is a huge victory, and it cannot stop here. 

Trader Joe’s plans to leave their employees masked. They also plan to keep their “only the vaccinated can be unmasked policy” in place on paper. If allowed to remain in place, it will be only a matter of time before it returns with a vengeance. The next time it is enforced, we shouldn’t expect it to be as generous and easy to defeat as it was this time. 

Therefore, we must stop the forced masking of Trader Joe’s employees and we must remove all mention of any government-advised health mandate as a condition of entering a business. 

It is not the place of government to place health mandates on us, and it is certainly not the right of corporations to enforce such illegitimate abuses of government power on us. It is illegitimate abuse of government power no matter who enforces it: your neighbor, your grocer, your child’s school, your mailman, or your own mother. 

We must truly redouble our efforts. 

Time is of the essence. We have a very short window of opportunity to defeat these one-size-fits-all health mandates. 

The annual flu season will begin in late-September. Respiratory virus related illnesses and deaths will increase and the fear campaign will intensify. Standard deaths that take place every year from respiratory viruses will be blamed on something scary. “Vaccine” deaths will be blamed on something scary and will certainly not be blamed on vaccines. We will have quite a fight on our hands. 

If these one-size-fits-all approaches are still with us and normalized in September 2021, there will be no stopping them. They will be with us a very long time and we really will have entered the new normal. We must return society to normal by the end of this summer, or we risk losing society as we once knew it. 

We must roll society back far before 2019, to regain freedoms we were once certain were gone forever, and we must let no vestige of 2020 remain. 

That is the work that is ahead of us. That is the work we need accomplished immediately and by September 2021 at the latest, for if we do not, we will go into a far more pernicious battle for our civilization and will be doing so with the forces of freedom so grossly unprepared. That is something we cannot let happen. 

I need you to do one thing right now to help me accomplish that, I need you to sign up at, and I will enlist you in helping me take down these orders. In signing up, you will be joining an army of activists. The army of activists who read my work, who were so responsive, and who hit Trader Joe’s hard and repeatedly made such a difference in shifting this policy. We have much more work ahead of us. 

Then I need you to share this article. 

With literally 20 minutes of work a day from a dedicated minority, taking targeted action, we can take down these orders. 

If you need pointers on how not to wear a mask every again read my bestselling “Face Masks in One Lesson.” If you would like similar witting free of charge, check out my writing on the topic, but really what it comes down to is insisting in your own life that you will live life by a higher standard: that is what saying “No!” to the mask amounts to. 

We can do this. 

We are winning. 

They are desperate. 

Victory is at hand. 

And now we must close on our victory. 

If you’re a closer I need you. 

Who is with me? 

Reprinted with permission from

from Ron Paul Institute Featured Articles


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