Mergers and failed mergers
among aromatherapy organisations (UK)

By Martin Watt

The below may seem like ancient history, but I believe people new to
aromatherapy should know the history of their trade and its early
founders. This is but a snippet of the history and the way the leaders
pulled the wool over the eyes of ordinary members.

Please also read the article on Statutory regulation which relates to this page,
and is more up to date.

Latest update Jan. 2003.
I have been taken aback by a decision taken by the IFA council to rejoin the
AOC. It was hoped by many that the AOC would fall apart and that the ICM
would take its place. However, this decision by the IFA council will simply
resurrect an organisation that I have not a shred of respect for. The AOC
includes some of the people involved in the underhand dealings over the
IFA/IFPA merger plans. So I will go back to my old position of attacking all
these incompetent trade organisations. From NAHA in the USA, to the CFA
in Canada and to all the UK organisations, it seems none of them want
to get to grips with lousy education and the con artists endemic in the
Instead they constantly hoodwink their members, the public and
politicians that they are respectable and respected organisations.

Having just read the IFPAs three journals published to date, it is quiet obvious
that this organisation have no intention of telling the truth to their members.
There is no mention in the latest journal of the clashes that occurred at their
Annual conference which led to several members reconsidering their support
for it. Gabriel Mojay was very upset when a member had the audacity to refuse
to vote for him and he made his feelings known publicly. So much for their
claims to being a democratic organisation, what a joke! Some talk a lot about
democracy but that is simply to pander to their cult followers.

It is very interesting that leading members of the former ISPA can get away
with teaching subjects such as essential oil chemistry when they themselves
have had no experience in the oils supply trade or in analytical methods
specific to that trade. Of course many students seem to think that if someone
declares they are a DR. that this person must be knowledgeable on what they
teach. Please never ever make such assumption and ask straight questions on
what your lecturers qualifications are in. Could it perhaps be their degree is in
religion, or rubber technology perhaps.

Update Oct. 2002:
The IFA has issued a statement about events leading up to the planned merger
which fully vindicates my earlier statements:

The IFPA and its supporters have frequently claimed that "the majority voted
for a merger". The latest data from the IFA shows a very different story. Out of
1800 IFA members
only 644 returned ballot papers and 605 voted in favour of
exploring the possibility of a merger
not on the actual merger as the IFPA tries
to imply with its usual spin.

The IFA document also states: "at no time was the IFA council given
permission to go ahead and sign papers to form a new association". Also, "at
no time were members consulted on the format for the constitution of the new

Update: I have had an astonishing piece of information from the UK
Charity Commission where they say: "Charity trustees do not act on
behalf of their membership, rather their concern is in the proper and
effective administration and its property for public benefit"
. The
reason this is astonishing, is because it means officers of any
organisation can establish a new charity without any mandate from
the members of the organisations they represent.

So the moral of this is - do not expect UK authorities to protect you from any
abuse of power by the people you elect to leading positions. Thank goodness
some people in the IFA recognised potential abuse of power and took actions to
inhibit it on behalf of their membership.
As most of my readers know, I have been a strong opponent of the majority of
aromatherapy organisations for many years. The reasons why are spelled out
in other articles on this site.

All I ever see are attempts by a few individuals to gain power for their own
purposes. The lofty statements made by the leading figures involved just look
like the usual hot air commonly used in aromatherapy to fool a gullible
audience. The AOC has been doing just that for years, so perhaps these people
have learnt something from them.

The bulk of the members of most of these organisations only join to get their
insurance and take no part in running the organisation. Therefore, this leaves it
wide open for clever confidence tricksters to take over organisations for their
personal benefit.

People may be interested to know of what happens to those people such as
myself and others who oppose attempts by a tiny clique to take the trade over.
We are called by those individuals "destructive to the trade" and "negative",
and the minds of therapists, Civil Servants and others in Complementary
medicine are poisoned against us.

2018 update: Most of the people who tried to inject some honesty into the
aromatherapy world dropped out years ago in utter despair. I hang on in there
by trying to keep these articles alive. However, I know few get to read them as
most of the sheep now only use social media blogs and suck in everything they
are told.

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